Like a child

“Truly I say to you, unless you will be converted and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3

You know the days where your kids have seemingly lost their minds and you question your sanity ? You know on those days that one child in particular will try you over and over and just forget all the rules . Well this was the exact scenario a few days ago with my second to youngest daughter Jayden.

If anyone knows Jayden , you know she is my free spirited , soft hearted, and super hilarious child . I am pretty sure broadway or some sort of acting is in her future ok. She is our child that we are able to look at in a certain way and she will stop doing whatever it is that is wrong . But this day in particular just wasn’t happening .

So of course , I lose it . I “tried” to be calm , I “tried” to let it not build up . But yeh, I failed .Honestly ,what she was doing wasn’t horrific, it was just all throughout the day little things that were clearly defiant and just aggravating ( for lack of better words).Of course I let guilt set in and I came to her and assured her that getting correction was not wrong; however , the way I corrected was.

I probably looked like a toddler throwing a tantrum honestly haha ( it’s funny now, but I felt horrible). So we had our talk and everything calmed down probably because we assured each other that everything was settled.

I know it sounds bad , but I was like , yeh I feel bad how I reacted , but at least now she’s listening ( don’t hate me , I am human too) . As soon as that thought crossed my mind , Jayden asked me “ mom, can I have some ice cream and then go to the trail to ride scooters. “

If y’all could see my face . I thought to myself , (this is going to sound bad) , but I thought …. “did she really just ask for dessert annnnnd going to a trail to ride her scooter when we finally just had some peace between each other . “ Thank God I kept that thought to myself , even though my face may have talked for me . If I would have spoken too quickly I would have missed what the Holy Spirit was showing me in that moment .

You see , even though we said sorry and made things right and I DID forgive her , I was still shocked that she just so openly asked for not one but two things. It was already getting late , I’m already exhausted and it was getting to the point of settling down , I mean completely inopportune timing . I didn’t even have time to really just come to terms with my own attitude and forgive myself fully and apparently not fully forgetting what she had done ( I’m not God).

Heck, I was still analyzing what part of her childhood memories I messed up or the guilt of possibly breaking her spirit haha. ( only funny now).

How could my child even feel comfortable coming to me after a day full of agitation.

That’s when the revelation hit .

Many times in life I would hide my needs , wants, desires, even failures from God because let’s face it , I wasn’t where I thought I should be . People would say , “ come as you are” and when I did I was the object of judgement and gossip. Like, listen I didn’t choose my superpower at the time to be crazy, depressed, and needy ok. I brought my demons and the people fled . So , I thought if church people who aren’t perfect like God are ashamed of me , how much more will My perfect Father be .

Ouch , yeh I was super wrong and my belief system was influenced by a lot of outward and religious spirits ( including me , so cringe).

What the Holy Spirit was showing me through Jayden was boldness , faith in her mother’s love and ability to meet her demands despite her outward actions . You see , God doesn’t want us to come boldly to the throne room of Grace because we are perfect and never mess up on our own . He wants for us to come boldly and have confidence in his grace and in his position as our Abba ( daddy) in heaven , so that he can meet the needs. We come boldly because he is well pleased with Jesus and he sees Jesus , so whew. Whether it be healing, financial, spiritual, unanswered questions , behavior, whatever it is we need to come boldly.

See unlike God I have limitations in my flesh , I am unable to forget when my daughter just sinned so sometimes it lingers , Even though I want to give her all she asks , sometimes that something extra is conditional.

With God we are saved by grace , nothing we did, it is a gift. He is not shocked or surprised when we come to him after acting foolish , asking bold requests . He is constant in our relationship, he is forgiving , he wipes the slate clean constantly . You see he isn’t limited in his sight by our flesh , because it’s been covered in Jesus blood . He sees Jesus .

So rest easy friends and go boldly to the throne room of grace fully forgiven asking and making requests know to our Father.

He isn’t going to look at you like I did my daughter shocked at how could so many requests be made after a day of aggravation. No, he is pleased that we trust and believe that he made a way for us to be this close. The good news is we don’t have to be disntant from God’s power like before Jesus sacrificed his life and torn the veil. Now we are seated near at his right hand basking in his presence , not hindered by our behavior . We are only hindered by our unbelief of Jesus sacrifice and unbelief of who we are in Him.

I pray today that you come boldly to our Father and make all requests known, tell him where you are lacking in any area. Draw closer to Him and bask in his presence . Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you to the throne room of grace and his powerful presence . Then you will see that despite your behavior or outward issues , your Daddy is waiting for you to come to him so he can show you a way out .

