Knowledge Is Power

“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
    I also will ignore your children.
 The more priests there were,
    the more they sinned against me;
    they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful.”

Hosea 4:6-7

You know what I find interesting about us humans? How uninspired we can be when it comes to developmental growth. Now I’m not talking about those who have accomplished educational accolades. I’m all for school if it’s beneficial for your purpose. I’m talking about those of us who jump on the trend bandwagon without taking the time to discover the foundation of what we’re about to embark on.

I remember growing up in a Pentecostal Church. As a little girl, I often heard the scripture “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This was a pillar in my home to ensure we went to school to further our education. You know, “Live the American Dream.” Looking back I can’t honestly say this concept was applied to all areas of my life. When I think about it the bible speaks about growing in knowledge in many realms. Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual to name a few. Having a “sound” mind. Our bodies being a “temple” Holy and acceptable. Being “renewed” daily. It makes you wonder why so many of us were not raised knowledgeable in our overall health.

In my adult life I’m presently transitioning to a Christian Holistic Lifestyle. I’ve previously written about this which you can find here. As a recap let me explain what a Christian Holistic Lifestyle embodies? Essentially, it means you’ve made a choice to take responsibility for your own well-being and everyday decisions which affect your health. By creating balance in your life in efforts to achieve the highest level of well-being for your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health while drawing directly from the Lord.

I have to continually make it known this is a CHRISTIAN Holistic Lifestyle. It’s interesting when people decide to become “healthier” they run to things like aligning chakras, burning sage, placing crystals throughout their homes, and praying to Mother Earth. This is the lack of knowledge I was referencing earlier. Here’s a fun fact! Chakra, also spelled Cakra, Sanskrit C̣akra, (“wheel”), any of a number of psychic-energy centers of the body, prominent in the occult physiological practices of certain forms of Hinduism and Tantric Buddhism. The chakras are conceived of as focal points where psychic forces and bodily functions merge with and interact with each other. In case you were wondering psychics are linked to demonic practices and witchcraft. I think it’s safe to say, we will operate in realms not of God and have no idea we’re doing it. So do your research folks.

It’s not beneficial to put God first and get an education solely. We also need to equally encourage ourselves to eat whole foods, acknowledge our emotions and mental state then choose the most productive way we respond. We have to do a better job of becoming more proactive about being knowledgeable in every area of our makeup. If no one ever exposed us to being whole in our life then how do we do it? We grow in our knowledge. We decide to be a participant in the developing of our WHOLE self. Mental, physical, mental, and emotional. That my dear brothers and sisters is up to us. No one else.

All in all, it’s our knowledge which opens the door for opportunities. It exposes us to a higher level of thinking and understanding. It provides us with the ability to create spaces intentionally and with purpose. Knowledge is powerful. We live in a world full of generational curse breakers, billionaire’s, best-selling authors, and self-care activist who will never tap into their respective gifts. It’s their decision to repeat what they’ve learned instead of seeking knowledge for themselves in their individual craft. The bible says it best, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge because they REJECT it.” When we don’t take the time to learn how to grow in our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health we are literally destroying ourselves. It’s time to tap into one of our sources of power, Knowledge. Blessings!

What Happens When We Apply Pressure?

Good Afternoon my brother’s and sister’s in Christ. I pray you’ve spent your time living intentionally and with purpose. We are a few days post my usual Self-Care Sunday blog. Seems I’ve been transitioning out of the routine of posting every Sunday. Needless to say, behind the scenes of blogging I’ve had my hand in a few other projects. My last post talked about the foundations of a Christian Holistic Lifestyle. To sum it up it’s the decision one makes to live whole in all aspects of life. Spiritually, Mentally, Emotionally, and Physically. I provided some ideas useful for promoting more activity in those 4 areas daily. I pray they helped all of you who are interested in shifting the way you’ve chosen to live.

This past week I found myself feeling off balanced. In the past when this feeling would come over me I would resort to things or activities to make myself “feel better.” Fast forward to the present day I’m more interested in acknowledging an unsteady emotion while discovering the trigger behind it. This week I couldn’t figure out the trigger immediately. What caused me to be in a state of “Blah?” One thing I know is we can be so close to a situation we can’t see what’s in front of us. I spoke to my Spiritual Mentor and she brought clarity to my clouded emotion. With her wisdom, we were able to pinpoint a trigger of mine. Goals! Expectations! Time!

Have you ever heard the phrase, “I’m my worse critic?” Truly, this is something God is healing me from daily. I no longer bash myself verbally like I once did. However, the pressure I place on myself to produce in a certain time frame doesn’t always align with God’s timing. The pressure was my adversary in the unbalanced emotional state I felt earlier this week. I realized even though I’m growing I can’t speed up the process of my growth. With all my goals and visions there is a time and season for them to fully bloom. The Bible depicts this concept as seed, time, and harvest. I believe most of us throw the towel in right when the “time” portion exceeds what we had in mind.

