Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Do You Have Room?

We have room for everything under the sun these days! Room meaning your time, attention, efforts, and energy directing at or being used for a specific thing or person. We make room for whatever makes us feel as if we have power, comfort, control and/or happiness. It is so funny that we read the nativity story and say I would have given up my bed and even prepared a feast for Mary & Joseph. That’s just it, we love to say what we would have done, but the truth about the matter is when we are in the moment, at a particular space in time, to make a decision that could ultimately affect someone else we don’t have any room for it.

This year I’ve been so lackadaisical about purchasing gifts because I’ve come to enjoy the company of loved ones verses what I can give someone that will only provide that person with a temporary emotion. What can be given to loved ones that will last forever—a lifetime? Memories, especially good ones, are a lot more important to me these days, than more gadgets, clothing, or figurines that only clutter my home even more. People don’t understand or even realize that all these things are taking up way to much room in their lives already. This year, as I do throughout the year, I have resorted to walking around my home and giving away things to people that will provide a lasting memory. I am baking and opening my cupboards to see what will benefit someone else and create lasting memories. Think about it do you remember what you received 5 years ago for Christmas. What are some of the memories you have from Christmases past?

Joseph & Mary were in desperate need of a room, someone’s room, anyone’s room and it is so ironic that no one had room for the Lord and Savior that we call upon everyday who always has room for us. I’m sure they never forgot the day Mary gave birth to her first son, who is God’s Son, and the Son that gives us access to God on a daily basis. Think about it, a stable with animals—imagine the smell. This is the memory that they never forgot all their days on this earth. On the day Mary gave birth no one had room or even wanted to make room for a couple who had a child on the way. Do we have room for Jesus Christ in our lives or do we have so much going on, too many things in our home (and lives), and trying to get this and that causing us to completely fill our schedules with lots of stuff, but no room for Jesus. I don’t really like clich├ęs but Jesus is truly the reason for this season, make room for Him in your life, home, and in all that you do—He always has room for you.

By TKay (Tina Hughes) author of “TKay’s Inspirationals: Walking In Your Season”

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Do You Feel Me!

Okay, I just heard something that feels like someone has punched me in my stomach, there are tears welling up in my eyes, and I feel like the wind has been knocked out of me. So I feel like I am bent over with my hands on both knees and my head down, while standing. Did I hear what I think I heard? In my head I am thinking to myself did you do this on purpose, what were your intensions, and do you even realize the consequences? I am trying to get my facial expression together before I lift my head, so how I really feel does not show all over my face. So I wait, in my head I’m beginning to think; how do I fix this, how do I make it right, how do I put this back together again, how do I pick up the pieces without leaving any behind, so maybe just maybe I can somehow become whole again. All of this is running through my head but I still can’t seem to lift my head yet, because now the tears are rolling down my cheeks and I just can’t let anyone see me like this….Oh Lord! What do I do? Who do I talk to? How do I move from this place without making a mess of the mess that is before me?

Then I think back about the times as a child when I fell down and my earthly father came to my aid and picked me up, dusted me off, and told me to try again—wiping away my tears. Right now, at this very moment, at this place in time I need that. However, I am still bent over trying to piece this puzzle together in my head so my heart will stop beating so fast—and my heart beating is all in my head. Then I hear a voice saying I am the lifter up of your head, I AM the great I AM-who do you need me to be, because I am all that and more. Then I hear the same voice say child I feel you—I feel every disappointment, every heartache, every hurt, every let down, every loss, every back stab, punch, and fall. Please believe my beloved—I feel you! I feel you, even when you can not talk about it, I feel it when there is no one you can trust to tell it to, I feel it when you chalk it up and hope it will get better—my precious I feel you. Then, the voice says you are mine, you’ve been mine before the beginning of time. I love you my beloved—no matter how anyone treats or talks to you, I feel you. Just know, I need you to remove yourself from situations and people who render you useless and not even worth your time. I wish you knew your value—I made you splendidly and I molded you in my very hand. I love you now and I will love you even until the end of times. I hope you come to know your own worth and value.

