Welcome Back Everyone!!!!!! It’s been a bit since I sat down in front of the screen and shared with you all. I’ve missed this! Hope everyone out there had a great holiday season and made it through the Inauguration in one piece and with some semblance of peace. (That is a conversation for another day, stay tuned).

Today, I want to talk about refuge with you all. Psalms 118:8 reads, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” So last night I was looking through my notebook and I read across this verse from a study I went through a couple of months ago, and this verse immediately jumped out at me. This verse has taken on a new meaning with me as my life has taken a huge turn over the past three days…”Take refuge in the Lord.” My first thought was, exactly what does the word refuge really mean, so of course I looked up the definition, and refuge is defined as, “a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.” Then I went ahead and looked up trust, it is defined as firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

Trust is a very fragile thing. When we place our trust in a person or an institute, we are giving away a part of ourselves. We make ourselves vulnerable to be hurt or blindsided by the decisions of another. As the definition states, it is a firm belief that you can rely undoubtably on this person. The above stated verse can now be read and understood to say, “It is better to seek shelter from trouble in the Lord instead of placing belief in the strength of man.” Here’s the thing about placing trust in another being that is not the Lord; just like you and me, this other person is human. This other person makes mistakes and also falls short of the glory daily. They are not capable of carrying the burden of complete trust, and the reason why is because everyone single person currently walking on this Earth is flawed. We live in an imperfect world, and everyone messes up.

I was dealt a terrible blow this week, I trusted in the institution which I worked to be fair in their dealings and decisions, but I quickly learned that was not the case. Based on their decision, I should feel completely broken, I should be quacking with fear, but instead I have an inner peace that can only be from the Lord. I am seeking refuge, shelter, in the Lord and I have complete trust that He will meet everyone of my needs. This is new for me. Not to feel stressed out and not to be falling apart with worry because for the first time in seven years I am without any type of employment and I have not one plan in place for my next job, but I am completely calm. If I’m honest, I have not been truly happy in almost four years. The level of discontentment was so loud at times that no matter what I did I could not quiet the noise. I was going through the motions everyday as a means to an end, and now I no longer have to do that. I can now seek what truly makes my heart happy, and truly seek out the plans that the Lord has for me. As Jeremiah 29:11 states, “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.”

I can now choose a new route to go down in life because I am no longer tethered to a place that is killing my spirit and made me question my value as a person. I know where my value lies, and it is not in the opinion of man, but with the safety of the Lord.



Why Are We Afraid To Be Emotional?

I want to first start off by saying, Hello Everyone and Happy Holidays!!!!!!!! I haven’t written in a while, and it is not because I didn’t want to chat with you, but I wasn’t quite sure what to talk about. I played with a few ideas, but nothing that jumped out to me, but this morning while having my morning coffee and reading “Wild and Free” I knew what I needed to share with you all.

This weekend, we had our annual Christmas production at church, and the choir sang a couple of songs. We sang Chris Tomlin’s “Glory in the Highest” and Kirk Franklin’s “Now Behold the Lamb” both very beautiful and powerful songs. Personally, I sang a verse in the “Now Behold the Lamb” and the lyrics go:

 Even when I broke, broke your heart

My sins tore us apart, but I’m standing right here in the midst of my tears

I claim you to be, the Lamb of God

New life can begin, for you washed away every one of my sins

Who the Son sets free, is truly free indeed

Lord, I claim you to be the Lamb of God!

Two things about these lyrics, they are powerful, and this morning I realized that these lyrics mimic exactly what I am going through in my life and what I have been talking about over the past month with you all. I was speaking with two ladies in the choir and they said something to me that made me think. One said, the words were so touching and as I sang she got chill bumps. The other said, I almost cried. She then ask me if I wanted to cry, and I responded no, I didn’t want to cry. I went on to say that I used to be extremely emotional and I would cry for everything, but as I’ve gotten older, I “toughened” up a bit, and now I have a tighter hold on my emotions, so I don’t cry like I used to. She responded to me, that she is not an overly emotional person, but when the Holy Spirit moves you can’t deny the feelings it evokes. This made me think and recognize, that in my attempt to hold in my emotions and keep them in check, I can potentially be blocking the Spirit from moving within me. It’s true that the Lord moves differently within everyone, but when we try to hold ourselves in check for whatever reasons, we are putting God in a box. AND NEWSFLASH!!!!!! He’s too BIG to be put in a box.

