Do I Really Know Where I’ve Come From?

DISCLAIMER: This post is in no way intended to disrespect or discredit the city of Baltimore. This is my personal opinion upon my recent observations.

Today I walked through my city. Baltimore City. I’ve been raised in the city but as a child I had no idea of the perils that plague the streets.

As I walked down the long street I felt a sense of danger. Vacant homes. ‘Do not cross’ tape. Trash and debris. Police cars parked. Fire truck sirens sounding. Violence was in the air. People stared as my brother and I passed by. I can’t even begin to describe the look on some of the young men’s faces toward my brother. A young, African-American male finding his way of success in a land that some say has no hope. I wish I could read their minds. What could possibly make them glare at him? I could only wonder.

As we continued I started to pray. However, feeling overwhelmed I didn’t know what to pray. Should I have prayed for peace? Or unity? Then the topic of elected officials came to my mind. Where were they? Where were those in charge of protecting our city and presenting better opportunities to us?

I thought about our lack of resources and programs to keep the youth and adults off of the streets. Granted, there are some amazing programs and non-profits working here to change that. However, there are not enough. Where are those who promised resolution and good results during our national spotlight throughout the riots and protests?

I reminisce of when my siblings and I were younger. We had many great opportunities. I remember programs that brought people together. Regardless of our hardships, Mom and Dad always found community outreaches and fun events to enroll us in.

I refuse to say that this is the end for Baltimore. After all, when you reach rock-bottom the only direction left to go is up.

Should I Walk by Faith?

It is often stated that we walk by faith and not by sight. The passage comes from 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV). Many are adamant about “walking” in faith. But I’d like to share how walking is not enough.

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Photo by Shantel G. All rights reserved.

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? – James 2:14

As a saved woman I have learned how to operate in faith. There have been days when I’ve sat around in procrastination. Just “walking” in my faith and expecting miracles. But when I saw the results  were not coming, I decided to analyze my level of expectation and actions toward my so called “faith”. What I realized is that I had unrealistic expectations and no investments toward my goal. Would someone just come up to me and give me a job? Would the rent money come in a package from nowhere? I have now seen results by using my hustle & faith.

Hustle & faith means I’m gonna show God how bad I want [his results]. – Marcus D. Wiley

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Photo by Shantel G. All rights reserved.

What the world sees as a definite loss, I see as a possibility of greatness; an opportunity for God’s gain.

So lately I’ve been doing a lot of sorting and thinking. Trying to conjure up an explanation for why I am in this current season. Trying to figure out where to go from here.

I don’t know where I’m going but I know that God is taking me there. – Marcus D. Wiley

I have asked God for many things in the past. A certain type of profession. Husband traits.  Home architectural properties. God has blessed me with some things I said I wanted. Sometimes I wonder if I should have asked to be a music teacher. Life can throw you curveballs and make you question if this is what you really wanted. But then I remember the lives that have been touched and the sacrifices made that have brought a sense of fulfillment and completion.

My journey is far from over. I am on God’s GPS accelerating to where He is taking me. He knows the destination. My hustle and faith rejuvenate me along the way.

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Photo by Shantel G. All rights reserved.

Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. – James 2:15-17

I encourage everyone to purchase Marcus D. Wiley’s book titled Hustle & Faith.

Check out my singing cover of Fight Song 🙂

GOD IS WITH YOU. NOW BE BLESSED…

Single Moment

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? (NLT) -Matthew 6:27

You know the feeling you get when you start to worry? Anxiety rises up inside and the situation consumes your thoughts. We try to deal with it ourselves, but this behavior is not glorifying to God. Worry and stress reveal your doubt in God’s will.

As the creator of the universe, He has a greater plan at work. The next time you find tension rising up inside of you, stop yourself. Say a prayer that you are turning it over to God and putting your faith in Him. Stop worrying.

Download this app to get your daily devotions: http://bit.ly/16uZrQ5

Tired of Tangles

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Photo by Shantel G. All rights reserved.

Loop-di-loop. Allie oop. Circling, tightening around me. Chains of fury, dark and dreary feed upon my flesh. The light, so bright. It reels me in. I’m entised and captivated. Another crime. Such wasted time. And more and more I hate it.

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Photo by Shantel G. All rights reserved.

The battery drains just like the day. I sit and then I stare. I double tap ’cause I like that hat and yes, I love that hair. Then I decide as I beam with pride to post a filtered pic. I contemplate but it’s too late. Upload is what I click.

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Photo by Shantel G. All rights reserved.

Tick-tock on the clock. I digress as time goes by. But deep inside I cannot hide the tearing, great divide. Will he like it? Did she click it? Must I be a fool? Instead of focusing on the likes I should be focused on you.

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Photo by Shantel G. All rights reserved.

You know my name. You’ve shaped my frame. And this is how I repay you? I’m sure as you watch from above that this is really painful.

As I open my eyes I shift my focus on a greater view. No site, despite the pics and posts can share what we’ve been through.

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Photo by Shantel G. All rights reserved.

I unwrap the cords from around me. I unplug them one by one. You are my surge protector and I’m charged by the Son.

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. -1 Timothy 6:6-7 NLT