Hot Mess Express and Friends with God Anyway

HotMessExpress

I might be the tiredest person in the world.   I swear my kids plot against me as to whose turn it is to jack with my sleep each night. With three kids and the messiest van in the neighborhood, I wonder if there will ever be a day when I’m not the hottest mess in the world.

I laughed at myself this morning as my kids ran to beat in the tardy bell….again. I’m such a good mom to allow them this opportunity to exercise before school. There is no telling what those ladies in the front office think of me. They are the sweetest ladies ever, though. Thank God for that.

With no make-up on and a toddler on my hip, I head to grocery store.

When Things Got Weird

There was a lady who was struggling to get her shopping cart situated.  I spent five seconds helping her return it back to the kiosk.  As I walked away, the thoughts spirit of fear, spirit of fear, spirit of fear came to my mind.  I thought to myself Huh… That lady must be afraid of something. I got into my car and it was still there…spirit of fear, spirit of fear, spirit of fear.  

I said out loud, “I mean….God, do you want me to do something about this?”

He gave me NO answer to that question.

When random thoughts or people pop into your head, it could be Holy Spirit telling you something.

I just kept hearing spirit of fear in my head.  It was a very “loud” thought.  I saw these people were parked next to me. With great hesitation, I got out the car and approached them. I kept thinking, I can’t believe I’m doing this…..

Praying for Strangers

“Excuse me, I know this is weird, but after I walked away from you, all I could hear was spirit of fear, spirit of fear, spirit of fear in my head.  I was wondering if there is anything I can pray for you for? (Meanwhile I’m freaking out in my head)

They quickly said, yes… please. Relief consumed me as I thought they don’t think I’m crazy. I prayed a very generic prayer.  It probably covered all things protection and peace n Jesus’ name.

After the Amen, I asked if they could relate to anything that I prayed.  She replied with, “Yes!” and shared that she has been really, really worried about something.

I have no idea how I knew what to say next. Out of NOWHERE, I said, “Remember that there is no fear in perfect love.  Fear comes from punishment and that is not from God.  You have a God that loves you perfectly and I pray you are able to receive that perfect love from Jesus in a way that will cast out all your fear. God loves you and he doesn’t want you afraid.

I then asked them if they knew Jesus like that, and they answered yes.  I asked them their names and told them I’d be praying for them the rest of the day.  They continued to thank me and I walked away.

What. In. The. World. Just. Happened!!  I couldn’t believe what just went down in the parking lot of a discount grocery store!

I had never even spoken to strangers about  Jesus, much less gotten out of my car, asked them personal questions, prayed in a public place, and busted out with scripture!!! I’ll tell you what happened.

That day, God used hot mess me to make a difference in the lives of these two strangers. My ideal self had arrived; except she looks differently than I had ever imagined.

I’d been trying to become this perfect Christian lady before doing anything cool for the kingdom of Heaven. That’s the kind of people God uses, right? Wrong. He uses hot messes.

This was an act of God’s love for me. He knew I’d go nuts over it… I have a passionate personality anyway.  Add that to the fact that God had used me…with a stranger.

The results of that equation are a life filled with excitement and a desire to do life closely with God.  God knows my heart and knew that it would change our relationship in a powerful way.

That day made me realize God wants to have fun with me. Embarrassing at first, but I felt like I had “hung out” with God or something.  It made me want to put myself in positions for Him to use me like that again and again and again.

This story occurred years ago, but it’s what began my friendship with God.

God desires friendship with you too. You don’t have to change or improve. You don’t have clean yourself up.

You are enough. Wake up. Give God your Yes and rock Y.O. U….Hot mess and all. Tweet that

You are enough.Wake up.Give God your Yesand Rock this day.

But do spend some time simply talking to your God like you would a friend. It’s an amazing beginning to a glory packed Christian life.

Praying for y’all!

xoxo-Lauren

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and the cross. Thank you for desiring a relationship with us. Thank you for loving us enough to provide a way for communication. Help us to come to you first in all things through prayer. Help us not to hide. Jesus we need you and love you.

