Happiness is okay

I don’t know about everyone out there but I know the struggle I have with happiness – that it isn’t okay. I have heard for years that it is about being joyful instead of happy. The joy of The Lord is our strength. And this is so very true! When we know that we have made the choice to keep the Lord as LORD in every part of our lives then we can be joyful because He is in control, not us! That is amazing because we don’t have to worry about keeping anything up because we didn’t start it. Praise God for He keeps us! 

But beyond this amazing and praise inducing statement, there was the idea that happiness is fleeting and therefore not necessary. Which is honestly truly miserable. “Well the Lord is In control so I don’t have to worry but I can’t be happy about it either” I can totally see why when that message is presented it isn’t entirely appealing. 

In my own life, I LOVE the Lord. My life is centered around Him but I was so miserable because I felt like I wasn’t allowed to be happy. “God isn’t a feeling” “it isn’t about being happy, it’s about doing the Lord’s work” “happiness is momentary while joy is everlasting” 

So in all these sentiments preached by so many voices, I was miserable. I had become the miserable Christian that I claimed I couldn’t understand. How they could be miserable with Jesus in their life? And yet here I was…bitter, cynical, judgemental, and faking my smile and laughter so well I almost fooled myself. 

I can’t fool God though, and neither can you. 

God exposed my bitterness root that had sprung up about so many things in my life and the different plants it was sprouting. Doubt in God’s faithfulness, hopelessness, cynicism, judging people based on their double standards, and a servant mentality instead of a daughter mentality. All these weeds or plants that choke out thriving plants.

He showed me how far it had spread. He showed me that He wanted to take it away and REPLACE it with his roots. So I began to look up the opposite of bitterness and came upon sweetness, contentment delight, and happiness.

At happiness I wept. Because once the problem was exposed it also showed what had been missing from me. Not my behavior but IN ME! I was not happy. But by the empowering grace of God I can be happy instead of bitter! I can be content instead of cynical! I can be delighted in my circumstances and situations instead of doubtful that they will ever change! 

He wants to take our bitterness away and REPLACE it with Happiness! That and the sweetness of His love! Psalm 34:8, Psalm 119:103, Provebs 24:13 all describe the sweetness of the Lord! He wants that to be the root that grows in the garden of your heart, not the root of bitterness. 

Happiness is okay to feel! It is biblical to say I am happy! Psalm 144:15 Happy are the people who are in such a state; happy are the people whose God is Lord! Psalm 146:5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose help is in the Lord His God! 

 When we keep God as the center of our lives, keep our hope in Him, look for our help in God only, then we can be both joyful AND happy! 

Happiness is okay! Happiness is meant for us! 

If you’re one of those people who needs permission (I am) then let me help you. 

You have permission from God to be happy! You are allowed to enjoy life! 

If you only see the parts you think you’re missing, I encourage you to look at the Shunamite women in 2 Kings 4:8-34. She has no son and yet she lavishes love and hospitality on Elisha because she found that she enjoyed the presence of God that the prophet brought with him. She found happiness in the midst of otherwise hopeless circumstances and you can too. I can too. 

I am happy because the Lord wants me to be happy. My circumstances may not change. My situations may stay the same. But Jesus wants me to be happy in the midst of the trial. Lord replace our roots of bitterness with your garden of Happiness and sweetness and contentment!


Struggles that are overcome 

​It’s short today. 

Basically all of last month I fought through comparison. 

I fought it physically, comparing myself to other people’s appearances and trying to be like them. Trying to make my body do something it wasn’t designed to do. 

I fought it emotionally. Comparing my weakness to others (probably their strengths) and thinking I was wrong (I’m not, not when I’m feeling as God has me to) 

I fought it spiritually. I was asked to speak in a small way at an event. An event I cherish. An event where thousands of women from my state come. Can you say TERRIFIED! I fought my memories of past speakers and the expectations that I thought people would have. 
But all of these have been rendered useless as weapons against me. My physicality is that which God has designed. My emotions are that which God has ordained and blessed. My walk with Him is precious to Him and is different from everyone else. These same truths apply to you as well. 

