I Asked for One Apple, He Gave Us A Bag

Being back in VA has been the answer to many, many prayers. But the move and transition caused a strain on finances as we all started new jobs and awaited first paychecks. So needless to say money has been tight and you need money to buy food. So we have all had to eat foods that we normally would not and just try to maintain. Friday was one of those such days as one of my daughters thought she would have the means to buy groceries for the next couple of weeks, but it didn’t manifest in that way.
As I sat at work, she text me and asked what are we to do for food right now and for tonight as well. I had no answers for her except, God will provide. And with that I went for a walk on my lunch hour. That walk brought me to a bridge with a stream beneath it. As I stood and marveled at the water rushing down stream and listened to the tranquility of it, I began to pray. Then I realized that my children cannot continue to ride on my faith, it’s time for them to see God for themselves. I text both my girls and gave instructions to go into a closet, bathroom, separate room from one another and get on their knees and ask God for the provision. Remind God of His word. His Word is either true or it is a lie. And if we say we trust His Word then we must stand on it and believe what it says. And then I stood on that bridge and did the same.
I reminded God that He said in His Word that He is Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider. He said He would supply all of our needs. He said that His seed would not go begging bread. He promised these things. I did not make them up. I did not promise them. I believe Him and I believe His Word is true. We needed a miracle that only He could provide.
I went back to work and finished the day out, fully trusting that God would provide. I didn’t know how, but I trusted Him to do exactly what He said He would do. As I walked back to the office though, I said aloud, Lord I would love to bite into an apple.
After work I met up with my daughter at the grocery store. She had gotten her first paycheck for orientation and 1 day of training….$37. As we budgeted and shopped for food we know none of us likes and makes us sick, but is cheap, I checked my account once again. There was somehow $29 in that account. We were able to buy food that will last us a week. We checked the apples, but it was beyond the meager budget we had. I looked at the cart of food and declared….this is the LAST time we HAVE to shop this way or eat this way!!!! And I walked off believing that with every fiber of my being.
As we ate rotisserie chicken sandwiches and tater tots, we laughed, talked and enjoyed fellowship with one another. Afterwards, my son text (yes from the other room…lol). His girlfriend didn’t know what we needed or liked, but she had ordered us some things and they would arrive Sunday. He did not mention our need, the girls did not mention our need to anyone, and I did not mention our need to anyone either. But God in His infinite wisdom and power, He put it upon her heart to bless us.
First thing on the order….a bag of apples! YES, an entire bag of apples!!! I could only chuckle and thank God. No one knew my spoken desire.
I asked God for a bite of AN apple and He blessed us with a BAG of apples. Enough apples in that bag for each of us to have 3. God not only heard my hearts cry, He simply provided. Not because He had to, but because He love us enough and cares enough for the things that concern us that He would give me an apple.
My daughters got the opportunity to see that God not only hears us, but He provides our needs. They were able to see a tangible manifestation to THEIR prayers, not just mine.

Thank you Lord that you love us so much that you would give us something so simple as an apple. Not only do you provide our needs, you sometimes bless us with the things we want. May I never lose sight of you, the giver of the gifts. May I not be so consumed with the gifts that I forget you and all you are to me by simply being my God.

Reflections, Changes, Passions

The past few days I have watched my Pastor and his family gracefully walk through the loss of a loved one.I have peered through the windows as many others have and what I have taken away from all of them and the loved one they lost is to live my life with greatness for the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have also been watching YouTube videos by His and Her Money and trying to figure out this thing called finances. In one of their episodes, they spoke about the habits of the rich vs the habits of the poor with Tom Corley. There were many things that jumped out at me, but one such thing is that the rich read at least 30 min or more to learn and they do what they are passionate about, not what they have to do to make a paycheck.

So with these 2 things I began to realize, 1 I am NOT living a life full of greatness and worthiness of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 2 I began to ask myself what I am passionate about and what others see in me as my passions. And 3, I have never willingly read to learn, I have always read for pleasure, enjoyment, and escapement from my reality.

