Spirit of Shut Up!

Hey y'all!!!

I had to get on here and "spill the tea" as people say. On who? ME!!! Yes, Me! I'm a mess y'all. lol Well, I can be a mess at times. As many of you all know I like to encourage single moms and encourage them to develop healthy coparent relationships with their kids dad. But just because I talk about it doesn't mean I am perfect and get it right 100% of the time. What Im about to tell you is a time where I completely got it wrong.

My kids dad and I were talking about a coparenting issue. He was making some totally ridiculous statements about coparenting that I knew were utterly incorrect. However as he was saying it you could tell that he was just having a horrible morning and more than likely what he was saying was not even accurate in his eyes, but he was upset so he was just rambling a bit. Now, as he was talking, I began to say, well, that's not right and that sounds crazy, and started to break down the situation from a different perspective. He completely blew me off and started yelling at me and told me I couldn't comment on the situation and I didn't know the full story behind what he was speaking on and etc, etc.  Well, I kept at it I said well I don't have to know the full story to tell you that you sound crazy right now! Needless to say this became a whole argument where he ended up hanging up on me. I was PISSED! Now, I've told you him and I have come to a place where we have mutual respect for each other so I was livid he would revert back to his old ways and hang up on me like a kid in high school.  You think I let it go??? NO! I called back a couple of times. No answer. Then I texted him and tried explaining myself in a very nice nasty way. SMH… Then, I told him I felt like we were just having simple conversation and if we couldn't have a simple conversation about this articular issue then he shouldn't talk to me about it at all. WOW!!!!!

 

WOW! Y'all I am so ashamed at myself. Really I am. I was so wrong. So so wrong. Let me explain. First off, when he called he sounded like he was already having a bad day.  The Lord showed me a powerful lesson in this scenario. EVERYTHING doesn't need a response! Sometimes your kids dad may just need to vent about the kids or dad issues and that's ok. Sometimes you may need to just let him say what he's going to say about the situation and just listen. In this case the situation didn't really effect me personally. He was just expressing an opinion on something. You don't have to necessarily agree with his point of view. Just listen. Let me tell you, I'm not that great at it when it comes to my kids dad. See, the kids live with me. Im with them more often. Nobody knows them like I do. Nobody sees them through the lens I see them in. He doesn't know their thoughts, feelings, quirks, or anything else better than me so what could HE possibly tell me about MY kids????

Unknown

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! They are his kids to, he knows them. He may not know them the way you do, but he knows them. I don't believe parents will every see their kids in the exact same manner even if it's a two parent household.  Theres a difference in a moms relationship with the child and the dads relationship with the child. There are things the kids share with mom they may not share with dad and vice versa. So, give dad some credit. He knows the kids to. And if you are dealing with an absentee parent, then believe by faith and pray for dad to truly know you all's child. So yes, this message can still apply to you as well.

shut up

Where I was wrong is I didn't allow the Spirit of Shut Up to come up on me. ha! seriously, I should have just listened and just said a quick prayer. What is the spirit of shut up? It's that moment when you want to pop off at the mouth and tell him about his self or speak your mind, but you know that's not what God is telling you to do and it wont help your situation. That's when you have to get you some Spirit of Shut Up!

Wait Andrea, I thought you said we need to set boundaries with dad?? So why is he talking to me about something that doesn't directly affect me anyway??? Well, you have to remember there will be times you all are going to converse and when a situation comes up you have to be able to discern when its the right time to have that conversation. That is where your relationship with God comes in. I told you guys a few blogs back that its important to pray about your coparenting relationship. Ask God to show you how to navigate it, what to say, how to say it, and to help you discern the appropriate times to have  productive conversations. I didn't do it in this scenario and look where it got me. I was mad and aggravated and so was he.

lessons

Some of you may be saying, well why do I have to be that considerate of him. He aint my husband! Well look at like this. It's really good practice for marriage. I'm not married but I talk to many women that are and all of them have told me about times where they had to  allow the Spirit of Shut Up to fall on them. LOL  Everything just isn't worth an argument. Every time something comes up it just isn't always the best time to address it. You have to start looking at some of your difficulties as opportunities and lessons you will one day need. The Spirit of Shut Up can be applied to many situations you may go through in life.

