Summer is coming to a end

The summer flew by as it always does and now its September 1. I can’t believe it. This summer was definitely one of growth. I feel like I did less partying but I didn’t feel bored. The days seemed full. My birthday is in 12 days. It will be my Jesus year so I am excited about that. I’m fasting to prepare for my birthday as well. Get my mind, body and soul into gear. I have more thoughts on the Jesus year that I will get into as I get closer to my birthday.

My boss asked us to three questions that I think would be good for anyone to use as reflection for the end of a season.

What was the highlight of your summer?

Highlight of my summer was traveling, seeing Beyonce’ (twice!) and getting a new puppy.

 

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(Riveria Maya, Mexico June 2018)

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(Chicago, July 2018)

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(OTR II Cleveland, Ohio July 2018)

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(OTR II Columbus, Ohio August 2018)

(OTR II Columbus, Ohio August 2018)

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(Hunter James, July 2018)

His name is Hunter James and he is certainly a handful. He has definitely been a challenge but my husband and I have embraced him.

What are you looking forward to in the new year?

I’m looking forward to being a better version of myself. My best friend always calls it 2.0. I like that. I definitely want to do that as well. You guys would be so proud of me! I have really stepped out of my comfort zone in the last few months and the results have been amazing.

I want to continue to grow this blog, work on writing better and jazz up my website. My cousin who is working on being a brand ambassador said there is no “me” on my website. Which is true. At first I didn’t want it to be about me per se. I was worried about people wanting to know my business and using it to gossip. I didn’t want my message to get lost in talking about “me” all the time. I can see how the that would be impersonal though, so I added some pics ūüôā

What are you happy to leave behind?

I’m happy to leave behind self doubt, self pity, self sabotage.

I doubt myself a lot. I may not say it out loud but I do a lot of second guessing and it can be exhausting. I want to be able to go with my gut, use discernment and be satisfied with a decision. I don’t want to replay conversations over and over again to see if I said something stupid, awkward or random. I want to pick out an outfit and just get dressed. Self pity is harder because it sneaks up on you. I can be moving along nicely and my mind will take me back some place that I don’t want to go or bring up a memory that from the past. Or have me worrying about things that have not happened yet. I don’t want to do that.¬† I don’t want to anyone else to feel sorry for me, so I’m certainly not going to feel sorry for myself.¬† Self sabotage is sneaky too. I sometimes don’t realize I am doing it until I am in the middle and realized that a better decision could have been made. Like I give up because I don’t see the results in the time frame I want.¬† Things don’t work that way, so I am just trying to remain focused and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and Dominique 2.0 won’t be built in a day either.

HELLO SEPTEMBER

The cost of being ordinary (29)

Brene’ Brown says in her book Gifts of Imperfections:

Our culture is quick to dismiss quiet, ordinary, hardworking men and women. In many instances, we equate ordinary with boring or, even more dangerous, ordinary has become synonymous with meaningless.

I read this and immediately agreed. Nobody wants to be ordinary, basic, regular. In the world of social media, ordinary people are not getting second looks.

So many teens look at people online and think that’s the way it has to be. They want to be social media influencers, versus influencing people in real life.

Those folks who are considered ordinary get lost in the shuffle. People who go to work, take care of their families, go to school, do the general right thing get no recognition.

We can live our whole lives and not have anything extraordinary happen. That doesn’t discount us. It doesn’t make us boring or regular, or lame.

People are¬† chasing images of what they think life is supposed to be like when in reality it’s not that way at all.

Nobody celebrates the dad who goes to work everyday, the kid in college working hard. This isn’t sexy or cool.

We have to change the conversation. I have recently started seeing Instagram post giving props to the ordinary citizen. The every day hero. We need to start the conversation about what makes a person important. What gives them value? It certainly is not how many social media followers they have. What are they contributing to society for the greater good? These are the things that matter.

Dream on (12)

I have always believed in the Lord sending me messages in dreams. Often there is lesson or something practical I can take away. I once had a dream that when I use mean tones in conversation with my husband, it hurts his manhood. I knew that in my head but seeing the visual of him crumbled over in my dream after I said something to him really gave me the visual I needed to change what I was doing. Since then I have been working on how I speak to him. A dream inspired this 31 posts in 31 days (1) God told me if I stop treating my writing/blog as a hobby and started treating it like a job I could really start to grow.

