Author Archives: layeredhearts

About layeredhearts

I am just a woman who would be nothing without my Jesus. He rescued me, and continues to deliver me. He renews my mind daily through His written Word, His spoken Word, and the Body of Christ. I have found freedom, joy, liberty, and strength in Him. In Him, and through Him, I fully believe that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. I have surrendered my need to understand and have entered into a place of complete trust. I am a woman who chooses daily to say, "Yes, Lord, I will follow."

Step out of control and into love.

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I heard this from the Father’s heart recently and I was re-reading it today to find new strength and encouragement. I then felt deeply led to share it with all of you. He is calling us up and out; way beyond our own strengths, abilities, and even imaginations. WE NEED EACH OTHER! I pray these words bring life and clarity in your voyage with Him!

Love,

Jenna

 

You are so beautiful! You are so loved. SO valued and cherished. I can see all that is right about you! I want to tell you of all of your strengths and teach you how to strengthen them. You were not created to be good at everything. Others can fill in the gaps. I specifically designed my Body to need one another. It is all about love- all about relationships. You are currently still learning how to ask for help. It is a process- but all that self-sufficiency that was instilled in you is slowly draining out of your self-proclaimed identity. 
 
Where you are headed, you are going to need help. As you step out with Me further- there will be much void in the places you have filled up until now- and those holes are not meant to stretch you too thin- they are meant for you to delegate, to trust, to lean on others. The holes that you aren’t designed to fill- there are specific others who are- this will teach you more about loving without being in control. It’s not going to go your way- that isn’t what is important- it is going to go My way.

Misplaced Keys

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Lately, the Lord has been reminding me of “keys” to life He has specifically given me over the course of my life. Some things I carry with me always- and use almost involuntarily- like breathing. Others, I utilized for a season, and once that storm passed, I sort of misplaced or forgot about.

I have been sensing the notion for where we are headed as a whole, this whole entire world, I am going to need ALL of the keys He has placed in my hands. It has been so sweet and beautiful how He is taking me to find each misplaced key I have set down along the way.

Some keys that are life to me include:

– Holding each thought captive and making it obedient to the Lord.

      – To do what I have been created to do, the bring forth my unique reelection of Jesus on the earth, I cannot afford to think whatever thought agrees with my emotion. I can only afford to agree with the TRUTH found in God’s Word. Every other thought cycle causes me to spiral down- but when I think on what is TRUE- I lift my eyes up to see TRUTH Himself- and get lost (or found if you will) again in what He says is possible and who He says I am. 

-Gratitude

   -We enter into His presence with Thanksgiving. When I am not being intentional about gratitude- I often find my natural mind leads me to disappointment. When I fix my eyes on what is right and declare it- it seems that I gain momentum in finding right things. The opposite is also true. Long story short- someone always has it better, and someone always has it worse- when I could be praying or blessing others- why would I waste my time thinking about myself and all that I WISH was different? NO GOOD FRUIT COMES FROM ANY THOUGHTS THAT ARE NOT ROOTED IN GRATITUDE!

-Praise before the answer

  -David would lament before God in the psalms from verses 1-7 (just for example), and then in verse 8, he would be greatly praising the name of God! I asked the Lord once, where the transition was, because I had yet to be able to experience such a dramatic shift. The Lord revealed to me, that David knew God was faithful, and so after he poured His burdens out, before he saw the miracle, he would praise the One who now held the power to do the seemingly impossible. Now, I praise before I see God show off- because I know Him, and  I know He is faithful and trustworthy and will bring about something even better than I am hoping for!

-Saying Yes Lord.

  -This is by far the hardest key of life for me- because it causes me to die to my flesh constantly. But I have resolved that the kind of life I want to live, and legacy I want to leave, is simply being a woman who says yes to God. This hurts, but the fruit from every time I have surrendered my will to His, has been enormous- so much bigger than just me. His ways are always higher- and I long to walk in step with His spirit.

-Being Passionately Patient

  -From our perspective it seems as though God always has us waiting. But what I’ve noticed about all this waiting- is that in the waiting is the preparation. Interestingly, when I await a promise of God to be fulfilled the stuff that is buried deep in my heart when things are going my way, suddenly erupts when I have to wait. I come face to face with the yuck in there, and as it surfaces, I have a decision to make: will I allow Him to cause it to come out and refine me, or will I stuff it back down because I will decide it will be too arduous of a process and now is not the time? Well, if I am in the waiting- I guess now is the time! I am so thankful for the seasons of preparation that have come from the waiting- for if not for these times, I would  constantly be in over my head and set up to fail- oh but He loves me too much to do that to me. He loves me through the refining process, and I seem to reflect Him a little more each time! THAT IS GOOD!

