God is My Happy Place #31

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is

“The book of Proverbs by Solomon holds profound wisdom. What is a proverb you live by?”
5Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;
6in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight.
7Do not be wise in your own eyes;

fear the Lord and shun evil.
8This will bring health to your body

and nourishment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8 NIV

It’s not always easy to follow. To trust God with everything. I’m learning to trust God & ask him first in every situation. I’m not always perfect at it though, but He’s working on me.

Trusting in the Lord with all my heart. That means with everything I have. Not holding anything back. This is so hard. I want to control my circumstances, but I can’t say I’ve done the best job thus far. I’m not saying my life is bad, becuase other than a couple of things, my life is good. But I have to learn to give it all to Him. Not just some of it.

He knows how to handle it better than me anyways. He sees my future. He knows what the right choice is. It is not always the answer I would choose, but it always turns out better, if I follow His lead & live life the way He would have me do so.

I need to decide to accept His way as the way to do things and follow Him in everything. Not just when I see fit.

While trusting Him, He is working things out behind the scenes. I can’t always see Him working, but I know He is. He has everything under control.

And my wisdom means nothing. Compared to what He knows, I know nothing. Not even a splash in the pan. I cannot act like I know all & that my knowledge is the best. I would like to believe that I know the best thing to do in every situation, but I don’t. I have found that, if I were to follow my own thoughts/desires, I would be in a bad place.

I also need to give all my respect to God & be careful what I allow in my life. Sometimes I let too much of what the world has to offer in.

Doing all of the above will keep me healthy in every way. That means physically, mentally, spiritually.

I’m in no way saying this is easy, because it is hard to be in a situation & remember to ask God His opinion first, before making a decision. I often feel like I have to make rushed decisions. But that isn’t necesarily true. Usually, if I ask someone to give me time to think about something in order to make a good decision, they will give me time. If they won’t, it is usually not a good idea.

However, practice makes perfect. If I continue to go to Him as soon as I remember. I will learn to do it earlier & earlier, as well as more often.

I will end this with a different translation. I have really started enjoying reading The Passion Translation along with the NIV.
5Trust in the Lord completely,

and do not rely on your own opinions.

With all your heart rely on him to guide you,

and he will lead you in every decision you make.
6Become intimate with him in whatever you do,

and he will lead you wherever you go.
7Don’t think for a moment that you know it all,

for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion

and avoid everything that’s wrong.
8Then you will find the healing refreshment

your body and spirit long for.
Proverbs 3:5-8 The Passion Translation

Book Review: Stolen Innocence

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Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, & Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs by Elissa Wall with Lisa Pulitzer

The book walks through her life from her point of view. She discusses with great detail what it was like to grow up in the The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) & her escape from the sect.

She went through a lot of torment during her life in the FLDS. It took a lot of courage to get out & go up against Warren Jeffs (the prophet) for his role in what happened to her.

Her family was ripped apart on many occasions at the order of the prophet, because the prophet could order wives to leave their husbands for a time or reassign them to different husbands. The prophet ordered it to happen on more than one occasion. She always felt abandoned every time that they were ordered away & every time that one of her siblings either got married or were forced out of the sect or left on their own.

As the title suggests she was a teenage bride. She was forced to marry at the age of 14 to her 19 year old cousin, whom she couldn’t stand. He was extremely abusive. She endured for 4 years of marriage to him.

With the help of a guy she started seeing in secret towards the end of her marriage, she was able to get out. It took time, but it finally happened. She was able to reunite with all of her siblings that had either left or were forced out in previous years. She also ended up marrying the boyfriend & they have 2 children together.

She did end up leaving behind her mom & 2 youngest sisters at the time she left, which was the only thing that kept her from leaving earlier. At the end of the book we find her still hoping that they will decide to leave.

Operation Christmas Child Event

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We had a blessed evening at an Operation Christmas Child Event the other night. The picture was our keepsake to remind us of Yves Dushime’s powerful testimony, which he gave that night. It is also the testimony of what God can do through sending shoeboxes to children around the world.

He received a shoebox when he was about 11 when 300 shoeboxes were sent to his church.

In it was a scarf, which he didn’t need at the time in west Africa. But God knew he would need it when he reached Buffalo, NY years later. There were also other things in the box that were specifically designed for him. He had hated people before that due to what happened to some of his extended family in Rwanda. But the person who sent the box said that Jesus loved him & so did they. Which he said made such an impact on him & changed his way of thinking. He was forever changed.

And that was only part of the story. There were so many amazing things that came from shoeboxes delivered to the church.

