This week’s inspiration comes from the theme of a family reunion I attended this past weekend: “Family First”.
We hear “family over everything” quoted all the time. We say it, but is it really true? Our intentions are for it to be true, but quite often things get in the way. The start of a new career, a promotion, higher education, business ventures, and sometimes just life itself, are all things that sometimes push family into second or even third place. The pursuit of these things, frequently give us tunnel vision and family falls by the wayside, not completely forgotten, but maybe not given the proper attention. Phone calls grow fewer, visits delayed, special events not attended….
It happens to the best of us, so there’s no need to beat ourselves up about it. In the words of Maya Angelou now that we “know better let us do better”. Let’s keep pushing and pursuing, but at the same time remembering what’s most important: “Family First”.
Numbers 13:30 is my Tuesday morning inspiration: “Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it.”
Caleb was referring to conquering land that was inhabited by giants. He knew that God had equipped them to overcome these giants, so his focus was on possessing the land, not on the obstacles to possessing the land.
We have metaphoric “giants” that try to hinder us from achieving our goals as well. But, I am encouraged that I am/ that we are also equipped to overcome every “giant” that rises up. We must do as Caleb did and see past the obstacle(s), focusing instead on our goal(s). So, whether your goal is a new career, a promotion, a house, debt elimination, or whatever it is, know that you are well able to conquer it no matter what “giant” tries to oppose you.
I feel like the prodigal son returning home. I have been away from by blog for a while now-three months to be exact. I went away seeking new ventures. While I am finding success in these ventures and am continuing to pursue them, I felt a tugging to return back home. I fought it at first telling myself I didn’t have time now and that I had already been away too long to return. I lost the fight however. This blog is where I began my foray into writing publicly, my beginning in turning a hobby into a career. After some thought I decided to change it to weekly inspiration, posting once a week instead of trying to post multiple times a week as I initially intended to do. Please forgive my extended vacation. I’m back home now.
I know it seems silly to some to mourn the loss of someone whom you don’t personally know. And I never met the man, but I feel like I knew him through his music and I was able to identify with him on another level because he too was an introvert. The fact that he could get up on that stage and share his gift in the manner that he did, in spite of this inspired me.
Music for me is more than a “catchy tune” or a nice beat to dance to. It is a form of therapy. It has seen me through heartaches and breaks, encouraged me, motivated me, calmed me, helped me to sleep at night.
I was introduced to Prince in 1984 via the movie Purple Rain and instantly became a fan. His music made me think, cry, laugh, dance. Therefore, I am not ashamed to say that I shed some tears when I heard the news that Prince had died and that I am shedding some even as I write this.
We have lost another legend. But, it is only a physical loss because his music will never die.
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
Nothing that is said or done, is done so without an underlying motive. I’m a very analytical person so I’m often questioning motives- those of others as well as my own.
Good or bad, selfish or selfless, we don’t do anything without a reason. When we choose to help someone, what is our motive? As a Christian it should be because it is the right thing to do and it is what Jesus wants us to do: “For I was an hungred and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; Naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me” (Matthew 25:35-36 KJV). This is not always the case though. A lot of times the motive is to get something in return: cash, some material possession, or maybe something nonmaterial such as attention, public praise, or some other accolade. A quote that I saw on Pinterest says it well: “If you’re helping someone and expecting something in return, you’re doing business not kindness.”
My motive for writing this blog post? I love writing, it is one of my gifts and I choose to use it to help teach, encourage, motivate, and uplift others.
There is a motive for everything and the motive does make a difference- a difference in how your actions are received and/or the outcome of your actions. Soooo, what’s your motive?
I was both intrigued and challenged by the concept of a Life Purpose/Mission Statement. This notion was presented to me via a training exercise sponsored by Happy Black Woman. While it is common practice to have a mission statement for a business or corporation, I had never considered a personal life mission statement. It made me sit back and really reflect on the questions of “who are you? what is important to you? what do you stand for?”
This reflection resulted in my life purpose/ mission statement which I am proud to share with you below.
God is the head and center of my life. I humbly submit to Him and my life evolves from Him and revolves around service to and for Him. Faith, family, love, and forgiveness are the foundations my life is built upon. Each day I make effort to “die a little more to self” so that I can become more like Christ, who completely died for me. I am committed to life long learning in and outside of the classroom. I am equally committed to teaching both in and outside of the classroom. My gifts and ministries include writing, helping, encouraging, and teaching. My mission is to serve the Lord within my home, church, and community and be the best me, the me that God created me to be.
What is your mission?
God has already given us His stamp of approval; No further validation is needed or required.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 ESV
“For am I now seeking the approval of man , or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 ESV
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 NKJV
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.