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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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Parenting

Resolve to Receive

I had some really great post ideas yesterday and then I got busy with the everything of life and I completely forgot what I wanted to say.  It was a worthy opponent for my attention though. I shared laughs with my son and songs with my daughter.

So I was determined to still post something today because it is the first year of a new year and why not. It’s what bloggers do isn’t it? I mean we write about stuff associated with themes, holidays, trips, and travels, right? Well, I cannot say that I exactly have writer’s block, but something more interesting is going on in my heart and mind at the moment so I’m just sort of flowing.

So the title I realize now was not exactly meant to be a title perhaps. I believe it was a simple directive. It was definitely from my Father and specifically intended for me. However, as nature would have it, I share. I’m generous so at times I give what’s been given to me before I have the time or patience to digest it. So my amnesia of sorts gave me the time required to ponder the statement before handing it over for your perusal.

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I, like so many other people have begun new things and ideas today. Yet, by next week over half of those intentions will be left unsaid, undone, unfulfilled by many.

I’ve decided that won’t be my lot! So I’ve considered my list. You know the list we all have for our supposed Mr. or Mrs. Right, but then we end up checking off two of the 20 items we desire for the sake of having Mr. or Mrs. Right Now instead. I’ve determined not to settle for less another day in my life. I realize my worth and I know who God has is going to treasure me for me.images (15)

I understand now how important my ability to receive is to my destiny in this moment. So it is my prayer that I don’t take this moment or the many moments that follow for granted…that I make an active effort…to be receptive of the right things and people going forward. I’ve decided that I trim more weight by eliminating unnecessary people and places rather than skipping desserts.

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I love to cook and bake so it’s pretty pointless to say I will completely eliminate sugar from my life this year or any other year. Still whether on my plate or in my relationships, I finally know my limitations. I know my boundaries. I’ve learned to disconnect wisely and proceed with caution when necessary.

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Before I’m sure my fight or flight switch was broken. Now my discernment is heightened. I know it is only because I have resolved to receive the wisdom My Heavenly Father offered. So gone is the stubbornness of my youth and the contention of my heart to “overthink” every step regarding relationships. I know I hear God’s voice clearly. I know more that He loves me too much to allow me to be distracted again by nonsense so for this day…this year….and the years to come, I’ve resolved to receive my covenant partner, my position, and my destiny.perfect love

 

©2017 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved

I had no plans to post, but God

Just words…For those who were not there…I shared a bit of my testimony and for a moment, I cried…but only for a moment…here’s what God placed on my heart a few minutes ago…
This day…I officially receive my title as a Prodigal Mama…be blessed and share if you feel led.
I’ve considered my tears yesterday and though unexpected and brief when providing just a piece of the testimony God’s led me to share…I woke up this morning rejoicing again…that my tears were not of shame or regret…not of pain or worry…that My Tears were of joy…what I didn’t share with everyone then because of time constraints was that the rift between my son and I no longer pains me because I have INTENTIONALLY chosen to love in spite of…I have INTENTIONALLY chosen to FORGIVE in advance of…I have INTENTIONALLY decided to have joy in the MIDDLE OF whatever I face…As Christ through me works, I realize that I have control over one being on this planet…that is me…Though I have influenced many and will influence many more by my actions or inaction, I realize that it is but God who allows me to accept and embrace this transition in promise…Parents have it hard enough…single parents have it harder at times, but as I stated yesterday…God IS A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS…I’ve learned the more open I am with MY Heavenly Father about the pain I’ve endured, the more quickly I recognize the healing of such. I was not planning on writing all of this, but God has a way of allowing me to bled on pages…I surrender the right to remain silent to Him alone…Be blessed family…whether single parent or not…whether engaged in a happy relationship with your children or in the valley of sibling rivalry and contention….Know that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can think or imagine…so my prayer for all is collective that we consider our vertical alignment a priority…that doesn’t mean suffocating ourselves in “service projects” and busyness…I’ve been there, done that to my prior detriment…It means to saturate ourselves in WORSHIP…in and out of the presence of God. I am not bragging on myself, but on the mercies of God in that I see the change and development of my own 14 year old daughter because of what she has “witnessed” me doing before the Lord in private…not what she has seen in public. I even see how what I have done in private and my prayers in my son’s presence despite his prior rants have produced. Sometimes you have to confront demonic influence with the light of Christ in action and not just words…Words in deed are powerful, but while our flesh would rather not succumb to “losing a fight” to win the battle…the light of Christ in us gives direct access to do just that…I don’t know who all will need this but in obedience to His leading…I submit. Love you all…be blessed…take it one day at a time and rejoice in every moment…Remember…there is a difference between trying and “making an effort”…The latter requires deliberate intention. If you feel led, share with mothers and fathers who might be in the valley of what they deem is the shadow of death…even in this place…shadows disapate when the light of God is introduced.
#prodigalma
#lovecovers
#wholeinOne

