Category Archives: Courage to Hope

When Trusting in the Lord is Hard

 

This past month has been a whirlwind.

I started a new job in a new city…alone.

I had so many emotions to process, and that I’m still processing. However, I feel compelled to write.

I have inspiration and several drafts written, but as I continue to cultivate my craft and hone my skills, I feel obliged to withhold it until it’s ready…thus, I’m doing a #FlashBackFriday to a post that has inspired me to keep pressing into the unknown and to TRUST with all my heart.

When Trust is Hard

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Persistence = Results

What are you doing to bring you closer to one of your goals?

My goal this year is consistency.

I’ve been working diligently on blogging more consistently.

I’ve never been one to struggle with words or inspiration.

Yet, sometimes I find myself contemplating what to blog.

As I’ve really embarked on this year and my word ‘consistency,’ I had to extend grace.

I also had to expand my box.

Too often we compartamilize ourselves into what we think we should be.

I have so many roles as wife, mother, sister, friend, worker, house-keeper, etc.

Not to mention, a Godly woman as prayer warrior, greeter, and extending grace.

I often say, I’ve earned my ‘S’ on my chest.

My quest for consistency can sometimes leave me feeling inadequate.

I thought consistent writing required writing every Tuesday or Wednesday.

Consistent exercise  requires me to work out every Monday and Thursday.

The thing I’ve learned is that like life, not only is my week unpredictable, but sometimes the day is as well.

There is victory in routine and consistency.

But sometimes, we have to be consistent in our desire.

If you’re working toward a goal, then you know the greatest struggle is not only consistency, but determination and persistence.

When things don’t happen as we want them to, or as quickly as we feel they should, we can grow weary.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

So today I just want to encourage you to be consistent in your desire.

Be consistent with “just keep swimming” and the results will come.

 

This storm is over

“Everybody wants one. They’ll give money and stand in line just to receive one. But while you’re waiting on the miracle you want, don’t forget the miracle you are.” ~ Miracles, Kirk Franklin

If you’ve read my “about me” or scrolled through my previous posts you’ve seen that I’ve had my share of “life” with its twist, turns, valleys and mountains.

Let’s #flashbackfriday

The year is 2011, I’m married with children. Life is going. My husband and I have made a difficult, yet exciting decision to re-locate to a near-by town for better schools and job commute.

Our house did not appraise for what we owed, so like most homeowners in a struggling house market, we decided to rent.

Within five years, we experienced two court battles and two evictions.

Through it all, we praised. Through it all, we thanked.

I would love to say that’s all we did. I can only speak for myself…Although I was counting my blessings during the day, I often wept at night.

Doubt crept in, anxiety rolled down my cheek, and worry cramped my back.

With thanksgiving, came begging…pleading to God that “this too shall pass”, as more time went by.

Things seemed to go from bad to worse with an eviction and unemployment claim filed.

There were times that I knew “prayers go up, blessings come down” as we were able to vacation, able to not skip a beat with our kids wants and needs.

Yet, there were other times it seemed “prayers went up, a hail storm came down” as a good renter turned bad, repairs on houses were needed, repairs on cars were needed, bills stacked, and credit declined.

So in this season, I was able to stand by having FAITH. After winter MUST come spring.

I had more questions than answers as I struggled on all fronts: financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It seemed an attack all around.

Yet I still had hope. FINALLY, today arrives.

We closed on our old house. We are now officially home-owners of one home and one mortgage. *Insert BIG grin of relief and tears of gratitude*

We still have clouds ahead of us as we re-build and get everything “back on track.”

Today I had a good cry. Gratefulness flowed from my heart. THIS storm is over…NOW.

No matter what you are going through TRUST in the Lord. Keep praying, fasting, and believing as he blesses you over and over in the midst…until you come ashore.

That door has closed. A new one is open. A new blessing awaits, but if you’ve lived a little then you know, new levels bring new devils.

I will remain steadfast, unmovable, always abiding in Him. For now, I’ll await the harvest of spring.

“The next time life’s winds and waves washes all your faith away, know God can still do miracles today.”

Perfecting My Testimony

2014 was a year of highs and lows.

At first glance, it was a year of loss.

I lost my first “big girl” job, employment of almost six years. I lost tears, joy, and people along the way. Those first few months were so challenging. I was worried, frightened, and often hid behind a smile.

It was also a year of great gains.

I gained wisdom, faith, and joy…to smile in spite of my circumstances because I had a joy that my physical circumstances didn’t give, and could not take.

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In the midst of what felt like a dagger and feeling defeated, God not only kept me, but blessed me.

I saw God’s hand before. He gave me peace from my abused and neglected past. He provided forgiveness for my poor decisions. Part of me felt like I had used up all my grace and mercy.

But know this my friend…there is no expiration date on GOD. Unlike milk or bread that expires and can no longer be used, there is no limit to God and His availability. He was with me at checkpoint #7, 8, and 9. And He’s the same FAITHFUL God at checkpoint #141. He’s not fickle like people, hot one day & cold the next.

Like a teacher, He’s often quiet during the test, but ALWAYS nearby.

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In the midst of my storms of 2014, my family went on our first family vacation to (of all places) Walt Disney World. We went to the beach and made some family memories we will carry for our lifetime.

I also attended SheSpeaks, a writing conference I had prayed about two years prior but felt I could not afford. So to see God’s hand not only provide a way, but an abundance for me to go was and still is amazing!

God kept me, is keeping me, and I have no doubt, the best is yet to come as I continue to grow and mature.

P+O=S (preparation+opportunity=success). Sometimes I feel overwhelmed pursuing my passion/dreams.

I’m reminded that if God has assigned me, God will find me. I have faith everything is exactly as it should be. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

You have to experience the wilderness in order to minister/encourage someone in the wilderness. Its uncomfortable and often harsh, but  tie a knot and hang on! Remember after winter MUST come spring.

Stay encouraged my friends!

The best is yet to come! Believe it and receive it!

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P.S. We had another family vacation this year! There is no limit to God’s power!

Jehovah-Jireh

“Jehovah Jireh, my provider; Jehovah Nissi, Lord you reign in victory; Jehovah Shalom, you’re my prince of peace and I worship you because of who you are.” ~ “Because of Who You Are” Vicki Yohe

Jehovah- Jireh is one of the many different names of God in the Old Testament of the Bible. It means “the Lord will provide.”

We often limit God’s provision to money.

We live in a society that circulates around the need and greed of money, so money is often the forefront of our thoughts.

But God’s provision is not limited to paying a bill or buying a new pair of shoes.

To someone experiencing grief or anxiety, it is more important that God provide peace.

To someone who is expecting healing, it is important that God provides strength and love to get through their illness.

Sometimes God’s hand is obvious through His grace (God blessing us when we don’t deserve it) and mercy (God not punishing for sins deserved).

We work jobs that we don’t qualify for. We know it could’ve been me, should’ve been me, but God spared us…one more time.

Be encouraged today that God will always provide.

See his provision in the comfort of words from a friend, always knowing where you will rest at night, and always knowing that you have food to eat (even if you have a preference for something else).

On days when I get blue because my bank account doesn’t look how I want it, a bill doesn’t get paid by the due date, or a friend doesn’t answer the phone when I really need someone to talk to…

I simply bow my head.

I talk to God. I tell him everything troubling me.

Sometimes a simple “you know my heart and you know what is bothering me” will do. Other times, I need a good pow wow with God to tell him ALL about my troubles.

Regardless if its that you need more patience with your spouse, patience with your children, or transportation to get to work, know that God can do it and will do it if you ASK and RECEIVE.

Be blessed,

Lemon

XO