The Best Life

On days where we have the gift of sleeping in I secretly (not-so-secret anymore) wish that my bedroom had a coffee maker so that I could have time alone with Jesus longer. I have found myself some mornings holding my breath as I get my journal and Bible with the hope that no one knows I’m awake. The instant there is any thought I might be awake, it is over. I might as well give up any time to myself. ⁣

Writing this now makes me laugh! If you had told me a year ago that my life would be what it is now, I think I would have shaken my head and laughed in your face. But today I am laughing because the life I live is blessed so big. I have yearned for what I have now without even recognizing that it was what would fill the loneliness. ⁣

I would never want to complain about being wanted and needed the way that I am now. I would never want to complain that my name is yelled across the house when I’m praying and trying to listen to God’s gentle voice. Everytime irritation may come, I remind myself that it is a huge gift to be valued so highly by young ones. ⁣

If you’re a Mom or stepping up as one in any capacity, remember that is why you aren’t left alone. Your value is great! It is communicated in the breakdowns, the tears, the hugs, the cacophonous banter, the laughter and their constant need to have you be involved in EVERY part of their lives. Do we need to know what so-and-so wore to class? No. Do we need to know what happens in the bathroom or how big a booger was? No. But they want us involved in it all because that is how much they desire us to be apart.⁣

Meanwhile, I still tip toe and be as quiet as I can just for a few more moments to recharge. I’m still brainstorming a way to have the space for a coffee maker in my room because… Once I step out of bed, it’s over. 🤣⁣

Borrowing His Eyes

Messy hair days, rolling out of bed to start the day. The devil must pay today. My focus has been payback to the devil because it is the only way I can walk through mud and muck in a culture that enables, fosters and excuses awful abuse. Exhaustion can often set in because this holy work is 24/7. I often have to believe that my enemies are more tired than I am. When I look from my perspective it is so dark and the hurt is too much.

But Jesus!

When I set my feet down on the ground and take His perspective, borrowing His eyes, I see those I love, free and full of joy. The pain is a tool to their healing, molding, cleansing and strengthening them as they become a weapon against the very forces that tried to destroy them.

Early mornings turn into a fuse to build a holy fire  that cannot be quenched. Coffee becomes a sweet blessing. Time together is precious whether it’s 5 hours or 5 minutes. There are so many things to be grateful for during this season. Give yourself permission to cry if you need, grieve and then release it. But always come back around full-circle to the truth that you are loved deeply and God fights for you. Don’t forget who He has given to you to bless your life. They are the treasure amidst the storm.

Who can you thank or shout-out today? Who has walked with you through thick and thin?

My husband is my greatest partner as we destroy what the darkness has attempted to do in our family. He deserves a big shout-out today. Thank you Husband!

Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

I have seen much hatred, fear, disappointment, shame and slandering going on around these elections. What’s disturbing to me is that what is being shared has little to do with faith or portraying the faithfulness of God. I’d like to challenge those of us who believe in God and follow His word: What message are we sending online and to those in our circles? How are we talking about the leaders voted in or awaiting final results? Are we living by faith or fear? Is love readily on our lips and in our actions?

Too much is being placed on men and women. How can one be disappointed in a people when we have done nothing to reach those people for Christ? We cannot hold others outside our circles to the same standard, especially when we sit and don’t live out our faith the way we are called.

We must look to God and seek His forgiveness for our lack of faith, our own sins, our poor attitudes, and our inaction towards the lost. Perhaps we are seeing the fruit of our labor or the lack of it? I don’t want to place blame on any one person or group of people because it’s complicated and not solely on one group.

Instead, I’ve been asking God to reveal anything in me that needs to change. Instead, I’ve been asking for forgiveness for my inaction and moments of delayed obedience. It breaks my heart that I have had a role in what I am seeing and living in now.

But things CAN change. There is an undercurrent, something hidden amidst all of the mess that is occuring. It is good and miraculous! I know this because God does not change. He is faithful! He is hearing our cries for mercy on our nation. He has turned His face toward us and is listening, desiring to bless us again.

Wait.

Listen and obey.

Wait with great anticipation and excitement.

Listen and obey.

God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Sticky Words

There is so much power in our words.

The way we talk to others, about others and even about ourselves will often reveal the truth in our hearts. The words we speak can bless or curse our lives and those in it.

Words stick to us. Words will dig deep into our souls. If it is a word of truth, a beautiful tree full of life can grow.

If words are full of viscious lies, the damage is severe and where life was once full, vibrant and strong, words full of lies and hatred can beat down the beautiful life until only a scarred, burnt, black tree remains. Some of us feel this way about ourselves or we are desperately trying to speak life and beauty back into those torn down by the stinging, cursing tongue.

But Jesus.

