Don’t Box with God!

A little over a year ago, I listed a house to sell. In a short time, I was heading out of the country and really wanted to be in contract by the time I left. No problem! I just KNEW it would be an easy sale. The house was only a year old! I prayed, had it staged, invested in a great marketing system, and scheduled my OPEN HOUSE dates. I honestly expected to only have to do one OPEN HOUSE though. I knew this particular floor plan was limited in this development and was in high demand.
The most ridiculous things started happening. And I do mean ridiculous. I fell out of contract before the ink had a chance to dry. At that point I had been in real estate for twelve years and had never heard of such a thing that happened, happening. JUST BIZARRE!!! Then, there was all of this interest, but no bites for no particular reason.
I go out of the country trying to manage phone calls while I’m a whole day ahead and busy with a full schedule. When I returned, the client was in danger of losing her deposit and another house that was being built, because her offer was contingent (upon the sale of this subject property). It was a MESS that made NO SENSE!!! I WAS STRESSED OUT!
Finally, one Saturday morning I prayed, “Father, I need you to show me what is going on. In warfare I have You on my side and I don’t struggle like this. I’m out here getting mollywapped, and that is leading me to believe I’m not fighting the enemy, but that I’m fighting YOU. I know I can’t win a fight with you! Am I fighting You? Are You keeping the house from selling???”
*ding*ding*ding* I had finally asked the right question. I offered the right prayer. He revealed the house hadn’t sold, because He wanted ME to move into it. Only this meant a relocation. A relocation I hadn’t planned for. A relocation I didn’t want!
I asked Him to confirm it while I was out of town that weekend at a prayer retreat. I vowed I would obey His answer, I just needed to be SURE. He confirmed. I cried for a week before asking Him to deal with my heart concerning the matter. I was expecting to relocate, but I thought it would be to Dallas or LA. I wanted my heart’s desires to match His. I didn’t want to obey grudgingly.
Two months later, I was out!!! And let me tell you this. It wasn’t until the morning after I spent the first night in the house that I walked out of my bedroom and realized I NEEDED the move. I had been suffocating and didn’t even know it. I had become so used to my atmosphere, that I didn’t realize the season was up, and that staying longer would have put me out of alignment with the next leg of my journey. Time was of the essence. There were connections that needed to be made, and relationships that needed to form. And my face needed to be in the new territory for the hand shakes and dinner dates to happen. If you’ve ever traveled, you know that “connecting flights” are critical and are the reason you do or don’t get to your destination on time. Sure, we’d all like a direct flight, but sometimes paths need to cross, a person critical to our journey is flying out from a different airport, and is en route to wrap up an assignment in a city we aren’t designated. The connecting flight the two of you have in common reveals the next move to and for you both!
Lots of supernatural occurrences happened throughout this transition, but I will abstain from sharing for now, due to the length of this post.
My point: Because of our humanity, we don’t like to suffer. We don’t like discomfort. And often times when we encounter discomfort, setbacks, suffering and/or a lack of fulfillment, we assume it has to be the enemy. Not so!
Sometimes it is God! Sometimes, He’s pushing us to higher heights, deeper depths, and a place of humility and service that is outside of our comfort zones and realms of familiarity. We’re being pushed out of the nest! Sometimes the pain and inconvenience is TOTALLY GOD!
Look at Jesus! NOTHING was comfortable or convenient about His trip to the cross, yet it pleased and glorified God.
Submit, surrender, and don’t give up. He’s got a plan for you, and it is GOOD even when the process FEELS contrary.
Oh and let me tell you this…. the house that wouldn’t sell? Yeah, the one I live in! There hasn’t been ONE month that has passed since I submitted and moved in, that someone hasn’t called to buy the house. Some are rather aggressive asking when it will be back on the market! What can they offer!!? When God holds something up, He holds it up! When He releases it, He releases it! He holds the POWER!!! When we strive with Him, we WILL NOT win!

Guilty!!!

I’m guilty. I don’t just mean in the past, but lately. I’ve been guilty of frustration. Guilty of impatience. We do know that patience isn’t waiting right? We’re going to wait regardless when it comes to what only God can release. Patience is actually waiting with the right attitude. We can murmur, complain and pout while we wait, or we can trust, praise and rejoice in the promise that is on the other end of our wait.

