One year!

achievement

One year! I can hardly believe it. When I registered this blog a year ago I would never have thought I would be here. I have almost 80 followers which doesn’t seem like a lot but I didn’t think that people would want to hear what I had to say, especially because I was talking about God. My start was bumpy. I registered this site in June but I didn’t do my first post until October.  I was scared. I was following what God told me to do but I was moving really slow about it. I wanted it to be perfect, I wanted to have 10 posts before I went live. So many things now, I realize didn’t matter.

 

I write because it makes me feel good. I write because it helps me get all the things that are inside my head out and on to paper. When I write I feel closer to God. I started this blog because I know this crazy journey I have been on wasn’t just for me. I am happy that it has helped and inspired people. I am proud of myself because this blog has helped me more than it has probably helped anybody. Self examination and growth is hard. Like real hard. Putting the wild things you think on paper for people to judge is also hard. I never wanted to be judged by things I wrote because I probably already judged myself harder than any random person could. I know I could be doing things better, responding better, living better. I see people going through harder trials then me with a smile on their face every day.

I am working on it. I am proud of the woman I am becoming. I don’t know everything and I no longer feel like I have to pretend I do. That is a big deal. I am getting people to reflect on their behavior, which is great. It is the thing I want to do the most, is help people be the best versions of themselves.

Keep reading, keep following, keep supporting. I am so appreciative. I hope you are getting something out of these words. I am excited for what the next blogging year will bring.

Yours in writing,

Dominique

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Awkward

via Daily Prompt: Awkward

awkward-causing or feeling embarrassment or inconvenience

Why is everyone so scared to be awkward? Issa Rae had a book and YouTube series about being an Awkward Black Girl. (the language is pretty bad, but its also pretty funny) I can identify with some of how she felt. I don’t think I am super socially awkward but I am human, so I am sure I have my moments. I think a lot, so I make sure I avoid it at all costs. Sometimes I avoid being awkward so much that I let things linger that probably shouldn’t. How long is to long to not talk to someone? How long is too long to not hang out with them? There is no beef but so much time has passed it feels awkward to make the call.

chuck swindoll

My friends say you don’t have to explain your absence, people just want to be reached out, thought about. Which in theory makes sense, but that initial conversation, what if its weird? What if the person is mad? What if the magic is gone?

I wrote a while back about spiritual growth being about reacting differently to the same situation and I want to, but then the whole issue of being awkward comes up and I start to think is it worth it? Embarrassment is a hard thing to get over and vulnerability is too. How do you tell someone its not you, its me? Would they even accept that? Can we go back to being what we were before? Do we want too? Can you trust me again? They say time heals all wounds but I just don’t know about that.

time heals

I try to look at it if one of my friends came back to me after a long hiatus like hey whats up we should hang out. Would I be upset? Probably not, but things don’t necessarily bother me like they bother other people. I am going to take the plunge real soon and see how it goes. I have held this off for too long. God doesn’t want me holding on to anything. I could be blowing this situation up in my mind and making it worse than what it is. I won’t know until I pick up the phone. I will let you know my progress.

 

 

 

 

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?

e007ed55fc39732dbef879e549821f36--endometriosis-quotes-infertility-hurts

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.

Thwart

via Daily Prompt: Thwart

Thwart-prevent someone from accomplishing something

Have you unconsciously thwarted someone when they shared their dream with you? You may not have said the words, you can’t do this, but your facial expression, your tone, the questions you asked them may show that you don’t believe in what they are trying to do.

Did you disregard someone’s dream? Did you think it was ridiculous? I know we are not supposed to be concerned with what other people think but we are human. We someone close to you makes a disparaging comment it sticks. I told my friend once I wanted to write a book and she looked at me and said, “You want to write a book?” It was how she asked me, like what makes you think you can write a book. I don’t think she meant any malice behind it but it still hurt me.

Its one thing to have someone be realistic, but its another to be a dream killer. Its not anyone else’s responsibility to tell someone they need to get themselves together when they are still in the planning stages. People sometimes just want to say the words out loud. They are not asking for your opinion. Be mindful of how you treat your friends, your family, your colleagues. If they felt comfortable enough to share something so important, the least you can do is offer a little encouragement. If it isn’t going to work, they will eventually find out on their own, they don’t need that push from you.

 

 

 

 

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.

his-grace-is-sufficient-erica-hanel

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.

 

 

Condemnation vs. Conviction

Discerning the difference between conviction of the Holy Spirit and Condemnation from the Enemy

-conviction is from the Holy Spirit, prompting us to confess and be restored by fellowship with God. It is to draw us closer to God.

-condemenation is from Satan. Purpose is to keep us away from God by making us feel guilty.