Jesus is truth. He is life. He is love.

When Jesus enters the canvas of our lives His words transform, heal and restore. The scars heal, new growth breaks forth and a hint of green begins to break forth past the blackness that overtook the beauty. Branches grow back full of leaves, and roots grow deeper in the truth.

Restoration can occur. Healing can take place.

Speak life. Choose a better way. Value everyone, even those in the womb. Will your tongue reveal a darkness within or light and love? Are you choosing to value life and love deeply? Look around you and you will see.

Words can build up or tear down world’s.

Which one will you choose?

God Sends Yellow Birds

Yesterday I rested for a moment. I looked out my large bedroom window and saw so much life. The beauty from our apple tree, birds flying about and butterflies fluttering amidst other plants, revealed so much abundance. As I breathed deep, my eye caught some movement in a neighboring tree. I saw the color yellow and thought at first that it was only fall leaves. As I focused further there were three yellow birds. Yellow is a significant color for me. It holds memories and special messages I carry deep within me.

Seeing those three yellow birds made me feel so special in that moment. I knew God was reminding me that I mattered big to Him and that He was my promise keeper.

The small things matter big!

Yes, even the small negative things hold just as much power to overtake the good. But we must not let that occur. It does only take a little bit of yeast to take over the bread. In that moment of rest I was battling some bad that had occurred. My heart ached over the depravity of the situation. But God’s goodness came and filled up the deep aching cavern within me.

When life doesn’t make sense God sends yellow birds to remind you that He will never fail you.

If you are waiting for promises, look for the small things. It is often in those small details where it will matter big to you. A sunset. A flower. Birds. A hug. None of these things were intended for us to just pass by.

Pay attention. The small things matter big.

Rest Amidst The Mess

What you don’t see is two piles of laundry waiting for me to my right!

Here is a view into my messy, imperfect yet beautiful life! My bedroom has become work place, devotional space, counseling room, writing space, love room, and laundry room. It is a safe and sacred place. I often weep in here behind closed doors and I laugh endlessly.

Life has a funny way of making one pliable in all of the seasons. This season is no different. My house is full and noise travels down every hall and into each room. Our table is messy and vacuuming has to wait until classes are complete. Things are out of place, the lamp shade gets knocked cockeyed and I let it be.⁣

My dog here reminds me to slow down. Others have encouraged me to let things be. God in His goodness speaks grace upon grace as each day I think I should do it all. He tells me He can but I cannot.

So, here I am drinking my afternoon decaf with a pile of things to do while joining my dog who naps effortlessly. ⁣

I sip and savor my Kafiex pour-over and take a moment to pause. Everyone needs a break.⁣

What do you do to stop and rest amidst your mess?⁣

In Awe As Dreams Come True!

I have to admit something to you. I am an optimist. In some cases others may consider me a little too positive. I mean, have you looked at the world lately? And my response is always, “Yes, and I look through my Creators eyes and see hope everywhere I look.”

Most people who see me on a given day would never know what I’ve lived through and overcome throughout my life. No one would know that 5 months ago I could hardly get out of bed because my body had crashed but I got up and loved my family anyway. We were also enduring some incredible hardships and injustices that will never make sense.

Each day I am faced with a choice in the good and the not so good, how I am going to live my life.

I choose hope. I choose joy. I choose to live my life to the fullest measure, loving God and others with everything within me. I choose to defeat the enemy and teach my small family the same.

Recently doors have opened to some huge, HUGE dreams I have had since middle school. It feels like God has taken good care of my dreams and has prepared me for this year… The year of Covid and civil unrest. Amidst hardship and injustices, God is giving me my dreams. I feel so blessed! Words often fail me as I live in awe. I am speechless as I look at how God has provided supernaturally, performed the impossible (someday we can share these details) and how He has established my family as we seek more growth.

My heart resonates with Isaiah 54:1-3,

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord . “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.”

I have often gone to this passage after years of being barren. What God has done in the past several years has been far greater than a full womb could have given me. Children do not heal souls or solve issues in life. Children are a gift and like arrows in a quiver (Psalm 127:4) but they are not the Restorer, Savior or Healer, God is.

There are moments I wonder if I will awaken from a dream but I know God has already awakened me. Hardships come every day. Healing and justice is a daily battle. But God’s goodness is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Words do no justice to explain, or to reveal His goodness. He is present in everything I do because I desire Him in everything I do. He gives such good gifts. His healing lasts forever. His joy doesn’t spoil. In fact, His joy remains steadfast just as His love does throughout any trial, mountain or storm. He is amazing!

As I stand looking over mountains and valleys, I see Him. There are more hard times coming and difficult, gut wrenching giants to face, but I know He will lead me to the promised land.

I cannot wait for some big announcements coming soon that I will get to share with each of you, my faithful readers and friends. My desire is that when I can share these dreams as they unfold, that it will reignite the hope within you to never give up. God is in the hope business. He is the best at taking those hardships and pressures to bring forth a beautiful, priceless pearl. He wrote specific dreams and passions into your DNA.

Trust Him.

Lean into His chest and let Him revive the things of old, as He was dreaming of YOU while He formed YOU in your Mother’s womb. It brings Him great joy to walk you into your dreams.

These dreams come with surrender and sacrifice because these are God sized dreams, not human failing ones. You will find that as you move closer to Him, He will move closer to you. My prayer is that we would desire Him more than anything. It is in His presence where every solution to every human need and desire lies. The dreams we long for are found in Him.

Continue reading “In Awe As Dreams Come True!”

Getting Caught Up…

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.

Jesus is the Greatest!

The New Normal

While each of us are seeing summer transition and school begin amidst these strange times, I am so grateful for life. It doesn’t matter what may be going on because God never changes and His plans for us remain. His plans are always good.

Dreams are still coming true!

Some days I do not even know where to begin. Amidst all the pain, changes and transitions His goodness bounces off the walls and envelopes my family. My family! I cannot even grasp my love for them. I have no words for this time. Sweet moments come here and there, enhanced by battles raging back and forth. Forward, back and forward more. What matters is that love overflows in the hearts of my family and laughter fills their bellies. Tear stained eyes will become bright in time just as the sun breaks through after a storm.

My heart has broken in ways I never thought possible these past several months. Depravity continues to become more depraved, sinking lower until I hardly know which way is back out.

But Jesus!

Jesus is so grand and marvelous! He pulls me out of that muck in an instant. Light breaks through the darkest dark and the horrors of the night. He is always there. His presence consumes everything. Today, tomorrow and then by God’s grace, years and years from now, it will be worth it all. He is helping me see His might and strength, as well as His love and gentleness, defeat the graves intended to keep those I love from living.

From the depths of who I am, gratitude flows.

Just wait… Make sure you don’t miss Him through it all. Notice the miracle of life. Dancing on graves will become the new normal.

It Is Time…

Reflecting on the past several months and I have realized a few things. What has come to the surface during quarantine and “reopening” has revealed what is deep in our hearts. Things we’ve tried to hide or didn’t realize were there have been sifted.

We have seen darkness exposed. It was always there. I often have wondered if it’s been by choice not to acknowledge it or if blind eyes simply have been opened recently. Many of us didn’t realize we had idolized government, our routines, entertainment, the busy and our jobs. Others have had to face the reality that they didn’t really trust Jesus all that much as worry consumed them.

But there have been a huge group who have peacefully embraced each day and chosen joy knowing Jesus would come through for them. A huge group revealed the beauty of the church as they reached neighbors and those who’ve never stepped foot in church. When the building was requested to be closed an entire group didn’t let that stop them from praise and worship. The awakening of hearts finally collided in our neighborhoods and families slowed long enough to come together again, unified.

Perhaps the gifts given during this time were ones that reminded us that church wasn’t a building but of people? People who were intended to disciple others instead of leaving it to church leaders only. People who began to see their neighbors again, their family again… People who needed a nudge out of normalcy in order for Christ to refine the parts of them that had become too comfortable sitting in the pew, territorial of it and selfish. Perhaps the greatest gift we have received has been the threat of our normal being stripped away. It has caused us to open our eyes out of slumber and look to see the need around us and within us for Jesus.

Our hearts should burn for Him. Our hearts should burn to see no one perish. Our hearts should burn for justice and love to permeate our homes, neighborhoods, cities, states and nation’s. Our hearts should burn for unity where our focus and words no longer cause dissension and turmoil for one another. What we are seeing from closed doors, states, over-sexualization of children, violence in the streets, hatred for our brothers and sisters, are all coals for revival. The more it surfaces and exposes itself, those coals burn hotter until everything is aflame.

What is coming is far greater than we can imagine. Hope for everyone. The devil has shown us his hand. There is an army rising and growing and getting stronger each day to confront the darkness and see light, life, hope and unity come again into every place. Jesus in our homes where reconciliation and miracles take place which spill over onto our neighbors, our streets and impossible situations. Jesus in our justice system restoring the justice that corruption and sin took away from kids, parents, police officers and every human being unjustly treated. We’ve limited our voices to only black and white causing a wider divide. Jesus conquered that divide.

A gentle, peaceful uprising is occuring that cannot be stopped. The coals are burning hotter.

What needs to burn away and what needs to be refined for the holy, pure, and loving fire to come and heal each of us?

Revival has begun. Will you let it consume you  and restore you or will you let division and death lead you instead? It is time to choose life.