The Human, the Pavement, and the Longboard

longboard

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go”. –Joshua 1:9

 

“What was I thinking? I can’t do this! I am not cut our for this…this was a bad idea.” These were the thoughts running through my mind as I walked up to my friend’s car. Earlier that day, I had made up my mind to go for a run later at the park, but as I was leaving church the opportunity to spend time with two friends opened up and when the suggestion of long-boarding came up my response was, “Sure, why not?  I’ve never gone longboarding before.” Enthused my friends decided they would teach me and so we all agreed to meet up later at the park.

Hours later, after a leisure stroll with a dear sweet friend (to walk out the nerves) there I was standing behind my friend’s car as we selected a longboard. Lucky for me my friends were experienced and eager to teach me so I knew I was in good hands. One of my friends was already gliding and attempting tricks–“surely this isn’t so hard”.

Wrong (so wrong)

“Okay guys so what do I do?”

“It’s easy you just keep one foot on the board and you push off with your other foot, like a skateboard”. 

“I’ve never been on a skateboard..”

Other friend, “No worries, just climb on, try to balance, push off with your foot (like this) and turn your feet to turn”. 

So I did exactly as I was told. I placed my right foot on the board, pushed off with my left, and as I pulled my left foot to get on the longboard…

-BAM!

(Missed)

-There goes my right ankle..

(No worries, again)

BAM!

-Floor.

(And again…) “Yay, I got the hang of it! Now how do I…stoooooop?!”

-Floor.

(There goes the longboard…)

Quickly, our gallant friend ran to recover the longboard before it hit the water. By now, I knew this was an indication that this feat would be difficult…and perhaps a visit to the emergency room was in my future.. Uncertain, I voiced out my doubts and fears in jest and laughter, as my concern only grew for rest of this day. You see, I know myself. Although, I make the best efforts to stay active and exercise, I also know that coordination is not my forte. Accidents tend to follow me. I once fractured my pelvis while running ( at sixteen) and that has always haunted me. (I am the girl that trips over thin air, and here I was on a longboard trying to maintain my balance).

-c-a-t-a-s-t-r-o-p-h-e 

About 5 ankle hits later, I was able to get on the longboard. This short-lived achievement resulted in an apparent indication for my friend to give me a gentle push (of encouragement) to be off on my way.

-(Wrong idea, John Wayne).

Heart racing and eyes bulging out of my sockets, I was certain I was about to hit the water (Did I mention, I don’t know how to swim?). Thankfully, I didn’t and I was able to stop. My friends caught up to me, applauded me, and encouraged me that I was getting the hang of it. We were only about 1/4 of a tenth away from our starting point..(but progress is still progress, right?). I am usually a long processor, but when it comes to these type of moments my brain goes on hyper-speed. I deduced that if I was ever going to succed at this, I needed space (no more gentle nudges for this gal). So, I persuaded my friends to go ahead of me, and so they left.

There I was, just me, the pavement, and the longboard. Only one of us destined to be the winner. And so I attempted it, again, and again, and again. And this is how it went:

“Yay!”

-I got this! 

-………

-I don’t got this, I don’t got…

-Ankle! 

Okay, here we go again.

-Steady, steady..

-Alas! 

-This isn’t so…

Pavement! 

-Again

-Pavement.

-Again…

-Pavementtt.

-Really pavement.

-Pavement wins.

Friendly runner: “You are brave for doing that, I couldn’t do it”.

-(Laughter) 

-And again….

-Yay! 

-Okay, now turn…

-Turn…

-Leaves!

-Okay, here we go..

And then there they were, my friends, so proud and happy that I was able to stay on board. After much encouragement, I told them my goal was to make it to this one landmark so they accompanied me. They gave me a few pointers, like keeping a wider stance for balance, and then they stopped to examine a snake. And then they stopped to chat with some people they knew, so I kept on. Proud of my accomplishment I was thinking, “Okay God, what are you trying to teach me? Surely, you are teaching me something…”

-PAVEMENT.

I hit the pavement so hard my injury lasted for the next seven days. And of course, there was an audience (my friends). I laughed. It was the only thing I could do to mask the pain. Both of my friends rushed to my rescue, one helped me up, while the other (John Wayne) made sure I wasn’t bleeding or seriously injured. Once I was back on the board, we proceeded to return to our cars.

