Hand In Hand

Isaiah 41:13 “For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” NLT

My oldest son and I had to hurry back to Colorado from Texas due to the virus the world is experiencing right now. My father drove us straight through with minimal stops. It was crazy! However, we did stop at the charming rest areas along the Texas highway. They are set up dazzle tired eyed kids with playground structures and picnic areas as well as relatively clean restrooms and vending machines. At a quick glance, I noticed historical paraphernalia inside a building. If it were any other time, Logan and I would have taken our time and looked at everything. He would have had time to explore the play place. Our time would have ended with 10-minute, 5-minute, 2-minute and 1-minute countdowns as well as some tears. However, our reality is different right now. We are not allowed to touch anything without the concern of contracting a deadly virus. Currently, I take care of an older gentleman who falls under the category of high risk. Being careful isn’t just about my immediate family. It is about others who depend on me.

During a moment of delay while we all finished using the restroom, I tried to make the waiting fun and safe. Logan and I jumped over parking spot bumpers. We balanced on curbs and counted rocks. At one point, we walked to a scenic overlook. Initially, Logan did not want to go that way. He kept asking me, “Mommy! why do we have to go this way? Why can’t I play on that?” as he motioned towards the swing set. Sadden inside because he is only four and doesn’t understand, I replied, “I know you don’t understand, but it is for the best and for your safety that we walk this way. At some point you will understand, but right now you have to trust me.” As the words formed in my mouth and sound came out, I could hear an echo in my own mind of God comforting me with my own words.

Life does not make sense right now. Some are being forced to walk in places they don’t want to go. Our paths are being redefined. I am learning I must hold on to God’s hand and trust Him. To be honest, I have times of fear and confusion, but I take comfort in the fact that I am holding God’s hand and more importantly He is holding mine. As I tightly grasp His hand, He is constantly reassuring me of His love and compassion. During this time, I find assurance in His love and character. I don’t understand, but I do know He loves me fiercely.

I encourage you to take your fear, anxiety, and anything else to Him. Allow Him to comfort you. He cares for you! He loves you!

 If you would like some extra prayer as well, please contact me DevynDivineMinistries@gmail.com. I am available.  

Spring Forth

Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

It is interesting that this world-wide pandemic is making a huge fuss right at the first sightings of spring. It seems counter-intuitive. We are faced with fear as green is beginning to appear. I really enjoy the beginnings of spring. I love to show my little guys the buds that are getting ready to burst. It’s exciting because we kind of know what’s going to happen. I know that what looks dead will grow into something beautiful. The little buds look like nothing, but as we experience the different seasons, we learn that the buds grow into beautiful extravagant flowers and leaves. We just don’t know the amount, height, color etc. I enjoy the anticipation and preparation spring brings. 

As I began to prepare the yard for spring, my son Logan looked at the rose bushes and said “They’re dead mom…why are they dead?” Quickly validating him I said, “Yes, they look dead, but pretty soon we will see beautiful flowers”. As the words were leaving my mouth, I was reminded that what can seem dead can actually produce a lot of life. I just can’t see it yet. This conversation happened before social distancing and quarantining were our reality. However, in God’s wonderful way, it was preparing me for what was going to happen.

When the fear of death surrounds us, God steps in giving us hope. Even though desperation and fear are gripping people, God is saying I will make a way for you. I will give you supply in the desert. I will do a new thing in a time of despair. I desire to hold you. Fear not! I encourage you to take time with God. Ask Him the hard questions that are surrounded by fear. He loves you! 

P.S. New growth is coming! We are here for you to pray, talk, or whatever is needed. Please reach out. You are not alone DevynDivineMinistries@gmail.com

Roll With It

The first time I rode a bike by myself was Christmas morning. Santa left my sparkling blue banana seat bike by our decorated tree. I ran down our stairs, hopped on the bike with the help of my dad and I was off. I didn’t need training wheels or someone’s hand to hold me steady. I was a big girl on her big girl bike! The freedom I remember feeling was exhilarating. I was so proud of myself. I am sure my parents were proud too.

