I spent years trying to do it alone. On my own. To empower and strengthen myself by myself.
But that's my old life. The old me.
We were meant to be empowered by a mighty God. And when we let go and allow Him to empower us? When we stop struggling over who is in control-Him or us? Nothing is impossible!
He empowers us in ways we never imagined.
In ways we could never have dreamed.
In the ways we need.
Empowered by the one who can move mountains? The one who is a mighty warrior? Why did I ever say no?
People use to tell me how strong I was for all I'd been through. I will let you in on a secret. I wasn't that strong. But now that Christ is in me? Now I am truly empowered. Empowered by the One who can move mountains. Empowered by the mightiest of warriors. And there is no looking back!
If your "waiting" to give Him control. Don't wait any longer. Let Him empower your walk today. And then watch what HE can do!
To read more Mini Monday Devotions, click below!
I have two older sisters and growing up my wardrobe consisted of hand-me-downs. One day my mom handed down a dress to me. It had a brown skirt with a blue, white and brown striped top and a hood. It was my favorite. I wore it to school one day, and getting on the bus, I felt so beautiful! But you see, my sister is 9 years older than me. That outfit? No one else thought is was cool. And kids let me know it. I went from feeling beautiful to feeling like nothing.
I let that outfit, I let the unkind words, define me. My identity was in them. And I struggled with that for a long time.
I would like to say that my identity is never in worldly things anymore. But that would be a lie. While I have grown leaps and bounds in putting my identity in Christ, I still have work to do. If we are honest, and take a close look, we all can find ways that we place our identity at times in worldly things.
Right now, I'm choosing to claim the following verse:
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil"
The enemy will try to convince you that you are not enough because you didn't get that promotion, you put on some weight, you quit school, made a poor decision, your not as talented or pretty as the woman next to you, your work goes unnoticed or a million other things. But I'm not putting that on anymore. I'm not putting on the brown dress. I'm putting on the Armor of God.
I'm putting on truth and wearing righteousness. I'm dressing in faith and walking with peace on my feet. My accessory? Salvation.
Because each morning I want to put on what's from above. Because when we put that armor on, we don't hear what the world has to say. Instead we hear what the armor is breathing into our souls....
I am loved.
I am forgiven.
I am redeemed.
I am God's masterpiece.
I am God's child .
I am justified.
I am complete.
I am given a spirit of power not fear.
I am given Grace.
I am strong in Christ.
What are you going to wear tomorrow morning?
Discovering promises of the New Testament.
Sharing hot chocolate recipes.
This week's Promise and Recipe:
Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate & Matthew 5:12
"(11)God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. (12)Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way. "
As always, may we be thankful for the promises the Lord gives us, and grateful that he has written them down for us to know and understand.
The promise in Matthew 5:12 reminds us that our joy comes from the Lord. That our happiness and contentment should not be in earthly rewards. This verse says "be happy" and "be glad". This means to rejoice!! For in this life there will be trials, but be comforted in knowing that when you are judged, challenged, or persecuted because of your faith, it is not only unnoticed by God, it is rewarded! When in faith, we face opposition we not only are rewarded an eternal reward, but there are earthly rewards as well: lessons of strength, growth, and conviction. And in these moments our faith can be a light to others to seek and find Christ. What a blessing!
Let's not forget that God's greatest prophets faced persecution as well. Let them be a light and example to us in times when we face challenging circumstances while standing in faith.
I encourage you to read about Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos, Micah and Daniel. They were:
Told to be quiet.
Threatened with death.
Kept in chains.
But great was their reward!
And God was with them!
For God says:
He is always with us. (Joshua 1:9, Deuteronomy 31:6)
He is our shield. (Genesis 15:1, Deuteronomy 33:29)
He fights for us. (Exodus 14:14)
He will strengthen us. (Isaiah 41:10)
Jesus gives us this promise in Matthew 5:12 so that we can focus on things above, we can be comforted and we can be strengthened!
Rejoice, my friend! Celebrate the challenges our faith brings us, and count it all joy! (James 1:2-3)
Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
Make your usual hot chocolate recipe (4 cups)
Add the following:
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
4 teaspoons either honey or caramel sauce
Whipped cream, add a cinnamon stick if desired, and enjoy!
