Encouraging thoughts for a discouraging time

Encouraging thoughts for a discouraging time

Encouragement has been hard for me to muster this week. I am usually the first to be bright-eyed and positive. I always have a word for those in need. But, this week was hard for me. Since it was hard for me, I know that it has also been for so many of you. Clearly the issues in the Middle East affecting persecuted Christians, the shooting death of a young black man in Ferguson, MO, and countless other issues in our world affected me. (Maybe they also affected you) As a Christian, my heart hurts for people period. I have and had a deep hurt that just wouldn’t/won’t leave for what is happening to women and children and people period all due to their personal religious beliefs. As an African American woman who is a parent, seeing what happened in Ferguson over the weekend and waiting on confirmation of what happened had me on edge. I was sad for the family, angered by what happened, afraid for my children growing up in a world that shoots before asking questions, etc. I mean, isn’t it normal to hurt for people you don’t know? Well, I think so. I have to live in this world, my kids do, you do and your loved ones. It is outrageous! We should all be upset. Most of us are.

I was so sad that I had to leave social media and pray. In prayer, I was able to remember that GOD truly has all things under control and it is in Him that I put my trust. I know my situation is not that of the parents mourning the loss of their child or the citizens who feel like prisoners in their own city, or the thousands fleeing their homes for fear of death. But, the impact of their trials affected me. It saddened me. My spirit was low. I wanted to help my brothers and sisters. What I could do in that moment was pray. I prayed and that encouraged me. I am so thankful that God is there no matter in what situation we find ourselves. I am so glad that His word is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path” (Psalm 119:05). His word is life, encouragement, air. So, I come today with no solution to actual problems. I cannot bring anyone back, I cannot provide safety to those who have lost it all, but I can pray that the ONE who has the solution and is able to hide us in His secret place will do so. He can hide us in His arms, in His secret place (Psalm 91).

I have to believe that justice will be served in this life. As in past cases, when it is not, we go on peacefully trying to change laws to protect us and spread awareness to help others. But, we know that in the life to come, God says vengeance is Mine, I shall repay. And it is in that I put my hope. It is not ours to decide what we go through, but we know somehow we will make it. Just knowing that God has it under control puts me at ease. I can keep doing my best in a world that doesn’t always treat people the way they should. I can continue raising my boys to be the best citizens I can and yet teach them to protect themselves against possible police brutality, abuse, misuse of power. I can encourage someone today who is down because I have been and now have hope. Let this be your encouragement in the midst of your day. God will provide. Put your hope in Jesus for He cares for you.

4 Steps to Pursuing Your Purpose

4 Steps to Pursuing Your Purpose

PurposeThe word purpose has been a buzz word ever since Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life. I mean I remember learning it in school and using it rarely, but oh my! when that book came out it was like cold milk on cornflakes- delicious! It was intriguing, soul-touching, thought provoking- an awesome book. But what is this post about? It’s about me simply encouraging you to find and pursue your purpose. We all have one. If you do not know yours yet, you should do a gift assessment test and some soul-searching. Most churches have their members take these so they can figure out where they can best serve. I know. Most of us are often are too busy to be alone with ourselves one minute to think about what we want. But, what we need is to do exactly that!

So, if you know what you were designed to do, great! Feels good. Right? But if you do not then here are four steps to get you walking out what you were made to do!

Step 1: Do the work to figure out what you are designed to do.

This is a step that only you can do. I encourage you to find some quiet time to be alone and be with you, yourself, and I. Ask yourself what makes you tick, what do you love to do, what would you do with no pay, and if you are already living and doing what you were meant to do. Next, if you are a believer like me, Ask God for direction. Jeremiah 29:11 says God has a plan for his children. A plan to prosper them and not to harm them. To give them a hope and a future (paraphrased). So, if you are like me then you want God’s blessing on your endeavors. Why not get His viewpoint before embarking? The only way to do that is to ask. How can you get the answer without spending time with Him? So, do the work of self-discovery, prayer, communing with God and preparing yourself for the answer. I say prepare because we’ve al heard the stories of people changing fields for purpose or moving and selling everything to follow their purpose. One thing we know is that if God is in it, it will be the best decision ever made. Enjoy this process and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know right away. Keep seeking and it will come. If God is in it, it’ll bless you.

Step 2: Give in to the call.

