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Thankful to the Fullest Measure

yes lord

I WISH FOR YOU the happiest Thanksgiving Day that your heart can hold. I pray your day be filled with love, joy and gratitude for those you love and have responsibility over. I hope that you will laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and love a lot deeper. May your troubles be few and your victories countless. I pray that you are filled to the measure with unspeakable joy.

This year I found the joy that I searched for, for so long. It’s awful that it took divorce and cancer to get me straight but it worked! No longer do I devalue myself or discredit my worth. I’ve completed some pretty deep soul searching and I found out that I am a pretty awesome lady and above that, I’m a survivor!

So this year, I am grateful that I still get to be mommy to my beautiful daughter and auntie to my six nephews. I’m thankful that my two brothers can still call and bug me about nothing. I’m thankful that I can call my mama anytime that I want to and listen to her talk about whatever is on her mind. I’m glad that I can still receive the occasional text message from my grandma and answer when my aunt calls me by the nickname “Luc” (short for Lucy). It’s an awesome feeling to understand that all of this could have worked out differently for me, but I’m still here! I’m still living and I still have the ability to answer when my name is called! But most of all, I’m thankful that Jesus Christ saw fit to intercede on my behalf and heal my body of a disease that has claimed far too many lives.

With all this thankfulness and gratitude, I reach back to the next woman who may be feeling discontent about life and confused by current situations. Whatever you may be experiencing right now is only a bump in the road. There is peace and fulfillment on the other side of hurt and fear.

Don’t lose hope and let me know if I can help.

Peace and Wellness,

SuGa

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From God, With Love

From God With Love Image

I am so excited to announce the release of my first e-book, From God, With Love. A Woman’s Guide to Achieving Peace in the Midst of Adversity.

This book is a collection of poems, short stories and declarations that I created while navigating through various challenges in my life. I touch on topics such as grief, low-self esteem and depression; with the hope of giving readers inspiration to overcome those conflicts and crisis situations that we sometimes are forced to deal with.

From God, With Love is available for pre-order on Amazon.com and is available in the following formats: Android, IPad, IPhone, Windows Phone, PC and MAC. Click here to order.

The following is  an excerpt from a featured poem entitled, Another Chance which is inspired by Genesis 4:25 NKJV:

God has appointed another seed just for you

Another hope, another opportunity, another chance to start brand new

For he sees you and considers all the pain that you feel

He heard your cry, he longs for your laugh and he weeps because your issue is real

The issue is sin and it keeps us bound

It cancels out faith and welcomes fear to hang around…

It steals our confidence and keeps us trapped

It muffles our testimony and holds us in lack

It spoils our relations and curses our generations

It keeps us divided and un-united as nations…

But God…

Hopefully I’ve enticed you enough to order the book!

Peace and Wellness!

Melissa

 

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Premeditated Interruptions

We need more interruptions. We need more people who are willing to take an interest in the welfare of others.

When you consider the number of suicides that are happening around the world, interruptions are necessary and needed.  Far too many lives are being cut short from this tragedy. Demitri Allison, a college student at Elon University was found dead outside of a UNC Chapel Hill residence hall. His death has been ruled a suicide. From all accounts his family and friends were worried about his emotional state and well-being. How does a young man with such a promising future end up a suicide statistic? How does someone whom many describe as “talented and loved” end up taking his own life.

Demitri’s life is but one instance of a growing crisis. Suicide has affected many people from various walks of life for differing reasons. Thousands have turned to suicide when they feel there is no other alternative. People use suicide as an escape from bullying, heartbreak, financial problems, health issues, loneliness and guilt, just to name a few. Our society is riddled with people who are in crisis.

According to Save.org, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, surpassing homicide which is ranked at number 16. Studies show that a suicide is completed every 13 minutes in the United States and it is the 2nd leading cause of death for young adults between ages 15-24.

So how can you help? You can Question, Persuade and Refer.

QPR is a community based training program that teaches those who are in a position to recognize the warning signs, clues and suicidal communications of people in trouble to ACT vigorously to prevent a possible tragedy. This training is available to anyone who wants to be an interruption in the growing problem of suicide.

If you are a professional caregiver, police officer, fireman, minister, priest, rabbi, school nurse, coach, youth leader, paramedic, high school counselor, case manager, volunteer or paid staff in any of a hundred different kinds of human service organizations, you will very likely have firsthand contact with suicidal people.

