lessons learned…tragedy averted!

It is absolutely amazing to me how I can get so sidetracked and still think I’m on the right path.  Over the last couple of months and especially the past week, I’ve had to do some serious soul searching and life re-evaluations.  I became enamored with the promises of God for my life that I completely overlooked the process and His timeline.  Lets just JUMP head first into the situation and not even seek Him for the full meaning or time frame.

Last week I really had a major meltdown.  I was ready to jump off the cliff and soar (so I thought) but it would have been a major life disaster leading to what I feel like would have turned into an abyss.  Needless to say, God in His loving and sometimes not so subtle way spoke to my mind and heart through people that love me….and I finally heard!!

Now that I’m able to reflect back on the situation I can see my flaws…yes I have flaws.  Pride, stubbornness, slack in my time reading God’s Word, not seeking and valuing wise counsel sooner than expected.  If you know for a certainty God has placed wise people in your life, GO TO THEM!  It’s not a selective situation relationship and should be valued.  Most importantly I didn’t apply Matthew 6:33 to my situation.  It’s a dangerous place to be in when you know to seek God but don’t fully heed to the time it takes to STOP and LISTEN.  When we get to a place where we think we have all the answers, the rebuke can show up in so many areas of our lives: mind, body and heart.

I’ve learned some valuable lessons this past week, like slap you in the face type lessons.  God is love.  He provides clarity.  He is not the author of lack, confusion, stress, fear or doubt.  Although He gives directions and plans (not always step by step) but He does give complete instructions for the right now (that makes sense in my mind so I hope you follow what I’m saying).  I shouldn’t have more “I don’t knows”  versus “I knows” if I’ve sought God and waited for His response…NOT MINES.

My spiritual Mom had this prayer for me and I have taken it to heart…again:

Ephesians 1:17-19  “I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know him through your deepening intimacy with him.  I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling –that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy one!  I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith.  Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you!  This is the mighty power (of God)…. (The Passion Translation)

Be Blessed…. #purposeREVEALED

In search of………MY VOICE

I’m looking for something.  I don’t know when and where I lost it or if I ever had it but I need it NOW!  I’m not interested in being a clone of someone else or using their words or their words being substituted or forced on me.  I don’t know why this affects me so…sometimes I feel like what comes out of my mouth isn’t good enough. like my brain and words spoken don’t match up.  if you repeat what I say or you just trying rationalize and understand in your own brain or are you saying what I said wasn’t good enough? I’m not trying to be deep in my thoughts or dummy down my thoughts…its just how my brain processes sooooo why is my VOICE not good enough??!!  I’m trying to figure out in my mind and praying, Lord where is my voice and what has hindered it from surfacing???  Something happened to make me feel this way but what?  It seems I have more questions than answers but I guess that’s good because prior to today I knew I was frustrated but couldn’t put words to it.  So again Lord, where is MY VOICE and how do I  let it flow without any restrictions from the noise of people and my past?  How do I not let words of others affect me…the way I process my thoughts are unique to me so why do I feel so intimidated in my delivery?  How do I overcome to move forward with the voice You have given me?

No accolades or pats on the back will suffice.  I just need acknowledgment that I’m understanding, that my words matter, my thoughts matter.  no belittlement or you should say it this way.  no approval boasting me up or disapproval hindering me.

WHY do I take it to heart?  Gotta shake something off….BUT WHAT??!!

Lord, Help me to understand and find the voice You have given me and only ME…MY VOICE!! AMEN

#purposeREVEALED

situational leadership

I’m so glad that God meets me right where I am at any given moment.  Yes, He desires for me to come higher, grow, stretch, leave my comfort zone but He still comes to where I am first.  No matter how much I kick and scream, fight and fall out…He waits for me.  Whatever the situation, His plans are tailor made for me.

I’m reminded of the days when I was a supervisor.  I took a training course called situational leadership.  The overall objective of the training was to get managers and supervisors to meet the needs of their employees at their level.  The interaction required between me and my direct reports was determined by their skill set and task or duty at hand.  You had to determine if directing, coaching, supporting or delegating was needed. But the kicker is you couldn’t assume what was needed….the situation determined your level of involvement.  The involvement required wasn’t readily identified unless I spent time with each person getting to know them and how they carried out work assignments.  Now I must admit this was a paradigm shift for me.  I was so conditioned to just assume people were at a certain level with all duties…not true.  Someone could be high functioning in one task requiring little to no oversight but in another area require more hand holding.  What I found out during this process was yes it took more time up front to get to know a person, their skillsets and comfort level but it was better in the long run.  When I didn’t take time initially that would cause delays and added frustration later because I wasn’t meeting their needs and they definitely were not meeting my needs or deadlines.  So there is value in knowing a person and meeting them were they are…it shows you are investing in them.

