Life Lesson: When Quitting Is No Longer An Option

In the past, when bad days would happen I would let myself believe that quitting was better than fighting and living for tomorrow. When a disappointment or setback would occur, I would suffer a dramatic low that I never thought I could come back from. For so long, nonstop I allowed this destructive behavior to determine my outlook on life both present and future. This way of thinking allowed deep roots to form in my life that made it almost impossible to see myself as victorious. I would convince myself over and over how tomorrow wouldn’t come, opportunities wouldn’t happen and I would always be drowning in sorrow. Why was that? Truth is, giving up always seems easier than sticking it out. As far back as I could remember, I’ve relied on my emotions, those raw deep feelings to be the driving force in my life. I allowed those raw deep feelings lead me to a prison of suspension. I had begun to feel caged in by my doubts, fears, and worries. I allowed them to overshadow my purpose, destiny, and drive.

But when I had enough of the “just getting by” lifestyle I was leading I finally made a change. I choose life. Please believe when I say it’s hard choosing life because it involves a lot of dead weight and dead things to be killed off. When you choose life, you have to get rid of everything, your mindset, behavior and your will in order to be transformed.

It took a lot of crying, a lot of waiting, of a lot of falling and fighting to get back up, but with every loss I struggled with I now see it was all gains that will always outweigh.  To the moments in my life where I was confused, frustrated, and bitter it’s not replaced with confidence, assurance, and a bittersweet victory.

The lesson I had to learn was there is a true way to giving up in so to really win and that’s to give up to Jesus Christ. That surrendering your heart, mind, and soul to Him was the only way to have total victory. To dig so deep into the Word of God that you lose yourself guarantees that you find him and you’re true self.

Looking back on each and every time I wanted to quit, each and every time I stopped swinging and let my head hung long that was the time God reached down, placed His hands on me and prayed for me. Don’t ever think for one second that while you’re fighting this fight, while you are struggling to get through that you are the only one. No, if your family, your friends, or even the saints don’t know trust and believe God knows. He sees you in that abusive relationship, He sees you at the doctor’s office trying to get a cure, He sees you at work dealing with that boss and He is stretching out His hand praying for you. Truly, no weapon, no amount of defeat can keep you from what God has destined for you to have. I am a living witness!

For years I thought I wasn’t going to make it, I let the devil make me believe that victory wouldn’t be mine but I’m writing from the comfort of my home to tell you it’s time to spring forth. It’s time to rise up and walk! All you have to do is say,  “In the name of Jesus Christ” and it gives an invitation for your Father in Heaven to fight on your behalf. You haven’t lost the fight, there is still a chance for you to overcome. It’s time to make up your mind that quitting is no longer an option!

How To Maintain Your Faith Every Day

Every day is filled with moments that can make or break our faith in God. We all have moments that can inspire us to better ourselves, moments of spiritual inspiration, and even those painful moments we desperately try to pray and fast away. It’s always easy to strengthen our faith in our walk with Christ when things are great. Who can doubt God when all their bills are paid and their loved ones are safe from sickness and harm?

It makes sense to smile back to God when he is smiling down on us with new employment opportunities and healthy relationships. But what about when God decides to take away the smiles and hugs and rain down life storms of troubles? How do you maintain your faith then?

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It’s been said over and over that life is too precious to waste and to live every moment of it with purpose and success. But the question is how should we live it? How do we get to a place where nothing can keep us down? Every day we should take a moment to focus on building a strong, resilient confidence in God. Without God, none of us could be here today. Having total trust in Him makes the ride worth enduring. Here are three ways to keep your faith strong every day.

  1. Stop entertaining your doubts.

Before you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you like the Bible says you have to stop entertaining your doubts. Yes, there will be some days when it seems like every dream of yours is coming true. And then the other days are filled with gray clouds that block out the light of hope and peace. Focusing on how bad a situation is won’t strengthen your faith but diminish it. Your perspective will determine how strong your faith is. If all you see are failures then that’s exactly what you will get. But if you take a moment and see all the wonderful things in your life like loved ones, a job, a roof over your head then you are growing and increasing your faith. With a right mindset, you can achieve it all. If all you do is complain then you will never reach your solution. Having faith is like a seed that can birth blessings, while doubt is a seed that can birth pain. It’s time to destroy your doubts by walking by faith and not by sight.

