August Prayer Challenge: Update #6

It’s been about a week since I’ve updated about my personal journey on Serenity’s prayer challenge and what a week it’s been.

 I’ve been consumed with following all the coverage about the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Thank goodness for social media outlets and blogs because if it were left up to the mainstream media, we’d all be days late and dollars short on information. O_o  I’m saddened, outraged, tired, shocked, and appalled but not really surprised about the treatment of young black men in this country, so I’m not going to go on and on about it when there is tons of other coverage that say all of how I feel (like in my previous blog post). My prayer habits have been sporadic during this time due to my own personal mental exhaustion though I’ve been listening to a lot of gospel music and reading some devotionals to try to remain encouraged. My sleep habits, which really aren’t that great to begin with, have suffered too due to being glued to the internet and the TV. My husband has actually admonished me to dial it back a notch and I’ve tried to do just that for the last few days.

 But right now I am tired, so I went back to read Serenity’s blog from Day 15 which talks about Endurance. One of the verses, which should be familiar to a lot of people is:

 Isaiah 40:31 – “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint.”

This time period served as reminder to me how easily it is to get off track and how important it to work to stay focused in your life, both personally and spiritually. I might not see the results of what I have been praying for exactly on August 31, 2014 but the goal is to realize that this is a marathon and not a sprint. And even if I get off track, I can hit the reset button. I’m going to do that starting right now.

August Prayer Challenge: Update #5

This past Sunday I was visiting a new church with my friend N.  Seems like whenever you haven’t been to church in a while (that would be me) the sermon always seems to be applicable to what happens to be going on your life. The sermon was centered around the concept of karma and getting what you deserve. The pastor started out with by putting up various internet memes about karma and then he went into his sermon with 3 main points.

  • You need to realize that you will reap what you sow. The basis of the saying that everyone loves to quote is Galatians 6:7 – Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth shall he also reap.
  • You need to realize that you will reap what you sow, including the consequences of your sowing. The background for this statement came from 2 Corinthians 9: 6- The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
  • You need to keep on sowing good things if you want to eventually reap blessings from God. The background from this statement comes from Galatians 6: 9-10 – And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all mean, especially unto them who are the household of faith.

I want to talk a little bit about how point #3 really hit home for me. I think the folks who have been reading me for a while know the valley I have been in concerning my career. I’ve been working contract for almost 2 years and I have a specific career path that I am trying to leverage myself into. I’ve had several interviews that would grant me entry into this particular path but I haven’t been able to get over the hump. Also in that time I have seen both real life and online friends obtain jobs with relative ease, while in my mind I seem to keep struggling. I am a person, who for the most part has had things happen fairly easily for them in life, so this has been a frustrating time for me. And though this might seem minor to some, to me it is a big deal.  Jealousy and envy are powerful emotions and can consume you if you let them. So this was a reminder to me that I need to keep doing the right thing, by encouraging others in their job search, being excited for others who have found employment and not focusing so much on what I don’t have and focus on what I DO have.  Waiting is a part of life and a delay doesn’t necessarily mean a denial.

The pastor left us with the following Scripture to reference for those times when things might get a little rough, Isaiah 40:28-31:

29 He gives power to the faint,
    and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
    and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
    they shall walk and not faint.

 

And now on to today’s prayer petitions:

  • My husband who took the test for a promotion yesterday
  • My friend’s sister M, who turns 40 soon and is struggling with a lack of confidence due to an extended period of unemployment.
  • Anyone who is in a valley or is frustrated with their current circumstance.

Set It Off Like Vivica

I mentioned that I was going to be praying for my friend N in my last post because she is on a big project at work that is due to go live next month. She’s been working a lot of hours and is under a lot of stress.

She was telling me about how last week how she reached her breaking point with several of the consultants on the project who were constantly emailing and instant messaging her, and scheduling meetings even over the time she’d blocked out on her calendar to eat lunch and complete her personal work. The final straw came for her when a dude stalked her from one building to another then interrupted while she was in a discussion with another coworker. She snapped on him, gathered her belongings and left for the day. LMAOOO!!!

