Are you worried about the wrong things?

WORRIED ABOUT THE WRONG THINGS!
 

Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

This passage speaks volumes, it truly does! There is so much to learn here. Jesus came into Martha’s home. Upon His arrival, it seems that Mary, Martha’s sister was in awe of Jesus’s presence and wanted to spend every second soaking Him up. While Martha worried about making everything perfect for Jesus while He was there, and she soon became overwhelmed. If Jesus came to your home now what would you do? Would you be trying to clean, cook and get everything right? Or would you be sitting at His feet focused on Him? If you’re a neat freak like me always cleaning before you have company, and like to have everything things in order for your guest, these questions could be hard to answer.I reflected on these verses, and I could see how this story reflected different areas and seasons of my life. At times, we feel as though we have to get things right and in order before we can come to God and sit in his presence. For example, we may feel like we strayed from the path God had set for us; now things have fallen apart, and we feel obligated to put things back together before going to God.  The fact is things are in such disorder because we worry about the wrong things!

Come to God with all of your mess; especially when you’ve strayed. God knows that we will stumble. We can’t be fruitful in life without Him! He takes joy in being our restorer. Don’t let the enemy play with your mind and have you feeling like you can’t come to God ANYTIME, ANY HOUR! I like to think of being overwhelmed or upset as God using my frustration as an opportunity to say: “Tomasa, Tomasa, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” The truth is things don’t become right or fall into place until we submit to God’s will for our life. God wants us to come as we are so He can perfect us! We are mere humans, and nothing we do alone will be good enough for our God! (Isaiah 55:8-9, John 4)

Have a lot on your mind? Are you confused about your purpose or identity? Are things just not going as you would have hoped? Do you feel overbooked with tasks? Or maybe you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong but know things aren’t right?  If so stop and sit at the Lords’ feet in silence and relax. Let Him renew you and make you whole! Let Him declutter your life and organize your comings and goings. If we stay consistent and focus on Him, He will supply and take care of our needs!(Matthew 11:28-29) The Lord loves you, and if you chase after Him with all your heart, he will not leave you with a need or worry!

Prayer: Lord God, let me not worry about the wrong things. Let me come to you wholeheartedly and put You first in all I do. Comfort me in knowing that if you are my center, you will protect me. If I place you first in all things, you will bless the rest. I am nothing without you, Lord. In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.

Some Related Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:4, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Matthew 11:28-29,John 14:27, Proverbs 1:33, Romans 10:9

Our Loving Father

Our Loving Father

One of the most fundamental needs that we all have, as a human being, is to be loved. We all feel it. We all want someone to hold us close and tell us that they love only us.

Sadly, a fundamental truth about our great God is often overlooked. Our Father built us to love greatly. He also loves us greatly. Everyone needs to hear and know this, and many forget about it.

So, today, I’m here to tell you just how much your Father loves you.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Not only does He comfort and calm you with His love, God sings over you. Your Father’s lullaby is the best in the world. He holds you close and whispers to you all the plans He has for your life. And, trust me, they are all good.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

Because God loves us (YOU!), he made us more than conquerors. It isn’t enough that we come out victorious, He puts us in high places and never lets us go. No matter what gets in the way, He will push through all of it to be close to you. His love is so vast that it encompasses us even when we feel at our lowest.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 John 3:1

This is one of my favorites, so we’ll camp here for a minute before I end this post. First of all, let’s notice how it talks about His love being so great that we are now called the children of God. 

Guys, God adopted us into His family. He claims us as His. He protects us like a good dad protects his children.

Here’s what I love about this. Anyone who has a close family knows one fact: we can pick on our family all we want, but the moment someone outside the family starts in on a family member, all bets are off.

God is even greater than that. First of all, he doesn’t pick on us in the first place. (*middle child rejoices in this fact*)

Secondly, because we’re now His children, God is on our side. Anyone touches us, God is going to be all kinds of upset about it. Who doesn’t want our Loving Father fighting on our behalf? Takes the wind out of the sails of the bullies, that’s for sure.

If our Father is holding us close and loving us so epically, what’s stopping you from feeling all kinds of loved?