-Not trying to figure out what it will look, feel, or be like.

  -I have wasted SOOOOOOO much time trying to predict the future. When something happens, I begin to project what may happen next and how that will affect this, and then this should be next and blah blah blah. However, NOTHING EVER GOES THAT WAY! Life has a myriad of variables that can be unleashed in any given moment. Who am I to think I could know what is going to happen? I have resolved ( and especially again recently) to take each moment as it comes. Living life in the moment IS SO MUCH LESS STRESSFUL! I find peace and I find Jesus easier as I do not trip over my own idea of what SHOULD BE happening by what time table. I am not talking about not making goals, having dreams, and accomplishments- but surrendering those to Him, with an open hand and being flexible if He has a different way to get there. I am simply saying, I choose not to add my own agenda to what He has asked me to do or said He is going to do with, in, and through me. 

These are just a few keys to life for me- that He has specifically given me to be able to become who He has created me to be and do what He created me to do. He gives us keys to be able to unlock, open, or lock and shut doors. We need every single key He has given us to be able to stay the road He has specifically called each of us to journey. Do you have any keys to life? Any misplaced keys? I’d love to glean from what He has shown you too!

 

Matthew 16:19Living Bible (TLB)

19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever doors you lock on earth shall be locked in heaven; and whatever doors you open on earth shall be open in heaven!”

2 Corinthians 10:5The Voice (VOICE)

We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one trueGod. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.

Psalm 100:4The Message (MSG)

Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
    Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
    Thank him. Worship him.

 

 

Delayed for the BIG STORY!

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Often times when I am in a waiting season of sorts- I find hope and encouragement in the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. (John 11:38-44)
Many years ago, the Lord showed me how Mary and Martha were close friends of Jesus and yet while their brother was dying and they sent word for Jesus to come heal him, Jesus didn’t make it in time and their brother died. Can you imagine how confused, upset, and disappointed they were with Him? They KNEW He was the healer and yet He chose not to heal. They waited and believed and the outcome wasn’t what they were hoping for. He was not on time by their standards.
I can just see the looks on their faces, wearing their hearts on their sleeves in mourning, and saying upon His return, “YOU ARE TOO LATE- You might as well just go and keep healing the ones there is still time and hope for. It’s no use for You to be here with us now.”
But Jesus, who always kept His eyes on the Father and did what He saw the Father doing, wasn’t too late in any respect. He was right on time. He didn’t respond to their urgency, but solely responded to the Father’s will. God had a better outcome then what the sisters were believing for. You see, they already KNEW He was the healer, but they got a deeper revelation. As Jesus walked into an atmosphere that was overcome with the stench of death and decay- He spoke and LIFE WAS RESURRECTED! They all became eye witnesses that this Jesus was more than a prophet and healer- He was the Resurrection and the Life!

I have always kind of just stopped there in my amazement in how the waiting, and seemingly disappointing outcome, can sometimes lead us to a deeper understanding about the infinite facets of who God is, and how getting to know Him more is worth anything. However, recently, He has been expanding this revelation of HOW GOOD GOD IS, and HOW HIS TIMING AND PLANS are for such a greater purpose than our small story.

John 12:9-11The Voice (VOICE)

9 Word spread of Jesus’ presence, and a large crowd was gathering to see Jesus and the formerly deceased Lazarus, whom He had brought back from the dead. 10 The chief priests were secretly plotting Lazarus’s murder since, 11 because of him, many Jews were leaving their teachings and believing in Jesus.

John 12:17-19The Message (MSG)

17-19 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, was there giving eyewitness accounts. It was because they had spread the word of this latest God-sign that the crowd swelled to a welcoming parade. The Pharisees took one look and threw up their hands: “It’s out of control. The world’s in a stampede after him.”

CHECK IT OUT! If Jesus would have answered the simple request of his dear friends Mary and Martha- and had come right away and healed their brother- they would have been saved heartache, grieving, and suffering. BUT ALSO- many would not have left their teachings and come to know Jesus. There would not have been a stampede after Jesus due to the testimony of their unanswered prayer being answered in a way MUCH bigger than they could have ever imagined!

Can we always understand why we are being asked to wait? Why the answer is so opposite of what we have prayed, believed, and hoped in? NO! Does it hurt? YES! But are we resolved that God is always good and I am ALWAYS loved?