In 9 days I will be 47 years old. Life is steady passing me by and time has been wasted that I absolutely cannot get back. I have lived a life of mediocrity, fear, and now of regret. Over the last 5 days I have begun to re-evaluate my life and what I am doing and how I am living, the example I have been for my children and the legacy I am creating for the generations to come after me.

To say I got depressed for a moment would be an understatement. I have literally wasted 47 years of my life not living up to my full potential, but more than that, not living up to the fullness and purpose that God created me for. However, this I know, it is never too late to begin. And as Joel 2:25, God will make up to me for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust. God can do the impossible, including restore to me the years that I have wasted, given away, or that have been stolen from me.

Now for this half of my life, I must act with urgency and make the most of the time God allots for me. I have much to make up for and only God knows how long He has given me. I have things to change for myself, my children, and my grandson and any future grand-children.
I have to get out of debt and stop being a slave to others…which is essentially what debt does to you. I want to go after my passions and not just work to make a paycheck. Yes, I know that for now I must work to pay my bills, but I can also work towards learning all I can regarding my passions so that when I switch my career to walk in my passions I will at least know what I am doing and what I am talking about. I have things to change and I don’t have much time.

So with all of this, I began to question what am I passionate about? And how do I get out of debt? How do I live my best life now? What will I do to reach these answers?
How do I live my best life now? Keep seeking God and He will walk with me and equip me to live my life to the fullest. I have to be in the moment, live on purpose, and be intentional about all that I am doing.

What am I passionate about? Well, I felt that I was passionate about sewing and gardening, but to make sure that I was not biased, I asked a few people in my life that are pretty close to me and know me rather well; my daughter, sister and best friend. They all said the same thing….sewing/gardening, along with God, my family, my children, my nieces/nephews, clean eating, teaching others, and so forth. My dream job is to work for myself doing those first 2 things, gardening/sewing. So now that those things have been identified, I can begin to read for the sole purpose of learning those things as well as reading more to learn more about God and drawing closer to Him.

How to get out of debt? I have been watching His and Her Money & Alyssa Nicole on YouTube. I am writing out my vision and plans so that I can begin to implement them into my day to day financial life. I am noticing that some of the things they speak about are things I had begun to do while in Virginia and had no idea it was a strategy to getting out of debt. I just knew it was working for me and I was indeed slowly climbing out of debt. I was on the right path and had no idea it was a thing others were actually doing and using to become debt free as well.

Don’t ever think that it’s too late and time has run out for you to make changes. As long as God gives you breath, you have time to start now and make changes. You can still live your best life now, you have to be willing to work for it and you may have to make some sacrifices for it, but it IS possible. Don’t let another moment pass you by, don’t walk in another moment of regret. God has not called you home so live today like there is no tomorrow and you have a job to accomplish before He does.

A Big, Big God!!

God has really used the current situation with my Pastor’s niece passing to get my attention and I have been able to focus on the things that are most important.

This morning before work I was able to have my quiet time with the Lord. It was partly sorrowful as I prayed for the Pitts & Evans family and then there was much gratitude and rejoicing. I’ve gotten back in the habit of journaling this year and it’s freeing to write out my thoughts and prayers to the Lord and release them and let them go. I was able to look back on the ways I have wasted the last 365 days wallowing in self pity and depression over things that I did myself or circumstances I had no control over at all. I thought I learned from losing my mother and my nephew to not focus on the minors of life, but to keep my eyes on the major things in life; building relationships, making memories, living life to it’s fullest, and doing life like there is no tomorrow. I made a declaration after my great depression with the loss of my mother that I would live and not die, just as God’s Word says. But I, like most people, allowed life to throw distractions and obstacles in my way. My focus got off. I took off God’s glasses and began to look through my human eyes again.

Death is tragic and the Bible says we should rejoice at death and mourn at birth. However, we typically do it the other way around. I totally understand why we should mourn at birth….part of me does with each one. These innocent babes are born into this dark, dark world and they will be faced with oh so much. And when there is a death, that person has stepped into the presence of the Lord and the cares of this world are no more for them. They are in perfect peace, a new body. It’s hard to think that way though when you are faced with it in that very moment.

