Where it all started…

Everyone has had a moment in their life when they have just been tired. Tired of life, work, school, etc. whatever your moment has been, we’ve all been there; just one thing you never do is give up. I know this is my first blog entry and I’ll try to keep it a little short, but I want you all to know where it all started. I went through a rough patch a year or so ago and I was tired of everything. It seemed like if anything could go wrong, it went wrong. I would often confide in my mother and she would always give me encouraging words. One night she said, “We go through things for a reason.” I later found out my reason. While riding down the road God gave me the idea to start this blog to open my life to others completely. I got the name of my blog from Colossians 2:6-7, (And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.) I try to live rooted in the Lord, if you are rooted in Him then everything will be okay. I’ve been through so much, yet I manage to look like I have it all together and I want others to know it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to not be where you want to be in life. It’s okay. I am a Christian, but I am nowhere near perfect. God is still working on me and while it may be hard, I make it by the grace of God.

Somewhere around Fall of 2015 in my second semester of college is where things started to spiral. It wasn’t until somewhere after my birthday October of 2015 when I realized God had better things for my life. I was tired of my job, I was getting tired of school, and forming anxiety; I knew I had to change something. I knew for a fact God had a better job, better friends, better everything for me. Little did I know as soon as 2016 hit God would show up and show out in my life. After my birthday I stopped going out, I sorted through friends and lost a few, and began to focus on me.

You see, I grew up in the church, but that saying “I was in the church, but the church wasn’t in me” was true. I got baptized when I was in 5th grade, but mainly because my grandmother pressured me. I went to church because it was something I was supposed to do. I enjoyed church and listening to the message, but I wasn’t as close to God as I should’ve been. I tried to pray when I woke up, went to sleep, and sometimes at meals, but I’m human so sometimes I forgot. I also didn’t truly have a one on one relationship with God. God placed people in my life at the end of 2015 and I began to really strengthen my relationship with God and change. At the end of every year I make a vision board for the next year. For the year 2016, I wrote on my vision board to get rebaptized that year. Fast forward to the beginning of 2016, at the beginning of 2016 I spent time working on myself. I really worked on becoming a better person overall, getting over hurt, learning to love myself, etc. (all I will go deeper into in future posts). I thought I had to be clean before I went to God, but little did I know God wants us just as we are; He will clean us up later all he wants is us and I want everyone to know that.

Today is a special day to me and I chose today to launch my blog for one reason…today marks the day I got rebaptized, April 10, 2016. This day will forever be dear to my heart. The day I got baptized was amazing. Not only did I get rebaptized, but I got to get rebaptized with my mother. When you’re baptized, God cleanses you of all your sins right then, we were clean again. But little did we know that the devil was after us even more now. The next 12 months (including now) were going to be full of a lot of tests, trials, joy, sadness, sorrow, love, etc., but we had no idea. I pray my posts from here on out can bless someone else and help them get through what I’ve already went through. You see weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.  Live your life in Jesus and be rooted in him, keep your faith. Col. 2:6-7

 

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I Don’t Have Any Money for You

“Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Acts 3:6 NIV

For my birthday last week, me and boyfriend went to Atlanta. As we were driving and getting ready to pass under a bridge, he made the statement that he didn’t want to pass under the bridge. I curiously asked why and he said that it broke his heart to see people like that. The conversation kept going and I was reminded of a homeless guy, MJ, that hung out at my job for about two weeks. It hurt me to see him that way and I had so many questions. How did he get like that? Where did he come from? Where was his family? And a host of other questions came about. Me and a few co-workers were discussing MJ and one made the comment that maybe he is an Angel Unaware (Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware. Hebrews 13:2). When she made that statement, it tugged on my spirit and I stopped him and asked him could I interview him for my blog. He surprisingly agreed.

