He is my Good Friday

I have known Jesus since I was young. I always felt a deep connection to Him.

When I was 15, I made a decision that changed my life. I made Him Lord of my life. I made a decision that has stayed with me my whole life.

While watching the 700 Club a man told me that God wanted to be a Father to the fatherless. That was me. Fatherless. And I made a decision, that if He would never leave me, I would never leave Him. I can now say that I have been Fathered by the best father.

Continue reading

Ride the Wave

 

I keep hearing from the Lord, ride the wave.

I will be the first to admit I have struggled at home. Not my usual routine. Adjusting to new a lifestyle. Adjusting to all the news and emotions that come with it. Dealing with all new situations and sometimes not knowing how to process it all.

Why am I frustrated. I want to control something that I simply can’t. So there’s pressure and I am making myself frustrated for something that I can not change. For someone who likes routine and likes to plan, I find myself only planning for the next day.

As I was praying, I heard the Lord tell me to ride the wave.

I’m from Texas and when you go to the beach they tell you how to ride the riptide if you get caught in one. A rip tide is a strong current that usually pulls the swimmer or boater out from shore to the sea. It’s strong. When one gets caught in a riptide, their first instinct is to try to swim out. The swimmer gets exhausted swimming against the current, they drown from exhaustion. But experts tell us when we get caught in a rip tide to stay calm and ride it out until it ends. Yes, it’s carrying you out to sea, yes it’s scary to think not the unknown, but allowing the riptide to carry you not only saves your energy but your life. Then you can exit the riptide and swim back to shore.

I’ve been struggling to maintain all the daily routines, that I was swimming against the riptide. I need to just ride the wave. I have to remind myself, I’m safe a home. My family is safe, life will continue after all this is said and done. Not of us will leave this unaltered but many of us will leave changed.

I am not talking about riding the wave of fear. Or the fear of uncertainty. The opposite, ride the wave of trust in God.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “for I know then plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans for a hope and a future.”

We can get so caught up trying to figure things out, we miss what God is doing in our lives. God is not keeping things from us, He is getting things to us.

Ride the Wave. His wave. His wave is love. His wave is peace. His wave is security that He will see us through.

Yet, in the grand scheme of it. It’s a small moment in time that may feel like eternity.

I’m no expert. But some of you need to hear it too.

Ride the wave.

Do what you can with what you have. Hope for tomorrow. And the next day. And the days and weeks after. Allow yourself to feel all the feels. Just remember it’s a short moment. Don’t lose your joy. Don’t lose your peace.

Ride the wave. We will get back to shore in no time. #cultivateyourlife #pause

Continue reading

I Don’t Do Guilt Trips

I don’t do guilt trips. I am a busy mom, wife, entrepreneur, minister, and all the other things crammed into my amazing full life. As much as I love to give my time and energy into doing things for people, I will not perform from guilt or shame. My goal is to love the best I can and sometimes I have to say no. Sometimes, I have to choose who I can help and when. Although I would love to do it all. ( and I would), for the sake of my sanity, I need to decline. That is ok. I love better when I get to be me. But please don’t try to get me to live according to your needs or standards. Please don’t try to persuade me to do something because you feel entitled. I can no longer live like that. In pursuit of my best life and a life full of joy, I choose to continue to love you and others well because, I give my time and energy from love not for it. ❤️#cultivateyourlife #guilt #shame #empowerment #moms #wives #love #joy #lifestyle #peace #jesus

Casting Nets

I woke up this morning at 4am. This seems to be my usual wake up time lately. With lots going on in my mind and questions about the future, I lay there awake asking God for direction and peace. So, I began to try to go back to sleep and rest in Him. I put my ear buds in and put on some soaking music. ( Instrumental worship) Immediately it was like I was having a vision. I was on a boat in the middle of a lake or sea. I was fishing as I cast my nets over the side of the boat. Sure enough as I pulled it up the answers to what I have been praying for would come up out of the water. I just laughed. Suddenly, as I turned guess who was there, Jesus! Oh man! My heart leaped as it usually does when I encounter Him! I laughed again and tossed the net out of the boat again. I asked Him where He has been? He replied, ” I have always been here.” He was there and helped me as I cast my net again and pulled it back up, bringing goodies and answers to the prayers that was stirring my heart. I felt myself relax and in joy as I began to fall asleep to the peace this vision brought me. It gave me reassurance that what I saw in my vision was Jesus not just giving me what I want or needed, but taught me how to “fish”. I cast my nets again and again and He helped  me pull it up again and again. At the end my vision turned into a dream I suppose because I woke up. But I remember laying in the boat that was full of answers and laughing in joy of my catch. My supply was here and I could relax and enjoy the ride.  I woke up again from finally able to sleep and I felt myself say “I will never lack again. This is the last season of lack in my life.” I kept saying this over and over this morning.

I recently made some major life changes. Stepping out and trying some new things that have been on my husband and my heart for a long time. Of course, we new it would come with opposition and adversity. I mean, where in the bible did it say when you  follow God that anyone has it easy. But this season has been definitely hard when people come up with their own conclusions instead of just asking questions. Then, it seemed like we were attacked for deciding to grow up and do what we have been waiting for. It has been emotionally hard at times.  Its hard when the finances aren’t there to fund your dream yet. I refuse to feel like I have to justify myself to the world for believing in myself and my dreams God has given me. This is probably one of the biggest adventures we stepped out to do, and sometimes it hurts when people don’t understand. However, I rest assured in peace that I am where I am. I am not sure where the road leads, but I know where I can not stay.

