1 Samuel 1:12-18

In my last blog, called “You are Right Where You Should Be”, we talked about how Hannah came to a place of extreme distress, in which she was brought to her knees to align her desire with what God chose.

If you missed it, you can click here to read it.

Now we are at a place in 1 Samuel 1:12-18 where we read the depth of Hannah’s prayer. Remember Hannah is in the Temple praying to God and Eli the priest is standing a far watching Hannah. As she prays Eli thought she was drunk.

eucharist-body-of-christ-church-mass-161081.jpegImage you being a calm and peaceful man with not a lot of drama in your midst. Things are taken care of in an orderly fashion. Then here comes a person whose life has gotten the best of them. The pain makes him or her say things with extreme intensively. Not holding back what is going through their mind and heart. As they speak the words loud sounds and cries follow. The crying can be uncontrollable. A place where the person feels all the reasons for living has left and they have no strength to go on.

May I ask, what would your reaction be if a person came to you acting like this?

Has life every gotten to you like Hannah in 1 Samuel 12-18? While you wanted to do what Hannah did instead, you held it in. Or did you release it God?

Many times we want to hold it in. Not wanting others to see us not having it all together. Embarrassed to visibly fall apart. Pride having us believe there is nothing wrong with us.pexels-photo-568027.jpeg

Maybe you think, well I am at a place in my life where I am past that. Yea. I understand. Recently, I too thought the same thing. But then the pressure of deaths, both of my kids wanting to give up on life, and trying to just pay bills, weighed me down. For some weeks, I walked around portraying I had it all together. As the pressure built up inside of me it brought me to a place like Hannah. Crying fiercely for God to hear my prayers. Once I had gotten it all out, I was relieved.

I asked myself why don’t I do this more often? Why do I hold back?

What got me, out of everything that was happening, I noticed when I hold back I miss out on conceiving something much greater than me. Let’s look at Hannah’s prayer to understand what I am talking about.

Verse 17

Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.”

When we come to a place where we cry out like Hannah, do we come to a place for God to conceive something new in our life? The only visible sign Hannah had to show contraception had taken place was she walked away in peace (vs 18) The same person the priest was asking how long are you going to make yourself drunk?pexels-photo-415380.jpeg

Did you catch how God took Eli from believing she was drunk to praying that God grant her request?

Sometimes what you are praying for that has not come through is not being answered because you have not become desperate enough and God has not put the person in your path to be the extra weight needed to get that prayer to God.

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One thing we can say from this story is that prayer moves obstacles that are bigger than us that we can do nothing about. Answer the questions below and response to someone else with a prayer for them.

  1. Are there desires in your life that you have been waiting a while for God to answer? Share one.
  2. Does the desire and your circumstances every make you get distress? How do you response to the distress?
  3. Have you ever considered that coming to a place of distress that led to you pouring your heart out to God is bringing your closer to your desire?

Right Where You Should Be


1 Samuel 1:1-11

1 Samuel 1:1-11 is the start of the story of Hannah. If you have not read this before click on 1 Samuel 1:1-11 above to read before going on.

As I was reading the story of Hannah, I could not stop thinking about how Hannah was right where God needed her to be, even though it seemed different with the difficulty of not conceiving a child. Her husband was married to two women. During that time you were not highly looked upon if you were not producing children. Her husband’s other wife was not having a problem at all producing children. While the reading does not say exactly how many children she had, it did state on the day of sacrifice the husband gave portions to “all her sons and daughters”.  family-outdoor-happy-happiness-160994.jpeg

Possibly, you might think…well the husband just wasn’t into her like the other wife. You know what I am saying? But verse 5 and 6 we are told he loved her and showed favor to her by giving her a double portion of the sacrifice over the other wife. It shows us it was not a connection problem at all between the husband and wife, it was God himself closing her womb.

Can you image being with a man that loved you like no other, desiring children, and you sit with what you feel like is nothing? What kind of feelings would that produce in you? Jealously, mad, sad, and in some sense that something is wrong with you. Society has taught us to look a certain way. When the image we hold does not match to the image society has, feelings of not being enough bombard our mind.

man-couple-people-woman.jpgWhat is amazing in this story is that in verse 6 it tells us her haters came after her bitterly. They did not just come at her saying, “ha ha you cannot have kids and I can”. These rivals went extreme with their attacks. It was not done in a calm manner, using kind words. It was forceful. Making sure their point was loud and clear. Using words that were considered harsh. Their motive to doing this was to irritate her. In that moment they wanted her to remember no matter how she displays serving the Lord, that same Lord closed her womb while they were living large in comparison to her.

