How to remember God’s promises

I have this picture on my phone as the lock screen saver.

Dominque and Jesse, May 2018, photo by Marcus Jackson

This is one of the maternity pics from when I was pregnant with my son. Secondary infertility is something that makes me really nervous. I try not to worry but now that my son is almost three and people continue to ask when are we having the next one, not being able to get pregnant lingers in the back of my mind. I know in theory I can get pregnant, I have been before but circumstances can make you feel different. Even other peoples circumstances make me nervous. I also unfortunately know several people who have had miscarriages. I know their situation isn’t mine, but it doesn’t help me feel any better.

Putting that picture on my phone and seeing it every time I pick my phone up has helped me feel much better. It made start thinking about other things I could do to remember God’s promises to me.

  1. See if you can find a visual image to use as a screen saver on your phone. Maybe its a picture of a house you plan to buy, maybe its a car, it can be anything that serves as a reminder to what God told you.
  2. I started looking through my journal for other times God has answered my prayer. Rather big or small. If he is faithful in small things, he will be faithful in big things too. If you don’t keep a journal start making a list daily of all the prayers God has answered. Its a great reminder of what he can do.
  3. I pulled up verses in the bible app on trust.
bibleapp YouVersion

There were a ton of verses, so I try to read those every morning before I get out of bed and every night before I go to sleep.

4.I put a reminder on my phone of the promise. This is a great idea that I got from bloomingboldly.blogspot.com. One of my alarms says God loves me.

5. Read/Listen to books, devotionals, podcasts, sermons, songs. Anything that can remind you of the promise. You know my go tos right now. Sarah Jakes Roberts, Steven Furtnick. I put two examples below. Check them out, they always encourage me.

I have mentioned many times that God is not going to play you. Constantly reminding yourself of the promise that he made to you, is great way to stop a worry spiral, a whatif parade. He loves you and knows the desires of your heart. Never forget that.

Until next time,

Dominique


Resources

https://bloomingboldly.blogspot.com/2017/07/5-ways-to-remember-gods-promises.html

Is God Mad at Me?

The short answer is NO.

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I know it may feel like that sometimes, or even a lot of times depending on what you may be going through. I know when I couldn’t get pregnant, I thought God was mad at me for being selfish, or mad at me for not following instructions, or mad at me for not doing enough.

I have friends who think God is holding a grudge against them from some sin they committed years ago but that isn’t true either.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Those verses are from Psalm 103. This was written by King David. A man after God’s own heart. He also committed adultery and killed a man to try and cover it up. Not exactly the actions of a person who is in favor with God. It’s true though. Even after the terrible things he did, God continued to bless him.

David points out some things we need to remember.

  1. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, SLOW to anger, abounding in love. The thing you think is mad at he probably isn’t. It takes him a long time to get mad. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8
  2. He does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities. God isn’t petty.
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One of my favorite verses is God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Numbers 23:19 We put human attributes on God so we can better understand his greatness but sometimes that gets blurry. God isn’t trying to get you, he doesn’t want you to feel bad. There are consequences for your actions but they don’t last forever.

3. As far as the heavens are from Earth, so great is his love for those who fear him. If you know nothing else know that God loves you, a lot, a lot. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39. Nothing can separate us from God’s love, nothing!

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4. As far as east is from west, he has removed our transgressions. Think about how far east is from west. You can’t measure it. Its not possible. If you have asked for forgiveness, then you are forgiven.

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Don’t let your circumstances have you doubting God’s character. Keep praying, keep believing, remember the promises he made to you.

We’ll talk next about how to remember God’s promises.

Talk to you soon,

Dominique

Inspiration

Hi friends,

Its been awhile. You’ve probably are wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. I told yall I got a new job back in July. It kind of took over my life. I been working for this promotion for so long when I got it I immediately went into overdrive. It was a busy time.

I got what I prayed for and I put God on the back burner. I had not planned on doing that, it just happened. I still read my bible and I still did my morning devotion but it wasn’t the same. I was more going through the motions.

I stopped going to my caregroup because I was working so late, I stopped getting up to do my devotional and writing in the morning because either I was tired from staying up late from working or staying up late just because I didn’t want to go to bed.

In doing all these things I didn’t feel inspired. I stopped being plugged into the power source. A few minutes reading my bible and writing out my prayers isnt enough to plug into the power source.

What inspires me?

