Strength For Your Mountain Diaries

Sunday, August 2, 2020



Image by Thomas Skirde from Pixabay

Some people make it their business to control your life. Just as puppeteers control puppets, there are people that spend a lot of time and energy pulling other people's strings. I am sure you have met them, I call them the people puppeteers.

Think about string puppets. While there is a science as to how professional string puppeteers do their job, the people puppeteers to which I'm referring are operate quite differently.

Professional string puppeteers pull strings directing puppet body movements. The puppet goes along with puppeteer, thus having no control whatsoever. Do you see where I am going with this? Hence, here are my questions:

        •  Are you a people puppet? 
        • Is anybody pulling your strings? 
        • Are your actions knowingly or unknowingly controlled by others?

Trying to live a life controlled by humans can be exhausting. People can be relentless and manipulative. God did not intricately fashion your innermost being just so you could live your life being jerked around or controlled by others. Living your life according to other people's agendas leads you to become dog-tired, depressed, confused, and unfulfilled.

Action step: Cut your strings from puppeteer hands and be free!  

How do you do this? I am so glad you asked! First, acknowledge that you have allowed others to pull your strings. Next, resolve in your heart you no longer wish to live the remainder of your life as a people puppet. Once you have made this internal resolution, exhale. You are headed in the right direction.  As situations arise where the previous people puppeteers, try and "grab your strings" back, stand firm in your resolve. Yes, you may offend some. You may even lose a friend or two, but still, you need to be free.

Often, if a person is trying to control me or my actions, I usually respond like so, "Thank you. I will keep your suggestion in mind." But then, I step back emotionally, maybe even physically. 

Side note: For married people, your action steps and dialogue will most likely be a bit more detailed. Prayerfully, the two of you should function as conjoined individuals working towards harmony.

Ok, back to what I was saying. Here is some free advice. Do not engage in unfruitful discussions with controlling people. Save your energy and breath for more productive things, like exercise, prayer, meditation, or just take a good old fashioned rejuvenating nap instead!

Takeaway: Don't be a people puppet Realize that God formed you to flourish as an extraordinary individual. Search yourself. Study yourself. Remember who you are and what you believe. Then live life accordingly. My personal rule of thumb is unless you are Jesus, my strings don't belong to you! Trust me, I have lived my life in a lot of ways, but I have discovered that living in freedom is a lot easier than living life as a people puppet.


So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.

John 8:36 AMP



Monday, July 20, 2020

Courageous Conversations

 I had the opportunity to chat with my friend Vickie Davis about fighting racism and stereotypes. We were both a bit nervous at first but decided to go ahead and begin the conversation on a tough topic. Click on the link below and let me know what you think. 

                           Let’s Talk Racism

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Mountain That Would Not Move

Photo by Kenneth Edmier                      

It would not move. I had to climb it. Step by step it had to be done. It would not move. I was praying. I was pleading. I was tarrying. Yet, my mountain would not move. How did this become a mountain anyway? In other words, how did this become a problem? When did it first begin and why is it still here? Have you ever had a mountain that appeared immovable? Resistant to any of your tactics. Something ever bothered you to the point of consuming all of your energy? You felt as though your life would be much easier it was not for this mountain. What is your mountain? How are you going to deal with it? I thought about going around my mountain. Just avoiding it altogether. Pretending like it did not even exist. How dare you creep into my life and take up residence mountain! What is the purpose of this conglomerate thing! Dear God, will you ever move this? Will you fix my problem? Make it be right. Maybe the mountain is there because I need to climb it. Maybe in attempting to climb it, I'll garner strength for the journey. Maybe during the climb, I'll rely on the Father to keep me from falling.

The Last to Know

I thought I had it all figured out. I had managed to get through the day, barely, but I made it. Whew! Once the kids were in bed I collapsed as usual across my bed. “My God! Why me?” “Andrea, “ I called to myself. “ Did you eat at all today? What about a shower?Had any adult conversations lately? Uh, I know you didn’t floss but did you at least BRUSH any of your teeth today? Girl, you have got to do better! But you can start again in the morning because after all His compassions are new every morning. Press reset and unplug yourself.” Same song. Heavier and heavier each night. Nights turned into weeks. Followed by months. Then I noticed one year, two years, five years.... my God. Where does this get easier! Fast forward 12 years later..My oldest boy is graduating from Marine boot camp! Watching him march in step with his other fellow recruits, I was reminded of all the things the enemy threw at me regarding my son over those years. I read the statistics about one-parent homes. I saw the movie. I heard the clamor. Odds were definitely against three African American boys living on a dirt road in rural Southwest Georgia in a single-parent home with their mom. As I stood there holding back tears of joy, the weight of anxiety and apprehension was lifted from my person. I felt much lighter. My posture improved. My breathing became more relaxed. My capillaries and arteries vasodilated to increase circulation throughout my body. Finally, I could exhale. I finally got it. That son belonged to God. What a relief! Someone told me they prayed for me and my boys. Someone told me that God would help me. I had read it. I had sung. Now I knew that God heard and answered my pleas for help. From the first night of single moma-hood to this graduating moment. God swooped us up and preserved us. Now I ask myself..”Andrea, others believed God on your behalf when you doubted. Others interceded for you. Repeatedly, you heard About God's faithfulness. But now, still, before me was this young man in blue pants and black top, pristine as can be Marine uniform. No longer was there apprehension about God's love. No longer did I wonder how it would all turn out. Someone told me. I had read it. Now I lived it. But I guess I was the last to know.

