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Release your Hostages Now – It’s Time 

Tonight I want to encourage you to do something that may pose as extremely difficult, but will be beneficial to the next chapter in your life: Release your hostages. Release your hostages!  What I’m really saying is you need to forgive and move on.  You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Who exactly am I holding hostage??”  If we’re honest (I say we because I’m including myself)  there are people we are still angry at for incidents that happened decades ago.  Some of those people probably don’t even know they’ve offended or hurt you.  Some people may be fully aware that they caused you pain and they’re just not remorseful. It’s time to release those people and move on.

  There are a few other things being held up in your unforgiveness: Your peace, your joy,  your ability to be a fully functioning person,  your ability to trust,  your ability to love; you’ve missed these things haven’t you?  Some of you are one inaccurate accusation away from losing someone who genuinely loves and cares for you. 

How do you you do this thing called forgive you ask? Well, you can start with letting go of all logic. Where there’s logic and intellect, there is no forgiveness.  To pardon someone and treat them as if they never did anything wrong is something the human mind can’t fathom.  We’re analytical beings.  We recap and replay events verbally,  reciting each offense to audiences of people who weren’t there when it happened can’t help to bring healing and don’t care in the first place.  

My favorite line from the movie “The Help” is said by Viola Davis’ character Abeline: ” Ain’t you tired?” I pose that question to you tonight. Aren’t you tired of being so angry?  Aren’t you tired of being so bitter?  Aren’t you tired of the aches and pains as the result of stress. 

Let me encourage you tonight.  It’s ok to let go. Now I’m not making light of anything horrendously evil that has happened in your life. Releasing these things may take time and professional counseling. But if you’ve been hurt or offended and you survived the hurt or the offense,  forgive and let go.  Release your hostages.  

This Sunday after hearing my Pastor’s message on forgiveness, I came home and told my husband that I didn’t want to be the reason why we didn’t receive the blessings God has in store for us. I didn’t want to be the cause for someone changing their mind after experiencing what was flowing out of my mouth from my heart: unforgiveness.   

June is the halfway mark for the year. Who have you been holding hostage since last year,  since January, since last week? 

Pray this prayer with me: Dear Lord,  I need your help. I have unforgiveness in my heart.  I didn’t recognize it as unforgiveness because it manifests itself as pride, it manifests itself as anger and bitterness.  I recognize now that there are some people that I’ve been holding hostage and some incidents I’ve been recapping.  I don’t want to do this anymore. Forgive me for not forgiving as quickly as you’ve forgiven me. If there are relationships that can be salvaged,  give me the courage to reach out and restore.  I submit everything I’m holding onto at your feet. Help me to love the way you love. Break away all bitterness, malice and strife so that I can live an abundant life in You. In Jesus name I pray 

Amen! 

The New Is Here!

I feel alright tonight! For the first time in a long time, I am in a place of contentment.  There are so many exciting things happening in my life and I am finally walking out my God given purpose.  About 3 weeks ago, I accepted another hat, Youth Pastor. Me and my husband share this assignment at the church we attend locally in Tampa.  I never imagined that one day I would be ministering to young people and leading them to Christ.  I struggled during my walk as a teenager and young adult, and I don’t do everything perfect now in my thirties, but I’m excited!! -Now I’m excited.  It was overwhelming at first, being called “Pastor”, but each day, I’m learning to embrace who I am.  I’ve always had the desire to help people and see them be the best, I just never imagined being where I am now.

So this Friday, I’ll be with the ladies of the ministry for our monthly women’s group.  Last month was my first time and this Friday I’ll be sharing a message, not just any message, my story.  This is pivotal for me because there was once a time in my life when I was ashamed of my past. I condemned myself for a very long time.  I allowed my sin to silence my song.  Now I have no fear because I’m not the same person I was 6 years ago, and most of all, I’ve been forgiven and I’ve forgiven myself.  I used to beat myself up for allowing myself to go down the path I did, but I know without a doubt that God’s hand of protection was on my life.  So now I’m on a mission.  I’m on assignment by God to share with every woman, boy, girl, and man, that there is no condemnation on Jesus Christ.  So now I’m living the forgiven life and its great! I didn’t get to this place over night. This is what I’ve learned during the process:

  1. I’ve been forgiven, period. 2. I am NOT my sin. 3. I am loved.

Once we confess our sins and repent, God forgives us.  So why can’t we forgive ourselves? The reason why I sabotaged so many of the good things and good relationships in my life was the fact that I felt undeserving.  I felt like Nothing good in life was truly meant for me because my tainted past and if anything good did happen for me I would soon lose it anyway.  This is a lie.

