The Deep Valley Year

Has 2018 been a year of conquering mountains or stuck in a deep in a valley?

For me, most of the year has been a pretty deep valley. And I contemplated not saying a word… just skipping over this topic but I feel like it needs to be said if I’m going to call myself an honest lifestyle blogger. 

In 2018 I did something I never ever saw myself doing, I got a divorce. The word divorce, can be a heavy word. And it definitely felt heavy for awhile. Honestly, reaching that point in my marriage was the lowest valley I have ever found myself in life so far. Walking through that pain, mourning, and grieving has been difficult because it was not something I was expecting in life. It was definitely a curve ball.

But even though I was walking through a deep valley, I still had a community around me that helped me keep my focus on all things good. In 2018, I was blessed with family, friends, and a church family that did not allow me to stay down. I had a circle of support around my family as we walked a difficult road.

I feel like deep valleys sometimes are used by Satan to change how we view ourselves. It is so easy to buy into Satan’s lies about who we are. Satan wants us to believe that we are worthless, full of shame, unloveable, unwanted, and even horrible at life. However, that is not what God says. God says that we have worth, that He took our shame, that we are loved and cherished, we are wanted, and that through every single day He is with us. We need to remember to always set our sights on God’s truths about us every day. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We have a purpose designed by God himself. And He is on the ride of life with us. God has something good coming in 2019 and the years to come.

So yes, I am now a single mom. For the most part we have reached a new normal. We are doing pretty well. And 2018 was the hardest year of my life to date but the Good Lord and the circle of support that He put around me have gotten me through and will continue to do so. As a family we are picking up the pieces and letting God put them back together.

God has never and will never fail us. He has plans for all of our lives.

If you are facing a deep valley my best advice and hope for you is that you lean in to the Heavenly Father and find your support circle.

Blessing to all in 2019.

When The Unexpected Shows Up Uninvited

Life gets hard. We all know this. In fact, we are promised that in this world we will have trouble. But until we are facing trouble it is easy to say that we will lean on Jesus through it all. In reality, it is all too easy to try to handle it all by ourselves.

I have faced my fair share of unexpected trials. I can say for certain that trials are a lot easier when I let God handle them for me, even if what happens isn’t what I or those around me desire.

Trying to face a trial on your own promises to be taxing on a person. Trials always come uninvited but what about the unexpected?


The Unexpected Comes Hard

The unexpected can come like a freight train in the night. You didn’t even know you had anything to worry about and then all of a sudden it pops up. You know exactly what I’m talking about. That bill you really don’t have the money to pay. That unexpected series of illnesses that goes from one person to the next in your home. The unexpected battle that never really was truly complete with any number of enemies that may attack your home: sickness, financial strain, relationship problems with family, friends, or a spouse, or even addiction to anything, not just the obvious addictions that come to mind, although, those hand out extremely heavy burdens and trials (i.e. caffeine, television, phone, social media). Anything of this world even if it is intended for good can be twisted around and cause harm to you and those you love.

Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Make no mistake Satan is a pro at it. Satan has a 3rd-degree black belt in destroying lives, alright, so that is the reason we, as believers, have to know how to go into battle and be prepared.

So when a soldier is in combat what is he or she wearing? Armor, right? Protective gear. So why is it a struggle for us to remember to put on the Armor of God to protect us from Satan? The bible says “above all else guard your heart”. If you are a believer, putting on the Armor of God is step one. Now, does that mean that our life is going to be trial free? No, absolutely not. What it does mean is that our heart will be strengthened to the point that when entering the spiritual battles with Satan the light of Jesus will then shine brighter within us than the darkness of Satan trying to creep in.

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18


Six Pieces of Armor

  1. Belt of Truth- Knowing that God is the voice of truth and living life with integrity and honesty daily.
  2. Breastplate of Righteousness
  3. Feet Fitted in the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace
  4. The shield of Faith- Having the faith of a child. It is so simple just to believe. We, adults, make it complicated.
  5. Helmet of Salvation
  6. And the sword of the Spirit- the word of God

As you look at these six pieces of the armor of God are there any that you have weak links in or are you missing pieces entirely? I know that I have room for improvement in many areas.


