Jan 29, 2016

I am trying to find my footing where believing in God’s promises is concerned. Nana shared a video with me of a man whom God showed his daughter when he was 15 years old. After getting married and trying to conceive (and failing) the couple began to wonder and question the promise God gave to them. Long story short, it turns out the daughter that God showed them was a daughter they adopted.

It was a beautiful story, it made me tear up; it was admirable how they hung on to God’s promise even in the midst of all that disappointment. After I watched the video, I thought to myself: what a beautiful, but depressing story. God gave this guy a promise and the guy and his wife interpreted the promise one way but God fulfilled it in a different way. Dare I say, he fulfilled it in a way that was (in my opinion) a bit unsatisfactory. God did fulfill his promise: that he’d have a daughter named Chloe, with olive skin, but that daughter was not the fruit of his own body. Does the child make it less theirs because it was through another woman? Nope. Perhaps that is something to explore in a different post.  But this story made me realize something. I realize that sometimes God’s promises are almost allegorical. They go beyond the obvious words that he gives you. In the case of the video, this man was given a vision of his daughter, and the name of the child; but it turns out this child was one they would adopt. Obviously there is a tinge of disappointment there. I assume God didn’t tell him, “the fruit of your womb will produce this beautiful child named Chloe.” The man and his wife read INTO what God’s promise was, rather than reading out of it.

Why I believe in you...

Jan 24, 2016

Have you ever felt this emptiness inside of you? As though there has to be more to life than just this. Ever just stood still and let the wind sweep across your face as you watch normal people just go about their day. Questioning their very existence. We only see the outside of human beings; we don't really understand their interior. We don't see the hurt, the burden they carry; the lie they have to live with or the challenges they face. We only see what they choose to present, what they want you to know about them. We don't see the mental battle they deal with on a daily basis; the amount of time it took for that individual to get up and start their day. Do you just sit there and ever think that you are human just like the people who walk pass you every day? You don't utter a word to them. You will never know who they are. You probably won't ever cross paths with them again. But we pride ourselves that we are better because of our status and the money we have. The job titles we have or degree that is framed on our wall. Do you ever stop to just think about these things? If you answered no to all these question then I guess I'm alone in my thoughts once again.

See, this thing called life remains a mystery to me.
From the very moment we escape from our mothers womb we come into contact with reality--although we may not know it or understand it yet. We are birthed into a world of naive perception. Some parents speak good in their children’s life. They claim titles for them, declaring power, and bold statements in their career choice and endless blessings. However, there are others who are birthed into a world of loneliness. The power of rejection is strong and ever-present from conception. At an early age the very thing or only thing we think we know is family. We build bonds with them, put our trust in them wholeheartedly.

But as we become aware of our reality, our perception of our family’s unconditional love changes. Our straight paths become crooked as we encounter the storms of life. Our dependency is no longer on the ones that have nurtured us from birth but in ourselves. Life starts to choke us up and we start to realize that we could possibly be alone to fight this battle. Now, everyone has encountered a period where their dopamine levels drop. "I want my happy back" and all the cliché terms seem to periodically play in your head. But yet happy is nowhere to be found. 

There's A Stranger In My House

Jan 22, 2016

I titled this entry There’s A Stranger In My House based on the song by Tamia. I do think that there is a stranger in my house. My temple has been housed by a stranger for too many days now and I can no longer let this be. I have neglected myself; I’ve not been caring for myself as I should be. I do not eat well, I don’t work out; I haven’t been putting in effort to dress the way I’d like. I’ve been lazy, uncaring, unbothered, and disrespectful to my body. This is not me. I don’t know who this stranger is but she has got to go!

I have been thinking about what Self-Love looks like and how one gets to a point where one has learned to love oneself, from head to toe. I think  part of self-love is self-care: taking care of the body that you have, and getting to a point where you reach equilibrium with your body. To me, equilibrium is when everything is functioning as it should; you are in tune with your body’s needs and are able to respond to them adequately. I know this to be true for myself. I have not been at my healthiest state for the past 2 years because of various things that I allowed to overwhelm me, and my body has deteriorated slowly but surely. This year I have devoted to caring for myself—to eat better, exercise and do things that bring me pleasure, things that make me feel good about who I am.  I have to remember that my body is the dwelling place of God. My body, with all its nuances and flaws has been deemed good enough by God for him to live in. My spirit and soul live in this body. I have to start nourishing it better. Our bodies take care of us when we take care of it. You’ll immediately notice when something is not right; or when you feel yourself getting sick; or something just seems a little off. I notice these things about myself, and I have noticed it for quite some time now, but they have largely gone ignored because life sucks sometimes! And it’s ok. But I know I have to start doing better!

