Bible Gateway

Monday, July 8, 2013

Encouragement!!! Please read :-)

Yesterday was my 36th birthday...Praise God and it was by far the BEST birthday yet. Why? Because it was simple...my mom cooked one of my favorite dishes, and I got to enjoy my family. We ate, we laughed, we relaxed and just hung out.  No toiling, no dressing up, no wondering what we were going to eat later, lol.  It was perfect.  But I also received a very very special and much needed gift for my birthday....from God.

God has the perfect way of getting you what you need when you need it. We all know the saying, He may not come when you want it but He's right on time...well, I used to hate that saying. Now I understand it.

Lately I have been feeling very stagnant in my walk, very stale. Of course the first questions you get when you feel that way are "how much time have you been reading, how much time have you spent praying, and so on.  Well that only added to my zombie like feeling with God because I hadn't been doing much of that and condemnation set in...bad.  I felt bad for not devoting hours and hours to the Lord, or reading everyday.  I let the enemy beat me down and I didn't care.

Well the Lord sent a Word to let me know all is well, He loves me, He understands and I have not lost my place in Him and most importantly, I am NOT doing anything wrong just because I'm not doing (that sounds bad but you will see what I mean)...and I want to encourage YOU because I know I am not alone. Now don't get me wrong, reading, praying, worshiping and spending time with God are all very important to our walk. That's how we learn and grow in Him BUT (this is the most freeing part) God does not love you or me anymore or any less if we do or don't do those things...let me repeat that...GOD DOES NOT LOVE YOU ANYMORE OR ANY-LESS IF YOU DO OR DON'T DO THOSE THINGS. That doesn't mean you should neglect them but God is not moved by your performance or in your eyes, your lack of performing.

I learned in that short conversation that what someone else's intimate growing time with God looks like will look different from mine and further more I shouldn't be comparing myself to anyone else. We can get so caught up in trying to keep a to do list for God that we lose Him in the process and it's not even about Him anymore. For some it may literally be in the prayer closet on their face for hours, for others it may be quiet time in the car....today for me it was 10 minutes with my head down on a pile of warm towels straight out the dryer, lol just resting in His presence...no talking, no declaring, no warring just resting. Someone may spend hours in their prayer closet and you may only be able to pray for 5 minutes...they may keep their face buried in their bibles while you can only read a scripture a day, some may fast for days and weeks and you can only do lunch...and THAT'S OK! God says He understands. What works for some doesn't work for everyone, we are all made different, have different life circumstances and GOD LOVES US ANYWAY....I will have to remember this with my own children because it can become so easy as they grow in God to try to dictate to them what I think they should be doing to grow instead of letting God have His way and letting His will be done in their lives.

Don't feel bad because your friend gets up at 5am every morning to pray and you can't do it. Don't let anyone make you feel like a weak Christian because you can't read a whole chapter a day or do what they do...that's not what it's about and we are missing the point! We have to stop striving to please God. Our society has become all about performance and success and we have regrettably brought that over into our walks with the Lord. STOP IT! Stop striving, stop toiling, stop trying to win God's affection by doing..STOP condemning yourself because you missed a day of prayer. STOP because the enemy will beat you down and try to keep you down with condemnation. Hold your head up because you are still His child. You have His heart, you have His affection. 

I don't know if this helps anyone else, but it was a burden off of my shoulders and my heart. I felt like a failure in my walk because I thought I should be doing more...I've been saved for years so I should be praying for hours, reading chapters a day, casting demons out everyday, confessing the Word every hour and you get the point...We have made this thing work and rules instead of about RELATIONSHIP.

I also learned that we have periods of rest as well as periods of battle. God created rest for His people and it's OK to enjoy that.  We have been taught in church that if things are quiet and you aren't rebuking the devil daily then you better watch out because satan has this sneak attack planned and is going to get you because you had your guards down....that's wrong. Its sad that God's people can't even enjoy their rest so when we do have to war we will be refreshed and prepared. Enjoy your quiet time, enjoy your rest. Enjoy YOUR relationship with YOUR Father.

I pray this helped someone, if not it surely blessed me and I appreciate God sending me this special Word on my birthday because it was indeed needed after all these years. It felt like the light bulb finally went off...it's one thing to read it in His Word that He loves you and He cares but when He sends a Rhema Word just for YOU that trumps everything! :-)

One last thing...don't live your life trying to live up to other people's expectations of what they think your relationship with God should look like, they are not your God. Only allow God and His Word to set the standard for your life. Let Him lead your life...

Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Cursing God for His Blessings...

I know this is really soon, since I just posted and all...but someone asked me a good question after my last blog and I wanted to address it. She thought I might be offended but I wasn't at all, in fact it inspired this post! And I least I know she is interested in knowing the way I feel.

A few weeks ago my Pastor talked to us about Job. Everyone knows Job and the hardships he went through with God's approval...yet Job never cursed God. I mean he lost his kids, his servants, just about everything yet he continued to trust God. Even when his friends and wife thought he was crazy, he still trusted. I am sure he didn't like or approve what was going on but he knew God must have a plan if he was going through it. Our pastor then asked if there was anytime we cursed God during hardships....of course I said YES!

You may say a baby is not hardship, it's not devastating.... but I was mad. I was cursing God for our blessing. Why you ask?? How could I be mad at God for blessing us with a new baby? Babies are blessings right?! Well in my limited frame of thinking all I could see was the NOW...like how could God allow this to happen NOW when I asked multiple times for it not to, didn't He know our financial situation NOW?? Didn't He see the struggles we have, NOW? So yes I was mad! But God's ways and thoughts are not like ours..we don't touch the surface. He knows the end from the beginning, we only know the today and yesterday. Of course I repented because I was plain downright wrong, but I thank God for being merciful, forgiving and knowing how small our minds can be at times. He just wants us to trust Him. I have so many friends telling me who this baby could become, how God will use this child and I am getting excited. Mark is ready and already talking to my belly, lol. Kalena thinks she can see the baby through my belly button. :-) I can now say I am honored that He has chosen me AGAIN, lol, to carry one of His messengers onto this earth. I just pray we can continue to be the parents we need to be!
 
I remember hearing a pastor say that God will never give you a life that makes Him unnecessary...we are living proof of that.  If God doesn't provide we don't have it. He uses my parents, family and friends to bless us, but I know they don't have to do what they do. It's all His favor! I don't say all this for sympathy, it's actually very very freeing when you totally surrender to God! It takes the pressure off you and puts it on Him where it should be. No, that does not mean we have no earthly responsibilities and we can just do whatever but it means that I will take David's advice in Psalm 131; 


Lord, my heart is not proud;
   my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
   or too awesome for me to grasp.

Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
   like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
   Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, put your hope in the Lord
    now and always.

Whoa....

***DISCLAIMER - The views in the post are strictly MY opinion, MY feelings and real human emotions. They are NOT meant to offend anyone or past judgement on any group of people...Thank you!****

What a way to start a blog post right? Well just keep reading and you will see why I had to start it this way!


This post is going to be a little different, maybe a little longer but I pray it's worth your time.  I have been dreaming about writing this post for some time now, but wasn't sure if the time was right.  It still may not be but I need to get this out! At this point you are probably like "GET TO IT ALREADY". I will, I will! Be patient with me...a juicy disclaimer is great bait right, lol.

These past few weeks have been very difficult and different for me, I have experienced emotions that I have never experienced yet God has kept me in His strength and peace of mind. This all seemed so much easier in my mind, and it flowed much better too...I feel like I am about to reveal some deep dark confession but it's not that huge and you may not be that interested after you find out, but we shall see...I'm nervous....really nervous...but here goes.

Well...a few weeks ago I got some news that I was NOT prepared for, NOT wanting nor expecting. I felt like my world was ending to be quite honest...I was devastated, hurt, mad at God...just everything. How could this happen to me?? AGAIN!! I asked WHY numerous times, God was silent but spoke through friends to let me know it was OK, and part of His plan for our life...yeah yeah yeah. Wasn't trying to hear that to be honest.

For whatever reason ( I know this sounds bland) God has decided to bless us with another child...I know at this point you probably want to slap me for all the things I just said, but believe me I said much much worse. That was mild to be honest.

So I will be a mother of 4....

I'm letting that sink in as I type, lol. I KNOW children are a blessing, I  KNOW how many women would love to be in my position, but at the time I didn't want to be in it. I felt so bad after I found out, like how could I let this happen? Like I had to offer God an explanation, my family...because things are tight, we already have 3, I don't work...and the list goes on. How could we be so irresponsible??!!...I was ashamed, and I honestly felt like everyone was going to be sooooo mad at us and think we were foolish! I can't tell you the number of times I PRAYED for God to close my womb....seriously....we took precautions but it only takes once and God said BAM! I can't tell you the number of times during the sick moments that I have felt NO attachment to this baby. I won't even say the things I thought and said when I found out, I am ashamed or was because I know God has forgiven me. At this point, it's about taking it one day at a time. Getting through my days without getting sick, finding what I can and cannot eat and praying my blood pressure stays low. Guess I should stop worrying huh?? And for the record our family was so supportive of us but I have to learn that even if they weren't God is in control and has the final say.

During one of my low moments God reminded me of an event that took place two years ago after our sweet little Kalena was born...and it started to make a little sense. Talk about revelation...

After Kalena was born Mark and I decided that we were done, 3 was good and pretty manageable....she snuck up on us but it was all good and we were content. I decided to have my tubes tied, with my husbands consent. I scheduled to have it done a few weeks after she was born because the delivering hospital didn't allow them. This is where that disclaimer will come in but remember these are my thoughts and not meant to offend anyone. I arrive to have the procedure done and I feel BAD, it feels wrong, but I know this is the right choice for my family. I mean we have 3, anymore would be crazy right? So I fill out my papers and head to the back. I honestly feel like I am signing my life away, I feel like I am getting ready to have an abortion...real talk. But again I ignore that and continue on. My prep nurse was so sweet and really understanding but as she talks she wants to make sure I am sure...she's trying to convince me not to do it. God had blessed her and her husband with 5 children and He provided for all of them...after that she had no more. She let God decide when it was done...yeah yeah good for her...I DON"T want anymore. My recovery from Kalena was not great and I DIDN'T want to do it again! I told her that yes God was a great provider but I couldn't take that chance with my family. She just smiled and said "I understand". I get prepped and while laying on the bed waiting to go back I start feeling worse...Mark is there and he can see the fear in my eyes and hear the doubt in my voice and he says "Bae you don't have to do this"...I'm convinced I do. We can't afford anymore surprises...and at this time I was working!  He even offered to have a procedure done. Nope, now is the time, it's no turning back. Well I listen to other patients around me and I start feeling like I want to run away, like I was about to betray God...had I even asked Him what He thought? Nope, it was my body and my decision.

What do I do? Or better yet, what don't I do? Well obviously I couldn't go through with it, God was tugging on my heart to not do it. My husband calls the nurse over and says "My wife has changed her mind, please unhook her from everything", she just smiles, I guess her prayers were answered.. :-). My doctor comes in and says he is so happy for me, of course he would love to deliver another baby but I'm not trying to hear that either, lol. So we leave....I am relieved but scared. Mark's just happy that we left in time to have the Pizza Hut lunch buffet! LOL

So here we are 2 almost 3 years later, and I see now why I felt so bad. Now this is not an argument on birth control methods or anything like that....everyone has their own personal convictions. Believe me this time there is no turning back!! This delivering hospital does allow them, and I will take advantage of that! But for that time, God knew...He always knows...I couldn't do it, because for whatever reason He was not done using me and my husband.

All of my reasons for not wanting more seem so selfish now.  Part of the reason I was so hurt was because Kalena JUST got potty trained, she's ready to go to school, she's a big girl now! It was about to be smooth sailing you know. What's funny is I noticed she was moving so fast and I had a quick thought that she's moving awfully fast, you know what people say...moving out of the way for the next one. I QUICKLY dismissed that and scolded myself. I even tried to go back to work with no avail...and I mean just part time...nope. Here I am with a degree, lots of experience and I can't even get a part time job! God knew...

He knew I would be sick for a few weeks and barely able to function, He knew that I couldn't handle two small babies so He allowed my little one to "grow up" a bit first so I wouldn't have two in diapers, He allowed my 14 year old and 9 year old to mature and become responsible little helpers. He knew...

He used my daughter to encourage me and get my head back on straight (somewhat). I was so hurt and had been crying the whole day I found out (I know I know). I tried to hide it but I couldn't. She asked me why was I so mad about it..I told her all my reasons.....she just looked at me. One of the main reasons was I was worried what other people would think! Yes....I was. She basically said " Mama you are 35 years old and MARRIED" Why are worried what people will think? Don't you tell me not to worry about what people think? You act like you are teen mother that has been abandoned by everyone she knows, you are a good mama and everything will be OK" WOW! All I could do was smile through my tears....

HE KNEW!  All I can ask now is that you guys pray for us...Pray mostly for God's will to be done during this pregnancy! Pray for the doctor visits because I had to get a new doctor due to insurance reasons and I am a little nervous about that, that I start feeling better, pray for our finances...I know God will provide. He always has and He always will.

I HAVE to remember God's Got This! :-)
Psalm 139:13-18