Recently, after looking over my recent Facebook posts, my mother (the great reality therapist that she is) told me she thought I was acting a little obsessed about getting free food all the time. If I’m not mistaken, she may have been the one to initiate and fuel my thrifty habits (obsessions), but while she […]
I have made my decision. I am not going to live defeated. October felt like a race I was not prepared to run, many times I was left panting and exhausted. This November, I am going to win, but not at the cost of others. We are going to win together. I am tired of one sided winning, competition that puts others down and discourages them. This month, I am #winningNovember!
I heard it said in a class (so don’t credit me), and ever since have grown more and more to love the idea that I don’t have to have that attitude of defeat. I can choose—in advance—to win November. So who’s with me? With all the No—‘s of November, no shave, no pants, no sweets (wait what?!), what are the yeses?! I say yes to winning this November.
John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Even though I know it will be a crazy month, with many things to do, holidays, and thankfulness, November will be won and won together. Not because of ourselves, but because Jesus has already overcome the world and everything it has to throw at us!
I am choosing to win November by not wearing pants—a challenge I have been doing for about 4 years now—speaking about Abide and their mission of #nomoreinnercity, staying disciplined with my health and homework, and investing in relationships–both with God and with the people he has place in my life!
So who’s with me?
Who is #winningNovember?!
Comment below with how you plan to win November!
Last year, around this time, I was in my last semester of undergrad and thus still had to attend weekly chapels. I remember going to a worship chapel where we sang the song Oceans. As one of the top Christian songs in the past few years, this song was a favorite in chapel, on the radio and on everyone’s playlists. After a while though, the words lost their meaning. On that particular day, however, I realized afresh what the words meant.
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”
I knew what I was singing, but thought for a second at the weight of my words. Did I really just sing that I wanted God to take me to deeper waters? What would that look like? And was that even something I really wanted to be asking God?
This past year, God has brought me to and through some of those deeper waters. My 22nd year has been one of the hardest yet. The trials of a broken relationship and a wounded friendship took me deeper than my feet could ever wander. At times I didn’t know if I could emotionally, spiritually, and mentally survive. However, because I ran to His presence, the deeper communion I have experienced with God and this sense of unity with His Spirit makes it more than worth it. Through it all, the joy that I have is unexplainable. Even though I may still sometimes hurt, that hurt reminds me of how deep God has taken me. How he has allowed me to walk on the water, making me stronger, and let me experience the fullness of his presence.
While my heart may have been unsure when I uttered the prayer of that song, God heard the words of my lips and knew what it would take to make my faith stronger.
This summer, when I thought I had experienced the deepest of the depths, I had no idea that more was in store. While I am writing this now, I don’t know if I have seen the last of the depths. In fact, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that there are still deeper waters ahead.
In John 16:33, Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble…”
I can be confident that there are deeper waters to come. BUT Jesus is not finished when he says that. He ends the statement with:
“…But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Our faith can be made stronger in those deeper waters. We know that we can endure because we already know Jesus has overcome!
The trust and experience of deepened faith developed through trials is both painful and beautiful.
May we continue to be led by the Spirit, and our faith be made stronger.
It’s 1:00 in the morning and I find myself in an all too familiar state. I just put babygirl back to sleep and now I am wide awake on Facebook.
I love scrolling through my friends photos checking out new styles or opportunities they are taking part in. I draw inspiration from their good news and it also gives me an opportunity to “catch up.”
As I continue scrolling through, I come upon a recent celebration and noticed that someone appeared to be missing from the photos. Initially, I felt left out and sad.
Why wasn’t I invited to this gathering?
The more I pondered on this I realized.
I am in a different season.
My life has drastically changed in the last two years. I have gone from a season of singleness to marriage. From zero children to now two! As I continued to come out of my funk…
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Today was deep cleaning day for my bathroom. It had been quite a while because, hey, I’m busy and who else every uses my bathroom besides me, right? Yeah, we’ll just say it was long overdue. Apparently our apartment has hard water because you can see it all over the drains and there is a ring around the toilet where the water sits. Disgusting, I know.