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God tells us in 2 Chronicles 20:17 "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." See, there are battles (arguments) we just don't have to fight. People look at those scriptures and often times apply them to giants they're facing but it may not be a giant. Your battle may be that small irritating thing in your life such as dealing with someone who hurt you, upset you, or just can't seem to agree with. Let God fight the battle for you. You just sit back and discern when its time to have that conversation. Even then there may never be a right time. Some situations may need to sit dead for God to work out only.

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Be encouraged single moms in your coparenting relationships. Dad is someone you should always have some sort of relationship with and an open line of communication with. You won't  handle every situation correctly but I believe God honors your sacrifice in trying. He will honor your sacrifice in trying to make thing better and more civil for your kids.

So the next time you guys are talking and you feel the conversation going in a way you can see become an argument just remember to ask the Lord to allow the Spirit of Shut up to be on you. and remember its practice for your one day spouse. Just be grateful for the preparation. ūüôā

slow to anger

Love ya'll

Always praying for ya.

Andrea F.

 

B-A-B-Y M-A-M-A This goes out to all my Baby Mama’s!

Hey y'all!!!

Let me start off by saying baby Mama/Daddy is a term that me and my kids dad do NOT use. It feels like a derogatory term and we just choose not to say it. The title is from a song Fantasia sang many years ago as homage to Single Moms.

Today I really want to talk to my fellow single moms. If you read my previous blog about setting standards and trusting God for your mate, this is some what a continuation of that blog.

baby daddyMany of us are trusting God to send our one day spouse but not only must we have a Godly standard but we should be asking ourselves are we emotionally ready to receive him? How can we expect God to bring someone new in our lives when our heart, mind, and emotions are all wrapped up with someone else? The passenger seat is full. There's no room for anyone else. Can I be the first to say, It's time to cut those emotional ties with your kids dad.  Don't believe the lies when people say, fathers can always come back to the mother of their kids. NOPE! It doesn't have to be that way if you don't allow it. Sometimes you have to just break the ties and move on. Is it easy? ABSOLUTELY NOT! You guys created the most important person in your lives, together. And in many ways you will be connected to your kids dad forever but you don't have to stay emotionally and physically connected.

 

There was a time when me and my kids dad did everything together. I was the one saying I wanted a commitment from him and he didn't feel the same. When I started on my healing journey I knew I was having a hard time getting over him. He was ALWAYS around. He would come over and help with the kids and give them baths and we would have dinner together. We would have family outings together, we would be lovey dovey. He would even refer to us as a "we" in terms of just about everything, even things not concerning the children. After while I realized it was to much! How can you get over someone when you're always around them?? You can't.

question

tug of war

I dealt with it for about 10 years; that emotional back and forth. I thought I had to. I thought thats just the way it is. And when someone questioned it I would alway say, we have kids together of course we will be around each other. But I got to a point where I was so sad and hurt over our situation and I started asking God to heal my heart and truly help me get over him. I had asked God to do it before but this particular time I truly meant it. I believe God truly heard my prayers.

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God started showing me things. God showed me how my kids dad was saying and doing certain things to keep me emotionally connected to him. Like how if he felt me pulling away, he would do and say things to emotionally reel me back in. God showed me how their dad was at my house to much, He showed me I needed to distance myself from their dad and their other side of the family. God just started opening my eye to things and slowly I started making changes as God led me to. I remember one of the first things, I had a conversation with my kids dad about him being at my house so much, I asked him to scale it back. At first he was ok with it and he honored my wishes. but after a few weeks it got old and he started with his old habits again. Popping up wanting to see the kids, asking what I cooked for dinner so he could have dinner with us, etc… Thats where things got hard. I had to remind him of our convo. It became hard because I wanted him to be there. I wanted him to come over and for us to be a family. But I realized it wasn't  healthy for us to keep going in the same cycle. Listen, just because you have kids with someone doesn't mean you have to allow them total access into your life. ITS OK TO SET BOUNDARIES. It's ok to set certain days for him to see the kids or come and pick up the kids. Its not about being mean to dad or preventing him from seeing the kids, it's about setting some boundaries to guard your heart.

boundaries

lonely

During these times I really had to pray and ask God to help me. I cried a lot during those times because everything  I was familiar with was being pulled from under me. I felt lonely. Im not super close with my family so I felt very alone. Plus the physical help he was giving me with our kids on a daily basis was gone so I was feeling stressed and tired a lot of days. But as I kept praying and asking God to heal me, I kept hearing in my spirit, "trust me through the process."

