Life: It’s a Process

I was walking down the back staircase of a hospital when I saw this mural. My husband chuckled when I stopped my descent to take a pic, but when told him it would be for a blog, he totally got it, because he’s amazing like that.

To every challenge, every improvement, every healing, every victory, there has to be a process of steps to bring you to that positive outcome. Courage, strength, endurance, recovery and accomplishing goals don’t just happen miraculously or overnight. There are always steps involved, and sometimes, those necessary steps have to be taken meticulously and can even be excruciating.

However, if you are willing to put forth the time, effort and tenacity to take them, you can reach your goal, and you can shout your victory!

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Stand Tall

Remember…

You can do this hard thing that opposes you! You can persevere! So, stand a little taller. Hold your sword a little higher, and fight! Fight to win!

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

Why wait?

So, what will you do in the new year of 2018?

Don’t wait for tomorrow, for none is guaranteed tomorrow. We are not guaranteed our next breath. Make your decision. Make you plan. Make your choice. Get moving, and start today. You can do this thing! Just believe!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

Start Today

Happy New Year’s!

New Years Resolutions…

Almost everyone has an opinion on them or at least some thought toward them. Some get all geared up to make huge resolutions, change of habits, altering routines, plans to transform their health, appearance, attitude and lifestyles. Some get just as amped up at the declaration to NOT make resolutions, because (in their opinion) “those never really work anyway!” I’m not here to argue either point, but I am here to tell you, TODAY is the day to make a definitive decision and tomorrow may be too late. My pastor has this phrase, “You will never become tomorrow what you’re not doing today.” Whatever you put off till tomorrow, you will just as easily put it off again the next day and the next.

Let me bring this point home to our hearts by a question or two … what is a goal you set or maybe something you thought at the beginning of 2017 that you planned to accomplish? Did you accomplish it, and if so, how long did it take? What if your reality for tomorrow was only determined by what you did today? What if you were going to be blessed tomorrow by what you give today? Or better yet, What if you were guaranteed to get blessed in 2018, and that blessing was going to come in the form of a pay raise in the exact amount of the giving, blessings, or accomplished things you did in 2017? What would that blessing look like??

So, if you’re plan is to lose weight, stop smoking, start eating right or even go to bed at a better hour, don’t wait for the clock to strike midnight tonight to change your ways. Do it today! Do it NOW!! As the old adage goes, “There’s no better time than the present!”

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There’s no better time to start than right now, and if you’re one of those who are adamantly opposed to setting resolutions, there’s still something to be said about setting goals and doing a little self improvement. Start there for yourselves.

Set a goal.

Chase a dream.

Start TODAY!

Choose Well

I saw this post the other day, and I thought, “This describes exactly how I’m feeling and what I needed to hear today!” It was Christmas Eve morning. I had 2 church services to attend, songs to sing while on praise team, a devotion to share during offering, Christmas gifts to deliver, people to greet and names to remember, smiles to give and necks to hug. All that before 11:30 in the morning, and I’m not exactly a morning person… Really, it was no different than any other Sunday (except the gifts), and I really do love what I do; yet, that morning, I was feeling frazzled, stressed out and insecure.

Honestly, I had stayed up too late the night before, and I was feeling weary. I had been excited about Christmas coming, and I had gotten everything done about 11:00pm; yet, I just kind of piddled until I got sleepy, an hour after midnight, which doesn’t fare too well when you rise at 6:00am on Sunday!

I was, also, going through a bit of an emotional battle, feeling unworthy, insignificant and internally “bluesy.” All of this was adding up to make the day a very sour lemon! Then, I came across this pic that I had just saved the night before, thinking I might use it for a blog one day, (lol!) and it was as if everything came full circle right a that moment. I was reminded of my philosophy for living: Life is what you make it. It’s all in your perspective and the choices you make.

I didn’t need to let my circumstances rule my emotions. I didn’t need to allow my feelings to be my guide, and I could not permit my choice of lack of sleep and struggling thought patterns to dictate how I would worship my God, engage with people, and follow through with the commitments I had made.

I had a choice to make, and I decided to choose well. I chose to breathe it all in. I chose to slow down, be deliberate and be aware. I chose to have joy, to rejoice in our Savior, and to be thankful in my heart and my head. I chose to savor life and those around me. I chose to smile and allow the wonder and happiness of the moments to not only fill my smile but to fill my soul and my whole being.

It was Christmas Eve, and this one only comes once. More importantly, it was Sunday, and we live in a free country where we can still worship as a congregation. We serve a great God who is worthy of all our praise! I wasn’t going to miss that! It was, also, the day I get to see a lot of people who may or may not be there tomorrow, because after all, none of us are guaranteed the next breathe, and in this crazy world, you never know what might happen!

It was an amazing day, and I am so thankful I made the right choices. 😊

We all have choices to make everyday, every hour, and even minute to minute. What will you choose today?

Fight the Good Fight

This life will have it’s ups and downs. We will have our good days and our bad days. We will have our moments when we feel on top of the world and then the very next moment, we can feel as if our world has come crashing down around us. This is the journey called LIFE. It is what it is.

Sometimes, the lows will be in physical form, maybe a ridicule from a friend, a sickness/disease or an actual assault from an enemy. Other times, it will be an emotional conflict or a spiritual confrontation that we must face. However, the times I have found to be the most difficult are those mental battles the devil will try to wage.

He knows our weak spots, our vulnerabilities, our tender places we try to hide. You know, the ones we so eloquently maintain and cover up that they seem to no longer exist. Yes, when we are allowing Christ to be strong through us, these sensitive areas are shielded by His strength. These liabilities are covered by our shield of faith. However, sometimes, we can start listening to the enemy’s lies, accusations and doubts of our identity in Christ. This is when we lower our shield, and he takes a shot to wound us.

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Just because we serve God, and just because we have been Christians for a long time doesn’t mean tough seasons in life never come. The truth of our faith and Christian maturity is what we do when these hard times come. When we’ve been knocked down on the canvas again, the referee is starting the count, and the crowd believes it’s over, THIS is when it all comes down to truth:  THE TRUTH OF OUR CHARACTER.

These are the moments that matter the most. Will we fight the GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH and lay hold on eternal life, or will we lay down our weapons and quit? Will we finish what we’ve started when we made the confession of our faith in the beginning, or will we walk away and give it all up? It is up to us to decide.

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What we decide will not only effect OUR outcome, but it can leave a legacy behind that affects many generations to come…

Be the Storm

Sometimes, when you’ve done all to stand, you’ve just got to retain your ground and fight once more. Dig in and pay the retribution upon the enemy’s head. Don’t give up now. Don’t give in. You’ve come too far to quit! 

Turn the tables on him. Be the whirlwind. Become the storm he thinks he has brought into your life. Bow up and don’t turn back until he is defeated!

Trust me. He won’t give up till he thinks he has won…or knows you have instead. So, pick up that sword of the Spirit and that shield of Faith one more time. Square your shoulders and hold your head up high. Fight like there’s no tomorrow. 

You can do this thing! Now, WIN!


“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13


Get Back Up Again

“Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step.” – Oswald Chambers

Toddlers toddle along, walking, falling, holding on, letting go, falling, and getting up again. Constantly, all day, until they finally master the walking. I think we have a lot to learn from these little guys. 
  How often do we let mistakes and missed opportunities impede us from moving forward? How many times do we look back to past failures and let them hinder us from trying new things? I’d venture to guess it’s quite often. It’s human nature to say, “Well, I messed that up. Great. I’ll never get another chance.” Or “I’ve always been bad at this, why should I try again?” 

We get so consumed on those past things, and I believe, often times, that’s why we get tripped up this time. When you’re learning to walk, you can’t look back the entire time. You can’t stay focused on what’s behind you, because you’ll miss out on the very things which are in front of you! Stop believing just because you have a shattered, damaged or imperfect past that your future is destined to be the same. 

That’s not what Christ promised for us! He said, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11) He also said, “Nothing is impossible for God.” Here’s the cool part… When we start leaning on Him, rather than ourselves, when we start allowing Him To do the work within and through us, there is NOTHING we can’t do, because He’s doing the work. 

So what, if we fall down, trip up; we’re just like those little kiddos learning to walk! It doesn’t matter how many times you feel like you’ve failed yesterday. The important part of failing is getting up today! So, get back up again! Dust yourself off. Ask for a little assistance from Him and those spiritual leaders He’s placed in your life, and try again! You’ll be amazed how fast you’ll run and achieve! 

Falling Forward…

Falling makes us wiser. Falling makes us stronger. It makes us more aware of what needs to happen differently the next time. It makes us more conscious of the change that must come, most of the time within, for us to succeed.

Yet, too often, we will resist falling. We run away from failures, and we hide from imperfections and mistakes. We believe everything must be picture perfect the first time around. We believe if there are any mistakes involved in our first try, then we are destined for a lifetime of misery, a lifetime of failure. 

Maybe I’m just talking to myself here. Maybe it’s just me who struggles at times with wanting everything to be pristine perfect. Have you been there? Do you ever wrestle with these truths? 

Can I tell you? There is HOPE! There is a promise we can hold onto! The Word says, “There is nothing impossible with God.” (Emphasis, mine) That Scripture isn’t there simply as a “feel good” word. He didn’t include it just to taunt you and make you think He was kidding. No, God means what He says, and He keeps the promises He gives us. 

So, the next time things don’t go exactly as planned, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Sometimes, you might have needed a little more preparation. Other times, you need a little more practice, and often times, you just need a lot more patience! 

There are other factors that may contribute, but these can give you a great start. When you’re struggling to succeed, and you’re tempted to quit, I encourage you to look at a toddler learning to walk, or a teenager learning to drive, or maybe even, a more seasoned folk learning a new trade. Do they always succeed on the very first try? I venture to guess that answer is a big, fat, “NO!” So, why don’t you give yourself a little more breathing room, a lot more grace and take that situation to God, and let Him help you try one more time. 😉

The Long Walk Up

Originally posted December 14, 2014… Pray you’re encouraged today…

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425 Steps…Four Hundred. Twenty-Five. That’s a lot of steps…

Walking up those stairs, I realized how out of shape I am! I kept pushing forward, never relenting, but I recognized that I could have been much better prepared than I was. I also recognized I could’ve quit. I could’ve chose not to finish. I could’ve decided to turn around. If I had, I would’ve missed out on the prize: to finish!

Isn’t that how life is sometimes? We just keep going on, through our days, staying busy, fulfilling our agendas and our ambitions for each given day. Then, unexpectantly, something changes. Something presents itself as a challenge. Something proves to be a worthy opponent in this battle of life. So, we face the obstacle(s) which lies ahead, and we press on toward the mark, toward our goal, toward the finish line. If we’re going to win, we must fight.

If we’re going to succeed, we must never give up. We must keep going, even when it hurts. We must press on, even when our knees shake with fear. We must never give up, no matter who is screaming at us, no matter how much we believe we’ve lost and no matter what “they” say, we must keep pushing forward.

Success doesn’t come by giving up. Achievements don’t arrive by quitting. Nothing is ever gained by stopping in the middle or right before the finish line. To win, sometimes, we must give “till it hurts.” To obtain the victory, often times, we shed some “blood, sweat and tears.”

Oh, but when we’ve crossed that finish line, just like the day I climbed to the top of those stairs…my muscles were burning, and my knees were screaming, but when I reached the top, I stood a little taller. I breathed a little deeper, and I smiled a little bigger. I did it. I had made it. I had won. I had achieved the reward of success. Now, that’s a great feeling!

Don’t give up in the middle of the race! Keep pressing in! You can do this! You can make it! You Can WIN!! 🙂

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14