Friday, October 28, 2011

Discipline Is A Good Thing

This morning my husband Jeremy and I gave our oldest son a surprise visit at school.  He was so happy to see us with his two little brothers in tote.  He flashed the biggest smile, until we revealed the reason behind our unexpected visit.

You see, our 3rd grader, Joseph, has become quite the talker this school year.  During a routine parent-teacher conference a few weeks ago, his teacher revealed that Mr. Joseph likes to converse with his table-mates, or tell the occasional joke to make the class erupt in laughter, during times when he should be quietly focusing on the lesson being taught.  His dad and I were shocked, not to learn that he likes to talk and be silly (We already know that!), but that he was doing it during school when he clearly knows better.   Now we aren't naive to believe that our son is the perfect little angel who does everything right all the time; however, we send him to school to "get his lesson" and we expect him to display the characteristics of respect and obedience that we instill into him.  Those same characteristics that he prays for every single night.

Jeremy and I firmly believe in Proverbs 22:6, which tells us to "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  As parents, we understand that discipline is a part of that training ground.

As much as I believe in disciplining my children, I have to admit that I'm much softer on them than my husband.  I tend to be a bit more lenient in punishing them.  It just breaks my heart when I have to go hard  on them, and sometimes I'll give them a few fair warnings before I really let them have it.  Although Jeremy was ready to harshly punish him after strike one, I stepped in and pleaded his case.

"Give him another chance, babe. This isn't like him. Maybe he was just having a bad day."  I reasoned with my husband. He obliged, and had a little mercy on our son.  He got away with a stern warning.

Apparently, Mr. Joseph didn't get the point of his warning, because his teacher has contacted me twice since then.  He continues to talk and be Mr. Funny Man, completely disregarding his warnings and mild punishments from before.  He chose to continue in his unpleasant behavior, knowing that it goes against his better judgment.  So today, our little talker has been silenced.  His laughs quickly became tears when his father and I began to explain the repercussions of his actions.  Though a huge part of me wanted to renige on the whole plan of his punishment for the next week, wipe his tears, and hold him in my arms, I stood firmly.  I know that this is good for him, because it will force him to see the error of his ways, and think twice before continuing in that way.  While I don't take pleasure in punishing any of my children, I know that discipline is necessary in order to drive out ill behavior and push goodness out of them.  As Proverbs 22:15 states, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."  It helps to keep them in line with the values, morals, and principles their father and I teach them.

He is so not a happy kid right now, but he'll thank us in the long run.  When he's older, he'll look back and see that discipline was good for him.

As adults we can also have foolishness bound in our hearts, can't we?  And because we sometimes allow that folly to cause us to act outside of the character of what our Father teaches us in His word, He has to discipline us.  Indeed He is merciful towards us, giving us chance after chance to line up with His principles, and He is ever faithful and just to forgive us, but sometimes He just has to do what He has to do in order to whip us back in shape. He has had to discipline me MANY times, and though it did not feel good at the time, I am so thankful that He did.  I am grateful that He loved me enough to chastise me.  And I'm even more grateful that His chastisement does not come from a place of anger, but of love.  He does it because He wants see the best in us. 

Here's what Hebrews 12:4-11 has to say about God disciplining His children:

"In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

See?  Discipline is a good thing.  So don't get angry or upset with God if you find yourself It's just that He loves you, and wants you to live righteous before Him.  He's simply trying to bring out the good in you.

May you live in His love.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Erase The Doubt

This morning I woke up with some things on my mind.  I was thinking about some of the promises the Lord has spoken over my life, and how it seems like I've been waiting forever for a few of them to manifest.  Before my feet hit the floor, I could feel a huge cloud of doubt beginning to hover over me.  And just that quick, I was beginning to feel a little down in my spirit. For a minute I thought that maybe God had changed His mind about doing what He said He'd do, and that cloud of doubt became heavier and heavier by the second. 

