Throwback Thursday: Back to School – Embrace It!

Enjoy this throwback that was originally posted on September 10, 2012.

School has begun for most students across the world so EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School”.   Read this week as our writers share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences.  Come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!

My boys go to a charter school in the city and are amongst the first kids to go back to school early.  Needless to say they are hardly excited about how their cousins and friends get to stay up a little later for about a week or so longer than they do.

This year was a little different though; they were really excited about the first day of school.  They couldn’t wait to see some of their friends that they hadn’t seen over the summer or the newly renovated building.  I was excited for them and looking forward to hearing about how awesome their first day had been.  When they came home, they had plenty to tell me and my older son was more excited than my younger son.  When I questioned why he was a little down, he told me it was because most of his good friends were all in the same class together but he was in a class full of students he didn’t know.  He really wanted to be in class with his friends.

As I sat there looking at my baby boy with his bottom lip poked out (just as cute as he could be), I started to think.  It is funny how we always want to get ‘something new,’ but have such difficulty when what we get isn’t what we had in mind.  So quickly we lose sight of the new blessings and beginnings God gives us because they don’t look like the ones we were expecting.  This could mean going to get a Cadillac and being approved for a Chevy.  It could be feeling like a guy was the one who got away and nobody would ever replace him, but KNOW that God had a reason for giving you the new beginning that He did.  We have to stand on His Word—And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)  I told my baby that he has the best of both worlds!  He has all of his friends from last year that he can hang out with at lunch and recess and the opportunity to meet a lot of new friends!

I think as we reflect on the new school year for ourselves and/or our children, the beginning of the last quarter of the year 2012, and the upcoming changes in season, we need to continue to be open-minded and thankful for all things that are new, regardless of whether we asked for them or not.  We need to be patient, pray for discernment and wait on God to reveal His plan for our purpose in this and every season of our lives.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for constantly showing me that when You are doing a new thing it is always what’s best for me.  Thank You for being patient with me and continuing to order my steps even when I am reluctant to do as You would have me do.  Please continue to manifest Your Will for my life upon me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to accept and embrace ALL new things and opportunities that are bestowed upon you!  REFUSE to allow the enemy to convince you that anything ordained by your Heavenly Father is anything other than a blessing and His Will for your life!

What new things and opportunities has God bestowed upon you that maybe you didn’t embrace at first?

Read a related EmpowerMoment:  Expect Greatness

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 Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

The Moocher

The definition of a moocher is someone who tries to obtain things by begging or someone who borrows things without intending to return or repay it. They would be thought of as a selfish person only thinking about themselves and how they can get something. So now that we have defined what a moocher is I’m sure you all can attest to knowing a person like this. Maybe the person is a family member or someone close to you. Maybe it is a coworker or an associate. You may be thinking right now that you have experienced this with someone.

How does it feel when someone tries to mooch off of you? You may experience feeling anger or frustration. You may just want to cut that person off! Now my next question is are you a moocher? I know you may be saying in your head, “Absolutely not!’, but just keep reading. Think about some of the prayers you pray to God. Is the majority of your prayer asking him to do things for you such as give you material things, fix this problem or that problem? You may be thinking that is what God is there for. I’m His child and He is going to take care of me! This is true, but what about asking God for something that will benefit Him? Have you asked God to give you something so that you can help others? A lot of times our prayers are so selfish. It is all about you and what you need God to do for you. I am guilty of this myself. I was in church this past Sunday and the sermon came from 2 Chronicles 1:6-12. In this text King Solomon was giving sacrifices to God and the Lord came to him and asked him what he wanted. Now a true moocher would have had a list ready to give to The Lord! Instead of being selfish, Solomon said this,

 Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place.  Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth.  Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

His prayer was not asking God to give him material things. He wanted God to give him wisdom and knowledge so he could lead God’s people the right way. I think that had to be a tempting situation because God told him to ask for whatever he wanted. Knowledge and wisdom was all he asked for and it was to help others. But because that was the only thing he asked for God decided to give it to him and so much more. The word tells us that God told Solomon,

God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

Because he prayed an unselfish prayer and not a moocher’s prayer he was given what he asked for and more! The same way we don’t like to be used, God wants to know that we are authentic and understand that this is not a one sided relationship.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your unconditional love. Thank You for being patient with me and giving me understanding of Your word. Lord, remove the moocher spirit in me and help me to be unselfish in my prayers to You. Help me understand that when I think of how I can be pleasing to You I will be blessed beyond measure! Thank You for this second chance to be a better servant for you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to let that moocher spirit go! Stop thinking about yourself and think about what would be pleasing to God! How can you help to build God’s kingdom on earth today? Remember our life is not our own. We are living for God!

