I’m amazed by how You care cause You hear my little prayer.

I stumbled upon this 30-Day Challenge for Single Christian Women on Pinterest from The BarnPrincess a few weeks ago. The original article was posted in April but said it could be started any time. I figured I would start it at the beginning of the year since January was so close and that’s typically the month for New Year’s resolutions and what not.

I am determined to make 2017 a good year. I started my day with soup made with collard greens and black eyed peas. I wasn’t taking any chances this year so I participated in all the southern traditions. For someone who gets picked on for being a terrible cook all the time, my entire family sure ate my soup with no complaints. A little birdy said they went back for seconds too. (Little stinkers better quit telling me I can’t cook!)

Anyways, now that I’m done being distracted, back to the challenge! Day 1 is about finding a Life Verse. The instructions are: “Find a Bible verse that speaks to you and make it your life verse. Focus on having it memorized by the end of the 30 days. Post it where you can see it every day. Journal about it. Be creative with it. Why did you choose that verse? What does it mean to you? How does it give you strength? Or how does it give you direction?”

Ok, homegirl has trust issues I am working on and that seems to be the theme in some of the books I’ve been reading lately. So, taking the hint, I seem to have been given, that is the direction I’m heading this month. I went looking for verses on trust and Proverbs 3:5-6 says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. That was a prominent couple of verses I read and studied this past summer so I already had those memorized so I figured that was cheating so I continued my search. I found Psalm 13:5 which says: But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. That right there is the one. That right there is what I need. Heavenly Father, those were the words.

I went to read the rest. There are only 6 verses that David wrote in the chapter. Psalm 13 says: How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. 

First off, You weren’t scared of the tough questions. Second, the other thing that got my attention from these verses is even when David wasn’t getting a response or the answers he wanted in his time, he still praised You. Lord, David was going through so much and he didn’t understand Your plan, but he still praised You. He still trusted You. His heart still rejoiced in You. He still sang for You. Lord, You were listening to David’s little prayer and You are listening to mine.

So, here in my prayer today. I pray for this new year, this new start, this new day. I pray this challenge brings me closer to you. I pray that I think about both David’s little prayer this month. I pray that I listen to David’s psalm and David Archuleta’s song. I pray that I learn to trust in you more. I pray that I trust in your unfailing love. Unfailing love. Lord, I don’t even know if such a thing exists. Unfailing love. Father in Heaven, please open my heart to your unfailing love. Lord, open the floodgates and let your unfailing love cover me. Let is wash over me. I pray my heart rejoices in your salvation. I pray that I see all the good around me. I pray that my heart sings and dances praises for you. I pray that I focus on all the good. 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.

There’s an answer to an unprayed prayer.

Yesterday, I needed something and I couldn’t quite figure out the words. Yesterday, I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, much less hit the nail on the head. I went to get ready to leave and right there in the shower is a bottle of Philosophy soap. Amazing Grace. That is the name of the soap and exactly what I needed. The bottle says: “Life is a classroom. We are both student and teacher, each day is a test, and each day we receive a passing or failing grade in one particular subject: grace. Grace is compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, happiness, good manners, reverence and the list goes on. Being the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented, the richest or even the poorest can’t help. Being a humble person can, and being a helpful person can guide you through your days with grace and gratitude.” Lord have mercy. I needed grace.

Life ain’t fair. Sometimes we get overlooked. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes we get the short end of the stick. Sometimes no one hears our voices. Sometimes we get passed over. Sometimes we’re practically invisible. Other times every single thing we do is criticized and scrutinized. Sometimes everything feels like it’s falling apart. We hit rock bottom, more than once in our lives. Sometimes everything we want gets handed to someone else.

Still, thank You. Lord, we do not understand Your plan. We ask why these things happen. We beg on our hands and knees for that answer. Still, thank You. For plans I don’t understand. For sending what I needed instead of what I wanted. For saving me for something different. For revealing Your light when the darkness seems to overtake me. For forgiving me when I surely didn’t deserve it.

In a sermon, a while back, titled: God is a faithful God, the preacher said: “God’s not fair. I’ll take His mercy. I’ll take His goodness. If He was fair, we couldn’t survive. We don’t know better than God. God is still in charge. We don’t belong to ourselves, we belong to Him.” Later in the sermon he said: “He cares more about us than we care about ourselves.” If life were fair, I would get exactly what I deserve. There would be no salvation, no cross, no Savior. If life were fair, Your Son would not have been sent. He would’ve never been on that cross. I would have been. I have made more mistakes than I care to count. I would get life without parole. There would be no second chances and no saving grace. There would be no growth and learning and experience.

