The Key to Contentment

“God where is my husband?”

“God I’m tired of working so hard with no recognition at work.”

“God I’m tired of this season that I’m in.”

These are some of the things I have said to God in my quiet time over the last few months. As you can see from these statements, your girl was far from content. I was the complete opposite and I was becoming frustrated because it felt like God was just ignoring me. Like “Hey God, it’s me Alex!” And all I got back was crickets.

So one day I just asked God how can I be content. Like what is the secret to being content not just right now, but in every season. So as I sat quiet on my drive to work I was expecting a response and you know what I got…crickets again. Like God come on.

As my day and the week progressed I totally forgot I asked God that question. Until I sat in church on Saturday night. (Yes, on a Saturday night and if you are in Atlanta you should join us at The GO Downtown!)

That week we started a new sermon series and it was about being generous. As I sat in church my Pastor mentioned gratitude. And God said that’s the key. God is that you? Did I just hear God after what felt like weeks of no answer. I did! And he answered my prayer. The key to being content in any season is gratitude.

That seems simply enough. Be grateful for the life God has blessed with you. Cool, I got this.

Then I log onto Instagram and another college classmate has announced their engagement or pregnancy. In this moment I was not thinking about gratitude. All that consumed my mind was God I can’t wait for this moment. But I didn’t want that to be my thought anymore. Yes I want to be married one day but I am grateful for the life I have now. God has truly blessed me.

So it got me to thinking. How can I make this practical? How can I express gratitude. So here are the two things I have started doing to help me have a gratitude mindset.

1. Every morning I start to thank God for the basic things. Like thank you God for lights, waking me up, working limbs, running clean water, a house, a car, clothes, a job, and etc. This has truly helped me to be grateful for things I may normally take for granted.

2. Every night I write down one thing that happened that day that I am grateful for in my journal.

The biggest thing about changing your mindset is being intentional and knowing it won’t happen over night but through capturing every thought as the Bible says.

Are you content in your current season?

If so share some tips on how you achieved being content? Are you struggling like me? Well let’s be accountability partners. We can conquer discontentment! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

I was on a prayer walk today and I was asking God why I seem not to be able to cut off this ex. I was telling God I really love him even though we have cut romantic ties and are attempting to be friends. I know this friendship is a slippery slope and I am ready to be able to just let go of everything. The friendship is just a way got us to still have access to one another and not because we are actually friends, so it’s time to let that go.

Then God said to me “What does love have to do with it? Just because you love someone or something doesn’t mean it needs a place in your life.”

I literally stopped dead in my tracks. God was right! Well when isn’t he right? Lol But what did love have to do with it?

Nothing. I was using love as an excuse to not move. To stay in a place I no longer wanted to be but I told myself because of love I needed to stay here. When actuality all I need is Jesus and water lol.

It got me to thinking what and who else was still in my life just because of love? I was using love as an excuse and that is not love. Was I still in a friendship with people because of love? Or staying at my job? And the more I thought of different things I realized the things I felt that needed to be removed I no longer really loved, I use to love them but I out grew them.

As a society we almost feel like it’s crazy to out grow people and things that no longer meet the needs of our life. Everybody is screaming “these are my day ones.” And yes it’s nice to have long healthy relationships, but it’s okay if you have outgrown that friend from 3rd grade or high school. People change and it’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you don’t like them or value them, they just no longer have a place in your life.

Until we realize that it is okay to walk away from people and things that no longer fit in the life that God is leading us in, we will always experience unnecessary pain. The pain will come when God has to remove these things and people from our life, which is never fun.

So what are you holding on to because of love?

Are You Settling For Better?

Do you want to know the secret to getting the best in life?!? You have to pass up better. Simple enough right? Seems like a simple enough concept, you are probably thinking I can do that. But trust me it is harder than what it seems.

If you are anything like me you have been through your fair share of ups and downs. So much so that when something decent comes around you jump on it. Rather it be a relationship, job, or just any opportunity. Because something is better than nothing right? Wrong.

God did not create you and give you a purpose on Earth to settle for anything mediocre. He desires for you have to the absolute best. His best. But to get to that best we have to not settle. This reminds of the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears. She did not settle when the first two porridges or beds weren’t the best for her. She kept seeking and she got the best. That should be all of our mentality when it comes to every opportunity in life.

Say this with me: I was not created to settle. Now I challenge you to say that everyday until you truly believe it. Settling is a choice you make when you don’t either trust God will fulfill His promise to you or that you don’t deserve God’s best. Both of those are lies from the enemy. God will always fulfill His promises, the question is do you have the patience and discipline to wait on Him? And to be honest none of us deserve the goodness that God shows us because we all fall short, but that is why we are thankful for his grace and mercy. God sees us as his children and will always give us the best gifts.

