Throwback Thursday {3.5.2019}

Today’s post is a throwback from 2019. It’s a reminder that God goes before us. And when we are afraid, we can put our trust in him.

————————————————————

He Goes Before Us

I think it’s safe to say that we have all found ourselves in a frustrating state of mind at one point or another.  Maybe you are in a season of waiting, a season of heartbreak, a season of dealing with a three-year old toddler or a rebellious teenager.  In every season, there are ups and there are downs.

During this particular season of my life, I found myself frustrated and running out of patience with my situation.  I began praying for something months before and tried my best to keep a positive outlook, but everything seemed to be against me.  There was no light at the end of the tunnel, there was no glimmer of hope and this situation seemed to get worse and worse by the day.

I was tired, frustrated and ready to give up, but I wasn’t going to do that without a fight.  Let’s just say my Latina, as my husband calls it, was about to come out.  I was about to take matters into my own hands and handle the situation my way.  The enemy was trying hard to convince me that my situation wasn’t at the top of God’s list and I was entitled to take matters into my own hands.  I needed a quick fix and God wasn’t giving me the quick fix I needed.

I was bombarded by my thoughts, insecurities, feelings and frustrations.  As I sat there about to lose it, I looked over at my devotional book and picked it up.  I turned to the reading for the day and read the following:

“Dear Lord, Don’t let me give into my fears.  Instead, stand in front of me and let me see the peace I crave.  Amen.”

I put my book down and went on with my day.  Later in the afternoon, something happened that allowed me to experience a glimmer of hope and see a little light at the end of the tunnel.  God didn’t answer my prayer that day, but He did give me hope through the means of a conversation.  This conversation allowed me to see that I was about to make a huge mistake.  And God knew this.  He knew that I was about to possibly make my situation much worse than it was and He stood in front of me and reminded me that I needed to trust in Him.

When we grow weary we begin to take our focus off God.  As for me, I realized that I was letting fear rule my heart and my life.  I feared what could be.  Feared that the end result would not be what I wanted.  I was fixated on my situation and I imagined all of the worst case scenarios.

God made me see that day that He is still at work around me.  He is working all things for good no matter how hopeless a situation may feel.  I took this as His response to continue to wait and so that day, I backed off.  I thanked God for standing in front of me and letting me see the peace I needed.

Dear friend, I don’t know what your situation is.  I don’t know what season you find yourself in.  But I get it.  I may not be going through what you are going through, but I’ve experienced my share of pain, regret, loss, financial hardship, rejection and so much more.  I know how it feels to beg and plead God to answer, only to feel like He isn’t listening.

I think of the story of Hannah.  As she poured out her heart to God, Eli watched her and thought she was drunk.  In 1 Samuel 1:15-16 she replies,

“I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord.  Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” 

I’m not sure the exact number of years that Hannah prayed for a son, but God did grant her request.  He answered at the right time.  And He will do the same for you and for me.  I know we are human and if you are like me, I can be very impatient.  But instead of taking matters into our own hands we need to stop and ask ourselves, “what is my focus on?”  Turn on the worship music, read the Bible, pray and give Him thanks!  Surround yourself with Jesus and ask Him to bring you the peace you crave.  Don’t look at your situation as the end.  Look at it as the means that God is using to make you an incredible woman.

As my devotional said, “choosing to trust God changes my perspective and gives me the strength to persevere.” Choose to trust Him, friend. Even when the odds are stacked against you, even in the pit you find yourself in, even in the regret, heartbreak and loss, choose Him. He is there for you. He will turn your mourning into dancing and lift you up again.

Dear Lord.  Thank you for standing in front of us and keeping us from making some of the greatest mistakes.  But also, thank you for loving us when we end up making the wrong decision and find ourselves living out the consequences.  You are so good to us.  You are faithful in your promises and gracious to forgive us time and time again.  I pray for my sisters who find themselves in situations that may seem hopeless.  I pray that you will stand in front of them and go before them.  I pray that they will turn their eyes back to you and ignore all of the whispers from the enemy.  Help their unbelief and allow them to see you in every situation.  In Jesus name, Amen.

