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2017 Ain’t Over Yet!

Let me tell you, my 2017 was HARD! But you know what? It’s okay. I’m not running from it. A young lady in the store said to me, “I can’t wait for the year to be over!” Is that your sentiment too? Y’all, 2017 ain’t over yet. If your year was hard, I want you to rejoice and celebrate because you are here. You are an overcomer. You still stand. So while we are still in 2017, give God a shout of PRAISE that you made it!

 

Have you seen them? My social media feeds have been FULL of them; all the promises that 2018 claims to hold.

 

It’s Your Year

 

Strong, Healthier, Wiser

 

The Year You Finally Go For It

 

The Year You Say Yes To More Happiness, Friends, and Love

 

Your Year To Sparkle

 

[bctt tweet=”Cute memes filled with sparkle, shine and happy don’t always translate into days filled with peace, progress, productivity and joy.” username=”inspiredfully”] And while the start of a new year may be a welcomed invitation for a do over, it can also induce fear, anxiety and failure. So let me tell you right now, I am praying for you. I pray you aren’t feeling pressured with the end of 2017 chomping at the bit. Yes, the close of the year is fast approaching. In fact, including today there are just 4 days left in this year. If the thought of that makes your pulse quicken, PAUSE. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Remember that the Lord created the world and every thing in it in a mere six days. So here’s the plan for FINISHING 2017 In 3 Easy Steps.

 

Step 1: No Condemnation

 

Conviction is from God. Condemnation is from the devil. The enemy of your soul wants you to accept his lies as truth. He wants to sow seeds of doubt, discouragement and dissolution. But God wants HIS truth to liberate you. And the TRUTH says, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).

 

Step 2: Focused Reflection

 

Grab a pen and spend a few quiet moments of focused reflection. One of the hallmarks of successful people is to review their year. So let’s close out 2017 by gaining insight through purposeful reflection. Then use that wisdom as a springboard for launching into 2018. Did you have ONE WORD for 2017? Reflect on how that word manifested this year. Then answer the following questions:

 

What great accomplishment did God perform through me this year?

 

What new thing did I learn this year?

 

What one thing would I have done differently?

 

What was my biggest challenge?

 

What caught me by surprise this year?

 

What was my biggest lesson learned?

 

In what ways did I grow emotionally and spiritually?

 

How am I different this year than last year?

 

For what am I most grateful for this year?

 

What was one key relationship from this year?

 

What is one thing from this year that I need to let go of?

 

 

So what if you find this year did not go as planned? Well, you’ve had an opportunity then for scripture to come alive in your life. The Word says a man’s heart plans his way but it is the Lord that directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9). Remember, no condemnation. Celebrate the successes you did have. You made it this far and that is evidence enough that a miracle has taken place. You are a walking, talking miracle.

 

Step 3: Prayer

 

How sweet it is to commune with God in prayer. As you pour your heart out to God, He will pour into you. As you reflect on 2017, thank Him. Thank Him that you lived to see another year. Thank Him specifically for the myriad of ways he provided for you in 2017. Thank Him for protecting you in 2017. Thank Him for prospering you. Thank Him for being your healer, redeemer and way maker all year long. Ask Him for insight, revelation, and direction. Ask Him for the discipline, courage and fortitude to carry out what He whispers to your heart.

 

Set your heart on making these last few days of the year count BIG. And you know what? I know that you can do it. You will not look at these last four days and be overwhelmed. You will not use these last four days to condemn yourself for whatever happened the other 361 days of 2017. Through focused reflection and prayer you will be firmly established to conclude this year in a way that honors God and honors yourself. You WILL have a strong finish to your 2017. It ain’t over yet!

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Chasing Community, Salt & Light, Grace & Truth, Faith N Friends

 

(First appeared on Inspired Life December 28, 2016 but revised and updated)

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BELIEVE: My #OneWord 2016

This image has been my phone’s screen saver for months.

 

Luke 1:45

 

I rarely look at it. When I first saw it, it resonated deeply within me because the Lord had been dealing with me on my ability to BELIEVE. So Believe is my One Word for 2016. Instead of making resolutions, for the last few years the Lord has led me to a word that is to be lived out for the year. And as much as I wanted to be done with this, as much as I want this to be a non-issue for me, I won’t run from it. I’ll embrace it knowing God is going to faithfully continue to walk me through this journey of limitless belief.

