Feeling Forsaken?

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I know you think that God has forsaken you. Why else would he allow such terrible things to happen? While you’ve made some mistakes, overall you’re a good person, right? So, why does it seem like your prayers are falling on deaf ears?…God doesn’t always answer prayers in one big, ginormous, earth-shattering blessing. Therefore, gratefulness in the little things that occur daily, partnered with positive thoughts & affirmations, seasoned with forgiveness of yourself and those who have dishonored you, rooted in the extending of love to all who cross your path, will exponentially bless you in a way you haven’t fathomed in your prayers.

Focus on what is going right in your life, instead of on what’s going wrong. You may not have the job you want, but you have a job. You may not have the relationship you want, but you have genuine, loyal friendships. You may not live in the house you want, but you have a roof over your head. You may not fit into that smaller size in your closet, but you have the ability to move your limbs. You may not have the baby you want, but you have a faithful husband who thinks the world of you. You may not have that wife you want, but you have a career that’s allowing you to lay a foundation for your future family so that you can live a life of quality that is debt free. You may not have that husband you want, but you have the wisdom to know you need to use this time to work on your emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental self so that you will be free of baggage when the right man presents himself. Focus on what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t have. Remember: there are those who would give their lives to have yours. They are praying desperately for the things and people you take for granted.

Be encouraged to greatness! God will never leave or forsake you.

Sincerely,
Shanika

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Vision Board 2014

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I’ve completed my 2014 vision board and I’m uber excited!!!

There are several types of vision boards, and some elect to have a variety of boards that each represents an area, goal, or project they have; but I decided I would create a board that embodies everything I am and want to accomplish this year. I have it taped to my ceiling so that I can look UP at it daily as affirmation!

My vision is divided into 8 areas(I didn’t start with wanting to have a certain number of sections. I simply took some time to think about everything I wanted–every area in which I wanted to improve), with the center representing my motivation, my why, my daughter and the words and phrases that come to mind when I think of her.

The other areas represent what I want MORE of in my life, what I want to accomplish via my business, my health goals, the new home I want to provide for my daughter, words and phrases that describe my definition of happy, independent of others’ expectations and definitions, the unconditional love of a husband, and me dusting off my shoulders, becoming the next best version of myself!

Those who know me know that my favorite number is 7, as biblically it represents completion. Therefore, the number 8, one more than 7, represents an over-abundance, overflow, exceeding what was originally thought of as complete. Eight also represents resurrection, regeneration, and the beginning of a new era. How perfect is that message for a new vision board?!?! God is definitely taking me into a new era and I’m preparing daily!

These 8 sections represents the MORE that’s in STORE for ME!!!

I highly recommend that you create a vision board for yourself, as it can serve as a visual blueprint for all you want to accomplish. It’s also very empowering. Don’t worry about following any “vision board rules,” as God is seeking to do through you what hasn’t been done before, therefore someone else’s rules don’t apply to you anyway! #catchthatword

Get some magazines & newspapers, and clip pictures and/or words that speak to what you want to achieve. Then attach them to a poster board, cork board, or even a wall or mirror in your home. Voila, your vision board is complete!

Happy (en)Visioning! 🙂

#infinitefortitude #infiniteinspiration #visioninspired #purposeled

Vision Board 2014

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I’ve completed my 2014 vision board and I’m uber excited!!!

There are several types of vision boards, and some elect to have a variety of boards that each represents an area, goal, or project they have; but I decided I would create a board that embodies everything I am and want to accomplish this year. I have it taped to my ceiling so that I can look UP at it daily as affirmation!

My vision is divided into 8 areas(I didn’t start with wanting to have a certain number of sections. I simply took some time to think about everything I wanted–every area in which I wanted to improve), with the center representing my motivation, my why, my daughter and the words and phrases that come to mind when I think of her.

The other areas represent what I want MORE of in my life, what I want to accomplish via my business, my health goals, the new home I want to provide for my daughter, words and phrases that describe my definition of happy, independent of others’ expectations and definitions, the unconditional love of a husband, and me dusting off my shoulders, becoming the next best version of myself!

Those who know me know that my favorite number is 7, as biblically it represents completion. Therefore, the number 8, one more than 7, represents an over-abundance, overflow, exceeding what was originally thought of as complete. Eight also represents resurrection, regeneration, and the beginning of a new era. How perfect is that message for a new vision board?!?! God is definitely taking me into a new era and I’m preparing daily!

These 8 sections represents the MORE that’s in STORE for ME!!!

I highly recommend that you create a vision board for yourself, as it can serve as a visual blueprint for all you want to accomplish. It’s also very empowering. Don’t worry about following any “vision board rules,” as God is seeking to do through you what hasn’t been done before, therefore someone else’s rules don’t apply to you anyway! #catchthatword

Get some magazines & newspapers, and clip pictures and/or words that speak to what you want to achieve. Then attach them to a poster board, cork board, or even a wall or mirror in your home. Voila, your vision board is complete!

