About Me

Upper Darby, PA, United States

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Get to Slicing

by Habibah Sulayman

I love New Year's Eve!! There is something so exciting and exhilarating about being on the cusp of 365 days of the unknown!! I am a nerd at heart so I feel the same way about opening a new journal--I run my fingers across the crisp pages imagining all of the great stories I will write--my triumphs, challenges, secrets!! So exciting!! I woke this morning in a really reflective mood and had my-heart-to- God's Heart conversation!! God spoke to me about a couple of things and then confirmed them through a wonderful text from my twin in all things spiritual. The book of Joshua is an amazing story--it tells of how God's people entered the Promise Land. The place of rest, abundance, and peace. A home for a people who were homeless. Freedom for a people who had spent years in bondage. A place that I think each one of us can relate to. The book starts off where Deuteronomy ended--Moses--God's chosen leader--has just died. He was originally called to lead the children of Israel to the Promise Land but due to his own issues--God allowed him to see it but not enter into it. He actually died right outside of Canaan (that is a note for another day) and God appointed Joshua to take over as leader of His people. God had killed off most of the adults who He rescued from Egypt because of their grumbling & complaining (a note for another day). So in the 5th chapter of Joshua—God instructs Joshua to prepare the people to enter the Promised Land by circumcising the males. The people entering to the Promise Land were born during the 11 day-turned-into-40 year trip. After they were circumcised and had remained in the camp until everyone was whole & ready to go—the Scripture states the following: And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. The word “reproach” in Hebrew is taunt, scorn upon enemy, resting upon condition of shame, disgrace. Circumcision is the art of removing unnecessary skin from the male genital. God had requested that Joshua help the children of Israel remove “the unnecessary” in their lives in order to prepare them to move forward. In order for the children of God to walk into what God had already prepared for them—they had to voluntarily remove all of the mess that they carried in, on, and with them from their place of bondage We are a sum total of all of the experiences we have been exposed to and I am okay with admitting that most of mine have not been the best. I had and sometimes still allow some of those experiences to hold me hostage. I kept all of my mess in a handy backpack as God made the Red Sea part to allow me to escape from my own personal Egypt. I stood on the shore and watch while He closed the sea on those “Egyptians”—the naysayers, abusers, liars, etc—while telling me that I would never see them again. It was true that I had been rid of them but I wasn’t rid of the mess and the messages. God had done His part and it was time for me to do mine. I believe that New Year’s Eve is just that—it is the opportunity to circumcise yourself from all the mess/messages that you have picked up along the year. The mess that you have been carrying from your childhood, adulthood, relationships, that no longer work. The tapes stuck on repeat in your head singing the lies that the enemy sold you while you were in your “Egypt” When you finally decide to put down your “Egyptian” ways, words will, and walk—you can finally “walk” into what God has for you! There are battles ahead that you need to have your head, heart, and hands free to pick your “Promise Land” equipment/battle gear! See I would have loved to tell you that they walked into the Promised Land and all was peaches & cream---wrong!! The Bible tells of the numerous battles that they faced before they truly settled into their Promise Land. You need to prepare the future by letting go all of the mess from your past!! So I invite you to join me as I get to slicing….Slicing away the old way of thinking, slicing away the old way of speaking, slicing away all of my old habits that have never gotten me where God wanted me to go or be or see! Be blessed Habibah © Habibah Sulayman 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

For my Sisters...

