When the World Spins Too Hard

29791636_2001769216752899_447675481154681519_nThere are seasons of life God brings us through that can be a bit overwhelming at times… I’ve been going through one of those seasons. Things go wrong, comments are made, there are challenges physically, emotionally and spiritually… it’s a hard place to be!

God says in His word to “Be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10) but I had gotten to the point where I didn’t even know how to do that! It is so easy to become so overwhelmed by what is going on around me that I cannot even see the solution. I reached out to some, and didn’t find what I needed, and it was getting very discouraging!

 

Today I was challenged to find something that I could look to for the kind of comfort I needed. Not to depend on others, but to find something that I could do myself, between me and the Lord. In the past I have done prayer journaling, but at this point, I couldn’t even do that. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me, going through the list of all the common-sense ideas… but all I could think of was to get out. To remove myself from the situation that I was in because I was drowning in it.

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It wasn’t in a radical way, but I did have to recognize my inability to even see the solution. So suddenly I got the idea to bring my dog to the park. It was a random thought (Not! 🙂 I know now God gave it to me!), I’d never done it before, but I just knew that was what I needed to do. I got my keys, let her hop in the car, and we went. Something so simple…

 

 

There is something incredibly healing when you get away from everything and bathe yourself in the quiet of God’s creation! Just to walk and sit without anything in view to cloud the mind. It was such a place of quiet rest, and to just sit and be still before the Lord… to feel His presence embrace me and lift me up and give me words to pray.

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Coming home I was still exhausted (as was Tessa now!), still in pain, but it was good. There was a refreshing inside me. Proverbs 18:14 comes to mind, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” In getting so busy working on and worrying about my physical situation I failed to follow the simplest truths of God’s word and just rested in Him and allowed Him to renew my spirit.

 

So next time the world gets spinning ’round faster than I can handle it… I hope I remember the lesson I learned today!

 

What is something you do to renew your mind in Christ and gain peace and comfort when your world is spinning too hard for you?

 

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Moment by Moment

I may be the only person this way… but I kind of like knowing what is going on. I like having things figured out, no surprises, able to meet each thing that comes my way with proper expectation and drive to get it completed to the best of my ability. Unfortunately… life doesn’t always work that way.

When I was a teenager, I was taught to expect graduation, the “waiting years” and then marriage to a godly man and the bountiful and blessed life of a wife and mom. Fast forward about 15 years… and at age 30 I am still “waiting” (according to some people), still single, and have not the slightest idea about what lies ahead.

In some ways, I feel like I’m starting over, because for the most part up to this point, I’ve been following the expectations and suggestions of others. Get this job, go to school while you’ve got time, do this business, have these hobbies because you’re good at them… even my walk with Christ was according to what others expected up until the past year. This is not the way life should be lived!

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

One Moment at a Time

Last year I began a journey that has been the most terrifying, revealing and freeing journey I have ever experienced. It has been a journey of self-identity, learning who I am in Christ and how to see what HE wants for my life. It’s not a clear-cut plan… to be honest it has been very much the opposite!

But if there is one thing I have been learning, that is to take my life moment by moment. I have had so many abrupt changes and happenings I have come to the realization that I can make all the plans I want, but in the end, it is living in the moment, trusting God in the moment that I am currently in. Honestly, sometimes that’s ALL I can do! I am committed to taking my life moment by moment in God’s timing and God’s way, and in doing so, life is beginning to get simpler a little at a time. What blessings come from the simplicity that is in Christ and trusting in Him moment by moment!

Happy Resurrection Sunday!!

This morning I was taking a moment to pray and reflect, and I began to think about Christ’s sufferings for us and how they cannot be compared to anything in this world.

No matter what I go through, it is not to be compared to what it would be if I were to bear the punishment for my sins myself. My heart is healed from the pain and sorrow and suffering of guilt, and no matter what physical pain and suffering I go through, my heart is free, at peace and living in the completed work of Christ.

Praise my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His completed work at the cross!!!

Sharing Blessings…

Sometimes I feel my unwillingness to share about what has made such an impact in my life is nothing but a form of selfishness… I want you to know the same blessings I have received from making this simple step in my life three years ago.

Three years ago this month I made a decision that would drastically bless and change my life. I ordered my premium starter kit from Young Living, and since then I have seen improvements in my sleep patterns, hormonal levels, gut health, energy levels, allergies and significant improvement in my heart condition. Never will I ever go back!

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This is where you start your journey of improved health and wellness and enter a community of people who care about and will love and learn with you!

https://yldist.com/withthefruitofherhands/premium-starter-kit

Please let me know if you have any questions, I would love to share how much my life has been blessed by this!

