As humans, we all have dreams. We dream of all the things we
want to accomplish; we dream about the men we will marry and the perfect lives
we’ll build together. The perfect house, the perfect kids, the perfect dog, the
perfect job … and on and on. And we have a nagging dream of something we really
want to accomplish.
But we don’t always have the same idea or plan that God has
for us. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT says, “For I
know the plans I have for you,” says
the Lord. “They are plans for good
and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” So what does that
mean for you? It means that along the way, you think you have all the answers,
but you really don’t. The twists and turns of your life are really in God’s hands.
As wives and mothers, we tend to put our lives on hold for
our husband’s career and our children. We forget about our own hopes and
dreams. I remember when I first got married, and I was just going to be the “Little woman in an apron,” and then
become a stay-at-home mom. But that became old really quick, because as much as
I loved my husband and my kids, I needed something more to really fulfill my
How could I be an inspiration to myself, my husband or my
children? So my husband joined the Jaycees, and I joined the Jaycee Wives. And
before I knew it, I became the President of the Jaycee Wives and the head of
the Rose Arts Queen’s Pageant in our town of Norwich, Connecticut. We got
involved with our community. I got involved with the school system and set up
programs for kids with special needs. We got involved with Head Start for
disadvantaged children. I was happy! I felt like I was making a difference.
But, as we all know, God has different ideas than we do. We
had to move for my husband’s job. Wow! Everything I had accomplished just went
out the window. I’d like to think that some of the programs I set up there
continued on, but I really have no idea. So now, it was time for me to get back
into the moment of family first. But, I knew there were still more dreams, more
wants, another comeback for me somewhere down the road.
I’m sure many of you have been in that place. In a season of
needing to take care of your family first, but still feeling like you needed to
accomplish something more. You know the saying, “Patience is a virtue?” And trust me, it is! But this is the time
when we have to trust in God’s plan, take baby steps toward what we want to
accomplish and have faith that one day, we will walk in our purpose.
Ask yourself today what is your purpose? What comeback is
God walking you toward? Do you have a true mission for your life? Are you
running on knee jerk reactions or actually working with uniform, planned out
strategies for where you want to go?
For me, I ended up owning and operating an advertising
agency in Dallas doing what I loved. I had a plan, I found a way to make it
happen, and I had many years of loving what I was purposed to do. I showed my
kids that their dreams could come true too. I took a leap of faith, I listened
to God’s plan, and I had my comeback.
But, as life and luck would have it, that would not be the end of my story. And it isn’t the end to your story either. To understand more about making your comeback and living your dreams, tune into Warrior Divas, Real Talk for Real Women, Episode 15 at www.divasimpact.com/podcast.
Everybody who knows
me, knows I love to cook. I also love to take recipes and put my own spin on
them. Sometimes they turn out great and sometimes not, but the ones that do, I
keep and share.
So for a quick and easy week night dinner, try these Glorified Onion Pork Chops. Prep time is about 10 minutes, cooking time is about 25 to 30 minutes and it serves six.
1 tbs. veg. oil
6 bone-in pork chops, ½ thick
½ cup chopped onion
1 can condensed cream of celery soup (I use fat-free)
½ cup water
Ingredients (I added):
A splash of red cooking wine or any red wine you have
Pepper to taste
Directions: Sprinkle Garlic powder, pepper and celery salt onto chops. Heat oil in 12” pan and brown on both sides. Remove and then cook onion until tender. Return chops, stir in soup, water and wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until chops are done.
These pair well with a green vegetable
and mashed potatoes. To save time on a busy week night, I buy store-bought
Enjoy my friends!
According to the dictionary, a stronghold is defined as a
well-fortified place or fortress. It is also defined as a place of survival or
refuge. It can also be defined as a hide-out or a prison. Think about that for
a moment, ladies.
For most of us, our strongholds tend to be those things that
are holding us back. Things that are constant sources of our unhealthy habits
or thoughts that have embedded themselves deeply into our hearts. They are the
slings and arrows of Satan.
These slings and arrows manifest themselves in prideful
thoughts or self-deprecating feelings. You know what I’m talking about. We’ve
all said I’m not worthy. I’m not pretty enough, skinny enough, you seek
negative attention just for the sake of getting attention. Maybe you have anger
issues or a bad temper. These are symptomatic of strongholds that are holding
you in prison.
Many of you over compensate with drink or food or sinful
activity. Often times, we are judgmental or unforgiving and hostile to those
who may have wronged us, and by doing so, we keep ourselves locked in the past.
Maybe you have an overly critical attitude toward those around you … your
spouse, your kids, your co-workers and even your friends. These are all
mechanisms we use to hide from the struggles and pain we are actually feeling.
The truth is, these bad behaviors and evil thoughts are all
indications of strongholds that have happened in your past. Maybe you have
trust issues because of someone whom you trusted and they hurt you. Maybe your
parents were divorced so you have relationship issues. Maybe you experienced
some trauma or were physically assaulted. These are all strongholds that you
need to face, deal with and annihilate.
To be sure, it is not easy to break free from these
strongholds. Ask yourself if these are recurring patterns? What lies have you
believed? What messages are replaying over and over in your mind? Are you
listening to them and do you believe them? Are you guilty of passing these strongholds
down to your children?
Often times, strongholds are not even bad things. They can
be fixations such as religion, food or over protectiveness of those around you.
But if you are overly obsessed, then these are also toxic. Over-indulgence in
anything, whether good or bad, is destructive.
For most of us, we need to seek help from others in order to
break the chains of our strongholds. Not an easy thing to do … to ask for help.
Remember, the enemy lies and he wants you to mistrust God’s promises. The enemy
seeks to confuse you and beat you up psychologically. He wants to discourage
you. He wants to take away the goodness and truth that God has offered to you.