MJ, who may have come off strange to some really had a pure, sweet heart. MJ would speak to just about everyone and would even buy snacks or Starbucks for others when he was able to scrape up money. In our interview, I was able to trace back where his homelessness started. I was able to see the hurt that he suffered from that was caused by the ones whom he loved the most. MJ taught me a lot about myself through our interview, but the one thing that I will never forget is we were doing the interview and he stopped to tell a lady she looked beautiful and to have a blessed day. I looked at him and I said, “MJ, why do you speak to everyone.” MJ replied back to me, “I work for Jesus and Jesus spoke to everyone” That literally brought tears to my eyes.

In the above scripture, there was a lame man outside of the temple and he was asking for money. The man was there every day, and every day people just walked past him. Peter and John were walking into the temple one day and the lame man was outside begging for money. Peter looked at the man and basically said, I don’t have money, but I can give you what I have. Peter spoke to the man and in the name of Jesus, commanded the man to walk and he was lame no more.

From the homeless in the big cities, to the homeless in the small town, from the elder that is struggling, to the single parent with no assistance, you may can’t give them money, but give what you do have. Give a lending hand, give time, give an encouraging word, pray with them. Give something that shows the goodness of Jesus. MJ was homeless and had no money, but MJ gave smiles to everyone, and told everyone to have a blessed day. We pass by homeless people in cities frequently and you may or may not have money to give them, but it’s not always about the money. It’s not how big your gesture is, just as long as you do something. I may not have any money for you, but let me give you what I do have, Jesus.

Give Me My Flowers While I’m Living

The month of August was full of many lessons for me and the last lesson of the month will live on forever. On last Monday, August 27th my great uncle was called home. His home-going celebration was held on September 1st. From the time of his passing, up until his funeral, I was able to take note of a lot of things. The day of the funeral, my uncle rendered the eulogy. During his message, he mentioned the statement of “give your loved ones their flowers while they are living.” It wasn’t until that moment that I fully understood what that meaning meant. All the time I would hear my grandmother and others say “Give me my flowers while I’m living” or “Give me my flowers while I can still smell them.” I think it’s funny now that I took that saying literal a few years ago. I went so far that I began buying my mom and grandmother flowers for most holidays to make sure I gave them their “flowers” while they are still living. What I truly missed was they weren’t talking about actual flowers at all.

To truly give your loved ones “flowers” while they are still living looks like telling them how much you love them every day, spending time with them, making sure they know that they are loved, telling them the good things about themselves. I sat there at the funeral hearing the good things about my great uncle and realizing that if any of my other family members were to pass on anytime soon that I would have neglected the fact of giving them their “flowers” while they were living.

Sitting there, I told myself I would try harder. I would actually give my relatives their “flowers” while they are still living. I’ll call more, I’ll spend more time with them, I will cherish every single moment. And I challenge you all to do the same. Give your relatives and friends their flowers while they are still alive and can still smell them because once they are gone, they are gone.

Watch Where You’re Going

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

Today is August 1st and I have had a fire inside of me since yesterday. August is the 8th month and that stands for new beginnings. I feel in this season, God is going to do some amazing things in not only my life, but your life as well. All we need to do is watch where we are going.

In order to go forward we can’t look back. How can you expect to drive your car forward if you’re looking back or if you’re in reverse? You simply cannot, you will end up like the above picture in a wreck and God doesn’t want that for us. God wants us to forget the former things, or previous things, and to not dwell on the past. In this particular passage, the children of Israel had left Egypt. They had to forget the old things. In captivity, they could not just dwell on the past, they had to think of the future. We must be the same way. We must forget old things, forget failures, forget the past, stop dwelling and trust God. We must trust that God will make a way in our wilderness and streams in the desert. This month I challenge you all to just trust God. Know that he will make a way, we just have to watch where we are going and not dwell on the past.

 

 

Where Is Your Faith?

So today at work I was doing a credit application for a customer. She looked at me and said, “girl, I know it isn’t going to go through.” I looked at her and stated, “you never know until you try.” In my head I was thinking, “where is your faith?”. I also gave a little prayer that God would give her favor and the account would go through. Unfortunately, the account didn’t go through. She decided to go with a different option; said she needed to go to the car to get her information, and she would return. Minutes went buy, I looked at my coworker and said she’s not coming back. Moments later I had to eat my own words. Where was my faith?

