…impacting others for change by encouragement from the Word of God and sharing my journey with Him
I am a reader, writer, graphic designer, mother, Christian and lover of poetry. I enjoy romantic comedies, action, mysteries and faith films. I love the Motown Sound era and jazz. My favorite instrument is the saxophone. I love books, reading and learning.
Friday, was my last day at the retail store and was a very interesting one. I was excited! Not because I was leaving the job but excited about what God is doing in my life. I was told there were not enough hours to keep me working. This job was supposed to be a way to generate enough income with the other income avenues to pay the bills while I develop in this new area of writing. But, it wasn’t available to keep. The excitement of trusting God for what’s coming next is what made it interesting. I realize there may be some challenges ahead but none that can or will overtake God. My focus is to be on the writing and seeking the avenues that are purposeful in developing this area. My mind needs to be on Jesus. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV). My post today is basically an expression of trust and really doing what needs to get done. Worry and fret impair the ability to get things done. When I think of what God has already done in me, for me, and through me, there is no justification for not trusting Him. This year has brought some difficult things in my life. Major change, emotional upheaval, loss of income and residence, and loss of relationship have been some. But in the midst of these challenges, good and positive things have come as well. Strength and vision, determination, and most important, a new level of trust in God. I know that others are going through trying times as well, I am certainly not the only one. But God has shown me that He’s here. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5 NKJV). He knows the intimate details of my life and with all that I’ve gone through, I’m still here. Certainly not because I’m superwoman, but because I serve a super God.
Today as I write, I have a better understanding of the balancing act, and that is prioritizing. I decided that no matter what I do, God has to come first. Being nudged by the Spirit for postponing my devotion, I decided that postponing devotion is not properly balancing. I wrote ten articles yesterday, took my son to school, then had to return and take him a change of clothing, then had to work at Goodwill from four o’clock to ten o’clock. I did take time to read the daily message from “The Utmost for His Highest” after getting to work and on my break. I prayed on the way to work and talked to God. My point in recapping my day is that my acknowledgment for God came toward the end.
The Word of God talks about exalting God. What does that mean, to “exalt?” A combination of the definitions include to elevate in rank, honor, character, or quality. The synonyms listed include promote, dignify, or glorify. The archaic definition is to praise. My point in the word descriptions is understanding what it means. I realized that exalting God means putting Him first; not last on my list of things to do. To elevate is to put in the forefront. In truly balancing this balancing act, God has to come first. So, today, writing this post comes after having read my devotion, that was excellent by the way. I did the “Day by Day Grace” from the Blue Letter Bible site (www.blueletterbible.org) yesterday. Sometimes I read the daily message from “The Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. Other times, I get comfortable and get my Word. Nothing can be more important that putting God first. His peace and His direction for my life and my children are the intangible values that make me feel alive. Isaiah 26:9 “With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early.” (The NKJV of the Holy Bible)
My point is this, each of has a personal relationship through Jesus Christ. Mine compels me to put Him first.
I thought about this post yesterday when driving to pick my daughter up from work. Gratitude and appreciation fill my heart today as God continues to prove His faithfulness and love. Writing is a passion of mine and He has opened the door. Of course, it is His gift to me. The Word of God says that your gift will make room for you. You may be asking how this is related to the subject. When things are chaotic, and you really can’t figure out what direction to take, it’s time to stop, take inventory, and proceed with knowledge and wisdom. The knowledge of truth and wisdom comes from God.
Well, a few weeks ago I attended a service that talked about being aligned with God. This Pastor spoke about receiving strange instruction from God. In his review of the Scriptures, he brought to our attention several instances that showed when the children of God called upon Him in challenging situations, He gave strange instruction. I preface with this because many times when we finally get to that place when we are aligned with God, He has given us strange instruction. It’s not the typical “what I would do in this situation” instruction. It’s what He wants us to do in the situation. Strange instruction may seem just that to onlookers but being in alignment with God is more important that making sure someone understands exactly what’s going on. Many times, we don’t even understand every element of what God is doing.
