On the Grind

Today is Work it Out Wednesday, when we talk about improving our relationships!

Have you noticed something over the past few years with regards to the news? Tragedy is the new norm.  Terrorism, natural disasters, riots, suicides, mass murders…it’s crazy.  But folks can go through hell and high water and survive. Let their relationship get rocky though, and suddenly they are ready to throw in the towel. Chris Rock said it like this:

image

Now that is a mess!! As funny as this stand-up was though, I have to disagree with Chris Rock.  Marriage is NOT hard. Life can be full of tragedies, but your relationship does not have to be one of them. Too often we place the blame on the relationship instead of seeing our chance to address our own issues.

Case in point: the other day I was picking up yet another random shirt my husband left in the living room. Before I could open my mouth to complain (yet again), I walked into the next room, and found myself staring at a small mountain of clean clothes that had been waiting to be folded over a week. It occurred to me that my husband had never complained to me about my terrible habit of taking forever and three years to fold the clothes. Despite having to wade through sheets and underwear to find a shirt when getting ready for work at 6am, he was patient and understanding…but I wasn’t. OUCH. Well, if he could be patient with me about folding clothes, surely I could pick up a worn shirt he left behind without nagging. So I put the shirt in the dirty clothes hamper and silently prayed, “Lord help me”.

You see, marriage is meant to bring out the best and worst in us; it is a mortar and pestle that grinds two people together unveiling what they are made of. Only our perspective determines the impact of what is discovered. Because whether a delicious aroma or a foul stench is found, what matters is that we found the truth. Now we have a chance to freely flaunt the greatness and fix the foolishness. This week I challenge you to maximize that opportunity. How can you make the most of the grind?

With Love, Janelle

Think. Do. Be.

Well, I did it.  I actually did it.  I sent in a piece to an e-zine editor.  And just a few hours later, I already received a response!  You see, I’ve been dreaming of being a published author for the majority of my life.  Not because I love reading, and not because my mother was an English teacher (Can you imagine being told to say a sentence again because you were redundant…at age seven?).  Not even because I have been told the majority of my life that I have exemplary writing skills.  No, I dreamed of it because I genuinely love it.  I love to write.  Why else do you think I love school, I’m a Facebook junkie, I’ve had a yahoo email address since age 12 (which I still have), and my favorite t-shirt says: I’m not a player…I just text a lot.

My Favorite T-Shirt
My Favorite T-Shirt

Needless to say, writing is my preferred method of communication.  And one day, prayerfully sooner than I think, I’ll have a published book of my own.  How do I know?  Because dreams come true, and I say it will happen!!  You may think I’m crazy for thinking its that simple, but I think It’s crazy for us to settle for anything less than our dreams.  I understand that life happens – bad relationships, messed up finances, unexpected children, and all types of shenanigans.  Nevertheless, it all boils down to your mind set.  Sure you didn’t plan to have a kid at 18, and now you have to work to provide.  But does that mean you can’t go back to school? Or start your own business?  I understand that you got a divorce, and the likelihood of you experiencing the happy marriage you always dreamed of seems slim to none.  Statistics might say that, but why can’t you be the exception to the rule?  Maybe you’re like me – you were told your whole life that if you just get your college education, the world will open up to you with opportunity…but upon graduating, you ran smack dab into the brick wall of the Great Recession in 2007.  Sure it hurts, but none of that really matters; unless you let it.

What matters is how we respond.  We are what we say and do.  People will tell you that you are who God says you are – but that’s not the whole story.  Death and life are in the power of YOUR tongue.  As such, God or other people can say all the good things they want about you, but if you don’t accept it, believe it, confess it and live like it’s the truth, you’ll never see any progress or change.  God changes you on the inside so that you have the power to change the things around you on the outside.  You’ve already got the blood of Jesus and all the power of the Holy Spirit available to you; what else could He give you that’s better?? When you really think about it, you already have more than you need to achieve your goals. So follow these wise words that I was taught: Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.

Create your business plan.  Enroll in school.  Get a passport.  Send your writing to an E-zine. Open an investment account.  Take a day off to spend with your spouse or your kids.  Get down on your knees and pray.  Just make up in your mind that you will no longer accept doing nothing.  You are not powerless. You can always do something.  So think what you want. Do what you want.  BE what you want.

With Love,

CHAP

An Introduction

An Introduction


You know, I’ve been wanting to start a blog for quite some time.  For the past 3-5 years I have used facebook to post my thoughts from time to time, but FINALLY I’ve been inspired to become a blogger!!  What inspired me, you ask?

My upcoming wedding!!  That’s right, in about…oh, 39 days (who’s counting?) I will be Mrs. Tamaro Johnson, and I’m so excited about it!!!  I’m currently putting together a wedding website, and even though it is a work in progress, I’d like my first blog viewers to be some of the first to see it!  So check out my wedding website here!

Anyway, back to my post…

If I didn’t know before, I know now…LOVE IS BEAUTIFUL!!  But how can it be anything but that, when God is love?  It saddens me to hear people speak negatively about love, relationships, and marriage.  But this comes from people suffering from experiences they call love, and not the real thing. During my adult years preparing to be a wife (check out that wedding website to read the whole story), the clearest thing I heard from God was that I needed to learn to be loved.  I didn’t understand it at the time.  How can anyone not know how to be loved?  But the purpose of Christianity, the bible, and all human relationships is so that we can learn to be loved.  This is why God calls us His Beloved.  He chose us to love us:

I John 4:7-12

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

We always hear that we should love God and others, further His kingdom, yada yada yada.  But why??  It’s because He loved us first…because He loves us still. Everything is based on this; love is the meaning of life.  Revisit your idea of what love is.  Does it line up with this scripture?  If it doesn’t, maybe you’re calling love something that it’s not.

Love,

CHAP (Chasing Hard After Purpose)