In the Midst of a Battle

Even as I am typing this I am facing a trial, just like we all do. In the midst of this trial, I find my footing slipping at times. I have made mistakes. I didn’t find myself fully ready for this trial. I let my battle training (being in the word) slack. But, I have God’s Grace and it is sufficient. I find myself second guessing at times what I know what God has lead me to do because HE is the one directing my steps. But I have grace and it is sufficient.

I know above all else God loves me and is with me every step of the way. I know HE alone is the VOICE OF TRUTH. I have faith that ALL of God’s promises are true. I know without a shadow of a doubt that when I take my final breath on Earth I will be with my Father in Heaven. I know that as I face this I am not alone. God has placed a great village around me. And I am so grateful for my village. And even in the midst of this trial, I know that if I remain planted in God’s word and take up the sword of the Heavenly Father and fight then I will win because ultimately, God has already won the war. But if I leave the armor and the sword and fight without it, as the world would have me do, then I am sure to fail.

Are you in the midst of a trial? Are you going to put on the Armor of God? When the unexpected shows up uninvited how will you respond?

** I would love to pray for you. Send me a message or leave a comment with your prayer request.**

How to be Fierce in Your “Job Season”?

The Life of Job

We have all walked through seasons in life that were rough and life-altering. God’s servant, Job, was no different. In fact, Job faced a perfect example of a tough season in life. Job was a faithful servant of God and there was one person who hated that was Satan.

Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. God told Satan he could not physically kill Job but that didn’t stop Satan from taking every swing at Job as he could to sway Job to betray God.


Satan’s Actions

Reference- The Book of Job

Actions Against Job’s Household and Property

  • Satan took Job’s oxygen, donkeys, and camels
  • Satan murdered ALL of Job’s servants
  • Satan burned sheep
  • Satan took Job’s children

Actions Against Job’s Body

  • Satan afflicted painful sores all over Job’s body
  • Broken and peeling skin
  • Gaunt Body
  • Unending pain
  • Fever

Actions Against Job’s Mind and Spirit

  • Job was bitter, in constant misery, longed for death
  • Job could not sleep. He had terrifying dreams and visions
  • Job was in shame and fear of God
  • Job was Tormented
  • Job was Alienated by his Wife and other relatives
  • Job lost his dignity

Have you faced a “Job season” in life?

These seasons in life are absolutely gut-wrenching. You know the times I’m talking about right? One bad thing after another happens and you feel like you can’t catch a break. All you want to do is to come up for air.

My “Job Season”

I have been through one “Job season” in my life. My “Job season” caught me off guard. It all pilled up on me to a point where I couldn’t bear the load anymore and I fell to fear and anxiety.

During my “Job Season” my marriage was on extremely rocky ground, my son was having health problems and in and out of the hospital with GI issues, our finances were absolutely in shambles, dealing with anxiety and depression, and anyone and everyone close to me had their opinion about it all.

When this season hit I went into survival mode.

I did what I knew I needed to do to not drowned in this storm.

I knew I needed to remain faithful to my husband no matter what.

I knew I needed to do everything I could for my son to get better.

I knew I needed to eliminate any extras in our budget.

The thing about survival mode is it often leaves out the one person we need to make it through the storm. We leave out God. The one person that can get us through. I often let my pride get in the way. How about you? I think I can do it all but in reality, by myself, I will fall. Don’t get me wrong, I believed God could get me through it but my desire to control everything was not letting go of the reins. So I was praying for God to help but I wasn’t letting go of the control for Him to step in.

Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. ~ Job 40:1-4

In a dark season, it’s easy to be bitter, angry, stressed, tunnel focused, and do it all yourself. Don’t fall to that temptation. Always look to Him for strength and trust Him for the outcome because he has the master roadmap. He already knows what is to come so why wouldn’t we trust Him.