In your name I pray,

Amen

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How Motown led me to the Secret Place

God used Motown to lead me to the secret place.
It’s impossible for me to sit still and quiet before God…not anymore.

Y’all this morning my quiet time with the Holy, Supreme, God of the universe accidentally began with Motown.  And it. was. awesome. We are talking the Temptations, Jackson 5, Bobby Day, and Marvin Gay.

Lately, I’ve been getting up early (take that Proverbs 31 lady) to sit before the Lord, but I’m so dang tired it hasn’t been very fruitful.  It takes me forever to wake up. By the time I’m actually awake to pray, my mind goes everywhere and I’m anything but quiet before God…and then a kid wakes up or something.

A Motown Morning

Today was different in the most unexpected way. Most days, I obviously start my Jesus time with worship music.  I should note that this “set apart” time with God early is a new thing. It hasn’t been this formal…ever.

My Pandora station was on Motown. When it turned on I couldn’t help but dance!  I pictured God laughing at me as I sang “Aint no mountain high enough to keep me from getting to you” God and “Hold On…I’m coming!” and “How Sweet it is to be loved by you!”

Ya’ll… it was the most fun I’ve had while looking at 5:17 a.m. on the clock!! I was having a dance party before God.

The ridiculousness of it didn’t seem to fit for my “serious” time before God. But God meets us where we are! I’m a girl who LOVES to dance and that’s where He met me this morning. I mean…it’s Motown ya’ll!

Going Old School

I decided to keep it old school and googled the Tabernacle on my phone.  I thought about the Brazen Alter. I can’t help it… anytime I think of what went down on the Brazen Alter, I plug my nose at the thought of the STENCH!

BLECH!  It grosses me out thinking about the nastiness that occurred during the slaughter for sacrifices.

Can I just say, thank you Jesus for living in 2017- post cross!

But what does that stench remind me of? My Sin!!! It settled my spirit and allowed me to enter into authentic praise for Jesus and His work on the cross.

Next, I saw the picture of the Bronze Laver. It was a bowl priest used to wash themselves clean before entering the presence of God.  It settled my spirit even more as I praised God that I am already clean because of the word which He has spoken to me. (John 15:3)

Jesus says you are already clean.
You are already clean, run towards His presence.

I have been washed by the blood.  My sinful heart continues to become more like Christ as I continue to wash my heart with the word of God. (Ephesians 5:26)

I then pictured myself entering into the Holy Place. It’s a place even more precious as it contains golden furniture representing prayer and the presence of God.

It settled my spirit even more as I prayed and prayed and sent lots of prayers up to my God who hears me. My spirit became even more settled and still.

The Secret Place

The next step was into the Holy of Holies. This morning I was able to actually sit, quietly before my God.  I didn’t say a word. I just sat.

It’s literally impossible for me sit still and quiet. Not anymore.

God gave His people this tabernacle for a reason. Steps are taken before one enters into the Holy Place before God.

Hear me: Jesus is the only door you need.

You are literally on Holy Ground everywhere you go when Jesus lives in you. Tweet that.

But, there is something to say about prayerfully dying to self so our spirit can hear His voice.

My time in the quiet place didn’t last long. Kid 3 fell out of bed and a song bird kept chirping and annoying me. My quiet spirit was gone after that. But there’s always tomorrow!

I’ve never been more excited to wake up before dawn. Motown is my official wake up music from now on:)

Same ol’ Mistake

I was trying to be who I thought God wanted me to be before Him;serious, quiet, and still. That’s not me. He loves me dancing before Him!

My morning was a beautiful picture of a life that follows Jesus; he meets us where we are and draws us closer to Him.

He quiets my spirit.

He stills my soul.

I pray you ask Christ to meet you today. Ask Him to draw you closer to Him and wait in expectation.