An Ear to Listen

I had no reservations about revealing my past before that moment in class yesterday.  Perhaps it was hearing words I’d never written before…I’d never even thought of before sent me to a place I hadn’t visited either. I remembered.

I revealed my disconnection with self…why I was drawn to being “needed” by others…why it was so easy for me to allow people to drain me without much protest. The silence between my mother’s rants taught me to embrace my own version of peace.  The peace in my head…I shut out the world when I couldn’t flee literally. Now I see how I could be present, but still not there.

I needed someone to listen to me then, but I didn’t know what to say when I actually received it.

Now I know why God had allowed me to meet a the young lady in Walmart the other day. She’d just lost her husband and her words, “I just loss my husband and it’s been hard,” broke my heart.

I offered to pray for her before she revealed the reason she appeared so torn between working and giving up. I offered to wait, but I ended up just writing my phone number and a my disclaimer: “I’m not expert on grief, but if you need an ear to listen…”

I left there with a concern, but content that in a small way I’d lived up to my name.

I entered my first class yesterday morning and noticed my friend was absent.  My professor revealed the reason was that she too had experienced loss.  Her mother passed the night before. Immediately, I took out my phone to send a message.

I composed and erased.

I tapped and before sending placed the phone in my purse instead.

I said to myself I would wait until break. At break I erased again and thought about calling her, but I considered I didn’t want that before.

So I was honest.

After typing “I don’t know what to say. If you need an ear to listen call anytime.  Love you,” I hit send.

I needed someone to listen to me when my mother passed, but I didn’t know what to say.  So before God’s ear alone was the chosen receptacle.

Perhaps, allowing me to tell my story aloud was the first time I really felt heard by people. Maybe that was the reason for my tears.

Regardless, if nothing else, in that moment I realized my frailty.  Though I forgave her nearly two years ago, became whole mere months ago, I still have places in my heart to be mended. She loved me the best she could. I’m learning to love a little better with each passing day and I know I have a ways to go, but it’s still nice to have an ear to listen.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All rights Reserved.

It was Never Rejection

I cried in class today. I hadn’t planned to do so. I didn’t even cry when writing the piece I was required to read aloud. The assignment was to tell our story.  As a writer I almost did the paper before even reading the assigned chapters because I thought it would be that easy.

I mean what’s two pages of me? I’ve had this blog for three years and I have shared bits and pieces since the beginning…

Hmm…beginnings…

Beginnings can be so subjective.

Well, when I considered the topic from the week’s sermon and the topic from my life for the past few months, I should not have been shocked by the topic for the assignment bearing a name akin to both:

How has God redirected your life?

I had planned to write something totally different…yet, God saw fit to use this educational assignment as a means of confirming my spiritual one. It was also proven to be His opportunity to “right” mother’s story.

I found myself sharing how I was affectionately dubbed her shadow. I realized how much I missed her despite the diagnosis…Borderline Personality Disorder is not as fashionable as Bi-Polar or Schizophrenia I suppose. Yet, everything this week has led me back to her.  Redirected yet again from “me time” to develop an understanding of “her time.”

Before I had already been conflicted as to whether a dedication page was enough room to convey a daughter’s love, and then I recalled God whispering, “make room for Daddy.”  He alone would have to support me in this leg of the journey even more than He had before.  As tears fell against my heart’s demand, I understood

So while the dialogue of my life’s script seems riddled with unfortunate events, I’m no victim.  I was loved and for the first time in a long time, I sure it was never rejection, just redirection.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All rights Reserved.

Fix that Door and Move On!

Laughter is my best medicine. I must find the funny in everything to function and no, I’m not mental!