This was it! I subconsciously started to feel defeat, because I realized the journey ahead of me wasn’t instantaneous. I understood in order for me to operate in the fullness of who God created me to be would take more TIME. We spend so much of our life living how we want then expect God to expedite our journey to our purpose. Reflecting, I’m not sure I really conceptualized what it would take to undo all the layers of who I chose to be before I gave myself to Christ. With each growth spurt, I experienced an additional discovery of hidden triggers. Who I was all those years produced layers of chaos and as they are exposed God is correcting each layer.

I had a dream a few nights ago. My local Pastor spoke to me saying,” You are in a state of Corrective Chaos.” When I opened my eyes I looked up the definition of both words. I had this revelation: Corrective Chaos is the state in which God corrects or counteracts complete disorder and confusion. The Holy Spirit calmed my uneasiness immediately. Jesus is correcting EVERY chaotic thing associated with me and my history. This is why I couldn’t speed up the process. He was undoing what I had done while allowing me to grow in my newness. My instruction during this time was to endure the process, have compassion for who I was, and fall in love with who I’m becoming. Thank you, Jesus.

Perhaps you’re on your journey to purpose and find yourself applying pressure where it isn’t needed. Maybe you’re growing weary in your well-doing. If so, I want to encourage you. I want you to stop applying pressure in the places God is correcting. One thing I know about working under pressure is you’ll never produce optimally. If you operate in a state of pressure you lose the clarity, and wisdom needed for the task. It’s time to stop pressuring yourself to produce a harvest out of season. It will NEVER happen. So take a deep breath. Listen to what God is telling you. Most importantly, endure the process, have compassion for who you were, and fall in love with who you’re becoming. Blessings!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9

Is Your Vision Limited?

Good Morning my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray you’ve spent the week living intentionally and with purpose. I was reading in the Gospels this morning. More specifically, John 1. Towards the end of the text, we find Jesus preparing to journey to Galilee. He calls, Philip to follow Him. Philip then goes to get Nathanael to whom he says, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Skeptical, Nathanael replied, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Once they arrived the conversation went like this:

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.” John 1:47‭-‬51 NIV

After reading the text I immediately felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit asking me, “have you ever limited Gods ability?” I can remember times where all I wanted was to know that God was listening to me. Not understanding that He knows all, sees all, and has a plan for my life. Maybe like me, you’re someone who needed healing from their past, control of their finances, or peace. All circumstances that Jesus Christ sees.

The Holy Spirit continued to speak to me. Saying, “What we perceive as hard times doesn’t even qualify as an issue to God.” I can look back over my life and glimpses of the times where I was stuck in my hurt, pain, and loss of identity will pop up. They serve as a reminder that I spent so much of my time focused on how I saw myself and what I was going through when God already knew. Not only did He know me but in spite of my flaws, there were things he wanted to do in me that I couldn’t even begin to imagine.

I believe that sometimes when we spend so long desiring to be healed, financially stable, or just to have consistent peace that’s all we can see. We pray without ceasing for our circumstance to change, for our living situation to change, for our relationships to change. Then we find out that as we seek God more He changes less of those things and more of us.

So how does this all tie together with Nathanael and Jesus? Nathanael believes that Jesus is the Messiah because Jesus sees Him under a fig tree. Guess what? No matter what your prayer is or what you’ve been through Jesus sees you. Jesus then goes on to say, you believe I’m the Messiah because I told you I saw you under the tree? He may be saying to us, “You believe I’m the Messiah because you got that promotion?” That’s not even the beginning of what I can really do in your life. Just wait and see what I’m really capable of doing. Heaven will open up and angels will appear. The God that we pray to over relationships ending, doors closing, and our finances. Is the same God who will open the windows of Heaven. Heaven! While we’re worried about Him blessings us with a new car. 

We have to stop asking God the perform a miracle on circumstances that He has equipped us to handle. Not everything we pray about requires fire from heaven. This is why He changes us instead of the circumstance because if He can change us then we can change the circumstance.

God sees you. He hears you. You are significant. So much so that he knows the number of hairs on your head. I challenge you today to change how you see Jesus. Understand there’s more to Him than just helping us which means there’s more to us. God has placed all these amazing talents and gifts inside of you. We have to allow our vision to be more like God. I encourage you to see yourself. Get a good look. Then realize that the God who opens Heaven Spirit lives within you. You’re capable of more than what you think. Stop limiting the capacity of the gift that is Christ Jesus. Remember, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Blessings.

