God’s Will?

giving thanks

I recently read a verse in my bible that reached out of the page and slapped me. It cut me. It made me angry because I knew it was true.

The verse was 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

I read that and thought oh yah?!? Really?!?! I should be thankful for all the crap we have been going through recently?! This is stupid! I am not thankful for this pain, the burdens, the worrying or anything else! I was angry. I was not happy. I was full of rage. My husband was upset and feeling down and when he hurts I feel the pain. I hate to seem him upset. It kills me. I just wanted to hold him and take all the pain away and make it better but I couldn’t.

I couldn’t understand why God would allow us to have our “bottom” fall out. One thing after another kept happening. I got pregnant then lost the baby. Kyle left his job of 2 years for another job that was supposed to give great benefits and supposed to be great, and it wasn’t. My car decided that it no longer wanted to be alive and started falling apart and we didn’t have the money to fix it. My husband was struggling with not feeling like he was a provider and feeling upset about his job situation. The devil had launched a full blown attack on our home and I was angry at God for it. Even writing this makes me feel embarrassed that I was mad at the wrong person. It’s like DUH IVA!! Hello McFly!!

That is what Satan does. He uses smoke and mirrors to distract us. He is really good at his job. We have to be ready for him. We’re constantly in war. He will do whatever he can to destroy us from doing what we are called to do for God. He doesn’t want us to succeed. He wants to use our failures, past sins, downfalls and mistakes as ways to keep us from moving forward. He will bring up the past and make you feel like God can’t forgive you of your sins. John 10:10 “The thief (Satan) cometh not, but to steal, and to kill and to destroy…”

The bible clearly states that Satan has come to steal. He will steal things like your joy, your peace of mind, your happiness, your health, your finances and whatever else he can get his grimy nasty claws on. He will kill your ministry, your relationships, and try to take your life.He ultimately wants to destroy you.

The second part of John 10:10 says …I (Christ) have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Jesus died for us so that we could live. He was tortured and beaten for you and me. He performed miracles, including calming the raging sea.

I’ve seen little pictures and blurbs around the internet that say Jesus either calms the storm or he calms his child. I think that sometimes he does both.

I’ve always loved the stories in the bible where Jesus calmed the storms. They are some of my favorite ones. Matthew 8:23-27 talks about such an instance. Verse 24 says “And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.”

I love that last part, but he was asleep. The storms were raging, the boat was filling with water, fears were high, there was chaos all around and Jesus was asleep. The next verse talks about how the disciples awoke him and said Jesus save us!!! He immediately said (vs 26)”Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”

Sometimes it seems like God doesn’t see what we are going through. It feels like he doesn’t care and that he is a million miles away. That isn’t true. He does care and he will help you through these storms and give you the strength you need to get through. Sometimes he is quiet. I’ve always heard that a teacher is quiet during a test.

When I was about 5 years old, I was outside swinging on my swing set like most 5 year old girls like to do. I probably had a stuffed animal and had been picking dandelions. A drunk man came from the back of our property and came up close to the house where I was swinging. He didn’t say anything. He just looked at me and my danger alarms started going off. I started screaming to the top of my lungs for my Daddy. My mom came out and the guy kept walking and walked down the road. My Dad wasn’t there, he was at church that evening. Even though my Daddy wasn’t there, I wanted him because I knew he would keep me safe. He went through the park minutes later when he got back home and kicked ever beer can he could find looking for that man.

When I was about 6 we went Easter egg hunting in the park. My Daddy took me and they lined all of the kids up on the spray painted line. They blew the whistle signaling the start of the hunt. All the kids took off. I did too because I was so excited to get some candy and stickers. That didn’t happen though. Most of the kids started pushing and shoving other kids. Every egg I reached for someone took. Someone even took an egg right out of my hand. My Daddy came over to me and grabbed my hand and walked me back to the truck and we went home. He had enough of that and he could see me getting upset.

God is that way too. He sees what we’ve gone through. Just because he doesn’t come when you first call for him to save you doesn’t mean that he doesn’t hear you or that he doesn’t care. Daddys are good for holding our hands and holding us making us feel safe. Even to this day I still feel that love and that his arms are a safe place to be when he hold me.

