The Great Stripping Away

September is a month for renewal and refreshing! With the kids going back to school, fall weather approaching and apple picking season ahead, it’s a time for change.

I live near the Adirondacks and so there are lakes and nature all around me. It’s beautiful to see the foliage as you’re driving on the highway or taking a morning hike. Although I’ve always been afraid of bugs, nature has always had a special place in my heart. There’s something about an array of flowers, ponds, trees, birds, and splashes of green everywhere that truly speak to my soul. Nature truly centers and relaxes me even in all its simplicity!

During my recent time of prayer and study with the Lord, He gave me the word “ stripping!” In true fashion, of course, I asked Him to elaborate. He told me that in this up and coming season He is stripping away what’s no longer needed in the lives of His children, the body of Christ, and in the world.

I myself have already felt this great stripping away of, if you will! The things that used to matter to me don’t really matter so much anymore! Not one to spend too much, I do have my splurges. Don’t we all? Some of us collect purses, cars, shoes, and games. But do we really need all of that? Now this is not an article to make you feel bad about those beautiful shoes you just purchased, but honestly how much do we really need?

When God began to impress upon me about my daily habits, lifestyle, and how I was viewing happiness, He pointed out some things and wow was it an eyeopener. I mean how much do we really need to be happy? I want you to think about what makes you happy?

God showed me that He is the ultimate joy, love, and peace in our lives. Materialistic things may come and go. Partners may come and go. Trends will come and go. But Jesus, hallelujah will remain always and forever. God is the same always and forever. He is the same yesterday, today and beyond!God never changes!

Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Sometimes, when God begins to strip us of things be it mentally, materialistically, and emotionally it hurts. It can be scary, and it can feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar. But it’s worth it. You begin to see life more simplistic. You began to remove people, things, and ideals that no longer fit your life. You begin to take in everything and it’s beauty because we know that life is fleeting.

Has God been stripping you? Has He been nudging on you to rearrange your priorities? Can you truly sit back and enjoy the beauty in life and get off the rat wheel? How much time are you giving God and how much more time can you give God? See He wants to strip us of unnecessary things to catapult us into a deeper level of stillness and peace with Him. He wants us and the world around us to decrease as He increases! God wants to renew us from the inside out.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

So as we head into another September, another fall, and a New Year shortly after, I want you to think about this “ great stripping away of!” I want you to think about your life and whether or not it aligns with God’s will. And I want you to think about the simplicity of life and how we should be enjoying the little moments. This stripping will hurt, and it will definitely be uncomfortable but it’s worth it! Whenever we draw closer to God which means there’s less of the world, it’s always worth it!

Happy September 🌼

Blessings, PK

Don’t Be Ashamed of your scars!

I have a skin disease and it’s been plaguing my life for several years now! Wow…. I can’t believe I just wrote that. I can’t believe that I am sharing this with the world. I have been battling HS ( hidradenitis suppurativa) and it has been a nightmare to say the least. From watching what I eat, to saying goodbye to some of my favorite foods and fruits, to stained and ruined clothing, this disease has altered my way of living in ways I never thought imaginable.

I know I know it’s not terminal, although in some cases some have died, but it’s still a disease, and my life will never be the same. I was angry at my body for a long time. And I was ashamed of my scars. When I had first been diagnosed with HS, I would get flare ups here and there, and then one year it finally advanced to the next stage. From that point on I was in and out of the ER, I battled infections, I watched my skin open up slowly from flare ups and boils, and for a whole year I walked around with gauze tucked underneath my shirt to manage wound drainage. How attractive!

This hindered my confidence immensely and even though people saw a pretty face, deep down inside I felt hideous and I was ashamed of a body that I loved so much. A body that ran track. A body that birthed children, and a body that served Jesus! I was literally ashamed of my scars. Are you ashamed of yours?

After years of dealing with HS, doctors with puzzled looks and no permanent remedies, I decided to do some research on my own and although it didn’t cure me it made things a little easier. Finally, I knew what I was dealing with and I began to learn what made me flare up. When we are diagnosed with certain diseases and illnesses sometimes we tend to give up especially when there’s no cure and recovery is not easy. After years of battling with HS God told me to fight back and as hard as it was I did! I decided not to let it control my life. I’ve preached while battling an infection, I still mad love to my partner when normally I would run the other way because of my scars, and I wore what I wanted. Do I still have my moments of insecurity yes but overall I love me!