I don’t know what you struggle with comparison over but I know we all have looked at someone else and said “I wish I was like them”

God has not designed us to be like each other, but to be more and more like HIM. 

I encourage you to stop striving to be someone else, be the person God has designed you to be. And be an imitator of Christ, not His creation.

I still have hourly reminders of what God says about me in His word and that has been an integral part of my movement forward. I still struggle in small small ways but I remind myself of the truths in God’s word and those struggles are overcome! 

Only through God’s word are those clingy pesky problems losing their grip on my heart and soul. Through God’s word, you can experience the same freedom. 


Love yourself

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself”

 Matthew 22:39

Don’t burn me at stake for title – there’s a reason for the title. 

This month for me is about loving myself so that I can truly love those around me. This isnt about loving myself above all else, this is about loving the creation of God that is, me. If God loves me, then I should love me. Flaws and all. 

As part of my self-love month challenge I created alarms that go off every hour to remind me what God says about me. And to remind me of the the phrases that are triggers of self-doubt; not to create self-doubt to counter it. 

I’ve always stopped worrying about my physical appearance so intently – it had become an idol of negativity for me as it is for so many people as well. 

This month challenge for me has a goal – At the end of the month I want to be able to say in full confidence that I love myself as I am, as God has created me to be and that confidence will not shaken or removed by anyone or any circumstance. 

People may have expectations and I will do my best to meet them but overall I must meet God’s expectations.

His expectations?

Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man [Insert your name], what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

 If I do this everyday, in everything I do – from work to driving to interacting with my family to shopping to church to cooking to cleaning to whatever else – then I have met God’s expectations, and that is enough.

We must do this with God’s help, we cannot do this alone. You aren’t good enough to do this on your own, that is why you need Jesus. I’m not good enough on my own to do anything (except screw up), and I don’t like screwing up. So I need Jesus. 

No matter what I’m doing or how good I feel about my effort, I need Jesus to lead me and be my strength through it, to make whatever I am doing of Kingdom worth. To make the effect a lasting effect and brings a more clearer picture of Jesus who is to the people around me. 

Love yourself this month because Jesus loves you. When you know that Jesus loves you and you love you, then people around you will know that Jesus’ love is indeed real and is more than capable and WILLING of loving anyone. 


Here is a little reminder about God. 

It is something “small” that sometimes we simply trivialize. 

But we CANNOT make this amazing truth about God small. 

One – God is not small.  God created the universe which is ever expanding. A small God cannot make a universe that has no end.  (I love the ever expanding universe, so many mysteries and things to be discovered. Another physical analogy for God’s greatness)

Two – God is not trivial. Therefore nothing about Him is either. He is the one who made us, made the universe, made everything else in between and beyond that we don’t even know about yet. We get to delight ourselves in His vastness. “I like your muchness” (quote from life action Alice in Wonderland. I speak in movie quotes and it helps be my reminder. God I like your muchness)

God is good. (See why I prefaced it this way?)

We as long time Christians have made this great truth and reduced it to cliche status (I hate cliches, but I’m guilty of using them too)

But God is good. He is ALWAYS good. He never stops being good. 

Think about that for like 30 seconds – we have a hard time being good (nice to people, not giving into temptation, not thinking sinful thoughts, not saying sinful things) for like 30 minutes. (Trying to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I know I can’t make it 30  minutes)

Yet He never stops being good. He never stops having our best interests at heart. He never stops. He never sleeps. He is always good. 

Word it how you want so that it isn’t the cliche “God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good” 

Some people might get upset with me about this – I know how I perceive it when others tell that to me which means I’m not the only one to view it that way. While the phrase may have been over used, used by older Christians as a platitude, as a non-answer so that no one had to address the difficult situation before them, or simply as a Christian conversation filler ; this does not negate the truth in that phrase.

