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Hurting Should Not Equate to Hurting

Hurting Should Not Equate to Hurting

Raise your hand if someone has hurt you. That looks like all of us. Now, what do you do with the hurt done to you? Are you a wounded woman who wounds?

You often hear the expression, “hurting people hurt.” But should that be the case? I get it we live in a world where hurts happen intentionally and unintentionally. Some with malicious intent and others due to ignorance. Oftentimes those deep seeded hurts are caused by those closest to us. Regardless of where or whom the hurts stems. Is your initial response vehemently lashing out or do you hold on so tight to the hurt with clenched fist and teeth? {The clinched teeth fist and teeth was me, so much so to the point where I would be physically ill}.  Which response is best? And which response is better for our mental, physical and spiritual health? The answer is subjective to the person on the receiving end of the hurt.

I don’t want you to think for a moment that I’m writing this blog because I’ve never been hurt or have never caused hurt. Nor am I advocating remaining in any toxic relationship. I’m writing out of reflection. Not so much reflection on the past (and its’ hurts), but more so reflecting on the future as to how I desire to handle hurt now and going forth.

I understand some hurts are attached to trauma and we must use wisdom as to how we interact with that person. For some they think the best way to deal with hurt is to hurt others. But how beneficial is it to you and are you willing to continue that same detrimental habitual pattern of hurt and how you deal with hurt? Are you willing to self-reflect and learn new habits as the giver or receiver when it comes to hurt and hurting?

The first step in your journey of renewing your mind concerning hurt and hurting is to revisit your expectations of how you deal with others and what you will accept from others. The following six questions is a starting point to help you analyze your current expectations and a thought process to renew your expectations. View each question in the state of how you dealt with hurt/hurting in the past and how you want to deal with hurt/hurting with a renewed mind.

1. What does it mean to “love your enemies” according to Matthew 5:38-45?
2. According to the Bible what is love?
3. Why is it impossible to love our enemies in our own strengthen? So, how can/should we love them?
4. What is “tough love?” When is tough love necessary in conflict or toxic relationships? Have you ever experience having to love someone this way? Was this beneficial to you?
5. Distinguish between simple, foolish, and evil women. How have you dealt with each type of women? Which ones were the easiest/difficult to love? Why?

After taking some time to ponder over and answering these questions do another self-reflection. Ask yourself in what areas have you grown and what areas you need to work on to not become a woman who wounds.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Self-reflection is the best reflection that leads to emotional, physical and spiritual healing.

Colossians 3:12-16--12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
 

Nestled

Nestled

I often look out my window or make intentional observations of trees specifically looking for birds’ nest. I’m not bird watching, but I’m in awe of the meticulous and intricate details of each birds’ nest I see. My aweness doesn’t stop there.  I become more amazed when I see a birds’ nest resting on a seemingly thin branch withstand strong winds, torrential rains and heavy snowfall.

When a bird builds a nest, they take small pieces of grass twigs and mud to create a safe place to lay, incubate and rear their young. This safe place is used by the bird to nestle themselves to get rest and obtain strength to carry out their ecological God given purpose.

When I watch the intentionality and tenacity of a bird making a nest, I’m intrigued at how they navigate around and through distractions encountered. In spite of the distractions the bird finds the necessary twigs (tools) needed to prepare a place of safety and security. It makes me wonder if I’m just as tenacious in gathering my twigs (spiritual tools) to prepare myself to nestle in the arms of God who provides a safe and secure place for me?

A nest resting on a seemingly thin branch may appear unstable to the naked eye. However, the unseen intertwining of the twigs creates a secure attachment to the branch. This brings to mind the security we have in Christ when connected to The Vine. We may not always see the interworking of the intertwining of the twigs that connect us to The Vine. But just trust, as do the birds, the strength and source of the twigs.

Winds blow, storms rage and heaviness of life happens. But like the meticulousness and intricately detailed nest. We must take advantage of the strength and source of the twigs to ensure we are equipped to stay connected to The Vine. Thus, allowing us the opportunity to nestle in the safety and security of God’s loving arms.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: The next time you see a birds’ nest don’t view it as a bunch of twigs and branches. But as a reminder of God’s source and security.
 
