Do You Trust God?

God is good! I was in the shower yesterday after my workout, just praising and thanking God for how He always provides for me …both my needs and wants. I thought about the many ways that He takes care of me daily. My husband went out of town earlier this week; but he left a stash of cash,just in case the kids and I needed anything. Every week, a friend of mine brings home-baked goods and snacks for my children. My children give me the sweetest compliments daily. My husband makes me laugh like nobody’s business. People give me brand new and very gently used clothes and shoes all the time. I always get close parking spaces everywhere I go. Random people have given me money. A man showed up at my door one morning and handed my an envelope filled with money; as well as five bible verses written on it.

God gave me a brand new car debt-free; and the very next day, gave my husband a brand new debt-free car as well. The beauty of this blessing is that I wanted an escalade. I test drove it and liked it; but I had three kids under the age of four at that time. The thought of having to lift all of them in and out of the car; along with my big stroller, was a bit much. So my wise husband suggested that we go over to the toyota dealership and give the sienna minivan a try. I NEVER EVER thought I would EVER drive a minivan. I was too cool for that!  BUT, I drove it and LOVED it; and my little kids could get in and out themselves. So that’s how I ended up with my minivan. God knew best! The other part of the blessing was that God instructed my husband to go and get the escalade the next day. He had no intention of buying a new car; but He obeyed and God provided (as He always does). God gave me a beautiful situation, because my husband is always there when i’m in the escalade and I never have to load and unload the kids. As much as I like the escalade; I really do appreciate and enjoy the sienna…..and I’m still cool. Thank you Father!

Yesterday, while at the balloon festival, an older gentleman walked up to me and handed me 4 tickets for the bouncy house. It is the one thing that my kids wanted to do. My kids said: “Thank you God! He always gives us favor!” Yes indeed He does. I thought about that. There was a huge crowd of people at the festival; and of all those people, a random man comes up to me with enough tickets for all of my children? God is real people and He’s pretty big on taking care of our wants and needs. God is my shepherd and my Jireh. He is the sole supplier of all of my wants and needs. I am 100 percent convinced that God wants us to live our lives in TOTAL reliance on Him alone. I know beyond all shadows of doubts that He will not and can not fail me. If the birds can trust Him; how much more can we? (Matthew 6:26-33) Do you really trust God? Do you trust Him to meet your desires and needs? Do you trust Him to take care of you regardless of your income? Do you trust Him in the face of an evil report? Do you trust Him with your marriage? Do you trust Him with your children? Do you trust Him with you? Do. You. Trust. God?

Marriage Restoration

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I am so grateful to God for my loving husband. He is an absolute treasure; and I love and appreciate him so much. I didn’t always feel this way…..but God. There was a time, well actually many times, when I just wanted to walk away from our marriage; but God. I came from a background of divorce, so that was my normal. I had not even considered what the word of God had to say about it; and I definitely was not into the whole submission thing. I might’ve thought that submission came from the pits of hell. In other words; my thinking on marriage was a hot twisted mess. I remember attending a church and striking up a conversation with the pastor’s wife and another lady; while in the bathroom. The pastor’s wife was talking about keeping strife out of the home; and how to handle disagreements with your husband. The thing that stuck with me was when she said that the enemy wants discord in the home, so that he can gain access to your children. As she talked, I came to the realization that I was completely out of order.

I began to look at what the scripture had to say about marriage and strife. James 3:16 (KJV) was a game changer for me. It reads: “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. Confusion and EVERY evil work? EVERY EVIL WORK? Wow! This verse hit me like a ton of bricks; and I made the quality decision that  I would keep strife out of my heart and home. It was at this same church, that I received a teaching cd on marriage from a very kind woman. When I listened to it, I felt almost something like a rage rising up within me. The wise woman of God was talking about studying and serving your husband; as well as going out of your way for him. Nothing in me liked what I was hearing. I was like: “Nope! This is not for me.” But something deeper in me knew that I desperately needed to learn from and implement what I was hearing.

