Attitude, Encouragement, Forgiveness, Self Forgiveness, Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursday: The Mostaccioli Massacre

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on May 31, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

Sunday, March 27 was my mother’s birthday and I decided to host a small dinner for her at my house. I only invited a few close family members and friends. I’m not a big cook so I kept the menu short and sweet. I settled on one of my few specialties, mostaccioli. Anyone who has ever tasted my coveted pasta dish knows that it’s the bomb dot com! My special blend of sauces, herbs and meat is just scrumptious, if I must say so myself! Unfortunately, that day when my house was full of “just left church growling bellies” my mostaccioli was the absolute worst! It was so nasty that I couldn’t even eat it. What went wrong, you ask? I changed my routine and used a different brand of ground turkey simply because I wanted to save a few dollars. I literally could not sleep for nights after that horrible mistake. I was so consumed with thoughts of how people were talking about me and my food. I was so ashamed and upset that I messed up. I literally could not forgive myself for making such a silly mistake. You’re probably reading this and extremely confused wondering why it bothered me so much. Well, when I make a mistake it really affects me. In the same light, when I sin I have a hard time forgiving myself and I’m willing to bet that some of you struggle in that area as well. Preparing a bad pasta dish is definitely not a sin but the effects of that incident are similar to how we process our mistakes. Let’s answer some questions to help us work through our self-forgiveness:

  • How did I mess up like this? Well, I decided to take the cheaper route and buy some turkey that I was unfamiliar with. Maybe your route was easier or quicker. But the easiest paths often lead us down a road that we really shouldn’t be traveling and into sinful behavior. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. “ (Matthew 7:13 NIV)
  • I’ve messed up so badly, what will people think of me? As I said before, I was so concerned with what people were saying and thinking of me as a result of the food that was eaten in my home. Maybe your mistake has been broadcast for the entire world to see. It’s hard for us to move past our mistakes because we’re too worried about what the world thinks of us. Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” (Galatians 1:10 NLT) (And if everyone is honest, they’ve prepared a bad meal or two themselves! wink wink)
  • God forgave me, why can’t I forgive myself? I was literally tossing and turning in my bed wrestling with this yucky food incident. I was so mad at myself and left wandering how I could mess this up. But then I remembered what I told you at the beginning of this rant—I’m not a big cook! So, yes there was room for error! Romans 12:3 tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. (NIV) Remembering that you are HUMAN, that you were BORN INTO SIN and that you will NEVER BE PERFECT should make it a lot easier for you to forgive yourself for that slip-up. Stop being so hard on yourself!

Truthfully, I’ve held onto my mostaccioli massacre far too long. Today I’ve decided to release it! And yes, I will attempt to create my dish again…we can’t stop pursuing our assignments simply because we mess up! Only next time I will stick with what I know works and I challenge you to do the same. Follow the Word because it’s the tried and true recipe for success!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your unfailing love! Please forgive me for my slip-ups. I know there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Now that You have forgiven me, free me to forgive myself. Show me where I stumbled so that I don’t have to walk this path again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to forgive yourself for any mistakes that you’ve made. Repent and release yourself because God already has! Walk in freedom today my dear!

Have you ever made a mistake so terrible that you found it hard to forgive yourself? Share your story with us.

Read A Related EmpowerMoment: Unmasked

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Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible more than anything. 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.

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Blessings, Career, Contentment, Employment, Encouragement, Faith, Faithfulness, Goals & Dreams, God's Grace, Miscellaneous, Patience, Patience, Persistance, Preparation, Restoration, Spiritual Therapy, Strength, Transitions Series, Trials, Trusting God

Transitions: Trampled on the Floor

The past few years of my life have been ones of transition, endless waiting and sometimes disappointment. I’ve alluded to and written about it many times. Long story short, I left my job in Texas to start my own business and moved to Atlanta for a three-month transition. In my mind that is all it would take before the business was up and running and I could move to my real destination, Washington, DC (because this is where the business was based). That three months has turned into over two years and I reached a point where I was tired of telling people that I was moving anywhere because I just didn’t know when/if it would happen. As a matter of fact, I actually told people I was moving to Washington, DC nearly two years before I left Texas so in total this has now been a four year wait. If you have had any experience with God you know that many times your best made plans aren’t a part of His plan.

But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. Micah 4:12 KJV From my brief study, I found that sheaves are stalks of grain and they were gathered on the threshing floor during harvest time for a two-step process. First the actual grain was separated from the chaff. To do this, oxen would pull a metal spiked sledge that would break the heads of the grain from the stalk or they would just trample them. Next the broken stalks were tossed into the air and the wind would blow the lighter chaff away while the heavier grain would fall back on the floor where it could then be gathered for use.

My time of transition has been like the sheaves on the threshing floor. I went from making a very lucrative salary to making zero, zilch, nada. Months would go by and I had nothing but what I could borrow or get from someone else. My mini-vacations that I would frequently take turned into staycations in my room. I found myself in an “asking” position when I was usually the giver. Shopping excursions were non-existent as my belly became wider, clothes became tattered and shoes wobbled to the side. When I could no longer afford my health insurance, the aches and pains started. I went from being a mover and shaker, featured in Ebony Magazine to feeling insignificant. Finally my car called it quits. Although I grew up poor, THIS was a very unfamiliar position. Throughout this process I have felt a gamut of emotions: happiness, depression, bitterness, envy, contentment and disappointment. I had good days and many bad ones. During the process, I felt beat down and trampled but it was only to extract the good grain. Without the threshing floor, the harvest would be incomplete.

I had to learn more about myself and have many things extracted and tossed so that in the finishing process only the good grain was left in me. Sometimes God humbles you by removing the frills and unnecessary things to get you to the place He has ordained for you. A place where you are truly dependent on Him and can recognize that it is His goodness, and not your own doing, that gets you your blessings.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful for he cannot disown himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 NIV Admittedly during this process, my faith wavered; yet, God remained faithful. Did I get everything that I wanted when I wanted? No! However, He absolutely never failed to supply my needs. This month (July) represents a turning point in my life. After a little over two years in business, I received my first paycheck from my business one that will come consistently versus “some” money at any random month. From my time in the threshing process, I know how to use my money wiser so that when God grants me the increase that I need and desire, I will make sound investments versus temporary gratification. My “giving” strategy will be a lot different because when I couldn’t give I realized that people would always find a way without me. It made me realize that I was a resource and not their “source.” I learned that lesson for myself as well. As I sit in a hotel room now after a second trip of apartment hunting in Washington, DC, I have ultimately learned that if we can only learn to trust God and His timing He will prepare us for our harvest.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for my time in the threshing process as You prepared me for the harvest. I ask that You continue to let those traits, people and other characteristics that are not useful blow off of me into the wind. Help me to be anxious for nothing because You have told me that in due season I will reap a harvest. You have been faithful to Your Word even in the midst of my doubt. God, I ask that You continue to build my faith as I move into the next phase that You have prepared for me. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to trust Him in the process. Although it’s hard because what you see what’s happening in other people’s lives (marriages, babies, career advancements, notoriety, goal accomplishments, financial prosperity) may seem foreign for your own. Know that He is preparing you for your harvest by extracting those things that aren’t useful for that next phase in your life. Trust that He is faithful to you because it is who He is and who He has always been.

Are you waiting on God and feel as if it is not going to happen? If you examine yourself, is it that God has you on the threshing floor? Share your story with us in the comment section.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Seasons Change

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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.

Blessings, Encouragement, Gratefulness, Inspirational

S.H.E. Writes

Strength through His Empowerment

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will EMPOWER you with inner strength through his Spirit.” Ephesians 6:12 NLT

She writes because He empowers her and gives her His strength.
She writes through her pain and testimony, no matter its length.
She writes to empower me, and she empowers you too.
Her writing is blessed by His anointing and many days it has carried us through.

God gave our Editor the vision to bless a world through words and lines.
To hurting, struggling, victorious, and healed women,
whom through her writing have been given a sign.
A sign of hope, power, and new day of content
God blessed our Editor with the gift of empowerment.

This Empowermoment is dedicated to the Chief Editor and Visionary of Empowermoments. Today is her birthday. While today is also Thanksgiving, we would like to set aside a day to empower you through highlighting how she has empowered us. We are thankful for her. The ultimate purpose is that you too may become empowered to step out on faith, give up your free time, and refocus your energy to God’s business.

Kristen Renita Harris – This Tribute Is For You:

From Khalilah (Thursday Writer):

“When I think of you I see myself. Not only because we are Sorority Sisters and the beginning of that poem holds true to its end, but because I appreciate how you obey God and are transparent enough to allow others to be healed through your struggles and victories. You remind me of her. You know her, the Proverbs 31 Woman. You work diligently with your hands, your husband and children praise you, and your lamp never goes out at night. I want to empower you to continue the work God has implanted. Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NIV”

From Hassanah ( Saturday Writer):

“The first time I met you on the bulldog campus of AAMU, I thought you were a really cool person.  Now, that I’ve been blessed with Empowermoments being a part of my life, you’re a really really cool person! I’m so thankful for you Krissy. You started such a strong movement to bless and empower women.  God is truly using you and I’m glad to be a part of your blessing!  Keep standing for what you believe in and know that your work for the Lord is never in vain.  May your birthday be Blessed Beyond Belief!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

From Dee (Empowermoments Prayer Team Member):

“The founder of our EmpowerMoments, Mrs. Kristen Harris, has God’s shine in her, such a beautiful heart and a beautiful spirit!!  What a genuine, God-fearing, obedient daughter of God she is…tireless in her work for the Lord and passionate about blessing other women of all walks of life.  My most sincerest prayer is that God has a special mansion up in heaven with many gifts waiting on Kristen for all that she does in her ministry and for her true love and worship of the Lord.” 

