The #CYCLE is #NEW. #NewBeginnings

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Good morning.  I was awaken the other morning by words in my spirit that declared..ELEVATE!

Even my alarm sounds new, like an alarm of elevation.  As I rise physically, I awaken to arise spiritually.  This is our short conversation…
God: “The cycle is new. “
Me: “The cycle is new?”
God: “Elevate, the cycle is new.”
water cycle
I thought it strange that a cycle would be new when a cycle is quite the opposite.  Repetitive, predictable, boring even.  I looked up the word.
Cycle: A series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order.
Just as I thought.  I was reminded of the water cycle and imagined what would happen if that circular flow of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation was new.  What would happen if just one day that way of life that you’ve always known was just suddenly no more.  I looked up the word.
New: Not of long duration; having just (or relatively recently) come into being or been made or acquired or discovered.
Wow, today was the day for all of that. Today the wheels stopped turning the same ‘ol way.  Today there was a shift granting transformation.  A new beginning and permanent way of life like never before.  I receive it and call it blessed.  Nu is New!

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 🙂

If #Poetry #RudyardKipling #TeacherAppreciation

Today I was thinking…

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make an impact, and often what we personally consider as not much is indeed tons to another. All it took was one year of investment to change my life forever. I was in 7th grade, attending a private school and I had the best teacher ever (Pastor Sharon Christopher). I love her so much and am grateful to have been able to say “thank you”. She loved the Lord and us and showed it every single day. Such a prime example of how a woman should be! I thought about this poem she had us memorize today that I love! Just thought I’d share it. There’s so much depth we didn’t understand then but I’m grateful to remember and understand today. Enjoy 🙂

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

My White Puppy #Poetry #Blessing

I saw a white puppy the other day. It followed me and I smiled.

It was beautifully unkempt and playfully well-trained.

Like myself, it had no leash but never strayed too far.

Nope.

It never got too far ahead and when I walked too fast, it caught up and quickly aligned itself with my pace.

I loved it, but I didn’t chase it nor choose it, and to be quite honest, I didn’t have to.

I did know that it was a keeper, I did know that it was a match, and so with ease I decided to do just that…

Keep it

Love it

Preserve it

…and name it Blessing.

©2012 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

“Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous.” -Proverbs 13:21 (NLT)

Half-Baked #Growth #Maturity #Relationships

I’m always talking about how our relationships can be better. How the Lord desires to prosper them and how we should desire the same as He. But, you know what?

To whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:48)… and to be quite honest, too many people walk around wanting much and not wanting to give what’s frickin’ required let alone anything. They want to have the cake and eat it too. They want all the good and it maybe it shouldn’t annoy me, but I love them and it does. I want better for people just like I want better for me. They glide through life with an air or sense of entitlement about them. When in all actuality, this life has never been solely about us. We wouldn’t need anyone if that was so. They appear to be fully baked but their gooey in the middle simply ’cause their butts didn’t wanna stay in the oven as long as the other cookies. It makes me wanna climb at the top of the mountain and yell “Just stay in the frickin oven, dag!”. But one thing is for sure is that you can’t make anyone be passionate about something that you are. Your passion is your passion. My passion is growth…overcoming…being better. I try not to get upset, but dag, I know the benefit of it and I want people to have that. I want people to want that, so they can strive for that, and have that. That’s what I want. I want us to celebrate our victories together. Yay!! I want to save the world, maybe even from themselves.

Now, I know people get by and we have free will and sometimes make whack choices. We develop friendships and romantic relationships with people who truthfully we don’t deserve or don’t deserve us. It is what it is. For whatever reason, God allows it and really His grace is just so darn sufficient that we get a lot of breaks. Do something with them though! Seriously, I feel like crying right now because there’s so many of you out there who have blessings in store for you that you will never obtain because of your unwillingness to truly submit unto God like you’ve never have before. To truly lay down what you want for what He wants. To truly say okay, you’re the boss, I’ll be still…let’s get uncomfortable and let’s face it.

