What’s most important?

Recently I have taken the time to think about what matters to me the most. Every year around this time I tend to be hard on myself. I isolate. I pull out my New Years Resolution list. Everything on the list is never fully completed. It never fails that I feel disappointed in myself, and I anxiously try to think of a plan to retract myself. No more of this!

These last few weeks I begin to ask the Lord to help me focus on what is important. I have come to a place in prayer where I desire for him to reveal to me what “HE” feels is important for my life. Often what he feels, and what I feel are very different . There are things he desires for me, and there are things that I want (Isaiah 55:8).  To be honest.. I often find myself torn between the two. When I was trained as a counselor, we were challenged and reminded daily to examine our intentions. Why do I feel this way? Why do I desire these things? What is driving my actions? What is my heart revealing? Why I am acting this way? We push our clients to think through these ideas. These person centered thoughts have become ingrained into the fiber of who I am. There is not one single day that I am not reflecting on these things. As a result, time and time again God humbles me and reveals my impure and selfish intentions. Amazingly this process has caused me to be more sensitive, and more understanding to others then I can ever imagine. But the downside is this.. I focus so much on myself and the intentions of others, that I forget to think about God and his intentions towards me. Do not be mistaken… The thoughts and plans you have for yourself will NEVER be better than the plans that God has towards you. The more I pursue life for myself, the further from Christ I will be. My desire is to fill up my thoughts of God, in the place I would normally place myself. My desire is to forfeit my will, and change my behavior. He demands and deserves to be the center of my thoughts. I cant help but to wish that I spent more time this year searching why God feels the way he does, instead of why I feel the way I do. What is his plan for me, instead of my own goals and desires. God your will, not my own.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

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Your Everything

Find me here, and speak to me
I want to feel you, I need to hear you
You are the light that’s leading me to the place
Where I find peace again
You are the strength that keeps me walking
You are the hope that keeps me trusting
You are the life to my soul
You are my purpose
You’re everything
And how can I stand here with you
And not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms and you give me rest
You hold me in your hands
You won’t let me fall
You steal my heart and you take my breath away
Would you take me in, take me deeper now
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this

Cause you’re all I want, you’re all I need
You’re everything, everything
You’re all I want
You’re all I need
You’re everything, everything
You’re all I want
You’re all I need
You’re everything, everything
You’re all I want
You’re all I need
Everything, everything

And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better-any better than this
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this

This is one of my favorite songs “Everything” by Lifehouse. I love to listen to this early in the morning when my brain is all cluttered with thoughts. It sets me right on track and reminds me how I am nothing without him. What beautiful worship

Desperate for change

I know I havent been patient and I know I havent waited long enough…But I am ready. Ready for something new. Somewhere new. Ready for someone just like you. Daily I’ve meditated about whats to come. What you have for me next and who you have for me next. Where you’d have for me to go.

I know that I am blessed, but maybe I haven’t counted my blessings lately, because I feel desperate. Desperate for whats next, for whats to come. Please begin to develop patience in me. Know that I will never stop looking to the hills with my hands far stretched. Stretched out to the one who is sovereign in my life. You know me more than anyone. You know what I feel, what I need and what my future holds. I can rejoice in your faithfulness. Because even when I have been disappointed I can have confidence that you are involved.

Friends take courage. You are not alone in your wait, neither are you alone in the feelings and struggles that come along with being patient. Patiently wait and win in the future which is orchestrated by our father. What are you lacking patience about?

patience

Beauty in Helplessness

Be willing to feel helpless and disturbed,it results in a self- disciplined and passionate life rather than in a controlling life that fears what may surprisingly arise. (Allender, 2006).

I love this quote it touched me.It is usually difficult to describe helplessness as being such a healthy and acceptable thing. It is a very beautiful characteristic of being a leader. And as a counselor being able to help your client to understand that helplessness is not always bad is very progressive for the therapeutic process.

Do not allow complex situations to make you become emotional, irrational, or self seeking. My desire is to get to a place where I can communicate with God and have peace that he can help me to handle situations as such through him. And the healthy response to helplessness would be openness and courage to embrace the complexity and have faith that God is still in control. Complexity in life is inevitable, and experienced even more often being a leader.

