emergingfree

Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “blessings”

My 2015: Back To Loving ME!

Here I am again reflecting on the year—smiling, fully conscious of the joy I have in my heart as memories flood my thoughts.  I entered the year with a list of goals AND A PLAN.  First, however, I knew I needed to commit to being whole.  I was finally tired of holding myself back.  I had reached the point within my self where I had intentionally settled on uncompromisingly growing into my best self.  To do this, I had to return to the basics.  In 2015 I returned to loving me and it feels oh so great!

2014

Have you ever been afraid to be great?  I have.  Thank God those days are over!  How can I say that I want all of the blessings God has for me and then await them with closed hands?  It seems silly now, but it took a while for me to see my self.  I wonder how many people are like how I was, wanting better but not wanting greatness.  (Is that you?)  How many people are denying their uniquely-made brilliance and settling for mediocre because that is now the accepted norm?  Guess what, we are not normal! We are supernormal!  We are exceptional!

As I go forth in claiming the promises God has given me, I do so in humility.  This is a good thing as I have discovered the difference between being humble and having low self-esteem.  Oh, how fine that line can be, especially in a world where lowering the esteem of another seems to be a sport.  (Why does “Hunger Games” come to mind?)  Loving your self, however, is the counter to the world’s punch.  Admittedly, I could not love myself without growing closer to God.  It is a continuous process.  How exciting!

About ten years ago or so, a woman told me that the Lord is going to do great things in my life but I would have to learn humility first.  I remember this like it was yesterday because her words confused me.  I thought, “Who is this lady?  She has me all wrong.  I am already humble.”  Although I was woolly, I knew she was prophesying to me.

Had I known then what the lesson plan looked like for me to learn “humility”, I probably would have said, “Never mind.”  I may not have cried out for God to bless my life in ways only He could.  I may have settled.  Sometimes, maybe more often than we care  to realize, the blessing is in not knowing.  His ways are not our ways.

Having gone through the coursework and passing the test, I have now invested in the blessings.  They are already a part of me.  They have always been.  I just needed to return to the basics to locate them.  I just needed to love me, my humble self.  The world offers many temptations to that which it defines as “success”.  Humility provides balance.  Yes, “balance”–something to remain upright and steady.  Won’t He do it!?!?

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

 

Stirring

Something is stirring…..

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  —Luke 12:24

Have you ever had a thought that lingers…and lingers….and lingers?  Out of the blue, it is pressed upon your spirit—first coming as a whisper then growing into a statement, increasing into a yell and settling as an authoritative instruction?  The more pronounced it becomes, the more certain you are of its manifestation.  Well, this is where I am.

Through a storm I came.

Strong,

Yet dazed.

I survived.

Rest,

I requested.

Refuge,

Granted.

Now the time has come to adhere to authoritative instruction.

beach bw

So now,

How much more valuable are you than birds?

God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are!

I was reminded of this just the other day while sitting at the beach.  Out of nowhere came a woman, with bread.  Out of nowhere came birds, who ate.   “And how much more valuable you are than birds,” God reminded me.  “Do not worry,” God comforted me.  “I am with you,” God assured me.  Things will not be easy, but there will come things of ease.  Something is stirring.  Let’s do this.

Pain So Deep

I have a memory of myself lying in bed.  I was tired, really tired.  The tasks and pressures of the day awaited me, but I did not want to leave the comfort in which I was.  Moving meant being greeted by a disbursement of energy—energy of which I was lacking.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

But Jesus said, “Someone has touched me; I know that the power has gone out from me.”

Then  the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet.  In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.  Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace.”  (Luke 8:45-48)

I closed my eyes and pleaded to God.

“I want better than this.”

Child Praying

See it.  Claim it.  Proclaim it.

Then, it happened.  I got up.  Not only did I rise physically, but spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  I was invigorated in every way.  Something within me was triggered.  My perspective instantaneously shifted, with certainty.  It was refreshing.  I was comforted.  Interestingly, people (unknowingly) confirmed this occurrence through their compliments.

