Monday, October 15, 2012

Hearing from God

I received three separate messages today from three different in the morning, before church...another in church, and a third on my way to work.  Every single one had the same exact message.  I highly doubt these three pastors got together and coordinated their sermons.  God literally aligned these three messages to speak directly to me.  Even the prophetic word, directly from God, during service, revealed the same message.

"All things work together for the good of those who love Him..." 
~Romans 8:28  

ALL things work TOGETHER for the GOOD of those who LOVE HIM!"  We don't have the answers.  Only He knows how everything is going to come together.  Our perspective is not the same as His.  He sees everything.  He's making it all work together.  He has all the pieces.  It's ALL apart of His plan.  Even the things that hurt.  Even the things that cause us pain.  Even when it seems He's just letting things happen.  He allows things...even evil things...He actually uses ultimately bring Him glory.  We only need to be still.....

For the past couple of weeks, Psalm 26:10 has popped up EVERYWHERE...
"Be still and know that I am God."  

It was so obvious to me--God was sending me a sign of things to come.  Not that He meant it for good or bad, either way.  Only that He has everything completely under control.  I would only have to believe Him.  Good things and bad things, it seems, have been happening.  And I've been able to rest in Him.  Praising Him for all of it.  Yes, the good and the bad.  Because I trust Him.  I really, really trust Him.  He is sending me signs and wonders.  ME.  Little ol' me.  How amazing is His love for me.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you." 
~Matthew 6:33

I have been doing His work.  The work that matters to Him.  The work that He has called me to do.  And He is literally taking care of the rest.  Business has been the best it's been since we returned to our "home" location.  He's been convicting my husband's heart.  Even by allowing pneumonia in his lungs...I'm praying and hoping and believing that it can be a powerful sign to my husband to quit smoking.  I want so badly for it to be a strong enough reason.  If it takes my little brother hitting rock bottom...again, to finally seek His be it.  I am getting countless opportunities to minister the Word of God to him.  And even if it doesn't take instantly...the fact that I'm sending The Spirit of God into the atmosphere--speaks to God's heart.  I seek His face in despair   I seek His face in delight.  I delight in Him.  I delight in His Presence.  I praise Him in the good times.  I praise Him in the difficult times.  I am transformed. And I am being continuously transformed in His likeness.  How incredibly blessed I am to be chosen by Him to advance His kingdom.  I am exactly where He wants me to be.  When my will is aligned with His will, life is good.  My will is to do His will.  Life is good.  Thank you, Father.

"Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 
"This is the way; walk in it."
~Isaiah 30:21

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Heart

YOU created me this way~on purpose.

I started a Bible Study with a few of my dear sisters about five weeks ago.  It was a divine appointment.  The first lesson touched on captivity and allowing God to eradicate strongholds in our lives.  I thought to myself, "I don't know if this Study is for me.  Strongholds?  I don't have an issue with that at all."  But as we studied on, each lesson opened my eyes to the invisible chains holding me down, preventing me to grow as a person, through communion with God, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  I have been introduced to concepts that I had never even considered as being obstacles in my walk with Him.  Unbelief.  Idolatry.  Feeling Unloved.  This Study has reached the depths of my soul, revealing the sources of fears I never knew I had, while also revealing The Source of strength to overcome those fears, uncertainties, and insecurities.  I've noticed that when I seek Him, He reaches me instantly, resolving unsettled feelings.  Feelings I can't put into words.  Feelings that have been holding me captive.  

"Though we live in the world {flesh}, we do not wage war as the world {flesh}does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world {flesh}.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
~2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Last week, I shared with my sisters a struggle I was having with some recently-developed insecurities.  They came out of nowhere.  Brought me down to my knees.  Somehow, my natural mind conjured up a set of self-fulfilling prophecies.  I lost sight of His will.  Grew selfish in my own fleshy desires.  This week's lesson was God-appointed.  It put into words these unsettled feelings I couldn't put my finger on; I only knew I was in a place of such great pain.

"All of us have insecurities, even the most outwardly confident people we know...The fear or the feeling of being unloved is probably our greatest source of insecurity."1 Wow.  I couldn't find the words, and there they were.  How does He do it?  Because He is Who He says He is.  He is able.  He is God.  He created me; how could He not know?  How could He not allow failure, in  my own strength?  How could He not bring me through it?  His will is to have His Name glorified forever.

