Encouragement, Inspirational, Life Lessons, Motivation, Motivational

Phenomenal Woman

Dr. Maya Angelou. Her life story inspires me, her beautiful words calm me, and her boldness and courage mystify me. I came across this poem today by Dr. Angelou, and wanted to share it with all of you. It’s titled Phenomenal Woman. 

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

– by Dr. Maya Angelou

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Encouragement, Inspirational, Life Lessons, Motivation, Motivational

Anchors in the Storm

Storm Image

This message by David Platt, McLean Bible Church Teaching Pastor , Anchors in the Storm, is focused On God’s sovereignty and promise to always be with us, through every storm, every tribulation, every test, every failure, and every victory.  Wow! That’s something to get excited about. 

This message spoke so much to my spirit as we all go through storms in life, literally and figuratively.  I hope these words calm and touch your spirit as much as these words have calmed and touched mine.

Below are five key-takeaways from David’s message.

  1. God’s supreme sovereignty over all things. The rock solid knowledge that God has sovereignty over ALL THINGS.
  2. God’s constant presence with his People.
  3. God’s loving ownership of your Life.
  4. God’s dependable promise of his Word. God has promised to bring you through this Storm.
  5. God’s ultimate purpose in the World.

Please watch this message when you have a spare moment. It’s uplifting.

I will leave you with one of my favorite songs, ironically titled, Through The Storm, by Yolanda Adams.  This song has gotten me through so many different ups and downs in life.  I hope it does the same for you.

Encouragement, Inspirational, Life Lessons, Motivation, Motivational

Imagine – Seeing Ourselves Through The Eyes of Our Creator

How many of us wake up, look in the mirror, and immediately notice all of our flaws.  You may see a silver strand in your hair that you hadn’t seen before, a blemish that just won’t go away, or those fine lines around our eyes that, although we have tried all the eye creams available to man, just won’t go away.

My friends, what if we were to see ourselves as God sees us as the “seal of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” (Ezekiel 28:12) Wow! How powerful is that?

Powerful affirmations of one’s self should be hidden in our hearts and minds. Sometimes, we seek affirmation from others to tell us we are attractive, smart, flawlessly dressed, and an overall wonderful person.  These affirmations from others that are near and dear to us are priceless.  Sadly, all of us do not have individuals in our lives to affirm us.  My friends, this is when we must look inward and upward and see ourselves as our Creature sees us.  What does that mean, you may ask. “God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

God, in all of his holiness, created us in his image. In this, we should have hope. God also gave each and everyone of us free will, and we can choose today to say “I choose to see myself as God sees me, fearfully and wonderfully made.” We can choose to look into the mirror and see our value, not our flaws. We can choose to see ourselves as more than a conqueror.  We can choose to see ourselves as a winner, not the loser. We can choose to see ourselves as the victor, not the victim. We can choose to believe in ourselves, knowing our Creator believes in us more than we can fathom. 

Choose today to see yourself  as God sees you. Imagine his greatness within you. You are precious in his sight.   

Encouragement, Inspirational, Life Lessons, Motivation, Motivational

A Letter to My Daughter

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Kayla2

Kayla 8

By Ariane Cunningham

My Dear Kayla,

The day you were born was and will remain the happiest day of my life. The Doctor laid you in my arms, and I didn’t want to let you go. Your dad and I rejoiced and shed many tears over the wonderful gift that God had given to us. A beautiful, gorgeous baby with a full head of black hair, ten fingers, ten toes and a healthy weight of eight pounds and 11 ounces. Raising you from a beautiful baby to the beautiful young woman you have become has been the absolute joy of my life. You are my gift from God. You are my sunshine when skies are grey. Your radiant spirit touches me everyday, as it touches everyone with whom you encounter.

You are an amazing source of encouragement. As much as I would try to shield my not-so-good days from you while you were growing up, you would make pictures for me to make me smile, surprise me with hand-crafted cards to tell me how much you loved me, and even wrote me a letter including 40 things you loved about me, your mom. I could not ask for a more caring, empathetic, sweet soul in my life, who just happens to be my only child, my beautiful Kayla.  

As I had you at a young age, I feel that in a lot of ways we have grown up together. It has often-times been you and me against the world. Every day has not been sunshine and roses, but such is life. When I am not being the mom who sets and enforces the rules, nicely of course, I feel you are my best friend. You are always encouraging, always uplifting, always hoping and praying for the best, and always blessing me with your amazing smile and amazing presence of light.

