Responsibility

I think of random things. I remember a former friend projecting her words or feelings on me. We were in a disagreement and she said something about me saying I am grown. I hadn’t said that and certainly didn’t feel it.


Actually, I am just getting to a point where I feel like I am a grown woman. I was always responsible. Actually, I was taking responsibility for far more than was rightfully mine. I now understand that I am not responsible for so much of what I thought I should be responsible for, like another’s feelings, behavior, and needs. I thought I was here to take care of those things for others. I thought it was selfish to consider that perhaps I had needs and feelings that I should pay attention to. I thought I was here to make and keep others happy with me and somehow, magically, what I needed and wanted would be tended to.

What a load of crap, not to mention, impossible task, lol!

I can laugh today as I consider things several people, (most of whom are no longer in my life,) said to me, about me, all while very clearly exhibiting blaring examples of their feelings of jealousy and ill will towards me. Yet, I listened and took their “moral inventory” of me to heart.

Where I should have sang, or mentioned that I sing, I was quiet, for fear of being seen as a show off.

Where I should have danced freely and enjoyed myself, I sat, for fear of embarrassing myself because “I had no rhythm, just like my father.”

Where I should have enjoyed doing my 3 daughters hair, I didn’t and thought of it as a chore because, “I braided the wrong way.” I thought I’d make them look stupid.

Where I should have shared stories freely, taking my time, flowing where God led me, I didn’t, for fear of “not getting to the point fast enough.” I didn’t want to bore people.

Where I should have spoken up about my feelings, I shrank back, and criticized myself because my feelings were “wrong and I was being mean.” I was told I am too sensitive.

Where I should have shared my experiences, I kept quiet for fear of making some angry or uncomfortable. After all, I thought it was my responsibility to make and keep people happy with me. I thought I should tow the line, even if it was hurting me (and others).

I’m so happy God didn’t allow me to keep believing these things. I’m so glad He is showing me who’s who in my life, past and present. He’s showing me how to set boundaries and let that show me who’s who. Boundary setting seems to be a problem for toxic people. Today, that former friend would be right. I’m grown and I know it now. I understand more than ever before what and who I am responsible for and for that, I am grateful.

When God Changes Your Plans, Go With It

“God is good” is so much more than a catchy cliche. It’s just plain true. Not because He lets everything happen my way and I have the easiest time in life, but because He gives me what I need and walks alongside me through it all-the fun and the not so fun.

I am grateful that throughout my entire life, at least for as long as I can remember, I have had a sense of His presence. I have always been interested in Him. I’ve always wanted to know Him better. I’ve always been drawn to talk to Him, think about Him, more than what seemed “normal” for those around me.

I know that it is solely because of Him, and not some extra “God sense” I drummed up on my own. He drew me in. It is because of Him that I can share what I am now sharing about my childhood without false guilt or shame. It is because of Him that I can still belly laugh, yet cry out of compassion for a person who has caused me incomprehensible pain with no remorse. It is because of Him that I am not only free because He said so, but I am experiencing that freedom as I grow more intimate with Him and allow Him to tell me who I am, over riding all the lies I have been taught and believed about myself.

He is helping me to access parts of me that I have shoved down because I didn’t feel safe to explore them openly. He is causing exponential growth, not just in me, but others around me as I go through this healing and recovery journey. He is a serial blesser. It is beautiful to witness the growth in others simply because I became courageous enough to share as He leads.

After 23 years together, I am sharing stories with my husband that I have never even thought to tell him or anyone else for that matter, and he is doing the same. We are experiencing so much more together as we are being completely vulnerable, sharing heart wrenching tales from our pasts.

It amazes me how one can have words uttered over 30 years ago, still hurt them, and not think to do anything about it. We think it’s as simple as letting it go and forgiving, yet we unconsciously carry those scars with us as if they are beloved treasures.

I am learning that when the past interferes with the present, work must be done. Old beliefs and patterns need to be explored and changed. Truth must replace lies. Feelings must be processed. Only then can one truly forgive and let go. Even then, forgetting is not in the equation.

