too busy for God?

Lately things have been so CRAZY , I have not been able to actually sit down and write a blog post in about 2 weeks … since I was on my fast . Between getting sick, catching up on crazy amount of school work, and going to work  my schedule definitely got out of whack. This made me think of how life can literally have you so busy you hardly have time to BREATH. Let alone have quiet time with God.

My time sadly went from writing every day in my journals,  even sometimes waking up at 5 AM before I go into work at 7:45 just to spend some time with God.

  To me waking up after my alarm and rushing out the door. I then started getting complacent with saying a 5 to 10-minute prayer in the car on the way to work. Later in the day I would feel bad for not really giving God enough of my time. Even though I doubt that God is looking down at me saying wow that’s all I get is 5 to 10 minutes of your day?!

 However, something I started to notice is when I don’t get my daily food from him, things start to change. I get so caught up in just my everyday activity and just trying to get to the next day  that I miss out on the very much needed  time and worship with him.  This literally affects everything!!

  • My thought life
  • My decision making
  • Strength to get through whatever the day holds  
  • Peace

 I think we live in a reality where everything is taking our time from social media, jobs,  spending time with family and friends and just sleeping LOL. These things of course are so important but having that time with him is NEEDED.

I found that making it a priority is one of the best things ever. It literally changes the trajectory of my day immediately. When I wake up , and pick up my bible and pen, before I pick up my phone it enables me to hear clearly from him.

 This year I am challenging myself to stay committed to my time with him. I want it to become so natural I don’t have to think twice about it , or forget it.

I realize I have to do this in order to get through the days , and keep my joy in a life full of uncertainty.

So here is to more time with him ( and more posting consistently lol) and I want to challenge everyone that despite craziness of life to set aside a designated time with God.

Love yall (:

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Fire Walkers

My devotion encouraged me so much today that I had to write something about it!

It focused on Daniel chapter 3 , the most radical story in the bible!  Three young men  stayed committed to serving God only , and for that were punished to the fiery furnace to burn.  Yet God walked with them through the fire.

Let me share with you what I got from this, and 3 things to take away from this story;

1. Be BOLD about the God you serve.

 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

I do not want to be quiet about the things my God says to shout about, I pray for strength , and courage to proclaim the mighty works of the Lord. Even more to not give in to a world of influence , and peer pressure.

2.  God will walk in the fires of our reality.

25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god[g]!”

Digging deeper into this verse, I understand that God strengths us in the fire. We might cry , we might be scared , but with him we can walk in a freedom knowing with God nothing of this world can touch us.

3. Others will be amazed , and affected by what God did in your life.

King Nebuchadnezzar was so amazed on how God saved these three young men ,not only did he fear God , he worshiped him at the beginning of chapter 4 for the things he was starting to do in the Kings life saying;

“I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs,
    how powerful his wonders!
His kingdom will last forever,
    his rule through all generations.

WOW. I don’t know about you all , but I know  I want to have the boldness they have! I want my boldness to be so effective that it is changing the hearts of those around me, even those who don’t know him. My devotion used the word facts. The fact was  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were about to die . YET , God was with them no matter the outcome. ( the TRUTH)

What are your realities’ today? What fires are you walking through that seem impossible? I encourage to read this story , and take those “realities” to God. He will walk with you through it all.

Blessings ❤

Where do you find comfort?

Is your comfort in food, words, music, exercise, how many like you get on social media , or people ? I mean the list can go on and on …

The crazy thing about these “things” are most of them continue to fail us over and over. As Christians we are supposed to take all comfort in God. However, as time goes on, life happens, and situations occur what did we do in those situations? What gave us peace, reassurance, calmed the nerves , or encouraged our spirit.

For me I found my comfort in words, and sometimes people. Now looking back that is a SCARY thing. We all know people change, words fail , and inconsistency is a major factor. I was putting my comfort and trust in the WRONG pocket.

In my mind I imagine God waving his hands in front of me like

“JANA I AM HERE …. Come to me, find comfort in me , ill ease the pain, I’ll give you reassurance”.

Though I failed to realize this in the past , I am so glad he is teaching me that now. Lately, especially in these last two weeks I have been hearing God so clear. In my praying , mediating , reading , and even listing to messages  he has confirmed that I need to cling to the understanding that through him all things are good. Even more in HIM there is always a YES, and he is my everlasting comforter in all my afflictions.

