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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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.

 

 

You May Stumble, but You Won’t Fall

You May Stumble, but You Won’t Fall

23 When people’s steps follow the Lord, God is pleased with their ways. 24 If they stumble, they will not fall, because the Lord holds their hand.  Psalm 37:23-24 New Century Version (NCV)

I was reading my bible the other night and I happened to come across the scripture above. I read over it once then I kept reading over it and began to study the scripture. If you break it down it says, God is pleased when our steps follow the Lord. Meaning, if we are following the Lord and living right for the Lord, then he is pleased with our acts. The second verse says, “if they stumble, they will not fall, because the Lord holds their hand.” He said IF they stumble. According to Merriam Webster if means, “in the event that”. So, in the event that you stumble, you will not fall. Why? Because the Lord is holding your hand. I found so much joy in this scripture because a lot of us tend to fear trying new things, or moving to a new city, or applying to a new job because we fear that we will fail. But the scripture says as long as you are following the Lord with your steps then you won’t fall. You may stumble, but you won’t fall. God is by our very side and he is holding our hand through it all. I encourage you all to go for whatever goals and dreams you have. Don’t fear, don’t be afraid, God is holding your hand.

What My 7 Day Fast Taught Me

What My 7 Day Fast Taught Me

          In the month of January, I participated in a 21 day fast. I gave up fried foods. The fast was challenging and good, but I don’t think I benefited because of my lack of knowledge for fasting. On February 5th I started a 4-day challenge called Breaking the Cycles. One of the days, a big group of us fasted for one day. That one day made a huge difference. it created a hunger in me for more of God. I was able to control my flesh. It wasn’t until before the fast that someone in the group broke down the real reason of fasting. After that, I made a commitment to actually take all my fasts more serious. For example, if you fast from all foods for a day, the goal isn’t to just stop thinking about eating. The goal is to draw near to God in your times of weakness. Last Sunday, February 11th, a very good friend of mine asked me to do a 7 day fast with him. He said he was challenging God to show himself to him. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted God to show himself to me too, but I was a little iffy about it because I didn’t know if I could do 7 days. I prayed about it, asked God, and I agreed to do a 7 day fast. He decided he would fast from Facebook. I first decided to fast from Facebook and Snapchat and eventually decided on all social media. I am going to give a few points from each day of my fast.

***Note: I wake up every day to pray at 7:20 am or 9:00 am***

Day 1

  • I realized that I use social media too much to express my thoughts and feelings. I had to learn to express my thoughts and deal with them in other ways. This resulted to me talking to God a lot more frequently than normal.

Day 2

  • I started to deal with my emotions in an effective way. (More prayer, meditation, and writing)
  • I was very observant this day to others around me. I was more engaged with others around me.

*Today and day 1 were very challenging. I experienced some irritation and moodiness.

Day 3

  • I started praying routinely twice a day and added in meditation every night. My normal morning prayer and every night before bed
  • I learned you have to create your happiness. Don’t depend on others to make you happy
  • You should always pray first thing in the morning. This helps you to set the tone for your day
  • Fasting is not just refraining from something or finding something to replace what you are fasting. You should be drawing to God every moment and chance you get.

Day 4

  • You have to choose to love people. Love is a verb and a choice, not a feeling. You show love. Even if you don’t like your coworkers, family members, etc. you must love one another like Christ loved us.

Day 5

  • This day I was very appreciative. I spent a lot of time thanking God and observing.
  • By this point, my phone was not my main focus.

Day 6

  • I was fasting to receive answers from God. This day God answered my prayers.
  • I sought after God like never before and spent the most time with him on this day

Day 7

  • I realized this is the end of my fast, but the beginning of a new me.

On day 6 God finally answered my prayers. He woke me up at 4:15 in the morning. I went into prayer and God spoke to me. That was the best day of the fast. Not because God finally answered me, but because that day everything had settled in my brain. I just wanted God. Social media was not my main focus anymore. I was reading scriptures every day, but on day 6 I was meditating on them more. I was a praying woman before, but the fast showed me how to really pray! I learned so many things about myself I didn’t even know. My love for God has grown so much more.

Overall the fast was very benefiting. I learned so much more than what I put, but I didn’t want to make this post too long. I went in with a mindset of God is going to do something amazing and I am going to get even closer to God. I now have a hunger for God like never before. I challenge all of you to fast for maybe 1, 3, or 7 days. Give God all of your attention and draw closer to him.