Jesus not healing Lazarus had to cause his heart to ache also- He never delights in seeing any of His children suffer. But our Father is a good God and He sees the BIG STORY! And as we follow Him, He allows us to join in and become part of the answer for others who are yet to come into the Kingdom.

Mary,Martha, and Lazarus got to witness first hand the resurrecting power of God on Earth! Then the overflow of that great miracle, brought many to know and believe in Jesus. If the delay in my answer will be that big- I am going to choose to lay my need to understand down, and lift my hands in Praise to the One who gives me the honor of being part of His BIG Story! Will you join me? 

2 Corinthians 4:17GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

17 Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine.

Secure/Rescue

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A while ago I was reading something and on the page was the word ‘secure,’ but my eyes saw the word RESCUE- however it didn’t fit within the context of the sentence, so I re-read it and comprehended that I saw a different word than was actually printed on the page. I asked the Lord if that was Him- and indeed, He had a message for me- that I now have been working through and working out and living- and just now- a moment ago- He nudged me to share this with you.

Rescue- Secure- The same letters make up these two words with very different meanings, and yet, strongly linked!

As I sought the Lord, He began to show me how when I feel insecure- I run to what I think will rescue me- and inversely- when I perceive the need to be rescued- I run to what makes me “feel” secure. As I have been asking Him to highlight this to me- some of these cycles are constructive and pleasing to Him, and some are not.

One day I was feeling really low about some truly hard bumps I was hitting and I found the urge to run to something I normally would turn to to make me “feel” secure- and the Lord highlighted this destructive cycle to me, and I had the thought, ” I could deny my flesh right now and run to Jesus and start to break this cycle.” Unfortunately that day- I chose to continue in my quest to satisfy my desperate need for security- a quick fix, if you will.

Shortly after, as I was spending time in His presence, He showed me this. He also began to show me the negative effects these cycles have had on my life and how far reaching the outcomes are when we choose anything other than Him for our security. How when we buy into false comfort or security in one area of our life- it slowly seeps in undetected to all the other facets of who we are. With this wisdom before me, I repented and asked Him to help me break the cycles that keep me temporarily satisfied and quickly depleted- when I could be filled to overflowing with no lack. I asked Him to come alongside of me and help me in becoming a woman who would settle for nothing less than His best for me- and to be willing to wait upon, yearn for, and rest in Him alone.

Am I still struggling? Sure. Am I making progress? You betchya! Me and Jesus are celebrating this new season of breaking through yuck that I have just been accepting for a long time.

So, I am sharing this with you and I wonder what are you settling for? Is there anything in your life you are leaning on for security that is really sinking sand? Is there anything you expect to rescue you which could leave you stranded? He alone is our source and if we place our trust and faith in anything apart from Him- we will be disappointed. But God- our Almighty God- is faithful and we can trust with Him as our foundation we are firmly placed.

Hebrews 6:13-20The Message (MSG)

God Gave His Word
13-18 When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.

18-20 We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.

Lessons from my boys

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One of the most beautiful aspects of being a mom is how the Lord uses these lives to dramatically alter yours. There is something so sweet in caring for a child when you realize God is caring for you similarly. The Lord never ceases to amaze me every single day, how He chooses to use my children to teach me. I’ve been reflecting recently about all that my children have used by God to reveal to me, and I had this knowing that I had to share. May these small, but big lessons bless you the way I have been blessed by them.

When I was pregnant with my first son, the pregnancy was delightful. I began learning about the joy of expectancy. All I could do was delight in wondering how incredible it would be to actually look into the eyes of my son and get to speak life into his spirit and enjoy the moments of our days together. I could not stop imagining his giggle, his purposes, his life and thanking God for getting the honor of being a part of it all.

In life, we sometimes get to experience the joy of expectancy. There are things coming that we are looking forward to and they help us to keep going. They help us remember why we do this life thing everyday. They help us pull through the muck when it feels like it would be easier to just stay stuck for a while. Having aspects to life which we are joyfully expecting is a gift- a good gift- from our Father to encourage us to stay the course and run with endurance. What are you joyfully expecting? (If you feel like there is nothing, ask God to open something up for you- a dream, hope, or passion that will get you going again! He has plans and purposes for you!)

