Confidence in the Stillness

Sunset at tropical sea coast.

I have to admit it is difficult for me to be still. Even when I sit down to watch television, it is easier for me to listen to the TV as I search the web or craft up new ideas. Being still is hard; yet it is necessary. It seems to only come natural when I’m on vacation by the beach with a book in hand.

Years ago, I read the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World which truly resonated with me. I have great desires to be like Mary and sit at the feet of the Father; yet I often allow others things to get in the way and win over my attention in the moment; leaving my Savior left there all alone.

Because of this, I have started giving Him the first part of my day. Before I check emails, respond to text messages or even check the weather; I give that time to Him. It’s our sacred, uninterrupted time.

It is easier to have a conversation with God, but it takes us being intentional to listen.

It is my prayer that we will be women who are intentional to hear from God about the things in our world. To be confident in the stillness and to have it be an important part of our day. I want to be filled with His spirit before I leave the house so that I am better equipped to tackle the day.

Will you carve out time to be still in His presence and to actively listen to what He wants to say to you?

What is Your Word for 2019?

three white ceramic pots with green leaf plants near open notebook with click pen on top

My word in 2018 was “faith”. I am naturally a planner but what I am learning is sometimes you have to just let things be. If I could, I would plan all my days for 2019; yet what I learned about myself this year is the importance of leaving some margin in my plans for Jesus to move.

In order for my faith to rise, I had to let go and allow Jesus to move on my behalf. To be willing to go when plans change and to be willing to keep going when things are not happening as I thought they would.

2019 I am devoted to being intentional. I felt this on my heart for the last few months. I desire to be intentional with those in my world, to be intentional in spending time with my Savior and to be intentional with the time He has given me.

This year reminded me that tomorrow isn’t promised. Death is no respecter of age but if the Lord has blessed me with another day, I want to be intentional in how I spend it. The planner in me often works off a to-do list and it is my goal to check everything off but I want to intentionally do what the Lord is calling me to do that day. If it means that something doesn’t get done because I need to spend time with a friend who is hurting then I desire to be intentional to keep a “yes” in my pocket for what is needed that day.

Will it be easy? No, but I believe it is the word He has given me and my heart desires to steward it well.

There is a song by United Pursuit titled “Waste it All” and I think it truly depicts the kind of life I desire to live. It is about being intentional to spend your life devoted to Jesus.

What word has the Lord placed on your heart and how will you steward it in 2019?

Today’s prayer: Father, I pray that as we go into a new year that we will steward our time while being devoted to whatever you are calling us towards each day. I ask that you give my sisters a word or a verse this year to meditate on. My hope is that we will break our alabaster jars open this new year and pour it on you every day. Lead us in the way we should go Lord and let us not depart from your presence.

New Season: New Playlist

group of people raising hands silhouette photography

2018 you can kindly go now! It seems as if so many people are hurting right now. There are so many people in my life who are being attacked by the enemy and on top of that, we have experienced much loss in the last few days. So much so that it has left my heart feeling desperate to experience more of Jesus. In the midst of storms, it is so easy to get down and isolate yourself but I am choosing to worship, in spite of.

I wanted to share with you my most recent top 5 list of worship songs that are speaking to me right now. These songs have been on constant repeat in my car and I hope that it blesses you as much as it has blessed me.

  1. So Will I/Do It Again by Osby Berry
  2. Here Again by Elevation Worship
  3. God is Good by Jonathon McReynolds
  4.  Known by Tauren Wells
  5. Surrounded (Fight My Battles) by Upperroom

Regardless of what you are facing in this season, I pray that you find your peace through worship. For me, worship allows me to take my focus off of my situation and keep my eyes on God. It doesn’t always erase the pain or change the circumstance but it changes me to look at those things differently.

I ask that you allow God to meet you today in the midst of whatever you are facing, which will help remind you that your God is bigger than your problem. I hope by choosing to fix your eyes on Him, it will bring peace that surpasses all understanding.

How Do You See Yourself?

person on a bridge near a lake

My coworkers and I are currently reading the book Identity Theft: Reclaiming the Truth of Our Identity in Christ.  When we completed chapter 4; we wrestled with the question on how we see ourselves. The question asked: Do you see yourself as a sinner striving to be a saint or a saint who struggles with sin?

As I went home, I began to think more of my answer where I stated that I often view myself as a sinner striving to be a saint and not a saint who struggles with sin.

I began to wonder why I view myself in that light. I recognize that I can be my own worst critic but the whole chapter was focused on being able to see ourselves as a saint. As it stated that we became a saint when we accepted Jesus into our lives.

I have always defined a saint as a perfect individual; someone without fault; yet a saint is someone with a closeness to Jesus.

I wrestled with this more because I have always held a “saint” to a high standard such as a pastor, bible scholar, or a Mother Teresa but now I wonder if I’ve been viewing myself through the wrong lens.

