Mercury Retrograde makes room

Restoration

Things fall together. (2)

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

I don’t know about you, but Mercury Retrograde has been gunning for me. Energies clashing, emotions raging, previous friends becoming present foes. Alas, welcome to the real Star Wars.

And yet, everything’s alright. How can that be, you ask? Well, because…

“He made the Pleiades and Orion; He turns the shadow of death into morning and makes the day dark as night; He calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth; the Lord is His name.” ~Amos 5:8, NKJV

Folks, everything is alright because everything, including Mercury Retrograde, is within God’s jurisdiction. Therefore, everything that you and I are warring against on our present star-crossed voyages is also happening under His watchful eye and, more than that, by His wise command.

In the past, I used to really freak out when things in my life would fall apart. I’d moan, “My God! My God! Why hast Thou forsaken me?” (I also used to have a bit of a savior-complex.) At any rate, I can still recall the day when life had finally broken the last straw and left me broke, wailing and gnashing my teeth – midday – in the middle of a decently-populated bank lobby. You see, I had put so much trust in my money that when it ran out – and into the red – my trust and my good sense ran with it.

As a Taurus, it makes astrological sense for me to put my trust in earthly things. But as a child of God, I am learning to yield the astrological to the Supernatural and surrender my trust to Him who created both the earthly and celestial realms.

My trust in God didn’t come easy though. (Remember, I’m still a Taurus.) I found that I needed to know more about God and His character in order to really take Him at His word. Hence, I’ve been reading His Word.

For the past few days, I’ve been reading the book of Jeremiah, and talk about Mercury Retrograde! What God vowed to unleash on the children of Israel was nothing short of a catastrophe of cosmic proportions. Nonetheless, God gave His catastrophic command to “pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict,” to ultimately “watch over them to build and to plant”. In other words: In order for new things to grow, old things must be uprooted. (Hallelujah, somebody!)

So, when catastrophic energies, emotions and earthly things make you want to holler during this Mercury Retrograde season, shout to the Lord instead and thank Him for clearing out the old in your life in preparation for the new.

Facebook-iconth If Mercury Retrograde is pushing you close to the edge, don’t lose hope or your head, and click on the links to fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram instead. God will keep you from going under.

 

Jesus, take the will

Humility
backlit clouds dawn dusk

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

Do you know the song by The Beatles, “Let it Be”? I love the melody but hate the message. That is, my ego hates the message. What my ego loves is not letting things be and manipulating things instead.

I came face-to-face with this ugly truth – yet again – yesterday. The situation was innocent, I was innocent, or so I thought. All I wanted to do was make things more organized and convenient–for myself. So, I took it upon myself to take someone else’s idea of organization and reorganize it to fit my needs.

I didn’t think anything of it until my actions were mirrored back to me – within minutes – by that same someone reorganizing something that I organized. And then it happened: Within seconds, a light bulb formed above my head and shed light on the master lesson I had received from the Master Teacher.

*Charlie Brown voice* Good grief!

What I grieved was knowing that I was the one who started the karmic loop of reorganized noise. What I – and my ego – grieved most was making a direct amends for my originally willful actions because it meant acknowledging that I was wrong and that the other person responded within their rights.

As a recovering perfectionist, I prided myself on being right approximately 99 percent of the time. (Now, it’s more like 90 percent.) In any case, my overwhelming sense of pride can overpower my willingness to fully account for my wrongs.

King Hezekiah of Judah was another person who was mostly right but whose pride in his near-perfection actually seems legitimate, considering that God legitimized it.

“Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.” ~2 Chronicles 29:1-2, NKJV

King David was God’s benchmark for royal and righteous servanthood. So, the fact that He saw Hezekiah’s actions in the same light as David’s shows just how legit Hezekiah was.

The Bible shows that Hezekiah ordered the cleansing of the temple, which had been defiled by the generations before, and restored worship within it, which is what it was intended for. He also kept the Passover and made significant reforms that refined Judah into the crowning jewel of God’s eye.

But between Hezekiah’s regal reforms and lasting legacy lies the hiccup of hesitant humility. (Ah, the mark of a true perfectionist, recovering or otherwise.)

“In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death, and he prayed to the Lord; and He spoke to him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.” ~2 Chronicles 33:24-26, NKJV

Hmm. The Spirit is indeed willing, but the ego is weak.

