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Sweet Home Alabama


Hi friends,

My guy, Chance Craven, is headed to Alabama with 2 other team members to help with disaster relief! Here's how you can help:


Pray for the restoration of these cities!


Loving Self

I’m currently in such an intimate season with the Lord. It’s like no other intimacy I’ve ever experienced before. I’m waking up every morning not just knowing that He’s with me but feeling that He is with me; right beside me throughout the day. I talk to Him as if He’s there. I joke with Him. I laugh with Him. I cry with Him. I plead with Him. I walk with Him. Tapping into that intimacy is incredible. It took awhile to get there. Intimacy is a process and it takes a while. Months ago, I would’ve felt weird, but I wasn’t willing to be close just yet. Father wasn’t ready to reveal Himself to me with the heart I once had.

He’s really been hitting me with acts of service and what that looks like today and in my future. He’s totally broken me for true compassion upon people and my future holds many opportunities to have sincere compassion upon His children. I know as a nurse, you have to be compassionate…that’s like the definition of Florence Nightingale. But, God has placed a compassion inside of me that will go beyond a textbook definition. He’s defining it in me to do great things. And, I’m excited. I’ve already been told at the hospital not to allow my compassion to exceed it’s limits because I will just be taken advantage of by my patients. It hurt my feelings. But the Lord quickly reminded me of the fact that I’m ultimately working for him; for his glory, not anyone else’s.

In order to play out these acts of service to their fullest, they require a spirit of kindness. But, before I can be kind to anyone else to it’s fullest, I must be kind to myself. A genuine kindness. I think we’re probably our worst critics. That’s not kindness to self. Kindness to self is loving self. Here’s how Father is teaching me is looks like:

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails.

Loving myself is:

  1. Being patient with myself in times of failure.
  2. Being kind to myself when I mess up or makes mistakes.
  3. Never being jealous of someone else; it only brings me down.
  4. Not becoming proud or rude because I’ve done something wonderful. It’s being grateful because the Lord allowed it to happen and gave me the strength to accomplish something that makes HIM proud.
  5. Not dishonoring myself by dismissing the gifts God has given me and never using them.
  6. Not in a selfish way; where I only love myself and do not display the love that overflows to others.
  7. Being gentle with self; not becoming angry at myself if something goes wrong.
  8. Not keeping any record of wrong. Again, if I make a mistake, I move on. I don’t beat myself up about it.
  9. Delighting in the true things the Lord says about me.
  10. Protecting myself by valuing myself.
  11. Trusting in myself by trusting what the Lord has placed inside of me.
  12. Being hopeful. Hope=confident expectation.
  13. Preserving myself. Keeping myself safe from things I know will harm me.
  14. Never placing myself in a failure category. If I give up on myself, I fail. There is nothing that can be done through me if I lose faith in myself. This is the full circle back to patience.

In order to share all these things with others, I must share them with myself. Learn them. Have these qualities dwell in my spirit. That is loving myself. That is how to receive love and give love.

Success of a warrior

I’m recently reading an EXCELLENT book called “The Bondage Breaker” by Neil Anderson. I highly recommend it. It’s a great guide to claiming the freedom we have in Christ, realizing our power over sin, and how to be successful when the enemy makes war over you.

I wanted to share something specific that has helped me realize my power in Christ. If you’re familiar with Ephesians 6, you know it speaks of the armor of God and that we must be fully armed in it. Those verses have always pumped me up but I never really knew how to wear the armor because I never knew it’s significance. As Christians, we are constantly at war with the enemy, whether we realize it or not. To be successful, we have to wear our armor! But, we need to know what it signifies before we can fully understand it’s power.

Ephesians 6:12-17—”For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body of armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on the salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (NLT).

What do these 6 pieces signify and/or mean?

Armor we already have in salvation immediately is the belt, breastplate, and shoes. That is what helps us to “stand firm”. It’s our position in Christ! Claim it!

