Even If…

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These last few months the words resonating in my heart are, “Even If.”

We have had many changes in our life recently and I hate change. My body reacts even when I tell myself everything is fine and all the changes have been for a great purpose and plan.

One of those changes involved us leaving a church of the last five years and follow the Lord in His leading to our next. We knew that we were called but not the why, to our calling.
I told the Lord, even if I don’t have the answers, I will listen to your voice. So in faith, we stepped forward in the plan for our life.

Even though leaving the team of people we had grown to love hurt my heart, I had to obey what I knew to be true and serve my God and husband first. Even if it meant uncomfortable change and new people, a new place and a new level of finding my self in the midst of ministry, I had to say yes.
Even if it means admitting that I took on roles at our previous church that were not my own to take on, in order to try to fill up the restlessness within me.
Even if it meant stepping into a new realm of vulnerability. Even if.

I know there are many purposes for following the Lord in the Even If seasons of our life.
I know that God has done many amazing things in the last 4 months and He has not even touched the surface. But in this process, He has stirred a call I had felt at 15 years old in youth group. Life happened and the leading faded but was never gone. I had begun a collection of paintings in the last few months and titled them “Women of the World.” Little did I know I was painting the very call within my heart…
The call to serve with mission teams.

Here the thoughts would rise up as the stirring would come, but then so would the excuses. Most of which was linked to how I am doing in this season physically. But the thought would not leave that I was called to go and serve.
The stirring rose afresh as I sat with the new church congregation and heard about the heart of serving in Baja Mexico at the Door of Faith Orphanage.
I had every excuse, but the tugging kept coming.
We had no money in savings and the trip was coming fast. I have been in an unbelievable flare physically. We just received additional fees to add to a huge bill from hospital tests and then a few days before DHS sent a bill for overpayment when we were foster parents. This doesn’t account for all the other life needs on hold at the moment.
But mostly my heart I didn’t want to hurt over leaving the orphans and I felt as if I had nothing to offer.
I felt that with my physical limits Dan would have to go and he has absolutely told me over the years this was NOT his area of calling. All these thoughts and excuses rushing my head and I still felt my heart-tugging… EVEN IF. Even if there is no way, God can make the way. Even if there seemed to be too many obstacles, God is able to move those obstacles. Even if I have my doubts…HE is faithful despite them.

So I prayed. I said, God if you truly want me to move in faith as your word says, faith without works is dead, then I am going to be as Gideon and request that you show me without a doubt that it is you that I am hearing and not just my over compassionate mama heart.

These were my conditions as I spoke to the Lord:
I need Dan to go with me. I will not ask.
I need the leader to come to me directly who I have not yet met and tell me that He feels I am to join the team.
I need the provision.

Service was over and Dan leans to me and says, ” I feel like I may be called to go on the mission trip.” I kid you not my mouth about fell to the floor. I may even have laughed out loud. You have to know this is absolutely a tugging from God. He would have not been opened to the idea otherwise.
I was stopped by a friend and visiting after church. I looked over at Dan and He was talking to the leader. Dan called me over and as I was introduced, the team leader said, “God highlighted you to me, I feel you are called to go on this trip.” (paraphrasing as I can’t remember exact words). At this point, I knew and I just nodded my head and said as much.
Now we are waiting on provision and believing for the plan to unfold as we walk out the little hiccups of life in the planning process. The trip is coming fast!
With my lack of knowing where the funds would come from and a time crunch, we had started a go fund me even though I felt so foolish in doing so, I said again…Even If.
The fees for the passport came in first at the Go Fund Me site as well as the cost of plane tickets that were mailed to us. I saw how it was exactly what we needed when we needed it.
We are over halfway to our goal and I know the rest is already accounted for. We are praying for the paperwork we need to move forward will come quickly as Dan had to order his birth certificate before getting a passport. We are on a time crunch. But of course, God already knows this.

I am excited. I know there are many purposes for following the Lord’s leading. But I am still reminded to hold fast to those words… Even If… because often His call does not match my human understanding. Even If I don’t see it, I can rest assured that HE knows it. Even… If.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

Who am I really? An opinion on Identity.