That God is good. He did not put evil in the world – he is not evil. He is good in that he gives us the choice between him who is always good and the devil that is allowed in the world. Evil is allowed so that God is chosen. Evil has its judgement day coming very soon. Make no mistake about that. Evil only had right now before sentencing and imprisonment. Good has now and forever. 


My spirit is overflowing with this not and sorrow that I have been guilty of trivializing God in His goodness. 

Lord Jesus, forgive us for forgetting that you are good. You are always good. You never stop being good. Forgive us for placing you in a box of our making – the box being our definition of what we think good is. Jesus show us what your goodness is. Reveal your goodness to us and through us. Help us to remember this at all times. The fun times, the sad times, the painful, the pain free, the numb times, the stressed times, the quiet times, the overwhelming times, and everything else in between. You are good. You are always good. You never stop being good God. We by God ourselves at your feet to see your goodness. To experience your goodness in a way that we never have before.  

Be blessed in your adventures – I encourage you to find the way to phrase it that it speaks to you and that you can say it that doesn’t make you feel like you’re saying a cliche.  For me it is as I have repeated. God you are good. You are always good. You never stop being good. Thank you for being good.  I added that last little bit. 

Here is the song that sparked this within me. I love this particular singer (the passion and sings with gets me excited and motivates me to sing that passionately about Jesus!) I also love the simplicity of this song. It has been my theme for well over a year. In case the link doesn’t work, it is the shorter version of King of my heart sing by Jeremy riddle and Steffany Gretzinger 



God has placed each of us at a crossroads.

Isaiah 30:21

Whether you turn to the right of to the left, I will be with you. A voice behind you saying, this is the way walk ye in it.

Our cross roads are different. They come at different times in our lives. They come under different circumstances. They come involving different people.

But all the same, we each come to a God crossroads.

God longs for us to turn to Him and say “Lord, where do you want me to go? What choice will not be a hindrance to your will? Which way will bring you glory?”

Sometimes these are MAJOR choices…and other times it is…how will I react in this situation?

We had our ladies meeting last night, and the point of the message came to – my choices might affect someone else’s decision about God.

Meaning if I chose to act like a jerk and give free reign to my complaint, will that bring someone to Jesus or stop them? Or if I chose to bite my tongue, have anger and do not sin, give my complaint to the Lord – will that bring someone closer to Jesus or stop them?

There are times when a true social injustice towards others is committed and it is then our duty to respond in a Godly manner and then there are times when it is you under attack and the Lord must come to your defense. You have to see the situation for what it is.

But you also have to ask God’s option and do that! You don’t have to follow God’s will – He gave us free will. But we all have had the times of us doing our own thing and falling flat on our face with  our hands in our pockets. When we do as God wishes us, then we succeed, He gets glory, and His kingdom and unconditional love progresses forward.

I don’t know about you but I defintely want God’s will to come to pass in my life at every opportunity. I’m making it a daily habit and throughout the day to always ask ‘ Lord, what am I to do? How do I act? How do I react? How do I speak in this situation? Which way do you want me to go?”

I hope I”m not alone in this, for the benefits of doing God’s will are second to none.


These past few weeks have been a mix of joy and sorrow.

More joy than sorrow.

Brain surgeries, people leaving the church, painful misunderstandings.

New members at church, new friendships, new vehicles, new ministries, new revelations from God, new fervor for the Lord.

I just want to encourage each one of us, to enjoy the goodness of the Lord whenever you can. If you do not take the time to enjoy the good times, then the bad times are not balanced out.

We all have those sorrowful moments – deep sorrow, fear, doubt – and those are going to happen. However, the outpouring of God’s goodness is what makes those moments enjoyable!

You can say the pain comes in the night but joy comes with the morning. Hold on to the last good thing that increased your joy in the Lord and enjoy the new one that is to come!

There is always a new outpouring of Gods goodness to come – we must enjoy it.

