Confession: I don’t know

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.

Until next time,

Dominique

How to get close to God

As you are thinking about your goals and intentions you set for 2021, I want you to also think about where you are in your relationship with God. Is he your friend? Do you talk on a regular basis? Do you spend quality time together?

Even if you do all those things your relationship might not be as close as you want it to be. One of the intentions I set for 2021 was abundance. I’m not talking about abundance in material things or even in followers (although that would be nice lol) I want an abundance of peace, joy, wisdom. I want my cup to be so full its overflowing.

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I can’t get those things unless I am closer to God. The closer I get to God, the more my life is transformed. If I’m not close to God then I can’t make the changes I am trying to make.

My pastor preached the last Sunday of 2020 about getting closer to God. He said there were 4 things you needed to do. You can watch his sermon here but I will give you the cliff notes.

Luke 15:11-24 This is the story of the prodigal son. Read it when you get some time, it provides the background for the sermon.

1.Get fed up with your current condition. Being unsatisfied with your current condition is God knocking at your door.

2.Own up to your sin. Sin separates us from God. I am going to do a separate post about this because I have some additional thoughts. The sin that is separating you from God could be something small. It doesn’t have to be something major.

3.Offer yourself up. Give God permission to change you. Give yourself permission to be changed. You are allowed to change your mind, your thought process, your agenda, if you think it will make you better.

4.Give God praise. Father I thank you for your grace, mercy, goodness.

You may be thinking I don’t need to do all of this. God and I are fine. I’ve just been busy, in a rut. However, do you have an itch you can’t scratch? Do you just feel off? This might be the issue. You may have wandered away from God and you didn’t even realize it.

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Being close to God is about making sure he is your first option not your last resort. When you are upset, do you run towards him? Do you read your bible? Do you immediately pray or journal? Do you listen to inspirational music?

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Do you call your best friend to vent? Or do you grab junk food and Netflix? Down a glass of wine? I’m not saying those things are bad but they can delay your healing process. Whatever issue you are having has to eventually be addressed and numbing it or stuffing it isn’t going to help. We’ll talk more later about identifying and feeling your feelings.

In the meantime even if you don’t want to feel your feelings you can still talk to God. The Holy Spirit intervenes on your behalf. If you don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit will advocate for you.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

Think about it! It can only help you if you run to God first and not temporary things. After you talk to him you may not even want to do the other things you were going to do.

Until next time,

Dominique

How to hear the voice of God

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

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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.

Have you created an atmosphere that shows your willingness to listen? We talked about this some in Do you feel like God left you on read? 10 reasons he might not be answering…

Do you know him? Not you heard of him, or you see him on Sunday, but are you in personal relationship? Is God your friend?

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I also watched this video from Priscilla Shirer where she discusses her book, Discerning the Voice of God. Check it out, its only 8 minutes. https://youtu.be/FaZ8SlAcCVk I always try to find multiple sources of anything I am researching.

Highlights in her video

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.

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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.

Until next time,

Dominique

Happy First Day of Lent

I was going to write a new post about fasting but I really like this one that I wrote two years ago in leading up to Lent February 5, 2018.

I’m not Catholic but with Lent coming up on February, I have been trying to think about things to give up for 40 days. I like fasting oddly enough. Even though its hard when I first start, I appreciate the clarity it brings and the focus that I have on God during that time period.

Fasting is something you do for you, not God, it clears your mind so you can focus on him. Often times people believe that fasting has to be food, but from my experience but I don’t believe it has to be food. You can fast anything that is going to be a challenge for you, something that is potentially distracting you from God. Food may not be it for you. I tried to do the Daniel fast once, it was a disaster! With the Daniel fast you can’t eat meat or carbs or drink anything but water. Its pretty restrictive. Check out this website if you want more information.

ttps://draxe.com/daniel-fast/

The problem I had with the Daniel fast is that I was focusing more on the rules then I was on God. I had completely missed the point. I was becoming more frustrated and making the process more legalistic, the exact thing Jesus tells us not to do. Relationship is more important than rules, that’s the whole purpose of the new covenant.

