Miracles

Do you believe in miracles?

Have you ever personally experienced a miracle?

How would you define a miracle?

Dictionary.com defines it as follows:

1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3.a wonder; marvel.
Miracles
If we take the time each day to slow down and look at our lives, as well as those close to us, I think we would see a miracle.
Did you wake up today?
Did you drive to and from work without an accident?
Did your children arrive home safely from school?
Is your home safe, clean and full of love?
Are you living a life that is beyond what you ever dreamed or imagined?
I would say each and every one of those are miracles in a small or large way.
God does amazing things for us each and every day that we take for granted.
We somehow believe that we are guaranteed safety, security and a life full of promise.
Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and to not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. “
Of course, God promised that in HIS word but we also live in a fallen world where life can become something much worse than the promises God has said He has for us.
I think of all of the years I wasted being full of fear, anxiety and eventually agoraphobia.
How much life I missed.
Sad. ūüė¶
I prayed.
I begged.
I hoped.
I gave up.
I dreamed of more.
I felt lost and alone.
Yet, God had a bigger plan.
A plan for a MIRACLE
What miracle are you needing today?
A big miracle?
A huge miracle?
miracles
Don’t let the enemy convince you that God doesn’t care or isn’t listening.
He hasn’t forgotten you today, sweet friend.
He is all ears and His heart is connected to yours.
Nothing is beyond HIS reach; even the miracle waiting in the wings.
Keep Standing
Keep Praying
Keep Moving
Praying for you and your miracle. If you have a miracle story to share, please comment and let me know. I would love to hear.

Recap 11/9 My Detour into Deception

Always Faithful

In case you missed the show, here’s the podcast.

Wow, what a trip, sitting here in the studio, telling the story of my detour into deception. So much I had to leave out, but so much I was able to share of God’s incredible faithfulness to restore what the enemy stole from me.

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He truly IS faithful, and proves it over and over as I walk this journey of faith.

To read the ‚Äúwhole story‚ÄĚ about my detour into deception and all that has happened since my deliverance 2 years ago this weekend, visit www.notafraidtotellmystory.com.

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Encouragement

Five Minute Friday

with

Lisa Jo Baker

Today, the word prompt is Encouragment

Go.

Lord, the word encouragement conjures up so many emotions inside of me.

Encouragement is so important and often we forget that it is a vital necessity to the human soul.

We need encouragement to reach for the stars, hope for the best and believe the Lord of the universe has it all under control.

We must have a hand to hold and a shoulder to lean on, cry on, share our deepest hurts but also the same hand to pick us up and encourage us to go again. To move. To believe. To trust.

Encouragement is found in a small card you receive in the mail or a small gift from a sweet friend.

My sweet friend just sent me a handmade necklace she made with her hands. Such a sweet encouragement to know someone loves me…

How about you?

How can you reach out to someone today to offer some sweet encouragement to them?

A card. A phone call. A small gift and note to cheer them on..

A wave and a cheer through the web.

Today, take the time to minister to another with a small or big bit of encouragement. God connects us for a reason.

He loves us and we should love each other.

Colossians 2:2

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of Gd, namely Christ.

The Past Has No Hold

The Past has no Hold

Other than the lessons it has taught me

and the pain I remember too well.

The Past has no hold

The lessons have been learned in the trenches and deep valleys, yet the lessons have been learned.

Proverbs 1: 5

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.

Life often hands us real situations of pain, heartache and loss, yet even in those times we can learn.

One lesson I learned in a particularly trying, painful time was this:

Not everyone can be trusted

How about you?

Have you learned a hard lesson?

Lessons are part of life. We can learn the easy way or the hard way and often God literally has to knock us over the head to make the lesson clear. Our stubbornness can get in the way or often we are waist deep in the “murk” of life we don’t even see a problem. Over time our eyes will adjust along with our heart and the “problem” or lesson will become clear.

I have learned this in so many instances, yet when I mentioned learning that not everyone can be trusted has been a very hard lesson.

I so trusted this person. We had been friends for over 15 years, yet one day I found out that life wasn’t as I had originally thought.

