Spiritual Disciplines

Spiritual disciplines have always been a massive part of my life. I do not do all of them all the time, but I do most of them all the time. Spiritual disciplines include Church attendance, Bible reading, Prayer, and Fasting. Many Believers participate in the first three but not so much concerning Fasting.Spiritual-disc-fasting

Every year, hundreds, if not thousands of people worldwide participate in the spiritual discipline of Fasting. Fasting is designed to deny yourself and become introspective as you read the Bible and pray. Some think of it as something special, while others think it is weird and outdated. Let’s face it, today, people would say, “Why are you denying yourself? Don’t do that.” However, I recall the generation of my grandparents saying and believing that you move the hand of God when you shove the plate away and pray.

I have participated in Fasting for many years. Each time I would enter that time with the hope that God would show me what He wanted me to do in the new year. This year was no different; I entered the year being excited, focused, and intense about seeking the Lord. I will be the first to admit that I sometimes approach spiritual disciplines expecting God to show up in a loud and active way, but that’s not been His practice with me over the years. This year was no different.

What did happen was something very practical for my life and done in the most subtle and gentle way. God showed me that I need to relax and not be so high-strung. I need to pull back when I feel my anxiety rising, and I need to watch how I work with others so that I do not drive them so hard that they feel fearful or exhausted. I honestly think that is the purpose of Fasting—getting quiet and allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal our areas of deficiencies so that we can be better. These revelations are not designed for us to feel condemnation, guilt, or self-loathing. Instead, revelations help us face who we are and understand our need for Jesus.

My grandparents taught me that Fasting was not public and showy; it is a private matter, a commitment to spend time in God’s presence. I mention Fasting because I think it has become more of a fad or ritual for some, rather than the act of really seeking God’s face. I noticed this year I repeatedly said to others that I was Fasting and immediately felt condemned because I did not want them to think I was boasting. As a result, I found myself evaluating my thoughts and motives. See, self-evaluating is always a good thing. That’s why I love the scriptures. It tells us that God loves us, but He also knows our hearts and tests our anxious thoughts.

Embrace Today…

If you are like me and can look back over the last two years and say you are still happy & peaceful, I do not think we should only say we are grateful, but we must live our lives like we are. I have always been a hopeful person, but more than ever, I feel the need to live today because God has blessed me with it.

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The older I get, the more aware I am of how much time I might have left on this earth. However, the last two years brought it home. Not only did we live in isolation the first year, thinking by the end of the year we would emerge happy and healthy, but we also entered a second year with the same challenges that kept us guarded and somewhat isolated as the year before. Then, just when we thought we were coming out of a pandemic, variations of a virus, we all came to know as COVID-19 began to show up in the form of Delta and Omicron. Our lives started to unravel again as we had to go back to measures that had already exhausted us.


In addition to the pandemic, we had to deal with other issues of life that could have quickly taken away our hope. For me, the last year brought about traumatic matters to my life. Friends who I loved and cared about deeply, without any warning, were no longer here. How could that be? Angel was only 28; Melanie was not even 50! Mike was still playing music and maybe 60! The loss of these precious friends and unique relationships caused the realness of how uncertain our time here is to set in. I still don’t think I have recovered yet. Anytime I experience a series of losses, I start to reflect on my mortality. I wonder if you also do. Mortality is hard to face, yet we all must meet it someday.

grateful for today

As we enter this New Year, I do not want to do so with a sad and depressing message. Instead, I want to offer hope. I want to remind you that today is yours if you are blessed to see it. Tomorrow is not promised, and we never know when it may be our last. And no matter what tomorrow holds, just be assured that God has tomorrow. He also offers hope. Despite all that happened during the previous two years, what I remember most are the beautiful things that happened in my life. I got a new job, another degree, a new home, and new friends. See? Even when we go through stuff that makes us feel helpless, we have to look for the other things God sends along the way. I bet you will find that you experienced as many beautiful things as you did of the other.


Whenever you need to lift yourself out of a funk in the new year, turn to the one source that offers hope to the hopeless, peace to the unsettled, and joy amid sadness. Do not look to your surroundings to be joyful; you will be lost. Look to God. Psalm 42:5-6 reads, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” The Psalmist is saying, “I don’t care what state I find myself in, and right now it is in total despair; God is still my hope.”