In Luke 8:22-25 Jesus and his disciples set out on water. While they were on water, a storm came. The disciples woke Jesus up and He rebuked the storm. The storm ceased and He said to them, “Where is your faith?”. As humans, it is so easy for us to get caught up in the turmoil, of our own storms going on in our lives that we lose our faith. Often times my mom will have to remind, “Jessica where is your faith?”. This week remember, with God all things are possible. No matter what the situation is, how it looks, or how you THINK it looks. God is ruler over all. What we think He can’t do, He will. He will make a way out of no way. All you have to do is have faith and keep your faith in God, and not man.

Be the Bigger Person

Be the Bigger Person

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9 

First off, I would like to apologize for my absence, but I am back! (smile). The past few weeks have been filled with many tests for me. After I notice that I am experiencing some sort of spiritual warfare or turbulence I always ask God what is it that you want me to learn from this. Over the course of 3 weeks, it was revealed to me that God was wanting me to be the bigger person. Not only me, but we are all called to be the bigger person.

1 Peter 3:9 above states do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but instead repay with a blessing. I know, you’re probably reading this right now and you might be saying well I like to get even, or he/she hurt me so I have to get them back. That is not the way we should look at things. We need to go to God, pray and ask him to change our hearts so that we can get the bitterness, anger, etc. out of us so that we can repay evil with blessings. Make sure that it is really sincere and coming from your heart, and that you’re not doing it just because you feel like you should.

It will be hard at first, trust me. I’ve been trying to practice this for going on a month now and some tests I pass, while others I don’t do so well. It’s okay. I thank God for his love and understanding. Ask for forgiveness and try to do better each time. This week I challenge you all whether at work with co-workers, your boss, your significant other, your friends, your parents, or even strangers… Be the bigger person this week. Don’t get upset or try to do evil. Turn your cheek, pray and ask God to change your heart and to love them in spite of.

Double for Your Trouble

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.”  Job 42:10 New International Version (NIV) 

I was at work on yesterday and we had some balloons left over from an event. My coworker was helping a couple who had a child and she decided to give the little girl one balloon. The little girl was so excited to have her balloon. As my coworker finished up with the couple, the wife stayed inside of the store to finish their transaction and the dad and little girl went towards the center of the mall. The little girl lost her grip of the balloon and it went floating up to the ceiling beyond reach. The little girl was devastated and cried. The couple left the store to do a little shopping and said they would return to pick up their items. When the couple returned, my coworker not only gave the little girl 3 balloons, but she tied the balloons on a rubber band to make a bracelet for the girl! The girl was even more thrilled this time because she received 2 more than what she had the first time. God used that small incident to show me how He can do the same thing in our lives.

Ironically, a few days ago me and that same coworker and my manager were talking about the story of Job, and it tied in perfectly with this incident and message. My coworker stated that it was unfair how God took everything from Job including his children. What she failed to do was finish the rest of the story. At the beginning of Job in chapter 1, God took everything from Job, his animals and children. It wasn’t until all the way in chapter 42 verse 10 that God gave him twice as much as he had. God gave him more animals and many children, grand children, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren as well.

You may be like Job and the little girl.Maybe you’ve lost more than a balloon, whatever you have lost or feel God has taken from you; remember, God will give you double for your trouble. You may want to throw a fit right now, but trust God and keep holding on. We all have heard that God will give us double for our trouble, but will we wait on him to do it?

Can I Lean on You?

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

A few days ago I was sitting in my car before work. I saw one of my friends pass by and sent her a quick text jokingly telling her to slow down. We exchanged a few text messages and she came to sit in my car. Long story short, she had a rough night and needed some encouraging words. She put me on the spot and said, “Jessica, tell me something. Give me a scripture or something.”  I was caught off guard and I didn’t have anything right then. It was time for us both to start our shifts so I assured her I’d send her something shortly.

