Monday, August 1, 2011

Bring on the multiplication

1 Samuel 2:20-21 
    And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, May the Lord give you children by this woman for the gift she asked for and gave to the Lord. Then they would go to their own home.
    And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she bore three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the Lord.

So again, just a little background here:

Hannah was barren, prayed to the Lord and the Lord answered her prayer. She gave birth to a son and named him Samuel. When she weaned him, she took him to Eli the priest, to be raised up before the Lord. 
We learn in these two verses above that she later had FIVE more children. FIVE!! From none to six children...this woman was barren, and mocked for years. Tortured, looked down upon, an outcast, and considered less of a woman. I couldn't overlook what an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness to Hannah this was! This is truly amazing! I am positive that for years Hannah struggled with believing that God was good. That He was faithful and that His love for her was as deep and wide as it truly is. Surely she doubted his plans for her life. 

This was a very heavy section for me, as the Lord has asked me what are the things in my life that I long for the most? What are the things that haunt me? What things has the enemy of my soul used to shame me, and, to doubt the goodness of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? 

Immediately the lies began to overflow into my thoughts as rushing water being poured out. All the lies that I hear, take in, believe, and eventually come into agreement with...

-You will never be pretty, you're lucky anyone loves you at all. But can you keep him? You will never be happy. 
-You will never be good enough, there are so many people out there better than you. 
-You aren't smart enough, what do you have to offer? You are a screwup and a drop-out.
Just to name a few...
(I wonder if Hannah ever felt this way, or heard lies like these?) 

So what are the things that I long for?
-A healthy marriage that can withstand the temptations of this world, and flourish!
-Health and beauty, confidence in who I am and appreciating that without comparing myself to other women
-To be able to contribute to this world in a way that matters far beyond what I could accomplish on my own, without the Spirit of God living in me

As I confessed these desires to God, He began to whisper to me the most beautiful promises... 

"If you will bring to me your heart and obedience, one step at a time, I will multiply that which you give me. Hand your husband over to me and I will make your marriage the sweetest time in your life. I will repay you for time you both have lost and you will reap a harvest greater than you can imagine.
I will show you the beauty that I have planted inside of you. The strength and beauty of my Spirit dwelling in you will heal your emotions, your hurts, and your vision.
The plans that I have for you are far beyond your wildest dreams. All it takes is a heart that says yes to me above all things, and you taking one step at a time."

After sitting in complete and utter disbelief that any of this could be true for me, I just began to praise God that it isn't up to me. It doesn't matter what I believe I deserve, or what I believe what I am worth. I just have to believe that God is who He says He is, and, He will do what He says He will do. I learned that when I present my offering to Him with the right heart attitude, He will surely bring the multiplication!

Can I get an Amen??

I thank you Jesus for those who have gone before us, and left a testimony behind to encourage us when our faith wavers. Thank you Lord that you were bigger than their circumstances and you are bigger than mine. I know that I can trust you because the Bible is full of people just like me. Human in every way and living in a world riddled with sin. Yet, you Lord are also the same. Yesterday, today, and forever. Thank you for loving me the way that you do. Thank you for your promises spoken over my life. I love you Jesus, and I praise you! In Jesus' almighty name, Amen.


Friday, July 29, 2011

"No longer Sad"

1 Samuel 1:18 Hannah said, Let your handmaid find grace in your sight. So [she] went her way and ate, her countenance no longer sad.

Hannah had a big problem. She harbored bitterness and discontentment in her heart. She was a barren woman, and her husbands other wife, Peninah, tortured and provoked her over not having been able to produce children. Though Peninah had given Elkanah sons and daughters, his heart was touched by Hannah and he loved her more. So when it came time to go to the temple for sacrifice and worship, he gave to Peninah, and all of her sons and daughters their portion. To Hannah, a double portion was given. However, at this time, Peninah had provoked her to the point of depression and Hannah could not eat. At the temple she poured out her bitterness, her tears, and her petitions before the Lord. She laid down her requests and the Priest, Eli, thought her to be a rambling drunk woman. After sharply rebuking her, she pleaded for understanding that she was not drunk, but crying out to God. Eli ends up sending her off with a blessing and she walked away no longer sad.

This verse was amazing to me as I sat and thought about what my countenance is like after I pray. There have been countless times where I have wept bitterly before the Lord, pouring out my heart and my complaints at his feet. But what is my heart attitude like after that? Do I leave my worries, requests, and complaints at the feet of Jesus and walk away changed? Do I obey as 1 Peter 5:7 instructs? 

"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully."

This is so on time (as God always is) because there is a lot of worry and concern weighing on my heart right now. (as life usually does) But will I follow Hannah's example and go to the Lord, release my concerns and worries to him, and walk away different than the way I came? 

I choose to go before Him and walk away "no longer sad." I know that I can trust in the Lord, as He has been so faithful to me and is so worthy of it all. 

