It's almost as if you're in the mirror playing with makeup. Face all dolled up, but it's as if it's a mask of sorts. But you're walking into a new season where you have to know, that it's safe to take the mask off; that God will bring you into relationships where that mask won't be needed..Read More
There are words you say that cut deep - deep to the heart's core and make me and fellow sisters and brothers cry out to our Lord, because we don't understand how you can hate someone that you simply do not know. It's one thing to be afraid of change, but, in the words of my great ancestors, A Change Is Gonna Come.Read More
I hear that everyone grieves differently. For some, they cry. For some, they busy themselves with work to avoid thinking about it. For some, they pray. For some, they give up. For some, they're angry. I may be a culmination of all of the above. Yet, I come back to this one point - the basis of this post - this sum of where I find (some) hope.Read More
Now, before I continue, let me preface - I am still working through this area of my life - while I aim to make each day better than the last, I completely understand when we've fallen off, and overcommit and have to back out, let people down, etc. So - just know, you are not alone my dear, not in the slightest bit.
In July, I took the entire month off from blogging, creating content, or really engaging people with my site. I had been wrestling through what may have been a job change, financial obligations, and trying to get a better grasp of this thing we call "adulting". (still..trying to figure that one out.)
While on my business and blogging break, God really reminded of a few things about commitments, and I hope that this post would encourage you to hear God's voice and opinion in the affairs of your life, because truthfully, He cares about every intimate detail - more than we could ever imagine.
Back in January, I prayed and fasted for the first 3 weeks of the New Year to get a clear idea of what God may want me to focus on. This year, all I kept hearing and sensing was the idea of building well. So much so, that the above scripture came to mind. You see, in the this story, about the Tower of Babel, as they tried to build a city - they built it with the motivation of making themselves famous, important and placing their identity into this one thing.
What are your motivations?
Throughout the year, I had seen the importance of building well throughout various parts of my life. Building well in my finances, building well in my relationships, building well in my workplace, building well in the ministries I serve, building well in my own business, and the list goes on. During my time off in July, I got a clearer sense of what it means to build well and I want to share it with you.
What does it mean to build well?
Building well - in it's simplest meaning, is having a solid and strong foundation. It's knowing first who I am in Christ - so that my works can glorify Him and not me. It means that in every area of my life, where the Lord has made me aware, restructuring my life to be built on the cornerstone of God's word. For example, with my business, I took all of July 2015 - July 2016 to really search and dig to the heart of where I wanted to take my business. Did I have the proper steps in place? Do I have a strong, solid foundation? Could I communicate that to anyone effectively? - Does that make sense?
#1 - Call a Spade a Spade.
Meaning, it's time to stop faking the funk. Throughout the month of July, I had to face some pretty hard realities on different areas of my life. I wasn't as financially sound as I thought, I wasn't as emotionally stable in my relationships as I had hoped. I wasn't truthfully trusting God in places where He promised me good things. I. Wasn't. Truthful. It's hard to face the truth - but it's so worth it. Really, it's incredibly freeing.
#2 - Time to shape up.
Once I faced my realities, I began to sense the Lord ask me, "Now, what are you going to do about it?" "How are you going to move in accordance to my word?" (Don't you hate those dreadful questions?) I had to repent, ask for forgiveness, and really ask God to change my mind, change my heart, and change me. Once I did that, I brainstormed ways I could proactively lay a strong foundation.
Whether it meant telling a person how hurt I had been by them, or reframe my business ideas, and model...whatever it "is" - it's time to do it. Time to shape up. Time to grow up.
#3 - Building takes time
I think my biggest takeaway from my month off was that, building takes time. No, I don't know when it'll all come together. No, I don't know how "much" time it'll take. BUT what I do know, is that time is needed in building a foundation. Much like when you build a house, laying the cement, waiting for it to dry, smoothing it over, adding more, and repeating those steps takes time; yet without the strong and smooth foundation, the whole house crumbles and will fade away - let that not be our story.
What does this all mean for you?
It means that you've really got to sit down and have a heart to heart with yourself. Setting time aside to truly assess where you are, and where you want to be.
It means that you've got to seek forgiveness, forgive someone, restructure and reframe areas of your life. It means, putting your big-girl panties on and bossing up. Growing up. Adulting isn't promised to be easy - that, we know.
It means creating a timeline, and being easy on yourself for however long it may take to fully lay a strong foundation for your life. It means understanding that you have a (huge) part to play in the direction your life will go - yet being flexible and wise to the Lord's leading. Time is key, is essential and needed.
learn to build well; it'll be worth it. I promise.
- Jasmine Katrina
Thoughts on this post? Comment below, share with a friend. I hope this encourages you!
I know as the year closes, a lot of us want to find our sense of peace, our place and purpose in God. For many of us, we don't know where to start. For some of us, we know what to do, we don't know how to do it. So, here we are....
Don't let social media fool you, if you've ever thought that I had it all together, you're wrong; I don't. Most of the time, I'm praying to God to just give me enough strength to make it through.