EVERYONE Needs to Know QPR!

QPR training is offered by the Mental Health Association in your local area at no charge. If you are interested in hosting an event at your church, club or organization, send me an email and I will help you set up a workshop at your facility. (sugawellnessboutique@gmail.com) If you or someone who you know needs immediate help, please call 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Be the interruption in someone’s life by recognizing the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide

Peace and Wellness,

SuGa

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Protecting Our Elders

Keeping our elders safe is a “peacekeeping” tactic that everyone can embrace. As a community it’s up to each individual to watch out for the safety and well-being of one another. Numerous stories in the media detailing how trusting elderly citizens are falling victim to scams and losing their life savings to the fake promise of love are becoming very prominent. Dr. Phil has featured many of these stories on his show to help raise awareness and equip people with the knowledge of this cruel and heartless scheme.

Sweetheart Scams are known as the act of preying upon a victim for financial gain, while deceitfully promising them love. These cruel acts of intention can be played out online or in person. The perpetrator convinces their victim that they are madly in love and then plays on their emotions to cheat them out of large sums of money. It’s sad to say that many elderly men and women have fallen victim and lost millions of dollars.

The recent story of Georgia Muller caught my attention. Ms. Muller, a great grand-mother who loves to paint and post her pictures on Facebook was targeted by someone online pretending to be the Captain of a ship. The more they communicated with one another the more Ms. Muller developed an emotional bond with the pretend Captain. He would send her poems and love notes and she enjoyed the attention. When the time was right, Ms. Muller was asked to wire several hundred dollars to the Captain. Luckily for Muller her internal instincts alerted her that this was a case of fraud.

My appeal to you today is to become more active in the life of an elderly person. Take a vested interest in your loved ones to ensure that they are not falling victim to the schemes, strategies or plots of the enemy. As the bible says, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities and power in the dark places. The enemy attacks us at our weakest moments and wages an all out war on our self-identity and our emotional being.

Send me a comment and let me know how you plan to become more active with the elders in your family and community.

There are several different ways that the elderly are being deceived out of their money. Some of the tactics that are being used are threats and deceit, pressure tactics, jury scams, computer scams, financial planning scams and home renovation scams.

If you suspect that and elderly family member of friend is in trouble there are three things that you can do to help.

  1. Go to IC3.gov. The FBI runs the site. It lists various scams and even buzzwords to listen for.
  2. Go to FBI.gov.  It also lists scams and how to spot them.
  3. Report your suspicions to the local authorities.
Peace and Wellness,
SuGa
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Identity Crisis

By now, you may have seen the awful pictures that detail the scars and bruises that Nicole Holder suffered at the hands of Greg Hardy. These photos are a terrible reminder of the physical abuse and terrifying situations that many women find themselves faced with daily. Statistics reveal that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more than vehicle accidents, muggings and rapes combined. It’s disturbing to know that a woman is abused every 9 seconds and even more disturbing is the fact that 1 in every 5 teenage girl has reportedly been threatened with violence or experienced harm if she decides that she no longer wants to be in a relationship with a boy. Even more shockingly for the Christian body, 25% of Christian homes witness abuse of some kind. Spousal abuse is just as common among church goers as it is with everyone else.

So what can we do? There are tons of causes, organizations and awareness campaigns that are aimed at raising awareness for domestic violence. As a society, WE ARE EXTREMLY AWARE. We have the desire to create change, knowledge of the issue but we lack the ability to make real change and challenge what is seen as normal in many households. I’m under the opinion that we need to introduce some type of identity intervention program to challenge those beliefs and misconceptions that women and young girls hold about themselves, while we deal with the issue of abuse.

Truth is, we have to recognize things for what they are. Human beings are experiencing a lack of love and compassion toward one another, and this goes against everything that God says in his Word. Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

As heirs of Christ, our identity is established in love. Until we are able to deal with those issues that make us doubt our ability to love others and the things that keep us from fully receiving love, we will always have the issue of domestic violence

“If I were your enemy, I’d devalue your strength and magnify your insecurities until they dominate how you see yourself, disabling and disarming you from fighting back, from being free, from being who God has created you to be. I’d work hard to ensure that you never realize what God has given you so you’ll doubt the power of God within you.” (Excerpt from, Fervent, A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer).

