Have you ever traveled with someone that sets their alarm yet when it goes off, they hit the “snooze” button six more times before they get up? Yep, that’s me EVERYDAY! I’m that girl.
Because my cousin and I travel together so often, we have our routine down pretty well! Who takes the bed closet to the window, who puts their make up on in the bathroom and who sits at the desk. Especially when we have mornings we can sleep in, my cousin makes positively sure I don’t have my alarm set!
But then there are those mornings when you feel a gentle nudge to get up.....to show up. Today was one of those mornings.
I know that feeling, I’ve felt it before. God was asking for a coffee date. As I quietly gathered my Bible, pens and journal, trying not to wake up my cousin, I suddenly found myself gitty like a little school girl with anticipation of what He wanted to talk to me about.
I brought a new Bible study with me I was planning to start on this trip to Nashville called “Opposition & Opportunity” by Proverbs 31 Ministries. It’s the story of Ezra and Nehemiah and they tell the story about going home, about returning to God’s plan and purpose for His people.
It’s a story of rebirth. God’s people had been in captivity for a long time, and now they were going home to rebuild their city and their lives. We read about their highs and lows along their journey and how it can resemble our own. But through it all, God’s faithfulness is steadfast, and His promises are true.
This is the season I currently find myself in. I am ready to go home and I’m willing to rebuild my life as close as I can get to God’s will and His plans for me.
Maybe it’s the shock of selling our business after 19 years or the word “retired.” Maybe it’s the sadness I know I will feel when my second child (my first born) moves to Idaho with his family and joins my daughter and her family who moved there a year ago this month, (which will leave me with no grandkids here). Maybe it’s the hard work and hopeless feeling while trying to rebuild my marraige that has been under attack for the last seven years. How about the fear of fulfilling my lifelong dream of writing full time and using my gift of words to influence others.
I’ve lived my whole life trying to please others, a people pleaser yep....that would me ME! An alarm snoozer and a people pleaser!
But in this season of my life, God has been gently revealing to me that He has to be enough. And sadly, the healthier I get, the relationships closest to me are affected. The same “song and dance” doesn’t work anymore.
In this season, everything seems so uncertain.....my marraige, my finances, where we will live, my moods, unfair circumstances, even His plan for how long I’ll be on this earth seem to consume my thoughts. But then I come back to the truth and what I do know. And that is that He is fighting this battle, not me!
“He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” - 2 Chronicles 20:15 NLT
“But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!””
- 2 Chronicles 20:17 NLT
Did you get that? “But you will not even need to fight,” yet we STILL take our positions then STAND STILL and watch?
He wants us to show up yet STAND STILL? Why do you think that is? I’ll tell you why....... so we can ”watch the Lord’s victory.”
See, He already knows what He can do for us! God has no lack of confidence or insecurities like we do. He’s asking us to get up. Show up. Stand and watch the victory take place. Witness for ourselves so next time we will recognize the battle immediately and know who’s charging the fight!
It’s like watching a football game when you already know who wins in the end. There may be quarters your team is trailing behind and it can be painful to watch and then there are quarters they are ahead. But in the end you know what you know because you KNOW the truth - there is victory! Your team wins!!
So stand with anticipation for all the things God is going to do in and through YOU.
Get up. Show up. Get excited. You know who wins in the end.
Your victory is coming!
It should give you peace knowing someone is always fighting your battles.
We don't always see the things God has protected us from, but know this.....he always goes before you. He will continue to mold you and shape you, which is building your character.
This morning, if you feel others have shut you out or given up one you, don't forget God is STILL on the throne. He is perfecting you.
Maybe he is trying to grow your faith, by pulling you closer to him. Both the light and the dark (as painful as it is), serve a purpose in creating us to be who we are called to be.
Stay in the game!
Gazing out from large glass doors, my attention was drawn to a Mommy and Daddy Quail scurrying across our patio.
It’s Spring and the babies that once followed them, have gone on their own and a new family will soon be here. It reminds me of the significance of this resurrection weekend.
Just like baby quail, the disciples followed Jesus everywhere. He was their master, teacher and friend.
