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 2019 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 in 2020 and this new 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.

When A Still Life Moves

I was an Art & Design major in college before I changed to English. It was during this time I learned about still life. I remember eying a bowl of fruit neatly propped up on its stand trying to capture its essence, simplicity, beauty, and shadows.

A Still Life is a work of art displaying objects such as flowers, fruit, a vase, a skull, etc. These tangible objects are still and lifeless but express liveliness and simplicity in its form of art.

Thinking of ideas for poems, my experience with this work of art would later lead me to the following title, When A Still Life Moves. What happens when a still life moves and what or who gives it the life it needs to no longer be still?

Jesus is our life giver. If the same power that raised Him from death lies within every believer, then we too have been raised and positioned with Him. We are no longer the still lives. We have been enabled to move and fulfill our destinies as one and as individuals.

Read When A Still Life Moves from my first book, Setting The Captive Free.

When a Still Life moves,

God’s work of art no longer stands still

It is revived and alive to the touch

Its spirit, you can feel.

It is lifted and free

Motivated and able to breathe

It is patient and knows when to yield

For it has learned to be still.

When a Still Life moves,

It enters a new season

It has discovered its purpose

And embraced the Creator’s reason.

It changes the nature of the picture

Its colors become richer.

When a Still Life moves,

It gives a new meaning to the space it occupies

It is not limited or bound to one site.

It follows its heart and allows its imaginations to take flight

A Still Life begins to move with time

And can no longer be simply defined.

It moves past the fears and the doubts

It perseveres and knows what it is about

The light doesn’t just shine upon it but through it

And it attracts Life to it.

When a Still Life moves,

Its laughter is like a bouquet of joy

Its smile is like a child who is fixed upon a new toy

It lives each day renewed

When a Still Life moves

True existence and living we choose.

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To purchase Setting The Captive Free poetry book visit: https://stcfpoetrybook.com/setting-the-captive-free-poetry-book/