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Dismissed by a Righteous Judge #Judgement #Mercy #Repentance 

A couple of months ago I traveled through a small rural town of Texas on my way to visit family in Oklahoma. It was good ‘ol Omaha! I quickly went through it and received a speeding citation that would cost me nearly a third of the town’s population in dollars. Dangit! I would so prefer buying an airline ticket.

The police officer who pulled me over asked, “Do you plan on being in the area any time soon?” I wasn’t sure if he was slightly ridiculing me after viewing my address on my driver’s license or what, but I chuckled aloud at the ridiculousness of his question, and belted a “No way!” out of my mouth. My response clearly caught the officer by surprise. He tilted his head like a bewildered puppy and asked, “No way?!”  I chuckled and repeated again, “No way.” In disregard, he proceeded to make hand gestures that gave directions to the courthouse around the corner, where I would be required to make an appearance. I thought to myself, “just give me my ticket, dude”, and he did. Insert low-pitched bitter growls and rolled eyes here.

I went on my way, and with the hour left to drive before arriving at my family’s home, I began reflecting and praying. I confessed my wrong to God. I was speeding and I did rightly deserve that citation regardless of how badly I didn’t want to attend court or pay anything. I was disobedient to His instructions to abide by the law of the land that I inhabit (Romans 13). My beef was not with the city of Omaha, my beef was with God. I pled for His grace and mercy. I knew there were steps that I would have to take to resolve this, but the first step would be to face things with God before attempting to handle them with man.

We don’t get to choose what is considered right, but we do get to choose whether or not we adhere to what is.

After later reading the fine print on my ticket, I discovered that court was only held the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month between the hours of 5 pm – 10 pm. Great. Oh…come…on, Omaha! I had the option to write a letter to the judge to request dismissal by a non-guilty plea, or to request a reduction by admission of guilt and completion of a grueling online driving course. I could lie and plead non-guilty out of fear of my consequence and fight this alone, or, I could tell the truth and hope that God would fight for me and with me. I chose the latter.

I wrote an honest letter and attended court accordingly. Thanks be to God, I found favor with the judge who was pleased with all of my efforts to resolve the matter! Not only was my ticket dismissed in entirety, but because I had to appear in court on an awkward 3rd Wednesday in the evening, it led to an extension of my stay, and the enjoyment of more time with my family. I was even reconciled with an estranged family member during this trip!

God has an amazing way of making things better than before. He has an amazing way of righting our wrongs when we acknowledge the truth. He is merciful! He dismissed my sin in heaven, before it was ever dismissed in Omaha. And for that reason, I was at peace with whatever happened thereafter. Knowing that I was pardoned by my Righteous Judge, Christ Jesus was all that mattered.

I encourage you to examine yourself and talk to God about whatever that requires your repentance too. There is nothing too small. In fact, there is nothing small at all. God wants His bride (us) without stain or wrinkle, or any other blemish (Ephesians 5:27). Go to your Righteous Judge in confidence, knowing that Jesus has already made a way for you. His grace is sufficient, and He is ready to hear your case and is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all you can ask or think.

There is something about nighttime. #GoodMourning #Poetry #Grief #Sorrow

I’ve smiled every day since I remembered you were here
But then long after sunset
my eyes shed a tear

There is something about nighttime.

I’ve laughed many moments before the high tide of darkness arrived until, “Bam!”, the news…

was prescribed
I sighed
before I cried
and denied
then realized that…

There is something about nighttime.

I thought you were just dancing to the beat of a hip, fast song
But all this time, the lights were dim,
And I was totally wrong.

Man.

When I prayed for your fire
And I prayed for your faith,
I had no idea how much was at stake
Believe me when I say, I knew
not at all that…
ashes would await.

Gosh.

Lord, you said that joy cometh in the morning but for all of us, I am requesting an exception for tonight. Because…

There is something about nighttime.