Praying for y’all!

xoxo-Lauren

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thanks for wanting to spend time with us. Thank you for Jesus and your presence. Father, quiet our spirits so we can know and hear your voice. Bless our time with you regardless of how long it is.  Provide moments to draw us closer to you. Show us areas where we need to get rid of to make more time for you. Jesus, you are everything.  Make us hungry for you. In Jesus name I pray,

Amen.

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To My Jesus Loving, Lady Blogger Friends: How to Stay Strong and Remove the Fog

We are committed to truth. We are committed to prayer. We are committed to giving our yes to God every time we sit in front of a blank white screen. That means, our enemy is and will continue telling us no.
It takes bravery to speak the words our Father God whispers to us. It takes commitment to take your stand in the mission God has given you. And believe it….God has given you this.

Our mission is the same: speak the truth of the gospel to every eye who reads each word we write.

We need to know we aren’t alone because we have an enemy who HATES us. When God the Father gives His daughters His words to tell His people we become very dangerous warriors.

We shed light on the lies women believe.  People who know the truth can’t help but share it.

It takes bravery to speak the words our Father God whispers to us. It takes commitment to take our stand in the mission God has given us.  And believe it….God has given this to us.

If you have an audience of 1, 100, or 10,000 you have been called to speak-end. of. story.

We type the words of encouragement that touch the parts of brokenness that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can heal. Those words are read all over the globe!

We are committed to truth.  We are committed to prayer. We are committed to giving our YES to God every time we sit in front of a blank white screen.

That means, our enemy is and will continue telling us no.

No. You aren’t any good at this.

No. That wasn’t God’s whisper.

No. This isn’t important. It’s all been said before.

No. Nobody cares about your thoughts or your walk with Christ.

Most who write in Jesus name have tasted and seen that the Lord is GOOD! Satan will try to do everything in his power to convince us that this kingdom work isn’t important or necessary.

He’ll wreak havoc in our lives trying to convince us this kingdom work isn’t worth it. He’ll jack with our health, our kids, our marriage.  He’ll cause confusion, doubt, and blank spaces.

But Heaven is here. It’s at our fingertips as we grab onto Christ and His word. Heaven is here. It’s all around our stories. It’s in our struggles, our gladness, our moments of rejoicing, and our moments of suffering.

Heaven moves each time we hit publish. Tweet that

For two months I had a fog all over me. I didn’t know what it was. I knew what God wanted me to write and how He wanted me to say it. I was fully prepared to do the Lord’s work, but for two months I sat down to write and …….nothing.

I literally couldn’t get it out of my head.

My mentor told me when you begin to put yourself out there in ministry you are “flying a plane.” Before, I was driving a car.

He asked my process and expressed more safety precautions are required when flying a plane because more people are involved.

Ladies, we are flying planes! We need MUCH prayer! Ever since receiving this great golden nugget of wisdom, I’ve created my prayer team. Each time I sit to write, they all get a text.

I am then covered in prayer in the name of Jesus and nothing the enemy wants to do can stop me. There is power and confidence when you know you can’t be touched.  That protected, safe place is where we glorify God with our words, graphics, and click to tweets.

So get a team! Mine has four members. That’s it.  It doesn’t take many. I pray and intercede specifically for bloggers each Wednesday! I consider us small ministries. BECAUSE WE ARE.

Be encouraged today! Shine your little or big light with conviction…I’m still not over that..read more on that here:

How to Shine with Conviction

1 Corinthians 4:1

“So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.”-Paul

Pray up. Study up. Listen up. And keep hitting publish.
That’s right my Jesus loving lady blogger friends, we are servants of God, entrusted with the secret things of God.

That’s right my Jesus loving lady blogger friends, we are servants of God, entrusted with the secret things of God.

Pray up. Study up. Listen up. And keep hitting publish.

Praying for y’all.

xoxo-Lauren

Dear Heavenly Father,

I praise you for Jesus and for the cross. Thank you for allowing us to do your work alongside you. Protect us Father from our enemy.  Protect us from confusion and doubt. Continue to give us your heart for your people. Give us the words to encourage and uplift them as you would have it. Give us favor with our readers and prepare the hearts of minds of every reader you put before us. I pray this in the might name of Jesus.

