Living Our Glory Days

Glory Days

Our pastor has been preaching on the book of Exodus for quite a while. It’s been a 13-week message covering many different lessons learned through the story of the Israelites.

I find that I can relate to so many parts of the Exodus story. One of the greatest biblical figures of all time, Moses for instance. Moses argued with God about his inadequacy. Sounds like me… 

But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” – Exodus 4:10

Ahem, hello. Hi, yes me too. Not a good speaker. That’s me.

I relate to the fact that Moses didn’t consider himself good enough for the job God was calling him to do.

What I love about this story most is what God says next…

Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”- Exodus 4:11-12

God says that HE made his very mouth! He didn’t intend to make Moses do it alone. He said that he would tell him everything he needed to say. Even still, there was a”but”…

But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” – Exodus 4:13

God doesn’t care about our “buts”. God turns our “buts” into “yes sirs”. He takes our discouragements and turns them into courage.

Buts

He told Moses that He would be there the whole way, even giving him help from his brother, Aaron. 

I can also relate to the Israelites. They worried constantly, didn’t they?

Will there be enough food?
Can we trust that we’ll find our way?
Even though God has done miracles for us before, can He really do more?

At the end of our pastor’s sermon series, the big question of why was answered. Why did the Israelites go through all they went through? Why did God choose a people that would rebel and continuously lead them back to Himself even though they worshiped other gods?

I couldn’t help but think it was a simple answer. But it’s the answer to anything and everything that God does. And the answer why we should do everything that we do.

For God’s GLORY.

When we live our lives like Christ.
When we stop feeling inadequate, as if God can’t use us.
When we stop our worry and simply trust.
When we leave Egypt and the wilderness in the dust.

Only then can we enter our Promised Land where our exodus will finally end.

These are our Glory Days. 

This is where we live to glorify God.

________________________________________________________________________________

Glory Days Book

How the review of this book and the end of our pastor’s sermon lined up so well is beyond me. God had this planned the whole time. Family Christian gave me a chance to read Max Lucado’s newest book, Glory Days. You know I’m a Max fanatic. This book didn’t disappoint. (It’s pretty too!)

Glory Days is full of subject matter for the very things that I mentioned above. If you find yourself as a wandering, worrying Israelite, you will find encouragement among the pages of this book. 

Ever studied the book of Joshua before? No worries if you haven’t. Just read this book! Max Lucado breaks down the many stories of Joshua and the leading of his people with God’s help. My favorite chapter of this one is Chapter 13- You Be You. The entire book is jam-packed with wisdom. It’s all about learning to live out our inheritance!

Win A $10 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate

 

$10 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate Giveaway

This giveaway will end on October 12th, at 11:59pm CT. I will contact the winner and they will have 24 hours to respond. If I have not heard from them, I will name a new winner.

This book was provided for review purposes by Family Christian. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

God Loves Imperfection

God loves imperfection

I’ve been trying for far too long.

Year after year. Month after month. Day after day. Even moment after moment

I try.

I give it my all. I waste my precious and fleeting time on it.

When I wake up, I attempt it. Before I go to bed I attempt it.

When I was in school, it’s what I aimed for. When I became a woman, I thought it’s what I needed to do.

When I became a mom I thought it necessary.

The fact of the matter is, I’m giving up. I am officially throwing in the towel. I’m folding, conceding, and I surrender.

I will never be perfect. There I said it.

Whew. That’s a hard pill to swallow. Kinda like a gigantic horse pill for the psyche. 

But it must be done.

You see, God has told me that I don’t have to try anymore.

He wants me to know that He loves me right where I am at. He wants you to know the same.

He loves you when your sink is full of dishes. He loves you when your toilet is disgusting (but for real though, I need to clean mine). He loves you  when you spend too much money. He loves you when you skip church to sleep in. He loves you when you avoid people at the grocery store because you need a shower. He loves you when you go weeks with a stale fry stuck to your car’s floorboard. He loves you when you forget to pray. He loves you when you ignore Him.

He loves you in your imperfection.

Why in the world? Why would God love me when I am so jacked up? I mean, I don’t always get to my devotional and my bed sometimes goes days without being made.

For God's power

2 Corinthians 12:9 says this:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

God loves us in our imperfection because that’s when He can make us better.

How can we improve if we are already perfect? There’s no room to grow if we have reached the top. 

Our entire existence on this earth is to be spent trying to be more like Jesus. Since we will never be just like him, God will have our entire lives to make improvements, tweak us, and mold us into His image.

