Let me tell you! I have been making big changes to my hair care lately and it has been working! So of course I had to share with y’all! I’m going to tell you the big news up front: I wear hair grease in my hair! Did your eyebrows raise, did your jaw drop? If you’ve been a part of the curly natural hair community for a while you know hair grease is the forbidden fruit. We all grew up on it and when we got older, and became at home researchers and chemist and bandwagon jumpers we decided hair grease was out and hair milks, creams, and butters were in!
Well, a couple of months ago I was up late watching Youtube hair videos, which I find so relaxing, and just might have to make more myself… tehehe. I was watching a video by a hair chemist and she began talking about the benefits of using hair grease and the ingredients that help our over all hair health. I then started watching video after video of more people sharing how they started back using hair grease or use their own homemade version. I was convinced and started mixing up my own batch!
Y’all, I noticed an immediate change in my hair and have been hooked since! You see I have low porosity hair that cries out for moisture and all those cute lil fruity smelling products was not giving my hair the extra moisture its been craving, since I also now have a lot more silver hair.
If you know me, you know I will cut my hair and shave it off in a second. I love a shaved head, that life is so freeing and the lowest hair maintenance ever! Recently though I’ve decided to let my hair grow longer and that I actually want to have really long hair. One day I was braiding my hair, and although people would see it and say it was long, I knew it wasn’t growing at a consistent and healthy normal rate for me.
I realized I was dealing with a problem I know so many people deal with all the time when it comes to hair growth. My hair had no problem growing, its hair, it grows. The problem was, retaining the length my hair was growing. I then thought about my nails. (My brain works magically lol) I realized that my nails that used to grow really long, really fast, but would break so much, was no longer having that problem.
What was causing my once easily broken nails to thrive, and why was my hair just staying around the same length? The answer to both was moisture! I wash my hands constantly, like a lot, like I put online how often I wash my hands once and people kept asking if I have OCD…a lot… With all my hand washing I noticed how damaging it was to my skin and nails and I started making sure to keep my hands moisturized with oils, butters, and lotion. Now all I needed to do was figure out how to help my dry hair stay hydrated and moisturized, so it could stay strong and keep its elasticity and not be easily broken off. I want to share with you some of the changes that have helped my hair stay moisturized and retain length.
Love y’all, what are some hair tips you have?
I haven’t been posting on my blog for quite some time….ok a year! Well, even though I have not been posting, I still had some days I wrote. Here’s a blog I wrote back in March. The wild yet amazing thing is, it is so true and real for me now, and we talked about this topic in church today too! God sure does amaze me. He taught me a lesson months in advance only to remind me of it and show me just how sweet He is in getting His words to me. My heart is full.❤️
I thought to make this blog a video, but knowing myself, it would be an hour+ long video, because what I have to tell you today, there is so much I want to say! I recently went to a woman’s retreat with 2 of my sisters and had the most amazing time with them. The Word was so rich and on time. Even though I much enjoyed the Word while there, it wasn’t until I came home I understood the heavy importance of the Word spoken. Isn’t it just like God to have you receive His Word, and then life comes and smacks you to see just how much of that Word you allowed to fall on fertile ground and mixed it with faith in your heart.
Before I left for the retreat there was so much on my mind and my plate and I purposed in me that I would not give anything a single thought while on the trip. You do know what happens when you pull away to take a breather right? You may have stepped away, but always ready to receive you back, is all the stress and worries you left behind, because life does not pause just because you took a moment to pause yourself.
There is one lesson that was taught this past weekend that has been a constant song in my heart the moment I returned home. The lesson talked about how during The Feast of The Tabernacles the Israelites were to focus on remembering all that God had done for them, how He delivered them, and provided for them. They would spend a week resting from all their work and cares and rejoice all day, every day! We then learned that after this high time in the Lord, after all the candlelights went out indicating the end of the feast, people would right way become sad.
I remember in our group discussion after the lesson I shared how we all do the same thing now. We’ll spend time thanking and rejoicing for all God has done, but then life happens and we forget our times of rejoicing, and our focus moves from God and onto our problems. As I write now I’m thinking…The Feast of Tabernacles was an instructed time of rejoicing, but when the candlelights went out, God our light, still remains and we can rejoice in Him everyday!
Here’s the truth: right now I could be a puddle in the corner curled up thinking on the things that have been occurring to myself and those I love, and the many things on my to-do list, but I’m choosing to rejoice in the fact that God is still good! God is still faithful, God is still providing, His grace is sufficient for us, and His mercies are still new every morning.
The parallels of pain and peace, worry and rejoicing, and fear and love are happening in all our lives. What will you give focus to? Joy is not ignoring your circumstances, it’s remembering God during your circumstances.
I want us to live a joyful life. I want us to truly lay things down at God’s feet and refuse to carry what is not meant for us to carry. No matter what comes our way or makes it’s way onto our full plates, I want us to dance, because God’s light remains. I want us to sing songs, because God is so worthy of praise and worship. I want us to live with certitude that God is Lord, He is good, He sees us, He hears us, and God loves us. The other day I gave God my cares. I prayed and shared all the things on my heart and mind. My hopes and my fears. I placed my load down, and trust God enough to not engage in thoughts and words that cause me to pick those things back up. I highly recommend taking time to lay it all out before God and remember, we are to rejoice in the Lord always.
