Pick Up the Pieces

Before I begin, I’d like to let it be known that my posts are USUALLY well thought out, drafted and finalized. Except today is different. It will be completely random as I navigate my thoughts and what God has placed on my heart to share.

My intent was the do a “vlog” instead but on a Monday after a long holiday break got your girl looking like “what?” and “whodunit?”

Anyway, here we go…

“Pick Up the Pieces” was whispered in my ear late last night while I was on my 5th or 6th attempt to go to sleep. I try to be very careful saying that God gave me a word or a title but I know it just didn’t come out of nowhere. Funny thing is, that’s ALL I got before drifting off to sleep.

When I started this blog, I was so excited. Fixing up the page and picking my domain felt like I was finally accomplishing something. I told myself I would post at least ONCE A WEEK (insert laughter here). Well, that obviously didn’t happen. I found myself confused, tongue-tied and brain frozen with a lack of focus and drive to even write a rough draft. Why?  Probably fear. Probably uncertainty. Probably numbers. Probably the likes and comments or lack thereof. I became so unsure of myself. So, I dropped it. People were starting to ask about my blog and asking why I hadn’t posted. Well now they know.

I’m only sharing because I feel like God (through prayer and through people) called me on my bluff. He was telling me to pick up the pieces. I felt like I allowed too much time to pass this year. “Maybe I’ll try to do better….next year. Maybe then I’ll receive some great revelations. I’ll revamp, change the whole site, etc.” But in November of 2018, I’ve decided to pick up where I left off as instructed. See, a lot of times we feel like we have to “start over” in order to make real progress. Scratch the original notes, throw away the blueprint, rethink things, etc, but God is telling you and I to pick up the pieces. Take all the good work, the creative thoughts you ALREADY HAVE, the drive you had and go FORWARD. Use the original plan, the one you had before you allowed critics and naysayers to tweak it and tear it apart. Don’t leave anything out because of the time you think you don’t have. Don’t skip any steps and watch how things manifest.

Switching gears a liiiittle bit because it goes two ways.

Picking up the pieces also goes for those who may have allowed one too many people into their hearts and minds. You’ve found yourselves broken, confused and empty because you’ve given so much to get little in return. Maybe you’ve dimmed your light, lowered your standards  and compromised way more than you should have. To those people, I know what it feels like. But you have to pick up the pieces of your heart and hand them over to the ONLY one who can put it back together again.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Psalms 51:10, NKJV

Take every part of you that you feel is dirty, uncertain and unworthy… and hand it over to God. Every piece of you may not be pretty but you have to be honest with yourself and know that it still fits into the puzzle. If God can take someone insecure, low self-esteemed, broken, bitter and prideful like me and make them over completely, He can do the same for you. I searched through prayer and simply talking to God for every piece, whether the “piece of me” was under the bed, in the closet, in my journal or in my thoughts. It wasn’t until I became honest with myself, that I was able to be made whole. Does it mean that I’m perfect now? Heck no. But there’s beauty in knowing that and not beating myself up about it daily. Knowing that God still loves me and will still use me AND my flaws to reach other people.

HIS grace IS sufficient!

We have to stop trying to hide the pieces to your puzzle in shame or guilt. It doesn’t matter what people will think or say. Pick up EVERY piece.

I pray that one or both of these revelations I’ve received helps someone. I know it’s all over the place but I have to give them the way I got them. If any of this post speaks to a place you’re in or have been in, I also pray you get the answers you’re looking/praying for and that you get peace in those answers.

-G.

Storms

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:2-4

This time, I’m not apologizing. Just know it’s the 4th quarter and ya girl is OFF the bench. You can quote me on that.

“Heavy rain & potentially damaging winds…”

Meteorologists can “predict” the weather.  Sometimes they’re wrong but MOST times, they’re absolutely on point. They know the time and place of a thunderstorm. They also know the impact of said storm. Unfortunately, neither they nor we can predict the “storms” of every day life.

HOWEVER, if you think about the timing of those life storms, you’ll find that they come when you THINK life is going just fine. When your money’s right, when you’re drinking water and minding you’re own business, when your edges are finally growing back, that’s when storms hit. And they hit hard.