  1. The belt of truth—Jesus said, “I am…the truth” (John 14:6). Because Christ is in me, truth is too. The belt of truth is my primary weapon because it blocks Satan’s ultimate goal: deception. the belt is continually attacked because it holds the other places of body armor in place. Satan always attacks with lies.
  2. The breastplate of righteousness—It’s not my righteousness but Christ’s righteousness (1 Cor 1:30). When Satan aims an arrow at me telling me I am not good enough, I can respond with Paul, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.” (Rom 8:33)
  3. The shoes of peace—When I received Christ, I was untied with the Prince of Peace! I have positional peace with God right now (Rom 5:1), but the peace of Christ must also rule my heart which is only possible when the word dwells in me (Col 3:15-16). These become protection against the devil when I act as peacemaker; which pleases God! (Matt 5:9)

The rest of the armor is the Word of God and help in the battle win:

  1. The shield of faith—The more I know about God and His word, the more faith I”ll have; to grow my shield; to grow my knowledge of God (Rom 8:16).
  2. The helmet of salvation—Covers the most crucial part; my mind-where spiritual battles occur. Satan tries to make us doubt our salvation when under attack (Col 1:13, Rom 8:16).
  3. The sword of the spirit—Speak aloud God’s truth! Satan isn’t omniscient so he needs to hear it. By observing me, Satan can pretty well tell what I’m thinking, but he doesn’t know what I’m going to do before I do it. If I pay attention to a deceiving spirit (1 Tim 4:1), he is putting thoughts into my mind and he will know whether I buy his lie by the way I behave. It is not hard for him to tell what I am thinking if he has given me the though. I can, however, communicate silently with God in my mind and spirit because He knows the thoughts and intents of my heart (Heb 4:12).

It’s easier to wear something when you know what you’re wearing and why you’re wearing it.

What the bible says about women


  1. The creation of woman was the first thing recorded that wasn’t made from dust. Woman was made from man. That shows howprecious and valuable a woman is to God. Gen 2:22.
  2. Eve was easily convinced by satan to eat the forbidden fruit because she wanted the wisdom it would give her. Women are easily convinced by things God does not want us to run to; forbidden things. We must be on guard; knowing that even theFIRST woman created was convinced. Gen 3:6.
  3. Adam blamed Eve. Yes, it was Eve that made the first move but Adam was just as guilty. Man didn’t stop woman. He waspassive. Stay away from passive men and men that point the finger. Gen 3:12.
  4. The Lord said that because of Eve’s fall, the pain of pregnancy would be sharpened to all women and…our curse…we will have thedesire to control our husbands. That has to be continuously fought against! Gen 3:16

More to come…

He's enough in everything

Over a month ago, I wrote about a test I took that I didn’t pass. I had to pass it in order to continue nursing school and graduate in the Spring. Since I didn’t pass it, I had to sit out for 5 weeks and do a lot of remediation work. You can scroll through my blog and read about it. Of course I was devastated because I knew I had prepared for the test in every way possible. When I missed it barely by a mark, I cried. A lot. Then, I realized that everything was going to be okay. It was all in the Lord’s hands and I began to think about what He may need to teach me or use me for that I wouldn’t be as responsive to if I were in school.

So, I made it through the 5 week study period and studied like a champ! I also had one of the most intimate times in my life following who Jesus is and the things that God has called us to do…and that it’s not always pretty or “makes us feel good”. I had people praying with me and for me that God would reveal His purpose for this time and that I wouldn’t be blind to it.

Day ONE of my five week remediation period, on a Monday…I received a call that my sister wasn’t feeling so well. She had just moved into a new house the weekend before. She had complaints of a migraine accompanied with an MS episode which involved partial paralysis, blurred vision, altered taste, etc. She was basically bed-ridden. She was diagnosed with MS last December. My initial thoughts were that this would pass because she gets migraines frequently and it just happened to be bad timing with the MS episode. Before I continue, I’m going to be honest about where my relationship was with my sister. We were not close anymore, and we both knew it. Our relationship consisted of the occasional text message and seeing one another at family events. That’s something neither of us can ever get back, but my eyes have been opened that I never want to go back to where we were.

