flower crown

The Giver + Sunrise Benefactor

flower crown.jpgToday I hope you feel blessed, just really thankful –all the way from the crown of your head to your wiggling toes! May you feel God’s bountiful promises that are new every single morning wash over your face and countenance.

It’s inevitable; the world will burden you down with weighty problems and troubling information. You will see evil claim happiness and joy from those you love. You will experience the grip of darkness from time to time. But, do not lose heart; and do not for a second give into the darkness.

Claim the blood of your Maker.

His life, here on earth, was not sacrificed in vain. For he purchased my soul and yours with his crimson bloodshed.

Rejoice in your Giver.

He makes the sun shine each morning and wraps you in the breeze of his never-ending comfort. The flowers open and bloom for our Sunrise Benefactor. The LORD is the gardener of our lives in this weed ridden land.

Look up – and smile, even in the face of haunting iniquity.

Your God did the same – he overcame the grave and desires for you to mirror his glow to the world that has forgotten his love.

Touch his nail scarred hands. Realize the gravity of that adoration for you – your soul. Squash fear and put on faith. Your armor is ready, all it takes is the willingness to strap it on.

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

Dear One, remember in this world you will have trouble – but our God has overcome the world. It may be tough to feel the overpowering strength of your Creator in this venture in your life. However, he is there – holding on to you, breathing in your lungs and providing precious sight to your weary eyes.

Light breaks darkness.

Through a cracked door – a light stream will illuminate an unrecognizable room. May we always seek his light and may our souls well up in thanksgiving for we are light cages on a parched and obscure earth.

rejoice in the lord

Rejoice In The Lord Always & Again I Say Rejoice

rejoice in the lordTambourines vibrating, trumpets blasting – how often do we let out a jubilant sound for what the LORD has done? And more importantly – for his innate nature?

This is something I fall prey to time and time again. My eyes get fixed on my surroundings and the things I cannot fix in my own power and somehow forget that I have a direct line to the ultimate power source. When cities lights darken and the skyline in the distance has vanished, God will be our daylight.

Let that song in your heart spring forth in the night –for the LORD has promised us that he will be our light. He never backs down from his promises and he always delivers what he promised in his word.

“No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the LORD your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.” – Isaiah 60:19

Now, that is something for which we can triumphantly praise our Creator!

In the physically dark places, as well as, the emotionally heavy points in life – he is there holding up a flashlight, showing you his right and perfect path. We need only open our eyes to see the luminosity.

“Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.” – Psalm 33:1

Rejoicing opens doors. It blasts open cemented windows – long sealed shut by cries of despair and hopelessness. Let our hearts overflow with singing to knock down every wall that serves as an impediment blocking our spirit from experiencing true, holy joy!

Be a singer on a stage – the world is your audience yet the only opinion that matters is that of the Savior. He should always be the object of our praise. Hosanna in the Highest – lets shout that at the top of our lungs! There’s no need to be afraid.

Just like a fresh tender leaf hardens over time and loses its color, this present world will fade away. Yet, our prayers and praises will forever fill the incense bowl of heaven (Revelation 8:4).

Fill up that golden alter dear one – and let that voice howl in appreciation, respect and utter astonishment that Christ gave all for you. He gave all to call you sons and daughters. Rejoice.

flower 2

When Did I Lose My First Love?

flower 2Do you feel small sometimes? Insignificant and oh so useless? The daily grind beats you down like a weathered, worn leather shoe. You try so hard to shine; but, the luster of that new leather has faded and the rich polish doesn’t seem to work.

Lackluster. It’s a deep emotion we all feel from season to season. A spirit, once burning full force, has now been fanned to a quiet, contained flame. However, this difference in our bodies is upsetting and alarming to our hearts – because this pumping organ was once filled with a raging, fierce bonfire.

