Testing 1…2…3

My nature is not to post my life for all to see. Especially when things are difficult, I take the role of keeping my dignity enough to deal with it within my close family. However, our lives as Christians are to portray that of Christ.

As I read the Scriptures, I am learning that to Christ, His life was meant to change, transform and guide others to Him. Therefore, whether it was to document His temptations, His private prayer sessions or His emotions, He chose to lay it all out for others to see.

In any learning experience, there comes a stubbornness of keeping things comfortable. However, comfort is something that Christians should shy away from. And because of this, I am throwing comfort out the window.

Here we are again. Hospital visits, doctor discussions, blood draws, car rides and waiting rooms.

When God calls us to a “higher calling” sometimes that higher calling calls us to climb up higher mountains.

Growing up, I witnessed and prayed with many who suffered a great deal of pain and heartache but that was just it, I witnessed and prayed. I heard people say that “Your testimony is the most powerful witness you have”.

In the back of my mind, I began to wonder when the “test” of my testimony was going to happen.

As Christians, our testimony is what reaches those who are longing for something “real”, past the veil of religious Christianity and toward a real life encounter with Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:8-10

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

Even though my “test” isn’t over, I know that it is turning into my testimony.

Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Two days that seem so love filled but those were the days in 2017 that were filled with pain for me and those close to me. Those are the two days that a child was in the early stages of becoming “my” child. Instead, those were days when those children were “fearfully and wonderfully made” in my womb and heart but that is where they stayed.

To the world, these experiences are devastating, hopeless and life-changing but to a Christian, this is just the “test” in the testimony.

To some, what I’m about to say my seem heartless, surprising and unbelievable but to some, it will make perfect sense….

I count my miscarriages a blessing.

When Christ is the One you’re living for, this life’s sufferings produce a perseverance that comes in the midst of running the race toward our life’s finish line. Running a race can bring exhaustion and feelings of “I can’t” but its in those moments in our journey to Jesus that we get a second, third and maybe even a fourth wind. For we know that Jesus is who we’re running for, not a medal, a pat on the back or a pick-me-up.

I know that my test isn’t over, my pain isn’t over and my emotional moments aren’t over but I do know that my faith in Jesus is only beginning. Knowing that He chose this test for me because He knew that with Him, I could rise above it all.

suffering

You see, Christ knows just what is going to prompt a deeper connection to Him and He chooses specific tests based on current circumstances. For you, it may be cancer, a son or daughter addicted, a life threatening disease or diagnosis, fear, a broken marriage…. you add your’s to the list.

God allows us to walk through things so that we can know His strength through it all, instead of relying on our own strength to get us through it.

Throughout my first miscarriage, I saw that God was there but I also thought it was just a fluke, a one-time thing and that after that, having a baby would be a piece of cake.

However, as I am walking through the second one, I see that God wanted me to seek and find out more about Him than simply believing that “15-20% of all first pregnancies end in a miscarriage”.

I am learning that through these tests, He is still faithful. Even if situations don’t turn out the way I want them to, my family wants them to or the world says they’re going to…

I know that my current situation does not surprise my All-Knowing Father. He saw this coming the moment I was formed in my mother’s womb. My life was a Best-selling book written by Him and awaiting the first page to be read and for this chapter to come to pass.

What strength we can find in knowing that our present sufferings were written way before our first breath. God sees, knows and walks right beside us because nothing surprises Him.

I know that someday, my “test” will be purposeful for someone’s life even if I can’t see the purpose right now. Someday, there will be a moment when someone asks, a couple’s heart breaks, a mother’s pain wrenched heart longs and my testimony will give birth to a heart transforming moment.

For now, I will choose to be unashamed of my suffering and know that it is producing a faith that cannot be measured by a world of why’s and why not’s.

Psalm 116: 1-9

“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.”

Rest in knowing that the God of the Universe already wrote in the sufferings that you will face and have faced into your story before your story even began.

