Don’t be late for “WORK.”

(This is a quick-read but definitely worth posting.)

Transparent Moment

Last week, I was called in by one of our administrators to address my tardies. (I work and exceed expectations when I get there, but I may be a little late. Ask my past administrator, Kathleen Turner. Lol However, that doesn’t make it right. I have to get to work on time.) Anyway, as I was saying, I was called in. He said that, that was my warning. If I don’t improve, the next step would be being sent to Labor Relations, and then if that doesn’t solve the problem, the next step can be termination.

Listen! Termination was all I needed to hear. Every day since, I’ve been on time. Not only have I been on time, I have been here 10 to 15 minutes before time. 

As I was en route to work this morning, something dropped in my spirit. 

The Holy Spirit “calls” us in to convict and to correct us, just as my administrator did. The Bible assures us that if we don’t live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God, we will face something much worse than a termination- we will face HELL.

…but what do we do when we are “called in” by The Holy Spirit? Do we do all that we can to get it right just as I have after being called in by my boss? Or do we keep ignoring God’s instructions and living under the “God is a forgiving God and He knows my heart” excuse? 

Listen, although we should be quick to respond when those who are in authority corrects us (that’s scripture, so stop getting mad at your boos. lol >Hebrews 13:17<) however, we should be even quicker to respond when the Holy Spirit convicts and corrects.

Hell is real…and the rise of unexpected deaths should be all that you need to know that we don’t have the time that Satan wants us to think we have.

Submit and Surrender to Christ NOW. Don’t be late for “work.”

DIVINE ORDER

  

You have to trust God…with every facet of your life.(It’s a long read, but it’s worth it. I pray it blesses you.) 

I’ve testified on several occasions how I resigned from a job in 2014 without a plan B and with very few dollars in my savings. All I knew was I was unhappy and miserable where I was…and I don’t believe in staying anywhere that robs you of your peace- jobs, relationships, friendships, situationships, associateships,….wherever! You have to protect your peace by any means necessary.

So, I resigned. I was unemployed for almost 4 months. Within those four months, I learned how to trust God like never before. During that time, His specific instructions to me were, “Be still and trust that I am God. I will place you where I want you. I have already gone before you and made the way. In this place, you’ll have the peace you’re longing for.”

After that first month of being unemployed and an almost depleted savings account, I started trying to put God on a time schedule. See, I wanted him to move when I wanted him to move. So, I started trying to help God out. I started applying for jobs and making calls…when He had already told me to “Be still and trust that I am God…”

Because I was applying for jobs and making calls, I received offers. I even accepted one offer as a 7th grade ELA teacher. I worked one day and left…because I knew that’s not where God wanted me.

Almost two months later, being down to almost $20.00, and trusting God completely this time, I received an offer that I had been wanting that had JUST become available. (A employee was “let go” for inappropriate work place behavior.) CATCH THAT! See, when something is for you, God will start “moving” some things and even people around just for you.

…and since I’ve been at this job, it has been a plethora of peace. Yes, there have been challenges, but at the end of each day, the good outweighs the bad, tremendously. When I leave work, I can leave work….and my coworkers understand that we don’t have to be best friends to be coworkers and teammates; we work, we speak, and keep it moving.

I have, however, developed one of the greatest friendships I’ve had since I’ve been at my job. We keep one another balanced- when I’m down, she’s up; when she’s down, I’m up- we speak life into each other, we hold each other accountable- we don’t mind telling one another, “Listen, you are wrong.”, we can talk to each other about anything without fear of being judged…..and most importantly, we pray for one another. Thanks, Precious Thomas Chapman. 

….even this friendship was divine order. 

I said ALL that (lol) to say this- trust God completely. Don’t put Him on a time schedule and stop trying to help Him. He’s GOD all by Himself. Take your hands off of it. If he has told you to BE STILL, then BE STILL. I know how uncomfortable that can be, especially if you are a person who is used to being in control, but TRUST HIM. He’s working behind the scenes to prepare everything you need and want.

