“One Word” Update

Do you remember when I blogged last week about my church going through a series about finding our “one word” that the Lord has placed on our hearts to really focus on throughout the year? Well, I feel like I may know what my word is – “brave.”

There have been so many words that have come to mind through this past week – the ones I’ve blogged about, and a couple of others have also come up. And I just couldn’t feel the Lord pulling me in one direction or another. And this past Sunday, as I sat in church and listened to my pastor preach about sowing and reaping, the word “brave” came to my mind.

If I were to look back on my life, there have been moments in which I was brave, and moments when I wished I was braver than I was. And even as I think about where I am now, and what I strive to accomplish and learn from the Lord this year, the word “brave” really just fits.

For instance, right now I’m dealing with a website that I launched in the middle of last year that is in need of some recovery, revision, and reboot. I was honestly really discouraged about it towards the end of last year, and it’s taken me a lot of motivation and reminders to get back into picking it up off the ground. In other words, I feel like I really need to be brave during this time, and dealing with this situation.

Yes, I do want to do things this year that I’ve never done, and that takes courage/bravery. One of the major things I want to do is delve into who the Lord is, who Jesus is. That may sound so silly to some, but I feel like I’ve heard about God and Jesus all my life, and unfortunately, it’s just become a common topic of my day, not anything earth-shattering, even though it’s the basis of my faith, my life. It takes courage to get out of the mundane, the typical, and admit that I don’t know everything, and need to learn more about Who my Savior is, and how deep His love is.

One reason I didn’t think “brave” was my word in the first place was because I am currently reading a devotional book revolving around being brave, and I’m even going through it during my #MotivationalMishyMondays on Instagram live! I figured it was too simple for me to say that “brave” was my word when I was reading and learning about it every day. But God doesn’t try to trick His children; I think my word’s been under my nose this entire time, and I just haven’t realized it until recently.

I’m still going to pray on it though, make sure that this is the word that the Lord has for me to focus on. But I just feel like bravery is rooted in so many things I need to focus on.

I’ve expressed several times here that I’m a worrier, and I’ve always been a worrier since I was a child. Thankfully, the Lord has helped me through my worry as I’ve gotten older, but recently, I’ve felt the same type of worry that I used to as a kid start creeping back into my life. It’s so weird how you think you’re over something, but then when it’s brought back into your life, you can feel the familiarity of it; you remember what it was like in all the ways – emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically.

As I thought about my worry, I thought about the root of it – why did I worry about certain things, people, situations? And I thought, My worry is rooted in fear – Fear of the possibilities of things going a certain way, or people doing/saying things, etc. And if I am to face my fears and worries…I need to be brave. Brave enough to remember that the Lord knows my heart, knows my fears and worries, and is with me no matter what happens. Brave enough to continue to live without fear, because fear holds me back from doing and saying so much.

Just because my word for the year is possibly “brave,” it doesn’t mean that I will totally learn to conquer fear by the end of the year. But I have faith that the Lord is capable of doing that in me, if I trust in Him to teach me how to be brave, and obey Him when He calls me to be. And even if my “one word” isn’t “brave,” I still feel like it’s something I need to continue to learn as I go throughout my life.

So, this week, I pray that the Lord would continue to conquer my fears and worries, and that He would show me in specific ways how to be brave.

#MishyWrites

Worth the Wait

It’s Tuesday, and I haven’t gone back into work this week yet because of MLK day, and today is a snow day (praying to see some actual snow since nothing’s happened yet, if I’m being honest haha). But it’s been really nice to have some slow mornings – waking up when I’ve had enough sleep, not because I have to get up to go to work. Making my breakfast, and having my quiet time for longer than usual. Working out and showering in my own time.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how nice it is to have days when you can go at your own pace, especially when I used to be someone who felt like I had to go-go-go every minute I had, otherwise I felt like I was wasting time. It’s nice to just sort of be in waiting as you’re going through your day.

Yesterday, I had this thought after I finished doing my Pilates work out and was about to shower:

“Whatever you have for me, Lord, it’s gonna be worth the wait!”

I’m grateful that the Lord gave me this thought as I was going throughout my day at my own pace; that I was simply being faithful with the time I had, and not rushing into anything because so often, I want to rush into other, bigger things in my life. Why? Well, sometimes I’m impatient; I want what I want RIGHT NOW, and most of the time, if I get what I want when I want it, it doesn’t turn out as good as I thought it would be.

