Sometimes in Life you have to just step out on Faith. Just as Martin Luther King stated, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
***I’ve been trying to get this post out for the last 15 days, but finally here it is***
2013 sucked! Okay, Okay…..I know that sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true. 2013 had some highs, but oh did it have some lows! 2013 was like a roller coaster and I surely felt when it would incline and the gut wrenching drops. The best part about it is, you know the roller coaster will eventually stop and as you unbuckle your seat belt, you smile and walk away with a t-shirt bearing the words, “I survived to tell the story.”
2013 was a year of plentiful lessons that needed to be taught and lessons that needed to be learned. I can raise my hand confidently and say I received both. The biggest lesson for me was patience, understanding, and most of all……growth. I learned just how strong I was and boy I thought I knew my own strength. I accomplished a few small goals and I gained a few long-term goals. But most of all……I made it!!
Of all the things I learned in 2013, here are 13 things that stood out and gave me the biggest lessons:
1. Just because it sounds good in my head and even look great on paper, it still doesn’t mean it will happen that way.
Earlier in 2013(January) I moved back to Georgia without my Husband because I got transferred through my job. The plan had been I would get here and continue working and by the end of the month, he would be here with a job. Clearly we both missed the memo because He didn’t arrive until August.
2. Just How much I loved my Husband
I love my Husband clearly because I married him, but being separate from my Husband for those 8 months was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. Even though we were visiting back and forth between South Carolina and Georgia, it wasn’t enough. I really missed my husband. Which brings me to #3…..
3. I cannot sleep peacefully without my Husband
I know that sounds just as cheesy as can be, but it is absolutely true! Being away from my Husband left me tossing and turning many nights because you seriously get use to sleeping next to your spouse. I got the best sleep when I would go to South Carolina and visit or when he would come to Georgia to visit me.
4. Stressing only makes it worse
I learned really quickly that stressing about any situation will not change the outcome. It only leaves you with plenty of headaches because in the end, it usually works itself out anyhow.
5. The Truth really does Hurt
You know how you just know something, but yet it doesn’t make sense until you actually see it up close and personal. Well, that is what I experienced a lot in 2013.
6. It’s really okay to say No
I do not have a hard time saying No, but what I do struggle with is saying No to certain people. Last year I was able to say No to some people who I wouldn’t generally say No to and it felt really good. Good enough to do it again if I need to….lol!
7. Crying is not a sign of weakness
I cry. Actually I am a cry baby. You would never know it unless you are family, a bestie(best friend), or my husband. I am that tough girl exterior, but a softy at heart. I always thought letting people know you cry shows that you are weak, but last year that changed. I learned that it is not a sign of weakness. However, crying does help release whatever you have pinned up inside. There were times crying was exactly what I needed and I could just move on to whatever it was that might have been bothering me.
8. The tongue is a mighty weapon.
I am so guilty of speaking before I think. This is just beyond the “Oh, I tell it like it is”. Bottom line……you have to chose your words carefully and every battle is not even worth having. Because if it is going to cause you grief and the party(s) involved, then it was never worth it to begin with. You cannot take back words. People forgive, but it is sometimes hard to forget.
9. Dust yourself Off and Try again.
There is a quote that always stick out in my head by retired basketball player Michael Jordan…..”I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But, I cannot accept not trying again.” It’s okay to keep trying because you will never know if you can, if you do not try.
10. It’s okay to be taken care of.
I am so used to taking care of others that when it is my turn, it actually feels foreign. Well, there were a few times last year, especially the last few weeks of the year that I had to surrender and be taken care of. And it felt good to finally accept that it’s okay.
11. Family and Friendship is important.
Sometimes when you do go through things and having your family there to support you through it, makes a difference. I could not have gotten through some parts of last year without Family and close friends.
12. Write the Vision.
My favorite scripture is Habakkuk 2:2-3.
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.”
This has always been my go-to scripture over the last several years. Matter of fact, “Writing the vision” was prophesied to me at the start of the year. For me, seeing it is believing it. If I see it written then I can commit it to memory and believe that it shall come to pass.
13. I will never truly be at peace until I am walking in my God-given talents.
This is something I have known for quite sometime, but last year it was at the height of a lot of issues I was having mentally. My state of mind by the end of the year was that I must push and push until I am exactly where I am supposed to be. We fight for a lot of things and for me, that is what I am fighting for and I will not stop until I am there.