If I can truly transparent, I found comfort in my sorrow.  I found comfort in crying uncontrollably over things that happened years ago, things God had already forgiven me for.  The truth is I had no peace because I wasn’t praying. I didn’t think God would hear my prayers. I was very self-condemning. But God does hear my prayers and He hears yours too! There’s nothing you can present to God that He doesn’t already know about.

What’s stopping you from accepting God’s forgiveness and forgiving yourself?  What issue or situation do you need to take to God in prayer?  Be encouraged tonight knowing that God will never leave your or forsake you.  He’s not waiting to punish us.  He loved the world so much that he gave His only son Jesus Christ to die for your sins past, present and future.

Romans 8:1 says this: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says this:  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  The new is here!  That means everything associated with my past is gone! That’s something to get excited about! I’m a new creation! I can’t have the same mentality of the old creation. I can’t have the same emotional episodes of the old creation. I can’t operate the way the old creation operated. Listen when you realize that you’re new, and that your newness doesn’t revert, something happens!! You walk differently, you approach differently, you live differently, you LOVE differently!!

Take some time to write down the issues and thoughts that plague your mind concerning the old you. Then, hold the list up and tear it up! That’s not you anymore! The old has gone, the new is here! Recite that verse anytime you find yourself going to a dark place mentally. Today, make a decision to continue moving forward in Christ. Remember, you are forgiven, you are not your sin, and you are a new creation!

 

-Fee

You’re not invited, it’s all yourNobody’s fault

 

Today’s entry is very personal to me as I am still dealing with this issue in my personal life.  I hate to admit it, but as amazing as my closest friends are, I sometimes deal with the feeling of being merely tolerated-just being invited to appease me. Social media doesn’t help either with the ability to instantly post even the most intimate of moments. One can’t help but feel left out if you’re not in the photograph or tagged in the post.  The meme to left speaks to this very issue. Does anyone out there feel like me? You feel very like the third or fourth wheel even when you are invited? Do you ever find yourself scrolling down your timeline thinking, “Man they look like they’re having an exciting time! How come I wasn’t invited??” Then these thoughts plague my mind, “They probably having a better time without me”.

I had a lot of life changes happen in a very short time span; I met and married my husband, changed church membership, had the boys, all within about a 2 year time span. The relationships I had changed and amount of time I could dedicate to those relationships changed. But I still longed for those relationships, those friendships.

Before my most recent reformation, I can admit to being what I like to call a “mean girl”.  I was nasty-nice. I complained often, I was very sarcastic, and seldom did I ever show any type of appreciation or gratitude to anyone. I was condescending and rude. I could basically tell a person off without using a single curse word (not proud of this).  I wasn’t someone I would purposely be friends with, and yet, I had friends!  I had amazingly, loving, loyal and supportive friends! But I wasn’t always friendly. For this reason, I said to myself as I scrolled through social media, “It’s my own fault I wasn’t invited.” I said this to myself even though I was different, even thought I had changed.

Ironically, I found both memes on social media, Kermit under covers, and Hart Ramsey’s, the latter of which gave me healthy insight as to why I didn’t see my friends as much as I used to.  The truth is I’m extremely busy being a wife, mom, working full time, and being in ministry! Most my friends are obligated to the same things I mentioned. So I should understand then, right? Easier said than done.

So how do we shake this feeling of being uninvited? It starts with our minds. We’ve got to cancel out negative thoughts with positive ones. We must also be reminded of what God’s word says about us.

1 Peter 2:9 says this: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

We are God’s special possession! I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone of royalty who’s merely tolerated! Proverbs 18:24 KJV says this: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”  Take it from me, you can’t remain a “mean girl” and expect to keep friends! Lastly (and I must remember this too), sometimes our friends are facing silent battles that nobody knows about it. Either way, you are important and you do have value!

I know what you’re thinking, you’re always the first to reach out, always the first to initiate plans that never go through, always first to get your feelings hurt over a misunderstanding? Consider this, as you grow and mature, so will your relationships and that’s ok! Just because you don’t hang out as much as you used to doesn’t mean the love has changed. And if a friendship has indeed fallen off and is no more, it doesn’t mean you’re now enemies.

Homework Assignment:  Take some time to write down some of the amazing things that make you an exceptional friend. Also, write out some of the qualities you look for in a friend. Next, evaluate your life. Do you have enough time to be the friend that you desire? What responsibilities and obligations consume your life? Do you have the capacity to talk on the phone with someone for 5 hours, like you used to in high school? Finally, identify one friend that you miss. Write them a letter or send them a quick text. If you receive a response, keep the conversation going! If nothing comes if it, that’s ok! Say a prayer for them and also pray that God shows you in His word what He thinks about you.