 

I don’t question MY God’s abilities. I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that my God can do what he says he can do. I know my God can perform miracles. I know my God is able.

 

My question is, will He do it for me?

 

Lord will you protect my children?

Lord will you really supply all my needs?

Lord will you give me my heart’s desires?

Lord will my God dreams ever come to fruition?

 

Well, I’m still grappling with this.  While it’s been under construction for nearly six months now, the issue persists. And I’m okay with that. I’ve been learning over the past few months to not try to circumvent processes in life design for my growth and development. And the issue of believing for me is deep. Yet I thank the Lord that He’s willing to unearth whatever is hindering or hampering my ability to fully believe. He is excavating deep-rooted lies and casting on them the Light of Truth.

 

I want the kind of immovable faith and ability to BELIEVE like David when facing Goliath. In 1 Samuel 17, David made a BOLD declaration.

 

David just KNEW that Jehovah Sebaoth, The Lord of Host, would protect him and ensure the victory.

 

All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.

1 Samuel 17:47

 

Oh Lord that I would have David like belief.

 

One day God directly asked me, “Do you believe?” I answered, “I believe Lord but help my unbelief.” That belief that knows you’re able but is unsure if you are willing.

 

So I followed that up with a question for Him. “Lord, are you willing?”

 

And with a look of compassion in His eyes, He answered, “I am willing.”

 

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

Luke 5:12-13

 

[bctt tweet=”No longer will I allow lack of belief to suffocate God’s desire to bless me.”]

When I doubt, it smothers my faith. It quenches that God can do and wants to do in my life. No longer will I take my own pillow so beautifully embroidered with the word BELIEVE and use it to asphyxiate God’s plans for my life.

 

If you have ever struggled with believing God, trusting God, or wavering faith, please join me in prayer.

 

Lord, the maker of all of heaven and earth, what a great and mighty God you are. You are Sovereign. You are King. It is an honor to love you, to serve you and to partner with you in building your kingdom here on earth. Lord I confess that sometimes my ability to believe is hampered. I repent for hampering your ability to do exceedingly and abundantly in my life through my lack of faith. But I thank you Lord that the prayers of the righteous availeth much. I add my faith to those reading with me now. May our prayers bombard and intercept heaven right now. I pray God that our ability to believe would not be smothered. I thank you for removing any obstacles and false beliefs that would interfere with believing your Truth. You Lord are the way, the truth and the life and when we follow and trust in you there in no need to doubt. Take our mustard seed faith, planted in your nutrient rich soil, watered by your word and make it grow into tall flourishing fruitful trees to bear witness to your glory. I thank you Lord for hearing and answering the petitions of your sons and daughters.

 

Do you have #OneWord for 2016? I’d love to hear about it and to pray for you. For more on the One Word concept, CLICK HERE.

 

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends at Purposeful Faith, Grace and Truth, Dance With Jesus

Principles for Daily Living Pt 1

Sometimes resolutions are made and forgotten. Sometimes they’re discarded altogether after a few days. A few years ago, after years of unsuccessfully executing my resolutions I decided to give them up. I have purposed in my heart to live a life based on principles and to steer me along I adopt one word that frames my year. You can read more about that by clicking here. And it’s not so much that I adopt the one word as the word chooses me and I accept.

 

The one word is lived out through my principles. My principles are my fundamental truths that influence my actions. And living out these principles has seen its share of evolution. I am grateful today that the TRUTH has settled in my heart and I no longer view my principles as items to be ticked off a checklist. Yeah, I used to be like the Pharisee. There was a time I actually thought to be a ‘good’ Christian woman I had to literally ‘be’ the Proverbs 31 Woman. I actually made a list of the things I could do to ‘accomplish’ each of the attributes she possessed. Yup, I actually did that. I thought that was what was expected of me until I came into the truth and oh how liberating it was.

 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Let’s keep this in proper perspective. My relationship is with God and not with the principles. By living a life surrendered to Him, He leads me in the way and His power at work in me enables me to live out the principles. So here are a few of my foundational principles for daily living as it relates to my relationship with the Father.

 

Obey

As the hymnal goes “There’s no other way than to trust and obey”. I believe if we love God, we are compelled to obey what He tells us to do. Is obedience easy? NO. Do I always want to obey? NO. But I know that He knows what’s best. And out of my love for God, I want to obey. My obedience is a form of worship.

 

Follow

When we obey God is it a natural progression that we would then follow him. Time and again Jesus admonished his hearers “Follow Me”. We want to blaze our own trail. We want to create our own path. God said he would make a road in the wilderness. I think it would be easier to take the route already mapped out for me. Do you agree?

 

Faith

This is a work in progress for me. God has been so faithful to me. Yet doubt can sometimes creep up when I am faced with the unknown. Do I have faith that He will protect my children from danger? Do I have faith that He will heal me: mind, body, spirit? Do I have faith?

 

Prayer

I just have to talk to God. If I didn’t, I would really lose my mind. Prayer enables me to clear my head and to hear from the Lord. I’ve learned over the years that prayer is not a monologue but a dialogue with God. He’s waiting. Won’t you chat with Him today? Nothing fancy, no need for flowery language or rote repetition but sincere two-way dialogue.

 

 

The Word

His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. God speaks to me most often through His word then He sandwiches the revelation through a confirming word from a person and/or an act of nature. Man I just love how the Father speaks to me. The Word gives me guidance, clarity, perspective, encouragement, chastening, and more.

 

These are just a few of the principles I live by that influence my relationship with God. These principles help keep me anchored so that I’m not left to my own devices making decisions based on how I feel at the moment.

 

What principles influence your relationship with God?

 

Tomorrow I’ll share what principles influence my relationship with self.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

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You Were Made To Be Courageous

Resolution \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən\

The act or process of resolving: the act of answering, the act of determining.

 

With the New Year upon us, people often use this time as a springboard to adopt new beliefs, habits, or behavior. We see an increase in gym memberships, church attendance and a decrease in drinking, smoking and the like. But…mid-February many of the resolutions that began strong on January 1st have stalled. There may be vestiges of activity or forgotten altogether.

 

So instead of making New Year’s resolutions that will fade away in a matter of weeks, I invite you to join me in resolving to live a life based on principles. A principle is a belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and influences your actions. Starting tomorrow, I’ll share some of the principles that guide my daily living. In living out my principles I have adopted one word for the year that serves as the rails on which my principles glide. My #oneword365 for 2015 is COURAGE.

courage scrabble

Last year my word was RELEASE. When this word chased me down at the end of 2013, I didn’t understand it, I didn’t want it and I couldn’t see how it was going to be applicable in my life. But it proved to be the perfect word for I was truly granted release. Release from shackles that I didn’t even know I was wearing, released from childhood hurts, releasing myself to give me permission to ENJOY life and not live this self-imposed martyrdom.

 

Now that I am FREE, I feel I’m going to need COURAGE for the next leg of the journey. It’s going to take courage for me to:

 ~Be willing to take risks

~Look fear in the face and not be the one to back down

~Purposefully parent my children in love yet administer correction with grace

~Know when to speak up and when to be silent

~Expand my business

 

I was made to be courageous.

 

“Just keep on trying, and trying and trying. You’re a lion. In your own way be a lion”. So go the lyrics to a song from my absolute favorite movie soundtrack The Wiz. In the movie Diana Ross as Dorothy coaxes the Lion into remembering who he his; he is a lion, standing proud and strong, the bravest of them all.

 

Like Lion in The Wiz, I was made to be courageous.

lion

In being released, I turned my walk into a run and my run into a soar. And it’s certainly going to take courage to look around as I glide at new heights. When I look down from this new vantage point it may be intimidating.

 

Over the weekend, I had an opportunity to take a ride on the Capital Wheel; a ferris wheel over 180-feet tall. When I entered my little cabin, I was slightly apprehensive but was walking in my newfound courage. As I chatted with my friend, the wheel began to turn. So engaged was I in the conversation, that I didn’t realize we had made it to the top of the circle. It was only then did I look up and out the window to see how high up we were. Fear tried to creep in as the magnitude of the height became real to me. So while the new vantage point was intimidating, I stood on courage and enjoyed the ride. And after the 1st rotation, it wasn’t scary at all. In fact, it was kind of monotonous. Score 1 for Team Courage!

capital wheel 1

I was made to be courageous.

 

Time and again scripture admonishes us to have courage.

 

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

 

And one of my favorite scriptures,

 

Joshua 1:7

Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

 

A final thought…

 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

 

Celebrating my 2014 Release and intrigued about how COURAGE will present itself in 2015.

 

I was made to be courageous.

You were made to be courageous.

 

What goals, plans or words have you chosen to live out in 2015? Let me hear from you.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired to Life Fully!