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Fasting is something that I have been doing a lot of lately. I am waiting on God for a blessing and I don’t want the world to distract me and I also don’t want to start worrying about when it is going to happen. To stop myself from doing those things I have cut out distractions.  I just finished a 21 day fast. I fasted secular fiction books. This may not seem like a big deal but I LOVE to read. It is my most favorite pastime. Its how I unwind, cheer myself, distract myself from the world. However, its also a way for me to hide and not explore my feelings or answer tough questions. I’m not reading any books, I’m also not looking at much social media. Its been crazy! I have noticed how much more free time I have and how much more I read the bible.

This is the second time I have done this fast. I also did it for 21 days in September. I have certainly noticed changes and things that I need to watch out for. Fasting can put you in a spiritual bubble, which really is the purpose. I do it so I can show God I am serious about what I am asking for and that I am ready to make a change.

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Lord, I want to be closer to you. Amazing things are about to happen and I want to be ready for them. I believe what you told me and I just don’t want to waver. I want to be  desperately be better but I just don’t know how. Help me please! I think that I am a good wife but I want to be better. If I am a better wife then I will be a better daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I want to seek your face and not your hand. I want to be closer to you.  Amen.

Hitting reset

Happy Friday!

First week of 2021 has been a week.

Do you wish you could hit reset?

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I do. I am. My week started off pretty rocky. It certainly started off rocky here in the United States. How did it start for you? You may have had some intentions that you were not quite able to stick with. I know I had planned on not getting on social media which I was doing fairly well with and then that exploded. lol. I saw several posts on people’s dry January plans had gone belly up or their fast on MSNBC was a wash.

It can suck to start something and so soon get off track but remember the good news. God’s mercies are new everyday. We can start over. I started today. I put timers on all my social media apps and I am replacing that with more writing and reading. I feel lighter.

So don’t get mad if you haven’t been able to attack your goals the way you wanted to. Start over. Its better to start again then get mad at yourself for messing up. I pray for my country, the United States and for you as well that we are all able to hit the reset button.

Humility

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NLT

The word I’m focusing on this week is humility. I’ve talked about humility here before and it’s not something I’m great at. I’m not great at being humble because I don’t do a lot of things I’m not naturally good so it feels like its all me, but it isn’t. God gave me these skills and gifts so if I’m good its because of him not me. When I read this verse what stuck out to me was walk with the Lord.

The non humble person wants to get out ahead of God because they think they have the best plan. Do you come up with a plan and then ask God to bless it after? Doesn’t seem like a big deal but that’s not humility. We talked about being a perfectionist last week. That’s not being humble either. If I’m walking alongside the Lord, I don’t think I have all the answers or everything depends on my abilities. He wants us along side him for a reason so that he can step in when we need him to, so we can make sure we don’t get ahead of him, so that we can actively engage him in our plans.

Humility can be hard. Its having to admit that I don’t have it all together, that I mess up. Humility is being vulnerable. Nobody likes being vulnerable. I don’t anyway. But the benefits to being humble far outweigh the discomfort of being vulnerable.


Prayer: Lord we ask you to help us be more humble as we move into the new year. Help us as we are making our goals for 2021 remind us to talk to you first. Where do you see us going? What gifts and talents do you want us to use? What lessons do you want us to learn? How do we need to humble ourselves before you? Remove any obstacle that may be standing in the way of our being humble and submitting to you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Hope

The word I am focusing on this week is hope. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

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I spent so much of my life waiting on things. I had to wait 7 years to get married. I had to wait 7 years to have a baby. I see now why I had to wait on those things but I certainly didn’t understand it at the time.

The bible talks a lot about hope. A few of my favorites:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.” Jeremiah 17:7

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

This Hebrew verse is one that I relied on a lot when I was trying to get pregnant. It talks about holding on to hope because he who promises is faithful.

I can remember month after month waiting on God and not knowing why it was taking so long. What did he want me to do? I would start on the downward spiral of losing hope. What if this never happens? Maybe I don’t deserve a baby.

Something would always stop me though. As bad as I felt I never stayed that far down for too long. I knew if I lost hope I would have nothing to cling to. There would be no where else to go.

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I felt like I couldn’t lose hope because I knew even though it had not happened yet that God could do it. I didn’t come by this feeling overnight. I did a lot of research. I asked God to take this desire away if he didn’t want me to have it. If it wasn’t in his will, then take it away because it hurt to bad to continue to be disappointed month after month.

