Quick Konversations: A Narrow Search

I was shopping online recently, looking for something specific. Although I knew exactly what I was looking for, I typed in a related item, hoping I could find the item amongst the results. It took quite a bit of scrolling through that vague search for me to finally come across one version of the item I was looking for. My rationale was that if my search was too specific, it would bring back no results. Ultimately I was worried that I wouldn’t find what I wanted. And rather than being specific, I thought it was best to look for what I wanted among a large group of related items.

Fear of disappointment can cause us not to be specific in our requests and search of things we desire. We don’t actually want to settle, but perhaps we are worried that what we actually want can’t be found. If you’re sure of what you want, there’s no such thing as being too specific. You may have to search more diligently or be patient in some instances, but I believe what you want does exist.

The store I was searching was only the second one I had checked, and I was already concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find what I wanted. Perhaps we are narrow in our search, but in the wrong way. Maybe we should be specific about what we want, but be more open about where it may come from. Let’s imagine, you’re searching for your dream job. Typing in “Social Worker” will bring back many results. You’ll get less results if you search “Hospital Social Worker”, but if that’s exactly what you want, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Now, if there are no Hospital Social Worker positions in the hospitals near you, are you open to expanding the search to a different city? Moving isn’t always the change we must make, but it’s our openness to change that sometimes brings us closer to obtaining the thing we want most.

If you’re wondering how my story ends, after scrolling more than I desired, I finally decided to type in and search exactly what I was looking for. Lo and behold, the predictive text brought up what I wanted as a search option, so I selected it. There were only a few items to choose from, but I found one that was just what I needed. It was in stock at the store and in my hands before the day was over.

Recap: “I Don’t Know the Difference”

On Facebook live, we had a konversation that was inspired by a scene in the movie “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel.” In the scene, Twinkie Clark had a dialogue with her mother regarding her decision to move with her new husband and leave the group. Twinkie felt that up to that point, everything she did was for the group and to please her mother. Her mother told her that she should be aiming to please the Lord. Twinkie’s response was “I don’t know the difference.”

Here are a few points we discussed during the konversation regarding life decisions and our relationship with parents and leadership.

Parents are the first people who are responsible for making decisions for us. When is it appropriate for the child to begin to take some of that responsibility and develop decision making skills?

It is important for parents to take the time to build up decision making skills in their child, so that they aren’t naive once they receive their independence.

While a child is learning how to make decisions, if they make a mistake, supporting them and helping them learn from it will produce more positive outcomes than reprimanding them to a point of shame.

The same can be applied to an adult in a subordinate position with leadership.

Lead Them to God

When in a leadership or influential position in someone’s life, it is important to give your disciple the space to establish their identity and autonomy when it comes to their decisions. While you impart wisdom and guidance, they should always be led back to God for the final directive.

Growing up in Christian households, many of us were required to go to church and participate in the youth department without protest. We simply didn’t have a choice! But once you get out on your own, you begin to realize that following God is a choice we have to make for ourselves.

A Mutually Beneficial Arrangement

In terms of mentorship and leader/follower relationships, it is important for the follower or mentee to be discipled while they serve. The relationship should be equally beneficial for both parties. The goal should be to help cultivate the gifts, talents and skills of the mentee/ follower, by giving them access to the leader’s life and responsibilities for the sake of learning. When there is a lack of balance in a leader/follower relationship, the follower can get burnt out. Serving to what appears to be a dead end can be disheartening for the follower. The pain of depletion can cause us to leave a place or assignment before it’s time, or under the wrong circumstances.

Lead and Teach

If we look at the example of Jesus and the disciples, Peter particularly, we see that Jesus did not expect perfection as they followed him. Peter chopped a man’s ear off because he didn’t want Jesus to be captured by those trying to kill him. Instead of Jesus kicking Peter out of the group, he healed the man’s ear. Jesus taught and led by example, so that when he left, the disciples were equipped to carry out their own ministries. It does not mean that Jesus was never disappointed in their actions, but when they failed, he taught them what they needed to know to succeed in the future.

