Armor of God Series: Breastplate of Righteousness

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Continuing the Armor of God series, we move on to the Breastplate of Righteousness. In order to wear the breastplate, we must first have the Belt of Truth securely fastened. As we discussed in the previous blog, the Belt of Truth is essential to the armor as a whole; without truth, the armor becomes futile.

A breastplate was often used in battle to protect the wearer from attack by covering the vital organs. We can easily agree that if we were made to go into battle in those days, we would ALL desire to wear a breastplate! Why do we view it as a necessity when it comes to physical battle but not spiritual battle? Putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness symbolizes our desire to seek God and His righteousness. We crave for our ways to become like His! We acknowledge that apart from Him, we can do nothing and we realize that regardless of our failures, His righteousness has already been given to us. God will often reveal areas in our lives in which change may be necessary and we should always answer that call. If we refuse to answer the call, or say no to God, we leave ourselves vulnerable to Satan’s weapons.

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As God’s children, we receive the Armor of God; each piece representing His strength. God gifts us with strength directly from Him! At the cross, Jesus died not only for our sins but for us to inherit righteousness from His Father. We receive the gift of righteousness through our repentance. This gift of righteousness is designed by God to protect our heart and soul from the evilness and deception of Satan and his followers. We are called to “put on” our armor thus implying that we are not always wearing it. Wearing the armor requires us to make a decision. Do we suit up, or do we try to go it alone? Our righteousness alone is inadequate, we need Him! When we make that decision to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness, we are then deciding to put into practice what we believe. In other words, we have talked the talk but can we walk the walk! Taking up the breastplate is a lifestyle change in which weย  strive to be more like God, in turn making more godly choices thus protecting ourselves from further temptation and deception.

Carelessness, unbelief, abusing grace and disobedience are just a handful of factors that can and will interfere with the effectiveness of not only the breastplate, but the armor in its entirety. With the armor’s effectiveness in question, our chances of standing firm against the attacks of the enemy are drastically reduced. If we choose to rely on our personal righteousness, refusing to forgive and tolerating sin, we start to permit earthly concerns to take up residence in our lives. Once we start allowing those concerns to settle in our lives, we give them permission to consume our time, which then steals away our time for God. In the end, we remove our Breastplate of Righteousness, minimizing it’s power to protect us and eliminating the purity we receive from it.

Wearing the Breastplate of Righteousness allows us to become fair, honest, good and humble individuals who do right in God’s sight. We surrender our heart to God, relinquishing control so He may protect it from the enemy’s attacks. Will you choose to wear the breastplate, leaving your old ways behind or will you continue to try and make it on your own?

Dear God, I lift up all of my readers to you today that they may have a better understanding of the Breastplate of Righteousness and its importance. I pray we all choose to make that lifestyle change and strive to make more godly decisions in our lives. May we never forget that You are always with us and You are always willing to help us. Please allow us to recognize that You have given us the gift of righteousness through the death of Your Son. May we all remember to put on our breastplate daily! Thank You for all You do for us and may You help anyone out there who needs You today. In Your name I pray, AMEN.

Much Love and God Bless!

Armor Of God Series: The Belt Of Truth

Hi everyone! I’m overjoyed to be back and to have renewed the blog, as I mentioned in my previous post! WordPress actually informed me today that it’s my one year blog-iversary! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™Œ๐ŸŽ‰ Doesn’t seem as if it could already have been a year, yet here we are! At the same time, it feels as if I haven’t done as much as I should in one full year!! Hopefully this year I will be more present and mindful of posting.

As I stated in the last post, I will be doing a little blog series on The Armor of God! I will pick apart the different pieces of spiritual armor and analyze them to the best of my ability. I hope you will all find it an interesting subject and maybe learn something you were not aware of before. Also, I must stress this point again. I write my blogs as a Christian, believing there is one and only one God who sent His son (Jesus) to walk this Earth doing good works and performing miracles until He died for ALL of us (believers and non) on the cross! He died so that all of our sins past, present and future, would be forgiven. Now that I have reiterated that point, I am ready to suit up!

The Belt of Truth.

