Esther

I have to be honest I have never really read the book of Esther. I had a few things stick out to me so I am going to share a small recap of what I believe meant the most.

Esther was a Jewish girl who was an orphaned but back in the day family meant something. Her cousin Mordecai took her in and gave her the home she so needed. Today when children are abandoned or taken from there parents usually you see grandparents taking those children in. My opinion is what we should be doing. We hear a lot of negativity about it but Mordecai didn’t he took Esther in and knew God was in the midst no matter what.

So how does a Jewish and orphan girl become a Queen….

Well it all started Queen Vashti refused and disobey the King. As I was reading I was imaging the scenerio like this. The guys were in one area of the Castle and the girls in another area. The guys were drinking and being stupid. So the King ordered his Queen to come into the party of drunkened men and show off his Queen. The Queen wasn’t having it. She refused to  walk in there and be a physical toy for these boys. So she got banished for disobeying and refusing to come to the King. So all the men got together and couldn’t have her do that because then all the women of the land would think it’s okay to do that. So this where Esther came into the picture.

The King became lonely and his pals decided to go find him a new gal. Well, she couldn’t just be any kind of gal she had to be drop dead gorgeous! So Esther was chosen but the thing that got me was she couldn’t tell anyone that she was Jewish. She had to deny her true identity to get somewhere greater. During the next several months she was given a complete makeover so she can be presented to the King perfect and flawless.

In the meantime King Ahasuerus appointed a crooked Prime Minister Haman. They had to treat him and bow the same as they did to the King. Well, one jewish man refused to do so. It was Mordecai (Esther cousin). Haman was a man of hate. He wanted Mordecai killed. He even went to the King and offered his own money to not just kill one Jewish man but all the Jewish people!

Mordecai wasn’t going to be killed without being noticed by Esther. Esther and Mordacai exchanged some notes.

Esther 4: 13-14

This was Mordecai’s reply to Esther: “Do you think you will escape there in the palace when all other Jews are killed? If you keep quiet at a time like this God will deliver the Jews from some other source, but you and your relatives will die; what’s more, who can say but that God has brought you into the palace for just such a time as this?

I think back how many times, I went through situations or had to suffer. The famous question, came up “Why, God?” But what if all was suppose to happen exactly the way it did for a reason. God is a Sovereign! I believe full hearted that through all the trials of my life there is a reason for it all. I asked God – Why – many times in the midst of it all and I am sure I will be that annoying toddler child that ask Why.

What if we didn’t ask “Why” but take the situation at hand like Esther and turn the situation around so at the end of the day we are giving God the glory. If you continue to read, you will see Esther was given favor by God and was able to save her people. All she did was become face to face in the midst of turmoil with God Almighty.

Not everyone has the fairy tale ending like Esther but what if we just learn to accept that God is all knowing and all powerful. HE is in control of every thing. Nothing goes unnoticed.  What if we just need to learn to go with the flow and surrender our control over to Him so we can become healed from all the scars. Watch God reward, restored, and repay us for all the turmoil you’ve gone through. At the end of the day, I pray that I have become a stronger, wiser, and better women. One thing that helps me in the midst of trails is trying to remind myself that no matter what God is Sovereign! I am His child and he loves me no matter whatever I have done. Just as a parent does things for their child that they don’t understand or like; He is being a parent to us all!

 

 

Blogging thru Bible

 

I have decided to join a new journey of reading through the bible with Women Living Well.  I am definitely looking forward to moving forward while opening my heart up completely to God as I dig into each chapter and verse. I have never truly read through the whole bible chapter and verse but I have read quite of few books. So the first book we are covering is the book Esther. I have always heard about Esther but never read it throughly. So I am eager to learn who she was as a woman living in those times. Lets be honest, I love learning from other women that have gone or experience similiar situations that I am dealing with. Especially learning from them on how I can maybe change the way I respond to the “mountains” that are in my life.

See women in the bible are no different than what we women in today experience. They experience raw emotions with raw circumstances that sometimes were joyous but also very painful. I have been going through a very painful season of dealing with my raw emotions that run through my body. I have been struggling for so long with depression and anxiety that sometimes it’s just easy to throw up your hands emotionally and say “I quit, I give up, I can’t do this any more.” But our Heavenly Father loves us so much that even in those darkest hours he doesn’t give up on us but put people and allow circumstances to just remind us all that we are working progress and that no matter what HIS LOVE is UNCONDITIONAL with no strings attached.