Overall, I had fun. I enjoyed trying something new and having two friends by my side to share this longboarding venture. My aching body disagreed with my final thoughts, but I truly did enjoy the experience.

Afterwards, I decided to go wash my car and as I was drying it I was recalling that afternoon laughing about all the falls. Laughing about how my fate had been sealed from the moment friend A and friend B were my teachers. “Teaching is not their forte. Where were the rehearsals? The step on and step off? The..”. And that’s when it hit me.

 -Life doesn’t teach us that way.

In fact, my friends ended up being excellent teachers, they taught from the “every day life” approach. In life, we don’t get a “step one, two, and three”. There may be people who will guide us and offer advice but that’s about it. Everything else is up to us. We choose how to respond. There will be moments when we fall and our friends, family, and other loved ones will be right there to help us. But there will also be moments when we fall and we will be by ourselves facing the choice to keep trying or give up? Likewise, there will be many victories. Some will be experienced with others around who will encourage, praise, and celebrate with us. Just as there will be many victories only known to us but still meant to be celebrated. These triumphs are just as important and teach us that we don’t always have to depend on others to succeed. What we have learned from others goes with us wherever we go.

This is the beautiful part of it all. Philippians 4:9 states, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you”. And Joshua 1:9 proclaims, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Both verses echo the same idea, you are not alone God is with you and equips you. The One who taught me to fight and how to fight remains with me wherever I go. He was the reason I kept getting back on my feet and continuing to attempt to master the longboard. He gave me life, and life was not meant to be wasted, but to be enjoyed. Sometimes that means that you make the best of every opportunity even if it’s one that doesn’t cater to your strengths. I had been given a gift that day. A gift of fellowship, friendship, laughter, strength, perseverance, and endurance. A gift that was meant to be opened, enjoyed, and appreciated, and that’s why I kept going.

God gave His only begotten Son so that we would not know death, but be granted the gift of eternal life. I wasn’t just born; I was born for a purpose. Just as Christ was born for the purpose that all would come to know Him and believe in Him. Whatever the circumstances Christ faced, He kept going. He kept loving. He kept getting back on the longboard (metaphorically speaking). Just the same, to the cherished churched ones, whatever comes your way remain steadfast and keep your eyes on God. Keep believing. Keep trusting. Keep living for Him. Abide in Him and His light will never go out. To the cherished un-churched ones, don’t grow discouraged and don’t lose hope. If darkness falls believe that there is a light nearby, and when you see it, walk toward it for where there is Light there is Hope. Keep your head up and keep moving forward for along your path God’s love is being poured out and He is knocking at the door. My question to all of us is, how will you respond?

As always, I appreciate you so much for reading and remember:

HOPE.

In His abounding love,

-S

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” -John 3:16-17 

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Stop. Just Stahppppp…

“A soothing tongue [speaking words that build up and encourage] is a tree of life, But a perverse tongue [speaking words that overwhelm and depress] crushes the spirit” -Proverbs 15:4 (AMP).

Truth: I am a hope-full romantic. I don’t admit this to anyone so the fact I am confessing this publicly indicates “I mean business”. So it would be of no surprise why every time I see a healthy prosperous marriage, I compliment the wife about how encouraging it is to see a marriage centered in Christ. And you know the response I always get, “Thank you. It’s hard work.” Other times, people respond with, “Thank you, it’s not easy it takes effort.” I get it, I do. Or at least I think I do..from a single lady perspective, you don’t want others to get a misconception of “marriage”. I understand you want to make it known that “marriage” is a lifetime commitment, a vow between a man and wife before God. It’s a serious matter, not something to jump into or take lightly, but people stop calling it “hard work”.

Please.

There is approximately 171,478 words currently in use in the dictionary, surely there is a word more suitable to still express the seriousness of marriage without labeling it as “hard work”. Now before all my married friends, start deleting me, hear me out. Let me explain why I get so discouraged and at times passionately upset about hearing “hard work” as a means to describe marriage.

First, I am single. I am not just single but a lady who is a hope-full romantic and dreams of her wedding day. Dreams of the day I will just know that it is “him” who’m I have been patiently waiting for. So yes, this may be interpreted as an askew viewpoint, but again hear me out. Second, I believe in the power that, words hold the great power of bringing life or death. For this reason I chose the epithet above, but more on that later. Third, Scripture states in Ephesians 5: 25-27:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish”. 