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Now, when we envision armor, we normally envision the more prominent pieces such as the helmet or breastplate, but what about the belt? The belt may not always be seen, but without it our armor becomes compromised. When a chain has a kink it will not work effectively or even at all, in the same way our armor cannot work effectively if our belt isn’t securely fastened or if there are missing pieces to our belt. Although the belt seems insignificant, it holds great meaning in it’s role. The belt was often used to hold the sword while going into battle. Our Sword of the Spirit cannot be carried unless we wear our belt. The belt secures all the other pieces of armor!

So, what does the Belt of Truth represent?

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Truth is God’s word or The Holy Bible. Christians believe that absolute truth can be found in God’s word and that it is meant to be shared with others. Truth guides our decision making and frees us from the lies of Satan. Truth will allow us to fight the spiritual battle without being hindered. As Christians, we should hold on to what we know to be good (the truth) and discard the rest! Truth should adhere to us just as a belt would. If we don’t truly believe, what then can we accomplish?

Now some of us may still think a belt is nonessential. “If I wear all the other pieces of armor surely I’ll be safe in the spiritual battle; a belt isn’t very important anyway.” Well, we already concluded that the belt, although small is not without meaning; it actually holds all the other pieces into place and secures it. So, without the Belt of Truth (the Word of God) we become vulnerable to attacks. The world would like us to believe that truth is what man says it is; ever changing and dependent upon circumstances. The world would also have us to believe that “good” and “bad” are relative and there are no absolutes, just opinions. We know that’s not true because God is truth. The Bible is truth. God has defined “good” and “bad” and has done so without being influenced by the world or outside opinions. Absolute truth is absolutely NOT a myth!

We talked earlier about kinks in a chain and how it alters the function of the chain. It either keeps it from working effectively or keeps it from working at all. This can be compared to living a life that’s not in 100% accordance to the truth (word of God) we know. We can’t know truth and only live up to 75% or 80% or even 99%. Our trust in God and His Word (the Bible) must be solid, otherwise our armor becomes penetrable. Even if all other areas of our lives are solid and in accordance and all of our other pieces of armor are accounted for and well put together, one weak area (or kink) will compromise the entire armor and render it useless in our spiritual battles. Our sword is essential and without the Belt of Truth we have no sword. We must know what we believe and why!

Have you forgotten about your belt? Have you adopted the view point that some is better than none? How secure is your belt?

God, I pray that all who weren’t aware and even those who have heard of The Belt of Truth now have a better understanding after reading these words. I pray we all understand the significance and importance of the Belt of Truth and that we apply it to our lives. The Belt is Truth and Your Word, The Bible, is the absolute Truth. May we carry it with us always, living our lives as You have instructed us to and sharing truth with others. Thank you for allowing me to share Your truth with others so that they may follow suit. Thank you for this blog and for all those who take the time to read it, may you bless them in their lives and hear their prayers. May you help them in any area of their lives that they need help in and give them comfort and peace that exceeds all understanding. In Your name I pray, Amen!

Quickly, I’d like to ask for your prayers for my brother in law Carlos. He has some testing to go through and has to play the waiting game and many of us know the unsettled feelings that process brings! Pray for Carlos and my sister Aarin and their family as they go through this time please! There is power in prayer and I am confident God has blessings coming their way ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™ God is good ALL the time!

Much Love and God Bless๐Ÿ’š

I’m Baaaaaccckk!

It’s great to be back on the blog! I had some issues trying to renew, but that’s all taken care of and now I am ready to get to work! ๐Ÿ˜Š It has been TOO long! To be honest, the thought of not renewing crossed my mind. Something told me, “It’s not like you have a huge following anyway.” I admit, I did let that thought linger for a short time, but I recognized it to be the words of the enemy. What more could satan want than for me to quit spreading my belief in God to others? I may not have a bunch of followers for my blog, but the number of followers I have is not the issue! When I set out to do this blog, I said all I want is to be able to at least reach ONE person. I wanted to have an impact on multiple people, but if I was told just one person out of 60 something followers was moved by any of my blogs, then it would all be worth it!