 

Don’t Let Your Ego “Edge God Out”

Good Evening my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray you’ve spent the week living intentionally and with purpose. Can you believe January is already over? How are you guys doing with your 2019 goals? Have any adjustments happened with your vision for this year? They have for me. Lol. The overall vision is the same but the path in which it’ll happen has slightly changed. With thirty-three days in the books Yahweh has already slowed me down. Many of you know I finished my Vision Board a week or so before the new year. My goals cosisted of growth in my relationship with Christ, my marriage, my brand, this blog, and a list of other ventures. The more I attempted to reach these deadlines that I set for myself God was directing my attention to the journey that has to happen before I reach the destination. I guess you can say my EGO was getting the best of me.

I was listening to a podcast the other day and the guy referenced his EGO getting in his way. Now I’m not someone who relishes in my own accomplishments. All glory be to God for anything that he has strengthened me through or allowed me to obtain. As the podcast continued he mentions that a pastor told him that when we have a big EGO we are essentially “Edging God Out.” #MindBlown Had I Edged God Out in my bedazzled Vision Board and 2019 Goals? Couldn’t have I thought. I mean He is in the midst of every goal that I have for this year. The more I talked to Yahweh about it He began to reveal to me how my EGO was getting in the way.

Even though my vision was from God I didn’t account for the time needed to prepare for the vision. I started the process but had no expectation of the next steps which left me doing what I thought was necessary. I was leaning on my own understanding. Even for God’s glory. I found myself making all these plans that glorify God but in the same moment, I was edging him out of my preparation process. There is nothing in this world that we will do that doesn’t require seed, time and harvest. If God has planted a seed in you there is no skipping the “time” that is needed before the harvest.

In due season, what is planted inside of you will grow. Continue to allow God to cultivate you through the process.

Maybe Christ has given you a vision to write a book, start a credit repair business, an apparel shop, or become a life coach. There is absolutely no way to bypass the necessary journey that you have to take in order to flourish in your God-Given area. There are levels that require our participation as we are on our journey to becoming who we were created to be.

You can find preparation thorughout the bible,

“Put your outdoor work in order
    and get your fields ready;
    after that, build your house.”

Proverbs 24:26

So what’s the takeaway? Start. God has given you a vision for your life then start. Start the process and allow Yahweh to guide you through each and every step. God isn’t our phone a friend when we are stuck. His place is in front of us before we even make the step. I spoke about being in the process of writing my first book. I had the opportunity of attending a Master Class that focused on “Writing Your First Book & Self-Publishing.” I learned so much that I had no idea about prior to taking the class. The knowledge was necessary as I journey to becoming a first-time author. Don’t allow your EGO to Edge God Out of your preparation process. Blessings.

Create! Just remember to include Christ in the process.

Update: I went to a Christian Women’s Bible Study last night and it truly was a release for me. I really underestimated how much I missed being able to fellowship with other Women of God. Right at the end, they asked us to write down what we were hearing from God. He simply told me, “Go and be free TRULY Tiffany.” It was as if I still had a spec of my past self in my heart and in that moment Yahweh released me from it. Glory be to God.

Also, I just booked my first speaking engagement of the year. I am so honored and excited about the event. The subject, “There is Beauty in The Vision.” What a befitting topic. Details coming soon. Love you with the love of the Lord.

Let’s Get Healthy

Good Morning my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray you spent the week living intentionally and with purpose. I’ve been waiting to post this particular blog as I was still getting clarity from the Lord. Being healthy is interpreted in a wide range of areas. Most of the post on Mindful of Me Moments speak to our inner self. Enabling us to grow in our ability to self-care and self-love. Today I want to touch on being physically healthy.

The word of God says,

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

I don’t believe this verse solely pertains to our hearts and minds. I believe it also speaks to our physical health. Roughly a year ago I was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure. I was placed on medicine to aid in controlling it, but I would still find it to be high. Alongside HBP my back and knees cause me pain. My feet swell and I lose my breath relatively fast. A few years ago I lost 100 pounds through working out and dieting. Since then I’ve gained that weight back. My lack of self-control and discipline is the result of my current state. 

So when Yeshua started to deal with me about self-care, self-love, self-control, and discipline. My physical health was apart of the conversation. He asked me, “Do you want your health to be the thing that hinders you?” Hinder you from having the energy to live out the purpose I’ve given you. Hinder you from enjoying activities with your husband. Hinder you from traveling. All of these different scenarios were laid before me and it made me make a decision. Did I want to spend another year, month, week, or day battling with unhealthy lifestyle choices? No, I didn’t. As if it couldn’t get any clearer God spoke to me in a dream about my Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health. So even if I didn’t say yes to me; I was going to say yes to His instructions.

This weekend I made a plan. I wrote the plan down. I set goals with dates attached to them. Ultimately, I know how to lose weight, I know how to eat healthily. What I needed help with was my ability to be consistent. I heard Bishop TD Jakes say,

“Being RELENTLESS will get you there. Being CONSISTENT will keep you there. Being GRATEFUL will increase what’s there.”

