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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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October 2015

Funny thing…Love

Heavenly Father,
 
I come thanking You for Your discipline…I’d be lying if I said I liked it…You know my heart so that’s pointless. Father, help me to take the advice I so readily give others…Help me to listen and do what You want. I don’t want to keep taking the same tests over and over because of rebellion. I’ve been way out of order and I need You to guide me to get back in line with what You told me to do months ago. I can’t do it without You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!
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It’s easy to tell everyone else that mustard seed faith is enough to get the job done…it’s been easy for me to tell others to have faith for years…one might think faith was a supernatural gift I held…but God and I know the truth…the truth of how yes, I have walked on water, but my doubt at times has caused me to sink more than once…
In the last few months…I know at least more than ten…Then I wonder to myself…what would happen if I ran out of chances?
Who would suffer because I just couldn’t stomach the reality set before me….Maybe that’s been my problem…Reality…Faith and the Vision God’s given me says one thing and my mind and my eyes see the reality of my circumstances…so I’ve been forced at times to reveal parts of me that I’d rather keep hidden…I’ve been forced to share a portion of my heart that had been locked away for safe-keeping…then I wonder, was I keeping my heart safe or held hostage….
Love’s a funny thing…but not so…I’m realizing how love requires premeditated forgiveness to be unconditional…how treating others the way you want to be treated keeps me repentant more than I wish were necessary…Some of the things I’ve said are irrevocable and then I consider how  so many of my actions have been too…yet God still loves me unconditionally.
When I compare His love for me given all He knows of me, I can’t help but offer that same love. I’ve been trying.  It’s been hard, but I’m willing.  Before now, that had never been the case.  Flight  was a preferred approach…but I’m actually glad God is making me endure  this.  How else will I learn.  Though I’ve failed at the love thing before, this is different.  I want to be here.  And then I’m comforted with God’s truth:
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©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Tug away if you want to… you’re on your own!

Though Guardian couldn’t understand my words, I still felt obligated to voice them aloud as he sniffed and tugged closer and closer to this monster anyway:

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Now for some of you who like bugs…this pic may do nothing for you, but for an “arachnophobe” like myself, the fact that this sucker couldn’t do much as harm to some other spiders doesn’t matter!  Seeing a spider like this after the sun was up as if it had no plans of hiding away like some of the others do, freaked me out.

So trust had my dog continued as he started,tugging away from me, and gotten tangled in this thing’s web, he would have clearly been on his own!

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Thankfully, my dog is alive and well and he avoided the obviously human-sized web that bad boy had concocted…Or maybe it was a a bad girl…Aren’t they bigger anyway?download (7)

Anyway…I tugged him out of harms way just in time.  Now considering that dogs try to eat most moving objects smaller than themselves anyway, I doubt my dog Guardian would not have been phased by the spider crawling around on his coat.  I, on the other hand, got a completely different message…

Yes, again, God used my dogs to teach me something about my own level of disobedience.

Basically, like I told my dog, “I could tug away from the way He was leading me if I wanted to—that’s free will—but when I get from under His protection, I’m on my own….

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I admit my dogs have run away a few times before when I lived in AR…oddly enough they always came back . Usually because I’d go and physically get them, but later I stopped searching for them and waited until they returned on their own.

Like prodigals, they were usually filthy, hungry, and tired too.  Of course because I love them…I was happy to see them, clean them,  and feed them anyway.

I noticed a pattern though so to curb it I did all I had done before but added the rod of correction to the “seats of their understanding!”  They got the hint.  And I’m sure they didn’t like the way it felt.download (1)

In fact, now all I have to do is say, “Don’t even think about it” and Guardian tends to stop what he’s doing and gets back on track.

In a way, lately my weakened faith has had God telling me, “Don’t even think about it” too.

He’s reminded me of not thinking about the negative and what I see, but to think about the blessings and ways He’s made before to strengthen my faith again.

Like my over-sized pups, I really don’t like the way discipline feels either.  Yet, I’ll take God’s discipline over His distance any day!  

Run Hebrews inspiration

 

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

Not Shaken, Just Stirred

Thought this needed a revisit! Re-post.