When he left this world, the disciples were on their own to spread the gospel. They were left to carry on the legacy of Jesus and the incredible gift of salvation he left each and every one of us.
Today, the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday has always been a somber day for me. I don’t make any plans and usually stay at home and reflect.
For me, it’s a reminder of what this world would be like without Jesus. What my life would be like if I didn’t carry him in my heart every day. It makes me sad that some people refuse to acknowledge him or the gift of life he so unselfishly gave. I can’t imagine walking through difficult seasons in my life without Jesus walking beside me.
Today is a reminder that it was the only day (since Jesus‘s birth), that he was NOT in this world.
Tomorrow HE rises.
Tomorrow HE lives.
Tomorrow JOY comes!
If you’re feeling hopeless, alone this weekend or you’d just like to know more about who Jesus is.....I would love to share with you what he has done in my life.
It’s taken me five years to be BOLD enough to come into agreement with what God was calling me to do. Full time ministry!!
I know I’ve been called to carry on the Legacy of my Gradparents (Mutti & Papa), along with my cousin Cynthia. God has given us an incredible platform through the Live BOLD Series (www.livingbold.org) to do just that!
In closing, I would also highly recommend the movie (in theatres now), “I can only imagine.” Go see it tomorrow if you don’t have any plans for Easter, you won’t be disappointed.
Somewhere around 1973, I was watching a Billy Graham Crusade on TV with my mom. I remember watching everyone walk down the aisles to the front.
I asked my mom, “Where is everyone going?”
“To heaven,” she replied.
“Well, I want to go to heaven too,” I said.
I was already reciting Bible verses, attended church every Sunday and knew I loved Jesus.
My mom sat down and read me the sinners prayer, and I excepted Christ into my heart.
I was 4 years old.
How incredible is it that two important people in my life would share this day, 2/21/18. It’s been 45 years since that day when I asked Jesus into my heart.
Today is my Mother’s Birthday, and it is also the day Rev. Billy Graham left this earth and touched the hands of Jesus.
I have admired this man over the years and I am so grateful he played a part in pointing me to my salvation. Rest Sweetly Rev. Graham @bgea Your LEGACY will live on forever!
I put my shells and the newest treasure of mine, my red heart rock in my bag. We loaded the bus and headed back to the house to eat dinner.
After dinner, was our free time. Some of us stayed in the dining room for some singing and worship time, while others took advantage of the free bathroom time. Showers were a special time, and we looked forward to them.
I befriended a sweet girl who was with our group and we instantly connected. As everyone turned in for the night, we stayed up taking and sharing what was on our heart. She was still in her teens and I was able to share a few tips on life and love. We had all gone down to the beach earlier that day, and I told her about the incredible story of the rock I had found.
She said, she had also found a heart rock on the beach. I thought to myself, she must be talking about a grey rock that was in the “shape” of a rock. I couldn’t wait to show her my rock, with an actual red heart on it. We decided we would each get our rocks and compare.
So, off we went at about 2:00 in the morning to show off our treasures. We tip-toed through our room in the dark, quietly maneuvering around four sets of bunk beds, being careful not to wake anyone up. I grabbed my bag full of shells and rocks I collected that day, and began to search for my special rock. I searched and searched and the more I looked, the more I started to panic. It just wasn’t there. I remembered I hadn’t taken a picture of it yet. Suddenly, my heart sunk. No one will ever believe my story now.
As tears streamed down my face, I told my new friend it must have fallen out of my bag on the walk back to the bus.
She grabbed my hand and said, “Here, God wants me to give you this,” and she handed me her rock. When she opened up her hand, I almost fell out of my chair! It was twice the size of mine and it was actually in the shape of a heart.
By this time, we were both a blubbering mess of tears and sniffles. She had only known me for a few short days, yet she was obedient and willing to give away this amazing rock.
Although mine was much smaller, it was still incredible. But God was showing me his ways and his plans for my life will always be better than mine.
The next morning as I was getting ready, I grabbed my make up bag and there at the bottom of the bag, was my rock. I ran to my friend and handed it to her and told her God wanted me to give her mine. I didn’t feel right keeping both and I wanted her to have something she could take home to share.
I have used this story many times over the years to remind others how much more God can do for us, even when we think we already have the BEST!
