Grab your Bible and come sit with me… let’s talk about what we really need with God.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve taken time to write here in this space. I think it became discouraging to try to work with Google and increase traffic and well, there is always how fast time flies, too fast. So, here I am with my thoughts again and maybe my thoughts and experiences are for someone out there in the world besides me. I’m making no promises about how often I can write, but I promise if anyone out there in the vast online world wants me to, I’m here for it.
Now, let’s get down to it. I have been trying so hard not to worry lately. My to-do list is always so long, things (specifically responsibilities) fall through the cracks and all I can do is pick up the pieces and move forward. Move forward. That seems to be my life motto when all else fails.
As you may, or may not know, I run a small nonprofit. This nonprofit serves children and families in the foster care community. A great deal of burden is always falling within these walls. Do we have enough clothing? Did we provide good service? Did we allow an opportunity for volunteers to serve well? Do we have enough diapers? Are we running out of that size again? The list goes on and on.
On top of all of this that I care for I also homeschool my children I don’t do a great job. I do an OK job. Yes, my background is an education as a reading specialist. And I feel that I fail miserably some days. My children don’t know my insecurities they do their very best when presented with my expectations for them. Sometimes I set the bar too low for them. I worry about their education as all moms do whether they homeschool or not. I worry about the words that I say that lift them up or tear them down. I hope I’m always lifting them up. I’d rather tear myself down. With all this responsibility of being a wife, a mother, and a servant to others I find the burdens are heavy.
I am so very thankful when God starts to show out and show me that He is in control. A few weeks ago I asked our community online to start providing clothing for the lack that we had in our foster closet. The community has come through; today I received another monetary donation I wasn’t expecting. I also went to my car after church and found bag after bag of brand, new clothing a church member went out and bought to help fill our racks. My heart was so full as I was cleaning up after church dinner, and wiping away the mornings mess, I felt God speak to my spirit and say “I’ve got even better. Why are you worried?”
See for sometime I have been worried I just didn’t want to admit that I was worried. We reluctantly closed a closet for kids in the winter, spring and summer came and went and still we were not able to re-open as planned. This past winter God also changed my direction and focus. The plans that we had been making to open a transitional living home were put on hold. Plans change unexpectedly. God changes things. He does not change. On top of all of the changes I realize that I have fell short as a teacher to my children I needed to back up and punt. It’s OK, my kids are showing out for me.. They are doing just fine now. On top of all of these burdens, I lost two dear friends this summer. And while they are resting in the arms of Jesus, now, my heart hurt immensely.
The stress and worry were so heavy that I couldn’t even recognize that the reason it felt like someone squeezing my chest, so that I could not breathe was simply because I had taken my eyes off Jesus.. Oh, how I love Jesus. I knew the answer to my problems, and it may be hard to believe, but with one prayer and one study of scripture Jesus brought me back to Him. I could suddenly breathe.
Secretly in the back of my mind I have been worried about a few things concerning my ministry for foster kids. One, being funding. I believed that I needed much more money in the bank to move forward with my dreams for my nonprofit. Thank goodness for Board of Directors members who know better. I’m thankful for the wisdom that they speak to me that says, don’t worry about the money. Keep moving forward. Two, we need to open more closets for kids so that families have better access to meet their emergency needs. I have no idea what God has in store. None. I just know that He laid it on my heart to do more and move forward.
He sure showed me…
Fast forward to tonight, I load up kids, and I head to church. I grab my old Bible and my new one. See, I bought a new Bible and I want to transfer my notes and highlights into my new one from my old. We made it to church late, so I sat where no one would notice that I came in late. I pulled out my old Bible and I pulled out my new, and I pulled out my reading glasses and my highlighter. Little did I know that God was about to speak.
Psalms 37 that’s where I left off. So, while the choir was singing and I’m enjoying their sound and worship I pull the cap off my highlighter and open my Bibles. Right at the top of Psalms 37 I had written many years ago, Matthew 6. I made a note and began highlighting scriptures that talked about not worrying. So I flipped over to Matthew 6 and found the Scriptures that discuss this as well. Matthew 6:25. I flipped back to Psalms, 37 and kept working.
