Oh I live for You.

I heard someone on the radio the other day say: “It is not your ability that counts, but your availability.” Blessss, that reached right down into my soul.

So, today I pulled out my The Gospel of Mark bible study from last year that I never quite finished and began looking over my old notes. I found: “The pardon Jesus handed the paralytic revealed that he wasn’t asking audaciously enough-that his greatest desire was still too dinky. Would you describe the prayers you’ve been praying lately as audacious or anemic? Why?” 

I am not even gonna lie, I have had some pretty anemic prayers in the past. But if working in a group home has taught me nothing less, it is how to pray audaciously. Sometimes we try to fit You into our little human box and forget who You are. We forget You are a miracle working God.

The bible study asked: what’s the most audacious “mountain tossed into the sea” prayer request on your heart this season? Do you feel like you’re whispering it toward Heaven with hesitation and trepidation or bellowing it to the Heavenly Father who delights in meeting your needs?

This study has taught me about the power and authority of You, Father. Lord, You literally tell the storm to be still. You have absolute power over the natural world, supernatural world, and even death. In my notes is the question: How does that truth change the way we live today? That undeniable truth reminds me to stay in my lane. That You are the one in control. That I can trust You. That I can ask audacious prayers. That I can expect miracles. That I can build my life upon Your love.

The study continued with: “I am completely accepted, therefore I obey.” The study taught that our obedience isn’t to work our way into Heaven, but a response in gratefulness because we have been given Heaven.

Mark teaches us through the story of feeding the 5000, that You give us what we need. We simply have to trust and obey.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray I remember who you are. I pray I remember to be still and stay in my lane. I pray I put my words to action. I pray I trust and obey. I pray I live your truth. I pray I build my life upon you. I pray I remember why I build my life upon you. I pray that I remember all the evidence of love and miracles you have placed in life. I am praying an audacious prayer, Father, I am asking for the big miracles. I am nothing without you. I can complete nothing on my own. Lord, it is only through you that I do anything. I pray that I remember to have heart checks daily and respond in gratefulness. I pray you keep teaching me to have confidence in you, in your word, in your ability, in your authority, in your power. Abba, thank you for Heaven. Thank you for saving a place for me. Thank you for providing for me. Thank you for everything. I am making myself available to you Lord. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If You walked out of the grave, I’m walkin’ too.

When I open my She Reads Truth Bible, there’s an introduction to Genesis, towards the end of it, states: “All of our brokenness begins here, in the first book of the Bible, as does God’s covenant to redeem His people.” Woah, buddy. The reminder that where our brokenness begins so does Your redemption is much needed, daily. The very places we are broken lead to where we are redeemed, where we can then help others find redemption too. Bless, that’s powerful. Thank You Lord.

Emily Ley in A Simplified Life wrote: “Letting Him lead the way is hard. If you’re anything like me, you usually believe your way is the right way. But sometimes God wants us to trust that He’s not surprised by anything. He planned each twist and turn in our lives and He wants to walk through them with us, if we’ll let Him.”

Lord, in every place I’m reading lately, it’s telling me to trust and obey. You will provide.

Genesis 18:14 says: ‘Is anything impossible for the Lord?’ At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son.

I am literally nothing without You, Lord. I can accomplish nothing without You, Father. And thank You God, I am not alone. Even on my best day, I could never amount to a hill of beans compared to what You can do through me. I just need to learn how to stop working against You. I needed this past year to learn how to be still.

Lord, I feel You sending me. I am not sure where I’m going, but Lord, my feet are moving. Guide me Father. Isaiah 58:11 says: The LORD will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose water never runs dry. 

This past Sunday, the pastor taught on Deuteronomy 30:1-10. He said: “You are not crazy for this. This is not outside the box. This is predetermined by God. God will be glorified in you. There is help for you.” He said: “Believe in Christ and He will do this through you. Jesus has secured us in His Kingdom.” You are faithful, even when we aren’t. The cross is our guarantee. We don’t have to be afraid of the outcome. You got this. Literally. And You’ve got me.

So, here is my prayer. Lord, I pray that I follow your word. I pray I come to my senses. I pray I go where you are driving me. I pray I obey your commands. I pray I obey with all my heart and all my soul. I pray I trust you. I pray I keep my eyes focused on the cross. Thank you so much for using me. Thank you for designing this greater plan than I could even imagine. Thank you for your glory. Thank you for providing. Thank you for securing me. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for showing me the way. Thank you for sending your son for me. Thank you for taking my place. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

And I will follow You, my friend.

I keep getting reminders of Your faithfulness. You meet our needs. Every time. On my own, I can’t even fathom a way. But thank You so much for never leaving me to do things on my own. You move mountains. You calm the storms. You are with me in the fire, in the flood, in the lion’s den, in the prison cells. You call me to walk on water. You tell me to put my staff down and part a sea. You give me instructions to build an ark when there are no signs of rain.

As I read my You’re Loved No Matter What book this morning, there was a section on usefulness. Holley Gerth wrote: “The bread feeds a family. The clay becomes a pot. The wooden table provides a space for daily life to happen. When you do what God asks you to do today, you are useful to him.” Again, I’m the girl in the back, say it again for me, Lord. My sweet Father in Heaven, You use even my smallest steps for Your glory. I am in such of awe of You.

Every single day, I see something else that You designed that connects to something else. Your timing literally astounds me. I will buy a devotion book because I think I need to read it now, but then I don’t actually pick it up to read for a few more months. Then it turns out, that was exactly when I needed those words. Or I’ll stop reading it for a hot minute and somehow pick it up again right when I’m going through what the devotion is teaching. Or the Sunday School lesson hits home way too much to be a coincidence, meanwhile it’s on the same lesson that my devotion book is discussing. Or when I open my Bible and staring back at me, is not what I was looking for, but everything I needed. Most of the time it’s when I think I’m the one teaching, and I realize I’m the one learning still.