“If you want a butterfly you’ve got to be a butterfly” – India.Arie

Now I’m not perfect, but I don’t consider myself half-baked. However, if you’ve consulted with God and He considers me half-baked, He’s right lol. One thing that I can attest is that I am determined to be fully baked and so I am in Jesus’ name. Being better than yesterday is not an option. Since I’m not a fan of a half-baked me, I certainly don’t want to be in any kind of half-baked relationships…at least not forever. They can only have potential for so long before you realize it ain’t happenin’!

I’m in tears. Bittersweet tears. I’ve always heard and received that “it takes two”, but recently I’ve reached the sad realization of that statement. It doesn’t matter how hard we try or how long we bake, the success of any type of relationship is an unrealistic expectation when the focus is only on the growth of one individual. Success is much, and to whom much is given, much is required. You’ve heard it before…actions speak louder than words. We can’t do it alone. It will forever take two and I am only one.

So however your relationships are — surfaced, deep and lasting, decide where you want it to go…accept the truth regarding where it is and where it’s heading, and do what you gotta do.

My pastor back home said something like…the things our spirit wants to do in that lead to breakthrough will never agree with our flesh. That’s the type of season we’re in guys. Make wise choices. I’m praying for you.

So even after allllll of that gumbo, I say…we shall still remain hopeful in all things because God is a miracle worker and an exception to the “It takes two” statement. He can do what He wants, and sometimes even the slightest of decisions that we make can change our destiny.  Be hopeful. Accept the truth. Keep growing. Move forward and realize that sometimes, sometimes people are just in our lives for seasons. Or, sometimes they’re just half-baked and are never gonna stay in that daggon oven!

#Fathers

Recent conversations have got me thinking about my relationship with my dad, how wonderful it is is now, how not-so-wonderful it was, and just how I think, in general, a father’s relationship with their children should be. The Lord has definitively performed life-changing miracles in me and my Paw’s (that’s what I call him) relationship within only these past couple of years, really. And the crazy thing is, it feels like it’s always been like this. But it certainly hasn’t, and I remember crying out to the Lord and praying specifically for a better relationship with my dad – it seemed impossible. Me & Paw, we’re proof that it’s not too late. We’re proof that prayer is powerful, when we actually pray for things. You have not because you ask not. I asked, and if you need a miracle, I encourage you to ask as well.

Let me give you a lil’ mini course on Paw 101 – past and present ha…
My Paw is awesome (I’m biased). He’s perfectly imperfect in my eyes (oxymoron). Being very little I thought he was amazingly flawless. If he grabbed his shoes, I grabbed mine. He grabbed his motorcycle helmet, I grabbed mine (that’s right…somethin like a G even at that age ha). I couldn’t talk much and he didn’t talk much. We were content with each others existence and that was fine. As I got older with more needs and an extended vocabulary (ha) I viewed him as a hard worker who always felt the need to do something…too much half the time, very authoritative and direct (not bad, just a style), seemingly insensitive and emotionless, consistent, physically supportive (I can’t think of a sporting event where I didn’t see my dad yelling in the stands…aww), yet emotionally unsupportive, strong, an excellent provider and caregiver, television extraordinaire (ha), uncomfortably mute – yet great story-teller, and hungry lol. I knew that even if we had nothing Daddy would find a way for us to have something. In that, I was secure. He communicated his love with acts of service. I never met my grandfather on my dad’s side, but based on stories Daddy had told, they were just alike, and I love them both so much.

Today my Paw is positively different and so am I. I appreciate a lot of the things that have not changed and I am soooo grateful for the things that have. We have a better understanding of each other and are actively loving each other and alike in a lot of ways. I look forward to having kids one day and watching all of us get a second chance. I think that’s what’s beautiful about babies. They have no historical record of us and we can essentially start over and appear to always have been ridiculously awesome and are (hopefully) encouraged to be even more awesome for whatever life we will be entrusted with following.

After my divorce when I lost my husband and no one else’s love could fill my void and ease my pain, God became someone that I realized He had not always been. It was crazy because I thought we (God and I) were good. We were. I was a person who loved the Lord and had served Him for a long time. But you know what, we can always be better. Our relationships can always be better and He showed me this. We’re not done yet. We don’t graduate until we get to heaven.

