Loving On My Abba

God is amazing. I am in such awe of Him. I love how He moves, blesses and protects us. I love how He uses any and everything to reach us, change us and elevate us. I love how merciful and gracious He is, how He cares about every little detail. I see how He plays with me and helps me practice hearing Him. Just the other day, as we looked for something we didn’t even end up needing, I closed my eyes and saw what looked like a picture of what we were looking for. I went to that location and found it there. I feel that was God practicing with me. Every interaction isn’t as obvious as neon lights, screaming a message. Sometimes, actually, a lot of the time for me, He speaks calmly, quietly, almost imperceptibly. I hear Him this way often. I wonder how many times I miss Him.

I love how good He was to me and my family in 2020, when so many collectively complained about the year. It was an amazing year in so many ways. I am now seeing that the last few years, while incredibly difficult and painful, were also not just great years, but pivotal years for me. I needed to deal with and go through it to come out the way God intended. I love how He is teaching me to look to Him and trust Him in deeper ways. I am far less concerned about how I am perceived by others now. I feel like a new person and at the same time, more of who I really am. I am ok with others’ disappointment. I’m ok that I won’t always be understood or accepted. I don’t need to break things down to people so that I am vindicated or justified in their eyes. It doesn’t matter. God has me covered. I am not so easily swayed or manipulated any longer. I have a much better understanding of where others end and I begin and I’m not confused about how, when and where to draw definitive lines. I’m no longer banging my head against a wall, trying to understand, make sense of, or participate in toxicity and chaos. I am free and at peace.

If there’s joy to be found, God will help me find it. We have fun with that. If there’s a reason to laugh, tickled, I will be. If there’s something to be done by me, I will do it. If I need to pull back and have a seat, I will do that too. I aim to keep my head to the chest of my sweet Abba. I aim to be ever aware of His rhythm and flow along, because with Him, I am safe. His love knows no bounds. How utterly beautiful He is.

The God Cheat

There have been so many times I thought to write. There have been many things I thought to write about, but each time, I just didn’t. I have had so many different things on my mind. I have several new things I am already doing and a few others that want to get into, so, as usual, I’m all over the place.

I pray all is well with you and yours during this time. For many, it is fraught with fear, uncertainty, sadness and more. I pray often for us all, and especially those having a tough time as we wait out this pandemic.

I never want to appear callous or as if I take grave things lightly, especially when others around me are clearly suffering. I am sensitive to that as I have been told throughout my life that I didn’t take things seriously because I wasn’t perceived to be worried enough.

The fact is, I trust God. That doesn’t mean I don’t have bouts of fear and He doesn’t have to pull me back into sanity, but as I heard a doctor say on a video, (paraphrasing) “If I can’t trust God to protect me from this virus, how can I say I trust Him for salvation and an eternity with Him in Heaven?”

In the beginning of this, I remember a moment where I felt fear creeping in. It was because of false information being circulated. Thankfully, God set me straight and showed me where I was to get my information. Ever since then, I have felt hope and peace and even joy in the midst of it all.

In this moment, I sat to write because I suddenly turned my attention to Abba and said, “Are you serious? Am I really sitting here happy and making plans and enjoying this time? It seems like I am cheating. It seems kind of wrong.” I am enjoying time with my husband and our 5 children. I am planning and delving into new things and old things that I used to enjoy, like rollerskating. Numerous blessings have come about because of and in spite of all that is going on. Things just look, hopeful and bright. I won’t apologize for this, and I refuse to allow anything or anyone rob me of this.

A former pastor of mine used to say peace isn’t the absence of conflict. You know you have peace when all hell is breaking loose around you and you’re good. I am using wisdom when I have to go out, but I am grateful that I am not afraid. I see this as an opportunity to grow deeper in intimacy and trust in God. I remember when I felt that first bout of fear coming on, I asked God to help me to trust Him because I didn’t really know how. The really cool thing is, even with Him saying we are to trust Him, He is the one who helps us to do it. He does it all. I pray you are well.

Grateful To Hear From God

My greatest pleasure has to be the fact that God speaks to me and I hear Him. Growing up, I was taught about a god being more so, a distant deity, not really a person with feelings. Well that god had anger, and plenty of it, lol. I know God to be totally different from the one I was taught about while growing up.