It’s important to do your part by being committed to your healing process! Surround yourself with loving and supporting people who truly love you and whom won’t judge you! Ask God to build a safe community around you. People who will love you no matter what! I’m happy to say that I am healing and doing much better these days. I’m fasting, eating healthier, and staying away from foods that cause inflammation. What changes can you make today?

This letter, is for somebody! You’ve been battling with something whether it’s your weight, a disease, or any other infliction where you’ve been living in shame. You’ve been on the verge of giving up, suffering in silence, but God sent me to tell you that your healing is here, shame is gone, and to tell you that you are beautiful! Get back up! Take care of yourself! Have faith that God can heal you! Buy that nice summer outfit! tell your partner how you feel! Just don’t give up! Just don’t sit back and take it because you have so much life left with a God given purpose! So do not be ashamed of your scars! You are somebody! You are beautiful! Don’t be ashamed!

Blessings, PK🌼

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Happy July

Welcome to the month of July! God is so good amen? Amen! We can’t wait to get rocking in our purpose! How about you?

Our theme for July is letting the “ son” shine in and I absolutely love this topic! (compliments of our very own Shanora/assistant) but seriously how can you let Jesus shine in your life? What would that look like for you? We want success and we want happiness so bad, but we forget the ultimate achievement and that’s serving the Lord. As we enter July reflect on June and what you could have done better or differently. Going back and tracing our steps and tracking our progress is how we grow! If you missed some deadlines, goals, etc that’s alright just go harder this month. It’s all about accountability!!

Let’s do this! Read on for more …

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When It’s time to let go!

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you just couldn’t let go whether it was a job, relationship, friendship, etc? The situation could have been so toxic and so destructive yet still you held on… They say, how you allow a person to treat you is a reflection of how you treat yourself.

When I was faced with a situation where it was very toxic and not very conducive to my overall health and wellness, I knew that the situation had run its course but I continued to stay and refused to let go. Have you ever found yourself in that kind of situation?

When I think back on that particular situation I begin to think about my relationship with God. Would God have treated me that way? Would God want me to be treated that way? The answer of course is no! What was I thinking? You ever have someone just come into your life and walk you like a dog? Have you doing things and accepting things you’d never thought you would?💁🏽‍♀️ welp, that was me.. being a natural born people pleaser totally didn’t help the situation either. Now that’s a whole other topic.

Looking back, I realize now that I didn’t have the proper tools in place or a strong relationship rooted in God enough to know that the situation wasn’t healthy for me. But now I have the tools that I need to assess situations accurately and to recognize when it’s time to let go. Do you?

God gives us the tools that we need to make all proper decisions. When I look at every relationship or situation in my life I always ask myself “ would the Lord do this? Would Jesus treat me this way?” I then begin to apply scripture and if it aligns, I look at whether or not it brings me closer to God or if it draws me away, I look at the fruit of the situation and if it’s productive, and lastly I look at whether or not its rooted in purpose. Is that relationship you’re in or the job you’re on rooted in purpose, or comfort? Now that’s a whole other article…

Galatians 5:22-23 but the fruit of the spirit is love, peace, patience, self control, joy, kindness, goodness, forbearance, gentleness. Against such is no law!

As women of Christ we have got to know the God that we serve. We have Got to apply our relationship with Him and the way He loves us to our relationship with others. We have got to keep these tools in mind as we navigate life. Now your tools might not look like mine or the next woman as we are all different, however I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a system of checks and balances in place to prevent getting hurt. Don’t overstay your welcome. Clear space for the new!

If you find yourself in that situation now, I urge you to pull out while you still can. Think about God’s love and think about how He has chosen you and called you for a time such as this. Don’t let the enemy continue to snuff out your joy! Open your bible, dig deep, get on your knees, pray and use your God given tools! It might hurt now, but I promise one day You’ll be alright! You’ll look back and say what was I thinking? You’ll laugh as you think about your new found strength, your deeper relationship with God, and healthier circumstances! Let go, just let it go!

