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Shake it off!

Lean on Me as You face the circumstances of this WEEK, because I will never leave You or forsake You. ” 💜 And thank God this is the start of a NEW one!  Last week was a rough one … It started out pretty minor on Sunday having to cancel my lost debit card, (so NOT a big deal …) until Monday when I lost the only mailbox key (still minimal irritation because well lets face it – that can’t touch the kind of tough days that I have had). Sprinkle in some other progressively more difficult situations that broke my heart a little & I started to see a pattern:  In proper Mandy form I thought to myself:  “hmm, that’s all you got??” because I’m gonna be all the way real and tell you that I’ve been convinced for a long time that its often spiritual in nature: NOT engaging.  Nope, NOT today Satan.

So Wednesday rolls around and after a slammed day full of appointments and such I manage to gather up most of the fam to head to church.  We are running a lil’ late, but not to awful bad so I decided to jump on the freeway to hopefully avoid getting stuck at all the lights and get there a little faster.  Almost there .. coming around the sharp curve from 270S to 70E I can suddenly hear someone’s tires screeching – closer, closer, closer – this is WAY too familiar, panic rising in my chest because I remember this; just last time it came from in front of me instead – and you guessed it; the world moves in sloooooooooow motion and BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!  The kid behind me was discovering how fast his Mustang could take that curb & lost control and clips my passenger side rear.   YUP, me and my already traumatized family lose control also and slam into the concrete barrier .. (again).  I won’t even go into the things that happened in my head in those seconds.  TRIGGER much?  Not to mention the stuff I KNOW is happening in my baby girl’s head.  Are you kidding me right now?  

My first initial thought when I started writing was maybe I should write a book about all of the times in the last 5 years that  have been just absurdly, hard and the obscene amount of times that I have actually thought “this is my life and it is THE VERY DEFINITION of stupid!”  Utterly ridiculous & painful in every single way.  All of the times that I have wanted to succumb to a dark hole, to complain, scream, cry, put my hands on someone even …… for thinking they are having an “awful day because they spilled coffee on their shirt & had a low tire while running late for work. ”   But, as I always say comparison IS the thief of Joy! That, my friends is some real deal truth! 😂

But JESUS. Every time I feel like I just might not survive it – the Holy Spirit  rises up in me like fire & starts to burn away the frustrated, angry, flesh that is Me without Him & I remember:  JESUS. The Way to Peace, the ONLY way. ☮️  I remember the Word that is burned into my heart and mind – the promises that He has given me (& YOU!)  Somehow my car came to a stop instead of careening over the edge into oncoming traffic – although the kid who hit us was actually facing the OPPOSITE direction on the freeway, on a sharp curve we were ALL ok!  Instead of being trapped inside the car this time while my babies screamed for me terrified I was actually able to get out of the car and comfort and hold them.  Somehow, someway – miracles unseen by the physical eye He raises what I thought had to be all the way bad (ash).  He works it for my good and there I stand, (its just necessary to put some emphasis on that word) wondering what in the world happened that such an awful situation turned somehow beautiful?

Props to Pastor Steven Furtick & Pastor Tim Oldfield for always going where the Spirit leads – I started my week on Monday with Elevation’s latest sermon It had to happen” (having NO idea how insanely bad I would need every word) & ended it with a powerful Word from my home church at Potter’s House COG – Columbus.  (I will add the link when it’s available).  My car is totaled, we have some minor aches and pains but guess what?!?!  I’m just gonna Shake, Shake, Shake.  

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In the Process…

The journey:  We all walk this thing out called life and pray that the journey takes us to our most desired destination; we have this big idea of what it should look like and when it gets messy we get angry & we get crazy frustrated because we feel like we aren’t getting there fast enough – sometimes we even quit because we get sick and tired of waiting.

We want answers!  We want it NOW!  We want the marriage, the promotion, the house, the car, the perfect kids, the ministry & the healing.  We want deliverance, complete deliverance without the process.  NOW God, NOW!!  But then what happens when we GET those things before we are ready for them?

Now let me be clear:  I believe God IS ABLE.  I believe that He can give us whatever He wants to give us and take away whatever ails us whenever He wants to take it away.  He can deliver us.  But He knows us; better than we know ourselves –  He knows what we NEED, to get to our purpose here and the eternity that awaits us .. and it is far more important than what we want right in the moment – I think that often, if we are paying attention and staying connected to Him we hear when something isn’t for us at that time … we know in our innermost being, but we (as fallen, imperfect, fleshly human beings) are prone to temper tantrums.