I hate “forgive and forget”. God has not called me to that. He is the one who forgets our sin. I don’t have that ability. When I forgive, I no longer hold anything against my transgressor, but to forget can cause a whole slew of issues I am not willing to spear head.

I have been groomed to forgive and forget but that is what kept me in a harmful pattern. With prophecy, I am trained to see the gold, see what is possible, see what God sees and wants for an individual.

In everyday life, it behooves me to pay attention to what is before me. When people show me in action, who they are, I am now intent to believe them. I refuse to just listen to mere words any longer. That has not served me well at all. The kicker is, I saw all along, but ignored what I saw in favor of what I was told.

It behooves me to see a snake as a snake, and not a cute little puppy that I want to lean in to pet. I don’t want to get bit. A snake is a snake, after all. It will do what snakes do. This is simple wisdom.

If a wolf, as in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, dons a sweet granny outfit, but “granny” is sporting a snout, fangs and a tail, I’d be a fool to simply take “granny’s” word. Look at what happened to Little Red.

No. I am not called to be a fool. I am to be wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove.

I will end here by saying, this isn’t at all what I sat down to write about. Lol, I wanted to write about food. I had another title in place and thoughts lined up, but I see God had other plans. ūüôā

God bless you Dear Reader.

On the Subject of Perfection

I am a heretic.  I embody the definition of a heretic.  I am a nonconformist, a freethinker.  I am a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted (on many fronts in life) and,  I believe you are perfect.

Once, while at a conference with John Crowder, he said to look at your neighbor and say something “scandalous”.¬† I turned to my gorgeous neighbor and without thinking, I gave her the biggest smile I could, and blurted out, “You are perfect!”¬† She smiled and we moved on.¬† On one hand, I don’t tend to take myself too seriously.¬† There are times though, when I blurt things out without thinking, I know it’s not just me talking, it’s a God breathed Word.¬† Those moments of foreshadowing are put on a shelf for later review and that “reviewing” is always amazing and transformative.

As usual, the Lord soon highlighted His Word to me in Colossians 1:21-22.¬† In the Mirror Translation it says in verse 21, “Your indifferent mindset alienated you from God into a lifestyle of annoyances, hardships, and labors.¬† Yet he has now fully reconciled and restored you to your original design. 22 He accomplished this in dying our death in a human body; he fully represented us in order to fully present us again in blameless innocence, face-to-face with God; with no sense of guilt, suspicion, regret, or accusation; all charges against us are officially canceled.”

Let’s look at these same verses in The Passion Translation, 21, “Even though you were once distant from him, living in the shadows of your evil thoughts and actions, he reconnected you back to himself.¬† He released his supernatural peace to you through the sacrifice of his own body as the sin-payment on your behalf so that you would dwell in his presence.¬† And now there is nothing between you and Father God, for he sees you as holy, flawless, and restored.”

There is a prevailing thought process (that I don’t understand) within the Body, that is in conflict with itself.¬† You are imperfect, struggling daily with a sin nature whether that sin is yours or some ancestors, but somehow, you are to not only run into His courts with thanksgiving and praise, but you are to also do greater works than Jesus himself did.¬† How does this work when we see ourselves far beneath how our Heavenly Father sees us?¬† Why do we make this all so difficult?

I looked up that “problem word” ‘perfect’.¬† It means having all the required, or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be. It means absolute, complete, faultless, flawless, etc. Sounds like you to me.¬† It also sounds a whole lot like Colossians 1:22 .¬† What part of you was left out of the equation when Jesus sacrificed his life and declared, “It is finished!”?¬† In Revelation 13:8, The Complete Jewish translation speaks about the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was founded.¬† If Jesus came to take away the sin of the world as John the Baptist stated, and he did so before the world was even founded, in that sense, did you even come here with a sin nature to begin with or is there a greater Truth (Jesus)?¬† Where were you before the world was founded? Now, I am not saying that I am a Universalist who believes all are automatically saved. I just know I was taught that until I invited Jesus into my heart, I indeed had a sin nature that needed to be taken care of, and I could take care of it myself, by accepting Jesus.¬† All I had to do was invite him in because Jesus was far, far away from me and my sin.¬† I was taught that until one invited Jesus in, they had no semblance of God in them at all.

