Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lord, When will MY turn come!? Sound Familiar?

Over the past few weeks I've been surrounded by individuals who are in the season of waiting, praying and needing God to come through. In major ways. Some need jobs, some desire love and relationships, some are in need of financial favor and others in the areas of healing, restoration and just change in general. That is the motivation behind this blog entry.
It's amazing that many are focusing on what they desire simply because they see how God is moving in the lives of others. Asking the age old question, "Lord when will my turn come!?" In due season is one of those things that can truly be a test in itself. In due season could be minutes, days, months or years. That's a hard pill to swallow. As believers, it's hard to wrap our minds around the fact that something we've been seeking God for may take longer than we think it should. It's hard to accept that some prayers we may actually have to wait for. It's hard to accept that what we desire may require some mental, emotional, spiritual and character conditioning before it happens. Or...it may not happen at all if it's not in our best interest or doe not align up with the plan God has for our lives.
I honestly can't believe that I've finally arrived at the place where I can say, "Lord, it is well with my soul." Specifically regarding one area that I have been praying and seeking God to move in my favor. In fact, I've been holding on for about 3 years now. While I think it should have happened long ago and I've come so close a few times...it hasn't. Why? I have no clue but, it is well...with my soul. That feels so amazing to say and believe. I've arrived at the place where I trust that God has a birds-eye-view of the bigger picture. He knows why it hasn't happened and when it will. Notice that although I've acknowledged that it may be a blessing delayed...I know it's not a blessing denied. I said...when, because I know by faith that it will, just not now. I trust God's plan way more than I trust my desires. One of my favorite sayings is, "The Universe has a weird way of protecting us and providing provisions when our desires align with Gods plan for our lives." I believe that.
So, if you're one of those people asking the question, "Lord when will my turn come!?" just know....it will be so perfect and so on-time that this delay will all make sense. You will have that ah-ha moment when it finally does come to be. That will be followed by a praise because as you reflect back over this very season, God himself will reveal why it had to happen exactly when it did. You'll realize that God was looking out for you, keeping you and guiding you the whole time. If it does not happen, just know that there is indeed a reason and trust that God knows best.
Hold on. Find peace in Gods plan and process for your unique life. It is well....It is well....with my soul.
Be Blessed.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Living in the Moment

I love this picture. I think it captures the true essence of how living in the future or living beyond the moment can lead to us missing the mark. It's okay to dream, have goals and plan. It really is. But living too far ahead of where you are at this moment prevents you from savoring the amazingness of the moment you're in. I've come to realize that I am in my most peaceful state when I just let go of my thoughts. In that, I let go of what I need to do, what I'm planning on doing, what I hope happens, what I'm striving to become. I let it all go! When I do that I open myself up to enjoy and marvel over what is...instead of what is to come. My heart-rate decreases. My breathing slows up. I'm at peace when I exercise living in the moment.
I find that many people, myself included, are always trying to get somewhere, both mentally and physically. Things are always moving or plans are always being made. A constant state of preparing and anticipating. I'm sure this sounds familiar to you. This way of living is stressful. It robs you of taking in precious moments in your present. Moments that you will never get back. Since I finished Graduate school I've started practicing living in the moment. Now that I no longer have papers to write or classes to rush to or deadlines to meet...I've started embracing the slowness of my life. I don't always succeed at it but at least now I'm more mindful of it. I can say, "Chanel, slow down. You're getting too far ahead of yourself."
I know God has great things in store for me, and you. But I also know that life and time are so precious you cannot spend it always anticipating the "what's next" stuff of life. You truly have to cherish and value each day, hour, minute and second you are allowed to see. I often think about people who received the news that they only have a few months or years to live. I ask myself, "If I were in their shoes, how would I spend my last days?" Like, after getting over the devastating news how would I maximize life until I had no more life left? I pray that I wouldn't spend it moping around or feeling sorry for myself. I also pray that I would make the absolute most out of the time I had left!
I want to start living my life that way. I would encourage you to do the same. Live like your time here on earth is limited. Live and enjoy each moment you're blessed to see. Celebrate your daily accomplishments instead of waiting until the whole puzzle is completed. Bask in the sun and the beauty of the day...of the moment. I plan to start reading Eckhart Tolle's, "The Power of Now." I pray that this work helps me to start living in my now, without me having to work at it. I want living in my now to be my norm. I challenge you as well to take one day where you only focus on your now. It will lead to amazing memories and a more peaceful way of life.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I won't complain

