That Golden Time of the Day

hourglass-620397_640

Hopefully we’ve all had a weekend that afforded us opportunities to have very hearty laughter, thought provoking conversations, really good food, family time and lots of time doing the things that we love. After all, , that’s weekends were made for. Now that we are in expectation of the work week beginning, it’s time to prep for purpose. Pause Netflix and close that Amazon browser for goodness sakes! Sunday evenings is a great time to become motivated and get rid of any distractions that might put a damper on us being extraordinarily productive this week. Do you have a list of things that you can accomplish this evening? No. Well, I’ve created a list of things for you to consider. Thank me later 🙂

  • clean the fridge
  • chop up the fuit
  • meal prep
  • put the wool sweaters away (I guess lol)
  • pack up the items for the mission or shelters
  • clean the junk drawer
  • set an alarm to make that appointment in the morning
  • decide which days this week will be for the gym and which will be home workouts
  • pack your gym bag
  • blog or journal about your weekend
  • call the one you’ve been avoiding so that it doesn’t hang over your head all week, it won’t be as bad as you think
  • iron for tomorrow or for the week if you’re feeling ambitious (I’m never that ambitious)
  • make a list of things that you need to accomplish this week
  • start your grocery list
  • last but certainly not least; make prayer and meditation apart of every day

Being great takes preparation. What we don’t realize sometimes is that these littles things linger in our mental space and cause us to be distracted from our purpose. I am definitely checking some of theses things off of my list this evening because I know that I have extremely busy week ahead of me and I want to be proud of myself at its completion. Let’s not allow procrastination to rear its ugly head.

Being prepared in this sense doesn’t guarantee that distractions still won’t come our way but what it does guarantee is that we’ve done everything in our own power to establish a solid and firm footing. It will give us peace of mind that we can make the moves that our purpose is calling us to. Preparation is like a piece of weaponry that we can use against the war in our minds. It combats and destroys negative thoughts. Let’s be prepared. Let’s be purposeful. Choose peace! Your purpose requires that you are prepared.

Be Excited About Your Guest of Honor!

fireworks-804838_640

When is the last time that you planned a dinner party or gathering at your home? After all of the planning is complete, we tend to get a bit excited about receiving our guests. I know that I do. It’s been a while since I’ve had one but as I begin to plan a girls night in for my 45th birthday, I’m just giddy about it. I love to hear party planners share their excitement associated with pleasing their client and all of their guests. I’ve never met a party planner that was NOT excited about receiving the guests. The excitement comes from expectation.

I’m expecting to hear updates from my guests. I’m expecting them to have a good time and to feast on what I decide to prepare. I expect laughs and warm hugs. I expect a celebration! Who wants to go to a lukewarm gathering? I don’t! And neither does Jesus!

Kick the doom and the gloom to the curb. Let’s be excited about Jesus dining with us. Behold, he stands at the door and knocks. You hear your divine purpose knocking. You hear daily reminders knocking. You hear discipline knocking. You hear the knock. Your guest of honor has arrived. He wants to dine with you. Dining is a symbol of trust, affection, intimacy and loyalty! Be excited about your guest of honor!

ACTIVE FAITH NOT EMOTIONAL FAITH

active faith

There is something beautifully painful about growing through correction. Criticism is a necessary evil and the chastisement from a genuine place of unconditional affirming love is absolutely incredible. These last six months for me have been extremely powerful in the sense that a routine prayer that I have is being answered in ways that I never would have expected. I call it a routine prayer because it is one that I say often, and I offer it not out of repetition but out of respect and an earnest desire to want to grow spiritually. The prayer simple says, “Lord, convict me and chastisement so I can be the vessel that you need me to be. Show me the parts of Carlette that I have not given to you.”

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s nothing profound or earth shattering about the prayer, but thanks be unto God that he’s not looking for profound, HE just wants honesty. The ways in which he has released the many answers to this prayer over the last six months is pretty amazing. I call it amazing because the lessons that I learned all derived from a hurt place. Although most of us can admit, pain is our muse or that the thorn in our sides keep us grounded but this has been different. The hurt that I speak of was realized when I had to admit what I was purged of. I had to confess to Abba a lot of hard truths about who I am and how I’ve been treating HIM. These revelations aren’t about sin, yet they are about truth. These nuggets of wisdom are about opening my eyes and receiving a new level of understanding about work I need to do on me and how I can improve to bear more fruit for the kingdom.

I can’t share them all with you but one lesson that stands out to me the most is involving my faith. The circumstances of my life this year alone had caused my faith to be emotionally charged to a degree. When the Lord revealed this to me, I felt just terrible and I was downright embarrassed that a woman of my responsibility in the kingdom and exposure to the miraculous had failed miserably and that I had no idea! I got caught up in a rut of emotions. This is primarily because the people and circumstances that were used to test me during this timeframe are people and situations that I hold dear to my heart therefore, when things went left, they pulled on my heartstrings and caused me to have emotional faith instead of active faith!

My emotional faith didn’t cause me to curse God or to stop serving or to stop attending services. It didn’t even stop me from praying and studying the word. What this shrunken kind of faith did was neutralized me. It stopped me from moving in faith literally and spiritually. Several times over the last six months, I became completely stagnant – zombie like. Now that I can think back on these times, the symptoms are so evident but there were pretty much invisible at the time.

