faith, fear, life, wisdom

Take This Cup From Me

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

Jesus is talking about the cross, but we have all had or will have that “cup” we wish to be taken from us. It’s a major thing in our life we desperately want God to remove. It’s easy to pray “Father, take this cup from me,” but do we have the guts to add the rest of the verse in our prayer? “Yet not my will, but yours be done” 

For those of us who have seen things turn out not the way we wanted, the end of this prayer can be extremely difficult. 

I used to think praying “God, your will be done” was a little bit of a cop-out prayer. Maybe “cop-out” is too harsh to describe what I mean, but I thought it was a safe prayer that people prayed when they were afraid to ask God for the impossible things. To put faith in and believe God will do the specific, outrageous, crazy things we want or need. 

Oh, I think there are still some out there who loosely throw that phrase in a prayer wishing for the best. But five years ago, when my sister came up missing for six weeks and I prayed that she would be found safe and alive and then wasn’t, I learned that His will and my will aren’t always the same.  

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

Sometimes, His will can be followed by a trial, struggle, or even heartache. It’s not that God isn’t good and does things just to hurt us. It’s simply that we cannot see the whole picture. I only see me, God sees everything. He knows the beginning to the end. And there’s no possible way for me to understand it all. 

But God loves us more than we can imagine. And if His will turns out to be a time of struggle or heartache, He can and will use it for good. 

Now, I’m not saying it was His will for my sister to get killed or for any of the other evil happening in the world today. It’s absolutely not. His intention was for us to live with Him, protected and safe. Just to be with Him. But we changed all that in the beginning with Adam and Eve. He gave us free will and we made the wrong choice. 

But praying, truly praying, “God, Your will be done. Whatever the outcome is, I want Your will in my life” is an act of pure faith. It’s a sacrificial prayer. Letting go of what you so desperately want, and giving it to Him. It’s trusting Him, even if…. even if it turns out painful. 

It’s all about unwavering trust in God and His ways and plans. 

So, as I face the “cup” I so desperately wish to be taken from me, I’m crying out to God, “Please, take this cup from me,” but I’m also adding, “yet not my will, but Your’s be done.” It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I know this is something I have to do, and then I have to allow God do the rest. It is not for me to control. 

Oh, I still believe in those specific, impossible, outrageous prayers. You absolutely should be praying for these things because he says in Ephesians God can do more than we can ask or imagine, but I also believe there’s room for us to pray “Yet, Your will be done”.

When this is prayed with a humble, not a fearful or complacent heart, praying for God’s will is another step closer to Him. 

Jesus, Himself, specifically taught us to pray “Your will be done” in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:10), so when we do this wholeheartedly, it’s got to be something pretty big in our Christian walk, right? 

faith, wisdom

Examine Me and Know My Heart

A couple of days ago, I was curled up in my husband’s recliner with the comfort of my weighted blanket hugging me. (Oh yeah, weighted blankets are amazing!) Scrolling through Instagram, I lost focus when thoughts of a nap began to slip in. I don’t take naps often, but when it’s there for the taking, I’m all in! But in an instance, I was pulled out of my sleepy thoughts and stopped my scroll with this quote from @bethmoorequotes.

Wait… what?

At first glance, there’s not much that makes sense with this quote, but as I stared at this picture, my brain went into overdrive and all thoughts of a nap vanished with a dose of what could be hard truth.

Wanting to know what other people thought, I clicked on the comments to find a bunch of Amens and Yeses. But honestly, I felt pulled in two different directions with these words.

You can’t really have sincere and pure devotion to Christ and still be completely seduced by the devil… can you?

To have a sincere and pure devotion to Christ, don’t you need to know Him? Knowing Him is getting into the Word. Building a relationship through prayer and trust. I know Him. I have a relationship with Him. I trust Him.

But on the other hand… can’t we think we are ok in our relationship with Him and not really be ok? Sure, the church is full of people who think they are ok. But do they really show the fruit of being ok? Do I?

This rattled me enough that I looked up the meaning of seduce. “To attract (someone) to a belief or into a course of action that is inadvisable or foolhardy.”

To attract… sounds pretty benign. Ok, what am I attracted to? Am I attracted to the things God wants or what I want?

