Did you buy into the “No New Year’s Resolutions” hype this year? Starting at the end of November and all through December we witness people get disgusted and irritated with those who talk about bettering themselves in the coming year. I mean I get it, some people do use the new year resolution as a procrastination and cop out measure. But is that an excuse for everyone (I use that loosely) to be against New Year goal setting?
Resolution: a formal expression of opinion or intention made…a resolve or determination (to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine to do something)…the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose. [dictionary.com]
When you look at the word resolution and its various definitions I can’t help but to think…what’s so bad about making them? What’s so bad about setting yourself up to accomplish your goals?
Don’t you have a desire to reach the places that you see in your dreams? (We know that our dreams are short sided and that moving beyond them is something that God has already planned to do) They aren’t going to happen with us screaming “no new year’s resolutions” into the world.
It is my hope that every action I take will be directed towards obtaining my dreams no matter how far fetched they seem. But first I have to have some kind of formal expression or intention, or come to a definite decision in my
Happy Sunday everyone!
I write to you from the beautiful island of St. Maarten situated in the Caribbean. I’m sitting on our patio that overlooks one of the zillion pools at the resort and the marina. I can’t complain. I won’t complain =)
All last week I talked about finishing this year out strong and different ways to accomplish that task. (I hope you were able to read them) If there is one thing that I noticed from the plane rideS over here and just being in a place where no one expects anything of me but to chill out, enjoy myself, and spend money it’s that…I need rest. I feel like I’m about to break down lol.
I guess I already knew this from the recent body shut downs, emergency room visits, restless nights, and not so stable emotions lol. If I want to finish this year out strong I think the main thing I need to do this week is rest.
Same for you! You’ve been running around all year doing, doing, doing, and not taking enough time for yourself. Not taking enough time to see what you’re body and spirit are trying to tell you. You may not have a chance to travel to St. Maarten or even to another zip code, but you have got to make time to chill out and reflect on what it is that you need so that you can better serve whomever you serve.
I wrote a daily devotion in the beginning of October entitled “I mentioned rest”…I feel led to share that with you again on this day:
What is rest? According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary it is to cease work or movement in order to relax or recover strength; place or be placed so as to stay in a specified position; be based on; depend on.
I want to use these three definitions to encourage you today!
1) Cease work or movement in order to relax or recover strength
So many of you are pouring out in abundance probably to the point you don’t realize how much. You probably won’t realize until you attempt to pour out and there is nothing left to give. When we run out of steam, run out of gas we are no good to anyone. When we see the gaslight come on in our cars we know it’s time to refuel! We have to figure out what those gaslights are in our own lives!
My hope is that you won’t need a reminder light but that you will take time to refuel at least weekly so that you’re body doesn’t completely put you out of commission. Sometimes you have to cease work and movement to recover your strength.
2. Place or be placed so as to stay in a specified position
Lie down and chill out for a while. No computer, no phone, no lines of communication in hand. Just lie for a second. You don’t have to do it all day or even for an hour, just take a moment and be. We often feel guilty for lying down and resting our physical bodies. My thing is, if you are maximizing your time throughout the day and not wasting it with unproductive things then there is no reason to feel guilty. If you are accomplishing your goals throughout the day then you can look at moments of rest as a productive part of your day as well.
3. Be based on; depend on
I hope you know where this one is going! We have to lean and depend on God. As we do he will continue to guide us to the activities he wants us to participate in, people he wants us to help, and jobs we need to take on. Lean on him for understanding and let him guide you to everything. I believe that when we do that we will find our hearts, minds, and bodies more at rest than ever before!
[end of quoting myself lol]
As far as this week goes:
I plan to explore the island and surrounding islands and be a real life tourist! But I also plan to chill and get in tune with myself and my God. I know that it will put me in a way better position to serve YOU my readers and the others that I work with on a weekly basis. Will there be daily devotions this week? I don’t know. If I feel led and there is internet access I sure will give them to you!
I’m quite sure I’ll have an easier time posting on facebook and instagram so don’t forget to follow on there!
Regardless, we should be back to our regularly scheduled program starting next Sunday. But…I’ll let God lead on that one ;)
Let’s rest guys!
Hey, it’s Thanksgiving week! Why not talk about turkeys?
So a couple weeks ago I went to see the cartoon movie Free Birds. You know the one about the Turkeys who go back in time so they no longer have to be the main course? Please don’t judge me, I had to make some free time to take myself out. I just needed some time to chill with me where work couldn’t find me. Stress was looming overhead and I couldn’t allow it to settle down in my spirit.