2. Live with a grateful attitude.

Too many times we find ourselves singing the “woe is me” song instead of living our lives seeing the world with gratefulness and thanks. When God thought about the world, he envisioined each and every one of us in it. He created us for a time and purpose with flaws, setbacks and rainy days. He saw every aspect of our lives, the good and bad as a blessing, not a curse. Yet you consider all the bad circumstances and disappointments as a bad thing. God orchestrates everything and he knows and sees the beauty in everything. Why can’t you? To strengthen your faith every day you have to start looking at your life through the eyes of God’s. Don’t give in to the temptation to complain about a negative situation or problem but actively find the good in it. Be intentional about being grateful and it will brighten your day and someone else’s. When you choose to be grateful no matter what it creates hope. When others see that hope it gives them the boost of encouragement they need to keep on going.

3. Don’t fight it but embrace it.

Did you know that your struggles in life aren’t just to benefit you but to make others strong too? Every bad day, setback and problem birth strength inside of us to keep fighting the good fight. It challenges us to grow and improve and learn. If we don’t embrace our bad days like we do the good ones we won’t win and neither will the next person. Embracing problems doesn’t mean you’ve given up but the complete opposite that you won’t quit. When you choose to embrace it you arrive at a place where no one can duplicate. You have wisdom, strength and enough sensitivity to care for the problems of others and help them get through. Embrace your bad days and strengthen your faith by standing tall in the Word of God. Every day you should fill your soul up with songs and scriptures that keep you motivated and focused.

Keeping your faith maintained every day is a lot of work. You have to keep praying, fasting and crying out to God. You have to keep going to church no matter how discouraged you might be or feel. Stay encouraged and know that you are not alone. You are not the only one going through so take comfort. It’s as easy as turning on your TV for a good laugh. Open up your Bible and let God speak to you. Put on a gospel song and sing your troubles away. Or,  you can even put on an inspirational movie or two. A great place to find amazing God-centered movies is Pure Flix. It’s a great resource to maintain your day-to-day faith too. They have a wide variety of Christian movies for faith-based families and are even currently offering a free one-month trial.

Don’t be passive about strengthening your faith because it’s your faith that will get you through.

Life Lesson: You Are Diamonds

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My message for mothers and woman today is don’t cheapen yourself on the account of others. I can’t tell you how important it is as a wife and mother to know your self-worth. Having a high standard of self-worth produces high self-esteem, confidence, and self-respect that is too precious to trade in or exchange. A confident woman doesn’t allow abusive relationships to define their self-worth. A self-respecting wife won’t force herself to die in her marriage but find ways to thrive with or without her spouse. A confident mom lives, breathes and nurtures her children with power and strength because she fears nothing.

Living like a diamond forces life to back off and let you shine. Life of an assured woman means not stopping at the no’s and you can’t’s that’s always being thrown in your face. Having confidence in how God created you births tenacity and a persevering spirit that can overcome anything. Having confident isn’t about being puffed up or arrogant but being content with the gifts, strengths, and flaws that God has given each of us to work with. I’m certainly not here to promote bragging or pride but to share with you the freedom in being a strong diamond of a gal.

So I hope after my elaborate introduction you’re asking yourself, “Well, how do I live a diamond?”

  1. By accepting that God loves you.

If you don’t believe God is real, that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again then there isn’t much I can do for you. True confidence doesn’t appear within ourselves but it comes from the almighty Creator. The big G-O-D himself made us his top priority and wanted us to have nothing short of the best. Believing is just the beginning. You have to live, breathe, sleep and eat with the truth that God values us all. Why would you not accept all that love? Realize that God loves you permanently!

2. Living with love in your heart for others.

You want that confidence in your walk, that glow of the holy spirit upon your life you have to live your life through the lenses of love. Everything you go through — He loves me — so it has to work out. Even when friends, family, and strangers try to deter you from believing — act in love. Having a rich, quality lifestyle doesn’t just come from working hard on behalf of yourself but going the extra mile for someone else. Luke 6:31 and 35 say to do to others what you want to be given to you. If you want love in life then love others freely without looking for anything in return.

3. Saying goodbye to insecurities by reading the Word of God.

This is the best way to feed your faith and starve your doubts. If you’ve been dealing with insecurities, baggage from the past and past pain then open a Bible! There are scriptures after scriptures that will boost your soul into the confident, God-fearing woman you are destined to be. Philippians 1:6 will tell you that he started something great inside you and he won’t stop until it’s completed. And if you are reading this with doubt in your heart, just know that you aren’t confident that Proverbs 3:26 says that God will be your confidence and he will keep you.

And the amazing part of this…there is so much more. Unlock all that God is waiting to give in your life. Live with assurance that God desires you, he wants the best for and he hates to see his diamond get scuffed up or damaged. Celebrate your one-of-a-kind design and witness God accomplish great things in your life. Don’t shy away from all that God is calling for you to have.