Then another question came. When is the last time I said, “God, examine me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any bad thing in me. Lead me on the road to everlasting life.”

Psalms 139:23-24 NCV

Honestly, it’s probably been a while. Because, I’m ok, right? I’m in the word, journaling, and praying daily. I’m trusting God in the process… or at least I think I’m trusting the process.

But am I really? Or am I just saying I am?

What are my recurring questions with the latest issue going on in my life?

God, what’s going on here? What are you doing? Why won’t you tell me which way to go? Why am I going through this? Where are Your promises? Where are Your blessings?

Does that sound like someone who trust God in the process?

No, it does not.

***Side note: questions are ok—good even, but when they get stuck on repeat that is where a problem slips in.

Am I being seduced by the enemy? Is he attracting me with the things I want to happen? And because I really don’t like the answers (or lack of answers) I’m getting from God, am I playing into the devil’s seduction?

Can you be seduced and not even know it’s happening?

Well, yeah. Isn’t that how seduction works? The first step: Enticing a person with something they want. They become so focused on it they will most likely forget the bigger picture.

The truth is we are all sinners (Romans 3:23), whether or not we are sincerely devoted to Jesus. Being a sinner won’t change until the day we step into heaven. We will always have something that trips us up. The enemy knows exactly what that is, and he will use it every time.

Am I too prideful to believe that because I am sincerely and purely devoted to Christ that the enemy won’t or can’t seduce me?

Ouch! Now that’s a hard question, but one that needs to be asked.

Here’s the thing, once seduction is recognized and we continue to focus on the attraction to the things we want, not what God wants, it’s no longer seduction… but a choice. A choice we make.

With this quote, I ended up with more questions than answers. But it did change my recurring questions from less-me-centered to more God-centered questions. And that can and will change my heart to be a little more like Christ. And isn’t that the goal?

When is the last time you said, “God, examine me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any bad thing in me. Lead me on the road to everlasting life.”?

Christmas, faith, life, love, wisdom

Is God in the Details?

Is it just me or do you ever wonder where God is in the details of your life? 

I mean, we see the big stuff. The healing of sicknesses. Redeeming of hearts. Restoring marriages. Overcoming fear. The miracles which cannot be explained other than it had to be God. 

But what about the details? What about the little things? 

As I sit here, I am eternally grateful God healed my broken heart, that He restored my marriage, and has done (and continues to do) so much more than I ever expected. Yet, I find myself wondering . . . God, where are You in the little things? Do you care or have time to worry about the details of my life? 

Which makes me ask a hard question. How much faith do I really have? Do I truly believe the scripture “And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV? 

Or is my faith so limited I believe God will only turn His head to me when the big things arise? 

It’s easy to see God in the big things. We praise and shout the big miracles to the world! But do we miss the little things? 

At church yesterday, my pastor talked about the details of Jesus’s birth, and the not-so-comfortable environment Jesus was born into.

“All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.” Luke 2:3-7 NLT

There… we see it again. God in the big! He sent His only Son to the earth to save us all. To give us a way to spend eternity with Him!  

But wait…  He allowed him to be born in a stable? He didn’t, at least, work out a cancellation at the Inn to give Jesus a little comfort as He entered the world? 

Poor Mary, nine months pregnant, riding a donkey across country. And, of course, because of that long, bumpy, donkey ride, she goes into labor! I mean how many of us mothers got up and started doing crazy stuff just to get that human out of our bodies because IT WAS TIME! 

Maybe we all should have grabbed a donkey and took off for a trail ride. Just a thought. 😉

God sent His Son to save us. Me. You. Huge Miracle! 

But God sent his Son to two very unlikely, unmarried teenagers, that had to travel across country at the most inopportune time. And then God didn’t even work out a place for them to stay. What’s with that?

If I were Mary, I would have been thinking, “God, we are trying to be good servants here! What do you expect from us? You sent your Son for me to birth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m honored and grateful, but I don’t see any help from You in this. Your Son, the Savior of the world, and there is no glory in this situation at all. Joseph and I have been ridiculed for not being married yet. Then we have to travel to do this dumb census. There is no bed for me to rest. I’m stuck in this smelly barn with animals! And now… I’m in labor! I’m scared out of my mind and poor Jospeh won’t stop pacing and just be still. A mid-wife would be nice. Couldn’t you have stopped a minute to work out all these details before hand? Did you just drop this miracle on us and leave us to figure out the rest?”

