Blindfolded 

“I’m picking you up at 6:00” he said “Please be ready to leave as soon as I get there”. “Okay, I will” I said.

What was the rush? Should I have asked him where we were going? 
He pulled up at 5:55, so I headed out the door. “You look lovely” he said having a delighted smile on his face. “Well, thank you sir” I said with a little bit of sass. “May I get in my chariot?!?” I asked. He laughed. He’s said “In a minute. I need you to put something on first” He pulled something out of his pocket. “Is that a blindfold?” I asked. “Yes, and there’s no negotiating, you’ve got to wear it” He said. “Fine. I’ll wear it”

Suddenly we were off, but I had no idea where. Why had He blindfolded me? At first, I was trying to figure out each street he took and what noises I heard. But when I lost track, I started to get tense. In fact, my whole body felt tense. The unknown made me anxious! “Relax, I know where we are going. Everything is ready” he said. I guess he could see I was as tense as I felt. 

“Fine” I said. “Are you upset?” He asked. “Well, you told me to be ready at 6:00 and I was and I didn’t have much notice. You and I have been together a long time and I’ve tried to do everything you’ve asked. I just don’t get why you have to blindfold me. Don’t you trust me enough to see it?” I said with agitation in my voice. “Christi, there are some things I can tell you and others you simply have to wait for. Do you trust me to lead you where I want you to be? And where you will want to be” There was a long pause. I contemplated how this man had always looked out for me. He’s always protected me. He’d always made time for me. “Yes, I do” I finally said. “Okay, great so sit back and relax” he said with enthusiasm. 

We must be close because it felt as if we were in a parking lot. He pulled up to a stop and parked. He said, “wait here a second” I contemplated taking off the blindfold and getting out of the car. In order to make this day how I wanted, but then I’d miss out on the surprise. And he said He was taking me to a place I wanted to be. So, I stayed inside the car.

My door opened and he said, “Are you ready? Give me your hand!” I lifted my hand up but I’d need him to grab it. He did and graciously maneuvered me out and made sure I didn’t bump my head. He said “Just keep holding my hand. Remember, I’ve got you. I can see the path”


He sounded so upbeat. I was struggling a bit, but I kept telling myself he’s trustworthy. I knew I could complain and grumble about the uneasy bumps in the path we were taking, or the ducking under things, or the large steps we’d take to get over things in our way, but when I talked I missed out on hearing the birds,or sensing the excitement in this man’s voice. He directed every step. “We have another big step to take over some rock ahead” or “You need to duck in a bit” but whenever we would go over, under or around things, he’d make sure I did not even get a scratch. He was so aware of how to get around each hurdle. He was such a good guide, I wondered how many people he had taken down this path. 


Time seemed to stand still. I was wondering when we’d get there, but I wasn’t as worried anymore about being blindfolded. I was kind of lost in my thoughts when I heard, “we’re here!” He let go of my hand and walked behind me to take off the blindfold. 

When the blindfold came off I saw the most beautiful sight in front of me, my heart stopped. It was so breathtaking. He had lead me into an opening in the forest outside our city. It was golden hour. There was beautiful lights hanging from the tree, a picnic blanket with picnic food. He went over, picked up his guitar and started singing. After he finished the song He said, “Come here and sit down” so I did. I couldn’t stop smiling. He said, “Was it worth it?” I could hardly speak the sight was gorgeous and he had been so gentle in getting me to the place I was now sitting and enjoying. “Yes, every minute of it” 


A few thoughts:

This story came to mind and I realized this is something I know several of us have gone through. 

God sometimes guides us into and out of situation. Sometimes the transition is short. We go straight from one into the other. Other times, the transition is slow. We experience a waiting period. In either case, we both need to be ready. When God calls us somewhere else, we often feels like we are walking through the forest blindfolded before we start seeing the answers we have been searching for. 

Joseph experienced this. Joseph knew, through his dreams, that he would be more powerful and influential than his brothers. And there was no denying God had a call on his life. However, Joseph faced being sold into slavery, changing locations, cultures, language and familiarity. Then when things were getting better he was thrown in prison. He faced obstacles and I’m sure in the midst of it he asked God what was going on. But Joseph trusted God. If God called him, he wouldn’t leave Joseph. 

Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been blindfolded trying to figure out what’s next, but God didn’t ask me to figure that out. He asks me to trust Him. He is the one who created me. He is the one who brought my life into this world. He is the one who knows my thoughts even before I speak! 