I pray that you no longer depend on your own ability to be righteous or holy but, Jesus’ ability to be righteous and Holy. I pray that you see yourself the way God does and when you accept that love , you will start seeing others in that way as well. In Jesus name , amen

Will we have weak days , will we have days where we don’t “feel” spiritual … yes, but even though we are not constant , God is . His promises are yes and amen, unconditionally and with all sincerity .

There is not a better confidant, friend,and helper than the spirit of God . Only he can give perfect direction and action plans . So come boldly brothers and sisters, he’s waiting with excitement .

So lord , I choose to come To you as my child comes to me . Boldly and knowing that she is forgiven. Knowing I want what is best for her and want to see her succeed . Knowing I want to help her solve her issues . Knowing I want to see her well and pursuing the purpose she was made for . Knowing despite her mistakes I will help every way I can.

Remember ….

We are not Perfect alone, so let’s rest and rely on the ONE who is . God ❤️ …People , even me , can’t give you perfect relationship. Only HIM .

Blessings and favor over each of you amen !

0% chance

Yesterday was a cool and windy day. We saw a bit of snow flurries and was of course excited! (even though it was a small deal to people around here who are used to it, it was a big deal to us ) But here’s the thing .

Every news station station forecasted a 0%chance of snow . It wasn’t a 20% or 30% chance . It was flat out 0%. When I see that number , it means absolutely no chance . Literally NO chance . No expectation! So even flurries is more than 0% chance . Right ?

Ok, I think I got that point across . So now …

Fast forward to later that night. I was on the phone with my parents , laying on the couch with my husband and our youngest child , when suddenly I heard this loud wind ! 💨 Not only did I hear this wind , it also pierced through the drafty window sending a chill down my leg . I thought to myself , oh it’s been windy all day , just more of the same. You know , be “logical”, even though deep deep down I am like , what if it’s snow? Well, A few seconds later I heard small pitter patter on the window . Then I thought ,oh my gosh maybe it IS snow foreal! Then I said to myself no, it’s just leaves and continued on with the conversation with my parents on the phone.

After all 0% means no chance.

Well , then again I felt another blast of air and said , hold on let me check outside . I finally decided to look out the window . My eyes got wide and jaw dropped ! IT’S SNOWING ! It’s SNOWING ! It wasn’t only snowing , It was FIERCELY snowing and accumulating .

I immediately said mom and dad , it’s snowing! You know since they didn’t hear me scream it already .I honestly forgot the conversation we were having and looked over to my husband said “Michael ! look it’s snowing .”

Unfortunately for them .It didn’t stop there .

I opened the blinds and kept telling michael “look , look! ” I then told my parents that I was switching to video chat, so they could see why I was so excited. Oh the snow fell so beautifully as if it were dancing around like glitter in front of the porch light . It caught my full attention.

You see , Everything I was distracted by, was put on hold , I was in such awe ( I love snow) and I kept saying “look look look ! “

That’s when the revelation hit ….

I thought of how many times in my life have I hoped for something , prayed for something , and constantly watched for it, only to become logical by the fear of sounding ridiculous. How many times have I been so hopeful only to be told there is NO chance ? How many times have I missed the signs of favorable conditions and the beautiful reminders of what was promised to me ( like those beautiful flurries throughout the day), only to be distracted by something else going on .How many times did I lose excitement and hope because people around me wasn’t excited.

Honestly too many times to count .

Today I was reminded …How this world judges whether or not something is possible , is by things we can see . Today I was reminded… that being told that I am not the right fit by the world’s standards , doesn’t mean that I am not the perfect fit for God’s assignment.

To the world the wayward son or daughter has a 0% chance of being trusted or used in this society.

To the world , the stay at home mom doesn’t have enough connections or intellect to think for herself or let alone be something bigger than herself.

To the world, a man who has consistently made poor decisions , will never be respectable or trustworthy .

To the world , the homeless drug addict , will never be anything more than one step away from a relapse .

To the world, the color of your skin ,has some sort of measurement of how trustworthy or capable you are .

To the world , the church member who doesn’t know the lingo , who doesn’t have a clique or family ties , will never make it anywhere in the church ministry.

Oh but God has shown time and time again, he doesn’t choose by world’s standards or opinions . He takes the world’s 0% chances and turns them into a mighty wind , a storm that rushes in and grabs the attention of everyone who didn’t believe.

It’s isn’t about what is forecasted by worldly gauges or assessments . It is about the unseen favorable conditions, and it has nothing to do with the outside , it is about what only He sees on the inside .

I heard recently , that no one understands what is happening when it’s happening.

I don’t understand everything right now, I don’t know how everything will turn out , but I do know this . My 0% chance and your 0% chance ,with Christ, has endless possibility .

Don’t give up hope , don’t miss out on the tiny reminders , don’t let distractions and blinders keep you from seeing everything you prayed for and everything God has called you to do unfolding right before your eyes .

