What COVID-19 Is Teaching Me?

My heart goes out to all those who have been impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19. This is a challenging time within this world. As we seek to understand the severity of what is happening, we should all take cautionary measures as outlined by the CDC.

Over the last few weeks, I have been praying for this world and seeking to see God in all of this. I know He is up to something and I recognize how Believers have a role to play in the midst of so much uncertainty. I believe we are called to a place of hope. I believe our gaze should be on God while we will safely power through these times.

I wanted to share with you four main thoughts that have been on my heart and I hope it will encourage you through this turbulent time:

  • Let’s monitor our media consumption: Let’s stay informed with updates as needed but let’s not allow an overload of information to cause fear to erupt. We need to know what is happening, yet we need to create a quiet space for God to speak to us. We can seek to educate ourselves but we can’t neglect how much we need God. So I have to ask, are you reading your Word as much as you are keeping up with the news? Again, I believe it is important to stay informed but let’s not miss what God is saying to us right now.
  • Love your neighbors: What if we as Believers responded with a heart to serve and not discriminate against those who are ill or self-quarantined for precautionary measures. The Bible tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39) so as the people in our world are having to adjust to new temporary standards, I believe there is no better way to display God’s love than by serving and asking “what can I do for you?” Let’s use wisdom and get creative in how we serve them, but let’s serve those who need us. Let’s show up for others and spread His love. Let’s not shame people for what they are experiencing during this time instead we should be committed to love and extending grace.
  • Keep faith on the front line: As others fear, let’s encourage through our faith.  2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us how God has not given us a spirit of fear. It doesn’t mean we will never experience fear but we don’t allow it to cripple us. This is a critical time for us to hold on to our faith knowing that He is with us and we will get through this with Him on our side.
  • The power of the spread: This virus has taken the world by storm. Businesses are selling out of essentials, travels are being banned, schools are being closed and people are in a state of panic because of what they could be impacted by. As I observe the chaos around us, I wondered what it would be like if the Gospel Message could spread as quickly as the COVID-19? As Believers, we have been impacted by this Message; yet are we doing enough to spread it? The Gospel Message should be contagious and we should carry it with us wherever we go. It should cause a change in how we lead our businesses, help keep people in a place of peace and it should remind us how we have nothing to fear with God on our side.

Friends, I am praying and believing for this virus to cease and stop impacting the lives of those we love. I am praying for healing for those who currently have the virus and the medical professions who need the strength and wisdom to help treat them. And I am praying for a new level of faith to arise within each of us. There are people in need of our faith-filled words and gestures, can they count on you to respond?

Lastly, this verse has been on my heart and I think it is a sweet reminder during the days head:

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. 

Remember, God is with us. Let His Word comfort our hearts and silence our fears.

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Choosing to Worship

grayscale photography of people raising hands

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

If you know anything about me, you will know how much I love to worship. Singing was a passion of mine as a child and since then I have kept a love of music on my heart. I am that friend who will send you worship songs that speak to your situation or random songs that the Lord has placed on my heart. I love finding new songs to add to my playlist.

This year, I have declared 2020 will be my year of worship. It will be the year where I will choose to worship no matter the circumstance or the location, I am committed to worship the One who has changed my life for the better.

I love the story of Jesus’s birth and how when the wise men were so in awe to be chosen to see Him that they feel down and worshipped Him (Matthew 2:11). Isn’t that a beautiful visual?  It was their first response to Him as soon as they saw Him.

That’s my desire for this year, I don’t want to turn to Google to help me figure it out, I don’t want to turn to my friends to have them congratulate me, I want to worship the King of Kings before I do anything else.

This year will have its peaks and valleys, maybe you’ve already experienced them, but I want to encourage you to choose to worship no matter what this year brings. I believe through our choice to worship, God will help change our perspective and see Him working in the midst of our situations.

I desire for God to marvel at our faith this year because of our decision and desire to worship Him through it all.