Just wanted to write this as a simple reminder that God’s timing is perfect; He knows our hearts, our wants, our needs, and most importantly, He knows what’s best for us. It is better to wait on what the Lord has for us, than to force something, and get just a temporary satisfaction. It is better to go at the pace that He has set out for us than to try to rush things so we can get our way.

So, that significant other you’ve been wondering about? Like, “Where he/she at?” Give that to God, ask Him to give you patience and endurance in this time. Don’t rush into anything just to gain the gratification of now. That french vanilla cream you want to have in your coffee, but shouldn’t because you’re on a cleanse (haha, is it just me? Can you tell the struggle is real?), give it to God! Ask Him to take away the urge, and replace it with something else that will satisfy (like unsweetened vanilla coconut milk and honey, but I’m just being silly lol).

I would rather wait and see what God has for me, than try to create my own joy or happiness from temporary bliss. I pray and hope that this encourages you in whatever season of life you’re in – wait on the Lord! He is faithful to help you be patient, to move past the urges you have so that you can joyfully wait in His presence for what He has for you. It’s not going to be easy all the time, and it definitely doesn’t mean that you’ll get exactly what you want, or that what you get will even be good, but God does know what is best! And His best is worth the wait.

#MishyWrites

“To Dr. King”

Dear Dr. King,

Thank you.

I know today, you’re hearing a lot of that; people from all over the United States
Declaring their love, support, and gratefulness for all the sacrifices you and your family made
So that I could have the family that I have –
Brown skin and white skin peacefully under one roof,
No discriminatory speech from either party, simply
Love, serenity.

I pray to God, Dr. King, that today not be the only day
In which all people, white and black alike
Remember the struggle that it took for our country to get where it is today.
Because even today, there is still struggle;
There is still misunderstanding, confusion, blatant hate
When there shouldn’t be, and we should all be moving forwards instead of
Backwards.

I admit that even I, a woman of color
Am guilty of overlooking the issues that our country currently has
Because of my complacency.

I pray for courage like you, Dr. King, to stand up for what’s right.
To realize my voice matters in the mix of all the
Opinions and
To use it instead of fearing that
My thoughts are unpopular or
Worrying that what I have to say is irrelevant.

For posting about you, or talking about what you did means nothing
If I, if we, do not take a step towards change,
Towards caring when things begin to move backwards instead of forwards.

You said it best: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

And so, Dr. King,
I actively decide to
Break my silence and
Speak up for what is right,
What is true, what is just.

#MishyWrites

No Matter What

This morning, I was reminded of God’s love, which might sound extremely cliche and boring to some Christian readers. But the first words I read out of the current devotion book I’m reading (100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs) were, “God loves to love you.”

And even though we preach, teach, and claim to believe that God truly loves His children, I find myself hard to grasp that sometimes. I find it hard to see His love as unconditional because there is so much in this world that is conditional, and love sometimes seems to be one of those things (search my spoken word poem I posted titled “in Love” to read more of my thoughts/beliefs on the differences between the love of this world, how Christians should love, and God’s love).

The devotion continued on with some powerful sentences like…

“Our God, the One Who is breathing life into your life, is full of love for you – no matter what you have done or where you have been.”

“Consider the fact that in God’s eyes, through Jesus, you are holy, chose, dearly loved – wow.”

I read these sentences and the rest of the devotion, and I thought to myself, Do I ever live as if I’m loved like this? And honestly, most of the time I don’t. I feel like I usually base my love level off of what I’ve done today – did I get my to-do list for the day done? Did I work on these specific things? Did I open my Bible or pray at all today? It’s unfortunate that I think God’s love level changes based off of my actions, when that is completely unbiblical.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (ESV)

His love has nothing to do with what I’ve done, and EVERYTHING to do with what Jesus did – died on the Cross, completely sinless, so that those who believe in Him could have eternal life with the Father. And yet, I struggle daily thinking that He’s still somehow holding His love on a scale of my accomplishments and failures.

More and more this morning, this message was revealed to me, as a song that used to be my favorite when I was growing up played through my speakers as my playlist was on shuffle. “What If” by Jadon Lavik discusses this same topic as he sings and asks God, “What if I climbed that mountain? What if I swam to that shore? What if every battle was victorious, then would You love me more?” and “What if I ignored the hand that fed me? What if I forgot to confess? What if I stumbled down that mountain, then would you love me less?”

