Category Archives: Love, God

Posts by Amy

It’s Okay.

Every single day.  Every moment. Every ounce.  It can be exhausting.  The smile is often from a place that you’ve prayed for because, on your own, you couldn’t have managed to muster it up.

Today it’s different.  Today you feel like you just want to feel.  And you know what?  It’s okay.

We are taught to smile, be a light, spread happiness and all the other fluffy words you can put together to describe the one emotion that is encouraged by many but felt by few.  Happiness [joy] is the acceptable emotion.  It’s the only one that people aren’t trying to talk you out of day in and day out.

When you lose someone you love, you are encouraged to remember the good times.  When all else fails, you are told to look at the bright side.  It’s a constant battle to ward off the emotions that bring about things that can be perceived as negative.

We tip-toe around our emotions because, quite simply, we are told it isn’t okay to not be okay.  We wear ourselves out trying to do everything we can to not feel how we feel.

Simply reading about anything other than the good stuff might even be taking your mood from one of anticipation to a little down at this very moment.  You’re used to reading the good stuff to start your day off right and here we are, discussing emotions you’d rather not feel.

Take a look at this list:


Some of those words make you cringe, don’t they?  The same few are considered sinful.  We try so hard to be “ok” that we don’t even know what is okay to feel anymore.

What if I told you that what you’re feeling [right now] is perfectly normal?  How someone or something made you feel is okay.

You aren’t determined by your feelings.  To be quite honest, it isn’t even about your feelings at all.  It’s what you do with those feelings that’s the important thing.  You can’t allow your emotions to take a piece of your peace.

So what are we to do with these emotions?  First and foremost, we mustn’t allow our emotions to dictate our actions.  What someone else says or does may make you feel a certain way, but you are in charge of what you do with those feelings.  You are ultimately the controller of the very emotions that you have a tendency to let control you.

It’s empowering to know that what we feel is okay as long as we can redirect our thoughts and determine our actions based on Godly truths such as we were made for more.

There’s Point A and Point C.  Point A represents our feelings/emotions.  Point C refers to our actions.  We tend to forget Point B but what’s in between does count.   It’s what takes us from how we feel to what we do.  It’s how we get to the part where we determine our actions.  What we do in between can bring about a completely different action or reaction depending on the situation.

It’s okay to be less than joyful but it’s not okay to be the only guest at a self-induced pity-party that lasts for weeks.  When certain thoughts creep into your head, thoughts that are shameful or even confusing, what you do next will determine  how or even if you will act on them.

If you dwell on those feelings, hypothetically sinking your teeth into them, you may as well call it a day.  When we give in to our feelings and let them take control, we are essentially saying no to the God-given strength that lies waiting for our acceptance.  We are trying to do it on our own when our Heavenly Father is equipped to manage those very things for us.

Ecclesiastes 7:3 says Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.

We are able to learn despite the emotions that are often perceived as negative and take something positive from difficult situations.

Listen to this word from I Peter:

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” I Peter 5:10

It’s a reminder that God is with us in the difficult times, through the tough emotions and onto what’s next.  We mustn’t take our eyes off Him in the process.  He’s in the mess with us.  He gave us feelings for a reason, but so we could experience Him, call on Him, rely on Him; not so that we could stay in a state of confusion with a dim-lit light and hope that something will give.

He is our light.  He will guide, provide and help us gather our thoughts when we invite Him in.  So while you may not be feeling quite like yourself, know it’s okay to not be okay for a bit.  Heed the process. Remember the steps from Point A to Point C require choices in between that will ensure our actions aren’t a direct reaction to how we feel or have felt.  Allow yourself to feel what you feel but then use the tools God has given you to take action in a positive way.  Use self-control to direct your thoughts in such a way that what you gain is what you recall — not anything you may have lost.

Our God is so good.  He has shown us in so many ways what it important and how to live a life that qualifies us.  Hear that friends, you are qualified because you are equipped with the tools you need to succeed and far surpass the goals you have for yourself.  You are chosen by God to do and be so much more than you could ever on your own.  Seek Him in every situation, with every emotion and you will reach Point C with praise and thanks.

The “What if’s” of Marriage (for him)

Husband. Read. Please. This is for you.
I was going to keep it kind of light but a note from my husband was just the push I needed to finish something I started last week. When I wrote Part I, I had woken up very early. My husband left for work early that morning, and I wrote. Yesterday, he had to get up early again, but I slept. He knew bringing me coffee at 3a probably wasn’t a good idea, so he got it ready and left me a note. Husbands, take note, wives love when you do things like this!
So here goes Part II…
The other day I wrote a blog geared towards the wives but as soon as I posted it, I was convicted for not including the husbands. We all could use a little work. Although I don’t think the woman is the only one who needs to change, I truly believe a lot of times, change does start with her. She sets an example.
You see, a woman has a discerning heart that is able to forsee failure when it shouldn’t even be an option. We have a hard time letting go in situations when we sense a negative outcome. This innate ability within us compels us to DO SOMETHING when we probably should sit back, watch and wait.
Understanding the significance of this quality in your wife can mean so much if you just look at it from a different perspective. God blessed her with a desire to lead, not because He intended her to be the head of your family, but because He knows her counsel is important in the success of many situations you will face. Finding a happy medium — a place of compromise — will help you both put your best foot forward, regardless of the circumstances.

