Overflow and Fairytales

As a child, it was so easy to believe it all. I wanted to be everything when I grew up. Well, now it’s here. I’m grown up. This is the age when adults do adult things. I’m turning 29 in less than a month, and the people I babysat are grown up, too. As for me, I’ve been cleaning a lot, giving away some things, and making space for my reality.

IMG_20131105_020141

I backed off of the internet big time in the last few months, if you’ve noticed. I deleted the Facebook app and deleted a lot of people off of my “friends” list, and made my Instagram private. I almost stopped writing blogs altogether. Crazy, right? The truth is that Facebook isn’t ME. I’m a person, flesh and bone. I live in Atlanta. I have a phone, and an address. I drive a car, and I get coffee and meals with friends and my boyfriend. If you want to be my real friend, I’m available. I’ve been available since 1987, whereas I only got on Facebook in 2005. Back then it was just for college kids, and I wish it had stayed that way. It was much more useful to message someone in the same chem lab and get a study group together, instead of sifting through hoards of cat videos and awkward political posts that fill it up now. What’s the use? Pictures. Information. Announcements. Gender reveals. I would hope that my friends would tell me directly, right? When my best friend got engaged, I heard directly. When one of my best friend’s grandfather passed away, I heard directly. I don’t need the birthday reminders to tell me when my family has a birthday, or when one of my closest friends is turning a year older. It’s almost like we’ve settled into an audience seat instead of being IN other people’s daily lives.

I’m backing off of that so that I can make room for reality. And this is what I wanted to write about: reality.

This is my reality: I work over 40 hours pretty much every week between two jobs. That’s overtime. I get home and sometimes I’m wired, and sometimes I’m super tired. I have a few best friends, and I am head-over-heels in love with my boyfriend. I write a devotional on my spare time, because I think there are people who are willing but want direction. I secretly enjoy teaching, but openly enjoy writing. I think the Bible is inviting and approachable, and it makes me want to go there. Women’s ministry has blurred more into relational ministry than anything else. One friend is finally selling her wedding dress, and is praying that the buy is finalized soon. One friend is going through a tough divorce. One friend is looking at moving to a smaller place. One friend is celebrating that her child is finally cancer-free. You see? It started out as “ministry” but now it’s blurred into friendship. I’m working on boundaries and praying through what that looks like, but I’m beginning to understand that what started out as a “mission” and “calling” is slowly becoming my lifestyle and not something I switch on and off. This is me, and I have a heart for women and discipleship. I am also learning what parts of my life are reserved for only my closest people and mentors.

Now let me tell you about fairytales and overflow: they’re real. It’s a thing. Psalm 23 talks about God’s anointing and His perfect ability to shepherd us unto overflow. Overflow is a real place and a real concept for you and me. If you’ve been on the struggle bus like Job for years and years, don’t forget to read the last chapter. Don’t forget God’s punch line to that story of suffering: double restoration. That’s overflow. Jesus was crucified and buried, but He rose again. Overflow. Don’t get it twisted to call it a fairytale, and roll your eyes, and discredit it as naiveté. Don’t get embittered to the point where you despise the promise of God’s very real abundance. The only thing that could ever disqualify you from God’s abundance is your unwillingness to receive it. SO. I have three little words for you:

OPEN

YOUR

HEART.

You might need to tell your mind to shut up. You might need to tell your mouth to shut up. You might have to change everything you have, and start wearing bright colors again. Paint a wall sky blue. You might need to start hanging out with younger people who sing pop songs and eat lollipops, because you need hope. Roll down the windows of your soul and stick your head out. Play in the rain. Believe that it can happen again, that love can happen, and grace can happen, and that a new adventure can happen for you. You might need to get your passport and go somewhere insane, just so you can get over yourself. I challenge you to it. I challenge you to overflow, or rather to believe in it again. Believe in laughing til you cry. Believe in stomach butterflies. Believe in moments you can’t photograph, like a hot pink sky as the sun rises and little snowflakes fall down. An afternoon rain, falling on the greenest of grass. Counting shooting stars on a rooftop in the middle of the night. Digging your toes in the finest of sand, wondering just how the water could be so blue. Holding that person’s hand that feels so warm, knowing what an insane blessing it is to be in love and to be loved in this short life. Having a little child tell you that they love you, and giggle at you, and pull you to play. THAT. You can only have these things, truly, if your heart is open to appreciate them.

