Lord I could use a win!
I’ve had this picture up as my profile cover on FB for over a year now, not paying it much attention over time. It was taken in Greece on a mission trip in 2019 on Mars Hill. It is where Paul presented one of his most important sermons in Athens on how the Greeks could be reconciled to God and why they basically needed to put aside all their “foolishness.” I briefly glanced at it this morning and the calmness and serene feeling that came over me while I was there basking in the beauty of God’s creation was powerful and necessary for me right now. Lord only knows how much I could use calm and peaceful serenity in my life.
I had an encouraging call from my mom yesterday that put some things in perspective. Over the past couple of years I’ve been in this weird place where I’ve sort of felt like God had forgotten about me. Like he was handing out blessings and answers to prayers and I was being skipped over continuously. Im in class and my hand is raised but the teacher keeps calling on everyone else but me. I’ve been confused over the years to why God feels like I am strong enough to keep dealing with more and more stuff being placed on me. Faith tested and frankly sometimes I failed! If I am completely honest with myself some of the “foolishness” like the Greeks was brought on by me and unwise rushed decisions along the way but sometimes life just would bring on the crazy unexpectedly as well.
“Lord I think Im good now-I’m just ready for something easy and chill.” I’m always putting everyone ahead of me-I’d rather promote someone else’s success than my own. Maybe I’ve felt unworthy at times, I don’t know, but I was constantly asking Him when was it my time with no answer in return. You know we put up a schedule of when things are supposed to happen based on age, education, etc and I was constantly feeling so behind on this schedule. Y’all I absolutely feel like a late bloomer when it comes to all things being and “looking” successful. When am I going to have…, when I am going to be…
God’s timing is sometimes very confusing. It defies all things that make sense to us. I also had to understand that success doesn’t come in one style. What exactly IS “successful”?? I don’t have to look like this person or have what that person has to be deemed “successful.” I AM successful. I also can fail along the way(seems be my style lately smh), come up short, learn hard lessons and still be successful. We have to stop boxing our success with parameters and playing the horrible comparison game with what God has for us. I only want what God has for me!
My mom told me it was my time and my season and all the stuff that continued to be thrown at me is spiritual warfare trying to keep us from the many blessings that God has for us. Has anyone ever felt like me where you are trying to simply keep your head above water and the waves keep coming one after another-no life jacket or boat in sight to come save you… A health scare/diagnosis, expensive car problems, crazy work situations, marital confusion, emotional turmoil, financial situations, temptations engulfing you, the exhausting state of the USA, racial tension, COVID!
I’ve absolutely had some amazing times over the past couple years but also so many trials. Many of which I’m simply embarrassed to even discuss and anyone who knows me, knows I’m a complete OPEN book so there is definitely some tea here. Queen of disclosure-thats me, because why act like I have it all together when I don’t but some stuff is just hard to work through. This is life and sometimes life can have some low hills and valleys with some peaks thrown in to keep you from completely losing it lol
Yesterday was such an emotional day for me. I’ve had my book in hand for over two weeks now trying to get things planned to blast it out and EVERYTHING kept flipping up on me. My husband…shoot even my photographer had to “talk me off the ledge” a few times (thanks boos) lol Those pictures depicted the pure joy I had in my heart for my book but I assure it did not depict the process to getting to this point. Lord do you see “easy’ happening for me in my future anytime soon?!?! (Asking for a friend…)Lol
The texts, messages, calls and pure love and support shown so far has been overwhelming. I honestly doubted myself throughout this ENTIRE process and I will share some of my journey one day soon but I will say the fact that I actually have a book in my hand right now to share with you all really makes no sense…like that new common core math stuff type of sense lol. I can’t even tell you how this worked out for me other than God. My village of support has shown out, reposted, ordered multiple copies, promoted, and even many people I don’t even know have supported and that makes me cry ugly tears. I appreciate everyone and I can’t wait to see what God does with this book and really my life as a whole because it's finally my time to overcome/shine and Lord knows I could use a win!
