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Thursday, December 24, 2015

An eBook of Prayers

Father, can you hear me?


I pray this eBook blesses you tremendously.
In Him,
Shatanese Reese

“Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.”
Psalm 4:1

May I pray for you?


Dear Heavenly Father, I come humbly before you right now, interceding on behalf of my friend who is hurting. Please remove the sense of despair that she feels. Remove the emptiness that threatens to overtake her. Remind her of your love and your ever-present peace. Your word tells us to cast our cares on you and to leave our burdens at the altar. Thank you for being the center of all peace and healing.

Father, help her to forgive those who have hurt her. Help her to see the situation through your eyes. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things will work together for our good according to your purpose. While all she may feel right now is pain, help her to see that there is purpose with her pain. Allow her test to be her testimony.

Father, I thank you in advance for your peace that passes all understanding. I thank you for the peace that is washing over my friend right now. I know that she can sense your presence all around her. I know that she wants to cry. She wants to lash out. She wants to curl up and not feel this pain anymore. Touch her father. Invite her to crawl into your lap. Remind her that you are in control and that you will erase all tears. Help her to see and feel you by those around her. May she see kindness in both strangers and those who are close to her. Help her to see that you care about every detail in her life.

Father, only you know for how long she has carried this hurt. Take it away, Lord. Take it away…remove it right now. Cleanse her body and relieve her of this burden. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Father I pray for my friend’s health situation.

You know the doctor’s report that he recently received. You know how troubling the news is. You know the fear that has gripped his heart as a result of this news. You know the generational curses he has fought against throughout his life. Be with him right now, Lord.

Lord, you know what efforts he has attempted to keep his body on track. You know the exercises, the diets, the sacrifices, the health goals. Give him renewed strength. A new sense of passion and purpose to keep his body in top shape.

Gently remind him that his body is a temple. Help him to make choices that will elongate his life. Surround him with people who will hold him accountable and help him achieve his health goals. May he approach food, exercise and daily living as a way to honor you.

Father, we pray against diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV, heart disease, prostate, breast and all other cancers. We rebuke leukemia, thyroid issues, sickle cell anemia and liver ailments. We pray against heart attacks, strokes, hypertension and dementia. We pray against migraines, miscarriages, skin diseases and arthritis. We bind high cholesterol, lung disease and kidney failure.

We pray that our bodies align with your word and that all parts are working in divine order. We pray that our focus is not on what hurts but instead on what is working and we invite total healing. Father, thank you for allowing us to bring our issues to the altar instead of worrying. It is in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

I thank you for the peace my friend is experiencing right now. May it feel as a warm blanket around his body, totally enveloping him in your perfect peace. Thank you for the effervescent feeling your peace offers to all who accept it.

You offer peace that passes all understanding. However, peace seems so elusive at times. It is hard to grasp and difficult to maintain. There are so many things that threaten to rob us of your peace; strained relationships, financial troubles, problems at work, issues in our bodies, and tormenting thoughts in our minds.

Help us, Father. Your word tells us, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) Help us to keep our focus on you at all times ….to keep our eyes on the eternal prize.

Father, thank you for coming into our space right now, meeting us right where we are. We can feel your peace surrounding us wholeheartedly. We know you are near. We can feel ourselves relaxing and breathing easily. We feel our minds releasing negative thoughts and quieting the inner voices. We feel our muscles releasing the toxins that keep us uptight and rigid. We feel our shoulders relaxing. We know you are here and we thank you for being bigger than us.

We thank you for loving us. We thank you for providing for us. We thank you for knowing what is best. We thank you for being YOU. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Keep her family safe, Father. I pray for her parents, her siblings, her children, her friends who are like family, her cousins, her aunts and uncles and her grandparents. I pray for her nieces and nephews, her in-laws, as well as her family who is near and family who is afar. I pray for her grand-children and her grandchildren’s children. Keep them safe from all hurt, harm and danger. Protect them from anything that threatens to impact their lives and their destinies negatively.

May they see your presence in all events. Help them to understand their purpose and live their lives fulfilling that purpose. I pray they tap into their talents to help others and to further the kingdom.

If there is a time when conflict arises, may it be resolved quickly to keep the enemy from creating a stronghold. We rebuke any discord that exists in the family and instead pray for peace. May they seek you when they face trouble. May each family member acknowledge you in all facets of life. I pray love abounds during every interaction.

