The Waiting Game…


I didn’t want to be this old trying to have a kid quite honestly, but I guess my life isn’t set up like that… to just be perfect you know.  Yet, here I am… TTC (trying to conceive over 35+ = geriatric pregnancy over here at 37 years old).

I had dreams and ideas of having kids… specifically a girl and a boy. Although my ideas and what I wanted was blatantly tampered with… I still had dreams of one day having more than one kid.

When I was previously married, I wanted to give my husband a daughter and a son… but by then my ex, already had a kid (and a few others) on the way… by someone else. Hence the term, “ex.” Anyways, at that moment when I realized that I would no longer exist in that relationship, I felt like my life was ruined! My plans of having an intact family was ruined! “He ruined my life” is what was written on the stone wall of my heart after he ‘ramshackled’ through it like a clumsy burglar.  I was devastated… not necessarily to lose him and our broken marriage, but that the kids that I wanted to have would be no more… or so I thought.

Obviously God had has a different plan for my life, and I was able to get remarried, and this time to my best friend. When we started dating, we both wanted to have more kids. Deciding how many kids was something we tossed around until we moved to California. Then we painstakingly decided to put off having kids until we could afford it. We both didn’t want to be irresponsible in raising a kid… especially after having gone through an already traumatic experience with my daughter, and the realization that my husband had a son from someone else in a previous life. Our lives are just not set up to run smoothly as you can see… but one thing we both wanted was for God to be included as the bond that held us together. Having God in your marriage is not easy… actually, the relationship seems much harder when God is involved, as you can’t hide from God, and he doesn’t let you off the hook that easy… he makes you confront your issues, deal with your hangups, and drag the baggage out of the closet. It’s all for your good he says… and in hindsight, it really is… but it sure doesn’t feel that way when you are in the thick of things.

Now though… we’re much older, more wiser (well not really), and feel more prepared to raise another kid. We have more help, and my daughter is much more older and independent. Now comes the waiting game. One would think all things leading up to this point was the waiting game… but no, it wasn’t. Now I look around and cringe… what is God trying to tell me?? Everyone I know is pregnant but me… what lesson am I supposed to learn from this?? Why did I have to wait THIS long to get pregnant?? How come my life didn’t straighten up a few years ago when I was younger and more fertile??

Yesterday, I made it a point to stop looking at human ways to solve this thing and try God. Like seriously, TRY GOD. God has said over and over in his word to TRY Him… see that what He does is good and watch Him work and open doors! I want that, I need that in my life right now. But oh… here comes Satan’s funky behind creeping up next to you trying to encroach on your spiritual life and well-being. 3

Satan has a plan to get you to believe his lies… and there are a few of them that I’ve (we all) fallen for, but not anymore. Not today!

Lie #1) If you haven’t gotten what you’ve asked for from God, then maybe you did not hear God correctly. I’m guilty of doing this… sometimes I just give up when I see a roadblock. When I don’t see what I’ve been wanting to see when I want to see it, sometimes I just throw in the towel thinking that I wasn’t supposed to have it anyways. Too difficult! During this time, what I should do is relive the times when God has provided! Reminisce on the good times in which God did bless us with things we’ve prayed for, and rejoice in Him for always coming through at the right time. “We may have to travel down memory lane many times during our wait” and ask God for clarity and assurance as we wait.

“Trust his delays rather than doubt His ways.”

Lie #2)  If you are waiting and haven’t received God’s blessing, then maybe you weren’t supposed to have that in the first place or it wasn’t God’s will for your life. I’ve doubted, I’ve seconded-guessed, I’ve indirectly asked a question to see if the answer would pertain to my situation. I’ve asked this out loud to myself, “what if God doesn’t want us to have kids? What if we aren’t good parents and we don’t deserve to have kids. What if God doesn’t want us to have anymore because of the things in our past? Could this be punishment?” My mom told me during one of those inconspicuous questions about ‘is what I want a desire/will/plan from God or my own desires/will/plan’, she would often respond and tell me that God has a plan for all of our lives, and that if he has given you the desire, it will be just as he said, but when he says it. We should still continue to pray as the request hasn’t been fulfilled as of yet. We should pray without ceasing and that’s always a good step toward keeping our faith towards Jesus. We also should look for confirmation in God’s word! He will let us know if we are on the right track.