 

-Fee

 

We’re Better Together

Sunday evening while my husband and I were folding clothes, he became offended by something I was doing; as he folded an article of clothing and placed it in my reach, I picked it up and re-folded it! He became really offended by this! LOL!! With my actions, he interpreted that the way he was folding wasn’t good enough and that my way was the “right” way. Granted he was rolling and tucking and really not folding, but I digress.  So I said to him, “Me re-folding the clothes after you’ve folded them is the equivalent of you adding additional seasons during or after I’ve prepared a meal, I hate that, but I can’t deny the fact that the meals tastes better after you’ve “re-seasoned” it.

What can we take from this? Everything isn’t “right” or “wrong”.  Sometimes, there’s a “better” way to do something, a more polished way, a more tasteful way, a more seasoned way and complete way!

Now just from the first paragraph, I’m sure you’ve gathered who does what in my household.  My husband is the best cook ever! God knew exactly what I needed when he provided me with a cooking husband.  That’s not to say I can’t cook; I’ve mastered making rice, baking chicken, instant grits, cereal and milk (I kid, I kid!), “You name it” He actually enjoys cooking so who am I to stop him right?  Now I’m not of fan of folding towels and fitted sheets, but thanks to Pintrest,  I’ve mastered folding the sheets so they all fit in the closet (better way, not “right” way).

What I’ve learned is you can’t be easily offended in life if you want to truly be successful. Nowadays, I can admit I need all the help I can get! If I see a mom whose kids are making good a grades, are thoughtful, and well mannered, I’m going connect with her to see what her secret it is!! If there’s a couple who manages their personal finances better than my husband and I, please believe we’re going to connect over lunch!

My meals are hit and miss with the kids, but my husband consistently makes delicious  plate-clearing food that’s sopped up. Who am I to get offended if he adds a little season to my meal? The truth is, we all need a little help, but pride stops us from asking ultimately resulting in messy towel closet and an unfinished meals- Wasted Resources.

Learn in the beginning what your strengths and weaknesses are, then connect with people who have the strengths you need to become successful! Nobody starts out as the head chef! Be the prep cook! Be the sous chef! We all need each other!

Romans 12:21-22 says this,”The eye cannot say to the hand,”I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.”

Let’s remember this passage this week as we pursue a dreams and goal and define success in our lives; everybody needs somebody to help them along the way and there’s always someone who’s pursued and attained what you’re after! Connect with them, glean from them and understand that we’re better together!

 

-Fee

 

Permission to be Fabulous!! (You don’t need it, just go be it!)

I’m a good starter. I start a lot of projects, set several goals, but rarely do I ever finish what I’ve set out to accomplish.  I’ve got about 3 journals right now that I’ve started writing in, but never filled completely.  Recorded songs, conference and workshop plans, an AA degree. Started all these things, never finished. Why? The truth is, I was afraid.  I allowed fear to enter my heart and mind and instead of having all these amazing things under my belt, they remain incomplete.  I’m trying to change all of that. Man I get so excited when I begin planning something out.  I mention it to a few select people, I make calls, send emails, but then I just stop.  Heck, I’m struggling to keep up with this blog and I just started it a month ago.  I set reminders in my phone for every Tuesday at 8:00 PM to remind myself to write.  Trying to post something everyday became a bit much!

Have you ever met anyone like that? Someone who tried dabbling at everything and in the end was unsuccessful at everything? This unfortunately has been my fate for a very long time.  How then do I stop this cycle of starting, but never finishing, and what is truly stopping me from reaching and achieving my dreams and goals?

Fear. Fear is the #1 dream killer. More than naysayers, more than lack of support, Fear.  What I feared the most was success, actually being good at what I set out to accomplish, and reaping the benefits.  Isn’t that crazy?  I thought to myself, “I could actually be successful at this thing, then what?”. Then I let the lack of resources, time, blamed my age, and the fact that other people were doing the exact same thing deter me from reaching my goals.  Then, I became a watcher. You know the type of people who just watch as others become successful, then become bitter because nothing was happening in their lives. One of those people who walk around boasting about how it could be them, but it isn’t- for whatever “reason” given.  “Yea, that could’ve been me but ah, you know, this and that happened,” or the people who claim to have known a person right before they were successful and were right there with them along way, but for some reason or another, the success happened for the other person and not them. Ugh.  Nobody likes that guy or gal.  Because the truth is, the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is how they handle fear. There’s a quote by Marianne Williamson from her work A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” that woke something up in me that I want to share. She said this:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Whew! She just tore me all up with that! It’s true though! I’m not afraid of failing. I’m not afraid of messing up. My biggest fear is that I will actually be successful at what I set out to do! Its insane! So now I have to give myself pep talks and say within myself, “It’s ok to want and be successful!” Then I think to myself, how many amazing ideas are there waiting to be birthed from the minds of fearful men, including myself? How much different would the world be if we all decided to cast fear aside and shine? 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind.”  

