Doing More than Just Enough

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”

~Deuteronomy 5:33

So this Sunday’s message was about restoration of one’s soul, healing from all of the hurts in order to be in the position where God can use you for his greater purpose. One thing that the pastor mentioned was being obedient to God’s word and the direction that he gives you for your life. I don’t necessarily struggle with wanting to be obedient to God’s word. My struggle comes in the form of my inherent nature to question and second guess literally everything.

It’s not that I don’t trust whatever God would have me do. I guess the thing I tend to question most is whether or not the direction that I am hearing is from God or just subconsciously something I want to do myself. They say sometimes that the way you can tell the two apart is because when God instructs you it is usually going to be something you don’t want to do and something that will put you out of your comfort zone.

Another thing that I am working with that my pastor touched on was that we tend to obey the parts of God’s word that we want to and pretend not to hear the parts that we don’t agree with God about because we can’t see the bigger picture. We cherry pick the way we’re going to adhere to God’s will but that’s not what the Bible says that we are supposed to do. There is a difference between doing ALL and doing JUST ENOUGH.

When my pastor said that I had to rethink a lot of things regarding that statement because there are times when God will tell me to do something, or to ask someone for help with something and because of my doubts, or fears and anxiety, or because it might make me extremely uncomfortable, or even worse, because of my pride, I only half way do what he has told me to do. I convince myself that it’s okay because I’ve almost done everything God wanted me to do and I rationalize that he would understand because he knows me better than anyone right.

The thing is when we are asking God for ALL that he has in this life for us and we are walking in faith that he can do exceedingly and abundantly for our lives, we can’t then say well I’m just going to do half of what I was told to do. We are supposed to be doing God’s will, not ours, because his plans are always going to be better for us than the one’s we have for ourselves. It’s about having trust in God knowing what is best for us and not relying on our own interpretation of his word and his direction for us.  

The thing is that I hate being uncomfortable. I have a routine and a list for nearly everything. I don’t like surprises (unless they are good one’s of course lol) and I always question whether I’ve made the right decision or not, often times second guessing myself out of something good. A lot of the things that God instructs me to do, things regarding all of my dreams and the purpose I feel I was put here to achieve, are things that make me very uncomfortable and anxious and I try to skirt my way around them doing the parts that I feel okay with and leaving out the parts of the instruction that make me almost have a full blown panic attack. However, that is not what God said for me to do. He didn’t say do things halfway. I know that I don’t want just half of his blessings that he has for me. I can’t ask God to do all he can for me if I’m not willing to do all he asks of me. That means ALL, not JUST ENOUGH. Until next time… #BeObedient #BeFaithful #BeUncomfortable

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Time That Is Not Our Own

It’s a brand New Year, in a brand new decade and I don’t know about you guys but I have no more time to waste. I’ve been thinking a lot about the time that we spend doing things that do not lend themselves to the purpose that we are placed on this earth for, whatever that purpose may be for you. We let our presumed obligations and even our loving hearts guilt us into giving time to things that will not eventually bear fruit and often leaves us with unfinished goals.

I use to believe that to think of myself first would be completely selfish and just not being a good servant of God and the purpose that he has for me. However, in having a recent conversation with a friend of mine, Ms. L., I remembered something very important. She reminded me that I am God’s child too. I mean it’s not that I don’t know that already but sometimes I forget that focusing on me doesn’t mean that I suddenly don’t care about others. Oftentimes we are more worried about tending to someone else’s needs (especially if you have children) and having compassion for what other people might want that we forget about what might be best for us.

When it comes to following our dreams and living out our purpose, we tend to put time into things, and often people, who take us away from what it is we are supposed to be focused on. We feel like we owe them that time, our time, when in reality, we don’t owe anyone else our time. In fact our time is not even ours to give away. The time that we have here on this earth is God’s time, in which he is entrusting us to accomplish certain goals and tasks, at certain intervals of our lives, for the betterment of an end result that is not even for us to see.

This is in no way me saying that other people don’t matter. In fact it is quite the opposite. Sometimes what we are supposed to be spending our time on will eventually better the lives of someone else who needs it. However, if we are not in the right place in our journey, at the precise time that we were designated to get there, then we will have missed that opportunity to be the blessing in someone else’s life that we were supposed to be, all because we devoted time to something else that was not even our mission to begin with.