Then Job replied to The Lord: 
"I know that you can do all things; 
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  
You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?'  
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, 
things too wonderful for me to know.  
You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; 
I will question you and you shall answer me.' 
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.  
Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."
~Job 42:1-6

I was blessed by a message I heard from one of the best speakers I know, Crystal Sparks.  In this message, she said, "when you think you've got it all together.  when you think you're doing it all by yourself.  when you've just gotten comfortable with where you are, comfortably treading water in shallow waters...God will reach down, pluck you up and drop you into deeper waters."  She said, "when you feel like you're in over your head, you're in a season of growth."  Thank you, God, for growth.  If You didn't believe in me, You wouldn't be growing me.  Your love and faithfulness is unfailing.  Thank You for choosing me.  

1Living Free: Learning to Pray God's Word by Beth Moore
*photo credit1
*photo credit2


Friday, July 27, 2012

He Ate

It's been a tough week.  My baby boy has not been well since his birthday.  His body was attacked by a virus that caused his mouth to have sores in and on his mouth, making it impossible for him to eat for over a week.  His little body fought as hard as I've ever seen it fight.  For six days, he had a high fever.  He was losing weight right before me eyes, having only enough energy to be held.

I cried out to The Lord, through tears of heartache.  I laid hands on my baby, praying for the healing power of The Holy Spirit to enter his body and take away the pain.  

And when he finally ate, he ate blended soup, in the form of baby food...
And we celebrated!  We rejoiced, high-fived, and sent praises up to The Almighty!  

After canceling his birthday party, not once, but twice...two weeks in a row, I'm still just happy he ate.  Even though we've been to our pediatrician more in the last week than we have in the last year, my baby ate.  I am so grateful.  Thank you, God.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, 
do it all for the glory of God.
~1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV

For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one;
He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
~Psalm 22:24 NIV

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Photograph by: Jocelyn Sexton
My baby boy turns three, today.  THREE!!!  My first thought is, "I can't believe it's been three years, already; I can still remember the moment I laid eyes on him, like it was yesterday.  On the other hand, I can't believe it's been ONLY three years since he's been in my life, because I was born to be his mother.  God wrote him into my story, actually, before I was born.  He has always been apart of me.  Apart of us.  Our family, as *un-traditional* as it is, a piecemeal of broken homes, provides an infinite amount of love for my Cooper.  He has brothers and sisters who love him more than anything, as they see their father, in a brand new season of life, starting all over again.  With a renewed sense of purpose.  One that is propelled by pure joy and countless blessings.  

Our hearts are full of gratitude for this life of love.  
We are looking forward to the plans You have laid out for us.  
Thank You for taking such good care of us, Lord.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well...
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-14,16 NIV

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV


Friday, May 18, 2012

Too Good to be True

How could I possibly thank Him enough?  He placed a dream in my heart.  Lead me to it, step-by-step.  Made a way.  Made it come true.  And now, He's changing the seasons.  And I look forward to the next dream.  The next miracle.  The next season.  With gratitude and anticipation.  With complete trust.  Humbled to my knees by His Greatness.  His Mercy.  His Faithfulness.  Sometimes, it can seem like it's too good to be true...and then, I realize nothing is too good for His children. 

"All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." ~Romans 8:28

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
~Hebrews 11:6

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Not Yet

The first time I asked my husband if I could go to church, he responded, "okay, but you're not taking my son with you."  It weighed heavily on my heart, the impossibility of winning this battle.  My dear friend encouraged me, "it is not your mountain to move."  I didn't even really know what that meant. 

Then, there was a new deal.  "As long as you don't preach or try to save me..."  But the transformation in me has been too great.  The parables and the scripture verses spill out of my mouth unwarranted.  The positive perspective and grateful heart I have is contagious.  God is softening his heart, too.  And he can't help but want what I have.  That's the greatness of our God.  He wants the best for each of us.  We need not worry about "how" or "when."  It will happen, because He always keeps His promises.  Always.  Period.

So, after a year of growing in my faith and maturity, my husband agreed our son could be dedicated to The Lord.  It's funny how God and my husband both knew I wasn't ready a year ago.  I needed every single message, every relationship, every encounter to bring me closer to Him.  To speak to my heart.  To test my conviction.  To know that I know that I know, that He is The Way and The Truth and The Life.

Prayers only go unanswered when you stop praying and lose heart.  You can pray and not worry. Prepare your heart and seek Him.  On purpose.  It will come to pass when He decides you're ready.     