Much like Hezekiah, I, too, suffer from a weak ego that tries to act strong until God confronts it with my undeniable wrongs. And then…I go to pieces. When I finally do fess up, my frenemy-ego then finds all of my faults and tries to act strong against me!

Yet, while the ego is fickle, God is consistent in His desire to reach us by any ego-deflating means necessary. His point is not to cause us psychological harm but to give us emotional support through teaching us to love one another from a place of mutuality rather than hierarchy.

“…For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” ~Romans 3:22-23, NKJV

So, the next time you and I sin and fall short of perfection, we – with our egos – can fall onto “[God’s] grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” knowing that if we humble ourselves before Him, He will catch us every time.

Facebook-icon thIf you could use a Spirit-boost and an ego-check, then click the links to find, follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. We all need somebody to lean on!

Three books are better in one!

Books

front cover

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

Fear would have us believe that our flaws are our curses when, in faith, they are the foundation of our callings by which we can bless others and, ultimately, ourselves.

That written, I can’t tell you how many days and nights I cried, how many heavy breaths I sighed, and how many times I berated my brain and heart and beat myself up for being a “Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl”.

English, algebra and social studies–A, A, A.
Dating, relationships and self-love–F, F, F.

I was so F’ing tired of flunking life’s classes on love that I didn’t know what to do. Until one night – prompted by my and a guy’s discourse, which would’ve surely led to me failing another love-course – something within me clicked and I heard myself say:

“You know what? I’m going to write a book. And I’m going to call it, Just Because He Says You’re Beautiful…”

True story.

That was six years ago. Little did I know that that book was just Part 1 of my story. In the time since then, I’ve learned a lot more, which is not to say that I’ve learned it all–hence, Parts 2 and 3.

More Heart-Dumb mistakes? Check.
More excruciating heartache? Check.
More lessons to teach the masses and myself? Double check.

The Apostle Paul was another person who made a lot of mistakes. He caused and suffered his share of disheartening experiences. What’s more, he wrote several books’ worth of lessons to share with the masses. Moreover, Paul shared a personal lesson about the proverbial “thorn” in his side.

“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:8, NKJV

What was the Lord’s prescription for Paul’s pain, you ask?

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV

Ouch.

At first glance, God’s response to Paul may appear more on the side of tough than love. But with a second look, we see that God’s grace not only soothed Paul’s pain, but saved him from his own self-righteousness so that he could rest assured on the righteousness of God–the only One whose righteousness has been cross-tested and Christ-approved.

And guess what? God’s grace and Self-sacrificial righteousness can soothe our thorny issues too. (Even if those “issues” can be transcribed into multiple volumes.)

So, by the grace of God and the goodness of His righteousness, I offer you the ‘thorn in my flesh’ in the form of this book. It contains prickly points I wish I had known sooner, practiced more recently and pray I won’t repeat–again.

Being perfect is one thing; being “perfected” by the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ is another.

While our thorns may be tenacious and our flaws a fact, I believe in the power of prayer, surrender and the name of Jesus to break every chain over our lives. Thus, I don’t mind being a Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl as long as God says that I am “The Head” Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl and not the tail. (Amen, somebody.)

So, go tell somebody – on the mountain, in the valley or at the summer school nearest you – that there’s hope for the hopeless romantic and help for Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb girls and women everywhere.

Click here to learn more and purchase a copy of Parts 1-3: Things Every Head-Smart/Heart-Dumb Girl Should Know. Live! Love! Learn!

Failure is practice for success

Faith

If God calls you to do the impossible... (2)

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

In my world, believing is seeing. In other words, I see what is and what is not visible. So, in addition to reading between the lines, I see between them as well. Along the lines of sight-reading my way through life, I’ve performed some pretty tricky numbers that, at the time, appeared to require more skill than I could muster.

For instance, in 2013, I read Spirit’s notes that I should move to Maui, Hawai’i. At the time, I lived in Austin, Texas, and had a job, apartment, car and all the other trappings of adulthood (i.e. bills). As I saw it, I was trapped between an untouchable fantasy and very tangible realities.

But, while I was focused on the responsibilities of ‘reality,’ Spirit showed me that I had a real responsibility to myself–to march to the beat of my own drum and not die with my music still inside. So, I listened to Spirit and my inner-drum beat, and marched toward Maui in July 2014. And by September of that same year, I fled Hawai’i – broke and broken – back to the mainland.