It is amazing what happens when you encounter Jesus. He shows you amazing things and brings peace and hope and assurance to your heart. He is there. He is my favorite. I know that I have posted about soaking before. But its worth saying again, you should try it. I am not saying you will have visions or encounters like me, but I do know it brings peace and quiets your thoughts.

Jesus is always very present. He is always near. He is always waiting to show you a new way or a new thing. He gives good gifts and restores your soul. If you seek Him, the promise is that You WILL find him. He just wants you to trust Him as you cast your nets.

The Divisiveness of Defensiveness by Kelly Shaum 

My dear friend Kelly is a true gem. Walking through wounds of her past with love and healing. She has wisdom to share about defensiveness and how it may be the lie your are believing that is keeping you from connection. Angela~

The Divisiveness of Defensiveness 

by Kelly Shaum 

Jesus said turn the other cheek. I don’t think that he said that so that we would be vulnerable or weak in the presence of our enemies. I think that he said that because he knew that getting in defense can be more harmful to us spiritually and emotionally then the slap in the face.

I “ran” from God in my early adulthood, over woundings that happened in my youth. It took me 12 years to get back in church and it took 4 more years for me to finally understand the cascade of events and reactions that led me down that path.

I don’t want to rehash exactly what happened, because I am sure it’s a fairly common story. We don’t always know how, what we say will be received, and sometimes harshness for the sake of expediency can cause more harm than good. With that said, I responded in the only way I knew. I became defensive. I pulled up my walls and prepared for a siege.

This is a normal response, we all instinctively want to protect the wound. If a child cuts their finger they won’t want to show it to someone to clean and bandage it because it may hurt more in the process. As you mature you learn to quickly allow someone to help because you understand the bigger picture. Infection, festering. You can’t heal what you won’t reveal. Emotional maturity works in much the same way, but it is a lot harder to achieve because every minute that we sit in defense, we deprive ourselves of fruit and growth in the area that we are defending.

Thats a hard thing to read….. I know, but it is the truth.  

The analogy of a siege is appropriate because, in short burst, defenses are good, you outlast the enemy and get back to the business of living. But over a long siege, the food that is stored will be gone and sickness and starvation become commonplace. You become paranoid and untrusting because the perceived enemy is always trying to breach your walls.

 The bottom line is that defensiveness takes away your ability to get the wound healed. It makes feel like you have to protect the wound. In emotional terms this means that you have to justify the wound. You cannot acknowledge any fault in your behavior because you are too busy defending it. You get to be a justified victim and you don’t have to grow or change. More importantly, living in defensiveness makes you lash out, at others. Causing more wounds. Think of a cornered animal, who is attacking anyone who would come to save them. This just perpetuates separation.

For me, it looked like this. I decided to associate the wound with the Church. I became angry and judgemental of all churches. I knew that it was not God’s nature, but still my ability to connect with God was directly affected, by my choices. I started to associate things with God that were never His doing and I rejected anything that didn’t line up with my defensive thoughts. It was a reactionary, and unhealthy. In my defensiveness, I would argue that the church was hypocritical and I would actively dissuade people from engaging with God in that manner and I lashed out at anyone who tried to convince me differently.

It took years and years of God slowly chipping away at the foundations of my defensiveness, for me to finally start moving toward Him again. He showed me that I was believing a whole lot of lies about the church and about myself. I was able to forgive and let go of past bitterness because He put people in my life that loved me in ways that I didn’t understand. When I look back to see how far I have come, I see a decade of misery. I see depression, and unhappiness and a lack of dreaming and creativity. I see existence, survival, without hope and without direction.

When you are defending a wound you are defending a lie, and you have to let Him see the lie so that He can replace it with His truth.  

My hard won revelation, started when I let my walls come down and I decided that I would let God be my defender. He gave me a brain and a heart, and the more I pursued Him and His heart for me, the easier it became to sort through all of the lies that don’t line up with who He is and who I am. It’s a never ending process because He is constantly teaching, patiently and with great joy and it’s full of excitement and mystery.  

The closer you are to someone, the easier it is to get in defense especially when your past experiences inform your present circumstances. But love will allow you room to relinquish pride and assumptions. If you ask God, he will give you a value for connection and remind you when your defense is up.

We are all flawed and fall short, and sometimes people can hurt you. That is the nature of the world, but God wants to protect you. God can heal all wounds and He wants to restore you. Not just restore but to teach you so that you may live from a higher place than where you started. He wants to take the cracks in your china and fill them with gold so they are more valuable than they were to begin with. There is a beauty in the way He works and it is indescribable. Most importantly, He wants to show you how to love without control or defensiveness, not so you will be vulnerable or weak, but because He loves you that way.

 

BE

 

img_2314

God instructed Joshua to go take the land which He promised His people. He said, ” BE strong and BE courageous” Not act like… not try… or even fake it til you make it. He said BE. We are children of God, our DNA is to BE His children. So whatever your going after. Whatever dreams your believing for. Whatever breakthrough your working through.

BE strong and courageous. In return, His promise is that HE will BE with us wherever we go.     

Joshua 1:9