I know how to be relentless. It was consistency and gratefulness that I needed help with. I started to think about my triggers. (See Check Yourself Post which speaks about identifying your triggers.) Stress was a trigger for me and my coping mechanism was food. I know so many people that find comfort in food. But how many of you know when we place anything in the place of God it hinders us? My self -care journey thus far has transformed my thought process and repositioned what was poorly positioned. Now when I feel stress coming my way I pray to Jesus about it first. The Word of God tells us,

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

 Philippians 4:6-7

Situations didn’t have to stress me out. I allowed them to stress me out. I didn’t have to make poor health decisions to cope. I chose to make poor health decisions in the absence of Christ. Understand that the outcome will always be poor in the absence of Christ. Our physical health is just as important as our purpose, our relationships, our level of influence, and our happiness. You feel better when you eat and workout. You look better. You perform better. We can’t be content with the Holy Spirit living in any condition. He wants our mind, our spirit, our thoughts, our will, and our bodies to be healthy by God’s standard.

The Lord told me in a dream over the weekend that He wanted me to spend the next 365 days being disciplined. Specifically, in the areas that I lacked discipline. If I did what He instructed me to do then He would BLOW MY MIND. When God tells you something you better believe Him. I mean He doesn’t lie so………….

I challenge you to become disciplined in the areas that you lack discipline. It’s easy to write about our areas of strength, but what about the weak areas? What do you need to be more disciplined in? Remember, God will help you be consistent. He will increase you in that thing once He sees you are grateful. Don’t start at being relentless then fade away. God wants you to follow-through. Put Him first in all you do and He’ll see you through what you can’t see. Blessings.

 

Mid-Week Check-In

Good Morning my brothers and sisters in Christ. As always I pray you’ve spent the beginning of the week living intentionally and with purpose. I wanted to pop in mid-work week to check-in with you all. We haven’t done a “Self-Check” in a while. If you’re new to my blog take a moment to reference my previous post about performing a spirit self-check here: Check Yourself Post

How are you feeling? What’s going in your world? What are your priorities looking like? The last few days Yeshua has shown me where He needs to be positioned in my life. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in work, family, school, and ministry. Even if we are operating in those avenues under the direction of the Lord it doesn’t replace the fact that He should always be our first priority. I’m learning that my hour long morning bible study and journal time is no longer sufficient for my relationship with Christ. It’s become more than just spending time in His word. I’m now desiring to spend time talking to Him separate from my personal bible study. He is showing me that there are levels of intimacy with Him, and I’m approaching a new level.

My mid-week check-in is peaceful and productive. My priorities are on par with Christ and are about to shift once again. I’m learning the various areas that I can worship Yeshua throughout my day. I’m understanding that spending time in His word is only one way of being intimate with Him. Lastly, I’m transitioning into having a daily designated time when I can just talk with Him.

I encourage you to take a moment to do a Self-Check. Examine where you are right now. What is getting your attention? What is your mind focused on? What are you making time for? Have you taken time out of your to-do list to place Jesus at the top? Remember, every answer you’re looking for God already has; check-in with Him regularly. Blessings.

 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.  Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.”

2 Corinthians 13: 5-10

 

My Perpetual State of Worship

I heard the Lord say, “Perpetual State of Worship” as I was in worship this morning. Perpetual means never ending, everlasting, eternal, undying. I know you’re wondering how can I worship God all day? Worship isn’t just an intimate moment with our Father where we are crying out to Him during prayer. We worship Him in our obedience to His word. We worship Him when we follow His directions. We worship Him when we repent for our sins and turn from them. We worship Him by putting Him first in our lives.

This morning in my prayer and study time He was speaking to me while simultaneously giving me a vision. He began to show me the beauty inside of me. This beauty was my spirit blossoming in Him.  I’ve recorded an audio that I’ve placed at the bottom of this post. It’s me talking about my worship experience with Christ. As always I pray that it causes you to reflect and examine yourself. Allow God to become your first priority, because you’re His priority. Blessings!

This week’s Moment Of Mindfulness task is to develop a perpetual state of worship for Jesus Christ. 

 

Am I in Proper Position?

Good Evening my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that you’ve spent the week living intentionally and with purpose. As we continually grow in our knowledge of self-care I’m learning the importance of being in proper position. I know that our understanding of proper positioning may have been planted in us as children. Sometimes our life experiences form our belief in the way we think, who we are, and what we should be doing. Ultimately, we only find proper positioning in Christ. Self-Care is all about ensuring that you are intentional about yourself in a way that allows you to function at your highest capacity. If you’re practicing good self-care, then you should be in proper position in every area of your life. I want to spend this time walking you through my own experience in getting into proper position. My prayer is that it will provide insight to you while you are yet on your journey to being positioned properly.

