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!

What a Difference a Year Makes…

“He slapped me! I know I’ve put up with a lot of things, but THAT I cannot deal with. I can’t be with anyone I’m afraid of!”


“Wait, what? What do you mean he slapped you?”


“Just that! I walked up to him when he was up in arms about something with one of the counselors. When I approached him to ask what was wrong, he looked at me with some deranged look on his face and hauled off and slapped me!”


“Okay, wait…. Did he say anything? That just doesn’t sound like him. What did the counselor do? If this wasn’t you telling the story, I wouldn’t even believe it. I want to say are you sure, but I know you’re sure you got slapped. I’m so confused.”


“I just left.”


“Wait what? Where are you?”




“You mean in your cabin?”


“No, HOME. As in seven minutes from your house. I came home!”


“Wait a minute… something isn’t right. Elyse, this doesn’t make sense! This is bothering me. He didn’t say anything…you just left the village?”


“They were trying to stop me, but I just ran to my cabin to pack. I’m DONE!!! I was on the next bus before he even knew I left. He didn’t even come to my cabin to try to stop me from leaving! He doesn’t even care!” (bursts into tears)


“Have you heard from him?”


“I blocked him.”


“Oh GOSH! Elyse!!!”


“He hit me! Are you defending him?”


“No, I’m saying something isn’t adding up.”


“Right! Like me agreeing to go on that missions trip with his youth and I don’t even like camping! Then getting humiliated.”


“Noooo, I mean his actions don’t make sense. Something isn’t right. And you’re not giving his consistent behavior a voice at all! ”


“Anyway girl, I’m done with this city. I had plenty of time to think on that 12 hour flight home. I told Synergy Inc. I’d have an answer for them upon my return next week. I called and told them I came back early and that I’m going to take the assignment. I’ll be gone for 12 months. Unless he gave me a reason to stay, I was prepared to leave. I feel like this opportunity is timed perfectly. I fly out tomorrow morning.”


“Wait a minute… I think you’re rushing a major decision. You don’t even like cold weather and you’re going to move across the country over a relationship not working out? You need to think about this.”


“God provided an opportunity that’s right on time!”


“I don’t sense God in this. I sense confusion! Don’t put my Papa in this!”


“Gurl, I’m tired. I was already thinking about going. You know that. He was the only reason I would have stayed. I need the change. I need to get my mind off of everything. I love you gurl, and thank you, but I have to finish packing. I gotta be in a car to the airport at 6am. I’ve got 11 hours to finish packing for a year and setting up my bill pays. I’ll call you from the airport.”


“Elyse, wait!”


“It’s a done deal girl! I docusigned my offer letter. I’ll call you in the morning, pray for me! And if you come over I’m not gonna answer the door. I’m doing this!”




Meanwhile, in the Philippines…


“What do you mean she left? You let her leave? You slapped her and let her leave?”


“I didn’t slap her. I killed a mosquito.”


“Okay, but you didn’t even tell her that?”


“I couldn’t! She went crazy! I was trying to calm her down and she said something about being done with abuse and ran off. I was due at the other end of camp to introduce the new students and thought I’d head to her cabin and explain later. But when I got there, they said she had packed up and caught a ride back to town on the supply bus. She told them she was headed back to the States man!  My calls are going straight to voicemail. She’s crazy man. But I can’t have her thinking I just slapped her. I was yelling about the vaccinations being late when she walked up. I don’t even know if she knows what I was upset about. I was gonna ask her to marry me tonight, but I’m sitting here talking to you and she’s God knows where. What happened? Gary rubs his hands over his face, what am I going to do?”


“Hey man, there’s nothing you can do. You’ll be on furlough in two weeks. You’d better head to Phoenix and straighten this out.”


“And what, she just gone keep her phone off?”


“Nah man, you got blocked! Straight to voicemail when you call?”




“Did your text messages show as “delivered”?”




“Yeah, you blocked homeboy…”


“What is all that? I’ll go crazy thinking about this while we’re seven thousand miles apart. I gotta get a handle on this situation with these malaria vaccines. I’ll deal with that when I take my time off. I just can’t believe she’d think I would hit her. I can’t believe she’s shutting me out. I’ve never been violent towards her…never! WOMEN!”




I’ve got it all lined up! Janine is flying in Tuesday, and we’ll pick you up at the airport Thursday! I can’t believe I haven’t seen you in almost a year! And FaceTime doesn’t count!


“I know girl, I can’t wait to get home! I’m done with snow. I’m done with New York traffic. I’m done with 14 hour work days. I’m ready to get back to the desert. I’ll never complain about Arizona winters again. As soon as y’all pick me up, the first place we’re going is Spinato’s… matter of fact, y’all can have a medium pepperoni waiting in the car!”


“Gurl, we miss our friend, and our friend misses her pizza! Anyway!”


