Ordinary People

An ordinary people… that’s what I am.

*WARNING: transparent post ahead*

Todd and I were talking this morning, about many things … well, about everything, really. It is one of my most favorite things to do… to just sit in the stillness of the morning and spend time with one another discussing life.

One of the things that has been on my mind lately is my little side hustle with Young Living. To be honest, I truly don’t like referring to it as ‘my side hustle’ because it has become a lifestyle for me. Actually, it’s not even a lifestyle but rather a large part of my life. I have incorporated this wellness lifestyle into my life journey so much so that it is just the ‘norm’ for me and my hubby.

Having said that, one of the thoughts that has plagued me recently is that there are so many ‘oilers’ I’m connect to or follow that are doing so well building their businesses, and it just seems effortless for them. (‘Seems’ being the key word.) Many are already well-known bloggers or influencers who already have such a large following that it appears to be so easy for them to reach so many people and be able to touch and educate a vast group about the benefits of these natural, 100% pure products. That is truly wonderful, seriously, because I feel that as many people as possible SHOULD be informed about these God-given remedies.

However, this is an area of discouragement for me because I can’t reach that many people. I feel like I am stuck in my own little IG community with an open door that leads to nowhere.

I am one person.

I don’t have a vast following.

I am not an influencer, per say.

I am a blogger (part-time) but I am not successful, per say.

Do you know what ‘per say’ means?

It means ‘by itself.’

I am not these things I mentioned above, per say, but with God, I am. Todd reminded me of that this morning.

When I mentioned my discouragement, he immediately responded without hesitation, “God used ordinary people to be His disciples and do great things.”

*drop the mic 🎤

Let’s face it… these successful bloggers and influencers that I speak of are most likely those ordinary people whom Todd spoke of that God is using for His glory!!

How quickly I have forgotten why I wear my mustard seed bracelet 24/7… I never take it off! (Purchased from Marianne at Gracefully Wrapped.) My ‘faith as a mustard seed’ should not be compartmentalized and practiced only in certain areas but it should consume every area of concern in my life.

No… I am not all these things, but with God, I am.

I am what HE calls me to be for such a time as this.

I absolutely CANNOT take my eyes off of Him for one minute, because when I do, I make it all about me.

It’s not about me but rather about the God I serve.

I am not… but I know ‘I Am.’

Thank you, Todd, for that reminder.

Go out today and be ordinary, but allow yourself to be open to God and do great things for His glory.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Passion in a Picture

He wanted me to ride out to the baseball field with him.

“But, of course I will!”

I couldn’t help but snap these pics of his silhouette as the sprays of water collided with the rays of sun, making for a very “My life in a square” moment, and one that was very quintessentially Todd!

This picture captures him to the core showing his passion, not in the throws of a heated battle nor in the excitement of a victorious win, but rather in the quiet stillness of a solemn golden hour.

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” -Anthony J. D’Angelo

His passion runs deep.

He still continues to grow… because he is still excited about learning.

And he still makes my heart go puh, puh, puh…

A.S.A.P.

I got a very late start to my quiet time this morning.

I hate that!

It makes my day ‘off’ for the rest of the day. Anybody feelin me??

The thing is…hubby is out of town, and I don’t sleep very well when he is gone. It was almost 2:30 before my mind would allow me to settle in for the night, and only after I rubbed myself down with Lavender and Stress Away.

I would have grabbed those oils earlier but, truthfully, I didn’t want to. I’m a scaredy cat when he is gone and I imagine all kinds of noises and burglars and fires and all kinds of crazy stuff that could happen, and I wanted to be awake should any of it happen so I could RUN!! lol

Ludicrous, I know. 😑🤦🏻‍♀️

But as my mind was running 100 miles an hour this morning thinking of the million things I had to do, I walked by this tiny wooden plaque that was gifted to me reminding me that there is ALWAYS time to stop and pray.

I will not rush through my quiet time, and I will savor it.

It is THE most important priority of EVERY day.

Afterwards, I’ll prioritize my list making sure to tackle the most important first and leave the rest for another day.

I’m glad hubby was only gone one day, but had he not, the little plaque that stopped my thoughts reminded me that “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

Fear is a liar.

And I shall not be afraid.

Now… on to diffusing some Frankincense and Lavendar as I soak up God’s word!

A Little Bit of Mustard Goes A Long Way

I pxfgvqatjsfvipybkfrzwas reminded this morning that a little bit of mustard goes a long way.  Just a Lil dab ‘il do ya!  Now, I love mustard, A LOT, and I can use quite a bit on a hot dog or a burger and never miss a beat — it’s soooo good! But have you ever just put mustard on your food of choice and it ends up getting everywhere unnoticed?!?