I was reading 2 Corinthians 1. The whole chapter jumped at me. Let’s look at some of these verses :

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

So not only is this comfort for us , its for others.  God instructs us to share how he comforted us with others going through these same situations – always pointing them to the lord.

This next verse one was my favorite!

20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so, through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Ahh I just love that. This year I vowed to be a woman who says YES to God even when I do not understand it . In this verse , I gained my own perspective:  when I say yes to God and walk in his obedience then he always says Yes to the promises he has for me.

Some might ask what if God never answers me or he says no to what I ask? How do I find comfort in that? I have been currently reading What happens when woman say yes to God, and  I think Lysa Terkeurst described it the perfect way;

“ when he says no it is for my protection, provision , and its part of the process of growing me more like Christ”

That is not just for woman , it’s for everyone . Know that God wants you to trust him! I can be comforted knowing that.

 I found pure joy writing this because in him there is consistency , his word is true and everlasting. I will never have to be confused or wonder if he is there – He always is.  

Love YALL.

Healthy mind Healthy Life

With the new year taking place I believe it is important to talk and write about mental awareness. We can all paint a picture on social media that life is great, and everything is thriving. However, we all know social media paints a side reel of each other’s life not the full story. Thus, I can honestly say I found it surprising reading some of the new years post and a bunch of people said they were dealing with anxiety , depression , guilt , loneliness ,etc.

I am not sure if I was surprised that I was not the only one , or that you wouldn’t be able to tell from what those people were posting that they were going through anything. These posts started to leave me with questions:

-how do we treat people on a normal basis?

-do we check on other people?

-are we really showing the love of God?

– how is our own mental health?

In this age we hold on to this mentality that we don’t need other people. That is not TRUE! Relationships will come and go , and I do believe there are seasons for some people. BUT We need love, support, encouragement, and prayer. We need to forgive, need to be intentional , and learn to love each other despite our differences. Relationships will come and go , and I do believe there are seasons for some people.

The bible leaves us with so many scriptures on giving the worries and weights of our minds to him;

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Ephesians 4:23

This year I pray for myself and others for a HEALTHY mind. I believe in order to have a healthy mind , you need a growing spiritual life. In my own personal experience, I know my life would not be where it is today without having God, and others who followed Christ.

When I had anxiety I prayed , when I felt alone, I worshiped, and when I had negative thoughts I could go to sister in Christ.

I learned in my journey that taking care of yourself is vital. I remained silent for many years about some of the things I was going through, and it hurt more than it helped!

So, SPEAK up, be AWARE of others, LOVE others , and LOVE yourself!

Blessings!!  (:

His word, My obedience

Last Sunday my church started a corporate fast for 21 days. It is day 5 and I feel great to be honest. I must admit that first day my stomach, and mind were having war lol .  Now I don’t even hunger for food , I just hunger for his word and presence.

The bible says in Matthew;

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

The great thing about the fast is that your not just detoxing your body , but it allows you to truly depend on the lord.  I knew what I needed to fast for , and from . I believed it is the perfect way to really hear from him. I am making sure during these next couple weeks I actively seek him because fasting without praying or reading is just a diet.

But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

I loved how my pastor taught it this past Sunday , he said fasting is not what God do for me , but saying “God what can I do for you”.

Today I meditated on psalms 119 – literally the LONGEST psalms ever lol. But MAN, when you really study it , and mediate it , it’s amazing . I read through it in two different versions (ESV,MSG) , and God was speaking me through ever other verse. So, I just want to spend some time pointing out some of the verses that jumped out at me.

V9-10 talks about how we can live a pure life unto him. And I love how the message bible depicts it;

9-10 How can a young person live a clean life?
    By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
    don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted. MSG

Let’s have an honest moment and say it is HARD trying to live a pure life when the world seems to be throwing everything at you. These last couple of days, I have understood that I ALWAYS have to be in his word. Having a 15-minute devotion is not enough to withstand the test and trails of this world.

V32 – This next verse touched my heart. I started to say out loud – Lord, I’ll say yes to whatever you have me to do , just show me how!

32 I’ll run the course you lay out for me
    if you’ll just show me how. MSG

I committed that this year is not about what I am going to do , it is all about what he wants for me. So, I say YES. This theme of being obedient to his voice is going along with a new book I started by Lysa Terkeurst called what happens when woman say yes to God. I cannot WAIT to share more of it with you all!

Lastly , I looked at V67.

