MAKING THE WORLD AROUND YOU REFLECT WHO YOU REALLY ARE

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Developing A Social Agenda!

 

Last week I had the extreme pleasure of being taken to lunch by a really good friend of mine.  It was a spontaneous and well needed break in my afternoon schedule.  We spent the afternoon playing catch up and discussing how we wanted to make some changes in the New Year.  She recently got married and I have made a few changes in my life as well and realized that our schedules had become extremely demanding. We both came to the conclusion that although our schedules were demanding of our time, we needed some time to visit with one another,  even if it was just long enough to have a cup of tea and a quick hug.

As we sat there I began to internalize the need and realized that it was something that I really needed not just because I wanted something to do but because the relationships I have are important to me.  Any relationship ,over an extended period of time, tends to change and needs to be maintained and refreshed.  It doesn’t matter who it is, a parent, sibling, spouse, close friend, or child, relationships need to be nurtured.  By the time the check came I had made a very important decision that I thought would not only help me come outside of my normal blah routine, but would ensure that I was investing myself into the important relationships in my life.

I was going to develop a social calendar.  The thought of it was exciting enough but after running the idea by my girlfriend I realized that the idea was not just good for me but for everyone, especially women who had consumed themselves with the responsibilities of home, family, work, and partners.  Before we left the restaurant we had decided on a standing appointment with one another, once a month, so that we could get together and catch up.  When I left, not only was I excited, I was inspired.

I don’t know about any of you but, I love to get random confirmations that my ideas  are not just beneficial to me, but the people around me ,and no not more than a week later while I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, I come across not 1 but 2 articles stressing the same thing.

If you have never been on Black And Married With Kids now is a good time to subscribe.  They always have articles that make you evaluate yourself and what you are doing to improve your overall happiness.  These articles were no exception. They contained their usual motivational components.  In the articles Thou Shall Not Lose Thyself In Thy Marriage In 2012 and Preparing To Become A Wife – 10 Tips For Single Women, the authors stressed the importance of having time for yourself.  They also made a point to add that having time for your friends is healthy and needed.  I thought both articles made very good points and concentrated on the fact that Women, married or single, need to have a healthy dose of social interaction with others and time alone in order for them to be all they can be in the other areas of their lives.

This prompted me to take my lunch date with one friend to another level.  Not only did I make a standing monthly appointment with her for the rest of the year, I did the same thing with 8 other important people in my life.  The idea was such a hit that everyone I asked decided to develop their own social calendars.  Yay!…

To make this more special for my important people I asked each of them to come up with a list of things we had in common and what they would like to do.  There is no reason why you can’t incorporate your hobbies and interests into your calendar as well.  Who wants to do the same thing all of the time.  I wanted my dates with these people to be meaningful and productive.  So that means do some research and see what’s happening around you.  You don’t always have to go out to eat or to a movie, find things that don’t cost money or that might involve taking a day trip to a nearby town.  The sky is the limit. 

By developing an agenda you don’t have to worry about over scheduling and being stressed out.  This allows for time to plan ahead and be creative with your time. You get the opportunity to spend time with people you want to, and you have the flexibility to change things if you need to.  This is not a sure-fire way to spend time with everyone in your life but it helps you manage your time better and cultivate healthy relationship. I don’t know about you but my pen and calendar are ready. Make the most out of your time and spend it doing the things that you enjoy with the people who matter. You will be a better person for it and you can never say that you don’t have anything to do.

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Peace of Mind!

I promise it seems harder each week for me to get this out on time.  I hope this week started off good for everyone.  Me, I’m just trucking right along.  I know that last week was just the beginning of the New Year but it seems like we have been in 2012 for months.  As we embark on a New Year I pray that each of you renews your commitment to get closer to the Lord.  I am sure you have heard it many times in the recent weeks, from a number of different sources, but the Lord is up to something and it’s HUGE.  This week the Lord placed it on my heart to share with you PEACE OF MIND.  I looked at a couple of scriptures and each of them had a special message to relay. Let me show you what the Lord shared with me about obtaining a divinely given PEACE OF MIND.

2 Chronicles 14:1-7

 1 And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years.

 2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 4 He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. 5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. 6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the LORD gave him rest.

 7 “Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.

