You Blew It

Have you ever had the revelation “I blew it”? You forgot your homework, you didn’t proofread a paper, you were late for the wrong meeting, you over slept…I could go on and on. At some point in our lives we have consequences that are of our own fault. You can’t blame a soul. If you haven’t had that..well lets say ima pray Jesus shows you…lol.

Everyone messes up. This week I messed up. Yesterday to be exact. I hit a curb and took out two of my tires and a rim. Maybe even more I haven’t gotten the full “assessment” yet. Regardless I underestimated the width of a turning lane and BAM my whole day took a turn. 

I could go through all the negative but honestly today I am here because I actually saw a lot of good

Someone in the Bible stuck out to me today.

David. 

A man after Gods own heart. He blew it. He stayed home during a season he knew he should have been at battle and succumbed to temptation and sinned. (2 Samuel 11:1-4) That one sin, brought on more sin and consequences. He only had himself to blame. 

Man Emily, that took a turn quick…

I know, I know its dark and twisty, but there is light! David repented and God knew Davids heart. It was pure. This story gives me hope because our faults and “I blew it” moments don’t define us. God does. 
So I hit a curb, I probably should have been paying closer attention, but I learned some good lessons from my own folly and also now looking at the life of David. 

It could always be worse

I work in a not so safe part of town, and I could have easily hit a curb there and been quite fearful for my well being. I did not. I was close to a business and the owner actually changed my tire (Thanks Ryan, at Jeffco Monroe pictured below)

Bathsheba became pregnant as a result of David’s affair. He chose to continue to sin by having Bethsheba’s husband placed on front lines of battle and subsequently he died. (2 Samuel 11: 14-17). He did at least try to have Uriah sleep with Bathsheba first before he jumped to murder but was unsuccessful. 

What if Uriah had slept with Bathsheba? This would have successfully covered up the pregnancy, but years and years of shame would have followed David and things would not have gone the same way. Solomon is a result of a subsequent union between David and Bathsheba- God takes what the enemy meant for evil and turns it for good (Gen 50:20)

You need good people in your life

Boy am I glad for great people! One of my coworkers selflessly spent hours helping me get sorted out with my car until my husband could get there. Thank you Larrie Butler, you’re the bomb.

David had Nathan
When Nathan confronted David with his story in 2 Samuel 12. David then wrote Psalms 51
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly and cleanse me from my sin” psalm 51:1-2 (go read the rest, its great”
It is a beautiful penitential Psalm. 

There are lessons in our mistakes

I don’t consider myself a bad driver, but I was unprepared for vehicle related mishaps. I legit didn’t know what to do after this happened. I didn’t even know where my spare tire was. I called my husband, I called my dad and I called roadside assistance. I know it’s a first world problem, but in that moment I felt so ignorant. As a CRNA, My job is to always be prepared for the catastrophes that can happen. I am a pro-active person in all things, so not being prepared for this I was completely out of my element. 

BUT GOD

Throughout all of this, God gave me peace and He helped me see little glimpses of Him all throughout the day. I had a renewed sense of “good people”. 

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you” Psalm 51: 12-13

David was renewed and he was already seeing a way to take what he did wrong to help future generations. He still is! His sin had consequences that effected a few generations, but his repentence contained a covenant that effected all future generations. 

Are you carrying around shame and guilt of the past? You’ve made decisions and consequences came, but now it’s time to let the shame go. Ask God to restore the joy of your salvation. Bring life back to your dry bones. No matter what has happened God can turn it around and use it for good.

My Father in heaven, Holy is your name. Lord I pray that all obstacles are removed that prevent these readers from knowing your truth. I pray our wants and your will align. I pray you would give us provision and sustenance. Lord forgive us where we have failed you and protect us from the evil one and his tactics Lord restore in each of your children the joy of your salvation. Thank You for you son Jesus. In his name we pray amen. 

