It’s only February 10, but it truly feels like Spring is in the air!
I have never been so excited for Springtime in all my life. I’m from northeastern USA where spring is wet and muddy. Snow and ice are melting, and the ground is soft and soggy. It’s still cold and maybe snowy until mid-late April, and sometimes May! But not here in Virginia. Even today, February 10, the weather is warming up to 62 degrees and it’s sunny! Hooray! Just what I needed to lift my mind, body and spirit ^_^ <3
Only a few days til Valentine’s Day 2022! It’ll be my first V-Day as a MARRIED WOMAN! I can’t believe that in just a couple of weeks we’ll have been married for 5 months already! Love is in the air <3 <3 <3 and I will venture to say that my husband is the sweetest and bestest! 😀 Lord, thank you for giving me such a good one 🙂
Life doesn’t have to be so hard. It’s when we focus on the mountains (obstacles/problems) in our life instead of focusing on the One who created the mountains.
Lord God Almighty, I am so grateful to know you and better yet, be known by You. You know everything about me and still love me more than I can understand. I am so thankful for your grace, mercy, provision, and Faithfulness. Thank you for being faithful when I can’t be. Thank you for sustaining me and remaining true to Your promises. Thank you for your patience and understanding and your long suffering. Thank you also for your justice and your might. You are so good, Lord. So holy, holy, holy. There is no one like You, O Lord. You are completely set apart and above all, in all and through all. Thank you for creating me and my family and friends and loved ones, and for delighting to reveal your glory to us in your creation and through our life circumstances. Thank you for teaching me how to suffer well, how to wait on You and how to listen to Your voice. Taste and see that the Lord is good. And I have tasted Lord. Better is one day in your courts, than thousands elsewhere. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever, thanks to your gracious gift of faith, that was so undeserved. Help me not stray from your presence O Lord. Fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit today and fuel the fire of the joy of my salvation. Help me live for you alone today, Oh Lord. In the precious and mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
I’m positive that we all have a long list of things that we can’t do.
It’s tempting to focus on this list, especially when it affects us and our lives directly.
For example, sometimes I can’t walk down the stairs normally because my knee swells up. It’s a little bit tempting to throw myself a pity party or allow myself to become angry or discouraged by my limitation.
The reality is, my knee is in this state at this time and I must bear the consequences. It won’t do me much good to sit around and contemplate my limitations, oft becoming more and more discouraged.
It’s always healthier to focus on what we can do.
I can encourage people. Instead of sitting around focusing on being discouraged the Lord used me to encourage somebody. It went like this:
She needed a hug. It was painted into her expressions and the way her shoulders slumped. “Well, back to work I go”. Eeyore had taken over her body and a full-size donkey-of-a-woman stood in her place; on hind legs.
Give her a hug was the nudge that I felt from el Señor, Holy Spirit.
I hesitated and when she left the room I mentioned that I thought I should have hugged her to the other person in the room.
“Oh, yes! Definitely hug her!” was her response. So I decided to hug her when I left.
A few minutes later I walked upstairs and said “hey, I just wanted to give you a hug!”
Within a couple minutes she was crying and saying how encouraged she felt. I felt the presence of the Lord very strongly and we were both laughing and ministering to each other for over an hour.
I felt the joy of the Lord so strongly during that hour of fellowship. She thanked me for “being obedient to the Holy Spirit” and confessed that she had felt spiritually down and dark all weekend. By the time our conversation was over, her affect had changed completely. It was as though life had been breathed into her. That’s what encouragement is.
It’s so tempting to focus on ourselves constantly. Which, in my opinion, is pretty depressing. A better place to enlist my focus is on the Maker of all things. The Father of all, Creator of All, Ultimate Guide, Wise King and Lover of my soul. Wow. What a better thing to be focused on! I can’t think of anything better.
Adrian Rogers once said “to rejoice is a choice”. So choose joy. The best way to do this is to keep your eyes and ears open for the leading of Jesus. God doesn’t look for perfect people to carry out His work. In fact, there is no one perfect but God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. God has always used the fools to shame the wise.
So give Him the glory today!!!!!!!!!!!!
Like this post if it encouraged you! Leave a comment below saying how God used you when you didn’t feel fit to be used.