As our pastor came to the pulpit I heard him say, “ Matthew 6:25”. For a split second I caught my breath. What? Is he really going to be teaching on the scripture tonight? The Lord definitely had my attention. Don’t worry? Don’t worry! The scripture is very clear, you’re not trusting God if you worry. You can’t do both at the same time. You either trust him with your burdens or you don’t. How can I actually say I was trusting God when I clearly was not? That could never move my dreams forward.
I was reminded last week that in 2017 that God told me this nonprofit, this ministry, was not mine. It was His. On the day He spoke that into my spirit, he moved mountains. How could I ever not completely trust him with his own vision for the most vulnerable children? How could I begin to worry in such a way that I thought I had any control?
Did you know that there is no word in Hebrew for our word “coincidence”? I always tell people this when things begin to line up so perfectly. It’s all God. And it was true now…
He went further, a few minutes later, our pastor starts teaching about Nicodemus coming to Jesus, wanting to know more, wanting to know truth. Our pastor said “ in John 3…” and again I found myself holding my breath. Earlier that morning I had taught my Sunday school class out of John 3. The topic was “where do we get our truth from? “ So, where am I getting MY truth from? I thought I knew the truth. The truth was, I was not supposed to worry, I was supposed to let God handle what was His to begin with.
Did you hear me? I was not supposed to worry, I was supposed to let God handle what was His to begin with.
That truth. That little truth, right there that came from Psalms 37, Matthew 6, and John 3,, all points to what is His, and what He knows best.
So, I ask you, what about you and your life belongs to Him? The answer is simple. When He is Lord over your life you belong to Him, your heart belongs to Him, and your life belongs to Him. Whatever it is that you have been worried about it’s time to stop. Yes, it might be a heavy burden. It might be weighing you down, but God is in control. Do you trust Him? Can you stop with the worry, can you let God be God?
So, tonight, as I lay down, those burdens have been lifted. Those burdens are much lighter. The things that God asked me to do really are easy when I let Jesus be Lord. When I trust Him with everything in my life, everything seems much more in control.
How can I pray for you tonight?
I love praying for others. I know that it’s the most important thing I can do, the least I can do at the same time. Praying for others is easy. Praying for myself might be harder most days. So, if you’ll pray for me, I’ll pray for you.
I encourage you to look up Matthew 6, Psalms, 37, and probably even John 3. Give them a bit of your time ruminate on God’s word for you.
Thanks for listening.(or in other words reading.)
Do you have a favorite sun hat or bathing suit cover you love? For me they are to protect me from the sun. I also where a tinted SPF most days on my face.
It is interesting that most of the rays of the sun do not bother the skin. It’s the UV segment of the sun’s rays that burns our skin. This rays come through the clouds, so that we can get sunburned on cloudy days, even when we are unaware of it. One of my most surprising burns was on the beach on a foggy day. The UV rays can burn and cause cancer.
I read Song of Solomon 1:6 this morning. The poor girl in that verse has so much sun damage and she hasn’t taken care of herself. She is burned black by the sun. While the pigment of her skin isn’t what is important here, it’s the condition of her heart that matters.
Many people think they can come into the light of the holy presence of God without a covering. They can not. No one can come into His holiness and stand in the light without the righteousness of Christ. That is our protection. We need to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ to come into His presence. Then and only they can we freely come.
The girl also talks about how she hasn’t tended to herself. She is a natural beauty, yes. Many of us know what it’s like to not take time to care for ourselves, we put everyone else’s needs first. She hasn’t had her hair styled, a facial, her eyebrows waxed, her skin moisturized, etc. She hasn’t been able to get that she needs to enhance her beauty because she works hard and neglects herself.
This is a picture of our hearts, our inner self, not just our outer self. We might think we are beautiful as we are without working on ourselves. Actually, when we neglect ourselves we can be unattractive on the inside. Ephesians 5 says that we can be sanctified and cleansed with the washing of the Word. That Jesus might present to himself a glorious church, not having a spot, blemish or wrinkle. Holy without blemish.
Christ is taking you to the “beauty parlor”. He will fashion us into His bride, without a spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish. Covered and presentable but the washing, cleansing, and purifying that happens when we study His Word.
