Episode 115: How do all the pieces fit together?

Hustle in Faith How do all the pieces fit together?

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

Episode 115: How do all the pieces fit together?

There have been so many instances in my life where seemingly random isolated experiences end up connecting like puzzle pieces. Now, regardless of whether the pieces I experience are good or bad, I place those pieces in a mental filing cabinet. Just in case I think one or more of those pieces might fit into my puzzle, I want to be able to easily access them.

As I stated before, I realize that everything is connected. When I was growing up one of my favorite church songs was, “We’ll Understand It Better By and By.” I especially loved hearing this song when my dad was leading the church in singing. He had an amazing voice! As a kid, I loved hearing how beautiful this song sounded when everyone was singing in harmony. As I grew older,  I appreciated and realized how beautiful the lyrics are to this song.

This song speaks about all the trials and difficulties that we will have to go through in life. It lets us know that if we keep our focus on God, we will eventually understand why we went through that hardship.  As I have grown older, my understanding of life has increased.   I realize why God placed certain puzzle pieces in my life. One puzzle piece that I have come to understand better over time  is the gift of teaching.

I’ve always been a nerd. I really do enjoy learning from others and sharing my knowledge as well. It brings me great joy to help people achieve their dreams. When I was a kid, like many kids, I thought I was going to be a teacher, but as I grew older, I knew that wasn’t the case. Hats off to all teachers out there because you all really are the real MVPs.

Although I have a 9 to 5 job in marketing, it’s interesting how my life choices steered me back into my first passion, which is teaching. I enjoyed teaching but not in the traditional sense. Honestly, the way my personality is set up, being in a classroom all day would not have worked out for me.  Thanks to technology, I am able to teach on a part time basis.  I have been teaching English online since 2013.  How all these pieces came together was due to my quest to learn Spanish; another childhood passion of mine. When I was in grade school I took Spanish and still remembered a lot of it.

Learning Spanish has always been on my bucket list. Mainly, because I already knew that many of the places I wanted to travel to outside of the U.S. were Latin countries. Although I was focused on the private Spanish lessons and connecting with language meetup groups to practice my Spanish, in retrospect, I can see God was leading me on two different journeys at the same time.

I was fulfilling my desire to learn Spanish, but on the other hand, those connections that I made in my language groups led me to eventually start teaching English to adults overseas. I’m in a win win situation. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of helping people not only improve their English, but I’ve made amazing friends in the process.  As I stated before, It brings me great joy to help people achieve their dreams.  Many of my students have even thanked me for helping them get jobs. I have been instrumental in not only helping them to learn English, but guiding them in making the correct career choice.

Some recent events that happened to me are prime examples of why you have to be open to recognizing how and when certain pieces are meant to fit together. One of my English students is from China and happens to live in Chicago. She told me that she specifically chose me for that reason. She was a doctor in China and is seeking to improve her English so she can become a doctor here in the U.S.

I remember how shy she was when we started our first class and how much she opened up by the end of that class. Getting people to feel comfortable around me is something that has always come easy to me. I think it’s mainly due to the fact that I’ve mastered being comfortable in uncomfortable situations.  So it’s almost like I go out of my way to make sure that other people don’t have to feel that way with me. Hope that makes sense. 

Anyway, over time we became friends. She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet! One day she was expressing her frustrations to me about the medical field. She truly has a desire to help people but was growing frustrated with the inability to do so via the traditional methods. Therefore, she was contemplating learning more about Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Now everyone who knows me knows the following:

  1. Health & fitness are my jam, I’m in the process of getting certified for my AFAA and will soon pursue a certification in nutrition. I’m constantly researching vitamins, exercises, and the list goes on…
  2. I’m super creative and pretty savvy when it comes to business, so many of my friends come to me for career advice.
  3. I’m a techie at heart, so I pick up technology quickly. I don’t let not knowing a software or platform stop me from achieving success. I’m all about teaching myself. 

When my student expressed her concerns and desires about her career, she had no idea that I’ve been wanting to start my own health and fitness channel for years. In fact, I had already started the process in studying for the tests that I would need to take in order to learn more about this field. Her expressing how traditional doctor jobs were leaving her unfulfilled, prompted me to encourage her to start her own YouTube channel. 

I wanted her to start her own channel because she truly is an intelligent woman who has a passion for helping people. I explained to her how she could use Youtube as an opportunity to share the knowledge she already has as well as use it as a vehicle to build up her own Chinese medicine business. Seeing the joy in her face brought me joy. She was so happy! Although she wasn’t sure where she could go to attend a Chinese medicine school, I told her not to worry and that everything will all come together for her.

