Keep It Moving…

My Soul Sister is guest blogging today! I love her words. You can reach her at mizzjonez0813@gmail.com
Good Morning! I pray that as we embrace the middle of this week, all
is well or getting better for everyone. The holidays typically are saturated
with scents, sounds and shopping. However, for some, it brings sadness.
The holidays are difficult for some because this is not a time for
celebrating. Certain activities, songs or different events are sorrowful
triggers of memories of loved ones who are no longer here. For others, it
can be a constant reminder of a societal or wrongfully accepted status (that
until the holidays) which remains annually compartmentalized: I am single, I
am a widow/widower. I am divorced. I am alone. Even being in a room full of
people, a person can still feel as if they are alone or lonely.
First of all, you are never alone. Also recognize that unlike what some people may
think or believe, it is okay to have your feelings.  Even Jesus felt like He
was in the world all by Himself(Matthew 27) Your life is live, not a reality
show or the movies.  Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other forms of social
media can wreak havoc on your mind if you allow it. Talk to God and share
what’s on your mind and heart.    If you know someone that you are
comfortable in revealing your concerns, do it.  Reaching out and gathering
with old/new friends is another way to combat the holiday blues.    Try and
treat yourself to something special. It can be a steamy, aromatic bath, buy
something for yourself, read and relax with a good book or veg out on some
movies or a television sitcom/show. Try to volunteer and fill your time with
or by helping others. There is nothing like performing community service to
remind you of how blessed you really are.
Family, when we are blessed to celebrate any holiday, that is a present in itself.  Unwrap the joy of the knowledge that you are loved. Let the Light of God shine in your heart instead of lonesomeness.  A kind word extended is always better than a mouth that stays closed due to self-imposed isolation.  The more you open yourself
up to the gifts that God has surrounded us with, the better you will feel.
Psalm 23:4, 38:9, 62:8
” Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil:  for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.
Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him:  God
is a refuge for us. Selah”
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As I sit in Silence..

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March 1st, I embarked on a 31 Day Fast. I am not on Social Media, enjoying a life of clean eating, along with exercise, limited TV and not doing any type of interaction with friends and only immediate family.  Praying twice daily for clarity on some life decisions and for the answers for others, who sent me prayer requests.

After 9 days, my senses have cleared tremendously, they are more sharpened. I can see beyond distractions and my time has been put to use doing things of value. My long talks with God has been a back and forth negotiation of sorts.  I hear his voice clearly, there is no compromise. Revelations on who and what, I should put my time into starting in April. It has been hard!! He is revealing the truth behind the veil…It is during these times, I can really sense a spiritual shaking in my life. I can hear the spiritual battle taking place between good and evil. My spirit man communicates with God, accepting responsibility for sin and repenting hourly…every second sometimes.  God knows my heart. He knows everything…everything we believe is hidden.

Most evenings I sit in silence, listening to praise and worship music. I am hearing every single word. Applying it to my life…applying it to my life, yes really applying it! Questioning whether I adhere to it or just sing it? Do I rock and raise my hands to the beat or the fact it truly applies to my life?  Does it truly minister to my spirit man, because I am seeking change, guidance or simply something that I have overcome? All these questions came forth in my silence and I had to take an honest look at myself, my life, my circle of friends and my future.

Initially I sought Gods daily answers on what scriptures to study. Every evening, God gave me a Chapter. Its awe inspiring that each one centered on sin in some form. How one mans downfall can affect all who are within reach. How our faith must withstand challenges, pitfalls and be put to major tests. How each point of our lives, each place we are planted is important to our process. I begin to decipher the sin in my own life, the excuses I made and the changes I would need to put in place.

Several days ago, God  pushed me into Revelation…the end times. I believe it is paramount and no coincidence that I have developed a passion for this book. It can be a scary book for many…yet a comfort for those who truly are committed to living for Christ. Revelation will scare the hell of folks…literally!

As I sit in silence, I stare at myself more in the mirror. Wondering if my sin is just as visible on me as it is on others. I’m taking note of each and every  person I come in contact with. I study their face, their eyes, their skin. I smile, they smile back. I can often see the stress, the chaos, the sin in their lives…yes its visible. It manifests itself, whether we attempt to hide it or not. Its not cute to look at on everyone, better yet yourself.

As I sit in silence, I realize that this walk with Christ is not easy, yet its paramount to get it right…not perfect…but right.

Right, requires a renewing of the mindset, right requires a heart transplant, right requires a spiritual death.  Right, requires a decision on our part. Right requires patience. Right requires faith.

However right, brings a multitude of blessings…right brings peace, right brings love, right brings light..right brings clarity.

As I sit in silence, away from every thing and everyone…even some people who I hold dear and near to my heart, I can do nothing but hold on to faith…press through…pray through..listen through…

Because I know Right brings Life

…and I’d rather have that over death any day..