Although at times, I am not a fan of being blindfolded and lead. I know that is the safest place for me to be. God knows what He is doing and I’d hate to miss what He has planned by pulling my hand out of his! 

So whatever your season may hold, keep holding God’s hand. He will guide you. He loves you and He has your best in mind! 
Psalm 139:1-18

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughtsfrom afar.

You discern my going outand my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 

Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your 

 presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

My Dear Child 


My Dear Child,

Before I begin I want to remind you how much I love you! And I mean you! Right now I am talking to you, so don’t worry about what others are doing or how others are thinking or how others are feeling. I see the pain you’ve endured. I see the battle that you’re facing and I know the struggle you are trying so hard to overcome, but in the midst of all this chaos remember: I AM HERE! I am with you! You may have suffered rejection, but I was rejected for you. You may have been hurt, but I was hurt for you. You may have been slandered, but I was slandered for you. And remember that when you’re confused and wanting to give up, I am the anchor for your soul! I am your answers, your healing, your peace, your perseverance, your strength. All that you need is ONLY found in me! There maybe NO ONE who understands your journey but me. Why? Because I AM the one who created this journey for you. Things may not make sense. You may even think you’re lost, or you’re not going to make it, but I AM HERE! I am the One who guides and directs. I am the one who goes before you. I am the one who guides and creates your next steps.

Maybe you are paused on one step or maybe there are several steps placed in front, but remember, I AM HERE! We are on this journey together. So whether you face heartache, rejection, or uncertainty remember there is always one thing for certain: I AM HERE and I love you more than you could ever imagine! Trust me- I’ve got this situation and I’ve got you! 
Love,

Your Heavenly Father 

I Am Weak


Some days feel overwhelming. There are times in our lives where some days seem so daunting; yet, other times, we feel like we can take on the entire world! 
Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed. In fact, just the other day, I fought to get up and face the day. Some days it feels as if the enemy is screaming at me with his lies laced in a smidge of truth and jabbing at all my flaws. I woke up feeling defeated. I know the Christian walk is not a cruise ship. But it is more like a battle ship parked at the gates of hell. 

So, I put on a few sermons, then some praise music and was about to mow the lawn when I got a text from my mom: “want to have lunch?” to which my reply was: “yes”

We ate and talked and talked and ate until she had to go back to work. My heaviness didn’t feel as heavy. I got home did some needed tasks and started mowing. I was still battling in my mind but kept asking God for help. 

By the time I finished the lawn, ate supper and evening had set it.  I felt like I was a victor again. I was reminded it’s not how you start the day, but how you finish. 

Every few hours it feels like I am reminded of my fragility, inadequacies and inabilities. The truth is: I simply cannot live without God. I cannot speak truth without God. I cannot breathe without God. I cannot love without God. I cannot have hope without God. I cannot go a day without God. I cannot be an overcomer without God. Apart from Him I can do NOTHING. One of my favorite quotes is: 

I can’t. He never said I could.

He can. He always said He would. 

I am so very grateful for my mom, sisters and friends. I’m thankful that I am never alone. I’m thankful for God and His infinite patience and understanding. This life may come with its challenges, but God has conquered them all and when I am weak THEN I am strong!

If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart. – Oswald Chambers

It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish! 

What are you up to? 

(Before I start this, I am preaching to myself. Writing is my outlet and how I process things) 

As much as I say I’d like to live by faith and not by sight. I have come to realize there are times I don’t really! 

I was on the phone with a friend not too long ago. This friend and I had been in similar situations at one point in time. After my friend shared an incredible opportunity he had just received he asked, “What are you doing now?” *pause* 

Maybe you are not being questioned about your future by a friend, but maybe you’re questioning yourself, your journey, and dare I say: God! Maybe your questioning sounds like this: “Does my life even matter?”, “Does being a mom even matter. I’ve cleaned these floors a hundred times, and for what?” , “I’ve been serving customers for 15 years and all I have is a pat on the back” , “I’ve been faithful to my husband, even though I don’t feel like I receive the support I need, why should I keep trying?” , “What am I even waiting for anyways?” , “Am I walking in faith for no reason? Or am I being irresponsible?”