©2013 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

CARPE DIEM. #Mothers #Daughters

What the heck?! I don’t know what just came over me.  I just went to say goodbye to mom before she departs for a short business trip and I felt my eyes well up.  I’m so sad.  I miss her already.  I have really gotten used to spending time with her.  This precious, invaluable time.  She’s only gone for a bit, but I guess I’m just thinking about the near future.  Geesh.

move-forwardI’ll never forget the vision that I had when living on the East Coast.  Without going into too much detail I will just say that in it, my mom needed me and the Lord gave me an option to stay or go.  As usual, I said yes to God’s proposal and easier said than done, I moved back.  Let me tell you, moving forward mentally is way harder than moving forward physically.  Especially when your physical move is literally back! Haha.  It’s like, really Lord?  I think so often we forget that we’re spiritual beings having natural experiences and that in actuality, none of the things that the world says are valuable mean much of anything to the Lord.  He delights in our obedience and lavishes in our love.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)

So many people want to do what makes sense when in reality a lot of our blessings in obedience require us to take leaps and do things that don’t make sense and possibly make us look a little crazy at times.  People want to be and do what they think is great.  Instead of loving their neighbors, they’re coveting after their neighbors.  People want to be or do what looks and sounds good.  Instead of respecting a person, they’re respecting a title.  But we need to forget about those worldly things that don’t matter start finally chasing, or re-chasing those eternal things of true substance.

If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. – Colossians 3:1-2 (AMP)

be yourselfWe have to deepen our relationship with the Lord so that we can find our true identities through Him.  So that we’ll know who we are and in turn how to be.  So that when all in this world is stripped away, ha…not our identity.  I’m so sick of seeing a whole bunch of “turn up” copycats *rolls eyes*…have a seat already!

But yes, I was going to talk about my relationship with my mom…

Mother/Daughter relationships are so beautifully intricate.  So delicate like lace or something.  They go through ups and downs in milliseconds.  There’s battles between respect and assertion and assist and diversion.  So complex.  Figuratively speaking, I think the Lord definitely hand washes them cold and hangs them carefully to dry.

motherhood

Since my move back to the West Coast, I’ve really enjoyed the growth and transformation I’ve experienced in my relationship with my entire family, but my mother especially.  I believe every Mother/Daughter relationship suddenly hits this “Freaky Friday” growth point  where the daughter, now a mature, adult woman with her own life experiences, comes to this realization that her mom, who she for decades was thought of as this flawless, invincible superhero, is in actuality not *gasp*, in fact, she is just like her daughter who has become just like her mother, a mature, adult woman with her own life experiences.  This place of truth does something great (and rightfully so) and God does something greater as the relationship accepts and adapts to it accordingly.  We love and respect each other way more these days.  It’s so refreshing for me to see my superhero mom without her cape quoting Tamar Braxton saying things like, “You tried it!” and “Getcho life!” haha…oh goodness.  She’s truly my best friend.  I can’t wait to bless her with early retirement and a trip to Italy.

heartbeat

The other night I hugged her and rested on her chest for a good while; because I could.  When I did, I heard and felt her heartbeat, and it was like hearing an old, favorite song.  At that very moment a tear fell and I thanked God that my mom was alive and that I was too.  That we were here for this and the best is yet to come.  Now that, my friends is what I call Carpe diem.

#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? 😉

 

The Beauty in Traffic School #Patience #Time

If anyone told you God doesn’t have a sense of humor, ha they probably neglected to tell you that neither do they because today, my God was hilarious.  He’s so gentle with me and knows just how to teach me a lesson and set me straight.  A kind answer really does turn away wrath (Proverbs 15:1).  I can’t get mad.

So lately I’ve been carpooling to work with my mother.  I love love love my mother, she’s my favorite, and truly the most loving woman I know – Proverbs 31 at it’s best!  She’s the only person on this earth that I truly believe might love me more…all of you others, I think I got you beat haha.  Even though she’s the best at a lot of things, my entire family knows that she’s got a record of being punctually challenged and it stresses the heck out of me more than anyone else in the family!  I’m laughing now. That’s my mother.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6

I can’t stand being late, or rushed.  Correction: I don’t like being late, or rushed.  I’ve seen myself stand it.  If we’re hanging out, I would prefer to meet you there because then I know I won’t be late, and If I am, It was my own fault.  I’m in control.  If you tell me when we’re leaving, I can tell you, but you need not worry when I’ll get up or start getting ready.  I’ll be ready at the time you said I needed to be.  I’m not one of those that need a false deadline or grace period. If you are driving (which means I trust you or am giving myself an opportunity to trust you smh), I hope you’re own time lol.  None of this applies if we’re going to a place I’m not thrilled about going to.  I’ll be ready on time, but I’d love to be late.*sigh* That’s me.

