Why My Word for 2017 is Rest 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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I fight sadness with busyness. There, I admitted it to you and myself. Somehow hurt seems to evaporate for me, even if only momentarily, under a mountain of to-do lists and phone alerts, that is until the pain catches up to me. And it always does…

No one talks about rest. Everyone I know is hustling, striving, pushing to arrive at the next level. I am not saying ambition is bad, but when it slowly robs you of peace, surrending to moments of stillness heals – even a few minutes alone each day, practicing deep breathing, slows the pace of frantic days.

For the past few years I chose a word to guide me annually. As my relationship with God grows, I now pray for direction in this regard; last year I heard breakthrough. In 2017, I hear REST.

Sounds rather dull, huh? Not quite as epic as breakthrough, and yet it is subtle in its depth. Rest not from a standpoint of passiveness, but standing within my faith, accepting the radical love of Christ, and the flow of grace I experience while reading the Bible, couched in verses like Psalm 46:5: “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”

If you know me, you understand I am a doer, often juggling multiple projects. Rest? What’s that? I want to do it all and solve problems.

I carry the weight of my own struggles,  along with a deep commitment to social justice. I cannot afford to become still. And yet God is saying draw closer, rest in me, take your eyes off the problems and confess my promises. Each day, I am learning to listen intentionally, as I meditate on this powerful verse:

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

Do you have a word for this year? How did you come to it – through prayer, mediation, journaling, etc.? I want to hear all about it in the comments below!

Inspiration for Your Ears: From Heartfelt Gospel to Mindfulness and Activism

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
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Photo Source: Pixaby

This week flew with dizzying speed so I listened to more music than podcasts, but still managed to catch inspiration from a plethora of sources.

My hairstylist Dominique turned me on to a heartfelt gospel song “Worth” by Anthony Brown and Group TherAPy.  Its such a beautiful reminder that God’s love for us is boundless and liberating.

Shannon, my bestie and LIC blog contributing writer, spent this week rocking out to Vixen Noir, an eclectic music artist who’s song “Dangerous,” celebrates independence and strength.

Andra Day, with her lovely vintage look and soulful sensibilities is officially one of my favorite new artists. Her song “Rise Up” eloquently captures the relentless spirit of determination. “I’ll rise up unafraid,” she sings boldly.

I just discovered Lizz Wright has a new album, Freedom and Surrender. The behind-the-scenes video is about this latest offering is fascinating; its always great to hear the artist discuss their work.

Affirming the lives of all black folks matters is essential for America’s healing. I love Koli Tengella’s take on this issue. His commentary is regularly featured on The Marc Steiner show, my favorite daily radio broadcast airing WEAA 88.9 FM.

Finding Faith In Chaos

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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I wrote this a few years ago, but I am still grappling with these lessons, and the concept of “faith in chaos.” I wanted to share my thoughts again. We are all learning many of the same lessons in different ways.

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Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau Live In Color Blog

Let go of your old narratives when they no longer serve you. Life changes constantly, and your story will, too.”– Tammy Strobel (Author/Blogger/Photographer)

Over a year ago, within two months, both of our cars were totaled.

Before my husband and I could sigh, we learned about our baby. My emotions vacillated from surprise and joy to the kind of wrenching terror novel responsibility bears. How would I bring forth a life as I still searched for myself?

Months passed; halfway through the pregnancy, one of our doctors solemnly cautioned something may be wrong with our daughter’s heart. Racing anxiety quickly yielded to determination and prayer. We stood in the hospital parking lot on a tepid spring day, my husband, mother and I, heads bowed. We remained calm. A few days later the test results were negative.

After a nearly three-day delivery in August, Naima entered the world at 11:11 a.m., healthy and whole. Only seconds earlier, she maneuvered to break free of the umbilical cord which locked itself around her neck twice; the first cries were an audible reminder that life, in all of its complexities, is a continuous marvel.

As I look into those eyes, pressing against the softness of her skin, my heart is imbued with unending joy. She is here, because we refused to give up on her, on the power of faith. For me faith is not the absence of doubt—it’s having the courage to wrestle with it, facing our vulnerabilities, one day, one moment at a time. As Iyanla Vanzant, teacher and author often remarks, “we must do our work.”

This inner work is constant and consistent. I believe God pushes us with each new challenge to trust more fully. Certainly, there are days when it all feels impractical to me, as if I am swimming against a current.

This autumn, while leaves fell, so too did my tears as I came to grips with a stark realization—a close family member now deals with a lifelong illness. There would be no retreat, only our resolve to cope.

It is during quiet times of reflection, as the bustle of life subsides momentarily, that I am reminded faith, ironically, is perhaps with us most strongly in chaos, when it’s easier to lose ourselves in despair and panic. We only have to remain willing to see promise and possibilities, not obstacles.