I now understand that Jesus was already in my heart, he is all, in all.¬† I can’t even take a breath without his input.¬† He was already in my heart, wooing me to wake up to the realization of all he already accomplished for me.¬† He was and still is awakening me to all that I am, have and can do, because of what he did.¬† I couldn’t “invite” someone in that I didn’t know was even there.¬† He had to help me with that too.¬† It’s all a gift that I accept.¬† He didn’t suddenly take up residence in my heart and life when I walked down an aisle or filled out a slip of paper or said a prayer.¬† He was always there. I just didn’t know it.¬† He did it all.

In considering what the problem could be, I can only point to “the flesh” and our free will as what trips many up.¬† The flesh is often seen as problematic in Christian circles when, not only is the flesh itself not bad, but just to drive the point home, Jesus came in the flesh and died in the flesh to make sure we knew our flesh is in good standing with him too.¬† He is so genius that he used our free will in his ultimate plan to die for us, showing us just how far he was willing to go to show us that we are included, loved, wanted and accepted.¬† He knew we’d use our free will to literally kill him and he walked into that willingly, and powerfully.

Our free will wasn’t a problem for Abba. He isn’t afraid of our ability to choose. It’s only a problem for us.¬† He wasn’t kidding when He said He’d work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.¬† You are amazing.¬† You are magnificent.¬† You are loved.¬† You are perfect.¬† It’s time to start to see yourself as He does, beloved.¬† Be free.

 

Having Peace During Election Season

While so many I know are so distraught over the upcoming elections, I am feeling so enormously blessed and at peace.  At the beginning of all this, before all the candidates were whittled down to the two, I asked the Lord who He ordained to be our next president (see Romans 13:1).  I got an immediate response and just waited to see if that particular individual would remain.  They have, so I voted towards that end and am fine with trusting the Lord with this situation.

Through all of what has occurred, I feel more secure in Him than ever before because I know that neither candidate is my source, God is, and since God doesn’t change, I don’t have to either. ¬†I can keep right on trusting and believing God. ¬†I don’t have to panic in fear of who might win and what harm could be done as a result. ¬†I have options here. ¬†I can continue to trust in the Lord with all my heart, knowing that He works all things together for my good because I am most definitely, head over heels in love with Him, and am called according to His purpose. Jesus told me to take his yoke upon me and that I would find rest therein, so, I’m taking it! ¬†He said to be anxious for nothing. There is literally nothing I have to be anxious for, and I am choosing to believe him.

I can’t help but get ridiculously excited about God and all that He has afforded us as believers. ¬†I feel like, more than ever, I am taking Him at His word and truly believing it. ¬†The freedom of living this way is so amazing it seems illegal!! ¬†I am loving how when anxiety tries to creep in, it feels so foreign that I immediately turn inward to my Heavenly Father to get that mess off of me.

I pray this peace for all of you as well.  May any of you who struggle with fear and anxiety, come into the awareness of all you have in Him.  May it forever change you and make you more and more like Jesus. I pray that you remember that you are in constant union with your Source and that you take full advantage of that fact, believing fully in the One who loves and knows you better than anyone ever could.

Who Do You Trust?

I have so much swirling in my head. ¬†There are so many things I am grateful for, that when I dwell on them, I’m about ready to burst with joy. I feel like I’m enjoying something kind of forbidden, by the world’s standards anyway. ¬†I remember this old saying that goes something like, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.” ¬†I admit that I’ve heard that a few times in my life. ¬†I’ve even been accused of not taking things in life seriously enough, as if worrying actually helps and is productive. ¬†Here’s what Colossians 3:2 says, Think about the things of Heaven, not the things of earth. See, God has something different to say about our earthly “wisdom”, 1 Cor. 3:19 says the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. ¬†In Philippians 4:8, it says that we should fix our minds on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. It says to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

The question becomes, who are you going to trust, believe and go with? ¬†I choose God, hands down. ¬†Considering my problems and things gone wrong in my life or in the world at large, just doesn’t do it for me. ¬†I love that I can go to the Problem Solver, the One who is never without strategies, answers and options for me to consider and walk out. ¬†I’m excited beyond measure to even have some of the “problems” I now have as I can’t wait to see what my Abba will do with them as I literally rest and trust in Him.

