I don’t know when things changed. I cannot tell you when it happened. What I do know is that I have forever been changed. My life looks a lot different than I ever thought it would look, and it is better than I imagined.
One day I made a choice to not live offended or full of anxiety and fear. At first it was not easy. It took a lot of discipline and consistency. I had to surrender my flesh and allow Holy Spirit to reign. Each day that I chose this, I moved closer to the feet of Jesus. One day, “it” just happened. Instead of finding myself shrinking back and silent, I was running towards my enemies in a full on attack. I had had enough and it was time for the thieves and liars to be put in their place. Every day I confronted injustices. Boldness grew to a 10ft giant inside my soul.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12 NLT
I see pain in others and injustices running rampant, and instead of fear I get angry at the abuse and mockery I see. My heart pumps full of love for those hurting. I want to run towards the evil causing the pain! I want to demolish it in its path. It is payback! I’m chasing it. It deserves to go back to hell where it belongs. Boldness grows because I know without a doubt who God is. He is big and mighty and so good. His heart is full of so much love that He designed eternity for us to experience His love every day.
It is His love that has held me steadfast in 2020. I have chosen to get caught up with Jesus rather than the current political climate, culture upheaval and media frenzy. Jesus is always the best decision. He calms storms, provides stability and brings contentment in every circumstance.
Stop sharing the news and begin sharing the Good News. Get caught up with Jesus.
Today I felt like this might speak to someone who needs to hear this truth. Katherine Newsom is a new friend whose book, Chosen: Birth + Faith Through A Doula Lens, has blessed me greatly. It is set to release this Tuesday, July 28th. It can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Target.
As women, each of us are in different stages. Some of us are on our first pregnancy journey or on the third, 5th or more. Some of us are childless, having experienced the pain of childbirth too soon and a great loss. Others may not even be ready for the journey towards baby and growing a family.
Yet, each of us are chosen. What a beautiful truth that unites us!
If you have experienced grief from a loss of your child remember that does not make you any less of a Mother. Your child is important and worth celebrating no matter the length of time you had together. My Michael is up in Heaven enjoying building sand castles and rolling down hills full of lush grass. Perhaps some of your kids that have crossed the Heaven journey are joining him? Can you not imagine the giggles and squeals of pure joy? I want to live my life like that despite the loss.
Whether you’ve lost a child or not, this darling gift book is full of gems for any stage you’re blessed to behold and walk. Each of us are chosen. Your value exceeds anything you’ve done or been through.
Without hesitation He is for you. Jesus is ready and willing to step into your life and situation and meet it head on.
On Sunday my husband and SD surrounded me and asked Jesus to heal my arm. I had injured it a couple weeks prior and due to continued use I had been in excruciating pain off and on for a few days. There was no immediate relief in the moment but I thanked God anyway, believing that it would get better in time.
Church has been in our home for quite some time now. Even before the quarantine I had been having church at home during my sabbatical. Church this Sunday was particularly special. To have my family surround me in the living room was very precious. It has brought us together in multiple ways; beautiful ways.
One gift of quarantine has been the gift of undoing the busy and being able to slow down as we focus more attention to one another. It should always be this way.
I went about the rest of the day, baking, prepping meals and playing games. It did not dawn on me for several hours that I was doing things WITHOUT pain in my arm or my hand. Finally, it hit me! I was pain free and was able to hold a cup in my hand without it falling out of my hand. Praise Jesus! He had healed me and my family were the vessels. Together we celebrated and it caused dialogue for the next day. My SD would ask if the pain was still gone and I’d lift up my coffee cup proudly and declare, “YES”… Leading up to my healing it hurt to even drink coffee with that hand.
As I was thanking the Lord on my own time the thought occured to me how quick God is to join us in every aspect of our lives if we let Him. God never hesitates. Without hesitation He is quick to help, to heal, to forgive, to bless, and to join us wherever we are.
I was going through a box full of memories and came across this photo. I don’t remember how old I was but I felt feelings of sadness as I looked. You may ask, why? When I look at this photo I see a girl who lived life fiercely. I wish I had been kinder to her growing up. I wish I had known that it was okay to not be perfect. As you can tell in this photo one sleeve is puffy while the other is not. This is most likely due to me playing too rough in a dress. I wish I could’ve told her that it was okay to be all girly and school the boys on the playground… That the rips and tears of the lace and ruffles was only a sign of joy and freedom. You can be a girl and still be strong and fierce and even a bit muddy and sweaty. I wish I could’ve told her that it was okay for people to see her cry… It was okay that she didn’t know how to protect herself but that she had a great, big God that looked out for her and saved her from unimaginable horrors unknown at the time. I wish I could tell her that she had every power and authority given to her over fear and that the night had no hold on her. But this all is looking back. I have had to walk a path of forgiveness unknown to many and the most healing act was forgiving myself… Loving the girl I was and the woman I have become. God has done mighty things within me. He has helped me break free from fear, sorrow and chains intended to shut me up and keep me down. What do you need to break free from?