No joke, a couple days later, I just so happened to be coming from Target and walked by a sign advertising a Chinese medicine school. Do you realize how random that was for me to see this sign? This was not a coincidence!  If you saw where this sign was placed you would know that it was meant for me to see it. I immediately texted my friend and now she’s going to enroll in that school to learn more about Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

I know a lot of people would dismiss everything that I just said as a coincidence. Not me!. God has proven to me over and over again and again, in too many different ways and occasions that nothing in life is a coincidence. While my friend is studying her Chinese medicine and acupuncture while I’m going to continue my journey of studying nutrition. 

Our plan is to do a health and fitness show together (hopefully in 2021).  Again, God is slowly but surely guiding me to yet another adventurous journey that I can’t wait to start. My life experiences and events are not random isolated mishaps. They are all connected. All of what I described to you stemmed from my desire to become fluent in Spanish (shout out to Julieth once again for helping me to accomplish this goal).

God used my desire to learn Spanish to connect me with folks who were just as passionate about learning languages. God gave me the teaching puzzle piece, so He could bless me as well as allow me to be a blessing to others.  All of my experiences of being comfortable in uncomfortable situations were not wasted experiences. I channeled that negativity into the ability to connect with people. I’ve always been able to make people feel comfortable so they can express themselves.

In doing so, I have been able to help them craft a plan in how they can achieve their goals and desires.  I am proud to say that every time people leave my class they are either laughing, smiling and/or thanking me for being their cheerleader. Teaching English is a side hustle that came out of nowhere. I only teach 3 hours a week and my schedule is full every week. Again, this puzzle piece stemmed from my desire to take Spanish.

Its lessons like these that have taught me to see life from a different perspective. I try really hard not to allow anger to be the first emotion I experience. I do my best to properly place the puzzle piece in my life. If I can’t determine where it fits, I no longer become frustrated. I simply place it in my mental filing cabinet for later when I come across where that piece should go so I have easy access to it.

The more I read the Bible, the more I come across interesting stories that reinforce the fact that nothing in this life is random or a coincidence. I’m reminded of this story in 1 Samuel chapter 8 and 9. The Cliffnotes version is that Israel wanted a king. God gave Samuel the responsibility of finding this person for them. God told Samuel that someone would come to him looking for donkeys from the land of Benjamin and that Samuel was to anoint this person as Israel’s king.

Now while all of this knowledge was being given to Samuel, on the other side of town, Saul’s father told Saul that their donkeys had gotten loose and told Saul to go and find them. Saul and his servant spent the entire day searching for these donkeys. Yet, they couldn’t find them. So Saul says to his servant, “Let’s go back home because otherwise my dad’s going to start worrying about us instead of the donkeys.”

However, Saul’s servant persuaded Saul to go see a prophet to help them locate these donkeys. Of course, that prophet was Samuel. Before Saul could explain why they were there Samuel told Saul the donkeys were found and that he would be king. Saul stayed with Samuel so he could finish hearing the rest of the message that God wanted Saul to hear. Think about it. This set of events was put into motion because of donkeys.

When you read the story, you will see how God has a way of taking what seems accidental and linking those people or things together to accomplish His will for our life. However, we have to be open to hearing and receiving wise advice from those who have our best interest at heart. What if Saul was a snob and refused to take his servants advice about seeing the Prophet? Saul could have easily refused to listen to him and went back home.

The events of people like Saul and many others in the Bible prove that many of those seemingly random puzzle pieces are oftentimes divine connections. If we fail to see the connection, we will miss out on the purpose that God has in store for our life. We need to keep in mind that God doesn’t do things traditionally. He does things in an unorthodox way. This method reinforces Him crafting unique events in our lives that can’t be easily explained away. All of which demonstrates how much He cares about us.

If we put God first, every experience in our life will never be wasted. In fact, God will channel that energy into helping us not only solve our puzzle but reduce the time it takes for someone else to solve theirs. When you view life this way, it takes the stress out of trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together so you can take comfort in knowing that they do and that you will understand it better by and by if you stay in faith.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to check out the Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faith that is available for sale on Amazon. 

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating or purchasing a Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faith from Amazon to help offset the cost of producing this show.

 Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire, see you in the next episode!

Episode 114: Random Thoughts: Meaningless gestures, Confederate statutes, and Karens

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

Episode 114: Random Thoughts: Meaningless gestures, Confederate statutes, and Karens

I just came back from an amazing 20-mile bike ride. This is typically how I typically spend my Saturday mornings, but today is different because many people are celebrating Independence Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love having an extra day off and BBQ with family, but for the majority of Black people, this is a day that has often been a source of side eyes or whatever shrugs.  

