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Living a Hebrews 11:1 Life in 2016

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  2015 for me was learning to trust God and understanding how being faithful works.  For 2016, it’s time to take my faith to the next level.

Join me on my journey to remaining #Faithful and activating a movement of faith for 2016.

What better way to kickstart your journey than a cool T-shirt to rock!  You can purchase your #Faithful T-shirt, Log sleeve shirt, or Hoodie at Faith2016.

Head over to Faith2016 for more color choices.

Happy New Year from Lovebugsworld,
~Let’s be #faithful for 2016
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Confessions of a Writer….Understanding the TEST in the TESTimony

Today is November 13, 2014.  A very special day.  Today is the day I walked down the aisle. Today is my 3 year Anniversary.  The same feelings that engulfed my mind, my heart, and my spirit 3 years ago are the exact same feelings I feel today…..3 years later.  I was full of love and excitement.  My life was beginning and I was ready.  Today was the day that I got to not only share with the love of my life, but with family and close friends and yes….God! Marriage is a major step and you have to be mentally ready. You can read as many books and get as much advice from seasoned married people, but you don’t fully get it until you are living it.  It all makes sense once you live it day in and day out.  This is the person you wake up to every morning and the last person you literally see before you close your eyes at night. Before the “I Do”  during the ceremony there is a part where you take your vows.  Some of us chose to go with the traditional vows and some of us chose to say our own, but you do take vows.  I can remember really thinking about what I wanted to say, but most importantly what it all meant.  Vows are what you are committing to.  You are held accountable to these vows.  You are saying this before God, your family, your close friends, and your spouse.  Never would I have imagined 3 years later that the “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” would be knocking at our door.  

Over the past 3 1/2 months I have felt like I have been on a roller coaster that did not have any brakes.  I have felt every loop, twist, and turn.  There have been days that I didn’t even know if I was going or coming.  There have been days where I didn’t even know what to think or even do.  Everything was spiraling and it was spiraling fast. For the first time in my life, my Faith was wavering.  I did not know what to believe.  3 1/2 months ago I found myself rushing my Husband to the emergency room where we would spend 10 solid days while he was clinging for his life.  We didn’t know what our future held.  All we knew we were headed to St. Louis one minute on a new journey, only to have that short lived when we came home to Atlanta for a quick visit.  In an instant, we were sitting in a hospital room full of uncertainties.  After 10 days things started looking hopeful.  My husband wasn’t 100%, but he surely was not how he was 10 days prior to.  Even the Doctor’s were in complete awe with the turn around.  All I could think of…But, God!!  

After he was released 2 weeks later we were headed back to St. Louis.  I had never been more scared in my life.  I was not looking forward to taking this trip back there because in my heart, I knew he was not ready.  I knew he was not healed. Everything was still so uncertain and I was so unsure of what was to come.  Well, as sure as I thought it, we were only there for 3 days before his company decided to bring us back to Atlanta while we wait on a 2nd official start date of his job.  By now, I was tired, I was exhausted, and I was developing so many emotions that I didn’t know if I could even endure any of it.  At this point, I had became a nurse and the prominent driver.  All those road trips back and forth to St. Louis from Atlanta was on me because my husband was too sick to drive.  I learned how to administer antibiotics through a PICC Line and check blood sugar all while driving.  In a months time, I didn’t even know what sleep was.  The first 3 days of his initial hospital stay, sleep was not even an option.  It was too much going on and too much information to absorb and I was scared.   Here we were driving around with our SUV packed because we had moved.  We decided to stay with my mom while we wait.  Imagine trying to live in a one bedroom apartment.  I felt so horrible that my mom was on a couch because she insisted we take her bedroom.  Talk about sleepless nights. I don’t even think my husband slept much because he felt horrible.  Not only from his sickness, but because of the living situation.

By this time, August rolls around and we decided that we would split our time between his parents home in Ninety Six, South Carolina and Atlanta. Plus we wanted to give my mom some space.  So, we headed up the road to South Carolina to visit. We stayed a few days and we were headed back to Atlanta for doctor visits that turned into a nightmare and we found ourselves right back in Ninety Six at the emergency room due to not being able to get the proper care in Atlanta. We would spend 4 days this time in the hospital. By now I was beyond exhausted. I literally couldn’t think straight. I feel like I slept the entire 4 days while my husband was in the hospital and I couldn’t tell you anything that happened. My body and mind had shut down. The only thing I know we were getting answers to this sickness and things seemed like they were going in the right direction.

Now it’s September. We were still in Ninety Six while he recovered and things were going ok. I was still tired because my husband was on a schedule with medicines and I had to make sure everything was being taken care of with the meds.