John 15:1--I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

John 15:7--f ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Psalms 18:2--The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Psalms 23:1--The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psalm 31:3--For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
 

The Joy of Gifting

The Joy of Gifting
Have you ever heard, “if I don’t get the gift “I” want I will be so mad?” During the Christmas season we all scurry around trying to find that perfect gift. Yeah, Yeah, I understand that we sometimes receive gifts we feel are yucky and unusable, thus we re-gift. I know we all like gifts, and it’s nothing wrong with receiving gifts. However, the problem occurs when we gripe about the gift. No one owes us a gift so if they took the time out to think enough about you to give you a gift find some joy if not in the gift but in the thought.

In the midst of our silent griping, has it ever dawned on us that the “perfect” gift has already been given and no matter how hard we try we will never be able to match or out do that “perfect” gift? The perfect gift is the gift of redemption through Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior {Ep 2:8}. This gift will never fade, go out of style or deteriorate. This gift comes in a big package with small but powerful gifts included.

The small but powerful gifts are:

The Gift of Peace: Jesus, the Prince of Peace, wants us to have His peace in every aspect of our lives, at all times.

The Gift of Joy: Fullness of joy is not found in God’s presents, but in His presence. One of the best and easiest ways to increase your joy is to keep your heart and mind focused on God and His word.

The Gift of Righteousness: Righteousness is right standing with God. When we accept Jesus, He gives us the gift of His righteousness and by faith we are made right with God.

The Gift of Hope: This extraordinary gift allows us to experience peace and joy as we simply believe God’s Word and hold on to His promises.

The Gift of Faith: Faith in God brings us rest into our souls, thus allowing us to live simply and freely. Trusting doesn’t just happen, but as we grow and become to know God more personally you will see your faith increase through your experiences and prayers.

The Gift of Love: God’s Word teaches us to love everyone including ourselves. As we learn to receive God’s love we will begin to see and love ourselves and others through God’s eyes. Albeit, we can’t earn it nor do we deserve it, yet God is willingly and continually longing to express His love to us. We just need to be willing to opening our hearts to His love.

So, as you enjoy your Christmas holiday, remember the joy of gifting:

G: GRACE—Because of God’s grace our past is forgiven
I:   IN—God’s Spirit is IN me
F:  FUTURE—My future is secure in God
T: TRANSFORMATION—God has and is continually transforming me
 
PEARLStoPONDER: God’s gift is the best gift!

John 14:1-- Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Ephesians 2:8-- For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
 

Second Guessing

Second Guessing
As another year comes rapidly to an end. Are you satisfied with what you see and what you said you wanted to complete in 2019?

At the beginning of 2019 I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw. Although I had received my Masters degree and submitted my manuscript for my first book, there was something still missing. I felt incomplete. God gave me an assignment; I was excited about the assignment. Yet I second guessed myself about the assignment. That’s what I was seeing in the mirror. Second guessing.

In 2016 I had a prayer burden, I wanted to minister in writing not only to women I know but those I don’t know near and far. Fear kept me second guessing if that’s what I should do. How would I know what to write? Will anyone be blessed by my words. I allowed second guessing to engulf me for three years. During those three years every time I looked in the mirror, I felt defeat. Defeat due to me allowing God’s purpose in my life to be second guessed because I was looking at and worried about what people had to say. One night as I was in prayer and journaling. I heard, “The gift is not yours.” “The prayer burden given to you is to benefit kingdom and God is only using you as His vessel for His purpose.” I got checked{rebuked} real good in the Spirit!!!  In that moment I had to be honest with myself, fear was the root of my second guessing because I was looking at people and not God’s purpose.

So, following that stern rebuke I listened and moved into action. Don’t get me wrong, second guessing the what and how of blogging was still looming.  But the voice of The Holy Spirit kept overriding my fear. “STOP ALLOWING ANYONE AND ANYTHING SECOND GUESS YOUR PURPOSE!”

As you read this, my question for you is when you look in the mirror at the end of this year will you like what you see? If you have a prayer burden or an assignment you know God has given you that you have yet to execute. Be honest and ask yourself if you allowed anyone and anything keep you second guessing your purpose thus stopping you from moving to action?

Don’t fret! It’s not too late. I pray with you and for you that God will remove any obstacles hindering you from executing the assignment He has for you that will benefit Kingdom and endow you with wisdom through The Holy Spirit to walk in the knowledge of the assignment, in Jesus Name!

