Be Encouraged

T.G.I.F.!!!!

This was a rough week. Honestly, I wanted to stay locked in my bedroom for more than half this week. Didn’t feel like working, planning, meeting, writing, talking or doing much of anything. I think we all run into those moments every now and then when the weight of the world falls upon our shoulders and its simply just too much. Its so easy to give in to those feelings – click on Netflix & CHILL and stuff your face with pizza/tacos/few burgers/a couple glasses of red wine…ooops, have I revealed too much? LOL!

But even in the midst of my self entitled ‘pity party’, I was gently reminded of how important it is for us to KEEP GOING and to REMAIN STEADFAST when we really feel like giving up or giving in. Don’t get me wrong, take a moment if you need to take a moment. But make sure you get back in the game. An idle mind is the devil’s playground and you would be surprised what he can do when we allow self-doubt, anxiety, pity and worry to creep into our minds.

God blessed me with an opportunity to encourage four women this week despite what was going on inside of my own head. Here’s a brief snippet of one of those conversations.

Don’t give in and don’t give up, rather give in to HIM and give it all up to HIM to take care of you and the problems you’re facing right now. I believe in my heart that this year will be a year of breakthroughs but I also know that those breakthroughs won’t come easy and will come at a price. And if that price means you cry a little more, experience a little anxiety, realize your fears  and wrestle with anger, then so be it because we know that God will always get the Glory in the end!

Now, the crazy thing is that when I sent that message I prefaced the text with a statement that ‘God had placed it on my heart to send a word of encouragement to you’ but in actuality, God was using that moment and my fellow sisters to encourage me at the same time. God can and will use you to bless others even in your times of struggle and will turn right around and bless you at the same time. This moment illustrates how important it is to allow yourself to be led by the spirit – that still small voice in your heart that is meant to guide you each and every day. No moment is too small for God to reveal himself to you. I was really hurting this week and had I truly given in to my ‘pity party’ (and I don’t use that term lightly) I would have missed an opportunity to experience God’s Grace and his gift of Peace that surpasses all understanding.

With that being said, Be Encouraged and Remain Steadfast no matter what you’re facing today or what you will have to face tomorrow. Choose to Believe and have Faith no matter what may happen! Know that you are Blessed and Highly Favored – HE will not fail you!!

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Day 6 of Meditation Challenge – Feeling Hope

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Hope Lights My Path

If your just joining me or happen to come across my little blog space, I am participating in a 21-Day Meditation Challenge that you can learn more about here. I would encourage you to at least give this a try, if only to try something new. My posts are a few days behind the actual meditations but thats ok! My plan was to show up for the process of Meditation and memorialize my thoughts and experiences thru my blog, and hopefully unlock some areas (or things) inside of me that have been weighing me down.

Today, is one of those days where I am reminded that I am exactly where I need to be. Although I completed this meditation a few days ago…today is the day that I needed this message the most.

Meditation Takeaway: Just as a man can not live without dreams, one can not live without hope. Hope is the force that grounds you and lifts you up at the same time. It is not passive. Its a choice, often a daily choice that we all have to decide to make. Hope will open a new path where there was no path.

You know that feeling of being trapped right? I know we all do. Trapped by the everyday crap of life. Well, hope looks pass all of that. Recognize that we have no clue what’s around the next corner of our lives. But here we are making judgments and decisions based off the limited information and forecasting ability that we have. Yeah, your situation might look bleak right now….but that is JUST RIGHT NOW!

Hope is here to remind us that there is MORE…you don’t need to know what MORE is right now because if you did than you would. Because you don’t, I feel pretty confident that your not quite ready for the MORE that’s planned for you just yet.

So what do we do? We give in to the process of life and our journey and choose HOPE. When you are connected to yourself, you will sense what you need to do to improve any situation. Today, I felt a little hopeless…I knew what I needed to do. I needed to think…write…create. Everyday that I choose to do this, not knowing what the end result will be, is a day that I am choosing HOPE.