It’s Not the Snakebite

It’s Not the Snakebite

Imagine you are outside doing yard work and suddenly, a snake appears next to you and bites your ankle. The snake bites you and slithers away to enjoy the rest of its life. Now you are left hurt. Whether or not you decide to get treated, it’s not the snake that could possibly kill you, it’s the venom that the snake injected into your body. Hurt is the exact same way. If someone betrays you or hurts you, they do their damage and go on to live their lives. It’s up to you to get the venom out of your system. To get the venom out we must forgive. Although the person is the one who caused the hurt, they aren’t the ones who are making us bitter and mean. What’s making us bitter and mean is the fact that the hurt is still in us and we haven’t forgiven them. To get over hurt we must acknowledge the hurt, forgive the person for their actions, give it to God, and move on. Like the scripture below says, we must forgive one another as the Lord forgave us.  Even if someone hurt you and didn’t apologize, forgive them anyway. Don’t die on the inside and become bitter and mean because you’re too stubborn to forgive someone. This week I challenge everyone to take the time out to inventory your life. If there is someone you need to forgive, then do it. Don’t keep the venom in your body.

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 New International Version (NIV)

Good Idea vs. God Idea

Good Idea Vs God Idea

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

Me and a friend were having a conversation last night and he mentioned that somethings can be a good idea, but not a God idea. I told him that I was going to borrow that saying. I got home, and I really studied and meditated on the saying. I thought about my personal life and my own personal decisions; as I took an inventory of my life, I noticed I made some good decisions based off good ideas, but they weren’t God’s ideas. I’m sure that if I consulted God before I made certain decisions that some things would’ve had better endings. Now us as the humans we are can sometimes get hardheaded and want to do things our way and not God’s way. In doing this, we can end up hurt, confused, and stressed. But imagine how much better our lives would be if we made God like decisions. Just like the scripture above, we must lean to not our own understanding, but God’s understanding. The Lord will make our paths straight, all we have to do is submit to him and listen. We must be one with God and know if things are just a good idea or a God ordained idea. If something doesn’t match up with the word of God, then it is not a God idea…just simply a good idea. This week I challenge you all to make better God ordained decisions and make sure it aligns with God’s word. It’s better to go with God’s idea than a good idea that will leave you and others hurt in the end.

Divine Intervention

Divine Intervention

Have you ever been at the right place at the right time? I’m sure we all have. Maybe something good happens to us and we say wow if I wasn’t here at this time then I would’ve missed it. Or maybe you were running late for work one day and you found out if you would’ve left home earlier that you could’ve been in an accident. It’s little things like that where God was in the mist. I like to call these little things divined intervention. I went through a full week where the phrase divine intervention was mentioned to me multiple times. I also believe that that was an act of divine intervention. I looked up the word divine and the definition I received was, “of, from, or like God or a god.” Also, “proceeding directly from God.” So, what I concluded was anything that is divine is from God. I then looked up divine intervention and the definition I found was, “A miracle or act of god (or gods) that causes something good to happen or stops something bad from happening.” Some people may call these acts coincidences, but I like to call them divine interventions. It is because of God and His plan that things work out the way they do. Now that doesn’t mean that if something bad happens that it wasn’t from God. Everything happens for a reason. We must pray and ask God what was our lesson from the situation. Sometimes there isn’t a lesson; God chooses us to have a testimony to share with others. The remainder of this week I challenge you all to see God’s divine intervention in your life and I promise that you will start thanking him more and having a heart of gratitude because if it wasn’t for the Lord, where would we be?

 

Sources: Dictionary.com

What Is Your Aim?

What Is Your Aim?

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 New International Version (NIV)

One thing that many people struggle with is purpose. Finding your true purpose can be challenging, but it’s nothing to beat yourself up about if you don’t know your purpose just yet. God has put a special gift inside each and every one of us, just be patient and your gift and purpose will work together. Like the scripture above says, we must use whatever gift that God has given us.  Once you find your purpose you must find your aim and what you are aiming for. We must be faithful stewards of God. Our aim in life must be connected to our assignment and fulfilling our purpose while using our God given gifts. Us as Christians have to make sure we stay on target for God’s work, but because we are human we may mess up every now and then, and that’s okay. When you mess up you pray and ask God to forgive you and try to not make the same mistakes over and over. Our God is a loving and forgiving God, but we can’t keep making the same mistakes and asking for forgiveness over and over if we are truly aiming at the right goal. This week I challenge everyone to know what your aim will be. Whether it is living a better life for God, aiming to help others more, bless others, or just to overall be a better person, make sure you know your aim and you have a plan together. With God all things are possible if you trust and believe.

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