IMG_0410 Instagram: awakened_arts 

 

Years ago, I was in a bad head space. I constantly measured my identity based on how I felt others saw me: forgotten, sickly, snob, embarrassment, unwanted, boring and whiny to name a few. Now, these thoughts were seeded by the words and actions of a few. But I took those labels and let them take root as a truth that was how most people saw me.

Finally, one day I realized how much other’s thoughts of me were playing on my mind and actions. I was holding back out of fear of how others would label me. As I was praying, I felt the Lord start to work on my heart on the truth of my identity. This got me to thinking, how do people really see me? So, I asked my friends on Facebook to be completely honest, even brutally so, and that it was because I was working on a project.  Their response truly did surprise me. They saw me as Godly,  prophetic, gentle, kind, loving, strong, tender-hearted, caring, worshiper, youthful, bubbly and playful. I did not get one, negative thought pointed out at me. Now for some that did not surprise me, but others that I thought for sure had labeled me, had some of the most encouraging things to say. This lead to an evaluation of the lenses I viewed my identity through.

  • Situational
    What I do or own: Homeschooling mother, Preschool teacher, Worship team member, homeowner, etc.
    Abilities: Illness left me feeling unable to do much and what I did do was not amazing.
    Labels: This has shifted often over the years. But the ones that I was battling were the labels I put on myself. Worthless, weak, depressed, sick, etc.
  • Word of God-
    (was not walking in this as my identity at the time)

The problem with the measuring identity on circumstances is that they are ever-changing and contradicted what the word of God says about my identity.
I learned I was living in a situational identity. What happens when your identity is based on your situations and then things shift in a way that you absolutely hate? You no longer can identify with that part of you that you loved or took pride in. This is often the source of ‘midlife crisis”. Things shift and all of a sudden you have lost the identity you once knew because it was set on a situational foundation.

So imagine how my life felt like it was spinning out of control and I had nothing and was nothing when everything shifted. I was no longer a home school mother, my boys didn’t need me that way anymore, I could no longer be a preschool teacher and I had seasons of not being able to serve on a worship team. I couldn’t and still can’t drive more than a few miles at a time.

When my situation was that I was sick, walking in a season where my illness was everything in front of my eyes, so that is all I saw in my identity, how life-giving is that?
Basing my identity on what I had, imagine how it felt when I lost it all. We lost our home and were no longer homeowners. How does this thought process on identity measure up? What would those like myself now feel when they ‘own’ nothing? No business, no home, or like me if they are even more like me what they do own is debt?”

For many, if things are going well and they find their identity in what they do, they are looking to achieve more, and when they don’t see the progress they hope for they feel defeated.

If we find our identity in what we think about ourselves or what others think of us, we will aim to please people and not our heavenly father.

Thoughts and labels, like I said earlier, were the biggest battle I was walking in with my identity. When I was young, others always told me I was skinny and pretty, but when I got older my face sagged and wrinkles are arriving, hair became thin and straw like and you know it, I grew ‘fluffy’ over time. This hit hard, as I saw value in my younger self but not as an older woman. I took the label ugly.
Secondly, in the labels department, because I had a biological father that didn’t want me born (abortion), and an adoptive father that made statements I wasn’t really his after the divorce, I was always waiting for the next person to leave and constantly had a thought that I was not enough. If I was a boy like my adoptive father always wanted, maybe I could have liked the things he liked more and when he divorced my mom, I would have still had a connection. He would have at least called me to go hunting or fishing, or something, but he didn’t and I again took on the label unwanted. The constant thought ran through my mind, what if I had lost my husband, like the two fathers that thought I wasn’t enough.

Most of my identity being skewed was because of a lack of true understanding. Now, I knew the things that the word of God said that I had been taught over the years, but I knew them in my head, they were not a deeply seeded revelation that I was LIVING.

And the crazy thing is, I viewed others through the lenses of Jesus. I saw their identity of worth and value, but I could not see my own.
Over time, I learned how to go from head knowledge to heart knowledge.
In order for the word to become deep seeded in my life, I have found I need to read the word and pray for the revelation to become real to me. When I  am finding I still struggle, I need to spend time in prayer and fasting. This is preparing the soil for strong roots to take hold.

WHO GOD SAYS I AM: 

* Created: 
Ephesians 2:10- For we are Gods masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.