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

Throwback Thursday: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly {10.13.17}

Morning, babes! It’s been a crazy morning in North Georgia. Hurricane Zeta is causing all kinds of crazy wind and rain. Our lights keep flickering, but still hanging on!

Today I wanted to share a post from 2017 about choosing to trust that no matter what, God is good.

*************************************************************

You know those moments when you feel like you have it all together?  When you look around and your house is picked up, laundry is caught up, the sink is clean, the kids are getting along and you’ve cooked dinner every single night?  That was me a couple of days ago.  I felt like I was finally getting my you know what together and winning at this mom thing.  I was wearing my supermom cape proudly that’s for sure.

<Insert hormones here>

We all know the drill.  Once a month those pesky hormones come in and completely ruin everything.  Am I right?  We are crying one minute and then raging mad the next.  Our pants are a little snug because bloating and all we want to do is sleep and eat chocolate all day long.  Sorry boys.  If there are any guys reading this post you may want to go ahead and click on the x button.

You have been warned ha!

I had a hysterectomy a couple of years ago, but because I still have my ovaries I still experience the hormones.  Some months are pretty good, but every now and then there is a month where I turn into an evil monster.

<Insert evil monster here>

I’m not even going to lie.  The last couple of days have been hard y’all.  I’m taking the mask off and I’m just going to be real.  My kids were awful.  I was awful.  I was angry for no reason and so unbelievably tired.

Jojo completely broke down on me because he didn’t want to go to basketball lessons which in turn made me break down.  I was crying y’all.  Crying.  Both of us in the car crying!  And then Mackenzie gets upset telling Jojo to stop stressing Mommy out because she is going to end up in the hospital.  What in the world?  Where does she get this stuff?

I almost skipped out on small groups that night because I had nothing left.  I was exhausted physically and mentally.

But I am so glad that I went because I needed that time more than I realized.  Through our leader’s story I was reminded of God’s goodness and how he takes us where we are and restores us.

I’ve mentioned that we lost my daddy two years ago.  My daddy was the patriarch of our family.  He was an amazing man.  As I left small groups I cried.  I realized that on top of the hormones I really missed my dad.  I longed for a hug from him that night like I’ve never longed before.

Death Sucks.  Cancer sucks.

The night was a little better, but I let my feelings of defeat as a mom take over.  I started to feel guilt over the way I behaved towards my kids and my husband and then those feelings ruled the following day.  Instead of waking up renewed and restored, I woke up feeling guilty and exhausted.

Hormones are inevitable but my actions are not and I let my emotions of anger, bitterness, exhaustion, defeat and guilt take over my mind.

Why do I do that?  Why do I allow my circumstances to dictate my day?  I laid in bed wanting to feel angry for no reason.  I wanted to wallow and pout.  There was a struggle in my heart and I was fighting it as hard as I could.

Since my dad passed away, I’ve had to work hard at believing God is good.  I know that may sound awful, but when you lose a parent it crushes something inside of you.  Especially to see my dad, a faithful servant of God who fought to glorify Him until his last breath.  A man who worked tirelessly for the Lord through sickness and health.  Why isn’t he still here?

Brick by brick.  The wall was going up.  What was I thinking trusting God again?

As I drove home I began to listen to the words to the song that was playing in the background…

“And His heart is good
He is always kind
With a cross He proved
He is on our side

We are the sons we are the daughters of God
No matter where we go
We’re close to the Father’s heart
And though we stumble He will not let us fall
We are the Lord’s and He will never forsake His own
We are the sons we are the daughters of God

When the lies speak louder than the truth
Remind me I belong to You
When I can’t see past the dark of night
Remind me You’re always by my side”

And then I lost it.  I was allowing the lies to speak louder than God’s truth.  I was shutting him out, closing up my heart and building my wall.