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Yes, what a beautiful morning! A few days ago, despite the temperature matching the atmosphere I’m witnessing today, I might not have had the same response. In fact, despite the glowing sun, last week I can attest that I was in a very dark place. Depressed? Nah….I can identify the source of my sadness so I can’t exactly claim that scapegoat.

Simply put, “A sista been goin’ through!” Yep, I felt the need to escape, if only for a moment a proper vernacular for those who possibly peruse this site for the soul purpose of reading prose that lacks grammatical errors with the exception of those that are intentional, of course. Yep, I went there!

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From electrical issues and car trouble, it seems that Murphy’s law has become a way of life for me over the past couple months and last week I just found myself completely exhausted! So much that I did all but beg my boss for the opportunity to work from home for at least one of my two reasons.

Sure, I woke up Monday morning with the pinkeye.  Yuk, gross…well thankfully, I’d had some drops already so I was able to get a head start on the healing process….Only, when I’d awaken to that bloodshot bull’s eye, I was actually relieved.  I was somewhat happy with an excuse to rest…something I’d found increasingly more difficult within the last few weeks.  I’d been getting by off 2 and 3 hours a day, working out, going here and there…never realizing the obvious danger I had been subjecting myself and my children to needlessly.  It seemed that I once again had forgotten how to just say no.

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But how could I say no…I’d had a job to do…I was the single mom who secretly donned a cape and some great boots to kick things in gear for my children….Never mind that my exhaustion was taking its toll on my health. I was the super soldier for Christ and I had to give my best at work and not get to a place where I felt entitled at work because I owed Him so much.

Yet this passed week, I’ve realized that while God’s grace is sufficient and His strength is revealed in my weakness, He never told me to get comfortable being uncomfortable!

Yet, as I look at my surroundings and the state of things financially from the year prior to the present, I had to consciously ask myself the question, “What has changed?”

I guess the question itself wouldn’t bite as much had I not also had to answer it, but that would be much too easy. I understand now that therein lies my problem. Spiritually, I recognize the need to do things differently.  Even mentally I’ve considered the consequences of not doing so.  Yet, my actions have remained null and void.  Even with exercise, I’ve gotten stagnant.  I’ve realized that the weights I’d been using were no longer challenging me, but instead of literally pumping up the volume, I’ve opted for using the same weight only to be disappointed at the realization my efforts were making little difference now.

Well today, I was reminded that God’s love for me provides me a choice. A choice to do something different to achieve a different result.  And might I add, you do too! That is, if you’ve been where I have and if you’ve felt like you’re the only one aboard a sinking ship, the choice on how you will respond is still up to you!

You see, last week I worked from home and while I was doing so, I had the opportunity to listen to my music.  I kind of went on an R&B tip and got into India Arie again.  I couldn’t getMoved by You” out of my head for days even though I couldn’t recall one lyric beyond that hook.

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I realized this morning and perhaps the dawning of another day last week that I had neglected to be “moved by God” again.  This subconscious perspective I was guilty of harnessing was further confirmed when I attempted to listen to some other music.  Ironically, my computer got locked in safe mode and I kept getting errors that I the videos I attempted to access were “not appropriate for viewing.” Initially, I thought it weird because the content was not vulgar.  I don’t like that stuff anyway.  However, I was able to access Gospel videos with ease.

In fact, yesterday morning I tried one last time and was switched to a TD Jakes sermon instead.  I was captivated and convicted.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt God had been telling me something…that all the sermons and songs of hope I’d been exposed to were not a coincidence.  Rather, proof of God’s providence.

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Essentially, that despite the financial mistakes, delayed promotions, and emotional mountains I faced were nothing compared to His presence with me in the midst of them.  He was still able to bring me through!  I learned as I was somewhat involuntarily submerged that He was only allowing the trials and failures rekindle the fire that had been blazing within me before…that He loved me too much to allow me to be comfortable simply nesting in a mess.

My Father assured me that He is not allowing the problems to shake my faith, but to stir it.  For that love, I am eternally grateful.

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

It Could Be Worse

I’ve taken a little time over the passed few days to celebrate the wrong things. I threw myself a pity party!