As I write, and praise God for new paid writing assignments, it has taken me quite a bit of time to be rightly aligned with God. I’ve tried doing my own thing for so long and trying to figure it out, I kept missing the mark. God didn’t withhold blessings but the fulness and richness of His blessing was amiss. I don’t say this lightly and don’t want it to be construed in the wrong way. But, if you evaluate situations that have occurred in your lifetime, check and see which of those had the fullness and richness of God’s blessing. We walk this journey sometimes accepting that we will just get by, and that God will give us enough strength for the next step or carry us sometimes. And, then, there are those times that His richness and fullness brings tears to the eyes because you cannot get this from anyone but Him, your Creator. He fills your heart with His love for you when you realize that He knows the most intimate details about you and fills the needs of those details. Today I praise God! Praise Him with me.
This week has been a balancing act. Completing homework assignments; working part time in retail; making sure that I pick up my younger daughter from school and take her to school; certainly make sure I have babysitting arrangements for the time I have her when I’m at work; accepting a new writing assignment; taking my 18 year-old to work; or, picking up her friend to babysit; getting my 14 year-old to the gym; and, get to sleep in between is a balancing act. Oh, I forgot about dinner, laundry, cleaning…The challenge is interesting, can be taxing, but certainly leaves no room for boredom. My point is that I still want to show gratitude for this life God has blessed me with. God’s blessing of mercy and grace is surely a reason to be grateful. Even when I cannot come up with the answers to the balancing act, God’s mercy seems to emerge larger than life and I find myself thanking Him because He saw my need and worked out the situation. I know that He is opening up doors that no one can close and closing doors no one can re-open. And, I thank God that He is the only one that can do that. God’s true justice and mercy is the source of this life for me. My challenges, trials, successes, and, what might even look like failures are all to His glory. This post is to glorify my Father in Heaven, proclaim Jesus as Lord and be eternally grateful for who He is and what He has done for me. I thank God for this day. “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 NKJV)
As I write this post, I am currently challenged in my school assignment to draw an aerial perspective painting. Now since I love the graphic design field, and thought gaining some training on how to open up that creative flow would be the way to go, I am now at an impasse. I understand the perspective. I’ve taken photos of that perspective. But drawing it? Another story. I may be coming down on myself too hard since I didn’t really draw anything before this class but did everything digitally. I think playing around in the photography area is as far as I’ve come. I am not giving up but just voicing the challenge before me. I did go to several sites on drawing the aerial perspective and got the technical understanding. I drew about seven or eight pictures last night but wasn’t satisfied. Abstract drawing was part of the challenge since as a beginner, lines are my ace. Just need to practice the actual process. I think maybe a drawing class or sketching class could have come before this one, graphic design 120. Just a thought. Anyway, really busy and looking forward to exciting new growth in the aerial perspective and other things.
Today’s post is about creativity. What does that mean? Is it different from individuality? In today’s culture, creativity seems to be the standard for traditional as well as non-traditional jobs. While watching a TV reality show for hair designers, it seems that things have gone to the extreme. What used to be a standard of excellence is now boring and considered non-talent. When looking at what the contestants are asked to do and to prove, it seems we have gone way over the top. The theme for this particular hair show was designing in a vampire theme. Now, personally, I don’t care for vampires or the background about them. Consider this a bias point from the beginning. However, the resulting showcases were a bit much. One model looked like she was wearing a farm house on top of her head depicting things from a vampire culture. Another model had a hairpiece that looked about four feet tall; blond in the front and black in the back. While not being critical of creativity, do we need to go so overboard that it just seems ridiculous? Take into consideration that while reality TV is not the real reality because we are led to believe that over-the-top drama and excitement must exist in the piece to be appealing to the audiences. Is it necessary to push competition to the point of dogged personal ambition? Do we really need to literally try to nail another person in order to prove our creative prowess? Understanding the statement that “real life” is stranger than fiction, going above and beyond to prove that in our reality TV shows seems like overkill.