What I’ve come to understand is that God is not bound by time. That’s a hard concept to digest when the society we live in puts nothing but time constraints on everything! If you’re not married by a certain age, if you’re not discovered by a certain age, if you don’t have children by a certain age, if you don’t complete your education within a certain time, if you don’t purchase a house by a certain age. All these things bound by time and age.  We all do it! Women especially lol, but we all do it! “If I’m not married with 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat, and in a house with a white picket fence by the time I’m 30, then I’m just not gone get married!” But what if you don’t meet the man or woman of your dreams until you’re 31, or 41, or 50?

What I’ve come to realize and accept is that we weren’t all placed on Earth at the same time. God knew just when to create me and to create you so that our ideas and dreams would manifest in the earth at the same time, His time.  Here’s something even more amazing; God knew when to create you and when you would grow up and pursue your purpose and that it would manifest in the Earth just in time to help someone who really needed it! Whew!! So even if I obtain my degree in 8 years instead of 4, even if you meet your soulmate at 45 instead of 30, even if you’re not discovered until you’re 50, its ok! Just imagine the quality of relationships that could be had with people you’re not competing with! But it all starts with ridding yourself of fear.

I’m right there with you second guessing myself, wondering what’s on the other side of fear, and I believe its faith.  Faith in knowing that I was made for this, I was created for this, whatever the “this” is for you.

Because I’m a mom, I relate most (not all) things to a child’s cartoon or movie.  I’m reminded of the scene in The Incredibles where Dash is finally competing in Sports. He’s running a race and naturally winning by long shot but looking up at his parents in the stand who are gauging his speed and determining where he should place so it doesn’t seem suspicious that he’s really fast! God our Father, Our Creator isn’t like that!! He’s not prompting us to go slower so others don’t become suspicious! He created us to shine and bring glory to His name!  So be encouraged tonight, and get out there and shine!

 

 

-Fee

 

Is it my day?

Every morning my husband takes our 3 and 2 year old sons to daycare.  Every morning, it has to be established who gets to open the door to the daycare. EVERY MORNING. My husband has it down to a science. On Monday, everyone opens the door together; on Tuesday, Caleb (my 3 year old) gets to open the door, Wednesday is Phillip Jr.’s day; Thursday is my husband’s day again, and Friday is Caleb’s day, I think. LOL I never get it right.  This must be established in first thing in the morning!! “Good morning mommy, its my day?”, asks Caleb.  Its a question that’s asked the entire morning until we arrive to the daycare. I kind of bucked the system a little one day. Phillip Jr. was adamant that it was his day to open the door even though it had been determined that Caleb would be the door opener. So I decided I’d allow both boys to open the door at different times.  I let Caleb out of the car first, told him to open the door, then close it behind him. I then let P.J out of the car and let him open the door. Everybody happy!! Everyone gets an opportunity to do what “big people do” -open doors.  It amazes me how much the boys want to prove their independence at such young ages. Nobody wants to be a baby! And, nobody wants to be last. Everything is so competitive!! Sheesh!  And so every day I’m told, “I want to do it by myself, mommy!”, or in the words of my 2 year old, “I do it my own self mommy!”  Ok, son you got it! I always give my boys an opportunity to be independent before they come to the conclusion that they need mommy’s help.

I was trying to make a point. Yes! My husband. I love how on at least one day, everybody gets to open the door. That speaks volumes. So does the fact that my son Caleb at 3 has to know if its his day to complete the most mature task his little mind can grasp. Is it my day? He has to know! If he had his way, every day would be his day to open the door. There always come the toddler tantrum and the crying. Then one of us, either myself or my husband has to remind him, “Today’s not your day, but there more days in the week then just today.”

Have you ever been so anxious to complete a task, or reach a goal, that you find yourself frustrated, only to be reminded that its just not your day? I’ve been there! What do you do though when the days turn into weeks, months, and even years? That’s tough.  So many dreams deferred, so many people who’ve stopped dreaming all because it didn’t happen in their timing or on their day.

I look at my own dreams. I’m well aware that there are hundreds of singers/songwriters thousands! I get it! All of them trying to shop their material to an artist or label who make their dreams come true. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear a song on the radio or Pandora and say, “That was my idea! That way my concept!”.