Sideways Beauty

       Photo by Susan Sanders

Nothing about this turned out like it was supposed to. All of the plans I made, all the time and resources invested. Although things are unrecognizable, even to me, they are no surprise to God.
Before I took my first breath, He saw beauty in what I would consider to be shambles. I would definitely turn things around to better suit me but then I’d miss the beauty here right where I am. I would call it sideways because my plans got twisted. I would not describe as turned upside down, just turned sideways. You know, altered. Look at the picture on this page. See it? Lovely isn’t it. Nothing really wrong with its beauty, the appearance is just sideways. Kinda like how I perceive my life. There is still beauty in the flower even though it’s sideways.

Now, straighten the picture without rotating your device or page. Were you able to turn the picture without rotating your device?

Seemed like the more I focused on straightening (rotating) my life the more angled it became. It was just sideways and no matter how much I cried, no matter how much I prayed or pleaded with God, I could not turn things my way.  Everything was off-kilter, that is according to me. I just could not get the flower (my life) like it was supposed to be.

I missed the whole point of what God was trying to get me to see. Yes, I was frustrated. Yes, I was disappointed. Ashamedly, I was a tad mad. This was not what I planned for my life. It was not supposed to be this way. I gripped so much until it finally dawned on me to just chill. Internally, I told myself to calm down. Even though the flower is sideways, it’s still beautiful. It’s still a flower. It’s still blooming, even while it’s sideways. Just blooming in another direction. It’s such a beautiful flower.

Life does not always turn out the way you plan. There will be setbacks. There will be disappointments.
Stop complaining about being sideways and recognize the beauty in the sideways blooms.

God's love for me is no less in my sideways state and I’m just as beautiful to Him sideways as I would be upright.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

The Stuff

Seems like every day there's something in my way! Can I just get a clear path to where I'm supposed to be, please? I've been a really good girl and I think I deserve it. 


The stuff in my way is definitely weighing me down. I mean, I can't even think straight! It's affecting my sleep and I must stop these stressful munchies.


The stuff of people's opinion.

The stuff of people's actions.

The stuff that I tell myself and only myself

The stuff I worry about that never happens

The stuff in my past

The stuff I'm too embarrassed to pray about

The stuff I wish I had never done

The stuff I should have done

The stuff on TV

The stuff on the radio

The stuff on social media



Yeah, that stuff is real. If there was no stuff, I'd be a totally different person. Who knows, maybe I could accomplish a goal or two. It's like I got stuff, and you got stuff. We all got stuff.


This stuff is shortening my life and threatened my serenity and productivity

The stuff frustrates me to high heaven. 

It's suffocating me and I must rid myself of all resemblance of stuff.


I need an unstuffed life. Remove this stuff and hear from God. It was never His intention for me to have all this stuff anyways. I am sure He is more than happy to rid me of all of this so I can be fully in sync with Him. On the other side of the stuff I betcha there's creativity waiting for me. I'm convinced that God is singing over me but the stuff is preventing me from hearing the melody. Dear me, the stuff is robbing me of quality life.


Put the stuff down chica. Drop it right there and be on your way. That's right. You heard me. Put it down right now and begin to live a stuff free life.


Other folks opinion, gone

Other peoples actions, trashed

The crazy conversations between me and me ceased

 My worries, goodbye

The excessive fascination is electronic gadgets and social media, unplugged


For stuff to be so abstract, it consumes a lot of valuable space


God remove the stuff

God remove the stuff

God remove the stuff and free my soul

God remove the stuff and free my mind

God remove the stuff so I can see you

God remove the stuff so I can hear you

God remove the stuff so You and I can enjoy a more intimate relationship

Remove the stuff so I can be free


Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and Ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matt 11:28-29

Let Your Kingdom Come

In Your time Lord, on Your day. O how we are weary and thirsty from wandering in the desert. On that day of Your return, all will be made right. We shall be eternally changed from the desolate, barren, thirsty, and withered to the replenished, and forever satisfied people. We will be changed forever in Your Kingdom that has no end. When Your Kingdom comes, all hurting will cease. Crying will become a distant memory. Burdens lifted. Sorrows dissipated. Sadness shall forever be exchanged for gladness, and we will be eternally penetrated and overtaken by Your Glory. The awareness of You will be apparent, and we shall pause indefinitely to give due reverence. All of the glory, all of the honor, dominion, and majesty belongs to You God, our Father let Your Kingdom Come.
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. 
Even so, come Lord Jesus. Rev. 22:20