Choosing Joy

Joyce Meyer says, try not to be ruled by your emotions. Easier said than done of course, but absolutely necessary. There is nothing worse then going up and down based on how you feel. I feel like I am a pretty rational person and I have this problem all the time. I think about my feelings instead of what is happening at the time.

Its easy to say not to be ruled by your emotions when everything is going well, when you are hearing from God and he is answering your prayers. Just the other day I woke up and I felt nothing, I was confused and reading the bible didn’t help. I tried to pray and I didn’t feel the calm and peace I usually do after prayer. I wondered if God was testing me in some way, because people always say God doesn’t speak to you during the test. I tried to meditate on some verses but nothing was coming to mind to address how I felt. I didn’t know what to do.

I decided to make a list of all the things I was grateful for; my husband, my job, friends and family. I got specific with it, not just generically thanking God but really praising him for the awesome things he has done for me and I started to feel better. I was surprised. It seems so bogus, like how is this list supposed to make me feel better but it did. Running through that list helped me put some things in perspective. That gratitude list reminded me that things in my life were not that bad and they could always be worse. The more I wake up in a odd mood or down on myself I take a second to remember that our feelings are not real.

Don’t trust your feelings because your feelings can lie. Feelings don’t always convey the word of God or how true He is. People tell you to trust your heart, don’t do it. Trust God. When you need to press on because you don’t want to get out of bed, tap into the word. I had many days when I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I did anyway. I made sure to have a few minutes of quiet time with God. Time allotted would be 15 minutes, sometimes more, sometimes less. I would always get a scripture that would help me along.

As I have been trying to tap more into my emotions and not hide in books or recreational activities, the more I am trying not to be ruled by my emotions. I have also made sure to look up scriptures about feelings, emotions and love, because I didn’t want to get caught in a spot again where I couldn’t remember any scriptures. I have been reading a plan in the Bible app, called Love God Greatly-You are Loved. I have been writing a lot of those scriptures down so that I can recall them later. Being reminded of the love God has for me, helps me with my doubt, indecision, anxiety, etc. The more I get to know who He is, the more I trust him, the less stock I put in how I feel. There is no one way to not get caught up in your feelings, sometimes you have to try a bevy of different ways to change your mood, but you can do it.

Books to Read

Get out of your head-Jennie Allen

Living beyond your feelings-Joyce Meyer

Technical difficulties, Help! (17)

Do you all do your drafts in some place other than WordPress? I am seem to be having trouble sharing them from the notes in my phone, to the WordPress app. It doesn’t really make any sense to me and it didn’t start until I started my 31 posts in 31 days (1)

Do any of you have experience asking for help from WordPress? The website seems pretty daunting to me so I just putter around until I figure out what I am trying to do. I know other sites boast really awesome technical support, do you feel that is true for WordPress? This is getting frustrating because it is slowing up my progress in uploading my posts.

If you have any suggestions for dealing with technical issues that would be great.

ps.-this counts as a post ūüôā

0 to 100 real quick

I tend to do that more often than I realized. I was all excited a few weeks ago because a lot of things were happening at once, got a raise, interview opportunity, and I thought I was pregnant. I was like wow God you really are laying it on me. Ok. I wasn’t prepared but I’m like ok this is a good thing. Then I thought like wait, its too good to be true, God is doing this to get my attention there is no way that all this awesomeness can happen at once. I was freaking out because I kept thinking that it was too good to be true. I didn’t think that I could get all the things that I was praying for all at once.¬† For now, I was right.

womp womp

Didn’t get the job and wasn’t pregnant. A bunch of let down right around the same time. I’m not super disappointed anymore about not being pregnant because as you are reading this I am chilling on the sandy beaches in Mexico and being pregnant here would not have been as fun. I’m not upset about the job because I got beat out by the best and I can’t really be mad at that. I want to explore this topic more, having it all. Where did it come from? Is it actually achievable? I will talk about this more in a later post.

I know what’s for me will be given to me. Nobody, not even me can get in the way of that. I don’t know if God had all that happen to get my attention. Its definitely possible. I haven’t prayed and fasted that much in a long while. I knew that I needed to step it up. I talked about that in a previous post.¬† I feel like there was other things he could do to get my attention although I have to admit these were definitely the best. Maybe it was the devil messing with me. I will never know. I do know that God will never play me and he is not a trickster. I couldn’t find any examples in the bible where he gave the people¬† something good and then snatched it away or gave someone something good to get their attention and then changed his mind. If there is something out there please let me know. One of my favorite verses is, God is not like man he doesn’t lie or change his mind (Numbers 23:19).

