Why Even Pray?

Do you ever feel like you pray and God hears you but you feel like you can’t hear Him? It takes away the power in prayer. Why pray when I won’t be able to hear God anyway; and why pray when you’ve prayed before, thought you heard God, and things still ended up badly? What then?  It’s a discouraging place to be in. I’ve struggled with this the past couple weeks.
I was able to speak with one of my close close friends and this is what I got out of it.
She told me she heard the phrase “new levels means new devils.” Clever. She reminded me that there is a battle going on inside of me. For some reason, I had completely forgotten. Doubt, frustration, etc, is exactly what Satan wants…and I’m giving it right to him. It’s a spiritual war. I can’t get through a war without weapons, without knowledge of my army’s plan, without a General. I realized I was a soldier not ready for battle, yet I was on the battlefield. Not to mention getting attacked. 

She told me prayer, music, reading, honesty is what I needed and I couldn’t agree more. We all go through rough roads, I guess this is just a bump in mine.

Daisy update: She’s fabulous as always. She eats more of human food than her food. Definitely not my fault.

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At the April dog party!

Comebacks

What is the greatest comeback of all time? Is it Muhammad Ali? Could it be the Philly Flyers who came back from the Bruins in 2010?

In 2001, Sports Illustrated released an article on the top 10 greatest comebacks of all time.

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They’ve got Elvis, Muhammad Ali and even Michael Jordan up there. But do you see who made it to the number one spot? You’re seeing right. It’s my main man Jesus right there. A non christian magazine named Jesus to have the greatest comeback of all time. That’s what we’re looking at here.

It’s never too late for a comeback. Well, actually I take that back. I mean if you are like 90 years old and you’re trying to make it back to Olympics or something that’s kind of a different story. But let’s just stick with the idea that it’s never too late for a comeback.

There are so many examples of comebacks not only in the world we live in but also in the bible. Look at Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. After they saw and witnessed Jesus die they were in a GREAT amount of despair. Imagine: A man who says he is the Messiah they’ve been looking for, this man becomes everything you look up to  and then you watch him die a brutal death right in front of your eyes for nothing he has done. If that were me, that would definitely be a reason to lose hope. Imagine with me again: the next day you go back to mourn and weep some more at his tomb only to encounter an Angel who tells you He is alive….hello doubt. That’s unreal. 1. Where in the world did this angel come from and 2. We watched him die and get put into that tomb. When they were told to look in the tomb, they did not see Him! The angel then told them to go and look for Him. Matthew 28:8 says “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy and ran to tell his disciples.” Have you ever been in a situation where you felt SO EXCITED because you saw someone or something happened in your life that you don’t believe it’s real? Kind of like that “No Way! This cannot be happening, it’s too good to be true” type thought. Well, I guarantee you that is what the two women were thinking on their way to tell the disciples.

Though this example of the two Marys isn’t your typical comeback story – they came back from despair and were again filled with joy. And their comeback happened because of Jesus’ comeback. So who knows how your comeback can affect other people in a positive way. Don’t ever have so much doubt that you lose hope because if you lose hope, you lose everything. The Marys lost hope. But Jesus. We can come back from anything because of the comeback our Lord Jesus had from the grave. People ask me what my inspiration is of why I’m not giving up or still have hope…it’s because of my Jesus. He made a HUGE comeback, so there is no reason that I cannot make one hell of a comeback too.

Daisy Update: It’s been a long while since I’ve updated you in my little girl. She’s doing great! Has some cute new outfits and still LOVES to play. She was the life of the party when we went to a dog party a little while ago. She’s getting bigger too. She’s 11.5lbs now!

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Oh Yeah…

I almost forgot.

