Give the gift of Yourself

Keep pouring out. Give out of your heart those experiences and circumstances where I came through for you. Even those who don’t seem to hear will recall in their time of crises and will cash in on your testimony of My faithfulness. They will cry out to Me and become as you are – one that knows the reality of who I AM and what I have done in the work of the cross for every shipwrecked life. Continue to walk in preparedness to speak. Be instant in season and out. Open your mouth even at times that it seems you are merely being brash. It isn’t men’s wisdom or knowledge that convinces. It is the witness of My Spirit. I will go with you in signs following and cause hardened hearts to be softened and lives changed because you made yourself available and chose to be obedient to My call.”

(Courtesy of Father’s Heart Ministry)

I believe we all have the ability to give apart of who we are to help someone. Sometimes we don’t always see that we have anything to give anyone, but God will use what you have to be a testimony to someone else.

He has used people in my life to help me get to where I am and He has used me to be there for other people. I’ve always felt like He’s given me my life experiences to help other people. I’ve met people who have been through hard life lessons just like me and He’s used them to speak to my heart.

I think we are called in life to take life’s lessons and let them be a sounding board for what it’s taught us. To show those hurting or struggling that we’ve all been at that place. None of us are leaving this earth with the perfect life. We’ve all had something in life that has transformed us into who we are.

God will use you, right where you are, to be that light that someone needs. Just be obedient to His calling. Be willing to step outside of the perfect little box of life and show people what God is doing or has done for you. It may be exactly what someone needs to take the next step that can propel them to a closer relationship with God. Without the reality of the hurts and pains people have caused me, my life would not be in the perfect alignment with God. I totally rely on my relationship with Him to get me through each and every day. I can’t do this life without Him, I’ve tried and it was a big ol’ mess. Trust Him to use you!!

He used people in the bible to do His works that were just like you and me. Make yourself available to someone. Show people who God is. Be a light in someone’s life. Lift someone up with encouragement who may just be at the end of their rope. Shine Gods glory on this cruel and crazy world. Give of yourself. Ask Him to place people in your path that need you. Pray for a heart that wants to serve others. Thank Him for your life experiences and ask Him to use them to be a testimony to someone else.

I believe we all serve a purpose in this life. I think we just have to use what God’s given us. You have a gift, use it for His glory! Trust me, I’m a work in progress and if I can help one person in anyway with what I’ve been through, then it was worth every pain I felt. God is my guide in this life and I can’t do anything without Him. I don’t want to do life without Him. Thank you Jesus for the life I’ve lived and the things I’ve been through, because without them I wouldn’t be where I am now. I would still be stuck in the muck and mire of unhappiness and despair. Use me to serve others. Help me be a light to anyone who needs to see You. Guide me in the direction that best glorifies who you are. Help me to be kind and always humble. Give me strength to speak my truth to help others. Use the pains and hurts of my life to lift up someone else. You gave me this life and I pray that I can use it to be a gift to someine else. Lead me, guide me and help me speak in a way that shows others what an amazing God I serve. ❤

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Grace

“Today I will choose to be a woman who lavishly gives grace because I know I’m a woman who desperately needs grace.”

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)

(Courtesy of: Lysa Terkeurst )

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My Mama, My Rock, My BestFriend

I don’t even know where to start to try to explain who this woman is. She is my mama, my rock and my best friend. She was not a perfect mother, she struggled raising 2 daughters on her own, she made tons of mistakes but she always loved us unconditionally.

She worked hard and tried to make the best life for us that she could. When my sister and I were little we started our lives in California and moved here because of family. I was actually born here in NC, by mistake. I was brought into this world right smack dab in the middle of my sister’s 2nd birthday party. (She always appreciated me for doing that to her….lol) We were born on the same day, 2 years apart. I know sounds kinda freaky crazy, but true.