Lie #3) If you are waiting and not getting what you asked for, then maybe you haven’t prayed enough.   Well for me, I know that I do pray for the desires of my heart, more so during the times of wait. I think that is human nature… however, we should be praying continually during times of plenty and during lean times. God is not a genie, and no set amount of praying will do the trick… God will not be used like that… he wants us to depend on him for all our needs, and that can be a struggle when you are in the land of plenty… we must always remember that God is the giver and taker of all things in our lives, and it is up to him to decide when and what we will have in our possession. So we should continue to pray, but pray for our resolve in the matter, not pray just to have things we want.

Lie #4) If you are waiting, then you must not have enough faith to get what you want.  One thing that we must remember is that God is faithful despite our unfaithfulness, despite our impatience, despite our attempts at usurping what we want, despite the manipulation we do, despite our lack of action. God is using this time of wait to allow us to grow up spiritually. He is waiting for me to realize my need for Him. He is waiting on the right time to bless our family. He is waiting until I’ve learned my lesson that He wants to teach me. He is waiting so that we can grow closer to Him.

4c5d50fca5e09c1415208a29eadb2b76It’s not about me… EVER… it’s about God. 

Once we all can see that and get out of God’s way, then he will open up the floodgates in our lives and bestow his wonderful plans on our lives for us… but if we keep acting and believing in the lies the devil tells us, all of our joy will continue to be stolen. Glean the lessons during the wait… don’t wait until there is no other choice. Do what needs to be done… but give the rest to God!


New Year, New Goals…

Many people set resolutions in the new year, describing things that they are going to change or stop doing… and most times, those resolutions do not change people overnight, so the realization of you actually changing anything is pretty slim… since you haven’t already begun your new habits. It takes 21 days to change a habit… and seeing that you are going to change cold turkey on Jan. 1, is pretty unrealistic. 0013d89b5f9ba40515792bd59c6ae1c3

However, something you can do that is realistic is pray to God that He remains the head of your life. This year, I am praying that I allow God to work and move in my life… by trusting Him entirely and relinquishing my “preconceived control” and fear. I live in fear everyday… and I’m tired of living in fear. I fear losing control over my finances, my relationships, my marriage, anything in my life really. I fear that something bad is going to happen and I won’t have control to fix it and that scares me. I also feel like if there is something I could control that I would be able to do something about it… even though that level of thought and actuality is pretty nonexistent when you think about it because God controls everything, but in our simple minds we think we can make a difference.

f12d45a450fcfb7eac9dbe79715e9c5e (1)This year, I’m just tired of living in fear and I want to give up this fear and fake control I think I have. I want God to rule and reign in my life in all areas. Not the ones I want him to control, but every area.  I pray that God continues to do a work in my life and that I allow him to be my God and not just someone I allow time to time into my life whenever I need him.

I pray that we all look within ourselves and be real… be real with others, be real with ourselves, and be real most of all with God.

What do you do when people offend you?

One thing I’ve had to really work on is my response and reaction to people who go out of their way to offend me, purposefully try to impede progress, who outright disrespects me, and those who virtually have zero manners and upset me because of their ignorance.

c551ce45e10aed57520dbc5b5ae1c3a2How do you handle things like that? I know in my earlier years I always had a quick comeback and snarky comment ready for those exact moments to use them. Other times I laid awake devising up a quip to throw back at just the precise moment to throw the proverbial pie in the face. Most often, I’ve had the chance to just be silent and let the silence speak for itself… ignoring someone who wants to do verbal battle gets under their skin just as bad as a severe tongue lashing throw-down. 