How Do We Deal?

As people, we have to be discerning and able to identify the thin line between being obedient to parents and leaders and pleasing man. We must establish our own relationship with the Lord so that we are able to follow Him, first and foremost. When you are aware of God’s plan and purpose for your life, you will be able to see whether or not what someone is asking you to do will serve to prepare you for what’s next.

Share your thoughts on this in the comments!

To view the live Facebook broadcast or listen to the podcast go here: http://linktr.ee/kingdomkonversationsxkiana

Trust God

To listen to an audio version of this post follow this link: https://soundcloud.com/kiana-mc/trust-god-audio-blog

It’s no mistake that during one of the toughest seasons of my life, I’ve been on this journey to understand what it truly means to trust God. I found myself in a situation where I couldn’t find anyone to trust with my weakness. In my darkest hour, I couldn’t bring myself to trust even the people who I know had good intentions. I was alone and all I could do was trust God.  Believers say “Trust God”  when your situation is “above you” and out of your control. In saying it, I’ve never heard anyone explain how to do it though. Is it prayer, fasting, consecration, being still? How do you and God know that you’re actively trusting in Him?

Trust is one of those abstract words like love, confidence, sadness, etc. Everyone has a different way of expressing it. Trust by definition is to rely on a person’s or thing’s ability, strength or integrity. For instance, when you sit down, you trust that the chair will not collapse but that it will support you. And when you do the trust fall, you lean back, believing that the people behind you will catch you and not allow you to fall flat on your back.

Nowadays, trusting people is a difficult task. Many of us have a small group of people that we feel we can actually rely on when it counts. Maybe you’ve tried to confide in someone and your business ended up in another conversation. That can be devastating in the midst of an already difficult situation. I hate to say it, but trusting people can be hit or miss. There may never be a time when you’re completely safe with someone. That’s kind of scary…

Enters God.

We are encouraged to trust in God in several scriptures. The Bible says to obey and honor many people, including your parents and spiritual leaders, but as far as I can tell, trust is primarily to be placed in God. There are certainly benefits to trusting people, but the amount of trust we try to place in people can damage our dependence on God. God will lead us to meaningful relationships where we can place a healthy amount of trust in others. The truth is people can only do so much for you, even when you do trust them. Ultimately, you have to go to the one who is the most trustworthy.

The How

Trusting God requires that you know him. Our claim as believers hinges on whether we trust that God is who He says he is. There’s a scripture that says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God. If you’re unsure how to trust God, reading about him is a great place to start. There are several scriptures that describe who God is and how he interacts with humanity. It may also help to hear the testimonies of trusting God from the people you know.

I have found that this trust isn’t as action packed as I thought. Relying on someone or something, is less of an action and more of a demonstration of a mental move. I’ve found that trust is a kind of yielding. In a situation that feels out of control, trusting God brings about peace in that chaotic situation and says “I believe everything will be alright, even if I can’t fix it myself.”

Help! I’m a control freak

This is a real thing! I struggle with fear of the unknown. At times, I find myself tip toeing toward the future, solely because I don’t always know what to expect. When what you had planned begins to fall apart, you tend to stop moving forward until you can plainly see what is before you. But when you trust God, you can confidently move forward, trusting God to establish your new place. 

Help! I’m a fixer

It may be difficult for you to be still while things are chaotic in your life. You may move too quickly and try to change things so that the pain, the frustration, or that in between feeling doesn’t last too long. Trusting God eliminates the hasty decisions we make trying to calm life’s storms ourselves. Trusting God requires humility and acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty over your life. 

Trusting is a process

You need not be perfect along this journey of trust, the objective is to believe. Trust seems to be established in the midst of our tribulations. They present an opportunity for us to see the faithfulness and sovereignty of God. It’s hard to really know that someone is trustworthy without being placed in the circumstance that requires you to trust them. Seeing things work out in someone else’s life may give you the gall to try God, but only your experience with God will produce trust in Him.

Too Smart for Your Own Good

So, here’s a little known fact about me:

Forgiveness is a challenge for me.

