Be Authentically You, No One Else

I wonder if anyone other than myself has noticed in most television and internet interviews (Zoom calls) of the rich and famous, they for the most part don’t live life “over the top” (huge fancy homes) as we think they do. Their homes look like some of ours, yet so many of us are striving for what we think the “lifestyle of the rich and famous” looks like; bigger,better, best! They can afford the finer things in life but seem to be living beneath their means.

Let’s learn another life lesson from COVID-19, let’s live within our own means, no one else’s. Let’s stop trying to impress people who don’t matter to our true happiness. When we close our doors to the outside world all that should matter is what brings us true happiness and satisfaction.

Comparison kills spirits and relationships and will keep us unhappy, in debt and stressed out trying to live “The good life”

Bigger is not always better! Find inner peace through knowing that God is going to take care of you.

Trust Him enough to know what He wants for you. Eternal life and fullness of joy here on earth.

3 John 2-5

Trying times again

When God allows a “Storm” in your life, it has a purpose and He is going to be with you through it! One of my favorite Gospel radio personalities KD Bowe Praise 102.5 Atlanta said recently, “It matters not so much what we go through but it is more about how we go through hard times that can either draw us closer to God or cause us to fall away from Him“.

Hardships are a part of life but just as a young man I heard interviewed after the Houston flood understood that if God brought him and his family to this point in his life (The loss of everything he possessed) he believed that God would bless him to get through it. He didn’t sound bitter at all, as a matter of fact, when asked by the reporter what he was going to do, his response was “I don’t know but I’m thankful, then he said “God is good”. He was thankful and he recognized that he and his family were safe and were going to be fine, and I believe they will because he stood for the kingdom of God proudly and boldly in the face of what may have been his darkest moment as a young man, a husband and a father. His heart was pure in the midst of total devastation, and his trust was in God.

Gods word says “Man born of a woman is of a few days and full of trouble” Job 14:1, and as hard as it seems during those trying times, they are meant to strengthen our faith in God because we are trusting Him to help us through it, James 1:3. So, yes it matters more how we go through tough times than it does what we go through.

What have I missed

I was listening to the radio as I do most days and heard an individual talking about spending time with his grandchildren. He said he took them to the playground and realized he left his cell phone home, in a moment of panic he thought “I’m out of touch with everyone”, on second thought he said, “we used to be okay with being out of touch and it was okay because it was normal”.

Note for the first time, he was totally present with his grandchildren, he listened to their every comment, their every giggle and their calls, “Watch this Papa, Did you see that Papa”. They wanted to show him all their little tricks and see him smile and say “That was great” or “Be careful now”. He immediately got sad because he knew how quickly this time would pass, and who knows how many beautiful memories he had actually missed out on while paying more attention to his cell phone in the past, only glancing up here and there. In that moment he vowed to never let that happen again. He would give his full attention and be present in whatever he was doing.

The problem was not the device, it was that he allowed that little thing to take priority over most everything.

We search everything, we use them in place of conversations we used to have with others. They seem to be a best friend to some and to others their everything! I must admit it was one of my fears for young people when they first came out, as I observed them texting everything instead of having real conversations. They used them in settings to not feel obligated to engage or be a part of what was going on. Now adults are doing the same thing, just pay attention the next time you’re in a waiting room or in line for something.

Let’s make a decision to be present, to engage others, time is fleeting as I have come to realize especially since Covid 19 struck our country. Days seem to run together, it’s the end of the week again before I know it and almost the end of 2020. Worst for me is I haven’t seen my own grandchildren since the first of the year. They are military families in Florida. I really miss just watching them play in my yard full of joy, care free and just being kids at “Nanny and Papa’s house”.

I believe there’s a lesson for us all in this pandemic. We don’t need so much stuff, so much activity, so much anything. We need people and personal interaction. We had too much “STUFF” going on, we had to much stuff period! I know because I got rid of a lot of it in the beginning of the pandemic when there was nothing else to do but clean out closets.

Let’s pray for a total mind and heart RESET, pray for our country to return to a simpler time. Let’s appreciate one another more because so many of us have lost loved ones to this terrible virus and probably missed out on a lot with loved ones because we were absorbed in our own lives and those dang phones!

Remember to live for today, tomorrow is not promised.

James 4:13

Chili Recipe

Soooo good. I used a chili pack (2tbsp) instead of chili powder. I used 1 1/2 Tbsps cumin instead of two. I did not use any pepper and chicken broth instead of beef because I didn’t have beef. Oh and black beans instead of kidney. It was amazing!!!