In a “Job Season” we need to remember:

  • Have faith and patience to be blessed
  • Know that Trials do not automatically equal sin. We are often brought to a trail to show us and others His strength and to build our faith. 1 Peter 1:7
  • Satan uses our pain and suffering for his benefit. Job 30:21
  • In the darkest times draw close to God. He knows anyway.  Philippians 4:13
  • Don’t question the creator and the all-knowing father.
  • Look to the people God has placed in your life for support.
  • God can handle your true emotions, even anger. Job argued with God and that was okay. God won’t turn you away. Job 3
  • God hears you. Just because God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you want doesn’t mean He didn’t answer or won’t answer in His timing. Pray without ceasing.
  • Trust God. Trust God. Tust God.

When I think about hard seasons in life I think about following the light (Jesus) through the pitch darkness.

How Job got through his dark season?

  • God showed Job His love for him
  • Job was in continuous prayer
  • Job was faithful

The Light at the END of the Tunnel

  • God BLESSED Job
  • God provided for Job
  • God gave him more beautiful children

If you are facing a “Job Season” be encouraged by the life of Job. He faced tremendous loss at the hands of Satan while remaining faithful to God. Job conquered his dark season with the most powerful flashlight lighting his way, the Heavenly Father.

Let the most powerful flashlight light your way.

Why Dare To Be Different?

“Dare to be different” is a phrase that is hard to follow through on a lot. What I mean by that is we live in a world that wants everyone, man, woman, and child, to fit into this box of “normal”. The box of “normal” is filled with all sorts of expectations for a person’s life, such as; body type, what we should be doing at a certain age, what we should believe, how much money we should be making, etc..

I dare to be different. I have never nor will I ever fit into the box of “normal” that society expects me to fit into.

My Story

When I was six weeks old I had a stroke while in the hospital for being malnourished. If you aren’t familiar with what a stroke does to a person’s body let me give you the clip notes version. I had a stroke on the left side of my brain but the stroke affected the right side of my body. The right side of my body is weaker than the left side of my body. Even my right foot is smaller than my left by two sizes which is why you will very rarely see me in heels because generally it doesn’t end well for me. But in all seriousness, a stroke is a life event that never stops affecting your life. You can make yourself stronger through exercise and therapy, which I had physical therapy many days a week during my childhood to physically get me to where I am today, but there are still going to be days where your body feels aftermath of the stroke even 26 years later.

But here is the thing, I wouldn’t change this life event for anything. I know you may be thinking I’m crazy but hear me out. From this one event out came a chance at a fresh start. A new beginning. For some reason God knew what he had to do to get me where he wanted me. God knew my place was not with my biological family but a different one. I was carried into a home at age one and officially adopted at age seven. God knew the exact family that I needed to raise me up not only to be strong but more importantly, to love and serve Jesus all the days of my life. You see, I was blessed with a family who didn’t always accept what the doctors where saying and believed in me anyways. My family stood by my side as I learned to do things that defied what the doctors were saying. My family raised me up to be faithful, loving, strong, independent, and stubborn. These qualities not only helped me get to where I am in life, but God will use them to get me to wherever he is taking me next.

Because of one life event, that many label as tragic, my whole life was changed. God knows what He is doing. He knew exactly what He was doing when he created you.


I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:14-16

 


YOU

If you take nothing else from this post listen up right now. God made you to be uniquely you for a unique purpose. There is no one else on Earth with the same fingerprints as you and there is no one else with the exact same purpose as you.

God can use you and will use you if you allow Him to take control. Have faith like a child. God knows your name. He’s got your back.

God didn’t mess up when He made you an out of the box of “normal” person.

If you are wondering how can God use me I have [insert your excuse here], I am here to tell you that God uses the not so “normal”, everyday people to do extraordinary things.


