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.

Despite The Resistance, Be Consistent. Lesson 16 of 40

I have been so committed to writing these blog posts and recording YouTube videos. You must understand, while you may be blessed by reading my thoughts and watching my animated self on YouTube, this little “project” is more for me than it is for you.  I have struggled with being consistent, I have often struggled with following through on what God has placed on my heart.  I second guess the call on my life and at times have been a poor steward of the gifts He has given me.  This time around, by God’s grace, I was determined to have this be a different experience.  I was determined to follow through to the 40th day. Unlike previous times, I was not going to abandon the journey midway through.  I was on a roll!  But then resistance came on the 15th day.  The YouTube video was recorded, edited and ready to be uploaded.  But there was one minor problem, YouTube would not let me upload the video.  I did so many different things to troubleshoot and NOTHING worked.  NADA!!  The problem is still not resolved, but I won’t give up!

Then came the thoughts, “is it even worth it, should I just stop posting and passively sit by and wait for this issue to be resolved?”  The temptation was there to just give in to defeat and become upset that my little journey was not going as planned and that it was not perfect.

This is not the first time that I have encountered issues when pursuing what God has placed on my heart.  Last year, my fairly NEW laptop crashed, and I lost most of the material that was to be the content of my first book.  To say I was crushed is an understatement.  I was so hurt and frustrated and after trying without success to retrieve my material, I slowly retreated from writing and accepted defeat.

But as I type these words, the lesson I want to share is  that yes, obstacles will come but I shouldn’t stop.  The show must go on!  I will pursue what God has called me to. Even with the obstacles, even if I don’t get the results I expect, even if I get frustrated.  I will remain faithful to the task. Why? Because God told me to and His grace is sufficient even when I am frustrated and don’t feel like hurdling over any obstacles.

How about you, have you stopped pursuing purpose because of the obstacles.  I dare you to get up, dust yourself off, and go after it, even if is not perfect!

Be Blessed

Anika

1 Corinthians 15:58

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Update:  I’m still unable to upload my edited videos to You tube but decided to  go live on YouTube and capture the video that way.  It’s not the best quality, but as I have said before, I’m done waiting for perfect!

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.

Die To Live. Lesson 13 of 40

Today is the day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.  When He was crucified, those who loved Him mourned His death. Praise God, He didn’t stay dead but rose on the third day. As a result of His death, eternal and abundant life are now available for all who receive Him as Lord.

For today’s lesson, I have learned that some things had to die in my life so that I could truly live the life God intended for me.  There were times in my life when I experienced death and I was mourning instead of rejoicing.  Letting go of the familiar, even if it is negative can be hard.  I have experienced death in many forms that turned out to be for my good, even though I couldn’t always see it.  Death of toxic relationships, death of carnal mindsets, death of pride-over and over again, death of people pleasing, and the list goes on.   I am learning to embrace death to the old so that I can live in the new.

What is God trying to kill in your life that you are holding on to?  I encourage you to allow Him to nail it to the cross so that you can experience new life in Him.

Be Blessed,

Anika

Romans 6:6 (NLT)

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.

I Will Suffer. Lesson 12 of 40

Jesus had a cross that He had to carry.  The cross is symbolic of the suffering that one must go through.

For today’s lesson I have learned that I can’t insulate myself against suffering, but I CAN CONTROL my response to it.  My pain may be different from yours but the reality of living in a fallen world makes experiencing pain inevitable. I don’t have to deny the pain that is associated with the cross I have to carry but that pain doesn’t have to consume me either.  How is that possible you ask? While I will have seasons of difficulty, I have found that I can go through it with grace.  Not in my own strength but drawing strength from God through prayer.  Listen, Prayer is where it’s at.

Prayer Helps me to have the mind of Christ when the heaviness of my cross makes me feel like I’m about to loose my mind.

Prayer stabilizes me and gives me the ability to mount up with wings as an eagle when the weight of my cross makes me feel like I am going to faint.

Prayer gives me faith to believe that it will get better when everything in my sight says it is O.V.E.R.

I’m not talking about the kind of prayer that you just say in cases of emergency with no sincerity.  This is not the get out of jail free kind of prayer.  I am talking about prayer where you bare your soul before God and ask Him to transform you and make you more like Him.  In this kind of prayer, you are not the only one talking. You stick around long enough to hear His response, and that’s if you talk at all.  This is not a one-time  give me what I want or else kind of prayer.  Instead it’s a consistent everyday kind of prayer, one that builds intimacy between you and the one that will give you the strength to carry your cross.

What cross do you find yourself carrying in this season of your life?  Is it health challenges, broken relationships, deflated finances, etc.  Are you attempting to carry that cross on your own or have you gotten to that place of real prayer?  Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika

1 Peter 5:10

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.