I remember holding grudges against people that hurt me as a teenager. Since dealing with offense wasn’t much of a conversation growing up, I kind of learned to deal with it in my own way, without much guidance. Now that I’m an adult, and more importantly, one who has become a disciple of Jesus, I’ve realized that although I know I’m supposed to forgive, I still don’t sometimes. I think I know what I “need to do” and how I “should feel” toward the people I need to forgive, yet I have a hard time doing it.

To be honest, I didn’t think it was still a problem for me. I thought I was free from holding grudges (with my saved self) just because I knew some scripture about forgiveness. Luckily for me, I have people in my life that will tell me the truth. The other day, my friend Mat said to me, “You don’t forgive”, and I confidently responded, “Yes I do!”. But a day or so later, a person came to mind who I have yet to completely forgive, along with my actions and thoughts to prove that I haven’t forgiven them. What shocked me was that those actions were devices to protect me from the vulnerable work of forgiveness, causing me not to see the unforgiveness in my heart. Sometimes, you really have to snatch the cover back, so to speak, so that you can see and know the truth.

My version of forgiveness

has been to keep in mind that we’re all broken, in some way, trying to get fixed. I’ve been conceptualizing offense as a result of a “human handicap”, as if being human causes us to offend one another. But I still failed to separate the person from their action. So every time I saw someone who hurt me, I remembered what happened and my stomach dropped, I cringed, or I rolled my eyes (internally). I couldn’t stand to see their face. And if I could help it, I avoided them altogether.

What I thought I knew about forgiveness

I thought that since I was the one who was mistreated, whatever I needed to do to feel better about it was warranted, as long as I didn’t retaliate or seek revenge. I knew it was my responsibility to approach the person who had an issue with me (according to Matthew 5:23), but I wasn’t ready or willing to have the necessary conversation that would facilitate reconciliation and forgiveness. So, I thought it was okay to leave the issue as is, in order to avoid conflict. I felt like I was doing everyone a favor.

The Truth about Knowledge

Knowledge [alone] makes [people self-righteously] arrogant, but love [that unselfishly seeks the best for others] builds up and encourages others to grow [in wisdom]. 1 Corinthians 8:1b

The Amplified Bible

As it turns out, I lacked humility. (I know, this had me shook too!) I thought “Why would I need to be humble in a situation where I was the victim?” It’s not that I needed to go to my offender, with my tail between my legs as if I did wrong. The humility was needed for me to seek God about how to approach the situation with urgency instead of waiting until I felt ready, based on what I knew.

Just knowing about principles, such as forgiveness, isn’t helpful when you don’t have a revelation of how to apply them in a particular situation. God’s instruction is infused with wisdom when it is lived out by his leading. The plain words of scripture are not always tailor made for our circumstance. So when I rationalized that I would be misunderstood and that the person I needed to forgive was unapproachable, I decided the instructions just didn’t work for this situation. However, I needed to humble myself in that moment and seek God about how to approach my offender so that I could forgive them quickly.

Then there’s love…

Love causes you to think beyond yourself. As much as you may want an apology from the person who hurt you, love may cause you to pray for their healing and growth that would prevent them from repeating the offense to you and others.

Sometimes we demonstrate that our knowledge is only effective for giving advice, rather than demonstrating our ability to resolve our own conflicts. I guess you really can be “too smart for your own good”! These days, I try not to have more answers for others than I have for myself. I also try not to judge how people handle their situations, because I know sometimes I struggle to do it the “Christian way,” too. Knowledge in and of itself isn’t bad. It’s just that knowledge by itself can lead to self-righteousness, which can lead to a false sense of faultlessness. Humility allows us to see our flaws and remember that we need God to overcome them. Ultimately, love causes you to want the best for the people love you and the ones who hurt you as well. You may think you know best, but love will never lead you wrong.

Sometimes All You Can Afford to Do is Get Yourself Together.

