faithfamilyfearlessness

My life and the world from my eyes

Leap of Faith August 30, 2011

Filed under: Inspirational,Life,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 11:59 am

Last night at the Dyer’s cell we discussed the book “Fearless” by Max Lucado. We only talked about the first chapter, but it posed some very interesting questions.

Why are we so afraid?

We fear success, because it means we could fail.

We fear acceptance, because it means we could be rejected.

We fear love, because it means we could be hurt.

We fear trying something new, because it means we could be embarrassed.

We fear speaking our mind, because we could be proven wrong.

We fear promises, because they could be broken.

We fear trust, because it means relinquishing control.

We fear dreams, because they might not come true.

And so we live our lives in these dark little boxes, afraid and alone, without hope and faith. We cling desperately to our bibles and prayers, begging God for answers and never walking out the ones He gives us.

How can we expect our circumstances to change, when we refuse to change our minds, hearts or actions?

Without risk, what reward is there?

Without trust in the almighty God, what is the point?

We are called to so many great things, but can achieve none of it when we allow fear to dominate our lives.

When God makes a promise to us He keeps it.

There is no room for questioning, doubt or fear.

God always keep his word.

He created each of us for a purpose, and but many times we allow ourselves to be too fearful to walk it out.

I believe fear is one of Satan’s greatest tools, because it turns the effective, strong and courageous into numb, cowardice and weak people.

The essence of Christianity is faith.

Faith in God, in who He is.

How can we claim to have faith when we don’t trust Him?

Answer: we can’t.

Let’s just think for a moment about how beautiful life could be without fear.

I’m not saying without all fear, some is good.

Like not swimming with jelly fish, or jumping off of a skyscraper without a parachute.

I’m talking about walking through life with a purpose, and knowing that no matter what God has your life and everything in it in his hands.

This past weekend I had the privilege of hearing Apostle Tetsola speak at our church.

He gave several amazing workshops on leadership, life and the heart. He also spoke on how each of our lives have already been scripted.

When we live knowing that God not only knows what’s going to happen in our lives, but perfectly orchestrated every other event in the universe to play out exactly the way he wants it too, there is nothing more liberating,

We can’t control what goes on in our lives anyway, so why bother trying?

Its a tiring task that brings nothing but stress and dissatisfaction.

In the end, we will never truly feel free until we completely surrender ourselves and our lives to God.

After all, our lives arent our own anyway right?

A leap of faith, when we can’t see the outcome or the bottom of the pool is always the hardest.

Just know that when God tells you to jump, He will ALWAYS catch you.

Listen to Apostle Tetsola’s podcast.org

Download the first chapter of “Fearless” by Max Lucado for free

 

Sweet Baby August 22, 2011

Filed under: Family,Life,Parenting,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 9:22 am

Ten tiny fingers,
Ten tiny toes.
How small you are my angel.
You grow so quickly,
Every day it seems
You are a little bigger.

As I hold you in my arms,
I imagine someday you will be able to hold me in yours.
These tiny hands so sweet and soft,
Will someday do great things.
Your feet can fit inside my palm,
Where will they one day take you?

Your skin so soft and smooth,
What scars will you one day bare?
Your eyes look to me with such joy and wonderment,
What will they one day see?

Your laugh so priceless and unique,
Touching the hearts of all who hear it.
Do you even know sweet baby how much joy you bring me?
Do you know every day is a little brighter because I share it with you?

Even when you are just asleep,
I miss your smiling face.
Do you have any idea how much I love you?
How special you are to me?

What amazing things will you do my child?
How will the world change because you are in it?
What wondrous sights will those brown eyes behold?
How many will be touched by your light?

I can only sit in awe,
Of the blessings God has bestowed.
For me to mother such beautiful children,
To let my life eclipse yours.

Your dreams can touch the stars above,
The possibilities are endless my dear.
I cannot wait to see Gods plans for your life,
And the man you will someday become.

