23 November 2012

moving forward

The past couple of months I've been discouraged. The current situations in my life have been taking their toll, and I've been letting them. Right now there is a huge battle going on in my mind as evident by my previous post. What will I choose to believe? Entering this season I knew I had a word from God that He allowed this time to come and that He would take care of me. He is not shocked by this situation, nor should I be. But as each day goes by and the resource depletes a bit more, I wonder where is the next bit of provision? I have a small business that I have been struggling to get off the ground and as exciting as it is to try a new venture it can be overwhelming.

But it is more than a financial battle. This is also about who I think I am. In the current job search I am faced with the question, What do I want to do? Although I was an event planner at my last job, that is not really what I want for a career. My new adventure in small business is cool and caters to my entrepreneurial side which I am just now learning about, but this will take a while to build up clients and connections, so what to do in the meantime? Sure I could do event planning again or be an administrative assistant or go back to a sales floor or possibly try to return to architecture but seriously none of those make me excited to get out of bed in the morning. I have logged multiple times here how much I want to write and how awkward I feel when I am not writing.

Two months it was silent here because I felt the flame had gone out in my heart. I feared all creativity in me was lost, that perhaps it was on permanent vacation. This was not true but I was so busy paying that toll to deception that I was too distracted to think clearly. I began to believe I was a failure. I have never thought of writing for a living because it's not as lucrative a career as say architecture (what I studied in school.) I always thought of it as something I would do for fun on the side. I am not saying it's going to be my main stream of income and that I am going to start looking for jobs in that field after all:

  • I have no idea how to get started in the field, 
  • I don't have the proper training, 
  • I fear deadlines, 
  • I am not good enough
  • blah, blah, blah
Get the point? Excuses, excuses. At the end of the day, everyone will not like everything I write. And honestly I'll be okay with that. I know it's impossible to make everyone happy and as such I've decided instead of trying to please everyone else it's time to bring it a little closer to home and make myself happy. I believe God has given me a gift to write and I am always at my happiest when I am living to please Him. I bet it pleases Him when I use the gifts He's given me, so I am going to do that.

Whether or not my next job is in writing or where the financial resource is coming from are still in the air but I am okay with that because I know it's not just floating in the ether, it's in His hands. For far too long I have believed that I could not just turn on the switch and write when I feel like it but I actually can. It's an exercise just like any other, I have to work at it consistently and I will see the result I want. Time to go forward.

16 November 2012

dear God

Hey Dad! I know it's been a while and to be honest I'm a little frustrated that the gift You've given me only seems to work here and there. Writing, I would like to believe, is one of the things You've provided to me as a joy and a way that I could encourage others and of course myself. Yet for the past two months, nothing. I know it is not good to complain and I do not want to appear ungrateful but I do feel most alive when I am either writing or serving in certain capacities. To be honest outside of these things I am a little lost.

I know that my life is in Your steady and sure hands, but I will tell You that today I am a bit saddened that I suddenly realized I felt so far removed from the dreams that were in my heart that I could not even remember them. I attempted to tell someone and I could not even come up with it. So as I sit here attempting to eat dinner (3rd attempt in the past hour) I thought I would write down a couple of small things not to remind You, because I know You hold my world, but to remind myself. Here lately the lies have sounded an awful lot like the truth so I know it's time to fight fire with faith, even if it is only the size of a mustard seed.

When I grow up... I would like to be a writer. I know I do not have all the formal training and I know I do not have lots of experiences upon which to draw, but I do have You and I know that You provide for every need. I'm not sure why I resist this so much other than the fact that I know that writing alone is no way to live. It's hard to make a living doing pretty much anything these days and so I tried architecture and even attempting to get into retail sales management and although I would have been good at either, I firmly believe it was Your intent from the beginning to make me a great writer. I stand asking because even at my age I still feel like a child and need developing and wisdom and mentorship and again I know You will provide.

I also want to be a minister of the Gospel of Jesus. Although right now I am having a hard time connecting and feel out of place in certain situations, I believe that You called me to this. I wanted to climb the corporate ladder and be great in the areas of architecture and civil engineering but before I ever set foot on a college campus You told me that You had another plan. I have no idea how to lead others and why anyone would want to follow me as I follow You but You've placed Your heart within me for Your people. I have a great desire to see others experience the true freedom in life that comes from being a disciple of Jesus Christ. I want to see unity among the believers and watch lives be transformed and healed by the power of Your love.

I would like to be successful in these endeavors. I understand that mistakes will be made, relationships will be tested and mended and that not everyone will like me or what I have to say and I am almost at a point where I am okay with that. (Hey, I'm just being honest) Help me to believe for the simple things.

And I might as well say this too... although I am perfectly content with  the idea of being single for the rest of my life, it probably wouldn't be too bad to become a wife and mom... maybe. Perhaps You could help me with my heart here. After all I am getting a bit set in my ways :)

Well Dad this is the small version of the list in black and white, simple. You and I know I have much larger dreams; hopes of seeing the world transformed by the power of Your love, seeing many throughout the country revere Your name, seeing the dead raised, watching the terminally ill be healed and whole, seeing familial restoration run rampant as opposed to divorce and pain and so on and so forth. But today, I'll start small and remind myself that I had a simple dream for my life and I know The Great Big God who put it there and has a good plan for me. Thank You!

With love, Your daughter,
Aisha Nichole

13 September 2012

buy the lie, subscribe to issues

Buying lies requires expensive currency. It takes the currency of the soul and spirit which affects what is done with the body. How expensive is this currency? According to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "you are not your own, you were bought at a price" The life and blood of Jesus not only purchased you but gave you a redeeming value that is unable to be counted, measured or quantified.

Take a moment a reflect on the the authority you had in your purest form in the garden of Eden. Who you were before the first lie was bought bringing its subscription to a myriad of issues that are still being sorted out. You could call something forth, name it and give it purpose. This authority was restored to you, when you accepted Jesus as Lord and you were reconciled into the family of God. This is the power of the Holy Spirit inside you; your original intended state.

