Saturday, October 22, 2016

Blessings in the Trials

In every situation, I believe that we have the opportunity to learn and grow. This surgery has been a very rewarding situation for me. Through the pain, God has blessed me to grow and gain  a new understanding.

The one thing that got me through the painful moments was love and prayers. I could feel them surrounding me. And my God was right there. He held me through the fear of the reactions to the medicine and through the painful moments. One night, I felt Him lift me into His arms and He held me while I slept. His presence was always with me. He understood every tear, and when my strength faltered His strength surrounded me. 

Every time I needed something, it was there. Cards, texts, messages, flowers, hugs, kisses, and my favorite foods. God knew, before the surgery was even scheduled, that it would be hard for me and He had a plan. 

The one thing I have learned is the need to show love and kindness more to those who are hurting and suffering. It means more than we realize. A kind word, phone call, flowers, texts, etc, could be just what someone else needs to brighten their day.

And to stay focused on the reward. It’s not always easy. Sometimes we go through hard times, but it’s during the midst of the storm that we realize just how much Jesus loves us. He suffered the worst pain imaginable for us. At any time, He could have ended His suffering, but He chose to endure the pain for us. And we should be grateful that God would bless us with the opportunity to grow into a stronger vessel for Him.

I don’t enjoy the painful moments. In fact, I usually beg God to help me end the pain. I have learned, however, to appreciate them. It is through the overcoming of the trials that I am able to obtain the reward. Because that is where I find a deeper level of faith, wisdom, patience, knowledge, love, gratitude, and understanding. 

Have a wonderful day!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Having a Relationship With God

When I first started my journey with the Lord, I had so many questions. I wanted to understand the scriptures, learn how to pray, and learn to follow my Lord. 

My heart wanted a connection with God, but my mind wanted to interfere. I soon learned that if I wanted a relationship with God, I had to spend more time with Him. Sounds easy enough, but it was hard for me. 

Whenever I had a question that needed an answer from my Lord, I went to everyone but Him. I talked to my family about it, talked to my friends, and then tried to solve it on my own. While it is sometimes good to discuss our problems, the scriptures, and thoughts with others, if we want real understanding and true peace, we need to learn to have good conversations with God.

I remember going to my daddy once with a question about a scripture and my problem. He said, “I can tell you my understanding and give you advice, but God might want you to know something different.” Sure enough, he explained his understanding to me and it didn’t satisfy me. It took me going to the Lord and seeking His understanding for me and my situation to become satisfied. 

The Lord is only one who understands it all. He knows what is behind us, in front of us, and the true challenges of our life. He also knows the plans He has for our life. If we want to reach our full potential and live peacefully, then we need to go to Him first.

I feel my best, when I have my coffee with God. You can read more about that hereThen, I listen. He doesn't always answer me immediately. Sometimes it is years later in various ways. He also speaks to me through preaching, teaching, and studying His word. When I truly show up, seeking Him, I find that He is always waiting for me. I love our moments. After talking to Him, I always feel better.

I encourage you to develop your own relationship with God.

Have a beautiful day!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

My New Adventure

Have you ever heard the same Bible verse several times in one day? Or looked up to see the same number on the clock for weeks at a time? I believe God sometimes tells us the same thing over and over to get our attention. Today, I saw and heard the same Bible verse three times. By the third time, I stopped and said, “Ok,  God. I will be brave and I will do it.”

Joshua 1:9 (KJV)
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

 Guess what? I don’t have it all figured out. In my mind, I question this new adventure. I feel like a child, kicking and screaming, and begging Him to reconsider. But in my heart, I am delighted because I know that God will use this to help me grow.

Friends, I am going to be really vulnerable and share more of my life: the things I learn, things I love, and things that challenge me. Ånd the real challenge, for me, will be to do it consistently—as in every single day. 

So you have my permission to call me out on it if  I skip a day. I hope that you will take me by the hand and share this journey with me.

Also I’d  love for you to join me on Snapchat. I’m completely jumping out of  my comfort zone.

Many blessings, 


Monday, October 3, 2016

Why You Need a Plan B

Do you ever have something planned out perfectly, but then something happens to throw it off balance? This happened to me yesterday. For several weeks now, I have been preparing to have surgery on my hand. I had the schedule figured out, so that I would have someone with me every day to help take care of me. I have been trying to figure out how to do more things with my left hand, since I had planned on having surgery on my right (dominate) hand first. But then, everything changed.

