Grace In Action

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God
(Ephesians 2:8, nkjv)

Grace, more commonly known as, the unmerited favor of God-this is how we’ve received His salvation-by nothing we have done and nothing we can do will ever be able to undo the work that Jesus has done for us on the cross

We love grace!

We love the freedom and the innumerable chances it grants us to be in right standing with God

Grace which affords us the liberty to enter into our God’s gates with thanksgiving and into His courts boasting His praises

Grace is beautiful!

God’s grace is bountiful and boundless

Grace this powerful should not be a one way street, nor hoarded as if there is not enough to go around

As we freely receive this grace that we constantly do nothing to earn, what about freely giving this great grace to another in return?

Surely we can think of someone we may have misunderstood or mistakenly walked past in offense-perhaps there’s someone who legitimately did you wrong

But let’s consider grace, the big picture, are they not worthy of receipt, just like you?

The Challenge:

Don’t hold  grace hostage- in this case, don’t withhold the grace that you feel another person may not deserve-the grace you give may be as freeing as salvation

Of course the grace we give could never compare to what Jesus did for us on the cross; the grace we have looks completely different

Our grace may look like, an “I am sorry,”

“I was wrong,”

Or telling someone, “There’s value in you!”

Grace may even manifest in a long overdue hug.

It’s not always easy, perhaps you’ll need to start with asking God to help you put grace in action even if it takes baby steps

-selah

 

Write a poem about: A Tree

Sometimes we don’t recognize our own strength until we look back over our lives and realize that we’re still here!

I’ve been through what seems like hell and back, and I’m still here, but not just me, my people too; my ancestry

The deep dark truth that hangs from silent trees-seemingly existing only in books, movies and memories- twice removed

Shades of mahogany, chocolate and vanilla swirled with mud and tears of resistance

Seeds planted in forbidden soil have grown into unmovable trees

Resist us!

Resist us?

Fighting from resist-stance

Arms held high, hands wide open and visible yet they still shoots us

Branches on this tree, the blood of you and me only in the books, movies and memories twice removed

Desire, One Day at a Time

 

I want to be lazy and give in to indifference; making the minimum effort (read a little and pray a little) just enough to note a difference or a slight increase in my usual devotion, but not enough for it to hurt, stretch or challenge me. This, I know, is a crazy and impossible way to think when true transformation is the goal.

Being honest with myself, I can conclude that I am often times neglectful with placing Our engagement as a priority. Usually making Our time a past-time-as in an afterthought. I am tempted to glory in the fact that at least I do make sure to spend time with You consistently, but the reality is it’s not my Best time; not when I am my sharpest or most energetic, but often when I am tired and about to call it quits for the day-

You deserve so much more than my scraps!

Your Word, God, however, gives me strength; it fuels me to read deeper and draws my heart to fall on my knees in prayer-sacred time with You. It reminds me of my minute existence in the core of Your grand hand. I am joined to the fact that You are worthy of me surrendering anything that I could ever consider to be a sacrifice and my obedience above that.

My desire is to be All-In with You.

In order to be successful, I will look at Our day by day and not the perfect picture because sometimes that overwhelms me. I am looking forward to growth and am also preparing for the growing pains. I will open my arms to the discomfort in shedding the ‘comfy me’ and work on releasing my need to be in control. You have already promised that You are with me.

Thank You for going before me. Continue reading “Desire, One Day at a Time”

Confront Pride and Apologize

Ever notice that we are usually the offended and NEVER the offender? We often deem ourselves in the right to receive an apology and very FEW times realize we have wronged, hurt and even BROKEN others and therefore need to make things RIGHT….

Acknowledging this undesirable truth about ourselves is not easy, but it’s necessary, if we expect real healing to occur-for us and the other person.

Time-out for just sweeping our wrongs under the carpet and ‘moving on’.

Being humble enough to sincerely say ‘I’m sorry’ or admit to being wrong is not always easy, but broken-chains and FREEDOM will be the result.

How many good friends and family members have we lost?

How many celebrations have we missed?

How many victories have WE FORFEITED, just because we’ve failed to confront our own pride and Apologize?

#JustAQuestion #SomethingToThinkAbout #PleaseConsider #GodHelpUs #GodHelpMe

Think, write and get lost

Many times, guided by ur human nature, we tend to feel the need to always have the answers, the need to always have solutions or reasonable explanations to what is, what is not and what lies in between. As we learn more and more, we should realize that we know less and less. This realization may not cause us to have any less conviction in the “why” section of the way that we choose to live our lives and where we have committed our faith. We should be, however, more open-minded in our understanding of how other people live their lives.