I became frustrated, because I couldn’t understand the point. I couldn’t understand why He has revealed some of the things He has, if CLEARLY some of the things aren’t coming to pass any time soon. Sometimes, when hope hurts, you’d just rather not know. Ignorance can be bliss at times. But when He reveals His plan and purpose you have to deal with the burden of conforming to His divine schedule. So I ask questions like… why did you show me if I was just going to remain irritated by the process? Why did I even have to know?

He had a talk with me today to remind me that it isn’t about my conveniences, but His purpose. And He also reminded me that cooperating with Him during the process is the same as cooperating with Him for the plan itself. A sous chef doesn’t get the credit, but certainly has responsibilities and must take orders and execute as the meal is prepared. The longer a sous chef works beside an executive chef, the more they learn, and the better they become.

So AGAIN, my heart has been restored. I needed it restored AGAIN. And I told Him tonight, that I commit to his purpose AND His schedule (ARRRGGGGHHHH it’s KILLING ME…. I guess that’s the point). I desire to execute my role in His plan with complete synchronicity, virtue and excellence. I am walking this out WITH Him. It’s His plan., so it will be accomplished in HIS time. Inhale… Exhale… Inhale….. Exhale…

Psalm 119:133 is my anthem right now. No iniquity!!! No iniquity tied to doubt, fear, frustration, impatience, bitterness, intolerance, pride….. NO INIQUITY!!! (If you read the scripture you’ll get what I’m saying)

We should feel honored to have a role at all!

Perspective is key….Selah

Year We Go Again…

I’m like WOW right now! This exact time last year I was stressed. I believed the Lord had given me specific instructions, but His directives seemed so out of nowhere and nearly impossible, I just wasn’t sure. I was like “are you really telling me to do this?” “Why?” “This wasn’t part of my plan…” I went to a retreat BELIEVING He’d make Himself CLEAR and I’d return with my answer. I told God that I would obey whatever He revealed. At the retreat, He confirmed and I knew it would take a miracle for things to work out. I told a few prayer partners and EACH of them bore witness in their spirits. One in particular had a vision of the completed miracle it would take. Let me tell you, after I said yes, I was TESTED!!! I was yielding to something I didn’t want to do, but knew He spoke. I think I cried every day for a week. On top of that, it seemed IMPOSSIBLE!!! I began to doubt I heard Him. If this is what He willed, then why was it so difficult??? One particular day, my prayer partner reminded me she’d had the vision. She’d already seen it completed. I rested in His ability to bring His own will to pass and focused on aligning my heart (and desires) with His. Long story short, the miracle happened- quickly. He put everything together beautifully, and some…. I didn’t realize until I was on the other side of the whole thing that I NEEDED it and that it was best for me. He didn’t let me see that part until AFTER I obeyed (catch that). 

Now, here I am a year later exactly (from the weekend He confirmed His will), with a new set of instructions and a revelation that looks even more impossible. I’m being stretched AGAIN. I’ve been crying AGAIN. And AGAIN, I told Him I’d obey. Go figure!!! Faith to faith and glory to glory right? It ain’t easy. I was just thinking today….I’m yielded, but how in the WORLD is He gonna pull THIS ONE off??? I guess the same way He pulled the last one off, His own way! I’m like Kermit sipping tea right now, how He does it is none of my business. Let me just make sure my heart is right and I’m prepared. Sometimes one miracle is the set up for the next one. #livingbyfaith #battletested #kelsichronicles #doitafraid #kelsimarie

This 2016 Election…

Re: this election…I read about so many Christians who are up in arms about Clinton’s support of Roe v. Wade. I have GROWN to a place where I don’t support abortion. There are things she says about it that I don’t agree with. My disagreement with her doesn’t foster support for Trump though. Abstinence would solve most of the abortion issue (rape and incest are experiences we shouldn’t put our mouths on). But to expect the discipline of abstinence from people who haven’t the discipline to follow Christ is asinine. The carnal (by definition, not judgment) and unsaved will do what they do. So are we angry with Clinton for how she feels about the consequences of fornication without being angry with Trump for how he’s handled fornication itself in his life? Again, we should PRAY they do better. As a Christian, I don’t wish to condemn neither Trump nor Clinton. I wish to see both of them redeemed and reconciled to God with the fruit that demonstrates it. Reconciliation and redemption changes behavior through a process called maturation. 