Is It Time Yet?

is it time yet

 

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

Habakkuk 2:3

As I ended 2018 and began 2019, this is one of the scriptures that has spoken the most to me. Why? Because, as a single girl looking forward to married life, it’s hard to remember that God’s timing is perfect. No matter how frustrating it may seem to me, God knows why this isn’t the time yet.

Is that what I wanted to hear? Absolutely not.

Is it what I needed? Yes.

This scripture is encouraging to me — and hopefully to you, as well — because it isn’t a “no” kind of answer. It’s all in the timing. Even if the vision before me, the things I want so badly, aren’t here yet, they will have their time.

Timing isn’t my favorite subject because let’s face it, I can be just as impatient as the next guy. Waiting? What’s that? Why do I have to wait? Why can’t I have what I want, when I want it?

Why do I have to wait longer? Hasn’t it been long enough?

These are questions I’ve prayed and journaled over and over again. I’m a hopeless romantic, so why can’t I see some romance? (Can I get a witness, somebody?)

The truth it, God never said I wouldn’t see my romance. He’s just been telling me to wait.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:14

Even in my period of waiting, God supplies the courage and strength for me to go on. To endure and to thrive in this time of preparation.

I know I’ve been talking a lot about timing lately, but that’s what God has been placing in my heart. His timing is best and He always asks us to do things that will benefit us in the end.

For example (STORY TIME!!!):

I write. Constantly. Mostly books, because I love to craft stories. So, when the beginning of December came and God told me to take a break from writing until January, I admit to balking a little.

Okay, so it was more than a little. I desperately wanted to just push on. To keep going while I had momentum and to start something new while I was at it. However, after a lot of prayers and arguing with Jesus (not my brightest idea), I did as I felt led to do. I stopped writing for the duration of December.

Of course, when I started, I didn’t know that my computer would crash a week later, leaving me without anything to write with. I didn’t know that during that time I wasn’t writing, I would discover a beautiful new idea for an awesome new book and be able to spend all that writing time fleshing out characters and scenarios and places in the story world.

But God knew. And His timing was perfect.

If I hadn’t listened, how stressed would I have been when my computer crashed? I would have lost so much work and been so upset. But I wasn’t, because all my finished projects were backed up.

If I hadn’t listened, would I have been able to hear the new ideas for this story I’m so excited to start? Maybe not. Because I would have been too focused on what I was doing.

God’s timing applies to each and every area of our lives. He knows what’s best for us and He wants us to live to our full potential. It makes Him exuberantly happy when we listen to the things He whispers to our hearts.

Which is why, today, I want to leave you with one last scripture.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time…”

Ecclesiastes 3:11a

If it isn’t His time yet, that thing you’re waiting for probably just hasn’t blossomed into something beautiful. It will, if you’re patient, and if you keep the faith while you’re waiting.

Keep fighting for the things you’ve been promised! I’ll be right here beside you.

To Be Seen

City Real Estate

 

One of the worst feelings in life is the feeling of being overlooked.

Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve felt alone and unseen. I’ve cried those silent tears into my pillow at night. I’ve screamed at the sky and asked God why he isn’t using me the way I want him to.

And then I realized: this isn’t about me. It’s all about timing. God’s timing. Even if we don’t like it, God’s timing is perfect. Maybe (just, go with me here) He knows what’s best for us and maybe, JUST MAYBE, He wants the absolute best for our lives.

Many times in our season of singleness, we feel unloved or left out. Our friends may be getting married or having babies. They may have a “prospect” or a “guy friend” and you’ve got nothing. Trust me I can relate to that one. (Seriously, if that’s you, drop me a comment. I’m living it right now.)

If this is you, feeling overlooked and undervalued, I’d like to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite men in the Bible. The beginning of his story is found in 1 Samuel 16 and the first mention of him is very telling.

Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”

1 Samuel 16:11

For those of you familiar with the Bible and the study thereof, you will have figured out that this passage is the first time anyone talks about David in the Bible.

I find it interesting that the very first mention of one of the most important men in the plan of salvation didn’t even mention his name. “There is the youngest,” Jesse tells Samuel. Almost like an afterthought. Like he hadn’t even remembered him until that exact moment.

