Author Archives: JC
Are you in the midst of a transformation?
How challenging has it been?
Isn’t it interesting that when you believe you’ve gotten a grasp on something, God comes in and rearranges things…specifically YOU?
We can get comfortable parenting a certain way, teaching a certain way, ministering a certain way, executing at work a certain way and still need to transform into a better version of ourselves.
For some of us though, it is not merely a better version of ourselves, it’s a complete overhaul of ourselves….hence the name of this post.
As a young girl I was always fascinated with animals and nature. My father obliged this curiosity and made all kinds of homemade trappings so that I could watch animals grow. I would have little tadpoles and watch them progress, as their tails shrunk and their legs grew, to frogs. Watch birds sit on their eggs until they hatched. Watch ducklings follow their mother around and, over time, change their down feathers and color to look just like her.
But my favorite experience would always be the butterfly. We would place the caterpillar in a breathable jar with twigs and leaves to eat. I would excitedly check everyday to see what would happen.
I did not necessarily know the exact timing of the growth progression, but one day the caterpillar was gone and a pupa (chrysalis) was hanging from one of the twigs.
It was brown and hard and I had absolutely no clue what was happening inside.
A beautiful butterfly.
I never knew what type of butterfly would come out of a particular caterpillar. I just knew that the butterfly was always so beautiful.
As I reminisce on this, I realize what fascinated and still fascinates me the most is the process.
The beginning and the end are so unalike! And a butterfly can never be a caterpillar again!
God is desiring to change us but we are arguing in the process…
Last year was a year of seeking for me. I was unsatisfied and I was seeking God with fervor…not exactly sure what I needed.
Somewhere in that year my Pastor told me that I was changed. As is his habit, he is usually further down the road in God’s vision for us before we have caught up…so I heard him, but I did not necessarily believe it.
I asked the Lord and He said I was a butterfly. I had a gazillion questions. What do you mean? What do butterflies do? How do butterflies know what to do? How do they know what to eat and what eats them? What does this mean? etc..
Then butterflies started showing up all over my yard, screen door and door steps 🙂 🙂
At the end of my seek my instruction came.
“Study the Holy Spirit”.
I did and I am! He has been the best teacher of what being a butterfly means for me 🙂 And can I say, everyday is a lesson? Oftentimes a new one, but occasionally a recap of one that I missed. He is the best and He is the advantage we have in ANY transformation.
I just want to encourage you to embrace the process. Even if you don’t understand or ‘see’ what it could be, it is ALWAYS beautiful on the other side.
”…What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly” ~ Richard Bach
It is sooo good to be back….writing again 🙂
Happy New Year!!!
This blog post has been in my belly for a few weeks now. I literally couldn’t shake it off.
A few weeks ago my team investigated a case where a lady committed suicide. It initially drew my attention because she was older and those aren’t so common with older females. But the words on the note she left stayed with me…
She left a note to the effect saying….as a young girl I was told I would not amount to anything, and those words have haunted me my entire life…
My heart broke for that little girl….
It broke for that ‘seed’ that was planted and been watered over the years…That was never plucked up and destroyed.
The mouth is a powerful tool. And who ever said ‘sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words can’t hurt me’…LIED.
The focal point for my church this month is discipline my mouth. And it is a great focus to incorporate even as we start 2019.
Proverbs 18 is loaded with wisdom on how we should and should not use our mouth.
My favorite is Proverbs 18:21 “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits”
So, whatever we say bears fruit.
What about when we say “I was just joking?” There is no provision for careless words. It all bears fruit.
Some of our self talk is damaging…..and I know we say things innocently or perhaps ignorantly (not knowing its spiritual impact).
”I suck at math.”
“Girl, I’m not good with money”
”He’s so bad”
”You’re a little trouble maker”
”I’m so behind, I’ll never catch up”
Proverbs 18:20 went so far as to say that words satisfy the soul. The right words on a person’s lips brings satisfaction…
It is not only what you say……but how you say what you say…
There are many wounded men and women, little boys and girls all around us. And as believers we need to speak life to things that glorify God and death to things that don’t bring Him glory.
