If I could change One Thing…

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If you could go back in time and change one thing, have one do-over, what would it be? Have you ever wondered?

I had several answers when I first thought about this question. My mind quickly recalled times when I said yes when I should have said no, or said no when I should have said yes, yada yada. My answers always involved someone else.

A lesson I am learning and trying to practice (God help me), is to  stop pointing fingers, getting my feelings hurt, and shrinking back from the only person I can change… me.

In a spirit of thankfulness, I am reminded of Romans 8:28, and I have to thank God that He is true to His word. Instead of walking in regret I can hold my head up and learn from the past and not carry it into the future (or the present).

While it may be true that the past has formed us into who we are today, truer still is His grace and forgiveness can turn all the ashes into beauty, if we let Him. Healing and deliverance is found only through Him.

One thing I have learned, is to ask for help.

I have created many a mess by not asking for help. Pride and fear kept me silent.  I was drowning with a smile on my face and the whole time I was saying, “I’m good, I’m fine, I got this under control.”

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Here’s the thing about lessons; they are learned as an after affect, and sometimes experience can be an unforgiving tutor.

I think about the prodigal son and if he would have asked for help sooner, maybe he would have never had to be a connoisseur of pig slop.

There is safety in numbers. We are to surround ourselves with other Christian believers. The Father, who sent His Son to reconcile us to Him, is a Father of intimate relationship.  Since He has gone through such great effort to restore us into fellowship with Him, we can trust and believe that relationship with His body is important. We were not created to be an island unto ourselves. We are not wounded animals to go off into isolation and die by ourselves. We were created in His image and likeness to be in communion with Him, through Him, and with others.

As I walk this out, and sometimes I may stumble, I am learning I am only responsible for myself, my own actions, and before my actions turn into reactions, ask for help.

What do you think? I would love to hear from you, feel free to leave a comment below.

Be Free & Stay Free

 

 

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Real Love, His Love

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There is comfort in love; safety and freedom.

What freedom and security to be completely vulnerable and naked, knowing you are loved and cared for, no matter the flaws, because your Beloved loves you unconditionally.

Such love is willing to lay His life down for you, defend you, hold you, care for the things you care for- never looking at your concerns as trivial.

This love holds you when you are sick, walks with you, leads you, and wipes every tear from your eyes. He rejoices with you, celebrates you, encourages you, and loves you for you, because He knows you (even the things you try to hide). He is quick to forgive, never keeping tallies of your wrongs, and sees the best in you.

You trust this love, because He always keeps His promises, He is never late, and gifts to you more than you could ever hope for.

He never rejects you, ignores you, or is ever too busy for you. He speaks tenderly to you, His voice resonates within you, His voice is the sound of mighty rushing waters washing over you with waves of peace.

Every need you have, He provides. Every injury, He heals. His love is the most intimate of all loves.

Accepting and knowing His love frees you to love others; including yourself. It chases away every fear and you rest in the knowing, He is always with you. There is true protection in His love.

My friend, do you know this love? Are you truly experiencing the intimacy of Him? Do you desire His love to wrap around you like a warm hug that never lets go? Because He is here and His desire is for you.

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There is no need to search for people or things to fill this need for love. Even mans best effort is nothing in comparison to Him. Once you know Him and how much He loves you, you will no longer be afraid to let go of some things or people. You will humbly hold your head high and walk with dignity, because when you know the King’s love for you you will reject every thought, anything, or anyone who dares to entice you from your birth right as a daughter (or son) of the King of Kings.

The Lord appeared to me (Israel) from ages past, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you…” Jeremiah 31:3

Be Free & Stay Free

 

A Message to Wives: Present & Future

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(I think we can all learn from this. I pray this post helps us to examine our hearts and motives, and blesses us with Godly wisdom, and prepares us for our inheritance.)

Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1

As I was reading through Proverbs, a few verses really stuck out to me, causing me to say, “ouch, that stung,” and “yes, that is for me,” and “help me to be better, Lord”

Through scripture we can see the strong contrast between what God has to say and what the world is saying. You would really have to be living under a rock to not read and hear all the protests that are happening around the globe. What is displayed on the street, social media, Hollywood, and “news” sources, has worked it’s way into our homes.

