Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Life with Nona: Growing beauty in the ugly...

Life with Nona: Growing beauty in the ugly...:   I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.  It’s not important who does the plant...

Growing beauty in the ugly...



 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 
The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.
1 Corinthians 3:6-8



This year I planted some sunflower seeds I had gotten many years ago. They were the giant ones...the ones with the big beautiful faces. I can't pinpoint one reason for waiting so long. I just knew this year was the year I would take the seeds out of the packages & plant them...love them, talk to them & watch them bloom. I wanted to grow something new & after reading about the wonderful extra large faced ones...I knew they were the ones I wanted to spend my time & effort on this year. 

I researched the best ways to start these beautiful, smiling lovelies. I learned that the seeds that grow in the center, creating that smile, would eventually feed the birds that visited my backyard & that was ALL I had to read. I was determined to love these seeds to their very best selves. I would plant seeds of love & harvest a crop of joy. But that doesn't always look like what I imagine, in my rose colored mind. Sometimes the reality of behind the perfect pictures of the beautiful things on the package, well it only tells a very small part of the whole story. Just like with life. It's what's in between that is why that picture is as beautiful as it is. 

I got them planted a little later than I had planned, but I got them in the soil. Then I added them into my normal morning routine. I would do all my feathered friends waters, birdbath & my doggies water bowl...then fill all my feeders...then I would water & sing or talk to the sweet seeds hiding in the soil. It didn't take long to see the first sprout...proudly springing up to brighten my day with a fresh breath of life in the air. I name him, Adam.







Fresh new life. I was so excited to share with everyone that the seeds I planted were sprouting. I get so excited to share joyous news with those I know, I forget that they may not be as excited as I am. For a long time I would be more selective about who I shared my excitement with. I worried about offending others, I worried about what others would think/say about me sharing a wonderful blessing. Sometimes my blessings don't seem to be the same for others, in their lives. It may be more burden & less joy for them. God has taken the last several years to teach me that I may not be a fit for everyone, but I am just what He created me to be. So through too many experiences to count, I have learned that it's ok. It's ok to be excited & to share my excitement with others...as long as I remember that they may not react the way I am expect & that's ok, God has taught me that it's NOT me they are reacting to, but themselves. So I share.

Before I got up the next morning 2 more beautiful green sprouts were peeking out & a tiny little one was just reaching the surface...








For several mornings after that day, I was blessed with at least one new beauty breaking through the dirt that had covered it until it was ready to share it's beautiful face with the world. Each new green sprout, brought me such joy & pretty soon I felt like I had a new litter to take care of. 





As they started to seek the sun, they started to stand taller...trying not to be the one with the shadow, but the one that was always bathed in the warmth of the sun. So funny that in life it seems that when we think others have something, we need it too. That if God asks us to step back into the position with less, we tend to compare what we have, with what others have. If we come from a view of "we all deserve..." well we will live in a constant state of "the grass is greener..." I, myself, have found that when I start looking around at what others are doing, getting or being, well it makes my life look "less than." If I stay in that mindset, I will stop seeking what God has for me. I will miss out on what God has for me & what God has is always better. 

As the days, then weeks went by my litter of future seed bearers kept growing. They were growing so fast, then a late bloomer came up one day. I called him Paul.




Paul came along right before I was going to transplant them into a couple of storage tubs...I decided that if I plant them mobile, I can take them with me. I tend to get attached to living things. 

I used to consider this a curse. But God. He has shown me that loving living things is how He created me. When I try not to be who He made me to be & surround myself with stuff, I am not happy. I seem to just want more & more. Which is part of the reason I allowed food to be such a huge struggle in my life, for so long. I was created to love, just not to love things, but to love life. When I finally gave God this part of me, the struggle to fit in & have the same thing as everyone else, I found my sweet spot. The place where I have never failed to find God. Not in stuff, or places, or food...but in every breath I take...in the peace that only He can give. 

