No strings

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With God there are no strings attached. No need to play puppet…no need to masquerade and act the part of who you are not. God loves you just the way you are. Better yet, He loves you just the way you will become.

It seems pretty simple, but sometimes in life we beat ourselves up mentally and emotionally because in others’ eyes we don’t seem to measure up. Whether their expectations are perceived or real, we find ourselves more focused on what “they” think instead of what we think or worse we neglect to consider the only real opinion that matters is God’s. 

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However, there comes a time when you must realize that pleasing God is going to displease a lot of people and you must be okay with that to truly follow Him. And yes, those disappointed people might even share your bloodline. Still, your life is yours for a reason. It’s not meant for you to be led by someone else’s expectations or desires. God knew you before you were born and had already equipped you with everything you need to live YOUR life.
I’m finally coming to grips with this myself that what seems the right thing to do for someone else may not be right for me. Sure getting advice is great. In fact, the Bible states you should seek wise council. However, when I think about those who have offered, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” kind of advice, I have to be real with myself and understand that sometimes the fact that they are not me is what really needs to be considered more. Now I’m not advocating that you go blindly following your own way all the time, but when it comes to your destiny, I strongly urge you to consider somethings before you become a puppet in a play not designed for you.

Consider your passions…
Consider your strengths…
Consider your weaknesses…
Consider your patterns…
Consider whether what you’re doing is in line with God’s word…

Sure there will be slip ups, hang ups, and pit falls in this Christian journey, but you are not required to stay where you’ve fallen. In other words, God’s grace is sufficient to keep you no matter how many times it takes to get it right.

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…And even then we can get it wrong. I do everyday. Does that give you a get out of jail free card for intentional sin…no, not really, but it does leave an awesome amount of room for error.

Face it if we had the  ability to keep it together on our own, Christ’s purpose would be obsolete. But that’s the point. We don’t have the ability to do it in our own strength. We can only live a consecrated life through Christ. So regardless of how many times you have messed up, God’s love has never had nor will ever have strings attached. So cut the ones others have on you and be real. God never made you anyone’s puppet.

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Green Light in All Directions

“The traffic light at Hacks Cross Rd is out. It’s showing a green light in all directions for about five minutes.”

When traffic lights go out, it’s common sense to treat them as a four-way stop…to even proceed with caution…but when I heard this news on the radio today, I got a different message.

So I’ve decided to move forward anyway…regardless of what had just transpired moments before hearing it…

You see last night I went to bed in tears and found the same dampness on my cheeks while driving my children to school.

Considering today is the anniversary of my mother’s passing, one might think my grief had stemmed from the memory of that loss.  Yet, my grief had another source.55884266727f852597c2cc126406b24c

I was concerned about my next  transition. So I breathed a sigh of relief when inclement weather delayed the process another day.

I don’t believe I was afraid of the coursework or the demand of my time, but I’m sure now that I was afraid of the impact the news of my decision to officially give up my “job search” in favor of attending seminary, working in ministry, and spending more time with my children would have on others in my family…particularly those who’d been helping me thus far.

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In fact, unless, my brother and cousin, who’s more like a sister,  decide to read this post, they would remain uninformed until a more courageous time.

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News of another aunt’s diagnosis with dementia has taken its toll on all of us.

Last week  my cousin and I discussed how she was a caretaker for her own mother who passed 5 years ago almost to the date….how she cared for her father until his last breath less than two years ago…how she was finally in a place where she was ready to live…for herself.

Having just turned 38 two weeks ago, she admitted to me how she was a little bummed about not accomplishing more by this time.  I suppose she felt as I had a while ago.

and so much had happened in a week

A time when she should have been reflecting on the good times she’d shared with her mom, instead on that very anniversary she was rushing an aunt to the hospital because she just seemed, “out of her head.”

Though I’m living in her home for a time, I hadn’t seen my cousin much since our aunt’s admission to the hospital and the diagnosis. She was with her and I understood why. My cousin was her father’s best friend before he passed and this was his sister. I joined her there myself after church yesterday.