Heavenly Father, I come to you because you are the all-knowing God and you can see where I am blind.  I release my fears, my burdens, and my desires to you. I pray that you would give me wisdom to see things that I need to change, and the strength to be obedient to you in making those changes. I thank you Jesus, that I can have an encounter with you and walk away changed. I choose to trust you today, because you are so worthy of my trust. Thank you for your faithfulness to me. I honor and praise you Father and bless your Holy name today. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I am who God says I am!

1 Corinthians 15:10 "But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I'm not about to let his grace go to waste...." (the MSG)

For the last three years the Lord has really been working in me to get me to see who I am in Christ and what that means. As I have been going through this process, He has been speaking to me about my name for over a year now. You see, my name is Nicolette and it is a French name meaning "Victory of the People". I can see the beauty of my name now. My entire life up until that point, however, I hated my name! I never went by Nicolette and always preferred that I be called something different. But the Lord has been showing me why this name means so much. I now love my name, and I am learning to embrace it.

In 1 Corinthians 1:27 Paul says "Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"?..." He goes on to say that the reason God does this is that so He gets the glory. 

But this paragraph really sums up my life. I do not come from a high-society family, I'd had no influence, I have been abused, abandoned, and overlooked. I was not the brightest and best, and surely I have made more than my share of life altering mistakes. 

Yet, God still came! He picked me up, cleaned me off, fixed my broken places, and set me on a better path. In my life, I AM victorious over many things that have held me down! I have the victory in this life because of what Jesus did on the cross for me and for you all those years ago! I am no longer a victim of sexual abuse. I am no longer controlled by life circumstances, or my social status. Nor any other thing that kept me from being all that I am in Jesus Christ! I am free...Free to change and free to be ME!

But it is not enough for me to be changed. 

I need to go and be the victory for others out there who may not know. I need to tell them that there is a way out! 
That there is life after the storm...
That my God redeems all of the areas of your life that have been thrown away or ruined... 
That my God resurrects the areas of your life that have died... 
That my God lives and He has overcome! 

My name is Nicolette, and I live in triumph because I know the "Victory of the People" lives inside of me. I will pour out His gift of grace to those who need it. To the ones, who are overlooked and maybe forgotten. Because I was once there...

By His Grace, Here I am! And I will not waste such a precious gift! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wrestling with God

Genesis 32:38 The man said, "But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it's Israel (God-Wrestler); you've wrestled with God and you've come through." (The MSG)

I don't know about anyone else out there, but sometimes it feels like I wrestle with God more often than not! During my prayer times, you may even hear me declare that I will not give up until He blesses me...

However, I do. 

I do give up. I give up on dreams, I give up on desires, I give up on visions.
I even give up on His promises sometimes. I look at the circumstances surrounding me, allow them to overwhelm, and I let go of His hand. Too weak or beaten down by this world, I decide that certain promises do not pertain to me because if they did, they would have come to pass by now...He would have worked it out and made everything come together...So that's it! I just have to suck it up. I must have misinterpreted or heard wrong; those promises weren't for me.

But wouldn't you know? Not even that can keep me from being in the palm of His hand. As faithful as He is, He never lets me stay there! He reminds me that "man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure." (Proverbs 16:9 AMP) That even if I lose sight, He alone can restore. Even if I let go of a dream and I let it die, He alone can resurrect! 

He alone brings refreshment, revival, restoration, and renews my strength! 

Like Jacob's declaration, I am reminded. I reach out to grab ahold!

"I'm not letting you go til you bless me!" (The MSG)

And I am blessed indeed....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In LOVE....or not!

I was very late to join this social media world. I opened a Facebook late last year, eventually started my blog and now even have a twitter account. Once I started though, I must admit I enjoy it! Especially being able to write out my thoughts on a blog and share.

With that said, I don't blog very often! Even though there is so much that I would love to say/write, I put off sitting in front of my computer and getting it out there. 

After prayer and self-examination I realized why I do what I do. Or rather, don't do what I want to do. I realized that people are mean; putting yourself out there means that you are opening yourself up to that. So I shied away, and closed myself off from the possible hurt and judgment that possibly await me. I realized that I need to trust God more with my heart! Being judged or called names is not as bad as being disobedient to the Lord, and suppressing what He has called you to do. 

I read A LOT of blogs out there, and obviously follow people on Twitter and Facebook. I almost have to force myself NOT to read the comments! My heart breaks when people feel the need to express their EVERY opinion without thinking about why they are sharing! Why do people feel the need to express every thought that pops into their heads? When we were younger there was a saying that was quite popular! "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at  all." (I think writing it out falls under the same rules!)

Now, I am in no way advocating a fake persona. I don't expect people to go around with a smile on their face and just be happy, spewing fake compliments and lies to everyone they come in to contact with. We need to remember as Christians that we have self-control (Galatians 5:22)  and we have the power to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ Jesus.(2 Corinthians 10:5) It takes both wisdom and self-control to not react to every situation, comment, etc. Whether or not we may agree, or even appreciate what someone else had to say, we are only capable of controlling what we say or do. Noone else! 

