Tag Archives: Fear

Enduring And Abiding

Hey y’all! Hope this find you doing well. So many things going on in our world today, right?

When life gets hard, things happen that are out of our control. Stock market, Coronavirus, stay home, no close contact with others, work from home if possible. Life is changing. I’m a hugger and I miss hugging everyone 😭 I love time with my church, small groups and family and friends. I love shopping. Literally, as I’m writing this I got a call from my Immunologist for my appointment next week, they are changing it to phone appointment so I don’t go to UAB. Crazy, right? I mean I apologize it and all but life as we know it changing before our eyes. At least I won’t have to weigh myself, lol 🤣🤦🏼‍♀️ Gotta look for the positives right?🤷🏼‍♀️

When all this is over I’m gonna be a hugging machine🤗

Endure. What exactly does that mean? Endure to hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding; to bear without resistance or with patience; tolerate.

Boy, do we ever need patience right now. Patience with people buying up everything and all the toilet paper. Patience with waiting in the long lines at the store but also observing the 6 ft suggestion. Personally, I like some grocery pick up and delivery.

People are on more edge now. Offer a smile when you have to go out. Pay a compliment to the cashier or whoever it is. People need to be encouraged at the this time. People need to see Jesus in you. Even if you had to wait a long time in line, just tell the cashier you appreciate them. You understand how stressful it is for them and you know how hard their working and God bless them. They need it. Love God, love people!

Ok off my soapbox now.

Abide. What does abide mean? To bear patiently : tolerate. To wait for. To remain stable or fixed in a state. To continue in a place. Stay connected. Dependent on.

Now more than ever we need to stay connected to the Vine, we need remain stable in the storm. People are watching you. They want to see how Christians will respond in this storm. How are you responding? With fear, distrust? Only worrying about yourself? Are you checking on others? A simple phone call, text. I know we can’t always be together physically but we can still support and love each other in other ways. We might have to be more creative.

So how can we endure like Jesus did and abide in Him at the same time? During times of enduring, we MUST abide in Him. We must remain stable IN Him and fix our eyes on Jesus.

Like 2 chronicles 20:12 it says “….For we are powerless against this great multitude which is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

Stay in the Word. Read and study God’s word. Read devotions.

Praise music ushers in the presence of God.

Pray. Pray. Pray.

Fast something for a time. It helps you draw closer to God. It doesn’t have to be food, it can be anything.

Listen to Podcasts or YouTube sermons, lots of sermons and Live streams on Facebook right now. It will really lift you up instead of just listening to the news of doom and gloom 24/7. I know we need to stay informed but to much of it causes us fear and anxiety.

Journaling, writing out your feelings is so helpful.

Enjoy your family. Watch Hallmark they are gonna be playing Christmas movies…Yaaassss! They know how to get me lol. If this goes on to long I may decorate my house😜 Play games together. Binge watch Netflix. Color. Do a puzzle. Play with your doggos. You know there are some happy happy doggos right now🤣 Cook a meal, bake a cake or some cookies. Just enjoy each other.

Honestly, taking care of yourself is so important right. If you don’t do that, you can’t help others and do what God wants and needs for you to do. Drink lots of water, Dr. Pepper when needed 😉 just not 8 a day lol. Eat healthy, fruits veggies, and proteins….less junk and bad carbs. Your immune system will thank you later. Take your multivitamins, supplement with vitamin C and other things that that are important to you and your health needs. I use essential oils and tons of supplements. I also think digestive enzymes are great as well as probiotics. Exercise. You can still get out and walk. With YouTube goodness you can find any exercise you want on there. Yoga, HIIT training, etc. All this stuff matters especially right now. Sorry another soapbox 🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

Fix your eyes of Jesus.

John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [a]of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

Endure like Jesus did precious one, That’s what being in the Word and daily devotions can do for you. Stay in the word sweet friends. ENDURE, be patient, this to shall pass, keep on keeping on, and don’t give up! Abide, in Him. Don’t separate from the branch. Remain stable through the trials.

The cross had 2 sides the crucifixion side and the resurrection side. Jesus had to endure one side to get to the other….You know that’s exactly what we have to do too. Sometimes we have to go through struggles and trials of life, things beyond our control, just like Jesus we have sometimes have to endure bad or really tough things to get to the other side.

But hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus, for the joy of obtaining the prize of the cross, the resurrection, endured the pain. I love Joyce Meyer definition of endure is to outlast he devil!! To be steadfast long enough to let the trial do whatever it’s going to do in our lives and get from one side of the cross to the other!! AMEN!!