She told her manager the next day what happened and she was somewhat embarrassed but she said had reached her breaking point.

And while most folks are professional in the workplace, there comes that time where you either have to put someone in their place or just go slap off!

Has there been a time where you had to set it off at work? What happened? What was the end result?

 

August Prayer Challenge: Update #4

Go on over and read Serenity’s 23 post from today. It’s right on time because worry is what I constantly struggle with. I am not a gloom and doom type personality but I constantly have worry and doubt in the back of my mind.

I especially loved the Scripture she used at the end of the post:

“It is the Lord who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit-depressed, dismayed and unnerved with alarm]. Deuteronomy 31:8

If you have written a lot about the things that you “worry” about, the things that are unknown and you don’t know how they are going to turn out and you may even be afraid of what the future may hold, I’m going to challenge you today to NOT list any worries that you have. I’m going to ask you to think about the things that worry you and turn those statements around to include what God’s word says about your fears, worries and those things.  I would like you to fill today’s entry up with thanksgiving and assuredness that God is going before you to take care of whatever is uncertain for you.

I needed to read that today.

Today’s prayer petitions:

  • E at Giving Thought, Giving Sight whose mom is having surgery today.
  • T who found out her cousin was brain dead just this morning.
  • My friend M, who is praying that her boyfriend M gets good news about a job opportunity that he interviewed for.
  • My friend N, who is under a lot of stress at her job as she works with the rest of her team to wrap up a very large and visible project.

As always, if you need prayer email me or leave me a comment. :)

 

 

August Prayer Challenge: Update #3

I’m finding that the best time for me to pray is in the car and in the shower, of all places. I’m not a silent prayer so I find it’s best for me to call out my prayer petitions. It’s not pretty and I often stumble over my words but I feel the need to get them out of my head and into the air.

Here are today’s petitions:

  • My friend J, who lost her brother to a gun accident on Sunday. He was a father and a husband.
  • All my friends who are step-parents. It is a thankless and unappreciated job to parent some else’s kid,  in particular with a co-parent who is difficult to deal with. I’ll be praying for softened hearts and reconciliations.

August Prayer Challenge: Update #2

As an update to my previous petitions I’d like to add the following:

  • Prayers for my soror L, in the loss of her mother this week.
  • Prayers for my friend K, who will be undergoing radiation to rid her body of the last vestiges of breast cancer.
  • Prayers for my many educator friends who are getting ready to go back to work.

Don’t forget that I would be happy to pray for you as well. Email me or leave a comment!

What I’m Reading This Week

I’m constantly reading and sharing various links that I get from my Twitter feed and from FB. I think I’m going to start sharing more of them via the blog as well.

I think that’s enough for now. Let me know in the comments if any of the links are broken and if you would like me to continue this on a regular basis!

Happy reading!

 

August Prayer Challenge

Over at Serenity23’s blog, she has issued a challenge to her readers for the month of August.

I want to challenge YOU.  Tomorrow starts off a new month, August 1st.  I know that every single one of you has needs, desires, people you are interceding for, things that concern you.  And if you are not a believer, this isn’t for you. But if you are a believer, I’m challenging you to begin tomorrow and devote 15 mins everyday to writing our your prayers in one central place so that you can keep track of what you are praying for.  Whenever you receive answers to any of those prayers, record the answers also.  Can you do this for 30 days?

She’s posting daily updates at her spot so go and check her out.

I’m a few days late in getting started but what I have decided to do is focus on a specific Bible verse for this month and then keep a running list of things I’ve praying for that are both short and long term goals.

The Bible verse that was suggested to me is Philippians 4:19.

