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Love & Beauty

making your own a hundred foot journey

12.06.14

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maybe if i were to select the personality of my husband, i would select the hope in Papa, the dad whose relentless believe in his dream caused him to stay determined in starting a new life with his family, re-opening a restaurant after losing one, and defying the odds that met him in this foreign land he dared to call home. i would definitely select the purity of love, and passion that Hassan, Papa’s son protrayed  in the movie – The Hundred Foot Journey, and the wisdom in knowing when a new chapter in ones life is knocking for a fresh start.

i particularly loved when at the peak of Hassan’s career in Paris, he packed up to return back home, to then begin yet a new chapter in his life. not making this decision foolishly, he knew that his peak would never mean as much, without his loved ones around him. he further new that, there was a special place in his life, where he wanted to accomplish this success, and home was that place for him. home in the kitchen of this French lady, who at one time saw Hassan and his family as intruders, and did everything in her power to bring failure to their restaurant endeavors. this was the same lady who later learned first hand, what gifted hands Hassan had, and who then invited him to study under her direction in her very own restaurant.

the a hundred foot journey

perhaps like Hassan and his family, you have been waiting for a breakthrough. perhaps, you have tried and failed. tried and failed. perhaps also, you have succeeded and learned that success alone, does not bring happiness. it get’s more lonely as you climb up the ladder of success, and that family and true friends mean more to you than life could describe. what if, all of life’s experiences was never a waste of life? what if, in every season, through every experience, there was a board of lessons to be taught and to be learned? what if in every level of experience, we opened up our eyes, to see just what He is teaching us? and perhaps then, what if in opening our eyes, and learning we then were able to move successfully to the next level of promotion?

there is noting as disheartening as a misplaced, premature opportunity. nothing as discouraging as a blessing not fully appreciated and utilized, and in that scenario hope is then lost. every season in life, is a teacher to us. a teacher that then propels us to the next level of promotion. so dare to take life by the horn, and live it to it’s fullest. think about this, if we were to go through life, without any level of experience and lessons, we would never truly meet the purpose that is at every level of promotion.

it took me a while to receive this revelation. in my self centered desire for personal accomplishment, i soon realized that God was prompting me into stillness, to then receive each lesson in each season. the constant moving, and searching was getting me no where, in fact it was causing me more frustration than anything else, as i worked tirelessly in search of something that i thought would truly bring me fulfillment.

well it turned out that the fulfillment i was searching for all this while, was buried beneath all my heart’s desire for personal gain, and it was not until i surrendered and received His stillness and prompting, that the pealing of these layers started, and the hidden gem of purpose was then unveiled.

in every level of increase, there is a greater purpose, and a much greater need for a giving heart. if we are ever to reach our maximum potential, we will need to reach a level of complete selflessness in hopes of serving others by bringing hope, life, joy and fulfillment to their life. keep in mind that, in this state of living we will enjoy the benefits of living a sacrificial life, for the sake of another, just like Christ did for us.

the benefits outweigh the struggles. 

am constantly reminded that, the Lord we serve is a selfless Lord. He will not dare get us to our maximum potential, without ever preparing us for this hundred foot journey. He gets us there, by walking us through different seasons in life, to then bring upon our life’s the much needed lessons to then receive our next level of promotion and calling.

don’t ever rush life, if life is asking you to yield for a few lessons. these lessons are vital for our future success. honor yourself, and honor God, by trusting Him enough to know that He will not walk you where He has not already been, nor will He abandon you half way there.

He desires nothing but the best for all His children.

what i loved the most about the movie – the hundred foot journey, is the purposed unveiling of forgiveness, love and hope. that what once started off as a major catastrophe, turned out to be one of their greatest blessing. that they knew when to stop, and start a new life. and that they trusted enough in themselves, to know that their dreams could come true, even in the darkest of days.

they never reached the peak, without climbing through some hills and valleys. it was never so. matter of fact, the story unveils some deep struggles, pains and unfairness, yet in every season, they dared to surrender, and receive the lessons in that season.

may i dare you?

dare you to surrender in stillness and receive His lessons

dare you to believe, no matter what

dare you to work hard, be relentless and know that He will never abandon what He has called you to do

dare you to trust in God. know that He is all we need to make it to the top. and know that when at the top, all the glory belongs to Him

dare you to live every day to the fullest

love: christine

pause blog music to the top right to watch this trailer

 

how a basket of peanuts, turns noise into help

10.18.14

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how do you explain to the whole world, that Love is crying? that this word – poverty that has been repeated millions of times, in millions of languages is as real as Love, and the reason why Love cries, is because poverty has never ceased crying.