We were talking and laughing on the phone and my friend had something to tell me. “Brace yourself, Rose, are you ready?” I responded cheerfully not knowing what was going to be said next was so serious. “I’m braced! Go ahead,” I said. “So…I may not be coming back to Georgia for longer than I thought. After training I’ll be stationed wherever they decide to put me, and I don’t know for how long.” Silence took over the conversation. I didn’t know what to say. “I could be stationed in the states or even in other countries,” my friend said. As I sat on the other side of the phone my mind was spinning round and round like a ferris wheel, only 10x faster. I knew myself. Being away from someone who is so close that I care about tremendously doesn’t do me well. I’ve tried it before. Especially if there is no set timeframe…my smile began to drop. I scooted my rolly chair back and put my feet up on the desk as I rested my head on the cushion of the chair. “Not again. It’s always something.” I thought. “Are you okay?” I heard my friend quietly say over the phone. I forgot silence had taken over the conversation. I said I was fine, I was just thinking. My friend had to go. We got off the phone and I hopped in my car and started driving. “What’s the point of ever getting excited about something?  I asked God. “If it’s just going to be taken away or a disappointment what’s the point?” I was frustrated, annoyed and a little angry, too. As I continued to drive I put on my music thinking it would help my mood. I put on Lecrae and Andy Mineo since they are perfect for any occasion and I figured I would just get myself hyped up on Jesus hoping that would distract me from what just happened. As I sang carelessly through the next few songs the Spirit touched me and reminded me of something I’ve repeatedly learned throughout my years. The Lord said, “Don’t let your excitement of something outside of Me overwhelm you so much that you forget about Me. I give you blessing so you can be excited and joyful, but don’t forget Who gave it to you.” Of course. I’m notorious for attaching myself to people and situations that when it fails I become very disappointed and have to build myself back up again from the ground up. “Not this time,” I mumbled. “Don’t force anything. Let things be what they are and if they have to change, let them. It’s okay to be disappointed. But learn to accept it, let it go, and keep moving forward with a positive attitude.” I instantaneously became determined not to let this shake me so bad that I would have to start building myself up from the ground again. I haven’t talked to my friend since but hopefully I will soon. Sometimes things don’t turn out like we want them to, but just like for me, don’t forget Whom everything comes from because He is the real source of any excitement we ever experience anyway.

Definition of Love (by Me)

Look me in my eyes,

And tell me what you see.

You can open up my heart but you’ll find…it’s empty

So Love I ask you,

Do not come to me.

See, you’ve already done enough

so please leave me be.

Opening up my heart

And jumping in and out

You think it’s okay…but I have my doubts.

People believe it’s a temporary thing.

But Love,

For me,

It’s what I wait for yet what I see.

I have a hidden bride inside that’s waiting to be.

My groom is not to be found

yet my heart to him I want to be bound.

So how can I truly know what love means?

This love will be genuine

Deep, pure, and true.

This loves what I long for until the moment I say, “I do”.

How I hope and I wait til’ we two come a pair

But STOP!

I’m thinking…

How I’ve thought of my husband time here and time there

but how I’ve not realized it’s Your Love I’ve not declared.

How my heart is not prepared for this open Love affair,

For You are the true Lover of my heart and Lover of my soul

Yet still,

I let my interior unfold and believe its my husband who will make me whole.

How I have mistaken his love for the perfect love that YOU give.

But how grateful I am to know that You’re around and You live!

Inside me You are, You live yes You do,

For You are the only one I will give my mind, heart, body, soul and life to.

Yet still, these desires unwind in my mind,

Twisted and tangled, everywhere they fall.

But You pick them up and You reassure me that You can fulfill them all.

How I all these years have looked past Your Love

Not knowing the true gift, given to me, from above.

How my heart is relieved

and a deep sigh is let free

Because I know my true Love is actually found

in You.

So look me in my eyes,

and now tell me what you see,

Because all this time, I now realize, that Love was looking straight at me.

Sea Star

My second favorite animal. A Sea Star. They have the ability to grow their arms if severed and sometimes even from a severed arm a whole new Sea Star can emerge. I love that whole concept because the Sea Star, so to speak, cannot die. If injured, with time, they will grow back, and keep growing back every time something attacks them. No matter what the enemy tries to attack you with, know that you can “grow back” from it. He’s going to keep trying and trying to tear us apart, but know that with God, we can never die. We continue to get back up and live an even better life once we grow from our past.

Daisy Update: She’s got a new favorite toy, it’s this light up bouncy ball that is too big to fit in her mouth. It’s quite entertaining to watch. Funny little girl she is. 

Restoration

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It was as if I was running a race. I was in first place and I got about a quarter of the way around the track and I tripped and fell. I looked up and watched as all the other runners passed me. I put my head down. I had such a good momentum going, and now it’s over. Then God said, “Get Up!” I lifted my head and saw how far out the other runners were. I told God “I can’t catch up with them, they are too far out now.” Then God boldly stated, “I will restore everything you lost, I will have compassion on you; I’ll come and pick up all the pieces from all the places where you have been scattered. No matter how far away you end up, I will bring you back to the land that belonged to your ancestors and you will posses that land again. And I will make you even more prosperous than your ancestors before you!” I stopped and wondered what the heck that had to do with my situation. Then it clicked. He will make up for my lost time! And not only would he bring me back to where I was but he would bring me even further – to even greater heights. I got up, dusted myself off and put one foot in front of the other. As I began running again, I apologized to God for doubting that He could not get me back to where I was…he stopped me and said “Even though you doubted, you did not quit and I am proud of you for that.” So now I know, I have no reason to doubt and I have all the reason to be confident that God will restore me and bring me to even greater things.

