I was getting some reflection time in and setting goals for 2018 and it hit me...I really will be 30 this year!! I often joke that I'm much older than 29 because I was raised by my grandmother and father but it really put things into perspective for me. I still have life ahead of me and I have already come so far in these past 30 years. I have seen and overcome more than I would've thought possible, had you asked me when I was 8 or 9, I wouldn't be able to tell you that my life would play out the way that it has.
I started to think about how monumental this year is going to be for me. Not just because I'm hitting a milestone age but because of the promises that are resting on this year from the Lord. So much is in store and I'm still in cheerful expectancy!
In addition to it being my 30th year, it will also be my 5th year in business. The very same day actually (best birthday gift ever lol).
I'll start with the significance of the number 5 which is God's grace, goodness and favor. I can definitely attest to the fact that adding that 5th child has given me a grace and favor like never before lol. But that excites me because there is much more that will follow in this 5th year of business.
Now let's talk about 30...it signifies dedication to a particular task or calling. A symbol of authority, leadership, or rulership. The Aaronic priests were said to be physically and mentally mature at the age of 30, thus making them ready to enter ministry. Joseph was elevated to power at the age of 30 and David was 30 when he became king. See where I'm going with this?
Some encouragement for my '88 babies lol. 30 is my year for dedicating myself fully to leadership and my calling. Guess it's not so dirty after all!
Peace and Blessings
Ok let me explain. Mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly. Coincidentally my middle name Vanessa for a Greek name means butterfly. I am all about profound and beautiful transformations. I've talked about the legend of the Phoenix and the transformation that occurs after it dies. Beauty from the ashes over and over again. The butterfly also has an amazingly beautiful transformation process.
It originates as a creature that some might say is "ugly" or funny looking. Then it enters its maturation stage. During this stage the creature that some may mock, tease, despise and criticize; is hidden (catch it if you can). Hidden in a secret place while it rests and transforms. In this secret place the creature is being made new. Then the creature emerges. It breaks out of that secret place revealing its newfound beauty.
God has taken me through a similar process to both the Phoenix and the Butterfly. My old life and old self had to die so that, from the ashes, I could rise and fly again. I also went through a period of ridicule, shame and attack during a time when I wasn't at my best. So God hid me in His secret place. He veiled me so that He could mold me into a new beautiful creature. This formerly Caged Spirit is freed; flying in new beautiful majesty ready to change the world and shake the planet.
Each day spent in intimacy with the Father reveals more and more of my identity and calling. I encourage you to develop that intimacy. You never know what flightplan He'll put you on.
Peace and Blessings
These are the theme words for 2018 that I received for my family from God. In 2017 I almost gave up. On love, business, purpose, destiny, family and life. The enemy really tried to take me out, make me live in constant discouragement; and that pissed me off. Well it oissed me to purpose, to ACTION.
God told me that I better not give up and forfeit the return on the investment that He's made in me. He is finishing what He started. Stop letting people, including you, and their finite minds dictate how BIG HE IS! You made it to 2018, stop complaining; you still have purpose.
This year is the 5th quarter! That's what I received from a sermon yesterday. Things started to turn around a bit in the 4th quarter of 2017, so this whole year is going to be the extra 5th quarter that was needed to see a 360 degree turnaround!!! God is delivering EVERYTHING He promised last year. Everything that was held up is released! This excites me greatly because I have some important and valuable promises on me.
I was set back in 2017 and thought I was going to have to bulldoze my way through some stuff; some obstacles that arose. But instead I'm going to be catapulted OVER it all. Receive that for your 2018 as well! Forget what happened up until this point because it's ALL NEW from here on out! Rise up and possess the land. Period. That doesn't come with an "I guess" or an "I hope so" following behind it. You have to attach an "I KNOW so" to that. There's power in you and there's a CHAMPION in you. Go fight and WIN the year and the rest of your days!
God's grace and peace are sufficient. His peace keeps me focused. He gives me the grace that I need in order to handle all that He has assigned. It's not that it's effortless but it flows so well that it seems that way. If it's not flowing, check your assignment. It might either be reserved for a later season or it might not be yours at all. If it's reserved, stop trying to access it early, it's yours already just wait until it becomes available. If it's not yours, stop grabbing at it and release the death grip. That grip is killing you AND it.
His grace and peace keep me grounded, rooted in Him. They keep me calm, faithful, and trusting in the midst of trials. His peace allows me to transcend above my circumstances and lifts me out of despair. This in turn allows me to show His love and let His light shine through me. That confuses my enemies and makes the devil mad (you big mad or little mad lol).