We shouldn’t only think about our bodies as temples when we think about abstinence. We have to look at it holistically. A temple is a place of worship, and a dwelling place of God. You don’t want a temple that looks like it’s about to collapse on the outside, yet be flawless and clean on the inside; nor do you want a beautiful temple on the outside, but a sepulcher on the inside. Neither of them is attractive.

So start that work out plan! Commit to clean eating. If you fail, just keep trying. And remember, you are not doing this to meet anyone’s standard of beauty; or to be a great success story; or anything else. You are doing it to take care of yourself, to allow the beauty within to truly be reflected from head to toe, to be in sync with yourself. Just because your temple is wider, or pointier, or rounder with more rough edges than smooth, doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful. Not all temples are built the same, nor do they even look the same, neither are they privileged in the same way. But they are valuable to the ones who worship in them. God resides in you. He worships with you. Your soul and spirit reside there. They are you. Your temple is so beautiful, and valuable, and is worth your gentleness, your love, and your care. 

For the sake of Love.

Can having a tattoo limit God's Mercy ?

Jan 19, 2016

A couple of months ago my grandma passed away. I wasn't emotionally moved by her death because I only met her once, I was grieved because my father was grieving--but we will leave that story for another day. As my house was being swarmed with visitors who wanted to pay their respects, I lingered around the family room trying entertain the guests. In the midst of the chatter and catching up, a close family member of mine realized that I had a tattoo on my forearm.

"You have a Tattoo?" she asked, her tone saturated with disappointment.
I nodded and tried to move away from the conversation, but she continued:
“You know God hates tattoos right?”
I smiled awkwardly at her and pretended not to hear the words she had just uttered.

But I was overwhelmed with emotions. A part of me wanted to look at her and tell her to mind her own business, and the other part just wanted to clap back and tell her to read her bible again in the right context.

But, however I handled the conversation wouldn't present a good outcome. Although I didn't respond back to her comment the words resonated in my heart, as though I should be ashamed of who I am in Christ because of a tattoo I had. Her expression and words made me really think. I thought about her quick judgement against me having something that in my culture isn't culturally accepted. I thought about how sometimes people don't really think before they speak ( i'm guilty of that myself) and how words can cut really deep if we're not careful with the words we choose. Even though I was bothered at the moment with what she had said I managed to quickly brush it off.

I got the tattoo before I started to take my relationship with God seriously. Although I heard many Christians say extreme things such as: " You will go to hell if you get one" I mentally prepared myself for the critics who would judge me on my tattoo. So as I pondered those words, I thought about God's grace and mercy. Was his mercy not in my life? Would he punish me and send me to hell because I had a tattoo? There were times I would be afraid to go to church and raise my hand and worship freely. I was so self conscious about what people would say. This really limited my worship. But the same God who knew I had a tattoo on my forearm saved my soul. He redeemed me and made me his. Did he not see that my tattoo would take me to hell ? Yet, Christ still chose to love on me and pour his grace and mercy on my life when no one did.

The topic of tattoos is such a touchy subject to talk about especially for Christians. This post isn't to encourage anyone to go out and get their arm sleeved-- but to grab hold of the reality that telling someone that having a tattoo is going to take them to hell is no way out of love. We tend to forget about all the things that God hates that we do on a daily basis that should doom us to hell.  Like gossip, slander, fornication etc. If we were to highlight all our invisible sins, wouldn't HELL be knocking at our door?

We shouldn’t choose only to refrain to do things because of Hell. We should fear and tremble to do things because God hates it and we want to honor Him. Let our form of worship be to love God not because of our fear of hell.  

In my OPINION there isn’t anything wrong with getting a tattoo. I do encourage you to check your heart and motives as to why you should want one and seek to God for the guidance and direction. I can only speak from my experience and I know that God continues to still love me with a marking on my arm that my culture may not fully accept. The state of our hearts is much more important to God than markings on our body. That’s the truth.  