I know giving us the best life she could was difficult. She made choices I’m sure that she regrets and choices I’m sure she had too. I was the “wild child”, my sister was the “good child”. We are polar opposite and struggled most of our life to have a good relationship with each other. I’m so very thankful that we have an awesome relationship now. I love my sister. She has been there for me during some hard times.

So, being the wild child, you can only imagine my mama struggled even liking me most of the time. I look back now, and I can’t even begin to imagine how she raised me. Phew, I know I was a handful. (Insert laughter) I’m grateful that she never gave up on me. I think about the many nights she sat up wondering was I dead or alive, was I hurt somewhere, what I was doing and who I was doing it with. I just couldn’t imagine the pain at that time I caused her.

I’m grateful for this woman. I’m grateful for both my great aunts who helped her raise us. I’m sure it took all 3 of them….lol My mama, what can I say about this woman, but to only tell her she was the best mama a girl could’ve asked for. I’m so blessed that I can go to her for anything now, talk to her about life, share the pains I’ve experienced with her with no judgement at all.

When Jeff died, she and my Aunt Pearl had just got through driving 11 hours to FL, when she got the phone call. I don’t even think she had unpacked the vehicle and what did she do? She got right back in that vehicle and drove another 11 hours, probably less, to be back here with me. Now that my friends, is a good mama!! That’s just one of the many many stories I could tell you about her. I love her so much. I believe God blessed me with this mama. I know when he formed me in her womb, He thought, “this girl will need a strong mama”. And He was not wrong! I need this woman more than I need air to breathe.

Thank you mama for always loving us, when I’m sure there were day’s you struggled to even like us. Thank you for always being there for us. For the mistakes you made, for the arms that have held me so tight when I thought my life was over, for the graceful way you taught us to be the women we are now, for not giving up on either of us, and for giving us the best life you knew how to, all by yourself!

Thank you Jesus for blessing me with my mama. This amazing, strong, loving mama. You knew exactly who she would be for us. Thank you for watching over her while she raised us and giving her the tools she needed to do so. Thank you Father for my family. I’m so beyond favored by you with this amazing life. You have loved us with an everlasting love. Never letting her give up on us. Equipping her to be the best mama she could be. I know one day I’ll have to move on in this life without her but until that day comes I pray many blessings over my mama. I ask you to protect her and always keep her safe. To let her know how much you love her. I pray she will never go one day without knowing how much I love her. Thank you Father for this woman, my rock, my best friend, my beautiful southern mama. ❤

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You are Special to Him

“You have the exact qualities God knew this world would need … in a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a neighbor, a friend.

Wherever you are today and whatever you put your hands to, believe that you have good to offer this world. Because you do!”

(*courtesy of: Lysa Terkeurst)

How encouraging it is to hear that statement…”you have the exact qualities God knew the world would need”. He created you exactly the way He knew you would need to be. He positioned you in the exact place to live, to work, etc., because that was His plan. I love knowing and believing that I was created exactly the way I needed to be. Like He thought of me and said “Yep, my daughter, you will live here and I will place her in this particular job, to meet these people and she will grow into the woman I created her to be”….it gives me chill bumps just knowing He said that. About me, little ol’ me!!! I’m nothing great and I’ve done nothing amazing for this world, but I’m still special enough to Him to have been created. That’s pretty cool!!

He thought the same thing about You! Believe that! You are here for reasons we’ll probably never understand, but He breathed life into you because He thought you were pretty special too!! ❤

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For the Ladies

“Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God.” Titus 2:3 

Yes, I usually speak to men or all. Today, I will be speaking to the women. Don’t worry men. I will be back for you!

“They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5

I wanted to go this route because women have just as an important role as the men. I know many women that are too submissive. What?! Look, there are many women especially in the church that don’t stand up for what is right. They become quiet and believe that is their place in life. Well, that doesn’t make any sense.

God made you as a woman unique and in His image as well. While I believe men have a lot of responsibilities and miss that mark by a long shot, women are just as important. Isn’t there more females in the world than males too? Women, you have to raise the bar then.