Abba, the way You have carefully crafted each and every moment of this life is breathtakingly beautiful. You use even the tiniest, most insignificant moments and turn them into Heaven shaking moments.

So, here is my prayer. I pray you guide me your way. I pray I put my feet to moving. I pray I spread your love you gave to me. I pray I am your hands and feet. I pray I never take for granted who you are. I pray I keep seeking your truth. I pray I keep looking for you everywhere in my little world. I pray you take my hands and I pray you take my heart. Thank you for your provision, for your protection, for your plans. Thank you for your glory. Thank you for teaching me to trust and obey. Thank you for teaching me to make disciple makers. Thank you for light in the darkest moments. Thank you for shining my way back to you. I pray I take you everywhere with me. Thank you for your goodness. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

And I have lived in the goodness of God.

A couple of weeks ago, this kid says: “Miss Alyssa, you want me to put Hallmark on for you?” I responded: “Ohh you think I won’t come in here and bug you if Hallmark is on?”

“Yassssss Miss Alyssa.”

I smiled and thought to myself: “as long as I’m living…” I thought of the book my Mema read to my daddy and my daddy so proudly read to us.

The holidays are hard with harden hearts. I always try to go big and over compensate. I sing Christmas carols extra off key and extra funny. I dance terribly in the van as we sing “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” I bake snowman cookies and accidentally burn cookies with trees on them. I wear big bow headbands and reindeer slippers and make sure stockings are filled to the top. But most importantly I teach them about who You are God. They’re full of questions and hurt and anger and confusion. I’m just trying to answer one question at a time. I’m trying to pray through each emotion coming at me.

I’m doing what I wrote on my binder: “Just do the best you can, with what you have, and trust God to fill in the gaps.” Later I added: “God made me. He has prepared this good work in advance for me. By His grace, I will walk in obedience, one step at a time.” I am walking those words I wrote down every single day. I can see how You used those words in my life every single day. In Ephesians 2:10 You called us Your workmanship. Lord, I hope I never stop building Your kingdom. I hope You continue to use me in any way You need. I hope I keep walking in obedience, even when I get scared and try to run away like Jonah.

2 Timothy 2:4 says: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and teaching.”

As I try to give them space and grace too, I’m reflecting on my own relationship with You, God. The more I get to know who You are, the more I appreciate You, Your character, Your love, Your gifts, Your grand design and timing. Your goodness.


So this is my prayer. I pray for open minds, open hearts, and the opening of your word. I pray for some Holy Spirit movement up in here. Lord, only you can handle their anger. Only you can heal pretty little broken hearts. Only your word can settle all the debates and questions and confusion. I pray they lean into you and trust you. I pray they always keep seeking the truth. I pray they’re learning as much from me about you as I’m learning from them. I pray you pull down their walls and knock on their doors. I pray you pursue them, the way you pursued me. I pray that I remember even with as much as I love them, you love them more. I pray that you show them your love and consume them with it. I pray you break my heart for what breaks yours. I pray I love like you do. I pray I follow your lead and go where you need me. Lord, I have been blessed with an opportunity to see you work in their lives, I have seen them soften at your words. I pray that I always have eyes to see you move and see your goodness. I pray that I keep building my ark like Noah. I pray that I keep doing what you prepared me to do. I pray I keep reading and studying and teaching your word. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lord keep me walkin’, walkin’, walkin’.

Last week, I was being a Jonah. Deep down, I knew what You wanted me to do, but I didn’t how to do it so I ran. Right. Into. The. Belly. Of. The. Whale. But as usual, no matter how far I run, You are there with arms extended, begging me to just come home. This week, I decided I need to remember that I have an instruction manual, so I finally opened my Bible and sat down for some quiet time with You, Lord. And You laid it on my heart. Thick.

Last year, I had this connection to Paul. This year, I’m striving for faith like Noah.

Ok, so, story time. Yesterday, this kid asked to change my background on my phone. I said: “sure, make it yellow though, that’s my favorite color, ohh and make it a verse.” Of course the response was “Duh.” I said: “I need some Jesus” like I always do. Because every hour I need thee. And this child looked dead at me and said: “You have Jesus. You just don’t use Him.” I laughed out loud and said: “you right.” I felt attacked. Like Holy Spirit sucker punched. Right out the mouth of babes. Then the verse this kid picks is Psalm 34:4 which says: I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears. I read onto verse 5 which says: Those who look to him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed. Shut upppp. I needed that. Lord have mercy.

Alright, back to Noah. And best believe I ordered me a Faith Like Noah shirt. Complete with Hebrews 11:7 which says: By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

This girl, right here, is building an ark. One step at a time. By faith. Because that is literally my middle name.

I needed last year’s learning how to trust like Paul to help me obey like Noah. Lord, the way You design things to work together for Your glory is in-explainable. Sometimes, I can’t even wrap my head around how detailed You are. I. Am. In. Awe.

So, here is my prayer. Lord, you told Noah to be fruitful, not once, but twice. Thanks for telling me twice too. Thank you for using me. Thank you for preparing me. Thank you for giving me the resources I need. Thank you for giving me instructions. Thank you for designing such a beautiful life. Thank you for teaching me to trust and obey. Thank you for teaching me to have faith, because you are oh so faithful. Thank you for keeping me walking. Thank you for chasing after me, even when I run. Thank you for outstretched arms. Thank you for allowing me to do kingdom work. Thank you for teaching me to seek the light. Thank you for teaching me to come out of the shadows and lay down my shame. Thank you for teaching me true joy. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.