I am worth it!

Standard

I would never imagine that I would go through some of the worse moments in my life the past two years. Never. Not me. I am a Pastor’s kid born and raised in church, under a pew, church is where I spent all of my days. From vacation bible school to youth camps. Youth leader to speaking. I mean not one time did I think I would be in the mess I was in 2 years ago. I will spare you the details of that horrendous year but in short it was an event that I vowed would not happen to me. A statistic I would not be a part of. In March 2015, when my then marriage started having problems and we never recovered. It was not until December of 2015, that I accepted my reality. The reality of my Divorce. You want to talk about my world shattering before my eyes and my dreams of growing old with someone, and seeing future children grow up was GONE. WIPED AWAYBurned to the ground

Life is about choices. Choices are around us every day and it’s up to us how they will affect us. I felt like why me? Why us? Why am I not worth fighting for? Why am I not worth it? Oh, but I soon discovered that I was soooo worth it. I am worth it ALL. I decided that I would not look like what I was going through. I decided this was not going to be my death sentence. But remember what I said about choices right? You can’t force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. Instead, I spoke into my life daily even if I didn’t believe it. I cried and cried and cried some more until my tears turned into strength. I remember telling myself “Vasti you will RISE and be the BEST you have ever been” and I can honestly say here I am in 2017. Alive and doing well. Living my best, healed life! Not allowing the stigma of divorce fall upon me. Divorce is not who I am, it is something that I went through. 

Isaiah 61:3 “To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”…

I remember reading this scripture and like others thinking wow, how beautiful. BUT. LET. ME. TELL. YOU. (I hope you read that with the pauses…lol) it’s nothing like living a scripture. When I looked up the word “Ashes” this is what the definition says the remains of something destroyed; ruins.” That is exactly what my life felt like something was destroyed and ruined and I did not see any beauty coming out of it. I lost a lot in that process. BUT GODYes, he is so amazing, loving and gentle to us in every season of pain and hurt. He reminded me along with an amazing support group that I was worth it. I was going to see the beauty in my ashes.The enemy loves to remind you of the ashes and never the BEAUTY! Well, today I remind him daily of the beauty. I am healed. I am loved by my heavenly father who has infinite love for me. Today I believe I AM WORTH IT

To you reading this I say focus on the beauty this year and know that if you are in the ashes something beautiful will come out of it. You are beautiful, you are strong and most of all YOU are worth it! 

Worthy of it all,

Vasti

Talk Until you are Healed

Standard

You know what we are so good at doing? Hiding and masking. I am sure I am not the only one that has been able to receive that award. What award? Oh you know “Best Poker face.” There was a time you may have looked at me and you didn’t know what I was going through internally. You didn’t know I was crying about 90% of my day and had sleepless nights. I was up worrying, and praying, how is that for a combination? Ha! Trust me it doesn’t work. You see so many of us including me when faced with hardship or something that has come to rock your boat we run and hide. That is the first reaction to us facing trials. We hide it from family, friends, and anyone that could remotely judge you based on what you are going through.

You feel isolated by your own doing because surely no one is making you feel that way. We automactially put up bars and walls as if our hearts were Fort Knox. We can’t reveal it to anyone because you are entering into a state of denial. Denial that this is happening to you. Denial that the light at the end of the tunnel is hope when really you know it’s a train and it’s coming to wreck you.

So, we do what we know best and that is hide it, and just continue on as if nothing is wrong. You force yourself to walk around as if you are fine. You are telling yourself you can handle this alone.  Inside you are dying to just tell someone, anyone that would listen. I am telling you right now whatever it is you are facing you will come out stronger and better. I know it’s cliche and you can’t see pass the hurts and the tears that blind you but TRUST me you will survive. How? When? I don’t know but rest assure you will make it. You have to talk it out, cry it out, and work through it. Talk until you are healed. How long is that? I don’t know everyone is different and is facing different trials. I know one thing; not talking about it prolongs your better days. Not talking about it doesn’t lead to healing. Not talking about it keeps you exisiting but not living. You have to talk until you are HEALED. Let me say it again…Talk until you are healed! You may be asking “Who Vasti, Who do I talk to” and my answer is the person that you know will NEVER get tired of listening. This person will always welcome you to talk about it and they will LISTEN. They will not try to figure it out for you. They will not give you a 1-2-3 step program. They will let you cry, yell, use colorful language (lol) and allow you to do it however long you need and whenever you need it.

My sister told me two statements that have stayed with me forever.