The truth is I want us to see ourselves as God sees us. To be confident in being set apart as Believers knowing that we will still have the struggles of sin but we have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us to overcome it.

It is my prayer that we begin to see ourselves through the lens of our Creator and as we begin to learn more about Him, we will in return learn more about who He created us to be.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. – Ephesians 2:19 (ESV)

 

Reckless Love: Interrupted yet everlasting

stack of love wooden blocks

A couple of months ago, a co-worker sent me a link to a song titled Reckless Love. If I’m honest, when I first saw the title come through, I wasn’t initially interested because there’s a negative mindset that comes with the term reckless.But I finally caved in and gave it a try.

As I listened, the words began to pierce at my heart and as much as I didn’t want to keep listening; it made me reflect. I remembered what it felt like when God gracefully broke me – when He took everything that was once familiar to mold me into someone new. He changed me, but what it took to get there wasn’t pretty. It was uncomfortable; it interrupted the life I knew; yet in the midst of it, I felt Him near.

Being a Christian never implies that life will be easy; there’s nothing that says we will never endure hard times. Our manual says the opposite.

When my back is up against the wall; I have the choice to release control and allow God to do what only He can do; yet whenever I depart from the very Word that I’m called to stand on there is nothing that my Heavenly Father won’t do to get the attention of His daughter. He will stop at nothing to turn our hearts back to Him.

In Luke 15:3-7, Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep and shares this very concept of going after the one until its’ found. I find comfort in knowing that He will stop at nothing to keep us near Him.

Click here to listen to Reckless Love

Being Faithful in Your Singleness

Single woman alone swinging on the beach

For some odd reason, being single has some people feeling as if they have a disease. Everything around you says that you should be in a relationship; yet everything gives a false representation of how that relationship should be.

As much as there’s a desire for companionship, I believe there should be a deeper hunger for relationship; not with a man but the Man.

Paul reminds us how being single allows you to be solely devoted to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:34). It is also a season filled with purpose yet I like to call it a season of preparation.

As much as social media will show relationships on your news feed, it can also give you a false representation of love. People share what they want you to see. You begin to draft these fantasies about love and miss the love that’s available for you everyday.

The Lord has given you the gift of singleness in this season and it is your choice in how to accept that gift. This is a precious time to tune in to Him for what you are to learn in this season.  I believe that singleness is a time to get to know our Savior so much more. In getting to know Him, you will learn so much about yourself.God can grant you a desire for something more.He will change and mold you into the woman He created you to be.

He desires for you to know Him and understand His resurrecting power that can equip you for various seasons of life.

Will you commit to being faithful to the Him in this season? Not distracted but totally focused on the One who is Love.

Faith in Work: Finding Joy in the Day to Day

Stressed business woman

I just finished Tim Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work. I appreciated this book because it showed the importance of seeing value in our careers regardless if you are in corporate or ministry.

Tim gave an example of a doorman at an apartment in New York, who was known by the residents for his positive attitude and how he took pride in helping people. He took the initiative to learn the residents’ name and when asked why he took so much pride in his work, he mentioned how it’s the people in the building that he cares about.

When I read this story, it reminded me of the security guard at my employer who knows every employee by name. He is the first person you will see in the morning and he makes sure the elevator is waiting on you. He takes pride in the people at the office. He brings joy early in the morning. When he is not there, you miss his presence. He simply radiants with Christ’s love.

Colossians 3:23 says “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

It is so easy to get bogged down in the day to day tasks that you find yourself losing joy in what brought you to work. When you’re constantly listening to people complain, surrounded by deadlines and work politics, it’s hard to find the energy to press on but what if we truly approached work as it is unto the Lord? Not to make our boss look good or to make the company more money, but if we can commit to walking in the light every day so that those who may not know God will sense something different through our presence.

There may be someone on the job who may only know Christ through you. There may be people who need to see an example of a servant leader. Or maybe that company needs your help to bring a new sense of purpose.

There are so many reasons as to why God has you where you are, but friends, know that it is on purpose. Let’s be committed to working smart and  intentionally being the salt and light in the workplace.

Being In Community with Others

Female friends having fun while having coffee

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. -Proverbs 18:24

I remember as a teenager, rolling my eyes at my mom (as I walked away of course because I wasn’t crazy) anytime she would tell me “your friends say a lot about you.”

My grandfather would always say “don’t let everyone ride in your car.”

All of these quotes, which relate to who you surround yourself with, were annoying as a child but I can see the fruit of it as an adult.

As my grandmother would say “we all need friends”, which is true. We are not meant to do life alone. Life is hard and we all need someone to walk through it with.

I believe the Lord created each of us to be in community with others.

As much as I tend to recharge alone, I love being in community with friends and family.

I’ve seen the importance of the people in my circle. I have seen the joys of laughing, brainstorming and sometimes even crying together.

