Being Still

in your presence, O Lord, is so difficult.

I think of the story of Martha and Mary, and how Martha was running all over the place getting upset over this and that. Jesus told her that Mary “has chosen what is better” by sitting at his feet, completely attentive to all he was saying and doing.

Lord, it has been somewhat of a strange week. Today is Friday and it seems as though the week absolutely flew by in a sense. Some days feel so long and fruitful, and others… painstakingly mundane. I yearn for tomorrow, and hope that I find the greatest contentment in all that it brings.

Lord I guess the unknowing has gotten me down here and there. Even though you specifically spoke to me in a devotional saying that we are not to worry about what the future holds. That we are only to trust in you, Lord, keeper of our souls, finisher of our faith. What peace there is in that.

Lord, I thank you for the many conversations about you as of late. About the gospel, about the Truth. About the person of Jesus. Thank you Lord for history. Thank you for historians. Thank you for evidence. Thank you for proof. Thank you for all of the people that dedicated their lives to discovering the truth. Thank you for all the people that set out to disprove the truth and ended up being saved by what they found.

Thank you Lord, that you are unstoppable.

And that includes all of us that are saved. All of your children. Thank you God for saving me and giving me eyes to see what’s true.

And I thank you Lord, for leading others to your truth. Thank you for softening hearts. Thank you for making people ready to receive truth. Thank you Lord for fertilizing the soil. Thank you for planting seeds. Thank you for raining truth. Thank you for working, always working. For your great plans. For bearing fruit in season when the time is right. You’re the Only One who knows what the future holds. And I THANK you so much for holding my future!

Lord God, help me put You first. Help me do all of the things. Thank you for helping me take on new territory. Thank you for going before me and laying down each and every step that I will take. Even the confused ones where I go back and forth, sometimes literally, before making a decision.

Thank you for helping me decide what to do tonight. You put that obstacle in my path, and it was good. It was necessary. It was helpful. It was perfect. I am THANKFUL that You placed it there. Lord, please help me to see EVERY obstacle in my path as a blessing from you. Since I believe you are in all of the details. 100% of the details.

100%.

Not 99%, and the other 1% left to chance.

100. You are the God of everything. The One over it all.

I love getting to know you. Thank you for slowly teaching me how to love You and others better.

xxx

<3

V

When things don’t go your way

do you pout or do the next right thing? A little bit of both?

If you pout, how long do you do it for? Does it consist of pouting to yourself or complaining to anyone and everyone around you? How does that make you feel?

Kinda makes me think of a miserable slug leaving a trail of slime behind it. Eww

When things don’t go your way…

how fast are you to accept the change? Are you a fighter when it comes to keeping things the way they are, or do you ignore the changes, or do you embrace the changes?

For me, it’s a matter of if  there’s something I can do about it, I do it. If there’s nothing I can do about it, I try not to worry about it. I ask God for peace about it. He is Faithful to give me peace!

 

 

We are all little control freaks at times. We have ideas of how things should look, when they should happen, how they should happen. Thank God that He is in control and we aren’t able to manipulate so many parts of our lives. God is always teaching me how to depend on Him more. However, my nature wants to depend on Him less. And that doesn’t lead me to very good places.

I don’t want to be darkened in my understanding. I want to have the wisdom that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, going where I’m supposed to be going, and embracing what God has me to be embracing. But isn’t that every challenge?

Isn’t every single challenge that comes along once from the Lord? Not that He causes or creates the issues. Think of it like this:

If God wanted to protect me from someone, He could.

If God wanted to make my business take off running overnight, He could.

If God wanted to me work hard to cater to people no matter what their response is, He would. He would find a way. Because He is God. And if we’re looking… we’ll see God in every one of the details. Every. One.

God is the big boss. And it’s night time. Gotta go to sleep, more later!

xxx <3 V

My Legacy

Today was a strange day.

I think because of the way it started. I woke up several times thinking that I was oversleeping and was going to miss my appointment. Do you ever have that feeling?