Maybe I ..

thinksaySo I have not blogged in over a week and I must say I have been pretty anxious about it…my mind is feeling pretty cluttered. But as a sit here for 30 mins plus- still no topic, nothing to write about.  So many things are going through my mind but I just can’t find the words to write them. Its like I know what I feel but I’m not quite sure how Id like to express them. Maybe because there is so many things inside me to express?  These thoughts and emotions have been bottled up for days. And I’m starting to feel like blogging is one of the ways to get them out. Wow, have I become dependent upon my own therapeutic blog, which is supposed to be therapeutic for others? Im fine with that…. Maybe I feel this way because my new job has consumed the time that I used to spend with the Lord; time in his presence, deep reflection, and surreal mediation as I would sit patiently waiting to hear back from him. Man do I miss that time. Maybe I feel this way because I am realizing that I am turning 29 years old in less than one month and it brings up a lot of mixed emotions. Maybe I’m realizing that heartache is something that only time can truly heal. No matter how much you pray, or block it out your mind. Maybe I’m realizing that I have so much to be grateful for that I often overlook my blessings, and I feel really guilty about that. Maybe I feel this way because I sooooo desperately want to see myself the way God sees me because I secretly feel like that would change my life forever. Maybe Im realizing that being an entrepreneur and working full- time is much harder than I anticipated. Maybe I feel this way because my friends mother almost died. I feel this way because I know that the more you know the more you realize that you don’t know. I realize that all of my legalistic ways mean nothing to God so now I have to reconstruct my schema. Maybe I feel this way because I’ll never be perfect, but I can be close to it if I keep realizing the “maybe’s” about myself.Maybe I realize I have a “Clutter Brain” that I am still learning to accept that. What have you realized?

Topicless,

Ladybria

You want my heart?

You want my heart?

Why so? I mean you say it’s desperately wicked, and unfortunately I am a witness to that. You long for my heart, you desire to guard it and things that are within. It holds my secrets, my desires, the sin, the thoughts, the short- comings, the unclean things, my dreams, and the matters of my heart.

You want my heart?

I’ve tried to give it to others who didn’t handle it with care. Not blaming them but they didn’t know what to do with it. But YOU…. WOW! You want it? …this old tricky heart of mines. And you promised you’d care for it like no one else can or will. That makes me smile, it makes me happy just to know you desire to have my heart. My heart is who I am, the wellspring of my life (Prov 4:23). My mind, my emotions, my will, and even my sinful nature.

You want my heart?

If others seen my heart the way that you do, they probably wouldn’t want it. But you do see my heart, you see me for who I really am. And you still want it. Your so patient, you’re so different, and unconditional. It seems unreal that someone perfect as you would want my heart. But you do….You want me to give it to you. You want it purified, poured out, exposed, tested, involved, unhardened and renewed, and your willing to help with the process to get it there.  But your willing to embrace it and love me even if it isn’t, flawed and all that comes with that.

You want my heart?

Because you paid for it all… This means I belong to you.To the one I belong, you can have it all. You can have my heart, because you want it.I give you all of me, because I trust you will keep it safe and I believe your words. I don’t have the right to withhold my heart from you. So I let you into my life, all of my secret parts. This is my simple truth of a heart devoted to you.

Yes, of course you want my heart

Heart giver,

Ladybria

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I want to be loved and accepted

This is her amazing story of  hope  in her relationship with her mother. Feel free to comment, share, and ask Tanya questions. This is a open forum. This story is true but the names in the story has been changed for confidentiality purposes.          Ladybria

