Hearing His Voice

You ever been around people that just brag about their adventure and you just want to experience it for yourself? Well, this was me and the year 2015 was definitely an experience to remember. For a couple of years (at least it felt that way) I was desiring to have another type of experience with God. I read about him, sung about him , prayed to him , and felt I needed more. I wanted to hear his voice . I knew God had different ways of getting my attention but I wanted to hear him for myself.
I prayed and prayed ..nothing happened. I turned off all of my distractions..nothing happened. I even went on a complete fast ..and NOTHING HAPPENED! That season was very frustrating ! It’s like calling a restaurant to make an order and no one is picking up the phone so you’re questioning if you even have the right number, lol. I talked with my aunt and her response was to keep waiting . So one fun fact about me is that I’m an introvert ( I wouldn’t say I’m quiet 100% )but my mind stays busy like NYC traffic, which I guess made it hard to hear God.
One day in January 2015, the weather was at its coldest and living in the south with snow was the motivation I needed to stay in from work. I had my t.v off , just finished a meal , and started washing dishes. As I washed the dishes in complete silence it was at that moment I heard his voice. I always imagined I would hear a loud , thunder, manly voice and I’m glad that didn’t happen because I probably would of ran out of my apartment,lol.
The best way I could describe how he sounded to me is similar to my thoughts. A confident, strong sounding thought if that make any sense. If you could imagine hearing your parents speak to you but in your voice , that’s what it was . I knew it was him because I know how I think and talk. He said ” hello daughter , it’s great to hear from you .” My eyes stretched and I felt overwhelmed with joy. The experience I waited so long for finally came and the anticipation was worth every minute. 

The Perfect Potluck

If I don’t remember anything else from my first job after college , it is potluck dinners! We had potlucks for birthday’s, people leaving, holidays, you name it and there was a list of what everyone was bringing.

Usually people would bring a different dish to the table and it complimented the other dishes. For instance , if someone brought chicken another person had vegetables and together the food fulfilled its purpose. Since everyone would bring something different there was no room for comparison but the goal to serve each other.

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Imagine the food brought to the potluck as God-given gifts instead. Everyone’s gifts are prepared to serve others not just themselves. Could you imagine everyone bringing the same type of food to a potluck? How boring would that be?! I guess God thought the same thing and made certain that we each have unique gifts. One thing I’ve noticed at potlucks , sometimes two people would bring the same dish but the tastes were different based on how they were prepared. I’m learning it’s similar to answering your call in life. Your calling can look exactly like someone else’s , which makes it easy to compare because you already know what the result should look like. However, God prepares us differently and it ends up being hard to compare yourself.

In the perfect potluck , God has blessed you with gifts that compliment another’s gift. You’re being prepared in a different way compared to your Facebook friend so you can’t compare the process. In the perfect potluck, you’re there to serve and fulfill his purpose.

 

Glossophobia

What is glossophobia? It’s the fear of public speaking and something I hate the most.  No matter how hard I avoid speaking , the environment creates a platform that requires everyone to talk . In school, I was the student that would not make eye contact with the teacher. I figured if we made eye contact there was a higher chance of them calling my name. I never liked introducing myself  or presenting to a crowd of people. I’m not sure how I dread speaking in front of groups of people, but I was a cheerleader and jazz/tap dancer, go figure.. Maybe it was the fact I felt comfortable performing as a group rather than by myself. Either way, as I continue to grow I notice there is no escape for public speaking. So instead of hiding it’s time to face the music,awkward stares, and everything else public speaking may bring.

Practice, practice, practice. I remembered practicing my capstone presentation with my teacher after her office hours and it was worth every minute! I was scared because I was not only presenting to my colleagues but to teachers and I had no idea what they were going to ask. My teacher helped me as far as my posture, making eye contact, and not being wordy in my power point. The time spent in practicing  those minor details helped me in a major way the next day when I presented my research.
Engage with the audience. Remember when I said I felt comfortable performing as a group rather than by myself? Speaking in front of people is like a big performance so it’s important to get everyone involved to avoid feeling awkward. I like asking questions to not only take the spotlight off myself but it’s a way get everyone engaged.
Picture everyone_____. Ok I’m not sure about this one lol. People would say if I pictured everyone in the room in underwear or something I would feel at ease. Actually I think it would make me look silly laughing in front of everyone like I’m on medication, no thanks. I heard this works but honestly I just like to get through the speaking so I can hurry and sit down.
Don’t look at everyone in the face. I look for that one person I’m comfortable with and pretend they are the only ones in the room. Focusing on one person vs the entire room help me control how fast to talk and keep my nerves in check. When I was a little girl I had to recite my Christmas speech and I would not look at anyone in the face! Instead I randomly stared at the big church hats, people teeth, and the big clock that hung in the back of the church LOL.
I thought my fear of public speaking would have disappeared as I got older, instead it got smaller which is progress! If you’re like me I’m here to say you’re doing great!  Always remember there’s a platform waiting to hear your voice to gain insight, stay encouraged, and be inspired.
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For The Selective Palate

 

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I’m not sure what brought me to this path of being a picky eater. I could say money was a factor or the fact my mom worked long hours. Truth was, the last thing on her mind was to come home to cook a Lebanese Thanksgiving meal. Even if she did cook like that, I already made my mind up that if it’s not the texture then it’s the presentation of food that will make me cringe. Also, the fact I had people that supported my picky outlook on food rather than push me to try new things.  Why change when you already know what’s best for you, right? Well this all started to change once I got married. For my husband’s birthdays he likes to try new dishes and for some reason I started having the same craving to try new things as well. Rocky start but eventually I became open to new possibilities.

