You Are Not Alone

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A few months back, I was doing this amazing study on my You Version Bible study app called Overwhelmed By My Blessings. It was such a blessing for myself to receive some encouragement and wisdom from another Mama who was once where I am. It has felt so good to here someone else say, ‘They’re making me crazy!’ or ‘Do they have to fight all the time?’ Some days I feel like I’m the only Mom who is stuck in Lego land or a boxing ring. When we’re around our kids all the time, we can start feeling we are all alone in the trenches.

I found myself thinking after reading the morning devotion from this study how good it felt to not feel alone. I even said out loud, ‘I’m glad to know I’m not alone.’

There are other Mothers who are right where you are…

There are other women right where you are…

There are other wives right where you are…

I think one of the greatest tools of the enemy is to make us feel alone in our journey, whatever it may be. Whether you are struggling to conceive a child, if your marriage is on the rocks, or you are a single woman trying to make it in this world, we all face challenges. No one, since the fall of man, has escaped trials no matter how big or small. To believe we are alone only creates a self-pity and we all know that isn’t good. We begin to believe more lies from Satan. It’s like a bait that draws us farther away from God’s truths. The good news is: You are not alone.

If we start to believe the lie that we are alone, we begin to isolate ourselves from others who could potentially help us.

That is what Satan wants. When we pull away (for fear of judgement) and isolate ourselves, we have done him a huge favor. In the animal kingdom the one that is alone usually never makes it. We’re the same way. When we choose to believe the lies and pull from our group, we will be preyed on and hunted until we can’t fight off Satan. No one is perfect and we all have struggles. The enemy will try to deceive you even about your group or tribe, don’t let him. They need you and you need them.

If we can confess those struggles to other believers we trust and know won’t spread our business, we can grow, be encouraged, and take guidance. Another person that knows your struggles is Jesus. He is our High Priest and it says he can empathize with our struggles. He knows our pain. So even when other may not be able to relate, he can. He went through many emotions and trials.

We were never meant to do life alone. If that was the case, God would have left Adam alone. He wouldn’t have wanted a people for Himself. He would have just wanted one man and that isn’t the case from Genesis to Revelation. Refuse to believe the lies of Satan and know you are never alone.

Father, thank You for never leaving us. Thank You for giving us others in our life to do life with and be encouraged by. Help us to refuse the lies that Satan tries to feed us. May we take those thoughts captive and realize every person has struggles and faults. Help us to cry out to You for help in our time of need and also confide in someone trusted. We don’t want to be fake people putting on masks portraying a perfect life. We want to be real and to be healed. We want to be transformed from our ugliness to Your likeness. So take us and remove the dross. Help us to know we are never alone, no matter what. We praise You for always being our help and refuge. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrew 4:15

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Hearts of Flesh

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Some days I think I pray more than I ever thought I would. Having children is hard y’all. I was just thinking the other day about the verse in Ezekiel where he talks about stony hearts being turned into fleshy hearts. I thought about how I want out boys’ hearts to be transformed into those fleshy hearts. The more I thought about it, I realized it will be more than a one time thing.

It will also be that way for us, the parents. Over time and through various circumstances, our hearts can become hurt badly. We can feel pain so deep it feels like our heart is breaking. Other events can make us to angry that we turn to bitterness. If we’re not careful we’ll let the event that caused so much pain, overtake us with anger. When our children face similar situations that can cause pain, anger, or bitterness, we want to be able to help them navigate through the emotions. So we have to continually ask the Father to check our hearts.

Once we realize our hearts have become stone cold and broken, we break before the Father and He mends us.

The act of stony hearts being changed into flesh happens more than once in our lives. I have been very hurt, have looked depression square in the face, and have been so angry I couldn’t see straight. I humbly asked the Father to heal me and turn my heart back to flesh, back to a heart that is beating for Him. If we’re not careful, we could ignore that drawing back to the Father and continue in our hurt which will turn into bitterness. We don’t want that, not only for our sake, but for our children’s. We want to be whole people who can help our children and others.