I thought my plant was about to bloom, but it took 22 days for it to actually bloom. Sometimes we think things are just around the corner, and we get disappointed in the waiting. Rest assured, that bloom was worth the wait. Whatever it is you’re desperately waiting for, expectantly, I pray you don’t lose heart. I pray you find your brave moments of joy while you wait. I pray you keep your heart open and stay willing to receive it from God in His perfectly unrushed timing. If it took 22 extra days for a tiny yellow flower, I believe the Lord is also working inwardly and purposefully on your promise’s reveal.

There’s a tragic thing that sometimes happens to people who have been through so much pain, and that is they forget what carefree and happy looks like. They’re traumatized and that trauma traps them like a bug under a jar. The good news is that we are made new in Christ. New means new. New means stop replaying it over and over in your head. New means stop dwelling there and move. New. New looks different and even acts different, and it’s not faking because it’s… new. You have permission to be new, you know. It’s not cheating on your past to be new, it’s giving your present a purpose and your future a chance. Jesus has the gift of “new” for you, and he wraps it with carefree paper and ties it with a ribbon of happy.

This life is only so long, and I pray you’re alive in yours, with the powerful ability to make an impact as an adult, yet the wonderful privilege of receiving overflow like a child.

DAILY DEVOS RETURN…

As you all know, the #ATLdevo began back in September of 2014, and ran until about August 2015. Every single day, I made it a discipline to write what I was learning with Jesus, and posted it ONLINE, and not only that, but delivered every morning to the inboxes of 80+ people. NO PRESSURE!

atldevo6115

The feedback was incredible. Just incredible. Let me quote some of the emails/texts/messages I’ve gotten throughout this year of writing…

“We, your devo followers, are so thankful you said yes. I know you’re growing from it and it’s a big encouragement.”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for your obedience in doing this devotional. This devotional continues to raise me out of so many heart-heavy situations.”

“I look forward to these devotions every day! Thank you for your heart! It is making a difference in my life! Thank you for your obedience!”

“Oh my goodness, you don’t know how your messages speak to me. The last couple of ones I find myself crying and asking God for more of Him!”

“Very thankful for your ministry here. It’s been too long since I journaled about the goodness of the Father and too long since I’ve been still and quiet early in the day. Love the prompts as well! Keep serving faithfully as you are!”

“Thank you for your inspiration and interaction with daily verses and uplifting words. Your obedience to God is one of the many gifts He’s given. You are a treasure to those of us receiving them.”

“Thank you for your daily devotionals. Really great stuff and God inspired.”

“I have been going back and reading the Phylla House devos: SO GOOD! I might use them next year for my class :D”

“Thank you Helena, for allowing God to use you in our lives! Today’s devo… it was exactly what I needed.”

“Your devos are amazing and I can hear your voice as I read them! So great! Thank you for blessing me and so many others with them already!!!”

These are quotes in reaction to the devos I wrote in 2014 to 2015. I picked 100 of those devotionals and published them in a book! You can buy that book here!

book

Why am I charging for this book? Well… I have 80+ people who got it for free, one page at a time, via email and reading the Phylla House blog where the devos were originally hosted. The subscribers actually got more than that, because some of the devotionals didn’t make it into the book. After that, I prayed hard and pulled the devos from the blog, edited them fiercely, and published them in tangible form.

The cool announcement is that I’M DOING IT AGAIN!!! Fresh devos, page by page, delivered to your inbox, free as birds, imperfect  probably, full of late-night/early-morning Love.  You can subscribe to the Phylla House blog and see it unveil one page at a time, as God teaches me over the next year. How does that sound?

And then, God willing, at the end of 2016, I’ll revise the devos and publish them in book form once more, in time for you to gift them to your friends and family, having “already read it” if you know what I mean 😉

I hope you’ll come along with me.

The journey starts again on January 6th, 2016.

Much love,

Helena

Difference-Maker

 

I am the difference-maker, oh I am the only one that speaks to him, oh I am the friendliest of friends of God.”

I sing this from time to time, and I believe it’s true for each of us, but lately I was doubting it for myself. I didn’t doubt that I was doing something, but a difference? I wasn’t sure if I was making a difference. Writing blogs and making phone calls and posting things here and there. Yes, the book is selling kinda steady. Yes.

BUT fruit is kind of tricky. We get used to seeing 10 apples and when we see 10 apples for long enough, we start to feel like that’s just not enough fruit… are you catching my drift? We start to wonder where the watermelons are. We want BIG spiritual fruit. We want to see results and wild breakthrough, and fiery revival sparking left and right. We want that crazy church camp high, the conference buzz. We want the hairs on our arms to stand up, and the tears to flood, and the hands to grow hot.

IMG_20131105_020141

Yeah… no. That hasn’t happened for me in a while. My discipline? Yeah, out the window after the book was published. I haven’t read as much, or written as much. I haven’t picked back up with the #ATLdevo posts for Phylla House yet. I haven’t even tried very hard to talk about the book. YALL.

I feel like I’ve been waiting for the spiritual CPR to happen at any minute, for me to get struck by Holy lightning and start glowing in the dark, and write about THAT. Yet it’s been just over 2 months and I hear no thunder. So maybe, I thought, this is what is on my plate right now that I should share.

There’s another song called You Revive Me, and the words call my tears to well up. I get reminded that God is in charge of reviving me. I don’t have to pep rally my heart without sincerity, and I definitely don’t have to beat myself up for this strange blah feeling. Only God can satisfy my soul, and only God can revive me in these times where it feels like my motivation went on vacation and left me laying on my belly. I’m here, and I’m breathing, and I am happy. It just feels weird, like something is numb or dormant.

If I start comparing myself to productive Helena who blogs twice a week and posts devotionals daily and schedules posts a month in advance and turns everything in on time, AND drives to Gainesville to make home visits, and schedules ministry calls, and looks for local ministries to visit and bless… okay, you get it. I feel like I’m at about 20% of the usual overachiever me.

Maybe I’m not an overachiever anymore? Maybe God is trying to show me that He’s just as pleased with me when I’m laying low as He is when I have my hand in every cookie jar? Maybe I have to learn that there’s a time to be the caffeinated fairy godmother and a time to calm down all my horses and shamelessly eat queso in bed?

I’m learning something. I’m onto something here.

I’ve had joking conversations about how I ran out of goals that I have any control over. I ran marathons and published a book. I traveled the world and now I have a job I love. And yet waiting on the rest of the dreams in my heart is still difficult. I see it coming in the future, and that actually makes it harder to wait.

What do I do in the middle? What should I do again? Another book? More posts? More steady blogs? Bring back the daily devo? Start a new hobby? Honestly, it all sounds good but I have zero human motivation. This has to be fueled by the Spirit. This isn’t something I can muster up and do on my own strength, from a guilty sense of obligation.

This is what I’m learning. The only way I can be a difference-maker is if I’m fueled by the Spirit. I need to be patient, yielded over to Him. I think this is what it’s like to rest? It feels extremely unproductive and wasteful, but I’m waiting on Him. The steady fruits are still here. I still get messages and texts that say “this is exactly what I needed” or “I spent hours reading your blogs” or “thank you for writing” and things like that. I don’t ever want to take any of those for granted. I don’t want it to feel like the 10 apples, you know what I mean?

Thanks for hanging in there with me through the ups and downs. I pray you know that you’re making a difference, even when you don’t feel like it. God makes everything beautiful in His timing, and it is our utmost privilege to trust Him. That’s the truth that sets us free.

Receiving Psalm 23

Have you ever found yourself written into scripture? And you’re reading and realizing that it’s you that part of the Bible is talking about? I think we have the whole Word of God to receive. Every little bit of it, plus everything that God is currently talking about. I chose to receive Psalm 23 in its entirety, and it looks like you’re reading The Message version, but nah… it’s my version, my personal interpretation of how I received this psalm. I challenge you to write your own. I challenge you to receive the Word of God for yourself. It was written for your benefit, for your heart.

Here’s my psalm 23:

I look around and I’m satisfied.
You’ve taken care of my needs,
This whole time, and You do, and You will.
Your goodness and 
mercy
Keep following me.
You reach out Your hand
For the table is ready,
My feast with the King.
You sure You want me?
You know where I’ve been,
What I’ve done, where I failed.
Yet You love me so fiercely.
Why did You choose me?
I see You walking through
All of my valleys.
Why do You call me?
Why are You singing?
You keep teaching me,
Patiently.
Showing me kindness.
I’m led to green vastness.
This rest feels like home.

I can breathe here.
By waters of peace.
I lay myself down,

with my burdens, my limits,
And my expectations.
I’ll be who You say.
I’ll do what You do.
It’s so much better when I let You lead.
Your love so unfailing
Fills my longing heart.
You don’t seem to be running,
Or changing, or leaving.
Instead You stand there,
Calling me stunning.
I, so undeserving,
Find myself believing.

You don’t care who’s watching,
Or what they might think.
I’m learning from You
To keep my chin up.
My chair You pull back.
My portion is served.
My cup overflows
As You pour me new wine.

There’s nothing I lack
When I live with You,
My Shepherd and Savior.
Affectionate Lover,
What is Yours is mine.

Take Authority

According to the Strengths Finder test, my top strength is POSITIVITY. I scored 100% on that one. I can tell you why: I am borderline delusional in faith.

I think that’s what Jesus asks of us half the time, though, right? To count it all joy? To be thankful in every circumstance? To have faith to see the unseen things? To hunt for shapes in the clouds and strain our eyes to see if this just might be the most glorious sunset or sunrise yet? Because it truly truly could be, right? It could be my last one, for all I know.

cropped-srcrop.jpg

So I have endured quite a few ridiculous parts of life, where most people would have just found a bridge to jump from, and I found myself grasping, white-knuckled, rigor mortis- style to JOY. I made jokes in the middle of terrible things. I laughed at things that weren’t even funny. When Satan would torment me, and I mean TORMENT me with songs, words, names, memories, every kind of thing he could get to remind me of PAIN, I would snicker and think that it was a funny coincidence and start talking to Jesus. I went through things people get depression from, and take medicine for, and I never once thought my life was hopeless. Not one time. That, my friends, is a miracle of joy. Joy was and still is my strength. Or as the Strengths Finder calls it, positivity.

I gotta admit I became somewhat ridiculous in the process. I am often misunderstood. I sometimes say the completely wrong thing, and make a joke at inappropriate times. The world does not get me, or laugh with me. It never will. I am still tenderhearted, and goofy, and brave. I still stick out my neck for people and give give give. I am not consumed with bitterness or entitlement. I am not walking around expecting the worst of people, although it does take me longer to trust people. I am rich rich rich, even though I am still working through paying off my debts, even though I don’t have medical insurance (yet), and even though the world says I am poor and I have nothing. That is a lie, and I do not need the world to acknowledge just how loaded I am.

Elsa-Snow-Queen-GIF-Disney-Frozen

my treasures are even cooler than ice castles

Jesus says I am blessed, and if you’re in my boat, you are blessed.
When we have nothing here, you can be sure that He is our inheritance, because we are worshipers and ministers of God. I challenge you to take authority to declare over yourself that you are rich and blessed, because even if you are poor or broken in spirit, Jesus declares you blessed. You cannot yet see the crowns and the treasures laid aside for you in heaven, because if you could glimpse the richness of His presence, the lavish nature of the Creator, you would not walk in a spirit of poverty. Walking in that kind of faithlessness is not walking in a matter worthy of the calling you have received. Take authority.

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
{James 2:5}

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
{Matthew 5:3}

“I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession.”
{Ezekiel 44:28}

You have the authority to walk in such a confidence, with your head held high and a smile on your face. Bathe yourself in the truth of scripture. Lather, rinse, repeat. Lather, rinse, repeat. Take authority.

Jesus says I am rested and I have peace, and if you’re in my boat, you are rested and you have peace. When you are tired and exhausted here, you can be sure that He is carrying you and opening His arms toward you, and if you are always tired or stressed, something is wrong. If JESUS SAYS that He gives you rest if you come to Him, and He does not lie, then you are either not coming to Him AT ALL or not coming to Him ENOUGH. It is a promise you are not taking authority of, and you are shorting yourself of the promised rest of having no burdens, and walking in His righteousness.

