You’re faithful in provision.

Oh sweet Jesus. The house caught on fire Sunday right in the middle of the Church BBQ. I literally got a sunburn standing outside my house watching this all happen. The Construction, Cleanup, and Insurance people all kept saying: “It’s worse than you think it is,” every time they walked through the house. There’s damage we can clearly see and things like the electrical that we can’t see yet. They also said we would be out of the house 2-3 months or like 6 maybe, they won’t know for sure until they get started demoing. I got diagnosed with walking pnemonia Tuesday, and Wednesday we had to cancel the Youth and Children’s services at Church because of everything going on. Abba. Abba. Abba, Father. 

I am refusing to count those things or anything else going wrong. Completely refusing. I am counting Your love this week. Every single time something negative happens, I am immediately looking for the good in it. I have labeled them #smallvictories. I have said #smallvictories out loud in actual conversations, in messages to friends and family, and in my prayers with You, Lord.

Here are some of the glorious thank you’s for those #smallvictories:

  1. No one was hurt.
  2. For all the help offered by loved ones.
  3. For friends that washed the smoke out of my Church clothes and the two outfits I grabbed leaving the house Sunday and for letting me stay the night.
  4. And for her laughing with me when I grabbed my bathing suit from the house because hopefully the hotel we get has a pool. #priorities
  5. For Walmart having Star Wars pajamas pants to buy for our first night.
  6. For the insurance company that got us a hotel immediately and that is taking care of us.
  7. For the family friend taking care of our dog while we’re in a hotel.
  8. For starting a new position at work Monday.
  9. For the Nurse that prayed with me when I started crying in the Doctor’s office.
  10. For when she put her forehead on mine, held my face, and shared some of her “happy emotions” with me. That sweet woman literally gave me some of her happiness.
  11. For the sales ladies that hugged us when we cried at literally every store we went to on Wednesday trying to buy some clothes to get us through the next week or two.
  12. For books at Lifeway.
  13. For the 911 Operator, Police Department, Fire Department, ServPro, Certified Restoration Dry Cleaning Network, Geico, and all the people trying to get my family back into our home and the care and consideration they’ve shown.
  14. For the understanding and patience when my parents cried walking all over the house for the picture I drew in high school that was broken in the kitchen or my mama’s teddy bear that was covered in debris she got from her grandma and all the other memories associated with literally every little thing.
  15. For when I stood there surrounded by people I didn’t know, crying, looking at my grandma’s pink dish that was now black, but it wasn’t broken.
  16. For Sprite and cough syrup and shots from the Doctor.
  17. For a firm pillow from the Walmart.
  18. For my new Lily Planner I got for work that I hadn’t taken out of the car this weekend so it wasn’t in the house and back-to-school sales on colored pens at Walmart.
  19. For comfort food: Jim N Nicks’ cheese biscuits.
  20. For the staff at the Hampton Inn we’re at now and for the staff at the Marriott Residence Inn we’ll be moving to Friday.
  21. For the kindness shown to me by friends, family, and complete strangers this week.
  22. For prayers.

So, here is my prayer today. I just wanna say thank you. Abba, Father. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m praying Matthew 6:9–13 which says: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Thank you for every little thing and thank you for all the things I don’t even know yet. Lord, I’m singing Your praises. Father have Your will, Your way in me. Completely. We wholly trust. 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.

 

Even when my strength is lost I’ll praise You.

Lysa Terkhearst posted this about two weeks ago and I saved it because I knew I would need to hear it again: “God isn’t afraid of your sharp edges that may seem quite risky to others. He doesn’t pull back. He pulls you close.” Lorddddd, I got some sharp edges for You today.

I typically do not take bad news well. Today, I got a phone call. I started to react like I normally do, which is shutting down. Then I decided I wanted control and I started to clean. My sister took me home and said those glorious words: “I’m gonna leave the house so you can have your space.” Before she even left, I was already cleaning. Five minutes later, I stopped and dropped what I was doing. I started thinking and remembered the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. My reaction to the phone call was the same as it is every time. So, I sat down right where I was and started calling Your name. I closed my eyes and sat there, asking You to give me peace, give me strength, and give me comfort. I usually bring my problems to You when I have exhausted all other outlets and have no where else to turn. Today, I did things different.