Your world is turned upside down, you’ve lost things or people that were valuable and maybe even misplaced…

Is it just me or do you immediately wonder what you did wrong? Just me? (Okay).

Well I’ll speak for myself when I say life’s storms feel like punishment. “Am I not praying enough?” “What did I say wrong?” “Man, I did spend a lot of time on social media today.” SOMETIMES, that may be the case. God has ways of showing us how jealous He is when we spend too much time and energy on things other than Him. Sometimes we have been inconsiderate and used a sharp time and He’s trying to whip us into shape.

Ultimately, storms come to check our faith. If God gave us the perfect life full of everything we could ask for, we’d probably never think twice about anything. Not even HIM. But God wants to know if we will still love, worship and praise Him even when things are bad. Can He still trust us to show up to church and even show up for others even when our situations are unbearable?

Before you answer, consider how you respond to the storms in your life. Not that you should be happy but God is always watching how we handle what life throws at us. But do you constantly complain? Are you mad at God? Have you allowed yourself to slip into a depressive and confused state of mind?

What should we be doing?

Well, we SHOULD be resting on His promises that are in His word. We SHOULD be able to smile in the midst of trials. We SHOULD be able to encourage others. We SHOULD understand that God loves us very much, He knows us better than we know ourselves and He’s in complete control of everything. We SHOULD continue praying, worshiping, and fasting. Yes, fasting. Hear me saints, I rather push the plate than stress eat and gain weight any day. I’m just saying.

With this post, I just want to encourage you to shift your mentality when life’s storms hit your address. Not every storm causes you to lose. Sometimes things just need to be shaken and rearranged. Consider that the worst could still be worse. Know that God is keeping you safe in the midst.

“Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the Earth!” – Psalms 46:10

When the storm is over and you realize that you’re still alive, remember to give God ALL the recognition. Because if it were not for Him, His grace and His love, where would we truly be?

 

 

 

Intentional

  • Intentional – (adj.) done on purpose; deliberate.

At the beginning of every year, people make resolutions, goals, list, vision boards, the list goes on. I may be late to the party but I came across a HUGE list of words on Pinterest (I’m an addict), and it said to choose which words you want to use to describe how you will live out your 2018.

I didn’t necessarily make any resolutions. I made a little list of things I want to accomplish just to keep my head in the game and not become stagnant or complacent. Before I had ever come across the list of words via Pinterest, the word intentional was ringing in my ear for days. Facebook posts I saw scrolling my timeline would mention the word and even on Instagram.

MY word for the year is INTENTIONAL.

So often we get caught up just doing/saying things just to get by. We say “yes” to things we don’t agree with. We go places with people just to say we have friends or a social life. We keep relationships (love or friends) that we know we should let go of just so we don’t hurt anybody’s feelings. We post things on Facebook just to feel like we have a handle on things and that we’re doing far better in life than people are assuming. We work jobs just to get our check and not embracing our full potential, or worse, not perfecting and using the tools we already have to make the job better.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself. I’m guilty of just about all those things at some point in my life. But at the age of 26, I choose to not waste any more time, energy, money or skill on things that do not benefit myself, my child and most of all, don’t help me fulfill my God given purpose.

I plan to be intentional with the relationships I create with people. I won’t gain another friend because of our dislike for the same person or gossip. Instead, I will pray over my connections. MY circle will be full of similar people on similar paths, aiming to please God, whether it be one person or five. If my words aren’t encouraging someone or being a LIGHT, I’m working on just being quiet. I’m working on saying “no”. And that’s a post in itself.

When a new year starts, December 31st is no different than January 1st. It’s just another day IF you don’t change your mindset. Everything starts in your mind. Every change you wish to see, starts with you and starts with God. When we go with his plan and not our own, things tend to work out A LOOOOOT better. If you don’t know what He wants for you, spend more time with Him. How? Pray. Read your bible. Fast. Get by yourself and open your heart to hear from Him. I’m a witness to all of this working.

Whatever your word is, work it to the best of your abilities. If you choose to be intentional like me, let’s help each other. We can all conquer. There’s room for everybody to win.

Cheers to 2018,

G.

#BeHumble

No excuses, let’s just get right to it.

“Sit down. Be humble.” – K. Dot

(Nope, not gospel).

