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Let’s Be Honest…

It’s not always easy to wake up every single day with a happy attitude. There are many reasons why we could be tempted to be unhappy. I can name quite a few as I’m sure you could too! 

One thing I do know is this: You do not just wake up one day and decide you are going to have a bad day, at least you shouldn’t.  I’d be safe to say, for the most part, you wake up with good intentions, ready to follow the same routine you’ve followed for the past 10 years or so, hoping you get a good break, or at the least that one of your prayers will be answered.  And that’s on a good day!  On a bad day, you just want to make it through without hurting someone or something.  But every day when you arise, you have a choice to select between two worlds—the world of endless possibilities or the world of unending disasters.  Which world will you live in today? 

What happens within the process of your day begins to mold and shape your future.  Let’s say you woke up this morning with a heart full of hope and a new-found excitement because something amazing happened the day before.  Perhaps you went to work and your boss told you you’ve been recognized by the big wigs in corporate and they are giving you a raise in pay.  This is great news, especially when you’ve been praying for a year straight to see a break-through on your job.  But what you didn’t know was that you were about to face a significant blow to your finances.  Midday you receive a call that your son has totaled his vehicle, which you were still paying on.  Instead of rejoicing that he is alive and well, you focus on the damaged car and how much it is going to cost to either repair or replace it.  Your happy-go-lucky attitude just got sucked into the phone line and didn’t come back: it was replaced with anxiety. 

Say that then on the way home you get a call that a close relative was murdered.  Not only taken from his family and loved ones but taken way too early in life.  You try to gather your thoughts but cannot.  At this point your confusion gives way to all the other pressures you haven’t really dealt with, like the bills that still need to be paid, not to mention the fact that there’s no way you’ll be able to travel for the funeral.  This grieves you above all else. 

You then cry out to God and ask, “WHYYYY!?!?”  “Why,” because you do not understand how someone like yourself who abides by a moral code—who lives by the golden rule everywhere you go, who lives to please and honor God, who prays, works hard, serves her family, the local church and community, loves others, and gives, and gives, and gives, yet doesn’t feel the fulfillment of what you expect.  I mean, you do your best to live as a law-abiding citizen, you don’t go around hurting people, not that you are perfect but you’re certainly not a menace to society.  “So, what is the deal?  Where am I missing it?” 

These are questions I’ve asked myself over and over.  It’s as if you’re at the breaking point and you can’t handle another problem.  You really want to give up, but what does that look like? 

“Do I stop answering my son’s calls?  Do I ignore the bill collectors?  Do I go home and hide under my blankets and binge on movies or play games on my phone like candy crack (I mean Candy Crush) all night until I have no more lives or money?”

Then slowly but surely you begin to retreat from the fight.  It’s what they call a fight or flight moment.  I can say I have done both on multiple occasions.  It’s just that some days are better than others and some days I feel better than others.  You know those days when you feel like you can conquer the world and defeat the Kaiju alien monsters from the movie “Pacific Rim.”  Then you have those days where you feel like a helpless orphaned child with nowhere to go and no one there to help. 

For me, I did not realize I was slowly beginning to retreat.  Even though there were battles I was winning, there seemed to be a lot more stacked against me.  My strength was fading, but I did not and would not admit it.  After all I was being watched by EVERYONE!  And people were depending on me both to succeed and to fail.  (But that’s a whole other subject for later.)  My health was declining.  My relationships were thinning, my money was waning, leading me to start feeling sorry for myself and questioning who I was.  In my rejection I was acting like Cain. Instead of being true to myself and self-confident, I was subjecting my heart to unnecessary suffering, blaming everyone else for my problems and hating them because of it. 

Read more from Author, Mari Benning, purchase a copy of her newest book by CLICKING HERE;

“Thank You For The Ice Cream”

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY
You’ll enjoy as she shares personal heart-wrenching stories along with embarrassing, comical accounts of how she was able to break free of the invisible chains that held her captive for years and how she found her happiness while in the midst of confusion.

I would compare this experience to the parable Jesus mentioned during one of his teachings.  In Luke 13:6-9, he taught the disciples the parable of the barren fig tree.  A man was walking his vineyard to see if his fig tree had bore any fruit, as it had been three years since he planted it. He found no fruit.  He told his worker to cut the fig tree down because it was useless and a waste of good soil.  The worker replied, “Sir, leave it this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.  Perhaps it will bear fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.”

That parable tells me there is hope.  Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to pull out the roots as if they are bad, but if we cultivate the trees of our mind, we may get a better crop.  The tree itself has the ability to give a good or poor harvest.  We just need to dig around a little more and fertilize it better.  Sometimes it’s not always good to pull out roots because it leaves a hole that needs to be filled.  Take our teeth, for example.  When the dentist pulls out a tooth, she recommends we replace that area with a sort of brace or a replacement tooth in order to keep the rest of the teeth in their prospective places.  If you uproot that tree that God planted, you run the risk of other things in your life shifting out of place.  Let’s cultivate our ground and impregnate our thoughts with God’s word as fertilizer and see a better harvest from our lives.