The enemy of your soul will spin whatever set of lies he has to in order to keep you distracted. The lies, the wickedness of partial truths that make darkness seem as though it is good. He does not want you to know the power you possess in a place of surrender unto God. Isaiah 30:8-17 is a grim reminder of what we are capable of doing when misled by deception. This is the destruction the enemy wants us to fall into. But God's love is greater than any lie and His desire is to restore and heal us, to bring us into Him. Isaiah 30:18-26 shows His graciousness and love, how He longs to bless us! God's love, His truth is the only thing that can free us from the issues of bondage brought by the subscription to "The Daily Lie" I choose to change my subscription based on scriptures like John 3:16-17 which is evidence of His love and the truth that makes us free! (John 8:31-32)

Picture Credit: PMActionItems, "Got Issues?" found on CafePress.com
(Originally written June 21, 2010 in my journal. Again it encouraged me so I wanted to share)

12 September 2012

a quick word of encouragement

Sometimes the hard thing to do is simply to believe. Once the belief is settled within you, there is no stopping the transformation and subsequent elevation and revelation that will come. Submit. When your prayer is as the model, "as it is in heaven," you are setting a series of occurrences in motion that require faith. Stand on the truth of God's Word. Rely on the Holy Spirit in every place and watch doors unlock and your eyes open to things you never dreamed you would see. The Lord is truly Lord over all things.

(Journal entry originally written April 11, 2011 - this was an encouragement to me and I wanted to share)
Picture Credit: Panoramic Images "Clouds with God Rays"  found on allposters.com

11 September 2012

i remember

I remember what happened 11 years ago today. I pray for those still feeling the aftershocks; for their healing, courage and their comfort. My heart is almost overwhelmed by what I sense in the atmosphere today but I, like the United States will not be overcome. America you are beautiful and your people strong. We will continue to love our freedom and we will continue to move on. In God we trust.

06 September 2012

comfortable (the beginning)

Comfortable. For me this word is rich with meaning. It is the title of a favorite song by John Mayer and it is also one of my favorite states of being. Today I would like to approach it from a different angle. One that is a little uncomfortable to discuss but I believe it's needed. This post will give you context, a little back story and the next what can happen if allowed to become too comfortable.

His name was Alex (name changed to protect the not so innocent) We were 14 when we met; one of those "chance" occurrence type of things. It was a school field trip to the most unromantic place ever, The Super Conducting Super Collider. Although we learned many interesting things that day and saw scientific marvels the most amazing thing was our discovery of one another. He had curly brown hair, big brown eyes, was tall and a genius. The perfect boy!

I still remember my classmates teasing me, they said they knew something was going on because I was never that quiet. I obviously spoke at some point but it was after a while of him looking at me until I would turn around and then I would look at him until he looked up but then look away really quickly because we realized we were busted. When the bus arrived at its destination he walked up to me and introduced himself. I'm sure I blushed as I shook his hand.
     "I've never seen you before." smooth with the words he was :)
     "No I'm at Science in the morning so I guess that makes you an afternoon student?" well duh Aisha obviously, but come on I was 14 and a real live BOY was talking to me!
     "Yeah. So you wanna hang out today?" forward, wasn't he? (and by the way he was actually quite shy so this was huge for him)
     "Sure!" could you try not to sound so desperate? (geez!)

We literally spent the whole day with one another. At one point during one of the afternoon sessions, he got the courage to actually hold my hand. It was so cute! The bus ride home we sat together and began to learn about each other while our classmates made sure to interrupt with teasing as often as possible. We exchanged phone numbers, I told my mom about him and so it began.

Sometime between his birthday (Valentine's Day) and mine 6 weeks later we were officially "going steady." We were so adorable and clueless and innocent... in the beginning. He was my first kiss! You know the first one where it's all sweet and innocent and quick, just a brief encounter of the lips. Then comes the 2nd and 3rd and by the time you get to the 5th or 6th you realize you're playing with fire because you begin to want something more. At least that was my story.

We had some semblance of relationship for a year and a half. It was odd but it was what we had. He would do this crazy thing where he would tell me he loved me and I would tell him to shut up. "We're too young to know anything about love!" And just in case you're wondering, I was serious. Poor boy, it took 15 months for any reciprocity to occur on the speaking of those 3 little words. When I finally did, he got the words and my tears... how dare he go to Argentina for a month and make me miss him like that?!

He was someone I could be goofy with, someone I could do homework with, someone I could talk about the future with, someone fun to be with, a good friend, and I could just be myself around him. It was good... it was comfortable.

And believe it or not in that nearly 2 years together we only ever kissed, nothing more. But I will tell you we did consider sexual relations. We were both hormone-driven teenagers and trust me it was going on all around us. Here was the deal though, I didn't want any babies; I had a drive to graduate, go to college and have a great career. That was more important to me. That drive and determination kept my guard up for a while but as time went on... well you know how it goes; my defenses were weakening.

So how did I dodge that bullet? God! Alex and I started going out our freshman year. The summer before our junior year I met a family who introduced me to the Lord in a way that I had never known. I had gone to church for years but this was the first time I heard about the Kingdom of God and understood the idea of truly having a personal relationship with Him. I learned about discipleship, accountability and a worldwide movement to share the gospel. That was so much more exciting than this impersonal Jesus I grew up hearing about. I began going through Bible studies and learning how Jesus loved me and had a plan for my life. What? This was awesome!

I began to learn about the value of purity and what a premium God put on it. I met guys who were living a life of purity, those who would rather serve God than chase skirts. This was, even at 16, almost unheard of. There were actual gentlemen who loved God and were learning self-control and did not have to "have it" to consider themselves real men. Whoa! I also learned the importance of making sure that the person that you are in relationship with loves Jesus. Alex, I learned quickly, did not. So after all that time we parted ways. We decided to be friends, he took it well and to be honest, it wasn't that bad.

I had these friends around me who were concerned for me, who were helping to learn about God, teaching me ways to be a better daughter, sister and student. I was learning to become a friend. I learned that my life had meaning and a plan and a purpose. Up to that point in my life Alex had been one of the few people who accepted me for who I was and didn't shun me or try to hurt me. Now, in the Lord, I was accepted into an incredible new family. We would often pray for him, I wanted nothing more than for him to know the Lord because I wanted to share with him this most amazing love that had radically transformed my life. But he never accepted that call. I didn't see him much based on our schedules and before long I had pretty much forgotten about him.

Just before graduation I heard from him. He was going to the University of Texas (Austin). I was so excited for him because that was the school I wanted to attend but did not for reasons I won't go into right now. For the first time since we parted ways my heart actually twinged at the thought of him being so far away. I thought that was a little weird considering it had been over a year but I decided not to dwell on it as it was going to be a long time before I saw him again. And believe me, it was a good while.

But what happens when someone who was so comfortable shows up in your life again, especially during a time of great emotional discomfort? What happens when what you hoped for seems all but lost and dashed into pieces at your feet? How can you find comfort again? Is it a person that can help you heal? I wanted comfort and a form of it literally passed my way a few years later in college.

20 August 2012

encouraged by me?

Today I found myself being encouraged by myself. A little over a year ago I was praying for a situation in someone else's life. This person was battling sickness in their body and facing surgery. I committed to praying for this person at a set time each day. Many others were doing the same as this is a rather beloved person. In any case one day just after my daily time, I found myself having a hard time concentrating on the work before me. The words and numbers seemed to swim before my very eyes instead of lining up as they should. I could not make sense of the simplest task but instead of being worried I was surprisingly calm.

I could feel and seemingly hear my heartbeat which seemed to have a different cadence than normal. My eyes although intently gazing into the monitor no longer were taking in the data before me and my breathing seemed to flow along with the rhythm of my heart. I was sitting at my desk but I was so far away. Then it began. It was as if I were listening to an old song that was a favorite. I could hear a lyric in my ear and the sound waves carried it along until it crashed into my heart and I realized I had never heard this before.

There was a story unfolding from deep within me and I was so caught up in it I almost lost the opportunity to write it down. I had to come up for air to capture the first few lines of what would become a declaration of war against the things coming against my friend's life. Rather quickly I penned (okay typed) the first four stanzas; it was as if the words bled right out of my fingertips. And once the last words were on the page, I was back at my desk in that moment of time. The data came together and worked seemed interminable because the desire of my heart was to complete this sudden almost melodic chain of thought.

When I arrived home I reviewed the words over and over especially the last stanza. It seemed to float in midair, no quite connected to what was before it fully but also not so dissimilar either. "Where do you belong?" I questioned the phrases and almost expected an answer. I wanted to write this. I felt it all the way through my body. Anytime it would come to mind it really seemed as though my heart would beat in time with the poem. I wondered if the great masters felt the same way in their development stages.

Five days later, I realized it was not disassociation of topics but a simple transition into the next part of the story. The cadence was perfect. I finished it. This work simply titled The Fight was complete and prayerfully ready to encourage its intended recipients. I later learned that it did. I began to share it with others too. My goal with these poems and spoken word pieces is to encourage. Many felt this and helped me back on my path to writing regularly. I have been glad to do so. Writing helps me to deal with everyday life.

So today while facing some challenges of my own I stumbled across a copy of this poem. I specifically chose to print in on a red background with white lettering. I wanted this one to stand out. After all it is a declaration of spiritual fighting words. As I sat there reading the words, almost astonished that they came from my pen, I found myself sitting up straighter and being reminded of the Bible verses that inspired some of the lines. I began to remember who and Whose I am. I "encouraged myself" in the Lord. He has me in everything, even these scary parts of the journey and I no longer have to be afraid. He gave me the courage to fight the battles I always thought would defeat me. I will not fall over defeated because He gave me the greatest victory in His love.

14 August 2012

emotional ninja

There are times this "thing" tries to take ahold of me. It's a darkness, a heavy sadness; a voice that longs to separate me and make me feel as though I am all alone. It's familiar to me and as odd as it may sound the familiarity of the sound is a comfort; it is what I've known and what I accepted as truth for so long. But it is not the voice of truth, it is a lie, a hurtful insidious deception. It never shows up overtly announcing its arrival with fanfare; no it is stealthy beginning with a slight nagging of, "I can't believe I..." then growing into "What in the world am I...?""Why can't I ever...?" and before long death is rolling off my tongue, "I'll never... or I'm just {negative comment}"

Well as this "thing" tries to creep in through a shroud of darkness I am shining the light of the Word of God on it, exposing it for what it is - a lie. God tells me that I am precious and honored in His sight and that I am accepted in Him fully. I have no need to strive for acceptance or to think less of myself because of failures in my past. I am repeating these messages of truth to myself, changing what I'm listening to, changing the thing I choose to wear as a cover. This "thing", this emotional ninja, that keeps attempting to sneak in and clothe me with my old thoughts of darkness and remind me of all the ways I've hurt others only wants to distract in order to derail and destroy.

I know I mention this a lot here but that is because this is truly a battle. I have allowed myself for so long to agree with the negative lies and emotions that I must fight with passion and tenacity to believe the truth so that I am thinking and meditating on the truth that I am created in the image of God and that I was restored to that fully by the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. The life of a Christian is one of vibrant life and power with a sound mind not some weakling that can be easily shaken or moved.

This ninja is skilled,  knows my weak points and knows that when I have a moment where I fail that I am likely to replay it until change my view of who I think I am. But I a reminded in those moments that I am still loved and accepted, that nothing will separate me from the love of God and I choose to strike back with truth in this fight. I guard my heart according to the Word and I only say what He says. I will not fall out on a mat so easily in an attempt to avoid being hit again. No I stand ready with the weapons of warfare He's given me and I will use them, uncommon as they are, to see the victory He has already given me.

Picture Credit: Quiet Yell's Kid Ninja (Scott Monaco and partners)

10 August 2012


I love that You know absolutely everything about me, even the darkest secrets at the core of my being and You still choose to accept me with Your loving, open arms. I love that Your passion for justice and righteousness are so in tuned that You knew the only way to bring me back to You was to send Yourself to suffer in my place. You've given me new life and You've given me a place; I belong, no longer running a lost race. I now live within Your perfect grace.

Where would I be and how would I see outside of the darkness that once covered me? But Your compassion said, "I'll be your Light and the Rock on which you stand!" I am not reaping a whirlwind or on a fruitless chase because You've covered me in Your perfect grace.

I will honor You and bless Your Holy Name, I will give You everything because You're the most important gain. I no longer have any time to waste, so many need to know of Your perfect grace. Thank You Jesus of You I will speak. Thank You for redeeming me and showering me with Your perfect grace.