Until that day when you are all grown up,
I will sing you sweet lullabies,
And pray each night as you go to sleep,
Gods blessings and mercy and light.

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T August 21, 2011

Filed under: Family,Life,Marriage,Parenting,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 12:00 am

Who do we respect and why?

This question forms in our head, subconsciously or not, at an incredibly young age.

We find ourselves as chubby cheeked toddlers debating as to who we answer to, who we will hug, what food we will actually swallow and what we will defiantly spit on the floor.

Some kids out-grow the subtle rebellion much faster than others; and some never seem to learn.

From that moment on, as we grow, we continue this mental debate.

Do I respect this person or not?

We form our opinions, and as each ideal we posses gradually determines who we become, we begin to judge others by our own standards.

We base our decisions of respect on who we feel has earned it, who deserves it, but one thing is true: as a parent, my choice of how my children are raised will always be my choice.

Unless a person is neglecting or endangering their children’s well-being, I don’t believe that should be questioned.

Maybe it’s not how you would raise them.

Maybe it’s not a choice you understand.

Maybe it’s something you disagree with.

Guess what?

None of that matters.

God made each of us different, as humans and therefore as parents. I

I believe that’s why the bible doesn’t have a specific book called “God’s Guide to Parenting,” because there is no manual or formula that will work with each and every child.

God gave us a few basic guidelines for parenting, and left the rest for Him to reveal to us as we seek His face, on a situation by situation basis.

I believe God did that intentionally, to keep us completely reliant on Him for wisdom and guidance on the many issues we were bound to face as parents.

He entrusted us with these beautiful little ones to raise up and lead, the privilege to help mold them into the individuals they will become. He didn’t give my kid’s to you, He gave them to me, for a reason.

Respect me enough as a person to acknowledge that you aren’t perfect, because you surely aren’t God, so you don’t have all the answers. If I have personal conviction about something, don’t try to undermine me, behind my back or to my face.

Every parent believes they are a good parent, that doesn’t make it true, but it does make it so there are a lot of overbearing individuals in the world.

It’s humbling to realize that in the end, until you are me, in my same situation with my child, you don’t know what you would do. You may think you do, but there is no guarantee that it would work.

As I write this, it’s a slap on the wrist to myself too. We all do the judgement thing, on some level, when the funny thing is we have no right to even have an opinion unless asked for it.

The bottom line is, treat others the way you would want to be treated: with compassion, understanding and the love of Christ.

 

Sand in the Hourglass August 19, 2011

Filed under: Family,Inspirational,Life,Marriage,Parenting,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 1:45 pm

The day I was born, my dad was fifty one.
My mom was thirty one.

As a child, I never really noticed that my parents were different from other couples.

I simply thought, as most children do, that our family was just the way that every family was.

My dad had jet black hair, he never dyed it. In fact, he never had a strand of grey until his early sixties.

He always smiled, had a hearty and infectious laugh.

He had an opinion on just about everything, and was never shy about sharing it.
He enjoyed few things more than a good debate.

He loved to read his bible, he carried around a pocket size green New Testament like a child with their favorite toy.

I write in the past tense, because it seems that my daddy, the one who wrestled with me and my sisters on the floor, who sang hymns in the most powerful voice, is gone.

He breathes,
His heart still beats,
But my daddy was taken from me,
And what remains is a shell of who he once was.

I feel robbed.
I feel angry.

Everyone who knew him only on the surface marvels at his recovery.
They all say he is doing great!
They are all blind.

It’s not the worst it could be, I am so grateful that it’s not worse.
After all strokes paralyze people,
They kill people.

My dad is still here, in a distant sense,
But when I look in his eyes I see someone so different from the man that I love.

He does not sing anymore, even in church.
My father always reminded me of a song bird, his voice was strong and passionate and filled with joy. He loved to sing. Now his lips are silent.

He does not debate or spark up conversations anymore, he sits in silence.
His eyes seem vacant, when he speaks he is confused.