If you still need to be convinced look at my son’s life. My oldest son has autism. This is seen by most of the world as a bad thing, but I see it as a gift. He has the ability to see things, like faith, in a different light because of his autism. Now this isn’t a daily occurrence but when God gets a hold of my son to speak truth into someone’s life he does it with absolutely boldness and confidence, even if it’s his own mommy. I have gotten many truth bombs straight from my son’s mouth. God uses my son to speak truth, at what seem like random times to us, but it’s in God’s perfect timing. Connor is himself all the time.

Allowing yourself to be 100 percent uniquely you can be difficult when society tells you to do otherwise.

5 Things You Can Do To Stay True To YOU

  1. Know what God says about YOU
  2. Make Yourself a Priority
  3. Enjoy and develop your hobbies and talents
  4. Embrace where God has you right Now!
  5. Seek God’s direction for your future.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Psalm 23:1-6

With God all things are possible. Nothing is impossible. God made you to be uniquely you for a unique and divine purpose that only you can do.

Be Bold. Be unique. Be YOU.

Life Lessons from the Life of Ruth: A Story of Love & Redemption

Being a fierce woman for Jesus in the world today is not easy but it was much harder for many women in the Bible, like Ruth. Ruth and Naomi are a mother-daughter duo that is often looked over. However, in those few pages of the Bible, an amazing story of strength, honor, courage, and love unfolds.

 

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ~ Hellen Keller


Two Fierce Women

Ruth and Naomi face a series of losses in such a short time. Naomi’s husband and two sons die, including Ruth’s husband. Leaving Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah (Naomi’s daughter-in-law) to fend for themselves. Naomi told her daughters-in-law to turn around. Orpah decided to walk away from Naomi and Ruth leaving the two to survive on their own in a world where women were not seen as equals. Ruth stayed with her mother-in-law even though she could have easily turned around and made it easier for herself. Ruth chose to show loyalty, honor, and respect for her mother-in-law over an easier life.

The Dark Days

After so much loss Naomi was bitter. Who wouldn’t be? Naomi and Ruth are authentic people who keep it real. Do you keep it real or do you stay true to the always dependable standby “I’m good and busy,” or “I’m okay?”

“When things fall apart in your life sometimes it’s best to go home.” ~ Pastor Rick Cochran, Venture Church

The harvest is on the horizon in many ways in the story of Ruth and Naomi. It’s always darkest before the sunrise. Are you facing a time of bitterness? Have you been facing struggles or a hard time? Facing lemons in life is never fun but often through those times God forms us and changes our hearts to be better used for Him. Often I find myself in a waiting period. Those are not so fun either but God is never late. God knows what we need far better than we do ourselves. He knows when we need to look inside ourselves and check our hearts.

“When things seem to be at their worst it is a mistake to recluse into isolation.”

~ Pastor Rick Cochran, Venture Church

Ruth’s one prayer was to find favor with someone. And God took His time to answer.

Ruth is a hard worker. Ruth asked for the blessing of Naomi to go to the field and work.

 

Ruth worked in a field belonging to Boaz, a relative of Naomi, to provide food for Naomi and herself. Boaz was highly respected in the community. Boaz shows favor and protection to Ruth by allowing her to work in his field. Boaz is a man of prayer. He blesses those around him, including Ruth in Ruth 2:12.

 

Ruth’s beauty stops Boaz in his tracks. And no, I’m not talking about her physical beauty. Almost immediately he recognizes her character, humility, and honor. Can we be real for a second? I don’t know about you but when I have been working outside I look less than attractive. I look and smell pretty gross. But even when Ruth was at her worse Boaz saw her beauty just how God sees our beauty in our worse moments.

Just as God does for us Boaz gives her grace. He invites her to sit beside him at the table. He quenches her hunger and thirst so much so that she took leftovers home. He showed abundant generosity and grace just as Jesus shows us. What happens if we lose sight of that? What happens if our pride blinds us?

Boaz did his homework. He researched Ruth to find out anything he could about this captivating and humble woman. He used the Facebook of his day (aka word of mouth).

Ruth finds favor with Boaz. Her one prayer to God was answered through Boaz. It didn’t happen overnight though. It took time and some matchmaking by Naomi.

Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”

Ruth 3:1-4

Naomi’s Instructions:

  • Wash Yourself
  • Anoint Yourself
  • Change Your Clothes

Ruth and Boaz are very interested in each other romantically at this point but there is still one hurdle for the new couple. This last hurdle required patience from both Ruth and Boaz.

“When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night, something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer[a] of our family.”

10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.”

Ruth 3:7-11

Ruth and Boaz stayed true to God’s law and remained pure. Boaz even sent Ruth home early so that there would be no gossip attached to their relationship.

Boaz was a man of the law. He was going to do things the right way. Boaz was not the first in line for Ruth’s hand. There was another suitor in front of him. He went to the other man and discussed the issue at hand; Did he really want all the responsibility that came with taking Ruth as his bride? Boaz assured him that if not he was prepared to step in without missing a beat.

“I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you[a] will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”

“I will redeem it,” he said.

Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the[b] dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.”

At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”

(Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)

So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal.”

Ruth 4:4-8

Now, I don’t know about you, but my patience level is not where it needs to be most of the time. I’ll be authentic and own it. How about you? How is your patience? Do you have patience like Ruth and Naomi? Ruth was a new believer but her faith never wavered. Is your faith tested during times of waiting?

Boaz declared that he was going to take Ruth to be his bride. Shortly after their wedding, they were blessed with a son, Obed.

“He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” Ruth 4:15

Lessons from Ruth:

  • Patience
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Authenticity
  • Work Ethic

Ruth was a woman of great faith. An extraordinary example of a Proverbs 31 woman.

This world has a shortage of Ruths and desperately needs her character and loyalty. Be a Ruth in today’s world.

The Road to Turn Good Intentions into an Intentional Life

Living with good intentions. Is that enough? Have we been put on this earth just to live with our good intentions and accept whatever the outcome happens to be? I say no, living with good intentions is not enough.

We were all created in His image. Jesus never said, “well, I tried.” He did what God commanded him and saved the world. There were no excuses to be had. No emergency exits taken.

When Good Intentions Go Bad

It is so easy to let those good intentions go to the wayside without intentionality.

Answer these three questions: What are your dreams? What are you called to do? What are your struggles?

Too often we lose the battle to life’s struggles, quit our dreams, or ignore the call on our lives because of our very own good intentions. Good intentions start off great but most of the time get warped into the very excuses we use as our emergency exit. My prime example of this is my children, “Oh the kids need me to do this instead so I won’t write today.”

So what do good intentions with intentionality look like? Intentionality means taking action. If we don’t act on those good intentions they will never grow to be more than a 10-second thought in our minds. Without action our struggles will never be conquered, dreams will die, and the call on our life will go unanswered.

Intentionally Fight

We all face struggles in life. The bible says,”In this life, you will face trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” We all have trials. No one is exempt from them. Trials in life are never easy and are usually bigger than anyone would prefer, right? However, the fact that is often forgotten is that our God is bigger than any mountain we will ever face. He alone can conquer all.

With God, you can overcome anxiety.

With God, your marriage can be restored.

With God, you can fight addiction.

With God, you can overcome physical pain.

With God, you can be financially free.

With God, you can lead your children.

You catch my drift, right? With God, ALL things are POSSIBLE!!!

It’s easy to let wounds in life paralyze you from continuing the fight. Put in the work to fight your battles. Do not lose heart. You are not alone. God brought you to it and HE ALONE can get you through it.

No matter what you are fighting GOD is bigger.

Intentionally Dream

Dare to dream. In today’s world, it’s so easy to settle and to give way to the love of our worldly things instead of dreaming. What do I mean by that? Caring more about the American dream more than your own uniquely designed dream. Are you living for God or the world?

God created every part of us, including our dreams. So, the man that dreamed that one man alone could save a sinful world created and planted your dream inside of you. WOW! Your dreams are meant to be more than just a distraction from the world but to be a rooted part of your purpose.