Picture Credit: Stephanie Marrott (available on allposters.com)

dream on

I never asked to be a dreamer but somehow when my spirit and soul were breathed into this body when I was formed in the "secret place" my design was for dreamscapes. As a child and a young person, there is nothing wrong with being a dreamer or at least there should not be. But very early on it became apparent to me that dreaming was not going to get me anywhere near the definition of success (or so I was told.) Hard work, planning, training, tools and thought conformity- you will think about what we tell you is important to think about; all that other is nonsense.

Well I want to dream. I want to believe that a dream paired with hard work, planning, training, tools is then a vision that can create a chain reaction of change. Dreamers can grow to be visionaries and everyone knows visionaries are legendary. I've lived in a small box for far too long and there is much to be done. This place, this learning seemingly everything new is uncomfortable. I am learning patience on another level. I want to go backward to find comfort, some semblance of something familiar. But I do not want to forfeit the growth so I press forward, hopeful, dreaming.

Will the current dreams I have live on only in my mind or will they through patient persistence walk out into real life and have further reaching affects than I may ever know? May it be so.

Picture Credit: Nicole Katano (found on allposters.com)

25 July 2012

paint!: something different, part 3

Life is an interesting series of colorful moments. I believe we come from heaven with certain tools that help us to create wonderful masterpieces in the various areas of our lives. We are each given a particular medium and it takes time, effort, planning and practice to become masters in our medium. When these investments are made diligently and consistently, the results are one-of-a-kind.

However, despite our best planning, practice and performance there are times when an sudden change comes and the medium we are working in changes; finding oneself without employment for instance. As I mentioned in the Square Peg post, I experienced this particular rain storm in my life recently. So now I find myself in a place of need and suitable, gainful employment must be found; a new medium.

Here's the deal though, I don't want just another "job". I have finally decided it's about time I figure out how to do what I really want to do for the rest of my life. Three quick statements: I enjoy helping others. I am creative. At 17 (shortly after becoming a Christian) I knew I wanted to serve in ministry full-time and teach the Word. There I said it in the out loud voice. But because of my background at the time Bible school was not even really a thought. After all I was not one of the ministry kids and I had no idea what one did to go about becoming a minister. And even though I was 17, I knew where the money and "success" were (not in ministry) and there was still a huge part of me that was more concerned with the generic American view of success.

In deciding what to study in college, I had to think about what I like, what I'm drawn to.  Technical things and logistics were an interest but my first loves were the arts, creative solutions and people. I realized at an early age though that the careers that had any type of good salary attached to them were the ones that were in the more technical fields so I attempted to draw myself into those fields.

I studied architecture. I enjoyed the learning and I must say I really thought it was going to be the perfect fit because it appealed to my creative and technical sides and was going to give me the tools necessary to help people. I wanted to be successful as an architect yet school was seemingly defeating me and all the while in my heart I yearned for something different, something more. I wanted to be able to use my writing skills and I wanted to have a more direct involvement with people. These are the medium with which I can produce the best art in life. But I spent a lot of time attempting to use my supplementary tools as the foundational medium.

So it should not come as any surprise that I ended up in a completely different field, retail sales. I can work a sales floor with the best of them, because I listen to people and I have an eye for what is aesthetically pleasing. Put me somewhere with a good product and training and I will get to work changing average sales and conversion numbers into something any leader can be excited about. But again as much fun as this can be, it's not what I hoped for. I want other avenues of creativity.

So how do we get to a title like paint from talking about my diverse work history? During my time as part of the 8.2% and job search I am taking the time to develop my creative side, serve at my church and find other opportunities for service. I have specific time set aside to work on things like writing, guitar practice and I decided to try painting again for the first time in a LONG time. When I was in high school I tried my hand at it a few times (the good ole Joy of Painting kit!) but never worked on developing it, well I'm going for it now. There is just nothing like staring at a big blank page and letting your mind create a picture that soon will show up through your own hand. Although at first it's a bit intimidating, when you see something coming into view a new idea and formation coming to life, it is incredibly exciting.

I know my best medium in life is creative service and why I would attempt to do anything else is beyond me. Going for it!

communication breakdown

Sometimes I have the hardest time communicating. I spend a great deal of time perfecting what I want to say when writing or preparing for certain conversations. But in the spontaneity and "unscriptedness" of life I don't have the opportunity to prepare for every question thrown at  me or encounters I have with people.

I find myself wishing I could take my brain out and let others see what I'm trying to say because trying to relay what's running on the screen in my mind can be very confusing, which then leads to being misunderstood and can lead to frustration. It's moments like this when one of my greatest gifts and blessings feels more like a curse.

17 July 2012

practically speaking: something different, part 2

The practical side of something different. First, I have to speak differently. Lately I have seen the fruit of this so much clearer in my life. Whether I choose to accept this or not self-talk navigates me to actions. I tried to fight this and learned, once again, foundational truths cannot be changed just because I will it so. So what am I saying different? Have I become Stuart Smalley? No, not quite.  I choose to remind myself of the following:

I am God's woman, His daughter, His anointed. He alone gave me gifts but even those do not determine who I am. He fully accepts me, is invested in me and sealed me with His love. I breathe His breath every time I am privileged to wake up and nothing stops that. He made a special plan just for my life and no one stops that. I walk in restored authority. I am smart and gentle, powerful and strong, loving and forgiving, gracious and beautiful, precious and honored because I am in His image. I am blessed, I am provided for, I am good!

Now this may not seem like much but when I consider what I may have said even 6 months ago about myself, I can say this is a world of change! I am not even going to type out those words because I do not want to go back that way again.  The Bible overflows with the truths of how He created me, what He thinks about me and how much He loves me. When I need to know what really matters I go there first. When it comes to how my thinking affects my life four key scriptures in this battle are listed below.

Proverbs 18:20-21
A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
(What in the world am I saying about my life, family, friends and situations around me if I am going to be filled with what I say?)

Proverbs 23:7a
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
(I can say "just kidding" when I say something negative about myself but my behaviors and physical appearance will reflect what I truly think about myself)

Proverbs 27:19
As in water face reflects face, So a man's heart reveals the man.

