It’s been some time since my last post, as I’ve struggled to find my creative voice on paper (…and on the laptop,) as of late. Part of the reason, is because I haven’t had as much free time, due to other obligations. However, a message that I heard today so convicted me that I felt compelled to listen closely to my inner voice- so that I could dig deep and write. So here goes.
Power by definition means, “the ability to act or produce an effect: capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect.” Merriam- Webster. These are just two of the many definitions that I came across, but something about “produce an effect,” really stood out. It made me think about the power of the Holy Spirit and the role that He plays in our day to day walk. Power can mean the difference between someone being freed from a life of bondage and someone remaining in a state of hopelessness. According to Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in all Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” NIV Bible. Great news friends, Jesus did not leave us powerless when He departed!!! He left us with an internal guide- the Holy Spirit, to help us not only navigate our way through this life, until His return, but also to help us NOT live a defeated life. Miracles, signs and wonders take place when this (Holy) P O W E R exists! People get delivered from unforgiveness, beat lifelong addictions, overcome hidden sins, and get loosed from sickness and disease. However, in order to receive this power, one must first have a relationship with the Son of God. Titus 3:6 says, “God poured out the Holy Spirit abundantly on us through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Do you want to live a life of power, rooted in great faith? If so, ask Jesus Christ to reveal Himself to you today, if you don’t already know Him. Confess with your mouth that He is Lord and believe it in your heart and you shall be saved- Romans 10:9!! Be blessed and walk in POWER!!!
This is what life with the Holy Spirit is like… Are you ready to experience this power and connect your passion and purpose?
Welcome back my friends, and Happy New Year to each and every one of you! I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. I won’t spend too much time today looking back over 2016, as my goal this time around, is to focus more on the future. However, I will start off by saying, “That I am grateful for so many wonderful opportunities last year.” It was filled with both highs and lows, and everything else in between. I had a pretty eventful schedule that took me to 7, really 8 (technically St. Maarten and St. Martin are separate,) different countries, not including my US travels. It was quite a ride. I also worked on a wide range of domestic and international projects that enabled me to explore various cultures and cities. I met many great people along the journey, and experienced God in some new and incredible ways. Additionally, I learned a lot about the Lord, myself and others. As a result, I have compiled some useful information below that I’d like to share with all of you- as you move forward.
I’ve listed eight things that I will take with me on the journey this year, and prayerfully all others to come. My hope is that this list will also inspire you along your path. .
Staying in Step
- I will continue to let my faith trump my fears.
- I will continue to be open to however God wants to do things.
- I will continue to give the majority of my time and energy to activities and relationships that are purposeful and positive.
- I will continue to believe John 10:10, which states, “…..I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
- I will continue to trust God’s leading, even when it doesn’t make sense to me- because I know that He sees what I am unable to see.
- I will continue to confess scripture over my problems, issues, setbacks and concerns, because they are far more powerful than my complaints.
- I will continue to pursue peace.
- I will continue to have a heart full of gratitude, because I understand that it is the seed to more. Psalm 22:3 says that God “inhabitest the praises…,” therefore our gratitude and worship invites God into our situations.
I pray that these 8 things have blessed and encouraged you!
I’ve also included a few pictures from my 2016 travels for you to enjoy. Behold the beauty of God’s creation all around, as you view them. God bless you and keep you this 2017 year. Remember- Forward movement for the win!
I just celebrated another year of life last Thursday, and I have been in deep thought ever since that day. These last few years I’ve been in the pruning process, and it has not felt good. This milestone birthday proved to be no different either. There was no big party with balloons, a cake or even lavish outfits for a month long celebration. Instead, it was filled with…well, a lot of thinking actually. Considering I spent it in my hometown with family and friends, it was still a real joy, especially since I got to love on our newest edition to the family, my 16 mos old great-niece, who is simply a blessing. When she laid her head on my shoulder on my actual birthday, I felt God’s love. As a matter of fact, every moment I get to spend time with her, I am reminded of the Lord’s magnificence and grace.
One of the other great presents that I received this year was a book titled, “Pathway to Purpose” by Katie Brazelton. It was given to me by someone who has become one of my trusted advisors and friend. This present was timely, because it has challenged me every step of the way. It has forced me to leave some things and people behind, as well as to examine my peace, my character and my space. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I am confident that by the time that I complete it, that more changes will be made. Part of me looks forward to that, and well… truthfully, part of me does not. Why you ask? Because “Pruning is uncomfortable.”