Intentionally Answer the Call

When someone calls us on the telephone we generally pick up right away, right? So why do we linger with God’s call on our lives? Are God’s calls intercepted by the world? It’s too easy to let our struggles or day to day responsibilities become the emergency exit to answering God’s call on our life.

Is God calling you to serve within your church? Is God calling you to serve your community more? Whatever you are being called to do God will give you the strength and the resources to do it. We are all called to be the feet of Christ. How are you going to walk for Jesus today?

 

Will you answer the call God has for your life or leave God on Hold?

 

Live Intentionally with Action

Puting action to good intentions is the cure to the sometimes dead-end road of good intentions. Creating an action plan to tackle your goals and enlisting prayer warriors to pray for your good intentions is a great first step.

The rest is up to you. Do you want to continue living a life of good intentions or do you want to turn those good intentions into reality?

Witnessing the Bold Faith of My Little Boy

Do you ever have those moments when your child completely shocks you out of nowhere?  My son, Connor, is getting better at that with every passing day. In these moments I am usually shocked but also extremely proud.

Connor was in an evaluation for a therapy opportunity he has coming up. He was doing well. He was answering all the questions to the evaluator’s satisfaction until one question came up.

Connor was asked to draw a square. Now I have no clue what it was about a square that brought Jesus to the mind of my sweet little boy. But there was something about that a square that reminded Connor of Jesus.

When the question was given to Connor he had a pen and notepad in his hands.

Connor piped up and said “Hold on, let’s talk about Jesus school (church) for a sec. Let me show you. This is the cross that Jesus died on to save you and he wants to spend time with you.”

While he was saying this he drew a cross on the paper.

Everyone in the room, including myself, was blown away. Seriously, my jaw was on the floor.

The evaluator wasn’t sure what to do with the information Connor so boldly delivered. I explained that Connor loved Jesus. After Connor confirmed his love of Jesus with a big YES he drew a square as originally requested of him.

Childlike Faith

Connor’s boldness is something I admire. He clearly wasn’t afraid to share his love for Jesus. His faith in Jesus is so simple. He just believes.

“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” ~ Luke 18:17

So do we, adults, make our faith more difficult than it has to be?

We, grownups, often think we have to go it alone and fix ourselves first before falling at the feet of our Heavenly Father. We are all guilty of it. We are all human and guilty of feeling shame when we fall short. All of us have hidden at one point or another and tried to fix ourselves.

Don’t give into Satan’s lies. The lies told to us by Satan himself so that he can remain in our ear to tell us even more lies. Do not be deceived you do have a Jesus story to share. Share what He has done for you. You don’t have to be fake or perfect to share your story.

We are called to have faith like a child. I hope and pray that when I am faced with the Holy Spirit calling me to share Jesus with someone I will have the boldness and faith just like Connor does.

Share your Jesus Story!

Is life a series of countdowns?

Time. We don’t have enough of it. We don’t use it wisely. And before we know it time flies by. At least that is how it feels to me.

The Question

So I ask you, is life a series of countdowns? Are we too busy looking to the future to be in the now? I know, it’s heavy stuff. (I hope you’ve had your caffeine today). I was thinking about this when my husband and I were talking about the future of our children this week. We all think about these things, right?

That’s not to say we shouldn’t dream or have goals, I am just suggesting that we shouldn’t just be working towards those goals and dreams but also living in the here and now. Do we spend more time worrying and planning our future for God (do we take over) than we spend living in the place God has brought us to in life?


My Countdowns

Growing up I had countdowns for everything starting when I understood how to count down days. And I do mean everything: birthdays, camps, the end of every school year, the day I got my license, graduation day, leaving for college, wedding day, the due date of a baby, etc. You get the idea, right?

Why in childhood are we always counting down to the next big thing? Why are children in a hurry to grow up?

I was pretty proficient at these countdowns. Now looking back I wish I would have slowed down and enjoyed where God had brought me to in life in these moments. I was in such a hurry I didn’t see all the good and wonderful things. I was in such a hurry that I didn’t see how He provided or got me through the valley and over mountains.

