Goals & Dreams, God's Promises, Patience, Preparation

I Am Not Ready!

I recently received two 9-week old kittens from a relative.  It was either I take them or they were going to be sent to the Cruelty Society where most likely they would be put down.  I never had a pet, but I figured how hard could it possibly be?  I named them Bree and Bella, bought food, toys, and other supplies.  I thought, “Oh this is so cool, I’m a mommy!”  After three days, I was ready to PUT THEM OUT!!  They woke me up at 5 a.m. crying, I was constantly sweeping and wiping up litter that they had tracked all over my office floor and desk, and because they can’t seem to keep their food in their bowl I was forever wiping up behind them so ants would not be attracted to my home.

I also lost some of the freedom and autonomy I have always enjoyed.  Instead of being out all day, I have to make sure I come home to check on the kittens.  When I would rather just go get in the bed and crash, I have to go play with them.  Every morning before I go to work I have to scoop their litter box, put out food for them and refresh their water bowl.  After a couple of days of this I found myself thinking about how to nicely give them away.  Just then God spoke saying, “But you say you’re ready to be a man’s wife and a baby’s mother?!”

After the shock wore off, emotions subsided, and reflection began, I had to admit that I am not ready for the things I have been asking God for since I was a little girl.  As far back as I can remember I have desired to be a wife and a mother.  Everything else–education, career, financial independence–was secondary to that desire.  As a matter of fact, I initially pursued these things as means to an end.  I figured that accomplishing these things would make me more desirable as a potential mate.   I have BEMOANED (to express distress or grief over) singleness for a long time, always asking WHY would God make this desire so strong in me, if He doesn’t have any intention of fulfilling it?

Truth is I’m NOT ready!  If I can’t deal with two kittens who are for the most part self sufficient, how can God trust me with a husband who will need me to be his help meet and babies, tiny human beings who would be TOTALLY dependent on me?  Now that I am in a place of honesty with myself and God He can begin to work in me to get me to a place where I will be ready. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4 NIV)   I am encouraged that God has not forgotten about me, “At the time I have decided, my words will come true.  You can trust what I say about the future.  It may take a long time, but keep on waiting—it will happen!” (Habakkuk 2:4 CEV) I did not like this scripture, I couldn’t stand the “…it may take a long time, but keep on waiting…” part.  That is until I realized the purpose of my wait…to get me ready!

We all have desires and requests before the Lord.  If we were really honest, many of us would admit we are not ready for the things we are asking God for.  How can God trust you with millions when you don’t tithe from hundreds?  How can God trust you with your own business when you are not diligent with the current job you have?  We cannot move to our next level and get to our destiny until we get honest and just admit….I am not ready!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for revelation and conviction.  Thank You for revealing the areas I need to work on in order to be ready to carry out the whole purpose for my life in You.  With a spirit of humbleness, I admit there are some things I have been asking You for that I am not truly ready for.  I ask that You work on me and through me to get me ready.  I ask that You bring me to a place of reflection before I bring requests to You.  Before I ask You for anything, help me to evaluate not only if I’m ready for that thing, but also if my desire lines up with Your will for my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to BE HONEST with yourselves and God.  Do a personal inventory of all the things you have been praying and asking God to do for you and through you.  First, seek God’s will regarding these things. Does what you want line up with God’s will for your life?  Secondly, ask yourself, “Am I REALLY ready?”  If God gave you that thing TODAY, would you be willing and able to handle everything that goes along with it, the good, the bad, and the atrocious!?  If your answer is no, again seek God and ask Him to help you. Ask Him to work on you and remove every issue that is hindering you.

Are you really ready for what you are petitioning God for? Tell us about it below.

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Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. 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 hope and a future.”

Growth/Maturity, Motivation, Organization, Preparation, Procrastination, Self-Control, Time Management

The Longer You Wait…The Longer It Takes!

Tis the Season…for “Ms. Richard, what can I do to pass your class??”  Yes!  It’s the season of “Can I have some make up work and/or extra credit?”  In past years I have killed tons of trees and feverishly created and copied packets for students to complete over Christmas break…NOT THIS YEAR!! Instead, I used a workbook for my Constitution unit.  Back in October, I had the students purchase the workbook and have been assigning pages out of it since then.  Of course, some students did not purchase the workbook or bought it and never opened it to do any of the assignments.  Now that these students are failing or are close to failing, they want to know, “What can I do to pass?”  My response was, “Complete your workbook from cover to cover!”

I have never seen so many attitudes at one time!  “What you mean Ms. Richard?  This gonna take me all break to do this!”   I simply said, “the longer you wait, the longer it takes. If you had been doing the work all along, you wouldn’t have as much to do!”

Later on I was reflecting about all I have to get done.  I have to deep clean my house, finish shopping for the Christmas dinner I’m hosting, and go shopping for gifts.  This is in addition to life outside of the Christmas season; I need to grade and record several assignments, sit down and pay some bills, and the list goes on, and on, AND ON!!