Perhaps in your mind you are getting this idea that this was a one-time occurrence. This occurrence happened year after year. (verse 7)

Truth be told the occurrence got to Hannah. What human would it not? In the Bible there was this one time that it was noted how her husband noticed and asked her why are you letting this stuff get to you? Hannah never responded to her husband. In his moment of what I believe was frustration and hurt for his wife he asked her, “Aren’t I enough?”

In this one sentence of “Aren’t I enough?” I felt like Hannah in my problems and God saying to me, “Aren’t I enough, Wendy?”. “Wendy, don’t you have enough right where you are?” “Aren’t you thankful for what I have given you?”

Truthfully, I am. But there are times that a part of me is sad because what I have been desiring for years is not coming forth in my life.pexels-photo-127420.jpeg

There came a point in Hannah’s life the pain became too much. It was no longer just a desire, a thought, an ache, or want. A time had come where she became “greatly distressed”.

When I read what I am about to share at the end I found encouragement and hope in those moments when I get greatly distressed. The reason is because that is what brought Hannah on her knees with a heart that poured out to God. When she did it aligned her desire up with God’s desire so God was able to make reality a dream she had for years.

pexels-photo-725910.jpegGod wanted her first born son for something greater beyond Hannah. He had big plans already in place for a son she had not even conceived. But in order for His plans to come to fruition, He needed Hannah to consent to giving up her first born to the Lord first. When Hannah came to a place realizing it was no longer about her wants and desires but what God wanted, then God was able to proceed on with His plan and open Hannah’s womb.

I don’t know where you are in your walk with God or pain. Aside from where you are, I will share that when I read this text I was in pain like Hannah. I have people coming after me bitterly. I felt like my womb to dreams was closed. I ended up reading the passage several times. Each time tears were gushing out my eyes. I felt like Hannah. I found myself on my knees saying not my will but yours in what you have called me to do.

When I was done what I realized was that I carried guilt and shame for where I was. Replaying in my head if I had not agreed to this with that person, then I would not be here. If I did not do that or purchase that, then I would not be in this debt situation. If…that word that can be followed by all the reasons you would not be where you are. When we read Hannah what I realized was Hannah was right where God needed her to be. Had the years that led up to the prayer for a child never happened, then she would have never came to a place of being a part of God’s great story.

My friend I don’t know where you are. I don’t know what lies have been told to you about your situation. One thing is for sure God does not make mistakes and you are exactly where He wants you to be, to bring forth what He needs in your life.

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As we continue our journey on to a New Year New You there is no better way to encourage yourself in your faith walk like encouraging other believers. Share with others what you are going through by answering one of the following questions.

  1. What is one way you feel like God does not hear your prayers?
  2. Does no response from God make you feel like you are not in the right place? Explain.
  3. What type of growth do you see in your life from God not answering your prayer in where you are right now?



New Year New You


I don’t know what it is about a New Year starting, but it just feels like when those four digits switch from one year to the next, that I am given the right to leave whatever I did not like in the prior year and start things I do like in the new year.

It is crazy. In November, Thanksgiving is like the kick off for the family holidays. From that moment, all the way up to December 25, we spend planning grand events with family to make memories for years to come. Then immediately, the day after Christmas I wake up thinking about the New Year.

My mind immediate races with thoughts on what I want the New Year to hold for me personally. I donmental clutter stress overload overwhelm’t know about y’all but I am like a kid in the candy store with my ideas. As my ideas are fed by the sugar from the candy store I walk outside and go to the amusement park. At the amusement park my ideas jump on rides going all over the place.

I have a billion ideas running through my mind, okay maybe not a billion, I start to feel a little pressured due to time. I mean I have less than a week to get a plan in place to make these ideas reality.

By January 1 those ideas are usually not written down and surely not planned out.

How many of you do this? The excitement of the New Year has you busting at the seams. It makes you feel like you are going to be able to accomplish any and everything that you think of.