Crossing the “racial” pew lines
Check out below my recent blog post made on my friend Jayme’s website (6/26/18) www.jaymeleehull.com
I think we've all heard that "Sunday morning is the most segregated day of the week." I think if we all looked around our church pews on any given Sunday this can be seen vividly.
I've been asked in the past how or rather why my husband and I transitioned from all we've ever known in the predominately black church to worship in a mostly white church. At this point it's been about eight+ years since we've made the switch. This is a great question that can partially be answered with a question. If NO ONE crosses those "pew lines" when will this ever change? How will there ever be churches that truly represent what heaven looks like If no one is willing to get outside of their comfort zones?
Most of my life I've gone to churches filled with black people and although there were challenges, as found in any church, I was pretty comfortable. I knew the flow of church, I knew and loved the music, and we talked about and understood the things that affected us as African Americans. Why would anyone give up all of that for the unknown? Maybe the exact way the Israelites did on their journey into the promise land. Perhaps by faith, coupled unfortunately with complaints along the way (especially during the uncomfortable times); prayerfully holding onto the belief that God knows exactly what He was doing.
So my answer, simply put, Wesley and I got to a place where we just needed a change. We didn't go out seeking a white church it just happens to be where God placed us and it's a decision to this day we don't regret. To be transparent however, I did feel this emotional pull that maybe we were walking away from our roots or that perhaps no one would understand or approve of our switch.
To make things crystal clear, I absolutely LOVE being African American! We have such a rich and empowering history to be proud of even in the midst of oppression and hate we've endured to this present day. I graduated from a Historically Black University-Tennessee State University and pledged into an elite Black Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to which I am blessed and honored to be apart of. I am purposeful in teaching my girls that their skin color is gorgeous and their naturally kinky curly hair is EVERYTHING! I want them to love their very blackness that the world around them may try to devalue because of a lack of understanding.
In our church Wes and have been loved on and supported in so many positive ways beyond what we can explain and we have taken advantage of the amazing opportunities it has provided. Have there been moments of loneliness- of course! I'd be lying if I said otherwise. I'd say some of the most lonely times was during the past (extremely divisive) Presidential election and whenever major acts of racism would occur against African Americans in the news. These were times many of our white friends and church members would become either quiet and/or sometimes dismissive indirectly of the issues. Social media of course didn't make things any easier! On one hand I had people who knew, understood, and cared about what affects African Americans and on the other hand I had people who I felt I had to tiptoe around racial conversations as to not make them feel uncomfortable- the exact feeling I know all too well.
Lately I've found a boldness in Christ to speak up and essentially call sin out for what it is...SIN! Racial injustice and discriminative viewpoints are not of God! I am most shocked at how much "church folks" who claim Jesus as Lord of their lives could have the biggest problem with race and equality? It makes no sense to me, but at this point to not talk about race and unity in the church would be a disservice, even if it makes some uncomfortable.
My decision to finally speak up and not tiptoe around race has actually allowed deeper relationships and conversations with my white brothers and sisters who actually want to go deeper in their understanding of race relations, but just didn't know exactly how to start those conversations. I feel a sort of freedom in knowing that God has placed amazing people of all races and nationalities in my life that truly care. This helps combat the feeling I get when I'm around people who just don't get it and would rather continue in foolishness than ever open their minds to anything outside of themselves.
Will things ever be perfect when it comes to race relations this side of heaven- Nope, but Wes and I are exactly in the church where God has placed us especially if He wants to use us to serve and help in any way bridge the gap.
Don’t forget to remember!
This is a blog post I completed months ago that was posted on my friend’s amazing website. www.jaymeleehull.com
I love the story of Moses and how God helped him deliver the Israelites out of captivity. (I would highly suggest reading Exodus if unfamiliar with story) The Israelites we’re suffering under the hand of the Egyptians and God put Moses in a position to do something about it. With God’s help and many miracles that ended badly for the Egyptians, Pharaoh finally released the Israelites from enslavement.
After walking through the Red Sea on land and then singing/praising God for providing freedom, a few days without water in the wilderness brought on the slew of complaints. So many miracles were performed beyond what anyone else could ever do to prove that God was in complete control of this situation and all it took was three days to forget what God had done?
