Completely different books with the same color pages. #Christian #Poetry #Friendship #MothersDay

So once upon a time, back in high school, I was a popular tri-athlete. I was involved in every club imaginable and so-called friends with many and all. It was no shock that I won the title of homecoming queen and unanimously deemed me as “Unforgettable”, but ending my Senior year of high school and beginning my college years I was feeling the total opposite.

I went through some repeat back stabbings with my best friend at the time that lead to the demise of other relationships in our circle of friendship as well. Though I started college with high hopes in our relationship, I was stabbed for the final time. Ouch. I was done.

I used to cry and beg God for just 1 friend. “Just one, Lord!”, is what I would say. I thought if I had just one genuine friend, who would stab me in the front and drive me to the hospital afterwards, I’d be good.

I was a mess. Imagine…
A girl wearing her heart on her sleeve. So unknowingly desperate for a friend that she perceived every new person she met as an answer to her prayer. “Yes, they must be it!”, she thought. Poor people, they didn’t know what she’d been through. And it just led to another lonely night of her dorm room cries for “Just one friend, Lord!”

4-5 years later after becoming content with who I was and more in love with who God is, an old friend gave birth to my now God-son, whom I adore. His name is Zephaniah.

There’s something about babies that ignite changes in us adults.

The Lord restored our relationship and his mother is now my best friend. I’m grateful that even when we forget things, God doesn’t, and has our prayers stored away for a divine time to answer.

‘Til this day I’m so appreciative of our friendship. I am grateful for the experience of the rough dorm days when I was without a true friend. It definitely allowed for this level of appreciation for when one would arrive.

Never underestimate why God has you go through the things that he does and when He does. He’s building your character, chipping away the unnecessary, and preparing you for something greater that you will appreciate. He is shaping your testimony so that you can help others.

So in the spirit of gratefulness, I decided to write about one of my most cherished relationships. Not only is this woman a great iron and wise counsel to me, but she’s an amazing, admirable mother who I know one day will write a best-selling book for us all!

We’re so different, yet similar. This poem is for her.
Happy Mother’s Day, Shanté! I love you so!



We…
read completely different books with the same color pages,
White.

Captured by the light
to shine
when we dine
and feel inclined
to share
just how much
our Savior cares
And dares
not to stop,
even when we do.

We’re unworthy you see,
To walk this earth
And continue to make history,

We should be done!

But he is not,
and so, with grace,
we keep reading, friend…

Completely different books with same color pages,
White.

We…
have plenty of space
to write,
in the margins of life
about
the ups and the downs,
and all these demons around.
To write
about
our hopes and our dreams
and the way it all seems
to unfold
like valuable gold,
Before our eyes
can be blinded
by the glitter
that we shan’t choose
to make us bitter
because that choice
actually isn’t sweet at all!

We…
wage war together.
And slit throats on our knees
While planting seeds
that grow trees
Yup, simultaneously…
Somethin’ like a G.

Satan tries to attack
but we call each other back
And tag-teamin’ we give him yet another smack
DOWN.

We…
stand tall together.
despite whether
or not
we got a ‘tude from that
little comment made
so rude!

You…
are such a blessing, friend.
And even so, it’s not my prayer,
that you were here
or I was there.

For I do understand
that for this season
for this race
for this fight
for this chase
God deems it
absolutely necessary
that

We…
read completely different books
with the same color pages,
White.

And I,
just want you to know
that it’s my honor to do so.

© 2013 •Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

 

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No worries, I’m fine. #Praise #Worship

“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” – Psalm 22:3

I’m on my lunch break and I’m really full.  Not full of food though (Although it sure was bomb!).  I’m full of Christ.  His love overwhelms me — all parts of Him and who He is.  Oh, my beloved, how grateful I am that you are mine, and I yours!  We praise You on today for your goodness, mercy, and unfailing love!

