9. The Dream Giver is Here

April 24, 2014:

28 years and 7 days after my birth I figured out the answer to how I can finally do what I was born to do:

  • HONOR MY HEAVENLY FATHER by giving him back my dreams and giving Him my life plans so that He can give them back to me for a bigger and better purpose.
  • Your dreams cannot be done on your terms… They are done on His.
  • If we learn to let go of our plans and lists and this idea of perfection we allow to run us, peace will reign over our lives.
  • It’s not all about me. AAAAH GASP!!!! It’s not??!!
  • The only way to greatness is by serving the Lord.

Once my open mind allowed this realization to sink in I could barely breathe. I needed to start expecting miracles from God and become one. THE WORLD NEEDS TO SEE GOD WORKING IN YOUR LIFE. This is how we honor Him. All the things I was trying to do my whole life I was trying to do them alone….you don’t win battles on your own. The big picture we all so desperately try to see is already known by God, His work is finished, so let him work in and on you.

I went out to walk my dog feeling lighter and allowing my brain to rest from all this new information and during our walk, a feather was in my path. Hallelujah!

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My journal entry that day:

I received my feather today and it’s going to lead me straight to a miracle.

The Dream Giver is here.

                         I was never truly happy living and chasing my dreams because I forgot to include God.

                         We fall apart when we forget God. But I’ve woken up just in time for an era of blessings and miracles.

                         I am craning my neck, turning my head to see what God is doing.

                                                            Faith. Trust. Believe.

                         I honor you Father, I win over the devil. I’m prepared to watch blessings fall around and in me.

                         I love you Jesus.

Where are you right now with your dreams and your walk of faith? Are you exhausted yet?

Pray this prayer below if you are ready to begin the journey of faith and trust to your God-Given Destiny. If you’re tired of being the commander of your life without any answers or road map on how to do it. Moses didn’t live out God’s dream for him until he was extremely old! It’s never too late to find God and ask for the right directions!

Lord,

I thank you this day and all days of my life for continuing to seek me even though I may always turn away from you. I am ready today Lord to live out my life the way you have prepared for me. I’m ready to live your dreams for me. I ask for blessings, larger borders and the power to go with them. I’m ready to thrive and fill my vine with abundance: much more fruit! I understand you’ll prepare me for and with great obstacles opportunities that will come in a predictable sequence for a promising reason. Help me stay the course. My hand is in yours and together we walk. Bless my journey.

Amen.

When you begin to follow God and let Him lead: Expect Miracles.

 

 

 

8. Start of Something Good

  August 27, 2014

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I was BAPTIZED tonight, at the age of 28, as I announced in front of a large congregation with over 89 people who also were baptized, teens and adults, “I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, my priority and my best friend!”

Four months earlier… April 23, 2014

Recap:

  • My relationships is not in a good place leaving me confused especially since we were planning on getting married this year.
  • I started reading devotionals daily and praying, working on becoming a better nurse & person with the new principles of God I was learning.
  • Got drunk off that alcohol…tempted and sinned, was feeling bad but found forgiveness in the Lord.

Determined to not give up on my faith after a weekend of drunk debauchery, I pulled a new book off the shelf that my good friend, and wife of a Pastor, Cherrie Howard, recommended to me. After finishing the book Secrets of the Vine and having somewhat of a foundation of what God wanted from me, I finally felt prepared to read The Dream Giver also by Bruce Wilkinson. Cherrie warned me that after reading this book, my life would never be the same.

Since I was young I always kept a list with me of aaaallllll the things I would achieve in my life figuring out along the way I wanted to be a leader, someway and somehow. Thus far, I had pretty much achieved most of what I wanted and then some, diving into other random opportunities along the way. I could not be stopped and was going to make money and be successful no matter what anyone said.

There was one problem: Yes I had gotten a lot checked off my list but I had also run myself into the ground and simply felt unfulfilled both at work and home. All this work, time and energy and I found myself really no where, alone in Arizona, not happy and my bank account looking the same. I was getting by just fine but wasn’t there more? Checking off boxes on a piece of paper just wasn’t cutting it anymore. So I opened my book…

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  • First chapter:
    • I had a choice to make: Comfort vs. Dream? But the kicker is, when it gets uncomfortable, when obstacles stand in my way, I had God to help me find the opportunity in the obstacle. I vowed to take the word “obstacle/challenge” out of my vocabulary and instead say OPPORTUNITY. When I look up to the sky and picture heaven, what discomfort here on earth truly matters?