I’ve joked in the past, not understanding how the Israelites could complain on their journey out of slavery to the promise land. Surely things had to be much better than it was when they were being worked long and hard hours. Did they really believe that the same God who had rescued them out of Egypt would do so just to let them die in the wilderness?
Why can’t these people just remember what God had done for them? Probably because they are human! Interestingly enough we are ALL guilty of forgetting to remember what God has done for us especially when we are in the midst of hard times. How do you act when you are thirsty, tired and hungry- me not so great.
If you are anything like me you may have a long list of things God has done for you over the years. Prayers answered, situations changed, obstacles cleared... However I often found that when through a trial, all I can think of is what’s going on right now. I sometimes forget how good God has been to me over the years and fall into this pity party asking God why he does not care about what I'm going through right now.
One thing I started about 10 years ago that has helped was prayer cards. I decided to write down my prayers with a date on the front of an index card. I would pray over these cards and then I put them in my nightstand drawer. Randomly one day several months later while I was cleaning I ran into my stack of cards. Surprisingly some had already been answered but I honestly didn't even realize it because I'm sure I was in the midst of needing a different prayer answered at the time. (The story of my life...;).
It was like a light clicked on. Sometimes I can't even see or remember what God is doing in my life because I move on so quickly to my next situation. I started turning the cards over and writing thanks to God and the date prayers were answered. Fast forward to several years later, I've kept all my old cards and have added on many more. It has been so interesting over the years to look back and see what has changed in my life and those around me.
God knows how fast we would forget which is why many Bible stories explain the building of stone memorials so that the people could remember the event that took place. Whatever is going on in your life look back and please don’t forget TO REMEMBER!
I've had many great and not so great years in my thirty-four years of life and 2017 is on my not so great list. The lady in my picture above looks to me like her jump might be a bit short to successfully make it through 2017 and into 2018 ;) and seriously that’s how I felt last year!
As much as it would be fun to pretend like I just came off an amazing year last year- I couldn't say it with a straight face. I'm also not about that life of being fake- so here goes- 2017 sucked for me!!! Initially I've been like Goodbye Felicia and good riddance and onto prayerfully better days in 2018...but read on and I promise I'll come to my senses eventually!
Just like any human, I've experience my share of ups and downs in life- that's normal. I have to say that 2017 felt like a year I got knocked down so much it took everything to get back up and keep fighting. I grew up hearing "God won't put more on you than you can bear." Which in this context felt untrue most of the year for me personally BUT the word doesn't exactly say that. We just take 1 Corinthians 10:13 to mean that maybe to make us feel better. It says God is faithful and HE won't let us be tempted beyond what we can bear and HE will provide a way out of that temptation, making the escape from sin and not from general unhappiness or life’s challenges.
God NEVER promised an easy, happy, everything going as planned type of life. In fact following God will absolutely be a challenge. When you know right you gotta do right which means it won't always be the most comfortable popular decisions to be made. I've personally questioned God all year long the exact way a child asks "but why" every time their parent says no to something. I've questioned his choices for me, because of course I believe I know better for myself. I've questioned my abilities, my own choices, and shoot sometimes I even questioned my sanity (I mean what woman with two small children hasn't done that a time or two?? ;)
"Adulting" is hard. Yes, I know I've been doing it for a while and should have the hang of it by now right?? Nope! I don't! I'm still learning and growing with each year and new decisions I make. Being a good wife, mom, friend, etc is hard! I'm a giver naturally and sometimes I don't have a proper balance so I end up giving all of me away and then in the end I'm left feeling empty and then guilty when I need time for me.
I have been blessed by the praise reports that have been shared and experienced this past year. The promotions, new career endeavors, trips, engagements, new babies, answered prayers, etc has kept me excited!!