Healing. That is a word I am familiar with. As a nurse, it is something I try to do for others every time I work. As a mom, I kiss the bumps and bruises, wipe the tears and counsel broken hearts. As a woman, I knew there were things inside myself that were completely broken and needed healing, but I would deal with that someday.
Healing was a wonderful, beautiful, possible thing. For others. Just not for me.
Because in spite of knowing I was broken, I chose to ignore it and instead became numb. And healing? Well, that meant I had to feel again. And my numbness? That was a wall, a barrier from pain, that I had built up for so long, I wasn't about to tear it down.
But there was one who could and would tear it down.....
There was an evening about three years ago, one I won't forget. I was standing behind a few women who were praying, listening to the beautiful, faithful prayers they lifted up to God. They were praying for the physical healing of each of their children. As I listened, my eyes were opened in a way they never had been before. My mind took note of the fervency that they prayed with and in that moment God opened my eyes...I had never asked him to heal my pain, to put back together my broken pieces and to heal my soul. I had prayed for many things, but, I had NEVER ASKED GOD TO HEAL MY INNERMOST AND SPIRITUAL WOUNDS.
One would assume that with this enlightening revelation I would have gotten down on my knees and asked God to heal me that very moment.
Instead, inside me rose a need to protect and control these wounds that had left cracks in soul. I continued to try to be the glue that held the broken pieces together, even though I knew I could never make them stick together on my own.
And si, I didn't allow myself to ask for this healing.
Truthfully, I WOULD NOT ask for healing. It was a choice. One that I deliberately chose because selfishly I wanted to hold onto them. The hurt was so deep and buried that I felt as though they defined me. They were mine. I wanted to hold onto them. To give all of that pain to God? In that time in my life, that meant my total surrender. To one who needed to control my feelings and how I dealt with them, the thought of giving all that to God was terrifying.
Not only this, but I knew without a doubt that this would mean I would start feeling again. The pain and hurt had been my armor against the world for so long. Tearing down the wall meant vulnerability. A Vulnerability to God, to myself, and to the world. To ask for God's healing meant trading my own armor for God's Holy Armor.
I won't lie. That brought out a struggle in me that had me in tears for weeks. But GOD IS FAITHFUL and PERSISTENT!!! He never stopped calling me to Him. It started with everytime I opened up my bible, I was lead to verses on healing. And so, although I knew God heals, it was as if I was hearing these verses for the first time. And even though I had been aware of the healing power of Jesus, I was aware, in a new and profound way, that these verses were being spoken personally to me. That these beautiful prayers were being placed in my lap because my heart was too heavy to find the words myself.
His gentleness in putting these healing prayers right in my hands overwhelmed me. And as I read them, I began to weep. A lot. I wept like I had never cried before. I had not allowed myself to cry in years, and as I read His word, the flood of tears held in for so long swept over me. I was beginning to feel. Really and truly feel. God was putting the proof of his healing power in front of me and I knew I needed to be obedient. Still, I was a rebellious child and did not pray for my healing. And I wept more.
I began a journal at that time. And in this journal, as I wrote, I found that God dangled His sweet peace in front of me; never giving up. I wrote down all sorts of things in that journal. Verses, quotes, my own thoughts. I began to read the verses in this journal every day....and listened as they poured over me.
I read those verses over and over again. The emotions I experienced were overwhelming but I continued to read the journal daily, as I felt the Holy Spirit encouraging, beckoning me to do so. The existence of healing began to seem so tangible and how I wanted that! More than I had ever realized! An understanding began to flow through me that while I would never forget my past, the things that had happened to me could be used for God's glory someday. I longed to be rid of the anger, shame, and pain. I WANTED TO FEEL all that God designed my human heart to feel.
One beautiful, freedom-filled morning, I opened my journal and realized I was no longer reading these verses. I was praying them. I was pouring my heart out to God in each and every word. I began to pray them more and more fervently. Soon after, I cried out those simple words that I had been holding back, and asked the Lord to heal my brokenness.
My past still hurts sometimes, as God continues to heal me more everyday, and it has forever changed me. But oh how He heals! Allowing myself to feel and be vulnerable is a choice I continue to make with God's grace and strength. But the load is lighter now that Jesus carries it. My anger is gone and I feel things I had not been able to feel since I was girl. God NEVER gave up on my stubborn heart, even though at times I thought he did (and wouldn't have blamed him). He will never give up on you either!! And He CAN heal the brokenness and pain inside of you too!!