From Latasha S. (Writer and Team Member):

“Happy Birthday Kris-Kakes!! Since birth you protected, encouraged, and EMPOWERED me with the love of Jesus Christ.  Even in my rebellious stage, I could not deny the changes He was making in your life and I wanted to love Him like you.  Thanks for leading by example!

Dear Daddy,
Thank You for blessing me with an awesome sissy!  I ask that You continue to guide her in Your word and keep her faithful that she may walk boldly into her destiny. Please grant her patience as a mother, humility as a wife, and wisdom as our Editor in Chief. In Jesus Name, AMEN!

From Karitsa (Empowermoments Administrator):

Kinetic
Radiant
Inspiring
Stylish
Trustworthy
Encouraging
Noteworthy

I am thankful for everyone in my life. However today is not just any day, it’s Krissy’s birthday. How ironic it is that Krissy’s birthday is on Thanksgiving Day, a day that we give thanks to God for our many blessings. She has truly been a blessing in my life and so many others.

Dear Daddy,

I want to take this time to say THANK YOU for my sistafriend, Kristen Harris. Thank you for the lifetime relationship that you have given to us. I ask that you continue to cover her, her family and the gifts that you have placed in her for your glory. Please continue to guide her journey, order her steps, and cover her mind, body and spirit as she does your will. Strengthen, sustain and restore her in her times of needs. Thank you, Daddy for using her as a vessel to show so many young women that you are REAL and that through you ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE if they stay steadfast and in your will.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!

From Beverly (Saturday Writer):

Kristen, I have been inspired to love more, forgive more and judge even less, since I started reading EmpowerMoments. Moreover, I am in awe of your great writers, there spirituality is evident in their messages.  You, indeed have something special, here.  I pray that all of the time, energy and resources that you pour into EmpowerMoments are returned to you tenfold.  May God continue to lift you up, and give you the wisdom required to handle the blessings that are beginning to overtake you.  This is your time and your season, be Empowered.

From Katrina (Friday Writer)

To my Godsister and Friend Kristen,

I love you more than you’ll ever know.  Thank you for being my friend, my confidante, the person that can and WILL check me when I’m trippin, and of course my prayer partner who nudges me to keep moving toward the destiny God has for me.  Happy Birthday, I pray God continue to bless and show his favor on your life 🙂 Love, Katrina

Chanceé (Saturday Writer):

To our Editor In Chief, Chief Visionary, Servant Leader and My Very Best Friend,

Happy Birthday! It has now been TEN years since God placed you in my life. We became much more than Sorority Sisters as we became true sister friends.  We have laughed together, cried together and unfortunately in our disobedience we almost died together. Yikes! See The Night We Almost Died Over the years your maturity has amazed me. I have watched you grow into your womanhood as a wife and a mother and into Christ’s calling on your life. God has placed a special seed in your belly and your obedience has caused it to grow. Through Empowermoments we are all being used as vessels to inspire hundreds of women. When you asked me to be a part of Empowermoments, I was flattered because I realized that you saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. I know this is going to be way BIG because you are following the vision that God has given you. Krissy I am proud of YOU. Your love for God, ambition, humility, confidence, intellect and drive are to be admired but as a friend I am in awe of your generosity, attentiveness, kindness, wisdom and humor.  Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul (Prov. 27:9 MSG) On this birthday know that you are beautiful on the inside and yes you are strikingly beautiful on the outside too. I am inspired, encouraged and motivated by you my sister.  I am grateful to God for you. Continue being the Jazzy, Snazzy, Radiant light that you are.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for the vision that You have given Kristen Harris! As an Empowermoments team member and /or subscriber we pray that You cover and shield her and her family from attacks of the enemy, because of her obedience to Your word. We pray that You grant Empowermoments increase above anything that you can imagine and that you do the same for our Chief Visionary Kristen Harris. Grant her the desires of her heart and pour into her when she is weakened. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to be a light for someone else. Be a sister, a friend, or just a shoulder to cry on. Today, I EMPOWER you to EMPOWER someone else. Make that your business today.

Contest Ends Today! Click here to enter this month’s contest!

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.