Like I said, I’m on my lunch break.  I’m in tears and my make-up is officially jacked.  No worries, I’m fine.  As usual, I’ve been basking in the presence of the Lord, chatting it up with King Jesus and loving me some Him.  I’m really full.  Now I can let it out like I want to.  As I awakened this morning, I invited the Lord into my room with song.  I sang, “You Are Good” in my crusty, not-so-Kari Jobe-like morning voice.  (I overuse that word ‘crusty’ by the way) The Lord loved it too.  I love that He loves me.  He saw beyond the voice and zoomed into the thought, the effort, the motive, the heart.  That’s what counts.  I began with this part of the song…

Everyday I’ll awaken my praise and pour out a song from my heart

You are good, You are good, You are good and your mercy is forever

I absolutely love praising God.  It comes easy and gives me great joy to do so.  But I do understand that what comes easy to some doesn’t come as easy for others.  I also understand that practice and desire to overcome – the decision to overcome, has power.  At times when I’m worshiping with the music ministry, I’m amazed at how some can just sit or stand (at least they’re standing) and watch you praise the Lord.  No participation.

 Your breakthrough is never contingent on the praise of someone else, and God’s habitat is only as large as you build it. 

Big praise, produces a big environment, making room for a big God.  That’s what we want.  Kick rocks Satan!  If you’re not used to opening your mouth and praising God, that’s okay.  But I can assure you that the enemy would love for you to never get used to it.  There’s power in your praise; power in words period.  Praise tears down walls, kills giants, and socks the devil in throat.  You don’t have to start with a song like I did this morning.  You can start with a “Thank You Lord”, an “I love you Jesus”, a “You are worthy God”.  Better yet, start with the highest praise – Hallelujah!  You can start now.  Trust me, like you and I, He loves to be wooed and will express His gratitude.

I can’t speak for the praise of anyone else, but this is a little about mine.  (Not really sure why I’m sharing it, but let’s roll with it).

My heart often speaks to the Lord in tears. My most deepest and heartfelt prayers for you, others, and myself are in the form of tears. Whatever it is that I’m praying and seeking God for, I want it so deeply, so badly, that it moves me to tears.  Each drop, a petition.  Then at other times, my most deepest and heartfelt thanks and gratitude unto God for all He has ever done and is forever doing presently and in advance is also in the form of tears.  I have huge faith and I truly believe that every petition that I’ve launched into the heavens in Jesus’ name, I do have. I see it in the spirit realm and hold onto His promises.  No take-backs, just miracles.  I’m speechless and in awe, and I cry.  Each drop, a thank you for [insert petition here].  This sometimes turns into a shout or jump (and a crazy ‘Oh my gosh is she okay?’ look to be actually asked later smh).  Shout out to the Holy Spirit for that one.  I’m not complaining.  I’m not embarrassed.  It’s all good with me, because my God is all good to me.  This had to be where the phrase “Oh My Goodness” came from lol.

At church I love sitting at the end of the row (doesn’t happen all the time, but I do). I like it because I can scoot over near or into the aisle and not allow for my praise to be hindered in any way.  Arms out as far as I can stretch them? yes, please (that’s what they’re for).

So the next time you see me praising the Lord, don’t trip.  I’m just  a worshiper washing my Savior’s feet with my tears.  The oil in my alabaster box is costly, my friend.  No worries, I’m fine.

#Jesus, #Tea, and #Me.

Hi lovas — Happy New Year!

It’s Friday night and I’m bundled up in my warm ugly snuggie looking thing. Just Jesus, tea, and me.  All I need, but more importantly, finally, all that I want.  There’s no place I’d rather be forever, than here in his love.  I’m head over heels.

I’m so content with where I am, who I am, and all that I stand for that creates this casserole of a me –to God be the glory! I like who I see in the mirror more each day.  I casually think back on old relationships that I could very well be in right now and I praise God for nights like this where I’m eternally grateful for what isn’t and what is.  I have no regrets and am at peace knowing that I’ve made decisions that were best for me.  Every decision you make is a destiny decision.

A little less than a year ago, I ended a pretty serious relationship with my most recent ex (I gratefully don’t have an array).  It  was sad and challenging at first, but a blessing to say the least.  The timing was divine and allowed for the protection of my heart and perspective on it all.  Had it been sooner or later, things would have been all jacked. My entry, “The Results Are In…” was a beautiful result of the end.