The chapter, continues to describe marriage and the functioning role of a husband and wife, but my point is this: where did Scripture label marriage as “hard work”? It didn’t. The verses speak about love and care, and alludes to sacrifice (sure ‘Hard work” can be read between the lines) but do we call our relationship with Christ as hard work? When someone says, “I admire your faith. Or your faith is strong”. Do we respond with, “thank you it’s hard work.”?

-No

We don’t hear our pastors speaking those words over living a Christian day to day life. And as a Christian I can attest that it not always easy to “turn the other cheek”, to not speak before it’s time, etc, yet I don’t call my relationship with Christ as “hard work”. Why do you think that is?

I think the answer lies within the epithet above: Proverbs 15:4. We understand the power of the tongue, and know that speaking “hard work” over our Christian life has the power to discourage, overwhelm, and depress our walk of faith. So, if we deter from speaking that over our faith, why speak it over something as pure and powerful as marriage? If marriage is not about happiness, but about holiness. If marriage is about having a lifetime equal partner to fulfill God’s mission on this earth (Gen 2 & 3; Matt 28:16-20) then why speak “hard work” over one’s marriage? I believe that by speaking that phrase one is setting themselves up for difficulty and disagreements. I refuse to believe in the “seven year itch” and all of those myths about marriage. Even if they are true and one day I  walk through them, I will not accept it. My God is bigger than statistics. He is bigger than past experiences, and I am believing against those things and believing that my husband will share those views with me. The belief that our words are powerful, and the tongue holds the power of bringing life or death, strength or weakness, belief or doubt, peace or unrest, love or strongly dislikes.

These are my views, and for some time have been wanting to write this but was always afraid of the outcome. I feared social media and the possible negative responses this post would bring. I feared what will others think of me? What if they don’t like me anymore? But after many months of going “back and forth” on this post, I decided no, I need to say something. It really does upset me beyond discouragement when I hear that phrase. It shouldn’t but it does. I mean when you look at it from another point, “hard work” does hold the connotation of pride, reward, fulfillment, accomplishment, effort, perseverance, endurance, and commitment. But from a millennial perspective,  “hard work” is not something that pop culture embraces and inspires goal setting, instead it’s discouraging at least to the masses.

So perhaps we can come up with a better term, one that still encompasses seriousness, commitment, passion, perseverance, reward,  accomplishment, and life?

I propose, “adventure”. You know you are in it for the long run, but surprises await you just around the corner. There is uncertainty but a mutual goal is what keeps you going. You prepare for the most part, and are willing to sort out the unknowns together. At least that’s my definition.

Thank you for visiting, reading, and being patient with this hope-full romantic. I truly appreciate you for taking the time with this post. I hope you come back, and that you are not too upset with me for my boldness this time. I like to think of this post as a freshly brewed dark roast cup of coffee. It’s bitter tasting but the strength is definitely evident in the taste, yet dark black coffee isn’t for everyone.

I pray blessings over your week,

S

Who’s The Real Monster?

Tonight, I joined a friend to watch the 1931 film, Frankenstein; and I was left with one thought, “who is the monster?”. 

Most of us grew up with the idea that the character, “Frankenstein”, is the monster/creation in the movie, but (if you read the book) and watch the film adaptations closely you will notice that the creation/experiment is never given a name. He is not Frankenstein.  The character, “Frankenstein”, is actually the scientist who chooses to defy the laws of nature, and attempts to bring dead tissue to life. When he succeeds, he then tries to communicate with the creation as he continues with his research. In the 1931 adaptation, you learn that his fiancé, friend, and mentor are aware of Frankenstein’s experiment, and they allow him to continue with his research. His mentor even encourages him and remains by his side. (So are they the monsters?). Then Frankenstein places his lab assistant in charge of the “creation”. The lab assistant treats the experiment with disrespect and uses force to correct him, or perhaps to emphasize inferiority v. superiority between the two. (So is the lab assistant “the monster”?). After some time of mistreatment and abuse, the “creation” longs for freedom and in his desperation loses control and kills the lab assistant and mentor. The “creation” then encounters a young girl near a lake, who treats him with compassion and kindness, she teaches him to throw flowers in the lake because they float. Excited, he seeks to find other things that float and throws the child (who didn’t know how to swim) into the lake. As the film continues, the “creation” stumbles upon Frankenstein’s home, and recognizing the fiancée he excitedly tries to communicate with her. The fiancée startled, panicks, and begins to wrestle him leading into what is later interpreted as an attack. The entire village in an outrage decide to hunt and kill the “creation”. In the end Frankenstein faces his “creation” and gets injured, so the “creation” takes him back to the only place he knew as home. This leads to another confrontation causing Frankenstein to fly off the building, (mob interprets it as attempted murder) and they burn the windmill down trapping and terminating  the “creation’s” existence.

