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Showing posts from December, 2019

Songs of 2019

I wanted to chronicle the songs that have meant the most to me during this season of my life. When I think back to other seasons of my life, each is marked by certain songs. These are the ones that got me through 2019.

Yes, I Will by Vertical Worship

I count on one thing:
The same God that never fails
Will not fail me now.
You won't fail me now
In the waiting.
The same God who's never late
Is working all things out.
You're working all things out.

Yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley.
Yes I will, bless Your name.
Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy.
All my days, oh yes I will.

And I choose to praise,
To glorify, glorify,
The Name of all names,
That nothing can stand against.

Oh, yes I will, lift
You high in the lowest valley.
Yes I will, bless Your name.
Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy.

All my days, oh yes, I will.
For all my days, oh yes, I will.
For all my days, yes, I will.

Raise a Hallelujah by Bethel Worship

I raise a hal…

Because of Who I Am

Someone posted on Facebook the other day the following:
Why would you fight for someone who clearly doesn't want you? Please let them go. You are valuable, just not to them. I thought about it for a minute, because I indeed fought for my husband when he clearly didn't want me. I fought for our marriage, even when he had zero interest in making our marriage work. He had already checked out and told me point-blank that he just didn't want to work on our marriage, but yet I fought on my knees before the Lord.

Throughout the first few months of our separation, I prayed day-in and day-out. I beseeched the Lord to intercede. I rebuked Satan, and I prostrated myself before the Lord God Almighty. I went to therapy, and I watched sermons online. I listened to every Jimmy Evans podcast I could find. I journaled and devoured God's Word. I wrote my husband scriptures and prayers daily. I soon filled a 100-page journal front and back.

Shortly after he left in June, God told me tha…

Be Still and Know

After living in Beijing for two years, my sister introduced me to Chinese massage. These massage places are always in a nondescript, run-down shopping strip. These are not the million-dollar spas most women frequent with the plush robes and slippers. These are bare-bones, one-towel-to-cover-you-up-sketchy-doesn't-follow-US-laws-and-regulations-type places. But after my first Chinese massage, it’s the only type of massage I’ll get now. Those ladies will climb up on top of you to dig out the knots in your back if they need to. The massage rooms even have rails above the tables so they can walk on your back. They have no shame and little care about your modesty, but it is so worth when your sore muscles melt.

As I laid on the massage table today, she asked me if I wanted hard or soft pressure. “As hard as you need to get the knots out,” I replied. As she massaged my back, it hurt so good, and my whole body started to relax. Then she worked her way down to my lower back/hip/butt regi…

Covert Red Flags: The Real Things You Should Be Looking Out For in Relationships

Your relationship with your spouse should be the closest human relationship you ever have. As we are dating, we are assessing whether or not that person could potentially fit into our inner circle. This causes us to be on high alert for red flags. Most red flags are obvious--lack of communication, anger issues, irresponsibility, controlling behavior, abuse, etc. A quick Google search will bring up list upon list of red flags we should look out for. Being rude to waitstaff, not making your relationship public, not caring about XYZ, stone walling, gaslighting, and more can all be found on most lists.

But what about the covert red flags? Those things that are less obvious. My first marriage taught me to look out for the overt red flags like the ones found in every advice column. My second marriage taught me to look out for covert red flags, ones that I never even realized were red flags until I could look back. The entire time we dated, I kept looking for the overt red flags, and there …

Why Does Doing the Right Thing Feel Like Punishment?

Today is more a stream of consciousness than my usual polished posts. I've been on the struggle bus the past few weeks, and my soul and spirit have been battling each other. I wrote the other day about my spirit winning out over my soul, and the war has been raging ever since I hit "publish." I've been trying to do what is right--and have been most of my life--but right now, doing what's right feels much more like punishment than any kind of reward.

My college boyfriend of a year and a half cheated on me with my best friend and roommate. Over the years when I have told that story, one question always comes up: "did you beat her up?" The answer is, no, I didn’t. I felt like it. I wanted to. But ultimately, what would beating her up have done? It wouldn't have made him love me again. It wouldn't have taken away the betrayal. It wouldn't have healed my heart. I’m sure I could’ve handled that whole situation better than what I did, but al…

Fasting and Change of Plans 2.0

I've never been one to set New Year's Resolutions. I've always felt like changes need to come from within, not just because the calendar flipped over. I've also never had a great desire to close out a year. But this year is a bit different. 2019 has been arguably the worst year of my life. Broken promises and a broken heart left me despondent and dependent. I started 2019 as a newlywed, head over boots in love with the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. I had a beautiful house, two new step-daughters, a husband, and a future of love, hope and happiness. I felt that all of the promises God had given me had been fulfilled. By the time school got out at the end of May, my marriage had unraveled, I lost my house, my new family, and the future I had prayed for. It was such a whirlwind, I didn't even know what had happened to our relationship. Even six months later, I still don't understand why he left or how he could change his mind so quickly. T…

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Jesus Would Advocate for Civil Disobedience

In March, executive orders from governors across the country forced us to stay home, to close schools and churches and to shut down private businesses. Businesses were classified as either "essential" or "non-essential." All businesses deemed "non-essential" were forced to close. This included markets, clothing stores, boutiques, dine-in restaurants, and beauty salons. State parks, city parks, beaches, walking trails, lakes, and other wide open spaces were closed as well.

Many people feel that the "social distancing," as it has come to be known, and stay at home executive orders violate their constitutional rights, such as our first amendment right to freely exercise our religion, our right to peaceably assemble, and that we shall not be deprived of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Some of the people who feel their rights have been violated have decided to exercise their First Amendment right to protest. Some have even chosen to defy…

Covert Red Flags: The Real Things You Should Be Looking Out For in Relationships

Your relationship with your spouse should be the closest human relationship you ever have. As we are dating, we are assessing whether or not that person could potentially fit into our inner circle. This causes us to be on high alert for red flags. Most red flags are obvious--lack of communication, anger issues, irresponsibility, controlling behavior, abuse, etc. A quick Google search will bring up list upon list of red flags we should look out for. Being rude to waitstaff, not making your relationship public, not caring about XYZ, stone walling, gaslighting, and more can all be found on most lists.

But what about the covert red flags? Those things that are less obvious. My first marriage taught me to look out for the overt red flags like the ones found in every advice column. My second marriage taught me to look out for covert red flags, ones that I never even realized were red flags until I could look back. The entire time we dated, I kept looking for the overt red flags, and there …

Because of Who I Am

Someone posted on Facebook the other day the following:
Why would you fight for someone who clearly doesn't want you? Please let them go. You are valuable, just not to them. I thought about it for a minute, because I indeed fought for my husband when he clearly didn't want me. I fought for our marriage, even when he had zero interest in making our marriage work. He had already checked out and told me point-blank that he just didn't want to work on our marriage, but yet I fought on my knees before the Lord.

Throughout the first few months of our separation, I prayed day-in and day-out. I beseeched the Lord to intercede. I rebuked Satan, and I prostrated myself before the Lord God Almighty. I went to therapy, and I watched sermons online. I listened to every Jimmy Evans podcast I could find. I journaled and devoured God's Word. I wrote my husband scriptures and prayers daily. I soon filled a 100-page journal front and back.

Shortly after he left in June, God told me tha…