The enemy makes me sick perverting everything in sight.  But, what the enemy intends for harm, God faithfully turns around for good.  Geesh, Where would I be if not for the unmerited favor of God upon my life? I’ve learned so much about what I want and need in a relationship.  I’ve learned the bottom line.  What will absolutely work and what will absolutely not.  It saves me so much time and heartache.  I like to think of it all as God’s little evacuation plan.  All  it required was that I evacuate.  He took me to safety, showed me who I was, and re-defined my definition of “settle” and “standard”.  A definition not so much according to what I’ve been through, but according to the respectable woman I am.  I’m still learning.

keep calm have tea

Have you ever missed someone who was in the same room as you?  That’s how I was beginning to feel in my relationship with God as I got deeper in this relationship with this man of God.  I felt like God was so far, when truthfully He was just right over there in the corner watching me and missing me back.  It showed me that even being in opposite corners of a room is way too far for me.  I’m a Rae sheep and I can’t do far in the slightest; it’s agonizing.  I need to bump up against My Shepherd’s side when He walks.  I need to feel when He’s moving at all times.  I don’t want a jacket, I need His warmth.  It’s funny ’cause I’m a huge daddy’s girl on earth as well.  So big kudos to him for how great of a relationship I’ve been able to develop with my Heavenly Father because of his great example.  As a little girl, If he was grabbing his shoes, guess who had hers…yup, Nu Nu haha.  He had cereal, I waited patiently on his lap to drink his milk afterwards (yuck lol).  I was content in his presence.  Check out my post, “Fathers” for more on this — you can see the nostalgia even then.  I missed My Abba :(…

If God is love, then we should never be in love and missing God.  (1 John 4:8)

To each its own, and to each its walk, but If you’re a Christian, I want to ask you this…Why consciously choose to be half anything? Set a standard for yourself before you do for anyone else.  Stop talking about how you’re not gonna settle for anyone and start with not settling for you.  We have work to do and by God’s grace we can do it.  Choose this day whom you shall serve and serve well (Joshua 24:15).  For me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Ha…the way this world is looking I just might be the only one in my house. Haha jk.  Seriously though, just grow.  Less talking and more doing.  Wanting what you need and all you need is a mature thing to want, and you have to kill your flesh to accomplish it.  Not easy it, but worth it.

Need > Want

Need > Want

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” – Rosa Parks

Do I want to get married to a man who loves the Lord as much as I do and is truly ‘about that life’? Absolutely.  Do I want children to laugh, play with and make me sound like my mother? Of course.  Does it seem impossible? Yup lol (just being honest).  But I’m safe in God’s hands.  I know what I want, I know what I need, and I know what I’m promised.  God is faithful.  It is my prayer that one day my man will find me on this narrow road that me and a few others travel and meet me in my Savior’s arms (Matt 7:13-14).  But until then, it’ll be just Jesus, tea, and me. Not too shabby, eh? 😉

 

I met the finest man today. #Pseudo #Sike #Bozo #NotBoaz

I met the finest man today

who appeared to be better than you,

but somehow my heart knew that he wasn’t

and called him a brother.

I met the finest man today

who was humble and dressed to a t,

but somehow my heart didn’t let it phase me

and simply called it “nice”.

I met the finest man today

who stood regally next to me

sharing warm photos of what could be

but somehow my heart didn’t want it.

I met the finest man today

who smiled a contagious smile

but somehow my heart didn’t allow it to compare

to the challenge of making you do so even brighter.

I met the finest man today

who discerned that, actually, finest was she,

but quickly my heart whispered

that she was not for he.

I met the finest man today

who I may see again

but somehow my heart will only call him friend

for he is not you

and she is not me

and I refuse to carry on ominously.

I met the finest man today

who without a clue confirmed what Usher said

I got it bad.

©2013 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

Once Upon A Time #Poetry #Poem #Gratitude #Thankfulness

I’m blessed ya’ll!  Really and truly blessed.  I think I need to stop saying “this is the happiest I’ve ever been” because the best IS yet to come and well, to God be the glory that I’m going to be happier!

Life gets better when you serve the right God …and wholeheartedly, Amen?