My 3 almost 4 year old is learning to ride his bike. He is at the very beginning stages of this wonderful process. I lift him onto his batman bike with training wheels, and we work on the idea of peddling while holding onto the handle bars. It’s entertaining because when he peddles, he pushes the peddles backwards which puts on the breaks. I have to explain to him how to peddle his feet forward. One thing I know is when he figures out how to ride the bike, he will love it. On one particular day while we were practicing, the handle bars turned sharply and he fell over. He scrapped his knees. There were tears, a little blood and probably some fear. We stopped, hugged and wiped away the mess. Afterwards, I had him get right back on the bike and try again. I couldn’t have been more proud of him for getting back on his batman bike. This time I held on more tightly, so he knew I was there. While we were practicing, I kept reminding him that I was right there.

When we are learning to walk with God, I think we sometimes expect perfection the first time we try something new with God. Well I know I have. God reminds me that sometimes I may fall. I may have a bruised ego and it may hurt, but I need to get back up and continue to take steps forward. Something I feel like He wants to get across right now is how proud he is of us when we fall and we get back up. Sometimes all we may feel is His disappointment. However, He isn’t disappointed. He is a very proud papa! I know I was proud of Logan when he got back on the bike with a skinned knee. I love watching my babies grow and blossom. How much more does our Father love and delight in us.

Scriptures to ponder: Psalm 37:23-24 “The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.” NLT Psalm 18:19 “He led me to a place of safety;
    he rescued me because he delights in me.”NLT

Lettuce Clean-Up

My family and I are on a pretty tight budget, so everything in the fridge I try to use. I hate throwing food away. During an afternoon rush of quickly figuring out what’s for dinner, I found a half-eaten head of lettuce. It looked a little sad and wilted, but I still wanted to give it a try. While breaking apart the lettuce into pieces taking away the brownish mess, I found some lovely pieces in the center. I was thrilled to find some healthy pieces behind all the grotesque ones. I ended up making a pleasingly delicious salad. It had all the goods on it. The lettuce was redeemed with a savory dressing and vibrant veggies. It sparkled under the other amazing ingredients I mixed with it. I can confidently say I am skilled at restoring lettuce. While I was making dinner, I found myself relating to this broken head of lettuce.

Often, I come before the Lord hurt, beat up, and broken down. He takes me into His hands and pulls out the stinky stuff and then He mixes in His ingredients, and viola I become a beautiful masterpiece. He is our artist. He is the sculptor of our lives’ if we let him do the work. Ephesians 2:10 states “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (NLT) He does the work! He creates us anew! The trick is coming to Him all the time. He wants all of it! He takes all of you and transforms you step by step. He makes each one of us a beautiful, exquisite masterpiece.

I encourage you to read the scriptures below and ask yourself if you fully believe them? How are they revitalizing your life? Ask God to show you. He is listening. Don’t let the familiarity of the scriptures hinder you.

  • “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT
  • “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
  • “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9 NLT

Sun-Block

Summertime fun here we come! Sounds simple right? In my world it is more complicated than that. Fun starts after the sunblock battle: sunblock verses my three-year-old. He moves and bends when it’s inconvenient, and he becomes a mannequin when I need him to move. It amazes me how such a simple necessity is such a strenuous activity. However, it is very important and needed. I have had sunburns. They’re miserable. Truthfully, I don’t want to deal with a sunburned three-year-old. He’s an amazing little guy, but he is three. Plus, sunburns can take awhile to heal. They sting and peel; it can be painful! There are more lasting consequences then the initial battle of wiggles and cream.

I think we can apply this to our relationship with God. If we don’t apply our God-block, we can get burned. What burns us? Some days it can be myself, my brain, and my thoughts, or maybe someone else offends me. Other days it is too many bites of ice cream. The enemy is also in the mix wreaking havoc. Sometimes it is subtle, a slow fade. Initially, we don’t always see the damage the sun has on our skin. It can take some time for some things to manifest. This applies to our spiritual health as well. It doesn’t show up right away.

As much as I love Jesus and all he represents, I struggle with always being kind and loving. To be completely vulnerable, I can get cranky like super witchy. My boys and I were blessed to be able to visit my parents in Texas. It was a mini vacay. However, I didn’t get much time with God. I didn’t always get time to put on my God-block, and it showed. I found myself losing my patience more quickly. I was struggling with trusting God. I need my God-block.