The Lord can have my dreams, He can even have my life…I trust in His plan. Do you?

 

 

 

7. Sin of the flesh: Temptation

April 20, 2014, Easter.

After all my work for the past few months, reading my devotionals daily, praying every day and trying to become a better person, I fell….hard.

I just came back from Vegas after celebrating my 28th birthday with friends and my boyfriend of the past 10 years. Once again, no proposal from him and needless to say I drank all weekend to excess. My boyfriend and I got in a huge fight over something stupid and the weekend did not end well. Alcohol had gotten me again and I was devastated.

My boyfriend and I were already having problems though before Vegas as he lived in Chicago and I had applied for nurse anesthesia school in Rhode Island. I quote him: “If you get into school I’m not going to RI and you don’t want to do long distance anymore so I guess if you get into school this is over…”

Here I was in the same pit of despair after allowing alcohol to dictate and control my weekend when I said I was not going to allow it to. When I told God and myself I would have self-control. All this work I did for nothing!? So there I was, sitting in my apartment, alone with my dog, wondering how and why I sank all the way down to the bottom again and what was in store for my relationship.

I went to my journal and wrote to God: “I come to you tonight full of thankfulness of the people you’ve placed in my life and for keeping us all safe this weekend in Vegas. I also thank you for today, the day you finished your work ensuring my health, wholeness and forgiveness so we can live in your love and light. But as you know, I am stuck again. What do I do? Do I stay with him [my boyfriend]? Have we grown apart? Can I not be the person I want to be with him? Will he leave Chicago? Can I be happy with him for the rest of my life? I feel sad and confused right now but I know to have faith, you are leading me through a season. Help me to listen and see what you want for me. Keep me on the course Lord. Amen.”

A few hours later I was still feeling sick to my stomach, literally and figuratively, about drinking so much alcohol and losing control. I finally reached for my devotional before falling asleep and read April 20th where the title was: Handling Temptation. Wow God was about to speak to me!

The voices that entice us are near, the voices that encourage us are distant. The world rams at my door, Jesus taps. The world offers pleasure of flesh and Jesus promises us a quiet dinner with Him. Which voice will I obey?

Hmm…I took the bait. I chose the immediate temptation and pleasure of the lights, the party and the alcohol for a good time which left me empty and frustrated. But God was reminding me that need all we do is look to Jesus, keep our eyes on Him and never look away. “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces never covered in shame.” Psalm 34:5

What are you looking at today? Sin? What is tempting you away from God? Are you going to allow temptation to dictate your life or allow Jesus to? He’s in you, with you always, you need only seek Him.

6. Changing my tune

April 11-16:

At this point in my Walk I was becoming quite aware of the patterns in my life that were not allowing me to grow as a person and a Christian. I continued to read my daily devotionals, continued to have highs and lows at work and stopped drinking alcohol. (Now this is coming from someone who has always been the life of the party.) When I party and drink, I can’t stop drinking and I can’t hold myself to any boundaries and I spend the next day or week cleaning up the mess I made. Finally, I decided why live like that?

And the next step I took was stopping making detailed to-do lists and living by them! They would stress me out more than help me and I was learning that I had to walk on faith and trust that God would ensure that all that I needed to get done that day would be done, all else was not for me to worry about. I found that I didn’t miss the hangovers and days not ran by lists but by God were actually more productive! Who would’ve thought. I was feeling more fulfilled and happy when I consistently went to His Word every day.

Here are a few key words that began to shape the person I knew I needed to work to become:

  • Being a Callous Joyous Spirit
    • Be approachable, available and affirming. Stop talking bad and gossiping about people but start communicating with God on how to help them. Be a light and bring peace to others. Wouldn’t you rather be someone that people enjoy being around?
  • Being Impulsive God Led (This is HUGE for me and daily work)
    • You aren’t learning while you’re talking. People don’t need tons and tons of information. They need answers that work, they need a listening ear and timing is everything! PAUSE before talking or reacting. Be quiet, observe and listen for God. It’s OK to not know everything. You’re not supposed to.
  • Having Fear Trust and Faith
    • YOU WILL ALWAYS MAKE IT TO THE OTHER SIDE. Faith in God does not exempt you from having difficulties in life, it simply equips you to get through them. Our inadequacy reminds us to reach out to God. Let Him do the work, expect miracles. Trust His plan after all “He commands even the wind and water…” Never be afraid.
  • Being self-seeking a servant of God
    • God knows your motives whether you admit them or not. Do you live to serve yourself or God? Do you serve others to look good or do you serve because it brings you joy and you expect nothing in return? Be tender with the people you meet, learn God’s word and understand that only God’s opinion matters. If you lay all your confidence in man you will only be disappointed.
  • Being judgmental loving
    • It is not our place to attack or belittle people who don’t believe in God. Matthew 19:19 “love your neighbor as yourself.” It is not our job to defend Jesus to others or even to sell Him, our job is to be all these things mentioned above and introduce Him to people by having them observe the fruit of our lives.

