The Narrow Gate

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Matthew 7:13

As a Christian, I return to Jesus’ words constantly. Either reading them or just thinking about what He said. These are the words I live by, this is the wisdom imparted to me, to us all, by the Savior of the world.

In Matthew 7:13, Jesus tells us that He is the narrow gate and that it will not be the easy choice to follow Him. The world will beckon, loudly, with all its glittery, “do whatever makes you happy” and “follow your heart” mantras.

Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

Don’t follow your heart. It will lead you astray. It’s deceitful, it’s flesh. We need the Holy Spirit to lead us.

Instead of following the broad path and entering through the wide gate, I pray that you will choose the narrow gate. Choose it over and over, every single day. When the narrow way gets hard and treacherous, keep going. Ask Jesus to help you. Never give up. There’s victory in every step forward.

Jesus said few will find it, this narrow gate. My personal opinion is that few will find it because they won’t look for it. I don’t believe it’s hidden.

And yes, we most certainly are free to choose to live our lives, our way. But someday, Jesus is going to be standing before us. Living for ourselves and on our own terms had certainly better be worth it when our number comes up.

Let me say also, that, I believe Jesus loves everyone. EVERYONE. I believe Jesus wants us to sift everything through that Commandment, because that is what He said.

We love first, then we address the sin, in love. When we love first, we aren’t yelling at people that they are going to hell. When we love first and utilize the discernment of the Holy Spirit we give people grace. Everyone wasn’t raised in church. Everyone has their own opinions. All we can do is plant the seed.

And please hold on a moment with … “You’re not supposed to judge people.” Let me go ahead and stop you right there. Anytime anyone says that to me, I automatically know that either one of two things is happening:

A) They haven’t read their Bible.

B) They don’t understand their Bible and are taking that verse completely out of context.

The scripture actually tells us that we will be judged in the same manner we judge others. Also, that we should be sure we are repentant and we are not also ignoring sin in our own lives. There is a way to love people and share Jesus with them. Self righteousness won’t win souls to Christ. No one lives a perfect sinless life. The scripture says we have all fallen short. (Romans 3:23) In fact, it’s seeing a self righteous attitude in “Christians” that hinders people from considering Christ.

There is a way to shine light and tell others there is a narrow gate. We have a responsibility to point people to Christ. We have a responsibility to address sin in a biblical way.

Jesus never once said He wanted us to choose the path, the things, the lifestyle that makes us happy. He reminded us that following Him, choosing life in Him would be hard at times and that He is the “difficult” gate.

This path is holy. It requires living a life that sifts choices and decisions through Christ. We come as we are and then we begin a life long process of sanctification. In Philippians 2:12-13, Paul writes, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his purpose.”

We can’t really clean up our sinful lives without Christ. We can’t expect people to work out a lifetime of sin without Him.

He is the remedy. He is our help. It isn’t easy. But it’s beautiful.

No matter what you’ve done. Jesus can forgive you. He will forgive you. He will require you turn from your old choices and embrace a new life. He will require you are led by the Spirit and not the flesh. He invites you now through the narrow gate.

Enter in.

Love in Christ,

Cassie

I am always available for prayer and I would love to know if you are considering giving your heart and life to Jesus. And also if you recently received Christ or have been blessed by my blog in any way.

Email me on the Contact Page.

Just Be You.

Such a simple concept. Why would we ever conform to the ridiculous standards this world calls worthy. We were made in the image of the Creator of the Universe. He calls us beautiful.
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For me, it got exhausting caring about silly things. God has been taking me on a journey for the last couple of years. He’s been pointing out to me areas of my life that need more of Him and less of everything else. It’s not easy to hear God point out where we have one foot in the world.
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I am grateful that He has, through various circumstances shown me who He created me to be. I am grateful He pointed out areas where He demanded authenticity.
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I have filtered it all through His purpose for me and there’s a lot that had to go. Stuff. Distraction. Ideas. Beliefs, and Doctrines that didn’t align with Him, but somehow had set themselves up in my life.
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It’s glorious. It’s overwhelming that He loves us enough to stop us and say. “No ma’am, before you go any further you need to check some things.” I am so excited about where He is leading me. I’m so thankful He just wants us to be who He created us to be… Shake off the weight the world tries to make you think you need to carry. Too. Much. Stuff.
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Just be you. It’s enough. And if the truth is that you honestly, deep down, you don’t know who you are, let God do some work… He can use it for His glory in ways that you never imagined. #PraiseGod
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▫️For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 🙌✝️💜👆
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Divine Appointments & Chocolate Milk

