Undo

undo

You would think that the older I get, it would finally sink in that we can never go back and undo our choices. We cannot undo words we say or the actions we take. Yet, here I am 30 years old and re-learning a lesson I have experienced more times than I care to admit.

We only get one shot at life, and I have wasted so much of my life. Time I cannot get back. I sit here thankful that my God can make me new. Thankful that He can work all things together for my good. Grateful that, despite my failures, He can and wants to use me for His Kingdom. However, despite the thankfulness, I am disappointed. Disappointed that I have allowed my emotions to rule my life.

So many times we mistake emotions as truth. But, the truth is our emotions change from day to day and sometimes even moment to moment. We cannot let our emotions become the compass for our lives.

Although, right now I am struggling to undo some choices I have made – and the battle is a daily one, step-by-step I will be victorious. Not because of who I am, but because of who Christ is in me. I have to daily remind myself to slow down. I have to think about if the choice is worth the potential consequences of my actions. But I cannot stop at thinking, I must pray and seek truth before I take a step, so that I can be sure I am taking a step in truth and letting emotions direct my path.

Proverbs 13: 16-21

Wise people think before they act; fools don’t and even brag about it!  An unreliable messenger stumbles into trouble, but a reliable messenger brings healing.  If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism, you will be honored.  It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools will not turn from evil to attain them.  Whoever walks with the wise will become wise; whoever walks with fools will suffer harm.  Trouble chases sinners, while blessings chase the righteous!

My to-do list:

– Think Before I Act

– Be Reliable

– Accept Criticism

– Turn from Evil

– Surround Myself with Wisdom

Rush Of Fools – Undo Lyrics

I’ve been here before, now here I am again
Standing at the door, praying You’ll let me back in
To label me a prodigal would be
Only scratching the surface of who I’ve been known to be

Turn me around pick me up
Undo what I’ve become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, need Your help
I can’t do this myself
You’re the only one who can undo
What I’ve become

I focused on the score, but I could never win
Trying to ignore, a life of hiding my sin
To label me a hypocrite would be
Only scratching the surface of who I’ve been known to be

Make every step lead me back to
The sovereign way that You

 

“Where am I going?”

For the past several years, when summer rolls around, I have seemed to find myself in a position where I have big decisions to make. Decisions that will alter the course I am on by requiring me to step away from some opportunities to take a hold of others.

For the past few months, I have known that the decision train was fast approaching and I would have some big choices to make, but no matter how many lists I made, minutes hours I spent thinking about it, or the number of prayers I spoke, the decision was not becoming any easier.

Last night, I came to a startling and honestly painful realization – I have lost my vision for where I am headed in life. I began asking myself the questions:  “What am I doing with my life? What am I aiming for? Where am I going?…. Who am I?” Once upon a time, I could see clearly the path I was on. I knew exactly where I was headed, why I was headed there and I had a plan to execute it, but that vision has become blurred.

While trying to answer those questions, I began to see that because my focus has been on my current circumstances, desires and needs.  In the craziness of life, I lost sight of where I was headed.  I began to listen to well intentioned and loving voices, more than seeking out the voice of God. I took great opportunities without weighing whether or not they would help me reach my goals.

When I first started driving I would swerve and not drive in a straight line despite my best effort. I remember my dad telling me not to focus on the road right in front of me but to look down the road to where I was going. When I focused my attention on where I was headed I drove a straight line. I think the same is true in life; when we loose sight of where we are headed, it is easy to get off course without even realizing it and then end up in a place asking “Where am I?”

While I still have decisions to make, because I have the end in mind, I have confidence that the choices I need to make are going to become clear. Although I know some of the decisions I need to make won’t be easy, I know  it will be worth it, and I am willing to make sacrifices and do hard things, in order to fulfil the calling God has placed on my life.

If you are finding yourself with a difficult decision to make, check to see where your focus is. Is your focus on the problem or on God? Are you thinking more about what people expect from you or what God expects from you? Is your focus on your past mistakes believing that you cannot move forward because of them or is your focus on using those experiences motivate you to make better choices?

I have faith that as I shift my focus to God and the calling He has placed on my life, my vision will once again be clear and I will know and be willing to make the right decisions to get me to that place where God is calling me forward to.

 

Beautiful Things

The arrival of October and the autumn season, has always excited me. I LOVE FALL. It is my most favorite time of the year. The leaves turn to beautiful shades of red and orange. The crisp cool air is refreshing after the long hot summer days. The autumn line of candles is out and who doesn’t like their house to smell like pumpkiny goodness? Yes, I typed pumpkiny, and it was on purpose. I love everything about the fall season. It is a signal that the holidays are upon us, which means yummy food and time with my family. What’s not to love?