End of Myself

by Habibah Sulayman on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 8:45am
I almost didn’t write this note—it felt too raw to share. But I thank God for the angels that He has placed in my life that encourages/pushes me the right way at the exact moment that I need it.
If I had to describe what 2011 has meant to me—I would say hands down it has been the BEST year of my life. I have experienced the miraculous in every area —
  • I came face to face with my dark place—my abuse—and I beat it!! I survived!
  • I transformed my body in a way that still shocks me sometimes.  I released 57 lbs of excess baggage and all of my hair along with it.
  • I began to finally accept and walk into my calling—Minister, Writer, Encourager—Woman of God! I preached for the first time and it went really well.
  • I shared my testimony with those closest and in rooms full of unfamiliar faces.
  • When I least expected it—love showed up at my door. I opened my heart and life to him—I was present, honest, open, and vulnerable in way I had never been before. I shared me—all of me—good, bad, or indifferent with someone who truly cared about me. Someone who supports, encourages, and values the woman that I am.
  • I became a buck stopper!! Two of my babies grew up into wonderful, powerful, and strong young women who have started their own life journey. No babies out of wedlock—God decimated that generational curse.
  • I conquered my lifelong fear of deep water—I dived into the Atlantic Ocean as a scuba diver!!
I was ALIVE—not just surviving or existing or pretending!! I was experiencing and participating in my life for the first time EVER and it was wonderful!
So one would think that I would be on top of the world right now—with all of undeniable evidence of God’s love/favor over my life—how could I not be?
Well I must admit that I am not—to be honest I am struggling right now to just keep my head above water. I am in the midst of a battle unlike any I have faced before. I am exhausted—beyond exhausted—I am wiped out, empty, barren.
While I started off on track at the beginning of this year—I must admit that I am ending it feeling the total opposite.
  • My eating has been out of control and I have gained some weight back and also lost some of the strength I acquired due to an almost 2 month break from working out.
  • I took my eyes off of God and began to look at me—which of course led me to begin to question had God made a mistake calling me? He couldn’t possibly use this flawed vessel for any good could he?
  • The relationship that brought me so much joy—I became afraid—I was just too much work, did he really know what he signed up for by choosing me, I just have too many issues, I am too damaged for any man to truly love me--and pushed him away.
  • The babies that are gone now—began to question if I truly prepared for what awaits them in this world. Was I a good mom and an example for them? Would they be ok?
I messed up so badly! No coming back this time—I was tired. Tired of fighting—most of my life has been a fight and I just didn’t want to anymore. This mess was too big for me to fix—no snappy comeback or triumphant rise like the Phoenix. What would people think of me if they knew this was what really behind the beautiful smile? This can’t happen to me—I am the person who encourages everyone. I am the person who is constantly applauded for the risk I take every time I share a piece of my pain---I am too strong to get discouraged. Too anointed to ever get tired! I am a child of God and that means that I can’t get depressed.
One of the many things that I love about my Abba Father is the angels in flesh aka my friends and family that He sends just in the nick of time to minister to me.
After another night of restless sleep—I called my twin in all things spiritual and finally shared all of what I had been feeling. She, being the wise woman that she is, listened to me, let me cry, and then pointed me to the Word.
In 1 Kings 17-19 tells the story of the battle between Elijah the prophet and King Ahab—it was really a battle between Good and Evil (Hint—Good won!)
The Lord directed Elijah, he followed God’s direction, and Ahab was defeated. In 1 Kings 18—Elijah challenged Baal’s prophets. It was dynamic—400 evil prophets against Elijah! He not only challenged Baal—he challenged the people of Israel to finally choose who they would serve--God or Baal! After God performed the miraculous and the people came to their senses—they murdered the prophets! Elijah then brought to an end a drought in the land! Victory was gained!! Ahab ran home and told his crazy, evil wife Jezebel and she put a hit out on Elijah! Elijah stood his ground and faced her—wrong! Elijah ran away defeated and discouraged. So much so that when he finally stopped the Bible says the following:
Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” (1 Kings 19:4 NLT)
How does one go from the highest mountain to the lowest valley so quickly? What does it say about their walk and faith in God? Elijah had experienced God’s best—he was fed by ravens, defeated the enemy, and got prayers immediately answered. Then for him to be so discouraged that he prayed that God would end his life—doesn’t make sense.
So how did God answer Elijah’s request to just let him die—He allowed him to rest and fed him.
I love how intricate God’s choice of words in these passages--one of the Hebrew definitions of the word rest is chadal—which means to cease or come to an end and the word fed is ‘akal—which means to eat, devour, burn up, and feed.
God sent an angel to speak to Elijah two times—the first time the angel woke Elijah he provided him with a meal but the second time is my favorite part of the whole story.
In verse 7 it states—“Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you”
I—like Elijah and many of us—had come to the end of me. The end of the measure of what was needed to do the great accomplishments I had over 2011. The end of my own strength and abilities. The end of “me” was right back at the feet of my Father resting.
Rest is very important to God—so much so that He set the precedent way back in Genesis. After He created the world and all that was in it—He rested and called it good.
I have been guilty (convicted and sentenced by my friends) of pushing myself too hard. Going hard in all things is what I do—I am a woman! But like all things that are hard—I broke! So I challenge myself and ask you to join me in seeking to spend more time at Abba’s feet resting—in His presence, resting in His Word, resting on the promises that He has given you in this next year. He promised great things to those who rest in Him.
The other part of this story came in the second time the angel woke Elijah up. God didn’t say to Elijah “Listen here you coward—this mess is too big for me to use you anymore! How could you run from those crazy people? How dare you quit on me or question my Hand in your life? That is it—game over!” God told him to get up and eat this meal or the journey ahead would be too great for him.
Had God given up on Elijah even though Elijah had given up on himself? No! Had God denied that they journey ahead would be tough or great? No! Did He deny the feelings that arose in Elijah’s heart—God I am scared, this is too much, I can’t go any further? No!
What He said was the following:
1)      I am going to use you—yes I know you are tired, scared, and a mess—but I am not changing my mind. My gifts & callings are non returnable, irrevocable—I don’t change my mind about who I called you to be! You ARE what I said you are in spite of what your actions are!
2)      What you are facing is great—but I am greater!
3)      Yes you are tired—but I never tire!
4)      No mess is ever too big for me to work out—I saw it before you saw Me and I done already re worked it to work out for you!
So today, I encourage you like I do myself—to spend the last days of this year resting at Abba’s feet and eating the perfectly God-prepared balanced meal that He has before you so that you can face what He has called you to do in 2012.
Thank you for being such a wonderful part of this year’s journey with me. Your support and encouraging words about my writing means more than you know—every like and comment lifts my spirits, abolishes my fears, and pushes me to keep digging deep to find what God placed in me.
I look forward to where God is taking me in 2012—Prayerfully my book “From Broken to Beautiful: Finding Your Purpose from Your Pain” will be completed next year!
I love you all and may the Lord bless & keep you!
Be blessed
© Habibah Sulayman 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Your Legacy by Habibah Sulayman