Besides being put on the spot and I didn’t have anything right then, I wanted to text her something that she could keep looking at throughout the day. I searched some scriptures and I texted her a semi-long paragraph encouraging her for the day, and reminding her of who she is with Psalm 118:24 “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

While searching scriptures I came across the scripture at the top and it spoke to me. That was exactly what I was doing, I was encouraging and building her up. I studied that scripture for the rest of the weekend. It is very vital to have prayer warriors in your life. You need friends you can call on to talk to, to pray with, to have pray for you, and to just say hey please encourage me today. I am very thankful for my mom who is my number one prayer warrior, my Spiritual Grandmother, and my sisters in Christ. I encourage you all this week to reevaluate your circle. Make sure you are surrounded by people who you can go to and say, “hey can I lean on you.” Not only can you lean on them, but can they lean on you in return?

How Is Your Heart?

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

If someone were to walk up to you and ask how was your heart, you might think that they were referring to your heart health. But how is your heart as a person? How do you treat others? How do you live your life? What flows from your heart?

In 1 Samuel chapter 16, the Lord sends Samuel to Bethlehem because He had chosen one of Jesse’s sons to be king. The Lord told him to appoint the one that He had chosen.When Samuel arrived, he saw Eliab. Samuel thought he was the one that the Lord had chosen; He told Samuel do not consider his appearance, people look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at your heart. Samuel kept going through all the sons and asked if there were any other sons. Jesse had one son in the field tending to sheep by the name of David. David was the one who the Lord had chosen.

Although David was in the field tending to the sheep, he had a good heart. He may not have looked like Eliab, but he had a good heart. What the Lord had set aside for him was for him. No one else could become king.

No matter who you think  is more qualified, better looking,  or more outspoken, what God has for you is for you.  As long as you have a kind and pure heart that is all that matters. God is not looking at what we are wearing. God doesn’t care who has the new Jordan’s, the newest Louis Vuitton, or latest car. God cares about you heart and we should be like God. We shouldn’t focus so much on the outer appearance, but focus on the heart of a person.

 

Why Do I Attract Broke Men?

“I attract unstable men like honey attracts bees.” I read that quote in a book somewhere and unfortunately I forgot where I read it, but I didn’t forget the quote. As soon as I read that quote, it instantly stuck with me. I was the honey and the men I attracted were the bees. It was summer of 2017 and I had just ended a relationship with a man who was broke. I don’t mean financially broke, but him as a person. Months later I found myself in yet another relationship with you guessed it, another broken man. The first one had daddy issues, and the second one had mama issues. How was it that I kept attracting broke men? Well, I was broken myself and I didn’t know it.

I stayed in my second relationship because I wanted to know more. Why was he broken, who broke him, and how was this affecting his ability to love. In doing this, I learned I was also broken; and here we have two broken people in a relationship together. I had daddy issues and he had mama issues. I took a great deal of our relationship working on myself; getting to the root of my brokenness, and how it affected me. My mom and dad divorced when I was 4. I didn’t have a stable father figure in our home and when my mom married my step dad when I was 19, it was too late. People always think that women are the only ones who have mom and dad issues, but we neglect the fact that men can have the same issues and be broken as well. Good thing is that no matter if you are a woman or man, you don’t have to stay a victim of  brokenness.

I must admit, the journey was rough; and it still is. I still struggle daily, but it gets better. To anyone who may be broken because of daddy or mama issues, the best advice I can give you is to get to the root of your problem. Sit down and figure out why you are the way you are. Maybe you didn’t receive enough attention at home, maybe one of your parents abandoned you, maybe you were molested. It is very vital that before you enter into a relationship that you deal with your inner problems and brokenness.What you struggle with when you are single will only magnify when you get into a relationship. You don’t want to get into a relationship and hurt others because you are hurt. If you are in a relationship and you are broken, it may be best to put things on hold and work on getting yourself together. Whatever your brokenness is, try to work on yourself and seek help if needed. Pray daily, seek God to help you, and ask God to search your heart. The answer to my question is simple. I was broken as well. Whatever it is that you attract, remember, we attract what we are.

 

 

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