Be sure and follow me instagram and TikTok for weekly “reel prayers”

What’s Your toxic trait

Do you have a toxic trait? I do. I am a rule follower. I know your thinking how is that toxic? Well for one it makes me think there has to be rules for everything. Secondly it causes me to blindly follow things because it’s a “rule”. Check out this tag below.

I’m sure you’ve all seen this little jewel that comes on all the house hold pillow and cushions. They’re annoying. This brings me to my second toxic trait….I don’t read all the way. I skim the “high points”. Well because of that I went YEARS yes years thinking that I couldn’t take this tag off because of the first two lines.

Y’all I truly thought some body from some law upholding branch was gonna punish me for removing these tags.

Go ahead. judge, laugh…I can take it. My husband gonna be shaking his head when he reads this.

Needless to say, prior to this week, all my pillows had these lovely tags hanging off of them. I even went so far to shop for only pillows without tags.

I was blind because of my need to follow rules.

Sound familiar?

If you live in the Deep South you’ve seen the legalistic, rule following Christian’s that are “holier than though” Bible thumping butt munches who judge everything we do. Yeah I’m being dramatic but I bet you giggled at butt much .

I’ve been one of those butt munches. I’m not proud of it but my natural tendency is to need and follow rules. If someone didn’t follow the rules then how could they possibly be doing the “right” thing.

I haven’t blogged weekly since Feb. What started out as little time to write turned into my well running dry. I didn’t have a topic to talk about. I didn’t have creativity to write. I thrive on structure and deadlines. Guess who knows that all to well.

Satan.

He fed me lies and I drifted away from a deep calling that God placed on my life in 2020. We all do this. We make excuses of why we can’t do something. I’m the worlds best excuse maker on why I can’t work out. Those excuses turn to apathy and then apathy turns to depression.

It takes a long time to build physical endurance. It doesn’t take a long time to lose it. The same goes for spiritual endurance. The relationship we have with our Heavenly Father grows deeper when we invest time into it. When our excuses muffle His voice we drift away.

I didn’t want to write today. I was encouraged by my E2M fitness coach to stop saying “I’m gonna start tomorrow” I worked out this am after a 24 hour shift at the hospital, I devoted time to scripture and prayer and now I’m writing.. today, not tomorrow.

What have you been putting off for tomorrow? Are you a fellow rule follower who allowed rules to blind you from the whole picture or the whole truth?

Make room today. I cut off all these tags smiling because I recognized a weakness I could easily fix. I can slow down and read all the words. I can call on the Holy Spirit to help me discern right from wrong. He guides me and helps me walk in the light today.

Check out the song “Make Room” by community music.

Bible Study I’m currently doing is “When You Pray”

Current book I’m reading- Radical by David Platt

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your word. Thank you for those moments you grab my attention with tags on a pillow. You use The simplest things to bring me back into your arms. I pray you’ll give me the words to write each week. Lord I pray the readers will be convicted where necessary. I pray for grace where needed and peace in all areas. I love you Lord. Thank you for my toxic traits. I pray they make me stronger.

In Jesus name

Amen

Built Tough

“For we have come to share Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end” Hebrews 3:14

When I see the phrase “built tough”, I immediately think of all the Ford truck commercials. You know the ones, digging in mud, pulling huge trailers…yada yada. All the things “doods” do. The toughness I know you have is one that isn’t plastered on super duty trucks, its the toughness of the mind and spirit that is takes to handle preschoolers.

Tough- Synonyms – Strong, stubborn, lentos, fibrous, difficult, refractory, hard unmanageable, tenacious, firm, strong The actual word tough is not found in the Bible. 

Of those words, when I think about you as a teacher; Firm fits. 

You are built Firm!

You have been called to this profession because 

  1. You are a firm person 
  2. You are tasked to teach our kids how to have a firm foundation.  

I am a CRNA by trade and in healthcare its easy to become quite jaded. We have to compartmentalize our emotions so that we don’t get too attached while also maintaining a sense of compassion to make our patients comfortable before they go to sleep.