11 days into September the newest addition to my family was born so I came home to Atlanta to help my sister out for 2 weeks. I was there in body, but mentally I was back in Ninety Six with my husband. My mind was clouded with worry. I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was hard for me to not think about the fact that he was sick, we both were not working because I had quit my job when we found out that he had gotten the job in St. Louis and he hadn’t worked going on 2 months. Reality was sinking in….fast! My Faith was shot. I found myself being angry with God. I had never felt that before. I was ashamed of those feelings, but it didn’t stop me from being angry. I was giving up. I had made up my mind that all the praying was pointless and that we had failed. I felt like a failure. Which made me resent my husband. I was bitter. I was lashing out at him. I was being reclusive. To add fury to the fire, right before I came back to Ninety Six we finally got word from the doctor the solution to his illness. And boy was we not prepared to hear that it would require him to have open heart surgery to repair or replace one of his heart valves.

It’s October now and we are meeting with his doctor to discuss options if his valve can’t be repaired. That was a Wednesday. We had an option for surgery to be that Friday or that Monday. I don’t know who was in more shock. My husband or myself. My husband decided to go with Monday to buy him just a little time to try and mentally prepare for it. Monday rolls around like the blink of an eye and it’s 5:30am and we are headed to the hospital. My mind was all over the place. The night before I was reading the Bible and I stumbled upon Job 23:10. From that scripture I could only hear God saying, “You shall come through”. The entire time my husband was being operated on I felt this heaviness in my heart. My heart was hurting. Every time the nurse would open the waiting room door with an update, I was scared. I could not mentally think what I would do if my husband did not pull through. As the day went on my mind relaxed and I remembered the scripture I read the night before. The surgery was successful. And the recovery road would begin…..

Despite the angriness and bitterness, I would still find solace in turning to God. When it is all said and done, God will never leave us nor forsake us. The crazy thing is as bitter and angry as I was with my husband, I never turned my back on him. I knew he needed me and in the back of my mind those vows we took still meant something. I have been right by his side through all of this and I love him today even more that I did 3 years ago when we said “I Do”. I worked through all of that anger and bitterness. I am free from all of that.

And here it is November. Our anniversary! Today I was ready to share our testimony. It’s been a month since my husband had open heart surgery. He is doing excellent! He is recovering well. We have an awesome support system from his family as well as my own. We could not have gotten through any this without them. Our closest friends have been a good support as well. And Our biggest cheerleader God has showed us that together we can get through anything. Without this test, we wouldn’t have the testimony to share with the world. God is good! We never know why God places people in our lives but when it is revealed…..My God! We never know what the next person is enduring or going through. We think our problems are bigger than the next. We just have to remember to be thankful. 3 1/2 months ago I could have been burying my husband when he first got sick. A month ago I could have been burying him when he had to have open heart surgery. My God had other plans. So, I am thankful and we are Blessed!

To my Husband:
Happy 3 year Anniversary. It has been an interesting 3 years, but I can’t think of anyone else that I would have wanted to spend the last 3 years with. Thank you for believing in me, accepting me flaws and all, and loving me unconditionally. I thank God for saving us for each other and I am looking forward to the rest of our lives together.

Love Always,
Shira❤
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Phenomenal Woman…Maya Angelou

When I was in 10th grade I decided I would join my school’s annual pageant. We had to perform a “talent” as one of the elements to be judged during the competition. I racked my brain at first trying to figure out what I would do. Finally I decided I would do a poem….a skit. It was befitting. See, even then I loved to write and I loved poetry. Instead of writing my own I decided to present one of my favorite poems by the wonderful Maya Angelou…..”Phenomenal Woman”. The words alone exuded exactly what I needed to convey. I didn’t win that pageant, but to be able to share such powerful words to people who might not have ever heard of Maya Angelou was a winner in my book!
image~Rest in Peace Maya Angelou~

“Phenomenal Woman, That’s you.”

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Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

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Taking the Leap….

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.” 

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13 things I learned in 2013

***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.
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……

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Making 2014 count by…….Growth

I came upon an awesome blog post at
littlebabygarvin.blogspot.com where she and several fellow bloggers are doing an awesome project where other bloggers will “link up” and share how we all plan on #making2014count. I think this is beyond awesome and a great way to make 2014 an unforgettable year along with meeting new friends and encouraging each other through our journeys! As I have said countless times before, the blogging world is a community of mounds of very talented and creative individuals with plentiful things to share. Since joining this world, I have gained an array of wonderful  friends that I cherish and adore.

Ironically before stumbling across this post, I had just written a post entitled “When Peace Finds You“. In that post I talk about how trying 2013 was and how I spent the majority of the year with this fascination about trees and I couldn’t pin point exactly why until I began a corporate fast. And that’s where I heard the word GROWTH. It meant growth….I was experiencing growth.
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I plan to make 2014 count by continuing to grow. Growth in every area of my life. Individually, Collectively, Spiritually, Mentally, Physically, Financially, etc. I plan to grow as a person, in my marriage, on my job, in my business, as a friend, sister, daughter, auntie, and eventually as a mother.

2014 will be a prosperous year and I plan to make it count. In 2014 I plan to fully live, love, and enjoy my journey. No more coasting as I did in 2013.

Thank you littlebabygarvin.blogspot.com for this great project!

Here’s to growing in 2014……

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Stayed tuned for a post on “13 things I learned in 2013″…..