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The Lord Does Provide!

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The following is a devotional is a contest entry I entered for Compel Training. The topic was on stress, worry and trusting God in the hard places of life. There were over 600 entries and only 40 were chosen. I wasn’t picked, but I really enjoyed the process and got some good feedback from a few close friends and family members. So, I wanted to share it here on my blog and hopefully encourage someone else who may be worried and praying about something. Keep praying. Keep asking. I’ve heard it said that God is no respecter of persons. What he does for one, He can do for another. 🙂

Anxiety took over my mind as a pile of bills sat before me and I wondered how I was going to pay them. I was living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet. Not only that but my car was due for maintenance and I needed to pay my taxes and renew my registration.

Normally in the past when I was in a financial bind, I could call on my grandmother and she would usually lend me a hand. To which I am very grateful and blessed to have someone like that in my life. But I was in a season where God was trying to teach me to rely on him as my source and not my family.

So, I prayed over my bills and specifically asked God to either increase my income or to send money another way. I released the situation into God’s hands, trusting that He would provide.  

During this time, I stayed faithful in paying my tithes. I could have easily quit doing that and used the money towards my debts or my car, but I didn’t. This is where my true test of faith was coming into action.

About a month later, God answered my prayer. Not only with enough money to take care of my bills and car, but also in the specific way I asked. I found out that I would be getting a bonus and pay increase at work. Then, unexpectedly, I got a $100 refund on a security deposit from my phone company. Praise God!

This situation of trusting God was a huge leap of faith and it got me thinking of the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his promised son Isaac, and without question or hesitation, Abraham took his son to be sacrificed. When God saw his obedience, he stopped him from sacrificing his son, and provided a ram instead. Abraham called the place Jehovah-Jireh, “the lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14)

One thing I’ve learned in my 30-year journey with God is that He can’t use what we don’t release to him. We can either pray & release our concerns to God trusting that he knows best. Or we can cling onto them with clinched fists trying to solve them on our own thinking we know better.

Letting go is hard, but if we truly know the one whom we are releasing our concerns to then it makes loosening our grip easier. Abraham trusted God because he knew him as faithful. However, if we don’t believe that God is faithful to keep His promises, then we will struggle to be obedient when we are asked to do that which we think we cannot.

In order to build that trust, we must spend time getting to know Him better and learning about His character. Then once we’ve found him faithful in one area of our lives, we know that he will be faithful in other areas as well.

Are You Following God’s GPS?

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The following devotion is a submission that I sent to Compel Training a couple months ago during their annual devotional writing contest. I had never written a devotional before and I had just joined the website. The week after I joined they had a live training with tips for writing devotionals. So, after watching it, I decided to give it a try. I shared it with several people after sending it and got some positive feedback. However, I received an email this morning letting me know that my submission was not chosen this year, which I am OK with. Like I previously mentioned, I had never written a devotion before, but wanted to give it a try. There is always next year and, in the meantime, I can’t use this time to practice writing more and hopefully have a few more that I can submit next year.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Psalm 32:8 NIV

If I’m being honest, I’m directionally challenged. I’m not the best at giving directions and I often need to refer to the GPS on my phone to find out where I’m going, However, on the rare occasion that I’m not paying attention or I’m distracted while driving, I still end up getting lost. Which happened to me several years ago.

I was looking for a park that is located several miles away from my house. I tried following the signs but somehow missed the one I needed and took a wrong turn. I ended up on this long and windy road with lots of twists, turns, curves, and no place to pull over.

I stopped once to let someone pass me, but I didn’t check the location on my phone and ended up going even farther than I had intended.

I started freaking out because the road I was on took me several miles from where I wanted to be. I tried calming myself down and stayed on the main road. It wasn’t much longer that it led me to a familiar place, and I was finally able to turn myself around and go back home.  

Once I realized where I was I started laughing and, in that moment, I could almost hear the lord whispering “this is what happens when you don’t use the resources available to you or you trust your own instincts to lead the way. When that happens, you miss the signs in front of you and end up way off course.”

I love today’s verse in Psalm 32:8 that says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

The bible is often quoted as being “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”. And much like a physical map that helps us to know where we are going and how the get there, the bible is our spiritual map to get us from our point of salvation to becoming more like Jesus and be his physical representation while here on earth.

The bible also keeps us from stumbling over roadblocks and safe on the straight and narrow path. But if we don’t make use of the resources readily available to us, like prayer and bible study, we won’t know which way we should be going or if the path we are on will lead us in the wrong direction.

Unfortunately, I don’t always make use of those resources and end up on the wrong road several miles from where I want to be. All because I decided to go my own way.

But no matter how far you or I get off course, we can always pray out to God and through his holy spirit, he is more than willing and able to reroute us back to where we need to be. All we need to do is trust that his ways are far better than ours.

Halloween themed planner spread

Happy Halloween 🎃👻 for this week’s planner spread I used the seasonal stick babe sticker book with some decorative stickers from the teacher seasonal. 😁

Town of Bramwell, WV Ghost Walk #tbt

The organization that I work for hosts a Ghost Walk through the historical town of Bramwell, WV & I got to attend 2 of the walks in 2009 & 2015. The first time I went was with my best friend’s mom, because my friend was sick and couldn’t go. So her mom went in her place. Then I got a chance to go again in 2015, this time with my best friend. I had a lot of pictures to share, so I created 2 slideshows from both walks.

The tickets sold for the ghost walk benefited the Children’s Home Society of WV We Can mentoring program and the town of Bramwell