1.31.2013

Late-Night Reminders

Past sins written on an index card.

Written on top of them are the words: "forgiven" and "freed".

Because I needed a reminder.

I needed to be reminded that those things don't define me.

I needed to be reminded that I am His child now.

I needed to be reminded that I shouldn't allow my actions to define who I am, but to allow my identity in Christ to define my actions.

"I let go."

Penned on my mirror and in my journal and it's another reminder I've been needing lately.

I cried some tears tonight. Shared some of my heart with the Lord. Opened up. Let go. Allowed honesty to have it's way.

"Child, I love you."

Oh He knows what I need and how He supplies those needs!

He speaks and I listen because tonight I'm tired and I need Him more than I need encouragement from friends or a few more hours of sleep, or anything else that I try to fill voids with.

I let the tears flow and I said some things that needed to be said and He knows and His love doesn't falter and He remains.

Don't be afraid to be honest with God. He knows you better than you know yourself and still He loves you.

Let go, friend, into His arms.

1.30.2013

"Step Into The Light."

It’s dark.

Cowered in a corner, I hide.

And I cry.

I’m filthy. Have been since birth and I can’t change it.

I’ve washed and washed and washed.I’ve worked, oh, how I've worked, but nothing changes.

“Step into the Light.”

The voice is gentle, but I’m afraid.

The father of lies (the only father I’d ever known) tells me not to.

So I don’t.

I live in that dark corner for years... filthy.

“Step into the Light.”

He has said this over and over and now I choose to believe. I say okay and I move.

Slowly at first, but then I pick up pace and pretty soon I’m running. I run into the light and I feel freedom for the first time.

For the first time in my life I see this God that the Devil said hated me, and He doesn’t really hate me at all. He hates my filth. And so gently, but firmly He begins to wash.

And He washes me clean.
I stand in awe. He just did what I tried, but failed to do. I had worked so hard. I tell Him that.

He says, “I know. But you can do all things through Me and only Me.”

The way He says it, I know it’s true.


I had to step into the Light to realize I was in the dark. And how dark it was.

I had to choose to run to Him, the One who called me, in order to get out of that dark corner with the dark lifestyle.

He's calling. He's moving. He'll change you. He loves you. You can't wash yourself clean, but He can.

Step into the Light.

1.28.2013

Let Go - Monday Reflections

Friday:
Too many arguments, too little praying. I head to my room to pray.

I begin praying and decide to turn on some worship music. The music is going and I'm silent for a while.

He speaks,

"Let go."

I know exactly what that means.

Tears are streaming.

Saturday:
Good friends, good conversations, good times.

She begins telling us how her husband came to Christ. It's beautiful.

Then, she starts saying how she had to let go and trust God with him. That she couldn't try and make him come to Jesus, that only God could do that.

And I'm amazed by how the Lord works.

--
I want them to know Christ. I want them to have this relationship with Him, but too much time has been spent attempting to make them into what I want and not trusting Him to mold them into His image more and more daily.

I've been trying to force this into happening and it reminds me how small my faith is that I think my hand must be a part of this or it won't get done.

But God is faithful. He is working and moving.

So He tells me to let go and trust Him and I write it on my mirror and pray it daily because I need it as a reminder every single day and I need His help to do it.

Friday night I let go of trying to save them and let God do His work. I choose to love them as they are... to love them through Him.

I'm letting go and trusting Him.

Simple words, hard task. Hard task, mighty Savior.
Amen, hallelujah.

1.25.2013

Remembering Is Good

There are many memories I have that I hate to be reminded of.

Like the time I fell off some bleachers onto my back and had the entire room staring at me. Even now I cringe just thinking about it (and I laugh because it was pretty hilarious!).

But there are some memories that are necessary to remember.

My past. Who I was. That’s important.

Why?

Because if I don’t stop to remember who I was, then I won’t praise God for who I am.

I won’t remember the things that Jesus saved me from.

However, we must be careful. Careful not to allow the Enemy’s lies to fill our heads.

I’ve had that happen many times.

I remember who I was a couple years ago, the sin I was living in, and the chains that had me so tight (and I thought that was fun?!) and I begin to feel shame. I begin to tell myself how big of a loser I am and how God doesn’t want losers and then pretty soon I’m slumped in my bed... crying.

God loves losers. He loves those who come to Him with open arms and lets Him know straight up that without Him they are losers for life. Because in reality- that’s the truth.

Remembering leads me to giving thanks.

Thanks that I am not who I was and by the sacrifice Jesus gave on the cross, I never have to return to that. Truly, I am a new creation.

Don't be afraid to remember. Don't be scared of what the Devil may throw at you. "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 Jonh 4:4) Trust His promises.