Oftentimes I feel like God is using situational leadership tactics on me.  Although I know I must depend on Him for all things, He does want me to have some level of (inter) dependence in the plans He has for me.  As a Christian I should be growing in my faith daily but never outgrowing Him.  Always following His lead and walking the path He lays before me BUT for those times I don’t I’m grateful that He redirects and coaches me back in right standing, supports me and even delegates to me those things I’ve been shown faithful.

So take comfort in knowing God is ALWAYS with you and will ALWAYS give you the level of guidance needed for your level of skill and maturity.

Be Blessed ALWAYS!!!

#purposeREVEALED

thirsty……..

I really do feel like I crave the Word of God.  I desperately want to understand what I’m reading when I read my bible.  But sometimes I just feel like the biggest idiot.  Like what did I just read…my comprehension is lacking something fierce..or so it seems.  I use different biblical interpretations on my phone to assist with a clearer meaning.  Lets face it, KJV doesn’t feel like my friend most days, IJS.  I do tend to prefer the NKJV, NIV and Amplified.  But when I just really want the nitty gritty, I have turned to the Message version.  I know that it’s ultimately up to the Holy Spirit to open up my understanding of the Word but it gets very frustrating at times.

So, in my quest to know more of Gods Word, to understand it and apply it to my life, I need Holy Spirits help.  I just can not do it on my own.  No matter how I try or look to other versions, at the end of the day I have to pray and say, “Lord, What does all this mean?”  The good thing about that prayer is the answer comes.  The more I seek God for my daily reading plan the less frustrated I feel and the more I understand what I’m reading.  You see no bible reading plan can guide me better than the one Holy Spirit provides.  I feel less frustrated and intimidated because I know He is leading me where He wants me to go thus giving me insight and understanding.

I’m trying to stop putting so much pressure on myself to get everything done.  I don’t have to read every book of the bible right now.  I don’t have to know my concordance front to back.  I don’t have to read every inspirational/devotional email, pamphlet or book I come across.  I believe I give myself information overload…receiving too much then not knowing what to do with it…just information not knowledge.

So, 2019 is my year to slow down and speed up.  Slow down in the things of Carmen and speed up my obedience to the things of God,  even in reading my bible.  I believe I’ll be the better for it.  Thirsty for the Word but led by God!

Peace and Blessings to you until next time!!!

 

Happy New Year 2019….setting God-goals

Well it’s been a while but I’m back.  Its a new year but the clock on my life doesn’t just start over with the new year.  What I learned and went through in 2018 and before has prepared me to enter 2019.  Each year of my life since 2015 has literally gotten better and better.  Mind you I didn’t say perfect and peachy but God has a way of helping me see things through His lens and it looks promising.

Last month I was reflecting back on my life. I have every reason to dread the holiday season and for many many years I did.  I lost my dearly loved grandfather several months before the holiday over 20 years ago but life NEVER seemed the same.  I lost my loving Mother 10 years ago just days after Christmas..life definitely NEVER was the same.  Three years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery two weeks before Christmas, WOW!!  So when I look at those situations I could easily be depressed, feel hopeless and just wish the season would pass away while I slept.  But God’s saving grace said otherwise…He wouldn’t let me succumb to these feelings of despair and emptiness.

Living a saved Christian life is teaching me where my source of joy and happiness reside.  Although life threw and continues to throw swings at me, God is ALWAYS on my side telling me when to duck, dodge, get up or step aside.  He is showing me HIs love for me will carry me through any situation all I have to do is: rejoice always, pray without ceasing and be thankful in every situation…MY GOD-Goals for 2019 and beyond (toy story, lolol).  Sounds hard to do but I’m learning practice makes perfect (as perfect as I can get).  I can truly say my good days out weigh my bad days and greater is ahead of me….not only in eternity but here on earth.

I choose to believe in God and His goals for me!!  No time for looking back and stressing.  My life experiences were stepping stones for my right now and next.

What God-goals are you setting for your life….not just 2019 but beyond?!

Be Blessed Always!!

I’ve Got History with The Creator…….