God made me uniquely His. He gave me my very own fingerprints and DNA. He wanted me here on this earth and has a purpose set aside for me! My identity is created, this will not change!

* Chosen Child of God:
Ephesians 1:-5- Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

1 Peter 2:9- But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, Gods very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into the light.

John 1:11-12- He came to His own people and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.

Chosen, He will not leave me abandoned. He has filled the place in my heart crying out for adoption. He has made me His own with my belief and acceptance of Him! My identity is chosen and His, this will not change!

*Loved:
1 Thessalonians 1:4- We know dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and chose you to be His own people.

Understanding the Lord’s love for me has helped me to love myself. All that I am and all that I am not, I can love every part of me. My identity is loved, this will not change.


*Restored:

1 Corinthian 1:30-31- God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit, God made Him to be wisdom itself.
Christ made us right with God. He made us pure and Holy and freed us from sin. Therefore as the scripture says, if you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.

I am freed from sin! Through Jesus, I can walk in grace and strength. He has made me right before God and I don’t need to hide in shame and worthlessness. I was living in a lie. My identity is that I am restored, this will not change.

*New Creation:
2 Corinthians 5:16-17- So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ as merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone. A new life has begun!

1 Corinthians 6:11- And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God. 

New! Let that sink in.
I have been made new! I do not have to live in the old lies that I am not enough. I do not need to live bound by the old lies. I have freedom. My identity is that I am a new creation, this will not change.

He has established all of His word in my heart. Everything, His word says about me, applies to me as His child. If you have excepted His truths in your heart and walk in His ways, Your identity to is secure and steadfast, never changing. All these truths I discovered apply to you as well.
Created, chosen child of God, loved, restored and a new creation. This is my identity and it will not change!
When we see ourselves as God sees us, we walk in confidence in Him, not our own abilities. We are able to pursue the things He has called us to, knowing that He has equipped us with all we need. We do not waiver in our authority because we know where it is firmly found.
He gives us the ability to change our circumstances when we are fighting battles, not for our circumstances to change who we are. We can be steadfast in Him.

Let His word settle into your heart and give a listen to this encouraging song:

You Say: By Lauren Daigle

View my LIVE on this topic at my Channel Shaey Anthony

Follow up scriptures to meditate on this week:
John 1:5
Jeremiah 2:21
Romans 6:6
Romans 8:14
Romans 12:2
2 Corinthians 12:9
1 John 4:17

VISION

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We have been created with a purpose. We have been given passions, interests, and abilities unique only to us.

Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How exciting that God KNOWS us. He KNOWS what we need and how we will impact this world around us. He placed hopes and dreams within your heart and He desires for you to have a vision and purpose.

 

What is vision? Vision is the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.
 When you are vision minded, you are able to dream and imagine. You are able to plan your future and know what you want. However, there are seasons in our life, and some of them may leave us feeling stuck. We may be unable to imagine or even hope for our future. We may have had revelation but through heartache or lack of knowledge, we have let it sit on the wayside. That was my last 10 years, I knew what I wanted, but I just didn’t go after it. I had my eyes in many different directions and I didn’t know how to grasp and walk out my plans or hopes. This is where the enemy wants to keep us. Frozen in place, unable to see our plans come to pass. 

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no revelation (vision or understanding), people cast off restraint (self-control). But blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

In order to reach your goals, plans or purposes the Lord has for you, you need to understand what they are. When that understanding arrives, you keep your sights on it and take action to achieve it.
You must be self-controlled and disciplined to see the fruition.
If you allow your vision/passion/understanding to die or be hidden by the busy everyday life, you stop taking the steps to achieve that which has been revealed to you to achieve. Eventually, the vision is forgotten altogether or, becomes an afterthought with a sigh. “That would have been nice.”

Matthew 6:33- But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The Lord has produced incredible visions in my life as I have sought Him first. Through prayer and fasting, and sinking into His word, He has made my way known. He is providing the instruction I must follow to see my personal plans and visions fulfilled in my life. I allowed His dreams for me, to become my dreams. In some ways they are so big, I feel completely inadequate, but God. This is where His instruction is so important, I don’t have to be able, because He will give me instructions to become able.

How do I reach my vision:

1. FIRST Seek FIRST the Lord. Ask Him to reveal His vision for you. Sometimes you may actually get a prophetic vision or a word from others that propel you into His plans, or you may just start with stirring in your Spirit. Pay attention to how He is speaking to you.

