Children, Expectations, God's Grace, God's Promises, Pregnancy

God Will Have The Last Laugh

Mother’s Day just passed and once again I was blessed with the opportunity to bless my beautiful mom. She means the world to me and I always make the effort to show her how grateful I am that she is my mom.  I hope that every mother out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day and realizes how special she is in the eyes of God!

However, there are many women, like myself, who are not yet mothers.  They may be waiting for the husband, the dog, and the two kids, or perhaps they have the dog already.  They may be unable to have children or may have put off children due to career and now they hope to one day be able to have a family.  Maybe they are mothers who have lost children.  Whatever the reason, we are without children but are also special in God’s eyes.  I repeat what God has told me, “you are not forgotten.”

Maybe someone has laughed at you or approached you with bewilderment or maybe you have laughed at yourself or even God at the notion of one day finally becoming a mother because the world tells you your biological clock is ticking.  Maybe you and your husband have tried numerous times to get pregnant but the end result has ended in frustration, heartbreak, confusion, grief and hopelessness.  God has not forgotten you!

Sarah can testify to this!

He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,[a] do not pass your servant by.   Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.  Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”  “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”  So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs[b] of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”  Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.   He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.   “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.  “There, in the tent,” he said.  Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”  Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.  Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.  So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”  Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’  Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”  Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”  But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.” (Gen 18:3-15 NIV)

Sarah was old y’all.  Her biological clock wasn’t even ticking, but God likes to show us He can do the impossible!  She even laughed at God when He told her that she would have a child.  Mine you, this wasn’t the first time God told Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child, and he laughed too.  Abraham fell facedown; he laughed…., the Bible actually says.  And before that incident, Sarah took matters into her own hands to try to solve her barrenness issues (read Genesis 16).  Let’s just say it was a mess. We all have tried to solve our own problems at one point or another, causing shipwreck.

But God!  His word does not return to Him void! Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.  Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.  Abraham gave the name Isaac[a] to the son Sarah bore him. (Genesis 21:1-3 NIV)

I said all of this only to say be patient, trust God, rehearse His Word to yourself, and remember His promises.  He doesn’t lie!  Everything you have lost, God will restore and give you twice as much as before if you do not faint.  Believe!  It may sound crazy and impossible to your flesh but nothing is impossible for God.  Believe!  Whatever you are trusting God for and if it is to be a mother, then God will make it happen according to His time, His perfect will and His way!  Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait till 90, but wait with joy and expectation!  Neither sit on the sidelines position-less and hopelessly nor disobey and get in God’s way.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being Mr. Impossible for nothing is impossible for You!  Thank You that You are mindful of us all and thank You for every mother, godmother, grandmother, stepmother, mother-in-law!  In Jesus name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to remember that God will have the last laugh!  I EMPOWER you to trust God and remember His promises to you!  I also EMPOWER you to acknowledge and honor your mother and your Heavenly Father who gives every mom that nurturing ability!  I also EMPOWER you to be a spiritual mother to someone out there; encourage, disciple and nurture someone in the Lord!

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing or editing, she currently works for a Trio program helping high school students prepare for college. She loves to build people up through God’s Word, encouragement, mentoring, and her writing. In 2014, Tannika published her first book, a book of her poetry, titled Setting The Captive Free. She  also launched her Christian clothing and apparel brand called Fruitful & Fabulous, inspired by John 15:8. 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.”

 

Blessings, Encouragement, Expectations

Expect the Unexpected

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV)

My husband and I have been thinking about, talking about, and praying about sending our oldest son to preschool for quite some time. Right now our sons are in a home-care environment and the wonderful lady who keeps them will allow them to stay until they are four years old before she mandates they enter a school setting in an effort to be prepared for Kindergarten. Our oldest is now three years old and we knew from the beginning that there was a chance we’d put him a school-type setting before he turned four to provide him more structure and to give him more time to transition and adjust.