I truly believe God puts people on our path. I also believe if we aren’t completely wrapped up in our own nonsense, we notice. This happens to me often. It might happen more often but since I’m human, sometimes I am wrapped up in my “stuff” and I fail to see an opportunity to witness or encourage. Today I was shopping and I noticed a little lady having trouble getting a gallon of chocolate milk down. She was on a little scooter. I asked if she needed some help and about that time she got it down. She said “I’ve got it, but I think that’s about my weight limit”.

Amen, Sister. I hear you. I read so much more into that statement than a heavy jug of chocolate milk.

“I’ve got it, Lord… But that’s just about my weight limit. It’s heavy. I can’t carry anything heavier, can you send some help.”

I’ve been there. It’s a street I often travel down. Heavy, hard to carry… Life.

And then she laughed. She had beautiful white hair, bright blue eyes, and a countenance that I deemed joyful, but a little sad. She wheeled on over and began to chat. She told me she just had surgery. She said she still had quite a bit of pain, then she started to share her other difficulties. I had a lot of shopping left to do but I know from experience when God puts someone in my path that my agenda needs to take a backseat. We continued to chat and she had really been through a rough season. And then she said it, “And in the middle of all that my husband died”. It’s the phrase I am familiar with and sometimes my Heavenly Father leads me to mention that I have walked that treacherous road as well. But today, as I tried to be completely Holy Spirit led, I just listened and encouraged and her countenance seemed to brighten up and I wished her well. She just wanted to talk about it. She just needed to talk about it. And the strangest thing is that not five minutes before that I ran into someone who I really hardly ever see and it was someone who spoke the most genuine, funny, heartfelt thing to me when I hadn’t been a widow but just a few hours. And she and I talked about something completely different and I didn’t even think about it until later. It’s just a reminder to pay it forward. Stop being so wrapped up in our own problems that we don’t see the widow, the poor, the heartbroken, the sick, the single mom. The little lady today probably blessed my heart way more than I blessed hers. But I am so grateful that my heart is willing and can hear His direction even in a crowded grocery store. My heart aches for the times I missed it, the times God had to send someone else to minister, to listen, to chat, to encourage. He certainly does not need me. I am certainly not His only choice. But I never want to be too busy to be His hands, His feet, to shine His light.

I loved that she was buying chocolate milk. There was just something about her and that big jug of chocolate milk that makes me smile. I pray she continues to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. I’ve never been so glad to have been out of coconut milk…

PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for all the people and things that make life joyful and full. Thank you for letting us bear one another’s burdens in big and even the smallest of ways. Thank you for divine appointments and holy conversations. Thank you for being in our midst even when we begrudgingly go to the grocery store. What a beautiful blessing that you never leave us nor forsake us. Help us speak kind words with patience to others. Give us eyes to see, to really see the needs of others.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Morning Devotion & Prayer

This morning as I read alone and in the quiet, in Mark Chapter 6, in verse 31, Jesus is attempting to go to a secluded place and rest with the disciples. But no, the people were so eager to be ministered to that they found out where He would be and ran ahead of Him. And Jesus saw their need and He put their needs ahead of His own… and taught them.

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“But the people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them.”

When Jesus and the disciples got to the shore, He saw the large crowd that had gathered ahead of them. Jesus “felt compassion for them” and said they were “like sheep without a shepherd.” He sat them down and “taught them many things.”

