Tonight as I prepare to shut down for bedtime I am reminded of just how loved by God I am, as He continues to open doors for me to walk through, God knows just what I need and when I need it and what I need to do.
Today is my husbands birthday, several weeks ago I asked him what he needed, he is an avid bike rider and got a new bike at the first of the year, he rides every day he gets a chance, this year I got him an air pump for his bikes and well mine too.
This afternoon I changed my mind about taking him out to eat and decided to make him supper at home as part of my gift to him, I made something besides a casserole for a change, you see the kitchen is really his domain by choice but I am the queen of the casseroles!! One dish cooking is my thing, but tonight I stepped out of the box and made a full on meal.
Since I have started weight watchers I refuse to fix cakes, pies, cobblers, I don’t need or want the temptation of that laying around here, my friend brought foil and the birthday mini pie, Did you know Little Debbie’s makes mini pies, I didn’t. So when candle time rolled around it was a cherry mini pie which I had 3/8 of and we shared the last of the ice cream about a tablespoon each, just the right amount for us both to enjoy! Steve enjoyed his meal, pie and loved his gift of the much-needed air pump.
Tonight as I lay my head on my pillow I thank God for all of his blessings and for seeing me through another day and tonight I thank him for each of you. May God bless and be with each of you.
My husband Steve and I enjoy traveling together, one of our favorite place to go is the beach, most of our vacations are at the beach. For me, a beach is a place I am reminded of the power of God’s creation, how he created this world for our enjoyment and it is also a place to dream.
For our 25th wedding anniversary, we traveled to Port Saint Joe, this is one of our favorite Florida destinations, we had a front-row seat every evening, to a beautiful art show of Gods doing. Steve and I also used our time away to vision cast our dreams, what would it feel and look like to see those dreams come true! One of our big dreams is to someday own an income property on or near one of our favorite Florida beaches, while that dreams reality may be a ways off one of my personal dreams is now becoming a reality, God prepared my heart 12 years ago to become a speaker, writer, and event planner for Christian women, I have been doing the event planning for the last 6 years , but now God is opening doors for me to write and speak and in doing so is preparing my life as such in other areas.
Never give up on the dreams God has planted in your heart, His plans are always better and He will always shape those plans in the way He created you. The other thing He does is that He prepares you, notice I said 12 years ago, I wasn’t prepared at that point to go out and make those dreams a reality, God used those years as preparation for what was to come, in Ephesians 2:10 it talks about how we are Gods workmanship, we are created for good works which He prepared beforehand so that we may walk in them.
In Psalms139:13-14 God shows us that from our very beginning He created us, it says; “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Did you get that? We are to praise Him! The very one who created us also knows the plan for our lives and He will reveal and show us that plan in His own time, the very dreams we dream are from Him, He plants them in our hearts then waters them until it is time for them to bloom.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God says; “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God is a God of dreams and hope, His desire is always for our best.
What dreams has God planted deep in your soul? Will you trust him to see them bloom?
Lord, remind us thatknow we are fearfully made, that your plans are always for our good and that the dreams in our hearts were planted there by you, help us in our doubt and to always to turn to you. In your name, we pray. Amen.
God has been showing me many things here lately, I started making it a practice each morning to get up and get quiet before God, I have been reading in a devotional book called Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst, there are several things that have spoke to my heart but the one thing that has really stood out is this quote from Lysa in the book, “The exact way God made you is in keeping with how God will use you.”
Tonight at church Jimmy talked about starting and how God closes doors and opens others, I took a giant scary step toward my dreams that God planted in my heart 12 years ago and did something that will give me forward momentum to reaching my dream, I don’t think it is a coincidence that at this same time I take another very bold step out of my comfort zone to go public with my weight loss journey, the whole thing scares the bejesus out of me…lol
So as Lysa TerKeurst quoted “The exact way God made you is in keeping with how God will use you.” and today I truly believe through much prayer God is doing exactly that! I am excited about this new journey and will continue to tune in to what God speaks to me, knowing all the while that The very way God made me will always keep with how He uses me!
Enter through the narrow gate, For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Hiking through the woods is a good illustration of this concept that Jesus talks about in this passage… One of the paths in an area in my hometown stretches from one highway to another, there are parts of that trail that get very narrow and difficult to walk in some of the places, that’s how it is for us when we walk “through the small gate and on the narrow road, one slight misstep and down you go.