So often we think the enemy is attacking us. Dealing with infertility for several years now. I often felt as if he was attacking my body to prevent me from having children. As I grow in God; He continues to give me understanding regarding the birthing process. I was in worship this morning I heard God say, “The attack on your body isn’t an attack. It’s your spiritual incubation period.” Yeshua told me that He was using this time to extinguish generational curses from my lineage so that I can carry out the healed legacy that my Mother is currently birthing.”

Incubation is the maintenance of an infant, especially a premature infant, in an environment of controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen concentration to provide optimal conditions for growth and development. Carry means to support and move from one place to another; to support the weight of.

Yeshua reveals to me daily something new about my Mother. She is the one person in my family who He ordained to shift the trajectory of our legacy. The weight of her purpose is massive. It’s one that she has carried solo for a long time. As I am yet in alignment with Yeshua He is showing me the proper positioning to carry out the vision He gave her for our lineage. A vision that is free from generational curses, sexual immorality, abuse, perversion, incest, molestation, debt, inconsistency, self-sabotaging, disobedience, witchcraft, pride, jealousy, and rebellion. He told me that I couldn’t be in any kind of condition while supporting the weight of the vision. He told me if He had allowed me to birth children when I wanted to I would have undone years of intercessory prayers that went forth for our bloodline.

Culturally we spend so much time worrying about the natural births that we ignore that they should first be cultivated in the spirit. If we spent more time focusing on spiritual incubation we would be in a proper position to produce in a season that has optimal conditions for growth and development. The word of God says,

“For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

You may be at a point in your life where you feel out of position. If you are unsettled in your mind, relationships, finances, or purpose then you’re probably not in proper position. To shift your life into proper positioning there are a few things you should be meditating on and practicing.

  1. Understand that this life is not your own. God created us all in His image and has placed purpose on the inside of us. Allow Him to reveal your purpose so that you are truly living intentionally and not just existing.
  2. Repent for the things that you’ve done that are not pleasing to Him then turn from those behaviors. God examines our hearts. He wants us to know that with His help we can overcome our past and choose to no longer live without Him again.
  3. Realize that if you’ve made plans, decisions, or moves without the guidance from God then you have placed yourself out of proper position. Once you’ve realized this you have to allow the Holy Spirit to retrain your thought process.
  4. Understand you will never reach the abundance of blessings that Yeshua has for you if you’re choosing to live a life that is disobedient to Him. Disobedience to the Word of God limits and distracts you from reaching blessings, purpose, healing, deliverance, protection, discernment, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
  5. Get comfortable with God’s timing. You don’t get to tell God what your timeline is for your life. Your life is already written. He has already formed it. You must get in alignment with His already written timeline.
  6. Proper Position is a lifestyle that requires you to forever be submissive to Yeshua. Whatever you’re looking for you will ONLY find in God. If you choose to live life not submitting to God and His word you will never be in proper position.
  7. Put a value on your relationship with God. This is going to be key from this moment forward. So many of us never valued the importance of having a relationship with Yeshua. We valued our relationships with other people. Parents, boyfriends/girlfriends, husbands/wives, children, money, sex. Everything and everyone except the one who knows and has everything that you will ever need. You must make Him number 1 if you’re going to shift your position.

Self-care and proper positioning go hand in hand. Both things must be directed by the Lord. They both place you in position to operate during the most opportune times. They both give your life meaning. Lastly, they both provide you with ways to live intentionally and with purpose.

I challenge you today to examine your life and pinpoint every plan, decision, and move you’ve made without consulting God. Get a list going. After you’ve completed your list pray and ask Yeshua to reveal to you the effects those decisions had on your life. Take your time. This is an intimate moment between you and the Father. He begins to show you the effects your decisions have had on your life, repent. The single most important relationship you will ever have is your relationship with Yeshua. It’s also the only relationship that exposes you to purpose. Blessings.

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

James 15: 5-8

Identity

Good afternoon my siblings in Christ. I pray you all have been living intentionally and with purpose. I wanted to put a pin in my current journey and share what’s been going on. I pray you are able to see yourself through my experiences and it encourages you to challenge yourself as you are on your journey to being the best you possible.

IDENTITY! Who are you? This question is one that I’ve been asked more than once in my life. I’m a lot of things. A wife, daughter, sister, friend, college grad, business owner, employee, writer. I am all of these things however these are titles. Though true they don’t define me nor do they give a depiction of who I am. I’m a wife because my husband married me. I’m a daughter because my parents conceived then birthed me. I’m a sister because my parents had additional children. I’m a friend because I’ve invested my time in relationships. I’m a college graduate because I completed school. You get the point, lol. All these things were inherited or obtained through my work ethic.

While on this journey to self-love and self-care you will find yourself at this exact point. The point at which you are so distant from your former self that you no longer recognize who you are. Your past no longer defines you. I’m a survivor of domestic violence. Yeshua protected and graced me to make it through an abusive first marriage. I’m not ashamed of it anymore. I’m healed from it now. I’ve forgiven him and myself. It’s a part of my testimony, but it is not my identity. Identity is defined as the distinguishing character or personality of an individual. It is no longer my character to operate like someone who was abused. On the flip slide, I survived it, and I have been a survivor the majority of my life. So much so that I had to learn how to be a submissive wife to my current husband. So being a survivor isn’t my identity either. So again I ask, “Who are you?”

If you find yourself in this place along your journey. The place that closes a door and opens a new one. Don’t freak out! Lol. It’s perfectly fine that you don’t recognize yourself now that you’ve given your life to God. It’s going to take some time to discover the newness of you. It’s fine to re-evaluate your relationships and friendships at this point. You may even feel the need to step away from some relationships while you’re discovering the new you. If so, it’s ok to do that unless you’re married. (Side note: It is not ok to step away from your marriage, because you’re finding yourself.) I have some people that I’ve considered friends for over a decade and am now at a place that I’ve realized that I don’t know who they are in their current life. As adults who have families, I couldn’t even tell you anything about them and vice versa. It made me think that if our only connection is the past, and I’m no longer living in the past then maybe we don’t have the relationship that we once did. When God comes into your life you fall out of agreement with things and people. Somethings or some people will no longer be familiar to you. I’m not saying to dump all your friends, but take the time to learn who you are as this new man or woman in Christ. Once you’re established in that then seek Him about your relationships.

Fully giving myself to God has me in a place where I don’t recognize who I am since I’ve become a new creature in Him. I know my past and how He has healed me from it. I know how He protected me from my bad decisions and forgave me. Every trait, idea, characteristic, mannerism, and response were wiped away to make room for God’s presence when I gave my life up to live for Him. So what worked for me in the past no longer works for me as a Woman of God. Those things and some people no longer identify with me.

WHO AM I?

I AM A CHILD OF GOD! That I know for sure. As I grow in Him I am learning every day the identity in which He ordained for me. How I think, my character, my morals, and values are all provided by Him not by what I was taught or learned from others. I’m no longer pressed about figuring it all out. I find peace in the fact that I’m intentionally pursuing the one who has already figured it all out for me. Life is no longer about what I have been through, what decisions I made, what others thought about me or what I thought about myself. Life is about discovering the richness of Yeshua. Learning what He had in mind when He created me. Being intentional about loving myself. Thriving in the relationships He established for me. Growing my spirit, spreading the Word of God, and fulfilling my purpose. The more I seek Him the more I find out who I am.

I challenge you to re-evaluate who you are. Do you even know? If not, are you taking the necessary steps to grow in God so that He can reveal it to you? Today is a great day to start if you haven’t already done so. Don’t spend another year, month, week, hour or second allowing your titles to define who you are. Blessings.

“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who He is or what He’s up to.”

“But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see Him—and in seeing Him, become like Him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.”

1 John 3:1-3 The Message (MSG)

Unconditional Self-Love

Good Afternoon my siblings in Christ. I pray you all have been spending your time living intentionally and with purpose. This past week Yeshua has been revealing to me my placement. He’s showing me my roles while providing an understanding of the depths of those roles. I have so many areas that I desire to share with you all, and I will over time. Today, I wanted to touch on unconditional love and it’s placement in my life.

Unconditional love is defined as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. Biblically, unconditional love is referenced as Agape. I don’t believe I actually understood what unconditional love was until recently. All credit be to Yeshua for my new found understanding. Unconditional love has always been associated with how God loves us, marriage, or being a parent. The idea of having someone love me unconditionally seemed like a fantasy for most of my life. The last several months my relationship with Yeshua has grown and has put somethings into perspective for me.

First, I became aware that I had never loved myself unconditionally. My love for myself was cultivated in wrong thinking, lies, sexual immorality, and self-condemnation. My parents were young when I was born. My grandparents raised me most of my youth and spent a lot of time emphasizing that they were the only ones who loved me. I was a prisoner of my past and that prevented me from seeing the beauty in which God made me. It never even crossed my mind that I had no idea what it meant to love me unconditionally. I had such a distorted vision of love. Especially self-love. I was never taught how to love myself. I was never exposed to an environment that displayed unconditional love. Everything that I had become prior to the discovery of who I was in Christ was rooted in pain.

Second, I became aware that my ability to love myself wasn’t validated through a relationship or activity. I spent the majority of my life searching for validation. I wanted someone or something to love me through my flaws and all. Something that I didn’t think I was capable of doing for myself. When we do that we allow other people or things to dictate our worth. When I didn’t do something that someone liked or I made a bad decision in relationships I adopted their distaste for me and allowed it to become a self-reflection. By doing this I started to form a level of self-hate, and unforgiveness for me. God calls us to see ourselves how he sees us. When we are obedient to His word then He will begin taking the blinders off of us. He will set the standard by which we conduct ourselves, and how we allow people to treat us. He has truly shown me what it means to love my flaws and all. He has shown me that in my position of self-love, and self-forgiveness no one gets to take away from it. He has given me the right to move past my past, and grow as a new creature in Christ. One who knows what it means to love herself, forgive herself, see the beauty in herself, and one who has created the standard in which she is treated. Selah!

