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Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm excellent!

One of the most difficult aspects of being away on a long vacation, particularly if it was as fun-filled, as emotionally and spiritually enriching as mine was; is that at the end….the very next day...BOOM! Real life hits you! I mean you always just kinda hope that you will have the chance to ease into things slowly when you get back right? Right? Scratch that! No answer required. I mean this is clearly a rhetorical question isn’t it? Real life is always here. While you vacation to get some reprieve from your daily realities, real life stands back, adopts an "I'll never leave you nor forsake you'' posture and carries on like you never left. Indeed that is what happens exactly - life goes on!  You go away, yes.... but in the end, two -four weeks later, you do have to come back! Sigh!

Do I sound like my reality is a bad place to be? Oh no, no, no! That is surely not my intent. I have a great life for which I am eternally grateful to God. What I am saying though is that while dealing with the emotional adjustment of leaving my first child in another country; coming back to unpack our one-too-many suitcases; having the children start school the very next day and coming home with a pile of assignments that they needed  my help with; and then resuming work the day after to find several files and official emails awaiting my attention, plus several update meetings lined up by my various managers; my nerves were close to being fried at the end of day one. By the evening of day three, I was at my wits end. It was truly a bit too much reality too soon, lol. I knew I was close to breaking point when my hubby asked me what was a rather simple question and I couldn’t find the strength to respond. I simply slumped on the sofa in total mental, physical and emotional overwhelm. The poor man was understandably quite alarmed, I tell you. I mean all he did was ask what was for dinner. He held me in a quiet embrace and then 'ordered' that I went to sleep early (err... okay so I went to bed early. No sleep for a while as my mind pondered over the many things I had to deal with the next day. Sigh! Sigh! Sigh!).            

Faithful God that He is, the Father was clearly watching out for me, speaking a word to someone somewhere to reach out and encourage me. I awoke to find a voice message from my Coach, singing me her trademark 'Good morning to you' song. She asked 'How are you? I was thinking about you and want you to know that you are loved and appreciated’.  I responded to ask her to uphold me in prayers as I was struggling with the weight of current responsibilities threatening to overwhelm me. A message came right back from Coach Anna. She said a few things but what hit the mark, and this I share with you is that she said to me 'You are not struggling. That’s not who you are. You are EXCELLENT!'  Now if you know Anna McCoy, “I'm excellent” is her standard response to the question 'How are you?' and excellent she truly is!              
As she spoke those words to me, my eyes flew to the WAN bracelet on my wrist. As the Spirit drew me to focus on the ‘woman’ bead, the message behind that particular bead washed over my spirit once again. I declared afresh to myself: I am a woman of an Industrious Spirit! I am Excellent! I am a woman of an Excellent Spirit!  I am excellent because the I Am is in me and He is such an incredibly Excellent God. I am an Advancer! I am an Achiever! I am an Accomplisher! I am an Executor ! And yes, I am a Finisher! I am all I am because the greater One in me has empowered me with strength from on high to be all that I can be... all He has designed me to be!

I am not perfect..... My Father reserves that for Himself alone. In my imperfections therefore, it’s okay for me to struggle with the post-vacation overload. It’s okay as long as I do not allow myself to stay in the place of wallowing. It’s okay as long as I can make the deliberate choice to lift my head and see clearly that this too shall pass. It’s okay as long as I do not by my words, empower my challenges of this season… No, they shall not overwhelm me for I am well able! It’s okay as long as I have awesome people out there holding me up in prayers, speaking words of encouragement into my being. It’s okay because even in the place of my struggles, I am intentional about being a blessing in the lives of other. It’s all okay. It really is! I mean, just think about this concerning me, and concerning you sis:                                      

I am a child of the King! I am royalty! The Owner and Creator of the universe is my Father any my Friend! He gives me my very breath of life! He causes lines to fall for me in pleasant places! He goes before me to make crooked paths straight. He brings forth my health speedily! He fights my every battle! He keeps me from the snare of the fowler! He causes me to be content! His grace daily abounds towards me! He never leaves nor forsake me! He is with me through the fire and through the flood! He called me by grace into a personal relationship with Him! He daily loads me with benefits! He is my joy, my peace, my Lord! In my lowest of moments, He picks me up. When I cry, He comforts me. He is always before me, with me, around and behind me. He has hemmed me in on all sides with His love and protection. He has me in His secret tabernacle! He has awesome plans for me life! And best of all, in Him I have the promise of eternal glory.

Truly, I'm excellent ….simply because I am! Sis, you are excellent simply because you are! I don’t know what might be trying to steal your peace this period. It may be way more serious than post-vacation blues. It may be a genuine challenge to your health, your finances, or your most intimate of relationships. Today sis, I ask you to speak the ‘Who’ that you truly are and not of the situation you find yourself in. Adopt a “though He slay me yet will I praise Him” mindset and declare with me today that you are EXCELLENT! Agree with me that henceforth this will be our daily confession…. and I know we will surely see excellence play out in our lives in Jesus name. He did say we should decree a thing and it shall be established right? He did say that life and death are in the power of the tongue right? I choose to speak excellence today sis. My prayer is that you will too.

What was that? Did you ask me something? How am I?   

                           …..I'm excellent sis. Simply excellent!

