“I am Waiting on God?”

Daily Adventures

“I am waiting on God” is something I hear people say all the time regarding relationships, careers, and life in general. Putting our complete faith in the Lord is something I admire and something I try on a daily basis to live up to. But, it may be problematic when we use “waiting on God” to justify other things like:

  1. Not Taking Action

Have you ever said yourself or heard people say:” God will close this door if it’s not meant to be?” or “God will give me a sign” etc. though these are not completely wrong all the time, how many times have we allowed these to keep us from acting? I remember hearing a story that went like this:”

“A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?” (Source: Here)

Sometimes we are this man. We don’t take action as if we are waiting for God to live for us or to act for us. I know this has also been me. Like “God would have closed this door if it wasn’t meant to be”, or “God will give me a sign” while I am sitting there not using the free will that God gave me to make the decision that aligns with His will. God gave us free will so I doubt that He will live for us.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 

Faith is also based on actions. If you are not asking, seeking, knocking like the verse says, you are blocking your own blessings by not claiming what God meant to do for you to begin with just like the man who was waiting to be saved, but never acted on it.

2. Not taking responsibility

Just like the man who drowned and ended up saying how God didn’t save him, sometimes we use this as an excuse to not take responsibility for us not acting or for not doing. God calls us to trust Him with everything, to give everything to Him, but He also calls us to act, to make decisions that will lead us to where He wants us to be. Faith is not passivity. Our relationship with God in my opinion should be a two-way street where we also act when we are called to do so instead of letting our fears or insecurities have us expect God to literally move us.

This got me thinking about any areas in my life where God is waiting for me to act on. Whether it be through my love life, career, academics etc. What about you? Any areas in your life you need to faithfully act on?

 

Love,

Lori

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Haiti Changed Me

Thoughts, Travel, Uncategorized

Last week, a group of 63 people (me included) travelled to Cap Haitian, Haiti on a mission trip to partner with the Haitian people through sustainable development. Sustainable development promotes sharing knowledge and things that will last rather than giving them handouts. I participated in youth leadership development classes/presentations, and activities with everyone. Health education and Bible study were also offered.  I didn’t think that this experience would touch me as much as it did. Haiti changed me, and here’s 5 reasons why:

  1. They know what is best for them
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Photo captured by yours truly during Youth Leadership Presentation

In the past, I would often talk about people who come to Haiti and bring Haitians their worn out clothes or stuffs, and I would talk about how that is not helping. In my head though, I would think that the people take it because they do not know what is best for themselves. I was wrong. Hearing a 10-year-old tell me how handouts don’t really do much for the country because they are just temporary blew my mind. He proceeded to talk about the importance of education in Haiti and how he is willing to learn more so he can become a doctor down the road. Haitians do not want handouts. They want to be educated to be able to help themselves. I have heard these statements over and over from children and from adults all throughout the trip and it really changed my perspective of thinking that they don’t know best. They do.

2. They are not poor

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Photo captured by yours truly featuring Brittany, Matthew, Brandi and the kids

Our theme verse was Joshua 1:9 ” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Haitians embody this verse so well. I have heard women tell me of their daily lives while always adding at the end that God is good. When I think of all the time I got discouraged by little things, I felt ashamed. Haitians have so much faith. So much Love for the Lord, and more importantly so much joy in His promises. They were always ready to learn, sing, to be happy, and to have a good time which kept me going no matter how tired I could have been. They live the Gospel out loud and showed me a representation of who God truly is every single day I spent with them. I have met 10-year-old children who knew so much about what the country needs and about life in general. They are so intelligent. So Strong. So resilient. So loving. So joyous. And So Faithful to God. I have learned way more from them than they probably learned from me and I am grateful.

3. I have gained a family 

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Photo Captured by Jordan Walker

 

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Photo captured by Rachel featuring me, Heather, Erica, Nara and her sister, Losandy and her friend.

Being able to share this experience with my Haitian people and with a team who is so fueled by an incredible love for God made all the difference. I have learned something from each and every one of my team member. I admire their passion for service and their love for the Haitian people. You would think that 63 people on a team would be total chaos, but not at all. I admire each and every single one of their hearts for the Lord and this would not have been the same without them.

