Can I Get A Refill?

The beginning of this month was rough. My husband’s traveling schedule increased so Mommy duty was wearing me out. With two young boys and a child on the way I know that my energy is limited and it’s FRUSTRATING!! I want to be super mom🤦🏾‍♀️. (Insert picture of me in a cape that is blowing freely in the wind).But as Lisa Nichols said “you can’t feed others from an empty saucer”(Her quote was more elegantly written). I was running on empty and not getting enough physical, spiritual and emotional rest. 

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I know when I reach this low state I have drifted far away from God. So I crawled back into His presence… very slowly and I cried. I used every word I could think of to explain this lowly state I was feeling and when I ran out of words I grunted and screamed.

And the Lord answered me. I need to be still and accept where I am. Resting season isn’t over for me. He is trying to fill me up with fruit of the Holy Spirit and His wisdom. He reminded me that I have a network of people around me whom I can access in times of need. I am not alone.

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Resting is NOT a word that does brings me immediate relief. I don’t feel like I’m doing enough if I’m not overworked and burnt out. Imagine a well that is running low on water. It has little use for its thirsty seekers if all they can draw out is mud. I’ve been feeding my kids and my husband mud. Mud was displayed through my short temper and lack of patience. It’s not an easy clean up but I’m allowing God to fill me up again so I can wash out the mud that is covering my family. It is then that I can truly be successful in my role.

“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine Within your house, Your children like olive plants Around your table.”

Psalms 128:3 NASB

I encourage you all to find comfort in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Be slow and intentional so that when God cues us to rest we can do so eagerly. With rest comes the pouring of his Spirit, filling in the cracks and healing the bruises we have sustained along the narrow path. Stay thirsty my friends so that you too can get a refill.

Sb:// Totally not judging you if the Erica Varner song or Dos Equis Ad popped into your head. 😁

✌🏾❤️

I Surrender

Happy New Year! Hello 2019 and what you have in store for me. In my last post, I shared how broken I was feeling. I have been feeling like a failure. It just seemed that everything I set out to accomplish has crumbled before my fingertips. During the time of my last post, I transitioned from working full time to being a stay at home mother to my two beautiful boys. This transition forced  me to post pone my internship for school.

The idea of staying home with my children is not a glamorous one. My vision of a boss woman is someone who works 9-5 and brings home the bacon  or kale for my plant lovers. I felt that if I wasn’t working then I was not being a good wife and a powerful woman.

Oh the lies the enemy tries to plant in my head.

This is why I must remind myself of Psalms 1. I am a tree planted by streams of water that bears fruit in season and my leaves will never wither as long as I am under the guidance of God.

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So you may be thinking, Liz… Why are you sad? Because you don’t have to work? Because you have to stay home with the kids? I have seen that being home with the boys is the best blessing, I could have. My relationship with them is strengthening and I am learning how to love them. So no,that’s not the real issue.

The issue was how I defined success. It was apart from God and involved me hustling and grinding all by myself. All that “hardwork” brought me to my knees…literallly. I was exhausted and not paying my first ministry aka my family any mind.

I have been and still am on this long journey of self discovery and let me be honest. IT SUCKS!!!! I’ve been asking God to reveal to me what my next career path is and INSTEAD, he’s been revealing to me personal things I need to work on. He’s been showing me mindsets that have stifled my faith walk. I have done many fasts requesting direction with this program I am in for school but God is choosing to work on my heart.

Faith means I have to trust that in my obedience he will align everything perfectly so that I can reap what he has in store for me. I have to trust that by working on the things He is pointing out then, He will take care of everything else.

The theme for this year is “I Surrender”. Every time I feel anxiety I say “I surrender xyz” and wipe my hands clean. I’ve become hungry to hear God,thirsty for his blessings and plans for my life to pour over me and overflow in my cup. I no longer want to live the life I created for myself. Its trash and has led me to live an anxiety provoked, stubborn, selfish, flesh led lifestyle and I am tired y’all.

With baby #3 en route **SURPRISE**, I want a different approach on how I manage my roles as first a woman of God, a wife and a mother. Everything else must be left into the hands of God. It is hard, but I feel His peace and joy when I choose to focus on my children and give them the attention they need rather than stress out on how can I become successful.

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This hunger and thirst to know God has led me on a quest for wisdom.  I’ve been convicted that as I am on this journey of seeking God’s wisdom I must share what I learn, because the wisdom of God is not meant to be stored up in a cookie jar at the top of the fridge for my own indulgence. I must share wisdom because it is part of my journey as a believer in Jesus Christ. I am called to be a light in a dark place through my transparency.

