Bouncing Back Is Harder Than Sticking It Out!

see so many of my friends are making a conscious decision to live healthier lifestyles. I think we’ve seen our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members struggle with preventable diseases for so long and we refuse to do the same. So kudos to all of you! Me personally, I’m on my way back to that road! 3 years ago I made up in my mind that I wanted to live! I wanted to be around to fulfill this amazing destiny that God had laid out before me, however, I knew that that may not be a possibility if I kept treating my body like I’d been doing in the past! So I changed my eating habits, started hitting the gym twice a day, and over the course of about 6-7 months I dropped 40 pounds! 

Now after the initial weight loss, I began to get a bit relaxed in perusing my health goals. I gradually started eating what I once ate. I wasn’t in the gym as much. I slowly began to see old habits that I broke sneak back into my life. The scale started moving in the opposite direction. And now, 3 years later, I’m struggling to get back in the press. I definitely don’t remember it being this hard 3 years ago! Bouncing back has proven to be far more difficult than the fight to just stick to it the first time!
This same concept is applicable to so many different areas in our lives, especially our spiritual walk. Often times we find ourselves slowly regressing in various areas. And we can see ourselves moving backwards, but we feel as though we have things under control and can get back on track at anytime. So instead of fighting to continue progressing, we fall back and let things ride. Next thing you know, we are standing in a place that is all to familiar, but is extremely uncomfortable. We then realize that it would have been much easier to have fought to stay where we were than it is trying to get back to where we were. Fighting to stay in the press is hard. It’s challenging. It cost us our will and our way, but I promise it is worth it in the end!
Have you ever been there? God knows I have, one too many times! But I’ve got good news! Today is an opportunity to jump back in the fight. Right now is your chance to make a decision to discipline your spirit so that you can bounce back from this minor setback! You have what it takes to get it done! I believe in you! This setback doesn’t have to define you. You have the option to let it refine you so that you can come back better than ever! I know you can do it because you are TOUGH! 
By imtoughenough

Transformer Mentality

A few months ago I began having a conversation with my godsons. I asked them about one of their favorite movies, Transformers. They excitedly told me what the plot was, who the key characters were, and what the final outcome was. The more I listened, the more intrigued I became. I then asked them who their favorite characters were. Jayson quickly responded by saying Sam! When asked why, he said, because Sam is actually human and the Transformers listen to him. Jaedyn said Bumble Bee, no, Optimus Prime. His reason was because Optimus Prime always knew what to do and he was a great leader. So of course I ended up watching the movie. I had to see for myself.

One thing that I took notice to in the movie was the fact that as regular cars or trucks the Transformers had no real power. It wasn’t until they actually transformed into autobots that they could fight off and defeat the “bad guys” who were trying to destroy the earth. The transformers understood that everything they needed to save the world was already inside of them, but they couldn’t save the world in the state they were in. Once they transformed, they recognized what they possessed. Once they transformed they were able to use what was already there to bring down the enemy.

We are the same way. It isn’t until we allow our minds to be transformed that we realize and can walk in the power or authority that God has given us. Once we realize what is in us, we will begin to utilize what He placed in us to bring down the plots and the plans of the enemy! So instead of always asking someone to pray for you, you pray heaven down on your own behalf. Instead of waiting on someone else to give you an encouraging word, you speak to your own spirit and encourage yourself. Instead of running from a fight with the enemy, you put on your armor and you run to the fight!

Now the autobots aren’t the only ones that went through a transformation. Sam, the human, had to transform as well. In the beginning of the movie Sam didn’t see anything special about himself. When he first saw Bumble Bee (his car) transform, he was terrified! However as the movie continued, not only did his fear jump out the window, but Sam embraced the fact that he had what it took to get the job done. Have you grasped hold to the fact that you actually have what it takes to get the job done?

Today I’m here to simply encourage you to take on the transformer mentality. Every fear, doubt, worry, or concern that may be attempting to rise up in you, all you have to do is let God “transform” you! Allow God to change your mind and perspective so that you can comprehend all that you need to accomplish what He has called you to do is already inside of you. All you have to do is tap in and use it. Don’t fight the transformation. Let it happen!


By imtoughenough

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say!

