Jesus Is Alive

Hi Girlfriends! I pray this post finds you all well today. This is just a simple reminder of what Easter is all about and how blessed we truly are. As we embark upon this Easter weekend, please take a moment and reflect on the real purpose of this holiday. Share these posts about Good Friday and Take Up YOUR Cross with your love ones. Indeed JESUS IS ALIVE and that’s an awesome reason to celebrate!!

Have a blessed Easter weekend!

Joy for Your Day,

(Photo Cred: https://redemptiondb.com/sermonarchive/its-true-jesus-is-alive/2016)

The Fear of the Unknown

So here I am, on the brink of a new season. I wish I could say that I was completely excited about it, but I’m just not there yet. This is quite an unexpected season and feels like a bit of a crossroad. Like I’m standing in the middle trying to decide which direction to turn in first. This is not a good feeling, and to be honest I’m fearful of what will come next.

Now I know you are probably thinking, what happened to me living by my 2017 mantra “Stop walking in fear, run with faith”. It’s still there, but how many of us know that with this declaration there has to come a test to push me to excel in the mantra. So here we are at the crossroad of this test and it is a hard one. I’ve been forced to make a decision that I didn’t feel like would come at this point in my life. I’d gotten comfortable, this felt like home, well it was home, or so I thought. It was home for that season, but as the saying goes “all good things must come to an end”. And I think that is the part that is really hard for me to accept and fully comprehend. Why must it end like this? Lord, why did you bring me to this place for it to just be taken away so abruptly? But at the same time I’m wondering if warning signs were there and I just passed by them, ignored them or overlooked them? Or was I just completely blindsided and it was time for the truth to be revealed. These questions play in my head daily and even haunt me in my dreams.

So where do I go from here? Though I’m not ready to start over, this is what is before me. New seasons are supposed to feel good, a fresh start, right? In this case the fear of the unknown is trying to take over and consume my thoughts and emotions. Just when I think I have cried my last tear, and am near making peace with this decision, here comes the hurt and anger all over again. But this is not how I roll and that is definitely not how He rolls. There is a purpose and a plan for everything that happens in life, but it’s up to me to find that purpose. To figure out what I am to learn from this and then seek guidance on how to move forward. But its hard ya’ll, I really have no other way to describe it. (And before I go any further let me stop and clear the air and let you know that this post nor any of my recent posts have anything to do with my husband or our marriage. We are still happily married and very much in love! Just had to put that out there lol)

I guess the best way to describe it right now is to be honest and say I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what comes next and all that comes along with it. Will I (we) make the right decision, will we be accepted, how long will it take to find “home”, will this be our permanent place or will we have to endure this hardship or something similar all over again? I’m sorry if I’m a little scattered today, but I just needed to get my thoughts out. I’m normally strong, or at least try to be but today I need to just take the veil off and just express how I feel. That helps my healing process because if I continue to keep it bottled up these feelings are only going to get worse. Although I apologize for the brain dump, I make no apologies about how I feel regarding this situation. I’m entitled to my feelings and I’m working through it. But something of this magnitude takes time to get over. As I express myself here please believe that I am still taking it all to my Daddy. He is the one that has the answers and as I wrote in Silence Speaks, I just have to continue to remain still as this new season unfolds. So here I stand at the crossroads waiting on my GPS (Daddy) to give directions on the next move…

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.; “Because you are precious in My sight, You are honored and I love you, I will give other men in return for you and other peoples in exchange for your life. ~ Isaiah 43: 2, 4 AMP

Peace & Blessings,

(Photo Cred: https://www.pinterest.com/rhiwalser/quotes-that-i-love/)

Blast from the Past

TGIF girlfriends! Today’s post is a blast from the past and a simple reminder of God’s faithfulness, entitled Faithful Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend ladies!

                  Joy for Your Day,

 

 

 

 

photo cred: http://media.harpercollinschristian.com/email/niv-votd/24-Jun

Negative Mind

So as I turned my desk calendar to now March of 2017 (time is flying – sheesh!) I’m greeted by a floral print background with the following statement written: A Negative Mind will Never Give You a Positive Life… Wow what a statement! And so true, that the more negative thoughts we have leaves no room for positive outcomes. Now, I must be honest with you, I’m one of those people that tends to view the negative outcomes first in a situation before rejoicing in the possible good. You could say this has stemmed from some of my childhood experiences of disappointments and broken promises. When I weigh the outcomes in life I always go for what’s the worse that could happen before thinking about the best that could happen. I know that as a child of God I have no worries, no doubt, and no fear but that “human nature” kicks in first most of the time and I begin to unravel the thoughts of well if this don’t happen then, or if this doesn’t come through then… Instead of being positive from the jump of every situation. I guess there’s that fear (which I’m not supposed to have) of being let down, rejected and disappointed that I rather have already guarded my heart to be ready to experience the worse. As a growing/maturing Christian, I’m learning to first hold my tongue before speaking negative thoughts. I’ve studied and experienced the Word enough to know that