-once you confess you are immediately forgiven, anything after that is guilt from Satan

-if you feel like hiding from God and doubting his love that is Satan, Closer that is God

-the enemy; speaks in half truths, pushes, agitates, emphasizes, do, do, do encourages willingness against Gods ways, encourages complaining, tells us we are inadequate

-Holy Spirit: about whole truth, wants us to be anxious for nothing, emphasizes be,be,be, unites people, emphasizes Gods will empowers us, encourages contentment

-Holy Spirit is specific-fix this me thing and you will be free. He commands you to take a specific action to make a choice of your will.

-The enemy wants us to focus on our feelings. Feelings are false! Speaks half truths. Set your mind on interests above God.

-Holy Spirit speaks facts and truth about you and God. Set your mind on God’s interests.

condemnation-conviction

http://www.tonycooke.org/articles-by-others/condemnation-conviction/

Disclaimer:

(This list is complied research from a bunch of different websites. At the time, I didn’t need to know the source because it was for my personal use. Now I’m sharing with you, I need to give credit because I didn’t know most of this stuff until I looked it up.)

https://marriagemissions.com/discerning-the-difference-between-the-conviction-of-the-holy-spirit-and-condemnation-of-the-enemy/

http://shieldoffaith62.blogspot.com/p/conviction-or-condemnationknowing.html

Often times I wonder if God is convicting me about something or is it the devil trying to make me feel bad. I discovered a few things. Conviction will make you feel bad, but not in a despair, can’ t face the day feel bad, just disappointed in yourself. That’s you grieving the Holy Spirit but it isn’t condemnation. Many times I have confessed things to God but still felt terrible about them, that isn’t God. He doesn’t want us to feel bad when He corrects us, he just wants us to do better.

offers hope

I wrote the words above a long time ago, 3 years ago in my journal when I was doing research on conviction vs condemnation. One thing I never paid attention to in my research is specific. As I was researching to write this post, I finally noticed specific. One blogger talked about God telling her she needed to apologize to someone and it just kept coming up in her mind over and over again. That makes sense. Specific is probably the most important thing that I could take away from my research. If you can’t put your finger on why you feel bad, that probably is not from God. God is not a God of confusion. If he wants you to something the direction is always clear. Even if the direction is to take one step at a time. He won’t just leave you hanging.

In my bible reading everyday I have discovered that Jesus didn’t come to judge us or condemn us but help us. He doesn’t want you to feel bad about something because you are not always going to change something if you are made to feel bad about it. You will just avoid it.

john317 coffee cup

I have only scratched the surface of this topic. It is definitely something I want to dive into more. You should too. There is a ton of research out there about this topic. Do you feel like you are being convicted about anything? What changes are you feeling prompted to make? Take some time to pray and make sure its from God and not anywhere else.

Be Humble.

cslewis

God does not like the proud. AT. ALL.

opposesproud

I never thought I was a person that had a problem with humility. I am not a bragger, I don’t take credit for others people work, I am not obnoxious. These are the things I think about when I think of person with a humility problem. As God has been working on me, I discovered that humility is a multilayered concept and once I start peeling back the onion that I wasn’t as humble as I thought I was. I was listening to Joyce Meyer the other day and she had this list of characters traits of people who are humble. Once I heard this list I knew I had some work to do.

Humble people:

  • Ask for help, don’t insist that things go there on way-I don’t ask for help because I don’t typically do things I don’t know how to do already.
  • Quick to forgive, slow to offend glad to wait on God for vindication
  • Patient and long suffering with weakness of other people- I work in a high school. I am not always patient with people weaknesses because I hate to see wasted potential. I have students who are in the top 10% of the class not doing anything and it makes me so mad, and then I lose my patience with them. I have to remind myself they are just children.
  • Peace maker and peace lover
  • Romans 12 never overestimate yourself, adapt yourself to other people
  • Knows when to be quiet- I do not know when to be quiet. I talk entirely too much which is not always a bad thing. I am the person that used to always speak first in group settings, but now I try 3 before me. I also try to make sure that anything I have to add is necessary and beneficial to the conversation.
  • First to apologize-I am certainly not first to apologize because I don’t always feel that I am wrong. My husband is always first to apologize even when it isn’t his fault, which makes me really upset. He is one the most humble people I know though.
  • See and admit own weakness-I see them, but its much harder for me to admit them. I am working on it though. I talk about that some in this post. Is fear of failure selfish?
  • Gives credit where it’s due
  • Happily servers other people
  • Very thankful
  • Quick to repent- I am now. I think my problem before is that I didn’t realize I was doing things that didn’t please God. I am thankful for conviction.
  • Treats everyone with respect

I stumbled across this post at the Godly Chic Diaries about humility and it made a lot of sense. She brings up another layer of this humility onion. I will be talking more about as I work through these different layers.

How humble are you? After looking at this list do you see some things you need to work on?