Beck’s Blahg #3

Can you Supersize that?

True Story

13.-Popcorn-and-drinks

So there we were,  strolling through Mall of America as a family…like we normally did slow Saturdays. When, as usual, Olivia, my first born, spots something to ask for. This time she saw the Popcorn store front. “MOMMY, MOMMY!! Can we buy some popcorn, I LOVE popcorn”. How could I refuse those eyes? I had my hagendaaz, her brother had his baby snacks, so why not? “Okay Libby”, I replied. This particular vendor had popcorn galore. Spicy, Cinnamon, White Cheddar, Cheddar Cheese, Salt and Pepper, Caramel, the list went on and on. Like any 4 year old, Olivia is looking through the glass and making a life decision, taking an awkward amount of time to choose. “Can—I—get—meeeeeeee— uhhhhhhhhh? Uh?uh-“. I began to alternate stares between Libby and the Cahier saying “sorry, she’s just a toddler” with my eyes. The cashier was polite and just waited as if she knew how important this was to her. Finally the Cashier breaks the silence and says, “You can sample some popcorn if you like…” Oh Lord, what did she say that for? Libby leaped up and down like Christmas had come twice that year. The nice lady grabbed a petite tasting pixie cup and stuffed all three kernels of the white cheddar popcorn that Libby had pointed to. She reached over the counter expecting Lib to grab the cup, and she was left hanging. Swiftly I grabbed the sample and gave Libby the don’t-be-rude mommy look, said thank you to the cashier and attempted to give Olivia the pixie cup. She looked at me and then at the popcorn clerk and articulately verbalized, “excuse me, I can’t tell if I like it if I only have three. Can you put my taster in the big bag please?” At this point, I’m gasping. Let’s pause so I can break this down to you. The number ONE reason why Mommy’s stay in the house, is because of the overwhelming fear of their children acting up. Not just acting up-but showing out, embarrassing them, acting like they don’t have no’ home training, drawing negative attention, etc. YOU know what I’m saying. So you can imagine what was going through my head! First, we had been standing in front of the glass for what felt like an entire afternoon. Second, this cashier is being more than patient and accommodating. And third, her behind should have grateful that I was even allowing her to have popcorn as a mall snack that day. I rolled my eyes like my mother used to, and whispered through my teeth, “Libby!”. The cashier was taken back I could tell, but not in the bad “I don’t have time for this, this only my weekend job” kind of way that I expected. Perhaps she was impressed by this four year olds’ vocabulary, perhaps she was humored by her innocence, but whatever it was, before I knew it the lady was reaching for a big bag saying, “You know what? You are right. You need to be sure this is the kind you like. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that…” By this time, I’m like “huh?” I smiled and gawkily stood there as my parental authority to discipline Olivia was slowly being taken away from me… strike that last sentence from the record and take not that I am dramatic. My baby girl, turned negotiator, is now happily reaching for her regular size bag of sample White Cheddar popcorn, and the cashier looks at me and literally blows my mind with the wisdom she dropped on me. She smiles and says, “We have not because we ask not”. I was floored. I went to pay, she refused payment, and told Olivia that if she finds that she really likes that kind, to come back another day and buy more. I said thank you, we adjusted the stroller and walked away.

Chewing on her comment while walking through the mall, I couldn’t help feeling that I’d just been schooled.  Like, wow, “we have not because ask not”. That’s the word. There are a host of scriptures that refer to asking God what we really want with a pure heart and righteous intentions. James 4:2-3Mathew 7:7, and John 15:7-8, are just a few that highlight the power of purely asking and believing. Pulling from my previous post, God cares about us; those daily activities that are big and small.  As a Christian parent, teaching my children how to walk with the lord as well as walk in this natural life, I had to ask God to forgive me. Well first I thanked him, because it was nobody but God that sent that message to me that day at the mall. But I asked for forgiveness particularly because I was about to miss out on a huge opportunity to praise my baby for being polite, assertive, humble, sincere, and blatantly transparent. Characteristics that, I myself, struggle with and find hard to remain consistent with. Why was I so ready to discipline her? Yeah, it was unexpected, but was it wrong? My baby made absolute sense, she wasn’t rude, and she used her manners. When did we start answering all out wants, desires, and request with the answer of “no” and “impossible” in our own minds? And even if that is how I was raised, why am I passing that on as right? I had to seek God on this one. It may seem on the outside looking in, that I am raising a spoiled and entitled child. At that time I would agree, after all, that’s how I felt the popcorn lady was judging me. But, no. What is wrong with asking? You can get a no or a yes, either way, there is no harm. In the natural world there are reputation consequences to asking. If you ask for more food, you’re greedy. If you ask for a discount, you’re cheap. If you ask for a raise, you’re a premature over-achiever.  The world has taken away our power to want more, the “right” way. In the spiritual, there are no limits to what our God can do. And nothing is too small for him! What I seen in Olivia that day, I won’t change about her. Yes, I will teach her how to conduct herself in the appropriate settings, but as far as curbing her innocent sincere motives in seeking the things she wants in life, that’s not going to happen. Pray that God opens your mouth and you began to live freely, asking for what you want, denying and separating from what you don’t want, and living according to his purpose he’s set out for you. We can all learn from children, no matter how old we are.