1. Don’t suffer in silence.

2. Accept your reality.

When I tell you that those two statements alone unlocked something in me and I felt like I reached a new place of healing as soon as I realized both statements were true. I couldn’t go through this alone and I needed to get out of the clouds. Everyone is different and it will happen at different times in your process of when it snaps for you. There is no road map or instruction book to healing emotionally. I am still daily entering new stages and remember myself on day one of my trial and I still can not believe I survived the pain and hurt. I am truly thankful for the people in my life that never get tired of me talking about it and have the patience with me. They play such a big role in my healing. Have I arrived? Have I perfected healing? No and No.

Every day brings about a new sense of gratitude and joy for my healing. I remember one of the blogs I follow of a popular speaker she said “You can not heal what you conceal.” I don’t have to explain much of what that means because I am sure you know exactly what that means to you and what it is that you need to stop concealing. Not sure if this is helping anyone, but I sure do hope it helps even just one person. The person that doesn’t see themselves out of this struggle. The person that is suffering alone. The person that is worried of others opinions. To you, I say find your person, find a church, therapist someone who will NEVER get tired of listening. Let it out. Talk it out.

If you are the listening friend please do just that LISTEN. Unless they ask for your input stay silent don’t try to figure it out for them. There is healing in those awkward silent moments. It’s ok to not say a word. Be there. Be present. Be the Love they need.

Still talking it out-

Vasti

 

Running on fumes…

Standard

You are driving and your lovely gas light comes on. You think to yourself “I should get gas” or if you are like me I tell myself “You at least have 60 miles” LOL I know… I know what you all are thinking this is bad for my car, it’s not good for my engine etc… and guess what I still drive around for maybe 2 more days until the mileage goes from 60 miles until it reaches empty and reads “—-” that is exactly what my car says. It just goes from numerical to dashes. Then I tell myself Vasti go NOW. I do eventually go and fill up and trust me I haven’t ran out of gas since probably 2006ish…lol

I am sure if my car could talk it would go off on me because it’s tired of running on the last bit which are fumes. When I think of the fact that all I have to do is pull over to a gas station to fill up and just like that my car is full and I am good for at least a week and a half.

I believe that at times such is life. We are all running on fumes at some point in our journey. You might be taking care of a sick relative, or you are battling an illness and you are drained. Whether you are the tired working woman, stay at home mom, pastor, involved in ministry or starving college student you can’t tell me you have never ran on fumes.

You know there is a difference between “running on fumes” and being “tired.” Tired is just that, you need some sleep because physically you feel it. Running on fumes means you are depleted. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Just done! You have nothing to give at all.

Guess what? It’s not the way to live life at ALL. You must find time for YOU. In the past year I remember being so emotionally tired that I felt numb at so many things. Sometimes I didn’t even know how I drove myself home from work and just doing all the things life requires of us. I remember not feeling good about myself or being happy with who I was presenting to others. I would look in the mirror and literally felt exhaustion taking over my life. My therapist told me one time “you need to regulate” and I remember having a perplexed look on my face that said it all to her….like lady “What the heck does that mean” lol and she explained to give myself the time I needed to process through emotions. Once you do that you will feel like you can take on life and all it requires a little more easier. Learning to skillfully navigate emotions means you’re able to fully dive into emotions – even intense emotions – and still act from integrity. You act from your highest values, rather than reacting impulsively to the emotion. I am sure you can relate.

That little nugget rocked my world for the better. It allows me to slow down. Not say yes to everything. Think through decisions and what is best. Many of us don’t take time because we are beyond empty and our fumes are causing so much damage to those around us and our daily life. Think about yourself when you are running on fumes; I can guarantee you that you wouldn’t even want to hang out with yourself.

I had to really learn this and still am learning this lesson. One of my life verses is “Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Think about that for a minute….if you are living in peace and taking care of yourself you will not waste time worrying about things you can’t control, but focusing more on YOU. Being the BEST you for yourself first and then others.

If you are running on fumes ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the reason I feel the way I do? If you answer this you will be able to really see where it’s coming from and what your triggers are before feeling this way.

2. How can I start making myself a PRIORITY? Maybe its going for a walk, joining a gym, shutting down for a minutes a day etc…

Remember nothing happens overnight it takes time to adjust and not live a life running on fumes. But it is possible and you will soon learn and see how much more at peace you are and you begin to think clearer in all areas.

Give it a try! I promise you running on fumes NEVER gets the results you are wanting it just leads to frustration on top of more frustration. Trust me. I lived it.

Go ahead and fill up your tank with what you know will produce the best you!

Don’t live a life on “E” because you will display a life on “E”.

Next stop….The BEST you!

V

 

What do you do with a detour in life?