What was THAT about?

Was I wrong in my reading of Spirit’s Hawaiian melody? Or, did Spirit mislead me with the wrong notes? Well, with almost three years of residency on Maui now under my belt, I can see that neither one was the case. I was, in fact, in the right place at the right time to have the exact experiences that I needed to prepare me for my future Hawaii Life. Of course, at that present time, my experiences looked a lot more like failure than preparation.  

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” ~Romans 8:28, NKJV

I may have fled Hawai’i with a sour taste in my mouth, but not before I learned to cut sugarcane with a machete (“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…”). I may have fled Hawai’i with my dreams dashed, but not before I was able to endure the nightmare of spending the night in a public bathroom (The Pursuit of Happyness-style). I may have fled Hawai’i broke and broken, but not before I was able to squeeze a book out of my escapade (Good Erotica for Good Girls—check it out).

What HGTV won’t tell you, but I will, is that it takes a warrior to actually live the Hawaii Life. And while I may not descend from King Kamehameha, I am a child of the King, who also knighted me as a rebel with a uniquely noble cause. Therefore, my failure to make Maui my home in 2014 was merely a test-run to test me and my warrior within.

Truth is, though, my battle is already won. Before the foundations of the world were set, I was pronounced a winner in Christ Jesus, who, with the Father and Spirit, devised a Divine plan to save me from any real defeat. So, even when I’m down, I’m not out. And even when I’m left bitter, disillusioned and penniless, I’m still winning. Though God’s plan for me includes countless cliffhangers – much to my parents’ chagrin – I know that if I keep hanging on I will win, simply, because I’ve already won through Christ.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13, NKJV       

 

Facebook-icon th If you are hanging in there but are holding on by a thread, then click the links to find, follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. There is no failure in God!

    

     

 

 

 

 

Can’t buy me wisdom

Inner-knowing

 

Don't ever discount your intuition. It's too valuable. (2)

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

My apologies, diamonds. Sorry, dogs. Your days as girls’ and man’s respective best friends are over…at least, for those of us who desire a higher quality and pedigree of partnership.

In this ephemeral, microwavable society, it makes sense that we want loyalty that actually lasts. But with people being people, many people have bought into the ideas of having to either buy loyalty through lifetime-guarantees of goods or command it from animals who are trained to be “good boys” and “good girls”.

Now, before you give me the Care Bear Stare, I am a happy consumer with a heart. I just prefer to consume companionship that is freely given and that can see the goodness of my heart without the immediate expectation of a ‘treat’. (Hello, somebody.)

Q: So, where does that leave me?

A: I have a standing date with a free Bible every morning, and I experience the sweet companionship of the Holy Spirit every second, minute and hour of the day.

As a result of all of this holy quality-time, my relationship with God is one that I have grown to love and cherish. The more I learn about Him, the more I want to learn about Him. So, of course, the Bible is a key component in our courtship. And for the past few days, King Solomon has been at the forefront of our conversations.

As the third king of Israel, Solomon holds the distinction of being the wisest person–ever. Hence, it stands to reason that I reason from Solomon’s understanding in my pursuit of better understanding God.

“Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; she will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you.” ~ Proverbs 4:6-9, NKJV

First of all, I love how Solomon likens wisdom to a person with purpose and prestige as opposed to a prized possession. Secondly, I love that Solomon assigns wisdom’s personhood a feminine identity. Sure, there are plenty of boats and cars named after women, but Solomon notes that wisdom is a driving force of life, as women truly are.

“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting to everlasting. From the beginning, before there was ever an earth…When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep, when He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, when He assigned the sea its limit, so the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men.” ~Proverbs 8:22-23, 27-31, NKJV

Well.

It seems that God and wisdom are a match made in heaven–literally. And as their earthling-offspring, we can certainly revel in their ethereal romance if we attune our ethereal ears to wisdom’s Divinely Feminine frequency and act on her messages with faith in God the Father.

“The way of the Lord is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.” ~Proverbs 10:29, NKJV

So, maybe we’ve never experienced afternoon showers of fire and brimstone, but you and I have surely been burned by our choices to take routes that differ from those suggested by our internal GPS. If you’re as hardheaded and Heart-Dumb as I can be, then you too saw the “Wrong Way,” “Do Not Enter” and “Dead End” signs on your ignorant journeys and blissfully passed them by as well.

“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” ~Proverbs 12:1, NKJV

Yes, Solomon called us stupid. Yet, as we continue reading his sagacious soliloquy, we can also see that Solomon is calling us Higher–to “a higher quality and pedigree of [life] partnership,” if you will. I don’t know about you, but I want to go Higher. Commodities are pretty and pets are cute, but I want to partner with life on a Heavenly level wherein wisdom is my constant companion and my faith in God my confidant.

Facebook-iconth If you too want to experience a Higher relationship with wisdom and faith, then click the links to find, follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. I’m goin’ up yonder!

Affirm Yo’ Self

Positivity
mirror

Roar.

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

As I was dreaming up this post, I could hear Parks and Recreation’s Donna and Tom exclaim, from within a luxury retailer dressing room, “Treat yo’ self…to an affirmation!” While I can hear and heed this imaginative advice today, prior to 2013, I couldn’t have imagined it nor did I have any idea what an affirmation was.

That year was a huge turning point in my life. I turned 30. I turned into an author and life coach. And I turned my Christian upbringing on its ear by turning my attention to a trio of celebrated New Thought teachers: Alan Cohen, Doreen Virtue, and Louise Hay.

Well, they weren’t celebrated by me – not at the beginning of that year, anyway – because I really didn’t know who they were. But honey, by year’s end, what I didn’t know was how I had made it that far in life without them.

Alan taught me the essence of God and the metaphysical quintessence of Jesus Christ. Doreen taught me that I wasn’t crazy for believing in signs, angels and other mystical and ‘mythical’ beings. And Louise, well, Louise taught me love.

louise

In the Bible, God the Father and God the Son are noted several times as commanding those who believe to “love your neighbor as you love yourself“. As one who believed church to be a second home – as I was there all the time – I heard this commandment all the time as well.

But that doesn’t mean I followed it, and I didn’t, to be honest. I went to church religiously and was just as spiteful and unforgiving as I wanted to be. I tried to be nice to people and, really, I was – and am – a nice person. Nevertheless, despite my nicest efforts along with those times when I didn’t give a flying effort, there were just some “neighbors” who I believed were just too hard for me to love.

And so, because I couldn’t locate the loophole to this ‘impossible’ command to love, I eventually left the idea of church at the open door in hopes of opening a window to a world where love was always on my side.

Ha!

What I actually walked into was a brick wall of self-loathing, which was illuminated by my lack of self-love. Enter Louise…

“If you have had experiences in your life that are not comfortable, on some level, they’re mirrors of you. We don’t always like to hear that, but everything in our life is a mirror of us. So if something’s happening out there that’s not comfortable, we have to look inside and say ‘How are we creating it?’ ‘What is it about me or what is it within me that believes that I deserve this experience?’ ‘Cause otherwise, we wouldn’t bring it to us. So, perhaps, I would say a little more loving yourself would help because when you get that flowing, you won’t bring in uncomfortable experiences.”

~Louise Hay on “Receiving Prosperity”

In my errant search for a loophole to Universal love, I stumbled upon the wisdom of Louise Hay and was thrown for a loop. When I finally came to, I saw that the bitterness I felt toward my ‘unloveable’ neighbors was really just a reflection of how bitterly I viewed myself. Moreover, I learned that my lack of love for others was in direct response to a lack of love within me for me.

Well, in the years since first stepping foot into Alan’s, Doreen’s, and Louise’s classrooms, I’ve had plenty of occasions to put this theory to the test. Upon concluding each experiment, I’ve confirmed that while it can be trippy, it’s always true: Only love for ourselves equals love for others, not vice versa.

This consistent result has since resulted in my constant use of affirmations–a domain in which many ‘New Thinkers’ deem Louise its queen. Though I, too, hold Louise in this high regard, I admittedly regard my paraphrased version of Alan’s definition of an affirmation as my favorite:

An affirmation is a statement about yourself that just reminds you of who you are.