This outcry for “rights” is really a deception. Please, before you X out of this post, or get unnerved, offended, or angry, just hear me out.

Let’s dissect Proverbs 14:1. OK?  This proverb is an answer to the questions, how does a wise woman build her house and how does a foolish one tear it down?

Let’s start with the wise woman.

A wise woman (wife) is:  encouraging, yielding, under submission, devoted, practices discretion, speaks in soft words, seeks for & focuses on the good & positive qualities in her husband, is gentle, sacrifices, humble, loving, thrifty & wise in her spending, saves to build & prepare for the future.

She will lift her husband to the Lord, not shame him by loose lips and speech to her girlfriends.  1 Peter 4:8 says, love covers a multitude of sins.  Here is an example  from Genesis 9 of what it is to cover a mans sin, to not shame him and back him in a corner.

Ham, the father of Canaan, saw [by accident] the nakedness of his father, and [to his father’s shame] told his two brothers outside. So Shem and Japheth took a robe an
d put it on both their shoulders, and walked backwards and covered the nakedness of their father; their faces were turned away so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. 
When Noah awoke from his wine [induced stupor], he knew what his younger son [Ham] had done to him. (Click HERE to read more)

A wise woman knows that to submit to her husband is to submit to the Lord. She trusts in the Lord, knowing the Lord is able to change the hearts of man. She makes her concerns known to her husband, but she does not beat him up with it, or stress him, or expect failure, because she will plead her cause to God, knowing He hears and He is able to direct the footsteps of her husband and will preserve her. Even if her husband is not a Christian, she trusts the Lord. She knows to serve prov31and honor her husband, she is doing it as unto the Lord, and through her faith her house hold will be saved.

She also knows the power of her words. She guards her lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words. – Proverbs 18:21  She knows her battle is not with her husband and no amount of nagging, manipulating, pushing, or complaining is going to save her marriage. If you want to know where the real battle is click HERE.

What does a foolish woman do?

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Proverbs 27:15-16

A foolish woman (wife) focuses on her husbands weakness and what she perceives is wrong. She complains, murmurs, practices indiscretion, is fault finding, lies, stubborn, withholds her affection from her husband, is prideful, acts on foolish impulses, spends and does not save, wants immediate gratification, demands her rights, and is not submissive to the leadership of her husband (nor does she understand what Godly submission is).

She does not encourage her husband, she tears him down by reminding him of his past failures. Through her badgering, she boxes him in a corner, and gives him no room or desire to change any negative behavior, because she does not trust in the Lord.

She seeks and expects her fulfillment to come from her husband, not understanding only an intimate relationship with the Lord will fulfill and meet her desires.

She blames her husband for her insecurities and she seeks others to stand in agreement with her. You can recognize this woman through her words and posts on social media, she is the one who is usually shouting about her rights, her woes, professes her own strength, complains about her husband, and participates in men bashing. She carries her personal life and marital relationship in the open for all to see as a war trophy, to seek pity and platitudes from others who are singing the death rattle.

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Does this sound harsh?

Proverbs 14:17 instructs us to go from the presence of a foolish and self-confident man (woman), for you will not find knowledge of his (her) lips. (emphasis mine)

Women are fools to follow what the world says about who we, as women and wives, are suppose to be and do. The world is constantly trying to defend and promote themselves, by seeking to usurp the mans (husbands) role and authority.

Here is a warning to such foolish women: To seek to usurp, not acknowledge authority and position from the Lord, is to ultimately buck and fight God’s authority and in so doing, you are rejecting His favor. 

God has given us each a gift. We both, man (husband) and woman (wife) have strengths AND weakness. We do not become strong by kicking our men (husbands) where they are weak. We are stronger together!

This is how valuable and precious we are in the sight of the Lord. 

He who finds a [true and faithful] wife finds a good thing
And obtains favor and approval from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her? Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls. Proverbs 31:10

Sisters, I am sharing this with you, because God has a plan and purpose for us, as women. He has a plan and a purpose for our men (husbands & fathers). He has a plan and a purpose for our marriages.

