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.
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?
I talked before about asking God to take my desire for having a baby away if he didn’t want me to have one. He never did. I also talked about doing a lot of research and study just to make sure that the hope that I was clinging to made sense. I know this is a hard thing to do, but if you are wrestling with something for a long time, you made need to ask to make sure you are your desires match up with what God wants for your life.
I studied on the character of God.One of my favorite verses is God is not like man, he does not lie, he does not change his mind. Numbers 23:19
I read a book by Joyce Meyer (of course, lol) called How to hear the Voice of God.It was huge for me because it helps you figure out if God said something to you or if you came up with it yourself.
There are so many gems in that book but these are ones I still use today.
Does it back up biblically? This isn’t a peck and find situation. Can you find several scriptures that address your situation? Other scriptures that say God doesn’t lie Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18
Did you receive outside confirmation? God use anything or anybody to speak to you. When I was thinking about starting this blog and was super nervous about, several different just randomly told me I should start a blog. Out of the blue! I didn’t mention that I was thinking about it, they just felt compelled to tell me. That’s God.
You have to read your bible to hear the voice of God. Its the number one way he speaks to us, its his word. That’s why I keep trying the bible in a year plan.
Random coincidences, aren’t random that was God. I don’t personally believe in coincidence, I feel that everything happens for a reason. That was God working something out for your good.
She also said sometimes you won’t know until later that it was God speaking to you. You just have to step out on faith and believe his grace and mercy will catch you if you mess up. That’s the awesome thing about God you don’t have to get it all right.
Hearing the voice of God can be so difficult. There are so many things in the world that can distract us or make us doubt what God told us. Circumstances can make us doubt the promises of God but we don’t have to. The more we know him, the more we can hear him. We just need to remember to feed our faith and starve our doubts.
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. Romans 14:17-18 NLT
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13 NLT
When I was trying to get pregnant, my big thing was about how to please God. Clearly I must be doing something wrong if I wasn’t getting what I wanted. I tried to do everything right. Going to church, Sunday school, volunteering, tithing like crazy but nothing worked.
I took trying to please God and went to the extreme with it.
Pleasing God is not about not breaking rules or going to church every Sunday. Although God likes these things. More than anything He wants us to pursue him with our whole heart, trust and obey.
Obey isn’t just following rules, its more about trusting God’s plan for your life and believing that it is good. Its about not doing certain things because you know God wouldn’t want you to do them because they aren’t good for you. The things may not be bad, but they may not be good for YOU. Its deciding to follow God when you don’t like it or it doesn’t make sense. Without faith it’s impossible to please God. God wants us to take him at his word. If we don’t understand something ask him, he will explain…somewhat. I say somewhat because the biggest thing about faith is not having to have everything explained.
It happens naturally if you give it a chance. It also won’t feel awkward the more you do it. Just continue to work the cycle.
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.
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.