For any challenges you face in the New Year, hold on to scripture that gives you hope. Tell yourself today is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad. Be intentional in the way you embrace the day. Someone may need you to lift them. May our God of peace fill your heart with love, joy, peace, and confidence that today is a day you choose to bless Him and others.

Reflect Lately?

I was out running one morning recently, and as my feet pounded the pavement in the early morningsunset hours, I noticed the sky was a beautiful red and blue color. I didn’t stop; I kept running, trying to get my workout done. However, I felt as though the red was getting redder and the blues bluer as I ran. I still would not stop (I needed to get done). At some point, though, I felt God had been trying to get my attention gently, but because I didn’t listen, it felt as though He yelled, “Stop and look!” So, I did. I stopped and looked at the sky with amazement. I then took out my iPhone and began taking pictures. I posted those pictures to social media, and apparently, more than 100 people felt the same about how beautiful they were. As I viewed those pictures, I was able to reflect on God’s goodness. What a wonderful life I have lived. I thank God every day for blessing my life as He has done, and I want to be and do all that God has called me to be and do.

Like many of you, the last year has caused me to reflect a lot. Not just because of the pandemic, but as you grow older, I think one tends to look at life and wonder if you left the earth today, would you have made a difference. I am not saying that we must make some vast world-changing impact, but I wonder who will miss me when I am not here anymore. I realize initially, people are sad that we are no longer around, but after a while, even they settle into their own lives, and those they have lost may slowly fade into the background. Anyway, as I reflect on my life, I quickly recognize that I have more years behind me than in front.

What about you? Have you reflected lately? Have you thought about how each day you make a ripple effect into the lives of others? I have. Recently a person told me that I made a significant difference in her life years ago. She said that although college was accessible to her, it was just not something she had thought of pursuing until she met me. Today, she holds advanced degrees. As such, I began to think about several people I had encouraged to go to school so that they would have opportunities that may have evaded them otherwise. They did, and those doors opened. They don’t have to give me any credit; that’s not what I am looking for at all. But I will say it makes me feel good that this one person didn’t wait until it was time for my eulogy to let me see that I made a difference.

Person sitting quietly on the edge of a dock watching the sunset

Today, think about how you can impact others in significant ways. As much as people can frustrate, disappoint, and anger us, God calls us to think of others. I know it is hard, but God will make sure to reward you for your acts of selflessness. Remember, we don’t need recognition here on earth; although it is nice, we need to do what God has called us to do and let Him handle the rest. I am confident in saying that I guarantee He will.

Why Gratitude?

It should come as no surprise that during this time of year, I would focus on Gratitude. So, before I sat down to write my column this month, I stopped and reflected on the word. I don’t want to go through the same old sentiments you hear year after year. Because quite frankly, Gratitude is something I believe we take for granted. Do you know what I mean

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What I mean is that it feels kind of superficial to say this is the season to be thankful, when to me, every single day that we are alive is a day to be grateful. I mean, look at the last several years, not only in the United States but throughout the world. Racial tensions, divisiveness, increased anger and violence, and a pandemic. If we survived getting some fatal disease, we should be grateful. If we could overcome the loud voices spewing violence and hatred without losing our true north, be thankful. If we still have our homes, jobs, family members, and even relationships with old friends, that’s reason to be grateful.

What is Gratitude, and why do we need to have it? I think there are two kinds of Gratitude —both important, but I want to focus on biblical Gratitude. One author wrote that biblical Gratitude means to give goodness and grace to others, as we have received from God. It means to extend the joy of receiving to others and God through gestures of kindness and goodness. It is what Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

I trust when we extend these gifts to others, we get them in return. I also believe that the only way we can genuinely exercise these fruits is to start by recognizing that all of these are extended to us by the grace of God. As such, we should be thankful that He thought enough of us to extend them. Some might ask, “How did He do that?” Through His Son, Jesus. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son. Whoever will believe in Him will not perish but have life.” You might not be able to wrap your mind around these scriptures, and I can understand that. People have asked me how I can believe them. Well, I tell you how, through faith. Faith that when I give, I will receive. When I forgive, others will forgive me, and when I show grace to others, people will extend that same grace to me. For that, I am grateful.