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I appreciate all of my followers on here and I apologize for even entertaining the thought of letting this blog slip out of my hands. I have so much love for you all and I truly care to share so many things with you! Even though I was unable to get on here for some time, I was brainstorming about new subject matter. I questioned some people I knew personally that read, asking them what subject would be interesting to them to learn about etc. For some reason, I have wanted to do a 3 part blog series; diving into parts of the Bible and breaking them down. I was unsure of where I would go with it, and I did get some ideas from others, but the one I think I will end up going with came out of a simple conversation I had. I think dissecting the armor of God would make for an interesting read. I would love to know what all of you think about the idea! Also, if any of you have an ideas of topics for me to discuss or personal experiences for me to share, feel free to ask questions or leave comments/suggestions! Feedback is always appreciated and insightful! I’m so overjoyed to be back to my blog space!!!! Sending tons of love to all of you beautiful people!! ๐Ÿ’š

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Much love and God bless!

Words, Words, Words.

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I woke up today with a message on my heart! I love when this happens!ย  I hope you beautiful people have all been feeling amazing and I pray we all have a great day and I also pray over these words that God may help us through me.

We have all heard the proverbial saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” This is an older saying, often proclaimed on a school playground to a bully or between adolescent siblings, in response to being teased. While I completely agree with the sentiment, we should never let the words of others have any control or power over us,ย  all too many times words have done much harm. Words may not “break your bones” but they can break you. They can break your spirit; the essence of who you are…IF you let them! The beauty of it all is that we have the power to rise above and know that things said about ourselves by other people are mainly said out of jealousy or to simply get a reaction. To disturb out inner peace.ย  Trust me, I do know some words are hard to ignore and even more so when they come from people we love deeply, have known for years, who are friends and even family, but even those closest to us have the ability to harm us through negative words.

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From my personal experiences, I truly believe in “hurt people, hurt people.”ย  Those who don’t deal with their inner pain and demons project their unhappiness, negativity and pain onto everyone around them. If they’re not happy in life, everyone else must suffer with them. Be waryย of people like this. I’m not saying don’t love them, but I am saying don’t play their game; refuse to engage! These people feed off of your reaction, they love to see their words have provoked you. If you’re anything like myself, you can struggle with holding your tongue when people talk about you or others you love, or they’re just being plain hateful and rude to others. Sometimes, I do feel it is necessary to speak up and defend not only yourself, but the others around you, just choose your battles wisely.

I wish sometimes I didn’t respond so quickly out of anger or aggravation, but I’ll admit I do more often than I’d like. We all have the ability to be short-tempered, but to myself that’s just a foolish way to act. Childish. I often feel convicted after being snappy or short with my children or husband. They may not have done anything wrong, but my own internal issues are causing me to project onto them. I am allowing my own issues of the day to make me a person I don’t want to be. On the other hand, they may have provoked me in some way! My children may have just done something I tell them daily not to do or my husband could have given me attitude, but they’re all human. They are allowed to make mistakes just like I am. Instead of responding back to them in the same way, I should stop and think about why they have just acted that way. I should ask myself, what’s bothering them? How can I help them? I shouldn’t have a knee-jerk response and throw gasoline on the fire! What good does that do anyone? That is only going to make me ashamed a regretful later on.

How about people who blame other people for what their own life decisions have brought into action, or people who hold on to so much past that they allow it to wreck their present or even the people who use their past to justify their questionable behavior in the present. We all know people like this. I often wonder about why people act they way they act. I question what’s happened in their life to make then respond in certain ways or to act and speak certain ways. Although there may be past experiences that have caused them to be the way they are, there is a time in life where you have to let go of your past, give it to God and allow yourself to live a life free from the prison that is your past and grow. Don’t let the negative actions and words of others control your life indefinitely. Don’t let them feel like they’ve won. Also, we can’t let our past dictate how we live currently. We can’t constantly blame others for everything that’s wrong in our lives. We must take responsibility for decisions we ourselves have made and realize we can’t use our past as a crutch. So many of us won’t cut the cord from our past because then we can’t place blame on anyone else but ourselves. We have to be able to take our bad past and learn from it; learn how NOT to be, don’t continue any cycles. Think before you speak. Be slow to anger because as I posted above, you can’t get the word back after it’s said and those words can only ever be forgiven, usually they’re never forgotten.