I tried to invite my children to join me a moment and I’m glad that neither of them thought it cool to attend it.

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Evidence that I had trained them in the way that they should go after all….my son listened and finally said few profound words that abruptly ended the shenanigans!

“You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and use the faith that you’ve taught us to have!”

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I was caught between the agony of having spiritual vision and having reality…I see what God showed, but when I open my natural eyes I see what I lack…I can’t see how He will get me there…get us there…my concern is for my children…their well-being…their faith…their future…their today…
I clung to the truth that I was crossing over into the promised land, but I keep circling the same mountain….

How did I get here?

What am I doing here?

Is this the here God meant?

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I received a call about noon yesterday and the scales began to fall from my eyes…the frustration in her voice made my plight seem so small…she had recounted how her blood pressure was high because she just discovered that her bank account was overdrawn by hundreds of dollars…that she refused to go to the bank because her mind was not right and she didn’t want to say the wrong thing…she had sense enough to rest…..her words, “I realize that I can’t depend on anyone but myself!”

Immediately I found myself contradicting her words…the very words that remained impinged in my own mind and heart mere hours prior…instead I said, “I’ve learned that God sometimes allows us to get to our lowest point so that we can ask for help. Do you need help?”

I realized that my situation could have been worse than what I imagined…the radio further confirmed this when I heard the testimony of cancer survivors…

I’d seen God bring me through so much over the years that just didn’t make sense so why I had the audacity to “worry” about what I was facing now was just plain wrong…

I realized that even in my helplessness, I was willing to help…that it is my gift and whether I want to admit it or not in my distress, I still get joy from seeing others happy….

My son’s faith and happiness that afternoon along with his words are what helped me fully snap out of my pity party…if nothing more…Those words and the words of Luke 7:6 sealed my faith for God’s best for our lives…

I’d asked for scripture, but I didn’t want something I already knew…I wanted to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had really spoken to me…

And He answered with “and Jesus went with them”

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Considering that truth, I’m learning to be more grateful for my wilderness experience because without Him I know it would be worse.
©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Transplanted to Thrive

I’ve said before that I’m observant.  Well I noticed today that the flowers around where I live have been swapped…you know for fall varieties…well I too noticed that I and the flowers have a bit in common.  Yep, it’s official. I’m a transplant!

Now to the untrained eye, you might not even notice the difference, but I guess you could say I have a semi-green thumb so I did….either that or I’m just a nerd…I’m betting on a bit of both but whatever.

Either way, I noticed that the plants were thriving despite the process I knew they had to go through to get there.

It made me think about the many flowers I killed back in AR before I had a clue….

Hey when I purchased my first home, I just wanted my yard to be pretty and I bought all these plants thinking,

“How hard could it be to replant plants?” e465d8c863616bcb86ae32db939b6aea

There were quite a few things that I had not considered that I have been sort of forced to in my right now…I did not handle them with care and I was pretty negligent in the beginning with maintenance.  The process was a lot slower than I wanted it to be because the new roots had to be established before they were able to thrive in the new environment.

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It really blessed me this morning for God to speak to my heart in this way!  I knew that He was letting me know that this process that seemed to take forever would be worth the wait.  He reminded me that though there were days that I’ve felt weak and probably looked the same that I needn’t worry about dying here…that He is the Master Gardener and that He is taking His time to ensure that strong roots are established for the plans He has in store for me.

©2015 Nadia Davis.  All Rights Reserved.

Good grief! I guess I’m not done yet…

A full night’s sleep has become something of a distant memory for me now.  It seems I can’t focus and the things I say I’m going to do keep going undone.

Could I still be grieving?

My mother would have been 66 today had God not invited her home last January.

I know I’ve faced a lot the last few months but I am aware of what brings me joy…yet as I comb through websites and find myself reading book after book and article after article about sleep deprivation and home remedies I still end up more tired that I was when I began.

Chronic Fatigue? Adrenal Fatigue? Over-stressed?