I have had SO many people ask me since my amputation “Gosh Amanda, don’t you just wish you would have done this to begin with??”  The answer to that question is always a resounding NO.  No, No, No.  I was nowhere near ready to give up my leg.  The amount of loss in our lives at that time was so tangible that it felt as if I could touch it.  A pile of charred ashes in front of us – ashes that were supposed to be our life.  In that time I don’t think I could have withstood one more loss.  God knew way before me that His little girl needed the fight that was ahead to survive all of that loss.

 I will never forget my first day of physical therapy in a PT office OUTSIDE of home or a hospital.  I knew I had a long road ahead and I barely made it through the appointment.  At the end of it, as I lay on the table getting ice – I wondered how in the world I would ever walk again; just then Elijah’s favorite song from Rock Band came on The Eye of the Tiger.  I barely held it together – these lines of the song stood out in my mind:

It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival 

Not sure I was ready to talk about the thrill of the fight; but one thing is sure – I know how to fight – I knew I had to rise up to the challenge of my rival.  He wanted to take me out – and a declared defeated foe (Colossians 2:15) was not getting ANY Glory from our story!  From that point forward I put my all into it – I set goals and worked hard.  I was determined that I would WALK on the beach come June of 2014 if it killed me.  I struggled, I had days where I was completely overwhelmed by how much of my life the accident had consumed … I got frustrated and angry at times, but that goal kept me going.  I HAD to get there and I DID!  I learned to walk again.  I WALKED ON THE BEACH.  I did it!

Then one day I was having a really tough day with pain – we had to go to the store and I was in my wheelchair .. a woman was in line in front of us and she was an amputee.  The moment stands out in my mind – I can even remember what she was wearing because I had been praying for answers – I was in so much pain .. I had been pleading with God Lord, how will I ever do the things that you have put in my heart to do if I am still struggling in this way.  If I’m on pain medicine in a fog, dragging my leg behind me?  She walked beautifully.  She didn’t appear to be in pain at all.  She was wearing SHORTS & SHOES!  It struck me at that moment – this was not to be my future; able to walk sometimes or confined to a wheelchair in agony.  Still not ready I pushed that feeling aside; after all – I still had my leg right?

Roughly 3 months later the pain had gotten far more intense; I went to see my surgeon and he confirmed my worst fear:  the rod in my leg had broken.  It was snapped in half and literally floating in my leg.  “Amanda, we are going to need to reconstruct.  We can schedule you for surgery this Wednesday (it was Monday).”  Well, the hell you can!  Nope.  Not today Satan.  I was NOT going through that again and certainly not this week!   I needed to PRAY, I had to do research, I needed to know my options.  My option were 2 (and I already knew them):  1.  Reconstruct AGAIN, again, again, again, again or 2.  Amputate.  Go back to my last paragraph.  When I saw the woman at the store I knew.  I already knew what I needed to do.  Can I tell you that I walked around every single day putting my life back together on a broken leg for about 6 months?  I did.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to tell someone to take your LEG off?  I prayed and processed and cried and I knew the answer the entire time.  God was with me.  He never left me.  He told me, He showed me.  He didn’t push me.  I NEEDED THE PROCESS.  I am known.  You are known.  Sometimes other people’s processes are easier than ours.  We don’t get to know why.  It’s really none of our business.  Worrying about it is just a distraction.

My leg was amputated August 24, 2015.  I recovered, I healed.  The FIRST time I put a prosthetic on,  I WALKED.  When I say I walked I mean to tell you; I walked like I didn’t have a prosthetic.  When I re-started physical therapy they couldn’t believe that I was walking so well – but I started anyway and I walked even better.  I was off all medication by the beginning of December of 2015.  I signed up to walk a 5k exactly one year from the day I had surgery & I completed it!  Don’t get me wrong – of course being an amputee is not easy… but most days as the day moves on, I honestly forget.  Other people do to.  It’s been a process.  But a process that He knew I needed, even more He allowed ME to know I needed it.