2013 was all about the lessons. 2014 will be about growth. Growing into what was given to me at birth and flourishing into what has already been planned. I welcome 2014 with open arms. 15 days into this new year and I can already see the start of this growth. And the Journey continues……
It is always the simplest things that we encounter that reminds us just who God is. Today I was on a search to find yet another background to put on my phone of a “Tree”. I don’t know what my sudden fascination with trees are. Since I have moved back to Georgia, I have found trees to be intriguing. I dream about them and I find myself doodling them on paper constantly. Lately my screen saver at work is displayed with different stills of trees and my background on my phone has been stills or illustrations of trees. How befitting with today’s fast on “Peace” did I stumble across a background of a tree with the words “be still” written across the pic. And at this moment I had what I like to refer to as an “Aha” moment. I felt a giddy feeling in my spirit and I couldn’t help but smile because I love when I am pondering things for a while and then it seems as though God nudges me and whispers “There you go my child….there’s your answer!” I immediately reflected on my year and I thought about how it began. This has been a trying year for me and looking back over it, the one word that sticks out is growth. So, how could that relate to trees. Easily…..trees for the most part stand firm and it weathers the many seasons that come and go, but just like it loses its leaves in the winter, the spring garners a full blossom. Mark 4:39 has been a go to scripture for me the majority of this year as a friendly reminder to be calm even in the midst of a storm.
Today I awoke with a heavy heart. The night before was filled with loads of tossing and turning. And usually when I go through that the next day is filled with tons of the “I don’t want to be bothered”, a sucky attitude, a little bit of raging, no appetite, and just walking around with a big cloud over my head. But, surprisingly enough today was not that day. On the way to work I talked with a good dear friend who helped me to put some things into perspective. It always amazes me that things you may not notice, an outsider looking in can pick up quickly. Change is always good, but when change affects your personality, your character, and even your mood…..it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate.
So, while working today I decided to start working on this study guide I purchased yesterday called “A Time for Everything” –Discovering the Beautiful Rhythms of Life. It’s a Study Guide series through “Women of Faith”. The study guide is to help you find balance in your life. Immediately after starting it, I felt more at ease about some of the things that were bothering me. And just from completing the first assignment I learned that we have to stop allowing situations that are uncomfortable, inconvenient, and unpleasant to dictate our life. In those times we should be praying even more and praising him.
The scripture that supports this is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. The lesson as what was my favorite season and why, what season best described my life situation right now, what the times I enjoyed were, and what time I least enjoyed.
My favorite season is fall.
I love the crisp air, I love the color of the leaves from the trees, I immediately think of Thanksgiving. I think of family, apple cider, a warm fireplace. I love that it is not too hot and not too cold. Most of all, I love that you can sport the cute girly jackets and boots. The season that describes my life situation right now is winter. When I think of winter, I think of it being brutally cold, icy, and dark. The times I enjoy most per Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 were, “A time to laugh”, “A time to gain”, “A time to dance”, “A time of Peace”, and “A time to build up”. My times I least enjoy were “A time to weep”, “A time to lose”, “A time to mourn”, “A time to hate”, and “A time to break down”.
The lesson continues with the story of Paul and his traveling companions in Acts 16:16-34. Paul and his traveling companions didn’t complain or abandon the cause, but began to praise God in the middle of the difficult circumstance and in response God did something miraculous. It parallel with what I had been feeling about a particular situation and God was revealing to me that I had to learn to stop reacting to certain situations in the manner that I am reacting to them. When we find ourselves in situations that are uncomfortable, inconvenient, and unpleasant we need to continue praying and to praise God.
So, I today I learned a good lesson and I am looking forward to keeping up with a balanced Life.
I haven’t always been at a place where I didn’t stress or worry. I have had it so bad that I have literally made myself sick in the past from being such a worry wart. But, I can gleefully report that 3 years ago, I decided that stressing and worrying will not occupy my thoughts, feelings, body, or my life anymore! For the first time I literally felt free! I literally “Let Go and Let God!” I had made up my mind that if I took it to God, then I would leave it at the altar. There would be no more praying about things and then trying to handle things alone. As a result, I now live a worry free life. And it feels GREAT! And when I tell you once the Blessings start to pour….it flows! So, when God is in the Blessing business…..He provides for you above and beyond and abundantly!
