Sunday, October 28, 2012

Not even the HULK....

I had no doubt that I would love the Avengers Movie.  I went to see it in theaters, but now that it's on video I have been able to watch it a few more times and glean even more from it.  THOR…who is hailed as a demi-god really stood out in a particular scene and it spoke volumes about our gifts, talents and abilities.

This scene was Thor’s fight with the Hulk.  Thor and Hulk were battling and Thor’s hammer got away from him.  The Hulk sees this as an opportunity to get the hammer and use it on Thor.  One problem, Hulk can’t lift the hammer, why because it is not his and only Thor can wield that hammer.  Hulk with all his incredible strength and supernatural might could not pick up a mere sledge hammer because he did not have what it took within him to lift it.  It didn't take strength, or might, or education, looks, youth, race, gender, denomination or specific socioeconomic circles..only what was in THOR could use the gift of the hammer the way it was intended.

In church circles…we call that grace.  Only Thor had the grace to use the power of the hammer effectively. Only YOU have the grace to use your gift, talent and abilities the WAY that you do.  It is imperative that you know your gifting and how to use it. Don’t get it twisted, God will not allow you to use it to Lord over others or allow continuous misuse of it.  Sampson is a prime example of being stripped of power when he walked in iniquity.  Even our subject today, Thor..could NOT lift his hammer when his heart was filled with rage and vengeance.

Wield your gift with respect, with honor and in humility.  Know who you are and what you can do. Take the time to clarify your purpose and whose side you are truly on. You have to know your “WHY”.  In a blended family, the dynamics of who you are and what you are about can easily get confused or lost in the shuffle of trying to make everyone blend. That has its place, however, the individuality of what each and every family member on both sides must be realized. Everyone is gifted and all must understand that you can't do what I do...and I can't do what you do promotes growth..respect and humility.
Empowered with a pure heart, a gifting used effectively and a defined purpose no one, not even a hulk (anything seemingly bigger or stronger) will be able to defeat you. It’s Hammer time. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rx for the Minor Funk..E.F.U.P.

Today, I got an encouraging word from someone...just when I needed it.  It wasn't a big fan fare...or anything major.  Just a nudge, a simple 'atta girl" said at the right time to snap me out of the minor funk I was I in. When you are juggling a new business, a full time job, plus the added responsibilities, thin lines and stresses of a blended family, maintaining your marriage and nurturing your can wear thin and not even realize it.

I am great at (and a STRONG proponent of) encouraging myself and keeping myself motivated.  However, I hadn't even realized that I was suffering a tad that is until the "Rx" came to fix it.  You expect support from certain people, places, things...BUT sometimes it doesn't happen that way and before you know it, you are in a "woe is me" mode and have no idea why.

It usually stems from the fact that there are people that matter to you, that you want to notice that you have improved, done something spectacular, totally revamped a project at work or even changed your hair style...but when they don't respond as you think they should, you are left feeling dejected.  God cares about how you feel.  He sends a remedy for that ..and I call it an E.F.U.P. (Encouragement from Unexpected People).

If you need encouragement today..please allow me to tell you that you are simply marvelous and fearfully and WONDERFULLY made. I know you are thinking...but what about this...and that...and them...Forget those things that are behind you and PRESS forward.  Everything that you need, to do what you are called to do is within you.  God has fully equipped you to be the spouse, parent, sibling, employee, manager, grandparent etc..that you need to be to fulfill His purpose.  You are even equipped to handle the issues, troubles and problems you have right now. How do I know?  God was fully aware of the problems that would come in your life BEFORE you were created and He built you to be able to carry the load that He would allow.  He is not shocked at what you are facing, he KNEW it and built your character, gave you tenacity, strength, wisdom, and faith to be able to fortify you to walk through the storm. Your past was planned, your schooling, parents, friends, injuries, accidents...all planned.  God foreknew you would be RIGHT where you are now. God specifically designed you and everything about you to be able to bear more than that, but certainly no less.  So, my simple word to you is a line from an old gospel song..."God knows...He cares...and He's working it out for you" .

I am so grateful for my gave me just the ray of light I needed to be able to share this word with what will YOU do with the encouragement that I just gave YOU :) ? {{HUGS}} 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bathroom Stall Missionary Baptist Church

I am so blessed to work in a place now (my day job) that fosters a pleasant environment. It’s peaceful, and quiet for the most part at least in my area. It promotes health, service excellence, wellness, and clean eating. It’s a pleasure to come here to serve and I usually leave with more than I came with. BUT it hasn’t always been that way for me. I have worked in settings that were the polar opposite. To walk in the door and feel the heaviness of immediate stress was common place. Department team members warring with each other and all of the office politics that you could imagine, plus some you can’t. It was in those types of environments that I became a member of Bathroom Stall Missionary Baptist Church and I would like to extend an invitation to you.

This church has been SO faithful and always available when I need it. When I would feel the stresses of the job overwhelming me or when I can see I was losing the battle with my emotions I would make a visit to this church and come out encouraged and fortified…and yes, all it takes is a simple trip to the bathroom.