I’ve had to learn to keep my mouth shut in many situations because my snarky comments and unabashed head-on tongue lashing only added fuel to the fire, and I became aware that I was stoking a monster set on everlasting fire. I had to realize that me saying something was them accomplishing getting under my skin, and I couldn’t stand that they were able to ruffle my feathers. However, when I remained silent and did not succumb to the tit-for-tat play that they wanted, the fire and bite was never that bad or lasted that long, and eventual boredom set in… 

Today I had a strange thing happen to me… First of all, let me back up and give some historical context about the situation.  I’ve been working out with a trainer for a little over 1 year… from September 2015 to present. I’ve paid this person weekly for performing this service, and had been having buyer’s remorse, but feeling empathetic, I just stuck with the program. Off and on, this trainer would not show up or text to let me know they wouldn’t be able to make it. Very rarely would I have to do a rain-check or inform them I would not be there to train… mind you, I gave ample time to inform this person (2-5 hours versus the 2-5 min heads up that I would get whenever they couldn’t make it). 

“It is what it is!” That was my mentality… I’ll just take whatever you got because doing it on my own wasn’t cutting it. So I was happy just to have someone train me… Anyways, as the months and weeks wore on, I learned that he had skin cancer and would have to be out due to being sick or whatever… I accommodated. He wouldn’t show up some days, and I’d realize that 5 min into our scheduled time when I didn’t get a text message… no problem, “it is what it is!” So I just took it upon myself to work out on my own. I have never been a no-call-no-show. I have however, been unable to make our standing appointments, but as I mentioned earlier, I have always informed him ahead of time. Today, was another unfortunate time where I have come down with an ailment… an allergic reaction to something that makes my hands and feet swell up with a rash… so I told this trainer… the one who couldn’t make it on Friday, but texted me ahead of time to make sure I could come, then to turn around and text me 10 min before our scheduled time to say they couldn’t make it. The same trainer who didn’t text me or show up for 2 days, without an explanation… I digress… so today I let them know I wasn’t going to be able to make it.  This person says, “this stuff pisses me off more than you know. There is a term in Pittsburgh we say about stuff like this, “jag off” and it fits.” So of course, being the young person that I am, I look up the term, “jag off” and it means that you are an annoyingly selfish a**hole. So my first emotion that hit was anger… ‘cause I just felt like he was trying to offend me. Second, I re-read it because then I thought, well maybe he didn’t really mean anything by it… but the meaning of the term is clear about what that person means when they use it.  Third, I wanted to delicately explode on them with articulate words to basically blow their ignorance out of the water. 

1d835882f7f543e444303542fe2baa5dHowever, I have come to the conclusion where silence is golden here… however, my actions will be priceless. Here will be my opportunity to share the power of God… and I have to ensure that what I do next is impactful, in a gospel sense. Do I turn the other cheek? Do I feign ignorance? Do I respond tacitly with a cool response that will ensure they never speak out of turn again? Do I terminate the relationship because they have now disrespected me, and for that I have no tolerance? Was it all a misunderstanding? Should I even get clarification?? All of these things are running through my mind as I read and re-read the text message. Again, I need to be powerful with my actions… in considering, what would Jesus do in this situation? As I’m thinking about WWJD, I wonder how that could even apply because Jesus would know that person’s heart… he would know what their motive was… he would know more than I can know… and so it would be unfair to try and figure out what Jesus would do when Jesus would already know the past, present, and future of this person… but I digress… 

a39956242e2f8e99ba9bc03d40fa2cacThe Christian spirit in me wants me to forgive and forget. Brush it off as just something old people say, and move on. The parent in me wants me to say something, get clarification before I take something the wrong way and just gain understanding before making an assumption. The person I’ve become through my life experiences wants to immediately respond with such an articulated, grandiose, black woman educated vernacular (aka Angry Black Woman) that I don’t even think he would understand. I went back and forth on this decision all day to say or not say something… I conversed with a few close friends to gather more understanding because I could just be overreacting, so I waited. Silence. The next time I was supposed to meet him, he was there… and I found out that he was talking about doctors, not me… so my lesson is learned… take the Christian way… give the benefit of the doubt and follow up with clarification as need be… and save the scathing, well articulated, emotional tirade for something that is an obvious affront to my person. Sometimes it’s better to be late on the trigger than to give in to your hot emotions prematurely, which could lead to ruination to a part of your oikos without even realizing it. a3594e7fc7a93e91de840822c314b780

Why do the wicked prosper??