A Dear friend shared this with me: "If you have a group of people put all of their problems in a circle, read them aloud, I guarantee you will pick back up your own problems."
God always shows me things that money cannot buy. Health, Love, Strength, Peace of mind and Joy. This is His unique way of dealing with me and keeping me in check. God knows us and He knows exactly how to deal and speak to us. It's amazing that when He does this...my mood, when I'm in a funk, instantly changes! Like, instantly. Thank you Lord for speaking to me and convicting me when I need it. I thank you for ALL you've done for me. Giving me another day to get it right for starters..........
- Things could always be worse.
- Be Thankful for where you are and what you have.
- There is always someone dealing with a situation in life who would love to be in your shoes, problems and all.
- Stop living for what may or may not happen tomorrow. Live for today. Tomorrow may never come.
- Let tomorrow take care of itself. God's Got this. He's got YOU.

I won't complain
I've had some good days
I've had some hills to climb
I've had some weary days
I've had some sleepless nights
But when I look around
And I think things over
All of my good days
Outweigh my bad days

So I won't complain

Sometimes the clouds hang low
I can hardly see the road
And then I ask the question
Lord why so much pain
But He knows what's best for me
Although my weary eyes can't see

So I'll just say thank you Lord
I won't complain

God's been so good to me
The Lord has been so good to me
More than this old world
Or you could ever be
The Lord has been so good to me
And he dried my tears away
And he turn all my midnights into days

So I'll say thank you Lord
I just say thank you Lord
I'll just say thank you Lord
I won't complain

Monday, July 1, 2013

"No" is an answer...Praise God for it!

I know it's hard to accept but "No" really is an answer to your prayer(s). In fact it's one that I believe we should shout more for.  Let me explain....the yes is amazing because it's usually an answer we've been praying for. Something we prayed for is now a reality! Maybe it's that relationship, job, financial blessing, new home, new car...etc. When God says yes and you receive whatever it is you've been praying for you know that the desire of your heart, the plans you had, the dreams you had...your prayers...aligned with Gods Will for your life. Now that's wonderful!
When you pray so hard for something. Turn down your plate for it. Worship God for it. Devote your time, energy and prayer life to it and the answer to your prayer from God is No....Now, THAT'S a difficult pill to swallow and even more difficult to understand and accept.
As I grow in my faith I'm coming to realize that when God answers me with a no... I'm far more accepting and thankful for it than I was a few years ago. Why? Because for every no He gave me there was a far better yes....waiting for me on the other side of it. There are some prayers that I was down right pissed when He answered me no but looking back on my life I can truly say, Thank you JESUS for that No!! I'm thankful that He said no to some of the prayers I lifted up because His plans for me were greater than my own.
Maybe you've received your no and it was a tough blow. Maybe your no is one you're having a hard time accepting. Maybe your no has really thrown you for a loop. I've been sent to tell you that this No is indeed the answer to your prayer, even if you can't see it right now. It will work out for your good. God sees the bigger picture and blueprint of your life. He knows what you need and when you need it. He also knows those things you pray for that will really end up hurting you in the long run. Again, even though you can't see it now.
Trust God with the desires of your heart. Trust that His plans for your life are greater than any of the minuscule plans you could ever have. Trust that somehow this no will lead to a yes that will blow your mind....when the time is right. The no could also be a... "not right now."
Until then, trust, believe and have faith that the no you received from God is not to punish you but to put you position for the yes that will blow your mind!
Be Peace!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Do you Trust His Will?