Kind acts go a long, long way. This morning I was reminded of when some random people lent me and my BFF their $650 tent in the woods when we were backpacking the John Muir Trail in California in 2014. These two folks were observing our ginormous 8 pound, 8-person tent that the two of us were carting around in our already heavy backpacks and made a suggestion.
“Send your tent home and we’ll have our friend bring you guys a lighter tent when we meet up with him at the next food resupply in two days.”
We were so surprised and thankful for their offer! We agreed and borrowed their tent.
It weighed only 14 oz and was perfect for the two of us. Okay, maybe a leeeeeeeeetle cozy ;-P
But we were so thankful to Jeanine and Craig. Who does that?
My BFF and I concluded that people over 10k feet are generally pretty cool.
I told this story to a new friend and she told me that it sounds like there is a “brotherhood” among the trail family. I thought that was a perfect description. But moreso, we will never forget their kindness.
To think that a single act of kindness would be forever engrained into our memories is a beautiful, powerful thing. It’s been 7 years since they lent us that tent, and the memory is still as kind and wonderful as when it first occurred.
Deep-seated, selfless kindness is an act of love. Real love. With no hidden agenda. No strings attached. No tit for tat. And it is long lasting.
I want to remember this! And pay it forward.
What a sweet memory. That still lives in my mind <3
lol things definitely have not gone according to the plan. But there’s something very fun and freeing about living in the unknown. I have to admit, I enjoy not being in charge. Well, let’s put it this way, I enjoy God being in charge.
I enjoy and can rest in the Fact that God drives the car and I’m in the passenger seat. He carries my load. I don’t have to. He does give me a plate though; with the following items on the plate:
(I’m going to keep this very vague):
Take care of the people that I put on your path, daughter. And do enjoy them 🙂
It’s very simple, actually. Do what God has called you to do. Even when it’s hard. We all have desires of our hearts and we have aspirations etc. but we have to simply do what God has called us to do. Go where God has called us to go. Sometimes I wonder what it is that God would have me to do but it is so so soooo easy to find out what that is. This is how you do it:
Stop what I’m doing (or when I’ve just finished what I had been doing, stop for a moment) and:
Acknowledge God’s presence. Say “hello” and breathe, and thank God for this moment and this day, and:
Ask for His direction.
Ask for strength to complete whatever it is that I am called to do.
Sometimes this means giving up what I had originally planned. But what is means most of the time is that God enables me to do whatever it is that He puts on my heart to do. He is our Father, and He answers our prayers when we asks. Yes, this includes long-term prayers and big prayers, but it also means simple every day prayers that God answers to help us re-focus and be re-charged.
God’s plan is the only plan I want to follow. And He will continually lead us to follow His plan as we enter His presence, seek His face, listen to His voice and obey.
Lord, wow. Just, wow. I trust you. I trust you. I trust your promises. I believe you. I think I’m finally starting to actually believe your promises. Your promises that you actually do take care of me. That you actually do provide ALL that I need. ALL!!! Everything!!!!!!!!!Peace, rest, provision, fun, celebrations, joy, family, friends…. rest…. Life. Life to the full. Thank you Lord for sharing this full life with me <3 Te amo <3And thank you for helping me trust in Your plans and be willing to be flexible. I just LOVE how you surprise me with SO many good things each and every day. You know what I like and you know what I love and I trust you!!! With all my heart <3 And I am learning to choose to trust you each and every day. Thank you for your great and wonderful ongoing plan!
Is it you? I wondered expectantly. But no, it wasn’t you.
I continued doing what I know I was supposed to be doing, but it was difficult. I got up to bring something across the room and this time I thought I heard you.
Could it be you? I glanced over in the general direction of my cell phone but didn’t bother to check it. I didn’t want to be disappointed again. Not that my disappointment was overwhelming; in fact I believed I would hear from you. I will venture to say that I even knew in my heart that I most definitely would hear from you. But each time I checked my phone again and again, the doubt started to increase. Or at least that’s what my mind was trying to convince me of.
The battle between the mind and the heart is a tough one at times. And I guess doubt is rooted in the heart.
My mind trusts God. I trust Him with my mouth. But do I really trust Him with my heart if I’m ova hee-uh doubting left and right? It’s a constant battle of anxious thoughts (some small, some large) that I have to hit back out of my mind. Or better yet, beat them into the submission of the Truth.
It’s been 2.25 hours and I haven’t heard back from you.
