All posts by courtnye

Enough…

This morning I woke up to the question, is God enough? The question lingered in my mind as I shifted from the grogginess of sleep to a new day, is God enough? It traveled with me through the day as I ran errands, visited family and planned my next day, is God enough?

You see earlier this year, my father died. It literally broke me and was the hardest thing I have experienced in this life and honestly at that time, God did not seem like enough. I was angry with God for not healing him, for not producing some miraculous cure for Lewy Body Dementia or not letting the doctor come in and announce she had diagnosed him wrong and he actually had something that could easily be cured with a pill. But none of that occurred, and when I picked up the phone on January 2nd to a nurse telling me that my father had ‘expired’ I didn’t feel like God was there nor nearly enough to quench the pain and anger I felt.

Since then I have done a lot of searching, a lot of praying and a lot of questioning. I miss my father so much, I still cry almost every day when I think of him but his death ultimately drew me closer to God as I leaned in Him for strength. I don’t think anyone can ever answer the question is God enough until they have been through a situation where they don’t feel like He is, because that is where faith comes into play. Difficult times will always test our faith even if for a brief moment.

If you lose your job tomorrow, lose your home, lose your child, spouse, sibling or parent, get diagnosed with a debilitating illness or just simply lose hope, will God be enough?

It’s not an easily answered question and it still roams around in my head as I type this but I can only pray that I have the faith to always believe that He is and I pray the same for you.

and without faith it is impossible to please God – Hebrews 11:6

God bless

Court

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Sacrificial Living

When I think of the word sacrifice so many definitions & meanings can be given. But, when I read about being a living sacrifice in the bible that honestly was something that took a while for me to process. As a self professed control freak, letting go & letting God was more frightening than calming & that is only because of my perspective. Allowing God to take the lead was not an easy thing to do (at least for me it wasn’t) & it’s something that I will have to do as an ongoing life process, probably a daily process! This is mainly because I only focused on what I wanted for my life, because I was fearful that God didn’t desire to give me the perfect cookie cutter life that I had mapped out in my head. The thought of not seeing my dreams & goals come to fruition made me grip them tighter & it was a struggle handing them over to God. I had been Lord over my life, not God & I hadn’t been doing a great job at it.

The bible tells us that He who loses his life finds it, this may not make sense in our natural world, but I knew that I had to rely on & trust God to give Him my life.

When you think about the options of keeping your life or giving it away, both will probably scare you. In keeping your life we are not following the will of God & in giving it away we are not following the will of our flesh, but the question is who/what are you going let lead you? Your flesh or God? For me, the choice was clear.

God wants to use our lives in this world, but He can’t if we are not willing to allow Him to lead us. I’m eager to see where He takes me!

How is God calling you to be a living sacrifice?

Just Keep Going

Last night, I asked God what He wanted me to read. I got a text immediately after & it had something to do w/a woman in her 90’s so of course I thought of Sarah. I reread the story of Abraham/Sarah & noticed something I had glossed over before. Although Abraham was a man of faith & righteousness he still asked questions of God. But guess what God listened to Abraham’s questions & still covered & blessed him! As someone who has allowed fear & frustration to cloud her faith at times it is a sigh of relief to know that God can & will still bless & protect me, even when I question. However, I think a great difference between myself & Abraham is that he was going to do what God wanted regardless of the answer or lack there of. He questioned in faith while still obeying Gods will for his life. I know for me it has been a difficult road to obey & keep my faith strong when I felt he wasn’t listening or had left me in the wilderness, I would get frustrated & upset with Him, stop reading my bible & pretty much give up. My commitment to Him has been full of ups & downs due to my inconsistency. So, if you’re anything like me I’m praying for you to just give your life to Him & obey (it’s His love language) even when you can’t hear His voice or think He has left you in the wilderness, He hasn’t. Draw near to Him, He will draw near to you & no matter what just keep going

Choose Happy

So often we are taught that we must struggle to get ahead, that we must sacrifice joy for success or put our own happiness on the back burner to get ahead and in some cases the struggle is real but in all cases we can still choose happiness above all. If we believe that happiness is beyond our reach, no matter what our current state or situation then it will always be elusive. Today, Im choosing to focus on being happy at all costs, even while going through difficult times. There is too much pain & suffering inflicted on us simply because we exist so we must remain vigilant in seeking out the joys in life…Happiness is right there waiting for you, just choose. #lifeisshort #choosehappy 
God Bless,