After looking at various preschools, we decided on the one that we think will be the best for our son. When I went to inquire about enrollment, I was told that we could place him on the waiting list (for a “small” fee of course) but he would not be guaranteed a “spot” until spring 2015. I was initially frustrated with this because upon checking a few months before, there were “spots” available. Now just like that, enrollment was at maximum capacity and no guarantees could be made until a year later! He’d be four by that time! We placed him on the “list” anyway resolving ourselves to the fact that if it was the Lord’s will for him to start sooner then provision would be made for him to start at that appointed time.

Well, as I was driving home the other day, a friend of mine, whose daughter also goes to this preschool, called me and told me I should call and follow up with the school to check my son’s placement on the list. Honestly, I didn’t think it would do much good but figured it couldn’t hurt to check.  I called and the lady who answered was precisely the lady over enrollment. She informed me that our son could start at the beginning of this school year on August 11th! I’m sure she thought she was talking to an idiot for a moment because I was speechless. When I managed to find the words to say, I stumbled over them. I finally got all the information I needed and then hung up the phone, all the while asking “how in the world did that happen?” I thought the earliest he may get to start would be October. That was me estimating based on some unknown and extraneous factors floating around in my head, lol. That’s what we do; we start to use human reasoning and think “well maybe it is going to or has to happen this way, or if it even happen at all.”  Sarah and her husband Abraham also had a moment where they started to reason, and they didn’t understand at first how what God promised them would come to pass. God told this elderly couple they would have a child and many generations of children from that child on, but Sarah laughed and her husband assumed that God would make him a father of many nations through his son he already had with his servant (you got to read more about this if you are not familiar). However, God gave Abraham and Sarah a child of their own! (Genesis 17, 18 & 21)

Just like God blessed Abraham and Sarah with the unexpected, He did the same for me and my husband. August 11th is just around the corner and my son will start preschool! Whew! Only God could have orchestrated such an occurrence. I’m a little nervous about him starting school but that’s another story. The moral of this story is God can and will do the unexpected when we least expect it! While I was busy trying to figure it out, He already worked it out! Expect the unexpected! You never know what blessings God has in store for you!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being faithful and omnipotent! Thank You for working things out on my behalf and the behalf of my loved ones. You are awesome! You are mighty! Thanks for handling everything, no matter how simple or complicated. Thanks for Your unexpected surprises that remind me to stay in awe of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Expect the unexpected my sisters! I EMPOWER you to do so! Trust God and let God do what He does best! I EMPOWER you to surrender and believe that God knows and has what is best for you! I EMPOWER you to prepare to be amazed! I EMPOWER you to expect the blessings!

Can you recall a time when God did something unexpected for you? Are there areas in your life that you would like God to do the unexpected?

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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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.

Encouragement, Expectations, Joy, Patience

The Sign of Rain

“Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:18 NIV)

Rain.  What does rain signify for you?  For me, rain brings life and saturates living things so that they may be more productive.  Rain is calming and reassuring.  It reminds me that I am not in control and because of the rain, I often have to submissively reschedule, alter, or rearrange my daily tasks.  In addition to this, the rain relieves pressure from within my sinuses, making it easier for me to breathe and relax.

The other day I sat looking outside of my back door and noticed how dark the sky was.  I became excited because I knew this was a sign that the rain was coming.  In this very moment the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “This is how life is.  Just before the abundance of rain (a shower of blessings or breakthroughs), it becomes cloudy.”  Often we sulk in our cloudy days of life.  Ask yourself, “How often have I been in a dark period to the point where I felt defeated?”  Honestly, if I chose to think about my current circumstances and the cloudiness, I could begin to doubt and become depressed.  However, I choose to anticipate the RAIN!