So join me on this journey as we all learn together as God’s Children!

Liz

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A New Year, A New Hope

Wow, I feel so lost for words. It’s been so long since I have blogged. Just merely everyday busyness came into play with holidays. Now here we are a new year and a day away from entering February. Time flies very quickly especially if we allow things to control our days instead of being intent on how our time is spent.

The New Year began with my mother becoming really sick and spent 8 days in the hospital. She has COPD and this was the first time in five years with a flare up; so that’s a good thing. Getting a call from the hospital at 7:30 in the morning I just knew it was her. I was ready for anything since the whole drive in to town I prayed and prepared my heart for decision I would have to make since I am her Power of Attorney. The whole time I remember singing in the car a song, “I Have A Hope” by Debra Arnott (a beautiful and very talented friend). Hanging onto each word knowing that I am not alone and that God is with me.

During those eight days, became very hard with trying to balance my family at home and taking care of things with her. During those days, we discovered my mom had developed on the right side of her heart Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, and COPD has stepped into a new level. So many changes all at once could make a old dog drag there feet and not want to cooperate but overall by the time she became settled back at home my mom has retaught herself to start eating right, checking her sugars, check her oxygen levels more closer, but won’t give up the one habit that has caused her all her breathing problems. So again I sing loud and clear, “I HAVE A NEW HOPE” and God is in Control of this whole situation because of that I have complete peace in everything.

Amazing how God will use one situation to open your eyes in another situation. I rediscovered my relationship with my nephew. I finally was ready to step up and take responsibility where he needed me the most to be his aunt, his friend, and most importantly see him as a man instead of a child. Breakthrough happen. Now, we see each other completely different. For that, I am completely thankful for!

Celebrated my daughters 4th birthday! How time flies, where has those sweet years gone. She is turning into such an amazing individual so full of life and love! So talented and loves Jesus with all her heart and not afraid to let the world know it.

This passed week, my step-dad was in the hospital for pancreatitis….Thankful he was only there for 2 short days and thankful his numbers came down very quickly and he feeling much better!

So this is what 2014 has shown me already, that my God is faithful! No matter what happens with my parents health, I am at peace that God knows all.  I know that I serve a Sovereign God who loves me so much even when I fail miserable in my words and actions. He still knows my heart. He knows I have a NEW HOPE…HOPE that no matter what He is ALL-KNOWING and He loves me so much to take care of me and my family!

Please take the time to watch Debra’s new video that was released and you can buy her CD on ITUNES too.

Walk in Peace in Jesus,

Liz

HOPE

1381389_10151759018111961_2031652855_nI can hardly believe that December is only a few short days away. So I stop and look back at what 2013, has taught me about myself. Have a learned and grown in any specific ways? Have I grown in Christ? Have grown as a wife and mother? Have I grown and changed as a woman? Every year I try to stop and examine my year. See how I can do better to myself and others. This year has been a growing year. It’s been a stretching of my faith. But to me mostly, becoming the woman God has called me to be. His love is PERFECT so I don’t have to be. (A Confident Heart, Renee Swopes).

My heart had been searching and discovered who is God and not just what a preacher says He is but who He is to me. My first step came when I had to take a step back from a church that has always been my “home church” since I was a child. Then I found a church where no one knew me. I began to worship and learn who is this God I worship. In my mind if I would discover who God is then I would find out who I am in Christ, who I am as a wife, who I am as a mother, daughter, family member, and as a woman. This journey I have been on has been a very difficult one. I had to become truly honest with God, others and myself. Looking myself in the mirror has not always been a easy thing for me to do.

So who is my God? He created Heavens and earth with detail and precision. Not leaving one thing on this earth untouched with detail (Genesis 1-11). He is a Sovereign God (Rev. 21:6, Col. 1:16, Rom 11:33, Jer. 32:17).  I have always heard “Sovereign God” but never truly understood what it was meant until I started digging deeper.  In the dictionary, “sovereign” has many phrases and words attached to it, like “superior,” “supreme in power and authority, ” and independent of all others.” The way I have been able to grasp it is by saying it this way, “My God is in control of everything!” He is all -knowing and all powerful!