As parents, our children are watching us and we show them how to respond to situations in life. So when we’re praying for our children’s hearts to be fleshy and molded by Him, don’t forget to pray for your heart. We can’t teach what we don’t know. Sin rules here on earth and our hearts are prone to turn to stone at times. Trials and circumstances can give us the option of turning cold and bitter leading our hearts to become like stone. Instead, we have to ask for healing and transformation leading our hearts to become like flesh

Father, thank You for using our children to teach us important lessons and for drawing us closer to You. They help keep us accountable and help us to look to You. Help us to be the examples You desire for our children. When our hearts become hurt, help us to let You heal us so we don’t turn to bitterness. We really don’t want to become bitter and empty. We want to come to You in our broken state and allow You to heal us however You see fit. We want to be a vessel that is full of You so we can pour out to our children and others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26

 

Holy Spirit, You Are Welcome Here

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Mid February our part of the U.S. started to warm up. Shortly after two record snow falls and frigid temps, Spring began to creep upon us. Everything was covered in a thin layer of pollen. You couldn’t touch anything without the yellow powder showing up on you. It was funny to watch our boys touch or brush up against something then exclaim, ‘There’s pollen on me!’

As we’ve been counting to the feast of Pentecost, I thought about the Holy Spirit. It can be compared to pollen relating to our lives. We should want His Spirit to cover us, every area of our lives. When Jesus breathed his last breath and the veil was torn, it opened the way for The Father’s Spirit to dwell in us all simultaneously. On the days leading up to Pentecost, he told His disciples to wait for him in Jerusalem and the Comforter would come. When it came upon them on the day of Pentecost, they were bold and did things they couldn’t before.

The Holy Spirit will work through us to do things we never thought possible.

If we don’t have His Spirit in us and helping us, we are missing out on so much. It should be obvious that we operate in His Spirit versus our own strength. That’s what helps us overcome our flesh and temptations.

When tragedy strikes, His Spirit will empower you to act in ways you normally wouldn’t.

When fear tries to creep in, the Spirit gives us the boldness to rebuke it in Jesus name.

When we’re testifying of the Father, His Spirit will speak through you to glorify His name.

We desperately need His Spirit in our lives. The disciples had walked with Jesus and now it was time for them to do miracles only he had performed. It was time for them to be the hands and feet and to testify of the Father. If they walked with the Messiah and they needed the Holy Spirit, how much more do we? We’re no different from them when it comes to needing boldness, strength, and comfort. He longs to have His Spirit in His children so we can walk out all He commands.

When we don’t think we can, the Spirit will give us the strength. Letting the Spirit invade every area of our life and convict us where we need to change is one of the most important things we can do. He desires we have it and operate through it. It empowers us to do things beyond our capability. So let His Spirit invade you and operate through you.

Father, thank You for Your Holy Spirit and the ability to have it dwell inside each of us. We desire for it to help us do what we cannot do in our own strength. We want it to convict every area of our lives and help us to make the changes You desire. We need Your Spirit to comfort us, guide us, and convict us. We want our lives to honor You. We want the power to walk out all that You command and instruct us to do. We can’t do that in our own strength, but only through the power of Your Holy Spirit. We praise You for giving us such powerful weapons to fight this fight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

John 14:26

Allusive Grass

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The grass we planted in our front yard finally begin growing. It looked so lush and green as I came walking back from the mailbox. As I came closer, it begin to look thinner and splotchy. I thought to myself that my eyes have deceived me. It looked so good from afar off. It was so vibrant and so lush. The saying ‘The grass always looks greener on the other side’ came to mind. Isn’t that what we do in our marriages a lot of times?

We’re all guilty of it. We see the Instagram or Facebook posts of all our friends with their perfect husbands. The mushy posts gushing with love and admiration makes you wonder what they’re doing right and what you’re doing so wrong? We see their edit shots from life and not the original cuts. So naturally we think they have it all together.

They never argue or disagree about decisions.

They never go through trails or have a bad day.

They just have it made..

and it makes us look and see all the flaws in our marriage.

