Overcoming Barriers: "Understanding a "no"

Barrier (noun): 

1. anything built or serving to bar passage, as a railing, fence, or the like.

2. any natural bar or obstacle

3. anything that restrains or obstructs progress, access, etc.

4. a limit or boundary of any kind

 

We have all been told "no" before and depending on where we are mentally and emotionally, that "no" can either make us, or break us. Has it ever felt like you are taking 10 steps forward and then all of a sudden out of nowhere, BOOM, you are now taking 5 steps back? Like, what just happened here...what did I do wrong...where did I go wrong? You begin to question yourself, you blame yourself, you condemn yourself, and you even shut down sometimes. If we are being honest, anytime we are anticipating a "yes," but receive a "no," it does not feel good.

 

I have heard "no," many times and in different aspects, academically, relationally, and spiritually and many times it has caused great pain or left me unsure of my purpose and my potential. It was not until I began to sit down and spend time with God and in His word, that I realized what He was doing in my life and through me. It is important to know that every "no," is not a bad thing. So when is a "no," a good thing:

1. when it is for our protection

2. when it will fuel growth for the next level

3. when God has something better in mind for us

If what you want or whatever you are working towards will cause you trouble, grief, pain, or anything not aligned with the will of God for your life...God will attempt to block it. Ultimately we can still proceed, however, He will try to redirect us so that we are not in harm's way.

When I reflect on my past, I have also become aware of, how some of my "no's," worked for my good. They caused me to level up, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually, and often times right around the corner from that "no," was a YES. I was being tested on my patience, my obedience, my faith and had to stop operating from a place of instant gratification and wanting things the way I wanted them, how I wanted them, when I wanted them, at that exact moment. Sometimes what we truly desire has to come with a process that will build us up, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and often times whatever we are seeking requires greater character of us. Simply put, we think we are ready when we are truly not because we have a little bit more growing to do, and a little bit more healing to do. If we fight the process it will take us longer to get to the promise. 

We want what we want, right? But what if we were willing to wait just a little while longer for what we truly desire instead of operating from pride and impatience? What if what we truly wanted was actually right around the corner from what we are settling for? What if what God really wants for us is way better than what we truly want, (and it always is). The reward for waiting is always worth the wait. The wait might seem hard and sometimes even heavy, but the harvest will is plentiful when you choose to wait.

Take heed...your waiting will never be in vain. If you choose to proceed, after you have gotten a solid "no," then you take the risk of bringing on unnecessary pain, grief, lack of peace, and confusion. If you have not gotten a "YES," then that means the answer is "no." Stop making choices from a place of your emotionality and start making choices from an outlook of your destiny! You are walking into a season of consecutive "Yeses!" 

Peace and blessings to you all,

Sheena M. 

11/14/19


"An Attitude of Gratitude" Give thanks for it ALL

 

 

As I sit here and truly reflect, I have so much to be grateful and thankful for. There are situations from my past that were designed to make me lose my mind, my peace, my sanity, but God kept me and delivered me from the snare of the enemy. I could be dead, in jail, laying in hospital bed...BUT GOD. He has managed to see me through. When there was no way, God made a way. When ends did not meet, God made a way. When I felt all alone with no where to turn, God kept me. When I was lost and wandering searching for love and looking to be rescued from the pain I felt so deep, God showed up and showered me with His unconditional love. When I was faced with oppossition and adversity, God taught me how to war. When I wanted to give up and throw in the towel, God would not let me and my weakness was made perfect in His strength. When I did not know which way to turn, God led me with His Spirit. When I lacked peace and joy, God comforted me with His word. When I took a wrong turn, God never left me or forsook me. When I was rejected by man (people), God reminded me of His protection as my loving Father. When I did not know who I could make it another day, God assured me that it would be okay because all things would work together for my good.

 

What are you thankful for today? In 2019, how has God shown up in your life? We can start with the fact that He woke you up THIS morning, that you have the opportunity to see another day. But seriously, when you sit back and reflect, are you in awe of God's goodness? It is so easy to take for granted the things that He does for us daily but we should make it a daily habit, a daily routine, to give thanks.

A thankful heart will supercede any negative thoughts and thought patterns. Giving thanks unto the Lord, because He is good and His love endures forever. You see, it is not about what He has done for us but it is giving thanks for who He is. What would your life look like if God had not shown up in your situation or circumstance? What would your life be like if the Source had not blessed you with resources to navigate day to day activities? This holiday season, do not lose focus of what really matters and do not lose focus of who really matters. 

Be grateful and thankful for where you are in life right now. It could always be a lot worse. 