What if…

you understood that she is wired different?
you acknowledged that she takes on the weight of the world?
you believed her when she shared how her hormones sometimes seem as if they control her every move?
you reached out during those times when her emotions are high?
you thought about the harshness of your words before you speak?
you recognize that God blessed her with a discerning heart?
you knew she meant well even if every ounce of her declares differently?
you tried to see things from her perspective?
you did things her way every now and then?
you knew that what you say and do resonates much longer with her than you would ever expect?
you sent her a text to tell her you love her?
you shared a song that reminded you of her?
you wrote her a note?
you took the time to really listen to her thoughts on a situation?
you realized that she is making an effort?
you put a little extra effort forth yourself?
There are so many more questions I could ask here but the important thing is, you get it. She was built with a different set of instructions that unfortunately failed to make it into the box. Husbands are left to try to learn the step-by-step process of understanding their wives all on their own. But can I tell you a secret?
It's easier than you think!
Women often portray a rough exterior when, inside, they are struggling with something. Be it hurt, anger, discomfort, confusion, you name it. We can become so numb to what we’re feeling that a whole different set of feelings show on our face, in our attitude and in every ounce of our being. Then the other side to that are the good days. They’re definitely few and far between and they are important to us. We try our best, we succeed, we accomplish our “to do” list, and at the end of the day, everyone is still smiling. It’s been a good day! We want to hold onto it.
But then there’s that weight of the world she has to take off again, right when she wakes up.
Even if it’s your mistake, she feels it.
Even if it’s her child’s regret, she feels it.
Even if it’s a total stranger’s misfortune, she feels it.
If it doesn’t get done, she feels it.
If it doesn’t turn out as well as it should have, she feels it.
If it’s awkward and without rationale, she feels it.
Even if you try all those “What if’s”, it’s not going to take it all away but it will make it easier on her. If you look beyond the craziness of who she can be, you’ll see the blessing of who she is.

But you will also…

begin to look beyond her flaws.
see the woman you love for who she is.
remember that woman you fell in love with.
feel more encouraged by being an encourager to whom you were made one [with].
notice the little things a little more.
learn to focus on what’s important.
learn that many things you get concerned with, don’t matter.
feel better about feeling better.
I know that, like me, my husband is constantly working against the forces that try to pull his mind in a different direction — that take him from happy to ticked in 1.2 seconds. I pray constantly that I can let go of control, to be the best wife I can be, and to learn to focus on what’s important. And I know his prayers are somewhat similar. Our marriage is in a place that neither one of us would have dreamed. Two stubborn adults meeting in God’s time, there had to be a reason. We talk about that constantly, about how happy and blessed we are, wondering what the future holds for us.
But sometimes we get worn out waiting. On what, we don’t know. When God puts us in a place of rest, it’s one of the most difficult places to be for a couple who likes to accomplish things. So we have to find our peace in the piece that He gives us daily. We have to make a conscious effort to win every losing battle. I said it before and I’ll say it again, “happy couples” are are few and far between these days. I wish our marriage was the standard, but I know that’s just not the case. There are so many out there struggling and unable to find a way to mend a hurt or soften a hard heart.
Some things are just worth repeating…
There’s an enemy out there trying to do damage to marriages. He knows what buttons to push. He knows when to start and how not to stop. He knows what people don’t need to hear and stops with what they do. Day in and day out, relationships are strained because the focus went from what if to what is. People forgot to shift their minds from what’s wrong to what could be right.
What if you tried to do things a little different? What if you put a little more effort into things? What if you chose to think good thoughts? What if you didn’t point out her flaws to others, but embraced her strengths? What if you encouraged her? What if you rediscovered why you fell in love with her to begin with? What if you chose to realize that it isn’t always about how you feel because maybe, just maybe, she’s feeling the same way.
We’re wired differently. Men and women don’t think the same way so how can we expect them to act the same way? We have different personalities, different learning styles, different ways to cope or deal with things that come our way. When did these things become things that pull us apart instead of the ties that bind?
The relationships we have in our lives are so important but aside from your relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse is the most important. Your kids, your family, friends, co-workers…they take notice when you are loving, encouraging and respectful. This is part of the foundation on which they will build their future relationships. Show them the important things aren’t the silly things you tend to dwell on but the big things that brought you both together in the first place. For men, this is so important. Putting on this facade or trying to be “Mister Tough Guy” in front of your co-workers and friends is kind of like the Cracker Barrel game when you have a couple pegs left on the board, just plain dumb.
Marriage is both ways men. It takes effort on your part, just as much as it does hers. You can’t make changes for her and she can’t make them for you and you can NOT wish them on one another. Sometimes the best thing you can do is try to understand her. Even though you probably never will completely, you’ll see what makes her tick — what makes her smile, what makes her cringe, what makes her cry, and what truly makes her heart sing. I guarantee the right combination of “What if’s” is out there, waiting to do their job in making your wife smile.
She needs you. As many times as she acts like she doesn’t and even on the days she makes you feel like she can do it on her own…she needs you. But can I be honest with you? She needs you at your best, even when you feel your worst. The one who puts whatever he’s fidgeting with down to look at her when she talks. To get engaged in something she’s passionate about and show that you care. She longs for that embrace that is simply about the embrace — nothing more, nothing less — just the touch of your two hearts close together.
It really is the little things for women. The little things do matter. If you make every effort to do a few little things each day, I guarantee that, one day, they’ll turn into the big things.
Read this:
"It took effort, intentionality, sweat equity, and determination. The it took time and commitment before he ever saw any fruit from his labor. But eventually, there was a bloom...and then another...and then another."
 Immediate change may be what you want but it isn’t what you’re going to get. It’s going to take work. More effort on your part. While you’re hoping for change in her, God will be changing you.
God really does love us so much that He is willing to go to great lengths to reach us wherever we are; to say exactly what we need to hear. Men, I hope you’re hearing what He’s saying to you today! We women really do appreciate you.
P.S. Wives, if you’re reading this (good!!) please don’t throw it at your husband and tell him to read it before you share what you read the other day and what it meant to you. We have a tendency to believe they are going to react the same way we do when reading something important and heartfelt, but they won’t. If your a wife and you want to share this with your husband, share the wife’s version first, then tell him that God loves him enough that he knew he wrote him a few words as well.
P.P.S. Husbands, if you’ve not read the post from the other day for wives, you may want to look back on my profile to see what was written. You’ll be surprised at the conviction women feel about the position they hold or are trying to hold in their home. Share it with your wife, if you haven’t already. But be mindful of that weight she’s carrying. Do the same as I’ve described to the women above, and start by showing her what was written for the husbands before you dance around what was written for her.