I saw this friendship one way and apparently she saw it a different way.

The reality hit me square in the face one fateful day when something was said that I knew was not part of a healthy relationship. God had opened my eyes and heart to the facts.

The hard facts and a hard lesson.

I felt like I had wasted so much time with this person and now I can look back to see that much of the relationship was very one sided. (mine) She didn’t care about me like I had cared for her.

She wanted my life.

But she didn’t want me..

Only to live vicariously through me.

Over time I could see that she ultimately had ulterior motives which hurt so deeply.

Lessons were learned

But

The past has no hold

The friendships I have today mean more to me than this particular friendship. The friends I have today love me and treasure my heart. Love runs deep between my true friendships.

I cherish the life I have today and the lessons I have learned.

Yet, the past is over and the future is wide open.

Possibilities abound and I am waiting patiently to see where God takes me on this new journey.

Linking up with:

Simply Beth

Jennifer Dukes Lee

Beauty in His Grip

Juana Mikels

My Daily Walk in His Grace

Praying for you today that the past will have no hold on you, other than the lessons you have learned. The past is over and the future is full of possibilites. God has a huge plan for you and for me.

” God has a bigger plan for me than I have for myself.”

Hugs XOXO

Beauty Surrounds Me

Beauty Surrounds Me

In the small

In the quiet

In the large

In the loud

Sweet

Loving

Cherished

God ordained mysteries

God ordained
meetings

Love and loss

Tragic and Triumphant

God’s beauty surrounds me in all and everything.

 I must take the time to stop and enjoy this life I have been given by the Creator.

Don’t waste this life.

butterfly4

Photo Credit:

P. J. Di Benedetto

Love; My Word for 2014

Love requires action as well as patience. I often forget the last part of that sentence. Yet, when I decided to focus on the word LOVE for 2014, I want to remember that God loves me, so I need to love others with the same type of love.

This is often hard because I am human. I am certainly not perfect, nor am I GOD; the one and only creator of the universe. I am a flawed human being, who makes mistakes every day of my life. I tend to lose my temper too easily and often expect perfection of those in my life, yet I need to remember that these same folks are patient, loving and offer me grace on a daily basis.

I remember as a young mom I would fret and fret about trying to keep my house looking “perfect” which was almost impossible with two sons running around. I would beat myself up because the “perfect” I so wanted and dreamed of seemed to be impossible to obtain. I was often way too hard on my boys and made many mistakes in this situation as well as others. No person is a perfect parent either and I certainly know that I made huge mistakes. Things I regret. Things I wish I could take back. But all I can do is ask for forgiveness and apologize. Lessons are often hard learned.

Lessons in love are often hard learned.

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Growing up in a dysfunctional, none affectionate home, love was something I could not quiet comprehend, which also led to many hard lessons as a mother and wife.

Love was something I feared in many ways, yet so desperately wanted in my life. I wanted to experience the love of children and for my children to feel loved. To never doubt my love for them, but in many ways I failed. Life has a way of creeping in and causing the past to weave it’s way into the present. The past could not be held at bay any longer. The choices of those who committed suicide or took the life of my grandmother in a suicide/murder affected all of the family. Love was still an underlying presence but it was not the focus as it should have been. Life was hard and the road was rocky. Filled with stickers and lots of bumps, yet through it all the love I had for my husband and children never changed. It had always been in my heart, yet the enemy had used the painful circumstances to get my eyes focused on the hurt instead of the wonderful blessings I was privileged to have as part of my life.

Love is a word that is so full of meaning and often means different things to different folks.

LOVE

I want to be remembered as a woman, wife, mother and grandmother who never let the painful past to hold her down, nor allowed the enemy to continue to severe relationships that are meant to be for life.

The enemy will not be able to win this battle. LOVE will prevail and the lives of those torn away will be redeemed and restored. Relationships will win and the love I have for my family will always persevere.

God has a beautiful plan for LOVE in the lives of believers.

We must seek HIM and the plan HE has for our lives.

The plan HE has for my life is:
Restored relationships

Love abounding

and that the past will no longer have any power over my life or the lives of my family.