Sermons I hear inspire me, but my church has been doing church online for almost 2 years now and its not the same, not an excuse but its not helping. It’s easier to not be engaged when you are not in person. I also don’t have the same sense of urgency because if I miss it on Sunday I can go back and watch it anytime, or so I would say.
Podcast I listen to inspire me too. However sometimes I just want to be entertained no message necessary.

Why haven’t I been listening to anything inspirational?

I think listening to inspirational stuff reminded me of what I wasn’t doing. As I am writing this I realize that feeling I was feeling wasn’t coming from God. He doesn’t condemn us, he convicts and there is certainly a difference.

As always he is slowly pulling me back in. I have been going to care group again and bible study. I needed it. I also haven’t taken on too much. That has been lingering in the back of mind. I don’t want to be stressed like I was last year around this time. I was starting to feel like I needed to slow down but I didn’t do it and it eventually blew up in my face.

November is National Novel Writing Month and I am going to be working on my book. It’s not a fictional novel but its a book so I am going to try and apply the same principles. At the very least it will give me some accountability.

Writing this book is something that I have been wanting to do for a while. I also know that writing is not always about feeling inspired, its also about consistency. I don’t know where the blog going land as I figure this out. I appreciate you sticking beside me.

Wish me luck,

Dominique

Things that keep you from seeing clearly

You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but you don’t really listen.
Isaiah 42:20 NLT

How often have we known the right thing to do but we didn’t do it? How often is our judgment cloudy because we aren’t seeing things clearly?

Are you stopping to pay attention? Perception is reality but often our reality is skewed. I found the image below on Pintrest. I know I have done a few of these things before.

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The biggest ones I dealt with were desperately holding on to my plans and self limiting beliefs. When you feel things just have to go a certain way you are really putting limits on yourself. This allows no room for innovation, to switch up or try new things. Sometimes pivoting can be the best thing for you but you can’t pivot it you aren’t paying attention.

Imposter syndrome is a self limiting belief. Perfectionism is a self limiting belief. Imposter syndrome makes you feel like you aren’t qualified for whatever it is you’re doing. You aren’t able to see yourself as other people see you. You wouldn’t be at the next level if you couldn’t do it. Trust the skills you’ve learned, the work you’ve done, the sacrifices you have made.

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We think these thought processes will help us. They are just trying to protect us from being hurt. However self limiting beliefs didn’t help me. Being afraid to take a risk or make a mistake was just holding me back from greatness.

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Another common one is the fear of uncertainty. Being afraid of the future can have you making bad decisions in the present. We don’t know what the future holds, good or bad. We have to trust that God has the best for us.

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Have you let the problem you are having make you forget what God can do?

Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
2 Kings 6:16‭-‬17 NLT

We have to pray to see things with his eyes, listen with his ears, so we can get the true perspective on things and not our skewed vision of a situation. We have to ask him to remove any hindrances that keep us from seeing a situation clearly.

Until next time,

Dominique

People aren’t just one thing

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. Psalm 139:14 NLT

The first time I saw this verse it was in the NIV which says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, which is cool but what does that mean? I like wonderfully complex much better. Complex means consisting of many different and connected parts. I love that! God made us layered and multifaceted which is a good thing. The world doesn’t seem that way though. If we let social media tell it everyone has to look the same, like the same things, go to the same places.

As I’ve gotten older I have still been trying to squeeze myself in a box, a label. But I listened to this podcast recently and she talked about how people can be more than one thing. How two things can exist in the same space. It reminded me of that verse.

Am I church girl? Or churchy? I wouldn’t say so. I didn’t grow up in church. I wasn’t baptized until I was an adult, I wasn’t a virgin when I got married. 🙃 Its took me so long to start this blog because I was worried that people would see it or me as too churchy. Then I was worried that people wouldn’t see it as not churchy enough. What a box I put myself in.

As we talk about mental health, I feel like labeling yourself can cause a lot of mental anguish. Labeling is all about making comparisons. We already learned that comparison is the thief of joy. Trying to define who you are by the worlds standards is not only putting yourself in a box but its putting God in a box too. If say I’m just a X (insert whatever your thing is) then that is letting God know he can only do so much for me, and through me. How about instead we said I am who I am? No more, no less. I’m open to all possibilities.

Not anymore. As I learn to let things go that don’t serve me, shrinking myself to fit inside someone else’s image of me is something I’m no longer doing.

I’m just focusing on being me. Being 100% authentic, no labels, no boxes.

