“…but God, I Don’t Wanna!”

“…but God, I Don’t Wanna!”

Hey Friends,

It is becoming abundantly clear that I whine to God…a lot. Not just a little, but way too much for my comfort. Here I am thinking, “Hmmm, I’m pretty mature. I got this being 32 years old down, pretty well.” Ha! That couldn’t be furthest from the truth when it comes to Jesus. I find myself being more child-like than anything, but then I think that it’s kind of the point, right? How do we try to obtain perfection in the eyes of the only true perfectionist?

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In the morning, I try to spend time with God for two main reasons: 1. To set the tone for the rest of my day and 2. To check it off of my “to-do” list. As the day progresses and I haven’t spent time with him, I become more nervous because I know my chances of actually doing it becomes very slim. Not because I am extremely busy, but because I begin to whine to God as to why I unable to do it.

For example, imagine a very whiney Ashley saying, “…but Lord, I’m so tired. I need sleep. I have to spend time with the kids. I have to make dinner. I’m so tired, Lord.”

Then here comes the bargaining. “Ok, ok, God, give me like an hour to get my body together. Let me put something on my stomach, first, Jesus. Ok, ok, really, I haven’t forgotten about you. Lemme just watch this show real quick.”

Then, all of the sudden it’s midnight and I’m saying, “Oh Jesus, I will definitely spend time with you in the morning.” Then morning comes and the process starts all over again. You get my drift, right?

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For me after a few days, guilt begins to set in. I’ll feel guilty that I’ve promised God my time and haven’t given to him. I’ll feel like a child asking for forgiveness, pleading and begging for another chance of redemption. Not realizing that he already knew that my lazy butt was going to make excuses and he has already forgiven me when he sent Jesus to die for me…and you. Pause and let that sink in, but come back cause I have more to say.

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We sin all of the time. Even we are whining and crying like children at 32 years old, we are forgiven. Once I allowed that that to seep into my brain, spending time with him has become more of a pleasure than a chore. Now, I look forward to it. And when I miss the opportunity, I no longer beat myself up. Instead, I pray that I get another chance to hear his words and adhere to his glory and grace since it has already been gifted to you and me.

Plus, it’s a win/win because I always feel so much better after I open my bible. Me, personally, I love having a book to open and read, take notes, and highlight. But if you’re not like that, there is always the free digital bibles online. It’s literally a click away.

Spend a little time with God. He will give you the sustenance to get you through the next day. For Yahweh says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” -Matthew 6:34. 

And if someone tells me not to worry about it, you guys should know me well enough to know my whiny butt is not going to worry about. Think of it like this…if someone tells you not to worry about paying the check for dinner, are you still going to pull out your wallet? I think not! I don’t know if that analogy fits, but oh well. I put it in there anyway.

I love you guys! I pray that you are having an amazing start to your week. I pray that your bellies are full, your beds are warm (or cool) and that your minds are at peace. I thank that Lord each day for all that read my thoughts, cause Jesus knows that they are crazy. Amen.

“Reading the Bible will help you get to know the word, but it’s when you put it down and live your life that you get to know the author.”― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Related Post: Stop Whining, Ashley!

 

 

 

 

Who Prays When You Can’t?

Who Prays When You Can’t?

In yesterday’s post Prayer Is The Best Medicine , I spoke about the importance of prayer.

Although prayer is important, there are times where we feel like we just do not have it in us to pray. There was a time when my heart was so broken, all I could do was cry out, “Abba Father, help me!” 

I felt so helpless and alone because I was once told that when praying to God, I had to be specific about what I wanted, needed, and craved. So, if I am unable to verbally express my needs, then how would he know what I need prayer for? How would he be able to answer my prayers if I am unable to articulate my heart?

In scripture, it says, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” -Romans 8:26

This is so refreshing because there are many days where I feel that I do not have the words or even the strength to utter the appropriate words to says to our Father in heaven. So knowing that the Holy Spirit is like, “No worries girl, I got you!” is truly amazing.