To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of. - Ephesians 3:20
What are you doubting today, that you need to turn over to him? He knows what he can do in your life, he’s just waiting for you to let him.
Three years ago, I walked along this rocky beach in Haiti and prayed to find a rock in the shape of a heart. This has always been God’s love language to me......Hearts, I see them everywhere. In a cloud, a tree, a puddle, or on the sidewalk.
As I searched, I came across an ordinary rock, no special shape. If you look at the pictures of the shoreline, you can see just how many rocks there actually were.
I heard a voice in my heart say, “Pick this one up.” So I did. When I turned it over, I dropped to my knees. There, staring back at me was a perfect red heart!
This Valentine’s Day, don’t dig up in doubt what you’ve planted in faith! If you are doubting a situation, don’t forget the things God has done for you in the past! Maybe you’re in the place you are today, because God KNOWS you’re strong enough to be there. Don’t loose hope! You will have an incredible story one day to share with someone else.
It’s just on the other side. HOLD ON!
For more stories like this, sign up at www.livingbold.org.
This morning, I woke up craving my favorite omelet from this cute little restaurant on a quaint street near my home. My husband had already eaten breakfast earlier in the morning so he said he would pass on the invitation since he was saving his appetite for dinner. Tonight, we have plans for our Annual Christmas dinner as a family, to celebrate my husbands Anniversary of his heart valve transplant eight years ago. We are so BLESSED he is healthy today. As I got ready for church, I had this strong urge to have breakfast there alone which I do frequently to write, catch up on emails, etc. Out of the blue, God reminded me of a $100.00 bill I had been saving in my wallet for a “rainy day.” I heard loud and clear, You need to go today, and whoever serves you today, give them this money. I know all too well when I hear God’s voice, and it is not up for negotiation. I simply whispered the words, “OK God!”
We went to church, I dropped my husband off at home and headed to the restaurant. Low and behold the server was who I thought it would be. She’s usually the one who serves me when I frequent there. I walked in and sat down at the same table I typically do. And as soon as I ordered, another waitress walked over with my Iced Carmel Macchiato with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, (it’s a signature drink there). The owner saw me step in and proceeded to make my usual drink herself. After I caught up on a few personal tasks and enjoyed my breakfast, it was time for "Operation Be a Blessing!” I do not share this post to bring attention to myself or want any praise! I share this because we are ALL called to bless one another. We are called to be obedient when we feel that nudge to bless someone. We are called to love each other and serve others above ourselves. (Someone else would have given her the blessing and I would have missed out on mine.
As I paid for my breakfast and left her a tip, I motioned her to come over to my table. I shared how God put her on my heart this morning, and how this money was not a tip to share, but instead my gift to her. I told her I don't know her situation or what's going on in her life, but God does. I folded up the $100.00 bill and placed it in her hand. She looked at it and cried, “Thank You, Thank You!” She went on to tell me sometimes, customers don’t treat her very nicely, and this morning, when she got up, she prayed God would help her to have a good day.”
You see my friends, since Jesus can’t be here in the flesh, he sent his Holy Spirit to live inside us if we have made that decision to commit our lives to him. He answered this woman’s prayer because of a “Yes” from me. That’s what he’s asking each of us to do. To answer with a “YES” the next time you sense him nudging at your heart to step out of your comfort zone. Yes, even as crazy as it may sound sometimes, DO IT!
First, you can be sure of this: When you are called to obedience and asked to bless someone, and your answer is "NO," one day, you will have to give an account for that. The Bible says, in Luke 12:48, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Second, our money is not ours. It belongs to God. What's left after all your bills are paid? Could you use some of it to bring God glory? If you're willing, he will show you just how you can! If you want to be BLESSED, we need to be a BLESSING!
Some of you may be reading this and thinking, "This is all great, nice story Andrea........but I don't have $100.00 saved in my wallet for a rainy day!" What you're reading is my story. Ask God to show you yours. There are many ways you can be a BLESSING to someone that doesn't involve money. Time for that matter. In my opinion, it is one of the most precious gifts you could ever give.
My prayer for each of you reading this today is that you would be WILLING for God to use you to BE A BLESSING this Christmas and all year long!