WOW… that blew me away completely. Then I started on the next part of my journey once I discovered the kind of God I worship. I started a Online Bible Study with Proverbs 31 with Renee Swopes Book “A Confident Heart.” Now that has been amazing way for me to be fully honest with God and myself on who I have become and how I viewed myself. So I started to be real and discovered that how I viewed myself is NOT how my God seen me in His eyes. The best part to me was, I am uniquely made and created as God’s masterpiece! That my childhood and my past does not dictate who I Am in Christ. I may had felt unloved, unaccepted, unworthy, and not valued but God word says, I am loved, I am chosen, I am worthy, I am valuable, and worthy of Him and His mercy & grace. I can close the door to my childhood and past. Become the woman God has called me to be. I am a worshiper in spirit and truth! If I expected my Sovereign God to forgive me for the wrongs I have done in my life … I must forgive and release those people who have done wrong to me.

Did you catch that…

Matthew 6:14-15 Living Bible 

“14-15 Your heavenly Father will forgive you if you forgive those who sin against you; but if you refuse to forgive them, he will not forgive you.”

Why do you think Jesus first said this directly after “Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew and then again he said it again in Mark 11:25-26. I think he was stressing the importance of forgiving even when the other person may not deserve to be forgiven. Jesus knew he was going to be betrayed but he still said it not once but twice. I have been betrayed and hurt by people that I have trusted and loved since I was a child but Jesus still tells us that we need to forgive not for the other persons sake but for our sake. So our “Sovereign God” who is all knowing and all powerful and is in control of every situation will forgive us. So if we can forgive those, He forgives us, and in turn my all knowing God will take care of them. See by releasing the betrayal, the hurt, the pain associated to the mess, He is a fair and just God. In Isaiah 61:2 we are reminded that he is in control.

Isaiah 61:2 Amplified Bible 

“2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] [a]and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,”

I have to admit forgiving certain people has been the hardest thing for me to do but what I love the most about God is found in Jeremiah. But not only forgiving and releasing the person, I started to see those people through God’s eyes. Time to get our eyes checked and get new glasses…Godly Glasses…

Jeremiah 29:11 Living Bible 

“11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

God has known me since I was in my mother’s belly, He knew me as a child growing up in abuse, alcoholism, confusion associated with divorce and my family being ripped and shredded apart literally. He knew me as a child, as a teenager, as a young married woman and then divorced woman. Finally, He knew what I would go through but He most importantly would give me a future but not any kind of future but with hope.

This time of year is always busy but I ask of you this season to take a step back and remember the true reason for this season. Forgiveness and love go hand in hand. I am not saying you have to be best buds with those that have done you wrong but  to forgive and release them. Then watch what God is in the business of doing…Giving a future filled with HOPE.

God Bless and have a great day!

I AM NOT

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I Am Not a failure even when others may think or say I am! 

That has been the hardest sentence to swallow for me.  So many moments I tried so hard to be the good friend, good christian, good daughter, good wife, a good person and I always fell short. Trying to be perfect in other people eyes has caused me so much heartache and disappointments. I became a “people-pleaser” instead of “God-pleaser” What I love about this chapter is Renee being so blunt and honest about how we view ourselves is totally different than how God sees us.  

I was 20 years old, marrying too young, to a man who I thought would give me the life I desired. Even though, people who loved and knew me was telling me I was making a big mistake. I moved out of my parents house, and moved in with this guy, who I only knew for a few months (we did date previously when I was in high school). My spirit was screaming “No” don’t do this but I just thought by marrying him people would look at me as “grown up” and stop treating me like a child. Only if, I listened. Only if I obeyed the voice of God. I didn’t obey so I had to face the music. I was a determined “strong willed” individual that I was going to make my marriage work at any cost. I didn’t care how much I was suffering emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I wasn’t going to fail and I was going to prove to everyone I could handle this. Let me fast forward two years later….

My husband at the time, told me he had a problem. Being me…I can handle it and “I can fix it” kinda person. He didn’t have just any problem “he was addicted to porn” and it threw me into a tailspin I wasn’t expecting. All my insecurities that I have ever had tied around my neck even tighter and caused me to barely be able to breathe. So for the next 6 years, I completely lost who I was as an individual. I was trying to read the road map but my sense of direction was spinning so fast and everything became more out of control. 

