Who am I?

Staring at an unpainted wall

Wondering what the colour should be

I sit and I wait

I wait for inspiration

I wait for transformation

For certainly if I stare long enough

If I give it enough thought I’d finally be able to figure out what the colour of my bedroom should be

But at last I see words not colours as I sit and I stare

I see the words literally form and drop off the wall and onto the page of my open book

With little to no help from me the words are formed

Because who am I to claim to be a writer?

When the words come from the strangest of places

Who am I to take on the title of poet?

For if I doubt myself enough then maybe I can convince myself out of what God has called me to do

After all there are so many others who stand and project

Who profess with such flare of poise the name of Jesus Christ

With bars that speak to hearts and break chains

Chains not of the physical but spiritual that shackle even me

So I hide my pen

I buy book after book hoping for some inspiration

Hoping that maybe if I had fresh sheets they would be easily filled

Yet I can’t find my pen

I’d rather share things of old that admit I’m wrong

Than admit there is a real fear that has risen up on the inside of me

For who am I to even think I can take on the title of poet?

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God still answers prayers

Walking along an asphalt paved road one night I came to a junction. I did as I normally do and looked up and down the street before I attempted to cross the road. Out of what seemed like thin air a red Suzuki swift came speedily towards me. In a split second my body froze but as one would manuever in a game of dodge ball I moved out of the way to avoid being hit. It was that close! As is customary in our culture these days the driver exclaimed shock by hurling expletives in my direction. The car stopped but I believe out of fright the driver was unable to get out of the vehicle. (I’m giving them the benefit of doubt.) No apology was given by the driver, however I am in no way upset with his/ her actions. I pray that they would pay closer attention to the road even if they might be right outside their home. I’m also grateful for the man who witnessed the incident who said kind things and reassured me of my safety. With shaky legs I continued along my journey thanking God to be safe but more importantly alive.

Many of us say prayers and sometimes we don’t fully understand why we pray what we pray but holy spirit drops nuggets into our spirits and he guides us on the things we should say if we listen. The morning of that day I did as I normally do and said a prayer asking God to protect and cover me and that evening he did. My prayers were answered in a tangible way. It might seem simple or even silly but even the straightforward everyday prayers we whisper are heard and answered by God.

We don’t always get our answers right away or we may not get the answer in the format we may think we should get it in. However, I want to encourage you that God still answers prayers. I’m thankful for the reminder that that day provided. Just because you don’t see Him moving doesn’t mean that He hasn’t heard. He knows what we need before we ask but He has told us in his word that we must make our requests known.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 ESV

So my friend what will you ask of Him today?

Do you believe that He will answer when you ask?

I can safely say that while I don’t always understand God’s timing I know that He does listen when I pray and He is working it out on my behalf. Be encouraged beloved God hears and He answers.

Jas

Feelings of hopelessness

We all have those days where we feel like we would rather shut ourselves off from the world and throw the biggest pity party ever. So what do you do?

Here’s a little piece I wrote. I hope it encourages you.

What do you do when you feel like the walls around you are closing in?

Everything that could possibly go wrong has gone wrong

It isn’t in your nature to quit.

It isn’t in your nature to give up.

The questions that attempt to keep me down have a field day with in my thoughts

I’ve been taught by the strong women around me to fight.

Push through the feelings and keep moving.

So what do I do when I don’t want to listen to the still small voice in my head?

What do I do when it feels like it would be easier to step away or run away and be done with life on a whole?

What do I do when I don’t feel to pray?

What do I do when I’d rather sleep all day than be productive?

What do I do when the questions are greater than the answers?

What do I do when I’ve lost hope in myself?

What do I do when I’ve given up on there being a brighter tomorrow?

What do I do when everyone who said they would stay by me has left?

What do I do when I’ve run out of hope?

What do I do?

What do I do?

If I look up there is hope.

If I get up there is strength.

If I hold on to the promises that God has made for me I have peace.

If you’ve ever felt like there was no hope for the situation you’re facing I’m here to tell you that there is.

It isn’t cliche to rely on the hope that is found in true relationship with Jesus; it is a fact.

Jesus loves you.

He is there for us when we call on Him.

He is a sure thing.

He cares.

Don’t be afraid to admit that you need help.

Don’t let fear stop you from being bold, to call on Jesus.

May your feelings of hopelessness diminish and turn into feelings of hopefulness.