Just then my words came back to me, “…the longer you wait, the longer it takes…”  Yes my students have an issue with procrastination but so do I!  Procrastination is “the act of willfully delaying the doing of something that should be done,” and in some people it is a habitual way of handling any task. There was so much I could have been getting done all along.  Instead of letting my students’ papers pile up, I could have graded an assignment or two everyday.  Christmas comes at the same time EVERY year so I could have been purchasing things throughout the year and had them ready.   Oh and my house–I wouldn’t have to do such a deep clean if I had been more diligent in weekly spot cleaning.

Now my attitude was rising, “WHY???? Why did I let this stuff pile up like this?”  Because I kept telling myself, “I’ll do it tomorrow, no rush, I’ll get to it!”

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1 NIV)

So here I am coming up with a plan TODAY so I can get everything done.  One cure for procrastination is more diligence, regardless of the task. We should be supremely motivated to be diligent in our work, since we are ultimately serving the Lord. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23 ESV). If we put our hearts into our work, as this verse says to do, we will probably find it difficult to procrastinate too much.  Yes, my weekend is pretty much shot but I will take this as a lesson to NOT procrastinate because, “the longer you wait, the longer it takes…”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving us the ability and the strength to do all the things that we need to do.  Help us to be more diligent at getting tasks completed.  Give us wisdom to prioritize and manage our time efficiently and effectively so that we can complete every task You have laid before us.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to STOP PROCRASTINATING!!  There is so much we have to do in order to build the kingdom of God and reach the individual destinies we have for our lives.  We have no time to waste! 

  1. Pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance
  2.  Make a list of all the things you have to do
  3.  Write down a deadline date next to each task
  4. Prioritize how you will get each task done in an organized and timely fashion
  5.  Get to work!! 

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Rebuke the 7 Dwarfs

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. 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 hope and a future.”

Career, Marriage, Prayer, Singleness

Is This What I REALLY Want?

I’ve had several personal requests before the Lord lately.  There are three specifically that God dealt with me about this week.   1) I want to be financially comfortable to the point that I am able to sow into other people and also help others in need 2) I want a challenge in my professional life 3)  I want the Lord to continue to keep me content in my season of singleness but PLEASE LORD PLEASE, only let it be a SEASON!!  My greatest desire is to be a wife and mother.

“…Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

God has really been dealing with me this week on these requests in particular.  First, I got a call from an acquaintance. He was telling me  about his latest financial shortcoming and I found myself rolling my eyes on the phone and thinking, Lord please don’t let him ask me for no money! RIGHT THERE, it hit me “Is this what I REALLY want?”

Second, I facilitated a professional development workshop and the saying is true that teachers are the WORST students! Again in my mind I said, “Oh they can have this foolishness!” RIGHT THERE again…“Is this what I REALLY want?”

Third, my married Godsister and I were talking and somehow we got on the subject of marriage.  She gave me a PROFOUND analogy of the reality of marriage.  That thing FLOORED me and when I got off the phone AGAIN…”Is this what I REALLY want?”

We have a habit of making requests to God and then having in our minds exactly how we want the answered prayer to look.  I want to personally like everyone God uses me to bless.   I don’t want to have to deal with the challenge of trying to motivate my colleagues; I want a challenge that I can achieve without having to deal with them.  Oh and yes, I want a husband and children but I don’t want to have to sacrifice anything or change my ways and habits.  We must understand God does NOT operate this way!

“…from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked…” (Luke 12:48b)

Much what? More of what you ask?  More PRAYER, More FASTING, More GRACE, More MERCY, More GIVING, More WARFARE!!!!  So for those of you who have requests before God I ask, “Is this what you REALLY want?”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for granting me the privilege of making my requests known to You.  Help me submit to Your will even as I present the desires of my heart to You.  Give me wisdom, peace, and strength knowing that, “…You know the way that I take and when You have tested me, I will come forth as gold…” (Job 23:10 NIV) In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to TALK TO YOUR HEAVENLY DADDY!! Thank Him for all that He’s done, who He is, and who He has been in your life, but also BE HONEST with Him and make your requests known to Him.  But remember, “…To whom much is given, much is required..” (Philippians 4:6 KJV) and really ask yourself, “Is this what I REALLY want. Am I ready for what I’m asking for? “  I pray that your answer will be YES!!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Long Eyed Lesson

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. 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 hope and a future.

Decision Making, Direction/Guidance, Finances, Growth/Maturity, Marriage, Preparation

In Preparation

Lately I have been a bit overwhelmed with life and the issues that it brings. I feel like I am leisurely walking through a slow moving storm. The rain isn’t stopping and the thunder is rolling. An emotional rollercoaster doesn’t quite capture the essence of my state of mind but as I begin to sulk about these feelings, I hear a small voice tell me “This is what you asked for; it’s your preparation.” There was a time when I just prayed and as my requests were granted I would realize that I wasn’t truly prepared for that “thing” that I asked for. Looking back, have you ever been there? I pray for financial increase but can I really manage money in a way that honors God or am I still wasteful? For example, when I was in college, apparently I had “money to blow.” After I graduated I saw a financial statement that indicated the tens of thousands of dollars that I received over the years in “refund checks.” I can’t put my finger on one tangible item from that time period. All I can think of are the “could’ve, should’ve, would’ves.” I don’t want to make those same mistakes with the requests that I have laid before Him now so I always ask God to prepare me for my “asks.”