There is a story in the old testament about King Saul’s army. King Saul and his army have the attacking army on the run after fighting all day. King Saul makes a decree that anyone who eats or drinks anything before the army is overtaken. Well King Saul’s son did not know about the decree and ate some honey he found in the forest.

It is discovered and the men who are exhausted bring him forward for having broken the King’s decree. Johnathan makes his case “did my eyes not brighten when I ate the honey?”

ENJOYING THE LORD’S GOODNESS IS BRIGHTENING TO OUR LIVES! It is time to enjoy the Lord’s goodness and not walk around like a bunch of sour bills who call ourselves Christians.

Bad days happen – God is always good.

Acts 17:26-28

You belong here. Simple as that. 

God plants us according to the time and seasons that will be for glorifying to Him. 

It is all about Jesus. We can never forget that. We have access to the Father because of Jesus. We will not die if we go through Jesus. Our temporary problems become smaller in comparison with Jesus! It is always all about Jesus. 

He has placed you exactly where you are for His purposes! If you are in a dangerous or harmful situation – He does no thing to cause harm but always uses what the devil intends as bad for good. He has placed you and HE IS WITH YOU! 

We are here for a reason. To love Jesus. When that is our first priority, then everything else falls into place.

Finances – love Jesus with your tithe. The 90% will go further than the 100%.

Relationships (friendships or otherwise) – love Jesus with your responses. A gentle word turns away wrath. Love your neighbor as yourself. You don’t want someone yelling at you, don’t do it to them. Speak kindly or not at all. 

Time – love Jesus first. Jesus got up early to spend time with God. I get up early to spend time with God because HE is my priority. Purposefully set aside some time to pray and read the Word.

Body – love Jesus by honoring His definition of purity and marriage. Purity – no sex before marriage. This means none physically OR watching it (yes regular movies are included in that) OR replaying it in your mind. This sin God’s against you directly. Marriage – God intended for one man and one woman. Anything other than this is an unholy attempt to fill a holy void.  Loving Jesus with your body also takes the form in taking care of your body. Not doing harmful things to it (overeating, drugs, alcohol) God has made your body to be magnificent – try not to taint it. If younhave , ask for forgiveness and STOP! Don’t keep doing the bad. 

These things don’t disqualify you from being a Christian but what I’m saying is, if people can’t tell you apart from the rest of the world because you aren’t loving Jesus in every area, then what has Jesus done and why do they need him? 

These areas of honoring and loving Jesus make your life soooooo much better. It frees you from the worry everyone has when they don’t honor God in these areas. 

Something to think about – honoring God in every area. 

You are here for a reasonm. You aren’t an accident. 

You are created for a purpose.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Love the Lord your God with all your heart. 

This isn’t an option to give God only one part of our hearts, of our lives – it is God’s intention for us to give everything we are to Him. Is he greedy? No God has need for nothing. Is he jealous? Yes. He loves you so much, he wants all your attention. 

We think it’s cute when our dogs/pets or kids are jealous for our attention, yet when God, the one who created us and our attentions, is jealous for our time – that in unacceptable or impossible to do with our busy lives. Bologna. 

But we give our everything to God because He gave everything for each one of us. Us as a collective  of humans (not the borg – where are my trekkies) and each of us individually. He gave us His son – part of himself and all of himself at the same time, for us. And we can’t give Him his attention and time. 

We are charges with loving God with everything because without Him, we have nothing. 

People should see the difference between those who merely acknowledge God and those who have given everything to Him. Giving everything doesn’t always look the same. 

Sometimes it is seen in a missionary. They have given up moving where they want, in the culture they want, etc. Giving everything to God. Sometimes it is seen in a pastor. His/her full time job – hearing from God and listening to our issues. (There is more I know #PKLife but that is a lot of what happens). And yet sometimes it is seen in your co-worker who abstains from crude jokes, from gossip, from swearing (yes it’s in the biblie, let no un-wholesome talk come out of your mouths), abstain from alcohol or drugs or any kind, who honors even when humiliated, respects everyone. None of that is easy, but the profit of it by giving it to God is worth so much more than the ease of giving in. Your mind and mouth are clean – no one can accuse you. You havent been gossiping so no kids or rumors. You aren’t in anything that would flag a tox screen that would be cause for immediate unemployment or jail time. Your boss knows to trust you for always being honorable and respectful.

