Sunday, July 14, 2019

Freedom?


This is the month that we celebrate our country's independence. We are blessed to live in a country where we are FREE!


Free to speak our minds.


Free to speak our truth.


Free to worship and praise God!


In the Bible, several scriptures remind us of our freedom in Christ. To live physically and spiritually free is such a blessing. It reminds us that God is always with us and when we keep Him at the forefront of our lives, we live in true freedom.














John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.


2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.


Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.


Ephesians 3:12
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.


1 Peter 2:16
Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity.


Here's the question, are you living free?


These scriptures should be a reminder to live free of constant anxiety, worry, fear, and those weights that can easily cause undue pain and suffering. God knew that anxiety would present itself in our world. That's why He gave us the promise of Philippians 4:6-7:


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Posted by Renee)







Sunday, June 2, 2019

Congrats to the Class of 2019!

There have been so many incredible posts on social media about high school reunions, proms, college and high school graduations. Even the graduations from PreK seem to tug at my heart.

HOW has time moved so quickly? 

I remember some of these students playing T-ball with my son and now they have mustaches, taller than me and walking across that stage happily to receive their diploma. Even my own son (Joshua) is graduating from 8th grade and heading into high school (YES high school).

Life brings about swift transitions. I remember feeling so many emotions as Tyler (my oldest son graduated last year). The stress and strain of his senior year had taken it's toll on my physical and mental body.

By the end of 2018, I was on medical leave for weeks taking a much needed BREAK from LIFE

If I could only have told myself to CALM down and carry on. I wish someone would have hit me over the head and said, "stop stressing". But they couldn't because I didn't tell anyone. Even the woman that knows me best (my twin sister) didn't realize I was drowning. In my normal Roslyn fashion, I would just smile and present the me that had it ALL together. Isn't that what we do - suffer in silence?


Spring Break 2018
Stress was mounting but I just kept smiling


The reality - I was a wreck. Staying up late making list planning 4 graduation parties. Thinking about the financial impact of having a son AWAY in college. Worried what his first year would be like in school - would he sink or swim? Would he miss me as much as I missed him? Would he eat the type of organic meals I liked to prepare for him? Who would do his grocery shopping? What would his roommates be like? Would my black man child come home every night SAFE? Would he have an asthma attack that caused an ER visit?

I ushered myself right into an anxiety I had never known. A torment that kept me up at night thinking of the worse situations. 

Can I offer a little advice to you?

STOP worrying - they are going to be fine. YOU are going to be fine. It doesn't matter if it's your send off to Kindergarten or college, they will RISE to the occasion. You've prepared them for this moment. I found comfort in the fact that God is everywhere. I knew like he said in Psalm 91 - His angels would watch over Tyler.

Do NOT be a helicopter parent...it's not a good look. 

Mistakes will be made, tough days will happen, test will be failed, you won't like every roommate, you will be overwhelmed with emotion but a NEW chapter has begun. STRAP on and enjoy the ride. GOD is with you so don't fear! (Posted by Roslyn)

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Valor.Bravery.Sacrifice

VALOR.BRAVERY.SACRIFICE


These are just a few words to describe many soldiers, cadets and officers that gave it all.  There are families grieving this holiday because their loved one paid the ultimate sacrifice. Many of us (including myself), relish in having a long holiday weekend, beach time and the unofficial start to Summer. Gold star families relive the pain of the moment they found out about their loved one that wouldn't be coming home.

Memorial Day is a hard holiday. While I sleep there is a soldier standing watch on foreign soil that I might live and sleep in freedom. Freedom is NOT free. Stop and think about that statement. Veteran's day is when we thank those in the military that are still alive. This weekend we remember those that have given their life.

Will you join countless Americans in a moment of silence? Will you silence your plans for a few short seconds to remember the sacrifice of those hurting this holiday? The parents without their children and the children without their parents defending OUR united freedom.