I would be a knucklehead if I acted like God wasn't good to me this year. I have a loving, beautiful, and healthy family. My 12 years of marriage is still going strong even in the midst of life's ups and downs(I'm serious MARRIAGE IS FOR GROWN FOLKS!! It's not easy but worth it!). Thanking God I'm in my right mind!! (...well about 95% of the time... remember my 2 and 4 yr old!! Lol) and I'm healthy and I have God in my heart and life.
So why was 2017 a rough year for me?? Um...well...um(stutters) when I look at how good God has been to me and the real stuff that is ACTUALLY affecting people everyday- I really should not complain! Did I loose a family member in 2017? No! Did I have a baby hospitalized for months on end due to health issues? No Did I loose my job or file for bankruptcy? No. Did I loose a limb or have a debilitating car accident? No Did I have a empty fridge and not know where my next meal was going to come from? No. Have I been afraid for my life and displaced from my home? No. So what the hell have I been complaining about all year???
Perspective is the best medicine for me! Punches me in the gut every time!! Honestly I'm a spoiled American and I wasn't happy with 2017 because everything that I thought I should be entitled to have and wanted didn't happen in my timing. God said NO to me a bunch in 2017 and frankly it made me uncomfortable and heaven forbid I get uncomfortable for a second! I don't make New Years resolutions but one thing I am choosing to go into 2018 with on my heart is- Whatever your will is Lord let it be?
I've wasted so much time last year wallowing in the things that didn't happen for me! "It's not fair Lord-I didn't get my way"...yep I sounded just like kid! I want to start 2018 with the mindset that what God has for me IS for me. Take my hand out of stuff and fully understand that God knows the desires of my heart. He is a loving father and he knows what I need and what I don't need. His timing is always right and my track record is mostly off!
I don't expect 2018 to come and go without its own challenges but I do hope that I personally handle them better than I did in 2017! God doesn't need to change- I do!
Happy New Year everyone and enjoy the journey of God’s will for your life!!
Whose label do you accept?
My guest blog post from 11/30/17 on www.jaymeleehull.com
I am not super woman!
Over the next few months I'll be adding some of my previous guest blog posts (www.jaymeleehull.com) to my blog. Please check out Jayme's website- it's is beautiful and the blog posts are uplifting and encouraging. Here is one of my posts from June...
As much as I would love a cape and the super human capabilities of super woman, I realize fast that in my own strength I can only handle but so much before I start to feel overwhelmed. Im married and in the season of rearing small, non self-reliant children and sometimes I think my head is going to explode if I hear one more request for snacks or milk.
I recently heard a story of a mom who had nine children, all girls except one!! On top of that she raised fourteen kids total. They were poor with an unstable living situation but all of the kids felt loved and cared for. As adults, they all mentioned that they never heard their mom complain not once! Personally, I know I've complained at least twice today alone and I only have two kids to chase after.
I hear many amazing stories about women who persevered during extreme struggles and still managed to be amazing women and mothers. I wonder how women during the Great Depression handled their responsibilities? What about women in third world countries with none of the simplicities of life, like a washing machine and stove? How do they manage to take care of their families when it takes many more hours to obtain basic necessities like water and food. How much more busy are their lives than mine? When I think of this it sort of makes me embarrassed to complain or feel overwhelmed.
I try my best but some days when it's all said and done I feel depleted. Some days I feel like I didn't accomplish a thing yet I'm tired and other days I've accomplished a ton and I'm still tired.
There are some women who seem to be able to do it all. I believe that God gives me the strength to handle a lot, but sometimes I just don't want to be a super woman. I really would just love an uninterrupted nap instead. Society and social media often tells us women we can and should be all to everyone. Maybe just maybe we occasionally push those expectations on each other as well.
I'm supposed to look good, grow in my walk with Christ, work out several times a week, raise a family, be an excellent wife, have a hot home cooked meal on the table each night, chauffeur my children to and from activities, keep the house spotless, have an active social life, get a decent nights rest, etc all while making it look easy and not to mention sexy! Not my life!