Take a moment to share what you are thankful for…

 

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It’s Time To Get Your Happy Back!

THANK YOU FOR THE ICE CREAM

IS ON SALE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD ON BARNES & NOBLES! USE CODE: BNPTHKUFREE

CLICK HERE TO GET IT FREE!

TY23.jpeg

Have you ever felt like throwing in the towel because so many bad things were happening to you? Have these trials hijacked your happiness?

In her newest book, Thank You For The Ice Cream, Mari Benning talks about the harsh reality that she had to deal with in order to live an authentically happy life. Although being an outgoing, funny, lovable, inspiring and entertaining person there was something below the surface causing her anger, resentment, battles of depression and unhappiness, which she hid from people for years.

  • Thank You For The Ice Cream, is bursting with inspiration and power-packed revelations birthed from a deep soul-searching encounter that will shift your world and revolutionize your thinking and way of living
  • You’ll be captivated by the authors’ transparency as she shares personal heart-wrenching stories along with embarrassing, and comical accounts of how she was able to break free of the invisible chains that held her captive and how she found her joy while in the midst of confusion.
  • Mari Benning shares what most women think about but are too ashamed to admit.  Thank You for the Ice Cream will keep you engaged from beginning to end.

If you’re ready to take back your happiness, you need this book!

Never before has anyone exposed the vices many don’t have the courage to speak about. Can you afford not to buy this book?  It’s time reach your desired destiny and be genuinely HAPPY!

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE COPY!

#bookgiveaway #bookstagram #free #books #finish #determination #dreamcatcher #goodreads #amazon #mhm2019 #freebook #4mind4body #happiness #memorialdayweekend #weekendsale

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Thank You Book Pre-Order Link is Here!

Woohoo, the pre-order link is now LIVE!

I am so #Happy and #Grateful that my book is getting closer to launch day and

a sweet treat is going with it!

the PRE-ORDERS are on sale!!!!!!

That means you can PRE-ORDER your copy and as soon as it becomes available you will have it!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! 

  • I’m also giving away a FREE ICE CREAM gift card to TWO thankful Pre-Orders.

Winners of the Free Ice Cream will be able to choose from one of the vendors below;

Menchie’s or Dairy Queen! Look forward to sharing my ice cream with you!

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt Gift Card Image result for dairy queen gift card

 

XO,

 

 

 

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Thankful Journey Day 1

What are you #Thankful for?

I’m starting a grateful journey, to find something or things to be thankful for. So…Today was a challenging resolution day and I feel drained!!! Jesus… 😣😩 I mean, I was putting out fires all day and I ran out of water…figuratively speaking.

https://castbox.fm/app/castbox/player/id2061737?v=4.1.4&autoplay=0

My son asks me “how was your day?” I say, “it was exhausting”. Then as I’m washing the dishes, I think, what am I thankful for today? I am thankful for being able to resolve without conflict. Sometimes you just gotta shut your mouth and smile. It takes too much energy to try and defend your actions. How many times do I have to say sorry???🙄 You have nothing to prove. Owe no one anything but to love them.

Everyone won’t always agree with your stance on certain matters and that’s okay. You just need to make sure you can stand behind your decisions. Have you ever had that moment where you rehearse an event that happened and try to figure ways you could have or should have handled it? Today was almost turning into that type of day until I shifted my thoughts on something good.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

So, I’m thankful for self control today. OH, and I’m thankful for the fact that my honey came home safely from his trip. 🙌 #gratitude #tymovement #movement #momentum #ty #day1 #TuesdayThoughts

Not Easy, But Worth It!

Dearly beloved, I want you to know, when you are the first to walk an unknown and untrodden path, it can be scary. You’re not sure what to expect.

Understand you will get scathed by uncultivated, overgrown grass and weeds. Side-eyed by watchers. Criticized by naysayers who are fearful of change. You will be ridiculed by the envious. At times you will be overlooked and misused because purpose is not known. ⁣They crucified the savior of the world unknowingly, why would it be different for you?

