Grateful…….

I’m sitting here listening to a song by Hezekiah Walker called Grateful.  Gratefulness is flowing from my heart when I think of all God has done for me; all He has promised to do for me and all He has saved me from…seen and unseen dangers.

Several weeks ago one of my FB friends spoke about how the Lord spared her and her children’s lives while she was driving…she fell asleep….BUT GOD!! I’m reminded of a time when God spared my life.  I was driving to Tennessee to visit friends.  I like driving by myself but for some reason I get soooo sleepy.  Well this particular time I thought I was only closing my eyes for a second like a long blink.  The next thing I noticed was my eyes opening at the same time my Mom was calling me on my mobile.  I was literally about to run into the back of a white car because traffic had slowed down but I was still going at least 70 mph.  I eased on brakes and didn’t panic.  I have no doubt God spared my life.  When I answered the phone I told my Mom what was happening.  She said she felt the need to call me.  We know that was the Holy Spirit prompting her.  Of course, I woke up completely after that drama and pulled into a rest stop.

After that incident, I was always leery of driving alone out of town, although I do it all the time.  I know my Mom always covered me with prayer and sometimes I even said a little prayer.  But it would always be in the back of my mind…what if I fall asleep…I’m not ready to die..I’m not saved.  Now that I’m a child of God and have my own relationship with Him…I can pray for myself.  I’m reassured that His angels of protection are with me always and everywhere I go.  I no longer allow the enemy to make me fearful of driving.  God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.  I know He is greater than anything of this world and His power lives inside me.

God is a faithful, loving and merciful God.  He has kept me safe all these years for a reason.  I’m convinced we are not on this earth by happenstance.  The situations in my life the enemy meant for my harm, God turned them around for my good.  The enemy has tried to quiet my voice BUT GOD SAYS OTHERWISE!!  My voice is a testimony to God’s wondrous work in my life.

Don’t ever think the hand of God isn’t on your life.  Don’t ever think God doesn’t or can’t use you for His glory.  Just STOP and LOOK BACK!!  Reflect on His grace and mercy.  See where He has brought you from and lessons learned.  He is only trying to get your attention for GREATER.

We have a purpose in God’s kingdom and He is faithful to show us if we just seek Him wholeheartedly.  Obedience to His will is MY FREEDOM and MY LIFE….that’s why I’m still here.

PEACE AND BLESSINGS, ALWAYS

THANKSGIVING 2017…….

This has been a GODtacular amazingly BLESSED year and it hasn’t ended yet!!  I have GREAT expectations of MY God in my life.  I’m thankful for many things: biological family, church family that seems like my biological family because they are God sent, friends, career, good health, spiritual growth and most importantly Godly purpose for my life.  I hate to think where I would be if God were not in my life…MY PERSONAL SAVIOR, MY REDEEMER, MY ALL AND ALL IN THE GOOD AND BAD TIMES!!!  I hate to think of my state of mind if God was not my mind regulator, waymaker, promise keeper, and light in the darkness.  He has lit up my LIFE with His presence and I am forever better and grateful for it.

So as I plan to spend time with my families, I’m reminded of all the love I have in my life even though some of my loved ones are in their heavenly resting place.  I’m actually comforted knowing I will be with them one day but also that they are rejoicing that I’m a child of God and living the Christian life they taught and demonstrated in front of me.

LIFE, LOVE, JOY, HOPE AND PEACE ARE THE BEST GIFTS GOD COULD GIVE TO ME…..and I am forever GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL TO MY GOD for calling me into His family!!

PEACE AND BLESSINGS TO MY CYBER PEEPS…….HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

REST, REST, REST…….

Hello cyber peeps!!!  I want to briefly talk about rest tonight.  Oftentimes we get so busy with life whether it’s our families, work, or church ministries, we don’t spend the proper time with God.  We get busy doing good deeds and reading inspirational books but not reading the Word of God or spending time in prayer. I’m coming to realize the Word of God is the most important book for me to read.  I’m coming to realize when I slack on my time with God…I feel it in my spirit.  I need that time with my Father for renewal and rest.  I can’t get so wrapped up in stuff that I neglect my first assignment…praising and worshipping God fully.

I’ve been busy with life for the past few weeks that my body and mind were getting very tired.  I didn’t even feel like reading the Word and thought because I was doing things of God that would be sufficient….NOT!!  This week I’m resting physically but also getting back to the basics…reading and asking God to renew my mind and my spirit.  When I spend time with my Savior it allows me to rest in Him, grow in Him, and see Him.

I encourage you to not neglect your time with God.  Make Him your number one priority.  He wants our undivided attention and guess what I WANT HIS!!  As Tasha Cobbs’ song says…”God give me dove’s eyes..I want undistracted devotion to only You, give me dove’s eyes.”  I want God to be the forefront of whatever I do…all eyes on Him.