I’ve been really reflective these past few months.  I have HISTORY with the Creator.  I mean literally history that I didn’t even know I had or how it would shape my life.  As far back as I can remember, each stage of my life, God has had His mighty hand working in my life.  I am forever grateful and in awe of His handiwork.

His handiwork has brought me through some Red Sea situations.  I didn’t know they were Red Sea experiences but they were…surrounded by trouble on all sides..at least that’s how I see it.  Even now I feel like I’m dealing with many red seas in my life: personal/health, family, financial and spiritually.  I’m not being dramatic (well maybe a little) but life can be challenging at times to say the least.  What’s amazing is that sometimes I have to stop and think, Wow!! I’m not stressed like I would have been BC (before Christ in my life).  I’m actually experiencing Jehovah Shalom in my life on a daily, that is such a tremendous blessing to ME!!

I know the Red Sea experiences are teaching me life long lessons that are drawing me closer to God, changing my heart and mind, increasing my spiritual maturity and faith.  When facing my Red Sea experiences, trouble all around me, God is saying that’s the prime time to look UP…look to Him.  Look to the only One who has the answers and sometimes that answer has been to “be still.”  Sometimes that answer is just trust me.  Sometimes that answer is I’ll provide.  Sometimes that answer is just be obedient and stop trying to figure me out…just MOVE…follow directions Carmen!  Sometimes that answer is just study my Word for your growth and encouragement.  Sometimes that answer is just spend time with ME.

Whatever the answer is I can’t get to it by looking at the situations.  I MUST keep my eyes lifted UP!!  I want my heart’s desire to match the words to some of my favorite songs: All is well with my soul, just say YES, and Lord, help me to see me as you see me.  I’m more than my current situations.

My Pastor gave me some wise words, “deal with one Red Sea at a time.”  So I’m going to let my Savior deal with the red seas in my life and let Him make and mold me in the process.  God knows exactly what Red Sea to fix first…so I’m placing it ALL at His feet..TAKE IT JESUS!!

PEACE AND BLESSINGS…..GIVE YOUR RED SEAS TO GOD, HE’S MORE THAN CAPABLE OF HANDLING THEM!!

Isolation vs Solitude

At first sight these two words really don’t seem that different to me.  According Wikipedia, isolation is keeping apart from others; being kept apart from others.  Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, lack of contact with people.  It goes on to say short term solitude is valued as a time when one may work, think or rest without being disturbed.  Solitude may be desired for the sake of privacy.  Well, I’m still not really seeing the difference…my mind is strange.  But I type this because of an inspirational message I heard last week that specifically spoke about isolation (spirit of isolation to be exact) and solitude.

In the spiritual sense we can isolate ‘be off to ourselves” because we don’t want to be around or bothered with people and their issues or even our own issues.  We sulk and have pity party or we don’t really want to hear the right thing because we want to do the wrong thing.  This is our flesh at work BIG  TIME!!  Now, this was a hard pill for me to swallow at first.  But as I kept listening to the preacher talk he made sense.  Wanting to be isolated from people and thinking about how I’ve been wronged or hurt or how life isn’t what I wanted or expected it to be is my FLESH talking…very LOUDY.  No where in that conversation and my “alone time” am I listening to the voice of God.  This mentality can only lead to my detriment, spiritually speaking.

When he spoke about solitude in the spiritual sense, that would be my time spent alone with the Holy Spirit, seeking, praising and worshipping God, learning His ways and listening for direction.  This solitude, unintertrputed time with God to know Him the more, read His word, learn His plans and purpose for me and the Kingdom that would be godly solitude with godly end results.  My solitude with God should produce some fruit, in me.

An Elder at my church recently taught a message about double lives.  Our lives should be filled with ongoing encounters with the Holy Spirit, building our endurance in our Christian walk and transforming us to have more and more of Christ’s attributes: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfullness, goodness kindness, gentleness, and self control.

So next time I just want to get away or hide out in my home (haha) or call off work or not attend church services, etc etc…… I need to check my motives, especially when the day to day stresses of  life really get to me.  Am I seeking isolation or solitude?  Am I seeking me or God?  What type of fruit is my alone time going to bring forth?

I’m all for disconnecting for vacations..I live to disconnect in that sense, lolol.   But this really made me think about my day to day mindset.  If I get it right on a daily my vacations won’t feel like such long awaited mental renewals that only come every 3, 6, 9 or 12 months depending on your PTO, lolol.

Lets be intentional about our solitude with God, having our minds renewed daily and bringing forth fruit that will make us valuable in the Kingdom and pleasing to our Creator.

Peace and Blessings until next time!