He Cares for You

February 26, 2015

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Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you.... casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for You..... 1 Peter 5:6-9

We are all easy targets for the devil. We have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and be determined to win this battle. Tell him to get away from you and quote the word of God just as Jesus did. The devil will have no choice but to flee.

December 15, 2014: Thank You for caring about me. What an amazing feeling to know that the God of EVERYTHING cares about everyone, even when we feel insignificant and alone. We are not worthy for You to care about us so deeply. Your plan for my life, though I may not understand it yet, is perfect. I will continue to do everything I can to sanctify myself for You.

I know that my Soul is drawn to pride. I see that I am always making everything about me, and not others, especially not You, Lord. I understand now why Pastor Matt was firm with me and asked me why I cared so much about my students talking about me. I understand that my anger, depressions, even my sensitivity, stems from not focusing on what is truly important in this life- You. I asked for You to open my eyes and change my perspective and I can begin to see where You are doing that in my life.

You are helping me mature. You are giving me the tools to begin (and eventually) complete the internal transformation I must go through. I am so thankful. I fully believe the the Holy Spirit is present in me and as I continue to grow in You, He will grow in me. Pastor Matt said be faithful for a year and you won't believe the changes you will see in your life, but I am proof that change can be immediate. I really feel like a newer, better version of myself after only a few days-- I cannot wait to see how you shape and mold me over the next year. I am so excited.

I am so thankful You never gave up on me- even though it's been nearly 17 years. I know it won't always be easy. I know the process is lifelong and ongoing, but I also know I have the direction, power and purpose of the Holy Spirit to help me along the way. In Jesus' name I ask the Holy Spirit to DAILY  show me, change me, and fill me so I will stay on your righteous path.

We Cry, "Abba Father"

February 25, 2015

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The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

December 11, 2014: How You deal with the pain and suffering of all creation is amazing to me. Sean wakes me (on my morning where I pledged to sleep in of course) telling me he feels sick and I immediately go into "SuperMom" mode to comfort him and try to make him feel better. Blanket and pillow on the couch. Juice in a cup. Favorite show on the TV. "Barf Bowl" in his lap. But sometimes all I can do is rub his back and promise him that this feeling of sickness will eventually pass. It's a small comparison to Your power because You can heal and comfort at levels I will never attain, but the comfort is there. You are available to comfort us all if we will accept it. I want your comfort, your protection, your guidance. I want to feel Your presences at all times, but I don't always know how to do that. 

It is hard to let go and let You have control of everything. I read things online and I get mad or paranoid. I know that's not the behavior I should exhibit. I stress too much about things that don't matter and won't matter. I continue to ask You to change my perspective, to keep me ever aware of what is most important- the unseen and the everlasting, the kingdom of the Lord. I know you are changing me, if others are seeing it too, I know it must be true. This makes me happy and grateful because I know it's not just me- it's You and only You. 

I am so excited that my family is coming to church again Sunday. I know that the sermons can sometimes get a little confusing, so I pray You will help them see Your truth. I would love for them to accept Jesus as their Savior and not not to their own understanding of life. But I also know how incredibly hard it is to truly do that- I mean, I was saved for almost 16 years and I'm just now there! We are stubborn, hurting women. It's hard for us to trust because of so many past hurts, so I just pray you will fill them with love, something they can really sense. I pray I can be a good witness to them- that God's light will shine though me for them to see. 

Do Not Fear those Who Kill the Body

February 21, 2015

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Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

A common theme in my earliest journaling entries was fear, particularly fear of other people. When I had an opportunity to talk to my pastor about my work issues and the stress it was causing, he was very blunt with me. He steepled his fingers at his chin and leveled his stare at me. I was crying and upset, and he said, simply, "So what? Why do you care what they are saying?" 

Why did I care? I had teenagers spreading rumors that I had posted naked photos of myself on a social media account. They were spreading rumors that were not only embarrassing and cruel and wholly untrue, but also rumors that could potentially get back to my principal and community. Through my tears and frustration, I relayed this information. I was married. This was my good name and reputation at stake because some kids were mad over grades or tardies or detentions. 

Again, he asked me, "But if it's not true, why do you care? Kids are going to talk about their teachers. Do you think people don't talk about me? This is just a part of being in a leadership position."

I admit there was truth to his statement, but it didn't help the hurt and anger I was feeling over the situation. Even though I knew it wasn't true, and could prove it wasn't true, just the fact that people I knew and spoke to every day would purposely try to hurt me, well, it hurt. It hurt badly. I wanted validation for my feelings, but I wasn't expecting this.

He continued, "You are focus too much on what's going on down here." He motioned around him before pointing up at the ceiling, "You've got to take your focus off of them and put it back on Him. Kids are always going to talk about their teachers. Is this always how you are going to react? Don't people know you well enough to know that you didn't do it?"

I admitted that yes it was true. The people who mattered in my life would obviously know that the rumor was ridiculous and totally unfounded. They would know that teenagers are often foolish and don't realize the real world ramifications of their actions. It was also very true that I spent most of my time worrying about the things of earth, the temporal and temporary, and very little time focusing on the unseen, the eternity stretched out before me. 

He let me finish blubbering before saying something that I never in a million years would have expected a pastor to say to me. I came into his office looking for sympathy and a kind word or two or a quick prayer, but instead he looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I'm not trying to say that God's telling you to suck it up... But I'm pretty sure God's telling you to suck it up." 

Ouch, right? But really this was the reality check, the kick in the pants I needed, not only to reprioritize my life, but also to turn my eyes to what really matters- GOD. For so long I had been focusing on the negatives in life- the people who hurt or frustrated me and situations that made me impatient or frustrated. I got so weighed down with the weight of the world, that I never truly realized what was ultimately important and essential. When I came back to work, my pride had been hurt, but my eyes had been opened. When co-workers tenderly asked me how I was doing, if I was going to be okay, I had an inner strength that had never been there. "Oh, I'm good," I assured them. "Because I'm not focusing on them anymore," and like my preacher I waved my hand around the empty desks in the room, desks that would soon be filled with those who want to hurt and embarrass and "kill" the body. Then I pointed heavenward, "I'm focusing on him."

December 12, 2014: Go straight to the Lord! Thank You for Your Grace. Thank you for showing me the things within myself that I must change. Thank you for showing me how to change. Thank you for being there always, giving me strength, helping me find peace. Please keep me from getting discouraged. 

Today I feel like I definitely, for real, heard the Holy Spirit talking to me! I recognized that Satan was trying to drag me down today- to make me angry and stressed. My back was hurting, my curling iron broke half way through curling my hair, being "too busy" to do my Bible study and journaling, but I REFUSED, Lord, and here I am with a million "more important" things to do, but I'm with you. I am continiuing to focus on You, the unseen, the most important, and not all there other interferences- they can wait. You and starting my day with You is way more important, and I ma thrilled to finally recognize that. 

My day could have continued to be crappy because my focus would be on that, but I know I can't allow these things to drag me down because ultimately THEY DON'T MATTER, and You do! I feel like this is a huge step! I want perfect this morning- I swore and I got angry. Thank you for having Sean speak up to remind me not to be that way. Thank you for showing him how to pray for is sinning, but trying momma! That was so wonderful! Today's devotional was seriously written just for me, so I know that's the Holy Spirit telling me what I need to hear today. Thank you, thank you for giving me this wonderful gift. The glory is all Yours and I bask in the knowledge that You have trusted me and believe in me and You are giving me the Holy Spirit to guide and encourage just when I need it most. What a wonderful feeling. 

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