Looking back on my life, I now understand that God has been speaking to me -and I have actually listened, quite a bit. I now know that so much of what I have done in life was because of His leading. He’s had me travel paths that I didn’t know existed so there was no previous interest in them. He has led me to have the types of birth experiences I’ve had, from my first and only hospital birth to go on to have unassisted homebirths. I went from sending my oldest to daycare, inwardly dreading her first day of real school, to taking her out of daycare and going on to unschool her and my other children.

With the track record God has established between us, I trust Him implicitly when He gives me a directive. That’s not to say that I don’t get afraid. I most certainly do. I am just ok with moving forward in spite of fear. Really, it’s because this is God we’re talking about. It has happened many times that people want me to do one thing when God has directed me clearly to do the opposite. I always go with God. In that way, I am not a fool.

I find that God can get real weird in His directives with me at times. I think He does it sometimes just to show me (not Himself) how willing I am to follow Him. He already knows what I will do from one moment to the next. I believe He’s teaching me about myself in these instances. He’s showing me how I can advance to greater levels of trust and intimacy with Him. Sometimes it’s fun, other times it’s hard, there’s pain involved, but it’s always good.

So, I will keep right on trusting and following Him, even when others are saying something different. Some even say that what they are telling me to do is from Him. Sometimes I laugh it off, knowing what He told me directly. Other times, I freak out and He gently says, “Who are you going to listen to?” Now, more than ever before, I am so grateful that I hear Him.

Done With “Do Do”

A few months ago, in a meeting, a dear friend challenged a small group of us to find our life verse. I loved the idea, but I definitely felt it would not be an easy feat to choose one verse from the entire Bible that would be the verse that stood out so much to me that I would feel comfortable saying, “Here. This is the one right here.”  I prayed about it and forgot about it, well not completely, but I didn’t pressure myself to figure it out.

Wouldn’t you know, God has given me my verse!  So here’s the thing, I will share my verse with you of course but don’t be all anticipating that it will end up being yours too, it may very well be, but I know now, it’s mine.  This is not to say that I’m throwing out the rest of the Bible, that would be stupid, but this verse really speaks to a place deep in my being and just strikes me.

My verse is John 6:29 but I have to include at least John 6:28 as well. The New Living Translation of these two verses says, “28. They replied, ‘We want to perform God’s works, too.  What should we do?’ 29. Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.'”

The Amplified says 28. Then they asked Him, “What are we to do, so that we may habitually be doing the works of God?” 29. Jesus answered, “This is the work of God: that you believe [adhere to, trust in, rely on, and have faith] in the One whom He has sent.”

The Mirror says, 28. They immediately wanted the recipe! Tell us then what we must do in order to accomplish God’s work? 29. This is the work of God; your belief in the One whom he has sent! Then it goes on to say, “Even your ability to believe is God’s work!  Realizing your authentic sonship on exhibit in Jesus is God’s gift to you and cannot be earned! How can your labor compete with what God’s rest celebrates as complete!”

In all three translations, the idea was that there had to be some formula, some plan or recipe that we must follow and execute in order to do the works of God.  Jesus’ answer was that we are to simply believe.  He didn’t rattle off a to do list or anything of the sort.  Even in believing, Jesus referred to this too, as God’s work.

As I sat for a moment and considered different situations others I know are dealing with, and my own, I kept hearing, “Be still.  Be still. Be still.”  Then, I heard Godfrey Birthill singing, “Living in the unforced rhythms of grace” and the light bulb turned on.  When I first heard the song, probably a year ago, I loved the words.  I didn’t understand the line, “living in the unforced rhythms of grace” but my spirit loved it immediately.  When I say loved it, I mean loved it.  Admittedly, my mind had no idea though. I’d just sing happily, along with my children who also love the song.

Now, I get it.  Grace is free, unearned, a gift, and I can live from that state of being.  I don’t have to pull out formulas, hoping something will work.  I don’t need to say this special prayer or do this special thing or that, I can simply trust.  I can just believe.  I can truly live in the unforced rhythms of grace and receive all my Abba has for me.

I get that not everyone will understand this just yet or experience the “Aha” moment I have, that’s OK. My prayer though, is that we would simply trust Him and stop trying to conjure up whatever we are believing Him for, by trying this “recipe” or that.  If He said it, it is so, and I for one am going to believe, because Jesus himself said to do so.  If we could do all the work ourselves, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to come.  Thank God, Jesus did come, and, he said it was finished.  He did all the work, even that of enabling us to believe as he chose us first.  So, I’m done, friends.  Done with the do do’s. I will simply trust, as Jesus said.  Hope you will too.