Drop a comment below and let me know your word for this year. And if you are interested in hearing, my favorite song right now, click here to listen and be prepared to worship!

A Virtuous Woman…Who Can Find?

love scrabble text wood

When I think of a virtuous woman there is a name that often comes to mind— my grandmother. She would sit in the congregation or sometimes in the choir, never to be seen yet never unnoticed. At home, you could find her in the kitchen preparing an amazing meal and even if you tried to help you would only be in the way. Let’s not forget that my grandmother was a defeating champion in a game of Scrabble but she never boasted about it. She would just quietly put a word on the board and leave us all speechless.

My grandmother lived a beautiful, simple life. Her love for her family was unmeasurable, yet her love for God was unlike anyone I have ever seen.

She didn’t need to be the center of attention but she kept God at her center. My grandmother reverenced God and all that He is. She knew His resumè and knew what He had done for her throughout the years.

I often wonder if the Bible says “who can find” because it means that she’s rare and unique.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I am reminded of my grandmother who is my angel in Heaven but also all of the amazing women (my mother, aunts and mentors) the Lord has blessed me with who are still on this earth. I am grateful to not have to look far to find examples of virtuous women in my life.

It is my prayer that you will also have an amazing community of women to look up to whether it be in your family, church or even your place of employment. I hope that you will celebrate this special day with those in your world.

I do recognize that this day is hard for those who may have experienced loss. I definitely have moments of sadness when I think about my grandmother but I also rejoice because I know she is worshipping in Heaven. I don’t have all the answers to what Heaven will be like but I imagine that when I get there, she will be one of the first angels to embrace me with her sweet, gentle hug because I am a product of her prayers.

The Lord says that He is close to the brokenhearted. So if you find yourself broken during this holiday, know that He is willing to hold you close. He can fill the void and turn your sadness to worship.

Can I pray for you today?

Father, I ask that you help us to rejoice even in the midst of loss. Help us to hold on to the truth that we will see our loved ones again. Send an angel here on earth to comfort my sisters who are in a place of brokenness. Let them not spend this holiday isolated or in grief but in celebration with those in their world. Keep her close this season and help her to feel your comfort like never before. Amen.

God’s Perceived Silence

opened book near ceramic mug

Our Bible study group at work is currently reading Faithful: Heroes of the Old Testament and as we looked at Gideon last week, there was one question in the study that has remained in my heart. Priscilla asked, “When we feel God is ignoring us, could it be that His perceived silence is intended to point us back to His Word?”

Way to pierce our hearts with that one!

I have struggled lately in this area and I knew this message was for me because I felt convicted about my quiet time and prayer life. As we discussed it as a group, I realized that a couple of us are in the same boat.

I am learning that my biggest frustrations often come when I am spending more time with trivial things than I am in God’s Word. His perceived silence should get my attention and turn me to Him —not leave me frustrated with the idea of feeling like I need to figure it out on my own.

Maybe you have been in this silent season while seeking God for direction, answers or even healing. I want to encourage you to press on! I know it’s not easy and I’m right here with you cheering you on as we travel this road together but know that God desires the very best for you and He desires to speak to your heart, but you (and me) have to prioritize Him.

In order for us to hear what He wants to say to us, we have to be intentional in our time with Him and intentional to give Him the opportunity to speak.

It is easier said than done but I believe it is so important in our walk with the Lord.

God wants to see more of us excited to be in His Word and excited to be in His presence. He wants us to know that He hears us and sees every tear and frustration.

I believe that He wants us to know that His silence is our own perception; oftentimes because we are not receiving what we want when we want it. John Piper once said, “We are simply called to trust the promise more than the perception.”

So maybe His silence really isn’t silence at all because He is waiting for us to open the Word and allow Him to speak to our hearts.

