Listen up everyone! Today is a new day so let’s make the most out of it. Whatever things you keep putting off saying you will do it tomorrow…. do it today! Tomorrow is not promised.
These flowers don’t look like anything very impressive but I am proud to say that they have been living in this vase for over 3 weeks. Actually, it’s been 1 month. I’m truly shocked and delighted in these little guys. It’s amazing what pouring a little bit of water onto something living will do.
Speaking of living water, let’s pour “living water” of encouragement and love into our relationships. Everybody out here is living this hard life and trying to make the best out of their situations. The least we can do is support one another and show compassion. Things may be easy for me today and hard tomorrow, and vice-a-versa with someone else. We don’t need to add to the hatred in the world and kick other people when they’re down and add to the madness.
It’s amazing what a smile will do 🙂
I just want to take a moment to show some gratitude to God. I look around and realize that everything I have came from Him.
“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
God does not change. He’s not nice today and rude tomorrow. He doesn’t get tired of loving us. He doesn’t give up on us and stop pursuing us and fighting for us. He’s not fickle and flaky.
He’s firm. Foundational. Strong. He doesn’t crack. He’s supportive. He upholds. He protects. He’s welcoming and inviting. His presence is comforting. He is peaceful to be around. I am so thankful for Him.
Lord, thank you so much for letting me know you. Thank you for answering my prayer ten years ago. When I asked for your help. Thank you for leading me in righteousness and helping me to choose your ways. Your ways are so much higher than my ways. I choose selfishly and narrow-mindedly when I’m not relying on your wisdom to guide me to make the right choices. You long for me to be dependent on You and trust you to live this life with you, not apart from you. You are my best friend, my guide, my Truth. I live because you live in me.
I hope your day is more fragrant than this rose, more pleasing to your eyes than its’ petals, and flourishes more vivaciously than its’ leaves <3
-goodness, faithfulness and provision of God. I can’t even being to write everything He has done for me.
-vision of the future and what’s to come!
I woke up feeling excited this morning. Excited about getting some stuff done. Excited about making some plans. About getting outside on this beautiful day. Excited about future prospects and opportunities. About changes. About new beginnings. About starting fresh.
Thank you Lord. For teaching me.
You are not done yet. The good work that you begun in me WILL be perfected.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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. 🙁
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.
Oh my goodness. What a relief it is to know you Lord.
You’re IT. You’re what gives me purpose. You’re the missing link. The missing piece.
You answer the “why” that I’m looking for.
Why am I here?
Why am I alive?
What’s the point?
How do I live in this jacked up world?
How do I survive?
How do I forgive people?
How do I take care of myself well?
How do I say “no” to doing and saying things that hurt me and others?
You kept me awake all night the other night. I kept waking up, lurching forward out of a dream. A nightmare. I was in the passenger seat of a car and we were driving too fast. There wasn’t enough time to brake.
I kept waking up out of this dream and lurching forward to almost sitting straight up.
I know what You were trying to tell me. Hit the brakes. HARD. Turn around. Better yet,
I’m in the wrong place, with the wrong person, heading in the wrong direction. And if I don’t hit the brakes, we’re both going to crash.
I knew that was You speaking to me through a dream. And people say You don’t speak through dreams. Ha
People say a lot of things
it doesn’t matter what people say. It’s just words. But YOU, Your Word. When YOU speak…. we MUST pay attention.
Thank you that you know my heart and you love me the same. Thank you for the gift of conviction and the gift of knowing You and hearing from You. Thank you for calling my name and speaking to me. Thank you for redirecting me. Thank you for capturing my attention. Thank you for not leaving me alone to make bad decisions that I’ll later regret. Thank you for wanting me to look more like Christ and less like me. Thank you for properly posturing my heart to desire You. To love You. To not just modify my behavior on the outside for PEOPLEbut to earnestly seek to love you with every cell in my body.
Help me trust You with every detail. Help me not settle for the wrong car, for the wrong person, for the wrong trip, for the wrong direction. For the wrong motives. For the wrong outcomes. For selfishness. For personal gains. For thrill seeking. Lord I thank you that every thing you created is good… but it isn’t always the right time or place to enjoy Your creation. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy so much of my every day life. You didn’t have to do that. From the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to bed; I love my life.
I love my life.
I love this life.
There are parts I want to change.
I am actively working on changing those parts.
There are parts that can’t change right now or maybe never.
I am actively working on accepting those parts. Even if that means giving them up again and again on the daily.
All we can do is the next right thing.
We must focus on the next right thing. We mustn’t focus on what’s lacking.
For the Lord is my shepherd, and I shall. not. want.