AHEM!!!!

Let me clear my throat, folks! It’s 2020 and I made it!!!
Whew! Cheers…to…THAT! I know I’m not alone here.

In case you didn’t know, I have been living for 32 years (I just turned 33), and I have been blogging here for the past 8-ish. My embarrassing archives will go ahead and remain. Since it’s been a while, it’s a new year, and I see a few new faces here, I figured that is a good reason to re-introduce myself…kind of! So AHEM!!!! I present to you…

20 Fun Facts About Me

1. Give me a dance floor or karaoke and I come alive! No, seriously. I have a list of categorized songs that I can pull up right now. No alcohol necessary. Let’s go!

2. My personal bios are so difficult for me to write. A wise artist once told me that “we’re never just one thing”, and this statement couldn’t be further from my truth. I have done, can do, and will do so many wonderfully creative, tough, and humbling things. I also don’t necessarily believe that my identity comes from the things that I do (it changes in seasons!). One of my favorite roles, however, is being an aunt. I love my nieces and nephew so much, and another one is on the way! Yeee!!

3. I live an unconventional lifestyle serving God, and I love how His plan keeps unfolding for me. He knows me so well! The spontaneity and adventure life with Him brings is priceless!

4. Pre-200I went by the nickname, “Nikki” instead of my birth name, “Chan’tel”, and though most know me as Chan’tel in this stage of my life, “Nikki” occasionally burns my ears. In my younger years, my birth name felt more like a jacket too large to fit into. I often wonder how biblical characters like Abraham or Paul adapted to their name changes. 

5. My legs are probably hairier than yours during the winter 🤷🏽‍♀️, ’cause who’s not shaving unless they have a pedicure or massage appointment is ME! Too much information? I’ll spare you a photo of evidence.

6. I am finally admitting that I am a Yelp nerd. It’s a fun hobby for me that began with a heart to pay the favor forward after moving to a new state in 2011 (around the birth of this blog). Now, it continues to keep me exploring (gets me out of the house!), writing (good practice!), and somehow over the years has come with so many perks! (It’s neat to be elite).

7. Less is truly more for me. Less stuff (one could say I’m a minimalist) and less people (I can count my friends on one hand). I’ll take an experience over material possessions any day and a good friend with heartfelt conversation over many fans. Theee best!

8. I’m super low key. Partly because I think it wise and partly because I have issues with broken trust. I like living for me (and God) and if folks don’t know what’s going on, then I don’t have to hear their unsolicited opinion. I like to share information with purpose, not just because somebody’s nosey. What are your thoughts on this?

9. If you ask me what my favorite color is, I’ll say turquoise (also my birthstone) to keep the conversation short. It’s complex though. I like it all, and especially like wearing muted colors and earth tones. Accessories in coral are super cute too! Confused yet? I am woman, ha! Did not God create the rainbow?!

10. I’m pregnant…with purpose. And honestly, sometimes I feel overdue. Pray for your girl. I feel like I have been a spiritual doula for so many and now I’m in need of my own. Oh, so many dreams and goals. Oh, so many.

11. I often draft and prayerfully schedule out nearly all of my blog posts in advance. This means that most of my writings, though timely, are not written in real-time. I often minister to myself while reading along with y’all. It’s amazing. This post was written recently in November 2019.

12. I’m one of those people who listens to Christmas music year-round. Annnd?!

13. I’m naturally introverted, but the Holy Spirit is so good at balancing me out that many are convinced that I’m not. Oh, but I am!

14. My preferred methods of communication are written or video chat, and heartfelt over small talk. I don’t like talking on the phone, but I do because it’s unrealistic to avoid it completely, ha! Plus I have loved ones who prefer it.

15. My heart has been broken way more than it should have because not until recent years, have I learned how to guard it properly. I learned the hard way that hearts aren’t meant to wear on your sleeve. NonethelessI will forever love hard.

May the Lord teach and re-teach us how to guard our hearts appropriately and help us discern the motives of others and their interests in connecting with us. You, and all you encompass are beautiful. People will always want your pearls, so clutch them because they are precious.

16. I am single by choice and have not met anyone that has made me want to change that choice. For now, I’m enjoying the perks that may one day be missed.

17. I’m more of a no grey type of person. I’m all in, or all out. If you know me, then you know. No games. No gimmicks.

18. Some of my dearest relationships are long distance and I think it’s for the best. Maybe I’d be distracted from my God-given assignments if my sister-friends were all living in my current city. Miss them and look forward to reunions! I strongly relate to Paul in the bible and the longings in his letters.

19. The beach, sunrises, sunshine, iced lattes, hot tea, dark chocolate, smoothies, real fruit bars, leathers, bites, and twists. Belly laughs, random road trips, snail mail, instrumentals, handmade gifts, gel pens, hands-free purses and backpacks, naps, leather, lace, rainy days, foot massages, scenic hikes, surprise checks in the mail, frozen yogurt, hot sauce, hot wings, In-N-out burgers, tajín, karaoke, line dances, an awesome sale on things you need, kids, and Jesus please. These are more than a few of my favorite things.