Let’s face it the easy way would be through the wide gate and on the broad road, in the woods I speak of there is a broad road on one end of the trail , there used to be a rest area and picnic tables there ,now at that end of the trail it is blocked off so you can only park there and walk. The path is easy to walk until you get to the wooded area where it cuts through the woods to the other entrance.
The thing is this, like this parable of the narrow and wide gates, God is simply saying we have a choice to make, one way is the easy way but will cost your life, the other way is difficult but leads to life! I can’t tell you how many times when hiking that trail on one of the more narrow paths I will roll an ankle or stumble a bit that’s how it is when we chose the path God sets before us.
Which gate and path will you chose? The wide gate leading to the broad road or the small gate and the narrow road. God has already chosen the path for our lives, will you obey and follow it or stray and be lost? the choice is up to you.
There is a head knowledge of knowing that what God thinks of me is far more important than what others think of me, but can we be honest here we all have a desire deep down to be liked or have the approval of others. So many times in my life I have felt overlooked as if I couldn’t possibly have something of significance to say, I have been planning retreats and events in a church setting for at least 25 years and every time until most recent years the planning team would always mention women who would be great speakers but never ask me to speak, in fairness I probably didn’t volunteer either because I had that little voice in my head telling me no one wants to hear what you have to say.
Think of it this way, you are lined up in gym class and the teacher says we are going to play kickball, the teacher chooses two players to be captains, usually the ones the teacher knows to be strong players, you are the one who is a little on the heavy side, who is a slow runner, but good at catching and throwing but always the very last to be chosen for either team, you are overlooked because of the extra pounds you carry.
Let’s take a look into Gods word 1 Samual 16:7 tells the story of David being chosen as King when he was just a small boy, David’s Father Jesse lined up all his sons but David for Samual to consider as the future King, was Jesse’s oversight of David intentional? Maybe, maybe not perhaps he thought one of his sons would be immediately taking the throne, whatever his reason we see that David was overlooked, he was left to tend to the sheep.
Like David I always felt overlooked because of my outward appearance, I was a fluffy girl or so I thought back in school, oh what I would give now to be that size, but that is another blog post for another time. God is clear with Samual, this is what the Lord said to him, ” Do not consider his outward appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”(1 Samual 16:7NIV) If we read further on we see that David as a young man took on a giant with only a rock and slingshot, he had a strong faith even when his outward appearance would have made him be overlooked for being on the front lines of any war. We also read that later in life David struggled but God continued to use him even in the seasons of disobedience, again another blog post for another time.
Until 12 years ago I wasn’t really sure of my calling or the direction God wanted me to go, I went on a silent retreat and God got real with me, I have always had a heart that was and is shaped for women’s ministry and like David it was during this retreat that God revealed to me his plan for my life and that was and is to speak and write to the hearts of women and also to create opportunities for both. I know all too painfully what it feels like to be overlooked and now I create opportunities for women to be heard and also like David God didn’t immediately open that door, he took time to grow me and continues to grow me in those areas.
My best friend Jackie and I share a birthday and most always give one another a gift card to a bookstore as we share a love for all things books! This year we went to Barns and Noble and both purchased the same book, Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst, this book has resonated in both our souls, it is funny how Jackie and I talk most days and share a little nugget from this book, how God directs us to just the right message for that day. Lysa is so real in the stories she shares, it was a devotion on 1 Samual 16:7 that really spoke to my heart It wasn’t until I read the prayer at the end of this devotion that it really clicked for me, Lysa prayed the very prayer of my heart ” Dear Lord, I’m grateful that even when I feel overlooked, I can rest in the fact that I am hand picked by you. here is the important part that really spoke deep to my soul, ” Help me live my life for an audience of one, In Jesus name, Amen.”
What a reminder to me that even if God doesn’t open a door for me to speak to the hearts of woman, I should be living my life for an audience of one!
Saved To Serve,
Check out the links in the Author and Books section on this blog and hop on over to https://lysaterkeurst.com/ or follow her on https://www.facebook.com/OfficialLysa/ and also https://www.proverbs31.org/ and check out Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast.