Becoming A Woman With Purpose: Part 1

I’m still amazed at what God has placed on my heart in regards to starting a blog that reveals how important learning is a part of growing and maturing. As a mother, I recognize the importance of confidence, endurance, and laughter when caring for a child. I would not have been able to love and care for my daughter without the Word of God and the HolyGhost in my life. When envisioning this blog I dreamed of providing wisdom received through my experiences and encouraging words that will get every mother and parent through the day, specifically the tough ones. These five verses positioned me into the mindset of purposeful living that has changed my approach to situations in my life. The next five blog posts are dedicated to every single verse and I pray it changes your perspective in your situation.

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Two years ago I was blessed with the gift and responsibility of caring and guiding my daughter. Though I didn’t understand what it meant to be a mother, I was ready and eager to learn. I quickly tapped into my maternal instincts and began a journey that I cherish every single day. After the initial months of me fumbling and walking in my insecurities, I started to realize that I didn’t just birth a child, but the birthing of a confident, hardworking mother in me. One of my quickest habits that I formed was I was all talk and no action. I would acclaim to how many dreams and goals I would impart in my life for the benefit of my family but I was slow in action to fulfill them. When I stumbled across this verse I instantly felt a slap to the face from God.

When my daughter was born into this world, all of these dreams, visions, and goals came with her. Not just the ones that are linked to her destiny that she has yet to fulfill, but mine as well. I thought that becoming a parent would strip me away from my desires and dreams in order to focus on my child. I was wrong. Instead, God allowed new dreams, new desires to form inside me and this verse told me to stop dreaming and start doing. I love the message version because it’s plain and simple: when you don’t work, you don’t get paid, and you don’t bring home the bread. Or in “mother” terms, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid and you won’t afford those diapers and wipes. This verse applies beyond the typical work scenario. If you don’t work on your marriage, you won’t get the benefits of a healthy marriage. If you don’t clean and manage your household efficiently, then you are inviting chaos in your world. Accepting this verse was a big pill to swallow but living by it has brought success that I would’ve never achieved if I didn’t see becoming a mother as a blessing instead of a burden.

It also revealed that I can’t be frustrated at my circumstances when I’m not willing to roll my sleeves up and work through it. Blame it on my femininity but when I get overwhelmed and overworked I instantly get dramatic. My emotions, facial expressions, and hand gestures go from level one to level ten! I began to cry the sad song and doubt that change will ever come. I cry out, having a pity party and run a hole in the floor pacing back and forth worrying. This wise verse puts my emotional tantrums in check. I realized that when I do the work that my success is sure to come. It would be crazy for someone to work and work tirelessly at a job and never receive a paycheck.  But God promises us that when we put the hard work in, the tears, sweat, and pain will pay off. So if whatever stage of life you are in, if you are a struggling mother like sometimes I still find myself at or you manage to overcome it all just know that your hard work will bring you the bread of life!

LifeLesson: Having The Right Perspective Changes Everything

 

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Handling life’s problems can bring the best and worst of times. Hands down it develops genuine character in you that you will appreciate for years to comes. It births wisdom, compassion, integrity, strength, and understanding to weather more life storms.  But, I can personally tell you how difficult it is to believe that you’ll make it on top. Yes, a problem is a problem no matter how you spin it. But what makes a problem turn into a solution: your outlook, your determination not to give up, and your faith in God.

When I was younger, stress would always be a boost of determination for me. If I was stressing about school, it would push me to focus more and increase my discipline in my studies. If I was worried about not making the cut then it would push me harder to reach my goals. But, now I’m a little older, have more responsibility and the weight of being a wife and mother can be…stressful.

Life can be really messy. With every step you take toward your future, it can sometimes involve unexpected twists and turns that can lead you farther away from your goals or keep you at a standstill. It’s so easy to forget about all the good in our lives when bad stuff come. It’ doesn’t matter what causes it, just that we want it all to be solved and over now. Whenever you focus on the bad instead of the good, it wipes away the possibilities of hope and you end up with a perfect recipe for giving up.

Personally, I hate it when my back is against the wall, I can’t see no way out and I’m overwhelmed because it instantly sprouts doubt. My life is no longer that of a 13-year-old girl worrying about my grades and chores. So, neither should my perspective. I can no longer think, create, or analyze situations based on the results of my past. Time eventually revealed this to me after years of me going around in circles with certain issues in my life that just wouldn’t change. It wouldn’t change because I refused to change my mindset.