I honestly believe that. Gratitude tends to eliminate cynicism, sarcasm, and mistrust. A thankful heart creates optimism rather than pessimism. And, it causes us to give others the benefit of the doubt. You know, the same we ask others to do for us.

Born to Thrive!

Most days, I feel as though I can conquer the world, and then, there are days when I think the world is defeating me. That feeling doesn’t last too long, however. I was born to thrive! At least that’s what I tell myself. The feeling of not just surviving but thriving has been with me since I was very young.

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I recognize to hear someone claim that they thrive sounds self-assured and assertive. But, as much as I’d like to think I can face anything and overcome any obstacle, there is always anxiety behind the face of that courage.

The truth is, the fiercest of us experience our share of anxiety. Whether it is dealing with the loss of a job, an end of a marriage or relationship, or a betrayal of any kind, life can get the best of us. When I face struggles, I generally turn to scripture to ease my stress and I pray for guidance as to my next steps. Being a person who tries to control my destiny, I get frustrated when I feel I am not in control. Being a woman of faith, I caution myself to stop trying to control everything. To leave it, only to find myself going back trying to handle the situation again. If you are a control freak and feel you are not in control, anxiety comes. If you are a laid-back and carefree person and deal with those who are not, you probably feel that situation bringing about pressure.

Just remember, for anything that seems to overwhelm us, there is an answer. The answer to me can always be found in scripture. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in all things with prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” This scripture puts things into their proper perspective. Stop worrying, focus on what is essential, and thrive mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

What do I thrive? I know it’s because I have the assurance through faith that God has my back. As Tauren Wells sings, “If I am on the mountain, He is there. When I am in the valley, He sees me there.

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Anxiety is as much a part of life as breathing but thriving takes intention. Someone said, “An intention is more than a thought or a theory about how you want to live; it is the thought and determination to make that change.” That change starts with our heart, and our attitudes will follow. How can you thrive? Think free like a child. Find an exercise that you will learn to enjoy and do it. Take risks. Take walks. Laugh a lot. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Now, these are easier said than done, but that’s why I say intention is key to thriving.

Valuing Tradition

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Many days I sit back and consider my life. I am generally overwhelmed with emotion when I think about how blessed my life has been. I think about the woman I am today and how who I am was so heavily influenced by my maternal grandparents.


When I was very young, I used to be embarrassed by the religious practices of my grandparents. They were Pentecostals, and if you know anything about this tradition, they (We) are very expressive and somewhat emotional in our faith, especially in worship. I remember how my grandmother would worship unrestrainedly while my grandfather was calm, relaxed, and collective. They were the best people on the planet, and I did not know just how much they meant to me until they were gone. I could be anywhere in the world, and I would call my grandmother just to say hi. I can still hear their distinctive voices encouraging me to run on!


My grandfather would sometimes sit in his chair in the front yard, and you would hear him singing to himself, “I’m gonna trust in the Lord. I’m gonna trust in the Lord. I’m gonna trust in the Lord until I die….” I can still hear those words, and some days I find myself singing them to myself.


Today, many years after they have gone, I find myself sitting and reflecting on them and their influence on me. Longromans 1-16 before they left this earth, I was no longer embarrassed by them and the way they praised the Savior. Instead, I turned into them. My mind goes to the scripture today that reads, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation. To all who believe…” Romans 1:16. They were never ashamed. They served and praised God with all they had. They demonstrated true, deep-hearted worship to their King, and that, I believe, kept them from falling for anything.


Maybe that’s what the world needs today; people of faith committed to praise and worship rather than buying into the importance of popularity and worldly accolades. We have come a long way, but that may not always be the best. It may be time to stop laughing at old practices and reconnect to them. Maybe we will find our true selves again. That’s what I find myself doing these days. It may be because I am older. Whatever the reason, I know how important faith has been in my life, and I am thankful my faith-filled, expressive grandparents modeled it before me. I continue to do the same. Anything less would dishonor them.

