Correction, Encouragement, Faith, Goals, Lifestyle, Salvation

And Just Like That…

Have you ever felt like you just needed that one little push to help you get started, keep moving or finish well? We’ve all been there and if I’m being totally honest, some days it seems like I am in a constant state of “needing” that external motivation. So let me share with you a short true story from last week that had me going from “AHHH” to “AWE MAN to “OUCH” all in a span of about 15 minutes. Ready?

We all have people that we look up to as role models and such, even as adults, there are people we see in business or life that we gravitate towards. One of those people for me is a woman name Priscilla Shirer. She is a wife, mother and a woman whose heart is to please Christ. I’ve listened to her speak in person and was in awe of her power and knowledge of the word of God. So, last week as I dabbled with the idea of getting active on Instagram, she popped up as a suggested person to follow. Not really paying attention, I clicked follow and within two minutes received a DM (direct message) from her. Cue the “AHHH” moment. I immediately screenshot the message and sent it to one of my sisters in life and literally squealed with excitement. Then I had decided that this was clearly a sign from God (y’all, us Christians do that a lot but that a whole other story for another day) that I should link my blog to IG ad get busy finding stock photos and making catchy quotations so garner followers and what not. I mean, I had a whole social media strategy in like 3.78 minutes after one whole message from what in real life is a stranger even though we are practically like Auntie/niece in my mind.

So after preparing a proper reply, I decided to go the interested route and scope out her IG page for inspiration on what to say back. That’s when reality slapped me down like a game of slap-boxing gone wrong. See, the profile pictures were identical but the names were different, insert “AWE MAN.” I had followed an imposter page and received a message from goodness knows who, wanting God knows what. So I replied with a dry (I mean Mohave desert dry) “Hello.” I was then almost immediately sent another message from “Priscilla” and a tinge of anger started to rise up. How dare you person pretending to be the person I thought I was following. Why waste my time? So, I did what any normal person would do, I screenshot the info and sent a direct message to the authentic page resolved to just be like Elsa and let it go. But, here’s how my excitement was brought to conviction. Just. Like. That.

See, I have a great relationship with my blog (and y’all) as long as I don’t let life overwhelm my diligence. So that initial kick in the pants, “oh, this is a sign from Daddy God Himself” feeling was almost knocked out of me when I realized I was being Catfished (I think that’s what they call the trickery of online imposters). And just as I was ready to feel like I was wrong about the “sign from God,” the Holy Spirit reminded me that God is not a respecter of persons but I clearly was. I became so enthralled with the idea that this person of “celebrity” status would have the time to enquire about little ole me that it became an idol. The idea that The Creator of Heaven and Earth blessing me with the gift of words and messages to share was somehow not enough because it wasn’t backed the confirmation of followers or applauded by men. Can you feel the ouch now? Talk about a gut punch that brought me to my knees. I could do nothing but repent. I had done the exact opposite of scripture (these are the first two that hit me):

Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Colossians 3:23-34 Whatever you do, work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.”

It is the contradictory acts like this, that can hinder growth and create hypocritical testimonies. I don’t want it to be said that I do anything simply for the applause of people. Now, ya girl enjoys the benefits that monetary earning can provided and always appreciates a well-formed alliance but anything done for the mere gain of such things is pointless. It became clear that my platform here had moved from being about encouraging others and sharing Christ to making me sought after or seen. It’s hard to even type those words but you know what comes after pain? Healing. See, after seeing that side of myself in the mirror of my heart, I could be thankful for the correction and begin to lean on the understanding from The Word on how to correct it. Sure, I could have kept this story to myself. No one would’ve known and life will have moved on but let’s be honest, I am not alone.

We’ve all had those moments, in the secret places of our heart where what we profess and what we do are not congruent. As Believers, we are called to repent in those moments and move forward in obedience. That is not only the power of grace but the blessing of being children of God. It is through correction that we learn and mature. My hope is that whatever you may be wrestling with internally can be released so that you can move forward boldly. Now hear me, I am NOT, by any means saying confess your bad habits, personal business or failures to the world in an attempt to find solace or relief. You will probably find the opposite and whatever position you were in will most likely be made 1,000 times worse once it is debuted in the court of public opinion. I AM advocating self-reflection and submission.

To know better is to do better and just like that, I am back on the narrow path because I saw real quick how that wide path leads to destruction and this girl wants no parts of that! I appreciate the lovely example Priscilla Shirer gives through her teaching and lifestyle. And so that this note ends on a better note remember that DM I told you I sen her, what do ya know, she replied and thanked me for bringing the information to her awareness.

Much Love,

Q

If you don’t know Christ as Savior and the power of prayer to God in the name of Jesus,  or if you don’t know without a doubt if you will go to Heaven (meaning you never accepted Christ or not sure of your Salvation) believe in your heart and repeat after me:

Jesus, I believe that you are the son of God. I believe that you died for the forgiveness of sin and that you were raised from the dead on the third day. I ask, right now Jesus, that you forgive my sins and come into my heart as my Savior. Thank you for saving me. Amen

Faith, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

I’ve Become My Parents

All of us (before we have children) make some reference to never begin like out parents when our chance comes to parent. I am no exception. My list of “won’t do’s” was every discipline tactic or tough love lesson my mother made me go through. And like most, I came out on the other side of those (in my teenage mind) horrible years and circumstances. Now, as a 32 year old mother of two, I can’t help but giggle sometimes. Truth is, we all tend to do what we know, be it right or wrong. And thankfully I had a mother who parented in a way that helped me gain endurance and personal accountability.  Where do the giggles come in you ask? Great question, hopefully you can relate.