I feel as though I lost him, that I have been losing him for several years now.
I feel as though our time together is slipping through my fingers like tiny grains of sand.
The harder I try to hold onto each moment, the faster it slips away.

We went for a walk today, and every conversation attempted fell flat, yet somehow I was so grateful just to be walking next to him, to spend those few sweet hours together.

Our days truly are numbered, The reality of which is hitting me like a ton of bricks over the last few months.

I feel robbed.
I am only twenty one.
I should get more time with him that this.
His life, his legacy was so great, and I am only getting to experience the finale.

I supposed there are so man ways that I should count myself blessed,
But it is so difficult to do that when I see how frustrated and unhappy he is.
I think he feels himself slipping away too, and he doesn’t know now to make it stop.

We cannot slow the clock, we have no control over our own lives.
We think we do, but the reality is that only God decides how the story plays out.
That is the scariest part of it all, that in the end, none of what we want really matters.

All we can do is trust God for the strength to take that next step,
To climb that next mountain with our heads held high.

All we can do is hold on for dear life, with our faith to guide us, knowing in the end, God knew what was best when we didn’t.

 

Milk Chocolate

Filed under: Family,Life,Marriage,Parenting,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 1:44 pm

I remember being in high school and reading the book, “The Color of Water” by James McBride.

McBide opens up about his childhood, adulthood, and how his entire life being of mixed races made him feel different from the rest of the world.

He was treated as an outcast by both whites and blacks. He was excluded, looked down upon, and constantly insecure.

At the time, it was a book that I felt was honest, well written and interesting. I never realized how genuinely I would someday understand it.

Several months ago my four year old son confessed something to me:

“Mommy, I prayed for God to change me to be white like Hunter (his cousin).”

He was excited. He had been taught that God answers prayers, and since he was only four we had not quite gotten to the part that God doesn’t work like a vending machine.

I was shocked. He isn’t even in preschool yet, where is this coming from?

Am I doing something wrong?

I gently explained that every little boy or girl is a little bit of their mommy and a little bit of their daddy; because his mommy and daddy are black and white, he is a beautiful shade of brown, just like milk chocolate. I told him that God doesn’t change people’s skin color, because he makes everyone perfect just the way they are.

He began to sob.

Tears streaming down his cheeks his dark brown eyes began to squint angrily.

“Then I don’t like God anymore.”

I was speechless.

How was it possible for my son, at such a young age, to already be experiencing so much insecurity?

To be angry with God because he didn’t get what he wanted?

Today my three year old Jordan told me “Mommy, when I grow up I want my name to be Melvin, and to be chocolate like my daddy.”

I laughed, it warmed my heart how my little ones admire and love their daddy so much.

“No Jordan, you can’t be chocolate like daddy!” Anthony snapped.

Then he turned to me, “mommy, I don’t like that we are a little bit of you and daddy. I don’t look like anyone.”

I wondered if this discontentment would haunt him for the rest of his life.

If even though he hears a dozen times a day how cute and sweet and gorgeous he is,

How even though Mel and I are constantly doing all we can to provide a loving and secure home, maybe it isn’t enough.

I almost feel guilty, like is my fault.

No parent wants their child to hurt, no mother desires for her little boy to feel pain.

I feel almost like I have failed them.

I always knew that being a mixed race couple, we would face adversity.

People have their ideals, people were raised a certain way, whatever their excuse, sometimes people just plain stink.

I guess I always thought, if Mel and I loved our kids and made them feel accepted that the rest of the world and their backwards mindsets wouldn’t matter.

I am starting to see how naive I was.

In theory, that sounds great, but in reality, other people and their attitudes have an astronomical effect on kids.

Why is it that people fear what is different?

Why do we desire so deeply to belong, to blend, to be accepted.

I’m feeling a little inadequate.

I know I can’t protect him forever, but boy I sure wish it were that easy.

 

Forever and Always

Filed under: Family,Life,Marriage,Parenting,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 1:42 pm

8-15-11

Two years ago today, I woke up before the break of dawn.
I fixed my hair and put on the most beautiful dress I would ever wear.