What are you pushing back, ignoring, and refusing to enter your life? Maybe it’s time to stop and ask yourself will those aged practices help you? Perhaps they will or maybe not, but don’t dismiss something because it is aged; it might be the one thing that can bring you encouragement in discouraging times and value in times when the world may be making you feel worthless.

~LaSharnda

Fan the Flames?

Recently, I have thought seriously about just disconnecting. Some time ago, a person said to me that they could not keep a gratitude journal I had suggested because they did not see themselves writing the same things day after day in that journal. They were thankful, but they would get bored doing the same exercise each day. I remember thinking that I had done it for years and I could do it. But, I also felt that I would never stop doing it.

fan the flames

For years, I have gotten up in the early morning hours to read the Bible and pray. However, over the last year, I have noticed my early morning prayers getting shorter. I can remember saying to God to stir in me the passion for worship, His Word, and fellowship with others, just as I had when I was younger. I prayed that my prayer process did not become mechanical and mundane. Now, I feel that is exactly what it has become.

What do I do when I feel the very thing that has kept me is somehow losing its appeal? What happens when I don’t feel like reading, praying, or even interacting with others? Then it came to me. The reason I read, prayed, and took part in routine fellowship was for moments just like these. When I reflected on the “why” of my emotional state, I found that to be a good process. To ask myself questions that force me to look inward and evaluate my life is what many people go through. Those who have strong faith recognize what’s happening immediately. Do you know why? It’s because we have exercised specific disciplines throughout the years.

What do you do when you feel distant & disconnected from God or the people of God? How do you handle the feeling of ineptness, routine, boredom, or downright “I don’t feel like it anymore?” I will share what I have done. I have stepped back and asked the Holy Spirit to show me what to do. I have also asked the Holy Spirit to stir up a fire in me. I don’t believe that I would know to do that had I not read that in the Bible repeatedly over the years. In 2 Timothy 1:6-14, we are told the following: “That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands.” This scripture speaks to me. Even more is what comes after in verse 7,  “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and love and calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 

These scriptures are reminders of a couple of things to me. First, I have to know without a doubt that regardless of what I am feeling, God is with me. He said He would not leave me or forsake me. As such, I have to trust that if I would pursue Him, I will find Him. Stirring up the fire to me means to press through despite the so-called boredom. It means to think of the things of God or the enemy will have me thinking, “why bother?” Also, I realize that I have a responsibility to fan the flames and trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest. Second, I have to be bold enough to say to myself or my distractions that there is power in the disciplines. I don’t have to feel an emotional high; instead, I have to trust God. If I go boldly to the Throne of Grace, He will be there waiting.

So, what do you do when you “feel” you have lost your fire? Fan the flame! We’re not as hot and burning as when we first received the Lord. But Romans 12:11 encourages us not to be “slothful in zeal, but be burning in spirit, serving the Lord.” So, remember, when you go through the season of slothfulness, God wants us on fire for Him. It may not be in your human spirit, but your born-again spirit will be willing.

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These scriptures are reminders of a couple of things to me. First, I have to know without a doubt that regardless of what I am feeling, God is with me. He said He would not leave me or forsake me. As such, I have to trust that if I would pursue Him, I will find Him. Stirring up the fire to me means to press through despite of the so-called boredom. It means to think of the things of God or the enemy will have me thinking “why bother?” Also, I realize that I have a responsibility to fan the flames and trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest. Second, I have to be bold enough to say to myself or to my distractions that there is power in the disciplines. I don’t have to feel an emotional high, rather, I have to trust God. If I go boldly to the Throne of Grace, He will be there waiting.

So, what do you do when you “feel” you have lost your fire? Fan the flame! We’re not as hot and burning as when we first received the Lord. But Romans 12:11 exhorts us not to be “slothful in zeal, but be burning in spirit, serving the Lord.” So, when you go through the season of slothfulness, remember, God wants us on fire for Him. It may not be in your human spirit, but your born again spirit, is willing

We Were Created to be in Relationships

intimacywithGodAs much as I enjoy being alone, forced isolation isn’t something I am very fond of. On Sunday, I went into the office to do a little work and check-in with some consultants. I thought I would get an update and quietly work in my office while they did their thing. I had met one of the consultants but not the other. Once there, another person popped into the office, and before I knew it, 5 of us were in my office chatting away. At first, both consultants were somewhat timid in speaking, but once we got going, so did they. Once we finished with the update, I asked if I could get them lunch. They were about to leave the building when someone said, “How about we walk up the street and eat together?” That’s what we did.


