From Grumbling to Gratitude! 


Happy Friday love bugs!! 😘🐞

So this morning, I totally had a heart check from the Lord. When I tell you, these past couple weeks I have been going and going, it’s been crazy! Although everyday I try to spend some time to myself to regroup and catch a second wind, I have noticed the past couple mornings I have had trouble getting up. I have struggled with my 5am quiet/study time with the Lord, because I can’t seem to wake up. Maybe because it’s cold out, and I just want extra time snuggled in my comfy, warm bed? Maybe, I’m really exhausted and need some serious down time?  Maybe because it’s still dark when that annoying sound of my alarm goes off; and I convince myself that I can use just “5 more minutes” which turns into another hour or two? My life!!! 

Regardless of the reasoning, I have felt extremely tired these past few mornings. What comes with being tired? Mumbling, grumbling, & complaining! And I fell for it hard this morning!

What’s looking to try to be my norm, I yet again woke up extremely tired this morning.  I must have said at least 3x “Uggghh I don’t want to go to work!” I finally forced myself to get up and try to do something with my life this a.m. 

As I made my way to the bathroom, I peaked in the kitchen to see a sink full of pots and pans from last night’s dinner (that I was of course too tired to actually wash and put away). I then murmur “Uggghh I gotta wash those dishes” 

I make my way to the bathroom to shower, only hoping it would wake me up and get me excited about the day ahead. 

As soon as I hopped in the shower, I could hear the Holy Spirit say, “Don’t be so ungrateful Hazel. That job you don’t want to go too; well somebody is desperately trying to find a job.

That sink full of pots & pans from last night’s dinner means that you ate well last night. Be grateful for the food you have to cook & the means to prepare it. Someone went to bed hungry or ate at a soup kitchen. 

And that tired feeling you have means that I have given you an opportunity to be active daily. Someone wishes they can move around & do only a fourth of what I’m allowing you to do & what I’m calling you to do.”

Sometimes we can feel so defeated by the day to day tasks we are faced with. If we’re not careful, the spirit of complaint will come upon us, and next thing you know we are never satisfied with all the things God has given us. 

So to the wife reading this: I know you are tired of that title sometimes. You are tired of managing the home, working, and making sure you support, respect, submit, and encourage your husband (even when he’s working that last nerve of yours). Remember you prayed for that man; that leader for you and your family. Some woman wishes she had that kind of love, leadership, and protection from a man.

To that mother: I know you are tired of being a nurse, teacher, taxi cab driver, therapist, and personal jungle gym for your kids. But some woman wishes she could conceive children…wishes she could experience the kind of love a mother has with her child

To that single: I know you are tired of weekends spent alone, holidays with no “boo”, making all the decisions by yourself, and the long nights of wondering if the guy you kinda sorta like, likes you back; or the fact that you’re tired of liking guys just to get the short end of the stick. Well remember when your season change, you’re not going to have all the free time to come and go as you please. Some woman can’t make a decision without affecting the people whom she shares her home with. 

We all get tired from time to time, but you have to check that spirit of complaint, and adopt an attitude of gratitude for ALL things. 

Thank you Lord for the reminder this morning! Forgive us for the times were we adopted a complaining, mumbling, grumbling spirit. Help us to be grateful that you are allowing us to have the responsibility and hold positions in life that you have given us. This means you trusts us with our daily tasks and the roles we play for others. Help us to remember that through you we can face and do anything! Help us to adopt a spirit of gratitude for all that you give and take away from us. Thank you for loving us that much! 

Happy Friday! Have a great day on purpose and with purpose!
Blessings! 

~Hazel~

5 Things To Consider Before Dating


Hey love bugs!!

I pray you all have had a fabulous weekend! Tonight I went to Periscope with a message to singles. I shared with the #PerfectlyImperfect community via Periscope on the 5 Things to Consider Before Dating. You can catch a replay of the broadcast by clicking here. Download the Periscope app and check out the discussion.

I wanted to make sure I bring you all in the loop as well! Again, these are some things to consider . . . to think about before the next time you decide to date:

Have you taken time to fully heal from past relationships?

I have heard this saying: “The best way to get over a man is to get under a new man.” This is absolutely FALSE!! You cannot fully embrace the person you are with by still holding on to issues with the person from your past. Not taking time to heal will cause you to make the new person pay for all the mistakes your ex(es) have made (whether you realize it or not). You wouldn’t want to pay the penalty for someone else wrong doing . . . no one does. If you don’t take this time to heal, you will run the risk of being a serial dater. You will find yourself being in and out of relationships because you are sabotaging them with issues from your past. You will find yourself dating the same type of men, but with a different face. Make sure you fully heal before bringing anyone into a messy situation.

