Just a little hope

About two weeks ago I was preparing for my Heart for the House giving. It’s an annual event at my church and while not mandatory – it creates space for everyone to invest a bit more than their usual tithes.

Think about it this way – some can give $1 and some can give $100 – but it’s giving to the heart of our church. Maybe this looks like investing more in community, or putting a downpayment on a building if it becomes available so we don’t have to just rent every Sunday.

Anyway that’s not the point of this post.

The point is, I already knew a number God asked me to give. I’m not amazing and I still struggle to hear God’s voice more than I’d like. But suffice it to say that you usually know it’s God when it’s not something you want to do. Ha.

So I did what I knew He was asking and I didn’t feel strong-armed or worried.

But typical God, He wasn’t done asking me to do something.

Now, truth be told, this year has been one of the worst years of my life. And that story will not be written any time soon, unfortunately. But I’ve really suffered this year and felt crippled to write. So when God asked me to do something else, I was not jazzed about it. This wasn’t just a tithe, or volunteering, or anything I’d happily do. Nope, not Jesus.

Because Jesus, well He asked me to buy a wedding planner.

My friend Polly made this planner and I loved the idea, but obviously I’m single AF and there was no need to buy this anytime soon. Add into this, my past year and the total belly flop my heart and my hope has taken and it’s safe to say I didn’t get this prompt at all. While I want to find love and get married, I really feel like my hope is a really pathetic shriveled raisin.

And yet, it was unmistakable that God wanted me to buy this. Because, well, I didn’t want to.

I’ve put it off for almost two weeks now, but today, on Black Friday, I added that baby to cart and we’ll see. I plan on putting it away in storage, but I want to be faithful in everything God asks me to do. Especially when I don’t want to.

 

God’s Vision For You

Today I was finding myself feeling a little low so I decided to “binge-read” a devotional in the Bible app.

I landed on Kong Hee: God’s Vision For You. I’ve never heard of him but I was open to hearing something new.

His devotional was about Genesis 15 and the relationship between God and Abraham. Two concepts really encouraged me today:

  1. When you feel hopeless in the wait – God will remind you who He is
  2. God remembers every single promise He has made to you

A lot of times I can feel discouraged waiting. There are so many things I feel like are anywhere from 10 years all the way up to 20 years in the waiting in my life that haven’t happened yet. For my mom some prayers or visions for her life are 30 or more years in the waiting. So for me, it feels both comforting to hear that Abraham also got discouraged and frustrating to hear that he waited 75 years. Right?

But God is faithful – even if it seems like He is really really slow.

The Bible says “Do not be afraid, I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” Genesis 15:1 WEB

Even though it was 75 years, and Abraham had no son. And he felt like he was too old, and that his life had no purpose, the author says it perfectly:

“God reminded Abraham that He cared for him, that He protected him, and that He would reward him!”

Secondly, God realizes Abraham is stuck in what He does not see, and so God shows him something new:

“Look now toward the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them…So will your offspring be” Genesis 15:5-6 WEB

Today be encouraged that God remembers every promise He has made to you…even if I don’t. Yes, we might be preoccupied with one over the others, but God will always fulfill His promises.

God, you know the ways I am discouraged and feel hopeless..show me my “stars” and remind me that Your ways are uncountable. Thank you that You will fulfill every promise You made, because You never forget. Amen.

SOAP 11.21.17

Good morning!⠀

This morning I had my tea and am ready to dive into a SOAP for you guys.⠀

For those who don’t know, SOAP stands for:⠀

Scripture⠀
Observation⠀
Application⠀
Prayer⠀

Scripture: Hosea 11

1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.[a]
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.

Observation: I love the parental language here. God wants us to remember how He was with us from our childhood.

Application: Are there times when God calls me, but like Israel, I resist Him and run away? Do I ever forget God and His ties of love?

Prayer: God help me to never underestimate or diminish your love and kindness to me. You are my everlasting Father and you bend down to reach me.