His grace and peace give me permission to be whole and joyous despite the brokenness and hell that surround me. His grace and peace speak the truth that, while I "SHOULD" be out of my mind and strung out, I "SHOULD" be bitter and unforgiving, I "SHOULD" be full of hate, I "SHOULD" lack faith and hope; I still have beauty for my ashes. His grace and peace are the foundation for my Phoenix Song. His grace and peace are the assurance, the blessed assurance, that I will continue to rise, that I'll always bounce back, that through Him I will always win. They can be the same for you if you let them. Despite your flaws, faults and imperfections He longs to GIFT these to you. Not because you did anything to earn them but because He's just THAT GOOD. And don't even get me started on His MERCY!!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾
Single Parents....whether you are single and just happen to be a parent or you truly are holding things down on your own, don't let anyone tell you what your future will be like based on their negative assumptions. Here's what I mean...
I had an ex who used to tell me that I would never find anyone who would deal with me and 3 kids. His goal? To get me to keep settling for him and our verbally abusive relationship...Then my ex-fiance' came along and changed my mindset about that lie. After we split, someone else told me I was a "dub" (a wrap, a lost cause for those who don't know lol) because I had 4 kids and I might as well be single for the rest of my life. His goal? To keep me thinking that he was my only option even after he had already proven that he would only pick me up, use me and tuck me away until he felt like using me again....Then yet another man came along and still wanted all of me, including my four kids.
Now, I could've settled for that man because he was a great guy but his purpose didn't align with my own. I had to accept that while he was a great guy, he wasn't my guy that God had set aside specially for me.
That second guy? The user? Told me that I should definitely hang it up after my 5th child. By now I had gotten really good at laughing in his face and my block ministry was and is hella strong lol. I let him know that his plan to keep me available to him without the actual commitment had failed and to have a nice life. I could've settled for him too because he was familiar but that came with non-negotiables that I wasn't willing to expose my children to. And lo and behold, God still sent some men to remind me that I still had hope if I would just hold out and WAIT for His best. Not that impatient waiting where you say you're waiting but you keep picking the situation back up and try to play god in your own life...nah, truly WAIT in cheerful expectancy (yall know that's my phrase right there lol).
What did I do then? I focused on me and the ROOT of the issues behind these decisions that I kept making. I was lonely and I kept operating out of and making decisions out of that loneliness. I was basically telling God that I didn't think that He and myself were enough. That I didn't trust Him in this area of my life. That I didn't truly believe that His promise to send my husband was real. That had to change.
My future husband isn't here yet to take his place to lead our family, that's ok. But I also know who he isn't, especially those manipulators. I pray that you single parents out there realize that there is someone out there who will love you the way you want and deserve to be loved; don't settle for someone who seems nice or just good enough or even those who you have a familiar history with (that chapter is closed, move on boo.) Make sure to hold out for God's best for you. Don't let anyone, including you, make you feel like you don't deserve the best love. The love that is reflective of God's love for you.
Your past relationships failed, not you. You are not defective. You are not in need of a price reduction. Stop giving discounts just because you've made mistakes. Stop operating, loving and settling out of your broken, defeated past home. You don't live there anymore. As of today you are evicted from that place. You're not unworthy of God's best just because the last few relationships didn't work (even if none of them worked out you still can receive it). He wants to give it to you because He loves you. If God gave His gifts because we deserved them we would be hit; you are worth them because He claims you as His own.
Think about it this way, often times as parents we give our kids gifts even when they haven't been on their best behavior or made some poor decisions. He's our Father and does the same.
Don't ignore the red flags just because you're lonely or because they love you and that love has made you blind. I used to think so lowly of myself that I would overlook ANYTHING just because a man loved me. It was like, someone actually loves ME? Me, who keeps messing up, repeating the same cycles and still ain't learned from the mistakes? Oh, he has to be the one simply because he can love such a wretch. No honey, that's Jesus who gets the praise for loving my wretched self, bae gotta come with more than that ok? lol
Being brave enough to love again is a process with the goal being to get it right. Problem is most of us quit or settle before we get it right. My mistakes do not disqualify me from being smart enough to hold out for the best. They don't disqualify me from receiving what God wants to bless me with. My children are not a burden that my husband has to "put up with" in order to be with me. They aren't a justification for settling for crap or for less than I deserve; they are the reason that I CAN'T settle. It is because of them that I am not allowed to accept anything less than the best so that they know that they are worth the same; simply because of Who's we are.
Be blessed, I love you and there's nothing you can do about it.
Yes can be a powerful word. It signifies agreement and acknowledgement as well as understanding. Whether you are saying yes to a simple question or yes in commitment to a project or assignment; yes gives you a responsibility to that which you have agreed to or upon.
