Uncategorized

A Call to Take Hard Look in the Mirror

Over the last few weeks I have been trying figure out how to respond to all of the pain that the Black community has been feeling and my role.

A few things I’m sure of:

– they don’t need anyone telling them to calm down. In no situation when someone is in pain and is yelling out that telling that person to calm down is ever effective. That’s a sure fire way to stoke the flame.

– they don’t need anyone to say I understand and or try to compare their situation to yours.

– they don’t need anyone telling them this is what you should do. And try to fix it for them.

– hard reactions are from pint up hurt and anger and generally that hurt and anger is from a continual feeling of being unheard and marginalized.

– what is being fought against is not a simple injustice to the Black community it is a mindset toward the black community.

I don’t believe a governmental bandaid can fix this. Because even with laws and oversight it does not mean that the hate in people’s heart will be changed. But it can be a forward step.

This fight is against a generational sin. A sin of prejudice and pride. The only remedy to such a thorn is Christ himself.

If we want real change we need to get in the habit of looking in a mirror. We need to look deep into our hearts and start identifying the sin that fuels this hate and ugliness toward one another.

I am a privileged person but my greatest privilege that I have is that Christ has rescued me. He has given me the privilege of seeing my wrong thinking and replacing them with truth to transform my mind and my heart. He has given me the privilege to speak to others about this amazing restoration. My biggest role I can play in this lifetime is to teach my children to have a right mindset toward all individuals. To celebrate Gods diversity in humans and to love them well. I can explain to them the atrocities of today and condemn this mindset and remind them the Lord values and loves these people and we are to do the same.

So here is a challenge to the most privileged community, that is the community of believers, how as a nation of people holding the truth in our hearts fight for the least of these? How can our actions speak louder than our statuses and and sentiments? How do we become the hands and feet of Jesus to this hurting community? Let us pray for a revival in this country. A revival of hearts willing to lay down our complacency and look into the mirror and allow the Lord to change us. Let us get in the posture of humility, let’s bow our heads to hear the Lord and ask for ears to hear the hurting hearts.

Uncategorized

Oh dirt, cry out!

In ground that is hard and compacted a seed cannot grow. There is no room for roots no room to grow. Packed with potential, it lies there dormant.

Oh ground how unforgiving you are! There is no life within you. You produce nothing but weeds, your soil blows away in the wind. You are lifeless and dead. You cannot stand a storm for it whips and tosses you. Torrents of rain washes your foundation away. You are trampled on by beasts.

Cry out to me oh dirt of this earth! Cry out for life!

I will come and I will turn you! I will lay down a new foundation upon you. . I will remove every briar and weed. I will place a covering over your stripped and bare body. I will give you rest. I will plant seeds within you! Within you fruit will be produced.

You will no longer be dry and parched but have a spring of everlasting water. No longer will you be called barren. You will be given a new name a land of milk and honey, a chosen and priceless land.

My chosen land, I bought you while you were still dead, but if you yield to me trust that you are in my hands, let me work in you and through you will be a land of plenty.

“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:1-23‬ ‭

Uncategorized

The Journey Inward, The Blessings that came from Depression. Part 1 “The Journey downward”

For a long time, the word depression came with a lot of negative thoughts. It felt like a taboo word in Christian circles. It brought up feelings of guilt, failure, and shame. I had a hard time even thinking or saying the word out loud and even more difficult time considering it might be my state of mind. I would define depression as disappointment with myself. A state of mind that critically judges my actions based upon preconceived expectations or standards.

It was after my third child was born that I began to slip into this depressive state. We had recently moved from one home to another. My best friend had recently moved away and I had gained a ton of weight from being put on bed rest during my pregnancy. My newborn daughter was a very challenging baby. She needed constant touch from me and would rarely go to her father without screaming and crying. She cried a lot. I mean a whole lot! It was hard. I had a 4 and 2 year old to care for on top of the newborn. My house was still in disarray from the move and every time I looked in the mirror I wanted to cry.

The insurmountable stress of life left me feeling tired and defeated. Most would say why didn’t I take time away? Well, that is exactly where the the depression started. Every time I tried to take time away to care for myself there was this guilt that set in. It was a little voice in the back of my head that yelled, ” you should feel ashamed for being so selfish!” And “your real problem is that you don’t pray enough or study your bible enough.” So I would desperately try to clean or do house work to “earn” that time away but failed because house work never ends with three kids. I then would take that pent up stress and failures and try to to eat them away. I tried to press down all the the negative feelings I had. Then I would look at myself and feel even more ashamed and feel like a failure. I believed at one point that the solution to my problem was contentment. That I just needed to be content in my circumstances. Looking back contentment was not the problem. I loved being a mother but the pressure was hard and even Jesus took time to be alone and I needed to do the same but no…the real problem was the way I viewed myself. It was so poor that I could not give myself a break.

