thank you

for the rain

that brings a grey shadow to my windows

and make the flowers grow

while I sleep a bit longer

zinnia

and I thank you

for all the challenges that are presented day to day

in word and deed

that cause me to grow

bigger than this mushroom

look at dis fatty

okay, maybe not physically

not physically growing (I hope)

but in the capacity to love (yes)

and forgive (also yes)

and endure

and not grow weary in doing good works

but [learning to] encourag[e] each other

and all the more

as the day approaches (Hebrews 10:24-25)

(good segway into announcing that I’m getting married)

grateful for this man

far beyond grateful, in actuality

for all that he is

all that he brings

pure, solid gold

and glittering fruits

that color my world

and for time

precious time

to reflect, refresh, and be restored

like this day

where I write and ponder and relish

on all of God’s goodness to me

His faithfulness to me

His love for me

and I rest in this Truth:

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” Hebrews 12:28

xxx <3 V

“I can’t do it”

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.

Don’t have a VW bug, but a VW mug is pretty cool 😛

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!!!!!!!!!!!!

<3

xxx

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.

If you’re running away from God, He has a message for you

If you’re running away from God, He has a message for you. What are you willing to sacrifice to grow your faith in God? Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

 

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I Want to Encourage You

Hey brothers and sisters.

I just wanna take a minute to encourage you.

Whatever you’re going through is going to come to an end eventually. You might have to fight long and hard for a while, but you’re going to get through it.

Maybe you won’t have to fight hard the whole time, but you may have to fight for a long time.

People might be hating, and they might not want you to get by. They might want to crush you with their actions and their words. They might want to exclude you. They might spread lies about you and try to turn others against you.

You’ve got to focus on the Truth about who you are.

You are a child of God.

You were created in God’s image.

You were created with a purpose.

There is only one of you and only you are equipped to do what God has equipped YOU to do.

You were not created by mistake.

There are NO flaws in your design.

You have strengths.

And yes, you have weaknesses.

Know them. Know and understand your strengths and weaknesses so that you know where and when to seek help. Know your weaknesses so you don’t keep getting discouraged over and over again.

Give yourself time to grow.

Be patient with yourself.

And in turn, be patient with others.

Be patient, even with those that are out to get you. Be patient with the ones that think seeing you fall would benefit them or elevate them in some way.

These are all lies from the evil one. He is out to divide, kill and destroy.

Don’t let him.

When we control our thought lives, we are finally free. When we take every thought captive to Christ, we can see God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God”.

When those impure thoughts come in, when those lies start pouring in-whether it be from your own mind or the poisonous minds of those toxic individuals in your life- take those thoughts captive:

as in, put those thoughts in CHAINS and present them to the Living God.

Ask God: Lord, give me eyes to see any Truth in this thought. If it is not of you, cast it away. Rid my mind of it. Demolish it. Burn it, shatter it, crush it, and take it. Lift if off of my mind.

But Lord, if there IS any Truth in it, help me embrace it. Help me change. Help me repent of any way that isn’t of you.

Let’s always humble ourselves and be ready to receive from others. Nobody has it all figured out. God uses His people to sharpen other people.

“As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another”.

Let us be open to constructive criticism, sanctification, and growth.

Let us always be striving to be Christlike. Let us be flexible and prepared to change. Let us be willing to change and sacrifice things, and give up our own preferences or desires for the preferences and desires of others.

We’re all on this journey together to know God and love Him and enjoy Him. Let’s remember that every person that God created should be able to do these things too. Other people aren’t the real enemy. Satan is the real enemy.

Don’t get me wrong, there are hard-hearted people. There are EVIL people. There are hateful people. But let’s remember to put on the lenses of the bible to help us see past the humanness and into the spiritual. Nobody is too far past God’s grace and the free gift of salvation. And while there is breath, there is hope.

So I challenge you:

when they start tearing you down

when they start leaving you out

when they start talkin smack

when they start hatin

when they start beratin

when they start inflatin themselves

humble yourself

acknowledge the grace that God gave you that enables you to see the truth

that enables you to see Him in all of His glory

that enables you to choose God’s way and live a life free of guilt and condemnation

and pray

rise above your selfishness and self-centeredness and taking-things-personally-ness and pray for them

they are the ones that need the prayers

we all need the prayers, don’t get me wrong

but they especially need the prayers

because once you know God

you know love

because God is love

and real love is not out to divide and destroy and push others out the way so you can get to the top

real love lays down one’s life for one’s friends

real love goes last, and lets others go first

real love patiently waits for others in hopes that they will catch up and spiritually see eye to eye

real love

God is real love

GOD BLESS Y’ALL

xxx

<3

V

“By This Time Tomorrow…”

Hey guys.