As the week progressed, so did her symptoms. That Tuesday, we took her to the ER because the migraine pain was unbareable. She was given fluids and was sent home on pain meds because that seemed to have helped. By Friday, she was worse than ever. She was lethargic and had no drive to get better. She just wanted to sleep. So, back to the ER we went. They were planning on sending her home with pain meds again but my dad insisted on doing an MRI, spinal tap…SOMETHING! So, they did a spinal tap and it revealed she had spinal meningitis. She was admitted immediately, late that night.

She was in the hospital for 5 days. There were many ups and downs. She was on intense antibiotics with a PICC line. There were MANY times when I was completely thankful for the education that I had received in nursing school thus far. Ashley had a cyanotic spell…bascially turning completely blue in a matter of seconds and I knew what to do!! Thank you Jesus! There were also some potential medication errors that I caught or questioned and it was just awesome to actually know what the doctors were saying and to be able to translate it to my parents, putting them at ease. She was on the road to what we thought was recovery, when we had an unexpected bump in the road. Ashley’s MRI results returned and a blood clot was found on her brain. Panic set in with the family. I mean, come on, anything about a blood clot sounds scary but when you include the word brain it’s an all-out panic attack! The plan of action was to continue the antibiotics and start her on Heparin to thin the blood.

After 5 days in the hospital, she was released to come home. She was 100% cleared of meningitis but she did have to come home with the blood thinner injections along with a blood thinner pill because the clot was still present. Not only did me staying in the hospital with her, praying crazy prayers over her, and just getting back to “us” bring us back together but there was a blessing among having to give her the injections every day. The blessing = I got to see her every day!! Giving someone a shot in the stomach is horrific but when it’s your own sister…ahhh, I don’t even want to go there. We would both cry. What’s kinda cool though is the type of injection I gave her was the type of injection I gave when I gave my VERY FIRST shot in nursing school. So, I guess you could say, I had practice. ;)

As the weeks went by and her healing continued, I began to just praise God for all He had done in our relationship. If I would’ve been in school, I probably wouldn’t have given it much thought…that’s just being honest. I love her but loving her wasn’t enough. I had to SHOW her that I loved her. For now, I am enjoying showing her that I love her and I would do ANYTHING for that girl. She’s so special to me.

Even though I had confidence in the Lord’s timing, I began to get a little anxious the closer my test got. I even thought about sitting out an extra five weeks and study more. Then, I fell into Deuteronomy. OH. MY. DANG. That junk will mess you up! I decided that I did NOT want to become like the Israelites. God displayed their Promise Land RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR EYES and they still walked on by it because they were afraid! What the heck?! I did NOT want to walk past what the Lord had promised me because I was scared or anxious…or basically…didn’t have FAITH that God would go ahead of me and fight for me in the battle!

So, today, I took my test. Passed it with a 99%! There’s also a score sheet that explains the individual percentage I scored in each nursing category. And the cherry on top: My instructor said no one has EVER made a perfect score in a category and I DID! Ahhh! Jesus was showing off! He was all like, “See, baby girl…I told you not to be afraid to enter into the land and TAKE POSSESSION of what I have promised you!” Ah, I love Him so much. He is faithful. He is good. All the time.

I am considered worthy because He chose me for hardship.

I conquered because of Him.

Glory to God. All praise to His name.

Deuteronomy just kicked my tail. And, this was just from what I gathered from a few verses out of Chapter 1.

You have two choices. You can either let fear and panic set in just like the Israelites did and lose your one and only chance to enter into your Promised Land – or you can have the same strong faith and belief in God that Joshua had – and go in their with akick-butt attitude that you will be completely victorious and that you will accomplish everything that God will want you to accomplish for Him.

Ouch.

FEM

What is FEM? Female Empowerment Movement

What does that mean? Empowering women to rise above their circumstances and take hold of a new way of life.

How do you do that? TONIGHT, 10/19, I am a part of an event that one of my best friends, Madison Hopkins, has put her heart and soul into. We’re expecting to see over 100 women in downtown Greenville tonight at a local community center. There, they will receive food, a word from a motivational speaker, love, gift bags, hugs, and many local representatives of different outreach sources that could change their lives. We want to see them get off the streets and realize that there’s a promise for their life, better than the one they think they only deserve.