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Peace in the Imperfections

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

One the other side of Conflict is Peace.

While the two are in complete contrast with one another, they have a totally dependent relationship.

Think about it. If you never experienced Conflict you would have never known what Peace felt like and if you had never experienced Peace you would have no clue that Conflict even exists.

What if it were possible to have your Conflict and Peace meet one another to settle a few past issues? What if your self-doubt and insecurity could have a face-off with your confidence and well-being? What if you reached a place in life that was so freeing and so rewarding that you wanted to reach back to your old self and say, “it all worked out fine.”

Really, as a woman who has experienced quite a few conflicts in life, I think I owe it to my younger self to discuss those insecurities that were felt growing up. You know those things like never feeling good enough or pretty enough or smart enough or whatever enough.

Never ____ enough caused a lot of heartbreak for millions of little girls around the world, and it still does today.

If I could sit down with my younger self, I would give her the biggest hug and let her know that she turned out magnificent, flaws, scars, hurt feelings and all. The tears that were shed and the self-doubt that was experienced helped to propel her into a women with drive and motivation who was eager to succeed and do great things. I would let her know that on the other side of the Conflict she experienced, there is Peace in the imperfections.

So how about you? What internal discussions do you need to have and what past insecurities do you need to release? Are you holding on to self doubt and insecurity, unsure of your worth and purpose? It’s time to let it go and make Peace with the unknown. It all starts with having “peaceful intentions” for your life and those around you. When you make a solid choice to treat yourself better, there is nothing or no-one that can block you from receiving Peace.

May Peace and Grace be multiplied to you!

Peace and Wellness!

SuGa

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Focus On Truth

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NKJV

Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder is a true and real mood disorder associated with depression and related to the seasonal variations in light that occur during the winter months. For many people, mainly women, this time of year can be filled with anxiety, mood changes, overeating and lethargy, just to name a few. Some of the suggested treatments include medication, outdoor activity or phototherapy.

Along with treatment, it’s important for us to practice spiritual remedies as well. We have to utilize the powerful weapons of warfare that are made available to every believer who has accepted Jesus as Lord over their life. When we are feeling out of sorts and in a state of depression we have to affirm, meditate and visualize a strategy of success. By focusing inward with peaceful thoughts about ourselves and our importance in society, we develop a stronger connection to God and a greater dependence on the healing effects of love.

Our strategy must include the truth about us that can only be found in God’s word.

  1. John 3:16-For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.-Remember that God will not withhold any good thing from you. His mind is set on loving you and gifting you with everlasting life.
  2. Isaiah 54:17- No weapon formed against you shall prosper. And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn.-God already knows every issue and challenge that you will face. Even though things may look bad at the moment, God has other plans for you and you come out victorious!
  3. Jude 24-Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy-You will stumble and make mistakes along your journey but God has already planned to restore you. It makes Him happy to see you doing good. It pleases God to see you shine!

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you!

SuGa

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Painfully Obvious

There comes a point in every conflict when you have to decide what your next move will be. You can choose to resolve it or to transform it. Conflict Resolution is the process of alleviating or eliminating your issues by any means necessary. When you resolve an issue, you take immediate action to stop the discomfort.

On the other hand, Conflict Transformation is the intentional act of analyzing a problem with the expected outcome of fully understanding all of its working parts. When you make a choice to transform, you are looking for opportunities of growth.

So what will it be for you? Resolution or Transformation?

Are you at a point in your life where you don’t understand why situations played themselves out like they did? Maybe you are seeking clarity in a tough decision or expecting validation from someone you love. Whatever it is for you, has it become painfully obvious that a change is necessary? Are you on the cusp of peace but surrounded in conflict and unsure which way you should go?

In the Book of Acts, the jailer who was watching over Paul and Silas found himself in a troubling predicament. As he slept, there was a violent earthquake and the doors of the jail flung open. This jailer was prepared to take his own life because he thought all the prisoners had escaped. In his crisis moment, he could only think of a short-term solution.

In The Little Book of Conflict Transformation, John Paul Lederach, gives us several practical points to consider that will help us develop a deeper capacity for transforming our conflicts.

