Just a whisper of Your voice can tame the seas.

Martha was a woman after my own heart. She’s pretty much my spirit animal. Like if there is any woman in the Bible like me, it’s definitely her. I am the one behind the scenes, making sure everything is perfect and running smoothly. The one who planned, cooked, cleaned, set up, etc. I like being that woman.

I have been that woman when I plan anything from parties to events. The woman who prepares the food, but waits until everyone has their plate and anything else they need before even thinking of getting one for myself. I am that woman in everything I do from organizations to job to school. In school, I was the quiet one, taking it all in. Teachers thought that meant I wasn’t participating. But I was, in my own way. In jobs, I want to be the one doing all the background work. I want to be the one that makes the whole team work harder and more efficient. In organizations, I want to plan it all. In college, I made sure I taught those around me too. Because I wasn’t like the others, when I left I didn’t want my absence to be felt. While other girls were concerned with “what are they gonna do without me?” I didn’t. I knew I had left my hand print on every member, every office, every inch of that house. Whether the girls ever give me credit or not, or whether they ever miss me or not, I know I left an impact on that house. I got a note from a Leadership Consultant one time that said I had no idea the influence I had with those women. And I didn’t at the time, but that note changed my perspective and made me appreciate the Martha in me.

Being a Martha woman is all fine and dandy, in fact it’s better than that, until I am in Your presence. When I lay things down at Your feet, I have tendency to pick them back up. When I spend time with You, I need to be like Mary. I need to sit at Your feet and listen, just listen. Stop letting my brain run 100 miles per hour. Stop over thinking. Stop analyzing and preparing. Just listen.

“I tried to fit you in the walls inside my mind
I try to keep you safely inbetween the lines
I try to put you in the box that I’ve designed
I try to pull you down so we are eye to eye

When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world”

When I spend time with You I need to remember while I have been stuck and been off being a Martha, You have still been God. In the Stuck Study, Jennie Allen wrote: “Our stuck places are the very places that make us ache for God. Even in our God-given limitations. He is gracious and tender. I need Him, and so I got to Him. He is there…God is there. God, who spins the planets, is there waiting for me.”

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for putting me in my place. I pray that I put my life back in your hands. I pray that I let you lead my life. I pray that you keep holding me. Thank you for never letting go. I pray that I stop controlling. I pray that I let you do your job and I pray that I do mine. I pray that I worship you more. I pray that I quiet my mind when I spend time with you. I pray that I let you speak through my actions, thoughts, heart, and motives. I pray that I let you speak though my life. I pray that I give it all to you. I pray that I learn to let go and let You work. I pray that I trust you. I pray that I remember you are king of the world. I pray that you are first in my life. I pray that I stop putting limits on your grace. I pray that I start giving you the glory. Thank you for your grace and tenderness. Thank you for spinning the planets. Thank you for keeping me spinning too. I pray that I remember those planets spin around the Sun. I pray that I remember to spin around the Father and the Son. Thank you for being there. Thank you for waiting for me to come to 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.

It’s gon’ hurt, but don’t you slow down, get back up, cuz it’s a hard love.

Yesterday, I was talking to my friend about how we want immediate action and immediate results. We’re not good at that whole waiting patiently thing. Then as if on queue, the First 5 devotion was: Weakened faith makes us easy prey. I read this on the First 5 app: “There have been seasons of life where I have become disillusioned with God. When He wasn’t answering my prayers or ‘fixing’ my problems fast enough, I was seduced by the god of gotta-have-it-now.” Lord, I am weak. I am easy prey for fixing my problems the simple way, the instant fix, the temporary band aid. I am a big fan of pitty parties when things are not going my way or things aren’t fair or when I’ve been done wrong. I have a tendency to play the victim. It’s easy, especially with everything going on in the world, to give up because life isn’t fair. Because we got the short end of the stick. Because we were hurt. Giving up is easy. Getting back up is hard. Love is hard.