I needed to hear from the Lord.  As I stilled myself in His presence, and cried out to Him from my heart, the Holy Spirit led me to Numbers 23:19 which says, "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"

God's voice spoke loud and clear to me from the pages of His word.  Though I thought I'd feel immediate comfort by what I'd read, instead I felt convicted.  It was as if I could see God shaking His head at me, saying "Oh ye of little faith."   I had to repent.  I doubted Him when He's proven Himself time and time again to be faithful to me. 

Once I repented, His words soothed my doubts.  His embrace reminded me that He's got me, and He hasn't changed His mind about His promises concerning my life, and just as always, His faithfulness will prevail.  That made me smile.  I love my Father so much.  He's always reassuring me when He doesn't have to.

My Father's love and faithfulness shined through, and that cloud of doubt had no choice but to go away. His word erased it. I'm confident that, in His perfect and precious timing, He will fulfill every promise to me.

He does not lie.

He  cannot change His mind.

He shall not speak and not act.

He will not promise and not fulfill.

He is faithful.

You can believe that if He said it in His word, He is going to do it.  Be encouraged by Isaiah 40:8, "The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” 

Thanks for reading. May you live in His love.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Be True To You

I quit.

I give up.

I'm over caring.

I'm done with trying.

No longer will I put effort into fitting into another's mold of who they think I should be; how they think I should dress; the way they think I should raise my children; the kind of wife they believe I should be; the career they think I should have. I'm done.

I love me, I like me, and I rock just the way I am.  If  you can't accept me for who I am, then good riddance.

That's the stance we should take when we find ourselves constantly falling prey to other people's opinion of us.  I bet y'all thought I was going off on somebody! *SMH at messy saints* LOL!!

Over the years, I have spent my fair share of time conforming to what others have thought of me.  Because I wanted to fit in and be accepted, I had no problems altering my hair, clothes, or personality.  My lack of confidence in the fearfully and wonderfully made individual God created me to be caused me to become totally lost and confused when it came to knowing my true self.  I can't tell you how many times I marched around that mountain.

Those marching boots have become a bit worn, and the stilettos I now rock ain't made for marching. Those days are over.

I'm so thankful that as I've built a closer relationship with the Lord, He has shown me my true identity.  He has allowed me to see the beautifully crafted woman He destined me to be, and I absolutely love her. I'm not perfect, but God's perfect love covers me.

It used to break my little heart when people would shun me because they thought I was stuck up, mean, and unfriendly simply because I'm an introvert.  So I'd alter myself and go the extra mile to try to prove that I wasn't any of those things.  But that's just too exhausting. I'd rather just be me...quiet, goofy, dorky, silly, girly me.  I've learned that if you have to alter yourself just to gain the approval or acceptance of others, the moment you stray away from what they want you to be, they leave you hanging.  Who wants relationships built on false pretenses? 

If people can't accept you for who you truly are, the fearfully-and-wonderfully-made-beautifully-crafted-you, then they don't deserve to be a part of your life.  And that's not being mean; that's just being true to who you are. I've accepted that fact that some people simply don't get me, and that's quite alright, because the Lord will surround me with those who do.  I'm much happier being true to who I am.

You will go absolutely insane trying to please people whose tolerance, or acceptance, of you will only be temporal.  It's not worth the headache.

Forget about what people think of you and who they want you to be, and set your thoughts on what God knows about you and who He destined you to be long before you were ever formed in your mothers womb.

Know that you are amazing just the way you are.  And if you're going to alter yourself to please anybody, do it for the Lord.  At the end of the day, it's pleasing Him that matters most.

Friday, October 21, 2011

For My Sisters...

To the woman who has no self-esteem...

To the woman who is haunted by the guilt and pain of her past...

To the woman who still feels victim to her molester, or rapist...

To the woman who tries to find her value through men...

To the woman who struggles with promiscuity...

