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It has almost a month since I posted on here. I ended up having to get a job. It wasn’t something I wanted to do and it is only a temporary solution to my income issue. In the Spring, other programs will be implemented in LIFE Single Mom Ministry and I will need to lead full-time. I trust in a God that gives us dreams and provides the miracles to make those dreams a reality.

It has been a transition. I try to NOT focus on work on my time off, because it tends to drain me. I also struggle with the dread of being outside of God’s will. I allowed fear and people to push me into getting a job, instead of waiting for the miracle. I am now in a constant state of anxiety and sorrow for my decision.

God still blesses us though! I received a $500.00 donation for the ministry from a church member yesterday! God continues to confirm that regardless of the opinions of some, there are others that believe in the ministry and believe in me.

I have also reached the point with a client that I didn’t want to reach. It is hard when you have to make the decision to let go. I hate it. I struggle with guilt and heartache over it, but at what point do we decide to put our own sanity and mental health first? There has to be a point where we choose not to be cussed at and raged against when trying to help. I’m still learning where to draw the line without cutting ties completely.

God is good! These last few weeks have been a struggle, but I continue on and do the work my Father gave me to do. I plan on going back to writing on a more regular schedule. I have to focus on God and NOT on my situation!

I am trying to find a way to slow down time. It seems to be flying by so fast that I can’t find the time to enjoy the present. So, that is my goal. I need to enjoy each moment as it is. Which reminds me, I also have a tendency to worry about the future.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I’m having a hard time enjoying one moment at a time and not worrying about tomorrow. I am challenging myself to take one moment at a time, focusing on the presence of God, and the blessings that He bestows upon me.

I have decided to take a job! The only job that I wanted when I moved back to Indiana was available and I went and got it on Friday! I will be a kennel technician at a local dog boarding/day play business. I LOVE animals and it is a full-time job that offers me a steady income while I run the single mom ministry. I am nervous after not working for 2 1/2 years, but it will be okay. I will NOT worry about tomorrow! I WILL focus on God!

Speaking of the ministry, the LIFE group is not growing as I would have liked, but all in God’s timing. I am planning a book study for January, just trying to figure out the book. I was thinking of something on prayer or something different like Janine Turner’s “Holding Her Head High: Inspirations from 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History” I have also decided to partner with a local church in their large community garden in the Spring.

And if that wasn’t enough, I am also making jewelry to sell as a side hustle.

It means taking time to smell the roses and enjoying each moment as it comes. Easier said than done! In the mean time, I am asking for your prayers as I navigate the transition back to a full-time job and doing everything else that I need to do. God is good and has blessed me abundantly!

Time flies! I didn’t realize that it had been 3 weeks since I had posted one of these. So, how have I discovered Jesus lately?

I sense the presence of Jesus in everything that I do. I know that He is the one that opens the doors as I start LIFE Single Mom Ministry. I know that He is the one that gives me the courage to obey and step out of my comfort zone. I know that He is the one who provides for me as I serve single moms.

Exodus 33:14

14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

The presence of Jesus can be a reality in our lives if we choose to focus on Him and not our circumstances. When the Lord of Lords tells us that His presence will go with us, that is a promise that you can count on.

He will walk with you into court to fight for custody of your kids, face an abuser, end a marriage, or face the consequences of bad decisions.

He will comfort you when you lose a loved one and you feel alone.

He will pick up the shattered pieces of a house fire, a loss of employment, or a broken relationship.

He is with us ALWAYS!

Not only is He with us, He WILL GIVE US REST!

He will give us rest from the worry over adult children who are far from the Lord.

He will give us rest from the anxiety of waiting for those test results.

He will give us rest from the guilt of causing pain to those we love.

He will give us rest from the feeling of emptiness that comes with living a life without Him.

I challenge you today to focus on Jesus. Focus on the presence of the Lord of Lords. Remember the rest that comes from a life lived in Him.

I am always nervous when I step out to serve in any way. I wonder if I will fail or embarrass myself. But more often than not I end up being blessed more than I could ever imagine.

