Tag Archives: Joy

How God Used Web Development To Prune Me

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

It’s about time I talk about my journey in Web Development. If you follow me on twitter, you will see tweets about events I’ve attended, splashed here and there.

My journey started in late 2017. I learned HTML, CSS and JavaScript fundamentals in a class setting. It was an amazing experience. I fell in love with code: mainly design (JavaScript kicks my butt, but I haven’t given up) and I’m now learning WordPress and PHP.

I learned so much over the span of this experience. It was difficult. At first, it was like a dream. I was excited and dedicated. Then life hit me, and I had to make decisions that challenged my faith.

I mentioned in a previous post about attending a Boot Camp. Well, that was an eye opening experience in itself. I want to start of by saying that the aim of this post is to serve as a source of  encouragement and also a teaching lesson. I almost lost everything – including my life – BUT it was all God’s plan and it was only at this moment that I could fully accept this as truth.

You might remember my angry posts. My posts about not being happy and losing joy. I was in a very dark place. I was worried I lost everything – all that God had given me – over something so stupid.

I won’t get into details over what that thing was but the root of it was – I wasn’t solid in my understanding of who God is. This was a teaching moment for me and God was going to let me fall on my face so I could understand.

We must be rooted in God’s love for us. My greatest fear happened to me and I was thrown off course. I was upset – I questioned God. How could He allow the very thing I was trying to avoid. I was content with where I was and where I was going. I was content with the future I had planned out for myself. It was as if God led me right into my fears and then left me alone to see how I would respond. Prayers were not answered: I ran to and fro to anyone that could give me counsel. I was embarrassed and ashamed.

by: Tim Mossholder

by: Tim Mossholder

I began to doubt God’s love for me and my heart grew dark. I was angry with God. I wanted to shut down my blog – I felt as if I was living a lie. How could I write about joy when my joy is gone? I knew I had to be honest. I knew I couldn’t lie about how I was feeling.

The boot-camp was not the thing that made me angry with God, but because I was angry, I couldn’t hear God’s voice. God’s voice leads us in our choices in life. Well, my spiritual ears were blocked so I couldn’t hear or recognize that God was telling me not to go.

I worked so hard for this opportunity. Every door slammed in my face during admissions. I finally made it to the end and awaited judgement. Verdict: access denied. I was so upset. I worked so hard just to push down every door that closed in my face. I received a call back, saying a spot was opened that I can fill. I accepted but I wasn’t able to celebrate with sincerity. Honestly, at this point, I was so upset with God that I threw everything out the window. I stopped praying, etc and I was beginning to revert to a part of me I didn’t like. I tried to tell myself this was a miracle – but deep down I wasn’t so sure this was God opening a door for me. It felt more like He gave me what I wanted because I threw a horrible tantrum.

Everything was fine in the beginning. I had this major distraction in my life. It was a person. I realized that every time I’m about to do something important in life – a distraction comes my way in the form of a person. This person undermined everything I sought out to accomplish. At first, person was nice and sweet but over time, person began to chip away at my core beliefs. Person tore me down. I made excuses for person. I thought person was my friend and had my back. I want to warn you: be cautious of who you allow in your inner circle. Be cautious of who you share your inner thoughts and feelings. Some people may appear to be kind and loving but their agenda is to destroy you. They might not even know that they are doing it. Remember, we are fighting a spiritual battle. Sampson , a mighty Judge , was cut down and his destiny cut short because he allowed Delilah to wear him down and expose his weakness. Our enemy is Satan. He sends people – like the Philistines sent Delilah – to uncover your weaknesses. They pose as a friend or a lover – someone you should trust.

Everything became chaotic in my life. It has always been chaotic but because I had lost sight of Christ, the chaos began to affect me. Let’s just say I was a mess. At this point, I wanted to give up on life. I had reached my limit and I was tired. It felt as if all of heaven and earth was against me and I was fighting to survive. Desperate – but cautious – I visited a local church because people were nagging me to fellowship with other Christians. This too was another distraction. You might say : but isn’t fellowship with other Christians a good thing? Not always. Again, not all people that say they are Christians, really are. Christians are also human beings that struggle with sin tenancies, some that are not too pleasant to be around. Then there are others that believe in false doctrine.