Still, thank You. Lord, life ain’t fair. I have far more than I deserve. I have a roof over my head and more than I need under that roof. I have a purpose and people who love me. I have family to keep me sane and make me crazy at the same time. I have friends to share my life with. I have ways to give back to the community I love. I have a church to attend and serve at. Taylor Swift said: “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” I am beyond blessed with people who are good to me and I need to start looking for ways to be better to them.

So, here is my prayer. I shouldn’t get to have such a blessed life, like the one I do. I don’t know what it is you see in me. It’s a real good thing that life ain’t fair. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for thinking I was worth saving. Thank you for the cross. Thank you sending your son. Thank you for grace. Lord, I can be sooo selfish. Help me to show grace to those around me. Help me to offer help to those around me instead of causing more of a burden. I pray that I lift weight on other’s shoulders, instead of piling on. Lord, I pray that I share your grace. Lord help me to show compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, happiness, good manners, and reverence. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you for mercy. Thank you for goodness. Thank you for always being in control, for always being in charge. I don’t thank you for that nearly enough. Lord, I don’t know better than you. Thank you for that too. Thank you for allowing me to belong to you. Thank you for naming me of your chosen. Thank you for naming me your child. Thank you for calling me yours. Thank you for allowing me to serve you. 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.

I bow down to pray, I try to make the worst seem better.

I was thinking the other day about prayer. I wondered how prayer changes things if You’re all knowing and You already planned it all out. Then today I was hit with some wisdom. Knowledge I already had but shown to me in a different way. You’re all knowing so You knew I was going to pray for help long before I even knew there was a problem. You showed up before the storm ever hit. You showed up before the wreckage, before the rain, before the wind, before the sun rolled away and the dark clouds came out. You showed up before James Spann told us to take shelter.

Now this particular storm might be a metaphor for my life but You showed up before the metaphorical storm or the physical one. You knew my heart before I had one. You knew my prayers before I had a voice. You knew my thoughts before I had a brain. You knew the path I would take before I could walk. Ohhhhh Lord I could sing of Your love forever. You knew exactly what I was going to do with my life. You were just waiting on me to catch up. You knew I was going to stay before I even knew there was a choice to stay or go. Just when I think I know everything You show me something I hadn’t seen before. I heard once: “where ever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” Lord, when I pray it gives me hope, it brings the rainbow after the rain, and the sun during the storm. You give me one good reason to stay when I try to give you a hundred million reasons to walk away.

Christian Cuevas might not have made it to the finals on The Voice but Lord you had a plan for him long before he even thought to audition. You gave him a million reasons to sing and he chose to sing for You because You are soo good. He was perfectly placed to bring glory to You, just like I am perfectly placed to bring glory to You. Lord nothing is without You. Nothing is without Your plan or knowledge or divine intervention. Every single thing is connected to You. Nothing is random. Every single thing is planned by You in ways that defy words.

Here is my prayer. Lord, today I’m not asking for anything. Today I am in complete worship of you. I am in complete awe of you. Lord, I give you my life. I give it all to you. Thank you for listening to my prayers. Thank for you hearing my heart. Thank you for guiding my path. Thank you for showing me the way. Thank you for finding one good reason to love me when I give you a million reasons not to. Thank you for giving me a purpose. Thank you for free will and for your crafted plan. Thank you for connecting the dots. Thank you for believing in me when I can’t find my faith. Thank you for showing up long before the storm. Thank you for intentional planning. Thank you for eternity designs and decisions. You placed me in the right place at the right time with the right people. Lord, every move was perfectly crafted to bring glory to you. Thank you for perfect placement at perfect timing. Thank you for showing me the light in the dark. Thank you for peace. Thank you for rainbows after rain. Thank you for sunshine during storms. Thank you for hope. Thank you for changing my heart. Thank you for giving me one good reason to stay. Thank you for making the worst seem better. 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.

When I have no words left to say, just lift it up and sing it out.

When I was a kid, everyone ran around the playground saying: “I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” That was the automatic response of a bunch of first graders when something mean was said. If someone had only told me how much truth was in that, despite hollering on a playground not being the best way to handle things. But sometimes when people say mean things to you, it reflects more on their character than it does yours.

