Don’t Give Up

baby

I thought for sure by now that God would have answered my prayers. I don’t even know where to begin with where life has taken me these past few months. I’ve been desperately wanting something. Praying for something and it hasn’t happened.

I was reading my daily devotion today and it was like my eyes were opened it and I felt a peace. I’m reading Elisha: A Tale of Ridiculous Faith in my Bible Ap. I love it! I get something out of every day’s devotion. Today’s was on a miracle of Elisha. 2 miracles happened in this section of scripture I was reading (2 Kings 4:3-37). 1. Elisha told the Shunammite woman she would have a baby 2. Elisha brought the child back to life when he had died.

I’ve read this story many times. I failed to notice that it took Elisha 2x to bring the child back to life. I’ve never noticed that before. The devotional content talked about the fact that it didn’t happen the first time Elisha tried to bring the child back to life. It asked, how many times have we been in Elisha’s position? We’ve prayed and asked God for something knowing that he would do it, but it hasn’t happened yet. It may not happen for months or years. Don’t give up or lose heart! Just because you aren’t successful the first time doesn’t mean that God will not answer your prayer! God knows best and he knows what the best timing would be for what you have asked for.

I have wanted a baby for a long time. When people would ask me when my husband and I were going to have kids, I’d just give the answer that my dog was my baby and he was the only baby I needed. In my heart I was angry that someone would ask. I felt like they were saying I wasn’t whole without a baby but truth was that, that was how I felt. I felt like I wasn’t whole. It has taken me some time to realize that even if I never have  a baby, God makes me whole. It is God who completes me.

A few weeks ago I went to the alter because God was dealing with me about me being angry. I was angry for several reasons. 1. I wanted a baby. 2. I was pregnant but not long after I knew I was I lost it. I didn’t understand why God would take something from me that I wanted so badly. All of my cousins had babies. Most of my friends had them as well and I couldn’t understand why they could but I couldn’t.

I told my Daddy at the alter why I wanted to pray. He said baby, remember Hannah. He anointed me and asked God to give me the desires of my heart. It still has happened yet, but I am not giving up! I haven’t shared this with anyone but my close friends and my immediate family. I hate sharing my feelings because I hate when people feel sorry for you. I hate that! Don’t judge me, it is just the way that I am. I felt compelled to share this because I have read 3 different things about waiting for something that you have asked God for. I think a lot people are in similar situations. They may not be in the exact same situation but are in a waiting period in their lives.

If you are in a waiting period, do not give up. Don’t be angry at God. Realize that He knows what is best for us and in Hid timing our prayers will be answered. For now cling onto that hope from Psalms 37:4. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

This is the verse I am praying and clinging to.

May God Bless you!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Battle Plan

theif

Satan is a thief and a liar. He steals things from us. He lies to us. He wants to destroy us.

He is here to steal, kill & destroy. His ultimate goal is to destroy you and keep you from your purpose. He loves when he trips us up. He knows exactly where to hit us, how to hit us and what weapon to use that will cause the most damage. That is why it is important to have a battle plan. We are at war. We are in a spiritual war.

ephesians6We are at war with principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places.

Anyone going into battle, has a plan. A battle plan, a strategy to defeat the enemy. Ephesians 6:11-18

Do not stress or worry! There is good news! The enemy will lose the war! Jesus wins in the end! He died for us. He bore the weight of our sins. He has the keys to death, hell and the grave. (Revelation 1:18)

Ephesians 6:11-18 describes the type of battle we are in and how to protect yourself.

Verse 11 says to put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand .

What is the whole armour of God?

  1. loins girt about with truth
  2. Breastplate of righteousness
  3. feet shod with the gospel of peace
  4. shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of the wicked
  5. helmet of salvation
  6. Sword of the spirit -word of God

Verse 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 All of the above help us in our battles. Lately my focus has been on prayer. I used to dread praying because I never knew what to say. I felt like I wasn’t giving it my all when praying. I started writing my prayers and saying them like I meant it and things have been changing. I don’t have a space that I can go in and shut the door but my laundry room is my space where I can be alone with God even if it is for a few minutes.

