Welcome

Embracing Me is an opportunity for us to connect with ourselves...learning to embrace the God within. The post that I share with you are very real. The experiences of my life (whether good, bad or indifferent) sought to develop me into a Woman who honors the God that dwells inside of me.

For over 10 years I fought against sharing my life's experiences with the world but I also neglected to fully share my gifts. You may ask why I denied myself to live and the answer is fear! After relinquishing the fear of my own thoughts as well as the thoughts of others I have decided to do and be all that God has ordained. He chose me to share my testimonies through songs, poetry, short stories and encouraging words.

I invite you to travel with me as I journey into yet another fearful place, seeking to please the Father while providing healing, restoration and inspiration as chosen. It is my hope that these words will improve your daily living.

My charge to you: Think Well. Do Well. Speak Well. Be Well. Live Well.


"For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." - Isaiah 55:10-11

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Value of Positivity

Great morning and Happy Friday!

I pray you are well and in great spirits. Today I share a moment of awakening! 

This morning I rose at 5am, sat quietly praying and meditating. When I finished, a great sense of peace came over me. I said out loud, "I am well. I am healthy. I am whole. I am loved. I am full of goodness." I smiled, realizing I have spoken these words over and over for the past 16 years and suddenly, this day, I realize the value in what I've spoken to myself about my state of being. Somewhere and somehow over these years, I've come to BE what I've spoken and had not even realized it. 

Healing did not happen overnight. Peace was not obtained without turmoil. Calmness did not magically appear without chaos. Clarity did not manifest without confusion. Love did not come without great understanding. 

God is rich in grace, gentle in mercy, full of love (which He freely gives). He knows how He created us and who He designed each of us to BE. This morning I encourage you to seek to know thyself, and Embrace your strategically God-crafted design. Speak well over yourself. Do not cave to the negative voices of others, and certainly do not give in to negative self talk. There's value in positivity that manifest when you think it, speak it, and believe it - you then BECOME what you think, speak, and believe.

"If thou canst believe, ALL things are possible to him that believeth." (Mark 9:23)

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Think well, Do well, Speak well, Be well, & Live well! Have an amazingly beautiful day -- ON PURPOSE! Embrace The Value of Positivity!

Love,

Stacie J. Whitaker-Harris

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Common Thread

Great day & Happy Thursday!
 
Today I am in a rather emotional state of being. I am not depressed or overwhelmed or having thoughts of suicide, neither do I feel like bringing harm to others. Like many other times, I am in a reflective posture.
 
My heart aches for my friends (who are MORE than that, they are my brothers) that buried their dad this week. My heart aches for my cousin who buried her son not long ago. My heart aches for my two Sister-friends (one buried her dad and the other buried her mother).  My heart aches for all those experiencing pain, grief, and sickness. My heart even aches and yearns for my own parents who transitioned this life sixteen plus years ago.
 
This week I traveled to my hometown (Baltimore), for my Brother-Friends dad's funeral. Driving over thirteen hundred (1300) miles round trip gave me plenty of time to think. I played music to distract my thoughts but somehow I always came back to them. Both life (babies being born) and death have a way of making you stop and ponder about the past, present, and even the future. 
 
Today's message shares a common thread with every post written in the past, one of hope, of love, of encouragement, of uplift; but most importantly, one that is real and relates to each and every one of us. Pain unexpectedly seems to find us no matter how much we try to dodge it's grip. How we deal with pain (our reactions) matter more than the pain itself. Some of us allow grief and pain to strangle life from us. We become severely depressed. We become overly anxious and nervous. We withdraw from life (although we appear to be present). We try suppressing our thoughts and feelings with illegal and even legal substances. We eat obsessively. We become so angry that we lash out at people who love and care for us. I could go on and on about the ways in which we respond to our internal pains. Instead, I will share with you a reminder:
Regardless of whether you believe in God or not, or whether you read the bible or not; God is near and His word tells us that their is a time and a season for EVERYTHING that we experience in this life. You will laugh, and cry, and be up and then down. You will enjoy the gift of life and mourn those same lives. You enjoy a time of fruitfulness and growth and a time of what appears to be decay (or stagnation) in growth. You will have times where you have much to say and other times where you will be have nothing to say at all. (Paraphrase from Ecclesiastes 3)
My prayer for you today is that you embrace each season as it comes. Additionally, do not be afraid to ask for help. We all need help through difficult situations sometimes. Do not allow noise to cloud the silence you may need (but not want). It may be in the silence that you find peace and healing. No one should tell you to "just get over it." That is not in the word, but each of us should try uplifting others with love and gentleness in their times of grief and pain. And seriously, if you just feel like you are NOT moving beyond your pain and it begins to affect your daily life (you cannot get out of bed, you do not feel like life has purpose or meaning, you feel suicidal, you cannot eat or sleep) than by all means, seek medical help. 
 