Today, I turn 49. I know, the last year of my 40’s! I’ve been married almost thirty years, with three grown children and three beautiful grandchildren. I have been richly blessed and am so grateful for the life I’ve lived.
I have some exciting news to share with you all, but first I wanted to talk to you about Taking a Leap of Faith. So, let’s break it down, shall we?
Here we go........the definitions:
Leap: to jump or spring a long way, to a great height.
Faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
To sum it up, here’s my perspective on Taking a Leap of Faith.
“A Leap of Faith is when you’re all in, with complete trust and confidence, acting out of obedience because of the promise God has placed in your heart.” That was this week for me. But before I get into all that, let’s go back to 2009 because that’s when it all started.
Write. That’s what God put on my heart, to start writing a blog. I’ve always loved to write. I’d taken a Creative Writing class in high school, and always had a passion for writing poetry; most recently, for writing songs. It's been said, I have “a way with words,” so to speak. For me, writing has always come very naturally to me. As I continued to write my blog, I heard the promise; “One day you will write a book.” I didn’t think much of it, but as the years went on, a little spark began to ignite inside my heart for this so-called book. I waited patiently for my, “Suddenly!”
Things would happen over the next few years, people would come and go, or I’d witness a miracle and with each time God impressed upon me the importance of writing these things down. I had this feeling I’d need them one day. I didn’t quite understand it, but I did it anyway! Over the next eight years, God turned that little spark into a burning flame. When I finally transferred the files from my phone onto my laptop this past week, I was shocked to discover I have 630 files. I had no idea back then how these events would lead up to this week; but God knew. They were all part of a promise. For those of you who know me well, know I speak of the word OBEDIENCE a lot. It’s the final piece to the 1,000 piece barn puzzle you’ve been working on for weeks. It’s the action God is patiently waiting for so he can shower down his incredible, jaw-dropping blessings.
Friends, let me speak some truth into your life. Your pain, no matter how great or how small has a purpose. For you, someone you know, or someone who’s watching. God wouldn’t have allowed it if there wasn’t good to birth it. Why? Because God is ALWAYS good! If you are currently reading this and in the middle of a deep seeded pain, I know it may not seem that way right now. But trust me when I say, I know; I’ve been there. Jesus has been there. Did you know that Jesus has experienced every emotion that you have? Who better to understand what you're going through than him?
During seasons of pain in my life, I’ve held onto this verse, and I’d like to share it with you. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28. We’ve all experienced pain from death to betrayal, heart-break, sadness, abandonment, abuse, disappointment, physical pain, and discouragement, just to name a few. But there is a purpose for this pain. The truth is written here in Deuteronomy 30:3-13.
“God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he'll have compassion on you; he'll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered. No matter how far away you end up, God, your God, will get you out of there and bring you back to the land your ancestors once possessed. It will be yours again. He will give you a good life and make you more numerous than your ancestors. God, your God, will cut away the thick calluses on your heart and your children's hearts, freeing you to love God, your God, with your whole heart and soul and live, really live. God, your God, will put all these curses on your enemies who hated you and were out to get you. And you will make a new start, listening obediently to God, keeping all his commandments that I'm commanding you today. God, your God, will outdo himself in making things go well for you: you'll have babies, get calves, grow crops, and enjoy an all-around good life. Yes, God will start enjoying you again, making things go well for you just as he enjoyed doing it for your ancestors. But only if you listen OBEDIENTLY to God, your God, and keep the commandments and regulations written in this Book of Revelation. Nothing halfhearted here; you must return to God, your God, totally, heart and soul, holding nothing back. This commandment that I'm commanding you today isn't too much for you; it's not out of your reach. It's not on a high mountain - you don't have to get mountaineers to climb the peak and bring it down to your level and explain it before you can live it. And it's not across the ocean - you don't have to send sailors out to get it, bring it back, and then explain it before you can live it."
I have to make a choice. You have to make a choice. Will you choose to believe what God’s Word says? That “your God, will restore everything you lost.” It’s a simple question. You see, you have to believe before you ever receive. You have to trust that God will make all things right. You have to have faith that God will work all things out for your best interest, according to his will for your lives.
