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.
I think we’re all a little bit guilty of going through the motions and not doing what makes us feel alive. We get stuck in defeating behaviors and just try to make it through the days. Things can seem hopeless when we yearn for change and don’t see it. But God gave us a brain for a reason: to use and to discern and to conquer. To choose what we think about and take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
The following list has been created to help you discover freedom in being who you really are and doing what you really want to do. (Down below will be the “Start” list!)
Here we go:
Stop doing these things:
Doing and saying things to please other people and gain affection, attention, approval, validation.
Agreeing with somebody when you actually disagree with what they’re saying or doing.
Encouraging somebody to do something that you believe is wrong.
Saying you’re going to do something and not doing anything towards doing it.
Letting negative thoughts take reign over your emotions.
Staying sedentary when you know it feels good to move.
Settling for less than you deserve.
Choosing hopelessness, despair, depression.
Feasting on anxiety, worry, doubt. You’re not God. You don’t know what the future holds.
Start doing these things:
Plan a trip to the beach. You can get a really fabulous Air B&B these days for less than $100/night. The cheapest I’ve ever stayed in one was at $18/night in Orlando, Florida. 😉
Get hungry and cook something new. (f you’re like me, the hunger part might not be that difficult) But find a great recipe and try it out with friends. And then feast on it 🙂
Be honest; always…
Stand up for yourself.
Look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are, and thank God for making you that way!
Accept the circumstances you’re in currently and work with what you have.
Look around the room and list off all of the things you’re grateful for. Here’s mine:
-blue light glasses
-opportunity to write
-opportunity to take pictures
-being able to read my bible today
-being able to pray today, and journal
-just got back from a great walk
-the quiet <3
-actually, the subtle city sounds
-knowing the truth about God’s provision. He will a l w a y s take care of me and give me all that I need
-my hair 😀
-being able to sing out loud and give thanks
SOoooo I could probably go on. There’s something about making a list of all the things I’m grateful for that makes me feel the weight of my blessing. I am extremely blessed and truly lack nothing. Nothing. I don’t need anything. Truly. Some aspects of my life are “up in the air” I guess, but that doesn’t bother me. “Worrying” is on the stop list. Stop worrying. God will take care of His children.
Do you know if you’re a child of God? Not all people are. Only those who confess and believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and is Lord of all. Do you want to have peace with God and be sure that you will always be provided for? Do you want to rest in the hands of Jesus forever?
I would love to walk you through what it means to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be your Provider, Father, Friend, Brother and source of life and satisfaction. He gave me actual life and I would love to tell you how. Jump on my email list and I would love to talk to you personally about inheriting the peace of God 🙂
I have been to the hospital more in the last 4 months than ever before in my life. During the month of November I dealt with a serious infection in my right arm probably due to a bite from a poisonous spider. I was in and out of the doctor’s as she administered different tests and had my wound packed and unpacked. The hole in my arm was 1 inch across by almost 1 inch deep. I’m lucky it didn’t hit the bone. But I will never forget when I saw the slough in my arm and realized there was a hole behind it.
However, I was completely at peace.*
December was rather uneventful health-wise. It was the calm before the storm. Until Christmas. That’s when my knee started acting up. After multiple trips to different doctors and diagnostic centers, I got an MRI and discovered the cartilage under my kneecap is thinning out. It’s called “patellar chondromalacia” and can be due to lateral tracking of the kneecap. This tracking can be caused by overuse, poor form, being a woman, genetics or high impact sports. I have been attending physical therapy for almost a month now and have another month of it before I am re-evaluated.
However, I was completely at peace.*
And just three days ago, in February 2021, I injured my shoulder. Not exactly sure how, but a combination of overuse, tweaking it from getting jerked around, followed by aggravation during exercise. I got checked out and was told it was a rotator cuff tear. A second person said it was more likely a strain. Regardless of what the actual diagnosis is, I’m experiencing sharp, shooting pain and my mobility is much less than it was four days ago. I’m having trouble finding a comfortable position to sleep in and when I turn myself at night, the pain brings forth tears. I also can’t work all this week.