Lord, we thank you for the family members who are no longer here. May we remember their presence fondly and learn from the lessons they shared with each day of their lives. May we focus on all of the positive memories and strive to leave a similar legacy with our remaining family members. May we never take a relationship for granted. For those of us who may not have families, may we feel your love even more so during this time.

Lord, if there is a family member who does not have a personal relationship with you, may we be a representation of your love, forgiveness and mercy. May they see you in us. It is in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Sadness is heavy. It is weight intensive and all-consuming. Father, she is sad and her heart is heavy. Her outlook on life is bleak and she does not see the promise of a better day. Touch her, Father. Touch her in a way that she knows it is you. Touch her fears, her grief, her insecurities and her disappointments. Touch her failed attempts, her dreams and her regrets. Touch her broken heart and broken promises.

Extend your hand to her and invite her to your side. May she feel the veil of sadness lifting from her shoulders. May she instead feel your presence like the warmth of the sun stretching outwardly. You tell us to bring our burdens to you and to instead take on your yoke. Thank you for carrying our loads.

Father, if she needs professional help, please send her the individuals who will offer the assistance she needs.

May they not simply empathize but may they also identify any debilitating patterns or negative self-talk. We pray for total healing of her mind, emotions and physical well-being. We thank you for restoring any relationships that were negatively impacted because of the overwhelming feeling of sadness that has been prevalent in my friend’s life.

Thank you for hearing our prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2


Father, I am thankful for my friend’s life. I am thankful for all that you have done for her this year. If you did not do one more act and she would be just fine. You have blessed her beyond her dreams and expectations and for that, we are thankful.

Thank you for providing food. Thank you for providing shelter. Thank you for providing the means to make ends meet. Thank you for health. Thank you for allowing her to be in her right mind. Thank you for mending broken relationships on her behalf. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for the Holy Spirit who rules and abides in her and each of us who believe in you. Thank you for the ability for her to use her senses.

If she did experience life-altering situations during this year, thank you for allowing her to see another day. We see it as another day to get it right and try again. You are Holy. Magnificent. Glorious. And for these reasons and so many more, we are thankful.

Psalm 23:1-6

About the Author:

Shatanese Reese is a freelance blogger who resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children. She enjoys walks on the beach and colorful sunrises. Shatanese’s goal is to find the extraordinary in every day moments. Follow Shatanese on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Twas the Night Before the Presentation...

'Twas the night before the presentation, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The dishes were drying by the sink with care,
In hopes that soap suds would not reappear;

The younger children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While the older two were working to bring home the bread;
Daddy in his gear, was taking a lap,
And I had settled down for a quick late night bath,

When all of a sudden I thought I heard a clatter,
I sprang from the tub to see what was the matter.
Away to the laptop I went like a dash,
Turned on the Dell and inserted the flash.

The glare of the night lamp had become a glow
Gave the computer screen an eerie halo,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a message on the screen, "Your report is not here",

With a frantic glance around, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be the stick.
More rapid than eagles my fingers they came,
I then jittered, and shouted, and called the programs by name;

"Now, Microsoft! now, EXCEL! now, ACCESS!  Please FIX IT!
On, POWERPOINT! on OUTLOOK! Oh what is the culprit!
To the top of the keyboard!  I may have to reinstall!
Now virus away! virus away! virus away all!"

And then, in a twinkling, I heard the system reboot
I began prancing and jiving with each little toot.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
 I could hear the programs return with a bound.

 Then hubby returned, worn from head to foot,
His clothes were soiled with sweat and gym musk to boot;
A bundle of towels he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his locks how merry!
His cheeks were flushed, his lips boysenberry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as black as coal;

 A Fitbit clenched tight between his teeth,
His towel it encircled his neck like a wreath;
He had a broad chest and a flattened belly,
That did not shake, when he laughed unlike jelly.

 I told him what happened, pointing to the laptop on the shelf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
And pushed all the buttons; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of the Dell,
And giving a nod, a corrupted file he could tell;

He sprang to his feet, to the laptop he gave a whistle,
And away the viruses flew like the down of a thistle.
But all heard me exclaim, as he chased away my fright,

Shatanese Reese is a freelance blogger who lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children.  Shatanese enjoys walks on the beach and color-rich sunrises.  Her goal is to find inspiration in the every day happenings of life.  Check out Shatanese on YouTube

Monday, November 23, 2015

Feeling Thankful

Just last night, my family and I were rear-ended on the interstate even though we had not slowed nor stopped suddenly.  The impact was so great it woke our sleeping infant son who immediately began to cry due to the jolt.  As we surveyed the damage to our vehicle, we marveled at the fact the collision could have been worse.  Our car could have been totaled.  But it wasn't.  There could have been a fatalities.  But there weren't.  After the police report had been filed, we were able to finish our drive home, walk into our home and talk about what had transpired.  I am thankful for our lives.

