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Brown Sugar Soul

4 Jul

Posted By: Candace

Hello everyone! Please visit my new blog: BrownSugarSoul.weebly.com

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I created Brown Sugar Soul to encourage health, spiritual growth, and confidence. I hope you enjoy the site and feel free to contact me via the contact form below.

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Consider the Lily

3 Jan

By CANDACE ROBERTS

Flowers of Lilium candidum

Image via Wikipedia

Have you considered the lily? Wikipedia describes the Lilium as “a genus of herbaceous flowering plant growing from bulbs.” Early Christians believed that the lily represented purity. The Chinese meaning of the lily is, “forever in love.” Liliums comprise of several thousand species. Many are fragrant and lilies can be found in various colors. Some are grown and harvested for the edible bulbs.

Consider the lilies short life span. While our life here on earth is short, like the life span of the lilies, Jesus came so that we may have eternal life.

Song of Solomon 2:2 “My darling, among other women, you are like a lily among thorns.” From this verse we can consider the lily and it’s beauty, lilies are beautiful and fragrant. Solomon was describing the woman as beautiful and that she stands out among other women.  Beauty is not only skin deep, beauty also comes from the inside. How many of us have encountered beautiful people with nasty attitudes? Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said it best, “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

Consider the lily of the valley. Song of Solomon 2:1 “I am a rose on the plain of Sharon, a lily in the valleys.” Wikipedia describes a valley as a “depression with predominant extent in one direction.” Webster’s dictionary describes a valley as “an area drained by a river.” Geologists describe valleys as “a hollow of the earth bounded by hills or mountains.” Let’s focus on the words: depression, drained and bounded. We have to know that God loves us even more than He loves the lily. This is why he sent His Son to give us eternal life. Even when we are depressed; drained from our everyday struggles; and bounded by fear and setbacks we are still like a lily of the valley. Which means we can stand out even in hard times. No matter how many times we’ve sinned we are still like fragrant and beautiful lilies in God’s eyes.

On July 28, 2007, Thomas J. Williams, Jr. published a book called, Consider the Lily: A Case for Stress-Free Religion. The books description really sums up what it means to Consider the Lily. 

Since the beginning of time, man has attempted to discover the key to unlocking the plan of God. Life would be much simpler if we were to have access to the mind of the giver of life. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple clear-cut solution to life’s struggles? It is human nature to accept complicated answers to complicated questions but if you take a moment and Consider the Lily, you can begin to discover all there is to know of God’s will. You can strengthen your relationship with Christ with a stress-free approach to religion-to heed the words of our Lord and consider the lily. Beyond its beauty, it’s a very low maintenance flower and can thrive year after year without any constant attention. Through a systematic study of the Word of God, it is possible to maintain a calmer, more focused lifestyle; you too can thrive with little maintenance in a stress-free environment. Stress is one of the leading causes of sickness, pain, and death. Stress-related illnesses are rampant in the United States. The prayerful study of God’s Word can provide a strong and meaningful antidote to our crazy and stressful world; we need to take the time to consider the lily to experience life at its best.

Consider the lily as you go forth in this journey called life!

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Dear Me: A Letter to my 16-Year-Old Self

16 Dec

By CANDACE ROBERTS

I read in a magazine once where celebrities had written letters to their 16-year-old selves. My favorite was Phylicia Rashad’s letter. When logging on to Word Press I noticed an article under the Freshly Pressed column by a woman who had written her younger self a letter. So, I decided to do the same.

Me at 16 in Virginia

Me at 17 in New York

Dear Candace,

Your 16th birthday will be one of the best birthdays you will ever have. It will be simple and you’ll be surrounded by family. At this age you are going to fall dangerously in love, move to another state and meet a young woman who will end up being your best friend.

All the things you are making a big deal about now are really not that important. You will find yourself and you will gain confidence. There will be a lot of laughter and you’ll thank God later for taking away things and people who you thought you needed in your life.Your extended family is going to all get back together again and this will be one of the greatest moments of your life.