The point of relaying this reality to you is not for complaining purposes, but solely to highlight the fact that I am completely at peace. And this is why.
This is the reason why I am not tripping, why I am not bugging out. Why I am not worried at all about what is to come.
It’s because I am standing upon these promises.
The promises that God tells me.
The promises that declare the following things:
I will never be alone
I will never be in lack
I’ll have a place to weep
He hears my every prayer
He is everywhere
He cares about my desires
He cares about my soul
He’s won my every battle
He’s made me ever-victorious
He is always for me
He loves me
Sometimes, it’s God’s will for me to be s t i l l
So I wait in the quiet. And while my shoulder throbs and I can’t find a position quite right to avoid the pain, I simply call on His name and say the following words;
Thank you Father, thank you Friend.
Thank you Faithful, you’re with me until the end.
Thank you Jesus, God with us, Holy Spirit, you’ve revealed it to me, your peace.
The truth is, God could put a stop to this pain. Any moment. Any moment in time. Even now. Even right now, His almighty hand could touch me and put a halt on this pain in the name of Jesus.
But whether He heals me or not, I am still at peace. He is in control over every aspect of my life. It says in Psalm 139 verse 16-17:
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!…”
This day was ordained for me before I was even born. This pain that I am experiencing coupled with the peace that I am experiencing. I don’t know all of the reasons for the pain and I don’t know when it will all come to an end. But I do know this for sure; God is surely and truly and lovingly caring for me with the utmost quality and permitting this trial to carry on for as long as is necessary in order to complete God’s work within me and bring glory to Himself.
He has never shorted me from any blessings and in fact I am often told by others how blessed I truly am and I know it for myself too. And the reason for my blessing is this:
To be a blessing for other people. And I want to encourage you right now, dear brothers and sisters, that whatever trial you are in the midst of currently, God has not forgotten about you or lost sight of you. No, dear one, He is with you in the middle of the trial right now and He knows exactly what you are feeling and He will provide all that you need to endure the trial until it’s over.
That peace of mind encompasses everything from physical to financial. God holds all of those details in His hand. 😉
So Lord, I thank you for this trial. From the bottom of my heart. If only the purpose of this trial is to write this post to encourage other people that they are not alone in their trials and that you have the good of your children in mind through every bout of suffering and at every moment of every day. You are constantly working all things together for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose in Christ Jesus.
I love you Lord, and trust your purposes completely. Even and especially when I don’t see the outcome and I don’t understand the reason. You alone are good. You alone are wise. Your plans alone I trust in. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
His name was A, and he was nine years old. He lived in a motel up the road and his parents were nowhere to be found. They said they were painting, but they wouldn’t answer the phone. His mom and dad shared one phone number and didn’t have a car. They had been gone all day and it was 10:30 at night when I found him.
He was on a street corner and a man was talking to him through his car window. Immediately I felt that something wasn’t right and came to a stop. I waited and watched for a minute as another car pulled over and two Hispanic men got out of the car. From where I was sitting, it looked like all parties involved were trying to find directions to a place. I decided to step in.
“Everything alright?” I said as I walked up to this group of three men and one little boy at 10:30pm. We were on a busy street corner and I wasn’t worried about being a solo woman. I wore sweatpants and old, ugly t-shirt that doesn’t belong to me. I sized up the scene and saw that the two Hispanic men were probably in their late twenties. The older, white man was preppy and appeared wealthy. I was going to threaten him if necessary. If I sensed any sort of funny business at all.
As the story goes, apparently A was left alone and told to stay in his motel. He got scared and was on his way to a friend’s house. He would have to cross a couple of major roads to get to his friend’s house. Late at night. As a nine year old. Where he could easily get picked up and taken away forever. But he didn’t know. He was nine years old, after all. Nobody sets out to be trafficked. But it happens all. the. time. Trafficking is most common in the United States. It’s said that there are between 20 and 40 million people in this type of “modern slavery” internationally. 50k new people are trafficked in the U.S. each year.
