…An Adhesive

SH and I often share, with each other, the moments in our lives when God’s favor and grace is undeniably present. In our victories and in our challenges; in our triumphs and in our heartbreaks, there lies purpose in it all. Through it, He is constantly affirming that it is His hand that is holding us together.

In everything you walk through, be reminded that He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17).

Be encouraged!

SM.

…Vacation

I live my life by way of my calendar — from meeting to meeting, from appointment to appointment — and my to-do list, feeling productive only when the day ends with more checked than unchecked boxes. I use more “productivity” apps on my iPhone than enough, and am consistently embodying my “Type A” personality. At times, I am too much for myself. I become busy with all things important to me. I get tired. I sometimes get overwhelmed.

Earlier this week, I believe I was probably becoming too much for SH too. Her email was the first thing that I saw in my inbox one morning, simply and lovingly advising me “…to take a mental break. Draw some inspiration. Rest.”

When Jesus recognized how busy and tired His disciples, turned apostles were, He extended an invitation to them, saying “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31) That’s a personal invitation that stands open and available to us each and every day! Jesus desires to be a vacation…He is offering Himself as our place of relaxation and restoration.

I am realizing that because He has given us the gift of free will, we must deliberately accept His invitation to rest in Him. Per His request in Matthew 11:28, we must choose to go to Him when we are weary and feel burdened. And, just in case we remain sketchy on whether or not it is acceptable to take a break from our pursuit of being the best, most hard-working servant, disciple, spouse, parent, friend and co-worker, He’s made it a point to reassure us that it is His intention to be with us while He gives us His good gift of rest: “…”My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)

It is apparent that God has given vacations, with Him, His stamp of approval! This rest is a well-deserved gift. Since I discovered that something I really needed and really wanted was being given away for free, I am first in line for it. In my ‘moment’ this week, I proclaimed “Jesus be a vacation”!

I am thankful that SH told me to fall back and rest. I am even more thankful for Jesus’ invitation to give over my burdens and find that restful vacation in Him. I was ready for it. I trusted in it. I received it. I am back, refreshed and renewed!

From what, do you need to trust in Jesus to be your vacation?

SM.

…Eight Count

SM and I love this song. There have been many a praise & party sessions while listening to it.

Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised…

Psalm 96:1-9

Enjoy!

Written by SH. @ Shakirah Adianna

…GPS

I am, admittedly, directionally challenged. As such, I rely heavily on my GPS to navigate me any where I need to go. On Sunday I decided not to use it to get home after making an unanticipated pit stop. It seemed simple enough for me to make it back home. After receiving very explicit directions I still found myself lost. All it took was one wrong turn and I ended up completely opposite of the direction I intended to go. As I drove on for miles I searched for something recognizable, a landmark, a street name; anything that resonated some familiarity. There was nothing. I didn’t want to give in to defeat, but the more I drove on the further away I seemed from my destination. I gripped the steering wheel and fought back a mild panic attack. Being lost can invoke an onslaught of emotions. Things like fear, worry and doubt come to mind. When we’re lost we wonder if there will ever be an opportunity to make it back to where we wanted to without losing time, or worse, getting hurt.

I decided, after many failed attempts, to pull out my iPhone and use my GPS; Jesus be a(n) app. I plugged in my current location and address. Within seconds I was being clearly navigated home. As I listened to my GPS tell me exactly where to go, I was reminded of life and how we often have well made plans. We set goals, we plan out our dreams and we try to give our best. But even in our best efforts, sometimes; often times, we make a wrong turn. We get lost. Then we find ourselves wondering what went wrong. How did we end up so far from our starting point yet no closer to the intended destination? As I contemplated that and thanked God for modern technology, I remembered that in life, relationship with God is the ultimate GPS. God has given us His word as a manual for navigating through the complexities of life. There are numerous scriptures where the Lord reassures us of His perfect guidance:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

Before, OnStar there was God who watches over us and makes our paths straight. He reminds us that no matter where we are He will never leave us, nor forsake us. That is comforting. No matter how off track we get, God is with us every step of the way. Even better when we step into relationship with Him, God’s Prayer System-that is constant communication with God-will always leads us back to Him. It will always direct us home.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” -Isaiah 30:21

Written by SH. @ Shakirah Adianna

…Rubber Band Man

As you now know (thanks to SH), I’m a bit less social media inclined than most. My mom had to convince me to join Facebook. The thought of joining and using Twitter made me anxious! And, venturing into this world of blogging was a bit of a miracle in itself (thanks to SH, again).