God answered mine and Kyle’s prayers and our bottom isn’t falling out anymore. All the hardships and all the tears shed and the worry and fear and anger is mostly gone. We always worry a little too much about some things, but for the most part God has given us that peace that passeth all understanding. There isn’t understanding sometimes.

My husband Kyle got an opportunity to work for a Christian man. This man and his wife are wonderful people. He gets to work with two other guys who are also Christians. They pray before going to work and get devotions to read. God laid this job in our laps. I love divine plans. His timing is truly perfect. I also got a new car thanks to my parents. They are amazing and bless me. God has blessed us so much! The other prayer that we have been praying about, a baby, hasn’t happened yet but if it is God’s will it will. It will be perfect as well.

May God bless you all!

Iva Mae

 

 

 

 

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Waiting in the Hallway

Waiting is hard. Especially if you have been waiting for something for a long time.

I told my Mom today I don’t know why I get my hopes up for something when it is never going to happen. She said something that struck me.

She said “It’s hard to be in the hallway waiting for a window or a door to open…BUT Praise him for what you have now.”

waitingIt really is hard to wait in the hallway and see doors that look like they will open but don’t. For a moment you’re thrilled and excited and you think this is it!!!

…But it isn’t. The door doesn’t open.

This has happened to me several times in the past few years. I have been praying for God to move and it just hasn’t happened yet. I’m getting worn and impatient. It is hard to wait when you want something so badly. I’ve been angry and sad. I can’t understand why that when God knows I am unhappy and miserable that he hasn’t moved yet. I don’t think I’m supposed to understand. I’m simply just supposed to wait.

Sometimes we go through things and we don’t understand them. It is just God protecting us from something that is not His will. I’ve always prayed that His will, not mine be done. His will is best for me and I know that, sometimes I just get tired and grouchy. I become a bratty child.

I don’t know how God puts up with me sometimes! Sometimes I can’t stand to be around myself!!! Seriously!

I woke up this morning with Psalms 62 on my mind. Psalms 62:5 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”

How do I know that what I’ve been wanting might be the worst possible thing for me or what problems in my life it could cause. Writing this reminds me of when my husband was looking for a job a few years back. He found a position that required him to attend training sessions for the job. After the second day he told me he was never going back because they wanted him to lie to the elderly and be dishonest about problems so that the company could get more money. I was so proud of him for doing that.

I was reminded of this so that I could see that what I wanted may end up being like that. Not what you want at all and completely wrong and unethical. My husband refused to take a position that would require him to be dishonest and misleading. That was the right choice! It didn’t matter how much money they said he would make he chose to do what was right by him and by God.

Today I choose to be thankful for a prayer that hasn’t been answered. I know in God’s timing everything will work itself out and God will open up a door that no one else can. Like my Mom said, I will be thankful for what I have now. I am blessed!

On another note, I was anointed at church on Sunday for some of the health issues I’ve been dealing with and today is the first day in a long time that my stomach hasn’t hurt or bothered me. I am especially thankful for that!!! I’ve been sticking with a no dairy no meat diet for over a week. I’m prod of myself. Last night I even made some Vegan Mac n’ Cheese. It was pretty good last night but it was better today!

I encourage you to wait on God for whatever it is you’re praying for. Don’t be discouraged when he doesn’t answer right away or doesn’t give you the answer you want. Remember that God answers things in His timing. PERFECT timing and it will be better than what you imagined.

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Broken </3

We hear the word broken and typically the first thing that comes to mind is – “How are we gonna fix it?” or “How are we going to replace it?”

We have broken cars, washers, refrigerators, lawn mowers, plumbing, bones, lives, families, hearts, dreams  and homes.

What is the actual definition of broken? Is it something so far gone that it cannot be fixed? It is something meant to be left broken or is it meant to be fixed?

According to Oxford Dictionary Broken is:

  1. having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order:

synonyms: smashed · shattered · fragmented · splintered · crushed

  1. (a person) having given up all hope; despairing:synonyms: defeated · beaten · subdued · demoralized · dispirited

So broken is something damaged. It can be something that isn’t whole (one piece), It can be shattered, crushed, smashed or splintered. It can be something that no longer works. It can even be someone who has given up.

