Beyond Blessed…

What a week this has been, wow! I’ve been in Arizona this week making arrangements for our move here soon. This whole move has been a lesson of trusting and walking by faith and not by sight. My husband and I have given notices to employers before having new jobs lined up. We’ve made arrangements for moving without even having a new house lined up to move into. The list goes on. We’ve just trusted that the Lord would provide every step of the way. He has shown us this week just how much we can in fact trust Him. I came to Surprise, AZ this week with an impossible task – to find a house to rent in one week with no jobs lined up yet and no real way of assuring a potential landlord that we would in fact be able to pay our rent. We knew that this was something that we were supposed to be doing so I came to AZ with nothing but my trust that the Lord would provide and He did! I found the perfect house, exactly what our family had been wanting down to every last detail. The amazing part of this story is the fact that another couple looked at it right before us, was willing to take it right away and they both had stable jobs in the area already, but…the owner chose us and we got the lease!!! Here’s the other cool part to this story – I had an appt. set up with a realtor to show me three properties this Monday morning and when Monday rolls around and we get to town, she couldn’t get in touch with the listing agent for any of those three she was supposed to show me so we weren’t able to see any of them. After finding this out, I confirmed my trust in the Lord and decided to start looking for some other properties to check out. Out of the blue, I get a call from the owner of the property I ended up renting to say he had just happened to run across my voicemail from last week and realized he never got back to me. It just so happened, right?!? We trusted and the Lord provided!!! His presence has been so strong with me this week.  It also “just so happened” that the job I’ve been waiting to hear back on called me for an interview and so I was also able to do that while I was in the area this week. God is so GREAT!!!! All we need to do is trust in Him. An impossible task? With Him there is NOTHING that is impossible!! I am beyond blessed…

Thank you Lord for the grace and peace you have given me throughout this whole process. Thank you for the courage to step out in faith and truly trust you with our lives. Thank you for providing everything we need at exactly the right time that we need it. Thank you that there are no coincidences – only you placing your favor on our lives and loving your children. 

Leaving Him some room to work…

Our great God is absolutely amazing! I am so overcome with a feeling of peace right now that I just had to share it with you. So for those of you that have not been following my blog – me and my family are planning a move to Arizona. I’ve been applying for jobs in Phoenix since this past June and have not yet found “the one”. I had recently applied for one that I thought (okay, I hoped) was the one. I found out last week that I did not get that job. I wasn’t upset about it because I know that the Lord has the right one in mind for me and that obviously wasn’t it. The Sunday before I found out about not getting this job, the sermon at church was about how you have to give God some room to work in your life – if you try to have full control of everything, you’re not leaving Him any room. I felt like that sermon had my name written all over it; it sure hit home. I realized that this is exactly what I had been doing the past few weeks – trying to stay in control. I wasn’t consistently leaving Him room to work in my life because I was trying to go about things in my own ways. I have the proactive, planning, take control kind of personality and my human nature gets in the way sometimes. I guess you could say I’ve been gently reminded that I am NOT the one in control and everything WILL turn out the way it’s supposed to if I let go of the control freak nature and give Him some room to work. So I took a step back (again!), I lifted up all my doubts and worries to Him and re-confirmed my trust in Him. I’m still unsure of when all the pieces are going to come together but I have hope that they will. I have been filled with such an overwhelming peace, a peace that could only come from Him. My Lord has a perfect plan for me – I need only be patient and wait for it to be revealed.

Romans 15:13 “May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in Him. Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

John 14:27 “I’m leaving you peace. I’m giving you my peace. I don’t give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don’t be troubled or cowardly.”

Thank you Jesus for always leading me back to the path when I start to wander. You are faithful God, forever.

I am redeemed!

Redeem: to gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.

I have been physically and spiritually transformed; I am no longer the person I used to be. What did I gain possession of? Freedom! Freedom from the physical weight. Freedom from the sins I had committed. Freedom from the negative thoughts I had about myself. Freedom from the guilt I carried around. Freedom from the shame I felt. So what was the payment that I had to pay for this freedom? That’s the really awesome part –the only thing God asks us to do is to bring it to the cross. We have freedom because of His son Jesus Christ. We have freedom because of His death on that cross. I gained complete freedom the very moment that I brought it all to Him; brought it all to the cross.