As a child, I remember riding in the car with my dad as he drove through the nicer neighborhoods, on the other side of town, looking at the big houses. My dad would often say, “If you had money you could live.” I imagine he said that as he thought about all the things he would have or do, if his finances permitted it. As an adult,  I now understand what he meant. As far as I can remember, growing up, I was content. All of my needs were met and I had quite a few of the things I wanted, as well. But since I’ve had to scale back to a basic lifestyle due to my income versus my expenses, I find myself having to be content with my bills being paid.

The Millennium Tour has been one of the biggest things to happen this year and many of the millennial women I know, were making plans to be at the nearest tour stop. As it turns out, it doesn’t look like I’ll be attending that concert this time around. I can’t lie, I was pretty bummed at the reality that I’ve missed seeing B2K in concert for the second time in my lifetime. It’s unlikely that they’ll be in concert together again, which made me very sad. But then the thought came to me: “Sometimes all you can afford to do is get yourself together.” It was a very humbling and sober thought in that moment.  I then began to think about the things I needed to do to advance my career path, to make myself more financially stable, to nourish my physical, mental and spiritual health, and I realized that at that moment, I needed to focus on getting myself together.

With all that has been going on with mental health awareness, self care has also been a huge subtopic. I’ve been working with people for the entirety of my professional career, between being a teacher and a social worker. Dealing with people on a daily basis is not easy, much less dealing with people in crisis. In these professions and many others, it is important to take care of yourself and make sure that you are in a mental and physical state to be able to take on someone else’s needs and problems. What I’m beginning to understand more is that self care is necessary but difficult when you don’t have much money. For mothers, not being able to leave a house full of people and have some “me time” is detrimental to their well-being. For men, having to work long hours and do manual labor but not having the opportunity to rest and go watch the game and eat wings, is frustrating but also detrimental to their wellness. For couples who aren’t able to have date night because they either can’t afford to go out or pay a baby sitter, it’s stressful. But likewise for singles, who just need the opportunity to unwind after a long day of work. But this is a common factor in many low income households.

For me, home has never felt like “my sanctuary”. It is difficult for me to relax and be replenished at home aside from sleeping at night. While I’m there, I begin to notice all the things that need to be done and I begin housework instead of taking a moment to clear my mind of the day’s frustrations. I have always lived a life on the go and I will often go eat in my car at the park as opposed to sitting at home at my dining room table.

With this post, I really intend to begin a conversation about free or low cost self care practices. I often find myself more stressed and frustrated by the fact that I can’t afford my kind of self care. I’d love to be able to rent a car and drive a couple cities over, and get a hotel room for the day. I can’t afford to do that right now though. And one of the things I’m learning to do in adulthood is adjust with the different circumstances of life. The reality is that right now, my budget only allows for basic needs. That doesn’t diminish the importance of self care, but it means that I have to become creative and find ways to manipulate what is available to me in order to fulfill the need for self care practices.

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:12-13

Finding contentment, is the key to life it seems. And with Christ, we can overcome the challenges of a tight budget but still have peace and mental wellness.

Please share your self care hacks, maybe it would be beneficial to someone else.

Take care, for the kingdom,

Kiana

The Ugly Phase

The ugly phase is most often associated with hair styles. I’ve cut my hair short several times and the moment I decide to grow it back out, I know I’m in for it. It’s just something about the time it takes for the short areas to catch up to the longer areas that is just…aggravating. It really exposes my impatience and inability to accept and adjust to the natural process of growth.

In a world of over night success stories, sometimes we fail to realize that nothing actually happens overnight. There’s work and preparation that happens to turn average people into celebrities. During that preparation, there are some wrong notes, rejected projects proposals, bombed performances, low grades, [Insert your ugly phase here]. How often to we give up during the preparation phase due to the difficulty or weariness that comes with trying and not being perfect?

Let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:4

(A different version may say patience in place of endurance)

The E word

Endurance has been wearing me out for a few years now. I used to quit things as soon as they became difficult and stressful until it was impressed upon me to stick it out and tap into a different strength source. I’m better at it now, but it’s still hard sometimes not to just quit to avoid the pain. What this scripture appears to say is that enduring actually perfects you. It seems the only route out of the ugly phase, is through it.