So, is he the monster? The “creation” did kill three individuals and harmed two, isn’t that what defines a monster? Especially because he showed no remorse for his actions.. yet again was it his fault? Did he ask to be brought to life? Wasn’t he mistreated? Terrorized? Misunderstood? Isn’t it his creator’s fault, for not taking responsibility over his experiment? Frankenstein did defy the laws of nature after all? Frankenstein also put another in charge of the creation’a care, instead of overeseeing it himself. And what about the third party? Shouldn’t they have alerted the authorities? Stopped Frankenstein from carrying out such an atrocity? Who is the real monster?

Pop culture would have us believe it’s “the creation”, the film appears to point to “Frankenstein”, maybe even the lab assistant since he was the one that terrorized the “creation”… Do you know who I think is the monster?

— No one

No one spoke up to stop Frankenstein. No one supervised the lab assistant. No one treated the “creation”, like it had life. The film doesn’t even give it a name. No one tried to understand “the creation”. No one questioned, “the creation’s” behavior, like why did it keep Frankenstein alive and brought him back to the tower? Why did he run in fear instead of strangling the fiancée? If he was a monster wouldn’t he have killed them? No one took the time to teach the creature social norms, or words. Absence is the real monster  to me. Absence of compassion, kindness, respect, education, love, control, courage, understanding, research, communication, are all the real monsters in Frankenstein. Whatever environment “the creation” was exposed to is exactly what its behavior mirrored, violence and fear. It did not know any better; no one ever taught him. 

Was it their fault? Perhaps, or perhaps not no one had ever experimented like that before, once again there was an absence of records. 

So why go on a rant? Because we need to stop. We need to stop being absent, and be present. Speak where words are needed. Step into roles that others fear. Respond with compassion and forgiveness, instead of pride and hurt. Allow wisdom in when making decisions. Be confident. Be brave. Be watchful. Be respectful. Be honest. Be tactful. Be humble.  Be willing to serve. There are many social injustices and so many disagreements in life but there is a correct approach to address them, and a “mob with torches” is not the best approach. 

(Prayer is, the Biblical kind: Matthew 6: 5-15). 

So if you’re reading this dear one, I ask you to ponder, ” where are you being absent? And how can I change it?”.

Stop “the monster”, and be present. 

Stand

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” –Ephesians 6:13

Perhaps it was someone’s words earlier today that cut me (unintentionally of course) or just the quietness of the night, but doubt is here.

“What am I doing wrong? Am I not hearing You correctly? Do I need to wait longer? Did I not pray long enough? Should I have fasted? Are there other disciplines I am missing? Is this even aligning with Your will? Did I get ahead of you again? Should I even be doing this? And lastly, God I am lost”. 

-(But am I really?) 

These are the questions that have pestered my mind tonight. “Am I lost?” Echoing and leaving me to wonder and wander.. I know my family believes I am. To them, (or at least one person has come forth) I should be in a better place “financially” and “professionally”. I graduated college years ago and have “nothing” to show for it. I am still in the same town I grew up in, at the same job, no house, no “career”, no romantic relationship. I often feel like a failure in the presence of this individual and feel like I am not enough, that I need to be more. So in this person’s eyes I am lost. 

And for a moment I believe it. I start seeing everything that I am involved in as a means to hide the truth. I see my exercise regimen, my healthier meal plans, and church as a distraction from the proposed idea that I am lost. So I begin to wonder..

-Why am I doing this? 

-Is there a point? 

-Should I even try anymore? 