Peace and blessings to you all,

Sheena M.

11/28/19 


Self-Sabotage: the why behind it and how to conquer it

1. What exactly is self-sabotage?

When behavior is self sabotaging it will create problems in the person's life and interfere with day to day activities and goals. Sabotage destroys or undermines something, covertly...and is directed toward one's self. One of the key reasons individuals self-sabotage is often due to a lack of self-esteem (feelings of worthlessness, feelings or beliefs that you do not deserve what you are trying to attain, or even self-hatred and self rejection). Thoughts and feelings like these lead to negative and harmful self talk, which in return fuels your fears and self-sabotaging behaviors. "Self" sabotage is used when destructive behavior is directed towards self and is a reinforcer of negative behaviors/feelings or thoughts. It stems from anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, rejection, and anger, most times. The lower a persons self-esteem is, the higher the risk of self-sabotage. Low self-esteem often leads to negative self talk where you begin to speak feelings of inadequacy over yourself. Reinforcing negative thought patterns, and toxic behaviors, more often than not, leads to delays in your destiny, feelings of increased guilt and shame and a tarnishing to your reputation and how people view you. 

 

2. How to conquer self sabotage:

Be honest with yourself. If there have been opportunties that you have prayed for, waited seasons for and when they come, you always manage to think the worse and make the worse out of the opportunity-you may have issues with self-sabotage. Acknowledgment is the first step. Accept that you could use some help building up your confidence, seeing and knowing you are worthy and understanding that God loves you, thinks highly of you and wants the absolute best for you.

Once you accept that some of your behaviors and thoughts could be self-sabotaging, it is then time to RECOGNIZE the behaviors. At this stage you have to look within and ask yourself some hard questions: are there goals that you have set but you never accomplish them? Do you have little to no motivation, for things that you know are really important? Are you easily dissatisfied? Do you procrastinate and put off making decisions in certain areas? Begin to take inventory of YOU and your life. Begin to identify patterns and cycles that do not serve you, and that do not coincide with who you truly are. 

Part of taking inventory of self requires one to take a look, a serious look, at your emotions and beginning to understand them and start managing them. Self-sabotaging behaviors often stem from feelings of anxiety or extreme worry,  anger, self rejection or hatred, misidentity, and worthlessness. Your emotional responses are a byproduct of your thoughts. If you continuously think negative and toxic thoughts then your emotionality will follow suite, if unchecked. Always try to manage your emotions so that you do not commit or fall hostage to behaviors that can lead to negative consequences. Check your emotions before they get out of control. 

As I stated above, before the emotion happens, there is usually a thought. The emotion, that led to the negative and/or toxic,  self-sabotaging behavior, was more than likely caused by a negative or irriational thought. Be mindful of what you say to yourself. Negative self-talk can lead to negative and toxic emotions. Know the facts before you speak a thing and ask yourself, "is what I am believing rational?" Be aware of what you say to yourself when you are engaging in self sabotaging behavior. 

As you begin to become aware of the negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that trigger self-sabotage, you can better challenge them. Form a new habit: challenge negative thinking with logical, positive affirmations, positive self talk and the truth (not based off of what you feel). No longer assume...turn assumptions around and gain perspective...stop assuming. Positive self talk and thinking positively about what you can accomplish, what you can do, who you can be, where you can go, and all you can achieve will lead to new behaviors-healthy behaviors. You must remind yourself that you can do all things, all things through Christ, who strengthens you (mentally, physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually). When your gifts, talents,  skills, abilities, beliefs, and behaviors are aligned, you will begin to create the mental, emotional and physical states necessary to do anything you put your mind to and everything that you were created to do. Start with your thoughts....if you can manage and get a handle on your thoughts and then your emotions, your behavior/s will soon follow. Begin to restructure your thoughts.

It starts with you. The change that you want to see, starts with YOU! What can you say to yourself, about yourself that is positive or encouraging and TRUE? Can you change the way you look at the situation and the people that are involved? Is it another route that you can take to get to your desired outcome? Begin to look at it from a different perspective-you can conquer self sabotage by monitoring your thoughts, feelings, beliefs about yourself and others, and by challenging every thought, feeling and behavior that stands between you and your destiny.

 

Peace and Blessings to you all,

Sheena M. 