Love Jas

Be You; Confidently!

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Recently I caught up with a good friend of mine who had been away studying. As friends do we talked about life and although technology allowed us to stay in touch over the years since graduating there was a lot to discuss. We decided we would play tourists and she convinced me to go to the beach; something I had not done for quite some time. We settled onย the boatyard as we would be able to get something to eat and we wouldn’t be rushed to use the facilities to change our clothes once we were done. This was my first time at the boatyardย and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The service was great, the food was good and it was definitely what I needed to relax and take my mind off of all that had transpired that week. Added to my first experience, I had recently purchased a swimsuit, so I felt confident to go into the water and have a grand time!

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Whenever I’m feeling cute and I think I did a good job of choosing my outfit, I ask one of my family members to take a picture of me. I’m usually pretty confident as I stand in front of them mainly because they are my family and I know that if I don’t stand properly my time for getting my picture will expire and I’d be left with a picture or pictures of whatever pose I gave them to capture. That is pretty easy and really straight-forward. Stand/ pose, smile, review, say thanks.

It is a whole other ball game and a huge leap out of my comfort zone to stand in front of a friend and pose to get my picture taken. I never know what to do with myself. It is an even bigger leap out of my comfort zone to that in a bathing suit. All the confidence in the world cannot sustain the knots I feel when I allow myself to be vulnerable in front of a camera. However I did it and it was great!

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A younger me would not have been able to do this. I would have taken pictures of my friend and left it as that. As I was photographed, thoughts developed and I started to doubt myself. I felt like I didn’t look good, I was self-conscious that my legs were exposed and that we were on the beach with people all around us. I later realised that I did in fact look good in my bathing suit, my legs were good and nobody paid us any mind; so much so that we had to wave at a lady who say near us to take a picture of us together.

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This scenario of standing on a beach in a bathing suit may seem trivial but confidence has a lot to do with how we view ourselves and how we feel the world views us. Lacking confidence can be a very crippling thing. It takes some people years before they can stand up in front of a crowd and speak, while there are others who are able to command a room from a very young age. There are even those who never agree to be the centre of attention no matter the circumstance.

I had to make up in mind who I wanted to be; stand up and speak or sit and hit away as others around me did what needed to be done? As I got older, I got bolder and my confidence grew. My relationship with Jesus had everything to do with it. He showed me how He saw me and He gave me the voice I needed to be bold, to stand in confidence and smile a genuine smile in front of the flash of the camera. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be times when you get nervous or when you start to doubt yourself because believe I feel that way every single time I take the stage and there are times when I have to encourage myself to quiet the negative thoughts that try to creep into my mind. I have learned though that it is more important to say something in boldness that to sit quietly in cowardice.ย What are you willing to do? Will you vulnerable to let someone know what you’re going through to encourage or even challenge what is said to be normal? Or will you allow fear and doubt stop you from being an element of change?

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Stay tuned for more…

xoxo,

Jas

 

 

Remember to breathe

I wondered for some time what my first post should be about. Then out of a conversation I had recently with a friend it hit me. I was reminded of the importance to breathe and that got me inspired to write.

Often times in life we face situations that seem to be really overwhelming and if you’re anything like me you often forget to take a minute to breathe; to inhale and exhale. It may seem simple, you may even ask yourself why should you need reminding to do something that is second nature? But honey, we must. Breathe. In every workout video I’ve ever watched the trainer says the same thing each and every time; “don’t forget to breathe”. Often times out of reflex and because of the intensity of the workout we hold our breath with the thought pattern of “if I don’t breathe I’ll stay more focused”. How can you though? If you deprive your body of oxygen it won’t function accurately and the same is true for everyday life.

Try this with me;

*inhale* and hold *exhale*

As you do this exercise, feel the air going in as you inhale and feel the stress leaving your body as you exhale.

Take a moment and just breathe!

Often when we forget to breathe we tend to dwell too much on the problem instead of focusing on the only One who can solve our problems; Jesus. Not everyone may agree and that is ok but from my experience when we exhale and let Jesus do His thing we can find that the problem that seems insurmountable becomes less and less until it is no more.

As stressful as your day might be, as complicated as life might seem right now take a moment to be thankful to God for life and remember love; to breathe.

Xoxo,

Jas

Photo credit: @la.panthere_lionne

Dress: here (no longer available in yellow)

Faux locs: done by me