So…basically, I planned to go to bowling the other day…was dressed and for a change would have actually been on time (the Lord is yet working on me in this area)

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Anyway…I go to open the door to leave and there I am all dolled up (yep, I’m a bit girlie girl)…purse and keys in one hand, the door knob in the other…considering my options…

So I decided to break out my tools…yes and I know how to use them.SwaggerGirl_Cape

So finally I get to the point of my title…I couldn’t leave until I fixed the door…

It made me consider my current relational status…I don’t consider being single who I am…which was further confirmed by Sunday’s message…I know my purpose as a follower of Christ and I still consider myself a wife…I just know I’m meant to be one to the right one.

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I just happen to be in “transition”…yeah…that has a nice little ring to it.

You see…though I was heading bowling that night, I was still trying to wrap my head around what was to transpire the next day.

My ex-husband had planned to visit my daughter from Little Rock, and because I’m not allowing my daughter out of my sight for any reason, I had to go as well…

It wasn’t unforgiveness, but definitely uneasiness…

I had been sort of dreading the reunion because I didn’t want what usually happened to happen again… there were always “misunderstandings!”

I thought…I want him to know that I have no hard feelings, but I also don’t want him to think I have “other feelings” either.

See my dilemma?

It was always a catch 22…if I rejected speaking to him, I was thought to hate him…if I was nice…I was expected to remarry him…

I had been praying about our interaction all week and asking God to reveal to me if I had any unforgiveness lurking in my heart that went unchecked…God confirmed that I had forgiven him, however, that I needed to still endure this test.

 

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Well, prayer works…the Lord showed me that just as I’d left alcoholism alone nearly 8 years ago and since had several tests…and yes…though I’ve drank a little…like 3 times within that time…He showed me how I have no taste for that life or the liquor itself anymore…in essence, I had to be exposed to it to know I’m completely done…

Hey, I’m not knocking anyone who drinks, I just know my boundaries now…that’s something I never really had before…for drinking or relationships…

Just pass me a Green Tea and the one God has chosen for me!

I guess you really know that you have forgiven and closed the door to the hurt of your past when you find yourself praying for that person and not in one of those, “God get ’em prayers!”

My point in all this is that God showed me that I had to fix the broken places in this past relationship to properly close the door before I would truly have my heart free enough to receive the man God has for me.  I did what I needed to do.  Maybe it’s time you do the same.

 

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Privilege of the Pause

Just more random thoughts…of course on edited😁

I’m convinced the one problem, if it could be called that, with being a visionary is finding the off switch in one’s mind or perhaps it is as simple as located an appropriate landing spot for dreams to be born. As if the recording device in my brain is stuck in fast foward, I’m learning the importance of complete unplugging to catch up with myself occasionally. I’ve realized my stillness is yet my only way to hear His voice…
I make no apologies for my quick wit, my charismatic personality, or intelligence, however, life…at least this year has taught me the privilege of the pause…the necessity of delay has forced me to make use of my share of patience…and so I rest I Him alone. The white noise of “everydayness” fades to black as my surprise rises and bids me “Good mourning.” Yes in more ways than one the things and people I once thought I could not live without, I’m not able to consider the demise of what was thoroughly so…Good and Deceased…no regrets to gather…no further pain to nurse…a freedom I can only liken to that of the mockingbird’ song. I used to hate the beast how regardless of daylight or dusk, this one decided to perch just beyond my window and would ever chirp. Only recently have I understood the real reason for his song day and night. Only now can I freely sing my praises ever after too.

So my vision needed a place to lay…one where it would remain impervious to the pain of rejection…a dwelling where my will, my make-shift covering would be rendered more useless than years of experience had proven its worth…again I get my cue from the birds…how even sparrows know of His all sufficiency…how they sing as I learned to do again in this process…I’m reminded that no good thing will He withhold from me…finally this daughter stands…chains broken by keys I’d held all along…again song at midnight retrieved to lead nameless prisoners to their own freedom…I walk and doors open…because I’m beloved and now I’m glad to return the favor.

Gated but still not protected

I hadn’t planned to write this…to share this…I hate that I’m now even aware of this at all, but this headline met my gaze any way:

4 Children Stabbed to Death in Memphis, Mother in Custody

I saw the pictures taken…one showing the young lady allegedly responsible for the heinous crime as “normal” and the aftermath.  I wonder just how normal are those who decide to kill.