My dad (who is also my pastor) announced a revival at our church on the same week that I had planned to have surgery. It would be so hard on me to get ready for church every day using only my left hand. Staying home, however, is not an option for me either. 

At first, I felt overwhelmed and confused. But after a few prayers and tears, I realized that God will work it out for me. He always does. I just have to trust Him. He has an appropriate time for everything that He does. So I will just have to be patient and wait on Him. After all, He knows my heart and what is best for me. 

Sometimes we get so discouraged when things don’t go our way that we just want to give up. Giving up, however, is not an option for me. If plan A doesn’t pan out, then I just need to trust that God has another way and start cultivating plan B. And if plan B doesn’t turn out well, then there are more letters in the alphabet for me to try. Years ago, when things didn’t go as planned, I got mad at God and usually ended up in the bed. I would sulk for days, and have a real big pity party. Now I refer to one of my favorite verses Romans 8:28 (And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.) and I know that it will all benefit me. 

Perhaps having surgery on my left hand first would make it easier for me. I would get to see what the process is like before doing my right hand. Anyway, I am going my appointment in faith. Somehow, in some way, God will make a way for me. I trust Him to take care of me. And if I doubt that at all, I need just remember how He parted the Red Sea for the children of Israel. Compared to that, my little schedule conflict is a piece of cake. 

I will update with the date and time, as soon as I know. Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. It means so much!

Have a wonderful day!


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Productivity: How to Control Your Day

Have you ever had a moment or situation that you would like to do over? Every time I hit my snooze button and fall back to sleep, I wake up wishing I could change my decision. When I eat something that will make me sick (aka dairy) I always wish I could travel back in time and tell myself not to eat it. While we can’t change what has already been done, we can try to stop our future self from further self-sabotage. 

Time management is a struggle for me. So many times I just wander through my day. I get caught up in reaction mode and just react to the circumstances of my day—all day long. My focus is all over the place and I don’t have a clear picture in my mind of what I wish to accomplish. Therefore, I don’t accomplish anything of significance. This act of mindlessly working creates stress, overwhelm, and makes me want to quit because I am not seeing any results. 

If my day is scheduled, however, I am able to accomplish so much more. Yesterday, I had 95 % of my to-do list finished by 8 a.m. Then without guilt, I was able to spend the rest of the day with my husband. When I focus on the scheduled tasks, I am able to accomplish so much more. It helps me to know how long I have to work on each thing and also that I schedule in margin. I need time in my day to rest and rejuvenate. A short nap in the middle of the day (when possible) helps me to be more creative because I seem to hit the wall around 2 p.m., but a 30 minute power nap gives me the needed energy to finish my day. If I can’t take a nap, I try to take a short walk. 

At first the thoughts of having a schedule overwhelmed me, and I resisted it for months or years rather. In fact, when I was traveling for speaking events, I felt overwhelmed with each new event I scheduled. The tighter my schedule, the greater my stress. But I knew that if I wanted to take my business to the next level, and invite more peace into my life, that I had to get focused. 

So every morning I take a few minutes and schedule my day. Usually after I’ve finished my Bible reading and while I’m drinking my coffee. First, I write down everything on my mind. 
  • What bills need to be paid? 
  • What work has to be done today? 
  • What do I need to do to move me closer to my dreams?

Once I’ve written everything down, I make out a schedule so that I can complete it all. This also prevents me from reacting to the events of my day or wasting my time. So many times I have had an important deadline or project, but instead of having laser focus and working on it, I have allowed someone else to control my day. Or I’ve gotten caught up in the social media scroll or reading articles that I’ve wasted hours. 

When I’m intentional about my day, I am more productive. While I am still not perfect at scheduling my day, I am doing better than before. Each day we are a work-in-progress. Here is a great action plan to help you get started. 

Have a wonderful, productive day!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How to Stop Emotional Eating

Do you reach for food when you are upset? More specifically, do you reach for comfort food?Emotional eating is very common. When we are upset about something, it is only natural for us to seek pleasure. We want the pain to stop, so we try to find a way to feel better immediately. This usually has us eating large of amounts of junk food. For a few moments, the sugar or high fat snack gives us pleasure, so we indulge and eat way more than we planned. Because comfort food has nothing to do with being hungry. 