I AM LETTING GO and CHOOSING HOPE! 

~Shayla

Running to Live

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Oh yeah! Now, that’s what I call a race.

3.2 Miles. 12 Obstacles. Oh, and let’s not forget the Mud Pools, Water Slides and Cargo Nets! This race was definitely worth the price tag and the hour and half drive to the middle of nowhere. The Warrior Dash is the perfect race for a novice obstacle runner or for people who are moderately in shape looking for a little challenge.

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Moment of Truth – I think that I’m kinda hooked. I don’t know what it is about races but I am on a serious race kick right now!

Cap City Half Marathon (May)         Warrior Dash (May)            The Glo Run (June)

I really can’t tell you what it is about these races that draws me to them – maybe its the energy or the adrenaline rush. I really don’t know but it feels awesome. I feel alive, motivated and ready to conquer the world. Well, maybe that’s a bit much. Lol. But seriously, there is something about these races that’s addicting…in a good way.

The funny thing is – I’m really not that good of a runner. I don’t mean that to down myself but I wouldn’t be the top choice for the Olympics anytime soon. In high school, I signed up to be on the Cross Country team. Even back then, I wasn’t your “typical” runner. I wasn’t fast or slim like most of the other long distance runners. In fact, I was the biggest and definitely the slowest person on the team. Ha!

I can laugh now but back then it really sucked. Seriously, I was the last person to finish every race that season, which included my high school and  ALL of the other competing high schools. Looking back, I can’t believe that I didn’t quit because it was so embarassing. I remember my dad, who was kinda of like my coach, giving me permission to quit. But I don’t know, maybe I knew without really knowing that I had to finish. That finishing a race is about so much more than finishing first or last…i digress for the moment.

Back down memory lane to the last race of the season. I remember going into that race with a different frame of mind, convinced that no matter what happened, I would not be last. And you know what, I didn’t finish last. If my memory serves me correctly, I finished 3rd to last. Ha!  I was beyond ecstatic! I thought I won the World Cup! Lol!

I know it sounds silly to be excited about finishing 3rd to last but I believe our lives are built on moments just like these. Moments where we have to choose whether we will stay and fight or decide to take flight. Moments of risk and bravery versus moments of security and cowardliness. I would call these preliminary decisions our foundational choices that serve as the base line for our decision-making process throughout our lives. When your base line is built on the habit of making choices that are not easy and natural, it becomes easy and natural to make choices that are not easy and natural. Did you catch that?

Most of us don’t wake up brave, full of passion, energetic for life and full hope. Most of us have to make the conscious decision to CHOOSE BRAVERY, PASSION, ENERGY AND HOPE when there is none. And the more you make these choices the easier they get. It wasn’t easy for me to stay on the team back in high school but I believe making that decision made it easier for me not to give up when the odds were against me or when I had to face the sting of rejection (over & over) or when doors were closed in my face (over & over) or when there was nothing but $5 dollars in my account or when both my parents were having surgery back to back or when all hell was breaking loose in my life! That moment of embarrassment gave me the confidence, strength and backbone that I would need along my Journey. Trust me when I say that the breakthrough is in the running… not the winning!

Perhaps the very thing that you need is the thing that you are running away from. Whatever that thing is, it’s apart of your Journey. So, the next time your faced with a challenge (obstacle, fear, doubt, worry, anxiety, etc.) choose to hop in that race and run (have faith, be brave, stay positive, pray, etc.) towards that thing with the knowledge that your breakthrough and promotion is just around the corner!  

Honorable Mention: I can not thank my Sister and BFF enough for their full support on race day. They made these awesome signs (S/O to my Sister’s boyfriend for the awesome orange sign!) to cheer us on from start to finish! As we speak, they are gearing up for their first obstacle race and I will be there to cheer them on along the way. Thank God for family and friends!

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Take Care and Always Remember to Live for the Journey!