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

As I prepared a "lesson" to share with my mother's group, High Point Church Mama Chiks, I revisited a script that I wrote about a year ago, and I am in awe of the transformation He has made in me.

I've rewritten it, and the scripture references came to me like I've known them all my life.  I remember how hard it was to find them the first time I wrote that script.  It was one of my favorite lessons, and one that I learned a lot from myself.

I also realized how much "blogging it out" has helped in my transformation. (Thank you, mamahall, for encouraging me to do so.)  I ended up borrowing a lot of the references I made from my blog.  It was like a "works cited" page right at my fingertips :).  The new version is even better, so I thought I'd share it.  Since I'm in the typing mood.

Last year, we were introduced to the book Momology, by Shelly Radic.  The thesis of this book is that Motherhood is part art, part science, all faith, and a constant work in progress.  It provides commentary to a couple of important concepts taught in the Word.  First, that we are all wonderfully made.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” ~Psalm 139:13-14, 16
It also emphasizes the fact that we have all been specifically designed to match what our children need in a mother.  We were made for them, and they were made for us.  And we were all created in God’s own image (Genesis 1:27).
As mothers, we always feel as if we have to be strong enough.  For our children, for our husbands, for our parents, for everyone.  And oftentimes, we hold on to that “super-mom” title so tightly, we forget to ask for help.  We grow resentful of the people for whom we are being strong.  We have to learn to trust God with our lives.  To turn over control to Him. 

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” ~Isaiah 40:31

If you have time to look up Matthew West’s song “Strong Enough" it has really powerful lyrics.  Have you heard it?  {I took the liberty of removing some repetitious words and verses.} 

“Strong Enough” by Matthew West

You must think I'm strong
To give me what I'm going through
Well, forgive me if I'm wrong
But this looks like more than I can do on my own

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up, I'm not strong enough

Hands of mercy, won't You cover me?
Lord, right now I'm asking You to be
Strong enough for the both of us

Well, maybe that's the point
To reach the point of giving up
'Cause when I'm finally at rock bottom
Well, that's when I start looking up and reaching out

'Cause I'm broken, down to nothing
But I'm still holding on to the one thing
You are God and You are strong
When I am weak

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
I don't have to be strong enough

Hands of mercy, won't You cover me?
Lord, right now I'm asking You to be
Strong enough

When you feel like you have nowhere else to turn, turn to Him.  He will rescue you. 
 “I love you, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer…The cords of death entangled me, the torrents of destruction overwhelm me…In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.  From His temple He heard my voice…The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because He was angry.  He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me…He rescued me because He delighted in me.” ~Psalm 18:1-19

Take an index card.  Write down your strengths on one side and your weaknesses on the other…
The author of Momology says this, “If we’ve been specifically designed to match what our child needs in a mom, it only makes sense to focus on the strengths within that design.  Developing our strengths will allow us to be the best mom possible.  While being aware of and managing our weaknesses is good, constantly focusing on them is destructive, causing a breakdown in our self-perception and distorting the purposefully and wonderfully designed image we should have of ourselves."

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it [weakness] away from me.  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."  ~2 Corninthians 12:8-10 
Which side has the longest list?  Most people are more aware of their weaknesses. 
If you could choose only one list to cut and paste into your child’s brain, which side would you insert?  Duh, we’d all choose our list of strengths.  If we want to raise up confident, resilient, strong children, we have to live by example. 

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6

Let’s make the same choices for ourselves and begin focusing on our strengths.  The book offers a great way to work on focusing on our strengths.  Here’s how…
First, know that each one of your weaknesses derives from one of your strengths.  I’ll give you an example.  I have a tendency to be impulsive.  I could say that this is one of my weaknesses.  But if I look at it from a strengths perspective, I may say that I am decisive.  It’s all a matter of seeing yourself in a positive manner, so that you can use your strengths more effectively.  Let’s say that you’re unorganized.  You don’t like schedules or planning or commitments.  If you focus on those negatives—viewing them as weaknesses, it can be self-destructive.  Instead, appreciate the flexibility you offer yourself and your family each day. 
Now, find the strength behind each weakness you think you have…Starting with the list you’ve made.  Beside each weakness you’ve written down, identify the strength from which it is derived.  It may be tricky to do, at first, but if you practice it enough, you will start to change the perception you have of yourself. 
Also, take time out of each day to spend time with God.  It will change your life.  I promise. 

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  ~Deuteronomy 4:29