Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Stepping Back To Unveil



It has been a while since I have posted on the blog because I had nothing to say. I could not until now, put anything of substance in to words, here I am today. I pray that what I share with you today sparks your gears into motion. I pray that you will take the time out to evaluate where you are and where you desire to be and do. I pray that you understand that tomorrow truly is not promised and what you do and what you have to offer the world is revealed for the greater good of all of us, including you. Because you matter. 
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For the past few months I have been in under a huge dark cloud. No real writing at all, just a little here and there. Reading has not been on the agenda either and for those who know me, know that I love to read. I have been unconsciously blazing through my days with this dark cloud of uncertainty. I'm over it.

As a woman with clinical depression and anxiety, I am fully aware that some days are good, some are great, and then there are those days I wonder what the Shirley Temple curls is going on and why can't I pull it together. I cry. I internalize. I analyze. I fret over not doing this or that. I'm an insomniac and I noticed that a few pounds have found their way to my stomach and behind Oh NO! Gotta go. As of late, I have been over processing my life. Maybe because I will be 56 years young soon. Shrugs shoulders. LOL. It's been that way for me. Not that anything has been terribly wrong, nothing is happening to outwardly cause me to sit on the sidelines and do mental tornado spins, but the feeling of the unknown has been present and constant thorn in my side. I'll explain. This is about self care however you have to take it. Taking care of you, especially those of you who struggle with Mental Illness. Please know that you matter, no matter what. You are needed, no matter what. I hope you can feel my cyber hug and squeeze. Lets dive in.

For the past 8 months, I had been working in a position that for the most part I enjoyed. I was hired as a temp-to-hire. Well, as time evolved, and circumstances beyond my control showed itself, I resigned from the position. Now, most would say why would you do that? Here is why; knowing who I am, what I have to offer, and standing firm in knowing that I don't have to settle for less than what I need or want is the check mate move for me. As of today, July 31, 2018, I have been unemployed for close to a month. And if I had it to do all over again, I would along with doing some things differently. Evaluation and realization is key. Remember that. 

Many are going to jobs that they don't like, shoot, they don't even like 5% of the people they work with, but because of the fear of the unknown, because of the responsibilities, of comfort zones they stay. Waking up every morning to go and do the best that they can with a smile, take a break, take a lunch, and then at the end of the ticking clock, they go home. Home, to do the domestic stuff and then go to bed just to wake up in most cases less than 6 hours to do it all over again. Don't have a commute, the stress of that alone has tipped the scales. Yes, we all must have a living wage to take care of the many things that we have accumulated over time, but at the core of living, why live unhappy and on repeat? For me it was an ethical decision. There is more to this decision, but what I want to bring to the front is that you do not ever have to settle, and yes, you can move on. Even if you are afraid, make the move because your life could very well depend on it. Mine did. My mental life needed me to adjust.

Rewind. In March of 2017, I relocated to Miami, Florida all the way from the West Coast of Tacoma, Washington. I did not make this move on a fluke. I did not cross the country thinking that it was going to be all roses in the land of bright lights and sandy beaches. No! My decision was to create a fresh start in a new direction and with that, I was not going to bring my normal patterns with me. though when I arrived, I was still mentally and emotionally carrying some of those normal patterns. That is exactly where I found myself, in my normal pattern, doing life on repeat. Wake, work, sleep, do over. No real enjoyment or fulfillment of life due to being too darn mentally exhausted and sometimes physically. Not enjoying the fruits of labor. Not experiencing the outside world of what ever is out there to be enjoyed, within reason and safety. Not doing those things and using those gifts that God has planted in me to do what He has willed me to do. My obedience meter was on empty. This went on for a few months, until that switch click on and the siren rang loud. One of those gifts is becoming a published author, speaker and advocate for mental health. It has been a desire of mine for many years and a wonderful Sista by the name of Audra Blyther afforded me the opportunity to be in collaboration in a compilation, creating with 8 other woman. A book was published called, Unveiled: Unmasking The Pain, on December 22, 2017. Look at God. That was all God. And if I had not have crossed that map on that American Airline flight, at that specific time, I am confident that my contribution to the project would not have came to fruition. 