Who better to walk and talk with than the Author of your story.

 

 

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Suffering for Eternity

Suffering.

None of us want to hear it, experience it or talk about it. But the truth is, everyone of us hears it, experiences it and talks about it. Think about your last conversation with someone. I’m sure in the midst of that conversation of catching up, some form of suffering was brought up within that time. Whether it was about your suffering or someone else’s, suffering is something that each and everyone one of us hate.

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As a follower of Jesus, I have been raised to know that suffering is a part of our walk with Christ. All the scripture we read, the church services we attend and the prayers we offer up are to equip us when the days of suffering come. However, all of that does not ward off suffering. Suffering does not pick and choose who it affects, it just happens.

When I think of suffering in Scripture, I think of many men and women that endured a lot of suffering but one man was not on my radar until I came across this passage in 1 Peter,

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.”

1 Peter 12: 12-13

When I read those verses, my first response is to say “Who are you Peter that you tell me to not be surprised?”

Our first response when suffering comes is to be surprised. We are caught off guard, unprepared and in disbelief. So, why does Peter tell us to not be surprised?

Peter starts his journey as a man chasing after Christ upon meeting him. Peter walked with Jesus on a daily basis, saw Jesus perform miracles right before his eyes but yet, he still denied Christ. He still had a faith shaking experience even after seeing Jesus. However, his message to us was to not be surprised when sufferings come. Not simply that sufferings were going to come, but that when they come do not be surprised. As Christians, our response to situations should be vastly different than that of the world. However, it is easy to say that when we aren’t going through a struggle ourselves.

How can we not be surprised when suffering knocks on our door?

I know when I found out I was having a miscarriage, surprised is the feeling that rushed over me. However, I went back to what I knew about God to be true. I have watched God work in the lives of those around me through suffering. I never thought I was going to struggle with pregnancy but isn’t the art of suffering the same for all of us? Not matter the suffering, we all have the same choice to make.

  1. Are we going to let our suffering surprise us?
  2. Or, are we going to choose to let God surprise us?

God can surprise us through our suffering and create something amazing out of a time when amazing seems so far away.

Are we going to let Him?

We need to look past the first few words in 1 Peter 12:12-13,

“…but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.”

You see we could never share in a suffering so great that it surpasses the degree of sufferings our Christ endured for us. Because of that, we should keep rejoicing! For the same Jesus that conquered death itself and shared in far more sufferings is on our side! He is fighting for us in the suffering and giving us strength to help us through it.

So like Peter, let us allow God to surprise us as we rejoice in knowing He endured it all so that we can endure it with Him.

God’s surprises have an eternal reward.

 

 

My Masterpiece…Still in Progress…

Life is ironic.

As some look at their lives, they see an ever changing work of art with all it’s many shades and colors that often times mean nothing to you if you are not the artist.

As Christians, we know the Painter who’s perfecting our work of art.

However, we may look at our life and feel the work of art is portraying a painting that is very different than we would have imagined.

masterpiece.jpg

February 6th, 2017.

A day I will never forget.

The day I received a positive on a test that would change the course of my husband and I’s journey.

With excitement we looked into each others’ eyes as our hearts raced with each glance of those two small lines.

A day I had been anticipating for my entire life.

A day that I had dreamed about.

Growing up, I was often seen with a child attached to my hip or children flocking to my side. It was ingrained in me to be a mother. A trait God wove into my innermost being before I was conceived.

Therefore, I anticipated and longed for the day when I would hold, care for, and tend to my own child’s needs. Although this was the picture I thought my work of art would display, my masterpiece is looking a little bit different today.

The week of February 6th was filled with excitement, plans, goals and dreams that were being fulfilled right before my eyes and my husband’s. We could see the expressions on our parents faces as we told them the news that they were going to be grandparents. The expressions on our siblings faces as they were going to be aunts and uncles. However, the next stroke of the paintbrush looked a little bit different than we had imagined.

The week of February 12th is a week I will also never forget. A week of shattered hopes, dreams and goals.

You see, that week beyond all other weeks, my hope to become a mother in a few short months ended just as soon as it had begun.

Although I never saw a miscarriage in my work of art, I know that my God was not caught off guard by any of it.

At the time, I was in a fog of denial and grief. It was a time when no one understood and no one seemed to help.

But God…

You see, He saw it coming and looked at me with hope-filled eyes and hoped that this shattering news would lead me straight to Him.

He saw His children, my husband and I, grieving and waited for us to turn to Him instead of to the fear and questions that would meet us in our heartbreak.

There were days and still are days when fear meets me when I wake, but there is also a God who meets me with encouraging words and calming whispers that quiet my heart and cast out the fear that was ready to tangle me up.

It was in those times, spent with my Father that I realized this trial can either define me or my God can define me through the trial.

One February morning, I sat with my Bible opened praying that God would speak to me so clearly and give me “something”. Have you ever been there?

“Just give me something Lord?”

The awesome thing about our God is that He holds and hears every prayer and every tear.

This is where The Painter cleans His brush and knows He isn’t finished yet…

In my state of grief, He met me and this is what He said….

1.Give up everything (Luke 14:33)

Yes, the cost of being a disciple. Now there are two things that Jesus meant when he tells His followers to “give up everything”. In one instance, yes we must give up any material possessions that are hindering us from Christ. But also, there is the call to give up everything in our hearts that also keep us from fully following Him. These are the things that try to fill our hearts when our hearts are meant to be filled with Him. In my case, I needed to give up my hopes, dreams and goals that I held onto so tightly my entire life and let Him be my hope, dream and goal.

2. Be still, It’s time to say “Enough!”  (Psalm 46:10; 1 Samuel 15:16)

So often my mind runs so fast that I forget it is in the stillness, when I quiet my soul that I am able to hear God speak. I am reminded through these verses that it is time to say “enough!” to the world and all its noise and be still before the Lord. Too long have I let the world’s noise run rampant in my mind and in my life and it’s time to say enough and just be still….

3. Step out of the traffic (Psalm 46:10 MSG)

In my bible, I have a split reference from the NIV to The Message. In referencing Psalm 46:10, I glanced over to The Message reference only to find these words in my quiet time with the Lord that day,

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long loving look at me, your High God’ above politics, above everything.”

Wow, what clear and powerful words those were and are to my heart. This world gets us wrapped up into all of it’s traffic that we forget to stop and just see/experience God for who He truly is! The traffic of life is so busy that we fail to realize that we’re swept up into it. As Christians, we are supposed to be the “different” the world is looking for. And until we step out of the traffic our lives are going to look just like their lives. So, what about that looks different?

On that day, my painting that could have turned dark, began to reflect gladness and joy. I can picture God cleaning His brush, smiling as He added some yellows and oranges bursting with happiness as His daughter listened to His still, small voice.

You see, life, as ironic as it may seem, is not ironic at all.

Because God doesn’t see irony, He sees opportunity.

In this trial, I saw His strength in my weakness.

I saw His joy take over my mourning.

I saw His gladness wrap around my sorrow.

It is in these moments that God’s jealous love is more evident than ever.

Not that I am glad this trial was brought into my life, but I am glad that I experienced His love in a moment that seemed so dark to get out alone.

I am so glad God had His paintbrush cleaned, and ready to place yellows where there were blacks.

I can say that I am a work of art, not because “I” have painted anything but because God is still the Painter and I am His canvas.

Jesus Stands

Recently, I heard a message about the stoning of Stephen and all the details surrounding his strong display of faith.

I have read through this event many times before but today, God showed me the story in a completely new light.

Acts, the book known for the foundation of the church community.

Through Luke’s eyes, we see the first bricks being established to build what we know today as “the church”.

