by Louise Shuster
When thinking of 2020, we all thought of a New Year with new possibilities and growth, well we all got that. Being home during this time has taught me that I can grow in any situation. How can we take being told to stay home with our families 24 hours a day a good thing? Not all situations are good. It is what we make of them. You can look at being home with everyone as a bad thing or as a way to start new traditions. We can also think of those that are home alone. They have no one that they can yell at for leaving the toilet seat up again.
Staying home has given me more time with God. I learned about a new app that I love. It is called the Harvest App. I can live stream church services and bible studies. It has been a positive thing for me. My home church is very small and has no online presence. This has also helped me to say "Ok everyone Mom is having alone time" then I go in the closet and hear my thoughts and talk to God. Yes the closet is my spot. I have 4 daughters all at home and a very loud husband. I started going in the closet after my son died to just ground myself and get some peace and quiet.
Grief during this time has taught me that my God can get me through anything when I put all my trust in him. I am trying to be the wife, mother and keep everyone happy while still being a grieving mother. When I feel myself slipping is when I stop and pray. I think about the things my son would say about us staying home. How he would handle this situation? Then I thank God that he chose my son to be called home and for allowing me to be his mother.
It is so important as women to take time for ourselves. Not just physically, don’t get me wrong working out is great but mental exercise is just as important. My sister is always telling me to put my oxygen mask on first just like they tell you on the plane. You can not help your child if you can not help yourself. During this time we literally have to put our own mask on first to go get groceries. We also have to take time for ourselves and have alone time with God. As a mom your children are your everything but don’t forget to stay connected to God after all he gave you those crazy wonderful children.
Enjoy your time at home and know that one day you will look back and not have the memories of being stuck at home. You will have the memories that you made with your family. I have been cooking with my third oldest daughter and I know her and I will never forget the time we spent together. Do things that make each other smile! I promise you will never regret building the largest blanket fort. Make memories, spend quality time, and most important through all this trust in the Lord.
Louise Shuster is mother of five very individual people. One was called home to Heaven September 2018. She is trying to deal with her grief so that one day she can help other moms navigate the rough waters of loosing a child. She lives in sunny California. She home schools one of her daughters while wrangling an enthusiastic toddler. All this while trying her keep her perspective positive and open. Trusting in God to lead the way.
By Nicole Lofton
There is a taboo when it comes to questioning God and it makes people very fearful. I come to find that many people feel as if questioning God demonstrates a lack of faith or that it will result in some kind of punishment. I, for one, used to be one that did not want to question God because I didn’t want to demonstrate a lack of faith. I mean, after all, we are supposed to fully trust him right? So, if I were to question him, would I really be trusting him? This was a battle that many others and I have gone through.
Once I started developing a deeper relationship with God, I began to realize that it is ok to question him. In fact, it is a good thing. Various scriptures in the Bible support this, but one that comes to mind the most is “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”(Matthew 11:28, NIV). If we break down this scripture Jesus is saying to come to him, meaning come to him with your concerns, come to him with what is bothering you and even who is bothering you, and yes come to him with your questions. We can talk to God just like we talk to our friends and family. It’s about the relationship. If we can have regular conversations and ask questions to our family and friends, why can’t we do so when it comes to God?
Now, also pay attention to the end of the scripture “I will give you rest. Why the emphasis on rest? Jesus could have said anything in this scripture, but he decided to put rest. I believe I have a good idea why, it’s because we hold stuff in and try to figure things out on our own. We then begin to worry and stress ourselves out. Those worries and stressors then lead to conditions such as anxiety and depression. However, if we come to him, he will relieve us. We will not have to worry or wonder anymore. We won’t have to try to figure every little detail in that particular moment. We won’t have to continue to cry ourselves to sleep. We won’t have to be fearful, because God will give us rest.
I believe that many of our worries and anxieties come from the lack of answers to our thoughts, desires, and questions. I also believe that many of our disappointments stem from expectations. If we would take a moment to ask God “why, who, what, and/or where” then most certainly he would provide an answer. The answer may not be what we expected, and it may not come instantly, but it will come. Answers come in various forms and sometimes one of those forms is silence. Silence is something that sometimes causes us to be frustrated, but silence is not a bad thing. Silence could mean waiting a little longer, it could mean to slow down, it could mean to trust what God has already given you. The key is to ask and watch what happens after you ask. That’s how you foster a relationship, God loves when we talk to him, but also when we listen.