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them ~ Mark 11:23-24 KJV

is the truth! I’m a living witness that those things that I speak do come to past positive and negative. So changing my mindset to only focus on how great God is in every situation is a must for me. I mean even the simplest of my thoughts I want to be positive.

So who’s ready to start walking and living in positivity with me? I know that you will feel a lot better on the inside and it will show on the outside when you focus on a positive life. Ladies, don’t allow the devil to still the joy you deserve each and every day. And its okay if you slip up and a negative thought comes into your mind, just be sure to give those thoughts to God afterwards and move forward.

I hope this encourages someone who thinks that life has to be bad, broke, raggedy, busted, and disgusted every day and know that God has destined you for greatness! You are His heir! Start walking, talking and living in victory.

Have a wonderfully blessed weekend ladies!

Joy for Your Day,

 

Silence Speaks

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh….do you hear that?… Me either…Utter silence…

There was once a time when I had to have some type of noise going at all times. Music, t.v., water running, someone on the other end of the phone…just something to kill the sense of silence. If I can be honest for a moment, I think that silence once scared me. The thought of being left alone to just me and my thoughts made me nervous. So I kept something or someone around me to kill the silence and further push me away from what ever issue or concern that I was avoiding. That’s not the case anymore. If anything these days I’m looking for a moment of silence in my day lol Quite frequently when I’m in the car alone I prefer to ride in silence because nine times out of ten if the radio is on, I’m not really listening to it. I like to use that time to gather my thoughts for the day, or to seek wisdom on whatever question or concern I have that day. But what happens when you don’t get a response and HE is silent?

Recently I’ve been faced with a major, unexpected challenge in my life and girlfriends it has been bothering me day in and day out. I go to sleep with it on my mind, I wake up with it on my mind, thoughts of it pop up in the midst of my day. This one is difficult, I don’t think words can really describe how it is affecting me. As I told you last week, I internalize a lot and haven’t really discussed this with many people. I don’t want to, I’m already confused by the situation and really can’t handle more information or others’ opinions right now. Not that I didn’t need to before, but now is the season of prayer like never before. I’ve been lifting this up to my Father quite frequently, written about it in my journal and now penning it here in this post and yet the pain, the uncertainty, and the questions are still very present.

Like any child, when I ask, I want an immediate response. With something this major, I need a response like yesterday, but haven’t received it yet. In these moments, while waiting on “the” response, I have to request clarity between His voice and my own thoughts and perceptions. I can sometimes move too quickly when following my emotions, but am learning more and more to stop reacting and to only respond when given clearance to do so. Although it looks good on paper, in reality this is something that I still struggle with and am continually working on. When I’m upset and confused, I can build an imaginary wall, pull down my imaginary blinds and avoid dealing with the situation all together, but this time around I can’t do that. I HAVE to wait on instructions from my Master. He is the ONLY one with response in regards to my next steps. Although I would love to stay on my face in His presence until He gives me a response, I have to keep about my day, week, month, however long it takes, until He responds with the plan for moving forward.

Maybe that’s just it, even though He hasn’t given direct instructions, His silence still speaks and is powerful. Just as a child has to “wait a minute” patiently for their mother/father’s response, in His silence, I must do the same. Maybe He isn’t saying anything right now because it’s not time yet, or there is something else that I need to do before He will release His plan. I’m unsure right now, but what I do know is that until He speaks, I will not move. I will remain constant in prayer, seeking His face even the more. This is hard, speaking of this current situation, my heart still hurts, but my trust and hope is in Him and Him alone. Even in the darkest seasons, His presence is still there, speaking through the silence.