Let our judgement be pure and out of love so that others who don't know the Lord can feel accepted despite the choices and decisions they have made in the past. To answer the question to the post, Does having a tattoo limit us from God's mercy. The answer is simply--NO!

Although many may not agree with this post. It's not up for debate. I wrote the post to draw upon my own experience and to encourage those who may feel self conscious about having a tattoo

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  | 1 Samuel 16:17|

for the sake of his Love,

Jan 11, 2016

"But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." |JOB 23:10|
for the sake of His Love,

Introducing #CREATEINME (creative me)

Jan 8, 2016

I tried to gather all my thoughts to write this post and to be honest; the weight on my heart and my jumbled thoughts had me all the way messed up.

There are times when it's difficult to look at my reflection in the mirror and just love myself. I point out all the wrong things about me to match the idea of of how I should look.

I remember last summer coming home after work and just crying to myself. I wasn't even sure what exactly got me all worked up. Maybe it was the fact that for about 9 years I've struggled to match up to the standard of what the world calls beauty, literally trying every form of acne treatment while receiving unsolicited advice from random strangers and family members who have no idea the internal struggle of self love I face on a daily basis. Or maybe my mind reminding me about all the negative things that people have said about me to feed into my insecurities. Or the fact that I was supposed to graduate on time and have my degree framed so I could look proudly at my accomplishment--but I'm 23 and I'm still working on my undergrad. There so many other reasons that could have made me sad that day. But I wasn't happy with my reality.

Somewhere in-between my jumbled thoughts, I had lost myself, and although I wanted better I really couldn't grab a hold of my truth.

I was talking to a friend today and she said something very interesting to me: she said no one wakes up wanting or wishing to be worse than they already are. You could be at the lowest point of your life but you will still want better for yourself.

So, why is it that we want better but better isn't always the thing we run to?

There is no exact answer to that question. Why? Because everyone’s idea of better is different.

I can only speak on my truth of what my better is.
And that is, to express myself through writing-- something that took me forever to figure out that I love immensely.

I realized that writing has always been a part of me; it's something that God created in me while I was in my mothers womb. 

For you created my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. | Psalms 139:13|

The verse became some much more apparent once I started understanding that every thing about our identity God created within us. He doesn’t miss a thing; our art is the expression of God’s handiwork.

I always had the idea that God had forgotten about me, and there was nothing special about me to embrace my better. I wrote in a previous post before that I envied others for their gifts because
1. I was so focused on others;
2. Sometimes churches tend to praise and uplift other gifts more. 
I really want to encourage those who may not necessarily use their talents and gifts in the 4 corners of the church or feel like they don't fit when it comes to finding a perfect ministry to utilize their talents and skills.

So I came up with this idea called CREATEinME. It’s a play on words for CREATIVE ME.

This year I'll be featuring people on my blog who inspire me in their creative process /gifts. Whether it's through writing, designing, music or any creative form, I want their creative style to be embraced and for them to really accept and believe that this is everything God made them out to be. They are not exempted.  

I just want to be clear: I still struggle every single day to feel my best or be at my best. But through God's Grace I'm embracing my better and hopefully I can help others embrace theirs too.

If you want to feature on my blog:
You can email me at nanaohhsakeoflove@gmail.com

for the sake of His love,

Happy New Years| 2016!

Jan 1, 2016

Can I be real with you guys ? This whole week I haven't given the Lord much of my time. I've been so consumed with the holidays, my focus has been all over the place. I know it's no excuse but I am human and sometimes my desires and priorities can get out of order. I just love the fact that the new year just gives us the opportunity to forget the past and move forward. Time and time again we make countless mistakes and beat ourselves up over it forgetting Gods wonderful mercies and grace. We cripple ourselves from our own progress by letting our faults control our thoughts and actions. I spent last year grieving over my flaws instead praising God. May this year be a year we press on despite the hardships, distractions and setbacks. May you find joy, peace and happiness. I'm praying this year will be a year of growth for me and you. I'm excited for 2016 ! I have so much ideas and things i'll be adding to the blog. So look out for that!

I want to wish everyone a wonderful year. Don't be consumed by your mistakes, give room for your progress and trust in the Lord that He's working it all out for you.

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. | Lamentations 3: 22-23|

for the sake of His love, 

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