In fact, you may even see an increase in people wearing the July 4th to Deny shirts being worn. Why? If we really want to get technical Juneteeth should actually be a much bigger celebration because on June 19, 1865, is when the slaves in Galveston, Texas were freed. 

Please do not get it twisted just because many Black people don’t share the same zeal for this day doesn’t mean that we don’t support those in the military especially when a large population of the military is composed of minorities (despite the fact the media only seems to show photos of the white ones). It’s just with everything going on it seems like this holiday is becoming more and more cynical.

If anything the tradition for most Black people I know is to listen to this video of James Earl Jones reading The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro by Frederick Douglass and this video will demonstrate why he felt this way.

It’s sad that so much of this speech still rings true today.  I was actually going to bike further than what I did today but cut it short because I had way too much to say about stories and things I’ve seen this week and I really needed to get this episode out of my head. 

So let’s jump in. I saw this tweet from a comedian, Kevonstage (who by the way is hilarious) stating that the real estate industry is changing the word Master bedroom. Now one of the main reasons they are changing this word is due to the fact that on a plantation, you would have a master of that domain who would then exercise control and dominance over enslaved or indentured servants. So the Houston Association of Realtors decided to change the name from Master room to Primary room. 

I belong to quite a few Black business groups and many of us felt the same way. This is yet another stall tactic to keep White people from addressing the real issue at hand. 

Black people have been pretty upfront about what we want for a while now…It would be great if the police would stop killing Black people and put end to systemic racism once and for all Be sure to check out Episode 110 “Where do we go from here? regarding more details in how we go about accomplishing this feat. So seeing that we’ve been battling these issues for well over 400 years old and they still haven’t been resolved, I’m thinking that we start there first and if we have time leftover clean up the English language.

So many women in my Black Business groups were all saying the same thing. Enough with the stall tactics already. Meaningless gestures like this, don’t do anything to impact the community. If the real estate industry really had a desire to make sustainable lasting change then why not create programs to help Black people own homes instead of continuing the oppressive acts of redlining and doing something about the harmful effects of gentrification to Blacks and Latinos. I dig into the effects of gentrification in an episode called Random Thoughts Thursday: Homelessness and Gentrification so check that out as well.

Please be aware that many of the so-called laws that have been enacted to supposedly help Black people have always consisted of some sort of loophole that once again benefits White people. That’s a heck of a headstart. White people have been able to build equity while we’ve been fighting for equality. 

Owning your own home is one of the easiest ways for an American family to build wealth. Why wouldn’t you start there? I know why because if you can get us to buy into the illusion just a little while longer you change the rules of the game, move the goalposts even further to keep us from even having a fighting chance to win the game.  Laws on paper don’t mean a thing if there’s no one who wants to enforce them. 

Clearly, racist in Chief Trump has made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of helping Black people. When racist in chief Trump isn’t busy retweeting White supremacists he’s busy continuing his agenda to further oppress Blacks. He is now threatening to eliminate the 2015 initiative known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, which requires localities to identify and address patterns of racial segregation outlawed under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by creating detailed corrective plans.

Trump literally said, “At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas,” he wrote, adding, “Not fair to homeowners, I may END!” 

Which is really code for “I’m going to do what I can to make sure no Blacks or Latinos are able to move into the suburbs.” Here’s the thing, we all know that these laws never really worked in the first place, but knowing that they existed gave you some sort of comfort in knowing that there was a law that you could reference. Now if Black and Latinos were having a hard time obtaining homeownership with laws such as this one or the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act it is going to be near impossible to get one now.

The Homeownership gap will continue to widen. According to the U.S. Census, during the 1st quarter of 2020, 44% of Black families owned their own home compared to 73.7% of White families.  What’s even more disturbing is that in 2016 At $171,000, is the net worth of a typical white family is nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150). Again, as Black people continue to fight for equality White people will continue building wealth.

I can personally attest that housing discrimination is very real. My parents dreamed of having their own home. They also lost count regarding how many times they were denied for a home loan. When they finally got approved we ended up moving out to Villa Park. We stayed there for 11 years. 

Now back in 2002, my mom was being aggressively approached by lenders trying to force her to refinance their home. My mom’s background is in Finance, so of course, she knew that refinancing under their terms would be in their best interest, not my parents. 

