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.

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“It wasn’t Him, It was me!” #Easter #Resurrection #Christ

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. – Matthew 28: 5-6 (KJV)

This past weekend I’ve experienced many different emotions as Resurrection Day approached.  I woke up Sunday excited.  I smiled and whispered to myself, “He has risen!”  I quickly then found myself crying tears of gratefulness for His bountiful sacrifice, and only moments ago, tears of sadness regarding all He endured.

Tonight, The History Channel aired “The Bible” movie and I engrossed myself in one of the clips nailswhere Jesus was being beaten.  After two lashes with a whip, my face was covered in tears.  I had enough of watching Him endure that, and just when I was going to change the channel, a still small voice said, “Keep watching, He’s had enough too.”  It’s not just a story…this is my history.  I could only imagine how much physical and emotional pain He went through for you and I.  Just thinking about the greatest pain I’ve ever felt and the worst circumstances I’ve ever experienced and knowing that He’s got me beat, and easily is a heavy thought!

As I watched My Savior, my heart hurt.  My heart hurt so badly.  It was so difficult to sit there and watch my innocent loved one (on a television screen, let alone in person!) being tormented, bruised, beaten, and nailed – no anesthetics, and all for an undeserving me.  Everything in me wanted to get up and run towards him.  Everything in me wanted to fess up and say I’m sorry.  Everything in me wanted to yell, “It wasn’t Him, It was me!”.

I’m still very emotional after watching, but that will pass – I just hope and pray that I’m forever sensitive.  The Holy Spirit reminded me of a song called “Amazing Grace”.  Definitely far from making it on my favorites list ha, but after listening this time, I have a new-found appreciation.  This is what those people were singing about!  That goes to show that, until you know what something means, something will mean nothing.

Amazing Grace

So, Happy Easter…Resurrection Day…Sunday…31st…whatever!  It doesn’t matter what we call it, as long as we know what it means :).  Love you.

 

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.

The More I Seek You. #Song #Worship

You probably don’t know because I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but I’m a singer in the wonderful music ministry at my church, and this Sunday we’re singing one of the lovely Kari Jobe’s songs, “The More I Seek You”.  It is such a beautiful love song that truly epitomizes a sweet relationship with the Lord.  I’ve been singing it inside and out since I first heard it and I am excited to see how God will use us vessels this Sunday as we sing.  Check it out, let’s stay in tune with one another…enjoy 🙂

#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? 😉

 

“Rib Tip”#Wife #Husband #TheStory

So lately I’ve really been wanting to get into my word differently.  Not just randomly ya know? I mean, nothing wrong with that but I just want more.  I’m hungry.  I don’t mind bouncing around and re-reading this chapter and going back to that book, but it seems like it would all just stick differently after having read the entire thing.  I’ve never read the entire bible.  I’ve attempted many times, but just never seemed to complete the task.  I would all of a sudden get bored of some parts, couldn’t follow others as well out of sequence, or come across a certain book of the bible that just was not an easy read for me.  I know there are supplements and chronological bibles, and different versions…but I wanted something really suited for me, not just another suggestion that sounds up my alley, ya know?  You know those bible in a year plans?  Yea, it’s like I start, doing well, and then I take a detour.  Remember that movie, “A Bug’s Life”?  All of this reminds me of that part where the bug is flying and then loses focus because it’s attracted to the light and gets zapped lol.  Yup, I’m sick of getting zapped.

Hmm…maybe the free spirit in me just doesn’t have an appreciation for the “helpful” guide telling me to read these 3 chapters in Daniel on Tuesday when maybe I feel like reading James this Tuesday.  I spiced it up a bit and now I’m off the plan lol.  I can only do monotony in moderation.  All that being said…*drumroll*….I’ve began reading “The Story” by Max Lucado & Randy Frazee.  It’s just that too…a chronological bible in the form of a story.  Yes! I hope I’ve found a winner.