What can I do? Pray for the ladies hearts to be softened and accepting to the love that we long to pour out unto them.

Isaiah 61: 1-4

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

Divine Purpose

Luke 24 Summary:

At this point, Jesus “should” be in the tomb…dead. But, he wasn’t!Women found that the stone had been rolled away. Two angels appeared to the women to ask them why they were looking among the dead for someone that was alive. The angels specifically said, “Remember what he (Jesus) told you back in Galilee? That the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day”. Several women went back and told the eleven disciples the news. They all thought it was nonsense.

The same day, two of Jesus’ followers were walking seven miles to Emmaus, talking about what they had heard, when they were suddenly in the presence of Jesus, the risen Savior. But, “God kept them from recognizing him.” (vs 16). They talked to Jesus about himself! Basically, they were discussing that they thought they had been following a Savior all along but he just ended up…dead, nothing supernatural about it. Their faith had crumbled! They lost hope in who Jesus said he was before the crucifixion. Jesus noticed this and as they walked, he told the men all the writings of Moses and the prophets, explaining all the Scriptures concerning himself. Basically, Jesus gave these men a VIP bible lesson! The men, still not knowing that this is Jesus, invited him in to eat. Jesus then broke the bread…and it was then, in that moment, that they recognized him!! They were shocked, confused, and probably scared…but then…Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures he had shared with them as they were walking earlier.

1. You don’t have to know everything about God to share what God’s doing.

  • The women were the first to see. They shared it and people thought they were crazy!
  • A woman shouldn’t be discouraged on sharing the gospel
  • Nonbelievers, or people that doubt you…don’t get discouraged if they don’t believe you as a woman. Our job is to share what Jesus did…Jesus just showing up in our life….

2. People don’t recognize Jesus for who He is. Regardless of how much we think we know, we never fully grasp who Jesus is.

  • The men knew stuff. They were his followers…but Jesus had to tell them more which is why we must constantly pursue him.
  • It takes Jesus Christ revealing who he is for people to truly grasp that…never our words…but who he is and what he did on the cross is what grasps people to His word and to the cross.

3. The closest we come to grasping who Jesus Christ is, is understanding what he did on the cross.

    • You don’t’ have to be the smartest person to share what God’s doing…you’ve just got to share what God’s doing…which is what the women did…which planted a seed for the men that were walking…and because the women planted the seed, it opened the door for Christ to show up, unrecognized, until they understood what He did on the cross….through the breaking of the bread which was the piercing of his body.

    Application: The moment we recognize the potential that Christ’s body has on our lives, we can grasp a portion of who He is and the promises that will unfold in our lives. The men were knowledgeable of who Jesus was and what he said he wanted to do…but they didn’t actually apply it until they recognized what His body meant.

    If I pass, God is good. If I don't, God is still good

    Today was a big day. I had a lot of people praying and a lot of encouraging words blowing up my phone, facebook, and twitter. I’ve finished my Pediatric rotation in nursing school with success! There was a LOT of studying involved and it was extremely time consuming. On top of having the stress to be successful in Pediatrics, I also had to pass an exam called the ATI. The ATI has nothing to do with pediatrics; it just has to do with EVERYTHING I’ve learned so far over the last 18 months of nursing school. You must be successful on the ATI exam to move into the upper division of the nursing program which moves towards graduation. So, it’s understandable to see the amount of stress I had on my plate.

    Today, I took the ATI. I did not pass. I missed the mark by 1%. My heart is broken.

    The next step: I’m held back for five weeks with remediation work and I’m provided the opportunity to retake the ATI at the end of the five weeks.

    This blog is not a time for me to just let all my feelings out about how frustrated I am but instead, share what God has already placed on my heart within just a few hours of my unsuccess.

    God has made it evident that I was not disobedient or lazy. I prepared in every way possible. I studied countless hours, took all the practice tests with excellent passing percentages, and prioritized my time. Basically, I worked my butt off because I knew He told me to. One thing for sure: the Lord never promised me success…in the world’s eyes.