Do Your Friends Sharpen (Or Dull) You?

I am the type of person who can easily befriend people.  I genuinely like people, but I have an interesting time because I am neither a complete introvert, nor am I completely extroverted either.  I am somewhere in the middle, an ambivert.

I love being around people but hate crowds.  I crave time with my friends and family but absolutely love to be alone.  In order to be at my best when around people, I need some good quality time alone, just me and my Abba, chillin’.

Growing up, because I had so many friends, I had to learn albeit the hard way that just because a person was my friend, didn’t necessarily mean I could share everything with them.  Shoot, experience has taught me that I am not even at liberty to completely share with family.

I remember sharing things about my marriage with a friend who was never married and didn’t have children.  That part alone would be a red flag for some, but it wasn’t for me.  She was a dear, close friend and I naturally wanted to share my life with her.  The problem was, she not only didn’t have any frame of reference (which I don’t believe has to be a problem, btw…), but she totally lacked the maturity to handle what I wanted to share.  She’d often give me advice that I wasn’t asking for, and it was always destructive.  Thankfully, I had sense enough to never follow any of her advice, or else, I may not be married today.  Eventually, I stopped sharing things with her that I knew she couldn’t handle.

We have to learn to use wisdom and discernment when sharing with others.  Anyone. Period. It doesn’t take very long for people to tell and/or show you who they are, always believe them right away.

I thank God that I now have close friends that He chose for me, friends who are mature and very prophetic as well.  We have such an amazing circle of unity and love.  Time after time, they have proven themselves to be women of faith who are deeply rooted in Christ and his ways.  I can’t thank God enough for them.  They keep me on my toes! We don’t coddle each other in destructive, enabling ways.  We speak the truth in love and help each other to come up higher. My girls are sharp!!

The Word says in Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” My prayer for you this week is that you have the same type of relationships.  I pray you have relationships where you are sharpening your friends, and they in turn, help to sharpen you.  We need each other, and thank God He’s designed us this way.  We were never designed to do life alone.  We were made to be and have a family.  So go on with your sharp self! Be that iron that helps sharpen others, and allow them to do the same, and sharpen you.

 

His Word Is True & He Is Good

While chatting with a group of friends, a thought occurred to me.  We have a tough time trusting God oftentimes because of the relationships we have and have had with authority figures.  Our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, teachers, pastors, etc, haven’t always done a good job of leading us in a manner that is Christ like, so we learn to be mistrustful.  Then, we transfer the transgressions of others onto God and become believers who don’t always quite believe God.  That’s sad.

One prayer that I recall praying early on, was that God would make Himself more real to me than any human being in front of me.  Where the Word says, “Let God’s Word be true and every man a liar.”, I want that to truly be the case for me, because God’s Word is most certainly The Truth.

My prayer for you this week is the same.  I pray that God is more real to you than any human or circumstance you face.  I pray that you learn to laugh in the face of adversity, knowing that there are far more for you than could ever be against you.  I pray that you, like God, have the ability to laugh heartily at your enemies, knowing that God knew each situation you’d face and provide for you in full, for that situation.  Our God is the most trustworthy Person ever.  My prayer is that we all sincerely know that, not just in our heads, but in our hearts in an experiential way.

Something else happened, which actually prompted me to write this blog post. From time to time, I gather my children and we practice sitting in God’s presence together.  We each hear from Him and share what we’ve heard, and sometimes, we end up prophesying over each other.  It’s nice.  I want to do my best to help foster an intimate relationship with the Lord for each of them.  I often tell them, they can’t live off of my faith.  They need their own relationship with Him.  To not have one, is to cheat oneself immeasurably.  To fool oneself into thinking, “I know God” when there really is no intimacy, is also doing oneself a colossal disservice to say the least.

This time, we each asked the Lord to either share what He wanted or each could ask about something specific.  When we shared, everyone got something really nice. Two girls got words about their future, regarding ambitions and/or goals they have.  The Lord gave one girl ideas on how to do what she is interested in, while the other, He totally had her think in another direction.  This made for a great discussion on how we can do things simply because it is what is expected of us, ie. graduate high school, you go to college.  Is this something that believers stop and ask God about?  Is that the path God truly has for a high school graduate?  Do many even bother to ask His thoughts? How does it feel to go against what others think you should be doing and follow God’s leading? We had a very good discussion about this.

Another girl got one word, an odd word, “cheesesticks”, lol.  We laughed and talked about how silly she is and how she is coming into “her thing” with God and how He speaks to her based on her personality.  We even delved into the interpretation and it was really good. (Too much to type here)

I got two words to start.  “Get Ready.”  Initially, I was smiling but when I heard those words, my smile faded.  I could also hear T. D. Jakes saying, “Get Ready, get ready, get ready!!” As I looked scared, the Lord began to speak to me saying, “Lighten up.  Stop thinking everything is so grave and negative.  I am your friend.  Real friends don’t burden friends with things they can’t handle.” I began to hear the song, “I am a friend of God” and just smiled.

I realize that religion has taught me that Gaawd- (I wish you could hear me say that) is super serious, mean and ready to strike when we mess up.  He might let all kinds of crazy things happen to you, He may even cause them, and you just have to deal.  Also, He’ll want you to go somewhere and/or do some thing that is not only of no interest to you, but something you actually dread. This is not true.  God is good, kind, loving, thoughtful, full of mercy and wisdom.  He calls us friend and loves us immensely.  My prayer is that we are able to put to rest all ill conceived notions and truly know Him.  He is good.

Finding Joy In Trials

James 1:2-4 in the Message Bible reads, ​”Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

After getting a wonderful confirming dream from God, and listening to Bill Johnson speak on breakthrough, I am convinced that the Lord has saught to set me up for a serious promotion. The past several weeks have been very trying, so trying that, if I didn’t know the Lord, I sincerely don’t know where I would be or what I would be doing now. I have and am experiencing things that have literally changed the entire course of people’s lives, and just two months after giving birth, to boot.

The best part about the challenges I am facing is that God is faithful, ever present and fully available, especially when I turn to Him as so much seems to be going awry in my life.

I can take comfort, great comfort in knowing that not only is He not taken by surprise by any of what I am facing, but He has provided for me, from the beginning. 

All I need to do is trust and follow His leading. I can “count it all joy”, as I know that this set of challenges can help mature me in a way that will qualify me to receive far more from God than I ever imagined possible. 

God won’t give us more than we can handle. We tend to think of trials when considering this, but I understand it to include certain blessings as well.

 For instance, my 9 and 13 year olds can not ask and be permitted to borrow my car. It isn’t because I don’t want to share with them. They simply aren’t ready or mature enough for that type of blessing. It could literally kill them. 

My 18 year old, on the other hand, has gone to driving school and passed her driving exam. She has been driving for well over a year and is comfortable and good at it, so she can certainly get the keys to the car and go where she likes. She is mature enough and able to handle the responsibility. It is the same with us. I believe there is so much that God wants to bless us with, but we simply aren’t ready to receive it. We haven’t behaved in a manner that shows we are ready for the responsibility. 

Because God is a good father, He won’t give us anything, even a blessing that could harm us, even when He really wants to give it to us. I am thrilled to be loved like this and am now seeing the challenges I face, in a very different light.

Challenges are looking like enormous qualifiers to me these days. It is when all the “chips are down”, when we’re “backed against the wall” that what is really in us, comes out. Do we really trust that God is with us? Do we realize how surrounded we are by hosts of angels and options? Do we know how deeply we are loved and provided for? Do we believe we have been provided for even when what we see before us says the exact opposite?

I’m using this moment of challenge as an opportunity, a gift that will enable me to come up higher and be better off for having gone through it. I am choosing to praise, give, love, and bless my way through it. 

I will look back on the prophetic worda I have received over the last few years, and allow a sense of hope to grow and flourish even in the midst of what looks desolate and destroyed.

I will light up the area I inhabit with my heavenly language and praise to God, because He is surely with me during this most holy of set ups. 

I will walk, run, leap and dance joyfully with my Abba as I pass this “test” with flying colors, for He is surely with me, loving me, whispering messages of love and hope to me in my sleep and while I am awake.

I will keep looking to the One who is the Author and Finisher of my faith. 

