Taking God At His Word

With each passing day, I am closer and closer to giving birth, and for once in my (pregnant) life, I don’t feel ready.  You’d be hard pressed to find another pregnant woman past 36 weeks, pregnant with multiples no less, who isn’t eager for the all infamous “Labor/Birth Day” to arrive but of course, as always, I have to be different.

I wanted to go at least to 38 weeks with this pregnancy and I just feel strongly that it’s not going to pan out that way, not to mention I asked the Lord and felt the answer was, no, I would not go to 38 weeks with this pregnancy.  The thing is, I tend to go before 40 weeks anyway, so it isn’t unusual, I just want to give these little ones every chance to be ready for life outside the womb as possible.  I know all too well how precious every additional day in the womb is for a baby, let alone two or more.

Part of the reason I am not ready emotionally, is my family here in Jersey and New York.  I don’t like the idea of missing various events and gatherings and actually cry when I think of missing them.  I am very much a stickler about my post partum period, staying in bed for the first 40 days and only venturing out when I am absolutely comfortable. With the prospect of two babies, I don’t imagine I’ll be in a hurry to rush out the door and that bothers me.  I have exaggerated, saying I’ll be back in the swing of things after 2-3 years and then cried a little feeling that wouldn’t be too far from the truth.

I also feel very strongly that missing my family isn’t the only reason I am not ready emotionally at this moment.  Perhaps additional reasons have to do with the journey that got me to this point.  Maybe it’s things I’m not so ready to deal with or explore just yet, I don’t know.  What I do know, or Who I do know though, is God.

If God is saying I may give birth sometime next week, not only will my babies be ready, but so will I.  He has told me over and over that I can do this and I believe Him.  I do not and never did fear the labor and birth, which is something I am grateful to not need to work through.  I know that a great deal of the people I miss would have absolutely no problem coming to visit me when I am ready to receive visitors and, I will likely be able to see others during our prophetic retreat in April.

Even though I don’t feel ready now, I can trust God now that all is well and I don’t need to worry about not being ready.  This is an opportunity to rest in Him, to go to Him and talk it out and just bask in His presence and I’m taking it.

I’m setting myself to simply enjoy the rest of this pregnancy and just be in the moment. I will not allow the possibility of my not being ready next week (which isn’t even here yet) dictate how I feel and trust God today.  That’s silly.  What’s exciting to consider, is that God is already in my next week now, so if He says I’m good, I’ll take His word to heart and believe it.

Who Do You Trust?

I have so much swirling in my head.  There are so many things I am grateful for, that when I dwell on them, I’m about ready to burst with joy. I feel like I’m enjoying something kind of forbidden, by the world’s standards anyway.  I remember this old saying that goes something like, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.”  I admit that I’ve heard that a few times in my life.  I’ve even been accused of not taking things in life seriously enough, as if worrying actually helps and is productive.  Here’s what Colossians 3:2 says, Think about the things of Heaven, not the things of earth. See, God has something different to say about our earthly “wisdom”, 1 Cor. 3:19 says the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.  In Philippians 4:8, it says that we should fix our minds on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. It says to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

The question becomes, who are you going to trust, believe and go with?  I choose God, hands down.  Considering my problems and things gone wrong in my life or in the world at large, just doesn’t do it for me.  I love that I can go to the Problem Solver, the One who is never without strategies, answers and options for me to consider and walk out.  I’m excited beyond measure to even have some of the “problems” I now have as I can’t wait to see what my Abba will do with them as I literally rest and trust in Him.

When my daughter and I revamped our herbal business, we prayed. One verse that is at the heart of how we have decided to move forward with our business is Romans 13:8- Owe nothing to anyone-except for your obligation to love one another.  So, no debt.  Not a penny. The “wisdom” of this world says, “it takes money to make money” and most businesses start with a loan of some sort in order to get going.  Since we see otherwise in the Word, and know real life examples of people who have chosen God’s way, we decided to do the same and it has been amazing.

We have a few small monthly expenses with our company. One night as I was going to bed, I remembered that our account balance was dangerously low and bills would be coming out soon.  As I lay in bed, I said, “Ok, Abba, the account is low and we have no orders.  You know what we need so I thank you for taking care of it. I’m going to sleep.” The next day we got an order from a stranger and two family members.  Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Ha!! As I read what I just typed, I realize I straight up Philippians 4:6-7thd that “problem”.  (I know there is no 7thd, lol.)  I chose to not worry, I didn’t even start screaming to the masses, “Discount! Sale!”. I simply talked to my Abba about it, thanked Him in advance for working it out, and you can’t tell me I didn’t have peace, I went straight to sleep, haha!!

