It takes EVERYTHING to Stand Still

Waiting is never fun. Waiting for hours is awful. Waiting for decades for a promise to be fulfilled requires trust and loyalty in the one making the promise.

God and I usually have a conversation when I find it difficult to keep up with His pace. Sometimes, our conversation goes like this:

God: I am taking away the security blanket that has provided psychological comfort to you over the years. I am taking you on a journey into the unknown and all I want you to do is to trust the process. This is an open book test so keep the Book open.

Me: Hold on one minute God, did you forget to give me a timeline? How long is this journey? Will I have company on this journey? Hmm…God, are you serious about not taking my security blanket? God, we humans do not enjoy doing life without full disclosure. Remember we both had this discussion many times before God.

Meanwhile, anxiety is gripping my heart and yes, I spent more waking hours these last few months wrestling with the thoughts of what my life would look like without timeline. Now, I have no timeline to work with but I was told to keep the Book open.

The page in the Book opened to a few highlighted words with a date scribbled besides showing that I was on that page before. It read – ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid.’ The unknown makes my heart sick. I want to help God plan this unknown trip if I only knew how to do it without messing it up.

But, because I understand how God works, I’m forced to sit still on this winding road trip with many huge bumps and resist the urge to flee. It’s folly for me to even consider it an option because I have filing cabinets of evidence where my heart was afraid but God bought me out on the other side.

If I allow my thoughts to linger on the ‘what ifs’ it will cripple my ability to trust God on this journey. What ifs should be permanently disallowed in every human’s vocabulary. It’s the most disturbing place to be lost in.

I know fully well that restlessness gives rise to mistakes and regrets. So be it fast or slow, smooth or rough terrain all I really need to be concerned about is, do not fret. Instead of worrying, pray, Sounds pretty close to what my mother would have told me. The only difference is, I am now the mother/adult.

The season of COVID-19 has shown me that sickness is no respecter of status, race, poverty, or family history. The sadness is overwhelming as I watch people drop like flies. If you don’t know God – the fear is a zillion times worse. My mom if she was alive will tell me ‘ let your gratitude shape your worries into prayers.’

It’s not a cliche at all, but when the battle chooses you – mustering every ounce of strength to trust God into the unknown displaces worry and turns it into prayers. Before you know it, God sends a flood of peace to replace your worry.

We all need this journey into the unknown to get us to a place of total dependence on God and not trusting in our ‘what ifs’ that makes us weak and vulnerable.

Never let the unknown make you question what God already knows. It’s only unknown to you but never to God.

Got to Grab My Security Blanket

Charles M. Schulz wrote this line for his cartoon character Linus -“I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.” The thought that you can love humans but not like people makes you want to go grab your security blanket before you step outside.

I’m sure all of us have our own personal stories on healthy and unhealthy relationships and the lasting effects these relationships can have on you. We all fall short of our full potential when we begin to interact with others either on a short-term basis or for a lifetime.

Ask the server at the restaurant when your order got mixed up or the shoe clerk at the store where your size was out of stock or the hairdresser in your salon or a member of your WhatsApp group. We all love humans but it’s the people we can’t stand. What a paradox.

No rolling of eyes or no surprise looks from you until you see where I am going with this thought. The older we get is the more we should want to enjoy life and walk away from anything that threatens your peace. What does it profit if you live in a nice cozy home, have good food and your stress level and hostility towards people make you feel vulnerable?

Is it time to check in with the people in your community? Some people will make you laugh a little louder. Some will test your resiliency. Some will bring out the best in you. Some bring out the worse in you. Some will use you. Some will love you. Some will hate you. Some will remind you that there are still wonderful people around.  

Everyone that comes into your life has a reason, a season, or a lifetime. It’s up to you to figure out each person’s role and don’t lose hope in humanity if and when it expires.

God is so generous with His kindness even when we do not deserve it. He teaches us by His example how to extend random acts of kindness even when others may not deserve it.

Here are some of the people that were meant to be in our life and it’s important that we hold ourselves accountable for how we deal with them:

Some people can be difficult but with a little care and extra prayer they will not require long term care. Finding a haven in you they cling to you so with good mentoring their issues can be resolved in the proper environment.

Then there are people who you will meet at the crossroads of life because they have run out of options. They are now ready to get help because there are serious and sensitive matters at stake. They require an immediate intervention and your prayers are the only connection they have to Heaven.