Romans 12:1-2
I beseech you, therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
(Am I being transformed in my thinking to line up with the truths in the Bible or am I being conformed by what happens to me or lies I have said about myself?)

Whether through friends, teachers, bosses, books I am reading or pastors God has been driving home the message of the power of the words I speak over my life. I am accountable for the information I receive so I am choosing to accept this truth and change accordingly. The beautiful thing about this is the fact that I know that I will see great things. If after years of tearing myself down and not believing the truth and receiving the darkness that comes with that, then I fully expect to see radiant light and life in me from here forward. I am expecting the miraculous more than ever before. In being kinder to myself it seems that I have even become more encouraging to others around me, able to reach out to see more in others. That is exciting! I have another practical to share on this but I will continue next time.

Additional resource:
Click here and you will be redirected to the Covenant Church media page. Select the message from Sunday, July 8 "The Keystone" (either audio or video) It will bless you and perhaps challenge your thinking.

11 July 2012

something different, part 1

If you expect something different from your life  than what you have become accustomed to seeing then it's time to step out and DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! But you may think wait if I do something different I may not be good at it, it may make me feel uncomfortable and I may look stupid. All of those are very real possibilities but there is also the possibility that you may find that you can accomplish something great, be good at something new and look good. Or how about if it doesn't turn out the way you hoped, you find that you learn something about yourself or others. I would consider that a building block, a lesson learned.

Recently I set out to do something different in my own life. I ran towards a challenging opportunity because I considered the outcome worth any effort necessary to accomplish the goal. I put myself out there for an opportunity with no guarantee of being accepted. Every step of this process has stretched me, made me feel uncomfortable and at times had me in tears. And I am glad to say I would do it all over again. I did something different and although the response may not have been the one I hoped for, I have taken something much more precious from this. My freedom.

I realized as I was walking through this that I was afraid of being rejected. I, like many, have dealt with rejection in my life but I was letting myself be enslaved by my fear of it. I have lived life worried about other's perception of me too often. I felt as though I was being led around by a ring and chain in my nose to the next spot in my life based on whether or not I thought someone would accept me. When I tell you that is an oppressive and depressing way to live, that does not even begin to describe the unfulfilled, painful existence attached to  the foul principality of rejection. I also felt as though there were a bit and bridle in my mouth guarding my words so that I would, at times, find it hard to choose words, for fear of being misunderstood and rejected. Well, no more.

My eyes have now been opened. I know this is an area of weakness for me, but I am not defeated by it. I refuse to let the thought of rejection keep me from the life I am to live. Jesus did not give up heaven, live His exemplary life, die on a cross and resurrect so that I could wallow in a defeated state. I repent. MY NAME IS VICTORY! I know that I am a part of a greater whole, so there are others who need me to get up and go forward. I am not my own, I was bought at a great price therefore I honor God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 7:23) and live in His perfect love which casts out every fear (1 John 4:18-19) whatever form it chooses to come in. Moving forward!

14 June 2012

photo phun and seeing myself

Tuesday I had the opportunity to have a few pictures of myself taken. I needed a few shots for something I am working on so I called up my good friend Jen and off we went into the world of captured moments.

To be honest I spent most of the day dreading having my picture taken. As I have shared previously, for far too long my opinion about myself has been negative, everything from my own character to my looks. So why in the world would I want to immortalize a moment in a still and have to look at it? Add to that the fact that I have gained about 25 pounds over the last year and I have no reason to want to look at myself. But of course this dread triggered something in me.

I had to look myself square and ask myself why I was letting this happen. There is no good reason for me to despise myself. Sure I have not been perfect, I've hurt others, I've been irresponsible, I have not taken care of myself as I should and I've failed at times. This all has affected how I physically see myself. Although these things are facts, I am a daughter of God Most High, created in His image and this is the truth. He is fully aware of all my faults and He loves me. Not "in spite of" or "because of" He simply loves me. He as my Father gives me my identity and He tells me who I am. When I choose to listen to Him and what He says all the other goes out the door.

Yes, I have done some not so great things in life, but in Jesus I have been forgiven and God sees me as He sees His Son, righteous, free, loved, a vessel for use, honorable, lovely, precious and the list goes on and on. I am someone special! The last post was about the internal struggle I have had with myself and this one the external. I love the fact that He is telling me to get over myself in these areas and now! A couple of weeks ago I started walking again to begin to tackle the weight problem. As far as the rest of the way I view myself, I've had to tell myself, I'm good all of me and I am determined to continue to view myself as He does, not through a lens of negativity and lies. I am going to enjoy the beauty of who I am and love it!

The picture above is one of the spontaneous moments caught when I started laughing about how serious I was being about taking the pictures. After that I relaxed and decided to have a good time. A few more pics are below.

08 June 2012

one of these things

"One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn't belong" This simple children's song from Sesame Street could have been my life's theme song. When I noticed I was not like everyone else around me, I tried to conform myself to someone else's standard of who I should be. I was young and I thought that was what you had to do because I wanted to be like everyone else, or so I thought. But the truth was that I wanted to be accepted.

Being able to see the truth of that simple fact helps so much. Because as the old saying goes it really is easier to be myself than a cheap copy of someone else. I was terrible at trying to be like others because I was not made for that. I was molded to be the most amazing me, the one-and-only and the great thing is we all were! We are all beautifully and wonderfully unique and that is what makes each of us so special. Our interactions with each other, learning to communicate with each friend and person we meet based on their particular style of communication is a fun challenge.

In taking on that challenge, I do not have to fully change who I am but I have the opportunity to adapt to the situation to help someone else be comfortable enough to communicate. I love it! We were made to interact with one another, accept each other's idiosyncrasies and love one another.

After years of trying to hide "me" out of fear, I was able to accept how great it is to just be me! I like who I am, all of me the silly, funny, responsibly-minded, compassionate, eager to learn, with a desire to know people, smarty pants, encouraging, guitar playing, anime watching, creative woman who loves how her Creator molded her. I have repented for the many times I tried to tell Him how to shape me and submitted to the fact that He knows what He's doing.