There’s a song that has been out for quite a while and it says:  
“I love you Jesus. I worship and adore You. Just want to tell You, Lord I love You more than ANYTHING”
Now most of us who know this song sing it and often times find ourselves in deep worship as it is sang. However, how truthful are we really being when we make that confession? A while back I was in the middle of worship and as I sang that song, God checked me and said, “Don’t sing it if you don’t mean it.” 
I immediately begin to tell God that I really did mean what I was singing to Him. And as I attempted to make my case, He began to play back my life to me. He started to show me situations, people, habits, fleshly feelings, materialistic things, worries, doubts, and even fears that I’d allowed to manifest and make themselves bigger than He was in my life.
In that moment the Lord made an appeal to me to either BE REAL OR BE REVEALED! I was saddened because I really thought I did love Him more than anything, but obviously I was wrong. For months the praise team continuously sang the song but every time I opened my mouth to join in, the Holy Spirit would simply remind me, “Don’t say it if you don’t mean it.” John 14:15 says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” One of His commandments is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” 
Often times we think of idol gods as a carved out statue or figure that people bow down to and cry out to, however, that is not always the case.
An idol god is anything that rises up and is given power to control our thoughts, our words, and our actions. It is anything that causes us to do or say anything that is contrary to our God. And if our words, if our worship isn’t real, if it isn’t authentic as it could be, me must allow the Lord to reveal us to us so that we can offer Him something pure and untainted.
So my question to you today is simple. Do you really love God MORE than ANYTHING? Do you love Him enough to let Him tackle your flesh? Do you love Him enough to offer your “issues” and your “problems” to Him? Do you love Him enough to walk away when He says walk away or let go when He says let go? Do you love Him enough to sacrifice what He is requiring? Do you love Him more than anything?
So as we go through this week, let that question seep into your spirit. Be honest enough so that even if that confession isn’t completely true, God can do the work in you so that it will be.
By imtoughenough

Timing Is Everything

Over the past year or so I’ve had the opportunity to occasionally work with my cousin in her bakery, Lei’s Lei’s Cuisine. I’ve watched her measure, mix, and bake what I’ve come to know as yummy perfection.

After all of her ingredients are perfectly blended together, she has to put her cakes in the oven to bake. Now because she is a master baker and she is usually making more than one cake at a time, to ensure that the cakes in the oven cook completely through and to make sure the cakes don’t burn, she often uses a timer. The timer is used as a tool to indicate whether or not the cake is ready for the next step in completing the cake. 
She very rarely opens the oven door during the baking process. She told me that if you open the door to soon, the cake will fall. So even though all the ingredients are there, even though  she followed her recipe perfectly, if she takes it out of the oven too soon, the cake will be ruined. Now occasionally she will use a toothpick to check and see if the cake is ready. If the toothpick comes out clean, then the cake is ready to come out of the oven.   
So how does this apply to us? We are the cake and God is the master baker. He puts us in the oven of life to prepare us for the great works that He has called us too. Now the oven is hot and it is extremely uncomfortable but it is necessary to cook out all of the “stuff” that doesn’t benefit us and that God can’t use to His glory. Now we often times begin to complain because we feel like we’ve been in the oven too long. So God will use the toothpick (our reaction and response to trials and tribulations) to see if we are ready to come out or not. If we don’t respond appropriately, He will keep us in a little longer. The cake can’t take itself out, only the baker can, but only when it’s ready! So stop trying to get out of the oven! God knows exactly what he is doing! Have a great week!  


By imtoughenough

Fact vs Truth

I know it’s been a minute since I’ve blogged, but thank you guys for sticking around! Sometimes you have to pull back for a moment to get your mind and your spirit back in check and then you can come back stronger than ever….I’m BACK! So here we go!

While on my mini hiatus I dealt with a serious battle of loneliness. This wasn’t that single woman with no kids type of loneliness. This was that I miss my parents and I’m the only child type of loneliness. As many of you already know, I lost both of my parents 16 months apart when I was 17 and 19. My mother was a single parent and I grew up as an only child. I have literally been on my own since I was 19 years old. I’ve been running a household, paying bills, and handling business for myself for a long time now. I’m not telling you this for pity purposes, this is simply to give you a little background history.

Although my parents are not physically with me anymore, God has blessed me with a second to none support system ranging from family, to friends, to church family, to teachers/professors, to mentors, and so much more! There has never been a time when I needed these people and they weren’t there. But even with all of these amazing people in my life, I occasionally feel extremely lonely and over the past few months this feeling has been so heavy that it almost completely overtook me. I’ve had one too many sleepless nights. I’ve shed one too many tears. I’ve tossed and turned and face too much turmoil over this feeling. I prayed, I fasted, but I just couldn’t seem to shake it.

So I finally talked to my Pastor about what was really going on with me. I told her that I felt lonely and uncovered without my parents, especially my mother. I told her that I felt like no one understood what I was going through. After letting me vent and get it all out, she explained to me that I was putting too much energy into the FACTS while ignoring the TRUTH. As the conversation continued, she led me to understand that the fact of the matter was that my parents were no longer here and I am an only child, and according to the world’s standard, I am alone. However, the truth of the matter is that although I am alone, I’m never lonely.

First and foremost, God promised me that He would never leave me nor forsake me. Secondly, God has surrounded me with people who I know without a shadow of a doubt love me and care deeply for me and would do anything in their power to help me. It is the tactic of the enemy to try to get me to focus on the fact and not the truth. How many times has he done that to you? Don’t be surprised or caught off guard by it, that’s just his low down dirty way. It is up to us as believers to shut the enemy down when he tries to bring that mess to us.

So now that I’ve reset my thoughts on the truth, I’m back and ready to keep fighting. I’m ready to keep making a liar out of the devil. I’m prepared to keep stomping in victory. Are you with me?

By imtoughenough