I have multiple teacher friends and I can see where this happens in your life too. It is in a different way, but when you are with these kids day in and day out you become attached and then they leave, you start to guard your heart and try not to get attached.

The draw you have to children and what you love about them tends to grow weaker as time marches on…unless you make a conscious effort to tend and water that passion. 

I want to share a passage you probably have heard

4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Luke 8:4-8

Each child in your care is being rooted in good soil because of you. You are the firm foundation for them mon-fri. This also means you must water and tend the soil of your own faith. Your toughness comes from above and with Him you can withstand the hurts you get along the way. It will help you guide and direct these kids in healthy ways that they will build upon as they grow.

Thank you! 

Your ability to withstand all the chaos, all the questions, and whining is truly impressive. God has given you a special gift and I pray you will water it and watch it grow. When you are worn out and feeling those nagging words of “what’s the point, they don’t listen, I’m not making a difference”

Stop

Pray 

YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB! You are tough. You are a firm foundation for kids who may only hear about Jesus with you. You are watering seeds of faith in children’s minds that will one day spread the gospel to future generations.

Lord,

Thank you for teachers. Thank you for teachers specifically of my kids because these teachers teach my babies. I have watched my babies grow up and come home telling me bible stories and I am so thankful to have my kids in a school that teaches Jesus. Lord I pray for the weary teacher that thinks its time to move on. Help her decipher her emotions. Help her know her calling and how to foster that love for kids while not getting burned out by the job itself. For the teacher who feels overwhelmed by the job, I pray for peace. I pray for help where she needs its and for strength to grow in the chaos. I love teachers and I am grateful you have called them to this profession. Bless them Lord, use them Lord and grant them peace that is beyond all understanding. In Jesus name

Amen

Out of Season

I did not grow up in a family that hunts, but when I was in college one of my friends took me hunting with her. She got me all set up, showed me how to use the rifle and we went to her stand and waited.

Not long after a big ole doe walked out and I shot her.

Yep I killed my first dear! She dropped dead in her tracks. I couldn’t believe it. We didn’t have to go track her down (I had no idea that was a thing). Erin and her dad did all the things you do when you kill your first. Put blood on my face, skinned the dear..you get the idea. Sorry if this grosses you out, but I do have a point…. Ha.

This was in 2008, 15 years ago. I never went hunting again. Not because I hated it or anything, but it wasn’t something I had a lot of access to.

Hunting is something that takes a lot of preparation. You have to plan in and out of season. You need the land, you need the clearing, you have to put out food. Now this is a description of modern hunting that is for sport. I know nothing about hunting for survival.

I want to take you to 2 Timothy chapter 4.

Paul is finishing up his second letter to Timothy. He is in a roman prison for the second time and is anticipating his own death. He is urging Timothy to continue in faith.

Lets starts in 4:1-2

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching.”

In season and out of season

It’s easy to think; “Oh ok, so this means I don’t have to preach all the time, just during the season”

Nope. Sharing the message of Jesus is not like hunting season. It is all season. What Paul means here is this

In season-when its convenient

Out of season-when its inconvenient

We can’t treat our faith like I have my hunting. I went one time and I didn’t even personally do the work. Someone else did. They sacrificed a deer for me to have an experience.

Our faith is not an experience, it is an all season lifestyle and going to church once a week will not be enough.

2 Timothy 4:3-5

“For the time is coming when people will not ensure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry”

Sound familiar?

We are there. We are in a time of numerous false teachers.

This was Paul’s ultimate charge to Timothy.

“Fulfill your ministry”

What is your ministry?

What “season” are you in? Convenient or inconvenient

I’m gonna be completely honest. I am in a completely inconvenient season. I’m married and have a 5 and 2 year old. I have a full time job as a CRNA. Life is incredibly busy, but God is my redeemer. He brought me out of the miry clay. Placed me in this incredible marriage. He blessed me with two beautiful daughters and a job that allows me more time off to purse this ministry I have now. So I will push forward and serve even though it’s inconvenient.