Be Blessed

Stephanie

 

What are little boys made of?

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The first instant replay was recorded in Genesis! Genesis 1 gives us a play by play overview of the beginning of the world. In Genesis 2:4-8 God formed man, The Hebrew word for formed is the same word that is used of a potter forming and shaping clay. It suggests an artistic, inventive activity that requires skill and planning- a work that is done with great care and precision.

We can only imagine what it must have been like for God to take simple dust from the ground and to skillfully fashion it into man with countless atoms, cells, organs and complex intricate systems that mystify brilliant scientists.

Then lo and behold, God breathed his own breath into the form so that he became a living soul, a reflection of his own likeness!. He created him out of the dust of the ground, then placed him in the garden of Eden. The Hebrew word for garden indicates an enclosure, a plot of ground protected by a wall or hedge. This designated space was to be man’s new home, where he would be joined with a wife and start a family.

Later we see in Genesis 2, that when a man gets married, he leaves his family or origin, in order to initiate a new family unit. So when God put man in the garden, it appears God set the man up in his own place to be head of a new home.

The mans responsibility to leave and launch a new family unit indicates that taking initiative is at the core of what it means to be a man. God doesn’t want boys to remain boys. He wants them to become men. He wants them to grow up, leave their parents, launch out, start new households and become the men He created them to be.

From the man’s perspective: “Quality is the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something. Also meaning a distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something.

There are many qualities that men possess and there are many qualities that are looked at in a man from a woman or anyone’s prospective. As it applies to women, A man’s qualities should compare to a woman’s father…. if the father was present in your life. He should display similar qualities.  Nevertheless, he should display Godly qualities. He cannot be measured from  TV or reality shows. He must be measured to the standards that were instilled in you as a child or from the example of a male figure from your childhood. Many woman and men try to compare their spouse or significant other to someone they know or some love story they have seen on TV or read in a book.

Even though, you may look for qualities that were displayed earlier in your life, the man should show qualities of a man after Gods heart. If he is doing this, he will do just as the word tells us in Genesis 2. When he marries, he will leave his family and build his own empire. He will lead his family with the guidance of God’s word!

Many woman make the mistake of comparing men to previous relationships or what their friends and family relationships look like. We are all different and women all look for different qualities in a man. Don’t miss the man that God has for you because you are comparing him to someone’s man. There are some women whose standards are lower than yours and their quality of men may not  meet your qualities.

Have you ever wondered if your qualities were to high for any man to meet and maybe this is why you are alone?

Look for the qualities that display a Godly man, qualities that he is seeking God for the relationship FIRST.  If his qualities look anything Godly, you are starting in the right place for a man with the qualities that will make you an excellent husband.”

Well there you have it! Its time to reevaluate your now and future relationships against the Godly measuring stick!

Love you my sisters

Stephanie!

 

 

Say Yes!

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Have you decided to say YES LORD with every fiber of your being? Know that if you do, the battle will not be easy! Saying Yes to God means saying yes to the things God says about womanhood and the way we live our lives. Which means saying no to the other voices that vie for our attention- the voices on TV, the internet, magazines, ads and thousand other things that tell us what women should be and how we should think, dress and act. People that tell us what we should aspire to and how to conduct ourselves in our relationships with men.

Jesus said that those who love Him would keep His commandments (John 14:15). Obedience is an evidence that we are truly children of God (1 Peter 1:14, Hebrews 5:9, 11:8) In fact according to scripture, those who disobey His word and have no desire to obey Him, do not even have a basis for assurance that they belong to Him!

Discovering and embracing God’s design for your life will bring incredible blessings and joy. You will discover your true identity and purpose. In addition, your relationships will grow and be strengthened and it will point others and encourage them to say YES LORD as well!

Its going to be an ongoing journey. Yet it will be worth every bit of time and effort! Truly I pray that this week you have discovered why womanhood is important and understand it from God’s perspective.

We are starting a new journey on Monday. Conclude this week by writing out a prayer, asking God to truly teach you what true womanhood means and to help you grow to be a true woman of God!

Love you, be great!

Stephanie

The Ultimate Plan

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Our first post took us back to the beginning, Genesis, and the fact we are created to display God’s image. God created us in His likeness, our purpose is to put God on display!

The responsibility to reflect God’s image was not just given to us. Mankind was created as male and female in relationship-to display something about the divine relationship that exists within the triune God. Our relationships were created to tell the incredible story of God.