But if we look at the story closer, maybe God was in the details. Yes, it was not the best circumstances. We would think God being born unto earth would be held to a much higher standard than a dirty stable, a feeding trough, sleeping in itchy hay, next to cows—and their manure. If I were God, (thank goodness I’m not) Jesus would have been born in the most extravagant palace of all the lands! Lavish celebrations would have gone on for months, maybe years. Everyone would have been there. Mary would be the most honored lady in all of the kingdom! 

Yet, she was not. And Jesus was born in a rickety barn. 


Maybe, just maybe, God was in the details and it played out exactly as He planned.

If they hadn’t been traveling and in Bethlehem, would the shepherds have come? Would there have been anyone to tell people about the Son of God’s birth? The Innkeeper didn’t turn them away completely. He gave them the only space he had left. Not perfect, but still better than a field and having a kid on pile of jagged rocks.

Would I be able to believe Jesus had experienced all I have experienced if He were born in a palace and celebrated as the one true King from the very beginning? Probably not. Often times we don’t see celebrities as real people. We can’t relate to them. They are untouchable. 

Maybe being born in a stable was a way to make Him more real to us. 

Maybe God was in that details fateful night in Bethlehem. 

This simple entrance to the world allows us to see Jesus as a human first. And it was the beginning of Jesus’s proof of how much He loves us. It showed us His heart and humility. That even He, the Son of God, didn’t have it easy. He chose to be like us. He didn’t have to. But He wanted to.

You see, God is in the details. The problem we have is remembering that His thoughts and ways are not like our thoughts and ways. His way of dealing with the details may look different than our wish for Him to deal with our details. 

God is not like us, with limited abilities and focus. He can be in every detail of every one of our lives all at the same time. And not only can He, but He promises that He will! His word says “I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you” over and over. 

We must believe this and allow our faith to spread into the details of our lives.

Thank you, Pastor Dan, for sharing an inspiring message that made me think deeper about the details of the birth of our Lord and Savior. 

adult children, children, faith, love, silence, Uncategorized

Why Wasn’t I Warned?

They warned me about having an infant. Sleepless nights. Colicky babies. Emotional craziness.

They warned me about toddlers. Exhausted from chasing little legs as they dash toward whatever catches their eyes. Grabbing hands before they reach into danger. Stepping on toys in the middle of the night. 

They warned me about elementary age. Dropping them off that first day of school. Adjusting to teachers. Learning to get along with other kids. 

They warned me about the pre-teen and teenage years. Searching for who they are. Dealing with mean kids. Schoolwork we don’t understand. Peer pressure. School pressure. And let’s face it, sometimes we look at them and wonder where in the world they came from and what happened to our sweet little baby?

But they didn’t warn me about parenting an adult child. 

To me, this has been the hardest to maneuver. 

We’ve lost any control we had in place to protect them. In some cases, we have to give up the dreams we had for our children. Because now, they are their own person. They make their own choices. And more often than not, they don’t want our advice or help.

We have to wait for them to come to us before we can offer correction, encouragement, and even speak Truth. 

And the hardest is when you see the train wreck ahead because of some of their choices, but you cannot save them from it. 

Often times, we have to sit back and allow the heartache and trial to take its course, and pray like crazy they learn from it. 

It’s hard. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do as a parent.

We look at our adult children and still see the innocent babies they once were, and our greatest desire is to wrap our arms around them and protect them from this big bad world. 

We want our rules firmly back in place. Because our rules were there to protect them, right? But we can’t. They’re grown. And they must deal with the consequences of their decisions. 

I say this will make them a better person, but then I find myself not truly believing it. They don’t have to learn. They don’t have to make the right choice next time. I can’t ground them for the rest of their life if do it again.

We can start to doubt our parenting skills. What happened? What did I do wrong? 

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6

When they are older… There is no specific age given. Just “when they are older”. It doesn’t say when they move out on their own. It doesn’t say when they are twenty-five, thirty, or even forty years old. The timeline is not ours, it’s up to them and God. But when we raise our kids to know God, His truth is deeply embedded inside of them. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can take that away.  