When I think back (and I don’t have to go any further than yesterday or any given thirty minute period when the kid is awake) to the time that a completely prepared meal was on the table only to hear, “I don’t want that, may the plan should be I ear french fries and mustard for dinner,” I giggle. I definitely don’t giggle in the midst of the moment (well sometimes I do, internally at least) but after I hear the words come out of my mouth that sound strikingly similar to something my mother would have said, I can’t help it. I often tell my husband, we are turning into our parents. It’s most entertaining when we catch ourselves do it and look at each other. It’s surreal how the ideas we had as children about what we would be when we “grew up” is where we are in life right now. We are living our grown up lives and once you add parenting into that mix, it becomes a whole different creature.

I always imagines myself as the progressive parent who wouldn’t yell because I hated the noise of being yelled myself.News flash…I’m a yeller. I’m also a go-to-your-roomer. A what did you just say repeater? But the truth is, parenting is about repetition. We all learn by things we are exposed to and influenced by those things we see and hear most often. And when I look at the big picture, parenting as my parent did isn’t as bad as my younger self made it seem. I mean shoot, I have grown up to be a moderately well adjusted adult and law abiding citizen. So I giggle. And those giggles will move from utter laughter to speechless frustration but I wouldn’t trade any of it.We gotta enjoy the process because time is moving so fast that the little feet we love to kiss will soon be walking into their independence and promising themselves they won’t be like us as parents…funny right!

Much Love,

Q

Faith, Uncategorized

Pivotal Moments

Happy Labor Day Weekend! A day that our country has set aside to honor those who have made contributions to the development and workforce. That has nothing to do with today’s topic but it’s always nice to enjoy holidays and to remember those who work despite the holiday (armed forces, police, firemen, retailers, and those in the food industry). And now, back to regularly scheduled programming.

Picture this: two trash bags of toys (confiscated from the child’s room weeks ago), a quiet house and snacks. I did what any other mother would do! Pulled out my favorite snacks from heir hiding places, made a pillow throne on the floor from which to sort the toys (and eat) and watched a movie all by myself. It was great! The movie I chose was God Is Not Dead 2. I had seen the first installment and never really considered watching the second. Not for any particular reason but I’m glad I finally did. For those of you unfamiliar with the movie a young girl dealing with her brother’s death asks her history teacher about a comparison between Jesus and Gandhi. From there it hit the fan. The school suspended her, parents were upset, groups in the community pitted against each other and in the midst of that two young other young adults are working through their faith. Not going to spoil it at the end but it got me to thinking. There are moments we all face that we know instantly, whichever path we choose to take will have consequence (be it good or bad) but action is still required. What do you do in those pivotal moments?

In a culture consumed with picking sides or the idea that to agree with one is complete damnation for those you disagree with, it is paramount that we as Christians not only recognize but seize our pivotal moments. And truth be told, I had to get myself together after that movie. I realized that I haven’t had to suffer for using the name of Jesus or standing my ground in faith but that my moments are spiritual battles. Warfare against an opponent who thinks he is smarter, faster and more cunning than I. And in many ways, he is. But I have an armor and Savior who at the very mention of His name makes the spiritual army of wickedness shake with terror. Yet, in some of the most pivotal moments within our home, I am not aware until the battle has been in full swing. I have allowed myself to be complacent focused on things I can see or over-involved with my “to-do” lists and personal agendas to take notice that the silent treatment and pent up anger in my marriage or lack of patience in my parenting has pushed me to take those moments that could lead to peace or really nothing at all and turn them into a war of words and emotions.

And then guess what? Now everyone is miserable. God is not glorified. The Holy Spirit gets quiet. And there seems to be a void where peace and joy resided in my heart. I wish I could see the hands of ya’ll who know what I’m talking about. Those moments where your mind says “just shut up” and your mouth just keeps spitting out words. When you know letting it go and praying is way more effective but holding the grudge just feels more satisfying. It’s a vicious cycle that not only affects those around us but it tells a story to the world like you would not believe. See, a person with no joy or peace may not be easy to spot in a crowd but when they near you, you can feel it. Just like when someone comes close and you instinctively look for exits are hold your children tighter, the same response happens. You can feel the negativity and see the hollowness or hurt in their eyes. And when we as professed believers miss out on our moments, we take on some of the same attributes. And what could lead a person farther from Christ than anything else (in my opinion)? The idea of a hypocritical Christian! Complaining. Negative confessions (I’m broke, my kids are monsters, my husband get on my nerves). No peace. No joy. No prayer life. We just wander through existence like everyone without a Savior until Sunday morning.

So you see, recognizing these opportunities to take a stand and be obedient to the things of Christ may not just be about getting the promotion you prayed for, peace in your marriage, the conception of a child or whatever your prayer has been. It could be a chance to see if what you profess is what you will live out. At a point in the movie (backtrack with me for a moment) the main character says God asked her during a rough time in her life “Who do you say that I am?” That’s a big question, especially to come from the Creator of Heaven and earth. When our actions line up with knowing who God is based on His word, and not merely the picture the culture has created, then triumphing in those moments may not be easy but victory will be greater in our favor. And even when we miss the mark, those who have invited Jesus into their heart as Savior already have victory and rest assured, there will be another chance to get it right! What pivotal moments have you experienced, missed or are you currently in the midst of? We all have them, but I made up in my mind that when I face them, I want to go forth with a thankful heart, joyful praise and complete peace of mind. You with me?

Much Love,

Q