I  begrudgingly started by serving my husband his meals. I didn’t like doing this for a long time; but I continued it any way. During this time, I had begin praying diligently for my husband. I asked God to make me into the wife that my husband needed. I would pray & speak blessings over him as he slept at night. I would also pray for myself. I wanted so much to be in God’s perfect will and do and be who He designed and purposed me to be. As I continued praying, speaking blessings, and serving my husband more and more; I could hear God saying things to me about my husband that helped me gain such an appreciation for him. I recall hearing God ask me the meaning of my husband’s name; which is God is gracious. Years prior, God told me that His grace was sufficient for me. I also remember God telling me that my husband was very loyal; and that he had the spirit of excellence like Daniel; and boldness like Joshua. God told me to look at my husband’s desires list that was hanging on the wall in our bedroom.  As I read through the list, I saw that most of his desires had to do with God; but the one that just melted my heart completely, was his desire to be a personal friend of God. It was at that moment that our marriage took off. I fell in love with my husband; and I knew that I’d follow him anywhere. I knew beyond ALL shadows of doubt that we will serve God together until we move over to the next realm.

We now enjoy a beautiful relationship with God and each other. He is the kindest, most loving, most generous, most supportive and most excellent person that I’ve ever known. I just love him so much and love spending time with him! It is my pleasure to serve him anytime and all the time! I made it my mission to make sure that our home would be the Garden of Eden for him. I feel that he is such a gift, treasure and blessing from the Most High; and I want both God and him to know that I appreciate him so much.

It is my prayer that this post blesses whoever reads it….especially those wives who might be in a difficult space in their marriage. God has a perfect design for marriage; and if you’ll yield to His way of doing things, you’ll have a beautiful marriage as well. The thing that I’ve learned about God is that He never sees or deals with us as victims. He sees us as gods; and deals with us this way. We were created in His image and likeness.  Psalm 82:6 reads:  “I said, ‘You are “gods” and children of the Most High.” It’s time to take your place as a child of the Most High. Don’t be moved by what you see; but rather, by what the word of God says.  Below are a couple of scriptures to meditate on for the restoration of your marriage:

1 Corinthians 11:3 (niv) – But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Ephesians 5:21 (niv) –  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Mark 10:9 (niv) – Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Hebrews 13:4 (amp)Marriage is to be held in honor among all [that is, regarded as something of great value], and the marriage bed undefiled [by immorality or by any sexual sin]; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

1 Peter 3:8 & 9 (amp) – Finally, all of you be like-minded [united in spirit], sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted [courteous and compassionate toward each other as members of one household], and humble in spirit; and never return evil for evil or insult for insult [avoid scolding, berating, and any kind of abuse], but on the contrary, give a blessing [pray for one another’s well-being, contentment, and protection]; for you have been called for this very purpose, that you might inherit a blessing [from God that brings well-being, happiness, and protection].

Isaiah 51:3 (niv) – Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places And her wilderness He will make like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.

 

The 8 Dimensions of Wellness – Social

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Social Wellness refers to our relationships and how we interact with other people. It involves good communication skills, respect for self and others, meaningful relationships and a good support system. According to a study by Umberson & Montez, relationships influence health through a process of reinforcing or inhibiting health-promoting or health-damaging behaviors over time. The bible is full of verses about all relationships. One of which is Proverbs 17:17, which says that a friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity. Genesis 2:18 says the following: The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Our relationships are important, even from God’s perspective.

The bible gives some good standards for our various relationships.

  1. Husband & Wife relationship:Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 13:18 &19
  2. Children & Parents: Ephesians: 6: 1-3
  3. Fathers & Children: Ephesians 6:4
  4. Church family: Colossians 3:12- 14
  5. Friends: Proverbs 27:5 – 6; John 15:12-15
  6. Employer & employee: Colossians 3:23; Deuteronomy 15:10; Deuteronomy 24:14

Oftentimes our relationships are mirrors that reflect the inner-workings or hidden areas of our souls. The soul is like a magnet that draws our circumstances to us. If you find that your relationships have a common theme of joy and endurance, then I’m 99.999% sure that you have mastered 2 Corinthians 10:5; and Philippians 4:8. However, if you’re like many of us who are still learning to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and thinking on love and positive things; then take this opportunity to make a solid decision to begin healing these toxic thoughts, feelings and emotions that have habitually created less-than-desirable circumstances in your relationships. As children, we learned how to relate to others from our family members; as well as from teachers, friends, and other group members that we were associated with. If what we’ve learned was unhealthy or dysfunctional, we can change it. Healthy relationships are ours to enjoy; as well as a component of overall wellness.

If you would like to strategies for improving the social area of wellness in your life, do consider joining me for my next All is Wellness program session beginning on March 18th. Please feel free to email me at theexcellentwoman1@gmail.com. Until next time…..many blessings!

This Thing Called Love

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Mark 12:30 & 31 (NIV) says: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” As I thought on these verses, my mind rested on a vision that I recently had during my morning prayer time. I found myself at the feet of God as He sat on His throne. I then was cradled in His arms. I remember feeling the love radiating throughout my being. After being loved on by God, for what seemed like a little while, I found myself standing before His throne. He placed what seemed like a force-field around me. I immediately thought of my eldest son; and he suddenly appeared cradled in God’s loving arms. My son had bumped his head hard the day before. In this vision, I saw God gently rub my son’s head and a golden substance flowed from His hand to my son’s head. God then kissed him, and placed him within my force-field. One-by-one, each of my children appeared cradled in God’s arms; and he hugged and kissed them; and placed them each within my force-field. Lastly, my husband appeared in God’s arms. He did the same; and then placed my husband and his force-field around all of us. 

My reason for sharing this part of the vision, is to illustrate the Mark 12:30 & 31 principle. We can only love God, because of His first loving us. His love fills us and overflows to our neighbors. We can only love God by His strength alone (Philippians 4:13); and only with His love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). We can’t love ourselves or others without His love. Love begins with Him. It’s His love that gives us our identity and that makes us loveable. He sees us as the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8, Proverbs 7:2, Psalm 17:8); and His treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, 26:18, Psalm 135:4). When we think about ourselves the way that God does, we automatically love ourselves and bring healing an order to our thoughts, body and circumstances. We automatically love our neighbors because of God’s love.

Neighbors refer to anyone who is not you (at least that’s the way that I define it for my children). In this particular post, I’m referring to spouses as our neighbors. Sometimes, marriage can be challenging when spouses are not on the same page; or if either spouse is distracted. Please take comfort in knowing that God has our backs; and is with us every step of the way. We must renew our minds to know that marriage is honorable, esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear – in all things (Hebrews 13:4). The “high thought” of our culture about marriage is to just get out of it; if it’s not working to your satisfaction. Here’s the thing, people seem to understand that businesses, education and success in general, take years to obtain. It’s accepted and expected that there will be highs and lows, good times and not-so-great times; but you don’t give up. Marriage, just like new businesses, is like birthing a baby. You’ll often hear entrepreneurs refer to their businesses as their babies. Marriage is the same. If something’s not working, you evaluate and strategically plan to improve that area. You set goals, put standard operating procedures in place. You do all that you can to ensure the success of the marriage. It amazes me that people go to training and workshops, work long hours and such for the success of their careers; but somehow think that marriage is just going to just be successful. If no has told you before, things don’t work that way. You are supposed to have a successful marriage; but it’s probably going to require you to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).

Psalm 34:19 (KJV) says: Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. We are guaranteed victory! The scriptures are filled with encouragement for victory; as well as God’s love and faithfulness. We see it with Joseph in the prison, Daniel in the lion’s den, and the 3 Hebrew boys in the fire pit (just to name a few). They all endured some HARD circumstances, but they all overcame and were elevated.

Marriage was instituted by God, so I’m quite confident that yours will workout when you follow His lead. 1 Peter 3:8-9 (AMP) is a good guideline: Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each the others] as brethren (of one household), compassionate and courteous—tenderhearted and humble-minded. Never return evil for evil or insult for insult—scolding, tongue-lashing, berating; but on the contrary blessing—praying for their welfare, happiness and protection, and truly pitying and loving them. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God]—obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection. Invest in yourself and your spouse by spending time with God. You will begin to think like God, concerning your marriage. God is THE  ultimate mastermind; and He knows how to turn around your marriage….. in 24 hours. With Him, EVERYTHING is possible. Do you believe it?!