I thank God for my Sista Jackie who opened her home to me. She put up with my mood swings and my depressive episodes and helped in ways that she could. Thank you J. that's my nickname for her. Giggles. If it had not been for her, I most likely would not be in Miami, Florida.  I thank my right arm in emotional support, Ria, nickname. Our hours long conversations are a breath of fresh air. This United States Army Veteran is the real deal bar none and I salute her. The motto, leave no soldier behind, she breathes it. I love you to life my Sista. Wait, how did I get to thanking folks? haha. I'm rolling with it. So you see, you have to move when God says move, and He expects you to use the gifts that He alone has gifted you with, and staying in a comfort zone just won't do. Being stuck and afraid won't make His gifts disappear, it will only delays all of what He has for you, abundance, peace, and great rewards. 

As I close, I want you to read me loud and clear. You are the artist of your life. Your canvas is your souls desire and if you don't use the paint brush, your mind, you will not be the masterpiece. We cannot just sit idly by and not create, not invent, not orchestrate in this one life. We can not become the crabs in the barrel. We can not just be satisfied with being a spectator in this life, we must live our lives out loud and full on. We must bring others with us by sharing our gifts and teaching others how to use their gifts. I think the cemeteries are over crowded with unwrapped gifts. Get my point? Don't be a contributor. You must leave this earth empty and fulfilled knowing that you did exactly what you were created to do.

My Brothers and Sisters, this will be my last blog post until January 2018. My self care meter has reached it's red zone, and I must step back. I am stepping back to focus on my solo book to be published and to place my focus back into a few of those gifts that God has placed within me. I encourage you to read the many blogs already available since 2012. Stay tuned for new and fresh content as I revamp The Unique View. I encourage you to review your life and your mission. If you don't have a mission, that's okay. Look around you and see where you can plan your seeds of love and yourself to make someone's life a little brighter. I appreciate each of you. I appreciate you who share a comment or just read. As I step away to learn, to create, and to take care of my mind body and spirit, know that I am praying for each and every one of you to live your best and authentic life.

Below, I have included my links. Please follow, share, and most of all, be in balance and in love.

You can find me:
Twitter @ trusthim4u_ls
Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/Theuniqueview/

About The Book: Unveiled: Unmasking The Pain - Beautiful talented women sharing their powerful stories & testimonials of survival from pain to Victory.

Riveting and powerful true stories of bold and beautiful women sharing their truths about domestic violence, mental illness, eating disorder, body image, and the painful life after a miscarriage, sexual assault, and the absence of a father. Poetry by, Shemeka Hagan. Stories by: Audra Blyther, Lynette Shelton, Shamieka B. Sims, Lashondra Page, Tandra W. Paige, Megan K. Manigault, Denise Marcello, and Tockqua Eda Center. 

You can pick up your copy of Unveiled: Unmasking The Pain @ Amazon.com - 
http://a.co/5xpfZMG 

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/UnveiledUnmasking-The-Pain-334790527019617/
Website - https://unveiledunmaskingthepain.weebly.com

We thank you for your support.



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Have You Given Up? Don't You Dare



