How Are You Viewing Your Life Journey?

Contentment. What does it mean to be content?

The dictionary definition says, “ the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.”

I like the last part; ease of mind.

Earlier in the year, I was praying for a new job.  It took a while, but I finally got the job I had been praying for. But lately, I’ve been dissatisfied. I find myself desperate for the weekends, and when the weekend comes I’m discontent because I know where I have to be on Monday. The funny part is I actually like my job, but I also know I want more in my life.  But what I’ve discovered about myself is that I’m hardly at ease, and I’m always eager to get on to the next thing. I hardly take the time to enjoy my current situation, and really take in where I am. Whenever I’m giving a presentation, or talking to a group of people, I’m always told that I talk really fast. I honestly think I talk so fast because I want to get whatever I’m doing over with. I always want what’s next which has caused a lot of dissatisfaction in my life and puts my mind in a whirlwind.

But ease of mind.

I want that for my life.

I want to be content where I currently am. Not that I don’t want more for my life, but I want to experience every part of my life. I don’t want to reach the end of my life and realize that I was constantly chasing the next thing,  and never actually enjoyed the journey of life itself.

So how am I going to work on being content? By working on my thoughts!

For me,  I know my thoughts are my greatest enemy when it comes to experiencing contentment in my life. But I also know they can be my greatest strength. So from now on, I’m going to be all about 2 Corinthians 10:5

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Every thought that’s not letting my mind be at ease is getting snatched from my mind and coming under submission to the word of God! The thoughts that tell me it’s my current situation that’s not making me happy, and I’ll be happier in the next stage of life. The thoughts that tell me I’m not doing a good job during this stage of my life. These thoughts and more will be replaced with thoughts that are obedient to Christ. 

I know God has so much purposed for us and I know he’s going to do so much in all of our lives. But every season of life has a purpose. We shouldn’t be discontent, just because we’re not where we want to be yet! 

Father, I thank you for who you are. I thank you for how far you’ve brought me in my life, and I thank you for where you’re taking me. Please help me to be content with where I am now while being expectant about my future! Thank you Lord!

Contentment is ours!

Who’s in your crew?

Who are you surrounding yourself with?

Who are your friends?

Who are you letting speak into your life?

Are they people pushing you forward or holding you back?

Are they people who will encourage you in your purpose or are they pulling you down?

Are they people that are keeping you stagnant or are they driving you forward?

Who are you letting influence your destiny?

It is so important that we are aware of the people that we are surrounding ourselves with.

It is important that we are intentional about the relationships we have with other people. It’s very easy to slip into a routine and let the people who end up around us just be the people who end up being around us. But when you know that your life has purpose, and you know that purpose needs to be fulfilled, you can’t just let anyone who shows up in your life have influence in it. We have to make sure the people we surround ourselves with are people who are encouraging us to live out our purpose. We want people that will encourage us to keep going when we’re tired. We want people that aren’t envious of us but are cheering us on. We want people that are adamant about living out their purpose as well.

We all have ideas about where we want to be at a certain point in our lives. But the next stage of our lives is dependent on the decisions we are making during this stage. The decisions we make depend on how we think and the words that we speak. Who are you letting influence those thoughts and words?

When times are hard, are the people around you encouraging you in the word? Are you building each other up?  Or after you tell them about what you know God is going to do in you and through you, they shut you down and tell you it’s not possible? Are the people around you building your faith?

 I always put my life in this perspective. When I’m 80 years old and looking back on my life, what do I want it to look like? 

I know I want to live a life where I fulfilled the purpose that God had for me in every season of my life. I want to look back and know that I poured out everything I had and know that I was a good steward of the time and the resources I was given.

There’s so much that goes into fulfilling purpose, (especially making sure that God’s voice is the most important one in our lives!)  but one important aspect has to do with the company we keep.  God has a purpose for everyone single one of our lives. We should all desire to be used by God for every purpose he has for us in every season. Let’s make sure we’re surrounding ourselves with people that will encourage us to maximize our potential and walk in our purpose!

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20

His Sweet Sweet Love

 

Why does God love us so much?  

When I sit down to think about how God is working all the intricate details of my life together, I can’t help but think why me? Why do you care so much about me? Like Psalm 8:4 says,  

                                       What is man that You are mindful of him,
                                         And the son of man that You visit him? 

One thing I know for sure is that I don’t deserve it; his perfect unending love for me.   

When my relationship with God started getting deeper, it was because I wanted to see some prayers answered. I used to be frustrated and full of anxiety because of what I was praying too see take place in my life. But as I grew closer to God, his love filled me more and more. My relationship with God went from being about what God  could do for me, to what God was doing in me. His love overwhelmed me, and I learned to have peace even when my prayers seemed like they weren’t going to be answered. I learned to be filled with joy, wake up with a smile on my face, and say “Good Morning Lord,” simply because of who he is.  

The love of God brought contentment to my spirit. Then suddenly, God answered my prayers and my relationship with him still hasn’t changed. I haven’t strayed away because my prayers have now been answered. The same love that saw me through and molded my heart to be more like his, is the same overwhelming love I feel everyday.  God used the time when it seemed like my prayers weren’t  going to be answered, to process me. Now not only have my prayers been answered, but I am filled with his love, which was really the best thing to have received in the first place. I also realize that God didn’t answer my prayers just for me. I know he wants to use me to spread his love and to be a blessing to others. My relationship with God isn’t only about what’s he doing in me, but what he’s doing through me. 

I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love.  And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God. 

Ephesians 3:17-19 

I don’t understand why he loves us so much but I know it’s the best thing I have ever experienced. I know I can never go back to the way I used to be. Circumstances can change. More prayer request will come up and there will be more things to stress about.  But the love of God can never be shaken in my life.  

Thank you for loving me God. Thank you so much for meeting me where I was. Thank you for processing me. Thank you for your love. 

Her Confidence Is Encompassing

She walks into a room with so much confidence.

She’s such a presence.

Her confidence is encompassing, her beauty is captivating.

Every step that she takes it like she’s walking the winner’s circle.

Her style precedes her inner strength.

Her smile exudes the warmth of a 1000 hugs.

She has a soul so generous, that it’s impossible to fathom how it continues to give.

She has a soul holding a heart filled with so much love,

that it’s all she thinks of, so it’s all she speaks of.

Her laughter is a clearly a creation of the master.

But you really should hear her past life.

This woman is a product of a marvelous disaster.

She was lost at a point with no direction for her future,

Cut open by the world, left in need of sutures.

Desperate to hold on to control of her life,

She continually neglected the calls of the Lord.

Sure of the outcome of her own success,

her own plans for what’s next, her own steps to rest,

she stepped into darkness, and one mess after the next.

Sure she’d find her own way through,

she put God aside for only Sunday school.

Left with open wounds, trying to find healing in the world,

she wrapped herself in layers to try to hide the open pain.

But she was left like a child wrapped in a blanket of uncertainty.

A child crying out for the love, the love of her father.

She stepped out darkness, and into his marvelous light.

Took off the layers, and let God operate on the pain.

Went from a Sunday school relationship, to a

I can’t live without you, I can’t breathe without you,

God I need you at center of everything, you are my everything relationship.

She allowed herself to be processed by him, broken for him,

built up by him, she learned to trust in him.

She stepped away from the world and into his word.

She let his peace fill her beyond human understanding.

This woman has learned to let God be the foundation of her soul.

She’s learned to let God be her father, her healer, her comforter, her master,

she’s let God be her all in all.

Yes, she walks into a room with so much confidence, and her confidence is encompassing,

and her beauty is captivating, and her style precedes her inner strength,

but it wasn’t without process.

Her outward appearance is a reflection of her heart,

The gentle and quiet spirit the Lord has worked on in her,

The incorruptible beauty she gained when she let him in.

Beyond giving her life to Christ, I’m talking she let him in everything.

Threw her hands up and said Lord my life is yours.

She’s still a work in progress, but she knows the Lord will see her through.

Pulling her deeper, processing her through his songs, through his word, through his love.

This woman was once controlled by the world’s splendor,

but only until she learned the posture of surrender.

This Prayer Is For…

Heavenly Father,

This prayer is for him. This prayer is for her.

The one that sits alone at night, wondering if this is all to their life.

The one longing for an answer. The one looking to find meaning in their life.

The one who wants to discover the reason they were created.

This prayer is for the one that is scared to trust you.

This prayer is for the one that doesn’t want to sing your praises.

This prayer is for the one that doesn’t know that your Son is the only way to be saved.

Heavenly Father,

This prayer is for her. This prayer is for him.

I pray that one day they get to know you, I pray they get to know you well.

I pray that one day they long to sing your praises.

I pray that you knock on the door of their hearts, and I pray they receive your Son as Lord and Savior.

I pray they become filled with your overwhelming joy, I pray they discover that your joy is their strength.

That void that they’re looking to the world to fill, I pray that one day it will be filled by you.

Lord this prayer is for him. This prayer is for her. This prayer is for their souls.

I pray that one day they get to know you, I pray that one day they let you make them whole.

I don’t know when that one day is, but I pray that one day will come.

I want them to experience you.

I want everyone to receive your Son and experience your presence, I want everyone to experience your joy.

Your joy is too good for it to be experienced by a few, your love is too great for the whole world not to know.

I want as many people as possible to experience the joy of you.

I pray their one-day will come. I pray that it will come quickly.

I pray they make their hearts your home.