Honestly, I believe what happened to me was for a reason. I had to see first hand a lie that is floating around in the Body of Christ and allow God to show me the truth in his word. Some churches are so focused on hyper spirituality that they forget to serve the people. Assembly line prayers – I reached out for prayer and all I got was judgement. Prayer full of judgement and when I sought out a listening ear I was told that I needed to sit down because I was already prayed for. I was appalled. I left the building with a sense of emptiness. It was then that I grit my teeth and said to myself : WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!!!

I got really quiet in my spirit and started cutting people out of my life – again. One by one, I closed the door without a word. I did not care who was confused or upset. I was not concerned with pleasing others – I was focused on getting better. While I was cutting people out, I dropped out of the boot-camp. At the time, I was very sad but I knew I had to. It was the best decision I made that year. I spent 2 months recovering – I stopped coding, tended to my weary body and started praying again. It was a painful process – I was very run down.

God began to speak again, or rather, I was able to hear his voice. He comforted me in ways no one else could. When I opened my heart to see the filth inside of it, God cleaned it up and then told me what He was doing. You see, it was his plan the whole time. I had a lot of inner issues I needed to deal with. I realized I had a lot of beliefs that were not really my own. I just accepted them because I accepted the label of Christianity. I learned about the bondage of guilt and shame and that Christ died to get rid of that. He doesn’t want us walking around with guilt and shame. He doesn’t want us to repay for our sins – he already paid for it. But I was walking around with so much baggage – trying to live holy, not because It truly came from my heart, but because I thought it would compensate for my short comings. I also allowed people to heap on burdens on me. I allowed people to wear me down. God held up a mirror and showed me my true identity, outside of the garbage people kept dumping on me. It was then that I knew what He wanted me to do. The vision of my life became clear and my joy returned.

Photo by Sushobhan Badhai on Unsplash

Photo by Sushobhan Badhai on Unsplash

Now my joy is rooted and grounded even more in God’s love. God was pruning me. It is an unpleasant experience but don’t give up. God showed me my growth: instead of completely running away from him, I told him that I would wait for him in my anger. I had to go through the pain and turmoil of my negative emotions. I didn’t run away.

I can now share this experience with the hope of encouraging you to keep the faith. Embrace the pain, the frustration, the anger and the confusion. Like David said ” wait on the Lord.” Sometimes you do everything a good christian is suppose to do and it’s not enough. We cannot manipulate the situation – all we can do is wait on God to teach us and renew us in time.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

God is refining us. I am no longer bound by the garbage people try to throw at me. I am no longer bound by my preconceived notions about how my life should be – I’m free to accept every good blessing from God. I am free to be myself without shame. I was willing to lose everything I worked hard for to have God and he turned around and gave me so much more.

Love, peace and joy are worth so much more than money and prestige. It’s worth more than any earthly relationship and it’s a true blessing from God. Seek after it with all you have and you will have all that you need.

Please let me know in the comments of how God has pruned you? What did you learn?

Until next time,

The Lord Is Faithful, So Let Faith Make You Move!

Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner on Unsplash

Photo by Rachel Pfuetzner on Unsplash

Hey guys!

July 26, 2018 marked the 1 year anniversary for littleeverydayblessings.com!

I am so happy and excited to have another year to explore all that God has in store.

I will tell you, it came with great struggle. Let no one tell you that doing anything in this life is smooth sailings. There will be time of doubt, fear and just plain foolishness. At one point, I questioned if I wanted to continue blogging but God made sure I didn’t give up! What happened really amazes me.

This blog is truly a work of faith. I prayed really hard, worked really hard, planned super hard and did everything I could to get this blog up and running. Here’s the story.

Last year, I earned $200 doing a cleaning/organizing gig for someone at my previous church. At the time, I was greatly ill, so this was just a nice little thing to do on the side (but boy did it kill me). So, after that gig was done, things happened and I found myself, by myself and with only $200 dollars. I asked myself, what can I do with this money?  I spent the first half on ridiculous things and I said to myself, OH NO WAY, please do not waste this last $100 on nothing special.

So, I went to God and I asked Him what I should do. At the time, I was blogging but not regularly. Sometimes I’ll go months without posting anything. It was then that I realized that I wanted to blog and I enjoyed doing it.

Not too long after, I experienced a miracle and God healed me of chronic pain and other ailments. It was then that I continued praying over that money, asking God what I should do. However, time was passing by and I became frustrated with myself and said “I’m taking a leap of faith God. I only have $100 but I will make this work.” I conducted research everyday, prayed everyday, every minute and during every situation that came up. I had many “setbacks” but also witnessed a lot of mini miracles. It was through this experience that I learned that faith truly produces action. You don’t just pray , you move.