I was too stubborn and fearful to renew my mind. Romans 12:2 told me in order to understand what God wants for my life I have to stop doing what others say and change my thinking that brings me closer to Christ. I felt like that wasn’t necessary to overcome obstacles and bad days. I deceived myself to believe that doing the bare minimum would still bring me success. Then, when my way failed, I had the nerve to cry out to God and ask him why I wasn’t successful, why I wasn’t happy. He told me through Philippians 4:8 that thinking about myself and what I want won’t even bring me close to a fulfilled life. That I have to think on the truth, on lovely things, and to have thoughts that give God honor and praise. After learning the hard way one too many times I eventually caved, and time went by and I felt a newness in my heart and mind. But, I wasn’t done. Things began to turn around for me but I started to get impatient, frustrated and worried. I would wonder if I was ever going to get to the top if I was ever going to be satisfied and quickly my bad thinking habits began. But, God told me, vividly and repeatedly that I can’t be anxious about anything but pray continually with supplication, thanksgiving and have faith that God will hear my requests, give me his peace and guard my heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).

That was one of the hardest parts of this journey. Even now, it’s still something I daily struggle to maintain. I had to learn to truly have a relationship with God, surrender my thoughts and allow him to protect my heart. Sometimes when I think back on those hard moments I shake my head in disbelief at how difficult I was. Now that I see how much better it is to trust God in all my ways and to lean on his understanding I feel like so much of my time has been wasted. But then, I stop and realize that thinking about the time wasted instead of all the time I still have, opportunities I still have to gain is finally living life with clear, healthy, godly perspective. I have to remind myself of how loving God was and is to me to wait for me to finally get it together and realize that having the right perspective through Him will change everything.

Life Lesson: True Acceptance

28052_10151376596112152_794027248_n I still have so much more to experience in life. I have plenty more mistakes, failures, and moments to live through. I definitely look forward to moments of clarity, growth, strength and success. So far, I’ve learned that allowing fear to keep you from living is a waste of time. Fear is a paralyzing, crippling monster that can keep you locked up for years.

When I was younger, I was always scared that I would never amount to anything and my entire life would go by unnoticed and unaccomplished. I compared myself to others and just settled for ordinary and average because I didn’t feel I could be placed in any other category. After years of feeling low, I eventually got tired and got the strength to fight my way out of it.

There were so many missed opportunities, failed friendships, and happy moments that I will never be able to get back. Instead of regretting the past, I push onward. I don’t want to recover what I already lost but gain new moments and new accomplishments. I no longer want to sing the same old sad song.

Learning that lesson opened my heart and mind to possibilities. Not to mention, the lessons that would follow were easily learned because I wasn’t so shielded. I used to be a vault – never opening up for things to come in or out. I was defensive because I was scared of getting hurt. Putting myself out there was uncomfortable and awkward. I used to convince myself that being a complete shut-in was my “personality” and how I was “made.” I soon learned they were lies! Lies from every insecurity and doubt I fed.

I was great at hiding too. To everyone else I was fine. I was a pretty young lady who rarely had to bite her tongue. I was respected, admired, and well-liked. No one ever knew about all the green monsters under my bed and skeletons in my closet. No one knew that I daily entertained fear, resentment, insecurities, and damaging criticism. If only the Grammys offered awards for hiding.IMG126

I refuse to take a chance because I was always looking over my shoulder. I’m older and now my refusals consist of no longer being ashamed of my shortcomings, failures, and often times foolish actions. Now when I say I’m confident it’s because I really am. I learned to be content with who I am and who I’m not. I learned to be satisfied with what I do have and what I don’t.

Now when I look in the mirror I see greatness, power, and success. I rarely compare myself to others because I understand the love that was built into me. I’m no longer an easy prey to weight and insecurities because my perfection is supplied through Jesus Christ. Everything I have learned and overcome has taught me to focus. To never be bothered with things that destroy me but only with things that challenge me to be better.

 

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: Having Strength Against Opposition

  IMG_1683 “Our fight is not against people on earth. We are fighting against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness. We are fighting against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly places.” (ERV) Ephesians 6:12

This scripture reminded me of a time when my husband was extremely stressed and worried. Struggling where money was going to come from and where it was going to go. Stressed about the well-being of his family, their safety and happiness. Although he didn’t want to show it, he was tense. He was scared that he wasn’t going to make it, wasn’t going to be “a man” and that I would leave (he should know better). Countless of arguments about others, him worrying what others think, what others would say and do. It would make me furious! Now I’m no man, but I can only imagine handling all the pressure and weight of being the head of the household. Even though I love him and try to be there to help, I can’t always fight his battles.

I never could understand why people paid so much attention and worry over people who can’t give or take anything away. And even if they could, God is literally the only one who can snatch it right back! I’ve never really carried opinions of others so heavily, especially when I was confident in God, what he told me, and the dreams and passions he placed in me. My husband, on the other hand, has always been a little more attentive of other opinions.

