How My 20s Prepared Me For My 30s Part 2

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Hi everyone, I am back with Part 2 of the blog, “How My 20’s Prepared Me for My 30’s”. Let’s not be naïve to think one’s mind will automatically change once it has hit a certain age. Instead, we must understand that our brain changes as we move throughout life. You should also take into consideration your environment and whether you are engaging in mentally and physically stimulating activities. According to some psychologists, your brain is fully developed after the age of 25. Your frontal lobes are centered in the front of your brain and are responsible for controlling your feelings, cognitive or reasoning thinking, and behavior. Therefore if your brain is not fully developed until about age 25-30, you may struggle with the pressure to fit in or to make a sound judgment about something. One noticeable behavior trait is impulsiveness. Meaning that you act without really thinking. As you age, you start to slow down and think things through thoroughly especially when it comes down to eating certain foods late at night lol. Furthermore, you feel less pressured to try and fit in and less sensitive to the influence of wanting to please everyone. You learn to embrace your weirdness and accept your flaws as you get older. Having the ability to think for yourself is awesome lol.  Anywho, I am aware that this is not a psychology class or lesson, but my point is that you have some great mental things to look forward to in your 30’s! lol. Next up, is Ms. Karissa. I met Karissa 5 years ago through a mutual friend, and our friendship grew from there. I volunteered for a grass-roots organization that she and our mutual friend founded together called The All for Love Foundation. We all became very good friends!

When Karissa and I met, she was also a Teacher Development Specialist, which is the person who sits in classrooms to observe and coach teachers. Since then, Karissa has stepped out on faith and launched her clothing company called A Leap of Style. Now, whenever I see her business being featured in the public eye, I am extremely happy because I know her dedication as well as the prayers that she put in behind closed doors. So it’s my pleasure to introduce ya’ll to my; crawfish eating, African print designer, sophisticated and cute friend…. Karissa!!!

karissa

 1. What’s your name?

Karissa 

 2. How old are you?

31

 3. What is your occupation or what is it that you like to do for fun? 

I’m an entrepreneur/fashion designer. 

 4. Are you enjoying your 30’s so far?

Yes, my 30’s so far have been fun. I’ve been feeling a lot more free to just be myself. 

 5. If you can think back, are your 30’s going the way you envisioned when you were in your 20’s?

Sort of. In my early 20’s I thought I’d be married by now and a little more wealthy lol. By my mid to late 20’s I understood that the marriage part would happen in God’s time and not my timetable. I am building my business, so I think I’ll hit the financial marks that I envisioned soon. 

 6. How is your 30’s different mentally and physically from your 20’s, if there is any change?

A friend of mine kept telling me my knees were going to start aching when I turned 30, but I refused to accept that! I do feel more in tune with my body and what it needs – like I notice when I’m dehydrated more often or when I need certain types of food or rest. Mentally, I just feel so much more secure. I still have insecurities, but they are fewer and I deal with them so much better. I’ve been through a lot in general, but now that I’m 30 I just see that life is too short to worry too much. 

 7. How do you think your 20’s prepared you for your 30’s? For example, you may have dealt with insecurity in your 20s but gained confidence in your 30’s due to many rejections or tests in your 20’s; you learned to love yourself and enjoy life in your 30’s. 

I think every season prepares you for the next. There were several tests in my 20’s with illnesses in my family and with starting my business that have made me more resilient in my 30’s. I’m not as easily panicked or swayed by issues anymore. I trust God more. I trust my decision making more.  I think I’m still learning to love myself and that’s a huge part of my early 30’s so far. I’m excited about this season

 8. Is there anything you would like to tell those who are scared or worried about their 30’s?

Your 30’s are amazing – there’s literally nothing to be scared of or worried about. The day I turned 30 I felt this freedom come over me, and I’d heard from other people that this would happen, so I looked forward to it. Look forward to growing wiser and to that freedom, and your anxieties will fade. 

Thank you Karissa and I pray God keep blessing you and your business as you remain faithful to Him!

 

It’s interesting to see how as people who, in their 20s once thought the same lol. In our 20’s, we are thrust out into the real world to figure out life and we all have this goal to obtain the “American Dream” but get disappointed or frustrated when our idea of the “American Dream” is rerouted to something else. The good thing is that God has the ultimate plan laid out for us and redirects us when we venture off. Meet Stephen; he’s a husband, father, and Pastor of Journey of Faith Church. We met through the same mutual friend that connected me and Karissa and he was kind enough to let me interview him for this blog. Let’s see what he has to say about his 30’s.