2. Make sure your vision lines up with the Lord’s will in your life. Make sure you are running after the things He has placed in you to do.
This again is found by spending time with the Lord. It is in this process, that you can ask for open doors for your vision and for divine instruction. You do not want to spin your wheels or spend your time pursuing things, not for you. It will exhaust and distract you from your full gift of His plans for your life. You may actually hinder more than help. When we line up with the desires of His heart and pursue fully, it is amazing to see the plan move forward into completion. 

3. Write it down. Write your vision down. Put it where you will be reminded of it.

4. Make a plan. Using the wisdom the Lord has given you and the tools around you, make a plan to obtain your vision. I created a list of my goals and steps to get there.
For me, I have some learning to do, so research is on my list. I have to take action so a laid out plan is on my list. Be clear on your steps. If you don’t know what steps to take, research, ask the Lord and ask others walking in a similar vision or goal.

5. Share it with other’s that will build you up. It is very important you guard your vision, or that you are mature enough that if other’s tear you down, you don’t let it stop you. If you are one that is easily discouraged, make sure to share your vision with like-minded people, or people who are your cheerleaders in life. It is easier to pursue a vision for your life when you are hopeful, the right people can be a great support in remaining faithful to your call.

6. Be diligent. It takes time to ‘arrive’. We all get busy and have distractions. Life happens. But I encourage you to take time every single day to do something in pursuit of your vision. Spend time in prayer regarding your vision and build your skills or do a bit of work. It will not happen if you are not actively working towards it.

7. Be okay with setbacks, and starting over. Every experience is a learning experience. I have sat on my gifts for years and felt guilt over it, but you know what, each season has given me new tools to pursue that passion and vision now. I will take everything to apply it to my now. There is a purpose in all we walk through, now let’s use it.

I made my first vision board, I know I want to be published, so that was my topic. I looked for encouragement and quotes to keep me on track. I look at that board (paper) when I feel discouraged. It is a tool. Not my everything, but a tool to keep me focused. I also have a plan written out for each of my visions/goals in life. I am pursuing, I am doing and I will see an impact. Even if not in the lives of others, at least in my own life.

Now that I have begun moving… I am determined to arrive!
I can feel it in my bones he is about to move : ) <—— Give a listen to Spirit move
My Live on my Youtube channel: Topic Vision

 

Unwavering Part 2

You have faith in your GPS. You put in your destination with a confidence that your GPS will get you to your desired location. Even after that one time your GPS took you on a trek into the unknown and rerouted you over and over only to end up in the middle of a suburban neighborhood and not the desired hip restaraunt you were hoping for, the very next journey you still trusted that GPS  and entered your desired destination point again. You hoped in that GPS to do what was required of it. 

As I was writing part one of unwavering, the words unwavering faith kept resonating in my spirit and I decided to dive deeper into that topic. Through prayer and study, God pointed out to me how quickly we trust in things, other people and even ourselves, but how do we trust God in the same way?
God calls us to have faith in Him.

Mark 11:22- And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.”

The Greek word for faith is Pistis meaning trust, to believe, have faith or rely upon.

Let us look at the word unwavering: Steady or resolute- fixed, firm, constant, steadfast, enduring, abiding, unyielding, relentless, tireless.

I am one that must admit I have walked with Jesus as my savior since childhood, but I have not walked in unshakable faith. My doubts through crisis have risen up often.
So how do I continue to walk with Him when my doubts rise?
The answer I believe is to keep walking it out. Rely on Him, even when doubts try to rise. Believe in Him even when I do not see the results that I think I should see.

Unwavering means to be fixed, firm and constant, can’t that apply to our actions as well as our thoughts?  Even when I doubt with my thoughts, my heart is fixed on Him. I am firm in my belief that I can go to Him. I am constant in my cry out to Him. 

It IS okay to ask the Lord to help our unbelief. The very act of asking puts our faith into action. We are trusting Him to answer us. 

Mark 9: 23-24 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Just like the GPS gives us instructions and we follow those instructions to get to our desired location. The Father gives us instructions to remain in Him. He teaches us how to walk, how to abide, how to grow, and how to reach our final destination (heaven). 

