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life

#2017 Those I lost…

changes1

2017 showed me the real truth when it comes to people’s season in my life. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds me that there is a season for everything. And while I knew this before, when you start losing friends it’s hard to digest.

I have been privileged to have some A-MAZING people to come into my life and plant forever roots. I mean, they are literally there no matter how beautiful or ugly my life has gotten. They caught tears, bought art and tees, they broke bread with me, some of them even supported my financial drought. I mean, I thank God the people that refuse to leave me, no matter how long we go without speaking to each other. Let’s be real, with some of our schedules and the schedule’s schedule it’s a great deal of awesome to have friends that just pick up where you left off. Thank you Lord for allowing each of these people into my life, in their proper season.

I also thank God for those who came in, even though they left. This is hard to type. Some people existed my life this year. We no longer talk. We don’t DM, or text, or message, or video, or smoke signal, or passenger pigeon…nothing. Once, heavy communicators are now memories and archives. Letting go is just as important as receiving. It’s hard. It can hurt. It’s still a part of life.

becareful with your words

Some of the people that left my life were men, and it just didn’t work out. That doesn’t make them bad men. They just weren’t the right one for me. That’s ok. Thank God for the King of my heart. He validates that the Lord DOES HEAR MY PRAYERS…and He answers them too! Some of the people that exited were best friends. I am not happy that we no longer talk, but I still wish God’s best for you too. I pray that this next season for you all is the best yet. I am grateful for the memories we made. While you may not speak to me, I still love you. That’s the truth.

2017 taught me how to let go, in love.

God knew i needed you

Feature Number Two is my Sis LaToya.

I asked my sisters how God grew them in 2017.

I believe reflection is a gift from God. I am a woman who likes to journal. That includes anything from prayers to lists.  Now the beauty of this is in the reflection.  To go back and read some of my prayer requests and praise reports amaze me.  What surprised me is the amount of prayers in my journals that were not answered and the joy that I had that God blocked my requests not only to protect me but because He loved me. In particular,  there was 1 prayer request (will discuss later) that was repeated umpteenth times and it just got answered this year.  It took 7 years! Yep,  7 years for God to finally say Yes. What’s funny is I wasn’t waiting on God,  He was waiting on me.  God didn’t just grow me in 2017. It didn’t happen overnight. Have you heard the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree? If you haven’t,  take a moment to visit this link and come back and finish reading… http://donmillereducation.com/journal/the-chinese-bamboo-tree/

Now that you have read up on the Bamboo Tree you can probably guess that I’m going to tell you, “I’m like the bamboo tree”. You see that prayer request from 7 years ago was for a husband.  Yep,  I was praying for a man y’all… and don’t act like you haven’t done it! Lol.  God didn’t answer until 12.17.17. 7 YEARS LATER. The number 7 represents completeness and perfection both physically and spiritually.  After 1 1/2 years of a Christ- centered courtship (abstinence until marriage,  relationship centered around Christ…we pray together and for one another) my love got down on one knee and asked me to be his forever as His wife!!!!! God is good y’all. Now let me tell you where the true reflection came in…. the CONGRATULATIONS on social media.  It was almost overwhelming. Everyone showing love and sending well wishes felt good but what really touched me were the private Facebook messages,  the texts and phone calls from those who really knew my journey up to this point…. those who knew and saw first hand the pain, hurt, prayer, faith and GROWTH that took over 7 years to get to this moment.

In order for God to have grown and blessed me with an answered prayer in 2017, I had to surrender in 2010, be obedient 2010-2017, be steadfast in prayer,  faithful in God’s word,  a believer in God’s promises and apply it to my everyday life.  God grew my senses. I ate on His word everyday and let me tell you,  NOTHING tasted better.  I read His word daily to make sure I could see Him working miracles. I listened to my Pastor preach sermons that seemed to be just for me… sometimes it was like fingernails scratching a chalkboard but more often than not; it was music to my ears. I would take walks in the park or lay out on a blanket to mediate and the smell of the fresh flowers and the feel of the breeze would remind me that God was always with me and would never leave me.  My roots are what grew most this year.  Deeper in connection with the source, God.  Dependence on Him changed my life. My Faith sprouted beyond what I could see or even imagine. Thoughts became praise reports before I could even make them prayers. A journal entry prayer request in 2010 GREW into a praise report in 2017. If you want God to grow you, you have to FIRST surrender and then the growth will be limitless.

A Grower in God,

LaToya

 

Categories
life

Transitions

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

(Insert Fireworks, Toasts, Prayers, Fasts, and New Bible/Book Study Here)

WE have entered a new year, thank you Lord, and it could not come with MORE uncertainty. With a new head of state, there are new changes in government. Whether you agree or not, things are changing. New years also signal new seasons for some. (My season actually began changing in December, not January 1st. ) Lots of people resolve to make these huge changes in order to evoke something new. I stop resolving years ago. The resolutions didn’t come to pass. I didn’t take the steps to transition from then to the resolved issue. So you see, it wasn’t the resolution that didn’t work, it was me.