This is precisely what happened on Saturday 9/25 at the WBGL Single Mom Saturday. The Terre Haute location was Burger Chrysler Jeep and they were absolutely AMAZING! They gave each mom and oil change and car wash. On top of that, with the financial support of WBGL, an alternator was replaced for a single mom who had been having to have her vehicle charged every two weeks at Auto Zone to keep it going until she could get it fixed, an emergency fuel issue was fixed making a vehicle safe for a single mom and her kids, tie rods were fixed for one of the volunteers and a few other repairs were made making life a little easier for the single moms served.

Thanks to the donations of my generous church family at Terre Haute First Baptist Church, I was able to give the 16 single moms each a $25.00 gift card for a local gas station. We were also able to give away diapers to those in need of them.

I love days like this! I still get nervous, but God always gives me the words and the courage to go forward in His will and it is so worth it when I see the tears of gratitude form in the eyes of the moms.

There is nothing better than getting out and serving others! I am challenging you to serve someone this week and let me know how it goes.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

We have been studying the book of Job in my Sunday School class. When I read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and think about my life, I know that I have not suffered anything that compares to what Job suffered. In chapter 2 verse 5, Job asks his wife, “shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” In John 16:33, Jesus tells us that in this world we WILL have trouble.

THE GOOD NEWS:

In John 16:33, Jesus also tells us to TAKE HEART! HE (Jesus) has overcome the world.

We have all felt pain and heartache in our lives. We all suffer at some point. No one is free from the pain and chaos of this world. BUT we CAN REJOICE! We CAN GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES! We CAN TAKE HEART! This world is temporary. Our worldly trials are temporary. JESUS IS FOREVER! Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us that God will neither leave us nor forsake us.

I will admit that I have not always rejoiced or given thanks when life throws me a curve ball. I can grumble, complain and whine like a two year old and expect God to fix everything RIGHT NOW!

My goal is to live out 1 Thessalonians 16-18 in my life, no matter what. I will bury John 16:33 in my heart for those times. I can REJOICE ALWAYS and GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES because my Savior JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD and HE WILL NEVER LEAVE ME NOR FORSAKE ME.

Rooted

Colossians 2:6-7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

I love the bright yellow of my Moon Cactus. The only issue that I have had with it is that it leans over. Why? After some research, I found that the Moon Cactus has a short life span because it’s roots are shallow. The roots of the Moon Cactus will never grow deep enough to allow the cactus to stand up straight. I have tried to bury it deeper in the soil, but it still leans pathetically. In my research I found that the only way for the Moon Cactus to grow deeper roots is for it to be grafted into another plant with deep roots (the example given was a dragon fruit). If it shares the roots of another stronger plant, it will flourish and stand strong.

It reminds me of us as Christians. We are the Moon Cactus. Our roots will be shallow and we will lean over if we are not grafted into something with a deeper, stronger root.

John 15: 1-8

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

John 15:1-8 tells us that Jesus is the true vine. In order for us to stand strong, in order for our roots to grow deep enough to withstand the storms of life, we need to be grafted into the one true vine, Jesus. If we want deep roots, we must remain in Jesus.

How do we remain in Jesus?

  1. Study God’s Word- We need to know the Bible. Even the Devil knows the Bible and he will use it against us any chance he gets. In order to remain grafted into the Vine, we need to study and meditate on the Word of God, so that we can defeat the Devil before he defeats us.
  2. Pray- We need to be in continual prayer as we go about our day in order to withstand the spears that will come against us in the course of the day. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray continually. Prayer is a conversation with God. When we enter into prayer on a continual basis, we become as one with God. Praying continually brings intimacy with God (Jesus) and we find that it is easier to remain in Him as we live our lives in this world of chaos.
  3. Give Thanks- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in ALL circumstances. We are not to just give thanks when our lives are going great and we are on top of the world. We are also to give thanks when we have hit rock bottom and our lives are falling apart. If we want to remain in Jesus, we must find the good in the bad. We must thank God for the trials that work to make our faith stronger and our roots deeper.
  4. Build Community- We need the fellowship of other Christians to keep us strong and standing tall. We need to be active in a local body of believers in order to be fed the Word of God and to be watered by the support and community of the Church. When we serve others and allow others to serve us we will find ourselves growing a deeper relationship with Jesus and the end result will be deeper roots.