If I had to be honest, this was not the best movie I’ve ever seen in my life BUT there were some good little points in there for the kiddos! And for you too, that’s why I’m writing on it this week.
Today’s post doesn’t really have anything to do with the movie, but I promise Monday-Friday will lol. Before I get to listing off the daily devotions of the week I just wanted to encourage you to do something important this week! Take time to free yourself from the demands of the world and take some time for you.
If you never have free time for yourself, you are doing something wrong and it is necessary that you
"Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess, the fairest in all the land! She loved all those in her kingdom wholeheartedly and made sure that no one ever went without. She lived to please the people and they were grateful for it.
One day some settlers came to her kingdom from a faraway land. The Princess welcomed them with open arms even though many of her magistrates warned against it.
“They do not appear to have good intentions Princess!” they proclaimed.
But the Princess, full of love to share with all, ignored their warnings and welcomed the settlers in with open arms.
Life in the kingdom was forever changed…"
This is the beginning of my fairy tale story and although I may not have finished writing it out today, I’m totally aware of the yucky middle and what is becoming a way better ending. We all have a story to tell, no matter how flowery or gory it may be.
The other night I was out with my cousin and our conversation turned to truth pretty quickly and very unexpectedly. We went just deep enough to scrape the surface of some of the challenges I dealt with in my early adult years. It was so hard for her to comprehend that I, Mel Lee, could ever go through such a challenge that we found ourselves going back and forth regarding the reality of it all. All I could think was, we all have a story to tell even if we don’t look like anything we’ve been through. Cliché or not this is my truth!
We all have a story to tell, whether we are ready to share it with anyone or not. We all have successes,
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending one of my niece’s soccer games =). When I showed up I noticed she was still sitting down even though her team was on the field. She lifted her foot and showed me her shoe. It was totally a croc, definitely not a cleat. Can't hit the field like that.
It got me thinking about how often we show up on game day unprepared to step on the field. When I say game day I’m talking about life: work, school, church ministry, home, volunteering, and everything else we do on a daily.
I am convinced in most things we do we are showing up to our games with our crocs on and forgetting our cleats in the car.
The high bun. Is it for style or for convenience?
In my case, total convenience. In this style, my hair can be done in two minutes or less and for me this is necessary! Although it can be fun to take your time and get all dolled up, I don’t have time to be in the bathroom all morning getting dressed. [hard to believe with all these selfies huh?] Unfortunately for me, this “I don’t have time to comb my hair” mess lasted 3 weeks and 3 dreads too long. O_o
So you know I pulled something out of this experience right? Let me gon’ head and share it with you =)
Looking real good…on the outside anyways
After about a week of just brushing the edges of my hair up I knew good and well it was time to comb it out. But because I felt there were other matters that deserved more of my attention I didn’t make the time. I figured as long as I could slick it up and play it off I’d be cool. And I was right! The compliments let me know them slicked edges were deceiving and working just how I needed them to! A perfect disguise.
Sounds a lot like our lives. We are so caught up in our busy schedules or even in just trying to front like everything is okay on the outside, that we don’t take care of what is going on within. (Inside our bodies, homes, churches, workplaces, relationships, etc) Outside people see well put together, sweet, kind, loving, financially stable, solid relationships… in other words a slicked up high bun. But on the insides we’re all tangled, matted, knotted, dreaded, unconditioned and unkept because we have not dealt with the new growth and tangling that is going on within us.
If we get enough people who CAN’T see past our façade telling us that we look amazing and we are
The last couple of weeks all I have talked about is catching dreams and making sure you take time to rest your mind, body, and spirit while you are taking those steps. This week I want to keep that going and with good reason.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to not only go to a live Rehab Time event w/my friend Lizzy, but to have a sit down with Trent Shelton and just dialogue. It was truly a blessing and humbling experience to be in the same room with such a humble and genuine person.
If you have never heard of Trent Shelton or rehab time before let me do a quick breakdown. Trent is a motivational speaker ok no he doesn’t like to be called that. He stated during the live event “I don’t want the titles you can have that, just call me someone who cares”. If you follow Trent on any of the social networking sites you will understand why he says that. Everything that he shares is genuine and obviously from the heart. Thru obedience he created RehabTime, which stands for Renew Every Heart and Body. His messages have literally touched millions and his heart for God has brought others to a greater intimacy with our creator. (Find him on Facebook.com/LikeTrentShelton or twitter or IG TrentShelton)
There was soooo much said throughout this weekend but today I’m just going to share what I took from these two experiences. I pray they will encourage you to continue to go after those dreams until they become your reality!