When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress becomes manageable.
Today I just so happen to catch the end of Steve Harvey’s new talk show while eating lunch at work. He was closing the show with some inspirational words. He was sharing with us a few quotes that he lives by and one quote stuck out and stayed with me for the duration of my day…..
“Be about the Business of doing something about it”
We can’t just expect things to always just fall into place. We have to actually get up and do something in order to be where we want to be. Action=Success, so let’s get Active!!!
Photo Credit: copelandblog.blogspot.com
“Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze drifting on by
You know how I feel
It’s a New day
And I’m feeling good!”
~Jennifer Hudson’s “Feeling Good”~
What a great start to the beginning of an eventful New Year. A New Year and another chance to begin again. The slate has been wiped clean, so let’s begin!
First off…..did you check out lovebugsworld new theme!!! I am so excited because usually my theme involves the inner creativity in me and this new theme is not short of my artistic nature, but it also has meaning. For weeks I have been dreaming here and there of released balloons and today I decided to do some research on the meaning. Here’s what I found…..
~People release balloons at Weddings, Funerals, or for personal meaning. We can view them as a release of grief, a celebration of life, filled with messages, notes of remembrance, poems, etc. They can also be filled with flower seeds or even bird seeds.
What I also found is that releasing balloons can be harmful. To our animals and of course when they do come down, it’s littering. So instead of releasing an actual balloon, let’s release it in spirit. Let’s vow to let go of anything that will keep us from moving forward into the divined walk that God has placed us here for.
As for why I have been dreaming about Balloons….the only thing I can come up with is because I am embarking on new things in my life. Transitioning into the next stage of my life. And I welcome it with open arms!! I also embrace Change because it is only to make me better!
Photo Credit: doodlindimurals.blogspot.com
Eight balloons no one was buyin’
All broke loose one afternoon.
Eight balloons with strings a-flyin’,
Free to do what they wanted to.
One flew up to touch the sun – POP!
One thought highways might be fun – POP!
One took a nap in a cactus pile – POP!
One stayed to play with a careless child – POP!
One tried to taste some bacon fryin’ – POP!
One fell in love with a porcupine – POP!
One looked close in a crocodile’s mouth – POP!
One sat around ’til his air ran out – WHOOSH!
Eight balloons no one was buyin’ -
They broke loose and away they flew,
Free to float and free to fly
And free to pop where they wanted to.
My challenge for you for 2013 is to do exactly what it is that elevates you to the next level. Mentally, Physically, Financially, even Emotionally, and most definitely Spiritually.
Even though it is almost 30 days into the New Year…..Happy New Year from Lovebugsworld to your world! Stay Tuned…….
Hello there…just where have you been? I thought I buried you. So why must you resurface again as if you are needed. It took awhile to get here and once again I have to face you. I’m not looking forward to this trip. Engulfed in a sea of what you use to be. Triggered by the need to put you behind me. Familiarity dares me to welcome you. Stubbornness to be strong holds true. I’ve built walls and put up guards just to avoid you because you were all a thing of the past and although at times it creeps back up lightening fast I want to hide so it doesn’t find me. But, somehow circumstances always present me with the challenge to accept it or decline and kindly walk away. So, as I stare back at what you were I can’t help but to smile. You just don’t do it for me anymore and since we are no longer one the best gift I could have ever given you I present to you with pleasure and that’s to watch me walk away…..again!
In the midst of it all there is still a lesson to be learned. If you understand it then you can learn from it! ~lovebug
I was having an okay day today and after reading Definition of FAITH by fellow blogger thejourn3y my day turned out even fabulous!! This surely put things into perspective for me. Sometimes we think we have it so bad and not once do we think it could be worse. Just be thankful for what we do have!
Sometimes you have to try. If you never tried then how would you ever know if it works?!
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
Whenever I am unsure as to what my next step is in my journey I continue to pray for clarity and to have my steps ordered and guided. This quote always give me that extra boost of assurance that everything is already taken care of as long as I continue to do my part by praying, believing, having Faith, trusting and allowing God to handle the rest!!! We might can’t see the ending result, but God already knows….all we have to do is to take the steps!
When life comes at you fast….write it down! It’ll make for a great story one day!