I have watched you grow up to be a beautiful, accomplished, determined, ambitious, driven, empathetic, humble young woman. I cannot be more proud of you. My love and belief in you runs deeper than the deepest sea. You are my angel on Earth, my gift from Heaven.

As you embark on your journey to University in Georgia, know that God is with you every step of the way. You will continue to excel academically, continue to build amazing relationships, and continue being my beautiful Kayla, and Kayla is enough. You are enough. You are worthy of and deserve greatness, kindness, respect, love, and loyalty. You are always worthy of God’s everlasting grace, which will never leave you.

I will leave you with this, as this is our favorite song since you were a beautiful little baby, a song I will continue to sing to you as long as you will allow me to do so.

🎼You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are grey; you will never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away 🎼

I love you, my sweet wonderful Kayla, always ever and forever.

Love,

Mom

Encouragement, Happiness, Inspirational

Sleeping Beauty

When I was in grade school I loved to read and write poetry. It was so freeing and whimsical, and even if what I wrote didn’t often rhyme, it’s something that I truly loved.  I have a poem dancing in my head in this moment, so I wanted to share it with all of you. It’s called Sleeping Beauty. Remember, I am a novice at poetry, so please keep that in mind and enjoy. 😌

Sleeping Beauty

As the Sleeping Beauty drifts off to sleep, she prays the Lord her dear soul to keep. She dreams of love, she dreams of laughter, she dreams of her happily ever after. In her dream her prince appears, and he tells her heart to no longer to fear. He is true, he is noble, he is worthy, so with him her heart does not have to hurry. The prince adores his Sleeping Beauty, to protect her Heart is his true duty. He protects her, he adores her, he is captivated, as for such a beauty he has long awaited. When she wakes the prince vows to make his Sleeping Beauty his one true happily ever after, as her Beauty and presence alone has his heart in deep capture. This dream, like all dreams, comes to an end as Sleeping Beauty awakes, wondering if her prince will come to her rescue, she prays, for her sake. The Beauty tells herself dreams do come true, and if she prays for that honorable prince, is it something God will truly do. She longs to tell others to never give up on their dreams, as difficult and hard as it may sometimes seem. There is a prince that is honest,  noble, and true, as God reassures her by telling her “When he finds you, he is just for YOU.”

 

 

Happiness

Resting in Our Faith

“Now Faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1  (American Standard Version)

Our faith is often tested when we don’t see the things for which we most hope manifest in our lives. The potential relationship, for which we know is just right for us, may seem to be going nowhere fast. Our career may not be going exactly the way we thought it would and projected it would five years ago. We may have not yet reconciled or healed from a hurtful wound in a relationship with a close friend or loved one. Financially, we may feel we could do better and should be in a better place. 

My friends, I humbly tell you, this is where our faith, and our actions through faith, step in. As stated early on, the Holy Bible tells us that “Faith is the ASSURANCE of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.” We may not see the relationship we want coming to fruition, we may not see the reconciliation with a loved one happening anytime soon, we may not see our finances improving in this moment. This does not mean that we should lose faith, this does not mean we should not act through faith to make these things so, this means we should INCREASE OUR FAITH.

What our creator has planned for our lives, including increase, an abundance of joy and happiness, an abundance of blessings to meet our needs, is already divinely meant for us and is for us. In that critical fact alone, we must continue to not only have faith, but to increase our faith. I remind myself of this daily.

I wrote a blog post recently about Usain Bolt, the amazing Jamaican sprinter from humble beginnings who has won eight Olympic goal medals, is an 11 time World Champion, and is presently considered to be the fastest man in the world. I don’t know Usain Bolt personally, but I am sure he does not approach races saying “I can’t do this, I will never win, it’s not worth trying.” That is not the mindset of the winner he is and has become. Winners have FAITH in themselves, even if they can’t see the outcome of the race. We must have FAITH that even if we don’t see the outcome of the race, the hurdles, and the obstacles in our lives, it can be done if we have FAITH, act in FAITH, and believe it to be so. 

Keep the faith, my dear friends. Encourage those around you to have faith that things can and will get better. Encourage yourselves to continue to have faith and, lastly, be hopeful in knowing that our creator rewards faithfulness to those who diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Let’s rest in the hope of our Faith today.