Mark 6:33-34

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I really want to always have this zeal for Jesus. I know He is always with me. But I want to be so eager to be led by Jesus that I am always looking for a moment to focus completely on Him. I want Jesus to turn around and there I am sitting criss cross applesauce, just waiting… I am so thankful that I am not a sheep without a shepherd… and that He knows I still have much to learn and He looks upon me and sees I’m hungry and He feeds me…
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This morning, what are you running after? Are you looking to sit and listen to Jesus in any available moment today?

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MORNING PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of another new day. I am grateful for your mercy. I am thankful for your presence. Today, Lord help me look for moments when I can stop and wait on you, stop and focus only on You. I am so glad you take time to teach me, help me take time to listen.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Evening Reflection & Prayer

This is not the time during Lent when I normally read these verses, but I just needed to think about this tonight. I needed my eyes on Jesus and I needed His agenda firmly in front of me…I thought I would share.

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:1-17 (NIV) 

Jesus washing the disciples feet… He knows they won’t all be able to make it through what is about to come, they need His grace and mercy tonight. It’s going to be hard to stand beside Jesus soon. It gets that way for us sometimes, too. It gets difficult to trust the outcome when everything grows grim and dark. John is the only disciple who makes it to the cross…Jesus knows. Peter still doesn’t get it. Jesus even knows what Judas will do… And Judas… walking so closely with Jesus and still not getting it, with His mind on earthly treasures, what must that have been like as Jesus kneeled to wash His feet… Was he past the point of conviction or was he simply satisfied to choose the world over his soul… Did Judas just not even realize he was walking with the Son of God? Watching miracle after miracle, or was he even paying attention? Maybe he was giving glory to someone or something else for all he was seeing. It’s not hard to believe, do we do that? God moves a mighty mountain, God heals, brings us through a trial, opens a door for us, closes a door for us, sends us help, answers our prayer, do we praise Him? Do we know where our help comes from? Do we give glory to God. Or do we pat ourselves on the back? Do we chalk it up to happenstance or our own abilities? No one thinks they could ever be anything like Judas. What? But we all have our moments.  Maybe we don’t go as far as he did. But we should remember  we are not better than Jesus, and just like the enemy tempted and tried to sift Jesus, he will tempt and sift us, too. Doesn’t that make you want to walk a little closer to Jesus.? That should shake us all up…I hear people say Jesus needed Judas to get to the cross. Something like, your enemies are part of the plan. Maybe. But I’m pretty sure Judas is just another example of God using evil for good. Because Jesus was going to the cross regardless. And, in my opinion, eventually, the soldiers would have found Jesus. I don’t believe God’s redemptive plan for all of humanity hinged on Judas being some kind of puppet. We all get to make the decision. Judas didn’t choose Jesus. 

Jesus First. Others Second. Ourselves Last. Crucify Pride. Crucify your agenda. Judas didn’t. 

And Jesus still washes Judas’ feet. Jesus still loves Judas… But I can’t imagine how Jesus washed Judas’ feet. His grace and mercy is too much for my human mind to fathom… Jesus has a servants heart in a royal body… The King of Kings and Lord of Lords says wash your enemies feet… He didn’t just talk the talk… When He said Love was the greatest commandment, the Savior of the world meant it…

PRAYER:

“Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your sacrifice, thank you for the gift of wisdom. Thank you for allowing us to reflect back on your earthly walk. It’s a beautiful blessing to walk with you and read about your life. It’s insightful to read about Judas and his failures, even though it’s heartbreaking to think he walked so closely and somehow still did not choose you. Please Lord, help us be strong when the enemy sifts us, may we always keep your agenda above our own. Help us remember what a sacrifice you made for us all. Help us love our enemies, and help us keep our eyes on You. ”

In Jesus Name,

Amen

Am I Too Nice?

It’s not something you probably stop and ask yourself often. But I think it’s good to self evaluate. When I was in college, I had to write a paper about myself. Part of the assignment was to ask a certain number of people how they would describe you.