There is a biblical principle for confronting people when you have conflict between persons. You need only to read Matthew 18:15-17 if you do not know how to proceed. However, actual conflict is only one of the problems on the internet! (That is a whole other post by the way) 
Most of the time is just someone's opinions and remarks that are unfounded and so unbelievably unnecessary! Then they come back with "just saying"....or something equally as condescending! The heartbreaking thing is when they say they are just telling you "the truth". 

We live in a generation of reality tv, where everyone plays a character, and people want to be known for something (good or bad). Where it is too easy to make a name for yourself and instant stardom is not out of reach. I am not judging the people who have reaped the benefits of this. I am trying to point out though, that what we do not see is the heartache and the REAL realities of their broken relationships because of "just saying" something! As cool as people on TV may look for being super outspoken and feeling the need to tell everyone they meet "the truth", there is a consequence for every word that we speak. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]."

I know that I am not perfect and there have been times when I have spoken up about something, when in retrospect I just wish I could take it back. With that comes wisdom for the next time I want to "comment" without thinking through it! We need to be very mindful that the internet is even more difficult than personal conversations because we cannot infer tone, and it is even easier for things to be taken the wrong way! 
*sidenote* if you are having a personal conversation with someone and put it publicly on the internet you may not get the best reaction. Best to keep private personal conversations, well, private! 

I do realize that I could be accused of being "judgmental" in the same manner in which I am writing about. That really is not my heart at all; I wish to encourage people to stop and think about the "WHY" that makes them do what they do. We all need to be reminded at times, and being called judgmental is a risk I am willing to take.  

I pray that we would be a people that lift up and edify with our words. That we would think before we speak/write, and that we would check our own hearts before feeling the need to bring correction to someone else. 

Matthew 7:3-5 "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor."  (MSG)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Being Revealed

Lately, I have had a really hard time writing or conveying my feelings through any means besides frustration. I had wanted to share after Mother's Day about the impact that the women who raised me had in shaping my life. But to no avail...

In the meantime, however, I had come across a blog post that had introduced me to this journey I am now walking out. It was a challenge to forego wearing make up for 30 days. Now, first I want to say that I am not against make up or fashion, or anything of the sort. The complete opposite actually! I enjoy being able to express myself in different ways through make-up, outfits, accessories, etc.
However, when reading this post I knew the Lord was showing me that there was a huge part of me that depended way to much on my image; I had entered into a dangerous zone! It was completely unacceptable to me to not have any make up on during the day. Even if I was not going to go anywhere or see anyone besides my immediate family.
(*sidenote* My husband would prefer that I not wear make up. He tells me I don't need it and compliments me all the time when I am not done up. I wear make up because I enjoy it!)

It is day 14 and it has been more of a struggle not to get ready in the morning than I would like to admit! On days that I need to go somewhere, it is really hard for me to have to leave the house looking the way that I do and feel confident. I even have to admit that because I have not been wearing make up, I wear my glasses everyday instead of my contacts so that I can "hide" behind them.

But today, in getting together with a dear friend of mine, the Lord revealed that this "challenge" was about so much more than just make up. . My friend Kristi Woods, has inspired me and challenged me since the first day I met her. This woman is someone I admire greatly and am so grateful in having been able to have her in my life. Having been able to do life with her through minichurch, I have learned so much that make me want to be a better mother and wife, while encouraging me in being a Christian woman and friend. As we shared and talked, the Lord kept showing me just how He was stripping me of layers of "cover -up" in order to reveal me. The real me. The me He wanted me to be.

There were things laying just under the surface that I had justified that were so very ugly. Of course, I did not want anyone to see these flaws! So instead of dealing with the issue, I  just covered over it so that no one on the outside would see it. But, like any mask the real thing is always there underneath. Whether fully visible or not.

I began to make the connection; my eyes were opened to the way that I was so dependent on the image I wanted to portray. If it was hiding my flaws with make up, or with a fake attitude; there are things about me that are not pretty. Even though I may not want people to see those things, I need to be honest about the fact that they are there. I have a choice! I can either deal with it by taking it to the Lord and try to get rid of the problem, or I can try and pack on the "make-up" and cover it up myself.

When I allow the Lord to show me my real beauty I can be at rest. My strength and my beauty come from within and will shine throughout.

I will revel in being revealed....

1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 

Oh, and if you want some great insight and encouragement please go and visit my friend Kristi at 
her blog. You are sure to be blessed!

Monday, May 9, 2011


A day of celebration!!

(Flowers, 3 handmade necklaces, 3 handmade cards, a hot plate, 
and some strawberries! and that isn't everything....)

Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of the gifts that I am passing down to my kids. A gentle reminder to a tender mama's heart that like Jill Churchill said "There's no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one."