I was able to get everything I needed to start my blog with just $100. This includes other things I needed to ensure that I could pay for services etc. God gave me wisdom to find ways to get what I needed for less.

Fast forward to a year later and I had to renew my subscription. I had no money, as I was in a boot camp learning web development (that in itself was a long and complicated story for next time.) and I did not know where the money would come from. I prayed and said “God, this blog, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve been so busy tending to other things in my life. Why did it end up like this?” Even though my prayer didn’t seem really powerful, it was. God heard me and gave me this grand idea to save whatever money I get from whatever source I get it. I had another source of income lined up for me, but I had no idea when it would come. I knew I couldn’t depend on that so, I saved almost every large bill I received.

A few days away from having my service cut, in my heart I worried and said “God should I just give up? I’m not sure I’m going to make it in time.” I heard in my spirit so clearly, “Don’t give up. Just wait. It will come.” I felt peace and continued saving whatever I received.  A day or two passed and I nonchalantly decided to count the money I saved. To my surprise I had enough to cover the expenses with change left over.  I screamed from the top of my lungs praising God! I was contemplating going the cheaper route but God covered the expenses for what I needed.

What made it even more awesome was that I didn’t even have to use the money that I was waiting for.

To some, this might seem like nothing, but in my lack, God came through for me. I learned that the righteous must truly walk by faith. Sometimes I find myself complaining about why I don’t have certain things but my struggles teach me about the sovereign and loving Savior that rescues me all the time.  This experience really touched me deeply and it is what I refer to when I feel sad and alone. God truly cares about everything in our lives, including the small things. He isn’t distant, judgemental or careless. He will guide you if you truly believe in Him.

Don’t beat yourself up if faith doesn’t come naturally. It didn’t for me but as I continued to walk with God, I learned that He is everything and all I ever need.

A job, education, people, my health… they all failed me. And I’m not saying that some of it was on purpose. It’s life. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that are just a reflection of what a fallen world we live in. However, when trouble comes, we must believe that God is able to deliver us.  Faith produces action. Faith without works is dead or rather fake. You can’t fake faith. You either have it or don’t.

I can’t even say believe in yourself anymore. All I can advocate is believing in God. He gives divine strength and wisdom that none can, not even yourself.

I challenge us to continue trusting God for whatever it is we need but let’s not hesitate to MOVE.

Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

 

There Is No Formula

Photo by Antoine Dautry on Unsplash

Photo by Antoine Dautry on Unsplash

You can’t approach God like a math problem to be solved.

You can’t find steps in the Bible, apply them, and expect an outcome.

I know people say you can, and preach about it…maybe it works for them,

but for me, that’s not the case. I didn’t find peace after praying. I didn’t even find joy in it.

I didn’t find immediate comfort after reading the bible, or seeking prayer from other Christians.

The only thing I did was wait.  I mean, seriously, I couldn’t manipulate the situation or change my feelings. I couldn’t fake happiness or joy. I couldn’t just think positively and fake it till I made it. I had to just sit in all of it and wait.

I couldn’t manipulate, convince or negotiate with God. I couldn’t get Him to do what I wanted with any of my actions.

I just woke up today feeling joyful. I stopped caring about a lot of things and just left it alone. I desperately needed rest. I rested for almost two months. In those two months I was miserable and overwhelmed. I tried everything : praying, crying, asking for advice, seeking prayer from Churches and Christians, singing, YOU NAME IT. Nothing worked.

Will I always feel joyful? I think I can but feelings are fleeting. People say joy isn’t influenced by our circumstances. It’s somewhat true but who can be joyful when something bad is happening at the moment? I mean, I want to believe that there is a time and a place for sorrow and joy. You can’t expect to be happy or joyful all the time. I think faith requires more than that. That you can be as hopeless as Job and Elijah in their seasons of struggle but still hold on to God.

God gave Elijah rest. Resting is so important. We fear losing everything if we rest but resting requires faith that God will take care of us. I had to let go of my need to control, plan and prosper and just rest.

Life can be tough. LIFE IS TOUGH. So why complicate it any more than it is. Hard work and rest has their due time and season.

There is no formula for joy. Just be alive and you’ll experience many different emotions, feelings and state of mind. The only hope we have is that we know God is real, He hears prayers and that He is the source of our well-being. I guess joy is just simply who you put your trust in.