We can not please God without faith. 
Hebrews 11:6- And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Faith is the requirement to walk with God, for in order to walk with Him we must trust in who He is,  we must believe in Him. His word is true and all that is written in the word is for our benefit. 

My final thought concerning unwavering faith is that faith is a choice. You consciously decide that you will believe in something or someone. 

 In my personal situation, my faith in God is absolutely merited. I have seen His work, I have experienced His comfort, His miracles, I have the very breath of His life in me.

Persistence is the key to walking out my faith and remaining in Him.
Luke 21:19- By your endurance, you will gain your lives.

So today I leave us with this… let us walk it out…Steady, resolute, fixed, constant, steadfast, enduring, abiding, unyielding, relentless and tireless.
Give a listen: Faith

Mountain (1)

 

Hope

44360648_10217396586811621_7015477418978705408_o Instagram:  awakened_arts

Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

How do I hope when I am surrounded on all sides? When the darkness comes in and clouds my mind. I am tempted to succumb to my weakness and lack rather than rising in His strength. How do I overcome? It is not by might, but by His spirit. It is connecting to Him in Spirit by praise and worship. It is in surrender, for in losing my old self, He clothes me with new life. And so…

When HOPE and EXPECTATION rise in my spirit fear, anger, hurt, insecurity and all forms of darkness are shaken out of my sites. Joy and peace become my covering.
Trusting in the Lord is the key to my hope.

I will sing of His wondrous love that saved me from my self.
I will rejoice in His overwhelming grace that covers all my shortcomings.
I praise Him in the morning, His mercies are new each day.
I take my eyes off of my moment and look to my helper, my comfort, my strength.
My moment will pass, but He is ever constant, faithful with every breath I take.
A keeper of promises.
A healer of disease.
Mighty fortress in times of trouble.
Provider for my needs.
The Hope will rise and overflow from my soul.
For the God of all Hope has said it will be so.

With Everything~ Worship song for my day

 

 

Fear you have been identified

43117188_554492298342921_9131809918288920576_n.jpg Art by: awakened_arts @instagram

Fear this year had gripped me and I had no idea how, why or when. I just knew that my physical body was in panic mode and this was brand new for me. Sensory overload has been paralyzing at times, to where I literally have to leave and lie down right then and there. Another form of this fear started almost a year ago. Overwhelming constant dizziness had me afraid to go anywhere or doing anything on my own.

I no longer drive (almost 10 months now with just a couple tries in that time) even on my good days because the bad ones terrified me so much and the movement will seem okay for a little while, I will be driving along and all of a sudden I can’t see straight. So much time has gone by and I have not even realized it.

Yesterday a new friend called me out on my walking in fear, by sharing her testimony and freedom. I was supposed to get together with her and had tummy issues that morning and canceled.  She called me and had an encouraging word and then shared about fear. As soon as she said the word “fear”,  a light bulb clicked in my brain, I truly had no idea that I was battling in such a capacity. Fear you have been identified!

Here I had written on fear and transformation and God had begun a work in me just a few days before, but I had no idea how deep that fear had a hold until I saw my situation through another’s eyes.

She was absolutely right, I had been fearing getting together with someone new, but did not know it in my head.
The flashes came to my mind on what I was fearing as soon as she mentioned the word, it is hard for me, exposing my heart to risk having it broken again. Rejection and abandonment had left me as a shut-in and hiding. I will get over it and the enemy is right there to remind me what was stolen from me and point that accusing finger that I am nothing. I will grasp my worth and value and one disapproving look or gossip can send me spiraling right back to my idea of worthlessness. Fear you have been identified! I will not go back.

It is easy to live in a state of hidden truths. I was not addressing fear, because it had not been revealed to me yet. There is great power addressing your battles by name and this is why the enemy tries to keep things hidden. As I have been on this journey to the fullness of joy and health, there have been many things the Lord has had to deal with in my heart.

There are hidden things coming to light every single day, and sometimes it takes a loving person to identify what you don’t see or want to look at. This person came to me in encouragement and love. This was not a place of judgment but a heart that wanted freedom for me.

As soon as an issue is identified to us, we have a choice, we either choose to tackle it for complete freedom, or stuff it away and don’t deal with it. You can’t have victory by rolling over and saying “I will deal with you another day.” Because another day comes and your darkness grows that much stronger. It has become your comfort and false safety.

