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Better Not Bitter

Responding God's Way to Life's Challenges

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peace

Practice the Pause

A few months ago I wrote about how God kept placing on my heart the need to slow down and take a pause. I suppose between then and now, I may have actually listened only a handful of times. “I’m ambitious” was the excuse in my mind, but my heart still longed to rest…to truly rest in His presence and to have the peace that I couldn’t understand in every moment. Yes, there have been times and even full days that I have experienced this peace, however, the majority of that time, I have been overwhelmed.

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And not in a good way. I realize in my attempts to get things done that I lost the reason why I needed them done. I have had a huge vision for a long time and in recent weeks God has connected me with so many people who I know will be intricate to His plan for my life, however, I still failed to pause. I still decided to stay up a full 24 hours to overdo things…things I learned were really unnecessary.

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God needed me to let go of the tension and release the burdens of my ever-growing to-do list to Him. So today before I woke I prayed to my Father in my heart and before I could get out of bed I’d recounted all the things that I would do today. Unaware of the necessity to rest and get the proper direction, I jumped up and was met with the reminder that I pause…that I do so regularly…that I release and receive only the things that He allows me to handle in that moment. So I have some plans, but I understand my best plans are no match for His worse. So today I will pause and reflect on His majesty…Tomorrow I will pause and take in all that He provides. I invite you to do the same.

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Stop Faking the Funk

Hmmm…I’m so thankful for this revelation this morning. I’ve commissioned myself to ensure above all else that in my walk with Christ from here on that I refuse to chase the fake again…that I be completely authentic to who God made me.

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That said, I must do away with the roles I once played. I acted a certain way because I apparently failed to realize who I was…who I am…accepting my personality for what it is and refusing to answer a name others gave me. The problem was that I got comfortable in the image I’d built for myself…the walls went up and I never considered the Master builder’s blueprint of me until now…wonderfully and fearfully made…I was stagnant…however, since I was four years old I knew then that I was meant to be peculiar…that there was a reason I did and said exactly what came to mind then…I challenged others to think by the things I’d said…challenged others to consider whether they were being authentic in their responses…

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Yet, over the years, my mind evolved into what I “should do and say”according to the status quo and while I knew it wasn’t the real me, I learned to wear a mask well…I had one for every outfit…with matching shoes…I guess my shoes of peace were too unpopular at the time…

Yet, not anymore. I don those bad boys with Pride…who knew they came in stiletto?

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I realize that by not doing what I want to do regardless of who snarks, I was chasing an ideal of me who was a figment of their imagination…I am comforted in knowing that I owe NO ONE an explanation…that is except God…but God has been trying to get me to grasp this concept for years. I’m grateful that’s He’s continued to keep me through the transformation process.

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A few months ago, I said to myself, “I wonder if a catepillar experienced pain in the process of becoming.” Now when I consider myself, I’m convinced there must be screams only God can hear in those cocoons.

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Nonetheless, I’m glad the Father left me in that cocoon that seemed so dark and painful before…so grateful that His grace was all I needed and that He forced me to work hard on myself so that I get my own blood flowing in the right direction to strengthen my wings….so now that I’m emerging from that shell, I do so in one peace…no longer segmented and confined to a surface level existence. Now I can fly.

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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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It’s More than a Race Issue

I posted this little note this morning on Facebook after reading the following headline:

WHITE GUNMAN CAUGHT IN KILLING OF 9 IN HISTORIC BLACK CHURCH

I’m more disturbed by the headline of this article than its content. Despite the facts that 9 black lives were lost to a white assailant, we need not make this a race issue…it’s purely an evil issue…a demonic issue…satan’s attempt to further divide the Kingdom of God…yes black lives matter, but so do all other races…this is not a reason for civil war, but civil prayer, humility, and trust in the one true God.

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I implore the saints of God to not cower in fear or attempt to retaliate by this world’s weapons…for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but the spiritual wickedness.

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On the surface for the minority, this incident might appear as if it’s a race issue, but that’s clearly what the enemy desires us to think.  While the skin on the outside differs from race to race, when blood is spilled it’s all one color: RED!  God doesn’t want any to perish… His love is unconditional and it provides unimaginable peace in situations like this.  While the families of the slain grieve the loss, our Heavenly Father is grieved as well..not by the enemy’s actions…that’s possibly the only consistency in the evil one: to kill, steal, and destroy…it’s no surprise, yet God is grieved by our response…our response to His ability to provide…His ability to avenge on our behalf…His ability to yet turn this tragedy for the good of those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose….

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Facebook family, I urge that you not grieve our Father by engaging in racial wars online or otherwise as a result of this as in times past…satan’s bold and it’s time for the. Church to be bolder…to humble ourselves before God, turn from our wicked ways, and then He will hear from Heaven and heal our land. I really didn’t expect this to be this long, but I’m being obedient…so fb what’s your response to God’s ability?‪#‎smh‬#1somuchbetter#Godwillrepay#VengeanceisHis

listening to God’s voice alone.