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Now onto GOSSIP.

gosยทsip
casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.
I would venture to say speaking about anyone when they are not present, in which case almost all of us would then be guilty of gossip of some kind. Whether factual or semi-factual or twisted versions of what was initial said, it’s all gossip. For some of us gossip isn’t meant to be malicious, it just sort of manifests during casual conversation…however, some others thrive on gossip, they want to know every detail about everyone’s life or to just comment on everyone’s life. Some gossips can keep the truth intact or partial truth, but some like to take many words out of context with the intent to stir the pot or cause trouble between people. Why do they do this? Many people are jealous of other’s happiness or even their relationships or friendships. They want to cause friction, be a wedge or cause a disruption. They want their words to cause problems and they want a reaction. They purposely tell specific people things because they know it will get back to who they want it to reach; using gossip as a cowardly way to confront others or voice their issues. If any of you out there know what I’m referring to, do not engage! Don’t take the bait! Sometimes it’s difficult not to want to know what others say behind our back or to answer back gossip by gossiping ourselves, even if it’s truth you are saying. Whether truth or not, it’s all gossip. Let our thoughts be positive, our responses positive, our words positive and our actions be positive. Let’s concern ourselves less with what others say about us or other people and concern ourselves more by rising above andย  building others up. May our words encourage others, inspire others, project love onto others and reflect God’s grace and understanding. If it’s not something helpful and positive, let us think about what we’re saying and if it needs to be said. Remember, those who gossip with you or to you probably gossip about you.
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God, I pray today for myself and anyone who needs this message today. Please let us all be mindful of what we think, what we say and how we act. Let us strive to be more like You and less like others in this world. Let us work on our flaws and allow us to be a better reflection of You and what you stand for. Help us when we want to lose our tempers, when we want to blame others and not own up to our own actions, when we want to answer back insult or gossip with more of the same. Allow us to be an example to others and show them that even when we are on the receiving end of harsh, negative or spiteful words that we can rise above and uplift others while overlooking the comments of the people with poisonous attitudes and praying that they too find peace in their lives so they don’t feel the constant need to tear others down. May we all focus on the plank in our own eye instead of the speck in someone else’s. In your name I pray, Amen!

Much Love and God Bless ๐Ÿ’š

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Let Them Know

So, I have always lived with this philosophy that if you feel something, you let it be known. It may sound like it’s not always a good idea, but it’s living honestly. If someone has upset me, I need to talk to that person and work through it or at least voice to them how they have made me feel or how I have perceived what they said. If I am happy and joyful, sad or anxious, I talk about it-even if no one is listening at least I have said it out loud…although, a good thing to remember is that God is always listening ๐Ÿ™Œย  I also make sure to express my love and feelings to the ones I truly care about on a regular basis!

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There are many times where I have this very strong urge to get in touch with a specific person and I never ignore it and if it ever happens to you, you should never ignore it either! I always view this as a gift God has given me, because each time I have these strong feelings to say specific things to specific people, it’s at a time they need it most; it’s like I sense a disturbance in the force. ๐Ÿ˜œ

No one knows how long they have here on Earth, or how long any of their family/friends/loved ones have either, so we should make a point to stop what we are doing and make time to let those we love most know we love them and are thinking about them; you never know when a day might come and you won’t be able to do so. Trust me, I completely understand being guarded, I too have trust issues, but this is all about giving and not worrying about how others feel towards you. Of course it’s always nice if the love is reciprocated, but don’t base your happiness on hearing back all the kind and loving things you say. Some of us live in fear of expressing our love because it just doesn’t come easy to us, it feels awkward and many times it’s because one or both parents didn’t feel comfortable expressing themselves to you as a child and it’s a repeated behavior. The fear can even come from always giving your love to others and they just treat it as if it’s worthless trash. All I am saying is, none of that matters. All you need to worry about is your feelings and letting those you love know it before it’s too late and just let them know without expecting a response.

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In this same spirit, we should never shy away from sharing our faith with our loved ones, especially our loved ones who may not know about God or believe in Him. We can let them know His love never fails and in Him we have comfort, peace, security, love, hope, forgiveness, life and eternity. If they never hear it, they’ll never know it. All we can do is put it out there and it’s up to them what they want to do with that information. How amazing it would be if one day when we get to Heaven, those we told that may not have believed, greet us at the gates! How priceless that would be. I want to be the reason someone makes it to Heaven!

I want to pray for anyone out there today who struggles with expressing themselves and anyone who has recently lost someone close to them or even if they’ve lost someone close years ago, may you all find comfort and peace in Him. May we all understand that God has a plan for each and every one of us and although we may not understand certain things that happen, God knows what should happen and when and even why. His plan isn’t always going to be easy, but one day we will understand. May you always lean on Him. In His name I pray! Amen!

screenshot_2019-01-08-14-59-48-1Much Love and God Bless! ๐Ÿ’š

Truths or Excuses?

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It’s been too long since I have last blogged, I sure hope you all are still out there and ready to tune in ๐Ÿ˜œ

I was chatting with a good friend of mine today, a former high school teacher who I keep in contact with. I was checking in on him and letting him know my family and I were thinking of him and also how I missed chatting with him through messenger. You see, I have gotten rid of my Facebook for probably a year now and he also rid himself of it as well, but I still have the messenger part. He and I used to chat on messenger regularly, but since he only has a computer and no cell phone, he can’t have messenger if he doesn’t have Facebook. This brought up the subject of Facebook and how we are (personally) completely fine without using. There was a point that I brought up in the discussion and I said, why not blog on this topic!

In the conversation I said, “Imagine how different the world could be if we used all the time, energy and passion we give to Facebook and instead put it all back out into our world.” We all crave change. We all crave a better world. We are ALL equipped with some specific and unique God-given gift to make a difference in this world, yet we give excuses for not being the change we want to see. Trust me, some of the excuses we give are legitimate. We are too tired, too busy and we don’t have enough time in the day. While all those excuses may hold some degree of truth in our lives, are they more of an excuse than a truth? If we didn’t have enough time, like many of us claim, then how can we spend hours on social media? How is it that we can binge watch our favorite shows for hours or get lost in a good book and still claim a time issue?

 

Let me speak a little truth…if we truly desire to do something, we see that we do whatever it takes to make it happen and we rise above any obstacle that may stand in our way. Therefore, if we truly desired change, we wouldn’t find as many excuses as we could; we wouldn’t contradict ourselves by claiming there isn’t enough time, yet spend hours on our electronics.

We also spoke about how we found this specific site to provoke so many unnecessary feelings/emotions. My friend mentioned how it felt as if it caused many of us to try to relive our past instead of live in the present. I added that it’s a bit disappointing to see so many people fighting with each other over such insignificant topics, when there are so many other fights worth fighting out there and in much more productive and respectful ways. Imagine all that passion and energy to win arguments on social mediaย  being put to use in whatever cause they are arguing over.

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All of this can be said about our attitude towards our relationship with God as well! Many of us like to believe we have a solid relationship with God based on simply believing in Him and speaking well of Him to others, yet we lack that intimate connection. We use all those same, worn out excuses for not sparing an hour, 30 minutes or even 5 minutes to spend with God and His word. It goes back to our priorities and how we organize those in our own lives. Just as we can take a certain amount of time daily to devote to our own personal interests, we can just as easily take the same amount of time or even more and devote it towards bettering our relationship with God, bettering ourselves and bettering the world around us. We can dive into our Bibles instead of the newest best-selling novel. We can talk to God about our day and our problems or simply extend Him our gratitude instead of posting all of it to people who mostly won’t give it a second thought. We can ask Him for guidance in revealing our calling and showing us the way to use it to both please Him and make the biggest, positive impact in our lives and world.

So, as this New Year approaches, let’s try to spend less time on things that hold us back from growth (both spiritually and mentally) and peace. Let us prioritize more time for things that bring about positive changes in our lives and the lives of others around us, all while strengthening our faith and personal bond with God. I pray for anyone reading this, that they may think about how they utilize their time and energy and may they make necessary changes to improve not only their lives, but the lives of all those around them. I pray that everyone realize how special and unique they are in Your eyes and how much they have to share with the world. May we all look to You for guidance in all that we do, especially when it comes to using our God-given gifts to make a difference. Thank You for giving me this outlet to share my thoughts and personal beliefs with others! I pray all of this in Your name, Amen!

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Much Love and God Bless ๐Ÿ’š

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Have you ever felt like you’ve given your all and you don’t have any more to give?

