Cutting off the branches

My mom and I used to watch this tv show called Mountain Men, on the Discovery Channel. It follows the lives of three mountain men living off the grid, who hunt, fish, sell fur and firewood to survive. Although I can’t imagine why anyone would want to live in the wild, every week I looked forward to lying on the couch in the den, waiting for the show to air, because those three men were so intriguing to watch. If you’re familiar with the show, you might not find it the least bit interesting, or see why I would take to a show as that one, but I found it to be rather interesting watching how they lived their everyday lives, without electricity, running water, groceries, and the essentials needed to survive. I often chuckle when I think about it, because my upbringing didn’t differ much from their current lives (i.e. the absence of necessities). While I haven’t seen the show in awhile, I’m pretty sure my mom still watches it.

When I think of the MM (Mountain Men), I remember them cutting down trees in hopes of chopping and selling firewood to make a profit, and warming their tiny cabins. I can picture them examining the tree’s color to see if it was any good and inspecting its branches, to see whether or not they were dead, prior to cutting them off. Reason being, a living tree should not have dead branches, because they can spread poisonous insects, that causes harm to the tree. My thoughts immediately took me to John 15:1-8. The scripture informs us that “God is the gardener and Jesus is the true vine. Every branch in Him that bears no fruit, the Father cuts off.”

How many dead, fruitless branches are trying to hold onto, although God has cut them off? They serve no purpose, but because they’ve been a part of you for so long, you feel it’s meant for them to be there. However, they’re not. Letting go is never easy, but it’s the best thing you need to do. Besides, you can go the rest of your life holding on to dead attachments, praying and hoping one day they’ll fall off, or you can cut them off! Don’t let poisonous people be the reason you go from good to bad.

Until next time my NOTE takers!

Deetra La’Rue

Repeat after me

I am not a failure

I am not a screw up

I am not a punching bag

I am not afraid

I am not a disappointment

I am not crazy

I am not giving up

I am not a loser

I am not ugly

I am not inferior to anyone

I am not stupid

I am not dumb

I am not who you say I am

Did you get all of that? Great! Now, repeat after me!

Some of you may have had these hurtful words hurled at you, and because you didn’t act fast enough, you were hit hard. The negativity knocked you down, and you couldn’t seem to get up. Every time you tried to stand, you were pushed off of your feet. This continued for years, so much so, you gave up, because you didn’t see yourself winning. Maybe it’s because you didn’t try to, or you just accepted the fact that you were all of the above. Whichever one you chose, is your decision. However, I just want you to know it doesn’t have to be.

Until next time my NOTE takers!

Deetra La’Rue

Write this down

It took Noah almost 100 years to build the Ark

It took Jacob 7 years of work to have Rachel

It took Hannah more than 70 years to become pregnant with Samuel

It took 7 days for the walls of Jericho to fall down

It took God 6 days to create the earth

Moral of the story, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to achieve your goals, as long as you achieve them. Although years would pass before either of these biblical characters could see God’s promise, they didn’t lose faith. Isaiah 40:31 tells us, “They that wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings, just like an eagle and soar. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and never faint.” All you have to do is wait! It may seem as though it’s taken forever to receive an answered prayer, and others such a short amount of time, but all you see is what they have. What you didn’t see, was how long it took them to get it. Just think, if God can create the earth in 6 days, can you imagine how fast He can answer your prayers?

Keep seeking. Keep knocking. Keep asking. Yet most of all, keep faithfully waiting!

Until next time my NOTE takers!

Deetra La’Rue

The only option

I want a divorce! I’ve been with you for way too long, and quite frankly, I’m sick of you! For years, you’ve controlled me and told me what I could and couldn’t do, and because I wasn’t strong enough, I believed it. In fact, I believed everything you told me, which was nothing but lies. When I think of all the bull crap you fed me, I don’t know who I’m angrier at, you or myself. I knew better, but when I tried to do better, you kept telling me I couldn’t, and I kept falling for it, but not any longer. I’ve come to realize, there’s no way I can have you in my life. Matter of fact, I don’t even want to be around you. You’re toxic, but most of all, you’re no good for me! Having said that, this is the end of us, and honestly, I can’t say I’ll miss you. If anything, I’ll be better off without you, and I’m perfectly okay with that. I used to fear you, but now that you’re gone, I have no need to!

Fear is one of the most debilitating things one can experience. It has the tendency to feed you lies and control your life, but you can always regain control. However, the only way you can do that, is by letting go of fear. It’s the only option!

Until next time my NOTE takers!

Deetra La’Rue

I do not consent

Yesterday, I was cursed out! Not once, but twice! I wasn’t offended in the least bit. If anything, I found it to be quite comical. Although there was no humor in the individual lacing me with profanity, it was humorous that they thought they had the power to readjust my thermostat, because theirs was turned up too high. In other words, no one can change my attitude, without me giving consent. While the old me would’ve lost my job, because I would’ve verbally fought back, the new me knew one thing to be certain. That situation I was pulled in, was not an “I thing,” but a “they thing,” because, I had nothing to do with what they were going through. I just so happen to be the one to “get it,” and boy did I. Yet again, I didn’t take it personal. Instead, I thought it to be so sad, that they allowed their circumstances to alter their behavior, and was upset when it had no effect on mine.

