Day 82 – Anointed Does Not Mean Ready

1 Samuel 3:10     The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

I love this verse for it illustrates a humble servant heart in Samuel. However, the truth is Samuel would never have uttered these words had it not been for Eli. The Lord called out to Samuel three times before verse 10, and each time Samuel did not recognize his voice. It says in verse 7 that Samuel did not yet know the Lord. Each time the Lord called out to Samuel, he went to Eli, thinking it was Eli calling him. Finally Eli realized what was happening and helped Samuel by telling him how to respond to the Lord. He was teaching him, mentoring him, giving him advice to follow. Samuel did as instructed by Eli and responded to the Lord. From that moment on, Samuel knew God, and knew his voice.

Samuel was anointed, set apart for God from before his birth when Hannah, his mother, promised to give him to God if God would allow her to conceive. So he spent his life as a chosen one for God. And yet, even though he was anointed, he needed guidance, direction, and teaching from the elders in his life. Understanding this placed a conviction on my heart. I know that God has anointed me with a ministry, but that does not mean that I don’t need instruction and advice from those who have gone before me.  How foolish it would be for me to ignore that aspect of Christian fellowship!

Honestly, if I had a mentor right now, I would ask them what they do during the waiting. How do they handle the uncertainty of the plan that is ever so slowly unfolding before them? I wonder how God can take someone like me, with so little knowledge, revelation, or understanding, and give me a ministry. I need an Eli in my life, teaching me how to hear and respond to God’s voice.

exhaustionDay 82 and I am tired. My job takes a lot out of me, and I just don’t sleep well. There is so much up in the air in my life and although I am normally very good at remaining in joy, sometimes I am too exhausted and I succumb to the weariness. This evening was one of those times. As a server, I am forced to be cordial, happy, and keep a smile on my face. On days like today it is all I can do to force a smile and a kind word. It exhausts me to fake it because I’m not used to doing that. It normally comes naturally.

So, no new foods to talk about. I am going to make some golden milk and hope it helps to combat the ache in my legs and feet from a long shift at the restaurant. And maybe some worship music to uplift me as I wait. And wait. And wait.

Day 82 licking my wounds and praying for sleep.

Be Blessed!

 

Day 81 – Backdoor Promises

Judges 4:8-9 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” “Very well,” said Deborah, “I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman.”

Did you catch what happened in the above verse? Barak put provisions on the promise of God and demanded that Deborah accompany him. Her response let him know that she will concede to his demand, but because of his behavior, he would no longer get the honor he could have had.

This passage went on to talk about Jael, who encountered Sisera and ultimately drove a stake through his temple, earning the honor of being the one who killed him. As I read this I began to wonder how many times I have missed receiving honor because I have put provisions on the promises of God. How many times has my lack of complete obedience shifted the promise of God to the back door? The promise is fulfilled because God keeps His promises, but my lack of character changed the course God had mapped out.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the Jael’s in my life to receive an honor I should have received. I pray my obedience not come with conditions, but be whole and complete and without demands.

jambalaya bowlDay 81 and I made a couple different things today. I roasted some green beans to eat with rice and also made a cauliflower alfredo (vegan version) to put over broccoli and quinoa pasta. It was delicious although a little bland. I think I used a different recipe last time but I forgot to save it so I will have to keep looking. In the meantime, the pasta is good, just not great. I will eat it, though.

Tonight after work I added some lettuce and tomato and avocado to my jambalaya and it made a refreshing bowl. I will definitely do that again.

Well, that is it for me tonight. Day 81 saying until next time.

Be blessed!

Day 80 – Let Hope Arise

Hebrews 16:18-19     God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

hopeThe word hope has been prominent in my life recently. Hope is my word for this season of my life. As I get closer and closer to the end of my fast, my heart is quickened with hope. I bought myself a bracelet the other day to remind me to always cling to hope.

Spring is a season of hope. There is the crocus flower which pushes through the snow to illuminate the barren landscape with its blossom. Or the buds that appear on the trees, seemingly over night. All around is the hope of life renewed.

When I look around the world today, I see a winter landscape. It is barren, dark, cold, void of life. What creatures do remain are in survival mode, trying to keep fed and keep warm. It is a time of waiting.