This means I must be more diligent on this blog (Sorry yall…I’m working on consistency) and leaning not on my own understanding.

Cheers to seeking first the kingdom of God.

May his joy, peace, and grace overwhelm every area of your life.

Liz

Why Do I Write?

2017 was the year I learned the value of rest. I was overwhelming myself with a laundry list of tasks I thought I needed to do in order to be a good wife and mother. While attempting to “rest” ( not an easy task for a busy body like myself), I realized that I lost touch with  who I am. I stopped dating myself. I no longer asked myself what I enjoyed doing. I didn’t treat myself to things that made me happy. I thought it was noble to sacrifice myself for the sake of my son and husband but it made me an angry mother and a bitter wife.

This year, my focus is on who I am and what I am called to be. Once I realized that being a mother and wife are titles with responsibilities, I found myself staring at a woman I barely knew. If I am not renewed (Romans 12vs 1-2) and anchored in the Lord (Eph 6 vs 10) than I am incapable of completing my assignments on earth.

“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:17-19‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I desire to know God more so I can know who I was created to be. As I venture on this journey I will be writing. Mostly in my journal but also on this blog. I want to inspire other woman through my flaws and mistakes. I am not perfect alone. But through Christ I can kick butt. (Phil. 4 vs 13)

 

Here’s to a journey of self-discovery 🥂

Do You Remember the Time?

If your around my age or older, I wouldn’t be surprised  if Michael Jackson popped in your head after seeing the title. Lol. These past two weeks I’ve been diving into the book of Joshua and I have camped around chapter 4. In this chapter  God is getting ready to bring the Israelites across the Jordan river so that they can take refuge in the Promise Land. I urge you to read chapter 4 and all of Joshua when you have a chance. The purpose of this post is to focus on an order God gave Joshua for the Israelites. He ordered them to remember.

“and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel. Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.””
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭4:5-7‬ ‭NASB
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 I had to read this chapter a few times before it finally registered to me the significance of the memorial. Often times in my walk with Christ, I hit hard times and completely forget His goodness. I cry out “woe is me” and ask why I have been forsaken. If I don’t refocus myself on thoughts that are good (Phil 4 vs 8),  hopelessness will consume me.

I know I haven’t been forsaken, but I want things a certain way and in my timing. But when I look back at the victories in my life, they have all occurred when God was in control. His timing is perfect and I have plenty of proof in my life to validate that. And it is when I look back to when I was in the valley of the shadow of death, that I remember his staff was totally there. Joy did arrive in the morning. My old battles are now songs of victories. These are memorials I must hold on to when I’m prepared to cross the Jordan river. What’s dope about God is that he divided the Jordan so that the Israelites crossed on dry land.

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Every time I have been through the valley I always come out stronger, maybe a little sweaty but unharmed. I hate to admit this but our trips into the valley will be constant in our walk with God. Valleys are in between hills. This means as we reach one hill aka “victory”, we gotta go through another valley to get to our next victory. But as we build memorials for each victory, we have something to hold on to and provide us strength as carry on until we reach our final destination. Eternal life.

I am in the valley right now and I’m sure some of y’all are here with me. Let’s find some stones and start building a memorial. Let’s start praising God for what He has done and where He has gotten us. I’d rather be in this valley now than down in the pit of hell later. In valleys there are usually rivers and where there is water, there is life.

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Thank you God for the many victories I have won. Your right hand is over me and over anyone reading this. I praise you because of your goodness. As I look back at the memorials along my path, I remember that you are always by my side. I thank you for what is in store for me and as I walk through this valley I will lean on your rod for comfort.

With peace and joy,

✌🏾Liz

Prosperity & Obedience

I am afraid  of feeling vulnerable. Being transparent gives people the opportunity to criticize your life . As a someone who is weaning off the need to please others, I feel anxious knowing that people are watching me. This blog was beginning to feel like a burden.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NIV
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I cannot choose disobedience because I’m afraid. We are created to do good things. Walking in our purpose goes hand and hand with prosperity. He will bless us with all that we have and more.

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The Lord is calling me to be transparent for the body of Christ. I am to sharpen iron with iron and fight the lies of the devil with truth. The truth is we cannot fail in Christ. Choose Christ and be prepared to watch blessings rain down from the heavens when we walk according to His ways. I love how Psalm 1 compares our relationship with Christ to a tree planted by streams of water. We will lack nothing we need. And if you are lacking then seek it. But do it with confidence.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Be bold for Christ and gentle in our ways! Love you all for supporting this blog. Let’s walk in the will of God and expect a life filled with prosperity.