Here comes Moses. Let my people go, he said. Imagine how Pharaoh felt when the plagues started hitting his little village. Can you imagine being pool side, sipping on your ice cold beverage, looking at the pretty blue water, and then all of a sudden it turns blood red. Red. Blood.  How about them frogs dropping out of the sky? Yeah, that for me would be a major trip. God and his infinite wisdom knows exactly how to get our attention, just as He did with Pharaoh.  Though Moses tried to talk God out of using him, Moses still obeyed. Let my people go, he said. God will cause and allow chaos to usher us into obedience. Hear me, God causes some situations to take place and others He allows.  Pharaoh was so set on the fact that he was not going to do what God told him to do, and he kept right on with his privileged life. Until God threw him a frenzy, like a 360 spinout. It’s really all about knowing the heart of God and His love for us. Just as our earthly parents would admonish us, God does the same.
Hebrews 12:1 NLT - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 
One night back in my younger days, I was headed out on the town. I was dressed to impress. I borrowed a car. I had my drink of choice and a few associates riding along. I was headed 30 miles north to Seattle, Washington, to hit a club called the Empire Plaza. Anyone who has been in the area long enough and back in the 80’s knew about the Empire Plaza. As I hit Interstate 5 and the 56th street on ramp heading north, I swerved a little too hard to the left to avoid another merging car and spun out. It was a double 360. When I finally stopped, I was facing southbound in a northbound lane in the middle of the interstate. Praise God that the oncoming traffic was far enough back that I was able to catch my breath and sanity, and immediately turn around. Needless to say, that event did not scare me enough to cancel that trip. 
Several years later, my niece and I were coming from our night out, also 30 miles away in Seattle, WA. This time as I was entering the off ramp, I was traveling too fast for the curve and began to fish tail violently. After a few seconds of keeping the steering wheel in control, I was able to gain full control and continue home. The common denominator here; I was drinking. I was not drunk, but I am sure if I had been pulled over by the nice State Patrol with their colorful red, blue, and white lights and had to submit to a sobriety test, “GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL.”  The best thing out of these events is that I did not kill myself or anyone else.  I thank God for the protection, I heard it said that God protects babies and fools. I stopped drinking several years later and after a few more wakeup calls that only affected me. No tickets, no accidents, no harm, but mental foul.  These events never left my mind.
My brothers and sisters, we are in the 4th month of 2018, are you still spinning in circles or have you gained some momentum and focus? I have been struggling, but I am pushing through. Because I am a thinker, I think myself out of doing what I need to do. Are you dragging into this New Year the same distractions, frustrations, and complaints?  Are you comparing your accomplishments or the lack thereof to that of someone else? Are you still procrastinating and making excuses? Have you given up all together? Have you allowed the circumstances of life to stop you from doing what God has called you out to do? Are you speaking negative words, having negative thoughts? Get out of the spin! Stop beating that sad and depressing drum. Turn off the flow of negative energy by doing exactly what God has called only you to do. I don’t know about you, but I have been in a choke hold mentally and physically myself. today, depression and anxiety is not as bad. and I know when to step back and pause. I will talk about pausing in my next post, stay tuned.  Be relentless and keep pushing. Keep working your plans and trust that God is right there with you. Ouch; I just pinched myself and I am still alive, so I’m gonna keep running. 
Be Encouraged

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Obtaining Peace Of Mind


On December 30, 2017, I enjoyed a bus ride. I sat snug in a leather seat aboard a Greyhound bus heading to Daytona Beach, Florida.  I could have flown for an hour and gotten there in a snap, but the adventurer in me chose a 4 hour and 50 minute ride instead. I'm sure you have twisted your face, asking why would she pick a bus over a plane? Here is my why.

We all live our lives on extreme over drive. We wake up to rush to do whatever it is we must do. All day we rush. All day we are moving and shaking. At the end of the day, we rush home in rush hour traffic to rush, and then we shut down to only wake up to do it all over again. Tired is an understatement when the alarm goes off. Or if you are like me, an insomniac, you are looking at the clock when it sounds off. We repeat this cycle day after day and week after week and our bodies are screaming, STOP! But we don't stop.  Saturday is the day to get something done. So where is our rest?  We want everything now. We create stress and frustration. We even become lazy to the important things, unintentionally of course. Why? Because nothing is good enough and everything has to be done now. Noone is truly satisfied. We literally cannot see the forest for the trees. Moving on fumes and caffeine. Every other word is a complaint because finding something positive in the midst of chaos is to much like the right thing to do. Every other comment is negative because our emotional bank is dwindling. I raise my hands.