It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to apply the principle in the moment when you feel like you can’t take anymore. When your embarrassed at your skill level and want to just skip to the part when you’re as good as your favorite artist or musician.

Here’s a secret: They’ve had ugly phases too.

This most recent time I decided to grow my hair out, I remember wanting to just cut all my hair off so that it could all grow together. It seemed logical at the moment, until I considered what my actually goal was. I wanted to keep the style I had, I just wanted it to be a little fuller and longer in each section. Therefore, getting a fade would actually prolong the process to meeting the goal.

I decided to continue on, not getting hair cuts and just working with what I had and suddenly, one day it seemed like my hair was the perfect length! It obviously didn’t happen suddenly, but when I began to focus on other things, and keep my goal in mind, the in between time seemed to fly by.

May you find the patience necessary to embrace your current stage, no matter how ugly it feels. And may your beautiful stage come sooner than you expected.

Endure for the Kingdom,

Kiana ❤️

over.whelmed.

Disclaimer: This post may not be for everyone, but I have a feeling its for most of the people I know.

At some point, we could all identify with feeling like life is too much. We have times in our lives when it seems there’s a never ending to-do list. As much as you move and do, it feels like nothing actually gets done. And as soon as you think you’ve crossed everything off the list, something else pops up and the cycle continues.

Sometimes, I feel this sensation when approaching the topic of my purpose. I am constantly overwhelmed and burdened with the fact that so many needs exist in our society and yet I am the only person (in my prideful mind) that seems to be concerned enough to be thinking about solutions. The reality is that there are probably many others thinking about those very same needs, but if they feel like I feel, they too are overwhelmed and trying to figure out where to start.

I had to learn that instead of trying to save the whole world, I needed to figure out which part of the world I’m called to save. That is hard work, (that I have to be reminded of constantly.) Biting off more than you can chew is a real thing that produces burn out and incomplete tasks.

Having a heart that is sensitive to a particular group of people or a place in and of itself, can be burdensome.

Nehemiah is someone who’s heart for a place lead him to heading up a huge project that was successfully accomplished.

Point number 1: It is possible!

Don’t allow yourself to be so overwhelmed with the vision that you talk yourself out of trying to make it happen. Pointing out that it is possible first, is critical in our decision to engage with the thing that grieves us the most.

After Nehemiah wept and cried out to God about Jerusalem, he assessed the needs and then he shared the vision.

Point number 2: Stop trying to do it alone!

Nehemiah was strategic about who he shared the vision with, but after giving it some thought, he did recruit a team of people to help him get it done. As it turns out, the people he chose went on to say “Let’s get to work!” without his prompting.

Point number 3: If you pick the right people, they will lift the burden.

I didn’t wanna go here, but sometimes we choose to work with people that don’t have the desire and heart for the same things that we care about. In those cases, we find ourselves expending valuable energy trying to motivate them to help us, instead of using it for the actual mission at hand.

What I desire to be taken from this point, is that people who care about you may not have the same care for your vision. You don’t have to get rid of them,  just identify the role people are supposed to play in your life, and act accordingly.

Be encouraged!

You’re not alone and your mission and vision can be accomplished with the right group of people.

You don’t need to be overwhelmed, you need to be focused on the purpose it will serve when your vision becomes a reality.

I heard a sermon recently that was about perspective and I’m learning that life is centered around that concept. What you focus on is what will either push you forward or hold you back.

Try not to focus on how big the task is, but rather the enormous need it will meet once it is accomplished.

Let’s build for the Kingdom,

Kiana

 

God Knows My Heart

Yes, this is the obligatory February post related to the heart, in honor of Valentine’s day. But, it’s not about romantic relationships or love, really.

PLOT TWIST!

At this point in your life it is very likely that you have either said or heard the phrase “God Knows My Heart”. Most people say it in the context of them doing something wrong, or acting beneath the expectations of others.  They’ll say things like “I know I ain’t been at church in 3 Sundays, but God knows my heart.” It’s almost like we think God gives us an excused absence or a pass for our misdoings, because we assume He knows we have good intentions.

The thing about this saying is that, it actually is true. God does really know your heart. But what we think He knows, or what we hope He focuses on, is different than what He actually sees. 

The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

When God talks about knowing our heart, he really knows it. He can see past what you do or don’t do and He gets to the why of it all. He is more concerned about why you aren’t going to church, than He is about whether or not you show up. You can be sitting in church service with hatred toward someone in your heart. So the person showing up with hate and no conviction about it is no better than the person who stays home. Attending church services is pointless if you aren’t there to address the condition of your heart. Your appearance or outward actions aren’t always indicative of the person you really are, and that’s what God really knows.

But the Lord said to Samuel “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

We tend to look at people, the way they dress or even the personality they present in certain environments, and we construct notions about how good or bad they are. While only God can see their hearts and their true intentions. If you watch and discern long enough, their true intentions will eventually be evident to you, as well. My point here is, just like in the story of David, don’t think you know someone based on how they look or what you see them do. The person who seems to have the support of the masses could very well be the least qualified for what they’re trying to do. I mean look at our Pres…

The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. Jeremiah 17:9-10

Have you ever wondered why it seems that people get away with doing terrible things? I’ve heard someone say “How could they do that; they’re heartless.”. Maybe they aren’t heartless. Perhaps their heart is so damaged that their heart deceived them into committing a terrible act.

God doesn’t allow us to “get away” with the wrong we do. He actually makes wise judgments about what’s in our heart, and He makes good decisions about us. He knows that our heart carries experiences and that we tend to make decisions from those experiences. The scripture describes the heart as desperately sick. God knows the traumas, disappointments, and circumstances that have shaped us. So yes, in this case, God knows our hearts. And because he knows our hearts, He is able to determine the root of our misdeeds.

For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.

Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

Psalm 51:3-4

Above, David realized that he had done wrong, and he knew who ultimately would hold him accountable for it. He may have been faced with the judgment of others, but instead of saying “Well, God knows my heart.”, he went directly to God and repented. We often spend too much time explaining to people what we should be confessing to God. There’s no need to defend yourself when you’ve gone to the Father and repented.

Now that we understand that God truly does know our hearts, and the extent to which He knows it, we find that it’s unnecessary to get rid of the phrase. I must say, before I thought of it this way, I hated the phrase and thought people shouldn’t say it. My hope is that people are saying it with this context.

What do you think about the phrase “God Knows My Heart”? I’d love if you shared your response in the comments.

 

I Will Finish!

Recently, at church we were discussing the story of Noah and how he was instructed to build the ark. We talked about how God gave him specific instructions for this boat, warning that a great flood would come. God was specific about everything except when the flood would actually happen.

Rumor has it that a considerable amount of time had passed between when Noah was given the instructions and when the flood occurred. It really got me thinking about the things I expected to happen, but gave up on because they didn’t appear to be happening soon enough. In Noah’s case, how tragic would it have been for him to stop building the ark because he hadn’t seen any rain? If you think about it, the dimensions of the ark were huge, which speaks to the amount of time required to actually finish building it. And personally, I wouldn’t want to have to build anything of that magnitude in the rain. So then, maybe it isn’t so bad that “it” isn’t happening immediately. Perhaps, just maybe, we’re being afforded time to get ourselves prepared for “it”.

What makes us give up before it happens?

Sometimes we get defeated because of our past experiences with disappointments and let downs. But God does not fail us. We must internalize that fact, so that our experiences with imperfect people do not persuade us to doubt God. It is our belief in God’s goodness that makes life different. (I know what you’re thinking; How is a flood good?) So, the flood was unfortunate, but God’s goodness led him to prepare Noah and his family to be protected from it.

But, Noah had to believe that God wasn’t just handing out threats.  And while that was a bad situation, we must draw from this that God’s intention is to bring to pass whatever he has spoken. For us, it’s those desires he spoke into our being before we were even formed.

A lot of times, we speak of huge visions and dreams that God has placed on our hearts without considering the time and effort required to bring them to complete fruition. So here are two scriptures to consider.

The parable in Luke 14:25-32 addresses the importance of counting up the costs required for whatever it is that you plan to start.

We should do our best to take an accurate assessment of the requirements for a successful launch and sustaining of what God has placed on our hearts to do.

Habakkuk 2:3 (paraphrased) says that the vision is for an appointed time…though it tarries, wait for it. For it will certainly come and will not delay. 

This scripture speaks to the patience we must have concerning the process of bringing our visions and God given assignments to pass.

The bigger the vision the more preparation and building required to execute it. It’s key to understand that with God given ideas and plans, God’s often desires to make a large impact. For big things, you must plan ahead so that the timing will be just right!

Has it been a long time between when you first got the vision and its manifestation?

Are you wondering what the hold up is, like I once did?

Could it be that God is sharing what He plans to do in your life way ahead of time so that you can be adequately prepared for it? Perhaps its going to make such a big impact that you’ll need to commit some time to preparing for it before it happens.

Let’s commit to finishing!

I’ve decided that I’m going to do my best to keep doing my part until I begin to see the rest unfold. Noah worked on the boat until it was finished. Then God said revealed that in one week the flood would occur. Had Noah not been diligent, he would not have been ready to load the ark, and he would have risked the lives God wanted to save.


Being out of sync with God’s timing will put lives at risk that God wants to save.


“It” may not have happened yet, but keep working on it! Be consistent in whatever it will take for the God given vision for your life to completely manifest. When we are lead by the spirit, the things we do are never a waste of time. Everything is leading up to the future God has planned for you, which is spoken of in Jeremiah 29:11.  Everything you’ve put into it is worth it, because our God does not speak and not perform. We may not know when, but the least we can do is be ready!

Did something come to mind while reading this that you feel you need to continue working on? Please share in the comments. Let’s talk!

Kiana

Please Excuse our Progress

A few months ago, the Zaxby’s on North Monroe was under construction. The title of this post is what was on their marquee. It read, “Please Excuse our Progress”. I’m sure they were referring to the construction site that was their exterior as it underwent changes, but their choice of words made me wonder. If progress is such a good thing, why would it need to be excused? Words carry so much meaning, so definitions often bring a new perspective to my initial thought.

Progress by definition is movement toward a goal; that’s a good thing. And usually if you ask someone to excuse you, it’s because of some action and circumstance that interfered or conflicted with the norm. For instance, you might ask someone to excuse your tardiness because you were supposed to be in a place at a designated time and your being late had a negative affect on the circumstance.

After reading the multiple definitions I found for the verb excuse, I could go on and on about how that  may not have been the best choice of word in conjunction with the word progress. But for the sake of short attention spans, I’ll pull out just one of the definitions.

Excuse- overlook.  Using substitution it would read “Overlook our progress.”

Try not to notice the progress we’re trying to make.

How often do we want people to turn a blind eye to our lives until we’ve reached some point of perfection? Or how often do we try to hide the parts of us that are still in the development stage? Growth and change should be looked upon as good although it isn’t in a state of perfection.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Although it may have been a little more difficult to navigate the area because of the construction, the restaurant was still open to those who wanted what is on the inside of Zaxby’s, because that part wasn’t changing. If we see ourselves like the restaurant, we shouldn’t shut down or isolate ourselves because of the changes we are undergoing.

Our changes and growth only present the people in our lives with a challenge to love deeper.

Just a few miles away, the capitol has this sign displayed. pardonJust a few different words makes a difference. What stuck out to me about this particular sign was “your” Capitol. To me, it emphasized the fact that although things are under construction, and may be posing a temporary inconvenience, the outcome is for your benefit. The use of our and your has a sense of inclusion which may elicit some understanding and the pardon they are requesting in their sign.

The point here, I guess, is that positive change is good, and it should be embraced whether you’re the one changing, or you know someone or something that is.

If you’re changing, don’t be ashamed or feel the need to apologize if you feel a little rough around the edges, at times. And if you notice someone going through a process of change (which most of us usually are) be patient and understanding.