However, God sees and knows and goes before you. He enlightens your path and orders your steps, don’t be confused. You are Not mistaken nor forgotten. You will be respected by all after you have trodden the path. Making it easier for others to walk in the steps you’ve plowed. ⁣

Some will not acknowledge your strength nor applaud your work openly. The enemy has sealed their lips in hopes to discourage your perseverance. Don’t be fooled by it. In secret they are awed. ⁣

1Peter 5:10 “Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little”.⁣

God will send help, encouragement and strength. Many will come to your rising and in humbleness they will serve you. They will love you because you first loved them. 💞They are grateful that you stayed your course and endured your cross releasing them into their destiny. ⁣

Your labor is always noted by the one who matters.📝 It is not in vain. You are a powerful force creating a sanctuary for many.🙏 Your seed will rise up and call you blessed. Your name will be known from generation to generation. Those that have not known you yet will run to you saying they have waited for you. They will say, they were praying for you to rescue them. They will know you by the spirit. Flesh cannot discern it. It’s Not by Might, Nor by Power, but by His Spirit. ⁣

Tears of joy will flow from your eyes when your paths cross because this day was what you longed for. This was the vision that spoke to you in hiding. That will be one moment of many, when you see the fruit of your labor. ⁣
Continue onward and upward my brother and sister. Your reward is great. ⁣

The laborers are few but the harvest is plenty. Don’t be intimidated by the faces. Don’t get discouraged by the lack of support, the lack of 👍, your value is not determined by the plethera of ❤’s. Your worth is calculated by the jewels in your spiritual crown👑, the lives you have freed. Focus on these. It’s harvest time! Get ready to gather your portion from the seeds you have sown. ❤🙏🙌 ⁣

#shift #promotion #knowyourworth #mindset⁣

beloved #perseverance #Godiswithyou #godiswithinher #GodsPlan #legacy #godspromise

What Is Your Skin’s Age?

I saw a TV show on Dr Oz, of woman who were given a skincare analysis to determine their age based upon their skin. I thought it was interesting and wanted to try one myself, seeing how many people I took a skincare assessment for the fun of it to see how old it would say I look. To my surprise, it said I was 14 years younger than my actual age! 😝🙌

People are always surprised when I tell them my age because they think I look younger than I am. I am always grateful giving credit to God, my parents and of course my skincare routines over the years.

I’ve tried it all! For many years I used MaryKay Skincare and makeup products, I’ve used Noxzema, Neutrogena, PONDS, and Oil of Olay was a big one. I thought by using Oil of Olay I would have the beautiful skin I saw on TV commercials. Huh! Yeah right! Not a chance! I can say with surety that MaryKay skincare gave me the best results by far. I stopped using MK a while back when I no longer received my products at a discounted price. Price for me was always a major factor especially when on a budget. So for a while, I improvised by purchasing different yet affordable skincare products, whether online, or at Marshalls and TJMaxx stores. Although

I am currently using Limelife by Alcone skincare which I have found to be quite eye opening. I say this because they are more naturally derived products. Honestly, I’ve never paid close attention to whether or not the products I used were natural or if that really mattered as long as my skin looked good. Nor was I concerned about keeping younger looking skin until I hit my 40’s. Well, because in my 20’s and 30’s my skin was still bounce back resilient. And thanks to my parent’s genes I have always looked younger than my age.

Not sure if I’m the only one, but as a hardworking mom I really didn’t pay attention to the ingredient details at least I didn’t until I hit my 40’s. Whether it was midlife crisis or seeing lines form around my eyes, either way I knew I had to start taking care of my skin. So I went on a mission. But, my mission was to find products that worked within a reasonable price. I certainly did not want to pay an arm and a leg for stuff that was expensive and didn’t last long enough to save up to buy more. Am I the only one with this dilemma? I mean, I would visit Sephora only to find tiny barbie sized bottles of cleansers, creams and serums that were ridiculously priced and lasted for only a couple weeks. 😢

I wanted my investment to stretch out a little longer. Mind you, I wasn’t doing much research outside of Walmart, CVS, Sephora and Marshalls. Though you can find great deals at these stores, I wasn’t really satisfied with the guessing game of whether or not the product would work for me or if it was right for my skin type. #thestruggleisreal #skinproblems

Due to the laziness, lack of research and low beauty capital, I was starting to collect drawers and beauty bags full of mixed matched products. Its always best to buy the entire line as they are formulated to compliment the others. Anyway, I didn’t have the mulah to spend $100+ on products that might not work with and no recourse if I wasn’t satisfied. So I didn’t even go there!

In the end, I have decided to start getting serious about taking care of the largest organ of my body which is my skin, because you only get one. I have also decided to launch my very own skincare line in 2020! Get skin clear in 2020! Stay tuned for it!

I will be hosting product giveaways, samples, and models to test my products and more. I’m super excited about it!

I want you to be a part of my journey so stay updated with the launch by subscribing here and get real time updates so you don’t miss your opportunity to get #free stuff!

Xo, Mari B 💋💋

I Want It Now!!!

In the age of instant selfies and social media, the I want it Now mentality. It’s important not to get lost in the distractions or the trials. Stay true to who you are and what you believe.