And just as doubt starts to gain ground, encouragement comes forth. I am reminded of the  randomn texts espressing  how my lifestyle has inspired them to incorporate exercise into their routine. I recall Spiritual conversations that have taken place at work (randomny) but from which we have walked away from to revisit on another day. I am reminded of opportunities  to serve  in my church and spiritual authorities extending their right hand of fellowship to me. So then I am left to wonder, “What is going on? So, I am not lost? I am right where I’m supposed to be? I am hearing from You, right?” 

Lately, I have been hearing encouraging words such as, “Singleness is a gift. Speak your Faith not your problems. It’s gonna be worth it”. And at times I think, “Is it?”. If “Singleness is a gift? Why do I feel like I am getting nowhere? Where is the ministry? Where is discipleship? I am not discipling anyone and no one is discipling me. Why am I not being seen? What am I doing wrong? Where are my promises?”. But then I feel this stirred in my heart, 

Him: “Why are you limiting me? You’re only speaking from what you can see, your vision is limited. You see with an earthly mindset; I see with a Heavenly mindset”. 

And just like that, Ephesians 6:13 came to mind. Casting out all doubt. The beauty? This all took place in a matter of minutes. 

Ephesians 6:13 exhorts the reader to put on the full armor of God and after everything to stand. That’s it just stand. So what does that look like? It means that although it’s beyond our understanding we stand in Scripture. We hold fast to the Truth of His character and Promises in the Bible. If Scripture states He does not forsake us, then we are not forsaken. If Scripture states and illustrates that He is good, then He is good and we need to declare that truth over our life. If Scripture states He has plans to prosper us hand give us a hope and a future than that’s what we need to hold fast to and believe. God never calls us to fight in this verse, but He calls us to stand -stand in faith. Live out our faith day to day and let God take over the rest. He is moving in more powerful ways than we can fathom. He is bringing freedom. He is bringing resolution. He is bringing victory. He hears us and He is faithful. 

-That’s the Truth. 

I say all this with one purpose: to encourage you. I recently read in one of the blogs I follow, Wonder and Wandering, “Will it be worth it?”. The blog proposes a radical perspective. David had been  anointed as King, but what if he never had been appointed? Would it still have been worth it? The proposed answer is yes. A relationship with God is worth it. It’s a relationship based in love not in rewards or outcome. Ironicalky, this thought was also proposed at my church this morning. The pastor used Daniel 3 as an illustration. Meshac, Shadrach, Abednego, and Daniel did not know the outcome but they remained and stood solidly in faith. They were thrown into a furnace and could have died but that thought never deterred them from their faith. And it wasn’t until tonight as these doubts pestered my mind, that I “got it”. I have desires burning deep in my heart, and I believe these desires have become promises in my life, but the fact that I can’t see them unfold in my life right now will not keep me from believing in the One True God. The outcome of my heart desires will not dictate my faith, Scripture will. 

So hang in there precious one. To the one believing for an unborn child, to the one whose heart years to spread the gospel in a foreign land, to the one believing for a husband, a partner in ministry, to the one believing for a job, to the one believing for healing, to the one with a recently brokenheart, to the one who feels lost, this one is for you. Remember, in this world you will have troubles but take heart He has overcome the world. 

He has overcome. 

One day this will not matter. We will be in Heaven rejoicing with the angels singing to the One who fulfills us the One who completes us. I wish I had immediate answers  for you; I don’t. But I do know there is One who cares for you, and loves you. Seek Him. Find refuge in Him. Stay steadfast and stand. 

My prayer and hope is that you find the peace, strength, and understanding through this post. I appreciate you for reading. I leave you with this song that has brought great comfort to my heart. I pray it will encourage and bless you. 

Your friend in Christ,

S

Song: “Take Courage” 

https://youtu.be/r49V9QcYheQ




This isn’t a cold brew. It’s iced coffee.(Revised)

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” –Matthew 7:3

Many weeks ago, I went to my favorite coffee place (Starbucks or as Graham Cooke says “St. Arbucks”) and I ordered my favorite drink. That afternoon, I was meeting my gal pal  for cake and coffee, and when they called up my order I did not go up to the counter. You see, what I had ordered was a sweetened iced coffee with 2% milk, and what they had called out was a sweetened cold brew with 2% milk. My friend asked, “Isn’t that your drink”?  Skeptical, I walked up to the counter, read the label “cold brew”, and when the very nice barista noticed my quizzical expression, he told me “that’s yours”. So I grabbed the cup, and a little bummed returned to my seat. When my friend asked, “What was wrong?”. I just stared at the counter with a saddened expression and whispered, “I got a cold brew..”. She then replied with, “Isn’t it the same?”. And that’s where this started…

Contrary to popular belief, an “iced coffee” and a “cold brew” coffee are not the same thing.