Thank you for answering the call. These men and women embodied valor, bravery and sacrifice so we can wave the American flag proudly. God bless our United States of America.



Sunday, April 28, 2019

Stop Praying



I absolutely love prayer.  I enjoy praying for myself & especially interceding on behalf of others. The opportunity to go before our sovereign God with requests and petitions is an honor! It's also the bedrock of my faith.


Jesus' death gives us the availability to pray directly to Him. We no longer need someone to pray for us. We can pray for ourselves!










Psalms 4:3 reminds us of this fact:


Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him.


I'm sure you're asking yourself, why then would she title this post, "Stop Praying?"




For years I've prayed in a way to direct, control and manipulate God. Not only would I tell God what I needed,  I would also tell Him how it needed to work out in my favor. As if that wasn't enough, I would also give a timeframe in which to make it all happen.


What in the world was I thinking? God isn't a vending machine!


He's sovereign. He knows what's best for me.


Sovereign means that He's a supreme being. He is boundless, beyond limitations, absolute and unrestrained. He can do anything! He knows more than me. His ways aren't my ways. His thoughts aren't my thoughts and I need to trust Him in every situation just as He says in Isaiah 55:8:


8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord"


If you find yourself doing the same thing, STOP IT! Stop praying in that way. Trust God with all the details. It's not your battle to fight, it's His. This week I want you to meditate on II Chronicles 20:17. It provides assurance and an ability to have confidence in God working on our behalf.

17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." (Posted by Renee) 


 




Sunday, March 10, 2019

I need MENTAL clarity and so do YOU!

Because of surgery I recently endured a forced hiatus, a pause in my life that showed me I need to embrace mental clarity.

Do you ever try and fall asleep yet your mind is still racing? 

Are you sitting in a meeting or church thinking about a thousand other things rather than focusing on the presenter? 

Are you mid sentence and completely forget your thought?  

Have you ever forgotten what your kids said even though they only said it 10 minutes ago?


Then my friend, you too need mental clarity. Thoughts are natural, there is NO escaping them. But there are times when they overwhelm and start to control us in a negative and NOT positive way. If I don’t carve space for mental clarity, I find myself complaining and competing in ways that are NOT healthy.

One of the best pieces of advice I can offer myself is to build in more pause moments in my life. Life for me moves rapidly. In the past six weeks I’ve traveled to Dallas twice, New Jersey and Toronto. Over and over agin my thoughts try to overrun me.

How do I turn it OFF?

You don't, but NOW is the perfect time to harness a new way of thinking. March madness is here. Below are a few things that recently supported me in harnessing mental clarity:


  1. Take deep breaths (deep breathing helps lower blood pressure)
  2. Take a walk (at the suggestion of my doctor, I take an afternoon walk to decompress from my work day)
  3. Turn OFF the 24 hour news cycle (stay WOKE, but don't listen to the constant 24 hours news banter on TV)
  4. Limit social media (seeing what everyone else is doing contributes to negative and discontent feeling about ourselves - limit your time)
  5. Turn OFF notifications (STOP the constant chiming of notifications from every app coming to your phone and smartwatch, it is TOO distracting)
My sunset walks SAVE my sanity!

These are a few things that helped me quiet the voices in my head. Focusing on my greatest life priorities actually yields less time to be distracted by my negative inner critic. I can’t imitate trying to be someone else, that’s exhausting. I’m going to show up in the world as the best Roslyn I can be. Free of wild thoughts and embracing mental clarity to make more effective decisions. CHOOSE today to sit still and breathe. (Posted by Roslyn)


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Parenting Success!

During a recent family meal, we each went around the table and shared one thing we loved about each other. Typically my 16 and 10 year old are on each other's nerves, so it warmed my heart to hear them being pleasant to each other. They were also surprised to hear each other's response.






Do you ever ask similar questions around your dinner table? If not, try it.