Yves father is a pastor. He pastored in Africa. The shoeboxes brought in people to the church who would never step into the church, if it weren’t for the school supplies in the box. The local witch doctor’s had threatened them not to even be seen talking to the pastor. So many people heard the gospel that day. Many kept coming back to the church. Many churches were planted. Yves dad decided to move the family to a village with the most powerful witch doctor in the area. The witch doctor threatened them & told them to leave. The family stayed. The witch doctor tried all the tricks he knew to kill them, but there was something that wouldn’t let them. He even sent people to the church services to see what kind of witchcraft they were using.

After a while the witch doctor came to the pastor’s house & said he wanted to give his life to Jesus, because he realized that the pastor’s God was more powerful that his god. He also brought his witchcraft tools, because he wanted to burn them.

Some time later the exwitchdoctor wanted to be baptized, so the pastor scheduled it & they met at the river. But when he came to get baptized all the people that he witnessed to after being saved showed up to be baptized also. There were so many people.

God works miracles. He orchestrated it in such a way that it could only be God.

Yves tells the story so much better. But I believe that I needed to share it. I am sharing a clip of his testimony that I have found on YouTube. The testimony starts at the 18 minute mark, if you wish to skip the beginning part.

My Parents’ Visit

My parents came to visit from Oklahoma. It was so good to see them. We had an amazing time. Following is what we did, including some pictures.

Day 1

They arrived. Yay! We visited. I showed them around some. They checked into their hotel room. We visited for a while longer.

We went out to eat when my husband got off work. We visited some more.

It was so good to see them. I’m glad they’re here for a few days.

I also enjoyed not waking up to an alarm clock this morning.

 

Day 2

I got up at my leisure with no alarm clock again today. I did some things around the house. When my parents were ready for the day, we went to the grocery store & got groceries for the trip to the grand canyon.

Then we drove down to Tempe. I showed them where my husband works. Then went to IKEA & looked around. We also ate lunch there. I didn’t know you could eat lunch at IKEA. It was pretty good.

Then we went did some more shopping & driving around.

Then we met my husband for dinner after he got off work.

We packed for the next day & relaxed for a little bit before going to bed. Tomorrow will be an early day.

Day 3

We left this morning for the Grand Canyon. We were all excited to get there. It was an early morning.

We arrived at the south rim that afternoon. We went to the visitors center & got our first view of the Grand Canyon. It was breathtaking.  Though the pictures don’t do it justice.  It is much more beautiful in person.

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We checked into our hotel. We stayed in Grand Canyon Village for the night.

We then continued on our way. We took the buses in the village to take us to the different viewpoints. Every view was spectacular.

At one of the stops, I even found a Bible verse posted outside the gift shop there. 🙂

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We were exhausted at the end of the day for sure. So we went to the hotel & slept. We did a lot of walking.  But it was all worth it.

Day 4

We woke up at the Grand Canyon. We had breakfast in the room. Muffins we brought. Then we packed up & checked out of the hotel.

We drove east towards the watchtower, stopping at most of the viewpoints on the way. We were able to drive this part

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We made it to the tower. This was our last view of the Grand Canyon. We took a picnic lunch & sat on a bench 5 feet from the edge. Amazing.

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We left the park & headed home.

We stopped in Flagstaff on the way home & ate at Fat Olives. A restaurant that was on Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives. The food was so good.

Then we finished our trip back down to Phoenix. We all got a good night’s sleep.

Day 5

Today we went to church. It was an amazing service.

Then we ate a quick lunch.

After that we went to Saguaro Lake & took a cruise around the lake. It was a relaxing boat ride. We really enjoyed it.

 

Then we drove around for a while and ate dinner before going back home.

Day 6

Today was a rainy day. So we hung out at the house visiting. It was a nice relaxing day.

Day 7

Today we slept in. Then we got out & did a little shopping, washed the car, ate lunch.

Then we played glow in the dark miniature golf. It was pretty fun.

Then we went back home & relaxed. Then ordered pizza for dinner.

Had to say goodnight & goodbye to my parents. They had to go back to Oklahoma & we had to go back to work.

We really enjoyed their company. It was sad to see them go.

God is My Happy Place #30

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is

“If you never chase your dreams, you will never catch them.”

I recently went to the Grand Canyon, which I will write about soon. However, I was inspired by the birds flying over the canyon to write this poem. I feel like it fits this writing prompt.

—————————–
Birds over the Grand Canyon.

So amazing.

No fear.

That is their nature.

The way God created them.

Can we learn to fly that way?

No fear of flying high above apparent impending doom.

We can learn.

God can teach us.

Takes time and practice.

Drawing closer to God.

We can be fearless.

Soaring towards our dreams.

That should be our nature.

It’s how God created us.

To cling to Him and fly.

Awaken September 2019

We have started up Awaken, our women’s brunch and Bible study, for this year at One Church Scottsdale.

We are reading “Relentless” by John Bevere this year. We have just started it & it is so good.

We started off discussing the verse that starts off chapter 1.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/ecc.7.8.NIV

Right off it reminds me of the phrase: “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” Though sometimes, it is simply, did you finish? Did you make it to the end?