If we saw them on a daily basis or even weekly basis, we would know they aren’t perfect and they’re very much like us. Just like with our grass, the closer I came, I saw the imperfections. I realized that it wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t as thick as it looked from afar off. Marriages are like that. Others see our marriage and may think we have it all together, the same as we think about them. If we would be real and honest, it would encourage others much more. They wouldn’t feel inferior to us and see we aren’t a fairy tale in the making.

Marriages aren’t made to be perfect. We are fallen humans and we need a Savior. We need to seek His guidance and His will for our marriages and not focus on others. He can use our marriages to sharpen us, mold us, and humble us. We just have to stop looking at other marriages and start looking at our own. We should try to see what others see in our marriage that is good.

Our marriages will only be as good as the effort we put forth. Surrendering our hearts, desires, and emotions to God is the best thing we can do in our marriages. He has plans far beyond what we can see.

Father, thank You for our marriage. We may not see what we want too see, so help us to see what You see. Help us to stop focusing on all the negative and start looking for the positive. May we not focus on everyone around us, but may we focus on ourselves. We want a marriage that joy is found even in the trials. We can have that, if we’ll surrender to You and Your ways for us. Help us to be humble and take reproof when it’s given. We want to be women who are honest and real, yet give hope for the hurting. We want our marriages be an example to others and our children. We thank You for this blessing of marriage and our husbands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.

James 4:10

Overcoming Fear, Anxiety, and Loneliness

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Sometimes in life, we can feel all alone. Events happen, big or small, and we just feel like we are the only going through trials. We can begin to have fear and anxiety about why we’re the ones going through hard events. That fear can cripple us and the anxiety can overwhelm us if we allow it. Fortunately, we have a choice in this matter. The Father didn’t design us to stay captive to fear or anxiety. He designed us in His image, to be free and living securely. So what can we do about this lonely feeling? I have some encouragement to share that may help you battle the fear, anxiety, and loneliness.


 

Feeding Our Souls

Scripture is full of encouraging words from our Father about fear, anxiety, and loneliness. We can search our Bible for those scriptures that remind us that we aren’t alone. We can be uplifted by words that tell us not to fear or worry. The Father wants us to take that fear captive and turn to Him. Fear only cripples us from moving forward in what the Father has for us. He inspired men to write His words just for us. He wants us to be encouraged and not live in fear or feel lonely. We are never alone if we’re under the loving care of our heavenly Father. He is always near, even if we can’t feel Him in the trials.

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. — II Timothy 1:7

 

Remember His Faithfulness

Remembering the former trials and feelings of loneliness can help us recall how the Father delivered us before. Many times in scripture we’re told to remember events or days. Remembering how the Father came to our aide in the past can help encourage us to know He will do the same again. We will always have times where we feel lonely or we fear certain things. So looking back to how the Father helped us can give us hope and can lift our spirits. His testimonies and acts in the past should help us to trust Him more. Knowing that He is true to the words in the scriptures can really clear our mind and help us to focus on His sovereignty.

Lord, Your faithful love reaches to heaven, Your faithfulness to the clouds.

Psalm 36:5

 

Cry Out For Help

One thing He truly desires for us to do is to cry out to Him. He wants to hear that we feel alone or scared or anxious. He wants us to cry out to Him and ask for His strength, His deliverance, and His peace. He never wants us to feel alone and when we cry out to Him, He will assure us we aren’t alone. He wants to commune with us. He wants us to talk to Him when we are feeling lonely. Think about your children and how you desire them to talk to you when something is going wrong. He feels the same about us, His children. He wants to help us when we are having a hard time with our feelings. He wants to reassure us that He is always there.

I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

Psalm 40:1

 

We never have to worry about abandonment with our Father. He will never leave us stuck or afraid. He wants to take that fear and demolish. He wants to take that anxiety and clear our minds. He loves us and has so much good in store for us, if we will only go to Him and trust Him. Never be afraid to come boldly to His throne.

