Weapon Against the Enemy


Do you know who you are? Do you understand your purpose?

My entire life has been filled with admiration for super heroes. I enjoyed watching epic fight scenes, characters defying impossible odds, and fighting from a deep sense of purpose. They knew who they were after conquering their own struggles. They loved others. From the beginning they were destined to be the rare, unique person called to greatness. Possessors of power & an authority I often felt I lacked in my own life they somehow performed the impossible.

I was born with a calling on my life. All my life the enemy has done his due diligence to lie, cheat, steal & thwart this destiny of mine. Cheap shots have been taken. For a little while I even believed the lies that he intended me to believe in order to create in me an identity other than the one God intended. I have had enough of this!

When one realizes that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in & through us it is hard to ever return to sugarcoated, wimpy Jesus Christian living. Being comfortable is a lie. Sitting back is intended for those that do not understand who they are. When one that is unified with Christ & filled with Holy Spirit, a fire blazes with love for all people headed to hell to live free, victorious & joy filled lives! 

Because of this I do kingdom work battle. I am strong. I know who I am & to whom I belong. 

Fearless. 

Courageous. 

I am a weapon against the enemy!

Keeping Ourselves in Existence

“There are times, then, when in order to keep ourselves in existence at all we simply have to sit back for a while and do nothing. The very act of resting is the hardest and most courageous act…”

Thomas Merton- Abby Monk

In our fast paced & busy culture I often feel like there is no priority on rest & good self-care. Different transitions in life whether good or bad still affect our mind & bodies. 

How are you intentionally taking time to rest? When you do this do you feel guilty? You shouldn’t. Resting is essential for your mind, body & your spirit. It is good preventative care. 

There is such great peace in knowing that God desires to have us slow down & rest. It is there that one can learn to carry peace and rest even when seasons of busy kingdom work pick up. This is good self-care. 

No matter what you may be going through in life, doing nothing in the appropriate manner is accomplishing a lot. 

BAM! What?


Have you ever gone so long in a season that you literally just thought that life would always remain that way? I ask this question because my husband and I have gone through season after season of intensity. Seasons were filled with yucky slime and we often felt robbed. Despite this we chose Jesus and chose to laugh, chose to remain steadfast and choose love. All we have ever desired was to please God and be faithful to him in all things. We still desire this knowing that we may have to walk through heart wrenching things. Life is tough but I have been realizing that because of God I am stronger and tougher than what may happen in this life.

Recently we have been living in a new season. It came slowly, and steadily until one day… BAM!! We were walking right into a miracle. What?! This was something so new and so surreal. God had laid our path in order to walk out impossible things. We have always believed this about God but never did we dare to even dream what he wanted to give to us. As I write this, tears well up in my eyes because I feel so overcome with his love for us. 

Our entire married life has been filled with miracles. When we needed a car, one was given to us. When we had no money for food or rent, a check would show up in the mail or groceries would be delivered to our door. When we were in desperate need God always provided. He was never late and never too early. His timing was impeccable, perfect.

Not only does God care about providing your physical needs but your mental and emotional needs as well. When you need people in your life to love you just like Father God, he will either send them or lead them to you. As we have walked in miracles God has given us the biggest one: family and a home. We no longer feel like we are wandering. Our hearts swell real big with gratefulness and a deeper love for others. 

Through it all, God remains faithful. The greater question through every season whether good or bad is, will you remain faithful to him? Will you praise him no matter the circumstance? 

Our answer has always been, “yes, God” and I pray that it always will.



A Bottle to Break Over His Feet

There is a song by Misty Edwards with a line that says, “I want to put my passion in a bottle and break it over your feet”, like the time Mary anointed Jesus with perfume.

If I could put all that I am; all my dreams; all my passions; all my love; all of me into a bottle I would want to break it over Jesus’ feet and anoint him with it. As I think about what this means, it puts everything into perspective. There is nothing more that I would want other than to love my Savior in this way.

As I reflect over the past several years, everything that I have gone through has been worth it. It helped fill up the bottle of expensive perfume to anoint over the feet of the one who calls me Beloved. My bottle is full of joy, gratefulness, thanksgiving, blessing and every part of who I am. I long to give to him all of me even though I know it is nothing in comparison to what he has given to me.

I will live my life filling my bottle to pour over Jesus’ feet. I pray that it is a sweet aroma that brings a smile to his face.

This Joyful Journey

Lies are falling to the floor. Like drops of rain lies hit the ground with a gentle splash. I stomp over every single one. Joy rolls out from deep within me.

Laughter fills my belly. New wrinkles appear on my face from joy filling up my face.