For God alone my soul waits in silence and quietly submits to Him, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; My fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged.~Psalm 62:5-6 AMP

Peace & Blessings,

(Photo Cred: http://wharrispmp.com/wp/silence-can-be-golden/)

This Is Me

I have a sarcastic sense of humor.
I love all things ice cream.
I can be extremely silly at times.
I love to dance.
When I sing, I sing loudly (and sometimes wrong lol)
When I love, I love hard.
I can have a bad attitude at times.
I have a problem with letting things go (Which I told you in my post Blessed And Unbothered)
I have insecurities.
Sometimes I speak out of turn.
I can forgive, but I struggle with the “forget”

These are just a few things that make me, me. The good, the bad and the ugly. Each piece put together uniquely design who you are getting to know…Katesha. As I get older, more of me, is revealed to me. I’m beginning to learn that although I’ve been me for 33 (almost 34 AHHH!!) years, there is still a lot that I am learning about myself. Every time that I think I have overcome something, I am quickly proved wrong and tasked with getting over and/or through it all over again.

Ever since I wrote the post about learning to let things go and not allowing “them” to bother me, I have been tested in this area constantly. Each time the test has been targeted in different areas of my life, which causes me to process and deal with each differently. I’ve learned that I internalize a lot. I really only open up to a very, I mean very, few people. Mainly because I like to deal with things on my own, but also because I do not want to have to process the opinions of others on top of my own which essentially end up confusing me more. Now I know that this may sound like a bit of an oxymoron as I am always telling others to open up and talk about it. But sometimes it is just easier to not say anything at all, speaking of me here.

I’ve really been working, or attempting to work on perfecting me in this season. I put a quote on my vision board that states ” I’m good at being me, but I want to become a better me”. I may have paraphrased that since it’s not in front of me at the moment, but I hope you get the gist lol. I’m finding that there is a lot of me that I just don’t like and that’s not always a good feeling. But in order to reach the ultimate goal of becoming more like Christ I have to deal with it, as ugly as it may be at times. And maybe, just maybe, that is what I find to be the most difficult part, looking at the (wo)man in the mirror, peeling off the layers that can no longer be attached to me.

I have a shirt that I love to wear that says “I’m fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14), but question have I really dissected what that means to me personally…until now. I was made in His own image and He designed every intricate part of me, so why not embrace it, right? I have to learn to embrace every part of me, every season of life and when I hit the difficult parts, turn to Him to remove them or direct me on how to correct them. It’s just as simple as that. The road may not always be easy in this journey called life, but the pruning season(s) is(are) necessary in order for me to live out and walk in my purpose.

This is a day by day thing girlfriends, and I pray that you will take the time to evaluate yourself, just as I am. It is needed and something that we have to do to in order to remain humble and display/share the love of Christ to others.

He who gains wisdom and good sense loves (preserves) his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good and prosper. Proverbs 19:8 AMP

Peace & Blessings,

(Photo Cred: http://andoutofsmallthings.com/one-step-to-become-who-you-are-meant-to-be/)

 

Never Knew A Love Like This

Happy Friday Girlfriends! As we embark upon the Valentine’s holiday, I wanted to talk just a moment about love. Wait! don’t exit the page, this is not a sappy love story about me and my boo. This is about a SISTERHOOD kind of LOVE! You still here? Okay good —

I’m sure some of you are familiar with the bible story of Ruth and Naomi…. Right? Maybe so? Well here is a brief refresher – Ruth was married to one of Naomi’s sons. Naomi was preceded in death first by her husband and then later by her two sons. Naomi and her two daughter-in-laws (Orpah & Ruth) decided to travel to Bethlehem from Moab. Along this journey, Naomi tells Orpah & Ruth that they must return back to their mother’s houses in Moab. Initially both of them explained to Naomi that she must go with them, but she refused. Orpah returned to Moab, but Ruth just couldn’t leave Naomi. Ruth understood the state Naomi was in, she was destitute and grieving the loss of her family during a famine. Ruth & Naomi continued to Bethlehem and Ruth would gather corn dropped by the workers in the fields for food.

Now, I’m stopping the story here because this should be all the precursor I need to express my point of sisterhood love. We all need to have a “Ruth spirit” – she understood the real needs of Naomi and decided she would help her even though it would be very hard and inconvenient. All of us at some point may experience a “Naomi moment” – where we’re truly in need of someone else’s help but don’t want to disturb their daily life dynamic or inconvenience them with our own personal issues/problems. Nevertheless, what I do know is that God’s Word is true and everything written in the Bible is for us to learn and abide by. The love presented by Ruth unto Naomi is not written for us to just give praise to Ruth, it is to show us how we are to love one to another.

So ladies when you know of a sister that’s going through a “Naomi moment” please have a “Ruth spirit” – one in which they can’t resist, one in which they know is genuine, one in which they don’t feel like charity, one in which they truly feel the LOVE OF GOD through you!