20. A few months ago I decided I was going to stop waiting for certain circumstances to change before I started living fully the way I’ve been wanting to. I snipped some strings, sold some things, and now I’m soaring and catching wind! Weeeeee!! No limits. Let’s go!

 

©2020 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Hate & Blessings: A Reminder to The Body of Christ #Beatitudes

As representatives of Christ, any and everyone should clearly recognize who we are and Who we represent by the fruit that we produce. As of late, I feel such a burden to encourage the body of Christ to increase their level of integrity.  So, I’m blasting my imaginary megaphone and shouting loud and clear…”COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE YE SEPARATE!” (See 2 Corinthians 6:17).

stay holyAre you telling a little white lie?
Not letting the cashier know he/she overcharged you?
Ordering water, but filling your cup up with soda?
California rollin’ through the stop sign?
Illegitimately parking in handicap for just a few minutes?
Leaving tags on purchased clothing, wearing them, and returning them?

CUT THAT OUT!

These are just a few examples of spirit-grieving acts that lack integrity. These may seem small, but as long as you’re dishonest in little, you will be dishonest with much (See Luke 16:10).  If you relate, I encourage you to repent and ask the Holy Spirit to help you cut this out.  Ask God to purge you and for His Spirit to fill you.  We already know that sin pays in death, so don’t take the job!  Our brother, Paul, has clearly felt our pain in this area.  He said…

14-16 I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are
spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.

17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t doit. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

help

21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
– Romans 7:14-24

You better believe that the world is watching, and more importantly, our Heavenly Father is watching.  As long as we’re bound, we’re incapacitated; unable to properly strengthen the body and help them get free from their sins that once enslaved us.

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. – Hebrews 10:26 (NLT)

Allow me to remind you of what the Lord hates…

Proverbs6-16-19

Now let me remind you of the true definition of blessed…

beatitudes

There’s a huge misconception in the world, and even in the body of Christ of what it means to be BLESSED.  Do not be deceived! Following Christ is not your ticket to wealth, prosperity and instant gratification.  If that’s what you’re after, you ought to follow Satan (or maybe you are unknowingly).  He’ll give it to you now, as a down payment for hell later. Following Christ is your ticket to Heaven. We endure now, and prosper in eternity later.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Lord does give material gifts, but from my personal experience, they start flowing once they don’t matter (ha!).  The world oohs, ahhs and huffs and puffs in jealousy when they see your gifts, while all along in your heart, you’re like “pssh…this?”.  God loves giving to these kind; they’re not discontent and adulterous lusting for more.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.
– Philippians 3:18 (NLT)

#Wanted

Good morning lovas 🙂

You know what the beauty in yesterday and today is throughout this transition?  (Ha, I say throughout like I’m months in or something – It really did began before the actual move though).  Anyway, the beauty —  other than the fact that I’m making great progress  and truly feel the prayers of people lifting me up (thank you If you are one), I’m wanted. That is the great blessing that I’m choosing to recognize today.

I have to be me, so that If you don’t love me, I’ll agree.

Although I was in a funk about being here, everyone around me has welcomed me back into their lives with open arms and seriously could not wait until I returned.  Now, I do know my worth, but honestly, a part of me can not quite put my finger on why or what I’ve done exactly (other than being me) to make them love me so much, but I appreciate it, love them back, and had to stop and say thank you Lord that I am wanted.  What did I say or do before I left? Hmm.  I may not be wanted everywhere or by everyone I’d like to be wanted by, or even in the way that I desire to be wanted, but I am wanted here, and here is where I am called to be for such a time as this.  I had to repent ya know, although I have a right to feel what I feel…I was a  little snippy with God and who am I to question my creator?  He was like hold up, wait a minute little girl lol…feel how you feel but don’t.get.cra-zy! I got this just like I had that.  Did we forget already? ha.

This transition could definitely be worse. It’s for my good.

I heard and was reminded last night that there’s no way that we can have a genuine appreciation for a good day without having some bad ones.  I’m sure it seems like I never have a bad day.  Key word: seems.  But I most certainly do, I’m just generally optimistic and usually the person in my relationships who listens and encourages people through their bad days which somehow in the midst works in my favor and ends up encouraging myself.  I also have the most amazing bff who is absolutely excellent at reading me – such a beautifully honest friend, prayer partner, checker (she calls it how she sees it); She is the epitome of iron that sharpens iron.  She’s got plenty of years under her belt though so I really can’t compare anyone to her Gold Member status (ha).  I keep telling her she needs to write a manual for my husband-to-be, fa real! That would probably be the best wedding gift ever. Well, If he reads it lol.

The good in today, this present time, was that there was bad in yesterday, a past time, that led me to gratitude.  The good in today, and hopefully tomorrow, a future time, is that I’m loved and I’m wanted.  So, like many days I pray, Lord, If I don’t get anything else accomplished today, help me to love and still, I will have accomplished much.