That said, my strongest issue with this election isn’t what politicians are doing. Politicians will be politicians and it is our responsibility as Christians to humble ourselves, pray and seek God’s face so our land can be healed (2 Chron. 7:14). I accept the responsibility. 

My issue, what pains me most and I’m sure grieves the Holy Spirit is the spirit of divisiveness that Christians have allowed to manipulate us. Over an ELECTION we have become rude to one another, sought to belittle one another, prove ourselves right and condemn, label and judge people (candidates included) instead of praying their hearts are turned to God. You cannot speak word curses over a person and pray for them at the same time. So even on Facebook, our motives and our tone….even the sharing of scripture should be done in LOVE. A kind word spoken through arrogance has no love in it. We need to be careful and not allow the enemy to gain a foothold. 

After hearing that Trump told the mother of his three children that he didn’t want her anymore, because he couldn’t be attracted to a woman who has bore children, I told my aunt that ANY man who could disassociate himself emotionally (for that reason) from the woman who had HIS children, definitely has psychopathic tendencies. I repented to God for making that statement, and I am denouncing it for the purpose of transparency. This election should not change who WE are. #kelsimarie

Pivot!!!

A couple of weeks ago I realized the blessing in a “pivot”. 🏀🏀🏀Sometimes a shift is realized in a transition without movement. In basketball, when your dribble stops and opponents surround you, a pivot will help you not to lose possession. A pivot will help you locate your teammates. Well, in life, just like you can move to a new location and remain the same, you can also change, but remain in the same location. 

A pivot repositions you so that you have a new vantage point, and are capable of seeing what you couldn’t see before, from right where you’re standing. Sometimes a new vantage point is all you need to remain in possession and score. 

I posted a video a few weeks ago about the shift that would accompany the new season. I was excited, because I had no idea what the shift would entail. Sometimes new is painful. Sometimes painful is progress. Sometimes what is revealed doesn’t feel good. Sometimes there is something you must lose to access everything you have to gain. Sometimes the loss of familiarity is painful. Sometimes the familiarity is what has hindered you. When you choose familiarity over God, the “familiar” is an idol. Idolatry is sin. He WILL NOT bless sin. Your efforts won’t produce what you really need. 

The pivot will attract opponents, but teammates allow for continuous ball movement. Sometimes you carry a promise as far as you can, but then you need someone to pray for you, pour into you, encourage you, and help you keep it moving. Move the 🏀!!! 

We all need people who will be honest no matter what. We all need people who can be relied on during the shift. When you stop dribbling and must pivot, and are surrounded by opponents wishing to knock the ball out of your hand, look for those who’s hands go up and are waving at you. They are the ones assigned to pray for you. They are the ones who will help you move the ball, get the field goal and score. Whatever you do, don’t buckle, don’t let the enemy put his hands on the promise, because a jump ball leaves it up for grabs. Don’t allow it to be knocked out of your hands. Pivot, so you can see who’s there for you. There may not be many, so that’s even more reason to tell them you love them and appreciate the few that there are. You can’t do it alone and you can’t partner with opponents (sin) AND be on the Lord’s team. Don’t be deceived. Pay attention. 

Seasons Change…

Seasons change. I have loved people that I’ve had to release, whether because of death, marriage, miles or just the expiration of a season. As life shifts, sometimes configurations change. You’ve heard it before, you have some relationships for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime. Not all endings are bad and bitter.
That said, I cherish the moments, use my words, write letters, send messages and give gifts. I know I mustn’t hold on and prolong anything beyond the season for which it is purposed. I must yield to His plan and respect His course. My endeavor is to make sure that when one reflects across the miles and memories, the sunsets and secrets, the gifts and gains, when a person remembers me and thinks of our time and season of doing life together, they remember honesty, safety, laughter and loyalty…and they simply remember being loved. ❤️❤️❤️ #kelsimarie

