Selah Grace Update Continued

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I figured I would just include a screenshot of my post on another social media page for today. ❀️

If anyone is interested in donating to Selah’s Recovery Fund, below is the link to her page! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance! πŸ™ŒπŸ™β€οΈ

https://www.gofundme.com/f/selahswarriors?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

Update On Selah Grace

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Above is an update from Selah’s Dad.

Selah did great during surgery and is now in the recovery phase. The doctors are amazed at how well she is doing and how great her stats already are! GOD IS GOOD! Thank you all for the prayers for Selah Grace, and please continue to pray for her and the family! β€οΈπŸ™ŒπŸ™πŸŽ‰

A Prayer For Selah Grace

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My baby cousin, Little Miss Selah Grace, has just been taken back to the OR for open heart surgery. Join me in prayer…
Heavenly Father, we come together in prayer this morning, to lift up Selah Grace. We know she has several heart issues Lord, but we also know You are The Great Physician! We pray that You would watch over the entire team in the room with Selah; we pray you guide the hands of her surgeon. Lord, we also pray that You continue giving Selah Your strength, the strength only You are able to give. We know she is very strong, but with You on her side, she’s even stronger! Thank you for watching over her since she was born 18 days ago and we trust You will continue watching over her. Only You know what is best for Selah; what she needs and when she needs it. We trust this is You intervening with the moving up of her surgery. May Selah Grace have a wonderful surgery and an even better recovery so that she can finally go home with her brothers and mom and dad and that they can all hold her and love on her ❀️ I pray for the entire family and most importantly Selah’s mother and father as they wait during surgery. Let Your comfort and peace be over them. Just as David went up against Goliath without physical armor, so Selah goes against her giant, both having You as their armor, strength and courage and we have faith that Selah Grace will be victorious! We pray this all in YOUR name, AMEN!β€οΈπŸ™ŒπŸ™πŸ’ͺ

Little Miss Selah Grace

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Hi everyone! This is my baby cousin (my cousin Kayla’s baby girl). Her name is Selah Grace and she was born on October 5th, 2019. She has always looked so great since birth, one would never know she was born with a few complicated heart issues. She has some leaky valves, among other things, but the main concern now is getting the leaks fixed. She was set for surgery this Thursday the 24th which is actually her mother’s birthday, however her surgery has been moved up to tomorrow Oct 23rd at 8:15am. She has been able to do things that most of the little patients in her position don’t normally do, so needless to say she is a very strong little girl! She was born a fighter and God has given her the strength every step of the way and we believe He will continue to do so! We believe very much in the power of prayer and I am asking all of you to please keep my precious cousin in your prayers! Please pray God will guide the hands of the surgeons tomorrow and pray for His comfort and peace to be over the family during the waiting period. They said it could be a shorter surgery or it could go up to 8 hours! Please pray for Selah to come out of surgery with wonderful improvement and be on her road to going home with her family! Let’s pray that Momma gets to hold her baby girl very soon, as she hasn’t been able to because of all the pesky tubes! This baby girl is already such a symbol of strength and I have faith that she will do wonderfully in surgery and after! Please remember Selah Grace today, tomorrow (especially during surgery time) and every day after! God bless you Selah Grace! We love you baby girl!β€οΈπŸ™πŸ’ͺ Please feel free to comment on this post your well wishes for the family! Let them know you’ll be praying!

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Reaction or Response

As I sat here in my semi-cleaned kitchen, chomping on baby carrots (straight from the bag because I like to live my life on the edge) and sipping my sparkling water, I came across a thought-provoking post on a social media outlet. The question posed to the readers was, do you mindlessly react to situations or do you thoughtfully respond? A rather deep question, it would seem, for a person in my current state who was just asking herself the equally deep question, “…should I get some ranch to dip these carrots in?” In all seriousness, this question did beckon a response from myself. I felt the response I gave wasn’t all too shabby, so it sparked the decision to blog! Here was my response,

“I would agree, reacting can be this reflex action sometimes, but I try to be more mindful. As you said, some days we will be more successful with responding than others, but at least we are making the effort to self-correct! In certain circumstances, reacting can be momentarily gratifying but that is always short-lived. It goes back to the old saying, ” Two wrongs don’t make a right.” I try to reflect what I want seen in the world. Although our mind may tell us, “react, they NEED to see my reaction!” I think simply responding speaks volumes. Our mindset can change many things in our lives, and the beauty is, it can always be reset! ❀ “

I would like to elaborate more on my response.

Certain times throughout our days, people may disrespect us or try to provoke us and if you’re like me, your mind tells you REACT REACT REACT. We can’t fathom sometimes the act of just thinking before reacting. Instead of taking a breath and contemplating a more intelligent and graceful response, we want to show we can go toe-to-toe with this person and possibly one up their actions. We don’t believe we should be disrespected, so we think we will teach the other person a lesson by beating them at their own game. While I’ll agree that I don’t usually extend respect to someone who isn’t extending it to me, we can most certainly stop and think of a better way to respond. I’m often hearing a voice in my head reminding me, ” …quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger…” which comes from James 1:19-20.

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Sometimes, this appears as a weakness in the eyes of others. They believe if we don’t meet a negative with another negative, that we don’t have any self-respect and we allow people to walk all over us. Not true! There is a healthy balance where you can respectfully be assertive while thoughtfully responding to what has just been done or said. As I mentioned in my response, there can be a momentary sense of gratification after “putting someone in their place” and trust me, I KNOW some people seem to need that reaction or don’t seem to be receptive to anything unless you do choose to react, but those same people also get gratification out of provoking you; when they see you react they know they have the ability to control your emotions. Although they may be somewhat offended by you putting them in their place, they still feel pride that they were able to disrupt your inner peace and joy. Those individuals will love knowing that although they may not have gotten what they set out to get, they still caused you to react which will likely spill over into the rest of your day and onto others you come in contact with. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t seem worth it. It’s also worth noting that these individuals are prepared to meet reaction with reaction, so a thoughtful response rather than a mindless reaction can truly throw a monkey wrench into their plans and really throw them off their game.

Some people we encounter may not even intentionally set out to provoke a reaction from us, so once their mindless reaction is met with a thoughtful response, this serves as a wake up call and reminds them that grace is better than retaliation. This could also serve as a reminder to believers that we are to be a reflection of God to others, and extend the grace He freely give us to others as well. To reiterate, you will be more successful some day than others, but the important fact is that you are acknowledging and putting forth the effort for self-correction. It will not happen over night, or even all at once, but over time you will see that the little corrections here and there will retrain your mind. I am in no way telling you not to stand up for yourself, but choose a wise way of doing so. There are usually always those extenuating circumstances, but normally those aren’tΒ  occurring on the daily.

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I loved what I had to say at the very end of my response and I think God gave me those words in that moment! “Our mindset can change many things in our lives, and the beauty is, it can always be reset!”Β  We like to believe that we don’t have the power to retrain our minds, but this is simply false. I can tell you that from personal experience with extreme anxiety, panic attacks, depression and more, that I truly have felt with all my being that “I cannot come back from this. I am too far gone.” Something I want everyone out there reading is to know you are NEVER too far gone! You can always come back to center and reset. Trust me, anyone who would have witnessed how bad things got for me, would have said there is no way to recover from this and certainly not without being heavily medicated. While I am in no way condemning getting help in the form of medication, what I am saying is you CAN get back! God allowed me to get so lost that once I was able to find my way back, I knew how to help myself and more importantly, how to help others! I found understanding and purpose! So, if you’re someone who feels that you cannot retrain your mind to be more positive, that it’s impossible for you, hear me tell you IT IS ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE and if you truly desire to, YOU CAN DO IT! Self-correcting once a month, once a week, or once a day is all equally productive! It starts off small and over time will multiply and before you realize it, you are thoughtfully responding rather than mindlessly reacting! It takes no effort what-so-ever to impulsively react, but it takes true strength and character to be mindful of how you will respond.

Much Love and God Bless XO

Armor Of God Series: The Shoes Of The Gospel Of Peace & The Shield Of Faith

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Readiness; being fully prepared and also having a willingness to do something.