You may be like me and often think there just isn't enough time in the day to accomplish it all. My car has toys and more kid snack droppings than I'd like to admit. I'm proud of myself when I get my 7-min workout completed. I sometimes eat my breakfast in the car on the way to dropping my daughter off to school. Anything comfortable that I can throw on quickly is my go to attire most days. Time for make up??? Nope not everyday. Sweep and vacuum the home daily like grandma used to do, with no dishes left in the sink overnight...I wish!
Lately I've had to find out what's most important right now and let the rest go. I've had to create more balance in my life by turning down some requests, and taking some guilt free time for myself. I also try my best not to compare myself with other women who seem to have it all together nor criticize those who may be in a season of struggle. I'm not super woman! I get tired, stressed, and even complacent, however I'm glad I don't always have to rely on my own strength which as you can imagine is insufficient at times. I just try to keep in mind that when our strength feels depleted, God's strength is always in abundance! Thank God!!
Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us- to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 HCSB
He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless Isaiah 40:29. HCSB
I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13. HCSB
One day at a time
Last year I was all about the word "grace". I was in a place in my life where I needed to be on the receiving side of grace just as much as I needed to give it out. This year I've been stuck on the idea of "taking things one day at a time." It's actually the complete opposite of what I do on a normal basis. It's like my personality doesn't always know how to do this easily.
I'm a planner and I'm always thinking twelve steps ahead of where I am. Sometimes I think I'm in control of everything and I am often humbled quickly due to that attitude. When nothing starts going as planned I know very quickly that it's God showing me that it wasn't his plan I was following.
I often get stressed out trying to prepare for the unknown. I have a lot of "what if" questions that come up that typically never even happen in hindsight. This is not to say live your life with zero plans or direction because that could go just as badly, but sometimes it's ok to just take things as they come instead of worrying about things you cannot control. I'm having to remember that I don't know exactly what tomorrow, next week, or even next year holds for me; Only God knows that information.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:35
This is definitely easier said than done but there is such truth to this bible verse. Seriously if you are anything like me, you have plenty to keep you busy in the day you are currently in to add any more onto your plate. Maybe you are not like me at all and you have it all figured out. Your life and time is managed perfectly, to which I could NEVER relate to. I wish I could say that is my life but I am human and flawed so I definitely have areas in my life that I really need to improve on.
I recently went back to work, only PRN, but it is still a major change to my normal full time mommy schedule I've had for the past three and a half years. I am enjoying this change in my life but sometimes I start up with the "what ifs," and I make up scenarios in my mind about this and that. It takes me having to say to myself, NICOLE none of this has occurred so just get through today only. In the midst of constant change in my life (some great and some hard) I am continually proving to myself that I am much stronger than I give myself credit for.
When you get a chance, I highly suggest spending some time journaling daily about what's going on in your life. Then look back at it weeks or even months later. It's always interesting to me when I read something I wrote in the past. Many times whatever I was going through at that time seems so minute or in the distance. Sometimes I can't even believe it was something I was even worried about or stressing over in the first place.
How quickly do we forget what God has either brought us out of or brought or into when our focus is off? I personally don't want to mimic an Israelite wilderness experience- wandering for longer than necessary because I just can't have faith in what I know God can do and has done in my life. How about you?
The Power of No
Let's be real- who enjoys being told no? When I tell my girls no to candy, they aren't too happy with my answer. If you don't get chosen for a job you really wanted or if you are trying to get pregnant and the pregnancy test says no (not pregnant), it doesn't bring about feelings of happiness. If you ask someone out on a date- you are praying for a yes I'm sure.
Maybe over time we are programmed by our feelings that a no is negative and a yes is positive. As I've matured over the years, I'm realizing that sometimes a no is actually very positive even if it may seem opposite at the time. I've spent some time recently looking over my past relationship with the word no and how much I'm growing in the following areas.
I'll be the first to admit that occasionally I have a problem with saying no. I don't know what it is but maybe I feel like I'll let someone down or I'll miss out on a great opportunity if I do. I am someone who enjoys doing. I really enjoy helping and spending time with people. However, I can see that sometimes I become overwhelmed saying yes to everything. I have no one to blame but myself when I'm in full melt down mode because I'm so tired and feeling pulled in several different directions. There is nothing wrong with doing nothing occasionally. It will not kill me to rest a bit and say no to some of the things that steal my time!