 

Our staff prepared lunch for our church members one day this week – burgers and hot dogs – and as I was eating mine, it seemed like the mustard just multiplied like the bread and the fish!!  I mean….it was oozing out the side of my sandwich, was all over my fingers – on both hands, mind you – was on the palms of my hands, it covered my napkin – front and back – and STILL had the promise of landing in places I wouldn’t find until later that day!  I love mustard, but puh-lease!! Somehow it always seems to find a way to multiply!

Yes…mustard does seem to multiply, but I’m not actually talking about the kind you spread on your food.

Mustard seedAs much as this is the case for yellow mustard, so is the case for the simple mustard seed.  I wasn’t just blowing smoke when I said I was reminded this morning that a little mustard goes a long way.

 

My Bible reading this morning took me back to the lunch this week and reinforced the promise that a little mustard (seed) goes a long way.

IMG_4157-03-11-18-10-10This is just one of the Bibles I use during my quiet time, and it has been my favorite for years. You may not can tell, but the Bible cover is basically what is holding it together. It is the New Century Version with devotions by Max Lucado.

As I picked it up to read out of Matthew this morning, I found Matthew 17:20 underlined with a name and a date written beside it.

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This took me back to February 2007 when we were praying for a dear lady who was every bit on the brink of death, but the faith of those who steadily prayed for her on this tough journey was enough for God to let us know that He still had plans for her on this earth! Praise God, she is alive and well today and a daily walking testimony of His healing!

Jesus began this verse in Matthew by saying “Your faith is too small,” but in verse 17 above it, he says “You people have no faith…how long must I be patient with you?”

Did you get that? —>>  “...NO faith…”

He then continues in verse 20 by saying that “if your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. All things will be possible for you.”

I’m no theologian, but my take on this scripture that claims ‘your faith is too small’ means ‘you have no faith at all’!  If all it takes is the faith of a mustard seed, as small as it is, then having too little faith means we don’t have any faith at all.

Why don’t we trust God more?

I’m guilty as charged.

There are many things in which I’ve been trusting God for a while now, and there will continue to be those things that only He can make come to fruition. After all, it is Him who is in ultimate control, but I confess that my faith waivers at times. When things don’t happen soon enough, I tend to let my flesh take over and fail to be “… joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” as we are commanded to do in Romans 12:12.  Allowing your flesh to take over is dangerous, for then you are not working in God’s power but your own…and you have no power.  This can only end up one way:  disastrous.

About a year ago, I purchased a couple of items from Marianne at ‘Gracefully Wrapped‘, a site that I happened upon around that time on Instagram.  I made the purchase, a mustard seed necklace, for a friend who found out that there were multiple complications with her unborn child.  I bought it for her as a reminder that we would be praying for her child and her family during this difficult season of life.  I am a visual person, so I bought that to serve as a visual reminder to give her a bit of hope every time she looked at it.  I am happy to say that a year later, this little miracle is at home and doing well.  She still has to be under 24/7 medical care, but the fact that she is home with her family is nothing short of a miracle!  And, might I add, she is the most precious, adorable little miracle … with a face that brightens any room and a smile like a cup of sunshine!  We are praising God for what He has done in her life and the testimony she is speaking on a daily basis without even saying a word!

While I was making the purchase for my friend, I decided that I could always use a visual reminder for myself as well.  My item of choice was this mustard seed bracelet.

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I wanted something that I could see every moment of the day…not just when I put it around my neck.  I know the item itself has no powers at all, of course, but mine has served as a daily reminder of that little piece of faith that is required to please God, for ‘without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). I use this bracelet DAILY as this specific reminder and have found it very useful in grounding me for the moment and bringing me back to God’s promise that all things are possible with Him.

I never take this bracelet off.  I even shower with it on, but I don’t suggest that for everyone! (haha)  I do put coconut oil on it afterward to help keep it conditioned, but I keep anticipating the day it will fall off my arm! Hopefully, Marianne will have plenty in stock for me to replace it!  I love Marianne’s products so much, I’d like to put in a little plug for her Gracefully Wrapped Etsy shop.  It isn’t just her products I love so much, I love what she stands for and her sweet, gentle spirit, and you can see that in every piece she makes.

So, with the help of Marianne and her mustard seed bracelet, I am reminded every day that I must have faith in God for those things which I petition in prayer daily.

Whether it be yellow mustard or a mustard seed … it doesn’t take much.

A little mustard goes a long way.

Do you find your faith waivers when it seems like an answer isn’t in the near future?

For what are you trusting God in your life today?