We have a hope, though, it is for each of us that believe in Jesus as our Savior. This hope we have is steadfast, an anchor for our soul. We do not need to be blown to and fro by the bitter winter winds that blow all around. Hope is our Anchor. When we are cold and tired of waiting, we must cling to Hope. Just as the crocus brings hope of spring and breaks the monotony of winter, so our Hope brings beauty to the world. Let your Hope be the reminder to all those you come in contact with that God is alive and spring is coming with the promise of renewed life. Don’t let go of Hope. Don’t let go of Jesus.

Day 80 – I’m 10 days away from finishing this journey, yet it feels like I just started. There is so much more I want to hear from God. There is so much more I want to learn. Of course, who says it has to stop at 90 days, right?

Today was a good day. In my endeavor to be more obedient to the Holy Spirit, I received two different confirmations that what I was hearing was really from Him and not just my own thoughts. I tend to second guess my ears to hear the urging of the Holy Spirit. I am so grateful when He allows me to receive confirmation.

I didn’t eat much today, which isn’t good, but I was not very hungry. Maybe that is because the past two days I have been hungry all day. I think my body was balancing things out today. I did go to a local coffee shop and had a cold brew coffee with almond milk and unsweetened vanilla. It was so good!

Anyway, that is it for me today. Day 80 is in the books.

Be Blessed!

 

 

 

Day 79 – Next Level Trust

Psalm 7:13-14     Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the people.

I am entering a season of next level trust. My job is slowing down, meaning my tips will be much smaller, cut by about half. My husband is looking for a new job that will allow us to move forward with our lives, but so far he has not had any bites on his resume.

This is a season to wait. I’m not good at waiting. I am very much a product of my generation and I like things done quickly and according to my time table. That isn’t going to happen this time.

Right now, in this season, at this time, trusting God and waiting patiently are joined together. I can’t do one without the other, and I find it difficult to achieve both simultaneously.

How about you? Do waiting and trusting go hand in hand in your life?

waitingDay 79 – I had to say no to a lot of very yummy food today. For some reason, maybe because I am nearing the end of the fast, My cravings are back which hadn’t been an issue for a long time. I am hoping it is temporary because I can’t keep resisting the urge to eat crap food.

I didn’t make anything new, but I am really enjoying the jambalaya. My only complaint is the brown rice. I’m not a fan. Next time I would use a different rice.

I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open, so this is day 79 signing off.

Be blessed!

 

Day 78 – No Other Name

Philippians 2:9-11     Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Read this scripture and ask yourself if you really believe that there is no name, no thing on earth, or in heaven that is greater than the name of Jesus.

When I consider this verse and really meditate on it, I am in awe of my Jesus. The one who sacrificed himself for me. The one who longs for relationship with me. When I pray for something, or for chains to be broken, or for oppression to cease, there is nothing that can come against the name of Jesus. I don’t need to scream and shout, or pray long drawn out “fancy” prayers, for all we need to do is pray in the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus will break every chain. The name of Jesus will bring freedom to the oppressed. The name of Jesus brings healing. The name of Jesus…

How precious, how beautiful, how wonderful, how powerful is the name of Jesus. And I stand in awe of my savior.

IMG_3242Day 78 and I finally made the jambalaya! I also made some amazing asparagus that I  oven roasted with gluten free bread crumbs. Instead of egg to help bread crumbs stick I used the juice from a can of garbanzo beans and it worked so well! I can’t wait to try it as an egg substitute in other things.

That’s it for me today, folks. Day 78 is complete. Spend some time today and tomorrow considering the name of Jesus. Be in awe, let the magnitude of that name wash over you.

Be blessed!

Days 75, 76, & 77 – User Error

psalm 119-11Psalm 119:10-11     I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 

Funny story – I noticed that my blog posts from the last two days were not showing up even though I wrote them. I knew I wasn’t going crazy, and I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t showing on Facebook or even on WordPress. Then I noticed as I was going through my wordpress page to figure it out, I somehow set up for all my post to be held until a certain date and then post. All I can think is I was looking to see when day 90 is and somehow set it up because they were scheduled to post on the 90th day. Complete User Error.

