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Shabbat

For those that don’t know, Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Sabbath. Sabbath is the last day of the week (Saturday) where we are commanded to do no work, rest, enjoy family, and honor God, the Father. A Hebrew day begins at sundown the day prior, therefore, Shabbat begins at sunset Friday night. Many years ago, the Lord led us to begin observing this special time in much the same way as Jewish people. Keeping the Lord’s Sabbath and His Holy Feasts is such a blessing! Not only do we learn more about our Jewish Messiah, but they become special family memories and traditions with our children.

Speaking of blessings…that is what this post is all about. The Jewish people has such a rich tradition of blessing each other, their children, food, creation, etc. Notice the Patriarchs in the Old Testament, how they blessed their children. This very spiritual pastime has been mostly lost, to our detriment. Speaking blessings over a person releases such profound power in a life and can open doors for God to fulfill wonderful purpose in him/her. I encourage anyone seeking to go further with God, to explore the spiritual concept of blessing.

Back to Shabbat…every Friday night typically Hebrew, and Messianic Observers, light candles, speak blessings, and enjoy a lovely meal with their family concluding another busy week. These blessings include the blessing of the children, the Aaronic (priestly) blessing, the blessing of the wife, and concludes with a blessing of the bread and wine. This is our family’s favorite night of the week. Our kids love it, because everyone sits at the dining table. We play worship music, and there’s complete focus on family with no distractions. This is my favorite night of the week, because my husband reads Proverbs 31 as a blessing over me. The Jews call this Eshet Chayil, Woman of Valor. It’s a beautiful practice as a husband reads these precious godly qualities over his wife. I absorb the words every week, praying the Lord makes me into this ideal woman. Through the years, I’ve seen improvements, but God still has His work cut out! I also speak a blessing over my husband from Psalm 1. I’m not convinced everyone does this, or is as traditional as the Eshet Chayil, but I do it. It’s much shorter than Proverbs 31 and feels more rote than personal. For awhile now, I’ve wanted to compile verses together to speak specifically into my husband’s life (and actually ours as well). Yesterday, I finally took the time to write a more personal blessing. I share it here to help anyone else wanting to begin blessing their husband. Any portion can be edited to include other verses a wife so chooses or deleted if it doesn’t pertain. As always, I hope it helps!

Shabbat Blessing of the Husband

I bless my husband in many areas of his life. I acknowledge that as I bless my husband and he increases in these areas, so too, will I and our children increase and be blessed for he is our head and authority. 

I bless you with LOVE: John Wesley, may you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mk 12:30) To love me, your wife, as yourself (Eph 5:28) and bring up our children in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4).

I bless you with FAITH as a mustard seed, so you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. (Mat 17:20) That the Father increases your faith (Luk 17:5) more and more.

I bless you with FEARLESSNESS: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (1Jo 4:18) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2Ti 1:7)

I bless you with FRUIT: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 5:22-23)

I bless you with WISDOM and to have the mind of Christ. (1Co 2:16) God grant you wisdom so that it brings success. (Ecc 10:10) That you abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. (Rom 12:9) And whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, has any virtue and is praiseworthy that you think on these things. (Phl 4:8)

I bless you to PROSPER: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. (Psa 1:1-3) Keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; (1Ki 2:3) The LORD be with you; and whatever you do, the LORD make it prosper. (Gen 39:23) That as the Lord has brought all this great calamity on us, so He will give us all the prosperity He has promised us. (Jer 32:42)

I bless you with God’s PROTECTION: May no weapon formed against you prosper (Isa 54:17) May God be for you, and therefore, no one can stand against you (Rom 8:31) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. (Phl 4:6-7) The LORD be with you as a mighty, awesome One (Jer 20:11)

I release God’s PURPOSE in you: Although many are the plans in your heart, may it be the LORD’s purpose that prevails (Pro 19:21) May God count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2Th 1:11-12) May you be planted in the house of the LORD and flourish in the courts of our God. May you still bear fruit in old age; to be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the LORD is upright (Psa 92:13-15) And may He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose. (Psa 20:4)