The beauty of the fall season has always excited me, but this year the arrival of October brought about another kind of excitement and expectancy. You see, for the past two years around this time I have received special word from God, and I couldn’t help but wonder if it would happen again this year.

Two years ago, a lady at a women’s retreat approached me. She did not know me or what I was going through at the time, yet she came to me and said, “You need to know you are beautiful, you are beautiful inside and out, and you have a beautiful heart.” That word penetrated my heart and was the launch pad for my starting Beautiful You.

Last year on October 10th, I was given a special word from God from a guest speaker at my church.  “God’s anointing is on you. All that you have lost will be given back to you and your life will have a 180 degree turn around this year. It is all coming together.”

So as October rolled around this year, I began to look back on my life and all that had happened in this past year. Last October, I was a girl stepping out in faith with no plan. I went from jobless to having a job in ministry. I went from relying on friends and family for a place to live, to storing most of my stuff in my car, to having a little place to call my own. I have had so much fun fixing up and decorating my new home. The fears that plagued me from lost relationships have been replaced with peace and new beautiful friendships. My life today looks so much different than it did a year ago.

My life has indeed made a 180 degree turn in so many aspects. However, God told me last year all that I had lost would be returned to me, and despite all the changes, there are still some desires and dreams that have seemed so far out of reach- almost impossible.

I began to question those hopes and dreams. I didn’t know if I deserved to have those desires come to pass. Even though I know that God places desires within us and He longs to give us the desires of our hearts, I began wondering if the longings of my heart were missed opportunities.

Two days ago, on Thursday, October 4th, I spent all afternoon baring my heart to God in prayer {as if he didn’t already know what was on my heart}. That evening a friend came and told me that it had been on her heart to pray for me that afternoon. She shared this: “God wants you to know that He has not forgotten you. He is still working on your behalf. The desires and dreams that you have-He birthed in you. Don’t lose hope. He is at work in your life.”

I love how God knew I needed His comfort; He knew I needed His loving reassurance.

I am looking forward to the beautiful things my Father is working out in my life. I am thankful that despite my imperfections I serve a Savior who makes beautiful things out of dust. And while I am waiting, I am thankful that every where I look I am surrounded by His beauty in – Colorful leaves. Sweet friendships. Inspired lyrics. Fragrant candles. Crisp Air. A Loving family.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn.

Psalm 37: 4-5

“How ya feelin’?”

A week ago today I stepped out my front door to see low, dark clouds rotating right over the top of my house. As I stood there not believing what I was seeing, a white cloud whipped out of nowhere forming a circle amidst the dark clouds.  My heart started racing and I began to pray for safety. Fear jolted through me. I had never witnessed anything like that before in my life.

Today, the picture is vastly different. The sun is shining across a piercing blue sky. The sweet fragrance of my grandmother’s wisteria and the birds chirping a sweet melody remind me that spring has indeed made its’ grand entrance. The danger I faced merely a week ago is but a distant memory as I soak in the pure joy of the beauty that surrounds me.

I have been guilty on so many occasions of getting caught up in whatever situation I am facing.  Allowing myself to get lost in the moment, I have made too many long term decisions based on temporary emotions. Fear, excitement, joy, anxiety, desperation, sadness, guilt, and desire ruled my actions. The problem is that all of those things are feelings and not truths.

Feelings deceive us. I don’t know about you, but my feelings have been known to change in the blink of an eye. Give me a piece of chocolate and turn on some Christian music and my emotions change. Drive slowly in front of me when I am in a hurry and running late and my feelings will change. Feelings are not dependable. As hard as it is, we should never use our feelings to guide us.

So, if not our feelings, what should guide us? Truth. God’s truth. God is never changing. His word is stable and constant. We may not be able to trust our feelings, but we can trust in God’s word.

  •  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away – Matthew 24:35
  • God’s Word goes on and on forever – 1 Peter 1:25
  • The grass withers and the flowers fall,  but the word of our God endures forever.” – Isaiah 40:8

I love this quote by Joyce Meyer: “Don’t let your feelings be a God to you.”  We cannot let our feelings rule us.  Everything in life may change and your feelings may take you on a roller coaster ride, but God’s word is a constant that you can trust. The truth of His Promises will never fail us.

I have thought a million times, I will never lose this joy I have deep in my heart. No matter what comes my way I know I am a child of God and He is holding me safely in His hands. Nothing will quench my fire and zeal.  Then there have been times where I felt so low and broken that I believed that I would never overcome the guilt and shame that crept to the surface. Unfortunately our shifting feelings can be strong, but fortunately God’s love, power, and word are stronger!