“So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 AMP

God gave us His word to train, direct, and speak to our children while they were still young, and it WILL accomplish what He desires when they are older.

We have all been given the gift of free will. We don’t have to make the right choices and sometimes we don’t. We still disappoint Him. We still walk into sin. We still find ourselves broken before the Lord. 

But God loves us so much that He won’t give up on us, or our children.

What’s the best thing to do with our adult children? Accept them. Love them. And pray. (And then pray more.) And KNOW that no matter how much we love our children, God loves them more. 

We must trust that He will take care of them. Because they are His children first. 

Do you have an adult child? What advice can you share to others walking into this unwarned territory of life? 

faith, friends, life, love

Fierce Love

In my last blog, I mentioned another friend and promised to write more about her. So here we go!  

Like my other friend, she’s pretty dang awesome! 

I giggle at the differences in my two friends, because this one does not have the gift of silence in any way or fashion. In fact, silence may actually be painful for her! But she has an amazing gift of her own. 

Her gift is loving the broken. Since I’ve known her, she’s always had this gifting. There have been times I’ve seen her fight it, but she can’t for very long. It always shines through. Even if she refused to act on it, it was burning in her heart. 

She is one of those people who will crawl down in the pit of muck and grime with you, wallow, get messy, and set up camp until your ready to leave, all the while reminding you that you’re not suppose to be there. 

She has a heart for the unlovable and broken in a way I deeply respect and admire. 

She’s taken in abused wives. Loved on hurting children. Walked with the alcoholics. Bailed people out of jail in the middle of the night. Fasted for months on end, as an intercessor in prayer. Stood in the faces of Pharisees and spoken the truth of God. 

Her love reminds me so much of Jesus’s love. Eating with the sinners. Choosing the tax collectors. Not judging the prostitutes. Leaving the ninety-nine for the one who strayed. Welcoming the prodigal home. Fighting for the sinner. And even, flipping the tables in the temple.

Although we can’t fully understand Jesus’s love, I think she “gets” it better than most.

After my sister’s murder, our family was so devastated and consumed by irrational emotions that we had an emotional limit as to what we could handle. The slightest little thing could be overwhelming to us. 

There’s not a lot I remember of those initial days, but I will never forget her stance. Anytime we were in a crowd of people, she was always near. Standing guard, ready to step in if it looked as if we couldn’t handle talking to one more person or if someone said something inappropriate (yes, unfortunately, that happens). And there were times, she acted on this stance. I remember seeing her guide people in a different direction so we could slip out the door. 

I find it a little funny now, because I picture her head to toe decked out in steel armor, shield and sword at the ready, fully prepared to fight anyone who might compromise us—and also the ones who might not. Lol! 

She is a mighty warrior. Standing guard. Ready to fight for that person’s cause, especially when they don’t have it in them to fight for themselves.

She has a fierce unbreakable love that, to be honest, can sometimes get her in trouble. 

But, oh, to have that kind of love for unlovable, broken people is something far too unseen in today’s world. Not only in today’s world, but in today’s churches.

I want to love like she loves. Just like I want to have wisdom in silence like my other friend in the blog post before. 

God put these two women in my life for so many reasons, but I’m confident that one reason is to teach me both of these unique gifts. I learn a little more each time I’m with them. 

I’m thankful for my circle, my people. Life wouldn’t be near as entertaining without them. 

Do you have someone in your life who teaches you how to be a better person? I’d love for you to tell me about them in the comments below. 

friends, silence, wisdom

Wisdom in Silence

I have a friend who has an amazing gift of keeping quiet when needed. To me, this shows a great amount of self control and wisdom on her part. 

I’ve admired this quality in her for as long as I’ve known her. 

But there’s a flip side to it, too. There have been times I have desperately wanted her to give me answers but she has remained quiet instead. Irritation can rear it’s nasty little head if I let it, and the gift I so admire, suddenly, becomes the gift I want her to ignore and just tell me what to do. 

But you see, it’s not her job to tell me what to do—that is … unless the Holy Spirit tells her to. 

And to be honest, I’m seeking answers from the wrong person at this point. 

We all need great friends. Someone who we can be real with. Someone who knows all the good, bad, and ugly—and still loves us. We need these people in our journey of life. 

