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?
This post was originally published on July 5, 2018. I thought it was relevant to my post last week about enemies. I just got back from vacation this week and I don’t have anything ready. I could push myself to post, but I’m not. Check out this oldie but goldie. I am working on Progress over perfection. See you next week!
I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.
Psalm 41:11 NIV
Who is my enemy? I used to read this literally, that this was talking about a actual enemy doesn’t triumph over me. For a long time I didn’t think it applied to me. I was well liked, it sounds nice but I don’t need this actual piece.
When you start asking questions like who is my enemy then you notice it is saying something deeper. If the world is my enemy then I have some work to do.
How can the world triumph over me? By making me think things of this world are acceptable to God. TV, social media, movies, magazines, etc.
People get mad because the bible doesn’t explicitly say you can’t do certain things. Children need you tell them exactly what they want you to do. God is your parent he wants you to start figuring things out for yourself. He kind of was literal if you think about it. He said don’t be transformed by the things of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
I deal with this on a daily basis. Trying to not to conform. I don’t always do so well. I don’t want to be a nun. What is the balance? Have you found it? I think the older I get the easier it is, but it is still difficult. The method is easy, closer you are to God easier it is to be like him. The action is what is harder.
Saints walked with Jesus. You can’t cut up when you standing right next to the person who knows your intention. You can’t run or hid from. God he is compassionate. We don’t have to be saints, he will be with you any situation if you invite him in.
Such a true statement. People always talk about not comparing yourself to other people. Easier said than done but you can work on that. It’s obvious why you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people so I feel like its easier for me to not do that. How often do you find yourself comparing yourself to the person you used to be? How often are you comparing yourself to the person you thought you would be?
These two questions are the one I have the most trouble with. I have drastically cut back on comparing myself to other people by cutting down on my social media usage. However, its really hard to stop comparing this self to my former self.
I look at old pictures in my phone, like man I wish my skin still looked like it used to, even though back then, I thought my skin looked bad. I’m sure we can identify with this meme. I have certainly been there. Or how I used to party and have such a great time out and now every time I go out its wack. You can compare how one friend treats you compared to another friend or you can compare how your boyfriend treats you vs how he treated his ex. Its all comparison.
I like this quote by Iyanla Vanzant. I never thought about it like this before but its very true. Quickest way to put yourself down is start comparing. When I try to compare myself to where I am supposed to be vs where I am, its a recipe for disaster. Its so unnecessary too. If I wasn’t supposed to be in the space I am in, I wouldn’t be here. Nothing is by coincidence. God laid out every day of my life before I was born. Remembering that brings me great comfort because I know, nothing is happening to me that he is not aware of or has not ordained.
The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He doesn’t want to us to be happy. I feel like sometimes I am doing ok and I feel bad out of nowhere, its because the devil wants to knock me off my block. I’m not going to let him though. I am not accountable to anyone but me and I am perfectly fine where I am. My story is mine alone. It doesn’t matter where I was or where I am going as long as I am content right now. The past has already happened and the future will get here in its own time.
Do you feel like you have been praying and not getting an answer? Do you feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling?
There may be a few reasons why God isn’t answering.
1. Did he already answer and you just don’t like what he said? I’ve done that. So I just kept asking waiting. I felt like he was ignoring me but really he had already told me the answer. I just didn’t like it.
2. Do you have unrepentant sin? Have you been doing things you know God doesn’t want you to do? If you are ignoring the Holy Spirit about your actions that can be a problem. God wants you to clean that up. Remember God sees all sin the same, no matter what you are doing, or how you rationalize it.
3. Are you being disobedient? Is God telling you to do something and you aren’t doing it? Are you ignoring what he is asking you to do? Do you think you have a better plan than God? He might be waiting on you to take the first step to show yourself faithful. Then he will give you more instruction.
4. Are you holding any grudges? God doesn’t hold grudges against us, so he doesn’t want us to hold grudges against others. Let it go.
5. Are you giving him time to answer? Just because it feels like a long time, unfortunately in God time it isn’t. 2 Peter 3:8-9
6. Are you spending time with him? Is it quality time? Or are you just asking your questions and leaving? You are giving God your prayer requests but don’t actually wait to hear what he he has to say. Sometimes he doesn’t answer because he wants to get your attention.
7. Are your motives wrong? James 4:3. What you might be asking for may not be in Gods will. He could be waiting for you to check your motives before he answers you. You always want to make sure your desires match up to his.
8. You aren’t ready for the answer. There is a season for everything. God’s timing is always perfect. You may need to do some healing or growing or waiting before he answers you.
9. Are you asking God then asking a bunch of other people? If you ask God then ask other people you could be honoring other peoples opinions more than God’s. He of course won’t like that. He wants you to trust that he knows what is best for you.