cut

Even though we weren't seeing each other as much we were still talking all the time. the Lord told me to cut it off. Of course it was hard, but I really wanted to be healed. There were days I questioned God, like why did it take all of this??? His response to me was, How bad do you want it? How bad do you really want to be healed from a broken heart. When the Lord started putting that in my spirit I made up in my mind I would walk by faith and not by sight. This was a very difficult season. Many of you all know my mom died many years ago, I had ended relationships with close friends and I wasn't close with family. I have never felt so alone in my life. I felt like no one understood what I was going through and dealing with. After all, their dad wasn't a bad guy. He treated me well, he was a good dad and he really had a genuine love for us. But he wanted to emotionally use me. He wanted to spend time with me, tell me he loved me, kiss, cuddle, and have sex without committing to any type of relationship. Please don't think Im placing the blame totally on him because I allowed this for many years. In the back of my mind I always thought one day He would choose me. Crazy, right???!!!

 

There came a time where we had to stop talking altogether. If it wasnt about the kids  I stopped conversing with him. If the conversation drifted another way I would just stop talking until it got awkward and we both would just get off the phone. Again, another hard thing for me because he would be mad and upset with me and constantly asking whats wrong. but there was nothing wrong. We just needed boundaries and the emotional ties we had to each other needed to be cut. The Lord just kept pressing, how bad do you want it? How bad do you want to be healed?

Listen, once a relationship is over. It needs to really be over. And that includes the kids other family. Yes, I said it! Cut ties with the other family. You personally staying connected to them is not helping you get over him. I used to spend all my holidays, bdays, and any other celebration with their dads family. Along my process the Lord started telling me, don't go over there. Another thing that was extremely hard for me. His family was my family. They were there for me all those years ago when my mom died and I loved them and enjoyed being with them. But again, that voice. How bad do you want to be healed? So I listened. I spent years going to his families house even though he would bring other women at times. I would be so hurt and so sad, but I toughed  it out thinking this is how it had to be because we weren't in a relationship. All the while, many times after we would leave we would end up with each other. And because of my own insecurities and thinking I was in love, I allowed it.

delete

I remember when the Lord told me to delete their their dad and his family from social media. I was like why Jesus?? lol I was scared of what they would say. After all, we all had a good relationship. But God told me you don't need to be on social media seeing everytime he's hanging out, and pics of him and his girlfriend, or angry when you see he's hanging out but you had a rough time with the kids, or he told you he had something to do but it was hanging with his friends. You need to heal. You need to guard your heart. So I listened. I just kept hearing in my spirit, how bad do you want it?

I am here to tell you, you DO NOT have to allow a coparent to pull you in emotional and you CAN have a successful coparenting relationship. Where we are now took years to develop. I wasn't super strong everyday during that process. There were days I was chasing him and days he was chasing me. But I knew it wasn't healthy for me and I knew I wanted God to heal my broken heart. So I kept praying, kept listening to God and kept asking him for the strength to follow His instructions.

Although their dad and I are in a really good place as coparents, let me let you in on a secret. sssshhhhh… There are still moments we struggle at times setting certain boundaries and not being to close. But God always reels me back in and reminds me how far Ive come and how FREE I feel now! I don't want to go backwards.

When I started this blog I wanted to talk about coparenting because you don't see much about it. There's not a lot of info out there on how to navigate a coparenting relationship and what its supposed to look like.  Those years I spent in emotional turmoil with my kid dad turned out to be such a blessing. I heard a minister once say "Out of our greatest struggles, come out biggest testimony."

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I am here to tell the next single mom God can heal your broken heart. You can be healed from that relationship even though you still have to see and be around him. God can and will lead and guide you and you can have a successful coparenting relationship. He did it for me, He will do it for you!

be free

Love y'all! Always praying your ya!

Andrea F.

Hope vs. Faith

 

Hey y’all!!!!!

Whats up??!!! Hows everything going? I missed y’all so much. I missed blogging. The Lord has really been pressing me to be consistent in blogging. Let me tell y’all, blogging is a bit scary. Why?? Because most of the time I went through some rough stuff and that’s what gave me the blog topics. I remember when the Lord first placed it on my heart to start blogging again, I was terrified. I kept telling God “Please just give the topics, but don’t take me through the trials.”  Haha! Well  lets just say that ones of those prayers from my flesh and not my heart!

