TEACHING AND LEARNING AT THE SAME TIME

 

I love to pray I really do.  I spend time reading and praying with and for my children in the morning and during the day.   However I must confess that I am notorious for praying really QUICK prayers with my children at NIGHT.   Most nights I am ready for them to go to B.E.D.  I am not one of those moms that sit and read 20 books and say lengthy prayers before bed.  Don’t judge me.  Last night I was in supermom mode, maybe the nice weather had something to do with it. I did the let’s read lots of stories together thing. Ten minutes into it, I was reminded of why I read in the day and not the night.  Two of the children started fighting with each other. My warm fuzzy feelings turned into utter frustration.  I wrapped up the story and before I left the room, my 7 year old asked me to pray for him.  I was getting ready to pray and he said, “Can you come put your hands on my head and pray more than 5 words!” Excuse me, did he just call me out?  I had no idea that he caught on to my quick night time praying habits.  He then gave me his request, “mommy please pray that I won’t be afraid to tell other people about Jesus even if I get in trouble for it.”  I prayed…and it was more than 5 words.

His prayer request was an answer to prayers that I have prayed for my children.  I desperately want them to love Jesus with a contagious love. I want them to share their faith with boldness without concern for their reputation or the penalty.  I want their actions to prove that it is not about them but about Christ who lives in them. I want them to be ok with not blending in but fearlessly standing out for Christ.  I want them to make the choice to serve their creator when they are young and invite their friends to do the same. It’s in moments like these that I am reminded that I am raising up warriors for the Kingdom!  It is a privilege and a great responsibility.   I must be diligent in not only teaching them with words but also demonstrating what it means to be a fearless servant for Christ. As I teach, I am also learning.

Blessings

Anika

NO HAIR AND I DO CARE.

I was writing a blogpost to complement my YouTube video, Why are you so stressed?  I had the intentions to finish the post this morning. But somehow it got deleted.  I was not happy!  In the process of looking for it, I came across some thoughts that I wrote down not too long ago about having a shaved head that I hadn’t published.  Why? I am trying my best not to make every blogpost and YouTube video be about my hair or lack thereof.  Why? I don’t want to dwell on it.  I suppose I want to appear strong.  I want to act normal. Wait, you don’t think I am normal?

But truth is while I am seeing all that God is doing in me and realize this process is necessary, I have had some low moments.  Some days I feel so free and then other days I am very much aware and self-conscious about not having hair. I have to fight to not invite shame back in.  This morning happens to be one of those days.  I woke up and shaved the new stubbles that had grown in to avoid looking like a balding old man.  I then realized I had some razor bumps in the back of my head, the lemons are working well as a deodorant but not going too well for razor bumps!  Talk about feeling deflated and super self-conscious! My conversation with God through my tears went something like this, “God can you at least take away the bumps.  I mean I just got the courage to go out bald. Please God, please take the bumps away!”  More tears.

I was just telling a close friend that I found myself thanking God for this process because so much has been revealed to me.  THAT conversation took place on a really good day a few weeks ago.   I am human and my feelings will go up and down. I know that I don’t have to hide my tears and as I am typing they are flowing.   No I am not pretending that it doesn’t feel awkward, it does.  No I am not pretending like I don’t care that I don’t have hair, I DO CARE.  BUT I CAN’T stay stuck here. On a day like today, I have a choice to both go with my feelings and wallow in self-pity, or I can chose to magnify God above my less than ideal situation.  Today I choose to praise, grab a scarf and keep it moving!

How about you?  What situation in your life is less than ideal?  Are you remaining stuck on how you feel and allowing self-pity to overwhelm you? Have you been magnifying your situation more than God?

 

Just in case you are interested, below are the thoughts I wrote out a few weeks ago.

NO Hair and I Do Care

NO hair and I wish I could say I don’t care

But the truth is, I care a lot

I look back at old pictures when the hair on my head was actually mine

And I long for yesterday

Funny how the girl back then was so discontent with what she had

And the girl today sees the beauty that the girl in the past couldn’t see

Funny how that happens…you don’t know what you have until it’s gone

I compared my hair to others

It wasn’t thick enough

Long enough

Straight enough

But I now realize

IT WAS ENOUGH, more than
FOR ME

Cause

That’s what God gave me

But this attitude of discontentment was not just about my hair

I look back at the girl from yesterday

And she had no clue

She never saw herself as enough

How DO I, today, become content in my new reality even if it’s not what I want it to be?

How do I keep myself from sinking into self-pity?

I say to God, please restore my hair

I cry, I beg

But He has shown me that even without much hair on my head, this process has caused Him to restore so much in me

Much that was lost that I did not know about

Much that was lost that could not be seen

So no hair and I do care

But not to the point where I will allow it to define or hinder me

 

Goodbye Shame!