The enemy never gives up though; he is always trying to tempt me back to sin. I have found that he tries to use those same things that used to be “hooks” to hook me back into sinful behavior. I found myself starting to allow my old hook (food) to take up residence in my life again. It wasn’t that I was overeating again but I was allowing cravings to take up thoughts that no longer belonged.

Last Sunday at church the sermon was on “What The Bible says about footholds and strongholds.” Our pastor talked about how sin can take a foothold in our lives and if it is not stopped, it can become a stronghold that gets harder and harder to break away from. There was a cross down in the front and at the end of the sermon, he invited anyone that had something in their life that had either a foothold or a stronghold over them to write it down on a piece of paper and come down and literally nail it to the cross. I had to admit to myself that I had allowed a foothold back in my life. After I went down and symbolically nailed my foothold to the cross, I literally brought it to the cross and asked the Lord to remove those cravings. Later that day, The Lord blessed me and reminded me that I AM free. The chains HAVE been broken. I AM NO LONGER THE PERSON I USED TO BE! The enemy no longer has control over me or my thoughts. He HAS BEEN defeated! When the enemy tries to remind me of my prior faults and accuse me of the things I was once guilty for, I need only to think of nailing it to the cross because I am redeemed.

I AM redeemed! (And the cravings are gone again – yay!!)

Think about this for a second – do you have something that is out of control in your life? Is there something that controls you more than you control it? Thoughts, negative emotions, substances? If something just came to mind, you have something that has a foothold or stronghold over you! Ask for freedom from the only one that is able to grant it to you – bring it to the cross of Jesus Christ!

I know there are some out there that do not believe all of it – God, Jesus…the whole thing. Let me leave you with something. Here are before and after pictures of me. These are not before and after weight loss pictures – these are before and after REDEMPTION pictures! The physical transformation is merely an external indicator of the spiritual transformation that has changed my life. God has changed MY life! His son Jesus has changed MY life! What will you let Him do for you?

photo 1

photo 3

Thank you Jesus for the redeeming power of the cross! Thank you!!

Well, I guess it’s time to start that book…

If there is one lesson I have been learning lately – it is that we must be obedient to our God. In my obedience, I find blessings and in dis-obedience, I find confusion and struggle. I have still been struggling lately with how I am meant to share my (His) weight loss story. I have mentioned before about how The Lord has put it on my heart to share my story with others. I was reminded lately that the blessings He gives us are meant to be used to then bless others; we are to be a pass-through  entity. So I came back to the most recent blessing I have received – my weight loss. This reminder of how we are blessed so that we can bless others shifted everything back into focus. I have been focusing on a lot of things lately, none of them being how I can share my weight loss story. So I was visiting with my mom the other evening and she was telling me about a young pastor she was watching on TBN. He was saying how when you are praying for guidance and direction and you don’t seem to be getting any to go back to the last time you know you heard from God and were you obedient to His direction at that time? So I thought back to the last time I knew without a doubt I had heard from The Lord. It was probably about six months ago I was driving out of town by myself and was asking The Lord for guidance and He gave me the idea to write a book to share my weight loss story and even gave me the title, the picture for the front cover and the format in which to write it in. At the time I was completely blown away and so grateful for the guidance but I quickly let negative thoughts start to take over. “What do I know about writing a book?” “How could I write a book – it’s not like I took a bunch of notes while going through my weight loss.”  “Why would anyone want to read about MY story?” So I put it off and thought that there surely must be some other way to share my weight loss story without having to write a book. Wow, a few takeaways from the pastor on TBN but the biggest thing that hit me was: don’t go looking for guidance on something that He has already given you the answer to! He had pointed me in a direction and I had not been obedient to his request. I had been failing to remember a few important things:

-I need to be a pass-through for the blessing I have received

-I can do ALL things through Christ (Philippians 4:13)

-If He brought me to it, He’ll bring me through it

So Ok Lord – writing a book it is! I am putting my faith and trust in that you are going to help me write this book because I have no clue how to do it on my own. Give me the words Lord, give me the words!!

So a little bit ago I see a post on Facebook from the Joyce Meyer Ministries, it says:

“Procrastination is probably the most deceptive thing the devil has ever come up with. When God tells us to do something, unless He says do it tomorrow, God’s time is always now.”

Well, it looks like I have a book to start – right now. To God be the glory!

Thank you Lord Jesus for always putting me back on the path when I stray off; for bringing me back to you.