My parents refused to refinance at the higher rates they were trying to force on them. However, what the media fails to mention is that mortgage companies got clever. Whenever literally stopped accepting the mortgage payments from Blacks and Latinos in order to force them into foreclosure. The media NEVER talks about this part. 

I know this sounds crazy, but it is true. That’s what happened to us. By the way, while all of this was going on my dad was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. They only gave him 6 weeks to live, but my mom kept this secret from all of us including my dad (not sure how she pulled that off). So anyway, imagine my mom literally battling a mortgage company, taking care of my dad, my sister, and myself.

I helped take care of my dad whenever I wasn’t working.  I was working full time and went to college at night. My schedule was literally working from 8 to 4:30 and then attend class from 5:45 to 9pm. This was my schedule 4 days a week for all 4 years of college. I didn’t find out until my dad passed away 2 years later at the age of 43 which was the same year I graduated from college that my mom was battling the mortgage company alone.

We had all the evidence we needed to prove our case that the mortgage company was trying to intimidate us. However, when the media started getting a little too deep in their investigation and literally told us due to the government officials that were involved they could not continue their investigation. How crazy is that?! So my mom was forced into foreclosure because she was too business savvy to know that refinancing on the banks’ terms was not in her best option. 

We take comfort in knowing the fact that my mom’s persistence and resistance resulted in many of the judges involved in her case magically retired and/or resigned. I can only imagine what’s going to happen if that idiot Trump gets his way and the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing is eliminated.

What drives me crazy is that while this country is going to hell in a handbasket while the racist in chief along with his evil minions are more worried about protecting Confederate statues than the rights of Blacks and Latinos to live in peace. I am so tired of hearing racist people say, “They are trying to erase our heritage.” 

Here’s the thing, those statutes never should have been built in the first place. Why would you want to have a statute dedicated to people who fought to keep slaves? I know that common sense isn’t all that common anymore, but this is just crazy.

Do you realize what a slap in the face it is to drive past these statutes, drive on roads, or attend schools that bear the name of those responsible for oppressing your ancestors? I couldn’t imagine being someone in the military who has to be constantly reminded that they are fighting for a country that chose to honor their service this way. Why in the world would this be the legacy that you want to “pass down” to your kids?

All of the Confederate statues and flags should be removed. Plus, it never ceases to amaze me that the racist in chief and his evil minions forget that this wasn’t even your land. It’s the Native Americans. By the way, it’s always amazing when you hear people who passionately defend keeping the Confederate statues and flags, “Why don’t you just leave America?” My response is I will never leave a country that my ancestors built. If anything, why don’t you leave? You stole the land from Native Americans and then enslaved Black people to do the work for you. What exactly did you or your ancestors’ contribute that justifies your stay here?

I’m sure we all know the answer to that question…The funny thing is that these are the very same people who end up relying on essential workers who are oftentimes Black people and also happen to be the lowest paid. As if that’s not frustrating enough they also have to put up with the Karen’s of the world. 

In case you’re not sure what I mean by Karen. It’s a term that Black people use to describe White women who throw temper tantrums when people call them out for their racist behavior. They just can’t seem to mind their own business. They are incredibly nosey because they have no lives and insist on getting into yours and when Black people don’t go along with their nonsense they turn on the White tears and the cops will most likely be called. 

By the way, Black folks have been using Karen and Becky as code names forever but over the recent years, it’s gotten more popular due to folks like Amy Cooper, BBQ Becky. Although I have to admit, Karen is the name that you’ll most likely hear. 

I recently read a story about a Black family that literally had the cops called on them for building a patio on their own property and didn’t show their paperwork to a Karen. Imagine the audacity of these two lawyers not showing their paperwork to a racist neighbor. I can’t make this up if I tried! 

What really pushed me to write this episode is because my mom shared a story with me recently that could have easily gotten out of hand as well. My building has an onsite laundry room in the basement that no one can access without a key. So my mom’s in the laundry room and this White woman was walking outside by the laundry room window. This woman peered into the laundry room which again is in the basement.

This literally means that this White woman literally went out of her way to see what my mom was doing. Which again clearly this chick was not Nancy Drew it’s a laundry room so this was a no brainer. My mom told me she just gave her a look and the lady kept right on walking. I don’t know why Karens feel entitled to get into everyone’s business. No one asked you to police the world. By the way, this is just one of thousands of stories that you can read about Karens (Check out this latest one about the Karen who went nuts in Target).

Karens are dangerous sociopaths who use their weaponize their White privilege against Black people by throwing temper tantrums when they don’t get their way and then threatening and/or calling the police.