Prayer changes things and it is a good weapon against Satan. I’ve been  reading a book called Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer. It has changed my perspective on prayer. I needed this book to help me see where I was lacking in prayer and to realize that my passion for prayer was gone. Each chapter has a strategy that Satan uses and how you should pray to overcome each obstacle, temptation and problem he throws at you.

I challenge any woman reading this to get a copy of this book. Being specific and having a plan of action in prayer are important!

I come from a family of pray-ers. I don’t think that is a word but it is now. My Mamaw Nickels could pray for anything or anyone. I knew God heard that woman’s prayers. I used to love being at hers and Papaw’s house when they prayed. I loved listening to their prayers. They always were so thankful and they prayed with passion and all their might. They prayed at their couch. My Dad is another praying man. I used to sneak up on the stairs when he would go upstairs to get away and pray so I could sneak a listen to him praying. I didn’t know until recently that he did the same thing to his Dad (Papaw Nickels) when he was younger. My Grandpa Wagoner would always get so choked up when praying over a meal. He was so thankful for all of the family and you could tell that he was thankful. It always made me cry. I used to sit with my Grandma Wagoner sometimes in church. She was a silent pray-er but she always cried and knelt in the pew and I felt that she was praying with all her heart. My Mom used to help me prayer as a kid. She taught me to say the prayer for food and to pray for my family. I am so grateful that she did.

I believe it is important to have good Godly examples in your life that you can look up to. People that have it and make you want to have it too. I am thankful for my family.

I am grateful for the book that I am reading (Fervent) and how it  has changed my prayer life. Reading has made a little light bulb go off in my head. It has finally clicked!

I challenge each and every one of you to make a battle plan in prayer and make sure that you wear the full armour of God.

Love from above!

Iva Mae

Come To The Well

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I have what you need, but you keep on searchin’. I’ve done all the work, but you keep on workin’. When you’re runnin’ on empty and you can’t find the remedy, Just come to the well.

You can spend your whole life chasin’ what’s missing but that empty inside, just ain’t gonna listen. When nothing can satisfy and the world leaves you high and dry, come to the well.

The above lyrics from Casting Crowns, The Well stuck out to me. I’m done searching for something that I cannot get myself. I’m done stressing over things I cannot control. I’m done chasing things that do not bring me happiness. I am done holding onto things that I need to give to God fully!

I have had a mindset lately that has brought me down. I have let so many things bog me down and keep me in chains. I’ve let Satan have a hay day in my mind.

I forgot who the true enemy was. I have been dwelling on financial mistakes that I’ve made and worrying over how to fix them. I cannot fix it. I know God can but I don’t want to let my burdens go. I keep looking at what every body else has and dwelling on what I don’t.

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The above verse says several things.

  1. Take Heed- take caution, pay attention!
  2. Beware of covetousness- watch out for your desire to have what others have.
  3. Your life is not in the things that you own or don’t own.

L.U.S.T. – Living under Satan’s Thumb. We all lust after something.

We all have a desire/lust for more than what we have. Sometimes it becomes so strong that it takes over our thoughts and our lives. It will drive a wedge between you and God really quick.

God is the source of all joy and happiness. He has store houses full of things that we need.

Luke 12:28-30 “ If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
God know what we need. He will feel the emptiness. He will take the burdens. All we have to do is go to him. He will fill our empty vessels.
Sometimes to be filled we must first be empty. We must get rid of the pursuit of perfection, fears, temporary pleasures, earthly treasures, dried up & empty religion, chains of addiction and guilt that brings you down (These are all mentioned at the end of the Casting Crowns song The Well).
We must lay those things that have filled us up and left us filling empty. Give it to God. I have the hardest time doing that. I like to be in control. I hate to lose control of anything.
…life hits you out of nowhere and barely leaves you holding on. and when you’re tired of fighting chained by your control, there’s freedom in surrender. Lay it down and let it go…
I am still working on letting go and letting God. It is hard for me.
God has a never ending well and water that will quench your thirst. (John 4)
I am going to be working on letting go of my worry, my doubt, my fear and letting God take care of me. He can do it better than I can.
I know this was short and simple but this has been on my heart. I encourage you to listen to the songs below and to pray and ask God to help you let go of the things you need to and to fill your emptiness with his love.
Songs:
The Well by Casting Crowns
Just Be Held by Casting Crowns

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

Romans 12:1

  
Some of you may agree with me and others may not. That is okay. I’m not writing this for a debate or to cause controversy. I am simply writing what is on my heart. 