Court

Marriage & Sunshine

I always had this expectation of when I got married that I would no doubt be the light in my husbands life. I realize that he will go through so much in life & have to deal with the darkness of this world that I wouldnt want him to have to come home & deal with more of the same. Although arguments & miscommunication occur, overall I want our ups to far outweigh our downs & as a wife it’s part of my job to ensure that they do! I hope to be the one that brightens his day & brings him joy in life, now Im just waiting for God to bring him my way! ☺ #neversettle
God Bless,

Court

Life, perseverance & yoga

IMG_9486Droplets of sweat dripped steadily down my face & onto the black mat before me. How long is she going to make us hold this pose?  I grimaced as I struggled to stay in an uttanasana, in otherwords I was bent over attempting to touch my nose to my knees quite unsuccessfully.  The instructor continued speaking in her soft voice, which at the beginning of class I had found to be quite soothing; But after 45 minutes had become more of an annoyace than an assurance.  I didnt want to hear about softening my body to flow with the movements or how my breathing should bring me into a state of knowing.  Can we please just shavasana already I screamed in my head!  I was wobbly, unbalanced, my breathing was more of a deep pant refusing to coincide with any movements & Im quite sure I resembled a new born calf trying to hold poses that in my mind my body was never meant to attempt. My hands, feet, legs & arms all felt like they were on fire & I had no idea you could be so sore from yoga!  The embarrassment of gathering my belongings & limping out of the room was becoming less of a deterrent by the minute.

The thing is, I had put myself through this torture, I had paid $15 to participate in hot yoga & be tortured for an hour and fifteen minutes.  I berated myself, knowing that the word hot preceding anything would probably feel slightly like a dialed down hell.  Also, since the class was 15 minutes longer than most I should have opted for something that was appropriate for a woman that hadnt laid eyes on a yoga mat in over a year except to toss it into the trunk of her car.

When we finally reached my favorite pose, shavasana, I melted slowly onto my mat with a deep satisfied exhale & closed my eyes.   The room was silent aside from the steady beat of low music & periodic snores of a man that was obviously more spent than I had been, but my mind was blaring.  Thoughts flooded my mind & I eventually settled on thinking of how this class was much like my life.  You see, I have this vision of being a super bendy, impromptu split doing, yoga guru but In order to reach my goal I have to make the practice of perseverance in adversity a way of life.  I struggled through the pain of lotus position & wanted to stop at navasana but I eventually came to the realization that I had to push through or refuse to grow.

The urge to bypass the painful parts of growth in leui of quick relief is a universal human trait.  We want to be strong enough to hold ourselves up in an awe inspiring hand stand dont want to do the work to strengthen our arms.   We run from the hard work that will catapult us to the next level, seek refugee in partying or dead end dating instead of identifying the cause of & working through lonliness, or we put off tedious tasks opting for the much more pleaurable lure of procrastination.  I believe that we have so many options that can pull us away from the focus of our daily ‘practices’.  The pull of distraction & ease of giving up is something that can easily deter or delay success.  But if you keep your thoughts on your end goal, eventually you will get there.  You may be tired, sweaty & sore but you will arrive!

As we exited the class the instructor stopped me as the new girl in class & told me cheerfully that she hoped to see me again in class & guess what she did!

Love you lots & much success in all you endeavors!

Court

Prayer for my husband…

Last year I came across a website that presented the idea of a thirty day husband prayer challenge.  The thing was these women werent praying for the husbands they current had but for their husbands to be.  They were praying for fiances, boyfriends and in some cases men who had yet to enter their lives!  My storyline fell in line with the latter group of women as my husband was no where in sight (or at least my sight line).  

As I prayed for this man that I would one day call husband (in my case hubby),  I found myself starting to fervently intercede for other relationships, marriages that were successful & falling apart and my single friends.  I learned that prayer doesn’t abide by our timeline nor sightlines.  Prayers abide by God’s timeline and our faith as we speak those things that are not as though they were! 