67 Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place,
    but now I’m in step with your Word. MSG

These was reassurance to me. All the things i have gone through in life, caused me to be all over the place( My emotions, feelings, and actions) , because that was not what you wanted for me. But NOW I’m in step with your word. Being in step with his word has healed me , and it has delivered me from afflictions. Ultimately it has shown me his goodness.

Whew, there are so many other verses in that whole chapter , and I urge to take the time to study , mediate , and hear what God is speaking to you!

Praying for you all! LOVE yall.

Book Review : “If you Only knew”- what I now know

WOW , that was my first word as I closed and finished 218 pages of the book If You Only Knew – by Jamie Ivey.

The book shows the attempting pursuit of God through a series of heartbreaking, surprising , and understanding stories. Though my story is not exactly like Jamie’s, if I were to insert my sins/flaw , and story where hers is , I couldn’t help but to feel THIS IS ME.  Even more I can’t help but to think how many more of us woman (even men) have some “if only you knew” stories. 

I do not want to give any parts of the book away, because I urge everyone to grab a copy. However , something that really grabbed me in this book was her pure authenticity , and how she was open with the whole wide world. I know this wasn’t easy , and we might not ever share all of our stories with everyone , but something powerful I learned is that sharing with somebody opens up the door for Jesus to come in. when I read through all 10 chapters of her book it was as if something was lifted , and I didn’t feel so alone anymore in my walk and in my journey. This story unleashes how we become free, … Jesus is waiting on us . we don’t have to have shame or guilt , as she put “just remember , Jesus is better “. 

 Not only does she tell us her story , but she shows us how we become free , from whatever is keeping us bound.

“ shame over past sins that have already been forgiving is not from God. No matter how much you go to church , or read you Bible, or give away lots of money, you’re not improving Christ forgiveness for you”.

-Jamie Ivey – Chapter 9

THAT RIGHT THERE! I mean I am guilty of thinking Lord what else can I do or say to right my wrongs in my past , so you can actually forgive me. That thinking is  common but its wrong because there is NOTHING we can do. Christ has already done it .

One of my favorite chapters of this book was  Vulnerability Breeds Vulnerability , chapter 9 (Cough my BLOG name lol).  After reading that chapter It was a reminder why I started by blog , because being vulnerable is not for me it’s for others too. Looking back on those moments in my life , I wish I knew it was okay to talk about my hurt , and the pain I was going through, I wish that knew I was free from guilt and shame. Now I know , and I want others to know.  

“Thank God I’d been willing to be vulnerable. Something beautiful happens when were vulnerable”

Jamie Ivey- Chapter 9

Something beautiful , I can’t  help but tear -up as I say those words because when I think where God has freed me in some of those areas I am overwhelmed by his presence and power. There are so many quotes and inserts I would love to give from this book , but instead I will let you all pick it up, and allow God to speak to you through every page!

Love yall ❤

Jana

New blogger , New doubts

2 days ago, I decided to start this blog. I am far from a writer , and I was honestly against this for a while . I argued with my self … these are thought that surrounded my mind:

  1. HELLO… your barely survived undergraduate English and you want to write
  2. Everyone has a blog, so what makes me different?
  3. What if no one reads this?

As I battled for about 3 days , I felt such a tug knowing it was from God. In every pull , he gave me a rebuttal to my excuses.

  1. to my writing – he said who is grading you , and spell check (Duh) …
  2. to being like everyone else- he said you are not like everyone else , you are one of a kind with your own journey
  3. to my doubts in people reading my post – he said this is for you , and if you reach one reader that is more than none.

SO WHY THE NAME?

So here is the thing I am 23 years old , and  I have known God my whole life. However, have been so comfortable keeping him to myself, but only letting him access parts of me. I have not allowed myself to vulnerable with him, myself, and others.

I tend to talk to myself a lot (in my head) , so I asked myself why I  kept myself in this comfort zone?  I have access to true freedom right in front of me. I have continuously let life bring in so much, and I have never been able to share and let it out. Thus, when I am asked to unravel certain parts of my life it makes me so uncomfortable, and hits all the vulnerable places hidden.  So, I decided to start this journey , a journey where I become so uncomfortably vulnerable to pain, shame, insecurities , God, myself, and to my peers. I know it will  bring joy, true freedom, restoration, and community with everyone who reads this, but I hope it will touch anyone out there who has the same feeling I once had.

This blog is about honesty , truth, vulnerability , no shame , and no guilt. Just love.

I pray for your support, engagement, and prayer!

Love to all you ❤

John 15:16-  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you