Each time I woke up and realized I still had ~3 hours, then ~2 hours then ~30 minutes I was both relieved and annoyed at the same time.

Sometimes I can’t calm the adrenaline. I can’t calm the feeling of anxiousness. Alertness. “On”ness.

Sometimes it feels like a high speed chase. Sometimes it feels like a race.

Sometimes I wish I could slow down my pace, which is funny cuz that’s exactly what GOD said

Listen to me child, or you’ll end up in bed

Don’t run so hard, don’t play so hard, you don’t have to do all the things

But did I stop and listen to GOD? If I had, I wouldn’t be writing.

He said “don’t go, not today, listen to your pain. That stiffness you feel is because your body’s not trained.

Sit down, relax, go later or tomorrow. Heed my advice, daugher, have some coffee and fodder” (lol I love slippin’ the word “fodder” in when I can 😂) … (even tho I’m not a cow. DON’T YOU DARE COMMENT!!) … (jk)

 

.

..

.

 

God is always looking out for us. He wants to help us take care of our temples well.

He put this on my heart tonight: what I want people to remember about me after I die. So I made a list, which looks kinda like dis:

She….

stood up for Jesus.

walked the talk. Did what she said she would do, and wasn’t a hypocrite.

was quick to confess when she did wrong, and ask for forgiveness.

was quick to forgive others when they wronged her.

stood up for justice.

gave God all the glory in whatever she did.

acknowledged that it was all God’s grace… that she lived, walked, and had her being.

feared only God.

lived to please God.

shamelessly shared about her faith and testimony.

took care of her temple.

followed God and didn’t run ahead of Him!!

considered others as better than herself.

worked hard with her hands to provide for herself (and her family).

never doubted, for a moment, that God would give her all that she needed.

leaned on Him completely for direction.

spoke often of her privilege to walk with Him.

filled her head with things that were lovely, pure, excellent.

filled her head with things that were praise-worthy, and true.

filled her head with things that were just and honorable.

took every thought captive and made it obedient to Christ.

 

.

..

.

 

This is what I want my legacy to be.

Lord… thank you for making me more like You and less like me every day. As I fill my mind with Your Word, I dwell on it. I choose to dwell on what’s True. You tell us that all Your Word is True. Thank you for granting me eyes to see the Truth. Lord, thank you for dwelling and dining with me. I would be utterly lost and hopeless if not for the riches of your grace… you have made me rich. Free, rich, righteous. What more could I ask for? Only to help me stay my eyes on you. 

xxx

<3

V

Road signs

Today was an odd day. Well, this afternoon and evening was odd.

I started the day like normal… I was tired when I first got up, and frankly didn’t want to do anything. But I got up and made coffee and had some quiet time with God which was lovely.

Then I went to work. Then did some work at home…

Until I had to get up and move. Though I was starting to yawn. I started to get SO tired and thought it quite odd. So I put on some clothes to go running in, and thought I’d wake myself up that way. That’s when I started feeling anxious.

Don’t run today.” was the feeling that I kept getting. I kept having that feeling as I was putting on my clothes, as I was heading to my car.

I then remembered a time when I didn’t listen to God and didn’t have peace about going dancing one night but decided to go anyway and didn’t have peace the whole way there.

I then thought about the fact that I was thinking about that other time when I didn’t have peace and then started thinking about the fact that I was connecting that time to this time. So I asked God “should I just go home?” to which it seemed He said “yes, go home”.

But I still kept driving to the park. Even though the light was red and there was nobody in the turning lane next to me and I easily could have done a U-turn and went home.

So I get to the park and I’m still questioning whether or not I should be at the park (a good indicator that I should NOT be at the park) and I park my car and start walking the 5.3 mile loop. I’m planning on starting to run, but I heard a nagging “turn around and go home” in the back of my mind. Or maybe at this point those words were at the front of my mind.

So I asked God for a clear sign that I should go home. I was looking down at the time. When I looked up, I saw not one, not two, but three crystal clear signs.

They were road signs, actually.  And the first one said “Caution” and I walked by. The second one said “Do Not Enter” and I kept going. The third one said “Exit” with an arrow pointing back to my car.

It’s funny because I’ve done this trail countless times, but never noticed those signs before. I know I’m oblivious to begin with, but when you ask God for a sign and then He shows you three that all say “go home” after you pretty much know He’s been telling you to go home all along anyway, it’s time to listen.

So I left. And I went to the grocery store on the way home. Got some stir fry veggies.

Made a lil stir fry. With chicken. Yum.

And then all my plans were thrown out the window. I just felt like sleeping. I absolutely hit a wall. So at 6:30pm I went to sleep. And slept til 9:30pm. Then I went to work.

I’m about to go to bed now… 12:48am but I really wanted to share this experience with you. God is speaking. Are we listening? Are we really tuned in? Are we willing to trust Him and do what He says? Are we?

I’m not sure all of the purposes behind God telling me to go home. I don’t believe anything is ever purely physical, though He was definitely helping me take care of my body (I’m also going running tomorrow with a friend so I should preserve myself since I’m such a noob and don’t want to overdo it again. I have a tendency to start a regime too quickly and sabotage myself). I also believe there were many unforeseen spiritual implications going on that I may come to understand, but likely will not.

Long story short, God is in control. And when He takes your peace away, trust Him and listen. Lack of peace means STOP and LISTEN. Sometimes God will reveal obvious signs right in front of your face.

He is worthy to be trusted and worthy to be praised!

Hallelujah!

xxx

<3

V

Shine a light on it

God speaks in funny little ways sometimes.

So I just got home from work. I brought home a little container of ice cream that I had left in the freezer where I work for the past couple of days. I had a spoon in my glove box and decided to try a bite of the chocolate, chocolate chip ice cream right there in the car. Why didn’t I wait until I got into the house? Good question.

Maybe so God could show me what He showed me.

I only wanted to eat a tad of the ice cream.
I love eating the soft, melty ice cream around the edges when you’re eating out of a container (no shame. besides, this was just a single-serve-sized container, so no judgment. But even if it were a pint of a quart, no shame 😀 as long as you aren’t sharing during COVID season 😉 )

Because I was eating the ice cream in the dark, I couldn’t maneuver the melty parts onto my spoon that well. I decide to abort the mission and take that party inside.

I resume in the kitchen and breathed a minor sigh of relief.

Shining a light on something changes everything.

I could finally see.

*

*

*

A song that’s been on my heart lately is “Who You Really Are”. Here are a couple of lines from the song:

Who you really are, God and King

Who you really are, Lord of everything

Who you really are, teach me to see You as you really are

Who you really are, Risen and Living

Who you really are, Just and yet Forgiving

Who you really are, teach me to see You as You really are.

 

I want to see you God. And I want to see you as you REALLY are. Not just the fluffy parts. I thank you for being loving, and I THANK you for being just. I thank you for being patient, and I THANK you for being jealous. I THANK YOU for being Peace, Shalom, and I THANK you that you are a sword. 

Thank you Lord, for dividing families. Thank you for permitting sickness and disease. Thank you for your judgment. You are so merciful, so gracious… but you are NOT a rug. You will NOT be walked over. You will NOT be mocked.

 

“Do not be deceived, God canNOT be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”.

Galatians 6:7

A man reaps what he sows.

reap what I sow.

Be it seeds of anger, discord, mockery, scorn, hate, judgment, irritability, impatience, DECEIT, jealousy….

…or seeds of love, trust, truthfulness, honesty, integrity, patience, kindness, all for the glory of God.

Lord God, THANK YOU that YOU. CANNOT. BE. MOCKED. You see ME as I really am, and choose to lavish love and grace on me. And at the same time, you convict me of sin, let me experience the consequences of my sin, and teach me in my heart that You REALLY ARE TRUSTWORTHY. You really are FOR me. You really are FIGHTING for me. You really are CARING for me. You really are LOVING me when you discipline. When you prevent. When you protect. When you prohibit. When you prolong. When you provide. When you withhold. When you act. When you stay silent. When you seem distant. 