Every mistake, every sin, every flaw is an opportunity for God to work in us for His glory.

We are not made to be perfect. If that were true, God would have made us robots. A bunch of perfect and flawless robots walking around with empty sinks, clean toilets, and always at church without fail. Would God really be needed with perfection like that?

And what about Jesus? Why would Jesus need to be sent to earth to be an example for a bunch of robots?

He chose to die for completely helpless, flawed, and undeserving human beings. That’s us! And how grateful I am that he did.

As I grow in my walk with the Lord I realize that I don’t have to try for perfection. Doing my best is as close to that as I will ever get. God loves my imperfection. He loves to make me better.

I love to let Him.

I pray today that if you feel the pull to always try for perfection that you will let it go. If only for a moment of freedom. Let the power of Christ rest in your weakness. He will be glorified when you trust in Him. God bless you!

Finding Gratitude

Sing to God

Everything in my home seems to be breaking. I kinda want to break up with it. It started with the hot water heater. Next came our van. Then it was the heat in the bonus room. Now ladies and gentlemen, it is our garage door. We’ve gone without hot water, used only one car, went without heat upstairs, and now have to walk allllllll the way around the house to get into our car. You gotta love being a homeowner.

My girls are at a stage where they actually play together. They are 4 years apart and you’d never know it some days. They pull each other around in the laundry basket and make sweet cards for each other. But that sisterly love can go from sweet and innocent to completely mean in a matter of moments. I go from watching them frolic in the sibling daisies to surviving the prickly thickets of contention.

Sometimes I just find myself consumed in the things that are wrong with my life. I can just see God looking at me thinking, “Are you kidding me? LOOK at how I have blessed you, my child.” The fact is, I’m spoiled.

 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In ALL circumstances. That one is easier said than done after all the circumstances that I listed above. How do I change my discontentment to gratitude?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God achat viagra fr. – Philippians 4:6

First, we can see that if we’re discontent, then we’re worrying. Worrying about what others have that we don’t have. Focusing on what we lack. Second, if our heart is filled with anxiety and dissatisfaction it can’t also then be filled with thanksgiving. 

How great is our God? He’s bigger than broken heaters and fussy children. He has a much bigger and better plan for us than that.

Thankfulness is mentioned over and over in the Bible. Every good and perfect gift if from God. (James 1:17) Give thanks to the Lord, calling upon his name, making known his deeds among the people. (Psalm 105:1) I could go on and on.

Beyond all of the problems with my home, vehicles, and arguing children, I see the incredible blessing of a home and a family. Let’s do our best to focus on the blessings of God in our lives, rather than the attempts of the enemy to take them away. Each time that we choose to be thankful with what we have, the devil loses a chance for a stronghold.

Where do you see God in your circumstances? When you find Him, you have found thankfulness.

God is thrilled when we open our eyes to find Him revealed. Isn’t that His ultimate goal? It’s what we were created for! To bring Him glory! What good things is God doing in your life? Are your eyes open for Him to be revealed? Make a list of your blessings. Sometimes writing it out can help you to see it all more clearly.

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for so much. To have a home with things inside (even if those things break occasionally). I’m thankful for my entire family and friends. But most of all, I’m thankful for a God who fiercely loves me enough to continue blessing me every day, even when I don’t always see it.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures forever. – Psalm 118:1

Thankful

Taming Your Negative Monster

taming negative monster

It lurks in the darkness waiting to rear its ugly head. Close behind thoughts of doubt and pessimism. Hanging on the skirt tails of comparison. And just below the surface of low self-esteem.

It’s the negative monster and it will claw its way into ruling your life.

If you let it.

I could’ve titled this post “Taming Amy’s Negative Monster” if I’m being honest. I’ve lived with one for as long as I can remember. He’s probably about the size of big foot and carries around a big plate of you’re not good enough and this sucks. This little booger likes to manifest into my outlook on life. I’m talking glass half empty, worse case scenario, end of the world kinda stuff. If I don’t watch my attitude’s back, my negative monster will come out and find ways to take a simple situation and turn it gloomy.

Do you know what I’m talking about?

Negative monsters like to prey on things like comparison, discontentment, and other negative people. It’s hard sometimes to see how bad your attitude has gotten until it affects your relationships.

The Bible says:

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17:22

I don’t know about you, but I would love to be known as a person so cheerful that I’m like good medicine.