Until next time,

You are loved…

Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

Even if the whole world misunderstands you, judges you, hates you, rejects you, mistreats you, and you feel unloved, that’s OK. Your feelings are a byproduct of how you were treated. It doesn’t make you inferior or self-hating. We are humans and we bleed and cry and hurt.

People will kick you while you are down. They will tell you it’s all your fault. They will tell you that somehow you did something to make people treat you that way. You will shoulder all the burdens of other people’s actions, even if you have done nothing wrong.

New age false doctrine of how you can control how people treat you.

Where in the Bible do we see such things? Many times we are warned that we will suffer because of others. When were we ever called to take on that burden as a fault of our own?

Don’t worry, I’m giving you permission to cry. You have all the right to be upset, to feel pain. You have all the right to be sad. No one is happy all the time and true deliverance comes when you admit there is a problem.

But, let me remind you, as a loving friend would, that you are loved. You are loved by God. He sees your tears and your pain. You do not need to holler and scream worship music if you don’t feel like it. Sit with God quietly. Cry to God. Bare your hurts to him. He will comfort you.

And when he renews your strength you will rise up and smile again. You will find joy and peace once more.

This isn’t about those people that hurt you or even the people that misjudged you when you asked for help. It’s about you and God. He is better than any earthly friend. Better than a lover. He can mend a broken heart. He understands you better than anyone else can.

He will validate your feelings, other times correct you, all the time guide you and restore your strength.

There are hills and valleys in this journey with Christ. Sanctification, the pruning process, is difficult and painful.

You will begin to learn how to totally depend on God and walk with him. That your perfection or lack thereof means nothing. It’s all about trusting and having faith and it is then, that your life will change and take shape.

Human beings cannot replace God. Neither the things you strive for in life. These things will never ever touch the depths of your heart like God can.

So truly know that it’s okay and you’ll be OK.

 

With much love,

Ya Bettah Know Who You Be!

OH MY GOODNESS!

Let me tell you something guys!

Let me warn you! If you don’t know who you are and what you want in this world, people will dictate it for you!

I know what I want is typically unusual and I sometimes act really quirky and odd, but I embrace who I am!

If you have a title or a position in church, please, I beg of you to be careful of what you pray over people. I leave every time feeling misunderstood and alone. No one gets me. They assume everything about me but no one ever sat down to talk with me and get to know me and why I’m there. It was then, that I realize that some churches are not what they are suppose to be.

I left feeling horrible, not uplifted. No one came to ask me how I felt or if I wanted to talk. They just left me there.

My walk with God is lonely.  No one cares to hear my story. No one cares to listen. So, I bottle it all up inside. It wasn’t until a few moments ago that I realized something powerful. Every time someone tries to put me down or tell me who I am, that is when I know I’m on the right track. Every time that happens, something good comes out of their negative words.

We are to uplift not tear down.

I held on to every single dream I had in my heart. I told some people and they tried to discourage me or tell me why I can’t do it.  I’ve been misjudged by those I cared about. They choose not to love and encourage me but to kick me when I was down. This came from various people, whether in church or not.

The greatest thing I have is my faith and integrity. Without these two things, I am nothing.

Faith doesn’t equate perfection. I will tell you I had my moments of doubt. I had my moments where I wanted to die and give up. Life was just too unbearable. Suffering is inevitable.

But this time around, despite my nonsense, despite the pain, I held on to God. I was angry with Him, but I didn’t run away from Him. I stood still in my anger and raged through it. I experienced every single feeling: from anger to hopelessness to despair.

I can honestly say that today, I feel a lot better. It happened through a small prayer in bed before I fell asleep. I admitted that I was wrong and I simply said I will no longer fear anything.

It was that simple. I mean seriously, it was just that simple. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, in terms of my mood, but I will take it a day at a time.

The Christian walk is marked by ups and downs. I decided not to hold on to the guilt of missing the mark but to embrace the grace that Christ had died for. I admitted I was wrong and that I needed Christ Daily.

I also found an article that reminded me just how important spiritual discipline is. I became overwhelmed with trying to better my life, but everything flows from my spiritual health. Not physical, mental or emotional health but my SPIRITUAL HEALTH. Everything flows from God.

He gives us wisdom and understanding. He directs where we go and influences the decisions we make. He sets things in order, behind the scenes. He ordains our future and destiny.