I had a terrible dream this weekend but it definitely helped me. My husband was out of town over the weekend and I went out with some friends. I had a good time with them, came back home, got in the bed went to sleep. I had a dream that seemed so real that I was afraid to get out of bed after. I dreamed that I woke up because a man slid in my bed and he wasn’t my husband. He clearly was there harm me. In my dream I immediately started praying please Lord let this be a dream. Then I woke up. I was shook! I needed to check and see if anybody was in my house and thank God it wasn’t but I couldn’t sleep for a long time after that. When I finally went downstairs and checked my house. I realized, I had left my front door unlocked. Not good! That was certainly a warning from God. You better believe I will be checking my doors twice before I go to bed at night from now on.

God uses dreams all the time to speak people in the bible. I used to worry if a dream was from God or just my own subconscious. I believe it can be from both. I recognize God in my dreams because I know his voice.

I saw some really interesting articles online about dream interpretation. I know people who go to dream books and try to see what their dreams meant. I have done it on occasion myself, but I don’t do that anymore. The article I read online says that, the symbols in a dreams are primarily ours. Nobody can interpret them for us except God. There are common dreams that everyone has like falling or being embarrassed in front of a crowd but typically God knows us and uses symbols we will understand. If I have a dream that I feel needs further explaining I will write it down and ask God to explain it me. Lord was there something in the dream I needed to know? Was it a warning? Was it prophecy? Writing them down has been great because I can see things come together later on.

Can you have everything? (8)

In less that a year, one of my friends has gotten married, bought a house, got a new job and had a baby. She is definitely having the best year.She is living her best life. All the things that many women are trying to accomplish she had it happen in no time, so it appears. It looks like she has everything. How many people do you know that have everything? I used to believe that you couldn’t have everything. Life just cannot be that good. Even Paul one of the greatest biblical figures of all time, had a thorn in his side that he prayed that God would take away, and God didn’t.

I wrote before about being happy but not really being able to enjoy it because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like that is a pattern in my life that I can be really happy but I don’t have everything. I am still wanting for something. I am not wanting like that never satisfied wanting but really truly waiting on God to answer prayer. Although I have never seen God show up like that in my life yet, I now believe you can have 90% of what you want.

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I am not talking about prosperity gospel or any name it and claim stuff. I am just saying that I believe God wants us to be happy on this side of heaven.The bible has lots of scriptures about having an abundant life. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

I say 90% because I think about Serena Williams who people would consider to have it all, nice husband, daughter, tennis champion but she cried because she missed her daughters first steps because she was out practicing. That Oprah quote really resonates with me. I want as much as God has to offer for me and I want to be in a position to give back to others. That is why we are blessed, not for ourselves but to be a blessing to others. So when we have it “all” we can be in a position to help someone else get their “all”.

 

 

Generational curses (4)

Do you believe in generational curses? They are rampant in the old testament. God tells the Hebrews over and over again I will punish your children for your bad behavior. That seems a little bogus and contradictory to the character of God that we know. He also says that no one is responsible for anyone else’s debt. So this seems confusing.

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Numbers 14:18 ESV 

‚ÄėThe¬†Lord¬†is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.‚Äô

Ezekiel 18:20 ESV 

The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

I have always been interested in generational curses because I couldn’t figure out why the things happening to me where happening. Was I being punished for the sins of my parents or grandparents or great grandparents?

In my research I discovered that wasn’t really the case.

Each person is responsible for his or her actions. It may be harder to not do something if everyone in your family does it but not impossible. You can break the cycle. God says if we repent and come to him we are forgiven and we can start new. It doesn’t matter what my parents did or didn’t do. I don’t have to be like them.

Isn’t that refreshing? You may seem like you are stuck in a endless cycle but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can decide today, right now to do something different. After you decide you then have to be intentional about making those changes. Fight everyday and speak positivity over yourself and your situation. Once you start changing and breaking the cycle you may influence others in your family to change too.

Prayer:

Father help me do the best I can not to pass down bad habits to my future children. Help me be open to changing through you and not my own willpower. Help me a blessing to someone else and stop this curse from impacting anyone else. Break these strongholds the past has on me and my family and show me something different can be done. In Jesus name. Amen.

Research used and further reading:

http://www.equip.org/article/are-generational-curses-biblical/

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/faith/understanding-the-generational-curse-of-exodus-347

https://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2004/may/beth-moore-breaking-free-generational-curse-sin.html

 

Tempted by the devil

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

1 Peter 5:8‭-‬9 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/1pe.5.8-9.NLT

The devil never tempts us with things we don’t like. I have been dreaming about things I used to do, activities I have given up. I haven’t thought about them in months and then I have like 3 dreams back to back about it. Definitely kind of crazy. This verse of the day really made me think like this must be a warning from God.I am supposed to be reading Job this week but I really don’t want to. That whole story started because the devil wanted to mess with him, prove a point to God. Now I know God allowed it but he still was testing him, threw his name out there to see what would happen. I hope God isn’t testing me. I am no Job or Jesus. He was tested too. I may fall back into temptation. Maybe, maybe not. I certainly hope not. It is easy for me to rationalize when I want to do something. I have some free time coming up and idle hands are the devils playground. I am definitely going to stay aware and prayed up.