The “What if’s” of Marriage (for her)

Wife. Read. Please. This IS for you.

For those who really know me or have followed my posts for awhile. you may have noticed that from time-to-time, I will get up SUPER early to write. I should tell you that 4-4:30a is my typical waking time. It gives me a chance to read morning devotions, check in on social media and read whatever book I’ve started — sometimes two.

This morning I woke up at midnight, then fell back asleep. I woke up at 1:30, then continued to lay there. I was hoping that my husband’s “early” meant that his alarm would be going off at 2a because that would give me a good excuse to just get up and get a cup of coffee! Sure enough, his alarm did go off at 2 and I walked my happy butt into the kitchen to make a nice cup of joe!

I grabbed my computer, my headphones and headed back to my room to read and write. I know God has something for me when I wake up like that so I typically try to limit the distractions while I wait with expectation of what He wants me to know, learn or share.

As I read, I started to think on something I thought I would write about. Then, when making a second cup of coffee (don’t judge, it was 3a!), two words popped into my head.

I had something — something to think about. Something I’ve already thought about, that I’ve already been working on myself. But WHAT IF someone else needed to hear these words too?

Follow me for a bit…

What if…

you picked up his dirty clothes just once more?
you didn’t complain when he didn’t do something your way?
you met him at the door when he came home from work?
you didn’t spill everything wrong with your day in the first 5 minutes he’s home?
you acknowledged his positive attributes publicly instead of ridiculing privately?
you started thinking of one reason each day that you appreciate him?
you didn’t always have to have the last word?
you didn’t choose to believe the worst before thinking the best?
you packed his lunch?
you kissed him longer than normal?
you chose to speak love into him?
you thought of him before your kids?
you focused on what he was saying, even if you don’t understand what he’s talking about?
you made it a point to not always make a point?
you loved him for who he is?
you encouraged him where he is?
you didn’t think on thoughts that are negative towards him?
you weren’t always pointing out his mistakes?
you smiled more?
you showed how much you respect him?
you didn’t complain about things that don’t matter?
you took him on a surprise date to one of his favorite places?
you planned a romantic dinner in your own home?

So many questions…but only one answer. The immediate outcome doesn’t matter. Things aren’t going to change overnight. You’re not going to suddenly have an epiphany or ignore every mistake.

But you will…

begin to look beyond his flaws.
see the man you love for who he is.
remember that man you fell in love with.
feel more encouraged by being an encourager to whom you were made one [with].
notice the little things a little more.
learn to focus on what’s important.
learn that many things you get concerned with, don’t matter.
feel better about feeling better.

I am constantly working against the forces that try to pull my mind in a different direction — that take me from happy to annoyed in 2.2 seconds. I pray constantly to let go of control, to be the best wife I can be, and to learn to focus on what’s important. My marriage is in a place that I never would have dreamed. I’m so happy, so blessed and so ready for what the future holds with my husband. I don’t often think about how few and far between “happy couples” are these days but in all honestly, I know I’m not in the majority. There are so many out there struggling and unable to find a way to mend a hurt or soften a hard heart.

