More than a Proverbs 31 woman

For the most part of my life I honestly only knew the book of Proverbs in different statements, I didn’t actually know that they came from the book of Proverbs, such as “iron sharpens iron” or “train up a child…”. I knew Proverbs simply as the book that talks about how to be a woman, mainly Proverbs 31. I knew Proverbs as the book after Psalms honestly. As I grew older I often heard Proverbs mentioned as the book of wisdom. Basically everything you questioned and any advice needed would be in Proverbs, so I finally took time to study it and my mind has since been opened!

I recently spent the month of May studying this book full of so much wisdom. Literally, Proverbs is packed with wisdom.  Proverbs has 31 chapters and May has 31 days, so it worked out that I was able to really take it day by day and gain a true understanding of the book.  I didn’t want to read it like a book and I don’t want to explain it like a book either, reading Proverbs or any book in the Bible for that matter is something you have to experience for yourself in order to truly develop and build a relationship with the Lord.

Sometimes we feel lost, misguided, led astray, or on pause. We feel things good and bad, we go through life experiences and we don’t often know what to do during those time periods. When I had started reading Proverbs I was at a point where I was uneasy, I was lost, I was thinking thoughts and feeling things that I knew were not reflective of the true person I was becoming. I was starting to fall off track, and though I had people to speak to, it wasn’t enough, yet decided to read Proverbs was.

In Proverbs 31 I was reminded of what it means to be a woman of virtue, to be a woman who honors her husband who also has full confidence in her; a woman who lives a life of service. I was also reminded in Proverbs 3 to trust in the Lord from the bottom of my heart because such wisdom enhances our well-being. I was reminded in chapter 24 that laziness is the mindset of a fool as well as other sayings from the wise.

Proverbs 27:2 – As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

Proverbs 14 examined the difference between a wise man and a fool, while reminding me that the life I live and the decisions I make are my own:

10 “Your joy is your own; your bitterness is your own. no one can share them with you.”

In Proverbs 29 I understood leadership and God’s guidance. In several different chapters of Proverbs I came across a verse that said “better to live on the corner of a roof than with a nagging wife” Ladies we are told 3 times to basically calm down!!!

As I was reading each chapter, I was filled each day with more wisdom and understanding in regards to my relationships, my role as a woman, my role for the kingdom, in leadership, my parents, my finances, contentment, my act of worship, the intent of my heart, and just every area of life known and yet to be discovered. I had a better peace of the direction I was headed because I was making sure I was being led by wisdom and that comes from giving God total control! Godly wisdom is more important and a greater pursuit than anything else in the world. I understand what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman. However I hold more value to be a woman of Proverbs, the entire book. I choose to embrace wisdom in every way, not just for a few weeks because I finished this book of the Bible, but for life because:

  1. I can always open it and remind myself when I get stuck.

2. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

 

 

 

I am not my sin

I suppose you can call this a continuation of my previous post Cut the Act but a thought popped into my head while at work not working. Is there a particular reason why so many people are afraid to take the plunge? What’s with all the lukewarm, not yet, not now nonsense, those generations of people get into when it comes to a discussion about entering into a relationship with God? The answer has resurfaced many times and it goes: our circumstance. Many, me included, blame our circumstances, our past, and our actions and use them to stall. We think we are not yet good enough, not deserving of such love and peace and blessing. We mask it as freedom, call it lack of self-control, and call it experimentation, a mistake. We blame our sin.