 SG

1. What’s your name?

Stephen Goldsmith 

 2. How old are you? 

37 

 3. What is your occupation or what is it that you like to do for fun?  

For the last 20 years I have worked as a professional musician, worship leader, and clinician.  I’ve spent the last twenty years doing what I love to do in the music industry, however I’ve recently been appointed as the Senior Pastor of Journey of Faith Church in Humble, TX, as of June 11, 2017.  (shameless plug I know)  Moreover, I have a deep passion for preaching and teaching.  For fun, I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids!  My kids tend to bring out the big kid in me!!!  

 4. Are you enjoying your 30’s so far?  

I have enjoyed my 30’s immensely.  My perspective on life has changed, and I don’t think that it’s something that would’ve happened in my 20’s.  Largely, because my obligations, responsibilities, and some goals have changed.  I don’t live solely for the moment anymore. These days, I live in the moment for the future!  

 5. If you can think back, are your 30’s going the way you envisioned when you were in your 20’s?  

My 30’s are going much better than I initially envisioned in my 20’s.  My whole drive as a twenty-something revolved around the thrust to become a major producer, and work for the largest artist in the industry; of which I’ve been blessed to accomplish.  I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world with everyone from Fred Hammond to Bishop Marvin Sapp.  But, my greatest joy has been pursuing my call to expand the Kingdom of God as a young man.  This has been the ultimate fulfillment; especially knowing that I have the opportunity to impact a culture where so many Millennials and even Gen Xer’s are turning away or on the brink of turning away from the church.  That said, as a 37 year old African American male I get to hold up the banner that says, God loves You and Me, and if you open your heart He has the power to transform it!!  

6. How is your 30’s different mentally and physically from your 20’s, if there is any change?  

Mentally, my approach to life and the tasks and responsibilities focuses on working smarter not harder.  As I mature in age, I give far less attention to events that cause me to waste time and energy.  Physically, I’ve rediscovered muscles that I forgot I had!  For example, I was jumping up and down with my kids a couple of days ago, and the next day I felt every bit of that play time!  (LOL)  Needless to say, it was well worth the pain!!  

7. How have your goals or career choices changed in your 30’s if at all?  

As previously stated, I’ve transitioned from musician to pastor, and the journey has been incredible.  I will graduate from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University (Dallas) on May 20, 2017, and I never imagined that I would have transitioned into a vocation as a clergy this way.  As a preacher’s kid, I always thought I would go home and serve my parents church as part of the succession plan.  In lieu, my journey into ministry has called me to pastor in the United Methodist Church in Humble, TX.  

8. How do you think your 20’s prepared you for your 30’s? For example, you may have dealt with insecurity in your 20’s but gained confidence in your 30’s due to many rejections or tests in your 20’s; you learned to love yourself and enjoy life in your 30’s.  

Great question!  I will say that my 20’s pushed me toward discovering who I really am in my 30’s.  For example, when it came to stepping out on my own in certain areas I struggled with the confidence to go on my own; or so I thought.  But, when I began to survey my life in the last 5 years I realized that I had more confidence than I realized in my 20’s.  Largely, because my perspective was narrow.  This is something we tend to do often as younger adults.  We minimize our successes over against our fears or insecurities.  

9. Is there anything you would like to tell those who are scared or worried about their 30’s? 

When I began to look at my life, I realized it took a lot of faith and confidence to leave Rockford, IL at 18 years old, and move to Chicago (the Big Windy City) to pursue a career as a professional musician.  It takes courage to step out of your comfort zone.  The question is will you step out, and throw caution to the wind of possibilities???!!!  I’m here to tell you that, “You can do it!!”  

 Thank you Pastor Stephen for your time. God bless!

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. If you have any prayer request, suggestions, questions, or advice, please comment below or send me an email at cultivatedbylove@gmail.com. God Bless You!

 

 

How My 20s Prepared Me For My 30s Part 1

part1Hello everyone,

I am so excited to share this blog with you all! As you can tell by the title, I am going to be talking about how my 20’s prepared me for my 30’s. It’s a little different from my previous writing but that’s ok, I love it when God throws a twist in my plans lol. Another reason why this blog is different is because I included more than me and my opinions. Lol! I reached out to four people who are in their 30’s, and I asked them a few questions about how their 20’s prepared them for their 30’s. We know that seasons are subject to change, but this is the question I would like to leave on your mind; Did you get all that you were supposed to get in the previous season before you moved on?