To the woman who is bound by pornography...

To the woman who feels lost and confused...

To the woman who has a broken heart...

To the woman who numbs her feelings with alcohol...

To the woman who feels unwanted and unloved...

To the woman who had no father...

To the woman who is searching for identity...

To the woman who battles depression...

To the woman who desires to be free...

To the woman who longs for love...

To the woman searching for direction...

To the woman who wants to be whole...

God is able...

To heal your hurt.

To ease your pain.

To erase your guilt.

To break your chains.

To wipe your slate clean.

To fill your void.

To lift your head.

To strengthen your heart.

To order your steps.

To destroy your strongholds.

To give you joy.

To restore your life.

To refresh your spirit.

To set you free.

To build you up.

To bring you out.

To awaken you to love.

To make you whole.

To show you purpose, and use you for His glory.

I know, because He's done it all for me. 

So look to Him, and be encouraged...your best days are ahead of you.  I'm praying for you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

For A Special Friend...

Today I'd like to use the blog to show a little love to someone very special to me, Dianna Hobbs.

Back then, I had no idea who she was.  I had no idea that she'd become my covenant sister, and one of my dearest friends.  All I knew is that I was glad that I'd somehow stumbled upon her blog.  At the time, I wasn't even into reading blogs, but something about her words kept me coming back for more.  I was captivated by her words. Each time I read a blog post, I felt as if she knew she knew exactly what I was going through.  Her words pierced my heart, and spoke to my pain. They consoled me, and gave me hope.  Everytime I logged on to her site, I left with an overflowing cup of God's love.

The more I read her blog, the more I began to feel drawn to her...connected to her somehow. I had no idea who she was, yet I felt compelled to pour my heart out to her, and I never open up to people I don't know.  And all I knew about her was her name.  But everytime I reached out to her, she was always gentle, and genuine, in her response.  I appreciated that.

At that time, what I didn't know is that I felt so drawn to her because God had already destined her to play a vital role in my life.  He had spiritually connected us long before we ever knew one another existed.

Over the years, she has consistently inspired me. It takes more than just the average person to make any kind of impact in my life, and I can see why God chose her to be that person for me.  She's genuine, sweet, compassionate, and full of wisdom.  I can't even begin to tell you how much of a difference she's made in my life, but I will say that I am a better person because of her.

She laughs with me; cries with me; prays with me; rejoices with me...she's a light that shines so bright, and I am thankful that God divinely connected us.  And with all that God has used her to plant in my life, I'm even more thankful that I'm able to pay it forward.

Aren't divine connections the best?!  I just love how God orchestrates our lives. Don't you?

So, to my dear friend from across the miles, my sweet sister, this post is for you.  For all that you are...for all that you do...I love you to itty, bitty pieces!!  You're the best!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Protect Yourself from Becoming Infected

As I type this, I feel awful.  My 2 year old, Jaxon, woke up sneezing Saturday morning.  Since he and his older brother have allergies, I assumed a dose of allergy medicine would suit him just fine.  I even gave my oldest son Joey a just-in-case dose, because my husband and I had a day of outdoors fun planned for the kids, and I didn't want puffy eyes and itchy throats to put a damper on our family day.

As the day progressed, I noticed that a runny nose had accompanied his sneezing.  Then a little while after that, coughing joined in.  "Uh oh" I thought.  "He's got a cold."  I had misdiagnosed his symptoms earlier that morning, and treated the wrong problem.  Now the problem that he really had had been left untreated.  Because I assumed it was only allergies, I had no objections to him sharing kisses with me or his baby brother. I had no idea that with every sneeze, he was spreading germs that would plague half of my house.

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a stuffy nose, body aches, and sneezing.  And worst of all, I noticed that my newborn had been affected by the kisses of his infected big brother.  My poor little pumpkin had gotten a stuffy nose. 