Recently I challenged myself and told my husband that I was going to go a week where I was going to decline on anything extra asked of me outside of being with my family. It lasted all of two days before I realized what I had already signed on to assist with. I also had about four more opportunities to help out placed before me within a couple of days. Long story short I started out a little rocky, but I can say I did turn down about three of the requests which is great for me. I'm also learning that I can say no without giving a whole laundry list of excuses. This was a hard lesson for me at first because I didn't want to seem rude but it's so freeing once properly mastered.
BEING TOLD NO...
I'm an emotional person and in the past I used to take being told no very personally. If I was waiting on an answer and it wasn't what I expected I would be so sad. If something didn't work out for me as planned, I would be heartbroken. I would complain and wonder why I just couldn't get a break or why everyone else around me was getting a yes in their situations. Now with the help of my super patient husband-my favorite phrase has become, "if it's for me then it's for me." My husband says, "I only want what God has for me." I'm a firm believer that if God wants me to have, give, do, or become something then it will eventually come to pass. My job is to do the things necessary to put me in the position to receive what He has for me and let God do what he does best. I cannot always control nor understand the outcome of every answer He gives...
Some of the no's I've received in the past were truly in my best interest even if I didn't see it at the time. Trust me God has saved me from some potentially crazy situations if I would have gotten my way. God knows what I need when I need it, so when I let go of the control I think I have over situations there is a peaceful place to dwell in. My attitude has gotten so much better and feelings of worry have melted away when I understand WHO is in control.
I suggest when you get some time look over your life and some of the no's that were told to you or vice versa. Think about what would have been different if the answer was Yes in those situations. Also think about which no's were not no's indefinitely but no's for that season you were in. Maybe they eventually turned to yes when you were better prepared for it. I know this is exactly the case in many areas for me!!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6
That phrase if I only knew then what I know now.... hits home with me in so many levels.
I decided to look over some things I wished the younger me would have known or taken more time to understand. I'm sure I could come up with a whole book of the choices I made but I'll just start with the top ten that come to mind right now...
I would tell the old me...
1. To travel more. I spent my whole childhood traveling due to being a military brat which was great, but I didn't take as much effort once I was an adult. God has put so many beautiful places on this earth that I want to explore. The time is now.
2. To start with the end in mind when I came to my future career. To start with my passions and goals for my life and then decide on a field of study in college or whatnot that would be conducive to what my end goals were. I enjoyed then and still do now volunteering, helping others, writing/reading, and children's books- maybe I would have gone a different direction in school with that in mind.
3. To understand In high school that boys should not have been one of my biggest concerns. ;)
4. No credit cards in college!! It wasn't necessary for me especially when I didn't have steady employment nor the maturity to handle it. Finances in general I wish that I knew what I know now. Live way below your means! Pay cash if you can! Trust you can always find an item cheaper or on discount eventually. ;)
5. To elope. :) I joke about this with friends, but I wish my husband and I would have either eloped or had a super small and personal wedding (maybe a party of 50 or much less). It would have been nice to make the day just about he and I, instead of worrying about everyone else and the money we could have saved!!!!! The energy some people put into their wedding day, while forgetting about the actual marriage is interesting.
5. To speak up more. I was a pretty timid child and then battled low self esteem for many years. I wish I understood who I was and that I could say no and speak up for myself more. If I didn't spend so much time worried about what others thought, I might have said more.
6. To Save!! To plan and save for the things I want and to always be prepared for life's ups and downs when it comes to great deals and unexpected expenses.
7. To not compare- as my husband always tells me, " I don't care what so and so has, I want what God has for me." You can't always believe what you see when you look at what others have- you don't know their journey or financial situation so don't try to keep up with the "Jones."
8. To have made better connections with people. Most people would say I'm extroverted but for many years I really didn't want to be bothered with others outside of what I had to. I didn't have real or deep relationships just surface ones. Now I make a better effort to get to know people on a more real level and I self-disclose like a crazy person! ;). I'm a real person with real life situations I experience- there is no need to pretend like I have it all together because I don't!
9. To go to God in prayer first before asking for everyone else's opinion or before one of my famous pity parties. I've spent so much wasted time whining, complaining, and worrying about things that always as the scripture says, work out for my good in the end!
10. To challenge the status quo. Just because everyone else is doing something doesn't mean I have to. Be ok with change. Be prepared for random questions about your choices. Stop caring about what others think because seriously everyone has their own issues. From experience everyone's advice isn't always good advice...
I'm so glad that as life goes on I will continue to grow and learn from situations I experience. If I can help anyone else in their personal journey, then my lessons learned (many times the hard way) will be all worth it in the end. Thank God!
Never Ending Questions
My mind is always going. I am always thinking about something so I tend to just write things down. The other day I was doing my devotion which sometimes consists of me just writing to God whatever is on my heart at the time and when I looked over what I wrote it seemed like a bunch of questions.
I spend a lot of time talking to God throughout the day but sometimes I wish that he would just talk to me audibly like if I were chatting with a girlfriend. Maybe send an angel down or a burning bush to tell me what to do like in biblical times. Im sure that would probably scare me to death, but hey then I would know 100% what God wants me to do or not to do at the exact time- no confusion. Here are some of my questions I've had over the course of many years broken down into categories that affect my life...
Am I respecting my husband? Does my husband feel loved? Do I listen more than I speak? Why does marriage require so much work? Am I being a good wife? Do I pray for my husband enough? Do I encourage and uplift my husband? Do I have an attitude or get worked up too much? Do I believe in my husband? Do we communicate effectively? Am I putting God first in my marriage. Do I like my husband (I usually do but seriously at times he just drives me crazy!!!)? Do I complain too much? How can I be an example to other marriages. How can I be transparent that marriage isn't always easy but worth it, and show dating couples that marriage is a beautiful yet demanding choice that is to be taken seriously (Its not a fairy tale at all!!)?
Am I teaching them enough about God? Am I being a good example for them? Am I being patient and kind? Am I frustrated too easily? How do I prepare/ protect them from this crazy world and where things are going? Am I yelling too much or spoiling them too much ? How do I teach them to be strong black women and navigate a world that may try to limit their potential? Am I praying enough for them? Am I letting them eat too much junk and watch too much TV? How will we make it past the pre-teen and teen stages? What schools will they go to? Are they where they need to be educationally wise. How do I prioritize my time where they don't require it all and leave me feeling depleted.
Am I successful in God's view, not just society? How should I navigate the stress of family and extended family drama? Shouldn't I be working out more (something I don't enjoy at all)? Am I eating heathy enough? Where am I going and where should I be going in my life? Am I treating people well? Do I take things too personally? Am I a good enough friend? Why does it sometimes feel like I give and give and give and its not always reciprocated? How to say no and stick my ground when it comes to my time. Do I prioritize my time well? Am I being more task oriented than people oriented and how to make sure I focus on both? Have I taken any time for me without feeling guilty?
Am I faithful with my finances? Am I budgeting correctly? Am I saving appropriately? Will I leave a legacy/ inheritance for my family when I leave this earth. What plans does God have for me that I just can't even see yet? Am I showing thanks to God for what he is already doing. Home ownership? Will I be able to afford expenses that come up unexpectedly. Can we afford to have more children (one day not now I need a break haha)? What should I be putting away for retirement? What are wants and what are needs and how to not strive "to keep up with the Joneses?"
If you are anything like me then you may have a ton of questions you ask God as well. I may not get the answers right when I want to and possibly not even the answer I had hoped for but I know God knows what is best for me. Sometimes it occurs in hindsight well after I've been stubborn or fearful but I know from past examples in my life his answers are always perfect and right on time. I'm thankful God knows, loves, and wants what's best for me. I am blessed that I don't have to have all the answers bc I know Someone who does. He will guide me in the right direction if I can be patient and obedient.
For a man's ways are before the Lord's eyes, and he considers all his paths. Proverbs 5:21