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Misha White currently resides in Huntsville, AL and is a recent graduate of Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology. She aspires to serve women to achieve the best spiritual and physical health possible using the Word of God, regular exercise, and healthy eating habits. She is a loving friend, sister, daughter, and soon to be wife to the wonderful Christopher Berry. One of her favorite scriptures is John 16:33 (NIV), “I have told  you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

“Teal” It’s Gone!

Ovarian-Cancer-Teal

On Saturday morning, many people, including myself, some family and friends participated in the Head Over Teal 5K in support of ovarian cancer awareness and research. It occurred to me that many don’t know much about this devastating disease and it definitely doesn’t get as much attention as some other cancers. Nevertheless, you deserve to be educated and empowered about it because even if this awareness does not help you directly, it could very well help someone else.

As you may have read in previous EmpowerMoments, I was personally affected by this horrendous disease. My mom succumbed to it at only 48 years old. We had no family history of this disease and to say we were blindsided would be an understatement. I can’t help but think how much more empowered we could have been had we even known the signs and symptoms before the disease became so advanced. So, part of my mission in life is to spread the word as much as possible and through as many ways as possible about ovarian cancer “teal” it’s gone.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (3 John 1:2)

Here are a few things you should know:

  • September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
  • The color that represents ovarian cancer is teal.
  • Ovarian cancer is often called the “silent killer” because of its often vague symptoms. Its symptoms are often noted in non-cancerous or less serious conditions and are overlooked until advanced disease.
  • It is the deadliest of all cancers of the female reproductive system and ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women.
  • It mainly develops in older women; half of all cases are in women 63 and older.

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge (2 Peter 1:5)

Most common symptoms of ovarian cancer (Note these symptoms can be caused by other conditions, but when they are caused by ovarian cancer they tend to be persistent and a change from what is normal for you):

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Feeling full quickly or trouble eating
  • Urinary symptoms such as urgency or frequency

Other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal swelling with weight loss
  • Menstrual changes

Ladies, early detection is key. Unfortunately, most women are not diagnosed until they are already in the later stages of the disease which greatly impacts survival lengths. Don’t ignore your body. Don’t ignore your health. If something doesn’t seem right then get checked out. Treatment is available such as surgery and chemotherapy. Error on the side of caution and as always keep the faith!

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (I Corinthians 6: 19-20)

Dear Daddy,

We know that You are all powerful and a mighty healer. Thank You for healing us of our ailments and protecting us from many sicknesses and diseases. Thank You for the knowledge provided to me to better care for myself and my loved ones. Thank You for those You have assigned to care for and treat those of us who have such diseases like cancer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to take charge of your health. I EMPOWER you to seek knowledge that can aid you in caring for yourself and others. I EMPOWER you to think about ovarian cancer next September and wear a teal ribbon in support of increasing awareness and honor of those fighting, or who have fought this disease! I EMPOWER you to be aware!

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Mrs. Coretta Collins is a wife and mother who enjoys reading, writing, movies and spending time with family and friends. She is avid about health, healing and helping which serves her well as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a hematology and oncology practice. Striving to be led by the Lord throughout life and having overcome significant challenges, her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Coretta is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church in Birmingham, Alabama. She resides in Calera, Alabama with her awesome husband and two wonderful sons.

Flashback Friday: Back to School-To The Graduation Line

Ladies enjoy this flash from the past which was originally posted on September 12, 2012.

School has begun for most students across the world so EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School”.  Read this week as our writers will share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences.  So, come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  (Galatians 6:9 NIV)

I didn’t know what to really expect about my first day/year of college.  I remember being so nervous about starting college and being a freshman all over again.  I became so nervous that I felt physically sick.  I was entering a new season and change looked scary.  However, I made it through my first day of college and my first year too.  I eventually became comfortable and familiar with being a college student attending a university in a city close to home.  College was actually not a bad experience, but my grades proved otherwise—I went from a straight ‘A’ senior in high school to a ‘D’ and ‘F’ student in college. It was during my sophomore year of college that I began to experience a setback.

Some time before this setback, I changed majors.  I changed my major from Art & Design: Graphic Design to English: Professional & Technical Writing.  I only picked graphic design because people kept saying that a career in computers would be lucrative.  So, I thought this program of study was best because I could make money and still be creative.  Yet, I shifted majors after failing one or two of my graphic design classes, much prayer and a conversation with a stranger that ended with this question: “Why are you working with computers if you love to write?”