The Story Bible White

So in The Story, like the bible it starts with the beginning (Genesis) when God created the heavens, the earth, Adam and all that good stuff.  All of a sudden I became fascinated with this fact that I’ve known for years.  Fascinated with how beautiful it was for a woman to be created from such an awesome part of the man’s body that indeed does help and support, as us women are built and purposed to do for our husbands.  I love the picture that it paints.

“But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.”

As many of you probably know, the ribs surround the chest and in turn protect the body’s heart, lungs, and internal organs.  That’s a lot! Like the ribs, wives aid and protect their husbands in often the most gentle of ways.  His lungs which give him breath to live…and his heart, the origin of all matters of his being.  If those organs aren’t intact, neither is he. If he’s our leader and he’s not intact, shoot, neither are we.  That’s “one”.  That’s a great responsibility.  To be called a wife or a husband is such a high calling that I think gets taken way too lightly.  It’s never to early or late to start praying for your spouse.  You love them, right?  Prayer is the most loving thing you can do.  It covers a multitude.

Now, I was married years ago…yea yea yea but I don’t even feel like it.  I mean I recognize that it was big and it’s definitely one of those things that I would talk about in it’s entirety with my future husband, but It’s really like a childhood memory now, in the past.  I’m just sooo different from that girl back then, I’ve been single longer than I was ever married, and that ending was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  It brought me back to my first love appropriately and I began transforming and growing as I moved forward.  I’m new.  If you’ve ever moved forward, then you know very well that moving forward requires that you don’t look back.  God’s funny though, because then he’ll “bring you back” just to show you that you’ve moved forward.  So sweet, I love it.

But back to the rib.  So the rib is this super great part with a great role, right? but the fascinating part was that God created more than just a rib.  God created and entire being of it’s own.  A beautifully made woman perfectly suited.  I can see God now molding and shaping all the curves inside and out.  She went from good to great in His hands.  I’m sure Adam woke up like “heeeey” haha.  In the words of my best friend “Get you some of that” lol.

At my church, a man who desires and is looking for a wife is jokingly said to be “looking for a rib” haha. And so, whenever a guy is interested in me that I have no interest in, I jokingly say to myself, “Uh uh…I ain’t your rib!” We will not be making eye contact. You better pay attention to the sermon! lol…really though.

Now I’m no expert, but I do have pretty good relationship experience.  In thinking of how wonderful a man and a woman are apart, I can’t help but think about the beauty in them being together.  So here’s a “Rib Tip” If I may for singles like myself…

Fellas — If you want a good rib, I recommend you be a good and faithful steward and gardener in the small areas.  Take care of all that the Lord has already blessed you with.  While you do have to pursue and make your presence known, if she’s a wise woman you don’t have to try hard to get noticed.  A wise woman is not easily fooled and sees what matters.  It’s your choice to make that work for you or against you.  If she’s interested, I hope she’s praying for you.  If you’ve already found your soon to be rib, awesome!  Remember that loving her is truly loving yourself.  If you’re garbage, so is she.  If you don’t have it together, don’t expect her to either.

Ladies — The bible said a man findeth a wife, so if you’re looking for a man (or wearing nothing to get his attention), cut that out.  You are who you attract.  I don’t believe looking for him is your job.  Eve didn’t choose Adam, God chose Eve for Adam.  Let your man receive from the Lord on who his wife is.  Hold on to that truth…he’ll come.  And truthfully, who knows, he might already be there and you not realize it.  Some of the best relationships begin as friendships.  Pray that he finds you in God’s timing and that you are both prepared when he does.  Focus on loving the everlasting man you already have and should be your world, Jesus.  If you’re in a relationship, stay honest with yourself and your partner.  The second you recognize you’re not his rib, save the heartache and end it. It can turn into mess that God won’t bless.  Some days it’s annoying and you want your fairy tale prince to hurry up and awaken you from your slumber, I know.  But that’s not real, and you don’t want anything half-baked.  Easier said than done but just keep praying, sitting pretty, loving God, and loving people.  Forever is a long time – that’s how long you want with him, right? Well I promise this wait won’t be as long.  I love you and I’m praying for us.  Have a blessed day! 🙂

 

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 🙂