Tag Archives: Thought

God is preparing you for better. Be thankful. Your latter will be greater.

God is Perfecting YouThe remainder of the year is going by quickly and in less than two weeks before its end, some wonder what the New Year will usher in. Many of us don’t know what or where we’re headed in life while others may have taken many different directions trying to figure out this thing called life.

I began to reflect on my life and how this year has been a long journey filled with heartbreak, pain, disappointments, and tears yet I couldn’t help but rejoice in the things I’ve managed to learn about myself during particular seasons in my life. I may have met with hard times, challenges, and strife, but I am grateful for each experience as it dramatically changed my life.

A long time ago, 11 years to be exact, I created personalized multicultural heritage designs and started a book  that remained hidden in files I put aside because of challenges I faced. Things changed, of which I had no control. It was as though I lost all control. I felt why bother. I didn’t have the financial resources to back up my plan nor did I have the mental or physical capacity to delve into the project to complete it. So I left it.

I became ill around that time and lost significant use of my hands without experiencing difficulty, pain, burning, numbness, and just downright discomfort. For years it rendered me hopeless. Every day I found myself in tears. Every entire being of my body burned and hurt for months, days, years. I became frustrated with my life and kept asking God, “now what?’ I was impatient and wanted everything to work as fast as it could so I could live a life I had become accustomed to.

But you see God had other plans. His plan was not my plan. He took me from a place where I thought I had everything to a place where I lost everything. I didn’t have much money, no job, and a meager income to support myself. I lost hope in myself.

I was mad and took my frustration out on God and said to him, “Okay God, what you expect me to do with this? I don’t have a life. I don’t have a car, a job, and I lost my house. All I have are the clothes on my back. And now I have to start all over again. How am I supposed to get those things back?” I thought, “Why is this happening to me?”

For years, I kept looking for answers to questions I knew He had already given me. But I kept missing it. I didn’t want to face it. I was a very independent person and with the changes I encountered I had to learn to depend on others. Feeling sorry for myself as I cried out, “poor me” because of my suffering. I hated the life I was living. There was nothing I liked about this new life I had been given. But there was something God needed me see in it; a lesson I had to learn from it.

Over a year ago, I started recording my thoughts and under the advice of my children who created an account for me on social media that grew into a few, I began to post things I would learn about God and wanted the world to know too. Although my situation and circumstances had not changed as I’d hoped, I noticed things around me began to change. That began with me. There was hope.

As I would speak about God, I started looking at life differently. I began to learn lessons from Bible readings and Bible teachings. My walk and my relationship deepened with God undeniably. I thought as I laughed to myself, “This is the very thing I kept running from for years because I thought I’d lose myself. So…this is what I’ve been missing?” Thank God I am no longer running from my assignment and my calling. What a blessing!

At times, I may have had no money or only two nickels to rub together but I was content because God was preparing me for better. He said, “Dear child, I know your future. I have plans for you. Plans to prosper and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:11).

I’ve had writers block for months because of severe headaches but have been recording my thoughts. As God allows me, I meet each challenge with a new attitude. That’s a good start. 🙂 God is paving the way. No matter what my situation may look like, I look forward to each day.

A few months ago God began opening doors for me. I can now see clearly. I have a new release on life. God changed not my situation but changed me in it. I’ve learned to have patience, am compassionate about others, and no longer easily lose my temper. I rely on God and God only for provision. Even when things don’t turn out as I expect. I may not have much but as long as I got King Jesus, that’s enough!

My future success in things I hope for look promising since beginning this journey. God is making ways out of no ways for me to complete the journey.  I’m just waiting on instructions from Him to move forward. While waiting, I thank God and am grateful for every experience.

I’ve learned, sometimes when life happens and we don’t understand why, its God saying to us “not yet.” “It will come in my time.” There are things he must perfect in us, so that we are prepared when he elevates us. Whatever you may be going through, don’t give up.

Just as God is preparing me, He is preparing you too. He’s perfecting the gifts in you. And in his timing, he will elevate you. In your struggles, God is preparing you for better. Be thankful for every experience. Your latter will be greater.

Be blessed! -JD

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (NKJV)

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Be Thankful For The Little Things

Beckwith James Carroll Lost in Thought

Beckwith James Carroll Lost in Thought (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Upon hearing the news late yesterday of a loved one who went on to glory, I took it real hard. I cried and couldn’t sleep. I was lost in thought thinking how could this be? Wondering repeatedly, how could this have happened so suddenly?

We were very close. And oddly all I could think of was how we met. And learned we were closer than we expected. We met at a family home going, and she asked “What are you doing here?” I asked her the same question never once thinking we would be relatives.

Turns out she was a cousin on my father’s side of the family. And from that day on we remained in close contact. I became a part of her family. Through time, we became closer through countless encounters. But I didn’t have any idea I would grow to love this person as much as I did who was once a stranger. Stranger was the fact we worked at the same place and when I learned she was my supervisor, the look on my face… was “Priceless.”