Help me, O Lord my God! Save me because of your unfailing love. Psalm 109:26

By Tina Kay (TKay) author of “TKay’s Inspirationals: Walking In Your Season”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Battles We Fight

Today has been a mess of a day! I feel like I am in a race running as fast as I possibly can, about to pass out while everyone else is passing and ahead of me. If you come in my house (or enter my world) each room or area has a pile of chaos going on. So I slow down, bent over, panting for breath while I clean up a pile of chaos in my life. Okay, here I go again starting back in this race or this thing called life and I pick up some speed, but my body just does not want to move as fast as I need it to. I see the pack of runners ahead of me about to round the corner but my feet they feel so heavy, as if I have lead in my shoes. So, I slow down again to get this weight off of me; I drop this weight of anger, frustration, hate, and resentment so just maybe, I can catch up with the crowd. So I put on some new shoes that prepare me to tell others along the way about God (because I think those old shoes were holding me back), just maybe I can catch up because all God’s chill’in need some shoes good shoes to run this race., this thing called life. I feel so inadequate for this race because now I am so far behind, but I get back on the path anyway. Is it me or is this path getting more narrow with each step I take? I’m running but I don’t see anyone else on this path with me. Have I made a wrong turn or maybe I’m just so far behind that I can’t see the others running this race because of the trees in the distance. I pick up my pace again, but this time I jog and I breathe the runners breath. I don’t feel so much is on me now—what is this, I feel like I’m running on air? Then I hear God say “You are not alone in this race, this thing called life—I’m right here beside you running with you, comforting you, instructing you, providing for you, and I will never leave you—take your time child enjoy this race, this thing called life. There is so much to enjoy along the way, look at the scenery as you move forward, which are all the things that happen in your life. Don’t get bogged down with the scenery because I need you to keep moving! Yes the path is getting more narrow with each forward step along the way because others have fallen along the way, quitting, giving up, and turning around. God continues to tell me that I need you to stay on this path and you may have to walk sometimes and maybe even sit down and take a rest, but keep moving. When you come to the end, I don’t want to tell you the end, just know the end will be more wonderful than words can ever describe! Keep moving, I’m with you now and I will definitely be with you at that finish line (the end of time). I love you my child, keep running this race called life.
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running and I'm not turning back. So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. Philippians 3:14-16 (MSG)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Being Content

To be content means to be satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more of anything else. In a culture of more, more, more we all have that next thing on our list to check off, that next piece of clothing to buy, the newest gadget, the latest car, the most happening hair-do me-do & you-do. What happened to just being content? Instead of what society says–what’s wrong with you doing you? Do we even know how to be content with what we have? Why is it so necessary to show the next person up or appear to be better than the Jones’ or the folks down the street?

Can we not just be….I think that is what being content means—is to just be. Paul in Philippians says that he has learned in whatever state he’s in to be content. We teach our children that they’re not who they should be if they are not wearing the latest fashions or armed with the latest gaming system. I remember growing up, loving life, and being so content with playing outside with my friends, drinking from the hose pipe, making bee bops, jumping rope, and playing jacks—I still love to do these things with my nieces and nephew.

Being content requires you not focusing on the stuff-its of life, but just enjoying and being in the company of loved ones by putting on an old pair of jeans, lounging around, and just enjoying life. I think sometimes we can allow life to just pass us by, like riding on a subway and forgeting to get off and enjoy the scenery. Jesus said he came so that we may enjoy life to the full! Today take a deep breath and stop adding more to do’s to your list and just sit back, relax, and ask God to teach you how to be content. This kind of contentment that I speak of will feed and fill your soul, and can even make you whole. Pray that God will give you a new pair of eyes, wisdom, and understanding so you can see, that it is all right sometimes to just be content.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Life Interrupted

Life can sometimes get in the way of what you have planned. We always plan our days knowing in our minds that the day will turn out the way we planned it in our heads or on a scribbled piece of paper. Most times we don’t consider God in our planning; we may pray and tell God what we are going to do, never considering what God has for you to do. We treat God as an actor in our play, when we should look to Him as the Executive Producer and Jesus Christ as the Director—in this thing called life.

Look at Job, his life was just wonderful until things started to go south and his life was no longer simple, but complicated. Job lost everybody and everything—his life had been interrupted. Never in a million years would I thought or even imagined that at the age of 35 I would be so dependent on others—I had it all planned out, until things in my life began to go south. Sickle Cell Disease or any disease for that matter that completely consumes you is what I call a life interruption. These interruptions come at the most inopportune times. This funny thing called life has it peaks and valleys, highs and lows, and it is your decision or choice to stay in the valley with your head in your hands crying or look to God for your help.