I must confess...I've been convicted for neglecting this Blog. So many things have happened in my life since my last entry but I know this is something I've been called to do and God WILL see to it that I do. It's bigger than me and I must be held accountable. Lord forgive me.
The reason I love the above picture is because it reassures me that life is a process. The plan God has for me, and for you, will sometimes involve pain and discomfort. BUT...when you are living in the will of God there is purpose in the process.
God builds character in you during the stormy seasons of your life.
Think back to the most difficult seasons of your life. Now, think about how that painful and difficult time altered the course of your life and who you are today.
The stormy seasons of life ultimately teach us something and are very much part of Gods plan to develop and grow us. Character is not build without some form of pain and or suffering. You have to go through in order to be who God needs you to be according to His will. The pieces of the plan don't always fit together or make sense. But when you reach the true passion and purpose for your life they will fit together just perfectly. In time it will be revealed.
Please know...if you continue to trust Him, pray and believe... those difficult times will prove to work out for your good. Even though you can't see it now there is always a blessing waiting on the other end of the storm. I can testify to that.
The most painful season of my life was indeed the work of God. It made me into a better person and for that I have to give praise. Had I not gone through that time of my life I would NOT be where I am today. It was painful, depressing and just too much for me at times but Gods plan was to prosper me and take me to the next level in my life. I am indeed a new creature in Christ. Not without flaw and fault... but my heart was changed and character was developed within me.
If you are in that season of your life right now please don't give up and throw in the towel. Hang in there. It's hard. It's painful. But God will show up in your life. Something is being developed within you that needed to be done. It had to be this way. Why? We may never know but God does. That's the hard part. Trusting that He knows what's best even when it seems like NO good can come of the situation. It's scary and trust me I know it's not an easy pill to swallow.
His purpose and plan for your life will prevail over any circumstance or situation you may be facing. Have peace in that fact. This will some how...some way...work out for your good!
Be blessed.

Monday, March 18, 2013

God is in the Details. Trust His Process!

I had a self discovery moment where I realized my anxiety and stress skyrockets when I am trying to plan out, plot out and control every aspect of my life. Like, when things will happen? How they will work out when the logistics just makes no sense!? How do I position myself to reap my due season? Who? What? Where? When? Why? How!?
The details.
Then I paused and told myself, "Self, God is in the details. So just keep praying and moving forward."
Oftentimes we lose sight of the fact that God Himself is in the details. The small intricate details of our lives and the journey's we have been selected to travel, He cares. When we surrender control over the details of our lives we won't be as stressed, depressed and frustrated. We must simply live in our purpose. Be true to your dreams, goals and aspirations and don't worry about the logistics of how or when they will play out.
I try to remind myself that when you live for God and proclaim Him as your Lord and Savior there are three amazing promises that come along with that, Grace, Mercy and Favor!
That means:
 Sometimes things may not make sense, the numbers just don't add up, the circumstances seem impossible, the facts say it should not be, Man says it can't happen, your education says you won't qualify, your credit score reads denied, you past says you can't achieve it, your actions say you will be punished, your bank account says you can't afford it, the doctor's say there is no hope.....
Romans 8:28
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Trust God with the details and processes of your life. Unlike you, He has a birdseye view of your life. Not just a view of your current moment. Remind yourself that He loves you and He knows exactly where you are and what you're going through. He wouldn't bring you this far to leave you.

Friday, February 15, 2013

No matter what...STAY Focused

Have you ever noticed that when you are trying to do the right things, better yourself or just trying to get your mind right...........HERE comes the devil.
Well, let me rephrase that... HERE comes all the naysayers, doubters, kill joys and "keep it realERS." Yes, the people who for whatever reason find it necessary to give you their two cents that you probably never asked for in the first place.
Along my journey, I found it very interesting how many people phased out of my life. I paid attention to the energy they brought...and took away from me as they left. I had to make a decision to cut some people loose because either A. they were just too negative or B. they couldn't adjust to the ME God was molding. My defining life transition was my spiritual journey that started three years ago. Some people who knew the old me took issue with the new things God was doing in my life. It's hard trying to remain spiritually grounded when natural forces don't want you to be. But...I knew if I wanted to remain on this wonderful path God was revealing to me I had to stay focused.
It was no doubt the BEST decision I've ever made.
When someone in your space is trying to do something better for themselves (no matter what your opinion is) encourage them. Give them hope. Don't be one of those people that kills someone else's dreams and aspirations. There is power in words.
Your dreams live within you. Not everyone will believe in your potential so it's critical that you remain focused. 
Ask yourself: Why now... are so many things happening to try to shift my focus from what I'm trying to do? Why now... am I facing so many road blocks to achieving my goals? Why now... are people so concerned about the positive things I'm doing in my life? Why now...are people and things from my past coming out of nowhere!?
I'll answer those for you. When you are trying to do the right things the devil will pull out all the tricks to get you to stop. Period. You just have to remain focused. Don't fall for tricks of the devil. You are on a road to greatness and that's why the devil uses people and things to distract you. That should be your cue that you're on the right path! The devil would not be so determined to stop you if something great wasn't on the other side. Trust me, I know. I'm living proof of it.
Whatever journey you're on stick with it. Be determined and don't give up. Success doesn't happen overnight. It takes work and dedication. You can and will achieve whatever you are setting out to do. Just stay focused!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Love and Heartbreak

