Shine, unapologetically.

I think it’s time to get to the place where you’re tired of selling yourself short (gifts, ideas, overall awesomeness)…

If God has blessed you with an ability or gift (“great” or “small”), don’t sit and hide it under a bushel – Shine bright and let what God has done for/given you ring!

I’m not in any way stating we should be prideful or walk in the delusion of thinking we are perfect, but there is a coolness about confidently knowing and rocking what you got.

Be bold, and hold your head up. Being blessed by God is a privilege. Being one of His people is even more of a privilege!

Don’t be afraid to shine, unapologetically – Honestly speaking, some things just can’t be hidden anyway…

Staying encouraged, I hope the same for you!

Be selective.

I am finding that there are areas of my life where it is extremely important to be selective. Just a few of these areas are, my thinking/thoughts, my words (or lack of), and the company I keep.

Regarding my thinking – Thoughts have a great influence not only on what we say, but also on what we do. I am thankful that I’m realizing I have power over what I choose to think/dwell on. I am also thankful for the given examples from the Word, on what to think on (Philippians 4:8). When I choose to think on the lovely things, the things of good report, etc., my whole attitude shifts, which then can put a positive tone in motion for my words.

Regarding my words (or lack of) – I continue to believe the Lord for deliverance on choosing my words more carefully, as well as knowing when to just shut up (be quiet). Sometimes comments/suggestions/opinions are neither required nor desired. I pray for discernment on this, as even the Word states, “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent” (Proverbs 17:28a NLT).

Lastly, regarding the company I keep – I am a true witness that when you begin (and follow through on) being selective on the company you keep, you may feel lead to let some things and/or people go. Not necessarily labeling them as horrible or anything, but sometimes you just need to let go. This experience can feel pretty lonely at times.

When the loneliness hits, you can feel tempted to second guess your decision, but I am thankful for the strength to press through that feeling and be obedient to the prompting/leading of the Lord.

Choosing to be selective may not start off easy, but I pray that I stay encouraged during the process, and know, trust, and believe that in the long run, being selective is a benefit, not a setback.

Staying encouraged – I pray the same for you!!

The thief of comparison.

Real talk, it has taken me longer than I would’ve liked to just be cool with who the Lord has blessed me to be as a person (flaws and all). I find in this life it can be so easy to fall into the trap of comparing your life to that of another.

Getting in competition/comparison mode robs us of our own personalized experiences, opportunities, times of celebrations, as well as the chance to show love and celebrate with others.

The truth is there will always be the temptation/urge to compare ourselves to others, as there will always be someone smaller (or bigger), brighter, more eloquent, more knowledgeable, successful, or likable. These things do not change the fact that we are valuable, have purpose, and are the bomb!

Again, I say that I’m realizing and believing that life is a personalized journey – no one can walk it out (your journey), quite like you can. So let’s not allow the thief of comparison to rob us any further!

For me I say, I am making the choice to feel good about myself – my highs and lows, flaws, and features (both physical and non), just my story in general.

I pray that I continue to trust that God has made me enough, even if I do need a spiritual slap in the face reminder from time to time… 🙂

Staying encouraged, I pray the same for you…

What’s the rush?

In my not so distant past, I was quick to fall into romantic feelings with the opposite sex. Whether it was just from a common understanding or experience, a shared personality trait, physical desire, or sheer loneliness – I jumped the gun on opening up my heart extremely prematurely, which often times left great damage to myself and/or the other party involved.

As of late the Lord has really been healing and helping me with this character flaw, but I first had to admit that I had a problem/wasn’t the best at guarding my heart.

As a recovering “know it all” (still a work in progress), it was somewhat difficult to admit that although professionally I had it mostly together, romantically I was a hot mess. Once I did, the healing began.

Although some day I desire the bomb connection of a mate, of course on the same spiritual, Jesus loving flow as I, that day is not today, and that’s ok.

In this time of healing and help, I am becoming able to not only articulate and communicate what I desire in a mate, but also what I desire in and from myself – the type of woman that I am currently, as well as the type I hope to become, to not only be the best version of myself for me, but also for a future spouse, family, etc.

This life of mine is personalized by the Master, and I am digging each step of the way – struggles, excitements, victories, downtimes, items yet to be revealed, and all!

Romance, as great and wonderful as it can, and what I believe I’ll witness it to be, I still say to myself, what’s the rush?…

I am enjoying and taking in all that the here and now has to offer… I’m thankful for strength and courage with, and through this.

Staying encouraged – Praying the same for you!

God’s will, not my own.

Fairly often the Lord places specific individuals on my heart to reach out to, and send some appreciation/love. I dig this as I am fond of encouraging others, but there are times where I am hesitant and talk myself out of this task.

The reason for the hesitation varies, but is often due to the fear of coming across as weird (the individual wondering why I am reaching out to them or saying what I am saying). Another reason is the fear of coming across as flirty or having a crush. This fear comes into play specifically when being urged to reach out to members of the opposite sex.

The result of these fears taking over, is me aborting the encouragement mission the Lord assigned to me for that day/moment/etc.

I frequently say to the Lord, “Use me – I am available – I want to be used by You” – These are sincere statements, but I am realizing that in being used, sometimes there is the risk of coming across as weird, or guys may think I am flirting with them or have a crush, but that should not stop me from walking out what the Lord is asking of me.

As a Believer I am already of a peculiar fold, so I am deciding to stop running from that fact, and just embrace it!

I am making the daily choice to truly live out the declaration of “Not my will, but Yours (God’s) be done in my life”, even if I have to walk out this statement in discomfort, fear, or with the risk of coming across as a weirdo (no offense with this term).