I've accepted me and whether anyone else does or not cannot be the fuel I allow to feed my soul. (obviously still working on this but hey) I hope this is an encouragement to take a moment and think about how fearfully and wonderfully made in His image we are. What wonderful qualities did He place within you that reflect a portion of Who He Is? I pray that when He is identified within, that you will hold on to the truth of that and be encouraged any time any lie tries to tell you differently. You are not like the others, you are uniquely you, an awesome wonder in the sight of God.

05 June 2012


I personally think the only time distortion is a good thing is when it is being used as an effect in sounds/music and the arts. There is also another use whereby you are explaining a deep look into the way a particular infrastructure may be built but I believe that is rare. There are so many things that today are distorted from their original God-given intentions and purposes. These things no longer look the way they should.

For example the family unit, men are some sort of joke, women still seen to some as weak, kids run households, a negative type of liberality is often mistaken for true freedom, lust is a poor excuse for love, leaders are just people with giant targets on them, off-shoots, splits and division are seen as the path to unity and apparently all humans are some sort of commodity as seen by the staggering numbers of people including young children and newborns who are trafficked each day.

I'm thinking a lot about this today simply because of the things I see happening all around me. I had a distorted view of many things for so long and each day I am grateful to be shown a better way in Christ, in truth. I tried to espouse political correctness and tolerance but found that those were very unsuited to me. I have convictions that have a foundation and I refuse to let them be threatened because someone thinks they promote hate, judgment and division. The command given to me was to love not simply coexist or tolerate. The word tolerate is a tension word that brings up images of waiting until just the right time then making some move for more power. At the core the message of the God of the Bible and Jesus is one of love, redemption, acceptance and unity.

Today I find myself extremely grateful for repentance, an opportunity afforded to me to change my mind, see life, my actions from God's perspective and change to align with that. I do not have to be held captive by deceptive philosophy and vain deceit (Colossians 2:8-10) and I am free to set my mind on higher pursuits than becoming caught up in the tempestuous whirlwinds of what is currently approved of by man's standard. That does not mean I ignore what is going on around me as if that will help anything, no I do what I know. For me that begins with prayer and unifying with other believers who understand the simplicity of not always having to weigh in on every conversation or change in the wind. 

The other thing I do is encourage and find ways to support those who have aspirations in particular fields, people who may be of no consequence now and whose names may never be known but those who will have the strongest influence over those in authority. The truth is, whether you know it or not someone or something is influencing you, that's the way the world works. I know that in this way true reformation will be seen. It begins within the heart of a person, then comes out of them hopefully to the betterment of the people and situations surrounding them. This is the power of truth and truth can never be distorted.

01 June 2012

in the face of truth

The great thing about my current situation, not having a job, is the amount of time I have for prayer and reflection. The not so great thing about my current situation is the amount of time I have for prayer and reflection. At least when it comes to having to face certain truths that have become very evident. I came face to face with the limitation of my belief that God is my Provider and Care-taker.

Now although I have said this numerous times and quoted scriptures that confirm it, I see now there was a major caveat to this statement; "as long as I am working and have a steady income." This has been incredibly humbling, to come face-to-face with my own unbelief. After all, I often encourage people through prayer, one-on-one talks and my writing to find strength and security in God our Provider. Many times I have been in need of something that only He could provide whether financially, emotionally or any area you could think of and every time He has come through with exactly what was needed in the moment.

In the face of this I could choose to be discouraged and disappointed in myself but that is not my choice. I stand here today grateful to be faced with the truth. Now that He has revealed this weakness, I can cast  that care on Him. I can repent of my unbelief and move forward in power, knowing that yet again He will absolutely provide everything necessary. I see this as a great opportunity to gain a deeper revelation of Him as a Loving Father and truly know Him as Jehovah-jireh personally. I have the privilege of changing my perspective about what is going on right now and not just go through this time but grow through it.

I believe that I will come through this as a better person in all the roles I hold in life, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, leader, employee. I will be more disciplined and responsible in all areas of my life and possess a confidence and authority that would not have been otherwise. I see this as a time of revelation, transformation, restoration, renewal, education and preparation for elevation. God's plan moves forward. He keeps His promises.

The Bible is replete with examples of Him bringing one of His chosen servants to a "certain place" and while there they came to know a new dimension of Him. When I look at it that way I become more and more excited and grateful. Growth and change are not the most comfortable transitions in life but I know it's so worth facing any challenge to gain His truth. Let's go!

29 May 2012

memorial pancakes

Yesterday was Memorial Day, a day of remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom in this country and I take this day to heart personally because I know that freedom is not free. I posted a special thought about this yesterday. Today's post is more about remembering a specific Memorial Day from a few years back.

In 2006 my grandmother was ending her time on this side of eternity. I was home that morning and decided to make breakfast for the family. I always enjoyed cooking but my grandmother and I would often have little run-ins about how things worked in the kitchen. Somehow she was always afraid I was going to mess something up, like melting one of the pots or pans. Silly I know, but she worked hard to have nice things so we agreed if I bought my own cookware that I could cook whatever I wanted. Yes, this was the family I grew up with :)

In any event, that Memorial Day as she and I and a friend sat down to enjoy our bacon, eggs, juice and pancakes I believe her comment was something to the effect of "Let's see what you've managed to whip up this morning girl." She was so precious, frail and weak from months of chemo and radiation. She had a hard time just walking from her room less than 10 ft away to the dining room. I can still hear the whisper puffs of her oxygen machine like it really was yesterday. She sat there making conversation with us young ladies about life and enjoying a good meal. When she was done, she looked at me and said, "You did really good, these are the best pancakes I've had, so light and fluffy."

This event is so precious to me. It was one of the last full meals (she ate about half of it) that she was able to have because 13 days later she drew her last breath. I miss her so much, especially when I'm in the kitchen "experimenting" as she used to say and I want her input. It would be nice to have her here to taste the dishes I prepare or to talk to or pray with or I would love to encourage her with some of the poems I've written recently. However, she can see it from there in heaven. Well it has now become a custom for me to enjoy pancakes on Memorial Day and take a moment to be grateful for the woman whose prayers ushered me into the Kingdom. She was a warrior servant of a different kind and for that I am eternally grateful.

28 May 2012

memorial day

This picture may seem a bit strong but it touched me and is a reminder of what today is all about. I am grateful for today where we take time to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in protecting and defending the ideals of our nation. There are veterans in my family which means they came home but to the many who did not have this privilege, my heart goes out to them. Thank you for sharing your amazing loved ones with all the rest of us. I hope that we as Americans honor those who have given everything to protect our rights.