Without Him, our efforts are empty. Personally, without Him I can’t even survive. Literally, God has become the very essence of my well-being. I don’t feel healthy without Him. I begin to wither and die like a plant.

The source of my joy is right relationship with Him. My heart became dirty with disappointment and fear. I was too busy to read the bible, pray or even worship through song. God was literally squeezed out of my life because I had too much going on.

I also blamed Him for certain things in my life, instead of trusting that all things will work together for my good.

Despite all of my failures, God has kept me and given me peace this day. It took a bad situation for me to see the truth. I must always remind myself of  who God is and what I know about myself.

I will never be loud or arrogant to prove anything to anyone. I will quietly leave my mark on this earth. I want to be known as the Woman that loved God and walked with Him. For in my weaknesses, He is gloried and in my victories, He is declared King.

Those that love you, will seek to understand you. As Christians, we are called to love one another. That means to truly get to know those we are serving and in fellowship with. Not judging them, putting them in a box and then tossing them aside to move on. Truly connect with people and help them where they are.

 

That is all for now,

 

Joy Post – I Am Thankful

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Photo by Krista McPhee on Unsplash

Stress and worry abounds.

But I’m tired.

I wave my white flag of surrender but not defeat.

Today, I want to encourage anyone in a stressful, demanding, or confusing situation to slow down and trust God.

Take a deep breath…

Inhale…

exhale…

Pray and pray some more, but then just wait on God.

It’s tiring trying to figure things out and make decisions right way. God knows the future, we don’t. We don’t always know the right path to take but if we pray and leave it in his hands he will create a path for us like he did with Moses and the red sea.

God can part any red sea in your life. To me, since I love symbolism, Moses staff represents the Word of God. It is his strength, a rod of protection, and a symbol of authority. When he held it up, by faith in God, the red sea was parted, he and his people were able to cross over to safety.

No matter what calamity pursues you, God is in control.

It’s so easy to forget to take things a day at a time. Tomorrow is not here yet, so enjoy the day graced to you. Life is not guaranteed, it’s a gift.

Taken directly from www.biblegateway.com:

Matthew 6:24 – 34 NKJV

You Cannot Serve God and Riches

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In the scheme of things, when life gets tough, we forget just how blessed we are. We take everything for granted, as we can only see what we want. I had to take a step back and just thank God for ALL that I have now. From the smallest to the greatest.

My struggles are to remind me of who is in control because it’s just too easy to fall back into that habit of self-sufficiency. The Christian life is marked by complete trust and rest in God and whenever I find myself idolizing my own strengths, skills, talents and knowledge, is when all hell break loose, literally! But when I calm down, humble myself and trust God, that’s when doors open.

Let me stop rambling, I’m sure you get the point now.

Until next time,

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Established in Faith: What Do You Truly Know About God?

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Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

It’s way too easy to lose your way…

A subtlety in your heart…

It’s funny because you won’t even know it’s there, or if you do know, you will try to rationalize it away.

Then one day you wake up and find yourself in a big mess and wonder how you got there.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race. It’s easy to get caught up in things that will someday fade away.

God told me yesterday : remember when I healed you? How you walked with me day by day, moment by moment? How you asked ME for help and strength to get through the day. But now you say ” How am I going to do this?”

It was obvious now, I had slowly pushed God out of the way and relied on my own strength. In turn, I have grown very tired in every area of my life.

It was a slow thing. I became busy and spent less time in prayer and bible study. I said, I’ll do it tomorrow but when tomorrow came, I was again, too busy.

Then a stumbling block presented itself: my own heart. I was defenseless but God kept telling me what to do. I prayed so hard but my own heart was hardening. My view of God was inaccurate. I felt He was playing a cruel joke on me. “Why is this happening to me”, I asked.

I prayed and sought help but more and more the rage and bitterness in my heart grew. I was warned that this was not the way to go. I was mad at God. I prayed, I sought him, I asked him to protect me but he didn’t. I felt let down and It was then that I no longer wanted to trust that he cared and loved me.

I found myself in a mess. When my heart grew dark and cold, my joy and peace were the first to leave. I tried so many remedies but not even prayer worked.

Then to make matters worse, something I was working very hard for, failed. I was devastated. It was the final straw. God truly let me down. I shut down. I was numb, full of anger. Fear crept in and clouded my mind and judgement.

At the end, I decided that I wanted to talk to God. I missed him. I didn’t feel like myself – this is not who I am. So I prayed. It was then that I remembered the word established.