Comment below with your O, A, or P!⠀
SOAP is also posted on @jesscbnyc⠀

#UnfilteredChristianWomen

SOAP 11.19.17

Good morning!⠀

This morning I had my tea and am ready to dive into a SOAP for you guys.⠀

For those who don’t know, SOAP stands for:⠀

Scripture⠀
Observation⠀
Application⠀
Prayer⠀

Scripture: Hosea 2

14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
16 “In that day,” declares the Lord,
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master.[d]’
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
no longer will their names be invoked.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
and the creatures that move along the ground.
Bow and sword and battle
I will abolish from the land,
so that all may lie down in safety.
19 I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in[e] righteousness and justice,
in[f] love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in[g] faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the Lord.
21 “In that day I will respond,”
declares the Lord—
“I will respond to the skies,
and they will respond to the earth;
22 and the earth will respond to the grain,
the new wine and the olive oil,
and they will respond to Jezreel.[h]
23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”

Observation: No matter how far we go, God leads up back to him. I love the soothing language in this verse. He speaks “tenderly” to us, we will call Him “husband” not master. We can “lie down in safety”, we will be be “planted” by God.

Application: Achor means Trouble in Hebrew. I love the idea that no matter what trouble is in the valley, there is a door of hope we can walk through.

Prayer: God no matter what help us to remember your love.


Comment below with your O, A, or P!⠀
SOAP is also posted on @jesscbnyc

#UnfilteredChristianWomen

SOAP 9.4.17

Good morning!⠀

This morning I had my tea and am ready to dive into a SOAP for you guys.⠀

For those who don’t know, SOAP stands for:⠀

Scripture⠀
Observation⠀
Application⠀
Prayer⠀

Scripture: Mark 5:32-34 (NLT)

32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

Observation: Jesus calls a woman He just met “daughter”

Application: No matter what has made us suffer, feel unclean, or worried to face God, He knows and feels when we reach out for His help and healing. He tenderly refers to us as daughter.

Prayer: God above all, help us to remember that we are “daughter” to you.

Comment below with your O, A, or P!⠀
SOAP is also posted on @jesscbnyc⠀

#UnfilteredChristianWomen

 

 

Community Feature – rachaelmmarie

One of my new initiatives is to hear from my followers in a way that directly meets them on their journeys.

On Instagram I encourage you to tag your posts with #UnfilteredChristianWomen so I can see what everyone is up to and feature topics that they are currently thinking about or needing feedback on.

My goal will always be to write a blog post each month on a topic from my own heart BUT I also want to make room for another post that same month directly addressing a topic found via Instagram using the community hashtag.

This month I am featuring a post from: @rachaelmmarie *

“So no matter where you’re at, be authentic with the people you’re around and most importantly, be crazy authentic and real with the Lord. You will stop being fake and you will learn really how to love well because you know who loves you in the first place. Be encouraged and make your Monday great! . “

You might have guessed by now that I’m a fan of being transparent. I think a lot of times as women we want to come across as fun all the time, easy maintenance, bubbly and joyful as if nothing is ever wrong. But that’s not my reality. It never has been and it probably never will be. The pressure to be great all the time is a lot..and I’m not about that life.

Do you find it hard to be authentic and 100% yourself?

If not, how did you get to that point?

Comment below.

* Original post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BXfz7VDB9xK

Keep moving

I have to say this season of unexpected unemployment has been hard. But I’m still trying to keep a record of where I am so one day I can look back with accuracy at what I endured and survived.

I have sent between 200-300 applications since May. I counted last time, but as it grows I feel like there’s no point in tracking it.

I have gone on multi-stage interviews and have been passed on by 9 different companies all of which told me that I was a solid candidate and that everyone on the team liked me.

I was told by 2 companies of those 9 that I would be given a formal offer only to have one, never reply to me or my follow up emails and the other to tell me they changed their mind.

I have another 3 companies that I interviewed with that never replied to me at all to let me know if I moved on to the next phase of interviews.

All in all, the job search has been disappointing, and even depressing. Most days it’s a struggle to keep going, knowing that it is still a possibility – as it has many times before – to get your hopes up in a process that might not end in a job offer.

But I’m hoping one day I can use this as another story of how God made it all work out again.

Please keep me in prayer during this time.