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Scripture: “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Justice is defined as seeking to help others through correcting and we are addressing wrong. It treats others fairly and shows no favoritism. I find it interesting that after years of injustice, our country is now in turmoil. As I watched the events of the last few years unfold, I’ve always said, ”I am a prayer warrior, not an activist.” I will pray for you, the family, the community, your family, the victims family, the oppressor’s family…everyone! But this time was different… Hearing Mr. Floyd call out that he could not breathe for eight minutes and 46 seconds changed me. It gripped my very soul and would not let go until I was challenged to ask God, what will you have me do? The Holy Spirit immediately took me to a book that’s been on my shelf for the last three or four years. There was a spiritual discipline specifically tied to justice, and from there I went to God’s word. I read and wrote in my journal for two hours straight, challenging the very words I’ve spoken just 24 hours earlier. I was being called to do more than pray. I was being called to change the way that the injustices of this world fit into my thoughts in daily life. We are called to act, meaning, to take some type of action at injustices or circumstances where mercy has taken a back seat. Does that action require violence? That is the question worth pondering. I’m reminded of a scripture in the book of Matthew that says that the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Is that what’s happening in the world today? Is the kingdom of God under attack? Scripture - “Hate what is evil, love what is right, and see that justice prevails in the courts. Perhaps the Lord will be merciful to the people of this nation who are still left alive.” ‭‭Amos‬ ‭5:15‬ ‭GNTD‬‬ We are called to love what is right and see justice prevail and not turned a blind eye…and that sometimes takes work! Those of us in the kingdom of God are meant to turn this world upside down. Turning the world upside down means living like Jesus did. He did not come with a military army, but from a carpenter shop, mending the broken common lifting up the marginalized, honoring the shamed, caring for the oppressed, and mending the broken. So what can I do? What can you do? What can we do? How can we ACT against injustices? What are we doing to SEE justice prevail?

  1. Share your resources (time, talent, and treasure) and work against the evil that robs the world of God’s love. Let our lifestyles and choices reflect the word of God and live a life that values people over things. Find an organization whose mission lines up with your heart, with God’s purpose for your life, and give generously!

  2. If you can’t share resources, share your gift! Proverbs 18:16 says that a man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before a great man! Share that gift with the world! Don’t shrink back at a time when you should be bold with the gifts God has given you.

  3. If you can’t share your resources, can’t share your gifts, if you just don’t know what to do, then pray. II Corinthians 12:9 says that my grace is sufficient, for his power is made perfect in weakness.

I’ll leave you with this final scripture from Job 33:6, “You and I are the same in God’s sight, both of us were formed from clay.” Friends, let us be bold enough to speak, let us have courage to act, and let us be willing to see and act on injustices to our brothers or sisters!

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Happy Thursday y'all! I am extremely blessed to co-own Charlotte Family Yoga in Charlotte, NC with my dear friend and neighbor, Kara. We've had a somewhat successful run at managing a yoga studio, parenting kids, being daughters, wives, counselors, friends, etc. and we have FUN doing it! There's no one else I'd rather be doing life and participating in yoga shenanigans with! Together, we created the mantra, Joyful Things Only, when going through a rough time in early 2019. We hold fast to that mantra anytime things get tough, but these days, we've been throwing around "It's fine, I'm fine, EVERYTHING IS FINE"…sarcastically, of course! Because everything is definitely NOT fine!

Fortunately, unfortunately we are still under the Stay at Home order in NC and received notice last night that, after spending all morning planning our re-opening (updating the cleaning protocols, class schedule, social distancing guidelines), we were excluded from Phase II and could not open the doors to the studio to our beloved community. I was not sad for myself, I was sad for all the friends, family, and members that join us each and every week to practice yoga. My heart ached for those that keep calling, keep emailing, and communicating, "We can't wait to get back into the hot box with y'all!"

See, Charlotte Family Yoga is not about turning a huge profit. Yes, it is a business and we try to be good stewards over the inflows and outflows, but our mission is different. We are more concerned about our community, their health and well being, their heart, and being a light to them by guiding them through a yoga practice. Yes, virtual classes are awesome, but the power of human touch and communication means so much more. So, my emotions are all over the place. I'm still joyful, but mad, sad, confused, frustrated, and disappointed. Because we can go shopping at TJ Maxx, but can't practice as a community. We can go here and there, but can't access a space collectively to uplift and bring balance to our mind, body and spirit.

So, we continue to press forward. We pray and work through how we can best serve our community, while remaining closed until who knows when (and still paying rent, utilities, etc.). We find ways to reach out and continue to be a blessing to our yoga tribe by holding space for those hurting or trying to navigate life during and after COVID-19. We accept what is, what will be and know that all things are STILL working together for our good. Our faith remains steadfast and it will continue to guide and anchor us through this and every season!

'And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.' Romans 8:28

"We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. " Hebrews 6:19

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For the last year or so I’ve set my mantra on joyful things only! Those three simple words changed my perspective in my relationship, my family, my businesses and my day job. After listening to a friend vent for several weeks in a row, I just got up and decided that I would focus on joyful things only, and encouraged her to do the same! This mantra came at a time when there was so much chaos, life changes, studio changes… I needed a word (or words) to anchor my thoughts and emotions. The words came as I studied the book of Philippians in the Bible, “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.” Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭TPT‬‬. I truly believe we go through everything for a reason and a season. When the season includes hurricanes, tornadoes or constant thunder storms (tumultuous times), we have to get to a point where we refuse to get sucked up (pun intended!) into someone else’s’ season, petty disagreements or toxic emotions. I decided to face the season by changing my gear and my outlook. Instead of rainy days as bad, I decided to buy pretty rain boots and stomp in muddy puddles! Instead of being blah about the rain, I decided to change my perspective and notice how those times watered what was planted weeks ago and joyfully anticipate the next sunny day! What are things that bring me joy?

* Finding out something new in the Bible * ANY Shenanigans * Yoga, specifically going upside down! * Playing with my kids * Travel *Playing or dancing with my kids * Any desserts * Reading or listening to books * Solving problems * Helping people find their purpose and pursue their passion!

My prayer for you is that you will embrace a mantra that will bring you peace of mind and well being. Always Keep God first and he will take care of everything else (Matthew 6:33)! Need help setting a mantra or intention for this season? Message me directly! I’d love to pray with you, help you go within, and/or seek God for a fresh perspective for you! God Bless and Namaste! Vicie

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