Please remember these Naomi’s on Valentine’s Day too, send them encouragement and love, because we never know when we could fall victim of a “Naomi moment.”

May the Lord repay you for your kindness, and may your reward be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.~ Ruth 2:12 (AMP)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Joy for Your Day,

(Photo Cred: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/480618591462955557/)

Tunnel Vision

Have you ever arrived at your destination and wondered how in the world did you get there? Like you know you got in the car, started the ignition, drove from point A to point B, but do not remember anything along the way. Crazy and somewhat dangerous, isn’t it?!?! This happens to me all the time! Shocking right? HA!

At the end of 2016, my job moved offices which caused a new, quicker (thank you Lord) commute for me. Recently on the drive in to the office one morning I took notice of this big beautiful house that sits off of the main road. Now I’ve been driving this same route every day since November and have never noticed this house before. It kinda shocked me because I was thinking how did you miss this? The reason would be 1 of 2 things, I was either on the phone with my hubby or lost in the midst of all of my thoughts. Maybe a better way to say it is that I had tunnel vision and was focused solely on my final destination, causing me to miss so many other “small” things along the way. Stick with me I’m going somewhere with this today.

We have made it to the second month of 2017. We have all of our goals, plans and our vision for the year still in front of us. The momentum to get it done should still be pretty high at this point and we are focused on getting the job done. We have made it up in our minds that we are going to keep our eye on the prize and steer away from distractions and/or anything that could get in our way. Think about it, how many times on a daily/weekly basis or just in general, have you said the statement “I’m focused” with only thoughts of ultimately completing your goal? I know I have thought it quite frequently and there is nothing wrong with that. You should be focused and striving to become distraction free. My concern today is when we become a little too focused. What do I mean by that? I’m glad you asked, let me explain.

Just as I missed that big beautiful house on the drive to and from work for the past 3 months, you (we) can miss vital pieces of the journey if we are only focused on the end result. Transparent moment. You know that I have been talking about and believing God to attain home ownership. There are days when I’m like, I want the house and I want it now. Forget everything else, Lord just open the door for me to get the house. Now I truly believe that this is already done in Heaven. My Daddy has already picked out the house, has the address and is waiting to drop the keys in our hand, but its a process. If I am only focused on the closing day and walking in the front door for the first time, I may have missed the “smaller” blessings He has worked out along the way. He has granted increase, new opportunities for growth in the way that we handle our financial business, He has granted us grace through my mother who has opened her home to us during this entire process. And even on the hardest of days, when it seems like a dream deferred, He is there to help pick up the pieces with His reassurance and His love.

So what am I saying today? Sometimes you just have to take a moment, a break so to speak, to look around and see all of the blessings surrounding you in this moment. You could be missing a blessing that is staring you right in your face. I encourage you today to stay focused to reach the goal, but at the same time keep your eyes, ears, and heart open to take in the blessing of His presence in your life. Remove the blinders, step outside of that tunnel and enjoy the journey and all that comes along with it. You are going to get there, it is going to happen, but only in His timing according to His will and His plan.

Keep your eyes open for God, watch for His works; be alert for signs of His presence. Remember the world of wonders He has made, His miracles, and the verdicts He’s rendered ~ Psalm 105:4-5 MSG

Peace & Blessings,

Blessed and Unbothered

Confession time…I have a problem that I’m working on and I need some help…I sometimes allow trivial things to bother me! Okay so you are probably like “ummmm, okay what’s the big deal”. Don’t worry I will tell you. When I say I let things get to me, I mean really get to me. Like I can’t stop thinking about it, end up dreaming about it and then wake up to the same thoughts that haunt me throughout my day.

Without giving too many details, I will give you a brief example. Recently I saw something on social media that didn’t sit well with me and it was something that sorta kinda affected someone super close to me. Ya’ll this thing bothered me wayyyyyy more than it should have! I talked to my husband about it and he told me not to worry about it and to just let it go. But I couldn’t! I sat up late that night thinking about it and began to pray to ask the Lord to help me shake it. My spirit man REALLY wanted to let it go, but that petty flesh wanted to have its way. I had all kinds of thoughts in my mind and shady ways that I could respond to reflect my feelings but something just wouldn’t allow me to do. I ended up tossing and turning all night with these thoughts running all up and thru my dreams! Ugh why do I allow such small things to bother me the way that they do? The next day it was still bothering me so I mentioned it to my mom and my sister. My Mama, bless her heart, always finds the positive in every situation and my sister said that she knew that it was bothering me and shared her thoughts. Yet through all of the good advice I still couldn’t let it go!!!!

