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Finding Peace in the Storms of Sisterhood

Credit: Transformingloveministries.org

I am re-posting a wonderful blog post written by my friend, Stacha Ashburn from @transformingloveministries.org

This is such a powerful and encouraging post about maintaining our peace within the relationships we have with others (not just our sisters, but it can even be powerful with any relationship we have with others.)

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For a long time now, I have been a huge advocate for sisterhood. However, I am still very much learning just what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like and how to navigate through them. We all know within any real relationship women have with one another there is going to be emotional highs and lows that will trigger drama. Let’s call them peace robbers!

I believe within the body of Christ it gets a little bit more complicated because we are not to conform to the world’s way. I am going to unveil and share some scenarios I have walked through within my sista girl circle –what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I learned overall.

Something I want to share upfront, though you are a believer that doesn’t mean you’re anybody’s doormat!

Holy Spirit will lead and guide you in Peaceful Relationships 101 when you respond verses react. When we react, we give away our power. When we respond appropriately, we stay in control of ourselves and secure our inner peace. Keep your overall peace by choosing to not allow another party to provoke you into losing your Jesus!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have mastered this choice at times, and other times I have failed epically! But God ain’t done with me yet!

I recently found myself in a situation with one girlfriend in which we simply could not agree to see eye to eye. So, what do you do in these scenarios?

By the grace of God, I was at work and had to keep all the fruits of HIS Spirit during this encounter. I finally got to the place where I called it out for what it was. I told the other party that “This isn’t me against you or you against me, it is the enemy we are warring with.”

Ephesians 6:12 says:

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” NLT

With that, we were able to agree to see it differently. We were hip to Satan’s tricks. We hugged it out and moved on.

Then there was another situation where my sista wouldn’t respond via call or text, which only added fuel to the enemy’s fire in my mind. Ephesians 4:26 says:

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. NLT

I totally see why now, because in the silence, your mind tries to make sense of it and creates its own conclusions, which essentially robs you of your peace. When we finally did speak, we discovered lies -all lies! I learned I am a “let’s handle this right now” type of person; whereas, she is a “I need to be still and pray for a few days” type of chick. After discovering this, we agreed to use a code word that my husband and I often use – processing. Now when we have a disagreement, she just texts the word “processing” to let me know she needs her space. With that, I know she just needs a moment and then we are going to come back to the dispute at hand.

Then there’s this example that recently presented itself. It is another great example of how I need to seek to understand my sista better before responding to her.

I was on the phone with a friend when chaos broke out in my home. I had to get off the phone abruptly and handle the immediate situation. This friend knew what was going down, but she hadn’t reached back out at any point in the day to make sure I was well. So, I reached out to her the next day and let her know it hurt my feelings because she knew I was in crisis and didn’t follow up. She immediately apologized and shared that in her family when there is chaos, you don’t bring it up. She assumed based on her experience that if I wanted to talk about it, I would have reached out to her. Huge epiphany! If it wasn’t called out in open communication, we couldn’t have come to that understanding.

Communication is so key in any relationship but is essential within the relationships of believers. The enemy currently has domain over this world, and he wants to rob us of our peace by keeping us entangled in relationship issues. It’s evident that’s one of Satan’s best tricks. This keeps us distracted from living life fully alive.

Matthew 18:20 says:

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them. KJV

We are better together than we are apart, and we already know the power in that!

At the same time, we must learn discernment and balance as we walk this walk. There will be times when we will need to let go of those God hasn’t called us to keep. It took me way too long to realize we don’t have to remain friends with the toxic people in our circles. We are free to walk away from people who hurt us. We don’t owe anyone an explanation for taking care of ourselves.

There will be times that we need to erase messages, delete numbers, and move on for the sake of our well-being. It doesn’t mean we will forget who that person was to us, but we come to accept that they aren’t that person anymore and must simply set ourselves free. If someone hurts you once, they most likely will do it again. Don’t let toxic people make you feel like you are holding a grudge when you are establishing well-placed boundaries.

