SPIRITUAL DETOX, Week Two: The Lord will never leave me or abandon me!

We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave!

Besides these being the lyrics to a popular song, we really are having a HEAT WAVE!

We have experienced a very cold and wet winter and spring. This heat wave has hit us in full force and has rocked my world back into reality!  What reality you say? The reality that “HEAT HAPPENS”, and I do not like it!

As wonderful as the winter and spring was, the HEAT is back!

I fell like the contrast between the cool weather of spring and the hot weather of winter, paints a perfect picture of my battle to replace my lies, with God’s TRUTH!

I started the week off calm, cool and collected as I spoke God’s words of truth over my life.

I am Loved!”  “I am Chosen!”  “Even before God made the world, He thought of me!

Ephesians 1:4

But then the lies hit with full force, just like the heat wave, and my calm assuredness, was rocked by doubt and disbelief again!

So, I had to hit my “Re-Set” button and be set right again!

I had to return to Philippians 4:8, our anchor verse, and focus on the words that speak God’s purpose over me…

True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable, Excellent, and Praiseworthy

If the words speaking over my life did not reflect these traits then I was to get rid of them!

I spent a lot of time “detoxing” the ugly words out of my heart and mind this week friends.

I wish it were not true. I wish I could write and tell you that I walked down the beautiful trails near my home and whispered true and encouraging words to myself. However, the heat on the outside kept me inside, and the lie of the enemy inward kept me speaking Truth outward!

I pressed the RE-SET button several times this week! Did you?  

If you did, then you are DETOXING! You are getting rid of the old, pouring in the new, and keeping on keeping on!  That is all any of us can do.

The world and the director of it, satan, continue to flood us with lies. It causes us to doubt who we are in Christ, who He has created and called us to be, and what purpose He has for us. The only way to combat the LIE is to replace it with The TRUTH!

So, go ahead, press that “RE-SET” button if you need to, and get back in it!

The heat waves will come, but they will not burn us. The cool, refreshing calm of God’s words of Truth will blow into our lives and refresh our spirits like the return of cooler temperatures.

Our weather forecast is ‘Cooler days ahead!’ My physical body is ready for the change.

My spiritual body needs the change as well, so here we go!

Lie Number Two: I am abandoned!

TRUTH Number Two: The Lord will never leave me or abandon me!

The Lord has promised the He will never leave us or desert us.”  Hebrews 13:5

So do not fear, for I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God.”  Isaiah 41:10

If the heat waves of discouragement and self-doubt have blown over and scorched your spirit, breath in the refreshing truth directly from God to YOU!

God is with you no matter what you are going through! He will never leave you or forsake you, HE IS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER.

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YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU!

Keep on detoxing my friend. It is not easy but it is the only way to live “FREE FROM” the lies that hold us captive and drag us down!

Press “RE-SET” if you need to, and step into week 2 free from the lie of abandonment!

Refreshing days are ahead!

Speak Truth Love

SPIRITUAL DETOX, Week 1: You Are Loved

Are you ready to be Free?  Are you ready to begin this SPIRITUAL DETOX with me?

Did you wake up thinking, ‘Today is the Day! Let’s Go!’ or, ‘Is today the day? Oh boy, here we go!’

No matter what frame of mind you are beginning this in, you are beginning it!

One day at a time my friend, putting one foot in front of the other. You are not alone! WE can do this together! As we get started, I want you to know something very important. You have a re-set button. That’s right, any day or time that you need to press, re-start, you can!

My favorite definition of re-start, is “to become set again.”

My commitment to this Summer Spiritual Detox is to be RESETTABLE! To know that even when I have a hard day, blow it, feel discouraged, and that I can’t “keep on keeping on,” I can reset my commitment to God and this detox and keep moving forward!

I have HOPE friends! Do you?

I heard a quote from one of my favorite pastors that said, “Commitment is the key to HOPE!”

As we commit to this Spiritual Detox today and each and every day we do it, we have HOPE that we will be cleaned from the inside out and “FREE FROM,” anything and everything that pollutes!

As we begin, I want to reiterate the reason for and the need of a Spiritual Detox.

God asks us to be ‘FREE FROM’ anything that pollutes, corrupts, stains, soils, or distracts from what is good and right.

Philippians 4:8 is our verse that guides and directs us through our Spiritual Detox.