That morning, I was deeply pained but God!  I remembered His provision.  By doing so, I was reassured of my blessings present, and those that are orchestrated to come.  My faith healed me.  It continues to allow me to come and go in peace.  Can you relate?

Multiple Streams of Income

Very early in my professional career I learned the importance of having multiple streams of income.  It provides an avenue for more options.  That is significant, especially in this day and age when so many are unhappy and/or unsatisfied in their jobs.  Are you one of those people?

Fortunately for me, I like my job and the flexibility it provides.  I do, however, have a deep desire to pursue a vision I believe God has placed in my heart.  In doing so, I understand that I need more resources.  No doubt they will be provided, as long as I continue and allow my faith to be BIGGER than my fear.  Oftentimes, I am now finding myself routinely astonished by the various ways God allows me to meet positive and encouraging people, many of whom are searching for someone like me to invest in.  Through many of them, I am reminded how having multiple streams of income provides certain freedoms.  Money, money, money, money……makes money.  But this is the thing, at least for me and a number of the people I am meeting, the more you have means the more you can, and are willing to, give.

money and woman

Have you ever wanted to help someone or give to a cause, but could not because you did not have anything to give?  (It could have been money, energy, time, etc..)  Because you did not have it, you had no option.  Your desire to help was met with your reality of deficit. Do you believe God wants you operating in surplus?  If God wanted to increase your net worth, would you let Him?  Would you step out on faith and try something new?  Would you allow the team He sends to help you?  Would you bring others along too?

It is time for me, and maybe you, to add income streams.  Can there ever be too many?  People often stay on jobs they hate because it pays their bills.  Likewise, some (most often women) stay in marriages for the same reason.  If such people had financial options, most would let it goooooo……let it goooooo.  Then you have those like me, people consciously pursuing goals which require resources, resources that increased income bring.  God wants me to be blessed in every way. THAT, I BELIEVE.  Do you?

Talent Wasted?

Have you ever experienced a time when it felt like you were down to nothing?  Maybe you were counting your change because your dollars had run out.  Maybe that relationship you thought would last forever had a deadline and you were left with your tears and wounds from what could have been.  Maybe you took a professional risk which left you holding the liability.  It is times like this when you may be motivated to reflect the most.  There you are.  So, what now?

Woman Praying

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!’  —Matthew 25:21

Lately I have been thinking about the lazy servant who, because of his fear and self-centeredness, did not multiply his talent.  I do not want to be like that.  I want all of God’s blessings for my life!  Don’t you?

Now, you know like I do that some days feel harder than others.  Likewise, some hard days feel harder than other hard days.  Then, there are those times —although such seasons may be rare— when it may feel like you are down to nothing.  I have felt that way.  It creates the perfect environment for self-doubt to take residence in your thoughts.  If not careful, it will become a long-term inhabitant.  Fortunately in my case, I was not looking for such tenant.  The idea of living in fear versus the notion of wanting to be a blessing to others and to receive all of the blessings God has for me are not one in the same.  I became clear about that quickly.  (Thank God!)  In doing so, I was able to enjoy faith’s oxygen.  I was able to think clearly as well as appreciate the complexity and simplicity of my unique make-up.  My soul was able to rest assured, knowing that many things would come if I remain faithful to the few.  I just needed to continue to be faithful to the few, and do so with the wisdom and peace that only God’s grace provides.  I just needed to follow God’s instruction for my life, no matter how it may look or feel.  I just needed to remember God’s work, past and present.

My Christian family, don’t you want to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?  Are you conscious of this desire?  Are you investing wisely the time, talents, and other resources that He is giving to you?  Are you doing what God has called you to do?

Listen, I am still learning.  I am still growing.  I am still making mistakes and falling short, but this I know and accept with certainty: I am the holder of talent.  It is in accordance to my ability.  It is to be multiplied.  It will continue to be. 

Remember, that lazy servant was conquered by fear.  He did not put his talent to work.  Don’t be like that.  Talent wasted.

Got Faith?

I have decided to be more conscious about my faith.  As a result, I am discovering that I am doing more things when my initial reaction is to say, “No”.  Every single time, I walk away from these experiences with at least one blessing.  Without exception, I reflect while smiling and say, “Look at God.”

Face

“…. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”  —Matthew 17:20

Recently I heard a Project Leader speaking about a societal problem.  I found it interesting when he said, “I don’t believe we will solve this problem in my lifetime.”  Maybe we won’t, but his statement alone suggested to me the possibility that he should not be leading.  Lack of belief often times result in a lack of passion.  A person of passion is a person of conscious purpose.  A person of conscious purpose will work for resolution when one who lacks belief will not.

How many people are following people who truly do not believe that which they profess?  It could be in the areas of faith, love, profession, and/or as it pertains to social issues.  Being led by those who lack faith can be contagious and in fact a waste of our precious time.

As I work on growing conscious in my faith, my ears are sensitive to those who speak words that demonstrate a lack in theirs especially from positions of leadership.  I am a visionary.  Hence, I know that it is not in my best interest to congregate with a bunch of people who are not committed to having a strong belief in the manifestation of that which the natural eye does not yet see.  As a Christian, such association could be dangerous.  We may forget that our God routinely does the impossible.  Nothing is too big—or too small—for Him, if we believe.

It is easy to be misled when you do not know yourself and when you are unsure about that which you serve.  Many Christians struggle accepting that God has great things for them because they do not feel worthy and they do not believe He is the great I AM.  Many Christians say that we have faith, but never step outside of that which is comfortable.  Thank God mountains can be moved with mustard seed sized faith.

You know, there are SUPER talented Christians afraid to let their light shine brightly.  Far too many are walking around with dim light, if the bulb is working at all.  As I grow more conscious in my faith, I find it hard not to share God’s favor upon me especially when I have ventured into uncomfortable territory.  Know that there are times when you will receive your biggest blessings by believing in those things that others have in fact given up.  Know that your belief will motivate you to pursue things that others may doubt.  Know that even naysayers watch, but they too will respect His work.

Got faith?  Share your blessings.  Share how you have witnessed God’s movement of mountains.  Spread the Good News.  If he did it for you, He can do it for someone else.  Bless someone with that knowledge.

Hometown Experience

What do you do when people have a love-hate relationship with your spiritual gifts and talents?  “How dare you operate in your divine essence,” is what their rejection is actually stating.  Can you handle their repudiation and still be great, or are you going to allow naysayers to define your worth and in turn wither like a dried flower?  To my surprise, this predicament is more common than I first realized.

Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed.  “Where did this man get this wisdom and these powers?” they asked.  “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?  Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?  Aren’t all his sisters with us?  Where then did this man get all these things?”  And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” 

And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.  —-Matthew 13:54-58

A couple of weeks ago I met a fellow Christian woman who is pursuing avenues to introduce to the world her artistic talent.  We had a very candid conversation about how she has noticed that she receives significantly more love and support for her work from people in cities, not her hometown.  Isn’t that interesting?  Not really!  Such behavior dates back to biblical times.

You know, God has a way of orchestrating a meeting amongst His children to meet a need.  My newfound friend spoke in truth, not in bitterness.  It was refreshing to hear her honest feelings about this and how she has grown to handle it with grace and humility, as I have too struggled with understanding this very thing.  You see, what many people fail to grasp is that when we (specifically, Christians) are operating in our spiritual gifts and using our talents as a service to people, we are doing so by faith.  The sacrifices we make are by faith.  The decisions we make are by faith.  The discipline we exhibit is by faith.  Things you can see and those things you do not see are all connected by faith.  We know that, but those who lack faith discourage. As a result, such continues the self-fulfilling prophecy and mentality that nothing good can ever come from a place such as this.

Woman Praying

That day, my friend and I departed not knowing when or if we would see each other again.  God, in his beautiful style of communicating with me, placed us again in the same place at the same time.  This time, however, I was able to see her work with about two hundred other hometown people.  They were impressed and gave her a standing ovation.