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Rising in Confidence in the Month of June

As we enter into the blessings of June, what we’ll come to realize is whatever seeds we watered in spring are now bound to manifest this summer and so forth! Everything we do in the present has an effect on our future. This is the reason why we must apply ourselves. When God uses our gifts to bless the world, we will be fully prepared in confidence.

To prepare, we must diligently pray, read our Bible and DO what the Word says (James 1:23-25). I know that Bible study can be a bit of a blur, as we get lazy at times. However, if we want to boldly catapult into the blessings that God has in store for us, we must keep a faithful prayer life and seek God diligently in all things through the word in Jesus Christ. 

After all, it is only through Christ (who is the Word in the flesh) that we can secure our salvation which is the ultimate blessing of all. In doing so, we build endurance, so that by fulfilling God’s will, we can then receive what is promised! (Hebrews 10:36). If we don’t read the Word and apply what it says, how then will we be able to identify the season we are in, and who we are in terms of our identity? 

Confidence doesn’t necessarily come easy, but if we read and obey the word, we will come to the astounding understanding that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us! For nothing is impossible with God! 🙌 (Philippians 4:13)

~ Zarria W. ( Editorial Team) 🌟

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A River That Flows

He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.

Ezekiel 47:5 NIV

In Ezekiel chapter 47, there is a mention of a river that flows from the throne room of God. Ezekiel the prophet is taken around the temple into the river. When he first steps into the water, it is only at his ankles and then the water rises until it is Knee-deep, waist-deep and finally his head is completely submerged. 

When Ezekiel arrives back at the shore, God opens his eyes and he notices several fruit trees growing along the banks of the river. God makes a declaration that these trees will constantly bear fruit and that they will bring healing.

Ezekiel was taken on a journey where he had to trust that God knew every step he should take. It was easy to follow God when the water was only up to his ankles but the deeper the river got, it would have made it easier for him to just stay on the shore and never venture any further. Many times in our lives God will require us to take a journey, to dive deeper into situations that may cause us to panic.

Despite how deep the water was, Ezekiel continued to pursue the lord

I think about how often I have left my faith on the shore. How many times I have allowed fear to cause me to run away from the same rivers that God was asking me to swim in. Indeed the more I have journeyed with my father, even though I did not always understand the reason why I was facing such a fierce battle, the river of pain and suffering that I thought would harm me, was truly God breathing life into my veins and allowing me to blossom and to bloom. I have always had an appreciation for the springtime and whenever I see the first buds of the flower beginning to blossom, it is a reminder that God in his infinite wonder is always moving. I pray that regardless of what circumstance you find yourself in, that you will remember God is always faithful. If he has led you to the deepest ocean and asked you to cross, then you can believe that he will carry you across the other side to safety. For what you cannot see with your natural eyes, maybe the moment when the greatest move of God will descend and transform your life from barrenness into a fruitful blossom.

– M. C. Rose (Assistant and editorial team member)

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Blooming & Blossoming in Jesus!

Spring time is a new refreshing start for growing, rebirthing, and unveiling the many facets of life! Whether it be May’s flowers blossoming forth to display such vibrant shades, or hearing the sweet sound of honey bees gather around to pollinate the Earth, the same thing abides: Change is inevitable. In fact, many of us this season have experienced changes in certain areas of our lives. This birthing process can be just as relieving as it can be painful, depending on where you are in the process. An though the most anticipated part is the manifestation of that new birth, the removal of old patterns, people, and places that God has called us from are not so. Especially when we’re believing that our painful experiences are for our good (Romans 8:28). We can even become tired and want to give up when we have yet to see the outcome of our obedience. I know it may not be all unicorns and rainbows, but this process is necessary in order for us to become our best image of God’s unconditional love. If Jesus hadn’t been crucified, how else would God have shown his glory? After all, the dead is raised in Spirit. This is what our Father in heaven means when He says that in order for us to live we must die. (Luke 9:24). We must die of old self-centered patterns so we can become new selfless children of God, and spring forth like flowers in full bloom! As we continue to change and grow through Christ, we’ll come to realize that everything we experience along the way becomes useful for His glory. So that means no more moaning and groaning! (Philippians 2:14) Consider it a good thing that God is preparing us for what’s to come! What might you be blossoming forth this season? 🌻

~ Zarria W. ( Editorial Team)

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