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Trust Him.  Embrace your process, remember that Our God is Faithful, He is good.  He wouldn’t allow us to see something painful and leave us there, His plans for us are Good. (Jeremiah 29:11) Know that on the other side of it you will be better.  You will be stronger.  Persevere Beloved.  It will be worth it. (James 1:12)  Today, I’m STILL in the process …. and I’m ok with that.

 

When to keep your mouth Shut.

Ouch.  This was a necessary share for Meee today & with that, I will let the Word of God speak.

DON’T Open Your Mouth:

  1.  In the heat of anger.  (Proverbs 14:17)
  2. When you don’t have all the facts. (Proverbs 18:13)
  3. When you haven’t verified the story. (Deuteronomy 17:6)
  4. If your words will offend a weaker brother. (1 Corinthians 8:11)
  5. If your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord or your friends & family. (1 Peter 2:21-23
  6. When you are tempted to joke about sin.  (Proverbs 14:19)
  7. When you would be ashamed of your words later. (Proverbs 8:8)
  8. When you are tempted to make light of Holy things. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
  9. If your words would convey a wrong impression.  (Proverbs 17:27)
  10. If the issue is none of your business.  (Proverbs 14:10)
  11. When you are tempted to tell an outright lie.  (Proverbs 4:24)
  12. If your words will damage someone’s reputation.  (Proverbs 16:27)
  13. When you feel that YOU need to be right.  (Titus 3:9-11)
  14. When you are feeling critical.  (James 3:9)
  15. If you can’t speak without yelling.  (Proverbs 15:1)
  16. WHEN IT IS TIME TO LISTEN.  (Proverbs 13:1)
  17. If you may have to eat your words later.  (Proverbs 18:21)
  18. If you have already said it more than one time (then it becomes nagging).    (Proverbs 19:13)
  19. When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person.  (Proverbs 24:24)
  20. When you are supposed to be working instead.  (Proverbs 14:23)

“The tongue has the power of life & death and those who love it will eat its fruit.”   (Proverbs 18:21)

“He who guards his mouth & his tongue guards himself from troubles.”                     (Proverbs 21:23 AMP)

Elijah’s Love

My Elijah:  What would you look like now? (Beautiful I’m sure, you would have yelled at me for saying “beautiful” because “boys aren’t BEAUTIFUL Momma, they are Handsome!”  But yes, YES you were.  Simply beautiful.)  What would you be like now? (Would you still be so proud of your family – would you still think that your Momma and your sister were the most beautiful girls in the world?  Would you still think our house smells better than any other house? ☀️🌹Would you love Jesus and still proudly call yourself a Jesus Freak?  ✝️ I can’t imagine you any other way … you were born so aware of Him.)  How would you feel about your big brother being in college and on his own now? (Annoyed, because you would want him home with us. 😂). What would you think of your little sister being in 6th grade?  (NO boys!! 🤣) How would you feel about the current dynamic of our family today?  (I think you would LOVE it! You always wanted to keep people with us.)

I am so grateful that my son was known.  I am no expert and God knows we are FAR from perfect parents – none of us are BUT … I thank God every day of my life that we listened when God prompted us to:

1.  LEAVE my full time job (even if it meant struggling from time to time),

2.  Hug and love on that baby all the time,

3.  TELL him a million times a day (if I felt he needed it) how special and loved he was/is,

4.  Buy him jammies to his sweet hearts content (because they were his favorite thing & that mattered to us),

5. STOP life, shut down & have movie days with every blanket in the house on the living room floor, roasting smores in the fireplace & letting laundry, cleaning & all mundane tasks go for a day to wrap those babies in love and complete adoration,

6. Admit to him when I was wrong AND APOLOGIZE,

7. Know his friends & invite them into our home & lives,

8. Help him when he didn’t know how to resolve conflict …

9. Knowing (really knowing) the character of the sweet child that God entrusted to us…

10.  GETTING INVOLVED (prayerfully because they need independence too).

There have been times when I have been told I was/am TOO involved.  Maybe sometimes I was/am, maybe not.  Regardless, my son knew that He and his brother and sister were adored and loved beyond measure.  OUR job was to parent him as an individual, Not in a One size fits all kind of way. With Elijah It didn’t always look the way it does for other kids, he didn’t want to stay so busy that he didn’t know if he was coming or going & Lord am I grateful for that today!