 

Life Lesson: My Voice Has Power

I’ve shared before how much I love writing and how writing gives me a voice. But, my writing isn’t just for me but for you and importantly for God. What I say and how I say it has power. In the Bible, Proverbs 18:21 says that what we say can either bring death or life. I know it’s pretty drastic but really think when you compliment someone you brighten their day and when you say something negative it can bring them down.

As a believer in Christ, it’s only that I desire to affect people positively with my words too! I want nothing more than my words to comfort, encourage, and empower you. Obviously, you want to hear something comforting and familiar. I love reading articles or stories about people that have been where I’ve been. Stories that allow me to release my emotional baggage, calm down and refresh are powerful. Comfort brings loved ones together. If you ever found yourself nodding to something you heard because it touched you, that’s what I want my words to do.

Encouraging words keep the fight strong in us! Without an encouraging quote or motivational story, we ALL would have given up a long time ago. Those times when the sky is dark and no one is around to help, it’s uplifting to stumble across words to a song or a poem. Stories like that let me know that there is so much fighting for. My story and your story is worth fighting for and sharing!

My favorite thing to do is empower! Empowering others make me happy. When I see an empowered chick walking down the street in her heels I got no choice but to compliment because she is walking in her power (and I want those shoes!). I love coming across sites and blogs that empower me to dream of great dreams and light bulb ideas. I feel pumped and sorta invincible because I’m in that mindset that I won’t let anything stop me from accomplishing greatness.

I want to see you soar and see you accomplish your dreams. I hope that whatever blog post I post or link I share pushes you to try harder and work harder to accomplish it. I write because it could open the door for someone else to do something incredibly. I want to remind you that you can make it. I want to encourage you that when you are tired, don’t quit! I want to comfort you because I’ve been mad, disappointed, hurt and you can overcome just like me.I hope that sharing my story and my life will see that you really can do and be anything you want to despite your circumstances or your past.

Life Lesson: Share Your Light!

Forgive me Lord.

As much as I love God and study his Word, I still come up short. Being born and raised in knowing Jesus Christ doesn’t guarantee my salvation. Living a life influenced by his glory doesn’t exempt me from truly living like a Christian. I’ve always been (less aggressive) when it comes to sharing my faith with others. When I was younger I used to be ashamed because my understanding saw my faith as a strict list of rules. It wasn’t until I matured that I understood the purpose of his love. It was to keep me safe, keep me loved and keep me strong!

So anyway…

During my online accounting class, I cam across a beautiful singer, “Morgan Harper Nichols” and she sung a song called “I Can’t Save Myself.” I admit I was searching on YouTube and Pinterest while in class. Her song touched me so much, I forgot I was at Dunkin Donuts using their Wi-Fi hotspot. I listened to the song over and over until I knew all the words. I even downloaded the song and I have been playing it over since. After class was over, I was still excited about finding her song. I packed up and started walking home. Walking home I was humming the song, thinking to myself, “Wow! This woman is impacting people so beautifully and this song really got me hype!” Halfway home an unknown car stopped right in front of me while I was crossing the street. At first, I was mad because he nearly ran me over. Thank God he didn’t! So I got over it and started to walk around the back of the car. I’m on the other side of the street when the guy calls out to me. Usually, I ignore random men on the street for the same reason you do too. I’m happily married and even if I wasn’t…I’m fine. It was nearly twelve midnight and I really wanted to go home. But I went over to the car. He started to ask me about what music I listen to and handed me a Cd. I told him I don’t listen to rap or hip-hop but accepted his mixtape.

I know what you’re thinking: Why did she accept something she didn’t want? Why didn’t you just say no? I have no explanation! I was tired, long-winded, and caught off guard. But that’s it! As a Christian, I should never be surprised when an opportunity to share Christ is open. In fact, I should openly seek — staying watchful and sober like the scriptures say. Instead of accepting the mixtape of songs I don’t believe in, I should have (kindly) rejected and instantly shared about my mixtape. I have no excuse.

What’s worst….

I didn’t realize until I was half-way up the street holding a mixtape I know I didn’t need or desire. Why the complacency? For a number of reasons that should never compromise the truth I know and love. So, I ask God to forgive me for being selfish, lazy, complacent and not watchful and sober. Help me to be aware of when someone is in need of your love,  your power, and presence. Let me learn from my neglectful mistake and challenge myself to have my spiritual eyes, heart, and ears open.

The reason why I’m sharing this is because it bothered me. I was having a great day. I’ve been praying for God to use me in sharing his gospel and I failed. I instantly knew when I left the tape on the street and kept walking home that I had to confess what I failed to do in secret. Not for the sake of a blog post but because I was disappointed in myself. I want you to know that there is something worth sharing inside you. Don’t let an opportunity pass you by to share your passion, light, wit and charm to better someone’s life or even day.