Hearing God’s Voice

About a month ago, we bought my baby girl a pair of new blue sneakers. Last week, one of those shoes went missing. I knew that she had it on her foot when I put her in the car after leaving the library. I figured that maybe it had fallen off in the car somewhere. I searched the car a couple of times during the week; and wondered where I’d left it. Meanwhile, I looked in the container where I keep things that she’ll grow into, and was happy to find a brand new pair of little black boots that her older cousin had gotten for her last year, when she was just an infant. She could fit them, yaaaayyyy!!! She’s been wearing them all week. Though I didn’t know where her other blue sneaker was, I didn’t worry about it.

So today, we went back to the library (since Thursdays are library day for us). As I’m getting ready to unload the kids, my second son excitedly exclaims: “Look mommy!!!! There’s Livy’s shoe!!!” I look up, and sure enough, Livy’s shoe is sitting in the window of the bank, right next to the library! At that moment, I just praised God (YHWH) and thanked Him for always looking out for and taking care of me. My heart was instantly filled with gratitude and praise. Upon leaving the library, my mind returned to that very moment, and I couldn’t help but to think about the ways that God speaks to us. Receiving back my baby girl’s shoe spoke volumes to my heart. I could see how God is interested in the smallest details of my life. I could see that He took care of that tiny blue shoe for seven days; and gave it back to me in perfect condition. I could see that during the seven days, I discovered a new pair of shoes that I wasn’t even aware was there. I could see that God gave me double……1. He restored the seemingly lost blue shoe and saved me the $20 to replace them & 2. He showed me a pair of shoes that I didn’t even know was there. The entire winter would have passed by; and I wouldn’t have thought to even look in that bin for those boots. Can we say that God is good!

I am so grateful for the ability to discern & hear God’s voice. I read a Facebook post in a group that I’m member of. The question was: “Has anyone heard the audible voice of God?” I certainly have on three different occasions in my life. One of those occasions was when I was walking across a parking lot one afternoon, thinking about how I felt like a failure, because of a seemingly poor decision that I’d made. He so very clearly said: “MY grace is sufficient for you.” I did not grasp the dept of that statement until two years later, and it set me free and it CHANGED. MY. LIFE. There is NOTHING that we could EVER do that is too bad for God’s grace. I am a living witness! Hallelujah! God also speaks in my dreams & visions. I go through seasons where I will dream or have night visions every night for a couple of weeks. The thing that I love about dreams is that they are SO personal. God…..the Creator of the universe,  knows us inside and out; and these dreams of personal riddles that He gives us. Proverbs 25:2 says: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out. Interpreting a dream is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. I was dreaming so much, that I had to begin searching out their meanings; because I knew that God was talking to me. These dreams have driven me to seek God for understanding. They have caused me to meditate the word. They have been prophetic. God has warned me in a dream to not get ahead of Him. I remember one night, I saw 2 Corinthians 9:8 (in bold letters) in a dream. I woke up immediately and looked it up. I began to meditate the scripture, because God wanted to do something that took a lot of faith.

So previously I talked about God’s audible voice. Well after the parking lot experience, I began seeing quarters, dimes, nickels and $5 bills so frequently for a period of 2 years. In that same parking lot, during that same week, a $5 bill blew under my car. Whenever I would go to put gas in my car, a quarter would always be on the ground, under next to my car. Another time, I was walking with my husband, and a $5 bill blew right into my chest. Whenever and where ever I would go during those two years, I was coming across money in a multiple of five; which is the number of grace…..which truly was and still is, sufficient for me.

Let’s also remember that God speaks through His word. He has a solution for every problem, circumstance and situation that you will EVER encounter…..even if you haven’t made the best decisions, you’re angry with Him & haven’t talked to Him in a while, or your life is in shambles. God is constantly speaking. He’s ALWAYS trying to get His very best to us. It’s our own minds that block His best for us….but there’s a way around that too (check out 2 Corinthians 10:5). Oh…..one more thing…..HONESTY. God LOVES honesty. You don’t have to be the best prayer or an eloquent speaker. You can talk to God, just like you’re talking to another person; and if you sit and listen, He’ll respond. Sometimes we don’t hear Him, because we have too many other voices in our heads……from t.v., movies, radio, social media and other people. Learn to disconnect from those voices; so that you can hear THE VOICE.

That’s all for now. Have an excellent evening and Friday!