I know most of us are wondering what in the “h-e-double-hockey-sticks” is going on around here in our world. Our glorious U-S-of-A is crumbling around us, and it seems as if we are unable to prevent the eventual fall and demise of our global standing in the world. How did we get here? Why can’t we stop the destruction and hate that’s going on right now? Why are “good people” suffering right now? Why are the wicked prospering and succeeding in terrorizing people of this land??a58f26e6fcf5abc233660ed57d9d82cf

There are more questions than answers right now for many of us, and quite frankly, I’m not sure what we can do about it. It seems as if our protests and our voices are being heard, but not in the direction or with the impact in which we would like for it to be. Our cries and screams for justice is going up and coming down with no impact… our prayers, our tears, our hopes, our fears are being crushed and realized all at the same time.

How does the wicked prosper?? I have been wondering for so long why “bad people” can sail through life doing as they please without any obvious repercussions. It unnerves me to no end to see how these usurpers are destroying everything we’ve worked so hard for with a stroke of a pen with no valid explanation given… only lies and lies upon lies… and nothing else. Take it or take it… basically. We can’t leave it because we live here, we are being forced to accept executive decisions and orders being handed down by a wanna-be dictator in training. It is truly disgusting!

fb8f6cb2aa4c47cb139054c69c72c1ccAs I was contemplating writing this, a verse popped up today on my Bible App and the verse says, “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall” (Psalms 55:22). I want to take solace in that… matter of fact I need to take solace in that because there is nothing else left for me to do. I am distressed when I read the news, I’m distressed when I check Twitter, I’m distressed when I see reposts on Instagram… and I deleted my Facebook app so I wouldn’t check it and get distressed from that. In all actuality, I would really love to live in a bubble… in a protective layer against all hurt, harm, or danger… but then I think about God’s word… and in the Bible, he says that he does not give us a spirit of fear. We are not to rely on man for anything because when we start to fear man, we are going down the wrong path. Man does not make the rules… although it may seem as if man is having his way with reality, but if we really think about it, man has no control over anything… he can’t control if he wakes up in the morning, and he can’t control staying alive all day… what man is doing is just abusing the assumed power given to him… but as quickly as that power came, it can be taken away.

In the Bible, Jeremiah asked God a question: “You are right and good, O Lord, when I complain to You about my trouble. Yet I would like to talk with You about what is fair. Why does the way of the sinful go well? Why do all those who cannot be trusted have it so easy?” (Jeremiah 12:1)

In Psalms, this topic of the wicked is brought up again, and this is what the Bible says about the wicked.

Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
Soon the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them, they will be gone.
The lowly will possess the land
and will live in peace and prosperity.
The wicked plot against the godly;
they snarl at them in defiance.
But the Lord just laughs,
for he sees their day of judgment coming.

(Psalms 37)

I realize that God is allowing these things to happen… be it for fulfillment of his promise of his return or something else that prophecy has foretold, but whatever it is, we cannot let fear of man consume us… yes, we should speak out, yes we should protest, yes we should not back down from demanding justice… but also know, that as furiously as we protest and resist wicked and evil, we also should know that God’s purpose and his will cannot be stopped.

de022ce18d310c6c4f4b094dceae4b44In my weekly bible study group, we recently had this topic of conversation come up about why evil and suffering occurs in the world.  As we were studying “Reason for God” by Tim Keller, we came to know the million dollar statement that most people say or think in regards to this topic: “I cannot believe in a God who would allow this evil and suffering to happen to me.” Enduring any type of pain, suffering, or evil is never easy and even harder to sometimes explain to someone who cannot see or refuse to see God’s purpose in everything that happens. Tim Keller suggests that we 1.) Listen compassionately 2.) Respond with empathy 3.) Do not give a reason for the pain, suffering or evil. Even with all of these protests and detainments in the airports, we have to remember to respond compassionately to people who have been affected by this evil and hatred. We have to put ourselves in their shoes and feel what they feel. We should never give a reason as to why this is happening because we honestly don’t know… we just have to trust and believe that God knows all and sees all, and he will not let the godly fall and slip.