I suppose by the symptoms it would seem I’ve become a prime candidate for all three. A year ago it wasn’t nearly this hard. I admit I have always done a little bit too much.  I’ve tried to shave things off my plate to make room for those who matter and the things that should, but lately it seems that lines have been blurred. It seems I have a hundred things in my mind at one time and all I want to do is have the ideas, issues, and things to slow down…

Slow Down…something that I haven’t been able to do….to do list….wow something I recall having even in high school!  I’d calculate the time I needed to accomplish things, list what needed to be done, and do it with time to spare…Where exactly has all that time gone.  Is it that my list has grown too long or that it is full matters that would be best left omitted?  There are so many questions I can’t answer. Yet, my mind constantly wonders about all the possibilities and what if’s anyway.

I need silence.  My eyes beg for solace.  I yearn for a stillness that I used to have.

Last year.  Things were not as hard as my right now.  I had goals. I could focus….at least some of the time.  So last week I began reading yet another book to solve this dilemma.

I tired of it immediately.

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It’s one thing to know a thing and entirely another to apply what you know to impact your outcome.

Last year on Resurrection Sunday, I took an unplanned trip to see my mother.  I’d seen pictures of her in her frailty before that trek and perhaps the reality of those shots hindered my willingness to visit more often prior to that moment, but now I understand why for at least a year, I’ve been chasing my tail….doing so much and accomplishing so little.

I saw her.

…and the realization that I could “do nothing” to fix her plagued me….the fact that I could do nothing to fix “us” still dances in my mind from that moment until the present one….

Seeing her then did something to me that I hadn’t had the courage to admit until now. It did something to me that I hadn’t had the willingness to let go until today. Although she’s passed and is in peace with our Father in heaven, I’d actually been plugged up with so much anxiety because in some small way, I believed that by not completing some of the tasks I’d planned to do that I failed her.

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I know it might sound odd and while it might be hard for some people to grasp, God knew I’d get here.  He also knew that the only way that I would stop “doing” is only if I had no choice.  So spiritually and physically drained I found myself in tears in a bible study class I’d visited miles away from where I currently reside, but all too close from where I’d attempted my escape years prior.

I’d blurred the lines of people pleasing with God-pleasing.  I mistakenly made the “I” in I can do all things through Christ bigger than the only One who could strengthen me regardless of what I encountered…even the death of my mother.  I considered this would be just another thing that “I” could handle alone.

I was wrong.

Blinded by my own pride, I like the lone beggar in Mark 10 finally cried out for His direction despite the advice from all the “self-help” books I’d perused.  And like He addressed Bartimaeus, I felt Jesus requesting the same of me Sunday during that service:

“What do you want Me to do for you?”

I’ve pondered the question for the last two days, but now I have an answer.

Lord, I too want You to Restore my sight.  Help me again to see the good in the grief I’ve faced.  Restore my focus for Your glory.  Amen.

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Be ready or Get Left Behind

I had to teach my daughter an important lesson about timing this morning. When you’re not ready, you get left behind!

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Now Kayla had been a hard sleeper since birth so I’m not surprised by her innate delays every morning…surprised no…annoyed YES!!!

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I used to consider it a blessing she slept so hard though…I could have her hair done and have her fully clothed before breakfast when she was younger. The problem is she’s no longer a toddler! She can dress herself!

Sincerely this has become a major pet peeve…yet, while in times passed I’ve warned and waited…today I just left.

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Today was the last straw…I even snatched the covers off before I decided my exit…
…and she had the nerve to mention what would Jesus do…my reply, Jesus would say get up!!! Take up your mat and walk!  Apparently she considered herself awake though she was still lazing in bed.

Long story short…I dropped my son off…she had an attitude when I got back, but now she was on my time and at my mercy.

You see she doesn’t have to be at school until an hour after her brother but I drop her off early so she can chat with her friends before school. It’s really a privilege for her and a covenience for me.

Eventually we left together after I got ready. I admit I delayed things on purpose. Lord, forgive me!

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Anyway…she reached her destination on time because of grace…she could have rode the school bus that’s always late…or she could have walked…or she could have missed out completely…and without saying a word further, she knew it could be worse….

So what’s the moral here?

When it’s time to go, don’t ignore the warning…get up and move or you will get left behind.

