*Singing* “Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your naaaame. And they're always glad you caaame. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name”
Oh, singing the theme song to Cheers today is so befitting, I’ll tell you why =)
I stopped into my favorite neighborhood Starbucks early this morning and spent the day with them. (So much work to do) It's been a while since I've been here and so I was greeted with the question, “Where you been?” by several different baristas.
They checked in with me, they knew my usual, and they showed they cared even if they really didn't. Lol.
When I ordered something different than my norm they looked at me crazy and said, “What's wrong with you, what are you going thru, this ain't normal for you."
This is after a good six months of NOT coming to this particular location. No other Starbucks has taken the time to get to know me like this one. No matter how many times I've frequented.
Here's the point...True community, it always brings you back!
We are all looking for people to relate with, to trust, to share with even if we are consciously attempting to
Today’s post is for the person who is going through something internally. They have been doing a good job hiding the pain and/or emotions but they’re about ready to blow up on the next person who comes at them with anything that is not positive…
We all do it, smile on the outside while we deal with all kind of issues on the inside. You can only put on this front for so long before you start wishing you could throw everyone and their problems off a cliff and find someone who can be there for you.
One of the best things you can do for yourself in these overwhelming moments is take some time out for yourself. Spend some time reflecting on why your inner man and outer appearance aren’t matching. Sometimes you just have to be honest with certain people and let them know where you are. We have this false perception that we are super human and should be able to tend to the needs of everyone and our own 24/7. We can try, but it won’t last long and something/someone will suffer. Usually that someone is the very person trying to extend themselves so that others are happy—I’m talking about you.
People see what you let them see. If you don’t show that something is wrong, most people aren’t going to sense it. I’m not saying that you have to go out and tell the world you’re in a bad space but you do have permission to take some time for yourself and God. Let God speak to you and deal with those icky matters of the heart. You deserve to be ministered to as well! Moments of solitude and Sabbath days are necessary to avoid burn out and to pull yourself into a better space so that you can be of some good in all you do!
You have a close friend/mentor right? Let them know how you are feeling. Share that you need prayer, a hug, time away, a small break, tell them that you want to bash a head or two in, be honest and get all that stuff out. Then pray together and respond accordingly.
Vulnerability can lead to our greatest breakthroughs and most awesome moments of peace! Try it out. You deserve to let the feelings on the inside match the smile on the outside!
See you tomorrow? Awesome!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:8 NKJV
It’s late afternoon and I’m just getting to my laptop. Judging by the way I felt when I woke up this morning I knew the one mandatory thing I needed to do today was lay at the Master’s feet. There was no way around it. I was reminded of how important it is to spend real honest time in Him to be restored, renewed, refreshed, redirected, and have some goals redefined.
We all have seasons of our lives where we are consistent with our quiet time with God. Then there are others where we allow distractions to pull us away from the consistency. While I was still in my word I hadn’t spent time with God the way I’m accustomed to and whenever an intimate relationship switches up you definitely feel the difference.
One of the first things I told God was that I apologize for it taking so much for me to be drawn back to Him. What I meant by “so much” was all the things causing stress and exhaustion were given too much power and pulling me from
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
The other day I was sitting with my nephew while Doc McStuffins was on TV and I came across Robot Ray. I’m not quite sure what happened to cause the toy robot to go see the doctor but I did pay attention to his diagnosis. He was suffering from wetmosis, which let me know the poor robot was waterlogged lol.
Our young doctor gave him a solution to the problem…stay out of water! Don’t get wet! “These are the doctor’s orders!” He agreed and went about his business. In the next scene the robot saw a toy in danger and because it was in his nature to help that’s exactly what he dove in to do. The only problem is he had to go right in the midst of the water sprinklers to do it. So he ended right back up in Doc’s office and had to go through his procedure and “fixing” process all over again. She shared, “You have to follow the doctor’s orders!” His response, “But I had to save the day.”