This year in this chaotic New Year mind game I do every year I caught myself. I had to ask myself, “Wendy, how many of those ideas are you really going to accomplish?” “How many of those are ideas towards the big goal you have?” “How many of those goals are just to say you did it?” But the one question that I asked myself that was the most important question was, “Wendy, how many of those ideas are part of God’s plan for your life?”

I could not answer.

a239715e10c34e3df5313612c16cb8f8--challenge-group-saving-moneySo here I am taking the month of January to seek after what God is saying He has for me and my family in 2018 so we can go after it with all our heart.

As I reflect in my own life, usually the goals I make for a new year that do not become reality are because they are not the ones God has for me. Instead of accomplishing just a couple of goals, I accomplished none of the goals. I am too busy chasing after all these other goals and trying to take on more than I can handle.

See when getting rid of the old and walking into the new it is easy to talk about. It is easy to even start. But to actually carry out what God has said He wants from you takes commitment. A commitment that requires discipline. Rejection. Missing out hanging with others because God is trying to work something new in you that takes your time to make the goals attained.

Truthfully, I knew what God wanted but fear held me back and all the other ideas that came were intriguing to pull me away from what I really wanted.

However, this year I have decided I will no longer chase after all the ideas that keep me running in circles that lead to nowhere. This year I am facing the fear and dread I have and going after what God has said to do.

Maybe you are someone that makes goals every year but they never happen. Then I ask you join this journey with us as we encourage and support one another to get us to our heart desires.

If you said YES then get your running shoes out, lace them up, tie a double knot, and get ready to chase after what you have dreamed of for years in 2018.

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Our first mission on this race is to take the time to open up so others know what they are going through there is someone else out there going through it to. So take a minute to answer just one question and response to one other person.

I can’t wait to read your responses.

  1. What is one New Year goal you really want to attain?
  1. How many of your New Year goals become reality?
  1. At the end of the year does it make you said that you did not accomplish what you set out to do in the beginning of the New Year?

Finding Healing in the Midst of Bitterness 

The other day as I listened to a sermon the words jumped out to me: “It is when you are getting close to God coming through that we turn the other direction.”

Heard these words preached, posted on social media, in writings, and in songs more times then I can remember. But this time the words had my attention like never before. 
See God has had me in some really hard places over the last four years. So much pain came from those years. I desperately long to be healed of the pain. But more than not I find myself in anger over the time I lost. 
If those four years had not happened I would be:
-Employed with benefits. 

-Going into my third year of my Masters, which I just might have been in my last year. 

-Able to take vacations. 

-Have a savings.

-Out of debt. 

But instead the opposite of everything I listed above is what is currently going on plus more.
Therefore, in order to break down the bitterness of what has been taken from me the Spirit finds ways to lead me into deep reflection for healing and to let go. 
I sit here now full of Jesus on the inside but empty in my surroundings. I wonder does Jesus really hear my prayers? Does He really see what I am going through? Am I that bad of a person that I made so many wrong choices to be where I am today? For the one that stands and boost how great their life is with little blemishes in their years, are they better than me to have not seen the life I have? 
One thing God has shown me is the things that I prayed for others He answered. Not only did He answer the prayer He used me to help the answer prayer come about. 
That sounds heavenly doesn’t it? I should feel some type of awe. But I don’t. Instead I say, “Lord, did you see how they person persecuted me? Remember Lord when they did . . . Because I do. Lord, do you not remember how they slandered me? Lord, do you remember when I could not get out of bed because the oppression weighted me down too much and they skipped with smiles living their life in my face?” His response is, “Wendy, I answered your prayer on their life.”
I just stopped pleading my case and just started repeating what He said…I answered your prayer on their life. 
Tonight as I am cleaning out drawers I came across this prayer spiral. I had committed a certain time to pray for specific things for certain people and places. 
When I first came across it I was like I am not even going to read that. But I found myself opening it up to see what I prayed for excepting to see how my prayers were answered like before. 
Instead, I saw how my prayers cause me to be rejected by multitudes because what God wanted to do they would turn the other direction instead of letting Him have His way. 
I found that mind boggling. How one prayer was answered exactly like I asked. One prayer was answered totally opposite. 
I thought back to this devotional I read by Joyce Meyer. It was in regards to everything works for His good. As I read it she pointed out that His good does not mean it eliminates the bad happening. It means that in that bad He is bringing good that you can’t see for His glory. Because of that in faith we can be thankful and praise Him while it is bad. 
One thing I have learned through it all is I might have many dreams and plans that God agrees with but my first obligation is to go where He tells me in faith to save souls no matter the pain I have to go through to save them. Just trust He has better to come but I got to see His work in my life not the pain of the past.


