It’s our Anniversary!

Hey! It’s a celebration! Life to Your Soul turns 4 today!

We started this blog with the hopes of inspiring others in their walk with Christ and sharing personal stories. We are pleased to say that God and your support have exceeded our expectations. Because of your support we have hosted two events in Baltimore City, mentored hundreds of youth & young adults and partnered with other organizations. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you all! The best is yet to come!

I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 1 Corinthians 3:6 NLT

Envisioning Your Greatness!

Hello all and happy New Year! I’m excited about what God is doing in this season. He is bringing us into new territory and higher ground.

On our prayer call, we focused on Abram’s life and what it means to have vision.

Vision

  1. the act or power of seeing sight.
  2. A thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination
  3. The act or power of imagination.

    Abram was a man of great faith. He was called to leave his homeland and trust God in the journey of relocating. Although he had walked with God for quite some time, Abram had no children. And even in his old age the situation bothered him.

    Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord , what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”

    Genesis 15:1‭-‬3 NLT

    Abram loved the Lord very much but it bothered him that he had no children to carry on His legacy. How often are we too frustrated because of our “lack”? We sometimes see no breakthrough. No resources. No resolution. Believe me, I felt that way before. But what happened next is astonishing.

    Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abram believed the Lord , and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.

    Genesis 15:4‭-‬6 NLT

    Count the  s t a r s.
    The maker of the universe gave Abram a vision. Something he could see and connect with. Although Abram was initially childless, he believed God’s promise. 

    Have you ever sensed an urge to do something phenomenal? Have you ever believed for something incredible? Your time is now to meditate on what God has for you.

    Write the vision. Make it plain. Habakkuk 2:2

    Get acquainted with where God is taking you.

    What God has given you is not by mistake or accident. It’s something that only you have. Make the steps to help manifest it on earth!

    Partner with GOD

    • Make a vision board
    • Jot down your ideas
    • Collaborate with like-minded people
    • Get acquainted with where God is taking you.
    • Pray always.

      I believe God for your breakthrough. What He has promised shall come to pass. Step into 2018 with expectancy in your heart and a pen in your hand!

      Prayer

      Father, 

      Thank you for investing in me. Thank you for seeing beyond what I physically see. Help me to believe your words and to walk according to my calling. Please help me to rest in the center of Your will. I will abide in You, free from chains of fear, doubt, and stagnation.
      In Jesus Name,

      Amen.

      Listen to the powerful song that was featured on yesterday’s call!

      2017 – My Year in Review

      Hey 2017. You’ve been phenomenal. You’ve been incredible. You’ve been kind.

      What a blast! My 2017 has been filled with leaps, twists, and many turns. I’ve witnessed and encountered many miracles also. Join me as I share my recap!

      While meditating I was inspired to write down this scripture as a beautiful reminder in my life.
      One of my favorite scriptures!
      I loved assisting the children in this art activity!
      I discovered several years ago that taking photography is one of my passions.
      Mom has quite the eye herself!

      Sis and I enjoyed Lunch with Laquisha!
      Cue the queen 2017!
      Dance Party!
      This year’s first #LoveSession was themed Purpose. And how fitting it was!
      I loved the energy in the building. Little did I know it would become my church home.
      Holy Host sent up the praises as I watched in amazement.
      Smiles before leading a discussion board.
      God had already put on my heart to sing “Even When It Hurts” by Hillsong.
      I recall sharing the good news and walking by faith on those early morning bus rides!
      Great book. You should check it out.
      Withlove is such a wonderful organization and I am glad to have served the homeless with them.

      Soon this would become my family!
      Cheers to starting the prayer call series this year. It has been a wonderful endeavor.
      I was invited to play with Holy Host one Sunday and the rest is history!
      Shine the light for all to see!
      It has been a pleasure meeting Jeremy and partnering with CYA Baltimore.
      Just girls discovering how to impact the world!
      The man with the plan. David Warren of withLove!
      You ever witnessed love and endurance? That’s what I witnessed at my grandparents’ 60 anniversary party.

      Cheers to over 100 followers on Facebook. Follow @ShantelGraces08
      This year I’ve witnessed a man receive his sight, pain leave a woman’s back, and more! God shown himself to be the God of miracles!
      Love fellowshipping with my sisters.
      Write the vision. Make it plain.
      Thus the Promise Ceremony and Conference was born!
      What a blessing it has been to teach and share my story.
      We are free to worship! This event was a huge success! So many youth and young adults recomitted themselves to Christ!