Father, thank You for never leaving us alone. Even when we can’t feel You, You are there with us. You never abandon us or leave us. Thank You for being a mighty Father. Thank You for your words to encourage and lift us up. Help us to cling to Your words and thoughts toward us. Help us to take the thoughts of fear, anxiety, and loneliness captive and embrace the truth. We are never alone and we have nothing to fear if we’re in Your sheepfold. May our hearts grow in You. May we learn from all the hard trials we go through and never forget all You have done for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Decluttering Our Souls

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While decluttering our boys toy bins, I found all kinds stuff. I found broken toys, toys that had parts missing, and toys they thought were lost. I sort of have a love-hate relationship with the process of decluttering. On one hand, I know I will be able to get rid of a lot of unnecessary things. Yet, on the other hand, it’s going through and discovering what is necessary which can bring out feelings or emotions. As you all know, I am a simple woman, so this triggered my brain and I had to stop and jot few words down.

As we approach Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread, I thought this went right along with what I was doing.

Our lives are a lot like this….

When we declutter spiritually, we may find where we are broken, missing peace, and even find parts of ourselves we thought were lost. It isn’t always fun because we have to be honest with ourselves about us. We have to look at our past which can trigger emotions, all sorts of emotions. We have to deal with the present which may leave us longing for our past. We even have to look to the future and that could make us want to stay right where we are.

Cleaning out leaven is more than physically removing it from our homes. This physical act can reveal so much about our spiritual state. It will cause you to question yourself honestly about leaven in your own life. Eating unleaven bread for seven days reminds us we are to strive to sin less each day. We are to cry out to the Father and let His Holy Spirit transform us daily. Our hearts have much leaven and it needs to be chunked. If we aren’t asking for God to search our hearts as we prepare for Passover, how can we be transformed by what Jesus did for us?

If we are only worried about the physical leaven in our homes, we are missing the point.

Our hearts have to be searched daily and not just during Unleavened Bread. It begins a new year (Biblically) during this month (falls in March on our calendars this year) and it’s like starting fresh again. So we clean out the physical leaven while pleading with our Father to show us any spiritual leaven. He will show you if you’re seeking. He wants our hearts clean and ready to start a new year in our cycle of feasts and appointed times. He wants to show us where we need more discipline, maybe more kindness, or maybe more mercy. He wants to continue reshaping us, but if we aren’t willing to look into the crevices of our heart, how can He?

 With the physical acts comes the spiritual revelation.

Think about how wonderful it feels when you have decluttered a room. It looks so spacious and smells clean. Think of our hearts and minds when we have looked deep and faced the ugliness or brokenness. Think of how free you feel and how your soul feels so light. I can remember back to times where I dealt with feelings of hurt, anger, or sadness in my life time. I can remember the feeling of weight being lifted off my shoulders once I dealt with those feelings and issues. That’s what the Father wants us for, His children, to be free from the bondage of sin. I love our Father’s feasts and appointed times. They are so beautiful and merciful because they remind us how much we need Him, how awesome He is, and how much He loves us.

Don’t be afraid to ask the Father to reveal what’s hidden deep down in your heart that needs to be brought to light. Don’t let shame or guilt hold you bondage. Don’t let your pride keep you from repenting and asking forgiveness. Let’s make sure we’re cleaning more than just our homes and let’s allow Him to clean our hearts and minds too.

Father, thank You for reminders to examine ourselves through Your feasts and appointed times. You are such a loving, merciful, and mighty God. We want to honor You in all that we do. We want the sin that is buried within us brought to light so we can deal with it. We want more than to physically remove the leaven from our house. We want to remove the leaven from our hearts. We don’t want sin to reign in us because that’s not what You have designed us for. You created us in Your image and You’re reshaping us back into Your image. Help us to overcome the temptations and sin that wants to overtake us. Reveal to us more of You as we walk out Your ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old yeast or with the yeast of malice and evil but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I Corinthians 5:8

White As Snow

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A couple of months back, we had our second snow of the Winter. For Southeast Mississippi, that’s pretty wild. Our boys woke me up with squeals and giggles due to the white that dusted our yard. They were so excited and happy to see the snow, to touch it, and of course taste it. Seeing their joy was touching, I have to admit. We wandered out in the yard and the woods admiring it’s beauty. It covered everything in it’s path making for a layer of pure white.

