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 have this picture on my phone as the lock screen saver.
This is one of the maternity pics from when I was pregnant with my son. Secondary infertility is something that makes me really nervous. I try not to worry but now that my son is almost three and people continue to ask when are we having the next one, not being able to get pregnant lingers in the back of my mind. I know in theory I can get pregnant, I have been before but circumstances can make you feel different. Even other peoples circumstances make me nervous. I also unfortunately know several people who have had miscarriages. I know their situation isn’t mine, but it doesn’t help me feel any better.
Putting that picture on my phone and seeing it every time I pick my phone up has helped me feel much better. It made start thinking about other things I could do to remember God’s promises to me.
See if you can find a visual image to use as a screen saver on your phone. Maybe its a picture of a house you plan to buy, maybe its a car, it can be anything that serves as a reminder to what God told you.
I started looking through my journal for other times God has answered my prayer. Rather big or small. If he is faithful in small things, he will be faithful in big things too. If you don’t keep a journal start making a list daily of all the prayers God has answered. Its a great reminder of what he can do.
I pulled up verses in the bible app on trust.
There were a ton of verses, so I try to read those every morning before I get out of bed and every night before I go to sleep.
4.I put a reminder on my phone of the promise. This is a great idea that I got from bloomingboldly.blogspot.com. One of my alarms says God loves me.
5. Read/Listen to books, devotionals, podcasts, sermons, songs. Anything that can remind you of the promise. You know my go tos right now. Sarah Jakes Roberts, Steven Furtnick. I put two examples below. Check them out, they always encourage me.
I have mentioned many times that God is not going to play you. Constantly reminding yourself of the promise that he made to you, is great way to stop a worry spiral, a whatif parade. He loves you and knows the desires of your heart. Never forget that.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.