As I mature, if I can say that without giggling with sarcasm, I create goals for myself. While I do have a few annual goals, I much prefer my quarterly milestones. These are check points in order to help me look back on this year and see the actual transition come to its point of completion. I realized while I was encouraging sisters on my facebook page (Seven Days More), I had not created a solid God sized goal for Annlettered (Annlettered Home ). Once I sat down and started putting the dream on paper,  I realized the amount of commitment it would take. It also spurred research in areas that I am not well versed with yet. All of these are positives.

What isn’t positive: CLUTTER. Clutter will cause transitions to fail, schedules to be overbooked, and minds to ache. For example, if I pack my schedule to the brim with commitments, even if I mean well, I have no time for house cleaning, laundry, rest, and tasks that may seem mundane. Life doesn’t mandate that we become awesome in public and neglect the mundane. Once those mundane tasks become obtuse, you have now added more pressure to keep up outside of the home and inside which is in disarray. (This may not be your truth, add your specific situation here.) Just because you are awake 8-18 hours a day – which I often am, it doesn’t mean that you need to schedule every hour! One of my goals, which I didn’t accomplish last year, is to simplify. My schedule, responsibilities, house items, closet items (Can I get an amen here? Anyone clean their closet several times a year, but never see the relief?), and any other area where I feel I am just collecting things and not using them. We have become too loyal to clutter. Be like Elsa, “Let it Go”!

It is the time of transition. A new year. The first month of the year to start practices that can become habits. It requires discipline. It may not feel great in the beginning, but change doesn’t always come with butterflies. Do it now, enjoy it later.

Are there things you plan to change in 2017? I’d love to hear about them. Also, feel free to check out the links. 🙂

Ivy Out

Categories
life

Reflections with a cape…

I re-read my first year’s worth of blogs (yay, for growth!). I can honestly say, it was a great time to see some of those words again. The impact was undeniable, especially when you encounter words like these:

“Never assume the strong are invincible.”

There is no real super man/woman/girl/boy on earth. I, like many others enjoyed watching the popular television shows, cartoons, and movies that depicted the super heroes in their various spotlights. We are familiar with being able to leap tall buildings in a single bound as a trait of a super hero, but I’d like to submit an addendum. “Able to pray through battles and before complaints,’ as a champion trait. 

Strong doesn’t mean invincible nor is it impossible. It does however speak to an overcomer. No one has ever been deemed strong without first showing some sign. 

 

My prayer right now is for the renewing of those who grow weary from being strong. You do not labor in vain. Stay the course. I love you, and so does the Master Coach! 

Ivy Out

 

 

Categories
life

I don’t just want to love you….I want to LIKE you too!

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Image retrieved from google via: http://www.darlaromanomft.com/couples.php

I want to actually like my husband. 

I read as much as I can on marriage. My goal is to one day be in a God centered marriage and start a family. Over the years, I have attended several ceremonies, showers, and witnessed linage growth of loved ones and strangers. I have also consoled through divorce and separation proceedings, prayed through relationship break ups, and dried countless tears. The most disturbing phenomena that I have encountered while meeting the many people that I have in my short thirty years, is married people who don’t like each other. 

Heaven help us. Marriage, the ministry and the relationship, isn’t supposed to be a chore. You should LIKE the person you join with. It’s a bonding process. Two are to become one, not designed to separate. Society paints marriage like salad dressing. Two individuals who get shaken together to make one unit…until one settles out and they separate again.  I see marriage like the joining of two metals to form an alloy. The two metals, under fire, join and become a new thing. 

When it’s time to go before God in covenant (not convenience) I want to like and love the person that I bond with. I have enjoyed the presence of God via prayer today. Before I close my eyes today, I will pray for those who are married or entering marriage. I pray that spouses get back to a place of learning one another. I do not feel like anyone has arrived, so there is always more to learn. I will pray that God’s will for marriage is restored. That the wives will submit to a husband who submits to Abba. That the nasty stain of divorce is dissolved. That healing will take place in the home. 

The marriage is a strong foundation for the legacy of children. Our children either pick up where we left off, or start where we started. Lets increase the success by being the model. 

Categories
life

Solution

When life has thrown you for a loop… When the unexpected rears its head…
When it seems everything is horrible or perfect:

PRAY

PRAY because we have the right to speak with the FATHER day and night.
PRAY because we are instructed to as believers.
PRAY because worry increases fear, which we shouldn’t operate in.
PRAY because it just makes sense.
PRAY because it feels good to know that God hears every prayer.
PRAY because intercession is effective for the righteous.
PRAY because we are able.
PRAY because you need to talk to God.
PRAY because God needs to talk to you.
PRAY when you are happy and when you are not.
PRAY because Jesus prayed.
PRAY because we are operating under the watchful eye of a cloud of witnesses.
PRAY because prayer still works.

1 Thessalonians 5:17(NLT) – Never stop praying.

Ivy Out