Yes in business:
Almost 5 years ago, I had to make the decision of whether or not to say yes to yet another home based business. You see, I could have used the excuse that my other attempts had failed so I shouldn't bother trying again. I also could have fallen into complacency as I had just started a decent paying job. With a "good job" why would I start a home-based business? Wouldn't that be overkill? Greedy?
The reality was, I never gave the other businesses 100% effort and my job didn't award me the freedom to raise my kids the way I wanted to or the income to get my own place without struggling.
My yes from that day not only helped me finally make a profit in business but also opened many other doors. I was set on a path to becoming a better woman and mother, less selfish and strengthening my relationship with God. Yes, my home-based business helped me re-connect and re-commit to God and His will for my life. It wasn't easy, however, it required sacrifice. I sacrificed time mostly as the investment yielded a return rather quickly. I probably would not have had to sacrifice so much time in the beginning if I wasn't so stubborn and dead set on doing things my own way. Which leads to my next yes lol.
Yes to ministry:
I ran for 10 years from anything having to do with ministry. My understanding was that ministry had to be in the pulpit, in front of the congregation weekly or nightly. I did not understand that there are different types of ministry and different platforms to operate from. We suffer from lack of knowledge right? Right. As a result of my disobedience and running, I endured much unneccessary pain. Well, I guess it was necessary because it made me who I am and molded me into who God needed me to be, but I definitely could have saved some time and pain if I would have just listened.
I remember talking to a friend about stepping into ministry and he told me that it is not a light weight to bear. Therefore, you should be really sure that you have in fact been called and that you have the maturity to see it through. But when I think of all the suffering that I endured by being disobedient, I would much rather go through the "pain" of being processed for ministry.
Once I finally gave God a yes (which was only in the last year or two), I was quickly realigned with God's will and, though things weren't perfect, they sure began to flow. I finished my first book and got about 10 other titles. I developed a 3rd stream of income with a strategy for a 4th. I became a Certified Christian Life Coach and continued to help those around me more efficiently. But most importantly, to me, I experienced peace for the first time and began to guard it like never before.
I faced much warfare but it was easier to go through with that peace and clarity. I discovered more and more about my purpose with each day. I got numerous revelations about where God wanted to position me and what He wanted me to do once I got into position. It all happened so suddenly.
There was a sacrifice that came along with this yes as well. I had to sacrifice who life had made me and get back to who God created me to be. I had to sacrifice the need to be accepted and validated by people; the need to be liked. I had to sacrifice the need to require payback from those who mistreated me; relinquish my grip on unforgiveness. Either way, there will be some type of sacrifice when you say yes to what is required. The question is are you willing to give up comfortability for prosperity?
I wanted to talk a little about colon health. This is an important topic for me because I have struggled with poor colon health for over 20 years. When I started my lifestyle change journey, I couldn't seem to get my tummy flat to save my life! Despite seeing some results, I kept hitting that "last 2 inches" plateau. Then I started to do my research and realized that the problem wasn't external fat, it was an internal blockage.
The colon is a major organ that is apart the process of getting rid of toxins and waste from the body. When your digestive system is irregular, the waste products and toxins build up and can cause health problems. Cleansing the colon regularly can help prevent blockage and decrease exposure to potential carcinogens (cancer causing agents).
This potential danger is one of the main reasons why it is important to watch what we eat. Putting toxic food in your body naturally leads to a toxic digestive tract. When you eat these toxic foods, they slow down the digestion process and causes incomplete elimination and waste back up in the intenstines. You could also become dehydrated which comes with its own set of problems.
Another issue that can result from impacted intestines is swollen lymph nodes in the abdominal area. The waste can build up and be stored there. Thickened lymphatic fluid plus dehydration can impair the immune system.
So, as you can already see, keeping a healthy and happy colon is important for prevention of other serious health issues.
Now, let's talk about ways you can get your digestive tract back on track
-Increased fluid intake: water will be one of your best friends when flushing the toxins from your Gastrointestinal (G.I.) tract.
-Increasing your fiber intake: we hear all of the time that we should have a lot of fiber in our diets and that it helps with digestion, after this you should have a good idea on how important it really is and how you can get a good start.
-Eating lots of fruits and vegetables: not only do they each serve a different purpose in regards to strengthening various body parts, they also have water and juices that can help with your fluid intake.
Here are some foods that can help clear out your colon:
§ Peas- They are rich in protein and fiber (there it is!). which helps with weight management as well as preventing constipation.
§ Tomatoes- they have a high water content which helps keep you hydrated thus leading to regular bowel movements
§ Apples- when the fiber (and again) found in apples ferments in the colon, the chemicals produced help fight the formation of cancer cells.