So yea, when carpooling with my mom our daily pattern usually is, leave late, get anxiety that I attempt to hide, miraculously arrive on time by the grace of God, and shoot a vent text to my bff on how it all happened agaaain. Smh…true story.  Today on the other hand, I didn’t carpool because my mom had to take care of something.  I left on time (forgot my cell phone and lunch!) and bam, hit horrible traffic and I was late.  Hahahaha!  What the heck?!  I was like, really Lord?!  At that moment I realized that I can’t control time (or people because of my issue with time really) and thinking that I could was a big fat joke.

“I’ve held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess. – Martin Luther

So in traffic school today (ha) I re-learned that God controls the hands of time…not you Nu!  Absolutely every being and every thing answers to Him and is because of Him.  It is only by His permission that anything is.  If He wants me to be late or on time, you better believe I will be and no one (my mom included) will interfere or affect that.  Now usually when the Lord corrects me and shows me something that I need to work on or change, I get hard on myself and honestly hurt at the thought of possibly disappointing Him.  I love Him…He is my life and my all.  He always has His ways of reminding me that He’s not disappointed though (so sweet) and that He’s just happy that I’ve allowed Him, my Potter to do work on His clay (me).  I’m willing.

“When perception and reality collide, we grow.” – Keylee Dawn Austin

He also reminded me that I’m created in his likeness.  And so, like my Father, I like things done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40).  Sometimes I laugh to myself about myself, but I’m trying to take notice and stop because I realized that I’ve been laughing at things that He finds absolutely beautiful.  When I do that, I feel a tug of disagreement in my spirit that non-verbally communicates nothing is funny.  I’m laughing at His work.

Every day I am going to change.  Every day I am going to be better than yesterday.  I don’t think about myself that often (and some might say not enough), but I’m grateful for that quality because when I think about others and the affect my actions or non-action has on them, I’m motivated to change.  I want be the best friend, daughter, sister, cousin, wife, and mom that I can possibly be.  So If I could stop laughing at myself for them, and stop being anxious about things beyond my control, for them, and one day make my Father smile and my spirit well, let’s do it.

You made my whole being;
       you formed me in my mother’s body. 
I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
       What you have done is wonderful.
       I know this very well.

Psalm 139: 13-14

I AM beautiful.  And if you didn’t know, so are you 🙂

Next Chapter #Home #NewBeginnings

As I lay here in bed at my grandparents house I feel this great sense of peace and gratefulness.  I recall the Lord’s promise to me that no matter where I go, “I’ll always have a place”.  It’s true.  No matter where life takes me or how the Lord elevates me, I can always come home to a familiar place, or familiar people that truly know me and love me for me; my family. (The theme song to “Cheers” just started playing in my head).  My best friend would probably be making fun of how “old” I am right about now lol. Any way…

I remember watching one of Oprah’s episodes of next chapter featuring the fine Mr. Curtis/50 Cent (ha).  He was saying that whenever he comes home and visits his grandma, he’s just Curtis and only to the rest of the world is he this big shot.  He still rubs her feet and paints her toenails and everything.  He doesn’t drink out of any fancy cups or sleep in any fancy bed with 5,000 thread count sheets.  Nope, cuz he’s home.

When I first moved back West and was in funky adjust mode (remember?), my mom hugged me and said “This will always be your home”.  I get it, I love it, and I’m finally grateful for it and a bit embarrassed that I wasn’t before.  Home is safe.  A time to rest, restore, and just be.

I don’t know what’s next or where’s next ha, but I feel it coming in my spirit and so I’m just embracing this time at all of my places with my lifers – individuals that I have allowed and hence chosen to remain in my life forever.

Not once has my coming in or going out not been blessed. The Lord is faithful. He’s always granted me the necessary quality time and/or conversations with people before launching me to the next destination.  I’ve never ever left thinking “aww man…” or feeling like “If only I had the chance to…”.  Nope, His timing is perfect.

 

I’m crying because I’ve felt this before.  I’ve experienced this before.  I know what’s happening.  This will soon be a much cherished moment, again.  Glory be to God for having a plan.  And thank you wisdom for teaching me how to stick to it despite my fleshly desires.

What do ya know, I’ve had my own place all along.  I have learned that it is not until the moment of realization of whatever that needs to realized, that it actually exists.  Everything up until that point is just in the atmosphere.  Not until you grasp the dangling truth (because it is there) is it true for you.  And, when it is, no one can steal it.  I’m so grateful for God’s timing and faithfulness.

So, all that being said, it feels sooo good to be home and it always will everytime I return.  I can honestly say I’m ready for my next chapter.  Le’go!

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