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.

6C6DB3AA-B627-4C13-A124-57E8EFFB9939.gif

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.

167a4ad7-cf4d-4595-8f79-9cb3e30cdc74

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

Speak Over Yourself

The following post in an edited excerpt from one of my journal entries.

I have shed many tears yet these flowers will not bloom. I am bruised from trying to live how others would want.

This is where I am. No where glamorous. Just trying to put the pieces together while holding onto the promises God whispered in my ear.

Inspite of what I FEEL, I must resort to what I know. I know that the Lord is with me at all times and that he will restore me.

761F08B3-46C1-4EA7-8123-DE66847F885A.jpeg

I know that I was created to surpass the limitations around me and to keep pushing. There is joy, peace, and abundant life on the other side of this Liz so keep up the good fight.

FDA8B427-4068-44E7-A661-4E95BB374235.jpeg

Changes

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since  my last post. I am in the midst of some big changes. I am enrolled in a Masters Program for Counseling. I am also pregnant with my second child! My husband and I are so excited to expand our family and I can’t wait to meet our baby boy.

This pregnancy is a lot tougher than my first one. My energy,patience and temper have been tested in all types of ways. Pregnancy sheds light on all my flaws. It heightens my inability to be patient, and highlights my issues with anger.

Truth is I have been feeling drained and exhausted. I have so many ideas for posts I want to share with you all but I allowed myself to be overwhelmed and not in peace.

Did you know that peace is a choice? It comes with the package of trusting God. I’ve been letting peace slip through my hands rather than clenching it tight.

I’m striving towards God’s rest. I believe all things work for the good of those who wait.  It is in these moments that I’ve sought God and made it a point to meditate on the word.  His words have wiped away tears and reassured me that my faith will result in a harvest.

Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:10‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Keep pushing through these tests! The Lord is near.

Love you all for sticking by me😘

 

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
‬‬

 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.

IMG_0559

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.

IMG_1454

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

Where have I been?

As I snuggle in bed with tea in my hand, I ponder on where I let the ball slip with this blog. So many things have taken precedence over writing which, for me isn’t good because writing keeps my mind stable. I have been balancing work life, wifely duties, being a momma to a not so little kid and being a student. I need to emphasis I am not a good juggler; so one can see how I could drop the ball trying to balance so much with just two arms.

I’m tired. I’m always tired. Lol.  But I’m so happy. God has been good in the midst of this season. He has been overfilling my cup with joy and reminding me to rest. He has been patient with my stubbornness and revealing areas in my life I need to work on. I’m learning to let go and seeing the fruit of trusting God. He’s so faithful and loving. I’m in awe that He could love such a broken mess.

IMG_0537

I’ve got issues y’all. I’ve got issues loving people. Now let me explain. I love people and enjoy learning about them. But I also have scars from past experiences where I have been hurt by them. People including myself can be finicky. It scares me to rely on people because they do not always live up to our expectations. While trying to deal with old wounds, I am reminded that we are in debt to love. We love inspite of hurt because love is unconditional.  Specifically we are to love our enemies. Loving unconditionally brings freedom from people bondage. We must continue to be Christ like in our actions regardless of how we feel and are treated.

I fail at this daily but I choose freedom. I choose to live by the spirit and bear fruit. I choose joy and peace. I believe the consequences of unconditional love far outweigh the battle wounds you will endure. In the words of Paul keep up the good faith.

IMG_0536

Stay strong my warriors! We have already won the battle. Halllelujah! We have won the victory!

 

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.

img_0527

 

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.

 

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.

img_0467

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.