I have never thought of myself as being inspirational until I began my blogging journey. I have always been opinionated and because of it I’ve been accused of being a “know it all”, bossy, lacking empathy, no emotion, mean, and the list could go on. The picture I am painting doesn’t sound too appealing, huh? It sounds like a monster, right? My argument has been, Yes…I am bossy, but I would never ask someone to do something I am not willing to do myself. Yes, I do feel like I know a lot of things, but I’ve never claimed to know everything. That would be insane! Yes, I have struggled with not having empathy. I don’t think I lack it completely, but I deem it where i feel it is necessarily suited. And usually it is not where the accuser feels it should be. Crazy thing is….for everyone that has called me anything other than my name, usually has to come back and apologize and tell me, “Hey, you were right!” But, I don’t gloat, I just keep doing what I believe is right and because I have the biggest heart, I will always still do my part and being exactly what God has placed me here to do and that’s be helpful! I do empathize with people and situations, but what I don’t tolerate are excuses. I believe whole heartedly in being who or what you say you are and doing exactly what you say you will. I believe in action. If you say it, then do it. There is nothing more disappointing than to be told something that is not carried out by action.
Lately, along with blogging, I have started back writing in my journal. I have seriously been trying to reevaluate myself….my life period. I believe I live up to what I speak, but I have been seeking the help from God to make me over. To make me fit in his eyes so that with anything I put out, it be from God. I am human, so I do make mistakes. So, I do ask for forgiveness when I do fall short. I am so thankful for how far God has brought me!! I will continue to seek guidance and to live out exactly what He has placed me here to do. And in that process, a few have deemed me as inspirational and even though I didn’t think I could wear that hat, I will accept it. There are those before me that have inspired me and there are people who are continuously inspiring me as I type these words, so If I can give back an ounce of what I have been given, then it makes my heart and soul smile. So, for every negative thing that I have been called, there is a piece of positivity lying within.
Ironically, I have been sitting on this posting for a few weeks, but today as I was catching up on some of my fellow bloggers posts, I came across my favorite bloggers site ispygod and exactly what I had been feeling, she had already wrote about, so it gave me the push to finish this posting. Writers block always come at the wrong time!!! Lol! So instead of scraping it, I decided to share it!!
There is no better feeling than to be able to identify when God has winked at you! Winked? Yes, God does wink at you. Have you ever been praying on a situation or asking God for a sign on a situation and you “randomly” have a conversation with a stranger or you stumble across something in a book, the Bible, a TV show, or anything out of the ordinary and all of sudden you have “ah ha” moment?! When that happens to me, I call it a God wink! Not too short of a comfirmation or even an affirmation!
Squire Rushnell wrote a whole book dedicated to God winks entitled “When God Winks at you”! It changed my life and gave me insight on just how powerful God is and how HE truly shows us exactly who HE is! It’s compiled of different stories about how God speaks directly to us. It truly has some amazing stories from real people and things they have encountered.
I just love when I receive a God Wink! It gives me that warm fuzzy feeling and it’s like I am soaring high on cloud 10,000! For example, I had 3 different customers on my job this past week engage in conversations ironically dealing with somethings that had been bothering me for awhile and I had been praying about. You could call it random or even a coincidence, but after talking with each person, the more I got the bigger message from God. I received my God wink and I felt at ease.
The more I have built my relationship with God the easier it has become to identify things and to better understand life. Life has taken on a different meaning and has become much more enjoyable. I understand things through a different set of eyes. Living out His words is when you truly began to live! So, I challenge you to open your eyes, your ears, and your heart to receive Him.
What has been some of your recognizable “God Winks”?
I know we tend to use the term “everything happens for a reason” so loosely, but I think the average person doesn’t really take the time to fully understand the reason or can even identify what the reason really is.
In every situation whether it is good or bad, I always try to figure out what role I played in it, what I did right, wrong, or what I could have done better. Some people call it anal, I call it being thorough so that I can not make the same mistake twice. If it was something good, I want to figure out how to be even better the next time.
In life we go through things to learn from it. If we never experienced anything how can we grow?! The decisions we make in life determine how our life exists. We have a right to every decision we make, but the consequences are far from our reach. We don’t control it…God does! We have to make better decisions and to do that, it first starts with building a better relationship with God.
Before we make decisions, we should be consulting with God. I don’t mean telling him what you are going to do, but asking to see if it aligns with what he has planned for us.
If you find yourself in the same situations over and over again then it’s time to try something different. Change is inevitable, but can be so beneficial. It can be the next best thing in your spiritual growth.
What are you going to differently? What works for you?
This past week or so has been a very trying time for me. I was just feeling like life is just like a roller coaster…the tracks are built for your cart to go up and down and when you are on the ride while it is down, you anticipate the going up! It has to go up and as slow as it may take it to go up, you know it is going to go up. These very words I had to give to a blogger friend today, but as I was typing it for them I realized I needed it for myself as well! Life is just funny like that. We go through all of these life rhythms and even though you feel like you might be off beat, there is always that point when you eventually have rhythm. It’s at these times where your faith has to be in tact. I was reading one of my favorite blogs ispygod today and she gave me that boost I needed to get back on track. As I was reading her post, all I could think about was Matthew 17:20….having Faith as small as a Mustard Seed.
Keeping the Faith, Believing, Prayer and Knowing that we can increase any and all areas of our lives with just that simple formula. Prior to writing this post, I decided to reread one of my many journals. I would be lost without a journal….a pen/pencil and paper is like my therapeutic realm. I collect journals not only because I love to write, but because I have to write; my thoughts, feelings, conversations with God, songs, poems, short stories, things to do lists(that’s another post within itself) or just to doodle is just how serious it is for me to have a journal handy at all times. As I was reading one of my journals, I came across a Journal Entry dated October 18, 2009:
These days my mind has been so full! There is just so much that is swarming around in my head and it is not any bad things. Today as I was getting my brakes done, the guy that was fixing them said to me, “I don’t hear any music, but you are surely rocking back and forth and that tells me that you are a happy person!” That made me feel extra good and put an even bigger smile on my face. I am happy, happier than I have ever been in a long time. I feel so at peace. It almost feels like I have this big secret that only you and I know about. I just want to scream and shout and just get my praise on and tell everyone I come across just how awesome you are. I was so upset that I couldn’t go to church today, but unfortunately my brakes gave out as I was pulling out of the driveway. So, I know there is a reason for that protection. Lord please continue to guide me and help me to make sound decisions spiritually, mentally, financially, and even physically. I thank you for your grace and mercy and patience. I thank you for all the blessings that you have blessed me with and will bless me with. All I ask is to be blessed to be a blessing to others. Thank you for all of my family, loved ones, and friends! I love you!
In Jesus Name,
So, you see Life is full of rhythm and even when we get off beat, we can always find our way back and get right back in tune with the beat!! Reading my journal entry from 2 years ago really made me smile because it is so me to always rock back and forth because there is always music in my head. I truly fit the phrase, “Dancing to the beat of my own Drum.” It’s almost as if I am having a special dance with God because he is my leading man!!
I missed yesterdays “Photo A Day May” because it was so rainy and I didn’t want to take a gloomy picture of Day 14 “Grass”! So, I decided to wait until today since it is nice and pretty out. I was just reading butterflyofhappiness’ blog that I stumbled across today thanks to reading one of my favorite bloggers blog today(Eric at healthdemystified). The first thing that I see when I clicked on her blog is a picture of a Rainbow and I LOVE rainbows!! Rainbows remind us of God’s Promise…..Genesis 9:11-17. (Please check out her awesome post for today!!)
Yesterday was a trying day for me. I fell into a “I just want to curl up into my own cocoon and shut the world out” day! No motivation what so ever. I had decided at the end of last week that I would take a week off of blogging and just focus on trying to write my book that I have been working on and how do I start the week?!! In a funk of a mood. Maybe because the weather was so gloomy and my mood matched it, but I just wanted to stay in my room and I literally did not resurface until the lack there of sun went down. And then I was beating myself up for not sticking to the plan of working on my book. Let’s just say nothing got done yesterday.
Low and behold today…the sun is out and there is not a trace of rain and I was able to take my pic!! And in that pic there is a tiny yellow flower that caught my eye. That put a knowing smile on my face!! Just as I was composing this, I was thinking about the silver lining of it all….it’s okay to began again. We are blessed to see another day. It’s another chance to be all that we can be and continue to do exactly what we were placed here to do!! Happy Tuesday!!