Stretch Marks On My Heart #Poetry #Love #Song

Don’t need no cocoa butter for this
I don’t want to cover it
Let it shine, let it show
Supernatural glow fo’ sho

I got stretch marks on my heart
Too many names to list why
But the best of the best is God
Yea with him, I’m supafly

These cheesy rhymes are dear to me
Though they don’t reflect my depth
They mirror that childlike spirit
Hands in the air, step by step

Smile so wide
Sway to the beat
Leave my hair wild
Move those feet

‘Cause I got stretch marks on my heart
I’m happy, I’m free
Too many names to list why
But yo, thanks for loving me

©2018 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

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#Life, #Love, & #Heaven on #Earth

Hello loves! It’s been a while, I know, but good news…I’ve been growing tons and have a bit of it to share.  Since my last post, I’ve raised my standard of living quite a bit with attention to a couple of key areas that I’ve outlined. Now, let’s see if I remember how to write ha.

I feel the need to share this because I think people frequently admire or develop a bit of hate towards a person based on what we do not know. We covet another’s physical and spiritual gifts and blessings, without fully understanding why they have what they have or what they did to get where they are.  Few are ready and willing to make the necessary changes to come higher.  Noses get turned up at those with high standards, while bitterness festers in their heart as if salvation isn’t free. Friends, you have to know and embrace this as truth: You can have as much of your inheritance that you tap into. To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).  This is simply how I carry my cross, today.  Carry yours as you see fit.

music_notes“…Day and night they never stop saying:
‘Holy, holy, holy,

is the Lord God Almighty,’ 
who was, and is, and is to come.”

~ Revelation 4:8b (NIV) ~

MUSIC…

For years one type of fast that I have partaken of is a fast from secular music where for a period of time: days, weeks, month(s) progressively, I would replace all secular music I habitually listened to with worship music honorable unto the Lord (i.e. Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Christian Rap, etc.). As these fasts became easier, I noticed during them, that I also became stronger. I saw clearer. I heard better. I was further from the world and I was closer to heaven. That’s the goal, right?

This may come to a shock to some of you, but the angels in heaven are focused on eternal things that matter. They aren’t bumpin’ your favorite Kanye, Jay Z, or Beyonce jams. The fallen “angels” on earth however, are producing them (but that’s another post).

Media comes at us with junk whether we want to consume it or not. At some point we have to take responsibility for what we choose to filter.

Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (AMP) ~

So, in raising my standard of living and finding a new expression of love for My Abba, aside from minimizing television watching and narrowing selections, I have chosen to toss out all of my secular music that does not honor God or heaven. Now this doesn’t mean I don’t sing a random hook that’s already been downloaded in my spirit or bop my head while shopping, but hopefully one day, I will be able to be a bit more “not of this world”. I’m a work in progress. For now, I am proud of me. The praises of God are considerably outweighing any other sound in my life. He is worthy.

Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.

~ 2 Corinthians 4:8 (AMP)~

CAREER/EDUCATION…

I work in the legal industry, and recently, I was accepted into an outstanding paralegal program at a well approved university. Exciting, right? Yoddler_359_LargeYes, God is so kind.  God is kind because he honors our requests even when they are not necessarily best. The very day that I received acceptance, I was up late sharing intimate time with my Beloved, studying His word, and embracing His love. I suddenly became overwhelmingly saddened by the thought that in a few months, the bible I was holding would soon be replaced with a textbook. It would only be a year, but I couldn’t help but wonder in anguish how many souls that meant. In fact, I was praying fervently for a precious one that night!  If but one was lost, my heart would hurt forever.  The financial debt for career advancement was worth it, but the spiritual debt for potential hell advancement of God’s people? That is not.  One soul is too many.

 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

~ Matthew 16:26 (NIV) ~

I made the best destiny decision of my life that night. I decided to seek first, the kingdom of God, and trust God to add unto me the rest (Matt. 6:33). My heart is still smiling at this decision and the idea of my Heavenly Father receiving maximum glory for all of “my” accomplishments. I’m just striving to get more names written in the book of life.  I’m going hard before I go home.

“LOVE LIFE”…

I am mentioning this because my “love life” for lack of a more fitting description, seems to always be an amusing blog segment and I dare not let ya down haha. I am happy to say that I am currently single and open to being pursued. Last year, I was crushing, but not open, and I requested in hopes of not limiting God, just one solid year to just establish myself all-around. He has granted my request. He’s so sweet like that.

loveDelight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

~ Psalm 37:4 (ESV) ~

All conceit aside, I am the strongest and most beautiful that I have ever been. The more I learn of my God, I learn of myself, and love me. I don’t hold the hands of time, but now seems like a pretty good one. In Christ I am assured that there is no need to rush on my end, for there is no delay on His; love is patient.