As far back as I can remember I had issues in every relationship that I was engaged in. Whether it was parental, romantic, spiritual, familial, marital or even friendly, there was some type of dysfunction. My earliest memory of my first formed relationship was with my mother which is typical. That first relationship was also the one that had the greatest impact on my life and helped shape me negatively and positively.
My mother had me when she was 21 years “young” which is probably the reason I spent a lot of time with my aunt. I had so much fun with my aunt that I really didn’t notice my mother’s absence. Wherever Auntie went there I was. The Gallery Mall, Seafood Shanty, the movies; you name it, we were there. We spent so much time together that people in the neighborhood thought she was my mom and that was okay with me! As my Auntie got older and began establishing relationships of her own, I was left home with my grandmother. Although I loved my Grandma, she was not really fun filled. She always kept all the house lights off in the house and sat on the phone in the kitchen cackling with her girlfriends with the television on mute. I guess that’s when I began to notice my mother’s absence. The absence continued on for years. When I was about 12 years old, my Mom met someone, fell in love, and moved into a place together all within three months. The man that she married, I grew to love especially due to the absence of my biological father. When we moved into our new home I thought it was the beginning of a new era for me. I saw my mom more and I was excited about building a relationship with her. I had my own room and I didn’t have to share one with my mom anymore, and a family that consisted of a mother and father. Wow….this is the life… so I thought. In this new era of my life I really got to know my Mom and the relationship that I desired, I know longer wanted. I began to see that she was a very controlling woman who wanted things her way and if she didn’t get it the entire house would be absolutely chaotic and unsettling. Nothing I did in her eyesight was right especially if it wasn’t her way. Why was she like this? Why did she have to be this way? I looked at other mother and daughter relationships and wondered why we couldn’t have that. The shopping together, spa days, talking, just simply hanging out; I longed for and desired that but it seemed the more I wanted it the further we were from achieving that. I found myself living my life to please her and to gain her acceptance but it never happened. I used to cry to my family and for years they would tell me the same thing, “you know how your mother is”. I got so tired of hearing that! Yeah, I knew how she was but it didn’t make it right. No one said anything to her. No one ever told her she was wrong. When I tried to tell her, I was deemed disrespectful so I never said anything to her again. It was useless anyway because she accepted correction from no one. She was always right and everyone else was wrong. I remember getting condoms from my high school health class during our Sex Education segment and she found them in my room. Instead of her talking to me about it she slapped me and called my every name not in God’s book and I wasn’t even sexually active at the time. I tried to tell her but she didn’t want to hear it.
Due to the lack in the nurturing and expressed love from my mother and the absence my natural father, I began to look outside of my family for love and acceptance. At 16 I was showed some interest from the neighborhood drug dealer, Jay, and we immediately began dating. He was 21 and everything to me. Jay gave me money; bought me sneakers and everyone knew that I was his girl. I lost myself in him. I would sneak him in my bedroom at night when everyone was asleep and he would leave just before the break of dawn. He was my every dream. One night I was sitting on the back step of my house waiting for Jay to come back from New York and his friend Bobby came and sat with me. We were just chillin’ and kicking it. He asked me for some water and I thought nothing of it so I went and got him some. When I got back with the water Bobby was in the house. He began to touch me inappropriately and I told him to stop and leave or else I was going to tell Jay. He said if I tell then he would tell my parents that I have been sneaking Jay into the house at night. I got scared about how my Mom would react so I let him continue what he was doing. He raped me for 30 minutes while telling me the entire time that I wanted it and he see why Jay always sneaking in my house at night. That was the last time I sat on the back steps. I never told Jay or anyone for that matter.
The relationship between my mom and I had gotten worst. I continued on this destructive path of looking for acceptance and love outside of her. Several more failed relationships of all types and even a failed marriage. I tried to change my ways and press pass my issues but I continued to fail.
I, like my mother, met, fell in love, and married a man all within three months. Our relationship was great in the beginning however; my deep rooted issues with rejection and abandonment from my early childhood began to surface. Our relationship began to deteriorate and we divorced within a year of marriage. My ex- husband told me one day during an argument that I was just like my mother. I was crushed, distraught, dismayed, and downtrodden. I never wanted to be like her. My worst nightmare became a reality. At that time I had no one else to turn to. No family member, no friend…no one, so I thought. I decided to turn to God and truly give every hurt, pain, and disappointment over to him. I drowned myself in him and sought to perfect my relationship. I was saved but my relationship with God was not as it should have been. I began to really seek Him and prayed for him to reveal to me, myself. God did just that. He began to show me that I was a lot like my mother. He showed me that I was controlling, stubborn, manipulative, and deceitful amongst other things. He also showed me my generational curses, continued cycles of sin, my imperfections and my emotional roller coaster. I was grateful to him for showing me all of me but I was more grateful to him for giving me the antidote for my healing, restoration and wholeness. The antidote was Him. The more I prayed the more I was able to deal with my past hurts, the more I lost myself in him the more he cleansed me, the closer I got to Him the more He strengthened me to overcome my issues. Because of the deepening of my relationship with Christ I can now love my mother in spite of her flaws and imperfections, love my husband like I should have when we first became husband and wife, and most of all, have freedom and perfect peace in every area of my life because I keep my mind stayed on him. No longer do I try to figure out someone’s actions or do I dwell on being the victim, instead, I try to identify with the root cause of their actions and pray for them. Later on in life God revealed that my mom witnessed infidelity, verbal, physical and emotional abuse of her mother at the hand of her father. She also suffered abuse, rejection, and abandonment by her father as well. These sufferings that she never realized or sought healing from became a part of her and caused her to treat me the way that she did. It was all she knew. Knowing this, the anger that I used to have towards my mother has transitioned into sadness along with a longing for her healing and true deliverance. I now have patience and love for her that I never had before, agape love. Although I am not currently in the place where I desire to be with my mother, we have definitely come out of the valley. I was only able to do this through strengthening my relationship with God. By God loving me, teaching me how to love myself through my imperfections, and showing me how to love people through their flaws and their faults, am I now able to have healthier relationships in my life.

Is Christmas Merry?