The Growth in You

There are some days that living the Christian life comes with a lot of persecution. The blows from others are so consistent we start to wonder if the comments they are saying are true. Our worth is not feeling so worthy. While we know we are doing the right thing their is still this unexplainable feeling going on in us. It reminds me of this Olive tree we have.
We live on 10 acres and our land has been in the family since 1948. So to some it is just land with a run down old house. But for others it is a land full of stories and memories. This Olive tree is just one more story to the list of stories.
Where this Olive tree is located there use to be a line of trees. There were so many that they were crowded together. However, the days of tree clustering slowly started coming to an end once we moved out here in 1991. I think my step-dad made it his mission to clear trees out. This area where this Olive tree is was a location of one of his missions. 
He cut all the trees down. It took some time and I watched as the progress was being made over time. His mission finally came to an end. I looked out and there was this tall tree with maybe a couple of branches on it, which they were all sticking straight up. Only one branch had leaves and there was not very many. 
I asked, “Why didn’t you cut that tree down it looks dead?” He said, “That is an Olive tree and those are good trees. It was smothered from all the other trees so it was not able to grow. Now that the trees that were taking what it needed away from it are gone it will grow.” 
Every summer when it comes time to mow I have stared at this tree while I mowed. I have wondered why is an Olive tree all that. I have wondered if it was every going to grow like it is suppose to. I have pretty much sat in wonder of this Olive tree trying to see what my step-dad saw in this tree.
Now in looking at it I no longer wonder. I can see what my step-dad saw. Today it is a beautiful full tree. It produces olives and shares them with the ground underneath. I can not tell you how many little trees I have had to mow over. If I don’t get to them soon enough there are an abundance of them.
After a day of persecution maybe you feel like this Olive tree looked. Beat down and not seeing a lot of good in you. But the One that allowed you where you are sees a lot of good in you. He sees that where you are is clearing away all the things that are smoothering you from growing into full bloom. As they are removed the light is able to get in to grow such an abundance of fruit that it will be an overflow. 

God loves you like crazy.


In the Heat of the Race

Today is the big day.

You have given the last four years preparing for this race.

You have:

– Trained.

– Studied information on the subject.

– Critiqued yourself to boost your style.

Believing with all your heart, you know you are ready.

The race is about to begin. The gun goes off. Pow! You start, running at maximum speed. In your mind you are telling yourself “I got this”. As you continue moving, you find ways to encourage yourself,

“Oh, I am glad I read that book about….because I could use that knowledge right here.”

“Oh, I am glad I changed the way I did that because I would have just messed up right here.”

“Sure am glad I practiced because I could not withstand against some of the competition today, they are in top fitness shape having won gold medals.”

As the race continues, your endurance wears thin. The perfect form you started the race with is showing defects. No biggie, it is here or there. It is not bothering your lead in the race. You look at your coach on the sidelines cheering you on. That gives you the push you need to remain ahead.

Now halfway through the race. You are still breathing. Your body is a little sore. You are tired. But this race is about others, more than you. So you take a deep breath
and you keep pushing forward.  Your emotions are up and down, your body and mind are telling you to give up, but you can’t. Once you make a decision in your heart that you will carry out the race before you, then commitment keeps you running. Your form is now consistent with imperfections, but it is an event you cannot leave.

The final stage of the race takes place. You are dragging. You are not even certain if you will make it. Now, you are so tired you say, “Forget other people, I am trying to get through this final stage.” Your tiredness shows in your affections and speech. It is intense. If you stepped outside your body, you image the picture would be one of an individual encountering a violent wind. The coach sees it, he is encouraging you to carry on while he speaks to himself at the identical time.

Whew! You made it.

The race is not over yet. You are in the cool down stages. But the severity of the race is behind you. Reflections are coming to mind. Observing where you have hurt muscles or
made wrong moves in the race. You think “wow” I did not even realize I took that turn wrong. Now I understand when I stepped this way why that happened. Then you notice how the moves aided the opponent in the race. You gain mental notes to correct this revelation to improve the next race you will be in.

Many times when we think of being a Christian we visualize the faith walk with ease. Our flesh yearns for things to be handed to us, not having to work for anything. When we are told of a “loving” God our mind has produced the conception that a loving God would not allow circumstances in which we sweat and hurt.

However, in reading 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NIV)

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Paul tells us that in order to run this race of faith it will undergo training. Training to obtain a crown that last for eternity.

I encourage you that no matter where you are right now and how hard it is to stand on God’s Word. Continue trusting Him for what He has said. Believing that more is being worked out in and where you are, then what you can see in front of you.

In the comment section below please share your thoughts. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  1. Have you ever trained for any type of race or competition? If so what was it and how did it end?
  2. Has God every had you in a situation that it was harder than you excepted it to be? Explain.
  3. Has there been a time you wanted to give up on walking in faith and do the bear minimum of what God was asking of you? Explain.

The One That Sees All

Here I Go Again. I was in the bathroom; I whispered something I should have resisted from making public. It begun when I got out of bed this morning. Oh, it will be okay no one is around.

Driving to work a jeep turned in front of me. Frustrated, I yelled at him from inside an enclosed car. Whew! No one was in the car to examine me acting like a fool.

Finally, at work.

Sitting at my desk, my eyes intensely on the computer screen. Out of the corner of my eye I see Sharon, a woman in which our personalities clash, walking up to my desk. She starts talking about personal issues going on in her life.  Struggling to listen because my patients are low. The only thing I can think about, is how I want her to shut up and leave. Her high pitch tone is scraping every one of my nerves inside. I close my eyes, to focus, so I do not say something I should not. The tone in her words is getting louder and louder. Each time it rises, so does my stress level. I can’t take it anymore. I look at her and my mouth comes open, spewing every reason I was not interested in her story. She looked at me with hurt in her eyes and walked away. I was instantly convicted by my actions. I bowed my head asking, “Lord, I need you to help my thoughts and give me self-control over my mouth.”

Why is it when we are in private we assume our thoughts are unharmful until those same ideas come out of our mouth in front of others?

Lately, I have been reminded of how God knows every thought, the good and bad, even when we assume He does not.

Too often we concentrate on the wrong we have done in the past. But what about the good?

Good, like what He will accomplish with our life.

Good, like having characteristics that resemble Christ.

Instead of accepting the valuable things, our response is the same as we say privately in the bad. “Yes, Lord I read what you revealed about me but in my ears, I hear the other.” Inside we are doubting like Moses, claiming, “That is not me. I cannot do that.” It becomes a reasoning game with God. Something like, “Lord, I gather what you are suggesting about me, but let me explain who I am. Let me inform you what my skills are, in which I am valuable. Let me instruct you on what you can do with my story.” As God listens never speaking a word He ends up just showing me He knows better than I do.

Afterwards, I ask myself, “Why do I do this?” Doubt. Unbelief. Lack of faith. Resorting back to our former ways, instead of trusting what God reveals.

What makes it worse is that Satan knows these weak areas. He comes in with a pick ax, just chopping away to beat us down. He shouts at our insecurities, as our ears become deaf to all those things that God has spoken. When we can’t hear what God says anymore, we travel back to our own knowledge. Putting our trust in our self because we have survived taking care of our self for years. Instead of allowing God to enter in and prune us to grow into what He has said. The downfall to this is we miss out on the exciting and unbelievable things God prefers to do in us.

Therefore, I encourage you to never give up on what God declares about you. He might put you through the fire to produce in you what He sees. In those trying times draw upon God’s Word as His strength and power gets you through. Before you know it, you will start seeing what He sees in you.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12 

Jeremiah 17:9-10 

Romans 11:3-36 

Hebrews 4:12-13 

Romans 12:2 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

In the comment section below please share your thoughts. If you are unsure where to start here are questions to help you get going:

1)     Are your first thoughts the good or bad?

2)     If you could describe your thoughts how would you describe them? Would they be what God thinks of you or different?