During my most recent Sacred Sojourn--I had a number of miraculous interactions with God and His blessings in human form aka people. One of the best came in with meeting a trio of wonderful women. Since I was traveling alone--At dinner I was placed at the table with a wonderful group of women--Grandmother Catherine, daughter Gail, and granddaughter Gracie. They were originally from Canada (Grandmother & Mother) but now reside in Kentucky. We couldn't be more different--they lived in a very rural town and I was Ms City girl herself. They were Caucasian and I an African American. They were wealthy and I am in the process of getting there (Smile). But what linked us together was so much more important that what divided us--we were women. For seven nights we shared of ourselves--stories about who we were, what brought us to Puerto Rico, etc? But the most interesting facts were shared in my watching their interactions with one another.

One of the things we had in common was our love of traveling and Gail shared with me where her love started. When she was 8 years old--her mother took her to Hawaii and introduced her to the wonderful world of snorkeling. She fell in love with the ocean and all that lived in it. At the age of 15, she was taken to the Caribbean and she learned how to scuba dive. It opened her to desire to explore--so when she finished college she spent 6 months traveling the world visiting all of the great snorkeling/scuba locations--the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and a number of other places. When she got married and gave birth to her children she vowed to pass that same love onto her daughters. Which is what led us to meet when we did--this trip was introduce Gracie to God's world beneath the water with the hope of waking the same desire that laid in the heart of her Grandmother and Mother. Over the seven meals we shared I watched Gracie's love for travel blossom and I also saw the joy in Gail and Catherine's eyes in seeing the connection being formed between their generations.

It got me to thinking about what legacies we as Christian women inherited and what we are leaving behind for our daughters.

I come from a long line of strong, self sufficient, self sacrificing women. And while some may find that great--let me speak of the unspoken legacies that I inherited. I learned that everyone else's needs, thoughts, and desires were more important than my own. I learn that self care was selfish--the true mark of a good woman is to give to all in her life until she is empty by never holding anything back. I learned that love was created for everyone else but me and that true love was to love another who was not only not worthy of my love but abused me in the process. Work, work, work--you don't have a right or deserve to rest. Give, give, and give until there is NOTHING left--especially for you. The pain and hurt that you never spoke of to anyone about--just keep smiling while you were slowly dying inside. Secrets and shame was okay. Freedom was for everyone else except you. There were so many unspoken messages that I carried from my childhood into my adulthood that impact my life still today. And sadly enough, if I am totally honest I have shared those same messages with my own daughters.

I did some research and found that some of the leading causes of natural death in women--heart disease, cancer, stroke, and respiratory infections--can be deterred or even stopped by better self care. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression. The causes of our spiritual deaths is even greater--anger of past hurts, bitterness over lack of reciprocity in our families, the attacks we suffer because we are beyond exhausted, etc.

But I rejoice because I serve a God of newness--beginning, legacies, and messages.  When I decided to say Yes to Jesus many moons ago--I became a new creature and old things--including those dysfunctional legacies--passed away. I have the power to now write a new legacy for not only me but for all the present and coming generations of women in my family.

I have a whole new appreciation of the speech you get when you fly--they tell you that in case of a flight emergency--when the oxygen mask comes down--place the mask on you first THEN place the other mask on your child.

As women--we must place the oxygen masks on our lives--physically and spiritually--and teach our daughters to do the same before we create another generation of women who are slowly killing themselves before they even truly begin to live.

As we head into this holiday season--there are so many gifts that we can give our daughters. We search high and low for the perfect gift for them to open on that one day but I am challenging you to examine the gifts that they receive from you every day-- your legacies--both inherited and transmitted. I pray for wisdom, discernment, and guidance from God to help you write some new legacies that will speak life into the lives of your daughters and all the women to come.