I have to stop seeking others & their opinions about my journey. I have to stop getting attached to things & places...even to people. In this season of trimming, He has walked so many right out of my life at the end of their season. I think that I have fought Him more over this...but in Psalms 32:8-9 God says...

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

As I read & search His word for His point is for these verses...for me...I realize He is basically saying to me, "Don't be stubborn, stick with ME...not people."  He reminds me that He, is ALL I need. He will ALWAYS give me what I need. People may come & go, but God...He is faithful. So in this season of growing this litter, I may be doing it without other people to share the joy with. 

The ruler of this world knows that God created us to crave connection, to struggle with chasing happiness. So he will send people into my life to distract me, to deter me from God's path, to drag up the desire to find the joy in things...instead of God. God can use though people to remind me that He's ALL I need. God will remind me, that though those people may not know it, He is using them to mold & shape me. I do know that with or without those people, God is creating & building a testimony...one He will be known. A testimony that will bring Him glory, show His power & also how much He loves me.







As I started to realize that the sweet sprouts were getting too big to share the tiny containers they were in, I knew it was time to give them more room to grow. I was going to put them into a single 32 gallon tub, but after getting prepared with soil & then carefully separating each plant, I realized that a single tub wouldn't be enough. So out came tub #2. Some of the plants were attached by the root, they couldn't be separated without killing one of them. 

The instructions on the package suggested that I "thin out the plants." I knew that I couldn't make that choice...so I decided to plant the ones that were attached in a single spot. I told my guys, "survival of the fittest I guess." When God thins my circle I know I stand around looking dumbfounded & wondering where people are going? But God sees the whole picture & I only see surface level. So I figured if God wanted to thin these flowers out, He would do it.

I did however talk to, sing to & care for ALL of them...they ALL survived. The grew taller & more leaves. They tried to outgrow their neighbors, they tried to steal their sunshine. It's funny so many times that's how the enemy distracts us. He tries to up his offer, he tries to use others against us to make us rise up in pride, or envy.






Soon the signs of the smiling faced beauties started to show up. The buds were quickly starting to top each of the stalks. Some had more than one bud. 







The anticipation of when I would finally see the beauty bloom was almost too much. I knew how much love I had put into bringing them above the soil, then to keep them living & growing. I was so excited. I know that in my life I have poured myself into so many relationships, only to have them fail. I wasn't ready for these to decide not to bloom. I really wanted to see the efforts I had made in the beautiful face of these flowers. 

I wouldn't have to wait long, the next morning the first one opened it's beautiful self up & I was NOT disappointed. He was beautiful, amazing. Then I noticed another ready & before the end of the day I had 2 beauties chasing the sun with their faces lifted high.






I have continued to watch each of these beautiful babies open up their faces to the amazing sun. I have fed them, trimmed them & kept them in spots with all the sunshine they wanted. They did not disappoint me. They brought me lots of joy. Not only because of their beauty, but because of the life.






Even Paul brought his joyful face to follow the sun...



I am new to this growing sunflowers role. The days got hotter here in the desert, so the morning I went out & my beautiful litter had fallen over...I started to cry. I truly cried sitting on the patio looking at my poor babies. I thought if I got them water they would be ok. So I watered them, but they wouldn't lift their faces that day, actually I had no idea they wouldn't lift their faces to the sun again.





I couldn't figure out what I had done? How did I kill them? I searched them on "the Google" & learned that after blooming they go into a "ripening" season. Their faces fall & they lose all their petals. Those smiling faces just disappear that fast. Kind of like some of the people God's taken from my life. One day they are there with me, professing a forever friendship & the next day they are gone. But thankfully I have God. He helps me realize the road He is walking me is narrow & others will fall away as my road narrows.
 In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus says...

 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate.The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."