Happy (en)Visioning! 🙂

#infinitefortitude #infiniteinspiration #visioninspired #purposeled

Transformation

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Situations don’t change until I change the way I look at them.

There have been many times in my life when I’ve taken a step back to evaluate how I could have better handled various situations. Without fail, I’m always able to see what I could have done or said differently. In my estimation, this was all I needed to accept responsibility and try to make things right. This led to a series of conversations in which I apologized and offered my explanation of why I responded or reacted the way I did, not to excuse the behavior, but to offer context so the other party would know that my action or reaction had nothing to do with them, as I earnestly believe that what comes from us, defines us, and no one else.

It was during this process of atonement, if you will, that l learned a lesson that was paramount in my professing: just because you (truly) accept responsibility, doesn’t mean others will (truly).

Some would rather be pacified within their oblivion and accept the words of a party not privy to the facts first-hand, further solidifying their faux-truth than accept the hard truth that maybe, just maybe they were also wrong.

This realization allowed me to transform my mind, resulting in new vision, new light, new healing, new hope.

It would have been detrimental to my quest to live a purposed-led life to sit and wait for an genuine apology, acceptance of responsibility, or a mere acknowledgement that I, too, am human and have feelings.

My challenge to you is to change the way you look at the situations in your life that are causing you angst. Do your part in evaluating what you could have said or done differently, fully accepting personal responsibility. Face your hard truth. Seek to make things right with those individuals.

The key: do it for you, without any expectation of a return on investment. Always remember that whatever response, or lack their of, that you receive isn’t about you at all.

Situations don’t change until you change the way you look at them.

Reference: Romans 12:2—>And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Blessings to you as you achieve the peace you deserve.

Sincerely,
Shanika
#infinitefortitude #infiniteinspiration

I’m the Grinch

My paternal grandparents had 3 children: my dad (the eldest) and 2 girls. Growing up, I spent holidays with my paternals and as a result, those experiences shaped my definition of “the holidays,” which included gigantic family dinners (that I helped prepared when I became old enough and had permission to enter my grandmother’s kitchen), lots of love, laughter, and life!

This time of year was something I always looked forward to as a child.

Life changed and God decided to take the youngest girl in 2007, my dad in 2008, and my grandmother in 2009. As you can probably imagine, things are much different, and as a result; I am not in a festive mood this year. But it’s 2013, right???

For reasons I won’t list publicly, this holiday season is one of the toughest I’ve experienced since 2009 to the point where I really just want to go to sleep and not awake until January 2, 2014.

Yes, I have my daughter, the light of my life, but as far as she’s concerned; all of her days are filled with love, laughter, and life, as she is oblivious to what Christmas is because she experiences blessings daily. Children as young as she have Christmas everyday! 🙂

I’ve been pretty emotional today and just wanted to post to say: those damn presents do not matter. I’m not speaking to what you can or can’t afford. I’m speaking to the true spirit and meaning of Christmas: the giving of unconditional love, the traditions, the joke telling, sitting around watching the parades and games, spending time with the people who you love the most.

Those of us engrossed in the the grieving process (which lasts a lifetime) would return every gift to have our loved ones back.

Those who have family members who are deployed would give up those stupid, cheesy decked halls to be in the presence of their loved ones.

Those who are unable to travel home because of work and/or obligations would love to take for granted the feast that’s prepared. And to be able to eat it with their family.

Those who are homeless don’t really care about having the latest gadgets that will soon be forgotten next month when the next new thing comes out.

Think about that when you’re consumed with consumerism. Materials don’t matter, but moments do.

While I am a self-proclaimed grinch (and rightfully so, in my opinion); I’m thankful I still remember the reason for the season.

Sending my prayers, love, and hugs to everyone out there who can relate.

 

Shanika

thegrinch

Holy, Holes, Whole~Part II

Given the imperfect nature of life, the process of being poked, prodded and left filled with holes, reconnection with God, and subsequently made whole again is something that occurs during the continuum of a lifetime. Therefore, in my opinion, the goal shouldn’t be to attain a staunch position of holiness, but an ever-growing, ever-evolving posture of seeking to pour out the negative and refill with new vision and insight into the nature of God. Our stance should be one of earnestly seeking to know more of Him, to become more and more like Him daily with a humbly submissive, dependent nature that won’t allow us to become so Biblically elite that we turn away those who need God most.

So how do we do this?

1. Never forget from where you come. Remembering how much you’ve learned and grown over the years will allow you to remain humble, and thus open to learning and growing more. This will allow your spiritual nature to continually evolve.