We then discussed, “is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Or is he able, but not willing?” Many people, right now especially, want immediate alleviation from the pain and suffering. Most often we don’t understand why this pain and suffering is even being allowed in the first place. Tim Keller states that this question of whether God is not able or unwilling to stop the bleeding has a false premise that preventing evil is better than permitting evil. He also states that this has a false premise that God doesn’t have a purpose in the suffering/evil/pain that’s being allowed. One thing that I’ve realized is that God is all powerful, all knowing, and ever present. He will not leave us or forsake us. Yes, this is hard. God never promised our lives would be easy. He did however, promise that we would never be alone. We cannot allow man to be the dictator of our fears, emotions, or thoughts. We have to help each other stay strong, find resolutions and solutions to problems we can figure out and allow God to open those doors and change hearts and minds of people where we cannot.

a32590a43036fa2366841aef24c2fc13God does care about what’s happening! We have to remember, God suffered the ultimate sacrifice of giving his only begotten son to be killed for our transgressions. He had to watch his son be tortured, whipped, prodded, stabbed, and killed without stepping in and taking it away… through that sacrifice, we were made whole! We were given a way into the kingdom of God, to be with him through all eternity. This earth is temporal. It will pass away. We should look toward the future of what is to come and what is in store for us in heaven… we should not give up on justice, fighting for what’s right and fair… but also know that God has our back! “Suffering drives us like a nail deep into God’s love and into more spiritual power than we can imagine.” (Tim Keller) Now that we are all in the same boat, let’s get close to God more than we’ve ever had… and lean on him for strength, guidance, wisdom, and comfort during these hard trials. God has never led us astray, and he never disappoints. b8cc8076444b49065c3419cd8db0ae04

I leave you with this verse to meditate on… and I ask you to pray for our nation! Pray for healing, and pray for strength!

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

(Psalms 1:1-6) 

You Are…

Today this song would not leave my mind… and so I had to share. Sometimes we just have to sit back and realize who God is and what he has done in our life. Although our lives may be hard and rough at times, we serve an amazing God who is our savior, and who will never leave us… he is our best friend, our father, our brother, our mother, our everything… Jesus is everything we could ever need.

Please take the time to listen to the words… and let it penetrate your soul.

Thank you Jesus!!

Praying Through the Pain

344ae2f8d0ae72cb5bd2721f46ccfadcPraying through difficult times can be virtually impossible sometimes. Praying at times where you are barely making it through each day is just a reality in many situations. Every new year, my mother and I choose a different name and attribute of God that we want God to manifest in our lives.


The characters we choose from are:

  • NAME OF GOD: Elohim – MEANING: The strong, Creator God
  • NAME OF GOD: Adonai – MEANING: Master Over All
  • NAME OF GOD: El Rai – MEANING: God Seest Me
  • NAME OF GOD: El Shaddai – MEANING: Almighty God
  • NAME OF GOD: Jehovah El Elohim – MEANING: The LORD God of gods, the LORD, mighty, powerful, strong One over all
  • NAME OF GOD: Sar Shalom – MEANING: Prince of Peace
  • NAME OF GOD: Jehovah Jireh – MEANING: The LORD Will Provide
  • NAME OF GOD: Jehovah Nissi – MEANING: The LORD My Banner
  • NAME OF GOD: Jehovah Rophe – MEANING: The LORD (our) Healer
  • NAME OF GOD: Jehovah Roi – MEANING: The LORD My Shepherd
  • NAME OF GOD: Jehovah Shammah – MEANING: The LORD Is There

