Waiting is hard. Let's be honest, in this microwave society that we have all grown accustomed to, we all hate to wait. From waiting in traffic to waiting in line, it's just not easy to wait. However, during this season of my life, I have learned some valuable lessons in waiting that I hope will inspire you.
Psalm 130:5 says, "I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.” What beautiful words, but what does it mean to "wait on the Lord"? Here is what I have learned, to wait is to surrender to God's timing and control. Woah! That's a mouthful. In other words, we must keep in step with God continually, day by day, at His pace, and learn to rest in Him. This is not easy to do, because it requires work and discipline. I had to really become intentional with seeking God's face and His perfect will for my life everyday to stay in step with His rhythm. I was very careful not to move ahead of Him or become slothful when He said go! To do this I had to increase my level of intimacy through prayer, reading His Word, and develop a lifestyle of fasting according to the Isaiah 58. As a result I began to change. I felt different. I moved differently. I learned to rest in God and wait patiently for Him to speak, give direction and instruction. I found myself looking in the mirror asking myself, "Who are you"? Patience was having its perfect work in my life and I was beggining to really understand James 1:4, “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
It's important to share that during this season of my life ALL HELL was breaking loose every other day! I was so overwhelmed, frustrated, and I desperately was trying to figure out how to fix everything that was happening. You know that's what we do. Instead of letting God teach me I was too busy trying to figure it out and fix it. A sista was worn out! My mind was exhausted! I went up for prayer one Sunday because I was just so overwhelmed. My Pastor prayed with me and said these words "rest, rest, rest". God wanted me to STOP trying to fix and figure things out, and just REST. It was my job to figure out what exactly that meant and how to do it! So I started seeking and studying God's Word and before I knew it I had entered into His rest.
During seasons of pruning it's important to understand the season and discern what you should or should not be doing. I was in a season of "patience pruning" and boy did it hurt! I don't know anybody who prays for patience or enjoys the process of becoming patient. So, if you find yourself in a season of "patience pruning" you will need a sustaining source to lean on while your waiting for God to move in your life. Trust me.
1. #HOPE is the key to patience and God's word is the key to hope. "In His Word I hope" Psalm 130:5
2. #SURRENDER to God's will and His ways, they are perfect. Don't resist the process it will only take longer. Patience is the evidence of strong faith, because it is the result of a surrendered heart, that hangs its hope on the promises of God.
3. Meditate on the #PROMISES of God by studying His Word concerning the season you are in. A few #PromisesForThePatient can be found in Isaiah 49:29; Isaiah 64:4; Isaiah 40:31
4. #PRAY for more faith to trust His will, strength to accept His plan and to believe His promises.
Remember, patience is the ability to wait on God's timing and accept His will, with joy, peace, hope, and assurance of His goodness. Rest in Him, He has everything under control.
Excerpt from The Endurance Ride of Life Volume 2 "Becoming Fruitful" #ERLV2
When you genuinely love you, you open yourself up to receive the genuine love of others. You also give enough care, attention, and empathy to yourself so that you can give to others from a place of abundance. “The key to loving yourself truly is to give yourself that which uplifts you, not just for the moment, but long term. Ask yourself, what is it that you really want?” Rena Greenberg @EasyWillPower. According to research, it takes 21 days to establish a habit, so here are 28 self love tips to get you started and a few more days to make it stick!
To continue your #SELFLOVE journey 365 days a year visit loveselfme.com @loveselfme
DAY 7: #DVAM2016
Earlier this week, Samyah Copeland, a 16 year old girl was shot to death in Riverdale, GA by her boyfriend. "The little young fellow took my daughter's life and his own life, that was her best friend," said Tuwanna Copeland. "He couldn't live without her, he didn't want no body else to live with her if he couldn't have her to himself." Our hope is that #FOD2016 will bring awareness and education; provide prevention and intervention resources, and support around the cause of domestic violence and teen dating violence prevention. All proceeds from the night will benefit the Loves Me Loves Me Not Teen Dating Prevention Program which will be hosted by 6 schools in February of 2017. Why?