You are consistent. Thank you for making me more like you.

*

*

*

So, so back to the ice cream. When we look at God and see Him as He really is, we can ask God to help us become more like Him and less like us.

I looked at my spoon and thought about how God continually shines His light into the dark places in my life and reveals what I need to work on:

*being more patient with other people

*being more forgiving of other people

*not trusting God’s timing enough in any given situation

*not walking in the Spirit

*not actively seeking out God’s voice in the midst of the world’s voices

*not really believing in all of His promises in scripture
If I really did believe, would I not obey His commands fully? 2 Corinthians 12:9 assures us that God’s grace is sufficient enough to set us FREE from sin.

Free.

Totally, completely, 100% free. We can choose to say NO to petty, hateful behavior; selfish, angry thoughts, motives and intentions. We can truly lavish love and healing onto other people for the sake of God’s glory alone, and we no longer have to carry the weight of our shame and sin.

This is the power of Christ in us.

Do I really believe this?

Is that what God is saying to me? Is that what God is saying to US right now?

Be still? and KNOW? that He is God?

Do I really KNOW it?

Is it head knowledge, or is it heart knowledge also.

The truth is revealed in actions towards others.

 

 

 

Time is short brothers and sisters. Shine a light on your life… on all different areas. And ask God to show you what to work on. He is Faithful to do so, in Jesus’s name and for Christ’s sake. Amen

xxx

<3

V

Freedom

I would like to take a moment to thank God for answering prayer. I had been praying to Him about getting clarity on a situation for almost two months, and I not only received that clarity, but He graciously revealed to me a couple of ways of how He was working in the situation the whole time.

Dear Lord, thank you so much for showing me what you have shown me. Forgive me for coming to you briskly and briefly, praying hastily, not waiting long enough for an answer, and then doing things my way anyway.

Thank you for this amazing opportunity to slow down, what with all that’s going on in the world. Lord, you didn’t have to cause a worldwide pandemic to get me to lay down in green pastures!!!! But I appreciate it ;-P ha ha ha.

Lord, the time and space that you have blessed me with over the last few days has been an amazing reminder of how important it is to seek you ALWAYS. ALL WAYS. In ALL things. You know all, you see all, your power is over all. I’m foolish for not tapping into that more often.

I’m grieved for not spending as much time with you, my brilliant, generous, loving Provider, as I ought to. I want to. I want to. I want You! Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for your long-suffering.

Time to go to work….

Have an awesome Saturday everyone…. Look for the blessings…. Look for HIM <3

xxx

V

The Peace of God

Is given to us by God

Is taken from us by God

When we separate ourselves from Him

When we go even a degree astray from what He will have us to do

Have you ever been in a situation that you knew you shouldn’t be in. And the Lord told you to pull the plug on the whole thing. He told you to GET OUT. He told you that you would remunerate for your choice; whichever one you pick.

Have you ever heard God’s still, small voice guiding and nudging you gently; even as an answer to a prayer.

Take heed, my friends. Listen when God is talking. He knows best. Don’t waste time saying “was that God or was that me”. If you sense in your spirit that it was the Lord, pray and ask God for a confirmation that it was Him.

But for those of you who upon hearing His voice already KNOW that it was a confirmation; take heed. Listen. Act accordingly. Respond obediently.

Lord, Father, Dad, 

I thank you for your still, small voice which penetrates my mind and echoes all day and night long. Even after a situation has come to a completely halt and I’ve known in my heart what I should have done and still didn’t do it; you continue to lead me, and I thank you. Lord I thank you for your lordship over my life. I recognize that I am entirely in your hands and OH what a safe place to be!!!!!!!! Yesterday I said to someone, “sometimes I wish someone would just tell me exactly what to do and exactly where to go. God, I mean”. Your Holy Spirit does a great job of this. He does the best job of this, since Your timing is *perfect* and y’all are of one accord.

xxx

V

Shalom

Imagine yourself sitting by the water.