And where is David while EVERYONE else is attending a ritual sacrifice to the I Am? David is left back at home. “Just” the youngest. Watching the sheep and the goats while everyone else is in the limelight, parading before God and the prophet.

How do you think that particular conversation went?

“David, your brothers and I are going to witness the prophet Samuel offer a sacrifice. Watch the sheep and goats okay?”

Do you think David wondered why he of all people had to stay behind? Do you think he felt a little left out and unloved? Unseen? Overlooked?

You see, not all grand plans have exquisite beginnings. Even though Jesse summons David to stand before the prophet and EVEN THOUGH Samuel anoints David as the next king, there aren’t any fireworks or a parade. There isn’t an announcement that “David will rule this nation next!” There is no press release or instant fame and fortune.

After Samuel anoints David, he leaves. David leaves. David goes back to his sheep and his goats. He continues to serve his father, to obey and listen and do what he’s told. And he waits.

Sometimes we take for granted the moments that happen in the waiting. We so badly want the end that we don’t take time to appreciate the little things. We forget to tend to our sheep and our goats. We forget to love ourselves and our lives even if we know there is more for us.

Today, let’s make a pact, you and I. We will live adventurously. We will not take the mundane for granted. We will pick up our callings and we will do what we can with what we have. We will wait for God to open doors and we will say yes when he does. Today, let’s agree to stop trying to make it all happen for ourselves. Let’s agree to let God be in charge and give us every good thing he has for us.

God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

Psalm 18:30

IS GOD PERFECTING YOU?

 

Is God Perfecting You_

 

Have you ever prayed and asked God for something and then immediately it seems like everything goes wrong or gets worse, and everything that you don’t want to happen happens? If you’ve ever felt like this, you’re not alone!

A few months ago I was on my break at work, and I was talking with God in prayer, and as I was just sitting in His presence, He spoke to me. He said, Daughter, my people seek me in prayer, and I respond to them, but when I answer their prayers they cry out to me again asking me to make it stop.

I was in shock, and I ask the Lord what He means. He said my people pray for strength, so I allow a difficult situation to come their way to strengthen them, but instead of being strong and pressing through, they cry out to me saying make it stop Lord. They pray to grow in love, so I bring people to them who have been written off by the world as “too difficult to love,” yet they come back to me asking me to remove that person from their life. They want to grow in the fruits of the Spirit, yet when I place them in the fire to stretch and mold them, they cry out for me to stop. How can you grow in love if your love is not tested? How can you grow in kindness, if your kindness is not tested? How can you grow in patience if your patience is not tested? How can you grow in joy if your joy is not tested? How can you be strong if your strength is not tested?

When I tell you it took everything in me not to shout in that stairwell at work!!! That thing hit me, and all I could say was WOW, forgive me, Father!

The Bible tells us that we are tested and tried:

James 1:2-4 ESV

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Peter 1:7 ESV

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Some of us are stuck in situations because we don’t want to go through anything, but God wants us to walk through the fire so He can refine us, so He can shape us, stretch us, mold us, and purify us! So count at all joy my sweet sister when you are faced with various trials trust that God will see you through. He is our strength when we are weak. So as you are pressed past your comfort zone, trust that the Creator of the universe will lead you through. Be encouraged!

 

 

He Heals The Brokenhearted

He is Near to the BrokenHearted !

‘ He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]. ‘PSALM 147:3 AMP

The ladies of VirtousBella and I were doing a devotional with scripture reading. One of our readings talked about processing loss and grief. After having a great dialogue with the ladies, I wanted to share my experience with processing loss and pain and hopefully encourage someone. 

Have you ever felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders? Or maybe things have happened to you that you decided you would never relive, so you swept it under the rug and kept pushing forward. I’ve been there! I know for me personally I use to tell myself “you don’t have time to fall apart, you have bills to pay” and I would sweep it under the rug and go into straight hustle mode. No time and no emotion. I feared that if I allow myself to open up and grieve that I might not recover. I use to think “what if I don’t recover, what if I lose it?” “What if the pain of the situation is too much to bear?! Then what, how will I survive?” So my defense was always to sweep it under the rug. I would think about it for a bit, but when I felt the rushing waves of my emotions, I would shut it down and tell myself I had to keep it together because no one else was going to take care of me.