God has really been speaking to my heart lately about my attitude. I’ve almost felt scolded in a way. Do you ever feel that way? Like my daddy is telling me that I need an attitude adjustment or I’m grounded. I find myself saying things and almost immediately feel conviction in my spirit about what I’ve just said. I’m thankful for these moments in my walk with Christ. They are perfect examples of God’s work in me. He is forever perfecting you too!

Keep your mind on things that are: true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and excellent, and worthy of praise. – Philippians 4:8

Basically, we need to focus our thoughts on God’s truth. This means recognizing falsehoods, pursuing the truth, and constantly reminding ourselves of the truth.

The things we say don’t just start by popping out of our mouth. They begin in our thoughts.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5

Paul is talking to the Corinthians here about the power of the enemy and spiritual warfare. He says to take everything thought captive and make it obey The Lord. We have to renew our minds.

But God looks at our hearts. Why do we have to work so hard on our minds? Because our minds can change our hearts! If the end goal is to have a pure and clean heart, we have to make our mind agree with the truth we know in our hearts. After all, the Holy Spirit himself lives there.

This is a constant battle that we will all be in all of our lives. The enemy doesn’t take a sick day. He wants to take your thoughts, your heart, and anything else he can get it hands on and destroy them. Destroying everything in its path along with it. This is why it’s so important to continually take negative thoughts and feelings and wrangle them like a one ton bull, bringing them fully under control of Christ.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. – Ephesians 4:29

Let’s be cognizant of the words we speak to others. Just like Paul says the Ephesians above, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Don’t even let it come out of your mouth. Use your words to build others up. 

A good man produces good deeds from a good heart. And an evil man produces evil deeds from his hidden wickedness. Whatever is in the heart overflows into speech. – Luke 6:45

Your positivity and your negativity all flow from the same place, the heart.

Everything single one of these things is something that I need to work on right now. This is one of my daily prayers. If you struggle with a negative monster, first all you need to tell that thing to beat it! Your heart is occupied viagra vendre. And then let’s look at some ways you can be more positive right now.

  1. Pray about it. This one may seem obvious, but it took me a long time to actually do this. Telling God about your want to change shows that you heart is ready for a change.
  2. Choose joy. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says Always be joyful. It’s not always easy to do this, but choosing to be joyful rids the devil of his power. Take THAT devil!
  3. Focus on the positive. Easier said than done, huh? If you can focus on finding positive in every situation, you’ll be surprised how much more positive that you actually find.
  4. Say only positive things about yourself to others and about others. Back to the, “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” rule. This applies to self-talk as much as it does speaking about others. Edification is always the goal.
  5. Surround yourself with other positive people. In the past 2 years, I’ve notice how big of a difference it makes to be around others who are positive. It has changed me. If it means letting go of friends that bring you to a negative place, so be it.
  6. Have an attitude of gratitude. No matter how bad things are, there are tons of things to thank God for. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says- Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Change your grumps to gratefulness.
  7. Have an attitude of worship. There is no greater joy than connecting with The Lord in intimate worship. Praising the One who created us and receiving His amazing love fills our hearts and no doubt gives us a supernatural positive feeling. Let it simmer there in your soul and then let is spill out to those around you.
  8. Fact or Fiction? This is choosing whether your negative thought/words are from God (fact) or the enemy (fiction). Grab that thought, make choice based on if it’s God’s character and then act. Say out loud if you have to, “I rebuke that in the name of Jesus”. 
  9. Baby steps. Becoming a positive thinker doesn’t happen overnight. God spends our whole lives refining us. Any change for the better is a good one! Set small goals that are easy to obtain and celebrate your progress. Thank God for making you into a better person. That will help with your #6! 🙂

Do you have issues with negativity? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

Sorry, But You Can’t Do That Alone

Without Me

The average person consumes 2 bottles of ketchup per year. The average lifespan of a squirrel is 9 years. The average person walks the equivalent of twice around the world in their lifetime. And the average number of times that I tell my children “don’t do that” or “stop that” is approximately 63 times per day. Per child. 

Children don’t understand that there are times when they simply can’t do things alone. Recently my 7 year-old decided that she was thirsty. So thirsty that she decided to skip the part about asking for help from a parent and do it herself. Can you see where this is going? Our pitcher of juice is on the very top shelf in our refrigerator. It’s a french door on top and freezer on the bottom so it’s very tall.