I’m starting to go into that zone in my mind that has caution tape across the entrance. The Door of Doubt is a wide one. In fact, so it’s so easy to walk through that I find myself lost inside that room too often. The Door of Belief is a small door. I picture it as being very short, like suitable for a small child. And hard to see, easy to miss.
And yet, we must focus on that door. It’s hard to find, it’s hard to pass through, but what’s on the inside of that door is absolute paradise. This is why:
Because — and I know I shouldn’t start off a sentence with “because” — if I truly believe that God has me in His Perfect, Faithful hands… If I truly believe that God works all things together for my good… If I truly believe that He will never leave me or forsake me… then I’m in Paradise. There’s no such thing as a socialist utopia. But there is Heaven. There is a place where nothing is broken, and nothing is lacking. But Jesus said “let it be on earth as it is in Heaven.” Because — here I go again — Jesus died so that we could experience peace with God now.
Why can’t you just respond to my message; is that too much to ask?
Is it possible to have peace with God and be at unrest simultaneously? Or perhaps unrest is not what I’m experiencing right now. It’s more like OCD. I’m obsessively thinking about hearing from this person while not hearing from them at the same time. So now I will pray.
Lord. I should have spoken to you a long time ago about this. I asked you many times for the initiation of the conversation. That has come. I also asked you for the desired result. I do believe it will come, but I am uneasy while I wait. I want to start planning ahead in my mind. I want to hear from this person. I want the screen to flash yellow and the words to flash GREEN … a green light. Go-Time. I want to go. Lord, you know I do. So I wait. And while I wait, I ask. Lord, will you touch this person’s heart even now. Right now. 9:07pm. Lord, will you touch their heart and cause them to respond. Lord will you impress upon whoever else’s heart is necessary to tie up the loose strings. Will you, Lord, bring closure to this situation. Will you close the Door of Doubt, and open wide the Door of Belief, and gently guide me through it? Lord will you help me stop obsessing about the outcome. Will you redirect my thoughts away from my phone and the messages, and instead to focusing my thoughts elsewhere. Being in prayer with You perhaps. Or writing. So I wait. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I find myself starting to bargain with God. Making empty promises that we both know I won’t be able to keep. And then something happens that I really don’t like. I will be praying for someone, and then the enemy or my mind tells me something like “you’re just praying because you think that if you pray, God will notice you and pay attention to you and weigh whether or not He should give you the desires of your heart.” I hate that. Our sin doesn’t affect God’s love for us. That’s the most beautiful aspect of the gospel.
However, sin has consecuencias. We truly reap what we sow. And when we sow seeds for death, we reap death. If I go to the gym every day for 2 minutes I will not get the same results as if I went to the gym every day for an hour. Duh?! Duh. Same thing applies here: if I spend all my time thinking about something out of my control, I am planting or watering seeds of doubt, worry, anxiousness, etc.
Imagine spending that time praying. Singing. Reflecting on gratitude.
WAIT it’s you.
“It’s not going to work out after all.“
After waiting and checking and waiting and hoping, this answer was… less than satisfactory shall we say?
Alas. I can’t fight it. Because the Truth in the matter is this:
There was nothing I could have done or said differently to charter a different response. I thought and prayed over my responses. I didn’t act with haste. My mind tells me lies, like I should’ve acted hastily or said less or more, but I know that’s not true. And this is why:
God’s plans are unstoppable.
If He meant for me to be somewhere different than where I am, I would be there. I would simply be there.
Who can stand up against God? Nobody!
Who can thwart God’s plans? Not one.
No, that wasn’t the case. I simply was not meant to entertain with this person at this time. And in that Truth, I rest.
I rest knowing that God dictates my steps. He leads me down paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He leads me besides still waters, and gives me rest. He provides shade for me in the heat of the day, and provides heat for me in the chilly air. He is my sword and my shield, my strong tower. In Him, I rest. Just to know Him and be known by Him is more than enough.
I know I will hear from you again. I won’t be surprised if you change your mind and reach out to me. It’s too late now… maybe next time. We’re all learning through this. We’re all deepening old patterns and forming new ones altogether. I thank God for you, and I know that you too would give him the credit if only you believed. I believe that one day you will.