Nicole Lofton is a anti-domestic violence advocate and certified christian life coach. After surviving domestic violence and other personal situations in life, Nicole felt led to advocate, educate, and empower others through her story. Nicole is also the founder of Faithful Deeds Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to restore hope by being faithful and committed to those in need. Nicole’s faith plays a big part in her personal and professional life. She seeks to be a beam of light that allows people to see the connection between their pain and their purpose.
By Augustina Sauceda
You’ve known for some time that God has His perfect plan for you. Like Samson, the mighty warrior of supernatural strength, your purpose too is God given. No doubt, His plan for you has been mapped out, scripted, and choreographed; with the perfect melodious soundtrack to keep tempo with His timing. Should be pretty easy to follow that beat and dance our way on through – from glory to glory. Then, what are you allowing to snag you up? What are you tripped up on, daughter of God?
Often times our greatest barrier to successfully carrying out God’s plan is returning to that snare that trips us up; once, twice, three times… or more. Each time, we confess it, profess to repent, but do not truly repent. Repentance literally means turning away and stepping away; never again following those steps that led you into the same old rusty-lusty trap. How many times have I known that the snare of temptation would lead me away from God’s will; yet, I allow myself to again be stepping into the muddy footprints on the path that I said I would leave behind? For many of us, that snare is social media – with all of its alluring, self-centered motivations. For some of us, it’s climbing that perpetually unattainable ladder of success – in pointless contrast to what God has planned. For others, our snag is the lust of the flesh – perhaps longing for a relationship with a certain someone we know is less than God’s best for us or flirting with lustful thoughts. We cannot get trapped in these things. Like hitting a sour note on an instrument, these snags take us out of harmony with God’s soundtrack for our lives… and, we know this!
What are we gonna do about it? Keep trippin’? Samson did, he tripped his lustful heart all the way to his destructive end – despite the fact that from the womb, the Bible says (Judges 13), He had a covering of grace and purpose over his life! You - do - too! Think of Samson’s glorious locks of hair (the instrument of his superpower) and compare that to the covering of glowing grace with which God has adorned you. Why then, do we take that grace for granted, and sometimes even use or abuse God’s gifts for our own selfish desires? That’s wrong, woman of God! Samson loved a woman whose name was Delilah; a woman sent for the enemy’s purpose of luring him away and getting into the deepest place of his heart - with the intention of tearing down his God-given strength. What is your Delilah’s name? What is that one thing that the enemy knows he can bait onto the hook and you’ll bite every time? Don’t just try to repent, rinse and repeat (That’s just trippin’)! Truly repent this time and do not repeat. Samson waited ‘til the end to repent, and God allowed one last victory for the kingdom’s sake; however, it cost Samson his life. Don’t wait that long, oh daughter of God. Shh! Listen… can you hear a steady backbeat playing… waiting for you to join in and groove to glory of God’s restful rhythm?
Read more about harmonious living in Philippians 4:1-9 (MSG)
Augustina Sauceda is a third-generation believer in salvation through Jesus Christ. She is in her thirty-third year of learning to walk out her faith. Augustina is the mother of two adult children and grandmother to one jovial granddaughter. In 2020, she and her husband, Ritchie, will be celebrating thirty years of marriage. Augustina has been in the field of education for twenty-three years; teaching K-12 special populations and serving in college administration. Augustina is native Coloradan, who considers herself a life-long learner. She is a contributing editor to a series of character-building children’s books, entitled Lovito. Augustina possesses a sincere desire to edify the kingdom of God through the opportunities afforded to her.
You would think that the word "REST" was a 4 letter vulgar word to many. We have been fooled into thinking that our calendars must always be full. What is even more flabbergasting is that we have believed the lie that busyness and always being on the hustle and grind is somewhat a status symbol that we wear as a crown. We have told ourselves that we love being busy because it keeps us going! Statistics show that busyness has become an epidemic and more and more people burn-out as early as 30 years old, especially women.