I deliberately refused to write about the events in Orlando a few weeks ago because sometimes the best thing to do is be silent.  After all, if you’ve not loss someone in that manner, what true comfort could you offer?  It was not a time for what erupted afterwards.  I found myself ashamed for a moment of being a Christian.  I’m glad that moment only lasted a Nano-second. There were just so many stupid and hateful comments made about the “gay community” from those who claimed Christianity as their “religion” I was sickened by them and so I didn’t add a note to combat the drudgery of it all.

However, as I came across this headline in the middle of writing my final paper for a social justice class, I found myself recounting the bout I’d experienced with mental illness, domestic violence, and the residue it creates.

My heart bleeds for the survivor….only 7 years old, but a witness to an evil manifestation. At a time when families were readying to celebrate Independence Day with Barbecue and Fireworks…a child needed to escape to save the only life they could, their own… one can only wonder whether this mother felt she had no choice because her life as she saw it was already over…that for whatever reason perhaps she saw her children as demons…I’ve heard that those who suffer with schizophrenia have those types of delusions…I’m no expert in that respect so I’m just saying what I’ve heard… perhaps she thought it a nightmare…perhaps she was incapable of thought at all as the stabbings continued…

Tell me…to the left, would you suspect this the face of a killer?13512165_10154233067537095_5477815541642010580_n

However, another look at the picture, the right shows the disturbing reality.

Mental Illness is real and needs to be addressed…you never know what a person is enduring…don’t take “I’m fine” at face value…for years before my mother’s diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, I got used to telling people that I’m fine too.  I thank God for His saving grace because without it I could have snapped too…the things I endured weren’t pretty, but I’ve overcome.

Father, I am so grateful for choosing me to thrive beyond what happened to me.  Thank You for reminding me of the gifts You provided me in my children. Thank You for the times we’ve bumped heads. Thank You for the lessons learned and those that I had to take over again. Father, please be with this child who is left.  Help this baby know that You are there.  Please Father, even help this distraught mother.  Help her get the help she needs.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

 

Just Rest

Stop. Pause. Focus. Slow Down. Listen.  For at least three weeks now, it seems that those words are the directions that I have been given.  Yet, I haven’t truly understood or embraced any of them fully until this moment.

suppose I should have gotten a clue when my student advisor said in our meeting, “I bet you’re the type of person who has it done the moment you receive the instruction.”  It was not a compliment or an insult.  One might think it was actually the former, but it was just further proof that at times I can be overly diligent.  That is…in my mind.  I suppose that is in itself the issue with having a massive vision.  It fuels a faith that at times can be downright foolish. I used to say and I may have even written here before that if it is not foolish it is not faith. Rather, if that was the case, I submit that I erred.  Perhaps it may appear foolish, but not actually be foolish to be faith.  I have made several mistakes by doing what I “felt” the Lord was leading me to do while not realizing my true motive underneath.  Pride led me to that point. Pride would hope to keep me there, but love has released me from that place of foolishness. Love of a Father, a Son, of a Holy One who together have done so much for me and in me that I have no choice but to receive what is being communicated.

I have attempted to build my own design…my own building…my own structure.  However, all along the structure I had been building was on an imbalanced foundation.  I know a thing or two about building on uncertainty.  It seems for years that is what I allowed myself to do. It had done nothing more than produce worry.  I allowed myself to think too much about things that really don’t matter.  I had built so much on sinking sand, but my image prevented me from opening my mouth and asking for help until it was nearly too late.  I chose to avoid family, friends, and at one point, I even stayed home from church.  I leaned to my own understanding.

Structure. Order. Trust.

I used to wonder when I was a child why my mother was always so consumed with worry…yet, we were at church every Sunday. As a child, I could not understand it and now I still don’t understand it.  It is senseless.  Yet, I allowed worry to nearly consume my being too for a moment.  One moment that lasted too long…where have the years gone?

So far, I have learned in my absence from family, my cousin hasn’t drank anything more than water as her choice beverage for at least 10 of the near 13 years since my original departure to AR…that it had been 10 years since I had been in Louisiana, though I’d had an open invitation to witness the beauty that blossomed out of the ashes of a shared past my brother and I experienced.

I realize that I was my worst enemy. I was facing turmoil with my own children because “God forbid” if I showed a flaw in my parenting skills…I was the super single mom who survived physical, mental, and emotional abuse.  My children were expected to fail by default, but flourished by grace…flourished a long while when I prayed regularly…when I sought My Father’s advice in every decision. Something happened and that stopped.  Yet, in His love for me, My Heavenly Father whispers to me even now as I randomly bleed on this page, “Just Rest.”