So, I posted it to my Facebook wall and waited. I got lots of compliments and everyone said something about me being nice and a good friend, etc.

For the most part, I think most people would still say that I’m nice, a good friend and forgiving. I’m good with that. I always want to offer grace to others, I always want to be kind. Usually everyone is always kind back to me.

But sometimes I feel like people aren’t as nice to me as they should be… And at times, I think that’s my fault because I’m too nice.

(Is that possible?)

I’m nice even when I don’t feel like the other person deserves it.

And here’s the struggle… Isn’t this what God wants me to do?

Isn’t that the way to show the love of Christ to others?

Yes. It is. But not helping people be accountable when they have the wrong attitude or are just plain rude is not showing them the love of Christ.

Jesus never hesitated to speak the truth in love.

He actually spoke the truth while flipping over tables. He spoke the truth in love when the Samaritan woman needed to hear it. He spoke the truth when the whole town was lined up with their stones, poised to throw. I believe that Jesus wants me to speak up when I don’t feel respected. I believe Jesus wants me to tell people when they are being rude or unkind.

And that’s how I’ve been feeling for longer than I care to admit. Feeling like Jesus is whispering to my soul, speak up, stop holding your true feelings in, you need to be honest with people.

What? Honest? I’m honest, Jesus. Boy, that really got my attention. (Jesus is good at that…) So, I let that stew awhile, so when I act like I’m okay with what someone said or did I give them the idea that I’m okay with them treating me that way…and that’s me, essentially, not being honest with them.

Ok…so that’s got to change.

I probably won’t flip over any tables, though.

The older I get, the more it annoys me that I’m too nice, I think when we’re younger we want others to like us… And while it’s true that I do want people to like me, I’m ok with quality over quantity these days.

No, I don’t plan on being rude back. Maybe they didn’t even realize it and I need to clarify so that I don’t walk away offended. But I do plan on telling people when I think they are rude. Yes, I will need to individually access each situation. I’m not looking to get beat up. I’m not talking about getting up in someone’s face.

I’m not talking about being unforgiving. I’m not talking about being judgmental. I’m talking about being honest…with yourself and others when necessary.

If it’s something that you think, whatever, I don’t care. Fine. Close your mouth.

But if it’s something that’s going to hinder you moving forward in relationship to someone else and relationship to Christ, speak your truth, in love. Speak it with kindness, speak it clearly.

Insisting people treat you with the same respect and kindness you show them is important. It’s a boundary we all need to set.

And while I believe I have very healthy boundaries, this is the one I need to work on, the one where the line gets blurred too often.

Honestly, I’m not talking about just people I don’t really know, most of the time, I think it’s people I’m acquainted with, people who know I’m really nice that are not as nice back to me. And with all the Christian love in my heart, I’m over it.

And it’s really only about a handful of people…here and there. And it’s mostly other Christians…yes, it’s rarely non-believers, and when it is I give them a little more grace. (Because maybe, they don’t know better)

I’ve been feeling God nudging my heart about this and I am going to be more intentional about holding others accountable. And I think honestly, that it’s time to speak my truth as nicely as possible when others aren’t that nice to me…

I would want them to show me the same courtesy.

Sure, picking your battles is wise. Sometimes, I think it’s better to just let it go. But sometimes people actually need to know that they are rude and disrespectful.

It’s wrong to take advantage of someone’s kindness.

I would love to know if you feel like you are too nice sometimes and don’t speak your truth… in love… of course… 😂

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.

-Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)

Love in Christ,

Cassie

His Mercy is New…

January… it’s honestly my least favorite month. Cold, dreary, rainy, and way too much implied/unimplied pressure to make yourself over into some much better version. It’s not a bandwagon I’m going to jump on…I much rather always be working toward a better me. January may be the beginning of a new year, but every morning God’s mercy is new. Every single day of this year is a new opportunity to be your best self. So, don’t get caught up in what everyone is doing. That honestly has the devil’s handiwork written all over it. You will never measure up. You might fail. You might eat something you shouldn’t and you might not work out today. Guess what, it’s ok. Just start again tomorrow and throw the quest for perfection out the window. It’s not Godly, it’s exhausting. I hope 2019 brings you the strength to make healthy choices everyday. I hope 2019 brings out the best in you. Take care of yourself. But stop getting caught up in these perfect Insta posts, no one’s life is perfect. Focus on yourself and your family. Unplug a little. Read. Work on your Spiritual Growth. Have a great day. Let’s make January beautiful…
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Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 ▫️

And This is What I Learned…

I honestly have never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. I honestly feel like any day is a good day to start making better choices in any and possibly all areas of one’s life. Sure, probably back in my twenties, I made resolutions. I probably did not keep them a minute and a half.

If you make resolutions, I think that is awesome, no judgement. You go ahead and do you.

But I have found that more often that once every 365 days I need to pull on the reigns, come screeching to a halt and hand them back to God. I do always like to set goals. And usually toward the end of the year, I like to reflect over the year gone by and prayerfully consider how I could have made it better.

Last year, I did feel the usual yearning to dig in my heels and clean out my spiritual closet for the coming year. I knew I needed it. Every so often it’s a must. I prayed a lot about it asking God to show me some direction for the new year and He was pretty silent. I saw everyone posting their “word” for 2018. Things like “courageous” and “fierce” and “love”. Those are all great I thought, clicking the red Insta-heart and the blue thumbs up. But I just didn’t feel a “word” in my spirit. I really felt all kinds of words. But nothing I wanted to be my mantra for the new year.

Later in January 2018, thumbing through prayer and devotional notebooks I keep, I came across something and realized that 2018 would be the year of less of this… blaming the devil, for everything and anything. Anything difficult, inconvenient, scary, and just plain hard to walk through. And so, I resolved in my heart to change that. Little did I know that 2018 was going to bring some difficult days and I was going to feel like the enemy was having a free for all.

And God already knew that I was going to need to get it together and see it all for what it was… God working out His purpose in my life.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

I wrote a post on January 22, 2018 titled, “What Did You Learn?”, the point of that post was to be clear with myself about one thing, 2018 will be the year where I would stop blaming the devil for everything. At the end of the post, I was hopeful that at the end of 2018, I would have risen above the urge to do so.

So, over the last year, whenever something was less than ideal and I started to be really aggravated about the situation there were many times I started to say, “This is nothing but the work of the devil”.

I would stop myself and take a deep breath, remembering that I was going to be more intentional in 2018. Sure, I’m human and a few times my flesh won. But honestly, it didn’t happen very often. I spent quite a bit of time over the last year thinking about what it means to belong to Christ, to walk alongside Him through the trials of life, and also celebrate the year’s victories that were possible because of Him. I spent a lot of time thinking about Job, too.

Life got pretty dark for him, he wasn’t thrilled about it, but he kept his faith in God. I thought about how God’s hand covered everything Job owned, everything Job loved. I thought about how God knew Job’s heart to be faithful and true. And God pulled back His mighty hand, laid down the rules and let Satan test Job.

No, thank God, my year has not been anywhere near as difficult as what Job endured in that season.

And although the year brought lots of great moments, other times, it was hard. There were many times that I felt like one thing would pass and not long after another problem would arise.

And yes, that’s life. But sometimes life does gets really hard. Even if you’ve proclaimed you’ll be “brave” or “fearless” or “tenacious” in the coming year. There’s always going to be a moment when you don’t feel that way.

But as hard times came and went this past year. I realized that whatever made its way to me, would have to certainly pass through the hand of God. He would have to give it a nod, He would have to move the hedge. He would have His reasons. They would be merciful and good for me in time.

And if I spent the whole time with the wrong perspective, I would miss the opportunity to grow and refine my faith.