P.S. I’m making my way back to 1st place 🙂

Daisy Update: Surprisingly, nothing new.

Faith Your Way Out!

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Have you ever thought of faith as a verb instead of just any old word?

If you think about it, faith is always “moving” – imagine with me for a second: Faith (she) is a person. Faith loves to run around and go for one thing after the next. If Faith isn’t going to work, Faith is going to church. If Faith isn’t going to church, Faith is going to soccer practice, the grocery store or the neighbors house. Faith is always on the go. Not only that but when Faith finishes up at one place, she’ll say “Alright time to go to the next place, let’s get moving!” Now let’s say doubt, fear and anxiety is another person who we will name Troubles (he). Now Troubles is always jealous of Faith and he wants to make her just like him so he doesn’t feel so insecure about himself. If he can make her just like him, he won’t have to worry about her and what she is doing and what he is not doing. Troubles sees how fast she’s moving, going from one place to the next and how happy she is doing it! Troubles tends to move slower and is rarely happy – he is always complaining about his “troubles.” Anytime Faith and Troubles cross paths, Troubles tries to grab Faith to stop and talk to her but he can’t because Faith seems as if she is on a mission and is determined to get to her next destination, she doesn’t have time to stop and talk with Troubles.

Guess what I am about to say? It’s the same thing with us! Our faith should always be moving from one area of our life to the next. If faith grows stagnant, faith will begin to move slower and eventually will probably stop moving. Our faith needs an assignment! Just like Faith in the story had different places she needed to go, our faith needs somewhere to go. Find a situation in your life that you can attach your faith to and let your faith begin to move.

A verse that was brought up by a guest speaker at my church the other night was this, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 – So not only do we need to SPEAK faith but our faith needs to HEAR the word! When faith hears the word, faith begins to move! Faith in the story always said what? “Alright time to go to the next place, let’s get moving!” God’s got great things for us in front of us, not behind us. “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now is springs forward, do you not perceive it? I am making a way…” – Isaiah 43:18-19

Think of Troubles as the Enemy. The enemy wants to stop us and talk to us, to consider his way of life. The reason he does that is because he sees how much our faith is moving and he gets nervous when we put our faith into action. When our faith is stagnant, he isn’t bothered because we aren’t going anywhere. But when it begins to move the enemy notices it and tries to throw doubt, anxiety and fear in our path. BUT when we speak the word of God over our lives, our faith can’t help but move! So “Keep the Faith” (Michael Jackson song!) moving my friends . Let’s give our faith an assignment!

“Keep the Faith by MJ – Just for fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrmF0joul5s

 

And I caught his coat…

This shouldn’t be much of a long post, but it’s something that grabbed my attention this morning. When I go through life I tend to grab hold of the things in front of me that “seem” promising. What I mean by that is I will dive into a “something” and hold onto it for dear life. Let me just go ahead and tell you, that I’ve learned – the long and hard way – that holding onto a “something” is a set up for failure. “Somethings” NEVER last! But there is a Someone who will. There are times I find myself on the ground crawling because what I thought I could hold on to fell through the cracks and I was left hopeless. But then I saw Jesus walking and I reached for his coat…

Don’t ever let go of the Lord. Don’t hold onto anything else. If we do (which there is a 100% chance that we will) he is ALWAYS in reaching distance. Grab his coat. Tug on it. I guarantee you He will be there.

Daisy Update: She tolerates me more than I have to tolerate her sometimes (hence the stare she’s giving me). I’m also teaching her to sit down by me when I’m reading the bible out loud so we can read it together. Still a working progress
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Mt. Everest

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There are three types of people who go up the mountain.

