Christ It Up Darnica Gordon
7 Days to starting new spiritually
Soleil Meade Author
Woman of God
A New Year with Sister Doris!
Leria, CIUâ€™s poet, gives us a glimpse of how God works in her life through a powerful testimony Pg. 12
Get refreshed with this 7 day spiritual jump start Pg. 6
Styled By: Herself (Clothing) Tamika Bowens (Hair) Photographed By: Fostography and Ebony Howard
Sister Doris is at it again....giving advice that is. Check out her column on page 8 2
CIU caught up with Soleil Meade. Author, Speaker, and woman of God Pg. 10
2014! The funny thing is I didn’t think I would see past the year 2000. Remember how the world was suppose to end and all? Yeah well, we’re still here. And I am so grateful that the world didn’t end because no matter how good of a person I was, how giving, or caring. I was on my way to hell. I thank God!!! for second chances. Giving me the chance not to perish but have everlasting life. What a wonderful gift. As you head into the new year know that God has a plan for your life. Draw close to Him and build a greater and stronger relationship with Him. He loves us so dearly. Mz. CIU
1323 Superior Ave Pittsburgh, Pa 15212 412~354~9423 firstname.lastname@example.org www.christitup.wix.com/ciu1
Give your life to Christ If you have read past issues of this magazine or if this is your first time, I am glad to introduce, The Sinner’s Prayer. Romans 10:9-11 (NIV) 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” To give your life to Christ, recite this aloud: Dear God, I come to you today as a sinner asking for forgivness. I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that you are Lord. I believe that you died on the cross and rose on the third day with all power in your hand. And today I accept you as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus name, Amen!
I’m a Brand New Kinda Me….In Christ, I Have Found a Brand New Kinda Free New Beginnings Not what I want to be. Not what I used to be. Becoming all I’m meant to be. Old things are passed away. Behold I’m new in Christ today. New Beginnings, New Beginnings. Old things are passed away. Behold I’m new in Christ today. Linda Clark
once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years! Galatians 4:9-10
Where are you following God? FORWARD! Think about where you have come from, the trenches that God has brought you through. Can you recall how you felt at your lowest point? [Pause] Don’t ever forget that feeling. Now never go back to that place. There was someone in 2013 that didn’t get a “tomorrow.” Not everyone beat that addiction, dedicated their lives to Christ, lived through that car accident, survived cancer, and not everyone’s child returned home to them safely. But you did and Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has your child made it home. For that alone, you should rejoice! passed away; behold, the new has come. Remember: God is a God of progression. Allow your 2014 to be 2 Corinthians 5:17 a great year…a year that God shows wondrous doings in your life to nonbelievers and to doubters. Be mindful that you are the “What’s wrong with her? She acts so different.” cross path to Christ. Do your best to present yourself to God as Don’t be mad…it’s just a brand new kinda me. I changed the one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and morning of 1/1/09 when I decided to stand up, grab my son’s who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Let’s hand and walk to the front of the church’s alter. That morning, attract the lost and the broken and show them why we smile and I gave my heart to the Lord. On 2/22/09, I went under and praise through the hard times-Our Savior. I envision our role raised from the water (water baptism) a new woman. Although, as taking someone’s hand, telling s/he that we have a friend that I haven’t been perfect, I never swayed too far from the Lord’s we want him/her to meet, and giving his/her hand to the Lord. grasp. I’ve been through a great deal since then, a lot good and As the devil’s tactics grow stronger, so should God’s people. We some bad. God has given me powerful testimonies and through are His army. As you walk into this New Year, dress in the full the hardships, I’ve found a brand new kinda free. body of armor (Ephesians 6:10-17). Be ready for what lies ahead. Not everyone has liked the new me. I have lost the Again, expect adversity, laughter, turmoil, joy, pain, spiritual friendships of many friends and family members. I’ve heard, growth, confusion, should I continue? The very moment that “She thinks she’s better than” and I think to myself, “No, I know Jesus died on the cross, the battle was won. that I am better than.” I’m better than being the drunken fool, What do you intend to do this year? Whatever it is, running into the arms of sin and death. I masked insecurities, my prayer for you is that like a tree planted by streams of water shame and pain with an artificial smile. The old me is gone, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaves does not wither, never to return. No more wasting the gifts that God has given to you will be prospers in all you do (Psalms 1:3). me to share with the world. I now know that I am the daughter of the most high. So if God instructs you this New Year to love some folks from a distance, please do so. Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. 1 Corinthians 15:33. Let them My Playlist Walking Into 2014 go! Obedience is greater than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). I Give Myself Away-William Chasing After You -Tye Tribbett Moving Forward Oh, hey, what a moment You have brought me to? Such a freedom I have found in You. You’re the healer who makes all things new. Yeah, yeah, yeah! I’m not going back, I’m moving ahead. Here to declare to You my past is over. In You all things are made new. Surrendered my life to Christ. I’m moving, moving forward! Israel Houghton But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be
Be Blessed-Yolanda Adams
Nobody Greater- VaShawn Mitchell
Nothing Without You-Jason Nelson
Be Blessed-Yolanda Adams
Clean this House-Isaac Carree
Live Thru It-James Fortune
Praise is What I Do-William Murphy
You Deserve-Chrystal Rucker
Tell the World-Lecrae/Mali Music
Every Praise-Hezekiah Walker
Greater is Coming- Jekalyn Carr
Break Every Chain-Tasha Cobbs
As always….Be blessed!
As we near the New Year, we often think of what we will do differently. We set goals of losing 10, 20, 30 pounds. We make promises to exercise more. We say things like “that was the worst year ever! This year will be my year.” Each year seems to have a meaning; the year of completion, the year of new beginnings, the year of oneness. But as we go into a new year, look back over all the “new” things you were going to do in the years past and see if you actually did them. Did you lose the weight? Do you exercise like you promised yourself that you would? Did you stop that bad habit? If the answer is no, then resolve that you will not make any new lists of “new things” until you complete the old list of “new things”. And before you go into this year with your list of things to do, ask God what He wants you to do in this New Year. Because the truth of the matter is that unless we consult God about what His plans are for our lives, we will fail anyway. So instead of wasting another year on your “new list”, consult with God about His “new list” for you. For He truly makes all things new. Happy New Years, everyone. Staci Bose
7 Days to starting NEW Spiritually 2014!
By: Jamaila “Thoroughbred” Robinson
It’s a New Year! First and foremost how could we not thank our savior for starting a New Year! Thank God today and every day for waking up! Thank him!
LET GO OF NEGATIVITY!
CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY!
Negative people, surroundings, and situations only bring stress. It’s time to let go of anything or anyone negative in your life today. Look towards the New Year with a positive attitude and share that energy with those around you!
As we get older, we get weary. Every battle in our lives is not to be fought! Although God has a helping hand in many situations in our lives, we must still choose our battles wisely! Use your instincts and pick which battles should be fought
today. Some are not worth it! 6
It’s a New Year! Day 4.
DON’T HARM WITH WORDS!
WORSHIP IN HIS HOUSE!
FREE YOUR SPIRIT!
Words from our mouths can hurt people and it also makes us look less classy. Starting today, we will watch what we say and stop those harmful words from our mouths! Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. James 1:19
Have you ever left church on a Sunday afternoon feeling like a new person? If so you know why worshipping in his house is such a great experience! Yes we can worship at home, or watch service on TV. But nothing is like being in the house of the lord. Being surrounded by other people of religion while also engaging in song, makes church eye opening, emotional and even life changing! Today we vow to go to church more often, and we will follow through!
Everything and everyone in your life is there for a reason, take time to look at your relationships and your material things today and be grateful! Appreciate what you have and who you have.
Being spontaneous sometimes is needed! Today it’s time to get out of your normal routine and let your spirit free! Do something today that you normally wouldn’t do. Fly a kite, Have a picnic, anything fun! When you free your spirit, you let go of everyday worries! Free yourself!