So… now that you know why my posts have been sporadic, it’s time to begin another post. I have decided not to publish the other two, rather combine them all in one regarding a conviction of my heart recently.

If your friends are anything like mine, then you spend a lot of time and laughter on reciting lines from a particular television show, or movie, or song. When everyone knows the reference, it can be very funny. As I listened to my kids do this, and my friends do this, and strangers do this, it struck me how much of our popular culture is in our brains. We have memorized quotes, scenes, lyrics, sayings, slogans, commercials, most of the time without trying. We remember them simply because we have heard them so many times.

And yet, when I try to recall a specific passage in the bible, I am unable to remember it. I may know the general idea of the scripture or where it is located, but very few are actually memorized. What a shame! Shouldn’t the scripture be hidden in my heart more than popular culture? Where is my time devoted? Repetition has caused me to remember things of the world, and on the flip side, lack of repetition has made me unable to remember scripture. If I spent as many hours reading and studying scripture as I do popular culture I would be able to recall with ease and I would be able to fight my battles of life by standing on scripture. If I knew scripture better I could respond to each moment of disappointment, or trial, or sadness, or anger with scripture to keep my eyes on God.

As I draw closer to the end of this fast, my desire is to know the bible better than my favorite television show or movie.

How well do you recall scripture as compared to popular culture?

Day 77 is here and I am only 13 days away from this fast being over. Less than 2 weeks. I am feeling I may need more time. Or maybe I just need to use my time more carefully so I am always drawing closer to Jesus.

All I know is I am not even close to being changed enough. If I have learned anything during this fast, it is that I need Jesus more than I can describe, more than my very breath I need Him. He is everything to me, my entire reason for being here on earth is to bring Him glory with my life. I pray that I am a good representative of Him here on earth.

So that’s it for today. Day 77 is done and I am more aware of my own inadequacies than ever, and more aware of how much I need Jesus. And it is a beautiful place to be.

This is the worship song I am listening to as I write this tonight, and I am being wrecked and drawn into beautiful worship: Fellowship Creative – Jesus is Alive

Give it a listen and remember how much God loves you.

Be Blessed!

Day 74 – Leading the Blind

Isaiah 42:16     I will lead the blind by a way they did not know; I will guide them on paths they have not known. I will turn darkness to light in front of them and rough places into level ground. This is what I will do for them, and I will not forsake them. 

I’m going to be real for a minute… I have no idea what I am doing most of the time.

When I became an adult and a year later I was married with and adopted son, I wanted to believe I had it all together. After all, I was an adult now. Fast forward a few years and now I’m 24 with 4 children, none of whom had yet to reach their 6th birthday. I really thought I should have it all together, but I didn’t. Then I turned 30, and I thought surely this is when I would finally feel like an adult. No such luck.

The truth is, I am now 43, all of my children are adults, and I STILL don’t feel like I have it together; and I certainly don’t feel like what I thought an adult should feel like. But here’s the kicker – the older I get the less I care about not having it all together. I am in a place where I can talk to God and remind Him that I am blind, and He will always be there to lead me. He turns the darkness that hides in my heart to light.

And life is so much more peaceful when I allow God to lead this blind girl.

spring mixDay 74 and I managed to do a couple things today. I swear, my body is still in recovery from this past weekend.shep pie

I made some pasta salad and a tossed salad for me. That will get me through a couple days. I also made a shepherd’s pie for my family. I’m getting used to making meals that I can’t eat, but the hardest part is not being able to taste it. I have no idea if it needs salt or pepper or whatever. So far the family hasn’t complained too much. I’m sure they will let me know if a meal is a complete fail. Until then, I will keep going the way I’m going.

So… nothing too exciting. I’m hoping I will have the energy to make the vegan jambalaya tomorrow, but no promises. You can tune into my intstagram account (@graciegrin) if you are curious about it.

Day 74 saying sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Be Blessed!

Day 73 – I Found My Laugh


Proverbs 27:17     As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Philippians 2:2     Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 

I am now 3 days removed from the retreat I attended and I realize now the importance of fellowship. During this retreat I found my laugh. I didn’t even realize it was missing. Yet there I was, in the middle of a full belly laugh, with tears coming to my eyes, laughing with complete abandon, and I realized… it had been years since I had laughed like that. The fellowship of those women is what helped me find my laugh again.