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we get to do what we want; just because God loves us no matter what we do, it doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want, like disobey Him and His Word. As a Christian, I still have an obligation to express my love and adoration to Him by following Him and His Word.

With all of these thoughts in mind, I am grateful for the reminder that God’s love is unconditional, never changes, no matter what. I want to strive to live my life in such a way, knowing that the God of all things loves someone like me who messes up at times, who forgets that He’s even there sometimes, who bases His love on a totally messed up scale that doesn’t even exist.

Along with all this, I’ve decided to join this social media challenge on Instagram called #deeplyrootedchallenge, in which each person takes paint chips from the store, and writes down a truth, some encouragement, a belief, etc., and shares it on social media. And because of what the Lord has been speaking to me today, this is what I wrote on mine…

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#MishyWrites

“One Word”

Yesterday, my church started a new series called, “Discover Your One Word,” and as we study the Bible, everyone in church is actively praying, seeking, and listening for the Lord to reveal one word in their life that they are to focus on for the year.

I wish I could relay all of the points of my pastor’s sermon yesterday about goals, visions, resolutions, hearing vs. listening to God because everything he taught yesterday was so extremely vital and important to following Jesus, even if you aren’t trying to figure out your one word for the year.

Being challenged together with the church to ask, seek, and listen to the Lord for one word is exciting and a little intimidating, if I’m honest. There’s always the question of “What if God doesn’t give me my word, but gives everyone else theirs?” or “What if I choose a word, and it’s what I personally want to work on this year, and not what God is calling me to?” But I believe that, as long as I am actively pursuing, seeking, and asking the Lord to reveal to me my one word, He will do so in His timing.

But I just wanted to share a few of the words that came to my mind yesterday during and after church that are things I can definitely work on this year, but am unsure if they are exactly my “one word”…

“Time”

Time is always something that people want to figure out in their lives – how much time to give to specific activities, when time can be carved out for self-care, spending more time with family or friends. When I thought of the word “time” yesterday, I thought about being present. I feel like my mind is always thinking about the next thing instead of actually thinking of where I am / what I’m doing in the moment. I’m already planning for tomorrow instead of living today. So, I could definitely do better at being present in this way.

But I also thought about being present with where my life is – working as a preschool teacher; having the friends and connections I have right now; having my writing, blogging, and other projects currently where they are. It can be a little frustrating to think about where I am right now because I’m not where I ultimately want to be.

Currently, I’m reading the book of Esther and, although this phrase is such a cliche in the Christian realm, the phrase “for such a time as this” kept coming to me, and making me think that maybe I am where I am in my life “for such a time as this” – for a specific reason, a specific purpose. The reason / purpose doesn’t have to be huge like it was in Esther’s life (to those unfamiliar with the story, the Lord allowed her to be queen to give her the opportunity to save her people from annihilation), but maybe I am where I am to learn a specific lesson, or to help a specific person, or simply to be content with where I am, and serve the Lord right where I am.

Thinking this way doesn’t mean I shouldn’t pursue the things I want to, but it does mean I don’t have to be frustrated with where my life is right now.

“Pride” or “Humility”

As I sat in my seat at church, the Lord brought these words to my mind.

Lately, I’ve been told that I’m really good at certain things, be it writing, dancing, singing, etc. And I truly appreciate the compliments – they really are a part of what keeps me going. However, I just felt the Holy Spirit telling me to “be careful.” Because yes, maybe I am good at all those things, but I don’t want them to go back to the glorification of myself. Because I’m not the one who made me a good writer or dancer, or a lovely singer; the Lord is the One Who created me, and gave me the talents and gifts that I have. And I feel like lately, I haven’t really thanked Him for that; I’ve simply been taking the compliments, and moving on to boost my ego.

What I’m not saying is that I should deny the compliments to act humble, but that when I receive a compliment, I should give thanks to God right then and there, to remind me that I am only who I am, and I can only do what I do because of Who He is, and who He created me to be.

“Fix your eyes” —–> “Focus”

My pastor said this phrase near the end of church, and it made me think that I should write it on a notecard, and tape it to my bedroom door so that I can see it right before I step outside to interact with anything or anyone. Because it’s a reminder for me to check myself: what am I focusing on before I walk out of my door? What do I plan to focus on throughout my day?