When I was pregnant with my younger son, the pregnancy was downright hard and painful. I began to understand that while what I am expecting, waiting upon, and excited for is wonderful- sometimes the season of expectancy can be very painful. The pain of the waiting can often times be the very preparation we will need to be able to handle what we are awaiting, once we get it. During this pregnancy I learned to rest in God’s power and timing, I learned to trust and worship in the waiting. And now, juggling two children, I am growing in understanding the importance of all of those lessons- for I would not be able to raise these little boys into men who will love Jesus in my own strength and power- but truly by resting in God’s power and timing. We all have times of waiting that is painful- but I am learning to believe and recognize this- almost every single beautiful and valuable gift I have ever been given in life, has come wrapped in some sort of pain and/or suffering. Now I am asking the Lord to give me eyes to see the gift while it is still painful.

One of the most profound truths I have ever learned, came as a result of becoming a mother. I was so moved by how deeply I loved my sweet boy- how much I wanted to meet all of his needs, and give him everything I could possibly think he would want. As these feelings and desires of a mother’s heart were becoming a deeply rooted part of my identity, the Lord began to ask me some questions.
“Jenna, what did he do to earn that kind of love from you?”
To which I replied, “Nothing, he hasn’t been able to DO anything for me. I just love him because he is mine.”
“Jenna, why would you want to give him good gifts?”
“Simply because of my deep love for him.”
Then He began to minister to my heart.
“Daughter, you do not have to do anything to earn my love. You see how much you love him, imagine, just imagine now, how much I love you- simply because you are Mine. You do not have to do anything to get my love or even to deserve the good gifts I give you. You are Mine and I love you.”

This truth changed everything for me! Never before could I have understood the heart of a parent. The deep desire to bless your children out of this overwhelming love for them. This desire doesn’t seem to change with circumstances- it remains, and even grows when circumstances are harder. Loving my children has helped me receive the Father’s love for me personally.

And recently with my little one, who is fully dependent upon me for everything he needs to stay alive, I am constantly reminded of how dependent I am upon the Lord for everything I need to stay alive. Before my son has a need, I am doing the work to prepare what he will need. As I do this work for him, the Lord reminds me that also, there are things I am going to need and He is preparing it all for me now, even before I know I need it. When I see that something will hurt my child, I go before him to remove what could harm him, or I put an appropriate form of protection on him, so that even though the threat is still there, it won’t be able to touch him. As I take these steps to protect him, the Lord says to me- I am removing what has been meant to harm you- and the ones you have to face, I am giving you everything you need to face them without being destroyed.

If I am an imperfect woman who is capable of great love, imagine how much bigger the love from a PERFECT GOD is.

I encourage you today- consider what it is like to be a child. Consider how children truly expect that they will have their needs and desires fully met. Consider how children have no problem being honest about what they see and experience and how it makes them feel. Consider with me, how children have no problem asking for exactly what they want.

Out of that place, let’s go to God simply as His child. Let’s take off all the big-fat adult worry and climb into His lap. Let’s ask for what we need, and for what we want. Let’s find out where the provision which we believe has been prepared, has been placed. Let’s find out which way to go and where the protection is. Let’s see with new eyes what we can joyfully expect and embrace the waiting as a gift of perfect preparation.

You are fully loved- just because you are His child. You do not have to do or be anything but you- to have this love. He who created you, loves you fully. Choose to receive that love today!

Time to Remember

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I had some pretty rough battles emotionally over this past week. Up and down and down further. Fight to get back up just to be knocked sideways. NO BUENO! Hard! Frustrating…..

But Jesus!

I intentionally got away with the Father and said, ” WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????”
And I waited patiently, worshipping Him and thanking Him for who He is and all that He has been in my life- and all that I have experienced Him being in other’s lives.

I remembered!

I remembered the miracles I have witnessed.
-Children being healed from defects that were medically proven were once there.
-Marriages being resurrected from the dead.
-Wounded being healed.
-Lost being found.
-Utter Chaos transforming into peace and order.

The Lord is FAITHFUL! He is POWERFUL! He is indeed the ONE TRUE KING!

It is good to remember who lives in Me. Who I live in. To know where I am, where I stand, and what that means. This God! This God fully lives in me! With Him I can overcome any obstacle. With Him I can climb any mountain! With Him I can walk through the fire and be purified. With Him, I can…………………………do all things!

The beautiful thing about taking time to remember is your perspective changes. I went from me, me, me…..to JESUS, JESUS, JESUS. Things always look different through the filter of my Jesus. Having His perspective on things changes EVERYTHING!

He began to minister to me what was really hurting me. The root of my aching heart was simply the effects of major life changes. Although, this season in my life is a gift and such an incredibly precious one, I have real loss of a life I once lived.