Imagine thinking you’re the most handsome/pretty person ever. Nobody dresses better than you, nobody can compete. Until someone finally says, “You’re really not all that cute.”

That’s that hurt.

I don’t remember when I actually gained a lick of confidence or leveled up on self-esteem. I don’t remember the moment I heard I was ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty’ and believed it. As far as my Christ-walk, I don’t remember my first touch from God, nor do I always take time to recollect ALL He’s done for me or brought me through. And His purpose for me hasn’t always been my focus. But all of a sudden, I was forced to not only remember but truly realize who I am and who HE is.

See, it’s not that I think I’m all that or gotten big headed because I’m still a little insecure at times. But there was a moment where I THOUGHT I had things “together”. I had that, “better her/him than me” and, “well, at least I’m not…” type of attitude.

Until I put myself in a certain situation where I WAS. Only to find that, what I thought I had overcome and defeated, I was actually still wrestling with. I didn’t take heed to warning signs or red flags. Without even realizing it, I was suppressing what I never truly dealt with or been completely healed from. I wasn’t as strong as I thought…

But why was I relying on my own strength in the first place?

“For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” -Philippians 2:13, AMP

In an instant, I was brought to my knees pleading with God to help me. I was back in the place where I was terrified that God would strike me down right then and there for even the thought of messing up. Total fear and regret. I had to feel dumb, worthless and empty again. Once I was in that place, I had to be honest with myself. I knew I wasn’t perfect, but now I knew what WAS imperfect about me.

Just because your sins, faults ill thoughts or your shortcomings aren’t on front street or Facebook, doesn’t mean you can hide them from God. Just because you did it in the dark, doesn’t mean God can’t shine light on it to make an example out of you. But, it is up to US to pray those honest prayers, deal with the root of the issue, be truthful and take ownership.

Now, I don’t necessarily look at other’s situations and thank God it isn’t me. My heart actually goes out to those who are in that same place I was. I try to reach out and show that I am a mess sometimes and I mess up. I let my life be a living testimony to what God can do when we tell Him what He already knows about us.

Total humility.

I’m grateful that God didn’t take me out when He could’ve. I’m continuously asking Him to show me the depths of my mind, heart and spirit. I know now that I can only rely on HIS strength when I’m weak. I pray that everyone reading this does the same. Be vulnerable and be real because in order to be made whole, you must first be broken.

love,

G.

Order of Operations

“…Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am in, to be content: I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:10-13

mindblown

***Picture above is an exact representation of my face when I read that scripture in it’s entirety.***

Philippians 4:13 is a fan favorite, but I wonder now if people have read the verses before the good part.

Okay, let’s jump right into this because it’s been on my mind long enough. Turns out, I’m not the only one who has had the same thoughts. Many many times as a person of faith, we get discouraged when we feel like God has left us out or doesn’t hear our prayers. And what can (and sometimes will) get us a little out of character is seeing other people we feel are less deserving or not living up to the standard of God well enough to receive their blessings. I know I’m not the only one. I have proof.

First of all, it’s OKAY to feel. Before you’re able to put things into prospective and get checked by God, nothing decreases your holy stamina more than seeing people “in the world” or “sinners” (because we totally don’t do THAT, right? *wink*) have what we pray for for what seems like years! When I was in high school, I would envy those around me whose parents kept their promises of getting them cars simply because they got their license at 16. Ummm… I got my license at 16 as well and no car. I graduated high school, no car. I went to college, no car. I graduated from college TWICE and still no car! What made it even worse is, I am the only child. I kept good grades. Didn’t skip school.

In 2015, post degrees and a child, I make a gigantic leap of faith and put two down payments on a brand new car. BY. MY. SELF. My parents tried to talk me out of it because they didn’t think I understood what type of responsibility I was putting on myself. I did and all I needed was a co-signer. Drove off the lot the same day I laid eyes on Aqua. I promised God if He would continue to make a way for me to keep up with payments, I would treat this car like the blessing it really was. I’d keep it clean. Keep a clean record. Not let people smoke in it, take my keys, etc. I’d use this blessing to give Him any oune of glory any time I got the chance. You’d be surprised at the work and the mileage He’s made me put in since. Best decision I ever made. Almost 3 years later, me and Aqua still rocking and she still looks and runs like new.