As the believers began to devote themselves to the Word after Jesus ascended into heaven, we see the first community form. This first community of believers met in fellowship, breaking bread with one another and devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to prayer.

heaven home

The characteristics found in Acts chapter two and verse 42 preach a sermon in themselves but as we see these characteristics played out in the first Christian community, we see needs arise that the leaders of the church are compelled and overwhelmed in and of themselves to meet.

As in any church body, there are more needs than the community of believers can meet on their own. However, we are not called to meet needs on our own but allow God to meet the needs of those around us through His power and His strength.

The leaders of the early church began to see the list of needs as not just a list but real people with real problems that needed to be met through the hands and feet of the church.

For this reason, we see in Acts chapter five the apostles facing opposition. How many times in our church’s today do we face opposition? I think we can learn a lot about living out “the church with a purpose” from the apostles as they strive to fulfill the needs of the community around them.

As we come to Acts chapter six, we see that the apostles call on seven men to serve in response to the needs of the church. And in steps Stephen, “a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit” (6:5). What a wonderful introduction…to be known as a man who was full of faith, not just a faithful man but he was “full” of faith.

Allow me to pause right here and say: Lord, let me fix my eyes on You and help me to be a woman who is known as being “full of faith”.

As in any faithful follower of Christ, opposition comes knocking as soon as a step of faith is made and it happened to Stephen.

We see starting in verse 8 of Acts 6, that Stephen began performing miracles and allowing the Holy Spirit to use him in a powerful way but the witnesses began to criticize the teachings of “The Way”.

When Christ’s radical teaching meets the eyes of the religious, the result is opposition.

Stephen chose to stand up to the religious teachers even at the cost of his own life. In verse 54 of chapter seven, we see that the religious leaders were “infuriated” with him. But what does Stephen do, he fixes his eyes on Truth.

And what happens next is something that when read, can be missed entirely….

Acts 7:55-56

“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”

For most of us, we read that and focus on the fact that Stephen had an incredible vision of Jesus at the right hand of God. Which, by the way, is an incredible depiction!

However, allow me to fix your eyes on the one word that changed my entire perspective of Stephen’s glimpse into heaven.

He saw Jesus “standing”.

Take a moment and let that sink in….

He, a man, saw Christ, the risen King, “standing” at the right hand of God.

Stephen caught the eye of the King and not only that, but prompted Him to stand.

Can I just stop here and say what a difference that one word made in my life today?

As I read that verse over and over, I couldn’t help but think of my life.

When have I, mere flesh and bone without Christ, ever made my Father in Heaven stand to His feet on account of my step of faith in the midst of opposition?

I would like to think that in looking back, there were many times that my acts of faith caused Christ to stand, however, I can’t say that there have been “many”.

Stephen chose to speak when others silenced their voices. He chose to stand when others chose to sit and in return, caused Christ to stand to His feet as He looked down upon His son.

And to think that this glorious glimpse was moments before Stephen was to be martyred by the very ones who spoke of religion, including Saul.

Saul, who “completely agreed with the killing of Stephen” (8:1), but went on to be one of the greatest missionaries in all of Scripture.

God specializes in the weak to show His ultimate strength.

I want my life to reflect that of Stephen.

I want my Father in heaven to rise at my steps of faith.

I pray that in times of persecution I can be seen staring into the face of Truth Himself to gain wisdom, so much so that I get a glimpse of heaven.

Let us all learn to stand when others sit and in return, cause our Father in heaven to stand to His feet in abundant joy of His children.

 

 

 

Come, See and Rest.

Lately, I have been drawn to the quietness of my room with nothing but me, my Bible and solitude.

What a beautiful scene it is to just sit and BE with God.

During the past month, I have been blessed with a large amount of time to just BE with my Lord.

I sometimes question what He is doing but I remind myself that it is not my place to question His sovereignty.

He knows what He is doing.

strength

That is a reminder that I need daily as I sit in His stillness and wait.

Recently, I discussed this very thing with a friend of mine. The patience in the waiting.