You are new, friend.




1.23.2013

Because They Matter

Barack Obama called me yesterday.

Okay, maybe it was a recording, but it still counts, right? ;P

I usually hang up on those recordings because it's the same thing they told you the last time you got one of those phone calls.

But this time I listened.

He began with a speech he had made a few weeks ago after the Sandy Hook shooting and I had totally forgotten it (the speech, not the shooting). He talked about how those children's lives mattered and how we need stricter gun laws and then a woman came on the line asking for help in making gun laws stricter in my area.

I hung up the phone a little angry.

I agree that the lives of those sweet children that were killed mattered, but considering it was the Roe vs. Wade anniversary for legalizing abortion, forgive me for thinking that he should have mentioned something about the children that are killed daily by abortion- that their lives matter too.

Or do they not matter to our President and countless others?

I'm not saying this to bash anybody. I'm not saying that their lives don't matter to him or that they do. Only President Obama can speak for himself. But wouldn't you want your life to matter to others? Wouldn't you want someone to fight for you?

And Jesus has put us here to fight for these children as He has fought (and won) for us.

Because we are to be His hands and feet, we who call ourselves followers of Christ.

Because you calling him or her a "fetus" doesn't make them not a baby; a living and breathing child.

Their lives' matter and we either agree with that and prove it by what we do now to help, or we disagree with that and live thinking only of ourselves.

God, break me from this selfishness and help me be like You, caring for the children who haven't yet seen the light of day and praying for those who don't know if they can make it with a child.

If you're thinking of having an abortion: you can't raise a child on your own, no, but you can with His help. You are not judged by me, friend. God is willing to help you.

If you've already had an abortion: Again, you are not condemned by me. We are all sinners and have a great need for our Savior and that's why He came- to save us. Don't let your feelings of shame keep you from coming to the Lord. He loves you.

When you have some time later, check out the 180 movie.


I hope we're all moved to act. Lord, move us to act.

1.21.2013

Attacking Emotions - Monday Reflections

I felt like a poser.

Everyone I talked to was doing just fine and here I was drowning in lies and sorrow.

That's how last year went for me. Much of the year was spent in tears, face on the floor in prayer, and getting rid of a lot of junk I thought wasn't there (by "getting rid of" I mean the Lord took that junk and freed me from it).

I finally came clean with Him.

I opened up. I laid my heart bare.

I truly felt so much better, but there was still a twinge of dissatisfaction; a small part of my heart was still gripped with feelings of worthlessness and little hope.

Why is this there? I wondered.

Did you know Satan is a liar and God's enemy? So naturally he is going to want to lie and try to defeat God's children.

Satan will attack your emotions.

In the time where God is chiseling and making you more like His Son, Satan will attack your emotions by telling you half-truths.

You're not good enough.

True. But there's another part to that sentence,

You're not good enough, but JESUS paid the price for your freedom.

When you recognize Satan for who he is- a liar, then you are able to defeat those lies with truth (aka God's Word).

So I want to encourage y'all (because it's Monday and we all need some encouragement to start out the week!), ask the Lord to open your eyes to the lies of the enemy. Ask Him to give you eyes of Truth. And also seek out the truth. Seek it in His Word and in prayer, and in your daily routines.

Because He is everywhere and His hand is at work.

1.18.2013

Who Do You Think You Are? | Book Review

Who am I?

Ever asked that question?

I’ve lived so many years asking myself that question over and over and over again.

When I accepted Christ into my heart, I thought that question would answer itself easily.

But it didn’t.

So I prayed. I prayed all last year for the Father to help me see my identity in Him.

And believe it. 

He answered that many times, but I chose to not believe Him (and it is a choice). I suffered all last year with feeling inadequate and “not enough” for Him (translated: legalism).

This year I decided to believe. I asked for His help believing and God answers that prayer daily.

He answered it at the start of this year.

I began reading ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ and it blew my heart UP. God spoke so much truth into my life through that book. I read through Ephesians (as Driscoll suggested) while I read through this book and I was blown away with how much I had missed before in the book of Ephesians... like how much it talks about us being in Christ and who we are in Him.

Driscoll starts each chapter with a story (which I personally really like) and ends it with some heavy truth from the Lord. The book is well written and well researched. It reads easily (not over your head information) and it’s not too long (in my personal opinion).

My favorite chapters were chapter 2 (talking about being a saint, what what!) and chapter 16 (talking about being victorious in Christ and how we, through Christ, have power over Satan). So if you actually read this book, I hope you think of me when you read those chapters.. :P I’m kidding. Or am I?

It’s a very straight forward and honest book. You won’t feel like you’re being “preached at”. It’s kind of like sitting down with him and having some hot chocolate and listening to his heart for what he wants the children of God to believe; which happens to be completely Biblical.

