PURPOSE is Never Convenient 

I started the year 2015 with a life theme-“Be Intentional”. Almost a quarter of the year has gone by and so much has happened. It’s interesting how life’s challenges allow only a few options- win, lose or conform. I am determined to keep pushing forward even in moments of obvious disparity. I will view circumstances as necessary instead of unfortunate happenings. 

There are minor and greater challenges in life (writing a blog post via my phone-I’m old school, I know). But isn’t that the formula for living with purpose? -Doing what YOU THINK you can’t do..😁 

The following post sat in draft status for over a month- and finally I get to post it😊

February 24, 2015 I wrote:

Let’s face it, life is demanding. SO much to get done in so little time. The To-Do list is overwhelming! Submerged under heavy and taxing workloads, we only have time to come up for air, it seems.  Consumed by social achievements, family life, reaching career milestones and fulfilling personal goals, we struggle to spend quality time with God. But could it be that our busy schedules and behaviors are makeshift dwelling places to ignore and hide from the call of God in our lives?

Although church affiliation, attendance and involvement are highly important and personally rewarding- they cannot substitute the need for quality and uninterrupted time with God. He desires to be glorified through our lives. Life’s unfair events and experiences are sometimes the ingredients God uses to birth HIS purpose in our lives. 

Social obligations and other prismatic pursuits such as status, possessions and affiliations are limited in their ability to sustain one’s soul.  In fact, they are meaningless when one desires to pursue the will of God.  Achievements are what You can give yourself  by working hard; Purpose is what God gives when you seek Him. 

Like charity, purpose doesn’t flaunt itself or think itself more highly than it should. Purpose consents to and affirms the authority of the Word of God. Purpose-living reflects a lifestyle of humility and honors God at all times.  A Purpose-driven life knows boundaries and will walk away from situations and assignments that endanger the fabric of righteousness.  

Choosing to live purposefully is not a risky or leaky life plan. Rather, it is a balance and stable method with endless opportunities. Seek Him (His Kingdom) first and then all these things will be added.  

A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree (Proverbs 11:8 Msg).

A conversation with my husband reminded me that Purpose does not quit or settle for what’s convenient.  One morning after an interesting convo (which I will tell you about),- I hit my knees and began to pray.  I repented about my behavior, stubbornness and attitude.  As I poured out my heart, the tears grappled my face.  A sensation of God’s grace opened my soul and showed me the junk that piled atop my purpose. 

That morning, before any glimmer of sunlight, Mr.L abruptly woke me..“You’ve been missing morning prayer”, he commented. To be honest, I wasn’t aware that he noticed. As he spoke, I felt as though I was experiencing a myofascial pain; a knot in my chest and tightening of my emotional muscles.  –God was working on me! The moment I felt like quitting the process, He reminded me that He cares and that my life matters. Point is, I was allowing opinions and life stuff to distract and consume my thinking.  I became so frustrated after praying and praying and no answer. But thank God my dear friend-husband confronted me!

Staying focused and committed to prayer is the most effective tool to remedy the cares of life.  When we decide to get up from the comfy seat of convenience, we then begin the process of living with purpose.  There are countless situations that will discourage us and cause us to feel like giving up. However, God does not reject those who choose to stay at His feet. God desires to spend Mary moments with us on a daily basis. Moreover, He tells us of the danger of being distracted by a Martha lifestyle (Luke 10:38-42).

HIS plan requires a separation from what’s common, comfortable and conducive. Therefore, the things we go through are to wean us from living life “my own way”.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”  MLK Jr.  

There are no convenience rest stops on the path to purpose.  When we are weak, discouraged and deviate from His plan, He promise to help us. When though passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee (Isaiah 43:2). 

Remember
What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Continue in purpose and see you in the comment section😊

Love~Trish



Jealousy- get rid of her!

Have you ever met her or seen her? Her name is Jealousy!  She compares herself with others; is overly sensitive and always scans the environment to determine if others are treated more preferable.  Jealousy has a difficult time seeing her own worth! She cannot tolerate the thought of others having more than she does and often competes when she feels threatened by the accomplishments or fulfillment of others.  Because she is never satisfied, she’s in an emotional frenzy, trying to keep up; but fatigue and burnout will soon overcome her.

Though, Jealousy is a fictitious person, we very well know, there is nothing “fake” about its affective consequences. It is an unhappy feeling that ruins relationships.  Songs of Solomon (8:6) denotes, “Jealously is as cruel as the grave”.  This green eye monster will cause us to act and behave in ways contrary to our faith and principles. Jealousy does not preempt us of its pending arrival; it shows up when we feel most vulnerable, when we are low on worth and overflowing with insecurities.  This overwhelming emotion is often triggered by old or past wounds that left us feeling sad, scared, fearful, angry and afraid of abandonment.  For instance, we hear of someone’s accomplishment and immediately we start feeling “that should have been me”.