Just as the weather is drastically different today than it was last week so will our situations change, our feelings fluctuate, and our emotions get the better of us. But no matter what we experience in life we can rest on the knowledge that God’s word is truer than:  any feeling I have, anything I will experience, any situation I will face, and any lie the world would have me believe. hallelujah!

You cannot trust your emotions. Don’t let your feelings become God to you, but remember that God’s word will never pass away. The next time you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel  because your feelings are more than you can bear, remember your break through could be just around the corner.

 

Dear Father, I have relied too long on my emotions as the guiding factor in my life. I no longer want my feelings to rule me, but I want your word be the truth that I stand upon. Your word says you love me with an everlasting love. Father your word also says you have a plan to prosper me and not to harm me. When I feel the world closing in on me I pray that YOUR truth and not MY feelings will lead me. I ask that you help me not to make permanent decisions based on my temporary emotions, but that I will seek you and your unfailing word for direction. Thank you that your Hold Word is truer than how I feel. In your name I pray, amen.

Writer’s Block

Day: Tuesday, September 27th
Time: 11:50 am
Place: In Beautiful Green Country  
Mood: Lost
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For the past several days I have sat down to blog, but nothing comes out. I cannot make sense of anything. So I decided I am doing to just start typing. It might not make sense, but maybe something will emerge.

Honestly, lately I have felt very lost. I don’t know where I belong. I don’t know where I am supposed to be. I don’t know what I am supposed to be doing. I just don’t know. It is hard to job hunt when you don’t even know where you are supposed to be looking. When I am asked for my address or asked where I work, I don’t know what to say. Sometimes I think, what in the heck am I doing? Why did I get myself into this situation?

I could have continued down the path I was going. I could have swallowed my emotions and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. At least then I kind of belonged. At least then I kind of knew what I was doing.

But, it is undeniable that I am on this journey for a reason. The things that have happened: the way God has affirmed me, the way I have grown, and the truths I have uncovered all remind me I am here for a reason.

I have been battling with tooth and ear pain for the last month, and Saturday night it came back with a vengeance. I could not sleep. I could barely move. I did everything I could to take the edge off of the pain: I took meds, I sat up, I massaged my ear, put pressure on my jaw, I rocked back and forth, I took more meds, I cried, I prayed, and when there was nothing else I could think of to do, grabbed my bible opened it and just rested my head in it. I did not know how I was going to make it through the night, but I did. I watched the sun rise; a new day had come.

This reminds me of a song by Josh Wilson: Before the morning:

It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
So hold on you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

I have to remember that I just need to lean on Jesus. Right now there is a storm going on inside of me, and although I feel like I won’t make it out, I will cling to God’s promises. I will rest in Him. Even though I feel alone and lost, I know I belong. I belong to the King of King and Lord of Lords and He promises me a life that is filled with prosperity, safety, hope, and a future. There will be a light that comes at the end of all of this. I believe it!

The word that seems to keep popping up is “How?” How would that work? How could that happen? How can I do that? The answer is always God. I have heard a million times “”Don’t pray for patience.” We’ve all heard the joke,” I prayed for patience but I’m just not getting it fast enough!”

I have let our microwave society the ““I want it now”” mentality to creep into my life. Sometimes being still is sooo hard. I want to act. I want to do something, but I just don’t know what that something is supposed to be. I have to remember ““good things come to those who wait”” and I have to stop tapping my toe with impatience.

Like in my last post, I have to make sure that I have given up all control. I can’t be in the driver seat, I have to let Jesus take the Wheel (Maybe I need to listen to some Carrie Underwood :P).There are a few factors I have assumed are supposed to be in the equation. Maybe I need to stop assuming and totally let go. Yah, I think it is about time to do that…

Dear God,
I feel lonely and confused, but I know that you have promised that you will never leave or forsake me. Even though I feel lost I know that you are at my side. My life is yours. I give you my ears and my full attention. When I hear your voice instructing me on where to walk, I will do so boldly and with confidence that I am on the right path. The only person I will seek to please is you. I know it will be worth the wait.
In your name I pray, Amen.

A New Beginning

Day: Tuesday, August 31st
Time: 4:00 am
Place: My Mom’s House
Mood: Hungry (spiritually… and physically. HA! My tummy is rumbling)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A new beginning – that is what I need.  Fresh perspective and a Fresh start… and boy do I know the right man for the job!  My Lord and Savior.

I woke up at 2:30 this morning wide awake after having a dream that involved people from my past. It was not a bad dream; non-the-less, I woke up unable to sleep and wide awake. 

Following my heart, I went on a mission to research God’s promises. I remembered a message my pastor had preached where he listed some of God’s promises and I went on a hunt to find it.  It did. It is called One Thing.

When I started this journey I had been keeping a growing list that everytime I thought of something I needed to change, I desired,  or I needed to focus on I would write it down. The list was growing and clearly was becoming daunting. What should I change? What do I need to work on? God what do I do with all this? I don’t know if you are thinking what I was thinking, but narrowing the list down to One Thing was sounding like a great idea to me – so I watched it.

There were four One Thing questions to ask myself:

#1 What One Thing do I desire from God?
#2 What One Thing am I lacking? (when it comes to my relationship to God)
#3 What One Thing do I need to let go?
#4 What One Promise of God do I need to claim?

What one thing do I desire from God? Wisdom
Being a woman of many words I really wanted to say: clarity, direction, a deeper understanding of God and his love for me,  the specific purpose He has for my life… but I narrowed it down to wisdom 🙂

What one thing am I lacking?  A consistent and intimate prayer life
I have to give god my first and my best to God.  I can’t just go to Him when I am out of options, or tired, or lost.. He wants me TO SEEK HIM FIRST…THEN all these things will be added unto me.

What is one thing I need to let go? The Past
My past is no longer scary, but I have to stop looking back. At any of it. I cannot worry what people think about my decisions. From my dream tonight, I realize that I have to totally let go. It is a new day! I have to PRESS ON!!

I don’t know everything. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 13:13-14

What is one promise of God I need to claim? HIS strength is made perfect in MY weakness
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed because I don’t think I have what it takes to be and do what God is calling me to. I have what it takes… because HE is my strength. The truth is alone i am inadequate, but I don’t have to put so much pressure on myself I just have to trust God. Give God your first and your best, and He will do the rest!
It’s time for a new beginning!
It’s NOT too late There is always ONE Thing that can be done to change your life!

 

Lamentations 3:22-23

(The Message)

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
   his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
   How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
   He’s all I’ve got left.

(New International Version)

  Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
   therefore I will wait for him.”

Uprooted – The Start of A New Spiritual Journey

If you would have asked me a couple of days ago “Why- Why leave?”, I could only answer with, because I have to.  For those of you who are new to my journey on Friday evening, August 25th, 2011, I realized I needed to put myself in time-out.  I simply needed to get away from it ALL.  I reached the point of physical, emotional, and spiritual bankruptcy. As a through-and-through giver of myself, it was heartbreaking and panicking to realize I had nothing left to give.

It came as a shock to some of my friends, but it was a shock even to me. I had been feeling as though I was right in sync with God’’s plan for my life. Doors were opening. My dreams were coming true. I was gaining momentum. And then, without notice, I could not move another step forward. I knew I had to re-focus.

I made the decision to leave everything behind for an unknown period of time to stop and seek God. It might sound crazy or weird –- honestly, it kind of is. I have no plan. No money. No clue as to where I am headed, but what I have is faith & support , and the understanding in my heart that something has to change.

I have faith that God is leading me on this journey and I claim the promises I know He has declared for His believers. I also have the support of friends and family who are the wind beneath my wings *hahaha*
I just had to say that.  But really, I have been blessed with friendships that give me the stability and encouragement I need to follow my heart.

Just 3 days into my  journey I believe light has been shed on the “”why?””. I believe that doors were indeed opening and that God’s purpose for my life was about to be unleashed in a way I cannot comprehend, but unless I stop and get firmly rooted in Him I will get blown away.

 

Spiritual Strength

“Every believer must determine to do whatever it takes to develop inner strength and spiritual capacity so they can be strong in the Lord. That spiritual strength and capacity will enable you to fulfill your destiny in the face of any and every obstacle.

What exactly is spiritual strength? Quite simply, spiritual strength is the ability to carry an enduring heart that follows after God even when His calling or message is not popular at the time. It is the capacity to live in hard spiritual climates when those around you give up, break rank and run from their faith in God. It is the capability to cart the fire of God’s glory according to His will and not your own. Spiritual strength is the endurance beyond the “norm” of moderate Christian living that comes out of pressing into Jesus for more of Him. Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled”.”

Endurance
 
“Spiritual endurance is an outstanding mark of a victorious Christian. It is the presence of inner strength and hope in the hidden man, the staying power of a faithful believer, and is well-displayed during life-squeezing moments. Its stability is not for just a short period of time, but for a lifetime.

 Spiritual endurance is more than a notable will to achieve something in life. Some may not be aware, but it is an inspiring exhibition of God’s grace. Spiritual endurance is an amazing result of a well-understood and sufficient grace of God being revealed through a believer’s life. It is joy and strength-producing grace.”