I’m grateful that God used the pastor to remind us of the foundation of our frustrations.   I needed it.  Otherwise I would not have been able to stomach the way my cousin lashed out at me last night.  She was tired and perhaps the reason I really cried out to My Father was because I too am tired. I’m tired of seeing her struggle in different ways than I have experienced. I’m tired of seeing her not live because she feels obligated to live for others instead. Yet, in my summation, I can not judge what God is doing on her behalf through all she is experiencing.

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I am, however, more confident in my understanding of what He is doing in me and what He has planned to accomplish through me.

So while the impact of what transpired yesterday and this morning nearly overtook me, God confirmed with that timely traffic warning that I am still heading in the right direction.

It was the motivation I needed to keep moving forward despite how illogical things seem.

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He will prove His power of deliverance through my obedience so until He tells me to stop,  I’m taking the green light.

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Not Quite Homeless

As I braved the bitter temperatures arresting my face and hands this morning I felt thankful and saddened in an instant. That feeling lasted a little longer than I wanted. So I continued about the business of moving things from my car to another temporary residence.

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My second trip indoors was harder than my first in that I couldn’t prevent the tears of gratitude and frustration. Thankful that I had somewhere warm and even comfortable to rest my head…to rest my worries…to rest assured that yes, my son’s faith was right again….His words, “relax mom, a lot can happen in a week.”

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Indeed a lot had happened in the week that proceeded this day….for me…for us…within a week I had been given a deadline to get my act together…had been told no on so many occasions that I considered again why so many people in my state had chosen to give up on everything. I had been accepted to seminary, had been graced to have mounds of debt super-naturally removed…had my faith in Christ renewed…had my purpose through Him defined…Yes, so much had transpired.

Still on the day commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream of peace and equality, I can’t help but consider those who feel  the blight regardless of their race, national origin, religious affiliation, or gender….those drafted into a reality they never chose…my homeless brothers and sisters.

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My heart breaks and at least now I know that one of spiritual gifts is giving…yet even in my generosity I’ve been warned against giving too much…doing too much…all I feel is that I can’t do enough…

In the passed 13 years have indeed been filled with many humbling experiences…Even in those, I realize now why I have had to take so many tests over again.

I had yet to consider my ways

Haggai 1:5-7(ESV)

Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.

I’d been brought back to the same passages year after year, but pride had me considering I had it together. I guess when I consider the blank monotony of religion itself, I did.  I was nothing more than a modern day Pharisee when things were going well for me…all head knowledge but still failing to acknowledge the importance of the valley for myself and others.

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Within a year, I’ve learned that only those who have been in the valley are able to lead others out…only those who have experienced the pain of rejection and disdain of indifference can encourage others to keep moving forward.

So I understand now. I’m excited about the ones who I will bring out with me.

I still have no physical place to call my own since leaving the home and life I knew in Little Rock, but I know that this place is exactly where  I need to be right now.

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My Earnest Reply

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I’ve been contemplating a request that had been made of me for a while.  I shared my thoughts with a trusted friend and he advised that I ensure that the call was more than a mere desire…that it was an actual call from God….

Over the years, I’ve discovered a few things about my name.  I knew that it meant hope, but about 5 or 6 years ago, I was given the opportunity to look up my name’s meaning in Sunday School class as we all were instructed.

Sure, Hope was there and right beside it was this:

One called by God.

You would think that in that instant, I would come running to the Lord requesting how I can be of service…yet something very different occurred.  Well, this morning I decided that I was no longer going to do things my way….so I emailed my friend this long response…Of course I have edited some things, but in those 5 minutes, I knew all the more that I had a responsibility to God’s call to offer an Earnest Reply…