I eventually became accustom to that depressive feeling that familiar inner voice. It was a constant reminder of I’m not enough and I can’t do enough. I prayed and prayed for change. I wanted God to change me because obviously something was wrong with me. I was a deeply flawed individual that needed to be changed completely. I looked to God for him to change the way I acted towards others but those deep dark feelings I had about myself I pushed those way down. I put them in a closet and I slapped a fake smile on. But the fruit of such a practice left a bitterness in my mouth, a sharpness on my tongue and anger in my heart. I was pretty good about distracting myself from the feelings that I had. I masked it well enough so most people probably would not guess that such darkness lies on the inside. I just kept on ever pursing how to change my outward actions without truly acknowledging that inner voice was not a help or a friend.

I got to the point that I just could not deal with the feelings anymore. My dark thoughts led me to want to be absent from life. I didn’t want to commit suicide physically but I wanted to emotionally and mentally. I wanted to numb out and check out from the pain I kept feeling. Silly as it sounds, I literally asked God if I could just check out knowing full well he would say no.

But it was the turning point.I would love to say, “oh I became happy and joyful.” Nope, it was a turning point inward. God was about to carry me through a very dark valley within myself.

Uncategorized

Where Is The Joyful Mother of Children?

I’ve gotten caught up in the throws of Motherhood and the smile that once was on my face has turned into a sullen expression. I love my children and I love being a mother and I know it is what God has called me to do but where is the joyful mother?

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It cannot be manufactured through my own sheer will but only produced by the Spirit.

So what hinders me from being a joyful mother? Stress? Unmet expectations? Or is it an idolizing of Motherhood?

An idol…is something that is set above God and worshipped…but I don’t worship motherhood!…but do our actions reflect that? Am I so consumed by my position as a mother that I have no time to rest? Are my children and motherly duties set so high that I have no time to talk to God? Has my work become who I am instead of letting God define who I am? Jesus gave us the example through his life here on earth. If he took time to be alone and to step away then how much more important is it for me to do the same? His work was unending but He had enough time to slow down. He knew he had a limited time of earth to do the work that He was sent to do. But he did not stress and run around totally frustrated that he could not heal everyone so why do I? Is my work greater than the Son of God?

Jesus was a teacher he was a prophet but most importantly He was the Son of God and He never forgot that. He never forgot who He was and He never let his work override who He was. It was the fact that He was the Son of God that made it possible for him to full fill the work God the father had for him.

So why is it that I have let my work that God has called me to do be the defining factor of who I am? No, I’m not just a mother, I am the daughter of Christ. If I allow my work to consume me and define me then a bad day indicates I did not do enough or I was not enough. If I have a good day then maybe I am a cut above. If motherhood defines me then the results of my grown children determine whether I was a good mother or not. If motherhood defines me then when my children leave the house, then who am I now? What do I do then? Or do I try to hold on to my children trying to control their lives because I am there mother and that’s who I am and what I do?

But if I choose to not let motherhood consume me, then despite of the results I will know who I am. If I let God define who I am then I can find joy in today regardless of how the day went. I can move into the next stage of life without feeling a loss of identity. If I let the Lord define me then I can walk in grace and show grace.

Motherhood is a beautiful work the Lord has allowed women to participate in but it was never meant to consume us and rob us of joy. No, it was meant to draw us closer to Christ not to consume our life. This my friends is a hard line not to cross.

If you are feeling less than joyful in the work God has called you into, ask the Lord to reveal what is in the way of that joy.

“He gives children to the woman who doesn’t have any children. He makes her a happy mother in her own home. Praise the LORD.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭113:9‬ ‭

“Will women be saved by having children? Only if they keep on believing, loving, and leading a holy life in a proper way.”

‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭

“Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ) This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ( Leviticus 19:18 )”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:37-39‬

Uncategorized

An Unquenchable Fire

I can’t explain it. There is a yearning in my soul it is in every fiber of my being and draws me. I have never felt such a pull. It’s a pull that I know God has placed in me because it is drawing me to a life I would have never seen myself in.

This pull that truly I have no real words to describe is like a pull to the intended. A pull to the meant to be. There is a calmness a stillness that lies within it. It is unhurried. It is is acutely aware of details. All the sense are alive and firing. It is as though I have been awakened and set free. It is humbling.

When I step outside, it’s as if I can hear and tell that all of nature is praising him and it just makes me want to sit and listen to it’s song. I can’t explain this except an awakening of a part of my soul that had been asleep.

I believe my soul has been set on fire.

A believe a fire has been set to consume that which draws me away from the stillness and calm. A fire set to purify and refine. A fire that that consumes. A fire that drives me to a place that I have never been but long to be with the Lord.