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I’ve had to learn this lesson too many times…and if yesterday’s post wasn’t evidence enough that I’d been getting ready for too long, my own frustration with my daughter’s passivity was just the match I needed to burn up my tendency to procrastinate! With that I advise you to get moving before you too get left behind.

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It’s “Do” Season

Oddly enough I’m just going to keep this short and sweet for myself and for anyone else out there who’s been too comfortable “in the meantime.”

Today as I walked my dogs I noticed a bumble bee, a butterfly, and several wasps flitting by.  I also took note of several summer flowers still in bloom.  It occurred to me that these bad boys had no idea  the season changed!  They were still holding on for dear life!

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I laughed at one wasp because it was trying to fly against the wind.  It was going no where….which brings me to my point.  Just like the confused insects, until yesterday, I really   had no idea what season it was for me either.

This little message helped change my mind:
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Simply stated, It’s Time

I have made some strides by faith that have almost entirely blown my mind lately, but really I’ve moved slower than God’s been leading me.  It’s not that I don’t want the harvest…it’s that I’ve had this little issue with timing…I guess I hadn’t realize how quickly seasons change.

This is an accelerated one for me and possibly for you as well.  That said is there something that you know you should be doing that you are not simply because you want to “wait four more months?”

John 4:35 New Living Translation 

35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe[a] for harvest.

So while the bugs I mentioned earlier were still holding onto a season that had passed, I’m aware that my destiny is too important to try to fly against the changing winds.  So now I’m eagerly embracing my “do” season.

©2015 Nadia Davis.  All Rights Reserved.

Ask, Believe, and reCeive

“May I see your phone for a minute?”  His request came only minutes after my daughter’s to which I replied the same, “Not now, I’m listening to something.”  It was possibly a full minute before my son asked the same question again.  This time I said, “Just wait. Kayla asked first anyway.  Considering that she had dibbs when I was done,  before I opened the car doors he was already bargaining with her…explaining that his need was greater than hers…that he only needed it for a few minutes.  Kayla relented.  She was more interested in the book she just got anyway.  And again, before I could turn on the ignition, Recco again made his intentions known.  By that time as you would imagine, my tone matched my frustrationso I responded, “I’m using it, just wait!”

“But Why?” (My kids tend to think that anyone over age 30 have no reason to possess such gadgets obviously)

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“It’s my phone!”

Yes, people….quite possibly my son and daughter are the only kids at their schools who do not own their own cell phones!  Well,  not anymore….Prior experience has made me hesitant.  They’ve had two before and my son was the culprit behind the demise of at least two of my prior ones so right now, they are phoneless.

Before we arrived home, he asked at least 3 more times…Completely irrirtated when I parked I plainly told him, “This kind of thing is going to make me not give it to you period!

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Not for him….for me…clearly his behavior over my phone matched mine with regards to a future husband.

When we arrived home, I was done with the phone, but the way he kept bugging me about what I’d already told him he’d receive made me want to keep it to myself anyway.  Yet, as I was convicted over my own spoiled antics with God’s promises, I surrendered quietly and acknowleged how quite possibly I was delaying the manisfestation of my own blessings by being a little too persistent with my request.

Yes, the bible says to keep asking, keep knocking, and seeking—still over the years I’ved learned that if anything my prayers should have been doing so from a perspective of thanksgiving despite the manisfestation because God is faithful.

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Now I admire my son’s tenacity because what at first irrirtated me to know end was the very thing god used to remind me of the way I treat His word.  My actions as were my son’s showed a complete lack of trust.

No parent wants to think that his or her own child doesn’t trust him or her so I see how my constant prayers laced with doubt were not sufficient.  They lacked the confidence in knowing God will deliver as promised.  Now my son, on the other hand had prior experience with me letting him down so I I can understand his apprehension (I tend to forget things)images (1)

I had no excuse.  God has always come through for me and I have no reason to believe otherwise. So while the waiting period is uncomfortable, it’s teaching me to ask, believe, and receive again a little differently.  I know that unless I align myself with his order, I’ll just wait that much longer.  To that I think I’ll pass.

©2015 Nadia Davis.  All Rights Reserved.

 

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