I remembered another promise three years ago. God revealed to me that one day, I would have a platform. I had no idea what that meant, until this week. When you decide to step out of your comfort zone and take that Leap of Faith, miracles happen. Some people may choose to be part of the process, they run alongside and cheer you on. Some may just sit back and watch it all unfold from the sidelines. And others may not even show up to the race. But don’t get discouraged, sweet friend. You see, God is just waiting to see how faithful we are with the things he has called us to do. In 1 Peter 3:9 it is written, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” God sees your heart. He knows how deeply you desire to please him. As long as your actions stem from the right motives, you will be richly blessed.
This week, I signed my first book contract with Redemption Press along with my cousin Cynthia, to be released in 2018. I am in awe of the doors God has opened for us. Now I know why I’ve been writing the things down he’s asked me to over the past eight years. And now I know what the word platform means.
This journey will be a wild ride, but I’m committed, all in and ready for God to use me.
Is there an area of your life you need to take a leap of faith? Has God put a promise in your heart? What are you waiting for?
Living BOLDLY 4 Him,
“Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.” - 2 Timothy 2:22-26 (MSG)
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and then suddenly can’t speak? Words are racing around in your head, but somehow they just won’t make it past your lips. Suddenly, you hear that still, soft voice, “Be quiet!” It was a sweet surrender for me, to give up my God-given “right” to fight for the truth. The urge was strong, and I was suited up and ready to rush into battle with my sword held high yelling, “THAT’S NOT TRUE!” I must have a voice; this isn’t right. Have you ever felt this way? Feeling like you have to defend your very being? Your integrity? Your honor? You hear that voice again, “Drop the sword; I’m fighting for you.”
Sister, GOD SEES YOUR HEART. He does! He knows your motives, your desires, and your intentions; even when you think, others don't. You don’t need to show up to every conversation or argument which invited. It’s a choice. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying it’s wise to hide your feelings, isolate yourself or shutdown in the middle of a conversation. Trust me that doesn’t work! What I am saying is that sometimes, we need to be mindful and ACT when God speaks. There are times we are to hit mute and not engage, but rather reset. Your circumstances may not turn out the way you thought they would. But know this; he goes before you. He runs into the fierce battle before you even know there is one.
Hold on to this promise sweet sister. He’s working everything out! "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28 (NIV)
How we handle pain and disappointment in our lives, may be our greatest opportunity for a testimony.
People are always watching. Especially, if you call yourself a Christian. Unfortunately, many place this label over our heads and put us into a basket like perfect red apples.
But we know the truth, don’t we? We know the only perfect one is Jesus Christ himself. How we behave despite the things that have happened in our lives, is not only a test of our character, but it can open the door to life-changing conversations. We should always be mindful of this.
Don’t think for a second that God hasn’t put people in your life for a specific purpose, and vice-versa. In pain there is a lesson for us and other times, we are the teacher and the lesson is for someone else. There should be a sense of peace in knowing that God is using you to be his hands and feet.
When I really stop and think about it, it’s an honor that God would chose ordinary me to impact someone else’s future. You dear friend, have the same opportunity to show the world there is hope in suffering by the way we carry ourselves as we tread through it!
QUOTE: “Only God can turn mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victory.”
Write down one of your greatest pains. How has God used this for good? If you don't have an answer, ask him to show you.
I have one. We all do right?
But tonight, I want to share a VICTORY!
You see, one of my character defects is to isolate myself when I am hurt, upset, or angry. More often than not it affects the people closest to me that had nothing to do with the situation. A good friend of mine calls it Stinkin' Thinkin'.
I just got home from an intense Bible Study at church. It was pushing 10:00 PM and I was sitting on the couch reading a devotional when my husband walked up and asked what I was doing? My response: "I'M READING SOME TRUTH BECAUSE I HAVE A BAD ATTITUDE!"
No hiding, no isolating, no retreating!!! #beboldspeaktruth YAY ME! ❤️ Dear friends, this is a VICTORY for me. My husband allowed me to have "my space" and he gracefully told me he loved me. Thank you Lord for this man who loves me through my highs and lows of life!