I believe I am in a better place emotionally, physically (my body is still trying to catch up, pray for her lol) and spiritually than I was a few years ago but something happened that caused me to cling even more to God. The different trials in those seasons felt like it was going to be the death of me at times, but I had to go through those hard seasons in my life to enjoy this moment I am in now. Even though I haven’t been in my 30’s that long, I can tell my mindset and priorities are way different than they were in my mid-20’s. Long story short, my 20’s were rough! I experience the death of my son’s father at a very young age making me a single mom, but in the same year, I came running back to the Father’s opened and stretched hands who was waiting for me. I struggled with my identity tremendously, but God is faithful and persistent. He wanted more from me and He wanted to show me who I was created to be. He loved me back to life and He is still loving me, reminding me who I am in Him and also helping me to walk in it. Yall, ya girl is walking with her head high… with heels and a crown. I appreciate my 20’s, but I am ready to explore all that God has for me in my 30’s. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to a few people that accepted my invitation to answer a few questions that can help those who may have reservations about turning 30 or those who are already in their 30’s but struggle to find that balance between where you are and where you think you should be.

The first person that I had the pleasure of interviewing was my awesome friend Maria. She and I met about six years ago at the 429 where we both served in the prayer ministry. She started off as my prayer leader, and our friendship grew from there. She’s married with two children. I remember when she invited a few people over to her home, and she shared her testimony. I learned that she was once in my shoes with the passing of her son’s father. She too lost her late husband when her son Carlos was five months. Since then, she’s remarried to an awesome man of God and inherited a beautiful daughter Allyson. If Maria never shared that detail about her early life, I would’ve never thought that they were a blended family because of the love of the Father that they show towards one another. So, let’s get started:

 

 maria

 

What’s your name?

 

My name is Maria Perez.

 

How old are you?

 

I’m 36 yrs. Old.

 

 What is your occupation or what is it that you like to do for fun?

 

I’m a Health and Wellness Educator, specializing in essential oils.

 

 Are you enjoying your 30’s so far?

 

I sure am.

 

If you can think back, are your 30s going the way you envisioned when you were in your 20’s?

 

Not at all, but this is not a bad thing. It is more than I imagined.

 

How is your 30’s different mentally and physically from your 20’s, if there is any change?

 

It is very different mentally and physically. It seems that in my 30’s I’ve done far more things I ever thought or imagined doing in my 20’s. Mentally I can say I’m more positive, confident, passionate, wiser, can discern, I look more for solutions when problems arise, find myself closer in my relationship with the Lord, try to understand more to name a few things. Physically, gosh I’ve worked out more in my 30’s than I ever did in my 20’s. And I think I eat healthier now than I did back then lol.

 

How do you think your 20’s prepared you for your 30’s? For example, you may have dealt with insecurity in your 20’s but gained confidence in your 30’s due to rejection or tests in your 20’s; you learned to love yourself and enjoy life in your 30’s.

 

 My 20’s helped me become who I am now. It matured me fast. I experienced a life changing event that caused me to value my marriage even more now in my 30’s and not to take things for granted. It strengthened me and brought me into my relationship with our Lord Jesus. And my life is much richer because of that.

 

 Is there anything you would like to tell those who are scared or worried about their 30’s?

 

Don’t be scared! Embrace every season and look at new things. Enjoy every moment. Do not take things for granted. Seek to live a healthier and active lifestyle. Age is just a number, in my opinion, what defines you is not a number but who you are in the Lord. 

 

 Thanks Maria for Sharing. God Bless You!

 

 

My next Contestant is Will. Lol. I remember Will from The 429 as well. Every time I saw him whether at The 429 or another ministry we attended together, he was always serving with a cheerful heart. Years later and I see his character didn’t go downhill but matured even more for the Kingdom of God. He always has the heart to help, or if he can’t help, he’ll find a way for you to get the help you need. Will is a Californian who moved to Texas and is now a resident of Georgia. Let’s hear what He has to say about his 20s and 30s.

 

 What’s your name?

 

Will

 

How old are you?

 

37.

 

What is your occupation or what is it that you like to do for fun? 

 

Operations Tech.

 

Are you enjoying your 30’s so far?

 

I am, however there have been a few bumps along the way…

 

If you can think back, are your 30’s going the way you envisioned when you were in your 20’s?

 

Not at all the way I envisioned when I was in my 20’s

 

How is your 30s different mentally and physically from your 20s, if there is any change?

 

 I expected to be married with the house, picket fence, dog and cat by now, also working in a different position as well. 

 

How do you think your 20’s prepared you for your 30’s? For example, you may have dealt with insecurity in your 20’s but gained confidence in your 30’s due to rejection or tests in your 20’s; you learned to love yourself and enjoy life in your 30’s. 

Unfortunately, I was unaware of the proper ways to deal with the insecurities and other issues I was going through in my 20s. It wasn’t until my mid-30’s that I was able to connect with the right people who took time out to really invest in me; Giving me a “safe” environment where I could get real with them and actually begin the healing process from the deep rooted pain of my past.  

Is there anything you would like to tell those who are scared or worried about their 30’s?