One of the things that Losing Elijah taught me is that NO MATTER WHAT, I will stay engaged in my kids lives, if that means that we do it the exact opposite of the way that most of the world does it – that’s ok with me.  I don’t need to keep up.  There will not be a day on this earth that I regret being ‘all in’ with Elijah & I sincerely doubt that I ever will with the rest of them.

Time seems to be in short supply for us adults, sometimes we forget that in childhood time is different – it doesn’t move as fast.  You will not EVER regret the QUALITY time you spend with your babies, Not ever.  Take the time to let them talk before bedtime, One-on-One .. maybe take it from 5 sports to 2, field & court time is just not the same. Know them, have meaningful conversations daily – this is SO important! Show them that you are human and fallible & it’s ok to make mistakes and fall short – it’s part of life & growth. We can’t be perfect here & that’s why God gave us a Savior & He is Mighty to Save!

Don’t blink – tomorrow may never come, it isn’t promised.  It didn’t for us … Let that sink in …

Today and Tomorrow we grieve and celebrate all at the same time –  my baby has been gone for 4 years & I can still hardly believe that we have survived it .. but even more; that in some strange, unexplainable way – we are stronger, better – I know that makes him smile. 4 years

later: Some days it feels like yesterday, like I’m still going to wake up from this horrible, horrible nightmare that he is not present in – it’s just too much & I want to scream and throw things & I have to be so intentional about my response to life … EVERY day I melt into Jesus because trying to live a fruitful, productive, persevering life in the aftermath would be IMPOSSIBLE for us. But Because of Him We will always carry around Elijah’s Great Love.

🦋🦋🦋🦋

#4years #Writingitoutkeepsmeok #Jesuskeepsmebetterthanok

#ElijahsGreatLove #HesHome #JustPartedForAwhile #Overcomer #YouCannotUnderstand #Donttryto #ThankYourFatherForThat #AdoreYourBabies #WrapThemInLove #TeachThemJesus

#DontDrinkandDrive 💔

What do You SEE?

I guess I’ll be up front and say that this post is a set up to challenge your assumptions.  There, I said it.  I want to challenge your thinking, your perception … help you understand that just because you think you know something does not mean that you actually do.  No offense, this just happens to be the heavy that has been on my heart recently.  So I’m going to tell a story today – it is short, but hopefully it will make you think about the way you look at people and situations.

I was out running errands not to long ago – it was nice out, my Jesus Jams were loud … my windows were down 😂.  I was having an awesome morning – By looking at me driving in my car one just would NOT think that I could pull into a handicapped parking space.  ♿️ So I have to tell you that the looks of judgement that get shot in my direction when I do  – well, I’m just gonna tell you the truth – they make me giggle.  🤣 (I can’t help it, that is just who I am) … until I swing my legs out & they see that I am part bionic!!   Immediately those looks change from judgement to shame – and I have to tell you I don’t want that either …. I tell you this story to say that when they see me – they only see the top of my body.  They have no idea that technically; I am disabled.  I have 1 & 1/2 legs instead of 2. 

So, When I pull into that space one of two things is going on:  either I am in some pain that I refuse to take meds for OR (let’s keep it all the way real) there is no parking & I’m allowed to be there.  The point?  I wonder how many situations, people do you only see half of?  I’m betting it’s way more than you think … This beautiful Saturday afternoon I challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit to show you something in someone you just happen to have a strong opinion about.  Ask Him to show you something new that you have never seen before.

Thank you Lord that everything that is stripped away can be used for our good.  Thank You that when one imperfect human being (who I know You love) see’s me through the broken, smudged glass of their own house – YOU don’t.  You love me so much that You died for my freedom.  Thank you for using the smallest things not to hurt me, but to help me SEE clearer.  Thank you for cleaning the smudges from my glass & mending the broken parts.  Thank You for making beauty from ashes.  In Jesus name we pray – Amen“.

