Be Kind To Her by Trish

Be Kind To Her….

 

The other day I penned these words and posted on my insta-story…

“To the one persevering in the midst of a pandemic…Keep persevering

To the one choosing joy over pain…Keep choosing

To the one clinging to love despite hurt…Keep clinging”

I’m not even going to pretend that this is “just another season” and it’s all okay.  It’s not okay…it’s hard and some days I find myself crying harder than I have in almost 4 years. There have been moments when it has felt like all hell has broken loose and I’m dodging arrows at every turn. I catch my breath long enough to dodge the next missile being launched.

Let’s see, global pandemic…check. National economic crisis…check. Misunderstandings, disrespect and lack of appreciation in relationships…check. Battle for justice…check. Racial tension…check. Hurricane Season…check. Limited interaction and social distanced relationships…check. And in the midst of the above checklist we are to figure out how to manage a home, business, work responsibilities, nurture a marriage, budget responsibly while not knowing financial future, keep the house spotless and fulfill the responsibilities within the home…(we each have our own “list”), be “present” at home, don’t forget to smile and act like you have it together when in reality you are one wrong comment or even look away from going off on someone. Basically, hold down the fort and keep your stuff together.

How in the world can we keep it together? We can’t and that is the very reason we need Jesus! I literally need Him as desperately as I need my next breath. Oh, and by the way, I can’t imagine you Mamas out there working your superpowers as you parent, home-school and/or work from home. And let’s not forget about the essential workers, teachers and on-going list of other women out there making it happen in their world and then coming home to make sure dinner is on the table in time. Y’all are the real MPV’s.

I say all of that to say…Be kind to her. Her being YOU. If no one else is appreciating your rock star effort in making that magic happen in your home during the year 2020…I salute you and I celebrate what you’re doing! This is not an easy season for any of us! I’m speaking to ladies because well, this is LADIES on Life but honestly, I commend everyone getting up every morning and choosing to do what it takes and choosing to LIVE BY FAITH. I know this is a crazy time, but we have a big God. The struggle may be real but the grace and strength He gives is even greater!

But ladies, I especially want to encourage YOU. Your worth is far above rubies, your value more precious than gold! If no one else sees or appreciates all you’re doing, know that God does and He will reward you.

Among that list of all we are facing, there is an even greater list.

You’re breathing…check

You somehow found time to have a break long enough to read this and be encouraged…check

You’re loved by the Creator of the World and He loves you more than life itself…check

You still have the ability to choose your responses…check

You have a direct access to God through prayer…check

You have an opportunity to see God do the miraculous in your life…check!

For every negative thing we’re facing, replace it with a positive and focus on that. I’m not saying live in denial of what is going on but redirect your focus and it will help redirect your day.

I would encourage you to write these verses down someplace where you will see it and everyday declare these words over your life as well as the entire book of Psalm 91, a declaration of God’s protection.

Psalms 61:2“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Galatians 6:9 KJV “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Psalms 3:3 “But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head”

James 1:2-4 2 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces [a]patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be [b]perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

 

Be patient with the girl reading this post- she’s valuable.

Be loving with the woman you see in the mirror, she’s doing her best.

Be forgiving of the blunders  she may make and most of all, please be kind to her.

 

Photo Credit: FreePik

Trials In Life by Sonya

 

During this time there has been many trials that you don’t plan on and try not to dwell on in life. It has been especially hard for everyone during Covid-19 where you experience trial after trial. These are unknown  times we are going through and territory with unexpected trials.
During these times,  I have encountered trials in both my marriage and with my family. It has been hard as I thought having all of this family time would bring us all closer. Instead it has caused conflict as we find ourselves getting on one another’s nerves.
My role as a Mother has been challenging as I’ve been impatient with my kids and find myself raising my voice at them if they don’t obey. I become someone I don’t like in my marriage and my family as this virus  has caused me to lose my  identity to some degree. I have found myself  lacking motivation the longer we have been in quarantine. I also found myself living in fear . We have worked  really  hard as a family to not be fearful and trust in God. Our church as been instrumental in this and always praying and pointing the church family to God. Isaiah  41:13 “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you. Do not fear, I will help you.”
During these trials, we have prayed and have chosen to trust God to carry our burdens and not leave us.
God is carrying us through this season and these trials. He doesn’t want us to be weighed down by what is going on.  He desires the very best for our lives and for us to not change from who He has created us to be and do.
Photo Credit: FreePik

My Stronghold by Kenika

 