So I did the whole bleach thing and scrubbed my heart out. Although I got a good amount of it with the first try, there were still those deeper stains that had been there the longest. I let the bleach sit for 10 minutes to really sink into those stains.
I probably scrubbed that toilet for a good 15 minutes and there are still some little spots of hard water stains. So frustrating to leave the toilet knowing that I did not get it all, though those spots may be virtually invisible to the person who just happens to glance in there. AND it did look a whole lot better than what it looked like before. For some reason I could not be fully satisfied. Even now, I go back and think to myself, if only I scrubbed harder or longer, or just didn’t let it sit that long in the first place, it would be all clean!
This process reminds me of Jesus and how he cleanses and purifies us. While we may be considered 100% righteous, because we are justified by his blood, we still have to undergo this process called sanctification. Sometimes the stains are easily removed with a little bleach and the swipe of the brush, and others are tougher and require more attention and time to really scour away. Nonetheless, I know I look a whole lot better than I did before.
BUT… what about that little thing that I can’t seem to get rid of? That little imperfection that always seems to come out at the worst time possible? That daily battle that reminds me just how human I am? Why can’t I seem to get rid of those things and be wholly perfect?
I forget about how far I come and instead of saying “WOW! Look at how far God has brought me!” I think, wow, there’s that little grimy stain, still staring at me, and I can’t seem to scrub hard enough to remove it.
Tonight, we had family night at our church. We celebrated the victory we have in Christ and made the decision to not live with the victim mentality, but to live in the reality of victory because 1 Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Instead of saying “why?” we can say “wow!” and live in awe of all that God has done and is doing in us and around us and through us. We can live with an expectation of victory because we serve a victorious God.
Thank you Jesus for the victory that I have in YOU! May I never forget what you say is true. Recently I’ve felt a little displaced, so please remind me of you unending grace. When all I am says why me? Why now? Please give me the strength to instead say WOW! When I think all is lost-at first glance, now I know to do the victory dance!
For Easter, we had thousands of Easter eggs filled with candy for the kids to hunt at our block party. In the midst of the chaos, some eggs were left behind. Thus, everyone in the office had more than enough candy to go around. Of course I wanted to have some for easy access and didn’t want to look like a pig eating all this candy, so I put some in my drawer.
We have had nice before, it happens with older buildings. But I thought for some reason that with all of the traps laying around they would somehow disappear. Boy was I wrong.
There was a mouse eating the candy in my drawer. I heard it and it jumped out of the drawer into another drawer. When I opened that drawer, it jumped out and ran behind my desk. I was so scared. I cleaned out all of my drawers and found mouse poop in about half of them. I threw all of the candy away and waited. It was behind my desk and I was just waiting for it to come out.
Finally it ran out from behind my desk and dashed behind my co workers desk. I was not about to have that, I wanted this thing gone. I was going to find it and get it away from me. Since I knew it was behind the desk, and I couldn’t see it, I pulled the desk out. Still unable to see anything, I pulled it out some more. Now this desk was not one of those light flimsy little desks. This was an old heavy desk that weighed at least one and a half time my own weight. But I moved it and inched it out. I go to look in all the cracks and see these eyes staring up at me. Not knowing if it was dead or alive, I pushed the corner of that desk further against the floorboard. Somehow, I still don’t even understand how, I had squished it against the wall and killed it.
My fear moved me to take action and the impossible happened.
This was not a big mouse. This was the kind of mouse that could fit in a dime sized hole and squeeze underneath doors and such. But somehow I had managed to squish it up against the wall with the right force and timing that it was unable to escape. It was flattened like a pancake.
I learned something today. Fear is often not a good thing. But, if you let your fear move you to take action, sometimes impossible things, things you never knew you were capable of doing, can happen.
So if you find within yourself a fear that you cannot contain, a fear that tries to contain you, channel it into energy. Let it fuel you to get something done, to accomplish good.
Maybe you will find out just how small it was, smaller than a mouse. Maybe you, too can squash your fears like a pancake.