When you see these videos you will understand why it drives me absolutely insane when I hear White people say if you’re not a criminal, a thug and just behave yourself and don’t break the law that the police would never be called. That’s simply just not true and the Karens, Beckys, Ken, and Chads of the world know it which is why they have no problem calling the cops. 

It’s a sick game that these people like to play in an attempt to see how much control they can exercise over people they believe are inferior to them. They know that they will most likely not suffer any consequences and/or if they do it’s a slap on the wrist. However,  their sick behavior has deadly consequences for Black people.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking and ranges from dying because they were reading in their car, to buying Skittles and so many other innocent activities. What’s truly sad and frustrating is that these are only a handful of stories that we know about. I can only imagine how many more are waiting to be uncovered…

The frustrating thing about Karens is that if I behaved this way I would be in jail or worse. The interesting thing is that a lot of White people know this and even share their stories about crimes they have gotten away with under the Twitter hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite. That hashtag is a prime example of the double standards that exist in this country. This is because innocent until proven guilty is NOT what happens when the police show up and Black people are involved. It’s vice versa. Check out the story about the pastor that called the cops on White people trying to beat him up and they ended up arresting him.

Again, there are numerous stories of White women lying and calling the cops on Black people for no reason. There’s this notion that White women are to automatically be viewed as victims. Thanks to video, everyone can see that this simply is not the case. Every Black person, myself included has encountered Karens throughout their life. I’ve always been taught to fight back and will continue to call out wrong behavior. Now even though I’ve been using the term Karen for this episode, mainly to introduce the phrase to those unaware of what a Karen is, but I prefer to call them they really are…White supremacists. 

When you give them cute little names like Karen, BBQ Becky, you diminish their devious behavior. They have damaged numerous people’s lives. Like Will Smith said, “Racism never left, it’s just filmed.” The one thing that is providing some solace to Black people is the ability to share our stories on Twitter via hashtags like #BlackinIvory,  #LivingWhileBlack, #BlackLivesMatter, or on videos that we share amongst ourselves in hopes that we can generate enough attention in order to get justice for those who were harmed. You’ll read countless stories about ignorant White people going out of their way to discredit the achievements that Black people worked so hard to achieve. I can definitely relate to some of the stories shared in those hashtags. 

Like for example, if we make it into management positions we’re a diversity hire and not because we have the intelligence or skills to do the job. These types of comments can really play tricks on your mind if you let them linger.

The thing is that Black people in the corporate world tend to work twice as hard. Black people know that there’s an unwritten rule, “Last to get hired first to get fired,” which is why this is the case.” Black people can’t rely on nepotism or have the connections many White people benefit from that allow them to get jobs without having the required knowledge or education. I know firsthand that this is the truth because I’ve definitely worked with managers who were a few fries short of a Happy Meal…

I’m sure you can see we have a long way to go in our fight against racism. This is why we can’t get bogged down with being complacent with meaningless gestures, condoning Confederate statues, and White Supremacists like Karen. If we do were doomed to living in a world where our potential is never fully realized because we’re too busy fighting to exist.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to check out the Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faith that is available for sale on Amazon. 

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating or purchasing a Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faith from Amazon to help offset the cost of producing this show. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire see you in the next episode.

Episode 113| Are you getting enough rest?

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

This is episode 113: Are you getting enough rest?

Are you getting enough rest? With all of the chaos going on in the world right now, the answer to this question is most likely, “No.”  Although I understand the reason why, nonetheless, rest plays an essential role in our lives.

A lack of rest creates havoc in our bodies that lead to diseases and other problems. The majority of our attacks from Satan come when we are weary and tired (Lk 4: 1-13). It is during this period of time when Satan inflicts us with his negative traits such as anger, fear, frustration, depression, etc. what many fail to realize is that our mental health issues stem from a lack of rest. 

The events of Elijah in 1 King 18 & 19 demonstrate the pitfalls and mental anguish that stem from a lack of rest.  If you recall, Elijah’s ordeal left him truly exhausted emotionally, physically, and spiritually. When we are mentally drained, our thought life (heart, soul, and mind) is weakened and we become easy prey for Satan.

Exhaustion gives us less control over our spiritual life. As a result, confusion and depression can easily descend upon us, which is what happened to Elijah. In many traumatic situations, we need to calm down, rest, and reprogram our thinking to focus on God, His power and promises to us.

This mindset combined with rest and nourishment was God’s response to Elijah (1Kin 19:5-8). God’s prescription for Elijah confirms that simply getting enough rest and nourishment both physically and spiritually play important roles in maintaining our thought life. This is why Christ insisted on His apostles following the above prescription (Mk 6:30-32).