One word with so much information! These definitions of readiness are essentially explaining the Shoes Of The Gospel Of Peace (SOTGOP) to us. This piece of armor is to signify our readiness (or willingness) to step up and fight for what we know is true. We must be ready not only to stand with our feet firmly planted, but also to flee from something, someone or some place we shouldn’t be near. This piece of armor shows we are ready to do anything we are asked to do and that we are prepared. Without proper preparation we will not succeed against our enemy! We must be confident in ourselves and our beliefs and hold our ground when attacks come our way. If soldiers in battle lost their footing and fell, no matter how strong their armor was, they fell victim to the enemy. We must prepare ourselves by knowing how to answer others, especially when it comes to our faith and beliefs. We must stay freshly versed in the Lord’s Word for we are continually under Satan’s attacks!

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The scripture is for every occasion. There is a verse to counter every attack! If we stay in the Word, we are protected by the knowledge of truth! The Devil cannot penetrate our mind without doubt! We literally have the other team’s playbook; we know their plan of attack and we know how to counter them, we only need to study and prepare in order to win!

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The shoes are also for moving! By this I mean, they are for taking the gospel out into the world. We must share our faith with everyone! If we are actively speaking about God, we are not only remaining firmly planted but we are also taking over Satan’s territory! If we stay in the Word, we are digging our heels deeper into the truth enabling us to withstand the attacks that fall upon us.

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Shield of Faith

“…with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

This tells us outright that not only does our shield protect us from the arrows of our enemies, it puts them out! Faith saves us!

Roman shields were often very large, as big as doors even! They were meant to completely cover the carrier, but they could also be used to push the enemy away. When grouped together, soldiers could position their shields to form an enclosure around them which was especially helpful against arrows shot from city walls. Many times the shields were wooden and covered in hide and when wet, they could extinguish flaming arrows. The shield was and IS vitally important to the carrier! The shield offers a blanket of protection which is meant for all circumstances. The shield is a versatile piece of armor which is the first barrier against the enemy’s attacks! We as Christians identify as foot soldiers serving Commander of the Lord’s army.

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Hebrews 11:1 defined faith to us, while Hebrews 11:6 speaks of it’s importance. Satan’s power is to cause doubt, but faith is our weapon against doubt because faith prompts belief! When we give into temptation, we are believing that what it has to offer is better than what God has promised. Faith reminds us that although we don’t know the whole story and we cannot see the whole picture, God is true to His Word! When Satan lays out doubt before us or temptations, faith helps us to recognize and extinguish the arrows of attack. Satan is always the accuser; he is constantly accusing us or telling us to accuse one another but faith believes Jesus has redeemed us and therefore there is no more condemnation in Him.

Faith is one of our greatest gifts from God; a true blessing! We receive grace through our faith and in turn we form a personal relationship with God.

Faith is our doorway to hope. Even through our sufferings, faith allows us to endure and persevere. This next point I want you to pay close attention to…

THE VERY SAME THINGS SATAN ATTEMPTS TO USE TO DISCOURAGE US, CAN ACTUALLY BECOME TOOLS IN THE HANDS OF GOD!Β  AMEN!

My entire blog is a shining example of this! All of the bad things that have ever happened in my life, all the things Satan put in my path, have now become tools for me to use against him! I have freed myself of bitterness and in doing so I have allowed God to use me for good! He has given me personal insight to many things which I can now use to relate to others. It’s one thing for someone to be able to listen to your problems and give you advice, it’s another thing when someone can actually know how you’re feeling because they have actually gone through the same situations! There is always light in our darkness, we just have to open our eyes; sometimes WE are the light! As believers, we are ALL promised victory over our enemies through faith!

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Faith is our protective barrier between us and the devil’s scheming ways. We must have faith and believe God and take Him at His Word. Let us remain grounded in truth so that the lies of Satan lose their power and we overcome them all! Faith is our shield and we know faith is not only important but POWERFUL! If you start to feel discouraged about your faith just remember, even in the smallest amounts it can still do great things! So even if you’re struggling in your faith today, know that you’re not defeated…you can still move mountains!

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God, thank you for transforming my dark times into tools for me to use to help others see light! We may not understand our dark times when we are in them, but I pray all of us remain strong in our faith and remember that You promise to work all things together for good! Let our faith grow daily, even through our sufferings, let us come closer to You. Allow our faith to become stronger and more beautiful as time goes on. Let us recognize that faith is our shield, our blanket of protection against the enemy and Your Word is what gives us the peace to stand firm in that faith. I pray for the needs of all those reading this today, may you comfort them and guide them throughout their lives. Watch over us and protect us. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Much Love and God Bless πŸ’“

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 weΒ  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!