In order for us to have a peace of mind that only the Lord can give we must get rid of all the things in our life that are unpleasing to God.  In this passage the Lord allowed there to be a peace in the land because Asa got rid of all the foreign and false idols.  He told his people to follow the ways of the Lord and in turn they were rewarded greatly.  That is what he wants us to do.  All of the things in our life that make us lose focus on him, that cause us to do or think wrong things, the things he instruct us not to do we need to let go of.

Genesis26:12-22

12 Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.

 16 Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.     17 So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar, where he settled. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.

 19 Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20 But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. 21 Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. 22 He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”

The Lord was in control of Isaac’s life.  He placed him in his situation and blessed him.  Others were not happy and envied him and because of that they tried to harm him.  Filling the wells was a sign of disrespect and usually symbolized a claim being made on someone’s territory.  In other words they were declaring war on Isaac. Isaac had every right to retailiate; this was the land that belonged to his father.  Instead of over reacting, he stayed calm and looked to God for guidance.  He removed himself out of the conflict and relocated.  He did this twice and on the third attempt the problems ceased and the Lord blessed him.  In this one passage the Lord shows us so much.  He lets us know as his children what he wants us to do. He wants us to let him be in total control of our lives.  He asks that we come to him and seek his guidance and direction in everything we do.   He also says that in order for us to find peace in him we must first find peace with others.  This may seem hard but the Lord wants us to treat others as he would.  Instead of getting angry or lasing out he asks us to intercede on their behalf and pray for them.  Praying for others, especially those that cause us some sort of discomfort can be very difficult but the Lord is always there to help us.

Sometimes in order to know what to do we have to seat still and wait for the Lord to tell us our next move.  Take the time to listen.  Sometimes we move too fast and we don’t hear what it is that the Lord wants us to do. This only makes the situation that much more unbearable.  There are even times when the Lord does speak and it’s not what we expect or want to hear.  In those appointed moments the Lord may ask his children to do things we don’t want to.  We may have to compromise in a situation or have to minister to the very person we are having a problem with.  In other instances, we have to be patient and wait on the Lord to open up the opportunity to move.  Whatever the situation, we should allow God to be in control and lead the way. 

Have you ever been in a situation at work and you went to your supervisor and told them the problem.  Even though it still may have bothered you, you went to the person in control and trusted that they would handle it.  Usually, after the supervisor addresses the situation the stress or problem goes away.  That is the same way our Father works.  He allows us the opportunity to bring whatever it is to him and then he takes over and relieves us of our stresses.  He gives us a peace of mind.  We can trust that he will work the situation out and if we are patient we will find relief in it.  He even gives us the steps to achieve it.   

John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

When the Lord gives us peace of mind, it is the assurance that he and only he will supply all our needs and help us through our storms.  He allows us to walk in that knowledge and confidence as his children, the confidence in knowing he will take care of us if we just surrender and trust him with everything.  He tells us not to worry or be afraid but to know that we can relax in him, knowing that he is working on our behalf. He is in control and the outcomes to all of our situations are in his plan which means it’s the best for us.  In John he spells it out very clearly.  No one else, not here on earth or the Heavens above can give you the peace you search for but me.  Without fear, doubt, or anxiety you can rest in knowing that the gift of peace is guaranteed by the Lord’s promises to us in his word.

This doesn’t mean that we will always get what we want or that the outcome to our life problems will always end with a happy ending, what it means is that the Lord will help and direct us and protect us and show us how to be victorious in him.  He will allow us to rest in the knowledge and understanding that he has stepped before us to handle things, he will be there with us in the midst, and he will close the door behind us.

1 Peter 3:11

11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.

In 1 Peter the Lord tells us to live a life absent of sin and to follow his example.  We know that his word is an instruction manual on how to live a righteous life in him.  He also tells us that we should seek the comfort of a PEACE OF MIND with a willingness to act.  Take another look at 1Chronicles 14:7.  Asa’s people are told to build up walls around the city.  Peace of mind does not mean being lazy or getting complacent in the Lord.  It does not mean that when the Lord helps us with our problems and we are stress free that we do not continue to move forward or take an active approach to serving the Lord.  Peace of mind is the reassurance that the Lord has our backs always and we need not worry. We should continue to listen and move obediently in him.  When we are resting in the Lord we are still supposed to be working in preparation for the next battle.  The Lord allows for us to find rest in him so that we can recoup and prepare ourselves for something else in the future.  Our work is never done.  We all have a divinely designed purpose.  Be proactive in your relationship with the Lord.  Don’t wait until the next dilemma arrives before you seek his wisdom or understand.  Let those moments of down time and rest be your opportunity to thank him and praise him and equip yourself with new armor so that when the enemy comes to destroy you will not be surprised and defenseless, you will be ready and waiting.

So let’s review just to be clear.  In order to have PEACE OF MIND we need to do the following:

  1. Get rid of all of the things in our life that are not Christ like.
  2. Surrender ourselves to the Lord and give him reign over our lives.
  3. Come to peace with others, praying for them and forgiving them.
  4. Ask the Lord for guidance in everything we do. Be in constant communion with God.
  5. Sit still patiently and listen to what the Lord says before we move.
  6. When he speaks we should obediently and willingly, do as he instructs.
  7. Before, during, and after we do we should have faith, trust, and assured confidence that he will do what he says because of the promises that he has made us and that whatever the outcome, he is giving us what is best for us.
  8. Praise and Worship him in thanksgiving throughout the whole process. (meaning you should never stop praising him)
  9. When he allows you to receive PEACE OF MIND do not become complacent, continue to be proactive in your relationship so that you are prepared for the next battle.

Honestly, the Lord tells us in his word how to do everything he expects us to do as his children even when it comes to receiving the gifts that he wants us to receive.  It doesn’t get better then that. We have an AWESOME Father.

Pray with me:  Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you!  Thank you so much for the love that you show us each and every single day.  Without you we wouldn’t be here today.  Lord you have helped us each and every single step of the way even if we didn’t know or acknowledge you, but how grateful we are that you love us the way you do.  Lord, we thank you for loving us enough to be our protector, comforter, advisor, supplier, and friend.  There is none like you Father. Lord, thank you for showing us in your word how to accomplish the things you give us to do.  Thank you for allowing us to have access to instructions on how to have a closer more intimate walk with you.  Lord we thank you in advance for the Peace of Mind that only you can give us.  We thank you for the trials, tribulations, and tests because they only make us stronger.  We thank you for your guidance and the wisdom you bestow on us when we seek your understanding. 

Lord we thank you for allowing us those moments of rest so that we can regroup after a storm and prepare ourselves for our next battle.  Lord we thank you for knowing what we need and when we need it.  For being such a patient teacher and showing us one step at a time what we need to know in a way that we can understand it.  Lord every day we are amazed by your unlimited favor on our lives.  You allow things to manifest that none of us would have ever imagined possible.  Lord as we continue to move forward, seeking to be the children you want us to be, please continue to cover us.  Lord we know that without you the enemy will attack and try to destroy us.  We thank you for unlimited amounts of strengthen and endurance you supply. We stand on your word that says all we need to do is ask and it will be given unto us.  Lord we continue to be expectant and ready to move at your will.  Continue to light the way Father.  As we look to you for more father please make it plain and help us to not just know it but to let it sink in and change our hearts and minds.  Lord your peace is priceless and we thank you for the gift and reassurance in you.  We ask all these things in your name.  Amen!!!!

Child-like with Our Father!

I want you to know how awesome the Lord is.  Yesterday, I typed up my prayer groups weekly letter and sent it off feeling full only to realize that the newsletter didn’t save to my computer and the one I sent was from last week.  The only thing different that they received was a list of questions.  I also sent the letter to 5 other women that I don’t normally send it to.  Well one of those five women needed that word yesterday so I am assuming that the Lord knew what he was doing.  Anyway, this week the Lord gave me the word CHILD.  He gave me the word last week after prayer group and all weekend I waited for the lesson to come.  By the time Monday came around I was getting a little antsy.  I came into my office and pulled up our letter and just looked at it.  Then one of my co-workers walked in.  She was frustrated and it was obvious she had a lot on her mind.  I asked her what was wrong but I was not prepared for what she had to say.  It wasn’t anything tragic or outright crazy but the conversation that I began to have with her struck me as foreign.  We were talking about her children and as I listened I began to think about how different we as women are when it comes to the approaches we take when raising our children.  All of us came from different families and from generation to generation things have been passed down or eliminated based on our perceptions of what parenting meant.  Well I will admit by the end of the conversation I was extremely annoyed.  I couldn’t for the life of me understand why she didn’t realize that the things she allowed her children to do had a direct correlation to why they felt and acted the way they did.  When she left I turned my attention back to our letter and just like that it hit me.  I opened up my bible and this is what I found.