12/23/19

 

 

 

 

 


WRITE THE VISION, MAKE IT PLAIN

 

Wow! Can you believe it. In just a few days we will be entering into a new decade. 2020!!! As we come to a close on 2019 and the decade, let's begin to take inventory of our year, the past 5 years and then the past 10 years. Did you accomplish all that you hoped for? Did you achieve everything that you set out to achieve; did you reach a new level in your purpose; did you solve that problem that you were created to solve; did you step into the fullness of who you are called to be in this season; did you take the time out to heal from that past situation that was designed to throw you completely off course; did you forgive yourself for past mistakes; have you forgiven those who you feel have wronged you; have you forgiven God; what about your parents, can you now see that they did the best they could, with the tools that they had? Take inventory. Is there any heart and mind work that you need to clean up before we step into a new decade, a new year, that is full of so much potential and endless possibilites.

 

Earlier this month, as I was looking back over the last couple of months of this year, I had an unction, an inner impression (the Holy Spirit) leading me and guiding me to take inventory of this past year. Were there some things that I could have done differently in some situations? Were there people that I needed to forgive? Were there opportunties that I missed out on because of my character? This required me to look at me. How uncomfortable right? Often times we want so badly to be able to point the finger at everyone else, while truly missing out on the character work and the inner work that takes place when we decide to look at who we have control over, OURSELVES. As uncomfortable as it may seem, when we decide to do our work, and look within, this opens a door for new levels of healing to take place and to become fully aware of what is truly in our hearts. So often we want new levels, new opportunities, new connections, new houses, new cars, new stuff (insert whatever your stuff is that you desire), not realizing that sometimes we are not really ready for the things we truly desire. There is so much revelation that can be exposed about you when you decide to look at you. You might think your heart is pure but when you step back and actually look within.....

This is by no means intended to bring forth condemnation or any type of hopelessness, as we all fall short, DAILY...this is however an opportunity to step back and look at self and reflect on this past year, and truly look at self and see our areas of weakness as opportunities to grow, develop and become. No one is perfect. We are all perfectly flawed human beings. However, in order to access the doors of greatness that we are called to, self work has to take place. There has to be a certain level of soul work in order to get to the next. Soul work that will promote growth and character and also soul work that leads to new levels of humility and pureness. 

2020 is truly a prophetic year. Think about it. Vision equates to 20/20. When one is said to have perfect eye sight, "VISION," they are referenced to have 20/20 vision. 20/20 vision. What does that mean to you and most importantly, for you? Let's take a look, not from our normal, fleshy eyes, but let's take a different look...from our spiritual eyes. What do you see? Do you see yourself starting that non-profit organization? Do you see yourself writing that book? Do you see your intercessory prayers being answered and souls set free? Do you see yourself helping the poor and the helpless? Do you see peace in your family? Do you see peace and rest in your soul and in your mind? Do you see yourself going to counseling for anger management? Do you see your walls falling down so God can send people who will truly love you and not take advantatge of you? Do you see your kids thriving in school? Do you see health and wealth for all of your loved ones, family and friends? Do you see God sending a purpose partner that will accept you just as you are? Do you see that ministry being multiplied and touching and saving souls all over the nation? Do you see yourself as a new parent giving birth to a healthy baby? Do you see the chains being broken off of the oppressed? Do you see depression and mental illness lifted and binded from your family lineage? Do you see disease dismantled from your loved ones? Do you see the captives set free? Do you see the impossible becoming possible with God? WHAT DO YOU SEE? What are you believing God for in 2020? LOOK NOW!!! You do no have to wait until 2020 to see what God has in store for you. Ask Him NOW. Commune with The Father NOW and see what His plans are for YOU, your family, your kids, your church, your business, your friends, etc. He is waiting to hear from you. He wants to show you the endless possibilites and the endless opportunities that He has lined up for YOU. Will you seek Him or will you continue to look at the years to come, through your eyes? Your eyes that can so easily deceive you; your eyes that desire and go after what they want to see? Why not try it differently this decade? Why not WRITE THE VISION AND MAKE IT PLAIN. 

You still have time. Look back to take inventory, but do not stay there. You look back to see the experiences and then pull from them, the lessons...then MOVE FORWARD. See what you need to work on, soul work is continuous work, but always keep moving forward. 2020 is going to bring with it so much opportunity but when the opportunity presents itself, if you are not ready, it will pass you by. CLEAN UP. Begin with your thoughts, filling your mind with the TRUTH, about YOU, your life, your identity, your why/purpose. Also check your heart. What are your motives looking like. Why do you want the things you desire. Who are you serving daily. Are your daily actions and deeds selfish and unsacrificial or giving and obedient to what God has asked of YOU? How much time are you spending with God? All relationships require QUALITY TIME. In order for there to be natural manifestations in your life, there is always first, spiritual breakthrough and manifestion, first. Increase your prayer life. Challenge yourself, spend more time with the Father, starting now, and watch how your life shifts. 