Satan can whisper in the waiting “You don’t need to be patient, you need to act, God isn’t doing anything, you need to do something.”

However, I have found that in the waiting  my strength is renewed, restored and rebuilt into a life of splendor.

Isaiah 55 discusses this very waiting throughout the entire chapter.

First, He draws us in by saying “Come to me”.

Next, He calls us to “see” the things He is doing all around us.

Then, throughout the rest of the chapter, He calls us to rest in His promise that His ways are not our ways.

Sometimes we get stuck between the seeing and the resting phase.

We see what is only the here and now and not how to rest in the fact that He is holding us.

I am understanding more and more that God is working all around me and if I just choose to rest, even when I feel uncomfortable in the resting….

He will open doors that I once saw closed.

He will speak words that were once just ink on a page.

He will bring to light the things that were once buried in my heart.

He will cause the waves of life around me to “be still and know” (Psalm 46:10).

When we choose through our circumstances to see Him, and not the pain, and rest even when it feels uncomfortable, He WILL.

Take hold of Isaiah 55 today and know that when we:

1. Come to Him.

2. Choose to see.

3. Rest in His sovereignty.

we begin to see our circumstances in light of who He is in the midst of them.

Then we will see in verses 12-13 that:

“You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.”

Come, see and rest in all that He is.

Selfishness and the Sabbath

Recently I have discovered that I struggle with truly “resting” from the world.

(Is it just me or is the world VERY distracting?)

Last night I realized just how distracting it really can be. I began to enter into God’s Word when I realized that my mind wasn’t really present with God as much as it should be. You see, when we are actually “present” and enveloped with God, our minds are empty and open to what God has to say. So empty that as He speaks, we are lingering on His every word and absorbing it into our innermost being.

If I’m honest, I can say that often my mind has a segregated portion of it designated for God’s voice, while my mind is still racing with the cares of this world.

Last night as I prayed and asked God to open my mind and empty it of all but Him, He spoke to me loud and clear and this is what He said:

“I need you to be selfish and keep the Sabbath sacred.”

At first, I didn’t know exactly what He meant by keeping the Sabbath sacred but then as I began reading and seeking Him out I found Him and just what I needed to hear.

As I began in Mark 6:31, He said

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Wow, even Jesus needed to take time away and rest for He knew that in that quiet place of rest, He would find His strength. You see, He, the Christ, the Miracle-worker, the Savior of the world, needed rest. He was not so busy that He didn’t need rest. So many days, we try to get everything done that we are too busy to realized how important rest truly is. Even as I am saying this I am visualizing my own to-do list. Not pleasant. However, we need to realize that just as Christ had a lot of things that were of more importance than our simple to-do list, He still valued His rest. There is a never-ending supply of lessons to learn from Jesus and this is one of them.

rest-in-him-2

After reading this Scripture I then was led into the question of, “Okay, so where do I find this rest? I know I’m supposed to go away and rest but what does that look like?”

The next Scripture Jesus led me to was in Jeremiah 6: 16,

“This is what the Lord says: Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!”

Ouch, how many times have I overlooked God’s path for my life because it wasn’t what I wanted. How many times have I turned away from obedience to Him because it just wasn’t what I saw for my life. It says here that the “old. godly way” is where my feet should walk. This old, godly way that God presents us with is His obedience. When we walk in full obedience to God we will find His rest which is the soulful rest that releases His strength in our lives. Obedience also requires an act of worship or giving our Sabbath or rest back to the Lord. As we rest in His presence or out of the connection with the world, we see that it is best to give that rest back to our Lord who first gave it to us. When we spend time in His presence, there our true rest is found.

After realizing that God was calling me to keep the Sabbath sacred by resting with Him, He left me with a Scripture that showed me just how much He gives in reward for our sacrifice of rest.

In Ezekiel 20:1-20, Ezekiel confronts God’s people about rejecting the fourth commandment which is to keep the Sabbath holy. When the people heard this they continued to disobey. How often do we look at Sunday as a day to catch up on the things we did not get a chance to do throughout the work week? In all reality, what is intended for the Sabbath and what have we made of it?

When we turn to God in obedience to His command to rest and we disconnect from the world and understand that we need rest just as much as we need fellowship with others, there we find true freedom. Freedom takes sacrifice and the sacrifice of our rest and Sabbath back to God is the way to receive that true freedom.

What a powerful and toe-stepping message from God.

There comes a point when we need to embrace our selfishness and realize how sacred the Sabbath is to our faith walk.

Rest is needed and what better reason to rest than to know that even our Savior needed a quiet place to rest.

It is in this rest that we find our freedom.

Let’s be free today and sacrifice our rest to Him!

 

Approach with Boldness

Hebrews 13:20-21

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Encouragement.

At what point do we trade in our discouragement for encouragement?

Today as I was reading in the book of Hebrews, God spoke to me and led me into a time of encouragement. Every moment I meet with Jesus is meant to encourage my walk with Him and increase my faith in His perfect plan. Today was another time spent in His Word where I looked up with a new perspective and a new outlook on what this present season of waiting should look like.

In Hebrews chapter 13, Paul writes to encourage fellow believers to stay strong in their faith and encourage them on their road of persecution for the sake of the cross. Throughout the book of Hebrews, he addresses the audience, us as believers, to keep the faith and remember that our present struggles are not any comparison with the struggles of our Savior.

I am so thankful that God spoke through Paul to write these words of wisdom down. Often in our faith journey, we become depressed and weary, in need of some words of encouragement. This is where the book of Hebrews is like a light in the midst of our present weariness. Paul writes of His struggles in the faith and His ability to overcome with the strength that only comes from the Lord. What a powerful man of God!

the throne of grace

Sometimes after reading God’s Word, it is easy to turn away and pick up our lives where we left off before entering into the courts of our King. However, God’s Word should change us and refine us upon entering into His presence. Each time we approach His throne, we are to enter with the mindset that He is about to change us in some way that will not leave us the same.

I can say, honestly, that this is not always my thought when I read the Scriptures. Often, I enter as though my time with Him is like punching in on a time card. I enter and I exit with the same intent. Ouch, that hurt for me to get that out. I hope I’m not alone in this. I would go as far as to say that more often than not, we come to the Lord when our weariness is about to overtake us but on the days when life seems as though He is shining His light the brightest, we fail to come and spend quality and not quantity time with Him.

It’s time we change our whole approach when it comes to spending time, quality time, in the presence of our King. Doesn’t He deserve more that our 10 minute quiet time?

After all, does He not spend all day with us? (Whether we choose to acknowledge Him or not.)

Lord, help us to approach Your throne of grace in reverence and in expectation of what You are about to do in our hearts and lives. It’s time for us to drop our “time” mindset when it comes to entering into your presence. For in You, there is no concept of time or place but just a sanctuary of praise. Forgive us when we enter the sanctity of Your Word without expectation of hearing straight from You. Change our minds, hearts and souls to view our time with You as Sacred and Holy. For You are the Cornerstone on which we build our lives.

Claiming Singleness

Okay, so here’s a post going out to all the single ladies.

Have you ever just been fed up with being alone?

Fed up with seeing happy couples, adorable engagement pictures, marriage vows?

I don’t know of one single lady that hasn’t been through the “Fed-up” stage in singleness.

I can say that this stage is one of the worst.

Seeing others who look and seem happy when all you want is just to “be them”.

I’ve been in this stage lately until this evening God spoke loud and clear.

As I was running on the treadmill (this is where I tend to think) I began to ponder on how often I compare my current state to the state of others and their happiness and my lack-there-of. I quickly asked myself the question: “Why do I not view my life as fulfilled?”

The answer shot guilt straight through me, “If I only had…”

Ouch. This answer hurt.