My oldest daughter made me multiple cards that poured out her love and appreciation for me. Handmade cards and love notes are a favorite past time of mine... So her multiple notes, poems, and cards didn't surprise me;  on any given day you would be able to find at least a handful of post-it notes with colorful hearts and flowers, and an "I love you mommy. You are the best mom! Love your favorite daughter!" around the house. She made me a gorgeous Kamani nut necklace in school, and a macaroni necklace in Children's church. Her heart was shining right there on "her sleeve" as she proudly placed those necklaces around me neck. The art of gift giving and the freedom of expressing her love in writing is something that I always felt was so important and I love that she has caught that spirit and she gives freely. I love these cards, and notes that she randomly surprises me with.  I can't wait for the day she comes home from middle/high school (or even as an adult) and sees that I have a note she wrote to me when she was 5, 6, 7, 8 yrs. old! =) I pray she would know how much these notes mean to me! Memories of she and I in past moments; captured and treasured as long as I can possibly hold on to them! 
One of the poems she wrote for me

My boy made his gift to me in school. An adorable little hot plate with beautifully written similes and his school picture! (note: A simile is NOT a poem. I was corrected adamantly, yet lovingly by said son) 

I am floored at the freedom with which he pours out his love through words. Then I am reminded of my son as a newborn. Being born at 10 1/2 pounds, everyone spoke about his size and his future as the "next great thing to happen to football. " I was then reminded of how I spoke to my precious, baby boy and told everyone that although he may want to play football one day, that he was going to be the tender-hearted, poetic type that knew how to treat a girl and would be as gentle as a teddy bear. I knew back then that he was going to be a "new breed" and that he would be special. I am now being reminded of my words as a young mom, and I am watching the Lord unfold in Him what I prophetically spoke over him, albeit unknowingly at the time. Thank you Jesus for gifts we don't yet understand or perceive. He also made me a necklace, but he was not as excited about giving me the necklace as he was about having me read the above statements! 

Not to be left out, my baby girl chose out the bouquet that now adorns my dining room table! (pictured above) She also helped me eat those strawberries! {smiles again} They couldn't find the chocolate covered ones, but fresh strawberries were oh-so yummy! She told me "Thank you for 'Mother's Day' mommy! I love you!" My heart swells...

The gifts I pass down, whether words of encouragement and life, OR a favorite activity we both share, OR a mutual love for something, are helping to shape my children daily. Our relationships are constantly growing and changing. I am in awe to say the very least...

Oh, and never to be forgotten...

My husband....My wonderful, beautiful, thoughtful husband! He bought me a point-and-shoot so that I can take pictures too. Being sensitive to the fact that I have no idea how to use that contraption he calls a camera, he bought me one my non-technological mind can handle! I now can take pictures with a real person camera and not just my iphone! =) 
I am so thankful...
My Mother's Day card was the most beautiful card I have received from him, to date! Along with my gifts, and the wonderful meals we ate, I was also treated to a mani/pedi with some girlfriends and some much needed tea & conversation time! A good day indeed! 

Mother's Day is not just about me though...although I am lucky enough to be celebrated on Mother's Day, the Lord has also being highlighting the women in my life who have helped shape me and grow me into the woman I am today! I plan on sharing about them in the days to come!

I hope you stay tuned...

Friday, May 6, 2011

If I knew I wouldn't fail

This morning on twitter I saw a post about this amazing community and how they share their dreams and fears, and say/write the things that they would rather keep hidden for the sake of not failing or experiencing rejection.

Here I go...

If I knew I wouldn't fail I would say or do what I knew was right no matter what how afraid, embarrassed, or fearful I am. I would be bold to share Jesus with real live people I can reach out and touch, and share my story.

If I knew I wouldn't fail I would open a boutique because I love fashion, accessories, and decorating. I would love to be able to generate income for my family, as well as be able to financially support ministries I believe in with all my heart! Also, I'd love to employ young women whilst pouring love and life into them.

I would speak and teach the Word of God! Because I know the power it contains, and have experienced it firsthand on so many occasions in my life!

I would move overseas to Thailand with my husband and children, for a season or for a lifetime and work with women and children who suffer from poverty and not knowing the love of Christ.

What would you do if you knew you wouldn't fail? Care to share your story??

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What are you afraid of?

Why write? I am not a "writer"! 
I am so late to this blogging thing!

I don't have anything to say!
I am not as poetic as some.
 I am not as smart as they are.
 I don't have a "voice" like she does. 

Did I hear you correctly Lord? 
Why are you calling "me" to do this?

He whispers...
"Simply because you have something to give. No matter how you see the offering, 
it is an offering nonetheless when you obey. I will bring the blessing!"

I do have a story....That will have to be good enough for me...

I don't have to write like others do! The Lord never said to measure myself against someone else. It is not about me, or impressing people, or making a name for myself. 

I write what the Lord puts on my heart. I don't have to have dreams of being an author or a journalist in order to share what the Lord does in my life. I share to bring Him glory and praise. I have something to offer, when what I offer is me.

Like Pastor Joe Onosai said last night - "Your uniqueness is not a virtue. Your uniqueness is a responsibility. God created you with unique gifts & abilities to glorify Him in a way that only you can.