0 to 100 real quick

I tend to do that more often than I realized. I was all excited a few weeks ago because a lot of things were happening at once, got a raise, interview opportunity, and I thought I was pregnant. I was like wow God you really are laying it on me. Ok. I wasn’t prepared but I’m like ok this is a good thing. Then I thought like wait, its too good to be true, God is doing this to get my attention there is no way that all this awesomeness can happen at once. I was freaking out because I kept thinking that it was too good to be true. I didn’t think that I could get all the things that I was praying for all at once.¬† For now, I was right.

womp womp

Didn’t get the job and wasn’t pregnant. A bunch of let down right around the same time. I’m not super disappointed anymore about not being pregnant because as you are reading this I am chilling on the sandy beaches in Mexico and being pregnant here would not have been as fun. I’m not upset about the job because I got beat out by the best and I can’t really be mad at that. I want to explore this topic more, having it all. Where did it come from? Is it actually achievable? I will talk about this more in a later post.

I know what’s for me will be given to me. Nobody, not even me can get in the way of that. I don’t know if God had all that happen to get my attention. Its definitely possible. I haven’t prayed and fasted that much in a long while. I knew that I needed to step it up. I talked about that in a previous post.¬† I feel like there was other things he could do to get my attention although I have to admit these were definitely the best. Maybe it was the devil messing with me. I will never know. I do know that God will never play me and he is not a trickster. I couldn’t find any examples in the bible where he gave the people¬† something good and then snatched it away or gave someone something good to get their attention and then changed his mind. If there is something out there please let me know. One of my favorite verses is, God is not like man he doesn’t lie or change his mind (Numbers 23:19).

So I’m essentially right back where I started aside from the pay increase. When I think about how ridiculous I was acting it makes me laugh. I couldn’t even enjoy the blessing because I was waiting on the other shoe to drop.

shoe to drop

I’m sure if it was from God his feelings would be hurt over how I was acting. Who wants to give their kid a present for them to keep checking if you are going to ask for it back? I wouldn’t. So if learned any lesson this week it would be to relax. Enjoy each moment. I know everything works out for my good (Romans 8:28) and I know God has plans he made with my name on them (Jeremiah 29:11).

be here now

Putting my suffering on display

I was in church today and the woman preached about the man in Mark 3:1-5, who had the shriveled hand but was healed on the Sabbath. She made several good points but the one that spoke to me the most was when she talked about Jesus making him come up to the front of the congregation before he healed him. Jesus could have healed him from anywhere, he didn’t even need to talk to the man and the healing would have been done. Why did he make him come to the front of the congregation? She said Jesus made him come to the front because exposure is necessary for victory. God wants to put our suffering on display so he can get the glory from the situation. He wants everyone to see it, so that people will know that it is him.

suffering peter

I have never been one to put my suffering on display. Not at first anyway. I usually suffer in silence. It doesn’t really work that well but its a trained habit. I usually put myself in a bubble, well hidden and insulated until I pull myself together and then I come back out, seemly refreshed, although not healed. God had been telling me to tell my story for years but I didn’t want to put my suffering on display. Most people know at this point about my fertility challenges but its still sometimes feels like a dirty secret.

suffering in silence

While I have been hiding out, people are still living their lives. Another one of my good friends is pregnant and this is a great thing. I am never not happy when someone gets pregnant, a baby is a blessing from God. I was sad for me, but the longer I go through this, the more I see this is not a good way to think either. When someone is sharing their good news, I shouldn’t even be thinking about me. I should be 100% celebrating with them. Joyce Meyer says a sign of spiritual growth is reacting differently to the same situation. This is the first time that I heard someone’s baby news and didn’t first think of myself.

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. I don’t want people to feel like they can’t talk about their plans just because I am not making the same plans. That is not fair. I was mad at friend because she didn’t tell me when she told everyone else that she was pregnant. Everyone knew but me and that really hurt. She said she didn’t know how. I can understand that. Dealing with someone else’ s infertility can be challenging. I don’t know how I will feel about things. Someone texted me a picture of their positive pregnancy test and I really didn’t like that. Someone else texted me their sonogram pictures. I really didn’t like that either. They didn’t know that and I never told them. I probably never will. They were treating me like a normal person, I shouldn’t be mad. I don’t always feel normal but that isn’t their problem, its mine.

