Father/Daughter, Mother/Daughter, Self-Worth

Princess Status

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17 NIV

My husband and I were working on a project the other day – my daughter’s chandelier for her room. The reason why I wanted to go through the trouble of refinishing an old beat up chandelier to hang in a 6 year old’s room, was beyond his care for understanding. See, I have a princess, I actually have two. And while a decorated chandelier has absolutely nothing to do with their princess status, they have connection as an heir to the throne of God. So, I kind of like to play up that Princess theme, or maybe I am just addicted to Pinterest, but whatever.

Princess_crownAs I thought about my daughters’ princess status I was reminded of a comment one of my past boyfriends told me. We were leaving for our first date and my Mom yelled out the door, “Now you take care of my princess.” When we got in his car he immediately said or should I say smirked, “I can’t believe your Mom referred to you as a princess. What is she trying to do, set you up on a pedestal?” I should have ran right then (insert chuckle here); but, I didn’t. It was obvious he didn’t understand my worth. However, I facetiously stung back with a “you better recognize” type of response. As I played this scene through my mind the Lord said, “Make sure you teach your daughters that if a young man doesn’t have the potential to elevate them to a Queen, then he has no business dealing with them while they’re a princess.” Wow! I could not believe my ears. I immediately ran to my note pad to right that down!

IF HE CAN’T PROMOTE YOU TO A QUEEN, THEN HE HAS NO BUSINESS DEALING WITH A PRINCESS!!

I had to share this message. Not just for fellow mothers of girls, but to the princesses all over the world! For some reason (and it’s a good thing) girls get “goo goo” eyed for boys and then men, in the natural order of things. But we have to learn how to filter and discern the attributes of future Kings (or current ones depending on the stage in life when you meet him). The only way to discern this type of man is by hiding yourself in the bosom of God. God tells us in Psalm 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighted in his way.” Therefore, we can gauge if the boyfriends and men in our lives are good by the steps they take. His actions (and ours) should be humble, gentle, with patience, and bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2). It is stated, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Ephesians 5:25 KJV We can gauge someone’s love for us by what they give, and I don’t mean the material things. I’m referring to time, honor, patience, a listening ear, encouragement, and so on. Is what he’s giving you enhancing you?

My message here, is that you are a Princess in the Kingdom of God. You are an heir to the throne. One who has potential to have worth far more than rubies, lacking nothing in value. You are a prized possession, thus why the Lord is jealous for you.

It’s interesting that God shared this “topic” with me because just the other day a few co-workers and I (don’t ask how we ended up here) were laughing at the names our mothers taught us to refer to our “golden gates” if you know what I mean. To my hysterical surprise, my mother’s term for it was a tad raunchy, I learned from sharing it with my girlfriends. So I adopted a new term, “clam shell”. Why do I like that term? Not only is it cute and can be clamped down (smile), freshwater clams produce natural pearls that are rare. Regular pearls are formed in oysters. In order to find a clam with a pearl, one must dig beneath the surface to find it. I heard a quote once that stated, “A women should be so embedded in the Word of God that the man designed for her must seek God first in order to find her.” So ladies and daughters, “Don’t waste what is Holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” Matthew 7:6 NLT.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving us the gift of being a Mother. Whether by birth or by other means, You have given us the gift of molding the lives of younger girls and women. Lord I ask that You teach every girl that she is Your Princess and every woman waiting on her King (whether by marriage or waiting the realization that you are her King) that she is your Lady in Waiting. Lord may You cover her with a double portion of Your grace and anointing to stay fixed on you and satisfied; mentally, spiritually, and physically. Lord may You give all of us women, young and old, the knowledge that we were made fearfully; that our hair is designed as the crown You’ve place on our heads; our lips speak life and honey; our breasts are the very bosom in which we cultivate and nourish those gifts You give us; our wombs are designed to birth wisdom, power, and reflections of Your image; and that our stature is that of what You call woman, a prized possession, that You hold dear only giving over to those with blessed hands. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to act like a princess, an heir to the Kingdom of God. We are ALL God’s Princesses because our ultimate Daddy is the King of all Kings. And because of that, we remain safe in Him and our paths will remain straight.

How do you disconnect from those who don’t treat you like the Princess/Queen that they should?

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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.

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God's Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth

Imperfectly Perfect

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)

At one point or another I have wished for longer hair, a flatter stomach, a smaller waistline, a bigger butt, thicker eyebrows, stronger nails, and the list goes on and on.  There was always something that I longed to change about my body.  Being surrounded with images of women with seemingly perfect bodies on the big and small screens only added to my frustrations and insecurities about my own body.

