My Bookshelf

final1473439869360.jpg

final1473439969170.jpg

final1473438502336.jpg

final1473438316893.jpg

final1473437907265.jpg

final1473439111375.jpg

final1473439276458.jpg

final1473439464950.jpg

final1473439577515.jpg

final1473459552599.jpg

final1473439668104.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Bookshelf : Relationships

                       

Motivation

I am up far to early today, not at all because it is in my nature, its more so having something to do wit an early stirfry dinner that gave me idus last night and left me passed out on the living room floor around 6pm. Up at 3am and scrolling through some of my favorite blogs, I came across ordinarilyextrodinarymom‘s blog post No Hustle, No Sleep, No Repeat and it really got me to thinking about motive and true inspiration. And as if by magic I turn into today’s devotion and it read

“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:18 ESV

color-purple-shug-o

Ugh oh, I know what this means, and I don’t need Shug Avery to sing it to me for confirmation; it’s obvious, “GOD”S TRYNA TELL YOU SOMETHIN””

Grudge, malice, vengeance, animosity, those are all such harsh and dirty words. What on earth could they possibly have to do with a good ole’ christian girl like myself? But, this is why I love the Holy Spirit so much. Just when I’m about to mount my high horse and set off swiftly into the sunset, like a perfect gentleman He takes my hand and brings me right back where I belong.
So perhaps I’ve never tried to put sand in my exes fuel tank, never wished that my neighbors cat would die, and I didn’t talk bad about so & so (well…that bad, I didn’t talk about her that bad) after I found out what she said about me. No, my motivation is more elusive than that, I would pay them back simply by trying to be better than them, proving them wrong and living my life with the mantra “Oh, I’ll show them!” Suddenly it was clear, and for the first time I realized that maybe those  dirty words I’d like to think I’ve never done,  I did and actually do.

What’s Your Motivation?

Bringing Glory to God

“So then, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of [our great] God” – 1 Corinthians 10:31 AMP

Is it success? is it popularity? Is it to be known? Is it to be loved?
When our number one priority and motivating factor above all things is God there is fullness and satisfaction. Don’t misunderstand, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being motivated by the desire to live a full life that is profitable and successful, to have an abundance of awesome friendships and healthy relationships, to live life with purpose and to thrive with passion for what you do. These are all great things we should want and should be motivated by. In fact, Jesus said that He came that we may have life and have it to the fullest (John 10:10). But what happens when our primary motivation is not our love for God and bringing Him glory? Idols, which is anything or anyone we put before God, are formed. Comparing ourselves to one another and even jealousy can crop up in our lives. We lose the sense of enjoyment we once found in what we do. Our lives are consumed with busyness always going going going with a harvest that bears very little fruit or growth. Things begin to feel like a struggle; there is a loss of peace and a contentment that only comes from glorifying God . What we once viewed as important because it was done to edify God has now become negotiable; based primarily on feelings and circumstances.

Love

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all secrets and every form of knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains but have no love, I am nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:2 ISV

Love for God, Love for others and love for yourself. I ask myself, especially when I’m blogging or on social media, does this post demonstrate my love for God? Will this retweet enrich or disrupt someone else’s life? Does this instagram post show me in a light that is reflective of the love and respect I have for myself? And that’s just one minor way love can be a motivating factor. In my case, taking on an attitude of trying to show off or show out because of a grudge or out of revenge is faaaaarrrrr from operating in love. It should be no wonder why things often did not prosper. Whether its love for God, love for others,  a healthy love and respect for yourself or a love for what you do, it’s all meaningless and nothing outside of love.

The Upside to Breakups

Let’s face it, breakups can be hard and many times they can leave us wondering what in the world could possibly be positive about this experience. Well, to say that I understand how you feel is an understatement. Yet, what I’ve found, is that there can be many upsides to breakups if you just take the time to break them down…here are just a few.

You’re free! Cus face it, some of us weren’t!

Now that you are a single you can take back your freedom and release the responsibility you once had for the other person, the relationship and perhaps even regain portions of your own identity that may have become tied up and dependant on who you were as a couple.