What gets me is many will shout; I'm on the positive tip or I'm not dealing with no negativity, but the Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts are rude, crude, vulgar, and down right foolish. Every negative thing is shared. The phone calls to gossip about Sally has taken up precious time and our emotional bank is now in the negative. Listen up. We cannot escape the negatives of this life. We can only adjust how we react, respond, or to not respond.  Our lives are human sponges. It will soak up everything that the eyes and ears receive until it holds nothing more only to drip. That drip is our natural responces to what we see, hear, and feel. You can't expect positive energy to come your way if all you're entertaining is a negative Nancy or complaining Craig. I made that last one up.

Seriously. How can we embark on the road to positivity and peace if we are the senders and participators in darkness. I see it and hear it every day. The thing is, I CHOOSE what I'm going to participate in. I, by CHOICE ignore most of it on social media. I don't share negative content by CHOICE. I hear, but I CHOOSE what I will participate in. With the climate of the world today, I make an effort to be as far removed as possible. Not that I dont care, I do. I just cant allow it to send me into a rage that I may not be able to recover from, mentally or physically. Yes, I have negative moments, but I process it all differently. Ignore and shake my head. I pray and praise God because He is my peace.

Back to the bus ride. It was more about adventure than the time spent. I enjoy most things that others shun. I literally wanted to sit back and take it all in. People watch. Have a conversation with a stranger. STOP at a strang place for a bus STOP, especially a Greyhound bus. Adventure. I no longer desire to be in a rush. I dont want to fill my days with chaos and expect calm. Remember this, being busy does not mean productivity. I'm slowing down on many fronts. With the world spinning out of control, I need to break away from the beaten paths and pause on the paths less traveled so that I can actually see and know exactly what Im feeling and why, clearly direct my direction. I must do the work to slow the anxiousness down. I must give my extremly over active brain the opportunity to slow down and to rewire itself by taking a closer look at what I'm allowing into my headspace and spirit. Asset or liability.

My brothers and sister, you have heard it said and I'm certain that you have said it youreslf; tomorrow is not promised. It is true, but I want to add this; you won't get there if you are dead. So, take a load off. Be selective of what you entertain and who you will entertain. Don't allow yourself to be sucked into the negative Nancy's and the complaining Craig's.  Shut the television off and quiet your mind and spirit. What goals do you have? Get to work and get to networking.

Remember that self care starts with you and your willingness to create the spaces and live the life that you truly desire to live. Pick up a journal and write to yourself. Tell yourself those things that you wish you heard earlier in your life. Write down your dreams and goals. Write down the hurt that you have experienced and how those hurts have affected you. This is a great way to start on a new path to healing. Get it out of you so that the new can emerge in you and from you.

I've said this mantra for many years; peace of mind is more important than anything. Get That!

Be Encouraged

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Blocked On Purpose


When God puts up some road blocks in your life, don't look at it no other way than your protection. Why? Because we as humans want to be connected and rightly we should be, but the thing is not everyone is qualified to be connected to you and you are NOT meant to be connected to just anything or anyone. Not everyone has the capacity to truly see who you really are and your God given gift. Instead, see it as God aligning you upwards for a purpose greater than what you can see, think, or even imagine. Remember, you are His light for those who WANT to see His purpose. There is someone watching and waiting for you to glow.

There was a time in my life where I wanted and hungered to be connected to everyone that I came in contact with. I wanted everyone to see, know, and trust that I was for them and not against them. I wanted friendships to last forever and when that didn't happen, I was devastated. I remember a connection I had with a sister. I was for her as a friend. I was loyal. Until one day a serious and violent situation took place and because I knew all parties involved, I was blamed. I cried. I held onto that abandonment for a few years. This hurt me to my core and needless to say, we were never able to reconcile.I knew the Lord and I knew His word, but at that time in my life I was not applying His word. But, God and His infinite wisdom knew who and what He was going to allow me to access, or not, and who He was going to allow access, or not.

