Seek, Wait, Receive and Repeat

Hello everyone. I hope you are well and enjoying your long weekend.

Last Monday was my 13th wedding anniversary! My husband and I enjoyed our time together. We didn’t do a lot, but what we did was meaningful to us. What a blessed day. I am grateful to God for ordaining our marriage before the foundation of the world. Praise the Lord.

We are twenty-one days into the new year. There have been triumphs and challenges and through it all, I have been praising God. It has been my desire to grow in my walk with Christ as well as live the life he has given me. To be more like Him in every aspect of my life. I am learning to continually seek him first in all things big and small.

Jeremiah 29:11“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (NIV).

In July, I will turn forty. I am looking forward to it. I have been making all kinds of plans for the things I desire to do. While making my plans, I was reminded to keep God at the forefront of everything. God wants me to have an abundant life, but he also wants me to keep him first.

Matthew 6:33 – “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you” (KJV).

We must learn to take the scripture literally. We have to consistently seek God’s kingdom first so the things we desire can be added unto us, not the other way around.

I was recently reminded of this lesson a couple of weeks ago. In 2017 my family and I moved from Philadelphia to Georgia. One of the first visits we wanted to make was to the Georgia Aquarium. I heard such great things about it and could not wait to take my family. When I began planning it (I LOVE planning things), I looked online to get an idea of the pricing and boy was I shocked! For a family of five, the tickets including parking was about $170! Well…we just could not do that. My finances had drastically changed as a result of our move. I was no longer working, and my husband was the primary breadwinner. In my prayer time, I expressed my feelings to God and asked if he could open the door for my family to visit the aquarium. Six months went by and I could not find a coupon or discount code anywhere. All the while, my children were asking when we would go, and all I said was, “When the time is right.”

It was now 2019 and we still had not visited the aquarium. We visited other great places in Georgia, but not the aquarium. During the first week of January, my husband was out and about in Atlanta, and came across a group that was advertising a festival. The festival would take place the entire weekend and it included tickets to…you guessed it, Georgia State Aquarium.

For two adults and up to four children the tickets were a GRAND total of $54!! When I read the flyer, I lifted my hands in praise to God, because I knew this was the answer to my prayer. Not only did we get the tickets for $54, but we did not have to pay for the other sights within the aquarium that range from $25 pp to $75 pp. We did everything and it was FREE!!

On January 13th, the day before my wedding anniversary we visited the aquarium and had a wonderful time and a great family outing. I know it may seem small, but it was not small to me. God answered my prayer specifically and gave me more than what I asked for.

This is why we seek God in everything. He has perfect timing and he knows what’s best in all things. We must be careful not to go about life making our own plans while leaving God out. Sure, I could have saved up the $170, but look at what I would have missed out on if I had my own plan. My God gave me something better, and that is exactly what he wanted all along. This is why I trust him. He sees the end from the beginning. He knew, before I prayed, there would be a blessing bigger than what I requested.

There have been times God has answered my prayers immediately. And there are prayers I’ve been praying since I was ten years old that I am waiting to manifest. No matter how long, I will trust the process and continually seek his kingdom first. The longer the wait the bigger the blessing.

As children of God, we must remember God has our very best interest in heart. However, to get God’s best, there is a waiting process. The waiting process involves God working on our heart so we can be ready for the blessing.

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (NLT).

With all the places I desire to go and things I desire to do, I am going to seek Him first. He knows the way that I take. He knows what’s best for me. I trusted Him with my life this far and I plan on going all the way.

Will you trust Him with the plans for your life?

Blessings.

Please enjoy the video below. It was pretty cool!

 

 

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

Resolutions No…Living Yes

Hi there. Happy New Year! I hope you are still celebrating. Praise God for another year to be in the land of the living. I enjoyed my New Year’s. I spent most of my time being with my family while watching A LOT of movies!

One of the movies I watched was called, Me Before You. It was FANTASTIC and I believe confirmed my post, which I wrote over three weeks ago. Sidebar, it is so important to understand the timing of God in everything. 😊

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I learned years ago that most resolutions fail. There is nothing wrong with setting goals, but resolutions, no thanks!

As each year passes, my greatest desire is to continuously deepen my relationship with Christ. I want to please the Lord by being the best Christian, wife, mother, and friend he created me to be; by his grace. My other desire is to enjoy my life. To enjoy the one life God has given me. I know that seems like a given, but for many years, I did not know I could enjoy my life.

I had a difficult upbringing filled with a lot of pain and sorrow. For a long time, I believed my life was destined to be full of pain and nothing more. At one time, I believed the lies of the enemy and thought my life would always be full of defeat. As I grew in Christ and began my healing process, I learned he wanted more for my life. I learned he wants me to have an abundant life and he wanted me to enjoy it.

John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (KJV).

Ecclesiastes 2:24 – “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God” (KJV).

When I learned God wanted me to have a joyful and abundant life, my mindset changed, and I began to desire much more. There are so many things I have not done, all because I believed I could not do them, but now…

I want to visit Japan, go horseback riding, go ice skating, stay at an eight-star resort and order room service (with my hubby). Go to my first concert EVER! I want to see my favorite Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. I want to go to the Opera, go camping (in a cabin, not the woods). I desire to go on an African safari, and the list truly goes on and on 😊.

I probably won’t be able to do all these things this year! I still have young children. But I have placed my prayer requests before God, and I have faith that at the right time, he will give me the desires of my heart according to his will.

Now, please hear me. God is not a genie. We don’t just go to him when we want something. Our primary goal should be to glorify God always. But God enjoys seeing his children blessed and prosperous. And he wants us to come to him about EVERYTHING.

I’ve been through so much in my life, and know I will face additional circumstances, because that’s life. But regardless of the obstacles I will face, God still wants me (AND YOU) to have an abundant life.

Do you have any desires, dreams or long-terms goals? I am sure you do! Tell God about it. He already knows what is in your heart. God desires to give us what we want according to his will. All we have to do is ask.

I John 5:14-15 – “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (KJV).

Psalm 20:4 – “May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed” (NLT).

You only get one life, it is your responsibility to live it as fully as possible.” –
From the movie Me Before You. I think you should watch the movie, it was in my opinion, beautiful and funny too.

 

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Transition

Hello everyone! How are you? I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

In a few hours it will be 2019. How are you feeling? Are you excited? I am grateful for the opportunity to be alive, because it means God is not done with my life or yours. However, I am also uncertain about what the New Year will bring.

The last two years of my life have been full of transition. In the beginning, it was marvelous, joyous and amazing. However, the second half was filled with uncertainty, pain, and loneliness. I never knew that transition ordained by God could cause so much pain.

When God is doing something new in us, we are excited about it. But we only want the good parts. The parts that won’t hurt or cause us to change. But the hard part is what God uses to transition us into the person He desires us to be.

I began to ponder on the process of transition and God brought the birth process to my mind. When a woman finds out she’s pregnant, it is a time of joy (most times). During the first trimester, she may experience nausea, but other than it is glorious. She has her first ultrasound, hears the heartbeat, and finds out the sex. It is exciting.

The second trimester brings little discomfort. The baby is constantly growing. You feel flutters and kicking, all while enjoying this perfect gift from God. You have cravings and don’t feel as guilty about eating the foods you want (Well, I didn’t 😊).

The third trimester, for most women, is the time of their greatest discomfort. You may have some fear as you don’t know what it will be like as the birthing process for each woman is different. Your extremities may be swollen. You are tired of carrying the extra weight. You are tired. Your belly is big and heavy. It is hard to sleep. You are ALWAYS using the facilities. The baby is continuously moving, because he or she is running out of space. Not long after, a woman’s water breaks and the real work begins.

It is during this process most women want it to be over. The pain…oh the pain. You are excited to meet your baby and you have been waiting for this moment. However, during this time, the pain you experience is at its highest peak. All this is happening while your blessing is arriving. And this is exactly what transition is. The process is joyous, uncomfortable, painful, and then joyful again.

John 16:21 – “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.”

My transition is still very uncomfortable, and I want it to be over. But I am learning that when things are most painful, it means I am close to the finish line. It means my blessing is near.

Just because the clock turns twelve does not mean all of our problems will suddenly disappear. It does not mean your transition is over. Nor does it mean if things are good right now, it won’t change as the New Year begins. As we continue to walk with Christ, we will always be in a state of transition. I encourage you to keep going and NEVER give up. Have faith, cry, shout, pray, and cry some more if you must, but continue moving forward in Christ. Your blessing is coming…the promise is coming.

Romans 8:18 – I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

As we end 2018, I want to leave my favorite scripture with you:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

Happy New Year! No matter where you find yourself, God has great things in store for YOU! See you next year!

Darlene

 

I will never forget my first or my second

Hello everyone. I hope you had a great weekend! Can you believe it’s December? Twenty-two days until Christmas. It is unbelievable how fast the year went by. Are you looking forward to the new year? I am excited for the opportunity to start over. I am ready to accomplish the natural and spiritual goals I’ve set for myself. I am also looking forward to my 13th wedding anniversary. Lord, thank you.

As a ponder over the past twelve years, I am in awe of God’s grace. My husband and I have experienced extreme highs and unbelievable lows, but we did it and stayed together. My marriage was the first positive relationship in my life. Actually, my husband was my first in many ways.

Let me backtrack a bit. God was my first. He was the first person I learned loved me exactly the way I was. As a child, I never had anyone love me that way. Whenever I made a mistake I trembled with fear of harsh reprimand. When it came to God, I was also fearful because I thought if I messed up, he would turn his back on me. However, the day I came into the realization of God’s love for me, it changed my life. I finally understood there was nothing I could do to get God to stop loving me.

After walking with God for several years, I was very secure in his love for me, but I struggled with believing he could send me someone who could love me just the same. I never expressed those feelings to God, but I am so glad he knows the secrets and desires of our hearts.

Psalms 139: 1-2 “Lord, you have examined me and know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them.”

Years later, God answered my heart’s desire and sent me a physical example of unconditional love when he brought my husband into my life. I had been healed from so much pain, but there was still some unresolved trauma I was not aware of. It was not until after I married, that those issues resurfaced.  My husband loved me through it all.

The Lord was my first spiritual example of true love and my husband was my spiritual and physical example! Through all of my ups and downs, my husband loved me as Christ loved the church…unconditionally. Sure, we had other issues that had nothing to do with my trauma, but we learned to work through all of it, allowing God to be the third cord in our marriage.

Ecclesiastes 4:12A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (NLT).

The relationship with my husband taught me how to persevere, sacrifice, and endure; especially when things did not go my way. When you think about it, it is similar to the relationship we have with the Father. We endure trials, tests and hardship, but at the end of it all, we win.

James 2:12 – “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (ESV).

God was my first. He loved me, healed me and set me free. My husband was my second. The person God sent to aid in my remaining healing process.

Before dating and most certainly before we wed, it is important we are healed from past issues, otherwise, we will bring those issues into your relationship as I did. However, God is so merciful and full of wisdom that He knew who to send to aid in my healing process. That is His unconditional love. My FIRST love, before I knew that HE was.

God bless you.

 

Photo by Asaf R on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone! How are you on this Thanksgiving afternoon? 😊 I hope you are feeling blessed. I live in Georgia and the weather is beautiful today. The temperature will be about 60 and that is my husband’s favorite kind of weather. Later today, he will be outside on our deck grilling duck! Not my cup of tea, but it makes him happy.

I have been up since 6 am preparing for the day. A day of chopping, cooking, and cleaning; but most of all, giving thanks. As I cook, I am thankful for simply having food on my table with enough to feed my family and plenty of leftovers. Growing up, my Thanksgivings did not feel this way. The Thanksgivings I remember were filled with nervousness and anxiety because everything had to be perfect. Food cooked perfectly, the right outfit, and I had to be sure I said the right things.

Ephesians 5:20 – “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NIV).

I am thankful that as I cook for my family, each of my children enjoys lending a hand in the kitchen. The oldest keeps it clean as I move from dish to dish. My little ones don’t ask for much because they understand the magnitude of what’s happening in the kitchen and that alone is helpful. Besides, they know the mac and cheese is coming…

I am thankful that my Thanksgiving is easy going. My children don’t have to worry about being dressed “properly” and doing and saying the right things. I am thankful that my home is full of God’s peace and joy.

My prayer as each of us prepares for Thanksgiving, is that we focus on what matters. It’s not the perfect turkey, the perfect meal or the perfect outfit. What matters is that you are here another year with the ability to give thanks to our God.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for…

Hello all, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are preparing for Thanksgiving! Like many people, I enjoy this time of year. I enjoy it most because I can spend uninterrupted time with my family as well as reflect on God’s goodness.

This year, I am thankful for many things. One of the things I am most thankful for is YOU! I am thankful that you take time to read, like, and comment on my posts. I am thankful for the opportunity to express myself. I am grateful I have met bloggers all over the world as a result of stepping out on faith and starting my blog. I am thankful to have other bloggers who have the same goal; to share the love of Christ.

I want to take the time to say THANK YOU! Your support means more than you will ever know. You never know who you are impacting by doing the small things. For me, the small thing is reading my posts.

Thank you!

No matter where you find yourself in life’s journey, my prayer for you during this season is that you give thanks. Give thanks for the great things and the small. Give thanks that God has not given up on you. Give thanks that he loves you with an everlasting love. Give thanks our Lord is coming back for his church real soon. Finally, give thanks that he has given all of us an opportunity to share our faith about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Once again…THANK YOU. Enjoy your Thanksgiving

 

 

 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash