Pure Enjoyment

Enjoying the adventures in our backyard together!

I have to admit that I have enjoyed the past month (even though it feels like two or three) in more ways than I have struggled with the changes it has brought. I have enjoyed the new and creative ways we have come together as a family. In many ways it has increased the love and connection that schedules and the busy often can decrease.

I have learned the value in boredom. Kids can return back to their imaginations more than before much like life used to be before phones, tablets and other electronics. Being a kid in the grass and roasting s’mores. Magical lands once again return to life. This was my favorite part of my childhood and I have to admit that I have returned a bit myself during the longer days and have written adventures again.

It is also okay to not have plans. Return to rest and learn what it means to relax together. Love grows in these moments if it is allowed to, even if there is tension with the unknown. Perhaps once life returns post covid19 we can keep these moments? I want the deeper connections to stay and magical lands to continue to grow.

What have you enjoyed during this time?

Enjoy. Pt 2 of God’s Steady Heartbeat

In my previous post, God’s Steady Heartbeat, 2020 , I wanted to go into further detail about one paragraph:

Let us not give up what has yet to happen in 2019. Let us enjoy our favorite holiday beverage (coffee anyone?), sit back and see what God will do. As we pray, as we go to the front lines of intercession, the Lord has made a table amidst it all for us. He has done this for us to learn to enjoy and walk in the victory that is ours even if we have yet to see it.

Finding enjoyment in our darkest hour or our darkest season is not something that happens on its own. There can be moments of such extreme pain and heartache that we often turn to God and ask, “Why must suffering occur?” Nothing about the struggle and pain makes any sense when you are in the thick of it sometimes.

Several months ago a situation intensified so much I thought my family might not survive it. It felt so painful, intense and the people who were supposed to help this situation allowed continued injustices to occur. Nothing made sense (it still doesn’t).

The lessons I have learned through this journey have been priceless. Here are a few of the ones I continue to learn from:

1.) Let Go Of Control

There is very little we are often in control of anyway. The circumstances and people in it are often not following your lead. Forgive, let go and praise. God already knows the details and letting go reveals your trust in him.

(Scriptures to look up: 1 Peter 5:7, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:6)

2.) Respond With Praise

What we are in control of is our response to our circumstances and others. We can either fight it or embrace the truths of God and praise him through it. The enemy cannot touch you when you have your praise on. Praise embraces heaven and pulls it down. Eventually Earth must be moved by Heaven so keep praising even if tears keep streaming down your face (and snot running out your nose). Battles aren’t pretty.

(Scriptures to look up: Jeremiah 20:13, Psalm 75:1, Psalm 99, Psalm 100)

3.) Rest

This can look different for everyone but the basic truth is being able to knock worry out and lean back into Gods big arms. Let God love you. Be still.

This is hard to do amidst a battle because it feels wrong to stop when all around you swords are clanking and the wounded are crying out. In God’s kingdom, battles are won differently. He fights for you which is why learning to let go of control is a crucial step in being able to rest and declare victory.

(Scriptures to look up: Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 4:8, Psalm 37:7, Philippians 4:6-7)

4.) Declare Your Victory

It does not matter how dark, how bleak or how intense life is. Nothing, absolutely nothing can change truth. When you know that God is a loving, powerful, dead raising, promise keeping, miracle working God, then let your voice be heard!

(Scriptures to look up: Deuteronomy 20:4, John 16:33, Romans 8:31-39)

Dear reader, grab a cup of hot coffee and sit back and rest.

I am.

Who I Want To Be

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Being an introvert has probably been one of the things I have struggled the most with. Growing up I didn’t know how to communicate that I needed space. If I was overwhelmed by people I didn’t know how to communicate my feelings or my needs.

As an adult I realized very quickly that I had come to be borderline hateful of this part of me. I was told quite a bit as an adult that there were no introverts in heaven. This inadvertently led me to believe that there was something very wrong with me. I could never figure out what hidden sin was causing this for me to continually struggle with needing space and time behind the scenes.

One day I realized that God had designed me to give him glory while alone so he could be seen better in the crowd. The part of me that was needing space led to great reflections, writing and creative arts. I see and feel things in a different way and solutions come when I am recharging alone. To hate this part of me or communicate to someone that they are “wrong” is to deny a part of God. God had written introversion in my DNA not to remain by myself but for the benefit of myself and others.

When I realized that it was imperative for me to be alone to be the best me with others, I began to accept who God made me to be. He loved this part of me! Slowly I was able to let go of who I thought I should be and embrace who I was in alignment with Holy Spirit. Without God I would be like a broken compass always questioning myself.

Today I still remind myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Most of the time I don’t feel guilty for needing space. I often have to say no in order to get rest and proper self-care in. I will start my day alone or quietly leave a room to breathe. When I do this, my mind is alert and my soul refreshed. My creative side is able to flow freely and I feel the most alive when this happens.

A beautiful thing occurs when you can accept the “flaws” people have pointed out about your personality. Freedom to be yourself leads to confidence. Accepting how God made you (your heavenly design not your sinful one) and getting to know yourself rather than how others tell you, is important to live a victorious life. Obviously if there is known sin, repent and change. But if it has to do with your heavenly design stop trying to be someone that you are not. Be who God designed you to be. Place him back on the throne instead of others.

Extrovert or introvert, you are wonderfully made!

When God Takes Away

Have you ever felt like God was taking things away from you?

The past year has been a life-changing year. My heart has been broken and wrecked in ways I never thought possible. Unimaginable things have occurred, both good and bad. We are still staring evil in the face. God’s gaze is my focal point.

Through it all I have asked God, “what are you doing?” My entire mindset has changed. My view on my career, personal goals and “plans” have all changed. I technically do not have a “plan” anymore and that is a good thing considering “planning” is usually what I do. I plan and make goals and then feel fulfilled after it is done. This year was the first year I felt incomplete after accomplishing some big goals. It led me to make some drastic changes. It made me realize that I was placing too much of my worth on accomplishments rather than on God alone.

This shift in mindset has not been easy. Letting go of huge loves of mine has not been easy. Completely pursuing God’s promises has not been easy either because His plans have been different than my own. He has taken a lot away.

He has taken certain things away in order for me to be ready to embrace the best! He gives far more than I could ever imagine.

The beautiful thing about God is that his plans are better than my own. Even though I am in the waiting I know that his intentions are good. In the letting go and letting God it has opened the door of heaven over me and my household. In the process peace has made it’s home permanently in me. No matter what circumstances I face it doesn’t knock me over like it once did. Because of this, letting go of all I’ve known for more of him is worth it. It is hard because dying to oneself is never easy. But his ways are better.

What has he taken away so that you may receive the best?

What My 3.5-hr Haircut Taught Me

I had already had to cancel my dinner plans and my semi-damp hair was only half cut. An hour had come and gone. The only thing that was complete was a magnificent hair wash and the back of my hair trimmed. If my layers and bangs were to be next I figured I would be in that seat for at least another hour. That hour turned into more than two.

As I sat in the chair and my student stylist meticulously cut every strand, I accepted that this was a much needed time to slow down. I chose to take deep breaths and let it be. There was something so freeing to just sit and let someone else tend to my hair (it had been since December 2017).

By the time I was done, my hair was frizzy and all I could think about was what I would eat for dinner. Who am I kidding? I think about the next time I’m going to eat all day. You wouldn’t know it if you looked at me but I love food. Food was all I was worried about so I had not understood what the 3.5 hour cut was symbolic of in that moment.

The next day I was having coffee with Jesus. He reminded me about my 3.5 hour hair cut. Just like my student stylist was meticulous to get every angle and cut right so was God with every detail of my life. The dreams planted in my heart at birth take a lot of time. Thankfully God places everything and everyone at the perfect moment.

He is meticulous.

There are moments in life when things take too long and we sit back with tense backs and irritation. This must not be! God wants us to sit back, take a deep breath and let him take care of us no matter the circumstances. He wants us to enjoy those moments. He wants us to trust him.

If I can trust a student stylists first time cutting hair, I certainly can trust God with my dreams.

I plan on going back to that beauty school. I do not plan on making a fuss about my first visit. It was worth every penny I spent on a 3.5 haircut because of what it taught me.

Dreams take time.

God is meticulous.

He is getting every angle done right.

Mother’s Day…

Sigh.

This day is full of many emotions.

When we were children we never knew what our Mommas were feeling or going through. But the truth is that they often were grieving or struggling in some way. Sure, many years were great when this day came but so many brave souls overcame a day feeling less than, forgotten or were without someone they loved.

For those who have lost their Mom and/or sweet children of your own, rest in the fact that God loves them even to this day, more than you. I say this phrase as a blessing to you.

Today after church I was able to take a deep breathe in the car ride home. As I allowed myself to soak in all the love, hugs, and notes I had received, I saw an image of my Mom holding my son in her arms in heaven. How perfect they looked!

I realized in that moment how well taken care of both of them are. I know this but to “see” it and to see my Mom loving and holding my boy so close was exactly what my Momma heart needed. This would have (should have) been my first Mother’s day with a baby in my arms.

Despite the hint of sadness from loss, my heart is so full. I am one blessed woman. I am loved. I am lacking nothing because all of God’s promises are yes and amen.

The same goes for you. You are blessed. You are loved. You lack nothing because all of God’s promises are yes and amen.

Honorable, virtuous, strong woman, shed a tear if you need but arise and lift up your head for you are victorious!

In A Pit With A Lion

A mountain and a promise.

You are in a pit with a lion. What do you do?

Do you panic and freeze, or try to hide and cower in the corner?

No.

You will face that lion. With every breath you take it will remind you that the Lord is with you. He will not fail.

As the lion paces he licks his lips with a ravenous look of hunger in his eyes. He looks so confident. After all, he is the lion and you are but mere prey. And you are in a pit with no rope. You have no ladder to climb or person to get you out. The lion knows that you have nowhere to go and the smell of you makes his mouth water. He can smell the sweat drip from your forehead.

What do you do?

You stare that lion down with a fierceness that defies any potential fear shaking your bones. Every fiber in your being knows that God will save you. You crush any doubts within milliseconds of them entering your thoughts. You stand your ground.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

The lion slowly creeps closer. Closer still he comes until you can feel the heat of his breathe on your neck. He sniffs your hair.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

You begin to hear a low guttural noise and he rubs his mane up against you. Soon he is rubbing up against you, back and forth. Gently you move your hands up and begin to pet his glorious mane.

What is this? This hungry lion meant to eat you is now as friendly as a dog.

What was supposed to be for your ruin has been reversed. You must wait a while longer before you are pulled out of the pit with the lion.

There is grace in the waiting. What joy there is for the reversal of the plans of the enemy.

Now you can wait confidently expectant of victory in a pit with a lion!