So, if you are unsure what to say, how to say it, or even if you should say it, the Holy Spirit knows your heart and he will pray it for you. Lean on the Holy Spirit to carry you when your feet or too tired to carry you the rest of the way.

God bless you all and I hope you all are having a wonderful start to your week.

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” -Romans 8:15-17

 

Prayer Is The Best Medicine

Prayer Is The Best Medicine

Have you ever complained about chaos or pain happening in your life and someone responded with “Just pray about it.” 

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I don’t know about you, but my response would be, “I don’t need prayer, I need help!”  Little did I know, prayer was exactly the help that I needed.

Prayer is the most powerful tool anyone could have. I am proof that it truly works.

God says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” -James 5:16

I used to think that when I prayed, it had to be formal, otherwise, the Lord wouldn’t accept it.

But then I learned that prayer is just having a conversation with our Father. So, I did a little experiment. I began praying to God like I was talking to one of the homies. Here’s a fictional example:

Dear heavenly Father. How’s it been, Lord? I’m not doing so well. Today was such a hard day and I’m really upset about it. Kelly said something that hurt my feelings and I just wanted to smack her upside the head, but I’m trying to get right with you, Jesus. It says in your word to forgive those who trespass against me, so please, Lord, help me forgive her. Cause you know I struggle with tolerating foolishness.

There is absolutely nothing formal about the above prayer, but he still hears us AND answers us. I love to tell new Christians to not get caught up in the formalities. Concentrate on developing a personal (intimate) relationship with Jesus and the rest will follow.

Once I began my prayers like normal conversations, I noticed that I felt more relaxed. I didn’t say, “Ummm” so much, nor did I feel ashamed praying out loud in front of other people.

Here is an example of a prayer that I wrote in my journal a few weeks ago:

Abba, Father. Please throw me a bone! Please give me some kind of relieft from the constant tragadies in my life. Please provide a break through.

After this prayer, our Father didn’t say, “Girl, what kind of prayer was this? Get it together and come back later.”

Instead, he said, “Yes, baby, I got you. Just hold on a little longer.” I mean, that’s how I took it…and guess what! He answered my prayer. Not only did he throw me a “bone” AND provide a breakthrough, but he also continued to bless me beyond what I deserve.

God is so good! And there is no one that can tell me otherwise. He continues to bless me and provide all of my emotional needs. And do you want to know why??? Because I talk to him like he is one of the homies…I pray!

In scripture, it says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day has passed.” -Psalm 139:16

This means he knew he that I would struggle with prayer. He knew that the enemy would try to convince me that I didn’t know how to pray, therefore I shouldn’t do it. I say, not today, nor any day, Satan.

Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. - Mother Teresa

Seeking God Part 4

Seeking God Part 4

Happy Sunday Friends!

This journey of seeking God has not been an easy one, but it has been worth it. I have seen God’s power, love, and mercy so much since I’ve taken my journey seriously. If you haven’t noticed, my blog has turned into God’s blog. A couple of months ago, the Lord told me that he wanted me to use my blog to spread his word. I was hesitant. I didn’t want to lose my non-Christian followers and I didn’t want to offend anyone. After a while, I could no longer deny his request.

Whenever I posted an article that he didn’t put on my heart to post, my numbers were down. You guys weren’t messing with me. Then, when I began to post content that he put on my heart, the number of views and followers increased tenfold. Don’t get me wrong, I lost a few followers, but I gained many more.

So, I have no choice but to trust him. He has shown this undeserving sinner more love and mercy than I expected. That is what’s so awesome about God. When he blesses you, he blesses you in overabundance, forcing you to do nothing but fall to your knees and cry out, “Abba, Father, thank you!”

If you are stubborn like me, the Lord will use your circumstances to bring you closer to him so he can mold you and strengthen you. In my case, I would say he has used Lupus and mental illness to get me to surrender to his will. Surrender…what a strong word. A lot of people think it is an insult to surrender, when in fact, it is a blessing. A Christ believer will tell you that surrendering is not a sign of weakness, as some will make you believe.

Surrending to the Lord requires more strength than people would like to acknowledge. Yet, once we surrender, we are able to get out of our own way and allow God to work. And, baby…when God works, he works wonders. His wonderful blessings are always more than we wanted for ourselves. Miracles happen. Please Letting Go, Letting God read how Jesus showed up in my bathroom and saved my life. True story 🙂

I no longer see my illness as a punishment, yet an opportunity to grow. Kind of like job training. I ask the Lord to allow me to be a great mom to my children. The Lord responded, “So be it my child, but first, I must prepare you.”

Think of a block of clay. When you purchase it from the craft store, it’s bland, boring, and ugly. But once the artist purchases it from the store (in God case, Jesus purchased us with his life), the artist then begins to transform it into a beautiful masterpiece.

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The tools that the artist use are sharp and plentiful. If clay had feelings, one would think that the artist is torturing the clay, being unfair. But the sharp tools are necessary in order to mold the clay with precision and accuracy. Jesus paid the price. God uses our circumstances as tools to create a wonderful masterpiece within us. More times than often, it is going to hurt. But while he is sculpting us, he has given us resources to help us through the process, such as the Bible, elders of the church, prayer, and other Christians.

“Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.” -James 5:14-15

Most importantly, he gives us his love and promises to be with us no matter what through the process.

The Lord says, “For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.” -Jeremiah 31:25. To me, this means, during my sorrow, he will be there to give me comfort.

He also says, “…I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.” -Psalm 91:14-15

Personally, I can’t speak for every Christian. I believe in Jesus because he was the only one that showed up when I cried out for help. Not Buddha, not Deity, not money or sex, but Jesus himself. The only thing I can do is give my life to the one who saved it, to the one who continues to bless my children with a mother.

Yesterday, I was blessed with mood stabilizers. As many of you may know, I struggle with Bipolar Disorder I. I have been unmedicated for some time now, which is dangerous. But, the Lord was so gracious and he heard my cries. So, I was able to receive a 90 day free supply of Depakote. I’m excited and scared at the same time. My biggest fear with taking mood stabilizers and anti-depressants is that I will lose the best parts of me; my creativity, my bubbly personality, my love of all things Life. But this is where trusting the Lord comes in.

“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.” -Jeremiah 29:11

“Trust the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” -Proverbs 3:5-6

My faith, my trust in God’s plan (cues Drakes “Gods Plan”) for me is the only reason why I’m still alive. If I followed the world’s thinking, my kids would be without a mother.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts and for sharing this journey with me. I truly hope that I am able to inspire someone to trust that God has a plan for your life, and the struggles that you are facing are NOT it. God bless you!

“If the stars were made to worship, so will I. If the mountains bow in reverence, so will I. If the oceans roar Your greatness, so will I. For if everything exists to lift You high, so will I. If the wind goes where You send it, so will I. If the rocks cry out in silence, so will I. If the sum of all our praises still falls shy, then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times.” -So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong Worship

To catch up, please read:

Happy National Day of Prayer

Happy National Day of Prayer

Hey friends!

Prayer has been a huge part of my life. I haven’t always been a prayer warrior, but after it saved my life (along with the love of Jesus, of course), I’ve been talking to God all day, every day. There is so much to pray for, nowadays. We pray for our finances, we pray for our children, and we pray for each other, but it seems our nations need prayer more than ever before.

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The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance in the United States, held on the first Thursday of May to come together and pray for our nation. If you don’t live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard about the countless murders and suicides happening all over the world. This is a sign that people are hurting, more than ever before, and the only solution they seem to have is to hurt someone else or themselves.

So, please join me in praying for our nation and our fellow sisters and brothers.

This prayer was sent to me by a sister in Christ from my church. It is so powerful, I thought I would share it.

Our Dear Heavenly Father, while we come to You in complete humility, we also come to You with boldness in the authoritative name of Your One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In Jesus’ name, fill us now with Your Holy Spirit and lead us as we pray in Jesus’ name for America.
Oh God, we are burdened for our nation today. We turn from the sins that we have committed against your Word and your Name. We turn away from our contentious words and ways toward one another that has led us to division and polarization. We turn away from our disrespect and lack of dignity toward each other, and we turn away from our continual devaluation of all human life from the womb until death in this world. We also turn away from and refuse to participate in skepticism, criticism, and cynicism in our nation. We turn away from anything that divides us, and we run toward the gospel of Jesus Christ that is the only thing that has the power to unite us together.
Lord, in this critical hour in our nation, we pray for unity in America. Only You can bring unity, harmony, and oneness in America. As your Word calls us in Ephesians 4:3, “Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”, we ask You to empower us to make every effort to live in unity, to call for unity, and to forward unity in America continually.
We pray for the churches in America to unify in Jesus Christ and to pray as one unified spiritual family for America. May Your Church pray for America passionately, perpetually, privately, and publicly.
We pray for God’s power to unify families, workplaces, communities, and cities in America. By Your Spirit, lead us to forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, and unity.
We pray for people of all ethnicities and races in America to come together as one, living in peace and unity together. Oh Lord, because each of us is created in Your image, please give us the courage to stand against all racial and ethnic division, denouncing it as evil and sinful, while simultaneously coming together in unity with all persons knowing this is God’s will for us.
We pray in unity for the security of our nation. We ask You to preserve the United States of America from the forces of evil that are threatening our lives and our future. God, please guard all persons in public and private settings from anyone or anything that desires to harm us or take our lives. Our future is in Your hands.
We agree clearly, unite visibly, and pray extraordinarily for the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America. Oh Lord, wake up Your church spiritually and convict Your people to agree clearly, unite visibly, and pray extraordinarily until the next Great Spiritual Awakening occurs in our generation.
Oh God, we stand together upon Your words in Psalm 133:1, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony.” Through Jesus’ name and by the Holy Spirit’s power, we pray for all Americans to unify and to live together in unity.
In the mighty and majestic name of Jesus Christ who is the Only Savior and the Only Hope in this world, we pray. Amen.
If you don’t live in the United States, you can pray this prayer for your country, or even better, for the world.
I also pray that everyone who is reading this is blessed with Your love and comfort, God. I ask you, Abba Father, to be with those who need you, those who are crying out for you. Your love is more precious than anything of this world, and I pray that you show your unconditional love to all of your children during this time of confusion. Amen
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14

Crash the Chatterbox

Crash the Chatterbox

Did you know that the average human being has up to approximately 60,000 negative thoughts per day? According to Psychology Today, 70% of our thoughts are negative. That’s a lot, right. I mean, out of all of the things that we think about, 70% are negative? It makes me sad to know that I have spent so much of my energy on negative thinking, but it also makes me feel better to know that I am not alone when it comes to having negative thoughts.

So, what next? How do we not have so many negative thoughts, when obviously, it’s a flaw that most people struggle with.

In my attempt to grow closer to Christ, I have joined a handful of support and community groups at my church. I so badly want to drown out the negative thoughts that plague my mind. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I’m not worthy
  • I’m ugly
  • I’m fat/skinny
  • No one loves me
  • My life is meaningless
  • God doesn’t love me
  • No one understands me or my condition

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Pity party, right? Well, no more! One of the classes that I joined is based on the Christian bible study called Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick. This study focuses on how to replace your own negative thoughts (the chatterbox) with the word of God. It also focuses on building a closer relationship with Jesus so you can learn how to seek him in peace and turmoil.

Related Post: Seeking Emotional Refuge in God

When I first learned about this study, I was super excited. I am so tired of hearing my own thoughts, getting caught up in my own mind. Now, I am learning to turn off the chatterbox and directing my focus completely on Jesus.