I would like to somehow (temporarily) live outside of this body, float outside my thoughts and experiences only, and really see what it is that makes up our complete existence, that, however, is an impossibility. Therefore, I try to see people as a big picture, not just as an action or an in-the-moment choice, but as the perpetual result of their experiences, understandings, actions.

Our world is changing daily and as we speak, what has been stated as facts and absolutes are now deemed as options and mere possibilities. We are afraid to state as a matter-of-fact who we are and what we believe, when years ago, the basis of how we lived our lives was hinged upon those very declarations.

I wonder, where has the very root of these changes even come from? Who had thought to question the way life is lived? Was it someone just poking around to be different and to go against the grain, or someone in deep search for their truth outside of the norm? Are these questions a battle to be fought, or a wave to be caressed and rode out into the next phase of life? Are we as a human race leading ourselves into a greater realization of who we are and what we were created to be or are we exposing the frailty of our existence toward self destruction? Becoming our own gods-our very own creators. People with thousands of problems and twice that number in answers-yet no solutions, still no solutions.

Perhaps one day we will confess that we do not know it all and that, just like you, there may be a teeny tiny chance that we ourselves have missed the mark, too.

Welcome Back?

I’ve written many posts and in so doing, have shared most of my life’s updates with you, but the major downside is, I’ve only done so in my head. On reality, it has been well over a year since I’ve posted anything new, well, actually closer to two years. I’ve finally surrendered to the fact that I’m very bad at this consistent writing thing so now I must look for a new method. 

I write this post in hopes that I will actually complete it and not only that, but that I will also upload it so that eyes other than my own can view. Attached to that hope is also the thought that perhaps my passion for writing will reignite and I will begin another writing and posting spree, no matter if it’s temporary. One of those things only time will tell. 

   

   

Catching Up! LA, LA!

IMG_1987

Goodness! I cannot believe it has been so long since I’ve posted on my blog! So many things have been going on in my life, good things, and interesting things,-well, interesting to me, at the least.

2014 has been very good to me so far. The hubby and I just celebrated 4 years of marriage a couple weeks ago (clap, clap, clap). For our anniversary, we decided to go to LA. We chose California because we wanted to go to a place that neither of us has been before, as well as a place that offered affordable air fare and around the time we booked the flights (December 2013), Cali fell in that category. My husband’s family is from Barbados and my roots on my father’s side, are from Panama. It was my hope to visit one of ‘our’ countries so that we can get in touch with our family history, but the rates (this time around) were not in our favor, so close to our anniversary.

We took a week off from our jobs, left our sweet little girl with my mom and flew six hours away into the pacific time zone, (three hours behind our home time zone). My husband is very good at planning, of course he consults me, but he always manages our flights, hotel, rental car…etc and ensures that all of that stuff is well taken care of. (Thank God!) That’s a nice trade for a neat home, clean clothes and dinner, he receives from me (almost) every day.

Once our flights were finalized, we made mental notes of the places that we wanted to visit: Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, Hollywood Blvd, Beverly Hills, I am a huge fan of the movie, “Pretty Woman” so I needed to go to Rodeo Drive and at my sister’s vicarious request; In and out Burger. I am not gonna spend too much time on this, but we did get to visit every place on our list and many, many more! I just have to say, that Hollywood Blvd was not as exciting as I thought it would be, it was a lot smaller (about two NYC blocks long [booooo]) and there were not that many stores. I think being from NY kind of killed the thrill for us because we are used to the convenience of bright lights, brilliant billboards and all of the attractions that city life has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, It was very BEAUTIFUL and fun, just not as vibrant and energetic or large as we anticipated.

The shopping malls in LA definitely got NY and the surrounding cities/states beat! I’ve never been to such beautiful malls, most of which are indoor/outdoor! Ridge Hill mall in Yonkers, NY, is a nice attempt, but it does not compare to The Grove mall, Hollywood mall or many of the other malls we patronized. The foliage, cleanliness and architectural beauty were very easy on the eyes and yes, the sunny skies and personal space from a lack of people, also helped. To me, LA has a NYC meets Florida feel. It has the hype of the city, with a laid back and friendly style. We did not do too much night life because we were still living on the NY time zone, plus we dedicated this vacation to sightseeing and relaxation and to be honest, we are not night-life people either, so it was not too much of an initial interest. We were told by some LA residents that they mainly had comedy clubs and bars open after 10:00 pm anyway, so that definitely did not entice us.

[We also visited the Getty Museum, ate at this really dope restaurant, “The Stinking Rose”, and ate ocean-side at the well-known, Gladstone’s seafood restaurant and tried El Pollo Loco and were blown away at its Mexican goodness, YUM!]