You may feel like you’re not moving forward, but know that you’re NOT stuck you’re in development. Don’t allow yourself to be tossed around by every shiny gem you see. By every opportunity that seems good because your idea is taking too long. Don’t hang out in the valley of indecision, doubting what you carry…

When developing a negative, it needs time in the darkroom. Needs to be processed from an invisible image produced by the exposure to light into a visible one, this transformation causes the image to become permanent and now it is not sensitive to light exposure. It won’t be changed into something it’s not when fame and fortune arise.

But if your invisible image, your promise from God, your dream, your goal, your heart, becomes exposed to the light too soon it will be distorted and not fully developed and no one will be able to glean from the beautiful image it was meant to be.

So hold on to it! Cultivate patience, love and hope so that you will become the beautiful image God created! 🦋❤🙏😘

This “Gringa” Fell In Love With “Chocolate” and Created a Caramelized Legacy…

I believe rejection is the culprit in a lot of issues we deal with today, especially racism.

It is also a root of envy, murder, anger, mental health challenges, depression, suicide, the drug epidemic, oppression and the like. I used music, relationships and drugs as an outlet to try and cope with rejection. For some, it seemed to work for a while; for others, not so much. I was part of the “not so much” group. From my birth, a spirit of rejection attached itself to me which caused me to spend the rest of my days trying to fit in and prove my worth to society. I survived abortion but I didn’t overcome rejection.

I can remember my parents sending me to visit my grandmother in Puerto Rico at the age of twelve. I was so excited to go and experience the country my family came from. (I was oblivious to the fact that Puerto Rico is part of the USA. Well, I hated my history teacher, what can I say?) While there, I enjoyed the culture, the music, the food and the people. The majority spoke Spanish and I spoke Spanglish. A little bit of Spanish and lots of English. My grandmother introduced me to the neighborhood friends and we played together almost every day, unless I was with my grandmother. I’ll never forget the day when one of the little girls from the hood, jealous because her little boyfriend supposedly had a crush on me, told me that I didn’t belong there. She made it known to all the kids in the neighborhood that I was not a true Puerto Rican, but rather a “Gringa.” A what?! Gringa is a term used in Latin America to refer to a female American girl or one of British descent. “She had some nerve,” I thought to myself. My neighborhood back then would’ve considered her the Gringa, seeing as she had lighter skin than me, blue eyes and blonde hair.

I cried so hard that day because I felt the sting of rejection from my own kind, or at least those with whom I thought I had something in common. Being at a pivotal age in middle school, this crushed my world. I began to have a chip on my shoulder whenever people would call me “White girl” or “Jungle Fever.” I began to resent my own skin color. I was determined to prove my Latin heritage, or at least to try.

As a teenager, I found myself struggling to find my sphere of influence. But I wasn’t White enough to be accepted by my Caucasian friends, I wasn’t Black enough to hang out with my African American friends, and according to the kids in Puerto Rico, I wasn’t Latina enough either. I second-guessed my significance. Who am I?

I remember when I started dating my future husband, one of the neighborhood Spanish guys asked me out. I told him I was already dating someone, and he said with confidence, “Oh yeah, I’ve seen you with that n___a, you a n___a lover now?” Shocked, I flared back with, “Yep, I guess I am! You’re just mad because I don’t want YOU!”

Up to that point, I hadn’t really wanted to admit that racism still existed, but I grew up in it and felt the backlash from all sides. Don’t get me wrong. Personally, I could have cared less about your color or race; if you were cute, you were cute. Before I met my husband, I dated a couple guys who were both outside and inside of my color spectrum. One thing in common with ALL races is this: when they break your heart, it hurts. We all bleed red.

When I was out with my tall, dark, and handsome boyfriend, I would get the stare-downs by African American girls hating on me. I would hear comments like, “Why doesn’t he date someone from his own race?” Little did I know, I had broken a barrier of racism and God was using me to tear it down, but it never felt good nor was it easy. In a way, this was to my benefit as it helped me to become more diversified. I hung around with all races and religions. I didn’t have a problem introducing myself to everyone, but it was important for me to be accepted by them. This made me a little too trusting and naïve.

My boy crushes who rejected me made me angry and insecure. What was wrong with me? Was I not good enough? I vowed when I entered highschool things would be different and I wouldn’t let anyone else hurt me again. In highschool, I flipped the script. Instead of being the pushover, I was the one doing the pushing. I not only became a bully, I started pushing boundaries I shouldn’t have. Instead of getting rejected, I was the one stamping rejection on their hearts. My grades started off great but soon tumbled along with my identity. I had taken lots of mental notes in elementary school and I used them to mold my new image for highschool and get revenge. I hid my pain behind a façade of comedy and a bubbly personality.