Just about an hour earlier I spoke up during our study and said, "If God can make creation with just the sound of his voice, surely he could change each of our situations if he wanted to. He loves us deeply, why wouldn't he? Since we know he has the power to do it yet doesn't, that should send us a STRONG message. Maybe he wants to grow our character, teach us an important lesson, grow our relationship with him or maybe just be a witness to those watching us walk through this difficult season in our lives?" Maybe it's all of the above.
Yes, I said it and God convicted me of it.
As soon as I walked in the door, I started running through everything I had to finish over the next two weeks. I brought work home which still needs to be done. I still have to prepare my notes for two Facebook LIVE Events this Wednesday. I need to finish my speech for Connie' Mom's memorial service this Friday. I need to deliver a livingroom full of clothes, shoes and furniture to a non-profit in Hayward before Saturday which resulted from a two week long "clean out your closet" project. I need to finish my notes for the Online Bible Study my cousin and I are creating before I fly to Washington to shoot the videos in 10 days. I promised my husband I'd have all the financials caught up at work through June before I left for Washington. I have to make sure my car is clean inside and out with a full tank of gas by 8:00 AM for our Sales Manager to use for the next three days, take a shower and blow dry my hair tonight just in case I oversleep so I'm not late dropping off my car, set aside time for this Bible Study homework (it's five days a week), practice playing songs on my guitar so I'm ready to lead worship at next week's Bible Study. Finish a huge cloud server integration over the next two days at work. So......I could continue writing the rest but honestly, I'm getting anxious again just writing it.
I know me. I know what makes me vulnerable. I should know better. I also know that when the enemy is working overtime, miracles are around th corner and he knows it!
I've heard it once said, "A thief doesn't steal from empty vaults." I know God is lining up my future. He's been waiting for me to come into agreement and align my will to his. He's been so patient and in a few months, I will have an amazing opportunity to pursue my dreams and witness the promises he's put on my heart so many years ago.
I'm still grieving our dog Bella. We put her down two weeks ago. I miss her terribly. It broke my heart this morning that my husband STILL has three metal bowls line the counter every night for their morning breakfast. We only have two dogs, yet still her bowl sits there. I guess it's kind of like keeping an empty seat at the Christmas table. Still so painful.
I know I get crabby when I'm tired, and tonight I surely am. I went to bed at 3:45 AM. as I finished putting the finishing touches on my closet organization project, and for some reason I thought it was a good idea to grab the three boxes of tangled jewelry and determine which pieces I was going to keep or which ones I would donate. When I walked out of my closet it was 3:30 AM. Why do I do this to myself? Two hours of sleep?
Tonight, I choose to be honest and real. I am tired. I am overwhelmed. I feel discouraged.
But I know what every believer does...... that JOY comes in the morning. His anger lasts for a little while, but then his kindness brings life. The night may be filled with tears, but in the morning we can sing for joy!" - Psalm 30:5
So tonight I pray this prayer below. For he has shown his faithfulness enough to know that when I wake up in the morning, I will have a changed perspective, joy on my face and a NEW song in my heart.
Boldly 4 Him,
UPDATE July 17, 2017 at 11:30 PM
PRAISE REPORT: After I published this blog, I went to go look at my Facebook page and for some reason my iDisciple account posted the song of the week on my page. It's titled, "In over my head."
Coincidence? I don't think so.
Watch the video below and hear the story about why this song was written. The actual video is at the end. Listen for yourself. It's such a beautiful song.
God always meets us exactly where we are doesn't he? I think he wanted me to know he's listening! Thank you Lord for hearing my heart.❤️
I know all too well when we try to tackle problems on our own, it never works out quite like we had visioned. We can save ourselves so much time, energy, stress, and suffering if we would just include God in our walk - daily. If we know better then shouldn't we do better? Why is that so easy to say and write, but so hard to actually do? We can’t be the women God has called us to be if we continue to be more concerned about fixing other people and their character defects than we are about doing the work in ourselves first.
They say hurting people hurt people. Would you agree? I sure do! When the people we love hurt us, God still says we still need to love them. How would our relationships change if we had the same compassion for others that Jesus did? When we are wronged or hurt, we need to leave the consequences to Him. But let's be honest friends, aren't there times when we think we should be the "one" in control? Are there times when you feel you should be the one to hand out consequence papers?