A Prayer for Our Husbands Now and to Come

This is a prayer by a young lady I mentor, she wrote this prayer to God for the husband she is asking Him for, the One who is just for her. I think it is a prayer for all wives to pray for their husbands.

Dear Lord Jesus,

I come to you in Your mighty name, to plead Your blood over my husband. Father God, I pray that he keeps you in the center of his heart and as his first love. I pray that he walks worthy of the calling with which he was called, with all lowliness, gentleness and longsuffering. I pray that You would bless his hard work in Your kingdom and make him successful in all that he does according to Your will. Be his refuge and strength as he leans on You in his trials. Guide him by his honesty and help him not to be overtaken by his temptations. I pray that he would have a giving heart and not lack. Bless him with discernment in handling our finances as he stays devoted to You Lord. Bring to his remembrance the thoughts that You think towards him, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give him a future and a hope. Give him the strength to pray without ceasing when he lacks wisdom. I pray dear Lord, that my husband’s love may abound in knowledge and all discernment. And that he may approve the things that are excellent, that he may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ’s return.


Teach my husband to love me, just as You loved the church and gave Yourself for us. Help me to submit and surrender to my husband as he submits and surrenders all things to You. I ask You to be the driving force in our marriage. Let all things work together for good as he fully grasps his purpose in You. I pray that he is not dominated by food or anything that is unprofitable to his health. When he is weak and tired Lord be his strength and shield and help him as his heart trusts in You. I will sing praises as his heart greatly rejoices. Surround him with wise men who will bring him up as he walks boldly declaring the Truth of the Gospel, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern You with all confidence. I pray that he grows spiritually in Your grace and knowledge through reading, studying and praying Your word. I pray that he will have a humble, teachable spirit full of patience, peace and quick to forgive. May he guard his heart with all diligence as he obey Your laws and follow Your teachings.

Lastly Lord, I pray that he would continue to lead our family in Your will and that You would be glorified in and through our marriage! In Your mighty name I pray,

Amen!

What’s Happened To Us?

In this time of Covid 19, I’ve heard more than once that divorce is on the rise, families are having trouble functioning in close quarters. It’s hard on some of us for a lot of different reasons but ask yourself these questions;

When is the last time I spoke lovingly or endearing words to my spouse, to my child, to my family, even to a friend. Do they feel loved by me, do they feel as if I care about them, do I love them but maybe I don’t like them, and is it their fault or mine?

Not that it matters much who’s fault it is but most importantly, Is there anything you can do to change this?

YES! Absolutely!

There is nothing impossible for God, We can do all things with Christ who strengthens you, Philippians 4:13. Our God is able to do anything but fail us. The beginning of restoration (healing) is to admit there is a problem, separation, sadness, brokenness etc,. So if you constantly find your life in turmoil (dysfunction) and you are continually unhappy, it’s an attack of the spiritual kind.

The Bible tells us that our battles are not against one another (flesh and blood), they are spiritual battles, Ephesians 6:12, we must commit to praying those spirits out of our families, our relationships. I say this because scripture says “The thief (devil) comes only to steal, kill and destroy” John 10:10.

The Bible also tells us to “Cast our cares on Him (God) because He cares for us” 1Peter 5:7. He wants us to depend on Him (just as we would our earthly father) He is well able to change our circumstances, we need only ask (invite Him in) His help.

Lastly, Commit to prayer “PUSH”, Pray Until Something Happens! “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet scene” Hebrews 11:1, so If it’s your spouse, your child, a co-worker, a family member no matter who it is, call their name in prayer. Speak correlating scriptures into that prayer and situation and trust that a change is in the works on your behalf because God promises us “if we abide in Him and His word abides (lives) in us, we can ask what ever we desire (love and obedience to His Word) and we shall have it” John 15:7

Get creative, do activities, go for rides, Go for walks, clean the house, don’t let thing gets too messy because that affects your mood as well, do anything different just be safe while you’re doing it.