I wandered in the wilderness for a very long time. Perhaps, you can understand as you have been there too or are in your wilderness right now. But the promised land is within our reach. And with tear filled eyes, I look around and see that the wilderness of numbness and brokenness is behind me. My eyes are fixed on the promised land before me as more and more I see the girl I once was inside the woman I have become. And even greater? I see a new creation that has risen up in Christ Jesus. I am healed and I am healing, as everyday he glues another piece back where it should be.....I am his work in progress.....and IT. FEELS. GOOD.
I hope you join me in asking for God's healing, in whatever why your heart and soul are hurting. Join me in wandering from wilderness to promise,
Psalm 66:16 "Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what God has done for me."
This week's Mini Monday Devotion:
"He holds in His hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains." Psalm 95:4
Wow. Have you ever really thought about this verse? Stew on it a moment. He holds the earth and its depths in His hands...how mighty is our God? What can't He do?
The answer is nothing. There is nothing He can't do. Do you believe that with your whole heart?
Moses did. In Exodus, God promised to free the Israelites from Egypt. Many of us know the story. But think for a moment of being given this promise today. Imagine being a slave. A slave to a mighty pharaoh. A nation of slaves to a powerful and feared nation. God said He was going to set them free.
And Moses believed it and followed God's lead. Despite what seemed impossible.
Would you? Would you believe an impossibility such as this? An impossibility from an all possible, earth- holding God?
Do you ever feel God is calling you to do something impossible? That there is a mountain in front of you that seems insurmountable? That the way out, or through, a circumstance is just too hard? That you will never be free from whatever prison is holding you right now?
Let me repeat it. Nothing is impossible with God. He holds the world in his hands. And His promises are the same today.
Choose today to be like Moses. To trust God WITH the impossible, in spite of what SEEMS impossible and to do what you possibly cannot not do on your OWN.
Choose today to believe the impossible.
Discovering promises of the New Testament.
Sharing hot chocolate recipes.
This week's Promise and Recipe:
Twixted Hot Chocolate and John 6:37
"All that the father gives me will come to me and the one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out."
Take a moment to really soak that verse in. Wow. Are you hearing what Jesus is promising us?
"All that the father gives me..." Not only is this a beautiful reminder that we have been chosen (see Ephesians 1:4-5), but let's take a closer look at the word "gives". The definition of the word gives is to present, to provide with, to hand over. When we come willingly with a changed and grateful heart, we are given to Jesus. We, yes, you and me. And the word "gives" is in present tense. It is a handing over that is not past tense, but an eternal presentation, which does not end.
"will come to me..." I'd like to note here, that "come" in this verse, means to serve. And to serve willingly. The father presents to Jesus the willing and changed hearts that long to faithfully serve Him.
"and the one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out." Here again we have the present tense. And I find this profound. Not has come or will come, but the one who comes to me. And to the one who comes to Him, He will not cast out. To cast out means to reject, refuse to save. This is to assure us that when we come to Him with willing, humble hearts, we will be saved. We will not be rejected today or tomorrow. To the one who comes, there is no going back to a place of rejection. We have arrived, we have been presented, and we have been welcomed; we will never be cast out.
We may struggle, stumble, and fall at times, but we will not be rejected by the one we have been willingly given to. What a beautiful promise! A promise to cling to in storms, a promise to cling to in every day disappointments, and a promise to cling to in our sin. Write this promise down and write it on the tablet of your heart with certainty.
Twixted Hot Chocolate
4 cups of your base hot chocolate
2 Twix bars, 1 crushed
1 tbsp of caarmel topping
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
Use whatever base hot chocolate recipe you usually use, add the vanilla (if not included in base) and caramel topping. Stir. Top with whipped cream, and crushed Twix bar. Drizzle with caramel topping. Serve with the extra Twix bar!
Wife. Mother. Writer. Photographer. Child of God. Encouraging others in faith through a lens of grace and seeing beauty in the ashes.
All images and content belong to me (Blue Jean Gypsy), unless otherwise noted. You may use an image ONLY if it is linked back to this blog! Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!
Click on the above links to follow on facebook, instagram, pinterest and twitter!
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies