Beautiful Pains

It’s been a little over seven months since I married the love of my life. So far I have vomited profusely, cried sporadically, gained thirty pounds and countless stretchmarks. Yayy. In case you haven’t guessed it – I’m pregnant.

Let me just start by saying how this time has elapsed nothing like I thought it would, I had every intention of being a blend of Martha Stewart, Claire Huxtable and a stripper. Unfortunately, nausea and fatigue made it very difficult do be the non-stop cooking, cleaning, sex vixen of perfection I wanted to be for my husband. Instead, I had these symptoms that under any other circumstance would indicate I am dying but in pregnancy they’re described as normal and I couldn’t see anything other than all that I was now incapable of doing the way I once did. As usual, Holy Spirit slips a lesson into this season of my life and as usual; I am going to share it with you beautiful people.

Here’s how it happened:

I was in bed one day, lamenting over the pelvic pain and swollen feet I had now become accustomed to. I was scrolling aimlessly through old photos and looked at one of my 9 year old daughter, I began to think back on all that I was facing during my first pregnancy with her. Truth be told, it was a terrible time but when she came – none of it even mattered at all.

There was never a day I resented my daughter because of what I experienced during the process of having her. It was painful, but the outcome was breathtaking. Looking at her gorgeous little face brings me nothing but joy. The pain of the process never supersedes the beauty of the promise. In that moment it hit me, that I wasn’t just aching, I was creating! My body itself is being used to produce a new living person the world has never seen and doesn’t know it needs yet. I am pregnant with a promise that when all I see are symptoms, God sees the outcome! Enduring these beautiful pains, allows the earth to roar with new possibilities and endless creativity.

You may not be physically pregnant like I am, but we all possess something unseen that the world doesn’t know it needs yet. What if Einstein stopped because of the pain of failure? What if Martin Luther King Jr. stopped because it was dangerous? What if Oprah stopped because she was rejected? What if Yeshuah stopped because 39 lashes hurt too much?

You will never know how much the world needs whats in you until you endure those beautiful pains and PUSH!!!!

Until next time,

Live a little, love a lot, be a blessing!

 

 

If you liked this post, you’ll love my book 100 Days of Singleness !!!

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Why are you afraid to soar? 

This morning, a friend reminded me of my very favorite quote by Marianne Williamson. 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. “

I was afraid to soar when those around me were walking. 

Today, I have a bit of advice for you as well as for myself. Aren’t you tired of shrinking when you were born to soar? We have all been at that place of feeling intimidated by our dreams. Don’t you think it’s time to soar? You do? Great! 

1. Don’t apologize for wanting more! 

2. Pray, plan, prepare, persist… in that order! 

3. Don’t give up! 

This week, just begin to contemplate how you want to improve your life and create a list. I’ll elaborate on the 3 points next week to give a little more clarity. 

Until next time;

Live a little, love a lot, be a blessing! 

My top 3 reasons for getting married!

On the cusp of our sixth month of marriage, I began reflecting on the question I’m most often asked “How did you know he was the one?”. Now, as fairytales would have it… you’d think it was this magical tingly feeling that made me want to be with him forever. You’d be wrong. I sure was. 

I’m going to give you three of the reasons I said yes to the man of my prayers. 
1. He takes his directives from God 


I knew that he would make decisions based on the voice of God, and as a believer in Christ… this mattered to me most. While I have my own relationship with God, I was all too familiar with dating someone who didn’t value having one of their own. I wanted a life that embodied biblical principals and I needed a leader for my home who would be able to ensure this was a reality. He fit the bill! 

2. He is the most beautiful chocolate man on the planet! 


Honey, color me shallow but spending the rest of my life with someone I’m physically attracted to was on my “no compromise” list. And this man… whew! 

Before I knew his credentials, his aesthetic was pleasing. I didn’t place it as number one because it truly isn’t THE most important thing to me. But honey, it does matter. Don’t settle, it’s possible for you to marry a godly man who you’re actually attracted to. 