Get some insight about yourself/work on your heart.

It is important to take some time for yourself between relationships. Evaluate what you need to work on or improve upon. Remember, it takes two to tango. They may be the reason why the relationship ended, but you also played a role as well. What are somethings you learned from your past relationships about you? How can you be better? Spend some time with God to have him reveal your heart. He will show you areas that are displeasing to him . . . it is He that makes you whole. Develop/strengthen that relationship with God . . .besides that is the best relationship you can have.

Are you holding on to anger and bitterness? Are you too independent and working that man out of his job? Chivalry is not dead ladies . . . there are some gentlemen still out there. Some times our fierce independence gets in the way. Every time he tries to do something for you, you say “I got it . . . I can take care of it . . . Don’t worry about it”. Every time he goes to open a door for you, you rush to beat him. There is nothing wrong with being independent but some of us are just way too strong. I know . . . you are used to taking care of things by yourself. Well, sis, a real man . . .a gentleman will not let you do it alone. However, if you keep assuming the role as male, he will think and feel as if he’s not needed.

Once you have gathered some insight, actually do the work to strive to be better.

Learn to forgive.

          Forgiveness is not just for the other person, but it’s for you too. It frees you up. We have to learn to forgive. When you hold on to unforgiveness, you heart is becoming harden the longer you hold on to it. No one can enter into a harden heart . . . you are not even letting God in when your heart is harden.

You also need to practice forgiveness because the Lord instructs us to do so. If we don’t forgive one another, our heavenly father won’t forgive us. Once you get this down, you will forgive much easier when your mate makes a mistake. Relationships require work. Learn to forgive.

Many singles desire to be married. Well guess what? That’s two imperfect people coming together as one. Some one is bound to make a mistake or hurt the other persons’ feelings . . . are you going to forgive?

Practice healthy communication and vulnerability.

          Now . . . this right here . . . whew! I am getting better at the communication piece, but the vulnerability is hard. However, I can honestly say that I am practicing it. Use discernment . . . not everyone can handle your vulnerability. The one person that you should be able to be completely “naked”/vulnerable with should be your spouse. If you have not practiced this while being single, you will struggle greatly with being vulnerable in your marriage. Find someone of the opposite sex that you trust and practice letting your guard down. Let God guide you to that individual.

Also, practice communicating in a healthy way. Many people listen to respond instead of actively listening. Try repeating what you heard to ensure that you understand correctly what’s being communicated. Watch your emotions when you communicate as well. Make sure those “feelings” are in check because if they are not, you can perceive something to be true that is totally false. Understand how the opposite sex communicates. Men are logical . . . they think. Women we feel. Nothing is wrong with either . . . we’re just wired different.

Ask yourself: Why do you want to be in a relationship?

          Some people think that marriage will cure their singleness. First . . . you being single does not mean you have a disease; and trust me, marriage is not the cure. There is nothing wrong with being single. Do not let anyone get in your head and make you thing that being single is bad? This is your training ground to prepare for marriage (if that’s what you desire).

Some people want a relationship because they hate being alone, and thus will settle. Any attention will get them going. Understand that not all attention is good attention. If you don’t like being with you, what makes you think someone else will like being with you?

I ask . . . why do you want to be in a relationship? Check your motives. Are you pursuing a date or are you preparing for marriage?

Remember this: Though you are imperfect, you are loved by a perfect God!

God loves you and so do I!

~Hazel~

Happy Valentine’s Day!! A Special Message to Singles


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Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!! I pray that each of you feel special, loved, and appreciated on this day and every day!

Singles…please don’t let what this day represent force you to sulk and be depressed. I know it’s frustrating and you cannot wait for this season of singleness to end. I know because I too at times feel that way! But you are in a very good place because God is saving you for His very best!

Rest assured that He knows every emotion you are dealing with today, yesterday, and how you may feel tomorrow. Trust and believe that He knows what He is doing. I write this with tears in my eyes because my heart goes out to you. I remember how upset this holiday used to make me feel. Even though I’m at a better place, sometimes the devil will still try to attack me to make me forget the love that God has for me, and the fact that God has not forgotten about me.

So my fellow single, understand that this is a day of love. You don’t have to receive flowers, jewelry, candy, or have a nice dinner given to you by some random guy (who is probably not meant to be with you anyway) in order for you to celebrate this holiday.

Celebrate the fact that God loves you…that he is going to bring you someone to love you with unconditional love EVERYDAY not just one day out the year…that you will have someONE who will take you on dates for a lifetime & not a lifetime full of random dates…that He made you so He knows what’s best for you…that He surrounded you with true, genuine friends and family members that care for you…most importantly, celebrate the fact that God has not forgotten about you!! So spend some time in His presence and let God know how much you love Him. Then, grab your single girlfriends and go out and have some fun. If they are “booed” up, then take yourself out, buy yourself some flowers, cook yourself a nice meal, spend time with your first love (God)…whatever you decide to do, seek out the love that already exists around you!