How many times have we failed to obey the doctor’s orders, to obey God’s orders? Sometimes the directions are so simple, don’t get wet, don’t go there, stop flirting with that but our human inclination to satisfy the wants of the flesh (and even desires of the spirit) cause us to consistently jump right into the very thing that is causing us physical, spiritual, and emotional harm.
We see people and things that we crave and that draw us in and in spite of the doctor’s orders we fall victim to the tricks and traps of the enemy. There has to be safer ways to fill the voids of not getting what the flesh desires. Ways that our needs are met just as the doctor has prescribed. Sometimes it takes help from the people who are around us.
When Robot Ray was in the doctor’s office the second time all the toys talked to him about his choice. They held him accountable sharing with him the importance of following the doctor’s advice. Just as I talked about in yesterday’s blog, You need a group like theirs, we need people around us that will encourage us, not give up on us when we have moments of failure, and that will hold us accountable.
When robot Ray was faced with the final challenge he didn't have everyone to stop him and tell him, “Nooo, don’t jump in the water” even though they knew he wanted to save the toy. But Robot Ray found another way. It took him a little time but he was finally able to stop and think before he acted so he wasn’t putting himself in harms way. He found another avenue to do what his heart desired in a way that pleased the doctor and kept him healthy and whole.
My prayer for us is that we do take these ways of escape when they present themselves. That we trust that the directives God has given us are for our best interest. That we may remain whole and that those we’ve been called to serve and partner with will receive the best us. If you are struggling with following His orders understand that where you are weak you are strong because of Him (1 Corinthians 12:10). That through Christ all things are possible (Philippians 4:13). Don’t beat yourself up by ignoring His directives or for the struggle you may be facing just attempt to do better the next time you are faced with the test! His grace is sufficient for you (1 Corinthians 12:9)!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT
Most of my early mornings are spent at one of two of my neighborhood Starbucks. In this season it seems to be about one of the only places I can get anything done. I’ve learned a couple of things from my frequent visits. One, it’s quite an expensive office space and two it’s a great meet up spot.
There are a group of adults that meet in one of these locations daily. Between 7:30am and 10:00am you’ll see them file in and engage in whatever conversations come up. There’s no agenda, there are no plans, just a go with the flow interaction that obviously is life giving in some way because they keep showing up!
From what I’ve learned they don’t make phone calls and say what time they will be there, they don’t call to see who is or who isn’t going to make it, they just show up! This means that sometimes one will get there while everyone else is leaving or you’ll hear, “hey we missed you yesterday!” at someone else’s entrance.
It reminds me of how important interactions with like-minded individuals are. Many of us try to go this life alone without the support of anyone else. We have moments of wanting to be around people then moments of isolation but the truth of the matter is we need relationships with others. We need people to tell us when we are doing right and wrong, we need people who will pray for us, we need people to just sit and laugh with, we need people that we know are going to be there everyday if needed, and we need to know that we can be that for someone else.
This Starbucks group comes together with a common goal: hang out and enjoy coffee. They argue about ideas, they laugh, they partake in food and drinks, and they go home filled up.
This is how it should be in the church. Whenever we gather we should have a common goal, hang out in order to get the word, encourage one another, allow debate to lead to growth, and be prepared for application when we leave.
Sadly many of us avoid the church. The reasons for this run the gamut from legit church hurt to just having other things that occupy our attention. The reality is, the church should be a place of refuge. It should be a place that you know whenever you show up there will be someone there to talk to, someone to laugh with, someone to cry with, someone to encourage you, someone to sit with you, and someone to study the word with you.
If there is anything you can do to strengthen your ties with people in the community of faith, do it! Join a group, plan a monthly meet up, attend Bible study weekly, or go to other events that happen on your church’s campus. There is too much going on in the world around us and in our own homes to be disconnected from the very people that can help us stay connected to our true source.
If you’ve been running from the church I pray that God will lead you to one that can help to heal whatever area that caused you to run. If you’re in the church but have just decided to be anti-social, I pray that He will send you just the right individuals to encourage you and walk with you on this journey with Christ. Being connected to the right people is oh so worth it!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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