After I switched majors, I began to excel, yet my GPA was so low it was hard to recover and so I was dropped.  I had been dropped (yes, dismissed) from the university and I also lost my financial aid.  I had been dropped because my GPA was continually low, and less than 2.0 and I had been placed on academic probation again although I was working hard and rarely missing class.  I was shocked and in dismay.  I could have let this setback overcome me; however, within a day of finding out this news I inquired from my school’s officials on how to get back in school.  I was told that I had to petition to get reinstated and get my financial aid back.  Staying out of school wasn’t an option so I immediately tried to resolve it.  I filled out some petitioning forms basically describing the cause for my poor academic standing and why I wanted to get back in, etc.  Then I had to visit my dean for the first time.  I remember sitting outside her office with the door open, waiting for her to be done conversing with another student.  The student, who was a young man, resembled a child sitting in the principal’s office waiting for the principal’s judgment.  When done, he walked out and as he passed me, the dean looked at me and said in her motherly tone, “Now what’s your problem?”  Her greeting made me so nervous.  I went into her office thinking that I didn’t ever want to see her again, especially under those circumstances.  I had to explain to her that I had been dropped and the reasons I believed my GPA was low and not improving.  I remember telling her it could be that I had been working too many hours and studying less.  I had been working two part-time jobs for a while and I remember with one I worked 70 hours in 10 days.  I also was trying to still bring up my GPA but I had failed the same math class at least twice.

So she helped me to come up with a plan of action.  I needed to study more and work fewer hours. The dean had mercy upon me and reinstated me.  Praise God for His mercy!  I didn’t just get reinstated, but my school released my financial aid.  I had to take student support classes where I was taught how to write research papers, take tests, and manage my time.  I also sought math tutoring.  I was determined to succeed and I excelled in my major.  We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:12 NIV)

There were other trials and tribulations that I had to overcome during college.  I had to overcome my fear of public speaking when I took a speech class. My grandmother, whom I shared a special bond with, passed away. I had family issues and past wounds that surfaced that led me to seek counseling.  I had a financial aid issue once or twice again.  I had sarcastic relatives ask me how long it was going to take me to finish.

When I finally reached the end in 2007, it was a relief and I was at the season of completion.  I was doing well, passing all of my classes, and enjoying all things writing related.  I had been praying well before graduation.  I prayed to the Lord to let NOTHING hinder me from graduating.  The day I graduated, I was happy, nervous, and proud of myself.  The ceremony was beautiful because I was getting my Bachelor’s degree, and my class was the first class to graduate out of the newly built convocation center.  I was also the first person of my family to graduate from college.  When I walked across the stage, guess whose hand I had to shake?  Yes, it was the dean I had to face in bad circumstances.  But now I faced her with a smile and with the evidence that I had successfully made it to the end amidst trials and tribulations.

Going to college was not just an academic experience, but a life-learning one.  I learned so much in 7 ½ years of college.  I learned to be patient.  I learned there is a time and a season for everything.  I learned that God’s grace can carry you through.  I learned to persevere and that all things are possible with God.  I learned that tests and trials define your character and strengthen your faith.  We need not just arrive at salvation, but let’s strive for that Crown of Life through maintaining our faith, patience and dependency upon God.  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.  (James 1:12 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your mercy and grace.  Thank You for always finishing what You start and being a God of excellence.  Thank You for teaching me patience and perseverance.  Thank You for strengthening me and loving me beyond my failures, weaknesses and disappointments.  I thank You for every test and trial which strengthens my faith.  I thank You, Daddy, for giving me a destiny and I pray You continue me on that path to live and fulfill Your purpose for my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to maintain patience and perseverance to the end.  Maintain your faith through the tests and trials, waiting periods, and the process.  Never give up what God has ordained for you.  Hold fast to your faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Trust Him through every test, trial and storm.  Ask the Lord to perfect His patience in you and give you an understanding of the lesson behind each test and trial.  Know all things are possible with God if you believe. 

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program, helping high school students prepare for college. As a compassionate person and encourager, she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. This April, Tannika published her first book, a book of her poetry, titled Setting The Captive Free. For more details, visit stcfpoetrybook.com.  On July 10th of this year, she  also launched her new Christian clothing and apparel brand called Fruitful & Fabulous inspired by John 15:8.  For more details about Fruitful & Fabulous, visit fruitfulandfabulous.com.  Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Quality Time

Quality time

May I make a confession?

It’s hard for me to get into the presence of the Lord every day.

Let me clarify. During Sunday morning worship, I’m good. I can enter right in with the saints and praise and worship God. On a daily basis, I get my regular time of morning prayer and devotion, and I listen to my gospel music while I’m working at my desk during the day.