As mentioned in the last post, the pruning process is necessary though. We cannot expect to be all that God has created us to be, without shedding certain things at certain times. That list can include attitudes, behaviors, characteristics, people, places and “things.” Just fill in the blank as the journey continues. So as we walk the path that has been set before us, let us take heart in knowing that God has already “ordered our steps and that He delights in our way.” Psalm 37:23. Be encouraged and stay faithful to the call that has been placed on your life.
A lemon retrieved from the lemon tree, during the pruning process~
This Labor Day… I labored. When I thought about the term, I decided to look up the word “labor” on dictionary.com, and this is what I found: work, especially hard physical work. It also gave synonyms like- hard work, toil, exertion and drudgery, to name a few. While I didn’t toil physically yesterday, I certainly did so mentally. Does that count as labor? If it doesn’t, it should…because it sure felt like it. Upon further review of the word, I could definitely identify with the verb definition, which stated work hard; make a great effort. That is exactly what I did on Monday, and if I’m honest with myself, it’s what I have done many days this season. It seems as if I have a million thoughts a day and truthfully, a good portion of them feel like labor. I’m facing some unknowns right now, and when this happens, I have to make a conscious effort to chill out mentally. I told myself that yesterday should’ve been a day of rest and not work, but that’s not quite how it all “worked” out. In fact, I labored… a lot. Yes, I physically did some typing on my laptop, but more than anything, I experienced a number of rather intense and deep thoughts. They drained me to a degree, and here I sit now typing, yet again and thinking back-about the magnitude of them. However, I know what some of the problem is. It’s the controller in me, who has often struggled with relinquishing things. I toss and turn my thoughts over and over again like a fish out of water, trying to make reason of them. Why is it that I do this? For some reason, I still spend a great deal of time trying to just figure stuff out, even though God has proven time and time again -that He always works it out, and for my good. I need to just let go and let God. I’m sure you’ve heard that cliche tons of times, but there is real truth in it. I can’t understand why I continue to allow my thoughts to play out a million different ways, instead of just resting in Him and His power. Another part of it, is that I really appreciate knowing how the chapter will end. My life chapters that is. Let’s be clear, I don’t mean my entire book of life. I pray that extends well on until my 101st birthday, if at all possible, but I mean the chapters of life that are marked by seasons. It is the impatience in me that longs to know ahead of time how each current chapter ends. It can be incredibly frustrating not knowing (control freak,) and this is where the battle begins.
The second half of II Corinthians 10:5 comes to mind- “…..and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Why is this so important? It is because a war over our mind has been waged. Thus, it is imperative that we make each thought subject to the right Master. One of the best ways to gain control of roaming thoughts; ideas and concerns, is to read the Word of God. I find that it instantly causes me to re-shift and refocus when this happens. When I don’t take the time to do this, what happened yesterday, is exactly what happens. The overthinking goes on for hours and it goes haywire. I was happy that I finally submitted my thoughts before closing out my day, so I didn’t have a restless mind all night. I wrote in my journal and reviewed some previously noted scriptures before going to bed. This past Labor Day, I labored mentally, so I guess I’ll take a little time off in the holiday’s honor today.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
I remember the day I first read this phrase, “…do it scared,” in Holley Gerth’s, “You’re Made for a God-sized Dream.” Since that day, these words have stuck with me over the past 3 years. I have not only recalled them, but have been forced to live by them- in a number of instances. What I was reminded of, is that while it is challenging to try new things, it is always possible when I am willing. Being a “creative autonomous” at heart most of my life, I often got a taste of the fear factor because of my entrepreneurial dreams. Attempting business ventures requires a certain level of trust that is difficult to describe. It is a major faith walk. “Doing it scared” certainly doesn’t feel good, but it is a necessary part of the plan. In fact, it is a requirement if we are to advance, live and thrive. We just have to commit to the process and trust God for the rest. What is the worse that can happen? We can stumble, all out trip…or even worse.. fall! So what though- if that happens. It is not the end of the world. Once we get back up, we can just view it as a new beginning and keep stepping. Seeing it this way, helps put a positive spin on things. We make a decision, walk in it, run… or fall- and when we do, because we are going to hit the ground at times, we get back up and keep going. There is light at the end of the tunnel and fear is just another thing to keep us boxed in. We can’t be our best selves standing in the same position forever. Any successful entrepreneur, accomplished athlete or kid who learned to ride a bike without training wheels, will all agree that the joy on the other side of that fear brings victory. Take it from an introvert and serial entrepreneur, who was once a little girl crazy about her pink Huffy (bike.) Picture me rolling.