My final thought is a prayer for us to not just see the flaws in each other, but see destiny and purpose in each other. That we will declare LIFE over each other. May God give you soothing words today, even in times of anger. Amen.
What are your thoughts on this topic? And are there words that you still remember to this day?
What’s not going right with you at the moment?
Have you noticed how natural it is to always see the negative in every situation? I didn’t really realize how bad it was until a few months ago when I actually ‘heard’ myself one whole day at work. As I drove home that day, I was just amazed at all the things I complained about. This person didn’t do this……this person didn’t do that…..my boss doesn’t keep up with stuff……how did I get assigned to do this?……it is so hot outside…….it is so cold in the office…..blah blah blah.
I mean, it seemed like I had dedicated the whole day to complaining.
We complain about what’s going wrong in our life and our relationships. About our spouse and our children, our family and friends. Our job, our bodies. And some of us have a constant gripe about things that we have experienced in the past, seeing the whole world through the speckled glasses of that complaint. Not to minimize any grievance, but no one is worth years of committing ourselves to a negative mindset.
If we took a day, just to listen to ourselves, at our choice of words, which in turn shows our choice of perspective, we will be amazed at how our attitude is hindering our altitude.
About 2 months ago, I started a gratitude journal that I journal in every day. My prayer was that God helped me to make gratitude my default setting. I had to force myself to go against that natural grain of seeing the negative and finding that spark of positivity in every single thing. I asked God to help me get to the other side of complaining. To see the positive and hear the positive. To choose to live in a state of gratitude, that’s the other side of complaining.
Give every situation a second look and find the gratitude spot!
My prayer for you today is that in the midst of any disappointment and delay, remember that “no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly”. That God is faithful even when we are not. That gratitude turns what we have into enough.
“Excuse me Scott, are you married?”
“Good, cause my mommy needs a husband”
This was the conversation nine years ago when my now husband came to my house to have dinner with me and my daughter for the FIRST time. The ground could have opened up and swallowed me whole! And all I could muster to say was “I did NOT tell her to say that!”
Katana was only five years old at the time and I managed not to choke on my homemade macaroni and cheese, broccoli and fried chicken….I still remember the exact meal 🙂
I was a single mom at the time, having gone through a divorce from her biological father. I was dealing with all the emotions that comes with. I did not want a failed marriage. I did not want to be a single mother……didn’t want to be a stereotype. But I had a good career and I was determined to thrive and ensure that she did as well. Plus there was no need to dwell on what ‘didn’t’ work….it was what it was.
When Scott came into our lives, it was a while before he met Katana. I just believed that adults need to decide what they are going to do before children get involved. From the moment they met they have always had a very special connection. I saw it with him and I also saw she had the same connection with my father….her Papa.
Weird to say, but I felt as if I could give her everything within my power but I could not give her that connection or that special bond girls have with their father. She loved her Nana, but she looooved her Papa.
I don’t even know if it is articulable because both my sister and I are daddy’s girls.
Anyway, Scott came into our lives and from day one (even as we ironed out the dynamics of our relationship), he was there! To give piggy back rides, pick her up from school, play video games, eat dinner, watch the first tooth get pulled, watch her ride her bike in ‘speed mode’ and fall and chip a tooth. To celebrate birthdays and every holiday, to be there for graduations and special events and to share their own father daughter dance at our wedding 5 years later 😉
“Even the snail made the ark!”
Did you set some goals and resolutions at the beginning of the year? We are almost halfway through the year, are you also halfway through those goals and resolutions?
I made some too. I am on track with some, but some….not so much. I’ve realized that many times we don’t give ourselves much needed encouragement for progress. For many of us, accomplishing our goals means a 180 degrees shift in our habits. But those pesky bad habits take so much unconditioning!