Reason being, I’m at a comfortable place in my life, where I’m not bothered with things (or people) that don’t bother me. I could’ve easily stooped to that person’s level, but why would I, when I’m on a higher one?

Never forget, discontented people need your consent to change you, because without it, they can’t do anything.

Until next time my NOTE takers!

Deetra La’Rue

When?

I used to be a “I’ll be glad when,” kind of girl, until I realized when may never come. Whether it was traveling, going out, or simply living life, I could only do things “when” I felt the time was right. While I considered it to be smart thinking, in all honesty, I wasn’t thinking realistically. It’s been said that “nothing lasts forever”, and truthfully, neither do people. Instead of sitting around and waiting for the perfect opportunity, I now seize the moment. Long gone are the days of counting down until the weekend to enjoy a night out. I’ve decided that any day of the week is a great day to have a good time! It doesn’t matter if I’m having dinner alone, going to the movies, or sitting outside Starbucks enjoying my favorite cup of coffee, I’m going to do everything I can to live my life! What’s satisfying to me, maybe boring to others, but I’d rather do what I love now, rather than wait and hope I’m still able to do it later.

Live your life! Like, right now! Whatever you do doesn’t have to be grand or extreme, but let it be something you enjoy and love. Don’t wait to do things “when” the time is right, because right now is the perfect time!

Until next time my NOTE takers!

Deetra La’Rue

Almost There

Things may appear pretty bleak or not promising for you, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be that way forever. While you think you are extremely far from living out your dreams, chances are, you’re only an arm’s length away. Although it’s taking what seems like forever, as each day passes, you’re moving another step closer. Pretty soon, you’ll arrive, and how long it took you won’t even be a concern. If anything, it (and you) will be an example to others, that if they continue to be persistent and patient, they’ll see that dreams really do come true! I can’t promise you that the process won’t be painful, but I can assure you the outcome will be worth it. I know it’s easier said than done, but If you’re thinking about giving up, please don’t! Just look at where you were and where you are now, and you’ll see that you’re almost there.

Until next time my NOTE takers!

Deetra La’Rue

Cheers from within

“I love you” and “I’m so proud of you,” are probably two of the most needed phrases anyone would want to hear. No matter how big or small the accomplishment is, just the mere thought of knowing you have the love and support of others, not only feels good, but is extremely rewarding. “Somebody cares?” Is what I’d often murmur to myself, while soaking up the occasional compliments and praise. Then, one day I wondered, what would happen if the light ceased to shine? What if the curtains closed and the applause stopped? Would I be okay if I was ignored and overlooked the rest of my life, even though I’ve accomplished some great and wonderful things? Should I continue to strive to do my best, or quit, because maybe my best isn’t good enough? Sometimes I sit and try to envision what life would look like without the validation and approval of others, and honestly, it still looks the same. Instead of the cheers coming from the crowd, they now come from within.

Whether it be family or friends, everyone is not going to be a part of your cheering squad. Many people won’t clap for you, and sadly, it has nothing to do with your performance. Whether they applaud or not, you don’t need to hear the fanfare to confirm that you are doing things right. Your execution is more than enough proof!

Until next time my NOTE takers!

Deetra La’Rue

Get it back

Have you lost your drive? Get it back!

Been robbed of your joy? Get it back!

Had your smile taken away? Get it back!

Are you missing your confidence? Get it back!

Someone stole your peace of mind? GO GET IT BACK!

A lot of times people will let things go, because it didn’t have that much value to them, or they didn’t feel like fighting for it. Sadly, they’ll even think they’re better off without it. As long as people know they can take what’s not theirs and get away with it, they’ll continue to do it. However, the next time someone tries to steal from you, fight back! If you don’t, you may never get back what you lost.

Until next time my NOTE takers!

Deetra La’Rue

Walking in the wrong direction

“Everyone has their life mapped out,” is a pretty accurate statement to make. Whether in your teenage years or adult, you’ve always known what you wanted for yourself. Whether it was good for you or not, you still continued on, because it was what you wanted. With each passing moment, you anxiously awaited until you reached your destination, but sadly you never made it. While you thought you were on the right track, you were actually walking in the wrong direction. Have you ever been headed somewhere, and your instincts told you to turn around, yet you kept going, because you knew that was the way to go? If you have, I’m almost for certain you ended up someplace you had no business. Rather than listen to the voice that told you to “go this way,” you quieted it, and instead went your own way.

We all can be stubborn at times, but when it comes to creating and following plans for our lives, it’s best to follow the one He knows is right for you. Jeremiah 29:11 the Lord declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Our way may not always be the best route to take, but if we just trust God and follow His lead, there’s no way we can go wrong. It’s important to remember that, not only is God ahead of you, but He can see ahead of you! The next time you decide to take a walk, ask God which way to go!

Until next time my NOTE takers!

Deetra La’Rue