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I looked up established in faith:

There are two ways to stay established or committed to God: Prayer and Bible study.

The very things that I stopped doing from the beginning. I was too busy to put God first.

It was then, when I decided to let go of that thing I held on to, that I experienced peace. I remembered that when I told God that I accept being sick and will serve Him with my life – that’s when He healed me. I was prepared: washed my face, fixed my hair. I was determined to serve God for the rest of my life sick , but He healed me instead.

Honestly, I do not take that for granted. It bothered me, in my anger towards God, why I couldn’t let that miracle remind me of the goodness of God. I wanted this thing so badly, not realizing that God is sovereign and in complete control. He is my provider – He will sustain me. He gives me favor even if I am unqualified, for his glory and purpose. I relied on this thing and my effort and not him. He is showing me, through miracles, that He is God with all power, wisdom and knowledge.

In the midst of my sin, He comforted me. He said he isn’t judging me. He said he loves me. He asked me to come back to him and bare my heart to him. I must guard my heart from anger and bitter emotions, but I must also guard my mind from false opinion of God. He is full of grace, gentle and kind. In this, I realized that I was judging myself, worrying what other people would think of me, instead of knowing and trusting how God sees me.

I learned that I could’ve died in my sin – chasing after things that , in the long – term, means nothing. Don’t allow people, status, a career, or an opportunity, rob you of  your salvation and eternal life. Don’t allow these things to trip up your walk with God.

Put God first in all you do. Stay connected to God and bare your heart to him. Faith produces patience to wait on God, even if it seems like he is taking forever. Remember what he as done for you in the past and search the scriptures for examples of how God acts on the behalf of his people.

I can say now, with confidence that I am restored. My blessing will follow as such: a double portion of joy, peace, hope and faith. These are the things my heart now longs for but most of all I am just happy that I have my Christ back.

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Goody Goody Two-Shoes

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Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Okay.

So, the last few weeks went by slowly AND quickly. A lot was done, tears shed, confusion, and pain. There was also happiness, forgiveness and newness.

Something stood out to me though, as I gazed into the mirror of introspection: that the quest for complete perfection and high expectations is not worth the pain.

It is a crippling mindset that robs you from joy and experiencing life on a day by day basis. It can even rob you of your blessing – that might not always come as you want it to look like. You want your blessing to be perfect, a blessing that makes complete sense to you and acceptable to everyone around you. A blessing that makes you feel comfortable and safe.

But what if your blessing was dressed up as something completely different. Something you never expected? What if it was to show you just how much you are loved and cherished despite feeling as if it is unattainable? What if that blessing was something you never thought you could accomplish but, despite it being beyond your capabilities, God breathed life into it and made it reality? What if you can finally enjoy life without worrying about everything, all the time?

What if you can worship God without fear? To run to God and cling to him even when you fall short? Holding onto Him for dear life and trusting that He will keep you, guide you, fix you and heal you?

Because if you turn away, what else will you live for? Love requires bravery. It forces you to open up and take a risk to give and receive something that has the potential to:

  1. Hurt you
  2. Confuse you

God doesn’t always answer my prayers the way I want him to and that left me feeling really upset and confused. I threw a fit asking God why me and why now and why this? I wanted to hide from God because I thought He failed me.

I wonder if this is how the Jews of Jesus’ time felt, waiting for the messiah to come and save them from earthly oppression. However, they had their own interpretation of scripture and God had his own divine will. We can try as much as we want to control the events of our lives and personally interpret God’s plan for our lives but God’s Will prevails.

If Esther was a modern day Christian, other believers and even her well meaning Pastor would tell her : “Sweet Esther, don’t marry the King, because gurl, he ain’t saved.” Not knowing that sweet Esther was called to be queen so that she could prevent a Jewish genocide. She needed to marry the King to access his status and to demonstrate the power of God in a very meek and humble way.

Nothing in life is cookie cutter, one-size fits all and I’m sick of trying to be the “Good Little Christian Girl”. It’s something all Christians face at one point in their journey.

Jesus died so we can be free. This freedom has become cliche. Free from what? Yes, free from sin. But what God truly wants is not a religious set of puppets that crosses every “I” and dots every “T”, knows all the church lingo and scripture, can debate, lay hands on the sick, cast out demons and speak in tongues.