Feeling like you are losing hope?

Ask God to grow your faith in the places of doubt. Have him show you in little ways how he has been faithful.

Make a list of all the things God has done for you this year.

Ask Him if your dream or desire needs to be tweaked.

Find verses about your situation in the bible to build your hope back up. There is nothing new in the world your situation is in there. I have written down so many verses about infertility and being a mother.

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Hope is powerful. It doesn’t have to be big. When you feel your hope fading just ask God to help you in your unbelief. He understands. He wants you to reach out. Anything is possible even if you only have a sliver of hope, hold on to it. Remember what God has done for you before and know that he can do even more than you could ever imagine.

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Resources

https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/hope/

Rest

The word I am focusing on this week is Rest. I have not been doing a lot of it and its starting to catch up with me. I’m not usually person that needs to be told to take a break. I love relaxing! Most of my favorite activities involve sitting down, lol.

Lately though, I have been cramming my schedule to the max because it FEELS like we have more time because we are spending it at home. It’s true but sometimes more time at home, needs to just be more time at home.

I thought I had Covid a few weeks ago, not because I had been coughing, or had a fever or sore throat but because I was tired. Tieeeeeed.

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I know that one of the symptoms is fatigue so I’m like oh no, the other stuff is about to start, but it never did. I don’t have Covid, I need to rest. Not just physically rest but mentally rest.

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I like this list I found online. I schedule a lot of things in my life, I appreciate a good list. However I have never scheduled rest time, I don’t have a day scheduled for just me. I schedule days to hang with friends, date nights with my husband, but not for myself. I need to fix that asap. One of my friends reads the blog and started having Self Care Sunday based on what she read here. Her kids even have been doing Self Care Fridays. Clearly I haven’t been taking my own advice.

I also need to uncommit to some activities but I don’t want to do it.

The reason why I dont want to cut anything that I have been doing is because I hate FOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT). I’ve talked about it here before, I have gotten much better with it, but it still lingers from time to time.

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JOMO is a concept I had never heard of but it makes a lot of sense. Its the JOY OF MISSING OUT. Filling content with staying in and disconnecting as a form of self care.

I’m bad as a kid thinking I am going to miss something. I’m letting it go though because I am not giving all the things on my calendar 100%. I’m just rushing from one thing to the next. I need to be a whole person to take care of my son, to be a good wife, to be the best version of myself.

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[a] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. Hebrews 4:9-11

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11: 29-30

I should have done it sooner, but better late than never. Its never too late to make yourself a priority.

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

Gratitude and Thankfulness

As everyone starts talking about Thanksgiving now that we are in November I feel like they use these two words thankful and grateful interchangeably. I used to do this as well. I even started a post about being thankful. In the midst of writing it though I came across this article that says that thankful is a feeling and gratitude is an action.

I never looked at those words that way before. I think it makes a lot of sense. Its cool to feel thankful, that’s inward. You feel all warm and fuzzy. Grateful is the outward expression of that thanks. It’s an action word.

How do we show thanks and appreciation to someone who does something nice for us? Get them a card, write them a note, take something off their to do list, tell other people how awesome they are or that great thing they did for you.

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How do we show God we’re thankful? I believe its the same way.

Praise. Thank God for all he has done. Listen to praise music, dance, sing, shout.

Share your testimony. Tell people about the awesome thing/(s) that God has done in your life. You don’t go through things just for yourself and when you come out on the other side and our blessed, let people know!

Give generously. I don’t always do this but I saw it online and thought it was really nice. If God blesses you with a check, spread the wealth! We don’t receive anything just for us. I’m sure it makes God smile to see you sharing what he blessed you with.

Serve. I also saw this online when researching. I think its fair. I know going out and sharing the gifts that God gave me, makes me feel good. I also like helping do His work, with the church, food pantry. Giving to others is a great way to show your gratitude for the things you have received.

Live right. Do the things that God asks you do, read your word, and spend time with Him.

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Verses

As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! Psalms 119:7 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.119.7.NLT

I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help. Psalms 56:12 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.56.12.NLT

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Psalms 105:1 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.105.1.NLT


Resources

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/turning-gratitude-into-a-verb_b_7898888