“19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7:19-20

I got baptized May 1st 2016, prior to that moment I was just not living the life I knew I should be living. Don’t go thinking I was a horrible person, I just didn’t consider myself to having the cleanest record on hand. I knew I should get baptized, but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to take the plunge in public and then end up still living a life of sin; I thought it would just defeat the purpose. I wasn’t thinking of God’s grace but just my sins. Every time baptism time came around I would look at all the people taking the plunge and just feel so happy like “wow, their lives are about to change!” I would float around in the back and watch in wonder and just feel so drawn to the whole atmosphere that was basically a new life. I really wanted it, just not yet. In my head I still had loose strings I had to tie up before I went all in.  I wanted to make sure I was going to be like absolutely righteous so that I would not disappoint God you know. In my head I was better off living not yet baptized because if I make a mistake I wouldn’t be as hard on myself than if I did after I just told God and the world that I’m all in. In my head that decision meant you had to be ready to be perfect! I just wasn’t ready, I was missing the point.  May 1st came and once again I was floating around during first service in amazement as people were getting baptized. A friend of mine came to me and was like “What’s stopping you?” I told her I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t prepared. She was like, “What do you have to be prepared for? You will never be prepared” I just looked at her like I’m not ready and started making up every excuse I could think of about my hair, my clothes, and my family not being here. She looked at me and simply said “Ok, you’re getting baptized today”, and then walked away. I went to the next service and as the service was going on I just knew today was the day, I felt God say “be obedient, don’t look at the past; you are not your sin.”  On May 1st 2016 I made the best spontaneous decision ever because I chose to be obedient and separate myself from my circumstances.

In no way shape or form did I become an angel like I assumed to, but every day brought clearer perspective, peace, and more joy than ever imaginable. In no way shape or form will your actions change 360 (although it has happened), but there is so much more to gain, to live for when you just take the plunge. We have sinned and burdened ourselves but our sins do not define us.

“23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” Romans 3:23-24

We are human for a reason and we are not made perfect. It took me a long time, even after I got baptized to not allow my sins to define me. I had to come to understand that I am not my sin. I followed in obedience because I recognized who I was following. I understood what He did for me when He died and that He already took my punishments, my sins and gave me true freedom.

25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3: 25-26

 

Cut the Act

My mom says that when she gets back from her trip she will stock up on different types of food because we are headed towards World War III. I laughed at her statement. I laughed at my mother’s statement and she not only called me rude but also said that I am taking things too lightly, that I should look around. To be honest, it may have been rude in some sense that I was laughing, but I was not laughing at her rather at her idea that stocking up on food would save us from a war. I am very sure that it would not be that easy. However, I don’t agree on the fact that I take anything lightly at all. I am constantly looking around, and observing where the world is headed. My heart breaks because I see where we are from where we used to be. I understand it is not pretty, and so because of that I understand that just as she has an urgency to clear out our local grocery store, I feel an urgency to do more, be more, show more of who God has called me to be.

Now is not the time to “play Christian”. Now is not the time to pray “when we feel like it”. It’s time to honestly be bold. If we are going to be about the Gospel then we need to be about it! If we don’t then well… Cut the acting and take the mask off, who are we truly living for? What are we truly living for? My mother expects me to hear such news and worry, carry her sense of urgency because of course “mothers always know best”. I love my mother to death but if I worried about everything then what am I praying for? I can’t do both. My believing in God and who He is means that I am going to have peace and believe that whether we go to war today or 10 years later my hope and joy and PEACE is set on Him. I have a vertical outlook on life and not a horizontal outlook on life. I look to who is above me and not the circumstances that are in front of me.

Many people, me included, have grown up with a horizontal outlook on life, planning, preparing, relying on others, all of the above. Am I noticing now that all of that is starting to fail. We feel sad, incomplete, or lonely.  Yet we are still playing lukewarm? Our plans, ideas, friends, they all fail us and then we turn to God…they get better and then we turn away. Question, who made them better?

“Help us against the enemy; human help is worthless” – Psalms 60:11

I am not calling your family or the saying plans you make are from the enemy. I am saying PICK A SIDE!!! Who are you asking for help? How are you asking for help? I respect this country and our military and yes I pray for those in government, but THEY CAN NOT SAVE YOU! Look around you and realize that it is time to TAKE GOD SERIOUSLY! Spend time with Him, get to know Him, and deliver as His child. I am soooooo over the games. You can’t just tap in and tap out of this type of relationship. Let Him use you and really really really use you.

If we go to war tomorrow that is perfectly fine. This will not be the first, nor will it be the last. We are at war even when it seems peaceful, many things happen in the spiritual before we even see them. I can choose to worry about the future and all responsibilities or I can give it God and then walk away. Pray or worry, but it can’t be both. From experience I am saying it now, it’s time to cut the act. The show is over, what are you doing next?