IT IS OK TO GRIEVE WHAT YOU HAVE LOST, on the way to where you are going. Every major life change includes a loss of some sort. Grieving the loss of what once was, does not negate the beauty of the present.

This brought me so much freedom- to bring into the light the root of the pain, and lay it at the Lord’s feet. I could then begin to process and really celebrate what has led me to this point. I could celebrate how all of what I have done until now has truly prepared me to handle the gifts I have been entrusted with right now. Through this process, I was able to begin celebrating my current season even more!

How good is our God!

So, can I urge you? I want to urge you to take time to remember! Who has He been to you? What have you seen with your own eyes that would be unexplainable except the hand of God? What has He brought you through? Remember! Remember His sacrifice, His faithfulness, His beauty. And then, with that perspective, ask Him to show you what the root of that thing is that has been stealing your joy- bringing you down- or making it all seem hopeless. Ask Him to show you what He plans to do about it- and then celebrate with Him ahead of time for that breakthrough. He is faithful! He is just! He is always good and you are always loved!

Beautiful Rejection

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Strange title? Maybe- but perhaps it will all come together.

These last two years, I have been facing waves of rejection that have sought to take me out, silence my voice, and cause me to believe that I am not who God says I am. No doubt- this rejection has come from sources that are most painful- the ones you would consider “closest and dearest”. We have an enemy, who is intimidated by anyone who seeks to do the Father’s will, and will stop at nothing to either destroy or distract you from staying on that path.

Here is what I am learning: Jesus- our sweet Jesus- loved in the face of rejection- even unto His death. He never wasted time considering why He was being rejected, for He knew full well that they were rejecting the One who sent Him. Jesus- blessed and prayed for those who persecuted Him, but never once took a victim’s stance. He never took His eyes off of His Father, and kept choosing to remain in communion with the Father, knowing that would be the only way He could fulfill His purpose and to be certain that He was about the Father’s business.

In every event in our lives- we have a choice to make- do I make it about me? Or do I allow the Lord to use it to make me more like Him? Rejection- it is beautiful- solely because as I take it to Him, place it at His feet, and ask Him to work it together for good- I find my heart being purified of pride. I find that the places where I have so longed to gain this person’s approval, or to be “seen” or “known” by others as this or that- those tendencies are dwindling away. Why? Because the more man rejects me- the more forced and desperate I am to find out how God accepts me. Friends, He accepts me, accepts you- FULLY- and how incredible is that truth when we see it in it’s entirety. He accepts fully who He knows fully. None of our masks- none of our charades fool Him- and HE STILL ACCEPTS US! Beautiful is the gift of man’s rejection- because the acceptance of any person can change- but God- oh our God- He never changes.

As this rejection journey is unfolding- I am also beginning to see how rejection can be a beautiful gift even to the one who is doing the rejecting. The Lord has shown me how unnecessary it is for me to be “right” or even “understood” by the ones who have tried to squeeze me into their box of ‘who they think I should be,’ or ‘who they would be more comfortable with me being.’ He has taught me about how He is my defender- and anything I would say solely to try and defend myself would never bring resolution, but most like;y cause more damage. He has shown me how humility- admitting I’m not perfect- even though I’m also not who you are trying to say I am, can change everything. As I choose to stay humble, continue to pray, and accept His open doors in His timing, I can actually be used by Him to minister healing to the very ones who have wounded me. Beautiful- rejection can even be beautiful to the ones who have done the rejecting.

You see, if any of us has any amount of calling on our lives- we will face heaps of man’s rejection. The more we come to understand this is FOR us- and allow it, and any other challenge, to drive us to His heart- we allow Him to upgrade us, thus leaving us more prepared and equipped for that very calling. He can make anything work together FOR US- however, I am learning to be in that position, it is my choice. I choose to align myself- to follow His leading, and see from His perspective. When I don’t, whew, someone ugly rises up- with ugly thoughts, that are definitely not founded in love- more like revenge and pride. But when I lay my flesh down, pick up my cross, and ask Him to redeem this- to bring healing and restoration, and even allow me to be an instrument if He so chooses- I find myself being healed and restored in the process. The Kingdom of God is win-win. Beautiful Rejection- actually Beautiful everything, when we invite Him in.

Some practical lessons for us as we respond to those who are clearly rejecting the Christ in us:

-Be slow to anger, slow to speak, and quick to listen. ( I could probably stop right here and spend a lifetime learning this!)