When God created each of us, He crafted a unique being.  He knitted together a masterpiece.  He made us fearfully and wonderfully! Do you truly grasp what it means to be fearfully made? In the scripture, fearfully does not refer to being afraid. Rather, it signifies how much reverence and respect God placed inside of you for the masterpiece that He created.  We are to show respect to God for the body that He has blessed us with.

This means that regardless of not having the flawless skin you desire, that perfect hour glass physique like the supermodels or the ever-bouncy, just left the salon hair, you still bless God for everything about you.  Why? Because even with your acne, love handles and limp hair, He still loves every fiber of your being just the way that you are!

By no stretch is this meant to be an excuse for us to maintain unkempt demeanors or slack in taking care of our bodies.  However, this empowering moment is designed to remind you of how special you are to God so that you too value what He’s created.   You are literally a custom design.   With over 7 billion people walking the earth today, there is not one other version of you! Basically you are a 1 of 1! That’s why you don’t look like the girls on the TV or in the magazine.  So embrace the body that God has given you! It’s tailored specifically for you! you-are-perfect

Will I ever have longer hair, a flatter stomach, a smaller waistline, a bigger butt, thicker eyebrows, stronger nails, or any other physical attribute that I have ever longed for? Maybe.  But maybe not.  Either way, I’ve truly discovered the beauty of everything that God has placed within me.  Now I’m focused on becoming the best me on the inside so my beauty exudes to the outside! I pray that you grow to do the same!

Dear Daddy,

Please forgive me for not reverencing Your creation.  Although there is always something that I feel could be better about my physical appearance, help me to divert that attention to all of the wonderful things in my life.  When I begin to feel down about how I look on the outside, remind me that You are concerned with what is on the inside of me.  Thank You for fearfully and wonderfully creating me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to embrace the wonderful creation that God made when He designed you.  Refuse to get caught up in the so-called “perfect” images of women that society bombards you with.   Instead focus on the beauty of everything that God has placed inside of you.  Those are the beautiful attributes that spill over to the outside and make you absolutely gorgeous!

When the enemy attempts to attack you by planting seeds of inadequacy or low self-esteem, counterattack with the following scriptures:

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  (James 1:17 NIV)

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  (Genesis 1:27 NIV)

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV)

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  (Proverbs 31:30 NIV)
What are some things God has revealed to you that makes you unique, beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made iinside and out?

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Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur and a dedicated servant-leader. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Anxiety, Attitude, Freedom, I Am Free Series, Relationships, Self Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Spirit of Inferiority

F.R.E.E. (Feeling Relieved Encouraged and Excited)

Last week I was so moved by each one of the “I Am Free” series I had to do just one more. I know being free, first starts in your mind.  Thinking and believing that you’re in no form or shape confined or captured by negative thoughts.

I Am Free: Insecurities

To be insecure means to not be sure or certain; doubtful.  It’s embarrassing to say, but I’m a 30-year-old woman who is insecure.  Silly right?  That’s where my thinking trapped me especially when it comes to the opposite sex.  In my relationships the guys messed around, used me, lied to me, and took me for granted or just plain stopped caring.  I couldn’t figure out why because I’m the hopeless romantic.  I make sure to please and go above and beyond.  However at the end of the relationship journey, I’m the one that’s left feeling even more insecure.

Because I didn’t have that loving, bonding relationship with my dad like some girls experience I brought my “daddy insecurities” into my relationships with men. I was sometimes argumentative, weak and needy.  I was very insecure and I was letting it control me.  I used up way too much energy on worrying about the wrong things.  After enough arguments, tearing down of my self-esteem, stress taking over my mind and body, feeling neglected and not good enough I gave up and I LET GO!  I made up in my mind that insecurities would not control what God created.

God’s word helps us make decisions. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalms 119:105 NLT  I had to really get in God’s word and let it saturate my mind, and really start praying, sowing good seeds, loving my enemies, and forgiving and truly forgetting.  God’s love has made me stronger.  It has given me assurance. Romans 5:1-5 NLT says,

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

In God’s sight there is no need for me to feel or be insecure about anything.  He created me. So God created human beings, in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 NLT

God’s word has set me F.R.E.E (Feeling Relieved Encouraged and Excited) about LIFE!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for my journey.  Although I’ve carried a life of insecurities, You knew it would be used for the glory of my story.  Thank You for the falls for I stand taller. Thank You for the hurt for I love better.  For where I am weak, You make me strong. I love You and I give You all the praises. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies I EMPOWER you to speak over what is keeping you down.  It may not be insecurities but recognize and become F.R.E.E. of satan’s many “D”evices to destroy you.