It’s a little after midnight and I just worked for 17 hours straight. But believe it or not, I’m OK with that. You know, life was easier when I didn’t worry so much. I remember when I was a young teenager (13/14?) I had a moment when I realized I was happy, and had been happy for ~3 years. Isn’t that wonderful? I know it had to do with my church at the time. My youth group. My friends. I honestly didn’t make that connection until now, but I’m sure that’s why I had such a blessed time.

On a side note:

Tomorrow I’m going salsa dancing. 

I. Can’t. Wait.

I’m still in love with dancing. I started almost 28 weeks ago. That’s 7 months. Salsa, Bachata y yo have been in a relationship for almost 7 months. I should take myself out. To dinner. At chick-fil-A. Okay, I admit it; I was going to do that anyway. Go to Chick-Fil-A I mean; not take myself out. Though I suppose whenever someone goes to a fast food joint alone they’re technically “taking themselves out”.

Sigh. Tired. 17 hour work-day will do that to ya I guess! But for reals guys, I’m really not phased??!!

It’s because life is good, and God is good. He has given me energy, positivity, and great faith. All things that were much needed for today. Now yesterday, to all you technical folks — hey, I’m one of them, I can say that.  😀

This post is for encouragement purposes.

 

“The LORD said to Joshua,

“Do not be afraid of them,

because by this time tomorrow

I will hand all of them, slain,

over to Israel.

Joshua 11:6

 

Can we just ponder this verse for a second. Yes, I did chop off the part about killing the horses and burning the chariots. That wasn’t the focus I was going for. The focus is this:

The Lord tells Joshua

“do not be afraid”

because “by this time tomorrow”

I will

hand all of them over to Israel

slain.

So let’s break this verse down, so we can see how encouraging it really is.

  1. “The Lord tells Joshua” is encouraging because we have a God who speaks directly to us. He is a personal God.  He is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent… yet He speaks one-on-one to each of His children….
  2. “do not be afraid” is encouraging because our God knows when we are afraid, and He seeks to console us. He is the Lord who comforts, and He is gentle and kind. He is reassuring and understanding of our fears and doubts and trials, and wants us to know that we are safe.
  3. because by this time tomorrow” is encouraging because God knows the future. He alone sees all of our days and knows exactly what’s going to happen. He goes before us and paves the way. He promises to protect us and keep us from harm’s way if we abide in Him. No battle or trial will last forever, and God helps us keep perspective on getting through the trial by telling us it will all be over soon.
  4. I will” is encouraging because it tells us that it’s the Lord God’s will to help His children. He is our Father, and He takes care of us. He is looking out for Joshua and His children and is reassuring them that He, God Himself, will act, by “this time tomorrow”.
  5. hand all of them over to Israel” is encouraging because the enemies of Joshua and the Israelites aren’t so big and bad that they can take on the holy God of the universe. Nope. They don’t stand a chance against our God. Enemies of God and His children can never win. Never.
  6. slain” is encouraging because we know that God is the one who slays our enemies. Not us. Not by our hand. Not by our power. GOD slays our enemies. GOD does the hard, dirty work for us. GOD and God alone chooses to fight for His people.

 

Let’s recap: God speaks to us. He speaks to us and prays for us personally. He is comforting and understanding. He alone has the eternal vision. It is His will to help His children. It is His will to help His children. He slays the enemy and enemies.


 

I started this post last night but fell asleep before I finished it. So real quick, the ending I want to tack on ties the whole post together.

Yesterday I worked for 17 hours.

I was worried about how it was going to go.

I was worried about the traveling I would do with my client and her husband and definitely asked a lot of people for prayer.

And God came through.

And He reminded me of the above verse before the day arrived.

By this time tomorrow…..” gave me such peace. The entire verse gives me such hope. I need never fear for my God is with me. He goes before me and behind me, and hems me in. He makes a way for me and is a lamp unto my feet. He equips me for the task with energy and stamina. He encourages me throughout each day with His sweet Spirit. He fights my battles for me and makes me victorious.

It’s a promise, folks. In the end, we are victorious. Victorious living is one victorious day at a time. And we have victory in Jesus, our Savior, forever.

Oh victory in Jesus (victory in Jesus),

my Savior (my Savior) forever (forever)

He sought me and He bought me

with His redeeming blood (bought me with His blood)

He loved me ‘ere I knew Him

and all my love is due Him

He plunged me to victory

beneath the cleansing flood

 

The day went so smoothly yesterday. He reminded me that it would before it arrived, He encouraged me throughout the very day, and I was able to rejoice before, during, and after, knowing my God was with me.

<3 <3 <3

V