I've known God my whole life, but I've been walking with him for the last 3 years. It's my hope that this post would encourage you and your walk with Christ in a new way. :)
Oftentimes, our biggest concern with our relationships with God is that we don't do "enough" we don't pray enough, read our word enough, or live life like Christ, enough. While that may be true, it's not about what we do to please Him, rather than, the reality that Christ did it all for us.
So, what's a few ways to strengthen your relationship with Him...
Spend time with Him.
I know, DUH right? Well, how many of us actually do it? I urge you to wake up 15-30 minutes earlier than you normally do, and spend time with him. Maybe you listen to worship music? Maybe you journal? Both? Maybe you watch or listen to a sermon? Whatever it is, God wants to meet with you on a daily, consistent basis; but He won't force himself on you. Just adding in those 15-30 minutes a day will dramatically change your mornings, and weeks to come.
Forgive Yourself, because He's Forgiven You.
It must be hard to be a God that forgives those that have wrong him and his people, to constantly reach out to a broken world. yet those that love him can't forgive themselves...right? More recently I've felt shame about things I've done, or didn't do and in all honestly, I can't wrap my mind around the thought that God's not only forgiven me, but he's forgotten the mistake(s) I've made.
Hebrews 8: 12
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.
As hard as it is, we can't walk in circles of guilt and shame when God has forgiven and forgotten our wrongs, once He's made them right. Forgive yourself, because He's forgiven you.
Grab an Accountability Partner
The beauty of the Christianity, is that God designed relationship with Him to be 1-1 yet we grow in groups as well. While walking this walk of faith, we need accountability. We need someone that's been where we've been, understands where we're going to look us in the face and tell us what's really up.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
My prayer for us:
Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray that you would help us go beyond what we've done to get the proper perspective of our relationship with you. I ask that you would encourage us by your Spirit, enable us to take steps of faith in walking our relationship with you. Give us a boldness, a fire and a hunger to know you in intimate ways. Help us forgive ourselves, the way you've already forgiven us. Send friends and loved ones that we can trust to be our accountability partners. Strengthen us, so that we can find our strength in you.
In Jesus name,
While we turn on the news, scroll through our social media feeds, we are bombarded with news of terrorists attacks, racism in our own backyards, and yet, another life has become a hashtag. In the same breath, we see a little baby having the privilege of hearing sounds for the first time, miracles performed at the hands of doctors, or the first kiss of a couple as husband and wife. Needless to say, we see the good, the bad and the ugly.
Over the past few years, hashtagging someone's name to commemorate their life has brought widespread unity to various groups of people. Yet, I'm left to think... a simple hashtag, a change in a profile picture doesn't remove the hurt or pain, or even bring about radical change within our community.
I hope and sincerely pray that as I write these words and you read through them, a spark would ignite in us to strive to be the hands and feet of Christ as we're instructed to do, and be reminded, outer change stems from inner transformation.
I've been bouncing a lot of questions around in my head, and I can only think of a few reasons why, simply put, a hashtag is not enough.
If it didn't happen to us directly, are we still affected? I can't imagine the pain caused over the innocent lives lost in recent tragedies, or natural disasters, but I think we tend allow the instant gratification that comes from social media to make us think that we've "done our job" and sadly, we haven't scratched the surface.
A hashtag of prayer, isn't actually praying. I, in no way, want you to think that a repost, retweet, or Facebook post isn't helping -- if anything, it continues to get the word out about the issues that we're facing around the world, but it doesn't stop there. We glimpse over the power of prayer and I can only hope that we all, are saying prayers to lift up our brothers and sisters that are in need. Nevertheless, our words matter. Our prayers matter, and what does it benefit anyone to repost, retweet, or share information if you're not behind the scenes with a burden to see God move and comfort hurting people?
It's a call to action. I don't believe realistically that our problems can be solved over night, but I think we should take strides and efforts to change our hearts, our perspectives and allow our inner transformations to bring about change.
For example, before I got saved, I undoubtedly couldn't understand how a God so good, allowed these awful things to happen, and honestly, I still don't know. But what I've come to know, is that through my relationship with Jesus Christ, I've been exposed to seeing things in a very new way. You see, Christ is so amazing because while he walked this Earth, he purposefully went against the status quo. He allowed his compassion, his love and mercy to extend to the people that we, would assume don't deserve it.
Much like Christ with the accounts of the Samaritan Woman (John 4), the Man at the Gate of Beautiful (Acts 3), or the Woman with the issue of Blood (Luke 8), He was called to action, he brought about change, he healed and helped hurting hearts. The same way Christ did these things, we are encouraged, and commanded to do greater things.
“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
(John 16:1-15 NIV)
I implore you, pray without ceasing, continue to be a display of God's love for his people, a pillar of the truth, and be encouraged that though we can't see or understand why these things occur, His mercies really do endure forever.
A hashtag can't do what we are his children are called to do: LOVE. May the know us, by the love of God in us.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
(John 17:20-26 NIV)
Happy Saturday Loves,
Please continue to lift our nations
Remember, It's bigger than a #Hashtag