I read on & learned they are ripening the seeds they are growing. So though the beauty they once had was bright & cheerful, their new beauty would come from deep down inside. They were almost disguised as "ugly" by this world's standards, during the time they are busy working hard on the inside. The deepest parts of themselves. Like when God is working on the deeper parts of me. This world may tell me that parts of me are "ugly" but God's doing a work in the deepest parts of me. This process isn't pretty, but it's necessary for God to grow this story of His.




One morning I was heading out the door to enjoy my usual routine & startled a sweet red headed bird that was standing on the back of Adam, bent over the side eating the seeds...a new joy raised up in my heart. I could barely contain my excitement as I headed over to talk to & water my beautiful litter. I whispered this is why I planted the seeds Lord!!! I wonder if that's how God feels each time we actually receive the wisdom He has for us & we do what He's created us too?





I know this, God has asked me to trust Him & His plan. This is a struggle for me sometimes. It used to be a lot more often, so He's changing something in me. I know that before today if I would've known that the beautiful time with this litter was so short, I may have just left the pack of seeds in my gardening tub. It helps me realize that just because it's not my perfect, that God's perfect will always be better. That though all the hard work & time I put into something may not create what I imagined, it will still serve it's purpose. That all the relationships that have come & gone, served their purpose for God.

 I pray that I can live in the purpose He created me for. I know that sometimes the beauty of growth comes during the "ugly" times. May I remember that even in my longest, hardest, deepest struggles, God is growing something beautiful...in me.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

When God calls us...He does not stutter...


People who conceal their sins will not prosper,
    but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
 Blessed are those who fear to do wrong,
    but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.

Proverbs 28:13-14 

These are the verses that God brought my way this evening as I sit down here to put into writing what He's giving me today as He has walked me through the second day back on track with the health journey He began with me back in 2015...a long, painful & very life changing journey that's been about so much more than the 100 + pounds I've shed. 

In fact, the last few weeks I fell back into my "comfort zone" that food has always been. Food was THE most important part of that comfort zone...it was my go to for every single emotion I felt. You can imagine after losing that much weight, falling back into old habits...well let's just say it's easier to just hide behind the work that was already done...without sharing my struggling again. 

Between the fear of letting others down, of giving my haters the joy they seek in my failure, for whatever reason. So it was easy to just fall back...quietly without a whisper, but GOD. He reminded me that He already trimmed that away & called it good.

So these words remind me that hiding behind the sins that held me captive for so many long, painful, lost years...will only take me backwards. I already know how to walk this path. Or do I? I've been on this path for awhile now. Or have I?? Just because God has freed me of many of my past hurts, doesn't mean I can't choose to pick them up again. He's cut many of satan's strongholds on my heart & mind. He's shown me REAL love, He's given me an identity & called me His...do I believe Him? Believe Him EVERY moment?? EVERY breath??? Do I hear Him speaking to me? Or do I get comfortable & stop searching constantly for God? Do I finally fool myself into believing "it's ok this time..."? It's just a "stumble."

If I'm still falling back into my worldly choices to sin, it's not stumbling anymore...I have to call it what it is, SIN. 

God knows I will sin, He knows the deepest, inner most parts, He knit me together...He already sees me complete, but knows how my journey will shape me & bring others to see Who He is. What I have most often failed to realize in the past is that when God does something new & calls it "good"...He does not stutter. He MEANS it. When He asks me to step out, up, over, down or in, He does NOT stutter. So when I stand frozen from fear, stubbornness or whatever reason, I can NOT pretend I don't hear Him, that is SIN. 

Most of my life, I have used excuses to give me peace about my sin. But this last couple years, God has NOT let me fall back on my excuses. He has started being much more direct about showing me very quickly if I even start to create an excuse. At times I have gotten upset, change is hard for me. Those times I have quickly learned to be still & listen carefully for His guidance, this I have found is so much better...the pain is sometimes harder, but the new peace is much more comfortable & permanent...if I choose.

