STOP Trippin & START Trustin

strength

Hey you, YES YOU! STOP trippin and START trustin!! Remember God’s got you. I know it looks bad. I know you’ve been waiting and praying and waiting and praying but so what, keep trustin, keep believing!! I promise you, God hasn’t forgotten you. Even though it may look bad, remember that He’s BIGGER, He’s STRONGER, He’s ABLE and He’s FAITHFUL!! God cares about your needs, He cares about your pain. He has awesome plans for you. Don’t let life beat you down. Get up, talk to God, seek His face, and follow HIS plan. Seek encouragement and godly counsel from those around you. We all need help, we all need support. I just want to encourage you today to know that you’re not alone. This battle is not yours, it’s the Lords! Get up, put your boxing gloves on and get back in the fight. Below are your tools to fight the feelings of fear, failure anxiety today. Read those scriptures, mediate on them and hide them in your heart. Today will be an awesome day and victory is headed your way!! AMEN!!!!!!

Nehemiah 8:10 AMP Be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

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To Mrs. Willis With Love

mom

My mother in love went home to be with the Lord this past May. She was an amazing woman and it’s honestly still hard to believe that she’s no longer with us but I know she’s partying with the angels. She was an awesome cook, baker and decorator. If they threw parties in Heaven, I know she’d hook Jesus up with the most beautiful spread made with all the fixings. My MIL was full of many talents! When I thought about starting to write in my blog again, several topics and ideas came to mind. I started thinking about everything that’s happened over the past seven months and my MIL came to mind. I dedicate this post to you, Margaret Lee Willis, forever in my heart.

Dear Mrs. Willis,

I sit here tonight thinking of you. I smile at the thought of your smile. I can picture you cooking and decorating the house for the countless parties we hosted. I see you sitting on the couch singing to our daughter Elyssa and finding pure joy in every minute that you got to spend with her. You took your role as a mother and a grandmother very seriously and I’ve always admired and respected that about you.

Though it’s easy to allow myself to be sad that your no longer here, I choose to rejoice instead. I rejoice because you’re no longer in pain. I rejoice because you’re rejoicing with the angels and spending time with our Savior. I rejoice because you raised an amazing man who is the best husband and father and for that I am forever grateful. I rejoice because the Lord will give us the grace to carry on your legacy.

I wanted to say thank you for loving me. Thank you for showing me how to throw a fabulous party! From Rebecca’s Sweet 16, to countless birthday parties and even 3rd Sunday Family Dinners.Thank you for throwing us the biggest and best engagement party. Thank you for making my Tea Party Baby Shower so elegant and unique. Thank you for being so excited when Elyssa was born and for being there to help whenever we called. Thank you for being a woman of faith, a true Proverbs 31 Woman. You were a blessing to me and so many others and I thank God for the time that he blessed us with you. Because I know Jesus, I will see you again and until that day, I’ll just say, see you later.

With Love
Joanna

A Year Ago Today The Test Said YES!

A year ago today the test said yes!! I’ll never forget how excited we were as we walked down the isles of the store looking for the pregnancy test or the joy we felt when we discovered that it was positive!! I rolled on the floor in our living room! We thanked God and sat there grinning at each other because our desire to start a family was coming to pass!!

We went to the store and created a surprise gift for my parents. We went to their house and I told my mom to look at the gift I had gotten for my girlfriend’s baby shower. When she opened the pretty blue and yellow box inside was my 2 tests, a poem from the baby to them and a baby musical toy. My mom screamed, my dad laughed and they both congratulated us! We ate dinner together and talked about baby stuff. I will never forget that day, how excited Eddie and I were but more importantly how faithful God was. I have always wanted to be a wife and a mother ever since I was a little girl. We had only been trying to conceive for a short time and God had given us the desire of our hearts!! Many ladies were telling me all types of methods to try to get pregnant and I was researching the topic weekly but my husband told me to calm down, enjoy trying and trust God and he was right!

I want to encourage people today to trust God and the plans that He has for you. He knows what you need and when you need it. He hears your prayers, He sees your effort to live right and please Him. When the time is right and He knows your ready, He will grant you your desire if they are in line with His will. (Psalms 37:4) I sit here typing this with my precious, healthy, blessed baby girl right now and I’m encouraging myself, reminding myself that if God did it on 7/30/10 He CAN AND WILL DO IT AGAIN! I have things that I’m believing God for my family right now and I know God hears me and I know He’s able and faithful! I will walk in peace and trust Him just as I learned to do last year when trying to conceive. Thank you Jesus for your love, mercy, faithfulness and goodness!!

