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!
Nobel Peace Center- Oslo, Norway
What is wisdom? According to dictionary.com- wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise. Based upon this definition alone, answering the door when wisdom comes a knocking is well…uhm… wise. I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about life as well as my daily routine in general. I’ve also considered how my choices need to look moving forward, as well as which ones made in the past, led me to this point. I’ve endured 3 and a half years of pruning, stripping away, testing and intense faith building. Though not always the most pleasant of times, the spiritual outcome thus far, has been fruitful. I’ve developed a deeper intimacy in my relationship with God and a stronger faith overall. As a result, I now realize that this is a crucial part of the process, if I’m to truly connect my passion and purpose and be effective. Here are a few adjustments that I’ve made over these last few months.
- Protecting My Space
I’m doing a much better job of guarding my space. What I mean by this is that I’m balancing the negatives and the positives. I tend to be a sounding board for a number of people, and that can take a toll on anyone. I’m an introvert by nature, with some extrovert tendencies of course, so I naturally recharge away from people. With this being said, I’m setting new boundaries. I think this is part of the adjustments that God is calling me to make this season. Yes, I still plan to be here for people mentally, emotionally and most importantly spiritually, as much as I can, but with an understanding that there has to be some limitations in place. Otherwise, I can’t be “my” best. I was literally feeling drained by all the complaints, problems, issues and woes of everybody else, while trying to make sense of some of my own. It was energy sapping and was causing me to run the other way every time I heard my phone ring. I, myself, am in a place where I am faced with some challenges, so I’m clinging more towards words of encouragement, inspiration and messages that refuel. Right now, this is what “I” need, to successfully reach the next phase of my life. I’m learning that it’s okay to protect your space when you need to. There will be seasons where you are fully equipped to bare the weights of others, and then there will be times, where you yourself will require the weight baring. Embrace where you are in life, make the necessary adjustments and own it.Your energy and space are important!
- Seeking Peace
This whole message on peace first came up some months back in a book that I was reading. “Pathway to Purpose,” the book, became the catalyst in my own quest for a better understanding of peace. I discovered that I had to seek it, like Psalm 34:14 teaches us to- “Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” The term kept popping up everywhere- online, in messages and even became the theme of my recent visit to Oslo, Norway. Thus, I knew there was something to it, so I took notice. Personal peace also ties into #1, regarding the protection of energy and space. Since Jesus is the Prince of Peace, when I keep my mind stayed on Him, I am in perfect peace. When I don’t…well, we know how that goes. We live in a chaotic world, with all sorts of things vying for our attention, so if we don’t get a grip on this, it can aid in the complete and utter breakdown of our peace. It’s okay to guard your heart and mind- and to protect your peace. Your sanity depends on it!
- Staying Alert
Keep your eyes and ears open. The Holy Spirit may speak to you differently in different seasons. Your senses may be more heightened at certain times, so be alert. For the past several months, I’ve personally experienced a keen sensitivity, spiritually. Truthfully, I started to notice a change a couple years ago, but as of late, it’s been on super high alert. It’s as if the Holy Spirit has been placing a sharp bulls eye on people and things. It’s caused me to closely observe motives, and to see clearly through smoke screens. I’ve been able to pick up on things that I otherwise might not have paid attention to previously. Thus, I have greater clarity, and the ear of my heart is wide open. I’ve gotten confirmation on messages released by way of scripture -which will be a constant throughout life, as well as through creation and nature, people, places and even through an elaborate tattoo on a man’s arm in Tampa. Never underestimate how God may choose to speak to you,so stay aware and alert at all times.
These 3 things have helped me to make wise adjustments in my current season. Since the theme of open and closed doors has also been a staple in recent times, when wisdom came knocking, I knew I just had to answer. Ask God what changes might be in order for you this season, then be ready to make them! Be blessed my friends. I bid you peace, love and happiness!
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