I used to get mad at myself for not being the best version of myself right now. Thats not a thing though. You can’t rush progress. I used to think that I was too old to be just figuring these things out. I would rather do it now in my 30s then be 60+ just starting to be my authentic self. I have a lot of life left to live. I don’t want to waste another minute not being 100% me.

God made you as exactly as you’re supposed to be. Don’t sell him or yourself short by being anything less.

5 things I’ve learned be married 10 years

My 10 year wedding anniversary was in May and I renewed my vows back in June.

People always talk about being able to grow with your partner that is what sustains a long term relationship and I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I think being with someone long term is more about being comfortable with how your partner grows and being able to pivot if need be. My husband and I have been together for 17 years. A lot about a person can change in that amount of time. Things you used to think were cute or funny now get on your nerves.

Here are 5 things I learned in being married for 10 years

1.You have to be willing to grow at different paces. I can recall when I felt like my spiritual walk was stronger than my husbands was and that was really hard. I wanted him to be the spiritual head of our household and he wasn’t. I also hadn’t laid out that expectation for him, I just assumed he knew to take on that role.

2. Managing expectations. This is a big one. People always expect themselves out of other people and that isn’t always the case. From what I’ve seen its rarely the case. Your spouse can not read your mind. Are you expecting you things out of your spouse that you haven’t mentioned to them?

Managing Expectations – is it ever too late to do so? | BRS

3. Be supportive. Are your spouses greatest cheerleader? When my husband decides that he wants to start eating healthier its much better for me to get on board with him then just let him eat healthy by himself. When I was more newly married I would sneak and have a burger and fries before he got home from work. He wanted to have salad and baked chicken and I wasn’t trying to have that. Binging in my car certainly wasn’t helping the cause.

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4. I’ve heard single people say that they hear is marriage is hard but nobody explains why. I think that marriage is hard for a few different reasons. The biggest one being that you have to constantly die to self. Marriage is about compromise and you are not always going to be able to get your way. Sometimes your marriage is hard for external factors that nothing to do with either of you. We had three hard things hit our marriage before we had even been married five years, my MIL was sick and passed away, my husband didn’t like his job and we couldn’t pregnant and there was no reason given as to why. The test of a long standing marriage is being able to get to the other side of these hard times. Are you willing to put in the work when times are tough? Can you be compassionate when your spouse is going through, even when it doesn’t have anything to do with you?

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5. Find other married friends. Our married friends have helped us so much. Its not even that they have said anything but just seeing their example has helped me a lot. Being inside of a marriage is different and while your single friends can certainly offer you advice, its nice to have a married person who may be able to potentially understand better what you are going through. My favorite are married moms. They are able to remind me that I am not doing as badly as I think. Is your friend group diverse? Are their people in a similar relationship space as you? Do you have people you can use as an example?

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Stay tuned I will give you another 5 tomorrow.

Until then,

Dominique

How to feel your feelings

Feelings can be tricky. I have always had a complicated relationship with my feelings. One of my favorite sayings is feelings lie. Calling someone a liar isn’t a great way to start off a relationship. In the last year though I have started to come around to the thought that feelings are useful. I was a classic stuffer. If something bothered me, I would just stuff it down and ignore it as long as possible. I would distract myself in books or sitcoms until I didn’t feel bad anymore. I used to be uncomfortable when other people expressed their emotions. You start crying around me and I was done! Done!

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This isn’t the healthiest way to deal with things for sure.

Feelings are not good or bad, they just are.

Feelings are just a signal alerting your body to something.

I could only identify with negative feelings, like anger. This I know how to express. Or sadness, like when someone dies. You having a bad day, ha! Suck it up.

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Someone gave me a feelings wheel last year that I found to be extremely helpful. I also use both of these methods that I found online this year.

@justgirlproject

I like this one for justgirlproject because writing things down is helpful for me. The talking to someone part is more tricky because that involves being vulnerable which I don’t always like. Now that I have been doing it more often, I noticed that being vulnerable isn’t all bad. When you are that transparent about your situation or feelings other people tend to be as well.

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I like this one too because its something my pastor says to do. He also says, questions your thoughts. Why do I feel this way? Is it true? Is it based on fact?

As much as I did not like feeling my feelings, I noticed that the more I did, the better I felt. The truth about feelings are if you don’t deal with them now, you will certainly have to deal with them later.

The bible has a whole book that talks about feelings…Psalms. The writers of that book were not afraid to talk to God about how they felt. They poured out their anguish, their devotion, their misery and God responded. Even if you have no one to talk to about your feelings, talk to God. He made our heart, so he understands how we feel.