We walked and talked and talked some more, occasionally switching off the person we were walking with ease. As we walked, all of a sudden, we heard Praise and Worship music coming from somewhere close. I recognized the song immediately but did not think the others would. The song kept drawing my attention, and someone said, “Wow, listen to that Praise and Worship music.” Right then, I knew that at least one person in that group shared a similar background to mine. I asked him if he knew that song, and boy did he know it and a host of others. He was a Praise and Worship team member. When I asked at what church? He replied, and it was the same church I attended before the pandemic outbreak and before I moved to another area. It was nice to hear his comments. Later at lunch, he began asking who was my favorite Old School Christian singer. I thought I would stomp him when I recalled The Hawkin singers, and he named Tramaine, Walter, and Edwin. But then he said, “Andre Crouch!” I was thrilled. While we ate, the other consultant began talking about some of the same people, yet she had to be 30 years my junior. I asked her where did she attend church, and her answer thrilled me too. Lunch with this group turned into a more Christian-fest than a business lunch.


christianview of relationshipwithGodAs I drove home, I felt the day was productive. More than productivity, however, I believe that day was ordained. As I thought about a “TFT” (Thought For Today) I post to social media every day, I recalled the one I had posted for Sunday—it was that God created us for relationship. First, relationship with Him and then relationship with each other. The Bible tells us the first command is, Love the Lord, and the second is like it, and that is to Love your neighbor. Loving others is hard, especially when we do not see eye-to-eye. People who don’t think like us can frustrate us, and when we begin focusing on what is so different about them, we lose the opportunity to see what is lovely, even fascinating about them.


Many have complained about being forced to isolate ourselves from others as we faced something many of us would have never imagined facing, COVID. However, I think the forced shutdown caused us to rethink our desire to be alone. As a person who enjoys being alone, I realize that I also enjoy challenging conversations, debates, and laughter. I enjoy learning about people, and I enjoy sharing what God has given me to share. Had I rejected going to lunch with the group that Sunday, I think I would have missed what I believe was a God-ordained moment, learning and laughing with two new people who loved God and shared a love for Praise and Worship music like me.
Maybe now that we are coming out of the pandemic, we might stop and genuinely take time to enjoy each other’s company? Maybe? I think I will.

Just remember this: At the beginning of time, God said it was not good for us to be alone (Genesis 2:18). So He gave us relationship.

Be Courageous, Be Strong, Be Confident

Is it just me, or does it feel like a shift happening in the atmosphere? After a full year of isolation, these past couple of weeks have felt as if a heavy load has been lifted, if only a little. IF you ever lifted weights, you know what I mean when I say, I know I need the heavy weights to build my stamina. However, as the repetitions begin, I look forward to lowering the size of the weights I am lifting. Even one pound lighter brings about a sense of relief.be strong and courageous2

Sometimes when I am using heavier weights, the pressure of having to lift them can be awful. I also know that there will be a benefit later to me lifting those heavy weights. Sometimes, I get frustrated and discouraged by the grueling task of lifting weights and dread the days I have to do them. But I do them anyway.

The last several weeks have felt like a weight has lifted. This week was simply outstanding. I continue to look at what I do day in and day out as something God has called me to do. I know when so many things tugging for my attention, it is easy, sometimes, to forget that God called me to the place I am, whether that is writing this Blog, speaking to a group, or interacting with people I lead.

But what happens when the weight seems to be too much? Do you give up? Do you walk away? No. Why? Because you do not have to handle the weight alone. That weight can be felt in the form of attacks, physically, mentally, emotionally, or even spiritually. The weight can feel so severe that you question your sanity. The attacks can be so overwhelming that you wonder if you have the strength or courage to stand for another battle. Also, something you know God called you to do can come into question. Not Him questioning you, but you doubt you or others wondering about whether you can cut it.

