Beauty for Ashes

 

x2_13b4fda Today, I had my first speaking engagement.  I was the keynote speaker at a mother/daughter brunch.  I prayed and consecrated for the word that I would present to the beautiful women of this sorority chapter.  The word I was given was “Beauty for Ashes”.  When I arrived I felt some welcome and honored for the opportunity to present the keynote as well as to represent Inspire Women. (Read More about “My Mission to Inspire Women”) I’m beyond thankful for the opportunity. 

I had the pleasure to meet a seventeen year old high school who was also on the program to perform a spoken word piece.  “Beauty is the eye of the behold” she recited.  Her poem was confirmation that God had truly given the topic of my keynote.  The message was inline with the whole program.  It was evident prior to the poet’s introduction of her nervousness.  Even through nerves it was clear that this young lady was talented.   After her poem, I made sure to give her a pat on the back.  I know that if she continues to speak her God-given words with boldness her gift will make room for her.  If your reading this be encouraged J’Nay.

One of the hardest things is to give a woman a compliment. Why? Because most women don’t receive the compliment.  Especially if its coming from a stranger the first thought is “what do you want?”. But doesn’t it feel good to receive a compliment? For someone to sincerely affirm you as a person or to express admiration of your gifts, talents, character and/or personal style.

All women regardless of age, ethnicity and etc. have a common need for affirmation.  What is affirmation? To state or assert positively, to affirm, maintain as true, confirmation, to uphold, support.

To give beauty for ashes

In a very common passage of scripture, Isaiah 61:3 the anointed of God are commanded to give “beauty for ashes”. In the Hebrew, the word rendered ‘beauty’ means properly a head-dress, turban, tiara, or diadem; and the idea is, that the God would impart to his mourning people such an ornament instead of the ashes which in their grief they were accustomed to easy on their heads.” The ashes upon the head is an expression of grief.

Why beauty for ashes?

We are all walking around with dead things. They were killed with a negative comments. Someone told your lips were too big, you’re too skinny.  I remember a family member of mine would always tell me I had big legs.  I know I’m not the smallest person in the world but I’m also not the biggest.  But for many years I did not like to wear shorts or skirts which is almost insane in Houston, TX. I was very self conscious of my legs in public.  This one statement killed something in my that made me no longer confident in my own skin but I developed a complex about my legs.  What has someone said to make you feel that same way? What negative comment has killed something in you?

Beauty for Ashes

Allow God to give you beauty for ashes.  Allow God to affirm you to positively assert you the unique creation that He fashioned in His very image. Then you can walk in forgiveness that you no longer harbor any resentment in turn walk in confidence so you can affirm your mother, daughter, sister, cousin, friend and/or cohort. 

Maybe your mourning the death of a dream.  You shared a dream with a friend or family member and they just killed it.  You were told you can’t do that or you’ll never be that.  What if President Obama believe that he would never be the President of the United State? Do you think you would be the President.  What dreams have died due to someone’s negativity? 

Give yourself beauty for ashes by being aware of what your sowing into your spirit.  I’m a fan of Melanie Fiona’s latest single but the lectures reads

I gotta be out my mind to think it’s gonna work this time
A part of me wants to leave, but the other side still believes
And it kills me to know how much I really love you”. 

When you really take a look at the words do you want a love that kill you or speak life into you?

Women as carriers of new life must be the ones to give life, to sow a seed of life, to speak life into people.  How do you give beauty for ashes?

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
       and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Speak life into your mom, sister and daughter by affirming her.  Give her words that assert positively, maintain as true, provide confirmation, uphold and support.  Give beauty for ashes.

© 2010, Tamara L. Floyd. All rights reserved. Contact tamara@tamarafloyd.com for permissions to use/reprint any content.

Facing Fears

A Story of Forgiveness and Reconciliation of an Abandoned Daughter

By: Khadijah Carter

My biggest fear was the most important thing that I needed to face. After years of wondering why, crying inside and being subjected to the pain of abandonment, I finally had to seek out one of the sources of this turmoil: my mother. The discovery of her whereabouts was made by a relative seven months prior to my decision to stop running and face the reality that she was indeed alive. I had no choice this time. I was once again experiencing the results of my fears, mistrust, rejection, which had begun to manifest in its usual pattern of confusion and dismay. After praying and crying out to the Lord on this day that would signify my healing, He told me to get up and call my mother. I obeyed. As the phone rang, I hoped that she would answer. I hadn’t heard her voice in over twenty years or felt her embrace since I was two, but I needed to at that moment. When she answered, I heard my own voice as our tone is rather similar. I simply said: “Hi, this is Khadijah.” There was a brief hesitation and she replied: “Thank God, I had been fasting this week and the results are this call.” After many years of subconscious warfare and not knowing what to expect, I felt at peace. As she lives in Hawaii, we are thousands of miles away yet the natural maternal bond bridged any geographical barriers. I explained why I hadn’t responded to her attempts to reach me sooner. I wasn’t ready and to guise the hurt, it was easier to perceive her in a negative light.