The truth is, nothing happens in a day, but during the days that you’re not signed, you’re not discovered, you’re not accepted you can still decide that today is your day.  Every day that you decide to take positive strides towards achieving your dreams and goals is your day.  Just like Caleb, determine early in the morning what your day is going to be like. Wake up everybody who can help you make it your day! Then, share the wealth! Allow everybody to have a day on YOUR day!! Lastly, accept when you need help.  Those who really want and can help you won’t rub it in your face that you needed their help.

Write down your goals and dreams.  Write down the steps that are going to get you there.  Identify the people who will help you along the way. Then ask yourself the question, “Is it my day?”.  Yes!! Everyday is your day!

 

-Fee

 

Words I never heard

Someone reading this needs a word. You need to hear words spoken by someone who may not be living anymore, or is alive, but you don’t have a relationship with them. This is for you.

-Fee

I love you…just the way you are. You don’t have to change anything about yourself.  I need you, beyond what words can say. I think about you every single day.

It’s not your fault that the baby died. It’s not your fault that your father lied. I don’t blame you. It’s not your fault.

You are relevant, you are intelligent. There’s absolutely no one quite like you. I respect your view. You are important to me.

I love your laugh, it brings life to me. I didn’t mean the words I said when I was angry. I’m sorry. I forgive you.  How are you? Are you ok? Are you hungry? Do you need me to pay?

You’re an awesome mother. You’re a wonderful son. You’re beautiful daughter. You’re going to be a great father! I see your growth. I see you….I see you… I know you’re doing the best you can. Do you need a hug? Do you need a friend? We’ll get through this together. I won’t be like this forever. It won’t be like this forever….I support you. I believe in you.

I’ll support you. I’ll protect you. I’m right behind you. I won’t forget you.

You were right, I was wrong.  I was wrong, you were right.

Everything’s going to be alright.

 

Keep the conversation going with the hashtag #wordsIneverheard #winh #intheKeyofFee #MrsWilliamsSpeaks

When I keep my eyes on King, I’m free.

(Just something I wrote freely tonight. I may add music to it later)

Sometimes….I feel…like life is a never ending song. I sing all day…. But it never pauses or has any breaks. My heart it aches…for the people who don’t have a song. Poor souls with no melodies and harmonies to go- to…flow.  Why am I so melancholy? What’s in between sad and happy? Who knows…who knows… And so I keep on singing, afraid of quiet, I just keep on humming, I can’t sit still. I don’t know what life is like without a buzz or hum or hymn. I don’t know what life is like…..without Him. He knows me. He created me. He requires faithfulness of me. So I believe. I believe. I believe in J-E-S-U-S C-H-R-I-S-T. Jesus. The sweetest name I know!  No imaginary friend, fiction, or a ghost. He’s alive-in me. He’s the reason why I sing. Why I sing. Why I dream, Why I serve, why I love, why I cling. Just one moment to dance before the King. Just like a little girl who sees her father off in the distance, screaming “daddy!!!” That’s how much I love the King.  I just want to dance in his courts, twirling, constant twirling, giving praises in His courts. Not caring what anybody thinks. Alive and free, when I keep my eyes…on the King. When I keep my eyes on the King I’m free.  When I keep my eyes on the King I’m free. When I keep my eyes on the King, I’m free.

Self Sabotage Ends Today!! 

Hey you! You!! Yea you reading this post.  I have something to say to you. Come in really close and listen very carefully. Are you ready? Ok here it is: YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY!!

Yes you! It’s ok to live and do what makes you happy. It’s ok to love and be loved. It’s ok to be successful and remain successful.  Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for pursuing happiness, especially yourself.  How many good things have you talked yourself out of? How many good relationships did you purposely end without real cause? How many times have you said either in action or word you’re not good enough? So what is someone already invented it, someone else is already doing it! Go for it anyway! And when you go for it, expect failure. Expect to fall on your face a couple of times. Just don’t remain there. From this day forward, live without fear. Love without fear. Dream without fear. BE WITHOUT FEAR!!

I’m saying this to you because I used to be you.  I used to hang on the words of opinions I didn’t ask for.  I sought validation from from anyone who would give me an audience.  At the end of the day, I was never happy, never felt fulfilled, never got anywhere with my pursuits.  I almost lost amazing friends and I did lose myself.  Start today by speaking positive affirmations. The world is waiting for you. There’s something in your hands, something in your heart, somethings in your mind that the world is in need of. Remember, you’re in competition with no one! Set your own pace. Compare yourself to no one!

Today, think of 3 things you’ve put off because of fear. Write them down, then write down what you’re going to do to achieve those goals. Don’t stop! You got this!! I’m rooting for you!

 

-Fee

 

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