Don’t stop believing

At your fingertipsI love travelling. The nervous anxiety of preparing for a trip; the picking out of the travel outfit; even the airport food. I love it. What I don’t love is booking accommodation. I don’t love the games these booking sites play with my emotions; the way they tease me with these reasonable prices, make me add them to my list of favorites, then turn around and jack up the prices the moment I am actually ready to book. Now I am out here juggling browsers, using incognito windows, creating alternate profiles, just so I can get to the truth. It feels like stalking an ex on social media. Which, of course, I would never ever do. Ever.

But yeah, I hate the booking part, which is why I have been procrastinating on booking  rooms for my next trip. It doesn’t help that I am on a shoe string budget either. After a week of checking and searching almost every day, I feel like my eyes are about to fall out.

Then today, after work, I checked again and suddenly all the prices at half a dozen of the links I saved had dropped; some of them slashed in half. Thank God! Because I and my pocket had been praying. But it reminded me of how sometimes we give up too easily. Sometimes that thing we are hoping, working and going for is right there, right beyond the tips of our fingers but we stop reaching too soon.

I’ve been reaching for some things for a while now. The opportunity to write commercially again; my dream job; the healing of some friendships; some Isaac-Rebecca style love. And sometimes, I feel like giving up. Sometimes I do give up momentarily. But this simple thing today reminded me to keep reaching, because like my underpriced hotel booking, what I am reaching for might be right beyond my fingertips. And if I reach out a little more, it might be mine.

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie

Thinking about you…

So, I have a crush on this guy. And it’s an Alicia-Keys-You-Don’t-Know-My-Name type of situation, except he does know my name and ain’t nobody singing. (If you don’t get the Alicia Keys reference, let Youtube be your friend.)

Anyway, the point is that I have this crush and I don’t know what to do about it, which is silly cause I’m a grown woman.(Any grown women out there got some advice for me?) I also don’t know what to do with my thoughts. I am a writer, friends. My brain never shuts off and there is an infinite supply of creativity in there. This, combined with my crush’s frequent appearance in my every day life is not a good combination. Why? Because thoughts have “no behavior” as Miss Paulette (one of the women who raised me) would say. Thoughts are like the 3-year-old shrieking and running up and down the aisles in Walmart. They don’t care about you. Meanwhile, I’m out here trying to chase them down and keep them under control. But just like that kid in Walmart, they’re having none of it.

I’ve really been on a mission to control my thoughts recently. Not just the ones about Mr Crush, but all of them. The ones about my fears about the future; the ones that have me worrying about my finances (remember the job thing?); the ones that have me assigning motives to my coworkers behavior. Thoughts. They can lead us down a dark road.

But they don’t have to. Focusing on things that are true, lovely, pure, worthy of respect has really helped me with this. Asking God to control them has also helped. So if my problem is your problem too, give it a try. You can also check out this great book by Crain Groeschel on Winning the War in Your Mind.

Okay, that’s all. I’m off to go NOT think about you know who. Good luck warriors!

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. – Philippians 4:8, The Message



Jobs, priorities and walking in water

This morning I quit my job.

Well, one of them. You see, as a Jamaican it is required that you hold multiple jobs at all times. If you don’t, they snatch your citizenship. No, I am just joking.

Except not really. Multiple jobs really is a thing.

But anyway, back to the story. This morning I quit my job. A job I actually didn’t hate but which was shredding years off my life.

Truth be told, I should have quit months ago. I was wrestling with the truth of it for weeks. But I hate losing an income stream, especially when I am not sure when or how it will be replaced. But there are things more important than money. (Though my student loan balance doesn’t seem to care about that.) Things like health – mental and physical; things like self-development, which I have been putting off for a long time; things like faith. And that last one was the one that really made the difference for me. Because if I say I trust God to take care of me, then I can’t be hesitating when he tells me to do something. I have to trust that once I take the first step, He will create the dry land for me to take the next one. (That’s a reference to a really cool story you can find here by the way).

So I took that faith step. I quit my job. God help me. I’ll let you know how it goes!

RB

Real Talk: That awkward moment

awkward2This week has been the week of awkward conversations. It seems like every day this week I have had to have an uncomfortable conversation with someone important in my life. Sometimes about things that I needed their opinion on, other times on things that I had done that I needed to make right. On every occasion I spent the hours of the day prior in mental agony about the conversation that had not yet happened. In some cases I would lie awake the night before thinking about what might happen. Continue reading

Growing Periods

gardenEvery spring I have listened to a few inclined girlfriends talk about their gardening. I withstand the stories about mulching, watering and bugs and have even eaten from the harvest of their vegetable plots. I have never been interested. This year however I decided to try sprouting some beans, in preparation for a similar activity I wanted to do with the kids at work, and somehow caught the garden bug. Now I’m watching lentils, kidney beans, basil and chives (don’t laugh. I’m new at this!) sprout in pots near my backyard, as I wait for Toronto weather to make it permissible to replant them outdoors.

I don’t know why this year has been different. Maybe because I am older now and I suppose these are the things that interest women when they get older. Maybe because making things grow has turned out to be therapeutic for me as I face (or  avoid) the heartache of other things dying in my life. Whatever the reason, it is becoming more and more of a joy to see the stems on my plants stretching longer each day, to see new leaves opening and growing, and to watch the miracle of life. It just reminds me of how amazing God is, and how he can create something new and beautiful from something small and simple. It is teaching me to hope that He will do the same in me.

Higher Thoughts: Actively Waiting

waitingI received this amazing devotional thought in my inbox this morning that I thought I would share with you.
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Last Friday I wrote about the fact that having faith means patiently waiting. As I continued to focus on that this week, a text I read some time ago came to mind: James 2: 14 – 16 (NKJV). The highlights of this section of scripture, for me, are:

“14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?…17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

You can’t say you have faith, but then not show it. It does not work that way. The New International Version puts it this way: 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

To me, waiting patiently and showing action seemed a little oxymoronic – how do you actively wait? Then I remembered something my dad once told me. He said that when you can’t hear God’s voice, you just keep doing the last thing He told you to do, or head in the last direction He pointed you in, until you hear Him again telling you otherwise.

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Higher Thoughts: It all counts

There’s a man at the Kennedy Subway Station in Toronto who stands at the escalators telling people, “Jesus loves you”. I see him in the morning sometimes – around 7am when I am passing through Kennedy Station – and I sometimes also see him in the evenings on my way home. I can’t help but wonder about him. Does he have a job? Does he have a family? Responsibilities? How does he find time to do this so often? Doesn’t he even care that almost no one looks at him, and those that do look at him as if he’s strange? Is he even making a difference?

Continue reading