If no one tells you this today, let me be the one to say:

I love you! I’m praying for you! And Happy Valentine’s Day!!

~Hazel~

High Price, High Value…Know Your Worth!


I can remember a period in my life where I didn’t realize or even understood the depth of what it meant that I was bought at a high price!

In the past I have made promises to God to no longer give my body away to some guy that I thought was worthy of having all of me just because he was nice, he seemed to be a gentleman, he was honest, he was charming, he treated me to nice dinners & weekend getaways, he did nice gestures just because, he made me feel special or because he was filling to my appetite in every way and therefore I let my flesh take over and gave in. I would give him my most prized possession. Every now and then he will still make deposits to woo me…those deposits were just storing up until I cashed out and give him my most prized possession again.

And once the honeymoon phase was over I was left feeling shamed, I felt guilt, confused, trapped, and desperately wanting to work out whatever it was we had because of the many intimate moments we shared…not realizing it was doomed to fail. All of this because I didn’t realize my worth. I didn’t realize I was worth more than anything he could deposit. I then found myself in the same cycle over and over again. I found myself saying the same prayer. I eventually found myself at a low point where I was numb, and most of all tired of the same type of relationships…relationships turned “sex”ships!

I had to start honoring God with my body. How could I every get the godly man God had for me if I kept “marrying” men that never put a ring on my finger? “Marrying” men that didn’t have a relationship with God. “Marrying” men that didn’t have any intentions on marrying me, but wanted all the benefits that came with marriage.

So I finally said no more! God values me too much! I’m WORTH more than any earthly possession. I’m WORTH someone who see my worth and values me, God, and my body enough to wait even when his flesh is weakened (and when mine is weakened too). I am WORTH someone who understands the importance of honoring God with OUR bodies and waiting for the ONE God has for us. I am WORTH someone who will deny his fleshly desires because he knows the reward is greater when we do things Gods way. He understands that obedience is better than sacrifice. I am WORTHY of that man!

I now know the value that God placed on me. So everything about me is valuable including my time. Therefore, I will be and am very selective in who gets my time. The guy that I am worth having will understand that time spent with me is the prize. So he will have no problem with making deposits that will sustain a godly friendship, godly relationship, and a godly marriage.

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Sis, understand your worth. Your body is not your own. It is a temple and a sacred place. Your body belongs to God! It took years for me to come out of sexual immorality. And it took even longer for me to realize that value that God has placed over me. Understand the value God has placed on you. Know that you were bought at a high price, and that no one loves you more than Christ does! So honor God with you body! Wait for the one God has for you…wait until you are married to your king. The two will then become one, and it will be acceptable in God’s sight. Abstinence is possible…even in your relationship! Are you up for the challenge?

Being Spiritual & Single Pt. 2: Preparing for Marriage


If you find yourself struggling at times with being single and spiritual, trust me you are in good company! In Being Spiritual and Single Pt. 1, I recapped the message I delivered at my first women’s empowerment conference. If you haven’t already read Pt. 1, I encourage you to go back and do so.

To close out the Being Spiritual & Single workshop, I left the women with some tips on what I think one should do to prepare for marriage. I know, you are not engaged yet . . . no one has “Put A Ring On It”; but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start preparing. Don’t wait until your engagement before your start to prepare for marriage. Start now before your husband is presented to you!

Calvary Womens Conference 1

So how do you prepare for marriage while trying to be spiritual and single:

1. Be Content; Embrace Being Single. In Pt. 1, I talked about the importance of being content, and how contentment comes from the Lord. You must understand that only God can fulfill that void of loneliness as you wait for Him to bring you your husband. Becoming a serial dater is not attractive by any means, and it won’t sustain you. Besides it can make you even more frustrated than you were before dating those suitors, because you are dating out of loneliness. You are not letting God lead you into dating. Let God guide your relationships . . . quit rushing to date just anybody because it’s Friday night. Ask God to help you in the area of contentment. Remember marriage is not the cure. You have to embrace being single! Enjoy life . . . travel . . . take yourself out to eat . . . hang out with friends . . . get involved in your community and church . . . explore . . . there is so much you can do being single! Embrace your singleness, and know that marriage has its own set of struggles as well.