Maybe God hasn’t told you the next step OR God has changed your path and it’s not what you anticipated. Instead of joy you are frustrated. Instead of answers you have questions. Instead of comfort you feel a little out of control. 

Maybe you thought something would have come along by now, or you’d have a husband by now. Or that you’d receive more appreciation for your hard work. I am noticing that saying I want to live by faith and not by sight means not having all the answers. Do I really want not having answers? Especially when a friend asks you: What are you up to? Or what’s next? Or what are your goals, passion, aspiration? 

To be completely honest, I’ve had a hard time not knowing even some of the answers let alone all the answers, but I believe that is living by faith, and the minute we start doubting is the minute we will start sinking and crash! 

When I got off the phone with my friend- I did have a crash. I thought, ” I don’t even know what I’m doing” But I HAD to REMIND myself that GOD DOES! Am I okay with God knowing and not me? Or do I really want to live by sight? If I lived by sight- I wouldn’t be pleasing God. It says in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to please God. 

So whatever your life entails: children, a 9-5 job, cleaning houses, defending a client, monitoring traffic, or in the waiting, we all can choose to live by faith or by sight. Maybe there is a decision you need to make. Or maybe being still and knowing He is God. Pray and ask God to guide you and do what you believe He is telling you. It may make NO SENSE to anyone else, but our ways are not God’s ways! At the end of the day are we pleasing God or man? I hope that it’s God, but if it’s God is often comes with a price from man. 

The man or woman who is wholly or joyously surrendered to Christ can’t make a wrong choice – any choice will be the right one.”           – A. W. Tozer

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. Proverbs 3:5-7

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17

I Have A Confession…

I was doing some cleaning today- both internally and externally. I was picking up a mess when I started in one spot then looked around to another mess. I turned around the other direction and there were more things that needed picking up. The long and short of it was that I was surrounded by things that needed to be picked up and put away.
As I was picking up the toys, I realized this is a lot like my life. There are “messes” in my heart that need to be picked up and put away, or should I say put under? Under the blood of Jesus. Right when I feel like I have made progress in one mess of heart, the Lord reveals another mess I need to clean up. 

I had started to feel a little distant from God. He just didn’t feel as close as He had been. I began reading my Bible and within a few minutes, I was convicted on a few things: 

1. Being too hasty in my words.           2. Judging people in my own heart within the last few days.                               3. Being diligent 
I confessed it to the Lord and was then frustrated with myself. I don’t ever want to bring grief to God- He’s done so much, but there I was again falling short- in desperate need of Him and His correction and help! BUT, in God-like fashion, after the correction, He brought me to tears using another chapter of Scripture which followed the first passage I had read.

Psalm 103:7-14:                              The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;                                                 He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.                  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed,
 He remembers that we are dust.

As I was cleaning up the physical mess I found today, I realized that God sees all our mess at one time. He sees the mess behind, beside us, under us and all before we even turn around. God could sit in heaven and say you need to fix this, this, this, this, and this and this. He doesn’t do that though. He allows us to work on one thing or another till its cleaned up and then shows us something else we need to work on.

I realized this is also an area I need to work on because, quite frankly, I sometime see something in someone else’s life that they may not see, OR maybe they know it’s there but haven’t finished tidying their first mess in order to work on the mess that I see.

Matthew 7:1-5:

“‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.           “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.'”
I am wrong! God has been teaching me and showing me so much grace. He is firm but gentle in His correction. He gets right to the issue and once it’s confessed, He doesn’t bring it back up. Then He extends such compassion. Imagine He was hurt by my sin and yet in His response to my sin, He turns towards me with compassion. He corrects me, helps me to brush it off, gives me a hug and sends me on my way- yet still being with me. 

I want to be like this. I’m so far from it, but with His help, I pray I can learn and choose to extend grace, kindness, and compassion- even when I am hurt. And to recognize that everyone is on a different journey. Their journey will not look like my journey. Their lifestyle may not look like my lifestyle. That is okay! God made each person different. I want to be a person of grace. A person of kindness and a person who loves deeply because I recognize I am loved unconditionally and undeservingly! 
Lord Jesus,

Please help me today be a person of grace. Forgive me for how I judge. Lord, I am completely wrong. Please help me to always extend grace because that is what you have extended to me. Help me to see others and myself as you see us! Help me to continually work with you on cleaning up the messes in my heart. I want to be a clean and empty vessel for you to use. Thank you God for your love, grace, kindness and forgiveness. Thank you Lord Jesus for coming to earth to save me. I deserve nothing but hell. Thank You for choosing me and choosing to have a relationship with me. God I am truly grateful. Thank you! 