Here with HUGE expectation …

This last season of life has been another intense one… SO many huge changes, some incredibly painful, but none the less beautiful.  After all that we have been through It has to be a pretty BAD situation for me to NOT see the beauty in it.  Not that I’m not screaming “WHHHHHHHHYYYY God” at the heavens while parts of it are going down!!  Sorry folks still all the way human.  🙂

Anyway, so by some miracle I am on a balcony overlooking the Gulf right now and I have HUGE expectation for this trip.  I believe we are on the other side – of the latest big, bad and ugly.  How do I know?  Because I find myself driving (when I’m alone and I can think *) in wonder and awe at everything God has done, in me, in my husband, in my marriage – in my family as a whole.  So today I sit here overlooking His amazing creation thinking again of my Elijah’s words:  “Momma, the ocean reminds me of God!”  I can hear his sweet voice, I can envision those sparkly brown eyes alive with excitement and love – those dimples and that sweet smile.    The depth of that statement coming from a child who loved the Lord with all of his heart is astounding to me.  Did he know what he was saying?  I’m inclined to believe he did.  I miss him so much, but we meet here…. My Poppa is good.  I have said before that I can feel him cheering and I know that he would especially love our latest endeavor.  I am beyond honored that God has entrusted it to us ❤

So here I sit with enormous expectation for the three people that I traveled with who have never had the enormous pleasure of this particular kind of beauty – and because that was the scariest flight I have ever been on, I KNOW that this next 7 days God is up to something.  I so love it when He’s up to something!! (always…)

Fight Lessons 1-12:

It’s been almost a year since God released the first Fight Lesson in my heart – I knew at that time that I was getting ready to step into a whole new part of my journey.  He was showing me some things in His Word very clearly & tying them to my life.  He was telling me over and over again to put ON MY ARMOR that I was going to need it.  I had NO idea at the time how intense it was going to be, couldn’t possibly be more intense than what I’ve already been through .. right?    Hmmm… not the same, doesn’t mean not as intense.  But there is always good news:  He does not EVER show us something to leave us there; He wants us healed and FREE.

There is NO adventure in this world like walking with Jesus daily; (by the second actually) BUT, It cannot be done without the Holy Spirits help.  If you are busy looking real closely at someone else’s stuff KNOW that the enemy is using it to distract you from what God has for you and it will most certainly keep you from bearing all the fruit that God wants you to bear (love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – Galatians 5:22).  

Also know that no matter how bad it hurts your feelings.. He loves them too and wants them free!  So if you are praying “God use me to further Your kingdom” you don’t get to decide how he does that.  If you are bound by judgement, put it down – if you are bound by legalism, put it down.  This journey requires wisdom,perseverance & courage that only He can give.  It can’t be done without the help of the Holy Spirit.  Looks like we are Revisiting Fight Lessons!

Fight Lesson #1: Know your opponent. The devil IS REAL; he IS A LIAR … His purpose is to keep you from what GOD has for you. (1 Peter 5:8) #FightLesson1

Fight Lesson #2:  This is NOT a fair fight.  Your opponent knows you; he’s been watching for a VERY long time.  He is aware of your strengths & your weaknesses; Regardless of your reason; or how the world justifies it your OFFENSE/Anger/Bitterness/UNForgiveness WILL be used to cut off your hearing & blind your vision.  LET IT GO. (Matthew 6:15, NIV among MANY others)

Fight Lesson #3: Guilt, Shame & Condemnation have NO place in this battle … You have been Redeemed & Forgiven, your debt has been PAID IN FULL. You are human, you will stumble, repent & Keep Going ~ IT IS FINISHED. (John 19:28-30, NIV)

Fight Lesson #4:  SURRENDER.  Yes, you read it right.  Surrender. Not to your opponent; to the One who goes before you & stands behind.  Surrender because He loves you SO much that He died for you, He has your back & He SEES the whole picture & you are not capable of seeing the whole picture. (James 4:7, Romans 12:12, NIV)

Fight Lesson #5:  UNITY.  Stand UNITED with His Beloved; you know, the ones fighting beside you!?!  STOP warring WITHIN your army & stand UNITED.  Does that mean we must agree on every single topic; it does not.  But, Do we serve the same Master?  I don’t care about the fact that you do OR don’t bleh, bleh whatever.  We are ALL at different places in our walk with Him.  We MUST remember:  “It IS NOT against flesh & blood that we battle but against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12, NIV)

“Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. “(Ephesians 4:3-6, ESV)

Fight Lesson #6:  IN this World NOT “OF” this World.  You are called to a different path.  This fight may include parts and pieces that don’t look the way the world thinks they should ~ if your path is baffling to people that are not yet walking closely with the Lord you are probably headed in the right direction. (Still remember Lessons 1 – 5, He is no respecter of persons.)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2, NIV)

14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14, NIV)

Fight Lesson #7: Know Who You Are. You are more than your bad choices; you are more than mistakes you’ve made. You are MORE than the degree you carry, the job you hold, the social status you carry, the house you live in, the car you drive. You are ACCEPTED, You are SECURE, You are SIGNIFICANT. You are DEEPLY LOVED.