It made me think of the Father and His words. In Isaiah He compared His forgiveness to snow. He said the sins would be covered and become white as snow. Though they were red like crimson they would be no more. What a beautiful promise and picture. If you haven’t ever seen snow, maybe you can’t picture it and I’d never thought of it like this until I saw it with my own eyes. The beauty of the pure white snow glistening in the sun is breathtaking. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of just how beautiful it was. We tend to not forgive ourselves as easy as the Father and that can hamper the release and beauty of forgiveness.

Though our sins make us scarlet red.
Our Messiah took the nails and bled.
He makes us white as snow,
He cleanses us with the flow.
It washes over us like a flood,
The Passover Lamb’s blood.

As we approach Passover, we can get a glimpse of what our Messiah has done for us. The sacrifice and blood that Jesus shed on the cross is what cleanses us. Just think, when we confess and turn from our sin, we are as beautiful as the unblemished snow. The Father sees nothing after we have confessed that sin. He sees beauty, His beauty covering us like snow. The blood of Jesus covers that sin. All the bad, the ugly, and the nasty is cleansed once we repent and turn from it. As the children of Israel applied that blood of the lamb to their doorpost, we now can have the blood of Jesus applied over our doorpost (hearts). He is our Passover Lamb that was sacrificed once and for all. I love this feast of the Father. I am so humbled He would send His Son for me. Thinking on this act should really humble us.

Imagine if we were in awe of His forgiveness as our kids are in awe of the snow. Not just one time, but multiple times. I think we hold ourselves back from feeling that release and of being in awe at times. Look how many times the children of Israel turned from Him and He beckoned for them to come back. He wanted to cleanse them, have them trust Him, and walk in His ways. He desires the same for us. Once he became that atonement for sin, he promised a comforter to help them and we have the same promise. Though we mess up, we can overcome the temptation through the Holy Spirit.

If you feel you are too far gone, you aren’t. He wants to take away the guilt of the sin to make you white as snow and crimson no more.

Father, we really can’t fathom the depths of Your love for mankind. You make us beautiful with Your righteousness and forgiveness. May we never forget that. Help us to see how beautiful the process of forgiveness and confession is in Your eyes. Just as the snow blankets all in it’s path, Your forgiveness does the same for us. Help us to forgive ourselves and allow the release which You want to give us. Help us to see a glimpse of what our Savior did when he became our Passover Lamb. His blood shed to make us white as snow when we repent, confess, and receive forgiveness. May we never forget what price was paid. We praise You for Your mercy, faithfulness, love, and majesty. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Come, let us discuss this, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭

Word-Filled Wednesday

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This time of the year brings about one of my favorite events, the feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Reading the events leading up to the death of Jesus is so moving and brings about emotions each time I read it. It’s such an amazing and miraculous event that took place. I love to read each man’s account of the event and imagine being there during this time the was exciting and a little scary I would think.

His perfect shed blood was the pleasing sacrifice to our God.

Sometimes I just can’t wrap my mind around what Jesus did on the cross. He shed perfect, innocent blood for our sins. The work that Jesus accomplished on the cross was more than we can fathom. In the days of old, the blood of spotless lambs appeased Him for a short time. On this day, it was the blood of His Son that appeased Him forever.

Perfection was needed and he was perfect.

An atonement was required and he atoned.

Blood covered sins and he bled.

When he breathed his last breath, the veil of the temple was torn. No longer did they have to wait to hear if they’re sins had been forgiven, now they could have access to the Father through Jesus. So for us, we can also come to His throne for forgiveness and strength to walk as He desires. Nothing we can do will obtain forgiveness on our own. We have to ask the Father on behalf of Jesus’ blood to forgive us. The only way to receive forgiveness is to repent and ask for it.