Each time that I sit down to craft a new post, I become uneasy and begin to stress out. I’ve even given myself slight headaches with indecisiveness about a topic and the pressure I put on myself to achieve perfection. But, by the time I’ve completely written down my thoughts, I feel a sense of satisfaction and joy; I am pleased with the end product. I feel stretched from my initial place of comfort; stretched outside of my box and into something new.

When a rubber band is not in use, its existence is pointless. However, when a rubber band is stretched, it fulfills its created purpose and can be used as desired. We are of the likeness of rubber bands. We are made to be stretched. We need to be stretched.

To be stretched, we must step outside of our comfort zones and be in intentional pursuit of growth. When we are willing to do so, God steps on the scene and extends us. He meets and exceeds our expectations; strengthening and extending us farther than we think is possible.

As I increase my social media participation and pursue creative writing (oy!), I realize that although growth requires a bit of discomfort from all that stretching, it remains a good thing. And, I am reminded that we are called to be constantly chasing after it…

2 Peter 3:18 Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our savior, Jesus Christ.

How are you pursuing growth? In what way is your rubber band being stretched? Are you allowing THE rubber band man to use you?

I dare you to.

SM.

…(Twitter) Hashtag

I’m something of a social media guru geek. This is where SM and I differ. You likely won’t catch SM posting her latest status update on Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, she’s as savvy as they come. SM is just a bit more “retro” in her approach to communication. She does things like call people. Who even knew telephones still did that?

What’s funny is, despite SM not being on Twitter, she uses hashtags more than anyone I know. In fact, approximately 60% of the conversations we have on Gchat include a hashtag. In the spirit of our new Twitter account, which you can follow us at here. I’ve decided to create a list of our commonly used hashtags:

  • #jesusbea (insert any and everything here)
  • #swoon
  • #fistpump
  • #amen
  • #kisseyface (for all things mushy)
  • #fatgirl (for all things food)
  • #leannottoyourownunderstanding (our longest hash tag to date)
  • #dead

Written by SH. @ Shakirah Adianna

…Billie

Just days ago, Facebook agreed to buy the Instagram app for approximately $1 billion in a combo of cash and stock. I received text messages, emails and smoke signals to alert me of the news. We all celebrated the Instagram co-founders’ win! We all wondered what we would do with $1 billion of our own, and asked ourselves why we didn’t create Instagram?! My best friend, SH, proclaimed “Jesus be a billie”! Then, half of us took an extended break from our “9 to 5” and began to brainstorm the next app that we could create and sell to Facebook or whoever/whatever would bite.

In that moment, I was reminded of the essence of Psalm 54:4; that the same provider of Instagram’s $1 billion is the same provider of my well-being, peace of mind, salary, clothing, food, etcetera.

Psalm 54:4 God is my helper! The Lord is the provider for my life.

He is Yahweh-yireh (orJehovah-Jireh), as proclaimed by Abraham; He provides for His followers; He meets all of our needs.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

And, because He’s made that promise, I realize that I have to remind myself of the confidence that I am able to have in Him to meet all of my needs. I have to turn away from the temptation to try to do for myself (aka. frantically creating the next best app for a quick come up) and just trust in Him and His provision.

In the same way that I rejoiced in Instagram’s $1 billion, I am challenging myself to rejoice in each of the Lord’s provisions in my life and in the lives of others. Who’s to say that our well-being, peace of mind, salary, clothing, food, etcetera, isn’t our “billie” already rewarded? He did say “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

I’m just sayin’.

SM.