      Each one, reach one! Empower the youth. Show them their greatness.

      Tori’s been chillaxing for most of the year!

      One post that pushed me into greater!
      Let your light so shine!
      Art teacher life. Cultivate and inspire!
      Great things happen when youth with a mission connect!
      Healing and deliverance taking place in the city!
      Thankful to serve under their leadership.

      I’ve taken leaps of faith this year from leaving my previous job to teaching again and to starting the Promise Ceremony & Conference. Nothing is impossible with God! Be brave my friends! There is nothing to fear. If God has placed something on your heart, He is sure to help deliver.

      There is so much more that I could share but this sums up the heart of 2017. It has been filled with sacrifice, healing, favor, and abundant blessings. Thank you for joining me on this journey. There is much more to come. Happy New Year!

      Great Expectations

      In the midst of transition?

      We tend to question God. Why isn’t this working out? Where am I going? Do you even care? Because of the unfamiliarity of transitional periods, we wonder if God is really taking care of us as He’s promised. But in those moments we must not doubt. Do not delay in your faith! To a look at how Abram responded when God told him to leave Egypt:

      So Abram left Egypt and traveled north into the Negev, along with his wife and Lot and all that they owned. (Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold.) From the Negev, they continued traveling by stages toward Bethel, and they pitched their tents between Bethel and Ai, where they had camped before. This was the same place where Abram had built the altar, and there he worshiped the Lord again. Genesis 13:1-4

      Can you imagine waking up one morning to hear God tell you to pick up all that you have and go? That is what happened in Abram’s case. He left his father’s house and went in pursuit of God’s destination.

      Lot, who was traveling with Abram, had also become very wealthy with flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and many tents. But the land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together. So disputes broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. (At that time Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land.) Genesis 13:5-7

      Lot and Abram were very wealthy relatives. When God called them out of Egypt they had accumulated much wealth so traveling together was not easy.

      Finally Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not allow this conflict to come between us or our herdsmen. After all, we are close relatives! The whole countryside is open to you. Take your choice of any section of the land you want, and we will separate. If you want the land to the left, then I’ll take the land on the right. If you prefer the land on the right, then I’ll go to the left. Genesis 13:8,9

      Sometimes, God distances you from familiar places and spaces so that he can show you the magnitude of His greatness in your life. If you are uncomfortable where you are right now, God may be preparing you to launch into something greater. Follow at His command and watch Him move on your behalf.

      After Lot had gone, the Lord said to Abram, “Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west.  I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants. And I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted! Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you Genesis 13:14-17

      08/29 – Great Expectation

      The Lord made a promise that exceeded Abraham’s expectations! Imagine what would’ve happened if Abraham did not move in faith.

      Here are some points from tonight’s call.

      • God wants to multiply everything concerning us.
      • Our faith will determine our level of destination.
      • God is still faithful even in the midst of adversity.
      • Find the positive light within your circumstance.
      • Doubt clouds our vision to see what God has placed around or in front of us.
      • Your latter will be greater than your past.

      Hold on my brother. Hold on my sister. God loves you and is bringing you into a wealthy place!

      Click here for prayer requests.

      #PrayingforTexas

       Make Room for Me

      Hands Up Ocean

      Start packing folks! It’s time to get ready for your next big move! 

      On this week’s prayer call, we’ve discussed availing ourselves to God and walking in expectation of what He has in store. God is preparing us for a mighty move. Get your bags ready!

      Here are the following points discussed:

      • When you give God your portion, He will multiply it. He is the greatest Multiplier. Malachi 3:10
      • Set aside time for you and your Maker. Psalm 23:1

      If you look for me with your whole heart, you will find Me. Jeremiah 29:13

      • Walk in faith preparing for the big move.
      • Challenge the challenge! James 1:2,3

      If you’ve been experiencing challenges in your life, begin to rejoice! God is refining you and building your resilience. Your character is being built upon! Embrace the process.

      “God can turn: fear into faith. Pain into potential. Rejection into destiny.” Steven Furtick

      07/18 – Prayer Call

      Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10 NKJV

      Check out the song of the week!

      You are not alone. 

      Submit your prayer request and we will certainly pray for you.

      Be Still and Know – Prayer Call

      This Tuesday’s call we focused on listening for God’s voice in our lives and watching Him orchestrate in every day situations.