I saw myself becoming WEARY of doing good, and it was such a red flag to me that I am not resting in the presence of God enough. You better believe I am taking authority over this, and binding myself to the Word of God and His promises. I am well-rested. I do not complain of the promises I fail to take authority over, but instead I take authority over the rest I am promised in Christ.  He says “if you want it, come and get it, for crying out loud.” Otherwise, we cease to stand out, cease to shine like the stars, fitting in with the tired, weary, Jesus-less crowd. They have no rest. We have Jesus and do not fit in with them, because we have holy rest. Take authority to stand out.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
{Matthew 11:28}

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.
{Philippians 2:14-15}

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
{Galatians 6:9}

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
{Psalm 55:22}

Jesus says I get what I want, and if you’re in my boat you get what you want. If you don’t know what you want, it stinks to be you, because you can’t ask for it and get it. For those who know what they want, they get what they want. Jesus is FOR YOU and not against you. He loves you and He delights in you. If you want something for the wrong reasons, you’re not gonna get it. If you want something outside of His timing, you’re not gonna get it. BUT (oh the sweetness) if you want something that aligns with His perfect will, which you are taught to discern and desire, you get what you want. It’s what He wants too. And He’s pleased as punch that you asked, because YES is one of His favorite words to sing over you. Are you listening?

6The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
{Zephaniah 3:17}

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
{James 4:1-3}

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
{John 16:24}

God moved in me today to admonish His people about being joyful, blessed, rich, rested, and getting what they want. He desires to have His children come to Him, comfortably, because He is a sweet Father. He wants praises on our lips about how GOOD He is to us, and the GOOD gifts He gives to us. Even in the middle, when we don’t have all the answers, He says “praise Me anyway” and He speaks all the answers over us as we do come to Him. He does not tempt us or withhold from us. He is kind to us even in the waiting.

He has called me to reach for your hand with my words and declare God’s healing over you. Do not harden your heart. Engage in God’s presence and He will show you how to love and how to take authority. Do not starve yourself when the feast is ready for you. Repent if you have been hardhearted and have not been walking in faith and love. Just turn around, redirect, take hold of His promises. Take authority.

Spring Cleaning

You know how when you start to clean, it all looks way worse than it is?

Bingo. That is my situation right now. I’m going through my clothes, and a lot of my stuff, and being realistic about what I need. It’s Spring Cleaning!

springclean

I got back from the World Race almost a year and a half ago. I remember traveling the world with a backpack and honestly thinking I had too much stuff (mostly because I had to carry it haha). And now I look around my room and realize that the more room you have, the more stuff you get.

It got me thinking about a few of spiritual parallels….

1) When the Lord is doing GOOD WORK and CLEANSING work, it at first feels worse than it did before. But just like cleaning, once everything is swept, organized, it goes back its place, and it is better than before. We can’t panic about the initial mess, but trust that there’s a method to the madness.

God isn’t a God of confusion {1Cor 14:33} and He is working all things for the good {Romans 8:28}.

2) When you make room for more, more shows up. When God does miracles, He makes people ‘make room’ first.

water wineYou see in 2 Kings 4, when Elisha has the widow go and gather jars. God multiplied her oil as she poured into the jars, and the oil only stopped pouring when she ran out of jars.

Same with the baskets God asked the disciples to gather before He multiplied food. Same with the barrels that Jesus requested to be filled with water at the wedding, before He turned them into wine. God has obedience and preparation steps before He does a miracle. He fills to the measure prepared.

Not only so, but the measure you use is measured to you. {Luke 6:38}

3) When you remove the old stuff, new things have room to be stored. When you change habits, you can form new ones. If you were to make a list of 5 things you’d like to do (for fun or for growth), what would they be?

Here are mine:

-reading more

bookhigh

-running (the weather is niiiice)

springfit

-cooking more at home (and also why running more)

lasagna

-writing more notes/cards

notes

-writing in my prophetic journal (aka listening more)

IMG_20131105_020141

This meme will never retire in this blog.

Count the cost:

In order to make room for those things, I need to clear out the other options.

All these would still remain goals if I don’t set a time and a goal.
For April, I’d like to run 30 miles, read 3 books (or at least finish 3 haha), and write 30 cards.  With cooking and prophecy, I’m not going to set a number, but only say that I am going to share my progress 🙂

superficialpeace

What do you need to clean out?

What do you want that is new for April?

ASK! Decide it now, and make steps toward it.

Spring is here.
It’s time to clean and make room!

{Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10}

My First Sermon in America

Having preached in 9 other countries, you’d think America wouldn’t be so intimidating.

Ha.

I prepared for my sermon for hours and hours, way earlier on in the week. I recorded about 2 hours of me just rambling through thoughts, going off into prayer language tangents, coming back to English, points, scriptures, words to look up, passages to break down back to Hebrew… I listened to all that and took notes. Then I did it again. Nearly 2 hours of rambling, this time on track. Telling stories. Making jokes. Revising. Editing. Cutting back. Deciding what was appropriate. Choosing my transitions.

Then I listened to that. And from this, I had my rough draft sermon notes.

Three drafts later, I had my final notes.

I woke up the morning of the sermon, and in my brain, it sounded like my thoughts were in fast forward. It was like I was speaking in my head, but so fast, so so fast. I couldn’t even grasp one sentence. It was like an auction.

“Oh no. No no no no. No. Jesus, help a girl.”

I started getting ready for church, and the brain jumble went away. As I got ready and checked my phone, I was delighted by the messages. “I’m praying for you today and speak peace over you.” “Just wanted to tell you good luck this morning even though I know you don’t need it… Love you.” “Praying for you this morning! I pray his peace is over you and that it is not your words that are spoken but His 🙂 You’re gonna rock it, Helena!” “You’re gonna do so awesome!!” And it went on and on… that’s not even getting into all the sweet Snapchats haha.

Had I not been so focused, I know I would have probably cried over the sweetness and timeliness of that wave of encouragement. I am not alone in this. There’s an army around me.

When I got to the church, I felt confident. Not in myself, or my message, or my eloquence, but confident that the Lord was going to be faithful. He wasn’t going to waste the opportunity, the sacrifice, or the time.

The slides with all the scripture verses were ready. Of course, there were tons of them, and mostly OT. Duh. Hello, fiber. Love it. I wish I could make everyone fall in love with the OT, dry and all. It’s so rich and wild and funny and raw.

My friends started showing up. People who never come to this church, people who came for the first time to try it out, just to see me. In total, we had 91 people in attendance.

So now the picture is painted for you. The music began, the pastor’s video announcement cued me in, and I found myself with a live microphone attached to my cardigan, in front of an American congregation.

As I prayed, I said to the Lord that if He doesn’t move this morning, it would be just like any other morning. If He doesn’t speak through me, I’d just be a girl with a microphone, wasting my breath. But if He chooses to move, and if He speaks, then lives and families could change from here on out.

I gave the message. I didn’t get lost. My transitions, I was told, made sense. In the response in the end, many hands were raised, people vouching that parts of their legacy would end with them, and that new beginnings would start with them. Afterwards, I was approached by a LOT of people. I can’t even tell you how many, because I honestly don’t know. I got hugs and handshakes, and a man put a wad of cash in my hand (he tried to make it all hidden but my reaction ruined it haha), and I held a few hands while tears welled up in the eyes of people saying “that meant a lot to me” and “God showed me something I need to work on, thank you.”

That’s more reward than anything I could ever ask for. To know that the Lord moved, and brought some clarity to new layers of healing that need to take place. We are always healing. We are always being sanctified, purified, refined, and sharpened. Praise the Lord when He can bring to light a new construction zone of the heart. As for a recording, there should be one up soon. When I have the link, I’ll post it. 😉

I had a really sweet woman of God approach me and ask me if I’d be interested in being a resource to adoptive parents, teaching more on legacy and family. She said it really helped her to hear the message, and that other parents going through the process would benefit from that. I was floored, and humbled, and so so excited. I have a huge heart for adoption, and it’d be so amazing to learn more and be more involved with that community. This morning had that divine appointment for me! A new door opened.

doorNow that it’s over, that it’s behind me as a sweet memory, I know that this was training ground. It seemed like the biggest test, the biggest hurdle. Now I see that it was practice. Faith practice. Obedience practice. Am I willing to step in front of a congregation and not explain myself away, not shy away, not hesitate, not talk about ME, but completely yield to what God wants to do? Am I willing to set aside my capabilities, my limitations, my reasoning, and my qualifications, in order to make room for the Lord to push beyond my strength?

I got to practice that this morning. I had to shut off my thoughts and let Him continue to speak. It’s not about me. It’s not about my past, or the people in it. None of that matters. Whatever brokenness I walked through was simply so that a demolition could take place, and a rebuilding could begin. It’s the Lord’s work. I’m His girl. I’ll keep saying yes. I do. I will. He keeps putting speaking engagements in front of me, y’all. I accept. I receive. I don’t want recognition or fame or a spotlight. I just want to tell you what my God has done. I just want to honor my King.

A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

He tells me to rise and shine.