Many women aren’t showing their daughters and other girls the right way to live because they’re hiding under men. How society has twisted all of this. It’s too much to go into right now. But I want to encourage you to stand on God’s truths. Show other females how to be Godly women. God made them too. Show them how important family is. How important the raising of their children are.

As much as we need men to rise up, we need women too. And I am not talking about all of this political madness and feminism. I am speaking about on what God says. Don’t cower. You have a voice. God uses you too. Fight for your church. Fight for your husband. Fight for your families. I’ll be honest, many men won’t, so we need you out there :)”

(*courtesy of: Mornings, Coffee and Jesus by Channon Bailey)

This devotional is really great and I love the name “Mornings, Coffee and Jesus”. He usually caters to men. But I love this today. To the ladies. This spoke to my heart today. I think we, as women, do carry a very honorable role in the relationship. I believe God gave us very strong discernment. We were formed from man’s rib but that means to me, we are to walk with our man. Be a cheerleader to him. To understand God’s role in marriage. To encourage him to do great things. To walk beside him, not in front or behind. To raise our children in godly homes. To let him be the leader. To stand in solidarity with him and to love and respect him as the leader.

We are not here to be doormats to the man. That was never God’s intentions. We are to be strong and stand firm and fight along side of him. I wasn’t like that in my first marriage. I was more the leader and did not respect my husband at all. I was in such a bad place then. Now, I recognize what kind of wife I really want to be. I look forward to that one day again. I pray for God to press on men to be more godly. To help them to be more leaders in the home. To guide them to have eyes only for their wives and hearts to love that one woman. To be strong and to fight the enemy at every turn.

Thank you Lord for bringing up godly men. For the women and men out there raising these young boys to one day be godly husbands. These parents are the back bone to teaching these boys to be men. Women not only bare these children but have the responsibility to guide and train them up with the husband,s to become men of God. I applaud all you women out there, like my mama, who did it all on your own, without the man. My mama raised 2 daughters and we both were taught to be good people, to respect our elders and to love our family. Sometimes it does take a tribe to raise kids and I’m surely grateful for the 3 strongest southern women I’ve ever known, that raised my sister and I. ❤

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DATING….in 2017

I tell you what, dating in these times is tough. I sometimes feel like the odd man (woman) out. Maybe it is partly what God is teaching me and partly what I’ve learned from my disasters from the past. I’m not against dating, I mean how are you going to get to know someone if you don’t date. What drives me crazy is the false personality you get on the first date. I am me, 100% the person you meet is who I am in 10 years from now. I just wish it was like that for everyone.

Plus, if you go out and you are not really interested then so be it. Be honest and move forward. “No expectations, no regrets, no strings”. That is my new motto. I love the commercial where the couple meets and have already told each other that they are just waiting for the emergency text to get out of there and they would probably never see each other again….lol…Have you seen it? It is hilarious. Makes a lot of sense and takes all the pressure off right from the start. Love it!

I know we have to date and get to know each other. I understand the steps are crucial to learning about a person, it’s just I am tired of dating. I don’t mean that in a bad way but I wish it was much easier than it was. I enjoy meeting new people and I enjoy sitting and talking to someone but the uneasiness of wondering what the end of the date will be like makes me so uncomfortable now. Do you hug, do you shake hands, are they expecting a kiss…..ohhhhh, it stresses me out.

Maybe it is the type of men I have chosen in the past to date. I went out on a date with a gentleman a little older then me, last weekend. We have spoke on several occasions. I told my friend how refreshing it was to go out with someone that gets the whole dating thing and how much it honestly sucks. He was like a breath of fresh air for me. I really enjoyed it and we will be seeing each other again. We have great conversation, which is so nice. There is nothing forced and just a hug at the end of the night was perfect. I think it has a lot to do with maybe our ages. I don’t know, it was just nice!