Blessings to you today,

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Pleased to Meet Mary

(I’d like to apologize beforehand for a lengthy post!  The material was just so rich I could not bear to shorten it.)
After coming off a whirlwind of 2011, my goal for 2012 is to ‘gear down’ in this Martha-esque world and make a determined, intentional resolution to take time every day and sit at the feet of Jesus and earnestly seek His face as Mary did.   In a world of  ‘to do’ lists, and feelings of satisfaction with every check mark of completion making me feel productive, my main purpose of twenty twelve is nurture the relationship I have with my Father. Nothing else matters. Everything else will fall into place.
I have been reading a very small but powerful book entitled ‘Towards a Powerful Inner Life’ by Graham Cooke. (A big ‘thank you’ to my friend, Jacque, for this gift!)

I should have read it all in one sitting but have been savoring over each page for several weeks now.  The material is so rich I can only take it in small doses; I need time to process what’s just been read and savor every word.  My intentions are to read it even a second time (or 3rd or 4th, however many it takes!) just to ensure that I soak it all in so as not to miss anything.
Yes…It is that good!
Over the last few weeks, Todd & I have felt God speaking to us about ‘rest.’  Not just physical rest, but He’s been speaking to us about the busyness of our life and to intentionally make time for Him.  It is easy to have our own agenda and then ask God to bless it.  It is scriptural, however, to ‘seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 
We must seek God FIRST, and fit our busy schedules around Him rather than fit Him around our busy schedules.
The excerpt that I just read from this book ‘Powerful Inner Life’ reflects this sentiment:
There will always be something  that will prevent us from resting.  It doesn’t matter what is occurring around us or within us; we are acceptable in Christ.  So rest.
Matthew 11:28-30:  ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For MY yoke is easy and MY burden is light.’

A yoke is a harness which fits over the shoulders. It connects you to the one walking alongside and enables you to move in unison. Jesus has promised us that if we walk with Him we can bear our burdens in a completely different manner.  What would the freedom to rest really bring us in our busy lives?
Sometimes peace is restored by the simple act of pushing away worry, fear, anxiety, panic, and unbelief.  Try it. Get tough on the causes of unrest within yourself.  The writer of Hebrews calls it laboring to enter that rest (Hebrews 4:8-11).  We have to work at being at peace!
God says to ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46:10)  With every year that passes, my desire to do this magnifies. 
May the year 2012 be a time that my family & I can grow more spiritually mature and boldly take a stand for Christ; may we seek and find wisdom beyond our years; may we water others with God’s revelations so that we ourselves can be watered (oh, how I love to be watered!); and may we boast solely on the unconditional love of our Lord & Savior, for if we should boast in anything, may we boast in the Lord.  May the year of 2012 be a year of reaching the lost and entertaining angels unaware.
I’d like to leave you with Cooke’s meditation on resting in God:
A meeting: in the secret place
Come and join me
I’m drawing you into a quiet place of introspection
Come away from the noise into the place of stillness.
No beloved, I’m not talking of externals
I’m not speaking of a physical place that you need to reach.
There is a safe place within you
A quiet place. Where stillness reigns.
I’m asking you to retreat from the soul
Your Martha of many distractions
Legitimate, powerful, necessary, but ultimately unhelpful….
compared to what I want to give you.
Step back into your spirit
Through the inner fortress of your heart
Away from the world and the busyness of your soul.
Meet the Mary that is in your spirit man
And come to sit at My feet.
I’m  here, in the secret place of your spirit,
Waiting.
All you need is here by Me.
Provision, peace and a rest for your soul
Come and sit quietly by Me.
I am the pool of water by your feet
I am the manna falling
I am the raven feeding you
The tree of life that gives you shade
I am the gentle breeze that kisses your brow
I am the eagle’s cry, watching over you from above
I am the velvet paws of the lion padding protectively around your camp.
Step back, far back into your spirit
Practice being still, learn the way of peace.
I will deal with the issues
Remove the spots and blemishes
Refine your heart.
I will empty you of all that you don’t need and never wanted
I will purge and purify your heart.
I will imprison Eros and release Agape within you.
All self-obsession, ambition, preservation will die in you
I will empty you of all that grieves Me and frustrates you
And fill the vacuum with worship.
Out of that pace of internal rest
Will come a new creation
Soft, pliable
Owning nothing yet possessing all things.
A servant will merge with the son
A warrior will grow out of the child
Action will flow out of rest
In the secret place of your spirit.
The enemy cannot find you
The vagaries of life, leave you untouched
Impurities will be drawn away from your heart
In the quiet strength of My presence.
The aching, the longing in your heart
Will be overshadowed by all My desire for you.
You shall be fully known
And you will know.
I am going to make a determined purpose, every day,  to meet the Mary in my soul who sits at the feet of Jesus in complete surrender!
  • Identify your current unrest or lack of peace.  What are you not seeing about God’s power or faithfulness?
  • Does your lack of peace arise out of a wrong perception?
  • What needs to change so that peace may remain?