After much reflection and a few hard knock lessons I started clearly analyzing and realizing this one fact, seasons do change and so do those connections that are not a part of God's plan for our lives. I started accepting responsibility for my false ideas of friendship and love for others. I accepted responsibility for allowing myself to give more than I received. I no longer have unrealistic expectatations when it comes to anyone or anything. I no longer place a period on any chance encounter or opportunity. I have learned this valuable lesson as well; everyones capacity to be authentic and genuine is not the same. We all have been hurt, broken, abused, and mishandled, and until we get very clear about who we are and most importantly Who's we are, the play of emotional hurt and generational sabatauge will continue.

My brothers and sisters, we are at the end of 2017, what have you learned? What life lessons have you passed with rainbow colors? What have you been blocked from and do you know why? What positive life lessons do you see yourself repeating and carrying into the new year ahead? I personally no longer make new year resolutions, I prefer to set clear goals. Why? Because we don't keep resolutions, but when you set a goal and you are passionate about that goal, there is a hunger and a greater chance that you will accomplish that goal.

Make no mistake about It, God WILL perfect His purpose one road block at a time. GET ready for the ride.

Be Blessed

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Swimming In Victory




We have all had to roll with lifes punches to the gut. Some of those punches have connected and took the wind out of our sails, much like depression where you just can't get out of bed or even take a shower. Other punches have stung us enough to cause us pause, like an anxiety attack in the grocery store in the middle of the day or a traffic jam on the interstate causing you to be more than late. Many of lifes gut punches have left us brused and battered mentally. Ever heard the saying, sink or swim? Are you sinking or swimming?

I'm not a swimmer in the literal sense. You won't hear me say, I'm going for a swim. Why? Around the age of 11 or 12  I almost drowned and that feeling of helplessness in a body of water was horrific. I was literally drowning. My family was in Portland, Oregon for a family reunion. My mother pressed and curled my hair. She told me that I could go to the park, but don't get in the pool. It was hot and at this time I loved swimming. Did I mention it was hot? Well, I made up in my mind since it was hot as fish grease, I was going to get in the pool and I won't get my hair wet, and I will be dry before I get back to the house. Bright idea gone bad. Did I mention I had my bathing suit on? As I was enjoying the pool that I was instructed to not get into, I suddenly could no longer stay afloat. I couldnt dog paddle, breast stroke, nothing.

I was in the deep end and going down, alone. I tried to swim but kept going down. Panic crept up and shook my little brain. I could see the side of the pool, but I don't remember seeing anyone. To make this short, I bobbed up and down a few times and suddenly, I was at the side of the pool. I was horrified. No one helped me because no one was there in the area of the pool that I was in, and the people that were there either did not see me struggling or Lord forbid didn't care that a little girl was drowning. I got out of that pool and I have not been in a swimming pool since. Hottub, yes. A pool, not a chance. I've tried but the anxiety I face has been stronger than my desire to swim.
Nothing could have prepared me for the horror I felt and I surly was not going to share that event with my mother.

Living life is like unprepared events that will gut punch you. You will get that gut punch by life's circumstance and lay on the ground in dispare and agony, dread, heartbreak, and sometimes fear. Fear of standing up to fight again. But fight you must. It's the sink or swim tactic. Events can cause you to be unlovable, unappreciative, and down right nasty to anything or anyone that resembles joy and peace, especially during a crisis when all you want to do is magnify all that is wrong in your atmosphere by complaining until you are blue in the face. The world today is full of complainers already, don't be one of them.

The key to treading life's events is staying afloat and maneuvering with precision. It's about being laser focused on your end and not your beginning or even the during. It's knowing deep in your gut that God has equipped you with everything you need to reach the finish line. You must swim those laps of life like a master, breast stroking, breathing with calm, holding your breath for a time, and breathing again as you glide to your victory.

