Purposeful Faith

Category - doubt

Honoring Your Husband

we all want

This Facebook message stopped me. . .

Sharrona Watson posted on Facebook:

“I used to be a bit hard headed when it came to my husband. Between temper tantrums and straight I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOU, I was a mess.

Why listen to him when I can listen to myself? Besides, I had this subconscious belief that my Holy Spirit was much “Holy-ER” than his.  I know I’m not the only wife that has felt this way.

God started dealing with me…

I woke up one day and the side of my face was a lil swollen. I knew it had something to do with a tooth. No biggie, pop a few motrins & antibiotics I should be good to go on this women’s retreat I was excited to go on.

Why on earth did Randy say “no”? He wanted me to go to Urgent Care. And miss my trip??? gosh darnit, that strong-willed being in me wanted to fight, but I knew I needed to listen.

I went to Urgent Care…. they immediately sent me to the Emergency Room, my face tripled in size and the pain was so severe. They immediately took me back and sprung into action, cutting open my gums. They used this tool that extracted a large amount of infection from me. It was painful. The E.R doctor told me had I not gone in the infection could have gone to my brain as well as shut my airway — both could have resulted in my death. Can you imagine me getting to heaven and the Lord saying “All you needed to do was listen to Randy”?

Submitting to our husband’s can save our lives. Whether it be physical, mental, spiritual etc… Sometimes they KNOW MORE THAN US!!”

This post made me think… Do I honor my husband’s wisdom or do I think my wisdom is best? Do I know what I’m doing or do I hear his heart? Do I heed his advice or go my own way?

Various times, my husband’s wisdom has felt off-putting…offensive, even.

Once he told me to “keep quiet”, as it pertained to a specific issue. But, I didn’t want to keep quiet, I wanted — TO SPEAK! Yet, it was only after following his wisdom that something amazing happened: by keeping my mouth shut, God opened a door. A major door.

God’s ways are not our ways. Wisdom doesn’t always sound like our voice or outlook. Yet, that doesn’t mean it is trash.  God speaks through people, even husbands.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. (Is. 55:8)

We don’t always need to understand — before we trust. We don’t have to make sense of everything — before we follow. Who in their right mind can understand the vastness and completeness of God? If you waited to know everything, before following Jesus, you’d be nowhere.

Do you need to trust your husband more? You know, there is no perfect husband, but we do serve a perfect God who defends, who protects and who leads. We can trust our Maker, to make our path straight, as we honor our husbands.

I know — doing this — isn’t always easy, so let’s pray…

Prayer: Father, I want to thank you for Sharrona Watson’s post on Facebook. It reminded me that I don’t know it all. I don’t have every answer. I don’t know my own way all the time. Thank you, God, that you have united me together with my husband, on purpose and for a purpose. When we are in unity, there is power in that. Please teach me, Father, what it is to honor and to submit to my husband’s wisdom. Please help me to trust you, when I do this. I want to learn  to honor you by honoring him.  Thank you, God, that I am growing in relationship and marriage. Thank you God, that you will help me. Thank you God, that I am not defenseless. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I was going to put Sharrona’s bio and picture here…but you know what? Instead, let’s pray for her!

Prayer for Sharrona: Father, please grant Sharrona the deep desires of hear heart. Father, we pray for breakthrough in her life, as she is calling out for. Hear our prayer today. We ask for swift answers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Things are Not As You Think

“Oh no! Why did you do that? Why did you bring your drinks downstairs?” My mom groaned.

Apparently, my kids spilled lemonade on her brand new carpet.

“But, Nana, we have water and we didn’t spill anything!” They said.

“Yes, you did. I see that big splotch on the ground.” My mom pointed at a big dark circle on the ground.

“But, Nana, that’s only a shadow.”

The closer mom got, the more she could see. The kids were right. What my mom was stressing about was only a shadow, not a spill.

How often do we see things that are only shadows? How often do we misconstrue words into something that another is not even saying? How often do we perceive what people are thinking, when they are not? How often does what we worry about not even come true? How often do our perceptions become projections onto others?

Jesus is wise.

Instead of worry, Jesus essentially says, “Hey you! Don’t run ahead… Don’t get ahead of yourself, or me, for that matter.”

