relationships

Are You Stuck?

Throughout my fight with my health challenges, I would experience paralysis that could sometimes last for weeks on end. I would be stuck in the bed and not be able to move. There would be times that I couldn’t even get up to go to the bathroom and had to get help to do the necessities of life. You can become paralyzed sometimes throughout different phases in your life. It will cause you not to even perform  basic functions.

Paralysis (according to dictionary.com):

1.To cause (a person or part of the body) to become partly or wholly incapable of movement

2.To render (someone) unable to think or act normally, especially through panic or fear:

3.To bring (a system, place, or organization) to a standstill by causing disruption or chaos:

There are things that you experience in life that will immobilize you from moving   fully into who you are in the process of becoming. Dreams, goals, and desires won’t be manifested. When paralysis sets in you can begin to operate in a way that is out of character. You can be driven by fear or panic and make decisions up you wouldn’t normally make. Instead of operating in faith, it can push you to make irrational decisions and not sound decisions.  It will literally disrupt life as you may know it. At times when I was paralyzed, I would be attempting to move my body. In my mind, I felt I was moving and making some kind of progress. Yet my physical therapist would tell me I was in the same position.  I would be so tired from trying to move. I tired myself out and went absolutely nowhere. Sometimes we think we are making progress and moving, but we are stuck. Some heart issues like unforgiveness, fear of rejection, and hurt can cause us to be stagnant. Healing is needed so you can experience life the way God intended.  There is nothing that you have done in your past that can cause you not to move forward in your future. Whom the Son has set free, is free indeed! There is freedom in Christ. You don’t have to bound by any sin or shame.

Mark 2; 1-12 refers to the paralytic who was carried by his four friends. They couldn’t help him so they wanted to carry him to the place where Jesus was located. They knew that his situation may have appeared hopeless or impossible, but they knew that nothing was impossible with Jesus. They could get him in the house with Jesus. It was too crowded, so they went up to the roof top. They tore a hole in the roof top to lower his bed into the house so he could be in His presence. They were determined to get their friend the help he needed. They had to think outside the box and the norm  ear one another’s burden, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1). Surround yourselves with people who are willing and has the ability to carry you in the presence of God when you can’t get yourself there. Do not forget to be that friend or loved one for others in your life as well. Sometimes we have the people who are there to support, but do we offer them the same support?

This is a side note. To those of you who are still single (not married), make sure your mate can have the ability to catch you in the spirit and can carry you to His presence. Two believers can still be unequally yoked. The oxen were yoked together with those who could carry the same weight so they could reach the destined place or fulfill the assignment. Now back to the topic at hand.

 

The house was crowded with people. There were bystanders who watched in amazement to see the miracles that took place. People observed the friends carry the paralytic on the roof and watched the miracle took place. We all will experience times when we may be immobilized and seem like we may need support/help to get to the place where we can walk again. No one can function effectively by themselves.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-11

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

It is okay for us to let our loved ones know that we need help. Do not allow the enemy to make you feel bad for needing help at times. He tries to get us alone so he can prey on us. He doesn’t go after the pack of sheep, he singles the one that is alone. He looks for the ones who are weak to devour. Are you the paralytic who needs to be carried to Jesus for healing? Are you the faithful friends who will do what is required to get others to Jesus? Or are you are the bystander who is in awe as God and others work around us?  The awesome thing is no matter where we find ourselves, there is always an answer. There is always hope.  Don’t be dismayed or discouraged!!

 

Remember, leave no treasure undiscovered!

 

paralytic

Love Requires Work

Communication and unmet expectations is one of the major issues in all relationships. You can share your heart with individuals over and over. Until a person realizes and identifies the issue, they will not change. Sometimes we expect to receive love from people who don’t have the capacity in their heart to love you. Or it could be that they aren’t willing to make room in their heart for you. So, it takes you to understand whether a person has the ABILITY or WILLINGNESS to love you. Then you must adjust your perspective, love, and accept them for who they are today. If you don’t you will be hurt and disappointed repeatedly because of expectations not being met. Love is a choice. We choose to love or not to love the people in our lives. All relationships require give and take. Both people must pour into the relationship. Boundaries may have to be placed so that you won’t end up in a deficit. You teach people how to love you. If you keep accepting anything, you are saying it’s okay. Don’t be afraid to communicate what you need in relationships. Sometimes we make people feel wrong for communicating their needs. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad for sharing how you feel.  Gary Chapman author of one of my favorite books identify our love languages (the way we communicate care and love) as the following:

