I want to leave this world empty. #legacy

Let it be known
That I gave it all I’ve got
And that I kept on walking
Long after I got shot.

They tried to kill me
But He healed me
And now I can surely say
There’s no doubt in my mind
That God isn’t The Way.

He’s not a man that He should lie
So there’s no good excuse
Not to serve Him ’til we die
Not put our gifts to use.

I want to leave this world empty
On time and On “E”
I want to leave this world empty
And full of all of me.

He paid a pretty hefty cost
For our sinful, wretched mess
Then He rose; sent Help
And proceeded to call us blessed.

I thought I lost some here and there
But He said, “Nah, they quit the race.”
He said I chose to keep on running
And they chose to save face.

I want to leave this world empty
Having done all I loved to do
Love God, Love People
Love Me, Love You.

I want to leave flecks of gold
That shimmer within smiles
I want to leave hope, lots of hope
That lasts a great while.

I decided long ago that…
I wanted to leave this world empty
On time and on “E”
So that all would know, truly
That I was naturally me.

So when that day comes…
Let it be known
I didn’t leave early
Let it be known
I hate being late
Let it be known
I’ve waited long enough
For that Oh, so precious date.

© 2016 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

 

My greatest #commission.

“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'” – Mark 16:15 (ESV)

Great-Seal-of-California-GoldI recently became a notary public for the State of California (Woot! Woot!).  In a nut shell, what we do is legally serve the public (without offering legal advice), but mostly by signing and stamping documents with an official seal that pretty much makes them legit with the state to be used in court, or life, or whatever.  That’s the “Nu” version.

Ever since I found out that a “commission” is what I was to receive from the Secretary of State before I could perform notarial duties, I was intrigued by the word.  I looked it up and laughed.  It was like an inside joke between God and I.

I liked these below:

com·mis·sion

kəˈmiSHən/

noun

  1.  an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people.
  2. a group of people officially charged with a particular function.

verb

  1. give an order for or authorize the production of (something such as a building, piece of equipment, or work of art).
  2. bring (something newly produced, such as a factory or machine) into working condition.

goodnewsI realized that this commission to serve the public in the natural was yes, something ordained by the State of California, but my greatest commission and high calling to go out and proclaim the gospel and spread the love of Christ in this hurting and dying world is far more valuable. I am grateful for the God-given revelation in this parallel and for the opportunity to serve Him in serving you, His people.  That, my friends is our greatest commission and we can expect a great reward in Heaven.  I don’t take my birth lightly, nor more duty following.  I heard Dr. Tim Storey say once that, “You’re a big deal” and I agree.  God does so much, and allows us as individual believers to go through so much…for just one sometimes.  What an honor to serve you, to teach you…what an honor to love you and prepare you (and me) for the Kingdom!

16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.

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!

#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

My Own Place.

For the longest I’ve wanted my own place… A place to call my own.  No roommate, just me.  My own kitchen to clean up or dirty up, to cook up everything or nothing at all and try out all of The Divine Hostess’ fabulous recipes hehe.  A place to entertain loved ones and make them feel at home away from home.  A place to blast music and dance naked (yea, I said it) and bring sexy back like no tomorrow.  Or really…just a cozy blessed environment for your achy breaky heart.  Come over for a hug, a laugh, a movie, a chat, a meal, prayer…but call first (lol).  My very own place that I earned, I paid for, and I’m proud of…even if there is nothing in it.

Until recently (last year) the Lord finally gave me revelation that wherever I go, He will make sure that I always have my own place. Yes!  I was happy.  But then I started thinking wait, what does that mean??  haha.

For the longest I’ve wanted my own place… but to be perfectly honest, I don’t think the Lord ever wants me to live alone. Ha…I think He knows I’d like it too much.  I’d get comfortable and use to things being my way and when the time came to share a space with someone else, a spouse perhaps, I might not be as successful as I’d like in compromising and changing my bachelorette mentality.  He wants me around people.  While I love people, I do love my alone time and I get quite antsy when I’m deprived of it. I’m a thinker and pray-er for goodness sake!  I like to read, write, listen, meditate and often in pure silence.  I need that sanctuary.

Any way…I still don’t have my own place and in fact, after much prayer and going back and forth with the Lord, I have surrendered to His plan for me in many different ways lately, the most recent being to move back to the West Coast with my family (not in my own place) for such a time as this.  I feel like I’m just returning to headquarters or the corporate office for a bit to recharge before my next “earth camp adventure” (as one of my spiritual mothers calls it).  Don’t ask me where, I have no idea.  But, I’m open and I’ll keep ya posted.

This is ministry. My ministry.

The hardest thing about this type of ministry or missionary work is leaving.  As soon we get comfortable and our “work is done”, the Lord moves us *tears*.  As soon as we meet people that we want to be in our lives forever *tears* He takes them or us away. It hurts so badly. It’s like jerking people apart in mid-hug.  I wasn’t ready for it this time.  I wasn’t ready for it.  It’s hard to give answers to questions that you don’t have the answers to yourself.  Then to top it off, the enemy tries to harass you with lies and guilt and make you feel bad about following God’s will and reminds you of all the people you’re hurting in choosing this way.  He knows your gifts too and jumps at the opportunity to capitalize on them.  But, whatever.  I’m choosing God’s way and my mind is made up.  Can you see the struggle though? *shrugs shoulders* That’s where I am.