Psalm 27:14

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27 is one of my staples. Whether I’m sad, afraid, depressed or discouraged, I know I can turn to this passage to receive comfort and strength. It starts by making a statement, followed by a question, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom should I fear?”  Statement: The Lord is my light and my salvation. Question (as a result of this statement): Whom should I fear?  Well if that doesn’t kick you right in the gut, I don’t know what will. It’s like hey genius, He’s already your light and your salvation so remind me again, what’s the problem? That’s my paraphrase of course. The Psalm continues winding through different scenarios that can happen, but that we still shouldn’t be afraid of you know, because Jesus is the light and salvation. Evildoers come to devour, armies can be deployed, war can break out, the day of adversity will come, may I add, a pandemic can be raging, but we are to remain confident.   Confidence is a strong response to fear.  Fear is debilitating, dismantling and crippling so it’s a strong call to transform that into confidence.

After outlining all that we need not be afraid of, the Psalmist asks the Lord to hear his voice, be gracious and answer. He makes a declaration from his heart, “Seek his face,” followed by a plea for God not to leave him, even if his parents abandon him.  That is a deep cry for nearness from our Lord and Savior. Everyone else can leave, the world can go upside down but whatever you do, please don’t leave me.  After all these wonderfully laid out sentiments, the Psalm ends with this phrase, “I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.”  (Psalm 27:14)

“I am certain…” there goes that confidence again.  Whatever we may be going through we can remain “confident” that we will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. The admonishment is to wait for Him, not to get impatient or to take matters into our own hands, but patiently wait.  Be strong, let your heart be courageous, such riveting words.  Actions words that couldn’t be further from the emotions of fear and anxiety.  But again, the Psalmist is expressing the confidence and assurance we already have through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. If you already have salvation, what else could possibly happen to you that you need to be afraid of? I’ll help you out, nothing.  If God is loving and powerful enough to enact a plan to save us and to make sure that we would be near to Him both now and forever, He is loving enough and powerful enough to get us through where we are now.  Be certain. Be confident. Wait. Be strong. Let your heart be courageous. Wait on the Lord.

 

PhotoCredit: FreePik

Finding Faith by Trish- Spring 2020

According to Romans 12:3, we’ve each been given a measure of faith. This means all of have been given a portion of this gift. Some say, “I’ve lost all faith or I don’t have faith” however God has already given this to us. Perhaps our faith has been tested or seemingly lost but in reality, the cares of this world have perhaps buried it making it difficult to obtain. 

To understand better what we’ve been given, let’s look at what this gift actually is.  Hebrews 11:1 (Kings James Version) says thisNow faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

It’s so amazing to me that God in His vast generosity gave us the ability to believe for things we desire & hope for. Things not visible with our natural eyesight but can be seen through the eyes of FAITH.

To operate in Faith, we must first believe that God is able to do what we’ve asked or believed for. One of my favorite scriptures is Ephesians 3:20 (NKV) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…,”

 We must also believe for things in line with His Word. God honors His Word and He honors faith. God operates in order and with principles. We have every right as His children to ask and believe for anything according to His Word. He will not however operate outside of order. For example, it would be foolish for someone to pray and “believe in faith” for someone else’s husband. First of all, that is just messy, without integrity and completely outside of God’s plan.  You can however pray and believe God for a spouse that would align with your desires and His plan for your life. The subject of faith can be testy for some and I completely understand. Some have “used their faith” and been disappointed. This is tough. I remember when my Mom was sick in the hospital over 3 years ago. We stood in faith for her healing. We were given exactly 7 days with her from the time the medical team told us there was nothing more they could do. For the next 7 days, she spent intentional time; valuable time with her friends and family. Her natural body fading before our eyes but we stood in faith and declared the Word of Faith over her. SHE WAS HEALED…her healing just came in a different form. Faith can be “lost” or damaged when life gets overwhelming or things don’t turn out the way we planned/hoped for. This doesn’t change the integrity of God. This is when faith is utilized all the more when we trust Him when nothing makes sense.

A mentor of mine used to say “I can trust His Heart even when I can’t trace His Hand”. Whenever I find myself worrying or concerned about a matter, it means I’ve surrendered to the lie that says, “God isn’t able to help me with this”. That is an ugly lie that must be torn down and replaced with the Word of God.


Maybe you’ve found yourself in a place where your faith needs a jump-start. Maybe the cares of this world have dwindled what was once strong and vibrant to something weak and barely breathing. Today is the day to renew your faith. Choose to believe again!  Faith is like a muscle. The more it is “worked out”, the stronger it becomes. You don’t need a lot of faith to get started…just use what you have and watch it develop. 