So A agreed to let J (the white guy) drive him back to where he was staying. The Hispanic men and I followed behind him in our cars. The motel was right around the corner and the door was unlocked. Inside, it smelled like dog urine. A small, barking dog was in the back corner of the room. God knows how long it had been in its’ cage. I wanted to take the dog outside but there was no collar and no leash.
It grieved me, seeing the state of this room, this boy’s life.
“A, you have to stay in this room. Will you promise to stay here?” J asked A sincerely.
“I don’t like it here. I don’t want to be here.” A said with sadness in his eyes. He was lonely and scared, and his parents weren’t responding to any messages. The man at the front desk said that A and his parents checked in five days ago. God knows how long his parents had been away or when they were coming back.
A looked at me and said something that about broke my heart. “Will you stay here with me?”
“I can’t…” I told him with sad eyes. It was such a tough call but we had to call the police. A wouldn’t stay in the motel alone (he shouldn’t have done so anyway) and his parents were M.I.A. We didn’t want A or his family to get in trouble but there was nothing else we could do. The police arrived on the scene soon after.
After some questioning and phone calls, and thankfully, even a couple of laughs, it was discovered that A had been in this situation before. In fact, more than once. CPS had been in and out of A’s life. They came and took A away that night. They left a note for his parents and at the front desk.
Meeting A made me wonder how many other children are in the exact same position as him. He was tired, lonely, scared, confused. He could’ve been trafficked or killed. His parents had to work at night to make some money (supposedly, though God knows all the details). They didn’t have a car. Maybe they had been kicked out of their prior residence. A had been left alone times before. I wondered how it was possible that they really had nobody to help. Not even one person? How does somebody get into that situation?
I don’t know. But I do know this: I thank God that I was in that time and place when I was. I thank God that A is okay now. I thank God for my life and friends and connections and opportunities. I thank God for the ability to make a difference in a child’s life and to make darn sure that my future children will NEVER suffer in that way. No matter what, as long as I can help it.
I’m praying for A. I’m praying for his parents. I’m praying for his little dog. I’m praying for all of the people and families that A represents; people that are suffering in the same exact way. And maybe worse. With drug abuse or sexual abuse.
I was only able to give A a few hours of my time, but I wish I could have given him more. I wish I could have stayed with him. But I can pray. And God moves when we pray according to His will. And it’s His will for all people to be saved. Therefore, He will do it 🙂
Don’t give up hope. If you know someone in a seemingly hopeless situation, remember these words: while there is breath, there is hope. And if something doesn’t seem right, stop. Help. Lend. Serve. Look. Listen.
requires stopping the ongoing thought train in my own mind and being attentive to what God is saying to me. Sometimes stopping the train is difficult, but I have found ways to help me listen to Him speak.
Velvet. I have something to show you. Will you come and eat with me? Will you join me for a moment so I can share my heart with you.
If God is everywhere, how come it seems so hard to hear Him sometimes?
I think it’s because we’re not waiting in His presence for long enough.
It’s like working out. You can’t go to the gym for 2 minutes a day and expect the same results as someone who goes for 2 hours a day. Building up our faith muscles takes time and effort. Distinguishing between God’s voice and the enemy’s or our own is a skill to be honed. And it happens through time spent with God.
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.”
He is everywhere. When we are at home, He is there.
When we are at work, He is there.
At the grocery store, He is there.
At the gym, He is there.
Alone in the car, He is there.
At the beach, He is there.
In the dark, He is there.
And He is waiting to commune with us. We have the choice. To choose spending time with Him, or not. To choose hearing from Him, or not.
