Psalm 119_105

Who turned out the lights?

While I was making dinner the other night, my husband was installing new overhead lights in the garage. He had to turn off the power in there, but in doing so, it turned off the lights in the kitchen. He very kindly brought me a small, bright lantern light so that I could see to finish dinner. As I was cooking the chicken, I realized that I couldn’t tell if it was done or not so I had to bring the light closer.
Not being able to see the chicken was just the first of many problems that I had since I wasn’t able to see well.
The next problem that presented itself was the need for a glass bowl in the bottom cabinet, which looks invisible in the dark. Once the light was close enough, I found my bowl and continued. Here is something that I found interesting. Even though the light did not shine well enough to see the entire object across the room, it did show the itty bitty spaghetti bits that were on the counter top and the areas on the stove that had splashes of boiling water.

It reminds me of our lives sometimes. We go through life not using the Light, Jesus, to our best advantage or we only use the Light when we need it to make something brighter.

What if we went through our lives and used the Light of Jesus to guide our path as a light in the darkness every single day, not just when we need to use it. Psalm 119:105 tells us just that, that the Word is a lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.

When we allow the Light to shine into our dark places, we are inviting the Holy Spirit to come in and show us places in our day to day lives that need help but the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
When we use Jesus as our light, it shows all of the little imperfections in our lives as well as the big ones. That in and of itself can be scary. But once you have illuminated the sins in the darkness you can begin to fix those and let God take them away!
Pray that He will illuminate the sins in your heart so that you can ask and be forgiven. This is not a one and done type of request; this is a daily assignment.

I challenge you to let Christ be your Light, refuge, and strength in very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1) Let Him shine on your yuck so that you can work together to clean it up!

Psalm 119_105

Are you serious?

I follow this gal on Instagram, and she was telling us about an experience that she had were these two girls got into the back seat of her car while she is parked waiting for her food delivery. They thought it was their ordered taxi service.
Can you believe that?  They didn’t check to see if the car matched up with their order, or look for a logo, or whatever else they could have done to keep themselves safe.
The new taxi services have made it so easy for someone to get kidnapped, and that is so scary!

It made me think about all the ways that Satan tries to capture us.  Satan tries to make it easy for us to be taken by him tricking us into sin.  He knows just how to get us in his car.  Paul alluded to the first sin in the Garden of Eden in 2 Corinthians 11:3.  “And now I’m afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ.”

We are no different than Adam and Eve in the garden.  We can easily be tempted by Satan because he is crafty and spins the truth into our own deceit.  1 Peter 5:8, “Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.”

We must be in the Word so that we know what our enemy looks like because we know so well what our God looks like.

I challenge you to get into the Word more.  Read the love letters that Christ has written us and learn more about Him.  Stay strong in the Lord so that you are not so easily deceived.

Psalm 119_105

What do you do?

If you follow me on Facebook, then you know how crazy my days can be.  How tall the pile of dishes can get and the baskets, upon loads, upon heaps of laundry I have had to conquer at times.  Yes…I know… If I am consistent and keep up with it, it won’t get that bad.  But here’s the thing.  My kids mean more to me than an overwhelming load of laundry.  My daughter’s pretend play in is more important than the dishes piling up and calling my name.  My son’s need to sit close and just tell me all the details of his day means that the floors probably won’t get swept, or the toilets cleaned that day…But GOD.

He sees the work that I am doing in and through my kids.  My kids see that I value my time with them and I get to be Jesus to them.
God sees you helping a friend pay for their coffee, leading a small group in your home, or going on missions trips to help save the lost in a faraway land.

Whether you are front and center in a starring role or behind the scenes and under the radar, when you work with a heart that loves the Lord, you glorify Him in everything you do.
Colossians 3:23-24 says Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…It is Christ you are serving.

I challenge you to recognize that God loves your work.
If you are struggling because you aren’t being seen or that what you are doing is unimportant, let me assure you, someone GREAT is watching and you are the most important in His eyes.

Psalm 119_105

Are you on fire?

While sitting with my husband watching our bonfire burn down he poked one of the logs and the embers on the bottom lit up bright red and orange and released an intense heat.
We both commented on the heat that was coming off of the embers.

I said, “Isn’t it amazing that the pieces that were part of the big logs are actually hotter than the logs themselves?”