There will be a lot of things that you will try to make sense out of and you’ll try to fix what isn’t even broken. You’ll want things you can’t have and you’ll stress over the unknown. You won’t get as angry all the time as you age and things that use to upset you, won’t anymore. A lot of people aren’t going to believe in the things you want to do in your life, but that’s okay because one day you are going to wake up and realize that you’re an adult now. You’ll realize that it’s okay to say no, you really can make decisions without someone else permission, and you’ll live without any regrets.

Don’t let what people say about you offend you, their words don’t define who you are. Most of the people around you don’t even know who you really are or what you’re capable of. There will come a day when you won’t care what people say or think about you. You’ll ask for help when you need it and stop taking care of everyone else and take care of yourself. Someone close to you in your family will be very judgmental of some choices you’ve made, another will be a terrible listener, people you thought you could count on will soon be people of your past, and finally you just won’t share much of anything with them anymore and by the time they notice; you’ll be over it.

I know how much you hate dealing with your hair. Don’t worry, in the future, you will find the best solution for yourself.

Times are going to get harder than you’ll ever know. One thing you have to know is that you will get through it. Whatever decisions you make are yours to live with. Any mistake you make is yours to learn from. A dozen family members are going to continue to TRY to tell you what to do. To be honest, it’s going to piss you the hell off, but just ignore them and do what you want after thinking things through.

You’re going to go through a lot, but life does get better. Eventually, you’ll even learn to smile. You’ll smile after losses, after pain, and after the storm. Work hard in everything you do and don’t give up on your dreams and don’t let anyone stand in the way of your happiness. When people say things you don’t like or try to tell you what to do, just say yes and ignore it, the conversation will end faster that way! Happiness and love is in your future and so is a very high college GPA!

Love Always,

23-year-old Candace

 

Lesson on Southern Hospitality

16 Dec

By CANDACE ROBERTS

Image via Capital Online Revenue

There was a time in my life where everything was simple. When I was a young child, still small enough to sit in a chair and be able to swing my feet; I would always sit on my Great Grandmother’s porch in one of her rocking chairs and read.  Each time, after only a few minutes, Ma (pronounced Mm-uh), would come out and join me. This one day I noticed that every time a car drove pass the house, she would wave. The person driving would blow their horn and if they had others in the car they all would wave. Every now and then one would yell out a greeting. I said, “Ma, do you really know all these people?” She looked at me as if she wanted to laugh. She said, “No, but it is polite to wave.” This was my first lesson on Southern Hospitality.

Over a decade later, at age 22, I moved to Maryland with one of my Aunts and her family. My first morning there I went for a walk. As I ran into people on the way I would greet them. Each one would hesitate first and then manage to greet me back. They looked shocked, perhaps astonished by my kindness. One thing was for sure, I wasn’t in North Carolina anymore.  Where I was from, everyone would chat with strangers, as if they had already known them for years or had run into an old friend.

This wasn’t my first time outside of the South. I was born in Maryland and raised in North Carolina. I spent many summers on Long Island, New York and in New York City. New York has its share of friendly people, but of course everyone is busy and rushing to get somewhere. Nevertheless, New York is still one of my favorite places to visit. Although, it’s nothing like living in the South; plenty of great food, cheap housing, beaches and lots of friendly folks.

I have been to many states in the South. Everything really is bigger in Texas, nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning, Georgia is the Empire State of the South, Tennessee is rich in history, and Alabama is really the Heart of Dixie!

Touching Story About a Boy and His Mother

13 Nov

By CANDACE ROBERTS

My mom only had one eye. I hated her… She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support the family. There was this one day during elementary school where my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school one of my classmates said, ‘EEEE, your mom only has one eye!’ I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom to just disappear. I confronted her that day and said, ‘ If you’re only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?’ My mom did not respond… I didn’t even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings. I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my Mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in years and she didn’t even meet her grandchildren. When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited. I screamed at her, ‘How dare you come to my house and scare my children!’ GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!’ And to this, my mother quietly answered, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address,’ and she disappeared out of sight. One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity. My neighbors said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have. ‘My dearest son, I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to your house and scared your children. I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up. You see……..when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine. I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye. With all my love to you, Your mother.’

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