Are you there yet?

Are you where you want to be? We are into the second month of 2016. Many of us made certain commitments to ourselves at the end of last year for change in this New Year; are you where you want to be? Maybe you committed to starting your day with prayer and reading of God’s word; are you there? Maybe you committed to changing your eating habits and living healthier; are you there? Maybe you committed to being more grateful and content with what you have and stop envying what others have; are ygirl on trackou there? Maybe you committed to smiling more instead of being so grumpy; are you there? Maybe you committed to looking yourself in the mirror and loving what GOD has made you to be instead of hating what you see; are you there? The journey to change begins with one small step! An actress isn’t a superstar overnight; it takes lower level roles for her to be noticed for her talent. A musician isn’t a rock star overnight; it takes playing in stinky bars for them to be noticed for their talents. The same goes for us! Maybe we haven’t woken up every day to read and pray but we did some days. Maybe we smiled two times and were grumpy the rest of the day. Maybe we looked at ourselves in the mirror and told ourselves “you look marvelous” (with Billy Crystal accent) only one day in the last two months. That’s okay! We made the effort and we have taken the steps to change! You see, the change began when we first acknowledged we needed one, whatever it is. We took those first steps when we actually did what we committed. We proved to ourselves that YES, we are capable of change. I encourage us to continue making the choice to take the next step, then the next. Before we know it, what seemed to be a challenge at the end of 2015 will become customary by the end of 2016!

~ With sword in hand and love in my heart!

Cynthia

www.conversationsofcourage.com

No Appreciation

Frustration grows when we do so much with no recognition or appreciation from those close; those that are supposed to see. Philosopher William James said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated”. This is a frustration suffered by many women and men. As we enter a New Year, a new chapter in our lives, I encourCol 3-23age you to rethink how you feel about this. I encourage you to not allow your craving for appreciation and recognition to overwhelm you. As you become overwhelmed by these feelings, it might cloud your view on the other blessings you are surrounded with. The Apostle Paul wrote in Col 3:23-24 basically that whatever you do, do it full heartedly BUT as onto the LORD not as onto MAN. Once you shift your view from pleasing people around you, those that will never be satisfied with anything you do or say, and focus on HIM, who showers us with unconditional love daily, life can become a bit more easier. Personally, when I began to practice this thinking shift, my actions, thoughts and overall view of my life changed drastically. View the video, Invisible Woman, below and see it from Nicole’s perspective.

INVISIBLE WOMAN

With sword in hand and love in my heart ~ Cynthia

Ending 2015

 

2015 2016In a few days the year will change from 2015 to 2016 on our calendars, similarly to how a Monday changes to a Tuesday. Time continues to march forward and there is little we can do to stop time or even slow it down. But what we can do with time, is choose how to fill it. As we each reflect on this past year, there might be new hurts endured, past hurts still being dealt and joys sprinkled around. Reflection is a great exercise that should be practiced often. Reflecting on this past year will help you remember those moments that you thought would destroy you and it didn’t. It will help you remember how many new things you learned about yourself and others; some good and some not so good. It can enable you to see your growth from the beginning of the year until now! Reflection can be our measuring bar of growth! Look back, reflect, and start writing down your vision for 2016. It doesn’t have to be anything big like taking over the world (although if that’s your goal then go ahead) but smaller more measurable things like praying more consistently, smiling more often, talking more positively, or loving yourself more. It can also be reading at least one book or losing at least 10 pounds. It’s your vision for the life HE has given you. Confer with HIM, write it down, create a plan and go into action!!! I’ll be praying for ya!! ?

With sword in my hand and love in my heart ~ Cynthia

Strength!

strengthWomen look at others and want to have their strength. At one time I did just that. But you see, strength comes with a high price because women must go thru some major struggles, trials and challenges to become stronger. All those afflictions rooted in abuse, betrayal and rejection! Many times we get thru the initial phase of healing but the scars run deep and afterwards we must begin the deeper healing. When you see a woman and compliment on how “strong” she is, please remember that the strength you admire grew out of inner pain, tears and anguish, all the while being beautifully dressed with a smile! ?

Embrace your Uniqueness!

It has taken me a long time to accept my curls! It’s how GOD created me and my curls cannot be replicated by anyone else because GOD gave them to membrace your uniquenesse! He customized me that way! In the same manner, there are gifts, talents and callings that are tailored for me alone, but not so I can horde them but so in using them I can be
a blessing to many others that HE puts in my path! The beautiful thing is that HE has done the same for YOU! Maybe you don’t know what it is, maybe you don’t feel worthy to walk in a gift HE’s given you or maybe you’re so disappointed by the hurts inflicted on you that you’ve given up!! DON’T give up!! Believe HIM when HE said “I am with you always”!! HE created the heavens and the earth, HE created your heart as unique as it is, do you not think that he can wrap HIS arms around you, encourage you and be WITH you as HE guides you to try one more time? Know who you are – find your uniqueness and share it as the Lord leads! But don’t wait to long because there are many of us waiting just for YOU ?