We FINALLY divorced…

On the morning of November 30, 2015, I found myself crying out to God.
“Lord, I want to go deeper in you. I feel stuck at this level. Show me what I need to do to go deeper. I want to get lost in you. My walk has become stale and almost predictable. I feel like I’m operating on expired faith and expired testimonies.”
…and what God spoke to me took me by surprise.
He said, “So, you want to go deeper? I need you to release a part of your past that you’ve found comfort in. You trust Me, but you don’t really, really trust Me.”
“Huh? I do trust You, Lord.”
“You do, but not in its entirety. You cannot manipulate Me.”
“Huh? You have my all and—
He stopped me mid-sentence. 
“Your ex-husband- I need you to release him. Go deeper with Me…as you have asked…as I do a new thing.”
At that time, tears filled my eyes. 
“…but that’s my friend.”
“No, that’s your comfort zone. True, you all are just friends. Physically, you all are divorced but emotionally, you’re still married.”
The tears really started flowing at that point. Here I stood face to face with the truth. True, Deek and I had been separated and divorced for years, but we had still been operating as “husband and wife.” No, not sexually. In fact, we haven’t had sex since we separated, but we were still answering to one another. I was still performing wifely duties as far as using his money to ensure that his bills were paid on time every month. He was still performing husband duties; if I fell in “a tight”, he was there to rescue me. If I was down emotionally, he was there to lift me up. If he had a bad day, I was the one to change that. If we needed a “travel buddy”, we traveled with one another. If I needed to laugh uncontrollably, he had the joke. If he needed a reality check, I gave him a dose of realism.
…and truthfully, we did consider remarrying, but deep down, we knew it would never work. We knew that we were better friends than we could ever be lovers.
So, on the morning of November 30th when God told me to release my friend, it hurt. It hurt because through our divorce we developed a friendship that I wish we had when we were married. 
I called my friend that day, and through tears, shared God’s instructions to me, and he understood. He understood very well- so well that I think God had been tugging on him to do the same. 
So on November 30, 2015, we cut ALL ties. Whew!! One of the most difficult things I ever had to do, but I trust God.
We don’t always understand His instructions…and we do not suppose to. We’re just supposed to obey. Although we didn’t see the harm in our friendship, God thinks differently.  
““My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Every next level of your life will demand a different you. November 30th was that day for me. If God is instructing you to release someone or something, RELEASE!!!!! It may be difficult, but to get to where you haven’t been, you must go where you haven’t gone and do what you haven’t done.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds it…and I trust Him.
“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.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Here’s to my DEEPER!!!!! 

  

Another Outbreak???

  

About a month ago, I was having outbreaks and was going back and forth to the doctor. The doctor couldn’t tell me anything but to “play trial and error” with the foods I was eating and my laundry detergent…and he gave me a steroid shot and ointment and sent me by my merry way.The steroid shot and ointment helped for a little while, but before long, the outbreaks were back. 

So I “played trial and error”….as the doctor suggested….and I finally figured out that I am allergic to nuts….and I love nuts. (Inserts Sad Face) 
Saturday morning, my mom had a bag of Orchard Fresh Praline Pecans. I kept looking at the bag. I wanted some oh so badly, but I couldn’t help but to think about how I’ve been “break out free” since I’ve cut them out my diet.
….but I still wanted them…although I knew they would break me out.
Finally, I gave in. I thought, “I’ll eat just one.” Unfortunately, that one turned into too many.
Today is Tuesday and guess what I have? 
An outbreak!!!! 
Now, you’re probably thinking, “That’s dumb. Why would you consume something you know you’re allergic to?” 

Hmmmm! 
Why do we stay in situations that we know aren’t good for us or why do we have an “appetite” for what we don’t need. It seems as if we always want what…. and who we don’t need…and what…and who we need, we don’t want. We can know something is bad for us, but we will still consume it and disregard the consequences that will follow. There were other snacks to choose from, but I “had” to have those nuts…and since I had to “have” them, I’m itchy and miserable. 
Hmmmm- Food for Thought

What..or who are you “allergic” to? 
What…or who is causing an “outbreak” in your life?