You have resurrection power life on the inside of you to endure whatever it is your going through by abiding IN HIM, you stay connected to Him, stay dependent on Him.

Keep on keeping on, press on, and don’t give up!!

Endure like Jesus. My heart will be steadfast because I KNOW that You are good💗

Sword of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Matthew 24:13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

James 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

James 5:11 We count those blessed who endured You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

2 Timothy 2:12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;

2 Timothy 2:10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

Praying for you sweet Trophy of Grace readers. Gods got you right on the palm of His hand, no weapon formed against you will prosper!!

If you have specific prayer request, I’d be happy to pray for you. God bless you!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Get your worship on💗🙌🏻

The Lord Is Near….Be Anxious For Nothing

Coronavirus…it’s on everyone’s mind. Whether you say it is or not, all the lines, shopping, hoarding, and empty shelves at the stores shows it. I still don’t get the toilet paper selling out🤷🏼‍♀️🤣

Here’s what I’ve noticed, some have gone from one extreme to the other. It’s crazy. Some are like “Its just a cold. Why are you acting so ridiculous?” Then others are screaming “It’s the end of the world!”

If we listen to what the doctors say and follow what YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS are, meaning whether you’re a healthy individual or if your elderly or immunocompromised that kinda tells you which direction you should go. It’s not a guarantee you won’t get it, it’s a guideline for you.

Personally, I fall in that immunocompromised category and I have several friends that do as well. I have CVID, so I do have to use wisdom and caution with what I do. You may decide to go to movies, church, small groups, etc. and that may be right for you but for others like myself that is not a good idea. What bothers me is when I hear people say “Well your living in fear when you stop going to places.” No, on the contrary I’m not living in fear at all, I’m living in wisdom and doing what’s best for me.

We shouldn’t judge other people’s decisions when we don’t know what they deal with. So many people have health issues or they have loved ones with health issues and all that needs to be taken into consideration when making a decision on what you will do or where you will go. It’s based on you and your family….not based on what someone else thinks. But that’s just my opinion 🤷🏼‍♀️

I just want to remind you that during all this chaos, the Lord is near.

When fear of the unknown threatens to bog you down, and steal your peace and joy and you find yourself scared and anxious, your not crazy, it’s normal in times like this.

We are human.

Fear of the unknown does that.

The difference is you don’t want to LIVE in fear. We have to choose faith over fear but also use wisdom for your own circumstances.

The Lord is near.

We all face fear and anxiety from time to time but just let me encourage you today sweet friend that God never gave us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and of sound mind. He didn’t cause this but I can assure you, He will work things out for your good.

The Lord is near.

For some, jobs are uncertain.

I know with the economy fluctuating like it is, it’s scary and unsettling.

But the Lord is near.

Some moms and dads just found out schools out K-12 for almost 3 weeks and your thinking “Y’all gonna make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here.” 🤣🤣

But the Lord is near.

Like Joseph, God can cause you to prosper during a famine. Put your trust in God and get in the Word. God will bless you to be a blessing.

Pray! Pray! And pray some more my friends.

Check on your neighbors or elderly family or friends.

Pray for our healthcare workers.

Pray for our government officials, all branches whether you like them or not. Pray they have wisdom.

Put on the whole armor of God.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Sword of the Spirit:

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” Psalm 56:3

God will “instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” Psalm 32:8

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

I pray you start to see the goodness of God and His supernatural provision in your life and family.

Prayer:

God answers prayers sweet friends and it says in James, The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. So Lord we come before You with praise and thanksgiving. We worship You for who you are and thank you for loving us and saving us. Father there are so many people sick and in need of healing, help them regain their strength. Refresh and restore them. Bring healing from the top of their heads to the soles of their feet. Bring supernatural healing to every cell, every organ, repair dna, and we declare it must come in alignment with Your perfect Word.

We come against that spirit of fear that is so evident in our world today. We declare you have NO place here. God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind. When fear, worry and doubt come against me, I’m reminded how big my God is. How he holds my future in his hands. He has a great and mighty plan for my future.

Lord bring provision where provision has been lost. You are Jehovah jireh, my Provider. Give divine wisdom, ideas and creativity to your sons and daughters. Bless us in the famine and open up the windows of heaven Lord.