 

The best thing I could say is set goals and work toward them!!! Do not sit idle!!! Make sure you are setting both long and short term goals… Steve Harvey said it best “when you’re in your 20’s you have all kinds of energy, when you’re in your 50’s things slow down, so work hard in your 20’s to set yourself up for your 50’s. This is dear to me because though I haven’t reached the family goal yet, financially I’ve reached some goals, but I have more to go as I’m working hard to set myself up for my 40’s and 50’s.

 

One more thing I’d like to add is BALANCE, while I was in my 20’s and early 30’s I spent most of my time volunteering, helping others work on their dreams. This is a great thing, however when it came to my own personal dreams, I’m now behind so make sure you learn how to balance out helping others and focusing on what you need to do to get to where you want to go in life.

Will doesn’t know I took his quote but his email signature says, “Aspire to Inspire before you Expire!” I like that. Thank you Will and God Bless You Too!

 

If you have any suggestions, questions, or advice, please comment below or send me an email at cultivatedbylove@gmail.com. Stay tune for Part 2 tomorrow and if there is something you would like me to blog about, email me. God Bless. 

 

11 Ways Single Parents Can Live out 1 Corinthians 7:34

As a single mom, I want to encourage other single parents how to use their time effectively to serve the Lord, especially those who are desiring marriage. I want to provide ideas and ways on how we can serve God without neglecting the ministry the Lord put before us; our children.

I know we hear a lot of messages on what a single woman should be doing while she is waiting for her husband but rarely do we hear people provide tips and ways on how a single mom can live out 1 Corinthians 7:34 that says, “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.” Coming from a single mom, it can be frustrating or even discouraging hearing messages on what you should do while you’re single because you begin feeling like you’re not doing enough or God does not see your “extra load.” I want to tell you that there is hope and ways that you, as a single mom, can live out 1 Corinthians 7:34-35.

Hearing messages on what you should do while you’re single was also frustrating to me because although I was single, I was a single mother. Trying to juggle my life and my child’s lifeI felt like I didn’t have the “extra” time to do anything outside of parenting. Between the sermon notes for married women and single women, I found myself feeling out of place because the messages were always tailored to those two categories. Where does the single mom fit in? I found myself feeling overwhelmed about what I should be doing as a single woman, but I am single mom, so those desires had to wait. I had someone else’ life dependent on me and my decisions (No pressure for those soon to be and future moms lol). So I didn’t properly help myself to be a better person in order to be a healthier mom which only fed my frustrations. I perceived time as the enemy when people would say, “use your time to serve and go on mission’s trip.” Maybe you can relate? You’re like “WHAT TIME?!! I have to take care of these children by myself. I have to work 40+ hours if we want to stay living with a roof over our heads. Go grocery shopping AND prepare dinner all by myself. Clean and organize the house by myself. Take the kids to school or any functions by myself. Be the disciplinary and the caring mom ALL BY MYSELF”. 

The list goes on and on but the truth is, you are not by yourself. The word of God tells us that He is with us (Mat. 1:23) and He will guide us if we put our trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). There are so many encouraging scriptures that tell us we are NOT alone that God is with us such as; Matthew 1:23, Matthew 28:20, Isaiah 43:2, and Joshua 1:9 just to name a few. As much as you want to be a good mother, God wants it even more for you, so He provided you with everything you need to parent well, His Grace (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

So, I compiled a list of ways that single mom’s can give their time and attention to the Lord while you wait for the man God sends into you and your child‘s lives.

•    INVOLVE YOUR CHILD. Allow your kids to participate in the Lord’s business. Ask God what your child‘s purpose is and allow them to utilize their gift(s).

•    SERVING OTHERS. Find serving opportunities that are kid friendly and allow your child to see what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Your local church will be a big help. My church is a very family oriented church, and they are always providing opportunities for families to serve together. They often offer classes and resources on how to build parent-child relationships that will glorify God.

•    MISSIONS TRIPS. Find mission trips that will allow your kids to be a part of sharing the gospel with others. It doesn’t have to be an overseas trip for it to be a mission’s trip. Serve your neighborhood or a different neighborhood in your city by sharing the gospel together while cleaning up the area or helping paint a house. Get with other moms with kids and make it a group project.

•    DAILY DEVOTIONS. What a fun way to interact with your child and pour into their spiritual lives. With their childlike faith, how can you not please the Father? You can learn something from them as well. My son gave his life to Christ at age six during our devotion time!

•    BIBLE STUDY. Involve them in your study and prayer time, don’t shut them out. Assign them scriptures to read or offer them to pray first to invite Jesus in your study time together. My son was once shy to pray, and now, he prays without hesitation…freely.

•    CARE PACKAGES. What a fun project, put together a snack bag and pass them out when you see people in need. My son was the one who suggested to give goody bags. We are still waiting to try this one.