 My prayer is simply that when someone reads my words they'd be blessed! 

That is it...

1 Peter 4:10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Forgiven Much?

I love sharing about the work God has done in my life. I know how fortunate I am that the Lord got a hold of me and brought me to Himself. I am thankful for the forgiveness he offers, and the new creation He has made me.

Psalm 32:1 
Oh, what joy for those

      whose disobedience is forgiven,
      whose sin is put out of sight!

I also LOVE to share about the amazing forgiveness the Lord has put in me for the people who have hurt me in life. I know that it is only by HIS amazing love that any of it is possible! I am still amazed and in awe at how He works everything for our good when we surrender it to Him. (I will write about it one day and share those stories...)

Luke 6:37 Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.


Colossians 3:13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

But lately....

the Lord has been showing me what it feels like to be forgiven from others! I know this may not sound all that profound; yet it is!

After recognizing my shortcomings and failings, I pray and I repent to the Lord. I receive his forgiveness, He helps me to grow. That is the way that it works. I know that...I have heard that since I was a little girl and I believe it!

But when I ask a friend...
a family member....
a human person with strong emotions and hurt in their hearts...
forgiveness may not come that quickly! 
(and that is sometimes hard to accept.) 

Especially when ......
you never intended to hurt them
or if your decision/action came from a good place
or when you didn't even know you were hurting them

It does not feel good to hurt people! It does not feel good when someone you care about is hurting!
More so when it is because of something you did/said. It hurts...

But, I have learned that you must again pray to Jesus, ask forgiveness for any and every part that you played and release it. Trust Him that He will work on the behalf of His children.

God is in the business of reconciling that which has been broken. If He resurrected His son from the grave; I believe He can resurrect love that has died in a relationship!

And when He does....

Oh, how sweet it is! I am so thankful for the covering over of my sins and mistakes. I am so thankful for the opening of hearts to accept me and forgive me despite my faults and my brokeness! I am so thankful for a God that works in the hearts of others to reach out and extend grace in the midst of their pain and struggles!

I am reminded that if we truly love Jesus, we need to know His heart. His heart is always for His children to love one another!

Lord, may you continue to break our hearts for what breaks yours! 

1 Peter 1:22
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Born Hated

As I drove along the freeway a few days back, I couldn't help but stare at the sticker on the rear window of the truck in front of me.


I thought to myself, "that's a sad sticker." 
(I don't like being unliked!)

But then quickly a thought came to mind. That sticker WAS applicable to me!
The Lord brought scripture after scripture to mind; reminding me of the truth that at my first birth I was hated. I had an enemy who wanted nothing more than to take me out and thwart God's wonderful plans for my life. 

Genesis 3:14-15
"The Lord God said to the snake, 
    "Because you did this, 
       a curse will be put on you. 
       You will be cursed as no other animal, tame or wild, will ever be. 
    You will crawl on your stomach, 
       and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
  I will make you and the woman 
       enemies to each other. 
    Your descendants and her descendants 
       will be enemies. 
    One of her descendants will crush your head,
and you will bite his heel."

The enemy did have his way in my life for quite some time!

But God...( I love those two words together!) But God took ahold of me and I finally received His truth and His promises! 

With that being said, how much more hated was I at my second birth? 
Jesus said repeatedly in the gospels that we would be hated! Click on the scriptures below...
Matthew 10:22
Mark 13:13
Luke 21:17
John 15:18

This really spoke to me about my attitude where pleasing people comes before pleasing God. I do have an enemy, and he loves to use my weaknesses against me! But the scriptures are also FILLED to the brim with promises of an Almighty God who loves me and has my very best intentions in mind! He loves me!!

I was born hated! But I am also loved and planned in advance; I am loved eternally by the one whom matters the MOST! The Bible talks about over and over how much God loves us. {loves me :) }
That gives me hope!

Romans 8:15-17 says "This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!"

I love this reminder that although I will be hated in this world, it's not the worst thing that could happen. I need to expect it and push past that. I have an inheritance that can not be taken away. (Oh, and I can love the unlovable! It's a choice!) 

So I leave you with this truth:
1 John 4:19
We love Him, because He first loved us

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Beauty of Crossing Over

“I’m willing to leave the familiar, I’m willing to leave what I know if you go with me. I’m willing to go where you lead me, I’m willing to do what you say, if you stay with me. Crossing over, leaving all I know behind, crossing over and not knowing what I’ll find. Crossing over leaving all I know behind, crossing over knowing it’s You I’ll find.”
lyrics by Kathi Wilson 

The other day I read a blog by Sarah Mae, entitled "Following the Wind". I found these lyrics there. 
You can read her post here.

Her writing just spoke to my heart in a way that I can not even explain! I am so thankful that the Lord uses others words and their obedience to meet me in places they may never even know about. Oh how our obedience is so much bigger than us, it reaches out and touches the masses...