My new declaration has been,

“Thank you Lord for the lies that are crumbling and falling to the ground. Thank you for filling the gaps with your truth.” 

Everyday I say this declaration. I say it even if nothing has occurred. I say it when I feel defeated or lonely. I say it after having conquered and won. I say it believing every word. 

This journey is like dancing in the rain and sleet. It is not an easy task but it is a joyful one. 

I know who my God is. He is mighty. He is powerful. He breathes life into my lungs. He is joy. He is love. I would not trade this life with him for anything else. Freedom feels good; it feels like the wind against my face running in fields of wildflowers. The sweet scent drifting up from the petals reaching towards the son fill my lungs and heal deep wounds that once made it hard to breathe. Now I breathe holy fire as if nothing had ever happened.

God is good.

He is my one-and-only. 

All That She Needed To Know

img_0067-2

This is from a previous blog that I wanted to repost. It has been good for me to be reminded of this post personally and I hope it will inspire others. Enjoy!

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2013

All that she needed to know

She stood there shimmering with a beauty that defied all logic. After everything that she had been through many believed that she would be destroyed forever, left in the dirty muck. But there she stood, clothed in truth and a freedom that came only from the Almighty.
A man, who watched silently in the shadows, wanted nothing more than for her to stay bound in the dirty mud that once encased her. He looked her over with jealous disdain. She was clothed in white and wore a pearl necklace of remarkable worth. This necklace represented real beauty that is found only in an honest relationship with Jesus. It represented the truth of being redeemed and having every chain of fear, abandonment, abuse, and lies dropped to the grave. She was free. She was pure. She radiated Love.
In anger he pulled out a fake pearl necklace and walked toward her. He was tired of seeing her stand upright, smiling with joy. Her laugh grated at his nerves. She glanced his way the closer he moved towards her. She recognized his face. He was a familiar companion yet one she had been freed from years ago. Despite his advance towards her, she started to sing, closing her eyes as she peacefully smiled in worship.
This infuriated him so much that he screamed for her to take off the necklace she was wearing and put on the one he had in his hands. She opened her eyes in time to tell him no and made sure her footing was firmly planted so that she would not move. Being denied, he furiously brought up his hands and attempted to rip off the necklace around her neck.
Pain shot through her neck, head, and back. Nothing he did was able to break such an incredible gift. The more he tugged, the firmer she stood despite the pain. When he was tired of yanking her necklace, he wrapped his hands around her neck to strangle out her voice, which she was using to speak words of loving truth. The tighter his grip, the stronger she fought for her voice.
She pleaded with the Lord, asking for help from such binding actions. Jesus, having been the one to give her such a gift of priceless worth stepped into the room. She saw him in the distance with relief. He nodded to her to do what He had prepared her to do in this moment. In an upward motion, and with all of the strength within her, she broke off the hands that were slowly choking out her voice.
His eyes went wide. His grasp on her had been broken. Pain shot through her entire body as she gasped for air. Her throat throbbed.
Then Jesus, in all of His glory, appeared behind her. She was filled with awe as the man could only cower, desperately fighting the urge to kneel to the King of Kings. And as he collapsed to the floor, she stood victorious. Jesus wrapped His arms around her gently and whispered in her ear words that filled her with strength. These words she would forever remember.
Jesus said, “I am so proud of you!”
That is all that she needed to know.

Working Through Scar Tissue

img_4122

(Hannah Hope Photography)

Last week I tore some scar tissue in my wrist from an injury dating back to middle school. I heard a pop and had immediate pain. Like many times in the past where I had inflamed the same injury I instantly was worried. I soon realized that this pain was different and minor soreness occurred. I now have better movement and range of motion than I have ever had in years.

When God is allowed into our lives deeper and deeper, he starts to break up our scar tissue.

Scar tissue is an amazing thing as it is our body’s way of repairing and protecting the damaged area. Sometimes it can build up too much and we need it to be worked out in order for proper blood flow to return to the area and life can return back as it should be.

Our hearts, minds, and souls are very much the same. We do things to repair and protect ourselves when we have been hurt. But too often we can either run or see it as a bad thing when our inner scar tissue begins to break up and be worked out. It feels uncomfortable. It can be extremely painful at the time. It leaves us feeling vulnerable. Sometimes it can even feel too intrusive. This is a good thing!

I have seen too many people in my life run from these moments. Just when God is getting to the root of the cause of so much of our pain, we run. Just when God is getting to the root of our sin issue, we run. No one really likes pain but when there is pain with a purpose, a purpose to bring healing and life back so that we can be free, that is pain well worth experiencing.

Too many times I have seen people decide to run away from this process when the purpose is to bring them into a greater level of freedom and joy.

I will be blunt honest on here this time. I am tired of seeing so many people who were once on fire with passion for God slowly fade into the background when things got too intense inside of them and when the painful process of working out scar tissue didn’t feel good. It got too uncomfortable for them.

What is the point of having a relationship with a loving, all knowing, faithful God when we are only willing to give him our scraps or a piece of our heart?  When he desires more of us, some just sit back allowing themselves to turn into an apathetic Sunday or once a month Christian. If my husband did that to me, we would have major issues. I would know that he had lost interest in loving me and might even be hiding something from me. I am no longer friends with people who have treated me in similar ways because there was no longer a healthy relationship that was growing.

God knows all of our junk. He knows all of our secrets. He knows that what we go to often creates more agony and pain. His ways are always best because he is good. He is love.

Let him work through the scar tissue.

It is worth it.

Freedom. Overflowing joy. Love reigns where fear once had a stronghold. Addictions are gone. Trauma is healed. Life in Christ is a life lived from victory!

DSC01650

 

 

 

 

Thank You God

Today, I have experienced something so incredible. I have seen how goodness can come from grief and how the sins of others can be turned around and used back against the enemy through love. Today I feel so blessed. I truly feel loved by God in a new way.

A year ago I was struggling with many things. I was wading through wounds and learning how to grieve so many different losses. If I were to take one more hit like the ones I had just gone through the previous years I had made it up in my mind to quit certain aspects of my life. But God brought my family to a place of incredible healing. He brought us into people’s lives that loved us, truly loved us. Love from the Father touched our very souls through our new family.

My husband and I are two very different people now.

As I reflect on today and how I was able to love two sweet, tender hearted friends who have truly been more like sisters to me, I look back and see how the trials and the pain were all worth it. I see how God has used my own pain to grow love in my heart and allow it to make me better. If I had allowed the sins of others against me to make me bitter, I would not be here today. If I had not run into my Father God’s arms I would be a broken and spiteful woman.

But I chose to run into the loving arms of my Savior. Each time I would weep in His arms. He would whisper sweet promises in my ear and tell me how proud He was for choosing love rather than hate. There were days I told Him how angry I was. Other days I told Him that I was tired of the ache. And on my darkest days, I told Him that I was ready to leave this earth. During those moments He would speak life into my aching soul. He convinced me that I was worth it. He showed me that His truth was the only one that mattered and that those who I wanted to love me in return but denied me that one wish were hurting, perhaps even bleeding to death.

Today, I have seen such beauty come from choosing Gods way through the pain. I am so thankful for God’s love and His healing. He is so good! Through death and illness He is good. Through rejection and slander He is good. Through everything God never changes. He is good and that does not change. Most often people blame God for the hurt or the bad things that take place when really it is a consequence or response to the sin in our own lives or from the lives of those around us. With free will God gives us the choice to choose Him or not. With free will come painful consequences when what we choose is out of line with Gods heart and desire for us. His ways are always best. His heart is for us, always.

Dear Readers, please know how much God is for you. His heart is so full of love for you. He chooses you. To you He says, “You are worth it”.

Thank you God!

 

Image-1 (3)

 

Today…

IMG_0715

(Picture above is a screen shot of Moms Facebook page)


This time last year, our family was preparing for the celebration of life service for our Mom. That day was interesting, and exhausting.

Today, I have a mingling of feelings and I cannot seem to decide which one to remain in. A part of me wants to go to my Moms grave and just weep. But another part of me wants to enjoy the day, celebrate those in my life, and go buy flowers! I want to eat pie. I know that technically I can do all of these in one day but for whatever reason going to my Moms grave seems to be the hardest. I have bounced back and forth, having feelings of guilt for not wanting to make the drive by myself or even with my husband. For now, let me share with you what I spoke at her celebration of life service. This is completely unedited as it was written the night before and under heavy grief and exhaustion.


My Mom was an extraordinary, beautiful woman. She loved deeply, was passionate about life, never let her battle with Lupus define her, and wanted to please God in everything. She desired reconciliation of certain relationships, strove for love and peace in her home, and wanted the best for each of us.

As her children, we got to see her love us unconditionally. We saw her cry over the brokenness of others and witnessed beauty in its purest form. Some of my fondest memories are of her sharing scriptures with me. Isaiah 41:10 was one of the first ones she taught me when I was scared at night. She was the one to lead me to Christ at her bedside when I was 7. I remember her praying for me, and letting me know that God held me in my heartache.

Our family vacations were never dull and when things got rough, she was one that would try to find something to cheer us up. I will miss her laugh. Her smile. I will miss the ways that she lovingly cared for each of us. But she showed me how to love God and how to love people. She showed me how to be a Mom and now I get to pass that love on to my daughter, whom she also treated just as one of her grandchildren. Not everyone accepted my daughter as a part of our family but my Mom did and I can tell you that my daughter will never forget her because of that.