#HOPE #AWARENESS #EDUCATION #INTERVENTION #PREVENTION
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) evolved from the "Day of Unity" held in October 1981 which was conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state, and national level. The activities conducted were as varied and diverse as the program sponsors but had common themes:
* Mourning those who have died because of domestic violence
* Celebrating those who have survived
* Connecting those who work to end violence
These three themes remain a key focus of DVAM events today. As a survivor and overcomer of domestic violence, I personally champion the cause of domestic violence and use my voice to bring awareness and education to the community. Would you join me? I invite you to help us break the cycle of domestic violence on Sunday, October 22nd by attending the 5th Annual For Our Daughters Benefit Concert. For Our Daughtersis an annual signature benefit concert that I produce in October featuring myself and local artist coming together to be inspired and break the cycle of domestic violence and teen dating violence through creativity and positivity. I know first hand how powerful music is and it's liberating effect on the soul and spirit.
Thank you in advance for your commitment to breaking the cycle of domestic violence. To join the movement, purchase tickets, or become a sponsor visit ChiTMathias.com #FOD2017
In the year 2000, after the birth of my second daughter, my message was "early detection saves lives, during my tenure as Cancer Control Specialist & Cancer Prevention and Education Advocate at The American Cancer Society. Today, Sixteen years later, my message is "inspire, empower, endure long and finish strong." Over the past sixteen years my professional career and life have metamorphosed beautifully, despite turbulence, test, trials, and tribulation. In Volume 2 of The Endurance Ride of Life, I will share my endurance journey of entrepreneurship, parenting, and personal life transformation with you. I will also share how the lessons I learned transformed my life and shaped my future.
SNIPPETS FROM MY ENTREPRENEURSHIP JOURNEY
I have learned so many life lessons as a result of embarking on the path of entrepreneurship sixteen years ago. The most important lesson learned, is that there are ebs and flows in business and how you ride the tide determines your level of success.
This is my story.
After a few years of cancer education and outreach, I would grow weary of hearing about the health disparities effecting my community and seeing women I had grown to know, love, and admire, lose their battle to cancer. So in the year 2000, I decided to get on the prevention end of health disparities as a business owner. My first business, of subsequent others, was Inside Out Health & Beauty (IOHB). It's mission was to improve the quality of life from the inside out. At the time, I was an independent health and beauty consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics and Body Wise International, both companies focused on beauty, health and wellness products. It was during that time as an independent consultant, that I had the epiphany to launch my own brand. IOHB would become an education and life enrichment company, which focused on educating individuals in the community about the importance of living a holistically balanced life from the inside out, spiritually as well as naturally. So as I sold my products and hosted skincare classes, I educated, empowered, and inspired lives along the way.
By the year 2003, I became a single mother of two little girls, ages 5 and 3 at the time. This life change would force me to put my entrepreneurial dreams on hold and pursue full time employment to support my family. This was a very difficult decision to make, however, like all single mothers, I did what I had to do. During that season of my life, not only was I a single mother, but I was a 26 year old still trying to find my place in the world. In addition, I was learning who I was in a city where I had no friends or family. I thank God for divinely ordered steps and the friends and serrogot family that He provided along the way.
For the next few years I navigated through life the best way that I could working as a Community Health Advocate until I realized that I needed to heal my own emotional wounds. So in 2007, I returned to my hometown of St. Louis, MO to do just that, focus on my healing journey. As I surrendered to the healing process I learned more about myself and bloomed in ways I could have never imagined! Picking back up my IOHB brand, I re-evaluated, re-purposed, and re-launched IOHB as The Inside Out Company and began developing innovative youth workshops and after school enrichment programs. I was also blessed to be able to speak and implement them to captive audiences by organizations like, The Girl Scouts of Greater St. Louis, The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Sisterkeeper Empowerment Center, the YWCA of Greater St. Louis, and local schools within the community. Needless to say these programs were meeting a need and proved to be effective, enriching, and produced lasting results.