Christmas is such a beautiful holiday and many people make a big deal and put a lot of energy into it. Especially if you have children, and a huge beautiful family to enjoy it with. But I cant help but to think of so many people that Christmas wont be merry for. We say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” which is all fine and well. But, what about the person who will be alone on Christmas because they don’t have family? Or what about the person who has lost their job and is in financial hardship? Especially when the focus of Christmas in our society is all about gifts and being happy. What if you’ve lost a loved one? Times that once brought happiness, now brings sadness. I often think of those who have loved ones who were murdered and now their presence is gone.  Or people who have gone through a nasty break up or divorce.These people are left with emotions, memories and sadness to deal with alone.This can be a very lonely time of year for many. Lets not forget about them! There is something that we can offer to those that are not Merry during the holidays. What is Christmas all about? Encourage someone who doesn’t have or wont have. Think of those who have had significant loss over the past few years and give them a call, encouragement, or acknowledgement. Spend time with them and lighten their heart.From me to the hurting person, the lonely person, the sorrowing person. I give the true meaning of Christmas to you. Which is Immanuel “God is with you”, He will help you”,and  He will strengthen you”.The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.” Matt 1:23

God is with you,
Ladybria

holiday-depressed-mom

Are you okay with being single?

This is a article I wrote that was published in Love & Life Magazine a few years back I hope you enjoy!

If God reveled to you that you would never be married, would that change your outlook on life? Would you put so much energy into your appearance? Would you use as much time building relationships with the opposite sex? I had to ask myself this question and I asked the young ladies in our Tuesday night devotions group. The responses were shocking! My friend E said “I would help people more”, I said “I probably wouldn’t’ get my hair done as much”. Some of the other responses ranged from “I would use more of my free time with God”. “I would begin to join church activities, you know volunteer more. Dee said “I would adopt some children, because I would definitely get lonely”. I asked the ladies these questions because I wanted them to realize even though they always say they don’t care if they don’t have a man, subliminally they really do. I brought out the point that there shouldn’t be anything different in their lives then (if they weren’t to get married)…. that shouldn’t be bringing them fulfillment in their lives right now. After our session they all agreed they needed to do some serious self examination. I had to ask myself these questions to see if I was in God’s perfect will while I’m single and to see if I am doing things in my life to bring fulfillment, because marriage and companionship alone does not bring us fulfillment.
Most women feel to love a man, get married, have children and a successful career is the only script that will satisfy that longing of fulfillment. This sounds great, but we can have all of this and still be alone and unhappy. There are many circumstances worse than not having a companion. One of them is having a companion who doesn’t share your love and desire for God, someone whose lack of commitment divides your relationships commitment. And that’s what I’ve experienced in my past relationship and friendships.

What I do with my singleness

God has so much more for our life than companionship and earthly relationships. If we examine the lifestyle of Christ we all know that Jesus was a single man. His only purpose here on earth was to fulfill the work of God, and this is the only reason we single or married are here on earth to fulfill this same purpose, its says this in Ephesians 2:10. Even Jesus knowing and having all knowledge of things to come, practiced being present and maximizing everyday. He completely engaged himself with things that happened in the given moment. He didn’t worry about his future. He performed miracles as they came along. So how much more should we worry? We do not know what will happen to us today or tomorrow. We do not know what man or woman God has for us, or how we will meet our companion. But it is our responsibility to follow his example and live in the fullness of life right now. Jesus knew that he would die. But that didn’t stop him from living his life to its full potential or doing what God had purposed for his life. By asking those fulfillment questions, I was getting this concept across to the ladies in the group. If you let yourself live in the “what ifs” of the future you’ll find yourself missing God’s purpose in the here and now. Matt 6:32 says….For your heavenly father knows that you need all these things.”But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things” I have learned that when God is the center of your attention, he will direct you and lead you to everything you need. Regardless if it is money, fulfillment, career choices or even a husband. By me focusing my life on God, I found myself not only filled with God but also drawn to others who are filled with god. The irony here is that we actually become more appealing to the very type of person we desire to marry when we use our season of singleness to serve God and others. He promises in his word to fill that void. Stop wasting time and begin to do the things that God wants you to do. In 1 Cor. 7:32 the bibles says “But I want you to be with care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord.”And it goes on and says that the unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy in body and spirit. As soon as I began to direct my singleness towards God’s instructions (the bible) and seek his agenda for my life. I began to get peace about my future, and true fulfillment. I now commit my singleness “free time” to helping others (Gal 5:13), to gaining a closer relationship with the Lord, to use this time alone to grow in wisdom (Ps 90:12), praying for direction with my friendships, sharing my experiences with others, equipping and preparing myself for marriage…. if God chooses to bless me with a husband. This time is not only productive but it also teaches me things about myself, while bringing pleasure to God. He is very pleased with this kind of commitment from us. Through this search I have found true fulfillment, I have received an abundance of joy (John 16:24), true contentment (Phil 4:11-13), and direction. Learning through the word of God that singleness is a gift from God, I’ve learned to appreciate, cherish, and LOVE my singleness.

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