I know it’s scary sometimes to step out into new territory. Remember if God gives you the vision, He will give you the provisions. He may not give it to you all at one time, but He will give it to you line upon line, precept upon precept as He see fit for His purpose.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: What has you second guessing your assignment?
 
Acts 5:29--Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Isaiah 28:10-- For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Proverbs 29:18--Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
 

Beauty Marks

Beauty Marks

I was running down the street, fell and skidded across the sidewalk. Man, how did I fall off this bike? I guess I should wear oven mitts next time. What you said to me hurt me to my core! All of these wounds will leave a physical or emotional scar of some kind. Have you ever thought to yourself, I have a lot of scars? Has your mind ever reverted back to how you obtained the scars? Some of your thoughts might have brought laughter and embarrassment, while others brought pain, discomfort and anguish.

Scars are evidence of some type of wound. We often think our scars {seen and unseen} are ugly. That’s why we vehemently go to different lengths to minimize, alter or hide the scars. But the reality is they never completely fade away.

I have several scars. Sometimes when I look at them the thought of the initial pain as well as the lengthy healing process comes to mind. But, overtime the touch of the visible scars and the hole from the unseen scars no longer produce pain. I can no longer feel the torment of the trauma or discomfort of the healing process. As I thought about that fact, I began to realize God transformed my ugly scars into beauty marks.

How can an ugly painful scar of any kind become a beauty mark? Scars caused by wounds of any kind initially inhabits pain and discomfort. But as the healing process progresses the latter begin to look better than the former. You see, the pain and ugliness you initially endured does not compare to the after effects of healing.

Are you still perplexed as to how ugly scars become beauty marks? God created us to be fearfully and wonderfully made so do you not think HE can transform your ugly scars {physically or emotionally} into beauty marks? Look at it this way, beauty marks are scars left by wounds that have been transformed into purpose {your purpose}.

God longs to transform our wounds into beauty marks. Scars transformed into beauty marks are reminders that God is redeeming what you’ve suffered and can heal you from the inside and out.

Guess what!!! We are in good company when it comes to scars being transformed into beauty marks. Jesus has scars too!! His hands, feet, sides and head. Jesus’ scars are evidence that He was wounded for us and proof that we can be healed. Now that’s what I call scars transformed into beauty marks. Jesus’ suffering was transformed into purpose when He brought salvation to the world.

God has no respect of persons (Romans 2:11). If He transformed Jesus’ scars into beauty marks and purpose, believe God can and will do the same for you!
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Your scars are reminders of God’s transforming grace and mercy.
 
Psalm 147:3--He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 53:5--But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
 

Change

Change
 
The phrase, “I need to make a change” often entails emotional, mental or physical changes. Regardless of what area of change is wanted or needed, change in our lives REQUIRE new thinking.

The battle to change any {known or perceived} defects in our life is always a mental struggle. The battle starts in the mind, and it’s won or lost in the mind. Whatever area of change you need or want to make will not occur until your thoughts and attitude change.

It is vitally important to incorporate daily quiet time, and to intentionally study God’s Word to learn how to renew your mind so that you will be equipped to have the power to change. The theological term for “changed mind” is repentance. To repent literally means to change your mind.

When you decide to make a change, you’re also deciding to learn to think in new ways about any defects you have. I learned over time through prayer and the guidance of The Holy Spirt that my {God given} defects are my strengths being misused. My defects were being misused because my thoughts about my defects were negative and not viewed the way Christ views them. Do you have defects that are being misused? If so, are you willing to change your view of them?

Any “defect” we feel we have can be used to God’s glory, if we change our mindset about the defect. Oftentimes we {I} get upset about something in my life and say to myself, “I need to do something different” But what usually happens? Defect sometimes equals defeat thus no action towards change. Why??? Your mind has yet to embrace the new thinking about change.

Choosing to think differently about change will become easier the more you fill your mind with the Word of God. When you’re looking at your defects, ask yourself how would Jesus think about this? How can God get the glory?

A simple function used by most computer users is CTRL + ALT+ DEL. These are a combination of keys on the computer keyboard pressed at the same time to terminate an application task or to reboot the system. Ahhhh!!!! What if we used CTRL + ALT + DEL to terminate the negative application of how we view our defects and reboot our thinking!

CTRL + ALT + DEL
Control yourself= James 1:19-20--Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
 
Alter your thinking=Romans 12:2-- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
 
Delete negativity=Psalms 94:19--When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Are your defects being misused? If so, CTRL + ALT + DEL.