I know that some that have loved me, or believed they did, wanted  to help. They would share their thoughts, they would give advice, or they would distance themselves. I've learned however, that ONLY God can show me His way & when I rush ahead without God, the results can be disastrous & very, very painful. I've hurt others & been hurt by others. Even though they believed that they were giving me good, sound advice...God always has the last word in my life. 

As God is growing me, He's also growing my desire to surround myself with people who are also on a journey with Him. Who live their journey out loud without fear. That love me like He does. That are willing to be coarse sandpaper for me when He needs them to be...without fear & without GIVING UP on me. They will be BOLD & UNAFRAID of "not fitting in." THE most important quality I am seeking in those He surrounds me with now is that they have a deeply rooted relationship with Poppa God...not the kind so many "live" today with the "Church is on Sunday, the rest of the week is mine" attitude. 

I know this attitude well, I lived with it for many years...most of my life even. Even serving with a church on & off. The picture of my "relationship" with God...it was not only cropped, but for many years it was "photoshopped" to show only the best parts of my life. I cropped out the messy parts, the times we were in the darkest parts of our lives. I only put the pictures that showed what this world considers "good Christians." What those I believed had a deeper, closer relationship with God than I did, looked like to me.

 I truly learned a great deal about deep, true faith  from some amazing sisters & brothers in Christ. God also has shown me some that claimed to have a relationship with Him, but really only live in that relationship when it fit into their "box." Otherwise they found some "fault" in living for Him. 

I also learned that looking to others to show me what my relationship with God should look like...well that's foolish. I should be looking to God, the Author of my journey, the Creator of my life's testimony. Only He can give me His direction. That has taken me years to learn. I've compared my journey with other peoples & I've felt less than...I've also felt more than. Both of these comparisons have fed into what satan would like me to focus on...others. 

God is also asking me to focus on others...for completely different reasons. He wants to love them, teach them & He wants to speak to them through me. If I am stuck comparing their struggles, their blessings, their lives with mine they won't see Him, they will see another jealous, hater that wants to see them fail, calling themselves a Christian. 

If I am living this "perfect" life claiming to have a relationship with God, I am not giving God the opportunity to reach out to people who don't have the "perfect" life. People may be more comfortable seeing the "reality" of what living for God is. Finding joy in some of the hardest, longest, darkest storms...when others walk away. I WANT to find God in the storms & what His purpose is in each one. I WANT Him to reshape me, to mold me. To make me the daughter He sees.

 That does not mean it feels good, in fact some people I have loved dearly have walked away & though I try to pull them back, it's not me that they will hear. Others have heard my Poppa in words He's spoken through me, or seen Him in times I have said "yes" to Him, even though I couldn't see past my doubt. 

When I first learned that being a Christian is so much less about rules & so much more about loving God with all of my heart & my life, someone told me "God doesn't want you to wait until you're perfect to live for Him boldly. He wants to perfect you as you live boldly for Him." So many struggle with that concept, I fight this too. I think that I have to be a certain way, or be beyond reproach before I can "live out loud for God, with God"...but God wants me to learn from Him so others can see Him building & growing each part of my testimony. He wants others to realize I walk the same struggles, hurt the same, get angry & I am far from perfect...but I am His.

Though my dark times may not be the same as others, He can use the truth in those moments to show others that everyone has difficult paths. No one is exempt from the pain of letting go of everything we've ever known as comfortable. But God wants us to expose the real life struggles, for others to see their struggles in ours & then see how we react to them. If I am choosing to keep sinning in the midst of a struggle & keep asking God "why," instead of digging into God's word & finding the "what" God has for me...how am I any different than the "world?" 
Ephesians 5:13-14...says,

Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.

At this time in my journey God is asking me to be authentic. He isn't going to let me hide behind "who" I used to be...He trimmed that away. No, He's calling me forward for Him, to live out loud for Him, always. Even when I look at something He remade & forget how He did it. How will He reach the lost if I refuse to let them see me lost...when I truly am. 