Help us to point others to You. To show love to others and be a light in the darkness. Thank you Lord for what your doing and that through all this You will get the glory. We give You all the glory and honor, in Jesus name, Amen!🙏🏻

Here As In Heaven

A miracle can happen now
For the Spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the Spirit of the Lord is here
A miracle can happen now
For the Spirit of the Lord is here
The evidence is all around
That the Spirit of the Lord is here

“Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident…For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock.”

He’s got you precious one!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Put on a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness….

Letting Go Of Excess Baggage And Speaking Life To Your Dry Bones

Hey y’all! Hope all my TOG readers are doing great! Another beautiful hot day here in Bama.

So much has been going on in my heart lately, dealing with things and issues from my childhood, past, and present. Things that have made me who I am today. But I realize those things don’t have to keep me broken and stuck in the past. They may have had a hand in who I am but they DO NOT DEFINE ME!

In a counseling session this week, as we were going over my life timeline, and wow that’s a job let me just say. As she would repeat back to me my timeline and the things that have happened to me, I could hear it but it was hard to feel some of it. I don’t know if that makes sense or not? I’d think “Wow, yea that really did happen to me” “Oh and that too, and that too” but I’ve tried so hard in my life to shove things down and not feel the pain or emotions of life, maybe you can relate?

For me, if something happened you couldn’t talk about it….it may hurt a family member or make them angry….forget that it hurt you. That was the message I heard.

Then if you did, your feelings were wrong and not relative. So what does one do especially when you’re a child? Well, you quickly learn what’s acceptable and what’s not and then you learn to SHOVE DOWN EVERYTHING ELSE!

For me an eating disorder developed, it was something I could control, or so I thought.

I carried shame and guilt for things that had been done to me, and later things I had done. But it wasn’t mine to carry, neither is it yours sweet friend.

I have felt alone, numb, unworthy, unloved, unwanted, wrong, insecure, the list can go on and on. Maybe you feel those thing right now. You are not alone precious one, you are in good company. God is with you and He loves you at your darkest! He isn’t scared off by your brokenness, He is just waiting for you to invite Him in.

https://nikhop320.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/i-loved-you-at-your-darkest/

ARE YOU CARRYING THINGS IN YOUR LIFE THAT DON’T BELONG TO YOU?

  • Guilt.
  • Shame
  • Regret
  • Resentment/Unforgiveness
  • Habits/Addictions
  • Anger
  • Past Relationships
  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Anxiety
  • Fear

“And He caused me to pass round about among them, and behold , there were VERY many (human bones) in the open valley or plain, and behold, they were very dry. He said to me, Son of Man can these bones lives? And I answered O Lord God, You know!! Again He said to me, Prophesy to these dry bones and SAY to them, O you dry bones, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD. Ezekiel 37:2-4

As I’m on this journey of restoration with God, I’ve realized some things.

One, I’m not alone in this.

Two, I have to let go of the things (or people) I cannot change…I am powerless to fix it but My God is NOT! My God is BIGGER!

And three, the things that need changing, the dry places in my soul….I have to Let Go and Let God.

There’s No Way Around Pain…Feel It And Move Through It

Today, I can say I’m doing a new thing! I don’t always get it right, but thank God I’m not where I use to be.

Those dry places in my soul and in my life, I’m choosing to feel them, be more vulnerable, and speak life to them. You can do the same thing my friend.

If you need something in your life to change, let me remind you when you let God in ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! Healing and restoration are possible and I’ll even go as far to say it’s inevitable. Because where God is, there is LIFE and there is FREEDOM!

There is life and death in the power of your tongue! Speak LIFE!

The same power that raised Christ from the dead, lives IN YOU!!

Speak God’s word out of your mouth every day and call those things that be not as though they are!! Get in agreement with God’s promises!! Your life and circumstances WILL CHANGE!!

Prophesy to those dry bones!! And keep prophesying till what is dead comes to life. Don’t you dare give up!!

God bless you! I’m praying for y’all and I’d love to hear from you.

Big hugs,

Nicole💗

Jesus! Name Above All Names

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name..” Philippians 2:9

Jesus! Name above ALL names!

There is POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS. Your problems MUST bow to the name of JESUS!

Whatever is troubling your heart, whatever trial….if it has a name my friend then it must bow to the name of Jesus!

Cancer must bow to the name of Jesus.

Alcoholism, drug addiction must bow to the name of Jesus.

Poverty must bow to the name of Jesus.

Guilt and shame must bow to the name of Jesus.