Tell me when did I lose my first love? Where did the fire and passion go? Burn in me Your holy fire give me back my lost desire. And restore in me the love I felt for You. -Avalon

Like King David of Old, we scribble feverishly in our journals and search our hearts for the only thing that will make us whole – the living breath of God. We cry out …

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation. And sustain me with a willing spirit. – Psalm 51:12

That joy, like a child running and chasing after bubbles in the wind – that laughter is contagious. And that giggling is from the gut. That’s the type of joy that ignites our souls and sets them ablaze. And it is the only thing that will make our hearts and spirits satisfied. That is the joy of the Lord, an innocent, excited joy.

Lord, will you restore our joy once again? It can get lost in this busy, whirlwind world. Let us marvel once again at your splendor. No matter how harsh and wild things may seem around us, let us remember that’s its you who is on the throne – not man.

You hold your scepter up and reign supreme. May we seek your face, and in return shore up that clean, wholesome joy that comes alone from you, Father.

Let that joy stream over us like a banner. And may we spread that joy to others in need of a reminder to bask in the sunlight of your grace – even in the troubles life hurls on the road less traveled.

hail to the leader

Hail To The Leader on High

hail to the leaderMillions have been made off of leadership books and conferences. In this day and age, leadership qualities are essential to emulate in the workplace, household and extracurricular activities. Everyone looks up to and admires a true leader. One that influences others, invigorates the crowd and incites deep emotion into the hearts of men, women and children.

After all, this is how the United States was birthed – through the actions and rallying of leaders energized by a righteous cause. Leaders leave legacies – both good and bad.

It’s easy to elevate someone, who portrays the qualities of a true principal, to a position of grandeur and perfection. After all, leaders outperform those around them and stand out in a sea of followers.

Yet, human flesh is feeble. Earthly leaders, no matter how trustworthy you think they are, will let you down at least once. In spite of everything, they are not divine beings; but, rather flesh temples with weaknesses and shortcomings.

So often, we look up to leaders like Saviors. However, how shallow and erroneous to think a man or a woman can lead our lives better than the Most High.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. – John C. Maxwell

Jesus was the perfect leader. He not only led souls away from damnation through grace and truth, he washed the feet of those in his company – and taught hungry souls the Words of his Father. And, he is still guiding hearts and minds today.

Unlike elevated men and women in the government and palaces across the world, the LORD will never fail you. His kingdom will never crumble and his wisdom will never lead you astray.

 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God … Psalm 146:3-5

If you feel disappointed in today’s leaders and those elevated to places on high, trust in God. Respect your authority; but, rest assured that God is the supreme leader of our lives. His plans are perfect and his ways are always right and noble.

He sees you where you are and works on your behalf, not for selfish gain, but out of love and deep devotion – for you are his workmanship, made in his image. Look to his rainbow of promise – for this world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:17)

light glow

May We Shine Forth Goodness & Truth

light glowEyes wincing in the morning, it’s hard to adjust our vision to dawns early light. Pupils shut off to the daylight, the sting is real; however necessary to face the day with vigor and power. Like a light switch, all of a sudden our world has been illuminated by a soft, warm glow – light.

Once covered and heated by our feather comforters, this light is balmy and it diminishes our goose bump laden body. You can see the stream of light from your window dance across your supple skin. This glow is exciting; it tells a story and invites anticipation in the soul.

Anticipation, because this light reminds you that you were made to shine! Inside that heart of yours is a lantern of pristine radiance – waiting to shine forth in goodness and truth.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. – John 1:5

We mustn’t shut off our souls to this flickering stream of luminosity. Too often, it’s easy to close the blinds, shut our eyes and miss out on the morning sunrise. We would rather be ignorant to this glow – then to experience the pain of adjusting our eyes – and truly staring into the light.

In Christ we should never lock our eyes – but, instead keep them wide open. Open to whatever is pure, lovely and admirable. For if we choose to shut them to his faithfulness and goodness, we will miss out on all the beauty in his light stream.

Like Moses pleaded with God on the mountain, may we cry out, ‘Show me your glory, Lord!’

Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” – Exodus 33: 18-20

May we crack open that lantern encased in glass in our hearts and truly let that candle inside our souls flicker intensely for all to see. God has told us time and time again that we are the light of the world.

Look into the sun, sweet Child of God. That ball of warmth carries tremendous blessings. I pray we all can stare intently into it.

We are light cases for the King of Ages. Drink in the rays of his blazing light – so that our faces may be sparkling and radiant. When others look at us, may we appear visibly different!

puppy dog

But, I Just Want to Save Animals, Sip Coffee & Cuddle Babies?

puppy dogHave you ever had one of those days where you just want to save animals, sip coffee and cuddle babies? Seriously, ditch the office chair, throw out the panty hose and replace them with an outdoor background and recycled t-shirt. Okay – maybe that’s just me.

But, often times in life, things can seem hard and seemingly dull. We want each moment to pass by at lightning speed and for amazing things to happen every single second. After all, this is a supersonic society with instant gratification around every corner.

Patience is often a word that I don’t want to pray for – because the literal meaning is ‘long suffering.’ Yikes. Who wants to suffer long? I know. That does not sound like a great deal to me. However, this attribute is included in the fruits of the spirit.

The dictionary defines ‘patience’ as: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

Even though, we may be stuck in our office chair –dreaming of star gazing in a scenic desert – we can have patience in the mundane. We can accept with beauty the place we are in the moment. Waiting on God is a beautiful action. It takes faith – bold faith.

We all have responsibilities and commitments and they might seem dull from time to time. But, sweet one, rest in the assurance that God has a master plan for you. And, that plan is not always exciting, captivating and alluring – all the time.

The journey of life is not a pathway of popsicles and sugary soda. It is a gritty road that tests your emotions, confidence and willpower – the road less traveled. But, know that on this walk, (that can be tremendously exciting and is truly rewarding) you will face bumps, valleys and dry patches.

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Look up, rejoice and praise God for these places. Don’t abandon ship. Trust harder, pray deeper and seek further when your patience is tested – for you were made for such a time as this!


Spice It Up! Healthy Hot Chocolate {Vegan, Gluten Free}

hot macaThe season for some piping hot chocolate is upon us! And, who really does not want to indulge in this super yummy, rich treat when it’s cold outside?

However, the hot chocolate packets you get at the store and from various restaurants are packed with calories and so much sugar. Sipping on this sugary treat can leave you feeling blue and help you pack on the pounds this winter. Bummer!

But, hold on, you can still indulge in a chocolaty treat – try this supercharged, spiced hot chocolate. It is loaded with spices, powders and oil that are good for you.

You will need: 1/2 cup almond milk + 1/2 cup water (heated over the stove-top), 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder, 1/2 teaspoon raw maca powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar, 3 dashes cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne + sea salt. 

Maca powder is my recent obsession. Just read these amazing benefits: increases energy, improves fertility, regulates hormone balance, reduces depression (good for winter blues!), reduces anxiety, enhances mental clarity, improves blood circulation, improves acne … and the list continues.  

Simply heat the almond milk and water over the stove and when hot, add in all your other spices. Make sure you stir well (you want all the spices and powder to fully fold in the liquid). And enjoy!

Who says you can’t indulge in a beautiful chocolate treat and still stay healthy this season?

he knows you

You Have Collected All My Tears In Your Bottle

he knows youWe’re dusty. Created with tight knit corners and deep crevices, it’s hard to imagine anyone can know our soul, struggles and innate thoughts. And, this realization can feel very lonely at times.

When walking on a cobblestone road, tumbling wildly in the dark and skinning your knees, it’s easy to think, ‘no one knows this winding path – there is no one that understands the sting of this fall or the unique steps I have taken.’

We search for confidantes to express our feelings and emotions. Somehow, we end up empty. Yet, this emptiness we come to comprehend is because we are expecting empathy from those made of earthy soil and bone.