So, over the last year, I’ve sat quietly at the feet of Jesus. At times, afraid, sometimes full of tenacity and optimism. But always, reminding myself that it all comes from the same hand. So, I need to learn to breath that truth in, if I am walking in truth, in love, in light, it all comes from the same hand.

He knows best.

Is that easy to understand? Nope. Is that scary at times? Yep. Do I have to rebuke fear and trust God often. Yep.

But I am not going to waste time and energy fussing about the devil. If I’m right with God and hard times show up, I’ll trust God is still there and I’ll trust He has a reason to let me walk through them.

So, 2018, that’s what I learned. I already knew it, sadly. But I got too focused on whatever was going pear shaped and less on what I know to be true about God.

And I’m going to take it right on in to 2019.

I hope you will too. Have a Happy New Year…

Love in Christ,

Cassie

The Bigger Picture

I wouldn’t call myself a control freak. I mean, I wouldn’t call myself that. (Haha) But I could understand if someone else might recognize my struggle. I don’t have a control issue so much with people as I do with details and circumstances in my life. I pray everyday for God to have his hand on every area of my life and family. I believe He is present and in control. I believe God is good. However, I find myself struggling with the need to control certain circumstances.

But I guess I am in good company. Jesus hung around with a few control freaks as well. Peter was a bit of a control freak. So much so, that when the soldiers showed up to arrest Jesus in the Garden. Peter went a little crazy. Cutting off ears and such, and in trying to stop what was inevitable and necessary, he displayed his need to control the situation.

It gives me great hope to know that one minute Jesus is telling Peter that he is in the rock He will build his church on (Matthew 16:18) and a few verses later in Matthew 16:23 Jesus rebukes him and says “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Jesus goes on to tell Peter that this is all necessary. Oh, how Jesus understands this pitiful flesh. One minute we have it all together and the next, something storms up and threatens our normal, and we, like Peter, lose our peace and ability to be still. One minute we are posting about how we know our help comes from God and the next we are spouting “approved Christian curse words” because there’s a wrench in our plan. Just like Peter out on the water, we take our eyes off Jesus.

When things start to go off track, we always need to put down our sword and look and listen to our Savior. Just like Jesus told Peter, (I’m paraphrasing) your problem is that you have your mind on temporary, earthly things, this situation is eternal.

I know there were times when our Savior struggled with situations He wanted to, but chose not to control. The garden, being questioned before the cross, and then being crucified. Jesus had the power to stop it all from happening. But He had His mind on eternal things.

There will always be situations I cannot control. Some of them will be insignificant, temporary things, and some of them may hold the potential to make a lasting impact on my life. But either way, God is in control. I remember praying and begging God to intervene and save my husband when it looked certain he would pass away. There I was 24 years old, asking God to intervene and change the direction of what was happening in that moment. He did not change the course of that moment. I could not change it. And so, that chapter of my life played out (as they all do) just as He had written. I did not understand it, I did not like it. And certainly not right away, but over time I realized that this was one of those eternal situations, and so I asked God to help me see it that way. And along the way, I have had some moments where I didn’t want to but I just had to get my eyes higher. Because that is where the healing, the redemption, the grace and mercy reside.

I believe strongly that standing in the face of a heartbreaking trial and having to trust that God knows best doesn’t come easily to these human hearts of ours. Honestly, it shatters the very ideal that you can control life’s circumstances. I think it may make us a little more of a control freak after the fact. For me, I feel like it has left me with a struggle to control all the circumstances that I might have any chance of controling. I default to this even when I know it’s absurd.

I feel like Jesus shakes His head every single time. I can hear Him gently whispering, “get your mind higher, set your gaze on me.” I know He’s right. His track record is impeccable. I can always look back and see His best for me doesn’t always look the way I imagined.

Isaiah Chapter 55 (v.8-9) tells us that His thoughts and ways are higher than our own. We cannot begin to comprehend why He takes us down the narrow path. But again, that’s where we find out that He restores our lives and makes them beautiful in a way we could never imagine. I am so thankful that He waits while I wrestle for control. I am so thankful He pours out mercy while my hands hold on so tightly to the thing He has asked me to let go of.