What are you scared of today? Don’t allow fear to keep you from your destiny. As Holley wrote- “Do it scared.” Start the business, run the marathon, volunteer overseas, write the book and open that non-profit to help troubled youth. The world needs your gifts and talents. Don’t deprive us of them just because fear is trying to cripple you. You’ll be so happy you did it- even though you were scared.I promise! Know that when I write, I am always talking to myself, too. It’s therapeutic and we are in this thing called life together!
We want to hear from you. Reach out and tell us all about how you refused to let fear win. Peace, blessings and most of all, courage to you. You already have the victory.
Photo of my first ebook- available for free at http://www.candacetravels.com
It’s been a long time since my last post. I’ve been so focused on developing my travel brand and all that accompanies that process, that I’ve neglected posting here. Now completely overwhelmed by the numerous branding strategies I’ve studied, webinars I’ve participated in and conversations I engaged in about expansion….I find myself running back to this place. It’s safe here. It requires much less energy. It’s raw, relate-able and unfiltered. Yes, it’s true that travel is most definitely part of my passion…and ultimately plays a role in my purpose, but there’s still within me this deep longing to make a real difference in the lives of others. For so long, I’ve pondered over just how to fuse my two primary brands together. No, I’m not wrong for wanting to have things aligned and reproducing. I mean we do have to live…but there are times that it can become overly consuming. Just a couple days ago, that quiet voice within me spoke- and challenged me to be still. I was led to Psalm 46:10. “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” For the last couple days, this is what I’ve been thinking about. There’s been so much activity and so much energy spent on business building, strategies, plans and concepts, that I haven’t really just sat…and been still….long enough to really hear. Yes, I start my day with prayer and quiet time (though probably not long enough some days) and even continue on with prayers throughout the day. However, my hours have been so filled with other “stuff” that at times it’s easy to get lost in the midst of the madness. So here I sit typing, just knowing that someone, somewhere out there will relate to this post. My hope is that you will now know- that you are not alone. I also hope that you realize that others in this world endure the same, very real struggles that you face. Thus, my prayer is that this message will calm you, soothe your soul and quiet your spirit all at the same time. Join me today, in being still and knowing that HE is God! Allow the Spirit to pour out blessings and fresh insight upon you today. Be encouraged!!
Quiet- early mornings in St. Maarten
Two pieces of advice were given to me some years ago by different people. One was a person of great faith- a minister, and the other was a highly successful business man. The first thing I was told was, “If you’re not ready to be misunderstood, then you’re not ready to be used by God” and the other was, for me to “Be prepared to lose people and things.” So far, both have proved true in my life. I’ve been judged and have lost many things…and even some people. You may ask how one should feel about this and my response would be, “You should feel just fine if you’re fulfilling the mission and plan for your life.” It may seem harsh at first to seem okay with adversity and loss, but the truth is, it just comes with the territory. No great thing has ever been accomplished without battles. Instead of viewing this as a negative, let’s take a deeper look at the beauty in this. We grow through trials and we shed unnecessary people and things. Most things in life are seasonal anyway. Look at nature, who clearly presents this truth annually. At some point in the year, if you are located in a certain part of the world, the green leaves will turn colors and then will eventually fall off and disappear. Then months later, a new set of buds will surface. It’s part of life. Like Nehemiah, (chapter 4) who set out to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem, was met with opposition, so will you. We can learn from him, in that he didn’t allow it to stop him from completing the mission. He had already made up in his mind that he was going to accomplish the task before he set out to. It’s also important to note that he connected himself to others who were faithful and willing to stand in the gap with him- to protect the vision. When we make a decision to do something before the project begins, then we’re fully invested in the success of the outcome. Likewise, when we link up to other great warriors in the faith, we have the covering and backing that is needed to win.
I’m not sure what path you’ve been called to walk today, but I’m here to strengthen and encourage you. No matter what you face, don’t let it distract you from the task at hand. No matter who objects, walks away or what you lose, purpose in your heart to stay the course and finish strong! Be encouraged and be blessed! You already WON.
Natural Bridge Remains, Aruba
It’s a new month…again. I say that with a spirit of gratitude, realizing that there are many who were denied the privilege of turning the page on the calendar yesterday. I’m certain that we can all think of someone who was here last February that didn’t make it to this point (2016.) In that thought alone, there is much to be thankful for. This leads me to further ponder my next question. How truly committed are we, as humans, to fulfilling the purpose for which we have been created? I ask myself this question often, considering my journey appears at times to have been a lengthy one thus far. Lengthy not so much as number of days, but in the sense of one that’s been packed with a plethora of intense experiences, filled with twists and turns. I always jokingly say, “It’s been a good one, but a wild one to date.” I’m grateful though, because I realize that each day is a gift. Viewing each day as such, takes some of the sting out of the tough days, as well as makes the best days that much more pleasurable. I spend a great deal of my time on the road and juggling, what seems like a million different projects at a time…but if I really think about it, this is exactly what I prayed for, hoped for and labored for, for quite some time. No, everything hasn’t fallen perfectly into place like I envisioned in my mind, but there is so much beauty to behold in each day. As I witness the unfolding of my dreams and the manifestation of all that God has promised me, I am humbled and in awe. Yes, the climb is rather steep at certain points…BUT…the blessings that accompany the ascension are difficult to describe. They’re unbelievable, incredible and often times leave me speechless. Would I consider trading in some of the challenges for more mountaintops? Yes, of course. However, I know that it is impossible to have one without the other. This is both a faith journey and a fight. In order to fulfill the mission that’s been assigned, we will have to give it our all at times.
As you walk the path this new month, remember that life is a gift and should be treated as such. A new level of faith is required for each new leg of the journey. Stay the course and faint not! God has a specific plan and purpose for your life and He desires for you to fulfill it. Enjoy where you are, as well as all the blessings that have been afforded to you!!! I know it’s hard sometimes, but it will not overtake you. You will have the victory. I know that I’m personally looking forward to many, many, more spectacular, faith- filled days – hopefully retiring somewhere around the ripe old age of 101. 🙂
One word describes 2015… and that word is grateful! When I look back over the past 12 months, I am reminded of just how good God has been. What an incredible journey, filled with both trials and adventure. Yes, it has NOT been easy, but I would have to say that it’s been worth it. I had so many new experiences and met so many wonderful people, and though I saw my gifts make room for me, I was most definitely subject to digging deeper -than I ever have before.
This past year I assisted a variety of professionals in a number of ways. I published new work and reviewed all sorts of incredible products and services. I was also blessed to travel…alot! I experienced everything from viewing the sunset upon the Mediterranean Sea, to trekking across the island of Capri in my Converse. I also wandered throughout the streets of Cannes and stood upon the upper deck of a ship gazing at the magnificence of Barcelona. I took in the beauty of Palma de Mallorca, inhaled the splendor of St. Maarten and danced my way through the airport in Paris. I also ripped the highways and airports up between various parts of Ohio, Florida, Georgia and New York- with several points around and in between. However, though many of the preceding lines are a plus, it certainly wasn’t all peachy clean. I lost people and things. I got stranded, slept in the airport twice, busted my luggage, had my IPhone stolen overseas, worked on the road for weeks and even months at a time, while watching the seasons change- and had to trust God for many basic things. I worked harder than I ever had to, sacrificed in ways I didn’t think I’d need to….and considered giving into my fatigue on a number of occasions. Even more troubling, is that some of the people who started the journey with me a year ago didn’t make it to this day. Yet somehow (God,) I managed to keep going…to keep pushing and pursing my dream. Through it all, God sustained me and as a result I saw HIM more clearly- in some new and exciting ways! He opened doors that I could not have opened on my own, miraculously met needs in ways that are beyond explanation and still took time to paint the most breathtaking skies for me throughout my travels. God extended His protection and favor, and for this I am grateful!
Now what? We’re on the brink of a new year. 2016 is just around the corner, so what’s in store? The truth is, I have no idea what the future holds, but I do plan to keep moving forward. I have purposed in my heart to stay focused with my eye on the prize! I wrote my plans down in pencil, submitted them to God and I wait (actively) with great expectation. What I do know, is that He had a specific plan in mind when He created me… and I intend to fulfill it.
God bless you all and Happy New Year!!!
When I think about the phrase, “still waters,” peace immediately comes to mind. As I sit at my make-shift desk today typing, I am also gazing out the window -at the soothing waterfall adjacent to my building. At this very moment, I am thankful. No, I’m not content because all in life is well, but I am grateful at this very moment in time, because I am choosing to focus on the blessings that are before me, as opposed to the negatives. It’s true- I have a ton of work to complete and even some phone calls that I desperately need to make, but for this second…right now… I’m taking a moment out to simply smile and say thank you. See, I realize that I could be subject to a completely different set of circumstances, so I’m making a conscious effort to appreciate the moment. Life is full of waterfalls and valleys, so it’s important to embrace the periods of rest and peace when they are ushered in.
For this snapshot in time, I am thankful for still waters.
Take a moment out today, even if only for a few seconds to breathe and be grateful for whatever good things are before you. If you can’t think of anything, remember you’re alive to read this post!
My office today outside Savannah, GA