4. My Country is Beautiful. 

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Photo Captured by Tour guide on iPhone

I had the chance to visit the “Citadelle” while I was there and was it an experience! A masterpiece of engineering built by ex-slaves still standing to this day. Can I reiterate how intelligent and strong Haitians are? It was so empowering walking up there. For all the time that I have felt that I wasn’t enough, that I wasn’t strong enough or smart enough or capable enough. I was reminded of where I come from, of whom my ancestors are and of what they were capable of. I was reminded that I am their great (x100) daughter and I am not doing this for myself.

5. God confirmed my Role in all of this

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Photo captured by yours truly featuring Kate Fletcher

We walked to a prayer mountain to pray. The view was beautiful and while I stared at it, I could not stop crying. All I could hear and see was God’s love for the Haitians and God’s love for this very place. While sitting up there, all I could say in my head was: thank you for showing me. Thank you for showing me. I saw that analogy of a group of people stuck somewhere, unable to free themselves or to move forward. Then God blesses one of them, then two, then three etc. so that they are able to go out in the world to come back and help their brothers and sisters, but most of them don’t come back. Yet God keeps trying over and over. I felt that I was one of these people who God blessed in order to do something positive for the country that birthed me. I don’t remember what I prayed for, must have been all the tears, but I did feel lighter and more hopeful when I walked down that mountain.

 

I hope this motivates you into visiting Haiti or partnering with the people of Haiti. For more information about sustainable development please visit projectsforhaiti.org

Love,

Lori

 

All photos are mine unless stated otherwise. 

 

Waking Up On November 9th

Thoughts

November 8th of this year was elections Day in the U.S. Though I did not watch it on TV, I kept a close eye on the live results while studying for an exam I had on the next morning. I stayed up late because of studying and found myself getting more and more nervous as the  results were being updated. I stayed up until the final results were announced, but I was too tired to think about it. But then November 9th came, and I woke up feeling uneasy.

It was very unusual. It felt like the air was a bit heavier and there was some silent tension in the atmosphere and for the first time, I felt unsafe. I went on Facebook a little bit after I woke up (because who doesn’t right?), and I can say that I regretted it. News of racism, riots, and people sharing their disbelief, anger, and disappointment altogether flooded my timeline.I tried to brush the feeling off and told myself I would stay off social media because it was feeding into the fear I was experiencing, but that did not happen.

Emails were sent by the school about either clubs doing get togethers to “stop Trump” or about how the school is doing its best to create a safe atmosphere for everyone and everyone is always welcomed no matter who you are or what you identify with. As I went on with my day,  I felt worried about the future, and how the decisions of the newly elected president would affect my life and the life of pretty much 90 percent of people I know. I also thought about how a vast percentage of people felt the same way and that another percentage of people chose not to understand that. The fact that violating certain principles of morals or simple basic human rights are not deal breakers for some will always be beyond me.  One of my friends shared with me how she felt unsafe now to walk around because of the color of her skin and all I could say was “same”.

Feeling like you don’t belong or feeling like you are not wanted somewhere just because of the body you are born into is not something I could ever get my mind around. One thing I realized though is that giving into fear is never a good thing. Fear is not of God. I know I also saw a lot of posts about not bringing God into this because He did not vote for people. Although this is true and I agree, I still found the day easier to bear once I was reminded of who is in control when it comes to my life and that I do indeed bring God into everything when it comes to me.

All I know is no one should ever have to wake up feeling unsafe in the community they live in regardless of anything. Maybe it was a combination of social media and what I was hearing and reading in the news exponentially escalating a situation, or maybe my feeling unsafe was completely legitimate given the racist misogynistic comments  that were heard all throughout the past months along with people’s reactions. Either way you choose to see it,  whether you are on either side of the spectrum I hope and pray that you know that you are not alone and there are people you can talk to about it, that God is always there (yes you can bring Him into anything), and that you choose love and tolerance over hatred always in everything you do, say, and portray so no one wakes up feeling uneasy because of your actions or “opinions” at any given day.

Love,

Lori

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How I Keep My Prayer Journal

Thoughts

I have been asked about prayer journals since I have published 3 Reasons Why You should keep a Prayer Journal. I know it took forever, but I usually pray before I post anything and if I don’t “feel” it, I will not post it. Whether or not I actually know what I will write about. Anyway, I am sorry it took so long! Let’s get to it.