When greeting others and asking them how they are you will often hear, "Oh just busy, busy, busy." Folks, this can't be good. I am so over it! Ladies resting is not an undesirable chore but it's a blessing from the Lord. I am not just talking about sleep either.
When we stay in a busy, hurried, and hustling pace 10 out of 10 there are lingering trust issues. Moreover, when we don't slow down and rest in God through prayer, His Word, and just enjoying the present moment that we are in we miss out on the bigger picture...the work that God is trying to do through and in us. We miss out on those in need right next to us. We take the people around us for granted. Sadly, we only end up proving that we don't trust God in some area because we are a ONE WOMAN SHOW.
We can do better than this. Let's rest and allow God's grace to flow freely in our lives so that we can experience the freedom that only He can give!
Only By His Grace
God never stops doing what He does; showing up in expected ways reminding us that He is God, He is faithful, and encouraging us to keep going. I opened my email account yesterday evening and there it was in the headline of the email an answer I had been waiting for probably over a year now. I received a word from a woman of God that resonated with my spirit about The Resting Place. A vision that God gave me so that others may have a place of retreat and refuge. I cannot reveal now what she told me about it until a set time, but I have been seeking the Lord about it ever since. It was like I knew but did not know. Some mornings and nights I even cried asking God to please show me what it meant.
At one point I doubted because the Lord kept quiet about it and I thought maybe that woman was wrong. I don’t believe everything everyone says to me, but I know when something resonates and when I need to seek God about. I figured maybe this time I was wrong. But I kept asking because I did not want doubt to rule my life. Because you know what doublemindedness gets you. NOTHING!
But yesterday, after a year or even more the answer came. The headline was literally verbatim in the exact words that were told to me and this email is given me the direct answer so that I can obtain another key in possessing the land which the Lord has promised me regarding The Resting Place. I still don’t know how God is going to make it all happen, but I guess that’s the whole riveting thrill ride of our journey with the Lord.
Walking by faith and not by sight. Having a plan but knowing His plan will prevail. Not knowing what the next step is going to reveal. Being still when you want to go full speed ahead. Sitting still when you are supposed to be moving. Failing and getting back up. Being quiet when you don’t want to and talking when you are not supposed to. Crying, pouting, trying your best to speak life and not death. Squinting your eyes when it’s time to leap. Going forth, pulling back…and back and forth. We are a big ball of mess and God will still use us for His purpose and for His glory. Somebody better shout!!
So, if you have been feeling like the plan or the vision is at a standstill just know that there are mechanisms God is orchestrating in the back office. You can’t see them, nor do you need to. It’s not time to reveal. Keep asking, keep praying, keep seeking, keep knocking. We always think we are supposed to have something right now, right here, our way. But it just does not work like that.
What if it takes a year? What if it takes five years or more? Are you willing to keep going with God with whatever He does? It’s NOT all about the tangible thing it’s about what is happening on the inside of us that God is really trying to work out. I can tell you I have been through much tweaking the last year just with working on all kinds of heart issues, trust issues, and more and it will not stop. It’s what’s supposed to happen! We are clay in the hands of a Master Potter. As we are tried in the fire in the process, He aims to see His reflection in us. More like Him.
Are you ready to continue this journey with the Father? Push play! Keep going in what you know God has asked of you and keep seeking and praying for those things He has been quiet about (He will answer and work it all out). I am praying for you!
Join me on the prayer call this evening. We are starting 1 hr earlier than usual at 6:00PM MST (7:00PM CST). Sign-up for prayer call reminders HERE!
Only By His Grace,
I love this from Mark Batterson…
“If you establish a prayer routine, your life will be anything but routine. You will go places, do things, and meet people you have no business going to, doing, or meeting. You don’t need to seek opportunity. All you have to do is seek God. And if you seek God, opportunity will seek you.
Don’t worry about meeting the right people. If you meet with God, God will make sure you meet the right people at the right time. After all there is nobody He doesn’t know. It’s one degree of separation. And if God can change the heart of Pharoah, He can help you find favor with anybody and everybody. Let God do the promoting and networking. I’m certainly not suggesting that you don’t apply for promotion or trade business cards, but seek His kingdom. You’ve got to do God’s will God’s way.”