The bathroom (especially at work, but even at home) can be a GREAT place to regroup and get yourself together so you can represent yourself as a lady would. I go sometimes to just have a moment to pray for direction, peace, guidance or grace. Some go to their office and close the door, that’s an option. But at Bathroom Stall Baptist, you are less likely to get a knock on the door, a buzz from your secretary or a ding from your computer telling you about a meeting. Bathroom Stall Baptist offers just a few moments of peace. It’s not even that you are “using” the bathroom perse’, you are just stopping by as a member getting the time and space that you need.

I can specifically remember prayers that I prayed in the stall at very intense and difficult moments. It was usually at times when the pressures of life at home begin to meld with the tensions at work and I became ticking time bomb. If I had not had the wisdom to detach, take a walk, phone a friend and/or go regroup, there is a good chance that MANY times I would have made a mess of things by either overreacting or reacting out of emotion.

It’s imperative that we know OURSELVES. You KNOW when you feel like you are about to lose it. You can feel when emotions are beginning to overwhelm you. YOU recognize the stance you take when you are angry, upset, tired or misused. You know when you are PMS’ing and how you respond to things when you don’t feel well. Maturity dictates that your tendency to use excuses to fly off the handle in rage, argue or go into a dramatic crying temper tantrum has to be managed so you can grow. It’s time to stop allowing people to make excuses for you as well. When you act a fool, apologize for it and say out of your mouth “there is NO excuse for talking to you like that no matter what I was feeling”. Or you may have to tell someone that you used your emotions to manipulate them or to persuade them to see your point of view.  Its all a part of growth in our conduct, and I tell you...this "church" can help.

It starts with recognizing these signs earlier rather than later and taking steps to manage what you are feeling and facing appropriately:

1. Be honest about what you are feeling and then be responsible. Meaning, care enough about you to not push yourself to the brink of disaster assuming that you can handle it.
2. Remove yourself from where you are. There is NOTHING wrong with unplugging for minute. It is wisdom to put yourself in time out.  Do not feel guilty about it.
3. Re-emerge with a plan to face your issues or the rest of your day.
4. Visit again soon, even if nothing is wrong.  Just go in there and be thankful for a day of peace.

You may have a church home, and that’s great but I highly recommend that you become a secondary member of Bathroom Stall Baptist…there is room in the stall for YOU.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A SCANDALous thought…Ladies, Wives, Moms are you merely an ornament?

ABC’s Scandal is one of my favorite new shows, not necessarily for the storyline because there is truly nothing new under the sun. However, the dialogue on this show is phenomenal. If you are a writer, you notice when words function well together and deliver the gut punch that was intended. One of those gut punch moment happened when a husband told his wife (after she shamelessly overstepped her bounds on national television) that she was “ornamental, NOT functional. BOOM. Definition of an ornament is as follows:

• Decorative, serving as a decoration and having no practical use; grown for show: describes a plant grown for its beauty rather than for food;

MY definition for an ornamental “person” is

• Someone whose presence serves no purpose. Nothing is added when they walk in the room.

• A person whose exterior may indicate that they are attractive, pretty to watch, but is designed strictly to look at as they bring no nourishment of thought to those around them.

I actually overheard a young lady travailing over a breakup or betrayal of a boyfriend and when she went on to say that the boyfriend was now in a relationship with someone else, she said she couldn’t see why he picked her “because my body looks way better than hers”. I wanted to vomit violently. Have we become so superficial and shallow that our biggest desire is to be someone’s arm candy? As soon as she made that statement, I laughed and said to myself …after hearing you say something so stupid I know EXACTLY why he left you; you are an ornament…a nice shiny, sparkly one. You are pretty to look at, shaped up real cute but truth be told you have no real substance. You waiver with the wind and your character is flighty, unstable, and erratic. I say in my book A Princess Cut Diamond: How to overcome your past and reign in your God-given Kingdom that “You have to bring more to the table than bills, booty and babies”.

What are you about? What do you stand for? What is your value-add? What do you husband, family, child or friends get when they get you? Is it just someone to do the laundry and fix dinner? Are you a pretty date for the office functions or are you someone adding significant value, purpose and order to the vision of the house. As my grandma would say, do you have a clear thought in your head? I have nothing against attractive women; I’d like to think I am pretty decent to look at myself. However, I do take issue with the mismatch of the inside and outside. It may be time to do some character building. With us being in the last quarter of the year it is time to reassess the superficial and become functional (performing purpose; an action or use for which something is suited or designed that produces a result). Take the last portion of this year and work on YOU. Study something new. Read. Take an online class for something you need to learn how to do better. Take the time to listen to your spouse or child to help them complete something they need to do.

Remember, what comes out of your mouth is more important than the lipstick you put on your mouth. What is IN your head is more important than the latest fad you are using ON your head. The size of your heart is more important than the size of your waist. Step up your game and FUNCTION.