I don’t think I can be good anymore

I’ve been trying to figured out all week what exactly I want to write and how I was going to get this message out there. Let me start by saying it’s so very, so very, so very, hard to be good! It’s so hard to stay positive and fight temptations and just live righteously. If I may be vulnerable, there are times when I just want to do things I know I shouldn’t do. I want to go to that party and be “turnt”, I want to try this thing, I want to see that boy, I want to complain about everything, I want to throw a tantrum, I want to tell someone off, I want to wish bad on people who are doing bad. Sometimes I don’t want to actually read my bible because I would rather listen to music that isn’t glorifying Him. Sometimes I want to do those things…but I don’t. I remember doing some of those and look at where I am now and cannot go back. I remember vengeance to be the Lord’s, and I remember anger lies in the bosom of a fool, and I definitely remember:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one Matt 6:13.

 At time’s I feel like I am missing out on life, missing my youth, but I am not. I suppose to look in the past is just a mind thing that with time ends. We are running a race and when you get close to the end you get tired, maybe even burnt out. If I could just take a 5 minute rest then I could finish, right?

I ran track when I was in high school, and whenever I would run the 400m I would be tired with just 100m left.  I couldn’t just stop, nap, and then finish, it didn’t work that way. Also, my coach would kick my butt off the team! We can’t just stop living righteously, go get drunk at the club, spend a night with some guy, curse the world, and then try to continue the race. The burdens of guilt that many of us may encounter would drag us down. There is mercy but no gifts for ignorance. I understand its hard, TRUST MEEEE I UNDERSTAND, but our race is so much bigger than that. The finish line that we are headed towards is much bigger than we see, closer in fact.  This week I came to the realization that I honestly have to keep running. I can’t let anything derail me from the goal I am aiming towards.  We get tired when we are close to the end but that’s how you know your close right? We have to keep pushing, keep fighting.

In this same mindset of keeping on I have also been really really upset with what’s going on in the world. By being upset with the world my head goes “WHATS THE POINT OF LIVING RIGHT AND BEING POSITIVE WHEN EVERYONE IS STILL LIVING WRONG!” and my heart goes “YOU WERE MADE FOR MORE!” It is so hard to stay positive and live right when every day, every single day you get a notification or a trending topic or a news story about #MISSINGDCGIRLS #FLINTWATERCRISIS #REFUGEECRISIS #ICANTBREATHE #POLARVORTEX  and the list goes on and on and on much of it being unreported! It is disheartening how this has become “the norm”. Why in the world have we come to let bad news become so numbing and normal?

“They’re shooting, lay low”….life goes on as another has just ended on a playground, which is not even being used as a playground.

This is the heartbreaking world we live in.

“Love like I’m not scared/ Give when it’s not fair/ Live life for another/ Take time for a brother/ Fight for the weak ones/ Speak out for freedom/ Find faith in the battle/ Stand tall but above it all/ Fix my eyes on You On You – “King and Country”

This song came on the radio this morning as I was thinking about recent news and getting angry, then things were put in perspective. I need to fix my eyes on He that does all and knows all. I remember the story when Jesus was walking on water and called Peter to meet Him. As Peter began to walk on water he got scared and began to sink, he lost faith for a moment. That story was me earlier in the week. Reading everything that is going on and all in my head I began to sink. I was starting to lose focus, starting to slow down on the race. Don’t let that be the case, it’s hard things we go through but we have to GO THROUGH them to get to the finish. In the midst of everything I have come to understand the role that God wants me to play and so because of that I cannot live in fear, anger, or temptation. I can’t sink no matter how strong the waves throw me. It’s definitely a hard race I am running but I will be pump my arms all the way to the end.

Now, what about those of your reading this who have yet to start? You possibly hate running, would rather just wait till it all passes and we all go out for ice cream after. Yea? No! Probably you’re so upset with everything or enjoying the “life” you are living and are thinking, “I can’t, not yet anyways” “I can’t be bothered” or “where is God when all this is happening?” I used to be the same way and trust me when I say, your enjoyment is temporary, God is not a bother, and He is definitely with you, and preparing you for more. 

