When God Speaks to You

Lately I’ve been going through somewhat of a difficult season in my life. I’ve been feeling attacked on many fronts, but my spirit has taken a beaten. Without going into too much personal detail I will say that I’ve felt distant from my church, I’ve questioned friendships, and even my own spiritual disciplines have been lacking. The enemy loves to distract us, plant seeds of doubt and make us question our very own spiritual foundation and relationship with Christ and our brothers and sisters. He’s been busy with me and to be honest he’s been having a good old time. Last night I asked God to give me peace and to guide my footsteps. I feel like a big old vacuum has just sucked the joy  sucked away from my heart and it has left me completely exhausted, drained, and sad.

Well, when God speaks to you, boy does he speak to you. Last night I had a dream that I was in church and all the seats were taken. Even my daughter was sitting down, but there were no empty seats for me. I was left standing and just looking around. Finally, I thought I’ll just leave. I wasn’t going to take my daughter away from her seat,  I planned on waiting for her (which is so significant because my daughter loves church) I was turning to walk away and my minister in a loud voice said, “Don’t you dare to quit church.” WOW! I knew exactly what God was saying to me! God spoke directly to me on a prayer that my heart was so conflicted about that only God could guide me on  and no one else. In my spirit I know that God isn’t only talking about the physical church but my relationship with Him. In my heart I have no doubt he is telling to me to stay grounded, to keep strong in my faith, and not to give up and let enemy get a foothold.

I hope in sharing this with you that it is a reminder that God does speak to us. Be still and wait… then my sweet sisters listen to him and find rest in his answers. God is awesome and this morning I was reminded that he is right next to me in all his love and grace in abundance.

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Leaving a Spiritual Legacy for Your Kids -Create Sermon Journals

A few years ago I wrote an article for Just Between Us Magazine entitled, “The Legacy That Matters Most.” I wrote about the spiritual legacy my grandma left me and how it has inspired me to be intentional about the leaving one for my daughter. I’ll be writing more in-depth about how I think you can do this in the future, but today I want to share one simple way. When you go to church, if you’re like me I write notes about the sermon. I have a journal and I’ll write the name of the sermon, the date and my notes. It is amazing how these journals start to increase as each year passes and I’m always blessed when I read back over them. So I’m building a library of sorts for Anya of ‘Sermon Notes’ that I’ll eventually give to her. I think this is a wonderful way to pass down a blessing to your loved ones and all it requires is  going to church and taking notes to enrich your spiritual life as well!

Just a couple of my Sermon Note Journals

Just a couple of my Sermon Note Journals

Then God Sends a Messenger…

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“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

Wow, what a busy week. It started with travelling last Thursday and it has been a rollercoaster since then. I had a ton of work, a sick kid, then a sick mom (me!) so when Wednesday rolled around I was thrilled to be going to church for bible study. I contemplated staying home because I wasn’t feeling well, but my little accountability partner encouraged me to suck it up and get there, so I did. I am so thankful that I went to fellowship with my church family. I don’t know about you, but walking into church, settling into a seat and opening up the word of God just warms my soul. It reminds me of how sacred  my relationship with the body of Christ is in my life. I love my other friends too, but there is something so special about that bond.

When we were leaving one of the sisters said to me that she was thinking of me, praying for me and that how I was a blessing. Wow! I needed that encouragement! Lately, I’ve been feeling off. Does that ever happen to you, when you know you aren’t spending the time you need to with God? Life is busy, but I know that if I let it get in front of my relationship with God, it all starts coming apart at the seams. Sometimes I ask myself am I really maturing in my faith? Do I serve? Do I glorify God in my life (there were a few times this past week I didn’t)? It all comes back to me spending time with God and listening to his will for me and being obedient. It isn’t always easy is it? I slip up, I sin, and then I think to myself what is your problem?? That’s when I can get really down on myself, but how does God work? He brings to me a sweet sister in Christ to lift me up. God is good isn’t he? It reminds me how important it is to give encouragement to one another on our walk with Christ and to lift each other up.  I also thought about how people are watching our actions, interactions, and words and to be mindful of them because you never know how they can affect someone.