-Being understood, is separate from being able to love. ( I can love those who will NEVER get me!)

-NEVER speak from fear! It cuts off the voice of God. (Love and Fear cannot co-mingle. We are always choosing one or the other.)

-When you start to feel afraid, PRAY, and don’t make another move or say another word until you remember who you are!

-Love keeps no record of wrongs. ( This is so hard to lay down especially if we are still struggling with wanting to prove a point!)

Let’s choose to consider those who have rejected us- and be humble enough even to consider those we have rejected along the way. Can we begin to be people who really place value on what God values? He valued love- above all. He LOVED this world so much that He laid down His own life. Can we come to a place of love where what people say, do, or think about us cannot effect our love walk on the Earth?A place where we understand I am not perfect, and I do not expect anyone else to be either? But where we recognize it as a piece of the process or challenge and invite each other to come into the process of a life shaped by holiness we get through our time spent with Jesus? I know this is impossible for me on my own- but I am praying- asking- seeking- for Jesus to work this process out in my life, knowing with confidence that ALL THINGS are possible with Him. One goal, life dream, I would have would be to get to Heaven and meet my Maker and Him to say, “Daughter, you loved well.” I want to know HIS definition of love through and through and to have that response be my first response for each opportunity. He said, ” You won’t get this right every time, but that is ok. The lessons you learn from messing up are as important as getting it right.” He doesn’t expect us to be flawless- just to be seeking, teachable, and then align ourselves with the new level of truth, of love, that He gives us!

Beautiful- this gift of rejection- because it is purifying me and teaching me how to love- when it’s hard to love, a love sort of like Jesus gives to me daily, hourly, moment by moment. Oh how I long to be His reflection on the Earth- I will keep dying daily to myself and choose to let Him live- to love- through my life. Will you join me?

 

What’s new? I’m a mom of two!

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Wow! I have learned so much in just the last 14 days of being a mother to two children. I have learned how much of a waste it is to worry about things which are not in our control. I would spend all of this time thinking about my older son, and how to not let him feel left out or feel this or that- but you know what? HE LOVES BEING A BIG BROTHER! He is so satisfied in helping and being needed, it is so beautiful to watch. Truly, as Jesus taught, all of that worrying did not add a single moment to my life. God loves my son and took care of him. It is not in my control. I wonder today- what are you worrying about? Can you try handing that worry and need to be in control over to the One who knows all things and works them all together for good?

I have learned how beautiful God’s timing is, no matter how much the waiting hurts. I WAS HURTING- every second of every day for about 20 weeks straight- near the end, it was close to impossible to wake up and face the day knowing how much pain I would be enduring. But here is what happened- one of my very best friends on the planet- who was also pregnant with her second child- and we prayed to be pregnant together- had her baby on the same day at the same hospital. I could not have imagined God would give us such a beautiful gift. So wonderful, so beautiful, and something none of us will ever forget. I am now thankful for the waiting! I wonder today, what waiting are you in that might be painful? Will you choose to trust God to make something beautiful at just the right time?

And even now, as though this season isn’t new enough, my family is adding a new layer of adventure ( it’s just who we are called to be- never boring around here.) So as I face this new layer, I have to face some giants. In my own strength and power- a giant would be terrifying- and for a moment I stood paralyzed by fear- thinking I would be going backwards, and downwards, and allowed anxiety filled, fear-filled thoughts to run through my mind. Oh but Jesus! Jesus loves me! And He has reminded me of how far I have come, how far my family has come, and how we are moving forward and not backwards.  I am learning that even when something appears to look like a giant you have slain before- the battle was long,hard, and left you weary and wounded- YOU LEARNED FROM THE BATTLE! You know what to do. It won’t be the same- because YOU ARE NOT THE SAME! It is ok to face battles you have won before because you have the strategy to be VICTORIOUS! I wonder today, what giant are you being called to face, perhaps again, that is trying to intimidate you with fear or anxiety? Can you trust in the One who has given you victory before? Can you rest in knowing that in Him you will OVERCOME?

I am also starting to see just how small my measure of belief is. Sometimes I feel like I really trust God and I really believe that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE- but the truth is- I mostly believe that for all of you. When it comes to me, I still really struggle believing for the big, impossible-looking miracles to happen. Isn’t that crazy? Jesus has always shown up and shown off on my behalf and yet I still struggle. In this season, I have been blessed with a far greater experience than I could have ever imagined- so many people shared with me that this is what they saw coming for me- but I just couldn’t wrap my head around how precious the goodness of God towards me would be to enjoy. SO much better than I even hoped for. And then I saw a miracle in someone else’s life that the Lord has been saying He wants to do for me also, and I could believe for it more once I saw that it happened for someone else. BUT FRIENDS- faith is believing in what we cannot see. It is trusting in God and believing and thanking Him way before we experience it. So now my prayer is, and I am wondering if you would like to join in with me, “Lord, help me in my unbelief.”