We shouldn’t be made to feel guilty if we can not devote time to things or people the way that we might have been able to when we weren’t sure what our purpose was. Time is precious and it’s not promised to anyone and we have to be careful with what we do with it because there are important things that need to be done while we are still here to do them. The time that you have been given is the time that God has given you in order to do with it what he wants you to do with it. We don’t owe that time to anyone else. So this year, let’s start placing the focus back on ourselves and let’s not waste anymore time that isn’t ours to waste in the first place. Until next time… #BeFocused #BeMindful #BeProductive

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Hope Never Fails

 

I’ve been very open here about the fact that this past year has been extremely trying and there have been moments when, naturally I got worried, but I never gave up or quit. The last couple of weeks, as I stared down the face of my daughter and I being evicted from our home, might have been the first time during this whole storm that I’ve been going through that I actually started to truly lose a little but of the Hope that I was holding on to and I had a very frank and needed conversation with God. Now I talk to God on a daily basis but this particular conversation was more meditative and this time I said my peace and asked for guidance and instead of continuing to talk I stopped and I really listened. There was no TV on that overpowered my thoughts, no music playing in the background, no games being played to past the time. There was silence and I had stopped doing all the talking and just listened.

Now I’m not saying that I’ve never gotten a sign from God before because I have plenty of times and there are times where I hear a bit of a whisper telling the right thing to do that I believe to be God, but I must admit that I have never heard him in a clear and unfiltered way until the other night. I heard him clearly, as I would hear a person standing next to me, and he told me to have patience (which is something I deeply struggle with), he told me to let him work it out and he told me not to rush him and that he’s got me. Instinctively I know this already but to hear it, so clearly is a feeling that I can’t even begin to describe. It’s freeing and gave me such clarity. The next morning, Sunday, in the message one of the last key points the pastor made was that Hope is patience and knowing that God’s got you and he will work it out and he will not fail you. It was even more clarity to what I had already been told the night before.

In the message the Sunday before my pastor made a really good point and it’s that if we were to get everything we wanted, when we wanted it, there would never be any reason to have hope. When we hope we are hoping for something that we want to come to fruition, a new position in our lives that we want to be elevated to, or to conquer a particular battle. We can’t see any of those things but that’s what Hope is, believing in the things yet to come and the future that you can’t see. Hope is a very powerful thing.

There may be times when you might be going through some things and ALL that you have left is HOPE and you put your faith into that hope. I just want to let you know that your hope is not misplaced and even when it seems like you’re out of all hope and that nothing is going to work out in your favor, just remember that not only does God have the ability to perform miracles that you never expected but he can do so instantly. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and the storm will not last forever so when you feel like there’s nothing left to hold onto, hold onto HOPE!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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NaNoWriMoPost Day 14

We’re almost halfway there!!! So I hope everyone is having a productive NaNoWriMo experience.   I know that it gets daunting to try and write so many words in what seems like such a short time but the important thing that I have found that doing NaNoWriMo helps with is creating the habitual routine of sitting down in your chair (or floor or couch, wherever you choose to write) and writing every single day.

This is especially helpful for those of us who had found ourselves in a rut or blocked or even just lacking in sheer motivation. It gets us back in the mood to really produce good content again and for me it has reenergized me and gotten me excited, not just about writing the current story that I am working on for NaNoWriMo but it has me excited for creating period, in terms of writing my blog posts, or in terms of thinking of ideas on how to best structure the podcast I will be starting in January of 2020. It even has me thinking (perhaps foolishly) that I might actually want to give writing for television a shot and go for it because I’ve always wanted to write two specific things, novels and television shows, but I’ve just always talked myself out of trying to write for TV because I had convinced myself I wasn’t really good enough to do that (which is crazy given the fact that I can predict an entire show and how it’s going to go in the first two minutes of the show most of the time lol).

Now I won’t be long because I have a story to get back to and hopefully you do too. I just stopped in to check in on you and to let you know that there are going to be videos to help get you through the rest of NaNoWriMo and hopefully to help keep you motivated past that point over on my online magazine, Write 2 Be Magazine, so when you get some time go check out the specific writing videos to help you in your writing journey! I’ll check back again near the end of the stretch and of course my normal blog posts will appear weekly. Until next time… #BeConsistent #BeMotivated

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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I Choose Faith Over Worry

For as long as I can remember I have always been a worrier. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment in time or the day in which I went from a child without a care in the world to one who, even if I didn’t know the word to describe the feeling at the time, filled up on the inside with the worry that I innately carried with me into my adulthood. It could’ve been something I had seen or witnessed and buried in my subconscious so I can not now remember, or it could be one of the many times that I had worried if I was going to get hit by my mother simply for existing that day. Whatever moment it was that turned me into a person who would carry worry into my everyday habits, the habitual nature had been developed long before I knew how the power of Faith truly worked.

I recently read an article written by a friend that revisited the popular children’s Sunday school song In His Hands. The song tells us that God has the whole world in his hand, meaning every last one of us can rest in the palm of his hands. Every battle we face, every test that we fail, every victory that we win, all rest in his hands. Now as a child I did not understand the true meaning and power behind the words in that song but having lived a little and experienced a lot I get more than ever the meaning behind those words.

I have certainly been tested this last year and the funny thing to me is that even in this extremely difficult time that I am having I have never had more Faith in God and his power than I do right at this very moment. I say it’s funny because as I pointed out earlier, I am a worrier by nature and have been since I was a child so I literally worry about nearly everything. Now I’m not saying that my nature of worry has completely gone away because I’m still human, but my faith is unwavering and ever strengthening.