I don’t want to be like the Moon Cactus with it’s shallow roots and short life span. I want my roots to be deep enough that I can withstand the storms of life that threaten to take me down. I want to stand tall in my faith, knowing that because I am grafted into the Vine I can withstand anything. I want to remain in Jesus, so that Jesus will remain in me.

Challenge: As you go about your life this week, I want you to dig into God’s Word. I want you to pray as you go about your daily activities. I want you to give thanks in the good and the bad. I want you to find a local church that you can build community with. You will find that as you intentionally make the effort to remain in Jesus your roots (and your faith) will grow deep enough and strong enough to withstand any storm.

Wow! It has been a month since I posted an update! It has been a busy Summer and I can’t believe Fall is just around the corner!

On the personal front

We had our granddaughter Lily visit for about 6 weeks from Florida in June and July. It was really nice to be able to get to spend an extended amount of time with her.

We had our niece with us for about a month in July after she had a fire at her house.

My parents were here for a week in mid-August from California. They had not been here for 3 years and they drive. California to Indiana is a long drive for anyone, but these 2 adventurers are in their mid-seventies! It was a bitter sweet visit as they announced that due to my dad’s health issues they would not be able to make it back. That means that God willing we will have to make it there. I have not been home since 1994. I trust God to make it happen.

On the ministry front

I have been busy getting the word out about the Single Mom LIFE Group. Speaking of the LIFE Group, we had our first meeting this past Wednesday and 3 single moms attended! I was super excited to have them and it went well! I am also blessed to have my daughter, Cree, co-facilitating with me. She is Aaron to my Moses. That speech that Moses gave God about not being eloquent, yep that’s me! I am a socially awkward, social anxiety ridden introvert who would rather hide from the people. HA! Such a sense of humor God has! Moses and I are often the types of people that God chooses to put up in the front. Thank God for the Aaron’s and the Cree’s of this world who speak well and are the social butterflies of society.

WBGL’s Single Mom Saturday is coming up on September 25th!

Tami, Cree, and I also have a craft fair that weekend! So I need to leave off here and get to crafting…

I remember growing up watching those movies and T.V. shows where there is a definite theme of good vs. evil. I would pretend I was Wonder Woman or one of Charlie’s Angels chasing the bad guys. I cheered on Daniel LaRusso in the original Karate Kid and rooted for the girl being bullied by the mean girls. Unfortunately, this theme of good vs. evil isn’t just a topic picked to make movies more interesting. It is an issue that we live with on a daily basis in real life. We choose on a daily basis good vs. evil, heaven vs. hell, purity vs. sin, or God vs. Satan. It’s a choice that we all have to make. Will we serve God or will we serve the world (Satan)? Will we have a relationship with God or will we have a relationship with the world (Satan)? There is no escaping this decision, because when we die we will either go to heaven or we will go to hell. 

I was raised in church and even when I was young I never really considered a life separate from God. I was baptized when I was nine and although I didn’t always live according to God’s will, I always knew that I wanted (I needed) a relationship with God. When I compare the characteristics of God to the characteristics of Satan, the decision is easy. 

The characteristics of God:

God is love (1 John 4:8)

God is peace (Ephesians 2:14)

God is joy (Nehemiah 8:10)

God is compassionate (Psalm 116:5)

God is forgiving (Daniel 9:9)

God is a God of justice (Isaiah 30:18)

God is our refuge (Psalm 46:1)

The characteristics of Satan:

Satan is the evil one (1 John 2:13)

Satan is the deceiver (2 Corinthians 11:14, Genesis 3:13)

Satan is a schemer (Ephesians 6:11)

Satan is a murderer (John 8:44)

Satan is a liar (John 8:44)

Satan is wicked, violent and proud (Ezekiel 28:14-18)

Satan tempts us to sin (1 Corinthians 7:5)

In this life, we have to choose God or Satan. We have to choose to have a relationship with the God of the universe who loves us or the deceiver of the world who causes chaos and violence. John 3:16 tells us that God loved us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that we can have eternal life in heaven with Him. 1 Peter 5:8-9 tells us that our enemy (Satan) prowls around looking for someone to devour. 