Get back to me…focusing on self

If after a breakup you have found yourself asking, “so what do I with my life now?” the answer is simple, “what do you want to do?” Just remember that trip you wanted to take to NYC or that hobby you pushed to the side. Being single doesn’t mean you have to be lonely and doesn’t mean life is now boring. If anything it can be the most exciting time of your life if you wish it to be. This is the time to get back to focusing on the things that make YOU happy, enrich YOUR life and bring YOU closer to that person YOU want to be. Just think, you never have to spend another Saturday watching college football only to be lost and confused as to what a Crackback block is. Unless of course you want to and in that case please explain what it is because I still don’t know.

Freer to do ministry & service

“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7: 32-34

    This is a wonderful time to get in touch with the one who loves you most. Make yourself fully devoted and available to whatever God may call you to do. As a single you are not divided between a spouse and a family you have a remarkable freedom in service and in ministry.

Brighter days ahead, your someone is still out there

I know I know, your ex was perfect…riighhhht… Well its over. So imagine this, they may have been perfect perhaps…but perfect for someone else and maybe not the perfect one for you. And that’s a-o-k because all it means is that there is still someone out there who is. Sure there are no perfect people but there is someone who will accept and love your perfect imperfections and for them you will do just the same.

Friends with an Ex?

Today I was reading my devotion and was lead to 1 corinthians 10:23

“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.

& it got me to thinking about the freedom we have to choose. The freedom to choose what college we go to. The freedom to choose what city we live in and the freedom to choose between a balanced breakfast or peanut M&M’s. But just because we have the freedom to choose the places we go and the things we do it doesn’t mean that our choices should be frivolous. The truth is, often times many of the choices we have to make are never between what’s horribly evil and what’s fiercely good. Our choices are usually between what’s better and what’s best. Obviously, as you can see from the title of this post, one thought lead to another and with my recent relationships end I’ve been sincerely trying to answer this question for myself, “Can I be friends with my ex?” What’s better and what’s best? Here’s what I’ve concluded when considering the matter.

From Lovers to Friends Will Take Time…A-P-A-R-T

In my experience I don’t think I’ve ever gone from beau to buddy overnight…Let alone Fiance to friend. It’s never happened for me. I’m sure there are some success stories out there somewhere and more power to them. But I think its safe to say that in general developing an authentic friendship with someone you’ve dated takes time and time apart. This allows you to detach feelings and expectations of what the relationship once was. Its time to grieve, heal, and recover from the passing of the old aspect of the relationship so you can harbor a true friendship. Without that time apart you never allow for closure leaving yourself susceptible to regurgitating old hurts, developing unrealistic expectations or even reigniting romantic feelings the two of you used to share.

How and Why Did the Relationship End?

Its important to keep in mind that not every relationship is worth the fight to save it or revive it. If either of you were toxic for the other or you just simply do not get along with one another why on earth would you ever want to be friends with someone you do not vibe with, let alone like?

Always Go Natural

Friendships should develop naturally and shouldn’t be forced or pressured to be anything more or move any faster than what is comfortable for both parties. If you want to be friends with an ex it is essential to share that notion with the other and give them the choice to either reciprocate or decline and be respectful of that person’s space and decision as well.

Check Yo Self

What are your motives? dum dum dummmmm. I’ve had to ask this question of myself and even of my exes when they have reached out in friendship. Its important to know what drives you and compels you to want to remain friends after intimate love fades. Is it to avoid the pain that comes with heartbreak and love loss? Is it to rekindle and try again for what you once had? Or is it simply because you value your relationship and the platonic love you had and are genuinely seeking to salvage that aspect as friends? Either way be honest with yourself about what your motives. really are.

Not Every End is a Friend

Note: Not every relationships end will end up in friendship and that’s absolutely ok. I have exes I still talk to every week, exes I follow and communicate with on social media and exes I hope to never see again. Its different from person to person and not everyone will end up being friends so don’t pressure yourself to be one way or the other.

Conclusion: Is it beneficial?

And to bring it all back to the beginning…Is being friends with an ex beneficial for you? Do you regress in the healing process every time he/she texts you or do you feel inspired and uplifted when you casual talk every now and then? Does the relationship build you up? Does it edify your life or theirs? At the end of the day only you can answer these questions, it is the choice between whats better and whats best.. for you… 🙂

My “Love” Worship Playlist

 

wp-1455858757188.jpg

Click Pic Above ⇑

My worship playlist reflecting on the beauty and grace of God’s love.

