Hello there! I am Anika and I am definitely one of those. Passion oozes from every fiber of my being. I love to love. Sounds cheesy, I know, but I already told you that I am one of those kinds of people. Read on to find out some more interesting facts about me…
1. I love me some Jesus. I love to testify and if you hang around me long enough you may hear me bragging on the awesomeness of God, like how
• He gave me a house I couldn't afford
• Healed two of my children
• Gave me a yes when I wanted to say no
2. I married a younger man…OK, not really. I was 23 while he was 22. My birthday is in April and his in August, but it’s our running joke. Nevertheless, after 13 years of marriage, I happen to love him deeply, and it still makes for a great story.
3. I have experienced the pain of two miscarriages and the joy of delivering 6 children (3 boys and 3 girls). I have both a bachelors and masters degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Early Childhood Education, which I put to good use staying home with the kiddos.
4. I attend an awesome church where my husband is the Assistant Pastor. I am also a part of a not for profit organization that encourages women to walk in their God given purpose.
5. I am addicted to prayer.
6. I am considered nice by most, definitely extreme by design. I am politically incorrect.
7. I take the scenic route when telling a story, but I promise if you hang on long enough, I eventually get to the punch line.
8. I have great ideas but I sometimes procrastinate. Jesus and I are working on that one.
9. I am guilty of overthinking things (refer to number 8).
10. I am originally from Jamaica. Surprise…sunshine and coconuts are two of my favorite things.
11. I subscribe to the Paleo Diet and actually did a round of Whole 30.
12. I love to experiment in the kitchen.
13. I make an absolute mess when I cook. I try to clean as I go but get distracted with cooking. Go figure. (My family doesn't always enjoy my cooking but I make them eat it anyway.)
14. I love people and enjoy talking to them—even the weird ones. I tried being otherwise but found it doesn't suit me well, so I'm learning to be okay with being me.
15. I have traction alopecia and wear wigs and am crazy enough to believe God for restoring my hair follicles even though the doctors have said otherwise.
16. A movie is considered good only if it makes me cry...more than once. Sound of Music happens to be my all time favorite.
17. I really wish I sang well. I really don't.
18. Telling people about Jesus is my favorite past time. And if I'm not talking about Him, I'm talking about my family or some random health fact I learned on Google.
19. I love redemption stories and happy endings, that’s why I said yes to Jesus.
Feel like you know me a little more? Well good! Please continue to stop by my little corner of cyber world. And do leave a comment. Remember I love to talk to people!
Relationships can be messy. Being vulnerable with others can be hard. Many insulate themselves from forming deep meaningful relationships with others to avoid feeling pain. What a lonely road to take. The risk involved with relationships is worth it, a thousand times over. I ditched the idea of playing it safe.
I chose community
I chose vulnerability
I chose to persist despite the messiness that comes along with relationships
I chose to encourage and to receive encouragement from others
I chose to correct those I love and receive the same medicine when given to me
I chose to cry, forgive, and try again
And I am so glad I did
My husband had a surprise party for my 40th birthday. When the blindfold came off, I saw a room filled with people who had contributed to my life during different seasons and in different ways.
Some had seen my tears, celebrated my success, been my dancing buddies, experienced my stubbornness and pride, listen to me go on about the big dreams inside of me, listen to my deepest confessions, entertained my silliness and laughed at my corny jokes, picked me up when I was low, witness my mistakes, made me laugh until my side hurt, hugged me when I needed it, supported me when I was scared to move forward, and prayed for me when I did not have the strength to pray for myself.
I have learned that the risk involved with forming deep meaningful relationships was well worth it. I am grateful! How about you? Do you avoid forming deep meaningful relationships or have you let your guard down? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Some of us get used to always being in the grind. We become addicted to business and we forget to take the time to rest and celebrate! I find that the longer I go without rest, the more unproductive and mean I become. Rest entails having moments of physical reprieve. We all need adequate sleep and moments of refreshing, we were not meant to always be on the go.
My husband gave me a surprise birthday party for my 40th birthday, and boy was I surprised! I had an awesome time celebrating with friends and family. I cried, laughed, and got loved on. By the end of the night I had such a sense of rest.
I have learned that celebration can also be a form of rest. The right kind of celebration can leave us feeling refreshed in our spirits. There have been times where I have gone to church physically exhausted. However, when I make the choice to dance and praise the Lord and CELEBRATE all He has done I walk away feeling so refreshed and focused. Celebrating who God is and what He has done is a form of rest. I encourage you to take the time out to celebrate and to rest.
Psalm 23:1-3 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
As I am typing these words, I can see the trees outside of my window. The same trees that had been bear all winter now have budding leaves on them.
I have learned that there will be winter seasons in my life, but they won’t last forever, spring will come. The seed won’t remain in the ground forever. At some point, life will spring forth. Sometimes winter can go a lot longer than we would like and we lose hope for spring. I have been there. But it will come. Be attentive and celebrate the signs that show you that spring is here. Sometimes we are waiting for all the flowers to fully bloom to celebrate, instead of shouting at the bud we see on the tree. Spring is breaking forth in my life, and I am learning to celebrate every little sign that I see. How about you? Have you given up hope for your spring season because your winter has gone a lot longer than you wanted?
Psalm 30:5 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
Isaiah 43:19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
I have learned that not everyone will understand my pain and that it is OK. Throughout scripture, we are encouraged to pray and encourage each other. However, nowhere does it say we should expect of man only what God can give. People have a limited bandwidth, which is fine because they are not God. I have learned that I should not put unfair expectations on people and get angry when they don’t understand my pain. I ask for prayer and share my pain with others when it is needed. However, I am learning to not get frustrated when they are unable to empathize or even offer just the right words in response to my pain. Instead, I am learning to cast my cares on Jesus because He cares for me. He totally understands, and He always has the right response.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
I Peter 5:7 …casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
I have learned to be at peace with not having all the answers and to put my trust in the God who does. I won’t always understand the why behind the what, and that’s OK. This is a hard place to get to if we lack faith. We as people love to be in control and when we don’t have answers it can drive us crazy. The enemy can have a field day in our minds if we don’t get to that place of accepting that the secret things belong to God. I don’t always understand the mind and ways of God. However, I can rest in peace knowing that He is faithful, and whatever He allows, it’s for a purpose and it will always work for my good.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I have learned that I need to stop saying that I do not have enough time in a day to accomplish all my tasks. The question is not whether I have enough time, instead, I should ask what I am doing with the time I have? If my priorities are misguided and I haven’t sought God for my daily agenda, then yes, I will come to the end of the day lamenting about how I didn’t have enough time. Most of us are overwhelmed and always feel hurried because we put more on our to do list than we should. We were not created to do it all. We can also be on the opposite end of the spectrum and become poor steward of our time. God admonishes us to not be idle. Instead of TELLING God what I am going to do each day, I am learning to pause and ASK Him what I should be doing. Whenever I take this approach, my days are a lot more productive because I have allowed my daily steps to be ordered by God.
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.