Today I deviated from my normal morning routine, choosing to go for a walk in the neighborhood before jumping into household chores and work. It was a beautiful day for a walk-the sun was shining and the temperature was perfect, neither too hot nor too cold. It was a refreshing change of pace. Strolling in the quiet morning hours, listening to the birds chirping, clearing my mind, sparking my creative juices for writing. Day 10’s “new” reminded me that it’s good to break free from the normal routine every now and then.
How do I need to pray? Boldly and confidently: “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].”
Hebrews 4:16 AMP
When do I need to pray? All the time: “Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 AMP
“Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).”
Ephesians 6:18 AMP
Why do I need to pray? For answers and solutions to all situations and problems, for healing/deliverance, protection/covering: “Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].”
James 5:16 AMP
Sometimes the very moment we have said or done something we instantly regret it, other times the regret takes awhile to set in, but nevertheless it comes. Whether it is “a” or “b”, we can’t take back our words or undo our actions, so let us take a few seconds to chew on our words before we spit them out and be mindful of what we are choosing to do and its possible impact before we do it.
What would you give up to be happy? A lot of people think gaining a particular thing will result in happiness… a career, a relationship, a car, a house, etc. Sometimes it’s not what we need to gain, but what we need to give up in order to live happier lives.
When I looked at my youngest daughter’s hair two years ago, when I decided to put a relaxer in it, all I saw was thick hair that was hard to manage (especially for someone lacking in hairstyling skills like myself).
Today when I took out her crochet braids (she is now 9 months relaxer free), I saw thick, beautiful, curly hair. The same locs that were there two years ago, adorned her head today. But I couldn’t see them then. All I could see was hours of washing, conditioning, detangling, and bumbling and stumbling my way through styling it.
As I marveled at her lovely mane, I received a revelation about how this “hairy situation” applies to life. Sometimes we look at a person and all we can see is a mess. But, what we fail to realize is that hidden underneath that “mess” is something beautiful. Because God doesn’t make mess, we can be assured that there is buried treasure within. So let us make effort to see beyond what we think we see and know.
Happy New Year!
I’m not a resolution list maker. Not knocking those who are. I just choose to sum mine all up in: I will do better this new year than I did last year.
What that looks like for me is:
Spiritually- I will do better at seeking God first thing in the morning, trusting Him more, and being more obedient
Physically- Eating better, drinking more water, exercising more, and getting enough sleep
Mentally/Emotionally- More “me” time, less stress, and no to being driven by and making decisions based on emotions
Financially- Being a better steward of my finances and making wise financial choices
Now that I’ve put this out here. I’ve made you my accountability partners. Help hold me to it.
May 2016 be all that you desire it to be and more. Blessings!
The main ingredient for change is that there must first be a revelation that there is a need for change. A solution is preceded by a problem. If one doesn’t perceive a problem then one does not seek a solution.
Next, a desire for change is necessary. Even with a revelation of a need for change, a person who does not wish to change will not change, plain and simple. This desire needs to come from within because forced, shamed, or guilted change will not last.
Behind that desire to change, you need motivation in the mix. For some, simply wanting to be a better person is enough to motivate change. Other factors might be more extrinsic such as health(physical, spiritual, mental, and/or emotional) or salvaging a relationship. Motivation is a key ingredient because it is what will keep the person on track when the process of change becomes overwhelming.
The fourth ingredient is a plan. You know the saying “if you fail to plan, plan to fail”. What does change look like? What steps will be taken? are questions that need to be addressed.
The recipe completer is implementing the plan. Rolling the revelation, desire, motivation, and plan into action.
Knowing that you need change, having the desire to change, being motivated to change, and having a plan for change equates to nothing, without as Iyanla Vanzant would say, “doing the work”. “You’ve got to do the work”.
**I would be amiss if I failed to say, in this recipe for change, prayer is the binder.**
In the game of poker and in life, sometimes you are dealt a good hand and other times a bad one. In both cases, your control over your hand is limited. Like wise in both the card game and in life you have the option to fold.
Folding in the game of poker means “to lay down your cards and stop playing the hand. You are out. You give it up.” (poker.about.com). In life we can lay down or surrender our lives to Christ, giving up our old life for a new one in Him.. In Matthew 11:28 He beckons us to Him “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.
James 4:10 encourages us to “humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you”.
2 Corinthians 5:17 lets us know that we can be dealt a new hand/ a new life “therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things passed away; behold, new things have come”.
There is an old country song by Kenny Rogers whose lyrics relate to the game of poker and to life: “you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run”. You must know when to hold onto your cards, when to put your hand down, when to walk away from the poker table, and when to run from it. Accordingly, you must know when to hold onto your life, when it’s time to surrender it, and when it’s time to walk away from certain situations and/or people and run to Christ.
Between the ages of three and seven, children sometimes awaken in the middle of the night with severe pain or discomfort in their legs, thighs, and/or calves. The culprit: growing pains. The cause: bone growth that stretches the bone’s thick covering.(webmd.com; mayoclinic.org)
As adults we too experience growing pains. Our pains,however;are associated with change. The Lord constantly has to stretch us, reshape us, add a little or a lot of something, and sometimes He has to take some things away. This results in physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain-sometimes a combination of the four and sometimes all four at the same time.
Though the process hurts, in both cases it results in something wonderful. For the kids the end result is physical growth. For the grown folk, these growing pains mature us into beautiful vessels prepared and equipped for God’s service and use.