Finally Sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – is anything excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Distraction is such a BIG problem in our world today. With immediate gratification and information at your fingertips, literally a swipe away, it becomes more and more difficult to concentrate on anything that is not flashing, changing or presenting a massive amount of color and pixels per second! Yet, concentration and focus is exactly what I believe God is calling us to. We must reflect on God’s Truth to know what lie we are holding onto that is polluting our mind, body and soul! And, may I be so bold as to even suggest, beyond that, God is asking us to take the time to “BE STILL,” and listen to His Spirit reveal the lie, so that we can detox from it by replacing it with His TRUTH!

I have come across an amazing book on the subject of detoxing spiritually. It is a book written by Craig Groeschel called, ‘Soul Detox.’ In it he takes this commitment of “living clean in a contaminated world,” seriously and does an incredible job of guiding us through the process. I am going to be reading it through this Summer Detox, and I highly recommend it to you as well.  I will be quoting from it as we go and I am looking forward to the experience. However, my focus on the Blog will be the issue I believe we as women struggle with the most. I believe that it haunts us to our very core and keeps us from approaching this or any other challenge in our lives with full force!

That is the problem of LIES! The lies that have been spoken to us, about us, and over us from others. Also, the lies we speak over ourselves. Yes, you heard me right! The lies that we believe about ourselves that we believe so wholeheartedly that when we hear the TRUTH from God that destroys the lie, we say things like, “I know that is true, but not of me because I am…”, or “I know God’s Word is Truth, but because I am this…, it does not apply to me.”

Or maybe the most frightening aspect of all; we say nothing at all.

When we hear the Truth and believe in our minds that it is the Truth, we are silent. Because we have already dismissed it the moment we heard it. We have allowed the Lie to become bigger than the Truth! The Truth never even had a chance to replace the lie. We have made the Lie our truth.

So, our Summer Spiritual Detox on the Blog is replacing that Lie with God’s Truth.

We will look at a new Spiritual Truth each week and will work on replacing or detoxing, the lies we hold onto that are contrary to God’s Truth about us.

We will work each week on one Truth and on detoxing one lie by speaking God’s Word of Truth over that lie daily.

Here we Go!

Lie Number One: I am unwanted!

Get rid of that toxic lie. God loves you, chose you, and sent His Son to die for you!

TRUTH Number One: I am Loved By God!

Replace the lie with this Truth:

Even before He made the world, God loved us and choose us.”  Ephesians 1:4

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ.”  Ephesians 2:4-5

TRUTH BOMB

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I AM WANTED AND LOVED BY GOD. HE PROVED IT ON THE CROSS!

Get rid of the lie that you are not wanted. God loves you so much that He chose you before the foundation of the earth. Then He proved it by dying on the cross for you. That is how wanted you are!

Repeat these verses over and over again as you let go of the lie, and breath in The Truth!

Day one friend! You did it! Congratulations!

Remember, Hope comes with commitment. Commit to speak these words of Truth over yourself all week. Detox the lie, and replace it with The Truth!

Let’s Go!

Speak Truth Love

SPRING CLEANING FOR YOUR HEART AND SOUL

When you hear the word CLEANING most of us want to run the other way!

There is NO way to spell fun in the word CLEAN! It is, for lack of a better term, “a necessary evil.”  In order to live a healthy life and not be overcome by dust, molds and mildews, we must CLEAN!

Now, before I lose those of you who know me REALLY WELL, I must explain…

It is believed among my closest friends and relatives that I “love to clean!’ That is not the case.

I love CLEAN! In order to get the CLEAN that I desire, I must CLEAN!

It also makes perfect sense that the three most common pile-ups of dirt in our homes are dust, mold and mildew and I am allergic to all three! Could that be the reason I work so hard to keep them out of my house?! Just Sayin!However, my obsession with CLEAN is a Blog series for another time!

Spring Cleaning by definition is “the practice of thoroughly cleaning a house or living space, in the springtime.”  The practice of Spring Cleaning became popular in climates with cold winters. The dust collects as the heater and fire place roars! Thus, the need to clean in the spring becomes necessary to get rid of the unwanted excess dirt.

Spring Cleaning today is more commonly used to “declutter, organize and simplify!”

No matter what our motivation is for Spring Cleaning, the need to CLEAN is vital in not just our physical lives, but most importantly, our Spiritual lives!

Take a look at the definition of CLEAN….

“Free from dirt, unsoiled, unstained. Free from foreign or extraneous matter. Free from pollution, unadulterated, pure. Free from defects or flaws; characterized by a fresh, wholesome quality, complete, unqualified, morally pure, innocent, upright, and honorable.”