Faith in Work: Honoring in the Dark Season

three white ceramic pots with green leaf plants near open notebook with click pen on top

 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving- Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

What a blessing it is to rise up every morning excited about the opportunity you have to do a good work.  Although there is no perfect job as there are problems at every employer, I do believe that when you are at a job you love, it doesn’t feel like work.

But what happens when there’s a difficult season? Maybe there’s a lot of change going on at the job or maybe you’re in a season where you feel overlooked and waiting to be noticed for your hard work.

Every Believer says promotion comes from God, which is true but what do you do when it doesn’t come in the way that you have hoped.

This verse reminds me to change my perspective of how I work. I believe God honors hard work, He sees it and notices every detail. I know that I need to trust Him even when I am having a hard time at work. It’s a reminder that I’m not working for my supervisor or the CEO of the company, my ultimate work is for the Lord and it is up to me to trust that He will walk through this difficult season with me.

Even when it seems as if your work is unnoticed and that you are working hard and not reaping benefits from it, trust Him through it. Friends, I know it’s hard but when we can press through during the difficult seasons, we can come out on the other end stronger. Our Father is able to see far beyond our current circumstances so we have to trust that He has our best in mind.

If this season is difficult because of a co-worker, boss or things within your own heart, lay it at His feet. Don’t carry negativity with you  this season, it will only make it harder. Instead choose to have joy even through the difficulty.

Confidence in the Stillness

Sunset at tropical sea coast.

I have to admit it is difficult for me to be still. Even when I sit down to watch television, it is easier for me to listen to the TV as I search the web or craft up new ideas. Being still is hard; yet it is necessary. It seems to only come natural when I’m on vacation by the beach with a book in hand.

Years ago, I read the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World which truly resonated with me. I have great desires to be like Mary and sit at the feet of the Father; yet I often allow others things to get in the way and win over my attention in the moment; leaving my Savior left there all alone.

Because of this, I have started giving Him the first part of my day. Before I check emails, respond to text messages or even check the weather; I give that time to Him. It’s our sacred, uninterrupted time.

It is easier to have a conversation with God, but it takes us being intentional to listen.

It is my prayer that we will be women who are intentional to hear from God about the things in our world. To be confident in the stillness and to have it be an important part of our day. I want to be filled with His spirit before I leave the house so that I am better equipped to tackle the day.

Will you carve out time to be still in His presence and to actively listen to what He wants to say to you?

What is Your Word for 2019?

three white ceramic pots with green leaf plants near open notebook with click pen on top

My word in 2018 was “faith”. I am naturally a planner but what I am learning is sometimes you have to just let things be. If I could, I would plan all my days for 2019; yet what I learned about myself this year is the importance of leaving some margin in my plans for Jesus to move.

In order for my faith to rise, I had to let go and allow Jesus to move on my behalf. To be willing to go when plans change and to be willing to keep going when things are not happening as I thought they would.

2019 I am devoted to being intentional. I felt this on my heart for the last few months. I desire to be intentional with those in my world, to be intentional in spending time with my Savior and to be intentional with the time He has given me.

This year reminded me that tomorrow isn’t promised. Death is no respecter of age but if the Lord has blessed me with another day, I want to be intentional in how I spend it. The planner in me often works off a to-do list and it is my goal to check everything off but I want to intentionally do what the Lord is calling me to do that day. If it means that something doesn’t get done because I need to spend time with a friend who is hurting then I desire to be intentional to keep a “yes” in my pocket for what is needed that day.

Will it be easy? No, but I believe it is the word He has given me and my heart desires to steward it well.

There is a song by United Pursuit titled “Waste it All” and I think it truly depicts the kind of life I desire to live. It is about being intentional to spend your life devoted to Jesus.

What word has the Lord placed on your heart and how will you steward it in 2019?

Today’s prayer: Father, I pray that as we go into a new year that we will steward our time while being devoted to whatever you are calling us towards each day. I ask that you give my sisters a word or a verse this year to meditate on. My hope is that we will break our alabaster jars open this new year and pour it on you every day. Lead us in the way we should go Lord and let us not depart from your presence.