Third, I became aware that now I must live my life intentionally, and with purpose. Now that all of these things have been revealed to me I have become intentional about my life. For me being intentional means taking a step back to realize what’s in front of me, praying about my next move, and following the direction of God. I’m not leaning on my own understanding to handle life. I pray for wisdom and guidance continually. In doing so, I am ensuring that I’m under the protection and guidance of the Lord. He gives me clarity and understanding that I wouldn’t have if I were making decisions on my own. When I’m faced with challenging moments He graces me to handle those moments and walks me through the flames without being harmed. I love myself in such a way now that I’ve given my life to Christ it’s not explainable.  My past may come up from time to time. I acknowledge it without guilt or fear. I know what my past looks like, and I’m still worthy through it all.

Psalm 139:14-18 (NLT)

14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[a] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

Today, I want you to take a step back and acknowledge the level at which you love yourself. Is it unconditional? Do you allow others to validate how you love you? Do you allow others to dictate the point at which you forgive yourself? Has your life shaped your understanding of you? If you’ve answered yes to any of this questions I challenge you to disconnect yourself from the beliefs that are false and plug into God. He will transform you and guide you as you are on your journey to loving yourself unconditionally. Blessings.

 

Check Yourself

Good Afternoon my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that you’ve spent this week living with purpose and intention. I want you to take the time to perform a Self-Check. I was riding around with my husband last night, and we started talking about our growth as children of God. The conversation led to me explaining how I find myself performing Spiritual Self-Checks to make sure I’m in alignment with the Will of God throughout my daily interactions.

The Word of God says,

“Test and evaluate yourselves to see whether you are in the faith and living your lives as [committed] believers. Examine yourselves [not me]! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves [by an ongoing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test and are rejected as counterfeit?” (2 Corinthians 13:5 AMP)

 ‘Therefore, believers, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you [be sure that your behavior reflects and confirms your relationship with God]; for by doing these things [actively developing these virtues], you will never stumble [in your spiritual growth and will live a life that leads others away from sin]; for in this way entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly provided to you.” (2 Peter 1:10-11 AMP)

Wow! When I read these two scriptures I had a vision of the Lord standing before me saying, “You are a reflection of me; so act right. You hear me?” Lol. But it’s so true. We are in a relationship with the Father, and how we behave solidifies that relationship. How can two walk together unless they agree? So Yeshua creates a guide in the bible that maps out how we ought to behave in order to confirm a relationship with Him.

Here are some things you can do when performing a Self-Check.

  • Evaluate Your Priorities. Take the time to write out a list of your daily activities. Don’t say God is your number one priority, but you’re not spending time with Him. If you’re at work majority of the time, grab dinner on the way home, watch TV once you get home, squeeze in some family time at the end of your night, then you finish with the Lord’s Prayer. Your list should reflect those activities in that order. Remember, your priorities are the things you’re investing your time in. (Self-Check: Ask yourself where on my priority list does the development of my relationship with Yeshua fall? If He doesn’t fall at the top of your list then start adjusting your daily life around spending time with Him; DO NOT adjust spending time with Him around your daily life.)
  • Be Intentional About Your Responses. You can’t control what people say to you. However, you can control how you respond to people. Working in the healthcare field I am challenged daily with high-intensity situations. More often than not I am bombarded with an overload of tasks. Some that belong to me, and others that don’t. I’ve recently adopted the understanding that “I’m only one person. I can’t do everything, but I Can Do Something.” This mantra allows me to have peace in the midst of chaos.

Let’s Go a Little Deeper. How are you responding to yourself when the enemy tries to torment you in your mind; stirring up memories of your past? When I’m faced with moments like this I have to be intentional about my response. Since he likes to bring up my past I like to bring up my present. He may say, “Don’t forget who you are! Abused, abuser, liar, adulterer, alcoholic, porn addict, worthless, financially irresponsible,  inconsistent, and double-minded.” My response, “Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. You’re bringing up things that are far from me. Things that I fell out of agreement with a long time ago. I’m not ashamed of who I was, because look at who I am now. I AM free from sexual immorality, truthful, faithful, sober, financially responsible, worthy, consistent, and rooted in God. I was washed by the blood of the lamb. Jesus died for my sins so that I can walk in my freedom. He’s already paid the price for me so I can stand up tall, and relish in my victory. My testimony is the evidence of His greatness.”

Remember, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].” 2 Corinthians 5:17

(Self-Check: Are you taking the time to assess your reactions? If not, you ought to start checking yourself. It’s always better to think before you speak.) 