My prayer journals are usually journals I use to keep track of my growth with God and of my relationship with Him along with my conversations ( prayers) with Him. To be honest, it doesn’t have to be an actual journal in my opinion. It can be on your electronic devices, but I personally like to write and to have a physical journal so that is what I go for. Really, this is all about you and your preferences, but here  is what I include in mine:

  1. The date and even the Time

I didn’t use to do this, but I found it to be very useful to know the exact date and time when I was feeling a certain way or what I was talking to God about. It doesn’t matter that much, but personally I think it’s useful when looking back and realizing how God has been leading me.

 

2. Learned today Section

This is going to sound silly, but I usually write what I have learned on that day or what I have improved or not improved on. I don’t mean on an academic point of view, but about life in general. For example, I may write that today I have learned  or was reminded of the importance of humility and write how I have come to this conclusion. I have found that little things like that go a long way. I would write what God has put in my heart that day and anything that I feel is worth putting on there. That way, I also remember to thank God in my prayers for a particular improvement or pray that He helps me in this particular area so that I may be more like Him. For example, patience is a big thing for me. I have none whatsoever when it comes to certain things; sometimes even little things. So, time and time again I would write that I need to improve on my patience because I felt irritated because of this and that. It is a good way to acknowledge feelings and things that need work. I would then pray to God that He gives me the patience necessary to be able to love a little more like Him every day and that He teaches me how to do so. It is a work in progress, but I am getting there with His help.

 

3. Bible Verses

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I also like to include any bible verses or anything I read that day or that week that spoke to me or that I need some light on. That way, I can remember to ask God to open my heart and mind, and send me His holy spirit so that my mind, heart, and soul can grasp what he wants me to take away from a particular passage. I find this to also be a way to remember and keep in my heart what I have learned from reading a particular book.

 

4.  Prayer

This is my favorite part. I would make sure I read what I previously wrote down so I remember exactly what to thank God for besides the usual millions of things and I would pray about what I need to work on, where I have failed Him etc. I would also give thanks for what I have learned from a particular bible verse or what I need His help understanding.  To me, it is usually a conversation, as personal as it can get. I usually write “Dear God” to begin. This part is all up to you! Just open your heart to your father and be sure that He listens!

 

These are the four things I include in my prayer journal. Since I like to keep things organized, they are indeed in this very order, but as I said before, it is all up to you! I am sharing how I keep mine to maybe give someone else an idea. I hope you found this useful! Let me know in the comments!

 

Love,

 

Lori

3 Reasons Why You should keep a Prayer Journal

Thoughts

I have had a prayer journal for as long as I could remember. I was always very fond of writing and I find that writing down my thoughts usually help me keep them on the positive side of the spectrum. I don’t usually journal about events that happened during the day, more like how I felt that day and why. I also write ideas, projects, plans, bible study notes etc. But to be honest, nothing is more satisfying to me than to write my prayers down. I usually write them as letters to my beloved Father and I just love being able to read them over and over. Here are 3 reasons why you should keep a prayer journal.

 

  1. You can keep track of your answered prayers

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One of the best feelings of keeping a prayer journal is being able to look back and read over the prayers and requests that you wrote down before, and realizing today that they have been answered. You see I have realized that it is very easy to forget about our present blessings until we realized that a day before or a year before, the blessings that we are enjoying today were things that we were desperately praying for. On June 21, 2016 I wrote in my prayer journal for God to intervene for me so that I may have an interview with a specific company that I’d rather not name. On Monday June 27th, I was headed to my interview and opened my journal to pray before going. I started reading old prayers and couldn’t help but smile when I came across the one about the interview. On July 5th 2016 at 11:00PM, I wrote in my journal about going to orientation with my brother and having a place to stay and everything planned. On July 7th, 2016, there I was at orientation with my mother and brother with everything planned and taken care of. I could go on and on about this, but I wanted to give recent examples.

 

2.  You can use it to rekindle your hope in God

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Okay I know that sometimes we all lose hope or start doubting God or our relationship with him. Although yes, you should read your Bible and pray about it, but sometimes I don’t even feel like I have the strength to pray. I then open my prayer journal and start reading past prayers and I am reminded of who the god I serve is. I am reminded of my relationship with Him and of how I wouldn’t want to give that away for anything. It is funny that as I am inspired to write this today, I am living this part and reading my prayers over along with the Bible has sure brought the Joy of the Lord back to me.

 

 

3. You are more aware of the relationship you have with God

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I am not saying that I write every single prayer in my prayer journal because I pray multiple times a day. Before I eat, before I drive, before I make a decision etc. And these prayers are usually short ones in the quietness of my heart; But I do reserve one hour in the morning and one hour at night to sit down calmly with my Bible, my highlighters, my prayer journal, and worship songs. I write down my prayers, I bring my thoughts to my Father, my concerns etc. One thing I have realized from doing that is that I am more aware of what goes on between me and God when I keep my journal. I am able to have on concrete paper what I need to work on, what God is doing in me and in my life and in others’ life. Not only am I able to witness them in my life and in others’ life, I am able to look at it happen from another angle by keeping a prayer journal. I find that to be a plus if you are working on bettering your relationship with God.

 

I was inspired to write this today out of nowhere so I hope it inspires and helps someone. How has keeping a prayer journal helped you? If you would like a post about my process for keeping my prayer journal ( how it looks, what I start with, how I pray etc.)  feel free to comment and let me know! Feel free to comment even if you just want to say hi also! 🙂

 

Love,

 

Lori

Not Having it Together Yet in Your Early 20s is Totally Okay

Thoughts, Uncategorized

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was desperately looking for something to do to show out for herself. Everyone around her seemed to have talent and to be up to something except for her she said; so she was trying to learn as many things as possible or trying to come up with things like creating a blog, or writing or anything she thought she could get her hands on. I thought of encouraging her  if she was doing this for the right reasons until I found myself in her.

Today’s world puts so much pressure on young people nowadays! It’d have you feel that in your early 20’s you need to have graduated, be a home owner, have traveled the world, be successful, be married or in a relationship, own your own business, and be popular on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube and whatever else there is.

When I think about it, social media and comparison seem to have a lot to with it. Let’s go back to my friend. She felt that everyone around her was up to something. When I asked who was everyone, she told me social media friends or people she knew in real life posting about their new job, travels, graduation, blogs, YouTube channels etc.

Hmm.. I thought. Haven’t we all been there! Social media are not what they are cut up to be. People are more likely to post about successes than failures. You will not see how many rejection letters they received or how they struggled for anything they post about. While I do not necessarily blame it, I do not condone comparing your life to others’. What you only see or hear others talk about is what they choose to share with you, so comparing your full life story to bits and pieces of another’s life is just not fair to you.

I am here to tell you that in your early 20’s, not having it together yet is totally okay. You are probably a student, working towards certain goals that you would like to accomplish, or maybe you are not a student but you have dreams and you look at other people’s successes and think to yourself that you should have been doing more or doing better. Well, I am totally here for having other people inspire you, but if being inspired by what someone is doing is borderline making you feel bad about yourself, you need to rethink this.

Each person is on their own timeline according to God’s plan for their life. Comparing your journey to someone else’s is trying to fit someone else’s timeline to your own. That won’t quite work now will it? I recently read the book of John and one thing I remember writing is how Jesus would mention that his “time had not yet come”. It reminded me that there are specific times for certain things. The fact that someone graduated today and you are working towards graduating but you are not there yet does not mean that you have failed. It maybe   means that you are moving according to God’s timing for your life! and if there is one thing I learned, it is that it’s the best timing there is!

My friend also wanted to find things to do that she’d seen others’ been successful at. Hmm.. while this can be a good thing, it has its flaws.  I am all here for finding yourself, finding your purpose, your path, and God’s plan for your life, but if the reason you choose to go into something is because you see others do it, I think you should rethink this yet again. God gave us gifts and talents according to His will for us. Maybe someone else’s ministry is singing, maybe another’s is creativity, or leading, writing, or whatever else, but that does not mean that it is your own. Appropriating another’s path won’t make you as happy as they are if it’s not your gift.

Find your purpose, find what you are good at and do that. The rest will follow according to God’s will. Move at your own pace and try to enjoy the ride along the way. And the next time you find yourself being discouraged by comparing your life to others’, remember God created you unique in His image, with gifts that maybe you have no idea you have and that He is going through this journey with you. Pray and ask Him for guidance with your life. Trust in Him and in His timing.

Love,

Lori

5 Things that Happened Once I let Go of Fear

Thoughts

I have talked about how fear was a big part of my life. I used to be scared of doing so many things and I realized that letting fear taking over is basically not trust in the promises of the Lord. God helped me so much with this by reminding me on a daily basis that Fear is NOT of Him.  Letting go of the thoughts and actions that would allow fear to take over me was not easy task. It took time and was a journey, but here is what happened when I finally learned to trust the Lord better. It’s a daily task, but getting there feels amazing.