•    THANK YOU CARDS. Put together a list of names and write thank you cards to those around you that you feel that are doing a good job. Another great idea is to look up your local military directory to see how you can write and send encouraging letters to those that are serving your country. I like to collect little stationary cards when they go on sale and use them to write to others.

•    GIFT CARDS. If the Lord blessed you with some money to get gift cards for other single moms, that’s a good way to blessed someone else who’s in the same season you’re in. It doesn’t have to be a large amount, but the fact that it came from your heart is what pleases the Father.

•    GROUPONS. I find a lot of great deals through this site. Get a gift certificate for cleaning services or a movie ticket and bless another mom, she will appreciate it. Go to http://www.groupon.com and see what you can find!

•    CONFERENCES AND RETREATS. Bless married couples with tickets to a marriage retreat or conference. They will thank you later. Remember you reap what you have sown 😊

Thank you for taking the time out to read my tips and 2 cents. If you have any tips or ideas that you would like to share, list them below in the .

IMG_1410
My son and I on our recent vacay in LA

As always, if you have a prayer request, please email me at cultivatedbylove@gmail.com. God bless you always!


Lonely Heart?

“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”  Psalm 61:2

Can you remember the last time you felt alone? What about the last time you felt God was not present in your circumstance? What did you do?

The more practical thing to do is depend on something that makes us feel more comfortable or secure. Whether it be a person, music, tv, social media, food, etc, we flock somewhere and to something. I’ve had A LOT of moments when I’ve felt alone. I’ve even had some moments when I felt like God was not present or concerned with what was going on with me.

THAT MINDSET WASN’T WHERE GOD WANTED ME, BUT IT WAS WHERE SATAN HAD ME.

God didn’t want me to believe the lie that He was far from me; In fact, in order to destroy that lie, He allowed me to experience His tangible presence back in 2012 or ’13 (I can’t even remember the year, don’t judge me lol) I was dealing with a severely wounded heart from a relationship I thought was going somewhere but it didn’t. I remember being totally honest and vulnerable with God one day after work and I asked Him a question that I already knew the answer to, but the scripture really needed to come alive in my heart and remind me that I was not walking the road of brokenness alone. The Word of God is alive (Hebrews 4:12), but I wasn’t holding on to what it says, so I wasn’t able to truly experience words like Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

So, I asked my question, “What do You do with a broken heart”? and God replied, “I draw near”. And the tears began to roll down my cheeks, and I said, “no offense God but I don’t feel You near”. And lo and behold, I felt the Presence of the Holy Spirit sit beside me on the floor and He caused the wind to sweep around my legs and immediately I had joy in the Lord. That’s a memory I will never forget and a moment I will always share with others.

Not too long ago I was feeling alone and a faint sound from within said, “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I”. You see, I refuse to turn my attention anywhere else instead of God. I use to consult with others first before I turned to God, but after trial and error, I learned that Jesus is my first help. Whatever you are going through, God can handle it by Himself.  He just needs you to trust Him. I challenge you to cry out to God and ask Him to draw near to you if you’re feeling lonely, sad, left out, or even depressed. He is faithful and He cares about everything that concerns you (1 Peter. 5:7). Scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram is not going to fix your discontentment. Calling up a friend is not going to fix your discontentment. Working harder or working out is not going to fix that void in your life. ONLY JESUS will and ONLY JESUS can!

“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”  Psalm 61:2

 

Tired Of Your Current Season?

Hi Guys and Gals,

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their day. It’s been on my heart to write to the one who’s been struggling with the place they are in and are in need of some encouragement in their current season. First I would like to say that this season will pass, but the question I would like to challenge you on is when you do transition to a new season, have you gotten all that you were supposed to get in the season you’re wishing to be out of?  See, our current season prepares us for what’s next and if we rush it or complain the whole time during this season and we don’t allow God to do what He wants to do in our lives inwardly, we will look up and still find ourselves going around the same mountain another 5 or 6 years waiting for our season to pass. I believe God allowed me to hear older women in the past complain about not being married and God showed me how stuck in their ways they are and that they won’t allow Him to change their heart. See in the past it used to scare me that an older woman who was in God desired marriage but was 50 or 60 years old and still not married and I thought that would be my story but my perspective quickly changed after witnessing that. I am at a place in my heart that’s totally surrendered to God and whatever He wants to do, He can do. My prayer is that I don’t interfere with what He is doing in my life. I don’t want to be in my 40’s and 50’s still complaining about the same thing I dealt with in my 30’s. Lord no! I want God to mature me for what He wants me to do while on earth. I want to be a good steward in my current season. A lot of times, we feel the fire and we want to get out there and preach, teach, travel, etc. but God tells us, “Not right now.” He says, “Let me develop some things in you that will help you to stand when someone discredits your character. When someone else doubts your calling or when you don’t see the fruit of your labor”. See, God cares more about our hearts than what we believe He has called us to do. Trust me, if God put the desire in your heart, He will bring it to pass but it’s going to be on His terms and in His timing.