From time to time I go back and read this to be reminded, encouraged, and strengthened. When I read it I also write down what God has done in my life since the last time I read it and it is amazing. These two paragraphs say so much. I am amazed every single time. God is real ladies and if we want to experience more of God we have to pray.
Unfortunately, our human nature is always looking for another road to freedom, success, life more abundantly, and breakthrough; if only we realized that these things and more will be found in the presence of Almighty God. But then there are still some who will say, “But we have to do something more than pray.”
I will then say back, “But first, pray!”
Have you prayed? Will you pray? Will you earnestly seek Him? Will you keep on seeking God? We rest in God’s grace through prayer and His word.
Nehemiah prayed and fasted for days and even months before going before the king and building the wall and God gave Him everything He needed.
Esther prayed and fasted before going before the king and therefore changed history.
Mmmh I see I little fasting in there too!
Will we by any means necessary do what it takes to change what is happening around us? Most importantly will by any means necessary do what it takes to change what is happening on the inside of us. Revival starts in us! So let’s get this party started right so we can shake the foundations of darkness swirling around us!
Grace, peace, and blessings to you on today! Join me on the prayer call tomorrow at 7PM MST (8PM CST). Dial 720-689-1444
Only By His Grace
What a weekend! How was yours? I was so happy to feel some bright sunshine on Sunday! Today, not so much sunshine but it is still the Lord’s Day and I will rejoice and be glad in it. It’s spring break for us so it’s going to be a week of fun and rest for the Adams household.
Each day I write in my prayer journal I always make it my thing to write out 5 things I am thankful for (5 for grace). As I was thinking this morning I was so thankful to the Lord for kingdom family. You see, when we left our hometown of Montgomery, Alabama in 2005 we knew not a soul in Denver, Colorado. We felt that God was moving us and we literally sold our possessions and only packed a few things that could fit in the trunk of our Chevy Malibu and we headed off to Colorado not knowing all that the Lord had in store.
Everyone thought we were crazy. Why on earth would you move anywhere without family and no job? We did not know the answer to that either but all we had was God’s word:
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.—Matthew 19:29
That verse came back to me because God has given us that. He makes good on His promises like He always does. Was it immediately? No. We have been here for 14 years and we did not start seeing this promise (in the natural) until years after being here.
Over the weekend a family we have grown to love called and said, “What are y’all doing?” I said, “Nothing but sitting here looking at the wall!” She said, “Me and my crew are stopping by in 2 minutes!” I said, “Okay, come on through.” I smiled ear to ear because we experienced moments often like this back home in Alabama. The Lord reminded me that His promised do not return void.
As I sit and ponder about all the people God has brought into our lives here, I smile and say, “You did Lord. You gave us family and everything else we left to follow you.”
What things has God called you to abandon for Him? It may not be selling everything and moving to a place you don’t know but it may feel like it. Will you obey God even if everyone around you is saying it does not make good sense in their eyes? Or will you conform to what they think (and even yourself) is normal and right? Think about it. I hope you go with God! Blessings on this day.
I hope this helped someone because I started writing something totally different and just realized this took a different direction. God is good! Join me for prayer tomorrow night at 7PM MST (8PM CST). Dial 720-689-1444.
Only By His Grace
As sleepy as I am typing this in the late night hours I can still say I am so excited. Our weekends are short; only two doggone days! But can I tell you that over this weekend I have had conversations where many were filled with great news and some not so great news. However, even when the women were talking about the hard stuff they were facing they still talked about the hope they had in Christ and how they knew He had their back. Oh how my spirit leaped!
I am seeing how women and men are rising up in a posture of prayer and moving into action. I am seeing those who have been hiding and are starting to come out without apologies. I am seeing such a hunger for God from those who have been churched and the “unchurched.”
Moreover, I am seeing in the spirit that women are shedding everything that the world and man-made rules has taught them and putting on truth and becoming who God really created them to be. I must tell you this kind of stuff gets me shouting!! That is why I am so excited even though right now I can fall over snoring.