Jesus promised you would do even greater works than He did on earth, because He goes to the Father (Jn 14:12) I bless you with His POWER and authority over evil. That you will drive out demons; speak in new tongues; place your hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mar 16:17-18) That you walk in the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.(Luk 10:19) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Eph 6:10)

I bless you with God’s PROVISION, to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mat 6:33) I pray God will never stop doing good to you, and will inspire you to fear Him, so that you will never turn away from Him. (Jer 32:40) That you may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of your life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. (Psa 27:4)

Fight for Your Marriage RMM Podcast

I realized I never copied our testimony podcast from Rejoice Marriage Ministries. We had the honor of sharing our testimony on their wonderful Fight For Your Marriage Podcast February 2020. Then coronavirus hit and things were even more crazy! So I’m posting it here now and recommending this wonderful new resource for marriages! Hope you enjoy! 💖

https://www.rejoiceministries.org/media/session/74820

God-Given Tools for Decision Making

Having a conversation with the kids this morning explaining that just like the Lord, I don’t want them to be forced to love me because I‘m their mom. I explained that now they love me because I’m their mom and they don’t know any differently.  However, one day, I want them (once they are grown and gone and in charge of their own lives) to choose to love me. I will no longer be a parent to them, always their mom, but rather (hopefully) a friend. I want them to grow up to see all the things I did and said and realize it was for their good and to love me for it. And then I want them to choose the right way I’ve taught them for themselves. I tried to explain that one day they will make decisions for themselves and I won’t be around to help them make those decisions. They must decide to use what they have learned from me to make the best decisions.

While having this conversation, it reminded me of something I’ve been questioning for quite awhile. I even talked about it this past weekend with a friend. Why doesn’t God just tell me what He wants me to do? I’d happily do it…well I’d at least do it because I have learned His way is best…so why doesn’t He just tell me instead of me trying to guess what the right thing is or what direction I should take? Then it dawned on me, God is doing the very thing I just explained to the kids.

God has walked me through many situations in the past that have taught me much about His ways. When my husband left me, God told me to stand. I had to decide to obey the command, but I was in no doubt of the command. Then there are times like when we had to decide to leave a job or not. We felt like it was the right thing, but had no clear command. So then we wondered if it was the right thing to do or not. It was. We had to trust. I believe those times of no clear direction are moments when God steps back to see what we are going to do based on what we’ve learned from Him, just like the parent He is.

All this contemplation made me want to compile a list of just what lessons I’ve learned from God that I would need to make the best decisions when He decides to step back and watch me make them.

Lessons I’ve learned from Abba in decision making:

1. Alignment to God’s Word. If it goes against the Word of God, it’s already a mistake.

2. Pray for guidance and His best (Jam 1:5). God may step back, but He never leaves us alone (Deut 31:6). Pray He closes doors that aren’t His best, and opens doors that He wants us to walk through (Rev 3:7-8). Also don’t pray for God’s permissive will. Sometimes, it’s permissible, but not God’s best for us (1 Cor 10:23).

3. Submit to authority (1 Pet 2:13). Children obey parents (Col 3:20). Wives submit to husbands (Col 3:18).

4. Spousal agreement. Usually when we need to make decisions, we need to wait to find agreement with our spouse (Eph 4:3; 1 Pet 3:7-8; Rom 15:5-6).

5. Utilize God-given counsel. Ask those I know that walk closely with the Lord (Prov 19:20).

6. Follow the peace. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s usually not (1 Cor 14:33).

7. Take my time. Rushed decisions tend to be poor decisions (Jam 5:7)

8. Avoid pressure. This is a combination of 6 & 7. When we make a decision purely out of pressure, something gets missed (Philippians 4:6).

9. Wait till I hear. Sometimes it just takes longer to hear God (Ps 85:8).

10. Listen better. Remove distractions so I can ACTUALLY hear the voice of God (1 Kings 19:12)

11. Check myself. If I’m not actively pursuing God and walking close to Him, decisions made won’t be good (2 Cor 13:5).

12. Let God move me. Honestly, not doing anything is doing something. Sometimes we must let God change circumstances. Trust His timing. (Ps 130:5)

13. Make the hard decisions. A lot of times we know what we are to do, we just don’t like it or want to do it. We must accept that God’s will is best, even if hard. (Rom 8:28)

14. Don’t get upset. I’m still working on this one. I have to remember that no purpose of God’s can be thwarted (Job 42:2). That tells me God will either prevent a bad decision or He’s gonna walk with me through one, because I got things to learn!

