Searching For the Enemy

Sometimes the most important things we take on a journey are the things packed in our minds. The stories in our heads can feel like all there is. So we need to make sure our minds are filled with good stuff that will aid us in the journey. Our thoughts. Our hopes. Our dreams.

As God teaches me His truths and how to live, I find that I try them on like clothes. Some fit like skinny jeans good and snug, while others like a loose wide sleeved blouse that flows with the wind. Rest has become an old friend who I see every now and then, while Peace has been a constant companion.

Balance is my nemesis.  When I would really like to focus on that one thing, balance reminds me otherwise. I can’t work on projects all the time. I can’t hang out with family all the time. Why do I have to choose?  Sometimes it is about finding balance between the things you love.

I am also reminded that it is really about the dance. Dances don’t last forever. They have clear beginnings, middles, and ends.  Just like us. We have to recognize where we are in the process.

With a healthy dose of “I can conquer the world” comes our doubts. Our fears. Our shortcomings. It keeps me balanced. It keeps my head in the game. It reminds me where I am at in the journey.

 

Some Days It Cracks Me Up

I like the internet, but can’t keep up with everything that happens.  I am usually behind when I finally catch on to something that has been trending a while.

Mostly because whatever is trending is blowing my mind. By that I mean it is really stupid, or it’s pretty wow or it just can’t be figured out.

But sometimes it is just stinking fun.

So with that. I am on team Laurel. I know right. Blew my mind. I went to several sights to listen to it. All the time, Laurel.  It was weird. Then I went through the house and made others listen. Yanny. Can you believe I live with a bunch of Yannys? But doesn’t it speak to how unique we all are?

Then I kept seeing this woman on the phone on some of the craziest memes. And I asked myself, what is that all about? This woman called the police because some people were grilling in a park.  That was stupid and so the internet went to town on her. And you know it is funny when you have friends and family from all over the place sharing the different memes.

This one here made me stop and take notice.

20180517_142623.jpgWhenever there is a shifting in the atmosphere there is one I call, but you can’t get Him by phone! This meme cracked me up.

It is also something that should make you stop and think before you do something someone else can make look stupid.

Yet in addition to that I read Black Guns Matter, a dehumanizing president is the most openly bigoted one ever and American Christians love it, our freedom is slipping away as we focus on the wrong things, when we put ourselves before the ones we love we end up missing the greatest day of their life and how to define my own success.

Instead of a small world that consist of my four walls, my work friends and a few people I have stayed in touched with over the years, I am drowning in a world of photos, quotes, prom and graduation photos of people I will never meet, vacation spots I never knew existed, clothing that will train my waist (lol),  exercisers, travelers, dance recitals, remarkable looking food, a valiant history that reminds me how long and hard we have fought for freedom, and I love every minute of it.

Thanks for sharing your life.

 

When You Pray Over Something

You don’t get to decide how God answers. Today God sent me a message that He has my back. Many folks today like to paint a portrait of God as love, peace, kindness…you get me. They seldom like to think of the God who strikes terror in the hearts of those who wrong the ones He loves.

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I have learned to let Christ fight my battles.  I know He is just and will dish out what the other side rightly deserves. I don’t question Him. If you ever come against me, you don’t have to worry about me trying to get you back. You might want to read Psalm 18 and see who is coming for you though.

I love that the Lord has seen fit to destroy one of my enemies on the same day the Republican house voted to destroy healthcare for millions of Americans.  It was not a day of celebration, but one where we felt sorry for the person who had done so much wrong to others.  Some had forgotten all of the wrong done to them. Not me. God assures me He will deal with all of the wrongdoers according to the measure that they dish out.  Again, I pity them., but for the most part they earned it.

For the month of April, I camped out on Psalm 18.  I fell in love with the fact that “He” is the one who defends me.  The image is absolutely terrifying and I am glad I am on His side. And what keeps me there? Repentance. Regular and often.

When God places someone in a leadership role, responsibility comes with it.  He promises to show Himself shrewd to the crooked, those who take advantage of the ones they are supposed to lead.  He will take your job, home, all your assets and leave you flat on your back so that there is no place to look but up.

As I watch elected officials take advantage of Americans and make themselves rich, I pity what is coming for them.  As I have prayed over my circumstances, He has been faithful. He has shown me He won’t allow corruption to stand, not in our government and not in our church.

This past year God has revealed Christian leadership that does not know Jesus.  I am dumbfounded by some of the things folks claiming to be Christians have said and done. I am secure in saying there is no way any of these folks could stand before the Lord and say those same things or act the same way.  Only evil can do that.

I will continue to pray and lift up these situations, but God has assured me He is going to handle it.

My Day

My sister called me fearless earlier this week and it gave me a giggle. I am not fearless. There is something I am afraid of. Whenever I find myself bending to fear something on this earth, I think Revelation 4.  There is a green and red God (for people who have issues with folks who are different than them this may be a problem) who sits on the throne surrounded by four living creatures with eyes in front and back of their head. One day we will all face this. This praise was appropriate for today because He always puts things in perspective for me.

March 11I started the day off with the optometrist because I learned last week I could get treatment for my dry eyes through my insurance. It cost $8 y’all. It was one of those moments that you don’t realize how bad something is until you feel the good. The doctor put drops in my eyes and they felt wonderful. Sometimes you don’t know things are bad until you feel the good.