Be blessed
© Habibah Sulayman 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Living Life with a Broken Leg

"Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (The Message)

Well, we're back!
It's been an eventful vacation, and the souvenir we have left over to show for it all is a BROKEN LEG.

Broken legs are often necessary in the transformation process. It is an extraordinary process! We look forward to the outcome, but often we underestimate the pain involved to get there.

As was noted recently by Elder Ted Reed, many of the principles of God are progressive. God has a goal (a plan) in mind for each of us.

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me , and I will listen to you.You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV

He has a plan, but it doesn't happen overnight. He knows what it will take to get us there. Nothing he uses, or allows, to accomplish His plan is wasted--not pain, not frustration, not tragedy, not loss.

Our job is to keep in mind the promise of an expected end, and to keep our focus on Him as He sets the path for our destination.

God is a keeper, and He is faithful. He uses the leg-breaking process as a time for us to accept our weakness and rely wholly on Him for strength. As we stay in His Presence, our broken bones can set properly, and we can walk with Him intimately toward our eternal destination.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

To Be Continued...

Hi Blog Readers,

First, I'd like to thank you for your patience over the last couple of months. Life has been making some very sharp shifts for me lately, which have caused me to "be still and know". Unfortunately, the blog was one of the shift casualties...but only temporarily.

I plan on coming back stronger and more in tune with the Holy Spirit as God brings me through. Stay tuned for more CANDACE SPEAKS...VERY SOON!!!!

Resting in the Presence of MY Daddy,


Monday, May 23, 2011


Guest Blogger: Habibah Sulayman

I have a confession--I LOVE to box! Not Mike Tyson ear biting type of boxing but I like to box as a form of exercise. It makes my turkey wings aka my arms :) look and feel great.

My trainer, who has to be one of the most creative women I know, has created a section in her gym/basement, where she has set the punching bag on a chair and tied it to a standing column with two exercise resistance bands! Told you she was fabulous :).

She knows how much I enjoy boxing and since I am on a cardio kick--she lets me box myself silly sometimes.

On the front of the bag it states the following:


What most people dont know is that exercise has become a time of worship for me. I am fully aware of God's power in me when I work out because I know there are things that I am able to do then--dips, running on a treadmill among others--that I cant do in my own strength. So I usually meditate on a thought or two when I am exercising. I have little chants that I say in my head when I finally get a rhythm going--My trainer has this exercise I do while boxing--I squat and punch the bag as I come to a full stand. It is usually done to a 6 count. So my fav chant during that is Your will, Your way, Your Word or something like that. It is a time that I can drown out all of my busy thoughts and just focus on Him.

Yesterday, one of my favorite Worship leaders Theresa Noye (luv her and her family so much) sang a song called Everlasting by Chris Tomlin and some of the lyrics are as follows:

Our God, You reign forever

Our hope, our Strong Deliverer

You are the everlasting God

The everlasting God

You do not faint

You won't grow weary

You're the defender of the weak

You comfort those in need

You lift us up on wings like eagles

As I sang--I got a big picture. I began to reflect on God's everlasting presence in my life. How He never grows faint in His love for me and my loved ones. How He didnt grow faint when He pursued me all those years before I said "Yes" in my heart to Him. How He never grows faint in extending me more and more mercy & grace knowing full well how bad I am going to blow it. He never grows weary of hearing my cries as it is written "

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them." Psalm 145:18-19 (NIV)

So even when I call on Him in TRUTH of my mess, weakness, shakiness--He NEVER grows tired of answering me. I just began to meditate on ALL of the things my mind could pull up that He doesnt faint or grow weary in when it comes to me and my heart was full.

This weekend's false prophecy made me sad more than anything because there are so many people who grew weary and almost fainted because they put their all in a man--who did exactly what we do in our own power FAIL. I know how that feels and I grieve for them all.

Instead of judging or mocking them--I began to look at my own life to see if I had any false prophets or idols I had been placing my everlasting faith in--It could be in the form of the job we think is our provision, the whispered promises of an illicit person who swears to never leave if we only give in, or could it be the talent/abilities that God has given us that we place faith in instead of the Giver of All? If we are all honest--we all have some small or big "false prophet" in our lives that we must renounce our agreement with (another Min Theresa Noye nugget of wisdom)

But guess what--there is Someone who doesnt--Someone who is EVERLASTING in His promises, power, mercy, grace, andl LOVE if you just say yes.

He is the EVERLASTING God--and choosing to say yes to Him will make you a champion. He is waiting to show each and everyone of His tired and weary children how much He loves them.

So today my prayer is that we begin to place our faith and hope back into the EVERLASTING arms of the only One who it belonged to all along...

Be blessed