$30.54

  

Testimony- Very Transparent 
Listen, you don’t have look like what your situation is. When you are anchored in the situations and circumstances in your life, you’ll forever be up one day and down the next. Your security and trust have to rest in God and in God only. Your situation and circumstances change constantly; God doesn’t. 
The latter part of November and December have been tough for me financially, but see, my security doesn’t rest in my finances. So my mood never changed. I never asked anybody for anything. Tithes were paid. I wasn’t hungry, and all my bills were either paid or accounted for. So, I was grateful. 
Here is what I prayed- “Lord, I’m not asking You for more money. Just make what I have stretch until my next pay period.”
See, so many times we get in the habit of asking and wanting more that we neglect being grateful for what we already have and being content right where we are.
……and when I prayed that prayer, I released it. It was no longer my battle. 
See, we have to make up our minds. Either we’re going to trust Him or we’re not. We can’t worry and worship at the same time. 
Here is it two days before my pay day, and He stretched it. I should’ve been in the negative two weeks ago….BUT GOD! 
$30.00 may be my account balance, but my FAITH is beyond a million.
Stop putting so much FAITH in temporary things, and stop looking like what you’re going through! If I didn’t tell anybody that I was broke, they definitely wouldn’t have known. I was the same worry-free, carefree Erica that I am when my account has thousands.
…because I TRUST GOD!!!!

“Snatched” Huh? 

So many people are walking around looking “snatched” on the outside but are torn up on the inside.
“How do you know, Erica?”
Because I was once that person. I wanted people to think I had it all together, but I was crying myself to sleep every night, struggling with low self-esteem, suffering from depression, and battling with suicidal thoughts. I was in a dark place and I was doing whatever I could to numb the pain and fill the void- drinking, sex, jumping in and out of relationships that weren’t headed anywhere, and spending money I didn’t have. 
….and I only felt worse. So I’d indulge more.

More drinking, more sex, more relationships, and spending more money I didn’t have.

…and I felt even worse. So I’d indulge a little more, a little more, and a little more. 
I remember one night, I was “balled up” in the middle of my floor crying. I told God that if He didn’t take my life, I would. I just wanted the pain to end. I wanted the tears to stop. I wanted to get off the emotional rollercoaster. I just wanted to feel “normal” again.
Then, in the midst of my crying. I heard His voice- “I cant heal what you won’t reveal.”
That day, I stopped pretending. I gave it all to Him- every broken piece…
…and He took those pieces and built a MASTERPIECE. 
Listen! Stop pretending. It’s okay to be broken. It’s okay not to have it all together. It’s okay to cry. It’s perfectly okay. In my brokenness is where I found Jesus. Give him your pieces and let Him move you from pieces to PEACE.

-An excerpt from my book, From Pieces to Peace 
(Last one I’ll share before it’s released.)

Dear Granddaddy, 

Dear Granddaddy, 
When I got the call yesterday evening that you probably wouldn’t make it through the night, I immediately dropped to my knees and asked God to borrow just a little more time.

This morning around 4:00, I opened my eyes, and I immediately grabbed my phone- no missed calls or text messages. That confirmed that God had granted that time. I whispered, “Thank you, God.” I quickly showered and was on the road. When I arrived, I immediately walked in your room and found you conscious, eyes opened, and alert. 

As I stood at your bedside nervously, I stared in your eyes, and I saw strength-the same strength I had seen since I was child. At that moment, this unexplainable peace came over me. 

I took a nap…because I couldn’t rest last night not knowing if I would see you alive on this side again. When I awoke, I nervously checked on you once more…you were still conscious, still alert, and eyes still opened…and that same strength was still there.

About two hours later, around 5:10 p.m., my daddy- your son, who had been at your bedside, came and told my mom, my nephew, and me, “I think this is it.”

We rushed to your side, and it was “it.”
You had transitioned. You were gone. 