“No shade, no shade. Well, I gotta get things wrapped up here. And I have to meet with the owner of some charity or non-profit we’re committing funds to this year. I’m on my way out, so I don’t why I have to be the one to meet with them, but whatever. Tomorrow night I’m on a plane back to the west coast! Yayee, yayee, as Ice Cube would say.”


“Gurl, you crazy! Bye!”


“Bye gurl.”


“Ms. Robins security just called from downstairs. Your 3 o’clock is on his way up, should I just show him to the main conference room to wait for you?”


“Yeah, I just have to run down to HR to sign a few documents. Just tell him I won’t be long. Make sure he’s comfortable.”


“Will do.”


Elevator dings…


Elyse steps in only to freeze mid-stride as her heart turns to a rock in her chest. Oh God…Oh my God. What is he doing here?


New York? She’s been in New York all this time? “Elyse…”


“Hi… you’re the representative from the non-profit? I hadn’t even looked at the name of the organization, or else I would’ve…”


“It was a mosquito.”




“There was a mosquito on your cheek. I had just been made aware of a malaria outbreak in the village. A few people were really ill and we didn’t have our vaccines yet. I just reacted when I saw the mosquito. I was worried. I’m so sorry…”





**Moral of the story… Often times, it isn’t the act itself that scars you. It’s what you believe about the act. Don’t allow your past to narrate your present.


What if she’d allowed him to explain about the malaria outbreak?


What if he’d been a few minutes late to his meeting to explain?


What if they’d come home from the missions trip engaged after having a moment of clarity about “the slap”?


What would things have looked like these 12 months later?


What if…


© 2017 Kelsi Marie





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

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 ❤️)

Fangs of Doubt…

Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it. Doubt isn’t one of those things that you conquer during one good cry at the altar or one especially fervent prayer. It is something you have to conquer again and again and again AND replace with God’s truth over and over and over AGAIN.

I had one of those moments today where my REALITY seemed especially large and overwhelming. The problem with my “reality” is that many facets of it don’t align properly with the promises that God has written for and spoken over my life. There are these moments when I am tempted to entertain defeat or tempted to allow my “challenges” to overshadow God’s sovereignty and power to bring everything He has predestined for me to pass. It is during these tempestuous moments that I have to CHOOSE to be loyal to an alternate reality that I haven’t seen, but have chosen to believe is more real than the life I’ve lived- even the bed I’m currently sitting on.

While pondering this today, I remembered a specific part of my sister-friend’s book, I’m Not Garbage (by Rein Johnson). In the book, she mentioned her grandmother’s doberman pinschers bulldozing her and standing over her snapping right over her face. She said she remembers being a terrified little girl and feeling their hot breath on her face. I realized today that doubt feels a lot like that for me. Often times it doesn’t feel like the threat of being bitten, but more like fangs actually making and impression on my cheek and like I have that split second to DECIDE not to fear. As if in that split second, my decision to trust is what prevents the puncture that would precede blood running down my face.

It isn’t easy. It just isn’t. It isn’t easy to believe for something different when too many days look the same and seem to run into one another. It isn’t easy to believe for financial breakthrough when you get three bills in the mail on the same day that you don’t have enough money to pay. It isn’t easy to believe God for a loyal husband when in your past relationships you never experienced a loyal boyfriend (no, I’m not encouraging random dating). It isn’t easy to believe that all of the sweat,  sore muscles and daily visits to the gym will pay off when you tried on your jeans and they still fit the same. It isn’t easy to believe that your loved one will “get it” when they actually act worse than they did before you started praying for them. Believing just isn’t easy, but it is NECESSARY.

In the book, my friend said she laid on the ground perfectly still until the dogs were distracted and called off of her. She didn’t make any sudden moves. Being STILL in your faith, is the very thing that will keep the “doberman of doubt” from tasting your blood. In that moment where fear begins to tighten it’s grip….don’t give it any doubt to grip at all! I’m saying this to you with bills on my couch, a bare ring finger, tight jeans and wayward loved ones. Right in the midst of it all, I’m saying “ONLY BELIEVE”.  Give God a space of hope to fill with His beautiful promises.

The day will come when I’m on the other side of these trials (by trials, I’m referring to doubts). And like so many, I’ll tell a testimony from the other side. I just wanted to comfort someone today who is feeling alone and tired. I want to tell you BEFORE my promises manifest that I first had to believe on this side- the side of blind faith and you must too.

I BELIEVE… Believe with me!!!