Resources

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/harnessing-principles-change/202010/the-key-skill-we-rarely-learn-how-feel-your-feelings

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/healthy-emotions_b_4856069

https://www.jointheprogressproject.com/podcast/138

5 Ways to Shift Your Focus When Emotions Take Over

When I originally started this post it was about how to focus on God, just generally. There are tons of verses in the bible about focusing on God to have peace, joy, hope, etc. I already do many of the things needed to focus on Him. Having a daily quiet time, praying when I’m upset instead of talking to my friends, reading and studying his word. However I recently had a trying week. Zooming all day can be The worst!

I really just felt off, I had received some news that wasn’t sitting with me well and I didn’t know how to handle it. I did all the things I mentioned above but there weren’t really working. I needed to know what I should do when things are not all peachy. When I didn’t get the answer I wanted in prayer. When I didn’t feel like having a quiet time. What do I do then?

1. Do something constructive– Watch a movie, read a book. Practice some self care. Whatever you do to make you feel good. Keep it constructive though. Having a glass of wine might make you feel good but if you have too many you won’t get a chance to deal with how you feel.

2. Write down what is bothering you-I just do a brain dump. Just a list of everything that is bothering me to just get it out of my head.

3. Identity how you are feeling but don’t stay there-I ask myself a few questions. How I am feeling. Why do I feel this way? Is it based on fact? Am I imagining worse case scenarios?

4. Find verses about how you are feeling-The bible app has great tool under the Search option where they have emoji faces and it has different emotions. Each category has ten emotions listed under it. So I am sure you can find how you feel.

YouVersion Bible App

5. Don’t lean on your own understanding.-Even when we have all the facts, God is bigger than facts. Trust that God can handle whatever situation you are in.


Resources

Lessons from 2020

2020 is finally ending. Thank goodness! It wasn’t a bad year but I am glad that it is almost over. It has been interesting year for sure. I definitely learned a lot about myself and about other people. Here are some of the lessons that I learned.

Let go of things that don’t serve me, perfectionism and overthinking, just to name a few.

I am enough.

You can definitely have too much of a good thing.

Pour into people that pour into me.

It’s ok to say no.

I’m not responsible for the choices that anyone else makes.

Self care is not selfish.

Perfectionism is a form of procrastination.

Healing and growth are not linear.

Read the directions on hair and skincare products. It can be helpful.

Trying new things is good even if you suck at it.

Feel my feelings.

Feelings aren’t bad or good, they just are.

Shame is a tool of the devil to keep you from reaching your full potential.

Lean not on my own understanding.

I can break generational curses.

I don’t have to do everything. I can ask for help.

Revising The Golden Rule

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12 NLT

I’ve always liked this rule. Its simple and straight to the point. Don’t treat people like garbage if you don’t want to be treated as such. Seems reasonable to me. However, as I have gotten older I realized that this concept is a little black and white. It is a good idea to treat people how you want to be treated however, it doesn’t really take into account how THEY want to be treated.

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For instance, my husband and I share a lot of similar personality traits however his love language is different than mine. I can’t approach him the way I would want to be approached in situations because he doesn’t respond to that.

When I was researching pictures to include in this post, I came across an article that talks about what I was just telling you. The man that wrote it is talking about it from a management angle but I believe that it works in all aspects of life. Do you take account peoples personalities when you have a disagreement with them? It doesn’t even have to be a disagreement, but just how you interact with people on a day to day basis.

I had a disagreement with a coworker…but it was really in my mind. If you asked them, they wouldn’t think we had a disagreement. They said some things to me I really didn’t like and I would never say those things to them. I was pretty upset about but I had to stop and think, what was their intention? Were their intentions good? They were. We don’t think the same and that is ok.

I had a friend that asked me for some constructive feedback and I wasn’t able to fully give it to her. I talked about how I don’t like constructive feedback because I am too hard on myself but that may not be the case for her. We all have blindspots and I could have been more helpful, but I was treating her how I like to be treated. I also didn’t want to hurt her feelings because mine would have been hurt if it was me, but this wasn’t about me.

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Finding the balance in how to treat people in a way that works for you and works for them is tricky but doable. Sometimes we get in caught up in our thought process and that is ok as long as your recognize it.

I believe the biggest thing to consider when trying to treat people how you want to be treated is remember compassion, empathy, respect and patience. Those things are universal.

The Golden Rule is a good place to start but its the baseline. If you start with this you will end up in a good space but if you take it a step further, you can probably have a solution that works for everybody.