But there are times, if we’re not careful, we can get so connected with a person that when a crisis arises the first person we call is that friend.  We forget to run to our Father. He’s the one with all of the power. Our friend is just a supporter, a carrier of burdens, and a comforter. 

But the Holy Spirit is all of these and more. He has the power to soothe our soul and intervene on our behalf with God who has the power to heal, change a situation, or help us see something in a different light.

“Also, the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain. God can see what is in people’s hearts. And he knows what is in the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit speaks to God for his people in the way God wants.”

Romans 8:26-27 NCV

Our friend can only do so much. Why is it that we expect more from them? 

Maybe because we unintentionally put them in the place of God? (Ouch! That’s stings a little. And not the message I intended to share, but it’s good, so it’s staying.) 

I want to be more like my friend. I want to know when to share wisdom and when to sit quietly. I want to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit that I hear Him say, “share this” or “Shhh, they aren’t ready. Give Me time to work in their heart to hear the truth in the way it’s meant to be heard.”

“There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.”

Ecclesiastes 3:7 

Which leads us to my point of this blog. Sometimes people are not willing (or in the emotional state of mind) to hear some truths. We must be careful with our words, even when our words are truth.

One of the most popular things said to me after my sister was murdered was “God is in control”.

Well…  yes, He is… but… 

In the middle of traumatic grief (grief that had a wide variety of crazy emotions attached to it) that was not what I was ready or wanted to hear.

In fact, my anger (in my grief) grabbed a hold of that and chewed it to bits. 

So, if God is in control, then what you’re saying is that God allowed my sister get raped, murdered, and dumped in the woods for 6 weeks until someone finally found her body? (Uhm… pretty sure that’s not what they meant to happen when they said it.)

With all of the crazy emotions I had running through me, that is immediately where my mind went. 

So you see, probably not the best thing to say to someone in a situation of loss. (Just a little inside tip;) 

It’s truth. But not a truth a grieving person may be ready to hear during this season of their life.

Better truths are to remind them “God loves you.”  “What was meant for evil God will use for good. Maybe not right now, but He will use it at some point. Hang in there. I’m with you.” 

It could be that we are suppose to remain silent until the Holy Spirit tells us to speak. It’s hard to be quiet when someone you love is hurting. It hurts us when they hurt. We want to comfort. We can even be afraid they may wander from God. So we force words (truth) on them in an attempt to control the situation.

My friend walked with me down a dark and ugly road for a long time after my sister’s murder. There were times I pushed her away, times I allowed her near, and times I was not a good friend to her at all, but she hung in there with me. Never giving up on me. And guess what, 90% of the time she was silent. She was there, giving me the comfort I needed and refusing to allow me to completely isolate myself, but without words. And in that 10% of the time she did have words, I trusted her words. I listened.

“Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words.”

Job 2:13 NLT

This one verse is such a powerful statement to us as we walk with someone through grief. More often than not, we get it wrong simply because we become uncomfortable in silence. 

Oh, my friend was praying, pleading, and even found herself angry at God at times, but it was all behind the scenes. She was my intercessor. Held my arms up when I couldn’t. And she never once left me.

Her silent strength means more to me than she will ever know. And I hope, if ever needed, I can be the same for her one day. 

“Later, when Moses’ arms became tired, the men put a large rock under him, and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands—Aaron on one side and Hur on the other. They kept his hands steady until the sun went down.”

Exodus 17:12 NCV

**I also had a Hur, another friend, who stood beside me and never left me. (More about her in another blog.)**

We need friends in our lives. We need them to hold our arms up when we are tired, but we have to be extremely careful not to place them higher than God. (If they are a good friend, they don’t want that position anyway.) 

And last, we need to learn to be a friend who listens to the Holy Spirit, speaking when He tells us to and practicing silence when He commands. It’s not our place to fix. Yes, we desperately want to help them get better, but our place is to walk beside them and be an intercessor in prayer for them. 

dreams, faith, fear

Dream Killer

Dream Killers

Do you have a dream to do something big? Well, big from your standpoint. Maybe not big for someone else’s, but it’s HUGE in your eyes. 

I did. I do. 

It scares me to death. 