My boys are so great at math. My 4 year old can do addition with numbers 1-20 and understands how adding 100s work, my 6 year old loves telling you a square root of a number and can do long equations in his head, and my 8 year old already knows how to find missing variables in an algebraic equation!
The other day I was in my room getting myself organized for the day. I overheard my boys playing and just sat and marveled at what I was hearing. They were playing some sort of game that involved doing various math equations. They were so quick with their answers and the numbers kept getting higher and higher, with the equations becoming more and more difficult. It was a proud mama moment. I then heard my 6 year old say with such speed and no hesitation, “Because 64 + 64 = 128”. In that moment I thought about how excellent my sons are in math. Then mom guilt kicked in along with teacher guilt on how reading is not their strongest subject right now. I then said to myself, “Well, I’ll just have to help them become strong where they are weak”.
At that moment Holy Spirit straight stopped me in my tracks and had me repeat that statement to myself. “I’ll just have to help them become strong where they are weak”. Holy Spirit then revealed that’s exactly what God does for us. He helps us become strong where we are weak.
Recently I’ve been in a faith fight and honestly struggling a lil bit with it. I get frustrated when my faith seems to be higher in the doubts that it is in the hopes.
In that moment I began a dialogue with God on all the things I have struggled with through the years and how those moments were the times He was working to help me become strong where I was weak. With each reference point I felt my faith begin to be built stronger and stronger. I needed that time to pause and remember all the storms I had been through, and how much stronger I came out on the other side.
I want to share with you today, we may not be the best at everything, and we will have areas of struggle from time to time; but count it joy because those same areas you feel you are weak in, will one day serve as a testimony of how far you’ve grown and became stronger!
Now know just like with my boys and their reading, repetition is key to learning, and so, you may face challenges more than once. Don’t fret because you feel like you’re there again, see it as God using repetition to strengthen you in that area. You will learn, and you will become strong where you are weak.
I legit have a back log of blogs and reviews I want to post, and must make time to post! Be sure to catch that, “make time,” not “find time”. We must make time for the things that are important to us. When we try to find time to do those things we desire to do, something will always come up, and you’ll find yourself searching for more time!
Anywho…..this is a life update blog!
Back in April I received my Early Elementary Montessori Teaching Certification!! I’m cheesing about that, because man was that hard work! I realized the other day I just glossed over that accomplishment. I didn’t take a pause to recognize how far God brought me through. I was in the boys school room cleaning up and I saw all my Montessori school books on the bookshelf. I marveled at the fact that I read all those huge binders and stayed up many nights answering over a thousand questions and writing thousands of words all to become a better teacher for my children, and more children to come in the future. I remember how challenging it was and times I even considered quitting….but God! He gave me grace and strength everyday, and for that I am so grateful.
Our Bishop back in NC who is like a mentor and Family to me and Thomas one day said someone told him, “Man you’re always in school”. I feel like I’m now that person who is always in school lol. I’m currently taking Spanish classes. Listen! I live in the United States, I live in FL, learning Spanish is essential in these streets! I told my friend, who is actually my Spanish teacher (the best teacher might I add tehehe), taking these classes with her are so special to me. I’ve been going to college and getting certifications for years and there were times I felt the pressure to go and get a degree and prove myself to others. Taking these Spanish classes is something I’m doing just for me. There’s no proving, there’s no assignment attached, there’s no pressure, its just something I’ve always wanted to do, and the fact that God blessed me with a friend who is willing to walk with me to teach me her first language, for that I am also, so grateful.
Last year I desired so much for someone to start a Women’s Bible Study, and during my time of praying and hoping, God set me up and told me to do it, lol! I battled so long with the idea of starting a Women’s Bible Study, all I could think about was what negative things people may say, who am I to do such a thing, and honestly, what if I do it, and no one comes… Well, in December last year, while I was battling with the assignment, and my insecurities, my husband came to me one day and said the Lord said to start January. I knew it was God and I humbled myself, accepted my assignment, and started Light Time the first week in January! I love our Wednesday Nights. We laugh, we cry, we share, we encourage, we just have a great time, and for that I am so grateful.
So after I started doing the Women’s Bible Study, I was still attending a great church in FL online. After a while, I kept telling my husband I needed more. Online church can be great for so many reasons, but what I was in need of was community. My husband and I spent many nights in prayer about direction and community. Well, on the ride back home from a trip we started talking about all the things we desired in a church community and all the things we’ve experienced within a church community that we desired not to have. While discussing this, Holy Spirit swelled within me and the car. I began to cry as I thought about all the souls in need of love and knowledge of the Savior. I would hint to Hubby maybe we haven’t joined the church we were going to because we were supposed to start one. We’ve known for years the call to ministry, but assumed it was far far farrrrrrrrr away from right now. Fast forward several weeks after that car ride and the Lord tells us in prayer to begin. Time passes and the Lord tells me “Now is the time”……Time goes by again and during our monthly prayer ZOOM God speaks and lets me know when He said Now, He meant Right Now! Well, we fought it, we battled within ourselves, we tried to see how our agendas could fit into God’s plan…and in the end we surrendered and canceled all thoughts that were in the way of our obedience and began Hope Family Gathering, meeting Sundays at 11am! These last few weeks of gathering right at our dining room table have been the best weeks of the year to me! I look forward to Sunday and love talking about the Lord, our journeys, and engaging in edifying and encouraging conversations. Lord, for that I am so very grateful!