God will fulfill his promises for you! But are you ready to pass up better to get His best?

Lessons: From Year 27

As my last day as a 27 year old *insert tears* I felt inspired to write about what I learned this year. 27 was one of the most eventful years of my life. With me celebrating year 27 in Miami what else did I expect?!?

27 provided me lots of ups and downs but it was a turning point year in my life, so I’m grateful for every lesson. So here are 27 lessons I learned this year.

1. Walking away is hard but staying will hurt you even more

2. Moving forward requires movement

3. Change is uncomfortable but necessary

4. God’s love is enough

5. Some stress is self inflicted

6. Wise counsel is needed

7. Age is nothing but a number and has no effect on maturity levels

8. Counseling is a necessary part of your wellness

9. Character is developed in difficult situations

10. It’s okay to love people from a distance

11. Prayer is not equivalent to abracadabra. God is not a genie.

12. Things happen for me not to me

13. Choosing happiness daily is important

14. Some people will never want to see you win or do better than them

15. Friend is an earned title

16. You have something to say, so speak up

17. Holding on hurts more than letting go

18. You can truly be happy to see your ex’s happy and thriving

19. Buying a house is exhausting but sooo rewarding

20. Don’t allow other people insecurities and fears to hold you back

21. Showing grace to others means allowing 1 car over in front of you. Even though they waited until the last minute to get over lol.

22. God’s opinion of me is the only one that matters. I seek to please only Him.

23. When you reach new levels the enemy tries to up his strategies. But like that State Farm commercial I tell him “you gotta be quicker than that”

24. Do what makes you happy.

25. God has me hidden for a reason. My worth is priceless and he is not just going to let anybody get close to his most precious gift.

26. Drink your water.

27. Get a wellness routine. Massages, facials, and pedicures are a necessity for your mental health.

A Lot Can Happen In A Year

Sitting here writing this is surreal. They say a lot can happen in a year and my life was totally wrecked this past year.

August 12, 2017 I was sitting in a hotel room with the guy I was currently dating after attending one of my favorite artist concerts. I should have been on a high from all the excitement of the night but as I laid there I was fighting an internal battle. For the millionth time in the last several months I was asking myself what was I doing? This is not the life I imagined for myself. At 26 I wanted to be married and about to have my second child. The second child was an option but marriage, or even a committed relationship was nowhere in sight. Was I wasting my time with this guy? Or should I give him more time to see I was the one?

I was honestly tired of the internal battle I had been dealing with. I knew God, but like Bey and Jay I was on the run from having a real relationship with God.

I knew something had to change. But how? I was so desperate. I remember silently crying out to God to just show me how to get the life I knew he had for me. God had never spoke so clearly to me. I knew I had to drop everything that was my comfort and have a real relationship with him.

I was just like Peter, I dropped my fishing net and followed Jesus. I had so much peace about it. I knew this was the only way I could have the life God had for me and I never looked back.

During this last year God has taken a broken, insecure girl and molded me into the confident woman I am today. I know God is still working on me but He has already brought me so far. The things I desired were given to me in ways that were better than I could imagine. God showered me with so much love and truly aligned me to encounter different people and ministries at the perfect time.

Putting down my ways and truly following Jesus with all my heart has been the best decision I have ever made. God has provided me friends for life, an amazing mentor, and so much peace. This journey has not always been easy, walking outside of your comfort zone never is, but I would not change one thing about it.

On August 12, 2017 I changed the entire trajectory of my life. I surrendered my life to Christ.

So God Told Me No…What Do I Do?

I pray to God for inspiration each week before deciding on what to write about. And every week He allows the flood gates to open up on me. Like pour down. So remember the ex from last week that I saw on a date. Well he admitted since that last conversation that the girl he was with was actually his girlfriend. Imagine my surprise. I was about to be a side chick and didn’t even know it 🤦🏽‍♀️.

But God. *insert praise dance here*

So as I sat there reading the message that my ex sent over and over I realized God protected me. God knew what the future held doing it my way and he put up a road block. This was the answer to the prayer I had been praying for almost 3 years. “God show me if he is the one.” I can’t count how many times God answered that prayer and I always refused to accept his answer. In all honestly I just wanted God to answer the way I wanted which was “yes and now go run off and get married!” Dramatic I know. But who doesn’t want to get their way? I know I do. This time I had no choice. I had to let this situation go, for good. No more trying to be friends, which was just a way for both us to try and hang on to the other.