Stop looking around & start looking up & in...celebrate with those who are experiencing breakthroughs, instead of comparing you valleys with their mountains. Remember y'all that comparison is the thief of joy...don't let the enemy steal your joy.






Thursday, June 1, 2017

This little light of mine...I am gonna let it shine...

Today is the first day of June. Another new beginning...another chance to step out in faith & share some things God has really been teaching me lately. I hope that my teaching moments with Poppa God will help at least one person...just one that hears God whisper in this message He has given me today & that is an indescribable JOY for me, because God gets all the glory. 

See I am still struggling to be still & let God move for me. Sometimes I feel like a 51 year old preschooler...if you've ever dealt with a preschooler, you will understand. If you haven't they are easily distracted...they lose focus quickly...they are curious & they crave being able to do...they are excitable. They have grown past the saying no to everything...but they still have the self centered desires that are placed in each living creature God created. They still say "me" a lot & have a strong selfish attitude. Yes I am sometimes a 51 year old preschooler. 

But also, I am a 51 year old daughter of the Most High King...a work in  progress...a growing, living masterpiece only partially complete. You see, like everyone else that God knit together in their mothers wombs, I am made of flesh & still struggle every moment to keep my focus on God...but God. He is faithful & merciful...He calls me His & that is NOT just because I am perfect...no it's because of my weaknesses actually. The same weaknesses I hand to Him & He makes them strong...the more I give Him the stronger He is in me...He doesn't make me strong, He is my strength.

Today God took me on an unexpected educational journey into the dictionary...not the whole dictionary, just some very specific definitions. The definitions He's been etching into my mind, heart & life...a lot lately. He has whispered these words during worship at church, during the messages at church, through different social media venues & in the words of the people that are in my life...both momentarily & long term. So today I said "ok Lord I will check this word out"...and the ones He pointed out to me in each of those definitions...the synonyms. The words that are also used in lieu of depending on who's using them. Sometimes the synonyms are much more understandable in certain seasons...more descriptive of what He is saying...more to the point. Other times I have to search for why I need this knowledge. But either way they all led me to a great word today. One that is permanently etched into my heart, mind & soul.

He started with an answer to my asking "how does the enemy distract me?" God reminded me that both He & satan have a plan for me...the actual choice is mine to make as far as which plan to live...since I have chosen to live God's plan for my life, to live according to His purpose, to seek Him in all I am faced with...satan uses different people, places & things to distract me. So just like God reminds me in Ephesians 6:10-12

10. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12. For our struggle is not against the flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.



So this definition chase today...it is to give me armor to battle the devil's schemes...The first word He led me to today was "tactics"...I know this word seems like a strange word for God to start me on this journey with...but I am a little different...any ways the definition of Tactics goes like this...

Tactics: an action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end. 
Some of the synonyms were: Scheme, Method, Move, Approach, Device, Trick, Ploy, Dodge, Ruse, Shift & Contrivance.

Well as I read this I realized why God took me to this word...this is exactly what satan uses...everything he does is for his own tactics. He uses all these tactics & more in his schemes...in fact the synonym that God whispered was my next word today was Contrivance...so here's some of what the definition of Contrivance says...

Contrivance: the use of skill to bring something about or create something...a thing that is CREATED SKILLFULLY & Inventively to serve a particular purpose.

So this word I had never heard before, it brought more revelation & more wisdom. It taught me that the devil's schemes aren't just whims, spur of the moment...most of the time he takes time to weave each part together to get the maximum effect...God led me to the word Inventively next...I actually looked up & began to explain that I knew what Inventive meant...this seemed like a waste of time...but I did as He asked & the definition came up for Inventively...

Inventively: Of relating to or characterized by invention. Adept or SKILLFUL at inventing, creative. 