I am guilty of this as well. Potato chips are my comfort food. If I’m having a bad day, I will usually talk myself into a serving or three. Because in my painful state I believe that I deserve to eat potato chips. While it may make me feel better for a short period of time, the long term effects of this behavior will only bring more pain into my life. When I overindulge in too much junk food, my body responds with inflammation. My digestive system gets upset and I have horrible bouts of nausea. This brings more pain into my life, so I go searching for more comfort. It’s a horrible, self-destructing cycle.

A few years ago, when my body had had enough and decided to rebel on me, I was forced to make some changes. My diet was one of the first things the doctor wanted me to look at. He asked me to eliminate processed food, gluten, and then dairy. The first 30 days was so hard! I realized that I had emotional attachments to food. It made me cry to not eat doughnuts and fast food. I remember crying in the grocery store and thinking that I could not do it. But the alternative to not doing it was remaining sick. So I gave myself a pep talk and worked on changing my thoughts about food. 

I soon realized that willpower would help me to avoid gluten and processed foods for a few days or weeks, but it would not work long term. In order to make a lasting change, I knew that I needed to change my mind-set. That’s when I began educating myself on ingredients and taking a hard look at the nutrition of my food. What I discovered both terrified and delighted me. Seeing all the harmful chemicals in my favorite foods helped me to change my thoughts about it. It no longer sounded appealing to me. Before every bite I asked myself one question, “Is this harmful or helpful to me?” This has helped me to reach for more whole foods that actually heal my body instead of hurting it. 

Now if I’m having a bad day, I have a whole list of things that provide me comfort that has nothing to do with food. 

  1. Walk. Walking and talking to my Lord always helps me. 
  2. Bath. Soaking in Epsom salt and essential oils is so relaxing. 
  3. Prayer. When I take my troubles to the Lord, He always helps me. 
  4. Read. Reading the Bible or another book of encouragement helps me. 
  5. Breathe. Deep breathing calms me. 
  6. Write. Getting my feelings out and on paper helps me to see my situation with a different perspective.
  7. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Sitting in nature and appreciating God’s beauty helps me.
  8. Sing. Singing comforting hymns helps me to get my mind back to where it needs to be.
  9. Talk. Sometimes talking to a friend about our problems helps us to see if differently.
  10. Run or exercise. Cardio helps me to release pain killing endorphins. 

The next time you find yourself reaching for some comfort foods, try one of the things on my list and see if it helps you as well. Then work on making your own list. 

When we change our thoughts, we are able to change our life. 

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, September 26, 2016

Are You Growing or Dying?

Recently, I heard an expression that intrigued me. In a book by Tony Robbins, he said that we are either growing in our life, or we are dying. The statement made me pause and think about my life. 
Sometimes we would love to get to a place of comfort and just hang out there. We get in a rut and don’t want to do more. Perhaps we are satisfied with our life and don’t feel a need to do anything else. But, in doing that, we are limiting our life. In all reality, we are either growing or dying. The good news, however, is that we get to choose which one we want for our life. 
God is strict. He doesn’t give us room to sit on both sides of the fence. He wants us to choose whom we will serve. We can’t live for the Lord, while we are holding hands with the devil. I know that seems harsh but it is true. 
Right now, I am in a season of change with my Lord and it’s painful. I am learning the skill of discipline, and developing a plan to write more. It’s not easy. Honestly, I would love to just go back to bed and declare that I just don’t have the time to write. But, in doing that, I would be following the enemy, and allowing him to steal my joy. While I could definitely make the excuse, and even believe it myself, the Lord will not allow me to get by with it. He loves me enough to push me, and demand that I show up every day and do my best. 

So often I find myself in unfamiliar territory, doing things that I have never done before. It would be so easy for me to say that I can’t do them, but my Lord wants me to trust Him and be willing to learn. We don’t know what we are capable of until we try. 

When I first started this journey with my Lord, I had never written a book before. I had no idea what I was doing. So many times I would cry and tell Him that I couldn’t do it, but He would encourage me to try until I was able to accomplish the task. Anytime that we do anything for the Lord, we will have to do it despite the devil. He is always there to put stumbling blocks in our way. God knows I have stumbled lately. But anytime that I take a step toward my Lord, He always gives me the strength and faith to keep going. 

I am so grateful that the Lord will not allow me to stay in the place of comfort for too long. While He wants me to enjoy my life, He also wants me to reach my full potential. In order to find the level of wisdom, knowledge and understanding that I need to serve Him and do His work, I have to be willing to learn something new every day. 

Where are you in your life? Are you growing or dying?

Have a wonderful day!


Author shares message through Zippy the zebra