I’ve tweaked my words a bit for clarity since this morning and added the pics for flow, but I originally shared the article with my thoughts in hopes that some would not do what was assumed.
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While some have maintained silence or opted to offer prayer -at least online about this tragedy- I logged on a few moments ago to something expected, but completely avoidable…the cursing, the racial slurs, the back-biting, and most disheartening the blatant refusal to offer prayer…mind you these were comments posted by those who by all other accounts could be considered Christian. Rather, some who claimed to be Christian.
People have a right to make their own decisions, but I can’t reiterate enough how that behavior is just what the enemy wants…division…for those who might have been unsure about the love of Christ to further think Christianity as hypocritical.  I almost unfriended some of these individuals because of their comments.  I’m glad I didn’t because I realize that not long ago, I would have likely made the same comments in anger or in ignorance had I not been enlightened.

Hebrews 6:1-12 (NLT)

So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds[a] and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.

For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.

When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.

Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers,[b] as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.

I’m grateful for God’s grace with me and I’m not putting myself on a pedestal because when I saw it I was angry too.  Yet, while anger rose, My Savior in me rose higher.  Had this issue happened closer to home, I can’t say my reaction would be the same.  Regardless, I’m still grieved at the what I consider satan’s way of tricking us into corporate genocide.

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Times like these make me wish I knew the time or the date when Jesus would return. It makes me long for a home free of all this death.

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Just after Midnight

I must say that in a mere 36 years, I have been here long enough to live out many of the “all things” of this verse.  I hadn’t always wanted to accept that the “all things” my Lord inspired Paul to write included those bad things though.

Like many baby Christians, initially, I accepted Christ and looked forward to the blessings.  I had no idea of the afflictions that came with the deal at the time.  God allowed me a great trial run.

Yet, life happens…death happens…wanting to die happens…realizing the need to live happens…thankfully in that order for me….Yet, I’ve been all these places many times over simultaneously lately.  I was there yesterday…actually last night…late…

I hadn’t even realized I’d been sitting in the bathroom so long…I’d been attempting to gather my thoughts over the news of my mother’s passing…I wasn’t sad per se…I was relieved, but still heavy within.

I’d planned last week that today’s post would be about Directing Your Current situation…I’d been researching a few days for accuracy…I thought I had a little more time to do what I needed to do before the news came.

I wrestled with the thought of whether I would still go to work today…this week…next week…whether I would share the news with anybody there…whether I would post what I had yesterday for hours…I was late to church deliberating…

And so I sat in the tub attempting to remember the words I’d rehearsed months ago…the song I’d planned to sing for her home-going celebration because I thought I’d be strong enough not to cry as I’d tried to manage each word without trembling…to have courage to sing the way I had as a child without fear…I’d hoped to gain that same vigor I had at four years old when I begged my mother to allow me to join the Angelic choir not only because she sort of made my brother do it, but because I really wanted to sing…like she had to me…with me so long ago.

Though the words of the song reminded me that the peace of God surpasses all understanding…the only wonder I’d had as my fingers shriveled in the inevitably cooling water was why did “peace” feel  like this…so incomplete?

God shared with me long ago the need to make amends with my mother.  He declared in my heart that the reasons for my own despair and internal imprisonment were because of unanswered questions and unrequited love…rather I should say now…the allusion of such because I know now how much my mother really did love me.  I, like so many others, bought the lie contrary to that fact.

Even now, I realize that God answered my prayers when He took her home.  I no longer had any excuses for delaying the book He’d placed on my heart so many years ago…The one that had a middle and boasted of a bright future, yet that omitted a beginning…

I now understand the warnings about focusing were of God and not naysayers…that I’d had so much pride in myself that I failed to remember God’s order…I had to finish what had already been started before I could think of beginning again…I had to close the chapters of my life that had been open to all the wrongs I’d gone through and rejoice in the good they would accomplish.

I now have my beginning because of my mother’s glorious end.  So with that I can rejoice in the timing of God…how this exact time last year I was praising Him for finding who I deemed to be the love of my life, my Joseph, yet this year on the same day of that first reunion, my mother was reunited with our Heavenly Father.

I hadn’t really contacted him regularly since the demise of whatever it was that had begun, but as I dried tears and ended the call with my brother, I sent the message anyway.

Bittersweet as it may seem…I remember last year being nervous at any attempt at love or even strong like because I knew things were not right between my mother and I…even when I received warnings that he may be the one, but now is NOT the time, I stepped ahead of God’s plan for a moment, bore the consequences of guilt, doubt, and rejection…Yet, even in that I’ve learned a lot…about myself…my priorities…my purpose…

I prayed for that to be corrected first…for me to be whole…for me to be truly ready to receive and give love the way God intends…

God granted this request with me first being able to finally and fully receive the love He’d been trying to give me for years and for allowing me the compassion to forgive myself and my mother.  In those steps, He taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.  Yet, I still long for more opportunities…

So still my prayer remains the same, but the difference between now and a year ago is that I’m no longer willing to sacrifice my obedience to God for my way of doing things.   There are simply things that I must finish before I can even think of testing romantic waters again. My children are my first priority now…

I understand that while it seems my life has been one big hurdle after another that the words I share will help others to at least think a little longer before they make the same mistakes I have.