Don’t Be Deceived, The Grass IS NOT ALWAYS Greener

I have many friends in all stages of life; single, married, children, no children, employed, out searching for employment and stay at home moms. Some of my friends are  in their mid 20’s, some are turning 30 this year, like me and some are in their mid to late 30s. While we are all in different stages of life, we can learn from each other and be a blessing to each other as long as we’re careful not to walk in envy or discontentment.

In talking to many ladies, I’ve come to see that it’s easy for us to start comparing our lives and feeling like the grass is always greener. Let me explain what I mean: a single woman could say, I wish I was as successful in my career as my other single friends or I wish I had a husband like my married friends, a married woman could say, I wish my husband was like your husband, a pregnant woman could say, I wish my pregnancy was easy as your pregnancy and a mother could say, I wish my baby was as peaceful and well behaved as your baby. The truth of the matter is no one’s life is perfect and we ALL have something to be grateful for. We are to thank God for our health, sanity, jobs, housing, friends, families, marriages etc. We can also thank God in advance for what He is going to bless us with in the future (such as a job, car, spouse or children) because God knows what we need and desire. Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Today I want to encourage and remind my readers as well as myself to continue to trust God and walk in His peace and contentment. God knows where we’re at in life and where we want to be. Today I pray that we all learn to seek His face more so that we can receive the answers and direction that we need. I pray God shows each of us what is HIS perfect will for our lives. I pray that we learn to allow God to lead and us to follow, not trying to tell Him what’s best. May we continue to walk in Psalms 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. God’s got us, there’s no need to worry!!

Psalms 37: 25 KJV

25I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Philippians 4:11-13 NIV

11I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

2 Corinthians 9:8

8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

James 1:3-5 KJV

3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

My Praise Is ALWAYS Necessary

Good morning world!! I just wanted to send out a reminder this wonderful Tuesday morning that as Christians our praise is ALWAYS necessary!! No matter what you’re going through today, whether you feel sick or well, have lots of money in your pocket or hardly any, God is still good and our praise is necessary (absolutely essential, required to be done) Let’s get in the habit of continually praising God throughout everyday that He puts breath in our lungs. He’s been to good for us to walk around depressed, angry, stressed etc. Checkout this youtube video from Canton Jones, one of my favorite gospel artist. Our church, Word of Faith, was blessed to have him come and minister last Friday and it was FIRE!! Checkout the video and the lyrics. I believe it’s important to support gospel music.

Lyrics to Necessary Remix :

[Remix feat. Ramona Estelle, James Fortune][Verse 1:]
My praise is always necessary
It comes first not secondary
And I’m bold, He saved me and made me whole
Now I love him
When it comes to praise, gotta let go
Can’t hold back and I can’t say no
He deserves all my praise
I will praise him the rest of my days
Lord God, Almighty
I praise you, You’re holy
Yeah, You’re God of all nations
And I make this declaration

[Chorus:]
Praise is necessary, Praise is Necessary
Praise is always necessary [x3]
Praise is… my, my, my, my, my

[Verse 2:]
Yeah, praise You for the things You’ve done for me
Yeah, now let’s celebrate, got victory
Now I can praise Him in the morning, praise Him in the noonday, praise Him all through the night
And I will never stop lifting His name higher
Every single day because He set my soul on fire
Move these shackles like Mary, Mary
And know my praise is ne-ne-ne-ne-ne-necessary

[Chorus]

[Verse 3:]
Oh, praise is necessary,
No matter what, it’s necessary
In any situation, it’s necessary
In any circumstance, it’s necessary
When I’m happy, it’s necessary
When I’m sad, it’s necessary
When I’m mad, it’s necessary
Praise is necessary

[Chorus:]
Praise is necessary, Praise is necessary
I lift my hands cause you deserve it
I lift my voice, I won’t with hold my praise

To My Single Diamonds, Mr. Right Is On The Way

Single Ladies: If “he” hasn’t found you yet, then pray that he asks God for directions! You want God’s best, not just someone driving by.

~Minister Tiffany Butler

I love this quote by Minister Tiffany because it is so true. As godly women, we have no business running around town trying to catch a man. It’s important to trust God and truly believe that He knows best as far as which guy, at what time you two will meet and when he will pursue you romantically. It’s super easy to get a date but who really wants just any ole guy?