In other words, an affirmation isn’t aspirational, it’s actual. Of course, an affirmation that states “I spend money wisely…I always have what I need” can seem a little far-fetched when we seem to have only a little amount of money to spend. But if we can suspend our belief in what we seem to see long enough to really remember that the Source of our abundance is infinite and owns “the cattle on a thousand hills“, then we will really start to see that abundance materialize in our lives. (Amen to that.)

And amen to the teachings of Alan, Doreen, and Louise, which have all had such profound impacts on my life. As good teachers do, their teachings have also taught me to prize the profundity within. So, I bring this post to a close with five of my personal affirmations that I use to remind me of who I am.

1. “I am a Divine sexual being. I fully embrace and express my sexuality in ways that are fully aligned with my Higher self. I am free from sexual guilt and shame. My sexuality is a gift from God and I love, cherish and enjoy my God-given sexuality. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

2. “I am abundant in all areas of my life. I trust God easily and follow where He leads me. I fully trust God to take care of me, my finances, my material needs and wants. I am rich in love, peace, beauty, and emotional strength. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

3. “I am healed. My mind and my body are at ease. I am free from all distressing thoughts and my body is free from all forms of distress. I love my body and my body loves me back. I love my mind and my mind loves me back. My mind and my body are united as one in love. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

4. “I am whole. I lack nothing. Everything that God says I am, I am. Everything that God has for me is mine. I am a child of the King. Only good is my inheritance. I walk in God’s goodness now and I see it everywhere I go. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

5. “I am pure and as innocent as the day I was born. My purity is not earned, it is already mine. I am light in the darkness. I am warmth in the coldness. I am love in the midst of fear. I am kindred with God. I bless others and receive others’ blessings. And so it is, in Jesus’s name, amen💖”

 

Facebook-icon th If you’ve forgotten who you are and you’d like some help in reclaiming your identity, then click the links to find, follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. I know your name.💖

Don’t quit your day job…unless God tells you to

Trust

pexels-photo-372098.jpeg

by Stephanie Rochelle Redd

With trust comes knowing and not knowing.

I know in whom I trust – no doubt, that is God – but I do doubt how well the things I trust Him with will turn out. I mean, I know they’ll turn out for my good; Romans 8:28 tells me that. I just don’t know what God’s idea of “good” looks like when what I’m feeling as I’m ‘trusting’ Him does not feel good to me.

Of course, now that I’ve written that, it appears ridiculous to me that I am not only comparing my and God’s ideas of good but, actually, second-guessing the goodness of God. However, as ridiculous as that may be, I do it more times than I care to admit, especially when it comes to my idea of money.

When God told me to quit my job last year and set sail on SS Entrepreneurship, I thought that meant He would provide for me, mainly, by providing me with a lot of money. (Besides my fantasies of luxuries, the fact is that I live on Maui, and there’s nothing fictitious about this island’s cost of living.) But don’t get me wrong, “all I have needed, Thy hand hath provided…just not in the way I hath expected.

God fed Elijah with the use of ravens. God has fed me with the use of food stamps.

Jesus said that He would prepare a place for me in His Father’s house, which contains many mansions. To date – and for two years – I’ve dwelt in a neatly-prepared bunk…in a dorm…in a hostel. (Albeit, a pleasant hostel.)

God said “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Y’all, the only reason that I’ve made it this long upon this (is)land is because of my honorable father and mother and the financial support which they’ve given me.

Now, let’s review:
Have I gone hungry? No.
Have I gone without shelter? No.
Have I gone broke? Close, but no.

When I feel worn and weary, and wonder whether or not I heard God correctly, these are questions I ask myself to help me put God’s goodness in my life in perspective. Here are some others:

Do you have a family that loves you? Yes.
Do you have friends that love you like family? Yes.
Do you have a vehicle and daily access to a hot shower and Netflix? YES.

Man, I’m starting to feel better already. While I know – in my head – that gratitude is an important ingredient in manifesting God’s promises, it can be hard for me to be grateful – in my heart – about what I have when I’m so focused on what I’m without. (Well that’s an epiphany if I ever wrote one. )

So, to round out this epiphanic post – it’s a word, I checked – here’s something else for me and you to ponder when we consider God’s promise to provide His goodness, in various forms, in our lives:

“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
~Numbers 23:19, NKJV

Facebook-iconth If God made you some promises that you know He will keep, but you would like some company to help you keep your sanity in the meantime, then click the links to find, follow and fellowship with us on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t stop believing!