Tag Archives: spirit

When the fog rolls in

This morning, as I was letting my chickens out, the fog was so thick that I could not see the beautiful mountains that I usually enjoy, yet I know that they are still there.  This made me think about spiritual discouragement, fear, anxiety, depression. These things can sneak in and block my view of all that God has blessed me with. The enemy uses these to try to steal my joy and to block my view of the Truth, yet I know that Jesus is still there.

See, even with the fog completely erasing my view this morning, I could close my eyes and envision what I know is there. I can stop and appreciate the peace that it gives me each day when I take it all in. Isn’t it so much easier to do this with the physical world? I know that the wind will come, the weather will change, the sun will be out once again, and my view will be restored. Of this, I have no doubt.  Why then is it so much harder to do this with spiritual blockages?

This is a reminder that it is so important to record the beautiful things in our lives so that we can go back and look upon them in times of struggle. When we can’t see God clearly before us, we need to pause and remember who He is. Nothing can move Jesus from my life; nothing can take me away from Him. I can rest in the knowledge that I am forever His and that He is always at work in my life. I have the free gift of salvation, and the Holy Spirit dwells inside of me. These are facts that can never change.

Today I pray that the Lord would apply these Truths to my heart. Lord, please blow away the anxiety, depression, and discouragement that creep in when struggles come. Shine through my doubts and fears. Holy Spirit, remind my soul that there is so much more than this very moment, You are always working in ways that will bring Glory to God. You are where I find my Truth. Let me seek that which I cannot see when the storms of life begin to rage. I stand firmly upon You, close my eyes, take a deep breath and wait for You to answer. For you are always there.

I want to encourage you to take time today to write out all the wonderful things in your life today and from the past, whatever beautiful things come to mind. Do this often and read back upon them when you are in a place of discouragement.

Dear Jesus 10/3/15

Dear loving, kind, gentle and patient Jesus,

I first want to thank You for Your kindness, You have been by my side through so much and just wait for me to see things your way. How patient You are! Not once have you rushed me, pressured me or lefts me in frustration of the stupid things I do. I can only hope that I can learn to give others a fraction of the grace and mercy You give us all. My heart is filled with joy, happiness and appreciation as I type this. The words I can use to describe the depths of my gratitude can’t even come close to the emotion I feel when I think of all You have done, are doing right now and all the plans You have for my future. I am Yours.

You have created me on purpose and with purpose, of this I can never lose sight. Oh how easy it is to look focus on this when the storms of life hit. How I must rely on my faith, buried deep in my heart, when I cannot see You clearly. It has taken time for me to learn and trust that I can simply close my eyes and follow Your lead in these times. I don’t have to get lost in the messes of this life, I don’t have to focus on all my shortcomings. In fact You tell me NOT to focus on all these things, look past them and look to Your loving face. Always near, always ready, always with purpose. I am never lost. You always know right where I am and why. When things are unclear I can rest easy on the fact that they are always crystal clear to You. The more I learn this, the more I can feel that peace that surpasses all understanding. The lighter I feel, the deeper I feel, the easier this walk becomes. Thank You.

Recently I was in a place where I couldn’t understand another person’s dislike for me. Why do they have to make those snide comments that feel like paper-cuts. They are shallow, small and they burn. I was angry at one point, but did not react so. I can thank You for that. You have changed this heart of mine and it surprised me how far we have come together. The transformation that has taken place in this life is amazing. All I can do at times is to sit in complete awe of who I have begun to be in You. Who am I that You would take such interests and to invest such power and transformation in?

As I meditated on my feelings and this person, You began to show me just how hardened their heart is and how far from You they are. Then an amazing thing happened! For the first time, I felt sadness for this person. I was moved to praying for them to find You as I have. My heart began to ache as I am sure Yours does too. A child of Yours that chooses to turn against You and to live in a place of darkness, oh how that must cause You pain. A life that You crafted to be a things of beauty and light. Will they turn to You before they find their life ending? Will they find that You have loved them all along and have been waiting for the day that they turn back to You? How my anger and frustration melted away and was replaced with sadness and hope. How my heart aches for them to get a glimpse of Your magnificence and for them to never be the same.