Dear…

I have considered it. And while it might seem that it has been matter of days since our conversation on the subject, I’ve been having the conversation with God for years. Except, I am perfectly honest, my role has been more like Jonah and Gideon the majority of this trek. When I speak about Christ and see the impact on others, I get energized. And by no means do I mean my input because I know that the Holy Spirit works within me at times when I’m led to speak to individuals about Him. I know that all the information I’ve read has nothing to do with what I can regurgitate at a given moment. My memory is not that good! I do know that I had to see for myself if I was indeed doing what He wanted me to do by at least visiting. Of course I have no money so I prayed that if this is the route He wants me to take, He has to make a way in the desert. So far things He has provided have done just what I should have expected all along. He’s connecting the dots so well I can see the picture more clearly and I’m excited. I mean I can go 48 hours with no sleep…be exhausted…which was my lot the other night with my friend who is struggling in her faith…yet, when I began explaining to her the relationship that I have with Christ and how He’s done so much in spite of the outside, I was energized all over again. I know that this is why I’ve haven’t received another job with a neatly corporate cubicle. I’m not meant to be there…not stuck behind a computer unless I’m connecting with someone out there who is hurting a little less because of something I’m led to share. That’s been my main focus from the beginning with regard to writing books, encouraging others, uplifting hurting people…I don’t hope to have some mega church someday, yet, I already know that God has promised me that my contributions will lead to thousands if not millions getting to know Him better. That’s my goal again. I had lost sight of it a while thinking about what I needed to do to make it work…make it prosperous by the world’s standards…clothes, money…but that stuff has never really appealed to me…well, at least not as an adult. I mean I love Michael Kors and other designers, but over the years, I’m grateful for God allowing me to notice something as simple as a bumble bee settling on a nearby rose. The simple things are what I crave and what I desire. So while I’ve considered the difference of the call and my desire, I conclude the two are interchangeable. I cannot separate one from the other as I finally realize what it means to have the desires of my heart…that I’m content in the cold and dark or in a warm home to call my own…that my desires have been steadily transformed to appreciate My God’s presence so much more than His presents. I know this is long and before I began typing I had no idea I would say all that, but that’s what I’m talking about…when I write about My Father it just flows….

I guess I should get to the second part finally, huh? Well, The institution is requesting that I provide three references and one of which is a lay reference form. While you are a minister and I have known you a short time, I still consider you a friend. I would appreciate it if you are able to fill out the form and either give it to me Sunday or send it. I apologize for the late notice because I know you’re very busy.

Oh…and since I did write all this out…don’t be surprised if you see most of this information on my blog…minus the names of course….Oh and if it’s not obvious that I’m in a better mood…no things haven’t exactly gotten better on the financial or circumstantial aspects…In fact, I just received word that my home is Little Rock has been accelerated into foreclosure and my neighbor informed me that someone was in my house and it’s likely that my furniture is gone…so I guess I was more accurate than I thought when I said that God is me starting over from scratch, but I’m still all smiles. …Okay I’m done….long winded aren’t I? LOL…Have a blessed one…See you Sunday!

Warm Regards,

Nadia L. Davis,

Quit Trippin’ and shed the wait in 2016

Yep this is one of those random unedited posts…decided to include my own silly pics from my holiday adventures just because…you’ll get that later… know there are errors…but I’ll correct those later…maybe…

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If patience is a virtue, procrastination is a vice…so no the title was not a typo…I meant “wait”…told ya, I’m not going there about weight loss goals this year… not harping about the need for more patience in Your life either…Rather my intent today is to suggest you strongly consider why you simply can’t wait any longer to move forward. God’s given you gifts for a reason…yet, year after year you manage to do little more than the year before…Arent you tired of that?

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I know I am….I’m done with the instability of playing it safe!  I knoe that statement might seem backwards, but hear me out…I just realized again hiw extroverted my personality really is…since stepping out and taking dome outlandish risks the passed few months, I’ve come to realize that helping people and being in the midst of people is when I thrive best…I could have sworn I was introverted for at least 20 years or more though…yep, but what led to that? Was it natural shyness, low self esteem, doubt…how about all three and more…

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Somewhere along my journey, I lost sight of the real me and began censoring myself for the sake of others…little did I know thst this simple gesture originally meant to keep the peace would wreak havoc on me internally…so outsteps the Nadia again who loves herself in everyway…the one who took photos at the drop of a dime years ago…

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the one who knew she has the ability to make the saddest soul smile or in the very least laugh at his or her circumstances….