So once again I went before the Lord and asked Him in the most sincere way to remove every thought about the situation including every petty, shady thought or action that may bubble up there after. (Side bar – Don’t you wish sometimes that you could be released to use the pettiness that resides within? Come on be honest!!! No, just me? HA! Okay scratch that from the record lol) Even with a sincere prayer ya’ll I still find this to be SO hard! Like I am so much better than this, but can I just take a moment to be transparent and share this thorn in my flesh? In these moments, every part of my flesh wants to showcase how I really feel about these trivial matters, but that something I mentioned above is really Someone who resides on the inside of me and just will not allow me to step completely out of character. Instead of being rude, although that is what I desire for the moment, I have to rise above all of that, shake myself and make sure that I represent the Christ inside of me and allow Him to shine through Katesha. As hard as it may be at times, it has to be done.

With this particular situation, I was definitely tested to see if I could do what was mentioned above. And I mean the next day type of test. Like really Dad, that’s how we rolling? lol And I’m not going to lie and say that my flesh didn’t leap just a little and wasn’t ready for battle because it was, trust me, but I took a deep breath, shook myself and acted like I was (am) my Father’s child. I am still a work in progress and find that moments like these continually keep me humble, remind me that I have not yet arrived and still have plenty of growing to do. But it also shows me just how far I’ve come because just a few years back I would have confronted the situation a COMPLETELY different way. But as my Grandma used to say “Thank God for Jesus!”

So I’m making it my mission to continue to work on this ever-present flaw in my life. I want to get to the place that when small, trivial things that really just don’t matter start to bother me I can look in the mirror and remind myself that I’m blessed and completely unbothered by it. But, as always, when I say it I want to actually mean it. That’s the hard part, but it has to be done! I need to get to a place where I’m unbothered by things that again just really don’t matter. If it’s not pushing me closer to Christ or adding money to my pockets, then again it just REALLY does NOT matter. Maybe I will add this as another mantra for the year….”I’m Blessed and Unbothered”.

Ya’ll pray for me, please! If you have struggled with this in the past and have overcome it, please share your thoughts on how you made it over! I welcome the advice!

[ A Thorn in the Flesh ] Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations [which I received from God], for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself ~ 2 Corinthians 12:7

trying to learn [by experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [and letting your lifestyles be examples of what is most acceptable to Him—your behavior expressing gratitude to God for your salvation]. ~ Ephesians 5:10

Peace & Blessings,

(Photo Cred: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/2040762310050793/)

The Balancing Act

TGIF girlfriends!! So here we are ladies, rounding out the first month of the new year! So how did you do? Are you still knocking out those 2017 goals and resolutions? – losing weight, healthy lifestyle, working out, water challenge, journal challenge, prayer challenge, etc… I was trying to name the more “popular” goals/resolutions that we tend to make each year LOL. Well let me just tell you (about me) – I haven’t given up and don’t plan to give up either on some of them BUT I’m finding, trying to organize my life along with incorporating my new goals has become quite the balancing act! I’ve succeeded in a few areas and did a good week’s worth of effort in the others. I’m still motivated and inspired to complete all of my goals, its just taking me a lil bit to get organized and to prioritize properly. (Y’all know how my life is setup… and just in case you forgot LOL – wife, mom of 4, EPing, 8a-5p, blogger, ministry worker, wedding planner… IJS) So this is my inspiring moment, for all my girlfriends that are ready to throw in the towel or have already thrown it away, to get back into the game/race and let’s complete this journey together! Its been said that it only takes 21 days to create/form a habit, so lets kick it in to ACTION! Put your phones, tablets/iPads, and planners to use and physically schedule time to do each goal you wish plan to pursue. This does include daily prayer time to take your goals to the Lord and pour out your desires unto Him. What’s the quotes?

If you Fail to plan, you Plan to fail – Benjamin Franklin

A Goal withOUT a Plan is just a wish – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

and the Word says:

Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], and your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance]. ~ Proverbs 16:3 (AMP)

We can do this ladies! The year has just begun. Don’t dwell on the past 27 days and start conquering your masterplan with the 338 days remaining!! Don’t let 2017 be your year of shoulda, coulda, woulda, but let this be your complete and perfect year!

Have a blessed weekend ladies!

Joy for Your Day,