Being created in Gods image gives us dignity, privilege and responsibility. He has crowned us with glory and honor and given us authority over the earth. Its a awesome responsibility to go about our daily life and all the while reflect the image of the Almighty. However the image of God has been marred, it is begging for redemption…transformation…recreation. You see God knew from the beginning that sin would distort and destroy the male female relationship. Amazingly he patterned the first couple’s relationship to  correspond with the amazing relationship that would one day counter all of the horrible tragic consequences of sin

Gods eternal plan comes to light in Ephesians, chapter 3 and then in chapter 5. He ties the mystery of Christ loving the church to the earthly picture of male and female sexuality and marriage. According to scripture, the relationship between a husband and wife is powerfully linked to the story of Christ and his Church Bride. God created male and female to foreshadow and testify about that amazing relationship and event.

Men were created to reflect the strength love and self sacrifice of Christ. Women were created to reflect the responsiveness, grace and beauty of the bride He redeemed! Marriage was created to reflect the covenant union of Christ and His Bride!

Your womanhood has nothing to do with you, but displaying the glory of God and His powerful redemptive plan.

Male and female relationships has little to do with us, and much to do with God! Our marriages and relationships should be truly God ordained, mirroring the union of Christ and his Bride

I asked a fellow friend and my Boaz, his interpretation on Ephesians 5:23. Here are his thoughts…

From A Mans View:

When you look at Ephesians 5:23, it states that the man is the head, however we often take that scripture out of context. Many men take advantage of that scripture and use it to run their home negatively! Some men view that as ‘I am the head of this marriage, this house, I make all the decisions, and my wife must submit to them, regardless” However, if I as the man is not following God, that is a dictatorship and I as the head would be leading us to hell! When we read on further in Ephesians, it breaks down exactly what we as men should be doing as the man and head of our home.  My job as the head includes many things. I must honor my wife, nurture my wife, love her, take care of her, pray for her, seek God to make sound decisions for her and my family. I am responsible for her! God is really the head of our marriage, and we as men need to seek God to become a representation of a Godly head of our home!

Does your marriage or relationship with your significant other reflect that great redemptive plan of Christ?

Stephanie

Additional Readings  Ephesians 5:23, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:30-32

 

Late Nights…

blog-crying-2545Most people do not know that I struggle with fibromyalgia. Chronic deliberating pain that often makes it impossible for me to complete simple things….like combing my hair and buttoning a shirt.

I received the diagnosis of Fibro and borderline Lupus in the military after being in for 16 years.  Just like many others, I thought my persistent pains and aches were just a part of the toll of running, numerous deployments and working in difficult environments. After 2 days of intense all over pain, my doctor informed me that my body was undergoing a major change. There was no cure and that my symptoms would get  worse as I got older.   I begin to realize that “late nights” would take on a different meaning for me.

My love/hate relationship  with my body began shortly after that. “I will fight this!” I vowed. I didn’t realize how hard the battle would be. After retirement, I continued to exercise and eat right. My body fought back…with a vengeance. Reminding me that no matter how hard I tried, It would always be ahead of me in the race. Always one lap ahead of me…the only thing I could do is try to catch up.  To keep running!

My laps are never easy. My body gives me signs and symptoms when a pain flare is about to occur. My body warns me of impeding rain, I plan accordingly. It tells me when I have been on the go too many days in a row, I take a day of rest.  It warns me when I am stressed, I plan a solace …

I bargain with my body daily. Some days I win, and some days I lose….never graciously. My defeats  come with intense stiffness, excruciating pain, sleepless nights, light sensitivity, pain and memory issues  Some flares last for a couple of hours to several days. My pain is worse at night, when I am alone and the world is fast asleep.  Late nights curled up in a ball under a heated blanket filled with insomnia and pain. Some nights  I have often sat outside watching the stars….praying….waiting on the sun.

When I wake up, I feel like a new person….literally I am.

My ability to push through my pain daily keeps others wondering.  I look great on the outside, but  Im constantly trying to keep up. My high pain tolerance level allows me to operate normally on a pain level that many would have to seek medical attention for.

My trips to the ER  come every 4 to 6 months. The nights when I can no longer find a home remedy to bring my pain level down. Over the counter meds, epson salt baths, yoga , exercise and meditation lose their strength.  I become immune to regular pain relievers . Even prescribed narcotics cease to dull my pain.  I sit for endless hours in an ER to receive a shot that lulls me into a peaceful state.

It is during this time, I often mentally battle with my ability to continue on this journey. It is during this time I understand how many people with chronic pain have opted for the presumed “easier way out.”

I’m grateful my spirituality  prevails and the morning brings a joy!  I count my blessings after late nights and I am truly thankful….thankful that Im not confined to a bed or a wheelchair. Thankful that I know that each  flare will pass….eventually.

Thankful to see the sun peek through, reminding me that I  made it through to another beautiful day.  Thankful that through it all, I’m still running…

If you are struggling with any pain, whether physical or mental.I pray  you find the strength to wait on the sunrise.

Peace, Love & Empowerment
~V~