So I’m essentially right back where I started aside from the pay increase. When I think about how ridiculous I was acting it makes me laugh. I couldn’t even enjoy the blessing because I was waiting on the other shoe to drop.

shoe to drop

I’m sure if it was from God his feelings would be hurt over how I was acting. Who wants to give their kid a present for them to keep checking if you are going to ask for it back? I wouldn’t. So if learned any lesson this week it would be to relax. Enjoy each moment. I know everything works out for my good (Romans 8:28) and I know God has plans he made with my name on them (Jeremiah 29:11).

be here now

Sick!

May started out on such a high note. I got a raise at work! Totally unexpected, mini anniversary trip planned for this weekend, but then I got this horrible, respiratory infection which is like a cold on steroids and it has brought all my productivity to a halt. I am home sick today. I have been sick for 5 days! Which I hear isn’t that long but its too long for me. I am taking some super meds which has stopped my coughing and running nose but nothing is giving me energy. I feel like a slug or a sloth. I barely able to keep my fingers moving to type this post but I am tired of laying on my couch watching Netflix. I couldn’t even read I was so sick. My eyes hurt too bad and the only thing¬† I could do was mindlessly skim through Instagram and look at everyone in their pretty MetGala outfits. I didn’t write this to complain. Things could be much worse so I am thankful.

Any suggestions on how I get my energy level back up? Anything good to watch on Netflix?

My Hope

I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word.
Psalms 119:81 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.119.81.NLT

You all know these past few months have been trying but I am over the hump. Praise God! I never want to forget no matter how tired I am or frustrated from a situation that I can put my hope in God because he does not lie and his word is true. Even on my worst days I remember that and all the awesome things he had done for me.

I don’t want to offer any cliches. I know life can throw some pretty crappy stuff at us. I know it can feel like God isn’t hearing our prayers but he is. As long as I’m still breathing God can I intercede. The improvement of my mood wasn’t over night. It was constant prayer and crying out and mindset shifting.

I always had hope though that my good days would outweigh my bad days and eventually they did. If you are in a bad way, stay in constant communication with God, find like minded people and find something to get yourself off your mind. It will make a world of difference. Good luck!

In the middle of night

I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.

Psalms 63:6 NLT

https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.63.6.NLT

I woke up a few times in the middle of the night this week and I used to wonder why but now I know that it’s just God wanting to get my attention. Back in the day I used to channel surf or flip through Instagram but that didn’t help me fall back to sleep. Now I read my bible or meditate on a verse. The meditating is cool and easy. Literally just repeating the same verse over and over in your mind. A few of my favorites, God is within her, she will not fail (Psalm 46:5)¬†or blessed is she who believed that¬†the¬†Lord¬†would¬†fulfill his promise to her (Luke 1:45).

If that doesn’t work I try to retell a biblical story in my head. I’m doing the bible in a year reading plan so I will retell the story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah or the story of Joseph, all in Genesis. Some times I just lay there and say God I’m listening…is there something you want to say to me or get my attention? When you ask God to speak to you, he will, but your mind has to be clear to¬†hear what he is saying. Meditating is a good way to clear your head so you can be open to what God has to say.

When you backslide

It’s bound to happen unfortunately. What do you do? Do you get down on yourself? Do you get mad for making the same mistakes? I used to. I would be so frustrated. Mad at myself for slipping, mad at God for letting me slip, mad at the devil for tempting me. Just mad. It was terrible. I started trying to prep myself for the backslide.

I would run from God which would make my falling off worse. I would hide because I felt badly for failing. I thought that God was mad at me but that wasn’t the case. I would stop talking to him before he stopped talking to me. God doesnt do that though. He forgives us as soon as we repent.

When I’m upset about committing a wrong I read Psalm 51. David messed up pretty bad, this is when he slept with Bathsheba and killed her husband Uriah to cover it up. He was still called a man after God’s own heart. I think the big thing with falling off is not continuing to do it. If I say I’m not reading anymore smut but then I read some Eric Jerome Dickey book, God isn’t going to hate me because I messed up. The problem comes when I read the next book in the series since I already messed up anyway. Or if I’m supposed to call my grandma once a week and I miss 2 weeks in a row, deciding to call anyway.

We get new mercies everyday. I have to make sure I’m better prepared not to fall into temptation. Recognizing my triggers for things I may be tempted by and removing them if possible. Making sure I tailor my reactions. I don’t have sucked in to temptation or go to every petty party I’m invited to. I can chose another way.

Stay focused on the bigger picture, don’t let your mistake derail you from your progress. My pastor always says, it doesn’t matter how you start but how you finish. So you messed up, that’s ok. Just don’t continue to do it when you know better.

Books to read

I have seen people saying they want to read more this year so here is a list of some of my books I really enjoyed reading last year.

  • Redeeming Love- Francine Rivers-This book was amazing. I was surprised at how much I liked it. It is historical fiction. It is the story of Hosea from the Old Testament. It gets a little repetitive but the story of Hosea is repetitive. Its representative of how God felt about Israel and how he forgives her several times and she keeps messing up. Its also a beautiful love story.
  • *How to hear The Voice of God- Joyce Meyer. I didn’t read this last year but its one of my all time favorites. It spoke to me and answered a lot of questions that I had about how to distinguish between me talking and God talking. Joyce speaks plainly and is easy to understand.
  • You Can’t Touch My Hair- Phoebe Robinson-It was absolutely hilarious. I found her very relatable. She is young and black and from Cleveland! There were a few weird chapters, one being about her love of U2, which I skipped, lol. Overall, it was great. She also on a podcast called 2 Dope Queens. You should check it out. They are about to have a show on HBO.
  • Wait and See: Finding Peace in Gods Pauses and Plans – Wendy Pope-This book changed my life. It made me look at the way I viewed the wait that God was putting me through. She has really good questions at the end of each chapter. They are thought provoking and really help you put things into perspective. She also has action steps and I love a book that doesn’t just talk at you and but gives you a clear way to move forward.
  • Jesus Calling- Sara Young- It’s a devotional but it is the best one I have ever read. Sara writes as if Jesus is speaking to you. All scripture based. It is amazing. If you don’t read anything else on this list read this.
  • Delilah and Bathsheba-Angela Hunt- These are two separate books. They are the
  • retelling of the stories of Delilah and Samson and Bathsheba and David. It offers an interesting perspective of these biblical stories. I like them because they also give you insight into the biblical times and some historical context that the bible doesn’t provide.
    Honorable mentions-Check these book out as well.They were really good. I love to read and I can easily read 5 or 6 books a month. I just read two books over the weekend, lol.
  • Strongholds-Vanessa Davis Griggs
    The Shack- William Young
    Breaking Night- Liz Murray
  • I’m Judging You-Awesomely Luvvie

Shaming people into changing

I was listening to this podcast called For the Love with Jen Hatmaker and one of the guests on her show was Dr. Brene. This lady is amazing. Her Tedtalk on Vulnerability was amazing. We watched at work for a professional development workshop. When you get some time you should watch her. TedTalk. https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

One thing she said on Jen Hatmaker podcast that stuck with me was, we can’t shame people into changing. That really stuck with me. Often times that is exactly what we do. In school you do your homework so the teacher doesn’t call and you and you not have the answers. When your kid pushes someone down at the playground, do you make them feel bad about it? If your spouse doesn’t go to church, or take out the trash, or you constantly nag them? Do you make them feel like a bad person? I’m sure this is unintentional of course.

My husband had some ideas about something that I really disagree with. I tried to dissuade him from his thought process by offering him sound words of advice and letting him know his argument didn’t make sense. I wasn’t doing a good job though. I could tell in the midst of the argument that I wasn’t making any head way.I wanted to impose my views and thoughts on him and it is not the way that should have been done. I had to look at my motives, some of my reasons for trying to change his mind were selfish. I didn’t call my friends and complain about him, even though I wanted to. I decided to sit down and journal out everything I was thinking. It helped me realize that only God can change him, not me.

Shaming was definitely involved, I even told him his actions were blocking our blessings. Which is not only selfish but diminishing of God’s power. I knew as I was talking I was making my point in the wrong way but I didn’t know how to stop it. When the situation came up again I decided to leave it alone. I got much better results that way. Sometimes its not about being right, honestly most times its not about being right. Its always better to check your motives first when entering into debates. My motive wasn’t just to prove that I was right and get my husband to change his thought process, but I was concerned about how his actions would reflect on me and that is not appropriate or my place.

I decided to let it go, God can change him better than I can and my opinion isn’t helping, it was just making him dig his heels in more. It doesn’t matter that I’m correct. I am. My method wasn’t right and you can’t change a persons mind if they don’t want to be changed. I will have to continue to pray for him. I can see his softening somewhat on his position but it will take time. I will not give up though, but I won’t say anything else to him about it.Shaming is not the way. There has to be a better way to get people to see reason, sometimes we can’t though. That is ok, God will always show someone reason if we pray for wisdom for them. We will also gain some wisdom ourselves in the midst of those prayers.