But the song is true.  God is on my side.  I am His daughter.  My dad is no longer here, but God is.  And the painful truth is that God is enough.  As much as I wish my dad was here, God should be enough.  And I prayed and cried and asked God to heal my heart.  To forgive me for doubting His goodness once again.

As women we are stressed, tired and busy.  Between making sure the laundry is done, dishes are clean, dinner is cooked, field trip is paid, homework is done, everyone is where they need to be, uniforms are set out, lunches are packed and kids are wearing the right thing for spirit week.  The house running in order falls on our shoulders and if something doesn’t go right, we blame ourselves.  Insert mother nature and hormones and then add in some hard circumstances and we have a formula for disaster.

It’s during those moments of feeling completely overwhelmed when we begin to doubt.  We doubt His goodness because nothing seems to be going right.  We let the lies take over our mind and we forget about God’s truth.

Girlfriend, you may not think He cares about you being overwhelmed about the laundry, but He does!  The bible says that even the hairs on our head are numbered.  You are so important to Him and He wants you to bring to Him the good, the bad and the ugly.

Whatever your burden is, take it to Him.

We are not alone in this crazy world.  He is with us.  The Holy Spirit is a gift to us.  It is the seal of God upon us to help, comfort, encourage, strengthen and empower.  It is God living in us.

He is the source of joy.  All we need to do is ask for it.  He carries our burdens and turns our sorrow to song.  He proved His love to us when He sent His son to take our place.  He loves us with a love we can’t understand.

Maybe those pesky hormones have wreaked havoc over you this week.  Maybe you are going through a difficult time of grief over the loss of a loved one or someone you love is fighting a sickness and you are so close to giving up.  I urge you to cling on to Him.  Remind yourself of His promises.  God didn’t promise us a life free of the hard stuff, but He did promise to be with us every step of the way.

We can live a life of freedom because He has overcome the world.

Stop bottling up those feelings of fear, guilt, unworthiness and confess them to Him.  Take every thought captive, the Bible says.  Find a girlfriend you can share with and ask her to pray for you.  Don’t fight this battle alone.  That’s where the enemy wants us.  Alone in the dark completely giving up on everything.

 Choose to trust God.  Choose to love and choose to believe in His goodness.  Because He is good.  He is.  And if we have a hard time believing it we can ask Him to help us believe.

Rest in Him today sweet friend.  Give Him the good, the bad and the ugly because He doesn’t care.  He loves you anyway.

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” – Psalm 100:5

XO

Throwback Thursday :You Were Created For A Reason!

Today is throwback Thursday! Every now and then I share one of my older posts. Today I am a sharing one from three years ago. I hosted a virtual bible study on my blog for the book, Church of the Small Things by Melanie Shankle. Such a good book! If you are struggling with feelings that your ordinary life of raising kids, doing the laundry, making dinner is insignificant then get this book! She shares how God uses some of the smallest, most ordinary acts of faithfulness and yes, those acts may look a whole lot like packing a lunch or folding clothes! You are made with a purpose and even in the mundane, God uses you!

This post is all about how you are made with a purpose! I hope it encourages you this morning.

*******************************************************************************

I don’t even know where to begin.  Everything Melanie talked about resonated with me.  I love how she reminded us that we are God’s masterpiece.  He made us carefully and thoughtfully.  We each have a purpose in this life.  If you are alive and breathing, there is a reason you are still here.

We go through life wondering if we are significant, wanting to be accepted.  We spend our time looking for meaning and purpose in all the wrong things when we know that Jesus is the “thing” that fills us up.  All the other things only bring temporary fullness.  But with Jesus we are eternally full.

But life is hard.  And finding acceptance in the worldly things brings us instant pleasure.  Sometimes filling up on Jesus means being patient and going through hardships.  It’s not easy to choose Him over things that bring us instant gratification.  I know I’m guilty of it daily.  It requires discipline.