Lord, I thank you for your pursuit of me. I thank you for never giving up on me. I thank you for always sending me to the right places at the right times.I thank you for sending me the right people at the right times. I thank you for always taking care of me in the best way possible. Even with challenges and suffering. Thank you for making my ears attentive to you and for teaching me how to trust you. I wish I could trust you more easily. I wish I could believe your Word like I say I do. But I know that this will become easier the more time that I spend in your Word and in Your presence. Your word unto my ears and mind is like a fresh lens. The more I “put it on” and “put on Christ” and apply your teaching to my life, the more clearly I can see the design that you have for your people and for the world. Forgive me for always running ahead of you. Forgive me for choosing to focus on my problems and not trust you in this season. Forgive me for choosing to focus on what I DON’T have instead of all that I do. Thank you that you are my shepherd, and I lack nothing because of you <3
Listening to God. How could I not want to listen to Him!!! The Creator of the Universe… my goodness! The creator of all wants to commune with me. The God of everything is also the God of each person. My God. My Father. And He wants to commune with you too. He has a message for you. Will you carve out time today to listen to what He has to say? What is more important than communing with the One who knows you better than you know your self?
I have a very literal brain, so when I think of “making idols” I picture a potter in a shop making things on the potting wheel.
Little cups and bowls, pitchers, vases. Some smooth and well-shaped. Others bumpy and misshapen. I picture the messy process of wearing the apron, hands covered in wet clay. The air smells earthy.
But when the Word of God talks about making idols, it is referring to the human heart.
Humans are very good at “making idols” on the regular. An idol is something you greatly admire and love and revere. Something you can’t stop thinking about. Something at the forefront of your mind. Think of how cartoon horses have been driven by a dangling carrot.
Our idols are like those carrots. Idols can be our motivation. It’s okay to have things that motivate us. People, goals… The problem lies in loving that person or thing or goal more than God. Because when that person, thing or goal becomes an idol, unbelief starts to take place.
So how do idols cause unbelief and how do we determine what’s an idol?
Idols cause unbelief in this way:
We start to put our hope in the idol. We start to attempt to glean our happiness and satisfaction from that idol. It becomes our catch-all. The thought we return to at the end of the day or first in the morning, or if we’re having a bad day. Idols actively fight to take the place of God.
When we’re living for an idol instead of for God, we are heading in the wrong direction. Our motives become catered towards our idol instead of God’s will. They become selfish and self-centered. Whatever it takes to uphold the idol.
When we’re living for God, everything else is secondary. Living for God means elevating Him to the highest position of authority. When we recognize His authority and have a reverence for Him, we bear obedience to Him, no matter what.
If we’re looking through a tainted lens, we might call an act of idolatry “obedience”.
So what determines an idol? I think the most simple way to understand an idol is this: anything that you think about more than God.
If you’re somebody who doesn’t believe in God, you might be thinking: well gee, I guess every thought that crosses through my mind is an idol. Let me be more specific.
An idol is your love for any person, thing or goal that is greater than your love for God.
Believer or unbeliever, you may be thinking: what thoughts and actions determine loving something more than God? Or you might be thinking: that’s ridiculous, I could never love something more than God.
My responses to those two hypothetical responses:
When your motives for doing something is out of concern for this idol and not for the glory of God, you are practicing idolatry. For example, I am a salsa dancer. Let’s say that there is an event coming up that I really want to go to, but the Holy Spirit is giving me a nudge that I should not go. However, I am convinced that I NEED to go to this event. I am idolizing salsa over listening to God.
If you think you could never love something more than God, think of the last time you committed a premeditated sin. That in itself shows a lack of belief and love for God. (Hey, we all sinners hahah I’m not the judge, there is only one judge!).
The takeaways are this: idolatry is sin. God hates sin. We make idols. We mustn’t bow down. Every part of our lives should be continually offered up to God. People, things, goals. God wants to be in all of them. He wants to reign over them. He wants us to trust Him with them.
I dunno about you, but I do NOT want to be a part of ANYTHING that contradicts God’s will for my life. The way idolatry leads to apostasy is scary. And incredibly easy.
Will you join me in bringing every aspect of life before God and offering it up to Him? He is our sovereign Lord who will ALWAYS lead us in the way we should go 🙂