Standard

Have you ever been in your car on your way to a familiar place? When you see a bright Orange sign…DETOUR.  As you start on the detour you may get annoyed because usually it will be longer to get where you are going; however you continue with the turns, and the different streets it is taking you on.  In the end you ultimately get to your destination.

I am a very curious person and if you know me personally you know I am always going to ask you a question in the middle of your story before you have ended the story. Or I will try to figure out the ending. It might frustrate some or maybe all of you that know me but we always get a good laugh at how I love to figure it out.

I tend to do this with detours when I am driving. I start ignoring the detour and try to outsmart it but in the end I still end up on the road that it originally told me to take. I always tell myself in the moment “Vasti you should have followed the signs” LOL.

Life has handed me one big detour as of late. This time I am not ignoring the signs and I don’t plan to outsmart it. I plan to stay focused on my journey. I will not allow this detour to define me but to challenge me. I have learned so many things and one day plan to write a book. Although detours seem to make your trip longer it is there to avoid something that could potentially end up hurting you or cause an accident. So, I am taking this detour and leaning on God and what his words says.

I will not freak out. Why you say? Because God knew this would happen before it even happened. He knows everything concerning me. He has it mapped out. Now, I have to trust that he will guide me in this detour and I will heed when he says go left, right, stop, reverse, or PARK.

If I could sum up how I feel in a word it would be “anticipation” for what is ahead. Ahead lies so much I can’t even see right now or even imagine. Guess what? I don’t want to figure it out. I don’t want guess what is next. For now I will enjoy this ride through the turns, bumps, potholes, and smooth roads because he’s got me!

What are you trying to outsmart? Are you worried about something? Are you ignoring signs that are there to help you?

Whatever it is remember it’s sweeter with him driving and you taking it all in!

Out on the road,

V

 

 

Stay in Place….

Standard

Have you ever used something that is out of it’s purpose? For example, using a butter knife to screw a nail back into something. Or for us ladies we lose the back of an earring and we end up with a pencil eraser to hold it in place because that is our favorite earring and Lord forbid you lose yet another one!  Or you place something where it doesn’t belong but you know it serves a purpose and it just stays where it doesn’t belong out of convenience.

Today I had a rather large copy job at school to complete. I am getting ready for a huge event in which we have to distribute materials to the community so off I went to the copier. As I was there I noticed a tool on the copier. I looked over to my co-worker and said “This serves a purpose but yet it’s out of place and doesn’t belong on top of this copier” and she looks at me and says “Yes you are right.” I said to her “Man that will preach” and we both laughed.

I went on to continue my job but I couldn’t help but think wow how many times we don’t stay in the right place we are suppose to be in and we are being used out of place, and this can be different to so many people in different situations. Many of us at times get ahead of ourselves and we think we know the better route to take in this life. We believe that everything good is from God and bad from the enemy. Really? Like Job told his wife “Should we only accept good from God and not trouble” sometimes we believe that God is up there with a magic wand picking and choosing who to bless and who to curse.  By curse I mean in the sense of bad things happening whether it be illness or hardship.

But have you ever asked yourself “Am I learning from this place in which I am in right now?, Have I really taken time to listen and not rush his timing?” I believe pivotal moments in life come with questions to ourselves that we don’t even have the answers to appease oneself. Although we don’t have the answers and we should “Be Still” we begin to operate out of our purpose.

  • You can be struggling right now in the season you are in because you have a dream that hasn’t materialized but yet you have to work a 9-5.
  • You may the one thinking why hasn’t something happen by now in whatever your “something” is whether it’s financially, physical healing, emotional healing or whatever you are going through.
  • You also may also find yourself in what you feel is a good place but you don’t have the peace to stay in that place.

Psalm 119:1-2 (Message)  You’re blessed when you stay on course,walking steadily on the road revealed by GodYou’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set.

We hear it a lot “stay the course” or “stay focused” and yes it can be annoying when you feel you are doing everything right. At the end of the day, I don’t know about you but I rather go through the hardship and trial 1000 times over if it means I am in my place and serving my purpose; than to have to relive it over and over because I keep getting off course and not being used in the purpose I was intended to live out.

Romans 8:28 (Message) That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

It doesn’t say some details….EVERY detail is worked into something GOOD!

Stay the course, Stay Focused most of all Stay in Place!

V- <><

Don’t care how I want it now!

Standard

I want the world
I want the whole world
I want to lock it all up in my pocket
It’s my bar of chocolate
Give it to me
Now!

(These are the words of a song from Willy Wonka and Chocolate factory. The little girl named Veruca Salt who wanted everything she saw.)

How many times have you said this? I want it NOW! You also have this feeling of entitlement that you deserve it.