      • What to do when you are presented with many opportunities
      • How to know if God has opened the door for you
      • Not being hasty
      • Resting in God’s peace
      • Understanding and accepting the process

       I shared my testimony of overcoming hastiness and how rushing can prohibit the full manifestation of what God is giving you.

      Whatever it is, take a step back and pray for guidance and clarity.

      The scriptures we focused on are the following:

      “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalms 46:10 NLT

      “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:24-27 NLT

      Check out the link below!

      06/13 – Prayer Call

      We’d love to pray for you! If you have any prayer requests, submit here.

      Take This Mountain Weight

      One thing about being in God’s presence is vulnerability. In Christian culture, we are instructed to seek God but I recall feeling ashamed and at times scared to approach Him. I recall thinking that God would judge me if I presented myself to Him in prayer. This reminds me of the woman with the issue of blood.

      Read more

      A Harvest Season

       

      The leaves are slowly changing. The breeze is cooler. I feel it in the air. It’s a new season. A new time to be alive. Fall is approaching. I will enjoy this late summer. How I’ve longed for this time. It’s not a midsummer night’s dream.

      Thank you for the breeze. Thank you for the trees. Thank you for the sound.
      If you want to see God look all around. His hands are in the branches. His smile is in the sun. His breath is in the wind. His voice is in the waters. His heart is in the details. Oh, what a time to be alive.

      Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.-Ecclesiastes 3:11

      Don’t Cheat Yourself

      “I can’t believe this is happening to me!” “Who would’ve thought that my life would end up this way?” “Why me, Lord?”

      So many questions raced through my mind.

      “Why don’t I still have my car? Why are these bills piling up? Why is everyone around me succeeding?”

      Another failure. Another set back. Another temptation to throw in the towel. Had I done something wrong? What sin did I commit this time?

      Growing up, I always wanted things to be perfect. In my depiction of perfection, the ultimate goal was to have the approval of my peers. I wanted everyone to be pleased by my accomplishments and lavishness.

      Perfect a :  being entirely without fault or defect :  flawless b :  satisfying all requirements :  accurate c :  corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept

      My definition of perfection was to be married by 22 years old, have a spacious house, a fancy car, and two years later, start having children. My vision of perfection was to have two college degrees by 25. However, my reality was fearfulness, anxiousness, and procrastination. I wanted to help others, especially children, see their worth but internally I was struggling with my own confidence. When hard times appeared I was a “train wreck.”

      You’re never going to be happy with what you get, if you’re never happy with what you have. – Claire Wineland

      Panicking became a habit when the bills were due or deadlines for various things came up. You see, I thought I had the right formula: Pray, wait, look for the answer, worry. I would pray to God for a miracle; pray that He’d help me get through these trying times. Then I’d wait for a response and look for some form of an answer. Finally, when things were not lining up according to my speed preference, I would worry. It was foolish, I know, but somehow this became my staple when tough times presented themselves.

      And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life? – Matthew 6:27 AMP

      Eventually, I became tired of my habit of “freaking out” and decided to do something different. I decided to be still. I decided to examine my life. I decided to perform a reality check. The truth was I was spending too much worry about problems and too less time enjoying everyday. I had wasted so much time trying to put the pieces together, that by the time the issue was resolved the day would be over. I finally realized that every storm had a beginning and an end. I cried when I realized what I was doing. I apologized to God for not using the time He had given me wisely. Then I apologized to myself for contributing to my own destruction.

      God had given me a new day to live. I started to smile more often. I started watching people enjoy their lives. I started to go to parks more often. When I’d wake up the sun would shine on me and I’d embrace the moment. The more I began to focus on the beautiful moments in life I began to think more clearly. I began budgeting and organizing my time wisely. I began to invest in my own ideas, gifts and talents.

      live-today-inspirational-quote

      I say all of this to let you know that life is a treasure. We are given one life on this earth. If you are frustrated or focused on your problems, you can miss a great moment. Let God’s light into your life. Change your perspective. Sense the opportunities where you can encourage others. Appreciate each new day. God loves you and He took the time to create you, a beautiful, unique, and treasured being. Love yourself. Let love guide you in forgiving others. You can not move forward with baggage from the past. Regardless of what has happened to you and what others have said,  you are a remarkable being.

       For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10 NLT

      I encourage you to say this affirmation: I am a blessing. I am wonderful. I am powerful. I am not my past mistakes. I am not the problems that I am faced with. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I will see with eyes of gratitude. I will be a light because I have a purpose.