My Testimony

I rededicated my life to Christ in 2002 but I continued to have contact with my ex via telephone and emails. I’d been dealing with my ex on and off for the past 5 years. The relationship wasn’t glorifying God, it was an emotional rollercoaster and huge distraction in my life. The more I grew in Christ, the more Holy Spirit was pulling at my heart to completely walk away from ALL form of contact with that joka. I needed to learn to rely fully on Christ for joy, peace and companionship. At the time it was the hardest thing I had to do because so much of my self-worth was wrapped up in my ex. To be apart from him forever was something my mind couldn’t fathom at the time BUT I knew it was what God was calling me to do. After I cut all communication, I cried but I promised God that I would take it one day at a time and focus on my relationship with Him, my family, positive friendships and graduating from college. As each day went on, God healed my heart and restored my joy and confidence in Him. There were days when I felt lonely but on those days I found productive things; spend time in prayer, with family or my girlfriends who were also walking the holiness path.

I was single for a few years before my husband and I started dating. But during that time of me patiently awaiting his arrival, I prayed for him like Min. Tiffany encouraged single ladies to do in the above quote. I prayed that God will keep me as I waited for him and keep him while he was being prepared for me. I confessed that in God’s perfect timing, we would meet, develop a friendship, godly courtship and get married. There were days when I felt anxious or even a little jealous when those around me started dating and I was still waiting BUT I’d have to work to cast those feelings down. I knew what God’s word promised me in Psalm 37:4 which was that He would give me the desires of my heart if I delighted myself in Him. I knew that I didn’t want another guy to come along, mess over me and hit the road. I told myself that I rather be single, saved and happy, then dating, angry and messed over. God kept His word and blessed me with an awesome husband. Neither of us are perfect and neither is our marriage by any means but we continue to trust God and live life according to His word. We know that if we continue to keep God first, we will be unstoppable!

To My Single Saved Set Free Diamonds

Ladies continue to live your worth. Continue to trust God when things are good and when things are challenging.  Know that God has not forgotten you. Diamonds are valuable, unique and durable. God didn’t make any mistakes when He made you and with Him, there’s no obstacle you can’t overcome! Your goal shouldn’t be to be someone’s girlfriend but to be the right man’s wife. Keep pursing or living your dreams, enjoy life and surround yourself with other singles who have the same beliefs and goals as you. Find other believers and do life together.

A Rape Survivor’s Letter To Her Unborn Daughter

Dear Elyssa Janee,

My sweet girl, I love you so very much. We have ten weeks until we meet and get to look into each other’s eyes. As each week goes by, I think about all that I want to tell you, teach you and shield you from.

 

My Love

Your father and I love you already, more than words can express. I want you to know that your father has taught me so much about real love. He has been dedicated, patient, selfless and compassionate since the day we met 7 1/2 years ago. I’m excited that you get to have him as a dad! You’re a blessed young lady! Your father and I have come to know the love of Christ and learning about how Christ loves us has taught us how to love one another and prepares us to love you unconditionally too. You will never have to wonder if we love you. You will always be loved, encouraged, challenged, praised and disciplined.

My Past

Over ten years ago, a man took advantage of me and I went through a very rough time. BUT GOD! With God’s grace, mercy, strength, comfort and the wisdom and guidance of friends and family, I became a overcomer, survivor, victor, never again to be a victim. I want you to know that you never ever have to be afraid of men, the world or anything. No weapon formed against you will prosper. God’s blood covers you. God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of love, joy and a sound mind.

I will not pass onto you a legacy of hate, unforgiveness, anxiety, bitterness or anger. I let all of those things go many years ago with the strength of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because I knew that one day I wanted to be a healthy and free wife and mother. I wanted to be able to teach my children about the love, protection and peace of walking with Christ. I wanted to have children with a husband that was a protector and not one that would abuse his family verbally, physically or emotionally. By getting free, I broke the cycle or victimization over our family. You belong to God, you are His daughter and He is entrusting you to us.

My Promise

I promise to be the best mother that I can be. I promise to spend time in prayer so that I can have patience with you and receive guidance from God concerning you. I promise to always encourage you to have a close relationship with your earthly father and Heavenly Father. I promise to be open and honest with you, even when it makes me feel uncomfortable because I want you to trust me and know that I will never purposely watch you walk in the wrong direction. I promise to be selfless and take my role as your mother seriously. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve dreamed of one day being blessed with a family and God has granted me that prayer; I do not take this honor lightly. I promise to take care of my body and you, for the next 10 weeks especially, so that you can continue to grow strong and be safe and comfy inside of me. Until we officially meet my lovely little lady, know that I love you and I’m preparing for you. I’m also continuly praying and confessing great things over you.