Thursday, December 31, 2015

So Long 2015...

“In this new year, I want God to lead me into unchartered territories that I may do His will.  I want Him to be with me through every single moment of my life, good and bad. I want Him to save me from the things that will lead me from Him.

January 1, 2015.

This was the prayer I wrote on the first day of this year. At the time, I obviously did not know what the year would hold but somehow I just knew that I would need God. I always need Him but this year I found myself running to Him more than ever.  I did not understand the significance of what I was really asking of God when I wrote this prayer. But He knew. He knew it all.  He knew the many frustrations I would face. He knew the mistakes I would make.  He knew every tear that would fall from my eyes. He knew there would be many sleepless nights and internal battles.  He knew I would need to be rescued from myself and that I would need a savior.

He just knew.

As every year comes to a close, I reflect on the many lessons that I have learned in that year. 2015 was a special year. It was rather tough in comparison to the year I had last year.  Last year, short term and life long dreams came true.  My gift made room for me among great people.  However, 2015 was different. 2015 was a year of waiting. A year of trusting in the unknown. A year of heartache. A year of having faith even though what was in front of me did not look promising. A year of self-searching. A year of understanding who I am and reevaluating my purpose. But even with the many tears I cried, there was an equal amount of laughter. And even with the many days of waiting on the Lord with no answer in sight during certain situations, there was a surplus of doors opened and prayers answered. You see, although 2015 was a rough year for me, I don’t regret any of it.

2015 taught me a few things.  It taught me:

1.     How to trust.
2.     To have faith.
3.     To never settle.
4.     To see myself through the eyes of the one who loves me completely.

I learned many things about myself this year. Some of those things I will be taking into the New Year with me. Some will be left behind. All in all, I am glad God knew exactly what I needed when I needed it. I am glad he never took His hand off of me.  I am glad that when He looked at me, He did not see what I was but rather He saw what I could be. I am grateful that He was and is my Emmanuel, my Messiah, and my Shepard.  I am glad that what I went through was only for a season. Next season there will be new blessings, new challenges, new dreams and visions. I am ready for all that 2016 has to offer.  I can and I will walk into the New Year with confidence because I know that my savior will be right with me just like he was this year and the years before that.

2015, so long and thank you for showing me my constant need for a savior. My savior. Thank you for the incredible memories and for all that you have taught me.

2016, I welcome you with open arms and an open heart. I pray this year will be one of growth and that the tears and prayers that were sowed in 2015 would reap a harvest of joy in this new season.

Cheers to the New Year!!!

Akeila xoxo

Friday, December 25, 2015

Grace Gift

Christmas is finally here! This is by far my favorite time of the year. The lights, the baking, the food family time, etc.  I always hate when Christmas comes and goes because there will be no more lights, no more Christmas carols and no more cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies (you now I live for these movies. Haha!!). Christmas just brings such a warm feeling with it. And this year it was LITERALLY warm but I digress…lol.

This morning as I read the story of Jesus’ birth, I had an overwhelming revelation.  Luke 2 verse 32 says, “He is a light to the Gentiles…” Isaiah 9:6 tells us some of his many names. Wonderful, Counselor, prince of peace, and the list is endless. So I thought to myself, Jesus came down as a gift to us.  His birth, life, and death gave us the gift of grace and salvation.  A gift that keeps on giving. A gift that even if opened today, it’s value never decreases as time goes on.  So even though tomorrow is on it’s way and Christmas is out the door, His light still lives within us.  The Bible says that he is Emmanuel, “God with us”. Therefore, although Christmas may be over, He is still with us and His grace is covering us every single day! And I am beyond grateful for this gift. So enjoy this holiday season knowing that His gift lives within us!

Merry Christmas from my home to yours!!

Akeila, xoxo

Monday, November 9, 2015

Buried in Brokenness, Raised in Glory

We all go through periods of our lives where sometimes our situation becomes too much to bear.  We come to a place where we feel as if we have nothing left to give and no more fight left with in us.  The ones we love hurt us and somehow loving others becomes more of a difficult task.  We realize that there are pieces of us that are missing and that we desperately need to be fixed.  We feel overwhelmed and buried in our brokenness.

To be buried is to be submerged or engrossed.  At times, it is so easy to become engrossed in our brokenness and lose sight of God’s hand upon our lives.  We forget how to love and what it feels like to be loved by our Creator.  We question His ultimate plan for our lives.  We lose all hope. 

Broken beyond repair. 

A lie the devil has whispered in our ears and hearts time and time again. At one point, I allowed this lie to become my truth.  However, in time I  learned that although we may feel as if we are buried in our brokenness, God wants to raise us in His glory.  He wants to make every ugly part of us into something so beautiful.  He is the only one who can make beauty from ashes.  We must first realize that we are broken and that our way of doing things is no longer effective.  God is ALWAYS intentional in what He does/allows and His plans can never be shaken.  Therefore no matter what we go through, it is all a part of His plan.