In that moment I had to be honest with myself and answer “What am I holding on to?” I was holding on to the familiarity of him. The fact that I knew what his flaws were and I was okay with living with them. And to be 100% honest I questioned if anyone else would want me and make me feel like he did. As a single mom, sometimes you question your desirability with so many people walking around screaming they don’t want someone with a child.

So now what do I do? God has told me no in big red neon letters this time. How do you handle the answer to your prayer being no?

First, you have to trust God. Know God has your best interest at heart, even when you don’t. I don’t know about you but I’ve had made some decisions knowing it wasn’t the best. I cared about how I felt in the moment not necessarily thinking about how it will effect my future.

Second, be honest with God about your frustration with him telling you no. God cares about you and wants to build a relationship with you. This means he wants you to tell him when you are upset and frustrated, even with Him. It feels good to release your feelings onto God. He will always be there to comfort you. His word tells us to cast our cares on to him. So do just that and you might be surprised about what he says back.

Lastly, change your mindset from God took this from me to God has better for me. God wants the absolute best for you! If you submit to God and His will you will be blessed way more than you can imagine. After reading The Wait, which I highly recommend, it changed my thought process about having a expectancy spirit. God has some AMAZING things planned for you if you just wait on him. You can only see what is in front of you, God sees the future. I don’t know about you but I would rather go with God’s way since he can see the future.

I know in the moment it doesn’t feel great when God says no to your prayers. I’m there right now, but I can say when I focused on God and his promises it made it easier to deal with. I will make it through and you will make it through. We have God on our side so we won’t lose!

I would love to hear how you handle it when God says no to you?

Bible verses to meditate on: 1 Peter 5:7 and Jeremiah 29:11

The Power of Being Sober

So this morning I had a post ready to go and it was good y’all. I was ready to post it and BAM, I got the strongest feeling of “Don’t do it.” It was intense y’all! I was like okay this is clearly God stopping me from posting. So I prayed about it and I knew I had no business posting the blog I wrote. I was kind of hurt because I really wanted to get you all’s feedback, but I knew that wasn’t the right way. Instead, I will discuss what I learned about myself in this situation and some tips to help you avoid making the same mistake.

So here is the short version of the backstory: I meet a guy, we started seeing each other. Two years later, we stopped dating. Eight months after that, I received a message from him that stirred up some old feelings. A few days later, we are at the same event and I saw him with a date. I responded to the situation in an emotional way, and admittedly, we were both upset with the other. Thirty-six hours later, we resolved the situation and cleared up some miscommunication and decided to allow our relationship to go back to what it was before this encounter. *deep breath*

I know a lot.

As I prayed for direction when I knew I couldn’t post my original blog, I came across a list I wrote during a seminar about the traits of a godly woman. I started to read the traits over and over and the trait of being sober stuck out. Of all the traits listed it was the one trait I did not exemplify. I react out of emotion more times than not. It was the lesson in all of this, I need to learn to respond soberly.

Let’s take a second and define what I mean by sober. Sober in this context is about not allowing your emotions to take over and be the guiding force in how you respond to a situation. In most cases, when you respond in a incoherent state, you look back and you wish you could change what you said or how you said it.

Now that we understand what sober is, let’s look at my situation and discuss the power of being sober.

The entire time I dated this guy I reacted out of emotion. I would feel a certain way and react on it immediately and within 24 hours, I was back peddling my way out of a situation I helped create or caused to escalate.

So on Saturday after seeing him and his date, I was overwhelmed with so many emotions from “Man, he still looks good” to wanting to know where this new girl came from. I responded in the most typical way by sending the infamous “Have a good life” text. I know, I know. That was not the best way to respond, but in the moment, I let my emotions decide how to respond. Luckily my situation did not end horribly, but it could have very easily based off that response.

Responding in a sober mindset is powerful. Being able to state how you feel and the reasoning without heightened emotions will allow you think clearly and not make fast, harsh decisions. I’m not saying feelings aren’t valid, but what I am saying is that you can’t make sound decisions off of feelings alone. Think about the last time you reacted when your emotions were at an all-time high. Do you wish things went differently? That you would have reacted differently?

So how do you remain sober in the moment?

1. Know that your first response may not be your best response.

It’s easy to say the first thing that comes to your mind, but it’s not necessarily always the right thing to say. Sometimes no response is the best response. When you give yourself a moment to process the situation you are better able to make a sound rational response that you won’t later regret. Also, petty responses do not help situations when emotions are high. A practical strategy would be to count to 10 in your head and then respond. This allows you time to actually process what was said or done to you and how you should properly respond.