In this New Year…We must stay grounded, We must stay positive and We must make changes spiritually!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Coffee with Sister Doris I am a Christian, married,
mother of 2 teenage boys. I am in my late 40’s and I feel better than I ever have. A few years ago I was in a rut. I did not like where our family was going. We came home and had dinner together every night as a family. Though my husband is a wonderful husband and father, we were boring. After dinner, we would sit in front of the TV until it was time for baths and bed. We were all 30-60 lbs over weight and I knew we needed a change. I started making healthier meals and making the family take walks. It was great. Well with this new energy comes the problem. My husband is a bore. He isn’t affectionate at all. I love my husband, and I have been asking for sex for a year and a half. I get it once a month if that. We went for 6 months straight with no sex. I cannot stay married. I am looking for a boyfriend. I know this isn’t the kind of question you normally get, but… Sincerely, New me new year
You changed everything; the food he likes, the exercise, the comforts that he was used to, and then required more. This is a man that you love. You are talking about him as if you don’t even know him. You are raising a family, paying for a home, and because of sex you want to introduce a new person into what you are building together? You say you love your husband, well guess what Love is patient 1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV What happens to your children?
When we make selfish decisions, we don’t consider the effect that it will have on other people. Do you love your children? You have already stated that he is an excellent father and husband, and that the only problem is intimacy. Why would you purposely hurt your children? When you had your children was your goal to raise selfish children? Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. What happens to you?
Most importantly, you made a vow to not only your husband but to God. This is the vow that you tell me that you took: I, woman, take you, man, to be my lawfully wedded husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ‘till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness. Which one do you think fat and no sex comes under? I would say both sickness and worse. So are you telling me that you only meant better, health, and rich? And let us not forget the faithful. Child, I’m going to get my switches after all. Tell me how a WIFE has a boyfriend.
Are you really ready for such a decision? What if the man that you run into gives you the best sex of your life, but hates children. What if he is everything that you wanted, but your children and ex-husband are now damaged? Also, what happens to your relationship with God? We often think that we can do as we wish, and God will forgive us and we can move forward with HIM. The thing we forget is that when we get off of the path of righteousness that is a scary dark road. We make bad decisions while out of the will of God. It is true God will forgive us, but there is so much destruction that is done to us and our families. Why go down that road? You honestly don’t know if you will make it back to God. Honey, you can die in your sin. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. You tell your husband that Sister Doris said to give you some lovin’. As a matter of fact, go get him so I can whoop him with the switches when I get done with you. Ha-ha. So you are right, New Year, new you (as a couple.) Sweet heart I’m giving you homework. You two need to start having mandatory date night once a week. No excuses. I am ordering you to both get dressed up and go out on the town. Get a phone book and every week pick something to do. Go somewhere you have never been. This will help you create memories. Every day, when you take your walks, hold hands. Lastly, find a person that can counsel you both. Your marriage isn’t over. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate Mark 10:9 NIV No one; not you, your husband, not another woman, another man, NOONE.
Do you think that maybe he feels weird about what is ha ppening in your relationship also?
I hope that our chat helped. Until next time, Sister Doris will be praying for you.
New Year, I normally make tea and make sure you are comfortable, but instead I am going outside to get some cold switches, no, a branch, off of my tree outside. Just kidding, let me get the tea off of the stove. We may need a whole pot for this one. Sweetheart, you don’t even understand the gravity of what you are saying. What I hear you saying is that you changed and that you want to leave your husband because he didn’t change. You both were fat, boring, sexless, and happy. Is that right? Ok so we are going to look at this from a few different lenses so that you can focus.