The second session of Stuck Study is titled: Mad. The session talks about how life isn’t fair and how frustrating that is. Then it tells a story of one woman’s reply: “You’re right. You don’t deserve this life. You deserve hell and death, and so do I. But God’s gracious love for us provided a Savior who took our sins and died for them. He didn’t deserve death, and we don’t deserve life. It is God’s grace that we have life at all.” Sometimes I need that reminder. I admit, too often I need that reminder.

In this session, we are called to surrender. To lay everything down so that we can be filled by You. I had a similar devotion in Mobile. We wrote down on pieces of paper what was holding us back from our relationship with You. Then we picked up these little wood crosses. We were told to paint them or whatever we wanted, but to use them as a reminder. Not of what we laid down, but of what we picked up instead. The part of message that I got differently today was trust. By laying everything down, I wasn’t just giving You control, I was trusting You to take care of what I laid down. I wasn’t just letting it go, I was giving it to You. Lord, sometimes You give us a piece of the puzzle at a time, to put together in Your timing.

The study said: “This love costs us something. It is not easy, but it is simple.” Then it states Luke 6:28-30 which says: Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. Ok, first off, this love and trust thing is hard for me. It’s a simple concept, but it’s hard to put into action. The whole bless and pray thing, I can do. I can totes pray for my enemies. I’ve been taught that my whole life. And my daddy always said if you let someone borrow something then just plan to give it to them. And my mama told me 1343 times that if someone takes something from you then they must have needed it more. So, that stuff I was prepared for. But not offering my other cheek after I’ve been hit. That one gets me. That one takes personal root and grabs on. That one is a tough pill to swallow. That one is gonna take some extra praying and teaching. Lord, that one I’m gonna need help with. That’s when trust comes into play.

The study teaches that if we put our trust in You, then that’s where freedom is found. That’s when we truly let go and surrender. That’s where peace comes. I’ve always heard Ephesians 4:26 which says: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. The part I haven’t heard, but read today is verse 27: and do not give the devil a foothold. Lord, I needed that reminder today.

So, here is my prayer today. I pray that I am humbled at your feet. I pray that I let go of my timing. I pray that I stop being so impatient. I pray that I put my trust in you. I pray that I put my faith in you. I pray that I remember you are God and I am not. I pray that I want more of you and less of me. I pray that I put action into your love. I pray that I give more, love more, pray more, bless more, surrender more, forgive more. Lord, help me to offer my other cheek. I pray that I show strength. I pray that I show intention. I pray that I let go of my need for things to be fair. I pray that I let go of what I think my rights are. I pray that I stop trying to defend myself and let you defend me. I pray that I am not so easily offended. I pray that I made stronger in you and in your love. I pray that I am slow to anger and slow to speak. I pray that I listen intently with love. I pray that I let me fade away. I pray that I hold on a little tighter to your love. I pray that I don’t let the devil have a foothold. I pray I keep finding you more and more. I pray for courage. I pray that I remember you are victorious no matter how weak I feel. 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.

We’ve all found ourselves worn out from the same old fight.

Yesterday, I went through a whirlwind of emotions. I was all kinds of emotional. This morning, I woke up, looked outside and decided to do things differently today. I always carry books with me, I went into my bag and grabbed the devotion book. I needed to spend some time with You. I was in desperate need of You this morning. I found the book laying around the house, it was one my mom read with some people from church a while back, Stuck study. Eight sessions on “the places we get stuck and the God who sets us free.”

Lord, You knew exactly what You were doing when I found that book. You knew exactly when I needed to open that first page. You knew exactly when I would need You the most. And I definitely needed You today. My friend and I were joking and she messaged me and said: “This is all I need! No man!” and sent a picture of her pizza. I responded with a moment of honesty: “Jesus. That’s what I need.” Then things got serious. She replied with this: “I need…..1. A man 2. Hope 3. To know I matter 4. Everything else you could think of 5. Oh and I’ve ran away from God so I prob need him”

Lord, I could’ve cried right there. I’ve been there. I’ve been in her shoes. I’ve lost my worth. I’ve run as far away from You as I possibly could. The funny thing about running from You though is You’re still there and our problems are too. Running doesn’t make our problems go away and it certainly doesn’t make us feel better. In the Stuck study, I read: “Nothing is more powerful than God getting bigger in our lives. He has the power to heal with a word.” On Pinterest there is a picture that says: “God is making things happen for you. Even when you don’t see it, even when you can’t feel it, even if it’s not evident. God is working on your prayers.”