This raises a question within me though, why are we afraid of emotions? I think, society tells us that if we cry or show emotions, we will be viewed as weak. We will be seen as someone who can’t keep themselves in check and so they can’t make sound decisions. However, I am coming to understand and believe there is nothing wrong with being emotional or leading by emotion. Of course, we can’t make all decision based on emotion, but there are some things in life we should make emotional decisions about. I mean within your career, you have to lead with your head and not your heart, but in life decisions, we can try to be too logical and then make the wrong choices for ourselves and our future. There is nothing wrong with emotions, there is nothing wrong with tears, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling!


I’m Not Who I Used To Be

Praise the Lord I’m not who I used to be. I am no longer the girl who is seeking acceptance where ever it is given. I am not the girl who is seeking approval from the wrong type of people. I am now the woman who is secure in who she is as an individual. I am a woman who is stepping into her purpose. And I am a woman who is learning to listen in the quiet for direction from the Lord and discerning His voice from my own.

There was a period in my life that I was not living a life that I am particularly proud of. I was making decisions that I knew were wrong. Decisions that I knew my mother would disapprove of, and if my mother would disapprove of those decisions, then I definitely know they were not decisions the Lord would smile upon. During that period of my life, I did what I wanted and I did these things in order to “fit”in, but also to please a boy, who at that time, was not worthy of my affections. No matter what I did to hold onto him, it was never enough. You see it was not meant for me to be with him then or to even keep him.

Let me backtrack just a little bit, throughout high school and into college, I was extremely involved in church. I was in the youth group in high school and after I graduated I became a leader in the youth group and also started attending the College and Career group. I had a close group of friends who fiercely loved the Lord and I have to say life was really good; however, there was an inner curiosity inside of me about the “world” that tugged at me. The inner wild child, as my mother calls it, that was itching to break out, and when I started my first job after high school the doors to the outside world burst open and I went running through them. For the first time in my short life I was surrounded by people who were living in the world and did not have the constraints of the church holding them back from experiencing life. I don’t say this meaning that the church holds people back, but in my marginal experience, as a teenager, all I could see were rules. Rules telling me what I could and could not do, rules telling me what I should and shouldn’t say, rules inside my mother’s house that I felt were so strict that I was not allowed to live the life I thought I wanted. It did not take long for the lifestyle of my coworkers to start appealing to me, and along with that life came a boy who started whispering in my ear all the things that my young and naïve heart wanted to hear.

In the beginning, I tried to integrate him into my world, but it didn’t take long for him to pull me from my comfortable life into his chaotic and careless lifestyle. Like me, he was running from strict parents and a comfortable lifestyle and for whatever reason, we found each other and saw something in the other person that we thought we wanted. As Christians, we learn the importance of being equally yoked, and it probably took 10 years, my entire 20s, for me to actually learn and understand what that truly means. At the tender age of 20 I fell in love and we were not equally yoked. When I say I fell in love, I mean truly, madly, deeply in love. I fell with both eyes closed and a heart completely open. I walked blindly into a relationship that pulled me away from everything that I knew to be right and true. I stopped hanging with my friends and replaced them with his friends, I stopped spending time at the church and replaced it with late night kickbacks in empty parking lots. I gave away my innocence because it is what I believed I should do in order to prove my love to this other person. I did this against my better judgment because I knew it was wrong, I knew it was not what the Lord wanted for me, but I also believed it was what I needed to do in order to solidify and keep my relationship. Trust me when I say this, sex does not ensure you will hold onto someone, all it does is give your power away to another person. It ensures that this other person can hurt you more deeply than you can ever imagine.