What I didn’t realize was that I was playing the role of god in my life. Over time I learned that this was unproductive. I began to learn about healing, deliverance and genuinely leaving it all at the altar. Once I allowed God to deal with me, I had to take a trip back down memory lane. I had to revisit situations I had blocked out. I had to process those emotions, but the good news was that God was right there with me. I got to cry on His lap, and once I released it at the altar, I LEFT IT THERE and allowed Him to heal my heart. The danger of not dealing with situations is that it will most likely lead to sin. Whether it be assault unforgiveness, rape, family issues, church hurt, anger, bitterness, jealousy, depression or any and everything in between. These emotions and the situations that triggered them, if left undealt with never end up good and become the devil’s playground. Now I’ll be honest my road to deliverance wasn’t pretty! BUT I trusted God and I survived. I was delivered and healed, and that’s honestly freedom I can’t explain. I encourage you to let go and trust God. Freefall into His arms and He will catch you! Recieve your deliverance and remember to walk in your deliverance!  God bless you, sister!

‘  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 KJV

Hands Off

 

Hands Off (1)

There are times in life when you want something so badly it hurts, keeps you up at night, and pervades most of your thoughts, actions, and purposeful direction. I’m at that stage in life right now, aching for several things. Things I’ve been working toward for years and still seem no closer to achieving.

This morning, I opened my current devotional book and found:

“The LORD said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you’.”

Genesis 12:1

At first, it didn’t seem like this has much to do with this deep, aching, all-consuming desire within me. Until I looked past the surface and saw what God was really asking Abram to do.

Leave your country. The people you’re loyal to, the ones who influence your personal culture and tell you what is acceptable. Your people… The ones you’ve grown up with and value their opinions. And your father’s household… Your family, the ones who put expectations on you and advise you. Go to the land I will show you. 

God looked at Abram and told him; “Take your hands off this situation and let me handle it. Do what I say and trust Me to know what’s best for you.”

Girls, that’s hard. Sometimes it’s the hardest when we want something the most because a nagging little voice asks us “but what if God doesn’t want this for me?”

Let me tell you something. God is good. He wants what’s best for you, and he placed those desires in your heart. If it’s a Godly desire, he wants it for you! He wants you to have the best, and He’s willing to give it to you. Don’t doubt that He will give you the absolute best of everything. If what you’re wanting lines up with His word, there’s no reason for Him to say no.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.”

Psalm 73:25

You see, the trick is to get so lost in God that you don’t care if you get those earthly things! He wants what is best for you, so why would you need anything but to love him? If my eyes are so focused on God that I don’t look around me, it seems so much shorter a wait when his plan finally unfolds before my eyes.

Girls, we don’t have to fret, because God has this! Throw your hands up and let it go, let him take it off your shoulders. There’s no need to fret and there’s no need to stress. Take your hands off and let the hands of the sovereign, beautiful God crush you to His chest. Get lost in Jesus and watch God bring you blessing after blessing, even things you never thought would happen!

I love you all, and I want only the best for you, just like your Jesus. Stick with me, girls! Hold on and keep the faith. I promise you everything will be so worth it in the end.

When Your Dreams Are Big

Big Dreams

Do you feel it?  A stirring in your heart to do something others may think is crazy? Do you find yourself staring into space and dreaming a dream that is so big you are terrified?  Yet, no matter how scared you are or intimidating it seems… you just can’t shake it.  How do we know when these desires are what God wants for us versus our fleshly desires?

What does God’s word say about it?

If you were to search the scriptures would you find any verses where the Lord clearly speaks against whatever this desire is?  Or, would any of the steps along the way require you to compromise His clear directions?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Do you need to justify your choices not only to others but to yourself?

Does your spirit seem unsettled about the decisions you are making or the steps you are taking?  Are you having to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing, over and over again?  Are you feeling any conviction over your actions, guilt or shame?  Are you unwilling to listen to others or God’s Word, because you know it will speak against your choices?