My friend said it well, “one of the ways to battle fear is to do that which you are afraid of anyways. Walk it out in fear and all.”When I step out into the uncomfortable, I think on it for days, that I looked foolish, or all the ways others may mock me for being who I am. I fear what will I say, how will the conversation start. Now those that had known me in years past would wonder what in the world happened because this is NOT who I was. I have become someone mousey and hidden. I have for whatever reason, all of a sudden cared about what others think of me, far too much.

This shut-in mentality started slow. It was to get well with my illnesses at first and most recently it seems like anytime I am asked to come out of my little hole in my house, that I would start shutting down. I thought it was laziness or depression (this all started around the loss of my dad) and maybe that is a factor, but my friend was so right on when she identified that I was battling fear.

Asking the Lord, why His truths are not sticking, I feel the answer is because the seeds of healing have not been cast on good soil. A truth that is in my head but has not been established in my heart. Rather than my everyday reality that I am valuable, have a call, have worth and what I have to say has importance, I only have snippets of a moment. Even now typing the words that what I have to say has importance, I wanted to delete that sentence. I don’t truly believe it yet. So I ask the Lord today, help my unbelief. Help me see myself with the same eyes that I see others. Help me see myself as you see me. Fear you have been identified and I will not return to you!

It is time for me to walk in my value and worth every single day, all day, not just when the spirit of God hits in crazy good ways.

I am choosing to speak to that fear by name. I call it out for what it is!
In Jesus name, Fear you must go, you are a liar, you are false, you don’t hold my God’s truths!
I will no longer walk in panic mode but confident mode. He has given me every tool I need to do His work and He has promised me His protection and peace.  I am under the shadow of His wings and I can find comfort there.

One thing I have learned in all of this is how to rest in the Spirit of the Lord. At any moment I know my comforter is there. So it is up to me to go to the source rather than run in my blindness. It is up to me to take the gifts He gives rather than believe the lies of the accuser.

God is so good to care so much that He doesn’t leave me behind in my mess, but creates beauty out of it, so that I may walk in my testimony.

Isaiah 41:10- fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

Rhythm of My Heart

 

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I would lay in bed and hear the sound of my heartbeat. The rhythm was off. With every early beat, the heart would have to pump fast and hard to catch up. I feel like I have a constant lump in my chest. This usually would pass after a few weeks. But this last time has lasted long enough to affect my every day. For over 6 months my body has had to work harder to function, often leaving me fatigued and constantly dizzy.

When the heart is out of rhythm it has to work harder. This has me thinking of the spiritual life, not just the physical.  When our spiritual heart gets out of the rhythm of Gods word, the very heart of God,  we cannot accomplish all the tasks he has before us with ease.
Disobedience to God’s word leads our hearts to be out of Rhythm from what the Lord has for us.

Psalm 119:11
I have stored up your word in my heart,

    that I might not sin against you

When our spiritual heart rhythm is not in sink with our God, we have all kinds of spiritual symptoms and some of those even cross over into the physical.
Spiritually, we may not hear His voice with the same clarity.
We may not have the same spiritual discernment and direction.
Because of this, our physical life can be impacted. We may get depressed, we may see our ministries dwindling, we may see our relationships suffer and many other signs that our spiritual heartbeat is not in Rhythm.
Just like my physical heart now needs medication, my spiritual heart needs the medication of the word of God.  With that word of God, I must hide it in my heart and walk in obedience to it. My heart beats with my father. He is The  Rhythm of My Heart and I pray that I stay in sync with Him and all His great works for me.

 

 

Truth or just a Moment?

 

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In this season of rest, God has sweetly reminded me to look at the emotions that have plagued my every day.

Depression can cause such harsh, empty, hurtful thoughts. When in the midst of it all, we can begin to believe those thoughts. My spirit stirs to evaluate the thought that crosses my mind as it hits my heart and I can feel it in my gut. Is this thought truth or an emotion of the moment?

The enemy wants nothing more than to bog me down in my own thoughts. If he can hold me down with a lie and stir my emotions of despair, he has victory.

How can I know if a thought is a truth or just an emotion of the moment?

