I don’t know about you, but the world has been kind of bumming me out lately. I had to check myself and intentionally redirect my focus before I turned into a heap of miserable. February is a month when our culture enjoys celebrating love, right? There is Valentines Day, candy, flowers all that lovey dovey stuff. I can use a dose of lovey dovey, so I thought I’d make the theme of this month’s posts around love, serving and good will! I’ll be posting different ideas you can try each day for 28 days to show good will to our fellow brother and sister. Starting today! Hope you enjoy!
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Listen at Charles Stanley for today’s message.
All of us have stories tucked in our heart of people who have inspired us. Inspiration may have come to you from people you’ve never met, but, they touched you through their words, actions, or resilient spirit. However, I find the most beautiful stories of inspiration come from those that are closest to us, like these comments from my lovely readers. I was inspired by what they had to say about those who encouraged, inspired and strengthened them… I hope you are as well.
The person that inspires me is my grandmother. She was a black mother of 9, who became widowed after her husband was murdered due to racial motivation during a difficult time in our nation’s history. She was an incredibly strong woman nonetheless and went on to own her own restaurant. Now that I have to walk this road as a single mom too, she inspires me on those rough days. I miss her immensely, but I know she is in heaven with our Lord!
My Mom was my biggest inspiration in life. She was such a beautiful person, hard worker, and took such great care of my Dad and my brother and I until she passed away at the age of 48 from lung cancer. She fought so hard until the end.
I am now at the age when my Mom passed away and I, myself was diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago. When I went through my 5 surgeries, year of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation, I looked back at how positive and strong my Mom remained throughout her cancer journey and that gave me the strength and inspiration to fight as hard as I could to beat mine. I miss her so much, but I know she is in my heart and I will see her again one day….
My Cousin Inspires Me. She suffered a stroke during pregnancy and never misses a beat.
Thank you for sharing who inspires you!
Do you have a vision for 2016? I do and I thought I’d share my Vision Board with you! In 2015 I read a book by Terri Savelle Foy that motivated me to get serious about my goals and my vision. So I decided to create a vision board! Interesting enough years ago I used to make collages from words in magazines so creating a vision board felt familiar to me as I scoured through magazines to find words and images that represented the vision I wanted to work towards in 2016. For me creating this vision board was a way to seriously think about my goals and what I’d like to manifest in my life and reflect about where I’ve been and where I want to go. It is super easy and I encourage you to do it as well!
Easy Steps to Create Your Own Vision Board!
1) Write Down 10 Goals for 2016. Terri Savelle Foy said, “Ask yourself what would make 2016 your best year ever?” That’s what I did and it was a great place to start when I was thinking about my goals for 2016!
2) Purchase poster board, a wooden board (like mine) or a cork board. I had bought my board awhile back on sale at Michaels and had no idea what I was going to use it for I just knew I liked it so it was perfect to use for the vision board!
3) Search for images or words that match your goals. I found my images in magazines but you can print out pictures or use anything else that represents your goals. For example, I used a card I made with a flower that literally had my name on it! It was a little sign to pursue my dreams of starting an inspirational card line.
4) Arrange them on your Vision Board.
5) Hang your vision board somewhere you can see it everyday
My 10 Goals for 2016 Include:
- Spend time with God everyday for at least 15-30 minutes
- Reach my goal weight of 120 pounds
- Lose 4-5 pounds every month by exercising 4-5 times a week
- Submit 1 article monthly to a magazine
- Publish 2 eBooks and gross $5,000
- Have my cards in 3 events and gross $1,000
- Have my cards in 1 retail store in 2016
- Cut debt by 50%
- Save $1000 by 12/31
- Blog daily (increase pageviews)and record 2 broadcasts a week
You’ll notice I have more images on my vision board than my 2016 goals, that’s because I’m thinking long term as well! One of my dreams is to have my books on a bookshelf in a store so I’ve represented that through words as well as a picture of books. You can put any image you want ! Just have fun!
Of course always pray over your goals and make an action plan so that you have a strategy to achieve your dreams.
Make 2016 a Great Year!
Write Your Top Ten Goals Down and Then Rewrite Them Everyday for 30 Days!
How can we keep our goals fresh in our minds? Well, we can write…repeat…write…repeat! As I mentioned awhile back I read this great book by Terri Savelle Foy, “Dream It, Pin It, Live It,” and she discusses how to set goals and more importantly how to follow through on them. One of the steps she mentions is writing down your Top Ten Goals, not just once, but rewrite them everyday for 30 days. This keeps your goals in the forefront of your mind. If your writing and you forget one of the goals it may be a sign that particular goal may not be that important to you.
Did you write those goals yet? If you did, then get ready to write them 30 more times! Let’s get determined!
Check out her latest video on Five Rules for Successful Goal Setting
On my morning walk I came across this lovely yellow flower peaking its way up from underneath the leaves and weeds. It was as if it’s yellow blooms were stretching towards the sun just beckoning to be noticed. The mound was desolate and there wan’t another single flower in eye shot, only this solitary flower remained standing and still thriving. The autumn leaves tried their best to camouflage this yellow beauty, but failed. This flower decided to bloom where it was regardless of the non-conducive environment. What a meaningful lesson ladies. Regardless of the obstacle or distraction trying to bind us we can continue to grow in whatever hostile circumstance we find ourselves encountering. You are a beautiful, resilient, living, thriving child of God planted to bloom wherever your are! Your petals although delicate are not easily torn, in them lies an incredible strength coupled with a desire to survive, to grow and to become the radiant work of art that God created you to be! The little yellow flower wasn’t worried about the leaves that could overwhelm her instead she grew in spite of them…stronger, brighter and more beautiful. Go do the same… bloom where you are.
My daughter has been taking ballet for almost 7 years and she’s a wonderful little ballerina. Last year she has the privilege of dancing in the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center. This year when the auditions came around again, she seemed a little intimidated. She wasn’t sure if she could pull it off again. I told her I thought she would do fine, but it was totally up to her if she wanted to try out again. She did, so we went to the audition this year I could tell she was nervous. She took in the large crowd and the girls who were looking older and more experienced and I could tell her confidence was shrinking. So I pulled her over and said, “Let’s pray.” I asked that God calm her heart and if it was his will to let her make it, to let him guide her feet and her mind. She went up to try out and then came back down. They told us that this group of girls needed to stay for the 2nd audition to be either dolls or angels because of their height. We went to get a snack and Anya was feeling better at this point, but she was aware that there would be even more girls trying out. We said another prayer and one of the other girls asked what we were doing, I told her praying and then the girls went back up. As I sat there for another couple hours, I thought about the story of Gideon and how it was so fitting for the day and for my own life as I struggle with doubt.
In Judges 6 11-16, God approaches Gideon about taking over the Midianites who have overtaken the land. Gideon did what so many of us do, doubt that we could do the impossible. Well, we can’t that is on our own, but with God there’s no limit. Gideon say’s “But Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan i the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” How often do we perceive ourselves as the least or the weakest? I know I have and I know that Anya did that day. The truth is we are weak, but when God is with us we have strength through him. I love how God replies and says, “I will be with you and you will strike down the Midianites together.” How powerful is that statement of truth?
Our fear arises when we look through our human eyes instead of looking through our spiritual eyes.
Could Gideon take on the Midianites on his own? Absolutely not, but he was together with God and no force is more powerful force than that of the Lord being with you. The angel said to Gideon, “The Lord is with you Mighty Warrior.” The Lord saw Gideon as a warrior, did you know that you are a warrior? You’ve been adopted into the Lord’s army, the most powerful army that ever existed! So when you see yourself as the least, as not worthy, as not talented, as not good enough I want you to remember, that you are a Mighty Warrior! A Mighty Warrior with God on her side, with the Gospel in her arsenal and the Holy Spirit to guide you through the valleys! Don’t listen to Satan listen to your Commander in Charge and march forward with the confidence of the power of the blood of Christ that flows through you that you are a Warrior with a God-given purpose! We need to stop listening to Satan and our human doubts and open our ears and eyes to who God tells us we are in Him! In verse 24 Gideon builds on altar and calls it, “The Lord is Peace.” Gideon got it! Regardless of the insane seemingly insurmountable obstacle in front of him, God was with him and because of that there was peace. Doubt, fear and anxiety can come, but when you rest in the Lord, peace will reign in your life. Have you accepted that the Lord is Peace? Have you accepted that you are a mighty warrior? Do you know that God is with you? Once we believe these truths we will see the impossible be possible.
Back to Anya’s audition. After what seemed to be forever, I saw her running toward me with a paper in her hand. She was beaming! She’ll perform as a Doll in the Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker! The look on her face was priceless! She said to me, “Mom, every spare minute we had we prayed.” Guess who she was praying with? The girl who asked what were doing earlier. Anya found her Gideon and shared it with her friend. That was the biggest gift of the day!
I was listening to Beth Moore talk about how we often try to give CPR to the things that should be dead in our lives. This really struck a cord with me. One, because I’m guilty of doing it on occasion and it is fascinating to me how human beings have this desire to hold on even when there is nothing left to hold onto. When I say dead I’m obviously not referring to our loved ones who passed away, but to those things in our past that no longer fit who we are in Christ. We hold onto bad habits, unfortunate experiences and particularly relationships in our life that have run their course and are over. Instead of letting it rest in peace, we do our best to dig it back up! Only to become embittered, angry, saddened all over again. Or have you changed, but people have a tendency to not let your past die? That’s annoying right? So how can we stop breathing life into the dead? Here are 5 scriptures on how to let the dead die.
- Romans 12: 2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Change begins when we recognize that our thought process has to be changed, transformed and renewed. For example, if you had a substance abuse issue don’t dwell on all of the awful things you did under the influence. Make your amends, but think about how far God has brought you! How the Lord has transformed you. The world (and even those close to us) have a tendency to throw our wrongdoings back in our face, but we have to renew our mind daily through prayer, scriptures, and our thoughts so that we can stay on our purpose in the present.
- Luke 9:62 “But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Think about if you were plowing a field and continually look behind you? “Your field wouldn’t be plowed very well if you kept turning around right ? Matter of fact you may even crash! When you keep looking behind you it is impossible to focus on what is in front of you! When you accepted Christ you became a new creation made to do works for the kingdom of Christ, how can you do that if you are focused on a past that doesn’t fit who you are in Him? Keep your eyes ahead.
- Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Stop dwelling in the dead. What does that mean? Don’t live in what no longer lives, don’t surround yourself with the memories, don’t continually talk about what was but focus on what God is doing in your life now, at this minute. If the Lord led you out of the desert spring up to the hope that comes from God leading you out of the desert!
- James 3:6 “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” The quickest way to give life to the dead, is talk about it over and over and over again. I’m not saying to suppress your feeling, but once you’ve worked through an issue or a relationship is over stop digging it up. Don’t give power to it by speaking about it to the point that you bring it back into your life. Now, I absolutely think that you can bring healing to someone else’s life by telling your story, but that’s not what I’m referring to here. I’m speaking about the inability to let something go. Simply, let it rest away from you where it belongs.
- James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Satan loves when you’re tormented by our past and he hopes that we stay in it so he can keep us trapped from all that God has in store for us. He looks for ways to keep bringing the dead back around. He is a cunning liar whose goal is to take you as far away from God as he can. When Satan is trying to raise what is dead in your life, sister you need to flee! Run as fast as you can to God. Get down on your knees in prayer. Remember he isn’t a match for God, but he knows your weaknesses and preys on them. When he preys on you that’s when you start praying on him!
You are a living creation made in the likeness of God who knew every little thing that would happen to you, but loved you with an awesome love anyway! Love yourself enough to live with the living and not the dead!