It has been over a year since I lost my best friend of nearly forty years to illness.  She had the ability to make me laugh when all I really wanted to do was cry.  Conversely, when I did cry, she was right there to offer tissues and a listening ear (and a bowl of ice cream).  I remember the times she would offer her last french fry to me and never had any issues with telling me things I could use for self-improvement in a spirit of love.  She was a true friend.  She taught me about life and the value of unconditional love.  I am thankful for our friendship and the time we had in each others lives.

As we enter the home stretch towards the Thanksgiving holiday, I encourage you to think about your life and marvel on what causes you to be thankful.  Is it your family, or your health?  Are you thankful for your home, your career or your finances?  Or perhaps you are thankful you took a walk yesterday which put you one step closer to your overall health goals.  Maybe you are thankful for the peace you feel despite everything that may seem to be going wrong in your life right now.  Or maybe, just maybe, you are thankful for the delicious meal you will enjoy in just a few days.  Whatever your reason, relish in that moment.  Experience the feeling of thankfulness and then share it.  Share it by telling others why you are thankful.  Moreover, share the feeling of being thankful.

Numerous studies have been conducted on the effects of feeling thankful and how it positively impacts our mood and health.  Yes, there are a number of concerns in our world, country and society on which we could focus.  I am sure I do not need to point out that we do that on a daily basis.  Let's instead make the concerted effort to focus on the good in people, the positive experiences and the reasons which cause us to feel thankful.  This suggestion is by no means an attempt to minimize any of the recent tragedies we have experienced in our world.  It is simply a request to temporarily refocus our energy.

Each day when I return home from work, I can count on at least one pair of little feet running to the door to greet me, with open arms and a big smile.  In that moment, I feel thankful.  The concerns of the day melt away and I am reminded of what is most important.  As I allow myself to be enveloped by those little arms, I choose to be present in that space, in that moment in time.  It feels good.

As you make your way to your holiday destination and navigate the holiday traffic, remind yourself of why you are thankful.  Life may not be exactly the way you want it but there is hope in tomorrow.  We all need a little hope and the ability to feel thankful.

Shatanese Reese is a freelance blogger who lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children.  Shatanese enjoys walks on the beach and color-rich sunrises.  Her goal is to find inspiration in the every day happenings of life.

Check out Shatanese on YouTube.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Simply Running Through My Mind

It's official.  I am that person.

Wanting to run and not look back.  Running from the negative thoughts.  Pushing past my fears.  Pushing past the voices.

You're too thin.

You're not big enough.

Your breasts.

Your stomach.

Your butt.

Your hair.

Your clothes.

Your everything.

They like her better than you.

She's smarter than you are.

He'd have more fun with someone else.

They prefer a different mom.

You suck as a mom.

You're not as good as you think you are.

Running from the negative thoughts.

How can I break free?  What do I need to do?  What is the point? 

I hate who I have become.  How do I help my children fight insecurities?  How does anyone fight insecurities?  They cover me.  They envelope me.  They fight to squelch my breath.  I cannot breathe.  I feel heavy.  The burden is too heavy. 

Will I ever be enough?  No. 



Recoiling into a fetal position.  Not wanting to look out.  You don't see me.  I don't see you.  Lifeless.  Where is the sun?  Where is the Son?  Where?

Is it in here?  Is He in here?  Who is in here?  Not me.  Not her.  Not that person.  Yes, that person.

I am trying to swim...something is grabbing my arm.  Something is grabbing my leg.  What is it?  What could it be?  It is grabbing my neck.  It is the past...The dark, ugly past.  Threatening to pull me down into an abyss.  I fight...I kick...I writhe...I scream.   Help.  Swallowing water.  Swallowing death...I can't.

What is love?  Do I love me.  Can I love me?  Am I lovable?  There is is dull. 

The sum total of my life. 

