“Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,” she answered, for the Almighty Lord had made me very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the lord has pronounced judgement on me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?

Ruth 1:20-21

In preparation for Hurricane Irma, I worked (as a component of my job- disaster response) and I feel like I am unsure of what day it is. I came home from a long day Sunday and questioned why a Sunday night TV show was on! Then it clicked that it was Sunday night. That is where I am at this week mentally LOL!

I wanted to send out a devotion since I didn’t send anything out last week. The devotion tonight is regarding the story of Ruth and Naomi. I want to be a Ruth who stays wherever God calls and who knows deep down that God honors sacrifice. I am learning more and more that when I look for God in things I dread, when I trust him in the less than favorable, I find him in a way that is unexplainable. Ruth stayed! I recently had a time where I confessed to God that if he allowed it, there was ministry in it and I began to pray in such way. I began to pray over the people God was going to have for me to minister to. I began to pray asking for God’s wisdom and that he would give me a heart for where he called. He answered! God ended up using others to minister to me and to confirm where he calls, he ministers. In the past, my prayers would have never made it beyond “God, please don’t make me and I don’t want to.” But this time was different, this time I chose surrender! I have been learning a lot about Ruth and I am seeing God’s faithfulness in her surrender. Let’s be honest, Naomi changing her name to Mara (which means the Lord has dealt bitterly with me) tells us that she was probably not the most enjoyable person. Yes, I know she had suffered much loss but she had Ruth who stayed by her side. That counts for something and God took notice! I know God does the same with you and I. God takes notice when we surrender. God moves in when we surrender!

Is there an area that is less than favorable that God is calling you to? If so, have you surrendered it to God?

Traci

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Be Still – Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10

Last week, I worked on today’s scripture of quieting my spirit. I felt things have been very busy for months and I just needed to take a step back and focus on purpose and intention. I have some home projects I am working on, personal projects I am working on, and honestly, too much that needs to be done in between work and ministry. And we must not forget that fall is coming so all I really want to do is drink coffee with my homemade coconut milk creamer, eat pumpkin bread, travel, and spend time with Gabe. Yes, the missing part in all of that is going to work where we make money to pay the bills LOL! This time each year, I love the anticipation of what is to come and even the excited feelings as the temperature dips into the high 80’s. September always reminds me that good things are the way! If you find that your spirit is tired, just take this week to stop! Stop all the constant of social media, pleasing others, saying yes to everything, feeling the need to be an overachiever, and just stop. Last week I had to work but outside of that, I focused on rest and doing things that create balance in my life like getting my hair colored and a facial. Both my hair and facials keep me feeling like I am treating my body well. My once hair stylist has now become a true friend who now knows just what to do when I sit down in her chair and I say I am feeling blah, I need something LOL! She and I spend our time together talking about food, fashion, health, and skincare. Any girl that can talk for hours about all of the above is defiantly someone I need in my life. In addition, I made some decisions about things that I wanted to work on and put focus to those things that leave me feeling out of balance. Sometimes the things that leave us out of balance need more focus than the things that keep us in balance because the out of balance things need a resolve. It takes focus and intention to come up with solutions for things in our lives that require change. God came in after days of being still and poured out his quietness like rain. Saturday morning, I woke up with complete peace and clarity.

If you are struggling with exhaustion, be still! Yes, we have to go to work but the constant of today’s world can leave us drained. I am always faithful to my workouts but last week, I just took some time off. Again, I am typically very faithful but sometimes, God just wants me to stop the hustle in many areas. Trust God to fill the gaps. That is hard for me but last week, I said Lord not my works but thy works is what will accomplish your will for my life. I don’t have to be enslaved to working to make things happen. I can rest and trust you to fulfill your purpose in my life.

Wishing you all a restful week of stillness! Take some time to reflect. Enjoy what is to come as we welcome a soon coming season shift! Happy Monday!

Traci

Even If

Tonight, the video and song says it all! Below is the devotion I typed this morning and I sent my brother and his wife the video. I posted he devotion on my  Facebook page.

This morning on the way to the gym, I was praying for a friend who is in the valley and this song below came on. The first time I heard this song I was in love when it said it is easy to sing when there is nothing to bring me down. That one line stole my heart because I was waiting on promises from God and had been for 10-12 years. Recently, my heart has been broken for my Kaden and all he goes through with diabetes. It is 24/7 and as the video says below, every time food enters his mouth….. there is a shot he has to take (90% of the time). Some recent things have reminded me of that reality and of this is our reality. We are so grateful God allowed us to keep Kaden because my family always thinks about the kids that are in hospitals or even kids taken from this world. The video below is for anyone in the valley!

Back to this morning- I sent my friend the official video but when I got to the gym, I let You Tube keep rolling and the very next video was the video below about the testimony behind the song. The singer speaks about his child who is a type 1 diabetic and he speaks about when God leaves mountains unmovable. He testifies about Gods goodness when he can heal but does not. I had tears in my eyes on the elliptical and never knew he testimony behind the song. God knew the past few days and he knew I needed this.

God will minister in a gym on a elliptical if you will invite him in. Simply say God I invite you in to minister to my situation! And then there are times when God comes in and completely restores our brokenness unexpectedly.

Tonight, I spoke with my sister-in-law and she said this morning Kaden got up and she asked him what he was thinking about. He told her that he prays every night for God to heal his diabetes and he just doesn’t understand why God won’t. She let him watch the video and reminded him that even if God never does, he is still good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Will Be Our Peace – Micah 5:5

He will be our peace.
Micah 5:5

Today was busy and a big day taking care of a few things. Since last week, my heart was preparing for today but this weekend, I had to give it to God and declare he was my peace. It didn’t make the wait fun but it gave me the assurance that no matter what the outcome, God would still be God.
Today, God truly was my peace.

If you are battling hard decisions or situations ahead, God will be your peace.

Traci

 

The Steadfast Love of the Lord – Lamentations 3:22-23

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

So the devotion tonight is a little funny but it is what the Holy Spirit put in my heart last night. So many times, we feel like we need to pastor others when we hear they stumble or if we see something we disagree with. Last night, God reminded me of times in my life where he instructed me during a stumble and I didn’t need any guidance from my Christian brothers or sisters. My Heavenly Father had already given me a lesson and taught me his ways. This is not always but there are times. God comically brought to mind when brothers and sisters try to boss each other around. Now, think about when an adult has to step in to remind children that they are children. This happens with my niece and nephew when she is trying to tell everyone what to do and I have to remind her that I can take care of that and she needs to take care of her business and stay out of everyone else’s business. Her reply is basically she was just trying to help which always makes me chuckle. Sometimes, we do this as Christian adults with other Christians. As I was thinking about all this last night, I was reminded that God never judges us, God is never prideful, God does not have the fleshly outlook we do, and God teaches his children with compassion. Lessons from my loving Heavenly Father are my most valuable and most remembered lessons.

Don’t be so quick to play the bossy sibling. Everyone doesn’t need your input. After all, you are a sinner saved by grace as we all are. Ask God to show you when to help others and when to leave it to him.

Traci

Close Doors – 1 Corinthians 2:9

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9

My prayer and the attitude of my heart this afternoon is Lord close the doors! I have prayed that God would close every door, block every opportunity, and  thwart every plan that is not his will for my life! I have prayed he will withhold even the greatest desires of my heart if they are not his will.

So many times, I seek God to open doors, present opportunities, and bless plans. Today I was reminded that some of the greatest blessings are answered with a no.

Happy Monday and I hope God encourages you by closing doors! They are just as important as open ones.

Traci