I doctored on them all day yesterday, and all throughout the night.  I am beat.  There was one important thing I failed to do before becoming mommy-nurse - I did not take any precautions to protect myself from getting my infected little guy's cold.

Now, the one who started the whole cold plague is feeling better, and my newborn and I are experiencing the worst of it.  Had I recognized Jaxon's sickness in the beginning, I could have protected the rest of us from becoming sick while helping him to get better.  He's running around the house all free and full of energy, going about his merry little way, while the baby and I are struggling to breathe. *rolling my eyes at him* LOL!!

I wonder how often does this happen in our daily lives.  We reach out and help someone who is sick...sin-sick, broken, hurting, struggling...and after we've helped them to get better, and prayed them through, we find ourselves feeling under the weather.  They are free, while you're feeling heavy.

Through personal experience, I have found that when I fail to protect myself through prayer before going into spiritual warfare for someone else, I become affected by the thing that infected them. Their headache literally becomes my headache, and I'm left trying to fight off something that wasn't even supposed to be my problem.  And then I have to fast, pray, and plead the blood so the spirit of heaviness will unattach itself from me.

Let me add that this is not to discourage you from helping or interceding for others...I encourage that.  Had it not been for others going to God on my behalf, I probably wouldn't be here today. And I believe in paying it forward.  I'm all about helping my sisters and brothers. Galatians 6:2 tells us to bear one another's burdens; however, I don't believe that was meant to be carried out literally.  I believe we should use wisdom in all things, and wisdom tells us that we should be prayed up so that when we help others, we don't become a victim.

This is why a consistent prayer life is so imperative.  Prayer protects us. 

So the next time you try to help someone get well, make sure you are dressed in your spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18). While those you and I set out to help may not intentionally spread their germs, some sicknesses simply have the spirit of transfer.

 Protect yourself from becoming infected.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Peek Into My Journal...


It's a new season
It's a new day
A fresh anointing is flowing my way
It's a season of power and prosperity
It's a new season, coming to me.

I woke up with those words on my heart this morning, and they couldn't be more fitting for me. I am definitely in a new season in my life.  I can't really put into words exactly what God is doing; all I know is that something on the inside is changing, and my spirit is leaping within me.

God is pulling on, and pouring into me in a way I've never experienced.  I feel so drawn to Him, and my appetite for more of Him is almost insatiable.  It's a good way.

Whatever God is doing, I welcome it.  I'm not fighting against it, because I've vowed to allow Him to have His perfect way in my life.  I've sold my soul to Him, and I don't plan to make an exchange or request for a refund.  My soul is off the market.

I am His.

All His.

Called.  Chosen.  Surrendered.  Ready. Willing. Unrestrained.

In this new season, I am taking the limits off of God, and He is taking the limits that I placed upon myself off of me. 

I'm ready...

To step out on faith.

To conquer my fears.

To be all that God destined me to be.

To possess His promises for my life.

To walk totally in purpose.

So God, here I am.  I give myself to you.

My heart.

My mind.

My soul.

My will.

My thoughts.

My dreams.

My plans.

It's all Yours.  And I know it's in perfect hands.

Excited about my future with You,

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rest Comes In Many Forms...

My eyes are heavy.

My body is tired.

I can't stop yawning.

All I want to do is climb into my bed, get snug under my comforter, crawl into the fetal position, and sleep.

I want to sleep for hours.

And hours.

But due to the demands of my 6-week old and my very active toddler, along with all of the other duties of the woman of the house, there's a slim to none chance that will happen.  A girl can dream though, right?

I don't know about you, but when I'm tired, my usually calm disposition is challenged.  Things that normally wouldn't bother me become a nuisance, and I become a bit snappy.  OK, well maybe more than a bit.  The claws come out, and anyone in my path, or in my house, gets scratched.

I don't like when I get that way.