That relationship did not give me what I thought I was seeking out of life and out of a partnership, it pulled me further and further away from the Lord. It pulled me from my family, from my friends, it compromised my morals, and it left me completely broken. More broken than I had ever been, up until that point, in my entire life. But praise the Lord, I’m not her anymore.

Have you ever prayed for the Lord to do something, left it at the Lord’s feet, and walked away trusting He will answer your prayers? Well, in my complete and total brokeness I prayed for the Lord to make me forget the love I had for this person. To take away the hurt that shattered my tender heart into a million pieces and then I left it. I’m not sure if I really 100% believed that something as big as this prayer could be answered. Everyday I got up, I went through the motions and I trudged through the days until one day the tears dried up and it didn’t hurt to breathe anymore. I no longer kept my phone next to me waiting for a message that would never come. I can’t give you an exact time line because honestly I don’t know how long it took, but one day I was talking to a friend who was there from the beginning to the end of the tumultuous relationship and she asked me if I remembered something I had said or done in the midst of this relationship and I tried to recall various stories she would tell me, and to this day I have no recollections of certain time spans within that relationship. That is when I realized just how BIG AND MERCIFUL my God is. That is when I saw how REAL my God is because HE answered my prayers. Praise the Lord He delivered me from the dangerous path that I was on, and I would love to say I learned my lesson right away, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I made a few more bad choices along the way, but that is part of my journey. Mistakes allow us to see God work in our favor, it allows us to rely on Him. That is the cool thing about the Lord, everyday we mess up and fall short of His glory and He loves us anyhow. He is standing by waiting for us to seek Him and seek His forgiveness. He loves us fiercely and unconditionally. I don’t have children of my own, but I see how my friends love their children, I know how my mother loves us, and it gives me a glimpse into how much our heavenly Father must love us, His children. He wants nothing more than for us to turn away from our sinful nature and seek Him. Matthew 6:33 states, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (NIV).

I will end the way I started, Praise the Lord I’m no who I used to be and thank you Lord for the promise of who I will be!

How Are You…Really?

Good morning everyone!!!!! I have been absent for a few days attending a lovely wedding of a dear family friend in San Antonio, Texas; however, I am back and ready to jump right back in with you all.

On the drive back from San Antonio, I had quite a bit of time on my hands, I mean, we were in the car for 8 hours. So, I began reading a book, and it ask this question, “How are you…Really?” Why is this such a hard question for us to answer? I mean, everyday that we wake up, we know as soon as we open our eyes how we are feeling. Right? But, when someone asks us how we are we struggle to answer this question. We gloss over what we are really feeling, we lie, or we just shrug it off, I mean, who really wants to know exactly how I am. In my experience, sometimes, people don’t know how to respond when you answer honestly. I will be the first to raise my hand and say that when someone tells me, “I’m going through something and life is just really tough for me right now,” I don’t always know the right thing to say. The other side is, when someone asks us how we are , we immediately think, they don’t want to hear my problems. I’m going to raise my hand once again and say I don’t always answer honestly to this question either. Who wants to hear what is really going on in my life; they have enough problems of their own, why do they need to hear my #firstworldproblems.

Here’s something that we should keep in the front of our minds when it comes to this question, we don’t always have to have the “right” response! I know, sounds so easy right, but clearly, we all know this isn’t as easy as it sounds. I think our world teaches us that we always have to have a positive upbeat response to people. We have to fix whatever is wrong with them, so we are programmed to say; I’m good, I’m blessed, I’m well, or my favorite response, I could complain, but I won’t.

Here’s a simple truth, we’re not always good, we don’t always feel the blessings of the Lord, because sometimes we are going through some really heavy stuff, and we allow it to block our communication with the Lord. We allow it to block us from feeling grace towards ourselves. The first step is being honest with ourselves, and looking in the mirror and saying, “today, I don’t feel that great,” and from that step then we can take the next step to getting to where we need to be to be able to honestly answer the BIG question.