You.

You are my ministry.

I pour hours into writing content to encourage and spur YOU into change. I pray that at least one person who reads will perk up and say

“I’m not doing enough, Lord send me”

“Lord use me”

“Lord save me”

“Lord I believe and want to follow you”

Do the prep work.

My friend and her dad did all the work so I could kill my one and only deer. I’m doing a lot of prep work for you to get motivated. Get out of your comfort zone and Go.

Go disciple

Go tell your story.

Don’t forget to ask.

Ask for help

Ask for wisdom

Ask for guidance

Lord,

As I grow older the inconvenient season seems to be where I am all the time, but Lord I know you placed me here, and asked me to do this for a reason. Lord I pray for this reader that may be in a convenient season, but they lack motivation. Or lack the tools. I pray that I can help them. I pray I can be like my friend that had all the tools and showed me what to do. Lord I pray for revival in the hearts of my readers. I pray our hospitals will be turned upside down by the power of Jesus love. I pray hearts will change and lives will be changed. Thank you for my inconvenient season. Thank you for letting me serve you and serve others.

In Jesus name

Amen

PS: Happy Valentines Day ❤️❤️

Peppermint Oil for the Soul

“But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.”

2 Timothy 2:16-17b ESV

Gangrene is not a pleasant word to hear when you work in my field. This usually means an add on case at 430 pm and lots of peppermint oil.

Obviously I feel terrible for the patient, but all my OR healthcare peeps understand my drift. The medical definition of the noun gangrene is: local death of soft tissues due to loss of blood supply. The word can also be used as a verb—> to make or become diseased with gangrene.

When I first read this verse in 2 Timothy I thought the reference to gangrene was in reference to how fast “talk” spreads. If blood supply is not restored to an area the infection spreads quickly; and so as a healthcare professional that’s how I interpreted this verse, but God told me to look deeper.

I tapped into my bible knowledge commentary and found this

2 Timothy 2:16–18 (BKC): Participating with those who engage in such profane speculations will only, literally, “give their words a feeding place like gangrene.”

Feeding Place.

Talk spreading quickly is obvious, but when you take the verse apart; you realize it is about engaging in the talk. Feeding it.

Go back to the definition- local death of soft tissues. It’s not the speed of gossip, but the depth in which chatter reaches.

Loss of blood supply.

Gossip, chatter, ungodliness literally stops growth in the church. You cut off that portion of the church because blood stops flowing and it dies.

How many of you seen women’s ministries implode before?

Can you connect back and see why? Men talk too, but women…..women really talk.

Godless chatter is choking out our churches. Godless chatter is causing the unchurched to stay unchurched. Some of the most devious and deceptive people I have met are in church…..why???

Satan isn’t going to attack the sinners living it up. Naw, he goes after the ones that show a threat.

Church people. They are human… we all are

Satan is the author of chaos. He is the clot. He is the gangrene.

The Word is our antibiotic, our clot buster, and our 430pm add on incision and drainage (I&D). If you want blood flow restored; it is time to take off the band aid cut open the wound and drain it out; or amputate.

But how?!?

PRAYER

And

FASTING

The surgeons that do these I&Ds, go to medical school, and then have a residency for training. It takes years to train in this field.

It has taken me YEARS to realize how to use prayer and fasting to fight my battles. You don’t just wake up and have the tools to drain the swamp (ha, ha…sorry I couldn’t help myself)

You have to fix yourself and fix your own heart before you can successfully combat the godless chatter that happens in churches.

God will grant you the ability to be a vessel of peace.

God will grant you the ability to stop the gangrene.

The real hard truth comes when you realize you might be the problem. That is why praying and fasting is the only way. It is the only way God can connect with His children and show them the way. Sometimes that means making changes. Sometimes that means saying good bye to relationships.

