Picture
Heeeeeey guys! Been a while. School has started for me and has kicked into full swing and I’ve just been caught in the hustle and bustle. Fortunately, a lot has been on my heart to vent about the many things I’ve been dealing with the past couple of weeks. My faith has been tested to the MAX lately but I’ve also been blessed enough to minister to other people about increasing in faith…. while going through my own situation. Aint it funny how we have all the advice in the world for people and their issues but when it comes to our own…..fall on deaf ears?? Any who….

Going back and forth to Boone County DFS (Division of Family Services) has basically become a weekly routine for me. Just as much as me attending class is. If it’s not a problem with assistance than it’s a problem with childcare. It is always something. Basically, I get childcare assistance for Addy’s daycare while I attend school but they closed my case about a month ago and it just RECENTLY opened back up. Meaning, this past month that I was taking my child to daycare, the state hasn’t been paying for it. The daycare has just been graciously letting me drop her off while I just pay the co-pay (Thank you God). Now that my case is re-opened, the state is only paying for part time childcare. Sigh Let me tell you about Boone County DFS office. Over the past year, surrounding counties around Boone County have closed down their DFS offices, so all of their clients travel here to Boone County for their cases. The office is slammed pack from open to close with a MINIMUM of a 2-hour wait prior to seeing a caseworker. They deal with so many people that no one has an assigned caseworker anymore. You see who is available that day. I’ve been 4 times within the past month. Each time I went (while waiting on the status of my case), they told me the same thing every time. “Just gotta wait.” So four times I wasted time and gas to be told what I assumed I would be told anyway. That is my problem. I am so focused on the humanistic nature of the matter that I’ve basically told God this is too big for you and I to deal with. “I’m going to try and figure this out on my own “ and he just up there laughing at me.

Each day I tell my daddy (God) that I trust him with this situation but I wake up uneasy and with anxiety about this situation. But #GodBeKnowing. After attending church and bible study this past week, Bishop led us to the book of Job. He told satan that he could mess with Job’s possession and even with him, but could NOT touch his soul. God may have let down the barrier for satan to climb over to mess with your possessions but he has no authority over your soul. God has got you covered.

Satan is having a field day with my daycare situation. He is aware that it causes me much frustration and agitation but I’ve been getting into my word more than ever to combat that. Satan will NOT have me. I will not give him the luxury of him harassing me. I’ve come to far in my relationship with Christ for me to turn back because of a petty worldly matter.

This morning after getting the news that the state was only paying part time of her childcare, the first thing on my mind was to go down to the office immediately and get it taken care of. I turned my car around and went home to complete my scheduled workout instead. #GodBeKnowing. After working out, God lead me to a scripture, book of James specifically, and it goes as follows My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, WITH NO DOUBTING, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways- James 1:2-8.

 

One thing I can say in the midst of all this childcare mania, I am grateful that they reopened my case after a month. Ironically, the ONE day I didn’t give my issue a second thought was the day I got a letter in the mail saying they reopened it. When you get out of your own problems and lend it over to God, not giving it a second thought, things happen in your favor. Right now, I just have to trust that God has this all taken care of and know that God has the final say so. No more wasting gas and wasting precious hours in the DFS office. I did my part, I am praying for an abundance of faith (which then comes an abundance of tests) that God will meet every single one of my needs. Every single one.

*This blog is dedicated to my good friend Larry. I speak of you daily in my prayers and can only fathom how you feel. TRUST him Larry. For all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. The enemy can’t have you my friend. You will be fine and so will the little man. Love You! 


 
 
So this past weekend….was amazing. So simple yet so satisfying. Once again, I felt an array of emotions but all ended well. In a nutshell, I went back to St. Louis over this past weekend with intent to stretch out my weekend as much as possible prior to school starting this Monday (didn’t really work such as life).

I remained pretty much lowkey and stayed in the house majority of the time but when I did step out, I was in for a major surprise.

Friday just started with irritability and agitation. Addyson did the fool all morning JUST BECAUSE I TOLD HER THAT SHE COULDN’T WATCH DORA DOWNSTAIRS BUT THAT SHE HAD TO GO UPSTAIRS IN MY ROOM TO WATCH! CRIED FOR 30 MINUTES STRAIGHT! SHE CHANGED HER WHOLE BREATHING PATTERN! ….but I digress. After that, I remained on edge throughout the remainder of the day.

Addy, Candess (Addy God Mom) and I went to a sushi restaurant later on that day for happy hour. Already agitated from earlier, Addyson spilled a cup of water all over the table. I had to internally count to 10 in order to calm myself down. Snowball affect in effect.

With intentions of going home after happy hour, some of Candess’s Abundant Life church fam were actually in The Loop (where the sushi restaurant was ) to do ministry. Two Fridays out of the month, the youth at the church go to The Loop to stop people, tell them about God, and pray for them. I could tell Candess wanted to stay but due to Addyson already causing me to be irritable, I was ready to go.

Needless to say, they convinced me to stay. We had fellowship at another restaurant, which was amazing. One of the Abundant Life members actually works with children so she was there to play with Addyson and take her off my hands for a few. #GodBeKnowing

Outside of me and not being a regular Abundant Life Member, there was another new face at the table. A girl named Courtney (assuming that is how you spell it). Homeless and 5 months pregnant due to being raped. Abundant Life invited her to sit with us and paid for her meal. Listening to her story was just…I can’t even explain the feeling. Not only being without her necessities, pregnant, also dealing with the demon of homosexuality, not having custody of her first born (five year old son), and still battling an addiction to nicotine….even while she is pregnant.