3. He’s responsible & consistent 


Coming into my marriage as a single mother, I was very concerned about consistency. I was able to marry this man, because he’s responsible. He paid his bills on time, he prioritized needs over desires and there’s never a time he says he’ll show up and doesn’t. Those may not be the sexiest traits to you, but they sure make for a great husband. 
Now… don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely in love with my husband and absolutely adored by him in return. But we didn’t make our decision solely on how we felt. There’s much more to it, but those three were my main reasons for the curious amongst us. I guess after writing a book on Singleness. I have to expect that people wanna know how I made the transition. 

Transition – What is it? How do I recognize it? How do I deal?

Meaning:

a change from one form or type to another, or the process by which this happens: (dictionary.cambridge.org)

the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. (google search)

Hebrew words for transition:

  1. The first word for transition is ma’avar, which means to “cross over,” to “pass through” (as in a land or city) or even to overflow (cf. Isaiah 23:10, who speaks of passing through a land “as a stream”) In the word, ma’avar, I see the word, me-avar or “from the past.” We are nurtured by our past relationships with communities, and by their pasts which become a part of us
  2. shinui, which literally means “change
  3. chiluf, which means to “move on” in the way that the grasses sprout anew after the old sproutings have dried up and passed away.

 

Signs you’re in transition:

  • Relationship changes (breakups and broken friendships/betrayal)
  • Spiritual attack & mind battles, usually marked with thoughts of inadequacy and fear
  • Lack of interest in daily activities
  • Possible depression, mood swings & irritability
  • The feeling that there is just “something missing”
  • This nagging awareness that there is just something more

PHASE 1: EARLY (LATENT) LABOR/THe process

The first of the three stages of labor is usually the longest, but (thankfully) it’s also the least intense, by far.

During this phase, we experience sporadic periods of discomfort.

Spiritually, this can manifest itself in bouts of emotional strain and exhaustion. Because the process is not necessarily swift, it will require great adjustment and spiritual awareness. Understanding that you are in a season of transition is vital, with that knowledge you are now equipped to do the most difficult thing this process requires – wait. As with a natural pregnancy, you are  expected to wait in anticipation that something will be birthed from your process. That is the faith God wants us to have in Him, so that in our waiting there is preparation for the promise!

PHASE 2: ACTIVE LABOR

You’ll usually be in the hospital or birthing center by this phase (or if you’re delivering at home, your midwife should be with you by now).

Active labor is sometimes excruciatingly painful. Both in the natural and in the spirit, this phase is preparing you for the release that is coming. You are adjusting and getting into position to ensure that your next phase goes well. You are being stretched to capacity so that safe passage of what you are carrying is ensured and you give birth to the promise you have awaited for so long!

PHASE 3: TRANSITIONAL (ADVANCED) LABOR

During transitional labor — the last, most intensive phases of labor —fortunately, it’s also the shortest.

GET IT OUT!!! The urgency of this phase is incomparable at any other state of the process – it’s time to release! You have nurtured, prepared and positioned yourself for the release of what’s in you. Then, and only then are you able to PUSH your destiny out!

How do I not go crazy during a season of transition?

  • Don’t be afraid: Joshua 1:9 ESV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Don’t doubt in the dark, what God told you in the light: Ecclesiastes 7:8-11 ESV Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. Wisdom is good with an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun.

  • Don’t try to guess your way through: Proverbs 3:5 ESV Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
  • The work was prepared before you were: Ephesians 2:10ESV For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them
  • Stay confident! God wants it more than you: 1 John 5:14ESV And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

It’s not about you: 2 Corinthians 1:4-9 ESV Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.

Disconnected

Yesterday, I got ready for work and headed to my car as usual. I got in and cranked the engine, it sounded the same but it didn’t start. I removed the key and decided I would try again, this time – nothing happened.

No lights were on my dashboard, no power to hear the radio, no connection to do anything – my car was basically dead. It wasn’t until the mechanic checked it, that he realized my battery terminals needed to be changed. There you have it, I couldn’t move because I had no power!

This morning, Holy Spirit gave me the lesson in this inconvenient occurrence. We are powerless when we are disconnected!

When I heard that, John 15:5 came to mind; which states: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

Our dependency on God is what causes us to move from glory to glory as stated in 2 Corinthians 3:18 where it speaks about us being transformed into God’s image. Yeshua is our power source, He is the very essence of our being and the cornerstone of our faith. Are we, trying to operate independently of Him? Maybe not intentionally, but anytime consulting Him isn’t our initial reaction – we are most likely disconnected.

I usually get up, brush my teeth and get prepared for my early morning meetings with Holy Spirit. However, I felt tired and rationalized that I could just lie down and pray. I began in worship by saying “Holy Spirit, you are welcome here”. He responded “Am I?” and I immediately felt convicted and got up. When we aim to alter, to postpone or to tweak the instructions given us by Holy Spirit. We are walking in disobedience. This is an indication that we are disconnected and out of touch with our immense need for God’s presence.

I just want to leave you with this scripture to meditate on today:

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

Until next time,

Live a little, love a lot, be a blessing!

 

Discouraged?

Life sucks sometimes. God is amazing and His plans for us are always good but somewhere between the promise and the manifestation… life sucks for a minute.

I don’t want to live a life of obligatory service to the amazing God who has saved, delivered and loved me into being a better version of myself.

I don’t want the people depending on me to be the reason I succeed or move forward. I don’t want my passion to be fueled by the pressure of living up to anyone’s idea of what my life should look like. I want the one who gave me this life, to take it and do what He sees fit – even when I don’t understand because that’s what trusting Him means. It means I don’t get to always know how close I am to things changing, I probably won’t know how and I shouldn’t need to… but here are some truths I have to face:

  1. Sometimes, pursuing purpose is as enjoyable as watching paint dry, because somewhere along the way I forgot it’s all about God and made it about doing stuff.
  2. God’s plans, outweigh my agenda.
  3. Just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.
  4. Satan is a liar, any opportunity to trick me into believing I’m nothing or that I am failing when I am in God’s will – gives him power over me he wouldn’t otherwise have.
  5. God always wins, so it kinda makes sense to leave it up to Him.

Here are some scriptures on discouragement that may help. You’re not the first, and probably won’t be the last to feel discouraged. Sometimes it feels like you’re losing when you’re doing what God asks, you feel trampled on, overlooked and forgotten but… defeat is an illusion. Serving God automatically makes you a winner. Sometimes following the call of God feels like a burden we just cannot carry, mainly because we shouldn’t be the ones carrying it. Let God do His job. Have faith, be obedient and don’t give up.

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Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

 

Live a little, love a lot, be a blessing!

Just hold on! 

I’m thinking of all the times I thought things in my life would just never get better. I thought of all the moments I made mistakes I thought were too big to ever bounce back from. I thought of all the times I lost faith and thought the worst was inevitable and life would just be terrible forever. 

All those times, I was wrong and so are you! 

Fail forward!!!!

Don’t let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.

– Babe Ruth

You’ve heard that before right? Good. Maybe now you’ll actually believe it and apply it. We all think of failure as this death sentence to our destiny but it isn’t!!! Failure is the best thing that can happen to some of us, it can either push you down or push you forward. I urge you to fail forward. 

If Oprah Winfrey hadn’t been fired earlier in her career, chances are we would not know her name! We cringe at failure, but it’s such a beautiful thing. Failing at something just means we figured out that this thing right here… Won’t work. That’s more information than you had before you tried it! 

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” Morihei Ueshiba

There is no success without failure. Don’t allow your mind to be clouded with what others may think of you. Don’t allow what their opinions may be, to stop you from trying. Just go!


Nike says “Just do it” and so do I! 

Here’s 5 reasons you shouldn’t fear failure:

1. But did you die?! 

Yeah it may have felt like your world ended but it didn’t… It didn’t kill you and you learned something. 

2. Who cares?!

If nobody knew about your failure, would you still be as upset? Probably not! The people who watch you fail, will also be the people who watch it work. Don’t sweat it. 

3. You actually tried!

I know it seems cliche but it’s just true! Most dreams never make it pass the imagination but you put your plan to action! You deserve a cookie, unless you failed at a cookie business then… Sorry! 

4. You can try again!

Now that you know what won’t with, you can figure out what does! In the timeless words of the late Aaliyah “Dust yourself off and try again”. 

5. We need you!

Someone in this world needs you to invent that product, write that book, finish that course, learn that language, start that business or whatever you’re purposed to do! So do it! 

See there? Failing isn’t so bad! But pickles? Yuck! Lol

Live a little, love a lot, I hate pickles! 

– ShaKeisha M.