I love that we truly do have options when it comes to where we put our faith/trust.  I have practiced worrying and it was never fun.  In fact, every time an issue was worked out, it felt a bit silly to have worried so much to begin with.  After all, every single issue I have been faced with, has been taken care of, one way or another.  My odds are amazing, as 100% of what I’ve faced that made me think I’d just die, I lived right on through in the end.

So while I watch some of my friends on Facebook, posting in desperation about how they are so freaked out about our upcoming election, I’m smiling and thanking God for giving me insight on who He has ordained to be in office.  I’ve decided to go with that and rest.  Some of my friends have seemed to become straight toddlers, posting their, “Just unfriend me if you’re voting for X!” or “Anyone voting for X, explain why!”as if it is their business.  These dear ones, I am praying for.  I see past the childish behavior and see that they are worried and in fear of what may or may not happen a few whole weeks from now.  What a way to live.  My prayer is that every believer learns to truly trust in the Lord with all their heart.  He is faithful and so very trustworthy.  He has proven it time and time again.  We must believe Him.

Following Christ and Him Alone

I didn’t post anything last week because I was finding it a bit tough to make a whole lot of sense about what is going on inside of me these days.  Well actually, it makes perfect sense, it’s just, words escaped me and frankly, I was in no position to write coherently as I am almost always in a state of being ever so drunk on His love.

I have been feeling a bit differently  for several months now concerning some ideas and mindsets that I had about my Christian walk.  I couldn’t really put my finger on it initially but I just kept abiding in my Abba and as always, He has brought amazing clarity and revelation. Also, reading the book, The Mystical Union by John Crowder, speaking with a few friends who I consider no holds barred believers in the Word, and attending the Power and Love conference a few weeks ago just sealed the deal for me. I am forever changed.

I love how all I have to do is shift my thoughts to Him and boom, I am overtaken by Love Himself.

I love how I have but to focus on Him and allow Him to pour into me and He brings to light and fixes things I wasn’t even conscious of, let alone, looking to fix.  My focus is ever on Him.

I love the simplicity of His Word. In John 6:29 (NLT) it says, Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” 1 John 2:6 NLT says Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

I am finding that now, more than ever before, my focus is zoomed into Christ’s example.  If I am to be following His example, there are mindsets I have found that I need to let go of, mindsets that don’t exactly fit well with how He operated here on Earth.  I’m finding that the falling away of these old mindsets are producing an even greater sense of freedom in my life.  I truly feel like I am more than just a mere human being.  I’m not just here taking up space. I’m not locked into this constant struggle of I’m saved and going to Heaven but I have so many things I need to fix in order to receive all God has for me. I’m not striving or struggling to be who God created me to be, I am simply focused on Him and He is taking care of it all.

I am reading His word, not for information or to prove that I am correct (and someone else is wrong), but to know Him more intimately.  I am living in an ever growing state of revelation and awareness of who I am so that I can walk it out easily. I mean really, how hard is it to simply be who you are?  I am becoming love. I am believing in the One He sent and following Him and I am finding that His yoke is in fact easy, and His burden is light.  I am content to no longer allow my experiences or anything else I see, dictate where I place my trust/faith. My faith is in His finished work alone.  It is non-negotiable. I am choosing to follow Christ alone.

For You Dear Reader, With Love

Last week, before I traveled to spend a few days with family and friends in DC and Maryland, I told the Lord that I wanted my next blog post to be centered around you.  I asked Him to give me ideas and thought naively that I would write this blog post while I was down there visiting.  Of course, that didn’t happen.  Here’s what has happened…  This morning, I looked at my Facebook newsfeed’s, “On This Day” section and saw the memories I made on this day, last year and years before, and I found the perfect thing for you!  It’s a prayer that I wrote.  Instead of just writing word for word though, I’m adding to it and changing it a bit, as I want to make it more of a declaration for you than a mere “wish list”. So, here it is, for you, with lots of love, my dear reader.

I speak peace and joy over you. No matter what is going on in your life and around you, may you always remember that you are never alone, never without options, fully surrounded, and deeply loved.  May every trial you face, push you further into the arms of your Father until the enemy refuses to waste any effort and/or resources targeting you.

I command healing over your body, from top to bottom.  His blood flows through your veins.  You are His family and because healing is the children’s bread, eat up and savor every morsel, dear one.  I decree that not only are you healed, but you are transitioning to walking in divine health because as a child of God, it is your right, your inheritance.  Jesus left no one sick.  His will is always that you be healed, so I declare that over you, in Jesus name.

I speak encounters with the Person of Love over you, knowing that perfect love casts out all fear and I pray that you would give the enemy nothing to agree with in your life, thereby giving him no room to enter in and run rampant.

I decree that all chains and strongholds over your life are broken and destroyed.  You are free.  You are free to be you without apology, fully being who you were called to be before the foundations of the earth.