John 3:20-21 says “for everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
When I read the verse above in an old journal this morning it stuck. We want to be be hidden in Christ and not in darkness. Covered by Him, and not by the dark. Man’s love for the darkness is not for his own sake, but because of what he can hide. True deeds for the Kingdom welcome Light because of what it can reveal.
Let the veil of Christ cover you and He will usher you into the Light. Washed and covered. Clean and spotless and in the Light.
When my previous journal was filled to the brim, I started looking for a new one. Most store bought journals just had lines, and most online buys were over complicated. Then I thought, why don't I design one I want! I usually only use hard back books, 6x9, with a spine so that they are uniform on my shelves. My last one was larger and hard to carry, so I knew I had to go back down a size. I also love to write so I want plenty of free writing space. I almost always include a topic, idea, or them at the top which is followed by the scripture that I am focused on. And so... with all that in mind, I kept it simple and created a journal that I knew I would love and I hope you do too.
I had this really cute candle I bought at the store last fall and I burned it quite often. The scent was called Harvest Bakery and all I know is that it smelled amazing and it was in this adorable container. Recently, while it was burning next to my bathtub, it went out. It was done. Finished. At that moment, I realized how much my life right now was like that candle. Maybe you're going through the same thing too.
We've all heard the phrase, "bloom where you're planted." It really is a great little quote to share but even more so, to meditate on. We all have a past and parts of our past we tend to grieve on the regular. Maybe you grieve those moments in the kitchen with Grandma, or watching. your kids sled down the neighborhoods favorite hill; maybe, you grieve for loved ones that have moved out and moved on or for just the moments spent with those you care so much about. We all do it, and sometimes we can let grief keep us in a dormant state.
In early January, I pulled up my Etsy app and started searching for Peonies. They are my absolute favorite flower. They graced my mothers front walk way and my grandmothers back door. I just think they are the most majestic flowers and I have decided that I want every kind I can find. There is a great little Etsy shop that is based just north of us and shares the same planting zone. I decided to take a chance on some mail order Peonies. They arrived fairly quickly and because I love receiving packages I was also quick to open the box. I was excited to find 3 pots of dirt, wrapped in plastic and surrounded by packing peanuts. I pulled each pot out of its plastic and it literally just looked like a pot of dirt. Somewhere beneath all of that soil that was shipped was a plant, a dormant plant.
Being that it was still January, I let the little ladies hang out in our basement for the time being. We had not yet even built our front porch on our house and I want them to be tucked in around our front porch. I would have to wait. They would also have to wait and remain dormant. Then there was a really beautiful, warm winters day today. Our porch is built but unfortunately not yet ready for landscaping. I was a little anxious to see how my baby Peonies were doing so I pulled them out of the basement from their box and carried them out to debate on what I should do based on their conditions.
Sprouts. Sprouts were poking up just ever so slightly, beginning to reach for the sky in search of the life giving sunlight. My baby girl and I pull out my grandmothers 3 concrete planters and prepared them to receive my three precious Peonies. We carefully transplanted each. These are the moments when I wish I had a small green house. (Hmmm, I think that will be my next project.). I want to make sure those little ladies are well protected and able to thrive. I've put so much thought and have been so careful to make sure they can reach their full potential.
See, flowers and trees really have such a neat life. The go about life doing what they were created to do. The may flower, bloom, bud, or just stay green all year. More than anything, every little plant has one goal, just one. To grow as tall as it can! It is going to reach and stretch with all its might to the sun until it can reach no further. Many factors will come into play to determine just how far it can reach. If conditions are just right it will thrive. If conditions are not just right, it will struggle.
Struggle & Thrive
Now, there's a thought. As I was planting my little Peonies I prayed that they would thrive. I wanted the best for those little plants because if they reach their full potential, they will bring so much joy to all who meet them when they are clothed in all their flowering glory.
Isn't that kind of like us as women? We are planted and we are told we should bloom where we are planted. How can we ever reach our full potential though if we aren't given the right conditions, no matter how much we want to bloom. If the conditions we are in aren't conducive to thriving, what are we to do? The answer is so very simple. Pray.