I have been struggling for the past couple of months with a decision that I had a really hard time making. I knew that the Lord was inviting me to follow him into new territory. Into a land I could not see; in a direction He would not reveal to me until I took the first step. 

But for a couple of months I just sat. Allowing fear to debilitate me and paralyze me to stay in the comfy and the familiar. I finally took that step and it was not easy. That first day I struggled. 
Torn, sad, afraid
Excited, glad, relieved

Now, I have this peace that surpasses all understanding!

Phillipians 4:6-7

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Don't know where it is taking me; but I have an expectation of God's faithfulness in my life! Dreams, plans, desires that I thought were dead being awakened! Praise the Lord for resurrection! 

May you see the Lord in a brand new way, and experience His love in ways you never thought possible this Easter Sunday and in 2011!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What do you do when it's not?

There are a lot of sermons and books filled with stories of those who have stepped out in faith to do something that God has called them to do. Stories of dreams that He had put in their hearts with a desire and motivation that drove them to look fear in the face and overcome. They witness the miraculous...and their faith is strengthened! They knew what their "calling" in life was and they awaited the promise! Praise God for those stories!!!

But what do you do when God calls you out?  Out of where you are comfortable and productive? Out of where you are being used and you know you found your niche? Out of a place that you were passionate about? Out of the place you KNOW He had called you to? When you don't know why, or where you are going? Do you trust when your season is over?

What if He starts to open up doors to opportunities to grow and to serve Him elsewhere? What if He is calling you out because this was only a part of your story? Never meant to be the end all!  What if what He asks you to do, well... they aren't your dreams?

My dreams!!?? 

Do I even know what that is? Aren't I the girl who didn't have dreams growing up? Believing that I wasn't worthy or good enough to rise above and choose a different path.


However, one of the "perks" of coming to Christ was learning that God had a PURPOSE for my life.

He promised! 

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

So...will I trust Him? Trust Him that He will bring all of the pieces of my life together and work them out for good? Trust that where He has taken me will serve as a foundation to wherever He is taking me to next? Trust Him to equip me with the skills, and the wisdom to accomplish what He is calling me to do? I know I can! He has proven Himself trustworthy in the past!!


Always the but! The doubts creep in! The LIES bombard the already fragile and vulnerable heart...

"There are many others out there who 
are much better at this than you are! 
You should leave it up to them! "

"Who are you? You aren't good enough to do this!"

"This wasn't your "dream", so that must mean you can't do it." 

BUT.... (the other but...)

What if it could be? What if I heard exactly right and I am moving into a new place where God wants me despite what I feel or want? What if the joy will be multiplied? What if I have only begun to unwrap the gift that the Lord has planted in me? What if I trust the Lord enough to follow Him even when He will not show me where I am going? What if I hand over whatever plans I had for my own life, (even if those plans are no plans!) and trust that God knows best?

Am I ready for Him to accomplish something great in my life? Maybe, something great through me??
When all of the things on the surface do not make sense, will I follow blindly and trust like a child??

I don't have the answers. I don't know where I am going, or why! All I do know, is that the Lord has been so faithful to me in the past. I don't have a choice but to trust Him! This is a new chapter for me and I will stay focused on Him as I learn to live out this truth!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

    In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Did you say something?

I am by no means a "sports-fanatic". However, my husband is a big Lakers fan and because of that I have come to appreciate and enjoy watching basketball with him. If any of you follow the sport, you have probably heard of the $100,000.00 fine that Kobe Bryant incurred after making a comment that was...well, let's say "controversial". There has been so much commotion about this incident; on Facebook alone there were 3,218 comments (the last time I checked). People were outraged that Kobe Bryant was being fined for a comment that he had made. Outraged that they would make him pay that amount of money for a slip of the mouth in the heat of the moment.

All of this got me thinking....

The Bible clearly states that there will be a day when we will all have to stand before the Most Holy God and answer for every idle word we have spoken.

Matthew 12:36 says  "But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking)word they speak."

What will it be like? To stand before God Almighty and have to answer for all of the stupid things we let slip out of our mouths in the heat of the moment? Or when we are bored? Or judgmental? And the list goes on and on...

I have a list of Bible verses in a small notebook that I keep in my purse, all having to deal with "the mouth". I think I will work on being more intentional about the words that I speak!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Authentic Trash

I am cleaning the wood floors of our home, and I hear the murmuring of my youngest child. I couldn't quite hear what she was saying but as she followed me around the downstairs of our home, I tuned in.

I realized she was saying, "Please mom, can you share the trash?" I had been so wrapped up in my own thoughts I failed to realize my daughter was asking me a question...

"What sweetheart?" 
"I want to help you mama. Can you please share the trash?" 

At that moment the Holy Spirit whacked me upside the head with questions of His own. 
Has anyone else been asking you to share their trash and you haven't been tuning in?
Who have you asked to share the trash with recently? 
Do you stay by the side of other women when they are trying to clean up the trash in their lives and ask if you can share in it with them?
Do you offer them hope?
Where is your sacrifice of praise by sharing how I have cleaned up the trash in your life?