She would give me rides to work to keep from being repeatedly late (ok…so I did have a tiny bit of an attendance problem :-)). But she kept me on my toes. She tried to protect me and my job even when I lacked wisdom to know better. It was as though I found a big sister. An angel God sent to me. And from that time on we remained true friends and cousins, indeed.

At first it was hard to cry when I received the call. But later I was drenched in tears as I began to recall all the wonderful moments we had in our life. So thankful to God I had the chance to see her during my visit home last year. It was blessing. We took pictures that I can still remember her as though nothing changed and she was still here. I had just talked about her the day before as I laughed, recollecting antics I would pull on her. Never once thinking she would be gone in just that short time. My, how we never know when it will be our time.

I woke this morning, tears still in my eyes. I will miss her tremendously but I am glad God placed her in my life. I had planned to see her when I travel home in a few days, which accounted for the reason I didn’t call a few weeks ago and wished her a happy birthday.

Although I did tell her where I knew she would see. I still felt sad because it didn’t come directly by telephone from me. However, I’m so grateful our paths crossed unexpectedly. Who would’ve thought a home going service would be a place for chance encounters. God knew…and I’m so glad I found her.

I’m grateful for the time we spent and moments we shared during her time here. I may be sad and my heart may be full, but it is to be expected, when you lose someone close and dear to you unexpectedly.

Understandably, it’s okay to feel distraught as tears well in your eyes. The beautiful blessing is when you can come to terms with it and accept it as you realize. They may be gone but are in a better place. Be thankful they are no longer in pain bearing heavy burdens in this place.

They are no longer suffering or will ever have to suffer again. The weight of the world have been lifted off their shoulders and they are no longer in pain. They no longer have to deal with the complexities or hardships of the world, but are in a better place with not a care or worry in the world.

It feels strange and while I am lost in thought from the events of yesterday. This is where I am today. It may be hard to take her passing away but I thank God, because my heart tells me she is in a better place. Although I may never see her face again, in my heart the love I have for her will remain the same…forever. I won’t say goodbye. I pray your soul rest in eternal peace until we meet again when it’s my time.

Time waits for no one. Yet I say, “Be grateful for the life you’ve been given. Thank God for what he allowed you to do with what you had while in it.” Be thankful for life lessons that were not happenstance encounters. It was all for a reason. Appreciate the blessings that abounded.

The time will come when life will come to an end for each one of us. Live life to the fullest until the time comes.  Be prepared for when it does. Don’t hold any regrets for what you may not have done. Or the life you’ve lived. Rejoice knowing you did your best to live as God desired you live. We don’t know the day or hour when our time will come. Appreciate the time God allowed you to stay. Cherish every moment of the day.

Give me my flowers while I’m here. Because when I’m gone I will no longer be able to smell or feel them. With every encounter, do your best to be loving and kind. Treasure still moments that travel through space and time. Cherish every memory of time spent with others. Remember them along the road you’ve traveled in the journey and how you blessed one another. Encourage and love all your sisters and brothers. Tell someone you love them today. Share a smile. It may change a life. And will go a long ways.

Be thankful for the little things.

Be blessed! -JD

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

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When Life Is Not A Bed Of Roses

Today has been a peculiar day. My thoughts are all over the place. As I think of those who are struggling with the perils of life and may feel out of place.

The words I’ve chosen to share with you are a bit out of character for me. But I couldn’t help to share with you what I am thinking. I believe the things I speak of are someone’s reality. And an unreality for those who choose not to see but accept life as, “What will be, will be.”

When life changes in an instant and we have no control of it, it can be overwhelming and unclear. The very place we may find ourselves sometimes can be frightening and cause fear. Especially when we are not accustomed to the manner we are required to live. We start to lose sight of the purpose intended and question the reason why we may be there. We start looking at our circumstances that will cause our minds to wander in despair.

We begin to struggle mentally to maintain. We become overwhelmed and our thoughts begin to reflect pain. Pain we begin to feel in our hearts and head that may cause us to feel worthless and ashamed.

We begin to feel insecure and feel like we are victims when criticized. For everything, in the eyes of those who criticize and feel we are not doing anything right. We feel as though we are a burden and feel helpless. Even though, we would if we could, change the situation or correct it.

There are ones who may become depressed and begin to feel anxiety. And begin to say things like, “Why didn’t my life turn out the way it was supposed to be? I hate my life. Why am I here? What happened? Why can’t I maintain? Given the life I have lived, I shouldn’t be where I am. Why am I in such pain?”

Self-pity sets in and they begin to ask, “Why can’t anyone understand why I feel as I do? Why do they think they’re perfect but find fault in everything I do?” Or fail to understand there may be something they lack to make me feel accepted. When crushed on every side. It is perplexing.

If only they would take the time to look at the situation at hand. And try to have some empathy or simply understand. The adjustment that person had to make. And avoid making it a one-sided adjustment which may cause someone to mentally break.

Regardless who we are, change will come. It will require compromise. It will impact all parties involved and can be hard. There are sacrifices to be made on everyone’s part. But each person must be willing to make the sacrifice as they go through. And evaluate how they may positively contribute to the environment one will exist, because humility will be required from each of you

Not everyone is perfect, nor is life. At some point and time we all will experience change in our life. When this happens, we must not ignore the feelings of others. We may find ourselves in the same predicament and would expect the same from others.

We don’t know what people are going through. And to live with someone that lacks empathy can be challenging. Especially when one doesn’t like the predicament they now find themselves in.

What we think we become, and what we become we will live. We must not let the mind play tricks and cause us to believe we are worthless or have no reason to live. There is a reason and a purpose God still has us here. There is a reason for everything. Live. But don’t be overcome with anxiety or fear.

We must remember things happen in life at no fault of our own. But God will never forsake us or leave us alone. Everything happens for a reason. Seasons are temporary. They don’t last forever. Make the best of life until things get better.

We must learn to trust God in the midst of our storm. And have faith we will be delivered. No matter the storms, don’t cry yourself a river.

Don’t lose hope. God will not give you more than you can bear. He will supply all your needs even when it doesn’t look like it or you think life is not fair. We live in a fallen world and some things are to be expected. We have to be prepared for the unexpected.

Trust God in the midst of bad circumstances. Remember God is a god of second chances. Stay on course. Have faith. Trust God for everything. His love will overshadow clouds and peace he will bring.

When life is not a bed of roses, don’t overestimate it. Rather focus on what you make of it. To make a difference in the life you live and not what you think of it. Accept life for what it is and think on these things. No matter the hardships life may bring. When faced with uncertainty or change, believe it is for the best. Do the best you can with what you’ve got. Let God handle the rest.

Positive thinking is the key. The right mindset will help you face your fears. Don’t spend a lifetime wondering why or trying to figure life out, only to waste unnecessary years.

Let God be your guide in everything you do. Keep the faith. Remember, God will see you through. God is always with you.

Be blessed! -JD

James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test , that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

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Praying and Thinking of You

In my experience, I have seen numerous events like 9/11 attacks that have caused the nation to grieve, and in time recover and find healing and peace. Nothing will ever compare to it. But this past week has been overwhelming. To see and hear breaking news reports every day has taken its toll on many, including me. It has been a dramatic, draining week. With news reports that have either startled or disturbed me. It is has been devastating.

It began on Monday with the Boston marathon explosion and as a result of the deadly attacks, three people were killed and 176 wounded. Then there was news of a poisoned letter sent to the President, the Texas fertilizer plant explosion that killed at least 14 people and parts of a community is now missing, and a powerful earthquake in China that killed 156 people and 5,500 injured with a number of people still missing.

With the week ending in a shootout and firing of explosives where more victims were hurt or killed, and lock down of a city in the attempt to capture those who were responsible for Monday’s Boston marathon tragic event. Innocent lives being taken, many critically injured or wounded and still there’s an unspecified number of people still not accounted for in many events that have been reported.

In all my years, I don’t recall ever having witnessed such chaos and confusion seen consistently as I’ve seen this past week. Sadly, we don’t what will come next or what will happen in the coming weeks. All we can do is be prepared mentally and not react to what we continue to see. The best response is to pray for the families hurting, the weak and the weary, and ones grieved.

Pray for loved ones, lost ones, and families across the nation. They are going through a difficult time. Make a faith declaration. To show your trust and faith in what you believe; God, even thought we cannot see Him. Keep the victims and families who have experienced tragedy in prayer every day. God will make a way.

Unfortunately, the events sadly may now lead to fear and avoidance for some, where many may become afraid to leave their homes. There are some who now do not feel safe and are afraid to return to the place they once felt safe. The place they called home before the earthquake. There may be a rise in the incidence of people who may begin to avoid crowds, minimize or change they way do things in the wake of what’s happening now.

Sadly, tragedies have occurred that will hurt generations for years to come but let it not put fear in our hearts because of what others have done.

However, let this be a time where we reinforce our values and things we hold dear and near to our heart. To live in peace with one another in spite our feeling overwrought, in light of the world that seems to be ripping apart.

Guard your heart. Let God be your guide. Avoid anger, temptation, and pride. Do as God’s Word instructs, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Strive for contentment no matter what others do.

In every situation no matter what you may face, keep your mind and thoughts in the right place. Don’t give up. But continue to run the race. Praise God no matter what you may face. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4: 8).

Keep the families and victims in your thoughts and prayers. Pray that God comforts and strengthen them during their times of despair.

As for me, please know we are praying and thinking of you. May God bless you.

Be blessed! -JD

Isaiah 40:28-31 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

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