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When My Heart is Overwhelmed

I think we all get to those points in our lives where everything around us is more than we can handle. We don’t understand why or how things will move forward and everything around us is confusing and dark. There are also those points in time where we ARE moving forward, everything around us is changing, our entire makeup and expectations are being molded into something very different than what we had previously thought possible.

I have been in that place recently… It seems that the past fourteen months have been a continuous whirl-wind of everything about me, inside and out, changing into something very different than what I had previously expected. God has been growing me so much in various areas, changing the way I think and feel, and through the transition there were times of bliss and excitement, but also times of deep pain and confusion.28056825_1981940938735727_5512076705119449587_n

This morning as I sat on my porch sipping my herbal tea, feeling the wind caress my hair and cheeks, I closed my eyes and was still before God.

“When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)

These words flooded through my mind, giving me a sense of hope and peace. This has been an overwhelming week of reflection, letting go and personal commitment. SO much has happened in the past year that has brought a change in me that will be there for the rest of my life. I realize that in this past year God has changed me so much. He has opened my eyes to a new depth in my relationship in Him, what it means to focus on myself and who I am in and through Him, realizing my convictions and beliefs are to be my own and not based on anyone or anything else, and my responsibility and accountability with the Lord as an individual and not going through the thoughts and expectations of my family or church.

I guess in a sense, I finally got to the point where I was ready to “grow up.”

I am a woman of God… not perfect by any means… but loved and cherished by her Creator. I am a woman that has been tenderly brought through trials and testings to make her recognize that she is being specially molded by the Master Potter’s hands. I am a woman that has tendencies of failing and falling, but is lifted up again by the loving arms of the Caring Shepherd. I am a woman that can be beaten down by doubts, fears and worries but is comforted by her Heavenly Father. I am a woman that cries during times of pain, either physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally, but has her tears wiped away by the sacrificial hands of the Comforter.

When my heart is overwhelmed, He is there… and I can praise Him… I DO praise Him!

I praise the Lord for all He has done and is doing in my life. I praise Him… yes, even thank Him… for those dark and hard moments, because I know that it is through ALL of the times, good and bad, that He is working and growing me to become more of the woman of God He wants me to be.

When God Hits the “Reset” Button…

Sometimes God brings you to the end of everything so He can hit a “reset” button in your life. It’s one of the most painful, difficult, challenging, yet encouraging and exciting things that can happen. It’s not an “emotional experience” but a point in time where God brings you to harsh realities of your life and you have a choice. Choosing God and what He leads you to and through is a pretty definite guarantee of hard work, challenges and testing of your faith and trust in Him beyond belief, but even in the midst of the difficulties of that choice is an inner peace and joy in knowing you are right where God wants you to be as well as an excitement to see what He will do with your life.

Prayers are greatly appreciated as I seek God’s will for my life and go through some of those challenges that lie ahead.

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Taking Care of Me?!

Time to take care of ME! Now, to most people that statement would sound a bit selfish, but hear me out. Growing up with the mindset of “others first, self last” has done a lot to bring me to the point where I neglect myself because I’m not important anyway, right??Self care

WRONG!!

I am the Lord’s. He bought me. God created me beautiful inside and out, and He is pleased with how He created me and with who I am in Christ. Is He also pleased with how I am taking care of His creation, His temple, His daughter?? Also, am I fully affective in Him when I walk around in physical, mental, emotional or spiritual defeat? No!

God wants me to be healthy, happy and walk my days in confidence and the victory He gives me. In order to do that though, I have to be faithful to give myself some tending to!

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When I start out the day by taking some time for myself, it is such a blessing! I have a difficult time explaining it, but (including hair and shoes!) and then spend a few moments in my prayer journal surrendering my expectations for the day and committing it to the Lord before facing it!

A very wise (and handsome!) man told me recently that the best way to serve the Lord is by first taking care of myself. By doing that I am in a better position physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to serve the Lord throughout my day. I have been making it a point to do more of that in the past couple weeks, and I’m beginning to realize he is SO right!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

I am committing this verse to memory as well as striving to take the time and effort I need to properly care for myself. When I take the time to fully evaluate myself physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally before the Lord and seek His will and direction for my needs in each, I have a greater confidence in going about my day.

I just started a challenge of 30 of Self-Care, and I am very excited about it! I feel the Lord has been preparing me for it the past couple weeks, and I’m eager to see what He’ll teach me next!

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And also I just wanted to share… this is the first time in a long time that I have been truly excited about the upcoming week. Nothing special is happening, I’m just excited about what the Lord has been teaching me, the work I have planned and the things I will be doing. I know that I will have some of the same challenges as I have been having the past couple of weeks, and I know there will be some very difficult moments in this next week, but that’s okay! The Lord SO faithful and has been giving me some insight and direction that is beginning to change my focus and the picture is becoming even more beautiful!

Praise the Lord for how He loves and chooses to work in my life!!