YES!!, even your brokenness is a part of His plan.  God uses our brokenness to draw us closer to Him and to help us to realize our undeniable need for Him in our lives.   

Right now you may feel as if you’re buried in brokenness, but God wants to raise you in His glory.  You might feel buried in your weakness, but God wants to raise you in His strength.  Don’t run away from your brokenness or ever feel as if you are broken beyond repair. Give Him everything. The hurt. The pain. The uncertainty. Let Him make you whole again.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Four Seasons of Life

Today, I encountered the best smelling soap ever!!!!  It was called Bright Autumn Day from Bath & Body works (small advertisement, haha). You could literally smell ALL the scents of fall. As I savored the smell (yes it smelled that good and I’m a weirdo lol), I got to thinking about all four seasons and how each season serves a purpose.  Fall is the season in which the leaves fall and the trees become bare.  There is a period of transition. All dead leaves are falling off making way for new ones to come.  Winter, our coldest month, is the season where everything is barren.  Nothing is growing and it seems as if everything is at a stand still.  Then spring comes around and slowly but surely, we see the little flowers and leaves budding, bringing about a fresh start. And finally there is summer. One of the hottest seasons. Full of joy, vacations, and FUN FUN FUN! Now that we are all caught up on what happens in each season (you’re welcome lol), how does this connect to everyday life?
In life, we all go through seasons.  When we are going through the Fall season of our life, dead things are being stripped away.  Things that no longer serve a purpose in our lives are taken away and never to be seen again.  Sometimes we go through a season of barrenness (Old man Winter), in which it seems as if nothing is happening for us.  It’s cold. It’s painful and we cannot see past what is in front of us. During this season, there is a lot of uncertainty and a lot of wondering when things will begin to turn around. But then comes good ol’ spring, giving us a renewed sense of hope. All the preparation that took place during the winter begins to manifest itself in the form of new dreams, visions and fresh beginnings.  In spring, we continue to plant seeds and the storms of life come around to water them.  It helps us to grow in order for us to operate in our summer season.  Summer season is the best season of all.  In this season, we thrive like never before.  We take our newly, grown flowers and we share them with everyone else.  We take our blessings, our lessons, our dreams and we share it with others in hopes that they would be encouraged and inspired. 

Whatever season you might find yourself in at this point in your life, just know that it serves a purpose.  Things may not always go the way you want them to go and the process may get hard during those fall and winter seasons. However, there is joy in knowing that our spring and summer seasons are a guarantee.  God has not promised us that everyday will be a great day but what He has promised is that He will be with us wherever we go. He will never leave us or forsake us and we can always count on that. Therefore, that means He is walking with us through every season of our lives. Let’s trust him and ask that He would help us to learn during these seasons.  Furthermore, lets ask Him to show us how we can encourage others through our seasonal transitions.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Greatest Love Story

As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, we know that love is on everyone’s mind.  Everyone is thinking of all the different ways they can display their deepest affection to their significant others.  Although I always find myself single around this holiday, well actually more like all year round ha!, I still love this holiday. I love LOVE. It’s that simple.  I am a helpless romantic and I love pouring out love on others.  So instead of moping around because I am single and won’t receive a single rose or a box of chocolates, I choose to dwell on the greatest love story known to man.  
It’s a story that has been told for generations however it’s a story very seldom told on Valentine’s Day. I don’t know why.  Reading and hearing this story only makes me want to love and be loved.  If you haven’t guessed what story I am talking about as yet, I’m talking about Jesus dying for us.  Oh y’all thought I was talking about “Bey & Jay”, or “Will & Jada”? Nope.  I am talking about the King of Kings. The Lamb. Jesus. 

He made himself human so that he could die for our sins in order for us to have a chance at eternal life.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  He knew that we couldn’t save ourselves.  We are too sinful and so he became the ransom.  He decided to lay down his life so that we could have new life. 

Just picture it.  Jesus holding his cross.  Beaten... Bruised... Humiliated... Mocked.... Nails in his hands and feet.  Through it all, he did not go back on his promise.  He knew He had to fulfill His purpose.  Now that’s love. How many people do you know would give their life just to save yours?  I’ll wait…….

Not to many huh?

Many people search the world for love.  They look for it in people, money, possessions. I know because I used to be one of those people.  At the end of the day, those things don’t leave you fulfilled. Those things are fleeting. But not the love of God.  His love is different.  It’s unchangeable. Unshakeable. It never gives up on us. It’s faithful. Dependable. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:7).  His word says that nothing can ever separate us from the love of Jesus (Romans 8:38).  That’s the type of love I want.

So wherever you find yourself this weekend, whether you are single or have a significant other, my hope is that you would think about this love story.  Anytime you don’t feel loved, read this story over and over until you are reminded that you ARE loved. Place your hand on your heart.  The very beat of your heart should let you know that He loved you enough to let you live another day.  HE LOVES YOU and no one can ever take that away from you.  This is one love story I am glad to be apart of and in time you will be glad too!

Happy Valentines Day <3