Are you trying to obtain forgiveness through yourself or works? Stop exhausting your efforts and come to Him. Even our best deeds are filthy rags before Him. He has provided the sacrifice, now we must accept it.

Father, thank You for redemption, for atonement. You made a way forever to atone for our sins. Help us to stop trying on our own to obtain forgiveness. Help us to accept Your sacrifice of Jesus’ blood and let it cover our sins. There is nothing we can do to obtain forgiveness on our own. We need You to cleanse us through the blood of Jesus. Help us to come boldly to Your throne to obtain forgiveness and strength to walk in Your ways. You are all we need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Speaking Beauty

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I saw a quote on Facebook last week and it really touched me. I love words! I guess that’s why my soul is passionate about writing. Words can do so much good for people. Think of how God created the heavens and the earth, with words. How amazing and powerful words are! So when I saw this quote I had to jot a few things down.

Words can be so effective. They can break someone’s heart or literally send it soaring. So many times we let the moment pass when we wanted to affirm someone. Like this quote says, it only takes seconds most of the time. Yet, we don’t do it. I wonder why that is… I love to tell others when I see something about them that is just beautiful or awesome, but sometimes I do shy away and don’t do it.

We may never know what our words means to someone. Those few seconds could turn someone’s whole day around. We never can tell when someone is deeply depressed and really needs some encouragement from another. I know I’ve been there. If I had to guess, you have too. I can’t tell you the times someone encouraged me and what it did for me. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or long, just what you see that is good in them.

We shouldn’t be blind to weaknesses or sin, but when something good about a person jumps out at you, affirm that for them. We are all full of beauty and ugly. None of us lack a sinful nature. It’s so hard to remember that, but I am trying to remember that I have ugliness in me also. There is none righteous, no not one. Whether it be a family member, a friend, or a stranger, don’t shy away from sharing what you see in them that is beautiful.

I know it’s hard to see beauty in this harsh and wicked world, but when you do, speak it. Your words maybe life saving for someone or life changing. Your words could make all the difference to that one person and that is worth it.

Father, with so much ugly in the world, help us to speak up when we see something beautiful or good in another. Words are so powerful and you stress that in the scriptures. Help us to remember our words can uplift or they can tear down. We can build up someone with our words or we can destroy them. Help us to be careful with our words and be sure when we speak them. We want to please You with all that we say. We want to be a light to others and an encouraging influence in the life of others. So guide us to speak of good when we see it and make a difference in someone’s life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Pleasant words are a honeycomb:
sweet to the taste and health to the body.

Proverbs 16:24

Willing Hearts and Open Ears

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Complaining is so easy to do. It’s just as if it flows so smoothly from our mouth. It seems there is always something to complain about. You name it and there can be a downside to it. I know I find myself complaining far too much some days.

I’m not saying that we won’t ever complain. If we always keep the complaints built up, we’ll one day just explode with emotion. I think we can complain to our Father, even our spouse and close friends, then seek encouragement from them. We know the Father can shed light on issues or circumstances that we’re complaining about. I also believe our husband and close friends can help us to see what we just can’t. I think something to consider when we complain is that we need to be willing to hear what the Father says back to us.

The Father wants to hear what’s bothering us, but He also wants hearts that are willing to listen to Him.

He never does something just because. He always has a reason and we can inquire of Him to learn what He wants to teach us. We can’t see the future, but He can and we can trust His sovereignty. We are His children so He wants to know what’s bothering us, we just have to remember not to let complaining become a lifestyle.

On the other hand, thankfulness should be a lifestyle that we walk out. If we’re frustrated, cry out to the Father, give Him your burdens, and ask Him to show you His will. A thankful heart is a happy heart.

Father, thank You for always listening to us. Help us to listen to You more and more. You can see so much that we can’t. We want to see Your way and understand what You’re doing in our life. Help us to bring our burdens to You and receive Your words. Help us to learn from our complaints and be thankful through trials. Help us not to let the negative keep us down, but help us to lay the burden at Your feet. Help us to be willing to hear what You have to say about our situation. We want to please You and honor You with our whole being. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6