Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mid-Week Boost: Strength and Endurance

This is a busy and hectic season in the life of a graduate student. As the semester is winding to a close, major assignments and projects are due and before we know it, it will be finals time. It would be great if the world around me would take a pause during this time but everything else is in high gear as well. I am often tempted by frustration to give up but instead I have challenged myself to pray for strength and endurance during this time. I know that what I am working towards right now has a purpose and is a part of the vision that God has showed me for my life. Therefore, while I would love for God to take something of my plate, what I really need is strength to stay the course so I can not only continue to get prepared to really live out my purpose but so that I know what this season of preparation is like so I can share it with someone else who may be discouraged. The road to success is not a straight path and people will try to knock you off it and distract you along the way. Things that would seem trivial to you under normal circumstances are now amplified tenfold because of the stress. I pray not only for my strength and for strength and patience for those around me. I often think that people should feel obligated and really want to support me in the work that I am trying to do but the reality is, it is probably taxing on them as well and at times my patience is too thin to acknowledge that fact. We all need strength and endurance for everything that we do so don't give up--pray for it.

What do you do during busy and trying seasons to keep your eye on the prize? Let's talk about it!

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Worst Can Make You Better

It truly fascinates me that on beautiful bright sunny days that in an instant, things can happen that change your life forever. You know how it is, you get up, eat breakfast, head to work, and press through your day as normal. You laugh with a few friends, get excited about upcoming plans and trips, and then BAM something happens that literally knocks the wind out of you. It could be an unexpected death, a medical diagnosis, job loss, a car accident, home break-in, or really anything. The world seemingly moves ahead as if your own world didn't just come crumbling down.

What do you do in this moment? Well at maybe you're in shock or disbelief. You might cry or get down right angry. Like really was that person in that much of a rush that they had to cut you off and make you get into a car accident. Or you feel like you have been an upstanding Christian and feel like you shouldn't have to endure such a hardship. You might think I can't afford to lose my job, husband, or _____________. We can not possibly live without _____________.

In this life you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome th world. -Jesus John 16:33
But in these moments, as gut-wrenching as they may be, are real opportunities for us to show what we are really about. Yes, you might be devastated, hurt, angry, or flat out pissed off but, especially, if you are a believer you can not wallow in it because we know who is in control. We are not exempt for tragedy or heart ache just because we are believers. NO ONE wants pain, sickness, cancer, devastation, or loss but it is the way of life.

It is the way of life.

No one is exempt.

Resiliency is something that we talk about a lot in my family therapy program and at the school that I teach at. Resiliency is at the heart of our faith walk too. When you are operating in a faith zone, it's all or nothing. I believe God's word so everything will be all right even if something might temporarily blur that vision. It might be ugly at times but it will be all right--period.

Isaiah 66:9

God is the potter and we are the clay. Even the best potter has to smooth out the rough patches. 

Live everyday as if it is going to be your last and love the people important to you while you can.

Tomorrow is not promised--that is a fact.

Check out this song by Kierra Sheard 2nd Win

Monday, September 22, 2014

Heavy Love

true love quotes

Love is such a powerful thing. The song Heavy Love by Mali Music really has me thinking lately about love. Some people make love seem effortless but in reality it is hard work. I think generations before us haven't done the best job of telling us the real life struggles of long lasting love.

That said, people love and receive love differently. Some times the one you love the most may not being showing you love the way you want to receive it. What do you do? Sometimes you have to eat a slice of humble pie and show love in spite of (I am NOT good at this). But what happens when the love you show isn't received the way you want it to be received or is not reciprocated? I don't know about y'all but sometimes my patience is short so if I am not feeling the love, I move on to focusing other things. Obviously probably not the smartest idea.

Photo: It ain’t breaking… #HeavyLove think it is extremely important that we move beyond saying we love people and strive to put it into action--deliberate action each week (notice I didn't say everyday...I know the struggle).

Falling in love is only half the battle. We have to strive to stay in love. How do you work to stay in love? Is long lasting love a thing of the past or does it still exist?

Check out the song Heavy Love below and let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mid-Week Boost: Back to School

what faith can doYou will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3, NIV)

The beginning of a new school year is often a time of excitement for what is to come however; it can also be coupled with fear of the unknown or in some cases anxiety about what is known especially for us graduate students with clinical hours to get and thousands of pages to read and write. I found myself in one of these moments the other day. There is so much to be done but I have just struggled to logistically wrap my head around how it all will be done without the expense of my sanity and time with the people I love. For a moment, I wanted to give something up but I was quickly reminded that the seeds that God has planted in my heart are being cultivated now in order to be ready for the harvest. So, in the mean time I have to do the work--even if it is at 4:30 in the morning.

I am extremely grateful that I have been blessed with an amazing support system to keep me encouraged and help me through this time. As we start the last quarter of the year, here is my prayer for all of us:
I am not alone

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come to you saying thank you. Thank you for the time to relax and rejuvenate. Thank you for the time to reconnect with family and for traveling grace. I ask that you cover everyone at the start of this school year-teachers, students, parents, and administrators. Help us to keep your vision clear in our hearts and minds especially when times gets difficult. Cover our children Lord. I pray that they are kept safe and feel your love while they are in school. Help us to use every opportunity to parent, teach, lead, serve, and to learn to bring glory to your kingdom. Let our challenges be opportunities to show your great works. With you we can do hard things. In Jesus name I pray, amen. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Love

Does anyone else feel like they are a different person in the summer? Maybe it's because I am a teacher but summer just does something to me. Unscheduled time gives me the freedom to do or not do whatever I want makes my soul happy. For example, there have been days that I have been glued to the couch for hours just writing, listening to music, and chatting with some friends. I was so relaxed one day, that I didn't even want to break my flow to get up and make lunch! I just love summer. It is so renewing and refreshing.

What do you love about summer?

Here are 10 things I am excited about this summer:
  1. No work and no grad school
  2. State Fair Food
  3. My summer reading list (that still includes a book from last summer but who's judging??)
  4. Trying new recipes (follow me here to taste along with me!)
  5. Hanging with my family and friends!
  6. Florida Trip 
  7. New music
  8. On the Run Tour
  9. New School/Office Supplies
  10. Try a few new/different things (so far this has included a trip to 106 & Park and trying different restaurants)
Here one summer song and video I am currently loving: Say Yes by Michelle Williams featuring Beyonce & Kelly Rowland. Did you know this video was shot a few blocks from my house?!?!?! Where am I when Beyonce is just cruising through my neighborhood???

Hope your summer is off to a great start!