This is the season of putting away your distractions, the world’s expectations, and faulty gauges. This is the season where your strongholds become weak ! This is the season of things happening that YOU don’t even see happening. This is the season that you finally stop doubting in this area and you will peek out of those blinds and see this mighty storm bringing what you believed could be true . Oh this season you will be in awe , you will shout look , look, look … look what the lord has done !

This season I have decided ….

I won’t take my chances , I’ll take my promise!

How could he ?

We all have that family member or friend that likes to come to your home , examine every inch of it, and start “calling out” small areas that are not in order. Sometimes they even go as far as telling you how to rearrange your home like “they would.” Then later you find yourself visiting the very same person, only to find that their home is in complete chaos. I immediately think …. “ wait, I was so embarrassed by a few simple things that needed touching up In my home that was called out by this person …. only to find out that their house is looking like this behind that beautifully decorated door.

When I started writing this, I was reminded of a quick revelation I jotted down weeks ago about my children in this very area. I decided not to post it because a similar revelation was posted by someone else . So I thought , ok, no need, so I stopped writing it . At 5 am I woke up and yeh , I couldn’t sleep until I finished what I initially started writing. Turns out the message is different . So it’s needed lol … ok back to the story.

Autumn is our child that delights in doing the right thing. She absolutely loves order, rules, and structure. She loves the straight and narrow. She knows how to let loose and be fun and she will help ANYONE In need ,but she lacks patience with anyone that is not the same way as her.

With that being said . One day Autumn walked by Nathan’s room , then literally out of nowhere , she announces on the echo dot, “Nathan Bradley Stripling, your bed is not made and your toys are not put up .” Nathan said “well close the door , it’s not hurting you .” She then announced again , “ I’m telling mom to go look at your room because it’s bothering me and I can’t stand how you are ok with this mess.”

I decided to intervene , but this time I felt prompted to go get Autumn and bring her to her OWN room. I said Autumn , “why are you so upset about Nathan’s room ? “ she said ,”mom, I had to get up this morning and clean up my room before I started the day, why doesn’t he ? I just don’t see how he can live with his room like that? I don’t see how you aren’t telling him to clean up?”

Or Better yet, explain to Nathan, why it’s important to keep his room clean . For example , if an emergency happens or if he is trying to run around , he can trip and fall if all that mess is on the floor . It’s best to maintain your room daily so that you won’t trip later .” She said “exactly mom!”

I said Autumn , “when I came to get you I felt prompted to come to your room, and not his.” I know you like things in order , but, if you are that concerned , why don’t you gently correct Nathan and then offer help to clean it up.

That’s when the revelation began ….

I then realized from past experience, that when she is so deeply concerned about Nathan , more than normal , there is definitely something deeper going on. So I asked ,” Autumn , what is going on with you. “ she said “mom, nothing, I just want Nathan to do what’s right because I am.”

I then said Autumn ,” let’s inspect your room the way you inspected Nathan’s” she said “ ok, fine.” I walked around and everything looked great. Her toys were in order , her bed was made , her dresser was dusted . She was standing their looking so proud . Then, came the closet . As I opened the door , I could see she immediately remembered that she stuffed everything she didn’t feel like dealing with as she cleaned up her room that morning .

I said “Autumn, why are you telling on Nathan, when your closet looks like this . Did you think I wouldn’t see it . She said “no, mom I forgot.” I told her “ you forgot about your mess in your closet , because you walked by Nathan’s room and got so caught up in what he wasn’t doing right, that you were blinded from seeing your own mess . Isn’t it more dangerous to come into a room you think is clean and trust that it’s ok, only to open the closet and be hit with all this mess piled up.”

She looked at me and said “ mom, I am sorry , can you please help me so I don’t get hurt by this stuff falling down .” I said , “ yes , and then afterwards we are going to help Nathan . Now that you have been humbled by the mess that you needed help cleaning up, you will no longer be concerned with being right or that you did more than him, now you are concerned with his overall safety and his ability to walk without stumbling . “

See correction is great , It doesn’t always feel great, but it’s so appreciated when it’s done in love and with a humble heart. I truly believe it’s not what you say , it’s not even always how you say it … it’s why .

Are you correcting because you are in so much chaos yourself , that focusing on someone else’s house is just easier to live with than facing your own disorder ? Are you correcting because you have gotten so good at decorating that door ,that you yourself have forgotten or even ignored the mess that is behind it?

I have done all of the above . Sometimes without even realizing that’s why I was doing it. One verse that changed my walk with God from religious to relationship , was this very verse .

““Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Matthew 7:3

Ouch ! Yes ouch ! Not only does it hurt imagining a plank in your eye , but to realize you have been walking around with a plank so big ,that you have become blind and now your eye is becoming infected , is excruciating.