Recently my husband and I both have broken bones. I broke my toe and he broke his finger. I was angry when I broke my toe. I was so angry. It was an accident. Accidents happen but I didn’t want something like that to happen to me. I have too many things to do and I couldn’t walk as fast and could barely walk at all. I thought how could something so small cause me so many problems? My husband went roughly through the same thing. He couldn’t put his boots on or take them off. He found himself frustrated that he wasn’t physically able to do something. Both of us have had a lot of physical pain associated with these breaks.

I found myself really behind on my housework, laundry, dishes and everything else. My house was a mess and still kind of is. All of that got me thinking about how our bodies work. My toe is a small member of my body but when it is broken, my entire body and life suffers. The same goes with the body of Christ. When a member is broken, no matter how small, it is noticeable and until there is healing the whole body will suffer.

When a person is broken that doesn’t mean we need to fix them or that they are no longer worth saving. Jesus came to save the world and provide healing to those who are broken. God tells us so in His word. Isiah 53:5 “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

by his stripesWhen we are broken we need rest. We need God to pick up the pieces and make them whole again. Our church had a revival a few weeks ago. I was only able to make it to one night. The night I went, the preacher preached about being broken by things we allow into our lives and by circumstances. He had a flower pot and spun it around in his hands and threw it up and caught it. He said we allow more and more things into lives and we let our vessel get loose. The next thing you know your vessel ends up so loose that it falls from your hands and breaks. He threw the pot behind him and it broke into many pieces. He said you can try and try to pick up the pieces but you can’t. He also said you can’t be used when you are a broken vessel. God won’t use a broken vessel. (One reason when members of the body of Christ are broken the whole body suffers)

broken pot

The only way to get whole again is to get down on your knees and ask God to heal you and forgive you and to help you. He got down on his knees as he said this. He said God will pick up your pieces and he will put you back together again. He held up a new pot for us all to see what God can do with our lives and vessels.

flower potAt the time I was struggling with many things and I felt so convicted over his message. I had been broken for a long time and had not gone to God for my healing. The preacher went on to say that we could have broken marriages, lives, vessels, witnesses, homes whatever and that God would heal it. I felt so overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit telling me to go to the alter and ask for forgiveness and healing. I am glad that I did because I walked away feeling whole again. I walked away with hope and with a renewed heart and soul.

Sometimes we have to be broken to be made whole. God can make you whole. He can restore you and revive you. He will pick up your pieces and put you back together. It may be painful. The healing may be a process like the healing of a broken bone, but don’t give up!!! Keep praying, keep reading, keep trusting and keep the faith!

Whatever is broken in your life whether it be; your marriage, your heart, your life, your mind, your spirit, your witness, your finances, your body – come to Jesus and ask for a healing. If you’ve let sin slip into your life, come to Jesus. He will give you healing and forgiveness.

I always feel awkward writing a prayer but I need to do what is on my heart.

God,

I ask that you speak to the hearts of those who read this. I ask that you would provide healing in whatever aspect of life that it is needed. I ask you to give them a renewal of their hearts, souls and minds. I thank you for what you’ve done and what you will do. I ask that you flood each person’s life who reads this with your love. God we know you are exceeding and able to do all things and we know that you will. I ask that if someone is reading this and they used to be on fire for you that you would stir up their hearts and start a fire in them again. I ask you to give peace and comfort and joy to those who are without it. Lord we ask that if there is someone reading this who doesn’t know you, that they will come to know you. Use us Lord and let us be your vessels. I ask all these things in your name, Amen.

My hope for you is that you will come to the well that never goes dry and that you will get what you need.

Love from above,

Iva Mae

It Is Well

it-is-well-with-my-soul

So let go my soul and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name.

2 Kings 4:26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.

I love the story in 2 Kings 4. My summary of the story in 2 Kings 4 is this:

Elisha the prophet went through the town of Shunam quite a bit. A Shunammite woman always offered bread to Elisha when he would pass by. He came that way so much that her and her husband made him a bed at their house for him to stay when he came by that way. The man and woman found favor in Elisha’s eyes. Elisha told them she would have a son within the year and she did just like he said. When he was older, he fell ill and died. The Shunammite woman laid him on Elisha’s bed in their house and got on a donkey to go to Elisha. Her husband asked why she was going to see Elisha and she answered IT IS WELL. When she got close, Elisha saw her and sent his servant to get her. Elisha’s servant asked if everything was okay she replied IT IS WELL. Even thought her little son had died, she said it is well. She fell before Elisha’s feet. He knew something was wrong and she was “vexed in her soul”. She asked him did she not desire a son and to not deceive her. Elisha knew something was wrong with her son so he and the woman traveled back to her house, where he saw the boy was dead. He prayed to God & the child came back to life.