Have a question for Sister Doris? Submit it to email@example.com
Couples in Christ Bryan and Dawn Brown
I believe that the person you decide to spend the rest of your life with should be your best friend. That's how our story started. We met through mutual friends. At the time, there was never an interest or attraction. There is a six year difference between us so our relationship at the time was just small talk in passing. So I was definitely surprised when I received a phone call from him out of the blue one afternoon. I even contemplated letting it go to voice-mail. After some prompting from a friend who was with me at the time, I answered. Needless to say, we ended up talking all day long. After months of building a friendship, he finally told me on day that he wanted to court me with the intentions for marriage. That threw me off a little bit, but I appreciated his maturity and straight-forwardness. I thought I'd give the young buck a chance. LOL Our courtship was short but very purposeful. We sought Godly council, we prayed and fasted, and even bought books and workbooks to aid us in or journey. Initially, a lot of people were skeptical but we decided to stand on the word that God had confirmed with us both. To be completely honest, there were times when we both doubted a little bit because the situation didn't seem to make sense. But the Lord was continually confirming and opening doors and encouraging us that this was HIs will. Bryan proposed to me on July, 31, 2009 at the Pittsburgh Science Center at the train exhibit. He had a whole speech prepared about trains and life and the tracks we take. Thinking back on that day I often laugh cause at the time had no idea what he was talking about at the time. LOL After his speech he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. We would marry just four months later on November 21, 2009. This year will be a milestone for us as we celebrate five years. Our marriage has not been ideal, nor has it always been easy, but God has blessed me with a man who loves me through my issues and faults and encourages me to be all that God has called me to be. He is an awesome father and friend. I have witnessed him overcome so many obstacles and still trust God for greater. Our testimony is not a perfect one, but one that showcases God's grace, love, and purpose.
9 Have a â€œCouples in Christ testimony? Share with CIU at firstname.lastname@example.org
Soleil Meade: Yes, Soleil means sun/ sunshine in French. Our family is really big on having names the mean something. My mother heard the name in a French class and I truly believe my personality is a reflection of the name she blessed me with. CIU: Tell us how you came to know Christ. SM: I grew up in church so my mom raised me to know Jesus yet I didn't find him for myself until I was in high school. That was the first time I had my OWN desire to get to know God. The pressure was really tough living saved in school so unfortunately I backslide until my junior year of college. A guy I was dating and deeply cared for was murdered and the intensity and shock of its effect on me lead me back to the arms of Christ in 2006 and I haven't left since. CIU: Explain what ‘I am handpicked’ means and how it came about. SM: Several years back I was reading my bible and God lead me to John 15:16... “For you have not chosen me, but I have chosen and ordained you, that you may bring forth fruit and your fruit will remain”. In that moment I realized that even though I "chose" to accept Christ this was actually a part of the plan...He had handpicked me for Him... I realized I was made by God for God. I held handpicked close to me, getting a bracelet made that I wear every day to remind me. In 2012, Handpicked then evolved into a blog site, a place to learn and grow into your handpicked purpose. Now in 2014, Handpicked is set to evolve into a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help girls and women, expose and evict those concealed and complicated issues they face by elevating their value and purpose in Christ, through In corresponding with Soleil I realized that this woman has social and self-awareness. It began a phrase that sustained my a lot going on. Not only did she complete this interviw while walk with Christ and will become the revelation phrase that will away on business, but she has quite a few endeavors. Christ bring many to Christ, I Am Handpicked!
It Up is delighted that she was able to share a piece of herself with us! CIU: My husband, Churchboi, mentions you in his song “Kingdom Control”, how did you feel about that?
Christ It Up: Soleil is a very unique name, does it mean SM: Man, I was so pumped!!!!! But above all I was so honored. something? Or is there a story behind it? You know I try to live a life that is fully satisfied with recognition
from Him! Yet God is so faithful and loving that he sends people tough times… now finally I find myself stronger than before… like your dear husband to encourage and esteem me just as He ready to chase him, devote my time, energy, and love to just does- just beautiful and very appreciated. being with Him… CIU: How did you get into motivational speaking?