But spending personal, quality time with God where I enter into His presence on my own? Having a time of worship where I have intimate fellowship with the Lord? Times of prayer where I speak to God, and I hear what He has to say to me? I can’t tell you that happens on the regular. Or often.

There’s always some excuse keeping me from that kind of quality time. I have errands to run. I have to work late. I don’t like getting up early. I’m supposed to meet the girls for dinner this evening. A new show is premiering on TV that I want to watch. I have a late meeting. I’m already in the bed under the covers, I’m just now thinking about it, and it is way past my bedtime… The list goes on and on.

Looking at my pattern of behavior, only serious issues, problems, and trials get me to go to that close level of intimacy with God regularly. A major issue pops up, and suddenly I can handle a week-long fast of prayer and intercession. I need an answer on a problem like yesterday, and I find myself up at five a.m. worshipping the Lord. I have some kind of need to be met, and I can suddenly put off my favorite show for some time spent on my knees before God.

My own issues lead me to earnestly seek God’s voice. My problems push me into His presence. Funny, if I didn’t have so many problems, the Lord and I might never really have had as many times of intimacy. (Thank You, Lord, for grace!)

I can only imagine how much more blessed my daily life would be if I made it a priority to truly fellowship with the Lord daily. If I read God’s Word listening for His voice rather than just to finish a devotion… if I honestly conversed with God instead of saying a trite prayer out of habit… If I sang to the Lord in worship instead of just singing along to a song I like… How much more would my life change?

The Bible says, Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. (James 4:8 NLT)

Too many of us divide our loyalty between God and the world. If we honestly think about how much our time is spent on worldly things, we would be ashamed. (I know I am!) God wants us to come closer to Him. So much so, that He will come closer to us in return!

Can you imagine how your life would change if you moved closer to the Lord regularly? How much more would you hear? How much more would you know?

The great thing about this is we have the opportunity to find out. Each day presents an opportunity for us to grow closer to God. All He asks is that we come close to Him. We can’t just acknowledge Him. We can’t just speak of Him. We can’t just look in His direction. We have to come in close. This takes time. This takes effort. This takes intentional actions on our part.

But, judging from what He has promised us, our efforts will be greatly rewarded!

Dear Daddy,

Forgive me for letting our relationship become so casual. Help me to prioritize my time with You. Show me ways that I can make time to come in close and talk with you. Open up my ears so that I can hear Your voice. Let me be sensitive to the Holy Spirit when you call for me to spend time with You. Thank you for Your grace which is always waiting for me even when I mess up. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to get closer to God! You can spend quality time with your Father on a regular basis! I rebuke every excuse, distraction, and delay that will try to hinder an intimate relationship with the Lord!

Have you been spending quality time with the Father?

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Tiara Wilkinson just released her first book “Days of Purpose & Destiny” which is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can find more information at http://www.daysofpurposeanddestiny.com. Tiara also serves as the Youth Leader and on the Pastoral Care Team at Christ Worship Center in Riverdale, Illinois. Her favorite passage of the Bible is Psalm 27 which reminds us that the Lord is our strength, so we have no reason to fear anything.

 

Quick to Listen

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” (James 1:19 ESV)

When I became a mother of one, I was so engulfed in her. Not to the point where she became my life, but I was in tune with every move, thought, and feeling she had. I filled her cup often, to the point where she wasn’t a needy child, but a giver. The love she felt at home spilled over onto her friends.

Then I had a baby…

For the first 6 months everything was “normal”. The baby ate and slept, and I remained being in tune with my now oldest daughter. What I didn’t realize is what was brewing inside of her.

I learned a long time ago, mainly from being married to my husband, that you hear the loudest by watching and interpreting. Often, when someone is hurt or in need, they respond in ways other than saying “Hey, look over here, I’m needy, my cup needs to be filled.” They react in many other, sometimes adverse, ways.

Time passed and I noticed my oldest started reverting to acting like a toddler. My daughters are four and a half years apart, so she was no longer a toddler. This transition into “kid-hood” was new to both of us. I started noticing that my daughter’s cup was getting empty. The whining increased (50% of that came with being 5) and she began to crave attention or even be sure to affirm that if someone mentioned something that her younger sister did that she could do it too. As a mother, that was painful to watch because I wanted her 5, now 6, year old self, not a replica of her toddler sister. I didn’t want her to be needy at all.

My daughter’s cup was empty…

I prayed and reached out to God with ways that I could fill her. I wanted to take her on errands alone with me or even out to eat, but those weren’t the things she wanted to do. So they really didn’t have a lasting impact. God whispered to me and told me that all she needed to be filled with was my undivided attention. “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” (Proverbs 18:13 ESV) I was providing answers, but did not hear her. All she wanted was me and her, on her terms, playing dress up or make-up without being interrupted by, “stop that, put that down, hold on Sweetie, Mommy’s listening but hold on,” as I multitasked with managing her younger sibling.