However I have also seen the struggles of wanting more for my friends than they wanted for themselves. I’ve watched friends go down a dangerous path and align themselves with people who meant them no good. I’ve seen the struggles of praying from a distant while yearning for more closeness.

I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum but yet the truth remains the same. The people you align with can either strengthen you or cause you to completely get off track.

Friendships are so vital. The right friends are needed to cover you in various seasons of life.

If you are searching for the right people to be in community with, I want to encourage you to seek the guidance of our Heavenly Father as He knows exactly what you need in this season. Ask Him to guide you and open your heart towards new friendships. I believe He will meet you where you are and provide exactly what you need.

 

What’s Your Vision?

AdobeStock_28014010.jpeg Friday night, I hosted a vision board party with a few of my friends. I had talked to them individually about goals and their purpose but it was my first time doing a vision board party so I wasn’t sure what to expect or how to facilitate. Initially I wasn’t even sure if anyone would be interested. All I knew was that it was on my heart too strong to ignore it.

In 2016,  I really began to pray fervently about my purpose. However while I was praying and receiving signs, I also began to pray for those around me. I always say that I look forward to the day where we are all living the life God called us to live.The day where everyone around me is walking in their purpose.

So on Friday night, we ate our appetizers and got situated with our boards and magazines in hand. I looked up for a moment to see these women working earnestly to capture their visions.

I love that every woman had great plans that fit their personalities and styles. Some plans were things that will take time to produce, others were things that would take discipline and conquering fears but what I loved is that to manifest each board, will require bold faith. It would require each of us to remember that although it may seem impossible given our current circumstances, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). As long as our eyes stay gazed towards God and things ahead and as long as our ears are tuned into God’s voice, we will be on the right path.

I don’t know what will happen as a result of these boards but it is my prayer that faith would be built, peace received and when they close their eyes, they will see exactly who God created them to be.

I could have easily ignored the idea of a vision board party because it can seem a little elementary but it was my prayer that it would spark creativity and motivation but also give each of us an opportunity to know exactly what to believe God for -not just for ourselves but for our sisters in Christ.

I’m believing for God to do amazing things in each of their lives. Not just through the vision board but in their hearts. I’m hopeful that God will change and build these women to be who they were created to be. It is my prayer that they won’t play a tug of war game with God but completely surrender their plans to him and confidently declare: “Not my will but your will be done (Luke 22:42).”

 

Navigating Tests on the Job

When I was in school, I hated taking tests. I was one who would much rather write a paper than be forced to sit through a multiple choice test. And don’t let it be a standardized test, God help us all. Those things were the enemy in my head. As much as I like to think that the idea of tests  ended once I completed college, it didn’t. Then there’s life after college.

You see in life, there are many tests that come our way. Many obstacles to face, sometimes even daily. Whether you are beginning your career or been in corporate America for a few years, you have faced some tests on the job. Maybe someone constantly challenges your ideas, refuses to work with you, or doesn’t even acknowledge your existence, regardless of the situation you have experienced some tests.

Don’t let it get you down. Never let anyone make you feel less than God’s best.I believe that you are given the tools to handle these difficult times. Yes it will be uncomfortable but I don’t think God would position you where you are and just leave you to fight it all by yourself. It can be hard to navigate conflict on the job as you want to remain professional and keep a healthy working environment. Plus, no one wants to be labeled as being a difficult person to work with but below are some helpful tips that I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Stay grounded: Stay grounded in your faith and who you are. Never allow someone to get you out of character
  2. Own it: If you make an honest mistake, own up to it. It’s difficult to admit these things but it’s important for your professional growth. Whether you unintentionally said something to someone who was misconstrued it or made an error on a project, it’s important to come up with a solution as soon as possible and own up to your mistakes.
  3. Be kind: I know, I know. This is the last thing you want to read. It’s difficult when someone is everything but kind to you but the truth is, you never know why they are that way. Maybe they are dealing with hurt/pain at home, now this doesn’t give them an excuse but it allows us to show some grace. Sometimes if you seek to understand the root of it all, you begin to wrap your head around why they are the way that they are. Now, I’m not saying to let them walk all over you but give a little grace as you’ll be rewarded for doing so.
  4. Don’t gossip: This is hard. Gossiping is part of some people’s DNA but don’t fall into the trap. It is so easy to  gossip especially when there’s so much of it around you but I challenge you to be different. It has always made me uneasy when someone walks into a meeting room and it is obvious that others just finished talking about them. It’s not a good feeling. I always try to put myself in their shoes and I can only imagine how that may feel.
  5. Pray: I saved the best for last. I believe that prayer changes things. I encourage you to take your tests to God to work on your behalf. You can’t change the people that you work with (or your situation) but you can vent to God. He will show you the areas where you can improve and also begin to work on some of those “challenging” people that seem to make life harder.

I hope you take time to practice these things on the job but please remember,your job is to remain faithful during the difficult times. Don’t get discouraged, take these tests as a chance to build a bigger faith!