While walking this creative journey, hopefully the need will not arise when a choice has to be made between real talent and creativity and an extreme requirement to validate that through someone else’s perception. Everyone appreciates the compliment that your efforts are well received; however, no effort will please 100% of the people 100% of the time. Can we keep a level of integrity and true character when it comes to developing our creativity and talent. And, especially when it comes to encouraging the next generation to develop theirs.
As I write today, and it has been a while since I added a post, I realize that change is imperative. I look forward to that and yet, have some anxiety. I am challenged today because for so many years I was trained to maintain the box. Get myself trained, get a job, keep a job. However, contrary to the plan to maintain, things don’t always work that way.
At 51, I have arrived at the new age and culture just like everyone else. Traditional jobs are not traditional anymore. Creativity is in the forefront and any resemblance of maintaining in this new culture says that you must allow your creativity to flow. That may be a challenge for some of us old-schoolers. However, challenges are allowed for our growth, to become all that God intended us to be. Graphic design and writing are my two fields of choice to express my creativity. This post is an outlet for that creativity and will be a commitment to express myself on a regular basis.
The job market is a challenge these days. As a single mom again, I have arrived at a place of understanding the challenges, but more than that realize that I have a creative spirit and I would like that spirit to shine bigger and brighter than ever before. The longer I live, the less time I have and having arrived at this place in my life, I want to maximize the time that I have. I thank God I’m still here, challenges and all. I appreciate the opportunity to allow God to do what He wants to do with me and will allow the creative spirit within me to flow.
Have you seen Jesus? Who is He to you? What does He look like? What has He done for you? What has He done in You?
This post is just to put these questions out there for you to answer for yourself. These are questions are meant to put you in a place of thought to realize who Jesus is to you. I didn’t want to make this my question and answer session online because I need to answer them for myself as well. They are not being asked because I don’t have a relationship with Jesus but because I do. What about you?
I want to speak about being God’s masterpiece today. In our sermon from last night’s church service, I was blessed by the reminder that we are the masterpiece of God. Each of us have the opportunity to allow God to mold us in such a way that we would be a work that would testify to His glory.
The Scripture used was Jeremiah 18 where God speaks to him about the potter and the clay. The potter must possess the clay or have it in his hands in order to mold the shape and transform it into a work of art. We must surrender to God in order for Him to transform us. We have this awesome opportunity to become God’s precious work that will be completed upon Jesus’s return. Or, we can refuse to surrender and become an unfinished work. I pray for the body of believers and any new believers the following Scripture: Philippians 1:6 – “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (NLT)
Read Jeremiah 18 for further insight on the potter and the clay.
This devotion was spent pondering the word exalt. The definition includes to glorify; to praise; to elevate in rank,honor, power, character, and quality. I looked into elevate, meaning to raise up; which is archaic or rare. I want to use that definition today. We need to raise up the Lord. I realize that the Lord already sits on the right hand of the Father, elevated to that position by God Himself. We can, however, elevate or exalt the Lord in our lives. By our conversation and our behavior, we can exalt the Lord, the world or the enemy. Psalm 21:13 – “Rise up, O Lord, in all your power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.” (NLT) With music and singing, we celebrate. How often do we truly understand the element of music in our worship to the Lord? We can exalt the Lord by singing and making melody in our hearts to Him. How can we do that except our minds are stayed on Him? Our minds being fixed on who He is and all that He has done for us. (NLT) Psalm 57:11 – “Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.” As bright as the stars are and as far in the heavens as they reside, how much more is the glory of God? The Word says that God would make the rocks cry out if there was none to worship Him. He is exalted simply as our Creator. (NLT) Psalm 99:5 – “Exalt the Lord our God! Bow low before His feet, for He is holy!” I think about the word exalt and the meaning to glorify, to praise, and to elevate. This should be daily practice. We surrender ourselves to much less worthy things. Can our Lord get the glory and praise that’s due Him for His precious sacrifice? We should declare to make praise a daily exercise as part of our worship. When we do, we open the door for more of the Lord’s transforming power. When the praises go up, the blessings come down. (NLT)