Finding Sufficiency In Christ?

28847I’ve been taught that problem’s purpose is so you can rediscover sufficiency in Christ. I just read here how Mandisa struggled with the passing of a close friend. Kelly Irvin, the blog’s author, talks of her battle with cancer. I have been open about wanting a large family and not having it. Longings and desires are real.  When you are the one in it, when you are the one longing and desperately seeking a respite to your desire, it matters not if the want is health, child, home, or protection. It is all a groaning in one’s heart.

Sufficiency in Christ should carry us through all of our yet unmet desires or the longings that will not be fulfilled on this side of glory. But does it? Do we really feel sufficient? I don’t. I’d feel more sufficient in Christ if I was currently cradling what I long for most in my arms.  But then that wouldn’t be sufficiency would it.  That would be more akin to a toddler willing to be obedient after getting what she wants. ‘Yes, Mommy, I will walk over to you after I’m finished coloring on my paper.’  ‘Lord, I will be more than happy to be sufficient in you after I am already satisfied.’

I know what sufficiency looks like. I also know, I am not modeling that.

I couldn’t get it together today. At different turns, I’d break down and cry, complaining, crying out, asking God, begging God why I can’t have what I want. I felt my request pretty small in light of what Mandisa and Kelly have and are experiencing. And yet, pain is pain. It is packaged differently for each one but it cuts just as deep.

I will have sufficiency in Christ.  I will feel it and know it. For me, it is a journey.  Right now, knowing sufficiency comes and goes.  It is fleeting because my utter confusion on why I can’t get an immediate yes answer to my request gets the best of me.  I’ve faltered in walking by faith and not by sight.  I walk with both eyes open and all other senses super alert to anything that might hint that I’m going to get my way.

I wish this was a ‘here is the answer to your problem’ post but it is not.  It is a ‘this is where I am right now’ post. I hope to follow-up with a ‘how God brought me through’ post. Until then, if you are struggling to find, accept, receive, and trust in God’s sufficiency, you are not alone. I am right there witcha!


Jesus Is In The Boat!

The older I get, the more I know, that I know, that I know, ease is not synonymous with Christ is with us. Ease, or the absence of need, does not mean that God is pleased with you and you shall have no worries.

Life in the Lee Compound has started making me go hmm. You know, making me quirk and eyebrow and frown up my face. download-3I try to take it all in stride, knowing and trusting God will continue to provide but just the presence of these things that make me say hmm irritates my husband.  I encourage him in God’s word and remind him of God’s faithfulness to us through the years. When you are hurting and want something to go away like yesterday, those words don’t always hit home. But God knew how to reach His son.  He reminded me of Luke 8:22-25.

22 Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”

Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?”  And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”  The winds and the waves beat against their boat. The disciples were in mortal jeopardy.  They had every right to be fearful but Jesus said,   “Where is your faith?” Jesus was in the boat! Asleep or awake, He was in the boat.  They were going to be alright!  Did it feel good? No. Were they scared? Umm-hmm. But God’s word didn’t change despite their fears.  Jesus is in the boat! That gave my husband comfort.  I hope it comforts you too.

God Is Not A Genie

Stop using God and let God use you.  That is not an original thought of mine.  I heard it said.  It just resonated with me.  Our liberties in Christ should not be placed above what brings Him glory.  Often, it means to “not seek your own” (1 Corinthians . 13:5)

A little over a month ago, I set a fitness goal for myself.  I wanted to run a 10 minute mile.  I found  a running plan for beginners online and followed it.  To train for it, the plan has you walking and running in increasing intervals until you can run 30 minutes straight.  I did not set my run speed at 6.0 MPH which is the pace to run a mile in 10 minutes.  I set my speed at 5.0 (a mile in 12 minutes).  I was excited, nervous, and scared about this goal.  There was no one watching me, cheering me on, or encouraging me.  I told few people about it.  The ones I told didn’t ask me how my progress was going.  I preferred they didn’t.  I would have received it as pressure especially early on.  Nevertheless, many times I longed for someone to come up to me while I was running my intervals on the treadmill and tell me that I could do it and to not quit.

No one was going to come over to me.  I don’t know people like that at my gym yet.  So, while I’ve been running, wishing the three minutes I had left to do were three seconds, I would pray and ask God to “kick in” for me.  What did I mean by that?  Your guess is as good as mine.

I was treating the Holy Spirit as if He was nitrous oxide; a button to push to give me an instant jolt to hurry up and complete the task at hand.  I remember trying to think on why I was praying this while I was running but I was so focused on finishing my time without constantly looking at the clock that I couldn’t meditate on that.  When I heard that statement above, I had a chance to reflect on myself and realized that God does not “kick in” for you.  Not in that way anyway.  We are here to serve Him. We were created for Him and for His good pleasure.  We Christians have gotten that thing completely twisted now to think that God is here to serve us.  No. No. No.