That’s why, for me, reading my Bible daily and praying are essential. I have had acquaintances tell me that they cannot read the same scriptures repeatedly because they become bored. I don’t judge them for that—they love God too. I tell them, for me, I read God’s Word repeatedly so that I am reminded not to be discouraged. Listen, there are people just like you and me in scripture who faced some of the same issues we deal with today: isolation (Elijah), fear (Jonah/Gideon/Esther/Daniel); depression (Jonah), anxiety (Peter), insecurity (Gideon), self-doubt (Moses). Shall I go on? These great warriors of the Bible were human beings just like you and me. They dealt with the same stuff. Their courage did not come from within; it came from someone greater. The God of the universe heard their prayers and gave them what they needed to succeed. God gave prophets and apostles the courage they needed to face the past, face impossible situations, take significant risks, and not give in. Some gathered courage from God speaking directly to them, while others gained it through others.

This month of May, where we celebrate Mother’s Day and Memorial Day in the United States, I am focused on irrevocable-gifts-callingJoshua 1:8-9. I memorized these scriptures as a teenager. There are times I go back to them to remind myself why it is essential for me to read scriptures time and again. Listen to what the scripture says: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then, you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” These scriptures are powerfully encouraging.

So, I say to you today, Be courageous, be strong, be confident at the place and position you have been assigned. You never know; you may have come to your place and position for such a time as this. Regardless of how others see you or judge you, the Word of God says of you—” Your gifts and calling are irrevocable.” You are very much needed where you are. Trust God to give you the courage to face any insecurities and fears. Trust Him to help you battle with your giant. Trust Him to show you what risks you need to take, and never, ever give up praying to God even when others do not understand you or threaten your peace of mind. Hold on to the same deep faith Daniel had in the Lion’s Den.

Dreams Achieved…

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I was thinking about when I decided to retire from a company I had worked for more than 25 years. I then thought about when I first interviewed with them; how I waited excitedly to see if I would get a job offer, and the exhilaration I felt as I opened the mailbox years ago and found the anticipated offer letter. When I opened it, there it was! The letter offered me a position as a college management trainee starting at $18,000 annually. Boy, that was big money back then, and I felt like the luckiest person in the world to be selected. No one in my family that I knew of had worked for an international company. No one had held a white-collar management job. I had arrived!

Through the years, I was very fortunate. I worked hard and smart, tried to be a good team member, and made it my goal to please my bosses. I rose through the organization to levels I wanted but did not really know how to navigate. Thank God for those who helped me along the way.

There are so many life experiences that shaped how I view the world. The story I just shared was a positive one that I will treasure forever. However, there were other experiences throughout my life that could have derailed my dreams. There were people along the way, who criticized, subtly belittled me, and in some cases, ignored me altogether. There were challenges that could have caused me to lay down and not get up again; circumstances that would make others give up. I did not. It’s not that I did not because I was so strong; I did not give up because of my faith, people who encouraged me, and sheer determination and grit. I remember being embarrassed by a situation early on in my career, I went home on my lunch break, cried my eyes out, finally got the nerve to return to work, and my boss was standing at the back door. He looked at me, said, “you ok?” I said yes. He smiled and I knew he believed in me and the “you ok?” was all I needed to hear. I knew I would.

What does any of this have to do with you? Everything! I meet so many people who just cannot handle difficult situations. They cannot get over criticisms, and they get stuck questioning whether they are good enough or capable of doing the things they dream of. When they can, if they would stop and see the thing they are dealing with is only temporary.

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Many of the challenges we face are designed to help us grow. Yes, that’s how I see it now and if anyone had helped me see that sooner, I would have gotten over a lot of hurts early on. This is why I share these experiences with you. I want you to learn how to navigate challenges in a positive way. You can achieve the things you dream of but dreams don’t generally happen on a bed of roses. Long-term marriages do not succeed without both people having to deal with a lot of stuff from each other. Career success does not just happen (at least, not for most), it happens for those who can take the good with the bad and strive in both environments. Financial success doesn’t happen without sacrificing and being willing to stick with your process for the long-term. Think about it, if you invest, you go through downturns in the economy and you go through upturns in the economy.

If you want to have positive things happen in your life, look at every situation you face as temporary. The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

The next time you are challenged, remind yourself that we go through seasons. Keep the faith. Tomorrow things will be different.