While we are resting, God uses this time to cleanse the entire body both spiritually and physically. Even Christ took time to rest from His busy schedule (Mk 4:38-40). To see the changes we wish to see in this world, we must get spiritual and physical rest.

1.    Spiritual Rest

Only through Christ can we rest our mind and soul. Hence why Christ said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (matt 11:28-30). Christ continues to say, “ Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am [f]gentle and lowly in heart.” Through this process, you will find rest for your soul.  Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light.

When we truly seek spiritual rest, we pray often and don’t allow our souls to be consumed with worry (Matt 6:33). This is what Christ did. To maintain His sanity Christ often sought places of solitude so He could gain guidance and comfort by talking with God. Talking with God is what keeps us calm and gives us the ability to carry on.

There was a period of time when I felt like my life was spinning out of control. Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. When I took time to examine my life, I noticed I left God out of my daily life. I was trying to do everything myself. So much of my dependency was focused on maintaining my 9 to 5 job at all costs.

In hindsight, focusing on a 9 to 5 job was dumb on my part; even if there was a job shortage. My desire and motto has always been, “I work to live, not live to work.” Sadly, I had lost sight of this fact. All of which caused me to forget that God is my Source and my 9 to 5 job is just one of many resources that God can use for my livelihood.

It was when I started studying the Bible more and really seeking God’s guidance for my life is when He led me down a path that introduced me to so many talents and opportunities that I didn’t know I possessed. Many of those skills are why I’m finally living the fulfilled life I always wanted to live.

I have a great 9 to 5 job in an industry that I never would have imagined myself working in a million years. I must say, many of those talents I discovered when I was unemployed. What I thought were just hobbies like voice over work, teaching English and dance classes, creating video tutorials, and my t-shirt shops God turned into side hustles. 

Taking advantage of my unemployment so I could get spiritual rest enabled me to put God first. As I stated before, God uses rest to cleanse our entire being. All of which brings me to physical rest. 

2.    Physical rest 

Our bodies are temples (1 Cor 6:19). A temple is something precious and requires proper care. One of the major ways to accomplish this feat is to ensure that we get enough sleep. It’s so sad that many of us (myself included) have either intentionally or unintentionally chosen to work ourselves to death. As a society, especially in America, it’s been engrained in us to be workaholics.

However, this was never God’s intention. God doesn’t want us to work harder. He wants us to rest so we can work more efficiently. His goal for us is to work smarter not harder. The only way this will be accomplished is by getting enough rest. In order to reinforce the importance of physical rest, God incorporated rest into the 10 commandments (Ex 20:8). 

Whenever I feel like life’s negative circumstances are starting to gang up on me, I take time out to pray, meditate, and go to sleep. Will my problems magically disappear? Most likely no. However, the combination of prayer and sleep renews my spirit in such a way that positions me to see life from a new perspective as well as offer me a solution to my problems. 

The aforementioned is why Jesus was always encouraging His disciples to take time to pray and rest, especially during life’s storms (Matt 11:28). Prayer and rest gives us the clarity we need. This combination will help us to recognize why God allowed certain circumstances in our life (Mark 6: 45-52).

It’s up to you how you choose to spend your time in the storms we encounter in life. Worrying and anxiety accomplish nothing. Focusing on God and His Word will place you in a position to rest spiritually and physically so He can calm the winds and waves that occur in your life.

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Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to check out the Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faith that is available for sale on Amazon. 

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating or purchasing a Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faith from Amazon to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire, see you in the next episode!

Timing Is Everything

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

This is Episode 91. (Season 3 Episode 25) Timing is Everything!

My mind is always racing. Being a creative person can be a blessing and a curse. A blessing from the standpoint that you possess ideas that can be useful and bring joy to me and into someone else’s life. A curse because sometimes you may not have the resources to implement those ideas. 

 I’m constantly coming up with ideas, but due to time or money constraints, I’m not always in a position to immediately implement them. It’s always been a battle for me to have these delays and not allow them to frustrate me. Due to my impatience, I feel like God is moving in slow motion.

However, the problem lies within me. I’m impatient when it comes to fulfilling my goals. I want to see my creation come to fruition right then and there. 

When I calm down and put things into perspective, I realize that sometimes, God gives us ideas and solutions ahead of time. Later down the road, He gives us the time, energy, and resources to implement what He placed in our heart to do. If we don’t put things into perspective, we would be under the impression that God is slow to act.

