Getting to Happy: Happy New Year – Happy New Life

20171231_120220I’ve thought about this post for a moment.  How will I ring in the new year, 2018?  I have kept a journal since October 1992.  Once upon a time, I would go back and read the past year’s entries on New Year’s Day.  Let me say this loud and clear.  I was a hot mess.  Broken.  Busted.  Disgusted. Masking.  I would read the entries, one by one.  Without any awareness, my tears would stream down my cheeks.  Before I knew it I was sobbing.  Large, broken, shoulder-shaking sobs.  I don’t think I ever finished reading an entire year’s entries.  Eventually, I stopped looking back.  I didn’t see growth.  I was only reminded of my always fractured state of being.

This morning while in church, I heard the pastor reflect on 2017 from what I considered “the half empty glass” perspective.  I was very disappointed.  I thought to myself,  “That’s not encouraging anyone or giving them hope.”  For me, my glass is half full.  In fact, my cup was running over!  The year of 2017 was great for me!  I believe that 2018 will be the fulfilling of some God-made promises.  This last year has been my best, by far.  My pastors from Summit Worship Center (Austin, TX) always encouraged us to extend our faith….to really stretch and go beyond ourselves.  I made a conscious decision to do that.  I had already known since spring 2016 that God was going to move me.  It would not be until late 2016 that God began to have me get my house in order and declutter.  I went on a major household purge.  By the time 2017 rolled around, I was ready to buckle down with God and seek His will.  I had been given this book, which I have mentioned in my other posts, “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge” by Mark Batterson.  I sought God for the impossible and I believed Him for it.  I would rise early for what Pastor Andrea called the Hour of Power.”  I would pray and study God’s word.  I would rise by 5:00 AM and loved that still quiet of the morning. God spoke and kept speaking.  He was very clear about what I was to do:  look for a new job; resign from my old job; sell my house; sell this; sell that; give this away; or give that away.  It didn’t make sense to me, but I trusted Him.

Before I knew it, my life completely shifted.  I resigned my job, sold my house, got a new job and purchased a new home.  During the entire process I just kept trusting God.  I would remind Him that all this was His doing and His name…His reputation was on the line.  In that obedience, I experienced the smoothest transition ever.  So I did have a great 2017.  God exceeded my expectations, doing more than I could ask or imagine.  I’m still in awe and still find myself shaking my head in amazement.  I knew He would do everything He had told me.  I kept believing it…even when I could not see it…I still believed.

I now sit in my new home in my new city, knowing I’m on the path God has orchestrated for me.  I still don’t know the details of God’s plan, but I know I’m where I’m supposed to be.  For some time now, I have been of the mindset that I do not have to know all the answers or have it all figured out. It’s okay to live in the unknown.  I’m still doing that, but I’m still trusting God, too!  I feel like I finally got to my happy….not that superficial happy that people want to see because my truth would make them uncomfortable.  They don’t know what it took for me to get to my happy.  Maybe my happiness is more contentment.  Maybe that contentment stems from the wisdom I’ve gained from years of hurt and pain. Maybe that happiness is just that joy that I finally understand that the world didn’t give to me and it can not take from me.  It brings me to a place of being centered and grounded.  It’s not what I do, but who I am. It is not me; I am it.  I AM centered.  I AM grounded.  I no longer sweat the small stuff.

This is my happy.  This image is what that happy looks like for me.  It only took me 52 years to get here.  It is my hope that you will find yours in 2018.  Take a picture today and tuck it away in your phone.  On next New Year’s Eve, take an new picture.  Pull out that old picture and compare it to the new one so you can see how far God has grown you.  I wish you and your family many blessings in this new year.

Living on the Offense

I am the first to admit that I know NOTHING about sports.  I can name some teams and some players.  Those who know me, know I love the Arizona Cardinals, but more so, I love me some Larry Fitzgerald!  I fell in love with him and the Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII, 2008!  It was the first time I had actually sat with a group of people to watch a game.  My heart-strings were tugged and I wanted a win for the Cardinals, but to no avail, that game would be lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

So what was it that drew me to the Cardinals; to Fitzgerald (besides those long, beautiful locks)?  It was the way they played.  I’m sure other teams play just as hard and until the end of the game, regardless of the score.  The Cardinals were relentless and never let up.  It was a defeat with a difference of 3 points in that super bowl game, and I was deeply disappointed.  Even as I have watched them over almost 10 years, they still play with the same heart and integrity until the end of the game, win or lose.

What I have learned is that the ultimate goal of the offense is to score a touchdown.  The offensive line has the responsibility of protecting the quarterback and the person receiving the ball.  That person could be the wide receiver (Fitz), the running back,  or a tight end.  Basically, whoever gets the ball in their hands, on the offense, is working to score a touchdown.

It should be the same for our spiritual life.  We should be on the offense against the enemy.  We should not just be sitting and waiting for an attack.  We need to be ready at all times, always prayed up and always ready to use the Word of God, which is one of the spiritual weapons God has provided for us.  Don’t live your life waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Instead be proactive.  Seek God-given opportunities and sightings for when and where He is working.  In the “Experiencing God” series, by Dr. Henry Blackaby, he teaches us to look for God where He is working and to join Him.  We live offensively in that we choose how we will react to life.  We choose how we respond.  We choose to walk away with a life lesson.  We respond out of love and in forgiveness.  I know this sounds really hard….heck, it is hard!  Believe me, I practice this EVERY day!  Sometimes I fail and most times, I succeed.  I have lived defensively and it takes a lot of energy…too much.  That is just another trick of the enemy.  He only wins if you let him.