  1. Confidence

I am not talking about confidence in myself, but more like confidence in the God I serve. I used to be that shy person who wouldn’t talk even when I had some things to say. That quickly changed. If you know me now, you know I say what I think and I feel strongly about a lot of things and I am no longer afraid to stand up for them. I am no longer afraid to stand up for God, for what I believe in. The most amazing thing is I would walk to places for interviews or to talk to professors/advisors or something like that and I would feel extremely calm. These things used to make me nervous, but it’s no longer the case. I usually would pray before hand and would simply acknowledge that God is right beside me on this and I would walk in feeling confident and would talk normally with no stress whatsoever. I had a scholarship interview this semester and usually I would be a bit stressed before hand even more so that the interviewer is known for not being the kindest of people. I walked in there calm as ever, talked and even made the interviewer laugh! It was a change to my usual one word answers! I am forever grateful to God for always keeping me calm during storms.

2. I no longer care what people think of me

I am sure you can relate. Sometimes we let what others think get in the way of what we know we should do or say. Trusting in God and letting go of fear helped me not only know who I am and who I want to be, but also know who God says I am. Now, I truly don’t care at all what people think of me. Not in a bad way. Of course I’d take advice or what not, but I mean I will do whatever I want to do that aligns with God’s will with no care in the world of being judged or looked at sideways. I stand for my beliefs whether people are going to like it or not. I stopped wanting to be liked by everyone and I cherish more being appreciated and loved by the right people.

3. I no longer worry

I used to worry about what is going to happen next or what am I going to be doing tomorrow, what if this happens or that etc. That is no longer the case. I mean of course I am not perfect and I would find myself worry about things here and there, but I always make sure I remind myself who my father is. I found myself being totally okay not knowing what is going to happen next for me because I know God has a plan and I recall that in the past even when I didn’t understand His plans, they eventually made sense when the time was right. 2016 has been so far a total leap year for me about stepping out in faith, what I am going to be doing, where I will be and things like that, and I found myself enjoying it! Even worst I find it kind of fun lol! I take everything as part of the journey and I sometimes think where is the fun in always knowing and controlling what is next!? I leave all that to God because He has never failed me even when I have failed Him! It’s a journey, but doing my best to trust God has never failed me.

4. I am myself at all times

Trusting God and taking in how He loves me has made me realized that God wants us to be who He created us to be. I believe that God wants us to be ourselves because He made us! So letting go of the fear of being judged or of not being liked or whatever else, I am myself all the time. I love myself more not in a conceited way but more like because God made me. I appreciate every thing about me and that made me appreciate and understand others better. I value my soul just like I value the body I am in by loving all out.

5. I love better 

I found myself loving others and understand that means that the other person needs to feel free. Maybe it has to do with the confidence in God, but I am no longer afraid of people leaving me or of trusting others because I believe that God brings people in for a reason and I am always ready to learn the lesson or to open up and love whoever God sends me to love as long as it is His will. I am talking about any kind of love: friendships, relationships, family etc. I have felt myself growing when it comes to understand what it means to love God’s way. Not that I would ever fully understand it but I feel myself loving better and better and I am grateful.

 

I am sure a lot of other things happened that I have not mentioned, but if you find yourself worrying too much about life or about being liked or what others think of you. Or if you find yourself not being bold enough to claim what God has given you or just too afraid to step out in faith, open your Bible, talk to God, and have a little faith. I promise it’s worth it!

Love,

Lori

5 Steps to Gratitude

Thoughts, Uncategorized

A couple of years ago, God told me to appreciate little things. He really did! He sent me books, people, and when I still wasn’t paying attention, He told me. Once I realized what direction God wanted me to take, I started to take it to heart and putting gratitude into practice. God is so good and so merciful! I ran out of words to thank Him a long time ago, but I still make sure I do. Here are five things I did and still do today. I hope these will help you have a more grateful heart.

1. Write 10 things that you are grateful to God for
I was always into journaling as I love to write so this came naturally to me. I kept a journal in which I wrote down my prayers and things I was grateful for every day. I wrote about ten things to begin with so you can start with that. Later on, I couldn’t stop. I stopped counting how many things I was writing and it was amazing the things I was grateful for! I wrote things like:” Thank You so much, Lord for this beautiful day.” or ” Thank You so much, Lord, for Your love and mercy.” ” thank You God that I have eyes to see the beauty of Your creation.” etc.  At first, I planned on doing it for 21 days, but I did not stop ever since. It truly changed my life and put things into perspective.

