Winter Season

Even with the grandeur of a beautiful landscape, winter can be daunting

Cold weather and possible blizzards are haunting

We await this season where things seem to halt in growth or decline in activity

Due to the strains of the weather and much passivity

Winter breaks and days off

Are alluring

Especially when life has you worn out

The mind and body needs curing

But all seasons are a part of our lives

They come and they go

Winter can be dreary

When the cool winds blow

It requires much wait and a little more press

Don’t forget the Sun seems to not shine its best

But during this season God can still bless

And although winter ushers in either fast or slow

There are lessons to learn

Knowledge to know

Opportunities to grow

And some moments to yield to

And to be still through

And know that He is God

The Great I Am

Faithful and true

To the bush and the ram

He is able to lead me and you

Winter seasons don’t have to bring blisters

Or give you frostbite

If you, through even the cloudiest of days,

Fix your sight

Upon Jesus Christ

Don’t get caught up in the decorations and traditions

And miss the moment to listen

Don’t procrastinate in preparing for the cold

And don’t abandon the process

As things disappear

Only to make things crystal clear

And make room for growth

God made the spring and the winter

Appreciate them both

For after wintery transitions and seasons to abound

New flowers and fruit will break free from the ground

New life and new lessons and all for the glory of a wise God

and a reigning King

Trust Him through the winter

And welcome the joy, hope, endurance, perseverance and character it brings

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As I Look Back Over The Decade…I Got A Testimony

I saw people’s posts of their decade reviews and their end vs their beginning of the decade comparisons. This prompted me to review my decade and as I also looked at my 2019 vision board, I realized that God has been good. He is always good but sometimes the Holy Spirit need to give you a reminder. I saw some things on my vision board have been and are steadily being accomplished. And all glory goes to God!

I am also reminded some battles are not to be conquered in one fight but over a period of time so we can learn to depend on God. So some things may have seeped over into 2020 but be encouraged. I am speaking to myself too.

This decade, I became a homeowner and a parent/caregiver to a relative. I also started my online t-shirt business (on hiatus now and I am in prayer about it) and wrote and published three books within this decade. I was able to learn and grow professionally and spiritually. I healed from heartbreak and realized some of my deal breakers. I made it through betrayal and learned what true forgiveness looks like.

Instead of hiding it, I became more transparent in my struggles with anxiety and fear, especially with those I love. I also got my driver’s license in this decade and got acknowledged at work for my contributions. I saw my students grow and step out of their comfort zones. I bore fruit even during difficult seasons and impacted others in ways I could not have done without God. I also battled debt and high property taxes and saw God provide.

I learned I needed better self-care, I needed to set boundaries, and I needed to learn that I can’t earn God’s love. My family and I overcame some things I thought my family and I would not survive. I also learned that it is crucial to see things from God’s perspective. I journaled in my note pad like crazy. I did self-assessments prompted from bible plans and self-reflection. I blogged. I led a women’s group and bible study and we learned about waiting with God and learning to trust Him. I maintained a gratitude journal.

I travelled to New York with friends for the first time. I had a ball and it was such a faithcation. I went to a Christian concert at the House of Blues by myself and had a ball. I went to a Christian Education Retreat twice. I learned some awesome things. I learned about trauma care and self-love. I went to Atlanta for the first time and for a college tour, thanks to my job. Last year, my family and I found a cool, inexpensive place to travel to that is peaceful and a train ride away from home, thanks to not having at the time the money to go on vacation. I saw my family grow and get closer. I got such an awesome birthday gift in 2018; my youngest niece was born on my birthday.

I completed a Mental Health First Aid training for those who work with youth and realized also my mental health is important. I realized some of your battles people won’t understand and some blessings and successes people won’t cheer with you. The latter one broke my heart. I did the thing that rattles my nerves and spoke at a few events. I took deep breaths. I had anxiety attacks. I prayed. I cried. I prayed some more. I exercised here and there, valued my love for walking, and realized the importance of stretching every day. I worked on building my confidence. I started wearing a little concealer and foundation (something I thought I would never wear) and embraced my thick eyebrows. I learned how to do my own crochet hair styles. However, I still don’t know how to crochet a scarf. I gave up. I will try again this year. I learned that I enjoyed preparing Bible study lessons because I love God’s Word and preparing a lesson helps me to break it down for myself also. I learned that I can’t do everything or be everything, and that is okay. I learned that sometimes you have to encourage yourself.