This word God defined His reason for leading me to the definition...to remind me that the enemy uses so many different skills to create just the perfect schemes to distract me...he learns where to distract & how by studying me...my behavior, my choices...my life...CONSTANTLY. This made me desire to know the definition of Study...

Study: devotion of time & attention to, aquiring knowledge, detailed investigation & analysis of a subject or situation in detail, the object of someone's endeavors, apply one's self to study & learn INTENSIVELY about something or someone...especially in preparation for (giving) a test, look at closely in order to observe or read, make an effort to achieve.

Wow, as I get deeper & deeper into His definition chasing today, I am understanding why he is taking me into the dictionary...the reminders that are so evident...how distractions are such a struggle...how hard satan is working to get my attention. God clearly whispered Intensively to me so here it is...

Intensively: with extreme or concentrated effort, very thoroughly or vigorously.

So as I learned that the enemy is very well versed in the person I used to be...I learned exactly how much he is willing to do...to distract me...then God whispered, "what does distract mean to you?" Of course I wasn't ready to quit just yet. I wanted to know what Distract means in the dictionary...I can most certainly give my understanding of the meaning of distract...but I realize that having the true definition is very important. So here it is...

Distract: prevent someone from giving full attention to someone or something, perplex, bewilder.
Distraction: extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.
Distracted: unable to concentrate because one's mind is preoccupied.
Distractor: a person or thing that distracts...in french distracteur.

Yes this explains why when I hear "distract, divide & destroy" I think of satan...I think of all the people & things he uses to get my attention...to take my focus. If he can get my focus he can distract me from what God's plan is. I have to choose to be distracted by satan, he can't distract me unless I take my focus to the distraction & am willing to keep chasing the chaos the devil is dangling in front of my face...I have to pick his shiny plan over God's possibly painful, long, difficult plan...of course God's plan may mean enduring seasons of finding joy in pain, loss & long periods of solitude. The closer I get to God, the distractions seem to be getting multifaceted...more & more different levels to the singular distraction. They have to get more attractive as God brings His light & peace to more & more parts of who I am...or they won't distract me. 

I know that lately the enemy has used some people...they may or may not know that they are part of a distraction...depends on what position God has in their lives I think. Regardless of whether they are aware or not, I am starting to learn to recognize if they are pointing me back to God or they are living for something/someone else...God has shown me that when He is speaking through someone, they don't have to be living for Him. They don't even have to believe in Him...He can work through any one of His creations...even if they are choosing themselves & comfort over His plan for them. So when He speaks through a wandering or lost person, it always catches my attention. If I don't look for His message, I would get distracted by the same selfish desire to be comfy at all times. 

I know what gives me joy & where I find my comfy spot in God's perfect plan...however as God takes His light to the deeper, darker parts of me...the darkness that is buried so deep, I have forgotten that some of it is there...the pain, the hurt, the anger...those spots are so sensitive to His light, they shrink back & those are the areas He will enter gently one season at a time...they are the ones I have backtracked on over & over...the ones I am learning God trimmed away long ago & all I have to do is remember the feeling of surrender, joy & peace that came when I release it once again.


I've been reading a wonderful book that reminds me that being God's light, is not an easy thing...I struggle against my own insecurities, my flesh desires acknowledgement, my mind can get lost in living someone else's life for them with my thoughts...I can tend to forget that I am NOT the light...God IS the light & He definitely says this in 

John 1:8 NLT
John himself was not the light, he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 

The reality is that with the self satisfying part of me I can convince myself I am the light...especially when God brings a huge message through His light in me...I can forget that He not only brings the light...but He is the light. So as I struggle to let God bring to light parts of the old me, I am tempted to step back into who I used to be & the comfy old me...the one who didn't put on the full armor of the Lord...instead I just sat comfortably in my own pit. Like the old clothes, the larger clothes that I "fit" myself into at my largest...then they became the ones that had lots of room to indulge the distraction of the enemy...food. The ones that I held onto every other time I would lose weight, just in case I gained back my weight. But God...He asks for not only the biggest clothes, He asks for every size as they become too big...He tells me that the more He trims away, the less room I need...the smaller my outside becomes. He reminds me that though His path is uncomfortable...it feels better. It makes me feel better...It makes it easier for others to see Him...to spot His light in me. 

With this He has asked me to examine each area & all the relationships in them to make sure they point me to Him & aren't a distraction...this was difficult & He also reminded me that even if they don't point me back to Him...He can use them in my life...some as examples. So instead of going on a huge deleting spree in my life, I am choosing to allow God to place each person in their proper position in my life, according to His purpose & not the devil's plan. The peace that comes with this tactic...well that's indescribable...you should check it out. It is worth any of the devil's tactics to distract, divide & destroy. When you seek God's purpose, you will find out who you were created to be...you will not only feel the changes on the inside...but you will bear the fruit of that choice on the outside.

"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions."
Matthew 7:15-20

And then I am reminded of this beauty, as God moves people into positions in my life...into the rings of influence, or out.

Don't be fooled by those who say such things, for "bad company corrupts good character."
1 Corinthians 15:33

And I gladly hand over each relationship to Him...for Him to show me whether or not they are becoming a weapon formed against me by the enemy...I know that as long as I choose God, they can not prevail...that gives me comfort...I am glad to know that the devil's schemes to distract me, are failing & God's plans to make me like Him...are prospering.

So here are a couple pictures of the fruit God's been bearing in my life choices...especially the wall of fat I had built.





Poppa God's still lighting places in me...but His light is evident in the permanent changes He is making on my outside...May you find even the tiniest of distractions from the devil's schemes & hand them over to God for His purifying. & give God control of your light switch..Always.


Friday, May 12, 2017

When does the bitter become sweet??

This mothers day is going to much more bitter than sweet for more than just myself & my little girl...my grandprincess's having to spend her first mothers day without most of the women who have been there with her & for her since she was born in 2011...she won't have her mama, I haven't seen her since Oct 2016 & her paternal grandmother died in January 2017...so she won't be hugging her this mothers day.

My heart is aching for my sweet grandprincess...but God sometimes reaches right into my thoughts & whispers #truth that stops me instantly in my tracks. You see He just helped me realize today, that this mothers day will be my grandprincess's daddy's & Aunties first mothers day without their mama...& her nanny's first without her daughter...

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Mothers day isn't always a day of celebration for everyone...this mothers day please share your hearts & love with everyone you meet...you may not understand what God is asking them to walk through.

To my grandprincess's daddy, Auntie & Nanny...along with ALL sweet D's family & friends...I'm so terribly sorry for your loss...may God Himself wrap each of y'all in His tender arms...to my grandprincess...God's moving these mountains & I know God's plans are to give us hope & a future...hang in with  me sweet one, God's got us!!! I love you & I miss you & God will bring you back again...I will prophesy like it is done.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

How much do you really want it???



"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."
C.S. Lewis





Lately, God has been really surrounding me with some amazing women. Some here near me, some in other places...a very special one I've become very close with lately as God has placed her & her beautiful journey at just the perfect time...for both of us. Though we've known each other for about 7 years, give or take, we've attempted several times to get to know each other. She's about 15 years younger than me in this world's years...but in wisdom, she's ages wiser than I am.

Honestly, with the age gap comes differing interests in lots of areas & many times in the beginning when I first met her, I would let that keep me from letting myself get to really know this amazing person. But in the last several years it's been very different. Our differences are intriguing to me & I think her as well. Not only that but when we started having real conversations I instantly felt connected to her.

I am not an easy person to get to know. I am very friendly to everyone I meet, if I get half a chance. But I struggle sometimes with pride. So when I get excited about something I just find totally wonderful, or I believe I hear God is telling me something for someone else, I am kinda like that old game where the card holding machine would randomly just pop up & throw the cards in the air everywhere...I just pop off with what I heard. Some times it's not in a very gentle way at all...some times if I am being completely transparent...I would have to say it might even have a bite to it. Those times have injured hearts. They have done the exact opposite of God's plan...they have pushed people away from me & I would guess maybe even away from God.