I don’t know how to achieve this dream. Honestly, I feel a little lost in the whole process. The thought of chasing this dream scares me enough that I have prayed, on and off, for nine years for God to take it away from me. And yet… I’m still dreaming. It’s still burning in my heart. So, that’s got to mean something, right?

But isn’t that what makes a dream a dream? If it scares us, then probably, it’s beyond what we can do or control. We know somehow, someway, God is going to have to step in and take the reigns on this baby.

I recently asked my friends on facebook, “Why do you think we have big dreams but refuse to chase them?”

All of the answers were great! They ranged from “procrastination” to “laziness” to “feeling alone” to “I’m too old” to “not enough time” to “overthinking” and so on and so on… 

But the most common answer was fear—or an answer stemmed from fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of stepping out. Fear of man.

Even I said, “It scares me to death.”

Gosh, I hate fear… it’s downright nasty. If we could see fear for what it is—a means used by the enemy to stop us from doing the will of God, do you think we’d rise up and stand up against it? 

I’d like to think I would. I don’t want to be used in the devil’s ploys. Uhmm… no sir, you don’t get to have that power over me, because the Word tells me the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in me! (Acts 2:24) You, Satan, are under my feet. (Romans 16:20)

But I gotta be honest, I’ve allowed fear to stop me for a very long time. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of what people will think or if they will take me seriously. Mean and ugly fear. 

But guess what, fear only has power if we give it power. The enemy can throw a little fear our way, sure. But that fear doesn’t have any real power at all … until I listen to it. Until I entertain it. Until I believe it. Until I allow it to stop me.

How do you ignore dream killers? First, we have to recognize it for what it is and what is at the root of our dream killer? Is it fear? Most likely, yes. Even the “not enough time” can be fear of saying “no” to something or someone else. But if God has placed a dream in your heart, then that, my friends, is called a calling. Who would you rather say “no” to, people or God? 

I, also, think we need to step back and evaluate where our focus is. When we allow dream killers to come into our lives and stop us (especially, when the dream is from God) we are not focused on God. We are focused on ourself and our ability. When we focus on God then His perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18) and we believe He will do the impossible (Matthew 19:26). And you know what? He will do the impossible! We just have to trust Him and His timing. 

God is going to help, but we have to make the first step and continue the steps along the way. We have to make a habit of ignoring the fear and keep moving forward. No matter what.

As for me and my scary dream, my first step is saying it out loud (writing it here for you to read). So … here goes: I wrote of novel about nine years ago, and I dream of one day having it published. This dream is covered in fear from the beginning to the end. I’m afraid of taking the leap to try, AND I’m afraid of what I’ll need to do if it were to get published. Every outcome of this dream scares me! Pretty strange to have fear of failure and fear of success at the same time. LOL.  But it’s there.

I have to trust that God will give me the knowledge I need each step of the way. I must stop focusing on me and start focusing on Him. 

I have to give my God-given dream a reality and allow Him to do the supernatural. 

My reality is, if just one person reads my book and is blessed by it, then my dream fulfilled a purpose. And if God wants to take it and roll with it, then awesome! Keeping God in charge of the supernatural keeps my pride in check, because I can do nothing without Him. 

And the last little nugget God spoke to me today, we can’t get caught up in the discouragement of the dream not moving forward fast enough. We need to learn how to be happy in the small beginnings.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Zachariah 4:10 

So if you’re like me, been stuck in the small beginnings for close to ten years, God is rejoicing to see the work begin! 

I’ll leave you with this last scripture to hopefully jump start you chasing that dream! 

“If you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in the large ones…” Luke 16:10 

In other words, be faithful with each step, one step at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed with the big picture. The big picture doesn’t happen all at once. It grows bigger as we take each step. 

So let’s stop focusing on the dream killers and focus on the Dream Maker.

What is your big dream? Maybe your first step is telling someone. Write it in the comments below and start really praying about what your next step should be. 

anxiety, faith, fear, forgiveness

I Am Shaken But My Foundation Is Not

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:25

I received some unexpected news today. No, let me take that back, it wasn’t unexpected news, because I knew, at some point, this news would come. It was more unexpected timing. No matter how much I have tried to prepare my heart for this news, I was still shaken by it.

I am still shaken by it. 