God Bless and TTYL

WHAT’S IN A NAME?………

Hello my cyber peeps….it’s been a little bit since I last posted.  Life has been a little busy but your always on my mind :).  Tonight I just wanted to talk about my name, Carmen.  No, I’M NOT BEING CONCEITED..LOL.  Growing up I really didn’t like my name, not really sure why.  I remember asking my Mother “why didn’t you name me Crystal?” Of course her response was “you look like a Carmen!”  Typical Mother response right? LOL  I started liking my name after I saw a Hispanic girl on the Channel 9 PBS TV show Zoom named Carmen.  Then in high school I met an upper class-man named Karmen and my sister had a friend named Carmen.  Now I felt like my name was cool and it grew on me….REALLY, SMH.

This says a lot about how we allow people to influence our lives even down to our names.  Well, the only person I want to influence me on that level now is GOD…His view is really the only one that matters.  I’ve often wondered why God changed peoples names in the Bible.  For instance, Abram became Abraham which means father of many nations; Saul became Paul after his conversion; Jacob became Israel; Simon Peter became Peter which means rock.  There are numerous other examples.  But when you look closely at lives of the peoples names being changed, God changed their names to match the purpose He had for their lives after their spiritual conversion.

The Hebrew/Latin meanings for my name are Garden of God; garden; song.  I prefer the Garden of God; song meanings.  I don’t remember if my Mother named me Carmen because of the operas Carmen, from a baby book or divine intervention.  And I’ve often wondered in my life what those words meant in relation to me.  The operas are tragedies…love stories gone fatally wrong.  You have a beautiful woman, not knowing her worth and seeking love in all the wrong people for the wrong reasons which lead to her demise..who wants that name?  Although I can relate to seeking love in the wrong people which had me in a spiritual death….thank God my life didn’t end.  So, I prefer to think it was divine intervention that played a part in my name.

Last week I had a little light bulb moment when I was reading a book called Purpose Awakening.  The author was talking about how only God knows our real names.  We find that out by seeking Him for our purpose, our identity in Him.  So, as I’m reading this the Holy Spirit brings to my attention some powerful stuff.  Every morning since I got saved in 2015, the Holy Spirit places a song or words of a song in my spirit.  I initially thought this was strange since I can’t sing a lick, can’t hold a note so I knew I wasn’t being called to be a singer or Psalmist LOL.  But it was a way for God to honor my prayer requests: center my thoughts and keep my mind from roaming.  I’ve also come to realize it was His way of speaking to me, bringing me into praise and worship, initiating prayers, making me grateful for my life in Him, encouraging me, giving me revelation and confirmation in matters through songs.  I think that’s why I love praise and worship music…I can oftentimes find the direct phrases/words in the scripture.  I love various genres of music but I need my praise/worship songs…they feed me along with reading the Word.

Giving my life to the Lord has become a Garden of God with beautiful melodies in my soul not a tragic operatic song.  When I think of a garden that God is tending…things are in bloom, being pruned for more growth, soil (heart) is nourished by His Word and love, my mind is being transformed and renewed…All for His glory and purpose.

So it really doesn’t matter how my Mom came up with my name or how I used to feel about it, I know divine intervention was at work.  I was Carmen even before my Mother knew I was Carmen.  Even when I didn’t appreciate my name, God knew I would eventually see the purposeful meaning in it…I’m a garden of God’s handiwork being melodiously changed by Him.  How AWESOME IS THAT…..CARMEN!!!

Seek God for your real name.  Walk in your God given purpose. God thought of me and still thinks about me…..CARMEN!!!

Getting RAW……

All week I have been reading my KHAOS daily affirmations, examining my attitude about me, writing down my issues and prayers of repentance/change.  If I’m going to be healthy, wealthy, and wise in GOD this is a mandatory and life altering process.  It’s interesting how the Holy Spirit nudges you, trying to show you things that need correcting but you don’t always listen.  Eventually we fall in line and say “Lord, HELP because I just CAN’T anymore.”  He knows the areas of struggle, the things we need to rid ourselves of, our hinderances and hurts.  God has a way of gracefully breaking us (Tasha Cobbs’ song)…for His glory and making us more Christ-like.

Keep in mind what KHAOS means: keep healing and overcoming struggles, as I continue with the RAW concept.  RAW means realize, admit, work (through it).  I’m realizing my issues, admitting its time to change my thought processes and allowing God to show me how to work through the issues.  Most of the “working through it” is in my mind….being renewed and transformed.

Lets see if I can make this a little clearer.  I feel like I’m the gift inside many many boxes.  I’m sure you’ve seen, received, or given a  gift in various sized boxes and the person has to keep opening each box until finally a small box is left but reveals a GRAND GIFT.  Well that’s the journey I’m on to a better self image, greater confidence and self esteem.  This is only happening because I’m allowing the Holy Spirit to work on ME…cleanse, reveal, make, mold, grow, conform….break and put back together but only better than before.

