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

Treasures

I read Matthew 6 this morning and it really touched my heart. The whole chapter is filled with nuggets of information on how to live your life as a Christian. One of the things it talks about giving tithes but to do it in secret not make a show about it and God will openly bless you for it. It says the same thing about prayer and fasting. It goes further to talk about treasures.

Verse 20 & 21 says “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO.”

The chapter also says not to take thought about what you will, eat, drink or wear. Jesus says the birds are fed by God and how much better are we than birds. Why wouldn’t God take care of us?! Verse 30 says “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

God will provide for us! He will meet our needs! We may not have the newest or most expensive things in life, but we will have what we need and that is a lot more than what others have. Times are hard. My husband and I both work full time and sometimes ends still don’t always meet the way I think they should. Right after we purchased our house I quit paying tithes because I felt that they were cutting into bills. By cutting out tithing I was actually cutting off my nose to spite my face.

Financially our life was going down the toilet. We racked up debt because I had to buy groceries, gas and other essentials with a credit card because we just didn’t have enough money. I was complaining to my Mom about it one day. She said “Iva, I can tell you why things aren’t working out. You’re not giving God your first fruits. No matter what you think, write your check to the church first out of every pay and see what happens. It may seem bad, but God will make a way. He always will work it out when you’re doing what you’re supposed to.” She also told me there were times where her and Dad didn’t think they were going to make it or the washer went out and somehow they had just enough to cover whatever they needed.

I can say that since I have been paying tithes, we have been tight on money but we have always had exactly what we needed and we haven’t overdrawn our bank account.

Instead of giving to God and placing my treasures & faith in God, I was placing them in materialistic things.

I have learned and grown from my mistake.

Since then, I have placed all my financial trust in God. I know he will take care of us as long as I do what I am supposed to and as long as I give him something to work with.

My treasures are not in money or materialistic things anymore. I may be poor to some but I am rich and I am blessed beyond all measure and God has been good!!! I have a thankful heart and I will never cease to praise him.

Last week we only had $5 until we got paid and we were out of produce and a lot of other things. I was almost out of bread and PB&J’s were getting old. My Mom went to the store and purchased some salad stuff and some fruit for us. I know God placed that on her heart to do for us. I have wonderful parents and wonderful in-laws.

Just remember “FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO.” Matthew 6:21

I hope this helped someone as much as it has me! God Bless!

blessed

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Doubt

I hate doubting! When I doubt something it consumes me. I can’t get it off of my mind. It eats at me.

Sometimes our doubts are things that are good to doubt. For instance, doubting whether or not a stranger off the street will give a million dollars, that is something unlikely to happen. Other things, like if God can forgive us is not something you should doubt.

Satan is really good at bringing up past things that I’ve done and that I’ve already asked God for forgiveness for and that God has forgiven me for. Yesterday in my Pastor’s message, he mentioned that. He also said that God doesn’t remember them because he has already cast them as far as the east is to the west.

Psalms 103:11&12 “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Satan remembers our sins and we remember our sins. Satan loves to try to bring you down with things you’ve done in the past. He wants to do whatever he can to ruin you so you cannot be a vessel for God. He likes to poke at us a prod and mock us. He will bring up everything you’ve done. Sometimes out of the blue!! The other day, I randomly remembered when I was 2 and I walked by my Grandma’s room and saw $20 sticking out of her purse. I grabbed it and stuck it in my little cat purse. I really don’t think I knew it was wrong. I started dwelling on that. How ridiculous! Things like this and others Satan likes to throw in our minds so we get tripped up.

I did a study on doubt. What is it? What can it do? What does the bible say about this?

Doubt by definition is: to be uncertain about something: to believe that something may not be true or is unlikely; to have no confidence in someone of something; to lack confidence, to consider unlikely.

  • A synonym is, to question.

When we doubt, we start questioning. It makes sense. I started questioning God did you ever forgive me? I remember getting saved so yes he did but sometime the question still remains.

The Casting Crowns song, “East to West” is a perfect example!

I really like the first verse.

Here I am, Lord, and I’m drowning in your sea of forgetfulness. The chains of yesterday surround me. I yearn for peace and rest. I don’t want to end up where you found me and it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight. I know you’ve cast my sin as far as the east is from the west. And I stand before you now as though I’ve never sinned. But today I feel like I’m just one mistake away from you leaving me this way.

I know that I am not the only one to have ever felt this way.

I realized that maybe at the root of me wondering is doubt. I’m lacking faith and I’m letting Satan get the best of me.

Isiah 41:13 “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

Romans 8:39 “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God’s word says that he will hold our hand and help us. It also says that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Jesus says His grace is sufficient for me!!! That is the answer. Yes he can forgive me and yes he has forgiven me of my past sins that I have already asked him forgiveness for!

I wrote this blog over a 2 day period. I am thankful that a friend on Facebook posted 2 Corinthians this morning. It spoke to my heart and overwhelmed me with God’s love. I love when God speaks to you through His word!! Thank God for people who have things put on their hearts to help others. You never know something you say or do may help someone else!!

Have you ever felt that way? What did you do to help you get over yourself?

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Stir the Pot

One of my favorite newer Disney movies is Ratatouille. It’s adorable. If you’ve not seen it, you should! Remy, a rat, loves cooking and creating recipes. Linguini is a famous chef’s son…and he CANNOT cook. I was thinking on things this past week and this movie came to mind. A specific scene in the movie actually. Linguini has just been hired at a restaurant and decides he is going to make the soup better by adding a bunch of ingredients to the pot. He tastes it and it is nasty. Remy comes along and fixes it, but Linguini ruined the original soup.

Ratatouille_poster ratatouille-remy-and-linguini-2Click HERE for the video clip where Linguini ruins the soup

I’ve been thinking about the traps that Satan sets. He is sneaky, crafty and there isn’t anything he won’t do that he is able to make you trip you up. Like Linguini he comes along to your brain and adds a few thoughts and stirs the pot. If you don’t remove the thoughts and ask God to help you, it can end up being devastating. It doesn’t matter what Satan adds in. It could be things about yourself, that you don’t need God, that life isn’t worth living, that you should harm yourself, stealing, killing, fornication (sex outside of marriage) or anything that can consume your thoughts and ruin your mind.

The enemy is here to steal, kill & destroy.

John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:…”

When negative or bad thoughts come into your head, pray and ask God to help you. Ask him to remove the thoughts and to help you focus on Him.

Just imagine Satan pouring deceit from his spice rack in your brain and stirring the pot when deceitful thoughts come into your head.

Love from above,

Iva Mae

God where are you?!

We’ve all wondered where God is sometimes. It seems like he isn’t anywhere. We know he is there but he feels so far away. The past several months I’ve felt dead inside. I knew God was there but I couldn’t feel him. I felt so lost, so broken and so afraid. I’ve been going through a spiritual battle. Literally there is a spiritual battle in my home. I have felt the presence of evil in my own home.

The other night my husband was gone and it was just me and my dog, Bandit. We were in the kitchen. I had just washed dishes and was getting ready to put some more things away. All of a sudden I got a horrible feeling and my dog took off running and ran and his on the couch. I went to him to see what was wrong and he was shaking. I sat with him for a moment and the feeling came back but this time it was stronger and I could literally feel a horrible evil in my home. My dog saw something and watched something walk across the living and the something stopped directly in front of us. I immediately got down on my knees and started praying. I asked God for protection of our home. I asked that if there was anything in our home that was not of God, that it be removed and be made known it was not welcome in Jesus name. I prayed and I honestly do not even know what else I prayed. Words flowed from my mouth and peace overcame me and my dog. As I knelt at the couch and prayed he laid down beside me and closed his eyes. After I was done praying a verse came to my mind. Matthew 19:26 “…With God all things are possible.”

 

I wrote it my fridge calendar and underlined ALL. I stood in my kitchen listening to a song and I lifted my hands, sang, praised and worshiped God. I felt his presence and was overwhelmed with joy all I could do was cry. I had peace in my heart for the fist time in a long time.

Believe it or not but it happened. I’ve been pressed down and felt like I was in chains of sadness and doubt. My heart was broken and I felt trampled. Things may not be perfect but they are getting better and I am thankful! The song Find You On My Knees by Kari Jobe came to mind.

 

prayer

Find You On My Knees – Kari Jobe

Troubles chasing me again, breaking down my best defense, I’m looking. God I’m looking for you.

Weary just won’t let me rest, fear is filling up my head, I’m longing. God I’m longing for you. But I will

Find you in this place I’m in, find you when I’m at my end. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty.When I am weak, when I am lost and searching. I’ll find you on my knees.

So what if sorrow shakes my faith? What if heartache still remains? I’ll trust you. My God I’ll trust you. ‘Cause you are faithful. And I will find you in the place I’m in. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty. When I am weak when I am lost and searching. Find you on my knees.