What gets me about this story, is that the Shunammite woman continually said IT IS WELL. Her circumstances were horrible. She lost the son that God had given her, but she refused to let that bring her down. I’ve said it before but attitude can make such a HUGE difference in your life.

I think sometimes in life we focus so much on the circumstances. We become blinded by all the bad things, unhappiness and the negativity that we forget that God can help us. We take on a poor attitude and outlook (I’m so guilty of this). The Shunammite woman was heartbroken! Her son that she never expected to have had died. Loosing a child would be devastating. She knew the only way she would get through and the only way to get help was to go to the man of God.

My soul has been weary and unsettled. I just feel burnt out and exhausted. I have had a bad attitude and have been in a bad overall mood for a long time. I was praying this morning, God please help me in my time of unhappiness and heartache I can’t take this anymore! The song It Is Well With My Soul came to mind. I LOVE when God speaks to me like that. I started singing it to myself. Then I looked it up on YouTube because I couldn’t remember the words. I am horrible with remembering words to songs! I listened to the Hymn version and saw a video It Is Well by Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music. I listened to it and was just overwhelmed with peace. I loved the line “So let go my soul and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name.” It just spoke to me. No matter how the storms may rage in my life God still has power over them! The winds and oceans have to obey God. He is in control and I can say IT IS WELL!

I have a hard time of letting go sometimes. I try to take things on myself. I am strong-willed and independent. I hate for anyone to do something for me, I’d rather just do it myself. I struggle a lot with letting go and letting God handle my circumstances. In the past few years I’ve learned more and more how to do this. I just feel like I’m burdening God with things that are silly or don’t matter. God cares about me and he cares about what I am going through. He loves us. He loves us so much, he gave his ONLY son to die on a cross for OUR sins. We just have to get over ourselves and surrender to him. Even though circumstances haven’t changed, I know God can change them. If he doesn’t, he will get me through! I know God hears my prayers! There is peace in that alone. Through it all I am going to say IT IS WELL!!

Below is a link to the YouTube version of It Is Well by Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music as well as a link to It Is Well (Elisha’s Song) by the Isaacs

God bless!

Iva Mae

It Is Well by Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music

https://youtu.be/YNqo4Un2uZI

It Is Well (Elisha’s Song) by The Isaacs

https://youtu.be/w87KlbHCZJw

Part the Sea

redsea

This is from http://www.egypt-tours.org

We all know the story of Moses parting the Red Sea. The Children of Israel had just left Egypt and were no longer slaves. Pharaoh and his army were hot on their trail and pursuing them. The Children of Israel were afraid and started saying it was better when they were slaves. Moses told the Children of Israel (Exodus 14:13 & 14) “…Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” God told Moses to that he would show Pharaoh and his army that He was Lord. God told Moses to raise his staff over the sea and it would part. The Children of Israel would walk on dry land. The angel and pillar that led the way for the Children of Israel, went behind them and cut the Egyptians off from them. Moses did what God told him to do and the Red Sea was parted and the Children of Israel crossed on dry land safely to the other side. The Egyptians went after them. God told Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea so the water would go back together and consume the Egyptians. Moses obeyed God and the Children of Israel were saved.

I got three important things from this. 1). God will make a way when there doesn’t seem to be one. He will part your Red Sea. 2). Be obedient to God and he will use you to do mighty things. 3). There is beauty when God parts your sea, even though it may seem scary.