I haven’t been to the gym since I realized what I was doing.  Now, when I am in the heat of the run, wishing the time was up when I have three minutes still to go, I will remember whose idea it was to set this goal in the first place 🙂  I will remember that God is not a genie.

(Originally penned 2010)

The Goal Is Heaven


I have a specific sin struggle. It is a daily battle to not entertain the sin I struggle with. I have boundaries set up so I don’t play with it. There are things I can not do to make sure I do not give sin an opportunity.  Things have been going pretty well for the past two years. I had some falls in that time but, for the most part, I would say I was on the upswing…until recently.

I fell.  I fell down. Hard. I was lower than I had ever been. I had entertained sin in a way that I had not done before. The guilt I felt was tremendous. I asked the Lord to forgive me but still felt dirty. I kept apologizing to Him. I stayed (in my minds eye) in sackcloth and ashes. I knew I was forgiven yet, I needed a touch from Him to know that I was okay.

I kept waiting for the spanking, the punishment, the reprimand. I was praying but I didn’t know what to say execept for how sorry I was and that I knew I knew better. I had my quiet time that evening. No lightening strike.  I was desperate, needy, for a touch from the Lord.  I didn’t care if it was a scolding or love.  I needed to know He was still there and that He still cared.  I longed so to hear from him, any interaction would do for me. The next morning, I had my quiet time. (My quiet time consists of reading a few devotionals and 1 chapter of scripture a day). The first devotional I read was dew on dusty ground. I still have trouble describing the experience.  He wasn’t angry; He understood.  There was no scolding; only love. No spanking but a loving hand to hold me close with.

I did not received what I expected (which is the definition of mercy). He told me to keep my focus on heaven for that is the goal. What I struggle with is real.  The lack of remedy for it is real. But those things are smoke screens to what is important.

John 8:11 Jesus Doesn’t Condemn Me So I Need To Stop Condemning Myself

download-1I stopped praying to conceive.  I removed my name from my own prayer list (which is pretty pathetic). The sense of urgency left as soon as I gave away all of my baby items. With the exception of maternity clothes, crib (which has been broken down and out of sight for a two years now), and a few homemade blankets and crib set, every baby item I had is gone.

It wasn’t that I stopped believing that God would do but I stopped hanging my daydreams on it because the longing distracted me from the present.

There is something else also.  I mentioned in a blog post some time ago that I struggled with a particular sin. At one point towards the end of last year I became what is termed “sin sick”.  I was willingly and actively sinning and it was destroying me. I felt horrible but didn’t think stopping would help since I have stopped before only to end up right back at it again. The time between my boughts with this particular sin has increased which is a good thing but it only makes the fall into it again that much worse; like a dog returning to his vomit  (Proverbs 26:11).

The shame and condemtation that I felt was so great, I didn’t know how to fully come out from under it.  I repented and turned away from it (again) but the nagging thought that I would only end up back where I started from again ate away at any strength I gained when I turned away from that sin and back to Christ.

All of this was happening when I was trying to figure out why I wasn’t conceiving. Then, I remembered something from Beth Moore’s book Believing God.  She spoke of sanctifying yourself. A group of ladies she did the study with wore something blue on their wrists as a reminder to obstain from whatever their particular struggle was in order to sanctify themselves. I attached myself to that hoping that as I obstained from this sin and became sanctified that I would conceive. I did well for the first 30 days. I was so determined to conceive that I kept that in the forefront of my mind and turning away from sin wasn’t difficult but it did not result in a baby.  The second month was harder and I fell. I just knew my punishment was that I would not conceive that month because I fell to that same sin again. I did not conceive. The same cycle happened again the following month.

I dispared.

I repented again.

I felt so hopeless. I cried out to God in my spirit and asked Him for help.  He said, clear as day, to read John 8. The first part of this chapter is the story of the woman caught in adultery. I read up to verse 11.  Verse 11 stopped me in my tracks.

10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”

Jesus doesn’t condemn me?  Jesus doesn’t condemn me?!? Jesus doesn’t condemn me! Jesus doesn’t condemn me!!!

God’s word got ahold of me and as I let it sink in into the marrow of my bones, I felt the weight of sin being removed from me. Jesus doesn’t condemn me and He has given me the freedom not to sin. Jesus doesn’t condemn me so I need to stop condemning myself.

(Originally penned 2013)


#I Can’t


You’ve heard it before.  You’ve probably started saying it yourself. ‘I can’t’.  It is quite popular to say when one wishes not to continue processing something stupid. I tried saying it but the Holy Spirit stood against that with scripture.