I handed my daughter the little dust pan and broom and pondered...
(a lil' frustrated and overwhelmed at the questions)

Who was it in my life that had trash? 
Well... that seems like a silly question because the answer to that is everyone

Whom have I asked to share it with? I have trash in my life. I have things that I struggle with, and yet there are a lot of things that I have overcome. Why am I not sharing? Why do I protect myself against allowing others to share with me? Why am I so afraid of exposing my mess? Or, getting into someone else's mess? Or is it that I am not so much afraid as I am lazy and selfish??

In a meeting with Pastor Georgie Baxter, she made a statement that really stuck with me. She said, "The women who follow you will follow because of your successes, but they will connect with you in your weaknesses."

Man, that was so enlightening to me. Even though I knew it was true in my OWN life! I knew that was how my brain operated, and that is how I viewed women I admire. BUT, to think that there are women or people who may be looking and watching ME?? Whoa, that was heavy! I was not prepared...

Yet, I am prepared.
Aren't I?

According to the Bible, I have everything that I need in order to do whatever it is the Lord has asked me to do. So, if there is someone in my life that has an issue or a need, and Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves, logic tells me that I have something to offer this person. I am NOT their savior. (Nor would I want to, or pretend to be) But, the Lord reveals if we ask. Each person, each scenario differs. That is where tuning into Him and prayer come in. But I have something to offer! My authenticity, my story of Christ-led victory, my arms of compassion, a listening ear, a meal, a bag of clothes, the list goes on!

We all have trash.

 I'll share mines, if you'll share yours! 

2 Corinthians 9:8 "God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done." (MSG)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Am I special?

This morning as I was doing my daily devo's I felt a stirring in my heart to ask my eight year old beauty about a snippet of a conversation I had overheard from the day before, between her and a friend. It had to do with boys! I speak to my children quite often about dating, purity and making right choices, so I thought this would be a conversation like those we've had in the past.
I was wrong!
 I called her downstairs and asked my questions, reassured her she could talk without getting in trouble, yet shared how I really felt and why. Throughout the conversation the Lord kept me calm and collected. With my past history of abuse, shame, guilt, and bad decisions, this was HUGE!

But I was calm...

Basically, she told me that there was a boy that she liked and when I asked, she admitted that if he wanted to, she would let him kiss her. My heart was breaking! Was this the same little girl, who just a year before announced that she did not want to get married because she wanted to become a missionary. Why at such a tender, young age was she thinking about being loved and wanting to be kissed? I thought I did everything that I could to shield their eyes and hearts from seeing young people obsessed with dating and sex. I thought I spoke to them about the importance and amazing blessings of remaining pure and seeking God above all other things. I thought I told her enough how beautiful and loved she is!

Then I realized....IT WASN'T ABOUT ME!!!!!!

I was only looking at the physical. I wasn't even trying to see behind her words, to where it really mattered. Was there something that she needed that she was looking for from other relationships that I needed to be providing at home? I found out that she just wanted this boy to think that she was pretty and that she was special. 

I gave her a hug after our series of questions and (mommy-heart) breaking answers,  and asked her to go into her room and read Phillipians 4:8
"In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable." (Good News Translation)

I just wanted to renew her mind and teach her about the things she was parking her mind on. I wanted to reiterate that she could control her thoughts and she was not a victim to every thought that popped into her head. In the meantime, I called my husband. I shared with him what had taken place and we agreed that we are going to PRAISE GOD for allowing my daughter and I to have that conversation, and for keeping me calm so that she knew that she could talk to us. For the fact that she opened up to me and was honest, even though she was afraid.

I gatherd my little ones (who aren't so little anymore) around me and decided to have yet another family conversation. I talked to them, and WITH them about who they are in Christ and why they want certain things. The fact that there will be differences in their lives and in some of their friends lives; they can not just follow the crowd. I read them scriptures about who God says they are, and told them about the wonderful plan He has for them! How amazing discovering that plan will be for all of us as we do life together. Then we prayed! An amazing prayer of renouncing lies, renewing our minds, thankful for our time together and our family. We all asked for help in being obedient to the Lord and knowing Him.

After all of this I then asked my little (big) beauty to make me a list of ways that I can communicate to her that she is loved and special. That way she never has to look for love and acceptance in the wrong places. This is what she wrote:

Ways to make me feel special
1. Tell me that I'm doing something wrong instead of scolding me. Even when I do it over and over again because sometimes I just forget.
2. Let me buy things with my own money
3. Let me do things with you like making crafts
4.Help me with my homework

This is what I actually see:

1.Mom, I need to know that you and dad love me no matter how much times I fail and make mistakes. I need you to encourage me.
2.I want you to trust me and my decisions. Even though I don't know "everything" yet or what is best for me. I need a little freedom to learn
3. I want to be a part of your life. Especially in doing the things that you enjoy doing and make you happy. I want to learn from you.
4. No matter how much I know, I want you to be there for me if I need you. I like your support and your interest in my everyday life.