Lastly, I am learning how to take it one day at a time. I am learning how to truly rest in each beautiful, messy, lovely, hard, joyful, and painful moment of each day. Take it for what it is, experience it, be present in it, live it. I am seeing more of Jesus when I slow down and really enter into the moments of my own life. Maybe that sounds strange- but I’ve been on the go and in a hurry most of my days thus far. There is something spectacular about choosing to really show up and be in the moments we have so graciously been given. I am learning  that a lot of the rushing and busyness I was involved with previously was a way of avoiding or denying what was happening that I didn’t want to face. Can I share, it takes courage to be present, and that courage can only come from God. I’m wondering today what place in your life are you rushing through so you can deny or avoid the truth of that situation? Can you trust Him who is, and was, and is to come to be there, to heal, to restore, to redeem? He is Faithful!

Oh, how each of our lives makes a difference. You may not believe you make a difference to anyone- but I assure you- YOU MATTER. This little 14 day old life has so dramatically changed my life and heightened my experience on Earth so far. Your life is changing someone’s world. Will you take the journey with me to continue to learn, continue to be teachable, continue to humble ourselves, so that we can become more and more and more like Jesus? Will you commit with me to learning how to enjoy the moments and get to be and have and do all that He created us for? This life- my life- your life- every single person on this whole planet’s life- is a gift- is significant- and is worth living. Jesus- have your way!

Denial- it hurts everyone involved

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This is just a quick word on denial- and the scriptures to overcome the desire to “escape” into it! Praying this blesses someone- as the Word of God has and continues to dramatically alter and upgrade my life!

The absolute first step to overcoming denial is to admit what is happening is actually happening and stop pretending like nothing ‘really bad’ is going on. The need for denial is a self-protection mechanism which gives a lie to the person, “this is too big for you- there is nothing you can do anyways- in order to keep the ‘peace’ just keep quiet.”

But here is what is true- nothing is too hard for God- for with Him all things are possible- and there is hope in the blood that was shed for us. There is no peace outside of the Prince of Peace. We begin overcoming the need to escape into denial (which actually hurts everyone you are trying to protect) when we invite our Prince of Peace into the chaos. When we seek Him for wisdom- when we surrender our need to control the outcome because we know we can trust Him ultimately- but we cannot really trust ourselves. We can trust in His ways because He is God and we are not- and His ways are higher- taking His road always gives us an upgrade- we become more like Him. We can speak the truth of God’s Word in the Authority we have been given in Christ Jesus to the father of lies- and at the very name of Jesus, he has to flee. The only ground the enemy can take in our lives, and of those we have loved, is where we come into agreement with the message he is speaking. To break free we must make agreements with God’s Kingdom, with what is true, and break agreements and actions that follow with the kingdom of darkness. This is a process. But denial- is a lie- rooted in fear of loss. Any fear means we have not allowed God’s love to come into that place and we are still grasping for control.

We have an enemy-it is satan- not each other.

Ephesians 6:12

New International Version (NIV)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Light and Darkness cannot co-habitat. 
1 John 1:5-9   
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
We need God to show us our transgressions, daily.
Psalm 139:23-24
New Living Translation (NLT)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
   and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
We can discern the condition of our hearts by the fruit of our life. 
Galatians 5: 16-26 Living by the Spirit’s Power
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
When He reveals darkness, we can confess and repent and be cleansed and restored to righteousness.
1 John 1:9
New Living Translation (NLT)
9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
We then are free to love, because He first loved us- undeservingly.
1 John 4:16-20
16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other[b] because he loved us first.
20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister,[c] that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.[d]
We show this love by knowing we are not better than anyone- we are simply In Christ, and we work in love to bring one another to the understanding of who they are in Christ.
Philippians 2:3-5
New Living Translation (NLT)
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
We understand that our enemy is the father or lies and wants nothing more than to bring destruction.
John 8:42-50
New Living Translation (NLT)
42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. 43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! 44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! 46 Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”
48 The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?”
49 “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me. 50 And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge.
We overcome satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
Revelation 12:11
New Living Translation (NLT)
11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
   and by their testimony.
And they did not love their lives so much
   that they were afraid to die.
And we lay down our flesh, pick up our cross, follow Jesus, and agree with His heart which is that none should perish, but ALL would have everlasting life in Christ Jesus!
Matthew 16:24-27
New Living Translation (NLT)
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?[a] Is anything worth more than your soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.
2 Peter 3:9
Amplified Bible (AMP)
9 The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.
So our lives journey and every aspect of it should align with our call to GO and make disciples of all nations- and to Love God and love others!
Matthew 28:19
New Living Translation (NLT)
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a]baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 22:36-40
New Living Translation (NLT)
36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
And we must understand in the new covenant what Jesus defines as murder, adultery etc. It is all about where our heart is- which is conceived in the mind.
Matthew 5:21-22
Amplified Bible (AMP)
21 You have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not kill, and whoever kills shall be [a]liable to andunable to escape the punishment imposed by the court.
22 But I say to you that everyone who continues to be[b]angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be [c]liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be [d]liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, You [e]cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be[f]liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire.
Knowing this- and our sin nature- we are to commit to the constant renewing of our mind to become like Christ- to be able to fulfill the call to love.
Romans 12:2
Amplified Bible (AMP)
2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
5 [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories andreasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
And as we do this, we will be quick to repent, and quick to forgive others. This is the only way to live- the only true life. Everything outside of the Word of God is rooted in fear, pride, or denial.

WE CAN OVERCOME! We do not have to be defined by the way we have always done things. We can choose today to break the destructive cycles and replace them with constructive cycles and move FORWARD! And trust me- every small step in the right direction leads to the world changing! And God loves the world! He said you were worth it- believe Him- I do!

Inertia….what does it have to do with me?

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Inertia.

-A tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged- unless changed by an external force.

-idle, sluggish

– a power of resisting by which everybody as much in it lies, endeavors to preserve it’s present state, whether it be of rest or of moving uniformly in a straight line.

I was praying a few weeks ago and the Spirit of the Lord gave me this word and I didn’t know it’s definition so I promptly looked it up. Wow! Endeavoring to preserve it’s present state- being unwilling to do anything or be changed! Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Are you at all afraid of change? Have you ever resisted the leading of the Lord to grow, and tried with all of your might to keep things just the way they are? Or has the Lord ever nudged you to turn left or right, when in your own plans you were headed on a straight line to getting to where you want to be? And to deviate from that plan? That would be just CRAZY! Right?

Wrong! What is crazy is thinking that we know more than God! Thinking that our finite minds can be equal or higher than the infinite will of the everlasting God! What is crazy is bowing down to fear and not having faith in the ONLY One in our lives who has been proven to be totally faithful, unchanging, constant, dependable, reliable, and always motivated by Love.

So I was wondering- if inertia was on God’s mind, and the emotion I felt was that this was effecting His body (You and I individually and corporately as one) what would be the opposite of this? What would be the effect of choosing to step out of inertia?

Here are the antonyms of inertia:

action
busyness
liveliness
activity
animation
life
moving

So I propose this to you for contemplation during your own time with Jesus. Are you being effected by inertia? Is there any area in your life where He has been longing to draw you out, stretch you, and change your position or experience where you have been afraid to yield to His leading? Ask Him to show you what the root of that fear is, repent and turn from it, and ask Him to give you true courage to say yes to Him in this area. Is there any direction He is trying to lead you in that you are resisting because it doesn’t align with your own plans for your life and future? If so, ask Him to show you how to take a step in that direction and to meet you there. He loves our obedience that comes from a place of knowing He is faithful and for us and that we can trust Him more than our own understanding.

Have you been idle when He is asking you to move? Ask Him, is it the time or season for me to become more alive, get active, busy, or moving on anything. Express to Him that you want to walk in step with His Spirit and be about His business- not to waste any of your life being afraid to move or be changed- but to trust Him! He will speak to you! He will show you the way. He will reveal your part, and you will be stirred deep in spirit with a sense of purpose and direction that you have been longing for.

Also, I challenge you to pray for your church and the churches across the nations, that wherever the Body of Christ is stuck, or has surrendered to fear or come into any agreement that is lower than God’s best- that the Lord would make it clear to the leaders, and their hearts would be pliable and they would surrender yet again and be truly about the Father’s business.

Let’s start making some motion by stepping out of inertia and into movement for the Kingdom of God in the specific ways He leads!