My youngest during vacation
 As much as it was a blessing to hear them talk about each other, their answer to me was beyond words. My 10 year old started out first. I was pretty sure he was going to compliment my cooking. I've always felt like I take "rock star" status in his mind because I enjoy cooking his favorites on a regular basis. His world revolves around sports, video games, sleep, reading books, and eating. Typical kid stuff.


Instead of him listing my participation in any of those activities, he quickly let me know that he loves how I teach him God's word.
















Wait, what?




He actually likes our Bible study time together? Even though he sighs and even complains when it comes time to read his devotional, he LIKES it. Matter of fact, he LOVES it!




His sister then echoed the same sentiment as a reason why she loves me.  Oh my goodness! Their words nearly bought me to tears.




From the time they were born, I've always prayed that they would develop their own relationship with Jesus! It's my definition of parenting success. Sure, education is great. Where they attend college is spectacular.




Loving on Jesus for themselves is priceless!




No matter how much you think they aren't listening, they are. Keep giving them God's word no matter what and by any means necessary. Here's some quick examples of how to give them Jesus:


  1. Pray over your children before they go to school. Have them pray for you as well.
  2. Teach them scriptures and have them memorize them.
  3. Pray with them again before bedtime.
  4. Text them scriptures throughout the day to encourage them through rough times.
  5. Allow them to see you reading the Bible on a regular basis. (Be the example)
  6. Attend church with them.


When you raise your children with knowledge of God's love, it sets them up for major success! It also provides a wonderful promise to us as parents. Just try it and see what happens. (Posted by Renee)


Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)


Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.











Sunday, January 27, 2019

This is why you are stressed!

What happens if I just get in my car and drive?
Where will I end up?
What will I see along the way?

This is how many of us are pacing through life - NO plan and NO end goal in mind. I truly believe this is the reason that so many of us are stressed. Life is just happening all around us and we are numb and overwhelmed through all of it.

Remember that feeling when you said, "Happy New Year" just a FEW days ago. You said to yourself, "this is my year". It was less than a month ago that many of us committed to ourselves that this year would be different. Do NOT let that optimism die. February 1st is this week and we can't afford to waste anymore time.

For you to know where you are going, you must develop a PLAN. 

Not just a broad plan but a very specific plan that will yield RESULTS. During my goal setting time, I like to create plans that are S.M.A.R.T.

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Applicable
R = Relevant
T = Time Bound

When you build this type of plan, chances are you will achieve your goal. Here are examples of BROAD goals:

I want to lose weight. 
I want to be debt free. 
I want to go back to school.

Most of the time these BROAD goals will lead us to the end of the year without seeing any results. We get SO frustrated that our goals haven't become reality. We can get our mouths to SAY anything, but if we don't intentionally plan to take action, NOTHING happens.

Now, here are some examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals:


  • I will stop eating french fries for one week. I will walk for 15 minutes, at any pace, after every meal (that adds up to almost 45 extra minutes of exercise).


This goal is achievable because you give yourself a timeframe to complete a portion of your larger goal. At the end of the week you can reward yourself for achieving your milestone and that positive reinforcement will build your confidence in knowing, you can do it again. Before you know it you have lost weight and feeling so proud of your accomplishment.

  • I will use my tax refund check in March to pay down my credit card. I will hold off on any purchases over $50 for two weeks. That means no online or in store shopping for 2 weeks.
This goal is specific and gives a time for the goal to be completed. Once you achieve a milestone, keep giving yourself another relevant goal and see how quickly you can chip away at your debt.

  • I will call the community college to research the continuing education programs in my local area.
Again, large goals can seem overwhelming. Break it down into BITE size pieces and then you will start to see results. Going back to school starts with researching on the internet and then picking up the phone if you have more questions. It's that simple.

Setting that goal gives you a ROADMAP to where you are going. It's not too late to start that goal planning for 2019. CHIP away and start to see results. You can DO it, you are worth it. (posted by Roslyn)

**Please note the above examples are just that - an example.