What Does It Mean To Be Comfortable In My Own Skin? Lesson 21 of 40

I am learning that becoming comfortable in my own skin, goes beyond embracing my physical appearance.  It goes so much deeper. Becoming comfortable in my own skin includes embracing who God made me to be.  I must also embrace how He chooses to use me.  The more I become comfortable in my own skin, the more confidence develops and the freer I become to operate in my gifts.  It also helps me not to compare myself to others in the process (not totally there, but I am making great strides).

As I become more comfortable in my own skin, it is easier for me to celebrate others without trying to be like them. God did not make me a cookie cutter.  He made me uniquely me, without mistakes.  It’s an insult to God when I try to be like someone else instead of just being who He made me to be. How about you?  Are you comfortable with being in your own skin or are you often trying to be someone else?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika

Isaiah 64:8 (NLT) And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter.    We all are formed by your hand.

 

No More Wigs? Purging Time. Lesson 20 of 40

For today’s lesson, I am learning that I must purge the things that I have been hiding behind. For me, that thing was my wig.  The wig covered what I didn’t want anyone else to see, my biggest area of insecurity… alopecia. The wig made me feel beautiful.  There was nothing wrong with enhancing my beauty, but it was wrong that I didn’t ’t feel beautiful without the enhancer. After publishing this video, I made it one full year without wearing a wig.  That may not sound like a big deal, but you must understand that this came after ten years of constant wig wearing.  When I first shaved my remaining hair and made my bald head debut, I had intentions of still occasionally wearing wigs.  However, after my debut, I tried to put the wigs on at different times, but I was so uncomfortable and would take them off.  A few months ago, I decided to get a head start on spring cleaning and was purging unwanted and unused items in my closet.  In the process, the Lord laid on my heart to get rid of all my wigs.  You would think that it would have been easy for me to do this, considering that I had not worn any of them for an entire year.  But that was not the case.  The tears that followed the purging of the wigs, caught me off guard.  But I later realized that I cried because I was letting go of something that was familiar and had offered comfort.  The wigs had become a part of my identity.  The Lord is doing a great purge in my spirit and is bringing me to a place of understanding who I really am.  He wants me to become comfortable in my own skin.  Getting rid of the wigs are a part of that process and I must say that I am becoming more compliant and excited about the process and the results.

How about you, what is that thing that God is asking you to purge so that He can do what He wants to do in you.  Is a mindset (fear, unforgiveness, etc) , a relationship, eating habits, a job?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Isaiah 43:19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

Speak Up About Your Faith. Lesson 18 of 40

Today, it seems like the ones speaking the most and loudest are the ones who don’t have much worth listening to.

I have learned that I carry truth and I must speak that truth without reservation.  I’ve always known God to be real.  I remember as a child having deep convictions to serve Him, I went back and forth on those convictions.  However, it was not until my Junior year in college that I surrendered, once and for all, no turning back!

The truth of Jesus is as real as real gets for me.  I have never been so convinced of anything else in my life.  This conviction is not just from the words of scripture but from my own personal experiences.

My own, “He picked me up out of the miry clay and placed my feet on a rock to stay” experiences.

My own, “you don’t know like I know what He has done for me” experiences.

My own, “I would have lost my mind, but God!” experiences.

My own, “I am so drenched in favor I don’t deserve” experiences.

As a result, I must speak up

I must speak up about His love when hate wants to silence me.

I must speak up about His ability to save because so many are lost.

I must speak up about His truth that will offend because many are dying with comfortable lies.

I must speak up about His standards even it causes me to be an outsider….and it will…and it has.

“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes ” (Romans 1:16).  How about you?  Do you struggle with sharing your faith in Jesus with others? What hinders you?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Blessings,

Anika

Speak Up And Apologize. Lesson 17 of 40

Do you know anyone who will shout all day about how others hurt them?  Those individuals tend to be silent when the tables are turned, and they are the ones inflicting the pain.  We can’t yell about how hurt we are when we are the ones offended, and then remain silent when we are the offender.

I have learned that I need to speak up when it is time to apologize.  I must be willing to acknowledge and sincerely apologize when I hurt others.  A true apology is given without an excuse for the action that offended the individual.  Benjamin Franklin said, “Don’t ruin an apology with an excuse.”  I apologize by taking ownership for what I did wrong. We don’t gain the respect of others because we always get it right.  Instead, respect is earned when we are willing to be humble, avoid the temptation to blame others and admit what we did wrong.

Yes, God does tell us we are to forgive each other, even if there is no apology given.  However, I am more likely to keep my distance from those who are too prideful to apologize for their wrongdoing, even after I have forgiven them.  Pride kills relationships while a sincere apology can do wonders to restoring and strengthening them.

Is it difficult for you to take ownership for what you did wrong and apologize?  Or, do you struggle in this area.  Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika

James 5:16  Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

Mathew 5:23-24 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice[a] at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

Be Quiet. Lesson 15 of 40

I love to talk. There is no denying that. I’m that person who breaks the awkward silence in the room and strike up conversation with strangers.  I love to make people feel more at ease by talking to them.  While this is sometimes a good thing, I am learning that there are times in which I just need to be quiet.

 Be quiet when my advice, as good as it may be, is not wanted.

Be quiet when I am tempted to prove how much knowledge I have and be a ‘know it all.’

Be quiet when anger is stirring within me and my harsh words will only add fuel to the fire.

Be quiet when I am tempted to prove my point by out-talking the other person, so I can win the argument.

Be quiet when I am in God’s presence and give Him a chance to speak to me.

Yes, I am finding great value in knowing when to be quiet.  How about you?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you. By the way,  I am having problems uploading my YouTube videos.  I will post it once the problem gets resolved.

Be Blessed,

Anika

Proverbs 10:19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

Proverbs 17:28  Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.

James 1:19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

 

 

God Wrecked My Plans. Lesson 14 of 40

As a high school graduate, I had my life all planned out.  I just knew that after it was all said and done I would have my PhD, travel the world, and make some good money.   Then POSSIBLY marriage AFTER I reached all my goals.  My life didn’t go as I planned. I met my husband during my undergraduate studies and we got married after graduation.  We both went back to graduate school together but I got pregnant with our first child two years later and the children seemed to keep coming.  Here I am with a husband and six children and my life is not what I thought it would be. Yep, God absolutely wrecked my plans and I am so glad He did!  Say what?  Yep, you read that right, I am glad He did.

For today’s lesson I have learned to embrace God’s will for my life because it is far better than mine.

While my plans are what I thought was best

His plans proved to BE the best

My plans were what I wanted

His plans were exactly what I needed

This is not to say that life has been a fairy tale, a far cry from it.  As I have said and proven for myself, following God’s will doesn’t prevent trouble.  However, I can say that because I have surrendered to God’s plans for my life, I have had peace in the inevitable storms.  I feel fulfilled because I am living on purpose.   Yes, God absolutely wrecked my plans, but I am here for it!

How about you?  Is God directing you in a different direction than you originally planned for.  Have you embraced His will for your life or are you fighting to get your way?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika

Psalm 32:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.