Is it easy? Hardly ever. Is is worth it? OF COURSE!

When we love Jesus with our whole hearts and minds and spirits and strength then He can fill us with His heart, His mind and thoughts, His spirit, and His strength. He can fill us because we have emptied ourselves to Him. 

Lord we empty ourselves out at your feet. We love you with everything – we need only you Father. We are emptied for you to do with as you please. Fill us, use us, whatever your will is Lord – we submit. We submit to you on God. You are Holy and Worthy!

Luke 18:9-14

A quote by C.S. Lewis – true humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking of yourself less. 

Lord keep us humble. Let not pride overtake us when others praise or overtake us in the absence of praise in effort to fill that ‘need’. But instead Lord we ask that your love and grace be a constant reminder to us and within us that we have nothing without you. That we remember where we were (sinners with no way out) that stirred compassion within Him to save us. And that without Jesus, nothing matters! 

Humility is not self demeaning – it is knowing who you are as a sinner with a savior named Jesus. And that this saviour wants to save everyone else who is a sinner too. 

The first man demeans those around him, pointing the accusing finger at everyone else and saying he is better than them. 

I’ve had this mindset and it is sooooooo easy to fall into that and stay there. But it’s miserable and eventually friends turn into enemies and then you are alone. No one likes to hear how bad they are from someone else and how much better they’re than you – that’s why Jesus doesn’t honor that. 

Your deeds may be different and appearances too but it has never mattered what the outside is – Jesus has always and will always read a man’s heart. 

Your heart must be that of a humble person – one who sees his weakness and looks to God to fill it. You don’t have to beat yourself up, merely recognize and repent. 

A quote by C.S. Lewis – true humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking of yourself less. 

I love that quote. 

I have no issue with being wrong. I’m human, we make mistakes. I don’t like to make them so I try very hard not to but when I do, it is a reminder that I must not rely on my own strength but on God’s. It is up to each of us to keep our pride at bay, never to enter the sea of words flowing from our mouths.

Think of yourself less this week – put someone first. Tattle on yourself if need be. Ask for forgiveness. Forgive. Keep Jesus first and he will lead you into places and situations that you won’t be able to go or get to any other way than His way.

Titus 3:1-8

Do you ever read something and it just is so clear that it is God’s direction for the situation you’re in in that moment?

This passage is God’s direction for me in this upcoming season. 

I am about to restart the youth ministry of my church. I am so excited for the opportunity to be with my kids again. My kids are rough and rowdy but they are precious. They are worth every spare moment of my time. I love my kids. Being with them fulfills the Holy calling I feel on my life – to work the teenagers no one wants. God wants them and I want them.

In my excitement, my vision go the them has either been lost or tainted but outside circumstances. 

I met with an amazing mentor today and I’m so grateful for him. My heart overflows at this opportunity to mentor my kids and be mentored by someone who gets the situation my church is in. God cares about his people and it is evident in the little things no one sees or recognizes. 

Then I read the passage. It is full of instruction and the reasons why to give those instructions and why to receive them! 

 “Remind them to be submissive, to be obedient, ready for every good work, etc. The goodness and lovingkindness of God out savior appeared, he saved us…by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit whom He poured out on us richly…be careful forgive themselves to good works”

This is for me. The outline of how I am to approach this ministry. The way to be effective in communicating to my kids. It will change with someone else and these kids. It will change when I am with some other church’s kids. 

But, this, today, this was for me. I’m broken that God has shone the light on His path with His word for my sake. For my kids’ sake. For His sake! Praise you Lord for your Word and for your spirit which opens our eyes to see the glories of your goodness and your plan.