Once you know what it is you are to do, give in. I know I had a hard time accepting my purpose. I always knew from a young child that I would work in ministry, yet I’ve fought it for years. I now help in the Spanish ministry and it is an amazing feeling to know I’m helping people reach their goals of learning a new language and connect to Jesus in their language. I also get to walk in what I was meant to do. I knew I was a born leader and encourager, but I was an extroverted introvert. Lol! It’s possible. So, I had to give in to that persistent desire of my soul to help others. Maybe you are like me. You know you are supposed to be doing something, but for some reason haven’t started. Go on. Get started. You’re in for a powerful experience. Answer the call today. You’ll be glad you did.

Step 3: Start working even when you’re not ready

I and another lady wanted to teach a Spanish class. We didn’t have all the materials planned out but we had a plan. That’s all we needed. See, when you are in purpose, things will work out. We got started and had a huge turnout. We had time to get the program together before the first start day. But when we said yes, all we had was our desire to do it. We weren’t ready. We got ready after we said yes. The point is time won’t always wait for us. Opportunities come and go. Jump in their and help if you know God is leading you to do so. Perfection is a hold up. Get started helping as soon as you can. 

Step 4: Be open to new direction and inspiration.

We all have a purpose. That doesn’t mean you’ll have the same one your whole life. It may change or expand. Be open to new urges and sparks of creativity that say move in this direction. Prayer is an integral part of my figuring out where I need to be. So much of what I’ve accomplished is due to that feeling in my spirit that won’t subside. Following the regular route won’t do for that kind of passion. You have to chase it! So be open and go where you know you are supposed to be. Starting this blog was a part of my purpose. It has spiraled into many other opportunities that will come forth in the coming months. They all center in using what I am good at, what I am passionate about, and how they all work together to help others.

It is my hope that you have been encouraged to see what is next for you, what you were meant to do, and how you can begin to set about living your life’s purpose. What’s in you? Bring it out and Do It Anyway!

Kaydy

Time Stealers

Time Stealers

Be careful of time stealers. We can never get our time back. These may be people, entertainment, unexpected interruptions that are minor, etc. Set a plan, focus on the task at hand, and execute it. As single parents, time is very precious to us. Do you have to sign up for that thing? Does your kid have to be in that thing? No. There is only one of you. And if you have free time, spend some with the ones who matter most and take time to relax and prepare for the journey ahead. Balance and finding balance as a single parent can seem impossible. But, it isn’t. Usually, we have some time stealers present, and we have to learn to let them go.

Are you someone’s time stealer? Or, are you allowing your time to be stolen? Think about it. On the journey of life, we must do our best to make the most impact. Time is a precious commodity.

Time stealers knocking on your door? Don’t answer! You’ve got a family to raise and a mark to make!

Do It Anyway- Kaydy

Five ways to survive your storm

Five ways to survive your storm

Every person wants to have the good life. But, no one wants the not so good parts that life has to offer. It’s easy to give up when life isn’t playing nice. I know. I’ve been there many times. Keep reading if you want to know how to not throw in the towel.

Step 1: Have a little faith.

Without faith, you float through life with no idea how things will turn out. With faith, you can muster energy to try again when that idea fails, when the disconnection of your electricity is imminent, when everyone you thought was with you walked away, etc. With faith, you know God is looking out for you. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Step 2:  Love you.

No one will do it for you. Love you enough to say “No” to every request that comes your way that isn’t about your purpose or your destiny. Take time to invest in you. Read your favorite book. Visit a place you’ve always wanted to but never had the time. If nothing else, get some rest. It will do you good. You deserve it.

Step 3: Friends are for the journey.

Everyone needs a group of friends in their corner. Whoever makes up your support group, cherish them. Life can be tough but if you have cheerleaders in your corner, you can make it through the toughest times. I have girlfriends from 30 years back almost and some as recent as this year that support me. Time is not the best indicator of friendship but 30 years ain’t bad!

Step 4: Know this is not the end.

It may look like this is the only opportunity you will ever have to seize that goal and now it’s gone. But take heart, this is not the end. You have got to know that you are made of tougher stuff and for a purpose. And defeat is not one of them. I once heard a quote that read, “If it is not all right, then it is not the end because in the end, everything is all right. Words of wisdom. Keep living.

Step 5: Think about your life’s goals and purpose.

Doing this step will help you put things into perspective. You have to have a dream and goals to stay focused on the positives in life. Your passion and purpose are what drive you to get up every day. Do not lose them. Pursue them. This does involve work so get up and get to working! Fight for your dreams until they are real. And remember, you deserve it.

Well, there you have it! Five easy ways to help you weather the storm. Remember, it has to rain in order for the grass to grow. Your trials are making you stronger and building your character. Go be great!