Sadly, that’s NOT our job. We think because we’re directly involved that we have a right to point out faults, weaknesses and failures. Now I'm not talking about the brother or sister who has "fallen" and we should gently restore them, as in Galatians 6:1 which reads; "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness." I am referring to the person who you seem to always be critical of, the one whose bad behaviors you always seem to point out. I'm talking about that person. I've learned the importance of knowing what my role is NOT! God's job is to judge, the Holy Spirit's job is to convict and my job.......well, that's simply to LOVE! We need people to see the example of Christ in us even when they have hurt us. Because honestly, demonstrating the LOVE of Christ is BETTER than any consequence, isn't it? Trust me, God will speak to their hearts in a way that only he can, and quite frankly from past experience he does a MUCH better job too! If you're struggling in this area, ask God to give you eyes to see them as He does and watch what happens.
Heads Up: You do not need to attend every argument you are invited to!! DO NOT give others that much control over you. You are responsible for the words that come out of your mouth and for the way you behave. If you show them Christ first and respond in love, it will usually defuse most arguments or misunderstandings. Don’t get me wrong, I know all too well how hard this is and trust me, it’s much easier to write this than it actually is to do it. It all comes down to our pride people! When we demonstrate Christ like behavior we are being obedient. And when we are obedient, well all I can say is just wait for the blessings!
Don't get discouraged, you will not succeed every time. It is impossible for you are only human, but we do have a responsibility to try and keep the peace....to take the high-road so to speak. You know the saying..... Sometimes it's better to be happy instead of right. "Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone." - Romans 12:18.
The morning will surely come and we all know that joy comes in the morning right? Tomorrow is a new day . It's another chance for a "do-over!" If you TRULY want to have Christ-like faith, believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that God can and will answer your prayers. He will surely give you the desires of your heart if it is according to His will. "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4. When He makes you a promise, know that you can trust Him. He will never leave you or forsake you. He is the PERFECT restorer. He will restore the things that are broken in you AND in the people you love. You HAVE to keep that faith and hold on to it ever so tightly…..
Wait with expectancy as in Psalm 5:3, "Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly." If you are going through a season of doubt in your life right now, and you're discouraged that you just can't get it right, KNOW the truth! BELIEVE the truth. Your feelings don't necessarily have to be aligned with the truth. But I can tell you this, the healthier you get those feelings will eventually catch up. Don't EVER doubt the words God has spoken to your heart. Don’t EVER stop trusting God just because other people have.
LISTEN and WAIT with expectancy. When you fall get back up.....brush yourself off......and start again! He loves you too much to keep you where you are.
You CAN do hard things!
I saw something similar to the quote above this morning and I've wanted to write something like this about myself for a long time, I just really couldn't find the words. It's funny sometimes in the least expected moments, God can prune your heart to speak the truth.
Often times when I sit down to write, I have this emotional block where the words just seem to be stuck inside of a jar and I can't seem to get the lid off. I think it's Gods way of reminding me that everything comes from him, in his timing and not my own.
Today, the words flooded my heart as I was driving and I had to pull over to a safe spot and share my heart.
I still hold on to the promises he's whispered to just me and I will still walk with my head held high because I know the truth despite the way I feel today. Despite the voices that tell me I'm not qualified, not good enough, and it's not my time.
I would not be honest if I told you that I don't entertain those thoughts but I do. Eventually, the truth always kicks in and I am reminded of whose I am. And he shows me that with him, I cannot fail. I know God will use me to do amazing things. To reach hurting women that have no hope, to speak truth into the lives of many because of the truth he's spoken to me. God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called. And sometimes, we just need to say, "Yes" to the things he's asked us to do, despite the way we feel. Because if it is TRULY God's will for us, our feelings will eventually catch up to the truth!
I have never had a 'green thumb.' I've always wished I did. A few years back, my husband came home to me unloading the car with flowers to plant, and in a playful voice he said, "Oh I see.....more victims!" Sad, but it was true.