– Rebecca Johnson

Calling All Daughters Member 

Be Encouraged

en·cour·age·ment
inˈkərijmənt,enˈkərijmənt/
noun
  1. the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.
    “thank you for all your support and encouragement”

    synonyms: heartening, cheering up, inspiration, motivation, stimulation, fortification

    Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

“I’m Just Tryna Change The Color of Your Mood Ring”

So what is left to do when you find yourself in that “mood”… And I mean this mood has crept up on you (kind of sort of). & you can’t quite put your finger on what it is that has got you in it, or how to even get rid of it…
Typical Christian Response:
Pray on it.
My Response: 
I did (insert “duh” emoji)
Typical Christian Response:
Well I’ll keep you in prayer
 
My Response:
Will you really?! I’d appreciate that a lot thank you… Then what?
We often find ourselves in this mood or funk because we feel stagnant. & that’s exactly what it was. I felt so complacent, like my goals weren’t exactly being executed. And then there was social media. Everyone was relevant, and I wasn’t. Everyone had 60.5K followers & I didn’t. Everyone’s plays on Soundcloud was on 100K & mine weren’t. Everyone knew everybodyyyyy & I mean I knew some folk but I ain’t know everybodyyyy. Ya know? & I knew that this did not mean anything but it still got to me.
It really made me sink into this deep place of always being in my thoughts… & I’m still kind of there. So what are gon’ do Tam? How do we evict this dark place you’ve been in, because if ANYTHING is clear it’s that it can’t stay here. THIS is not “it’s” home.
So here’s my list of 5 things that I did to work on getting out of my funk:
1. I prayed…
(Again, insert emoji “duh” face). And I mean spilled my heart to Jesus prayer. That’s what’s so great about Him, He listens. And I don’t mean that ‘still texting and scrolling through IG while listening’ thing that your friends normally do… He. Listened. & that in itself gave me comfort.
2. I listened…..
Now I don’t quite have this area down pact yet. Because sometimes it’s hard to quiet the voices in my head and what the world may think I should do. I love going to the park and just sitting in silence it’s usually in those times that I hear my God speaking clearly. & in that time that I receive clarification.
3. I journaled…
By now if ya don’t know I song write. That is my #1 thing that helps me de-stress myself. & the funny thing is my songs ALWAYS tell me how I’m feeling. But being able to write about it is one thing, being able to sing it out…?! Awwww man talk about releasing emotion?  This is the way to do it. My tears are stubborn, but usually they release themselves when I’m singing.
4. I listened to motivational music…
Music is always great, but there’s this very thin line we often are tight roping on when we’re going through. Because as much as I love me some Adele, quite honestly she is NOT the one to listen to when you’re going through (insert emoji cracking up face, man I wish I could really insert some emojis). So I turned to not only Gospel or Contemporary Christian, but even songs that talked about self worth & personal beauty. One of my fav’s is Daley’s “Those Who Wait”, because it’s speaking directly to how I feel. So yes, listening to music.
5. I made an effort….
Dag, I should’ve probably had a deeper last point huh? Sorry that’s it… I made an effort to use everything that I just listed to remove myself out of my “mood”. I know God knows my desires, I know He knows how I feel, & I know He’s left me here for a reason. I actually typed “placed” first & as I was editing this blog I replaced it with “left”. God didn’t “place” me in this mood, I “placed” myself here. Allowing comparison to get the best of me. So yes I made an effort. And I really can’t wait until it all becomes super clear.
So go out, go to the movies, treat yourself to dinner, sit in the park… Just DON’T sit in your mood.
Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ.
Be Encouraged. Ok that’s it. (Insert happy face)
Tamar Montuma
Calling All Fellowship Leader

 

#WETHESONS Blog Post #7

Matthew 6:28,32-33
New King James Version (NKJV)

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

In our attempts to be more godly, we try to ignore the truth that there are things that we still desire as natural humans. We are like middle school students in class trying to focus on the lesson, but it just so happens to be a perfect 77 degrees outside. The teacher is not ignorant to the fact that we desire to go outside or that we need to go outside, the teacher is just aware that it is most important to get through the lesson first, then explain the rules of behavior for recess before letting out the class. In the same way, God is not ignorant that there are things that we want. We may want new clothes, we may desire a new car, a new job, entrance into a school, a relationship, etc and God is very aware of that. We may even need  some of those things to help keep our fire for Him because they are rewards for our faith to further encourage us in using faith, but first we have to get through the lessons. The issue that most of us come across is not that we want do not want to seek the Kingdom of Righteousness; the issue is that we do not want to seek the kingdom first. Our priorities and expectations for our lives tend to overshadow the will of God. We want God to give us what we desire first, and then we will be able to seek Him out and then we’ll be able to serve Him better. What I’m finding out is that the Kingdom of Heaven rarely operates in that order. We are usually required to give first before we receive. Why? Because every opportunity is a faith building opportunity and our ability to overcome our doubts pleases God. God helps us please Him by requiring us and prompting us to give Him first what He desires of us. That would also be grace. God already knows what we need before we ask solely because He is good (not because we deserve it). The things that we desire, God says that He gives beyond what we could imagine it to be, but He wants our attention first. We tend to have spiritual ADHD but there is a settlement in faith that comes from seeking God first for the sake of honoring Him and not materialism. We have to shift our mindsets knowing especially that just focusing more on God instead of what we want will place us on a path of God given blessings. 

By: Lanre Animashaun

Calling All Sons Facilitator