What we fail to realize is that God is not slow. He works ahead of us. I have learned that God provides us with ideas and solutions ahead of time so that we are ready when He gives us the time and resources to implement what He has already entrusted to us.

God is big on us not missing out on the journey. We learn more in the journey than the actual accomplishment. Through the journey of implementing our ideas and solutions, we learn the attributes of Christ such as patience, faith, and praying to include God in our decision making, etc.

Since I have learned that God is more concerned with our journey (learning), I keep a prayer and gratitude journal. I take it out whenever I need to remind myself of how far I’ve come. Yet, it also serves as a painful reminder that I could have gotten there faster with less frustration if I would have picked up on the signs that God was trying to give me.

Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Women of Faith A 3 Month Guide to Prayer and Gratitude
Click here to grab your copy of our Prayer and Gratitude Journal!

In life, there are three possible answers to a problem. Yes, No and Not right now. It’s pretty apparent when God has blessed us with a ‘yes’. However, things get tricky when you’re facing a situation and the answer is ‘not right now.’ Why? At that moment in time, the outcome looks exactly as if God said, ‘no.’

Think about it. We don’t have the object we desire, so naturally, you assume the answer is ‘no.’ However, I’ve learned over the years, that many times this is not the case. If the desire that you are asking for is not going against God’s word then rest assured that if you didn’t receive an immediate ‘yes’ to your request then most likely the answer is 9 times out of 10, ‘not right now.’ 

Ecc 3 confirms that timing is everything to God. It may seem like it’s taking forever but remember to God that 1 day is like a thousand years, which means that He’s not in a hurry. Now even though God isn’t in a hurry, there are things we can do to place ourselves in a position that would reduce the time it takes for God to make our dream come true.

  1. Examine your life. So many times we have temper tantrums and wonder why God won’t bless us without taking time out to see if we have any sin in our life. You may feel like you’re a good person or you’re living your best life better than someone else, but we’re not the standard. The Bible is the standard. If your life is out of alignment with God’s Word then you need to address this first before you see any type of blessings come forth from Him.

If you’re having a hard time comprehending this concept, think about it this way, let’s say you want to play professional tennis. You want to win, but you’re not sure how to accomplish this goal. What would you do? You would make sure that you know the rules inside out, hire a coach and practice, practice, practice. 

It doesn’t make sense to hire a coach that doesn’t know the rules or the ability to help you outsmart your opponent. Yet, many people do this when it comes to how they run their life. They seek counsel from people who couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Nor do these people have any true “success” stories that demonstrate that they know how to triumph over circumstances. The irony is that many people who seek guidance often do so from someone who is unqualified. 

I think deep down, one of the main reasons this happens is because we secretly want to find someone who instead of telling us the truth, will reinforce the action we want to take in the first place. However, if you go to the Bible for guidance, it’s a lot harder to hide from the truth. We make life much harder than what it needs to be and it all boils down to the fact that we’re missing our next point…Faith.

2.) Faith. Having faith in God’s ability to answer our prayers is one of the hardest struggles Christians have to endure. However, how you answer this question will help you fight back against doubt, “Would you go out of your way to help someone who clearly does not have any faith in you? Absolutely not! Well, guess what? God feels the same way. How many times do we pray and then deep down secretly think, “ I hope He heard me” or “I hope He answers my prayer…” 

If we’re not in sin and our request to God is not sinful, then we should be confident that God is going to honor our request. However, if we’re wavering in our faith then according to James 1:6-7 it shouldn’t be a surprise when God doesn’t answer our prayers. We are to view our relationship with him like a parent/child relationship. A good parent wants nothing but the best for their children. If the child is behaving well and their request is reasonable, that parent will do everything in their power to grant their child’s wish. Good parents take pleasure in seeing their children happy. 

God works the exact same way. He wants us to be happy! However, we have to do our part and make sure that we don’t limit His ability to grant our requests. In Matt 13:58, God clearly informs us that our lack of faith will limit His ability to answer our prayers. He has nothing to prove. Therefore, God will NOT waste His time showering us with blessings if we don’t believe He wants to nor has the ability to do so. Many times we lack faith because we don’t have patience.

3.) Patience is another area that we struggle in because like children when we want something or a situation to change, we want it to happen right now. Life doesn’t work that way. If we know we’re not in sin, what we’re asking for is not sinful and we’re demonstrating faith in God’s ability to answer our prayers then we need to be patient. 