Other times, we can do 100 things right and then one comment made without thinking can hurt real deep. Sometimes, the very people we hold closest can hurt us, even if that wasn’t their intention at all. Sometimes, we have to learn to let things go. We have to be strainers, keeping all the good stuff and letting the messy stuff slip through. Holding onto the messy stuff, is just gonna make us messy too. Drowning in the messy stuff is not going to help anything. It is our job to love and sometimes that means forgiving even when we really don’t want to. We are real quick to forgive ourselves for saying something off the cuff, without thinking. When others do it to us, it is a little harder. Orrrr there’s me and its hard to forgive myself or anyone else. I’m working on both. Lord, You taught us to love because You are love. You loved us first. Before we were even a thought in this world. Long before those playground days.

I’ve heard people say that we take Your teachings through a strainer too. We retain the stuff we like and pay no attention to what we don’t wanna keep. I believe and have been taught time after time that if we do what Luke 10:27 says then the rest will fall into place. Luke 10:27 says He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” I heard in a sermon once: “the Bible was right when it was written and it’s still right today. It doesn’t ever need to be revised.” That preacher also said: “the word is living and breathing in us.” Lorddddd. It’s so crazy to me that I can remember one verse I heard as a kid or something I heard one time in a sermon, but I can’t even remember what I had for dinner two days ago. Then again, DC Talk taught me how to be one of those crazy Christians back in those playground days. Lord, You are living in us. If we would only stop and listen for Your voice.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray that I listen to your words. I pray that I listen to your teaching. I pray that I love you with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength and all my mind. I pray that I love my neighbor as myself. I pray that I sing for you, Lord. I pray that I forgive myself and those around me. I pray that I get away from all the noise. I pray that I listen to you above all else. I pray that I hear your voice. I pray that I live for you and you alone. Lord, I pray that I worship you because nothing else matters. I pray that I let your truth soak down deep into my bones. I pray that your voice is louder than my own thoughts and louder than my own heartbeat. I pray that all the noise fades away. I pray that I find peace in the quiet. I pray that I find you in the quiet. I pray that my one desire is to worship you. 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.

Hold on, I am loved.

My entire life, when the good guys come around, I automatically shut down. Words don’t come out. Sentences don’t form. My eyes practically hit the floor. My first thought is there’s no way I deserve his attention or anything more. So, I just tell all my friends how much I like the guy and then never actually have a conversation with them. Then I’m just some crazy girl liking a guy I don’t even know. When the mean ones come around, I’m all ears. Because that’s the kind of attention I think I deserve. And because that is the kind of attention I think I deserve, I accept the crude, rude, controlling, hot mess as my normal. Because I watched so many of my friends date this type of guy, I don’t actually date him. So, I just continue this cycle of only talking to guys I know I will never date because they treat me like dirt. At least they’re safe because I will never let them get close enough to actually hurt me. It’s this really backwards cycle of protecting myself.

What I’m realizing in my walk with You, Lord, is that I don’t deserve Your love either, but You give it anyway. Lord, You forgive me when I mess up. You hold my hand in the storms. You guide me through the darkness. You teach me when I can’t do it on my own. You are the rock beneath me when my world is shaking. You refill my canteen when no one else remembered to fill it. You bring the well to me when I can’t even make it to the well.

Last week, I was watching Penguins of Madagascar: The Movie at my best friend’s house with her son while they were putting up their Christmas tree. Btdubbs, watching them put the tree up was the most adorable thing I’ve ever witnessed. I am so beyond filled with joy for her and the family You gave her. I can’t even begin to explain how much her friendship has impacted my life and how much she deserves this happiness. When her son was explaining the movie to me and said: “there are some bad guys, but the good guys are better.” That five year old just dropped a lot of wisdom on me. The good guys are better. We have to be better. I don’t think that there are strictly bad guys and good guys in the world like there is in the movies. It’s more complicated than that and there is a whole bunch of gray areas involved. We’ve all got darkness and light in us and it’s a battle everyday of which will win. What I realized sitting there on that couch is that we have to better. I am one of the good ones and it’s time I started acting like it. It wouldn’t kill me to walk with a little more confidence here lately. Making myself smaller isn’t making anyone else shine brighter. I have to be better because You gave me a light to shine for You. I have to shine brighter, love deeper, live more fully, show more kindness, be more intentional, give more generously, share more compassion, forgive quicker, and bring glory to Your name.