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”. Proverbs 3:5

Right now is not the time to try to understand anything; you will give yourself a headache. TRUST IN HIM. It’s hard to see what is being seen and to avoid feeding the flesh. Honestly to just live a positive life. A righteous life is hard, but I wouldn’t be writing this if I haven’t experienced it and benefited. No I am not perfect, far from it, but I have peace. Even in the midst of it all I have peace, because my eyes have been fixed on the  Prince of Peace, and when I forget for a moment, because yes I am human:

The Lord gives strength to his people: the Lord blesses his people with peace “Psalm 29:11”

 

Waiting Brings Goodness

What are you waiting for?

A lot of times even when we have everything we want at the moment we still seem to be wanting more of something, waiting for something. The issue isn’t exactly the wait, but rather how long we have to wait. The ability to be patient is something that becomes tested because we don’t always want to take matters into our own hands. Good things do not tend to always happen when we do. We try to be patient and wait and wait but then someway somehow we find a new way around waiting. No bueno.

Well, everything seems to be going pretty well in my life but of course I am still waiting on something (my little secret for now).  Everyday I remember what I am waiting for and go back and forth of whether I should take matters into my own hands, but then I relax. I have come to understand the power of waiting, no matter how bad I want it. I don’t even search for alternative ways because I don’t want to fall of the path that I am being led on so I wait. I understand that if I take matters into my hands I may not get the results I want. However if I wait on the right moment, the right season, and the “Go!” then I will get, appreciate, and understand what I have been waiting for and why I have been waiting. I understand faith. I have experienced faith.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

I come to tell you the same thing, in this season where you are playing the waiting game for whatever you are waiting for just be patient. As hard as it may be, and even when the road ahead is unclear and you get tired, keep your eyes on the one who gives good gifts and know that there is a reason for the wait and it will be all worth it. Our inability to see the gift does not mean it doesn’t exist. Wait for the goodness of God to prevail.

Go in peace this week.

#Excellence

I always find myself laughing and admiring this generation. We are beautiful, so full of life, and yet so easily corrupted and drawn into things. The things we do, the trends we set, the places we go, how we choose to run our lives, and even the news we hear can honestly be summed up in a simple hashtag. I know for me I don’t have to even watch CNN because if it’s important then it will be a trending hashtag (sad I know). When I was younger I solely remember the hashtag being used as a pound sign on the phone and nothing really more than that. However, as technology has evolved and with the help of social media, hashtags can expose so much more. The one hashtag that I always find myself looking through is #goals. Couple goals, house goals, travel goals, fashion goals, weight goals, anything that is a goal I would look at it, and then I would make it my standard. Why? Why do we insistently observe the goals of others before our own? Do I really want what they have or simply the idea that I could get to that point. If I may be frank, the lives of other people should not be our goals. The lives of other people should not even be the blueprint of our goals. What is truly the standard that we are searching for? Well the standard is in The Word.

I have been reading the book “Kingdom Woman” by Tony Evans and it has honestly brought so much insight to the way I should be living my life as a woman of God, a woman of excellence. In the area of goals specifically we need to make God the standard and not people. So often we fall prey to what looks good around us forgetting to look beyond, as Rafiki from Lion King said “ you must look beyond what you see”. I am not simply speaking from the viewpoint of a woman but for both guys and gals we must strive for excellence. We need to live a life where we set the standards, we are the models, the movers and shakers. Our generation is already shaking things up, but why not raise the bar?


 As an inheritor of the Kingdom WE are born into excellence, it is something you have that has to be drawn out. However, you will never be excellent if you make the world your standard. Don’t be lazy or weary by what’s around you and think there is no room for your excellence because that’s what the world wants you to think. They want you to think everything has already been done, invented, taken care or. You have a role to play! News outlets are not the standard, and the negativity surrounding you does not diminish your excellence. Strive for excellence in the meantime until you are actually excellent in the next life. Let excellence define your movement! For anyone that looks at you and goes Goalllllsss, let them know you are beyond that, you are excellent! I always tell my siblings, I am not their goals. I expect them to exceed me because I am excellent. They should exceed me in all areas because they are excellent and it must reflect in their lives. I am not their standard. I say the same thing to you because this world isn’t your standard. #Excellence