HEART

I first needed to examine my heart and find out why I stopped blogging to begin with. I thing the biggest reason I stopped because I got comfortable. I got complacent. I got content in my situation and current circumstances.  Although there’s nothing wrong with being any of those in certain seasons of life, it can be detrimental to your spirit if not handled properly.

I was content with my life, my kids, my friends, my new church, my weight loss journey and what I started to find is I was so happy and content in those things, that I lost sight of God for a moment. See, its easy to cling to God when things are going wrong but how do you act when things are going right for you?

happy

I was so content in that season I looked up one day and realized somewhere along the way, I stopped dreaming. I stopped believing that God was working in MY life. Its like, I could see God moving in other people’s lives. I had faith that God was real and moving and blessing others. But I stopped dreaming for myself. I stopped hoping  He would fulfill my hearts desires and hoping He had greater for me.

Did you know that Faith and Hope is two different things?  (Yea, I had no idea until I experienced this.)

Faith in the biblical sense is described in Hebrew 11:1 (NIV) “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. The KJV bible says “Faith is the substance of thing hoped for and the evidence of things we do not see.” Amplified bible says (paraphrased) faith is the assurance, the title-deed.  In other words faith is believing and having confidence, being sure of things we can not see in the natural.

Now, I did some research on Hope and I couldn’t find it in a biblical definition. However the Merriam Webster dictionary defines hope as “To cherish or desire with anticipation, to expect with confidence, to desire with expectation of attainment.”

The difference between the two is Faith is believing in what you CAN NOT see, and Hope is a desire and expectancy of things you don’t see in your life yet. I believed God but I wasn’t desiring or expecting anything to happen in MY life. In a sense I was walking dead spiritually. I wasn’t sad or depressed or anything. I was just living life going through the motions. Getting up for work, taking the kids to school, cooking dinner, working out, sleeping, and then doing it all over again the next day. Weekends consisted of hanging out with my friends and church, and as the week started over I would repeat the pattern.

daily

The problem with complacency is it doesn’t allow us to dream. It doesn’t allow us to work towards something bigger and better. It places our focus on self and current circumstances and doesn’t allow us to look towards the future. It doesn’t allow for us to grow, develop, and renew our minds to the things of God, His way, and His plans for our lives.

WHAT ARE YOU BELIEVING GOD TO DO IN YOU LIFE? WHAT IS THE CALL OF GOD ON YOUR LIFE? and The real question is WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO DEVELOP IN PURSUING THAT CALLING?

wake up

I don’t know about y’all, but Im believing God for some BIG things in my life, but I got to the point where I got discouraged because I wasn’t SEEING what I was BELIEVING God for so I stopped EXPECTING (lost HOPE) “it” would happen. Your “it” can be anything you are desiring.  I stopping hoping my teen son would start making better choices, I stopped hoping for my one day husband, I stopped hoping I would lose weight, I stopped hoping God would help me grow closer to the Holy Spirit, and the list goes on. See, the issues is I got frustrated on what I wasn’t seeing, I stopped hoping so I could stop the frustration I was feeling. CRAZY, right??? It wasn’t intentional, it was totally sub-conscience. See, the  bible tells us “ But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure.” We have to learn to WAIT on the Lord!

 

stop

Maybe your issue isn’t you lost hope. Maybe you have rushed ahead of God and are trying to make “it” happen for yourself.  STOP!!!!  Please just stop. The word of God says “And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” James 1: 4 In some versions of the bible the word endurance above is “patience”.

 

We have to allow God to do the work and we must be patient! “…but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation]. Such hope [in God‚Äôs promises] never disappoints us…” Romans 5: 3-4.  So you mean to tell me Patience is what helps us develop the character and spiritual maturity to develop hope in the Lord??!!! Say what???? and then it even says HOPE in the Lord will NEVER disappoint us. If I have FAITH in Gods word then I’ve got to develop in PATIENCE, to develop HOPE in the Lord! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

loveOk, so now what? What am I supposed to do while I’m developing patience and waiting? Remember that calling I asked you about earlier?  We all have a calling on our lives. This is the time you learn how to develop in that calling. Love God, Trust God, Praise God, Renew your mind to the things of God, Delight yourself in the Lord. Get busy doing the Lords work! Enjoy your life, your friends, and family. The thing is, you will find yourself busy with reading His word, developing your prayer life, developing in your home life, and serving where He leads, you won’t have time to get frustrated! You won’t have time to focus on the have NOT. You will be so busy thanking Him and enjoying what you DO have!

 

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If you have ever been in a situation like me please, please, start dreaming again! Don’t walk around spiritually dead. DREAM AGAIN, HOPE AGAIN! If what you are believing is according to His will, HE WILL DO IT! HOPE again for that business venture to come to pass, that new job, restoration in your home, your marriage, your one day spouse. HOPE AGAIN! DONT GIVE UP!  You just have to be patient. It’s His timing and His season.

 

I hope y’all enjoyed this blog post! I love y’all and I’m always praying for you.

Andrea F.

andrea.fortson@yahoo.com

The Safest Place in the Whole Wide World…

Hey y’all!

Sorry I haven’t been on here in a few weeks. Things have been ¬†kind of crazy and busy for me. As most of you guys know I started this blog for a communications class for my grad program.Although each post is for a grade for my class, I really try to pray and seek God on what it is He wants me to say. But being completely honest. I haven’t been praying as much and haven’t been spending much time in my word lately. ¬†Life has just been so busy. School, work, weight loss journey, and kids. It has been down right crazy.

I saw this picture on Facebook and it really made me think about some things.

preview_min¬†I love this quote! Im not sure who said it. It didn’t have an author on it. But when I saw the picture it made me say to myself. OOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH I GET IT NOW!

Everything that we go through is preparing us for something we asked the Lord for. ¬†Yea, it’s kind of hard to see things that way but I really believe this statement is so true. My mind of course started thinking about all the bad stuff has happened to me. I realized again how true this statement really is!

I think about when my home was broken into. It taught me how to be content with much and content with little.¬†When my car was stolen, it taught me how to be thankful. Thankful that my son wasn’t in the car when they stole it. When I lost my job it taught me how to be content. I hated that job and I really didn’t want to be there. ¬†I even thought about sad moments where my heart felt broken and crushed. I think of ¬†how it taught me what I truly wanted out of life. I truly learned my worth and what I deserved and now I’m confident, bold and unashamed to say what I want, feel, and deserve.

I think I’ve mentioned this scripture before but the Lord keeps giving it to me as I write this post so I’m going to give it to you again.

1 Peter 2:19 For one is regarded favorably (is approved, acceptable, and thankworthy) if, as in the sight of God, he endures the pain of unjust suffering.

There are somethings we are going through that are just unfair! We complain about it,, get angry about, get content, and then repeat the cycle all over again. We pray and ask God to remove the situation without even understanding what we are supposed to learn from it.

I used to work for a company where my boss made a difference with me in my race. I was the only black person in the department and she would always say little things to me about my race, area I lived, how I talked, and sounded. Although it she felt it was all in fun, it wasn’t funny to me. I grew to really dislike the job and it showed in my work. She would be extremely nice to me in my face, but then tell upper management that I wasn’t doing my job properly. She really started to pick at me. Needless to say, I started hating the job. I dreaded going to work everyday.

Months later I lost my job. Right after I bought a house. I had not even made my first mortgage payment. I was a bit relieved but then again, I was a bit afraid too. I had no other income. Through that situation the Lord begin to show me contentment. I kept thinking, I shouldn’t have complained about the job so much. I should have been more grateful and asked the Lord to help me while I was there instead of removing me.

Thats the thing I find we tend to do the most. Instead of staying and asking the Lord what are we to learn from a situation, we run instead. we run away from it. The problem with running is that we will continue to go through that situation time and time again until we learn the lesson the Lord wants us to learn. Remember the above scripture. You are regarded as favorable when we endure unjust treatment. When we stay and handle things God way He has a way of developing us through the situation. Theres a blessing on the other side of it if you can stay and endure Gods way.

I know its not easy. Think about it like this. Would you rather be in Gods perfect will, or His permissive will? I looked up the definition to permissive will and there are a bunch out there, but in short Permissive Is what God permits to happen many times because we ask. There is still a purpose and plan behind it but its the hard way through the test. His perfect will is His thoughts and plans for our lives unfolding.