It’s hard not to worry when things get chaotic. It’s hard not to want things to go smoothly and never spin even a little out of control. Jesus understands, He has been there, too.

So, get your mind higher, get your eyes on Jesus. Pray about the long haul. Most of these ole worldly trials are necessary. Uncomfortable, inconvenient, sad, costly, overwhelming, and necessary. That word helps me put down my sword and let Jesus fight for me. Sometimes, most times, the only thing we can control is whether or not we will simply rely on Jesus.

From one recovering control freak to another, let’s hold on to our peace, there’s a bigger picture…and it’s beautiful beloved…absolutely beautiful.

Love in Christ,

Cassie

I would LOVE to hear from you! Do you struggle with a need to control? Do you need prayer? Email me or comment below. 💙

Sacrificing the Snooze

I’ve walked with Jesus long enough to know that choosing Him means He is always present. Even when I hit the snooze button, pray a minute and fall back asleep. On my walk with Him thus far, I have also learned that I will always need Him. Especially, when my alarm goes off and I have never been as cozy in my bed as I am in that moment. And by the way, why is it that the sweet spot in your bed is nonexistent on the weekends?

I’m not much of a morning person. Over the last couple of years, I have really tried to overcome this aversion. For those of you that know me well, and are shaking your heads, remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint, people. I love the the idea of getting up early and rising early is not the issue. I just haven’t mastered the art being able to “people” for at least an hour post waking. I need a shower, a cup of coffee, and at least 30 minutes with Jesus before I can fully function. So, this means I gotta get out of bed. However, the purpose, for me at least, of getting up earlier than required isn’t so I can interact with people. The reason my soul longs for early mornings is because that it is a time of day when I can devote my attention completely to the Lord. I can sit in the quiet, watch the sun rise, read my Bible and pray. Most importantly, I can listen. I don’t even generally attempt to venture out of the bed before I have talked to God a few minutes. Honestly, jumping up and rushing into my day never ever goes well. I need a clear sense of direction. I need to communicate with my Creator. And yes, I pray at various times throughout the day. For me, praying is like breathing or eating. But I have discovered that the morning is sacred. If you haven’t ever met with Jesus early in the morning, I encourage you to give it a try. It changes the course of your morning, it changes the course of your entire day.

For many years in my late twenties and early thirties I felt a pressing on my heart to get up early and meet with the Lord. I won’t say I ignored it, because I acknowledged it. I just quenched it with excuses. Mostly, “I’m not a morning person.” and “I spend time with the Lord, it doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning.” And so, it saddens me to admit but I missed so many opportunities to make God the first priority of my day. And still now sometimes, I choose my flesh and I hit that snooze button (multiple times, is there a support group for this problem?). And let me tell you, those days don’t get off to the best start and I miss out on sitting quietly with the Savior of my soul.

So, if you continually find yourself stressed out in the morning, sacrifice a little sleep to sit with the Savior. Sacrifice the snooze button. Tell Him that you woke early just to be with Him. Tell Him about the busy day you have ahead, ask Him to go ahead of you. Tell Him about how tired you are and ask Him for an anointing of energy for the day. Pray over your children, pray over your spouse, pray over your co-workers. Just pray.

But first, just thank Him for waking you up. Thank Him that His mercies are new every morning. He woke you up. If you can’t think of anything else to talk to Him about, just thank Him that He woke you up and ask Him what you can do to glorify Him as the day unfolds. Then, just sit at His feet and listen. I promise you the peace and comfort this brings cannot compare to the short-lived coziness the snooze button brings.

I hope you have a great evening and set your clock just a little early for tomorrow morning. Even if you hit the snooze button, talk to Jesus, and fall back asleep, you’re making progress…baby steps. Let me know how your day goes.

Love in Christ,

Cassie