She manages to get the pitcher (full of juice) off the shelf. Then as she is slowly walking to her cup, the moving waves inside the pitcher cause her to slop juice all over the floor leaving a juice trail behind. As you would imagine, this is the moment when I walk in the room and see what’s going on. The first words out of my mouth are, “You need to ask for help with that. You can’t do that alone.” And like most mother’s, I added, “Do you understand me?” The first words out her mouth were, “I’m sorry”, 

There are just some things that we can’t do. Here are some things that I can’t do:

  • Change a flat tire
  • Crochet
  • Eat raw oysters
  • Tie a knot in a cherry stem with my tongue
  • Ice skate
  • Tell a joke

The list goes on. I’m alright with not being able to do these things. I thought I was really good at ice skating until I busted my bum. That’s all it takes to keep this girl off the ice for a good long while.

Though we’re not helpless children anymore, there are many things that God wants us to see that we cannot do by ourselves.

What about some of the harder things in life? Like overcoming anxiety, depression, or addictions. Forgiveness. Healing. Gaining courage in the midst of fear. Provision through a drought. These may seem completely unattainable and they are. To you. You simply cannot do these things on your own.

But with God you can.

You simply have to trust that He will. Jesus says…

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. – John 15:5

The Bible says that we can do anything through Christ.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13

As humans, especially type-A humans *ahem*, we can be a little controlling. It’s natural for some more than others. This makes it hard for us to hand the reins of our problems, illnesses, relationships, and addictions over to God.

Sometimes God finds me just like my 7 year-old daughter, mid-pour with juice all over the floor. And I have to say, “I’m sorry God. I should have asked for your help.”

I am weak but he is strong

He is waiting. His hands are wide open waiting for your burdens. Whatever it is, He will walk through it with you. He will bring you to a place of peace no matter how bad that situation is. Make your plans, but turn the over to God before you carry them out. 

It’s ok to be thirsty. We are ALL thirsty for the Living Water that comes from the Father. Just make sure that before you scale the refrigerator, grab the pitcher, and slosh juice all over the floor on the way to fill up your cup, you ask for help.

When His Plan Is Different Than Ours

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago when I was having trouble dealing with some things that didn’t go the way I wanted them to go. Since I wrote this, a very dear friend of ours passed away. Him leaving this earth so early was not in anyone’s plan. It certainly was not in his precious wife and daughters’ plan. I could not have known this was going to happen and I find it so amazing that God put these words on my heart that day for such a time as this. Dear God, we know that you have reasons for things that are beyond our comprehension. Your foolishness is wiser than any human wisdom and your weakness is stronger than our human strength. Thank you for your peace, your joy in the midst of pain, and for surrounding those in need with comfort and love.

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. – Roman 8:28

I slowly opened my sleep-filled eyes. I felt fully rested and I wondered how long until my alarm would blare its obnoxious tune at me. I decided to take a gander at the clock. Seven o’clock am on the dot. Wait. Seven o’clock? I get up at Six fifteen! NOOOOO! The bus had gone by five minutes ago, but I could still get my daughter to the school on time if I hurried.

Trying not to kick it into freak-out mode, I woke up my younger daughter who I’m pretty sure was in deep REM sleep because she wouldn’t move a muscle for the first five minutes of my attempts. I threw on my flip-flops (still in my pjs mind you), grabbed a couple of twinkies (for breakfast? yes, I’m a horrible mother), and loaded everyone up and headed for school. Not a single person’s hair in that car was brushed, let alone their teeth. Two of us were still in our pjs, breakfast was less than nutritional, and all of us were half asleep, but by golly my daughter was going to make it to school on time!

I couldn’t help but think that this is the way that my life always seems to go. I can make a perfectly laid out meal plan that we won’t stick to. We have a budget and then our van needs a major repair that wasn’t in said budget. I can make cornbread, but forget the baking powder and it’s now a corn cookie. 

We all have our plans don’t we? It surprises us when things happen differently than we planned. I planned for that alarm to go off and make sure that we were all ready for school. I was extremely surprised to wake up much later than I should have.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Sometimes the best thing we can do is give our plans to the Lord and trust that they will turn out the way He intends.

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it, and he will. – Psalm 37:5

In the end, God’s Will reigns supreme. He is in control even when we lose that control. It’s hard. It’s messy. Sometimes we white knuckle those plans in our fleshly attempts to regain the control from God. Learning to turn them over in the beginning makes dealing with the outcome so much easier. #preachingtomyself

Whatever we face, even in the change, we can take comfort knowing that our loving and sovereign God has the ultimate plan. And sometimes it may involve your cornbread being a rock-hard cookie instead.