For those who ask this BIG question, know this, you don’t always have to have the “right” answer, or response. Sometimes, we are placed to just listen, and when we do respond, we should respond with love and sincerity.

As I have mentioned before in other post, I was raised in a Baptist church singing gospel songs. This morning when I woke up, a song that I have not heard in years and years was running through my head, the lyrics so like this;

                         Please be patient with me, God is not through with me yet.  When God   gets through with me, I shall come forth as pure gold. 

Growing up, I did not really understand the meaning of this song, but today, I can understand it a little better…as long as we are walking on this earth, we are not going to be perfect, life is not going to be easy, we are not always going to respond in the way we should, BUT there will come a day when our work here is complete and we are on the other side of heaven, and we will shine like gold. As long as we are walking on Earth, we will be a work in progress, we won’t always be good or alright, we will face hard days and we will feel less than ok. When those days come, we can respond, “today, I don’t feel my best.” We can be honest with ourselves and others, and we don’t have to respond with the cookie cutter answer and say, “oh, well it will get better.” Because real talk, some days we don’t need an answer, we just need an ear that will listen and tell us, you don’t have to always be ok!

Today I will say this to you, I just (literally right now) pulled a white hair from my head, I feel just a little bit old. (LOL), actually I pulled out two. Be blessed today my friends.


Let’s Get Real

When I was thinking about my topic of discussion for the night, I thought I was going to share a completely different part of me tonight. Those of you who know me, and have known me for a long time, you know what I imagined my future husband to look like. I was very clear about what I was looking for in my life partner. Let me clarify, I knew what I wanted my partner to look like, but not what I wanted his heart to look like. In the past year or so, I’ve thought about what type of person I was interested in. I was no longer focusing on the physical but now on the mental and spiritual. I had these ridiculous deal breakers in my mind, and they were all superficial. I decided that I wanted my future husband to have dark skin, to have tattoos, to be able to sing, to love Jesus was not the first deal breaker on my list; these were the things I would say I was looking for. I shake my head now as I think about how flighty my list was. There was also one other thing I was clear on, this person had to have very different traits than the relationships from my past. When you have no true foundations or rules, you will accept what you have and not seek what you want or need for a successful relationship.

In September, I went to Dallas to visit with my sister, and while there we went to her church. (She attends an amazing church in the Dallas MetroPlex, and has a Pastor that leads his sheep with such grace and love). While in church, I felt that the Lord changed my heart as to what and who I was looking for in my future husband. In a church full of people, men, women, boys and girls, I felt that the Lord placed on my heart that I would marry a Pastor. I struggled with if I should share this with anyone, if maybe I just decided that I would marry a Pastor, but I felt it very strongly in my spirit. The other thing I thought; this is way too  out there for me to just come up with that idea. I mean, I have a lot of issues that I need to work on within myself, I am not pastor’s wife material. I mean, I see my pastor’s wife, and she is full of so much compassion for others, she is involved, she pays attention and knows people’s names. I mean, I am compassionate and I care about others, but I still have some work to do. LOL.

So, I am staying with that, and believing that I will find my pastor in the future, and I will be everything that a pastor’s wife should be. One thing that I also think about though is, when you are in that role, there are eyes on you at all times, and people can place some unhealthy and hurtful expectations upon you. I think, am I ready for this? If this is truly of the Lord, He will continue to work with and on me, to prepare me for the future.

Here’s another thing, this is not what I was supposed to discuss with you all tonight. I was supposed to talk about the crossroads in my life and what I my future looked like in the aspect of employment. Funny thing, speaking about my future husband was my initial plan for this post tonight. I guess this is what I was meant to share with you after all.

Be blessed, and as I have asked before, please continue to pray for me as I pray for you all too!

Man, When Will It Be My Turn?