There’s an enemy out there trying to do damage to marriages. He knows what buttons to push. He knows when to start and how not to stop. He knows what people don’t need to hear and stops with what they do. Day in and day out, relationships are strained because the focus went from what if to what is. People forgot to shift their minds from what’s wrong to what could be right.

What if you tried to do things a little different? What if you put a little more effort into things? What if you chose to think good thoughts? What if you didn’t point out his flaws to others, but embraced his strengths? What if you encouraged him? What if you rediscovered why you fell in love with him to begin with? What if you chose to realize that it isn’t always about how you feel because maybe, just maybe, he’s feeling the same way.

We’re wired differently. Men and women don’t think the same way so how can we expect them to act the same way? We have different personalities, different learning styles, different ways to cope or deal with things that come our way. When did these things become things that pull us apart instead of the ties that bind?

The relationships we have in our lives are so important but aside from your relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse is the most important. Your kids, your family, friends, co-workers…they take notice when you are loving, encouraging and respectful. This is part of the foundation on which they will build their future relationships. Show them the important things aren’t the silly things you tend to dwell on but the big things that brought you both together in the first place.

Although the book I’m reading is far from a marriage book, what I read at the beginning of the chapter made me think of this very message.

"It took effort, intentionality, sweat equity, and determination. The it took time and commitment before he ever saw any fruit from his labor."

She [Lysa TurKeurst] goes on to say, "But eventually, there was a bloom...and then another...and then another."

Right there is the answer. Immediate change may be what we want but it isn’t what we’re going to get. It’s going to take work. More effort on our part. While we’re hoping for change in another, God will be changing us.

I’m not sure who this is for today but you must know that God sure loves you! So much so that He woke me up at 2am, put a thought in my mind, and gave me the tools to share it with you. I think it’s so cool that we have a God that loves us so much that He is willing to go to great lengths to reach us wherever we are.

Read The What If’s of Marriage for him
Read The What If’s of Marriage for Couples

Stumble, Don’t Fall

Why is it that when we stumble, we almost inherently fall?  Figuratively speaking, we tend to believe that the little hiccup we experienced along the way is it.  It’s the end all, be all point of no return.  This stumble just caused us to fall, why?  Because we gave up!

Our immediate reaction when we mess up in life is to just throw in the towel.  Rather than picking up the pieces and trying to start again, we beat ourselves up for the mistake, maybe do a little trash-talk in the mirror and just decide that again…this isn’t going to work.

What if I told you that it didn’t have to be that way?  What if I said that your mistakes, whether great or small, have the chance to transform you into a better human being.  That’s right folks, your mistakes, your stumbles along the way might just be the road to recovery for you in many, many ways.

Here me out on this one.  I’m not saying that once you make a mistake you should consider doing it over and over again because if you’ve ever heard the great Stephen Covey, you would know that Doing the same thing over and over again will not bring you different results.  You can, however, rest comfortably knowing that you have a chance to redeem yourself.  Your life, your goals, your challenges are not to be determined by the stumbling you do along the way.  It’s what you do after that counts.

Take eating for example (because this is a struggle many people face daily).  So you’re doing your thing, on your way to losing weight and feeling great, when suddenly you screw up on the plan.  You eat ice cream and since you’ve made that bad choice already, why not add insult to injury and go a step further and just have another snack later on?  Your first thought is how horrible you are.  I mean, it’s only the second day on your so-called “diet” yet you have managed to put yourself further behind than when you started.  The scale went up overnight and you just feel worthless.

Ah…but here’s the cool part.  You have a chance to start over RIGHT NOW!  You don’t have to let that bad decision define you or determine your next move.  What comes of the poor choice from last night?  A brighter start today.  You can feel awakened, refreshed, and ready to start anew.  No, it just doesn’t happen that easily.  First, you have to stop the trash talk.  Then, you have to decide that it’s okay to start over.  And most importantly, you have to realize that you’re worth more than any mistake you have or could have made.  It’s all in your mind.  This game that goes on day in and day out starts right there and it’s only us.  We are our own worst enemy, stripping ourselves down to almost nothing when we should be looking upward.

Romans 8:1 says

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

If that is true, than who are you to badmouth yourself?  Maybe it’s time to focus on what’s next and leave the past behind, even if it was just yesterday.  Time to look in the mirror and call yourself blessed, perfectly designed, and ready to take on the challenges you’ll face.  You will not be defined by a choice you’ve made.  You are greater than that because your God is greater, stronger, and able to conquer any demon you may be fighting.  Give it to Him and watch what happens next…