Blessed By God, Hated By The World

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

I was on Facebook the other day. Shocker really. And I happened across a poll about the new movie (from the books) Fifty Shades of Grey coming out. It was a poll asking whether people thought it was considered “porn” or not. Aside from what I thought, I read through some of the comments just to see what others were saying. 

I’ve never read the books and don’t intend to.

I came across a comment that left me encouraged in my faith, believe it or not. On a poll about porn, no less. Yes God! Even you are there.

The woman stated that she began reading the first book and became convicted by the Holy Spirit so she stopped reading. She said that if Jesus came back today, she wouldn’t want to be holding that book. In her opinion it was porn and she would have no part of it.

I began reading through the replies to her comment/opinion and watched as people began to leave negative remarks about her. They were making fun of her “religious” views and even criticized Christians in general. She stuck to her faith and beliefs and never once said a negative thing about anyone who was bashing her. Many times saying “Jesus loves you” or “have a blessed day”. 

In the midst of persecution, we are also blessed!

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
– 1 Peter 4:14

How many times do we let the world’s view overshadow what we truly believe? Are there opportunities that we miss because we are afraid of being insulted or persecuted? The Bible says that we are BLESSED in these circumstances.

Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
– Luke 6:22

When I am hated, insulted, and rejected- I am actually blessed? It’s true! When we stand against the world in the name of Christ, we are renewed and blessed.

It’s funny how a silly Facebook poll can inspire us stand firm in our faith. I love how God can use the world to show us not to conform to it.

Motherhood and Hamster Wheels

By: cdrussorusso

It’s been one of those days. It’s really just been the second half, but that half felt like an eternity so we’ll call it a full day. One of those days where you’re just so thankful that it’s really over. I’m supposed to be finishing up my post on my ice cream cake, so I apologize if you were on pins and needles for that. It’s totally worth the wait.

Do you ever feel like a mean mommy? Like all you ever say is no, and stop that, or you’re in time out? In my head I imagine motherhood as this picture of a loving embrace followed by encouragement and topped with a side of smiles. But sometimes it’s not all rainbows and butterflies is it? Ahem, uh…no.

There are temper tantrums, spats, poopy diapers, back-talk, fits, arguments, vomits (hey, it’s nasty but true), broken expensive electronic devices, sleepless nights, head-butting, literal head-butting, forgotten lunch boxes, filthy floors, answering the why question a hundred times a day, doling out money like it grows on trees, never having a clean car, screaming, peeing when you sneeze (like even 2 years after you had your child), cleaning your house only to have it destroyed again in 2.5 seconds, and the most important thing that real motherhood is…

…the realization that perfection is unreachable.

How can that be possible when I try so stinkin’ hard to achieve it? I give 110% each and every single day to avoid each and everything listed above. Come on, making up the lunchbox the night before has got to count for something right?

Wrong.

Wait. I’m confused.

So even if I give 1,000,000% to my children, I’ll still never get it perfectly right?

Right.

Well, that’s a complete bummer. I mean that is one high bar, dude.

By: Haundreis

As a mom of 2 younger girls, I am being tested everyday with this concept. It’s a little hard to accept for us moms isn’t it? It can feel like a hamster wheel. The customers at the pet store are just staring at us, snickering to themselves because they know that we aren’t ever going to get anywhere.

And yet you can’t help but wonder what the purpose of the wheel being there actually is. Am I right? I mean I can’t help but think how silly these teenie, tiny, little fur balls are justa running their tails off going in a circle. Here’s an interesting perspective…

The reason hamsters adore hamster wheels is easy: The tiny rodents are born to run. It comes naturally to them. Hamsters truly enjoy running, plain and simple, and their species as a whole are very energetic and lively.
According to the ASPCA, hamsters in their natural habitat might run up to 5 miles every night in their quest for sustenance. (source)

So you’re telling me that hamsters run up to 5 stinkin’ miles every night because they simply enjoy it?

Hamster wheels are 100 percent vital for keeping hamsters happy, healthy and physically fit. These creatures absolutely need to run. If you want to make sure your tiny pet remains in glowing health — not only in body, but also in mind — a hamster wheel is the way to go.

Getting absolutely nowhere and just enjoying the run is vital to the life of a hamster. How is it that God is using a hamster to speak to me tonight? He sure does have a sense of humor.