This continued in the workplace as well. My business trip to New York interrupted my comfort level greatly especially with food. We went to restaurants I would probably pass by in order to get some pizza and was served beverages that reminded me I was not in the south.  I did have a chance to visit a French restaurant and for the first time I tried macaroons!  Who would have guessed this picky person would one day open up to opportunities and try something better than the ‘norm’?

The way I am with food is sometimes translated in my relationship with God. I’m very persistent (okay, stubborn at times) and I like to have things done a certain way because that’s what I’m used to. However, I’m also learning that with God his way is better and part of understanding his way requires faith. It’s not easy. It’s like having a plate of some of the nastiest vegetables and your parents saying ,”Eat it, it’s good for you”.  Eventually , your taste changes and you become sensitive to what you eat and open to new dishes. Once you ( including me ) realize God’s hand in your life , you’ll become sensitive and willing to submit to his path.  So for the selective palate, I dare you to go out and explore not only food but God’s will for your life 🙂image1 (2)

emBrace Your journey 

Have you ever imagined accomplishing a goal but because of your age you were ‘too late’? It’s so easy to place an expiration date on something that shows no sign of being ruined soon.

I’m in my late 20’s and I just got braces.. for the second time! Looking back from my first experience, there was a lot of challenges I faced and one was the result of my mom not being able to finish my treatment plan. Little did I know, the setbacks I experienced inspired my appreciation for dentistry. If I didn’t see my mom struggle financially I wonder if my desire to serve in dentistry would be the same? Or If I didn’t have a peg lateral could I relate to others when it comes to self esteem?

It’s like what you’re going through is not just for you but it’s to help others. So it’s very important to embrace your journey by completing it. I knew in order to get the results I wanted from my smile I needed to finish what I started , which was getting braces. So maybe it’s not braces or academics, maybe it’s a business idea and you’ve been hesitating for a while. I’m here to encourage us both by saying keep pushing! Don’t single yourself out because of small circumstances. Someone is waiting be inspired from your story all you have to do is embrace your journey 🙂

 

Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I just came back from NYC on a business trip and I must admit I enjoyed myself! My coworkers and I attended an event called Supplier’s Day, which included vendors from all over sharing their newest trends in the cosmetic industry. During the free times, I had the opportunity to explore the area.IMG_1294

Now rewind << to my airport experience, very interesting. The last time I rode on an airplane was during 5th grade and I had marshalls so I had no clue of what to expect years later. I printed my boarding pass and the only thing on my mind was the destination. I didn’t have much time to check my bag in so I decided to carry on. As I walked through security, the sensor goes off because of my sequin top and my braids.The lady had to check me thoroughly (including hair). Security recognized liquids in my suitcase and had to throw away my perfume, lotion, etc.  By this point, I was annoyed because I wasn’t at my destination but the process of getting there took a lot of work.  Once I finally got settled on the plane my attitude started to shift.  The transition from the airport to the plane shifted my attitude. I sat by an awesome doctor which was heaven-sent because we had so much in common and the fact she was inspiring. Once we arrived in NY everything started to flow.

I wonder if God shared that day in detail with me would I still go through the process or avoid it altogether?I’m learning to somehow be comfortable being uncomfortable. My heavenly father constantly molding me into my purpose and though I’m not sure of the details I have to be comfortable with that.  I think we all have a ‘destination’ we’re trying to arrive to but we’re still going through a process that’s going to make it worth the wait. Stay encouraged knowing you’re at the right place and trust the process 🙂

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The Ideal Gentleman

He doesn’t ask for much, just to believe

and whatever I ask I shall receive.

He walks with me and waits as I become transparent

then corrects me with love just like a parent.

Constantly protecting me and wanting what’s best

teaching me his ways through a series of tests.

His wisdom is beyond what I was taught in school

sharing the way he thinks throughout the day gives me fuel.

He opens doors that none can shut, he closes them with grace

always having his best interests with the challenges I may face.

He showers me with compliments saying ‘daughter you are beautiful’

where confidence is the new foundation and to validate is no longer an issue.

He gave his life for me when there was a time I wouldn’t give an hour

now I consistently seek his face so I can witness his power.

People will try to prove him wrong because they don’t understand

how one could love unconditionally and continue to be

a gentleman.