Philippians 2:5--Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Proverbs 3:5--Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

1 Corinthians 2:16-- For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
 

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

We often hear the words “thank you or thanks.” But have you ever taken the time to really dissect the heart of the meaning of these words?

Sometimes these words are said with a sincere and honest heart other times these words are said out of habit then there are times when these words are not said at all.
Scriptures tell us “in everything give thanks.” Is this phrase something we can honesty say we do daily with intentionality?

We have hectic schedules with daily lives that are sometimes exhausting, overwhelming and don’t forget about the ever-present need to problem solve every moment of the day. With all this going on often a forgetfulness of the “good” things in our lives get overlooked. We can become so focused on the hard, urgent and not so good stuff that we miss the opportunity to give/say thanks. If we become intentional in taking the time daily to stop and give thanks. I’m not just talking about giving thanks to those around us, but give God thanks. When we do this, we will be able to put life into a perspective that will minimize the not so good stuff and pleasantly magnify the good things.

Saying thanks is good for us!  As we profess our gratefulness in ALL circumstances (without complaining), we’re not only like Christ, but we’re also exercising power over darkness. The enemy longs to get and keep us frustrated and discouraged thus often giving in to our flesh. Saying thanks opens a door for God’s presence and blessings.

Giving thanks is a reminder to us. Our minds are opened to recall all the times we’ve trusted God and He seeing us through all the difficult times. Thus, further making us aware of how every good and perfect thing we’re blessed with is from Him.

I’ve always tried to be intentional in saying thank you to anyone who does anything for me. It’s my way of acknowledging their thoughtfulness. But lately I have really been thinking abut if I’m just as intentional in giving thanks to God for ALL that He has done for me, but more importantly for who He is.

T--thoughtfulness
H--helps
A--acknowledgement
N--nurture
K--kindness
S—sincerity
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Is your thanks sincere and glorifies God?

Psalm 107:1— Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

1 Thessalonians 5:18--give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 
 

Busy Being Busy

Busy Being Busy
 
Today’s society is known for its busyness and its increasing ability to deliver instantaneously. We find ourselves hurried more that our ancestors could ever imagine. Some days, and especially as we approach the holiday season time will appear to be moving at an unprecedent rate of speed. It will feel as if there are not enough minutes in an hour or hours in a day to complete all we have to do, and the clock keeps ticking oftentimes making us lose touch with what is really important.

We are overworked, overstressed, and spiritually undernourished. Our culture promotes “bigger, better and faster” and subtly entices us to keep up. “Bigger, better and faster” is not necessarily wrong. However, I encourage you to weigh out the consequences of the “bigger, better and faster.”

The challenge of “bigger, better and faster” can blind us to busyness. Albeit, there is great joy in scurrying around to find food items for that perfect holiday meal. Going from store to store to get the greatest gifts at the best price. The blissful wait in long lines at the airport or maneuvering through traffic as we rush to get to the homes of family and friends to enjoy relaxation and festivities.

But, in the midst of all this running around and enjoying family and friends, there’s this little small voice, “have you spent time with me today?” You look at your phone with the intention of reading the daily scripture. But the flash of 50%-60% catches your eye. The daily scripture quickly gets overridden by the online sale. As you hit the checkout button you yell out “wow, thank you God I just saved $75.”

Once again you hear that small voice, “have you spent time with me today?” You sit down to pray, but immediately your to do list pops in your head. You mumble a few words(prayer), you get up saying “I have sooo much to do.” Then you start rattling off all of what you feel needs to be accomplished. The voice is still lingering, “have you spent time with me today?”

 I often hear “I’m so busy.” Yes, that may be 100% true and I am in on way minimizing what people have going on in their lives. But are we so enthralled with the “busyness” of our lives that we drown out the voice of The Lord to the point where our to do list is more important than spending quality time with The Father?

A great example of the consequence of busyness is the story of Martha and Mary. Martha opened her home to Jesus. While Martha was enthralled with preparations to make things “perfect” for Jesus her sister Mary sat at Jesus feet listening to and absorbing all He had to say. Martha’s distraction of busyness kept her from listening to and spending time with Jesus.