he started off this business trip, as he normally does. a laptop, his cell phone and his bible which he never dared to leave behind, all tucked up in the seat right in front of him as he settled for what would a very long flight. his assistant knew him all too well, and had reserved the window seat for this trip, and ensured convenient access to both internet and phone for his business needs. twenty two grueling hours later, he and his colleagues arrived in he city of Kinsasha, where they would be finalizing negotiations with the government of Congo, to assist Congo in rebuilding it’s infrastructure after the devastating war.

there are moments when your day is more than a day,” he thought. moments when the noise of the world ceases to be noise, and instead you are able to decipher what the noise is all about. moments when the loud and overcrowded streets of Kinshasa cease being loud and overcrowded, instead they are transformed into this very colorful unified choir, singing songs that call for help. it means that the very old lady, barefoot on the streets chasing after you, is not just chasing after you. she is chasing hope. and there is where the whole world stands still, or so it feels. stands still in wait. and if we for whatever reason decide to look away, never to stop to be hope, then it also means that the choir continues to sing, and Love continues to cry. cry because once again, His helpless child is left helpless, as she dares to make her way home, only to find that her hungry and skinny looking children, are just breathes away from death.

Love cries

Frederick Buechner says that God puts himself at our mercy not only in the sense of suffering that we can cause him by our blindness and coldness, but the suffering that we can cause him by suffering ourselves. because that is the way Love works, and when someone we love suffers, we suffer with him, and we would not have it otherwise because the suffering and the love are one, just as it is with God’s love for us. — the hungry dark

on the streets that day was Mercy. she chased after John’s Range Rover, and it was from the side mirror, that John first spotted her. she ran barefoot, dressed in clothes as dirty and dusty as the ground, and her feet as cracked as a clay pot. John signaled to his driver to stop, and within seconds they were pulling up to the side of the busy streets of Kinshasa to receive Mercy. Mercy eventually made it to the Range Rover, where John and his driver stood awaiting her arrival. she took a few minutes to catch her breathe, before she stretched out her worn out basket half filled with peanuts, which she had hoped to sell to John.

John slowly whisked her to a shabby little restaurant by the streets, as she stared on perhaps wondering what John would do to her. he was obviously wealthy, because wealthy in her life meant one was dressed well, and could then afford the luxuries of a driver. being white in her world, also meant being wealthy. his manner of greeting was also one that Mary associated with the rich. maybe he hated her hopeless boldness so much, that he was planning to beat her to death, she thought. like the one wealthy man she had dared to approach a few months back. some people, she remembered  don’t receive this kind of noise that well. and so she held on tight to her basket, almost in such a way as to prepare to escape what she thought was about to happen.

after they settled down outside the shabby little restaurant, John gently reached for his wallet and offered Mercy what seemed like a million dollars. the world it seemed had stopped for such a time as this. Mercy’s eyes popped out wide open, as she stretched out her hand to then offer John the basket of peanuts he had purchased. as quickly as he received the basket, was as quickly as he placed it back on her lap, and explained to her that he was not in need of the peanuts. tears fell gently down her face, as she immediately reached for her basket, and almost unknowingly popped open most of the peanuts, and proceeded to fill her hungry little tummy, with all the peanuts she could get open.

Love smiles

John’s driver returned back with plates of food, and asked Mercy to join in the feast. and after sharing a meal and a few laughter’s together, John made a few phone calls for help, and shortly thereafter they parted ways, but not after John had ensured that she was well connected with the help she needed, to sustain and provide for her family.

upon arriving his hotel room that afternoon, he fell to the floor in utter disbelief at the noises of poverty he had witnessed, and cried a few tears for the love he had shared with Mercy. he reached for the phone, and cried some more as he explained to his wife, what pain and suffering faced majority of the people of Kinshasa, and how he had met Mercy, or rather how Mercy had met him, and made more of his day, than he could ever have imagined.

sleep that night was hard to find. he could still hear the noises in the streets, however this time the noises came with faces, and the faces came with pain.

you may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own. –michelle obama

love: christine

 

opening self to divine interruptions

01.12.14

old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. an old day passes, a new day arrives. the important thing is to make it meaningful; a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”

dalai lama

i had planned on waking up early, & driving up to L.A  to see her. i know myself, when weekends come my way, my feet start to drag, & so i went to bed very aware of this, yet still determined to overcome my dragging feet, & make it to L.A  in time to have enough of the day to spend with a precious cousin, whom i had never met before.

a few days ago she confirmed her arrival. i had my weekend all planned out, but something inside of me said – cancel. cancel and dare instead to spend this precious moment, with a precious person. early Saturday morning, after wrestling my decision to cancel all plans, i made up my mind to do it anyway.