God became my everything. He loved me and treated me so well. He was interested in me, He communed with me and fellowshipped with me and it wasn’t always in a religious way. We went on dates, we read together, we ate together, we shopped together, we watched tv together, we went to the marina together, we went to the beach together…you name it. Even when I knew I was going to be with others, I invited Him along and He was happy to come.  I genuinely enjoyed His company. He became my husband, friend, dad, counselor, comforter, instructor, corrector and disciplinarian, inspirer, homie and all in the most loving way. My relationship with Him had went to another level and I realized how things were supposed to be. This was unconditional love.…and if we’re created in His image and Christ is to be modeled, my relationships can be better and are purposed to be better and an epitome of what God has shown me. So I prayed hard for me and all of those I had relationships with (and I’m still praying). I was/am inspired and I refused/refuse to settle for mediocrity. I don’t receive it!

My God is a loving God who desires to prosper you in all areas including your relationships. He is a mender and restorer of hearts and can sit in all seats and fulfill all roles that you need. I promise you. Teach and Be Teachable (check out that post).

While me and Paw aren’t perfect, and never will be, God has not left the miracle business and we’re definitely striving and smiling. This song has always reminded me of him <3…Enjoy!

xo,
Nu*

4 cents & counting… #Gratefulness #Overflow

We Americans often fail to realize, and simply take for granted the fact that we have more than enough. We as people, really. If you are an American (born and raised in America), then you are rich in more ways than one. If you’ve ever traveled to another country, you will know. You will see. And, you may even be told. This indeed is a superficial country, and I would like to say that I am in no way shape, or, form a representation at the slightest of that, but I’m sure that I am.

Today I bought lunch. I normally take my lunch to work, but today I ate out because I didn’t have time to pack anything. You know how it goes, I didn’t really wanna spend money (been spending a lot lately argh) but Chan’tel skipping a meal is not an option. Chan’tel skipping a snack is not an option haha. While trying to decide what to get, I seen Chili’s and remembered my supervisor had given me a gift card to Chili’s last week as a little reward for some top notch customer service. Nice, right? Indeed grateful for the little things. The Lord definitely rewards his people when we work for Him. He appoints people to bless us. People who have no idea why. Ha, I think he even appoints people to like us! People who have no idea why.

So I placed my to-go order at Chili’s, paid with my gift card and the cashier informed me that I had $.04 left as a balance. I chuckled to myself and thought…what am I gonna do with that? Then I thought (not immediately) just a second ago (hence the blog – I’m a reflector if you haven’t learned by now)…I thought wow Lord, check you out! More than enough. Jehovah Jireh at his finest. It’s such a blessing to be taken care of. It was like He was like “See, Princess?…I gotchu!” and he soooo does.

I know 4 cents isn’t a lot here, but it is in another country, and nonetheless a blessing to have more than enough in any form. When the Lord blesses me with an income with some extra zeros on the end shoot, you may be jumping up and down with a grateful heart to be given the opportunity to be a recipient of 4% LOL.

I had a Pastor that once said when you need a blessing from the Lord, sow a seed in the form of the blessing you desire [and go hard or go home].

[Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings. – 2 Corinth. 9:6

Give it to get it, whatever it is, however scary it is. When the Lord says something, believe Him.
I so believe and have found that giving principle to be true. Of course, like all matters, the involvement of the heart is crucial and can change whether or not you get that beautiful smile from God. Don’t be playin’ games, or as my lover would say, “I don’t want no mess” lol.

I personally use a Jewish tithing system (haven’t always). Was excited for the knowledge of it when I found out about it and it indeed has been powerful, and I’m blessed in it. Do you. Do what you can, and don’t doubt that you can. Test the Lord in it. He challenges you. (Malachi 3:10).

There’s nothing wrong with wanting more, and the Lord wants us to have more. So, exercising my faith I’ll boldly say I dunno about ya’ll, but I’m 4 cents & counting… 🙂