As I have mentioned before, I am currently reading through “Wait and See: Finding Peace in God’s Pauses and Plans” by Wendy Pope. I can’t recommend this book enough to anyone who is in a season of waiting, because this will let you know that you are not alone in your wait, and it will also give you direction while in your wait. But moving on, today discussed waiting turning into a wilderness experience. This particular chapter reiterated a topic that I have discussed more than once with my friends and family. This topic is when we get impatient in our wait and we try to force God’s timing.

A few years ago, I had a conversation with my friend about when we pray to God for something and it is not happening; so we make a move on our own. We are like, God this is what I want, and He says No, this is not what you need. Then, we in turn say, but this is really what want, and again He say’s No. And, in our selfishness and impatience we insist that YES this is what we want, and God finally says, Fine then here you go. And what is the end result? A huge mess, and we end up dissatisfied with what we insisted was right for us. When we get impatient in our wait, it is important to remember that God’s timing is perfect, and prayer can redirect our focus to God and away from the object of our wait.

I have learned in my 30+ years of living, that rushing into decisions leaves me wanting more. I get to where I think I want to be, or doing what I want to do, and I am dissatisfied with the end results. I am left empty and wanting more out of my day-to-day interactions and activities. This is why I have chosen to be still in this season of my life and listen for God direction. To wait for His perfect timing. Can I tell y’all, I have been feeling content with my day to day activities and life lately. I am applying what I am learning to my life and I am sharing with my friends and coworkers my journey. There is a contentment within my spirit that I haven’t felt in a long time. I know I have said this before, I am excited with what the Lord has planned for me. I am not choosing to focus on what I am waiting on, but instead I am praising the Lord in the hallway I am currently in and waiting for a door or a window to open.

So, I question, when will it be my turn? Well the answer to that question is…When the Lord says “Tia, it’s your time!”

Remember Who’s Really In Charge

I keep going back and forth on if I should comment on this election or not. I should preface this by saying, that I am not the most political person. I don’t get caught up in the arguments on Facebook, and I rarely stand on a soapbox to give long drawn out speeches. However, in the past few days I have read such disturbing comments and post that it is getting increasingly hard for me to bite my tongue. When I say I’ve read disturbing post, it is coming from both sides of the spectrum. Somewhere along the way, we’ve thrown our morals and ethics out the window and it has become a free for all. People are getting diarrhea of the mouth, and they could care less who they offend with their words. When did we become so insensitive to the plight of others? Regardless of who is voted into the office, it does not give a pass to spew hate, and this did not just start 2 days ago, or even a year ago. (So please don’t twist my words around for your own agenda, this post is not to endorse one group over another)

As a country we are going through big changes, and regardless who won the office, today people would be feeling the same exact way. Why? Well because their candidate did not win, and they are upset about it. The problem is, people are in the streets and behind computer screens losing their minds, and how is this productive to our country? How is this making us better?

As Christians, we need to remember who is really in charge and who our true leader is. We do not serve man, but we serve an ever-loving God. Regardless of who is running the US, God is still on His thrown! We live in a country where we have been afforded so many freedoms that others do not. We are blessed beyond measure, and no we are all not going to agree on everything, but that does not mean that we begin to treat each other as less than because I voted differently than you. What we need to do is try and understand each other. My experiences in life are completely different that the next person. I see speaking on race relationships, and it breaks my heart. Some people can not see past their privilege to understand the strife of the next person.

Now I mention privilege, I am not going to say white privilege, I am opening up to American Privilege. This is the title of a song by an amazing singer songwriter Allen Stone, and it talks about this touchy topic. In America we have privileges that we shouldn’t take advantage of; however, we should also try to understand each other and understand that we are not all on the same journey, and we do not all have the same struggles. Our own privilege has blinded us to what is happening in the lives of our neighbors, and it has kept us from being compassionate Let’s be a little sensitive to one another and stop pointing fingers and name calling.

One verse I want to leave with you all before I sign off for the day is Deuteronomy 8:10 You shall bless the Lord your God for the good land He has given to you. As I stated before, regardless who is in charge of this country, we need to remember who governs our lives and that is the Lord.