3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9 NASB)
Earlier today, I yelled downstairs to my husband, “I can smell the black bean soup up here.” To which he replied, “Ohhh, cool.” The ability to smell the aroma of something cooking in the kitchen may not seem like a big deal, and a month ago, it wasn’t.
Okay, so this whole COVID-19 pandemic thing is real. Prayerfully, you won’t get it, and hopefully, you’re not one of those people who refuses to follow the CDC safety recommendations. I NEVER expected or wanted to see a positive COVID-19 result on my life resume. Know what I mean? As a matter of fact, I questioned the validity of my test results until Saturday, January 16th, at around 1:30 pm. Let me back up a little.
My husband and I received our positive results on Tuesday morning, January 12th. I was shocked for a split second, then I asked myself, “Why not me (us)?” Yes, we’re cautious, stay home (as much as possible) and away from folks, cook at home, have groceries delivered (wipe down items), etc.
The truth is, we have a good idea of what led to our bout with COVID-19 through contact tracing, but that’s not the topic of this blog.
Now back to Saturday, January 16th.
Yeah, so I thought I was asymptomatic because the only reason why I knew I had COVID-19 was because Kaiser told me I did via email. Either asymptomatic, or they sent me someone else’s results by mistake. I didn’t have a fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, chest pains, fatigue, etc. I exercised (at home) as usual and everything else. UNTIL Saturday, January 16th, at around 1:30 pm.
I had just eaten lunch, which I tasted and smelled, by the way. I decided to have a Cara Cara orange for a snack. That orange looked like it had a lot of flavor. I bit into it after peeling it and tasted nothing. Zilch! Nada! I was like,
That orange was void of all citrus goodness! I got up from the table, stood over our diffuser with lemon oil in it, and inhaled as hard as possible. Nothing!! I sniffed eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. I could feel the stimulating sensation of the oils but couldn’t smell a thing.
And that’s when I said, “Okay, Lord. I’m still trusting You, completely no matter what.” I said that and meant it upon the diagnosis. But I didn’t have a reason to be concerned. Okay, yes. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the world, but at that point, I had no symptoms. My thoughts: What’s next? Is this lack of taste and smell thing permanent? Is it the start of more severe symptoms?
Of course, I prayed against all that. Thank you, Jesus! My ability to taste and smell is back. Hence, the reason why I yelled to my husband that I could smell our dinner, black bean soup. 🙂 Ahhh, The Little Things! By the grace of God, my husband and I had mild cases of COVID-19. The only thing that followed the loss of senses was a little nasal congestion.
We don’t know when this COVID-19 thing will be over, but there are ways we can lower our risk of contracting and spreading it. No one is exempt. I know quite a few people who’ve had it who experienced mild symptoms like us to people having to go to the emergency room. There’s no way of knowing how the virus will affect us, so following the CDC guidelines and recommendations are extremely important.
As Christians, my husband and I take the guidelines and recommendations as a way of showing love for God’s creation. That may seem silly to some, but this walk isn’t about us. We wear our mask, the correct way, for you, not just for us. Social/Physical distancing, disinfecting, washing hands, and other precautions can be a matter of life or death. Why risk it?
I’m so grateful that our experience wasn’t life-threatening. Our prayer is for the eradication of all variants of COVID-19. And for mercy for us all. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Obedience is better than sacrifice. Stay safe and well.
It was breezy and rainy on October 16, 1999, but it didn’t bother me one bit. The familiar musky, fresh scent from the moist ground lingered in the air, an indication of an extended downpour. I welcomed the rain even if it was my wedding day. If I’m not mistaken, I still had a few errands to run that morning, including getting my hair pinned into a French twist, a popular formal hairstyle back then. The stylist arrived an hour late, but I was getting married, so I didn’t let it bother me. Besides, she didn’t charge me, “It’s my wedding gift to you.” She said. Who could argue with that? LOL
Our wedding wasn’t fancy at all, and we didn’t go on an extravagant honeymoon. We drove to Wisconsin for a quiet honeymoon in a cabin in the woods. We just wanted to get married and start our lives together. For me, a diamond engagement ring was out of the question. Instead, I wanted matching wedding bands. Someone told me that people would think we didn’t have any money if we wore simple wedding bands. My response, “So! We don’t.” LOL Antoine and I have never been into putting on airs to impress people, even today. We’re just us.
God has blessed us tremendously, and I am in awe of His love for us every day. We lived a lot of life during the last twenty-one years. Through it all, we’ve grown closer to Jesus and each other. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I look forward to every minute that the Lord allows us to be together. Happy 21st Anniversary, TAntoine!!