This being an election year and all the mud that is already being slung, in the midst of a time where we seem to separate so much, I pray that we remember that these sacrifices were to protect a great nation that should be unified not torn apart. I am proud to be an American and very grateful for those who serve to keep it so. Thank you.

18 May 2012

i can only imagine

What if I just decided to live as a risk taker? What if I decided that in the midst of my current situation to exhibit the benefits of all the recent training I've been through. Perhaps I have met the requirement of the current level of faith and it is time to move on to the next. The thing about growth is that at times it is uncomfortable and causes life to feel a little out of balance but it is the normal course of nature for your body to make certain changes to prepare you for the next stage of life.

I was reminded tonight by a message I heard tonight that impossible is nothing for God. Christine Caine was the speaker tonight at a women's conference in Frisco, TX at the wonderful Elevate Life Church. She spoke the very words that God has been speaking to me and wanting me to remember. One reference was to Sarah and Abraham's inability within themselves to have a child. They needed God because there was NO WAY they could have a baby without God stepping in. In Hebrews it talks about Sarah judging God as faithful and thus being able to conceive the promised seed, Isaac. Then she spoke of Caleb and his resolve to believe based on the fact that he received the promise from God and he knew God to be faithful. Unlike ten of the brothers who were with him, when he returned from spying out the promised land his declaration was, "We are well able to overcome this."

My heart was so engaged as I knew, God was taking moment to speak to me, "This is for you." I had to remember Him and judge Him as faithful in my own life. As Christine was preaching her heart out (as she always does and I so love it!) my thoughts went to a post on this page, the threat, I boldly declared that I would fight fire with faith and my reference was that of Abraham and Sarah. I then also thought that in the past month in 2 other posts, I have mentioned Caleb and his faithfulness to act based on the promise he received from God. I realized in that very large auditorium that my very large God was taking a moment to make sure that I know that He sees me and that He has not forgotten me and that I am right where He wants me.

I am living in a place where right now, everything is not under control, I do not know the full plan of action steps to take to get me where I believe I am going but right now I have to remember that my God is ALWAYS faithful for He can not deny himself! My life is truly in His hands and every hope, dream and passion I have ever had is surrendered to Him. I am not in control but I know Who is. I have seen a future version of myself that I never truly believed I could be, but what if for just a moment I decided to be a risk taker and live this life as though I flat out believed the truth of His word fully? What if He had to take away everything about who I thought I was to show me who He made me to be? What if life could look like the crazy, impossible dreams I had of ministering and changing the world... the dreams that were buried in the rubbish heap of life happening. What if I could believe and conceive His incredible dreams once again? Perhaps I would be available to be used by Him to impact others right where I am and light a fire in them, that they then would in turn go and do the same and then we would see lasting, true change in our families, communities, cities, nations and our world. You know perhaps it's time to do more than just imagine.

04 May 2012

hope, meaning and power

I've noticed that some people like to take biblical principles and teach them as "new revelations of the principles of the elemental truth of the way the world works" and not give proper credit to the Lord who is their Creator Who gave them wisdom to have their "new revelations." The principles work because they are rooted in the way God set up the world but in our hubris we humans think we're teaching the "latest concept" to the starving masses. Unfortunately because so many people do not have a foundation in the word of God, disunity in the Body of Christ and incongruent teaching on how He speaks to us in this day, it is easy to miss Him in what should be obvious.

Speaking positively over yourself and others and shaping your future by speaking where you want to go and what you would like to see are the ways in which God has always ordered creation. After all in the beginning God did say, "Let there be..." and there was AND it was good. He spoke, He set in order, creation came forth. It's not a secret, I promise ;)

In my own fight to push out of darkness, I have found the effectiveness of declaring His word over my life and others and speaking well of myself and others. This has made me have to change how I think about myself. One of the ways I implemented this was to create the wall in the picture above. I call it my Word Wall of Encouragement. Instead of repeatedly saying negative things about myself, speaking death, I have to make the daily decision to speak life. Proverbs 18:21

Below are two affirmation statements that I wrote to declare over my life that have encouraged me. I have others for my family and friends and situations in the world at large. I pray that these bless you and I encourage you to take the time to write out and speak statements of truth and faith over your life, your loved ones, the situations around you and the issues you are passionate about. You may find in doing so you start a chain reaction that leads to great change.

You are looking at one of the most powerful forces in the universe: a woman who knows the Truth, her purpose and has been empowered by the acceptance of her original redeemed and restored, God-given authority by the work of Christ. Good day world I'm coming for you.

Lord Jesus when I look to You, I have hope for my past, meaning in my present and power for my future!

  • Hope that my past is not the sum total of who I am, will be and what I am subject to. There are no limits to what I can achieve because You have brought redemption to me.
  • Meaning and definition of purpose and peace to attack the challenges that I was born anointed to correct.
  • Power to go forward and take the mountain with the confidence of Caleb that the Lord has given me the victory.

01 May 2012


Why do we feel like we have to classify people and put them into some box with a label? Is it because it makes it easier to categorize, make generalizations and assumptions based on skewed perceptions? We can then make a withdrawal from our memory banks particular deposit box and have a judgement at hand for everyone without ever getting to know each person in their own light.

I am asking this series of questions because first, I want to change and not label and automatically lump anyone into some phantom category, assuming I know more about them than I do. Doing that makes it very hard to have relationships. Second, I want to break any chains of phantom limitations that I have allowed myself to be bound in because I chose to shape my worth and ability with what others have said about me.

The following are a few of the labels I have worn in my day. I've been rough and tumble more than a girlie girl so I was called a tomboy. I thoroughly enjoyed school because I love to learn, as such that made me a geek. In fifth grade I fell in love with rock music and that wasn't really what "my people" did at that time and although I knew who Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix were, many my age didn't and did not understand so I was an Oreo. In junior high I took drum lessons and girls didn't do that. I guess they hadn't heard of Sheila E. either, so now I was just weird.  I've only had two boyfriends in life and both were Caucasian. Well that means I had jungle fever.