Achieving...trying to succeed.  Attempting to reach an unattainable goal.  It is too high.  Out of reach.  Running.  Perfection.  Imperfection.  I hate.  I loathe.  I detest.  I despise.  Disgust.  Anger.  Frustration.  Hurt.  Pain.  Cry...cry...cry....

He loves me.  He loves me not.  He loves me.  H e l o v e s m e ...n .........

When?  I want to be free.  I want to shine.  I want to be ok in my own skin.  Why?

Tears...crying...cleansing...exploding.  Screaming.  Shouting.  Running.  Fighting.  Jumping.   Bleeding...hurting...still hurting.  Healing sometimes...hurting me.  Hurting others.  H U R T.  Hiding Under Rough Times.






Yesterday.  Today.  Tomorrow.  Forever.  Eternity.  Infinity.  Indefinitely.  Infidelity.  Future.

Growth hurts.  Pain. 

Forgiven.  Grace.  Mercy. 

Never mind.

I tried.

We tried.

They tried.

They cried.

Reality equals perception equals deception equals anxiety.  What is truth?  Actions equal truth.  Actions equal truth. 

I have it all.  I have never.  I have always.  I have.  I have.

What next?

Me.  You.  Us.  Them.  Him.

Negative self-talk can be debilitating.  It is draining and unproductive.  It is important to replace each negative thought with two positive thoughts.  One of my favorite scriptures on which I meditate during times of despair is Philippians 4:8;

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Our experiences shape our perceptions.  Our beliefs impact our reactions.  Being connected to the right people is key.  They can uplift us when we are down and when everything seems bleak.  More importantly, being connected to a higher purpose is essential.  It is absolutely ok to feel despair, hurt and anger at times.  Life warrants these feelings.  If you experience these feelings regularly, however, I encourage the assistance of professional help.  Our mental health is important and should be taken seriously.  Know your worth and your value.  Your future depends on it.

Shatanese Reese is a freelance blogger who lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children.  Shatanese enjoys walks on the beach and color-rich sunrises.  Her goal is to find inspiration in the every day happenings of life. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Angel Babies-A Lesson in Healing

"I am sorry, Mrs. Reese.  The pregnancy is no longer viable."  Tears welled up in my eyes as the doctor continued with the final details of the visit.  I could not hear much of what was being said as I focused on the sense of loss I felt.  My body felt heavy and my spirit was grieved. 

The appointment eventually concluded and I made my way to the elevator.  The doors closed and finally, I was alone.  Alone with my thoughts, fears, disappointment and sadness.  I became painfully aware that I was physically alone as well.  The small being who had been growing inside of me for the past several weeks was no longer there.  Gone...never to be held in my arms. 

Suddenly, the elevator door opened and in walked a very pregnant woman.  I quickly looked at the floor, fighting back fresh tears.  As I exited the elevator, I could no longer hold back the flood of tears that had been threatening to overtake me.  With my vision blurred, I clumsily made my way to my car and slid in behind the steering wheel.  I buried my face in my hands and let the tears flow freely, filling the car with the sounds of my weeping. 

Anger entered my consciousness.  Why God?  Why?  What had I done to warrant this experience?  What had caused my body to reject the life that had been allowed to begin?  Why?  Do you not love me? 

The sense of emptiness I felt continued to grow and the weight of my grief became heavier, unbearable.  I decided to make my way home. 

I am not certain how I drove the distance to our house as I do not remember the trip at all.  Once I entered our home, I left everything I had in my hands by the door and slipped off my shoes.  The top of the stairs appeared far off in the distance but I knew my solace was near.  I slowly climbed the stairs to our bedroom, dragging my feet the entire way. I finally reached the landing and crawled into our bed, fully clothed.  I curled into a ball and attempted to shut out the world.  I attempted to shut out the emotional and physical pain I was now fully feeling.

I have experienced a total of four miscarriages in my life, each heavy-laden with its own process of grief.  I say they are my four Angel Babies.  Many might say that a miscarriage during the first trimester is not as devastating as one during a later trimester or even after birth.  I say that a loss is a loss. 

I believe there are two processes that occur during such a loss:  the physical healing of the body and the emotional healing of the mind.  Will it happen again?  What can I do to avoid it?  Should we even try again?  I suppose one could also include the healing of the spirit, a sort of reconciliation with God.