But God! How can I possibly keep going when I have put all my strength and energy into this, yet I haven’t seemed to make any progress?ย 

A little over 2 weeks ago I was having trouble sleeping, as pregnant women normally do in their 39th week of pregnancy, and I told my husband I am going to take this as a sign that we need to make our way to the birth house. In our state home birth is still technically illegal, so we travel a couple of hours into a nearby state to give birth (thus the term, birth house).

We made it to the birth house around 3pm on that Saturday. We unpack our stuff and started to get relaxed around the house. Besides myself and my husband, my mom and 2 young sons (6 and 2) were there with us. Around 5pm my mom started to make dinner and I went to help. About 6pm or a little after it was time to eat. I went to use the restroom before and wouldn’t you know it, I lost my plug. This doesn’t necessarily mean labor will come on right away, but in my previous pregnancy that is exactly what happened right before my labor began and this time was just the same. Later on everyone went to bed. My mom and oldest son first and then my husband and I took our youngest son to get him to sleep, however I obviously could not get comfortable, yet again; this would be no sleep just like the previous night! I didn’t start timing my contractions until about 830pm or so. I text messaged my midwife, who lives not quite an hour from the birth house (this time) and she would ask me about contractions etc. So I kept laboring on my own, while everyone was sleeping because I didn’t want to wake them lol. Maybe 1030pm my midwife asked me if I thought she should come now and I said yes that would probably be of more comfort. My midwife and her assistant arrived and she asked if I wanted her to check my dilation and I said sure. I told her I’m not certain, but from my contractions I’d say I’m about 5 to 6cm. My midwife checked me and she said you’re at 7cm! So I was in great shape. I tend to stand or crouch and rock side to side while in labor and that’s what I was doing and when my midwife got there I still continued to do so. We were talking and joking and laughing all the way up to 10cm! That whole part of labor seemed to progress quicker and easier than previous pregnancies, although this being my 3rd time, I was also more used to the process.

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Now it was about that time, my favorite stage of labor…PUSHING! Only this time the pushing would end up not as fun as usual! I pushed for about 2 hrs this time! I also pushed in almost every position imaginable! After an hour of pushing, my daughter still wasn’t able to even be seen a little bit and I knew it. Here I had been pushing for so long, running on 2 days of no sleep and despite all my efforts for the past hour, I knew not much progress was made. That can be a bit discouraging and even more so when you’re exhausted! I remember being at the end of the bed, I had just been pushing on a birthing chair, then did standing lunge position and then just plain standing. I talk to God often in my head through prayer and this time I said, ” God, please give me Your strength because I am running on empty. I have given all I have and then some and still it hasn’t been enough. I need Your strength to help me get my baby out.” Right after praying I ended up moving back onto the bed and then I felt this change in the pushing. I felt my body take over the pushing, it was now pushing FOR me! It was as if someone shook up a soda and now the built up pressure was escaping. Now, instead of me being the main source of the strength and pushing, I was now the helper! I had already given ALL that I had, but somehow I managed to gather even more energy and since my body was now pushing on it’s own, I was able to birth my daughter! I knew from the change that came over after my prayer that THIS WAS IT! I heard this voice say “she’s coming!” Sure enough she made her big debut and come to find out, she was sunny side up or face up and that’s why it was a more difficult and intense pushing! My husband is often annoyed when people say “110%” because he says there’s no such thing! After I gave birth to our daughter, he said, “Now THAT is giving 110%! From now on, you’ll forever be my example of giving 110%!”

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I KNOW, without any doubt in my mind, that God was right there in that room! HE gave me the strength and HE protected us (as always) and HE took over for me when I thought I had no more to give! How many times in life do we say,ย  I can’t! I have given my all and it wasn’t enough! That, my friends, is the position God wants you in! He wants you to be aware that you cannot do everything on your own; WE NEED HIM!ย  We can do ALL things (not just some things) through CHRIST who strengthens us! ๐Ÿ™Œ We need only to remember to call on Him, because He is ALWAYS ready to help us! So, no matter your situation in life, no matter how strongly you feel you cannot get through something, no matter how inadequate you may feel, you can still get by with a little help from your friend ๐Ÿ˜œ He knows when we need Him, but He waits for us to come to Him and to seek his help and guidance. โค Don’t ever forget He is there!

I pray today that we all remember the true source of our strength and courage and that we never forget to ask for God’s help!

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Much Love and God Bless! ๐Ÿ’š