2. Just walk away.

This is the one good thing I did on Saturday. When I was overwhelmed with emotion in the moment, I excused myself from the situation. Walking away is not the same as running from the situation, but a really good tool that allows you to breathe and regain the ability to rationally think. But don’t be like me and walk away, continue to talk about the situation, and then text the person. It defeats the purpose of walking away. I know it may be hard, but it will help you return to a sober state. Walking away might not be something you can do every time but it could also be beneficial to take a mental walk. Respond with a “Can we discuss this in a few minutes?” and start thinking positive thoughts such as scripture or affirmations.

3.Pray.

This honestly should be your first response to any situation. As Christians, we know that giving every area of our life to God is the best way to live. So why not pray when you become overwhelmed with emotion? You can say a quick prayer such as, “God, at this moment I am overwhelmed with emotions and I want my response to reflect You. Please allow the words that I speak to be honoring to You. I submit this situation entirely to You. Amen.”

I hope these tips will help you the next time you are in a situation where you are heated. Have you been in a situation like mine? How did you respond? If you use these tips let me know if they helped you remain sober!

“The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.” – Proverbs 10:32 NLT

Are You Thankful?

Happy Thanksgiving Family!
I am so grateful to be here today and spend time with my family. Thanksgiving is the official kick off for the Christmas season and I could not  be more excited!! Thanksgiving is a day of being thankful for who and what we have in our life. I know for myself I am  beyond thankful for God, my health, family, friends, a job, and The King’s Daughter.
So as we discuss thankfulness I have some questions for you. Stop, grab some paper and a pencil and lets get honest.
1. What are you thankful for?
2. When was the last time you told God you were thankful for the things on you rlist?
3. For the people on your list when was the last time you told or showed them that you were thankful for them?
On this day I challenge you to first give thanks to God for all he has blessed you with. No matter what season of life you are in God has given us another day of life, which means we still have something to accomplish here on Earth. Isn’t that awesome? God has a created you on purpose for a purpose. * Insert praise break* Don’t you love how intentional God is? This is enough to give God all the praise and thank him all the time for the blessings we have received.
Having a blessings journal or jar will help us to identify all the ways God has blessed us. So everyday take some time and write down everything God has done for you that day. And when you are having a rough day take some time and read all the ways God has blessed you.
Secondly, I challenge you to be more intentional about showing our gratitude towards others. We all live very busy lives, but is very important to say thank you. Don’t you love when you get a random thank you or gift of gratitude? Well its time to share that feeling with others. A personalized thank you will always make someone’s day! Some ideas to get you started are making a phone call, sending a letter or e-card, or even buying a small gift. Whatever you decide to do will be apprecoitaed and will show that you care about those in your life.
I hope that you enjoy your Thanksgiving and remember to thank God and those around you!

3 People Everyone Needs In Their Tribe

” I don’t hang with girls because its too much drama.”

” I would rather be alone.”

” I really don’t like people.”

“Jesus is the only friend I need.”

How many times have you heard a girl say these or even you said them?

Whether we want to admit it or not we all have a desire to be connected with people no matter what people say. God created us to be relational, to be connected to others.  His word tells us to live and thrive in communities. Like the old proverb says ” It takes a village to raise a child” The same is true when it comes to your spiritual
journey.

We all start off as babies when we are born again. Just like a baby we need
spiritual parents to guide us and help us grow. We also have family and friends
surrounding us and as we mature to different stages our needs change and so do the roles of our village. But no matter what you need a village surrounding you
from birth one.

Let’s take a look at some important people who need to be in your village and
what the word says.

1. Mentor
It is very common to hear people have a mentor when it comes to their careers, so why not have one for your spiritual journey. Someone who is mature in their spiritual journey and that can share wisdom and knowledge. Having a mentor is important in every area  of life. The Bible tells us if we ask for wisdom we shall will receive it. God sometimes uses people to provide the wisdom we need, like an mentor. A mentor can be a part of the wise council you consult before making decisions or someone who can help hold you accountable. When seeking a mentor ask God to reveal to you who would be a good mentor for you. You want the mentor, just like with an mentor for your career, to be someone who is in a place you desire to be. A relationship with a mentor will be very beneficial and can help provide you wisdom as you continue your spiritual journey.

2. Mentee
Once you have a certain level on your spiritual journey it is important to help those who are starting on their spiritual journey. You can share the wisdom you have gained and help empower someone else who is living for Christ. Having a mentee is a way to give back to the body of Christ and serve God. This relationship does not just have to be one on one but could be you serving in the high school students or young adult ministry. We all have a story to share that can bless someone else.

3. Accountability Partners
We all need people to hold us accountable as we live for God. Accountability partners are people who celebrate victories with us and will also call you out when you are not doing what you are suppose to. My accountability partner is someone I see as a sister and this relationship has brought us closer together. She was one of the main people who encouraged me to start The King’s Daughter,which I am so grateful for. No matter what stage of life we are in we need accountability partners.