So, this young woman I will call her my artist friend...so I will call her artsy. Artsy is gifted at so many things. She's just naturally talented at really interesting arts & crafts. She's taught me a little bit about my sewing machine, which I actually enjoyed, talent however was a whole other subject. She however has made several baby quilts & lots of other things, including a beautiful bag for me. Her heart is to teach others to enjoy creating. I believe this is her calling...not really to adults, but mostly to children...preschool & up. 

For me though it's really more than just learning arts & crafts or sewing from her. God placed her in my life to be His coarse sandpaper for me. He has used her several times to get my attention back...He's taught me through her that "it's not about me." She's a tiny little wisp, but she's a mighty soldier for God. I don't even know if she knows how mighty she is? But God does.

On several occasions in the last 7+ years when I have struggled with a test, or trial & gotten frustrated & been ready to give up hope...God used her to tell me to "stop letting it get to me. It is what it is...God doesnt tell us it'll be easy, He only says it will be worth it." When I have struggled with my children, husband or family she's reminded me that I can't control them...only how I react to them. 

I can honestly say this...if God has been telling me something nicely for too long...He will bring Artsy in & she has no fear...no fear of being honest, no fear of upsetting me, no fear of how I may react...she only has love for me...& in that love, she shows me she trusts me by being the friend God is asking her to be...a real friend, a biblical friend. 

We have also been able to share our hearts about struggles we have. We both feel things very deeply...in the past I have been one that reacts quickly & at times have regretted the quick reactions...just as quickly. But Artsy, she processes things. She is not "teaching" me by telling me how to process things...she actually is a wonderful example of this. She will stop, breath, process then either ask more questions...or share her heart with me. She doesnt have expectations that far exceed her willingness to be a part of...she makes the time to listen & sometimes just sit quietly with me, or me with her.

She told me from the beginning that she "likes a friend who answers the phone, or texts. Who follows through with plans they make & who isn't a part time friend." That was several years ago & I have to tell you that she does exactly that. She picks up the phone if she possibly can, she works during the day & it's difficult. But she will answer texts & call as soon as she's off. So her expectations come from the kind of amazing friend she is...that is what she wants.

Recently, Artsy shared with me that they are moving back to their home state. Probably the beginning of June-ish. I honestly thought I was gonna have a panic attack...but God. God reminded me that our friendship can withstand being mostly phone calls...He also reminded me that her home state, it's the home state to so MANY beautiful woman He has placed in my life...so He's just taking one more there. So I have honestly just had total peace about it. I think she does too. 

Today we spent the entire afternoon/early evening together. She picked me up & we went to a couple of stores. Then had lunch. Then she took me to take a very important step in this battle I am in. We picked up her wonderful man child & young woman child took them home & headed back out together. We ended up having to wait quite awhile at one place with lots of other people...most of the time people that are with me when I am around lots of people, get a little upset or maybe embarrassed of me because I love when God gives me the chance to talk to people...to smile & make conversation...but Artsy, she's a little shy, but in the right environment, she's more like a bright shining light!!! 

We headed back to the house so I could try to make it home before sweet hubby hit the sack at 7. I drove home thanking God for this dear sister...I see what a gift she really is...when I have felt sadness & said to God, "I waited so late." He reminds me that she's His princess & we have eternity.

So thank you Artsy, thank you for loving me enough to share truth even in times when you knew I would probably be in denial...but you trusted God enough to know that if you said what needed to be said...God could work through that. That my sister is REAL love...that's a REAL friend...you will ALWAYS be my sister, 
you will ALWAYS be my friend. Of course I will come see you...& phones are a gift from God.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Proverbs 17:17