You may ask if Ive gotten married since I started praying for my husband to be?  Nope lol!   I have started dating someone but have also learned that it’s not about that at all.  It’s about my connection and belief in God to provide what I need, when I need.  And for my husband to be becoming that intercessor and prayer warrior on his behalf, even if he isnt’t yet physically present! 

Here’s a link to one of my favorite YouTube personalities speaking on praying for your future husband! 

What’s your prayer for your husband or hubby to be?  Please share in the comments!

God bless

CJ ☺

Lost…

There are times when we feel lost in life.  Lost in the shuffle, the mental and phyical clutter, constant noise or just in our own personal jail of a continous loop of thoughts.  But how do we break free?  I think the first part of this answer lies in determining where our bondage truly lies, by getting real with what motivates our everyday lives.

I’m starting this year by asking myself a question that will allow me to live from the most honest part of my being:  What is most important to me and how can I serve from this place?  Every morning and every night.

If I am honest, the answer to this question may not always align with what I claim to verbally hold in high regard,my connection with God, my integrity and family.  There are days when I may find that what was most important to me was not being free from the noise of this world but indulging it by remaining in the rat race,  focusing on the accumulation of more things or participaing in actions that dont represent the best part of me.  I will have to forgive myself, restart and move on the next day.  But Im certain that it will cause a concious shift that serves to align me with my higher self.

I dont think anyone is truly lost, we are just closed off to truth, the answer is always there if we ask with an open heart.

Photo:zengrowth.com

CJ

Doors will open…

The store was small and quaint, but it still caught my eye as I walked down the street. There was no one in sight as I peered through the large glass window and was instantly intrigued, it was a book store.  It looked like it was full of old books and as a writer and avid reader (and shopper) stumbling upon a new bookstore was like finding a tiny piece of heaven on earth.  I hopped up the four crumbly cement stairs towards the chipping wooden red door and pulled the handle fully expecting it to open immediately.   But it resisted, so I pulled a second and third time with the same results.  I let go and walked back down the stairs to ensure the sign truly read ‘open’ which it did.  Determined, I bounded back up the stairs two at a time and tugged at the door, I jiggled and turned the handle but it just would not budge.  Maybe it’s closed, I thought to myself and just before I decided to retreat and make my back onto the sidewalk, defeated and bookless the door swung open.  ‘Sorry, I was in the back, sometimes that door sticks and the odd thing is, it will only open if you don’t try to force it.’ The merchant smiled as she held the door open for me.  I made polite conversation as I slid passed her to make my way to the nearest bookshelf.  I had been right in thinking that the bookstore was a gem, I purchased some great older books no longer in print and happily left the store, this time opening the door gently and easily.

As I made my way home, I thought about how that door was kind of like some instances in my life.  Sometimes I want in so badly and or to get to the next level or stage in life so quickly that I’m doing everything in my power to force things to happen except be patient and wait on God to open doors that I can not.  I tug, throw tantrums, scream, kick, or bang on doors & many times they still don’t open in my timing, it just leaves me breathless and frustrated.  And often times when they do open, I honestly am not too thrilled about the outcome.

I’m no expert, but I challenge you the next time you are upset about where you are in life to just chill out, find somethings to be grateful for in the moment and stop pushing against right now.  This isn’t to say stop dreaming, striving or grinding towards goals but it is to say to dispose of anxiousness and impatience that isn’t truly serving you. Maybe you will notice as I have, that when we wait on God, when we are patient and when the timing is right, doors will open.

God bless

Court

The desires of your heart: Do you really know what they are?

In the book of Psalms it states that if you ‘delight yourself in the LORD, He will give you the desires of your heart’.  For a long time I asked God to introduce me to my husband so we could get started on the family I’ve had tucked away in my mind for at least the past ten years!   Recently, in one of my discussions with God a thought popped in my head that although I had requested my God given husband many times, this had not truly been my heart’s desire.  I didn’t quite understand this immediately but as I continued to marinate on the thought it became clearer as to why what I thought was my heart’s desire to usher in love was actually quite the opposite.  When in relationship, my thoughts and actions did not align with someone seeking to give and receive love from a man.  They were the actions (many times) of someone bitter and highly suspicious of anyone of the male persuasion.  If introduced to a guy one of the first things I would wonder was what was wrong with him or immediately pick apart things I didn’t seem to like about him in an effort to keep myself from wanting to get close.

