It seems as each year begins, I make decisions to do better, to live better, to be better. My heart and mind are consumed with best practices—you know– the things you “should” be doing. If you are like me, you sit down with pen and paper – Some with the fancy- smancy glitter metallic inks pens while others use a basic No. 2 lead pencil. You devise a plan – be it idealistic or realistic. You are determined to make a change.
BUT I WANT YOU TO STOP
Before we enter 2015 with grandiose plans, let’s take time to look back and evaluate 2014. Read more
When was the last time you mourned? I mean seriously cried over the present state and situation of another human being or people group. In our modern western society, the custom of mourning is foreign and many times misunderstood. Mourning makes us uncomfortable and down-right sad. We do not want to think of the dead nor the dying. It forces us to come face to face without our own mortality. So we become consumed with the notion and business of our own happiness. We neglect the holiness and happiness of others especially if it opposes or even infringes on our life. Read more
Today’s post is a guest feature by one of my dear friends: Ali Kennedy.
Ali and I met when we received jobs at Christian Union – Princeton University. Since then, we have been office-mates, room-mates. Carved pumpkins and built ginger bread mansions. Hosted barbecues and dinner-dates. We have laughed and cried together. Cast vision and expressed frustration together. We spent many times locked in our office praying for each other. We’ve sought each other for wise counsel.
We cheered on as we watched our men graduate together.
I served as one of her bridesmaids and cheered her on when she later married her man:
Ali is a true sister and an extremely talented communicator. Continue reading and you’ll see what I mean: Read more
It’s #fbf or Flashback Friday as we call it in these parts. All over the World Wide Web, photos are shared as we dote over the cute pics of the past or commiserate with those who need to burn them forever. Either way, we take time to remember who we were back then. In lieu of this, I’ve decided to dig into the archives and pull out something that I wrote over 4 years ago. It was the manuscript to the commencement speech given to the Graduating Class of 2010 at Pathway Christian School in East Point, GA. A school I might add no longer exists. Wesley and I had the privilege of speaking to the final graduating class. My former self was preaching to my present self after reading this!
My mind did a time-lapse as I recalled the circumstances surrounding the preparation of this speech. Back then, I was a store clerk in the GCSU college bookstore and Wesley was the preaching minister at First Christian Church in Milledgeville, GA. I remember my dear friend, Lekha, stopping by the bookstore one Thursday to check in on me. Her words of encouragement help birth this speech.
It encouraged me today. I hope it does the same for you. Grab your favorite beverage and get comfortable cause this post is a long one…AHEM*clears throat*
Happy Friday! So, here is what’s new in my world: I have decided to participate in the Day Zero Project where I set out to complete 101 things in 1001 days. cue Rocky Theme song* This colossal challenge will end on my 33rd birthday 😀 hopefully with many remarkable stories to tell along the way. This gives me < 3 years to accomplish the goals I have identified. I will date and strike-through each item as it is completed. My hope is to take lots of pictures, learn many lessons, celebrate the everyday victories, and love my neighbors in the process. So, Ladies & Gentlemen… I present to you
Lord, you have asked that I not be limited in my scope of you. Yesterday, prompted me to dream God-sized dreams for your people– trusting that you are able to do them. Why is my scope of you so limited. Why does my finite mind limit your infinite power when ;I know you want to do more in me and through me. Why do I doubt your ability to work as you said that you would.
My faith in you seems to waver every day. Some days, I am confident and other days I doubt. My emotions seem to rule my life if I do not keep them in check by the principles of your word. Teach me Lord not be a slave to my emotions and the toxic habits that my heart is prone to. I need more of your ‘living water’. I need to molded and shaped to be the person you oh God has called me to be. My heart needs to be broken by the things that break your heart. Mercy needs to be shown to those you desire to show mercy. I need to forgive those you have instructed me to forgive. I need to banish and curse the ways, you have asked that I give up. Show me what Godly repentance is. Show me what it means to do a 180, to change my mind because it has been renewed and transformed being washed by Your word. Read more
At the beginning of every week, Wesley gets up to teach the community at Tri-Cities Church principles for Godly living. The ones I have found to be most profound and powerful are the ones he practices daily. In a recent post, 5 Life Lessons Learned from My Husband, I listed 5 life lessons gleaned from observing Wesley. Here are 3 more that I have found to be helpful.
1. Live Simply: We live in a world where we receive thousands of messages daily encouraging us to upgrade, super size, expand, and double for the discounted price of more. We pay for storage facilities for stuff we have not seen in years. We subscribe to premium cable packages with 300 + channels when we only really love maybe 3 of the many. We own multiple devices when we can only use one at a time. We binge on fast food favorites that makes us feel awful after a few minutes of consumption all because we love a great deal. Our homes are bigger and filled with stuff but are void of love and warmth. We engage in so many activities that busy becomes the norm and a call to ‘simply be’ causes us much anxiety. What consumes you, masters you. Seek to free yourself from these things. Read more
Some of the most important lessons learned are the ones about oneself.
Last Sunday, my husband celebrated his birthday. We took time early that morning to reflect and discuss some of the key lessons he has learned along the way. In our 9-year journey together, I have gleaned much from him. Some lessons have been learned through observation while others have been learned through conversation. All lessons learned have made my quality of life better. Here are 5 life lessons learned that I believe we can all use:
1. Smile More:
If you’ve ever met my Wesley, chances are you will meet him with a smile on his face. Leading studies show that greeting someone with a smile – softens his/her defenses and makes you more approachable and trustworthy.
Wesley is an EARLY morning person and as a result I find myself rising early as well. It is amazing how productive you can be in the first 3 hours of the day while the rest of the world is asleep. It presents an awesome opportunity for personal and professional development in the midst of quiet.
[otw_shortcode_dropcap label=”H” font=”Rock Salt” size=”large” border_color_class=”otw-no-border-color”][/otw_shortcode_dropcap]ave you ever had a dream so big that it consumes you? A dream so gargantuan that it frightens you. A dream so pressing that it will take the energies of more than one person to bring it to fruition as soon as possible. A dream so intuitive that it takes foresight, insight, hindsight, and a crazy dose of faith. Many want to live a more fulfilled and rich life but your dreaming determines your living.
It is said that the poorest person in the world is one without a dream. We are not living unless we are dreaming. Many times we find the very essence of our existence embedded in the dreams we have been given. To follow these dreams we must get uncomfortable. It requires that we remove ourselves from our comfort zone and pursue a path that will almost always place us in a place of vulnerability. Read more