Love and Heartbreak
At some point we all experience the hurt and devastation of heartbreak. It's not fun. To put it plainly....it sends your life into a deep black abyss that seems endless. Love is the most powerful emotion. It has the ability to make you feel on top of the world. On the other-hand, the loss of love can make you feel like life as you know it is over.
Heartbreak usually occurs when you are on the losing side of the love coin. You want the relationship while the other person has not only ended it but moved on with their life. You feel left holding the emotional bag of failed promises and a lost future. You watch all of your dreams, hopes and plans for a future with that person go up in flames. There is no denying that heartbreak is one of the things we all wish we could avoid. To be in the position of wanting someone to love you, the way you love them, when they've made it clear that will not happen is a hard reality pill to swallow.
The fact is the other person has taken the necessary time to deal with his/her feelings and moved on from the relationship. This was all done before they officially informed you it was over. They've had time to weigh the options, get their ducks in a row, and just found the perfect {or not so perfect} time to break the news to you. This mental process on their end began some time ago. I've always said, when a relationship ends and the split is not mutual....9 times out of 10 the relationship was over long before it became official to the other person. I hope that makes sense. Well, for those of us who have been on either side of the heartbreak coin, it makes perfect sense.
If you've found this blog I'm sure you're experiencing the hurt and pain of heartbreak right now. First, I want to say that although the hurt seems unbearable right now, it does get better. You will laugh, love and feel like yourself again. I promise. I know it doesn't look like it right now but you will. The key is using this hurt and alone time constructively. By that I mean, take this time to do some self reflection, don't obsess over the person, stop taking about the breakup, don't torture yourself by constantly re-living the moment and stop strolling down memory lane and playing the "what if" game. Simply acknowledge the role you played in the relationship (both positive and negative), examine your life and make positive changes. Take care of yourself health wise and become a better you! Learn from the experience and make modifications where needed.
Can I help you grow for a second?
1. The universe has a way of protecting us even when we don't know it. God see's all and He knows all. I know you thought that person was the one but God always knows best. You don't know what the future holds, God does. There may be something coming down the line in the future that you don't know of and God is removing you from that situation so you won't get caught up in it! Just say, "Lord, I don't know why this happened but I'm thanking you anyhow!" If He deems something or someone as good he grants it. If not, He won't. It's really that simple. Just trust God on this and know that if someone is removed from your life involuntarily...there is a good reason, even if you don't see it right now. Trust God over your feelings. You'll never go wrong with that.
2. When God is working to mold you, grow you and develop you into the person you are destined to be.....there is a process. That process almost always involves pain. Sorry to be the one to break that to you but it's true. When God is trying to get your attention and draw you closer to Him...He will use situations and people for His will in your life. This heartbreak could be a result of that. Through pain, hurt and disappointment we tend to call out to God. It really sucks that we have to reach such lows in life before we seek Him. But, we are human and He knows. I'm only speaking from experience and I can assure you that through heartbreak and life's storms; I am stronger, better and wiser! I've learned to lean on Him and trust His process in my life. I will not lie and say that I enjoyed one bit of my molding. However, that heartbreak was the BEST thing that ever happened to me. It led me to Christ and made me a far better person. I love who I am now. I was made new from that situation. I'm humble, considerate and just living my best life! So you see, what you currently view as the most painful thing you've ever experienced, could turn out to be the best thing for you. After my transformation I met my wife. I'm so thankful God's timing is perfect! She got the person she deserves. I love freely. I love Christ. And more importantly, my heartbreak was preparing me for the moment when I would receive the gift of true love.
So, hang in there and know there is a reason for this season in your life. It's a process. You just have to learn whatever lesson this is teaching you. It does and will get better. Just lean on God and seek his comfort. Things will be revealed to you. Don't down play the set up for your blessing. Character and intergrity are built in those very situations we wish we could escape. Focus on becoming a better you and know that God knows what's best for your life. Trust in his process and timing. Even when you don't understand and it hurts to the core. Have faith that this will all work out for your good.