I’m like a mosaic butterfly (my term) in the making.  I have some cracks, broken pieces, and sometimes an ugly hard heart (cocoon) but God still loves me.  He is rearranging, throwing away and placing the pieces together to reveal an amazing rebirth.  He is giving me a testimony to share, not hide or be ashamed.  A testimony that will help others to heal and be fulfilled in God.  ALL I need to do is get RAW.  Since God knows all about me I can trust whatever He reveals to me is correct.  When I realize and admit I need His help to change and work through issues, then I can continue breaking out of the cocoon to become the beautiful, gracefully broken mosaic butterfly He wants me to be.

Since He is my strength this should be a piece of cake, a walk in the park…hahaha

 

More KHAOS…..

It seems no matter what I read about self improvement, there are some basic concepts every writer uses.  According to Candace Cox…you know, from yesterday’s post…in order to have a KHAOS mindset “keep healing and overcoming struggles” we must Break FREE.  FREE means forgive, release, embrace, elevate.  Do you notice the main starting point…FORGIVE.  As I stated yesterday, I’m on a journey to a better self image…loving me as God made me.  I must break FREE from all the past negativity affecting my mind and guard against new attacks daily.

Of course I must forgive others but more importantly I need to forgive me for speaking negativity over my life.  We know the words we speak can give live or death.  We know the things we entertain can permeate our hearts and come out our mouths.  We know that roots of bitterness and rejection if not healed can fester and wreak havoc in all areas of our lives and bodies.

When I pray I ask God to show me areas where I need to forgive but also accept my responsibility in the madness.  Once this is done then I can release the issues to Him and allow Him to change my heart, mind and thoughts.  I’m trying to embrace ME so that I can continue to elevate in HIM.

I no longer think self love affirmations said in my mirror are just goofy sayings.  I encourage you to do whatever you need to do to overcome self esteem and confidence issues. My journey is INVIGORATING because I have the GREATEST LIFE COACH…THE Holy Spirit!!

Scriptures: Proverbs 4:23-24; Mathew 6:12, 14-15, 21

PEACE AND BLESSINGS ALWAYS

More Transparency……

Hello cyber loves!! I pray you’re being blessed and fulfilled in God wherever you are at this very moment.  Over the weekend I attended a conference called Phenomenal I Am Women’s conference..Enlarge MY Territory.  It was very enlightening, inspirational and confirmatory for me.  You see, in order for God to enlarge our territory, we must know who’s we are, a child of God; love ourselves and know our purpose.  So the Lord has really been revealing me to me lately.  I want to be the most productive vessel in God I can be and I realize I can’t fully do that if I don’t view myself in a certain way.  I must see me as God sees me.  My mind and thoughts need a transformation…not to mention my heart.  Lets face it…we all need some form of healing and deliverance DAILY!!!  These concepts are not gender specific….so MEN GET AT IT TOO…healing is for everybody.

One of the speakers, Candace Cox, LCSW has a book called Seriously…Say It!  It’s a book of daily affirmations on how to apply the KHAOS mindset.  KHAOS: keep healing and overcoming struggles. It’s about forgiveness and learning to control how we respond/react to people and situations…past and present.  According, to Mrs Cox, we don’t want to be in a state of CHAOS; CAN’T HELP ACTING OUT SEVERELY but incorporate the KHAOS principles.  For the next 30 days, I’m working changing my perception of me.  People don’t define me, God does.  I want His beauty to shine through me and when I look in the mirror I want to see what He sees…someone fearfully and wonderfully made doing His will.  Now I’m not saying I need 30 days of work..LOLOL..but that’s how long the devotional is….God doesn’t work on my time clock but I will complete the book.  hahaha

For me just acknowledging how words/statements said to me are still affecting me IS a major step in my healing.  My transparent moment–body image is a struggle for me that I’m no longer willing to have: NO MORE COMPARISONS, COMPETITION, CRITICAL THOUGHTS/COMMENTS.  It’s time to really start loving ME, every part of ME.  So whatever you don’t like about yourself or whomever you need to forgive because they didn’t treat you right or said hurtful things to you or even forgiving yourself for continuing to be hostage to the foolery,  it’s worth starting the process TODAY.  God is the main SOURCE to aid in that deliverance.  Allow Him to show you the root cause(s) of issue(s) plaguing your life…TRUST ME, HE WILL, LOVINGLY!!!

Months ago I had some scriptures about “controlling your thoughts.” Well its time to pull them back out, do some serious praying, reflection, meditation, releasing and healing.  We can’t have a productive life let alone healthy wholesome relationships with EXCESS BAGGAGE, LOW SELF ESTEEM AND LOW CONFIDENCE.

Read along if you like….men and women.  I’m sure you could add to this list but it’s a start.  BE BLESSED IN YOUR TRANSFORMATION!!!

Scriptures: Psalm 101;3, Proverbs 3:1-10, 4:23-25, Job 31:1, Mark 7:20-22, Luke 6:45, John 10:10, I Corinthians 2:16, II Corinthians 10:3-4; 4:4, Romans 12:2; 8:5-7, Philippians 2:2-8; 4:6-8, Colossians 3:2, I Peter 1:13

WORDS AND THOUGHTS DO MATTER….LET YOURS AND MINES BE LACED WITH WISDOM, LOVE AND COMPASSION…TTYL