I remember a time when hurt and disappointment clouded my days and almost swept me away!  Having experienced such intense emotional waves, I quickly learned that emotions are like a riptide- and its surging water could easily overtake my vision and erode my goals.  But I was not going to sit back and allow that to happen- No Ma’am!

To survive and live through any emotional storm, we must search for, pursue and hold to the ANCHOR!


“A bitter heart eats its owner” (Bantu Proverb)
“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16)
 Jealousy, like envy will “rot our bones” (Proverbs 14:30)

Jealousy is Destructive!

Cain was jealous because Abel’s sacrifice was pleasing to God! So Cain consumed his brother Abel. Joseph’s brothers tried to get rid of him in an attempt to divert their father’s love to themselves. Jealousy cannot live with the thought of someone being better!

Saul was jealous of David.  Even though he was the king over all Israel, his pride led him away from God and down the path of “what about me”.  He became jealous of a little shepherd boy whom the people of Israel heralded for his brave feats.  Saul’s jealousy alchemized into bitterness, hatred and ultimately a lifestyle of a starved spiritual and familial relationship.  At the end, David got the throne and Saul got the sword.  Jealousy isn’t worth your life!

Haman was obviously jealous of Mordecai and felt threatened by Mordecai’s integrity. Haman probably deceitfully desired Mordecai’s close relationship with God, his family and community.  Jealousy led Haman to find a reason to accuse Mordecai.  Consequently, his jealousy produced his own demise! For the very trap Haman had built for Mordecai became his own and sadly affected his entire family (Esther 3).

Remember the story of the prodigal son? The brother failed to conquer jealousy and eventually it conquered him. Jealousy will never grant us the satisfaction or gratification we so desperately seek. Rather, it vehemently leads us away from meaningful relationships.

Real love is not jealous; real love recognizes, acknowledges and admits to poisonous emotions that threaten our worth and relationships. 

Be the beautiful flower you are and simply bloom😊🌹

Love,
Trish

Modesty Defined

Modesty has taught me…

The secret of being classy is having everything to show, yet refined and graceful enough not to show it. Choosing instead to reflect HIS high standards of behavior, attitude and appearance. 

I was taught, dress the way you want to be addressed. For me, modesty is not about how holy I am or looking the part; instead, it is reflecting the image of a Holy and Sovereign God.  Modesty encourages self-worth, respect, dignity and value. Contrary to modern beliefs, it repels a frumpy appearance, pompous behavior and an arrogant attitude.

Purity embraces Modesty 

A woman who is pursuing a right-relationship with God is comfortable in her own skin and will protect her purity without risking or compromising her relationship with God. Her pursuer is bound to honor her stance if he’s likewise seeking after God- he won’t dare defile her.

William Shakespeare once said,
“have more than you show and speak less than you know”.

Modesty is simply having more than what you flaunt without defending it with words.  Modesty will set you apart and is a key method for maintaining purity and freedom from premarital entanglements. Modesty goes above and beyond a dress code. It is the sonogram of our heart; displaying images of a well-spring of hidden treasures, a plane of values and a field of beauty to be excavated.  A modest woman is the most precious treasure a husband can find; she is equipped to handle his needs and he can safely trust her (Proverbs 31).

Modesty is Beautiful

We should accentuate the beauty of Christ inside-out. Modest clothing is not an option, but a way of life.  A woman can SPARKLE in modest apparel! She does not need to flip through countless magazines to find the next best trendy or “hot” fashion line.  Rather, we should rely on scriptures to support our fashion style- Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come (Proverbs 31:25).  For that reason, I wear happy strong pieces of clothing and resist clothes that reveal weakness.

Immodesty does not go with my outfit…

I don’t wear it; it’s not my fit; and I don’t make concessions to fit it either! Immodest clothing isn’t my style! Immodesty is often a byproduct of carnal thoughts that ultimately compromise our standard of dressing and how we behave.  It is vital that we do not act upon those thoughts, for the flesh is an opportunist!

The world maybe bored by our modesty, ARE YOU too?

Immodesty begins the moment we dim the light to the conscientious awareness that we house the living God inside our bodies. Do not allow modern living to undress your beauty!

The Boston Metro recently wrote an article, What If Miley Cyrus Took All her Clothes Off and Nobody Cared? Why wouldn’t we care? Because “we live in a world now where a collection of Miley Cyrus pictures is met with a collective yawn instead of the startled gasp”.  Clothing is “so boring and one-dimensional” as the new trend “appreciates Miley’s attempt to desexualized female nudity.”  Are we also annoyed and bored by the clarion call for modesty? I’m not! We cannot get tired of modesty, amidst our post-modern culture and it’s skimped moral standards.