If you can drain an infection early enough then amputation isn’t necessary. If you mend the broken aspects of your relationship with God and your community; saying goodbye won’t be necessary.

Get ready, this process stinks and you will need your peppermint oil for the soul.

Dear Lord,

Help us see our faults. Help us stop godless chatter before it tears our churches apart. I pray we can intercede for our brothers and sisters in Christ and beg for mercy on their behalf. I pray Christians would realize their own faults and turn around. I pray peace amongst our friends. Lord I pray for the unchurched. The ones that know you, but won’t step foot in the church because they’ve been hurt by someone in a church. I pray they can find a local church where they can serve and minister and worship corporately. It is so important and man it is revitalizing. Lord thank you for Paul and Timothy and the letters we have because of their faith. Letters that have stood the test of time. I love you Lord.

In Jesus name

Amen

Tackle that Mess

“Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.”
1 Timothy 4:15

Have you ever had a task that looked so daunting and overwhelming? You knew it had to be done but tackling it was difficult. This past week I was able to keep my oldest daughter home with me on Tuesday.

We had the task of going through toys and filtering out old and new. Needless to say after this go with it she won’t be invited back 😆. Also I’m pretty sure there is a bluey episode about this 🤪 but I digress.

After our organizing I instructed her to go clean her room. She didn’t really balk at me she went right up and started. It didn’t take long to get the. “Mom I need help, mom I can’t do this by myself” y’all know what my responses were back.

After several back and forth I quit doing my own cleaning and went to the edge of the stairs and called for her. I said “Cadence, I can’t help you do this all the time. I need you to start with one small thing.. let’s go with Barbie clothes. Pick up all the clothes.. then move on to the shoes… etc etc” her little eyes looked wild at me and I went on “cadence what is so cool is when you get done you’ll be able to look at what you’ve done and be proud and THEN mom will come see and be proud as well as daddy!”

She pranced off and what do you know 10 mins later I hear her calling with so much pride and asking me to come see.

In 1 Timothy, Paul was instructing Timothy how to lead and handle issues that were arising at the Church in Ephesus. It was daunting and his words to Paul here are what gave me the ammunition to encourage my Daughter

“Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Cadence immersed herself in her cleaning she saw her progress and so could I and her dad. Paul may have been instructing Timothy in something that is nothing like I’m doing but his words are still useable for all of us.

Are you staring at a mess? Is it too much? Let’s take it one step at a time. Here are some suggestions that work for me.

1. Pray and ask for wisdom on where to start. Ask God to give you a peace about the first step you need to take.
2. Tell someone about it. This will keep you accountable and give you confidence to move forward with that first step
3. Write it down. Get you a journal and start keeping up with the steps and where you start … you can come back to it, I can almost guarantee you’ll need the reminder later
4. Keep praying. Don’t stop ever. Wake up and pray. Intercede for other people. Pray in all you do.

After Cadence finished she goes “mama I tackled that mess!” She was so proud. So my friend, get up or get better yet; get on your knees and tackle that mess.

Dear Lord, thank you for putting Paul’s letter in the hands of believers. Thank you for the instruction and guidance we get from your Holy Word. Lord thank you for teaching me as a teach my kids. I pray for the reader whose struggling ti take the first big step. Give them the word they need to take that step. Lord I love you and praise your omnipresence, it’s truly beautiful.
In Jesus name
Amen

What Are You Craving

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭1‬-‭3‬ ‭ESV‬

When I brought home my second child in November of 2020 I had no idea the “fun” we would have watching our oldest become a big sister. My absolute favorite memory of that first day was when she saw me feeding Stella.

Y’all

The questions and the concern 🤣

“Mom why are you letting her do that to your boobie?!?”

Her face was priceless and teaching her about the basics of human life and what newborns crave is what brings me here today.

Peter compared our yearning for the father like a newborn who craves her mothers milk.