I can promise you this.  When you take one step, God takes ten.  He desires to have us live above our privilege, not beneath it.  When we fight for Him, He will fight for us and win!  Winning may not come in the way man sees it, but your victory will be peace of mind and joy that the world didn’t give you and can not take away.  Today, I’m choosing to live on the offense.  What will you choose?

Be About It!


It’s weird to me that I seem to make connections via songs, books, and TV.   This post is no different. I was studying day 10 of  “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge” by Mark Batterson. Day 10 is “Crazy Faith.”  That is my way of life and has been since October 2005. Asking God for something crazy and beyond my means; believing Him for it; and then it coming to fruition.  He leaves me in awe once He delivers.   I remember that date because I recorded that in my journal and I remember exactly where I was when I prayed, “Lord, I need you to do something radical in my life.  I need some crazy faith.”  I was driving down Albemarle Road in Charlotte and I was passing the State Employee Credit Union.  Don’t ask me how or why I remember those specifics….I just do.  I knew what I was asking and what He would do.  When you ask God for something, sometimes you see instant results; sometimes you don’t.  It was around that same time I asked God for the “Yellow Rose Promise,” which He delivered months later, like the birth of a baby. He planted the “seed” and I watched it grow.  Be about it.

So, with that being said, I wasn’t just sitting there doing nothing when I asked God for something.  Asking may have been activating my faith, but it wasn’t until I started doing that it was truly activated.  If it was a job I was seeking, I sent out resumes.  If it was something as simple as needing a new outfit and not wanting to pay a lot, I scoured the racks for a bargain and found one.  If I sensed God relocating me, I opened myself up to where He wanted to send me by taking a chance and exploring those places via research.  I ended up in Austin for 11 years and now He’s moved me to Tallahassee.  I don’t know how long I will be here, but it will be as long as He wants me.  Be about it.

Don’t just ask.  DO!  Do your part! Do the work!  We want everything done for us, but will not and do not do anything to help ourselves.  We must activate the very faith we’re asking for.  The Word says that, “Faith without works is dead.”(James 2:14-26).  I get so sick of people telling me what they want, but they do nothing to move in that direction.  God is not going to do all the work for you!  Get off your lazy behind and do something about YOUR life; YOUR dreams; YOUR desires; YOUR hopes!  You must be faithful over a few things before you can be ruler over many things.  (Matthew 25:21-23).  Once upon a time I asked God, “How much of my destiny is up to me?”  He said, “All of it!  Sure I have it mapped out, but you decide the path based on free-will.”  Riiiiiiiight.  So it is for you, as it is for me.  Be about it.

For some people, the concept of faith is very foreign.  How do you get?  How does it grow?  How do you believe in something you don’t even have yet or can not see?  All I can tell you is what I know and what works for me.  Firstly, I spend time with God and in His word.  I prefer to do it early in the morning before my day gets going.  I don’t always succeed, but I strive for that time of day.  Try to make it a point to get up early in the morning.  I have found that is when God speaks, revealing bits and pieces of His plan for me, and when I hear Him the best.  You will not mistake that the voice you heard for some other voice.  So for you folks who like to talk non-stop, this means you will need to be quiet.  In case you don’t understand, it means “SHUT. UP!”  Sometimes, you just need to listen.  Secondly, faith requires a little bit of crazy.  I’ve got plenty for everyone, but only your crazy will work for you!  That crazy is what propels me to seek the impossible; things I can’t possibly do myself.  I figure I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So I put it out there before God.  My methods are a little unorthodox with God, but they work for us.  I’ve always been sassy and I’m the same way with God.  That’s one thing I love about Him…He lets me be a daughter…a little girl who seeks her Father in all things and is not afraid to ask for anything.  In any event, the  last thing I encourage you to do is to go about your daily life, BUT as though you have already received what you’ve asked God for.  Before I relocated, I sensed that was the direction God was moving, and I began packing, with certainty, that He would move me and move me to the destination of His choice.  Be about it.

Be about it.  Don’t just talk about it; do something!  I don’t like to date guys who talk a lot!  I mean, conversation is good, but if all you’re talking about is you and never listening, we have a problem.  It’s not just the guys I’ve dated, it’s the people in my circle, too.  One of my dear friends and I were having a discussion about faith and she said (paraphrased), “This comes very easy for you.  You don’t realize that.  Not everyone hears the voice of God so clearly and just does what He directs them to with such obedience and ease. You don’t hesitate.  You don’t stumble.  You just do.”  That silenced me.  Mainly because I had never thought about it and assumed everyone did the same thing.  She assured me that is not the case.  Regardless, try Him.  All you need is faith the size of a mustard seed.  God will work with that tiniest portion of faith, and then He will exceed your expectations above all that you asked or imagined.  He will blow your mind.  Just be about it.