If we are honest, more than not we resemble Martha more than Mary. We rush around doing what we feel needs to be done, while missing the glimpses of Jesus all around us. As difficult as it is, and contrary to our culture, we must be intentional in our efforts to decrease “busyness” and model Mary. As Jesus said in scripture, Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

PEARLStoPONDER: If we become so focused on trying to beat the clock or should I say catch the clock, the distractions of instantaneously delivery of “bigger, better and faster” will steal our quality time with The Father and can minimize our usefulness to the Kingdom of God.

Luke: 10:38-42-- 38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

 

Inspiration

Inspiration
 
Sometimes in life you have to a step back and take the focus off self. As we enter into the season of Thanksgiving it has been on my heart for months to speak about some women I know personally who are truly an inspiration to me.

As women we endure may issues with our bodies. Some self-inflicted and others happen without warning and with the question “why” is this happening?

I have been guilty of complaining or asking “why” certain things are happening to my body. But one day as I was sitting in my office the faces of six women flashed before me. Remorse came over me and I immediately repented for my complaining and began giving thanks for these women whose daily battle include but not limited to: Chrons Disease, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Multiple Sclerosis (MA), Diverticulitis, Lupus, Breast & Ovarian Cancer, Asthma and Endometriosis.

I personally know that each of these women have/had moments when they suffer in silence with pillows filled with tears due to physical and emotional pain. Yet, they find the strength to push through every day. For some of these women not only are they pushing through to take care of themselves but other family members as well. They are wives, mothers, business women, students, church members and many other hats not mentioned. To see their drive and motivation is unmatched.

For me I have to be careful not to allow the enemy {or my own thoughts} make me feel as if my life is so bad when I am not feeling my best. But the truth of the matter is, our bodies are decaying daily thus we will experience different ailments with varying pain extremes. I laughed to myself because The Lord gave me a good rebuke….”do you not remember being delivered from endometriosis” {and other ailments}? Once again, I began to praise God for rebuke and correction.

To my Sisters who deal with chronic pain and illness you are an inspiration to me! I pray that God will continue to strengthen you daily so that you are a testimony to His goodness, His power, His grace and His unconditional love.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Move out of self and give another woman genuine encouragement, you never know what they may be going through.
 
Isaiah 40:29--He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Psalms 34:8--O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Psalms 46:1--God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
 

The Blessing of UNGLUEDNESS

The Blessing of UNGLUEDNESS
 
As women there are situations or challenges in life that can make us feel or cause us to become UNGLUED. During a season of UNGLUEDNESS the enemy dominates the mind with the things you need to do, how to execute getting it all done as well as demeaning and intimidating words like that’s too hard you won’t be able to do it.
 
When I go into prayer in this UNGLUED state I oftentimes go before God incognito (or so I think) hoping God doesn’t recognize me (my heart), meaning I went before God being deceptive about my feelings, having doubt in my heart and pretending everything is ok. When in a state of UNGLUEDNESS I also pray fashionably before God, fancy empty words just to say I prayed but not being freely and genuinely transparent before God, (as if God didn’t know my heart and what was really going on). Unrecognized UNGLUEDNESS will lead to shadiness because you don’t want anyone to see how UNGLUED you are. When you become shady your life becomes dark (spiritually), chaotic, discombobulated and your home will be unbalanced.
 
But I realized the recognition of being UNGLUED is a blessing, because at that moment I understood and remembered I am not in control. Regardless of the depth of the UNGLUEDNESS, when I acknowledge (that small still voice) I’m UNGLUED I make an intentional and conscious choice to stop and refocus on God’s Word (this sometimes takes several tries..lbvs). Acknowledgement leads to adhering to and trusting the guidance of The Holy Spirit who gives instruction on how to thrive and have peace in a season of UNGLUEDNESS, with the understanding this may be God’s way of getting my attention to work out of me what He needs to get out of me for His purpose and glory.

Although I have been knocked down in the state of UNGLUEDNESS, I’m so grateful that God didn’t allow the enemy to take complete control. I praise Him for the ability to refocus on His Word for guidance and peace. You too through Jesus Christ have the power to thrive in a season of UNGLUEDNESS!
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Don’t be afraid of becoming UNGLUED. It’s just God’s way of tapping you to refocus on His unconditional love, glory and power.
 
John 14:27 (KJV)---Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
 
1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)---For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Philippians 2:5 (KJV)--- Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Proverbs 4:24 (KJV)--- Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
 
 
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