I got up and went to turn the radio on. I grabbed the remote and started to put Christmas music on because that’s been my go-to lately. It’s my happy music, but I needed to go a little deeper today, so I went straight for my prayer blog playlist. I needed worship music. I needed to praise You. I needed to speak with You. I needed some unfiltered, pure worship with You. I pulled up YouTube to get the playlist, but this song was on the home screen so I played it first.

So, here is my prayer today. Lord, thank you for pulling me close today. Thank you for smoothing out my sharp edges today. I pray that you take my tainted heart. I pray that you take my tainted hands. I pray that you wash me in your love and come like grace again. I pray that when my strength is lost, I praise you. I pray that when I have no song, I praise you. I pray that when it’s hard to find the words, I praise you. I pray that when the fight seems lost, I praise you. I pray that when it hurts like hell, I praise you. I pray that when it makes no since to sing, I praise you. I pray that my heart burns for you. I pray my soul waits for you. I pray I sing until the miracle come. I pray that I keep praising you and keep praising you and keep praising you. Lord, thank you. I pray I sing only your praise. I pray I only sing louder and louder still. 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 found my life when I laid it down.

I went to the flea market this weekend with my roommate and this car cut us off in the parking lot because she was in a hurry. All I could focus on was the Jesus fish tag on the front of her car. I was judging her impatience. The thoughts going through my head were: “She’s a Christian. She should be more considerate. She should have patience.”

The question that has been bugging me all week, Do I hold myself to that same standard? Well, to be honest, for the past couple of days, I tried to justify that I did. I knew it wasn’t true but I tried to justify it anyways by saying that I am a courteous driver and I let people over and I like go above and beyond when I drive to be courteous. Then today happened. My patience was tested. I failed, miserably. This summer started off with so much promise and everything was perfect. Then it was one thing after another falling apart. I would literally be given things just for them to slip right out of my hands. It was like a tease. Then it hit even harder. Now it wasn’t just new things I was losing, it was old relationships and things I have grown to depend on. It was like every where I turned something was blowing up in my face and not working out the way I wanted.

Today, I lost my patience. Maybe it was because I didn’t sleep last night. Maybe it was previous stress adding up. Maybe it was just the last straw that I couldn’t take. When was my parents tried to tell me it was going to be ok, I cried because I didn’t believe them. Then I saw Lysa Terkeurst’s post. “God really does work for the good in all things even our most vulnerable struggles. Sometimes we just have to decide to look for the good.” 

Maybe I should focus more on what You want, instead of what I want. Maybe I should follow Your plan, instead of mine. Maybe I should strive to be more like You, instead of comparing myself to other Christians. Maybe I should have more patience for that lady in the flea market and for everyone else. Maybe I should call my parents back and apologize and thank them. Maybe I should be looking for the good because there is soooo much of it. This summer hasn’t been terrible by far. Yes, a lot of bad things happened, but soooo much good happened too. Even on the worst day this summer, I saw Your love. Maybe I should remember Galatians 5:25 which says: “Since we are living by the Spirit. Let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Maybe I should let my knees hit the ground.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that my knees hit the ground. I pray that I lay everything down. I pray that I lay all my relationships down. I pray that I lay my plans down. I pray that I lay my worries down. I pray that I lay my struggles and my victories down. I pray I lay my patience down. I pray I lay my weaknesses and my strengths down. I pray that I lay everything that I am down. I pray that I lay everything that I have down. I pray that you lead me. I pray that I follow. I pray that I trust. I pray that I look for the good. I pray that I keep seeing your love everywhere I turn. I pray that you sweep me up in your love again. I pray that I reach out in surrender again. I pray that I listen to my daddy when we says: “There’s a way. We might not see it yet, but there’s a way.” Because you do see it. You see the way. You are the light that guides my life. Psalm 119:05 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” I pray that I listen to you and listen to your word. You’ve never left me. I pray that I remember that when I start to lose my patience. 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.

As you light my way, I’ll follow You.

I was going through some of my old notes and found a bunch of my recruitment stuff and conference notes. I knew that my experience in Alpha Gamma Delta would teach me skills that would be valuable, but I didn’t realize how much I would grow. Here are some things I gained from sorority life that can be used in my career life:

  1. The way to keep people interested in your organization is: be positive, be thankful, have fun, and reward.
  2. Why is the most important reason we do anything. To keep people motivated, remind them why they started. People will work harder if they remember what they are getting out of it.
  3. You have to actively recruit the people already in your organization just as much as new people.
  4. Give people options so, they feel a part of the process. Keep them actively involved in decisions.
  5. You have to constantly fill your own cup, that is the only way to help others.
  6. As a leader, you have to drink the koolaid. People will not be interested in what they’re doing if you aren’t. You have to set the example and the expectation.
  7. Strengths are things that invigorate us, not necessarily things we’re good at. Practice makes perfect. Stop focusing on fixing the weakness and concentrate on succeeding in your strengths.
  8. When conflict arises, there are always two sides. Validate their feelings while staying objective.
  9. Organization is key. Always stay on top of deadlines. Takes lots of notes.
  10. Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity. Foster the positivity.
  11. Start meetings with a list of positive things that happened throughout the week.
  12. Support others when they speak and speak with confidence.
  13. Be transparent and set expectations.
  14. Set yourself up for success and be future oriented.
  15. When delivering bad news, state the facts and show you care.
  16. Create opportunities rather than obligations.
  17. Communicate. Ask for ideas. Ask for opinions. Connect with people. You can’t lead if no one follows. They have to be invested and “buy-in.” Know your audience.
  18. Breathe. You are doing better than you think you are.

As I am getting excited for the future and reflecting on all I’ve learned, I know You are the one who holds my future.

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I keep following you. I pray that I keep growing and learning. Thank you for making plans for me. Thank you for guiding me. Thank you for the opportunities I’ve been given. Thank you for the lessons I’ve learned. Thank you for the people I’ve met along the way. I pray that I am able to take what I’ve learned and use it for your glory. 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.

For I am Yours and You are mine.

There was a picture on Facebook posted by the Proverbs 31 Ministries that had a quote from Lisa Whittle. It said: “I need God to consume me more than my life currently does.” I opened the picture and let it sit on my computer for a couple of days so I could think about it more. I want that kind of relationship with You, Lord. I want to be consumed by You.

As I was thinking about this, I saw an article. I was curious so, I clicked on it. In the post, she says “Godly Girls Want Jesus.” Lord, I want that. I want to be a Godly girl. I want to be closer to You. She goes on to say “All a Godly girl wants is one thing more than anything else: more of Jesus.” I want to be the type of person that is always striving for more of You. I want to be found in You. I want to be constantly moving towards You.

The article made me think of my favorite verse which is Isaiah 43:2. I went to read the verse again. This time I read a little more though.

1 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4 Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life. 5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth— 7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” 8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes, And the deaf who have ears. 9 Let all the nations be gathered together, And let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, And show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; Or let them hear and say, “It is truth.” -Isaiah 43:1-9

Then as usual the soundtrack in my head started playing.

So, this is my prayer today. I pray that I become consumed by you. I pray that I seek more of you. I pray that I grow closer to you. I pray that I continue to build my relationship with you. I pray that I trust you more. I pray that I remember you are with me always. I pray that I keep my eyes focused on you. I pray that I look for you everywhere I go. I pray that you keep calling me. I pray that you keep reaching for me. I pray I learn to be your witness and servant. I pray that I learn to be a Godly girl. I pray that I keep striving to be more like you. I pray that I keep trying. I pray I remember that I am yours, that I am your child. 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.