 

You can’t screw up God’s plan

I find fascination in the idea that we actually think we have a lot of control. We think we can control what we ruin and what we can fix. We take control of our lives and plan, order, and create. Then when something goes wrong we go and also take responsibility for that as well! We begin to feel overpowered with an attitude of woe is me when it doesn’t go the way we planned. With an attitude of regret, an attitude of how come this always happens to me? With an attitude of God is going to be upset because I have messed up His plans. Truth of the matter is that we are not powerful enough to mess up God’s plans. Everything we do or think we are doing can suddenly change and all of OUR plans are ruined. Yet, as much as you think, no plan of God is ruined, we don’t have that type of ability. Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” But we need to understand God and who He is because if God wants to get something done then He will get it done, whether you’re in a comfortable situation or a horrible one, if God has a plan to complete then it will be completed. Forget what anybody else has to say or how the situation looks, take solace in the knowledge that you are not at all ruining anything. You may add a dash of salt here and some pepper to spice it up there but God will still get the flavor desired in the end when we let Him.

I guess in all reality, we might as well not have any plans for our life because if they are not aligned with Gods then what? However, we need to plan. We need to be able to plan, dream, hope for things in life, but we must be able to do it with the vision of God. Having the same vision as God from the beginning is one of the easiest ways to not screw up God’s plan for our life. When we walk in right direction the view is so much better. Nonetheless, even if we don’t start off in the right direction, I have come to understand several ways why you can’t screw up God’s plans.

  1. Placement is not arrival

I honestly believe I have the worst GPS in the world right now. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten lost because it would tell me I am at my destination when I am in the middle of a dead-end, or it won’t reroute, or some other dumb issue. Unfortunately the nameless company wants to charge me an arm and a leg to fix the phone but I will not be eating that fruit and so I have been finding my way. Nevertheless placement is not arrival. My GPS sometimes will get it close and would have me within the vicinity, saying I was 2 minutes away and so I would turn it off being comfortable enough to do the rest myself…later lost again. I think we do that in the same way with blessings. We are following God and doing what we are supposed to do and so He blesses us. We take the blessing and go “OMG yayy this is all I wanted!!” So before He can even give us more, show us more of our destination to come so that we can actually arrive, we stop searching because we are complacent with our placement. We forget that there is so much more in store for us. What’s even worse is that because of our complacency our vision blurs. We have an idea of where we want to go but don’t know exactly how to get there because we do not seek clarity on our true destination. God has more for us. He knows our exact destination and how to get us there even when we are complacent. God gives us clarity of vision that no doctor can give and an understanding to finish on the path that we have started.

  1. The highway is still God’s way

Sometimes people like to say, “It’s my way or the highway”, like um-ok human. It’s what we do; we give ultimatums to have a sense of power of control. Some people even test one another by doing what they know they shouldn’t do. Well the beauty of God is that He does not give us an ultimatum to any situation. God wants us to know Him and follow Him, but He wants us to do it with what is in our heart and because of who he is, not because of what He can do or give. The highway is still God’s way, whether it is straight and narrow or full of winding roads there are views that we can see when we look out the window specifically designed for us. There are places we pass through where we are able to become more aware of God’s glory, of who He truly is. God doesn’t look at us in the mindset of “take it or leave it”, rather He wants more than anything to be apart of our lives fully. Even in situations that bring out ultimatums God provides security to keep traveling down the highway, to keep on with the pursuit.

  1. There is grace in this place

I remember reading something in my phone recently and it said, “God’s grace is uncomfortable”. Grace is uncomfortable because it is beyond us, greater than anything we can imagine. God’s grace embraces us and gives us what we do not deserve because He loves us. God loves us!! I honestly cannot even begin to explain the unexplainable capacity at which He does but because He does WE CANNOT SCREW UP GOD’S PLAN!! The life He intends on us to live is more than we can ever seek out. There is grace and so we are given clean slates, not to take advantage of but to understand whom our God is.

God has a plan for your life, for my life, for our life. Know that at the end of the day, what God has for you will be for you, and the plans He has for you will also come to fruition when you are able to seek His face.