Other people come along in your life to be nursed back to health. They need critical care and cannot be left alone. This requires teamwork to make the dream work.  In critical care, crisis is an everyday occurrence so many hands make the work light. Their miracle is credited to the team and God gets the glory.

The older I get the more I realize what really matters in life. You are never too important to be nice to people. It doesn’t matter if people like you, love you, hate you, understand you or validate you just must be nice to everyone because everyone is fighting a battle that no one knows about.

Just grab your security blanket before heading outside.

Emotional Distancing

There are those days when you are exhausted from being strong all the time. If it has anything to do with feelings like happiness or anger, then consider it emotional. If there’s something you either heard or seen and it’s tugging on your heartstrings bringing out your ugly cry it’s emotional.

Yes, you are strong, and yes you have been handling everything that came your way like a professional boxer but sometimes you just need to exhale from breathing in all the toxins and distance yourself to maintain your sanity. Be assured that God hasn’t forgotten you.

As soon as you find yourself thinking negative thoughts – stop and click delete – it usually acts as a great resetting action. When you are alone, watch your thoughts. When you are angry, watch your thoughts. Sometimes we hurt others while we are hurting – apologise and move right along. Moving on shouldn’t take a year – it’s not the end of your life.

Don’t forget on your best day you need God as desperately as you do on your worst day. When God have first place and you take second place the devil will have no place. So, take a time out by doing some emotional distancing it interrupts discouragement.

Leaving the ‘only God can do this’  in God’s hands offers you a rest as you partner together with God. When you begin to think that maybe God needs you to figure out how things should work out – you begin to worry, have anxiety attacks, lose your peace and joy.

Trusting God means you are giving up feelings and emotions and with simple childlike faith you are now entering into your resting period.

I’ve found that when I redirect my feelings, I come out stronger than if I allow them to create anxiety and steal my sanity. Our emotions are not always accurate and so we must manage them wisely. No matter what pain you’ve been through, note well that the tears will dry, your broken heart will heal, and you will come out not looking like anything you’ve been through.

Everyday as the sun rises and your eyes are opened make a conscious decision to let go of anything that you have no control over like the weather, the COVID19 news, your adult children’s choices, your neighbor’s behavior, and your in-laws.

Realize from the break of day that the only person you really have control over is you. Distance yourself from anything that will emotionally drain the real you.

I love Jesus’ thoughts about us when He said that He doesn’t ask God to take us out of the world, but to keep us safe from the evil around us. We are not defined by the world but by the truth of God’s Word. We are on a mission so do everything to stay pure, and experience God’s joy. God always does things right. He knows your ability to walk through storms without looking shipwrecked.

Raise your standards and know that this too will pass. It may pain but it will pass.

Monday …. Here we go! Let’s make it a great week. Spend time uncluttering your mind.

My Prayer

Lord, we pray for all religious organizations and their members, medical personnel, garbage collectors, mailmen, supermarket workers and their employers, pharmacy employees and their employers, public transport drivers, delivery drivers, and all those who are exposed directly or indirectly to COVID19.

We ask for your protection and divine coverings over them and their HOUSEHOLD that no evil will come near to them. Keep them safe under your wings. Let them not be afraid but stand confidently that You will watch over them as they help the sick.

We remember those who have suddenly become unemployed or are facing a down turn in their businesses. Give them an experience and miracles of Your divine provision that they will never forget how You bought them through these difficult times.

We pray for the overcrowded hospitals around the world. Let every traumatized heart be comforted. Let no one suffer unduly and unfairly. Send your ministering angels to heal them in their anxiety.

We remember those who lost loved ones through this deadly virus and have not been afforded closure or proper burial. Grant to them peace and comfort that You will hold their hands through their moments of grief.

Give our world leaders the wisdom to make good decisions and God-fearing laws. Forgive us for walking in open rebellion in exchange for approval and elections.

Let no one’s heart fail them for fear. We ask that at the end of this season that people will turn to You and fear you as the ONLY true and living God.

We thank You for the miracles, the signs and the wonders which You have graciously given to us despite our rebelliousness and stubbornness. We are kept alive because of Your mercy and we say ‘Thank You!’

In Jesus Christ Name,
Amen

Cheers to the Weekend

We made it through another week this time working from home. To all those working from home, a grateful heart is like a magnet that draws good things your way.

To all the essential workers around the world our prayers are with you and your families. We thank you for risking it all that we may live.

It may have been a rough week but we made it. And wouldn’t God do it again. Be strong and of a good courage.

A good laugh still is the best medicine. Take time to laugh.