Hope this is helpful to any and all. If anyone has any other tools to share to this post, please do! We welcome anything that helps us make godly decisions and ways to follow Him! God bless!

Superpowers

What if our biggest flaw was actually our greatest superpower? I met a woman today with a limp. She didn’t seemed disturbed by it. It didn’t seem like it was from a recent accident, disease, etc. Maybe it was something she was born with, or perhaps polio had messed up her leg as a child. I don’t know. She seemed like a normal, capable person otherwise. Then I thought, perhaps I should’ve asked to pray for healing – but just as quickly the thought came: “What if that limp isn’t something she needs to be healed from? Who says a flaw must be a bad thing? What if she relates better to others because of that limp?”
Then I thought of my youngest daughter’s speech delay. What if she always has difficulties, but why would that be bad? What about my son’s crossed eyes? What if they never became perfectly straight? Finally, I thought of my oldest daughter’s leukemia diagnosis. What if these flaws, or defects, weren’t something to be ashamed of, hidden away hoping no one discovers or points out, but instead were our greatest triumphs? To be the very things that make us who we are? Who we are meant to be? What if those shameful defects became our superpowers? How we view the world? How we see people? And instead of shame or bitterness and anger because of them, they help us see the weakness in others to grow within us compassion, grace, mercy, & empathy.
I believe all these perceived “negative” issues arise, not to harm us, but to empower us. They give us the ability to see people better. To be the kindness we want from others. I believe our defects can be super, if we find the power within them: LOVE.

I know it’s been a long time since we’ve posted anything, but life has been hard for awhile. I don’t know if I mentioned we found out we were pregnant with our 4th child shortly after Ariel’s diagnosis. While it has made a bright spot during an otherwise dark time, it has added quite a level of complexity…leukemia treatments at the same time of having a newborn! Then my dad died suddenly after the baby’s birth. So, it’s been a rough few years to say the least. We appreciate any and all prayers! However, the best news is Ariel has completed treatment and her immunity is almost back to normal. She is now a beautiful active healthy 6 year old little girl! We still must keep check ups on her blood and body frequently, but all is well. Praise the Lord!

Fear

Matthew 14:29-31 (NLT) 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

Acts 16:25-26 (NLT) 25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!

Fear has erected a prison around me, my heart, and my thoughts. I’ve been stifled by it. I’ve been in bondage, but if I take the time to get grounded back into what God has to say, then the walls begin to shake and begin crashing down. Then the freedom Christ promised me is lived in once again. Just like Peter, if I take my eyes off of Jesus to look at the waves crash around me, I begin to sink, and I yell, “Master, save me!”

The people who work for the government to identify counterfeit money don’t waste their time studying the fake bills. They meticulously study the true money, so that when they see the false, they quickly identify it as what it is and move on. That is what I must do. I must be so intimately connected to God’s truth that I can quickly recognize Satan’s lies and move on, and not let his deceit hinder me from what God has promised me!

I encourage you to read this blog about identifying counterfeit money and apply it to your spiritual life. What spiritual heights we could achieve and victories seen, if we quickly and efficiently identify the falsehood of the enemy!

Counterfeit Detection (Part 1)

Not Looking Back

[Luk 9:62 NKJV] 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

I have been dealing with a heavy heart lately…actually, if I’m honest, I live with a heavy heart since Ariel’s diagnosis. Lately has been worse because my daddy died all of a sudden. I miss my dad. I miss the days before Ariel’s leukemia diagnosis. I miss the carefree days of just enjoying our babies, the joy of our marriage restoration, and having both of our dads around.