We all need encouragement, so please if you are thinking of someone or praying for them let them know! You will make their day and maybe help them to ease up on their own imperfections and see the good that they bring to others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of the Prayer Chain

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I’ve often said I love that thing that happens between women. I especially love that thing that happens between women when they prayer together. Today I experience one of those incredibly beautiful moments. In my ladies bible study class today, our teacher Isabelle asked us to do something different at the end of class. She asked us to do a prayer chain. A prayer chain is where everyone holds hands and says a prayer and/or a prayer request. If you aren’t comfortable you could squeeze the person’s had to indicate that you wanted to pass. In our class today that didn’t happen. Every single woman all unique said a prayer and it was powerful in an overwhelmingly incredible way, that reminds you of the beauty of being part of the body of Christ. The words, the emotions, the intentions seeped into my heart releasing me and blessing me in so many ways. When it came around to me my voice begin to quiver as I prayed for wisdom on raising my daughter. The tears can begin to flow and I know every woman in that room felt my genuine prayer just as deeply as I felt them

I am so grateful for my sisters in Christ and I am immensely awesomely blessed by their presence and prayers. I realized that I want to initiate the chain of prayer outside of church too! We need one another’s support, prayers and love every day. All of us have bondage that holds onto us trying to drag us down and hold us back, but when we join in prayer together those chains begin to loosen and the heaviness starts to melt away. What better way can we support and love one another than through the power of prayer. I want to thank Isabelle today for having the courage to initiate the prayer chain and encourage us to take the masks off and trust God and each other.

 

7 Ways I Choose to Find Contentment

2 Corinthians 12:10 – “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

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One of things I want to give up for lent is complaining. I want to release complaining and embrace gratitude. I don’t consider myself a big complainer, but I’ve noticed I’m agitated with things a little more. For example, I find myself complaining a lot about Maryland and how I’d rather live somewhere else because the cost of living is ridiculous. Ah see there it is, I can’t even write about it without it slipping out! There are  other little nuances too, things that I would mainly like to change have been at the forefront of my complaining.

Today, I was thinking about how God places us exactly where we need to be at least until he’s ready to move us forward, whether it be in jobs, homes, relationships, or anything else. There is a reason for every season in our life. Instead of fighting against it I think it’s better to embrace it and let it evolve in God’s time instead of living in a state of complaining or always wishing for a different scenario. Contentment in all circumstances happens when we have faith and trust in God that he is moving us through every chapter and each scenario in our lives.

Being content isn’t always a simple thing to do. I find myself wrestling with those life scenarios and becoming frustrated because I think wait a minute, God clearly can’t want this for me! Doesn’t he see what I’m facing? How can this be okay with him? Then I have to remember I can’t see what he sees for me, his time is not my time and he doesn’t make mistakes, but I do! So what do I need to do? Well, here is what I think:

  1. Pray- I need to pray. Pray for his will, his guidance, for patience, to be obedient and for contentment. Contentment in the sense of knowing that God is in control and he will work it out  not for my good for me, but his good for me, which can never be topped!
  2. Choose to Thrive Where I Am-I have a choice. I can either sit around and complain and pick apart everything that bugs me or I can embrace where I am at this present moment and seek opportunities that will allow me to thrive personally and spiritually and also to be a blessing to others.
  3. Choose Happiness– When I think  about the beauty of life even on the worst days there is usually one thing that can put a smile on my face and if there isn’t it, I can look at my child or recall a memory and then I’m struck that life isn’t so bad. Actually it’s pretty incredible and I can create my happiness in the moments I’m still here!
  4. Count My Blessings– Am I breathing? Is my daughter healthy? Do I have a roof over my head? Is there food on the table? Did Christ save my life? What do I have to complain about again?
  5. Not Allow my Circumstances to Define Me- Circumstances are not who I am. I am a child of God. Circumstances change, but my identity as a Child of Christ does not, it is everlasting. Who I am will outlive my circumstance. Circumstances will change and that old saying this too shall pass will cross my lips more than once. When we’re in difficult circumstances it is important to remember that God is allowing it and he will see us through it as well and they will change, it is temporary.
  6. Find Joy in Contentment- When anxiety, worry, fear, negative thinking are all absent from my life I allow joy to enter in and find a home in my heart. Joy in the assurance that my God is with me and when I stumble he will pick me up.
  7. Know God is Doing Something- I have to remember that in everything God is doing something. I say something because I don’t know what it is he is up to! But, I believe that each experience, each trial, each circumstance he is preparing us for something bigger maybe even something wonderful! Remember we are His workmanship. God is constantly molding and sculpting us into his perfect masterpiece, so be patient you are a work of art!