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I’ve been waiting too long to do what God’s called me to do…waited for too long to realize tgat I’m worthy of love…waited too long to get in the spotlight for a snapshot. But hey, lately I’m a bit dazzled by just how radiant I’ve been looking and feeling most days since agreeing with My Father about my worth…So as I ramble on I say you, but I really mean me and whomever else is out there not doing what you know you should….perhaps is a dream job, your own business,  a snazzy invention, or even ministry…might I suggest whatever it is that God’s put on your heart to do that He’s big enough and wise enough to provide for you to succeed in it.

That said, my wait is over, now it’s your turn.

….Because ellipsis help me feel less guilty about all the run-on sentences

Just Chunk It!

I’m amazed at how my sudden desire to move again hasn’t wrecked my nerves!  I’m sure it has nothing to do with my naturally calm-demeanor (insert sarcastic grin here), but everything to do with the peace God promises according to Phil. 4:7.
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Over the last few weeks I’ve gone through a lot of my clothes, jewelry, shoes, and stuff. I’ve had an overwhelming urge to just chunk it all and start from scratch…a new beginning for a new year if you will.
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Now that may seem like the lazy way to pack, but hear me out.  There’s nothing like moving to help you realize how much unnecessary junk you’ve collected over the years. So yes, I’m ready to let it all go!

That said, perhaps you too have accumulated a lot of junk that your next destination could do without…I’m not talking tangible baggage here either….Baggage is heavy and I guarantee if you are holding onto a bunch, it is the very thing preventing your move to the next level.

I’m just saying, chunk it!  Yes, we have all been through something…some worse than others, but what I’ve come to realize lately is my constant rehearsing of the events I can’t change is only going to prevent me from moving forward…in relationships, in family, in life…period.

So what if they didn’t apologize! What does it matter now that you were passed up for the promotion!So no one noticed your new shoes! Who cares?
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I’m tired of looking back…tired of looking through old stuff attempting to salvage things that have no place in my present or future.

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So I’m getting rid of the negativity, low-self-worth, rage, and dysfunction…Yes, I said rage…I can be a bit of a hothead at times…image

Anyway, I’m sure there are plenty more that I could do without…
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Regardless,today I’m serving notice to the not-so nice things I’ve uncovered about myself: I’m traveling light from now on.

Keep it Simple for 2016

Originally, I’d planned to entitle this post: Keep it Simple for 2016 and for the rest of your life! But that’s just too long and not simple at all is it?
You know the answer so moving on…
That’s a good point…if you do nothing else with the new year…know that it’s a new opportunity to get over it!!!!

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Yep, the grudges, the faults, the mistakes, the bad habits…all of the mess that got you to this point is over and you can’t do anything to change it…so simplify your life by eliminating the excess…both mentally and spiritually. I didn’t say physically because isn’t that what everyone pledges to do every year. …to lose excess pounds…most of which were deliberately gained just one week prior…well…I’m just not going there…it’s been done enough and the fact is…without a complete mental and spiritual upheaval…you’ll not do much more than you did last year with that resolution anyway.

Not griping, just random info, I’m typing and thinking while I wait on my order at McDonald’s to be made…Keeping it simple is about so much more than what I’ve already mentioned, but in my attempt to do so, I’ll just leave it at that this post. Oh, and Happy New Year!!!

Little by Little

Perhaps you’ve heard that God brought the children of Israel out little by little and considering the length of their journey and the years of bondage they endured, one could easily consider that it was definitely a time-consuming process….

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God is extremely patient with His children. He doesn’t want any of us to perish…I have to remind myself of this truth from time to time when it seems He’s forgotten about me.

Yes, frustration with circumstances has had me at times tempted to just give up. But I’m glad for the times God takes the time to remind me that the journey is only part of my story…that far too many people would be shortchanged if I decided to just opt out on my future…

Thankfully, I’m learning to come to my senses a bit quicker nowadays. Regardless, the improvement of spiritual reflexes doesn’t stop the enemy’s tricks.

I had a friend tell me that satan will never use big stuff to get you off focus…that the closer you get to your destination he uses little distractions that accumulate….