My brothers and sisters, today I'm still not ready to swim again, but my desire is growing. I am building my faith muscle so that one day I will jump in, even if it's a cute belly flop. My prayer for you is that your faith muscle gets stronger. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you hold the power and ability to swim for your life. There is nothing that can hold you down but you. Your inaction should not be the sinking end of you and the greatness that is within you. It doesn't matter how many times you get hit and go down. What matters most is how many times you get up and hit back. So suit up, jump in, and swim towards all that God has placed in you to be VICTORIOUS in all that only you can do and be for the world to witness. Let your faith muscle keep you afloat.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fighting False Strengths - It's Mental



Self Development for me comes in many forms. Mostly through books,  watching people, and shear failure. My reading taste is huge as one can not rely on one avenue for growth and healing. The detrimental problem that I see today is that many fail due to not investing in themselves, not trying, not seeking, not being hungry for better. It is somehow accepted to complain, blame, and to keep dragging the muck around like a stubborn dog on a chain. People seem to forget when the car was first built, that there was a blueprint. They forgot that the only way they could have graduated from high school they had to go to class, study the books, do the lessons, and pass the tests even if it was by sweat and sleepless nights. Fear will sideline you and will leave a fowl taste in your heart for those who are unencumbered and growing . There is no failure if you don't try. The failure is in not trying. What side of the pendulum are you on?

I myself refuse to stay in a state of mental chaos for too long. I'm not one to complain or keep talking about all of the bad things, but I do spin around in my head like a spinning top. I repeat to myself, it is okay and not as bad as aI can create the situation to be. I remind myself that I am the key holder as to what I will think about. I no longer want to hit the replay button on what was or what should be. Or on who did  what or what someone didn't do.  Why? Because I must get to the other side. Everything we do or not is a result of the information we received be it negative or positive and the choices we make. How valuable is that knowledge?

Mental illness is no different. Mental illness is manifested by the information we have seen, heard, or felt. Pain unaddressed leads to the heart and mind being over powered by the reactions to that pain. What pain? Pain of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Pain of your true love being snatched away as the one you loved abandoned you. Pain because of those who you thought were your friends weren't and your family members who treat you like trash. Pain of fighting a wars you did not create or sign up to fight, killing unknown men, women, and children. Look at the Vietnam War. How many men and women do you know who went to that war sane and came back home unrecognizable? Its still happening today, but now there is a name for it, Post Traumatic Stress. Pain of stuffing every hurt, real or imagined and replacing it with a false sense of strength. Alcohol,  false strength. Drugs, false strength. Promiscuous sex, false strength. The greed of money and material things, false strength. Dressing to the nines to look good on the outside and totally obliterated on the inside, false strength. Yes, these false strengths and more can cause the mentally sane to become insane. I know because I was a part of the false strength club. Wore the the shiny badge and blinking tiara. Thank God for His grace and mercy.

Generational curses and dysfunction rises up and goes forth, generation after generation until it happens. The it is the sudden realization that your current state is not where you imagined yourself to be. But, realizing it is one thing, changing it is another because without making the change, there you will remain. In the pit. Making a change is no easy feet as with any new thing, it takes will power, desire, and a determination that announces to the world, I ain't going down like that. We must make the  choice to either lay down and give up, or square our shoulders and  for fight. Isn't your life worth fighting for? Do you truly like where you are right now?  If not, prepare for battle.

And how do you prepare for battle? Acknowledging your current state of living. Mind, body, and soul. Analyze where you are and determine where you want to be if you don't already know. Let me tell you this, you already know you just have to push into that thing and put that foot forward. The next foot is clearing out the attic, this is where you have stored everything good or bad. It is your mind. To do this is to replace the bad with good. For me, I read and research what I am struggling with. Reading stories of those who have walked the road of dysfunction and learning how they changed their lives or not is helpful in so many ways, especially when the result is a ray of sunshine and emotional freedom. Emotional bondage to me is worse than any physical bondage. So I ask you, what are you really doing for yourself? Are you in the fight of your life? Have you settled for the diagnosis or have you determined that, nope, Im not going to lay down and wither away? I say GET UP! You must do the work no matter how hard it will be. Isn't your life worth it? Don't you owe it to yourself to be the best that you can be? Remember, self love means doing everything within your power to present your beautiful self to the world? Yes, you ARE worth it.