Why is it that our society presents everything to us in terms of wanting it NOW and it won’t cost you anything or for 3 easy payments of $9.99 you can get it NOW.

No one waits for anything anymore. You go to a grocery store and you rush over to the “express” lane and scan your own items. You go to a restaurant and some have the option of ordering on an electronic device that will quickly send your order to the kitchen. The list goes on and on.

God is definitely making me wait in this season of my life. Do I like it? Do I want it to be over? No, I don’t like it and yes I want it to be over. Then I ask myself the question “Vasti don’t you want  what God has for you?” and my answer to that immediately is YES!

Recently I heard a sermon by a dear friend that used the popular scripture ” But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

I don’t know about you but I love this scripture. One thing he said is that if we are feeling tired, or weak we are NOT waiting on God but depending on ourselves to get us through.  Yes! You see, when we are waiting on God and hoping on him to do something we should not feel tired because it says “he will RENEW our strength” so every test, trial, problem he will renew our strength in HIM.

If you are waiting on God remember you can rely on him and his awesome strength. He will take it off your plate. Let it go. I am speaking to myself as I write this because that is all I can do. I wait on him and while I wait he continues to make me strong for the next moment that I am in need of his strength!

Remember God is specific to our needs, he sees it already worked out before you ever do. You will survive and you will be better for waiting on HIM.

“To us waiting is wasting, To God waiting is WORKING.”

Vasti

Daily Beatitudes Day 1

Standard

The sermon on the mount in Matthew Chapter 5 vs 3-12 is my most favorite passage in the bible. I decided to write a daily devotion of each one, some might be combined and others will stand alone. Enjoy and feel free to share!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:3

When Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit” he is not talking about money here. Jesus was concerned with spiritual realities not material possessions in the Beatitudes. So, what does it mean to “poor in spirit.”

To be poor in spirit is to know that you are at a zero balance in your spiritual bank. That you have absolutely NOTHING to offer God. Because of your sin, you can’t do nothing to bring yourself out of your situation. Jesus is saying here that no matter who you are in life you must recognize your spiritual condition before you can come to him for the gift of salvation.

When you know that you have nothing to offer him and you know that it’s not works that will give you the ultimate gift of his kingdom. Then you are poor spiritually and he will bless you with inheriting his kingdom. We are all poor in spirit at the end of the day because of our shortcomings and sins in our lives. It’s in our brokenness that we will see his hand in our every day life and as we continue to seek him we will inherit his kingdom.

Admitting our spiritual poverty will lead us to his spiritual riches he freely offers.

 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Eph 1:3

Vivacious Vasti ❤ 🙂

It’s not a train…

Standard

Have you heard the saying “There is a light at the end of the tunnel?” I remember going through a tough time in my life and someone said this to me but after they said it they finished it off by saying “And it’s not a train” and I looked perplexed and the person says to me sometimes we think what’s at the end of the tunnel is going to wreck us and there is a light, there is hope, and it’s not going to wreck you!

When life hits you hard and knocks you down do you tend to wear your emotions on your sleeve? Do you tend to complain more? Does “negative Nancy come and take over? Or do you stay still, and have faith that all will work out according to Gods plan for your life. You see that’s a lot easier said than done and when life hits us we want to scream and let everyone around us know that NO we are NOT ok and we don’t know when it will be ok.

I am writing this entry in honor of a friend that is going through probably one of the toughest times in her life. They are a big family that are going through so much right now and it’s laying heavy on her shoulders. I have been able to speak with her on and off in this time and recently a turn of events took a turn for the worse and to the human eye we don’t know how it will get better. One thing that I can say is that my friend has NOT one time complained, grumbled, cursed, or let any unwholesome talk out of her mouth. It actually has been the opposite when I text her to see how she is doing she responds with “Things are better God is good, Continue to pray for me, God will do what he said he would do, I believe, I am hanging on to his promises” and the list goes on and on. She is holding on to that light at the end of the tunnel and she KNOWS it’s NOT a train.

What she doesn’t know is how much of an encouragement she has been to me in this time. She has remained immovable and steadfast. Although she is going through a lot and has every right to throw herself on the floor and have a tantrum she is choosing joy. She is hanging on to hope. She knows that all things will work for her good.

It has been so awesome to hear her hang on to the word of God and the scripture that comes to mind is 1 Cor. 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

stand firm

So to you my dear friend or anyone that is going through a tough time. Hold on to his hand. Continue to move forward and know that nothing you are going through is in VAIN. This season will end, just like right now in Chicago Spring is coming well guess what? Your Spring is coming too and you will see everything you planted and worked hard in this season bloom and come to life! This is NOT the END, this is a chapter being written.

Vivacious Vasti