Now these weren't directly detrimental, some are actually funny. But my peers treated me like something was wrong with me because I did not fit nicely in a box that could be easily labeled. I was often rejected and after years of this I began to think there really was something wrong with me. I unfortunately used other's perceptions as the measuring stick of who I was and what I could do. I wore the labels as though they were true descriptions of the contents that make up my composition.

I also am just a guilty as anyone else. There was a time in my life when I would lash out in anger and use my words to cut people to shreds and tear them down to a base level. I am sad to say that on more than one occasion I have left people in tears because of the labels I threw on them. This brings me back to my questions and what I see as an answer.

Labels give us a sense that we have control and can gauge what value a person has to us. In our pride we think we can determine some one's abilities and worth in life by adding a label to them. Now at first glimpse that's not what it looks like but I know for me, that is what I'll be repenting of. I want to see the bigger picture. What if we decided to be free from this in our dealings with people? How different could life be for us? Could our spheres of influence expand if we let the labels go? Could we be changed individuals ready to bring change in this world? I am foolish enough to believe we can.

Proverbs 18:21 (AMP) tells us "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]." Let's use our words to build up others and speak goodness that promotes life, not slap on some label that will limit all of us because we are not open to receive from or give to others. The opportunity for relationship dies when we choose to speak in the language of labels. Let's change our minds about this and be amazed by the radical reformation it will bring.

24 April 2012


I believe...
In the face of pain, contradiction and things seemingly falling apart, I believe that the greatest peace I have ever known is upon me. Today I am tired and emotionally drained but I believe that I am about to be restored, refreshed, renewed and rebuilt in a way that may be surprising to others. I choose to believe today because I know Him whom holds my world.

I believe that now is the time for a difference and to truly move beyond my past. I know what's been but I am excited to see what will be. I believe that every need already has the necessary provision and that I am about to experience a better education than any number of years at the most prestigious university could buy. I believe that I will see the fruit of what I've learned over recent years manifest in the form of uncommon wisdom when it is tempered with prayer and seeking His face.

I believe that my faith has already been strengthened and will only continue to grow. I believe this timing is not a coincidence. I believe it's time to become more acquainted with my Lord, love my family, serve with my whole heart and have fun living. I believe it's time to repent and be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I believe I am free and I believe in that I am available to change the world. I truly believe.

17 April 2012

square peg

I've heard it said that you should save for a rainy day. I wish I could tell you I had the perfect emergency fund stashed away and that I was prepared financially for any sudden changes in life. Alas, I cannot say that and it be true. However, today I sit here and I can tell you that on Monday, it rained in my life. I cannot go into much detail at the moment but there will be a significant change in my life soon.

I realized something today and I wanted to capture it in words. I may not have a financial overflow or all the wisdom and training in life to fill this hole but I realized, thanks be to God that in Him I have been filled with a knowing that keeps me from feeling as though there is a hole in me, that there is something lacking or inherently faulty. I'm not defective. Additionally I realized, and maybe accepted is the accurate term, that I was created with a specific purpose to fill a hole. There is a perfect place for me and this is the time for it. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Acts 17:24-28. Verse 26 really hits me:

26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.

Many times in my life I have felt out of place as though I were not in the "exact place" or time. I have allowed that to make me feel less than and as though I was not needed or important. I have felt secondary, as though I was just kind of here, existing, not adding much value. That kind of self-loathing can be felt and my self-rejection has lead to others rejecting me.

Recently, I have felt a stirring within me that is leading me to change. I can no longer allow this defeated mentality to drown me in its downpour. I know that I have so much to give. I long to serve and help others see their own value and find the place where they "fit." I want to draw the greatness out of them so that they can make an impact on this world!

This week I decided that if I'm a square peg that means there is a square opening somewhere waiting for me to fill it and again this is the time for it. I'm not just going to sit around and keep letting life happen to me. God has prepared me, anointed me and placed me here at this exact place and time. In His kingdom there are places for square pegs to fit. And as Mordecai said to Esther, "And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14b)

Look out Aisha Nichole is about to happen to life!

10 April 2012

when i grow up

I am a grown up. *sigh* I am a Spirit-filled believer in the God of the Bible. I am one of the most powerful forces on this earth. However, I do not live as though this is true. This must change NOW. When I grow up, which is NOW, I am going to be a writer. Not just any writer, what I will produce will be anointed from the heavens to help people see the light of His glory. I will also speak, declaring His revelations to me to the world, yes to the nations. But most exciting, I will be serving and in that place of serving I will have the favor and influence that He always intended. I will be a part of a dynamic team! At the moment it may seem dark and chaotic but He is the Light radiating into my present and guiding me to my future.

He gave me a promise when I was only 17 that the legacy of my family and the legacy of many would change with me. I remember how I felt in that moment, the excitement, the gratitude, the joy. But along the track of life, I began to consider myself unworthy of accepting such a mantle and made many excuses and due to past failures and present pressures feel like giving up and running away. But NOW, I don't have time for that. I do not know why He chose me and at the end of the day I am just grateful that He did. I know that reading here is a bit like watching an intense tennis match, back and forth and back and forth but NOW I have to change, shift perspective. I am perfectly capable of success, no matter where this journey started and what station the train is currently in, it is moving along the track ever closer to destiny.

08 April 2012

shift gears: thrive

Did I not declare that I would bring change?
How many times have I told you that waiting is not what it seems to you?

I do My work while you are asleep
I shift and rearrange so you won’t taste defeat
I made you victorious, My beloved one
Your challengers were destroyed long ago by My Son
Though time may seem short, My plan’s already begun
I’ll tell you again, you’ve already won!

Walk as I tell you and speak My decrees,
The quieter you live the more of Me they will see
Everything you need, I already have
Come follow Me, your Ever Loving Dad
I will never give up, just give in to Me
Surrender in peace, I Am all that you need

I’ve given you this story, I brought it to life
You my beautiful one are now fully alive
I’ve place My Spirit in you, anointed you for the task
Do you need anything of Me? The key is to ask
I’ve set you up to prepare My Son’s bride
Speak to the nations, reconcile and revive!

Worry no more for I send you this day
Command every mountain to move out of your way
I Am truly with you, not only by your side
I flow from within you
It’s with My love that you Thrive!

originally written Nov 26 2011