Sickness and disease must bow to the name of Jesus

Fear must bow to the name of Jesus.

If you are sick, pray and declare “by His stripes you are healed.” Sickness must go in the name of Jesus. Declare the cleansing, healing blood of Jesus is flowing through your body right now. Declare that your body come in alignment with Gods word. You may not see it or feel…yet….but keep speaking it out loud every single day and believe in your heart that it is done.

If you have a loved one with an addiction….keep praying for them every day! Speak the word over them. Declare they are FREE and they have the mind of Christ. We have to keep in mind with something like this, yes, there is free will but your prayers are POWERFUL, you are speaking into the atmosphere life and freedom for someone. The angels can’t help but move into action on this persons behalf. Pray for divine connections and that God would place the perfect laborers in their path, people that they can hear and relate too. Keep praying that God would open their eyes and heart to what He has for them.

This one falls inline with the above one as well. If you have a loved one who continues to make bad decisions, the best thing you can do is STOP ENABLING THEM. When we rescue people from the consequences of their choices and behavior….YOU ARE NOT HELPING THEM. You are only prolonging the problem. They need to feel the consequences of their actions. They need to figure out how to fix their own problems and situations they’ve created.

How else can they grow up when you’re doing everything for them?

AND YES, it’s painful and yes it’s hard but if you truly love them then let them face themselves and their problems. Allow God to do what only He can do.

Just a few of the Names Of Jesus:

Almighty One  “…who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Rev. 1:8

Alpha and Omega  “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Rev. 22:13

Advocate – “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1

Author and Perfecter of Our Faith “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2

Authority  “Jesus said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matt. 28:18

Deliverer – “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thess.1:10

Good Shepherd  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

Great High Priest  “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Heb. 4:14

I Am  “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58

Immanuel  “…She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’” Is. 7:14

King of Kings  “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” Rev. 17:14

Lamb of God – “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

Light of the World  “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Lion of the Tribe of Judah  “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Rev. 5:5

Messiah  “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).” John 1:41

Mighty One  “Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Is. 60:16

One Who Sets Free  “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8:36

Our Hope  “…Christ Jesus our hope.” 1 Tim. 1:1

Peace  “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Eph. 2:14

Redeemer  “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” Job 19:25

Rock  “For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” 1 Cor. 10:4

Savior  “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

Son of Man  “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

Resurrection and the Life  “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25

The Way  “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Victorious One  “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Rev. 3:21

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Is. 9:6

All this…and soooo much more!

Whatever your going through, whatever trials….Jesus is BIGGER my friend!

Be anxious for nothing….“Anxiety is a signal alerting you that it’s time to pray.” Craig Groeschel

When I say Jesus, the very mention shatters the darkness and calms my soul. When I say Jesus even a whisper breaks through my doubting till all my fear is gone.” Life.Church Worship

Have a blessed day!

Big hugs,

Nicole 💗

Jesus, You Alone -Highlands Worship

Holy, all the earth singing
Holy, all the angels cry
Holy, Jesus, You alone
Worthy, all creation sings
Worthy, all the heavens
Exalt Thee, Jesus, You alone
Holy, all the earth singing
Holy, all the angels cry
Holy, Jesus, You alone
Can we lift our voices and sing?
Worthy, all creation sings
Worthy, all the heavens
Exalt Thee, Jesus, You alone

https://youtu.be/tejMgeDWIpg

America Will Never Forget

September 11th is a day America will never forget. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I saw the news. I bet you do too. I was stunned, scared, heartbroken….I couldn’t believe what my eyes were witnessing. This simply couldn’t happen in America?!?!

Sean and I had to the opportunity go to New York in January and I will say so far New York has been my most favorite trip we’ve ever done. I love NYC!

The day we got there we new the first thing we wanted to do first was the 9/11 Memorial Museum. I didn’t know what to expect but it was by far the most emotional, humbling, surreal thing I’ve ever done. Standing there at ground zero, where nearly 3000 people lost their lives. Such an eerie feeling, it’s almost as though you can still hear their cries.

I know I’m an emotional person anyways but if you’ve never visited the 9/11 Memorial I think it’s a must do for every American.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum occupies like 8 acres of the original WTC site. As we slowly walked through taking in all the thousands and thousands of images, artifacts, pictures, all the audio, the phone calls to loved ones, and news accounts of what had taken place became overwhelming to me. I wept all the way through….quietly sobbing the closer to the end we got. My heart was forever touched and more broken, standing there where it all happened. Knowing those precious people woke up that morning just like every other morning and expected to see their families and friends when they got off work but it would be a different day…because evil came to visit America. It came and took American lives. It came to destroy us.

There’s no denying that there is evil in this world but the Light will always overcome the darkness. So while it came to visit us here in America…it hadn’t destroyed us, in reality it united us and made us stronger.

So many stories of of heroic events took place. Those Americans who took over the plane, to those who lost there lives helping others out of the Towers, all first responders, firefighters, police officers, EMT’s, military personnel. So many stories of courage and love.

Evil doe not prevail!

(Above photo taken from internet)

Seeing the “Survivors Stairs” is something I will never forget seeing. This was the last visible remaining original structure above ground level at the WTC site. Such a sad, courageous and powerful sight to see.

(Photo above was taken from the internet)

May we never forget those whose lives that were taken and those whose gave their lives to help others live.

The Lord heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds💙❤️🙏🏻🇺🇸

God bless you!

Nicole

Come To The Altar

Hey y’all! Hope everyone is doing great. I’m enjoying a day at home with my oldest daughter, it’s a NO SNOW😭 snow day. We’ve been watching When Calls The Heart and enjoyed some hot chocolate. Sure wish we were out playing in the snow but in Alabama this is what you get, LOL. Unplanned time together is the best even when you just chill! 💗

So how are you my friend? Is there anything you are you holding onto? Is there something weighing on your heart that you need to let go of?

Have you come to the altar today?

Journaling is a very healthy way to bring things out of the darkness and into the light. You may not be ready to share it with others and that’s ok but just writing it down and getting it out is so healthy. Even if you write it out, confess it to God and throw it away its just a healthy healing process. Remember Psalm 32:3 “When I keep silent about my sin, my bones began to weaken because of my groaning all day long.”

Are you feeling any of these?

Tired, broken, hurting, hopeless, happy, anxious, empty, lost, full of fear, full of love, joyful, sick, shame, hope, rejection, worried, searching to fill a void, blessed, happy, confused, etc

Today’s Challenge:

Are you ready to really dig in and get FREE?

To walk in the freedom God has planned for you? It’s time to lay it ALL on the altar, all your feelings, everything you’re holding onto, secret sin, bring who you are, what you’re not and what you want to be….bring it ALL precious one. It’s time to take off the mask. Come to the altar and lay it all at the foot of the Cross.

Living in the Word:

Romans 4:17 “…Call those things that be not as though they are.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.”

Isaiah 61:3 To grant consolation and joy to those who mourn in Zion—to give YOU an ornament of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garmet of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that YOU may be called Oaks of Righteousness…..

Renewing the Mind:

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation is in You.

What God says about you:

I love YOU just the way you are! YOU don’t have to get all fixed up to come to Me. YOU are My priceless treasure, My special masterpiece. YOU are NOT a mistake, no I created YOU on purpose. Bring your burdens to Me, there is NOTHING to big and NOTHING I can’t handle. Trust Me precious one, expect and believe and you will see just what I can do in your life. I have great and mighty plans for YOU! Ephesians 3:20

Song of the Week:

“O Come To The Altar” Elevation Worship

Joy Unspeakable

When it rains it pours right? Gosh I’ve been there, not a fun place. Not like the fake rain in this picture, lol. But I can honestly say In His presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11

My friend, if you are saved then the fruit of the spirit is in you already. You may not see it all manifested yet but it doesn’t mean it isn’t in you. Joy is one fruits of the Spirit, and YES it’s on the inside of you. It takes time for it to come to the surface and for others to see just like all the other fruits of the spirit. So be patient little grasshopper😉

Fruit must grow, it takes time and it must be nurtured. Same thing with Joy.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Remain in me and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Get in His presence because THERE in His presence is fullness of joy precious one. Ask him to increase your hunger and thirst.

Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Happiness and joy are not the same.

Happiness is based entirely on our circumstances and things going on around us. As soon as a difficult situation comes up or pain arises the happiness is gone. But Joy is different, Joy translates to “calm delight” and joy is a gift from God. It helps us be stable in the hardest of circumstances. It also helps us find the good, and hope and peace even when our lives are in turmoil. It’s not dependent on our circumstances and in the midst of the storm we can still have joy, a calm delight.