No matter what goes on in life I will always be a believer of Hope. There has been something deep inside me recently that has sharpened my resolve to never give up. Many things that I hope for I have hoped for, for years and years. Instead of giving up, God has been gently nudging me to stand and rise up in Hope even in the most foggy or the darkest situations. I am a believer of Hope. When it looks as if all is lost or broken, I choose to believe in things found again and things made whole. I choose to champion the hopeless, the hurting. I choose redemption and forgiveness despite the pain. Hope is courageous. It can see the good when no one else can. Hope brings life. Dead men come out walking again! Hope and faith are one with each other. Today, I Hope BIG! There will be a day that I can testify to a mighty miracle that lit up the darkness and set the captives free. Get ready! Join me 💪 I am a believer of Hope. What about you?
It is true that what one dwells on can consume them. I was reminded this morning to dwell on the good, especially the truths of God after hearing a very negative news report. The report hit me in the gut and left me feeling very heavy. It felt like it was an attempt to punch out a bit of hope that I’ve been clinging onto. Instantly when I recognized this occuring I began to remind myself of the truth of God’s goodness. I also decided not to watch or read any news the rest of today. What we dwell on matters. We can choose to have empowered focus, which leads us to live from hope while raising it’s banner for others to join us. We can choose joy despite our circumstances. Does it take grit? Yes, I think it does. Does it take effort? Yes. We cannot afford to be lazy right now. We must rally together and raise our hope banners high. We need each other. Each of us are being secluded but that does not mean that we are alone. In fact, any attempt to segregate, tear apart or cause dissension right now can bring us together. It is my belief that our strength is only growing because of this. Empower your focus by dwelling on the good. What is one good thing that occured today? How can I pray for you and your family? You are not alone.
Today I needed a change of scenery. I spent some great time in my art studio. When I begin to create in this space I often lose track of time. I get swept up in colors, ideas and feel so alive. Joyful worship. When I create I feel close to God. This place becomes a sacred space. New breath enters my lungs. I can hear the birds chirping. Laughter drifts through the window from the neighbor kids. I step into the sun as I add a burst of blue paint. Joy spills from my soul onto this canvas. I am so grateful for this time. Even though life has stalled and the time frame is uncertain when it will return to “normal”, I have come to a place of acceptance. I accept this slowed pace and the closeness of my family. The time spent in the depths of God’s heart is irreplaceable, where I have no time-frame and no place to go. I can sit with Him all day if I want to or I can paint with Him. This is the new normal that I don’t want to change. What a gift it is. This is what I choose to focus on… God’s goodness and more of Him in my life. ❤️
Many of us have this thinking process that is not true. We think that if we don’t have every detail figured out then we shouldn’t try something because we will not succeed. Failure. It actually is okay to fail as long as we get back up. It is okay to not have everything figured out. Sometimes our lives take twists and turns we were not expecting.
I heard the phrase, “If you aren’t failing then you aren’t living”… I don’t remember who said it but it stuck to me like glue. Essentially, by living life fearlessly despite possible failure, despite knowing every step to take, you are succeeding.
My entire life I was afraid to fail. If I wasn’t good at something or did not know the next step I was hesitant or gave up too soon. Ever since that day many years ago, I have made it a mission to fail (to live life fiercely, passionately and fearlessly) and as I have I have seen God do so many things I never dreamed would be possible!!
It is a freeing thing to realize that you don’t have to have it figured out. God already knows the steps down to the tiniest details. It is prideful of us to think we must and should know every detail and do things perfectly. We aren’t God.
If you are afraid of failure, afraid that you won’t please everyone, and often beat yourself up because things were not perfect, step out of that path! You are given permission to fail today, to not do things perfectly. You may need to ask for forgiveness, repent or wipe the dust off of your knees but learning the Jesus life is the best life. Trust and obey the one who lived a perfect life knowing you wouldn’t. His grace never runs out as you trust, obey and do better each time. He doesn’t expect perfection. He expects obedience.
As a child I remember believing in impossibly big things. Adults, friends even family would all make sure to tell me the reality of life. Simply put, some things would never happen. But when you are born a dreamer, it is a part of you that never dies. It is big faith.
No matter what has happened in my life I have always come back to the impossible. The impossible is a challenge. What looks like a mountain could be moved or if you’re Mary Poppins, you could simply fly over it.
I have lived through many soul crushing things. I may have suffered times of doubt or felt extreme defeat but I was not defeated. The beautiful thing about God is that circumstances can change in an instant. Feelings come and go but God does not. God remains good. God remains the same. God is faithful.
Because of God hope rises as the sun awakes in the early morning. Dreams can and often do become reality. The impossible becomes possible.
Yes, Mary Poppins, anything is possible. But I would say, especially the impossible.