#1 Pieces by Amanda Cook

#2 Fierce by Jesus Culture

#3 Gracious Tempest by Hillsong Young & Free

#4 “I was created for a love story” by William Matthews & Kalley Heiligenthal (Spontaneous Worship)

#5 Gift of Love by Hillsong

#6 First Love by Antioch College Worship

#7 Relentless by Hillsong United

#8 Love Remains by The Brilliance

#9 Since Your Love by United Pursuit

#10 Your Love is All Around by All Sons and Daughters

 

RL Day 14: Love Perseveres

 

wp-1455825734623.jpg

 

“(Love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV

 

Lastly, love never gives up. It continues on despite the pain, the drama, the fear, the failure. Love strives on in the good and the bad. Why? Because God is Love, and his love is eternal. From before the beginning of time to beyond the end of time God loves. “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,” Ephesians 1:4-5

God’s love is everlasting. “the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” Jeremiah 31:3

Jesus love persevered and loved us to the end. “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” John 13:1

As Stewards we are empowered by God to remain faithful and persevere. “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2

Love Never Fails 1 Corinthians 13:8

RL DAY 13: Love Always Hopes

“(Love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV

I was talking to my fiance a few hours ago about some of the funny things we used to hope for and believe in as children.

“I remember I used to breath under water in the bathtub as a kid.”

“Wait, what?” I laughed.

“Yeah, I’d try to breath it in and then i’d cough until one day I coughed really bad and then I realized this was a real thing so I just stopped”

“Oh man, see that’s what scares me about having kids… Why did you do that?”

“I wanted to be like a fish. I figured that if the fish could breath under water why couldnt I…? (silence) Then there was the time I was really into Peter Pan and I believed pixie dust was real, (aka glitter) so i would jump off of things…”

And as funny and terrifying as these stories were it really got me to thinking about hope and faith. How powerful and persuasive what we believe in can be when we have hope for it and faith in it.

What is hope? From what we see in scripture, hope is the knowing and believing. It is the desire we trust in, what we expect to happen, wait on, and have faith in. We are all kind of wired to hope, as children we almost always hope for something, even if those things are founded on our imagination or something we’ve seen on tv, we find it easy and necessary to hope. As dependent children we don’t have jobs, we can’t just go out there and purchase that huffy bike or my size barbie we want for christmas, that’s mom and dad (or Santa’s) job. We just have hope for it and expect it to be somewhere in the pile of Christmas morning rubble in the morning. And just like that child, reliant on mom and dad, we too are to be hopeful and reliant on our heavenly father who supplies all good things unto us.

God is a God full of hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 ESV 

When we live in hope we do not live in a state of lacking. Just like the child knows that bike will be there christmas morning, the Christian knows his needs and desires are already met. And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39:7

Hope in God brings security and direction. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Hope matured doesn’t fail. As we mature in our walk, we begin to know and learn the ways of God. We grow in faith, faith produces character and character produces hope. “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5 ESV

Reflection

  1. What are some things you used to hope for as a child? How did your zeal and passion for those things changed as you matured?
  2. Name a time when something you believed and hoped for happened in your life. How did this make you feel?
  3. Are there some things you should be hoping for and expecting from God?

RL DAY 12: Love Always Trusts

“(Love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV

What does it mean to always trust? Not just trust but ALWAYS trust…It’s scary now a days, you don’t really know who or what to trust. From bad cuts in life to shady gimmicks it can be kinda hard to trust especially when we’re talking about the fallible and unpredictable world we live in.  However, when we trust God, his leading, his word, and his way love never loses faith…but…why?

True love relies on the infinite and supreme source and that is God. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5 ESV Because love is wrapped up in the pursuit of righteousness, obedience to the leading of the spirit and a knowing that no matter good or bad “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT

Love lives on the word of God not what the situation or circumstance looks like. “For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV This is the standard for a life of love .

Love can not live in and with fear. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”1 John 4:18 ESV

Trust brings peace, joy and blessing. “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” Psalm 13:5 ESV  “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV

 

Reflection

  1. Do you struggle with trusting God with any area of your life?
  2. How can you let go and begin to walk in loving trust with God today?
  3. Memorize a scripture that reminds you of God’s faithfulness and love when you feel tempted to fall back into fear.