Sink Or Swim

Cease striving [let go, relax] and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10 NASB emphasis added

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One of the items on my list of things to accomplish one day is to learn how to swim.  It’s funny because as much as I love the beach and water, it’s just something that I’ve never learned to do.

I remember attending a pool party one summer at an acquaintance’s house. While lounging around in the water , I struck up a conversation with a young lady who happened to be a swim instructor. I shared with her how I’ve always wanted to learn how to swim but never got around to it. Since we had some time in the pool to ourselves while we were waiting for the others to finish preparing the food, she said she would help me try to learn to float.

While she was holding me up as I laid back in the water, the first thing she noticed was how tense I was.  I needed to relax. And if I didn’t, this wasn’t going to go far. However, the more I thought about trying to relax, the harder it became.  I was in my own way. And the fear of not being in “control” frightened me. I knew she was there to hold me up and support me, but I was still tense. I was having a hard time letting go. After a few minutes of getting comfortable I finally felt a bit at ease. I had to stop trying to hold myself up and let my body do what it is naturally able to in the water. But the minute she moved her hands from under me, I immediately tensed up and well…I’m sure you know what happened next.

Holding on was hurting me rather than helping.  My inability to relax and trust something different outside of my comfort zone was keeping me from the very thing I wanted to experience.

Reflecting on that moment I know there have been other times in my life when I have clinched so tight to my own efforts that it actually became detrimental.  I was on edge about circumstances that troubled me and kept trying to fix them, moving from thing to thing instead of recognizing that there wasn’t anything I needed to do- except relax and let go.

When we fully let go of trying to hold our ownselves up, we have the opportunity to experience and rest in God’s love for us, trusting in the promise that He will uphold us with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10)- even when it seems like His hands aren’t there.

It’s interesting to me that this verse is found in a passage where there was apparently some trouble going on (read verses 1-9).  Yet, the instruction in verse 10 is the exact opposite of what many of us would do. At least for me. Mountains quaking, waters roaring- talk about being in a tense situation.

Yet the response is not to hold onto it, focus on it or try to figure something out. Rather they are instructed to:

Let Go.
Be Still.
Relax.
Cease Striving.

And know that He is God.

The word “know” in verse 10 literally means to acknowledge, become acquainted with/aware, or to clearly understand. If we are not careful, the act of holding on to so many things can not only cause unnecessary stress in our lives, but it can also distract us from the importance of shifting our attention to the Lord. We can miss the chance to pause and recognize who God is and know Him in a deeper way.

Our striving can only get us so far if God is instructing us to be still and acknowledge that He is God. Not us, not our efforts, not our plans.

I invite you take moments of intentional pause to be still this week.  Allow yourself to float in the current of God’s grace and love for you. Focus on who He is, His power, and His word. For it is truly the only thing worth holding onto.

With Love,
Keisha

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When Not Enough Actually Is

 “…I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar.” 1 Kings 17:12

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There’s something truly fascinating about the beginning of the New Year! Over the past few weeks I’ve witnessed a renewed resolve in people focused on their resolutions, moving forward from their past and using their gifts and talents to take on some pretty amazing things. They’re confident, resourceful and not afraid to step out and take on new possibilities. But for as many of those who are out there grinding, I know there also might be some who want do great things too, yet their circumstances don’t look ideal and they feel like they don’t have what they need to get it done.

Or so they think.

Though the larger miracle in 1 Kings 17 is an example of God’s provision in both the lives of Elijah and the widow (read verses 8-16), there’s another lesson I learned tucked between the lines that pricked my heart to look deeper at the meaning of what having what I need really means. Continue reading

Running On E

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

 

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So there I was headed to work like any other day, when less than 5 minutes from my job, my car started doing something strange. I felt it jerk a bit and begin to slow down even though my foot was on the gas. The next thing I know, the steering wheel would barely turn. Something was definitely going wrong! Not to mention I was on a busy intersection with cars coming from both directions.

I think I was too shocked to panic.

Fortunately in a split second, a window opened up and I was able to maneuver and force the steering wheel enough to get my car into the gas station I was passing. Thinking back it was honestly a miracle.

As soon as I turned in the lot-the  car cut off. Talk about God’s protection.

I called my insurance company to send a tow, and then my brother to see if he would be able to take me to work. While I was waiting, I kept trying to start the car. The dash would light up but the ignition wouldn’t budge. After about the “umpteenth” time, something told me to just look down and pay attention.

What?

Nooo that couldn’t be.

But it was. Continue reading

The Forgotten Gift

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

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Greetings my loves! I pray that you all had an amazing holiday and getting excited about the upcoming New Year. It’s always amazes me how fast this season comes and goes. I enjoyed seeing the photos and videos of the good times had by my friends on social media. As I was scrolling through my feed Christmas day, one post in particular made me chuckle. It wasn’t even 1pm and a friend shared that her kids were already saying they were bored. Obviously the excitement of unwrapping their toys and adrenaline of the morning had worn off. It made me think about other conversations I’ve had in the past with parents frustrated that the items their children just had to have would in a few months time end up, forgotten in a pile somewhere.

If we’re honest though, we too, like those children, may have at times let the awe and wonder that we have in the gift of Jesus fade after the holiday is gone.  Whether intentionally or unintentionally. So while I’m sure some of us received some pretty nice tangible gifts, I was reminded through a message from my pastor that “…every good and perfect gift is from above.”(James 1:17.) And what greater gift is there than a personal relationship with Jesus. Sent from heaven to save us from spending an eternity in hell.

Jesus isn’t just the “reason for the season”. He is our reason for every moment. Continue reading

ABC’s Of A Grateful Heart

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.(Psalm 103:2)

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Happy Thanksgiving my loves!

I know- I know. You’re probably wondering where I’ve been! I’m sorry ya’ll! But work, travel, and just plain ole’ exhaustion can really wear a sister down. Nevertheless, I am getting back into the swing of things.  🙂

Anywho here’s a random question for you: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your “ABC’s”?

For me it takes me back to the beginning of my childhood. Often the alphabet is one of the first things a child learns.  Before they can recognize words, write or form sentences, it is essential for them to grasp the basics of the alphabet. It is the foundation of everything that follows.  As I reflect on that thought this Thanksgiving season, I recognize this same principle is true in our journey through life.

The lesson of cultivating a grateful heart is essential as we move from season to season.  If we aren’t learning how to be grateful for where we are now, it’s likely we will have a hard time being grateful in other stages of life. Gratitude you see isn’t situational. It’s a heart issue. Continue reading