welcoming divine interruptions, means being flexible enough to go with the flow of the divine #motherswithadream4christ

my uncle (cousin’s dad), passed away a few years back. i remember when he passed thinking to myself, oh how i wish i had met him. i was never able to meet up with my him, though i heard all sorts of brave stories about him. some which made sense, & others which did not. he lived a life many feared to ever mention. a very warrior like life. set in his ways, he had a dream. a dream that led him to ran & hunt. you could say, he was a man with an endless kind of possibility dream. determined to overcome whatever came his way, to dare instead to meet this dream he so cherished. he was also very well connected to the powers around him. and i think with power surrounding him, he was positive his missions would be accomplished. eventually he passed away, having accomplished i believe some of his dreams, however i do believe, his most cherish dream was never accomplished. many things have been said of him, one thing is for sure he was a warrior at heart.

now you can see why, i had to meetup with my cousin Susan (in the picture with black & white pants). not only does she carry a piece of my now deceased uncle, but she also brings with her a connection with an uncle, i thought i would never have. more than that, she brings with her hope. hope because, there was a time many believed she and her sisters, had all passed away. having lost both parents at such a young age, tucked in a foreign country, Susan and her sisters were forced to defend & fend for themselves. defend themselves against their dad’s enemies, & defend themselves from life in general. unfortunately, this blog post can not truly do justice to their story, however, i do write this, simply to give us all hope. hope that no matter what you are going through. no matter the valley, our God is always present.

there are moments in life that are way too precious for words. moments when we need to find it in us, to open up self to divine interruptions. and see it as a good thing & go with the flow when that happens, and believe that our God always has plans for good & not evil (Jeremiah 29:11). when we allow ourselves to walk instead in the will & plan of God, we find that divinely interrupted moments, have precious meaning. to walk in the presence of God, means allowing Him to take center stage of our daily life, and there we find that sometimes, our plans are not His plans, yet He always does have good plans for us, way better than we could ever dream or imagine.

divinely interrupted moments, have precious meaning #motherswithadream4christ

when your day seems to be going out of the order you had planned, remember to stop & dare instead to yield to the presence of God #motherswithadream4christ

the practice of opening self to divine interruptions, means starting off your day with the Lord at heart. committing your every move to Him, and asking Him to lead you to the places He desires. We all have plans for our days, for our lives, can we dare instead to allow Him to interrupt our plans, for a greater good? think about it, & dare it to be the way in which you live your life.

as Dalai Lama said, “like the days. an old day passes, a new day arrives.” my Saturday came & passed, but the memories of the day will forever be engraved in my heart.

until next time, have yourself an open heart. open enough for divine interruptions.

Love: Christine

Today’s prayer space

Human Trafficking Awareness Day/Month

To get involved in the fight against Human Trafficking, visit the following organizations:

International Justice Mission

The A21 Campaign

Counsel to Secure Justice

how life is lived in full…

01.05.14

its so easy to get caught up in the hustle & bustle of our days. there are days, when I am more aware of the beauty within, as I am aware of the beauty without. there are also days, when i seem oblivious to almost every bit of life’s precious moments. the singing birds pass me by without a moment of thought, the gentle streams of a river, gently stream by without a wonder of how magnificent creation such as this really is.

i love the days when i wake up to the sounds of the birds, and their beautiful sounds awaken my heart. i also love the days when i am wide awake. i call those days – wide alive. when a genuine smile catches my attention, when i can recognize and feel the presence of my neighbor next door. when a stranger is no longer a stranger, when my kids laughter’s echoing from way in their bedroom catches my attention, & without knowing what truly makes them laugh so hard, i find instead that i join in the laugh. such are the moments that blow me away. moments that i treasure & love.

happiness is not something ready made. it comes from your actionDalai Lama

this year i am purposefully determined to practice living in the here and now. determined to practice calmness & along with that compassion.

more & more i realize how important it is to remain in the present. to walk in calmness of spirit, & in so doing welcome compassion in ones heart. there is something grand about being in the present. one is more wide alive than ever before. seldom, does the preciousness of life pass one by, when one is in the now. the birds in the air are then no longer strangers to one’s life.

a calm & present spirit brings life to life

yesterday is never forgotten when its lived fully

the regrets of life, lessen as we dare to spend our present, with the ones present in our lives.

moments become more than moments.

they become tangible in every sense of the word.

they are felt within & without.

moments become life as it should be

the madness of life can weigh you down, however if lived in the present we are most often able to work through such madness, & in so doing create room for an even brighter tomorrow.

life is only precious, when lived in the now

dare to life fully!!

until next time: have a here & now filled week

love: christine

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