I too was lost and my heart was also hardened against You. All I can do is share my life, my heart and the amazing transformation that has taken place in me. I can be a testament to the power You are so willing to place in us. How You will never force us to come back to You and that You never forget us. No matter how far we have fallen, when we turn around You are right there, ready to catch us.

For these things I praise you Lord. Thank You.  

A Sheltered Life?

Since I have not written everyday, I will stop the count 🙂 I will still be striving to write a minimum of 500 words each day.

I find it funny that I sometimes wish I lived a sheltered life. A life of ignorance, a life of simplicity and a life of routine. The funny thing is that, as an American, I do live a sheltered life. Sure, I am aware of some of the terrors that plague this world and have experienced some terrible things myself. The reality is that in this country I do not face persecution and I am not living in bondage. I live a good life.

Why is it that I can get so lost in feeling like this life is such a struggle? Sure finances can be burdensome and stressful, but we have access to so much in this country. I have such freedom.

So there are times when I wish I lived under a rock and was not aware of the things I am. I also know that God made me purposely and that I am right where I need to be and know exactly what He wants me to.  I am His child and He knows the outcome of this life I lead. I  can rest on that in all things. He shows guides me along a carefully planned out path that is just for me. Sure, I have people who are by my side on this journey, but my journey is my own. We all have our own personal journeys. We are meant to share our stories.

Are there parts of your journey that you would rather not remembers? Are there parts of you that you would prefer to leave behind? I have them too. The thing is, if you allow God into those places, He will use them for good. It may not seem possible right now, just trust in Him and He will show you how. Take a leap of faith and dare to share with others. You never know who you will touch and how you can bring a shimmer of hope to those struggling in the very things you were delivered from.

Can you think of a time when someone was brave enough to share their story and it pierced your very heart? As you listened you began to think, “I am not the only one”? Have you ever read, heard or watched a person’s story and thought about how brave they were and felt that maybe you could be a little more brave too?

We have such power in our stories. Jesus loves to use us and He is always ready to help you through anything He asks you to walk in. He is so kind, so gentle and so loving in all things. Today I ask us all to sit before the throne and ask Jesus to show us how we can use our stories. As Him to bring people into our path that would benefit from us. There are so many people who will benefit from you! As you go about your day, be aware of that small voice that prompts you to speak. Don’t ignore it, don’t push it down, let it flow and watch the power of Jesus flow.

Day 10 – Steadfast

Seeking counsel and fellowship are important. Seeking God’s face is most important of all.

God is good and that is all that matters.

The walk is long, hard and backbreaking at times. The great thing is that we are never alone.

I lean on You most of all. A war is waging all around me and only You can protect me. All too often we walk around blind to the damage, pain and brokenness that surrounds us on all sides. Jesus is beginning to open my eyes to it and for that I am thankful.

I live in a place that is hardened against Jesus and I must remember that He has put me here for a reason. When God brought me into existence, He did so with a purpose. It is so easy to lose sight of that and just go through the motions.

I don’t want to take this life for granted. I don’t want to fall. I don’t want to curl up and fade away. These are the whispers of the enemy. He tells me that I am no good, that all I want to do is not worth it. The darkness creeps in and tries to render me useless. I will not succumb.

The burden is heavy at times, but all I have to do is remember that Jesus us by my side sharing it.

28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

I am learning to be ok with being weary and heavy-laden at times. It is alright to acknowledge it so long as I bring it before Christ. In all I have been challenged with, I have seen that it is deepening my understanding and strengthening my faith. I can feel Jesus lifting the burdens off of me and showing me the way to walk.

I am not perfect in the struggle. My emotions have been all over the place as my heart has been tested. I have lashed out and I am not proud of that. The great thing is that I am seeing where it is coming from, I am learning to pull it back and open it up before the throne. I am using this time as a place to be still before the Almighty and to ask Him to heal the places that are ripping apart inside.

Every moment is an opportunity and a lesson. God moves in all things. God uses everything for His greater good if I allow Him to.

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28

This verse reminds me that I have a responsibility in all things. We live in a broken world and in the center of a spiritual war. Bad things will happen. Spiritual attacks will push us to the edge. It’s ok to struggle, it’s ok to fall apart, and it’s ok to not have the answers. I must always remember to turn back and bring it before Jesus so that He can turn it all around. He will bring all things to a place of goodness and love, it’s up to us to allow Him the room He needs to do this work. He will not force Himself into our lives, we must invite Him in.