New Season: New Playlist

group of people raising hands silhouette photography

2018 you can kindly go now! It seems as if so many people are hurting right now. There are so many people in my life who are being attacked by the enemy and on top of that, we have experienced much loss in the last few days. So much so that it has left my heart feeling desperate to experience more of Jesus. In the midst of storms, it is so easy to get down and isolate yourself but I am choosing to worship, in spite of.

I wanted to share with you my most recent top 5 list of worship songs that are speaking to me right now. These songs have been on constant repeat in my car and I hope that it blesses you as much as it has blessed me.

  1. So Will I/Do It Again by Osby Berry
  2. Here Again by Elevation Worship
  3. God is Good by Jonathon McReynolds
  4.  Known by Tauren Wells
  5. Surrounded (Fight My Battles) by Upperroom

Regardless of what you are facing in this season, I pray that you find your peace through worship. For me, worship allows me to take my focus off of my situation and keep my eyes on God. It doesn’t always erase the pain or change the circumstance but it changes me to look at those things differently.

I ask that you allow God to meet you today in the midst of whatever you are facing, which will help remind you that your God is bigger than your problem. I hope by choosing to fix your eyes on Him, it will bring peace that surpasses all understanding.

How Do You See Yourself?

person on a bridge near a lake

My coworkers and I are currently reading the book Identity Theft: Reclaiming the Truth of Our Identity in Christ When we completed chapter 4; we wrestled with the question of how we see ourselves. The question asked: Do you see yourself as a sinner striving to be a saint or a saint who struggles with sin?

As I went home, I began to think more of my answer where I stated that I often view myself as a sinner striving to be a saint and not a saint who struggles with sin.

I began to wonder why I view myself in that light. I recognize that I can be my own worst critic but the whole chapter was focused on being able to see ourselves as a saint. As it stated that we became a saint when we accepted Jesus into our lives.

I have always defined a saint as a perfect individual; someone without fault; yet a saint is someone with closeness to Jesus.

I wrestled with this more because I have always held a “saint” to a high standard such as a pastor, bible scholar, or a Mother Teresa but now I wonder if I’ve been viewing myself through the wrong lens.

The truth is I want us to see ourselves as God sees us. To be confident in being set apart as Believers knowing that we will still have the struggles of sin but we have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us to overcome it.

It is my prayer that we begin to see ourselves through the lens of our Creator and as we begin to learn more about Him, we will in return learn more about who He created us to be.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. – Ephesians 2:19 (ESV)

Reckless Love: Interrupted yet everlasting

stack of love wooden blocks

A couple of months ago, a co-worker sent me a link to a song titled Reckless Love. If I’m honest, when I first saw the title come through, I wasn’t initially interested because there’s a negative mindset that comes with the term reckless. But I finally caved in and gave it a try.

As I listened, the words began to pierce at my heart and as much as I didn’t want to keep listening; it made me reflect. I remembered what it felt like when God gracefully broke me – when He took everything that was once familiar to mold me into someone new. He changed me, but what it took to get there wasn’t pretty. It was uncomfortable; it interrupted the life I knew; yet in the midst of it, I felt Him near.

Being a Christian never implies that life will be easy; there’s nothing that says we will never endure hard times. Our manual says the opposite.

When my back is up against the wall; I have the choice to release control and allow God to do what only He can do, yet whenever I depart from the very Word that I’m called to stand on there is nothing that my Heavenly Father won’t do to get the attention of His daughter. He will stop at nothing to turn our hearts back to Him.

I’ve learned how in the midst of recklessness comes a love that runs so deep. A love that is everlasting. A love that I can’t even comprehend the truth of its depth. But I feel it, I see it and I know it.

In Luke 15:3-7, Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep and shares this very concept of going after the one until it’s found. I find comfort in knowing that He will stop at nothing to keep us near Him.

Click here to listen to Reckless Love