When my daughter and I revamped our herbal business, we prayed. One verse that is at the heart of how we have decided to move forward with our business is Romans 13:8- Owe nothing to anyone-except for your obligation to love one another. ¬†So, no debt. ¬†Not a penny. The “wisdom” of this world says, “it takes money to make money” and most businesses start with a loan of some sort in order to get going. ¬†Since we see otherwise in the Word, and know real life examples of people who have chosen God’s way, we decided to do the same and it has been amazing.

We have a few small monthly expenses with our company. One night as I was going to bed, I remembered that our account balance was dangerously low and bills would be coming out soon. ¬†As I lay in bed, I said, “Ok, Abba, the account is low and we have no orders. ¬†You know what we need so I thank you for taking care of it. I’m going to sleep.” The next day we got an order from a stranger and two family members. ¬†Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don‚Äôt worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7¬†Then you will experience God‚Äôs peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Ha!! As I read what I just typed, I realize I straight up Philippians 4:6-7thd that “problem”. ¬†(I know there is no 7thd, lol.) ¬†I chose to not worry, I didn’t even start screaming to the masses, “Discount! Sale!”. I simply talked to my Abba about it, thanked Him in advance for working it out, and you can’t tell me I didn’t have peace, I went straight to sleep, haha!!

I love that we truly do have options when it comes to where we put our faith/trust. ¬†I have practiced worrying and it was never fun. ¬†In fact, every time an issue was worked out, it felt a bit silly to have worried so much to begin with. ¬†After all, every single issue I have been faced with, has been taken care of, one way or another. ¬†My odds are amazing, as 100% of what I’ve faced that made me think I’d just die, I lived right on through in the end.

So while I watch some of my friends on Facebook, posting in desperation about how they are so freaked out about our upcoming election, I’m smiling and thanking God for giving me insight on who He has ordained to be in office. ¬†I’ve decided to go with that and rest. ¬†Some of my friends have seemed to become straight toddlers, posting their, “Just unfriend me if you’re voting for X!” or “Anyone voting for X, explain why!”as if it is their business. ¬†These dear ones, I am praying for. ¬†I see past the childish behavior and see that they are worried and in fear of what may or may not happen a few whole weeks from now. ¬†What a way to live. ¬†My prayer is that every believer learns to truly trust in the Lord with all their heart. ¬†He is faithful and so very trustworthy. ¬†He has proven it time and time again. ¬†We must believe Him.

Freedom

One of the many ways God speaks to me is through my dreams.  It is one of my favorite ways because I have so little to do with it as far as control or messing it up.  He often tells me what He is doing or about to do through them.  He also warns me of what is soon to come through them as well and I just love it all.  Talk about Holy Intel!

One such dream went like this… ¬†In the dream, I would look at the palm of my hands and then as I looked, I could see that the pads of my fingers were bruised. So, using the other hand, I would squeeze the pads of each of my fingers and thumbs one by one. ¬†As I did this, lots of little needles, like the size of sewing needles, would protrude out and I would remove them. ¬†I was happy to remove them, it was fun, even. ¬†I did each of my fingers and thumbs until all the needles were removed. ¬†Weird dream right?

I sent it to Gary Fishman, who interprets dreams.  Gary said that the needles represented words and negative things that people have said about or to me that have gotten under my skin and held me back in various ways. Removing them represents my gaining freedom in those areas.

Of course, this was amazing news to me but here’s what Gary didn’t know at that point. ¬†Two people, an adult woman and an 11 year old girl, both prophesied over me recently that God was healing me in various ways, not just physically, but emotionally and other ways as well. ¬†Then, I had that dream. ¬†Also, something else happened.