This hiding had my personality split in two. I would be one way at school and another way at home. I was good at living in two worlds at the same time, but let me tell you, it caught up with me. I got lost in between them and found myself slipping into a world I didn’t like and becoming someone I didn’t know. I became very needy and dependent on another’s opinion of me. My mother used to yell at me and say I didn’t need friends, and I would disagree. Again, I asked the question, “What was wrong with me?” I was looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places.

I did get a lot of rejection, and being a sensitive one, I would cry if someone who was once my friend turned into my enemy or hurt me. This made me a topic of laughter in my school. I was definitely a cry baby. Even today, I’ve been told, I’m too emotional. They would make fun of my tears or my worship, but I am proud of my tender heart because it makes me who I am. I was broken and God picked up all the pieces of my heart which were scattered and put me together beautifully, giving me the ability to be aware and responsive to the needs of others. I know who I am: I am the weeping prophet, like Jeremiah, and I’m totally good with that now. This realization didn’t come until an encounter with God.

As I grew in my relationship with Christ, I discovered my identity and became more confident in God within me rather than worrying about my inability.  Instead of focusing on my weaknesses, I started giving them over to God and allowing His strength to become my strength.  My confidence grew because my confidence in God grew.  This was due to me discovering myself in His word, the Bible.  My identity was hidden in Him.  The more time I spent in His presence, through prayer, worship, and His word, the more He poured His love in and on me.  God was loving the hatred and hell out of me.  His amazing love overwhelmed me to the point that it was spilling over to others.   I started seeing others through His eyes.  I also grew in confidence and joy.  I realized that I didn’t deserve His love but yet I have it.  Freely I have received, freely should I give.

The ruler of this world works hard at trying to keep you boxed in, fearful, angry, and prejudice, but you must discover your potential and release that power to change your world and the world around you.  Let the unveiling begin.  Jesus found himself in the Scriptures and walked them out.  He was the word made flesh.  It’s now your time to make His word your world.

If I would’ve allowed racism, hatred, and prejudices keep me from loving others, I would’ve never found my soulmate.  I would’ve missed the opportunity to raise a beautiful family and be adored by the wonderful husband God gave me.  It feels so good to be loved by them.  I pray that my children embrace their race, culture, diversity and spiritual legacy.  That they never allow themselves to fall prey to the ugliness lurking in dark places.  I am thankful to God for translating me out of the darkness into His glorious light.  For loving me and freeing me from the invisible chains and causing me to walk in purpose and unity.  True unity.  True friendship.  True LOVE!  There is more power in unity than in solitude. 

What are you thankful for?

#Truth #RaceAmity
#RaceAmityDay

@NCRAmity @RaceAmityFest

Competition or Creation?

TY14.pngWe are taught all our life to be competitive instead of being creative.  I was never the competitive type;

I was good at things, but I didn’t feel I needed to prove myself.  I mean if someone is good at something, it’s up to the other person to search them out.  That’s why you have auditions, tryouts and practices.  I tried out, but I wasn’t always the first pick.  But you have individuals that always jockey for position.  And to them I say, Jockey on, my friend, jockey on.  Not my style. I drill the thought into my kids all the time how much I want them to be better than me.  Now I’m wondering if this is even a good strategy to motivate them.  I’m thinking maybe not.  Growing up, I can remember the feeling of not being picked for a play or a sports team.  It made me want to crawl in a corner and cry.  

Read more…ORDER YOUR BOOK HERE! 

I took some nuggets from the book, “The Science of Getting Rich,” by Mr. Wattles. 

  • People must be taught to become rich by creation, not competition. Every person who becomes rich by competition throws down behind him the ladder by which he rises and keeps others down; but every person who gets rich by creation opens a way for thousands to follow him and inspires them to do so. 
  • You must get rid of the thought of competition.
  • You are to create, not to compete for what is already created. You must never think for a moment that the supply is limited.

When I read that insert from Mr. Wattles, I realized that was me.  I was a creator, not a competitor.  Competition didn’t drive me to do better, I wanted to be the best.  I didn’t want to win by default, by cheating or because someone else got hurt.  I wanted to win because I did my best and deserved to win. 

My pastor would always say, “There is no shortage of money,” so there’s no need for us to compete with each other.  We may fall short of getting it because we have the wrong mindset, or we are trying to compete to get it.  You don’t ever have to worry that there will not be enough for you or that someone will get to it before you do. 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to lose in anything.  Whether it’s a game, a contest, a raffle, a giveaway, a fight, a race, an award, or especially an argument where I was right.  Nor do I like to lose the credit for a deed.  In other words, if it was my idea, I would like to get that credit.  It was my mental production so why should someone else benefit off of its accolades other than the true owner?

The position I held required me to reach certain sales goals and just meeting my minimum wasn’t good enough.  I wanted to go above and beyond.  If my coworker was killing it in her sales goals and I was struggling that month, I was irritated by it, especially if I felt there was foul play involved.  I hate injustice. 