“…My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? Hebrews 12:5-7 NIV

Among my many desires I ask God to prepare me for are my husband, my children, financial increase and deliverance for family members. That’s not so bad, right? Well, herein lies the problem. I thought that preparation meant showing me where I may be lacking in some areas and helping me improve. No, it’s more than that. This preparation phase has taken some discipline and correction from Him. It has meant letting go of people in my life, making tough decisions about family and the resurgence of suppressed memories and issues that were buried in the deep crevices of my mind. This is NOT what I was expecting! It’s sometimes painful and lonely but that small still voice has deemed it necessary. (Remember the Olive Press) Remove all of that “stuff” and grant me knowledge and understanding…

The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. Proverbs 15:31-32 KJV 

How can I be a good wife and mother when I am not mentally prepared to fully show up in a relationship, much less a marriage? How can I create generational wealth and become a billionaire when I can’t manage being a “dollaraire?”  How can I make tough choices when I shy away from ones that should be easy? In this time of preparation, my thoughts are challenged and I am questioning the way I handle some things. Okay God, I get it! You can and will grant the “ask” but if I learn and take the time to be molded in YOUR preparation phase, I will have the maturity to manage my requests once fulfilled.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for showing me that Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts and Your ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV). Continue to prepare me so that I can bask in the future that You have for me. Although the preparation phase can be painful help me to grow from it and mature so that I can act with wisdom when the time comes. Prepare me so that I can be the best me with each request that I ask of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you with the understanding that you do indeed get what you pray for but sometimes you can be unprepared for it. I EMPOWER you to endure the preparation phase and learn the lessons so that you can be fully present when God grants you the desires of your heart.

For more information about preparation, read the entire 3-day Olive Press Series and In Preparation…It’s More than Just Spiritual.

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures 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.”

Motivation, Procrastination, Trusting God

Preparations for the Final Exam

Since I received so much feedback about my entry entitled A “C” for Effort, I decided that it was only right to provide you all with the sequel.  With that said, this past week I had to take my final exam for the same class. 

In a desperate attempt to cast away the spirit of procrastination, I started studying for this test weeks ago unlike I did with the midterm.  I studied that book from cover to cover daily to ensure that my grade would reflect the amount of work that I put in.  Finally the eve of my final was upon me and I was determined to review all ten chapters one last time before going to bed.  I prayed the whole night because I was extremely exhausted.  At least seven times I had to ask God to keep me awake that I might keep reading and He did just that!  I stayed up to2amWednesday morning and I had to wake up at 6:30am for work. 

When I woke up from my brief nap, I had the worst headache and my body screamed of sleep deprivation but I knew I had to go to work.  I managed to pull it together but I can honestly say I was NOT myself at all!  I was at work for about an hour and a half before that enemy went on attack!!  I lost it ladies!  I started crying hysterically and all I saw was defeat on my exam.  For the first time ever I felt as if I had studied so much that I didn’t retain any information.  Before I knew it my co-workers were surrounding me and inquiring what was wrong and all I could say was “I’m sleepy and I’m not ready for my test!”  My boss pulled me aside and asked what she could do to help and I asked her to let me go home and take a nap and I would come back refreshed.  She agreed and within minutes I was in my car headed home.

When I made it home I started talking as loud as I could to God.  It all made sense…I prayed that He would keep me awake long enough to finish reading but I never asked for anything else.  He whispered that He had already taken care of it and to simply clear my mind and go to sleep! I continue to pray about it until I dozed off.  I went back to work and continued my day like a new person. “Heaviness in the heart of a man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh glad.” (Proverbs 12:25)

I made a conscious effort not to open that book again until I sat in front of my laptop for the exam that evening.  Every time I began to get anxious about my test I would open my mouth and spend a moment with God to ease my mind.  I went to bible study and after the benediction I felt as if I had the armor I needed to master that test so I went home and began.  Halfway through the exam I initiated praise to Him because I knew all the answers without hesitation!! Just as my praise began to bounce of the walls of my apartment my Pandora station began to blast Mary Mary’s song “Yesterday” and I took a second to apologize to God.  There really was no reason for me to ever be nervous because He had already stepped in and handled it for me like He told me earlier.  To make a longer story shorter, I ended up with an “A” on the exam (I only missed three questions) and an “A” in the class! Thank you LORD!!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for always helping me to win over my worries.  I thank You for allowing me to be able to fight the enemy away by simply turning it over to You.  Help me to take a moment to HALT! There are four easy ways for the enemy to creep in and that’s when I’m Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired!  Lord, I bind up each and every one of those spirits in Your abounding love that they may not give the devil a way into my heart! I am victorious over all things because I am Your child! Thank you Daddy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, this week I recommend you take a moment to EMPOWER yourself and put on the armor of God everyday as we go to battle in this spiritual warfare.  The enemy doesn’t take a day off so make sure you are always ready to HALT! Have a Blessed Week!

Click here to read A “C” for Effort

Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  She is a full time Workforce Analyst with Sprint Communications in Nashville, Tennessee. Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn” Isaiah 54:17