King James Version (KJV)

19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

What I will be praying for and hope that God will take action on:

  1. For my husband to get accepted and participate in the Leadership Program that he applied for at his employer.
  2. That my brother will have a very successful first year as an art teacher.
  3. That my brother’s girlfriend will have a safe and successful delivery of my newest nephew Camden.
  4. That my niece and nephew will have a productive school year in when school starts.
  5. That my parents will remain in good mental and physical health.
  6. That I can be blessed with a full time opportunity that will enable me to stop working as a contractor.

There are some other material needs that I am also praying for as well but I won’t list them here.

My plan is to update my list based on my needs or the prayer needs of other folks in my life. Email me or leave a comment if you’d like me to pray for you as well!

 

 

On Keeping Your Hands To Yourself

When I was 25, I was living with my then boyfriend in a cute little 2 bedroom apartment on the southwest side of Houston. I was footloose, fancy free and I-N-D-P-E-N-D-E-N-T. (Word to Lil Boosie!) And typical of most 20 somethings, I really didn’t know that much at all and very often thought first of myself and not much of others, including him.

I’ve always been a mouthy chick, slick with the tongue and nice with my words. My ex-boyfriend was a very nice guy,  extremely laid back and very slow to anger. We rarely had cross words. Until that night I my mouth wrote a check my ass couldn’t cash.

I don’t remember what instigated the argument and it doesn’t really matter now anyway. What do I know is that I went for the jugular with my words and said something about my ex-boyfriend’s father. I was deliberately trying to hurt him because I knew that my ex didn’t have much of a relationship with his father and it pained him deeply. We’d talked about it on numerous occasions. The look on his face let me know that I’d hit WAY below the belt. Then in my infinite brilliance, I decided I’d get up in his face, talk even more shit, and PUSH him a few times. Did I mention that my ex at the time was 6’2’’ and around 275 pounds and had played college football?

Something in him broke. He grabbed me in a bear hug, shook me REALLY hard and left the room. He then closed the door and managed to lock me in the room so that I couldn’t get out. I could hear him outside in the living room. He was crying.

Eventually he did something to the door so that I could get out. I came out and he was gone. He left the house and stayed with a friend that night.

Fortunately I had the sense enough to be ashamed and embarrassed. When he came back home, he apologized for shaking me and said he cried because I hurt him so bad and because he shook me. And I apologized for putting my hands on him. I was dead ass wrong.

And to this day, I’ve never put my hands on any other man I’ve been involved with.

Like many people I’ve followed the Ray Rice case with interest. I think that the 2 game suspension from the NFL was too light. Domestic violence is WRONG and I want to make sure that I make that clear to anyone who may read this post on that. Victims of domestic violence should never be blamed for what happens to them.

Yet I understand what Stephen A Smith was trying to say in his very inarticulate and very clumsy remarks. And I understand what Whoopi Goldberg was getting at when she asserted that women should keep their hands to themselves.  Human beings have breaking points. And sometimes conflicts get escalated by one party or the other.  Neither gender should seek to deal with any conflict by using violence.

I think that the real message that’s being lost in all ranting and raving is this:

MEN, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.

WOMEN, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.

EVERYONE, KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.

The lessons that we learned in nursery school, as little children, still do apply to our lives as adults. We should do well to remember them.

Currently…

This is a good way to slide a blog in on ya’ll!

ENJOYING – How quiet the office gets when it’s Friday and everyone has gone to lunch.

LOVING – the new lip glosses that I just ordered. (Thanks @3kids1036!)

FEELING – like I don’t want to do any work for the rest of the afternoon since I’m going to be mad busy all next week.

THINKING ABOUT – the couples dinner that we’re going to tomorrow evening at this place – Mockingbird Bistro. Can’t wait!

LISTENING TO: My Dirty South-Midwest Rap playlist on Spotify. I got over 200 songs, yo!

WATC HING – 24:Live Another Day..I’m behind on my episodes but I’m going to binge and catch up this weekend. Jack Bauer is back, baby!

MAKING ME HAPPY – My husband, who puts up with my shenanigans!

Have a good weekend!!!