You see, five years ago my sister was murdered, and today we got the call that the trial was set to move forward in a couple of months, on one of the two dates they had requested. Of course, there is a possibility this will change—we have learned nothing seems to be set in stone with the justice system as far as scheduling.

As much as I want to see justice for her, this news is packed with fear. How can we trudge through that excruciating time all over again? Memories brought forward. Testimonies spoken. Arguments given. Photos shown. All so the jury can make their decision. 

And my biggest fear: Will my faith be strong enough to cling to Jesus through this? I have failed before. Will I fail again? 

What if she doesn’t get the justice she deserves? Will I trust God if He says to me “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay”? Will I be ok if His vengeance looks different than what I would like it to look like?

I have forgiven the man who murdered her. And short of salvation, this has undoubtedly been the most supernatural work God has ever done in me. Without His grace, I would have never been able to walk out this type of forgiveness. But if things go unexpected in the trial and it doesn’t end the way I want, will I still offer that forgiveness? 

I desperately want to. I know the insurmountable freedom it has given me. I know deep in my heart my healing started the moment I decided to forgive this man. But will I be strong enough to continue?

I am shaken.

Like the scripture above, it was like the rain came down again, the flood waters rose over my head, and the wind blew with terrifying force, beating against me. Threatening to destroy everything God has done over this past year. 

“… yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

For me to not fall or fail, I must remember my Foundation on the rock. My Foundation is stronger than any raging storm. I will not be destroyed because my Foundation holds me in place.

Yes, I may be shaken, but my Foundation is not. 

My Foundation is my Peace, my Strength, my Defender, my Commander, and my Father. He is God Almighty. Ruler of all. Jehovah Rapha (the Lord who heals you).

I will have to take one day at a time. I cannot focus on the future outcome, but I can focus on my Foundation.

So when the wind blows, ripping pieces of my heart like shingles from the roof, when the waters rise, threatening to pull me under, I will cling to my unmovable Foundation.

anxiety, faith, fear

Where Does My Help Come From?

“The servant of the man of God got up early and went out, and behold, there was an army with horses and chariots encircling the city. Elisha’s servant said to him, “Oh no, my master! What are we to do?” Elisha answered, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “LORD, please, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servants eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha.”2 KINGS 6:15-17 AMP

I woke up this morning with a knot burning in my stomach. My heart constricted tighter with each beat, vibrating off my chest. My breath came out in fast spurts, and my mind immediately went to everything that could go wrong. That has gone wrong. Fear sank it’s nasty claws into my insides threatening to rip them to pieces. 
You see, my family is in a spiritual battle. A hard one. One that, at times, feels as if victory is impossible. 

For a brief moment, I wanted to hang on to it, to figure it out. To control it. To fight it in my own power or even allow the panic to consume me. I wanted to analyze it, think about it, and maybe strategize against it, but then the story of Elisha and his servant came to mind. 

His servant woke up surrounded by the enemy with no visible escape. Paralyzing fear seized him. But Elisha told him, the army who fights for us is greater than the army who fights for the enemy. Elisha prayed to the Lord that his servant’s eyes would be opened to see the vast army, and they were. He saw the Lord’s army surrounding them, ready to fight for them. Horses and chariots of fire standing ready to defend them. 

Whether we are aware of it or not, there is always a spiritual battle, either brewing or in the midst of an all out in war around us. Battle cries, we cannot hear; fighting, we cannot see. Swords clashing. Shields being thrown in front of us. Blows being blocked. Warrior angels stand at guard in front, behind, and on either side of us. They stand war-ready to protect us. 

With fear gripping so tight, the only thing I needed were my eyes opened. Now, I didn’t literally see these angels this morning, but God opened my heart for my faith to see them. And once I trusted God had sent His angels to protect me, the fear I felt lost its power over me. (Perfect love cast out fear.)

We all feel fear. Unfortunately, there is no way around it. But fear can be beaten. Our job is not to control the situation or fight the things we see, or even the people we think are responsible. 

Our job is to be warriors, prayer warriors. Our job is to KNOW who fights the battle and TRUST Him to fight it.

We need to “see” where our help comes from. 

“I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let you be defeated. He who guards you never sleeps.”Psalms 121:1-3 NCV