Romans 12:1 …present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you , which he have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 

Lately I have been having some digestive health problems. I learned a few months that when I cut out dairy and meat, I didn’t have problems. I was okay with that but I struggled with it because it made me different than others. I struggle a lot with being different than everyone else. It’s dumb really. I hate sticking out or having attention being drawn on me. It freaks me out! 

I decided the other day I didn’t want to have to eat differently. I wanted to be able to order a pizza, eat it and be okay. My Mom and I were working on the finishing touches of my cousins shower invitations and we were hungry so we ordered a pizza from Papa Johns. It used to be my favorite pizza. I love their breadsticks and garlic sauce. We ordered a small and breadsticks, so we split the pizza and each ate some breadsticks. We finished the invitations and she took me home. ( I walked to her house with my dog because it’s less than a mile) 

When I got home, I got so sick! I was so sick I felt like my insides were dying. I knew why. I ate cheese. It looked so good and it tasted amazing but I knew I shouldn’t have eaten it. I knew it wasn’t good for me. The reason I became Vegan a few months back, was for ,my health. I knew better but I couldn’t resist. 

In the above verses it talks about presenting your body as a living sacrifice and that your body is a temple. I didn’t treat mine that way. I am now suffering the consequences. I am still having a lot of problems and my face has broken out so badly with deep painful pimples. This happens when I eat dairy of any kind. 

I don’t think that by doing something like eating pizza is a sin but I knew what it would do to me and I did it anyway. How many times have we done that with other aspects in life? It looks so good and we know it’s wrong but we do it anyway. Sex before marriage will cause a lot of problems. There is pleasure in sin for a season. Then you have to reap the consequences. 

I have been feeling convicted about the way I treat myself. I haven’t been taking care of myself or loving me. I have been so negative about my body image for gaining weight and have eaten poorly because I was upset about my weight. Really dumb I know.  I need to start looking at myself the way God does and loving myself enough to take care of myself. It’s not easy going Vegan. I struggled with what to eat and what to look for in ingredients. It’s not easy but in the end it will be worth it because it is what is best for me. 

By the way, labels lie. They say dairy free but when you read the ingredients, turns out it has a milk product in it. 

I know this post is very different from what I normally post but I just felt lead to share what I am currently going through  after speaking with a friend today about this. 

I am going to try to start exercising and eating healthier so that I can treat my body the way it deserves to be treated. After all our bodies are to be presented as a living sacrifice and those who are saved, are the temples of the Holy Ghost. 

I will try to be more diligent with posts. My lap top is broken and I don’t have a computer so I am using my iPad and I hate typing posts with this thing!  Hopefully one day I can replace my lap top. 

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

Unworthy

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FOREVER by Kari Jobe

The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Savior of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse upon him

One final breath He gave
As Heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated

Forever, He is glorified
Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen
He is alive
He is alive

I love that song! The words are so beautiful and it reminds me exactly what God did for us on Calvary. Speaking of Calvary, Easter Season is upon us. A time for us to reflect on God’s love for us. A love so great that he would send his only son to die on a cross and bare the world’s sins when he was without sin. A perfect lamb, the supreme sacrifice to make a way to Heaven for all of us who are unworthy of such a gift. A gift that is free.

I read Romans 5:8 yesterday. It reminded me how unworthy I truly am of God’s love.

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

I like to look up words that I don’t quite know the meaning of. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, commend means: 1. to praise in a serious & often public way; to mention as deserving attention or approval. 2. to entrust for care or preservation 3. to recommend as worthy of 4. to mention with approbation (praise).