One day, after I returned home from visiting family and friends in the DC area, I sat on my bed, looking at pictures of my son that my beautiful Debbie took and sent me.  14054219_10210243946161183_2369251474626678082_n

Here’s where God got all up in it. ¬†I admired Debbie’s work first. ¬†She is an amazing photographer, among many other things and my boy is a ham. ¬†Then, I admired my son. ¬†He’s quite adorable, right? ¬†Then, God highlighted his complexion, but He didn’t stop there. ¬†I looked at my son and saw the beautiful hues under his brown skin, the orange/yellowish highlights and before I could form a thought, God began to play a short movie in my mind. ¬†There were various scenes from my childhood. ¬†Being called names by classmates who didn’t deem me dark enough. A scene from my dark skinned cousin and I playing together and him shouting, “I’m the Black Avenger!”, after which, I yelled, “And I’m the Brown Hornet!”, then, out of nowhere, my dark skinned grandmother comes rushing into the room, got in my face and said, “No. You’re the brown nothing. ¬†That’s what you are, a brown nothing!” ¬†She left my cousin and I confused as we were way to young to comprehend what had happened. ¬†Of course this didn’t stop me from letting my mom know that I was a brown nothing when I got home that day.

All that was a lot, but God wasn’t finished with my little movie. ¬†Then I saw, countless times that others around me were deemed chocolate beauties, while I stood back watching it all. ¬†I learned to appreciate dark skin. ¬†I have always loved dark skinned people and could easily see their beauty where others couldn’t, but here’s what also happened. ¬†When I looked at my hand or in the mirror, I didn’t look like them. ¬†I wasn’t so “chocolate”. ¬†So, I learned that they are gorgeous, beautiful people and me, well, not so much. ¬†I just didn’t measure up. ¬†Then God showed me a few more scenes. ¬†One was of me and a dark skinned friend who I thought far more beautiful than me, holding hands, sitting on the floor, chanting, wishing to magically change and be each other’s complexion. ¬†She was tired of being called black and I just wanted to be beautiful like her. I needed to be darker. Then, I saw the astonished look on my boyfriends face as my tiny grandmother practically dragged him into the house upon first laying eyes on him. ¬†He was a beautiful chocolate boy, so immediately, he was approved.

So, God showed me all this, and then, He began to play scenes from times where I was complimented by friends and others about my complexion and I all but dismissed most of them because what I’d learned first, from the people most important to me, stuck.

Then, I saw myself just a few weeks ago, at a cookout. ¬†It was said that there was a gorgeous chocolate little boy there. ¬†When I saw him, I gasped, he was in fact gorgeous. ¬†Then, still needing some sort of twisted approval, I made sure to mention that not only had I seen the boy, but I agreed that he was beautiful. ¬†I got my nod of approval but when it didn’t feel good, ¬†I dismissed it. ¬†When God showed me that scene again, which occurred not even two weeks ago, I sat on my bed and cried. ¬†I had let others issues with themselves affect and infect me to such a degree that I thought nothing of myself. ¬†I thought nothing of the beautiful complexion He chose to give me, nothing at all. ¬†I took on others’ issues as if they were my own and I owned those issues, unknowingly, for decades.

I repented and thanked God for newfound freedom. ¬†I looked in the mirror and studied my beautiful skin and appreciated it like never before. ¬†I’m right in the middle. ¬†I’m not dark skinned and I’m not light skinned, but what I am is absolutely, perfectly beautiful. ¬†I looked and looked for that gorgeous boy at the cookout when I had a gorgeous boy right there at the table with me- my son!

So, I’m done taking on issues that aren’t mine, and I am praying fervently for others with these color issues because really, it’s stupid. ¬†I apologized to my brown husband for telling him that he’d better know that I married him for love, because he’s not dark enough. I have also apologized to my children and told them they no longer have to watch what they say about their complexions around certain people. ¬†I am released from that bondage. Beauty comes in so many different shades and hues. ¬†I am grateful to God that I am now free in this area. ¬†I take to heart Galations 5:1 which says- “Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and don’t be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” ¬†I am free and will remain free. ¬†Hallelujah!!!