2. Say Thank you to/for others and mean it

I also started thanking others. Thanking them for little things each and every time. Thanking them for their friendship and thanking God for them.I would say in my heart when I see them:” Thank You God for putting this person in my life.” or even tell them in person that I am grateful for them. Surprisingly enough, my relationships bloomed without me doing anything. God was blessing each and every single one of my relationships and people seemed happier in my company. People who didn’t have my best interest at heart either completely changed their attitude or stayed away from me for my own good. I was also happier.

3. Be Grateful in Difficult Situations

I admit that this is not an easy one, but practice makes perfect! So much, that now, even if I say I am hungry or this is not going well etc. I am just saying it, but in my heart, whatever is not going well does not bother me one bit. Let me explain. In each situation, I believe there is a hidden blessing. There are always lessons to be learned and God knows I love to learn. I love to become a better person and to grow personally. As a result, every time something goes South, I always remind myself that there is a blessing in this situation even if I don’t realize it right away. I often say:“Thank God for lessons learned.”

I used to tutor at the Math Lab in the community college I went to. Some days were so busy that our supervisor would come in to help out. I had to walk around and help students while sometimes having one to one appointments and it was just so hectic. My coworkers would complain a lot about it and I would too at some point until I decided to view things from a different angle. Every day before work, I would pray and thank God for having a job and most importantly I would thank God for being able to help so many people who have exams and homework to go through. Next thing I knew, I was always so happy and cheery to go to work and help people. So much, that the students started to specifically ask for me to tutor them which made me even more grateful. At the end of my work days, I would be tired but I would always be smiling and looking forward to tomorrow. The same thing is happening at my current job. I love it so much and love the people even though it’s tiring work. I always look forward to the next work day so I can help people. As a result, my supervisor pulled me once to tell me how she loves how much of a positive attitude she noticed I have, how she appreciates my kindness, and how I always have such a genuine smile all the time making students feel welcomed. I thought to myself:” Thank you, Jesus. It was all You.”

4. Give Thanks in Your Prayers

Okay, I know this is a no brainer because we are supposed to give thanks while praying, but have you ever tried to not ask for anything and to just say thank you? I practiced that for over a month. I would wake up and start with praise then I would  thank God for each and every little thing in my life for an hour. I would do the same at night. As a result, I started to pray for others and not for myself and kept on giving thanks. What happened was that I got the job I wanted out of the blue,I got the courage to walk away from someone who wasn’t good for my life, and I passed classes I thought I’d fail. I did not expect any of this, and sure did not pray about them, but giving thanks to God for the things I do have without asking anything else was trusting God to take care of my needs and that’s exactly what He did!

5. Don’t worry and Be Happy!

Easier said than done, but When you are genuinely grateful to God, you don’t have the time to doubt Him. You don’t have the time to question whether or not He will provide this or that because you are too busy being grateful for what He has provided. One thing I’ve learned is that worrying is one of the most ungrateful acts. To me, worrying is basically not believing God’s promises and dismissing what He has already done for you. So Be happy! Smile to strangers, love out loud and share the joy that you found in the Lord! He’ll take care of you like He always has!

Love,

Lori

A Childlike Heart

Thoughts, Uncategorized

This post is a bit more personal as it is about my walk with God. I am an imperfect person who sins just like everyone else and I wanted to share my journey with God ( where I have been and where I am trying to be at when it comes to Him) and His mercy to me. I am humbled and forever grateful!

When I was little, the book of Samuel was my favorite book in the Bible. I had set myself to read the whole Bible, but I am not quite sure I had or if I did, I surely don’t remember. However, I remember that I wanted God to call me like He did Samuel. I would pray about it every night and beg and beg to be called. Being a child, I literally wanted to hear God’s voice call “Lori”. But being a child, I didn’t think about what I’d do if He had or what being called meant.Regardless, I really wanted God to physically say my name. I would even cry about it while praying! Until one night, I dreamed of God visiting me and it was the happiest dream I’ve had! After that, I felt that my prayer was answered although not the way I wanted. That’s exactly how and when I knew God was very real. I was completely convinced.