COUNSELING IS NOT A DIRTY WORD!!! 
 
I do not have a fancy, trumped up ending to this post. I just simply wanted to remind those dealing with pain that you are not alone!!!
 
PRAYER:
Holy and loving God, hear the cry of your children. We need you at this moment. Heal hearts that are broken. Be the comfort people need in this moment. Ease stress and make burdens light. Be with the rejected, neglected, betrayed, and those feeling lost and hopeless. Send living angels in the earth to meet their needs. Help us to hear the heart cries of those around us. Help us to be listening ears. And Lord, when we don't know what to pray or what to say, hear what's in our tears. Allow hugs to be enough in the moment. Surround us with love, support and encouragement. Thank you for all you are and all you do! Most importantly, allow us to rest in You. Be our strength. We trust you, In Jesus name, Amen
 
 
 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pouring into Me

This morning I posted on Facebook an acknowledgement of being in an unpleasant and extremely uncomfortable place, knowing that it was for my good. I confirmed that I would grow from the process and thus, I embrace the process.
 
Quite often we feel like uncomfortable places serve as  a place or source of pain and therefore it must be "evil."  However, I see the opportunity in the place where I am right now. I see God pruning me and teaching me to see myself clearly outside of the noise in my head as well as outside sources that try to bring me to a lower thinking of my self-worth.
 
Yesterday, I enjoyed the awesome pleasure of listening to and learning from my Pastor, Randy Rainwater and my brothers and sisters in Christ at Grace New Hope, about value. We discovered that we often place our value in things instead of realizing God made us valuable from the time we were born. 
 
Not that I had not heard these words before, but yesterday, they resonated within my being. In that moment I decided that for as much as we give of ourselves in the ministry of family, community, church, in our jobs (or however we give); we must not allow our withdrawals to reduce us to a place of emptiness. Emptiness clutters our minds and clouds our vision of SELF. We begin to feed on lies of things such as; success and failure, rejection and pain, low times and high times, are our source of value.
 
So today, I pour back into myself first by asking God to renew my mind and cleanse my heart. Then I deposit powerful, positive WORDS into my mind by speaking out loud:
I am enough! I am valuable! I am useful! I am helpful! I am amazing! I am beautifully and wonderfully made! My Father loves me! I love me! I am deserving of love and I receive love from those around me! I represent love! I am right where I am supposed to be and that is enough for me!
Today, I encourage you to pour into YOURSELF FIRST! That is not a selfish act, in fact, it is an act of love for God, yourself, and others God calls you to serve.

Embrace the Pouring! Embrace self-love! Embrace Yourself!

I love you! Have a magnificent day!

Stacie J. Whitaker-Harris

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Be Patient With Yourself!

 
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer"
(Romans 12:12)
 


 
How many times have you heard a friend, family member, co-worker, church member or even a Pastor make references to being patient? 
 
You have heard things like:
Be patient, God is with you.   
Be patient, love will find you.  
Be patient, the job you want will come.  
Be patient, your time of suffering will end.  
Be patient, you will win if you stay the course.  
Be patient, things will change. 
Be patient, you will grow up soon enough. (then you'll complain about being grown)  
Over the course of my life I have NOT always been patient in, through, or with the circumstances of my life. However, it is this same course (in my life) that paved the way for patience to grow in me. I used to run this race FAST, hoping to arrive at specific destinations or desired outcomes sooner rather than later. Quite often, I ran when I possibly should have walked and in the end, I succumb to crawling before I could walk again. 
 