For all wives, you know the last thing you want in your marriage is a distracted, overwhelmed, stressed man. You need your man focused on God, family, work (paying bills). It bothers me when someone got the nerve to mess with my man! (Lol) The fight we really should be focused on is the war against everything not like God!

Worrying about enemies, co-workers, horrible bosses, in-laws, parents, church folk– allowing everyone to take away your peace, joy, and faith….your focus on the vision, your destiny, all so you can appease to others who plainly can’t put you in heaven or hell. That’s why they do it, just so your focus on God and your goals aren’t top priority. How you going to move forward while looking back? You see why I was frustrated? The fight isn’t against others, but against Satan!

 29309_422351732151_3645403_nAs long as God knows what I’m doing and how I’m working hard to make him pleased – everyone else can just sit and watch. My reputation doesn’t mean nothing when the most important person isn’t saying, “Well done good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21-23; Luke 19:17) I’m pretty sure none of us were birthed to impress others. Wear your struggles proudly, it ‘s what makes you the man or woman of God that he will use to bring others to Christ. Don’t be ashamed about struggling, everyone is just some are better at hiding it. Struggling births victoryhow else are you going to win?

Don’t get sore about how you started and where you are right now in finances, social status, work, or school but stay focused on how the rest of your journey will go. Ups and downs are inevitable, learn to jump on Paul’s bandwagon and rejoice in the midst of trials (Romans 5:3-10; 1 Peter 1:6-9). Suffering and sometimes being embarrassed builds character and appreciation – makes you humbly dependent on God. So don’t fret over others who don’t realize that the process you’re in is going to propel you to greatness. I can’t think of one person in the Bible without a flaw, hang-up, horrible past, addiction, criminal record, bad reputation that weren’t used by God. Don’t worry if some or none might not understand, agree, or support. You might get a million no’s from everyone else, but the only yes you need is from God. Don’t let anyone stop you! Have a made up mind to fight your way out of your situation and if you gotta look crazy in order to make it well get to looking crazy.

Life Lesson: God’s Will Be Done

394531_10151147151827152_529677312_nI love to plan or rather I love being in control.  I rarely make a decision without thinking it through – optioning whether a good outcome or bad outcome will end. So, I hate it when things don’t go as planned. It is infuriating to make a list or schedule to only deviate from it entirely. If I don’t plan for it I usually don’t do it. When plans fail I lose control.

When I was younger, I always dreamed of being a fabulous lawyer. Like Claire Huxtable from The Cosby Show –just with no kids! I was ambitious, driven, determined, and headstrong to work hard to accomplish my goals. That was the plan. Somehow I fell in love (couldn’t fight it), got married, and realized I drifted so far away from the “plan” that…well you get the idea. I presumed I could still charge the mountain and earned that law degree! I got pregnant and my priorities changed – the plan was absolutely gone! My plan vanished and so did my sense of control. What’s worse, I felt like my identity disappeared as well. For so long, I had my heart and mind fixated on a goal that everything I did was centered on it. Every move I made was centered to achieving that which God didn’t approve, didn’t confirm and didn’t plan for my life at all.

I was at a crossroad. One path leading to my selfish desires and dreams that lead me farther from God. The other path leading me to my destiny, purpose and God’s absolute certain fate – total victory! I was sad to sacrifice my dream of becoming a lawyer. I felt empty and barren. I didn’t realize that being empty meant that I have room to be filled to the point of overflow. Now, reflecting on my decisions I realized that obviously my plan was a little flawed. Nowhere in my “plan” did I fit Jesus Christ. Obviously, I wanted fortune, great opportunities, success, security but I didn’t plan for God to shine. So, I started to honestly consider God’s feelings and what he wanted me to do regarding my career (and pretty much anything else).

After much debate, (a little worry and doubt) I stopped planning (well I still plan just not as much). I felt I was being led to switch majors and start working toward a business degree. I was extremely apprehensive because this time, I wasn’t relying on my own understanding but on God’s. It challenged me to get closer to him and spend more time with him. I saw new opportunities and doors opening that I never thought of. More importantly, I was working at achieving something that pleased God and made him center stage in my life. If I didn’t surrender my will over, I wouldn’t even have started this blog.

I’m happy that my plan went down the drain because I have a new passion that keeps me closer to God. I got back to writing which was long overdue, I feel inspired, energized, and purposeful. Most importantly, I’m confident I’m on the path to growing towards my destiny. I don’t need to know the “what-ifs” and “whys” God didn’t allow my plan to continue. I’m absolutely certain that God’s plan and purpose are the ultimate good. If I allow God to work in my life, I’m always better off. God is truly working in me. He is helping me to do what pleases him and he gives me the power (and words) to do it (Philippians 2:13).