Knowing what I know, she is prepared to offer her hometown more of her gifts and talents.  There may continue to be missed opportunities, not because of her desire but because of the rejection of gatekeepers who refuse to allow her in.  By faith she is not afraid to step into unknown environments to share what God has given her.  By faith she will continue to be blessed.

Don’t let the heartbreak of your neighbor’s envy or their lack of faith deter you from being a blessing to others.  We are spiritually gifted and talented to share these things with and to serve others.  Don’t consent with those who devalue your gifts and talents.  Know your worth.  If the audience before which you stand cannot see your value, or do not want to accept that you are valuable, don’t be bothered.  Someone’s trash is another person’s treasure.  Know that you are treasured.

So, You’re Ballin’ Huh?

It is easy to get caught up, to fall into the trap of pride when our bills are paid and when we have financial surplus. Oh, how the temptations seem to surround us like vultures circle (dead) prey when people place us in positions where others “look up” to us and we buy into the idea that we are superior. When we are not struggling—not in need, not in want—, it is easy to fall into a worldly-defined ballin’ mentality.

The pride of your heart has deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rocks
and make your home on the heights,
you who say to yourself,
‘Who can bring me down to the ground?
—Obadiah verse 3

Life takes us up and down. In a moment’s notice, something can happen which can plant us on our knees in tears….or on our behinds. In another moment, we can receive news that will have us ecstatically jumping for joy.

As I continue to grow in Christ, I try to maintain a humbled core. Am I always successful? No, but I am much more likely these days to recognize when I am not and repent. Truth is, I want to receive God’s blessings—all of them—much more than I want to live with a pride-filled heart. As a matter of fact, I expect to be abundantly blessed. The removal of pride allows me to understand that there are responsibilities and a mindset that should accompany such living. After all, to whom much is given, much is expected.

Woman Reading Bible

In your seasons of being blessed according to the world’s standard, don’t forget from where your blessings really come and that you are a representative of Him. If you are going to be ballin’, ball for Christ.

The Backhanded Temptation

A part of life’s journey is the continuous greeting of temptation. Some are more obvious than others and amazingly they arrive in numerous forms. As a result, I have learned to pray for increased discernment.

Woman Praying

One of the behaviors I had to grow in the awareness of was that of consciously thanking God in the “good” times. I needed to break the habit (–the backhanded temptation–) of having as the motivating reason for humbly coming to the Lord, that of listing needs and wants. Sure, I would regularly pray for others too and it would be common that I would include expressions of gratitude, but at some point I noticed that I would for sure make time for God when I had a need…or when someone asked me to pray for her/his need, again there I was bringing to Him a need.

Upon reflection, it had been easy to develop this way. It seemed like most of the gospel songs of which I listened to then evidenced situations of people needing God. Most of the sermons I heard seemed to highlight a people in a place of need. The alter callings seemed to be marketed to those in need. As a result, in my adulthood I would take my worries, my concerns, my problems to the Lord because that is what I was taught to do. This is what I still do and what I believe I should do, but in doing so at that time I can honestly say that there were many, many times when I would forget to pray and I noticed that it was more probable that I would forget during times when things were going well. Isn’t that something? Am I the only Christian with this experience?

When I fed them, they were satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud;
then they forgot me.
—Hosea 13:6

I am thankful for this awareness. Interestingly, it came as a result of being overwhelmed with happiness and needing to express it. Guess where I turned? That’s right. I turned to God to say, “Thank You”.

I have recently watched God manifest a series of miracles in my life. They are so awesome to see. As I type this, I am smiling with excitement because God is truly amazing. I am very conscious that in this time of life, I have an expressively grateful heart. As a result, it would not be unusual for me to pray and have moments when I just take a minute to say, “Thank You God” and just start listing stuff. When you KNOW that you KNOW that God is REAL, sometimes you just have to take a moment and list the blessings He is truly doing, has done, and will do in your life. (Amen.) As my relationship with God deepens, I find that just as determined as I was to express to Him my concerns, I am just as excited to say, “Thank You.” His presence in my life is much too appreciative for me to forget to acknowledge His blessings along the way. It’s funny. I am finding that I am even more blessed by doing so.

Post Navigation