I challenge you to do the same. When trying times are upon you, count it all joy. See it as an opportunity for growth and development. See it as an opportunity to qualify for something your Heavenly Father is just itching to give you. Worship Him. Praise Him. Thank Him for your breakthrough when it looks like none is forthcoming. Allow hope to rise up in you and rejoice. Look at and make personal, the promises in His Word. Look at prophetic words you have received and perhaps put aside. If you dont have any, but would like one, please write me and allow me to speak a word from the Lord over you, but whatever you do, don’t allow challenges to stress you out and keep you down. You were meant for more, so much more. God has so much in store for you. Will you set yourself in position to receive from Him today?

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.

Declare Something!

I’m not and have never been much into making resolutions for the new year.  I’d rather just do what I’m going to do and leave it at that.  I do enjoy making vision boards with my family, however, what I am majorly into these days is making declarations.  Maybe it’s the bossy girl in me but man, it feels so amazing to me to be able to speak things into existence like my Abba and watch it all unfold before my eyes.

He reminded me to make declarations a few weeks ago as I lie in bed in pain (normal pregnancy stuff).  He reminded me of who I am and how I don’t have to just bend or succumb to everything that comes my way.  I have the ability to change things. I can, with my words, make things happen that I want.

I hate that I feel the need to say this but I do not mean declaring things that aren’t right.  I won’t go declaring that someone else loses her husband so I can have him.  I don’t declare pain, or anything but love on someone who may have done something to hurt me at some point.  I mean to make declarations that are in line with God’s will and Word.  It’s quite easy to know the difference too.

With regards to my pregnancy for instance, I know as a birth worker, that there are things that kind of come with the territory, but, as a daughter of the King of Kings, I know that there are many things that don’t have to apply to or for me so I speak what I want.

Because I am only 4’10” tall, I have no where to grow but outward and boy, my back feels every bit of growth happening with these babies and it’s no fun at all at times.

One thing I declared was that although my frame is small, it is strong and continuously strengthened and perfectly able to handle carrying multiples.  When I see various unappealing symptoms that I could possibly contend with, I say no and declare the opposite over my body and babies. I always end up having a great time with this and I bring my family in on it too so that we can make declarations together.  It’s so much fun to hear what each of us comes up with and it’s great to record declarations so that we can go back to them and see what has happened as a result of those declarations.

So, instead of making resolutions, try making some declarations, and have fun with it.  Go big with it.  We have an amazing Father who is just waiting for us to declare a thing.  He is more than able, willing and ready to back us up and see to it that what we say comes to pass.  We have so much more authority than we realize.  Let’s make 2017 the year that we come into the full revelation of what we have and can do as children of the King.  And, before I forget, Happy New Year!

Checking In

Just wanted to send out a quick post to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, I love you and wish you all the best!!

I have been literally lying in bed, smiling at the Lord and sweet talking Him as I grow more and more in love with Him and His ways.  (((Insert le blissful sigh)))  He is so sweet and kind.  And as a side note, I am seeing so much more angelic activity and angels these days, it’s astonishing!!!  I even laughed at myself though as I spoke sweetly to the Lord and saw flashes of the most dazzling light whiz by but I paid them no mind and just kept right on talking to Him.  He is my focus.

Also, like most, I have been spending time with family and friends and enjoying all that this season brings.  I have been extremely low key with regards to gifts and all so that’s been fun and refreshing as well.  People talk about how gifts are not the primary focus but tend to get all stressed out with just that.  Thankfully, I was able to do my shopping for most of the things I needed online. Even if I was tempted to go out and shop, it just ain’t happening with my ever blossoming belly and subsequently complaining back. 🙂

For some reason, I tend to get really private and quiet about things at times and I think it’s time to share a little more of what’s happening with me for those who would be interested.

For the last month, I’ve been blogging in video form, which is known as vlogging.  The focus of my vlog is pretty much a chronicling of my pregnancy.  There are many who do this on youtube but mine is different because for one, it’s me, and I’m different. Also, mine has a bit of a twist or two as it is unassisted pregnancy and birth and there’s an additional little surprise that we may be in for when it’s all said and done.

So, for my men folk, no worries about any tmi/naked bits, nothing like that at all is included.  🙂 I posted my latest vlog today and it includes a special guest.  Here’s the link to the first one for anyone interested in viewing them. They are all public, so if you choose to watch the others, you will see them listed and if you’re interested in receiving notice of them as I post them, you can subscribe to be notified right away.

So that’s it for now. May you be blessed beyond imagination, now and in the coming new year!