Puzzle Pieces

I am an impatient person. I have a difficult time not knowing what is going on or how things will turn out. It is challenging for me to wait… have faith… and just trust in the Lord and His timing for my life.

The past several weeks have been some of the most challenging I’ve ever experienced, but through them, the Lord has been so faithful! I still don’t know His full plan for me during this time, but I have been striving to surrender everything to the Lord, asking Him to show me His will and way through it all. Over the past couple days the Lord has been bringing to mind bits and pieces of thoughts, things being shared with me and scripture verses. Between last night and this morning I was so blessed to see the Lord bringing those pieces together into a complete thought, a beautiful picture of what He is teaching me and growing me through. I know my problems aren’t all solved, but at the same time I know that all the troubles and trials of the past several weeks the Lord has been working together for my good, and I’m SO thankful!

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4

Puzzle Pieces

But What if I DON’T Want to Get Married?

Or even if I did… this still applies!

Only One

Growing up in the Conservative Christian  Church (CCC) I have listened to all of the teachings about being a daughter at home, waiting for my husband and then becoming a keeper at home in my own home. I have been around countless girls that talk about that magical day sometime after they graduate when they get to experience the bliss of marriage and become a keeper at home, a wife and a mother. I listened to young women talk about their struggles of desiring marriage and being content at home while the Lord had them there. I’ve listened to women tell of their quest of contentment and satisfaction in singleness and finding the Lord as their fulfillment even though their heart’s deepest desire was to have a husband and children…

Yes, I’ve been there in those circles, done that whole sympathetic listening routine. But for me… it was different…

Don’t get me wrong, there were times I thought about, “Yeah, it’d be nice to get married someday.” Or “When I get married I want/hope/would like…” But for the most part, no. I didn’t truly DESIRE marriage. To be completely honest, there were times I almost was vehemently against the idea! There were multiple reasons for this, but I’ll just list a few of the main ones:

I didn’t like change. I would be fine and dandy for things to stay as they were. Change is difficult and challenging and stressful! Every time I’ve experienced change in my life it wound up being worth it, but it was also hard beyond belief and a lot of work physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I was scared of sex. Yes… it not only scared the stuffing out of me, I thought it was gross and just… COMPLETELY undesirable! Sex and physical intimacy is being greatly abused in our churches today by their continual pounding out that it is WRONG and a SIN and WICKED and UNHEALTHY… then in tiny print… “outside the bonds of marriage.” I was one of the victims of becoming so terrified of all the BADNESS of sex that I completely skipped over the part that it is GOOD and BEAUTIFUL and ENJOYABLE and something that God intended SHOULD BE DESIRED after marriage!!

I didn’t want to be chained down. Let’s face it, there is SO much a single Christian young woman can do! So many ministries, job opportunities (even if I limit it to home businesses), friends and family to visit and help out, education experiences… SO much to do and so many exciting things to experience! Why on EARTH would I want to give all of that up to be stuck at home? And just sayin’… it’s not against Scripture to go to college or work outside the home if God leads in that direction… Seriously! Try to find it in the Bible! I’m willing to bet it can’t be found!

I wasn’t interested in the job description. The whole, “stay at home” wife and mother outlook didn’t appeal to me. In the LEAST. I didn’t like housework, I didn’t like children (with the exception of my younger siblings and the children of close friends and family) and I didn’t like the whole “meek and mousey housewife” picture CCC portrayed. (And before I get jumped over about that statement, please finish hearing me out!)

I couldn’t fathom being bound to ONE person for the rest of my ENTIRE life! Marriage is such a PERMANENT thing… not only was I VERY apprehensive about living with one man for the rest of my life, I also doubted ANY man’s ability to deal with me for the rest of his!

And the list goes on! I felt like I was the only girl on the planet that felt this way, and I was constantly living with a nagging guilt in the back of my mind that I wasn’t what I was supposed to be. There were points in time where I honestly tried to step out and become what I thought I should be (or what the CCC thought I should be) as a woman, but it generally ended in frustration. I just didn’t like it and didn’t want it! So there was something majorly wrong with me, but guess what? I got to the point where I just decided God would give me the grace to approach each step as it came.

Now, there is nothing wrong with that mindset, but after the past few months I realized my life and walk with Christ isn’t to just walk in the grace Christ gives me for the things I have a hard time with. That’s a big part of it, but God is a GOOD God! He DESIRES to give GOOD gifts to His children! He WANTS me to enjoy, desire and look forward to what He has for me in my life, and His plan for me as a woman is truly beautiful!

My problem is that I didn’t know what God’s plan for me truly was! I want to share my reason why, and Lord willing one of these days I’ll write a series of articles to cover each of the topics I listed above as the Lord leads.