The Lord is so sweet in his endeavors and always seeing about ME.  How can you not love a guy like that?!  Seriously.  But yea, in this post though, I wanted to show honor and gratitude to you and momma ‘nem.

I think about the word legacy in this season.  What I’ve inherited and not earned.  I think about all of those beautiful past and present selfless choices and sacrifices of others and I don’t take them lightly at all.  I think of all of those who’ve given me a dope beat to step to (ha) and worshipped You, Oh God.  Served You, obeyed You, gave their money and even more precious, their love and time.  I, thank YOU.

In the book of Galatians, it talks about how one reaps what they sow.  That’s a good thing!  We should be a people that rejoice at the comprehension of that scripture, not cringe!  Sow, and sow well because it’s not all about us.  Give honor and thanks to those who have sown and are causing you and I to reap.  My heart is full of gratitude, and in that I wrote a little something to show my appreciation.  If it applies to you, please receive it.  If it doesn’t, just know that you can choose to do something about that.  Enjoy 🙂

Once Upon A Time

There once was a rose that rose, that

I do not suppose

was watered daily

by the sweat of those

Who said “Sir”

Who said “Ma’am”

to carriers of spam

Who said “Thank You”

Who said “Please”

then grew thorns

as they appeased

There once was a rose that rose, that

I do not suppose

saw hope in a darkened room

of like colors that loom

Who knew you

Who knew me

and served their

unknown heredity

I am so thankful that

There once was a rose that rose, that

I do not suppose

grew tall in it’s bouquet

despite all thrown hearsay

Who chose to live

when some said die

and chose to smile

when most did cry

So strong, that beautiful rose.

There once was a rose that rose, that

I do not suppose

hoped for one day

where a new rose would blossom

and just say

Thank You.

©2012 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Funk; Four Weddings & 5 Stages #Grief

Hey there lovas! I missed ya! It feels good to be back, writing, and doing what I love…sharing a little bit of me in hopes of connecting with even a few of you in some sort of way.  For the record, I’m still under construction, and will be for the rest of my life (S/O to my bff for that reminder haha).  That being said today is as good as tomorrow to talk about well, whatever.  Let’s do it. YOLO!! Lol.

As you know, I’m on the Westsiiiide…and I was in a major funk upon arrival (check the archive and see for yourself).  Since then, I’ve figuratively lit some candles, sprayed some air freshener and have molded my thizz face into a pretty darn good smile.

Lately the Lord has been really dealing with me about unrealistic expectations; a huge recipe for disappointment (that’s a separate blog in itself).  To keep a long story short, I’ve quickly learned that basically no one can be Jesus for me, but Jesus.  I’m imperfect and so is everybody else.  Jesus is the only one who can fill those voids that we all have and it’s unfair to expect anyone else to do His job.  Those voids are there by purpose for a purpose.

The greatest thing about this season is what the Lord has been showing me about myself. Stuff that I was truly unaware of and really disappointed and hard on myself about once learned.  Even though I was disappointed, He wasn’t, because He knows our hearts.  I was and am always striving to be a better me (a lifetime heart desire) and He was helping me do just that.  So, I repented and accepted His grace for the gajillionth time.  Sooo humbling yo!  I’m so appreciative and feel so loved when He corrects me.  He does it right.  Chastisement is definitely a good thing sometimes.

During this process of, let’s call it “dealership” ha…I happened to be watching this show on TLC called Four Weddings.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a competitive show where four brides attend each others’ weddings, rate them in categories, and the winning bride (and groom) enjoy a  honeymoon to a surprise destination.  One day I was watching it and one of the brides who lost spoke of her disappointment afterwards.  She casually yet honestly said something like, “There’s 5 stages of grief, right? I’d say I’m in the anger stage”. *gasp* That was it!  I googled it — 5 stages of grief:

1) Denial & Isolation
2) Anger
3) Bargaining
4) Depression
5) Acceptance

I was grieving.  Shoooot, I was grieving things I didn’t even know that I needed to grieve!  But, understanding these stages gave me hope and really drove me.  I could do something with my new found knowledge (Hosea 4:6) and about my temporary situation.  I could pray better, I could be better.  I was and am determined.  My armor had gotten oiled and I had some extra fuel for the fight. Y’all ain’t ready!!  haha

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.” – Isaiah 55:8

I love how spontaneously the Holy Spirit ministers to God’s children and how there’s no defined or uniform way that he speaks and that we (individuals) in turn, hear.  Yes, even on the couch!  Try God.  Invite Him to sit next to you.  Like me, 4 Weddings & 5 stages can rescue you out of a funk. (you get me!).  Receive it.  Believe it.