We must not remain naive, thinking it is suppose to be always easy. You have the world against you, but do not fret, stress, be scared, or look for a way out, because God is for you!

Maybe you are in a lonely marriage and it is teetering on the edge. Maybe you are holding on to the last little thread. Maybe you feel like you do not love your husband anymore and maybe it has been a long time since you felt love from your husband. Please, please, please, recognize and remember, the covenant you made with your husband, before the Lord, is not based on “feeling” and “emotion.” It is a commitment.

If you find yourself crying yourself to sleep at night. If you feel you have no other way than out. I encourage you, get off the phone with your girlfriends, deactivate your facebook account, quit murmuring under your breath, and stop looking for fault and blame. Instead, take it to God. Give it ALL to Him, your hope, your heartache, your disappointment, your anger, your fear, and just trust Him.

You do not have to burn your bra, posts angry feminist memes, hold up signs, and march in protest. Instead, remember, the God Who moved on Pharaoh to let His people go, is the same God Who will move in your husbands heart. You may just find, the more you lift your husband to God, the more love God will give you for your husband.

1 Peter 3:6: just as Sarah obeyed Abraham [following him and having regard for him as head of their house], calling him lord. And you have become her daughters if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear [that is, being respectful toward your husband but not giving in to intimidation, nor allowing yourself to be led into sin, nor to be harmed].

Every woman needs a Naomi in their life. Naomi is a spiritually mature woman who will speak life and wisdom into you. She is a great mentor and prayer partner. If you do not already have a mentor, I encourage you to find one.

Repent, ask forgiveness for murmuring and complaining, and ask His Holy Spirit to lead you and I promise, because His promise is always true, He will rise and renew your spirit, your heart, and your marriage. You can not do this on your own, but with God… ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

Now, get out of the world and get on your knees before God. Build your legacy, let your light shine, and may your marriage be hell’s worse nightmare!

I welcome any questions, comments, and especially testimonies.

God Bless You!

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Be Free & Stay Free 

His Hand Extended

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One of the best ways to recognize and count our blessings is to be a blessing to others.

I enjoy volunteering, hands on helping people. When my children were young they would be beside me serving food in soup kitchens, loving young  girls in pregnancy crisis centers, counseling youth…

I believe this helped them to learn to be compassionate. It is also a way to be the hands of Christ.

Jesus said, in Matthew 25:

“For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you [a]brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and [b]lodged Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me [c]with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me. Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You? And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You? And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [[d]in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me.”

You see, I believe when we are available and willing to be a blessing to others, the blessing is really ours.

No matter how rough life can be, there is always someone out there going through a storm harder than ours. Volunteering really helps keep things in perspective.

I am not suggesting to help others for selfish gain, but I can testify to this… you can NOT out give God.  As a single mom, I know the struggles of trying to provide on my own. There were times I would not eat dinner to be sure there was enough for my daughter. One particular time when I was broke, I mean B.R.O.K.E.! I was worrying, God how am I going to do this? He told me to give. So I did. I gave out of my need. I went through my pantry and anything I had two of I put in a bag and gave it away to a family that was also struggling. I am not telling this to you so I can look good, or so you will think I am such a great woman of faith, I was just trying to be obedient and trusting God. Don’t you know, someone showed up at my door later with groceries for me!

This is how God works. He gets it to us, through us, and then back to us. He is a faithful Father. He is a loving Husband. He provides for His own.

I think sometimes we struggle to see our blessings, because we want what our hands provided. If we work hard, get the paycheck, then we can provide for ourselves. But, don’t you know, even that comes from God.

My challenge to you is this:

Be a blessing to someone today. Even if it is from your own need, even if it is just a couple fish and some bread. Be the hands of Christ and watch what He does.

There are many opportunities out there everyday. Make yourself available for Him to use you. Do it cheerfully.

Let us not forget, it is His goodness that calls us to repentance, so be about His business to a world who needs Him. Be Jesus to someone.

Be Free & Stay Free