 

 

 

Ephesians 6:7

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the lord, not people- Ephes.6:7

Before I start with my daily tasks at work I have to pray for strength, wisdom, and the right attitude to serve. I don’t know about you but this is a hard scripture to meditate on sometimes. To serve wholeheartedly, what does that mean? Well to serve is to perform duties for another individual and wholeheartedly is to be completely sincere, enthusiastic. So just that part alone I should be enthusiastic to help others..right.

unnamed My very first job was at Subway and ‘serving wholeheartedly’ was the last thing on my mind. Sure I always had a smile on my face but I did not enjoy the details of sandwich making. I’ve matured in my ways of thinking though I recognize I am still learning how to serve wholeheartedly through my job experiences. As the scripture continues it not only say serve wholeheartedly but as if you’re serving the lord, not people. Random but I seriously wonder if that’s Chick-Fil-A’s mission statement.images (1) They are known to give with a cheerful attitude in spite of how they really feel or how customers may respond. I wonder when I had some of the roughest days at work would the result be any different if I imagined serving God instead. If I could imagine making God a sub would he be satisfied with how I made it? Or as a histo-tech, would God be satisfied in the way I dissected his tissue sample in a hurry? As a chemist, am I really serving wholeheartedly? Sometimes I like to compare my current moment to my volunteering moments. Serving becomes my heart when it comes to dental clinics. I can have a few hours of sleep and feel energized the following day to serve.

image1  Serve wholeheartedly, as if you are serving the lord, not people is a constant reminder for me as it may be for you. Your passion can be in one area but the needs of people can be found in all areas of life. Sure that one person gets on your nerves or the work is not the creme de la creme, join the club. The lord wants us to serve enthusiastically so he can reward us with something much bigger! So give your complete best with a smile and ask, “How can I serve you today?”

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The Waiting Room

You’ve arrived on time for your checkup appointment and pretty excited because you know the time you sit down you’re going to be called. You already gave the receptionist the necessary paperwork and you’re ready. Hmm.. they will call me soon, you think to yourself, so to help pass the time you start to notice your environment. The waiting room is filled with people that need to be seen as well.

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One by one, everyone is being called to the back and it’s starting to get frustrating because there were people that did not have to wait as long. Your frustration builds to anxiety and now you’re going up to the front desk asking questions. They reassure you that the doctor will see you soon, he’s preparing some things for you; however, your patience grows thin. Your phone goes off from people sending messages asking,”why are you still waiting ?” “When are you going to move forward?”

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You don’t respond because they wouldn’t understand. You did everything you were supposed to, now it’s your job to wait and be called. Finally realizing your pacing back and forth is not changing the outcome, your attitude changes while you wait. You take advantage of the wait by embracing small opportunities like reading the magazines or checking your email on your phone. Time goes by but you’re gaining wisdom and understanding. You stopped focusing on the messages, the people that were seen by the doctor before you, at that moment the door flung open and you knew the wait was over.

door-240x300 How many of us had moments like this? We ‘wait’  anxiously for God’s big call while overlooking small opportunities to grow. I know this is a challenge for me but as a father, God, constantly reassures he will not forget about me. It may seem like everyone is moving forward before me but God knows I did everything I was supposed to and now it’s my job to wait for the door to open.  So stay encourage and know that soon our wait will be over 🙂

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Red light , Green light

In the game Red light, Green light one person is chosen to be the traffic cop . The other players stand a few feet away while the ‘cop’ has their back facing the players. When the ‘cop’ says “green light”, the players race to tag him/her. When the ‘cop’ says “red light” , the players have to stop in their tracks . If the’ cop’ catches someone moving that person have to return to the starting line and the first person that tags the ‘cop’ wins.

RedlightgameI love the principle of this game , it’s not like Mother May I where you need validation to move.  In ‘Mother May I ‘ , every step you make is closely watched, whether it’s to see your progress or you fail and as a result start over similar to ‘Red light, Green light’.

For the longest I’ve played ‘Mother May I’ with the wrong people or having the wrong attitude. Some ‘moves’ I made in the past were from validation , you know , you think you’re in the right direction because you have someone’s approval only having to start over. I was used to this game until I started paying attention to some of God’s lessons. Did you know God knows our complete story before we were born? (Jeremiah 1:5) Therefore we don’t need someone to approve our purpose, personality, or appearance! Also instead of valuing everyone’s opinion I believe he likes us to consider him and play ‘Father May I’ instead. The difference in his game is that he’s merciful and when you move without his permission , he won’t let you start completely over.

The game to play with everyone along with the right attitude is Red light, Green light. I was taught how to make big moves while moving silently. I used to share my ideas before strategically planning so you could only imagine my list of fails lol. It’s not bad to share your plans but for me it made a big difference.

Mother May I and Red light, Green light are fun games to play especially when applied in life. Learn to move silently without the approval of others and you’ll be on your way towards your goals!

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