I have had numerous conversations with God, at various stages of my pregnancies. After the second miscarriage, there were times shortly after learning I was expecting when I would pray fervently prior to taking a trip to the rest room.  "Lord, please do not let me see anything on this toilet paper after I wipe.  Please, Lord.  Please."  "Lord, please make this cramping feeling go away as I do not know if I can handle another loss."  Anger-focused questions also bounced around in my head.  "Father, if it is not your will for me to carry this child full-term, then why did you allow me to become pregnant in the first place?" 

Ultimately, I found verses in the Bible for focus and told myself that God knows best.  Some might wonder why I would allow myself to become pregnant again, and again...and again.  I firmly believed God had a plan for my life and for the pain I had experienced with each loss.  I believed and still believe that I was not being punished for some past sin.  I imagine that some day when I am in heaven, I will hear four voices which will say, "Hi Mommy.  We've missed you."  Until that day, I choose to focus on healing and the blessings I presently have in my life.

Shatanese Reese is a freelance blogger who lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children.  Shatanese enjoys walks on the beach and color-rich sunrises.  Her goal is to find inspiration in the every day happenings of life. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Their Eyes Are Always Watching

Allow me to be transparent for a moment as I share an example of how I was not at my best as a parent.  Last week, while traveling to visit my parents, I allowed our oldest son to get in some driving practice by driving our SUV to our destination.  We quickly learned that traffic was going to be problematic on the interstate and that an alternate route was needed.   I was seated near my two youngest children and therefore navigated our route from the backseat guiding him off the interstate through the side streets of southwest Atlanta. 

Suddenly, a situation unfolded before our eyes.  I told my son to take a left to enter the on-ramp leading to I20 east.  Since we were attempting to take a left-hand turn, we proceeded cautiously towards the intersection. We could see that traffic was slowing to a crawl and wondered what was the delay?  Was there road construction or a terrible accident? 

As we approached, we discovered there were two cars blocking the on-ramp and one of the two cars had stalled.  There were a number of individuals who were vacating their cars in an attempt to offer assistance in pushing the car off the road.  One of these individuals was a woman.  While I am sure she thought she was offering assistance, she instead was adding to the chaos and confusion.  She became argumentative and began shouting and hurtling comments at cars who were now honking at the stalled car and attempting to speed by.

Drivers began coming from behind our vehicle to pass us and enter the on-ramp.  I told my son to proceed, albeit with caution.  As he delicately maneuvered our SUV closer to the ensuing chaos, I kept my eye on the back of the truck to ensure a smooth passing.  Just as he was sqeeking by, the woman reached out and slapped the rear of our car as if we were a horse!  I was instantly infuriated!  I turned around quickly assessing our situation and realized there was not much of anything I could do.  In an attempt to assert myself and not be outdone, I rolled down the window and yelled as loudly as I could, "DON'T HIT MY CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRR!!"  Keep in mind, I was on the passenger's side of the vehicle while she was on the rear driver's side.  Truly effective, right?  #NOT. 

The kids were stunned.  Their faces were frozen with amazement, surprise and perhaps disappointment and mouths were hanging open.  My oldest daughter told my son to proceed as quickly as he could to the on-ramp and to disregard my requests for him to stop the car.  The younger kids were looking around as if to say, "What in the world just happened?!"  I was hot under the collar and quickly sent a text to my husband which stated, "I am going to jail today!"  Of course, he FaceTimed me immediately. 

I lost my temper as well as an opportunity to illustrate taking the higher road to our kids.  I allowed the situation to get the best of me and I responded out of anger.  As parents, we are living examples for our children and if we profess to have a relationship with Christ we are also live models of God's love.  As parents, we show our kids how to cope with life, resolve conflict and how to deescalate situations.  I was not successful on that day and was not proud of my reaction.  I realized, however, I could still use that situation as a teaching opportunity. 

As the kids described what happened to my husband, levity entered the situation as my angered screech was repeated several times, in what seemed like Minnie Mouse voices.  Ultimately, our discussion focused on how they would have handled the situation differently and how the way Mommy handled it was not the best course of action.  When it is all said and done and my time here is over, I hope my children learn not only from my best days, but also from my not so good days.  I also hope they see that God can still use my imperfection.  I am reminded of King David as well as others in the Bible who were fallible but still were used by God to accomplish mighty feats.  I thank God for His grace and mercy.    #GodIsNotThroughWithMeYet.

Shatanese Reese is a freelance blogger who lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children.  Shatanese enjoys walks on the beach and color-rich sunrises.  Her goal is to find inspiration in the every day happenings of life.  Check out Shatanese on YouTube