I pray that this is my best year yet. Abba, You promise that there is sunshine after the rain. I pray that you continue to walk in front of me and behind me. I pray every hurt while challenging will be for my good and that I see your goodness in the land of the living. I pray that it’s true that each year we grow wiser and that I won’t repeat the same mistakes. I pray that you show me how to tap into your unlimited resources. That I have the strength to walk away from what’s not good for me. I pray for an abundance of love, joy, peace, strength and wisdom. I definitely feel like I have suffered a little while, I am ready to be restored, supported and strengthened. Abba, I trust that each year you are moving me closer to my purpose and that I am walking in the plans you have for me. I thank you for keeping me and your ways being higher than my ways. In your sons name, I pray. Amen.
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:10 NLT
My birthday as always was great, it just felt like a little black cloud was following me around. I know trouble doesn’t last always. Praise God!
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. Isaiah 40:28 NLT
God will never get tired of your prayers. He isn’t like us. He is slow to anger. Time to God is not like time to us. He wants us to be persistent. You can ask the same thing as much as you want. Continuously praying keeps you focused on him.
Is this how you think God is listening to your prayer?Shaq might be irritated but God isn’t.
As you continue to pray your prayers will shift because you can’t be in constant communication with God and not be changed. Its not possible.
If you are going to have peace, you have to stay focused on God. When you stop praying the discouragement sets in. That’s why we are told to pray without ceasing.
Does God say stop praying if we don’t get what we want? From my research I don’t think he does. Maybe you need to change the question. But staying in constant communication with the Lord about your troubles, fears, desires is never a bad thing.
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for [a]bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:9-13
Somebody once said to me when I was praying for a baby, “maybe God wants you to pray for something else or he is tired of that prayer”. At the time I followed that advice but looking back, I don’t think that was true.
There are no examples in the bible of God telling people tostop praying. Or pray about something else. Joyce Meyer says get yourself off your mind. I don’t think that is a bad idea. Getting myself off my mind definitely helped me stop feeling sorry for myself. But I wouldn’t say stop asking God for that thing but make sure you add in other peoples prayer requests as well.
Here is a story of in the bible a persistent widow. Jesus told this story in Luke to remind us to be persistent. If that terrible judge didn’t care about anyone gave that woman what she wanted, what would our father in heaven do?
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8
Remember to not put human characteristics on God. Keep talking to him, keep persisting, just remember to pray for other people in your situation as well.
I know it may feel like that sometimes, or even a lot of times depending on what you may be going through. I know when I couldn’t get pregnant, I thought God was mad at me for being selfish, or mad at me for not following instructions, or mad at me for not doing enough.
I have friends who think God is holding a grudge against them from some sin they committed years ago but that isn’t true either.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Those verses are from Psalm 103. This was written by King David. A man after God’s own heart. He also committed adultery and killed a man to try and cover it up. Not exactly the actions of a person who is in favor with God. It’s true though. Even after the terrible things he did, God continued to bless him.
David points out some things we need to remember.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, SLOW to anger, abounding in love. The thing you think is mad at he probably isn’t. It takes him a long time to get mad. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8
He does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities. God isn’t petty.
One of my favorite verses is God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Numbers 23:19 We put human attributes on God so we can better understand his greatness but sometimes that gets blurry. God isn’t trying to get you, he doesn’t want you to feel bad. There are consequences for your actions but they don’t last forever.
3. As far as the heavens are from Earth, so great is his love for those who fear him. If you know nothing else know that God loves you, a lot, a lot. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39. Nothing can separate us from God’s love, nothing!
4. As far as east is from west, he has removed our transgressions. Think about how far east is from west. You can’t measure it. Its not possible. If you have asked for forgiveness, then you are forgiven.
Don’t let your circumstances have you doubting God’s character. Keep praying, keep believing, remember the promises he made to you.
We’ll talk next about how to remember God’s promises.
Its been awhile. You’ve probably are wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. I told yall I got a new job back in July. It kind of took over my life. I been working for this promotion for so long when I got it I immediately went into overdrive. It was a busy time.
I got what I prayed for and I put God on the back burner. I had not planned on doing that, it just happened. I still read my bible and I still did my morning devotion but it wasn’t the same. I was more going through the motions.
I stopped going to my caregroup because I was working so late, I stopped getting up to do my devotional and writing in the morning because either I was tired from staying up late from working or staying up late just because I didn’t want to go to bed.
In doing all these things I didn’t feel inspired. I stopped being plugged into the power source. A few minutes reading my bible and writing out my prayers isnt enough to plug into the power source.
What inspires me?
Sermons I hear inspire me, but my church has been doing church online for almost 2 years now and its not the same, not an excuse but its not helping. It’s easier to not be engaged when you are not in person. I also don’t have the same sense of urgency because if I miss it on Sunday I can go back and watch it anytime, or so I would say. Podcast I listen to inspire me too. However sometimes I just want to be entertained no message necessary.
Why haven’t I been listening to anything inspirational?
I think listening to inspirational stuff reminded me of what I wasn’t doing. As I am writing this I realize that feeling I was feeling wasn’t coming from God. He doesn’t condemn us, he convicts and there is certainly a difference.
As always he is slowly pulling me back in. I have been going to care group again and bible study. I needed it. I also haven’t taken on too much. That has been lingering in the back of mind. I don’t want to be stressed like I was last year around this time. I was starting to feel like I needed to slow down but I didn’t do it and it eventually blew up in my face.
November is National Novel Writing Month and I am going to be working on my book. It’s not a fictional novel but its a book so I am going to try and apply the same principles. At the very least it will give me some accountability.
Writing this book is something that I have been wanting to do for a while. I also know that writing is not always about feeling inspired, its also about consistency. I don’t know where the blog going land as I figure this out. I appreciate you sticking beside me.
We talked before about doing the work and being intentional. What is doing the work?
I would say doing the work is being intentional about being the best version of yourself everyday. Its hard to do.
Its hard to decide I’m going to make the best choice for me, not the choice that is easiest or the most comfortable. It is deciding that I am going to make decisions today that my future self will thank me for.
It’s planting seeds now that your future self with harvest later.
I didn’t know I needed to do any work for a long time. We spend a lot of time in life just moving. Completing tasks, going to work, coming home, having a little fun, repeat. Covid is what made me stop and try to evaluate how I was feeling. I knew something was off but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
I decided to go see a therapist that helped me tremendously. Therapy is not for everyone, but it can be extremely helpful in assisting you in processing your stuff.
Even though therapy is more common for people to talk about I still felt embarrassed to tell people I went to see one. I don’t see her anymore. I went every week starting last August until January. That was intense.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that for everyone but I needed to get my moneys worth. I was going through Betterhelp and they charge you monthly, and it wasn’t cheap. The gains I got from it were priceless though. I learned how to set boundaries, how to put myself first, how to feel my feelings, how to say no, how not to take responsibility for other people’s choices or try to save folks.
Stuffing your feelings or numbing yourself is easy. That doesn’t require anything of you. Doing the work, is not easy or for the faint of heart. When I started to do the work, I started noticing more work I needed to do. That wasn’t fun. I also had to remind myself to give myself, grace. I don’t have to have it all figured out.
Its a process. I know I wanted to work on my baggage so I wouldn’t pass those issues down to my kid. I knew healing from old hurts would make me a better wife, better mom, better leader.
I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be be the best version of myself if I didn’t open my eyes to what was going on inside of me. Its easier to not notice what is going on in you and just keep pushing. However you owe it to yourself to recognize what is going on and do the work to make it better.
We’ll talk next time about things that keep you from seeing what’s going on.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. Psalm 139:14 NLT
The first time I saw this verse it was in the NIV which says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, which is cool but what does that mean? I like wonderfully complex much better. Complex means consisting of many different and connected parts. I love that! God made us layered and multifaceted which is a good thing. The world doesn’t seem that way though. If we let social media tell it everyone has to look the same, like the same things, go to the same places.
As I’ve gotten older I have still been trying to squeeze myself in a box, a label. But I listened to this podcast recently and she talked about how people can be more than one thing. How two things can exist in the same space. It reminded me of that verse.
Am I church girl? Or churchy? I wouldn’t say so. I didn’t grow up in church. I wasn’t baptized until I was an adult, I wasn’t a virgin when I got married. 🙃 Its took me so long to start this blog because I was worried that people would see it or me as too churchy. Then I was worried that people wouldn’t see it as not churchy enough. What a box I put myself in.
As we talk about mental health, I feel like labeling yourself can cause a lot of mental anguish. Labeling is all about making comparisons. We already learned that comparison is the thief of joy. Trying to define who you are by the worlds standards is not only putting yourself in a box but its putting God in a box too. If say I’m just a X (insert whatever your thing is) then that is letting God know he can only do so much for me, and through me. How about instead we said I am who I am? No more, no less. I’m open to all possibilities.
Not anymore. As I learn to let things go that don’t serve me, shrinking myself to fit inside someone else’s image of me is something I’m no longer doing.
I’m just focusing on being me. Being 100% authentic, no labels, no boxes.
I used to get mad at myself for not being the best version of myself right now. Thats not a thing though. You can’t rush progress. I used to think that I was too old to be just figuring these things out. I would rather do it now in my 30s then be 60+ just starting to be my authentic self. I have a lot of life left to live. I don’t want to waste another minute not being 100% me.
God made you as exactly as you’re supposed to be. Don’t sell him or yourself short by being anything less.
My 10 year wedding anniversary was in May and I renewed my vows back in June.
People always talk about being able to grow with your partner that is what sustains a long term relationship and I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I think being with someone long term is more about being comfortable with how your partner grows and being able to pivot if need be. My husband and I have been together for 17 years. A lot about a person can change in that amount of time. Things you used to think were cute or funny now get on your nerves.
Here are 5 things I learned in being married for 10 years
1.You have to be willing to grow at different paces. I can recall when I felt like my spiritual walk was stronger than my husbands was and that was really hard. I wanted him to be the spiritual head of our household and he wasn’t. I also hadn’t laid out that expectation for him, I just assumed he knew to take on that role.
2. Managing expectations. This is a big one. People always expect themselves out of other people and that isn’t always the case. From what I’ve seen its rarely the case. Your spouse can not read your mind. Are you expecting you things out of your spouse that you haven’t mentioned to them?
3. Be supportive. Are your spouses greatest cheerleader? When my husband decides that he wants to start eating healthier its much better for me to get on board with him then just let him eat healthy by himself. When I was more newly married I would sneak and have a burger and fries before he got home from work. He wanted to have salad and baked chicken and I wasn’t trying to have that. Binging in my car certainly wasn’t helping the cause.
4. I’ve heard single people say that they hear is marriage is hard but nobody explains why. I think that marriage is hard for a few different reasons. The biggest one being that you have to constantly die to self. Marriage is about compromise and you are not always going to be able to get your way. Sometimes your marriage is hard for external factors that nothing to do with either of you. We had three hard things hit our marriage before we had even been married five years, my MIL was sick and passed away, my husband didn’t like his job and we couldn’t pregnant and there was no reason given as to why. The test of a long standing marriage is being able to get to the other side of these hard times. Are you willing to put in the work when times are tough? Can you be compassionate when your spouse is going through, even when it doesn’t have anything to do with you?
5. Find other married friends. Our married friends have helped us so much. Its not even that they have said anything but just seeing their example has helped me a lot. Being inside of a marriage is different and while your single friends can certainly offer you advice, its nice to have a married person who may be able to potentially understand better what you are going through. My favorite are married moms. They are able to remind me that I am not doing as badly as I think. Is your friend group diverse?Are their people in a similar relationship space as you?Do you have people you can use as an example?
This post was originally published on March 14, 2018. As I was looking for something for Throwback Thursday, I saw that this exactly describes how I feel right now. I definitely feel like everything God has had me learn over the past year I am being tested on right now.It feels scary but that is a good thing because if I am being tested, then he thinks I’m ready for the next step.
Not knowing things is not something I’m comfortable with. I like to have a clear plan outlined with action steps. Things don’t always happen that way in a growing season. You only can do some much planting and then you have to sit back and let it grow.
I’m in a growing season right now and growing hurts. The term growing pains is definitely real. It hurts to be stretched more than you thought you could handle. It hurts to let things go that you thought would always be there.
Growing requires more faith than planting. I believe that because you don’t know how the seeds you planted are going to develop. You can’t see on the the outside how the seed is doing or if any growth is happening. You have to trust the process.
I don’t feel like I have been in a real season of growth in my life in a long time. I have had seasons of change but nothing to this extreme. I feel like I’m going through a metamorphosis. I feel like God is working on me about a lot of things. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much. Why do I have to go through all of is?
I feel like everything in my life is in transition and I am questioning a lot of things that I thought I knew for certain. I thought I was on a solid career path but where I see myself headed is different that what I originally envisioned. I am afraid. Am I ready for where God is leading me? I don’t know. I do take comfort in knowing that he won’t leave me on this journey and will give me what I need to be successful.
God is working on me to take me someplace but I don’t know where that is. I have to just walk beside him one step at a time. I am not going to run out in front of him or move to fast. I have done that before and the results were not great. I know I sound sad or down but I’m not. I’m restless. I sense something coming but I don’t know what is. I’m going to continue to keep the junk out so I can hear Gods voice and know it’s him. I’m going to pray and I’m going to wait. I’m going to continue to do meet God half way and I know he will make up the rest. I will have to just continue to be patient and trust the process.
We talked about being grateful earlier in the month and here is the big day to focus on what you are thankful for.
I challenge you to think of three things a day you are thankful for next month. We shouldn’t only focus on our thanks in November or on Thanksgiving but really all year round. I know things are hard as we are into our 8 month dealing with Covid here in the US. If you were like me, you never would have thought we would be going into the end of the year dealing with this with no end in sight.
Too often we focus on what do not have, instead of all the things we do have. This Thanksgiving may not be like it was last year, but you are here to celebrate. That counts for something.
Three things I am thankful for today: 1. I still have a job
2. I was able to travel despite most things being shut down
3. No one in my immediate circle of family and friends have Covid.
One thing I’ve picked up during this odd year of 2020 is unlearning.
What have you had to unlearn? For me it’s been a lot. I used some of these thought processes for protection to make sure I wouldn’t get hurt. Im learning to be more vulnerable, to trust more, and I realize I don’t need to think this way anymore.
1. Everything is not what it seems. Sometimes our perceptions are wrong. We are making decisions based on limited knowledge, our bias, our feelings. All those things could potentially not be right. Keeping this in the back of my mind has helped me look at things from all angles before making a decision.
2. Everything is not black or white or even gray. I was very much a person who thought things were one way or not. No shade but, it is what it is. In the this world of COVID-19 I’ve learned things are not always one way or another. There could be a third option that I never even considered.
3. Everyone doesn’t have to move at the same pace. I used to think I was behind everybody in spiritual knowledge, in having kids, fancy careers. However I have to remind myself that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. God put me in this place. It’s not a race. I’m not competing with anyone, not even myself. There are no timelines or schedules because God’s timing is always perfect.
4. What works for you, may not work for me. This is another small thing but changing my thinking has been huge. The first thing that made me think of this is the natural hair movement. You can watch tons of tutorials and it still not turn out right. Follow someone’s regimen to the letter and still not get the changes you were expecting. What worked for them may not work for me. That can be applied to just about anything in life.
5. People aren’t judging me. People aren’t looking at me. Or even thinking about me. Folks are more concerned about themselves than they are with what I’m doing, wearing etc. Letting this go allows me to live more free.
6. Its never too late. For anything. Ever. The older you get the more people start to tell you your too old for this or that. Not true. It’s never too late. If your good, it’s going to come through in what you do. You want to make a career switch? Do it! You want to move out of state? Do it! Nothing is holding you back but you.
These lessons have been huge. They may seem like simple changes but they represent gigantic changes in mindset. As we get to the last quarter of the year think about how you might need to change your mindset. Its never too late.