  • Quality time
  • Words of affirmation
  • Physical touch
  • Gifts
  • Acts of service

 

Everyone communicate love differently. It is insane for us to think that everyone loves the same way. I know that each person in my life have different needs in relationships. So, I try my best to communicate with them in their languages and meet their needs in our relationships. Just like if you have children. Each of your children will have different needs. Therefore, you communicate your love with them in the way they require. However, often we try to love everyone in our lives the same way or maybe we don’t even consider the certain relationships beyond a certain scope. All relationships take work and effort. You don’t get in your car or live in your house without paying attention to it to see if it needs maintenance. You know that your car requires gas and oil. Relationships require maintenance. If you have a relationship that is important to you, be sure that you check in from time to time. There may be some relationships change over time. As we grow, our needs may change. I recently noticed that my love language changed. After growth in some areas of my life, I realized that my main two love languages aren’t the same anymore. I never thought that those would now be different.  Evaluate and check in with your loved ones from time to time. You should be comfortable expressing your needs in relationships. If a person makes you feel bad for that, they may not be willing to put in the work. Could it be that what you are expressing could reflect something they aren’t ready to address?

 

Romans 12:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)

10 Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor;

Let’s Talk About Sex

              October 27, 2016

 I’m tired of just hanging with the guys or girls. I want to be on a date like the rest of my friends who are booed up. Girl, that’s easy for you to say when you are going home to a man in your bed every night. Sound familiar?  Even if you aren’t single now you, I am sure you went through this stage at one point in your life. We all have been here if you are honest with yourself. I can’t say what you have encountered, so let me be transparent with you about what I have experienced. My last relationship was 8 years ago. Yes 8 years! I found that whenever I made the decision to be celibate and honor God with my body 15 years ago my dating life wasn’t as easy. Some people think that it is impossible to be celibate in a relationship.  It may not be easy, but it isn’t impossible. When God tells us, that sex should be within the covenant of marriage, He is not attempting to set you up to fail. God isn’t a jerk that wants to send you on a wild goose chase knowing you will never be able to maintain or obtain He has asked you to do. He would never give you anything to do that is impossible. I have no special ability and NO the call of God on my life doesn’t make it easier for me. It most certainly takes effort in keeping myself out of situations that could lead to sex.

Being single in and no committed relationship or courtship doesn’t make it less challenging either. You must use wisdom and don’t put yourself in situations where you know good and well it will make you want to have sex. I don’t care how close you are with God. You can have him on speed dial or wearing iron clad underwear, but it doesn’t mean you won’t have to fight sexual temptation. There’s no special superpower someone has to deny themselves. It takes using wisdom, discipline, and self -control.  Now I have done some pretty dumb things earlier while being celibate and everyone can’t do some of those things. Wisdom went straight out the window. For example, I was in a relationship and use to spend the night at his home. Wait for it…. not in separate rooms but in the same bed. Now you know God wasn’t pleased!  We are to stay abstain from the very appearance of evil. Now we didn’t even share a kiss, but was sharing a bed. I wish you could see my expression on my face. That could have destroyed my witness and destroyed my reputation if it was exposed. What if we were caught doing something so reckless?  Who would have believed that we weren’t having sex better yet not even kissing? I bet no one is raising your hand right about now. Well Tara, you are a minister so you can’t do anything like that. Oh, really? When did the Word of God only applied for the leaders and ministers of the gospel? Oh, we try to talk ourselves out of things that we don’t want to know the truth about. We fight with ideas and other scriptures to justify what we are doing in our lives. We compare our lives to others.

 “At least I am not doing, what they are doing! So God I am not that bad! God is still working on me! He knows my heart!”

 Yes, we all have areas in our lives that we can stand to grow more. God can’t work on you unless you open your heart to Him in that area. You must let him be Lord over every area of your life. We try to pick and choose where we want Him to lead.  We want Him to protect us. We want Him to provide for us, but our relationships are off limit. I hear already someone saying.

“I go to work every day and I work for my own money. I work hard for what I do.”