The Constant Battle

I’m talking to you today.  You need to read this.  ~The voice in your head
It’s in my head.  This battle is daily, often hourly, and sometimes takes a minute-by-minute approach to combat.  I know I’m not the only one because I hear other women saying the same thing(s) I often think, although I sometimes question the validity of their comments because some people just like to complain.  I’m sure men deal with it too but I’ve never been inside the male brain so I can’t comment on their struggles.  
I wonder if those of us who are trying to stay positive are the only ones who recognize that this is even an issue?  
You’re probably thinking, get to the point, but right now I’m just trying to set the scene so I know you’re following…
You can wake up happy, healthy, and in an overall good mood then you realize something is off-kilter but you can’t explain what.  You instantly realize someone didn’t do something they said they would.  They didn’t act on something you had just spoken about.  You’re making changes and they just seem to stay the same.  Are you the only one who is going to stick to the plan? 
If you stop to think about it, most of the time it all boils down to things being done your way in your time.  We want people to act a certain way, feel how we feel, and think like we think. When they don’t do things the way we’d like, we get angry. We assume they know what we’re hoping for or how we feel. We allow our moods to instantaneously change when they haven’t acted on something we talked about less than 24-hours ago.  If they’re not on top of their game with a smile on their face, enjoying every gosh darn minute of the day, we start to think something’s wrong.
Am I talking to anyone here?  Okay, then let’s keep going.
It’s self-reflective really, this whole battle.  We want people to be the way we aren’t yet capable of being.  We set our expectations for others higher than we’re able to meet ourselves.  We want them to be the way we’re striving to be, yet we aren’t happy with even the slightest effort they make.

Okay, let’s stop for a second.  Are we really that bad?  No. But I’m speaking truth here.  We want the best for people but we worry too much about who they should be that we lose track of our best self.  
We allow our minds to wander about this or that, why isn’t it this way, why aren’t they seeing it this way, or doing it that? We begin to think it’s us but we blame it on them.  But what is their struggle?  What negative things have occurred throughout their day that they just aren’t sharing?  How many times have they had to talk themselves down from the ledge because people are just people and don’t understand they’re just there to do their job?
We put our loved ones in a bubble as if they aren’t going to be affected by things of this world — the day to day daunting task of going to work (or school), being around people that drag them down, environments that are less than uplifting — struggling just to keep a smile when everything around is just negative, negative, negative.  We wonder why they act a certain way, forgetting that you can’t just take that stuff off when you pull in the driveway.  The trash talk, the gossip, the momentary lapse in peace we find in our own home that was lost somewhere early on in the day.  It’s hard for any of our loved ones to strip down to the person we know they are and leave that daily baggage at the door.  
Instead of thinking the worst, why not assume the best? Why do we have to allow our minds to take captive the person we know we love just to satisfy a thought that we’ve allowed to creep in?  We know their heart.  We know we’re trying so why can’t we believe they are as well? If the struggle is real for us, why can’t it be just as real for them?  
I know this is speaking to someone today because it was the first thing I thought of this morning.  These words are for someone who’s been a little too hard on their loved one(s)…someone whose expectations aren’t being met simply because they [themselves] are not there yet.
Try taking it day by day, hour by hour, or even minute by minute if you need to.  Learn how to give benefit of the doubt.  When those thoughts of the worst try to creep in, fight back with knowing the best.  It’s okay if you’re feeling convicted — it’s only because you care.
Sometimes we need to do a lot more work than we expect because in the end, the example we set and the grace we give is just enough to be the encouragement someone else needs.  

To Do List

It’s 3:19pm.  My intention after church was to put on my pjs and sit on the couch with a cup of tea and just let Pinterest have its way with me.  Well, I made it into my pajamas by 11am but the tea didn’t happen until 3:10pm.   And Pinterest, it just may be a thing that doesn’t get checked off my very short “to do” list today.

When I came home, I had to put together fruit salad for the week because, when I do, everyone seems to get their fill of fruit.  I can purchase the same fruit and 50% of it will remain in the fridge at the end of the week, untouched.  However, when I take the time to carefully select the ingredients and mix them with just the right amount of lime juice and honey, the bowl seems to have more appeal.

Then I remembered it was Sunday — and I needed to pack my husband’s lunch for tomorrow.  I also like to make chicken salad and put snacks in baggies for a quick grab throughout the week.  Lunches seem so much better when I take the time to put some things together in advance rather than throwing it together last minute.  I know if he were to pack his own lunch, he wouldn’t choose as healthy or put as much thought into it.

Ah, then there was the laundry.  Our household has managed quite well with each individual handling their own.  It was an unspoken thing that just happened one day.  No complaints here, except when it’s time for me to fold my own.  The daunting task causes me to sigh — every, single time.  But it’s quick and painless.  I washed a load and put 2 away today…yes, one was from a couple days ago that I hid in the closet for just this occasion — the day I was going to “rest”.

The dog threw up this morning so I made him boiled chicken and rice at 4:30am, reheating some about lunchtime to be sure he was getting some food in him.  Now he’s peacefully sleeping on the couch after his hefty helping, always a good company when you need him to be (and even when you don’t).