It did not take long for my irritability to subside. I began looking at Addyson and just thanking God for her; her health, her intelligence, my family support in helping me raise her. I am blessed. To see Courtney, smiling, enjoying her food and our company was just amazing to me. Despite her situation, she still managed to laugh and rub her belly and smile. She says she is excited to know the sex of the baby. She really wants a girl. I gave her the rest of the cash in my purse and told her to get some prenatal pills ASAP. She doesn’t have any type of prenatal care at this point. I gave her some names of resources that could help her and my number that I pray she uses so I can keep in touch with her. I was to see how she is doing and how that child is doing. Even if I never see her again, I have faith that God already has changed her life. As we were getting up to leave, all of us (probably 20-25 of us) all got up to pray for her and her child. I got to rub her belly before she left J

Situations as such really make you appreciate your life…flaws and all. It is always someone dealing with worse situations. That is not something I am proud of or boasting about. Courtney is now a part of my daily prayers…but it definitely increases my gratitude. And to think, I planned on going home after getting sushi. I didn’t want to fellowship. I just wanted to go home. #GodBeKnowing

“When it’s something you most likely don’t feel like doing, you probably need to” (in a spiritual sense)

 
 
Picture
I can recall a couple of sermons that Bishop talked about in regards to a life plan. He discussed how “dates determine destiny.” Basically, we need to set a date for ourselves, pray over it and grow in faith to obtain our set goals. After some thought, prayer, and confirmation, I have decided to write the vision of my 5 year plan. Everything may not work out as I plan BUT I do know all things work together for good for those who love him and for those who are called to his purpose- Romans 8:28

* Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is DEAD- James 2:17

Alana’s Vision
5 Year Plan: Write it Down, Make it Plain

Ø  Each and everyday is a work in progress to grow in my relationship with Christ. Setting aside time each day for just him and I alone. I inherit Christ-Like characters through each trial laid in front of me. To be completely sold out to God (overall goal; whether 5 days or 5 years)

Ø  Graduate in December 15, 2012 with a Bachelors degree in Communication: this by far will be my best semester of undergrad (CLAIMING IT !!!)

Ø  Complete my Masters at the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri with my specialty area in Non-Profit Management by December 2014

Ø  While working on my Masters, I plan to network with others in Non Profit who have a heart to help fathers just as I do. Learn the ins and outs of the laws and policies regarding fathers (non custodial parents)

Ø  Continue to mentor other teen parents, this time through a spiritual foundation

Ø  Strengthen my relationship with my daughter; show more compassion and be more attentive; raise her in the way that she should go

Ø  Closer towards the end of my five year goal, I would like to be in the process of either starting my own Non Profit or joining one similar such as Father Support Center or National Fatherhood Initiative

Ø  If in his will, I would like to pursue modeling again. If that takes off to be successful, I will use that as a platform to be involved in philanthropy

Ø  ¼ done with paying back school loans

Ø  Engaged to the man God has ordained for me

Ø  Alive, healthy, blessed, and COMPLETELY sold out for Christ

A lot in 5 years, BUT I have an abundance of faith that these goals can and will be obtained.

Please help me pray in agreement over my vision. 


 
 
Been a while since I’ve let myself vent, but this week in St. Louis was well needed for this posting. I’ve battled an array of emotions with only being here for a week but it provoked a much needed heart check. Green with envy goes as follows….

Being a female for 22 years of my life (lol) I’ve learned that females are just naturally jealous. Okay, well, not necessarily jealous but competitive by nature. Even when we don’t know we are, it is subconscious. We size other women up upon meeting them unintentionally. Comes as natural as our monthly menstrual cycle.

Then we slip into this comparison mode. Detail by detail we like to pick apart the other female and compare them to ourselves—what we have that she doesn’t and vice versa. Envy as they call it. People like to say they don’t “care about the next person,” but we have all been there before. This is something I noticed I was doing this past week. I wasn’t necessarily sizing another female up, but I was putting myself in a position to compare myself to another person/people.

I attended bible study this past Wednesday at a friends church (this wasn’t my first time at the church but my first time attending their bible study), and I noticed how everyone was feeling everything the pastor was saying and got something out of it. I heard “Hallelujahs” and “Thank you Jesus” all over the sanctuary, and not to say that I didn’t feel anything the pastor was saying….but this was different. I found myself comparing my praise and worship to everyone else’s. I have never spoken in tongues, never wailed out, never shouted and jumped in the middle of the aisle…that has never been me. I am looking at others around me who basically “praise the Lord” in this kind of way, and felt bad. I began to feel like my praise and worship were belittled because I didn’t do it like the people around me were. Or I wasn’t Christian enough because I wasn’t giving the Lord all of me. I know I can hold back sometimes when I spend time with him…but that’s just the reserved me.

At my home church in Columbia, I don’t remember ever having the problem of comparing my worship to other UE attendees. I’m too wrapped up in the word being preached and reflecting on my own life to be concerned with others worship. But once I came to an unfamiliar place with an un-renewed mind, I concerned myself with everything else but the word that probably was intended for me that night.

To sum up….the more time you spend concerning yourself with the next person and comparing the do’s/don’t haves… you run the risk of missing your own blessing. As the saying goes.. “What God has for me it is for me.” ß I try to keep this as a constant reminder when my flesh begins to discolor into a shade of green. I have no business concerning myself with what someone else has, whether it is something tangible or valuable such as praise and worship. Otherwise, God would have saw to it that I had those things and dwelled in me in such a way that I speak in tongues, wailed, and jump & scream in the middle of the aisles. I love God and am very grateful for the relationship that I am growing into with him. I have several moments where I cry from pure Joy due to how good he has been to me. I am not perfect and repentance has become a daily routine of mine. I am thankful for my heart check that brought me to the realization of why I began this walk in the first place. Not to view my life through comparative aspects but to whole-heartedly give God what is owed to him—my life.