I walked down the aisle and my daddy gave me to you.
We made promises, a covenant with each other and our God.

We shared our first kiss,
and for a perfect moment, we began our lives fresh and anew.

We ended our separate lives, and began our journey as one.

Leaving the past behind us,
as memories should be.
We learn from them,
We grow from them,
but we move past them.

They are a part of us,
But they do not define us.

I felt as though God smiled on us that day,
and even though the roads that lay before us would be rocky and rough,
he gave us the endurance to succeed.

It is our perseverence through the hard times and shows our true character.
The decision to never give up,
to honor our commitments and to every day, regardless of the outcome,
choose love.

I feel as though it were yesterday,
and yet a lifetime ago.

We are so different now,
yet still very much the same.

We are still the young man and woman with bright eyes and big dreams.
Still falling on our faces, and still getting up each and every time.

We push each other to the limit,
We put each other in check.
We annoy, and provoke.
We bring laughter and tears.
We hold and encourage.
We love unconditionally,
messy, imperfect love, but still genuine as can be.

Life before you was dark and dreary, only shades of black and grey,
But from the moment you were mine, color seemed to be everywhere.

I have never laughed so hard,
loved so fiercly,
cried so violently,
or felt so passionately.

You awakened something in my heart,
a love so deep and true that only God could have ordained it.

Two years, a moment and a lifetime.
Either way, I wouldn’t trade a single on of our 730 days for the world.

After all, you are my world.

The beautiful father,
kind and affectionate leader.
The strong and courageous man.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow.
I love you will all that I am or ever hope to be,
and I thank God every day for the amazing gift of you,
my wonderful husband.

I cant wait to see what God has in store for the rest our lives,
the next 100 years or so,
and every year seems even better than the last.

Here’s to a lifetime of happiness, of memories and of dreams.

I love you with all of my heart Melvin Irving Guinn Jr.
and I am so proud and grateful to be your wife.

 

Little White Lies

Filed under: Family,Life,Parenting,Random,Thoughts — faithfamilyfearlessness @ 1:40 pm

The first thing Anthony said to me this morning after his “good morning hug:”

“Mom, is Santa real?”

It’s not Christmas, or anywhere near it, so exactly what prompted this question is beyond me. The dilemma was before me regardless: lie, or tell the truth.

After explaining to my four year old that, no, there was no such thing as flying reindeer or magical elves with rosy cheeks. Saint Nicholas, Santa’s real name, was just a very kind and generous man who, like everyone does someday, died a very long time ago.

He stared at me, with his big chocolate eyes, and his bottom lip frowned slightly.

I felt my heart break a little as his eyes became teary.

I wondered to myself as I handed him his bowl of cheerios, why exactly do parents put ourselves in this situation?

Why do we create this illusion for our children and insist it is truth when we know it is false?

In today’s society, genuine faith is not only questioned, but it is looked down upon. The idea of believing in something we cannot see or touch or even always explain is laughable. Absolute truth is ridiculous.

Our generation is a product of a society that trained us to doubt and question. We trusted our parents and were fed fantasy as though it were fact. From the Easter Bunny to the Tooth Fairy we have been taught that faith is childish, and has no place in a mature, adult mind. That believing in anything only leads to heartache and disappointment.

Lies, even “white lies,” cause damage to any relationship with an adult. Why would we think the fragile relationship between a parent and child would be exempt to that?

We deceive these naive and trusting little ones and wonder why they grow up to be cynical, angry and fearful.

It’s not that I want to appear judgmental, my problem is not in bringing joy to boys and girls hearts. Fairy tales are beautiful parts of childhood. It’s presenting a fairytale as fact that causes such damage and distrust.

Wouldn’t it be better to teach our kids to believe in things of substance? To have faith in the One Person that wont ever let them down?

Wouldn’t it be better for them to place their trust and hope and joy in something real?

For after all, even the best intentions can produce the worst outcomes…