I sat there amazed at how good God is and how mesmerizing the flickering embers were. I watched as a little piece would flicker a flame on and off as if on command. And as I watched and giggled at that precious flame, the Lord dropped this little nugget on me.

He said, “You (His children) are just like the log and embers. When you are bright and on fire, people notice and stay close to watch and receive warmth, but then as your fire dies down, people become uninterested and you think it’s over. That’s when I can use you! Those little pieces that once were a log, full of fire became embers that are now hotter than the big flames.

That is what I want my children to know. You are not nothing. You are not useless after your fire goes out. There is more inside of you. Do not give up, my children. Press on.”

That fire that once burned bright inside of you might be down to little embers because of past hurt and pain but GOD can breathe new life into you and make your fire burn once again.
At the end of Ezekiel 37:6 God says I will put MY breath in you (make you alive) so that you come to life. Then you will know that I am Yahweh!

Will you let Him breathe into you?

Dear friend, I challenge you to let Him breathe new life into you.  Maybe you need new life in a relationship, into past hurts, or new life in your walk with Christ.  Whatever it is for you, ask God to do it and He will.  ((HUGS))

Psalm 119_105

What do you see?

Each time we have a birthday party, I receive pictures from friends and family that were at the party, so I am able to see so many things that I hadn’t seen myself.
The most recent party was my oldest and we went indoor rock wall climbing! The reason I didn’t get pictures myself was that once we got there we realized that we had way more climbers than we had places to climb without help, so I got trained to be a belay person for those climbing.  What that means is that I clipped into one side of the rope and the climber clipped into the other end.  I stayed on the ground and kept the climber from falling by taking the rope’s slack as they climb up and locking it in so that there is tension on their rope.  Without that stress on the rope, it would be loose, and the climber can become afraid that they will fall.  The belayer’s job is to keep that from happening.  I controlled the tension on the way up and let them down gently when they were ready to come down which meant I had to continually watch them and feel for their ascent.  In doing this I couldn’t pay attention to what was happening around me.

This reminded me of our lives and our walk with Christ.  We must stay focused on our own ascent and descent through life instead of paying attention to what others are doing.  When we do, it could be disastrous to our own life.  The comparison game is real and prominent in the world today.  Especially with all the social media outlets that allow anyone to post about anything whether or not it is true.  You only see what they want you to see.
We must be anchored in Christ.  Sometimes there is tension in our life, but that is an indication that God’s got you.  Everything we go through has a purpose.  God’s plan for each of our lives is to for our wellbeing, not for disaster, but to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

If we are continually looking at other people’s view of success, we will inevitably fall.  We must be alert, of sound mind, and moment by moment keeping our eyes on Jesus!  I love this reminder in 1 Thessalonians 6:4-8, “But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.’

I challenge you today to think about where you are looking.  Is your eye on Jesus or are there other things in your life that have your attention?  What are those things in your life that are taking away your focus?  Write these out and ask the Lord to help you change your focus on Him.

Psalm 119_105

What is your season?

I was looking through our pictures yesterday, and I found some of the kids playing at the splash pad.  The same place where we went ice skating this evening.
Yes, you read that correctly.  I took my oldest daughter ice skating, outside, in 70degreeIt reminded me of the seasons in our own lives and how they change completely from one to another without us even knowing how it happens.
TN weather.  They have completely transformed the entire area into a winter wonderland and I don’t even know how it happened.  It is amazing to me how something that was used to cool us off during the summer months can turn into a frozen winter oasis that we can skate on now. Of course, it is God’s work in our lives that brings about change.  (Phil 1:6)  Each season builds on the next, and we can learn things from each season in our life that we can use in the future or even to help others.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 talks about seasons in our life.

There is a season for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

What season are you in right now?  Are you in a time of sadness, joy, anger, sorrow?  Are you reaching out to God to give you the steps toward your next move?  It can be difficult going through something that you don’t have answers as to why it has happened to you or what is even going on.  Stay in the Word and see what it says about where you are.

I challenge you to ask Him what you need to do.  He will guide you through this time in your life, but you have to be willing to ask, listen, and then follow through.

 

Psalm 119_105

Where are you looking?