CIU: You have a book titled, “A Princess Whispers to her Father”. How did this book come about? And what can readers expect SM: I love to talk... My mom’s favorite words to me were from it? “Soleil, It's okay to be quiet sometimes". I honestly majored in communications mainly because that's the one thing I knew how SM: This book actually started as a book for women desiring to do well! Once I developed my relationship with Christ I began a mate (coming soon). I remember one sleepless night hearing to be vocal about it, encouraging people on social networking God tell me to grab my notebook and write. There I poured platforms through statuses, videos, etc. which lead to many out my heart whispering to God about my future mate. Once speaking opportunities. I consider myself truly blessed to use I went to begin to research the publishing, I clearly heard God and channel my talents spiritually and professionally. say I can't have you teach them how to have a relationship with a man and they don't have one with me. Hence my first book CIU: I participated in the “New Year New You” tele-event where in the series, A Princess Whispers To Her Father. Readers can you spoke about being intimate with God. Can you share some expect to go on a journey of exposing, sharing, and creating true of that with us? intimacy with God. After reading they will be assured, affirmed, and acknowledging their royal status as His Princess. SM: Of course, intimacy is one of the key ingredients to a healthy relationship with God. Too often we associate intimacy with CIU: Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on? physical action or sex but intimacy is a closeness, friendship and belonging and we should desire to have that with Christ! We SM: Yes! I will be launching my non-profit “I Am Handpicked” must remember that it takes time, devotion, love, energy, and this spring. This year we will be hosting a series of events that will desire to develop intimacy with Christ. Imagine God sharing his raise awareness and take action on the issue of sex trafficking, deepest secrets and desires with you and you being able to do the locally, nationally, and globally. We will also have our ultimate same... That's intimacy- that's what we strive for! makeover event for girls, helping them transform themselves inside out! CIU: Also on that call you had shared a testimony with the ladies, could you briefly share some of that? CIU: Where can CIU readers find out more about Soleil? SM: Over the past year, I’ve been through some enduring times. My sister was blessed with triplets – 3 baby girls… but the babies were born almost 4 months early and suffered many complications. To make a long story short, from Aug 2012 to May 2013 I spent almost every day in the hospital with the babies plus working full time— my body, emotions, and mind were torn, then in Feb. my uncle suddenly passed away and a week later we lost one of the triplets, and several other things that seemed to be disastrous. I’m literally just coming out of this valley experience and just this past Sunday I asked God why my “intimacy” seems so far off… He lovingly answered me “Because I’ve been carrying you the past several months”. The dynamics of our relationship shifted when He allowed me to pour all I had into my family- spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally and even endure some of the worst pain I’ve ever known. Those resting sweeting in His presence, secret sharing, and precious time & sweet love songs to my love although treasured weren’t present. God helped me to understand that I was too weak… too flustered and occupied to be “intimate”…but HE NEVER LEFT ME… Instead of abandoning me, He carried me through those
SM: You can visit my website at www.iamhandpicked.com Our follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube: @ SoleilMeade CIU: Is there anything else you would like to share with us? SM: Serving is my heartbeat! I love to serve people who are in any kind of need whether it’s a simple smile or a person who has no food or clothing. My heart to serve is most present in the outreach ministry my best friend and I co-founded, Everyday Living Outreach. Our mission is to make everyday lives simple through charity and love. We do this by serving a free bag of toiletries (toilet paper, soap, paper towel, toothpaste, etc.) the last Saturday of every month. We've been doing this for the last 3 years and serve as many 50-100 families in our community each month. It is truly my pulse to use a simple item someone needs as a means to minister the love of Christ, prayer, healing, and fellowship.