Symptoms included:

·         I became super serious while travailing as if my super serious demeanor was going to push God to move faster on my behalf (this cracks me up now that I can reflect)

·         I became “judgy”. I was making judgements of people in my head and didn’t see the harm in it because I wasn’t verbalizing it to anyone else

·         My spirit was depressed – (imagine a choppy wifi connections. Sometimes you’re connected and sometimes you’re not)

The only remedy for this dis-ease in my faith was to desperately cry out for help. I knew that I didn’t feel complete in my spirit and that I was tipping the scale towards giving up on everything. I may not have said it but I was sure thinking it…more often than not. I wasn’t doing enough to combat my wrong thinking and I hadn’t asked for the freedom that I so desperately needed. My heart was willing because I could no longer go on feeling like this. You would never know that I was feeling this way by looking at me or by speaking to me.

God used the most unsuspecting person who I know genuinely loves me to point out some things to me. Their observations were brought to my attention subtly and gently. I didn’t really HEAR them in my spirit when they were first mentioned. In fact, it took a couple of days for me to absorb what had been said. Once I processed the information, I took it to the Lord in prayer and through his grace and unfailing love, HE dealt with me right where I was. I was purged of all that was ailing me. I received my healing and deliverance. Much repentance and a great deal of worship fell from my lips with a pure heart and clean hands. I was able to literally feel the release. It was beautifully painful.

We must be careful not to fall into ruts of routine and pits of mediocracy. The LORD wants us to be alive and vibrant. Full of zeal and excitement. Our energy should be a result of who we know him to be and not based upon the limits that our emotions cause. There are blessing running over. There is healing bubbling up. There are gifts falling free, but our emotions put a cap on the pot and we stay on simmer. Let our faith be on fire as GOD arises so should we! As HIS enemies scatter so should our doubts, fears and anxieties. Confess your feelings. Do emotional and spiritual check ins with our creator. Our emotions must be handed over to the pilot before we can board. There is going to be turbulence and there will be wind, but God is in the control tower. We have nothing to fear. On the way to our destination we will travel through clouds that will test our strength. Be reminded today that we have explosive strength and power inside of us that cannot be put out. The flame is always burning inside of us. Do not become stagnant. Move as the Holy Spirit leads you. Move in expectation. Pack up your stuff, even if you don’t where or how you are moving. Like a pregnant women is an expectant mother, we must be expectant disciples with active faith! 

PICTURE THIS

magnifying-glass-2598507_640

You are walking in your calling and trusting God without borders. You’ve taken the limits off him and allowed him into every area of your life. Your prayer life is consistent, and you have discovered your true identity in Christ. A light bulb has come on and you finally realize why you were born and live every day like it is your last because you want to please your heavenly father.

The ups and downs and round the mountains and down the valleys that life is full of do not stop your hustle. In fact, you thrive on it because you believe that you are who God says you are and that nothing can stop you because you have confessed that you are nothing without HIM.

You can’t sleep at night but it’s not because demons are haunting you, it is because angels are being dispatched and you can’t take your eyes off the vision. You’ve written, and you’ve made it plain. Your dwellings are adorned with it and your doorways are anointed…you feel protected. Letting any ill spirit in your midst is unlikely because you protect what you’ve been given.

There are times when you fall short but we all do so you are always reminded that you are not condemned because you are saved. Things that use to tempt you no longer tempt you anymore because you resist it when it approaches you and it is tired of hearing you scream that you are more than a conqueror. That thing has been evicted and its power has been revoked.

Prayers coming from your lips do not cease because of the gratitude that you have in your heart. Worship comes easy. Comprehension of his word is like water, refreshing and plentiful.

It could happen. Just make a decision.

JUST MAKE A DECISION

Sometimes identifying issues that we need to resolve can be subtle or they can be abruptly in your face obvious.  Subtleness can be a result of denial or naiveté and sometimes it doesn’t matter how obvious the clues are, we ignore them because complacency has settled in. Whichever story resonates with you, we’ve all been there. I believe that we are faced with an opportunity to resolve an issue every day. Whether its making the right choice at the vending machine or walking away from an abusive relationship. It can be choosing to not be a hoarder like your parents or choosing to accept a job that pays slightly less but will make your happier. Every day there is an opportunity. Just make a decision!

This is the year of the open door and we must be conscious and deliberate about being in the right position to receive what our God has in store for us. You don’t have to think long, you know exactly what it is. The time is now!

THE SMALLER THE BETTER

writing-1209121_640

Since I’ve always been an easy to please person, I’ve always appreciated the small things like receiving a hand written thank you note versus a text or a facebook shout out. As I’ve been praying for ways to be a witness in my new work environment, I am reminded about how great of an impact small gestures can make. Life throws so many curve balls at us that it is sometimes hard to see the opportunities to make a difference. Having a keen eye for opportunity will force us to think less of ourselves and to think more about others. It sounds simple enough but more often than not, our thoughts are consumed with thoughts about our next career move, what bills are due, what to cook for dinner, when to workout, how to change the world or when to change over the laundry from the washer to the dryer. What I’ve learned is that the more that I pour into others, the less daunting my situations appear to be and somehow I get to the end of a rough road a lot sooner because I am not standing over the pot waiting for it to boil, yet I am concerned more about making an impact in the life of someone else. So I encourage you to maximize what resources you have to empower and encourage but most of all, to be a witness of Jesus Christ.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Add a quote to your email signature
  • Put that dry erase board to use and share a daily thought
  • Hand write kindhearted notes
  • Share a random act of kindness more than when the world recognizes a day for it
  • Order Our Daily Bread devotional books and place a few on your desk – watch them disappear
  • Recognize someone to the whole team without being asked to – a compliment can make ALL the difference in someone’s day