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.

Love you some you today!

Love you some you today!

It has been a very busy summer here in Texas. I have, however, managed to find time to spoil myself here and there. Now, before you get to thinking I must be selfish, I have found that the little things I do for me make me happier and thus influences those around me to do the same. Finding time to be you is no crime. Needing time and not making a point to do so is. I mean, who wants to be around a crabby person?! I don’t. So, the point of this post is to say to women and men, “When was the last time you treated yourself to something you love?”. If you can’t answer this in 30 seconds, plan something today. My “lovin me” treat is a pedicure. What will yours be?

Ideas to love you some you:

1. Catch a movie alone (I like the matinee. The price and it’s never full)

2. Get a mani/pedi (girls and guys alike)

3. Spruce up the wardrobe by doing some shopping (make a budget)

4. Have a nice lunch or dinner at your fave place

5. You know you better than me, so get going and get to living!

Love you some you today. You and everyone around you will reap the benefits of your self love and care. Life will always be busy. We can find time to fill time. Why not live a little and enjoy it.

Do It Any Way!

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Do It Anyway!

I want to encourage you to chase every dream you’ve ever had. Who knows what you will become if you look fear in the face and Do It Anyway! On the other hand, you know what you have if you do not. Go chase your dreams. You’ll be happy you did. Besides, don’t we have enough examples of “If I had only…”? Run into your destiny. I am.

Resilience

Resilience

I’m coming to find that so many people are being beaten down by life’s trials. I know. Life is hard. I have lived it. In the south, we have a saying. It goes like this: “It’s always something”. This phrase, I’ve heard my entire life. But, I have come to see that if I will just get back up, if I will just keep going, life will get better. It will not ever be perfect. But, it will get better.

On this past Friday, I had an opportunity to speak to a group of young single parents. These young ladies had their newborns and toddlers in tow and were coming to a church to listen to some speaker. Well, I knew going in that my audience would be young teen moms, and so I had prepared a topic for their age group. As soon as they entered, I knew my short talk needed to be about resilience and the art of Doing It Anyway. So, I winged it. I spoke from the heart. (God really will give you what you need.)

“Life is not easy” is a phrase heard constantly no matter where we live. At some stage of life, we’re going to speak this phrase. But, what is not taught is that we can make it and that there is always another way. So, with these young women, I chose to be candid, raw, and real. I gave them my background in being a single mom. Who cares about my accomplishments and what I do now if I cannot relate my experiences to how this talk connects to and will help them.

I explained resilience as being the art of bouncing back. I encouraged them to write down where they are now, where they want to be, what their goals are for themselves and for their babies, and lastly to keep that paper and consult it when life gets hard. We had a discussion where they were included and not merely spoken to. I wanted to tie in the fact that my struggles as a single mom were many, but that God brought me out of them. He moved me from a place of unhappiness and blessed me. And I wanted them to know He was waiting to do that for them. In the end, they all clapped and said thank you. I closed the meeting in prayer because I felt led to do so. I asked God to bless them and their babies and change their lives for the better. But what struck me the most was one girl said she was encouraged that she could still recover, bounce back, get on her feet, be what she wants to be. They left smiling and inspired. I left excited. I left knowing that my pain, struggle, good, and bad was just used to help someone else.

I am resilient. I want to encourage every woman, man, boy, and girl to get up again. There’s more to my story, but the point is I’m no longer there. I’m past the pain and you can be, too. Putting one foot in front of the other, working on your goals until they are achieved, and trying your hardest to move past the obstacle is the only way you, me, those young ladies will be able to say “Life is hard, but I am resilient.” Life is hard, but we all can make it.

Every obstacle is not meant to hurt you. Some come to improve you.

Do It Anyway!

 

The best things start out as the worst

The best things start out as the worst

Just thinking before I turn in for the night how some of my proudest moments came after some really hard-fought battles. Lesson: Life is no bed of roses, people will not be nice to you because you’re nice to them, and wishes are wastes of time unless you do something with them. But, you can win. I did. See, that’s the thing- it’s hard but once we stand up to the storm, it stops. Whatever your storm- financial issues, work issues, family, etc., look it in the eye and say “I won’t back down.”.

Fight for you!
Push through the storm!
Smile when you feel like crying.
It’ll get better. I promise.
Life is hard…

Do It Any Way!

Why Budgeting is a Blessing

Why Budgeting is a Blessing

This week, I’ve decided to change my mind about budgeting. What an ugly word. Well, maybe not, but it makes me a little uneasy. It can be daunting to sit down and plan where the money’s going. It isn’t fun to gather all those documents and crunch numbers. But, I know I have to do it. I’ve survived by winging it, but I want to really live debt free.

To the point: Sometimes we feel the pressure to spend on our loved ones, on ourselves, or because there’s a good sale. We overspend and don’t quite budget until it’s too late. But, we must be responsible and balance for what comes after. Great gifts are nice, but the real question is “Was it necessary?”. Hmmmm? So, won’t our children, significant other, best friend, etc., be okay if we give them one good gift here and there and still remain fiscally responsible? Yeah, they will. And, we’ll have less stress trying to put meals on the table because we didn’t overspend.

I’m currently working on my budget as I type. I’m tired of having desires to be debt free and looking up six months later to find I’m off track. Again. Although I made some headway, I’m still behind target. Who needs that! So, I’m listening to Dave Ramsey and Michelle Singletary, two financial experts I trust and follow on Twitter.

As I write my budget, I remind myself that God is more than enough in every situation we face. He is food when we’re hungry, water when we’re thirsty, peace when we’re stressed. You get the picture. But, some things we put on ourselves. Budgeting is a blessing and something we can do to know where we and our money are going.

So, budgeting will:

1. Help you see where you’re spending
2. Adjust where you’re spending
3. See what habits are causing you to lose money
And most of all
4. Set you up for success now and in the future

Budgeting is hard. Do It Anyway- Kaydy