I have been trying to get the focus off of myself and on to other people but I still need to do more. I was so depressed at the beginning of the year. I didn’t know though and other people didn’t either. I didn’t realize I was depressed until I took a quiz a few weeks ago and by then I was over the hump.It was recommended by this podcast Therapy for black girls.(Its really good. You should check it out.) I wonder if I could have turned it around sooner if I had said something to someone?

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For all you women out there who are suffering from infertility issues know you don’t have to suffer in silence. Know that God has put a desire in you and he WILL fulfill it. Right now I am pregnant with possibilities, and I am ok with that. I have things that I was put here to do and I am no less a woman because I have not bared any children, YET. If I never birth my own child, I can live with that because I know God has a plan. A plan better than anything I can dream or imagine. I used to never want to say that because it felt like I was giving up hope. I know now that is not the case. It is relinquishing full control to him. I know that I can master any situation because I have winning member on my team, Jesus. I am so thankful, so grateful, that he takes care of me and will fulfill every desire he put in me.

Inefficient

Inefficient-not achieving maximum productivity; wasting or failing to make the best use of time or resources.

Often times I think about the dreams and goals that I have and want to accomplish and I feel¬† inefficient. I certainly don’t feel like I am making the best use of my time or resources. I have two degrees that I do not really use and I’m starting to to get the itch that I want to do something else. Am I qualified?¬† Sometimes I think so, but other days not so much. I am debating on if I want to get an Ed.d, which is a doctorate in education because that is what I have been doing for the last 10+ years but I don’t know. I know to make any real money or move up, a terminal degree would be nice but I want a job that is bigger than money. Do I want to do something totally different? I didn’t get into my field to make a lot of money but I want to be comfortable. I don’t want to put all the financial heavy lifting to my husband. I have two degrees, I want to pull my own weight.

When I got my master’s there wasn’t a lot of asking God or contemplating. I did a little research, asked the higher ups around me and did it. I want to put a little more thought and time into my choice this time around. I don’t think having more formal education is what makes feel inefficient. I have to remind myself that his grace is sufficient. He is strong when I am weak.

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I probably feel this way because what I really want to do I have no formal training at all. I want to be a writer. I want to write books that will be read all over the world and be referenced for years to come. I can’t really imagine that happening in my wildest dreams. Why not? I haven’t even tried yet and I am already talking myself out of it. Nobody can make me feel inefficient but me. I know it won’t be easy but if I take one step, God will take two. I was not made to be inefficient or mediocre. I was created for his purpose. There is something inside of me that is waiting to be revealed and the only person that can stop me from reaching my full potential is me.

 

 

Encourage Yourself

Talk to yourself how you talk to other people

I heard a sermon today where the preacher said watch your self talk. It really struck me. You would never talk to other people how you talk to yourself. We beat ourselves down with self doubt, self pity, and a host of other terrible things to keep us from living our best lives. If a friend came to you and said they had a great idea about something, even it is seemed a little outlandish, you would still encourage them right? I encourage people all the time. I typically am a glass half full person, but not when it comes to my own hopes and dreams. Its very easy to talk myself out of things.

Why don’t we talk to ourselves like that? Why are we are own worst critic? Remember that we are made in Gods image. He knit you together before you were born. Is that a hard concept to understand? Sounds good in practice but hard to do in real life. I used to do that, still do, build other people up but tear myself down with worry, doubt and insecurity. Then I decided to start telling myself all the things I say to other people. I’m the bomb.com, I can do anything I put my mind too, people want to hear what I have to say. I also went back and read who God is. I reminded myself that I was his child, made in His image, He certainly had enough power to help me if I tapped into it. How often do we rely on our own power and not on God’s and then wonder why our plans don’t succeed? Its not because we suck or it was never going to happen, but because we forged ahead without Him. So if you are reading this and want to stop downing yourself remember that you are a child of God and He wants nothing but for you to be happy, successful, content. You don’t have to beat yourself up there are enough people in the world to do that, the media, the president, don’t do it to yourself. Every time a negative thought pops in your head, replace it with a negative one. Put positive affirmations on your bathroom mirror, your screen saver on your phone, your desk at work, anyplace that you will see it. Only play music that builds you up, same thing with the tv shows and movies you watch. Change your thought life, change your real life. Joyce Meyer wrote a book Battlefield of the Mind. It helps deal with negative self talk. Joyce can be a bit wordy but she makes some excellent points. Some of my favorites are “The mind is the leader or forerunner of all actions.” “If our thoughts are going to affect what we become, then it should certainly be a priority that we think right thoughts.

Try to make sure you always build yourself up, you are the only one who truly has to deal with you. The only person you need to impress is yourself. God made you so He already knows how great you are, and nobody else really matters.