But who am I to judge?  Maybe she is more skillful or determined than I am.  I need to check my skills and better myself.  I may be a better salesperson than she is, but that still doesn’t give me the right to judge.  I cannot be mad, because the scriptures tell us it rains on the just and the unjust.  The sun shines on us all, but what we do with that shine is up to us.  If we run to the shade every time the sun comes out, how do we expect to grow? 

Read more…ORDER YOUR BOOK HERE! 

I needed to forgive people that have hurt me…

Would you want to give a gift to someone who only complained about everything you’ve ever given them?

TY5.pngSomeone who is always begging and never grateful?  Of course not, so why do we expect God to bless us when we are acting like the children in the wilderness?

The children of Israel were rescued from Egypt and on their way to Canaan, but they forgot the art of thankfulness.  They complained the whole time.  Whenever things weren’t going their way, they whined, grumbled, protested, murmured, nagged, nit-picked and found fault in Moses.  The people got on Moses’s nerves so bad that he got angry with God, which caused him to miss out on crossing over to the Promised Land.  If I treat my moments of wilderness like they did, I will extend my visit there and be miserable.  I remember God told me, “Until you find joy in what you are doing at your job and those with whom you are doing it, you will not see an increase”.  I needed to see growth, so I began to pray for grace during this season.  I needed a remedy.

Read more when you order your copy here: CLICK HERE!

This envy, resentment, bitterness and hate was killing me, and I mean literally.  One day during a healing service at my church a lady came over and began to pray for God to heal me.  I had been suffering with gall stones for years and never paid attention to it.  It was so bad the doctors said I might need surgery to remove my gall bladder, but I wanted God to miraculously heal me.  I’d seen Him do it before, so why not?  While the lady was praying, she began to tell me that I needed to forgive people that have hurt me, and the reason I had stones in my gall bladder was because I had envy, anger and resentment built up.  I shrugged her off because I didn’t feel that was true.  I was looking for a miracle, not a rebuke.

Not long after this service I was rushed to the emergency room bowed over from excruciating pain.  My stomach was contracting as if I was in labor with child.  I had no clue what was going on; but let me tell you, the pain was so intense, it woke me up out of my sleep and would not stop.  The doctors performed a sonogram and discovered that I had gall stones the size of jumbo olives.  They were too large to pass and my liver was overworked.  The doctors had to do emergency surgery. One of the stones had also traveled to my esophagus, so they had to put a tube down my throat to remove it.  That was causing the most pain.  All of this because I did not take heed to the warnings.  The envy, resentment and anger had turned into stones within my body because my body didn’t know what else to do with it.  God wanted to heal me, but I didn’t want to acknowledge my sin.  You better believe I was asking for forgiveness the night of my surgery.

I was so happy the surgery went well, and I was on the road to recovery.  There was another reason for my happiness.  During my recovery, I was inspired to write my first book, Unleash Your Divine Design.  I had never written a book in my life, nor had I ever thought about becoming an author, but this adversity had within it the seed of a greater benefit and for that I was extremely grateful.

What are you #thankful for?

Don’t I deserve to be happy? 

I could not articulate what I was feeling in my heart at that moment…

Me pink

You know that culmination of thoughts and emotions you’ve been holding on to until now.  Oh boy, the volcano was getting ready to erupt and my hubby was about to get burned up into ashes!  I said, “All I know is that I want things to be better.  I wanted to be happy.”

Read more…click here to get a copy of the book: Thank You For The Ice Cream.

Don’t I deserve to be happy?  What’s wrong with wanting to be happy?  I didn’t voice those two questions, but I wanted to.  A sense of pridefulness and embarrassment came over me.  I dared not utter all the desires I pictured in my mind that I thought would ease the pain of needing more in life, because I didn’t want to look stupid.  But I really couldn’t put a finger on what I wanted.  I just wanted out of the fight.  I was breaking down and giving up.  I had to face the hard fact that my happiness would not come from a man, from people or things.  You cannot depend on these as a source of happiness.  I needed my joy back, not a superficial fly-by-night feeling.  We sometimes confuse the two.

Joy is the intangible, inward feeling you have even when everything around you is collapsing, while happiness only comes based on the outer world and things that appease our five senses.

I hope you apply this statement to every situation in your life.  If you are depending on a house to make you happy, what would happen if you never get it?  If you never marry the man of your dreams, will you be happy in your singleness?  If you never get that promotion, will you still work as hard as you did to try and get it?  Take all of the answers which you believe will solve your unhappiness and think about the outcome of not having them.  This will really be the determining factor for your quality of life.  I thought about my answers and it really brought me to my knees because I could not say I would still be happy if I didn’t get my new home or whatever else I was asking God for.