 [He said] I charge you, O you daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field [which are free to follow their own instincts] that you not try to stir up or awaken [my] love until it pleases.

~ Song of Solomon 2:7 (AMP) ~

Check, please! #HeartCheck

 

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23

I had a vision last night and as much I don’t want to admit this gory thing…Isn’t that what a blog is all about?

In the vision The Lord showed me my heart and half of it was protected, but the other half was kind of outside of me and gnat-like bugs were swarming around it like it would an open piece of fruit. The sight of it was almost unbearable! My spirit squirmed. Gross! How could that be me?! I knew it was though, and I wanted out of this scary vision.

I knew what it meant. I needed to guard my heart. I needed to re-check myself. I needed to realize that I’m not exempt from the toxicity of this world. I am now convinced, and rightfully so, that we are all at risk for contamination if we don’t guard what flows into our hearts. For what flows in, will certainly flow out!
I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford it. Too many souls at stake.

I’m not a big t.v. person, but lately I’d been watching a lot more of it. Nothing crazily inappropriate or anything, but a little unwholesome stuff here and there, easily equates to a lot (or enough) of wholesome stuff! As I reflect…I then found myself listening to a little more secular music, reading a little more magazines, being entertained by a little more of those tweets and few more of those Instagram pics…Are you getting me?

Worldly stuff. Stuff that matters none! I’m so sick of “stuff” that I could just burn my phone right now! Ok, maybe not…I need it to blog 😉

…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

As Christians, we need to make sure that we’re not blending with the world. Because when we do, we stop trending in the Kingdom of God. No bueno! Check, please!

Dreams, visions, and prophecies, are nothing to be worried or afraid about, especially when you have an active prayer life. I believe they’re just another form of God’s little ways of putting us earthly folks in the know of what’s really going on in the spirit-realm. They’re his way of putting things on our radar and prayer list. It’s God’s way of supporting us and showing us just how much he cares. When this happens, we should prayerfully seek Him for clarity and understanding.

I tend to get hard on myself, but you know what, as long as we live lives of repentance and accept the fact that we will always fall short. When we delight in The Lord and strive to get it right, whatever our “it” is, He will be honored.

Remember that Jesus paid our gory bill long ago. All we have to do is say, “Check, please!” and be willing to let Him pay yet again.

Love you and praying for us both!

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 🙂

#Farewell.

As I prepare for my leave, a few key words have been swarming around and ringing in my ear. I just had to look them up! None of them mean goodbye, but mostly, “See you later”, “‘Til next time”, or “Chow for now”. You get my drift. These two have really stuck out in memory.

fare·well/ˌfe(ə)rˈwel/ noun

(1) an acknowledgement or expression of goodwill at parting.

(2) the act of departing politely.

After seeing this definition I had to look up depart and I must say…I love it and I agree.

de·part/ diˈpärt/ verb

(1) Leave, typically in order to start a journey.

(2) Deviate from (an accepted, prescribed, or traditional course of action).

I went to brunch with a friend this weekend and she gave me a new “journey” pandora charm to add to my bracelet. How thoughtful and appropriate! I loved it. She also gave me a card in which she wrote a lovely quote that I appreciate. It read…

“Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again after a moment or lifetime is certain for those who are friends.” – Robert Bach

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

I’m not gonna lie, I am indeed a bit sad. But both this quote and scripture is encouraging. Even through this bit of sadness that I feel…I know better than to make decisions based on how I feel, and I haven’t. I trust God that this feeling is very temporary and I am positive that it will not be regretted. You see, the choices we make in life (big and small) are so important and have an affect on individuals that we haven’t even encountered yet. How selfish of us to submit unto the Lord, say use me and then pout in the corner with our arms yelling “No!”. Moments like this can make us or break us. I’m willing to be broken to make it.

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.  Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.”

– Psalm 30: 4-6

I read somewhere that morning is whenever you wake up. I wish I could say I have fully awaken, but truthfully I have not. My feet are dragging lol. Still moving forward though (my mom would be proud). The bible, God’s word, my sword, the truth — that is there even when I’m not, and since I believe it, each day, with each passing day, I will enter greater rest and peace in The Most High, truly letting go, letting God, and reaping from it…and wake up and experience joy in the morning! 🙂 It’s just a matter of time. Keep me in your prayers.

These songs have been encouraging me through yet another transition on my journey. Speaking fo my journey, I’m glad you’re here. Enjoy 🙂

Before I Die – Kirk Franklin

In The Middle – Isaac Carree

Kim Burrell – Sweeter