The hubby made sure to rent a convertible, a chocolate Chrome, 2014 Mustang, to be exact! He said there is no other way to drive in LA (ahhhh, the male ego!) And, by the way…the rush-hour traffic in LA is horrendous, it gives NYC’s rush-hour a definite run for its money! Luckily for us, we were fortunate enough to always be in the direction that was against the flow of traffic, so we got around pretty smoothly, but looking across that traffic divide, was heart wrenching! (Oh, the drama!) At least in NYC, there are numerous ways to get to your destination in the event it’s stocked with traffic, also, the miles between exits are not as long, so you can always get off to a side street, but it did not seem that way where we were 9 I may be wrong).

Any who, we hooked up with some very cool people while we were there, one set, were awesome friends of a close friend, the other was a home girl we know who relocated to California months before. We also had a great time meeting new people, seeing new sights and overall, being in a new environment. Yet, while I am the type of person who loves exotic trees, sunny skies and warmth (which is so, LA) my hubby and I agree, that there is no place like home!

<<There’s so much more that I could type about our vacation, but this is the general part of our experience! I am hoping to type a part two.

Just another day

Today is an extremely hot, sunny and beautiful day; somewhere in the mid-nineties. Surprisingly, apart from the sweat factor, I’ve been pretty comfortable. I am not sure why, but my mood has been on a fiery roller-coaster, one minute I am calm, cool and collected, the other, I am sensitive and offended by everything and everyone (my poor husband). I don’t know if it’s the weather or if I’m a true victim of the injustices of this great life-I know I am mighty dramatic too, right? But, life for me lately has been this on and off, hot and cold emotional ride.

As I type, I am sitting in my AC chilled living room, eating yogurt and waiting for my husband to get home (to watch our daughter) so that I can go to the gym. I am tired from a long and hot day at work, but an evening workout with two of my great friends (one of whom is my sister), seems to give me enough energy to forge ahead, especially since there has been talk of getting some kind of ice-cream/frozen yogurt afterward.

Today has not been too exciting, so far, but I did accomplish a lot and that’s what I am extremely proud of. The goals that I set for my day will be completed, as soon as I post this blog, finish my workout, eat that ice-cream yogurt stuff, read a few pages in a few books, spend quality time with my little family, reflect on my day, consider tomorrow, say my prayers…WOW! This looks like a long night ahead. I think I kind of overwhelmed myself a bit- I never realized how much stuff I do in a few hours timeframe, and to top it off, I am still sleepy from this morning.

I also feel like I am coming down with a cold, my mildly sore throat from yesterday turned into nasal congestion and a day full of sneezing. The good things is, I don’t feel sick or rundown and I pray that I won’t. I am really boring myself with this post, but pressing past procrastination and actually sitting down and typing a post is a long overdue goal of mine, so this is a step in the “action” direction.

Fear Factor

photo

I enjoy sitting in front of this computer, but it seems I never have the time, but deep down, the truth is, there is time when I make time, and I have not been making time the way that I know I can. There are always thoughts and ideas running through my mind of what I can write about, but most times, these inspirations are suppressed by Fear. Fear has turned my dreams into a nightmare and Procrastination has been its sedative!  Day after day I awake with a heart filled with passion for things I would like to see happen in my life; publishing a book, becoming a certified Sign Language interpreter, starting a side business…and the list goes on. As the numbers of candles on my birthday cake go higher and higher it is clear that I am not getting any younger. Focus and motivation dance before me, like two blind flames relentlessly fighting in the dark; sometimes energized and ready to win and others, distracted by the desire to simply stay aflame.

There are many different kinds of fear that contend against me putting effort toward my goals, but it can all be summed up as the “Fear of the Unknown”-not knowing whether I will succeed or fail, lingers in the back of my mind. It’s hidden under almost every excuse and distraction and is often found in the basin of what appears to be progress and busyness. Procrastination is always moving, appearing to be active, but is never productive. It makes you feel as if you are making headway, but never renders any edible fruit or proof. In order to realize our goals, we have to pull Fear and Procrastination from the bowels of our thoughts and stare them in the face and create a counteractive plan.  It is not an easy thing to bring the subconscious to the forefront of our minds, so we must practice it. Routinely ask ourselves a few questions and evaluate what’s holding us back and then take steps in a progressive direction.

There are many things in my life that require my constant and loyal attention like my God, my family, my finances (employment) and some others. The loyal managing of these things can cause the other, more personal goals to be placed on the back burner, especially when there is the physical and mental need to rest. I know that taking care of myself is of utmost importance because if I don’t take care of myself, I may eventually  not be well enough to take care of anyone or anything else. But there also needs to be time and focus designated to step-by-step work on my other goals. It is this understanding that forces me to identify my Fear and push past Procrastination and at the very least, make the attempt toward achieving my goals-something that, I’m glad to report, I’ve already started. Stay tuned.