Last night, I was feeling totally exhausted after a long day with the kids.  My oldest son Joey came into my room, and threw himself on me.  In that moment, all I wanted was 5 good minutes to myself, so I snapped at him. "Get off of me. Go to your room. Leave me alone."  He looked at me as if he saw horns coming out of my head.

"You don't have to be so mean. I just wanted to give you a hug" he said, as he walked away.  I bet he was thinking, that crazy lady!

I felt so bad.  I had to check myself. Quick. 

I whispered a Lord-help-me-give-me-strength-prayer, and went into my son's room to repent.  "Mama's just tired" I said. "Your little brothers have worn me out today."  He then said something to me that was so profound.  He said, "It's not my fault they made you tired. You shouldn't take it out on me. I was just trying to give you some love."

My young son had just taught his mom a lesson...and inspired today's blog post.

All too often, we punish good people for the bad things that others have done to us.  That's not right. 

Your previous boyfriends cheated on you and treated you like dirt, so when a good guy comes into your life you make him pay for what they did by hardening your heart towards him. You're tired of opening your heart.

Your previous friendships all ended in betrayal, so when a genuine friend enters your life, you push them away by not allowing yourself to trust them. You're tired of trusting people.

You experienced church hurt at your previous church, so when the Lord leads you to a new place, you won't allow yourself to get involved in ministry because you think that all of "them church folks" are the same.  You're tired of the church.

This is wrong, wrong, wrong.  You cannot make today pay the cost for yesterday.  Being exhausted from one situation does not give you the right to take your frustration out on the next.  One has nothing to do with the other.  In fact, that new relationship, friendship, church, business opportunity, or whatever the case, could be the very thing to finally give you a sense of rest.

God rejuvenates us in many ways, so resolve to no longer push people, or opportunities, away because you're physically, spiritually, or emotionally exhausted.  By the way, I realized that God was using my son to refresh me with his hug last night.  It caused my irritability to rest.

Rest comes in many forms; don't miss it.

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy your week-end!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In Spirit and Truth Pt. 1

This morning during my quiet time with th Lord, I opened my Bible, and my eyes immediately fell on John 4:23-24.

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

When it comes to worship, the is the #1 scripture quoted in churches, or by Christians in general.

Well, the Lord would not allow me to move beyond verse 24, so I knew there had to be something He wanted to reveal to me through this familiar scripture.  So I stilled myself before the Lord, and asked Him to open my heart so that I could receive the understanding and wisdom of His word.

As I meditated on His word, the Lord began to speak to me. I will share with you what the Holy Spirit shared with me.

When it comes to worship, God is specific about what He wants.  He wants true worshippers to worship Him in spirit and truth.  He does want us to offer Him any old form of worship.  Jesus clearly states that we MUST worship in spirit and truth, and tells us that these are the worshippers His Father seeks.

So how do we worship Him in spirit and truth?

To worship God in spirit and truth simply means that we worship Him in honesty from our hearts, and we do so according to His holy word.  To worship Him from the heart, we must first love Him with all of our heart.  As a matter of fact, this is the first commandment, according to Mark 12:30,

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

If we do not love Him with every ounce of our being, it is impossible to truly worship Him.  God seeks for worship from our heart, because this is the part of us that connects us to His spirit. Beyond what we say or do, God knows our heart like no other.

Loving God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength provokes us to honor Him with our daily lives. When we purposely uphold His commandments, walk according to His statutes, and allow Christ to shine through us in all that we do, in order to glorify Him, and Him alone, we worship Him in spirit...because it comes from our heart.

A true worshipper lives a surrendered life; a life that is dedicated to the will of the Lord each and every day. A true worshipper does not only fall on their knees before the Lord when things are going bad in their lives, but they lay prostrate before the Lord simply to honor and reverence Him, out of their love for Him. 

You see, it's not the 15 minutes of worship on Sunday morning while the praise team is singing a slow song that defines the type of worship God seeks. Don't get me wrong, He loves it when we come together corporately to offer up our praise and worship. However, more than that, He loves it when we don't have to be prompted, pumped, or primed to offer worship to Him. He wraps Himself in our worship when it's authentic, and comes from the depths of our hearts.