2. Tell your story. By allowing those who may be struggling alone in the dark stumbling over the same lessons over and over to hear your personal story, it will normalize what they are going through and they can feel more confident knowing they aren’t really alone in their struggles. It will also give you a feeling of accomplishment knowing you were able to help another person begin the process of becoming whole. Sharing is healing.

3. Don’t get caught up in memorizing the text. Regurgitation by definition is a natural release of all that is bad, so why would you merely want to vomit out a scripture given the valuable nature of its content? Take some time to go deeper to understand the meaning and apply the meaning to how you live your life. Everyone who comes in contact with you should come in contact with the Bible through normal everyday interaction, not simply because you are “preaching a sermon.” Actions speak louder.

4. Throw out the notion that you have to be perfect. I’m not certain where this theory came from; perhaps it’s a twisted view of the concept of being Christ-like. While striving for perfection is perfectly okay, remember that the beauty of life rests in our ability to continually develop. Once that halts because of achieving nirvana, we die. In order to truly live, you mustn’t ever stop learning and given that there’s always something to learn; accept that you won’t ever be perfect.

5. Love more, judge less. To my knowledge, God hasn’t died (and remained dead, depending on your beliefs), which means His position isn’t vacant. If you focus more on loving your brothers and sisters as is (the way God loves you), then there will be less time to pick apart their faults. We all come up short at some point in time, so give a little grace and focus on loving the person despite their holes. Besides, how can you judge someone when you aren’t, nor have you ever been, or will ever be perfect? A wise man once told me, “I’m going to do the loving and let God do the judging.”

Through it all we must be thankful for grace and mercy because without it, we would have less bullet points on our list of achievements. The process of spiritual development is one on which many of us long to progress. Progression can be very difficult because rigid belief systems are by nature prohibitive. We must remember to remain open to new perspectives, new experiences, and new insight, as they all have a place at the table of righteousness. Your whole-self will thank you and before you know it you will be surrounded by wholesome people.

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Holy, Holes, Whole~Part I

The Process of Spiritual Development

I’d be willing to bet we all know people who can recite Biblical scriptures as fluidly as they can say their names. Many times these people are also able to eloquently explain their interpretations of those scriptures. The ability to accurately quote scripture is held in high regard by many, as it is the expectation of those who choose to live according to this text to fervently study it daily, with the assumption they will be able to communicate what they’ve learned to others.

If you aren’t as well versed on the Bible, inadequacies can creep in during conversations with the Biblical elite, even when you know the message you’ve verbalized is well thought out, logical, and accurate in terms of the meaning and application of the Word. In some communities the inability to quote scripture is something that is frowned upon, and voice of those unable to do so discredited. There are others who are more concerned with living out the essence of what it means to “treat those the way you want to be treated,” as opposed to merely spewing the words. Of course we know those whose regurgitation raises more hell than heaven, which often times contradicts any good intentions, leaving many disenchanted with all things holy.

The last year of my life has been somewhat of a metamorphosis as I searched to reevaluate and make sense of my purpose and direction. For those who are looking to live a life of meaning, I’ve found we often reach a crossroad where we want to evaluate and reevaluate to make sure our lives continue on the right track and on task with the reason for which we were created. During my self-assessment, one of the most transformative lessons I learned was that God can’t use perfect people. A recent conversation birthed this message to me: “This isn’t for the holy. This is for people with holes who need to be made whole again.”

This was liberating for me because it allowed me to see the purpose in my pain, the value in my voids, and welcoming of my wounds. Sometimes we have to be broken down to absolutely nothing so God can show us how miraculously marvelous He is, all by Himself. When we have so many holes that all guilt, pain, disappointments, unfulfilled promises, closed doors, misunderstandings, abandonment, neglect, abuse, misuse, manipulation, lies, deceit, tears, loneliness, depression, stagnation, unanswered questions, and every toxin that poisoned our body can finally be poured out. After this purification occurs, God refills us with love, forgiveness, resolution, fulfillment, open doors, surplus, honor, integrity, enlightenment, renewal, joy, truth, smiles, laughs, security, forward motion, answers, and healing, thereby making us whole.

Given the imperfect nature of life, this process of being poked, prodded and left filled with holes, reconnection with God, and subsequently made whole again is something that occurs during the continuum of a lifetime. Therefore, in my opinion, the goal shouldn’t be to attain a staunch position of holiness, but an ever-growing, ever-evolving posture of seeking to pour out the negative and refill with new vision and insight into the nature of God. Our stance should be one of earnestly seeking to know more of Him, to become more and more like Him daily with a humbly submissive, dependent nature that won’t allow us to become so Biblically elite that we turn away those who need God most.

holyholeswhole