10. Do you really believe he is going to do it? Are you asking but still have a lot of doubt? God doesn’t mind you having doubts but he wants you to ask him for help. He wants you to say, Lord I just don’t know if this will actually happen. Help me in my unbelief. Mark 9:24. I prayed that prayer a lot when I was trying to get pregnant. Its one of my favorite scriptures.
I hope this helps you get the answers you need from God. He is not ignoring you, he wants to help, he wants you to feel good on this side of heaven. Remember as you wait for him to respond that everything he does is for your good, even not responding, because he has great plans for you. Romans 8:28
By nature I am a planner. However when I get an idea in my head I jump.
I immediately get into planner and execution mode. I pray but I don’t always wait for God to answer.I look for signs of what I want to do not necessarily what God wants me to do.
Earlier in quarantine I was feeling promptings from God but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it is. I thought I should start a podcast. So I immediately found a co-host.
A girl at church that I know from leadership classes who is funny and smart, young but most definitely a bible scholar. We discussed names, themes, etc. I even did research on how to start a podcast but I wasn’t feeling quite right about but I didn’t know why.
In bible study we were studying Jonah and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I knew better than God. If you are doing what God wants, there will be peace. God is not a God of confusion. 1 Corinthians 14:33 Jonah thought he knew better than God, that’s why he didn’t want to go Tarshish like God wanted him to. Jonah 1-2
Just like Saul in 1 Samuel 15. God told Saul to go kill everyone, leave nothing behind. Saul thought he knew better and decided to save the king and all the best animals. He said he was going to give the best animals to God as a sacrifice. Sounds good, but that wasn’t his instruction from God.
I like this girl from church but I don’t know her that well. I didn’t know if we would vibe hosting a podcast.
I should have probably asked her to teach a Sunday school class with me first to see how we play off each other on a consistent basis. I should have done a lot of things differently but I wanted to start things right away. Its that microwave growth syndrome. I was supposed to call her a week later to discuss our research but I forgot, which isn’t like me at all. Forgetting to call her was a clear sign that I needed to rethink some things. It wasn’t meant to be right now. I know that because even though a podcast is a great idea and I am not opposed to doing one later, that isn’t what God told me to do.
I know I you’re probably thinking that this isn’t that serious. What’s the big deal with starting a podcast? The big deal isn’t about the podcast. Its about not doing what God told me to do. Its thinking I knew more than God.
I was really avoiding getting back into my blog. I can’t even say I had a good reason I was just scared. I was worried again about what people would think of me. I was worried that they would reject me the messenger because things I’ve done or things I have said. I am definitely not a holy roller. I felt having a co-host would take some of the heat off of me and my shortcomings.
I didn’t start the podcast instead I prayed. I asked God to give me strength and help me overcome my fear of what people think. Its always better to pray, first and move later.
When you hear bible study what do you think? Boring, hard, work, school, too difficult. Too much. Where do I start?
I used to feel that way about bible study. Some times I still do.
If you have been reading this blog for any period of time you would say, but Dominique you like to read. True. I do. So that helps. I bet you would like to read if it was interesting and didn’t take a long time. Bible study doesn’t have to be like being back in school. It can be as simple as you want it to be.The internet has made it a lot easier to find a method that works for you.
This is what I do.
Pray. I don’t mean in any overly spiritual sense. Just ask God to show what he wants you to see.
Think. Think about the things you ask God when you pray. Do you ask God to bless you at work? Do you ask God to help you raise your kids? Do you ask God to help you be a better wife, partner, etc? Do you want to know God’s character or promises? You can start there.
Find. You can do this a few different ways. You can look in the bible app and they have a search option where you can type a key word and it will give you all the scriptures in the bible that relate to that word. So when I wanted to know who God is, I type it in the search box.
Tons of scripture popped up. If you’re old schooling it and reading a physical bible, it hopefully has a topic search in the back where you can look up things by subject. If you don’t have a study bible you should get one. Super helpful. They typically have reading plans to help you get started, so you aren’t just opening your bible and trying to land on something that speaks to you. I definitely used to do that. You could also go to Pintrest or Google and somebody has already did the finding for you, you just have to get your verse for the day.
Write. Once you find a verse or passage that speaks to what you’re looking for, write it down. It can be in the notes app on your phone, but you want to write down what comes to your head or questions you may have so you can refer back to it later.
The good thing about studying the bible is that it doesn’t have to be done in any specific way. There are tons of methods out there.
15 minutes is a great place to start. God just wants your time and attention. Reading the bible is good but it just skims the surface. Devotionals are a great place to start if you don’t have a lot of time.
Pray and write, that’s all you have to do, everything else will fall into place.
The more you study the word of God, unlike Algebra, or OChem, the more you will want to study it and learn more.
Don’t worry I am here to help. I am going to include in future posts some more bible study methods and tips that will help.