We talked about being relentless and persevering to finish what we start.

Some synonyms of relentless, if you look it up in the thesaurus are “determined, fierce, uncompromising, unstoppable, unyielding, adamant, inflexible.”

This is how we should be with our relationship with the Lord & living our life the way He would have us live it in obedience to Him. I know I need to work on this. I got to thinking that I need to spend more time in the presence of God than in the presence of the world.

This book reminds me of a song that I really like. “You Won’t Relent” by Jesus Culture, which talks about how God is relentless in His pursuit of us.

If God doesn’t give up on us, should we give up on us? And if God is relentless in His pursuit of us, shouldn’t we be relentless in our pursuit of Him?

I do not own any rights to this song/video.  They belong to Jesus Culture & producers.

God is My Happy Place #29

books on wooden shelves inside library
Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Pexels.com

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is

“If you had to write a book, what would you call it, and what would it be about?”

This is an interesting topic at this time. I’m working on writing a book, but I’m not prepared at this time to reveal the topic to everyone yet. It is just in the starting phase right now.

But there are many different topics of books that I have thought about writing.

I have thought about writing an autobiography. I have written my testimony on here before, if you’re interested in reading. I wrote it in 4 parts. Here are the links, if you would like to read them.

My Story: Part 1

My Story: Part 2

My Story: Part 3

My Story Part 4

I have also thought about writing a book of letters to my daughter about things I might like her to know. I still might. You never know.

I have also thought about writing a book for mothers who have given up their children for adoption. I haven’t found a lot of literature on it. Or maybe I haven’t looked hard enough. There is a lot of information out there for adoptive mothers, but not many for the other side of that story.

I’ve even thought about writing a devotional book at some point.

Who knows. All or some of these could happen. Or maybe something completely different.

I feel like God has been giving me a lot to write & I know there is more coming.

God Always Looks Out For Me

He is always with me.

Monday, after work, I discovered that my car battery was dead. Not fun. After texting the wrong person, I was able to get in touch with my husband, who was able to come get me. I had to wait on him to get there.

Ironically, I was just complaining about how cold it was in the office. Then I get outside and have to wait about an hour and a half in the heat.

However, The blessings are that it wasn’t 120 degrees outside & I wasn’t stuck on the side of the interstate during rush hour traffic.

My husband picked me up, we went to a couple of places to price a battery. Those places being more than we could afford right now. We made it home & ate some dinner.

On the way to work Tuesday, we stopped at another place & discovered that it was way cheaper there & we were able to get the battery before friday. We purchased the battery & my husband took me to work.

After work, I was able to change my battery.

The car started right up & I made it home safely.

God kept me safe through the whole thing.

No one wants to have their car break down. But I love that God had his hand in all of it. He knew it was going to happen & set up the right circumstances to keep me safe & provide what we needed.

God is so amazing. He gave me peace through the whole thing.

I had all sorts of contingency plans in my head about how I would have to alter my work schedule this week to take care of the car. God had plans to get it taken care of without having to miss work to do it.

I had plans to go home & get some things done at home. But God had plans to get the car fixed.

Proverbs 16:9 NIV

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

Somehow God never ceases to amaze me.

God is My Happy Place #28

The next writing prompt in “God is My Happy Place” is

“God has given you everything you need.”

There is so much that I want to say here, so we will get started.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/php.4.19.NIV

I got such a blessing today. God has restored & provided for me.

A little over a year ago our apartment was broken into & our laptops were stolen, among other things.

Over the last year, I have been writing the blog & doing research for a book all on my phone.

Recently, God provided the money for me to go get the laptop & accessories I needed (mouse/laptop bag). I am so grateful. I got it today & was able to get it all set up. I am currently writing this blog post on it.

What’s even better, is that it is a much better laptop than the one that was stolen from me. God is so good.

For a long time I was wondering how we were ever going to replace it. But I had the wrong thinking. I had to change my mindset & trust God that He would provide. He is in charge of providing my needs. I started praying and believing God for this need. Then He provided it.

I know he went ahead of me & provided the way. He set up all the circumstances. He put everything in order to provide for me. I can see what was happening now, but not before.

There will be lots of writing to come. Stay tuned.

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Book Review: Jack & Jackie Portrait of an American Marriage

“Jack & Jackie Portrait of an American Marriage” by Christopher Andersen

I finished this book the other night. It was a very interesting read. I learned some interesting facts. Such as, Jackie had a person to write in her journal everyday for her.

I saw a different view of their relationship with each other. I had heard many negative things about their relationship. There were negative things for sure, but there were also some very great things. They struggled with many things that normal marriages struggle with. They were a great team. Maybe not at first, but as their relationship grew, they became closer and learned to work together.

I was not paid to write this review.