I know it is all in God’s hands regardless. I have learned recently from my past break up, that no matter how beautiful they pretend to be, the mask always starts coming off if it is not who they truly are. I learned a lot from that man, so I can say I’m grateful for that lesson God taught me. It’s amazing how one person can come into your life and turn it upside down and hurt you to your core but then it turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. I know how crazy that sounds but it is true. If you can learn something from the pain, then in my book it was a good thing.

I’m glad God has changed my thinking and my heart in the way I date now. I don’t want to date a bunch of people. I would just like to wait for the one person God has designed especially for me. I understand that waiting process will result in having to put my foot back in the cold, deep waters of dating, but I am so much more in tune to my spirit and what it is telling me. AND, I know there is no more settling for me. I have done that way too many times, so that I would not be alone, but no more for this chick! I would much rather be alone and happy, then be with someone just to not be lonely. What a awful feeling that is, trust me, I’ve done it!

I am so grateful that through the years of being single again, I am learning to embrace it as a tool to learn and love myself more. I am grateful for what God has used to teach me that I am never alone, He is always there. He is ever present in my life. He is showing me to “be still” and depend on Him for the answers I seek when it comes to a partner. He is so good to us. Better than what I know I will ever deserve. He speaks to my heart in a way no “earthly man” ever has. I know one day He will grace my life with the beautiful soul he is preparing just for me. I don’t long for that so much more now than I used too. What I long for more now, is to continue to gain strength and understanding about how to be that “Ephesians” woman that He wants us to be.

What an amazing feeling to know that God is our match maker. That no matter what comes, we can depend on His spirit to guide us in the right direction when it comes to dating. Thank you Jesus for continuing to show me that I Am Enough and that I Am Worthy of only the best. Thank you for showing me how to depend on you for every need and desire. To know that you will never leave me or forsake me. That your love far out weighs any love I’ve ever known. You are the Father of my life, The King of my world and I will never forsake you for anyone, ever again! My heart sings joyful songs for you! I am in total awe of the changes you’ve made and continue to make in my life! Thank you for being YOU! ❤

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God is good

Love this: “Go to bed meditating: that something good is going to happen to me”.

Believe that! Believe God is going to do great things in your life! Shake off the negative thoughts and stand firm on His goodness! He longs to do great things in our lives. We just have to be willing and ready to receive them!❤

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Let Me Tell you about Our Place

“Can I show you where we can go together? Can I dance with you, grab hold of your hand, my fingers clasped around your palm? You are graceful when you dance with me. You are free, your steps light and sure. You plant each foot firmly into soil. You know this ground, this earth. The floor is level and you respond, fully, to my subtle hints at what will be the next move to make. 

You trust Me. You know Me. You want to be with Me. You know who you are and your burden is light and your smile is radiant and your eyes shine. 

You are home. 

You are home.

You let Me take you deeper in, this place where the two of us can be together. And you follow Me, each move a response to my movement. You only lean when I lean. You only pivot when I turn. Your eyes are on Me and the whole world is here, right here, us two.

You know you are seen and wanted. You know you are made and chosen and breathtaking. I look at you, and I must catch my breath. I love to watch you. I love to be with you. I love to hold you in my arms and be your safe place and let you be quiet and let you be angry and let you be troubled. I love to soothe you. I love to comfort you. I love to tell you everything is going to be okay. 

My darling, hide away with Me. Hide away and come out, further, into the light. Hide away and go out, into the places where I move, holding your hand, beckoning you toward Me. Always toward Me.

Where I go and you follow, you know the steps because I am just ahead. Keep your eyes on Me. Keep your hand pressed into mine, and you will hear only music, the music of laughter when you know joy, the music of tears when you cry, the music of whispers when your heart is troubled. 

I stay with you, and I ask you to stay with Me. I am for you. I love you. This is our place. The place where you stay with Me and go, where I go.”

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7).