  1. Develop a capacity to see presenting issues as a window: A transformational approach requires that we develop a capacity to see the immediate situation without being overwhelmed. We have to avoid the urgency to resolve and develop the ability to see beyond the present issue.
  2. Develop a capacity to integrate multiple time frames: We have to think and act without being bound by the constraints of a short-term view of time. Instead of constantly working in crisis mode, we can become more intentional in our actions by developing strategies and processes with different views of time (short-term and long-term) that allow us to create a more peaceful existence.
  3. Develop the capacity to pose the energies of conflict as dilemmas: Oftentimes we experience multiple conflicts all at once and it becomes necessary to simultaneously deal with them. We have to develop language and dialogue that is all-inclusive. We have to find ways to develop a deeper desire for peace in the midst of our trouble.

Paul and Silas understood the greater purpose that was at work and they spoke out and said, “do not harm yourself, we are here. Because of their willingness to transform the conflict, multiple dilemmas were resolved.

  1. The Jailer and his family found Jesus and were saved.
  2. Paul and Silas did not have to compromise their beliefs. They continued worshipping God in freedom and in captivity.
  3. God’s word stood firm all on its own. Paul and Silas didn’t have to craft an escape plan simply because the doors flew open. They understood there was greater work to be performed.

Peace and Wellness,

SuGa

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P.R.A.Y.E.R.

When your Peace is disturbed, it’s easy to lose focus of your goals and fall into a system of making bad choices. There’s something about being aggravated, discontent and stressed out that can cause a person to spiral out of control.

It happens to us all at times, we are only human. We all have free will and emotions that play a significant part in how we respond to situations.

I’ve grown to understand that life hands us victories and lessons in every situation that we face. Even if things didn’t work out in our favor there is a victory to celebrate as well as a lesson to learn from it.

It’s extremely important to do some analyzing and uncover the victories and the lessons. By doing so we are stocking our prayer toolbox with powerful ammunition to fight our spiritual battles.

As the Word of God says, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

In the book Fervent, A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer, Priscilla Shirer discusses the top 10 strategies that the enemy uses to throw us off of our game.

He attacks our Passion, our Focus, our Identity, our Family, our Past, our Fears, our Purity, our Pressures, our Hurts and our Relationships. If we do our work and prepare for battle, we are then better equipped to stand against the schemes. You are well aware that the enemy doesn’t have any new tricks, he uses the same old material.

As Priscilla says, you have to pray God’s Word back to him and allow him to respond to it according to his own will.

Prayer

Releases

All

Your

Eternal

Resources

Get locked, loaded and come out praying in a blaze of Glory!

Prayer is the only way to stand!

Peace and Wellness

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Usable Experiences

1 Peter 4:12 NIV – Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Sometimes life just isn’t fair. We’ve all encountered situations that have left us asking the question “how did this happen?” or repeating the phrase, “why me.” Some of the stories that we hear about in the news are simply heart-breaking. We hear about senseless killings, reports of abuse and attacks on innocent people.

Whatever happened to common courtesy and basic human decency?

The word of God instructs us to not think it a strange thing when we face trials. We are actually encouraged to rejoice in times of pain and uncertainty. I know it’s a hard thing to hear but, as long as we live and breathe  conflict will forever be part of our story, with new chapters spontaneously forming daily.

In the newly released book: Stand, Learning to Lead Through Conflict, Dr. Timothy W. Sloan encourages us all by saying, “we are men and women who have been endued with heavenly power to fulfill our divine purpose of leading others.”

To become more effective in dealing with others and their circumstances, we have to face our personal crisis with authority and boldness.

Here are a few things that we can do to transform our personal conflicts into opportunities to help others.

  1. Be Transparent in your approach: People are more willing to listen to what you have to say and follow your lead if they can relate to you and establish a sense of trust. Use your experiences to create opportunities of Peace by listening, offering encouragement and simply being available.
  2. Step out of you Comfort Zone: Change your approach. If you’re constantly running into resistance, it’s time to do things differently. Create your own personal prayer of Jabez. Dee Marshall of Girlfriends Pray says it best, “Lord show me how to take Who I am, Who I want to be and What I can do and use it for a purpose greater than myself. Now that’s a prayer that will certainly enlarge your territory!
  3. Be Flexible: Be willing to work with others, the word says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Remember, experiences both good and bad are usable. Incorporate your experiences and the three approaches listed above to deal with others and help them along their path to healing.

Peace and Wellness,

SuGa