Sunshine and Rain Leria
God must think I’m crazy! Okay, I’m being dramatic. But now that I have your attention, I’ll explain that crazy simply means selfish and ungrateful. Since He knows every thought of mine (Psalm 139:1-3), He knew that one day I would come to the realizations of my selfishness and ungratefulness. I foolishly expected to live my life in the sunshine only, so I never prepared for the rain. But the Bible does say, for everything, there is a season. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11) Once again, let me explain. And while I’m explaining my life in the sunshine, count my blessings for me. I was born in the beautiful Virgin Islands. I was the 7th of 8 children to married, Christian parents. I was blessed with scholarly intelligence, in the top 25 through my elementary to high school years. Looking back, there was never a day without food or water as my father was a fisher man and both parents farmed. We always had a place to live, beds, clothing and shoes. As an adult, I’ve consistently held a job since 2006. What else, a college education, friends, family, and good health. My daughter is beautiful, intelligent and healthy. But these are the least. I have been given the gift of salvation. Through Christ alone am I able to do these things and more. For instance, I’ve maintained my celibacy since my salvation. I have a wonderful church home and enjoy ministering through dance and writing. And so much more that I don’t have room to mention. So, believe me when I say I am blessed. (Ecclesiastes 5:19) You would think that I would shout from the rooftops how great GOD has been to me. Well, I haven’t been. I’ve been walking in the sunshine for so long that I took it for granted; only here and there giving GOD thanks for His goodness. (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31) Time and time again, God showed me my sin. I’d feel conviction, repent but as the sun kept shining, I would soon forget. I took life, my life and the life that I live for granted, ungratefully and selfishly expecting sunshine always. Recently, GOD allowed some rain to fall in my life. When I say rain, I mean that there came a time of pain and hardship. My daughter and I were recently in a car accident. Thank GOD we are still alive. I was able to drive away, my car dented, but still intact. The other car was totaled. (Still counting the blessings?) I’m still employed but unable to work because of my injured back and neck. And if I’m not working, then I have no income. And because of pain and no income, everything seems to be going crazy. This is a new level for me; I have to trust GOD only, day to day, minute to minute. There is so much to do, and I can barely do it all. So, while sitting in this metaphoric rain, I cried and pouted, because it wasn’t fair. I didn’t like it. I’m not used to pain, is what I say. I’m not used to not getting a check. I’m not used to the uncertainty in my mind and body. And it started to
shake my spirit. Overwhelmed, I cried. I laugh now, thinking of the words my advisor said to me. He asked during one of our conversations “Did you cry out or did you just cry?” I responded honestly that I just cried. And then he said, “That won’t do you any good.” I didn’t understand then, but I do now. (Psalms 107:6 NLT) It took me some time to rejoice over the fact that my daughter and I were alive. And I should be so very grateful because it could have been worse. GOD started to open my eyes to my blessings; I had been blinded by the sunshine. I began to see that I was blessed to be raised by both of my parents. My dad passed recently to be with the Lord, but my mom is still here. I’m grateful for her life, as she and my younger sister, Love, were in a car accident 6 months ago. The truck was totaled, but both are still here, walking, talking and giving GOD glory. Recently, I met a young lady whose mom was gone before she was a teen. And I knew a few others who never knew their fathers. It shook me how different our stories are. My daughter is here, healthy and alive. Along with that, there are people who cannot have children, and then there are some children born with diseases and disorders. My biggest blessing is that I am still here, alive and on the land of the living. I am still saved. I have Jesus as my King and He reigns over every situation in my life. He will never leave me nor forsake me, even as I go through the rain. God, my father, didn’t get blindsided by my accident, he knew it would happen and he cares. (Psalm 139:16-17 NLT) And there is so much more, the little things that we take for granted, like the dollar a friend gives, or someone being there to help take out the garbage. Looking around now, watching the rain fall, I can see that there is a blessing in the rain as well. I learned that I was selfish and ungrateful and that I should be more thankful for the life GOD gave me, rain or shine. I was able to rest and take some time off of work. Since being off of work, I appreciate my job more. I’ve also learned that I should spend more time with my daughter since no one is promised tomorrow. (James 4:1315) This is my story about sunshine and rain. Remember, both are blessings, they are gifts of life. Both are needed for growth and strength. James 1:2 tells us to count it all joy when we have trials (rain), because the testing of our faith produces patience. I do have a favor to ask. If you ever hear me complain about my life, give me a nudge and remind me that I should accept the sunshine as well as the rain, because only with both will I ever see a rainbow.