I heard a pastor years ago preach about how we all want to bear fruit in our lives, which is a process. But in order for God to develop the FRUIT in our lives, He first comes to develop the ROOTS in our lives. We cannot neglect the process of God building a foundation in us.

“Fruit is attached to a healthy root system” – Banning Liebscher.

If we go ahead of what God is doing in our lives and throw ourselves into places we are not equipped to handle, we will crumble. Your gift may get you in the door, but your character is what’s going to keep you there (of course by the grace of God). A lot of times we don’t like the place we are in. We see how boring it is and how challenging it is that we ignorantly rush and wish it away. Blooming where you are planted may sound wonderful when you are planted in a place with no worries and headaches, but what happens when you are planted in a rough place that you don’t understand? Do you stop tilling your garden because you don’t see any fruit or do you continue faithfully obeying God because your focus is on Him and not on what you see? You see, even if you feel that you are in a dry place, God said He will make a river in a dry place. (Isaiah 43:19)

I remember some time back I kept hearing, “bloom where you are planted” and that frustrated me so much. I read so many messages telling me to bloom where God has planted me. I kept seeing memes and comments to “bloom where God has planted you”, but I didn’t want to hear that. I wanted to hear and see some fruit from my laboring. I wanted to see some crowds of people I was encouraging but I didn’t. I saw scriptures on pride and bitterness. I saw ugly issues that I knew God wanted to deliver me from but I was constantly trying to bloom somewhere else. Truth was, I didn’t like where and how He was planting me. I want to be planted somewhere else where I could “catch a break” and “enjoy life”. One of my issues was that I was looking at other people’s trees and saw how beautiful their fruit was flourishing and my fruit was all high and dry in my eyes lol. Another issue was that I wasn’t taking care of what God gave me. I was neglecting the maintenance of allowing God to water my life and to prune me and to develop His fruit in me. When God said He called us to bear fruit that will last, He meant that. God can’t do anything with a fruitless tree.

Let’s look at Mark 1:12-14, which says, “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. “Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”

Jesus cursed the fig tree because of its false advertisement. One commentary put it this way, “God’s displeasure when we have the appearance of fruit but not the fruit itself. God isn’t pleased when His people are all leaves and no fruit.” So we shouldn’t try to rush out of a season and put ourselves out there because we want to be seen or you feel like it’s time to take “your” ministry to another level. Let’s not rush the process. God is trying to save us by using us to win souls for His Kingdom, not our platforms. I have to go through the process and work the field that God has given me. I don’t get caught up in the hype that it’s a new year and this is going to happen and that’s going to happen, because if God hasn’t called me out of my current season, ain’t nothing happening but some consequences if I neglect my season.

I’m finally learning to be content in what He called me to do. I’m pretty sure that there will be lots of tests and trials to challenge me on this bold statement, but there are some roots planted deep in the ground and God is with me. I’m learning to give what I feel to God. I’m learning to give any discontentment to God. That’s fruit from the process in my life if you ask me.

So, I hope I was able to cheer you on, on this faith journey. We are all in this together. God will complete what He has started in your life, He doesn’t need your assistance, but your participation. Be encouraged my sister or brother to bloom where you are planted and let God fill those voids in your life. Let Him develop your root system so you can produce lasting fruit. Where you feel like it’s dry or you’re going to faint, lean unto God for your strength. Stop drinking for the world’s well and stop getting distracted by looking at what others are doing. They are probably doing what they are supposed to be doing but are you? I’m telling you; get all that you’re supposed to get before you move on to the next season of your life. You’re going to need it as you move forward. I know this is a long blog but my heart is to encourage those who feel stuck or alone. It’s not a cliché that God is with us, but it’s His Word! (Psalm 23:4)

If you have any prayer requests, please email me at cultivatedbylove@gmail.com. Also, here is the link to Banning Liebscher preaching about Fruit that remains. Let me know what you think. God bless you! https://youtu.be/JtFz0aF9XVQ

Food for your spiritual soul:

John 15
Mark 11
Isaiah 43

Pick Up Your Sword & Fight Back!

Hello Peeps, I hope everyone is having a great and fantastic Wednesday. To some, I may have said happy New Year and to others, I may have not so with that being said, HAPPY 2017!!!!