In the spirit realm, when we down here don’t release someone in our hearts, when we don’t free them or support them in doing what God wants to do in their lives, a struggle can arise. The flow of The Holy Spirit is interrupted for justifiably selfish reasons and things don’t sail as smooth. We move forward with an easy pass but still have to stop and pay tolls. We move forward with a rock stuck in our skates. We move forward wearing heavy snow boots in no snow. Just help us out; release us.

I feel myself wanting to ramble, so I’m gonna be wise and wrap it up.

I just hope and pray that the Lord would at least allow my distance to not disconnect.  That the love I’ve found in all of these relationships will remain mutual, and that we can always be a positive something that looks forward to catching up, swapping stories, and seeing each other again.

So in obedience…I count down the days.

I very much believe that Father knows best so forever I will roll with and agree with His perspective.  For now, “I’m okay” awaiting to be “great”….and I still want my own place LOL. Just being honest.

#Richmond, VA #Review #Virginia

Time is flying! I’ve been living in Virginia for a little over 8 months now and I think it’s fair and time to write about my random observations, thoughts, opinions (key word!), loves, likes, dislikes, and all other word vomit. I hope I don’t offend anyone. It is what it is. If you’re moving here, or interested in what I’m experiencing or what may be going through my head…enjoy. I’ll update as life here goes on.

1. The southern hospitality here is so cute and impressive! Yes ma’am, no sir…paper or plastic? yea, I can get used to that. Take notes Cali!

2. It’s a Commonwealth state. There’s a whole lot that has changed elsewhere that needs to change here that people seem to think does not.

3. The weather is schizophrenic. How is it gonna rain, snow, and be sunny all in the same week?! Man o man.

4. I would have to agree with the statement “Virginia is for Lovers” ❤

5. People here LOVE to eat, and well…sadly, it shows. I was like oh no, the man ain’t bringing me down!

6. The restaurants (there are tons!) and malls are great!

7. The beach is about a 2 hour drive 😦

8. DC, Maryland, Jersey, New York are all on the East Coast and are easily accessible via car, train, or cheap flight! Aweshommmmme.

9. Demographics consist of primarily African-Americans & Caucasians. Prepare for sad but true statement: I’ve never been around so many Black people in my life that actually get along. Love it. Education makes a difference.

10. There’s tons of festivals and cultural events (Ironic because I don’t consider Virginia to be a diverse state) which are right up my alley!

11. It’s very traditional. So, nearly everybody & their mom goes to church on Sunday even if everybody and their mom goes to the club on Saturday night. Smh! #dobetter

12. There are so many trees!

13. Strangers wave as they drive by and regularly stop and have convos with each other like nothing.

14. There’s not really any sidewalks, and only buses in the city. You def need a car.

15. People here seem to have super negative views and opinions on those of Latin descent – grrr…hate that.

16. There are so many birds! Woody Woodpecker and all.

17. There aren’t really any street lights so it’s super dark at night. The stars are beautiful.

18. There are so many bugs!

19. I’ve never seen so much road kill and animals cohabiting in my life. I dunno if I would have been a fan of Eden, Lord lol.

20. The Mexican food here smells so good and then whomps. No one can top Cali. NO ONE.

21. You can’t smile in your Driver’s License photo. WHACK! You’ll never see my ID.

22. Produce is expensive and the choices are basic.

23. Carytown is the cutest ever! If or when you come — you’ve got to go!

24. If you are 16 and over, you do not have to be given a break at work. That’s crazy to me! Y’all know I like my breaks…I was hot when I learned that lol. (I’m at work now! smh…)

25. It’s a great place for families.

26. I fancy phrases used like “That thing” when referring to someone and “What in the world?!” when astonished by something.

27. The city is small and shaped like a circle. I’m still learning it, but it’s definitely easier than most.

28. The street names change out of the blue to the weirdest names and the highways usually go by name versus number – or so it seems.

29. Although I’ve finally found a nail shop that doesn’t take all day or make me bleed (through annoying trial and error), they suck. Get your mani/pedi before your trip.

30. Nothing is open on Sunday. That is a slight exaggeration. Slight.

31. When asked if it is calling for rain or snow, “It” refers to the meteorologist who has given a forecast that you should be aware of.

32. People can’t drive in the rain or snow. That is possibly universal.

33. People park illegally in no-parking zones and non-applicable spots (i.e. handicap, mother with children). Yea, I don’t even know why those spots exist.

34. If you love geese…shoot, enjoy!

35. Hospitality here extends beyond words. Maybe it’s favor, but people are always generously lending a helping hand here. The world should take notes.

36. Personalized license plates are like birth certificates. Everyone has one.

37. I didn’t know I owned a “pocketbook” until I came here.

38. Richmond is a great place for job opportunities and an “upgrade” in living, or so it seems.

39. I don’t see myself living here forever…or really anywhere forever. But for now, I appreciate it and I view it as a different kind of beautiful. Like anywhere, the people I’ve been blessed to have met and exchange touches of the heart have definitely made my experience one of a lifetime 🙂