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I was thinking about my mom and The Gathering Place and how my love for it has only deepened since my mother’s passing. For those of you who don’t know, The Gathering Place is a gorgeous park filled with life size castles for children as well of tons of activities for the whole family. It was built for and financed by the community, and outside of food, beverage, and the occasional event, everything is free.

The reason I was thinking about my mom and The Gathering Place was because of how they allowed me to honor her there. On Jan 17th 2021 after receiving word that my mother decided to be cremated and wanted to be planted in a garden, I called The Gathering Place to make a special request. “Can I spread my mother’s ashes there? It’s my favorite place in Tulsa and though she wanted to, my mother didn’t get a chance to see it before she passed.” The response? “Sure. Sunday morning is the best time to come and do it because there are less people and you can keep things more private.”

And with that ‘yes’ I was able to spread my mom’s ashes at The Gathering Place the following weekend. Since that time, I’ve gone to the Gathering Place on several occasions but recently, Jesus placed it upon my heart to go and say thank you. So I went to the Gathering Place to do just that. I didn’t know who the woman was when I approached the information desk, but I started to share my story with her. She listened, she absorbed, and she cried. By the end, she confirmed that she was the one that gave me her ‘yes’ to spread my mother’s ashes, and I was completely blown away by Jesus.

What are the odds that of all the information desk people, she would be the only one working at the time I came down! We cried, held hands, and shared. Being able to say thank you is truly a gift that we could never replace. It is a gift that never loses its shine.

I now turn my attention to you, the reader, and say thank you. From the depths of my heart thank you for supporting my work as a writer. Each month I get to share with y’all what the Holy Spirit has laid in my heart to speak about, and each month you read it and share with me how my words blessed you.

My inner child jumps for joy every time this happens because I remember what it felt like to believe that writing was for everyone but me. But to encounter Jesus in a real way and have my whole world and life perspective shifted, allows me to turn the tables on the lie that told me I couldn’t write. I’m truly grateful. As long as the Holy Spirit gives me a word, I’ll keep on sharing it. May God bless you. Til’ next time adieu.

We’re always reminded of how important it is to treat others with respect and show kindness to other people but there’s not as much conversation about treating yourself with kindness. Kindness is “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” In other words, to be kind is to be thoughtful.

Showing yourself kindness is a form of self-care that isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity. It is important for learning more about who you are and the things you need in life to thrive. It is also important for teaching people how to properly treat you. You model it, people copy it. Don’t feel bad if showing yourself kindness isn’t something you’re used to or something that you immediately know how to do. Part of showing yourself kindness is having patience with yourself.

Right now I’m working on showing myself kindness in two ways: asserting better boundaries on my time and allowing myself actual rest days where I don’t do much but also don’t beat myself up about it. How I show myself kindness with my boundaries is that when I show that I respect my own time (adhering to my exact appointments, not making changes at the last minute), then others have the same courtesy and show me the same kindness. And kindness is about consideration.

How I show myself kindness by allowing myself to have rest days is by remembering that I am human and not a machine. Though at times I’d like believe that I can keep going and going, the reality is sometimes I just have to sit down somewhere and take a breather. What I’m learning through this exercise of self-care is that there’s nothing wrong with that! So I now have to speak to myself in a manner that reflects that perspective shift. “You got some good sleep girl, praise God!” “Yes, we’re sticking to our meal prep meals and not ordering pizza!” Or “Let’s treat ourselves to a little ice cream.” And it goes on and on in my mind to reflect what I actually did on my rest day. It’s so easy for us to beat ourselves up, that taking time for some positive words of encouragement on a rest day can be particularly meaningful.

The word of God says in Psalms 147:17 “The Lord is righteous in everything He does; He is filled with kindness.” This scripture tells us that God is good (righteous), and then He is filled with kindness. Kindness is so important to God that it is spoken about in His character after righteousness.

Before I could even begin taking the steps to treat myself more kindly, I had to discover what true kindness is. And that came from knowing Jesus and recognizing kindness as a part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Let the God who is “filled with kindness” shower His kindness on you and teach you how to better navigate how kindness needs to be represented in your life. Til’ next time adieu!

I know what you’re thinking: what do I mean by “Face Your Freedom?” What am I talking about? Well, I mean exactly what I’m saying which is face your freedom. Turn toward it and away from shackles. Turn toward it and away from generational curses and chains. Turn toward it and away from all the weights that bring you down and hold you back.

The Holy Spirit actually gave me this title while I was working at school. It was on a day when they didn’t need me to substitute any classes, so I ended up working on a yearbook project for the day instead. As part of the yearbook project, I was coming up with encouraging messages for the middle school, and one thought I had was “face your fears.”

Immediately after having this thought I denounced it and said why should anyone have to face fear when God declares it a spirit that He has not given us. I choose to face freedom because who the Son sets free is free indeed. And that’s when I heard the Holy Spirit say “exactly” and here we are now. How often have you heard or been told by someone to face your fears? How many times have you experienced that unwanted stress and anxiety? How often did you believe that if you didn’t face your fears, it meant you were a punk or a coward? I’ve definitely been there too.

Now I’m not saying that you’re supposed to stay overly cautious and soft. What I am saying is that we serve the mighty God who has overcome all things and will carry and eliminate the burden of our fears if we surrender them to Him. That fear of heights weighing you down? Turn it over to Jesus, our strong tower. That fear of inadequacy and missing out knocking the wind out of you? Turn it over to our Jehovah El Roi, the God who sees us and sees you in your moment of weakness. He never fails and He is always faithful.

One thing I’ve noticed about dealing with fear is that it is always spiritual. My fear of failure goes beyond existing from an experience I had in childhood. There’s darkness attached to it that now even though I’ve overcome the initiator experience of that fear, I still experience it. When matters are spiritual, our best bet is to surrender. Surrender means to cease resistance and to submit to a higher authority.

When we surrender to Jesus and submit to His authority, we allow His miracle working ways to overcome obstacles in our lives. I don’t know about you but I’m putting my trust in Him who has done exceedingly more than I could ask or think than in my own ideas of how to heal myself. Don’t face your fears. Face Jesus because when you face Him, you face your freedom. And then let Him face your fears. What have you got to lose? Til’ next time, adieu.

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