I prayed for God to teach me full surrender. I talked with Him about being afraid and not feeling like I could make it some days. I have a ways to go but I am not where I started. And although I ended this year still feeling anxious, I survived. I thank God for being my Father, my friend, my provider, my coach, and my protector. I also thank Him for being patient with me and loving me through every season, imperfection, fear, and triumph. May I lean into God evermore this year and decade not for what God can give me or do, but for who He is. I am nothing without Him and can’t do anything without Him. I am more than a conqueror. I am grateful.

Rerouted…

This morning is as cold as a freezer and the air is crisp and gripping. Did I also mention it feels like another Monday, although it is Tuesday. So, I struggle to get out of the bed a bit. However, I awake grateful to God for a new day, read and listen to His Word, worship Him, and talk with Him. A day started with the Lord is a day better yielded to Him.

Upon leaving home, I miss my bus so I decide to catch the bus headed towards the Metra train to make up for lost time. The train tracker schedules for my train to stop at the stop I need to get off at to catch another bus. I have a lengthy commute. Anyways, one stop into our ride we hear that the train will run express all the way to the end stop. Ah man! I can get off at the current stop we just arrived at and wait for the next one but it is too cold. So, I stay on and am going to have to ride all the way to the end.

No problem. I will just have to do what I have had to do before, just travel back. I ride to the end. Now, I just have to walk down a few blocks and take another train. So, I walk to the Red Line and go downstairs and my train comes. However, this train confuses me with the fact that its route labels state not what it normally says. I get on because although the train states something different, this is where I am literally heading. The Red Line stays on the lower tracks (ground level) but this morning this train is riding on the higher track where you can see the roofs of buildings and blocks of homes and businesses lined up on our Chicago streets. I hate riding high up because of the height but God gets me safely to my destination and drives away my fears with this message.

I feel like I just took the long way around just to get to my destination. I have been rerouted twice but still heading to my destination.

What happens when you are rerouted? You have to take the long way around. Your journey gets interrupted.

Moses and the Israelites were rerouted. They had to take the long way after God led Moses to free them from slavery. In fact, God took them the long way and through the impossible.

The people got impatient. They murmurred and complained. They even wanted to turn back. Oh, I had that feeling this morning.
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” Exodus 13:17

Yet, God took them the long way because had He led them the short distance they would have easily went back. Fear and discomfort makes you run back to comfortable situations even if they were horrible situations. They had to learn to trust God step by step, day by day. They had to learn to depend on God. They had to learn to persevere and develop patience. Prayer and patience go together. Faith and perseverance goes together. You can’t have one without the other and we need all of the above in life and through our faith walk.

So, when you get rerouted, be patient. Maybe God is protecting you from something. Maybe God wants you to develop patience. Maybe God just wants you to trust Him even on a routine day heading to work.

Five Things I learned From My Mama

This Sunday we celebrate our mothers. We thank God for them and honor them for their selflessness, sacrifice, and unconditional love. 

I love my mama and I make sure I express it as much as I can. But before I move forward, I am going to stress that we take the time to pray for children (of all ages) who have lost their mothers as well as for mothers who have lost children. Comfort them Holy Spirit and uplift their spirits during this time, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

In honor of my mom, I want to share five things she has taught me and told me:

  1. You can’t please everyone.😊 Be okay with that. 
  2. Work hard. 💪My mom has worked faithfully for her job for more than 18 years. I have learned and strived for longevity and commitment in my professional and personal life through her example of hard work. 
  3. A man is not going to fall on the couch. 🛋 Sorry ladies, God isn’t going to just plop him right on your couch. Don’t go looking for a guy, trust God, seek God, but get out there and live your life. And God will help him find you!
  4. Treat yourself. ❤Be kind to yourself. Make sure you matter to you.
  5. Trust God! 🙏🏾My mom always reminds me to give it all over to God. Hearing and seeing her testimonies lets me know that she too had to learn and trusting God never fails because He doesn’t fail.

              Happy Mother’s Day Moms!   

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What are some things you learned from your mom? Please share below!