So, here is my prayer. I’m praying for this Little Miss, one big mess. Thank you for always showing me how to clean up my mess. Thank you for always taking care of me and showing me the way. Thank you for being my lighthouse in the storm. I pray that I try to be better. I pray that do more because you gave me so much more. I pray I live with purpose. I pray I hold on and remember just how loved I am. I pray that this Little Miss, big old heart beats wide open and I pray this Little Miss is ready now for love. I pray I learn to accept love and not run away from it. I pray that I stop trying to make myself smaller. I pray I stop trying to fit myself into this little box. I pray the light wins. I pray I don’t forget that light always wins, you always win. I pray that I let your truth sink so seep into my heart that it radiates outward. I pray your truth shines right out of every fiber of my being. Thank you for showing me real love. 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.

The sky’s getting dark but light shines through.

I’ve been acting like Chad Michael Murray in A Cinderella Story. I’ve been waiting for rain in this drought before I realized what I’ve known all along. So Lord, “Sorry I waited for the rain.” 

In Bible study, we watched Unwrap the Bible with Beth Moore. In the video, she talks about Hagar. She was Sarai’s servant and they were going through a rough patch to say the least. There was bitterness and resentment and a whole lot of pride. She ran away to this well where You told Hagar to go back to Sarai and submit to her. Beth Moore pointed out that “she is going back to the same place but not the same person.” That one statement resonated in me. I might have been sent back to the same place, but I am not the same person.

Beth Moore talked about Sarai and how she forgot when she was lashing out that it was all her idea to begin with. She asked for it. And boyyyy have I asked for things that were completely different when I actually got them. I could definitely relate to that. I’m learning that sometimes You don’t give us what we want and ask for, sometimes You give us what we need.

She continued the video talking about “Miss Mess” and how Miss Mess has been in enough messes to be a mess herself and sometimes she helps make the mess. Ever since I saw He’s Just Not That Into You, I have tried to cut the unneeded drama from my life. Justin Long tells Ginnifer Goodwin’s character that she lives for it. I related to her character the most and all her shenanigans. So, I cut the unneeded stress and anxiety out. I stopped letting the car get anywhere close to empty. I learned to pay bills wayyyy before deadlines. I’ve always been responsible and made lists, but I took it to a whole new level after relating to Miss Mess Ginnifer Goodwin.

Towards the end of the video, Beth Moore says: “Hopefully we’ll meet Him where He is. In case we don’t, He’ll show up right where we are. Sometimes we got to the well, sometimes the well comes to us.” Lately, I’ve been waiting for rain in this drought. I was listening to what You were saying, I just didn’t want to. I was being stubborn and hard headed. I knew You were trying to talk to me, I just wanted things my way, in my time. I was in a self pity rut. I am real good at making myself invisible, that’s part of why I relate to Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries sooo much. Except her invisibility wasn’t intentional, mine is. When I want attention, I do the exact opposite of getting it. I draw in real close and hide. Beth Moore told us to bring our canteens to You that no one else remembered to fill for us. For a girl who likes to make herself invisible knowing You always see me and hear me is quite a security blanket, one I don’t always appreciate and tend to take for granted. When I need my canteen filled, I put on my Harry Potter cloak of invisibility and wait for someone to find me and refill my canteen. The truth is, waiting for someone else to refill my canteen is like waiting for rain in this drought, “useless and disappointing.” It’s job only You can do. And all I have to do is ask. That’s the trouble, sometimes I wait for rain to ask.

So, this is my prayer. I pray I am gonna let that song that I’ve been holding in and I’m gonna let it all go. I pray that I let it ride. I pray that I listen to your voice. I pray that I trust you. I pray that I give you back the steering wheel. I pray that I let you lead me. I pray that I lean on you. I pray that stop waiting for rain. I pray that I learn to come to you before the storm. I pray that I learn to come to the well before my canteen is empty. I pray that I stop waiting on someone else refill my canteen. Thank you for bringing the well to me when I run away. I pray that I stop acting like Miss Mess and remember to carry that spirit of a wife with me. Thank you for sending me back a changed person. Thank you for continuing to knock on my door even when I’m peeking out the window and not answering the door. Thank you for being patient with me. I pray that I learn to open the door with confidence when you come knocking. I pray that I stop letting fear control me. 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.