As time when on, every four years I found myself re-evaluating and re-inventing my brand, as well as developing new brands. As I continued to serve under the umbrella of The Inside Out Company, music, my first love, started speaking loudly. So, in 2009, I launched a mobile music school, The Musik Institute, Inc., where I taught piano and voice lessons privately in the homes of my students. With two brands under my belt, I decided to go for a third after experiencing let downs at national vocal auditions with Sunday's Best and The Voice. Inspired Soul Music International was born! The first phase of ISMI was to self produce my first project as an independent artist. So I wrote five songs, hired a producer, and recorded an EP. After recording the EP, I began researching how to duplicate and package my product. With product in hand, I sold numerous copies at singing engagements locally. By the end of 2009, I had multiple streams of income from The Inside Out Company, The Musik Institute, and Inspired Soul Music. I was on a roll and enjoying my local success, but deep down I knew there was so much more.
By the year 2010, I was ready to launch the second phase of Inspired Soul Music International, producing local concerts, and For Our Daughters (FOD), "Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence Through The Arts", was born. The inspiration behind FOD, came from my personal life tragedies. The first, which I share in my book The Endurance Ride of Life Vol 1., occurred in 1992, at the hands of my stepfather who murdered my mother, sexually assaulted me, and stabbed me thirteen times, leaving me for dead. After surviving the traumatic event, I moved through life by the grace of God. In 1999 I became a young wife and mother who would eventually leave the marriage, for my daughters, because of domestic violence.
Anxious to share my story of tragedy to triumph with the world, in 2013, I wrote and self published my first inspirational work, The Endurance Ride of Life under my independent publishing company Food For The Soul Publishing. Since releasing my book, I have been on a quest to share my story and my song with the world and I will not give up until my ultimate vision is actualized. Today, with five successful brands under my belt, I am re-evaluating and re-launching. Still holding tightly to the most precious gift that I have as a vocalist, I still believe there is more. With sixteen years of entrepreneurial experience under my belt, I'm anxiously anticipating what's next for me.
Excerpt from The Endurance Ride of Life Volume 2 "Fruitful" #ERLV2
The race is not given to the swift, nor to the strong but to the one who endures until the end! Today was a race day! Actually everyday is a race day, but today was an actual 5k run race day. My first race of the year at the beginning of spring, my favorite season of the four. This race was symbolic for me in so many ways. As the race approached I was faced with many challenges. Honestly, I didn't think I would be able to run.
1. First Fruit Race - in honor of my Heavenly Father who gives me the strength to run and the ability to endure even when it's hard.
2. Spring - the season of new life. Everything that dies during the winter is now being resurrected again. Trees begin to bear fruit, produce flowers, grass turns green, weather begins to warm, bees begin to produce honey, etc. Life is new and its time for some spring cleaning!
3. The Arts - near and dear to my heart. As a professional artist I always try to support community arts programs especially those that incorporate wellness.
When I arrived at the Porter Sandford PAC, the crowd was building. Check-in went smoothly. Vendors were available for wellness checks. We started off with a group workout lead by a fitness instructor. Surrounded by hundreds of people, we all made our way to the starting point. GO!!! As I began my slow and steady pace, I observed the hundreds of people walking and running around me. After the first few minutes the large crowd began to dissipate as the more experienced runners in the lead gained some distance. As I looked ahead the first hill was in sight. No longer did I see the hundreds of walkers who were now all behind me, all I could focus on was getting up that hill. Slow and steady, I paced myself.