For example. You hate your job. You complain, complain, complain about your job. You cry out to God and ask you Him to help you get another job. He tells you over and over its not time, but you keep praying about a new job. He says ok and gives you the new job. (thats permissive will) But guess what? the new job isonly worse than the last. one!  So you are miserable all over again. Get it?  His perfect will was for you to stay at the first job and let your line shine so bright that you bring people closer to Him. Or He may have wanted to develop you in patience or in love, or witnessing to others. That is His perfect will.

The safest and best place to always be is in His perfect will. There’s a purpose and a plan for all we deal with. With God on your side you are the VICTOR! You serve a God that has a flawless record. And even when we¬†mess up, He’s right there with His loving arms to catch us.

I don’t know about you but I want to be in His perfect will for my life. I know His perfect will is not always easy but I know it will always be worth it. ¬†ūüôā

some day

I’m continually praying for you all.

Andrea F.

It Ain’t Over!

Hey guys!

So today I want to share my friends testimony with you. This has been a rough year for her. But what I love about her testimony is that she never gave up on God. Even in the rough times she held on. I loved her video giving praise to God for what He has done ¬†for her this year. I don’t know about you, but I can FEEL her praise through this video. Please watch it and share it with someone.

What I hope you take away from it, is to sit back and think about what the Lord has brought you from. Understand there is purpose for everything that you went through. It was to develop you and make you stronger. Take a few minutes and think about some of the challenges you faced this year. But guess what, YOU MADE IT and you are still here!

Understand that what God does for others He can do the same for you. I  pray this video blesses you as much as it blessed me!

Be blessed. I’m always praying for you!

Andrea F.

Please view: Testimony

I’m a tranform ya, I’m a transform ya

“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God,¬†even¬†the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” Romans 12:1

The Holy Spirit has put this scripture spirit a lot lately.

I’m going through this phase where, I kind of miss my old life. My life before Christ. I miss not having conviction, being ok with doing wrong.

“Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a¬†newcreation (a¬†new¬†creature¬†altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh¬†and¬†new¬†has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

When I first really gave my life to God, it was a process. It wasn’t something that happened over night. I didn’t wake up and decide I’m not going to do a bunch of stuff anymore. It was truly a process for me. Slowly, the Holy Spirit started giving me something called CONVICTION.

conviction

There are many definitions out there for biblical conviction. So, to sum it up, its that little voice/feeling inside you that tells you something you are saying or doing is not right or wrong for you. Often times we ignore conviction. It doesn’t feel good to be in that place. We make excuses for why we did what we did or said what we said. But if you listen to that feeling you will find PEACE and a closer relationship with God.

It’s not that I want to do anything that I shouldn’t be doing, but it’s really hard to be DIFFERENT! It can be hard trying to explain why you don’t do what everyone else does, go where everyone else goes, or say what everyone else says. I love God and I love living for Him. I would never go back to my old life, but sometimes, being honest, it gets hard!

Before I became new, I was a drinker. I enjoyed going to the bar or club and having adult drinks. Lots of drinks…….I am no longer a drinker. It is something the Lord told me not do.¬†That meant my circle of people to hang out with really changed. You can’t hang out with the same people who still do what the Lord has told you NOT to do.

The bible says we should “…Hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good.” Romans 12:9¬†In other words, going out and getting drunk and clubbing is a part of that ungodliness, so I had to change!

John 15:19 says “If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection¬†and¬†would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.

This earth is not your home. In heaven, with God is your true home. And to put it bluntly, WE HAVE TO ACT LIKE IT! Just like your earthy parents have rules and morals they expect you to uphold, so does our Heavenly father. He created us and our time here on this earth is to represent and glorify Him!

This is not to say you have to be perfect. but what it means is you will exhibit self-control because of your love for God.¬†“But I say, walk¬†and¬†live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to¬†and¬†controlled¬†and¬†guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings¬†and¬†desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).” Galatians 5:6

This means be Holy Spirit led and not self led. Christianity is not about a bunch of stuff you can’t do. It’s about a bunch of stuff you CHOOSE to do because you love God.

choose

Listen, I’m not bashing people who drink, I’m just using this as an example. I’ll use another example. I had a friend (married friend) invite me to a pole dancing class once. It was at reputable studio with licensed instructors. It was their birthday and that’s what they wanted to do. Pole dancing is seen as exercise by many people. You use a lot of muscles and burn a lot of calories doing it. For me, as a single woman, focused on remaining abstinent until God sends my mate, I did not think a pole dancing class was going to benefit me in my walk to remain abstinent. Lets be honest it’s definitely seen as sexy. I wasn’t comfortable going. I didn’t want to awake a bunch of thoughts and feelings that just didn’t need to awakened in this season of my life. It’s not that I looked at it as necessarily a bad thing but I didn’t think it was fitting for me to partake in that type of activity. Of course my friend was disappointed but she is also a christian and she understood my heart in my decision to not go.

Your life at times is the only bible that people see. Your actions, attitude and demeanor should be of one that glorifies God.

Here’s the thing, there are things this world deems as “acceptable” but that doesn’t mean its acceptable to God. It doesn’t mean that its profitable for your soul or your walk with the Lord. That is why the first scripture Romans 12:1 says, do not be conformed, fashioned after, or adapted to this worlds customs.

I’m not here to preach a bunch of do’s and dont’s to you. However, I’m encouraging you to seek God in all things and listen to the Holy Spirit. Listen to that feeling you have when you’ve done or said something but something doesn’t sit right in your spirit about it. Ask yourself is what I’m doing lining up with The Word of God. We can not look to the worlds’ standard.

I remember a season in my life where I was really alone. I didn’t have a lot of friends to hang out with because most of them did things that the Lord told me not to do. But as I listened to the Holy Spirit, The Lord started sending me more christian friends. People that understood my walk with the Lord. That doesn’t mean you guys will always see eye to eye, but what its means is they will always understand your love for God and your desire to be pleasing to him in all things.

This walk is not always easy. You may have to let some friends go that you have had for many years. Are you willing to compromise your salvation and your walk with the Lord for the approval of friends? NOT ME!!!!

There are days I feel so discouraged. This is also why having christian friends is vital! When I am down I know I have friends that are praying for me. Some days I feel like I’m always trying to explain myself to others and why I move the way I do, but when the Lord shows me His favor, His grace and mercy it reminds me WHY, I do it. It’s because I LOVE GOD! The Lord is showing me, I don’t HAVE to explain myself. My reward is not here on this earth, it is in Heaven.

god is

I want to leave you with this scripture. In John 14:15 ¬†the Lord is saying “If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.”

I hope you enjoyed this post! I’m always praying for you

Andrea F.

You mad or Nah?!

So, Im going to be totally honest in this post. The last few weeks, I have really been going through it emotionally.

I realized, I was really mad! I was just mad and frustrated.

I was trying to pray earlier this week and I kept asking God, why am I going through this and I was pouring out my feelings to Him, and I got so upset from praying and thinking about things I just stopped praying! I was really upset! When I really take time to put things in perspective, its not like anything super bad was going on I guess, just a lot of emotional baggage, and small annoying things that added up to something big. Well, big in my eyes.

I read a blog by Minister Heather Lindsey called Help me, I can’t stop procrastinating. To sum it up she talked about the reason for procrastination was lack of desire. We use excuses saying we don’t have time, but the truth is we do have time, but we lack the desire. We make time for the things we really want. She related this to the reasons we don’t spend time in prayer and studying the bible. She said we don’t truly desire to know God.

It totally offended me because I kept thinking YES I DO! I love God! How can she tell me I don’t desire God?! Well, as I sat back and thought about my schedule and what filled my day, I realized she was right. Not only was she right, but I also realized, I called myself “mad” at God and was taking my frustration out on Him by not praying. (I know that sounds crazy, but thats how I felt)

o-SAD-BLACK-WOMAN-ON-BED-facebook

Last week I was working 10 hour shifts trying to get overtime. I went to the gym pretty much daily for at least an hour. I also couldn’t help but to think about all the time I spent on social media.

It was a hard pill to swallow. WOW! I really didn’t desire time with God. But WHY? Im the type of person I try to analyze everything, and Im sitting back thinking why ¬†did I not want to pray and spend time with God.

When I looked back on how I was feeling, I had been pretty upset the last couple weeks. My situation with my car was still going on ( for those that aren’t familiar, my car was stolen, then found, and has been in the shop for a month). My rental car period was up but my car wasn’t ready yet. I ended up paying more out of pocket ¬†for my car repairs than I originally thought which was annoying. My weight loss journey hasn’t been going well. My eating has been out of control so of course I’m losing no weight, My daughter hasn’t been feeling 100% so that was taking some energy out of me. Then my son as been getting into trouble at school, so Im having to deal with that. And as most of you know, Im in a grad school program that requires a ton of work! Then to top it off, (being honest) Valentines day is this weekend and I don’t have a Valentine. That’s a bummer!

I just feel like the devil is really attacking me. Attacking my heart, my mind, my peace, my finances, and I feel stressed out.

But as I sit back and think about these things, I realized this is exactly the devils plan. Its like, big things that happen, we instantly will pray about it but when those small little things happen, we think its no big deal and we can handle it. We take these things in our own ability and not put it in the Lords hands. So as the devil throws stumbling blocks in my way he’s¬†trying to get me off my game!¬†¬†The biggest question is, will I allow him to do it?? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!stock-photo-no-way-negative-response-absolutely-not-vintage-wooden-letterpress-printing-blocks-stained-by-70124890

IM PRESSING MY WAY THROUGH THIS THING! I have to! Failure is not an option. Im reminded of 1 Peter 2:19 that says “For one is regarded favorably (is approved, acceptable, and thankworthy) if, as in the sight of God, he endures the pain of unjust suffering.”

There are some situations that are beyond my control, and there are some situations that I have put myself in. I can’t ¬†do anything about the things I can’t control, but I can TRUST in the word of God that because it is unjust, I am regarded as favorable in the eyes of the Lord.

Every now and again, I go through this funk. I feel down, I get discouraged, I stop praying. But my Pastor has been preaching a series on It’s time for change. and I feel in my spirit, its time for a change for me! I don’t know about you, but Im tired of the devil beating me up!!!! Im tired of letting the devil get me all flustered and discouraged! Its time for change!

time-for-change

Not praying and spending time with God is the way the enemy comes in with his thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.

11954322131712176739question_mark_naught101_02.svg.hi       Have you ever noticed, when something bad happens, often times you start thinking of other bad things that have happened? By the end of the thought, your mind has taken you up and down the past few years of your life with everything bad that ever happened to you. THATS HIS TRICK!

He’s doing everything he can to take your focus off God. The purpose in this thing we call life is to keep our eyes on The Lord.

Heres the hard part BUT¬†¬†I DONT FEEL LIKE DOING ANYTHING!! I would Lazy-Bumreally like to just take a lazy day, a 6 hour nap, get a massage, get pampered and eat whatever I want, and still lose the weight. LOL (Andrea’s fantasy world)

But seriously, I really don’t feel like praying or reading my word some days, but I realize I HAVE TO PUSH! Push past those feelings ad emotions. If I don’t, Im allowing the enemy to come in. Its like inviting him in to have a seat. AND thats not an option!

This scripture has been in my spiritClean-HeartIn other words, Im asking the Lord to take out all the anger, and anything else thats not like Him and a renew His spirit, His way, and His attributes in me.

I¬†think about 2 Corinthians 10:5 says “…¬†we refute arguments¬†and¬†theories¬†and¬†reasonings and every proud¬†andlofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought¬†and¬†purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ ..”

In other words, get out your feelings and make your thoughts and emotions obey the word of God. PUSH! Push past how you FEEL.

Isaiah 54:17 says “But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security,¬†triumph¬†over¬†opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord..”

I LOVE how the Amplified bible says PEACE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, SECURITY, AND TRIUMPH OVER OPPOSITION, is in my heritage!

There are way to many things God has promised me in His word for me to sit up and call myself “mad” at God. He’s done too much for me to not PUSH past how I feel. I may not feel it right now, but I know, God is working behind the scenes on my behalf. ¬†Romans 8:28 “We¬†are¬†assured¬†and¬†know that…¬†all things work together¬†and¬†are [fittinginto¬†a¬†plan] for good to¬†and¬†for those who love God…”

So, it may not feel like it right now, But I know that ALL this will work for my good. even as I type this blog post, I feel the Holy Spirit chipping away the anger and frustrations from my heart. Do not waste time being “mad” at God. Stay in His word and keep reminding yourself of the peace, righteousness, and security over opposition that is a part of your heritage.

I want leave you with some a faith confession by my Pastor Leslie Declue.

Be Blessed! Im praying for you!

Andrea F.