Now for one last personal inside scoop update lol… Ya girl just turned 32 and I’m loving this moment in my life! I’m walking in that New New! Forgiving myself, choosing happiness, and remaining hopeful. Every year, on our birthdays, my Mom always asks us, “Do you feel older”. This year, I do! Not the typical getting older random knee and back pain…but the I’m growing wiser in certain areas and the things that used to bother me, don’t bother me so much anymore. I spent years caring about a size, and now I care about being healthy and well. I spent years caring so much about what people thought of me, and now I know God accepts me and I accept myself. I spent years trying to be what I thought was required of me, and now I feel so free just being handcrafted by God, me! For all these things, I am so grateful.
Whenever I’m talking to people about motherhood, or homeschooling, and I’m trying to encourage them, I tell them about a friend I have that has 9 children. I let them know they can take on the marathon of motherhood and homeschooling their children, because I’ve seen it done gracefully by my friend who does it everyday with 9 children. People usually say Wow… OMG…How?!… Well, for my first interview of the year I decided to ask my friend Kelly How and a bunch of other questions!
Kelly and her husband Chris are college friends of my husband Thomas. Thomas would always tell me stories about his college life and his friends Chris and Kelly. Before Kelly was a mother, she was a Dean’s List student at Virginia Tech and earned a 4.0 at UNLV. She loved studying and learning new things and while she was a student, she would work minimum wage jobs. Kelly always loved to organize and clean and has such a great sense of humor that she says she inherited from her mother. While in college Thomas tells me he, Chris, and Kelly started to really develop in their walk with Christ. At the age of 19, Kelly was a new Christian learning to fully trust Christ for salvation. Kelly may not have know it then, but God had so many blessings getting ready to come her way!
I believe becoming a mother changes so many of us in various ways. When asked how motherhood changed her, Kelly stated, “Motherhood has given me a more humbling and forgiving outlook on life. I can see my kids do silly things and think to myself, "What were you thinking?" Then I am reminded that I have done foolish things just like them and have been given grace”. That is so true. Your kids really are daily reminders about God’s love and grace.
When I met Kelly she was a stay at home mother, but she tells me that wasn’t the original plan. It wasn’t until after their first baby that Kelly desired to be a stay at home mother. “I was diligently studying to obtain a degree in biology and wanted to work in some type of healthcare career. I remember leaving our newborn baby with my husband while I went off to class and yearned to not be separated from him. I remember leaking breast milk in the lecture hall and wanted to run out and never come back. I remember pulling up to our apartment building after class and hearing newborn cries from the parking lot. My heart was torn”.
After the semester ended and after quitting her job, Kelly began spending her studying time, studying God’s word. “I started to come across verses like Titus 2:5 where God calls his daughters to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home. 1 Timothy 5:14 says, "I will therefore that the younger women get married, bear children, guide the house, and give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully”.
Kelly told me she realized the reason she had such a desire to be with her baby at home, was due to it being a law of God written on the canvas of her heart even though she had never heard those scriptures preached before or had read them before. I believe that’s one of the gifts of motherhood. God will give vision and insight to mothers for plans and ideas needed for the home. That’s why wise men always say, “Listen to your wife”. Ha!
After reading the scriptures Kelly and her husband Chris came together to make a life changing decision. “At the time we were buried in student debt from my husband's degree, and didn't know if we would ever live a comfortable life on just one income, but we decided to trust God's word and I completely abandoned my career plans and vowed to be home with our babies no matter what financial cost may come because of it”.
When I met Kelly she was not only a stay at home mother, but a homeschooling mother as well. She became my inspiration to decide to homeschool or children before we ever had kids! Kelly says a couple in their old apartment complex is who introduced her to homeschooling. At first she, like many people hadn’t heard of it and thought it was illegal or for Amish style communities only. Listen, I cannot tell you how many people have looked at me with such confusion and concern when I tell them I homeschool our boys lol
After Kelly’s neighbors introduced her to the idea of homeschooling she sat and thought back on her experiences in school. She remembered, “…The perverted things students would joke about, the bullying, the fights, the sexual harassment, and the atheistic teachers pushing their beliefs”.
Once again Kelly and her husband came together to make a decision. “After studying the Bible on child rearing it was clear that parents are the ones God commands to teach their children. In Deuteronomy 6 we are given the command to be teaching our children all throughout the day, when thou risest up, when thou walkest by the way, when though sittest in thine house. How could we be teaching our kids all throughout the day if we were to send them off to a school? Although school was years away for us at that point we decided we would again follow God's word and homeschool our children”.
One of the big reasons I decided to homeschool our children after seeing how highly Kelly spoke about it is, I remembered what a preacher said one day during a sermon at church. He talked about the greatest influencers in a child’s life. The preacher discussed how teachers are one of the biggest influencers in a child’s life. I went home and thought about it..most children spend 7-8hrs, 5 days a week with their teachers. I thought to myself, those early years are so important to a child’s development, and I would love to spend those precious moments with my children. Not only teaching them the traditional education subjects, but lessons about Black history, Christianity, and how to navigate life and be a person who leads and makes wise decisions. I know homeschooling may not be what works for every family, I am just so grateful to be blessed to teach our children, and of course I always encourage: if you can, give it a try! Best moments ever!
Ok back to the interview tehehe…
I was sure being a stay at home mother and homeschool teacher of 9 children raised many eyebrows and started lots of side conversations. Kelly shared she has faced opposition from her decision to stay at home and homeschool her children and has experienced haters from all sides; family, friends, church members, and strangers. “Chris had some family warn him about me taking "the easy way out" and not finishing college and living off of him. Wonder if they still think this was the easy way out now that we have 9 children …lol. People always coming up with off the wall scenarios of the dangers of me not having a career like, "What if your husband turns out to be a serial killer, drug addict, lazy bum, womanizer, or psycho." My answer to that is God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind and I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor seen his seed begging bread. Then there are all the homeschool haters, questioning socialization, academics, and independence. We had a cashier at Walmart ask if we had a certificate to teach our kids *eyeroll*”.
I cannot tell you the countless stories Kelly has shared with me over the years of people being people and doing way too much lol
Now for the section you’ve all been waiting for! Just how does Kelly manage a household of 11 people and 2 dogs?! "Life managing our home is loud, expensive, and full of unpredictable events daily. I pretty much expect something to be damaged or totally destroyed at least once a week lol. I can't say I enjoy all the times things are broken, but I chalk it up to the cost of having a large family and our 9 children are worth more than 1,000 broken couches lol. The 2 dogs just add an extra element of crazy to our home, but I love it. Our home is also filled with laughter, imagination, love, and memories that will last a lifetime".
Fun Fact: Kelly’s goldendoodle Molly is our goldendoodle Everest’s mother!
Chris and Kelly’s children are all so well behaved, intelligent, and kind. Whenever we get to visit their home, it is always organized and clean, and smells like some type of fresh essential oil blend! Their home runs like a well oiled machine, and we always have such a great time. I wanted to know what a typical day looked liked for them, because I had to know how she does it!
“I get up about 9 am and let the dogs out to potty, and do any chores left from the night before. Kids start waking up slowly and will want cereal. Our 2 teens are independent and work a self paced curriculum alone. I'll gather all the younger kids together for Bible lesson, history and science. Then we break off and do math and language on grade level. We struggle through the day with many interruptions. The baby is fussy and wants to nurse to sleep, someone needs a snack, diaper changes, phone calls from hubby at work driving in his truck, laundry, dishes, trash, it's never ending. Eventually I'll make dinner and try to grade all the school work. At the end of the night I do most of my cleaning, and take a shower”.
Kelly shared her husband works a fluctuating schedule and often comes home from work late at night between 10pm and 12am. She says the family waits up for him and he plays games with the kids before sending them to bed.
With all that needs to be done on a typical weekday in the Logan household I wanted to know if Kelly ever experienced being overwhelmed and how she deals with those types of feelings. She told me everyday does have the daunting task of being accountable for keeping the home clean, kids clean, dogs clean, self clean and completing school lessons on top of that. "When I am very overwhelmed I usually will vent to my husband and he'll come home and help with housework and school work. Sometimes taking a nap and eating something healthy like carrots and hummus will re-energize me enough to push through”.
I’m glad she said carrots and hummus, because I definitely reach for chocolate! I will try it! I am also glad her husband Chris is able to be home more to lend help and comfort. It is so important that every mother has someone in their corner cheering them on and able to help when needed. Chris is retired from the military now and I remember hearing about his long deployments. I’m a mess when Thomas is gone for a week for work, and I could not fathom having your husband away for months at a time. I asked Kelly about being a military wife and if she had any advice for other military wives out there. She said the frequent deployments felt so unnatural to have the family separated from each other and being away from his family so much was one of the reasons Chris decided to retire out. The advice Kelly had for the military wives was, “I would suggest moving near family to make the deployment go by faster and have the kids enjoy family members they don't usually see at their home base”.
Many people know my husband and I always say we want 8 kids, and we’ve said that since our courtship days. Thomas mentioned to me back then that his friends Chris and Kelly wanted 10 kids. Kelly said she and her husband jokingly said they wanted 10 kids when they first met, 5 boys and 5 girls, but in reality she was planning a career path and after their first son she picked up birth control pills at her 6 week check up. Kelly shared that while she was reading scriptures that supported her transitioning from the career path to being a keeper of the home, she began to see scriptures about large families. “In the Bible children aren't looked at as a burden but an heritage of the Lord”. She said she even discovered a man named Onan was killed in the Bible for practicing a form of birth control. (Genesis 38:8-10) Kelly continued to learn about birth control. “I also learned that many birth control pills caused silent abortions by allowing conception to take place, but cause the uterine lining to not allow implantation thus flushing out the baby. I had only taken a few of the birth control pills before throwing them in the trash and we were blessed with the next baby 16 months later!”
Even though they jokingly said they wanted 10 children, they are close to having what they said! Ha, the power of words! I asked Kelly if they would like to have more children she said, “We are still trusting God with his blessings for more children, but if 9 is what He has given we are happy with that too!”
Chris and Kelly have 6 boys and 3 girls. Kelly has gone through the labor and birth process 9 times! I was curious to learn about her different birth experiences. Kelly has experienced hospital births, home births, and an unassisted home birth. She has had 7 hospital births and 2 home births. Kelly has also experienced placental abruption, preterm labor, and an emergency c section. She’s strong on all levels! Kelly first opted for a home birth after having 4 natural hospital births that had no medical interventions. The hospital births she encountered had unsanitary conditions, fear mongering tactics used to speed up her labors, pressures for Pitocin, and she faced ridicule for going against hospital birth medical procedure recommendations. Kelly said she loved their first midwife and home birth, but her last home birth experience made her go back to hospital births for their last 3 children.
“When we moved back to Virginia we hired a midwife team who ended up abandoning us due to a stalled labor and we went unassisted. Although it was unassisted on paper we did have a friend who retired from midwifery en route to our home during labor and checked everything out for us after the birth. I personally don't recommend going unassisted without the care of an experienced midwife. If you are healthy chances are everything will be fine, but birth can be unpredictable at times. Midwives are seen performing their roles in the Bible, most famously Shiphra and Puah in Exodus and God blessed them for their fear of Him”.
Kelly says she believes midwives are valuable, but plans to do hospital births for any future babies.
As a home birther myself you betta believe I was upset to learn they had a rough experience with their second home birth team! I am glad God’s protection was over them and their baby. Whether you desire hospital or home births in the future, having a great birth team is my prayer for Kelly and all of you.
When it comes to motherhood, no matter the amount of children you have, faith can be a source of strength and guidance. “My faith is the only reason I even am a mother. I never would have wanted children in my worldly mindset of feminism. I watched firsthand my dad's alcohol addiction and infidelity destroy our family and I said I would never want to ever be tied down to any man by having children only for him to be a deadbeat. Faith is everything to me in my role as a mother. It is of great comfort to me to know the will of God laid out clearly in the Bible for mothers and to walk in it”.
Being called mother is one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me. I’ve always wanted to be a mom and I feel so blessed to live out that dream everyday. As the interview draws near to the end, I asked Kelly about the rewarding things of motherhood. Kelly stated the most rewarding thing about motherhood for her was, “That magical moment when you first hold your new little one fresh from the womb. Nothing really compares to that moment for me, but a close second is when I see my children making the right biblical decisions”.
I enjoyed learning more about my friend and hearing about her life as a mother. We ended the interview with one last question. I believe every mother should not only have dreams for their marriage and children, but they should also take time to have personal dreams/goals for themselves. I asked Kelly what was a personal dream/goal she had, and what was something special she does for herself. “Some goals I have are to learn Spanish fluently, enjoy life, and be content. My most recent adventure outside of motherhood has been puppy breeding as you already know…lol”.
Here is a photo of Kelly’s beautiful family below! Also, if you are interested in goldendoodle puppies, Kelly is the absolute best breeder you will find! If you have any more questions for Kelly be sure to comment them below.
The wilderness is often thought of, as a place of wandering and wondering. It’s often viewed as this awkward phase between where you’ve been and where you’re trying to go. It’s the not so fun season in your life. I recently read a book that completely changed how I see the wilderness!
Many treat their wilderness season as a negative time in their life that they are so desperately wanting to be delivered from. By the end of today’s blog, you’ll have a new appreciation for your time in The Wilderness. Many things occur during this time and I want to share some great highlights of wilderness living.
In the wilderness you become separated. People you once rolled with, seem to roll out of your life. You find yourself feeling alone at times. You feel this awkward difference between you and others. You feel people are not seeing what you are seeing, or not feeling what you are feeling. Choose to view all these things as a positive! Separation sparks growth in identity and knowledge. I remember feeling so down on myself when a woman I viewed as a very close friend decided a friendship with me was not what she wanted anymore. Girl……talk about some feelings hurt! I felt so less than and I felt my sense of worth going on a steady decline. It was during this time I found my worth in Christ. I learned to not place my worth in man’s approval or acceptance of me. I found out what that old school song meant when it said, What a friend we have in Jesus. The more I sought Christ, the greater my esteem became, because I realized that a great God loved me, and I was worthy. I learned to appreciate the great people God placed in my life, and to recognize their value. This is probably why I love to encourage people so much. I know what it’s like to feel less than, and I love to make everyone feel seen, heard, and valued.
In the wilderness you experience quietness. You’ve been separated and now you’re alone with your many thoughts. Sometimes you even feel as though God is quiet and not responding at the speed you want Him to. When life goes quiet, that’s that perfect time to get closer to God. That’s why He had to separate you, He wants some alone time with you! Take the quiet time and seek God with all you have. Give Him that new time you have. Just think…how much better you’re going to be able to hear the Lord when all that extra outside and internal noise has grown quiet. Enjoy resting in his presence and peace. Discover new things about the Lord and yourself.
In the wilderness you get prepared. All that alone time is not for nothing. Ideas, information, and strategies are given. This time prepares you for the next season you are about to enter. You should spend this time planning and allowing God to walk you through the things you are viewing as, I’m going through. This time is not a set back, but a set up. Think about some of the people who went through the wilderness; Moses, The Israelites, and Jesus. What they experienced in the wilderness prepared them for their next season. Moses became a great leader who led the people of God out of the hands of their oppressor. The Israelites entered the Promised Land. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, overcame temptation, and His ministry days began. Y’all I’m telling you, you may be experiencing some rough and tough times right now in your wilderness season, but see the set up forming. See the preparations happening, and see that victorious light beaming ahead!
In the wilderness you still receive blessings. I’ve mentioned this before in another blog, the parallels of living life with joy. I learned this from a book written by Rick Warren’s wife, and I never forgot it. Imagine living life as if on a train track, while moving along there are two sides of the track; one side is all the sucky stuff happening, and parallel to it on the other side is all the amazing things happening. We get to choose what side we focus on. It is never only bad, then only good happening. Great and not so great things are happening at the same time, it’s up to us which will be our focus. Raw moment, I got some sucky stuff going on in my life, but you know what, I have so many blessings occurring everyday in my life! I refuse to allow the things I’m not happy about to over shadow all the answered prayers in front of my face!
The wilderness can be full of challenging times. The wonderful thing about those challenges is they are built specifically for you to come out victorious! You may be in a wilderness, you may have just come out of one, you may be getting ready to enter one; know that victory is on the other side. Seek God and enjoy this time with Him. Let Him love on you, provide for you, show you His glory, and prepare you. See the beauty that can only be discovered in The Wilderness.
A few weeks ago I was sitting in the house like most of us, due to the pandemic, and I was simply put, bored! I had the little kid pouty face thinking, Ugh I’m so bored, I need to get some sunshine and do something. Later that day I went to go play in our pool with the boys and had such a great time. While in the pool I realized how boredom is a blessing! As I leaned on a pool noodle staring up at the beautiful magnolia trees in our backyard I almost cried, ok one tear slipped out, but no one saw lol. I thought about my life and all the things I endured over the years. I thought about all the many challenges the world has faced during the pandemic, and there I was, safe at my home, bored. I was healthy, blessed, and happy. I became so happy with boredom.
Growing up we were not allowed to say we were bored. From my generation and before, if a child said they was bored, it became an open invitation for parents to request said child to do chores! As an adult I’ll be honest, I give my kids the, “Oh…you’re bored? Well, how about you help Mommy clean since you have some free time!” They always end up finding something to do, ha!
As an adult I’ve had few moments of boredom, because to be bored means you have time. How many of us have ample time to spare? My husband and I always asks ourselves, how do people find time to watch all those shows? I currently have 1 show I watch faithfully every Friday night, and even so, most of the time, I end up having to watch the recording late at night.
I’m sharing all these random things to tell you, be happy when you are bored, because that means you have been blessed with time. You have been blessed to be free of worry in that moment. In that moment, you are safe. In that moment God has given you rest, and enough peace to be able to say you have nothing to do. You get to be unoccupied. Your mind has been cleared! Hallelujah!
So the next time you feel bored, thank God, and may sometime this week, you have a moment of Happy Boredom!
I have had the title of today’s blog written on my calendar for over a month! Been busy doing home renovation projects and getting my boys ready for their new school year. Oh, the boys have started their new school year and I have finally finalized their lesson plans for the year! Whew…Now I’m ready to get back on my neglected blog and share with you all many things I’ve been working on over the year.
I’m not sure if I already told you all or not, but my word for the year is Release. I am not only looking forward to things being released to me, but things being released off of me. I’ve been focused the last few years on getting my mental health together. Putting in the work and time to truly allow my mind to be transformed and renewed. It will amaze you, the many things in our lives that are directly influenced by our mindsets.
A month or so ago I was fasting with my Sis-In-Loves (How some saved folk say Sis-In-Law), and we were sharing our experiences during the fast. We all joked about how being on the fast removed all our go-to coping mechanisms. When our crutches were removed, we were then forced to rely on God instead, which we all agreed should have been our go-to in the first place!
Prior to being on the fast I did a healthy eating devotional with a friend from church. The author talked about comfort foods and the need for us to rely on God for comfort instead of sweets and snacks. I never thought I was one seeking food over God and that hit me hard! I knew I was an emotional eater, but it wasn’t until that moment I realized the times in my life I ran towards the short lived comfort of food, instead of the lasting comfort of my loving Father God.
When you go on a fast you choose something you love to eat or enjoy doing that you feel takes up more room than it should in your life, and you choose to devote more time to Christ. The beginning is usually the hardest, as you realize just how much time and effort went into things other than the building of your faith and relationship with God. As time goes on, you have this grand moment, though sometimes just a minute of your time, when you come to grips that the things you used to run to, you don’t need to run to anymore; and you don’t want to run to anymore.
Well, on our fast, three of the things I was fasting from was, sweets, long scroll time on social media, and television higher than a PG rating. I saw your face as you read that, and I think I even heard a chuckle, but listen, as the preachers like to say, “Stay with me. I’m going somewhere with this”. I actually started out fasting from many different foods, but after my body almost gave up the ghost twice from lack of nourishment, I realized I wasn’t meant to reach that level of holiness, and had to just cut out sweets. Use discernment when fasting!
I had reached the halfway mark on our fast and Holy Sprit seriously lead me to a thinking session, because I know I would not have willingly went there on my own.
One day I was sitting on my bed and some provoking thoughts came: Why do I run to sweets, socials, and tv so much? Why am I finding it so hard this season to turn away from them? What pull do they have on me? What am I seeking to get out of them, that I’m supposed to be getting from God? When did it start?
Soooo….you know I was sitting in my room messed up for a minute right?!
After some recalling and analyzing I realized I was seeking two things from the entertainment and food: Acceptance and Comfort…..Mind Blown… I know! I told you it had to be Holy Spirit, because it sure nuff wasn’t me!
I looked back over my life and I realized food became a comfort for me. I’ve experienced many dark days in my past, and many nights I would not go to sleep, but instead, would stay up eating and watching tv to numb my pain and to escape my feelings and environment. Food and Television became my comfort zones, a safe place of refuge. I’m starting to reach the real vulnerable place right now….
I began to see the need for comfort, then I wanted to examine the desire for acceptance. Ahhh to be accepted. It is a world wide desire. I had allowed myself to once again fall into the social media trap of wanting to be seen and heard. I see so many people online fall into that trap and then post videos of how they’re trying to come up out of depression, or how they stepped away for so long because it was too much. I thought about how I felt after scrolling so much. Although many posts I saw were entertaining, and many made me smile, after all the scrolling though, I came up empty.
I would get up from my scrolling and realize how much time had passed and all I was doing was siting there watching other peoples life and compared mine to it. DO NOT COMPARE!
I confessed to my husband one day that I absolutely love and enjoy my life so much, and then I scroll and start to take out the good life measuring stick and think I have so far to go. I found myself wanting my life to look like others and wanting others to look at me and make me feel like I was worth something.
Ouch….this is getting way too personal, too real, too fast!
On a real tip, I was still holding so much hurt from people who literally made me feel like I was nothing, that any double tap or comment that was positive I so badly wanted, because I allowed those things to make me feel as if I was being seen, and that for a moment, someone thought I was worth the time.
Let me stop right there and say, that day in my room, Holy Spirit lead me to this truth: Get your Acceptance and Comfort from God! He will not fail you! I thought about all the mean folk I experienced and how they made me feel, then I thought about how God made me feel. I thought about all the people I wanted to impress and I wanted to accept me, and I realized I’m accepted by The King Jesus! I thought about the sweets and countless hours of comedy I ingested that never filled me, but in the presence of God my cup would run over.
If you’ve found yourself seeking to feel acceptance and comfort from anything other than The Lord, today decide to replace those empty moments with Him. He accepts you just as you are, and He thinks the world of you. God will comfort you like no other. I may be a work in progress, but I’m glad to say I’m making progress.
Yesterday morning I was sipping my tea, and was lead to read the words hanging from the end of my tea bag. The words said: Trust Creates Peace. You do realize God will speak to you through anyone and anything! I sat there with those words and my mind began to recall all the times in my life I saw that statement demonstrated, and how I needed to remember those times in that moment. In that moment, I was sipping tea to relax and put my mind at ease before my day started. There God was, saying Let Me get this word to her while she’s still and quiet.
One of the memories that I remembered were all the times my kids were hesitant to try or do something, but the moment I looked into their big brown eyes and said, “Trust me”, their worries went away and they conquered their fears.
Trust really does create peace. Peace is the absence of worry. Worry is the absence of trust. So, if you want to stop worrying and you need some peace, trust!
Here’s the thing though, who and what are you putting your trust in? Are you solely relying on people or a particular situation to be deemed perfect in your eyes to finally have peace? Peace comes from Jesus alone. You can create a peaceful environment, but to experience true peace, it can only be given from a beyond this world God. God is above all things and can help ease your mind.
Think about what you’re hoping for…
Think about what changes you’re desiring…
Think about the decisions your unsure of…
Think about the confusion you have…
Think about what is so frustrating right now…
Think about that prayer you keep praying…
God is staring right into your beautiful eyes saying, “Trust Me”.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength”.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (KJV)
I am speaking as someone who not only knows the above to be true, but who herself needs to remember that the above is true. Today, I want you to be encouraged and to finally see beyond your current faith fight. There is another side to what you’re believing God for, or feel like you are struggling to believe. You may be struggling to see the answers and finding it hard to see the light in the midst of the darkness around you, but I tell you: Trust in God. Fully trust.
I pray you experience total peace this week just like my Beans did the day I captured today’s blog photo. That day we were at the Beach and the waves were coming high and fast. Beans wanted to go further in the water, but would run towards the shore every time the waves would come. I watched him try and run, try and run, try and run again. As I watched him, I began to walk out into the water adjacent to him. He saw me and called out my name, “Mommy!” I walked over to him and asked, “Do you want to go further in the water?” He said, “Yes”. I then told him that I would hold his hand so he could go further. We did it once, and then for the rest of our time at the beach, whenever Beans wanted to go further he would just run up to me and hold my hand. The great thing was, without a word, his brothers started to do the same.
God has been watching you try and run, try and run, and He is right there waiting to take you where you want to go. Just call out to Him, let Him lead you, submit control, and trust. When you learn to fully trust God, it has the power to not only bring peace to your life, but it will affect the lives around you. I’ll leave you with a question I want you to sit with today…
What does fully trusting God look like in my situation?
Before Christmas my kids kept seeing so many toy commercials that would interrupt their cartoons and work hard to grab their attention. Sometimes they would see a cool toy and yell, “Mommy come here, come here before you miss it!” They would then tell me how the toy on screen was one they don’t have, and how they believed somehow their life would benefit greatly, if said toy were to somehow magically appear in our home. Out of all the toy commercials they saw, the commercial they all were most excited about was a commercial for Snackeez!
My kids are currently 3, 5, and 7, and they were hyped about a cup! My middle son who loves to explain everything, kept telling us how convenient the Snackeez would be, and how it would add to our lives to be able to sip and snack out of the same device. Fast forward, Christmas Day……They received their Snackeez! The look on their faces and the excitement in their screams made that one small purchase worth it. That little thing meant so much to my kids, and to see how happy it made them, meant so much to me.
The other day my husband had to return to the office for work. A few days before he had to go, he told me about it, and he looked so worried to tell me; because he knew of my previous reactions to news about him having to go anywhere during Covid that was not the grocery store! My reaction this time…..was no different. Mama was not happy! I may have said some words about people I had to repent for later…just saying. The night before hubby had to go into the office, he found out the decision was finalized and he sure nuff had to go. I was still having a rough time with it. My mind was racing and so filled with what ifs and whys.
Well, that morning came and hubby got all dressed up for work and packed his work bag and was headed out the door. The kids were surprisingly still asleep and now I was in my kitchen, early morning, in a completely silent home. The night before, I cried out to God and asked Him one simple request, “No matter what must happen, please give me peace and be with me”. As I stood in my kitchen looking out the window at the beautiful morning sky, and the way the leaves on the trees perfectly seemed to be waving to a rhythm, I felt complete peace. It was peace that felt so good, all I could do was start smiling.
My smiles ended up shifting to my hands raised and tears rolling down my face. I became so over joyed that a moment I thought would be so hard, God had given me peace to make it through. He had answered my prayer from the night before. My prayer wasn’t long or eloquent, in fact, I was struggling to pray, because I was experiencing so many emotions. What little strength I had left, I decided to be straight up with God, and tell Him, I need help.
After I gave God praise, I decided to go and pray to give Him more thanks. While sitting there I realized that it’s the little things God does that makes the biggest impact on my heart. I have countless stories of how something seemingly so small in the grand scheme of things, could mean so much to me; and the fact that God shows that the little things I care about, He cares about; means the world to me!
I used to work at a community college in the admissions office back in NC. I had been out of work for a little while and was so grateful for the opportunity. Prior to getting the job, I would always start my days and end my days in our upstairs prayer closet. I was a homemaker with nothing but time in the morning. Once I got the job, my morning routine had to change. God had been so good to me and I decided one night that no matter how much or how little time I had in the morning before work, I would go up those steps, get on my knees, and pray.
Some mornings I would be running late, and as I would get ready to open the garage door in a rush to get to the car, I would hear that still small voice say, “No matter how much, or how little”. I had many 2 minute prayer days, but every time, every single time, God would show up. I would feel His peace, and He would redeem the time. I promise you, I would go to pray knowing I had 5min to get to work, and somehow, I would make it right on time, or my boss wouldn’t be there so I could slide in lol. I couldn’t understand how it could be 7:30am, and after I kneeled in prayer for a while, it would be 7:32am when I arrived at work!
I said all that to say, it’s the little things. The little decision I made to give God time no matter how much or how little, He honored it. He moved on my behalf. He has shown me, that the little things is where He moves greatly. The little moments with my children, I feel His love. The little circumstances that pop up, He’ll be right there to see me through. It is the little steps I take trying, just trying, and He’ll make big moves just for little ol’ me. Today I feel so blessed for every little moment in time where God paused life around me to make me know He is near. Today, think back on a moment that was seemingly small, that had a beautifully grand impact on your heart, and simply tell God: Thank you, Thank you Lord for the little things.