Most recently, my husband bought me one of those indoor Aero Gardens for my birthday. You can choose from all kinds of herbs; Thai Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, Dill, etc. I was so excited not to have to buy any more herbs to cook with.
He set it all up, programmed the lights, when they would come on and off. He added the minerals when they were needed, water when it signaled to add more and soon I had my own garden. It grew so quickly that I couldn't seem to use what I had. I would frequently give the herbs to friends that stopped by or bring them to work to share.
Recently, I looked at my little garden and noticed it looked a bit scarce. The leaves were barely hanging on, some had dried up and completely fallen off and others looked twig like. I thought to myself, with the easiest garden on the planet and you still can't keep a plant alive.
I opened up the reservoir and to my discovery there was no water! Not a drop. Well, that explains it. In some way I felt relieved that there was a logical explanation. But as I started to think a little more about it, I was sad. It really was me. It was US!
Isn't that what happens to our marriages when we don't pay attention? When we take for granted that our garden will just grow on its own without any water or food? When our phones, our jobs, our friends and the television become more important than our spouses, our marriages suffer deeply. Our spouses really do need those special minerals to grow too!
What could your mineral of choice be this week?
The second part to this "Seasons In Our Marriage" blog is the not so easy one to fix. It's called the "dome zone" and it's the after-effect.........
When the pods are first placed in the Aero Garden they need to be covered with a plastic dome for the first few weeks or so, until the herbs start to bud. Once they get to be about an inch or so, you can remove the plastic domes and allow the light and nutrients to help them grow.
It made me think about what happens to us individually once those dead leaves start to fall off. We want to try again, to move on, to rise above our hurts, habits and hang ups but somehow we feel this need to have this shield of protection around us and we enter the "dome zone." It's a safe place where no one can hurt us. But what we fail to realize is that although growth can be seen in the beginning, if we don't eventually take of the dome, the herb will eventually strangle itself and it is unable to grow. Sometimes we just need to throw it all out there, remain vulnerable despite our hurt and ask God to work on the heart part!
I once read, "comfort zones are nice places to visit, unfortunately nothing ever grows there." This is true in our marriages too. I can definitely get stuck in the "dome zone," and sometimes it can take me longer to get out than most. Even after 29 years of marriage, we're still growing and I'm still learning how to be the wife God has called me to be.
If you can relate to what you've read, please comment on this blog and share your story. One thing I do know is there is strength in numbers and when people share, you somehow don't feel so alone anymore.
Take joy in knowing that tomorrow is a new day. It's a do-over day! It's another chance to get this season of marriage you are in.........right!
Good Morning Friends:
I woke up to reading this devotional at the recommendation from a very close friend.
I love that God has blessed my life with some amazing women. This is exactly what I needed to read. Is it what you needed to read as well?
One thing I know is that I need to "trust the process." Even when I don't know what the "process" is. Just like the Serenity Prayer, "trusting that he will make all things right if I surrender to his will......"
Why do we try so hard to do things on your own? Only to eventually fall on our faces because we chose our will and never included God in our decisions. Pride? I'd say that's my issue. But thankfully he gives us grace which allows us to get up one more time, to try one more time, to trust one more time and I'm so grateful for that.
Listen to that soft, still voice. The one that promised you that new job, that baby you will have, that man he will bring into your life, that sickness he will heal, that Marraige he will restore, that book you will write.
Don't you EVER let another person's opinions of you change what God has whispered to you. No man can stop the will of God. Know that. Trust that. Believe that!
I hope this Devotional touches your heart the way it has touched mine. May it bring you you peace and give you hope.
Happy Friday.......now go make God Famous today!! And share this with someone you love today!
Ciao Ciao. Be BLESSED,
Andrea (Andi), is an Author, musician, speaker and Founder of Transcended Ministries. She encourages women to rise above their circumstances and to trust in God's timing. She is involved in Celebrate Recovery and sings on the worship team at her church. Andi believes no hurt is ever wasted and she longs to bring a message of hope and healing as she shares her story of bold faith. Her story includes her struggle with control issues and co-dependency followed by a separation from her husband of twenty-five years. After a year of isolation and being on her own, she watched God bring transformation, healing, and reconciliation.