God wants those with a heart for Him. A heart turned to Him. Hearts that will cry out to Him in every circumstance: good and bad. A heart that acknowledges Him, like David. David cried out to God in good times and bad. David was by no means perfect but he remained true to Himself.

Jesus saved us from the system of religion, the bondage of perfectionism, the opinions of humans, and gave us freedom to worship, love, and to be at peace with one another.

I am tired, aren’t you? I’m tired of all the pressure, internally and externally, to be more than what I am today. I can only do what I can do today but my hope is that as I continue on this journey with God, that I will grow closer to him.

My goal is no longer to simply be a Christian, but to be a daughter of God: to sit at his feet like Mary and listen.

Why the title?

Well, I was stumped. I didn’t know what to call this post so I whispered a little prayer and instantly felt to name it goody two-shoes.

Laughs

Bold right? Imagine that. Well guess what? GOOD! Honesty is the beginning of deliverance. Never be ashamed of what God can deliver you from.

I had to google search the term because it’s been years since I last heard it. A goody two- shoes in simple terms is a people-pleaser and God cannot use or connect with one.

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Wait Patiently On The Lord

 

Photo by: Diana Simumpande on Unsplash.

 

Joy is not a feeling. Joy is a response. I have been pushing myself to feel happy, pretending that everything is okay and that is not true joy.

I realized, a personal revelation of sorts, that joy is simply finding hope and security in Christ. We based our faith on our emotions, on what we don’t understand or can’t do and that cannot be further from the truth.

Only God is perfect. Even God has feelings. He gets angry, sad and happy. So why are we forcing ourselves to be happy all the time? Why are we being fake and manufacturing emotions that we don’t have,

True intimacy is formed in honest, open communication.  Job, a righteous man that lost everything, went boldly before the Lord with ALL of his concerns. He was in anguish and pain. He lost his children, his money and even his health. His friends and his wife were not supportive but judged him. Job was alone.

The sign of maturity is feeling pain, confusion and anguish but running to God for answers. Job waited patiently for God to answer but he didn’t stop praying. Job prayed until he emptied out his heart.

I remembered how I was treated when I didn’t have it altogether. I was sick and going through a lot and instead of understanding and compassion, I was judged and criticized, just like Job. Looking back, I am tempted to stay angry but my eyes have opened to the situation I was in.

People strive on being fake. On being strong on the outside to prove they have it altogether. People do not understand the beauty in brokenness before God. Falling on one’s face before the Lord and crying out to Him.

You can sit there with your fake praises. You can sit there with your fake HALLELUJAH’s when you know deep in your heart you do not believe one word you are saying. God knows our hearts, we cannot lie to Him. We are only lying to ourselves.

David, another man of God, was also misunderstood and alone. He spent most of his life being rejected, misunderstood and in hiding but in his pain and loneliness he cried out to God. He expressed his anger, frustration, and fear. He told God how he truly felt.

The amazing part is, the more we pray, the Holy Spirit steps in and changes our prayers. As we read his scriptures for comfort, we begin to find hope and strength. God renews our strength.

He will renew your strength. He will strengthen you. He will open your eyes to see things differently. He is a place of safety from the harsh realities of life, people and circumstances.

You can do everything right like Job and still face adversity. I had to learn, for myself, that doing good and being righteous is not a get-out-of trouble card. Trouble comes. Confusion will come. Pain will find you. It is an inevitable part of life.

But in our moments of pain, run to God and then wait patiently on him.

How to Find The Joy You Once Had

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Photo by Pablo Orcaray on Unsplash

Do you want to know the secret of regaining your joy? Let your light shine! No preaching, no teaching, no need to nag or complain.

Don’t stay angry, and don’t bottle up your feelings because it will come out some where else.

Just let your light shine. God made you wonderful and beautiful. He placed hidden gems inside of you and as you allow God to reveal and cultivate them, you will be sharing your beauty with others.

The time spent trying to fix others, fix yourself, or even beating yourself up for not being perfect, could be spent doing all the things you enjoy and using it as a means to point to Christ.

Pray for those that hurt you. People WILL hurt you. It’s inevitable. It doesn’t mean you are weak, just human. Give all your feelings of hurt, shame etc, to Christ because he truly cares for you.

And He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding. I trust in this promise. More than anything, peace and joy matters! With these two , that work so closely together, you can accomplish anything.

Wait on God. His timing is true. We are not required to understand but to trust. Let Him be sovereign and let us be obedient.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Matthew 5:13-16 (MSG)

Salt and Light

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.