I must evaluate the thought according to what God’s word says about my situation or about me. I must look at the feelings that are stirring within me from a thought and ask, “do they bring despair or hope? Death or life?”

When God’s truth has the chance to minister to my emotion, my mind begins to line up with His truth as well. The hurtful emotion at the moment begins to clear and my mind is free to focus on what the Lord has on hand for me to accomplish rather than focusing on feelings of defeat.

I may not be an amazing artist, but I am HIS artist to use as He will.

I may not be the best singer, but I am HIS worshiper to use as He will.

I may not be the most beautiful, but I am HIS daughter and made in HIS image

I may not be the life of the party, but I am HIS companion and I hear His voice.
See how this works?  Look at the lie, identify it and address it with the truth.
Hey even if the thought has some truth in it I need to ask myself, “what is the truer truth?”

Go on, start asking yourself is this truth or the emotion of a moment?
You will begin to see light in the midst of darkness.

Psalm 25:5-

Guide me in your truth and teach me, For you are God my savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 

 

 

Awaken

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Revelation 3:2

‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.

 

Awake Awake Awake me O’ Lord 
From my slumber that brings death
Awaken my dreams

Awaken my passions
Awaken my gifts
Awaken my steps
Awaken my heart to hear your call  

Awake Awake Awake me O’ Lord
Awaken my soul so that I may praise you with the things that remain

 

Awaken: To rouse from sleep; cause to stop sleeping.


God  has placed dreams and passions in my own heart, some that I do not even know of yet. I have let my physical limits to allow me to slumber. The work God has for me to do has been limited. I am called to WAKE UP.  

Today I call out to the Father; “Where I am weak, make me strong and where I am lacking show your abundant supply. Wake me up Lord and bring the dreams to completion.” 

How many dreams have you let sit on the back of your mind, not giving them the time and attention that they deserve? Do you realize that our dreams can DIE.
There are dreams and passions that are planted in our hearts and we are called to strengthen them! I dare you, ask the Lord to revive your dreams. Ask the Lord to awaken things that are about to die. I pray your passion is renewed and you are AWAKEN.

 

 

The root of it

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Let me start with saying… read this through if you are dealing with a spiritual battle of doubt. While there are definitaly physical battles, there are spiritual and this tackles both directions that I have faced this winter and actually over the last 11 years.

I know I may lose friends with this one, I may lose followers, readers, support, but I have to say at this point and time I WILL NOT FEAR.

Here we go: This is a LONG one- Sorry…. not sorry

This season with Fibromyalgia has been ROUGH. I mean for a bleep there I thought I lost my joy all over again. I spent years walking in the fullness of God’s Joy and then in a moment (it felt like anyway) that joy was gone. I realized how simple all of my writings had made seeking Joy to the full seem. It was not a simple journey. Very contrary, it was a constant examining of my self and my weaknesses.  And I thought once I had the fullness of Joy, I would be able to maintain it without fear of losing it.

BUT….

Think of a beautiful plant with wonderful plumage with a root system growing nice and strong, but nearby there is that pesky weed with even stronger roots. They come in and start taking over until the sophicate the plants healthy root system.  I had been plucking and plucking weeds, but the roots were remaining to keep festering. I had dealt with the cause one by one, but the pesky little root system was hiding underneath the surface and infecting the beautiful plants roots. Leaving healthy roots to began dying off one by one with lack of proper care.

I let my guard down this year and the funny thing is, the darkness came in fast. BUT it was dealt with fast as well, now that I have the past experience of knowing how to identify it.

Thankfully as I cried out to God, He pointed out to me, why this season has been SO hard with fibromyalgia and the darkness swarming in, is a reminder that there are triggers and they must be dealt with swiftly. triggers to me = Weed roots. I am listing my triggers that have FLARED fibromyalgia this year.
Maybe identifying them can help another fibromyalgia sufferrer identify them for themselves as well. Everyone is different and each story is different, but one thing remains the same, our level of pain and symptoms are exasperated by our triggers.

Trigger one: Grief

This year I lost my father and that was a big trigger. Grief is a trigger. But I kept burying the fact that I was grieving. I even buried the fact that He indeed had passed and my body was not taking kindly to me stuffing my emotions, which led to trigger two.