Who is YOUR “Delilah”…

Isn’t it interesting that no matter how much we say we love God, no matter how often we wave our hands and tell Him to “have His way”, one area of life many people struggle to yield to God is the area of personal relationships? We hear the common adages like “the heart wants what it wants”, yet the word of God makes it clear that our hearts are “deceitfully wicked” and that the one who puts confidence in his heart is a fool (Jeremiah 17:9 & Proverbs 28:26). Does that mean that we shouldn’t trust that we love who we love? Not necessarily, but we definitely shouldn’t automatically trust those who we love. When prayer isn’t a part of our selection process, we tend to rely solely on attraction and affection, with no substantial indication that a person is a safe influence for our present or our future. I can list how many times a person I know has suffered heartbreak and/or divorce and admitted that although they prayed, they moved forward in establishing a relationship without waiting for a “yes” from God or moved forward despite Him answering “no”. “The heart wants what the heart wants” right? Unfortunately, a heart that doesn’t crave God MORE than its natural desires, isn’t submitted to God, and will always proceed blindly, risking devastation and loss, just for the comfort of the flesh. The question I pose here is: Should God bother answering our [fleeting] question if we haven’t ceased movement along our desired path? If I ask Him if I SHOULD go to a particular destination, while grabbing my keys, entering the car and driving, haven’t I already made up my mind? Is that really the same as consulting Him PRIOR to deciding?

As a single woman, I am often asked what my “type” is. I typically answer that while I don’t have a “type” and don’t want to limit God, I just want to be attracted [even physically] to my husband. I know that the attraction can be comprised of a variety of attributes. At the end of the day, someone who is merely a “type” may be void of the spiritual, mental and emotional characteristics that would make me a better woman, person and Christian. Am I willing to sacrifice what is most important to allow my flesh to LEAD? I think I’m crazy enough to believe that God’s choice for me will be attractive to me on every level necessary for me to achieve the maximum amount of [Godly] success I can experience on this plane. I’m trusting, so check back with me later.

After all, considering all of the trouble my flesh has gotten me into, why would I let it lead? An Adonis lying next to me when I wake up is of no benefit if I’m hurting and miserable on a consistent basis. If your blonde haired and blue eyed beauty isn’t fiscally responsible, do you proceed? If the coke bottle figure never tells the truth, would you be content? If the sultry Jessica Wabbit doesn’t aide your progress on your spiritual path, is the arm candy enough to keep you fulfilled? Rather than stay focused on the cookie cutter “type” that hasn’t gotten me anywhere in the past, I suppose I will let God surprise me and trust that He knows His daughter.

Samson was a judge and well respected in the community. With all that he was able to accomplish, he never yielded to God, his desire for foreign women. He was SUPPOSED to steer clear of them, but they were his “type” and so he went!! His marriage ended tragically, but perhaps he never made a connection between the tragedy, his broken heart and his poor choice. So, he went after the same type. He wasn’t healed, nor delivered, therefore the same desire took the lead. Have you ever noticed how often someone has been deeply hurt by a relationship and the next person they gravitate towards has the same physical characteristics? It’s as if subconsciously they are replacing the person to alleviate the sting of the loss. Are they possibly putting a different personality into the same shell? Is the next person the “next best thing”?

You cannot tell me that Samson didn’t have any native prospects which would have guaranteed a much better ending. Surely there were native prospects that could have whispered to him and more importantly, been faithful and loyal. But there was something about the forbidden fruit and the illegal interaction. His heart wanted what his heart wanted. And it turns out that the “type” that had a hold on his heart, completely STUNTED HIS DESTINY. The only safe dictate for our hearts, is the one that comes from God Himself. His heart wasn’t clean in the area of selecting virtuous women. Before Delilah he kept company with a prostitue. The lust in Samson’s heart craved his own demise.

How many times has your “Delilah” – the one you were helplessly attracted to, led you astray? Three times Delilah showed him she was after his strength. How else would she have known that the methods he shared with her were false?

Poor Samson, he wasn’t thinking or praying, he was just too busy feeling. “The heart wants what the heart wants”. What’s in your heart? What is the type that you crave? Where has it gotten you? Better yet, WHO is YOUR Delilah?

Jeremiah 17:9 AMP – The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, morally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?

Proverbs 28:26 AMP – He who leans on, trusts in and is confident of his own mind and heart is a [self-confident] fool, but he who walks in skillful and godly wisdom shall be delivered.

Read the story of Samson and Delilah in the 16th Chapter of Judges…


Clarity is Divine is a true story of survival and the resurrection of hope after a damaged emotional past collides with an indecent proposal. At the paradoxical intersection of revelation and confusion, a commitment is renewed and the truth unveiled, as Kelsi accepts responsibility for her part in creating a relationship that would come to a screeching halt during a telephone conversation that created a gulf between two worlds, Before and AfterWhat do you mean you don’t love me anymore? At a moment when the only two things she was certain of were that life didn’t turn out as planned and that things would never be the same, all she could do was clasp her empty hands together and ask God to reveal the purpose behind the pain and the lesson to be learned as He was returned to His rightful position on the throne of her heart. She learned that no matter how badly it felt, how wounded it left her, or how much time she had lost, she STILL had a date with destiny to look forward to. In her story, find the insight, courage and faith to be healed and restored to a divine sense of clarity.

to order, please visit www.clarityisdivine.comkelsicoversite