Set your heart on God, learn His word, be humble and obedient and watch how things change. Danial 10

You are Uniquely Made

We have a saying, “Stay in your lane” referring to giftedness, a talent or that which you are naturally good at. When we get out of “our lane”, we usually run into problems, desiring someone else’s possession, (spiritual, physical or emotional). Deuteronomy 5:21

Many marriages would probably not be in turmoil if only they would operate in their own capacity (financially, emotionally, physically, ), not that which you read in a book, watch on a movie or that which you THINK another couples relationship may be. You’d probably see a much different relationship “if walls could talk”

My husband and I were recently  discussing how people who are married (male and female), especially how females who may feel unhappy or unfulfilled in their marriages are so because they long for love as deeply as they love. Well, we both agreed that it’s just not possible for men to love the same as women simply because of how God made woman (Eve was created from Adams body in order to met his needs) Genesis 2:18-23. God made Eve to be a “help meet” which means a “suitable helper” fit just for Adam, supportive and loving, pleasing to his eyes, a nurturing mother to her children, tender hearted, devoted and gentle.   He made Adam to be the caretaker of the land, the provider for the woman (family) the strength, the protector, “The man”

Yes, You can find a man on occasion who is nurturing, caring and hands on, although rare it’s possible and I’m sure it’s wonderful.

The best thing any couple can do is to talk to one another about what your needs are, that which you feel is lacking and commit to working toward the changes you each desire.

None of us are mind readers, therefore communication is necessary for any healthy and happy existence together.

1 Corithians 11:11-12
Ephesians 5:25

Comparison Kills

I always listen for Gods direction while thinking about what to write about next.

I was listening to an interview on television this morning. The person being interviewed made an insightful statement. She was asked how she is getting through the pandemic, her response was something someone told her. “This pandemic has purpose”.

Amen! I agreed whole heartedly because no matter how we view it, we were all going so fast that we were disconnected from who and what is most important in our lives. We thought we were doing what it took to get ahead, to measure up instead we were over scheduled and down right tired.

So don’t listen to the voices, the posts, the haters that say “You didn’t do anything with this time, other people did….” blah blah blah.

Don’t fall for the hype.

If you rested and feel refreshed finally, if you renewed your spiritual life, if you read your Bible and prayed more, if you ate dinner together as a family, if you sat quietly with your spouse for the first time in a long time and had quality conversations, if you played with your kids and listened to what was on their minds, then my dear hearts, you have done well.

We must stop comparing ourselves to others, that’s what got us running tirelessly to and fro in order to measure up to others. Why???? Comparison kills! It kills the authentic you, it kills your joy and it robs you of energy. God made you individual and specific for the life He meant for you to live.

Jeremiah 29
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope

Refuse to listen to negativity and Stop trying to measure up to anyone’s standards other than The Lords.

Psalm 139:13-14
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Seasons Come and Seasons Go

There’s nothing like Spring time. The earth comes alive, the same is true for new love. Remember when you met your spouse, how attracted you were to them and how you talked all the time. You didn’t want to offend them for anything, now your like “ Whatever, they’ll get over it” with attitude at that.

The first years of marriage are like Summer time, everything is fresh, warm and cuddly “Wedded bliss”. You hoped your entire marriage would be just like that but wish as you may, it just didn’t continue that way because we change, life changes us and there’s nothing we can do about it! Children, jobs, mortgages and all the other responsibilities of life come along and we wonder “What the heck happened”. That’s the Fall season of our relationship and left to its own devices we’ll become down right cold towards one another! That’s the Winter season. We start to ask questions like “What happened to us, Why don’t you …. anymore, do you love me, do you care about how hard I’m working” to take care of you“

Here’s what happened, when you got together there weren’t many distractions, you wanted to be together every waking moment and you wanted to please each other. No one came before your “Boo”.

We decide what and who our priorities are. We allow life, children, careers etc. to get in the way of the most important physical relationship you will probably have. Everyone doesn’t get to experience marriage but you’ve gotten to and it’s vitally important to keep nurturing your relationship with your spouse. It’s as easy as changing one thing a day, JUST “1” THING! If you know your husband needs affirmation, (compliments) just give him one. He may look at you side eyed but keep doing it. If you know your wife is working hard to look good for you, to keep the house in order and caring for your children, help her out a little. Do the dishes every now and then or order take out so she doesn’t have to cook so much.

Seasons, as tough as they can be are necessary for our growth both mentally and spiritually. We must simply learn to be flexible, bend with the heat, shrink back when it’s necessary, and speak up when you feel overwhelmed.

The easiest way to change anything about your life a little at a time is to start by changing just one thing a day. I promise it works! I’ve done it.

In the same way we have the ability to change our worldly relationships, we can grow our spiritual relationship with our Heavenly Father by starting with just one thing a day. If “I don’t have time” is your regular response to spiritual growth, try this, the minute you open your eyes (after you shake out the cobwebs) just thank God, invite Him into your day, ask Him to lead and to guide you as you go about your day, going to and from your destinations and if you forget, simply ask the Lord to remind you, He will (don’t ignore Him). For just as your spouse loves one on one time with you, Your Heavenly Father desire’s quiet time with you as well.