I listened intently as she thoroughly explained her version of the incidences surrounding my birth and our subsequent separation. It fit the scattered recounts that I’d heard from various people throughout the years. Although the situation had forced me to endure many years of distress from being placed into the foster care system, adoption by a Christian family, and a lost identity, I felt no resentment. I just needed to hear her version. I could relate many aspects of my life to Joseph who was separated from his family yet God never left his side and used that bad for good. As she talked and gave more background about herself, what she’s currently doing and why she hadn’t reached out earlier, my heart began to melt away any bitterness. Regardless of everything, I was blessed to have reconciled with her (as I had done so ten years ago with my father). I’ve had a few spiritual and surrogate mother-like figures throughout the years, all of whom have been instrumental in filling that maternal void, but I could now connect to the direct source. Wow! As my own daughter walked in the door, smiling and saying in her cute baby voice: “Hi Mommy, I’m home…” I looked at her and realized that regardless of my desires to be a good mother, I too will fall short at times but I pray that she will forgive my trespasses, as I’ve decided to forgive my mothers.

I do not know what lies ahead as far as our relationship, but I do know that unforgiveness, especially towards parents since God says we’re supposed to honor them, is a major spiritual hindrance. But reconciliation can give life to both parties.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord you God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 5: 16

About the Author

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Khadijah Carter is a beautiful woman of God, mother and daughter who strive everyday to fulfill her God given mission. She is a talent singer and writer.

© 2010, Tamara L. Floyd. All rights reserved. Contact tamara@tamarafloyd.com for permissions to use/reprint any content.

Faith Confirmed

In facing a transitional season of your life, God will ask you to do something completely contrary to your personal plans.

As Christians we all know the story, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, 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

“Oh, Thank ya Jesus”, ” Hallelujah

But wait don’t shout yet because God expects that SAME sacrifice from you. No, no, He is not expecting you to slay you’re first born but He does expect you to give what you love the most or what you value. It may not be your child but it could be your car, your job, your home, your spouse or part of yourself. The reality is when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are expected to take up your cross and walk with Him. What does that mean? Simply put you must die to yourself and became fully dependent on God. That means you don’t move unless, He says move…

Sometimes the things that God requires are those same things that He has promised us. Abraham is a good example of this Gen. 22:14.

God knew in the beginning that He would have to offer His son for the sins of the world. This had not been revealed to Abraham but he was still faithfully and trusted God in his sacrifice. Maybe God is requiring something from you, that you may not understand. Maybe you have already lost something. Understand that our thoughts are not His thoughts. God is not a logical God. God’s expectations may not make sense to man.

Other times God needs you to release things so He has room to bless you with something else. God is a God of newness. New is what you never knew…

© 2010, Tamara L. Floyd. All rights reserved. Contact tamara@tamarafloyd.com for permissions to use/reprint any content.

I Died Today

Today I Died to my will, my own self-ambitions…

to everything that warred against my Father in Heaven.

I realized my Daddy was not punishing me but

preparing me for my destiny, His Will for my life.

I had vowed to take up my cross years ago

but today is the day that I finally took my last breath

I died on that rugged cross.tetelestai I can say “it is finished!”

Again I say I died today.

Oh, it hurt and I still mourn and grieve the lost of my former self.

But the life, God has resurrected is not to be compared.

My Father has called me for a time such as this

my carnal heart and emotions

only hinder the things of God.

There was no other way…

she had to die

so I could live in the fullness and abundance of my Daddy’s Promises.

Now He knows He can trust me

with the Kingdom and its everlasting blesses.

You see, He has established a covenant with me.

I can walk in my wealthy place.

I was afraid that if I died,

I would be lost forever

but just as Jesus died and rose with all power in His hands,

I have that same power.

I died today not for me but

for the Kingdom

to win souls to Christ…

Copyright © 2010, Tamara L. Floyd. All rights reserved. Contact tamara@tamarafloyd.com for permissions to use/reprint any content.

Rubber Band

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What is the process?

The process is a systematic series of actions directed to some end, a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner, the whole course of the proceedings in an action at law, the action of going forward or on, the condition of being carried on. Some common themes about the process is there is a change over time or an evolution, this evolution is a progression of change moving in a forward, more beneficial adaption of one’s life to propel them in route to their purpose and destiny.

The process is very similar to being stretched like a rubber band. The elastic band is stretched to a point where it can’t be outstretched anymore and when released it becomes a projectile that shoot forward far beyond the place of its un-stretched state. Every Christian has a different process and that process is like an outstretched rubber band. The stretching aint nothing nice and you may even feel like you can’t do it. This is great because you are exactly where God the Father wants you. In a place where He is challenging, testing and ordering your steps. It is at this time where you’re seeing Him at His best as He makes provisions for your adequacies.

As you’re being stretch, God will allow certain situations to come about that will test your faith and your heart. You will find you suppressed the feelings/issues. God wants you to confront these situations and trust that He will deliver you from all temptation. 1 Cor. 10:13 You will walk through the fire and not be burnt. Trust the Lord as He perfects His character in you. Take comfort that He KNOWS you…

© 2010, Tamara L. Floyd. All rights reserved. Contact tamara@tamarafloyd.com for permissions to use/reprint any content.