When my hope is gone, when the fear is strong, when the pain is real and it’s hard to feel. When my faith is shaken and my heart is broken and my joy is stolen God I know that you lift me up you never leave me searching.

Find you in this place I’m in, find you when I’m at my end. Find you when there’s nothing left of me to offer you except for brokenness. You lift me up, you never leave me thirsty.When I am weak, when I am lost and searching. I’ll find you on my knees. 

This song speaks to me. So what, IF sorrow shakes my faith? So WHAT, IF heartache still remains? I’ll TRUST YOU. MY GOD, I’LL TRUST YOU. I will trust God! He never leaves me thirsty or searching. Other things in life do but not God. He is my healer, my savior, my love, my life, my joy, my hope and my salvation! So even when everything is falling apart God is allowing that so he can pick up the pieces and put them back together better than my attempt. He makes the pieces fit even when think they cannot.

 

 

Mirrors, Relfections and God

We all have days where we feel bad about ourselves and we pick ourselves apart piece by piece when we look in the mirror. That’s why I hate mirrors. If we aren’t careful we can lose all vision of who we truly are and only focus on the outward appearance. I’ve been guilty and getting back is hard!

mirrordistorted reflection

All of my life I’ve struggled with my appearance, my weight, my height and my identity. It all started in middle school/junior high. I was tall and skinny. My nose was too big for my face and I was awkward. I never quite fit in and always felt out of place. It’s funny in a way because at times I still feel like I don’t fit in. I can be in a room full of people and still feel alone and out of place. (That’s another story for another day)

I felt like maybe if I was skinnier that people would like me. I would eat lunch in the cafeteria and then go to the bathroom and throw it up. Sometimes I’d use it as an excuse to go home because I didn’t want to be at school. I hated it that much. I used to be embarrassed by it but it’s a part of my life. Throwing up so much damaged the enamel on my teeth and I still deal with getting cavities easily today as a result of that.

Once I got to High School I just wouldn’t eat. I had gone from a size 3 to a 7 from my Freshman year to my Sophomore year. I felt like I was too fat and that I needed to get the weight off. The worse part of it was that years later when I told someone about it they didn’t believe me. The next year couple years of school I ate. What I ate was not so healthy. I had bagels 2x a day with fatty cream cheese and 4-6 cookies from the cafeteria. I drank tons of soda and didn’t walk or get in any exercise. I started packing on the pounds. I’ve never been athletic and I didn’t play sports in school. I was basically a couch potato.

bulimia

I’ve never really enjoyed eating meat growing up. I never really liked the taste of it (Something I still struggle with today). When I would eat it in high school it would be at fast food restaurants like Taco Bell or it would be deep fried at Wendy’s or KFC. My friends and I would frequently go to Taco Bell after school and hang out. I would then go home and eat dinner again. It was a vicious cycle. I was diagnosed with cancer at the end of my Junior year. I had a couple of surgeries and the last one they removed the tumor along with the small bone above my ankle bone. Thank God, God healed me and I didn’t have to go through the chemo or amputations. This added to me being sedentary. I couldn’t walk anywhere far and if I had to go far someone pushed me in a wheel chair.

I was in size 11’s and 13’s by my senior year. To add to the weight gain from being sedentary and from eating so poorly I was on prednisone for my asthma for an entire year. It added to the weight gain. I had no idea how much weight I had gained until I watched a video of me from a class assignment and I was mortified! I had a gut and a roll hanging over my jean skirt. It was shocking and embarrassing. It was near the end of Senior year. My friend and I had our picture taken in our graduation outfits and it was posted in the year book. My face was so large I was unrecognizable to myself. I saw the picture and thought that the girl in the picture couldn’t possibly be me.

That summer I went into depression and didn’t really leave the house much. I started college in the fall. The campus was spread out really far and all my classes were in different buildings and different floors. I walked everywhere and walked up and down 3-4 flights a stairs several times every day. Before I knew it, I had lost a lot of weight and was healthy again. I started eating in moderation and had a sensible lunch every day. I was so happy and proud of myself! My entire time at school I always took the stairs over the elevator. I was doing great. I met a guy we dated for a couple years and eventually it ended. I was devastated over the circumstances of it and quit eating. I thought I was too fat and that is why he didn’t love me. I lost 30+lbs and at one point weighed 120. I am 5’ 7 ½“ and should weigh around 145 or so. I went from 8’s and 10’s to 6’s and 4’s. I was unhealthy. When I chose to eat, my body rejected it from not eating. Eventually I got better and unfortunately started in this pattern of fast food again. I also got a full time job where I sat down all day long. I was used to walking all over downtown going on errands and such. I started talking to this guy and we hit it off. We started hanging out after my night classes and would go by McDonald’s and grab some food. I started packing on the pounds. We got married less than a year later! I was so happy to marry this guy who was my best friend and the love of my life. (We are still happily married 4 years later!)