Missed Opportunities…

I remember one day at church many years ago, the Holy Spirit told me to go ask an older gentleman…a seasoned elder in our church to lay hands and pray for me. I came up with every excuse imaginable. I was embarrassed to ask. I was afraid of how I would sound. What do I say? Then I said, “Okay, next Sunday…I’ll ask next Sunday.”
God knew, but I didn’t know that would be the last time I saw Him. You really never know when an opportunity will expire…when your season with a person will end.
I’ve repented. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ll never know what he would have imparted. I’ll never know what God’s intentions were. I’ll never know how my obedience would have affected my life. My flesh would love to believe I didn’t miss out…that it’s all good…that somehow, some way, SOMETHING has made up for it. But I know God and I know He ALWAYS instructs with purpose.
Years later, I stopped by my parents’ house and my father surprised me and wrote a check. I looked at the amount and said, “Thank you Daddy!” I was in a rush!!! I got to the door and had a fleeting thought to run back and kiss him and tell him I loved him. I didn’t. I was running late. I told myself I’d just come back in a few days. It was the last time I saw him. He passed two days later.
My lesson…there ARE missed opportunities!!!
Sometimes people know what they can’t tell you. Some time later I told my mom I wished I had turned around and run back. What harm would 90 more seconds have done? She told me she asked him what prompted him to write me that check that day. His response, “It’s the last gift I’ll ever be able to give her.”
Friendships expire. Seasons change. Doors close. People die. Folks move away. Life carries people in different directions. Winds of change are often unexpected…. The BEST we can do is maximize moments, make sure people know we love them and that they’re appreciated. Leave a good mark, something that makes people smile when they think of you or remember you.
And WHATEVER He is telling you to do. DO IT!!! Sometimes we’ve only got ONE SHOT to get it right and divinely timed for purpose. Mediocrity and settling present opportunities all day, everyday, as long as you’ll take them.

A Sowing Assignment…

I remember someone who broke my heart told me later that he was engaged. He said after seeing the pain on my face when he hurt me, he committed to never hurt a woman like that again. For a long time, I wondered why I had to be the “sacrifice”. With time, I realized he wasn’t for me. And if our interaction and my pain helped him become a better person, and contributed to a woman being treated well, then it wasn‘t in vain.
I had a crush on someone once and the Lord told me he didn’t belong to me.
I put my feelings aside, and helped him see the light in someone else. They’re very happily married now.
I had an ex (we were able to salvage our friendship) call and ask me to go ring shopping with him, because he wanted to propose to his girlfriend and trusted my taste. I did. And I picked out a ring I would have liked for myself.
I could go on, but sometimes you just have to plant seeds and expect God to water your garden. He doesn’t forget any of our labor. He bottles every tear. He sees every desire.
The ONE who is for you won’t walk away and will not risk losing you. He’ll see his future in you, and hopefully some people will have poured into him, preparing him for just you!!!

Jesus IS the middle….

The truth for a Christian, whether you’re ready or not, whether you like it or not, is that Jesus IS the ministry of reconciliation. He is SUPPOSED to be the CENTER of EVERY relationship you have, whether it’s marital, friendship, parental, sibling or otherwise. He will allow EVERY relationship you have to suffer and fall apart, just so that He can reconcile it and be the center of it. No, not to be mean, but because only through Him….only by Him being at the CENTER of the relationship, can you experience the FULLNESS of the blessing the relationship is intended to be. He HAS to be the center!!! I’ve been ruminating this revelation for about three months.
Here’s an example:
Isaac was a promise for Abraham. Sometimes we desire a promise so much and wait so long that when it manifests, we idolize the promise. We serve it and have a greater affection for it than we do God. Sound familiar? God desired to be the CENTER of Abraham and Isaac’s relationship. He has to be the middle, the reconciler. And when Abraham lifted the knife, he proved his faithfulness to God. He chose God over his son, therefore God gave his son back to him (provided a ram in the bush). At that point God became the mediator, the CENTER of the relationship, His rightful place. With order established, every future blessing God intended for Abraham to have through Isaac, could be given. He HAS to be the CENTER!!! Make Him the center so that He doesn’t have to SHOW you He’s the one keeping it together!!! (One of the many things I’ve learned from Bonhoeffer ❤️)

Friendly Fire…

Someone asked me recently if I had a “standard” as it relates to whether or not a person can be my friend. I’d never been asked such a question, but it was a great question. Associates are many, friendships are few (although I use the word too loosely). My response was, “Absolutely! The person just has to be safe. I can’t afford to give personal access and vulnerability to someone who is likely to maim or abuse me. The time I’d have to take to recover, heal and be restored from such close range friendly fire won’t just affect me, but everyone I’m called to affect.”
Mistakes happen and there is such a thing as a hair (hairpin) trigger. The thing is though, the gun should NEVER be pointed at me. Fight beside me, not from behind me.