We really have to resolve within ourselves that these things are temporal and subject to change.  We must become like Paul, content in whatever state he was in because he carried this revelation.  God was his reward and he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him.  God was Abraham’s exceedingly great reward, and He is our reward.  He is our source of joy, strength, happiness and life.

Happiness is an outward feeling that fades when things fall apart but joy keeps you together through tough times.  Jesus endured the cross because of the joy that was set before Him.

Read more…click here to get a copy of the book: Thank You For The Ice Cream.

You Can Have Your Cake And Ice Cream Too…

Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too! Why not?

TY

Book Excerpt:

Happiness: pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, delight, enjoyment, satisfaction. 

One day after work, I was feeling like life was crushing the breath from my lungs. My husband picked me up and on the way home, a deep sorrow flooded my soul.  I felt defeated and depleted by everything going on in my life, in our lives, and I was at the breaking point where I wanted to give up fighting against the grain.  Where was the light at the end of the tunnel?  I felt drained of strength, energy, willpower, peace, self-confidence, authority, influence and most of all joy.  But the mistake I made was to try to replace joy with happiness.  “I am not happy!” I said to my husband as I cried from a bleeding heart.  I really felt so unhappy and I believed I deserved to be happy.  Not because I was so amazing and perfect—I was not by any means—but yes, we deserve happiness in life.  Someone laid down his life over two thousand years ago so we could live a good life.

Read more…click here to get a copy of the book: Thank You For The Ice Cream.

A common thread for us all, as it is so eloquently written in the Declaration of Independence,

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Happiness is an unalienable right endowed upon us by our creator, but I was Les Miserable, and I was tired of faking it.  I felt limited and entangled by the cares and snares which the world smothered me with, far from freedom.  Have you ever felt trapped like that?  I was a slave to my circumstances and emotions.

My husband asked me, “Why do you feel unhappy?  What do you want?”  I did not have the answer.  It was not my husband’s fault and there was nothing he could do at that moment to make me happy.  It’s not his responsibility to do that anyway; it was something I had to receive within myself.

Although I must admit, there was a time when I thought my husband was supposed to make me happy.  Isn’t that what the fairytales were all about?  The knight in shining armor saves the princess from the evil dragon and they get married and live happily ever after.  My husband was supposed to be this rich guy who would rescue me from poverty and shame like the Cinderella story and I would live in bliss forever.

If you are in a relationship or a marriage and you are depending on the other person to always make you happy, you are setting yourself up for tragedy.  A man or woman was never made to fulfill you; they were created to be a companion.  They are your partner, not your source of happiness.  Though they bring you joy and cause emotions of happiness, this is only an outward stimulation.  True joy radiates from within.

There were moments in my life where I wanted more, and I wanted to stop having to fight so hard all the time to get it!  I wanted to be able to do more and enjoy life to its fullest.  I would always find reasons for why we had not arrived, why I wasn’t in my happy place.  The reasoning mind will always accommodate you in your distress by filling your thoughts with negativity and images to add fuel to that fire.  I thought, Well, if my husband had a better job, if we didn’t have kids, if we didn’t have all this debt, if we hadn’t moved, if we never bought that house, if we hadn’t been fired, if we had better opportunities, if we had more connections, if we had made better decisions, if we had our own business, if we had more money, if we only knew the right people, if, if, if, etc.  All of these “ifs” would run laps in my mind for days and even months.  Every time my husband and I hit a wall in life all the “ifs” would jump off the subconscious shelf and beat on my mind all over again.

I started breaking down.  I was becoming weary and angry and impatient.  So the easiest thing was to blame my husband for my unhappiness.  I believe a lot of marriages fail not just from money issues but from heart issues.  They never try and heal themselves, but go on hoping that superficial things or people, especially their spouse, will bring happiness.  We are selfish by nature, but when we don’t fight selfishness, we become an idol to ourselves and everything centers around me, me, me.  Then the blame game begins.  You and I know being around selfish people is not fun.  If we are truthful, we try to avoid these types of scenarios and those kinds of people because they are too self-centered.  As far as they’re concerned, you are insignificant.  Because your opinion is worthless in their eyes, that encounter can result in a heated conversation.

Read more…click here to get a copy of the book: Thank You For The Ice Cream.

Take a moment to share what you are thankful for…

Happiness is a choice.

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I was thanking God for promotion and looking for openings.

I remember a time when I was being overlooked on my job for a promotion I really wanted.  I had not been employed a full year; however, I was determined to get a full-time position.  During my initial interview with the manager, I mentioned my career goals in spite of knowing I was being hired for a part-time position.  I boldly told the manager I would be full-time within six months and I was sticking to it!  I had learned my position quickly and developed my skills as I checked the career openings site almost every day.  I was good at what I did and far exceeded my sales goals month after month.  One of my coworkers quit, so a position opened up, but the manager who had hired me was no longer my manager.  I had a new manager to whom I needed to explain my goals.