No matter what we face in this world, whatever figurative rocks are being thrown at you, worrying about it is not going to change the outcome. Even if we fall flat on our faces, we are still falling into the loving hands of God’s protection. We are still going to be nurtured by his unconditional love and he will still see us through whatever the battle is that we are being tested by. Not only will he see us through it but he will make us stronger for having fought that battle.

Sometimes I know that it would be nice to be able to see what the outcome is going to be, maybe get a little hint that everything will be okay, but as someone very wise recently told me, it’s not for me to see. God’s got me and that is essentially all that I really need to know. So when you feel antsy and you start to feel that worry creep up inside of you and you start to get impatient with the not knowing where things are headed, just keep in mind that God’s got you and no matter what you’re in HIS hands. Until next time… #BeinFaith #BeEmpowred

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Battle Tested… Still a Work In Progress

I was talking to someone the other night about the battles that we face and how sometimes I feel like I just want to throw in the towel, throw my hands up, and say to hell with everything. Now of course logically, I’m not going to do that because, shit, I’ve got goals and no matter how much I want to give up sometimes I have not ever been, nor will I ever be a quitter. When I get knocked down I may sulk a little bit, and I may even wallow slightly longer than is acceptable, but I do eventually get back up and prepare myself once again for the next battle. Now in the conversation that I was having the other day we were talking about the saying that says God gives the toughest battles to his strongest soldiers and we both reveled in the realization that God must have some really big things in store for us because we have been going through some tough battles lately.

This year has been a nightmare and I have been struggling. I’m in such a financial free fall right now and I am trying to maintain a positive outlook but it is hard. I came dangerously close to eviction the other day and while I have lined up a couple of clients for the next few weeks it’s still not going to be enough to stabilize things just yet and I am sinking. I was supposed to have some books out by now but my self-publishing efforts, as you might imagine given my current financial state, have kind of fallen to the back burner because I have to focus on keeping a roof over me and my daughter’s head. I do have a few things lined up so there is some comfort in that but it’s not enough to stabilize things just yet.

Okay I started going off course there for a moment. The point of this post was to highlight something I got when I watched a sermon from Bishop TD Jakes about fighting your Goliath’s (battles), and that is that no matter what the battle is that you might be facing right now, you should not allow it to discourage you. Your battle was not given to you to discourage you. It was given to you to empower you. Your battle was given to you to reveal who you really are, who you truly are and all of the power that you have inside of you, and all of the purpose that you have been given.

If you are feeling low at the moment, if your battle is getting too hard for you to fight, know that even if you are down you are not out. God is with you. God has already given you the strength to handle whatever it is that comes your way. You only need to believe in yourself and in the power that God has given you within. Until next time… #BeEmpowered #BeVictorious

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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Even If It’s Not Broken, It May Still Need to Be Fixed

What has God been able to teach you lately? That question was one that my pastor posed to us yesterday and it was a very thought provoking one. To put it in context, he was talking to us basically about getting out of the comfort zone of the things that we know and start walking in the path of the things that we don’t know. I love how the things that I had already been processing in my own mind for myself, when I hear them from another wiser and more experienced person it just makes that much more sense.

I am one of those old fashioned people who can’t really stand the drastic changes in technology and the way that we communicate today. I am much more “comfortable” doing things the way that I know how to do them and the old adage of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is my personal favorite mantra. My pastor preached to us yesterday about learning how to evolve with things and being willing to gain new knowledge so that it could help us take the skills that God has blessed us with, that we have always had, and nurture them and grow them into something even better and bigger with the power to do more good within this world.

When I heard those words I thought about all of the limitations that I have been placing on myself and my dreams just from the shear inability to allow my mind to expand and let myself learn new methods of doing things that just might actually allow for growth and exposure to something better. It’s so odd for me because I consider myself such a student of life and a person who just loves learning overall but when it comes to doing things in a way that’s unsure I just stop there.

I suppose my writing career could be in a far different (and better) place right now if I had been more adaptable to change a long time ago. New can be scary for me, especially if I had gotten so used to doing things in a way that seemed to be working so well but the thing is sometimes you do things the same for so long that you can’t even see when they stop working. You’re too blinded by the familiar and you keep walking in what you know because it feels right to you.

When you finally realize how much you haven’t grown it can be a jolt to the system and one that can either cause you to crumble or to kick it into high gear and get moving in the right direction. I guess you could say I did some crumbling first. I suppose I just have to keep reminding myself of how good change can be when I start to regress and back away from something new. The fact of the matter is that what God wants me to do with the gifts he’s given me, what he wants me to pour into this world is far more important than my wanting to remain ‘comfortable’. I have work to do and I don’t get to complain about being uncomfortable!

Until next time… #BeUncomfortable #BeInFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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