What Living In the Spirit Looks Like

I spent last night apart from my son. My husband and I wanted to spend time with each other and also catch up on tasks that we were dragging  behind. We decided it would be best for our son to spend the night with my mother-in-law. As I began preparing for the night, doubt emerged from unseen places. What if something happens to him and I’m not there to comfort him? What if he doesn’t want to come back  to me? Am I even a good mother? These questions left me feeling anxious and uncertain about my decision. I knew it was important for my husband and I to have undivided quality time together. I also knew that I needed to be rejuvenated and recharged so that I could continue being the mother Josiah needs. As I began praying, I was led to Psalm 1.

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭1:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Lord reassured me that as long as I walk in His ways and I plant myself underneath Him, I will be prosperous as a mother. He will give providence over the life of my son. It’s so important to cast our cares unto the Lord because He truly and deeply loves us. (1 Peter 5:7) He desires for us to trust Him in all  areas of our lives. As I surrender my emotions,  I am able to be led by the Spirit.

Now I can’t say that being led by the spirit is easy. It does not FEEL good. If you are like me, then life is filtered through emotions. Emotions are healthy and allow for self expression; but when they are not controlled they can overwhelm us and keep us apart from God.

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

A life led by the spirit is full of conflict! It involves serious meditation and reflection of the word. It demands us to go against what feels normal. I did not feel peace as I packed my son’s overnight bag. I did not feel peace on the car ride to my mom-in-law’s house. Peace came to me after I kissed him goodbye. In spite of how I felt I pressed into God. This simple event shaped my understanding of living in the Spirit. I wrestled with my flesh and spoke the victory I have  already acquired  over my life.

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There is great reward to a life led by the Spirit. We are assured life and peace. We can enter into rest. I could have dwelled in my emotions and allow worry to hang over me. If I allowed my emotions to control me then  I would not have been able to laugh and indulge in fruitful conversation with my husband.  I would have missed my chance to enjoy time for myself.  Most importantly I would have missed time in the presence of God. Being led by the Spirit opens us to His presence.

I pray that you and I daily choose spirit over flesh. As we deny ourselves and lift Christ up,our ultimate goal of eternal life becomes clear.

May you live in the Spirit and be rewarded with His joy and peace.

 

A Message From an Ex-People Pleaser

 

Although I identify  as an ex-people pleaser, how others perceive  me still plagues my mind. I wrestle with perfecting myself in the eyes of human beings rather than believing who I am through Jesus Christ.

I have always tried to sound politically correct. My words are dipped in sugar to ensure they don’t ignite controversy. I am drawn to acceptance and can be easily crushed if I find that people  do not approve of me. I marinate for hours on words I fnd offensive. These shackles have been very hard to break free from. It just seems no matter how much I pray and rebuke these thoughts, I still see myself through the lenses of others.

In the midst of this battle, I have stumbled upon these verses.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  • My struggle is not with people but rather Satan. Satan has made it his mission to undo what God has already established upon my life. He has planted lies into my heart and I have entertained their company.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:14‬ ‭NIV
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  • Even with my flaws, there is greatness within me. God knows me better than anyone else. He has looked at me and said I am good just as I am. I am perfect because Christ is perfect and dwells within me. I should be encouraged to make myself better so that I may be a temple pure and worthy  of the Lord’s presence.

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬”

  • In the midst of struggling with self acceptance God has deemed me perfect and is working towards completing that perfection in me . The more I dive into the word of God, the easier it will become to see myself through Christ. He has overlooked my flaws and chose to die for me while I was deep in sin.

“So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.”
‭‭John‬ ‭12:10-11‬

  • As a believer of a Jesus Christ, I am an enemy to this world. I will receive retaliation and should expect opposition.

“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:29‬ ‭NIV

  • Jesus told his disciples that they will suffer on account of him. This world does not care for Jesus because it is ruled by Satan. Satan knows he has lost the battle and wants to bring down as many people as he can. He does not want us to find joy,peace and rest.

Daily I seek the Lord and He has shown himself faithful. I do believe there will be a time when I will pass this test. In the mean time I will sing praises to God and rejoice in my victory. In my weakness the greatness of God is seen!

To God be all the glory!

Motivation for Times of Difficulty

I’ve seen the true nature of God while battling the storms of life. My need for Him has been birthed from my deepest sorrow.Whenever I feel troubled or distant from God, I recognize it as an opportunity to dive into the word and fall before the Lord. In our weaknesses we are made strong in Christ. I have found peace in times of uncertainty.

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God allows moments of weeping and sorrow because it is the place where we surrender. When I realize that God is trying to reach me, I become adamant about spending time with the Him. I do not want God to feel as if I only need Him when things are going wrong. I don’t only want to know God when I have no where else to go.