§ Lettuce- good source of fiber (it just keeps coming!) to help regulate bowel movements.
§ Garlic- (guess I'll have to break out the gum and deal lol) The antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic properties help to rid the body of toxins, disease causing agents and parasites. It also helps to reduce swelling, thus improving digestion and food absorption.
There are also two plant extracts that help to cleanse the colon especially when paired together.
§ Aloe vera leaf gel: the antioxidants found in the aloe vera leaf gel promote immune system health. Aloe vera helps detoxify the intestinal tract.
§ Blue agave extract- contains inulin which is a probiotic (good bacteria) and a type of fiber (get the picture yet?)
When the two are combined, they work together to nourish the good bacteria on your colon and promote healthy colon cells.
I can only speak on what I've researched and what I have experienced but, I happen to have found an excellent source of this power combo and I must say that my tummy is very happy!!!!!
Yesterday I got on Periscope and talked about the definition of catalyst. The definition that I chose to focus on was from dictionary.com:
a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes
others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.
That is part of my mission. To allow my light to shine so bright that others will be caused to be "lit" lol. To fire people up so that they can be their best selves. To inform, instruct and inspire; unlock the cage, unleash the fire.
So many people are stuck in cages or boxes that they've either put themselves into or that someone else has put them in. They become stuck in bad habits, harmful cycles, damaging relationships, etc. Until they become empty shells occupying the land and nothing more. Some barely functioning.
So many people dying full instead of pouring out what God gave them to the world.
My catalyst moment was a broken engagement. It followed a job loss and debilitating morning sickness. Initially it made me so mad and that's what fueled my steps forward. That changed shortly after (yet another post lol)
Soon I was setting goals and smashing them, operating from a place of peace instead of one of pain and desperation. That catalyst changed my entire life and those around me even though the situation itself didn't change. That didn't matter to me afterwhile because I had gotten the best end of the deal, I got freedom
No. I'm not talking about Beyoncé's song lol.
It is important to get in the right formation with God. What I means is that you need to be in the proper posture. Think about this...When you have poor body posture it causes pain in various body parts and sometimes even deformation or deterioration. So of course being in poor posture in Christ could bring about similar results. Not only do you need to be in the proper posture in worship but you also need to be in alignment with where God called you to be.
Proper posture in worship is visible. When you worship, you are in the presence of the King. It is custom to bow in the presence of royalty. So when you worship the King why wouldn't you bow your head and stretch your arms? It is also custom to address royalty with pleasantries and respect. So when worshipping the King of Kings open your mouth in adoration and praise. Not only does this confuse the enemy, it also pleases God.
When I was 19, I told my uncle that I felt called to ministry. I asked him how I could be sure. In fact, I just short of grilled him for answers and clarity. Part of my asking was because I didn't want to misstep, and be wrong, but the other part was fear of what that required. I wasn't ready to be judged by my past. I wasn't ready for the attempt at condemnation. I wasn't ready for all of my mistakes to be magnified with seemingly no hope of redemption. I wasn't ready for people to reject me because I was so young. Mainly, I wasn't ready to be stretched.
I wasn't prepared for the sacrifice that ministry would require. I didn't want to be cut, shaken and pressed for the anointing or prepared to bear the mantle. The strange thing is, my fear of being told that I was "wrong" for the position was the very thing that kept me from being in proper posture and alignment with God's will for my life.
Either way, I ran for almost 10 years. And wouldn't you know that God STILL cut me, shook me and pressed me in preparation to do just what He asked of me. He stretched my understanding of ministry and that it doesn't always look like the examples that I grew up around. It didn't mean that I had to have a church, or that I had to be a pastor or that I had to be in a pulpit preaching. He opened my eyes to see that ministry isn't always about the vehicle or the location, the most important part is the message and the true source of that message.
See God knew that I was going to run long before I knew. He also knew exactly which actions and events would need to happen before I finally yielded and gave Him a yes.
Some of us don't even get to the yielding. Some way somehow God uses our situations, choices, and stories to accomplish His plans. In my opinion, there's more meaning to the pain that comes from saying yes. When you rebel and go through all that pain, you did so just to stay the same or become worse. At least if you say yes, that pain can result in a beautiful transformation.
Back to formation lol. Proper formation and alignment with God produces order and requires discipline. Both of which are needed to accomplish the greatness that you are destined to. Even when it seems like things are all over the place; if you look a little more closely, you could find that everything is in perfect order. Not perfect by society's "standards" but perfectly tailored and ordered for you.