meandkylewedding

I looked at myself in my wedding dress and was shocked at how big I had gotten again. My husband and I lived with my parents because he lost his job right before we got married. He was having a hard time finding anything. 7 months after we got married, my Grandma passed away in June. Then in November my Grandpa passed away. I was devastated by both but more so after my Grandpa died. We weren’t expecting it. He fell and 2 weeks later he was gone. He was my best friend. I thought the world of him. I spent every day of my childhood at his house. Almost every dinner was at his house. I didn’t know how to manage that. My Mom had to start taking care of my Grandma. She has Alzheimer’s. She spent the night at her house almost every night. She eventually had to quit her job to take care of her full time. I started helping more around the house. The car my husband and I just bought had the engine blow, and then a few months later the transmission went. Needless to say it was stressful. I turned to desserts and food for comfort.

At my heaviest I was 190lbs. I am not sure my current weight but am guessing it is somewhere in the 160lbs range. I am currently trying to get healthy and get the rest of the weight off that isn’t healthy for me. I need to lose about 15lbs to get to where my doctor wants my BMI to be. I take long walks every day with my dog. I am trying to kick soda and fast food. I would like to get down to 145lbs this year and do it the healthy way. No more not eating and no more throwing my food up. I know I need to eat healthy food and exercise to be healthy. God gave us life and bodies. Our bodies are our temples. We should take care of them and love them. Both of those are hard to do sometimes.

meatheaviest

1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

I’ve struggled with loving myself but until I did I couldn’t love my husband the way God intended me to. I still struggle some days with my appearance but at the end of the day what matters is that God loves me for exactly who I am and he sees me for who I am. He sees my soul and knows my heart.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

1 John 4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

The above verses tell us God formed us, he loved us so much even when we were sinners that he sent his only son to die for us so we could go to Heaven and live forever if we accept his son and believe that he is God’s son and that he died for us and rose again on the third day. We also must confess that we are sinners and ask for forgiveness.

I invite you to examine your heart and ask God to help you love yourself and see yourself in his eyes. For you ladies, if you are going through any of the same things I have please get help. I was lucky to get through it on my own. I am not going to lie, there are days where I honestly consider not eating to get the weight off or eating whatever I want then throwing it up. No matter how much weight is off sometimes I can’t see myself as looking any different and all I see is me being heavy. Don’t let anyone convince you that it is normal. It is not healthy and can be super damaging to your health. I still have days where I don’t want to eat and days where I want to make myself throw up my lunch. (It feels weird just admitting that because I’ve told no one that) Anorexia and Bulimia are eating disorders and you can get help. See the link below.

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support

It’s hard to see yourself as you truly are when your body image is distorted in your mind. I know. I feel that way a lot of days. It’s getting easier but it is a process. Know if you have an eating disorder you are not alone. There are people who will support you to help you get through it and to get healthy again. I am one of those people! Don’t let anyone make you feel that you aren’t beautiful for being heavy or being too skinny. Be healthy and your body will look the way nature intended it to. We are all beautiful no matter our story or the way we look. God sees us as beautiful and he loves us.

anorexia

One of the best things is to find a hobby. Find something you love doing and do it! Read, bike, walk, run, cook, bake, sing, dance, knit, crochet, craft, write stories, get a journal and write your feelings, paint, take up a musical instrument, take classes at your local community college, draw, collect rocks, collect stamps… you get the point. It helps relieve pain and gives you an outlet for your energy and for your mind to focus.

I love to cook, bake, craft, read and take walks with my dog. Doing all of those things, helps me to feel like me and to feel happy. Finding happiness is so important! Another important key to happiness is having a relationship with God. He can carry your burdens and pick you up when you fall. If you don’t have one, I encourage you to have a relationship with God. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. My life hasn’t been free of problems but God has made them easier when I let him take them for me.

I invite you to follow me on my journey to health and happiness! I am going to try to start posting recipes and workouts and tips. I hope you will join me on my journey!

Love from above!

Iva Mae