It is so hard looking at our pictures now…something I used to love. Everything is seen through a datestamp. I look through the pictures and something wells up within me and wants to scream at my son in that picture, “Enjoy it, son, Granddaddy is gonna be gone in 10 months!” Or every picture of Ariel is viewed as pre-diagnosis or post-diagnosis…and I so wanna climb into that picture and go back to pre-diagnosis days. I can’t help it, that’s just how I feel.

The past few weeks have been especially trying. Ariel has been sick…the praise is this is the first time she’s been sick since her diagnosis in over a year! She’s had a stomach bug. And while she handled that like a champ, unfortunately, it’s taken a toll on her already delicate GI system from all the meds she takes. When one of my babies gets sick, it’s hard. But when Ariel gets sick or doesn’t feel well, I don’t handle it well…I admit. I worry. I fret. I stress. Not that it does me or my family a bit of good, but, again, it’s what this Mama does. I just want her better.

Her dad finally asked about what life would look like after treatment ends in 13 months. It was a great question I could never manage to think of, since I can’t get past the stage we are always currently in. Once treatment ends, we will still be going to the doctor once a month for another YEAR! Then it will slowly taper to fewer visits over the next FIVE years till we are just going once every six months! I swallowed that news. When we left the hospital that day, I cried in the car as we were driving home. I knew they would monitor her closely after treatments ended, but I never imagined this. This is our life. This is my baby girl’s early life. She won’t remember a time without hospitals or clinics or pills or needle sticks or procedures. I was devastated. It’s all very heavy.

There’s such a strong duality to all of this. I am so grateful my baby girl turned five years old yesterday…ARIEL IS STILL ALIVE. I STILL HAVE HER. When she feels well, she’s full of life and fire and sheer will. However, there’s this flip side to it all. This is a very difficult and, apparently, long journey to trudge. Life is so fragile. I feel like we are always one step away from this vast precipice and any chaos we experience or one more extra thing and our lives shift out of balance ready to topple head-first into the expanse. That’s not really a fun way to live. It’s heavy.

Thanksgiving this year was so picturesque. It was this normal bustling holiday. Kids were excited about the meal while watching the Macy’s Parade. JW and I were busy in the kitchen preparing the feast. A handful of guests came. I watched football. JW took the kids hunting. Then I went Black Friday shopping while they cooked s’mores over a fire. It was normal when normal isn’t normal at my house. I couldn’t believe it. It was the most wonderful Thanksgiving I’ve ever experienced. I walked around the house thinking how happy I was, but my happiness nowadays is muted. It’s no longer carefree happiness with giddiness and a light step. My happiness is experienced in the heaviness…will it always be this way? I hope not, but at the same time, I’m so very grateful for it now. Heavy happiness is so much better than the sadness my life could be…and I know that full well.

I want a life that isn’t so heavy. I long for carefree days. I want the joys of my babies in perfect health. I want my dad back. I long for simple days and normalcy. God knows my secret thoughts. He knows the desires of my heart…better than I even realize them. This holiday weekend, I read a t-shirt that said, “Don’t look back, you’ll miss the road ahead.” That grabbed my attention. Then yesterday morning my heart was heavy again, because it was Ariel’s birthday and she started out her day vomiting all over the floor and I had to clean it up. Then my morning message popped on my phone: “The only thing the past has to offer you is lessons. It’s time to look ahead and move forward!” Honestly, God, I don’t wanna move forward. I don’t like this path I’m on. Can’t I just get off this crazy train?

But God doesn’t leave me alone. He makes His presence known. He lets me know He’s here on this crazy train next to me. As I was sadly going through pictures this weekend, I noticed something I’d never seen before. Around times of tragedy, there would be pics we had taken of rainbows. Who doesn’t love rainbows? So we try to get good pics of them when we see them. But I started noticing a trend, and I couldn’t believe it. Ten days before my Father-in-law died, there was a huge wide rainbow in the sky. Around the time my dad died, I found a rainbow on my bedroom floor and used it as a science lesson for the kids, thinking nothing of it. Then yesterday morning, I felt inclined to read the Blessings of God I have typed out hanging in my kitchen…and there it was…another rainbow on the blessing sheet! I believe God, in His way, is reminding me of His promises: His promise that He will bring health and healing to Ariel, His promise that we will laugh and will rejoice again, His promise that great shall be the peace of all my children. I cling to these promises daily.