What death has done for me over the past 8 1/2 years was to shake me by the shoulders to realize that tomorrow is promised to no one. Every breath is a gift. Not to sweat the small stuff. Trust God with EVERYTHING. and to Lean on God for all things and in all things. To stop being in such a rush. To focus on the people in my life that are more important than the things of this world.

I just heard a lady explain this and I am floored because of the truth that she spoke. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But the reality is he is not after our things, he is after our worship, and if he can get us to question God and accuse God for the things going wrong in our lives then he can say see they don’t love you and they don’t worship you God. But even in the loss of my Pastor’s niece, with the car accident and having to come up with the money to get the car fixed, with the delay in returning to VA, with a marriage that is broken and dead, with dreams that are dead, I will lift my hands and worship my Savior. He is worthy of my praise. My God is good even when all things around me are falling apart and I’m struggling with broken dreams, a dying marriage, delayed plans, finances down the tube, and questions swirling in my head. I serve a BIG, BIG God and He is in total control!! There is nothing He cannot do, there is no mountain He won’t climb for me, and no enemy He won’t fight for me.

You Get To Choose

Last night my Pastor’s niece went home to be with the Lord. It was unexpected and yet it wasn’t. Unexpected for the world and her husband and 4 daughters, but not unexpected for God. His Word says He knows our beginning from our end…basically He knows our birth, our death, and everything in between.
I sat in shock this morning as I learned the news. Devastated, as it brought back memories of the loss of my mother, father, nephew, and so many other loved ones I have lost over the years. As common as death is, you never expect the last time you see someone or talk with someone will actually be THE last time.
As I drove home from work,I listened to one of her many talks on YouTube and she said something that really stuck out to me. She grew up in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland in a single parent household. She said it was drug and gang infested and yet her mother was adamant that God was taught, known, and served in their home. She could have grown up and perpetuated the generational curses that plagued her family, she could have not believed in a big God. Instead she realized that she was privileged to live and be the one to break generational curses for the next generation.
As she said that, I realized that I have been wallowing in self pity for an entire year, focusing on what I do NOT have instead of the great things I do have. One of them being the privilege to be the one that breaks the generational curses of divorce, poverty, drug abuse, alcoholism, and so much more from my life and family so that the next generations have a different legacy to live by and for.
We go through our day to day lives and forget that we are not created for self nor is this life we live about self. We were created to worship the creator Himself and to tell others about the one and only Savior who died that we might have life. We were created to give and bring Him glory. We were created to be a light in this dark, dark world.
Cherish every moment you have with those you love. You never know if that last time you say good-bye will actually be the last time you say good-bye. Hug a little tighter and longer. Laugher a little harder. Forgive more quickly. And realize you are privileged to live this life God has given you and you get to choose!

Rest in Heaven Wynter Pitts. Thank you for the example of God’s Girl! I am forever grateful for your life and legacy. Thank you for saying yes to God’s calling on your life. I will continue to keep your husband and daughters in my prayers. We say you are gone too soon and yet God said your job was well done. You truly touched the world and left a mark upon it and His people for His glory!!

Taking the Next Steps…

As I wait for the Lord’s provision for me and my family to move to Virginia, I heard something while listening to Kellie Lane of Warrior Nation Ministry.
“I’ve done all I can do Lord and I am now waiting on You”.
She was speaking on Joshua waiting for the next instructions from God in order to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. His mentor Moses had died and Joshua and Caleb were the only original Israelites remaining of those that had escaped from Egypt. Joshua was chosen as the next leader and the one who would lead them in to the land flowing with milk and honey. They were standing at the edge of the Jordan river. They were going to have to cross over in order to reach the Promised Land.
Could Joshua have felt like they were at a point where his back was against the wall? The only way to the other side was to cross the river. There was no way around it, they had to go through it. Could he have asked the question…What do we do now Lord? How do I get your people into the land you promised them and I don’t have boat or raft to get them across? Did he ask the Lord, How am I supposed to do this?
He listened to God’s instructions as He hands the baton to him to claim their territory and then he took the next steps. Once you have done all you can, you stand….and see the salvation of the Lord.
So here I am. Clearly having heard the Lord say during the 40 day fast, that He has already provided a job in Virginia and every provision needed to get there. For the past few months I have sat around in fear and trepidation. I have questioned, Lord did I really hear you or was that me projecting my own desires again and saying it was You? And yet, I have seen God work certain things out and heard Him confirm things so that there is no doubt that I did indeed hear the Lord correctly. I haven’t seen things pan out the way I would have had them to, but if I was able to do it in my own power, there would be no need for the Lord now would there.

As I listened to her speak, she said do the next step. Stand!

Then I began to think, what is the next step? What can I do that IS within my power? I have no disposable income. It’s get paid, pay bills, and there is nothing left. I’m barely scraping by and not even all the bills are getting paid. So the only other thing is the income tax return I have been sitting on for these past months. So yesterday I took some of that money and purchased totes and went to my sisters and packed up everything at her house. I’ll go over again and give my plants and some pots to Veronica and get her patio cleaned off completely. I brought the remaining totes to Joseph’s and packed up all but one tote and that will be for food. I don’t know what my next step is or if there is one before the Lord moves on my behalf with the provisions He promised to me, but I’m prayerful and hopeful that He will indeed tell me if there are any next steps so I can follow through with it.

What is the next step that God has told you to do and you have been sitting around waiting for God to move? Could it be that before He moves ahead He is waiting for you to take your next steps? Put your feet in the water and see if He gives you the ability to walk on the water or if the waters part as the Red Sea did!

Encountering God

To say that service was good this morning would be an understatement. It was definitely a message that answered lots of questions for me that I had asked just last week during my quiet time.
Many times as Christians we blame the enemy for some things that God himself has allowed. He allows us to be boxed into corners sometimes or caught between a rock and a hard place so that we can come to the end of ourselves and realize that God is our answer and deliverer. This has been true for me over the last 6 months. I thought I was in the middle of His will. I thought I had heard clearly from Him to do certain things and once I did them, nothing happened as I had anticipated it to.

In Exodus 14 we find the Israelites leaving Egypt after the plagues were brought upon all of the Egyptians. God first does not allow them to take the shorter route to the promised land so that they would not be tempted to return to Egypt at any time. So they are out in the wilderness along the long route that causes them to come up against the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh and his army behind them. The Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart (made him more rebellious than he already was). God hardened his heart so that His will, purpose, and plan could be fulfilled.

Pharaoh sees that the Israelites are basically in a cul de sac. The only way out is the way they entered in. It is in the cul de sac of their situation that they experience an encounter with God. The Israelites cry out to God and yet they complain to Moses…”you should have left us in Egypt to be slaves and die there. We told you to leave us alone and let us be, we were fine being slaves”. (my translation)

Moses tells them to not fear? To stand by and see the salvation of the Lord. Yet the Lord replies to Moses ” Why are YOU crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. Moses was preaching the truth but he himself was also scared. So as they were complaining to him and He was speaking confident truth to them, he too was also afraid. Sometimes we have to do things afraid even while we are confident the Lord will make a way or fight the battle.

The Israelites were in the middle of the will of God and they were confronted with a dilemma. It is often that way for us as well. We hear from God and we are in the middle of His will for our lives and yet it seems all hell breaks loose. It is in the dilemma that we have that encounter with God and experience Him in ways we could not have imagined.

The Israelites cried out to God, but they also complained to Moses at the same time. We tend to do the same. Get caught in a dilemma and we are crying out to God, yet we call our girlfriends on the phone or meet up for coffee and pour out our complaints about what our kids are doing, our spouses, or the hard hearted boss we have. We get others to speak into our misery and chime in with their 2 cents. We can’t cry out to God AND complain to man at the same time. In verse 14 Moses tells them, “the Lord will fight for you while you keep silent”. In other words….SHUT UP!!!!!!
Cry out to God and if you “need” to speak to someone, find someone who will help you to see God’s perspective. (which means, they too must be chasing after God and in His presence on a daily basis, not just on Sunday morning).

Then God tells the Israelites to go forward. Faith is in your feet and not in your feelings. When God tells you to move forward, have faith to do just that and know that even though His instructions may not make sense, it is when we operate in faith that the miracles come forth, the supernatural takes place. Until God see’s you operate in faith, He will do nothing.
So as they go forward, the wind begins to blow and the sea splits causing a wall of water on each side and the ground to dry. They are then able to walk across the middle of the sea.
They experienced an encounter with God that allowed them to see the mighty power of the Lord in their dire situation.

So what I thought was isolation from the enemy at first was just that. However, God told me at the beginning of this fast to be quite and seek His face. As I have done that in just this first week, I have seen the power of the Lord in my situation and new hope to blossom. I will cry out to Him and shut up talking to others about the dilemma the Lord has allowed me to be in and while He has given no directions yet, I will stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. When He tells me to move forward, I must be ready and be obedient to take the steps He directs me to.

I hope this has blessed you as much as it blessed me. Leave your comments below. I’d be more than happy to pray for you if you’d like to leave your prayer requests in the comments as well.

God Bless!!!

She’s Still There


A couple of weeks ago I attended the women’s conference at my church home. I tell you it is good to be back in my church home being fed a supreme buffet under the tutalge of Pastor Tony Evans.
Anyway, I digress.
During this conference we were able to hear about a new book and we had the opportunity to purchase it at the conference. I had no intentions of buying anything this go round, but that notion was voided as soon as I heard Christine Caine speak for the very first time. I knew I had to get her 2 sessions. Then Chrystal Hurst began to speak about the book she wrote and it drew me in, captivated me, and I knew in my heart, not only did I have to get the book, but my daughters needed to read this book as well. So I bought 3 copies.

We are reading it together at this time, unless a moment comes where we find we really need to just dive in for ourselves or stay on a chapter a bit longer than someone else. We’ve completed chapter 1 and I’m already feeling this connection with this book and the words penned to paper.

She’s still there…Here is a bit of what’s written on the back cover. After reading, you too may decide this is a book you must add to your library.
Has your life drifted far from what you thought it would be? Do you ever feel lost in the middle of your life?
In She’s Still There, Chrystal Evans Hurst shares the secret to loving and honoring your life-even if your road is rough and your story is messy. From her heartrending journey through teenage pregnancy to her humorous struggle with a Hershey bar, Chrystal explores what it means to find direction, purpose, and beauty especially when you find yourself living a life you didn’t plan.
With refreshing authenticity and fierce encouragement, Chrystal will help you:
*Recognize hard seasons as refining moments, not defining moments.
*Reject the lie that you’ll never move forward.
*Discover practical ways to connect with your God-given next steps.
*Embrace your identity as both a masterpiece and a work in progress.

That…..should be enough to make you want to devour the book. As she spoke, tears streamed down my face as I realized I had lost the girl in me. Circumstances and life’s punches had stripped me of who I once was. I want that girl back. I want the dreams that girl within me dreamed back. I want the hope that girl within me once had. The creativity, the joy, the laughter, the fun, I want it all back and it is oh so refreshing to know that She’s Still There. Maybe deep down and dusty, hidden, ashamed, afraid, battered, and bruised, but she’s there.

Chapter 1 she talks about looking at her life as is, working a job she hated, feeling like if she could just have a moment to get off the wheel of life she could regroup and find herself again and move forward. The only way she can see this happening is if God allows her to get into a car accident and break both her legs so that she’s in the comfort of a hospital room and able to just take a moment.

Drastic huh? Yea, I know, but sometimes we seek drastic measures to just slow life down.

I’ve been there. Heck, I’m there right now!! I too have asked God to stop the bus and let me off so I can get my thoughts together and see how to pick up from this mess I’m in and regroup and start over.

Here are a few places where you can purchase the book. I hope you decide to take the journey and find that the girl you’ve been looking for and thought was lost is still there!!! Don’t give up!

Amazon

Christian Book

Zondervan

Proverbs 31 Woman

Chrystal Evans Hurst