I know it’s easier said than done, but we can’t expect God to be on our timetable. Regardless of whether we like it, time is measured by using God’s watch–not ours. After all, He created us not vice versa. God already told us that 1K years is like one day to Him (2 Pet 3:8). Meaning, He’s not in a hurry y’all!  If there’s something that He wants you to have then He’s going to get it to you no matter what. God is in charge.

Case and point, in Daniel, prayed to God in order to gain an understanding of a vision he had. He didn’t get an answer until 24 days later. Why? Even though God answered immediately answered and granted Daniel’s prayer; sometimes, it takes longer for the answer to materialize due to unseen obstacles occurring in the spiritual realm like in the case of Daniel.

The angel that had been sent to provide Daniel with the answer to his prayer was stuck fighting for 21 days against the king of Persia aka a demon. This demon was so bothersome that the angel had to call in Michael, one of the chief angels to help defeat the demon. Had Daniel decided to give up, this angel would have done the same thing. That sounds harsh, but if you aren’t willing to fight why should God bother? He already said that He would give us the desires of our heart if we obey Him. Keeping the faith is one of those rules.

Again, this is one of the main reasons why I keep a prayer and gratitude journal. It helps keep me honest.

Hopefully, by now you have a better idea of how you can handle your prayer request in the event that God’s answer to your request is, “ Not right now.” Keeping the aforementioned in mind will place you in a position to reduce the time it takes to answer your prayer. If you’re living a righteous life and still feel like you don’t have an answer, then remember that there are obstacles taking place in the spiritual realm that are causing the delay in the manifestation of your request.

Regardless of what the hold up is in you receiving your blessings, recognize the fact that God is a just God. He’s a parent that takes pleasure in giving His children the delight of their hearts provided His children are willing to exercise the type of faith that has the power to overcome any obstacle that Satan sends our way (1 John 5: 4).

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to check out the Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faith that is available for sale on Amazon.

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating or purchasing a Hustle in Faith notebook to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who you will inspire, see you in the next episode! 

Who Empowers You?

Who Empowers You_ Hustle in Faith A person jumping up in the air because they were able to triumph over their problems

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

This is Episode 90. (Season 2 Episode 25) Who Empowers You?

When you run into a problem, what’s the first thing you say and do?

If you’re like me, you’re most likely going to do the following:

“What am I going to do?” and then immediately brainstorm ways to get out of that situation.

Now although my approach to solving the situation may seem completely logical, it’s a habit that I’m trying to break. Why? I don’t want to unnecessarily carry a burden that I don’t have the power to lift. 

I automatically viewed myself as the one who has the ability to resolve the problem. If you take a closer look at my sentence notice I said, “I”. Not once did I acknowledge God.

Many times, when we encounter a problem we don’t even think about God until all of the other options we came up with have been exhausted. We go around trying to open locked doors when God has the master key. 

All the while creating more stress and anxiety in our life. God is the fuel we need to empower us to make it through difficult times. However, He can only do so when you have taken the time to go to the station so you can fill your soul with His word.

If  you don’t have enough of His fuel inside of you, you’re going to find yourself on empty pretty quick. When you don’t view God’s word as fuel, you’re driving around on unleaded gas instead of Premium. 

There’s no need for this to happen. You can get the resolution you need but if you don’t have enough faith to get to the station aka His Word, then you will forever remain tired or even worse, completely stop running because you ran out of fuel.

Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Women of Faith A 3 Month Guide to Prayer and Gratitude
Grab Your Copy Today!

I’ve always worked in fairly demanding roles. Early on in my career, I would get assigned difficult projects that would oftentimes leave me feeling overwhelmed. I would immediately get a case of analysis paralysis because I had no idea where to start. I wanted so desperately to do a good job to impress my manager. I eventually discovered that some people regardless of how well you do on a project are never satisfied. 

This really bothered me and I would unnecessarily suffer from sleepless nights because I kept trying to please people instead of God. That was dumb on my part. God already told us in Col 3:23 that we are to work for Him and not man. If we’re performing our job to the best of our ability that’s all God is asking for us to do. We don’t need to kill ourselves striving to attain approval from people, especially those who don’t share in the desire to please God. 

The moment I realized and accepted the fact that I’m working for Him and not people, I started seeing a change in not only how fast I could create and deliver projects, but just in life in general. Regardless of what I’m facing, I recognize the importance in taking a step back so I can pray for guidance. Doing so positions you to have Him take the pressure off of you and ensures that whatever happens, it will be for your good (Rom 8:28). 

This is why it’s so important to take time out to fill up on His Word so you can continue to drive effortlessly through life.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to check out the Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faith that is available for sale on Amazon.

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who you will inspire, see you in the next episode!