(*Courtesy of Loop Devotional for Women)

Such a beautiful vision, dancing with God. Him keeping in tune to our every move as He watches us. As He sees us in complete perfection. We are home, home in His arms. Sitting with him in communion, talking, listening and watching His every move. This vision of meeting Him right where you are, makes my heart skip a beat. Knowing when times are bad that He’s right there. When they are good, He’s smiling with His great love for us. Pressing in to know Him better. I love that!!! I long to be in complete sync with Him. Thank you Father for taking me in your arms and loving me. You are the One I choose. You will always be the One I choose! ❤

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He is my Strength

He continually shows me how strong I am. How He equips me with the strength to be this woman everyday. Changing my heart, moving in my spirit and giving me faith that I can get through anything.

I’ve been through a lot of life, seen things that I wish I’d never seen, had people in my life I wish I’d never met. I know those people were put there to teach me different things. Life lessons that have shaped me into who I am becoming.

I’ve learned just recently that I’m stronger than I think I am. It is only because of keeping God first in my life. There are days, of course, that I feel defeated. That I feel like the enemy is trying to attack me in some way. Those days all I can do is turn my face to God and ask for strength, and He never fails to provide that to me.

I’m finding that the closer I get to God the harder the enemy comes at me. But, that’s how he works, he attacks us when we are on top of our game! As long as we stay solid in our relationship with God, he can only attack us for a short time. Stay strong and vigil and don’t ever feel like God can’t give you the strength you need to fight hard to defend yourself from the enemy. He has power that He will give you if you ask.

He will always keep you strong even when you feel weak. He will give you the strength to move mountains, just keep your faith and believe. He can do anything! I pray for everyone reading this for God to give you the strength you need to move your own mountains, whatever they may be. For faith, to believe those mountains have already been conquered. Stay strong! Look to Him for the answers you need. He never fails to provide and equip you with the answers you seek.

Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Isaiah 40:28-31 “He (God) gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak…. But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength“

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Timing is Everything

This seems to be the world we live in right now. Everything has to be done, given or said right this minute. No patience, no waiting to see if there may be something better around the corner. Trust me, I’m as guilty as the next person. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with my post the other day about control. Trying to make it happen, trying to think we have control over whether or not it will happen. “It” being whatever you are trying to race to the finish line to receive.

For me, it used to be a relationship, but I’m finding now that I’ve switched my priorities a little and it’s not so much me looking for someone, but waiting for God to place him in my life. I know it’ll happen one day.

Dating these days at my age is so hard. You meet someone and you think great guy, right? Then after a few dates that person on the first date doesn’t exist. I’ll never understand why we don’t just be exactly who we are from the beginning and be honest if you know your not interested. I tried that once and it was a mess. I got called names because he was interested but I wasn’t. Crazy dating world.

So, God has been showing me there are still things that need to be worked on in my life but He knows my desires and wants and I believe in His timing. He’ll put that man that he wants for me in my life when He’s ready. Be patient, because He truly knows you and He designed you two to be together. What a beautiful thought, God, made two perfect lives to fit together for His glory.

I know He has great blessings for my life. I know the longer I try to design myself to this world, I’ll never see those blessings. I’ll never experience His glory if I’m continually trying to rush life or do it on my own. I’m learning to embrace this season of change and really getting to know myself again. I’m grateful for this life. I’m grateful for a God who will always show me which way I should go. He leads me down this path of discovery and only asks me to put one foot in front of the other. Not to run this good race but to just walk it slowly, so that I can get to see everything He has in store for me.

Thank you Lord for teaching me to be patient. To be still. To get quiet and hear your voice. To have faith in your timing. To believe that my life is destined for great things. To know, you desire for my heart to be given to the right man one day. After all, you made my heart and you understand it better than I ever will. I’m thankful you help me to focus on you right now. My desire to be close to you far outweighs any other desire you’ve placed on my heart. The things your teaching me are all apart of your plan. I’m growing and learning to be a better woman so that one day I’ll know how to be a good wife and companion. Thank you for loving me, this flawed, but in your eyes, perfect mess! ❤

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