I’d been the one who always had it together so how was I to know what was required of me when all I had was broken….so I’m learning now how to truly surrender is learning to receive…learning to receive the presence of My Father as just that.  My daddy…my support…my heart…

Random as this might be I am determined to not just get back to my first love in Christ, but to get back to my first agenda.  It was simple.  If one person is changed…if one person is transformed…If one person doesn’t do what I have…If one person realizes how much they matter to God because of my story…I will do it.

So as my Savior did on that fateful day over 2000 years ago, I enter my flesh into a grave that has no power to hold me there…I will rise again.

©2016 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Flip Your Switch and Let Your Light Shine

 

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For almost three months last year I remained in the dark.  No, I wasn’t clueless about some obvious situation.  Well,  maybe a little, but I mean I was literally in the dark! Long story short, a storm caused a power outage and though everyone in my neighborhood was restored,  three of my rooms remained without power.  They happened to be our bedrooms.  According to Entergy, I had full power at the main source, but I needed an expert…aka an electrician.

If God was trying to tell me something with that scenario, I didn’t want to get it so l remained at surface level.  I knew an electrician costs money–money I did not have so I did what any struggling single mom would do-I improvised!!!

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Yes, I employed extension cords and lamps to light our rooms and yes, there were a few days that I got dressed in the dark.  I felt powerless and defeated because it seemed it was just one thing after another.

A day before the power outage my dryer died so I was forced to do a few things I really didn’t want to do already…go to a laundry mat.  Funny how easily you take things for granted when you always have it available.

In the same way, I had taken God’s presence for granted.  Sure, I wrote about Him and I knew He cared for me, but deep down I must not have believed He loved me unconditionally.  I hadn’t realized how to love myself that way yet.  I considered the financial and emotional drama my punishment.

I felt I hadn’t been a good enough parent so the disrespect was my lot. I felt like I really didn’t deserve romantic love so I refused to receive it.  I felt like I wasn’t a good enough writer so instead of posting daily I claimed writer’s block because I couldn’t stop editing my life.

I nearly turned my  own light out.images (2)

In years passed, I thought about suicide on more than one occasion.  During that time last year, this was not an exception.  Sleeping pills seemed a plausible way to go at one point…that is until I realized that even that method could be painful.

You see I’ve never liked pain…for that reason…I hate needles  and tight-fitting clothes…yet, to inspect my life with a magnifying glass, one would think my tolerance for pain is greater than most.  Especially since most of the pain beneath the surface was self-inflicted….

 

I thank God for meeting me at my well.  download

At a time when I was sure I could do what I needed to do without the prying eyes of others, I too got thirsty but sought the wrong refreshment.  Like that Samaritan woman, Jesus, thought enough of me to change His course to redirect my path.  At what seemed like my lowest point, my encounter with Him forced me to examine the choices I’d made and pour out the source of my pain….I could do nothing but lay my “issues” at His feet.

I admit now that the process began then, but only within this last year…the last few months …even weeks have I really been able to see and embrace the fruit of the labor of Christ’s love for me.

I smile all the time because I feel like it. wpid-c360_2015-11-01-18-03-41-842.jpg

I’m glad to say that I no longer have to look back and sulk.  I no longer have to blame myself for something already forgiven.  I am okay with sometimes not being okay.

Understanding that even in my trials God had never left my side is what keeps me going now. My lights ended up being repaired for free both physically and spiritually then, but not before I got too tired of being in the dark.

The funny thing about my three dark rooms is that the entire time, the only issue I had was that I hadn’t flipped the right switch to access the power that had been readily available to me on my breaker. Instead I assumed it was fine because it looked that way.

I guess on the outside for a time, I appeared that way as well….so much that I believed that I was full when I was near empty.

Emotionally and mentally my switch was flipped when I truly embraced forgiveness of myself and offered it unconditionally to all those who had hurt me in the past.  That first step began with me forgiving my mother.

God has done so much in me and through me this year that I wake daily astounded by His presence…I’ve found myself more often re-reading the posts He’s inspired me to write to you over again to better appreciate my journey.

Well, so far that journey has been one paved with broken pieces indeed…yet, in all those days of crying and possibly feeling worse physically and mentally than I could have imagined before, I’m glad to know that my light didn’t go out, I just needed to flip the switch and shine.

©Nadia Davis 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

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