We lose a lot of things along the way in our journeys of life like confidence and hope, and sometimes ourselves. Some of us are fighting to regain our health mentally or physically. Some of us are carrying loads of pain and hiding behind masks, no pun intended. But God! He wants us to heal. He wants us to grow. He wants us to be free. I am so excited to bring to you this Bible Reading Plan titled after my latest book, Bring It To The Surface. So, grab your bible and I pray you allow God to bring some things to the surface so that your healing and recovery can start today. And for those already on your healing journeys, I pray this encourages you to not abandon the process and to seek and trust God one day at a time. It is a five day reading plan and its purpose is to guide you towards seeking God for your healing and recovery. So, welcome and enjoy, and let’s draw near to God who loves us beyond measure.
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Many of us are enduring reopening phases as well as quarantine during this pandemic. It hasn’t been easy but for the most part, we have made adjustments to how we do things from our careers to home life. Nonetheless, this pandemic has served much stress, loss, anxiety, uncertainty and hardships. Yet, many are still holding on despite the turmoil from Covid-19 and even the many issues, like racism and gun violence, that are now on the forefront of our current society that people are waiting and fighting for to finally be addressed.
As in one hand chaos and turmoil increase in the world and in another hand the world slows down. We are left to understand that we can’t approach life as we have been. We may have to make some adjustments that are deep within and that will prepare us for the next season. We may have to reevaluate how we were living before this time. Rediscover some goals and dreams. Realize that God can use this time for our good and He can help us use this time wisely.
Were you burned out prior to the quarantine? Were you in need of some quality time with your family? Did you have a business or foundation that has been on your heart to start? How about following through with writing or face timing a person God has laid on your heart to reach out to remind them God cares? Did you want to finally get healthy mentally and physically? Did you need to learn a second language? Did you need to let go of some things and some relationships? Did you need to get your bank account healthy? Did you need to finally deal with some pain and trauma? Did you need to strengthen your prayer life and faith walk? How about learning patience and trusting God?
Prior to the quarantine, shutdown, Pandemic, I was burned out. Overwhelmed and anxiety through the roof. I had some things I needed to deal with, boundaries to set, and goals to accomplish. One of those goals was to build my trust in God. And I also desired to have more quality time with God in prayer, His Word and presence. Other goals were simply to cook more, be more present with my family, write more, work on and eventually release my book. I also wanted to practice more self-care. I needed more self-care.
Using my time wisely and accomplishing these goals haven’t been easy and I am far from perfectly disciplined, if there is such a thing. However, by the grace of God, I have come to grow in these areas and accomplish some of my goals. I give glory to God because He not only knows what I need and what those around me need, but He works all things together for my good.
I have been cooking more, making sweets and dishes such as cheesecakes, brownies, shrimp and chicken alfredo and more.
I love food and I love cooking and sharing my cooking moments and meals with family have been great.
I finished my book; praise God, and I am enjoying again taking photos of nature. I have also been tackling fear and anxiety by being vulnerable with God, prayer, His Word and grace.
Additionally, I’m learning to rest, spiritually, in the Lord and naturally to replenish and refuel. Walking with family, movie nights, and having pool time or errand runs have helped me to be present with family. I also sought a bit of therapy and started back journaling. God told me a while ago to reprioritize and organize my life. I wish I had started this mission before all of this but it is not too late.
God first and foremost and then everyone and everything else shall fall in their proper place. Learning to trust God and set boundaries will also help me to get some order in my life. Letting the Holy Spirit lead me and doing things with purpose and simplicity in mind will also help. Lastly, I aim to continue with strengthening my faith walk and love walk.
To conclude, I don’t know your goals or what God is calling you to do. I don’t know what you need to heal from, what things you need to part ways from and who you need to turn you attention back to. But I do know that you still have time today right now to choose to use your time wisely and set the stage for God to lead the way in your life. To choose to go deeper in the things of God and dwell in His presence like never before.
To choose to receive the life and life to the full Jesus came to give us as well as receive God’s unfailing love. To choose to live simply, fruitfully and purposefully. Prepare now and pray more. Rest while you can. Ask God to teach you to trust Him and rebuild your life on the foundation of His Son. Seasons will change. Prepare for the next season. Learn from this one and do all that you are supposed to do in this one.
Put Your Shoes On Honey,
Our journey awaits,
Not too long ago, my therapist gave me an assignment. It was to take time each day to do some thing for fun and for myself. Upon attempting to complete this assignment, I realized and noted in my journal that I couldn’t fully identify what was fun for me. I enjoy cleaning and especially before I can relax. I know, it sounds crazy. I do enjoy writing; however, I struggle with writer’s block here and there and I don’t write daily like I used to unless it is a to do list. I use to have things I enjoyed doing, but now I couldn’t really answer what I like to do for fun. Making a consistent effort to take time to do something I truly enjoy has been a struggle. I also seem to race against time to slow down and just be present. I have found though that in order to continue providing the care for my family and fulfill my work and many other obligations, I have to first care for my relationship with God and then my relationship with myself. And one of the ways I provide that care for myself is to do something I enjoy.
As I turned my attention back to a project I had been working on for some time, I began browsing through photos I had taken to add to it. And it dawned on me that photography was something I enjoy. I am not a pro and I only had one photography class in college when I was an art and design student. Yet, I still enjoy capturing memories and moments. I also love nature and love capturing God’s art and handiwork.
So, I as I browsed through photos and realized my love for photography, I told myself I will continue taking shots of beautiful skies and landscapes and more. It is also a simple way of taking time for myself. Taking time for yourself is crucial. Having a hobby, and not just a hobby but a healthy one, is important also. Moreover, it is imperative to refresh yourself and rest. Rest isn’t just sometimes being still or taking a nap. It is about doing something you love and actually being productive. It is about being present and trusting God to manage the universe He created while you breathe in His ability to take care of you and your family. It is about taking a break to reprioritize.
Some things I have also been doing are now intentional to provide myself some fun and some self-care. I have been walking my dog; I love walking and I enjoy my new best friend. I recently polished my finger nails and toe nails as well as watched one of my favorite shows. I made one of my favorite desserts, a strawberry cheesecake, in which my nephew filmed and interviewed me like we were creating our own cooking show. And we also binge-watched Nailed It. All of these things I am realizing did bring me some joy. I also had to recently make me a priority after feeling so overwhelmed, log off the computer, and be okay with not getting to every thing on my to do list. And I will continue to make time to take photos and write as much as I can. I guess I actually have some things I enjoy. I just had to take time to sit and think about me for a change. Check out some of my photos below!