WOW! What seemed so devastating just a couple of hours ago, has turned into one of the most beautiful mornings I have had with my children to date...
Two words!!!!


Friday, March 25, 2011

The things unseen...

"Here Maddie...You want this?"

"Oh mama, you're last bite?"

As embarrassing as it is to say now, it felt so good that she acknowledged that. My last bite, that last morsel of yummy goodness...I "sacrificed" for my baby girl because she wanted it. (pat on the back right?)  But that isn't the only one...every day, every year, a sacrifice of time, patience, energy,  desires, dreams, plans, etc.

On one hand, isn't that what a good mommy is "supposed" to do.

On the other hand, when can I just finish the last bite on my plate? :(

Often times I feel like the sacrifices that I have made and the things that I do for my children (as well as others, if we are being honest)  go unnoticed and I don't like it. There are certain things that I do that noone will ever know about, and I accept that. I don't want credit for it; I do it and I don't mind if anyone ever really knows that the work or the sacrifice was mine.

But there are the others. There are always those OTHER times! Desperate for a word of acknowledgement.  Or worse yet, "Approval"
 'You did a good job'

'Thank you so much' 

Colossians 3:23 says: "Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as (something done) for the Lord and not for men"

Do I live this? Can I live this?

I have to! 
And when I feel like I can't...there is grace! God's power to help me do that which I could not otherwise do on my own...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Appreciation & Expectation

"Mom, She's healthy...I took her temperature and it was 98.6"

"Uh, OK. Thank you for doing that...."

Amidst, the daily grind of taking care of children, house, husband, (and a dog) sometimes we don't realize how entitled we think we are to things we consider ourselves worthy or deserving of. As I was brushing the teeth, picking out outfits, putting up hair, and making breakfast, my girls decided to play doctor. Older girl asks my baby girl to lie down so that she could take her temperature and to breath so that she could listen to her lungs and back <grin> After taking her temperature, older girl runs into the bathroom to give me the wonderful news!

"Mom, She's healthy...I took her temperature and it was 98.6"

and what was my response????

"Uh, OK. Thank you for doing that...."

I wasn't trying to be sassy, I just didn't have an appreciation for that statement like I should have. I was too busy going about my daily business of cleaning, tending to, doing...
Why wasn't I giving thanks and making a joyful noise to the Lord that my baby girl woke up this morning, and she is happy and healthy? Why am I not on my knees giving thanks that we have breath in our lungs, a roof over our head and are safe and taken cared of? What makes me think that I am entitled to these things, or that I should not be more in awe of life, and the brevity and fragility of it? What keeps me from giving praise to the One who sustains my life for that matter?? Why do I constantly forget as soon as I look away? Forget the constant pouring out of gifts from my Heavenly Father?

James 4:14 (Amplified Bible)

Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].

I kneel. I repent. I thank. 

I receive!

He gives!!!! 
One more moment, another gift, another thing to be thankful for. 

All praise, all gratitude, lifting up to Him.

I will praise you Lord with all my heart!!

Psalm 34:1 I WILL bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Conscious or Blind Eye?

I awoke this morning with so much on my mind! I just want a clear head....
get my mind off of myself...

In my morning reading I was in Isaiah 49 and the promises that the Lord offers are more than one little tender -human heart can bear. Yet I read on, I cling, I tuck away into a secret place...where I can later pull them out in time of need. Yet all around me I feel Him whispering.
"I am the Main Objective, seek ME."

"I want you to desire me above all else and I will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4, my paraphrase)

"Don't walk away from your first love" (thought taken from Revelation 2:4)

The Lord allowed me to read a passage by Joyce Meyer's concerning the love of God. She speaks of being CONSCIOUS of His love for us.

There is a difference between "knowing" and "really knowing". 

I want to really know!

Isn't that the message of 1,000 gifts by Ann Voskamp?  Isn't that what I have been studying and praying about? Isn't this what all the lists and the writing down of gifts are? Acknowledging and seeing the gifts for what they are? Love gifts from a Father who adores his children and longs to lavish His love on them. 

(Whether or not they accept it...)

Every single second, every moment is grace! A gift from God...yet I am only on #234. Can it be that I just don't see? Am I just not looking? The Bible says He reveals himself to us constantly through His creation! Why am I not seeing? How can I not be more aware? Am I conscious of His love for me? 

Or am I really that wrapped up in myself? 

Not today! Despite my past mistakes, selfishness, bad attitudes...He gives me another second, another day to "choose the better thing" and I will not let that be taken away from me. Though I may fall seven times I WILL get back up again. 

Proverbs 24:16 
 For a righteous man 
falls seven times, 
and rises again,
         But the wicked stumble 
in time of calamity.

I will open my eyes to see...see the gifts and the grace of each moment...Help me Jesus! Give me eyes to see...always seeing! 

"Worship is a way of seeing the world through the light of God" - Abraham Joshua Heschel