I know we hear God is doing a new thing all the time. But fam He is definitely doing it. I can see it, I can feel it, and I know it!
If you have some time this week join me for the online Free Indeed 2019 online conference starting Thursday. We want you to know what freedom in Christ really looks like in your life and in your relationships. If you are not walking in the freedom that Christ gives your walking is in vain. Don’t walk in vain! Join us as we all get the keys to FREEDOM!! ~Blessings~
I hope you all had a pleasant weekend! We had enough low temperatures and snow to keep us in the house whole weekend. A free weekend was much needed. Church services were even cancelled because of weather.
The best part about it was that we had absolutely nothing planned but church and we needed it BAD! We all feel refreshed and ready to take on the week. My time was spent making gift baskets, baking a cake, playing board games with the family, meditating, and napping. Ahhh…That’s living LOL!
Have you ever wondered when your turn will be? What I mean is; when will your turn be for others to pour back into you as you have poured out. Although you know that when you give you are not supposed to let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. You do good works in secret and you know that you have an eternal reward.
Then there is that but…don’t be so high minded that it does not come across your mind or linger in your heart. I am encouraging you today to keep doing good and don’t allow your good from yesterday keep you from doing good today, tomorrow, and the next day. Listen, I have laid up in a hospital bed and had to pray and speak into the life of someone who I knew was not for me. The nerve! I thought to myself. She did not know I was in the hospital and the Lord told me not to speak a word about it but to pray. But, but…
Freely you have received, freely give!
You also have freely given of your time, gifts, talents, money, wisdom, and knowledge and I want you to know today that your time is coming where men will give unto your bosom and it’s going to run over!
Don’t make this all about money and don’t be trying to figure out how God is going to do it. I love God because He likes to bless us when we are doing regular ole life. You are going to be poured into in so many ways because remember…GOD IS FAITHFUL! You feel like it’s been forever but it’s coming because what?
GOD IS FAITHFUL!!
You gotta believe it for yourself. I have been overwhelmed in the many ways God has used friends and faithful WRIGG women to pour into me over the past several weeks (all while doing regular ole life). One woman of God is fully paying for a retreat so that another special lady can attend this year FREE OF CHARGE.
Thank you for your prayers, for the paid lunches, the hugs, godly counsel, a listening ear, laughs, and smiles. It has been much needed.
Keep doing what you know is good ladies. Your shaken together and running over “issa” coming! Smile big, and lift your head because this is the day the Lord has made, let us all rejoice and be glad in it!
Blessings! I will meet you on the prayer call tomorrow!
Only By His Grace
One of the things that have been ringing loud through the month is the issues of our hearts. We as a people have so many heart issues, and if we keep operating at a surface level only we will never be able to heal and experience true freedom.
We spend so much of our days focusing on being aligned with the right people who will take us higher, setting relationship goals, building platforms and brands, looking cute and being on fleek, getting high credit scores, having that summer body, thinking positive, etcetera, and etcetera.
Now think about it for a moment. Even if you are focused on getting a high credit score (and you take the steps to get an 800) and you are not dealing with the issues of your heart; when that score goes up you will only slide back into bad spending patterns again and you will be right back in the 400’s and 500’s again. That’s a rollercoaster you will get tired of riding.
Let’s do another heart check-up this week and spend some time with the Father asking Him to reveal those heart issues that have being buried deeply underneath the surface. Don’t you want to be free? Don’t you want to experience more of God in your life? Let’s go deeper and begin to ask the Lord the hard questions. Let’s sit still and hear what He has to say and see what He wants to show us. Let’s not be so blinded to our own mess but face the ugly at the throne of grace and get even more grace.
The bad news is that we are not perfect. The good news is that it’s okay (God is) because with every imperfect thorn we get to see God’s amazing work in and through us. It’s perfect!
Blessings to you!
Join me on the prayer call tomorrow at 7PM MST (8PM CST) and dial 720-689-1444. Put a reminder on your phone and program the number. I will meet you on the line! Let’s peel back those surface layers and go deeper.
Only By His Grace,
M-F: 9am - 5pm