Wow.

For anyone who’s been around a newborn at 2 am screaming bloody murder you know it’s an intense need.

Do you crave spiritual milk that intensely?! Can you survive without taking in the word and praying to God everyday?

If you’ve gone a long time without going to church, or without opening your Bible I would bet you feel “fine”.

But in reality you’re functioning like this….

Like ross holding hot plates without oven mitts, you are tackling big decisions and life without the sword of truth; the Bible. Your spiritual sanity is crumbling and before long the physical side will follow suite.

Where do you start?
Well I will tell you where I started.

I asked.

Simple huh?

I needed a renewed sense of love for the word. I yearned to teach others about Jesus, but I wasn’t drinking the spiritual milk and I struggled to find the desire. So I asked for it!

Let’s start there. Over the course of the next few weeks I pray you’ll gain the tools you need to start growing spiritually. Let’s start it with a prayer.

Dear God,
Thank you so much for giving me the desire for your word. Lord you are always present in my life and I am so thankful. I pray for the reader here that knows they are lacking “something”. I pray they would seek you and your desires. I pray their desires would be the same as yours. Lord. Help us make small reachable goals this year. Help us achieve those goals. Lord we love you
Amen.

God called me to start praying out loud over social media. I started this past week, if you missed it it click here —> Week 1 Reel Prayer

My goal is to have my blogs and reel prayers coincide to ultimately bring life back to our dry bones.

If you want to receive updates to your email, subscribe to my email list! Subscribe

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
1 Corinthians 9:25 ESV

We have reached our final fruit of the spirit; Self- Control.
In my opinion, Paul is the epitome of Self-control and also discipline. Like an athlete who strives for a trophy; Paul lived for an eternal prize. His life in ministry was tough and he made sacrifices for his calling.

Early in 2022 I decided it was time to be a big girl and get all my labs checked and have a yearly checkup. Low and behold my whole lipid panel was out of whack.

I found myself staring at a prescription for a lipid lowering agent.

Hold up! I’m only 35…. No way I’m getting on “medicine”!

After the initial shock wore off. I called up my primary care and asked if I could have some time to “get myself together”

I had all the chatter around me…
“Emily just get the medicine and then you don’t have to worry about it.”
“It’s pointless to adjust your diet and exercise, you’ll still end up on meds”

They weren’t being rude; they were just telling me their experience. Not a thing wrong with it, but I knew within my heart that I was not living a healthy life.

As a healthcare professional I know I need certain amounts of exercise, vitamins, and minerals to maintain a well functioning body.

I was missing something important in my life.

Self-Control and Discipline.

This past summer I embarked on an 8-week journey to a healthier lifestyle. The process was tough but I learned to “trust the process”.

I didn’t ask a ton of questions I was able to see the results of other people and I trusted. This meant I couldn’t eat certain things and I had to work out.

Guess what?!?

I was successful. I was able to change the course of my lab values and they starting trending in the right direction. I had an added bonus of losing weight and felt amazing.

After those 8 weeks, I got slack with my plan. I quit planning. I made excuses to not go to gym. I got lazy and let my guard down. I spiraled and derailed.

Sound familiar?

What happened?

My first mistake
I prioritized meal planning and exercise over my quiet time.

How does that make you fail?

Everything about fitness and health is MENTAL! If you don’t feed your spiritual health the physical health will fail.
If you don’t exercise you physical body your spiritual health weakens.

We are going into a new year and it’s the age old story of setting goals and inevitably failing. I want to urge you to set small goals that build on each other and self assess why YOU failed before.
I failed because I didn’t prioritize and now I’m gonna start again and this time I won’t fail.

One of our big quotes in anesthesia

“Don’t keep trying the same thing over and over; it’s the definition of insanity”

Don’t be crazy, make a NEW change and rely on God to help you through it.

I am in no way comparing my health journey to Paul’s life, but his example is what makes me know there is room for it all. Room to foster my relationship with God, room to eat healthy, room to exercise, room to spend time with my family, and room to write for you guys! I must plan and I must make the room. I will set small goals and be prepared for mistakes. When the mistakes come along, dust off and try again.

Here are the steps I’m personally taking this time to ensure I don’t fail! I hope you’ll come along side me and let’s try it out together! No particular order because they will all be happening simultaneously.

Step 1
Utilizing a prayer journal. I’ll attach a link to bottom where I get mine. (I do not get any kick backs or money for sharing this)

Step 2
Setting my alarm ten minutes earlier than usual and praying. I’ve been doing this since Dec 1st. Some days I physically get out of bed and some I just lay there and pray over the topics and people I know I need to pray over.

Step 3
I’ve made personal goals and I’ve shared them with my spouse and close friends. They will keep me accountable and encourage me.

Step 4
Find someone to mentor. Start by praying for them and asking for wisdom on how to serve them. Don’t tell them you’re doing this. Just be a friend. Pray for them and be aware of what is going on in their life. Encourage them and go out of your way to be there for them.

Step 5
Healthy eating, meal planning and prepping in a sensible way.

Step 6
Exercise daily for at least ONE HOUR!

Step 7
Pray continuously. Pray over everything. Pray with the faith and belief God will answer in a way that is in your best interest.

Y’all ready for 2023?
I know I am!

I can’t wait to share what’s next here at life2drybones.com

Prayer journal –> Val Marie Paperr

Did you you miss the last post? You’re not my cup of tea

If you are interested in the fitness challenge I spoke up please send me a direct message via my social media accounts. I would love to share with you!

If you like what you’re reading share on social 😘

You’re Not My Cup of Tea

Not everyone likes you.

Let it sink in.

Accept it.

Now, lets move past it. We can’t please everyone and I truly don’t think the Lord expects us to. We only need please Him. Not everyone likes you and there are people you don’t like either, but we must treat everyone with gentleness. The ones we don’t like and the ones who don’t like us.

But HOW?!?

If you are a parent you have to repeat this word quite frequently around that 1-2 year old. “Be gentle, sweet touches, soft touches, not so rough!”
This is usually my convo with my two year old in regards to our cat, but it helped me teach her how to be around humans too. I didn’t start by using the word gentle only, I would rub her head or face while saying “Gentle baby”. After a short time, she recognized what the word meant.

This technique is the same when learning how to be gentle in demeanor. You have to practice it first.

I love using my logo bible software. It helps me dig more into scripture and learn words better. One of my favorite commentaries is the Bible Knowledge Commentary (BKC). The BKC explains gentleness this way- “marks a person who is submissive to God’s Word and who is considerate of others when discipline is needed”

Let’s dig into some verses

“Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Submissive to God’s Word
If you want to be able to exhibit gentleness then you have to examine yourself. If your full of wickedness, soft actions and reactions aren’t going to flow out of you.

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Help My Unbelief

The deeper I dive into the fruits of the spirit, the harder it gets to write. I am pretty sure that is no coincidence. Paul started with the all encompassing fruits and narrowed down to the root of our salvation.
Today we land at faithfulness. This is one of those churchy words that we seem to see all the time. In hymns, Sunday school, holidays..etc.
The reason we see it so much is because its that important.

But what is it?

The greek word for faith is Pistes which translates as assurance of belief, faith, trust, value, proof

I only know of one person in the Bible who exhibited the fullness of Faith. Jesus. He taught multiple lessons on faith throughout His time here on earth. One story that always shakes me to my core is mentioned in Matthew 17:14-21, Mark 9:14-28, and Luke 9:37-42.

I’m going to jump between the three so I pray you can follow me.

One thing I want to mention about studying the Bible is the importance of translation. All the different versions translate from greek to English (NT) and Hebrew to English (OT). With the above translation of “faith” you can see how we have multiple versions. Like our bibles have different versions, the disciples have different ways they describe this lesson they learned.