So, if you’re looking for something to jump start the new year with truth then you can look no further. Let me know how you like it if you get the book and read through it. I strongly encourage you to read through Ephesians as you read through this book. It’s a mega-blessing. God bless y'all!

Note: This book was given to me for free for reviewing purposes by booksneeze.com

1.16.2013

Nothing vs. God

I sat there squirming.

No, no, no. I don't want to see this. Look away.

I did.

But the sound... it remained and it took me to the place I was at a year and a half ago. Alone, hurting, and with my thoughts.

I came home a little upset.

Why did no one warn me?

I would have liked a warning. It would have been nice. I could have prepared myself for the attack that was sure to come after the scenes unfolded on screen.

Instead, I got no warning and the attack was fierce.

--
I'm trying to get to sleep, but of course my mind keeps coming back to that moment and the moments from before.

I start to cry.

I'm tired, physically and emotionally. I just want my Father, but through these thoughts I can't find Him.

I can't shake this.

--
I can't shake this. I can't stop it. But You can.

So I prayed. I prayed for help and comfort and for honesty. To be open with my Lord about each and every thing in my life.

And so the battle is won.

Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but because the battle is won forever, I can say with confidence that this too will be taken over by His holiness and grace and I'll be able to sing praises in the midst of it all.

Because nothing has ever been too hard for Him.
Because He loves me and always has.
Because He longs to show mercy.

So I encourage you, brother or sister, to hold on to Him. Cling to Him. I have no idea what you're dealing with; what problems of the heart and mind have gripped you, but I know He can and will help you through. Pray through it. Praise though it. Not on your own, but by His hand.

Nothing is too hard for You, Lord, nothing.

1.14.2013

Be All There - Monday Reflections

“Wherever you are, be all there.” - Jim Elliot

Those words have been so heavy on my heart and mind lately. Each thing I do I now have the Holy Spirit reminding me of this quote.

At the grocery store, be all there.

Writing, be all there.

On the phone, be all there.

Hanging with friends, be all there.

At church, be all there.

And so I have.
By His hand, each time I go somewhere or do something I pray for help in being all there. Not wishing I was somewhere else or letting my mind be occupied with other things I should or could be doing, but letting myself be thankful in the moments and for the moments He’s allowed me to have.

Because all these moments I didn’t and don't deserve, but He made me pure and holy and allowed me to be His child to enjoy and celebrate these crazy, painful, beautiful, messy, and wonderful moments.

Because He is always there.

Wherever you are, friend, be all there for His glory and honor.

Even on Mondays where rain is falling hard (literally or figuratively) and you don't want to get out of bed. Lean on Him.

1.11.2013

Why I Wear A Purity Ring

Isaiah 54:5
 
I picked it out a couple years ago.

I didn’t want diamonds or something flashy(those that know me have shocked faces from that statement!), or something that said, “True Love Waits”- no offense to any of those things. I just wanted something that represented me in Christ.

So I got a silver band with hearts around it that said Matthew 5:8,

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

And I do.

Daily.

I see Him in the sunset, the moon, the flowers that randomly pop up all over my yard (otherwise known as weeds. haha!)
I see Him in His Word, in Kari Jobe’s new worship cd, and many other things.

I got my purity ring not to pledge myself to a man I may never meet, but to remind myself of the commitment I made to my Savior so many years ago.

I wear my purity ring to remind me of the marriage I am in right now. (Is. 54:5)

The marriage that beckons me to walk holy and pure, not to earn my way to holiness or being made pure, but because He has made me holy and pure.

Jesus died on the cross so we could be His forever.

Is that enough?

The desire to be married is not a sin... at all.
It’s a God given desire and He will honor it if it be a part of His plan for your life, but you must be willing to give it up and say, “Yes, Lord, if singleness be Your will for me, I will be single for You.”

Because before we women were made for men, we were made for God. We were made to bring Him glory. We were made to be wholly His.

Our identity always has been and always will be in Him. Married or single. Divorced or widowed. Let Him define your life. He never fades, the things of this world will.

1.07.2013

Unity - Monday Reflections

Tears roll down my face.

I'm hurt.

Not by anything done to me, but by something done to a brother in Christ... by other brothers and sisters in Christ.

This family... this family of God. We're supposed to care for each other and love each other. As a former pastor said, "Even though we disagree, we can still love one another."

Right.

As I've been reading through Ephesians and going to Philippians, I see one complete theme...

Unity.

Unity? Yes. It's this unity I've learned about that has been driving me to seek it out not only in my family of God, but also in my family by blood.

I repeat by the hour, "Though I disagree with you, I can still love you."