Life interruptions can cause one to become angry, depressed, left in disbelief, or even at the verge of giving up. During these times take an account of what is important to you, what battles are really worth fighting, or if it is worth the energy to be negative. Just start over! Come up with a new plan and this time include God, ask Him what does He thinks—be ready for the answers and move on. Don’t remain in that valley, crying your eyes out, but hold your head up high and wait for God this time. Don’t be surprised if there are more life interruptions; just know that God is there for you at each interruption in this thing called life.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Space

Have you ever lived in a space or spent lots of time in a place that was quite comfortable to you. You may have spent lots of time here by filling this place with all the things that create positive energy for you. You look forward to being there and on occasion opening it up for others to enjoy with you. In this place you find solitude, peace, understanding and no worries about the cares of this world. You feel like this is your area with a chalk line drawn around you so others don’t invade this location that works for you, if they are not invited. I remember as a child, my brother and I shared rooms for what seemed like to me as a little girl—forever. I would carve out my side of the room, even though we had bunk beds, marking claim to my territory. My brother could care less about a territory, but these days he basks in the privilege of having his own space to breathe every now and then. If you think about it even Jesus had a place to retreat to just get his head right; he often removed himself from the masses to pray and meditate. This space alone gave him renewed strength to press on another day. Without this time of refuge he would always have people in his ears, tugging on his clothes, leading him this way and that way.
Jesus is the perfect example of how to break away and find or even carve out a place or space in your life that will allow you to become renewed. Why is it so hard to just be still sometimes? If we were left to our own devices we would never stop, like an energizer bunny going, going, going until the battery no longer works and you come to a complete stop and fall on your face. Even God took 6 days to work and had 1 day of rest, why don’t we? It took God dumping my full plate of my stuff to fall out of my hands (like I had been to a buffet). Being the person that I am God made it so that I have to take account of what comes in my life (or on my plate) before I place it there. This is easy to do when you let God show you what is important and needs to be added unto you. The only way to hear God is take some time in your space or place to hear Him, become rejuvenated and rested. We all want God to increase or expand our territory but most times we're just not ready physically, spiritually, nor mentally. It’s really up to you! Find a place to be still and you can hear His voice and find peace for your soul.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Letting Go

We are always holding on to something! We just can not seem to let go of clothes we wish we could still fit, memories of a lost love, shoes that have worn down to nothing, shirts from college days with holes in them, hair-dos that need some serious attention, bad habits that are detrimental to your health, and memories of how somebody wronged you years ago. This the season and the time to just let it go and stop holding on to things and people that are killing your spirit, interrupting positive energy, and causing pain in your life.

Letting go is like taking a pair of scissors and just cutting it- the end it’s over! However, many of us don’t want to sever ties that needlessly bind us to yesterday. Yesterday is not coming back, so stop looking back- this only slows your progress towards your future. In the book of Ruth, she stopped dwelling on her losses (and she lost much). She lost her husband, the home they made together, the possibility of having children, but most of all she lost things that were most familiar to her and the possibilities of what life could have been. You would think that she would complain but she wept silently as she moved on with life.

Now on the flip side Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi mourned & held on to her losses (her husband and both sons all died). Her pain showed in her words and actions, and she did not mind telling anyone about her troubles. She even referred to herself as Mara meaning she was bitter.
We have examples of two people who lost much but one knew life would continue with or without her so she was determined to move on, and she did. Ruth is a good example of not dwelling too long on the past and moving forward. She did not complain about what was done to her, how she was now homeless, how she left a home she shared with her husband with only things she could carry…..but she moved on. We so often want to shout from the mountain tops our hurts, pains, losses, and misfortunes…wallowing in our anger and self-pity. But today take a note from Ruth and let it go…keep moving and begin to love life again. We miss out on our blessings because we have our heads in the sand, our eyes full of tears, or we are too busy running off at the mouth about days long gone. There is a saying; something must die so that something new can live. I never really understood this until recently. It took me loosing my health to learn to truly trust God in every aspect of my life- and He is faithful. It is sad to say but sometimes we do have to loose or let go of some things in our lives so that God can replace the old with something even better.

Naomi did not understand this concept, but day after day she watched Ruth trudge on and make new memories, new relationships, be in a new place and as Ruth accepted the newness in her life she was blessed with far more than she had before. Now, I am not trying to say just forget your past, because we do need to understand our past so that we can accept our future. Don’t get stuck in your past not allowing new things/people to come into your life because you are too busy at the scene of life’s accident. God has so much love for us but we have to remain in His space during this time we have here on earth in this life, so He can help us navigate through life. Open your heart to receive Him and all He has to give you. Let go today and watch God bless you far more than you can ever think to be blessed.