If you haven’t made Jesus first in your life, stop playing. Do it!
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begottenSon, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16,17)
This is a love that’s hard to grasp. We say it, but do we really believe it in our hearts? Jesus came to save the world, everyone. Salvation is a gift, and WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING TO EARN IT. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Jesus died for our sins, all of them! 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
HE LOVES US AND WANTS TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH US!!! Receive His love and the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:9,10 says, 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
God’s amazing love is transforming, but we must admit that we have sinned and need Him! 1 John 1:9 says, 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
We’re all sinners who need a savior. At the end of my blogs, I always say, “I’m not exempt.” Well, none of us are. We all need Jesus!! Receive Him and His Amazing Love.
Of course, we celebrate this day because Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave. He’s alive! But if we don’t understand what He went through and why, we may spend the rest of our lives trying to accomplish something that only Jesus could and did.
I’m not exempt. I’m just . . .
Blogging It Out! Oh, and Happy Easter/Resurrection Day!! HE HAS RISEN, INDEED!!
THEY’VE ARRIVED, AND WE LOVE THEM!! I mentioned in my last post that we ordered four face masks from my niece, Brittney C. Grant, at B. Chantel Designs. As you can see in the picture above, they are cute and fit perfectly. Also, these masks can be adjusted to combat foggy lenses if you wear glasses like us. There’s a thicker material behind the design.
Wearing face masks is our new normal. Don’t get caught up in all the false information and theories that are floating around. There are some facts and guidelines that we must follow. We believe in being obedient as we trust in Jesus. Stay home if you can, but if you have to go out, wear a face mask. I still work with the public, and I follow all requirements and recommendations.
I’m not exempt. . .
I’m just blogging it out! Oh, and spend more time with Jesus today.
11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT)
Happy Sunday! New normal-online church for everyone and toilet paper is more valuable than gold. Who woulda thunk it? LOL
We gave up looking for toilet paper weeks ago and figured if we had run out, we’d improvise. Last Thursday morning (We were down to 6 rolls.) I decided to visit our local Walmart for a few items. With gloved covered hands, I strolled down the aisles, trying to physically distance myself from fellow shoppers. I peeked around corners avoiding the most populated aisles.
LOL Obedience and wisdom, not fear!
Anyhoo, I noticed several people had toilet paper in their carts, but thought they were the people who waited in the parking lot for hours before the store opened. Then I realized that every cart had a pack of TP. I thought, “Maybe, just maybe, today is the day that I will buy TP.” I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I played it cool as long as I could. But the anticipation got the better of me. LOL
It was the day. 🙂 We got TP! I walked out of Walmart with a pep in my step. Naw, not really. But as I loaded the groceries in the car, a guy who parked next to me opened his trunk to retrieve his reusable bags. I told him there was toilet paper. His eyebrows crinkled as he squinted his eyes. He asked, “Is there a long line?” Almost as if he expected me to say yes. Clearly, he had experienced standing in the anaconda line at Costco only to find out they were sold out. I said, “No, but go there first.” He broke out into a full sprint as he yelled, “A’ight, thanks!” 🙂
I imagined that he, like us, had given up on buying toilet paper. There was no way he was going to stand in that Costco line again or any toilet paper line for that matter. Maybe his wife had sent him to Walmart for diapers or eggs or milk. Boy, she’ll be happy to see that Angel Soft tissue. LOL
While toilet paper is a hot commodity these days, it is far less critical in comparison to some of the more severe issues the COVID-19 global crisis has caused. People are panicking, which leads to stress, which leads to a lower immune system (among other things), which leads to sickness and disease. THIS PANDEMIC IS A REAL REASON TO BE CONCERNED! I chose Philippians 4:11-13 for this post because these verses are what I like to call, “IN YO FACE” verses. Why? Because Paul is telling us that we can endure any situation as long as we focus and rely on our Lord. Is there a better choice? We have to spend time with Jesus for strength. I believe most of us have more time on our hands than ever before.
Even if we don’t have extra time, as believers, we are to make spending time with Jesus a priority. It’s for our benefit. He’s not a genie waiting for us to rub a lamp so he can make an appearance. He’s with us! I’m not saying we should ignore what’s going on in the world. I’m saying, whatever is going on, trust God. To trust Him, we have to know Him. To know Him, we have to spend time with Him. It is the enemy’s job to distract us, and frankly, he’s good at it, but only if we give him the power. If you find that you’re consumed by fear during this time, #CheckYourHeart. Turn back to the Father and rest in His presence. DON’T GIVE UP YOUR JOY AND PEACE!