Whew ladies! When it comes to finding peace in the storms of sisterhood, I have shared just a few moments from my personal collection of experiences. Maintaining healthy relationships in our community of sisters is important because God says love HIM and love each other!

Besides being members of a local community, we have wide relationships with family, including extended families, co-workers, sisters, and friends. We have friends across spiritual communities and generations alike. This creates courage for women to face the future in faith and in hope. Courage comes from the power of our sisterhood, the energy that women have together. And there are so many spheres in which the courage of women has shifted the arc of history toward justice. Our sisterhood is powerful. Protect it!

Written by Stacha Ashburn

Journey, Life

Refreshing Relationships

Encouragement Today and Weekend Reminder

img_8650Today’s inspiration is coming via another moment of tranquility.

We had some amazingly beautiful weather the past couple of days so yesterday’s adventure took us to Corolla in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

God’s revelation, while we enjoyed our beautiful day together, was that our kids are never to old to spend quality time together.

My friend, if you have a child or children in your life, no matter if they are yours or they are your nieces and nephews or they are just children in your life you love, it is never to late to spend some time with them building bonds and relationships that will be forever etched in their minds and their hearts.

Your weekend reminder today is to be sure to incorporate the time to build on those relationships. If you find the time to build on them, you will be amazed at how rejuvenated you will feel at the end of the day.

Enjoy the small people God blessed you with. Take the time to play, cuddle, love on, talk to, read to, and do whatever it is that you both enjoy. The bonding time will be priceless at the end of the day or at the end of the weekend.

Take some time this weekend to invest in your relationships. Your important people will feel loved and you will walk away feeling refreshed.

Comfort, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Motivation Monday, Weariness

Peace Is Living In The Moment

Encouragement Today and Motivation Monday

F0742B95-A651-47B1-B71C-192E4EC5EA37Today’s Encouragement and Motivation is to remind you to not get so busy with life and worry that you forget to live for the moment of today’s life, peace, and happiness.

Do you live a life that is full of chaos and turmoil that attacks you at every turn? Do you worry about the past whether it be relationships, your job, or decisions you have made?

Do you find yourself having panic attacks about the future and what it holds? Do you have to make an important decision that has you paralyzed?

Are you a young person who is struggling to find your way in the adult world? Are you struggling with if you should go to college, what college classes do you need to take, but you are fearful of them? Are you getting ready to graduate in the spring, but you have no idea where you are going to work and you know the college loans will be coming in shortly after graduation?

Are you not happy with your employment situation because it doesn’t meet your financial needs? Are you looking forward to the future advancement, but you are fearful of failure and rejection?

Do you have a chronic illness and you get discouraged because you just can not see an end in sight for a healing? Are you in need of a treatment or a surgery, but fear has you uncertain if you should do it or not?

My friend, no matter what your past looks like or what your future holds, the importance to life is the present moment, the here and now, the present. 

“Forget yesterday–it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow–you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift–today.” Steve Maraboli

God wants us to live for today and not to worry about tomorrow.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I know this is extremely difficult to do. I find myself struggling in the same area, but it is what God commands us to do. Focus on only today. Do not borrow tomorrow’s worries for there is nothing you can do about them until tomorrow.

Today is a big enough day. Tackle only what today brings forth. If you need to break out your planner or a scrap piece of paper and write yourself a to do list, do it. Only accomplish what is on that list for today freeing your mind of all the extra clutter that does not need to be in it.

Do not fill your every minute of your day either. Allow yourself to take a break to breathe and refresh your mind. Take a walk, read a book, write in a journal, or create something with your hands. It doesn’t matter what you do so long as you do it and it is something you enjoy. My friend, no… no… no… it can not be a chore such as prepping your supper or doing a load of laundry. No chores. This is about you and you only. Those chores come in their own place in your daily life of today. 

Your simple reminder for today is to focus only on today. Let the rest of the week come as it arrives.

Today is today! 

Lastly, remember this…

You Are Enough! You Are Beautiful! Ps 139:14