By appearance: yes.

By color: yes.

By taste: no, no, no.

The difference between these two beverages lies in the brewing process. An “iced coffee” is just regularly brewed coffee poured over ice, but a “cold brew” is different. The brewing process for a “cold brew” involves soaking coarse-ground beans in water for 12 hours or more (usually overnight). The result: a coffee beverage with less acidity and less caffeine content. So although they look similar, they are two distinct coffee beverages.

Which brings me to Matthew 7:3, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”. How often do we look at a situation, and immediately start imposing our own views over it? Just because a similar experience may have happened to us, does not mean that it is the same for another individual. Likewise, just because someone is upset or may even come across as disrespectful, does not always indicate that it is because of us. But how often do we point the faults of another without looking at ourselves? The other day, someone came into the place I work and needed assistance. This person’s behavior included: three irritated sighs, finger tapping on the counter, and speaking over another individual. After analyzing her behavior it would appear this person was  a) in a hurry b) irritated c) disrespectful/rude. These were the first observations I made, and honestly I was a bit annoyed at the entire situation. Luckily, it was time for my lunch break so I left thinking it was all behind me…

-wrong.

I was jamming out to some song on the radio, when I felt my thoughts interrupted by..

knock, knock, knock.

Ignoring it, I stopped at the red light and put on my turning signal.

-There it was again, knock, knock, knock.

I made my turn, and then the words, “Sarahi, (pause), Sarahi”. Okay by now He had my attention. This was the internal conversation:

Him: “Grace”.

Me: “Yes I know but she was rude”

Him: “Grace child. Have you not also had bad days?”

Me: “Yeah..”

Him: “And…”

Me: (By now I know the source of the times I have had bad days and those around me have been tolerant with me and sometimes call me out on it–these are the things that haunt me the most. I am not proud of it, and take it hard when I am not reflecting God’s love). 

Him: “They love you, just as I love you, and I love her. You don’t know her story; she was having a bad day. (Him still feeling resistance on my part) What if she doesn’t know any better?”. 

And by then my hands were up in full surrender and when I got home, I prayed. I prayed for forgiveness, for correction, and for another opportunity to see it through Christ’s eyes and not my own. And then I prayed for this individual. I asked God to bless her, to make her laugh, that she would feel appreciated, loved, and cherished, and that she would cross paths with another churched member that day. 

He has a way like that, to help me see what I can’t see. I don’t know this person, for all I know her pet had died or her significant other broke up with her or her roommate decided to move out. The only thing I knew were the facts: she was young, she had a problem, and came to the place where I work for help. That is all I knew. Yes, her behavior did come off as disrespectful. Could I had been the reason? Perhaps. Perhaps I typed too slow and she was in a hurry to get to another appointment. But likewise outside factors could have been the reason for the disrespectful behavior, and just to really throw things up a bit, maybe she wasn’t rude at all. What if she is from another area where this type of behavior is what the culture there considers “normal”?

-Yeah, God really taught me something that day.. 

Iced Coffee and a Cold Brew Coffee can be on a counter and appear to be the same beverage. But as you get closer, you will observe a difference in tint, label, and if you research the brewing method, you will see these two coffee beverages are not the same. They hold similar qualities but still not the same.

So just because some one is having a bad day, does not mean you are the reason for their bad day. Just because you have lived through a similar life experience (college, dating, breakups, engagements, weddings, promotions) does not always make you qualified to give advice.  Most of the time, people are just seeking to be listened to, comforted, and loved. A smile, a word of kindness, forgiveness, an act of service are great methods to extend that type of acceptance and understanding towards them. We don’t hold the answers, but there is One who does and through our actions and words we can point them to that Light they need to obliterate the darkness.

Please, don’t mistake me, I don’t have it all figured out. I mess up A lot, ALOT, but God is kind, gracious, and forgiving. He loves me and He loves you too. Others may not know the depth of your story, but the Creator does.

As always, thank you for reading. I hope this post served the purpose God intended for it to be composed. Blessings!