  1. Quitters
  2. Campers
  3. Climbers

Imagine getting ready to climb a beautiful mountain (I couldn’t name one because I don’t actually climb real mountains – tehe) From the bottom, you look up and you’re in awe of God’s creation. With a spirit ready to conquer the mountain, you begin to climb. When the journey up the mountain starts, you’re in good spirits! You’ve got your friends with you and you’re chatting, joking, and laughing with one another. Say you get 1/2 way up the mountain. You all stop to rest. Your friend on the left has been complaining most of the way up the mountain and your friend on the right keeps being all dramatic and laying down on the ground saying “Oh, I’m so tired, I can no longer go on” (lol – you know you have those dramatic friends). You and the friend behind you are both tired too but you pull out your water bottles to drink water to get rehydrated. Your friend on the left decides to go back down because he/she doesn’t see the point of struggling to get to the top. “It’s just a mountain” he/she says. So you’re down one. You all keep climbing and make it 3/4 of the way up. Your friend on the right collapses on a rock and tells you two to go on with out her and she’ll catch you guys on the way back down. So now it’s just you and the friend behind you. The rest of the way up you two keep switching positions, you were in front while they were behind you and now they are in front and you are behind them. When you  see the peak, you two are side by side so excited to stand on the top of the mountain. You made it!! You stand at the top and look all around you and realize how much more beautiful the mountain is from the top, and not only that, you can see all the beauty far out and around the mountain. You think to yourself “I’m so glad I’m here”.

It is the same way in a believer’s walk. God can put a dream in your heart and the picture of it looks beautiful; but when you start the journey to reach that dream, you hit a lot of bumps a long the way. Throughout the journey to your dream, you meet people who only feed negative thoughts to you, people who want to reach the dream with you but get tired of trying and trying over and over again because it seems to be so many obstacles a long the way. And sometimes, that will leave you with a small support group to reach your dream and sometimes the only one left reaching for it is you.

Whether it is a friend, family member, mentor or coach who is the only one climbing the mountain with you. Throughout the journey they are there behind you to support you and keep pushing you up while other times you are the ones encouraging them to keep having faith that you all will get there. And then, there are times with the two or three of you are all walking side by side in agreement with the dream and determined to overcome each obstacle to get there. And even when you feel you may be the only one who is reaching for it, God will always go before you, have your back, and stand beside you along the way.

You remember the 4 friends above? The friend on the left quit, the friend on the right decided to make a nice little comfortable place to rest and stay until you got back; while you and the other friend kept climbing. What I’m trying to say is that when you are on a mountain in your spiritual and/or physical life, you have three choices of what you are going to decide to do. We truly are able to see what type of person we are when we climb our own mountains.

Oh! And remember, you can’t make it up the mountain if you keep looking back at base camp. As they were walking along the road  a man said to Him, ” I will follow you wherever you go.” He said to another man, “follow me.” And the man replied okay but first let me go bury my father…still another man said “I will follow you Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:57-62
We can’t keep looking back my friends and expect to move forward. The only way to make it is to look up and ahead and to keep on climbing. Believe in yourself, for I believe in you and I believe in me and God believes in us because we have Him. So we’re set. Keep on climbing my friends, keep on climbing. 

Daisy Update: She’s been sick the past couple of days, poor baby. But we went to the doctor and she’s slowly recovering. She has been showing her affectionate side lately, always wants to be in my lap. She even decides to make it on my lap somehow even if I’m studying. Apparently, she likes to study with me (personally I think she is just there for moral support) 

 

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Sister Friends

Looking back on the past three weeks, I can proudly say that I have some of the best sister friends ever. Ladies, if you don’t know, women need women, sisters need sisters. It’s great having guy friends, I’ve got my bunch of them, too. But when it comes down to affection, comfort, love and warmth in time of need, there is nothing that matches having a sister friend to slump on the couch with; eat endless amounts of ice cream with, talk on the phone until emotions get sorted out and prayed for, get held while you cry and cry, talk about the same thing that’s bothering you every 30 minutes without ever having to worry about them being annoyed.  Those are true sister friends. Some women think they don’t need other women because all they do is create drama. Yes, I will not even try to argue the point that women can be filled with all types of drama, but when God puts that/those right ones in your life nothing can match that feeling of being completely understood with love and empathy right around the corner.

Now guys, don’t get defensive or anything, you all do your part very well. But I must say I love my girls.

Women can lift each other up in a way that no man can. There is something about getting together with other women who have been through what you’ve been through and know EXACTLY what you are feeling and know EXACTLY how to love you through it. My mom always taught me that we girls need each other and even when relationships with men hit the scene, never forget the women who have loved you through everything and who open their hearts to you just as you do to them. I count myself very very blessed to have the sister friends I have. Through these past three weeks, I know that God’s got me because of the special women He has put it my life.

I have to put a special something here for my dear sister, Sherri-Anne and my cousins. There is no way I would have made it through without all of you by my side. We needed each other more than ever this month and I’m so glad we were able to stand side by side. Grandma wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, she would have wanted us all together, so let’s stay together. I love you all very much.

Daisy update: She’s been sleeping with me in my room more lately. I haven’t wanted to be alone so I keep her around more often (as if we aren’t already always together)

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This is us before heading downtown!