Had to catch up on the dishes from packing lunches and meal prepping for the week because who wants to start dinner with a full sink of dirty dishes?  Oh yeah…dinner…that’s on the list too.  Have to start that in about an hour…

So much for enjoying my tea while Pinteresting comfortably on the couch…

All these thoughts ran through my head as I finally sat down to enjoy a cup of tea.  Many moons ago, I might have been a little bitter about missing the “me” time and just not having things go as planned.  “To do” lists left undone used to cause me grief.  I would put too much stuff on the piece of paper, many things that a normal person couldn’t accomplish in several days, let alone in the few hours that I allowed myself in an afternoon.

I pondered my list of three things — pjs, tea, Pinterest — and actually felt guilty for even worrying about this incomplete list.  Looking at all I was able to accomplish, things that I need not put on the list, things I do because I’m a wife and a mom, things I do because I want to be an example, because I want to show my family I love them….these things are top priority and sometimes, just need to come before the list of countless other things I want to do for yours truly.

I think about the times I want things my way, which is almost all the time, and realized my way isn’t necessarily the only way.  In many situations, my way only seems like the best way.  Oh how I pray about this often…and I mean OFTEN!

It’s the next morning and I’ve been up since about 5:30a working on some projects for church, youth, and my family.  I had high hopes of working out first thing and finishing this blog in an entirely different way but God had other plans.

I’m sitting here with a cat curled up next to my leg, a dog as close to my armpit as he can be — snoring loudly — and Christian music blaring in my headphones.  The windows are open, although the air just turned on and I don’t care, I’m enjoying the crispness of it and of the candle I lit a couple hours ago.

My coffee went cold but that’s okay because I finished most of it over an hour ago.  My bed is full of highlighters, papers, a devotional, notebook, and a computer, which sits atop by lap.

Now that you have the full picture, you might also need to know that I’m in no way presentable but I’m in every way comfortable.  You see, the way things could have been had I had it my way would  have been much different.  I’ve reached out to God on several occasions for Him to lead my days and very rarely have I actually let Him.

Yesterday after church and this morning, He’s in the lead and I’m quite enjoying it. I’m not overwhelmed.  I haven’t forgotten anything [yet] and I am fully prepared to just roll with whatever comes next.

Does that mean I won’t have a freakout moment if something suddenly tries to take my joy?  Nope.  I just might.  But you know what?  My God is bigger, stronger, and IN CHARGE.  I’ll get through it.

So what are YOU going to do about it?  That thing that has been bugging you? That list that is never-ending?  That LIFE that doesn’t always leave room for the little things you’d like to do but always makes way for the things you need to do.

Let’s pretend you have nothing more than this day.  That a moment in time like this very one is all you’ll have to get you through to the next catastrophe.  You have this minute to summons God, allow Him into your day, breathe deeply, and set the tone for what is to come.

Try it.  Try relying on God through each and every moment of your day.  To do so you may need to get up a little early, adjust the music you’re listening to if it will help your mood, surround yourself with sights and smells that add to it all and just live.  You are in a position to do something right where you are in every single roll you’ve been fortunate to be put into.

How about taking this second to thank God for all those things that pull you away from you and just do YOU!


One Moment For Another

Do you ever feel like a moment, maybe even this moment, is meant for someone else?  It’s an odd feeling really, like you’re living that very second for another person — be it a tiny human being, a friend, spouse, or even a total stranger.  You may not know at the time or you may never know for certain but something right where you are needs to be shared with someone else…spared for someone else.

Ephesians 3:17-19 says,

I pray that you...grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ...that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

What if our offering in such moments was to give unto others, do unto others, be unto others — just as we’d want for ourselves?  You can give a little or you can give a lot, be it your time, money, or most importantly…yourself.

Why not get creative in times that need not be reserved for you and you alone.  Think of a way you can spare that moment so you can share it.

That leaf hanging in mid-air, blowing in the breeze.

That flower with the sun shining so perfectly on its blossom.

The timing of your arrival upon a situation where you can be of assistance.

The situation that you knew nothing about that seemingly called your name.

You can take a picture, lend a hand, offer yourself.  But no matter what the moment, what the situation, if you were called to be there for someone else, recognize it…do something about it.


I Find Myself Thinking

Here I go, thinking again.  I should know better but does that stop me?  No.  Never seems to.  Thoughts wander in and I allow them to take shape in my mind, moving about in the most private parts of my brain, interweaving with thoughts of what I have to do, what I should do, and how it’s all going to come together.

I wait for an interjection but no one says a word.  Quickly, loudly, the thoughts begin to fill every inch of space, taking with it all the air left in the room.  Pretty soon, I can’t think of anything else.  These thoughts have made my mind their home and I have not done a thing about it.  But what could I have done?  How could I have stopped them?  Is there any hope?

Ah! But yes there is!

Isaiah 26:3 says;

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

In the midst of uncontrollable emotions and invading thoughts, what would happen if we turn our eyes elsewhere?  If we took our minds off of the things that have infiltrated our mind and set them on the only One who can give us peace.  A peace beyond all understanding topped with a breath of fresh air like we’ve never inhaled before.

