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What If You Get It Wrong?

Recently, I was struggling with an important decision. It was tearing me apart as I was allowing the lies of the enemy to compromise what I know to be true.  I was lamenting to a trusted and wise friend that my fear was I would get it wrong.  My friend said to me, “D’Anna, what if you do get it wrong?”  It was then that I remembered that Jesus’ gift of salvation does not come with a qualifier that I get it all right.  If my performance was a qualification, that would mean I have some responsibility for my salvation and in my eyes, I would never be enough.  How exhausting that would be!

Thankfully, I can take no credit for my eternal destiny.  Any good work I do is as a result of the Holy Spirit’s presence, not my power.  I cannot even take credit for faith, for it is from God, as well. (Ephesians 2:8).

Are you wrestling with getting something wrong today?  Has the idea of not being perfect or falling short thrown a dark disguise over the veil of truth that is meant to set you free? (John 8:32).  I pray if you find yourself here, you take the hand of truth today.

Father, I repent of the times I fail to believe. Help me and my friend remember that you and your promises are the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) AMEN.

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God’s Silence Does Not Equal Stagnation


Recently I was in a beautiful place surrounded by the sights and sounds of God’s creation.  My children and husband were with me, and we drove up to a beautiful beach that had an area lined by ocean rocks as if to create a safe, swimming hole for would be snorkelers.  I did not feel like getting in the water this particular morning, but my kids wanted to try snorkeling.  It was their first time, and they were curious to see what they would find living just below the surface of the emerald blue water.

I found a shady spot on a hill with a peaceful picnic table that looked down over the majestic beach.  I could not bring myself to leave the refuge of the picnic table, so I assured my children I would watch them from above and they could go ahead and snorkel. I watched as one child put on her equipment and swam off strong and smooth like a fish in its natural habitat. Then I sat and watched as my son, who has dyspraxia, struggled to get the mask, snorkel, and fins on.  It felt like an eternity of him trying over and over again and not succeeding.

Eventually, he began putting his head in the water and trying to coordinate all the necessary steps to swim and breathe. He would lower his head into the water a minute and then come up for air, never mastering the required motor coordination skills needed to put it all together, the skills that just come naturally to most of us. My heart was bleeding as I watched. Tears filled my eyes telling the story of my hurt for him as they trickled down my face. I was rooting and praying for him but painfully witnessed him fail over and over again. I wanted to rescue him. Running to him and helping felt like the loving and natural thing to do, but I knew delivering him from his struggle was the worst thing I could do because he would quit trying and rely on me.  Fixing the situation for my son would stunt his learning and crucial growth skills he needs to function in life.  As much as I wanted to intervene, as heart-wrenching as it was to watch, I had to sit and silently pray for him and watch over him from above the water.

It occurred to me at that moment that this was such a picture of our walks with our Father.  He looks down on us from above and often sees us struggling, sometimes drowning. In our estimation, it feels as if he is ambivalent to our struggles and suffering.

God seems silent, but His silence does not equate to stagnation.

Just as I was watching over my child, He is looking down and watching us, His children.  Our Heavenly Father is supporting us and working outcomes that are for our ultimate good.  Many times, though, He does not provide an immediate and noticeable rescue or His relief looks like more struggle and pain to us.  We don’t have the whole picture.  We feel like we are drowning, but God is there.  His heart must hurt as a Father like mine did as a mother watching his children struggle, but He knows just what we need.

Sometimes no rescue is the best rescue.

As we drove away from that beautiful place this thought occurred to me, my child didn’t fail.  Sure, he did if it I measured it by what I saw, but in God’s economy, the only failure is the one you didn’t trust Him in.  Be encouraged, friends!  God is looking down on you.  He sees you, and He has you.  When it feels like He is letting you drown, remember this, “All that is given is necessary.  All that is withheld was not.” ~Timothy Keller

You are loved.❤️

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Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

When I am trying to patiently wait upon The Lord to give me my next assignment, I have to be intentional to guard myself against the thought that I am not doing anything worthy. As demonstrated in the story of Mary and Martha, sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening is as much an active and necessary aspect of Kingdom work as anything else. Waiting and listening feel incongruent to my flesh, but they are invaluable to my Father.

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The Commission is at Hand

Dearest friend,
We are children loved by a good Father without comparison. He has anointed us with a unique mission, in unprecedented times. The Father chose us for this moment in time that can be difficult to reconcile because it is a marriage of both beautiful and brutal. Because of this, it is necessary for us to love fearlessly, believe scandalously and hope without compromise. What mission has He entrusted to you today? May we all be good attendants of His holy assignments. Scandalous belief says that we have all we need to succeed today so do not look ahead for the commission is at hand.