But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly; They became stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments.  Nehemiah 9:16

Have you spoken about your desires with trusted, godly, men and women in your life?

Are you afraid to talk to those who are closest to you about your dreams and your actions steps to get there?  Are you hiding any part of the process from them because you know they will disapprove?  Have you invited your prayer warriors to intercede on your behalf?

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. Proverbs 12:15

Have you laid your desires at the throne?

Have you taken your dreams and placed them at the foot of the cross, surrendering them to the Lord?  Do you pray for clarity and direction?  Have you invited the Holy Spirit to guide your dreams?   Do your prayers include requests for affirmation to assure you are in His will?

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.  2 Peter 1:10

Do you trust the Lord with your dreams?

Are the reservations you are having about your dreams due to a lack of confidence in the Lord to be faithful to His promises?  When we trust in God, that means that we believe in His plans for us… even when they don’t make sense or seem too big.  It means that we are going to lean into Him during each and every step of the way.  A decision made daily to do what He asks of us for that day, and not to worry about tomorrow.  Commitment to walking with Him in prayer and through His word, clinging to our Shepherd to lead the way.

And they that know your name will put their trust in you: for you, LORD, have not forsaken them that seek you.  Psalm 9:10

The scriptures reveal many stories of people who the Lord cast big dreams for their lives.  In each story, we see individuals who called out for His guiding hand and provision.  A dependency on His protection, and the expectation of His miracles.

When your dreams are big, remember your God is bigger.

You gotta have faith!

Gotta Faith 
  
“Take control of what I say, O  lord,
and guard my lips.
Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong.” Psalm 141:3-4 NLT
 

 I love this Psalm written by David; it shows the power of prayer! This Psalm is written by David, and if you read Psalm 141, you can see it’s a prayer for safe keeping from wickedness.  I’m sure we have all been in situations where we have wanted to say or do something that we knew was contrary to God’s will. Sometimes it can seem as if people just want to test out your faith by pushing your buttons. David is my encouragement in those moments. I look at the life of David, and I see a man who truly had a relationship with God. David knew he could not go through life without God. He needed the power of God to help him in those tight situations. We can truly appreciate David’s example of relying on God in situations cannot handle in our power.

Can you imagine showing the love of God to someone who talks about you behind your back but, smiles in your face? Someone who attempts to slander your character with lies? What about someone who steals from you? What about someone who hates you enough to kill you?

I believe that the prayer in Psalms 141 was during the time where David was on the run from Saul, who was trying to kill him. Saul was very jealous of David. During his time on the run, David had two opportunities to kill Saul. Even David’s men were encouraging him to kill Saul. Their theory, God, was delivering Saul into David’s hands for payback. However, David being a man of God refused to kill Saul even though Saul was trying to kill him. This prayer in Psalms 141 could have been what helped David remain faithful to God and not kill His anointed one. We also see how God protected David during this time because Saul never captured David. God is faithful. He will provide. David’s story is proof that God will answer prayer and provide in our hour of need.

I thank Jesus for dying for our sins and sending us the comforter who can help us be like David when we run into trouble. Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) tells us about the fruits of the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  We should be excited this means we don’t have to rely on our strength when faced with trials and tribulations. Galatians 5:22-23 is another one of my favorite passages in the Bible, it’s so encouraging! It reminds us that we are human and apart from God we are imperfect.

We can all recall a time when we found it hard if not impossible in our strength to love or be gentle with someone, remain joyful in the midst of pure chaos and confusion, show kindness to someone whom you may not like, or maybe you’re like me and struggle with patience. I have good news; God will provide! So next time you’re in a situation where you see yourself lacking in one of these areas before you react pray! Ask God for the strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome the situation. As with David God will give you the strength to overcome!

Prayer:  Father God, we just want to thank you, Lord, for your protection, faithfulness, and guidance Lord. You’re so worthy of all the praise and glory. Guard the words of our mouth oh Lord and let us not partake in evilness. We thank you, Father, for the fruit of the Spirit that allows us to get through trying situations. Please remove anything in us that’s not of you Father. Continue to mold us Father into the faithful Christian men and women you’ve called us to be. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks. Amen.