The ingredients we put into our God-block can change depending on the person. Today, my God-block consisted of worship music, walking and talking to Him. It can change depending on the season. Sometimes we need more like SPF 50 or less like SPF 15. Below I am listing some example ingredients and scriptures to ponder and possibly apply. Find your own mixture that works. I can’t say it enough He loves you! He wants you!

Ingredients:

  • 15-minute coffee break with God: mix a cup of coffee and a comfy chair.
  • 2 worship songs: car stereo and drive while singing your heart out
  • Read a chapter in the bible or even just a verse
  • Church
  • Community: find others that love Jesus and talk.

Scriptures:

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. Psalm 5:11 ESV

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Proverbs 8:17 ESV

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10 ESV


He Cares About Your Apple Tree

I take care of a gentleman named Frank that has dementia. Along with his personal care, I also manage his care through coordinating with other agencies, so I get to talk to all sorts of people. David, one of the drivers we use to transport Frank to his day program, was telling me in passing about the concern of his apple tree due to the bipolar weather in Colorado. Because of the crazy Colorado weather, his apple tree has not produced any apples the last few years. We sometimes get snow late in the season which can bring frost when things are starting to bloom. Well, his concern has become my concern which really means it is God’s concern. I have been praying for this apple tree. When I told David that I was praying for his apple tree, his face lit up with surprise. His countenance and demeanor changed. He got extremely excited. He started telling me about this jam he likes to make. He and his neighbor exchange fruit to make different things. It was very important to him.

Why is this important to us? It is just an apple tree and a guy named David.  

As I contemplated why this apple tree has become such a concern for me, God used it to show me somethings about Him. For example, the bible says in Luke 12:7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (NIV)  You could argue that God is showing off. He can count all the hairs on our head. For some that doesn’t take much effort, but for my head of hair, it takes some serious effort. I have a lot of hair! I don’t even know how many little hairs I have, and the amount changes probably on an hourly basis. I think He is showing off but for a different reason than proving He is the Almighty God. Yes, He is almighty, and He is also able to handle all our requests. Actually, He wants to handle all our requests. It doesn’t burden God to ask Him about your “apple tree”. He is big enough to handle all the requests, concerns, celebrations etc.

We can personify God to the point of misperception. We put our own limitations on God. I have been guilty of limiting God myself. I don’t want to burden God. I don’t want to ask for too much. God has so much to worry about. My problems aren’t important. Does that sound familiar? We have all sorts of reasons why we don’t ask or talk to God about it.  However, God so badly desires for relationship with you and me. He wants all of it. ALL OF IT! He wants to know about all our apple tree concerns.   

As God encourages me, I would encourage you to take a moment with Him to talk. He loves you and wants to hear from your heart. Yes, he already knows, but he wants to hear it from you.  

Spider-Man

I took my three-year-old to the park. It was just the two of us just he and I, a little mommy-son date. While we were there, I saw this apparatus on the play gym that had places to hold onto with your hands and feet. It started out at an angle then it was straight up and down. You would have to hold on tightly or you could fall.  I thought HOW COOL! Logan can pretend he is Spider-Man. I was so excited. I was like hey come check this out. He looked at me with hesitation, but he tried. Then, his foot started slipping. The whole time I was there telling him “It’s OK! I got you; I won’t let you fall.” I know my son trusts me, but fear overtook him. He couldn’t enjoy hanging out like Spider-Man. He was too scared. The picture shows him hanging on. If the picture had sound, you would hear him screaming, “Mommy Help!!!” I think this happens with God and us. He wants to lead us to cool things that will probably require our trust to the point where our lives depend on it. It will seem scary. It may feel like our foot is slipping, but God’s hand is right there to catch our foot to us steady as my hand was there for my son. If I can enjoy the process and not give into fear, what an amazing adventure I get to go on with God. He promises to take care of us. Can we trust Him?

Below are some scriptural references to this concept. Will you chew and meditate on these with me?

Psalm 37:24 “Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” NLT

Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will       strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” NLT

Psalm 17:5 “My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped” ESV