“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:5‬ ‭NIV

In these times I speak truth into my life.  I encourage you to speak the goodness of the Lord over your life .

I surrender Myself to you Lord. I am weak and so ashamed but you overwhelm me with your love. I entrust my life to you and accept peace and joy. The ground I step on will be shaken but not moved. I will see the goodness of the Lord. For my God is mighty. His love is everlasting. Fill this vessel so that I may hold your treasures. 

Rest

I am someone who determines my success by what is around me. If I have a clean kitchen, and food prepared for my husband that makes me a great wife. If my son is booger free and has on both socks and shoes then I am a great mother. This mindset has put unrealistic expectations on myself. If my success is determined by those things I have listed, then I only obtain success on certain days of the week. Imagine how guilty I felt taking a nap knowing the kitchen looked like a war zone. Although I needed to rest because I was feeling under the weather, I didn’t feel like I deserved it.

“for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their [Israelites] example of disobedience.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:10-11‬ ‭NIV

God doesn’t want us to place our trust in what we can do. We have to trust in Him. As His children we are already designed to be wonderful because we belong to God. Even as I type this out I feel so blessed and humbled to know that I am a great wife/mother because God has created me to be great. He assures us these struggles on earth are temporary and do not compare to the eternal joy awaiting us in heaven.

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Fear of failure is an insult to God. He says our burdens will be light as long as we lift them up to him. He promises to protect us and has already given us victory. It is not okay to dwell in fear because it does not bear fruit of the Holy Spirit.

When the Israelites saw that pharoah and his army were chasing them they became angry with Moses and God. They wanted to trade freedom for shackles because they were afraid. Fear makes you think crazy things.

“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.””
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13-14‬ ‭NIV
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Even in the midst of their fear,God gave them a way out. He parted the Red Sea and made sure the pharaoh and his army could never come after them again. God doesn’t want fear in our relationship. Fear means we do not believe in God and His power. Restore the joy of salvation! Think back to when you first accepted Jesus and the freedom you felt. Stop putting the shackles back on!

God has revealed to me that I always had a back up plan in case He didn’t come through (which has NEVER happened). When I feel like God is taking too long I start doing things myself. When I don’t look to him, I start comparing myself with other women’s success. I enslave myself to work so that I can prove my worth.

Rest in his grace. Pray. Take a nap. Go for a walk. Read your word. Pray. Tell a corny joke. Read the Word of God.Pray.

Be great because that is what you are. You are strong,beautiful and brave. Trust in the power of God and not yours. We serve an unlimited God. Let go and let God.

 

Eternity

For a while I have struggled to understand the joy of eternity. I use to be afraid  of eternal life because I could not understand how it could go on without ending. Life on earth has a beginning and an end. Everything on earth will face the end of time. But God reassures us that through Him we will live forever and ever and ever and ever etc.

I was searching for satisfaction in the things of this world. After graduating college I was consumed with getting into my career and making a certain amount of money. I believed that this would bring me happiness . I was very independent in college. I worked three jobs and provided for myself. As my independence heightened my dependence on God decreased. I was worshipping, praying and reading my word but I was not living a life by faith. I did not depend on God for my needs. I relied heavily on my own strengths.

It was not until I didn’t get into the masters program of my choice that I hit rock bottom. I struggled greatly with my identity because I thought I could provide everything for myself. When I did not get the job I desired I was filled with sorrow. I no longer knew who I was and did not know where my future was heading. That scared me. I had a plan for myself and it failed. At this point I resorted to plan Z aka God.

“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.””
‭‭John‬ ‭6:27‬ ‭NIV
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I have learned that by myself I fail miserably. I cannot give myself happiness or find it in a career. As I began diving into the word and truly seeking God, the idea of eternity kept showing itself. He wants us to remember that what we see with our eyes will not always be here.I have total joy being a wife and a mother; but I understand that I do not know how long my husband and son will be with me. I have to trust in the Lord. He is eternal. He will ALWAYS be present. He will never leave or forsake Us. We have been guaranteed a spot in Heaven. Isn’t that dope? You have a secured place that you did not have to RSVP for.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.””
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I have found peace in the most uncanny place. I am currently a stay at home mom.  My CEO/director is a 7 month old who keeps me pretty busy.  I do not believe I could have found this kind of joy working a 9-5. I am still job hunting but I am living my success story now. God has been to good for me not to be full of joy.

Remember to seek first the kingdom and all things will be given to you. He promises to provide for your wants and needs. He will give you peace while in the eye of a storm. He will open doors and create routes to remind us that in Him, we are complete. Aside from him we are doomed to fail.

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May the peace and joy of God overwhelm you.