When you get your mind and spirit aligned with the Lord and in proper posture to receive what He wants to share with you, your body and life must follow. Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee". I felt that this scripture not only tell us of the importance of what we think in our minds and feel in our hearts but also shows an example of someone who isn't in proper posture.
Here you have someone who's mouth is expressing hospitality and generosity however, their hearts say differently. It's fake. They don't genuinely want to be hospitable, it's all about keeping up with appearances, earning your adoration and showing off what they have. The moment it no longer benefits them to be nice, they turn the tables.
That isn't God's desire. He doesn't want us to fake the funk. If you find yourself struggling to genuinely love, and wish well to, your enemy; ask for forgiveness and help. Don't pretend or vow to cut them off. Trust me, I know this isn't easy. God gave me a forgiving heart but even I had many moments where bitterness tried to creep in and settle.
We can't allow that to happen. If you are like me, pray for discernment so that you don't fall for the okey doke trying to be forgiving lol. If you truly have difficulty forgiving, pray for God to work on your heart and soften it. Either way, find a balance between forgiving and loving, even those who have wronged you, and limiting their access to you.
Jesus knew that Judas would sell Him into death but still loved him. But you better believe that Judas didn't have the same access as those closest to Christ.
Getting in proper formation means not only operating in your gifts to serve God and others, it also means loving properly in its entirety not just when it suits you or is easy.
Be blessed loveys!!!
Let's talk about stalling labor. No, I'm not talking about being in the delivery room of the hospital and screaming about being in too much pain to push anymore; so you decide to tell the doctors that you aren't going to push any longer. Or was that just me? With my first child I was a teen mom and I pushed about 3 times before I decided that I was going to put my legs down and go home. The doctors said "you can't, we can see her head!" That was when I learned that you can't go back once you're in the active stages of labor lol.
But seriously, I'm talking about being pregnant with purpose and the pain that you feel, just before birth, being so painful that you want to give up on pushing. Just like with natural labor, you can't stall forever. Had I not just gone through the difficulty of my physical labor 2 months ago, and survived and rejoiced, I might have forgotten the feelings of joy and happiness that come along with it once it is over.
That would have caused me to abort my purpose process yet again. But because I am so close to giving birth I have to push through the pain. The pain of trials and tribulations hitting left and right. The pain of feeling as if one thing after another is slamming you. The pain of feeling as if you're drowning under the weight of it all.
But that's just it. It was all about my feelings. And even though my feelings were valid, they could not be relied upon for proper judgment. Feelings are fickle and even though they are a part of daily life, we should not allow ourselves to be controlled by them.
The reality is, all of those trials and hardships helped to build my character. They helped to make me stronger, keep me focused and disciplined. They pushed me to go harder. Instead of retreating like I used to do, I pressed in. I didn't let up because I was too tired of the same alternative.
My ex leaving me 9 months ago was the implantation pain of the baby that was to be birthed this month (even though I was about 2 months pregnant with a natural baby). I needed to carry this to term as well. If I didn't push through this process, and become who I'm destined to become, what happens? I would end up on the street, without my children who give me life and furthermore the people who are assigned to me and to hear God through my voice could be held up. If I don't push through, I'll still be stuck doing the same ineffective things, bound by the same oppressors, losing left and right. I REFUSE to let that be my story when God wants to write me a new one.
A lot of us are in active labor this month and might be birthing ministries, businesses, projects, etc. and fear of the pain has caused you to try to stall labor. You know it has to come out but you're stalling. Don't feel bad, God is still going to bring beauty from it in the end of the process; you'll be relieved from the pain.
Many of you are complacent with where you are in life. You feel the tugging in your spirit that's calling you higher but you're too afraid to leave your comfort zone behind. I know I was there not too long ago. Enough is enough though. Make your mind up that you will stay the course not matter what. That you won't shrink back and give up. Tell hell "No, I'm going to finish this." There is no turning back.
Like I said, when the baby is about to come out, you can't say "I'll just wait and try again tomorrow or next month" So stop doing that with your destiny! Why in the world would I, or you, dare to give up when we're already in active labor? Even now, I'm writing this post during my 15 and 30 minute breaks at work because it has to get done. What do you have to do to GET IT DONE? Stop procrastinating and do it. I know it's easier said than done but if the former queen of procrastination can do it, why not you? lol.
You better grunt, scream, breathe, holler, punch, kick whatever it is that you do while in labor, but as I said when I was pushing 2 months ago "get her (your destiny) out!!!!!
Be sure to subscribe so that you can be kept up to date with the coming attractions! I will be releasing my book soon in which I take you through the wild ride towards freedom and inner healing over the last 10+ years! There is much more in store so stay tuned! Love you all and be continually blessed! ~Shalaya