Thrive

God created us, no two of us alike. He knows the way we think, what makes us laugh and if we work better with spontaneity or with routine. So why do so many people live out of God’s design, and with people telling them they need to change. Now, this doesn’t always mean that we don’t need to change our thinking, because if it doesn’t match up to what The Father thinks of us and what His Word says, then yes, we need to change our thinking to line up with His Truth. But so long as it lines up with His Truth, He needs both logical, and creative thinkers in His Kingdom.

I was created to Thrive in routine, it doesn’t mean I can never spontaneously go out for coffee or book a party and send the invites for that night or then next night. It means that I need space for that. I was diagnosed with ADD in 5th grade, so my brain believe it or not actually does 15 different places in a minute. Which is why without routine it is so hard to organize my life and find time for everything I feel like I need to do and then I ware myself out because I can’t keep up with my brain. The best year of my life was when I was teaching. I got up and dressed, went to work, made tea or coffee, made sure everything was ready for the students when they got to school, prayed with the other teachers. Then the students would come, we had play time, circle time, bible then snack and recess. After Recess we had our other classes which subjects could change based on the day and having some part time students, then lunch and recess, after that was rest time, and when they woke up they we would play with play dough, then have gym or another fun lesson. and then it would be time to go home. That was the best year for me, was there room for spontaneity within my work, absolutely! and best of all I had children to love, it was hard work, but it was ever so rewarding.

So why have I been dealing on and off with depression for the past year? Because I have not been living the way God designed me to live. Food service with last minute constantly changing, never the same schedule, no passion right in front of me was not what I was created for. God gave me a mother heart, so give me a kid in front of me and watch me come alive, one of the best summers I had, oddly enough, I didn’t have a steady job, It was a summer when I was babysitting and the moms schedule could be kind of spontaneous, she would call or text and say I need a babysitter today and I would be there in 20 minutes. I would play with the kids, I would cook, come up with fun games, we made water slides, played with water balloons and we had a blast! I thrive with passion, and consistency, both things I have been lacking and I’m ready for a change, when I work a job without consistency and I’m really not passionate about food service, and in no order things are being shouted i need this i need that, I have to stop my task and it takes forever to remember what I was working on before I put those pot pies in the oven. I was made to thrive, but I’m just surviving. But I’m done, I’m done doing what people say, that I just have to adjust to my food service schedule and always be available, its killing me. I’m done being the puppet in everyone else’ lives, I’m going to live in God’s design and I’m going to thrive! Don’t believe me, JUST WATCH!

five minute Friday (or Sunday): Want

okay, let the timer begin…

We all want to belong, to feel like we fit somewhere. I’ve been struggling lately to feel like I’m belonged and wanted, even within the church. The businesses I’m in, we are always recognized for even the things we achieve and they make you feel welcome. We all want to be included, and I’m struggling to find where I fit and where I belong even in the church. I know where I feel called to, and I’m called to stay, but if I’m honest, a lot of the days are filled with enough pain of rejection that i want to cry and run away to the other side of the world so the pain of trying to belong again wouldn’t hurt so bad. But chances are, it wouldn’t work anyway. Yesterday was full of pain and joy, I’ve been wanting for so long to be able to sing spontaneously along side a guitar, it’s one of those thing where everything is okay, and that happened yesterday. The staff at Davids Tent was welcoming right away and made me feel like I belonged, a feeling that has been lacking from the group I came with. We all want to belong, and He (The Lord) leads us beside still waters, where we belong.

When God uses you anyway.

Do you ever have days when somehow you just oversleep with 10 minutes til you need to leave? I like to spend time with Jesus in the morning even if it means getting up a little earlier. Well today I had 10 minutes, my work clothes still in the dryer and abnormal morning breath. So I quickly rolled out of bed and grabbed my work shoes, headband and socks, purse and headed down the steps so I could grab my black pants and chef coat, brush my teeth quickly make coffee and leave to be at work by 7. Of course as was yesterday the door is locked, so the quest begins again, find the maintenance men to let me in the building. Sure I wish I had a little more time some days to get ready slower and have more Jesus time in the morning, but being at work at 7 am has something special too, its called I get to pick the radio station because, well I’m the only one their for an hour and a half! Finally, some “positive and uplifting, word fm”. Truth, music helps set the atmosphere, i find a lot more people walking through the kitchen are happy. Today, however something even more happened, one of the girls was cutting rolls in the back and she, already a believer got shivers and said “He’s here”, “I haven’t felt Him in a long time”. Wow, can God really use a prep person to help shift the atmosphere and provide an encounter with the living and active God by simply choosing to listen to uplifting music, yes. Or what about the woman you work with who is just having a rough time and you buy her and bring her coffee just the way she likes it and it makes her day. I didn’t go to work expecting for God to use me, I didn’t spend time in prayer or in the word before I rolled out of bed and started my shift.

When my mentor asked me Sunday what I needed this week, I said joy at my job. He is faithful. He too saw that’s what I needed this week. And God honors our need for rest, sometimes we have super busy days and no matter how good they are at the end of the day we are still tired and somehow manage to fall asleep with your glasses and makeup still on (even if it’s not super late) and wake up just 10 minutes before you have to leave. When you work to build His kingdom he gives grace, and he works when we don’t always expect him  to. God doesn’t need us, but he chooses to use us. We aren’t always that strong and we don’t have to be some wild evangelist who spends a whole lot of time on treasure hunts, sometimes we just need to walk in obedience even if its not exactly where we want to be, but someone needs you in that moment that day. So much can happen from one choice, and a series of choices. The choice to pick up prep shifts, the choice to turn on the radio to a christian station even though you know at some point in the day it’s likely to be changed. Today God used a simple step of turning on the radio to a christian station in the morning to host a much needed encounter with Him for someone who was feeling distant from Him. Sometimes there aren’t hardly words to describe how in awe we are of God using “little things”. Are you available to let God use you in your everyday life, all striving aside?

Things are NOT okay

The Lord has been putting Israel on my heart lately, tonight just did me in. I was sitting with friends watching the Super Bowl, but something wasn’t right… there is nothing wrong with watching the game. But how can I possibly sit and watch the game when I know what is happening in San Fran, men, women, children being sold and prostituted to many game watchers. I just had to get up and go pray. But you may be asking what does Israel have to do with sex trafficking and prostitution? the answer is everything, Israel has everything to do with solving world hunger, persecution, poverty. You see, things are not okay, they are not going to be okay until Jesus returns. Yes, there breakthrough and freedom found for some before He returns, but when Jesus returns, when my beloved comes for his bride the Church then things will finally be ok, every tear will be wiped, there will be no sorrow, no mourning, no pain, no death (Revelation 21:4)

2 years ago I did an internship at Gateway House of Prayer and we could not watch TV, so a group of us interns and a few others had led an intersession set on the night of the super bowl. That was my first time prayer leading, but it was powerful, things moved, things move when we pray, when we worship, when we petition heaven. I believe that was my first set with that worship leader, we then had a set for a while on Monday nights following the internship and we had interceded for Israel, and you can learn a lot by praying. Jesus won’t return until his people, the Jewish people, the original bloodline and inheritance believes that He is the Messiah, until they receive the Land promised to them by the Lord. So why does so much of the American church neglect to pray for Israel, Israel is the Key, the key to all the wrong things being made right.

So as I was driving home tonight, I just screamed, I cried, because things are not okay. And sometimes I feel like I can’t do anything about it… but I did, I cried out to the only one who can do anything about it,  I screamed out in a righteous anger, I prayed for freedom, I prayed for conviction for pimps and people buying, for truth to set captives free, for angelic protection. For Israel to come to believe Jesus is the Messiah, for them to get the land promised to them. They go hand in hand, Holy spirit reminded me of a song by Jon Thurlow as I was driving home, “Things are Not Okay”. So as you pray, pray for Jesus Return, pray for Israels hearts and eyes to be open to Jesus, the Messiah.

 

Who am I? Who Are you?

It is so easy to let our job define us, define who we are when merely it is just something we do to make earthly money, it doesn’t store up treasures in heaven, and it doesn’t determine our worth. Personally I hate the question, where do you work and what do you do there? To face the reality, there are some people without jobs, men who feel like less of a man because they can’t provide for a family, and women who want to be able to have a future and want to be able to pay for a wedding dress someday but have been trying with little to no success. Now, that’s not exactly where I am at, but being able to pay for a wedding dress in the future and paying off my school loans would be nice, and its a little hard to do with just 20 hrs a week give or take and come January maybe 5 hrs if I’m lucky. No I hate the question because I don’t like the answer, I take out trash for a living and wipe tables, I have put in applications daily looked daily, but don’t get responses. I have been depressed because I felt like all there is to my life, like the only reason I exist is to take out the trash. But I am more, I merely make a living on taking out the trash, more than the girl who takes out the trash. I am the girl who takes out the trash as she sings praises to her God and declares that she was made to worship Him and declares His goodness and presence in her life. But I have only have been that girl recently, because I was blind, and I was bound by chains of depression and subconsciously expected someone else to fight for me. But with them not around, I realize that I did that, and now I don’t have another choice, well I do, but I’ve made the choice to not let it be an option, I have to fight, I have to declare Gods goodness and presence. In his presence there is fullness of joy, He is faithful and promises never to leave or forsake us, even when we are taking out the trash, selling paint, cleaning windows or taking care of a sick loved one. He has promised to be with us always, in everything we can still choose joy when we lay hold of his promise to be with us always.

Who am I? first and foremost, I am a child of God. Chosen and called before the foundation of the Earth. My identity is in the sovereign Lord who holds all things in His hands, who holds my heart in His hands. My identity is in the Lord who was, and is, and is to come. Who is a firm foundation, the solid rock, the cornerstone, He cannot be shaken. My identity is found in Him, the holy one, Yahweh, the one who gives me and is my next breath in every moment. He is a good father to my soul and my identity is found in Him, and Him alone (there is a song that talks about this that should be released by the end of spring, and I am stoked! The writer is so talented and an incredible and anointed musician). I am His, I belong to the Lord, that is where my identity lies, now and forevermore. Whether I take out the trash, care for a child with special needs, run a ministry, care for my family one day, my identity will and always will and needs to be in Him. God has given me a desire to one day be a wife and mother, I’m not going to deny those desires hes given me, but those aren’t primary Jesus is my God given desire. If I don’t desire Him and find my identity in Him first no matter the stage of life, I wont be a good care giver, good wife, good mother, good leader, or a good servent. I am a child of God, I belong to the Lord and my desire is to rest and live out of Him.

Now you know who I am, who are you?

Here

Here I sit at GHOP, I didn’t come planning to write, but while I am here, I have the choice that I could be angry that God ever led me here in the first place, or I can choose to be grateful.(the word “here” is about to be used, A LOT).

Here, here I have memories, here I learned so much. Here I have encountered Jesus, here I have made friends, Here have I been pursued, by savior and earthly man, this place, here we met, here it all started. Here I glanced his direction during class, unbeknownst to me at the time he saw and thought I was intentionally looking at him. Here is where I learned to dance, to draw and paint prophetically. Here did I develop and find my voice as a worshiper, prophetic singer and intercessor. Here did I weep, tears of intercession over Israel, over human trafficking, over the nations, over the lives of the lost, over our nation, over our education systems, over the persecuted church, over the sick. Here have I paced the back of the prayer room more times than I can count, here have I seen Jesus stand right in the room. Here have I wept tears of Joy as the Father poured out his overwhelming  love on me. Here have I stood outside and received as he prophetically sang his love over me through my voice as I wept as the rain was literally pouring down on me. Here I spent hours in spiritual and physical hunger. Here was I taught the value of fasting, here was I also told that I should not fast. Here was I hurt deeply as I felt betrayed, but here have I also seen Gods redemptive power and restoration in that situation. Here, I found out someone liked me after a few months of being clueless, I ran away from here for several months because of it, but again, I found Gods redemptive and restoration power in that relationship as well. Here have I fought sleep, here (guilty is charged) have I slept during parts of my 10 hrs a week in the prayer room. Here have I stayed awake in the late hours of the night praying and worshiping, basking in, soaking in His presence. Here did God work on revealing my Identity and molding me. Here did I boldness arise, the boldness to dance (I was also dared to by my mentor who was prayer leading) across the room full of people during worship to stir up hunger in the room. Here have I been in awe of my Holy God, face down crying with a result of what we call “carpet face”. Here (right down the road) did my car break down during the blessed hope conference, so a kind gentleman convinced me that my house was on his way home even though it really wasn’t, and took me home. Here I worshiped on the drum with friends in a drum circle, here I figured out that believe it or not I can have some rhythm sometimes, at least on a guitar case anyways. Here was the beginning of a relationship, that is right now only a friendship and partners in ministry. Here I have the choice to look around this barn and be angry hurt and mad that that is all that it is. But I can’t, this place, has helped make me who I am today, this place reminds me of His faithfulness, his redemptive and restoration power. Maybe I wouldn’t face some of the hurt I have recently if I’d never come here, I would be more hurt, I wouldn’t have had as many encounters with God as I have, I would be dealing with more hurt from this broken world. I may not have known the depth of God’s pursuit of my heart, because God revealed it at a greater depth last December when he told me that someone else had been pursuing my heart because I was on God’s heart and this guy whom I had met here was pursuing what was on God’s heart. That person also helped instill in me how valuable I am to God, had I not met him here, I would probably be struggling a great deal with my self worth, but I’m not. Here has God’s heart of redemption and love written all over it, and that is what I see, that is what I feel. Here is a place I feel hope for my life, for the nations, for Gods’ kingdom. Here I could so easily feel hurt, but God, His Faithfulness trumps over what the enemy wants me to feel, this place is a place, a house of light. Jesus thank you for writing my story, thank  you for your faithfulness in our lives, thank you that you are a God of redemption and restoration, and that you are a good father who delights in the spiritual growth and maturing of your children. Sitting here I cannot deny the goodness and faithfulness of my God!

Child of the King, royalty

The past few years purple has been my favorite color. Purple going way back into the Old Testament  was a symbol of  royalty. It is a color not often seen in nature, and its dye the most expensive to make. But let me ask you do you know who you are and more importantly who’s you are? For we are royalty, we have been chosen and adopted as sons (Ephesians 1:5), we have an inheritance in the family. The world tries to lay worth on us in what we look like, how much we weigh, what size jean we wear, what we do, where we live, what nationality, the list can go on and on. For man looks at outward appearance but God looks at the Heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Because we have been chosen into Gods family, we are royalty also. I am not Jewish, I am not of the original blood family of God, but I have all the writes to everything God had for them because of a blood shed, Jesus dying on the cross gave me that, and gave me every right to wear purple. You too have that right to proudly show off your purple, know who and whose you are, you are chosen and adopted into the royal family!