Matthew 18:1-4; 1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

A similar word is found in Mark 10:13-16

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

What came to me is that as a child we are helpless and we depend solely on our parents to care for us and guide us.  We do it instinctively not knowing if they are right or wrong, only that they are the authority.  We are taught from the day we are born through lessons and experiences to become self-sufficient so that one day we can to be adults and fend for ourselves.  Our parents influence what we know and who we become with the things that they show us. And even though it is supposed to be done in love sometimes it is not always right.  We are all imperfect.  But as children of the Lord we are sooooo blessed to have a PERFECT Father who takes the time each and every day to show us the way.  As I sat and meditated on his word something else occurred to me.  When we are a child loving and trusting our parents to care for us comes natural. We do it blindly all the time moving about carefree and joyful without a thought to if its right or wrong. When we do something wrong and are reprimanded we are only upset for a second and then we forget and continue moving in that ignorant state.  In this passage the Lord says that in order for us to come into his Kingdom we have to be more Child Like.  So I thought about it some more and I realized what he really meant.

The Lord, like our parents, wants us to learn and grow and mature in him.  He wants us to excel and be prosperous.  He wants us to use what he has taught us in every area of our lives and with hopes that it will influence our decisions, relationships, and thoughts.  Within that process he doesn’t want us to lose the innocence of a child.  He wants us to be able to love him, trust him, and depend on him blindly with no hesitation. He wants to be in control of our lives.  See we did it as easily as a child with a carefree spirit and he wants that from us now, to love him and trust him so much that we don’t second guess his decisions, to except his instruction, to wade through his discipline, and to come through smiling and loving him just the same if not more.  I don’t know about ya’ll but isn’t it awesome to know that our Daddy has got this and that because he is Perfect in every way I can relax and trust him knowing that he will never lead me astray, he will never hurt me, he will always give me his best, and that the lessons he teaches me will help me grow and mature and prepare for what’s in my future.  He will comfort me when I fall and nurse me.  He will cloth me and feed me.  He will take on the worries for me and all I have to do is trust him.  Our Father is a Great Parent isn’t he? This scripture says to be like a Child. That means to always be faithful, humble, innocent of sin, and loving with an eagerness to learn. Is that what you are doing?  Are you child like in your relationship with the Lord?

Prayer: Lord, you are so amazing.  You are the light in my darkness and my shield from the storm and I give you all the praise and honor that is due you.  Without you father I am nothing and I owe everything to you.  Lord, as I continue day by day to do your will and be closer to you I ask that you show me how to be more Child like.  Lord, teach me to learn how to let go of all of my troubles, fears, insecurities, and burdens and just trust that you will take care of it.  Lord, I ask that you continually give me a humble and loving spirit and that it shines through me into the World around me.  Lord, I ask that as you parent me and guide me into a more mature walk, with you that my heart be willing and my ears and eyes be open to see what your vision is for my life.  Lord, because of your anointed plan for my life I know you know exactly what I need, when I need it, and how much of it I need.  I ask that your will, not mine be done.  Lord, continue to convict me day by day, showing me right from wrong so that I wont make the wrong choices. Lord, I am just so thankful that you love me as your child and that as my father I can expect that you will make all the provisions I need and protect me from all harm. Lord, I ask that you direct me in being a parent for my children now and the ones I will have later.  I ask that you equip me with the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, love, patience, and discipline to be the teacher I need to be in their lives.  Lord, I give my children back to you and ask that because you saw fit to bless me with them that you will help me to parent them under your watch. I ask that you protect them from my mistakes and that you love them just as you love me now.  I thank you and praise you in advance for your blessings over me.  Lord continue to walk around me illuminating my path and keeping me focused on you.  Lord I just love you and I thank you for all you do.  I ask all these things in your name, Jesus Christ. Amen

I pray that you have a wonderful week. God Bless!

Out To Dinner On A Thursday!

Out To Dinner On A Thursday!

Lanvin zipper dress
$3,895 – barneys.com

Charlotte Olympia platform high heels
$1,165 – kirnazabete.com

Clutch handbag
€55 – modekungen.se

Vince Camuto bangle bracelet
$88 – zappos.com

Dries Van Noten vintage jewelry
$405 – mytheresa.com

Erickson Beamon crystal ring
$355 – barneys.com

Coral earrings
$58 – simplysoles.com