Amen

 

 

 

How to Move Mountains in Prayer: 7 Days of Scary Prayers

how-to-2Have you ever prayed scary prayers?  They are the kind of prayers that are so big and bold and outside the normal prayers we pray before bedtime. Only God has the power to answer scary prayers. Have you ever seen God answer any scary prayers? I have.

Nothing has increased my faith in God like prayer.  It’s what keeps me praying and worshiping even when some prayers don’t get answered and the healings don’t come.  I’ll talk about prayer, teach about it, write about it, try to get you to start doing it all. day. long. if you’ll let me!

Jesus says if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. (Matthew 17:20) That. sounds. crazy. Jesus! What Jesus is really inviting us to is a deeper faith.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray saying Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Then, He teaches us to pray/ask for three things:

1.Provision-Daily Bread

2. Personal Relationships- Forgive us as we Forgive others

3. Against Sin and Evil- Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil

When we pray on Earth as it is Heaven, we are praying and trusting God to provide for our physical, relational, and spiritual needs.

We are praying for the perfect provision in Heaven to unleash into our lives on Earth. (This stuff gets me super jacked in Jesus name… btw.)

But sometimes there are mountains in the way!!!  Some mountains we create on our own. Others are simply there because life. is. hard!! We live in a world full of trouble, strife, and hardship. And we DO have an enemy who hates us and will do anything to get in the way of us seeing God.

What does Jesus tell us to do with mountains BY FAITH??? He says… Tell them to move! That’s a scary prayer.

truly-i-tell-you-if-you-have-faith-as-small-as-a-mustard-seed-you-can-say-to-this-mountain-move-from-here-to-there-and-it-will-move-jesus

In the physical world mountains are HUGE!  My dad lives in Montana. We would drive all around mountains on the way to our campsite… our destination.  It would take a while!

Jesus is always speaking directly to issues of our hearts and souls… the things that last.

In the spiritual world, in your Christian walk (heart)… what mountains are in the way of you seeing Heaven or experiencing and seeing God? What mountains are in the way of your spiritual growth?  Jesus tells us to move the mountains… not drive around them.

The Challenge

Will you join me for 7 days of scary prayers? For 7 days, let’s pray for mountains to move and Heaven to invade those places with His glory.

I love love love Matthew 16: 15-19- And on this rock I will  build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.

Let’s intentionally loose Heaven on Earth in Jesus name for  7 days. Tweet That

What do your mountains look like?  Are they financial? Relational? Physical? Do you need healing? We will pray through the Lord’s Prayer for 7 days.  Over these 7 days, I will send a prayer every day to your email that teaches you how to pray for a specific mountain to move.

I won’t be able to cover every mountain in 7 days, but it’s my hope that these 7 days serve as a jump start to a faith building prayer life!

Some of you reading this have had some really jacked up things happen to you and you don’t even know if you have a mustard size faith. If that is you, then borrow some of my faith and sign up anyway.  I have enough faith and hope to carry you. Yes. You. I pray for every eye that reads any word I write or say.

We can have perfect peace and provision this side of Earth.  We can have contentment in Jesus name.  It might not look like what you thought it would, but God’s promises remain true.

So what do you say? Will you join me? Starting Monday, January, 16th, will you join me for 7 days of scary prayers?  Will you join me as we seek God and tell mountains to move in Jesus name? I pray you say yes!

Click here for your Printable 7 Days of Moving Mountain Prayers!

You can find my Youtube teaching videos here to go along with them!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNIVIjoxuhUTximNwgd61sA

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for showing us how to pray. Thank you for Jesus. Father, help us to keep your words in our minds and hearts as we seek you! Give us the strength to trust you once again..or maybe for the first time. Jesus let us feel your presence and encourage us as we seek to move the mountains in our lives and the lives of our loved ones in Jesus name. Father, we can do none of this without you. You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

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