Be blessed… for you surely are

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dying empty

The graveyard is the wealthiest place in the world’. We've all heard this often enough right? It’s full of unfulfilled dreams, un-utilised talents, untapped abilities, unapplied knowledge and information. This expression is so very cliché, yes! Nonetheless, no one can ever diminish the truth that it contains. Each of us knows several members of our families, circles of friends, professional colleagues, etc whom we can point at as not utilizing a fraction of their gifts and abilities. Too many have died without trying; too many more gave up along the way, their potentials never to be realised. Sadly, even as we point at others, many of us – yours truly included, could readily fit into this category unless we remain focused and intentional about how we live our lives. There is always that one thing (or several things, sigh!) that we know we can and should be doing, but which we so easily allow procrastination and the noises of life keep us from.  The Lord once ministered to me over something I had been dilly-dallying about, ‘Do not let complacency keep you from your destiny, my child’. That was a much needed kick in the shin, I tell you.

I don’t recall where I first heard the message about dying empty .....about pouring out of yourself everything that God sent you to this earth to achieve. However, I do know that this has become a constant prayer point for me, that on the last day the Lord should not have cause to question how well I fulfilled my assignment on the earth. With each new strand of gray that appears on my head (and yes there’s one too many at this time, lol) I am reminded that life is a countdown. Like many of us, I wasted many a year doing things that didn’t count for the Kingdom (check YouTube: Gbile Akanni’s message ‘You are dead’). As the years roll by, my prayer and focus with the help of the Holy Spirit, is to use the rest of my life as effectively as I can, walking in the purposes of God for my life. Indeed, my prayer is that at the end, I will die empty; that my grave will not be fertile soil full of unrealised potential.

I had a set of experiences over the past couple of weeks that added to my perspective on the richness of the graveyard. Perspective! I find myself using that word a lot these days. It seems to me like once you become focused on Zero-living, once you become truly Kingdom-minded, that you really don’t take things as they come any more. There is a message and there is learning in just about everything. The Lord is speaking to us constantly through seemingly regular everyday events, conversations, interactions, etc. The Bible tells us to ‘seek the Lord while He might be found’. Seems to me that this seeking is not about being in church or about our quiet times; rather the seeking is to be as basic to us as our simple act of breathing; that we might find Him in everything that we think, say or do while we still have the breath of life in our mortal bodies. Yes! This is my perspective. And you know what sis? In the place of this understanding, I am amazed at the constant, otherwise overlooked manifestations of God’s favour, mercies and grace upon my every area of my life. Simply incredible!

Over the past few weeks, I have come to a deeper understanding that if we truly have the love of God in us; that if we truly believe that God is love; that if we truly wish to follow the Lord as our example; then the ‘doing’ is in our love walk with our fellow man. Our love walk is required to be a daily commitment and is not situation dependent. It is not a function of convenience. True love cannot be denied. It shines forth from within, manifested in things big and small which it is so easy to take for granted.

True love is my sister Karen staying up late, time and again, at the end of her very challenging work days, just to sort out some of the local travel logistics for her sister (yours truly) and her brood. True love is her taking time off work for several days in a row and playing chauffer, travel guide, food advisor, entertainment counsellor, et al – even knowing that I could readily find my way, but choosing to honour me with her time and presence.... and love! True love is my Coach Anna and her husband Richmond opening their hearts and home to my entire family, eight of us in all. True love is them extending the invite to a friend of mine – and then there were nine! True love is them making the unsolicited drive to and from the airport at odd hours to pick up my friend whom they didn’t even know. True love is Shemetris and Juanita – two special sisters, one of whom I had never met, moving into Coach Anna’s home for the period (leaving work, family and other responsibilities) and making themselves fully available to serve (literally) my family and I in any way that would ensure our time in Dallas was a great experience. True love is Ms. Harla, Ms. Margie and all the incredible ladies of Woman Act Now USA who just loved on us prior to and in the course of our time in Dallas.

I could go on sis, but I won’t. There was love ....deep and continuously flowing. It was genuine; it was an agape kind of love; and around it revolved God’s grace and favour. Yes sis, in simply day-to-day things, I could see that His banner over us truly is Love! And so this is the broader perspective that I have......
I have come to realize that beyond the richness of the graveyard in terms of unfulfilled dreams, visions, talents and abilities; the graveyard is full of love that was not freely poured out. Too many people have died without giving of themselves in service of others; they didn’t love enough and so clearly, they didn’t live enough. While it might be too late for those who have already left this earthly realm, this is a good time for you and I to reassess our love walk. Are we allowing the past pains, hurts, disappointments, negative experiences, rejection, and fears keep us from allowing ourselves to love fully and freely? To love not just those who are close to us but also those who are not? Are we yielding fully to the call to serve? Are we yielding to the call to love those who appear unlovable and or undeserving? Are we missing out on opportunities to pour out love on others because we might be inconvenienced in the process? Food for thought!

My prayer at the end of the day – for you and I sis, is that of all the many things that the Lord has put in us, we might die empty of love.... for God is love, and if we are made in His image and likeness then we must be love, we must give love and we must show love. My Coach defines love as ‘Contending for the highest possible good to be manifested in the present moment’. That is all we are guaranteed isn’t it sis? The present moment? Father, please open our hearts to truly love like you do. Help us to forgive, to overlook, to open ourselves to love others like you love us. Help us to pour out love according to your ultimate commandments, that at the end we will die empty of the love you have put in us; and that the lives of your children (not the graveyard) will be richer because we existed. The Lord will help you sis... He will help me!

Be blessed sis...... for you surely are!

About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world



34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God


5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.


25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.