I didn’t understand back in my childhood and even sometimes now that God didn’t need me to organize my life for Him. God has it handled. God doesn’t work on our timing.

Did you catch that? God doesn’t work on our timing. He has the master pocket watch in His hands.

“God is never late.” ~ Rev. Travis Edwards

I don’t know about you, but I need to focus more on the now and let God handle what’s to come. I worry about the what-ifs for my children more than I rejoice to where God has brought my children to in their short little lives. I need to praise, laugh, and play more with my kiddos than I worry about them. Are you with me on this? Have you been there?

I know it’s a bit long but take a look at the scripture.


The Scripture

“Therefore, I say to you, take no thought about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they do not sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? 27 Who among you by taking thought can add a cubit[a] to his stature?

28 “Why take thought about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: They neither work, nor do they spin. 29 Yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. 30 Therefore, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is here and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore, take no thought, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 (For the Gentiles seek after all these things.) For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you. 34 Therefore, take no thought about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take thought about the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the trouble thereof.” ~ Mathew 6:25-34


Live for today. Be in the moment. Cherish today. Remember, we are not promised tomorrow. That brings a question to mind.

Why do we worry about a day we are not promised?

“This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

When Life Hands You Lemons

When life gets you down sometimes it’s hard to get right back up. Being a single mom is not always as glamorous as the movies make it look. We all know that. I have had many people ask me how I keep going when life hands me lemons.

The best way I know how to handle lemons in life is to pray, continually count my blessings, try my best to remember that God has the master plan, and finally to remember that God uses tough seasons in life to mold us into the people He has called us to be.


There is power in prayer

Our Lord is far greater than any problem we will ever face. I take comfort in knowing that. I know life’s lemons can be huge but not as huge as the Heavenly Father’s power. God delights in the details of our lives. Sometimes I forget that. God desires us to have goals we strive to achieve and drive to keep going forward.

There is power in the name of Jesus. Call to Him and He will answer you. It may not be the answer you desire but He will answer you. He knows the desires of our hearts. He has a front row seat to peer into our hearts. He sees it all. So, why doesn’t He just answer? He wants us to flex our faith muscle. He wants to be called out to from His children. Call to Him and He will answer you.


Redefine #Blessed

Blessings are all around us, and no, I’m not talking about the Facebook post you see so often with a brand new car with #blessed at the end of the post. I’m talking about the day your child is born and every day since then, being adopted into a loving family as a child or an adult, and having your basic needs met. I have a roof over my head, food in my tummy, and loving family and friends.

When I’m feeling down I think about the countless blessings I have. If none come to mind I pray for God to open my eyes and heart to the world around me so I can see just how incredibly blessed I am.


God is making His masterpiece

Do you like putting puzzles together? My kiddos love to do puzzles. When Connor and AJ do puzzles they focus as much as they possibly can to make sure the puzzles are accurately put together. I can’t help but wonder if our Heavenly Father before we were ever a thought in anyone’s mind was in a deep focus planning His path for each and every one of us.

He Knows everything we are facing or will face in life. If that’s not comforting to you He promises to be a friend to us through every trial and tribulation. He desires to be our best friend through it all. We can never lose His love.

The closer we are to Him through His word and prayer the better we will be prepared for the battles that are in front of us right now or in the future.


Why the hard time?

Being a parent there are times that I have to discipline my kiddos with a timeout, a temporary loss of a toy, or something of that nature. There are times as God’s children that He allows us to walk through deep valleys to help our character grow to be more like Him or so we will rely on Him more in good and bad times.

It is very important to know that with God all things are possible. With God, all the Goliaths will fall in His timing. I’m bad at the “His timing” part. I will be the first to admit that one of my weaknesses is patience. But God is molding me for something great. And I know is molding you too.

No matter if we face small or big lemons God is on our side. He knows what’s best for all of us. After all, He alone has the master plan.

Let the lemons in your life shine brightly for Jesus.