“…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5b NIV)

I’m reminded of a few stories in the Bible where the situations of God’s people looked cloudy just before the rain.  I’m reminded of Sarah being in a cloud of doubt due to her barren womb, yet the rain came.  Ruth was in a cloud of uncertainty, and then she met Boaz.  The woman with the issue of blood dwelt in a state of cloudiness for over a decade, but when she saw Jesus the rain came!  The woman at the well, who was shunned by her community, lived with a cloud over her head, but one day the rain came.

Dear Daddy,

How magnificent is Your name in all the Earth.  We seek You in our times of trouble asking for Your rain O’ God.  Lord, we ask that You send the rain, a shower of blessings that can flood out uncertainty, drench depressions, and cleanse our mental and physical sicknesses.  Father God, as we wait in the midst of the clouds, please grant us a spirit of patience and righteous expectancy, believing that You will shower down Your blessing upon us, our homes, our communities, and our country.   In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to anticipate the rain while in the midst of clouds. “Remember that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.  (Romans 8:28 NIV)  Don’t sulk in your clouds; instead, praise Him in advance for the rain.

How do you press through your cloudy times?  Share with us in a comment below, send us a tweet, or post to our Facebook wall.

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They attend Vaughn Forest Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Expectations, Motivation, Trusting God

Expect Greatness

As a mother, daughter, and friend I often hear myself being the encourager.  When my son says, “Mom, I can’t tie my shoe”, I assure him that he can if he just tries again.  When my mom calls me and tells me about her day at work and she’s frustrated about a co-worker, I just tell her to be strong and try not to let it bother her.  When a friend is at a low point and they feel like God is not on their side and they say things like, “A black cloud must be over me,” I comfort them by encouraging them to be patient and try speaking good things about themselves and their life.  I’m optimistic, even when it’s not realistic to be.  I was once told to try expecting greatness.

There are a few principles that I have been told in the past to help me change me.  True to popular belief, we are our own worst enemy.  First, I had to learn to talk more about the God I serve more than I talk about the enemy that attacks me.  See, the devil is getting too much air time.  When something bad happens we talk about that awful devil way too much.   We must recognize who we are and who we belong to.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God and I trust him.  For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.  He will cover you with his feathers.  He will shelter you with his wings.  His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalms 91:1-4 NLT)

So instead of complaining about you know who, just speak life. Praise God for His goodness.  As it says in Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything instead pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (NLT)

Secondly, don’t put up with anything or anybody that’s not fruitful.  How can we expect great things when negative people or things are in our way?

The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.  He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs.  But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit.  The Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again.” (Mark 11:12-14 NLT)

So I surround myself with fruitful, positive people.  If someone isn’t adding to my life in some way, they are taking from me.

Last but not least, when we are expecting we must remain obedient to God’s word.

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.  You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:

Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Our children and your crops will be blessed; the offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed.  Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.   (Deuteronomy 28:1-6 NLT)

I will expect greatness as I continue fighting the good fight!

Dear Daddy,

You are more than enough for me, and I thank You for placing expectancy in my heart.  I am Your child and You said that I am an heir of Your glory.  I thank You for the anointing that is on me.  Because of Your word I will speak greatness over my life continuously and expect favor.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to live life expecting great things to happen.  Wake up in the morning and say, “Today is going to be a great day” and believe it.  Say what will be before it ever happens.  In the natural world there are 4 seasons winter, spring, summer and fall.  As a Christian there are 5 season’s winter, spring, summer, fall and due season.  May you experience your due season, and God’s will be done in your life.  Greatness is all over you.

Ms. Hassanah White is a dedicated member of Faith Walkers Church in Birmingham, Alabama where their motto is to “Walk it out by Faith.”  She also serves as a member of the Praise Dance Ministry.  Hassanah is a true professional in the realm of marketing and customer service.  She’s a proud mother of a very energetic little boy named Jaden.  Hassanah believes laughter and prayer are the best medicines for any situation.  Her favorite scripture is Hebrews 11:6: “And without Faith it is impossible to please GOD, because anyone who comes to Him must BELIEVE that He exists and that He REWARDS those who earnestly seek Him.”