I am thankful for a Father who loved our Mom and a Mom who loved our Father. They made sure we knew about it. Often we would find them kissing in the kitchen or making up after arguing over the salt and pepper shaker. My parents were in everything for the long haul and that definitely included ministry. Every ministry decision Mom would do with her whole heart and she was excited to worship God in that way. On the same note, my Dad allowed my Mom to serve and he did an excellent job uplifting her into those different roles. We witnessed our parents go through the hardships involved with ministry. Through it all, we learned how harmful sin could be. How it can penetrate and scar the Lord’s most faithful servants. The most beautiful things that I can say occurred from those scars was the grace and forgiveness my Mom extended to so many. She may have been deeply hurt and beaten but she loved you anyway. She was able to do that because Jesus had done the same for her.

She would not complain about the pain that she was in, nor describe the list of health issues that she knew would eventually end her life. She did not let her illness define her. She never used it as a crutch. If anything, it gave her more determination to serve God more and more each day by loving others as God loves everyone. This was one of the reasons why she and my Dad served in Dominica these last several months. When there was a need she would fulfill that need. When God said, Go to Dominica, she was ready to lay her life on the line. She served with everything within her. She was willing to give all because you were worth the sacrifice. Each of you were worth the sacrifice because she understood how much God loved each of you. She was willing to give her life just so that you would know that. She was willing to give her life because Jesus gave His for her. He brought healing to her mind, her heart, and her soul. She understood what it meant to love Jesus.

I can stand here as a proud daughter of an amazing Mom, confidant, and friend. She showed us what the scripture in Mathew 16:24 states, “ Then Jesus said to his disciples, If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” Let me ask you this. What selfish ways do you need to give up today? What legacy do you want to leave behind? My Mom died giving her all for others. She died ultimately giving her all for her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, leaving a legacy of such beauty of God’s deep love for us. She loved Jesus. She loved you. And she would want you to know that God loves you so much more.

The Encouragers

 

DSC01650


 

It is an amazing feeling to walk out of discouragement into encouragement!


 

When I began this blog I was determined to be as open about the grieving process that I was going through. It has been healing for me. I wanted to help others through my honesty. I wanted to send a message that grieving is not wrong, but that it is a part of life and that we must support one another through the different stages.


 

Too often, our current culture does not allow time to grieve, or even support and acknowledge that people are. I know that part of this stems from our busy lives we all carry. For those who have not been touched by the loss, they often can forget that an individual is still processing through the loss and separation of their loved one. Because they forget, they begin to question why someone may be tired, sad or discouraged. People can come across very insensitive. Because of these people, it highlights those who are very encouraging. The “encouragers” are the ones that give you permission to grieve. They cry with you. They will hug you. They will listen. I am thankful for these people!


 

I am the type of person that does not want to stuff issues down. I have intentionally been working on dealing with the grieving process head on as best as I have been able to in certain environments. I am thankful to be in a place full of love, and incredible encouragement. It has allowed me time to breathe. Dreams begin to resurface in a place of love and encouragement. Hope grows. One is able to break free from penetrating sadness that can often come and go as grief hits. Freedom reigns.


 

If I could give any sort of advice to anyone trying to support someone who has lost a loved one, it would be this: Give the other person permission to grieve when you are around him or her.


 

God does this for each of us. He acknowledges how hard it is. He sympathizes with us and gives us grace. He holds us, carries us and cries with us. He does not say, “Suck it up. Stop crying. You need to work harder to be happy. You really need to pray more since this shows you have sin in your life…” I could go on further but I will not.


 

Instead this is what God says, “My child, I love you. You will make it through this. The pain you feel reveals a heart that loves deeply. Sin caused this separation. I did not design you to experience this separation. It is why you struggle so much. Let me heal you, guide you and renew life to your aching soul. I will continue to listen to you, encourage you, and give you grace as you learn a new life. I understand your loss. It is hard. But you are stronger than you feel. I am holding you. I will pour my spirit into you to renew your soul. I love you.”


 

We all need to be more like God. We all need to extend mercy and grace to each other no matter what. We all need to encourage and love one another. Romans 12 describes very clearly how a true Christian is to live. Love should be greater than anything else. Love should permeate everything that we do, even when we might not understand what someone else is going through.


 

Romans 12:9-15

Marks of the True Christian

“9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” ESV (read the rest of this chapter. It is so good!)


 

Since my last post, I have been blessed by so many who have prayed for me, loved me and sent encouraging notes. Thank you fellow encouragers!