Day 7 – Trust

Do you trust in all that you see, hear and feel? I believe I do at times. Other times I begin to see that it is all so temporary and always changing.

15 “For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. 16 “O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours. – 1 Chronicles 29:15-16

Today I am reminded to keep my eyes on eternity and not to be too distracted by the world around me. This will all fade away and be a distant memory. This is how I should be living every day.

I have been in a place of uncertainty and sadness these past few weeks. I have been wondering, wandering and struggling to understand. I know that God is at work and the He will never allow me to be brought anywhere other than where I am meant to be, but it has still been hard.

Tonight I was reminded that He is in control. He is so faithful and has brought all these “coincidence”s before me as a way of showing me that He is right there. This I know for sure. Today is the first day in a while that I have felt that peace sweeping over me. I was allowing anxiety to creep in where it does not belong.

I cannot say for sure that I will not be anxious over this again, but I can say that right now I am so thankful that Jesus is there for me. I am blown away by the way things all line up and point to Him. The timing of all things at once, from places that don’t seem to connect, and they all point to Him being in control.

My place in all this is to be obedient. Look for the work that is being done and trust in all the unknowns. Trust. Trust in the one who is eternal, not in the temporary things that are of this world. We are only passing through. This is not where we will land. This is not the end. This is the beginning.

Will I choose to get wrapped up and emotional over the things that will no longer be in the blink of an eye? No, I will choose to look past it all and see the bigger picture. I am a citizen of Heaven and a child of the Almighty Creator, the great I AM. He is for me in all things. He has protected me and guided me through so many things, how could I even think that He would not be in something so important to me?

His will is my focus. His plans are my desires. I crave to be lead by His Spirit, so why am I worried in the least?

Today I choose to trust more deeply. Today I choose to be thankful for the struggle so that I can grow in ways not possible otherwise. I lift it all up and lay it at the His feet. My Lord will always work my life to bring Him Glory and that is all that matters.

Day 6 – Connections

Today I am deep in thought about real human connections. Do you give it much thought? I don’t know that I generally do, outside of those I know and love on a regular basis. This article on a different view of drug addiction sparked my thoughts.

Reminded me of the same concept in the Bible.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. – 1 Corinthians 12:12

We are separate, yet we are one. Do I live this way? To a degree, I believe I do, but I can take it deeper. You will often hear me tell my children to be aware of those around them, to not pass judgement as we never know what their lives have been like, to be willing to give to another that is in need. Know that we are all human beings and are all dealing with the difficulties of this world. Some, so much more than we could ever imagine.

14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19 If they were all one member, where would the body be? – 1 Corinthians 12:14-19

These verses apply to the body of Christ as the church. As believers we are one in Him. I ask that we look at all the human race this way. We are all children of God and He has created each and every human being on purpose. Many turn away and refuse to accept Him as He is, but that does not change the fact that they are meant to.

Can we look past ourselves, past the surfaces of the people before us and see that we are all connected? Can we see that we are meant to love one another? Can we stop causing unnecessary pain? Isn’t this life hard enough?

20 But now there are many members, but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable,24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. – 1 Corinthians 12:20-27

Can we care for others in the same manner we care for ourselves? Better than we care for ourselves? Can we stop telling people that we don’t need them? Can we let go of that fierce independence we have come to envy in others? Do you see that needing another is not a weakness but a necessity? Don’t let past pains keep you from living the way we are meant to live. Keeping people out is not self-preservation, it is self-destruction.

Where can we start? With ourselves. Take the time to examine your own hurts, your own inability to trust, your biases and ask yourself why. Allow those old wounds to be healed. Let Jesus into your life so that He can shine light into those dark places, they are much less scary when He is by your side. Let that healing overflow and touch all those you come into contact with. Don’t fear what they will think or how weird it may seem. Let’s put all that aside and be real. Let’s function the way we are meant to.

Find a real connection today.

Day 5 – Surrender

He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. … Genesis 22:2-14

Can you imagine surrendering to this degree? Am I the only one that reads this and flinches at the thought of out great Creator asking this of me? How would I respond? I am sure I would falter.