In Jesus name. Amen. 

My Goal: Wreak Havoc!

walk

I wondered around a well-known city by myself for about 3 days. Around 5:30pm every night, I would go out, grab dinner and go for hour long walks. During these walks, my mind was flooded with lies and my heart filled with hurt unlike anything I have experienced previously. The only way to help you understand the predicament I was in is that it felt as though the enemy was on my back, by my side and waiting to pounce every step I took. I felt bombarded and tortured by his voice, speculations and accusations: “You will regret this”, “You will be a wash-up”, “You won’t ever do any good”, “Your life won’t amount to anything” and “You will never make an impact”. You get the point (at least I hope you do). It felt like every second, I needed to have Scripture in my mind because his pestering was constant. When Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” He is so serious about all three. He wants to destroy you and he wants to destroy me. He wants to destroy the dream God has placed in our hearts. He wants to render us completely inactive for the kingdom of God. He wants take us out by whatever means possible. He wants to destroy our hope, our peace, and our very lives. He wants to make us feel like everyone has a life but you and I. These are all lies. While I was walking around fighting what seemed to be the biggest spiritual battle I have ever fought, I made up my mind that if the enemy was going to fight me- I was going to fight harder. The more sucker punches he threw, the more I’d combat with Scripture and truth! I had to and have to be reminded and remind the enemy that GREATER is HE who is IN ME than he who is in the world. Jesus died for my victory!

During my late night walks, I prayed, cried and listened to music. The song that I kept playing was:

Not backing down – Blanca

I walk the line
I stay out the way, yeah
Never speak my mind
Living in a shade of grey

But the more I get to know me
The more you start to show me
This isn’t how it’s meant to be
So I’ll just keep on walkin’
And you can keep on talkin’
Ima have to make a scene, yeah

I played it safe
Been afraid my whole life
Now things have changed
Won’t stay silent this time

No, I’m not backing down
No, you can’t count me out
NOTHING in this world gonna stop me now
No, I’m not backing down
No, I’m not backing down, down, down

I’ve watched the game
I’ve stood on the sidelines
That same old same
But now it’s my time, yeah

‘Cause if you don’t stand for nothing
You’ll always fall for something
This isn’t how it’s meant to be
So I’ll just keep on walkin’
And let ‘em do the talkin’
Ima have to make a scene, yeah

I played it safe
Been afraid my whole life
Now things have changed
Won’t stay silent this time

No, I’m not backing down
No, you can’t count me out
Nothing in this world gonna stop me now
No, I’m not backing down
No, I’m not backing down, down, down

I’ve been there
Did that
Afraid to be me so I hid that
Gripped with fear till I disappear and then
Drop to the ground like a missed catch
But I
I’m done with that
You can tell ’em all I’m done with that
No more backing down into the background
That’s now, ‘cause I put them old habits down
I follow the leader, and where He may take me may make me a leader
It’s wrote on the wall all you need do is read it
Can’t be a lame duck and go soar with the eagles
So I’m crossing the line
Tell ’em all dawg that I’ve loss too much time
Ain’t staying in this place ‘cause I gotta win this race ‘cause I’m running for a crown Can’t backing down.

 

I decided that night I was NOT backing down. In fact my prayer this: God, please help me to wreak havoc on the enemies kingdom because I’m tired of him wreaking havoc on yours! I am tired of seeing couples split up and families torn apart. I am tired of hearing of people surrendering their life to suicide. I am tired of seeing people hopeless. I am tired of people having their joy and peace sucked out of their life. I have seen some of these things in my life and it’s miserable! The end of John 10:10 says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full

Yesterday, I went on another walk and I was thinking about my desire and prayer. I realized how I can wreak havoc on the enemy’s territory and it is simply this:

I will choose to be KIND; instead of rude

I will choose to LOVE; instead of hate

I will choose to get BETTER; instead of bitter

I will choose to be GIVER; instead of taker

I will choose to be SERVE; instead of be served

I will choose HOPE; instead of being hopeless

I will choose LIFE; instead of death

I will choose JOY; instead of gloom

I will choose FAITH; instead of sight

I will choose to be FEARLESS; instead of fearful

I will choose GOD’S WILL; instead of my own

I will choose to be GRATEFUL; instead of a complainer

I will choose to ENCOURAGE; instead of discourage

I will choose TRUTH; instead of lies

I will choose to be a VICTOR; instead of a victim

These are all good things, but in all honesty, I am completely incapable of doing each one of these things apart from Christ. It says in John 15:5 that apart from Christ I can do NOTHING! In Zechariah 4:6 it says, not by strength or by might but BY MY SPIRIT says the Lord. It all goes back to relationship with Jesus.