Ok. So. Here goes. Ernest Hemingway said: “We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.” I’m letting the light. Lord, I’m letting You all the way in. As for number 1, Charles Stanley said: “Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on what we are waiting for.” I have been praying for my future husband since my mama taught me how to pray. I saw this Instagram post that said: “I pray for him even though he doesn’t know about it because I wanna make sure God got him like I got him.” There was another one on Instagram saying: “Dear Future Husband, Find God. Find yourself. Then come find me.” Lord, maybe that’s what we both needed a reminder of today. Lord, I value love. I value him and I haven’t even been on a date yet. I value our relationship and it hasn’t even started yet. And most importantly, I value the relationship he has with You. That’s why I pray for him. I found You before I can even remember. I dedicated my life to You in the second grade and I have remade that commitment several times in my life. I started finding myself when I was a freshman in high school and I don’t know if either search ever really ends. I hope I’m always trying to find You in everything around me and I hope I never stop growing.

Number 2, 3, and 4, I believe those are found in faith. Proverbs 31 Ministries posted Whitney Capps saying: “Father, when my circumstances scream louder than my faith, help me cling to Your truth.” Lord, I tend to listen to the world when things are not going my way. But the truth is that faith is trust. Trust is something I struggle with daily. Trust means relying on You. Trust means giving up control. Trust means I am dependent on You. Trust means changing the way I think, feel, grow, live. Trust means giving my life to You completely. Trust means letting go. Letting go of the pain, resentment, hurt, sin, jealously, anger, brokenness. Trust means laying it all down and picking up the cross. You already did the hard part. You picked up everything I laid down. You died for me. All I have to do is lay down, what You already picked up. The first step is admitting I need You. The study said: “The space in which we are stuck, lacking, sinful, broken, and in need, is the space in us that longs for God, longs for forgiveness. When we soberly view ourselves and our sin, we see our need and call out for God.”

Number 5 hit me right in the heart because I run daily. I spent years running and I still try to run. In the study it says: “Before time began He knew people would rebel and run from Him, and He made a way to get them back in Christ.” My sweet friend is running from You. I ran from You. And still You hold Your hand out for us. Still You love us. We are the prodigal children. No matter how far we run, You arms are still open. Steven Furtick tweeted: “Fulfillment doesn’t start with getting what we want. It starts with wanting what God wants.” Romans 8: 14-15 says For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Stuck study said: “God will win this fight, but we have to start fighting it His way, on His terms.” 

At the end of the first chapter it asks: “Who are You, Lord? and What do You want from me?” Lord, I have spent so long asking the second question that I forget the first part. I grew up in the church, learning about You and Your stories, but I need to get to know You as an adult. I need You in my life. I need Your word in my life. Thomas Jefferson said: “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”

So, that is my prayer today. Lord, I pray that I hang on. I need you. I need your word. I need to run towards you and not away. I pray that I keep longing for you. I pray that I keep seeking you. I pray that I keep evaluating my life. I pray that I start making some changes in my life. I pray that I lay everything down. I pray that I pick up the cross. Lord, you already picked it up. I pray that I quit picking back up what I already laid down. I pray that I stop fighting you and let you fight for me. I pray that I stop rebelling. I pray that I want what you want. I pray that your love washes over me and changes me. I pray that I remember I am your child. I pray that I remember I don’t have to live like this. I pray that I don’t live in fear again. I pray that I cling to your truth. I pray that my faith screams louder than my circumstances. I pray that you become bigger in my life and my friend’s life. Lord, I pray you speak to her. I pray you keep knocking on the door to her heart. I pray that she sees her worth in you. I pray that she finds healing in your name. I pray for my future husband. I pray he finds you, finds himself and then finds me. I pray that he knows he is valued. I pray that you got him. I pray that you got my friend. And I pray that you got me too. 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.