How many of you are working non-stop? When I say work, I’m talking far beyond the 9-5 job. I’m saying work all day then, running the kids around to their practices, rehearsals, and other extracurricular activities, taking care of home duties, making it out to the business meeting for another project, running to a ministry meeting or rehearsal, calling back all the people who have called you over the week, being present for whoever you need to be present for, how could I forget leaving time for fun…the list goes on.
I could say, “woah there buddy you’re doing too much”. But truth is, this is the life that many of us lead—constant movement with no room for rest. Every time I mention wanting to sleep there is someone there to say, “nah sleep when you’re dead”. See me??? [insert crazy look here]
I don’t believe in that lol. Not one bit. When I die I’ma be praising, and trying to get a tetherball game in with Jesus and busy doing whatever else it is we’ll be doing in heaven. I won’t need to sleep then! I need to sleep now! I need rest now!
According to Dr. Michael Breus, there are several consequences of sleep deprivation. I came across his article on WebMD that stated the short and long term effects:
I had plans to post about something else this week but I thought let me hold off. This is only because I want to share about an event I was privileged to be a committee member and volunteer for. The first annual Royal Summer Tea that took place yesterday August 24, 2013.
My heart is called to pregnant teens and women who have experienced abortion in the past and need assistance in understanding that grace applies to them as well. One of my spiritual mothers introduced me to a ministry a couple of years ago and I have been volunteering there ever since. The organization is called His Nesting Place and they run a pregnancy center and home for unwed mothers as an alternative to abortion. They live life to save the lives of the unborn. (His Nesting Place on Facebook)
Many people feel some kind of way when hearing about pro-life ministries. I must admit that has been me at different points in my life BUT when I am able to experience first hand the lives that are saved (both child and parents) by this ministry, there is no way I can be mad at what they stand and fight for…LIFE. They have been in operation for over 30 years and have housed thousands of women and their children since opening their doors.
Yesterday the first annual summer tea was held in Rolling Hills Estates in one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever been in, in my life. God really blessed His Nesting Place with absolute favor as the owner of the home opened up her beautiful garden in order to put this fundraiser on.
With over 120 guests in attendance His Nesting Place was able to raise funds and spread awareness about the issue of abortion in America. I feel that the testimonies that were shared by a few of the young women there were touching and resonated with the spirit of everyone in attendance. Which made me feel that I should reach out to my readership on the issue.
Even though abortion is one of the procedures performed most on women in America it is still a super touchy subject. I just want to hit on it long enough to tell you that:
1) There are always alternatives to abortion no matter what the situation is.
2) God has given you the gift of free will! As you exercise it make sure that you are properly and fully educated on the decisions of abortion, parenting, and adoption both in the natural and in the spiritual.
3) Men or women, if you have had an abortion in the past and are having difficulty dealing with it, whether it happened 2 days ago or 37 years ago, you are not the only one. God wants you to know that there is restoration for you. The guilt, anger, sadness that may be associated with it no longer has to be. Silence surrounding your abortion choice can be the loudest pain in your life. If you are ready to talk about it with someone please do! Not only can you contact me at the His Nesting Place Pregnancy Help Center or through my private practice www.YouCanTherapy.com but you can also find a network of counselors throughout the US and internationally via www.SaveOne.org.
Freedom is yours if you want it! You have to take the first step…Repentance. That can happen strictly between you and God! Then, if you’re ready there are plenty of people, including myself, ready to help!
Have you ever met a person who is so beautiful or handsome in appearance until they open their mouth and you automatically think, "o_O never mind". Or what about the person who appears to be nice, funny, and on top of their game but all their partnerships fall through? You attempt to work with them and find out "ohhhh that's why". These are instances of their inner man pouring out and tainting the appearance of the outer man.
No matter how hard we front, all those things that we deal with on the inside, personality, characteristics, and spirits, soon pour out and there is no amount of makeup, designer bags, degrees, new electronics, or Jordans that can prevent that from happening. That is why God asks us to work on improving our inner man just as we do the outer.
1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
As I sat thinking about what to write this week I had a mini movie play in my mind. It featured me, my attitude, and my smart mouth! I was already very aware that greatness was not the only thing pouring out of me as I replayed this daydream movie, so it wasn’t a hard-hitting surprise to be reminded of how horrible I acted this past week.
*sidenote* The only reason I add ‘greatness’ to this mix is because this month has had a lot of positive
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