You had always said, “When it’s your time, you have to go.”
It was your time, so you went. 

It hurts, but we will be strong just as you would want us to be. We won’t concentrate on your death. Instead, we will celebrate your life, live in your memories, and carry on your legacy. 

You fought a good fight, Grandaddy. You fought to the end- the very end. 92 years, God granted us and we’re grateful. 

I love you, and we shall meet again one day! Rest in Peace. ❤️

Love always,
Your granddaughter- Erica
   

 

It’s just FORMALITY!!

Some years ago, I received a call to work this summer camp. I agreed. This person knew my credentials and qualifications. She had even seen me teach a lesson, so she knew I was a great fit. 
After I agreed, she said, “You have the job. Now, I just need you to come in for an interview with two of the other program coordinators. I asked, “Interview?” She said, “The final decision is mine. The interview is just FORMALITY.”
Truthfully, I had never heard that word until that day and I googled it…and it has “stuck” with me. 

It was the longest and most formal interview ever, but I remembered, “The job is yours. This interview is just FORMALITY.” That kept me answering the series of questions. I’m glad she required me to be interviewed though. During the interview, I had the chance to ask questions as well and to be informed of expectations.  
And to this day, interviews don’t make me nervous because I survived that one. (Catch that.)

That, too, had purpose. 
I shared that to say this- this battle you’re fighting is a fixed fight. The VICTORY IS YOURS. You’ve already won-all the difficulties you’re encountering are a part of the process- IT’S JUST FORMALITY. 
Go through it. That process is crucial. It’s equipping you with the strength, the patience, the endurance, the “thick skin” you need for where He is taking you. See, everything you’re going through has a greater purpose. I know you may not understand it at this moment, but you will later. You’ll be able to look back and say, “Now I understand why I had to go through so much HELL.”
#FixedFight

#ItIsYours

#ItIsJustFormality

“Size 6 1/2, please.” 

I saw the “baddest” Jessica Simpson pump in Macy’s yesterday. I thought, “I got to have them.” As the associate approached me, she asked, “Can I get a size for you?” I said, “Yes, 6 1/2 please.”Shortly after she came out with two boxes. She said, “We didn’t have the 6 1/2, but we do have a 6 and 7. I then asked her to check online for the 6 1/2. 

As she checked, I tried the 7 first. It was toooooo big. Then I tried the 6. It took a while to get them on, but after FORCING them for a while, I got them on. Of course, they were tight, but they looked soooooo “good” on my feet. I walked in them, looked in the mirror, and a customer who was sitting said, “Those look nice on your feet.” I thanked her but that still did not change the fact that they were tight and very uncomfortable. I thought, “I’ll break them in.” 

I waved for the associate. She returned and informed me that they didn’t have that 6 1/2 online either. *Sigh* 

I told her, “I’ll get the 6.”

I paid for them and headed out of the store. By the time I reached my car, something forced me to return them. I’m pretty sure it was the 100+ bucks I had just spent on those shoes that I probably wouldn’t be able to keep on for more than 15 minutes. 

My point? Sometimes we can want something so bad that we disregard all the SIGNS that it isn’t for us. Instead of accepting the fact that it’s not for us, we’d rather live “tight and uncomfortably. ” Like my marriage- It was a “good look”, but it was forced and uncomfortable. I stayed because it looked “good” to others, because it sounded “good” to say “My Husband”, and because it looked “good” on social media. 

Just because it looks “good” doesn’t mean it’s “good” for us. If you have to FORCE it- like I did that size 6- then that’s a clear sign that it may not be for you. 

What is it that you’re forcing that needs to be “returned”? You’ve gotten all the signs that this isn’t for you, but because it’s a “good look” to you and others have told you it looks “good” on you, you want it, even when you know without a doubt that it isn’t for you. It could be a job, it could be a business move, it could be a relationship, or it could be a friendship. 

Whatever it is, RETURN IT. What’s for you will be the perfect FIT! 

Happy Tuesday!!!! ❤️