Lord help us to remember who we fell in love with, help us to l see with the same love you show to us, patient, forgiving and merciful everyday.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Be blessed

The Work Of Marriage

My hope in posting this blog is to help new marriages, relationships and maybe even those who have weathered the storms of life for many years and can identify with mine. I will be sharing my own marriage experiences, the good, the bad and some times the ugly. I will add, with Gods help we haven’t had many “ugly” situations and for that I am humbly thankful to God.

As a now 60 year old woman who loves God and the man He sent my way almost 39 years ago, I hope to encourage you all to “Hang in there” get through your issues and understand YOU ARE NOT ALONE, with real talk and Gods word. The Bible declares “There is nothing new under the sun”, someone somewhere is, has or will go through the same thing you are going through right now.

The work of Marriage, if it is to survive is ongoing, ever changing and requires flexibility. Just as you grow and change emotional, intellectually, and even physically, so do your relationships.

It has always been funny (not ha ha) to me how we are more inclined to be available, kind and more forgiving to a friend and even a stranger than we are likely to be with our spouses. Yes, the person we vowed before God, our family and our friends to “love, honor and cherish, till death do us part”. Think on that one for a little bit.

Real talk ladies and gentleman, along with scripture to encourage you, that’s what this blog is all about.

If my blog is a blessing to you, take a moment to share it with your friends, family and co-workers. Talk to others about what you get from it and share the link so that others will get the same encouragement.

Romans 12:13

“Share with the Lords people and practice hospitality”. Yep! That’s in the Bible.

I will also share some of my quick, healthy and easy recipes because I know what a chore cooking can be

Air fried or oven baked Eggplant

Slice eggplant about 1/2 inch,

Lay them on flat surface, sprinkle with salt, cover with paper towel for about 30 minutes to 1 hour

in a bowl beat 2 eggs

In a separate bowl mix

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Salt n pepper to taste

Dip eggplant in egg bath then cover well in bread crumbs mixture both sides, place on baking rack or baking sheet (sprayed with cooking oil). Spray the top of each eggplant with cooking oil and bake for about 15-20 in air fryer. Oven baked 400 degrees about 30 minutes until golden brown

On the same rack or baking sheet add whatever kind of cheese you like (I used feta) to one side of eggplant, add marinara and repeat. I topped with fresh basil from my herb garden. I kept them plain, sprinkled with feta cheese and topped with basil for my husband.

They are amazing

Racism, Hatred, Bigotry

No matter what the title we put on it, treating another human being less than yourself for any reason is WRONG.

As a black woman with sons, I don’t think my heart has ever been so broken as it was over the scene broadcast world wide of George Floyd being subsequently murdered by a police officer on a public street in the United States off America! All I could do is imagine my heartbreak if it were my son laying there begging for his life, dying and calling for me. How would I ever cope with that? How could I live knowing that hate was the reason for my child’s death, not a car accident not natural causes but the knee of a man with no regard for another human beings life.

Not allowing this to be a “race thing” in my heart I pose the question; If George Floyd, if Ahmad Aubrey, if Trayvon Martin had been a white man, how might their situations have played out? The answer I come up with every time is absolutely DIFFERENTLY!

I have a brother who was jailed for what is effectively the rest of his life for robbery of two white women over the age of 55. He was charged in New York State with a “Hate crime” against the elderly and given 52 years. Mind you, no one died, no one was critically injured but he has spent 13 years of his life in prison thus far!

I have watched story after story and time and time again people who aren’t black get less time for even killing another human being! The one the struck me most recently was a young white college student proven to have rapped a fellow black student, given no time at all because the judge didn’t want to “ruin his future”. Others given probation for more than my brothers crime!

This is the problem that we face as blacks. We have faced this for decades even centuries and now finally it has caused people of all backgrounds and ethnicities to reach a boiling point. The unrest we are experiencing today in our country and around the world is because it’s been long enough! Eyes have been opened to the injustice we have faced and now difficult conversations are being had. People are asking “what can I do”.

I beg you not to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to racism, injustice or inequality toward ANYONE any longer! When you see it happening, when you hear it being voiced, speak up, speak out! Address it because it’s the right thing to do! Who knows, the next time it could be you, your child or someone you love! The pain is real

Luke 6

Treat everyone the same way you would want them to treat you