Faith is strengthened by hearing the Word of God and applying His truth (His Word) to our circumstance. Romans 10:17 (NKJV) says  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

We’re in the 1st Quarter of the New Year, allow yourself to trust God and watch Him work the impossible in your life!

Photo Credit: Background photo created by senivpetro – www.freepik.com

2020 Vision by Sonya- Spring 2020

​Having “2020” Vision is key in this First Quarter of the Year! Our eyes should be set on Jesus and develop laser focus on what He is doing in our life and His plans for us!​ So, what does it mean to have our eyes on Him and how do we need to focus and make that a priority into this New Year of 2020? ​Keeping my eyes on Jesus means to look to Him in all I do and not cave to the demands of this world. The demands of this world urge me to do and be more instead of focusing on Jesus who says you are enough and rest in His love.  This scripture in Zephaniah 3:17 sums it up best, “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”  When you do things unto God it doesn’t become a chore but it is pure delight and He will delight in you and rejoice over you!  He loves a heart after His. We are enough when we see things through God’s eyes and He is with us every step in the journey. Don’t look away but focus on God giving Him all your heart, mind and soul. ​Having “2020” vision for me this year is diving into His Word more and taking time to pray and spend time with God daily and allowing Him to be the priority. For me it means seeing Him in my daily life. Asking Him where and how He wants to use my time and talents. Being more purposeful is another way I have been working on to be more focused on God and not just saying “yes” to everything! I want to be in His will each day and take the time to listen and hear from Him. Letting the Holy Spirit guide you is key in this and not trying to force something in your ways but allowing God lead you in His direction. I wear this bracelet that a friend made me that says “Jesus is better” and this serves as my reminder of what I should be focused on. When our eyes are on Him, He shows us the way and guides our path. Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight!” Not saying it is easy to follow God as we have to take up the cross daily and put our selfish desires aside. Looking up to heaven and focusing on things above gives us the “2020” vision. His way is perfect and He does direct our steps and makes them straight when we do that! Are you ready to have all your eyes set on Him for 2020 and give God our “2020” vision and let Him be our lenses? Let’s get started and see what opportunities God will open up for you and not be blinded by the world as His ways are much better!  Remember “JESUS IS BETTER”!!!​

Photo Credit: Coffee photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Level of Care by Bombi- Spring 2020


Just last week a family friend of ours ended up in the hospital for some pretty serious stuff. Thankfully, he pulled through and is on the road to recovery. When he first reached the hospital with what just seemed to be no more than a bad cough, he thought he’d be in and out. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. He ended up being admitted for tests, and when the doctors realized it was something more serious, he had to be moved to another hospital in another city. The level of care needed was greater than what that little hospital had to give.

Sometimes we are like the person who thinks we’re doing okay, but we have something more serious under the surface. Maybe we are hurting and have been for a very long time, but we deal. We don’t really take it to God, but we try to manage. We cope. Sometimes we don’t realize our broken state, and our pain is leaking here and there. We are short with our spouse, or finding ourselves disconnected from family and friends. We scroll through our social media, feeling a way, not sure exactly what way, but we post. Maybe we put a quote out there, or share a feeling we didn’t think we would. It’s no big deal, it’s just a quick post. We can’t see that we are slowly broadcasting our inner ailments to everyone, except God. 

If you’re someone who is sensitive to the response or lack of response from others, you may struggle with a high level of offense. I know I’ve had my moments where I think  “No-one really cares. They say they do, but they don’t”. I  soon remember that people are limited. They can only say and do so much. I also realize there’s an intended place for my public broadcasts. It’s not at work, or social media. It’s not a statement t-shirt. That place is with the Lord. I’m not saying we can’t  verbally process something with another trusted person. What are therapists, loving family and real friends for? What I’m saying is, don’t keep it from God. Only our Father God can actually provide the level of care we need. I mean that in every literal and actual sense. If it seems like Judy the co-worker gives zero cares, you’re probably right. She  also most likely can’t do anything about your situation, but God can. He not only gives all the cares, but he wants to hear all about your cares. He wants do something about it! He contains the ability to give us the highest level of care needed for anything little or big thing. He can take it. I encourage you, the next time you catch yourself  keeping your hurts and anxieties from God, remind yourself that God already knows but wants to hear if from you. He wants you to cast (as in throw, hurl, fling) all of it on him. I mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! Put that junk on Broadcast to Him. Because He really does care. And the level of care He gives, will heal you and change you for His glory. 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7(NIV)  

Safety In The Storm by Trish

Our state and surrounding states are currently facing another Hurricane and most people are running to and fro to make last minute preparations. Such details include having the essentials such as food and water, securing your home and staying closely connected to the latest new and updates. 

