Anxiety and Community

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Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

In the world of Christianity, you will most often hear, just give it to God. You will also hear, these scriptures 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” and Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Here’s one more many recite in times of crisis, it’s found in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Although, these scriptures will give you peace (when you receive them) for all your concerns, they can also come across cold and churchy at times too.

My anxiety level for the past four months has been all over the place between trying to sell our house in Georgia, looking for a home church here in Florida, having one vehicle for our family of six, and wondering where in the world we are going to live.

It’s a weird place to be. If there was such a place as purgatory that is where I feel I’m at. Everything is on hold and I’m just sitting here waiting.

Cast means, to throw (something) forcefully in a specified direction. Yes, I’ve done this and peace comes, but after a week or so when I see no movement and no answers anxiety creeps in again!

I’ve learned when the feelings of anxiety overtake me I turn on worship music and pray. When the music isn’t penetrating my thoughts like I need it to I send out a S.O.S. to a few of my family members.

Don’t try to battle anxiety on your own! God did not create us to walk alone. He desires us to hold each other up when our brother or sister is too weak to stand.

My mama sent me this story a couple months back. It really shows the power of support.

When a mama elephant is giving birth, all the other female elephants in the herd back around her in formation. They close ranks so the delivering mama cannot even be seen in the middle. They stomp and kick up dirt and soil to throw attackers off the scent and basically act like a pack of fierce bodyguards.

They surround the mama and incoming baby in protection, sending a clear signal to predators that if they want to attack their friend while she is vulnerable, they’ll have to get through forty tons of female aggression first.

When the baby elephant is delivered, the sister elephants do two things: they kick sand or dirt over the newborn to protect its fragile skin from the sun, and then they all start trumpeting, a female celebration of new life, of sisterhood, of something beautiful being born in a harsh, wild world despite enemies and attackers and predators and odds.

Wow, what a visually….and in the subject line of my Mama’s email, “I’ve got you Sissy.” Talk about the water works flowing!

God knew I didn’t need another scripture, I already knew His promises, but they weren’t piercing through my thick scull. Instead, I just needed to know someone was going to battle for me when I was down and too weak to fight for myself.

I’m sharing all of this to say, the next time someone shares their fears and worries with you, don’t be quick to blurt out a scripture. Instead, pause a moment. Only God knows what that person needs. Yes, it could be a Bible verse or it might just be open ears, closed lips, and a tight embrace.

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Aligning the Heart and Mind

The Boy family is moving back to Florida, so this Father’s Day weekend we went house hunting around the New Tampa, Brandon, and Welsey Chapel area, with palm trees galore.  How exciting, right? No!

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It hasn’t even been a year since we moved to Georgia and we only closed on our current house seven months ago!

Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to all the paper work of relocating and starting over again.

When my husband first told me about his job opportunity, we took a week to pray about it before making the decision. Mentally, I knew the right decision was for my husband to take the offer, but my heart was not in agreement.

I personally had no desire to move back to Florida. My husband’s company relocated us to North Georgia in July and I fell in love! Here we have seasons. Fall isn’t just a word you describe to your kids and show them pictures online of how the leaves change, but you are able to experience it firsthand. The leaves actually turn gorgeous shades of caramel, strawberry red, and a golden yellow. Beyond the seasons, our entire family is plugged into an amazing church. The girls have had opportunities to sing on a worship team and be a part of a Christmas production.  We also found a beautiful homeschool group where the kids have found sweet friends to hang out with weekly. Does God really want us to move?

Well, I was expecting a stir of excitement when we went down to Florida, but that didn’t happen, at all! For three days we looked at pretty houses and nice lots, but nothing inside me said, “yay!” To be totally honest I felt a sense of depression at times, numb, speechless, and could care less!

My wonderful husband was taking my “vibes” (if you want to say), personally. He wanted me to be happy and he could see I wasn’t.

Last night he prayed about our move and our future. He then wrapped me up tight and prayed for me personally. After he stepped away, the tears streamed down my cheeks and I heard God say, “It’s time to move!” Not once, but three times, I heard God speak directly to my heart, “It’s time to move!” He knows I’ve been stubborn in this area and He didn’t want to leave room for me to question. For the first time, I felt peace, I felt my heart let go.

Afterwards, a memory came to mind of when I was little playing with my cousins, at my Mema’s house, and my Dad would stand up and say, “It’s time to go!” I automatically knew, I wouldn’t get another five minutes to play even if I asked. When my dad said it’s time to go, he meant it and I knew it! There was no room for doubt or pity parties. My mind, heart, and emotions would snap into place and I would leave my Mema’s house with my head up and a smile on my face. I can now say the same about Georgia, my mind, heart, and emotions have snapped into place, my head is high, and there’s a smile on my face because Father God said, “It’s time to Move!”

Thank you, God, for giving me peace about this new adventure. I pray for all my sweet friends out there that may be facing difficult times or big changes and their hearts are not in agreement. I pray you soften their hearts to hear your voice and I pray that you will give them peace today.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Is your purse empty? 

Last week my husband brought home a wonderful surprise for me, a Kate Spade gift set. The set included a sleek, black, leather wallet and a chevron print phone cover. I quickly asked, “how much was it?” You see I don’t like for people to spend money on me. My sweet husband explained to me there was a promotion going on at work and he got it for free. Wow! I don’t know who Kate Spade is, but I love free gifts. Later I realized Kate Spade is actually a well known designer. Well, I need a new purse to go with my fancy wallet now, you see this wallet won’t fit in my current purse, plus if I was going carry around a Kate Spade wallet now, I need to have a name brand purse to go with it. So the following day I went shopping. I found a MK tote from TJ Maxx, it wasn’t full price, but it wasn’t cheap either. After a few days of carrying it around, I felt guilty. We are in the process of buying a new house and we need to be wise with our money, also, there are tons of other things I could spend that money on, so I returned it. 

The day after returning it, I went out looking for a purse again, I was on a mission. I spent an hour and a half between three different stores. Looking up and down the aisle, pushing purses left and right to see what was behind them. Even taking pictures with name brand purses like MK and Kate Spade, so I could send them to my mom and get her opinion. After searching and looking for what seemed like hours (my poor kids), I left! This was ridiculous! As I drove off toward my next errand, I felt like a spoiled brat, I was frustrated and pouty because I couldn’t find “the purse” I wanted one.

That night after cleaning up from dinner I got on the computer and started looking again, yes again! I was trying to find deals, but the prices were still in the hundreds! Finally, something said look at H&M. I found the perfect solid black purse, under $30 (after my discount)! Now that’s something I can buy!

As I laid down that night I started thinking about how much people feed the “brand” name, just hashtag brand names on Instagram! They also spend hundreds of dollars on the outward appearance from clothes to makeup and hours grooming themselves from manicures to hair treatment. But how much time do we spend investing on the inner self? I spent hours looking for a stupid purse that had the outer appearance altogether…it was cute, expensive, trendy, and had the hashtag liketoknow.it all over it, but none of that matters if the purse is empty inside because you invested all your money on the outward appearance. Who cares what clothes you wear, handbags you carry, and shoes you strut, if you have nothing inside that’s worth any kind of substance? 

Don’t get me wrong, if you have the money and you want to give me a name brand purse, I will gladly take it…lol. No, really if you have the money, fine. Also, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with getting your hair colored and your nails painted, I actually have an appointment on Thursday to get my roots done! I just want to encourage you to not get wrapped up in the outward appearance. For in 1 Samuel 16:7 it says, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Yeah, you might look real cute for your Instagram pic, but is your purse empty? 

Prayer: Lord, may our character speak louder than our wardrobes. Help us Father, to focus our attention on what pleases you, rather than be concerned about how many followers and likes we have on social media. Search our hearts and guide us in your truth. In Jesus Name, Amen

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Perfection is Not the Answer!

FTH_1151Hi, my name is Moses. No, not really, but at times I feel like him. I am not eloquent with my words and grammar is my second worse subject (History is my first, I just can’t remember all those dead people and the dates they died!). But even so, I feel God’s call on my life, so strong at times, to speak, write, pray, and encourage others that I can’t silence it.

Exodus chapter 4 tells us about Moses. He was not a confiedent man. He was an insecure human that stuttered, and lacked his self worth.  He questioned and doubted God over and over in this chapter. Finally, the Lord has had enough when he tells him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

God doesn’t need a perfect man or woman to use. He receives no glory for the one that has it all together! He takes us as we are, does the impossible, and then he receives all the praise!

Friend, don’t let your weaknesses handicap you. Stop making excuses. There are people needing to be set free! They are enslaved in this world and the devil has pulled the wool over their eyes. Believe me if God is pulling at your heart strings, He will strengthen you to do the task ahead.

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. ~2 Corn. 3: 4-5 
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~Phil 4:13 

 

Make Time

As I was taking down the Christmas tree the other day, I noticed a picture frame ornament that I had never put a picture in. For a month and half this ornament hung on our tree empty. Yeah, that’s pretty crazy, but the fact is it remained picture-less because it never made it to the top of my priority list. 

“I just don’t have time” or “it’s been so busy lately!” These are common statements I here way to often. 
The truth is we make time for what is important to us. 

What will you make time for this year? 

Here are some given priorities that should not waver:

*spending time in the Word and with God

*spending time with your husband (date nights, etc…)

*quality time with your children

*take time to invest in yourself and your health

If these above items don’t make it on your list you might want to consider reevaluating your priorities. 
 

One Word…

 As we close the door on 2015, I want you to think back on the good and the bad. Reflect on things that stick out that you wish you would have done different. Yes, it’s in the past and we can’t change it, but looking at our history will help us to make a better future.

Now 2016 is knocking and you have the opportunity to make it an exceptional year. Many do this by making a plan. They write down all their new year resolutions, which is great, but I want to change it up a little. 

A few years ago I was asked to choose one word to describe our new homeschool year that was coming. I choose fun! The past years had been challenging with moves and pregnancies, so that year we would learn, but I wanted to have lots of fun with the kids and we did!

I want you to think about all the hats you wear wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, etc. Let’s take it a little deeper and think about just “you”. What does God have for you in 2016? What is the one word that will define this year to come? 

Mine is RELATIONSHIP! 

2 Corn. 6:16 …”I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

God is here, He longs to be in a relationship with us. When you are in a relationship with someone you make them the priority. He will be the priority in 2016!

Divorce doesn’t occur because the couple had a strong relationship. By continuing to invest in my marriage, I’m building a relationship with my husband that won’t be easily broken.

We only have a few years with our children until they are off living their lives. I want to create strong relationships with each of them while I have the chance. 

Last but not least, how can someone trust you if you aren’t in a relationship with them. I want to make sure that I’m establishing relationships with others, so God can use me to encourage them. 

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