I do this every day as of late.

And through this God has brought not only unity, but humility. Humility to accept that unless it's stated in His Word, my opinion may not be "right" as I think it. It could be wrong. So an open mind has come about from this work of God as well.

My prayer for the Church is unity in Christ. I pray this for my brothers and sisters all over the world. Why? Because if we can't stand together, don't expect anyone to stand with us or want to.

No one is even mildly interested in that couple who is always arguing with each other and never says a kind word. We want that couple that fights and yells at one another and then 20 minutes later comes by and says sorry while crying and hugging each other. (Noted that it doesn't always happen that way, but you see my point.;) )

That's the beautiful image of being a body in Christ. Not the absence of arguments (because as humans, they're gonna come!), but the presence of forgiveness and love. It's what separates us from the worldly standards.

So, my encouragement to you this week and my challenge, is to seek to be unified in Him, even when you disagree with a person. To let forgiveness and love be written all over your life by His grace.

Happy Monday!

1.04.2013

Her Glory

Many of you know I have a huge heart for women and women's ministry. (It might have something to do with being a woman. ;) )

I've been praying for opportunities to be able to share His heart to women and some of that has been answered on this blog (praise the Lord!!), but recently I got a HUGE and WONDERFUL opportunity.

So without further ado I introduce... *drum roll*

Her Glory.

My lovely friend, Aysha has had this idea on her heart for quite some time. God finally brought it all together and she invited me and a couple other amazing women to come be writers, photographers, etc. for the blog and magazine.

The purpose?

To breathe life. To show women their worth in Christ. To share stories. To have a community.*

This is a beautiful blessing from the Lord. I'm super pumped for it to get going!

The launch for the blog and magazine is March 1st (you don't want to miss that so put it on your calender!!), but there's plenty to read and look at until then.

Go to the Her Glory page and like it and then you may want to check out the Pinterest page!

Please be in prayer for Her Glory, Aysha, and all of us who a part. Pray that God be exalted and lives be changed by His awesome hand.

*There is a mission statement if you want to read it. Leave me a comment and I'll get that to ya'! :)

1.03.2013

Why I Don't Do New Year's Resolutions Anymore...

I want to lose 20 pounds.

I want to make more friends.

I want to save more money (or make more money).

Most of these statements are made at the beginning of the year.

For Christians, many of us do the same, making new year's resolutions. We make promises to love people more, forgive often, "let go and let God", pursue Christ more, etc. I used to name a verse for the year.
Last year I picked a verse from John.

(We're about to get to the reason why I don't make resolutions anymore...)

I picked that verse and read it and re-read it for several days. I memorized it and prayed it. But what happened was God had something better in mind. Something that fit my year better than the verse I originally chose.

That verse ended up being Psalm 115:1. It came to me somewhere around May or June of last year. It fit my life perfectly for last year.

I don't make new year's resolutions anymore because I don't want to be more focused on my plans than on His.

Now, first off let me state that I'm not saying if you make new year's resolutions you're of the devil or living in sin or any of that. I don't even think it's bad. This is just me personally, something that I've found fit better for me.**

Now that that's said... I've found that when I just say, "Okay God, here is the new year, I surrender it to You, I let You have free reign, do what You will." He answers that with doing exactly what He wants and giving me exactly what I need.

I used to make resolutions every December 31st. That's how I spent my night. I would journal tons of goals and things I wanted to happen. The problem was I never really consulted the Lord on any of those things and really I only did it because everyone else was doing that. It was "the thing" to do.

I was exhausted sometimes trying to think up ideas.

But God isn't that way. We can't exhaust His mind. He has fresh, new, we'd-never-think-of-that dreams for us all. I don't know about you, but that brings me a lot of peace and joy!

All of this is not to say that I don't dream or make goals. I do (as of now I have one or two goals for 2013... yeah you can call me a dreamer. ;P), but I'm really more of a person who likes to just let it happen, let Him lead, and really just wait for Him. There are others who go out and make things happen and God honors that and allows them to have a hand in many different things.

That's why we're a Body. We need people like me and people like the "go-getters" and people like you.

So, I want to stress to you that even if you've made plans or made goals or picked a verse for 2013, keep your mind open. Allow the Lord to really move you wherever and whenever He wants. It'll be for His glory and your absolute best, I promise.

Happy New Year!!

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." - Proverbs 16:9

* Note:To any guys who read my blog, sorry for all the pink! Just wanted to change it up. ;)

** I also believe that God places certain dreams and desires in our hearts so that we can act on them (in His time) and still honor Him while doing those things.There is a time for everything and I believe there is a time for risks to be taken too. Those things that you don't really pray about before you do, you just go and trust He'll honor that because it glorifies Him.