Even through the difficult days like I’ve had today,  I’m reminded of God’s grace. Grace that means a furry little rodent running for miles only to end up where he began is still joyful. Grace that means even when I have a bad day I’ll get a fresh start tomorrow. And oh Jesus, it’s grace that means that even though I will never (ever, ever, ever) achieve perfection in this motherhood thing, I really can let go and enjoy the journey with the freedom that the 110% that I give is enough.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

– 2 Corinthians 12:9

Waiting On My Breakthrough

No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.
– Isaiah 54:17

I would kinda like to speak from my heart today. I’m not exactly sure where to begin or what to say so we shall see how this goes. I am not trying to be dramatic or demand sympathy. I just want Gathering Grain to be real and to be real with you. Life has not been easy over the last year and 1/2 for me.

I’ve been working through some things in myself that God brought to the forefront in November of 2012. It was very unexpected and has since been one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to face. With each layer that is peeled off, there is another underneath that I have to deal with. Each one bringing a new set of emotions.

While I know that my God is bigger than anything that I have to face alone, it is extremely tiring. I have really great days when I feel as though nothing on earth can touch me. That I am confident and happy. And there are days when I simply hold back tears all day long. I often wonder why I was given such a complex situation to walk out. I’m told that it means that HE thinks I’m strong. But I can tell you that all I feel is weak. Even still, I’m thankful for His amazing grace and mercy because without it, I’m pretty positive that I wouldn’t be here today.

Last night at church, our pastor talked about breakthrough. That often times, the enemy likes to sit smack dab in the middle of our breakthroughs preventing us from claiming what God has for us. I’d say that the enemy has built a wall in front of mine. Maybe even placed a large planet in front of it. I keep stretching my arms around getting sweet tastes of it and then like Stretch Armstrong, my arms snap back and its gone again.

I am here today to say that I REBUKE the enemy AND his planet in the middle of my breakthrough. I am going to claim what God has for me. In the meantime, I will wait. I will practice patience. I will dig into my Kindgom rights and know that my Father loves me.

Why Me God? I’m Not Strong Enough

Why Me

As humans, we spend a lot of time wondering why. I’m pretty positive that the animals in the deserts don’t wonder why it’s so dry. Sure, they may be thirsty but that feeling of needing to know the answer why seems to be a human trait. I find myself wondering the whys of life quite often. Especially when something directly affects me.

The Lord has certainly placed a lot on my shoulders throughout my life and especially these last few years. I’ve faced many trials and tribulations that have been so incredibly difficult that I’ve found myself asking God why.

Why would you let me endure this?

Why did you allow this to happen to me?

Why can’t you just take it away?

I question God about His plan as though I, little human Amy, might have a better one. I am usually humbled with every answer that I get from God. I imagine God giggling at me when I start to ask why. He might even be placing his hand on His belly with a smirk on His face thinking, If only she knew what was going to come of this.

In the book of Job, Job is put in the midst of some pretty heavy stuff. It’s a trial like I could never imagine. Did Job deserve it? No. I, myself, was freaking out for Job as I was reading it. How much more could he endure? In the end, we learn from that story that we aren’t always being put through something because of sin or as a means of punishment. Sometimes we are simply put through something to come out on the other end and praise God for His sovereignty, His love for us, for His glory.

With every trial that I have come through and even through some that I am still walking through, I am reminded of three things.

Grace

Even when I am questioning God and His plan, I am given such beautiful grace. I do not deserve it, but my God who is in the highest pours it out without thought.

Faith

As I struggle with any hard time, my faith is always being tested. It’s pretty easy to give up on God when times are hard. Faith can weaken and the enemy has a foothold to grasp an inch. These are the times when our faith should increase the most. As I walk in my spiritual journey, this is one of the hardest for me. I’m a white-knuckler and letting God take over can be hard. But I am always reminded that in order to be free, I must give it to Him. I show my faith in my God who will help me to overcome anything!

To Let Go

This one is so simple and yet sooooooo very hard for me. It goes hand in hand with faith, except it can also be physical. With the battle that I’ve been fighting, there is a physical aspect and it is something that I find extremely hard to let go of. A man at church gave a testimony last night that spoke to me very deeply about letting things go. He said it wasn’t easy. Nope. But when you loosen your grip on this thing and hand it to God, he will bless you. It’s hard. Oh boy is it hard. That’s why I’m still walking through this y’all. But I promise, the endurance, strength, and grace that comes from God will get you through.

I could use prayers if you have them. And I hope that this encourages you with anything that you might be walking through. You know that saying “God won’t give you any more than you can handle.” That is one of the biggest lies. He will. He has given me WAY more than I can handle. But HE can handle it. And that is precisely why He wants me to lean on Him. To trust. And to ask for strength, endurance, and His power.

Nothing is too small or too big for God.