Determined and pushing forward with a little more speed, the crowd of runners ahead of me seemed to thin out as the now leading runners began to walk. That hill was a monster! As we approached the top of the hill, I focused on regaining my steady pace while talking deep breaths. Filling up my lungs with oxygen, I exhaled and down hill I went. Down hill I went! Instantly I had an epiphany. If life is one long endurance race then the hills are the trials we have to endure. Up and down we go. Slow and steady we push through the resistance, then down we go with lightening speed if we don't pace ourselves. Pace yourself when your rolling downhill, because if you go too fast you just might lose your balance. Down hill is the time you need to breath. Nevermind the walkers coming up along side of you or the runners. Keep your pace, focus on your race and your breathing, because guess what, another hill is coming.
As we continued along the race path, I approached the straightaway, observeing fellow team members encouraging each other and water carriers distributing water on the sidelines. Water on the sidelines? I guess some people might need water if the did not take the time before the race to hydrate. During the race is the worst time to drink water. Hill number two is now approaching and again with a slow and steady pace I pressed up the hill.
Focusing on my breathing and nothing else, I reached the top of the hill and noticed an even bigger gap now between the experienced runners and the walkers. Regaining my balance and taking deeper breaths, I had reached the half way point. The leading runners were still going strong, I being one of them! That is until hill number three! Just when I thought the rest of the race would be a breeze, another hill was before me, just like life. As soon as you think you have finally made it to reaching your goal, another curve ball is thrown your way. This moment unlike any other moment in the race is critical. Why, you may ask. Because this is the make or break moment. After running up and down hills, enduring the straightaway, trying our best not to become distracted by the people in the crowd, you must maintain your focus and keep your head in the game no matter what! You may have stopped for water and now you have a pain in your side (pain and sickness). You may have failed to stretch before you ran so now you have a cramp in your calf. You may realize that your not in the shape that you thought you were in to run a 5k at all! Maybe your like me, got a call on your smartphone by mistake because of that darn auto answer, interrupting the steady beat of your endurance music. Whatever your reason, these obsticals are designed to slow you down or get you to quit all together [ARE YOU STRONG ENOUGH TO PRESS]
Admitting, I had to power walk the last hill because I did not have enough wind to press my way up the hill because of the unexpected phone call. Foolish mistake, but it was one of my daughters. Even your children can be a distraction to your goals.
As I power walked up the hill, catching my breath, I purposed in my heart to finish running. Again on the downward hill I regained my slow and steady pace and pressed on. Along the way there was another small hill that I cleared with no problem. The finish line was in sight. My legs felt like I was carrying 20 pound weights around my ankles. It was hard to run. I had to power walk for a moment until I could suck in enough air to run again. To my surprise one of the runners came up along side of me and said come on let's finish this together! Thankful for her encouragement, I began to run. With less than a mile left to go I was almost there. By now I could see the finish line. The fellow runner who had just pushed me to finish was now walking so I decided to return the favor. "Come on where almost there" PUSH, PRESS, ENDURE! Through the finish-line I went beating my personal goal and finishing strong.
Excerpt from The Endurance Ride of Life Chapter 6: Detour Around Distractions
ISBN- 13: 978- 1484966082 ISBN- 10: 1484966082 2013 © All Rights Reserved by Chi T. Mathias. ChiTMathias.com
For a few practical tools and fresh inspiration through my personal life lessons learned, grab a copy of The Endurance Ride of Life. Available in ebook on Amazon.com
2 TIMOTHY 3
"You emphatically must know what I am about to tell you! In the very last part of the last days, in the very end of the age, hurtful, harmful, dangerous, unpredictable, uncontrollable, high-risk periods of time will come." Are you built to #ENDURE?