How can I have a faith as great as Abraham? How do I get to the point that I follow Him no matter what? How can I get past myself to that point? I know for sure that He always has my best interest at heart. So why do I waiver when I hear Him speak to my heart?

I am weak, I am emotional, I am so very human. This world blinds me, I am so easily distracted. The funny part is that so many will look at me and tell me how spiritual I am. Sure, I am always looking to deepen my relationship with Jesus, this does not take the challenges away.

The further I travel on the road Jesus lays before me, the harder and easier it becomes. It’s easier for me to know that He is with me always, it is easier to release the chains I have allowed for so long and it is easier to turn to Him in all things. The challenges are always right there too. I struggle moving forward at times. I struggle with the unknown and uncertainties when He is silent. I fight with my emotions as the cloud my sight and prevent me from hearing the Truth.

Surrender, oh how I want to surrender all.

Our Lord did not walk with the well respected of the times. He did not choose to teach those that had it all together. He chose to be side by side with those that fell short often. He looked past all that and looked right into their hearts. That is key. The heart is what He wants.

I lay it all out. I want to stop hiding when I struggle. I want to let it all out and not feel ashamed and self-conscious. My God knows my heart and that is all that matters. I cannot hold onto regret and shame, that only gets in the way of the work Jesus is doing in me. I must put my pride aside and care not what judgments man could bring. It matters not.

I surrender this life, this heart, this foolish girl turns it all over to You and You alone. I pray that the Holy Spirit fill me and to bring healing in the broken places. We all fall short and we all must extend the grace that is extended to us.

Can You Relate?

I truly love this life. It’s hard, it’s messy, it’s painful and I wouldn’t change it. My early years were full of love, abandonment, pain, healing, drugs, alcohol and destruction. I led a hard life for quite a while and then I lived in the regret when I came out of it. Can any of you relate?

When I was in those hard years, I was proud of it, although not proud of the circumstances I would find myself in. I had secrets. I was a wrecking ball and did not care who I trampled while fulfilling my current desired. I was selfish and greedy. I felt entitled and thought I was strong. Can any of you relate?

I was dead against Christianity and the hypocrisy that came along with it. I threw many a Bible away and actively sought to challenge these so-called Christians before me. Most Christians I came across were shallow and were not actual followers of Jesus. They could not answer my questions, they fumbled when I confronted them, they did not know what it meant to be a Christian. Christian was a term they just threw out there, empty and meaningless. Others were knowledgeable and judgmental. These were the ones that showed me why I would never want to be a Christian. Fake, narrow, shallow, manipulative. Can any of you relate?

What about those that walk around pretending that life is perfect now that they have Jesus? Just read the Bible, go to church, tithe appropriately and swear your allegiance to us and all the pain of this world will disappear. These scared me most of all. I swore off Christianity. I believed there was a Jesus that walked this earth, I couldn’t dispute history. I had no interest in being that fake, that disillusioned, that blind. There is no escape from the harshness of this world, I have tried. Can any of you relate?

Jesus has a funny way of showing up when you want nothing to do with Him. When I look back at my story, I can see how He was trying to get my attention all along. He was right there with me, every step of the way. When I first came to believe in the Living Savior, I was ashamed. I knew how I treated Christianity, I knew how stupid it would sound to those around me……Melissa is a Christian? Her? Seriously? Was the church struck by lightning when she entered? Do they know the kind of life she has led? Would they still accept her if they did? Can any of you relate?

Not only did everyone I ever knew think and say these things, I did too. Was I crazy? Why would this Jesus dude want anything to do with me? I was a hot mess and breaking all the rules. How could I possibly clean my life up enough to do this thing called Christianity? Can any of you relate?

Today I can say that I am a child of God and a follower of Jesus. I have learned to push past the fakes, the hypocrites, the judgmental people and the doubt. I stopped looking to people and submitted to Jesus. You see, nothing else matters. Words, intentions, pasts and pain mean nothing. Jesus loves every single person who ever existed and who will come into existence. No exceptions. None. Everyone is able to be real before our mighty Creator, all we need to do is give Him a chance. Be open, be real, be accepting. Let Him love you. Life will not magically be pain-free, it will probably be harder at times, but in different ways. He does make it easier to deal with the pains of this broken world. He offers a peace that words cannot describe. He breathes life into the most broken of lives. He truly saves your very soul and offers an eternity in His presence. I hope you can relate.