I always tried my best to always pray at night. My mother would pray with us and My prayers consisted of me asking forgiveness for my sins, blessings for my parents, family, and friends whether or not I knew what they were going through or not. Then I’d ask God to give me health, wisdom, intelligence, and obedience. I’d also ask for these for my family and friends and that God protects them. We would also pray “Our Father which are in heaven…”. At the end of each prayer, my mom would have me say:” Mon ame bénit l’Eternel, Que tout ce qui est en moi bénit Son Saint nom; Mon ame bénit l’Eternel. Amen” ( for non-French speakers, it’s the French version of Psalm 103:1 “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.” At the end of every prayer, I would also ask God to keep me from dreaming because I’d have very vivid dreams that would scare me. Overall, my prayer life as a child had a routine to it, but I meant every word.

Then growing up, I still prayed but it was different. I am grateful for family drama and teenage crisis that kept me close to God. Still, I only went to church one a month when the Catholic School I went to had mandatory mass. I grew up with a Catholic father and an Adventist mother who traveled when I was very young. When my mother was around, we went to church every Saturday, but after she left, my dad never really took us to church. Sometimes even if I asked so I made it a habit of not going and thought nothing of it. At the time, to me praying  and trying hard to be good and doing good was enough. I had a relationship with God then, but certainly not as personal as when I was a child or not as personal as I believe I do today. Let me explain.

As a child, although I had the fear of God, I craved His presence. As a child, God calling me or talking to me was what would make me special, happy, and grateful. Instead of daydreaming about other things, I daydreamed of being that child that God has a personal relationship with. I wanted to know Him, to be His friend, His daughter. As a teenager, family drama, and teenage years crisis made me see God mostly as my savior. The thing is I don’t know if I would have been a praying teenager had it not been for these situations I was facing. However, as a child, I prayed because I genuinely wanted to talk to God although I still had a bit of fear in me when it comes to Him. What was it as a child that made me want God to be close to me so badly that I didn’t have as a teenager? I asked myself so many times. Somewhere in between heartbreak, insecurities, and non-genuine friendships, I started to see God as someone I could go to with my problems, but without ever asking Him how He is doing or how WE are doing. When I say that I mean like this one person who only comes to you when they need you so you can solve their problems, but they probably know nothing about you because they never bother to ask. well, I was that person with God.

I then realized that as a child, my innocence didn’t allow room for doubts or concerns with problems. As a child, I was content with the little things. Like I would be wondering if I would dream of God on that particular night, and I couldn’t wait to go read the Bible or pray so that it can happen. Also, as a child, I took everything I read in the Bible to heart. I would feel so horrible if I lied and would beg for forgiveness right away. As a child, I trusted God fully. After that experience, I did not worry about whether or not God would do this or that for me. I would tell my mother that I talked to “Little Jesus” about this or that and that He will make things happen. Children are humble, they are not yet polluted by the ideas of the world. No wonder Matthew 18:3 says:“And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Maybe when it comes to God, if we acted as the children that we are to Him, things would be much better.

Later on, after God had showed me that I needed to remove yet another person from my life, I realized what I needed to get back to. I needed my child like faith back. I needed my grateful heart, and my ability to see the beauty and magic in the little things and that’s how it all began again. I started to truly seek God just because I love Him. I usually prayed for more than an hour per day. I prayed for people more than I prayed for myself and made it my duty to say thank you and to never ask for a thing for a long period of time. I would worship and pray God and beg Him to help me be close to Him. I read passages of the Bible and kept praying. And you know what? HE ANSWERED!! He sent me so many signs through people or books, or readings, to tell me to keep going and that He’s always been here despite my shortcomings.

He even showed me how some things I went through were never about me. They were to help another person that I would meet along the way going through that same thing at the moment. Some of the things were about Him. About bringing Glory to Him. Everything started to make sense and I was so amazed by it. I met the right people, the right group on the campus I go to.  Then He told me He wanted me to get baptized again. I was so scared at first then I remembered whose child I was and that the Most High talked to little nothing me and I had to obey (More about that later on). I even started to realize the purpose of so many things! I get a bit emotional every time I think of it. My life had suddenly changed and I was a brand new person with a grateful heart always as God is a dear friend/confident/Father of mine. Even today I get asked how is it that I am always the one to point out positive things out of awful situations and every time someone asks me that, I thank God in my heart for reminding me of how to have a child-like heart again despite my downfalls.  After all I am His child! And it keeps on getting better. I am striving for a better relationship with God and He sure helps me through the journey. Trust Him, He can do the same for YOU! Yes, YOU!

Love,

Lori