Why are you wearing that?

Whenever there is a redistribution of modesty, it shows forth. The psychology of clothes phenomenon explains: why we wear what we wear, and how we want to be regarded.  Because our wardrobe informs passersby who we are; let’s be careful about the messages and information we are sending. Our clothing and dressing will attract judgments, whether good or bad.

COMFORT for tragedy

I WILL NOT CAUSE PAIN
WITHOUT ALLOWING SOMETHING
NEW TO BE BORN, SAYS THE LORD.
 ISAIAH 66:9 NCV

One of the bravest things we will ever have to do is continue to live (purposefully) after a tragedy!  On Sunday, our hearts went into a panic shock, altering our thinking and spreading numbness throughout our bodies as we heard the word DEAD! T.A.E was such an inspiration to hundreds, a talented musician and an awesome worship leader.  It feels like it was just yesterday I visited his parents’ home and watched his loving mama prepare his nursery.  I don’t claim to understand the near magnitude of pain and sorrow felt by his parents, sisters, entire family and close friends.  Not an expert in tragedy-who really is? However, I do know that God is the author and finisher of our faith, and His strength is made perfect in weakness.  So we look to Him for sovereign strength and faith, knowing that He will provide coils of comfort to sustain and heal the hearts that mourn.

We may struggle to see God’s purpose in tragedy, however His Word beautifully illustrates with vivid expressions and reminders that HE CARES.  The book of Job occupies the fact that even in bad times God is still to be blessed.  Choosing to worship rather than cursing God, will turn the captivity (unfortunate) and bring us twice as much as we had before.  The Lord will bless the latter end more than the beginning. (Job 42, KJV)

It’s really isn’t about WHY did God allow this, but WHAT will God do in times like these? Because His mission and focus has always been salvation and love, tragedy is another opportunity for Him to express His love and bring us closer to Him.  After a traumatic event, nature itself causes us to draw closer to love ones in order to glean strength.  If nature can bring us closer, let us not ignore the awesomeness of God’s unfailing love as He’s able to cathartically purge us and fill us up with renewing strength.  I don’t want to sound whimsical, and believe me when I say I know words won’t necessarily change the fact that a love one has left us.  But words are meaningful to provide comfort and bring assurance. God himself has left us His Word for our understanding and His Spirit to comfort our hearts.  And if or when we do ask WHY, He doesn’t finger point and say “shame on you”! Instead, He’s glad that you asked, for when we approach Him with honesty, He inclines His ear to our brokenness and will not despise us.

Praying for you,

Trish

If you decide that this is a good time to talk to your children or Youth Group about Tragedy, www.MentalWellnessCounseling.com has a great resource guide.

Also, here are a few conversation starters that I’ve used in the past to talk about the topic “Tragedy”.
We heard the [terrible] news.  How are you feeling?
How did you feel when you heard____died?
What scares you the most about what happened?
Do you feel safe?
What can I do to make you feel safe?
Why do you think bad things happen to people?
What do does your feelings look like?
How do you plan to be joyous after losing a friend?
Do you believe you will go to heaven?
Has your thoughts about God changed?

 

Be Intentional

So here I am sitting in my bedroom writing my very first blog (finally)! It has been a busy day and I am ready for what’s ahead in 2015.  There are decisions to be made, changes to be applied and obstacles to overcome.  So what’s different this year from 2014 and the preceding years?  I can honestly say I feel intentional- I’m deliberate about replacing fear and its cohorts with Godly intentions: taking control of what voices I listen to and thoughts that govern my behavioral responses.

During our morning devotion (the very first day of the New Year), I listened keenly to the prayers of my daughters as they thanked God for life and the changes we experienced as a family in 2014.  I noticed their plea for God’s protection and blessings in 2015.  How crude was it that doubt crept in, sat next to me and whispered “what if…” so I inwardly responded, “God please don’t disappoint them”.

Having gone through some painful experiences in 2014, I found myself now looking at the reflections of last year- my dad lying in a casket and background images of my grandma and uncle who passed away only months later.  I then mutely echoed “there is deliverance in death”. God instructed me this past November that even at the last minute of 2014, ‘there is still time to rejoice.’  So as we ended from praying, I found myself rejoicing and asking God to free me from not only fear but its residual effects.  I made it known to Him that I don’t want my thought life hindering His blessings.  I felt such a peace and absolute comfort and to top it off, it was as though I could hear Him sayBE INTENTIONAL (plan out this year, be purposeful, commit to complete, focus to settle distractions, be willing to follow-through and do not quit the process).

There are victories to win in 2015 and joyous living to be drawn out of the wells of salvation. Let us begin this year by writing down our resolves and desires for 2015 and watch God give us answers and solutions. Let us commit to praying, knowing His Word and seeking His Kingdom first.

Enjoy your today,

Trish