I didn’t understand God’s TRUE biblical plan for womanhood.Not the only Biblical Role

Being raised in an ultra-conservative setting, I as a girl was instructed and taught from an early age that the pure purpose and goal of biblical womanhood was that of a wife and mother. The role of keeper at home was the “holy grail” of conservative Christian women world-wide! Now, this IS one of the biblical roles for womanhood, and a beautiful one! But it’s not the only one!

The problem is this… we as a Conservative Christian Church took ONE biblical concept that was pure and good and made it the primary focus of women. We created a list of rules, regulations and expectations to help us achieve this pinnacle of womanhood, and called them doctrine! I am being blown away over and over by discovering things I was raised with as being “scriptural teaching” are NOT SCRIPTURE!! In truth, they are nothing more than concepts and commandments of men taken from or based on Scriptural principals. This isn’t anything new, as even Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for it. Keep in mind, the majority of the Pharisees were TRULY pursuing a godly life, but they became trapped in the methods of men, just as we all do!

“Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

“For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.” – Mark 7:6-8

While it is true, there are portions of Scripture that teach about women and what they are to do and be, it’s not only a wife and a mother! I won’t go into great detail, but honestly go read through Proverbs 31:10-31 and just see ALL THAT WOMAN DOES!! She’s an entrepreneur, creative, vibrant, known for her good work, not just the keeper at home! She is also the backbone of her home and because of her strength, wisdom and diligence she is known among the merchants in the city and her husband is known in the gates. (Think about it, that verse isn’t thrown in there randomly! Her husband would be known because of his success physically, spiritually and emotionally, which is greatly due to having THAT woman in his life!) This didn’t happen suddenly after she got married y’all! This has been a work in progress God has been establishing in her life for YEARS! Also, in Titus 2 it talks about how women are also to be teachers and multiple times in the New Testament women are noted for following Christ and ministering with Him, for Him and to Him.

Side note: a recent thought that boggled my mind was this… Did I ever learn that every man’s main goal and purpose in life was to be a husband and father? No I didn’t! Yes, it was a goal, but it wasn’t the pinnacle of manhood! Because of Paul and other men in Scripture that did great things while being single, men have a few more “options” in God’s will for them! But back to my main thought…

I as a human being LOVE lists! I like being able to know exactly what’s going on and exactly what I need to do. However, God doesn’t work that way. If He did, I wouldn’t have the blessings of FAITH and TRUST in my relationship with Him! The whole concept of faith is walking forward, following God’s leading and being a wise steward in where I am WHILE trusting Him to bring me where I need to be. I spent most of my life worrying about what God’s will was for my life, and I totally missed out on the truth that God’s will for my life is RIGHT HERE where I am and RIGHT NOW in my life. If I am honestly pursuing my relationship with God and drawing nigh to Him then I AM in His will for my life! The main reason I am missing out on God’s will for my life is because I can’t even see that I am IN IT!!

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Who I am as a Woman

God’s plan for me as a woman is the same as any other child of His… to seek Him first in every area of my life and to be sensitive to His leading. There is no cookie-cutter role for women, because He created each one to be an individual and to serve Him in a specific way and specific areas. There may be similarities because He created women with several main similarities, but He did NOT create every woman the same!

 

What it all boils down to is the HEART. It may be a wife and mother, it may be a daughter at home, it may be a teacher to children every week, it may be a writer, it may be a laborer, it may be any number of things! But the one thing I do know is that as long as I am seeking Him, where I am and where God leads me IS what His will is for me as a woman of God.

 

From My Heart to Yours

When I first started this blog, I had a very specific goal in mind… And I was able to keep up with that goal for a while. But now I feel like the Lord is leading me in a different direction. This world has more than enough preachers, teachers and exhorters… but what about those that are faithful to just share their own testimony?

In my own life I find that I actually grow a little tired of everyone telling me ways I can fix this or that area of my life, or have a better walk with the Lord, or anything else. Trust me, if I want to know how to do something, I can find it!! It’s not that none of those things speak to me, but what REALLY speak to me is when someone shares something with me personally. Something that is their own personal testimony, their own life. It can be a recipe they’ve discovered that they loved, something they find worked well in their relationship with their husband, siblings, kids or parents, something the Lord has shown them personally in their walk with Him, a day off where they got to organize their pantry… you name it!

We live in such a rushed and insensitive world, with tons of solutions and step-by-step journeys to success lists and articles we miss out on the REAL world, on the genuineness of people, and on building relationships and developing friendships on all levels.

As the Lord leads me, my new quest for faithfullyfeminine is just that… for me to be faithfully feminine myself and share what God has been doing in my life. Also, I want to know more about YOU. The Lord has been convicting me about investing in and learning from lives other than my own, so I’d love any comments, questions or testimonies you may wish to send me.

Thank you so much for your time and I hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

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