Godly relationships are very important in your walk with God. The people you are connected to can either help or hinder your relationship with God. Before getting into any of these relationships I suggest asking God for discernment to ensure you are connecting yourself to someone who knows, loves, and is living for Christ. See if their life is producing fruits of the spirit, this is how you can tell if they are truly spending time with God. God has a purpose connected to your life and it is important to connect to the right people so you can continue to grow.

If you are looking for a community I️ encourage you to meet other people in your church or find an online community like The King’s Daughter Facebook page.

Bible verses to reference: Proverbs 27:17, Psalm 133:1, 1 Peter 3:8, Matthew 18:20, Romans 12:16

What I Learned From my 4 Year Old

Let’s jump right in on how my interactions with my 4 year old daughter, Kendall, have opened my eyes to better understanding God’s love.

Saying no is for your protection

When Kendall ask me for something my answer is either yes, no, or not right now. She is still young and doesn’t fully understand why I may say no to her having cookies for breakfast or her not holding my hand while walking through a parking lot. But as her mother my job is to protect her, and I take this job very seriously. So when I do say no she then starts bargaining with me by saying things like ” Can I have just a little?” Other times she jumps to the extreme and says” you aren’t my friend anymore.” Which might be the harshest thing a 4 year old can say to you. My no is not to punish, upset, or sadden her. My answer is for her protection. I can see something she can’t in the moment. I can see the bigger picture. This is the same with God. I can’t even count how many times God has told me no or not right now and my first response is to try to bargain with God or even jumping to the extreme by feeling like God must not love me. I have to remember that God can see the bigger picture. God can foresee the possible danger and consequences I can’t in the moment. Just as I protect Kendall, God is protecting me.

Lesson Learned: God’s no, yes, or not right now is for my protection and out of his love for me.

Remembering to say thank you

Kendall is a very affectionate child, well when she wants to be. She will randomly run up to me and give me a big hug and say thank you for being the best mom. Talk about melting my heart. Hearing her say I’m the best mom can turn my whole day around. And the best part of her saying this to me is that I haven’t done anything special at the moment that would trigger her to say that. That is what God wants for us. For us to acknowledge him for just being him, not just when he answers a prayer the way we want him to. Its so easy to get caught up in day to day life, but always make time to say thank you for being God and leading my life. We serve a God who loves to her our praises. He wants to know that we are thankful for all he does for us on the daily.

Lesson Learned: Sometimes all we need to say is thank you.

Quality time is important

Everyday I spend quality one on one time with Kendall. Its something important to both of us. I’ve made a habit of this that now she even request this time. Its not something she pushes off or is too busy playing with her toys or tablet to do. During this quality time, like with any relationship, I have learned what she likes, dislikes, we talk about school and her friends. Due to this quality time me and Kendall have such a close bond. And then one day it hit me, God wants this same uninterrupted time with me. I live a very busy life like most people I know. Most days I’m just plain tired after fighting traffic, work, and taking care of Kendall. Doing anything that will require me to have less sleep is the last thing on my mind. This really should not be my attitude when it comes to spending time with God. So I tried to have my quality time with God while I’m driving. Which isn’t always the best because some days I’m blowing my horn at a driver in the middle of prayer. While this may work for some this was not the best for me. I felt God deserved my undivided attention and that’s hard to do while driving. So recently I’ve been walking up 15/20 minutes earlier to have time with God. Its a real struggle to wake up, but so worth it. God craves to spend time with us and after all that he has done for us spending uninterrupted time with him daily is the least we can do.

Lesson Learned: Spending quality time with God allows us to build an unbreakable bond.

Sometimes we have to be forced to nap

There is nothing like a cranky child that will not lay down for a nap, I know all my mothers understand this. You try to do anything to get your child to lay down and take a nap. I tell Kendall all the time you will feel better once you have taken a nap, because you need rest. Kendall sometimes sees taking a nap as punishment because she wants to continue to play or watch TV. I have to explain to her that naps are important and not a punishment. God is the same way with us. As our father he knows that sometimes we just need some rest so we can get back up and be our best. As much as we might fight the time of rest, we have to know God knows what’s best for us. And just like with Kendall after a period of rest I’m better than I was before.

Lesson Learned: God telling you to rest is necessary for you to be your best.

You are God’s child and he wants the absolute best for you. Even when we don’t understand where we are in life or the path we are taking, just know God can see the bigger the picture and he would never lead you astray. Always remember that God loves you and everything is working for your good.