Only You can calm a storm.

My Heavenly Father, four years ago, November 6th, I was voting for my very first presidential election with my Alpha Gam sister and Christopher. God, I need You. There were three of us voting that day. This Tuesday, there are only two of us and we’re in separate states this time. And we’re not voting in Mobile in college this time, we’re graduated. I’m gonna need a little hand-holding. Lord, I’m gonna be a little extra fragile, a little bit shaky. But that’s ok because You are the solid rock on which we stand. You have us.

And You have him. He’s standing with You and worshiping You. They told me that I wouldn’t want to celebrate our birthday, but after a year or two, I would want to celebrate for both of us. Our birthday is coming up so I’m thinking about him even more than normal. Time heals, that’s what the experts say. Well, I’m not wearing my heart on my sleeve, ready to fall apart anymore. I’ve put the pieces back together. The truth is, some of the pieces didn’t fit back the same. I am not the same person I was. I am changed because of what I’ve learned and experienced. I hug tighter. I apologize and forgive quicker. I remember to take time to do the small stuff. I make every minute count because they are precious. If he taught me nothing else it was to love You and love politics. I learned to come to You a lot more and a lot sooner.

Which is why I’m here today. I’m praying for this election as it winds down. Deuteronomy 1:13 says: Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ Daniel 2:21 says: He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.

So, here is my prayer. I’m praying for rain in this drought. I pray you keep me calm. I pray that I’m trusting all in you. I pray I’m serving you until the death of me. I pray I just need to step out and step into your flow. I’m praying for my Alpha Gam sister as she votes too. I’m praying for those running in this election. I’m especially praying for Mike Pence for VP. I’ve been praying for that man and I’m rooting for him. I pray you have your hand all over him and everything he does. I’m praying for Mike Pence for the presiding officer of the Senate. I’m praying for his wisdom. I’m praying for his understanding. I’m praying for his experience. I’m praying for all the people volunteering for the elections and voting places. I’m praying for all the people working for the campaigns. Lord, I’m putting everything in your hands. You alone control the course of world events. You alone remove kings. You alone set up kings. You alone give wisdom to the wise. You alone give knowledge to the scholars. Lord, I’m just praying for your work to be done. I pray your will be done. 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.

Never let my prayin’ knees get lazy.

Missy Robertson posted on Instagram saying: “I’ve prayed for this girl for 21 years, even though I didn’t know her name until the last 5.” I immediately sent that to a couple of friends. That woman has been praying for her son’s future wife. Not only is praying for her son, but she’s praying for his future wife too. Ohhh sweet Jesus, I hope I pray like that. I hope I have an open conversation with You for as long as I possibly can. And I hope I’m always praying for somebody.

I’ve prayed for my future husband for as long as I can remember and I hope I never stop praying for him. I hope I’ve prayed so much for him that You hear prayers for his name more than my own. I’ve definitely prayed for friends and family. My mama taught me to pray for people in accidents when we pass them or when we hear those ambulance sirens. My daddy taught me to pray for leaders in the community, country, school, and churches. My sister taught me to pray for kids. Her future ones, my future ones, and every single one we meet in children’s church. My bubba taught me to pray for him. Little stinker stole my heart back in 1996. I’ve prayed for teachers and principals and everyone in my schools growing up. I’ve prayed for professors and university faculty and staff. I’ve prayed for my peers and now that I’m graduated I’m praying for the next generation of students. If I worked with someone for even 5 minutes, I was praying for them. And good golly miss molly, I sure did pray for my Alpha Gams. (I’m still praying for them too.)

I hope no matter what stage I’m at in life or where I am, that I’m always praying. Whether it’s for my coworkers or my neighbors in my first home or my future kid’s spouses or my nurse at the nursing home. I hope I never stop bringing people to You. I hope I keep laying everyone I know at Your feet. Lord, if there is one thing I’m known for, I hope it’s praying. My little ole prayers might not change the whole world, but they just might so I’ll keep shouting Your name until I’m all out of breath. I believe in the power in the prayer. I’ve seen it, I’ve seen Your work. I’ve seen miracles happen because somebody prayed. After all I’ve seen and I’ve been given, how could I not believe?