This weeks lesson we learned that:

  • The chatterbox will always try to convince you that God doesn’t love you
  • We have to turn on focus on Jesus. When we focus less on ourselves and more on Jesus, we are able to hear him clearly and feel his unconditional love.
    • Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. -Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Gods says I amOverpowering who I say I am
    • When Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” (Exodus 3:13–15)
  • Gods says He willOverpowering my fear
    • So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” -Hebrews 13: 6
  • God says He hasOverpowering condemnation
    • In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. -1 Peter 5:10
  • Gods says I canOverpowering the lies of discouragement
    • Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. -Psalm 139: 14-15
  • The Chatterbox will always try to make you misunderstand the nature of who you are in relation to who God is.
  • God wants us to have confidence in his everlasting love and notin our circumstances

There is so much more in this study that I am unable to go over without turning this post into a book. If you are interested in learning how to turn off the chatterbox on your mind and focus on what God has planned for you, please click here for the complete set; study guide, book, and DVD.

Click this link to view Steven Furtick teaching one of his lessons. He’s really inspiring and you’re always left feeling inspired as well.

I’ve been doing this study for two weeks and I can already see a difference in my thought process. Please read Changing your Mindset; Becoming More Mindful for more ways you can transform your mind to become more positive.

Related Post: Fuel for Thoughts: Monday Motivation

Please remember friends, allow God to transform your thoughts into his word. Allow Him to transform your heart and your mind to be more like him. So you can have peace knowing that Jesus is always with you. Pray so he can hear you. Read His word to hear him. Stay blessed, family. I love you all and I pray that you are having a beautiful Sunday.

“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God said this, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” -Hebrews 13:5

Image borrowed from google pics

Seeking God Part 3

Seeking God Part 3

This morning, I’m scrolling WordPress per usual. Catching up on reading my favorite bloggers and checking out new ones. You know, blogger stuff. So anyway, I click on one of my favs bloggers Tammy’s GodInspiredArt Blog to catch up with her latest shenanigans and she has this wonderful idea (click here to visit) to open up your bible to the verse based on the current time. For example, it’s 9:36 a.m., so I would turn to any book in the Bible that has 9:36 and allow the Holy Spirit to take it from there.

This morning, I opened my bible and the Holy Spirit lead me to Mark 9:24, which reads The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

As the kids say, I was shooketh!

This exactly what I cried out to the Lord last night. I believe but I need help casting out any doubts I still have. Thank you, Lord, for speaking to me.

Then of course you know I had to keep reading. And that’s when Jesus revealed more of himself to me. Mark 9:25-29 reads

When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!”

26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?”

29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”

Friends, this made me give out a genuine sigh of relief. Just the other day, I spoke about my dark passenger. Click here to read more about it. And then Jesus speaks. We are the child and our struggles are the evil spirit. In my case, Harley. When Jesus commanded the evil spirit to remove itself from the little boy, the boy’s reaction sounds painful, “threw the boy into violent convulsions…” Everyone thought he was dead. But then JESUS came along and helped him to his feet.

Going through it is seemingly impossible and very painful. Sometimes I feel my mind is going into “convulsions”, but now I know, that Jesus will be there, not just to cast out my dark passenger, but also to pick me up, dust me off, and become my new passenger for eternity. Thank you, God, for Jesus!!

**Quick Praise Break**

Oh the best part, afterward when Jesus and his disciples were alone, they asked why they weren’t able to do it cast out the evil spirit. Jesus reply was “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.” (v.29) Thank you, Jesus! Yes!

The demon that we’re facing is powerful, but his power doesn’t even compare to the power of Jesus. Our demons, our mental illness, our finances, our sickness, our heartbreak, our anxiety, our fears, WILL BE cast out forever, leaving us with eternal peace in Jesus, through prayer.

Thank you, Tammy, for allowing God to use you to speak to me.

God bless everyone who is reading this. Please be inspired to read your bible and pray. I am living proof that prayer works. And with God, I will beat this! PRAY, pray, pray! Pray so He can hear you, read your bible so you can hear Him.

“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered. I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” -Psalm 139:17-18