Moral of the story, God sees you. Sometimes He’s waiting for us to make a move that will show that He can trust us with things. Sometimes He wants us to work a little harder than the average person because 1) We’re not average and 2) We’ll appreciate what’s given a lot more.

Another thing I’ve learned is that tangible things people have doesn’t fulfill them spiritually or mentally. Think about how many rich people are depressed and mentally unstable because it’s too much to handle. Or how they become paranoid, thinking somebody is going to take something from them. And even living in a big house, full of people and alone. There are people who live in apartments alone and can’t get a decent night of sleep because of the mental battles they face behind closed doors. I’d much rather have my sanity when it’s all said and done. Most things we yearn for are unknowingly only going to please our flesh and not the Father. I’ve heard my pastor say, “A lot of y’all would stop coming to church if you won the lottery.” Funny, yet true.

Ultimately, I don’t want anything in my life that will steer me away from God or my purpose on this earth. Timing is everything. You won’t be blessed with anything before it’s time because Lord knows, we can screw some stuff up. To be honest, it’s a lot of stuff we just don’t need to be whole or to feel secure/blessed.

“..in all things, I have learned to be content..”

For a while, I had to be content with being taken places and dropped off. I had to be content that if my parents let me drive their car, I had to bring it back whenever they said. I’ve had to be content with having just enough money to pay bills and no extra spending money. I’ve had to be content with having spending money but spending it on my child. I’ve had to be content with me, myself and the kid. I’ve had to be content with not being able to live completely on my own. I’ve had to be content with not having the “perfect figure”. I’ve overcome and seen the better side of each. I truly believe any situation I’m in will turn around for the better but the point is, things aren’t bad. They could be worse and they have been.

I encourage to you to find solace in right now. Find every bit of good in every bad situation or scenario. Be great with what you have now and God will give you the desires of your heart according to His will for you. Nothing more, nothing less. If you ever feel like God isn’t listening, challenge Him. Speak His word back to Him. Be faithful over little and God will grant you more. Work on your relationship with Christ and others. Pray. Forgive. Find your purpose and walk in it. There’s more required of you. There’s levels to this…

Always know, God will only do things in decency and IN ORDER.

 

Be Blessed,

G.

 

I Was My Hair

“Ohhhh your hair is so pretty!”

“I wish I had your texture/curl pattern!”

“How’d you get yours like that?”

…Questions I get asked A LOT about my natural hair. At almost 2 years post “big chop”, I still don’t have all the answers and I have yet to perfect my regimen like these YouTube gurus. I’ve only been able to do what my schedule and pockets allow. Just a day ago, my hair was touching the middle of my back…straightened that is. And I still had this faded red color from LAST YEAR. Everyone knows a natural’s worse nightmare is 1) Heat damage and 2) Color damage.

But this post isn’t just about my hair…

See, people would always compliment my hair on the curls or the length and I’d always say, “thank you” but in my head I’d say, “…but it’s damaged.”

I WAS my hair.

Pretty. Nice. Always smiling and laughing. Encouraging. Working hard. Loving. A good friend. A good mom. Bomb girlfriend.

But DAMAGED.

I can honestly say in the beginning, I rushed the whole natural process of my hair because I was insecure with my short fro. I couldn’t WAIT to straighten it for the first time and that red would look amazing on my coils…WRONG.

That’s how I was with my life and you’d think I’d be more careful. I rushed everything. I rushed love. I rushed my growing process. I rushed moves I had to make in order to provide. I accepted things and people that really had no place in my life. I held on to relationships that meant me no good. I held on to my past mistakes. I held on to my damaged ends.

But GOD.

God LET me hang on. It had to hurt like HELL so I had no choice but to let go. And I did. I moved. I deleted. I blocked. I forgave. I dealt. I healed. I mended. I chopped.

I got to the point where it was necessary that I do things the way God intended in the beginning. He gave me the gift of redemption and repentance and I accepted it immediately. I was given a clean slate and I’ve taken full advantage. I no longer am ashamed to face my faults or my short fro. I show my scars and I tell my stories. I walk with God in my singleness and I’m no longer desperate for affection or love. Two days ago, when I trimmed my hair, I sighed in relief. I felt good and I felt in control. That’s one thing about God, when you let HIM steer and maintain speed, He’ll let you hold the wheel too.

The loose, almost non-existent curl  and red dye are also a reminder of what the last year has been like for me so it was only right that I get rid of it. It held memories. Though the color isn’t completely gone, I’ve vowed to take care of my hair and myself more delicately. I told myself I would stick with what I know and keep my hands out AND off as much as possible. (Some low manipulation, if you will). Because though the process may be long and tedious, I know the outcome will be beautiful inside and out.

I challenge you to do the same if you haven’t already. Give you life to God and give him control. Allow Him to help you with those dead ends you’ve encountered. Submit to His will and turn from your old ways. Jesus died for this. He died for You. You don’t have to stay damaged.

WITH LOVE.

What’s the Hold Up?

“What’s the Hold Up?”

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV

 

…I know, I know. I did not post at all last week. I let the spirit of writer’s block and anxiousness get the best of me. But this week, I’m ready to share a few things about just that; being anxious and waiting on God.

Now, let’s cut to the chase because as a Christian woman, most correlate “the wait” with waiting on a mate/marriage. Well, let me be one of the first to tell you, that’s not actually at the top of my list of things (anymore) but it is a close second. Marriage is only one of the many things I’m waiting on God to do in my life. But no matter what it is, I’m still in fact, WAITING.

No matter what it is that you want God to do in YOUR life, there will always be a period of waiting because contrary to certain beliefs, God is not a magician. So, the question is, “what do you do while you’re waiting?”

  • Pray – praying is number one for a reason. If you keep a healthy prayer life, God can reveal a multitude of things to do about what you’re waiting for, whether it be a job, a man or a move. Also, while you pray, you may realize the thing you’re seeking God for isn’t as much of a necessity as you thought or that you’re not quite ready for it. Simple example: while praying for a husband, God reveals that you are still bitter about and attached to certain aspects of your previous relationship. (Ouch!) While it may hurt, it’s better to get to the root of things. It’s all part of the preparation for greater. Which leads us to #2…
  • Preparation – how do you prepare for a new job? You can change your wardrobe to fit the dress code of said job, you can update your resume, do volunteer work in your field… Whatever it is that you’re asking God for, there must be some type of preparation. Preparation lets God know how serious you are about your prayers and lets Him know that you will do YOUR part and not be a sitting duck. Soon, the preparation becomes your way of life and before you know it, you’re ready and that blessing is on its way!
  • Pre-victory – okay, I made this up so let me explain (lol). There’s a saying you’ll hear in church A LOT from the old folks, “Don’t wait until the battle is over, SHOUT NOW!” So, listen, let’s break this down to simpler terms. Basically, I believe that you should thank and praise God everyday as if He’s already done the things you’ve asked Him for. Live your life with thanksgiving daily before AND after you’ve been blessed. Be happy whether He gives you what you want or gives you what you NEED instead. One thing’s for sure, your lack of praise and thanks to God will not stop His show but be careful. If you’re only smiling and happy when things are going your way, you’ll never fully experience the glory of God and his everlasting love for you.

These three points are the basics of what I’ve found useful in my time of waiting. Life is way less stressful when you allow God to do His work. In waiting for a husband, I’ve realized that I could still be in toxic relationships right now if I had grown impatient with God and probably would’ve married one of those jokers out of loneliness. Instead, I’ve vowed to be single, abstinent and the best mother I know how to be until he sends my help-meet. Also staying busy with work and ministry is a huge plus. It gets hard and yes, every so often I get lonely but that’s because I’m human, not desperate. While waiting on a better paying job, I’m making the most of the one I have now. I go to work with a positive attitude and manage my money to the best of my abilities so that when I see increase, I know how to handle it and not splurge.

All in all, I know waiting is hard for everybody but just trust God with his plans for your life. He created you so He knows what’s best for you. Just like how your parents wouldn’t let you go certain places with certain friends… they just KNEW and never told you. I thank them and God for that type of protection. Learn to stay out of your own way sometimes. If I can admit how hardheaded I have been, I know a lot more of us can too. Hard head makes for a soft bottom, right? Only with God, He may let you fall to learn your lesson, but He’ll pick you right back up and give another (and another) chance.

Be anxious, for WHAT? NOTHING.

 

LOVE,

G.