You still have time. Do not allow what has happened to you these past few months, this past year, the past 5 years, the past decade, to throw you off course. YOU STILL HAVE TIME. But it starts with YOU making a choice and then a daily choice, to CHOOSE LIFE. The time is TODAY. Why delay when you can CHOOSE TODAY. Step over fear and anxiety and CHOOSE TODAY. Those buried dreams are being resurrected RIGHT NOW. That spirit of heaviness is being LIFTED RIGHT NOW. That fear and doubt is bound RIGHT NOW...all in the mighty and matchless name of Jesus. 

So again I ask you... What is your vision for 2020? Can you see it clearly? Is it cloudy or clear? Do the work now, plant the seeds, and reap the harvest...it will be plentiful and full. I encourage you on this day, to take inventory of this past year (and decade) and seek the Lord for what He has in store for you, for 2020. He is waiting to hear from YOU and He wants to guide you and help you. Do not let the door of 2019 close, before you wrie the vison for 2020. I am rooting for you. There are great things in store for you and your family. Do the work, stay the course, and keep going. God sees you. God loves you, beloved. 

Peace and Blessings to all,

Sheena M. 

12/29/19


E-motions 

Emotions- you know those feelings, that are fickle, they come and go, and if we do not have a handle on them, well they can cause some problems. If we look at the word e-motion, we can gather that emotions move us to some type of action. And this is how it starts: with our thought life. What we think turns into an emotion, which in return becomes an action. If your thoughts are based on lies, negativity, and toxicity, then guess what, your emotions and your actions will be a representation of that. 

For example: after I had my son in 2013 I suffered from post partum depression. I cried everyday, out of nowhere for no known cause, my thoughts were cloudy and distorted, I was no longer motivated about life and the things I used to enjoy, and I felt empty inside. One thought driving my depression was that I [felt] was alone. While the feeling was true to me, it was based on a lying thought. My son was born in December 2013 and I had lost my mother in May of 2012 and had not properly grieved (the enemy took full advantage of this). I no longer cared about life because of what I was feeling-emotions (which started with my thought life). I stopped checking in with me and in return my thoughts had me bound and this left room for the enemy to plant thoughts that were designed to kill, steal, and destroy and cause me to live in fear, worry, hopelessness and despair. 

I had to check my thoughts. I had to remember who I was and whose I was. I had to remember that there was so much more to my life than what the enemy was sowing in my mind and what I was currently believing. I began to acknowledge my feelings and would ask myself, 1.what am I believing to feel this way? 2.is this thought true? In order to get a handle on my emotions and my actions, I had to assess my thoughts. From my example: I felt alone, like it was me, myself and I, against the world, left alone, to raise this new baby boy and that scared me. I had to take that thought captive, to the obedience of Christ, and begin to ask myself, "is this thought really true?" My emotions wanted me to believe that that thought was true and although my circumstances at the time led to "yes, this thought could be true," my human reasoning and perception of my circumstance was very limited. I chose to take my power back and change the narrative (I decided to see a therapist/counselor). 

Knowing that my thoughts were not God's thoughts, (and His ways are higher than my ways) I also began to get into the word (the word of God). I learned to cast my cares. I learned to let go and release all of the pain that I was holding in for several years (in therapy, in a place where I felt safe and heard). You see, I had tried to become my own therapist, my own personal fixer (for many years) because I felt like nobody cared enough to hear me or help me, so I handled life on my own. I became very self reliant and very independent until the load was too heavy (mentally, emotionally, and physically) and I broke down. In addition to seeking out a professional, my other strategy was this: I did exactly what 1 Peter 5:7 says, "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for YOU." In this verse, there was my answer and revelation- GOD CARES FOR ME. I opened my broken heart to receiving this new understanding and revelation-GOD CARES FOR ME and my wounded soul began to heal and my blinded eyes were opened to new possibilites and new ways of thinking, and my emotional being shifted from there. 

I began to understand that just because I "felt" a way about something, did not mean that the thought behind it was true. I learned that it was okay to feel what I was feeling and that I have the power to choose to not let my feelings consume me and control me and possibly lead to an action that was not healthy. I am by no means perfect and I still have to remind myself to "cast my cares because God does care," but I have learned to check my thought life. I think about what I am thinking about so that it does not turn into an e-motion that will lead to an unhealthy or unwanted action.