    Praying and Pronouncing the Names of God – check here for other names of God

Last year I chose Jehovah Nissi and Jehovah Jireh because I needed God to fight my battles and also provide resources especially during this time. The year before last I chose Jehovah Nissi because I was still in need of God to fight my battles. During both years, I prayed that God will manifest his attribute and his name over my situation. The first time, I didn’t essentially allow God to fight my battle… fearfully I felt like I should be the one to step in and do what I could in order to set things right in my life… since I felt like I was “supposed” to do what I could “humanly” do and believed that God would do the rest… but that’s not how it’s supposed to go. True, faith without works is dead, BUT we are supposed to let go and let God… meaning, I should have entirely given over my situation to God, praying that he does manifest himself in all manners of his infinite wisdom and power and move when He says move… and do what he says do… and work in His strength and not rely on my own when it comes to God moving and working in my life. God most often doesn’t work right in front of our faces. He works mostly behind the scenes… he changes the hearts and minds of people, he closes doors that were previously wide open, and opens doors when they seem to be made out of brick walls sealed shut with gorilla glue. We don’t know or can even fathom how God does what he does, but we do know that he works in mysterious ways.

So let’s get back to praying through the pain… How? Why? For how long?

fba899e90e42ffad0cd46dfe3afb118eWhen something devastating happens, is your normal response to pray? Most of us pray because we want something to stop, turn around, or get better… Do we ever thank God for our devastating news or situation? Not really… in all honesty… why? Because it’s uncomfortable and goes against our human feelings… we want pain to stop, we want immediate alleviation, we want a healing, good news, and favor. We often think that God is distant and not hearing our cries.  I recently had my mother tell me that she lost her job. That’s devastating news! I was speechless. I never expected that to happen because she was great at her job. Everyone had nothing but great things to say, and people helped her with everything to make her job easier. To hear in my mother’s voice a tremble as if she was holding back tears, that was hard to swallow. My mother is a very resiliant woman, but she seemed shaken. Shocked. Upset. Disappointed. Devastated. Although she may have said she was “fine” I knew she wasn’t. I knew she felt insecurities creeping up. I knew she felt some sort of self-doubt… that morning she said she prayed to God to direct her steps that day, “and that’s where he lead me”, she said… “right into being laid off.” I instantly wanted to make things better for her, and I tried to share words of encouragement and remind her of God’s promises… especially the names of God that she chose this year, and how He is moving in our lives, essentially because we prayed for Him to do so.

Most times when we pray for something, we have to get ready because God will move in our lives. When God moves it’s most often a very uncomfortable thing… because in pain we grow…in agony we learn… in devastation we become resiliant… in trials we develop patience and endurance. God is definitely moving, but initially it feels horrible and uncomfortable, but we grow. We learn. We move on. We become resiliant. We develop endurance to outlast trivial upsets… and then we share with others going through things we’ve went through in the past.

0b712aee4e58799c5702168fd62d7f66When doors close, we have to be prepared to pray through those trying times. We have to find our strength in God because only he can give us what we need to get through. When we branch out to other outlets we tend to have disarray and chaos and we make life much more terrible than it should be. God is the first and only one who can fix our problems, so why shouldn’t we rely on him only to make things better for us in his own time? We should pray for insight, for some wisdom, for some emotional stability, for understanding, for opportunities to share our heartache with another so that someone else can be encouraged and believe that if they just trust God, their situation will eventually turn around.