My Mom was working on a commissioned painting, and it wasn’t working out like she had envisioned, so she called me, as she often does, to get my opinion.  Any time she calls for help, I will ask questions that may seem obvious, but when you are so focused on a problem, it is hard to see the big picture.  I asked her what medium she was using for this piece.  I asked her if she had looked at other pictures and what else was going in the painting.  She said that she had looked at several different paintings for inspiration, but nothing was helping.  As she was answering, I remembered that she did a similar art piece a few months back.  I suggested that she go back and look at it and think about the process that it took to get to that finished piece.  I was out of ideas, as I am not an artist, so I was hoping that I was able to help her.
The next message I got from her was a beautiful picture of the painting that was nearly finished.  I called her and asked her what changed.  She told me that she went back and looked at her previous painting and it brought back the memories of the same struggles she had with that painting as well.  Reminiscing about her own mistakes and victories with her previous painting helped her to move forward past the bump in the road in the current painting.

As all of this was going the Lord reminded me that we are all too often looking at other people’s lives instead of looking at back at our own lives. He wants us to do this so that we can move forward into our present while learning from our past.
We can’t learn how to fix our own mess by looking at someone else’s “finished project.”  When we look back at our past, we can see how God helped move us forward over the hurdles that life put in our way.  Learning from the mistakes and victories in our own life help us to be overcomers!
This does not mean that we can’t learn from the past mistakes of others, but what it does mean is that we have to stop comparing and thinking that other people’s mistakes will save us from our own.

Deuteronomy 4:9 tells us to make sure you stay alert.  Keep close watch over yourselves.  Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen.  Don’t let your heart wander off.  Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren.”

We must not forget our past because that is where God was working to help us in our present.

I challenge you to look back into your own life the next time you feel stuck.  Think about the situations that you went through and how you got through it.  What lessons did you take away from that experience?  What hardships were shown after all was said and done?  Step back for a moment, ask yourself questions, and then reevaluate.

Psalm 119_105

Do you like water?

While sitting on the porch one morning doing my quiet time, this huge water sprinkler came on to water the grass on the golf course.

I watched it and couldn’t look away.  I was reminded that in Christ I am like a watered garden.

In Isaiah 58:11 it says “The Lord will always lead you; He will satisfy you in a parched land (aren’t we living in a parched land right now?) and strengthen your bones.  You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry.”
As I read those words my face lit up and I smiled so big because I am like a watered garden.  If you are in Christ YOU are like a watered garden.  We NEED Christ to rain down on us.  We NEED Christ to satisfy us.  I looked up what satisfy means and the dictionary says, “ to fulfill the desires and expectations, needs, or demands; to give assurance to.”
I don’t know about you but if I don’t have my quiet time each day, my coffee break with my Heavenly Daddy, I am dry, thirsty and in need of water.  My God is the only one that can do that.  He is Living Water!
Thinking back on the water sprinkler  It is a lot like us.  We are the grass, Christ is the sprinkler.  The grass cannot survive without the sprinkler.  What would happen to the grass if it didn’t have it;’s daily dose of water?  It would dry out, shrivel up and become brown and callus.  It NEEDS the water and the water needs the grass.  That is its purpose.  To saturate, satisfy the grass, and ground.  If it hits concrete it just puddles, because its purpose is not for the un-alive concrete (yes, I just made that a word.)
Christ wants to water you daily.  He wants to rain down His love on you, but you have to be alive in Christ.  You have to be an open willing vessel to receive His outpouring.

I challenge you to be like the grass.  A willing vessel, soaking up all that God has to offer you.  Shiny on the outside, bright, and beautiful because you have been watered by Christ!

Psalm 119_105

God loves you!

For the last 3.5 years, I have been living out an incredible calling on my life as a birth doula and childbirth educator.  I was even studying to become a midwife!
But, if you know anything about God, you know that He makes plans and we follow.  So…I have listened and obeyed and put that all on pause for a season to work on this ministry!

If you had told me 6 months ago that I would be writing a blog and starting a women’s ministry, I would have probably laughed, loudly, snorted and then asked you if you were serious. (Just being honest)

This whole journey has been one God event after another.  I wish we could sit down and I could tell you all the things that God has so perfectly orchestrated to get me to this place.
I hope you continue to follow me here so that you can read all about it!

God wants His children, that’s you, to know that He loves you regardless of your past.  There is nothing that you can do that will diminish the love your Heavenly Father has for you!
I will tell you that I am far from perfect, but I am loved by a perfect God!

God downloads little tidbits of information to me so that I can share it with you.
We serve a great, Big God.  Won’t you lean in and hear what He has to tell you?

You are enough, friend.