Check your thoughts. Hold every thought captive to THE TRUTH. You do not have to believe the lies of the enemy and you do not have to live a life of emotional instability. If the enemy can plant and sow seeds in to your mind, and cause your thoughts to become unhealthy and toxic emotions then he has the potential to throw you off course from your destiny. Check your thoughts. Feel what you feel, be compassionate towards yourself and then question your emotions. Become responsible for YOU and this means knowing it is okay to release those burdens and cares in a safe way (you do not have to do it all by yourself). I pray that this will be the year that you stand boldly and confidently in your true, authentic selves and gain a Godly handle on your emotions, your thoughts and your actions and I dismantle and come against mind binding spirits and thoughts that lead to ungodly management of emotions and actions, in the mighty name of Jesus. AMEN!!

You matter. You are loved. You are heard. 

 

Be well and be blessed,

Sheena M. 

2/2/20 


FOCUS ON THESE THINGS....

 

Where does your mind wander during times of distress, uncertainty, trials and tribulation? Do you allow the things going on around you to dictate your mood, disrupt your peace and joy and rob you of your hope and faith? Are you battling with worry because you do not see a way out or because you are afraid of what is going on because of the "Corona Virus" pandemic? 

Worry is a waste because it does not resolve anything. It leads to anxiety and tormenting thoughts. Instead of worrying, there are 7 things that we can think on or mediate on; 7 things that can bring peace in troublesome circumstances and/or create an environment of peace. Afterall, it is peace that will calm a troubling situation when explanations fail.

Focus on these things: (derived from Philippians 4:8)

1. Whatever things are true: Guard your gates, your ear gates and your eye gates and see and recognize the truth. In times of trial and even every day life, you will be bombarded with different voices, with tons of information. Be vigilant and alert. Pray for discernment and wisdom so the devices of the enemy won't entangle you or ensnare you. Be cautious of the sources you seek out. 

2. Whatever things are noble: Check in with you. Do not feel bad about checking in with yourself daily, throughout the day. Have a clear understanding about where you are and how you are feeling and do not feel bad about it. Take some time to be honest with you in regards to your heart and your emotions. Journal how you feel. Check in with somebody you trust and feel safe with and express how you feel BUT most importantly feel it and then check it. Check your emotions with the most reliable Source ever...Father God and His word. Does what you feel line up with whats in the word? If not, release the emotion in prayer... 

3. Whatever things are just: Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Although you are attempting to navigate a difficult time or season in your life, your attitude should not reflect disrespect for those you may encounter. Practice being kind, gentle, loving, peaceful, patient, good and compassionate towards others. Practice discipline and self-control over your actions, deeds and words and remember: attacking other people solves nothing. Be just.  

4. Whatever things are pure: If the enemy of your mind or the god (idols) of this world can take you back to who you used to be, they will definitely try it. When you are navigating desolate, isolated or troublesome seasons or times DO NOT LOOK BACK. As pleasing and satisfying as your past might seem, as good as it may look, during seasons of uncertainty do not look back. You have come too far to go back to the things, habits, people, or patterns of the past. Guard your heart. Do not go backwards. Focus on what lies ahead...focus on what God has promised YOU. 

5. Whatever things are lovely: Surround yourself with lovely. Lovely things, lovely people (get creative with this during this time of social distancing), whatever you find attractive (in a healthy way), surround yourself with more of that. Tap into your creative side, create moments of lovely in your life. This can be as simple as listening to the birds chirp in the morning, taking a milk and honey bath, taking a walk and admiring nature and creation, or just getting cozy on the couch with a good read. Whatever things are lovely to you, do more of that. This is a time to set a side for some much needed self-care. Enjoy lovely. 

6. Whatever things are of good report: Be mindful of what you are speaking. Watch the words that are coming out of your mouth. There is so much going on around us but take a moment and find the good thing in the midst of it all and talk about that. Talk about the good things that are going on. Dig deep and find something positive to talk about. Make room to discuss the good reports. 

7. Whatever things are praiseworthy: Praise is giving God thanks no matter what is going on. It is cultivating an environment where you refuse to settle in discontentment and you muster up the strength and the courage and the trust to simply say "Thank you God, even though I do not understand." Thank Him for another day. Thank Him for the breath in your lungs. Thank Him for His daily and consistent provision. Thank Him for being Him. Get in the habit of thanking God and trusting God, even when you are uncertain. He is behind the scenes filtering it all out for your good. He is faithful and true to His word and even though you may feel alone, like no one understands, like your world is caving in, and the enemy has the upper hand...begin to PRAISE GOD because He is worthy of that and so much more. A thankful heart and a thankful attitude during times of trouble and trials allows God to perform His best works. He has seen you through before and He will see you through this time too. Praise opens the door for the presence of God...will you let Him in?

 

Peace and Blessings to you, 

Sheena M.

3/22/20