So let me share something with someone who may be feeling the pain, suffering, devastation, or disappointments in their life:

Does God feel distant? Floyd McClung writes: “You wake up one morning and all your ‘spiritual feelings’ are gone. You pray, but nothing happens. You rebuke the devil, but it doesn’t change anything. You go through spiritual exercises, you have your friends pray for you, confess every sin you can imagine, then go around asking for forgiveness of everyone you know. You fast; still nothing. You begin to wonder how long this spiritual gloom will last. It feels like your prayers bounce off the ceiling. In utter frustration you cry out: ‘What’s the matter with me?’ This is a normal part of the testing and maturing of your friendship with God. We all go through it. It’s painful, but it’s absolutely vital to developing your faith. You see, God is always present, even when you are unaware of Him. His presence is too profound to be measured by intellect or emotion. He’s more conceded that you trust Him than that you feel Him. Faith, not feelings, is what pleases God” (Hebrews 11:6). You ask, “So what can I do?” Isaiah answers, “The Lord has hidden himself… but I trust Him.” Focus on God’s unchanging love and faithfulness. Cling to His promises. During times of spiritual dryness, rest on his Word, not your feelings. Realize that He’s taking you to a deeper level of maturity. Any friendship based strictly on emotion is shallow indeed. So don’t be troubled by trouble – God’s grace is still in full force! He’s with you even when you don’t feel Him. His word to you today is, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. (I Peter 1: 6-9)

Ring in the New Year with Joy!

1a6668c998641231d035590d12551d71As the New Year have rang in, we sometimes look for this to be our motivation to restart, recharge, re-motivate, renew, start something fresh, purge, cleanse, destroy, rid, and devote more time, attention, money, cares to something we hold dear in our hearts.
The New Year is a perfect time for all of that. However, we shouldn’t wait just until January rolls around to start something new and fresh. We shouldn’t keep old and bad habits with us because the new year has come through. Sometimes we are hanging on to bad things in our lives longer than necessary because we’re waiting for an external push to make us get rid of it.
There should be some internal fire and self-determination to make your life a little better everyday.
As I was reading one of my devotionals, it says that “joy” is a choice. Thinking about that, I have to agree.  It is a choice. I am in control of my feelings, reactions, and emotions. I often allow my circumstances and situations to dictate how I’m feeling, and that should not be the case. God gave us the spirit of “joy” as a fruit of the Spirit. We choose to allow things to hinder us and our relationship with God, along with other distractions because of our choices in our emotional responses to how life treats us.
f5e8bd81a47ecbe31561f7d03252e1c0We have to be careful because our lives can possibly bend and change as the wind blows. Being on an emotional rollercoaster like that is detrimental to our mental health! We cannot control other people and their responses… we can only control our responses. Our facial expressions. Our thoughts. Our behaviors. Our emotions. Our responses. We have to mentally and sometimes physically choose to do things different.
I remember when I was in the midst of a storm in my life, and at first I reacted to everything. I was mad all the time. I was irritated. Depressed. Sad. You name I did it. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, and I couldn’t keep my brain from jumping to the other side and providing a fast quip or snarky comment about anything. I was collapsing and going crazy for about a year.
Then one day I had to face the ultimate test, and from that point on I realized that no matter what happened I had to trust God. I had nothing left or nothing else to give. I was exhausted and tired of disappointment. I realized that this is happening because I haven’t allowed God to fix the situation. I kept jumping in, along with all of my two cents I had to provide. When I finally realized that how I was feeling was being fed by relentless negativity I decided to just shut up. Literally. I didn’t say anything and only responded in very short limited explanations. This allowed me to reserve my most useful responses in other areas where it would serve me better. Once I learned this, a peace of understanding flooded my senses… and I was then able to put all of my trust in God and not fear the unknown that I wouldn’t be able to control anyways.
f917342c8119bf516da649445a63f262So my advise is just to choose “joy.” You can also pray to God to help you uncover the joy that you believe may be lost or you just simply cannot get past the disappointments in your life. He will be there for you and help you recover your joy. He will bring about a peace of understanding and you will be able to see for yourself how trusting God in all of your situations gives you joy! I’m a witness! Test God! He won’t let you down!
Do you need joy in your life today?  All you have to do is call on the name of Jesus and he will give you what you are looking for. His name is the sweetest name I know, and there is no one who can give you what you need besides God. Call on his name! He will answer you!
Psalms 5:11-12
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
    that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
 For you bless the godly, O Lord;
    you surround them with your shield of love.