Okay, last thing. Do you have a shower song? A song that you play while you’re taking a shower? Right now, mine is Love Theory by Kirk Franklin. There’s a part of the song that explains what I’m trying to say.
Loving You will be Will be the death of me That’s how it’s supposed to be More of You, less of me.
More of Him, less of us. If we stop trying to handle things without Jesus, we will be love giving joy spreading peace walking patience practicing kind and gentle acting good doing faithfulself-controlled people of the Most High King! Yeah, I know, that was wordy. Hopefully, it made you smile.
I’m not exempt . . .
I’m just blogging it out! Oh, and my niece, B. Chantel Designs, makes face masks. Click the link then scroll down to see her masks. I bought 4. 🙂
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)
It’s March, Daylight saving time, and all the toilet paper and paper towels in the whole world are GONE! Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, but the stores in my area, including Costco, have zippo on their shelves. There’s no hand sanitizer or alcohol either, but that doesn’t surprise me as much as the paper shortage. I get the fact that it’s recommended that you have at least fourteen-days worth of necessities in case you’re quarantined. But is toilet paper really a necessity? Have people forgotten about good old soap and water?
Speaking of soap and water, according to the CDC washing our hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. I work with the public and can’t always get away to wash my hands, so I had to make my own hand sanitizer because the same people who bought all the toilet paper bought all the hand sanitizer and alcohol too. 🙂
***DIY Hand Sanitizer: 2/3 c rubbing 99% isopropyl alcohol (or above 60% will due.) and 1/3 c aloe vera gel***
It’s an unusual time for all of us, but it definitely did not catch God by surprise. We have to use Wisdom and Trust Jesus.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20,21 NKJV
A new year including an extra day, yes, it’s a leap year and a new decade. I’m not one to associate a new calendar year with new beginnings, per se. I mean, last night, as we struggled to keep our eyes open until the ball dropped and the clock changed from pm to am, our lives didn’t start over. I am grateful that the Lord allowed me to make it to this point, and I do, however, like to reflect on the last 365 days. 2019 was a great year, and I am looking forward to every day I am blessed to be here.
Speaking of reflection, can I take a few seconds to write about these homemade rolls from scratch I made over the holiday season? Check out the pic below.
I’m really not one to brag, BUT these rolls make you want to find some gravy to sop. 🙂 And I don’t even eat gravy. LOL So good!
Seriously, though, 2019 was fantastic for many, many reasons. The most meaningful isn’t glamorous, and the people who I come in contact with regularly have heard me say a bazillion times before. “The peace that you gain from having an intimate relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ, trumps any accomplishment in my life.” ~Me
I’m looking forward to continuous growth in Him.
Ephesians 4:22-24 NLT says, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Antoine and I teach a class at our church. I get a kick out of sharing with the attendees my life experiences following half of the Word. (Half is generous. LOL) Kind of what I do here on this blog, but way more animated in real life. 🙂 One of the things I mention frequently is the struggle I had because although I received Christ, I didn’t fully surrender all or accept the fact that I would spend the rest of my life surrendering crap as it surfaces. So, I spent A LOT of time in a state that I haven’t named yet. LOL Basically, stressed and void of any lasting peace.
LOL Moving and wearing myself out. Like, whatchoo you doin’? Huh, whatchoo doin’?
Now, don’t get me wrong. My walk is far from perfect. But here’s the thing, I have to RELENTLESSLY seek after Jesus. EFFORT!! EFFORT!!
Isaiah 26:3 says, You will keep in perfect peaceall who trust in You,all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Here’s a second thing. 🙂 That verse was a go-to verse in the past, but the difference between now and then is effort. I spent years saying a lot but putting in little effort. You can’t have perfect peace just because you can recite a Bible verse or listen to a sermon about it no more than you can lose weight only by claiming you will and watching an exercise class. You have to do something.
James 1:22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
James 4:7, Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
I spent so much time fooling myself, and I definitely lacked in the submission department, holding on to stuff. (Pet peeves, bad attitude, etc.)
As I tell the folks in our class, learn from my mistakes. LOL
Well, day one of 366 is just about over. As we move forward, we have to remember who our Source is and keep Him first. And to those people who try to make us Jesus juniors in their lives, point them to the Lord, who is our Source, and pray for them. We’re all creations and may be used by God, but we all have to make an effort to know Him for ourselves. Right?
My prayer for you and me for 2020 is what the Apostle Paul wrote/prayed in Ephesians 3:14-21. Read it, and don’t forget to #CheckYourHeart.