Did you catch the repeated phrase in the definition of CLEAN?

FREE FROM!

Friends, our goal here is to be FREE FROM! Free from what you ask?  FREE FROM anything that pollutes, corrupts, clutters, stains, soils, or keeps us distracted with foreign or extraneous matter. AKA: garbage we do not need!

Finally, Sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”     Philippians 4:8

So, now that we have answered the question of what, the bigger question is how?

The list is long and daunting! We can feel overwhelmed and quit before we start.

But just like ‘Spring Cleaning’ our homes, it can be done if we take it one room at a time!

I propose a Spiritual Detox, a “Spring Cleaning” if you will, of the heart, mind and soul.

I am going to write a SPIRITUAL DETOX series throughout the Summer. If you are willing to go on it with me, I believe we will be cleaner by the end of the Summer than the beginning of it. I also believe that we cannot successfully complete this detox on our own. But, I believe that with God’s strength WE CAN DO IT!

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To be spiritually “free from,” impurities we must clean out what pollutes!

Will you take the challenge with me? Will you commit to meeting me here each Tuesday of the Summer and take one step closer to living that Philippians 4:8 lifestyle?

I have done many physical detox’s in my life. Some with great success, and some with failed results. I have recently begun a new physical detox that I have prayed about and hope will help me sustain a healthy lifestyle as I age. If I am willing to make the physical and financial sacrifice to do a physical detox, how could I not make the far more important commitment of a Spiritual Detox?  I should and I am! 

My prayer is that you will take it with me so that we can encourage each other along the way. Detox’s are hard! We feel withdrawals physically as we replace unhealthy food choices with healthy food choices. You can believe we will feel spiritual withdrawals as well, as we clean out the old bad habits and replace them with the healthy good habits.

Are you in? I pray that you will pray about it and meet me back here next week as we begin our Spiritual Detox to become the person that God created us to be from the inside out!

Speak Truth Love

‘Talkin’ ‘Bout My Girl’

“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day

When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.

Well I guess you’d say,

What can make me feel this way?

My Girl!

Talking ‘Bout My Girl!”

Tomorrow marks the day that my sunshine came into my life! Thirty-two years ago Christina Nicole was born and nothing had ever captivated me so! My heart had never known love that pure, that innocent and that profound. No one had to tell her to be strong, she was born that way. Her Dad and I used to joke that James Dobson wrote the book, ‘The Strong-Willed Child,’ based on her! 

Her strength does not guide her to the stage, where she’s front and center. It draws her to the planning and executing of each and every little detail that goes into an event, large or small, to make it perfection in every way! Hers’ is the voice that each leader hears before they ever step foot on the stage. It draws out the plan, thinks through each and every detail, and gives them the encouragement to take the steps to the stage they were called to. She is the strength and backbone behind the scenes, that make all those out front look good! 

She is my Treasure, I value her and love who God created her to be. She is a compliment to me and to so many others!

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In a world that is still seeking the meaning of womanhood, I am so thankful that I have a girl who embodies it!

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good and not harm, all the days of her life.”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

She loves her husband with not just her words, but her deeds. She is respectful to him and shows him the honor he is due!

She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the days work for her servant girls.”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

I know she wishes she had servant girls! That would make her role easier! She is up early and stays up late to make sure her family is cared for. My Girl ALWAYS has the plan, and we are all the better for it!

She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

She not only takes care of her two children she also nannies, loves and pours into the lives of the children of others, to bring in money for her family.

Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and open her arms to the needy!”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

Her hands are busy, not idle, and her heart is always reaching out to those in need. She and her husband sponsor two children overseas, and recently just sponsored a new little one from Africa. Her heart was so touched when they heard about this child that they gave up something to sponsor her also!

She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

This one I claim about her with explanation! She is by nature a “worrier.” That is the way God designed her. But I have seen her overcome this fear and worry, time and time again as she faithfully puts her trust in God!

When she speaks her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

She is intellect beyond words. Her wisdom comes out in her instruction, but what is more obvious is her kindness, as she does not wield it out there and cause others to feel “less-than!” 

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her;”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

Her children and husband are the greatest testament to what I am sharing. They love her and speak nothing but good about her!

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There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but You surpass them all!”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

Those of you that are familiar with Proverbs 31, which are the verses that I just quoted above, understand that this Proverb is not speaking of one woman alone. This proverb is speaking to the virtue that all women can attain if they commit their lives and hearts to God and His purposes alone!