I also cling to the promises that have already been fulfilled. I just had a birthday myself. The background pic on my phone is of my husband holding my birthday cake with the candles lit and all the love in his eyes. I don’t forget there was a day when that wasn’t the case, or that I didn’t know if I’d ever celebrate another birthday with him again. What you don’t see in the pic is in the bottom corner there are three tiny kids all excited to be bringing their mama gifts. They don’t understand THEY are the gifts. And somewhere sleeping in the background is the tiniest one whose name means there will be happier days ahead.

Our journey is long and hard. My heart is heavy most times right now. I miss my daughter’s health. I miss being able to lean on my dad for support and his love. I do wish I could go back, but God is telling me not to look back. He’s promised me miracles. And I have learned that when God promises stuff, I gotta hold on to my hat, because it’s gonna be big! I tell you, I’m ready for big!

 

He makes all things new


“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”  Ezekiel 11:19-20

Before my marriage failed, I was a terrible wife…terrible person really. I didn’t show my husband respect, was very controlling, bossy, and cold-natured. Even though I loved my husband, I didn’t show it well at all.

My husband has always been a kinder, more patient person than I. We would even joke about our different “natures” in the way we would wake up from sleep. My husband would wake up with a smile, a kiss, and a snuggle. I, on the other hand, would wake up with a grimace and a threat if you touched me! JW was the hugger and more physical. I didn’t want to be bothered. After 10 years, he’d had enough of my cold nature and sought warmth elsewhere. And after God opened my eyes to my own sins, I couldn’t blame him.

But here’s the good news: God is so much bigger than our “natures.” The verse above says He changes our hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. God can and does soften us! He puts a new spirit within us! It took the breakdown of my marriage to be softened, but through that God was able to put a new spirit within me. I am no more cold and hard and unloving. After our marriage was restored, when my husband would wake me, I would greet him with a smile and a kiss and a snuggle! We discovered God had changed me to the core. I was no longer grouchy and sour. Instead, I was grateful and appreciative of my husband’s return and all God had done for us. I was amazed. JW was amazed.

It’s been over 7 years and it now takes something to remind me of how I was in the past. It’s hard to remember how our marriage used to be…how we used to be. God can change people. God can change a marriage. Nothing is impossible with Him. Let Him do the same for you. It’s a beautiful thing!!!

My part in the breakdown of my marriage…

I was sharing with someone the other day how I gladly share our story to people, yet I’m still careful who I share with, because I don’t want anyone to look down on or think badly of my husband. It can be so easy to blame him for infidelity, yet I pointed out to this person that my sins of anger, control, manipulation, and disrespect toward my husband for the 10 years of marriage before he left, was no less evil in the sight of God.

Honestly, I believe that’s God’s first step in marriage restoration: revealing our equal part in the breakdown of our marriages. So many want to blame their spouse for all the sins and injustices done to them in the marriage, yet it’s God’s grace and mercy that reveals OUR sins to us. Think about it. Isn’t it better for God to reveal our sins to us here on earth so we can repent, rather than die in our sins only thinking of our spouse’s faults? I think so, and so I’m grateful for that night.

I remember it like yesterday. My husband had sent me a letter requesting a divorce and all his reasons for wanting it, while he was gone to work. I cried and was so sorry for the way he felt. But later that night God showed me my sins like scenes of our life together flashing before my eyes. I couldn’t look away, and I couldn’t blame anyone else. God was so clearly reminding me of all the things I had done wrong in my marriage to my husband. That night, I asked for forgiveness from God, but it would take much longer to receive forgiveness from my husband.

I don’t want anyone to ever think I’m some sort of saint for sticking with my husband after infidelity, because I know it was my sins that drove him to that point. Neither of us were right in the things we did to each other. But when we are able to see that, God can fill us with so much compassion for the other that healing can begin. No more bitterness. No more anger. Just compassion and mercy, because we know we need it too!

I pray this helps someone let God open their eyes so healing can begin for them too.

