Now that 2016 has come to an end, I think about the many goals and resolutions I set for the year. Sadly, reflecting back, I realized that I hadn’t accomplished nearly as much as I wanted to get done. On one hand, this made me sad. For me, 2016 was supposed to be my year of “BIG.” I planned to fall more in love with God, building a constant prayer life, launch my ministry and blog (making it profitable), get skinny, save money and find love (well him finding me and me being open to him). In many of these cases, I’ve started the process, but in my opinion, it didn’t look like how I expected it to look.

As the year ended, I began to lament. I asked God: What happened? Where did I go wrong? Surely, compared to what I expect those 365 days of 2016 to be, this was not big.

On Christmas day, I preached to my aunt the importance of having experience versus having stuff whether of monetary or material value. I explained that the stuff you hoard and accumulate would eventually lose its value. You won’t remember what it felt like when you had it. But experiences. They are the things you observe and encounter over time. It is these happenings of life that provide you with knowledge and wisdom. Whether good or bad, experiences are the things you cherish forever.

At that moment, it dawned on me that my 2016 was, in fact, big. It was big not because of the things I felt like I needed to accomplish but for the experiences I’d had. In 2016, I did launch my ministry and blog. This experience taught me how to build a website, the importance of building a brand and the importance of networking. Also in 2016, I experienced some health challenges which urged me to consider my health and wellness practices. I spent too much money on silly things in 2016, and from that experience, I realize the importance financial wisdom and wise spending. Last year, I opened heart to the possibilities of love. Through this experience, I learned to depend on God because He would protect my heart and direct my path. Most importantly, I did fall more in love with God, I prayed more, but to that, I fasted. The bond that I now share with Christ is not because of the things I accomplished, but because of the experiences, I went thru.

When I look throughout the Bible, I see how many people’s experiences prepared them for their next thing. Had David not killed a bear and a lion while tending to his father’s sheep in I Samuel 17:34-35, he wouldn’t have had the experience of defeating things bigger than him which gave him the confidence to beat Goliath in verse 36. If Saul had not had his Damascus Road experience in Acts 9, there would be no Paul or the Christian church as we know it today. There is proof that experience prepares you to be able to handle what’s to come.

So when you think you haven’t done enough, gained enough or been sufficient enough, know you are experiencing enough. Those experiences are sufficient to teach you, prepared you and tested you. Zechariah 4:10 says “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.” Know that each experience is just a small beginning to a bigger ending.

In your experiences, be virtuous!!!

Okay. Let’s be honest. Sometimes trusting God can be difficult. Especially, when seems like life is going crazy. Bills are due, co-workers are acting up and it seems like everything that can go wrong, likes to go wrong at the same time. You don’t have to agree with me because I have been there.

When I going through situations and I lament to people, I am often asked, “You don’t trust God?” Well, yes. Yes, I do trust God. But I don’t trust me.

I explain it like this…”You know… He is God. He will always be God. There is absolutely nothing that He cannot do. He holds the world in His hands. HE. IS. GOD. Why wouldn’t I trust Him? Now, me on the other hand. I am subjected to human flaw (I was created like that by design). Therefore, I trust God but I don’t trust me.”

Granted, these feelings are short-lived. But when my faith is tested and I need some reinsurance, here are some of my go-to scriptures:

  • “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
  • “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
  • “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
  • “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” Matthew 6:26
  • “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” Nahum 1:7

Remember this, God never promised life would be easy. But His word does promise WHEN we go through, He would be there. David, a king, a man after God’s own heart experienced moments of fear. Yet, when he did, he still trusted God.  The birds in the air fly with no worries and live knowing God will provide nourishment to sustain them. When you are rooted in God He would never let you be overwhelmed or consumed. He is your refuge but you must trust Him. Even when you feel like you’re alone, God is still with you!

So, at the end of the day, why do you need to trust yourself? You got God!

As always, be virtuous!!!!!

I can hardly believe that the month of March is just about over. Thinking back, I have no idea where January and February went or what I did during those first 80 or so days of 2016.

Now that it is March, it’s still not too late to set goals for 2016. Or get back on track if we’ve fallen off. We should still focus on moving onward and upward!

With that, here are my areas of focus for 2016:

Wellness: You may ask, “What is wellness and how does it differ from being fit or just healthy”? Well, wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. This resolution is not about being skinny but making small, yet effective and long-lasting steps to a happy, healthy and wholesome life. This focus is about a lifestyle change. It is wellness of the mind, body and spirit.

Financial Wisdom: Proverbs 13:22 says “A good man (woman) leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” My goal to leave enough wealth for my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Financial wisdom isn’t something taught in most households. This year I want to gain the understanding the purpose the money and how to be a wise steward of it.

Love Thy Self: I know I am not the only person that is always busy. On the regular basis, I work, I spend at least two and half hours commuting to work, I find myself going here and there and doing for everyone and myself. Now, let me be clear, I am not complaining in any way. I enjoy actually enjoy being busy, but I am often overwhelmed. I spend so much time doing and not enough time being. This year is about being not doing. Being in the present. Taking time for myself. Traveling. Simply enjoying what life has to offer. Life is about balance and in 2016 I plan to find it.

Spiritual Wholeness: One day I asked myself, “What am I doing on a regular basis to draw me closer to God?” For me, the answer was simple: “Not enough. Not continual.” James wrote, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…” God desires to have a mutual relationship with us. However, we have a role in making our relationship with Him the best. This is probably the most important focus; not just for 2016 but throughout a believers’ life.

Join me in making 2016 the start of the best years of the rest of our lives! Share with me your resolutions for this year and beyond. Also, look forward to reading more about my 2016 resolutions including the successes and challenges of each.

Remember, Be Virtuous!

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