We should never put limitations on God even when it is something major or that seems so impossible that it could never happen. Matthew 19:26 “…With God all things are possible.” Whatever your Red Sea is, when you come to it, be patient. Obey God and do what he tells you to. Moses listened to God and because of his obedience the Children of Israel were saved from the Egyptians. When God parts your sea, it might be scary! I’ve thought about what it would be like to walk in the middle of the sea. There’s a wall of water on each side of you as high as you can see. I’m sure you see every rock, piece of sea weed, coral, and what not on the sea floor and surrounding you are whales, fish and sharks. The water on both sides would be scary too. You may feel like it might come down on you. Keep the faith, trust God and be obedient!! Walk through that sea on dry land knowing God is protecting you and he will make a way. Enjoy your view through it all, find the beauty. I’m sure the Children of Israel saw some beautiful and marvelous things through their walk in the sea floor! I would love to see the different sea life that they saw. I looked up what kinds of sea life is in the Red Sea because I am curious like that and found a site that listed the different sea life in the Red Sea. The link is below.

http://www.aziab.com/red%20sea%20marine%20life.htm

This is my favorite fish I found that is in the Red Sea. It’s called a Masked Butterflyfish.

masked-butterflyfish

Here is a map of the Red Sea. I like to get the whole picture and see where things took place.

red sea

I got such comfort from reading Exodus14 today. Even when things seem hopeless, there is still hope! God takes care of his children!

I know this wasn’t extravagant or mind blowing, but I hope some one else was able to find comfort as I did! God Bless!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

P.S. Enjoy one of my favorite funnies! I had a calendar with this on it by DaySpring. This cracks me up!

Herman Catches A Lucky Break

Herman's lucky break

His Eye is on The Sparrow

sparrow

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Often I feel like I don’t matter and that my problems don’t matter to God. That is NOT true at all. If it matters to me it matters to God. He cares about me and he cares about my problems and my circumstances. He says in His word that He knows when a sparrow falls and to FEAR NOT! We are of more value than sparrows. If God knows when a small little bird falls, He knows what we need when we need it. It matters to him. We are important to Him!! We can go to Him with our problems, cares and worries!

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

God says in His word that he is a place of rest! He is also a refuge and a help when we are in trouble (Psalms 46:1). We can go to Him and be safe no matter what is bothering us. A refuge is shelter or protection from danger or trouble; a place that provides shelter or protection. Asking for help can be humbling. It is for me. I’m so independent and have been since birth. It’s a good habit that has it faults. Especially when it comes to asking for help when I need it. I still somehow think I can do it on my own.

1 Peter 5:6 & 7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

God’s word tells us what to do. We just sometimes do not want bother Him. I feel that way often. I believe that what I feel or what I am going through isn’t worthy of God’s time, but that is wrong. God says so clearly in His word to cast all your cares on Him.

I woke up this morning with the song “Better than a Hallelujah” by Amy Grant on my mind. The words “We pour out our miseries God just hears a melody. Beautiful the mess we are the honest cries of breaking hearts are better than a hallelujah sometimes” just keep going through my mind over and over again this morning. I said God what are you trying to tell me. I started reading and all of the verses above just spoke to me. I don’t have to fear, I don’t have to worry or hurt. God can take that for me. He wants to or He wouldn’t have told us in His word to cast all your cares upon him for he cares for you.

better than a halleluiah

It’s a learning process every day as a Christian. I’m learning something new and understanding something more than I did before. I know now not to worry about taking anything to God, big or small, he will help me.

God Bless!!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

What a Friend

prayer

The past few days have been so trying on me. Nothing really bad has happened but a lot of little things just building up. My mood has been sour and I’ve been hateful. I went to the grocery this morning and was upset that I went over budget. It may not seem much but the end of the month beginning of the month is tight. A lot of things come out and we don’t have much wiggle room. I was upset and worried. I turned on my Pandora station and started putting away groceries. The song What a Friend we have in Jesus came on and I started listening to the words and the first 2 lines just spoke to me. I started crying and  because how stupid I have been for not taking every little thing to God. Then I started praising God because I can take everything to him in prayer. I was so overwhelmed with love and the presence of God. As I started writing this 10-12 doves were on my garage roof and most ended up looking at me.  I couldn’t get a picture of all of them as when 2 would land 2-4 would fly off. It just made me so happy. I love to hear doves. God gives us signs if we look for them. I know this was my sign from God that everything will be okay.

Acts 6:4 “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”

This past week I’ve been lacking in my reading and praying. I’m thankful for the little things God gives us to remind us of His love and that he is here for us.

doves

WHAT A FRIEND

What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

O, what peace we often forfeit, O,what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Check out the song by clicking the link below

http://youtu.be/8WbCjEBclEY

God bless!

Love from above,

Iva Mae