To me this verse says God showed us his love by giving his son as a sacrifice for our sins and thought we were worthy of His love even though we were sinners. It makes me feel so unworthy to know that God has a love for us that big!

I read in Lamentations today about mercy. According to Merriam-Webster mercy is 1.kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly. 2. compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or one subject to one’s power.

Lamentations 3:22&23 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

God is also a merciful God! He is merciful when we fail him. He was merciful on us and gave us a way out of our sin. He gave us a way to go to Heaven when he didn’t have to. All we have to do is accept His Son Jesus as our savior, believe that he died for our sins, rose again on the third day, confess our sins and ask for forgiveness of those sins. It is so simple that sometimes it seems unbelievable. How can such a big God give his son for me? I didn’t do anything to deserve it. In fact it is quite the opposite. I’ve done lots of things that didn’t deserve once ounce of mercy. Thank God it is not what I’ve done or didn’t do. It is what God did! What Christ did for us. A willing sacrifice.

I don’t feel that words can describe the gratitude and love I feel for Christ’s ultimate act of love. I’ve been feeling even more unworthy lately. I have slipped in my reading and prayer life and have put God on the back burner. I have stumbled and said things that I’ve regretted. I have not have God’s love for people and I have had an ultimately bad attitude about everything. Basically I have been fighting with my flesh. The ugly side, the side that wants to do what I want and who cares about anything else. I’ve been mad at God for some really stupid reasons! Just dumb. My husband didn’t get his Christmas bonus like we expected and we didn’t get a tax return like we expected either. We  got a check from an excess in our escrow account and it was a mistake. I got a letter saying we needed to send it back. I was mad at God for those things and even questioned why would you let this happen to us? Why? We needed that money! God reminded me yesterday that even though I think I need something that doesn’t mean that I truly do. He will always provide for us. He gives us exactly what we need.

One of our bills was unexpectedly high and it was going to overdraw our account if I paid it. I was just going to pay it with a credit card which I didn’t want to do. I prayed and asked God to please make a way and somehow help us to cover the costs even though I doubted that he would. I called our mortgage company about the letter I received asking to return the funds. I needed to know who to write the check to. After speaking to her she apologized and said there was a computer glitch and it messed a lot of people’s accounts up. She said I’ll make a note that you are going to send the funds back and the amount you need to send back is $XXX.XX. She explained to me that they gave us all the money from our escrow and it zeroed our account out. If I sent the amount she said back it will be enough to cover the shortage in the account.

She told me who to write the check to and made sure I knew to include some things in the check so they would know what to do with it. After I hung up I subtracted the amount that I was returning from the amount of the check we got and low and behold it was just enough for the bill that we got that was unexpectedly high.

I was overwhelmed with God’s love. I felt so undeserving of that after I had been so upset and angry. God will always provide for his children even though we don’t always deserve it.

I thank God for unexpected blessings and for unexpected bills. God is showing me more and more how much I need him. He doesn’t need me, I need him.! I thank God for the cross, for sending his son to die for me so that I could go to Heaven one day. I thank him for providing for me always and for his reminders. I thank God for his mercy, love, grace and understanding.

This week as you think of what the Easter Bunny may bring, don’t forget to reflect on what Easter is truly about and God’s love for us. Even though we were unworthy, God said yes we are worthy. It should have been you and me on that cross. We were the ones deserving of punishment. Christ went to the cross willingly and died for us because of His love for us.

A song I love is “Small as I am” by Nathan & Tonya Horton. It has been on replay on my phone. The words are awesome and describe how I feel.

SMALL AS I AM by Nathan & Tonya Horton

as_small_as_i_am

May God bless you this week and may you feel his overwhelming love!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Here are a few of my favorite songs that go along with this post:

Forever by Kari Jobe https://youtu.be/huFra1mnIVE

Small as I am by Nathan & Tonya Horton Scroll down to Our Testimony CD and the song is #4. You can actually purchase this song and/or the album from this site as well.  http://nathanandtonyahorton.com/store

Alive (from the Story) by Natalie Grant https://youtu.be/3AFpgzjRD44

Not Guilty by Mandisa https://youtu.be/S7fokl9riJ0