Satan’s “D”evices:

Disappointment, discouragement, despair,  doubt(insecurities), distraction, double mindedness, dishonesty, deceit, dullness, disbelief, defame, discard, defilement, delay, disobedience, DEBT!

Be blessed & Be F.R.E.E.!

Are you an overcomer or are you still struggling with insecurity? Share your story with us in the comment section.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Invisible Me

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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.”

Encouragement, God's Grace, Motivation, Purpose, Self Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursday: An Unlikely Candidate

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on March 30, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

Recently a friend asked me to do something and she told me that God told her to use me. If she were standing in front of me, surely she would have been given the side eye, neckroll, folded arms, lip smack with a loud foot stomp. I tried to laugh it off because I knew that surely God wasn’t using me to do anything. Either she was wrong or God surely hadn’t been paying attention. I think I have been to church two times this year (more if you count my attendance via streamingfaith.com) and I know that my sporadic opening and closing of the Bible couldn’t count for true study of the Word. I do the occasional fast and have talked “about Him” a lot but I only talk “to Him” on occasion. While I yearn for a closer relationship with God, our current casual encounters would not make me the likely candidate…or so I thought.

In the midst of belittling myself and coming up with all of the excuses of why He couldn’t have picked this mediocre Christian, the Spirit reminded me:  God often uses UNLIKELY people to carry out His will and draw them closer to Him!

Joshua 2:1 reveals: “Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. Of all of the people that God could have chosen to use as a vessel for this huge undertaking, God chose a WHORE. Imagine that! I am sure there were other people in Jericho who would have allowed the men to secretly lodge with them as they planned to overtake the city, but God chose Rahab. In return for her cooperation and faith, her and her family’s lives were spared in the destruction of the city.

Saul of Tarsus hated Christians.  “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.” (Acts 8:3) As a matter of fact, he hated Christians so much that he learned about their Christian friends in Damascus by somehow getting the letters they were writing to them in prison. Being the over zealous persecutor that he was, Saul journeyed to Damascus to round up more Christians for prison; however, on this trip God had a different purpose. Acts 9 reveals Saul’s total transformation. Jesus met Saul on his journey and confronted him directly “Saul, Saul why do you prosecute me?” After meeting Jesus on his journey, Saul began to sing a different tune. The Lord blinded him and sent him into the city leaving instructions with Ananias. Responding to Ananias’ doubts of Saul’s transformation, God spoke to him in Acts 9:15. “But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.”Saul later changed his name to Paul and went from Christian persecutor to Christian missionary.  Paul went on to write 13 books of the New Testament (Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus and Philemon) I am sure that Paul, when reflecting on his life, found it remarkable that God would choose him with his shady past to spread the gospel and save souls.

There are many “unlikely” candidate stories in the Bible, but as I reflected on these two I realized that this task could be my opportunity to do God’s will and in the process become more than just an associate with Him. It had less to do with the task and more about developing our own personal relationship. It would require that I study the Word, pray, manage my time and have the ability to relay the knowledge He gives me to others. For many this is an easy task; however, my haphazard approach to my spiritual life would have to be restructured. To do this task we would have to spend time together. My task was to write you an EmpowerMoment.

Although I was initially discouraged, I thought about my life and my accomplishments. I have always been the “unlikely candidate.” A mother with mental illness, brothers incarcerated and on drugs, welfare recipient, and the list can go on, but through it all God sustained me while chaos went on all around me. According to the world’s statistics I should have been a teenage mom or at least a high school dropout but God’s plan for my life was different. I was the “unlikely candidate” that graduated from high school, college, got a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, ran a multi-million dollar organization, got a great job (QUIT!) and am now co-CEO of a company. My “unlikely candidate” testimony probably makes me one of the BEST candidates. Who am I to doubt God?

Throughout our lives God often taps us on the shoulder for “special” assignments but we allow our personal insecurities to hinder us from carrying out His will. “Lord why me?” is the question we often ask. The larger question you should ask is, “Lord why not me?” God is our biggest cheerleader; He wouldn’t give us an assignment without the ability to complete it.  Romans 8:30 proclaims,And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”  You may be on the flip side of this message. Maybe God has sent an “unlikely candidate” to you with a message but you didn’t receive it because she was dressed like Rahab or their Christian resume` wasn’t strong enough. Whatever side of the table you are sitting on, know that God picks and chooses His own instruments. Don’t allow your personal insecurities or doubts about the messenger cause you to miss out on what God has preordained for YOU.