It’s sparkling in the sun.

A slight breeze is moving it towards lush, green banks covered in grass. 

And all around you is a sense of…

*

**

***

**

*

peace

*

**

***

**

*

unbrokenness

*

**

***

**

*

wholeness

*

**

***

**

*

rest

*

**

***

**

*

at rest

*

**

***

**

*

stillness

*

**

***

**

*

completeness

*

**

***

**

*

complete

*

**

***

**

*

ease

*

**

***

**

*

smile

*

**

***

**

*

calm

*

**

***

**

*

breathe

*

**

***

**

*

sleep

*

**

***

**

*

close your eyes

*

**

***

**

*

goodnight <3

*

**

***

**

*

a good night it is 🙂

 

Peace be to you!

xxx

V

 

Joy

The difference between happiness and joy is this: happiness is fleeting and joy is a state of being.

By the power of the Holy Spirit I can remain joyful throughout any situation. No matter how many fiery darts are flying in my direction; darts of disappointment, discouragement, disdain, detestation (wow, this is a word… I like it!!! even though it means “intense dislike” hhahah 🙂 )

As the darts roll in, I can let them roll off. My back, that is.

How?

Because of the knowledge of the Truth that I am in Christ Jesus and was bought by His blood when He died on the cross 2k years ago. I trust Him with my life, and know that I stand victorious with Him against any schemes that the enemy might conjure up.

So. That being said.

I’m at an interesting time in my life. I am still working as a private, in-home caregiver. I also just started a new endeavor doing direct sales. Direct sales can be discouraging if I choose to focus on the outcome of my reach-outs. What I mean by this is simple: rejection.

Nobody likes to be rejected… but if you are working in direct sales, you have GOT to get used to rejection. Not everyone is going to like the products, want the products. Some people may even get nasty. But I know this to be true: the war is not against the flesh and blood, but in the spiritual realm. So when people take out their negativity and hatred on me, I must choose to look past it and believe that (1) it ain’t about me (2) it certainly ain’t about vegan, chemical-free, anti-aging shampoo and skincare (this is what my company offers! <3 ) and (3) I have a real opportunity to shine the light of Christ to each individual through my response to people.

Notice I said “response” and not “reaction”.

A person’s emotional intelligence (EI) can be observed through the way they deal with certain situations. When someone is being difficult, I could mirror back their pettiness and anger to them (as they might expect me to do), or I could treat them with love, compassion, and forgiveness and choose to focus on listening to them and helping them in whatever capacity. This is not to say that we should be rugs.

Don’t be a rug. Repeat: do not be a rug. I don’t want anyone to enable anyone. We are not to be enablers of bad or rude behavior.

But loving? Yes. We should all always be loving. I will listen to you. Even if you come at me from a horrible angle. Because I KNOW that it isn’t about me. Whatever work the Lord has me doing is for my sanctification, His glory, and for the sharpening of other people; be it shedding light in a dark place, encouraging others when they feel alone, enhancing somebody’s life by simply entering into their life.

Being a child of God is a big responsibility! But God didn’t leave us to do it alone. We are empowered by His Holy Spirit.

One of my favorite prayers is this: “Lord, please redirect me if I need to be redirected. Thankyou for always leading me down your path of righteousness. Lord, please line up my will with yours, and kill my desire for anything that isn’t in your will for my life. I want to live according to your design. I want to live life to the full, through the lens of grace.”

Something like that.

<3

No two prayers are ever the same. None of that ritualistic stuff. I talk to God like I talk to any other person. Openly, honestly, with transparency, authentically. For God knows the words we’re going to speak before we even think them. Isn’t that amazing? Psalm 139 says “even before a word is on my tongue, you know it altogether”.

Lord, you knew that I was going to write this post this morning. You knew that I wanted to go to the early service but then I got held up … and this is the result of that. Lord, I pray that this post and these words blesses somebody. I pray that these words were exactly what somebody needed to hear today. Lord, I thank you for your presence with me right now. Thank you for the opportunity to do laundry this morning. I thank you for my car. I pray that you help me travel safely. Thank you for being able to worship today. Thank you for my lunch meeting. Thank you for the afternoon meeting. Lord help me make good use of my time later. Thank you for my sabbath this weekend. Thank you for restoring me. Your presence is so sweet. Thank you for teaching me how to choose you. Thank you for instilling within me the desire to seek you. I need you. I NEED YOU. Not only do I need you, but I WANT YOU. Do I believe you when you tell me that you’re the lover of my soul? That you love me with an everlasting love? When love is in the air, I just want to HEAR from the person. I can’t wait to SEE the person. I can’t wait to COMMUNE with the person. I VALUE and RESPECT the person. I want this with you. 

I want to hear from you.

I want to see you.

I want to commune with you. 

I value you. I respect you. I trust you. 

<3

<3

<3

Whatever your vessel is that God has given you to work in, lead in, be a part of, perform in it for His glory. For HIS glory. For God sees the heart. He knows our motives. Do you trust Him?

<3

xxx

V

confession

is freeing.

Bringing things to light.

Shining a light on darkness.

Bringing things to the surface.

I remember being underwater in the pool as a child. My friends and I would have “tea parties” where we would exhale all the way in order to plunge ourselves down to the bottom of the pool and then we would sit indian-style or lounge on the pool floor and pretend to drink tea. With our pinkies up, of course. 🙂

The tea parties didn’t last very long because we didn’t have gills. 🙁

hehe

so after about…. well, I was going to write a minute but I think in reality it was only like 10 seconds hahah…

so after about 10 seconds… we would shoot up to the surface and breathe deeply. Ahhhhh oxygen. Satisfying oxygen.

Go ahead, take a deep breath right now.

It’s wonderful, isn’t it? That God gave us O2. Thank God. Though sometimes we feel like we can’t breathe because we need to surface. We’ve spent time on the floor of a deep pool for too long.

That’s what confessing feels like.

I did that earlier today. So freeing. Like I can breathe again.

.

..

..

.

If my friends and I didn’t resurface we would have drowned. That is a little dramatic, but it’s true. We can’t breathe under water. We can only hold our breath for so long, and then we would pass out and drown.

I think a similar thing happens when we don’t confess. We drown. We’re meant to confess.

James 5:16 says:

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

 

The reason James gives for confessing your sins is “so that you may be healed”.

Makes perfect sense if we think of being stuck in our sin as drowning at the bottom of a pool. We gotta surface and breath and live.

When we bring our darkness to the surface, others can be our oxygen. They can breathe life into us with prayer and encouragement and help keep us accountable. Not that they have to even necessarily say or do anything further after the confession. Just knowing that other people know is great accountability. We’re all on this journey together and we all are going to find ourselves underneath the surface at one point or another. I promise you, surfacing is the best decision you will ever make. I know it was for me today. And that was literally a few hours ago.

Fact is, I don’t want to drown. I don’t want to struggle with my breathing. I don’t want to struggle. I don’t want to entertain struggling. If I choose to go to the “tea party” I want to make sure I bring my diving gear.

For the christian, that means the spiritual armor. Read Ephesians 6:10-18 in your bible. Or google it.

Each part of the armor is equally as important. We must protect ourselves in whatever environment we’re in so that we don’t struggle.

The word says that those in Christ are free. And that we are new creations. I am healed. I am restored. I was made new.

So now I must walk in that truth. And if ever I find myself drowning at the bottom of the pool, push off the floor and surface immediately. Breathe in life-giving breath. Confess any sin. Pray and ask for prayer. And be more prepared next time.

That’s all for now.

xxx

<3

LOVE Y’ALL
V