He who has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing. – Matt 11:15

Keep prayin’ for a sista!  Love Love Love you!

My Own Place.

For the longest I’ve wanted my own place… A place to call my own.  No roommate, just me.  My own kitchen to clean up or dirty up, to cook up everything or nothing at all and try out all of The Divine Hostess’ fabulous recipes hehe.  A place to entertain loved ones and make them feel at home away from home.  A place to blast music and dance naked (yea, I said it) and bring sexy back like no tomorrow.  Or really…just a cozy blessed environment for your achy breaky heart.  Come over for a hug, a laugh, a movie, a chat, a meal, prayer…but call first (lol).  My very own place that I earned, I paid for, and I’m proud of…even if there is nothing in it.

Until recently (last year) the Lord finally gave me revelation that wherever I go, He will make sure that I always have my own place. Yes!  I was happy.  But then I started thinking wait, what does that mean??  haha.

For the longest I’ve wanted my own place… but to be perfectly honest, I don’t think the Lord ever wants me to live alone. Ha…I think He knows I’d like it too much.  I’d get comfortable and use to things being my way and when the time came to share a space with someone else, a spouse perhaps, I might not be as successful as I’d like in compromising and changing my bachelorette mentality.  He wants me around people.  While I love people, I do love my alone time and I get quite antsy when I’m deprived of it. I’m a thinker and pray-er for goodness sake!  I like to read, write, listen, meditate and often in pure silence.  I need that sanctuary.

Any way…I still don’t have my own place and in fact, after much prayer and going back and forth with the Lord, I have surrendered to His plan for me in many different ways lately, the most recent being to move back to the West Coast with my family (not in my own place) for such a time as this.  I feel like I’m just returning to headquarters or the corporate office for a bit to recharge before my next “earth camp adventure” (as one of my spiritual mothers calls it).  Don’t ask me where, I have no idea.  But, I’m open and I’ll keep ya posted.

This is ministry. My ministry.

The hardest thing about this type of ministry or missionary work is leaving.  As soon we get comfortable and our “work is done”, the Lord moves us *tears*.  As soon as we meet people that we want to be in our lives forever *tears* He takes them or us away. It hurts so badly. It’s like jerking people apart in mid-hug.  I wasn’t ready for it this time.  I wasn’t ready for it.  It’s hard to give answers to questions that you don’t have the answers to yourself.  Then to top it off, the enemy tries to harass you with lies and guilt and make you feel bad about following God’s will and reminds you of all the people you’re hurting in choosing this way.  He knows your gifts too and jumps at the opportunity to capitalize on them.  But, whatever.  I’m choosing God’s way and my mind is made up.  Can you see the struggle though? *shrugs shoulders* That’s where I am.

In the spirit realm, when we down here don’t release someone in our hearts, when we don’t free them or support them in doing what God wants to do in their lives, a struggle can arise. The flow of The Holy Spirit is interrupted for justifiably selfish reasons and things don’t sail as smooth. We move forward with an easy pass but still have to stop and pay tolls. We move forward with a rock stuck in our skates. We move forward wearing heavy snow boots in no snow. Just help us out; release us.

I feel myself wanting to ramble, so I’m gonna be wise and wrap it up.

I just hope and pray that the Lord would at least allow my distance to not disconnect.  That the love I’ve found in all of these relationships will remain mutual, and that we can always be a positive something that looks forward to catching up, swapping stories, and seeing each other again.

So in obedience…I count down the days.

I very much believe that Father knows best so forever I will roll with and agree with His perspective.  For now, “I’m okay” awaiting to be “great”….and I still want my own place LOL. Just being honest.