What I didn’t mention was that during the interim where we had no manager, I had been treated like Cinderella the step daughter, because I had been in favor with the manager who had left, and now that she was gone, I was on my own.  During that time, I would cry out to God because I didn’t want to stay in that position anymore and I had a lot of opposition to deal with.  It seemed like a sabotage to me.  I was given positions no one else wanted because in them it was harder to make your sales.

But God!  When God has his hand on you, no one can stop you, no matter how hard they try.  I told God I would continue to have a great attitude towards my coworkers and my situation.  I would always confess that I was empowered to prosper and repeat my goals whenever I felt like I was getting discouraged.  I kept my thoughts on promotion.

In came the new manager.  I was killing it in sales, which is a good thing, even during the worst of circumstances.  God gave me favor with the clients and with my manager.  When I expressed my goal to move up in the company, my new manager rooted for me.  God had prepared a table for me in the presence of my enemies—I mean, coworkers.  Our corporate leadership started to take notice, giving me recognition on calls I had no idea were going on until my manager mentioned them in our meetings.  Let me tell you, the more favor I received, the more I felt the dragon breathing hotly down my neck.  You know how you can feel people talking bad about you, but you don’t actually hear them.  Well, I knew, and God knew too, which is why He says he gets the last laugh.  I used to say this to myself whenever I felt overwhelmed.

I was thanking God for promotion and looking for openings.  One year to the day after I had started, guess what?  The company created a new position and it seemed right up my alley.  I mentioned it to my manager with hesitation because I wasn’t sure if he would be willing to let me go.  Managers have to approve your move, and so if you are a great asset to the company in your present position, they may want to keep you there, but not him.  He encouraged me to apply and told me how great I would be and how he didn’t want to keep me from reaching my goals, because he saw that I was a hard worker.  Can you say, favor!

Well, I jumped on the opportunity and applied.  I was super nervous because I knew they would be checking my credit and I had gone through bankruptcy a year prior.  I didn’t want to lose my chance to advance because of my past.  I was trying to get back on my feet.

After I applied, I got a call from human resources asking me all kinds of questions, and they wanted to know the story about the bankruptcy.  My belly dropped to the ground and my heart was racing a mile a minute.  I had clammy hands and tried not to have stuttering lips, but by the grace and power of God, I explained what happened.  A sweet voice on the other end of the phone said, “Okay, we will contact you once I speak to my manager.”  I hung up the phone and felt a big lump in my throat.  I wanted to cry.  This was a painful memory for me to relive, and now that my employers knew, I felt so ashamed.  Of course, the enemy harped on me for a while with thoughts of not getting the promotion, causing anxiety to arise.  But in all this, I trusted God.  I saw myself in that position before I even applied.  I believed that God had given me favor.

It just so happened that the next day, one of the big kahunas was in our branch.  She supervised our region and she loved me—well, my performance—and I told her what had happened and that I was waiting on a response.  Her reply shook my faith for a minute.  She said that I shouldn’t get my hopes up and that I might not get it considering the situation.  Yet a few months ago she had been telling me how she would help me move up in the company and always put in a good word.  Where was her faith in me now, when I needed it the most?  I felt crushed.  She of all people needed to co-sign this move in order for me to be approved.  I was determined that God had created this position just for me.  It was on the anniversary date of my hire when it was announced and I knew this was the hand of God, so I prayed and thanked.

A few days later I get a call from Human Resources and they asked me if I would accept the position and the pay rate being offered.  Um, YES!! Absolutely!  I was ecstatic with joy.  God did it, he really did it.  He caused these people to overlook my shameful past and give me another chance.  I was moving on up, to the east side.  I was literally being moved closer east, steps away from the beach, a move that would later strategically position me to step into my next role as a Director of a Hotel on the Beach.  God orders our steps.

In John Maxwell’s book, “Today Matters,” I read something that stood out to me like a deer in headlights.  It read, “Happiness is something you decide ahead of time.”  If you are dreading the outcome before you’ve even begun, then you have already chosen your results.  Choose you this day, death or life, bitter or sweet, giver or remover, blessing or curse, grace or judgment.  When ugly circumstances pop up, will you think of how good can come from it, or of how bad it will be?  Naturally, if you are not vigilant, you will favor the easier route and bow.  If you don’t grab a hold of your thoughts right away, they will run rampant like a runaway train and attract more negative thoughts and negative vibes.

You have a decision to make every day, every minute.  All throughout the day you will have these choices.  Determine ahead of time what you want and stick with that same tune for the rest of that day.  Start over again every morning and choose to be happy and grateful.

 

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