I believe a revival is happening and I’m being sanctified.

Uncategorized

Transforming Through Motherhood

Motherhood is like the chrysalis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. When we are young women, we desire to be full of grace and beauty like the butterfly. But before we can get to that point we must go through the chrysalis of transformation. It’s during that time of who am I anymore? Am I still the caterpillar I use to be? No, but I’m not the graceful butterfly I hope be either. Instead, I look at myself and I’m in the hard place. Unsure of who I am anymore…the days seem long and tiresome. But through that long period of transformation I slowly turn from the young caterpillar with so much potential and future ahead of me to the butterfly I had hope to be.

Motherhood is also like a fruit bearing tree. All women start off as seeds with great potential to bear fruit (children and character) but the tree must grow before it bears its fruit. We desire to bear wonderful ripe fruit but the ripening takes time. The tree cannot will itself to ripen a fruit faster. It’s maturity must be made complete. The tree must also go through seasons of pruning so that it can produce an abundance of healthy good fruit. So it is with motherhood. We cannot expect to be the mother and woman we want to be overnight. No, it takes time. It takes a ripening of fruit. It takes seasons of pruning. A time in which God removes things in our life physical or a mindset that prevents us from producing the wonderful fruit.

Developing into a Proverbs 31 woman is a life long pursuit. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is a transformation God does through us and especially through motherhood. The hardness of motherhood transforms who we are as women. I think for myself and maybe for others it is difficult to figure out who we are in this season. We know we are no longer the woman we use to be and to hold too tightly to the “use to be” is dangerous and we aren’t quite where we want to be either. So we might “lose” ourself and possibly forget who we are. But who we are, is in Christ. We are in a transformation period and it cannot be hurried or bypassed. When we learn to rest in the fact that God is in the process of transforming you day by day and that you can learn to have satisfaction where you are in that process joy can be found. God is creating a new woman defined by himself and made into a new creation. The work will be made complete.

Uncategorized

Bow or Break: Surrendering to God and experiencing a Spiritual Calm

During this time of uncertainty there is an immovable God at work.

Around September 2019, I remember thinking, “Ok I got this, only a month more and things will get easier and slow down.” After thinking I just need to grit my teeth and bear it just a little longer everything will be so much easier. And God just flat out spoke to my heart and said, “No, it will only get more difficult.”

See at the time this was going on, I had a month to go before my 5th child was to be born. It was my first year tutoring, and I was leading several bible study classes. And then of course I just had the normal homeschooling, kids, and housework stuff to do. Needless to say I was a little busy and I thought that when the baby was born and we were going to be on winter break it was going to be calm.

The Lord corrected my wrong thinking and reminded me of this. What I was going through was very tough yes, but it is preparation for much more difficult life circumstances ahead of me. Little did I know at the time that when the baby was born I would get hit hard with postpartum depression and then move across the country for my husbands new job leaving all friends and family behind. Then only being in the new city a few weeks have to begin self isolation because of a pandemic.

My entire world as I knew it was flipped on its head within months.

At the time when the Lord told me it would not get easier it would only get harder I had no clue all of this was going to happen. I was just trying to survive those days but the lord knew what was ahead of me. There was a reason he corrected my thinking, if I had kept pushing forward trudging through to that “everything will be calm point,” I would have never made it to the calm because that circumstantial calm point did not come. The Lord was inviting me to a spiritual calm that could endure the circumstantial upheaval.

He is also inviting everyone in the world to this spiritual calm.

In this country, we are known for our grit and fight. We will continue on and keep pushing forward no matter what is in our way. We refuse to be slowed or beaten and when times get tough we grit those teeth and lean into it. Well folks, let’s talk about trees and storms! I liken that American spirit to a mighty oak tree. But our mighty oak has had its roots weakened by the worlds pleasures and have strayed from the Lord as a whole. During a hurricane, the winds beat the trees and push and push and the outward circumstances are brutal. The mighty oak stands tall and proud for a long time but at some point the winds are too much and they are completely ripped up from the ground. However a less majestic tree withstands, because it’s roots are deep and firm. It bends and bows to the mighty winds and when it is all over it might have lost branches and be bent and leaning but it is still rooted.

People, when we have our hearts set on gritting our teeth and trying to bear this brutal time of uncertainty by relying on our owns strength we will be ripped up from the roots. However, if we stay tender and malleable to the Lord bending and bowing down we will remain rooted. We might be a bit beat up and bit broken but we will still be firm in Christ.

So where is your heart today? Are you counting the days to “normalcy” or calm and just trying to get through? Or are you bending your knees and bowing your head to a mighty God so that you remain rooted as this storm of life removes the dead branches from us?