I stopped…

One day I stopped and listened. I listened with my heart and became open and available. When the first opportunity came, we hopped in my bed, watched her favorite Disney movie, with popcorn (yes in the bed) and sporadic moments of ballet routines during commercials. She enjoyed it and eventually opened the door and asked for her sister to join us.

She was full…again.

It didn’t take much, but I learned that not only do I need to have quality time on her terms, but I need to be consistent. Giving undivided time is hard when you are a busy mom. It’s a challenge. But wise counsel has informed me that if I don’t spend this time now, I will regret it later.

I listened.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being so patient with me and for answering my cry when I call. I thank You for quickening my spirit to hear Your voice and to empower me to put your commands into action. It is my prayer that every mother has the ability to hear what their children are saying to them and fill their cups as You have ordained us to be able to do. May You give all of us a heightened sensitivity to the needs of our children so that we can fill them with Your love, joy, peace, and mercy. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Mommies, Aunties, Sisters, and Mentors, I EMPOWER you to be quick to listen. Odd behavior is usually the result of a need. I EMPOWER you to seek God to help you fill the cups of our children by giving them what they need.

Are your children’s cups empty?

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Her passion is mentoring young women and marriage empowerment. She resides in Orange Beach, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They are members of New Beginnings Christian Center in Foley, AL.

I AM STILL HERE

For those of you who have been with EmpowerMoments since the beginning, you may recall that I quit my job in 2010 and started my own company, Nspiregreen. It’s been quite some time since I have written about this journey but after nearly five years in operation, I AM STILL HERE. Saying that the first two and a half years were rough is a euphemism. My co-owner and I almost became accustomed to the struggle as we waited on a shift in Nspiregreen. Without the help of family and friends who helped us, when we couldn’t do so much as buy groceries, this story would be much different.

Just two years ago, I wrote to you in Trampled on the Floor about transitioning from no paycheck to a paycheck and preparing to move to Washington, DC. My co-owner and I had no idea what was in store for us as we were able to pay ourselves just enough to make ends meet. It wasn’t what we were used to but it was a stepping-stone to the “more” that God had in store. We relied on our faith that things would indeed get better and that God would enlarge our territory and grant us favor. We continued to do the work. Sometimes we were discouraged as we missed paychecks but we didn’t want to turn back. We had a small measure of faith. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him Hebrews 11:1,6 KJV. Along with our faith and a network of believers surrounding us, we continued to do the work. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:17-18 KJV

As I look back on the seed that was planted over five years ago, I realize that we have come a mighty long way. Just this month, one of our first employees celebrated her one-year anniversary and on yesterday we were able to hire a third. Our revenue in the first nine months of 2014 has already doubled where we ended 2013. I’m bragging on the goodness of God. He has absolutely rewarded us even when we didn’t deserve it. We’ve been stressed, faced rejection and failures but through it all God has supplied our needs. He has had our name come up in conversations when we weren’t in the room. He has added us on projects that we initially lost. He has brought our names to the remembrance of companies who initially rejected us. He allowed us to pay off a loan a year early and not miss paying our employees or ourselves. Because of His faithfulness, I AM STILL HERE.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3 KJV Are we where we want to be? Absolutely not! However, I thank God that we are not where we used to be. I am thankful for the journey and the testimony to share. I am looking forward to continued growth, divine connections and overflow. Like the tree in Psalm 1:3, I shall not be moved. I AM STILL HERE!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for keeping me, sustaining me and surrounding me with a network of believers. Because of You, I can proudly proclaim that I AM STILL HERE. There were times when I was down but Lord You didn’t count me out. Forgive me for not acknowledging You and recognizing that You have indeed honored our sacrifice and our commitment. Continue to shower favor upon me. Lord, let this business be used for Your glory. Help mine unbelief as You increase my faith. Lord, I look forward to the season of plenty. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to STAND. Withstand every attack of the enemy, every bit of discouragement and shout I AM STILL HERE! Let the enemy know that what God has purposed in you, you will see through. I encourage you to talk to those people who believe in you and support you, remembering that sometimes you have to encourage yourself. Keep the faith and do the work! 

Do you have a testimony or need some encouragement, share your story with us?

Please help us bless and EMPOWER homeless women and their children as the beginning of a new school year nears!  For more information on how you can donate and help make a difference, please click here http://www.gofundme.com/cfeux8

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Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.