  • Acknowledge How You’re Feeling. You have to stop ignoring your feelings. I spent so many years suppressing my emotional health that it was foreign for me to admit how I felt. Generationally, I was taught that I had to be strong. No matter what was going on in my life I was taught that I had to operate in survival mode. This taught me three things: 1) How to get the job done. 2) How NOT to be successful at communicating. 3) How to ignore my mental and emotional health.

I have struggled my entire life with communicating how I feel. In relationships, I allowed people to treat me any kind of way, because I didn’t acknowledge how I felt. As I become more mindful of me Yeshua is showing me how to acknowledge how I’m feeling while placing those feelings in their appropriate place. You can do the same thing by performing these steps:

“Acknowledging Yourself Checklist”

  1. Ask yourself how you’re feeling.
  2. Acknowledge that it’s ok for you to feel this way. Good or bad.
  3. Establish the reason you’re feeling this way. List these reasons as your triggers.
  4. Discover ways to combat this feeling if the feeling causes you to be in a state of mind that isn’t parallel to how Yeshua requires you to be. (Do this by finding out what the bible says about this feeling.)
  5. Discover ways that will support how you’re feeling if the feeling causes you to be in alignment with the Word of God. (Do this by finding the scriptures that bring you confirmation about how you’re feeling.)
  6. Take the time to put into practice these steps daily.

When you acknowledge how you’re feeling you’re able to be intentional about yourself. You’re able to put your mental health into proper position. You’re able to fix your mind on the solution instead of the problem. You’re able to meditate on what is right which will ultimately direct you towards operating at your highest level of self. (Self-Check: Are you someone who suppresses their feelings? If so, start to acknowledge NOT dismiss them. Once you’ve acknowledged them follow the above 6 steps so that you are able to be purposely in your mental and emotional health.)

As always it’s been great spending this time with you. I pray that you will spend a little extra time “Checking Yourself.” Blessings.

Be Intimate Intentionally

This evening I was worshiping Jesus as I routinely do in my prayer space at home, and He showed me that I was being intimate with Him intentionally. When I wake up in the morning the first thing that I do is grab my phone, and read the bible from my YouVersion app. After that, I pray. I give thanks to the Lord, I pray for my husband, my family, friends, and whomever else He has put on my heart to intercede for. Then I get up and start my day. When I arrive at home in the evening after having dinner, and relaxing with my husband I spend time with the Lord. I read my bible. I meditate on what I read. I allow Him to highlight the portions of the scriptures I read, and I put a mental pin in it. Then I take time to journal. After that, I go to my prayer space. I cover my head with my prayer cloth and I worship Jesus Christ. I don’t ask for anything. I don’t pray for anyone. I just spend time worshiping Him in all his glory. More often than not I find myself crying out in the midst of worship because He’s been so GREAT to me.

So this evening as I was routinely in worship He said, “you are intimate with me intentionally.” Intimate is defined as closely acquainted; familiar, close, private and personal. Intimacy is defined as a private cozy atmosphere. When I’m intimate with Jesus it’s my time to bare all the private things that I don’t want anyone else to know about. It’s my time to bare my shame in front of him. It’s my time to be vulnerable, and submissive to Him. It’s my time to lay at his feet, and offer myself to Him. It’s my time to die to my flesh so that His spirit can LIVE in me. During my intimate time, He loves on me. He comforts me. His spirit wraps himself around me. He builds me up. He fills me with his compassion. He loves me as I am. He believes in who He created.

Every night I find myself in awe during my intimate time with the Lord. He loved me when no one else did. He protected me when no one else would. He valued me when I didn’t value myself. He was with me when I thought I was alone. He was, is, and always will be mindful of me.

In order to “Be Intentional,” you have to start with your relationship with Christ. If you have not purposed in your mind that you are nothing without Him you will never reach the level of love, peace, joy, success, or fulfillment that you seek. You have to make a decision that you’re going to “Be Intimate Intentionally” when you go before Him. There is nothing that you’ve done that the Lord doesn’t already know about. There is nothing that you’ve done that He hasn’t already forgiven you for. Don’t you know that YOU belong to HIM? Don’t you know that He died so that you can have life. Who else do you know loves that way?

I am standing in agreement with you this evening that from this moment forward you will BE INTIMATE INTENTIONALLY WITH JESUS. That when you go to Him in worship you will let it all hang out. Shame, guilt, worthlessness, pride, jealousy, envy, promiscuity, rage, defeat, boastfulness, heaviness, sickness, disease, sabotage, and you will deliberately kill your flesh so that His spirit can live in places within you that are preventing you from thriving. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tonight, take time to meditate on His word. Make a mental note of what He’s pointing out to you. Remember, Be Intimate Intentionally. Blessings.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.” 1 Thessalonians 5:10

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4

“If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” Matthew 10:39

forget yourself