None are wrong, and all encompass the same lesson.

I don’t own multiple versions of the Bible, Get you the Bible app and you can swap between versions whenever you need to! When I prayed over this topic I knew there was a story about a man who said “help me with my unbelief”, and I knew there was a time Jesus said “this can only be done by prayer and fasting”

As I searched the Bible app for these phrases I realized it was a version problem and I swapped to the new King James Version and found them both..and they were same story..haha. Thank you Lord.

I say all that to help you see how I study. I say it so you can study it yourself. I wish I could say that I can spout off books and verses off the top of my head, but I can’t. We have the technology so USE IT!

Don’t believe what I say. You have to go dig in and read yourself. I’m just a vessel here, following FAITHFULLY a calling God gave me 😉

Let’s get to it!

We start off with a boy with an unclean spirit. He was mute, would fall out and foam at the mouth.
The disciples had tried to cast out the demon and could not. So here this poor dad is begging Jesus to help his son. (Mark 9)
Mark 9:23-24 And Jesus said to him, ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes. 24. Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe, help my unbelief”

    Help my unbelief

This is the basics of faithfulness. We can’t do it alone. We need help. Praise the Lord Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit our Helper to see us through our unbelief (John 14:26). Let’s ask for help now.

Dear Lord,
Help me with my unbelief. Help me in the small things and the big Lord. I believe because I have accepted you into my heart, but my flesh evades me. It makes me doubt. The enemy uses this against me and I pray now and every day you will help me die to that fleshly desire and remain faithful in my walk with you. Amen.

The next part I want to point out is where the disciples asked “Why could we not cast it out” (Matthew 17:19b)

We see first a common person who struggles and admits he needs help and then we have the disciples on the other side who feel like failures.

Jesus’s response…well lets just read it..

Mark 9:29(NKJV) “and he said to them, ‘This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and FASTING.’

Matthew 17:20-21(NKJV) “So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard see, you will say to the this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.

Luke did not mention this part-probably cause he was a physician and doctors don’t want to admit failure….I am only kidding here 😉

Prayer and fasting

    How do you handle the real hard stuff? Prayer and fasting. Fasting is a tool I have learned over the last few years and I can’t even begin to mention all the beautiful responses I have had from true prayer and fasting. In my disciple group I teach how to start off with small things like, sugar, social media, caffeine..etc.
    You choose a time frame and you refrain from the substance. When your body craves it, you pray. Once we have done this a couple of times; we move on to fasting from food.

    Ya’ll.

    This is tough, but it truly opens your heart and mind to what God is wanting to tell you. If you are at an impasse with a decision, your marriage is struggling, your job is terrible, illness, debt, infertility then this can only be hashed out with prayer and fasting. These disciples got a hard demon to cast out and their unbelief in the power they had from Jesus, failed them.

    Stop looking at your circumstance as punishment and fall on your knees. Sacrifice food to pull you even lower so that you must depend on his spirit to satisfy the physical hunger. The physical hunger will humble you and He will deliver you. Start small and watch your faith grow daily. Be faithful in the process and He will be faithful in His deliverance.

    Dear Lord,
    We live in a society that loves to boast. We boast about our skin care products, our hair tools, our favorite cheese dip, bean dip, recipe, our children and all the things. Lord I pray today we stop and dive into what we should be boasting about; you and your faithfulness. I pray our faith would be strengthened daily by reading your word and boasting about it on Facebook, instagrams, twitter, at work, at church and everywhere. I pray we would move mountains with our faith. We read in romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and I pray we cling to that promise. You are faithful and I pray you would help us all in our unbelief through prayer and fasting. You are our redeemer and friend. Thank you for answering all of my prayers. Thank you for telling me no when I needed it.
    In Jesus name
    Amen.

    Need to catch up? See last weeks post here Oh My Goodness

    For more encouragement follow me on social!
    Facebook
    Instagram