We are overcomers and the LORD has called us to be a family.

I pray that whatever you are facing today will not keep you bound to the past. Look to the Lord and always remember that if He calls you to it, He will help your through it. Life can be challenging at times but just because you are in a battle today does not mean that tomorrow the Lord can turn everything around. God is so powerful and He has such a blessed life for us as His children. Please don’t give up on the problem or challenge you are facing today. Continue to seek HIM and HIS plan. He will line it all up and everything will come together.

Linking Up:

http://ruthlsnyder.wordpress.com/

 

Goal Setting and the Writer’s Life

Some of my friends have been discussing the process of setting goals for the new year.

Do you find yourself setting goals or resolutions for the new year?

I do this on several different levels; both professionally and personally.

goals

Each December, I purchase a new journal to begin looking toward the new year. I pray about what I want to accomplish in the new year personally but I also seek God’s will for my life in the area of my professional career. I am a fairly new blogger/author and even though I have written for magazines and other websites, I still have not completed the book I am writing. That is one of the goals I have set for the year of 2014.

I want to focus on the writing of my book and also begin to speak at women’s conferences and churches in the coming year as well.

Working title: When Your Home becomes a Prison: My journey out of fear, anxiety and agoraphobia.

My story is a story that needs to be told and I believe that with a pen and paper in hand, I can make this dream a reality.

Another personal goal I have for the year is to lose some weight. Over the last 5 years, due to medication I have had to take, I have gained about 20 pounds. Not a huge amount but I just feel sluggish at times, so I plan on joining a gym and taking the time to work on myself.

I hope to at least tone up some as well as lose a little weight. Now that I don’t have to take any medication¬† maybe it will be somewhat easier. I am also joining a boxing club for women. I have attended before with my cousin and loved it.

From a spiritual standpoint, one of my goals is to focus on hearing the still, small voice of God in the everyday. I tend to get so busy and forget to listen.

Goals are helpful but that does mean we should get so focused on the goals, we don’t enjoy the journey.

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

God speaks to us through His Word and even in the process of goal setting; We must listen.

Our ultimate goal in this life should be to stay connected to the TRUE ONE who leads, guides and loves us.

As we move toward this new year, let us take the time to remember the places God has taken us from and through, but also seek the will of Him for the next step in our lives.

Captivity

” I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity.”

Jeremiah 29:14

I love this verse in the Bible.  How comforting to know that God will bring us back from the captivity we find ourselves as well as from those who have held us captive.

Captivity according to Dictionary.com:

the state or period of being held, imprisoned, enslaved, or confined.

When I think about the word captivity, I can come up with several scenarios where the word captivity would apply.
Such as:
Being held as a prisioner
Being held as a slave
free cage
But I also think about the lives of many struggling Christians who are being help captive by the enemy. Maybe in small ways but also in huge ways. Think about those you know or maybe think about your own life. What do you struggle to be set free from? Addictions? Sexual Sin? Lying?
Rejection from someone/many? Fear? Anxiety? Agoraphobia? Gambling?
Personally, I can relate to being held captive to something not of my own doing, yet that is exactly where I found myself for over 20 years. Agoraphobia took over my life and became my best friend. I knew what to expect in relation to it, yet the outside world overwhelmed me. Thinking of traveling away from home would cause the panic and anxiety to run full force; way beyond my control. The fear and panic were easily feigned off when I would once again give into the enemies control to hold me captive once again.
This scenario went on and on. Over and over. Never changing much. I would so desperately want to be free from the chains holding me hostage, yet I could see no way out of the depths of fear.
Yet, when I was ready and the Lord was willing to hear my desperate cries, I was set free from all of the chains holding me hostage. Nothing will stop me now. Oh, I won’t lie. Often I can feel the enemy trying to gain his power back again, yet the battle is not over. The enemy will never win this battle.
” Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles. ” Psalm 2:3
The last time we took a family trip to San Antonio, as we were driving home I said, ” Well, little devil, once again you lost that battle.”. That is what I will continue to say, even in the face of fear and anxiety. I will continue to move forward in the call God has placed upon my life to help others struggling with fear, anxiety and agoraphobia, or those who have lost loved ones to suicide or murder, just as I have.
I hope you will read an older post from when I was first set free from fear.
God literally gave me the verse I discuss in the Feeding on Ashes post.
” God called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ” 1 Peter 2:9
Today, I want to offer you hope that healing can and will come. God has a wonderful plan for your life and that plan includes freedom from captivity and bondage. Don’t settle for anything less than God’s best.