I am accepted…
John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:3-8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13-14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 I am complete in Christ.
Hebrews 4:14-16 I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.

I am secure…
Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39 I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:1-4 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I am significant…
John 15:5 I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God’s temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

(Taken from Freedom In Christ Ministries, Who I Am In Christ)

Fight Lesson #8: Isolation. If your opponent can isolate you; his chances of taking you down increase considerably. If, on the other hand you have an army (big OR small) standing around you speaking truth that is a little more difficult! You were created for relationship … GOD created you to be in relationship with HIM first and foremost but with other people too. There will be times when HE pulls you out to a quiet place so that HE can Speak Life back into you; but if you feel cut off from everyone including Him your oppressor is gaining ground. DON’T believe the LIE that you are supposed to do it alone & understand that even when (imperfect) people fail you; GOD NEVER WILL. Don’t ISOLATE, reach out.

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. (Genesis 2:18, NIV)

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV)

Fight Lesson #9: Secrets/Silence. The secrets you keep buried deep inside you, the things you refuse to acknowledge or speak out loud will hold you hostage as long as you allow it. Secrets come at a price. But GOD! If you have Him within you there is NO need to sit in an unlocked prison cell, You are FREE. Tell on it. See ‘Fight Lesson #2, remember ‘Fight Lesson #3.

“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.” (Psalm 32:3, NIV)

Fight Lesson #10:  A Garment of Praise.   When it feels so heavy that you can barely catch your breath; when the battle has gotten intense and you feel defeated, the enemy is surrounding you … pounding on your doors, walls, ceiling & floor .. Coming at you from every angle possible, you feel like a failure & heaviness is closing in ~ CHOOSE TO OFFER A SACRIFICE OF PRAISE TO GOD.  Sing praises to Him that made You, ADORE Him, thank Him.  His promise is “The Garment of Praise for the Spirit of Despair” (Isaiah 61:3) it’s not just “a garment” that covers, it’s THE spiritual ‘Garment’; it is the thing that drives out heaviness.  The promise is real.  Sound Crazy?  Try it on.  Go before the Lord in adoration & crush the enemy with your Praise.

Fight Lesson #11: BE Intentional, Invite Him IN.  What part of this battle are you leaving Him out of?  Do you understand that “it is IN HIM that we live and move and have our being?” (Acts 17:28) He has pursued YOU because He wants in it all!  He has pursued You, He is invested in YOU; He wants to be IN EVERY decision.  That is how much He loves you!  You can do NOTHING without Him, but IN Him ~ IN Him, ALL things are possible! (Phil 4:13) Don’t allow the free will that HE gave to You render Your greatest weapon (Him) useless in Your life.  He is a Gentleman; He wants an invitation.

it is IN HIM that we live and move and have our being?” (Acts 17:28)

I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.”  (Phil 4:13, NKJV)

3 Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
4 Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
(Psalm 105:3-4, NKJV)

Insert YOUTube video:Yield My Heart Kim Walker-Smith

Fight Lesson #12: Obedience.  What is dried up & hopeless in your life? What looks DEAD, slain? Is there a hopeless place that seems like it should be buried? Are there bones on the floor of your Valley? Is there no denying that life has left them? The next question I am going to ask you Beloved is WHO gets the say on whether or not that is truth?

I am here to tell you that if you are His; it shouldn’t be you!  It should always be ‘the Commander of your life.’  Then the Lord said to me; “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, DRY BONES HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones:  I will make breath enter you, and you will COME TO LIFE.  Then you will know that I am the Lord.”  The next sentence is of utmost importance:  SO I PROPHESIED AS I WAS COMMANDED.  (As I was commanded.  As I was commanded.  As I was commanded……) And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.  I looked and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, (as He commanded me, as He commanded me, as He commanded me!)  And breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

AND BREATH ENTERED THEM AND THEY STOOD UP ON THEIR FEET~A VAST ARMY.  Ezekiel could have ignored the command to Prophesy ~ but he chose obedience.  Be obedient to the command of the Lord Beloved, He is the One who decides!  He gets the last word.  (Ezekiel 37, NIV ~ emphasis & additions mine)

‘It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ – eternal & glorious plans they are – will have you put together & on your feet for good. HE gets the last word; Yes He does. (1 Peter 5:10-11, MSG)

The Valley of Dry Bones

37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Perceiving ….

Perception is a tricky thing … it is defined as the way you think about or understand someone or something.  A person’s perception IS their reality right or wrong.  But here’s the two part problem with perception:  1.  What if you’ve been taught wrong?  2.  What if you think you have all of the information and you actually don’t?  Even more … What if you are viewing something or someone through someone else’s WRONG lens.  Here’s a simple fact you might consider:  We cannot know another person’s heart, We CERTAINLY cannot understand why they respond to life and situations as they do.  I’m going to share a story that was shared with me to illustrate:

Once upon a time, a 24 year old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted “DAD! look, the trees are going behind!!”  The Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby looked at his son’s childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed …. “DAD!! Look, the clouds are running with us!!!!!” The young couple couldn’t resist and said to the older Man “Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?”  The man smiled and said .. I did, and we are just coming from the hospital – my son was blind from birth – he JUST GOT HIS EYES TODAY.”

We cannot know where that person who cut us off on the freeway is headed – maybe they have a sick child in the hospital dying and we are cussing them because they were rude.  We cannot fathom that the person in line at the grocery store paying with a food stamp card is crippled with fear and shame & battling to continue putting one foot in front of the other because 6 months ago they were laid off from a job that paid them a six figure income that they worked 15 years to obtain and now they need assistance just to feed their family.   We don’t know that the girl that shares her body with anyone who will have it does that because she was abused as a small child and taught that was all that she was good for & the only way to get attention or get her basic needs met.  That the man who runs away from his family and supporting his children does it out of shear FEAR that he will fail them, ruin them or worse they will turn out like him – because he never had a father to show him how!

HOW are you perceiving others?  Are you sure?  Are there occasions when your very strong opinion is a trick to keep you from noticing something about yourself that you might need to address to walk free?  Perception is a tricky thing.

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Forgiveness – 18 Months In.. (3.5 Years Today)

Below is a re-share from Facebook 2 years ago.  it’s been 3.5 years today since Elijah went home – reading through it is just crazy to me how much different my perception could have been, how God has carried me through all of this (& continues to).  That He has stayed in the places in my heart where anger and bitterness could have rooted in 🥊 What the enemy meant for harm!!!! 

It’s been 18 Months TODAY since Elijah got his wings … we have survived a year & a half without him & you’ll never believe what just happened to me: I had to leave to pick up Aliyah in Darby Estates (out close to West Jeff) at Roberts & Rome Hilliard I notice the guy in front of me swerving & then he almost hit someone going left to center (exactly what happened to us but we were on a bridge). I thought maybe he was just distracted. But he happened to be going the same direction as me (Roughly 8 miles West of my house) he swerved again & terrified yet another driver who blew their horn …… by the time we got to Walker Rd it was just us & it was pretty obvious that it wasn’t safe for him to be driving.  
I called 911: they dispatched an officer & kept me on the phone asking if I could follow him CRAZY … this impaired driver went TO THE VERY STREET I was going to! I actually backed off and went around the back of the neighborhood because I didn’t want to cause problems for anyone, I thought I lost him (911 on the line the entire time) & pulled around to the house I was going to & there he was sitting there with his lights on!! He was sitting right in front of the house I was going to!!!  The police get there, he tries to take off but then the police realizes that it was him. 

 I leave with my baby girl completely relieved not expecting to hear anything else & just a little bit ago I get a phone call from the police officer that pulled him over thanking me, telling me that I probably saved lives tonight 🙏🙌 OF COURSE I cried & told the officer our story …. ON THE 18 MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF ELIJAHS DEATH.  I can’t make this stuff up.

 This Great BIG GOD of mine never stops amazing me. Aliyah & I prayed for that driver tonight & thanked God that nobody got hurt.💙💙💙💙💙

#ElijahRyanMichaelLove #FlyHighMightyWarrior #Overcomer #MyGODISAwesome

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