Yes I partake in Lent……..No I am not Catholic

Yes I partake in Lent……..No I am not Catholic

               “Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
                            The little old woman sitting at my corner booth had asked
Then I was chatting with a fellow Christian friend and he was trying to route me to his recent blog post through Facebook!  I was confused, had he not read my earlier blog on Lent? With a quick reply I stated “It’s still lent”. His reply was  that he wasn’t catholic. Ugh, not again I thought to myself. Why is society so quick to judge a persons spiritual rituals on the denomination of a church rather than on their personal relationship with God. Where is a Christian individuality? Maybe that is a good topic for yet another blog. Back to Lent, Easter and Pentecost.  I do not celebrate Lent because of a certain denomination I belong too.  I honor Lent because of my own personal relationship with Christ. It’s an individual commitment I began making in 2011. Let me explain why. On Wednesday March 9, 2011; I didn’t  attend any church,  I did not get a cross of ashes made on my forehead. I had never observed a season of Lent in my life. I knew what Lent was, however I was never in a denomination in which observed the Lent season. My Pastor at the time did however encourage us to take time during this season and fast for 40 days. This encouragement was the beginning of breaking down the denomination barrier for me.Lent season is an opportunity to look deeply at your spiritual life. To remember the creator of humanity. To reflect on your sin and repent.I began petitioning God to reveal what He wanted me to Fast and began reading 40 day devotion. Days later it became evident I would not be completing that particular devotion. God’s plan led me to give up my freedom.  Lent season to the day of Pentecost has such a parallel to that particular season in my life, I am sure it was no coincidence.  All 40 days I got the opportunity to be in a controlled environment which gave me more time for daily devotion without an increase of worrying  about societal influences. I may not have been free in a worldly sense but I was slowly inching my way to freedom in a spiritual sense.We recieved spiritual feedings in jail but they were stagnant. You stood at the gate and only a certain amount of inmates from each block could attend. Sometimes I wouldn’t even stand in line knowing my belly was full and there were lost souls craving the food . On April 17, 2011 I was blessed to be one of the few to be selected to go to the Palm Sunday church service. I remember being spoken to about Palm Sunday and being guided on how to prepare our hearts for Easter. On Easter, God revealed His desire for me to do a NO TALK fast. I was to remain silent from sun up to sun down. I chose to be obedient . I prayed , meditated , and read God’s word all day long. I took a piece of bread and my koolaid from lunch so I could engage in private  Communion with God. I took communion in remembrance of what Jesus had done for us on Easter Sunday. At that point I was  halfway done with my sentence. In the following week  inmates were being released due to overcrowding.  I prayed my name would be pulled in the lottery. God had other plans. I had to serve out the sentence God had imposed not the one society had imposed. A few days after my release I would discover the significance. June 5, 2011 was Ascension Day. This date is not celebrated bascensiony Christians in our western society but is very crucial in the validity of Jesus Christ as our savior. It was the day Jesus ascended into heaven. Two days later my sentence would be completed and I would be free. Lent, Easter, and the Ascension mimic my season of incarceration and release. Four days later the holy spirit would move about my soul as it did on the day of Pentecost. This was the  beginning of a spiritual awakening to my soul. It was a personal closeness with God that brought about a new improved me.  Do you believe in coincidences or do you believe God had a plan all along. Jesus may have ascended to heaven over 2000 years ago but the remembrance of Jesus ascending in 2011 sparked a light for me to go and fulfill the great commission.
New Year, New You

New Year, New You

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17~
The last 15 days my church had challenged us to do a fast as a tribute to the New Year. They were believing for great advancements for not just the church but the church body as well. I chose to fast social media. I was a little apprehensive considering facebook seems to be my modern-day crack. I literally went through withdrawal symptoms as any addict would. I am proud to say I  made it through. It was difficult at first but I was happy to enjoy the increase in my spirituality. We were challenged to spend at least 15 minutes a day in devotion. I replaced my facebook time with more wholesome Godly activities such as reading books, devotions, and spending time in prayer. This actually led to probably fifteen hours with God instead of fifteen minutes. This showed me how even though I was not as close to God last year,  His hand was still active in guiding me all throughout 2014.During the fast I was able to reflect on my completed goals for 2014 and make God inspired goals for 2015.  . On New Years Day 2014 I declared I would find love. Come January 2015 I am still single, So did I find love? I sure did! I found how God is  LOVE  , I figured out how to LOVE others beyond belief, even to LOVE the ones who had hurt me in the past, but most importantly I found a deep LOVE  for myself.  Along with falling in love with all the right people in 2014, I made great progress career wise. I passed my PTCE making myself a Certified Pharmacy Technician. I completed my churches leadership program and made great advancements in my spiritual life. I became more committed to my church as well as fulfilling the great commission. During my fasting season I had been reminded of August 2014 when I hit an advancement wall. By this time all my goals had been achieved.  I needed to set out to make new goals so I didn’t remain idle. I had learned 2 important things from this reflection. 1) I learned that throughout the year God will write many goals onto our heart and we are to obey them completely. This benefits us not just spiritually but mentally as well.  2) I need to resolve to make stronger goals for 2015. The fast gave me a chance to look back at my achievements and to look forward to my future. With all of our successes  in 2014 I am looking forward to celebrate our successes in 2015!
A Generous Heart