In order for me to really tune in to what God wants to reveal to me, I need to focus on Him. There are way too many outside distractions, especially during this time of year. My pastor mentioned that people are so focused on what their outside looks like right now – their health, their finances, their relationships – that they’re not fixing their eyes on what their inside is like. They’re not focused on Christ, and what He would have them to work towards. And if I’m honest, part of me has been focused on God, but a whole lot of me has not. So maybe “focus” will be my word this year.

 

No matter what my word is (even if it’s not any of the ones I just wrote about), I am excited to see what God is going to reveal and do throughout this year with my word, and I’m also excited to have the accountability of my church family to guide me through this. I’ll have to keep you all updated as to what my one word is / how it came about / when God revealed it to me!

#MishyWrites

“streetlights”

Some of you may be wondering…

Mishy said she was going to write a poem every day…is she even doing that?

Why yes, dear reader, I am! I’m simply writing them in that gold notebook I have, and saving them most for revision, and hopefully for them to be published in a book later!

Thankfully, there have been a couple of days in which I’ve been able to write more than just one poem because of different things on my mind. They’re just rough drafts, but I’m grateful that the Lord would inspire the words within me to write them.

I just wanted to share this little poem with you though. I actually wrote it on December 30, 2017, as I was riding in the car with my sister back to our grandmother’s house. We were on the freeway, and the sun was setting, causing most of the streetlights to turn on. As I looked out toward the city streetlights, I wrote this poem…

“streetlights.”

I hope that when the darkness begins to close around you
The streetlights in your heart and soul
Immediately turn on,
And spark a Hope ablaze within you that
Guides you on your way back
Towards home.
Towards the things and people who will
Remind you that
The dark only lasts some hours and
Those streetlights will keep hope and faith alive
Until the sun rises again.

#MishyWrites

Being Brave with My Food

I’m currently reading this little devotional book entitled 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs, and after each short devotion is a challenge to be brave, or reflect on bravery in some way. A couple of days ago, the challenge was to journal about a couple or a few experiences in which I or someone else would consider brave.

Well, let me tell you right now…I’m currently doing this 28-day reset challenge with my sister that involves cutting out certain foods, and it’s been a struggle. The first couple of days, I was unsure of what to eat, so I barely ate anything. Yesterday (my third day), I cheated by eating a little snowball cookie (I have such a sweet tooth, it’s not even funny), so I’ve decided to start all over which will set me back to the very end of the month.

I bring this up though because, personally, this reset challenge requires some bravery. The point of this challenge is to cleanse the body of things like dairy, gluten, sugar, processed things, and alcohol, and afterwards, slowly bring them back into the diet to see what your body can truly tolerate and not tolerate. Honestly? I’m really nervous about day 29. What if I can’t eat pizza or ice cream anymore because, surprise, my body actually can’t tolerate dairy like I thought? Or what about bread and pasta? I love me some good pasta. What if I try to eat it, and I can’t anymore? What if I get sick from trying to implement that stuff back into my diet?

No lie, I texted my sister yesterday trying to see if she’d give me some leeway on this whole cleanse thing. On only the third day. After I cheated already. All I was asking for was for my coffee to be sweet; I’ve hated the way I’ve been drinking it so far.

But after feeling guilty about our conversation, and thinking about the benefits for my body, and also realizing that this would be a time for me to be brave, and not give up even when it got difficult, I have decided to keep going with this. Because ultimately, I want what’s best for my body, the only body that God gave me. I am continually striving to better myself spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, but rarely do I strive for it physically. And this is my opportunity.

Now, I’m not saying that for everyone to strive for their best physical self they have to go on a diet or cleanse, or become a vegan or whatever. And I’m not saying that I’m not satisfied with the way I look. I am just personally convicted that I haven’t been taking care of my body as best as I could be, and this is one way for me to do that. And with this cleanse comes an exercise plan as well, so I’m also covering that base, don’t worry!

Those of you who may be concerned about if I’m eating at all, yes, I’m eating very well now! Had to take a few trips to the grocery stores, but I got what I need! I’m still missing french vanilla creamer in my coffee though…I’m trying Stevia and unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk with my coffee to see how it goes. Pray for me, lol.

#MishyWrites