Romans 8:28 gives us confidence that everything we endure is used for God's glory, for a greater purpose, for good. We know that when we are in His hands, not matter the circumstances or conditions, He will make it all right. Even if it's grief, you don't have to stay dormant.
I want to encourage you, that if you don't feel you are thriving in this life to ask God if you are planted where you ought to be. Are you in the best place so that He can use your life and make it beautiful? If you don't feel that is so then just ask Him to plant you in the right place. Ask Him to begin to surround you with people who can encourage you, speak life into you, pray for you, and help you see yourself as God sees you. Ask Him to send life giving words your way, favor, and to uproot you from where you are if the conditions aren't what He sees as His best for you. Don't be afraid of being uprooted when you are in His hands. Sometimes that's just what we need to leave our dormant place and begin to grow where we have not. Sometimes it's what we need to get the conditions just right for thriving.
Six months ago, my family of 7 put everything we owned on truck beds and trailers and stored as much as we could, nearly everything. We moved into a camper and a small cabin between us. It's not what I personally would consider ideal but it works for us. In the mean time, I have watched our new house rise out of the ground. We are thriving and making progress. My kids have discovered that they can actually play in nature and enjoy it. We have become closer as a family than I could have ever imagined. We've even add a really sweet dog to the mix who is our protector and friend.
God took what might look like a mess and misery to others and has made it beautiful. In the end, we have prayed over and over that we do not owe one single cent on our house. We own our land free and clear but a house is a different story. It sounds impossible to some.
Your circumstances maybe currently be ideal and perfect for you and your family to thrive. I pray that is the case for more and more families. However, as I have friends that reach out concerning needing prayer various circumstances I find it so very heart breaking that they just are not thriving. I have seen doors open and doors close for them and for others. I have seen God move and make a way were there shouldn't be a way. I have seen God drench families in His love and He has radically changed their circumstances so that they begin to thrive. The struggle, it will always be there. We aren't promised that things will be good and easy all of the time.
1 Timothy 4:10 says "That is why we labor and strive". We work and struggle. We work and struggle. We grown and stretch. We grow and stretch. It's not for our glory that we finally get to bloom. It's literally, for HIS glory that the world gets to be a witness to all the goodness and beauty that our story brings to the world.
I still find myself grieving for what once was. We had a beautiful home and were surrounded by family for 16 years. We brought home all 5 of our babies to that house, 2 were handed to us at our threshold there. I still grieve for my Granny who lived next to us and for the security we had in having my parents across the street. I find myself starting to grieve those things and that's okay. The thing is, I can't stay dormant long because God planted us so very perfectly. We were meant to thrive.
It's all for His glory.
Have you ever reflected on you life and thought, "How could God even use me?" Do you feel very insignificant and alone? Do you feel bound by the little life you have and the mundane tasks you are in charge of daily while admiring others who have found a higher calling? Nothing in your life has ever happened that seems significant enough for a powerful testimony that God can use? It was only a few years back that I felt this way, but I had this feeling inside of me that called me to do something bigger. It's a very confusing thing to feel one way about your life and being called to do the opposite.
Take a deep breath.
Four little words that play through our minds when we feel like things are spiraling out of control, when we feel like we are losing our grip, when the unexpected just took control over our day; take a deep breath.
Go ahead, breathe in deep.
Now, let it out.
Do it again and again until you feel the calm sweep back over you.
Your heart rate steadies, your blood pressure comes down, and you can focus on what truly matters.
You know that place where you go to hide, to be alone for awhile? For some of us, it might be under the sheets, curled up in the corner of the couch, in our cars after pulling in the drive way, or even in a hot shower so you can hear nothing except the water streaming down.
We all have that place. We all have those reasons. Maybe you need to escape, maybe you are afraid, maybe you have let your thoughts run amuck and just need a minute to settle them down. Maybe you are weary from fear and shame; and the burdens of life are weighing heavy. You just need to escape and hide.
In 2015, I was in a real spiritual battle. My husband and I were embarking on something that the Lord had called us to do and within that the Devil knew that God was placing us into the battle for a purpose. We remain victorious as long as we are in His Will. Let me take you back to a journal entry.
We all have those days that just don't go as planned. We can all relate to feeling like we have too much on our plate and we just don't know how we are going to do it all. The day to day can feel overwhelming, much less the year to year to do list. I'm so thankful that this method of organizing my anxious thoughts and to do list works...