If you are anything like me, when the world gets you down, you hide away and isolate. That is the way I handle myself when I am down, or sad, or frustrated. What this retreat with those women taught me is to stop isolating myself. During hard times is exactly when I need to reach out or simply be involved with other women. We are all there to be strength for one another when times are hard.

What about you? What is the first thing you do when you are sad? Or depressed?

kombuchaDay 73 and I am feeling weary of beans and rice. Haha.

I finally got some Kombucha, though, and I am a fan! I drank a cranberry one, and the green one is there for tomorrow. I’m pretty sure the green one will not be pleasant, but it definitely helps my belly.

I remade the brussels sprouts and green beans since I burned yesterday’s batch. This batch turned out perfect! Oh, and I learned something new. I have been saying Brussels Sprouts all wrong. I had no idea there was an “s” on the end of brussel. I had always said Brussel Sprouts and discovered just yesterday the correct way is Brussels Sprouts. I guess you really do learn something new each day.

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful day… until tomorrow, this is day 73 proving you can still teach and old dog new tricks.

Be Blessed!

 

 

Day 72 – Set Free By Love

Acts 15:10     Now, then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?

Galatians 5:1     Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm, then, don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. 

My eldest son is in prison. I can only imagine that on the day he is released, he will step out from behind those bars and never look back. He will be free. He won’t come back a week later and step behind those bars to be imprisoned again. That would be crazy.

Why, then, do we do put ourselves back into prison, into bondage, when the bible tells us that we are free. Through His unfailing love, Jesus became OUR sin, and sacrificed Himself, the spotless lamb, so that we may have atonement, once and for all, for our sin. We are free from the chains of bondage that held us down and are free to run with God into His purpose and His perfect will for our lives. We need to stop taking back those chains and wearing them as a badge of honor. The enemy will lie to us and tell us that we need to carry this chain or that chain because we don’t deserve to let it go. Satan lies to us and tells us that we “need to own” our sin because that is what walking in authenticity means. LIES!! It is a lie from the pits of hell and it’s time we cut off the enemy from speaking that over us. I don’t have to own my sin because I have repented and laid that sin at the foot of the cross and removed the weight of that yoke from my life. And now, I can stand and boldly declare psalm 3:3 which says, “You O Lord are a shield about me, my glory and the one who lifts up my head.”

Lift up your heads! God has taken away the yoke so that you can lift your eyes to Him. No longer do you need to have your head down, staring at the ground in shame… You are free! We are free! And it is all because of His unfailing Love.

plaque
Wall Hanging – a gift from a new friend

Day 72 and I am refreshed after a weekend spent with Jesus and some beautiful sisters in Christ. I made some new heart connections with a couple of these wonderful women. This beautiful picture is a gift from one of them, and a great reminder of the message I am sharing with you today.

 

I managed to stay on track with my fast even though there were delicious treats and wonderful bread, and cheesy everything all around me. All the meal prep was worth it, even though I ate the same things each day. Thankfully, I brought fruit and extra snacks that helped break up my day. I wasn’t hungry one bit.

I don’t have much longer to go, but I feel that this final third of my fast is going to bring breakthrough and greater revelation of who God is. I am ready… Speak Lord, your servant is listening!

Today I will be roasting some veggies and making some rice. Tomorrow I will be making a vegan jambalaya. I know… what is jambalaya without sausage, but I’m looking forward to it.

This is day 72 saying, look up, be bold, and leave your chains at the foot of the cross.

Be Blessed!

 

Day 66 – Praise Him

shofarPsalm 150     Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. 

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. 

Praise the Lord.

I love this psalm. We should be praising God at all times and with everything that we do. He is worthy of all our praise. Scripture says that even the rocks will cry Holy is the Lord. How much more should we be singing his praises through word, through action, through thought?

Tomorrow I leave for a retreat and I am very excited to unplug for a few days and watch what God will do in the lives of the women on this retreat. He never fails to show up and change lives.

I will be trying to post to you all but I am not sure I will be able. So if I can’t, then I will catch you all on the flip side, or Sunday evening as it is in this case.

Be Blessed!