I took the Rx to the pharmacy and of course the initial drug was our of my price range.

Commercial: I am living like no one else so later I can live like no one else.

The pharmacist was so cool. She found a compatible drug at a cheaper price. We confirmed it with the Dr and I was on my merry way.  Note: pharmacist know how drugs work and are a great source for finding a less expensive brand. Let the experts do their job.

Still learning how to read with my new lined bifocal. Although when I sat down to try them on,  I couldn’t see a thing. I was like “Hey, these don’t work!”  I had put on Hope’s glasses by mistake. Sometimes you can’t see because you got someone else’s stuff. Wait for your own stuff.

Winco is my favorite grocery store. With my photographed shopping list, I remembered the SPAM. My friend and I talk about this at lunch. She said spam is good. After all, she told me about a great place to buy fried fish and she was right. My friends teach me how to eat poor and cook. I got the SPAM, but only two other things on my list. Bhwaaa. Part of the adventure of life is doing things you haven’t done before.

I jump from something I have never tried to something that is a staple. Taco Soup. Fried the ground beef for the soup. I still remember the first time I had taco soup more than a decade ago during a fellowship with my BSF sisters at LABC. It is one of the first meals I cook for my daughter on Spring Break. It will be a great way to sit and reflect on the past year.

This week I finished the Dave Ramsey class, Financial Peace University. It has changed my life. I have found a new confidence in Chris and an excellent financial strategy to guide my financial principles by. I spent time this afternoon working on my list. I am living like no one else, so I can live like no one else.

 

 

 

Who Is This Crazy Lady

and why should you listen to anything she says?

I am first, a child of the Most High God. I have many roles in this life, but very few of them define me like being a Jesus follower.  I love Jesus. He gifted me with salvation. He has given me many other talents and a life full of adventure. He has created in me the ability to tell stories through several mediums: film, books and photography.

I have stood at the feet of the Great Emancipator in the District of Columbia, stood at the edge of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama and touched the Gates of Time in Oklahoma City, OK. Those are just a few of the places, I have stopped at. Not only has He given me adventure, but a heart for the people I encounter along the way.

I am also a mom, sister, travel companion, coworker, friend, annoying person who always reminds you of what God’s Word says on a subject. I cherish all of the roles (especially the latter.)

In 2016, many of you have gotten to know me by some of those roles and I would like to thank you. It has been a year full of photography, books and film. I appreciate your support.

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Karen

UPP Creative Media

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I love to tell stories. I love allowing you to connect the dots in your head. My goal is always to create a moment that you can feel. When you read or view one of my stories I want to leave an impression of hope.

I love seeing how a good story is told. Frank Capra is one of my favorite storytellers. I enjoyed seeing how he saw the world and the people in it. There is a moment in “It’s a Wonderful Life” when George realizes his dream is not going to happen.  The rest of the film shows him he has something better than what he dreamt about.

This is our life.  There are things we want in this life and some of us are killing it to achieve. And we are so disappointed when we get there and it is not what we thought it would be. But God knows what we really need. After all, He made us. He knows us intimately.

Sometimes we are sent on detours to build up our spiritual muscles for the tasks that are coming to us.  You may be on a detour right now. Soak up as much as you can. Enjoy the journey. I am on a detour right now, and it is such a blessing.IMG_5854

Just like these roses don’t pop open instantly, they have to press the hard green leaves away so that they can bloom. Know the hard green leaves that are around you are there to protect you until it is time to bloom. Remember God has a season for everything.

The best quote from BSF this month was that true worship was when your spirit meets Jesus’. Amen. Don’t miss this opportunity because it could be the thing that takes you where your spirit will bloom. You see God only creates beautiful things.

It is my quest to stay connected to Jesus so that the work that comes from me will make you laugh. Be Encouraged. Live.

 

Amazing

How you answer questions determines where you are in life. I got a good picture of where I am in life.

I got a text this week that I needed to change my emergency contact from my mom. You know it is in those moments that I realize what I lost. It made me sad. No one on earth will care about me the way my mom did. She cared about where I went, what I did, was I getting enough rest, did I eat.  If someone had ever called with an emergency she would have said “Where is she?”  She would not have cared what was wrong, but would have broken barriers to be with me.

But isn’t it a good God who gives you this kind of care for a portion of your life? I know some people never get that kind of love. I am blessed that He gave her to me.

Another question I ran across this week was “What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?” I didn’t have to think about it long. My answer was all of the stuff I have been doing, the writing, the photography, the filmmaking. Crazy thing is, I never thought about it that way. I have just been doing what God planted inside of me. He has been so gracious in leading me. I feel blessed to be able to look back and see that I am doing what He made me to do. I can’t think of anything else I would want to do.

My life is in a good place and so can yours. So if you take those daily steps of spending time with the Lord, one by one; you will look around one day and see what an incredible place He leads you too. I live my life saying “I am going to do what God wants me to do” and He leads me to a path that fulfills all my desires. People will ask you questions and you will think: Wow!Some days I am overwhelmed by His love and thoughtfulness. He is so amazing. But Israel and Yolanda Adams sing it better.