Of where my next check is coming from. Because God says this (please read each of these 2-3 times!!!):
“Be anxious for nothing, but in every situation, through prayer and petition, in thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
He also says this:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
“For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” Psalm 94:14
I hope this has encouraged you. Let the Truth soak in. And join me in this prayer:
Lord Jesus, thank you so much for your Truth. Thank you that you are my provider and have promised to always give me all that I need. Thank you for transitioning me from one day to the next, one task to the next. Thank you that your grace is sufficient for me. Your kingdom is all that I need, and I am already in it. Lord, thank you for joy, hope and excitement. Thank you that when we lift our requests up to you, they are heard. Thank you that when we ask for your peace, you give it to us. Thank you that it transcends our understanding. Thank you for being my Father and for loving me, your daughter. I rely on you for my well-being, health, sound mind, and to reach all of my goals. Thank you for teaching me to show up and do my part, and then coming in and doing what only you can do. Thank you for this divine, beautiful relationship. You’re so powerful and amazing. I can’t WAIT to see you move. Amen.
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”.
A man reaps what he sows.
I 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.
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
I kept thinking of times and locations I could wear this baby out and about today. It’s fleecy so I can’t wear it just anywhere or anytime because I’m in Virginia and it’s still in the 80s. Come on autumn!!! My girrrrrrrl.
I tried to wear it this morning at 6am when I was making coffee and doing dishes and moving about the laundry room and kitchen, but it was too hot.
It’s not just ahdorable, but it’s suuuuuuuuuuper soft. 🙂 <3 <3 <3
Surprisingly soft. And so dang cute!
Okay, that’s enough.
I was thinking about how eventually this sweatshirt infatuation is going to wear out. It’s not going to stay very enticing. Retail therapy keeps you coming back. But I don’t have a shopping problem, I don’t! LOL who am I convincing here.
But really, I don’t. I’ve had more expenditures than usual lately because I just moved and needed to get stuffs for my new place. Lamp, bins, fan, rope lighting (okay this was a “want” :P), wall decals (okay this too lol). And some other various items.
Time to chill now. No mo spending. Well, on unnecessary items anyway. I truly am blessed that I don’t have to think about $$. God has blessed me so so much and continues to as I entrust my funds to Him! It’s His money that He gave to me anyway… and He wants me to be a good steward of it. 🙂
Back to the concept of infatuation wearing off.
I’m glad God is not infatuated with me. He’s in love with me. He loves me SO much that He sent His son Jesus to die for me… so that I would be reconciled to Him. My sin was so great and I was so lost that Jesus actually laid down His life to show me what great love is. He gave Himself up for me so that I would have life.
God doesn’t tire of us. He doesn’t stop loving anyway because He doesn’t feel like loving us anymore. He doesn’t stop loving me when I continually mess up over and over again. He doesn’t stop loving me when I outright go against His word and His Holy Spirit and what He tells me to do.
More chances. More opportunities to serve Him. Each day is just that.
Father, thank you for my night of rest anoche. Thank you for Your constant provision. Thank you Lord for giving me time to read Your word and study it. Thank you for giving me wisdom to understand it and apply it. You illuminate Your Truth to me and peel the scales from my eyes so it becomes clear. I thank you for this gift.
“Wait for the gift my Father promised” Acts 1:4b
After you were resurrected, You taught and ate, spent time with and prayed with your disciples. After forty days you told your early church to wait for the gift that God promised to send. Then, you ascended into heaven; and the angels told the disciples that one day you would come back the same way that you left.
Then your disciples and their families gathered together, prayed, and waited for ten days. On Pentecost (the 50th day after your resurrection) your Holy Spirit came down upon your people like “tongues of fire”. Now every believer would be indwelt with the Holy Spirit; the third member of the trinity, and God in full.
Lord, why is it that I forget Your Truth?
How could I forget that You are with me and in me always?
How do I brush You aside and think that I could choose a better way than the ways in which You direct me?
I guess I’m thick. Hard-headed. Weaker than I ever thought. More selfish, too.
Forgive me for running ahead of You and hoping You won’t notice.
Forgive me for choosing garbage over You.
Forgive me for placing anything but You on the pedestal of my life, as if anything could take the place of You.
“Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord.”
His name is worthy to be praised!!!!!!!
Lord, please help me be a good steward of my time today. Give me focus and help me be intentional in all that I say and do and think.
It’s all for you. Help me remember this Truth today; that it’s all for You.
Ps. Thank you for my cheetah sweatshirt. I love it. <3