God’s will, not my own – That’s my aim.

Staying encouraged, I hope the same for you!

New level issues.

In life we have the opportunity to grow, and go from level to level (faith to faith), but a common hindrance is believing that where we are now (personal issues, mindsets, struggles), is where we have to remain for life.

I have found remaining at the same level, with the same issues, just doesn’t have to be so. Each passing year, day, second, is an opportunity to change for the better, and elevate.

I have made up my mind that I will not live out the rest of my days harboring the same unhealthy mindsets, or having the same struggles and issues. I choose to cooperate with the Lord and obtain some new levels!

Just a couple of mindset change examples that may open one up to new levels follow:

Are you tired of going through the emotional roller coaster of getting upset, sad, then frustrated over the same painful memories of hurts and regrets of the past? Do yourself a favor and decide to forgive (others and yourself), and let it go. Have you been insecure, plagued by a comparison spirit, and always counting yourself out in the past? Well today is the perfect day to realize your value, get back in the game, and count yourself in (you matter!).

As I press on to the new levels in my life, I pray to remain ready for the new obstacles/struggles/issues that come with the territory. God is with me, so I know I can withstand and make it!

I’m staying encouraged, I pray the same for you!!

Thoughts and Thank You’s: George Floyd and Injustices toward Black Lives

I have to state that the murder of Mr. George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis Police Officers a little over a week ago is some wicked crap, and unfortunately, senseless, hateful acts like this toward the black community have been too common not only in my lifetime, but throughout American history.  

I am pissed at the injustices and killings of black men and women, boys and girls, that continue to take place at the hand of the very people/department/agency, that is sworn to serve and protect them (us) – This is some whack stuff!

Honestly, I have not had to rebuke so many cuss words within my mind, then I have over this past week. My emotions are all over the place, but I thank the Lord for helping me to get them together.

Although I still cannot wholly articulate my thoughts and feelings, I did want to take a moment and thank all of the individuals within my feed, and across social media platforms as a whole, that have been sharing information regarding the unjustifiable death of Mr. George Floyd, and the movement that is taking place as a result.

Thank you for also sharing information on how individuals can help, whether by protesting, donating supplies and goods, or just their time.

Last, but definitely not least, I want to give a shout out to all of the prayer intercessors. Please do not discount the mighty task you are doing behind the scenes. Prayer is a powerful tool – I know it to be true.

Like many others, I am continuing to pray for justice, healing, and a supernatural movement/shift in this nation, on behalf of Black lives, that are so easily discounted daily, globally.

Please stay encouraged, and a side-note, do not forget to register to vote. The true leadership skills, or lack of, of elected government officials are being shown during this time. Please take notice…

https://vote.gov/

Release the fear, and get it right.

Have you ever been in a situation where the vibe is just off – Mainly a hiccup in communication between you and someone you generally have a uniformed flow with? Misunderstandings or unresolved issues are often to blame for this.

I know for myself, when discord begins to rear its ugly head in specific relationships, I feel a strong urge to bring up the issue with the other party, but quickly talk myself out of it. Why?… Fear, plain and simple.

Indirect, dramatic outbursts were a pretty common theme used by me in my relationships back in the day (both romantic and platonic). Due to this toxic behavior of past, I sometimes get uneasy bringing up current issues or concerns with others, out of fear of coming across as too emotional, in turn, being written off before being fully heard out. There is also the fear of causing more harm than good by even bringing the issue up. So, I just wait for the off feeling/vibe to pass, and it does, until the unresolved issue arises again…

Well, I want off of that crazy cycle of fear, so I am beginning to take the necessary steps to achieve that. I am practicing wisdom by seeking guidance from the Lord on which issues to bring up, and which to let go of and lay at His feet in prayer. While doing this I am realizing, and accepting that I can truly only control myself and my emotions, and not the possible responses I may receive from others.

This is some work, and definitely takes practice, but I am going to keep trying 🙂

When the vibe is off, I aim to release the fear of how I may be perceived, and take the steps to get it right.

Staying encouraged – I hope the same for you!

Being Real.

Sometimes it seems the only action associated with keeping it/being real is a level of in your face, sharp shooting, telling it to you like it is, in a forceful and hard way toward another.

I agree that at times, this form of being real is necessary, but I think there is another type of real that is equally as important. This realness is that of choosing to be vulnerable and truthful, first with the Lord (I must state this, as I know Him to be the ultimate source of healing, hope, and change), then with yourself, and others – acknowledging that you may feel lonely, afraid, disconnected, or just sometimes misunderstood.

I believe there is great power in sharing victories (testimonies), as well as struggles (tests, soon to be testimonies), even in a time where it seems like we all are so bent on appearing as if we have it all together.

To me, true realness is admitting, even if just to yourself, that you do have some insecurities, you do not have it all together, and you do need others.

I am striving to walk this type of being real out.

Staying encouraged – I hope the same for you!

 

Walk them out.

I am at a place in my life where I desire to stop looking to other people, the amount of friends, connections, likes/shares, or resources I (currently) have, to justify who I am, and what I can do with the abilities the Lord has gifted me. I just want to cooperate, and do what the Lord has instructed me to do/live out. Whether it’s following through on an idea, task, goal, or service offered, or just putting forth a better effort and attitude in my daily affairs (work life, home life, citizen as a whole).

I strongly believe now is the time for us as Believers, to be bold, strong, and courageous, and confidently walk out the plans the Lord has for us – trusting and honoring Him each step of the way. Knowing without a doubt that He’s able to bring those plans to pass, with lasting success, beyond our wildest dreams…

The plans of the Lord, let’s walk them out.

Stay encouraged!