Dear Daddy,

Help me to recognize the divine assignments You have given me in my life. Cast out any spirits of confusion or doubt that would make me believe that I am not equipped to carry out Your will. Encourage my soul and give me a spirit of discernment so that I can recognize the messages that You have for me even when they don’t come in the package I’m expecting. Lord, continue to increase my faith and order my steps according to Your word. Allow me to draw closer to You and use me as a vessel to bless others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today EMPOWER yourself by making a conscious decision to do something that God has been tapping you on the shoulder to do. Whether it’s to speak to someone you haven’t spoke to in years or to take your life in a totally different direction, JUST DO IT! He’s ready, He’s waiting on YOU!

Are you having feelings of inadequacy about a task that God has given you? Share your experience below; we want to encourage you!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: He Sees the Best!

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia 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: every where 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 strengtheneth me.”

Relationships, Self Love, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, She is Me Series, Soul Ties

She is Me: Queen Vashti

In honor of National Women’s History Month, EmpowerMoments is featuring a special series called ‘She is Me’.  Each writer will parallel her own life with that of a Biblical woman to enlighten and EMPOWER youCheers to being a WOMAN!

A Red Flag is a Red Flag!

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matthew 16:26 ESV

I wanted to better myself by going to college, but he laughed and thought it was crazy to venture from home to go to school. He would often say, “All you do is go to school; you can’t learn common sense in school.” He didn’t support me. RED FLAG!

I decided I wanted to live for Christ. I increased my activities at church, strengthened my prayer life and decided to go to church on more weekends than to travel home to be with him. He joked about me going to church and mocked God. He said I was wasting my time. He didn’t respect my virtue. RED FLAG!

All of our time together caused me to come home closer to the next day, opposed to the end of the previous one. I disrespected my mother, my morals, and all that I knew because of him. He did not care that I was torn because I was going against what I knew was right. I felt like a concubine. He disregarded my family’s wishes. RED FLAG!

We went to his friend’s house one weekend and he wanted to display that his girlfriend could roll blunts and smoke them. I was embarrassed, devastated, degraded, and annoyed. He did not see my value. RED FLAG!

I sit back now and see all of the red flags that I ignored. So this is what he thought of me? That I could roll a blunt for his friends and smoke it with the best of them? He didn’t even care enough to respect my mother, my morals and what I stood for. But he had fat pockets, a nice car, a job, awesome rims, and a place that he owned. Would I be willing to give all of that up just to save my dignity? Just to save face? What if I never find a man to love me? What will happen if I stand up to him and actually leave him? What about all that I was in line for– his money, a ride in his fancy car, and a secure life?

I wonder if this is what Queen Vashti was thinking when she denied King Xerxes. See, Queen Vashti had it all. She had beauty, she was sociable, and quite frankly she and King Xerxes were a power couple. But one night, she had enough. Here’s the story: At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.  For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes. On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Esther 1:2-5, 9-12 NIV

There is much speculation as to why Queen Vashti refused to come. But read the scripture; the King was drunk and he wanted to display her beauty in front of him and his friends. She must have felt degraded. She is not mentioned much more throughout this book, but her action showed great strength. She chose her dignity over the law and chose to preserve her self-worth over her husband’s ego. The King disposed her as Queen and chose to find a replacement.

What I find interesting is the King never realized that she was being degraded and instead of trying to preserve what he felt was beautiful, he swapped her for a replacement. And guess what, when I stood for what was right I was replaced too. I don’t know much about my replacement, but I do know that I left with grace, my pride, and my self worth.

Dear Daddy,

Sometimes we think we have it all and are scared to remove ourselves from what we think is abundance and choose to suffer our self-worth instead. Help us to always remember our worth, to see the red flags and to deal with them in the way we should. Help us to stand as Godly women, never giving up our dignity. Help us to walk as women of God instead of for a man that can’t see the jewel that we are. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to understand your self worth. A red flag is a red flag! The banquet was probably not Vashti’s first sign of a red flag. I encourage you not to wait until he’s your husband to start recognizing the red flags. My view is not to promote divorce, as I was actually not in a marriage. I was in a soul-tied relationship that did not promote the God in me, and because of that I had to go!

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is 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 teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and 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 energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.