    In His eyes, I am successful. He’s after my heart, not my brain! He’s after the care and compassion that I am able to show every day! He’s after the relationships I form with all the people I get to meet, go to school with, and take care of. My calling is not about the standards the world has set before me but instead the standards that HE has set for my spirit!

    It sucks. I want to be really angry, but that’s stupid. His timing is impeccable. So for now, I’m crying out to Him for open ears and eyes of things I may not have seen while my mind was completely focused on school. There’s a reason for this 5 week lag and I’m jacked up to see what happens and what He reveals.

    Please pray for me as I continue to keep up my strength. I have been called to finish the race and I will do it well, no matter what comes my way!

    What my earthly body desires may be completely different than what my heavenly body will need.

    Tiny failures may set you up for huge success.

    Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose.”

    Psalm 84:11 “For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.”

    First, I’m thankful for Chance, an incredible man of God that leads me and supports me through it all. Thank you to all of those who have been showing me love! I heard this song BEFORE my test and thought of each of you, whether we know each other well or not. Love will hold us together. You’re never alone.

    If you ever feel stuck, come to me! We’ll work through it together. Never feel discouraged in your efforts.

    Go on and get fierce with it!

    Right now, I’m reading Jesus: 90 Days With The One and Only, by Beth Moore. I’m about two-thirds of the way through it and it has been extremely influential in the area of knowing WHO Christ was when He walked this earth. It goes beyond relationship with Him. It’s created such an appreciation for what he actually endured, conversations he had, and how he dealt with conflict. I highly recommend it!

    Today’s reading was based out of Luke: 13:31-33. Basically, some Pharisees told Jesus to stay away if he wanted to live or Herod was going to kill him. Jesus said, “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose”.

    My thoughts: Whoooo hoooo!!! Go on and get fierce with it, Jesus! Totally a female interpretation but nonetheless, Jesus was direct and intentional in finishing out what he was called to accomplish. I just love that he called Herod a fox. A fox is a symbol of cunning and trickery. So, Jesus was on to the type of person Herod was. Meaning, there was some sort of trickery trying to stand in Jesus’ way of accomplishing His work. The brilliance of it is Jesus was on guard! He knew that just because something stood in His way didn’t mean He wasn’t supposed to reach His goal.

    When we live our lives according to God’s will, no Herod in the world can thwart our efforts at reaching God’s goal. Not a Herod of sickness nor a Herod of crisis. Not even a Herod that seems to hand us over to death.

    Whatever it is that is standing in your way, get direct with it! Are there times in life when directness like this is not just allowed but is actually what the Lord would like to see from you? Just because there are obstacles, doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to finish what the Lord prompted you to start.

    I posted this song on my Facebook page earlier this week, but thought I’d share it here too. I’ve struggled this week with obstacles standing in my way, particularly doubt of what Jesus has called me to, and with prayer and repetition of this song…I’m fired up to be direct with my Herod! :)

    A New Generation

    Women are a burden to my heart. Broken women. Women who think they are worthless because someone or something embedded that idea into their minds. Women who put on a smile so people think they’ve got it together. Women who are afraid to be different.

    We all go through bad seasons and times when we’re down on ourselves but some don’t know how to break through that. They don’t know that something better can be offered.

    Not only does it affect women who haven’t been raised under the ideal circumstances but it happens to women who have been raised in “good homes” but society has totally twisted their mentality. I’m a firm believer in finding your beauty, as a woman, in the eyes of Jesus. I take pride that I was handcrafted in my mother’s womb, not by nature, but by the Supernatural. But, unfortunately, not everyone believes that.

    My desire is to influence and change the way society is to a woman. We think it’s okay to bash people, make fun of them, judge them, and point out faults. We think it’s okay to make someone feel insecure just so we can have a moment of security. Spirituality is dead and it needs to be alive. It’s up to mothers and women in general to change the rising generation of women.

    Overlay our death of spiritual exploration with our excess of training in ambition…and you have a generation of godless girls…raised largely without a fundamental sense of divinity. In fact, our worth in the world has always been tied to our looks, not the amazing miracle of mere existence.