We just got done celebrating our 8 year anniversary, I fell on my knees and cried out to God with all that was within me “Rescue Me” from all of this. I can’t do it any more. In that moment, I heard God tell me, ” it’s going to be hardest and toughest thing you have ever gone through.” Peace came over me like never before. Within months the cycle of craziness unraveled. It truly was the hardest and toughest moment of my life. I was embarrassed, felt like a failure, lost, confused, hurt, angry, alone, and divorced 1 day before my 29th birthday. 

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So here I sit now, looking back, I see how I once was lost but now I am found! God’s amazing grace has washed over me. Even though, I may have gone through dark hours, dark days, dark months, and years at least I hung onto the fact that I wasn’t alone. I am not a failure. I just made bad choices and now being older and wiser realize I can’t do anything without my Creator. My merciful God who loves me unconditionally. He makes me a Overcomer. He makes me a better person. I am not perfect and I do make a lot of mistakes but I have a Great Teacher (Jesus) to keep my eyes focused on and His Helper (Holy Spirit) to guide me through each day. 

I am REDEEMED, I AM RESTORED, I AM HEALED, I AM A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST & my past failures no longer have a hold on me. I have been blessed with a wonderful man who loves God and takes care of me and our children. God is in the business of restoring everything you think you lost. My God is my “knight and shining armor.” He rescued me and gave me the strength to move on. Nothing in life is ever easy but at least I know, I am not alone, My God is with me. I am NOT Failure as a Christian, A Wife, A Mother, A Daughter, A Daughter n Law, A Friend. I am Me and I was uniquely made perfectly in His image. 

Liz 

Who I Am

Most of my life I have struggled with co-dependence, rejection, abandonment, betrayal….Believing constant lies that I was “not good enough” to be with, “not good enough” to love, “not good enough” to have a true friend who loves me, prays with me, encourages me and not just have a one-sided friendship. But God says, I am good enough.

I am good enough.

No I am not perfect. Yes I do make mistakes and do things or say things I am not proud of but I am still good enough.  I can finally look fear in the eyes and all the lies that I have told myself that God loves me and I am His child of the most High God. I am not my own. I was bought with a price. I am accepted. I am valuable. I am priceless.

No one is better than the next person. I am Unique. If we were all made with the same personality, same likeness, and nothing is different among us life would

Ch 2 Confident Heart

be very boring. We were made to be as unique as our DNA. I may not be skinny enough in someone else eyes…oh well, I am a working progress and I am beautiful in God’s eyes. I may be loud and love to laugh loud but laughter can be contagious. You should try it.

As I was reading some of you ladies blogs yesterday,  God started ministering to my heart, about being bold like a lion and tackling these thoughts head on. God’s word reminds us that in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV)

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

So God already gave us the power & authority to speak to these lies that try to make us feel like we are unworthy of love and acceptance. So when the lies start knocking at our door we have the control to either open it or keep it close. For me it’s going to be an ongoing progress battling all the lies that I have told myself for so long but the good news is….

I am His masterpiece being molded and shaped so when people see me they will really see Him through me!

Father God,  I may not have it all but with you I have it all! I thank you that I am not my own but bought with a price. I praise you for all that you are doing in me that each step I take in life you are there. Holy Spirit remind me on those days that I don’t feel “good enough” in peoples eyes that I am GOOD ENOUGH in my Jesus eyes. In Jesus Name Amen.

***This blog was wrote last week just didn’t publish it. So here you go…***

God Bless…

Liz

 

Moving Forward

puzzle-piecesI can visually see this little girl in me taking all the broken pieces of my heart and standing in front of my Abba Father. As a piece gets ready to fall He catches it before it hits the ground.  As tears fall down my face with sadness, broken, full of shame and despair. He whispers softly I will restore you like new but remember my promises I have for you.  My head & neck slowly raises and looking straight up into His eyes and feeling His glory shining brightly on my  skin and saturating me completely. As I fall to my knees with my hands held high I surrender to Him wholly and fully. Seeking and I will find living waters. As I stand up I am not standing up as the child I was but the woman who God Almighty Restored and Healed.  He is the GREAT I AM! God works for the good of those who love Him, who have called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

See we are all a puzzle, only God is Sovereign, and knows how all the pieces fit perfectly and completely. He is worthy of our praises! Thank you Jesus healing me through your wounds that you took on your body so I could feel freedom & be restored. I will forever praise you for your love & never leaving me.