LIVE! LAUGH! LOVE!

Life is not waiting for the storm to pass it’s about learning to dance in the rain. My thoughts and prayers are with people all around the world.

Cheers!

All is Not Lost

A risk-taker is someone who is impulsive and unbelievably curious about why things are the way they are. They challenge the do’s and don’ts convinced that they’ve got it right. Risk-takers create their own way of doing things with a frivolous matter of fact about its consequence. The people that listen to the wrong type of counsel reap terrible results.

Sadly, not much thought is given to the dangers of taking risk because they are going to do it anyway. Risk-takers scare the life out of me. There are times when you must trust your heart and take a leap of faith but if the alarms are going off no number of leaps of faith will prevent a person from falling off a cliff.

No one should gamble something as valuable as life and your inheritance hoping for a win. Some folks even if they win after a risky transaction, they will continue to make bad choices until they eventually lose it all. I choose to believe that life is way too precious to gamble away without understanding the psychological and physical effect it can have on both your health and your future.

No one can force anyone to stop, look and listen before planning a move. No matter what you say or do to stop a risk-taker ultimately the only person who can stop the process is the person whose life will be impacted by their choices.

We can learn a lot about people by the choices they make.

Proverbs 12:15 says that a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. When we hear good advice, we should take it and quickly apply it to our life.

We can create the environment that’s right for us and those we are leading by seeking counsel. Surrounding yourself with mature and responsible people is wisdom.

I don’t know who said it but it sure makes a lot of sense “A shark in a fish tank will grow eight inches, but in the ocean, it will grow eight feet.”

Many times, we find ourselves in the wrong environment after taking a risk but if you change your environment there’s a greater possibility that you can super exceeds your expectations.

No one can change, heal, succeed, or bloom in the same environment that made them sick and tired. You took a risk and it didn’t work out don’t live with the mistake.

Only you have the power to change what you don’t like. Life is too important to be gambled. The things that are hurting you are put in your way to see if you are willing to fight for what you deserve.

Taking a risk isn’t the end of the road. Problems don’t just disappear because you lost your way. Learn, try again and make a change of the environment that got you unhappy.

When a situation seems hopeless trust God’s guidance. Without good advice nothing changes. It takes a change of environment for things to go right.

Overthinking

Mothers are more likely to overthink than fathers. The truth is everyone overthinks, but Mama – she wins the marathon. There maybe a few moms/women who may be exempted from this group so if you are one of them this blog is not for you. But for some of us we have restless thoughts and nervousness when it comes to our children.

A mother’s mind is like a hamster on a wheel. Our thoughts run all around the wheel in a tiresome, repetitive, and unfulfilling ways in which nothing is achieved but we do it any way. Worrying/overthinking is addictive behavior. Our thoughts travel faster than a speeding bolt of lightening because we love with a love that’s more than love.

A mother never stops worrying about her children, even if they are all grown and have children of their own. You have fought many battles on your knees and stood up nice and tall the next morning. You have cried many tears and still keep on smiling. All kinds of anxieties try to get you out of balance, but you manage to keep going.

Anything that you have no control over becomes dangerous to your health. There are times it’s difficult for mothers to see the hand of God, but a strong mother lives everyday believing it’s never too late for a miracle. They believe that if God brings them to it, He will bring them through it, so they wait with great expectations.

The breaking news is, one day you will wake up and not enjoy the consequences of overthinking, and you will be forced to change.

A mother many times has taken a place of friend, a father, a sibling, but sadly no one can replace a mother. So, mama, the way to avoid nightmares is to stop creating scary movies. God has provided a way to overcome unhealthy thoughts and behaviors and have many ways for you to gain the self-control you so earnestly desire.

Take responsibility for your thoughts. Discipline your mind. It takes effort to filter your thoughts each time they pop into your mind, but it is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit. God promises to give you His peace. The more you focus your mind on the right things, it will become easier every time.

Worry can rob you of happiness so stay away from worry. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us that we are to:

  1.  Get rid of every imagination and every proud idea that comes against what God has spoken
  2. We are to cage every thought to make it obedient to Christ

God is every mother and her children’s refuge. He is a strong, present, and a great help to those who are weak. Kind of make you feel that strong mothers are almost non-existent as it’s impossible not to rely on God for strength.

Dear Lord, help every mother to trust You with her children. Help us to lean closer to hear Your voice when we become lost in our thoughts. Give us the courage to let every situation be what it is and not what we think it should be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen