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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Feet First

I was invited to a tea party very recently. Truth be told, much as I love the sister who extended the invitation to me, my first thought was to say no thanks. We were required to wear hats and I haven’t had or worn a hat in about ten years. The note she penned with the invite was so sweet and honoring though, that I said yes. This is one great lady that I respect so much, and who is is always fun to be around so I figured, why not?  The only challenge was this hat thing though. Hmm!

First thing I did was to reach out to my sistas. Anyone have a hat I could borrow? Or one of those little things women perch on their heads? Someone told me it’s not cool to let on that I was going to borrow something. My response was that I don’t do cool that way. My idea of cool is ‘authentic’. I mean, I wasn’t about to spend hard-earned money to buy a hat to wear for all of two hours and then never again. And truth be told, all of us – men and women alike borrow stuff. Why we go through the pretense of making like everything we have is ours, I have never been able to figure. When Prophet Elisha wanted to bless the widow, did he not ask her to go borrow pots in readiness for the overflow of oil that would then occur?

Anyhow, no one had a hat, and no one had a fascinator. And yeah, I never knew those ‘perchy’ hat-like things were called fascinators. You laugh? Well, they have never been relevant to my life and now knowing what they are called hasn’t moved me any closer to heaven, has it? Something for you to think about! Lol. One of my sistas was in the UK and offered to buy me one anyway. But, by the time she started to send me several pictures and ask me to choose, I shut it down completely. The bottom line is that hats are just not my thing anymore, and the effort of trying to comply with that simple phrase ‘hats appropriate’ was now taking me out of my normal space of being just who I am. I had laughed and said that unless they had dogs that would bite anyone who showed up without a hat, I would be going as my authentic hatless self. There is simply nothing as liberating as being who God has designed you to be, no pressures!

Bear with me guys. I’m going somewhere with all this.

Sorting through my jewelry as I got dressed that morning, I said to myself that I really must try to take better care of my things. Why? Because I am as carefree (careless?) as can be when it comes to hair, nails, etc. I can’t be bothered with arranging jewelry, stuffing shoes and bags, buffing them and then putting them back into their dust-bags (did I ever tell you I never knew what those were called until last year? Did you just roll your eyes? Lol). Anyway, the little jewelry that I do have is largely all dumped in a tangled mess in a big bag. Last Christmas I had received a jewelry case as a gift and surprised myself by taking time to arrange some of the few gold pieces I have into that case. But the rest… let’s not talk about how I have to untangle things each time I want to wear something different. Let’s NOT go there.

That morning though, I needed to do the untangling thing as I got ready for my work/afternoon tea day. I was getting kind of exasperated with a particular necklace I was trying to unknot, when I thought to myself that if only I had another case, I might actually again take time to arrange the rest of my stuff. I laughed out loud at the thought though cos I knew I would certainly never go looking for one to buy, so no need for the wishful thinking. Fast forward into the later part of the day and what turned out to be a rather lovely tea party. As we made to leave, the hostess surprised us with gift bags. I dropped mine on the seat of my car and didn’t think about it again until early the next morning. I can’t tell you how astounded I was when I opened the bag and pulled out the contents. There was a lovely table top calendar of inspirational quotes… and there was a jewelry case……almost exactly like the one I already had! You could have knocked me over with a feather. In awe and amazement, I immediately burst into tears at the manifest faithfulness of God. Sis, can you comprehend that He loves us enough and is mindful enough of us even in the smallest, almost ridiculous things? I mean, would you ever imagine praying and fasting for a jewelry box when you have so many greater challenges to contend with? Certainly not! Yet, He is attentive to our smallest wants and desires. He knows when even those little seemingly insignificant blessings can resolve one nagging area of your life and give you an added measure of peace, doesn’t He? He loves us like that, sis. He does!

My jewelry box testimony is nothing more than a reminder to you and I that we shouldn’t be so fixated on the big problems we have or think we have, that we miss the daily blessings the Lord unfolds in our lives. He is ever with us, ever speaking to us, ever upholding us with His everlasting arms of love. He is always in our details, always on our case. And He is always showing us….if we would open our eyes and our hearts to see, that He is working out His good and perfect plans for us. Simply an amazing God, that’s Who we serve! He is ever faithful! Ever faithful, sis!

But there’s another side to this, sis…and in my view that’s where God wants more of our focus to be today. God is always faithful, in our unfaithfulness… and even in times of our faithlessness. There is no question about His side of the equation. The question is in our response, it’s in our obedience, it’s in our intentionally moving forward to deliver on the things He has purposed to birth through us. You see dear, God has set us in the world so that each of us can deliver on our ‘such a time as this’ assignments. And make no mistake we all have specific assignments for our time here on earth. The enemy has made the world so noisy and so full of distractions that many of us cannot see our purpose, cannot discern the voice of God, or have no sense of direction. Many times we are so pressed down that we do not have the strength to move into the assignment, even where we do have clarity.

Sis, if you cannot hear, or have not been able to discern, that’s one thing. And I can promise you that it is only in the place of moving away from the crowd and from the noise, in the place of going into the presence of God – in praise, in worship and in reverential silence that you will receive specific instructions from Him regarding the things He wants you to do. But what of those of us who have heard but who have not obeyed? Is this how we should respond to a God Who is ever faithful and ever responsive to our needs? Hmm!

So before you think I am preaching at you, let me confess that it is my own delayed obedience to a mandate that has brought me into this space today. God spoke a word over me through a sister in the USA about five years ago, that He had placed a specific mantle on my head which I needed to walk into and deliver on. She didn’t have clarity on what exactly the mantle was but the word was strong and powerful and resonated strongly with what I had sensed in my spirit awhile back. I have trusted God to give me clarity since then. He delivered…. About two years ago actually! He spoke through another sista, and it was as if brilliant light bulbs went off in my brain. Talk about ‘Aha!’ moments… I had a major one.

Did I walk in it though? No sis, I didn’t. Not until very recently. Why?

Because life was happening, sis! Or rather, because I was allowing life happen to me. I have certainly been very busy over the past two years. And thankfully, I have been very productive. I have, by the grace of God, been faithful to deliver on many things God has laid on my heart to do…but this one thing….this mantle? Why did I just hang it in the land of ‘freeze’?

Sis, the assignment…it has been big; it has been scary; it was clearly going to place a lot of demand on me work and time wise; it was clearly going to put me in uncomfortable spaces; it was clearly going to demand a higher level of public and personal accountability, a demand for a greater depth of resilience from me than ever before; and it was clearly something I would never again be able to put down. Those are some of the reasons why I froze. Can you relate? Are you frozen as well in something God has called you to do?

One thing I know…God will continue to impress on you to do the work, to fulfill the mandate. Ultimately, you will have two choices – be obedient, or watch God move on! I got to where it became clear that I would have no peace until I delivered, and I was not ready to deal with the endless lifelong disappointment of seeing Him move on and place my assignment in the hands of someone else. My choice was not hard to make and I am currently doggedly working out the process to deliver the assignment.  

Did the mantle diminish? Nope, it’s still as huge as ever. Am I still scared? More than I can ever adequately describe to you, sis. Are the demands concerning uncomfortable space, accountability, work and time any less? You already know the answer. No, they are not…but I have jumped in feed first nonetheless!

So what changed? What changed was me realizing that of the many things God has had or will have me do, He has actually been preparing me for this space for a really long time, and until I deliver on this particular mandate I cannot claim to fulfill purpose. I came to the place of reminding myself that He Who called me to this mountain has also fully resourced and equipped me to deliver on the mandate. I reminded myself that the demand is for me to trust in God, His wisdom, His strength, His power, His enablement, and not my own. I reminded myself not to try to dive in with my head, because my head would reason and rationalize me out of making a move. I reminded myself that as I jumped in feet first, His arms would be beneath me and around me, that He would ensure that I do not drown, that He would lead me through as many waters as needed until He places me firmly and squarely in the place He has destined for me to be planted and flourish in the assignment. I had to remind myself that it was not about me…. It was and is about the Kingdom and about our God.  

Let me not go on, sis. Allow me simply ask you to look at the assignment(s) God has placed in your heart. It doesn’t matter how big it/they look(s), or how scary. God is asking us to do it afraid, counting on Him alone to sustain and uphold us, and to help us deliver. But we need to make that first move. You need to make that move. We don’t have time to waste, sis. Every day is a gift to be purposeful in. And no, it doesn’t matter how long you have sat on the assignment. God loves it when we intentionally decide to get up and take the step nonetheless. Please let that be your commitment today. I look forward to being a part of the testimony as you birth the mandate God has deliberately fashioned you to deliver to the world in this season. And the Lord will help you, sis. I wouldn’t be taking this step now if He hadn’t helped me. Trust Him with your assignment, sis. He will certainly come through for you too. Don’t overthink it. Logic has no place in the things of God. Once you are certain the assignment is from God… Jump!


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

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

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

JEREMIAH 2:

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.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

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.