I tried to hurry to complete college degrees which turned into an almost eighteen year journey (I am still in school).
 
I hurriedly pushed towards love and marriage which ended in abuse and eventually divorce.
I rushed into jobs, only to find no satisfaction and to learn those jobs did not match my career aspirations. I found myself empty and void of meaning and purpose because I thought if I did not accomplish my goals quickly that "slowly" meant I was a failure.
 
The act of being patient is one often talked about, but never really thoroughly examined, nor justified with adequate explanation of HOW to arrive at a state of patience.
 
According to Dictionary.com, the quality of being patient is an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay. It is the bearing of misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation or the like. It is quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.
 
Physical, Spiritual, Mental, Financial, Academic, and Social progress requires constant self assessment (introspection / reflection) to see overall growth. 
 
Do not define yourself according to your circumstances, but rather, according to God's spoken word of who and whose you are! Know this; where you are now is not where you WERE in years past and it is not where you will BE in years to come! Be faithful in and through the processes of life.
 
Today, I encourage you to BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF, knowing the race is not given to the swift but to the ones who endure until the end!
 
Embrace the race! Embrace YOU!
 
 
Sending Blessings of Love,
 
 
Stacie J. Whitaker-Harris
 
 
 
 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Burning, Aching Flesh

At this moment, my legs, hips, gluts and even my feet feel like a million bee stings! I am hot, sweaty, and exhausted, but somehow I am full of energy and ready to go the extra mile!

No, I am not sick. In fact, my doctor told me today I am in excellent health! Equally, I am energetic and my spirits exude light and elevation. My body's burns and aches result directly from an hour long brisk walk. 

Sometimes we must deal with and allow burning and aching to take place. I know dealing with pain is extremely uncomfortable, but also necessary in order to achieve desired results / outcomes. And I am NOT only speaking in terms of the pain you endure to accomplish physical fitness, but the aches and pains that stretch your faith, that test your abilities, that push you beyond your limits.
We all must go through our own individual burning and aching. That just so happens to be called LIVING! Don't try to avoid the process, be it physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or even financial. Simply go through it, learn from it, and develop in ways that benefit you and those around you!  
Embrace it! Embrace YOU!!!

Sending hugs,

Stacie J. Whitaker-Harris
 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Key Ingredient for Success

"My eyes have always seen what I see today and they still see what is to come." (SJWH)

Do you understand the above quote?  I will explain but first allow me to share with you... 

Two weeks ago I received "Strengthening Your Walk," a daily devotional I am honored to participate in writing alongside fourteen other authors. I am now the author of one book, co-author of a poetry compilation, and a contributing author of two books with a third writing contribution on the way. Recently, many of my peers asked how I became a writer and my response was this:
Since I was eight years old I knew I would one day become an author. Just like I knew and know I WILL become Dr. Whitaker. 
But what I knew didn't stop there. I've always known I would work hard, love harder, give greatly, serve earnestly, study diligently, and enjoy life. My heart was elated to know that something I said (or would say), something I have done (or will do), has made (or will make) a difference in someone else's life.

So you see, my earlier quote simply means I believed in myself from the beginning. I saw the visions and ran with (and still run with) images of the end results (outcomes). That doesn't mean I've never felt like quitting or that I have not faced challenges. Little by little, I achieved success with perseverance by simply pushing through tough places. It was not easy. I had many sleepless nights (up writing while the house and the people in it slept). My mother passed away while I was striving on the pathway to success and although I slowed down to a creep in order to deal with my grief, I still did not quit. I could go on and on about the various things (some of us call stumbling blocks) that happened while on the continuous journey (and I still have no clue of what else may come), yet, I press!!!

If I could say one thing to encourage you today it's this:
Remember, a key ingredient for success is the ability to believe in yourself so much so that you can see yourself where you desire to be!
So, DREAM, THINK BIG, LEAP, BELIEVE, but most of all, SEE YOURSELF THERE! 
Then go forward on the path and follow wherever it may lead, despite whatever ups or downs occur on your journey.
I trust God in all I do and I pray that you do the same. Know that you were created with purpose in mind. We are all different "ingredients" for one delicious recipe!