2. Submit yourself to God. Let Him lead you. It is so important that we learn to submit unto God. You can’t submit to your husband without submitting to God. Ephesians 5:22-25 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. (24) Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (25) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Submission . . . Y’all I used to have a problem with this term and the idea of submission, until God started to really deal with me on this. Submission does not mean that you are weak, that you have no voice, that you have to be a doormat . . . that’s not submission. Submission in the biblical context is more spiritual than anything. Your marriage is a ministry! God has to orchestrate it and be in the center of it. Until you totally submit yourself unto the Lord, you will continue to have a problem with submission and thus will not be able to submit to your husband.

Ephesians 5:22 says for wives to submit themselves to their husbands as you do to the Lord. What stood out to me is the part “as you do to the Lord”.

Are you submitting yourself to God? Is He truly the head of your life? Are you obedient to His word and to His ways? Is it your will be done or do you want His will to be done?

So . . . if you are not following God’s lead (who knows what’s best for you and loves you like crazy; (the one who made you) what makes you think you will follow your husband’s lead. If you don’t know what it’s like to submit to God, God will not bring this man He designed just for you (who is already submitting to Him), to you for you to destroy him. Matter of fact, some of us will be scared of him and unconsciously destroy what could be a great thing because we will confuse his leading with controlling . . . mmmpphhh I’ve been there done that!

Last thing, understand that the husband has the greater form of submission. Husbands have to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Wow!! You are the church . . . yes you! Your husband has to love you like Christ loved the church. God loved us (the church) so much that He sent his only son down to die on the cross for us! He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. He paid the penalty for our sins. So God’s word is saying that husbands are to love their wives the way Christ loved us. They are to love us to the point where they would die for us. My Lord! So it is important to know what submission looks like, by totally submitting to God. This way when God brings your husband to you, you won’t have a problem with submitting, and you won’t confuse his leading you with controlling you.

You still with me?

Calvary Womens Conference 2

3. Purify yourself inside and out. Once you begin to purify yourself on the inside, that purification will show on the outside. You cannot do this alone . . . you will need God’s help! I love The Message version of 1 Corinthians 6: 18-20

There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

Understand that abstinence is possible.  At the conference I broke down my theology on celibacy vs. abstinence . . .that will come in a future blog.

Every time you have sex with someone, you create these soul ties. In a sermon by Juanita Bynum No More Sheets, she talks about the many sex partners she had and how God told her He had to make room in her spirit for her husband. In order for God to make room in your spirit for your husband, He has to purify you. You have to submit to Him, by abstaining. Stop hooking up! Stop creating these soul ties that take so much time to break. He can’t bring you your husband because there is no room for him . . . you still have David, Jim, Paul, Donovan, Steve, Mike, Henry, and Jeff in you. Yeah I know you don’t fool with him no more, but the soul tie may still be there. So God has to purify you and cleanse you for your husband. Sex is designed to be in the context of marriage . . . yes many of us have sexual desires (which is a gift) . . . but sex was meant to be explored in marriage. It’s time to make room for your husband!

As you purify yourself from these soul ties, you also have to change your attitude about sex, your singleness, dating, and marriage. That’s purification on the outside. Your attitude determines your behavior. Start thinking of yourself as being a wife, embrace being single, know your worth and stop hooking up or dating just anyone. Understand that men are visual . . . carry yourself as a Christian/Godly woman/wife would. You can be sexy without showing all of your assets! Stop with the pictures of your bent over showing your behind! Stop wearing revealing clothing that leaves nothing to the imagination. Remember your body is a temple; it’s sacred . . . treat it as such!

4. Let God write your love story. God is the ultimate matchmaker. Let Him hook you up! He knows you better than you do, so He know who and what’s best for you! Pray FOR your husband. Don’t just pray for a husband . . . pray for his family, pray for his direction, pray that he continues to submit unto God, pray for his finances, pray for his health, pray that God molds him into the man/husband he is designed to be, pray FOR your husband!! Lastly, pray for God to prepare you to be a wife. In the meantime, chill and let God hook you up with the one He has for you!

5. Have patience in the process, and trust in God. Proverbs 3:5 says trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding. It is not meant for you to figure out why you are single. I know the struggle is real; but quit trying to figure this out on your own. God knows what He is doing. So instead of leaning to your own devices, seek the Lord on how to deal with your singleness while trying to maintain your spirituality. Let Him lead you. Trust His process, and be patient. Use this time to draw closer to Him and let Him love on you! He wants to be your first love, He wants your intimacy, and He wants your time. When God is ready to share  you with your husband, He will bring him to you in perfect timing.

 

Single woman . . . you are so valuable and you are worthy of every one of your desires. God always makes due on His promises. He has not forgotten about you. Let Him prepare you and mold you into the woman He needs you to be for the glory of His kingdom and for the godly man He has for you!

Be encouraged!

~Hazel~