*~* NOTHING IS WASTED *~* By: Kimberly Fairley
By know you may know that I am a single mother. Have been for 6 (almost 7) years now! Such a long time! Something that many, if not most of the people in my life have never known, was that being a mother was never something I enjoyed. None of my smiles in photos were ever forced. Anything I’ve ever done for my son came from the heart and was never done for show, but there was this thing, this thought that crippled and held me back for years. Over the past 3-4 months God has taken me on this journey. One I never thought I’d ever come to. I was selected as one of 10 to be on a panel for a new TV segment airing on Cornerstone TV called “Sister 2 Sister”. It’s the biblical version of The Talk or The View. Just Christian women coming together to give their opinion on real life issues and it wasn’t until after I was selected that I began to see what it was God was trying to do in me and I didn’t just see it, I was willing to finally submit to His work in my life. During a taping I was talking to one of the producers and a member I attend church with. You know how sometimes you say something, but you down play it not realizing the seriousness of their response to come! As I was speaking to him he shared his tests in being content even as he was sick on a mission’s trip in Africa. It was then I began to see this theme and that God was using every means to show me the importance of contentment. As we all know more often than not that’s easier said than done! I remember praying one day. God why can’t I have the desires of my heart? What’s wrong with me? What am I doing wrong? Where is my husband? (This has been my biggest mental battle over the years.) As He is faithful God answered very clearly “You want a husband, but I can’t trust you with your son”. OUCH! Hard words to hear and a big pill to swallow. For once since I had my son I began to celebrate what He’s given me and not being bent out of shape about what I didn’t have. See over the past 6 years all I could think was I need to be married; I’m getting older, and older, and older. Never realizing that I spent so much time on this and essentially made it an idol. An idol so much so, that I never stopped to appreciate the life God has given me. I believe the tests we endure are meant for character building. No matter what it is and knows it doesn’t look the same for everyone. These things are meant so that at the end we look more like Christ and less of ourselves.
I believe the gift of my son was meant to build my character. Even in the recent months I’ve truly grown to love and appreciate my son. There are many married couples who can’t have children and here I am blessed with one who’s healthy and handsome! Being a single mother isn’t easy, but what I’ve been learning is that the gift of parenthood is much harder than we ever realize and God doesn’t choose the weak. I mean we are responsible for shaping and molding the character of future presidents, prophets, prayer warriors, teachers and the like! I mean its tough work, but man this job we have is truly an HONOR to train these kids up. To guide them as even they put their faith in us to lead them without even realizing they need to be lead! Romans 8:28 happens to be hands down my absolute favorite scripture. It encourages us: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV) In the Greek good means agathos being beneficial in its effect. I didn’t realize what that truly meant until this season of my walk. See we want “good” to make us feel good, but hardly do we seek to be good. Not being good in the sense that we are “good” people because let’s remember we are one bad decision away from rock bottom, nor has God called us to be “good people”, but what we ought to seek for is to emulate, imitate, or model a Christ-like life. It took me 6 long years to realize that God sought to develop my character. I began to see that being a single mom (no matter how we’ve come to this place) may not look, feel, sound, or be good, but its EFFECT on my life once I was willing to submit has made my character one that I believe God’s pleased with. One that when other women and mothers look at my life they can clearly see Christ and not Kimpossible! It’s weird, but I’m finally content! I’m finally happy with doing ALL I can to build my son’s self-esteem, shower him with affirmation, and seek to live a pleasing life for God with Him! No matter what you’re going through consider that God hand-picked you for that trail knowing that at some point you’d submit and seek to learn from it, learn His character and seek to give Him the glory from it. Be blessed.
Book Worm Elise and the Little Red Boot By: Barbara E. Trent
This was a very cute children’s book! It’s about a little girl named Elise who cannot go anywhere unless she finds her little red boot. The book takes you on a mini journey in the recovery of her little red boot! Great story that can be read time and time again!
Words of the Lord Ephesians 1:7 (NLT) He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of His son and forgave our sins. God amazes me so much it’s ridiculous! It’s like, even if you put together all the people who love you in one box, it still wouldn't amount to how much God loves you. He loves us regardless of our mess, whether it’s us completely disregarding Him; like I once did, or putting things before Him; like I once did. But to know that He loves us so much and is so for us that He gave His son, which in turn was Himself, so that we would have a chance, a connection, a straight line to Him. A friend of mine (Bianca) once said, “He came from upstairs, downstairs, so I wouldn't be in the basement”. That was so awesome to me. Yes Lord!