It takes a sharp focus, and a constant reminder of how bad we want it…..
how bad do we want to have a certain amount saved up?
how bad do we want to be at that particular weight?
how bad do we want that degree?
how bad do we want to own our own home?
how bad do we want our business to thrive?
how bad do we want to know scripture?
how bad do we want it?……..
I wanted to merely encourage you today, if you started off hot and sweaty on January 1st, 2016, but fell off way before today, get back on track….
I heard someone say “even the snail made the ark”. That tickled me, but it is true. Progress is progress.
Change takes time, but change isn’t change until you change…..
You can do this! We can do this!
Have a great and productive week 🙂 🙂
“Somebody in need is waiting on the other side of your obedience”
I was listening to a podcast today and heard this quote. It just struck me in that place of unfinished to do lists 🙂
You know all those things that you’ve been putting off? That place.
Have you ever closed your eyes and envisioned the number of people who are waiting for you to be obedient?
Waiting to read and benefit from the book(s) you haven’t written….
Waiting to eat from what you can teach them if you made the investment to learn more….
Waiting to benefit from your leadership as you step up….
Waiting for you to accept that it’s not about you.
Even when you ‘get around’ to it, delayed obedience is still disobedience.
So many times we feel the pull of what could be. We have desires that God has given us, but we procrastinate and drag our feet….wasting time. We lose our focus and allow so many things to distract us.
We all have something that we are to serve to others that we do better than anybody else. What is your thing?
I am such a proponent for living on purpose. For investing in one’s self so that others can benefit from us being the best that we can be. That’s success.
There would be nothing worse to me than climbing the ladder to success and then realize that the ladder was against the wrong wall 😦
So I encourage you today…….start writing that book (20 minutes a day)
go back to school….
start that business….
get that certificate and hone in your skills….
I don’t know what it is for you, but I bet someone is waiting to benefit from what you have to share.
Have a great week 🙂
Do you find yourself dwelling on the past?
Thinking about it…….
Talking about it……
Dwelling on it…..
Stewing about it…..?
Whatever we give attention to, we are giving energy to. We are giving past situations, past hurts, past feelings, past failures, past disappointments, and past grudges, life.
We regurgitate it: throw it up and then eat it again…..over and over again. We won’t let it die, we won’t let ourselves get over it. And most times when we do this it is when we believe we are right. And we may be right, BUT, we retard our progress when we cannot move beyond what happened.
Can I say that this sneaks up on us sometimes? Our lives are going in the direction we are looking and we don’t realize which way we are looking (past or future), until we start monitoring what we are saying. After all, our mouths speak out of the abundance of our hearts.
Listen to what you talk about, what you rage about, what you complain about!
About two weeks ago, I actually went home from work and realized that I complained about everything that day. I have been waiting for my work assignment to change and because it is taking way longer than is typical, it impacted my attitude. I said to myself “uh no ma’am, you need to pull this together!”. So I got out a journal and wrote a whole page of gratitude. I immediately felt better. I decided that I would do it for 30 days, or longer, and challenged myself to not complain about ANYTHING. About traffic, the weather, food, work, people, family, church……NOTHING!
I realized how easy or natural it is for us to slip into that negative space, that negative place in our heads unless we have something intentionally in place to point us to ALL that we have to be THANKFUL for.
So monitor your thoughts and words and see in which direction they are driving you……..
Have a blessed week!
Today for my weekly post I was fairly sure I knew what I was going to write about. That is, until I happen to log into Facebook. As I was scrolling through I came across the news that a high school mate had passed.
As a homicide detective, I deal with death in some way or form almost everyday. But I felt a little shock on finding this out……a light gone out of childhood eyes 😦
Someone summed up my feelings accurately “As children we never really expect to die”
Sitting at my desk I felt this sobering nervous dread because time is really going by. You know that feeling when someone passes who was close to your age?
Time waits on no man or woman…..so
Love while you still can…
Forgive while you still can…
Serve while you still can…
Live on purpose while you still can…
Find out who YOU are while you still can……AND
Be the best YOU while you still can…..