Sometimes it means going through a period of time where we find ourselves in the “pastures” of life.  Seasons where we feel lonely, forgotten and insignificant. Those lessons are some of the hardest.  Those seasons are tough.

Melanie talked about how God sometimes teaches us the biggest lessons through obscurity.  I looked up the word obscurity and it means unknown, unimportant.  How often do we go through life wondering if anyone even notices the things we do?  As moms, I know, this is big.  We do so much for everyone and at times it can be exhausting.  We go through life making sure all of our children’s needs are met.  Wondering at the same time if we are even doing a good job.  We have different things pulling for our attention every day.  Work, bills, laundry, lunches, homework, deadlines…

But friend, God sees you.  He sees you in those hard, lonely times.  When you feel lonely, unworthy and like you can’t measure up.  He sees you trying your best to balance work and home life.  God sees us even when the world has forgotten us.  And it’s in those seasons when God is preparing us for the big things in life.

God called David to be king.  He wasn’t even in the line up when his dad presented his other brothers to Samuel.  He was a shepherd.  He was ordinary.  To the world probably insignificant.  But to God he was perfect.  He would use this ordinary shepherd to do extraordinary things.

Before David became King, he spent his days as a shepherd in pastures.  Probably alone with just the sheep.  I’m sure he had moments of feeling forgotten, insignificant and alone.  Wondering if anyone even noticed him.  My sweet friend, it’s in those pastures of life where we grow and come to know God in a more intimate way.  If you are like me, I tend to pull away when moments get hard.  I pitch a fit.  I really do.  So this reminder was huge for me.  To know that God sees me.  He hasn’t forgotten me.  The Bible says that in this life we will have troubles.  We will.  But God tells us to find peace in Him.  He tells us to take heart because He has over come the world.

God has a calling for your life.  And no calling is insignificant whether it be public speaking to a sold out crowd or washing dishes and laundry.  He has a purpose for each of us.  Going about your day, working hard in your job, being nice to the new kid.  All of those things are callings.

But maybe God has called you to something that you are not quite ready for.  Maybe you feel that uncomfortable feeling.  That feeling of wanting to say, “no Lord you chose the wrong person.”  The feeling of wanting to run away and say, “why don’t you call so and so.  They would do a much better job.”  Or maybe you know your calling, but God is asking you to be still and wait.

And the waiting….oh the waiting is sometimes the hardest part.  Melanie said something that really stuck with me.  She said that we are called to be faithful and trust even when we don’t want to.  That was such a real and raw statement to me.  I know there are days when I just don’t want to trust.  I don’t want to be faithful.  I want to fix things myself because some days I feel that will bring a quicker result.  But then that would be settling.  Settling for something under God’s plan.  And if we settle sweet sister, think of all that we are missing.  God has big blessings for you.  But when we settle we miss out.  Our pastor said something on Sunday that has stayed with me this week.  He said that God calls us to aim higher.  God doesn’t call us to settle.  Aim Higher girlfriend!  Shoot for the stars.  Embrace the woman God has made you to be and aim higher.  Don’t settle.

This was a hard post for me.  I started writing it on Monday and just felt like it wasn’t finished.  I let it sit for a couple of days and God turned it in a completely different direction.  Maybe someone needed this encouragement today.  Maybe you are in a lonely, feeling forgotten season of life.  Take heart.  God is there.  He sees you sweet friend.

Or maybe God has called you to do something you don’t want to do.  Aim higher and do it.  Experience the blessings God has for your life.  And if you are in the waiting season of your calling, be patient.  I know that’s easier said than done, but slow down and be still.  Enjoy life, even in the waiting.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Take heart friends and experience His peace today. 

Thank. you for reading today! Have an amazing Thursday.

XO

PS – this post contained an affiliate link… thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!