I decree that your mind is being daily renewed in such a way that you don’t suffer from that old, ugly orphan spirit.  I decree that you walk in an ever increasing measure of revelation regarding who you are and Whose you are, so that you are free from being critical, bitter, depressed, worn down and out and lonely.  The truth is, you are loved with an everlasting love, fully surrounded and cherished, just for being.  There is nothing you can do to make God love or value you any more or less, so I declare that the religious spirit is not a part of your life, making you think you must do something in order to get something from the Lord.  Before you knew Him, He loved you, chose you, appointed and called you.  Before you were born, He died for you and gave you His all.  You did nothing to deserve or earn it, He did it because He loves you.

I declare that you are wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove.  You don’t easily fall for the enemy’s tricks to get your focus off God and onto yourself and your faults.  If your focus shifts to your faults and makes you feel like you are back to square one, “Just a sinner, saved by grace”,  I ask that Holy Spirit would pull you back from that religious way of thinking.  You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus now, no longer a sinner, no longer a slave to sin.  Your focus is ever on your Father and His immense love for you.  No distractions.  When you focus on you in this way, you’re missing out on what God has for you and what you are to give others around you. This is self-centered, not at all as holy as it seems.  The Father does not want us beating each other or ourselves up over sin.  He doesn’t do this to us.  He paid for every single one of our sins long before we were born.  Focusing on your shortcomings does not help you to get better, as what you focus on is what will grow in your life.  Focus on the Father, confess all to Him and allow Him to change your focus. Be filled and stay filled with all that He has for you.

I declare that wisdom and understanding be your closest companions.  I ask that you become adept in stepping back, outside of yourself, when things happen.  That you would climb into your Heavenly Father’s lap and see from a higher perspective, what is truly going on and behind every situation you face.  I pray that you take to heart the fact that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.  I declare that you see with greater clarity than ever before and can have compassion and wisdom in every circumstance.  May your eyes be opened to the enemy at work so that you don’t fall for his tactics.  I speak a constant flow of Holy Intel over you, straight from Holy Spirit.  You won’t miss a thing.  You have the mind of Christ.

I declare that you are filled to overflowing with every good thing- so much that you can’t help but affect and infect others with the goodness of God.

I declare that you live, truly live, not just exist. You will not just reach your destiny, but you will enjoy the journey and help others do the same.

I declare a holy unrest over you that causes you to refuse to stay where you are forever, that you would be both content but also rise ever higher in life.

I declare all the best for you, as I want for myself. Let’s rise together. There’s no ceiling. There are no walls. If you have built any for yourself, my prayer is that you would break through them and be free.  I love you, dear reader.

Changed Pain

Grieving can be a bit of a frightful ordeal, especially when you are in a position where almost you alone grieve loss of the person.

I was so afraid to face my loss that I opted to keep myself super busy so I had virtually no time to think about it, but of course, that’s easier said than done.

When an event I would normally be excited about came up, I did not want to go, not even a little bit, but I am now in the habit of telling myself that things are very different for me now. I have a new family who truly loves the Lord and really knows Him and I don’t have to feel the need to isolate myself and deal with things alone.  So, I went, and I am so glad I did.

At the event, two of my new family members prayed over me in a way that I couldn’t pray for myself.  It amazes me how, in the midst of my own stuff, I can come out of it to passionately pray for others but I cannot seem to do the same for myself.  Anyway, I told them how I really was, when they asked.  They held me in a way I had not been held before by anyone outside of my husband and prayed over me.  That was when the first change took place.  I realized in that moment that for the second time, I was experiencing something previously foreign to me, something that I’d never think to pray for.  I remembered in that moment, another loved one’s prophecy over me, “God is answering prayers you’ve not uttered.”, as she herself held me in a way that I’d not been held before.  To my surprise, I loved it and held on to her for dear life.  They prayed exactly what I would have prayed if I could have, I wanted God to help me to not fall apart that day.  I wanted to wait until it was just the two of us and I would pour out my heart to Him.  He answered that prayer.

I later joked about it saying that God “put a cork in my cry spout”, but as my spiritual father, Russ said, God doesn’t operate like that.  What He really did, was change my pain-again.  The sense around the loss is one of hope and peace, as with my beautiful sister Kerri, who left me with the gift of knowing exactly where she is and that I will never part from her again when we next meet.

The next day, Sunday, at a special service, I went up and led worship with the worship team.  I knew prophetically that things had changed and would change even more by the end of that service and it did.  See, I have been a bit shy about singing the song of the Lord (singing prophetically).  I thought I would have to be perfect and not get in the way and all these other religious ideas and wrong notions.  Anyway, at some point, Russ broke out, singing the song of the Lord.  He sang a line that came to him and I found myself at first echoing the line, supporting him. Then, the next thing I knew, everyone was following me as I floated up, up, up, singing whatever I was singing in my coloratura range.  I don’t recall what I was doing, I felt like I wasn’t even there, I was somewhere alone with my Abba.  I saw nothing, but I could faintly hear the worship team fully supporting me and I heard Russ laugh out loud, happy that I had finally done it.

Russ, had to later help me with this because something happened in that moment for me and I have trouble explaining it.  It was, as he helped make sense of it, as if something out of joint, was clicked into gear. Something was set aright, properly aligned- a big, heavy (though not burdensome) something.  I have been different ever since. How?  I don’t know but different, all the same, and I don’t take lightly, the growing numbers of mourning doves I am seeing, even as I type this, one is just outside my window.  Far from what their name suggests, they are a symbol of the Holy Spirit, hope and peace.  Because there are no coincidences in Christ, I latch on to the meaning of what they represent.

This week, after discovering that my oldest daughter was experiencing symptoms of grief, I decided to take off for the week.  We did no activities; and while I hate missing opportunities to pray for and prophecy over people, I know the Lord honors our taking time to just be and honor our sweet little one.  It was a good week.

Grace to Accomplish Great Things

Note: This is an old draft that I’d never gotten around to publishing.  I figured now is as good a time as any to do so.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend today.  A few years back, she asked for information about making some of the products we make.  I gave her resources and she took off and is making and selling her own products!  I’m so proud of her!!

She asked me today, how I am able to do all that I do without feeling like I’m neglecting other important things.  At first I wasn’t sure how to answer beyond pointing to God’s grace, but not being satisfied with just that answer, I began to look at more of the practical ways I believe I have helped myself.

She’s not the first person who has said something along the lines of not understanding how I’m able to do all that I do and be happy and rested.

We are a homeschooling family of 6.  The children all have various activities.  I speak and sing pretty often and am a youth group leader. My oldest daughter and I make herbal products that we primarily sell online.  We also have a business encapsulating placentas and I occasionally attend births as a doula/student midwife.  Even with all that, the truth is, I nap as often as I need to, I spend a lot of time “chilling with God”, and I am very happy. The only thing I am working on is making time for a few other creative things I love doing like painting and writing.  I see that a few games that I have been playing here and there are my time wasters which easily get in the way of time I could be spending on my creative activities.

Some of the practical things I have done to help myself includes teaching my children how to cook and clean very early on in toddler hood.  By the time they are five years old, they tend to be well acquainted with cleaning and are comfortable using tools in the kitchen. At the very least, they can scramble and boil eggs.

You know how toddlers are so eager to please and help?  I maximize on that moment in time.  Yes, there are a lot of messes, and everything takes way longer than it would if I just did it myself, but they can and do learn how to do things very well, because they are interested, and very soon, I and the older children are a bit more free as that child becomes more independent.

A side story- once, I had one of my nephews over and he asked if he could have a sandwich.  I said yes and went on with whatever I was doing.  We both ended up laughing because he was fully expecting me to make it for him. I was fully expecting him to get up from playing his game and make it for himself. I just thought he wanted permission to make it, lol.  He had to have been around 9 or 10 years old at the time.  I don’t know if he ever made himself another sandwich anytime after that but my baby got up and made his own sandwich that day!  In general, I will not do for them what they are fully capable of doing for themselves. I just don’t believe it serves them in the long run.

This leads me to this really stupid thing I used to do where I put on this “super woman/mom” act. I would run myself ragged doing this for the children and that for my husband. When they got to a point where they did virtually nothing for themselves or our household, and, looked to me to get it all done, I’d get really mad.  Here’s the thing.  I am awesome.  I love people.  I love to help people.  I am sweet and kind and someone to know but I am not super woman/mom and I don’t want to be.  I have hopes, goals and dreams apart from my family. I get tired. I need and want help too.  So, I burned that silly cape and allowed them to help when they offered instead of saying that I had it covered.  When they didn’t offer, I didn’t get angry because they should just “know and offer to help”, I simply asked for help.  I think lots of women do this super woman/mom, independent, I’m every woman thing (to their detriment) and then have the nerve to get angry when their family believes their act wholeheartedly. Sometimes the strongest thing one can do is ask for help.  I’m doing well with asking for help, just ask my children. 😉

See, God is the only One who neither slumbers nor sleeps. I on the other hand, am rather fond of sleep. Sleep is fun. We need to learn to rest in Him and give Him our cares.  We must learn to include Him in our day to day activities, soak in His presence and allow Him to pour into us.  He is more than happy to partner with us throughout our lives and give us strategies for conducting our lives more efficiently and from a place of resting in Him all while enjoying it.  Sure, it won’t be easy or fun all the time, but we have a wonderful Father who loves us so much that He has already given us the grace to accomplish great things in this life.  All we need to do is partner with Him. So, check yourself out in a mirror,if you have one of those capes on, burn that joker. Ask for help.