I want you to stop for a moment.  Close your eyes and think of something peaceful — not a family member or a possession but maybe a place, a butterfly, a sound.  Fix yourself on that for a few moments, pushing all thoughts aside that are trying to creep in.  Imagine that you are stronger, you are energetic, you are happy, at peace and in a place where nothing can stand in your way.  Now pray like you haven’t in a long time.  Ask for peace beyond all understanding.  Ask for increased faith and trust in what is to come.  Ask that moments like these happen in the midst of the mayhem as much as the mundane.

Romans 12:2 reminds us that if we don’t conform to the pattern of this world, we might just be transformed by the renewing of our mind.  It goes on to say:

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

You’re looking for answers but they haven’t been there.  You’re waiting for things to happen but you’re at a standstill.  You feel lost but oh how you wish to be found.  You can have that perfect peace if you choose the thoughts you think on…if you don’t bother with the things that are out of your control…if you let go and just give to God what you cannot handle.  This moment, right here, is how you find your peace again.


There are a lot of different categories in this world when it comes to people but today, I’m concentrating on two.  These two may have the absolute best intentions but can often be perceived quite differently than they would like to be.  It could be you or I any given day, but for some, these descriptions depict their lives; their lives that are so wrapped up in wanting to be a part of everyone else’s, that they come off arrogant or even a little creepy.  Good intentions or not, any one of us can be labeled according to our actions.  It doesn’t take much for someone to take notice of a behavior you have or had momentarily and assume your whole life revolves around nurturing that very behavior.  If we’re not careful the wrong impression can lead to mistrust, lost friendships, and mistaken identity that is hard to undo.

Let’s take the contentious talker for example.  You know the people.  They have to get into every conversation.  Their opinion, whether it’s the same or different than yours, always comes off as an argument.  They insert their thoughts and you instantly want to insert your fingers — into your eyes or ears, depending on where they’re sharing their opinion.  they’ve come to believe over many years of self-convincing that their opinion is FACT, when in all actuality, it will never be more than an opinion.  They seem to know so much about so many things that you wouldn’t dare argue because they might go as far as trying to find proof in order to prove you wrong…even though again, it’s only an opinion.  They’re loud, even in their written responses.  They antagonize, add things to the conversation that weren’t necessary and never seem to care if they were invited in or not.

This person, whether they have good intentions or not, always comes off in a negative light.  Many veer from their path while others who are more soft spoken tend to follow them.  To some they are arrogant to others they are all-knowing.  Those are the people they want to encourage.  They feed off of the people who tell them they’re right and they ALWAYS want the last word.  Whether valid or not, their point is always made but quite often, not understood.  They may not feel vicious but every ounce of their being goes into proving a point that need not be proven.

Then there’s the quiet stalker.  He/she follows along, unbeknownst to you, picking up on everything you’ve shared on social media, with friends in private conversations, or just out in public where you had no idea they were lurking.  Then one day their shyness turns into a narration of your life.  They seem to know everything about you and what you’ve been up to.  They ask you about your recent trips, your happenings and even try to console you when you’re down.  You don’t know them well at all and wonder if they’ve been reading your social media page or if they have a tent set up in your backyard throughout the night.   Same great intentions?  Possibly.  But their approach is that of an animal, stalking it’s prey.  What will they do next?  Have they found their “in” to your life?  You feel like you have to share with them every time you see them now.  They want to know how you are and get regular updates. What’s the status on this?  How about this?

In both cases, I’ve come to learn that these individuals are in need of friends.  They reach out in completely different ways for the very same thing.  One may know that their shyness and awkward approach keeps them from sustaining any real friendships, whereas the other doesn’t know that their callous approach has afforded them as far from the friendship spot as possible.  They feel like their opinions are valued but don’t understand that being on the same page isn’t necessarily the definition of friendship.

We can be friendly without being friends just as we can be friends while agreeing to disagree.   We will never be able to keep everyone up on everything or let each well-meaning person in on every aspect of our personal lives.  We don’t have to argue and we certainly don’t have to understand why people do what they do.  However, we do have one obligation when it comes to these two, different types of people and the thousand of other types that we see day in and day out.  Our job is a lot easier than we think but harder to understand so sometimes we fail at even trying.  We don’t have to put much effort forth or even give it a second thought on most occasions.

You see, our job is to love one another.  Despite the difficult personalities, the weirdness that makes us who we are, and the harshness that comes off.  We choose love and that, my friends, is what gets you through those not-so-pleasant interactions with folks that are just not like you or I.  We’re all different.  Even if it wasn’t one of these two that I’ve described, we’re all able to be put into a category of a “type”.  With the best of intentions we can come off as the worst of people.  Does it mean that we (or these folks we’re talking about) don’t need to make a few changes? No, they very well might need to adjust their approach a bit, but we cannot change them nor should we wish to.

The great Forrest Gump once shared advice from his Mama, “Life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”  You know what else Mama said? “You have to do the best with what God gave you.”