 

Goodbye shame
We have to break up

I know this all seem so impulsive

I mean it was just yesterday that I had on a long braided wig that covered what I didn’t want the world to see

And then all of a sudden, I grab a razor and shaved the little hair alopecia left behind

Then I had the nerve to get in front of a camera

Without a wig

And  showed  everyone watching

ME

But this wasn’t all of a sudden, truth is I have been thinking about saying goodbye for years

But I didn’t have the courage to walk away

Until now

You see this has been a very controlling and abusive relationship
I didn’t know who I was
You robbed me of my identity
I doubted and denied who God created me to be

You had me dancing to the beat or your drums
And I was out of step
I listened to your songs of doubt and insecurities that played loud in my ear
They often drowned out the tender assurance of love my savior was singing to me

This goodbye has been a long time coming
I’ve tried to kick you out before
However when you came knocking again I opened the door

BUT

There is only so much a person pregnant with purpose can take

You see this relationship is just so toxic and I am afraid that if I stay, I will miscarry my destiny.  So I am deciding to take the risk and step out.
I told you before, chains don’t look good on me because the blood of Jesus declares I am free
I became confident as I read God’s love letters to me
His words spoke to my spirit and unveiled my true identity

This relationship created an odd sense of comfort
Because you have been in my life for so long
But I am ready to move forward
I am ready to fully embrace my purpose
And you just don’t fit into where God is taking me

Now let me tell you something shame,

Don’t you try to send your cousins, fear and insecurity to try to talk me out of this breakup
I have tasted freedom and it’s quite addictive
Oh I am fully aware that you will come knocking again
But this breakup is final
I make no apologies
Plain and simple, it’s over
Goodbye shame!

Question for reflection?

  1. As we approach a new year, what/who do you have to say goodbye to?  In order to move forward, some relationships must come to an end.  Pray and ask the Lord to give you the courage to say goodbye so you can move forward in your purpose.

Be Blessed!

Anika

 

 

In Your Presence

I need frequent reminders of who you are and who I am in you

So I run to your presence to be reminded

I cannot afford business to suck me in, pulling me away from you

The stakes are just too high

You said you will keep me in perfect peace

And it’s true, that’s if my thoughts are fixed on you

I know life and all its duties are loudly calling me

But I must,

I MUST prioritize being in your presence to hear your still small voice

Your presence is the sweetest thing I know

I have tasted and seen that you are good

All the time

And all the time you are good!

You equip me for the battle

You comfort me when I feel beat down and yes your joy gives me strength when I am depleted.

You keep me from falling when temptations try to pull me away

You are my daily bread, giving me exactly what I need from day to day

Simply put;

In your presence I find

All

I

WILL

EVER

NEED

It only makes sense for me to make seeking your face a priority

 

Question for reflections?

  1. Do you make excuses for why you can’t spend time with the Lord?
  2. Have you made spending time with Him a priority?
  3. Do you see a difference in your day when you slow down and give God time in prayer and reading the word?
  4. How do you think your life would be different if you were constantly seeking the face of the Lord?

Speaking the word of God over your child

I want to encourage you to really consider the words that are coming out of our mouth when speaking to your children.  It is easy to become careless with our words.  However, a big part of parenting is blessing (affirming) our children.  Speaking the word of God over them is the best affirmation.  As I speak the word over them, it shapes their identity and they recognize who they are in Christ. Blessing my children with the word of God also combats the schemes of the enemy and cancels every curse.

Below is a brief worksheet that I created to get the process started to encourage you to speak life (blessings) over your children.  Take some time to fill out this worksheet and reflect on the suggested verses. Pray and ask the Lord to help you prioritize spending time with in prayer and the study of His word so that He can fill your mouth with what to say as you parent.  Be sure to visit this link for suggestions on scripture that you can speak/pray over your children.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

BLESSING OUR CHILDREN BY SPEAKING THE WORD OF GOD OVER THEM

 

Scripture tells us that _________and ___________ are in the _________of the _________(Proverbs 18:21).

Whose words should you speak over your children?

John 6:63 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Can we speak life (the word of God) over our children?  Can we decree blessings over them if we don’t know the word?

Briefly write down your game plan for studying God’s word starting this week.  Consider the following questions as you create your plan.

  1. What time are you most alert to study God’s word?
  2. How much time per day do you commit to studying God’s word?
  3. What passages will you focus on to begin your study?

 

Let’s get personal

On a normal day, what are some of the things you say to your children (when you are angry with them, when their behavior displeases you, when they interrupt you)?

 

 

What are your biggest areas of struggle as a parent?  In what ways have your children challenged you?

 

What are some specific scriptures you can speak over your children to combat these issues?

Don’t forget to visit this site to get ideas on scriptures you can pray over your children. Be blessed!

WHY SHOULD I FAST?

Fasting…that word that most of us Christians don’t want to hear.  I will confess fasting doesn’t make the list for the top 10,000 thigs I LOVE TO DO.  However as I tell my children about eating organ meats; you won’t always like doing what is good for you but you still have to do it.  My flesh loves to be in charge, it loves to showcase itself.  However there is nothing like a good dose of fasting to put my flesh in its rightful place.  So what does the bible have to say about fasting and why and when should I do it?  Check out this article for some answers. Fasting not only has great spiritual benefits, but for a bonus it also helps us on a natural level.  Read this article for some of the health benefits associated with fasting. The process of fasting can sometimes be very difficult  but I never regret doing it. In the end, I receive mental clarity and feel  spiritually energized .  I want to encourage you to incorporate fasting as you seek to grow closer to God.  Be blessed!