Even though I was raised in the Church, I came to a point where I had to make the decision for myself, who I would serve. It was never a question for me who I would serve. I knew enough of God’s goodness to choose to serve Him always. God has blessed me in so many ways over the last 21 years as a single mom. Is life always perfect? Absolutely not. There have been dark days when I thought that God had left me. He had not. When I focus on Him and not on my situation I feel His presence and His peace. God loves me. Satan wants to destroy me. Why serve someone who wants to destroy me? I believe in what the Bible tells me. I have felt the love of God in my life. I have seen God answer my prayers and I have the faith to believe in what I can’t see. I also see the hatred, the anger and the violence caused by the Devil. I see the fighting in the streets, the division of God’s people, and the killing of innocent lives. This is all at the hands of Satan. Why would I serve or be in a relationship with someone like that? Why would you? I choose to serve God. I choose to be in a relationship with God. 

Who are you currently serving (God or the world (Satan))? Why?

Reflect on the characteristics of God and Satan. 

Does knowing the characteristics of both change your mind in either direction? Why?

Now that you have a different perspective on serving God or Satan, what are your thoughts?

If you have been in a relationship with the world, I want you to reflect on how that has been for you. 

Are you struggling with sin? 

Are you trying to fill a void that nothing on this earth can fill?

Are you willing to give God a chance?

If you do not have a relationship with God or do not believe in God, I challenge you to give Him a chance. Pray and start a conversation with Him. Open the Bible and let His word breathe His LIFE into you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

God’s Miracles

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 139:13-14

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Psalm 33:6

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

Psalm 90:2

Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Revelation 5:13

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Psalm 95:6

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

John 1:3

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

1 Corinthians 8:6

Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

When I took the picture shown above, I started to reflect on creation and how AWESOME God truly is. The perfection of the flower and the bee left me in awe of God’s goodness and power. Read the scripture verses above and let the goodness and AWESOME power of God sink into your spirit.

I have been reflecting on how quickly the Summer is flying by. In the blink of an eye the Summer (the year) is gone and it leaves me asking myself, “what have I done that made a difference?” “Have I loved someone to Jesus?” “Have I done anything that really matters?” “Have I lived to glorify God’s name?”

It seems to be true that the older you get the faster the years fly by. I feel it as I have turned 51 and I can’t seem to find the time to even breathe. To just be able to put the brakes on a little and slow the clock would be great, but that’s not how things work. So what can we do when we become so overwhelmed by life that you become physically exhausted?

Focus on God– Take your eyes off of the world and put them on God. Allow Him to fill your heart and spirit with the peace that surpasses all understanding. He controls it all! Even the devil has to ask His permission before he acts. When we focus on our circumstances we will become overwhelmed and stressed out. When we focus on God and put our trust in Him we will find that our circumstances do not control us.

Live in the Present– We can not change the past so fretting over what was is futile. The same can be said for worrying about the future. Things happen that we can not control. Worry only makes us sick and unable to handle difficult situations calmly. We need to live in the present. We need to focus only on what is happening now and know that God is with us.

Choose to Love– We can choose to live life with a bad attitude sulking over every negative thing that has happened to us or we can choose to love others despite the pain we have lived through. Even when we feel attacked by the devil we can still choose to love those around us. God often calls us to love those that may seem unlovable. He expects us to love those who maybe a bit prickly. It may seem like an impossible task, but I remind myself that God still loves me when I am acting prickly and less than my lovable self. If everyone would let go of our own agendas and choose to love selflessly this world would be a better place.

I fully acknowledge that I can’t stop the clock and at 51 I am not getting any younger. All I can do is choose to live each day for Christ. I can focus on God and choose to surrender all circumstances to Him. I can choose to love those around me. I choose to make the most of the years I have left. I will live wholly for God.

I will choose to love

I will choose Jesus

I will choose God