My girl is my blessing, and the blessing of all those she comes in contact with; family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances etc…as she strives to live out the powerful life of a Proverbs 31 woman!

The question of Womanhood, its place, value and potential, is answered for us in the life of a Believer. Our worth is found in Christ ALONE! 

This verse does not say we have to be ALL of these things to have worth or value.

We can be any measure of these things. We are all valued by God for who we are!

If we desire to be ‘POWERFUL’ in our generation, then we will own who we are and strive to be virtuous with all we have!

A Woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” Proverbs 31:30

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A WOMAN’S GREATEST POWER IS IN FEARING THE LORD!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ‘MY GIRL!’ YOU TRULY DO BRING SUNSHINE TO ALL OF MY DAYS! 

Speak Truth Love

FAMILY

“We are family, I got all my sisters with me!”

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My sisters and I dance to this song by Sister Sledge at every family wedding! We dance with enthusiasm and joy in our hearts knowing that God has made us sisters and has made us family even though we have gone through a lot of the good, the bad, and the ugly! Every family does! But we dance because we know that God has made us family and we are sisters and we live this life doing the best we can to set an example for him and be at peace!

For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.                                                                             Psalm 122:8

This topic may draw you in and make you want to read more. It may also, make you want to push the delete button!  In either case it is bound to stir up emotions, positive and negative. We all have them, families that is. They come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. And no matter how good, bad, or ugly the make-up of our family is, there are both good and bad feelings that go along with them.

There are a few places in the bible where the word FAMILY is used.  

In the Old Testament it is primarily used in the classical dictionary definition of a unit of people. A group of people that are biologically connected to each other. In the traditional sense, they are blood related and dwelling together.

“a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered a group or unit, that dwells together and is blood related.”  Traditional Family

The scriptures we find about family in the Old Testament are all defined by this “traditional definition.”

This is the account of the FAMILY line of Esau.”                    Genesis 36:1

In the days of Joiakim, these were the heads of the priestly families; of Seraiah’s family, Mariah, of Jeremiah’s Hannah…”                                            Nehemiah 12:12

Their genealogical record listed the heads of families and 20,200 fighting men.                                                                                                  I Chronicles 7:9

Now that we have the definition down, let’s look at the point that our families present us with the “good, the bad and the ugly!”

I am going to go out on a limb here, and possibly isolate myself from some of you, when I say; I believe that is exactly the way God intended it to be! Why? Because God makes families! And through our families we experience the good, the bad, and the ugly as we live life together! We choose our friends, but God choses our families!

In the beginning when God created us, He made us to be families!

This is the written account of Adam’s FAMILY line; When God created mankind, He made them in the likeness of God.”                                            Genesis 5:1

We were created by God, to be like God and to be FAMILY!

It is not always easy, but we are challenged, molded, sharpened and strengthened, if we allow ourselves to be! I know that not all of our families are healthy and positive. But, I do believe that even out of the negative aspects of family, God does His great healing and transforming work. If we allow Him to!

We all bring our strengths and weaknesses to the FAMILY. If we allow God to strengthen our weaknesses through those in our family, and heal wounds that only He can heal, then our strengths will be heightened and we will be more like the person He created us to be!

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.Proverbs 27:17

God created us with a desire and need for community. Yes, friends are important and our family of believers is essential! But to neglect God’s created purpose for biological family is wrong. 

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Today is May 14th, my sister Krissy’s birthday! This day reminds me that I am blessed by her and her tender, loving, giving heart! She is 10 and a half years younger than I am! She is a baby in my eyes! God brought her into my life when I was just old enough to realize that things with my mom and dad were not good. I did not understand the depth of all of it at the time. But, I do know that my heart was troubled, unsettled and sad. Then Krissy was born! She was pure love and goodness! She was tender and gave love freely! She still does!

God blessed me with her 48 years ago, and she continues to be my baby Sis, to this day! She loves BIG, and I am so thankful for her in my life!

She was my third sister. She rounded all of us out perfectly. Each one of my sister’s plays a vital role in my life, and they strengthen and sharpen me and help me be the person God has created me to be! I thank God for giving them to me! Alongside them come their husbands and children and grandchildren. As our FAMILY grows and increases, my life is richer and stronger. Sure, we have as many ups as we have downs, but we are FAMILY, and I truly do, “have all my sisters with me!”

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God makes us FAMILY to help make us who He wants us to be!

We need to do our part to love, honor and respect the family God made us a part of. The good, the bad, and the ugly of it. All of it is God-ordained and helps make us who God wants us to be!

Happy birthday baby Sis! You are a blessing and a gift from God! I love you and celebrate you!

Speak Truth Love

Mother’s Day

Wow, it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday!

Doesn’t it feel like we just had Easter? That’s because we did!

With Easter being as late as it was this year, Mother’s Day is already here!

If you are reading my Blog for the first time or for the hundredth time, you know that I LOVE BEING A MOM! In my life it is my complete Joy, Gift, Blessing and Calling!

 When God blessed me with my incredible husband, I thought I died and went to heaven! I think I actually might have! Why would this godly man chose me? Then three years after we were married God blessed us with our first child, a beautiful baby girl with the biggest crystal blue eyes! Her eyes were so blue that after we named her Christina, my Mom told me I named her wrong! She said, “You should have named her Crystal, because of her crystal blue eyes!”

She was right of course, as Mom’s ALWAYS are!  Two and a half years later God blessed us with our son! An equally beautiful boy with the biggest almond shaped smokey blue eyes that I had ever seen! It was then that I realized why God joined me together with that godly man!

We were both dedicated to raising a godly heritage. I realized that this was my greatest calling in life, because more than anything, I realized that the only way to do that was not in my power. It was not through any good that I could do, not through loving them more, not through reading the greatest books out there on parenting, not on listening to the strongest podcast or online teaching on parenting, and not by seeking out the most decorated counselor society had to offer. There was only one way to accomplish this harrowing task: It would take my complete and udder discipline and commitment to my God and my man!  That’s right, you read this correctly. In order to raise a godly heritage I would need to commit myself first to God and His disciplines in my life, and second, to my husband and our marriage relationship. This would cost me time, effort and saying “NO” to anything or anyone that would get in the way of these two commitments. It would mean that God, His Word, prayer, worshipping and serving Him would come before ME, MY MAN, and MY CHILDREN!

If I have confused you at this point then let me clarify. My children are blessed when I put my relationship with God first and their father next. This allows them to see in action, not just words, God’s purpose for our relationship with Him and with marriage. 

Was this an easy task? NO, absolutely not!

I take no credit for accomplishing it, I only give all the glory to God! I had to make the commitment and He had to do the work! I was called to obedience in this, and He was FAITHFUL!

I messed up plenty of times, and I still do! But my commitment has remained, and His Faithfulness has endured! 

The greatest JOYS along with the greatest pains have come in raising a godly heritage!

This is what happens when we love authentically and wholeheartedly. We hold nothing back! We trust God to fill in where our weaknesses lack. We continue to step out in faith and trust and watch Him do the work! We allow Him to accomplish what only He can, children who know Him, love Him, trust Him and follow Him! 

I realize that some of you reading these words are not biological Mom’s, but please hear me when I say, you are honored, revered, and needed as godly female influences. Children  are blessed by you, and they need you!

Happy Mother’s Day to You for the impact and example you have had in the lives of numerous children!

My favorite verse for Mom’s of all ages, stages, and descriptions is this:

Trust in the Lord with All your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”  

Proverbs 3:5-6

Step one to becoming a great Mom is to realize that you can not do it in your own strength and wisdom. You need the strength and wisdom that God gives to any of us who ask!

Then my next bit of advice is this: TRUST HIM TO GIVE IT TO YOU!

One of the best quotes I have seen lately is this one by Lisa Bevere;

“A Mother’s INTUITION is often DIVINE DIRECTION from The Holy Spirit.”

AMEN!

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Commit yourself to God, and trust in His leading, you cannot lose if you do!

Happy Mother’s Day to all women out there! You are unique, chosen and loved by your Heavenly Father!

Speak Truth Love

He is Worthy!

You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭

I am speechless and in awe of the fact that MY GOD IS WORTHY! Worthy to receive all that I can give Him: my time, my respect, and my life!

He created me and the world I live in. The air I breathe, the food I eat and the people I love are all created by Him. They are a gift from Him to me to enjoy! My heart full of gratitude and thanks is the least I can give back to Him.
Everything in the world is created by Him and all glory, honor and power are due Him!
Today, I am struck with this Truth….the sunshine I see brightening my day, the breeze I feel softly on my face and the birds I hear singing their song are all created by The Creator Himself! He hung every star, He gave every flower it’s scent and He created each and every human being with their own unique fingerprint and character. He made you and He made me and He is worthy my friend.

Truth Bomb

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Our God is worthy to receive all glory and honor and praise!

Our God is worthy of all we have and all we are!

Speak Truth Love