So, here is my prayer today. I pray I keep singing Lee Brice’s song and take the words to heart. I pray that I am a best friend. I pray that I tell the truth. I pray that I overuse, “I love you.” I pray that I go to work and do my best. I pray that I don’t outsmart my common sense. I pray I never let my prayin’ knees get lazy. I pray that I love like crazy. I pray that I continue to grow that spirit of a wife. I pray that I keep praying for those around me. I pray that I take what I learned from everyone around me and apply it to my life. I pray that you keep teaching me and guiding me. Lord, my heart is yours, just keep talking to me. 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.

 

You have my heart.

Allyson Rowe’s post was shared on my Facebook newsfeed and she dropped some wisdom into some deep places in my heart. She talked about Proverbs 18:22 which says: He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD. She emphasized that word wife. She said: “you are a wife the moment he meets you, not the moment he marries you.” She told us to walk around as if we are already taken and begin walking with the spirit of a wife. Ohhhh girl. Say it again. Say it again. Let it sink in. She talked about how some girls act like a girlfriend. I never really did that though, but I sure wasn’t acting like a wife. I am active member of the friend zone since 1991, but this girl is retiring. I always liked the idea of love growing out of friendship and marrying your best friend. After hearing her words, everything clicked into place and slid into focus. I have been a bridesmaid in three weddings. Three weddings that I knew You designed. Three weddings where I realize now that those beautiful friends of mine were walking in the spirit of a wife long before their wedding days. I have spent my whole life acting like everyone’s friend and wondering why no one was interested in more. I wasn’t walking with the spirit of a wife. I was waiting for some part of my life to begin. I have been walking around waiting, instead of walking around already taken.

She also said You, Lord will present us to him, that we do not have to do that. That I knew, but when I meet someone, I quickly forget. I need to work on this part. I’m either so shy I will literally never speak because I want to be invisible or I tend to want to show off and impress when I first meet someone. If I could serenade every cute boy with “I’m so pretty and witty,” I probably would. I’m like a show pony, I wanna jump around and have my hair brushed. It’s one extreme or the other. I have no middle ground. God, I am so glad You have another plan, because mine is a hot mess sometimes.

I went to a Bible study on Proverbs 31 and what it meant to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I kept my notes from it because I got a lot out of it, and I applied it to my life in parts but I don’t think I really applied it as a whole because I figured I wasn’t a wife yet. Looking back at my notes, Lord in the last year, You have taken those parts and shown me depth into each individual part and I think I’m finally connecting the dots You were trying to show me. I am finally putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. We learned that “a Godly woman is: strength, trustworthy, industrious, organized, loving, orders the priorities of her world so that Christ comes first, inwardly wise, occupied and adorned her rightful place, her relationships and responsibilities are wisely balanced.” See that’s just the first post-it of notes and I can already see where You have been teaching me that this year. Inwardly wise. Ohhh how I have a new meaning for that word wise. (Thank you, Beth Moore.) Ohh that word. Now that next part is what I’ve been struggling with lately. Occupied and adorned her rightful place. First off, You have been teaching me that in like sixteen different ways with the book of Genesis. You started with Eve and now Hagar. You started with my place as a woman and then You worked on my place in this world. In Bible study a week and a half ago, we watched: Unwrap the Bible. In the video we learned that just because we are going back to the same place, we are not going back the same person. (Thank you again, Beth Moore.) The last part was illustrated on Supergirl when Cat said that we have to take on a little bit at a time and balance what we have, then we can add more. It’s all about balance and understanding.

In that Proverbs 31 Bible study, we learned four C’s. We should be committed, first to You, finding our identify from You, and second to our family. We should be competent and communicative, both requiring that pretty little word: wisdom. Compassionate is the final C, with open arms and hands for everyone around me.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I strive to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I pray that I keeping working to become that Proverbs 18:22 wife. I pray that I start walking with the spirit of a wife. I pray that I start walking like I am already taken. Lord, you are still my first love. I have been seeking you since before I can even remember. How I adore you, Jesus. You are my greatest joy. Ohh my soul rejoice. Lord, I pray that I am strength, trustworthy, industrious, organized, loving, order my priorities of my world so that you come first, inwardly wise, occupy and adorn my rightful place, and that my relationships and responsibilities are wisely balanced. I pray that you keep showing me your wisdom. I pray that voice in my head telling me to get some wisdom, only grows. I pray that I continue to grow committed, competent, communicative, and compassionate.  I pray that I apply what I’ve learned this year. I pray that I start becoming the woman you need me to be. Thank you for working on my heart. Thank you for changing my heart. Thank you for your truths. 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.