In Philippians 4:13, the Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me“.  Saying ‘I can’t’ regardless of its jovial connotations, goes directly against this new popular saying. I was convicted every single time so, I stopped saying it.

When it would be “appropriate” to say ‘I can’t’, what I was really shortening to convey was I-don’t-feel-like-doing-this-right-now, I-am-so-done-talking-about-this, this-is-on-my-nerves or something similar. Unfortunately, the new shortened speech stands in stark contrast to what the Bible says I am to think. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me means I can do what I don’t feel like doing.  I can complete my thought process.  I can persevere when I want to quit. Do I always feel like it? Heck no! But, I am not to speak against the strength, endurance, and perseverance God is instilling in me with cavalier words like ‘I can’t’.

The Bible says I am to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I can’t renew my mind with words like ‘I can’t’ and expect to know God in His fullness.

Scripture Works Together


I was scared tonight. I started back teaching Zumba two months ago. I co-teach once a week.  I teach one half hour and the lead instructor teaches the other half hour.  I have led two full one-hour classes. As happy as I am to be able to teach again, and get paid, I am always nervous. I was such a Zumba snob before.  I would criticize instructors in a heartbeat. I’ve walked out of classes if I didn’t like their style of teaching, mannerisms, song choice, etc. Now that I am the teacher, I had to acknowledge how afraid I was of reaping what I had sown.

It does not feel good to have people walk out of a class you are teaching. I know people leave class for reasons other than they don’t like the class. Folk leave because they only planned to do 30 minutes.  Some maybe trying out a class and are not committed to one format. Knowing this does not make it easier to see people leaving while you are doing your best to teach.

Praise God, I pushed through but I was reminded of several verses as I did.  Matthew 12:36Galatians 6:7James 1:19, Ephesians 4:29.  All of these verses work together.

Careless words are rash, quickly spoken words, phrases, or comments that are spoken without thought to what you are saying. Once those words escape, you are responsible for them.  You have sown those words into your life. You will reap those words because you failed to be quick to listen but instead was quick to speak and slow to listen.  You spoke corruption instead of edification.

I saw this in my own life, bright and vivid in color.  At least two people left my class tonight.  Again, I know there are more than one reason why people leave but unless you know why before hand, a dwindling class is not good. Starting out with 10 participants and ending up with close to 30 is great.  The inverse, not so much.

Now that conviction has taken place, my everything changes.  The way I speak, how much I speak, when I speak, all of it changes.  It will change the people who chose to be around me.  Folks gather when tearing something/someone down and would rather exclude those to build up unless they themselves are in need of edification and encouragement. It will be me who gives alternative reasons why people may be behaving a certain way. It will be me sticking up for people I don’t even know when others start to tear them down. It will be me being the Suzy Sunshine trying to deter conversation from casting judgment on someones actions so that my companions don’t end up speaking carelessly.

Everyone takes a trip on that slippery slope of careless words spoken in the present that leads to future strife. Now that I am aware of it, not only am I responsible to keep from taking that ride, out of love, I am also obligated to help others stay as far away from that slope as possible.

Alas, when I thought my circle of companions had grown small enough, I can feel it getting even smaller. (deep sigh) All for Christ and Christ alone.

God Never Promised To Do Anything Our Way


It is true that God breaks EVERY chain. He is powerful enough to do the impossible.  I know that from experience.  God’s word says it, I believed His word and trusted that He would do what He said He would do, and He did it.

His methods and timing? So, so, soooo far off from my own but then again, He never promised to do anything our way.

I have been operating in a state of heartbrokenness for 2.5 years. In all that time of suffering in one particular, yet far-reaching, area of life, He also healed other areas, improved situations, changed my thinking, and grew me astronomically. God is always at work, even if something hurts.

A few days ago, while I was doing some mundane daily task, God spoke.  I was hesitant to attribute that new dawning that occurred to Him because although the words were new, the idea wasn’t. Now, after a few days of walking in that new dawning, I can say that it was from God. God said I am always on display.

When you are a leader, you are always on display but at a young age, I learned from others that all leaders need a place to let their hair down. A place where no one is paying exact attention to every single thing you say and do. In my adulthood, God taught me that if letting your hair down means doing an about-face from who you are, that is pretending you are something you are not in front of most people and being who you really are in front of others. Even with that knowledge, I still looked for places where I did not have to be “on” all the time. I could say something severely crass (which I am inclined to do) and not be held accountable for it later by someone who never thought I would say such a thing. I loved those safe havens and often looked for more safe havens but I soon learned why you don’t have many safe havens.  That goes back to what God said about letting your hair down. So, I grew from that place to wanting to be in an environment that, although my speech and behavior rarely differed, I wasn’t under super watchful eyes.  No one was jotting notes about my parenting, clothes, conversation, etiquette…you get the idea.