    They fit in by hating themselves because it seems that finding something wrong with yourself is the way of joining in on a conversation.

    This is something that I’m exploring, researching, and praying over. I don’t know how this influence will be made but I trust in the Lord to guide me in that direction.

    On a lighter note: Smile at a stranger today. Hold the door open for somebody. Be kind.

    Overcoming the mind

    Isa 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

    The heart is capable to overcome. The spirit is capable to overcome. But Do you believe your mind is?

    Evil engages us at the point of our thought lives.

    Where is your mind set?

    God says He will give us perfect peace in our imperfect minds.

    We cause oursevles more pain by the way we frame events than the events themselves cause. Pretend you’ve already won the battle. What does that look like? Winning the battle in your mind=freedom from negativity overshadowing positivity.

    To be steadfast is to lay hands on the word of God, knowing that it is the truth, even when the mind is tempted to doubt.

    Just some thoughts…

    Be here now

    I witnessed life being brought into the world four times this week.

    I watched a fragile life take it’s first breath.

    I introduced four different mothers and fathers to their children.

    I was the first one to take care of the immediate needs of each child.

    It was scary. It was my responsibility. It was intense. It was life changing.

    A thought that crossed my mind after leaving the labor and delivery unit one afternoon was how careful we are with new life. We pay so much attention to it, nurture it, and make sure that it’s always safe and away from harm. But the older we get, we grow into independence. Independence is a good thing but without a motivating and nurturing presence, we become mediocre. We become so stagnant in personal growth, thinking that just because we’ve reached a certain age, we’re not capable of accomplishing great things.

    That night I read Ezekiel 16. I encourage everyone to read it. The first part of the chapter paints a beautiful picture of how we were born to be left alone in this world but because of a loving God, we are never alone. Bad seasons in life come and go, but He’s always there. We may live a life of disappointment, drowning in sin, but He never leaves.

    Ezekiel 16:8a “And when I passed by again, I saw that you were old enough for love.”

    Ever feel like you’ve accomplished all you can accomplish in life? Do you feel like you’re too old to do anything great? Do you feel like you missed out on something amazing? Do you feel like you’ve accomplished the standards of this world in regards to school, getting a job, marrying, having children…etc? Are you excited about life?

    It’s never too late. Maybe God’s been waiting for you to reach out to Him all along. Maybe He’s “passed by you” thus far waiting for you to confide in Him that you know He’s not only capable of doing great things but He’s capable of using YOU to do great things. Are you ready? Ask Him. He wants to love you and once you experience that love…life happens. Not mediocre life, but instead a life that leaves you humbled and honored that He chose you.

    Do it. Get out of mediocre. The God that created you is supernatural, meaning He does things that aren’t natural! He wants ALL of His children to expect that He can do supernatural things through them. I want you to wake up excited about your life.

    Walking with God

    Imagine going to heaven and standing by God as He lovingly shows you His plan for your life. It begins with the day you are born. Once you received Christ as Savior, every day that follows is outlined in red. You see footprints walking through each day of your life. On many of the days, two sets of footprints appear. You inquire: “Father, are those my footprints every day, and is the second set of prints when You joined me?”

    He answers, “No, My precious Child. The consistent footprints are Mine. The second set of footprints are when you joined Me.”

    “Where were You going, Father?”

    “To the destiny I planned for you, hoping you’d follow.”

    “But, Father, where are my footprints all those times?”

    “Sometimes, you chose your own path. Other times, your footprints appear on another person’s calendar because you liked their plans better. Sometimes, you simply stopped because you would not let go of something you could not take with you.”

    “But, Father, we ended up okay even if I didn’t walk with You every day, didn’t we?”

    He holds you close and smiles, “Yes, Child, we ended up okay. But, you see, okay was never what I had in mind for you.”

    *Walking with God in pursuit of daily obedience is the sure means of fulfilling each of His wonderful plans.*

    -Beth Moore, Breaking Free

    _____________________________________________________________________

    During my time with God this morning, I came across Galatians 3:3 which reinterated the above passage. “How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?”