I remember the time in my life when I really started allowing God to expose and work on my heart.

It got UGLY ! but just as quickly as Autumn got help by me , Jesus said I am here to help you clean this up.

Then your concern about the dust in the other person’s eye will be dealt with properly .

See , now that you have two healthy eyes , you can use tweezers to carefully help them remove the dust that they are unable to see themself. Without damage !

See , we all need daily maintenance or self evaluation. Tackling our mess with the help of Jesus is absolutely necessary . Correction in love with the right intentions is so beneficial.

So today I choose to be so concerned with Jesus helping me clean my mess, that I will be in the right position to help someone else .

I will choose today to take a good look at what’s in my closet . In the process , humility will immediately set in and when I do correct someone , it will be received the right way .

Today I ask you, are you more concerned with everyone else doing right because you know what’s right and have done it? Or are you concerned with everyone doing right with a haughty heart and a messy closet ?

Either way Jesus is the best organizer and mess cleaner ! As soon as you search for the mess and find it, he’s over there like Mr. clean , ready for you to ask for help to clean it up !

If you realize that this is you, just pause,ask God to search your heart and your whole House .

What are you forgetting about in your closet because you happened to walk by and get fixated on someone else’s dirty room ?

We have all done this ! So you are not alone .This is so crucial in our spiritual health and the lives around you.

The real question … How could I ?

Blessings !

Nathan and Autumn working together. When they are in sync , they achieve amazing things !

More than a shape…

This morning as I was headed downstairs, I was eagerly anticipating what sort of message my husband left for me. When he drives to work by himself he leaves a sweet, funny or encouraging note and sticks it somewhere he knows I will see it .

Most of the time the kids find it first because they rush down the stairs also looking for it .This morning his message was different than the rest and the kids quickly took notice . Jayden said, “mom, he didn’t write anything … he just cut out a shape.” Then she quickly handed it to me in disappointment. She was so used to seeing a message written down on each note , that even though there was a note ,there wasn’t a big obvious message written down that she could plainly see . To me though, being the recipient, very quickly I saw that the beautiful shape was a sweet freshly cut out heart …

I reminded Jayden ,”daddy couldn’t write a message because he didn’t have a pen 🖊, since we brought them all to the basement .” She said “ooooooooh yeah!!!! “ in her funny Jayden voice . She then looked at the shape again and said “it’s a heart ! Why didn’t I see that before ? “ I said ,” it’s because you looked for a message that was obvious and written down to know what daddy was trying to say . When you didn’t see it you got discouraged . Also you were trying to receive the message that was for mommy.

We can so obviously see what God is trying to say when the message is written plainly or through revelations of others . They know how the father speaks to them and they share the excitement. Only through a personal relationship will you begin to see how God communicates with you . Oh how I wish I knew this years ago.

See, I spent most of my life doubting the way God spoke to me because of a pastor that told me God didn’t reveal things to women. Despite reading truth, I figured I missed something because I wasn’t raised in the traditional church setting. For years I kept quiet and wrote in my journals and felt like I was in a relationship I had to hide .

Through trials and tribulations I finally reached the ultimate low . I literally went to bed knowing I was somehow a mistake and that Living was not for me. I had this yearning for speaking truths in a different way then I have seen , but didn’t have anyone before me that I knew, that was a woman and did the same . ( thank God I do now) I was done anyway , so I finally spoke out loud all the hurt and pain that I have held onto for so long. Then morning came . I had joy! I can’t explain it. It was literally just like that ! after two years of just, yeah serious hurts.
I was refreshed, I was seeing these beautiful revelations I used to see back when I was in “hiding” of sorts . The more I shared with others the more frequent these moments would come to me . I also realized it never stopped , I was just so clouded by depression and anxiety that I couldn’t see or even think clearly.

You see , like Jayden I thought God stopped showing these moments to me because others were right about God not revealing truth to women ,only through men . Instead of mere moments , I spent over two years in the dark staring at message after message but I was so discouraged I didn’t see it . This morning michael didn’t have a pen , so he used what he had . Just because something has changed doesn’t mean God just says , oh ok … she’s lost . Next person haha !

To my friends . Eagerly anticipate God’s voice in your relationship. He doesn’t hide himself from us. He doesn’t just stop speaking when we need him most . If you feel the way I did, remember this . It may not be a clear written out message everyone understands or even the typical way God speaks to you . This time he is doing a new thing and showing you things in a different way . Sometimes it won’t make sense to others because like my sweet daughter , the message wasn’t for her , it was for me .

So , whether you are in your valley or scaling the mountain tops , he is still speaking to you . God is good whether we are or not .❤️ He chose us , even when we fail to keep choosing him.
He doesn’t give us the cold shoulder , he actively pursues us!

Rest easy in His promises my sweet friends.