P.S. In the early days of restoration, my husband once told me something at a time I doubted his love for me, since I was suffering from low self esteem after he ended everything with the other woman. He said, “You know the verse: ‘He who’s forgiven much loves much?’ That’s how I feel about you.” I never doubted his love after that, because I knew exactly how he felt. And we still feel that way to this day.

A promise fulfilled

Wanted to share something with y’all that JW realized the other day.

While he was in the Far Country 7 years ago, I continually received God’s promise of double. I couldn’t understand why God kept whispering double when my husband had moved out, was seeking a divorce, and seeing another woman! 🤦🏻‍♀️

Then we get pregnant a month after He restores us and I think that’s the double…my husband plus a baby! Then we get pregnant with Ariel and I think that’s the double…2 parents have 2 kids! Only to get Annelise later to now have a quiver full which met more than my expectations. LOL! But in that time, we miscarried a couple of precious babies and experienced much heartache and loss. We didn’t want to try anymore. Finally, we found ourselves walking a dark journey with Ariel’s leukemia diagnosis, and we didn’t have time to think about anything. Yet, God used our distraction with her to sneak in one more baby…I will be honest, I wasn’t thrilled. I was barely hanging on as it was. We had just come out of the darkness her initial cancer diagnosis flung us in, and I was so fearful the whole first 3 months of pregnancy that I would lose another like I had the last one (carried 3 months then lost unexpectedly). I couldn’t be happy. All I did was take a day at a time with the pregnancy and Ariel.

But God in His mercy slowly reminded me to “rejoice.” That will forever be a precious word to me. In 2012, when JW had said he would come back home, but slowly began retreating from that decision, God told me to “rejoice.” So I stood on what the Holy Spirit spoke, and not the words my husband said. Guess who turned out to be right? 😁

So, God, if You tell me to rejoice again, I’ll believe You and not what all my fears say. Now, here we are 35.5 weeks pregnant, expecting a newborn baby in August 2019. And that’s what JW realized: August 8, 2012 was when God restored our marriage…this baby is coming 7 years almost exactly to that date! Isn’t that just like God to fulfill His promise of double in 7 years which represents “God’s completion and perfection?” From two messed up imperfect people, God has brought forth four children who are continually trained in the truth of God’s power and great love for His people. Our kids know our story, they know God restores and heals. Through Ariel’s story, they also know God provides and protects. We may not understand His plans, but we teach our kids to believe He has them and they’re for our good.

For a final tidbit, I’ll share the story behind the new baby’s name. Many times we wanted to use the name Isaac for a boy, but we either had little girls or loss. This time, when we found out it was another boy, neither of us had the heart to use the name Isaac. We knew Isaac meant laughter, and that just wasn’t where we were with everything that’s happened in the past year. After God started telling me to rejoice again, I began to look up names that meant rejoice…only to discover the exact wording of what Isaac means: “I will laugh/I will rejoice!” I couldn’t believe it. But what I loved the most was that it was a name of future promise…”I WILL…” God was telling me that better days were coming! And that is what I cling to Every. Single. Day.

God’s Best

God’s permissive will vs. God’s best

I had a prayer partner praying years ago with me that always prayed for God’s best. She’d say in her prayers, “Lord, we don’t want Your second best. We only want Your best for us. Please bring us Your best.”

She never knew how much those prayers changed my way of thinking. I realized that God knows the future, while we don’t. He knows what is truly best for us, when we truly don’t. Why should I pray for certain things to come to pass, if I really don’t know if it’s in my best interest? So, I began to pray for His best, even if it looked scary or crazy or whatever. I wanted His will for my life, above my own.

I hear people pray for God’s permission about things…even pray His permissive will, but I don’t want His permissive will. I want HIS plan A. No longer do I want to exert my plan/will and hope He makes it good. I believe He’s a benevolent God who won’t push His plan and let’s us follow our paths…that’s what scares me now…following my path that turns into some Plan B!

God is searching for those who will follow Him no matter what, through anything, and above their own will. He’s looking for those who will trust He knows what’s best for them. I encourage others to change their prayers like I did. I admit that it can lead to dark and scary paths. But God has never failed me, and every time I have seen His protection and provision when I couldn’t find it on my own.