A Generous Heart

  genrous heart                                       

“They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything–all she had to live on.”
                                                                     ~Mark 12:24~


My children haven’t always had a lot . Both have been homeless living in a motor home not knowing where their next meal was coming from. Some adults have not even been where my children have been nor seen what my children have seen.  We were eating a nice meal at TGI Fridays when the Balloon Animal Artist came by.  At that moment realizing that we had no extra cash we politely declined.  My children’s Aunt dug in her purse and pulled out $2. She gave a dollar to each child. My son was adamant about getting a  balloon dog. My daughter politely asked if she may save her dollar for something else. The Aunt approved and my daughter stuck her dollar in her purse. As we all sat there observing the lady making a my son’s balloon,  my son kept saying he was going to pop it. He gave the lady the dollar and played with his new balloon puppy. We did get  him to exit the restaurant and walk over by the car before he decided to demolish the little thing. I guess boys will be boys. We asked my daughter what she was going to do with her dollar.  She contemplated getting something from the local dollar store. We had to pick up a few items for the children and the aunt and I were having an in-depth conversation so we walked over to Wal-Mart. As we entered the store, the  Salvation Army Bell ringer was outside. My 14 year old Angel pulled the dollar out her purse and dropped it in the bucket. It was a proud mommy moment. She had decided to give. Then she asked me ” Do you know why I give?” I said ” Why ,Honey?” She said “Because I know what its like to not have!” Unfortunately my children do know what it’s like to live in poverty, however it has sparked a generous spirit within my daughter.
Two weeks later and again my Angel was at Wal-Mart. This time she was with her grandmother and brother. Her grandmother called me on the telephone to tell me what had just happened with my daughter. She begins to tell me that they came in contact with a lady walking through the parking lot asking for money. I stop my mother mid story and said ” she gave the lady money?” My mother confirmed  with a puzzled tone in her voice. I said “I know, she’s a giver, she gave into the bucket at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago!” I am so proud to know that my daughter has such a wonderful characteristic about her, A generous Heart. Looking back, my daughter has always been a generous soul. She has always wanted to give her old toys to other children in need. She loves making sure her brother has everything he needs. The next time you see a donation bucket or someone asking for money, just think of the generous heart of a child. If a child can do this why can’t we? If children can understand this concept, why do we as adults have a hard time understanding it?
My Identity in Being Single

My Identity in Being Single

” The antidote to loneliness is not found in marriage, at least not by itself. It is found in our relationship with God who is always with us , the true Lover of our soul. It is found in friends and family . And it is found in the family of faith, the eternal community of the church.”
                                                           ~Peter W. Chin
I have been single for 5 years now . Two failed marriages which brought about  two wonderful children. I often wonder if I am Miranda Lynn Steenmeijer's photo.considered a true child of God because of my failed marriages. Upon biblical research I have discovered there are two categories to being single. There is the unmarried and then there is the widow. The unmarried seems to mimic the ones who are yet to be married and has yet to produce offspring. The widow is the woman who lost her husband to death. A widow is more likely to understand a single mother than an unmarried.  But if a single mother has never been married it seems she may not understand the dynamics of marriage therefore may not be as knowledgeable than a widow may be. This is where my  lack of identity in God comes into play. When I see the word unmarried in the bible I can not help but realize that is not the category for me. Then I read about the widow and once again discredit the category. I was beginning to think  I would  never fit in with the world or others in my church. I can sympathize in many ways however I am still not them. I read this article last week and found no encouragement as it was geared towards the unmarried. So that made me think, Am I justifiably single ? Am I loved by God and other Christian believers? Then I received a free download for a book titled .THRIVE The book brought into perspective not just the unmarried but the widow as well. Now I had discredited being a widow but the more I read into it my true identity was revealed. I am a widow. Whew, I said it and now I feel like a true child of God.  Yes the man I had married is very much alive physically however he is very much spiritually and emotionally dead inside. I have spent nearly 5 years grieving the death of my marriage. How could anyone in such situations such as myself not qualify as being a widow? Now that I am familiar with identity what’s the next step?
 I was chatting with a co-worker and He told me he had been married once. Been there , done that. If you would have asked me five years ago my response would have been quite similar. Been there done that 2x and I don’t believe third time is the charm. Figuring out who I am as a Christian and my identity is the first key to contentment in being single. One being my relationship with God has grown and I truly believe God has another man in sight for my future. My true love, the one he has intended me to be with all along.   I believe  growth is a main key for me today, But being patient is more important . While patiently awaiting my true prince I focus a lot on becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman. I devote myself daily to becoming  a wonderful wife to my new husband. We are blessed that God loves us enough to trust us with being single. Even the Apostle Paul was content in being single discover for yourself in 1 Corinthians 7.
Simple Prayer:
Lord God Almighty, Thank you for loving me enough to reveal your will for my life. Please help to prepare me to be a Proverbs 31 woman and to stay content during my single years. Help to mold me and shape me into the best wife I can be for my future husband.
In Jesus Name