If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!”—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:18

Some of us get in relationships He didn’t lead us in, but we want Him to bless our relationship. The relationship that we entered ourselves without seeking Him about. Now that we have invested so much of ourselves we just ask God to bless the relationship. Now that relationship could be the one God has for you. Sometimes we move ahead of Him. You could have the right relationship at the wrong time. That is another message for another day. My people! My heart truly aches for this generation. We know so much, but we know nothing.  Thank God that He gave me grace to use wisdom and to make some sound decisions when I was behaving recklessly.  When you are in courtship, you should let God lead you in your convictions. No God doesn’t want you having sex, sharing your bed, and giving your body to someone who isn’t your wife or husband. I know that society tells you that it is okay if you love him and know you are going to marry him. Engaged doesn’t mean married and unfortunately that doesn’t please God. God isn’t trying to punish you. Have you ever thought that He commanded that because He knew all the things we could encounter? Have you ever thought that maybe that it was His way of protecting us even from ourselves?  Sexual sin is one of the only sins that you can commit against your own body. You don’t have to have sex with your partner to keep them. If they love you, they will wait and encourage you along the way. If they do not, then look at it as God’s way of protecting you.

 “Tara, I don’t feel I am having sex with my boo to keep them…Girl I am the one that wants to have sex. I have a high libido. I feel closer to them when we have sex. It gives us a deeper connection”

I have heard all of those before and I urge you to dig deeper for your reason. Maybe it is because it has always been your MO and you are just used to having sex in a relationship. How else will you know that you will be sexually satisfied with someone before you marry. Will you take a used car home from the dealership without test driving?  Your body is not a Benz, Lexus, or Jeep. When God leads you to your mate, they will have everything you desire and require. He is your Creator; He knows the number of hairs on your big head. Surely He can give you someone to satisfy you sexually. He knows your body better than you know. It is called TRUST! Now if you have had sex before marriage, pray that you have every negative soul tie from your past broken. Soul ties were created to be a beautiful thing. However, when your soul is connected to someone God didn’t intend or before the right season, it only complicates things. Ever had that boo that something just keep pulling you back? You can’t seem to move on and you know that it is over or should be? It is probably a soul tie. Before you enter marriage pray that any soul ties you have had in the past is gone. Your spouse will be competing with someone who is no longer in your life. Yet, they could very well be in your bed.  You could think you aren’t sexually satisfied because you experienced better with someone else.  That is why we aren’t supposed to have sex outside the realms of marriage. God wants you to have mind blowing sex within the covenant of marriage. This is important even if you are already married and haven’t done this.

 No sex before marriage will allow you to think more clearly. You can hear clearly about what God is speaking to you about this individual. Sex complicates things and sometimes become anesthesia to the real issues in your relationship. It makes you numb to the problems and allow you to turn a blind eye to things you normally wouldn’t. It is never too late for you to be celibate and decide to wait. Is it harder if you are already engaged in sex?? YES, but thank God that it isn’t impossible. It starts with your decision that you want to experience God’s best in that area of your life. If you are in an intimate relationship already, it may be harder for you to make the decision. However, His grace is sufficient. It will require some effort on your part and putting boundaries in place. If you think you have the greatest relationship now, it will make it that much greater. I must keep it real. Now in some cases, your relationship won’t last. You may start to see things that were once vague. You may not like what you see. You may be afraid of seeing the truth. That could be one of your reasons you haven’t initiated the process yet. Just know that whatever the reasons, this isn’t impossible for you to do. This isn’t just a bunch of bologna and it isn’t the new popular craze. It has been being done for centuries. It is what God desires for your life.

I have found that some of the strongest connections I experienced in past relationships were ones where we chose to honor God with our bodies. It causes you to dig deeper and to face the music sometimes for a song that you don’t want to hear. Yet, it will be one of the greatest decisions you have made in your life. For those of you that have already made that commitment, I am sending you a virtual high five and hug. I know it’s not easy, but the rewards of being obedient to God is much sweeter. Oh, yes! The enemy, will highlight other relationships where you know people are having sex and it appears that they are still being blessed with marriage. Why am I being faithful and all these other people around me have a woman or man? They look happy and I’m still waiting. What is the point of not having sex if everyone still getting the same reward? Marriage isn’t the ultimate reward of being celibate. That is not a promise if you keep yourself. That isn’t the reason you should not have sex. It should be because you want to honor God with your body and commit yourself on another level to Him. Now there are fringe benefits that come along with honoring God, but don’t let it be just for marriage. Why? When you don’t get married right away or waiting for years, it will be hard to continue. It will become easier to leave your decision to be celibate behind in the dust. I didn’t sit down to write about abstaining from sex until marriage. I thought I was going to encourage someone through their season of singleness, but God had another plan. God loves you so much that He interrupted the regular program to share His heart for you. I will post the other blog later. I must always be led and go with His leading.  . This isn’t something that is my personal opinion and that I made up because it sounds good. It is just the Word of God. Even if you don’t believe in Him abstinence really is a great protection plan. It allows  you to focus more on the deeper things in relationships that we don’t always discover until it’s too late. I can truly go on and on, but I just want to start the conversation

I truly want to hear from you all about your thoughts on having sex before marriage. I have received many emails and messages about this topic and keep them coming. I don’t always address them on an open forum unless God leads me, but you will get a response. The conversation about sex is so taboo. If we don’t talk about it, we will continue to be deceived. Let’s talk about sex! 

