Welcome to Weekly Topic Saturdays!
Good Morning, I pray that your week was filled with golden positive regards. Welcome back to those who have been with me since the beginning at A Golden Dream. For my first-timers, a great big hello there, if you haven't already please check out my previous posts when you get a chance.
Please don't hesitate to join the conversation, there are no right or wrong answers or questions. I'm not proclaiming to know everything, I am simply just discussing and picking topics on things that I personally have gone through and that I know would help someone.
"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."
It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I began to understand why we should always put God first in everything we do. Our Motivational Monday for this week was getting to know God by his various attributes that are listed in the bible. Once you know God and are seeking a relationship with him, then can you actively put him 1st because you will find that he is the source of your life.
Quite frankly, I had quite a hard time doing this. In fact, it wasn't until March of this year (once Covid-19 hit) that I started trying to actively put God first. I was blessed to still have a job during the Coronavirus pandemic and I was asked to consider moving in with my employers as a live-in nanny until the governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, lifted the stay at home order for our state. I ended up staying with their family for 6 months, and within that time things began to shift for me spiritually.
The first thing that I knew I had to bring with me was my bible. Even though at the time I wasn't really reading the bible, I just knew to bring it with me.
I was listening to a podcast of Iyanla Vanzant and in passing, she mentioned a Spiritual Maintenance Plan. She mentioned that just like cars, which need regular tuning and maintenance every couple thousand miles or so, we too need regular maintenance. I began to question myself, why shouldn’t God’s people have a Spiritual Maintenance Plan to help keep us grounded in God and to make sure we are connected to our source of strength.
I pondered on the idea and was like “wow she’s so right, so Sherronda let’s get into it” I began to ask myself, what does a Spiritual Maintenance Plan look like, what do I need to do in order to repair my mind, body, and spirit to keep it in excellent shape?
I began with daily affirmations to keep me fixed on God's word. My mom always told me, “you can't always carry your bible around with you.” The bible has to be embedded in your mind and in your heart so when questions or situations arise you can quickly assess which part of the word to carry out.
Bible study: Always read and study the word of God, whether it be a little or a lot. Just read something. Make a conscious effort. I don't know about you but, once I read a scripture or two, two turns into a chapter, and what I have found is that the word is so contagious.
Prayer: The bible tells us to pray without ceasing. To always pray about everything. FUN FACT: I didn't like praying out loud. I know crazy right, well it's true. I pray well in my head or in the privacy of my own space but, the very moment I have to pray out loud at church in Sunday service, bible study, or in a public setting I would immediately try to avoid it, In fact, I found every opportunity I could to get busy with something so I wouldn’t have to do it. Prayer is our lifeline to God, our connection, our relationship status to him. By getting to know God through his Word it got easier for me to pray. If you ever need to know what to say in prayer always refer to “The Lord’s Prayer.”
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever.
Once I mapped out my Spiritual Maintenance Plan (SMP) it forced me to focus on one thing and do that one thing well. Once that was mastered then I could add on other things to work on simultaneously to create a seamless routine. Over time my Spiritual Maintenance Plan grew, as yours will. Here’s my SMP:
Spiritual Maintenance Plan (March 2020)
Journaling: Making sure I write at least once within a 3-6 day window
Virtual Bible Study: I found after watching Kierra Sheard’s videos, Damascus Road Church which is a virtual bible study held over Google Meet. (Comment below and I’ll share the link to join.)
Reading the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (42-day journey; started June 2020)
Praying and Seeking A Relationship With God
Staying on the Faith Series: I stumbled upon this faith series through a family friend of mine, and ever since I’ve been hooked. The pastor is Pastor Michael Todd of the Transformation Church. He posts quite regularly on youtube preaching on various topics and series. Check him out!
These are a few tasks that needed to happen in order for me to stay grounded in the word. I did this, day in and day out, like clockwork until it was habitual, and it eventually came to a point where I would feel convicted if I didn't do these things every day. That is when I knew that I was doing something right, however, it took time and discipline to get there.
Self-Discipline is a major key element in putting God first.
In the midst of it all, there were times where I didn't want to do anything. I lost all inspiration, I got too busy, I was too tired from work, things came up out of my control, or a combination of all four. It was in times like these where I prayed and asked God to keep holding me accountable even when I didn't want to do it.
I was at a point where I was separated from all my distractions that hindered my relationship with God. If you didn’t know, let me be the first to tell you, God can't work if you have too many distractions in the way of your sight. God really had to take me out of my comfort zone (which was leaving my home) in order to get me to pay attention and to be in this place that I am now.
With Love, remember to put God first in everything that you do because that is where you draw your strength from. It is through God that we are able to wake up every morning and start our day with purpose and live according to him. Take some time and evaluate yourself to make sure that you are doing okay. In the meantime and in-between time align yourself with God because he is the joy and the strength of our lives.
Questions to consider:
How do you keep yourself accountable? Does it work or does it need work?
Do you have a Spiritual Maintenance Plan?
What are some ways that you can put God 1st?
What are some ways that you can practice self-discipline?
What is hindering you from putting God 1st? Distractions? Doubt?
“If God before me, Who can be against me”
Romans 8: 31
~Just Breathe...A Golden Dream~