Pay Attention!

We ask God to direct our paths, to speak to us, to guide us,pay attention then as HE begins to do what we ask for we don’t pay attention!! Rarely will God open up the sky and speak your name and tell you what to do; not because he can’t do that but rather because HE created us to be in fellowship and relationship with HIM. In relationship we share our hearts, our thoughts and dreams. In those times we get direction, counsel and guidance. We must open our ears to hear HIM whisper. We must open our hearts to feel HIS love and most importantly we must let go of OUR will to do HIS … But we must pay attention when HE speaks ?

Alone vs. Lonely

Do you know the difference? Society has made these two concepts interchangeable when they’re not. Being ALONE is a state of BEING while being LONELY is a state of MIND. When one is alone they have no other person with them. This allows them to enalone vs lonelyjoy themselves, by themselves. This allows them to learn about themselves, not dependent on any other persons view or opinion. Being lonely is a negative mindset where you are always seeking fulfillment from someone else; either to fill a spot in your schedule or fill a void in your heart. We must learn how to love ourselves and allow GOD to show us who he wants us to be. If we don’t love ourselves then what love can we offer others. Doesn’t the word say “love your neighbor as you love yourself”? Who’s your neighbor? Your neighbor is your husband, children, parents, siblings, relatives, co-workers, friends etc. if you are broken in loving yourself then you aren’t giving your “neighbor” the full love that GOD intended thru you. I have grown to love myself as a woman and as a Princess of the King of Kings! It wasn’t easy because society teaches us that we are not perfect enough to receive love from others let alone ourselves. The word says that we should “renew” our minds daily. Ask this every morning “Lord, help me to love me the way you love me so that then I can love others”. Take steps to learn how to love being alone. The worst thing that can happen, is one staying in unhealthy relationships simply because they don’t want to feel lonely. ?

 

Walk in Action!

Our walk requires action!! Yes, when we walk we put one foot in front of the other, but our other walk, our walk with the Lord requires action as well! Proverbs 2:1-5 spwalk in actioneaks of receiving, inclining, crying out, seeking, and searching. The promise after those actions are taken is understanding of the FEAR of the LORD! When we ask God “use me”, “I want to be closer to you” etc. HE wants the same things but we cannot wait for it to fall on our laps, we must take action. Like a toddler learning to walk, they bypass the fear of the unknown and want to aspire to a different level, they want to run and explore. But again just like a toddler, they know that mom, dad, sis, titi or someone who loves them is right there making sure they don’t get hurt badly. So let’s take our steps of receiving, inclining, crying out, seeking and searching and let’s go to higher levels with Our GOD knowing full well that he will watch out for us so we won’t get hurt too
badly! ?

How to Remember!

Do you remember? Do you remember what GOD spoke to you yesterday? Last Week? Last Year? Off the top of my head, I don’t, but when I read over the pages of my journal I remember the pain I felt, the anguishdo you journal I suffered through and the tears I shed! In reflection, I remember how I drew closer to GOD, how I thought that situation was going to be the end of me, how I cried out! I remember the words he spoke to me, I remember the comfort of the Holy Spirit and I remember how GOD took what was intended for evil in my life and turned it around for HIS GLORY!! Did you know that in Jeremiah 30:2 the Lord says “write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you” I believe HE gave that directive to help us bring to our remembrance HIS faithfulness, HIS grace, HIS provision and HIS love! I encourage you all to go over the pages of your journal and know that HE has taken care of so much on your behalf already, this new thing you have going on is nothing for HIM! If you don’t have a journal, I strongly encourage you to start one!! You don’t have to buy anything fancy, a simple $1 one subject notebook can suffice! The point is to share your heart on paper, to look back on GODs goodness later one! ?

Do you have a Prayer List?

I am a task oriented person and gain an enormous sense of accomplishment when I can see things on my list disappear because they’ve been done! The same goes for a prayer list. I strongly encourage everyone to create one. It’s simple to do but its impactprayer list on your life and the lives of those on the list is extraordinary! Ask the Lord who HE would like you to include on this list. Of course it will contain family, friends and those you love. But you’d be surprised to know that GOD will ask you to put people on the list that you might not like or that you might hold unforgiveness towards. He might ask you to include simple acquaintances and even people you see everyday and don’t even know their name! Next to the names you will categorize the needs that you will pray for. HE will guide you in this part; ask HIM for wisdom and discernment. These categories can include healing, marriage, finances, business, salvation, discipleship, equipping, anointing or empowerment! As you sit and put your own struggles aside and think about what others might be going thru, yours might not seem that bad. Some on your list might be praying for themselves already, so you become reinforcement. Others might not even know how to begin to pray, so you stand in the gap for them until they can. And still others have no clue or no desire to know the God that you lovingly serve, so you fight the battle on their behalf for their soul. Whatever you pray and however you do it, know that it is what we are called to do. James 5:16 says for us to pray for one another so that we may be healed … When we pray for others, GOD takes care of us ?