My brothers and sisters, there is noone like you. There is noone who can do what God has specifically created and ordained you to do. Self Developement is scary yet easy to achieve. None of us can go back in time to change things, we only have the right here and right now to press the play button instead of the replay button on our lives. And if you do happen to hit that replay button a few more times, listen to it, deside to learn from it, then ERASE IT so that you can get to the best part of you because you are absolutely worth it.

Be Encouraged

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Personal Reflection



Praise God to whom all blessings flow. As I reflect on the current events with experiencing my first hurricane here in Miami, Florida, it has really opened my eyes and heart. What is life if you don't learn anything that will take you to a higher level? In a blink all that we work for and our lives can be snatched away. We strive for material things, but do not have true love and compassion for the human race. We turn our noses up at situations we don't understand or fail miserably at trying to understand, all the while convinced that we somehow have made it. We walk around as if we know the keys to life all the while living in generational chaos. Wisdom and correction is ignored by the so called smart ones. My mother used to say, there are fools and educated fools knowing so much but knowing nothing at all. Those that have so much to say but saying nothing. Look around you and take a few steps back. Be about God's business.

Being one who struggles with clinical depression and anxiety, this Irma event SURLY could have taken me out, I was concerned, but not afraid. Anxiety tried to roar on all cylinders, but it spun itself into exhaustion because I kept before me the many promises of God. Oh yes I had a moment of spiritual and emotional  turmoil. I cried tears of, oh God. I had thoughts of running for higher ground or running back to the dark abyss I left behind in Tacoma, Washinton asking myself, why did I end up in Miami, Florida? One answer, God. So, I kept my thoughts on God and in check. This is a Victory in and of itself and anyone who struggles knows exactly what I'm talking about.

We complain, bad mouth, and lay claim to an imagenry self relience that in the end will mean nothing if we do not have wisdom. For me, hurricane Irma has set my mind more eagerly on the things of God and His will for my life. Yet I fail him daily, God never fails. Yet I stumble, God never misses a step. Many say that the natures of life are God's way of saying, get it together. Well listen up, God's love letter, His word has been our warnings and our directions, and those 66 books of life's lessons is more than enough for me and I PRAISE God that yet I am a flesh being perplexed and pressed, my spirit and soul yet rejoice.

Wars and rumors of war. Pestilence and genocide. Every dark thing that roams this earth to kill, steal, and destroy is nothing more than an opportunity again and again for God, The Great I Am, the Alpha and Omega, to show up and ultimately show out on the behalf of His chosen.  For me, I will continue to stand strong, unwavered, not compromising for the so called good things of this world, to stand up in the face of an unseen and sometimes seen enemy and say, that footstool, the heap of coals are all ready setup and placed. As Irma came in and uprooted millions of trees, I'm even more determined to be like a tree planted by the water of God's grace, not moved.

As I reflect back to continue to move forward, I've had many people come into my life. Most had their own agendas and it did not involve love, consistency, appreciation, or honesty. I've been lied on. Looked down upon and talked about behind my back. I've been devalued by those who should have seen true value. I've been abandoned emotionally and physically. For all of that and more, I'm grateful. For that, I'm glad that God saw fit to eliminate connections that served no greater good. For all of the hardships I faced I continuously offer up forgiveness and I still love. You see, when you really look at your life and accept responsibility for your parts or even the lack of, you will be able to see clearly the road of peace. You will be able to understand your value and worth. For all of it, I PRAISE God for His protection even though I may not have understood it at the time. Saved by grace.

My brothers and sisters, get it together. Look around you and most of all
look within you and determine that you will not be moved, except by the hands of God. High minded and hautiness will be your destruction. The proud who say it could not happen to them, they should think again. Remember, your journey is yours, don't expect understanding or gratification. Dont seek validation from anyone, seek the kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you, Gods gifts. Do everything in honor of God. Change is needed. Love is demanded. If it were not so Jesus would not have said so.

Be Encouraged