Heavenly Father, this prayer is for every lost soul. 

Women In Leadership Roles – Lets Get It

Women. We’ve been counted out. We’ve been thought of as less than. We’ve been told we are not smart enough, good enough, funny enough. But what is enough? The Holy Spirit works in and through all of us, men and women, making us better and more like Christ. So, if Christ is in us, we are enough.

When we talk about the roles of women in Christianity, we usually talk about women in marriage. Being a submissive wife is great, but I do not believe it means an end to our roles as leaders in society. Just look at Mrs. Proverbs 31. Boss lady! Then let’s quickly hop on over to Ephesians 5. The way it talks about how a man should love his wife is powerful. If a man loves his wife that way, and she is submitted to that man (what submission means from a Christ centered perspective is a whole other topic), she should be setup to let every gift in her flourish. Of course, submission isn’t based on a man showing love first. It also doesn’t mean a man is free to behave however or do whatever he pleases. Truthfully, I can’t really speak much about the roles of men or women in marriage, because I’m not married.

But what I do think we should talk more about in the church, are the roles of women in the workforce, business, politics, ministry, and other areas outside of marriage. With women being half the population, I think it is important that we talk about our roles as leaders in society.

There are great gifts in all of us that God wants to see used for the glorification of his name. One of my favorite women in the bible, is Prophetess Deborah (Judges 4). Boss lady! With her being a leader over Israel (Judge), the people of the nation looked to her for advice to settle arguments. One day, Deborah sent a message to a man called Barak and told him to gather soldiers to go and fight.  He said that he did not want to go to if she wouldn’t go with him. So, Deborah went with him and based on her instructions from God, Barak was successful in battle. And yes, Deborah was married, and probably a submissive wife! Out in the streets casually leading her country to victory.

As women, it is important that we cultivate the leadership skills in us and in the generations after us. God did not create half the population to not be utilized! It’s important that we are intentional about the life we live, and mindful of how we’re influencing those around us. We are all leaders in one way or another. Whether we admit it or not, someone is always influenced by what we are doing. Whether it is as a business owner, sibling, student, coworker, boss, wife, and/or mother, we are all in a position where someone is being influenced by what we do. No matter how big or small we think our positions are, we need to rise up and lead to the best of our ability.  We need to make sure that everything in us is poured out before we leave the earth. And if we let God lead us, whew! We’ll be unstoppable. There’s nothing like being a leader (male or female) and letting God lead.

Now let’s talk about those corporate and political leadership roles that men have historically occupied.  Society has often made us feel like we’re not capable of being in such roles, but we most definitely are. There’s a gift and a purpose in all of us. If we want to be leaders in a business, an organization, politics, or ministry, then we should be. There’s no doubting that it takes hard work, dedication, and a continual desire to keep learning and growing, but it’s no different for men. Of course not every woman desires to be a leader these areas. Regardless of what our roles are, we’re all leaders in one way or another. We should let our relationship with God equip us to be the best leaders we can be.

Let’s make sure that when we leave this earth, we leave it having poured out everything in us!

How’s Your Mental Health? Let’s Talk About It

Who is there to lift you up when things are tough? Who are the people that are there for you when life gets hard? Who do you talk to when God seems too distant to hear your cries?

I truly believe that there is nothing the love of God cannot overcome. But I also know that God has also given us each other. The two greatest commandments Jesus gave to us, are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our mind, and all our soul, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. It means that this life isn’t supposed to be just me and God and I’m good. It’s important that we are plugged into a community where we can support and lift each other up. But what do you do when you have that community and no one seems capable of understanding your problems? What do you do with the overwhelming and overbearing baggage? What do you do when you want to, when you NEED to seek professional help?

When we’re physically ill, we go and see a doctor. If a friend of ours has cancer, we wouldn’t let them sit on the couch and pray until they’re healed. We’d tell them to go get treated and pray all through the treatment process. Likewise, we need to do the same with our mental health. Depression and anxiety can no longer just be attacks of the enemy that need to be prayed away. It’s time we start taking our mental health more seriously and also encourage those around us to do so as well. God has given us each other to lean on as a community. We’re an interdependent specie and it can’t just be about me and God. There’s a community aspect to it as well.

This is why I love the psyndup platform. It’s a platform to discuss mental health issues and to find help for those issues, in a place where mental health isn’t taken too seriously. It’s not only in Christian circles but also in some cultural circles where the lack of seriousness surrounding mental health is a problem. But no matter what religion or culture is in place, we need to make sure that our mental health is taken as seriously as our physical health.

We also have to remember that there is another side. There’s the side when we come out of the struggle victorious. There’s the side when we’ve dealt with the issue, and are put in a better position to help others because of our experiences. Things may be tough now, and it may seem like there is no way out, but it can, and it does get better.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18