Tara S. Middleton

 

 

 July 26, 2016

 

When I was only 110-125 lbs for 30 years of my life, people teased me that I was too skinny. “Girl you need to put some weight on those bones!” “A man need some meat to hold onto”. “You are way too little”. I wanted to gain weight because I started believing what everyone was saying. I needed more curves or thicker legs. If only I could get to 135 lbs, then I’ll be good. That was the maximum weight I wanted to be in my life. Then I gained weight after my health challenge, people started telling me that I was too big. “You are going to be huge”. My body has gone through a huge transformation throughout this time. However, I had to not listen to others when it came to how they think I should look.I had to love my  body no matter what it looked like. Whatever goal I set for myself now, is because I am doing it for myself and no one else. After what I have gone through, I’m thankful I’m still living in this body.I am grateful that I am alive. I have to remind myself of that and thank God daily!

It is something that is engraved so much into society now. We often forget that people have to live in these bodies after you leave them with those words. Our words hold weight and even though we say things innocently to someone, it doesn’t mean it won’t affect them. So my point is LOVE YOUR BODY no matter the size or how it is shaped!! If you are currently battling this, each morning go in the mirror and tell yourself “I LOOK GREAT. I LOVE MY BODY”!  Give special attention to the areas that you consider problem areas. Lets call them your sexy or love areas.

If there’s something that you want to work on to be healthier ,it will motivate you to do that. Consult with your physician if you are over 30, and you want to run. Create a workout plan for you. I will be doing another blog about achieving your goal weight, so stay tuned.  Just be sure you are doing it for you and not because of the pile of words that been planted on the inside of you. I decree and declare every negative seed that has been planted to be plucked up and I call crop failure on those seeds. Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image! Be encouraged you are a overcomer!!!

#lovetheskinyouarein #TransformationTuesday #loveyou#whoareyoulisteningto #EmbraceYou#Thankfulforabody #HappytoBeAlive#motivation #iblog #blogger #inspire#Healthy #healthieryou

Are you sharing your gift?

Have you been going through any challenges lately? Do you know anyone going through any challenges? Often times you don’t think about the people going through things in the world you may not now and sometimes not even the people that you may know. I was sitting listening to the young girl who lost her arm due to a shark attack while surfing. Can you imagine the challenges she faced? Being afraid of water, sharks, and surfing? Trying to function with one arm? However, this young girl persevered and faced all of her fears and she is now one of the world’s best surfers. She focused on giving back and helping others in spite of her own struggles. Many people can stand to learn a lesson from this young lady. She overcame more challenges from that one trial that many of you have faced in a lifetime. Sometimes you can be stuck just inside your own world that you fail to see those who could be suffering next to you. I’m working a full time job! I’m married! I have children! I’m busy in ministry! Any of these sound familiar? These are just a few of the things I have heard or been guilty of saying myself at times. Truth remains you make time for the things that you deem important. If you stop for a second and get your eyes off of your problems, maybe you can help someone else with theirs. What if your encouraging words, phone call, errand, finances, or even just a hug could strengthen someone for the journey? What if you were the solution or answer to someone’s problems? Sometimes it only takes a few minutes. One of the ways that I get through my challenges is helping other people. It doesn’t matter what capacity as long as it’s within my power or ability to do. I actually prayed years ago that God made me a solution to a particular class of people in society. I am not perfect and I am not a saint. However, I have learned through my challenge how to be victorious no matter what situation I may be facing .I desire for those around me and others to be to be victorious as well. Stop focusing on your own problems and all the reasons you told yourself you CAN’T help. Focus on what you CAN do! Your problems won’t seem as big when you realize that there are people who may be dealing with much more than you. Have you lost an arm lately? Are you fighting for your life? Are you able to get up and dress yourself? Are you able to walk without assistance? Are you able to go to a job and work? Are you breathing on your own? I am not trying to belittle your trials, but I want you to be grateful for the things you don’t have to fight for day by day. Reach out beyond yourself and help someone else. Everyone has been given some kind of gift or talent. Are you sharing your gift? Gifts are supposed to be shared with others, not just for yourself. Remember treasure lies on the inside of you, do not let it go undiscovered!

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