Be well,

Stacie J. Whitaker-Harris

PS: I SEE YOU THERE! Sending hugs
 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Gift

Christmas has come and gone - still, there is a highly requested gift on many wish lists. People desire this gift as much as they do houses, cars, money, respect, and even love. But of all the valuable gifts to receive, this gift stands alone. Once given, it cannot be given again. It has both perfect with imperfect qualities. Still, this gift is sought after more so than diamonds and pearls. It is constant, consistent, and most importantly, unending. It is capable of teaching lessons (if one is open to receive). Even babies have experienced its beauty.

What then is the gift?

The gift is time! Embrace every moment, for time is a precious gift; given, yet easily snatched away. So honor the gift of time! Love time! Enjoy time! Embrace good times and bad times because there comes a time when time will be no more.




Friday, January 29, 2016

One hundred and Fifty Percent Invested

Greetings!

This week I spent a lot of time thinking, mapping, planning, expecting, praying, and then believing my efforts and faith will lead me to my destined end (over and over again - visionaries understand that in this life, you will continually arrive). I studied, researched, and meditated, but most importantly; I invested in ME!

Most of us look at successful people like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Les Brown, the late Steve Jobs and so many others as if they possess something unique or different. Those thoughts make most of us feel inferior, while a small group will profess, "I'm capable too."

Each day I begin with prayer and worship. Then I listen to motivational speeches. Why? Because I am affirming that I AM indeed all God created me to be, but besides that, I am listening to how others arrived in places I've dreamed of and am now planning for.

Yes, I've been successful, but in pursuing my goals I have also fallen flat on my face. Those disappointments may have discouraged me for a moment, but ultimately, tough times, pain, and even despair taught me valuable lessons.

Ok, here's my point: Over the last few years, I learned, I am my greatest asset! And yes, YOU are your greatest assets as well so invest in yourself in order to achieve your goals. We are all uniquely different beings filled with various gifts. Don't be afraid of failure.

It's easy to think of success in terms of fortune and fame. However, I have always measured success in my own way. My greatest achievements up to this point includes: successfully graduating two of my children from high school and sending them to college (one more to go -- Woo-hoo), becoming a published author, acquiring multiple college degrees, learning to love myself (the list could go on and on).

Today I encourage you to:

1. Take inventory of yourself.
2. Stock the empty shelves within with affirmations
3. Be 150% Invested in YOU! This means commit yourself to what YOU measure as success for YOUR life, because only YOU can!!!


Blessings of love,

Stacie J. Whitaker-Harris

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Two Thousand Sixteen Reasons...

Happy New Year!!!

It's been almost seven months since my last post. (My how time flies)

Many significant milestones have happened since this time last year. I left my place of familiar (Baltimore) and opened a new chapter in my journey (In Georgia). Until this very moment, I had not realized how much courage it takes to do something different. I suppose my natural curiosity, boldness, faith, and the fact that I'm a risk-taker should have informed me that I am a woman of courage. Still, I had no idea how much courage resides within until I did something new. I learned to let go of people, places, and things that I outgrew or that simply were not helping me develop.

Turning 40 was certainly one of my greatest highlights. Most people hate getting older, but me, I embrace each year with gratitude. Since doctors (and others) counted me out early in life, I tend to look forward to living probably more than most people. I found two gray hairs and was ecstatic! Even  that freaks people out, but again, I feel like I'm growing in wisdom with each new hair.

Life is about living, learning, and growing. This year I encourage you to focus on two thousand sixteen reasons to live life to the fullest. Learn things you didn't know (even the "small" and "insignificant" things). Go somewhere you've never been (you don't necessarily have to relocate but visit, even if it's in your own city). Meet new people or in some cases, let old ones go.

You don't need a New Years resolution to live. Embrace each day with gratitude and give everyday the best of you!

Blessings of Love,

Stacie J. Whitaker-Harris