Today I Pray

Today I pray for me

Today I bring myself before You and ask that You uproot the sin that is wrapped so deep within. I am reminded that it is there when it creeps out in those weak moments and I hate it so.

I am not really aware of what I need to let go of now, but I do know that You will show me if I would only let You. Only I can release this garbage that lays below the surface, but I don`t know how. I don`t know where. I beg for You to show me. I pray that I be still long enough to hear and see where the works needs to take place.

I trust You. You are so good to me, more than I deserve. You have walked me through such places before and I came out a lighter, kinder and healthier me. I fear nothing for You are everything.

Digging deeper is painful, messy and exhausting, but it is worth it and I am ready. I lay it all down at Your feet, Jesus. You know exactly what I need, You know exactly what lies deep within me, You are able to heal those dark places and I surrender them to You.

I choose to release the guilt, the shame and the anger that has been festering. Not only are these feelings useless, but they take up much more space than I am even aware of. This space could be filled with love, peace and kindess. These spaces are meant to be filled with You.

I pray that You forgive me for holding onto these wounds  for so long. I pray that You would forgive my anxieties and unbelief, my mistrust. That`s really what it is, isn`t it? My lack off faith keeps my from giving it all up. My lack of trust, my fear of facing what lie in that deep, dark well of past pains.

I have seen and done horrible things in my short time on this earth, but You have loved me through it all. Thank You. Thank You for not giving up on me, even when I did. I am Yours and that is all that matters. I have made all that ammendsamends that I can make and will do so again if the opportunity comes, now it is time to release it all. Now it is time to get back to who I am meant to be.

I want to shed this heavy cloak of guilt, shame and uncertainty. I want to live in the freedom You have so graciously given me. I want to walk light, peacefully and confident in all that You offer. Today I invite You into the places that hold me down. Today I pray for me and know that You will always show up for me.

Proverbs Study Day 26

Good morning Lord, thank you for this day. I pray that You work in this life today. I pray that I don’t become ignorant to Your will as I go about my day. I want to see You working and to be an instrument in all things that bring You gkory. Amen.
 


Proverbs 26

Honor is no more associated with fools than snow with summer or rain with harvest. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim. Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle, and a fool with a rod to his back! Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation. Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison! A proverb in the mouth of a fool is as useless as a paralyzed leg. Honoring a fool is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot. A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like a thorny branch brandished by a drunk. An employer who hires a fool or a bystander is like an archer who shoots at random. As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise. The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!” As a door swings back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed. Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth. Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors. Interfering in someone else’s argument is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears. Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood. Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart. Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot. People may cover their hatred with pleasant words, but they’re deceiving you. They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them. Their hearts are full of many evils. While their hatred may be concealed by trickery, their wrongdoing will be exposed in public. If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will crush you instead. A lying tongue hates its victims, and flattering words cause ruin.


 

 
What did I learn from this chapter today:

Adding fuel to a fire. When there are quarrels, it is best to speak as little as possible. Words are fuel to a fire at times. I know this to be true and have been working on that piece for some time. To learn how to pause and wait for the Holy Spurit’s prompting is so important. When I speak and act out of anger or frustrations, I am being foolish and it will end up hurting me in the end.

Life is work. There are lessons to learned and growth taking place. True transformation is not easy. To sit back and choosing to not do the work before you is only going to hurt you in the end. Choosing to ignore God’s Word will only hurt you in the end. Truthfulness, honestly, integrity, loyalty, willingness, and longing for God’s wisdom and will to be played out in your life will bring you joy, peace, and true love. Sure, it will be challenging and there are times when I want to give up, but those are the moment when I allow Jesus to carry me through. Jesus loves us all and is happy to shelter us through the storms of life. All we have to do is ask.

My prayer for today:

Father, thank You for Your precious Son and the Holy Spirit that You so willing gave. Thank You for loving me despite my failures and shortcomings. Thank You for the loving people You have surrounded me with to lean on and walk with in this messy life. Please continue the work in me and help me through the hard times. Please keep this heart from hardening and help me to feel. I pray that everyone reading this would do the same. That they would look to You in all things and know that You are God. Let Your will be done Lord. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.