I want God to dwell in my worship.

Our lives should be a constant form of worship to our spirit and truth.  Examine your worship. Is it the worship the Father seeks?

Thanks for stopping by!

Love you,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't Be Afraid

Hi guys!! I'm back! Did you miss me? I missed blogging soooo much over the past 2 months. 

OK, so let me bring you up to date.

As those who follow the blog know, I recently gave birth to a beautiful, healthy 7lb 11oz baby boy.  On August 24th our third son, Jorden Alexander, graced our family with his presence.  It was such a joyous day. He's two days shy of 6 weeks, and is such a precious blessing. Though he, along with his two older brothers, keep me very busy, my husband and I are so thankful for our little blessings. 

Now that I've taken some time to transition into this new season of my life, I am rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to jump back into sharing Christ-inspired words of love and life with you. 

So let's get to it!

Everyone who knows me personally, knows that I am not a talker. I'm very quiet and shy.  I barely even talk on the phone...and when I do, it usually consists of the other person doing 90% of the talking. You won't hear me adding my two cents in a conversation, and you'll never catch me doing any public speaking.  In fact, when it comes to public speaking I AM TERRIFIED.

My heart races, and feels as if it's going to jump out of my chest.

My palms become clammy.

My body temperature rises.

My voice trembles.

I become a total mess! It's so funny...well not at the time...but when I look back, I have to laugh at myself.

I have been this way for as long as I can remember. Though I can definitely attribute my fear of speaking to childhood events, as an almost-30 year old woman I can no longer allow myself to use that as an excuse. And after recently turning down two opportunities to speak to a group of women (Which I felt horrible about.), I went to the Lord for answers.

I decided to seek the Lord, because I began to feel that there is obviously something He wants me to share with His people, beyond using my gift of writing (Which I prefer!).  And because I have yielded my life to the will of the Lord, I never want to allow my fears to hinder me from living out His purpose for my life.  Amen?

Since I know the spirit of fear does not come from the Lord (See 2 Timothy 1:7) I automatically knew that this had Satan written all over it. He loves to make us feel too afraid to be about the things of God, in an effort to ultimately cause us to abort our purpose.  But he's a liar.  When I first decided to use my gift of writing for the Lord, the enemy would make me feel like I couldn't do it.  He would tell me that I wasn't good enough, I didn't qualify, and no one would be interested in anything I had to say.  And whenever I'd write, he'd fight me so hard, and try to make me give up. But I kept my eyes on the Lord, because I knew writing was what He called me to do. 

Now that God is ready to push me into a higher dimension in Him, and reveal more of His plan of purpose for my life, which happens to involve using my voice, the enemy is standing right at the front door trying to intimidate me and make me run in the opposite direction.  But I rebuke Him.  I will not allow the enemy's fear of my God-given anointing to cause me to buckle at the knees and run away from what God has in His plans for me. Nope, I won't do it.  Because I know that God qualifies those who He calls, and He will give me the courage to carryout anything He sets before me.

Jeremiah 1:4-9 has been embedded in my spirit for weeks, and has greatly ministered to me.

When I look within myself and my own abilities, I will never be able to do what God has called me to; however, when I commit my ways to the Lord, I can do all things.  I now have a new found YES ringing down in my soul. Despite how I may feel in my flesh, my spirit is ready and willing to be all about my Father's business, no matter what I have to do...or say.

Whatever it is that the Lord is calling you to do, despite your fears, do it. You know why?  Because it's not about us.  It's all for the glory of God. And I don't know about you, but I'm willing to do anything for His glory.

Will you join me in overcoming your fears, and going all out for the Kingdom? Don't be afraid.

By the way, be on the look out for my video blog coming SOON!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love you,