Whether you’re type A, B, C or Z, you are given something from someOne who knows you better than anyone .  This very same person knows each of those other people too — the ones you like, the ones you dislike, the ones you have no idea how you could like — and you know what He says about them?  I love them.  They’re my children.

No where in the Bible does it say we have to like everyone but Mark 12:31 says this,

"Love your neighbor as yourself."

This is one of the most important commandments along with loving God.

So what’s the difference?  Like is an emotion.  We can like someone who is similar to us or who we connect with.  But loving someone is a choice.  We make a decision to love.

I read an article about this very subject and this line was PERFECT to help us understand the difference: “It [love] doesn’t describe how I feel about you; it describes how I treat you. To love someone is to be loyal, devoted, courteous, kind, thoughtful, giving, and caring.”

As always, I’m not sure where this came from today but I know it’s meant for someone.  In fact, it could be for a few of you out there that are trying to grasp emotions you’re having about a certain someone that you will never quite get passed.  The good thing is, you don’t need to.  You make the choice to love through your differences as much as you will because of the similarities.  You will be you, the best you that God made you to be.  You won’t change others and they can’t change you.  So today as you get out into that world, how about you just do you?

Love you all!



Right On Time

I’m not the most punctual person.  I get it from my dad’s side of the family.  Most of them will admit it because, well, there’s no denying it when you’re always late.  My dad, on the other hand, would take it to the extremes some days.  Whether it was because he lost his keys, ran out of gas, or because he just got side-tracked, he always made it…eventually.

I vowed to myself that I would not run out of gas EVER and my plan is to stick to that.  Running out of gas more times that I can count as a kid and having to walk in not-so-good neighborhoods at night weren’t always the best memories.  However, I learned a thing or two in those times that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else.

I learned how to trust my dad that everything was going to be okay.

I learned how to believe we would get there, even if it wasn’t “on time”.

I learned that the most important thing isn’t necessarily that you arrive at a specific time.

However, we’re led to believe that timing is everything.    I might agree with that if I understand whose timing we were talking about.  There’s always our timingyour timing, and everyone else who thinks they have a handle on the right time.

There are birthday parties, dinner dates, flights, movies and other activities that you can’t argue…have a specific time.  But what about the rest of the things that seem timely?  We’re given the idea that it doesn’t matter what it is but if we want it, we can get it now.  We see messages like:

“No money down!”

“0% Financing!”

“Buy now, pay later!”

The thought instantly comes to mind, if I want it I can have it.

It’s not always about things that cost us in paper money either.  There are things that can cost us in other ways if we choose to go for them when it isn’t the right time or in the right way.  There’s a time, a place, a purpose for each and every single thing we do.  We’ve come so used to getting what we want when we want it that we don’t have the patience to wait for anything anymore.

What does that say about our future?  Are we handling things in our own time to suit our desires verses waiting until a time that might just be best for us?  What if we took a step back from the situation, wrote down pros and cons, wants vs. needs and truly assessed if whatever it is, needs to happen now or is just something our minds are trying to convince us is a necessity when in all actuality, it’s a want that can wait until a better time?

Often, if we wait patiently, opportunities will present themselves in such a way that we can see our movement would have been detrimental to the overall outcome.  It doesn’t give us the best result when we push to have something that could have been so much better had we waited.

What about that house…
That car…
The job…
The perfect man/woman…

It can be about the little things just as much as it’s about the big things.  It all adds us to be a sort of timing that will never be our own.  This doesn’t mean we sit complacent, never making a move.  But it does mean listening to that still, small voice and the urging inside that tells you to wait when everything in your head is telling you to GO! GO! GO!

That yearning inside makes us feel like we won’t be able to handle waiting any longer, but I promise you friends, our heart can handle the wait if we get control of our mind.  We have to step out of certain situations or away from what keeps our mind thinking thoughts of want vs need.  But in some cases, we are to learn patience by remaining right where we are until the opportunity presents itself.  You don’t have to jump.  You don’t have to be the first.  And I promise you’ll never be the last.

There’s something out there for you.  It’s pulling you in a direction that may seem wonderful but not quite right.  There’s a timing that’s better.  It’s a timing that has withstood all the tests.  It’s proof that things happen for a reason, at a time, in a season.  It’s why you’re here reading this and why I was led to write it.

You see, this purpose, this plan, it’s something that has been laid out for you.  The good, the bad, the confusing, the sad.  Each and every experience is leading to something greater, something stronger, and something longer-lasting than anything you could muster up yourself.

Trust in this timing.  It’s God’s timing.  Have you truly given it to Him and asked Him to lead you?  Have you asked for His guidance or walked in His confidence?  It doesn’t have to be a life-changing event but I promise, even the small things can be if done at the wrong time.  Before you take that medicine, before you buy that couch, before you reach out…look up!  Ask God what He thinks.  Give it to God and watch Him work.  He’ll guide you if you allow Him too.

I don’t know who this was for.  I don’t even know where it came from, but you know what? God does.  And it was in His timing that you were able to see it! Now believe it!

Love you all!