As people are making sure their homes are secured there’s a hint of uncertainty for many as they wait for the storm to pass. 

Hurricanes, much like life’s storms come at unexpected times and the outcome is left to the unknown. Yet in the midst of storms both naturally and figuratively, we can place our trust in the One who calms the wind and rain. 

We know that hard times will come, the Bible tells us this but we can place our confidence in Jesus, our strong tower and see victory in every situation we face!

When storms come, the enemy wants us to react in fear. But God wants us to respond in FAITH.  Faith does not deny the storm but speaks to it and commands “peace be still”. 

Whatever storm you’re facing, let your faith be bigger than your fear. You may not be able to track the direct path of the storm but you can rest knowing you are safe in the Father’s care. 

As you navigate the storm, learn from Jesus’s example and speak to it! If your storm is sickness, speak healing. If your storm is broken relationships, speak restoration. If your storm is confusion, speak wisdom and clarity. If your storm is financial lack, speak blessing and provision! We’ve been given authority to speak to the storm! 

Be encouraged! The sun shines brightest after the darkest storm!

Letting Go by Sonya

Can anyone relate that this time of year is hard? School starting up again and not ready to let go of my four kids going off to school. They are entering in 9th grade, 7th grade, 4th grade, and 2nd grade this fall made me think how fast time is going. We had an amazing summer and made so many memories together as a family that when school comes it is so hard to let them go. I am honored to be a stay at home mom so that means being with them each and every day which makes it harder to see them go off to school and gone all day.    I now have a freshman in high school and that just makes things become more real that time is going fast and I don’t have much longer with her at home and only a few more summers too!  I thought each year would get easier but it is harder letting go knowing that how fast they are growing up. You want time to stop as a mom and if your in my shoes you know the feelings and emotions that go with it.​

God has reminded me to turn to Him to carry me through this time. Also God is helping me understand the journey in letting go so He can use them in mighty ways. That is my prayer for my kids to be a “light” in the schools and be God’s vessels. I feel God gently nudging me to get out of the way so He can use their gifts and talents for His glory. Detaching is hard and doesn’t come easy especially as your kids get older since they don’t need you as much. As mom, in some way want to feel needed and wanted by your kids.  So I am learning to let go and slowly give them their independence. It is not easy but with my faith, God is guiding me through each stage.

​Lastly , don’t underestimate the power of prayer because prayer is what gives me peace when they are at school that God is taking care of them. We prayed for certain teachers for our kids and God answered our prayer and we got the teachers and some friends they wanted in their class. So remember to pray for your children and remember who is taking care of them and protecting them. God will be strong in you as a mom and be the protector for your kids. Don’t forget, Joshua 1:9 ” Have I not commanded  you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”​​

Face Time by Bombi

It’s the end of a busy work day and my husband and I decide to grab a quick sandwich from the local sub shop. As soon as we start to eat I notice the table next to us. There’s a father with his two adorable sons. A few minutes pass, no one says a word. 10 minutes pass, still nothing. By the time we finish eating barely anything was said.

What was wrong with this picture? No-one seemed mad or upset. There was no tension in the air. Dad was on his phone, scrolling away. Teenage son was texting, and the little one was on his pad watching a movie. I wondered if there was something missed. What if teenage son was worried about his test at school earlier that day? What if little one had learned something new from his teacher to share? What if dad had something meaningful to say, even encouragement to give to his sons? But there were no conversations happening at that table. 

So of course I start thinking about growing up and how other than a little television set, there were no other technological distractions around our dinner table. Matter of fact my parents intentionally left the t.v. off because it was important to them to hear about our day. They wanted to offer moments of guidance, and yes they wanted to encourage us if the moment arose. Even if we were eating out, no old school Gameboys to pass the time. It’s sad to think that this is now becoming some type of ancient practice, but face to face conversations still matter today as much as it did yesteryear. Nothing can replace it. 

The same goes for our relationship with God. Nothing can replace just talking to Him directly or spending time in His presence. No vlog, or blog, or social media post about our love for Him can take its place. I’m saying this to you and to me, don’t forget to interact face-to-face with the ones you love. Don’t forget about the original and actual “Face Time”. The next time you’re tempted to zone out at the dinner table take a moment to remind yourself, “I can never have this moment again. I can make this moment memorable with the ones I love because they are worthy of my full attention.” The world can call it ancient practice but we know it’s essential to an abundant life.