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mt. 6:34)

We never really know what we face until we come face-to-face with the reality of it. That’s why we can’t make a mole into cancer. Or, a child’s actions into a proclamation of their life. Or, a husband’s lack of timeliness as a determination of who He is or, who we are. Or, our yesterday into a predictor of our today.

We do not know — until Jesus says it is time for us to know. There is no benefit to trying to figure things out, either.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Mt. 6:27)

When we run ahead of God, we run out of grace. We run out from under grace’s cover. This is why worry, fear and anxiety mount. But, to stay with the Holy Spirit, in the present moment — is to keep peace and to walk in the ever-present help of God.

How is your mind prone to run ahead? Where do you lose peace?

What might God want you to know in your here-and-now?

Consider: Has God ever let you down? Has He ever stopped helping you? What did you worry about 3 years ago? How are things going now.

Take an opportunity to: Thank God. Release your worry to Him. Repent of fear. Renew your heart and mind in Christ Jesus, for He cares for you.

Things are not always as they appear. Darkness tries to fool us sometimes. Things are not as dim as the enemy wants to make them look. Raise up your head to see — where your light comes from — and you may get a whole new outlook as you do.

Prayer: Father, I know where my help comes from. My help comes from the Maker, the Creator and the Author of Life. Forgive me for looking left and right, into the past and way-ahead into the future. Holy Spirit is here with me, right-here, right now. I want to walk with you and talk with you. I want to be united with you, without stress and burdens. Will you comfort me and help me? I trust you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

You Can Trust God

reconstruction zone

God is faithful.
He is not man.
He doesn’t just observe us; He actively loves us.

“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Nu. 23:19)

I remember playing basketball on those summer nights in California, pre-childen, with my husband. On one particular evening, the ball bounced off the rim and slammed my ring finger. The doctor said it was broken. If I didn’t handle it now, I’d get arthritis. I needed surgery and a pin, quickly.

I rang up the insurance company. The issue was I had signed up for the worst company insurance plan. It wouldn’t cover my need.

Not knowing what else to do, I prayed something like, “God, help me. I don’t have the money nor the insurance for this surgery. I need you to provide. I need your help. I trust you.”

The operator came online. I informed her that I was on the worst company plan. I let her know that I was stuck.

She “looked into things” and replied, “Actually, you are signed up for the best plan. It covers everything.”

I was shocked. How could this be!? Something must be wrong. But, it wasn’t….

Even though I didn’t sign up for that “best plan”, somehow I did. . .  God did it! God came through. God answered my prayer. Miraculously, what I didn’t sign up for, I was part of.

When we don’t know what to do, God will come through. When we can’t see a way, God can see one. He might not always show up like we think (because His ways are higher than ours), but He will show up.

How has He come through for you (I’d love to read a sentence or two, even though I can’t really respond to everyone if I want to be a good wife/mom)?

God has healed me of physical issues, provided financially, provided emotional healing from an eating disorder, helped me to get up again through His Word, messaged me through nature, and brought relational healing with family members. God is faithful. It didn’t all happen immediately, but by His grace, it happened organically, over-time, and in His best way. There was always a higher place God planned to take me to, even if — in the moment — I couldn’t see it.

Just as we can’t see the snow on the mountaintops…it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Just because the answer isn’t in our vantage-point, doesn’t mean it isn’t coming. Or, God isn’t taking us to higher ground.

My dear friends, be encouraged: God is faithful. He comes. He doesn’t forget. Keep the faith. Keep hope. Keep love soft and ready to pour out on others. Don’t get embittered. Don’t let what you haven’t seen, throw you off from praying for what you could see. Keep asking. He hears. He loves you. He isn’t absent, but is close.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted…” (Ps. 34:18)

Where do you feel broken or in need? Don’t just brush that feeling off and pretend it isn’t there — bring that need, that hunger and that want to God — He draws close to that very sort of thing. Tell Him about it. Cry about it. Call out about it. Need from it. Ask Him to meet you in it. Life isn’t about soldiering through; it is about letting God hold you sometimes.

He will be there for you. He loves you. Your need doesn’t disqualify you from His love, it draws Him closer.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you care. Thank you that you see. Thank you that you love me. You are faithful. You are true. Jesus is Faithful and True. You can be nothing else besides this. Today, we give you our trust. We put our trust in you once again. We ask you to come and help us with where we are at today. We love you. We thank you for Jesus, on the cross. We thank you that He paid it all because of love. And, if He loved us then, He still loves us now. We are in your love. We thank you for this. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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How Do you Deal with Pain?

I lifted a heavy weight. My arm struggled to reach it all the way to my shoulder. Although the weight training work was hard, I knew the result — down the road — would be significant, good even. There is gain, often, through pain.

After working out, I couldn’t help but think: Sometimes, God permits our pain for His greater gain.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor. 4:17)

“Hard” produces something. The grueling, horrible and it-feels-like-you-are-going-to-break pain is not a waste. It is not trash. It is not something we run from. Instead, we hold God’s hand and trust Him to carry us through.

I met with a friend not long ago who experienced major relational pain with a friend. The conversations were painful. The decisions she had to make were even harder. She didn’t know if she could set boundaries. Yet, looking back, I see that her life is now transformed because of what she endured and how she trusted God. There was a greater glory God was working (even when she couldn’t see it). Now, she is serving God and others like never before. God may not have caused her pain (we have an enemy), but He certainly used it for her (and others) good.

Be it on Earth or in Heaven, through pain, God produces something greater than we can explain.

Pain often causes us to:
– draw near God (and He draws nearer to us)
– need a greater rescue (and we gain a testimony)
– pray (and see Him move)
– look beyond what we see in the natural (and trust God by faith and not by sight)

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Cor. 4:16)

What looks like it is going to kill us, God uses to renew us.  God is always producing something greater…

Need proof? Look back upon your life. What good did God teach you from your hard times of the past? How have you grown? How have you learned to endure and persevere? Give thanks. These are good lessons.

Pray: God, we love you. We know that you are not not evil. You are good, not evil. What you create is good, not evil. At the same time, there are times in life where you allow pain. God, we want to thank you, although it is difficult, for the pain we are going through. We trust you with it. We believe that you will work out a better end, then we can see. It is hard to say this. It is sometimes hard to even believe this. Will you give us faith and hope during these times? We need you more than ever. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

On another note, I need your opinion! Which online course would you be the most interested in?

  1. How to Set Boundaries: Strengthen Relationships & Gain Peace
  2. How to Say No: Let Go and Gain More of What Matters
  3. Receiving Rest: Move Beyond Worry and Fear

I am thinking of doing a multi-part recorded and live workshop on one of the above topics. Which number are you most interested in?

Also, would a weeknight (a), a weekday (b.) or a weekend (c.) work best for you?

Keep Going, Don’t Quit (& Invite)

We cannot give up. We cannot back down. Hard times will come and hard times will go, but one thing remains: Our Lord. Rather than going down with what aims to take us down, we can stand firm and stronger than ever.

Lately, I have been going through a hard time. One domino after another is falling. Things are piling up. Here, in this scary place, I know I have a choice — I can either look to God or look at my problems and worry, worry, worry…

I’ve been here before. I’ve hit hard times. I’ve known what it is to have a choice — to stand or to fall. The decision between victory and defeat is narrow sometimes.

With this, I’ve been thinking of all the ways I’ve learned to stand strong. I want to share them with you. Through God’s leading, I am changing course on the content of this Breakthrough Retreat. I am going to teach the biblical ways to stand strong during hard times. I will offer practical tips.

This is vitally important to our faith-walk.

Scripture says, “…Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Is. 40:31)

This is not a myth, but truth. You really can grow stronger as you wait with the Lord. He really can take you thousands of miles higher than the pit you may find yourself in today.

In our wait, we grow strong when we do things God’s way. We grow steadfast when we lean on God’s truth. We advance when we go where God is taking us. We win when we don’t lay down.

Get up and get going. Let’s do it together.

We don’t just want to just survive; we want to thrive with God during all times. We want to have our hearts full and soft, no matter what we face.

If you want to be built up in hope, faith and a persevering spirit, then join me tomorrow for the Breakthrough Retreat via Zoom (10 AM ET- 1 PM ET, via zoom or via recorded version, $29).  We will pray. We will worship. We will be honest. We will examine our own story. We will reflect. We will find hope.

I am confident it will be a time of refreshment, renewal and recharging. God has really been highlighting scripture and at the message and I can’t wait to encourage you tomorrow. Join me. 

Love,

Kelly

 

A Spiritual Secret Weapon

trust

There is one spiritual weapon many of us forget about. We don’t think to use it, to leverage it. It’s too bad, because this weapon keeps us strong. It prevents us from getting battle-weary and war-torn.

Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you a story…

My daughter, Madison, loves to fall. She will look at me and say, “Hey, Mommy, I am going to fall backwards. Catch me.”

She will make her body rock-hard and strong like a plank of wood and then she’ll fall backwards. Knowing I’m behind her, I catch her.

She calls it a “trust-fall.”

Again and again — she trust-falls. Everytime, she knows I will catch her. Because “I-have-her”, this INCREASES her joy. This adds to the fun. This makes her feel strong and taken care of.

How many of us are trusting God to catch our fall?

To trust-fall is to know that your All-in-All will save you. Will help you. Will strengthen you. Will be there for you. Will even — add to you…

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  (Jer. 17:7-8)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)

Trust. It has promises and benefits tied to it.

Parents hopes their kid trusts them when they say not to have candy before dinner. There’s a good reason why…

In the same light, God has good reasons why He’s completely worthy of our trust. May we trust that He will make good even when in the bad. That He will help us, even when we don’t know how to change. That He will show us, even when we see no answers.

When we fall, we can trust God to catch us. He is the best trust-fall catcher, ever.

Rather than relying on our ability to catch ourselves — our understanding — we rely completely on Him and His better plan. 

“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.” (Is. 40:31 NLT)

Prayer: Father, give me the grace to trust you more today. I want to trust you with all my heart, all my soul and all my strength. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Need more rest (aka. trust in the Lord)? Consider my new book, “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy.

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Things are Not What They Seem.

Things are not what they seem. It’s like walking at night. You think you see a person, but it is only a shadow. In the light, you can see how the darkness fooled you.

There is more than meets the eye.

I love the story in 2 Kings 6:15-17 that illustrates this point…

“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.”

He was surrounded; it looked like there was no way out, no way to win and no hope. Maybe you’re in a place like that today…

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Just because it looks like defeat, does not mean you’re defeated. Just because you feel all alone, doesn’t mean that you are. Just because you can’t see all that God is doing for you, doesn’t mean He isn’t doing anything.

Things are not always what they seem.

Darkness can easily trick us into seeing things or believing things… But, in God’s light, there is always more of Him and His forces with us, than  against us.

Can you even imagine what you might see if God opened your eyes up the way He did Elisha’s? How might He be defending you, protecting you or fighting your battle?

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Don’t Lose Hope

take advantage

This is a funny story. A turtle showed up on my doorstep. Can I tell you all? He was the cutest turtle. His back had all these fun little stripes and lines and I just loved the little fellow the second I saw him… But, before long, I knew we’d have to return him back to the wild, much to my son’s disappointment.

When we released him, I felt like I was watching some sort of kids movie. The little guy swam off into the lake behind our house and there was nearly a dry-eye. There should have been sad music playing in the background. The second he was gone, we all wanted him back.

My son prayed just that, “God, bring me a turtle back.”

About a week later, my boy came into the kitchen from a playdate at a friend’s house. He said, “Mom, I have a surprise for you!” He led me outside with my eyes closed.

“Open them!”

I looked down and saw, not one, but two turtles. God hadn’t just addressed my son’s loss by answering His prayer, but He’d given him a double-portion.

Some of us, like what happened with my son, are experiencing loss. We have lost a relationship, a person, a dream or a hope and it seems it is long gone. We miss — what was. We want to cry. We feel so — at a loss…

I understand this. However, what looks like loss, through Christ is gain. What looks like defeat, through Christ, is resurrection life. What looks like the end, through Christ, is only a new beginning.

Just as God brought back — not one, but two — turtles for my son, God can bring back life, hope and joy to you, in a double portion.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21)

Our God is prepared to do: more than we can ask, more than we can imagine, more than we can understand.

Today, what would it look like for you to get beyond your own understanding, to leave the past in the past, and to hope again?

Find Rest: Order “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy” today.

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Opening Up to Others

I remember when I sat at a coffee table with a new friend.

As I sipped a warm latte, I wanted to encourage her, like I do with most people, yet I couldn’t…

There was a huge block: I felt jealous of the opportunities she was getting. These were opportunities that I was not getting.

Facing my sin, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t stop thinking bad thoughts. So, I did the only thing I could think of…

I mustered up courage and said directly to her face, “Can I tell you something? I feel jealous of you…all the open doors you are getting are things that I’ve been wanting for a long time.  I don’t want to hate you this way. Will you forgive me for this jealousy? God, will you forgive me too. I am so sorry.”

She sat there for a second, just staring at me.

“Wow, Kelly, thank you for saying this.” She said.

Following this moment, we talked together about the areas where I felt sad. We acknowledged the pain I was feeling. We talked about my story. Then, we moved on to how God was working, even in my difficulties.  She encouraged me. Quickly, my feelings of jealousy dissipated.

I was able to celebrate her agin. I loved her even more, in that moment. She loved me too.

Before leaving our coffee date, her parting words were, “Kelly, thank you for opening up about your jealousy towards me.  You really taught me that I can be vulnerable and open about my struggle and jealousy.  Thank you for this.”

Wow. My struggle gave her permission to share her struggle. The amount of connection that I felt with God, and this friend, were on super-high levels now. I was amazed.

Soon after that she, once again, got an opportunity that I wanted.  Yet, as I watched her seize it, I no longer wanted what she had. Instead, I celebrated what she had.  Interestingly, she used a little piece of wisdom I’d previously given her to add to this project — and she acknowledged me. God made me part of this project too. It was a head-nod from God. He knew.

With this, friends, I cheer you on and say — don’t be afraid to confess your sins to one another.  What we reveal to God, and others, gets healed. To receive forgiveness is to restore heart-connection. Even more, healing is not only for us, but often for them too!

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (Ja. 5:16)

Who do you need to confess to? How is God calling to restore connection with Him and others?

Please know, I understand that people may not always respond as beautifully as my sister-in-Christ did. I get this. At the same time, we do not serve man; we serve God. In this, no matter what they say, do or think — you can be sure of one thing: God will be faithful to heal you. God is Healer, no matter how the other person responds. He is forgiver, even if the other person doesn’t take it well. He lifts up, even if the others still put you down.

God is the rewarder, no matter how others act. As we honor Him, He honors us. (see 1 Sam. 2:30)

Be encouraged. Ask for confession. Offer forgiveness. Restore connection.

A Prayer Request from Kelly: On the launch day of my book, “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy” a toddler spilled water on my computer. My computer does not work anymore. I am now writing these posts on my phone, which cumbersome and difficult.  Can you all pray for my computer to miraculously work again or something like that?! I love you all SO much!

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I Can’t Keep Going

keep going

Rushed. Pressured. Little time. Ever experienced being under the gun?

People. Distractions. Problems. Does it seem like there’s no way for you?

Right now, I am in a coffee shop, trying to write the devotional that you will read tomorrow… It is noisy; I can’t think. People came up to me; they wanted to talk. I couldn’t pull away. Now, I have no time left to write. I need to leave soon. I can’t, not under these conditions. I can’t work for Jesus, like this.  There’s every reason why I should — quit.

There is every rationalization as to why lack will hold me back.

What lack are you experiencing? No time? No money? No way? No people who understand? No resources?

As I sit here, I can’t help but think: Jesus didn’t quit. No. He kept walking with that cross. He kept His eye on the prize. He kept going, even though many of his close friends, the disciples, abandoned him. Even though those He loved, abandoned Him. Even though He was wrongly accused. Even though He went down a torturous, hard road…

Still. Jesus moved.

Jesus walked.
Jesus went.
Jesus loved.
Jesus persevered.
Jesus triumphed.

The many-million reasons why Jesus couldn’t did not ruin the will of the Father, letting Him know: He could.

If Jesus persisted in love, with all the offenses of man all up in His face, can’t I — persist.

Actually…I think I just did. This is nearly the end of the blog post. I persisted in moving my fingers — and God completed the work.

And, you will persist too — because God is equipping you, enabling you and energizing you in all His ways. He will give you strength, no matter what lack you face. It doesn’t matter.

Keep loving.
Keep walking.
Keep praising.
Keep worshipping.
Keep going.

God is for you and helping you.

My prayer for you: “May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality], so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith.” (Eph. 3:16-17 AMP)

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