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Backdrops For Blessings

Manna for your moment from my yard. Notice that every individual dew drop is distinct in its resting place upon the rose. This picture reminds me that like the rose catches the rain, God catches every tear. He compassionately holds each one with singular significance and gives them shelter until the Son tenderly wipes them away. God never wastes your tears. Sometimes they are tokens of joy and sometimes pain, but not one goes unnoticed or falls in vain. Every part of who you are matters to Him. When you feel the least loved or lovable, remember that like the dew finds respite upon the flower, we find refuge in The Father; and hope accessorized with faith whispers, moments when we feel bruised are backdrops for blessings.🌹

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The World Says Run, Wisdom Says Rest

Being a whole person can feel like being an overwhelmed person.

Time is two sided. It can be sluggish, and it can be swift. On days when our to-do list, responsibilities, and commitments weigh heavy; time is more elusive than enjoyable.  Remembering and desiring to rest is not indigenous to our culture or our conscience.

Busyness is often our temporary escape, and so we run, and we run until we have nothing left to guide us.

The world does not call us to consider that which we are running from but The Father does.  Pausing long enough to respect the discomfort that dwells within our souls is not considered modern popularity.  It forces us to face the foes that threaten our comfort, but we have a God who offers promises that will turn those scary places into sacred spaces if we will just lean in.

The world says run but wisdom rest.  

May we relax our hustling hands and slow our hasty hearts so that amidst the chaos of our calendars we may find a stillness within ourselves that comes from the peace granted by the Author, not the pace gained from the activity.

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God Is Looking For Endurance, Not Eloquence

108196178-2I just don’t know what to do.

That really difficult situation that is ripping you apart, you don’t have to figure it out, friend.  The decision is not your responsibility, but The Lord’s.  Talk to Him.  Don’t worry about how you sound.  There are no style points for perfect prayers with The God.  A simple yet powerful calling of His name, Jesus, Father, Lord, Abba, how dear those words must be to His heart to hear His children calling His name.  He hears you.  He knows the posture and the passions of your heart.  God does not require eloquence, He recognizes endurance.  Ask Him to clearly show you what path to take.  He will answer. The answer may be scary, but once you walk in the shadow of His light, you will find an unexplainable peace insulating your heart.
Psalm 29:11~The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.

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The Real Trinity

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What trinity are you operating under today?

I opened one of my books this morning and read this: In nothing be anxious. ~Philippians 4:6
That is a tall order for me most days. In really difficult and threatening situations, it is much easier to be a victim than a victor. It is common to profess to live under the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, in the refining heat of life’s challenges it is effortless to become a casualty of the wrong trinity; fear, anxiety and worry.

What is easier can insidiously become a place of comfort. When getting honest, the wrong trinity can mascarade as a self-southing blanket of safety. This is one of the enemy’s biggest lies. He wants you and me operating under the wrong authority.

Walking in the shadow of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as our compass is not the effortless way, but it is the effective way. We are not called members of God’s army metaphorically; but literally because we are in a battle with the forces that are always preying on our hearts.

As 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, we must always be on alert; standing firm with strength and courage in our faith. May we all pray for sufficient grace to live that command every day, because we cannot do it out of our strength.

Be encouraged friends, the presence of fear, anxiety and worry does not mean we have no faith; it means because of the fall we need faith.

Twice or thrice a day, look to see if your heart is not disquieted about something; and if you find that it is, take care forthwith to restore it to calm. ~Francis De Sales

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Parent’s Prayer

 

As the beginning of a new month and week dawns, bless all of us moms and dads, Father.  This parenting gig is hard, but you already know that.  You know every battle, grief, and gratitude of each parent.  Remind us these are not our children, but yours, God.  It is easy to beat ourselves up over their vices and puff ourselves up with their victories.  Give us wisdom to understand that while we play a role in every aspect of their lives; ultimately we cannot take responsibility anymore for their feats than their failures.  As it is with us, their struggles and their successes are yours, Father.  Us moms and dads, though, we bear them, too.  Performance becomes a heavy cross that burdens our hearts and blurs our gaze.  You often use the unexpected to change the expected.  We are prone to forget we are not in control, being quick to angst and slow to assurance.  Parenting is fertile ground for insidious places of unbelief to gain a foothold in our loving hearts.  Wrongly, “certainty” allures us into comfort and uncertainty into chaos.  May we remember we are our children’s earthly shepherds, not their eternal Saviors.  We play a part in the objective but do not direct the outcome.  In our limited insight, defeats can seem doom, and accomplishments are assuring.  These are the things that we use to misshape our peace and righteousness, Father.  Assist us in quick recognition and repentance of the deceptively, filthy rags we dress in.  Continue whispering in our ears; it is not about the accomplishments but You-The Author.  It is not about defeated paths but divine pictures.  We lose sight of this when it is all up to us, God.  That is just it.  We forget it is less about us and our “stellar” parenting and more about You and Your sovereign plan.  Allow us to love each child as you made them, not as we imagined them.  As try out season, course card decisions,  college and career selections, and so much more are all occupying our minds, God unburden our hearts with the weight of determined desires.  Allow our freedom from the obligation of expectations, and gift us with rest in Your destination.  Amen.