Question:  Have you allowed little distractions get in the way of you and your destiny?

I’ll be honest…for a minute…maybe a few weeks…months…okay years…I had…but you know I’ve come to a conclusion I should have stuck with from the beginning: The inconveniences I’ve experienced aren’t my final chapter…I’m learning to consider them as plot twists…yes pun was intended…I’m a writer…couldn’t help it.

So though it seems like some of my trials signal the end of my destiny before I have had the opportunity to enjoy it, I recall how God delivered the Israelites little by little.

That truth gives me the strength and faith to keep going.
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I want to know Him better

I know I need to know God more intimately and nothing could have helped me acknowledge that fact more than the passed few weeks I’ve endured. More specifically was the cloud of conviction behind my routine prayer…no I didn’t mean routine prayer time…I meant routine prayer…sure there have been times often where my prayers are genuinely heart felt and open to all God has to share with me. However, a few weeks ago in response to a friend’s prayer request, I bowed my head immediately on their behalf and uttered, “Dear Gracious Heavenly Father, Thank You for this food I’m about to receive…”

Yep…I did it…thankfully I caught myself…rather I know now that the Holy Spirit caught me and reminded me that I had begun to get into a most unsettling routine with My Father….that I hadn’t been real with Him in a while outside of my notebooks and journals…so over the last couple of weeks, I’ve taken time to reread even some of those entries…again I found well-manicured acrylic prayers…sure some were addressed to my daddy, but what followed were more examples of what I’d fought so hard to not do…I was fully clothed…with a coat even in a 90 degree situation…I knew I needed to be naked with God for deliverance but I chose to wear my strength on my sleeve instead of my heart that had just been broken. I found myself too afraid to cry out for help because how else could I fix others when I could barely hold my own pieces in place? Tears bathed my face, but kept me awake the 45 minute commute to a place I have yet to call home.
“God, I wanted it to be right! I wanted to be adored. To love and be loved. I thought He was who You sent me! I wasn’t even interested! I did what I thought You wanted me to do! I know I should forgive him, but I don’t want to! Help me! I’m too weak for this!”
And He answered…not with wrath, but with the love I needed to know I was still worthy to receive…a message in a bathroom…because the kids had one more day of school before winter break, I decided to stop at McDonald’s to fight my fatigue. Time in the stall thinking and trembling because it had been cold that night, I saw what He wanted me to know….

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…He took time out to tell me that I’m special although I’d done everything but curse Him for allowing me to meet the man I dared give my heart to…for this reason I no longer just need to My Daddy better…I want to know Him better…

Tis His Season

Hello Family,

“Some children would not have a Christmas if it were not for the  generosity of others.”
I heard this pitch on the radio today…it’s matched countless others I’ve heard this time of year…I’m reluctant to say, ” this holiday season.”

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The petition is made with great intent I’m sure…to coax others to give to those less fortunate. Until this morning, my heart had never been grieved by the statements or even by those like it. In fact, before I’d found myself in a predicament considered “less fortunate” I used to jump at the chance to support the Angel tree and to serve others in financial ways whenever possible. I remember my son bringing it to my attention how I’ve given to others when I really didn’t have much myself. I’m in no means tooting my own horn here because I know that without God’s grace, I wouldn’t have the heart to give of myself or my resources at any time.

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Perhaps my circumstance and my thirst for a closer walk with Christ is what led me to feel the need to carry such a heavy burden even before I dotted the door of Hope Church this morning!

This is His Season!

No gift was ever so precious and priceless than that of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, it seems that many of us have forgotten the original reason for this season. I’m not pointing fingers or trying to legalize the spirit of giving. However, just in case there are some offended by my admission, I feel no need to apologize for I know such a burning wouldn’t have been placed in my heart otherwise. With that I admonish You to consider the magnitude of God’s gift to the world when you give to others in tangible ways.

It’s great to be able to give material gifts. Yet,ensure that no matter what time of year you give them that you do so from the perspective that Christ’s birth is the real reason to celebrate every season.

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Blessings,

Hope B. Loved