Step Out Today

Risk Requires Trust

Do you Trust God enough to handle whatever you are facing?

It is hard to face change, especially when we get so accustomed to having things a certain way.

We wake up the same time everyday and we go to bed the same time.

We eat the same food for breakfast and we drive the same route to work.

All of that is perfectly fine, but how about today we take a chance and risk doing something different today.

Go a different route to work. Eat something different for breakfast.

Change is necessary and so is

RISK

Risking is difficult as well. I know personally how difficult it is to RISK and CHANGE.

After years of living with fear, anxiety and agoraphobia…

I am now FREE.

God set me free in August 2012

Risking is possible

Change is necessary

and

Freedom is Possible

Today, take a chance to make a change in your everyday life but also take RISK to get FREE from whatever is holding you back.

Freedom is sweet and God is amazing.

What is your story?

Are you ready to RISK and CHANGE?

Step Out Today and LIVE BIG FOR GOD

Linking up with Simply Beth

Journey to Freedom

I have been reading a great book called ” The Unburdened Heart” by Suzanne Eller.¬† The book is well written and offers very good insight on the subject of finding freedom to forgive.

TheUnburdenedHeart_1024x1024

This is a topic that I certainly needed to read at this point in my life. I have not always been a very good forgiver.. LOL.

How about you?

Do you struggle with forgiveness or does this come easily to you?

Suzanne offers some very valuable information throughout the book but one particular word she focused on really stuck with me.

The word is aphiemi which means to:

1. Send away

2. to let it die

3. to exchange for something else

4. to give up a debt

5. to forgive.

Suzanne discusses how when we use this word in relation to forgiveness it means we leave anger to find joy.

This is how I have felt much of the last two years. For most of my life I had held onto such anger and unforgiveness due to the way my biological family had always treated me and my family. I knew from as early as 4 or 5 years old that I was not really wanted. My parents had always made this very clear in the way I was treated but also the words spoken. Of course, this led to years of feeling so unworthy in every way and having no self-confidence. Relationships were damaged because how can you love someone else when you have no idea how to love yourself. You certainly have no capability of allowing another person to truly love you because they don’t know the real “you” like your biological family does. This was the cycle I found myself in for years and year.

I would try to be a good wife, mother and friend but I really had no clue as how to make that happen. I knew that I loved my children and husband, but until I came to accept the fact that God loved me for ME, then I would never be able to love my children or husband properly either. This was the constant battle because I heard from my parents and siblings over and over for 40 years how crazy I was because of the anxiety and panic attacks, but also how big a mistakes I was in general. I didn’t see myself as a mistake but I always believed what was spoken over me and my life. Evil and malicious words were the normal part of those relationships, so that is what I believed.

My relationships struggled because I didn’t see myself as anyone of value. How could anyone else love me when my own parents and siblings didn’t?

This was the inward struggle. Yet, after reading Suzanne’s book I have come to understand that by the neglect and abandonment of my family repeatedly over my lifetime, I had no way of having a clear view or understanding of God and HIS love for me. It distorted everything I did or didn’t do. Nothing was clear because my view of God was unclear. Until that became clear, no other relationships would work nor would I find the freedom to be myself.

The two are connected

and there is no separating them.

Without our view of God being correct, our lives will constantly spin out of control and all of our relationships will suffer.

The past two years I have learned more about myself than I had the previous 44 years.

One thing I have learned is that God loves me, designed me and has a great plan for my life.
Without Him in my life, I am nothing.

I am thankful that my heart is becoming more and more free from un-forgiveness and finding happiness to the fullest.

Isn’t God good?

I am thankful that God did not give up on me even when I gave up on myself.

I would highly recommend this book by Suzanne Eller.