Blueberries are one of my very favorite fruits. They grow wild around here. I have a friend that made me blueberry jam recently and I ration it's deliciousness.
I don't know why I write. I feel like most of the time they are just ramblings in my head and I just need to get them out. Occasionally, I receive a kind email or comment thanking me for sharing but for the most part this is just an empty space for me to pour out.
Foster Care | Savings, paying off debt, making room, filling out paper work, training, classes, home inspections...so many things to do to prepare, to feel prepared.
God has been all over me to dig in His Word today. As I sit down to do some reading I decide it's probably a good idea to start with the book He keeps pushing towards me today...Exodus. So I open up to Exodus and my eyes fall on a section called "Bricks Without Straw" and this part of a scripture...
I used to be fascinated with the spiritual world in that I didn't understand hauntings and things that were unexplained. A few years ago, I picked up a book by a local pastor to Chattanooga, Ron Phillips. He's also pastor to several friends.
Those times when it is 2 o'clock in the morning and you are wide awake and can't sleep and you're fighting your own thoughts and your responsibilities as a mom weigh heavy, that's when Jesus is calling you.
In my circle of friends I have a girl friend that is expecting her first baby...well, babies. She is expecting twins. They are little miracles who we have waited for and waited for.
Psalm 91 is the key to winning the spiritual battles going on around you. It's the key to winning your day. As a foster mom, I see first hand the spiritual battle going on.
I shared on January 1st the word for my new year.
Just this morning as I was dropping off my beautiful foster baby girl in the nursery I was fussing about her dress and her perfectly placed bow and sounding completely exhausted about how we are never on time and that I'm the last to take care of me.
I am living a very good life, I have to say. My journey is blessed
When you feel like you can't handle the task at hand and you ask yourself, "Girl, who's your Daddy?"
Take a minute and feel secure and taken care of not because of what you can do but because of Who you belong to.
What if you got a good look at your God and remembered who He is and that you belong to Him.
Who's your Daddy?
the First and the Last,
the Beginning and the End,
the Keeper of creation and the Creator of all,
the Architect of the Universe and the Manager of all time,
He always was, always is, always will be
bruised but brought healing,
pierced but eased pain,
persecuted but brought freedom,
dead and brings life,
risen but brings power,
and reigns to bring peace!
The world can't understand Him,
armies can't defeat Him,
schools can't explain Him,
leaders can't ignore Him,
Herod couldn't kill Him,
Nero couldn't crush Him,
new age can not replace Him,
Oprah can not explain Him away!
You remind yourself that
Life, Love, Longevity and He is the Lord,
He is Goodness, and Kindness, and Faithfulness,
and He is God!
His Ways are right!
His Word eternal!
His Will unchanging!
His Mind is on us!
He is our...
He rules our lives.
I serve Him because...
His bond is love,
His yoke is easy,
His burden is light,
and His goal for us is
I follow Him because...
He is the Wisdom of the wise,
the Power of the powerful,
the Ancient of days,
the Ruler of rulers,
the Leader of all leaders,
His goal is a relationship with me & you.
and NEVER cancel your appointment in His appointment book.
fall He'll lift you up,
fail He'll forgive you,
are weak He is your strength,
are lost He is your way,
are afraid He is your courage,
stumble He will steady you,
are hurt He is going to heal you,
are broken He will mend you,
are blind He will lead you,
are hungry He will feed you,
face a trial He is with you,
are persecuted He will shield you,
face problems He will comfort you,
face loss He will provide for you,
face death He will carry us all the way Home.
He is EVERYTHING for
and in every way.
He is your God and is Who you belong too!
I'm Aimee, former Early Childhood Educator and Reading Specialist turned author, speaker, blogger, and mom of 5. This website is meant to inspire & equip parents of little ones to promote early literacy & language development at home. You will also find fun crafts, devotionals, and recipes to explore..
Learn more about me here.
*Photos are reflective of a handmade or hand stamped design; including naturally occurring materials. It is not intended to represent the exact product you will receive. Variation in shape, color, size should be expected. Each pearl & stone is unique; each piece is unique.