    And…this is what that looks like through my peepers:

    God’s character NEVER changes. It shouldn’t. He’s perfect. However, we are fallen. We are sinners. The good news? Because of Jesus Christ, we are not called to be perfect! There’s NO point in trying to reach perfection because it will never happen. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t make mistakes, we wouldn’t be disciplined by the Father, we wouldn’t learn, and most importantly…we wouldn’tGROW. God wants us to continue to grow…so…staying in one place in life trying to become something you’re not meant to be stunts your growth and poisons your brain with the mindset of striving.

    God speaks to me weird...

    I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m willing to follow His lead…even when it’s not always comfortable.

    I had a patient last week with an extremely poor prognosis. I was honestly expecting him to die. Upon meeting, he was impossible to work with. He had no drive. He had no will to help himself. He didn’t care.

    He had damage to his esophogus and swallowing was an issue for him. He was placed on tube feeding through a nasogastric tube (tube inserted into your nose and leads to the stomach). When I came in the next morning, I discovered he pulled the nasogastric tube out during the night. Um, ouch homie! When I asked him why he pulled it out he said, “Because it was just bothering me and I didn’t want it there anymore.” Well, ok…whatever floats your boat, sailor. I explained to him that that was the only way he was receiving any nutrition and he had probably done more damage to his esophagus. At this point, he couldn’t swallow, meaning his new doctor’s order was NPO (nothing by mouth)…not even water. The main reason for this was to prevent aspiration. Since he can’t swallow, he’s more liable to choke…which would be bad. He also had fluid and secretions on his lungs which makes him more at risk for choking. As a nurse, something I’m educated in is interventions. So, since he had fluid gallore…I had to think of a way to get that fluid OUT so we could put water IN. That’s where the use of an incentive spirometer comes in handy. It’s a breathing device used to loosen up secretions and fluid in the lungs. Basically, it produces a cough so you hack all that mess up. Another thrilling experience.

    As I was charting some stuff outside his room, he kept yelling for me:

    Patient: “NURSE, get in here!”

    Me: (gritting my teeth) “Yes sir, what do you need?”

    Patient:(in the most pitiful voice you’ve ever heard) “Get me some water.”

    Me: “Sir, I can’t. I’m not allowed to give you any.”

    Patient: “But please….I need it.”

    I’m a sucker and I hate to see people suffer. So, I tried to conjure up a way to relieve his thirst without giving him a sip of water and breaking the doctor’s orders. Praise God for mouth sponges that relieve dry mouth!

    I then instructed him that we were going to do our little breathing exercises with the incentive spirometer so he would cough, which would clear his lungs of fluid, which meant he could begin drinking water again. Before I explained the reasoning behind it, he wasn’t into it but after I explained the benefits and the end result, he was all on board. I remember specifically saying, “If you just do this one thing for me, it will help you and ultimately get you something that you’ve been wanting but you’ve got to get through the tough stuff first.”

    So, that’s when the spiritual chills set in at this guy’s bedside and I thought of these things:

    1.) He was uncomfortable with the tube inserted, so he took it out. How many times does God place us in uncomfortable situations in order to induce growth but yet we back out because we “don’t like the way it feels” or it “bothers us”?

    2.) Even though the tube was uncomfortable it was feeding him but all he could focus on was the discomfort. Spiritual discomfort is a form of spiritual nourishment.

    3.) I knew he wanted water. I knew his desires and I could’ve easily given it to him but I had to find an alternate source in order to not disrupt the healing process and ultimately bring him to what heneeded. He had to be patient. It’s easy to become demanding with God so he’ll send us what we want. But ultimately, he knows what we need. However, just like I gave the patient simple mouth swabs, God gives us alternate sources as well to increase our faith and make us strong. I like to think of them as little glimpses of the big picture.

    4.) He didn’t want to do the incentive spirometer until I told him that it would help him. The use of that would bring him to what he wanted. How many times do we fear what has been handed to us that we don’t move forward? As much as we want to move out of the storm, we secretly desire to stay because we’re afraid of what lies ahead. We’re not willing to do the work. Be willing. Build endurance.

    The next day I came in to see a new doctor’s order. I walked in his room to find him drinking a glass of water and eating soft foods. Not only did he get what he wanted, but he got more. When I peeped my head around the corner and smiled at him, he looked at me and said, “Don’t say anything…you were right.”

    I like that God speaks to me when I least expect it…even when it’s over mucous conversations. :)

    let us learn

    I’m a writer. I write. I found these in an old journal.

    · My sin made me learn; my discipline made me fear; my fear brought forth faith; my faith will bring joy.

    · Romans 4:5“But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.” It doesn’t matter if you do well or if you mess up…all that matters is that you had faith. Faith is useless if we’re perfect.

    · Romans 4:20-21“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything he promised.”

    · My interpretation on Proverbs 31:10-30

    (10) If it is God’s will for you to be a wife and we wait on God, we build a real relationship with Christ while we wait. Not only are we worth so much to Christ for our faithfulness but we will be worth “more than precious rubies” to our husbands.

    (11) A good wife can be trusted. She will greatly enrich her husband’s life. She will not seek to hinder him but instead help him all her life.

    (13-19) She isn’t lazy. She is hardworking and useful to her family. She is resourceful with money.

    (20) She is helpful and unselfish when it comes to helping others

    (21-22) She makes sure certain needs of her family are met—works as a team with her husband.

    (25-27) She is strong and respectable. She isn’t afraid of the future because of her faith in God. Her words are wise and kind.

    (28-29) Her children respect her and her husband thinks she is the most amazing woman.

    (30) Only the fear of the Lord allows her to receive praise—inner beauty, not outer.

    · Psalm 5:8“Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Tell me clearly what to do, and show me which way to turn” Beautiful. Lord, I want to live abundantly and effectively. I want my life to have purpose in You. Shine Your light to the right path. I will follow.

    · Psalm 54:6“I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.” Have you given God something VOLUNTARILY that you really wanted? He takes that sacrifice and turns it into something beautiful; something to exemplify His glory.

    · Psalm 89:8b“You are entirely faithful”. ENTIRELY faithful!! Through the good and the bad. Even in the bad, He’s faithful because it shows he represents who he says he is by being our Father; guiding us, and disciplining us! He’s faithful with his promises of being our Father!

    · Spiritual Warfare: Ephesians 6

    1) Belt of TRUTH—you know what the Spirit is telling you! You know what kind of peace you have in your heart. Doubt is NOT truth!! Satan=doubt.

    2) Body armor of God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS—Everything good and amazing about God—something we will never reach—covers our entire body! He covers us with His righteousness!

    3) Shoes of PEACE—Having peace in your spirit prepares you for any attack from Satan. Hold onto that peace because Satan wants nothing more than for you to forget you have it!

    4) Shield of FAITH—The shield protects us from fiery arrows of the devil. Faith gets us through the battle!

    5) Helmet of SALVATION—Jesus is in you and he is on your side! Don’t fight alone!

    6) Sword of SPIRIT—All that you’ve learned is carried in your spirit! The word is there…USE IT!

    · Did you live for today? Did you serve somebody? Did you represent who Jesus is by letting your light shine? Did you allow Satan to have a foothold in any area of your life?

    · 1 Corinthians 1:27-29“And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important”. SAY WHAT?! The struggle of sin makes me POWERLESS but it will be used, once broken, to shame those who are POWERFUL. Or, the sin is powerful so it will be crushed once broken. The power will be gone. The importance of the world will be crushed to NOTHING because it doesn’t matter!

    · Your salvation gives you a new life and a new outlook where you should set your thoughts on Heaven instead of Earth. Like Mary, fixate on Jesus! Unlike Martha, don’t be worried about perfection or the details. Have NOTHING to do with shameful desires! Watch out for idolatry—what consumes your mind more than Heavenly thoughts? Salvation enables us to get rid of sin—surrender it at the feet of Jesus! It doesn’t matter who you are—your background—Christ loves you and that’s all that matters! Because of my love for Christ, I should be clothed in:

    Kindness
    Hatred
    Gentleness
    Pushy
    Humility
    Pride
    Patience
    Anxiousness
    Forgiveness
    Bitterness
    Love
    Hate

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