The Truth About Facing Anxiety As A Christian

Can we get real for a second? Do you mind if you do? Being a parent is the most rewarding title any person can ever be blessed with. I think we can all agree on that. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times of struggle and sadness. In fact, there are times of struggle and sadness in every season of life, whether you are married with kids living the “American Dream”, a single woman, a young child, a teenager, a single man, or a single parent. The Bible promises that in this life we will have struggles.

The Bible says, “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

Wow, that verse is powerful. No matter what we face in this world we will get through to the other side with the Heavenly Father guiding us the whole way. Through the roughest valleys of life all the way to the highest mountaintops.

Do you ever feel like there is a disconnect between knowing that God is with us and feeling His presence in our hearts? So where does the disconnect take place? Do you have ideas on where? For me, I feel like when I let the circumstances of my life tackle my faith is when a disconnect starts. Circumstances like a health issue, struggling marriage, difficult financial issues, loss of a loved one or friend, or even loss of a job. You name it this world can dish it out. Am I right?

My story about facing anxiety started about the same time I got married to my husband. Five years later, I still struggle. Some days are better than others.

Battling Anxiety

There are many steps I have taken to battle my anxiety.

First and foremost, I pray about it to my Heavenly Father because He knows already. There is no keeping secrets from God. He knows everything. He knows all of my days before one even came to pass. I find comfort in His presence and His Holy Word. I spend a lot of time in the book of Psalms for encouragement.

Second, I talk about it. Past experience has shown me that when I hold it in the anxiety only gets worse. I don’t have to face my anxiety alone and neither do you.  I talk to my husband, sisters and close friends. Who do you turn to when you need to vent?


Eliminating the Negative Stigma

I feel like even in this progressive culture there is still a negative stigma when it comes to facing anxiety. I have had to learn that struggling with anxiety does not mean I am weak. The same goes for you. If you struggle with anxiety take comfort in knowing that you are not a weak person. It’s okay to not be okay. I feel like more people who struggle with anxiety so we can kick down the negative views on those who do struggle. This is not easy to be open about but I feel it is necessary so that society sees that it really is okay to not be okay.


Seek Professional Help

Third, I spend time talking to a counselor that I trust. To reach out to others (i.e. friends, family, professionals) shows strength in a person. For me, this was the hardest step but an extremely important one. This step forced me to come face to face with the monster that was created inside my head and heart called anxiety. It made it real. Talking to a counselor helps me gain perspective that might have been or is hidden by darkness.


Learn About Anxiety

I educate myself on the issue. I’m committed to continuing the fight and overcome struggles in life. I’m a pretty stubborn person. Just ask my hubby… hehehe. I know that’s possible to live a fulfilled life because I have God guiding me through every twist and every turn. Recently, I was asked what song would be my theme song. My answer was easy. Without a doubt, my answer was a mixup between Mandisa’s Overcomer and Rachel Platten’s Fight Song. These songs have been a constant source of encouragement to me through the years. What is your theme song? Tell me in the comment section below.

To educate and encourage myself I read books and listen to podcasts with a Christian perspective on anxiety. Recently I was sitting in church and had a couple moments when God just kind of slaps me with a “Hey, this is for you.” There were a couple of messages that I would love to pass along to you from Louie Giglio and Mark Driscoll. I hope that these messages will encourage you.




And finally, I do practical things to help myself overcome the anxious feelings. Some things I do are listed below.

  • Try to eat a well-balanced diet
  • I do not drink alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • I keep a regular sleep routine
  • I claim my bedroom as a kid-free zone. It is where I go to relax
  • Daily vitamins
  • Long, hot bath or an hour of alone time (i.e. instead of cleaning during nap time just rest and recharge)
  • Journaling or blogging

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety and would like to reach out to talk to someone for support text CONNECT to 741741 to reach the crisis text hotline. It’s very important to know the signs of anxiety to help those around us.

If you are struggling with anxiety or have in the past I would love to hear your story and pray for you. To share your story or prayer request you can contact me below.