I’m so grateful now that God decided the dates and times that He allowed certain trials to come into my life now.  He knew when He designed my mind that I would take notice of that, but that topic is for another day.

Still, the fact that He so lovingly decided to grant my mother eternal peace at one minute after midnight is definitely a good in the midst of my stack of “all things,” because I’ve known all my life that the darkest moment always fades just after midnight.  And indeed it has.

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Rest really is up to You!

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Believe it or not there are some people out there who are so overwhelmingly positive that if you put a stick of dynamite in their Kool-aid, their response would be something like, ” What colorful fireworks!”

Well I know envy is not an attribute I want to advocate here so let’s just say that I admire those folk. Better yet, I used to be one of those folk.  At least a few years ago it seemed that would have been a good way to describe my attitude towards life anyway.

So this morning I’m up pondering yet again, how do I get back there?

…Back to a time when the encouragement I shared with others kept me primed for the next opportunity to witness…what happened to the real me?

…that me who God called…the one who actually gained energy from being a little peculiar…the one who wasn’t afraid to be the minority right in a crowd of so much wrong…

Somewhere along the way, I got tired….or as I’ve joked TIDE!

Yes, over the years I’ve gotten tired of all the looks from people who don’t know me but outwardly judge me because of my ability to smile when others are complaining.  I suppose I grew tired of the feeling of being pulled by every arm to do stuff as if I were the only one who possessed 8 of them.  Indeed, I got tired of being a mother who did it all only to be underappreciated.  I even grew tired of church folk so at times Beside Baptist was my preferred venue for worship on Sunday mornings.

Yet, after heading to bed at midnight and waking at 3:47 am with this post on my heart, I realized I really have no reason to be tired at all.  Awaken by that still, small voice, the way I had been in years passed before dawn and before my alarm clock could catch up, I smiled at the realization that yes, He did it again!

God allowed me to get knocked down to a place so low that only He could give me the strength to get up.  I’d be lying if I said the events that have taken place in the last 24 hours have been anything short of devastating, but I’m thankful that I was so lovingly reminded today that the rest really is up to me.

I’m thankful God placed it on my pastor’s heart to start a series about the elusive rest I’d once possessed so effortlessly.  After a great series on balance, I needed to be reminded of how I can rest in God’s presence. I thought I was there in service because in spite of the things I’d faced recently, I had come to realize why I’d been so tired.  It was simple!

I needed more of HIM!

Dear Gracious Lord,

Thank You for reminding me that You love me just for being Your child… that no person on earth could ever give me the kind of love that You give me everyday.  Thank you for allowing me to make mistakes and survive them.  Thank you for blessing me with gifts to encourage others. Thank you for mending my broken heart.  Thank you for preparing me for who You have for me. Help me not to take over in the process. Help me to patiently wait on Your choice for me.  Thank you for allowing him to come into the picture only when we both are ready for that step.  Help me not to allow the pain in this moment punish who You’ve designed for me.  Thank You for provision and direction.  In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

 

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Possible-It’s NOT that serious!

Here we go again. Yes, I woke this morning to and unfortunately not to my surprise a mound of laundry waiting for me.  No it didn’t magically appear. I saw it the night before, yet I already had a load in the washer and another in the dryer so the cycle continued as I wandered to bed hoping it would disappear.

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Perhaps by now, you’re tired of me writing about the chaotic condition of my domain, but it’s not that I don’t care what you want to read, rather, if I write about it enough perhaps I will evoke a change in my situation a bit sooner than what I’ve experienced so far. I mean it’s amazing to me that I can have my home spotless one minute and within a day it appears that an elephant rampaged the place.

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So this morning, I was granted yet another opportunity to get it together….my home…my mind…my life…and I made a decision that gave me a peace I have yet to understand.

I DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

Yes, I calmly walked to my kitchen, fixed my coffee, let my dogs out, brought ’em back in, fed’em, played with ’em and leisurely swept up the inevitable tufts of fur shed with every little step they took-(had a Bobby Brown flashback)…

…Anyway, my decision to “not do the laundry” wasn’t made out of rebellion or even a stint of laziness.  It was just that I realized I could only do one thing at a time….Ahhh…Such peace in perspective!

So I paused…and then made the earnest decision to not be bothered.  Yes, there will always be something to rub you the wrong way and granted, you may have no control over those odds, but you do have control over your response.  So the next time you’re tempted to freak out over something trivial, remember these words, “It’s not that serious!”

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©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

Peace of Perspective

When I change my perspective of my past to match His, only then can I truly embrace my purpose. Let’s face it!  Whatever happened yesterday is irrevocable…..so why wallow in it as if you have some way to push a rewind button on life.  You can’t undo what’s been done, but you can choose to do something different the next time you’re faced with similar circumstances.  In short, there is peace in God’s perspective so instead of stressing out over what happened, digest it, allow it to pass, and move on!

I realize now how God has been polishing me for my purpose and I’m just grateful for the peace of His perspective.

 

©2014-2018 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

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