5 Things that steal your JOY.

1. Complaining and Grumbling-This is a HUGE one! It’s so easy to do and causes so much trouble in our lives. What I can tell you is that a #grateful #thankful heart is NOT dependent upon our circumstances. It’s not dependent on whether you got a good doctors report or bad, or whether your loved one is doing or acting right. No, the joy of the Lord is your strength, friend!

Remember your words are containers of power. You get to choose what kind of power they carry no one else.

You are what you speak and think. So you must get in agreement with Gods word, and speak life.

The things we think or ponder can steal our joy if we are not careful.

Where the mind goes the man follows.” Joyce Meyer

“Complain and remain. Praise and be raised.” Joyce Meyer

2. Procrastination– Oh goodness this one is NOT my friend, because I can fall into procrastination easily especially if it’s something I DO NOT want to do. I’ve got a million pictures that need to go in albums but man I know how long it’s gonna take me so I have put it off for a long time. I’m sure some of you are like that too. But I’m learning to do the hard things first, I don’t always get this right but it is something I’m working on. Don’t put off things you could do today.

3. Approval Addiction yep this is one I’ve also struggled with….approval.

3 little words have plagued me most of my life. Please. Perform. Perfect. Thankful I’m learning different way and to be gentle with myself😌

“Perfectionism is not self improvement. Perfectionism is at its core, about trying to earn approval and acceptance. Most perfectionist were raised being praised for achievement and performance (grades, manners, rule following, people pleasing, appearance, sports). Somewhere along the way we adopt this dangerous and debilitating belief system: I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it. Please. Perform. Perfect. Healthy striving is focused – how can I improve? Perfectionism is other focused – what will they think?”

Excerpt from The Gifts of Imperfection. Excellent book if you struggle with this! Check it out!

4. Living in the past or past Hurts

Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. Philippians 3:13

Strain forward my friend to ALL the good things God has in store for you.

You can’t live in the past. You can’t change the past. All you can do is learn from it and press on.

5. Fear

Fear is absolutely the worst! I’ve struggled with fear a great portion of my life. Let me just say that is NOT Gods plan for you my friend. Fear is of the devil and fear is a liar! I love the song Fear Is a Liar by Zach Williams. Here is a portion of his lyrics:

Fear, he is a liar

He will take your breath

Stop you in your steps

Fear he is a liar

He will rob your rest

Steal your happiness

Cast your fear in the fire

‘Cause fear he is a liar

The “feelings” of fear can be paralyzing, I’ve been there myself and you may find yourself there today. In the past fear has kept me from walking in the plans God had for me. I can recall a time when I was a volunteer counselor for Sav-A-Life. See the reason I was drawn to do it was because I was 19 and pregnant myself, scared, didn’t know what I was going to do. So I knew that feeling all to well and wanted to help others. For me abortion was out, so Sean and I talked and I prayed, we loved each other and so we got married and we’ve been together for 28 years now, 3 daughters later. God is good!

I went through training and I loved the one on one counseling, I knew I was helping and making a difference. As time went on they asked me to do educational classes for Mom and Dad. Well there it was, Fear showed her ugly head. I was good with one on one but teaching a class full of people well that was different. I knew in my heart that God wanted me to do it but fear prevailed and I ended up quitting and never went back. THAT IS WHAT FEAR DOES.

Fast forward a few years, I became a Life Issues leader for Celebrate Recovery. I was leading a group, sharing my testimony in large groups. The thing I feared God was using and I was doing it afraid. That lead to leading lots small groups, teaching health and wellness classes. I still had some fear but the difference was I wasn’t allowing it to control me any more.

My friend fear cannot be outrun, it MUST be faced in order to overcome. If you allow it fear will steal your joy, wear you down, and keep you from the plans that God has for you. So say “NO!” to fear. Do it afraid! Be expectant that the Lord is going to do something great in your life today!

PRAY, PRAY, and PRAY SOME MORE!

Here’s the thing, if your lacking in joy, and let’s be honest a lot of us are these days, pray! Pray at all times, in all situations and without ceasing. Prayer changes things! It gives God the opportunity to show himself strong in your life.

Sometimes He changes your circumstances and other times he changes YOU. That’s what he did in my life and he will do it for you too precious one.

Your prayers can literally can change the atmosphere. It can change your life, your marriage, your loved ones, and anything else you need.

This is the year for Unspeakable JOY in your life. God is looking and longing to bless you, to set you free, and bring more joy to your life. So you be expectant my friend!

Unspeakable JOY is on the way!

Big hugs,

Nicole💗