I can feel the rain reminding me, in the eye of the storm, You remain in control.

It is sooo easy to get frustrated and take it out on those we love. We let all these little things build up until that final straw hits the pile. The final straw can be something as small as the laundry not getting done or dishes on the counter or shoes in the walkway. When we feel buried by that straw pile, there are two things to remember that I learned growing up and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt retaught me:

1. I can get through ten seconds.

If I take ten seconds to think about my reaction, I become more intentional. All I need is ten seconds to breathe and think. If I can get through ten seconds, then the next ten will be easier, then the next ten will be easier. I just need ten seconds to breathe. On Pinterest there is quote that says: “no matter the situation, never let your emotions overpower your intelligence.” There is another one that says: “how beautiful it is to stay silent when someone expects you to be enraged.” I am not ruled by my emotions. I am not controlled by my emotions. I need to take those ten seconds and repeat to myself: I am an intelligent, intentional, beautiful human being whose God is in control.

2. I can’t just Febreze the surface problem. 

The little stuff always points to the big stuff. I have to look at the bigger picture and fix the inside problem first. That last straw is not the problem. I cannot spray Febreze on the surface without cleaning out what made the smell in the first place. Spraying Febreze on my stinkin thinkin will not magically solve my problems. I cannot control the things around me, but I can always control my reaction to them. Back to those wonderful Pinterest quotes: “You are always responsible for how you act, no matter how you feel. Remember that.” 

Ok. Story time. When my little brother, who is my world btdubbs, was reallyyyy young, and would have a bad day, he would come home crying and fussing about the smallest things and my parents had to learn that he was struggling with stuff at school and it wasn’t about us. They had to teach him healthier ways to let out his frustration than on us. They had to learn to look at the deeper issue rather than just febrezing the surface issue. My dad is the same way, when he has a bad day at work, we are gonna hear about every single speck of dirt in the entire house. I do it too. When I’m super anxious about something, I can’t function. I start waving my arms. Seriously, I look like a bird trying to take off in flight. Ready for another quote I found on Pinterest: “thinking of your child behaving badly disposes you to think of punishment. Thinking of your child as struggling to handle something difficult encourages you to help them through their distress.” 

Tonight, I was sitting around the living room watching Pitch with my family. I loveeee when a show flashbacks and shows us why people are the way they are and their motivations. The characters took the negative stuff they were facing and created something positive out of it. They channeled the bad stuff into good. This Is Us also did that. I loveeee when TV and movies and songs try to teach me something. Like there’s a story there beyond just trying to entertain. The doctor in the show is sharing his story about the “path You sent him on” and he says: “…how you took the sourest lemon that life has to offer and turned it into something resembling lemonade.”

By taking out my issues on those around me, I am just sharing my baggage. I am not unpacking it, I’m loading it onto someone else. I am just transferring my hurt and adding to theirs. I am not making mine lighter, I am making theirs heavier.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray I find my peace in your name. I pray that I remember that I can get through ten seconds. I pray I remember to stop and ask for clarity. I pray that I create intentional choices. I pray that I break bad habits and stop letting my emotions run all amok. I pray that I remind myself that you are in control. I pray that I remember to use silence and beauty and strength and intelligence when I’m faced with things outside my control. I pray that I stop using Febreze on my stinkin thinkin and I get straight to the heart of the problem. I pray that I create new habits with dignity and grace and your love. I pray that I take responsibility for my actions. I pray that you keep working on my heart. I pray that I stop packing up my baggage and carrying it around with me. I pray that I stop transferring my baggage. I pray I stop making those around me carry my baggage. I pray that I help make those around me carry less, not more. Lord, I pray that I leave that baggage at the cross. I pray that I stop going back for it. I pray that I help others to see through their distress too. I pray that I take the bad stuff and use it for your glory. I pray that I take the negative and funnel it through your love. I pray that I make something resembling lemonade. Thank you for the path you sent me on. Thank you for teaching me and guiding me. Thank you for reminding me time and time again the importance and meaning of the rain and of your promises. Thank you for remaining in control in the eye of the storm. Thank you for guarding my soul in the middle of the war. Thank you for being my anchor when my sails are torn. Thank you for surrounding me in your love. Thank you for holding onto me. Lord, my only hope is to trust you, I pray I remember that. 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.