The Bible states loud and clear:

Exodus 20:17

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Yes, I don’t necessarily look at a donkey or an ox and wish that I had one as a pet but how many times to I look at others and just wonder what it would be like to have what they have?

In truth, it happens more than I want to think it does. Especially when it comes to being a single Godly woman in search of a man whose heart is wrapped around the will of God.

However, what really is worth coveting over?

Although I see others with what I do not have, does that mean I have any less?

I have the ultimate Lover of my soul, the Creator of the universe, who molded my heart and shaped my very being.

What more could I ask for?

After God gripped my heart and mind through meditating on His scripture, I then heard Him whisper straight to my heart:

“You must claim it.”

Like any other time God speaks I immediately start asking questions…

“Claim it, claim what?”

“How do I claim it?”

“Once I claim it how does that help the situation?”

Then I realized the truth of God’s whisper.

For me to live in God’s will, follow His heart and lead where He follows during this time of waiting for a future spouse, I must CLAIM my singleness.

I must daily surrender my want for a man in my life to God and then allow Him to shape my want into His need for my life.

Realizing the Christ is enough while living the single life is sometimes difficult. However, taking each day as an opportunity to prepare spiritually to be the wife God wants me to be, breathes purpose back into the life that God has given me.

So, what do I do with what God spoke to my heart this evening?

I strive daily to give up my wants for God’s needs in my life, and CLAIM what is not mine to begin with but His.

Surrender my Singleness for His Fullness.

I am claiming my singleness, in Jesus name.

The Comforts of “Church”

What a month it has been.

Returning from Uganda and getting back to the American lifestyle has been quite different. Everything, relaxing on the couch, eating a meal, driving a vehicle, going to church all have a new meaning that wasn’t there before. In Uganda, relaxing was more of a time to build relationships and be surrounded by others so now that I am back home, relaxing is a completely different task. Eating a meal in Uganda consisted of different food, a different setting and a time of bonding with the family. Dinner time in America is fast paced, rushed and all about preparing for the tasks ahead. Driving a vehicle is different, because traveling over there is done through mostly walking and riding a bus. Also, the roads are dirt so driving to and from consists of many bumps and rough terrain. The last adjustment that caused some getting used to was attending a place of worship. Reflecting on attending church in Uganda  and America are two entirely different experiences. This experience is one that I will never forget and will always hold a sweet place in my heart.

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Church.

what does it mean to you?

Comfort. One of the major factors in attending church.

It exists from the entrance of the building to the exiting of the service.

What if all of the “comfort” of the church was stripped away?

If the church building was not confined to a building that looked pleasant on the outside with glass doors and a large parking lot was instead a fence of boards covered with a pieced together tine roof?

Would you attend?

What if instead of having a padded pew or chair to sit in, there was a piece of bark holding you up from the ground?

What if there was no clock in the building there was the Spirit of God that determined the length of the service?

How about the heat or coolness of the building; would a hot Summers breeze be enough to get you to stay?

What if instead of living in the comfort of the same pastor getting up to lead a service there were hours and days of testimonies given from the congregation about what God is doing in their lives?

Would you stay and listen?

What about the offering plate, would a dirty bucket or basket at the front of the room suffice to place your money?

What if instead of tithing 10% of what you had “in dollars” turned into 10% of ALL you had such as food and clothing?

What if the congregation wearing their best to church was stripped away to wearing all you have to church?

Would you stop and stare or love and share?

Through just these few experiences in Uganda, I have grown to not just attend church based on the comfort level but attending church because God’s presence is present in His people and with His children.

Church now has a new meaning to me upon discussing the topic and entering the building.

Comfort is something that is not placed on my list when it comes to attending God’s house.

Comfort means to be at home with my Jesus and my church family.

You see, God never promised that coming to Him would be comfortable.

He promises that in Him you will find your comfort, not in a building.

(Ephesians 2: 19-22)

(Hebrews 1-:25)