 

Be quiet & listen, Be kind, Be patient, Be loving, Be joyous, Have faith, Be fearless.

Lord,

Help me to stop being frustrated ALL the time when I do not do things perfectly. As I continue to learn a better way to live remind me that what is most important is to simply seek you at all times, pray to you, talk to you and take it moment by moment. Become my pause before I react, my ears so that I will listen to your people with full attention, my heart so that I will be kind to others and my mind to quiet my fears and doubts. I know you always have a face of love and a plan for me. I need only come to you. I know that I am just one choice away from a better existence. I cannot fathom how much you love me. Thank you for today and allowing me to leave yesterday behind. Help me to be a teachable child of your Word and stay the course.   Amen.

 

5. In the Midst of the Rain

April 10, 2014

If you’re reading this right now: YOU ARE ALIVE! You have been given ANOTHER DAY!! Praise God! Let the rain pour, let the sun shine because God is with you always and has given you another chance to stand up in His grace and surrender your life to Him.

After a frustrating week at work trying, trying, trying to be perfect and more God-like and not succeeding to my standards, I still went home every night and read my devotionals. I was committed to learning how God expected and wanted me to live.

After finishing Secrets of the Vine, I was led to write this prayer. My suggestion is to read it aloud…

Daily Abundance Prayer

Lord,

Submerge me in your waters of grace. I am here and ready to leap faithfully into your loving arms to be led by your passions, purposes, and desires for my life. I realize that your dreams for my life are much bigger than what I could dream on my own. I now realize that a busy life chock full of lists and my priorities will never make me happy. Happiness lies in abiding in you all the days of my life.

I ask for protection from the devil and to be strong enough to allow your spirit to carry me through every single second. May I remain motivated today and everyday to seek your face at all times, listening for your voice, and accepting your guidance so that I may unlock your treasures for myself and others throughout the day.

Here and now I leave my definition of success behind and my expectations for my life behind, they’re gone, so that from here forward I can do only what you see for my life. You are in control of my mind, heart, body and spirit. I ask that your hand be held in mine always and in return I’ll keep you constantly with me, uninterrupted and walk in faith that all is and will be right in your kingdom.

I see now that with your light in and on me, my harvest will prosper and my vine will be saturated with clusters of grapes. But I know it all starts with one step, each moment, all day for the rest of my life.

God, please bless my walk TODAY. Amen.

Are you ready to jump in? Don’t you want His power to exude through you?? Do you want to live by His Spirit? Can you let go of what you want, and stop running in place and instead walk, jump, run, skip, fall on your knees, sit, I don’t care how you do it, but come before the Lord and ask for His WAY, His Blessings, so that your life can be fruitful and meaningful and propel forward?!

Man, what I would give for a life through Christ….who gave up His life for you, so that today, right now you are free to be His child and through Him, have all the things you could ever imagine and so. much. more.

Will you say yes?

 

4. And it Begins

April 8, 2014

So, you want to live the Christian life huh? The real way, live life as intended? Yes!

From the teachings of The Secrets of the Vine, I looked at a part of my life that was hurting me the most, where I knew I wasn’t performing my best, where I wasn’t happy: my career as a nurse.

My devotional that day asked: What are you focusing on? Opportunities or Obstacles? The open door or the adversaries?

Well I will tell you one thing, as an ER nurse in a trauma center, patients and their families are rude, rude, rude and demanding! My patience and compassion was worn thin, I had not much to give to anyone and joy and peace in my work was almost at zero. What purpose was I serving running around in circles being yelled at by ungrateful people!? Uggghh!!

Hmmm but what was I focusing on? Everything in that above paragraph is: negative! Gasp! Could I be the problem?? I had to start looking for the open door, how could I be a treasure in others’ lives in EVERY situation I was placed in? God already instilled in me the ability to handle whatever situation I faced if only I reached out to Him in faith. Easy right, I could do that!

My new mission and prayer before work that night:

Lord, I am grateful for the work and job you have given me. I must stop talking badly of others. I don’t know their walk. I only know mine and mine is to be kind, loving and compassionate to EVERYONE I meet. Simple tasks brighten days. I have been blinded to the opportunities you have placed before me because I have been looking at them wrong, please open my eyes to how I can be a treasure and a light to others in all opportunities placed before me. Amen.

Sigh. My struggle at work continued that night and I came home apologizing to God for losing control of my mind and mouth as I continued to be frustrated with others and myself. I wanted to be better and wanted God to empower me to be better.

What are your expectations from God? You expect to pray and spend time with him and then all will simply be well? I sure did and was sadly disappointed when I went to work with a shiny new attitude and came home feeling bad that I reacted the same as always….BUT I was recognizing the part I played in the negativity I allowed in my life.

Keep the course… Stick with the word of God. He will never, ever forsake you or give up on you but you must be willing to never give up on yourself and always seek Him.

He whispers: Come to Me, Come to Me….

 

 

3. Fruit of the Spirit

March 2013

Forgiveness…Do not ask for forgiveness because we are already forgiven by the blood of Jesus, simply confess your sins and work to not repeat them. Let go….let God take care of the rest.

I walked out of that church service feeling lighter, in awe of the message God had lead me to hear. I knew none of this was by coincidence and wanted nothing more than to continue understanding God on a level I never had before. I got in my car and prayed for happiness, prosperity and abundance through Him, to treat people better, to love more and have better relationships with others and with Him, and how to spread this Good news.

Sometime that week I was lead to read Secrets of the Vine by Bruce Wilkinson (from my Amazon order) and knew for now I was to put The Dream Giver book on hold. First, I needed to understand what God wanted from me and since the Bible seemed too overwhelming for me to read I figured this was a great start.

**John 15: Jesus’ last message to His disciples before He was crucified.

Verse 5: “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.”

People often say the most powerful, meaningful words right before they die…for Jesus it was no different. Tucked in John 15 are our instructions to abundance.

I continued reading…

Bruce Wilkinson, The Secrets of the Vine:

  • “Too many of us live in the shadows of God’s vineyard–because we think of God as helping us to win on our terms which equals struggle and disappointment.”
    • Hmmmmm!! Is this why me doing whatever I feel like doing when I want to do it always leaves me feeling empty and exhausted even though I have a great job and life that looks good on paper??
  • “Our dreams are always too small, we are here to fulfill God’s dream, to live a remarkably abundant life which equals our greatest personal fulfillment.”
    • Oh my goodness I want that!!! And what?! My dreams are small, whoa! God must have a greater plan for me, greater than I could begin to imagine. Ok, I was loving this book so far. I want an abundant life!
  • “More is always possible because we were created to bear much more fruit which is the destiny of every believer. Jesus expects abundance from us.”
    • Ephesians 2:10,  created in Christ Jesus for good works
      • More!! Of course I want more from life, sign me up!
  • What does God want from me then?
    • A fruitful harvest
  • How do we get a fruitful harvest? How do we get abundant lives? My excitement for these secrets and new way of life kept me turning the pages, feverishly taking notes and stopping at times to relish and let all this new info soak in.

Lord,

I give you permission every single day to shape me, cleanse me and redirect me to the path you see fit. With you less is more and I understand that living a pre-occupied, crazy life only allows me to live up to a fraction of my potential. I regret it has taken me so long to come to your side but I am here now and I am ready to live the life You have planned for me. Lord, I understand that your discipline for my sins is only out of love and that if I am to move further into a relationship with you I ask for your help replacing pieces of my life that do not serve you with strength, spiritual power and productivity that will serve you. I understand my faith will be tested multiple times but I must use these trials to perfect my faith and trust in you. Stretch me beyond my limits and I will invite you in to work everything for good. Lord as I move forward keep me the course, keep me conscious of you throughout my day, searching for you at all times like you are that of a hidden treasure. Open me up to your abundant possibilities by abiding more and doing less. I will read my Bible every day, I will speak to you all day and every day like the Father and friend that you are and allow your power to flow through me like water. I do know Lord that it’s always my move to respond to you. You will always be there but I must remain connected to you throughout each and every moment. Only through this may I bear much, much more fruit for your kingdom. Fill me with the fruit of the spirit and let no man take it away!

Amen!

God answers prayers when you ask Him for what He wants most to give and when your motives are pure…

The journey is a hard one, but it is beautiful, stay the course.

Psalm 27:4, One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek; that I may dwell in the house   of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.