I wanted to share a few things that have been on my heart and some things God has been working on with me personally. So here it goes… For the past 3 or 4 years, I struggled to find this balance of serving God and my daily life duties after I left a really powerful church. When I was apart of my old church, I felt like God had really stirred up the prophetic gift in me and used me on a different level, but after I left, I saw how inconsistent I was when trying to spend quality time with God and balance being a working single mom. I knew I was stuck in the past because when I talked to old friends or new, I would speak about past miracles and moves God did and how God used me (not boasting, but to share testimonies) which was great but the problem was I was stuck on what God did and wasn’t acknowledging Him on what He was doing currently in my life. I never felt so much alone until I entered that season of being by myself with just me and my son. My friendships started to dwindle, my familiarity became a strange and uncomfortable place to be in. I felt so distant from God even though I would talk to Him daily, pray throughout my day but I didn’t spend that “sit before Him and have an intimate time” with Him. See I was trying to use old strategies from a previous season for a new season God brought me in so I became frustrated with the process and in a battle with God playing tug-a-war. He wanted me to mature in my service to Him and here I was trying to keep the same old service while rebuking the devil not knowing it was God pulling those things out of my life. I didn’t understand at that time, but it overwhelmed me is still do to see His faithfulness towards me and throughout my life and the seasons He brings me through. Yes, I know the Word say, while we are faithless, God remain faithful and that’s what overwhelms me is His consistency to love me even when my worship wasn’t there or I didn’t keep my word to study His word, He didn’t change His pursuit of me when my commitment change, but constantly pursued me until I pursued Him back. I didn’t understand why I had to be alone and didn’t understand why was it so hard to stay still for an hour and spend that time with Jesus daily when I use to spend hours in one setting praying and studying the world of God. I didn’t understand why it was hard to fast a meal when I use to fast a whole day so at the end of the day so what I did was compare my past and present and saw my current walk with the Lord as a failure. What I didn’t see was that God was tearing down barriers and walls I built up throughout my years. Tearing down old religious things and traditions that I learned about Him along the way and about Christianity. He was making me dependent on Him and showing me how to serve Him with my whole heart on a new level and not to look for things, people or relationships to fill me but cling to Him to fill me even more. Instead, I let the enemy put the thoughts that God was done with me and that He ran out of assignments for me to do so it plague my mind to the point I was waiting for God to take me off this earth because I felt like I didn’t have a purpose on earth. I felt like I was a terrible mom and my son deserved to have someone better. I silently struggled with depression..again, reaching out for someone to help me, to fix me, to rescue me, but God didn’t allow no one to come to my rescue, He didn’t allow pills or a therapist to fix me, instead He healed me and reminded me that He rescued me when He sent His son to die on the cross for my sins and that He is with me no matter how far I think I have gone. His word was and is my prescription. He literally gave me Psalm. 139: 9b-10 which says “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast”. So if you’re struggling with feeling far from God or forgotten, please focus on God’s words and not your circumstances. Whatever you’re going through, the Word of God can fix it! God is near and He loves you! He has compassion for you and understands what you’re going through. No matter how far you think you have drifted from God, you can’t drift too far because God is everywhere all the time. He’s closer to you than your breath! David said if I settle on the far side of the sea, the sea yall. The sea is deep and wide and I’m not trying to go there physically but God is where we are in our loneliness and He is calling you to reach out to Him. He is calling you cry to Him and tell Him about your problems. He is the Fixture and the author and finisher of your faith. He is NOT going to leave you the same and He is NOT going to leave you broken. He is for you and not against you. Our minds can be a very dark and lonely place until we let God in. To be honest and even more transparent with you guys, sometimes my world seems upside down and some days, I feel like I’m drowning in issues, and other days I feel overlooked, but the most important thing that matter is that I run to God who is my resting place, my validation and I remind myself of what God has said instead of what my fickle and faulty feelings are portraying. We have to believe the Word of God and live by it. If you feed on it, you will reap the benefits of the fruit of your sowing and labor. For example, I left work last Thursday feeling inadequate so I’m in my car crying and telling God how I feel and John 15:16 popped up which say “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” See I meditated on John 15 a few months ago feeding my spirit and here is a sprout popping up when it was needed.  So Here I am, over here crying about other imperfect humans and here is a perfect God who thought I was worth dying for choosing me to be on His team. He chose me and He chose you and call each one of us to go and bear fruit that will last. I was so encouraged and empowered by the living word of God. Once I made it home and got situated, I began to worship and praise God for who He is. Those thoughts were sent back to hell with Satan so they can burn together.

As Christians, our lives isn’t going to be easy and we shouldn’t be expecting a break from life but trials and fiery darts. James tells us to count it all joy when we face various trials (James 1:2). God work is best seen in our lives when we are weak and surrendered to Him. If we remain strong all the time, we would never see God’s strength! We have to humble ourselves and invite Him in no matter what. He’s ready to move in your life some more but you have to let Him in to do that. So I pray in the name of Jesus that the Holy Spirit will arrest your mind and you would surrender your cares to Him. I pray right now for chains to break in the name of Jesus and that you will rise with faith. I pray for a spirit of boldness that you will suit yourself with the armor of God and fight back with the word of God. I pray against the spirit of depression, suicide, and self-hatred and that God will intervene in your life right now and you will feel His presence and for His love to overwhelm you and flush out every negative word and seed that was sown in Jesus name, Amen!

Whew, I just love Jesus. He is so sweet and beautiful!

Thank you for taking the time out to read my blog. I pray it blessed you and you were encouraged to pick up the Sword and fight back. Also, to share some exciting news, I will be hosting an online bible study starting February 7th at 7:30 pm and every Tuesday in February. I’m excited because for a long time I’ve been wanting to host a bible study, but I let a lot of stuff… some irrelevant, hold me back but not anymore. I heard a sermon titled, A Focused Anointing on YouTube (I’ll post the link below), and God used that sermon to motivate me to move forward with my talents and gifts and to use what He has given me. So one of the things was to start a bible study with ladies so we can encourage one another and walk this journey together for a season or more.  To build a community where you don’t have to walk this journey alone, but have other sisters in Christ pursuing God with you.  Please email me your name and number at cultivatedbylove@gmail.com if you would like to participate and I will follow up with you. If you would like prayer, you can email me as well. Thanks again for taking the time to read what was on my heart! I hope you have a blessed and warm evening. Love you guys!

A Focused Anointing by David Hernandez: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBvzpobgE2M

The Well: What’s Quenching Your Thirst

PhotoGrid_1466905647655Let’s talk about Faith, the thing God is pleased by…I will be lying if I say I have no worries and that I fully trust in God to provide for me all the time, but the truth is God is perfecting that area in me. As much as God shows His faithfulness to me on a daily basis, I struggle to trust Him still on a daily basis. I remember back in 2010 when I was in college and I wasn’t working nor did I have my own transportation, I felt like that was one of the toughest season of my life (If I only knew there will be harder and tougher days ahead, I just needed to keep living). During that season which was a year after my son’s father’s death, God had me in Matthew 6 studying His word on trusting Him and not worrying about food and money. I remember one day I was crying and worrying about something and I clearly heard the voice of God say, “Ye of little faith! Haven’t I provided for you before?” At that moment, I stopped crying and I said “yes Lord”. Let me testify!

Never have my son or I have gone without a meal. Only once have my ever lights been turned off during that season, but God was so faithful that my lights were turned on immediately after a couple of hours of being turned off. The word of God says, “Never have I seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging for bread, I can validate this! When the word of God tells me to trust in Him with all of my heart and not to lean on my own understanding or strength, acknowledge Him and He will direct my path, I can attest to this! And when the word of God says, “The Lord is my shepherd, THERE IS NOTHING I LACK!” I am a living witness! I don’t lack strength because God has it. I don’t lack finances, food, clothes, relationships, etc. because God shall supply ALL my needs according to His riches in glory. All I need is found in Christ and in Christ alone.

The woman at the well in John 4 had a physical need but was unaware of her spiritual need until she encountered The Living Well. Jesus knew the day and the hour when the Samarian woman was going to be at that well. I wouldn’t even be surprised if she was at the end of herself when she encountered Jesus Christ. He met her there faithfully, in the midst of her need. I wonder if she went to the well with guilt and shame on her conscious because of the sin she was in. See it was her physical need that brought her to that place to surrendering to God (He made her out of an evangelist) and showed her, her spiritual need. I can only imagine her journey with my own testimony of being the woman at the well. I was always running to things that only fixed me temporarily which resulted in me being left empty and dry. It’s only then and when I go to God, The Well that never runs dry is when I am satisfied and filled.

So if there is anything you are feeling you lack, draw closer to God to fill that void, to ease that anxious feeling. Psalm 23:1 says, “The Lord is your Shepherd, there is nothing you lack! Don’t allow your flesh to contradict the Word of God that says, “you lack nothing.” Whatever you are craving whether it is a spouse, or more money, or whatever, nothing will quench your thirst except Christ! Matter of fact, that longing you may feel may be God calling you closer to Himself, sometimes we just interpret our spiritual need with a physical need/want. I encourage whoever is reading this to rest in God and now He is a Good Father who loves you and will not withhold no goods things from you if you walk upright before him (Psalm 84:11).

Scriptures to meditate on:

  • Psalm 23
  • Proverbs 3:5,6
  • Psalm 37:25
  • 1 Peter 5:6,7
  • Matthew 6:30