The enemy wants you to turn over all control to him.
But deep down, we know we should remain dutiful to our Lord. Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the
contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments
and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we
take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
To learn more about breaking the strongholds in your life, tune into Warrior Divas, Real Talk for Real Women, Episode 14 available at www.divasimpact.com/podcast.
As women, we go through many seasons in our life journey. We
are wives, mothers, teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, entertainers,
politicians. Whatever we are, we are all important. We are all charged with
becoming life givers and not just life takers.
I remember an instance a few years back as I sat in line at
the Starbucks drive through. As I pulled up to the window to pay for my drink,
I was told that the car ahead of me had paid for my order. Astonishing! I thought, “What a nice thing to do!” And because that stranger decided to
bless me, I chose to bless the car behind me. A small gesture to be sure, but
we have been taught to pay it forward, haven’t we?
Today, more than ever, we should embrace who we are, stay
strong in our faith and pay it forward with kindness. As we go through our
daily routines, you never know whose life you might touch with nothing more
than a simple smile. I remember walking into the grocery store one day when
someone I didn’t know came up to me and said, “I just wanted to tell you how nice you look today.” And that small
gesture put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. One small gesture, but
it touched my heart.
Micah 6:8 tells us to, “Do
what is right to other people, love being kind to others, and live humbly.”
To be sure, with the political atmosphere today, the shootings and the protests
it seems almost impossible to be kind. But we have the power to really show up
and step up. We can all agree to disagree, and just get along. You can make a
difference by just being present and by getting involved.
You don’t have to be a super hero to volunteer at your
child’s school or help out the PTA. Maybe you know someone in a nursing home
who would enjoy getting out for lunch sometime. Perhaps you could read to kids
at your local library. Shake a policeman’s hand and thank him for protecting
our community. Tell a soldier you appreciate his or her service. You have the
power to create an atmosphere of loving kindness within your own homes and in
doing so, your children will learn how to also be kind.
We all remember that song that said, “What the world needs now, is love sweet love.” And right now, we
all have the ability to bring more love and caring into this world we live in.
Trust in yourself, because you can be a community builder! Remember, great
communities require remarkable leaders. But first you have to decide what that
community is for you. Do you want to get involved with your City Council? Maybe
you would like to host a weekly book club? With social media today, perhaps you
want to start a meaningful blog. Bottom line, you just have to decide what kind
of community you want to build and then set out to build it.
Ladies, we can all help people in small ways. We are all
just ordinary people with the ability to do extraordinary things. Find your
passion, be present and become involved. You never know whose life you might
touch or who you will inspire. Explore different ways to connect with
organizations or community groups where you can make an impact.
To discover more about how to move forward in your community, tune in to the Warrior Divas episode with Angie Leigh Monroe and guest host Trasa Coburn at www.divasimpact.com/podcast.
In Matthew 5:8 it says “Blessed
are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” But let’s be honest right
now. As human beings, we do not always live up to that standard. I certainly
don’t. Through everyday life, we often find it simpler to be judgmental of
others rather than to be right. We jump to conclusions before we actually have
all the facts. We unfairly judge others and more importantly, ourselves.
you want to be respected by others, it is important to respect yourself.” ~
Fyodor Dostoevsky How many of us forget to respect
ourselves? I’d venture to say that most of us get lost in the day-to-day
stresses that lead us down the path of self-condemnation, regret, and we become
immersed in our own emotions. We listen to the lies of the enemy.
We forget about the gifts God has given to us. We lose sight of our true calling. We hear
that voice inside that says “I’m fat!” “I’m ugly!” “No one loves me!” “My boss
hates me!” “I can’t do anything right!” “My kids don’t listen to me!” “My husband
ignores me!” And on and on it goes until you become lost in your own
persecution. And in doing so, we become women who are gossips, uncompromising
and hypocritical. In short, we are unhealthy with no real sense of purpose or
In truth, I have been lost in that place. I bet at one time
or another, most of you have too. We turn our backs on one another. We don’t
support one another. We don’t inspire one another. We forget to pray to our
Father in heaven and in doing so, we forget to pray for others. We wallow in
self-pity. We have forgotten how to forgive ourselves and how to love
To be clear, none of us is without sin or unblemished.
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, “The heart is
deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” But we have the ability
to turn to our Father in prayer to find peace and happiness … to live in
holiness. We can seek out those women who inspire us, encourage us and speak
truth to us. We can focus on all things positive in order to take those steps
toward a pure heart.
Taking baby steps toward forgiving yourself first and
seeking out those women who will lift you up in joy will work miracles in your
life. Think of your heart as a water glass that needs to be filled. And then
seek to fill it up with mercy, forgiveness, hope and love. Love for yourself
and for those around you. In doing so, you will see the beauty that surrounds
you as you seek to discover your destiny and what God’s purpose for you truly
I know that for most of us, this is not an easy task. The
road to finding one’s self and a pure heart is long. There are many pot holes
along the way to stumble into and sometimes, it becomes difficult to find a way
out. It is often easier to just slip back into old patterns of
self-recrimination and doubt. We’ve all done it! After all, bad habits are
really hard to break, right? And sometimes, we are just too tired to want to
But remember the goals you have set for yourselves and forge
on. Climb out of that hole and start refilling that water glass (your heart).
Seek to raise others up with your words of kindness and inspiration. In doing
so, you will also lift up yourself. Do not become discouraged in the hard
times, but rather seek to find the reasons behind them and the lessons they are
meant to teach. As it says in 1 John 2:8, “Yet
I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the
darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.” Let us all strive
for the light of day and the purity of our hearts.
To find out more about becoming Pure of Heart, tune in to
Warrior Divas Episode 12 at www.divasimpact.com/podcast.