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing knowledge of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;” Philippians 3:8-10

When I get to heaven God will not ask how many miles I ran, or how high my salary was, or how many degrees I obtained, or how many countries and cities I traveled to , BUT how many miles I ran to encourage others to take care of our temples, or how well I did at my job to bring glory to God, or how many people or professors I was able to build relationships with in order to win them to Christ, or how many people I was able to encourage and bless while I traveled! Without Christ my life is meaningless!

I want to encourage you and remind you that we ALL can wreak havoc on the kingdom of darkness because the GOD OF ANGELS ARMIES is on our side! If Christ is for us WHO can be against us?  My friends it does not matter what kind of job you have, as long as you are being the light! It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom- you can wreak havoc on the enemy by choosing to be patient with your child like God is patient with us, and seeking to be continually united with your husband. If you are single, you can use your singleness by honoring God through your time, your freedom, and energy! My friends, it’s about being faithful where we are- wherever that is! God placed you there for a reason. There is a God in heaven who gave His only son to give YOU the victory.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 1 Peter 1:3

Let’s choose to live a life pleasing to Jesus; instead of pleasing to others or ourselves. By doing so, let’s get back ground that the enemy has stolen. He has already been defeated!

So be kind, generous, patient, hopeful, fearless, better, loving, encouraging, joyful and at peace because all these things are found in Christ- He gave us the example!

My friends, let the havoc wreaking begin!

 

 

If You Are A Mom…

If you are a mom, you are my hero! If you chose to start a grueling 9 month of pregnancy (or years of waiting for adoption) you are my hero!

This summer I have the opportunity to watch several kids:
some are family, some are friends. I quickly realized this is no easy feat and there is so much pressure (I don’t understand all of the pressure, but I can imagine). Are they clean? Are they learning enough? Should I help them do more? Then on top of that you have to care for the house, apartment or living space- And a husband!

How do you do it?!?! If you are a mom, you are one of the most selfless human beings on this planet! You sacrifice your body, your time, your quietness,a normal 9-5 job, your enjoyments, hobbies, and having normal adult conversations. You sacrifice everything all for someone else! Someone else who, at the time, may or may not even grasp how much of a sacrifice you are making!

You do the same tasks over and over: get them dressed, feed them 3 times a day (more if there is snacking), you clean up, you teach them their ABC’s and 123’s, you wash them and put them to bed. You do this knowing all too well that tomorrow will start all over again!

Not only that, our society tends to think that Moms have it easy because they “stay at home”. If they only spent a day in your shoes they would quickly stand corrected!

So let’s recap: Moms sacrifice their life for someone else’s, get looked at poorly by the majority of society and rarely get appreciated because their kids are too young to realize! It sounds a lot like walking in Jesus’ shoes! He did miracles and rarely was he thanked (In my book laundry washed, folded and put away is a miracle in itself 😂!) The people closest to him didn’t realize the sacrifice he was making , and the majority of society thought very little of him. On top of that he would have to explain himself over and over to those around him what he was doing, and why he was doing it. Jesus- like you-  daily lived out sacrifice!

If you are a mom and you are reading this, I want to thank you! Thank you for your sacrifice! It’s because of Mom’s like you that this world has had the privilege to know men like William Wilberforce who sacrificed the majority of his life to abolishing the slave trade. Or women like Mother Teresa, or Gladys Alward who dedicated and sacrificed their lives to be moms to orphans. Where do you think they learned sacrifice from? Most likely their moms or whoever helped raise them!

Please do not give up! I know it’s hard but I believe when we all get to heaven, it will be the moms who sacrificed for their children that have the biggest mansions!

I would like to dedicate this blog to my mom Jennifer who has lived a life of sacrifice, love and perseverance and to my sisters: Rachel, Linda, Stephanie, Danielle and Rachel #2. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being my heroes! 💗