I can honestly say that I’ve had men in my life that truly loved me (as best they could) and for a long time I focused on the negative effects of the one mentally and physically damaging relationship I had many years prior instead of recognizing what was before me.  They had offered me love and I did not truly accept what they offered.  As a result, the relationships were dead before they began, buried under a mound of past hurts, insecurities, frustrations and fears.  Of course there were other issues at play, but I know this was my biggest part in the demise of our relationships.  I could see love, always just over the horizon and thought I was eagerly paddling towards it but since I refused to do the soul work of breaking through the waves of the past love always seemed to remain at bay. 

I had based my theory of love on the relationships I knew about which mainly consisted of womanizers, women that seemed to have perpetually broken hearts and first hand experiences of dealing with men that were not mentally mature enough for a relationship.  I accepted these ideals, ingrained them into my mental perception of what ‘all’ men were and lived them out through my speech and interactions with men.  Men were dangerous, they would cheat on you and never stick around.  Throughout my life I began to accumulate the burdens of distrust, insecurities, over-analyzation, fear and judgement some through my own experiences and many through observation and they continued to grow larger and heavier.  So when love did present itself I acted from a place  of a woman laden with baggage instead of one free to love.  The bright  side is that eventually, I became a woman eager to lighten her load!

When I take stock of my actions in relationships and in relation to men in general I can see that my heart’s desire was not for love.  The desires of my heart were for the perpetuation of what I had known in the past and so that’s what I chose to live out.  I  didn’t trust men, spoke extremely negatively of them and always seemed to focus on the worst possible outcome, for example if I texted my boyfriend and he didn’t text me back within a certain amount of time my mind automatically flooded with thoughts of him cheating (a bit cray, yes I know).  So in an effort to ensure that my heart and head are on the same track I’ve been taking the time to focus on the positive, to accept what is and truly grow in love (starting with myself).

If you are wondering if your heart’s desires are truly matching up with your thoughts I would recommend doing the following

  1. Do a soul check:  Regardless of what your heart’s desire is, be it a job, a house, a baby or relationship, take some time to sit and think about how you truly feel concerning these things. Ask yourself if this really is what you want in your future?  Do you want it because you’re on societies time table and think you should have them by now or  are you receiving pressure from a source outside of yourself to push for these goals?  Make the all too common pro/con list.  If it turns out that these are things you really do want ask yourself if you are profiting in some way by not having them or is there a false fear that comes along with having what you truly think you want.  For instance if you  want a new job but are afraid of leaving the security of the job you currently have or maybe possess anxieties around job interviews or change in general.  In my case, I am working through a tremendous fear of someone else attempting to control me, giving up freedoms I have grown accustomed to and being cheated on.
  2. Flip the technique:  Once you know some of the mindsets holding you back, begin to counteract these by speaking life into your situation.  In other words turn the negative thoughts into a positive one.  For instance with a job, there is the possibility (and hope) that you will be much happier in your new position and or have increased job security.  In my case one of the things I try to focus on is trusting men and always acknowledging the security and contentment that will come along with my desired relationship.  If you tend to focus on the negative always remember to envision the flip side of the outcome.  Condition your mind to focus on the positive shifts whenever a negative fear based thought attempts to thwart your progress.
  3. Take action:  Take some action consistently towards your desire, set a goal of daily, weekly or monthly action steps or whatever will fit your schedule and work towards your desire.  It could be applying to a job a day, attending resume workshops or joining a toastmasters group to improve your public speaking and interview skills.  For me, taking action to better myself in relationships isn’t quite as concrete, but I chose to begin by loving me and consistently taking stock of my feelings and thoughts when in certain situations.  I have begun a daily meditation practice in addition to reading scriptures, prayer, affirmations, loads of videos and podcast but mostly taking the time to fully love and accept myself while expressing love to the people God places in my life.

Sometimes our heads and hearts won’t agree and that’s life.  But if we are the only one’s holding ourselves back from our goals we can always get them on one accord!  Here’s to your dreams!

Let me know what other things work for you in the comments!

God Bless,

Court 🙂