The 2.5 years of brokenness I was in stemmed from my safe place being broken. The severe hurt I experienced resulted from realizing, understanding, and knowing for a fact that what at one point was my safe harbor, had turned into an operation theater.


An operation theater was commonly used the in 1900’s

Instead of being, feeling, and knowing I was safe, I was dissected as sport and laid bare for all to see, judge, and comment on.  It was an extremely emotionally draining, difficult time. I made changes to keep from being in that theater. Hard changes.  Changes I never ever thought I’d have to make.   All the while, however, asking and seeking the Lord for Him to change things. His perfect timing was 2.5 years later which was 2 years past my time frame (lol).

I can now return to those former safe places and feel a semblance of safety again.  Not because the people have changed but because God has changed me. I was not ready to accept that God’s calling on my life meant that I would always be on display. I am ready now. He led me in baby steps although that last (at least for now) step felt like a giant leap. Now that I accept His calling on my life, I can go back. I can sit knowing I am in the theater but not fearing it. I can live out loud knowing that my mannerisms and etiquette are being watched but not looking for it to be watched nor shy away from the watchful eyes.

I am healed!

This Is Where I Meet Him

You can search this blog for the post about living in the ark.  God brought us out of the ark last year.  I always envisioned what my quiet time space would look like in my new home.  I would see me sitting at my kitchen table looking out a bay window.  Sitting in a Lazy-boy in my living room looking out the window.  I always imagined it being a peaceful place of solace.

Real life? I have two girls that love being near their Momma. I can’t even pee by myself!


This is where I meet Him.

This is where I have those precious morning moments of quiet prayer with supplication, thanksgiving, and requests to God. I don’t always make it every morning. I desire to but sometimes my morning pee is so rushed, I forget to pray. Baby Grace is crying for her tata-meal, my husband needs the bathroom to get ready for work, or I forgot to grab my bag with my prayer journal in it from the bathtub before sitting on the toilet (the tub is out of reach from the toilet).

Oh but when there are those few moments in the morning that I remember to take, where I meet with the Master.  Oh how precious it is. I don’t have a window to stare out of. My “quiet” time is usually accented by an almost one-year old’s knock and whine on the other side of the bathroom door.  More often than not, my quiet time involves me praying aloud with my eyes closed while Baby Grace bangs on the bathtub and Jazmine holds me tight.

I hope they see their Mommy’s reliance on Christ and learn to rely on Him as well.

I Can Do All Things Through Christ

Some scripture become so familiar to me that I no longer experience the power of God’s word.  Philippians 4:13 was one such verse.


Today started off pleasantly enough. I was able to go to the gym by myself (woohoo!) From there, the day took a turn to that which I did not plan.  Jazmine has been on antibiotics for a few days now and is happily on the mend however, Baby Grace woke up with a cough.  Oh I can not explain how sad that made me. So my day of finally getting out of the house turned into ‘what essential oils can I use to help her kick this cough/runny nose combo’?

I was handling things well until I got snappy.  (Praise God for the Holy Spirit showing me that I was being snappy.)  Baby Grace wasn’t sticking to her schedule.  She nursed a lot and barely ate her breakfast.  Did I mention she is teething too? Yeah, fun times.

Jaz and I are pushing through school and all Baby wanted to do was play with her sister. Fine with me.  I adjusted the order of our day (which is code for the order of which I wanted to get things done) so Baby and Jaz would play.  I took a shower. It wasn’t until Baby G FINALLY went down for her nap that I reflected on the day so far.

I couldn’t figure out where I had gotten off track.  I prayed first thing this morning so, I’m thinking, the day should not have gotten away from me like that.  Jazmine and I are in the habit of putting on the full armor of God each morning during devotionals or in the car before I start driving.  We didn’t put in on this morning. So, while nursing Baby Grace down, I did just that.  After putting on the armor, we also say an affirmation I got from Beth Moore’s Believing God when she talks of the Shield of Faith. Part of it says, I can do all things through Christ.  When I said it today, I paused.  It finally occurred to me the totality of this verse.  Not that I get it all but until then, I had only applied this verse for big things.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me to: talk to this person about Jesus, call someone I barely know to see how they are doing after they had surgery, asking a complete stranger if I can pray with them.  I never ever applied it to my little day-to-day needs. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me: to smile when I want to fuss, listen when I want to respond, exercise patience when I’d rather force my will.

In my glider, with my prayed, long-awaited, baby on my lap, I let the full power of this verse wash over me as I repeated it over and over. I really can do what is required of me because Christ strengthens me.