We need to take our worries, fears and feelings to the Rock of Ages. He is the one who has walked that cobblestone path with you, watched you fall and felt your pain. Nevertheless, he has picked you up, brushed you off and held you in the depths of his mighty hands – speaking promise over your life.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” – Psalm 56:8

God knows those crevices of our souls – the dusty ones that no one can see. He breathes security into the veins of our hearts and speaks his healing to the pains that shoot unfathomable lengths in our stomachs.

He sees you, dear one.

Every tear and inaudible word speaks volumes to the Savior of your Soul. If you cannot speak, God will listen to your heart. He is that mighty and great. Cry out to him – for he will collect your salty pain and replace those daunting fears with his unfathomable joy.

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. – Revelation 7:17

May we always remember that the same God who made the stars knows our name. He knows your story, knows your heart. He is holding out his hands to collect those sorrows and turn them into joy. Cry out to Jesus.


Let Us Not Be Empty Water Basins

PINKSo often we talk a good game as Christians. We tell others how to shine brightly and follow God’s path; yet, the tragedy is – we neglect to fill ourselves in the process.

We give others encouragement; however, do not feed our souls with the miracle grow of Christ’s plentiful presence. All while, God is just waiting there wanting to speak to you, reveal his beautiful bounty and satisfy your heart with the blessings of his hopeful promises.

We are empty water basins, attempting to pour God’s goodness out on others; yet, we have not filled ourselves. And, it’s impossible to lift others up when, we, ourselves are not fully nourished.

“Fullness comes when we remember to be with Jesus before going out to serve Him.” – Lysa TerKeurst

How could we expect to nourish a parched soul – when we ourselves are dying of thirst?

Though it seems trite at times to water our souls with the Prince of Peace’s goodness (because we are concerned about the world spinning around us), let us remember that it’s necessary to seek and knock in the quiet with the Father!

Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. – Psalm 105: 3 – 4

For if our hearts are filled with His presence and assurance, He can effectively use us for his glory!

Then the glory of the LORD rose up from above the cherubim and went over to the door of the Temple. The Temple was filled with this cloud of glory, and the courtyard glowed brightly with the glory of the LORD. – Ezekiel 10:4

Let us not be empty basins, LORD. Fill our flesh temples with the glorious presence of you. So that we shine your light from the inside out to those wondering where our glow comes from!


God Multiplies – Fish + Loaves of Bread

Untitled design(2)Hands gritty and slimy, I cling on to that smelly fish. It’s my catch – the food I have harvested for my sustenance, and it took quite some time to catch those little suckers. With power of my own, I threw that rod into the stream and pulled up not just one silver albacore, but two.

The same with these loaves of bread, the fire in my home made the yeast rise – standing tall and plump. The spices in my cabinet made these loaves savory to the taste. Now, this is my lunch, the meal that fuels my body with protein and vitamins.

However, like the little boy in John, so often, God asks me to give up my catch and wait for his miracle to unfold.

Oh how often we hold on to our catch of the day. When God asks for us to give those slimy fish over to him, we grunt and groan.

We worry – and think if I give this up, what if God does not provide? Or we give four loaves of crispy bread over, keeping one for ourselves (just in case).

That little boy, in the parable of the loaves and fish, believed God could feed five-thousand. He gave up his lunch willingly with the risk that he, himself, might not get fed. Yet, he believed and trusted in the Father and waited for the beautiful multiplying nature of the King of Kings.

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people.  They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children! – Matthew 14: 19-21

Praise be to Jehovah Jireh – for he truly is the LORD that provides.

When we unclench those smelly fish, hand over the loaves of bread behind our backs and turn them over to God (in faith), he surely will not disappoint.

He is the God that preformed a miracle in Sarah’s belly. He is the Maker that filled the widows oil basins. He is the presence that walked with David when he slung that stone at Goliath.

“True faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God’s fidelity to His Promises.” – Francis Chan

Jehovah Jireh, My provider – His grace is sufficient for me.