              Trigger two: Emotional eating

To deal with my emotions I began eating everything and anything I wanted. Which lead to me feeling like garbage, which then led to me hitting fast food and packaged food as I didn’t feel well enough to cook. Which of course led to feeling even worse. A vicious, vicious cycle when dealing with food sensitivities. (Most chronic illnesses are triggered with food sensitivities of some kind in my opinion)

                    Trigger three: The dark season of winter

It is no surprise winter is difficult for fibromyalgia sufferers. There must be a plan to take care of yourself in rough seasons and I had absolutely none this year. Just surviving the grief was my only plan.                                                                                                                           I  know winters are hard and usually I take steps to combat that;  more vitamin D supplements, light therapy, self-care of all kinds and this year I gave up my passion as a full-time preschool teacher and didn’t self care at all. I just sat in the house on those days not working with my preschool kids in the guise of ‘recovery’. I have had WAY fewer viruses this year but the fibromyalgia has run rampant… self care is a must.

Trigger four: Hormones

I am in the process of naturally balancing my hormones. Being over 40 has my body in great confusion, enough said on that topic lol.

Trigger five: Midlife hiccups

My hubby and I are in the stage of empty nesting. Or we where until all the birdies flew home again. We were enjoying our quiet little nest and now it is quite busy. We are in the process of best helping the boys seek their futures while at the same time thinking on ours. We want something new and we are ready…but in the waiting. My mind thinks on these things far too much.

I could go on and on about our triggers but these are the five that stood out to me as I sought the Lord on what was going on.

Here is the other side of the coin. WHY am I dealing with Fibromyalgia? This is a spiritual aspect and my not make sense to many and that is ok. You can all think I am wacky I still love ya!!!

There is one BIG root of why I believe that I personally deal with fibromyalgia all together.

11 years ago before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I lived a different life. I would turn on my worship in the morning, dance and sing every single day, homeschool my kids and walk in the Spirit of God. His spirit was evident, His spirit was tangible.  Through a string of events, I won’t list here, I let go of some very foundational things for me of how God created me. From the time I can remember God would visit me in dreams, He would speak to me in songs, and visions and prophetically speak to me of situations. “I could lay out someones laundry piece by piece and they would look at me and say how did you know?”  I would reply,  “I didn’t God did.”

I let go of HOW God worked in me. I walked away from the ‘soaking’ going ‘deeper’, operating in the ‘prophetic’ every single day, to just letting Him move that way once in awhile when I just could not ignore.

Why did I walk away from moving in the way God created me to move?

I walked away, because I was afraid that it was wrong. There are a few reasons but for one, this was a season when mystical stuff began coming into the church (or at least I learned of it), and fingers started pointing saying it was ALL wrong, basically I threw the baby out with the bathwater. Name it and claim it was wrong, prophetic movement was wrong, this pastor and that pastor (all who were fundamental in tremendous growth in my life) were wrong. I began to doubt. I began to doubt the prophetic in me, I began to doubt everything I was taught, I began to doubt the truths ever spoken to me, I began to doubt absolutely anything written in the bible that were not Jesus words themselves. I began to doubt even the Spirit of God that I once was in tune with and knew so so very well. That little seed of doubt grew and grew to the point that I can honestly say, now after identifying it, that I began to doubt a God at all.

Let me be clear, the Spirit was still there. I knew the truth and it would rise up louder than those doubts. But those doubts still had a voice in my head. I still stopped soaking and going deeper and deeper to where God wanted to take me. To put it simply I walked the last 11 years in disobedience out of fear and had NO IDEA I was doing it. I was erring on the side of not wanting to cross God, and wasn’t listening to Him. I got ill. Very very very ill.

The root system in this wall has grown stronger and stronger and stronger on the beautiful plant side BUT the root of doubt was still hovering beneath the surface on the root side. I kept losing my ground because I kept doubting. I would advance and then pull back, afraid that I was tapping into the wrong thing. Even though I am meant to work that way. That is a GIFT the LORD has placed in side of me and I do not need to fear it. I know GODS voice.

We are all different, these words may make no sense to many of you and that is ok. But I do ask you to look at yourself and see where you lost the YOU inside of Fibromyalgia. Where did you lose your identity that you were created to be? It is time to take it back. It is time to kill those roots that are stifling the life out of YOU.

One day at a time, one step at a time. I will regain my life back!