According to 2 Timothy 3:1, we are living in an age that will be marked by "perilous" world events. Let us therefore be wise, protecting our minds, our family members, and every other area of our lives by renewing our minds with the Word of God. Rather than hide in fear, let's get God's perspective about what we should be doing to help people who have been victimized by this age. Let's move out with the power of God and be ready to minister to those who have suffered harm because of the times in which we live! #KINGDOMAUTHORITY
Daily Prayer For Today
Lord, You designed me to live in these last days according to Your great plan. Because You are in charge of my life, I know it's no mistake that I am alive in this generation. Since these days are filled with greater risk than any other generation has ever known, I need faith to face these times victoriously. I need wisdom to minister to others who are wounded and hurt. So today I ask You to help me embrace this time as a part of my destiny and to become strong in faith so I can reach out to those who are near me and who need spiritual assistance! Help me to recognize their need and to know exactly how I should respond to help them. I pray this in Jesus' Name!
I declare by faith that I am chosen and equipped to live in this last generation. The Word of God protects my mind, my family, and everything that is a part of my life. I will renew my mind with the Word of God and get God's perspective about what His role is for me in these last days. Therefore, I will be a blessing and a help to people who have been victimized by these difficult and trying times. Rather than hide in fear, I will move out with the power of God and stay ever-ready to minister to those who have suffered harm because of the times in which we live! I declare this by faith in Jesus' Name!
How often do we start moving in one direction, face opposition and then quit? You had a great idea, you had tremendous passion, but once the real work came, you wore yourself out! It happens all the time to even the strongest willed people. They give up right before the good stuff is about to happen. The race is not given to the swift nor the strong but to the one who endures until the end (Ecclesiastes 9:11).
Distractions are all around us. Distractions are hindrances that keep many individuals from accomplishing their goals, fulfilling their dreams, and staying focused. To accomplish any goal, especially a God sized goal requires tremendous focus and the ability to detour around the many distractions that we face on a daily basis. (1 Peter 1:13- 16) Personally, this is something I have struggled with for years. I have often found myself too busy to focus on the main thing and I’ve gotten lost helping others. Many of us can relate to this. We help so many people and do so many things that we are so emotionally and physically exhausted, that we don’t have time for the God sized vision in our heart let alone God.
The lesson learned is that whenever you become so consumed with the cares of this world, becoming distracted by many things you will never accomplish the goals you set. It is imperative that you don’t allow the distractions that bombard us daily to cause you to miss out on opportunities, deadlines, rest and fulfilling your greatness. It happens easily.
Excerpt from The Endurance Ride of Life Chapter 6: Detour Around Distractions
ISBN- 13: 978- 1484966082 ISBN- 10: 1484966082 © 2013 by Chi T. Mathias. All rights RESERVED. ChiTMathias.com
For a few practical tools and fresh inspiration through my personal life lessons learned, grab a copy of The Endurance Ride of Life. Available in ebook on Amazon.com
Do you find yourself becoming angry at times or even discouraged by the disciples God has put in Your life to lead, coach, teach or mentor? I do! I become frustrated at times because of their inability to focus, complete and carry out the tasks before them.
However, as leadership mentors we must remain patient and continue to model the behaviors we expect them to demonstrate. Leaders assume responsibility to model for those that they lead. What behaviors do you want to see demonstrated by your disciples? Are you modeling those same behaviors?
We must also evaluate their performance and assess why they failed. In addition, we must affirm truth and hold them accountable to embrace it.
What truths are you affirming? Please share your wisdom...#WISDOMSPEAKS
I live everyday of my life in expectation. Like an expectant mother in her last trimester of pregnancy approaching the final week of her due date, I'm expecting.
Like parents who tie a yellow ribbon around the oak tree in the front yard awaiting their sons return home, I'm expecting to see the long awaited promise walk through the doors of my life.
As the April rain pours from heaven into the flowing rivers of the Niagara Falls, I'm expecting abundance to overflow into every area of my life.
Like a fisherman casting his net out in the deep, calling for help to pull up the load, I'm expecting the windows of heaven to pour out a blessing that I won't have room enough to receive.
I'm expecting to give with every measure of abundance given to me, because I know and understand that more will be added. I'm expecting, ready and waiting.
Inspired Journal Entry 10/13/13
© 2013 by Chi T. Mathias. All rights RESERVED