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

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.

Godly Character Needs Giftwrap…

I had an insightful weekend. Sunday night I ended up in the gospel according to Matthew. I was actually DRIVEN there by my desire to please God in the midst of a frustrating circumstance. When lines get blurry, I have to go to scripture to have my lenses adjusted. 

We are admonished by Jesus to bless those who curse us….to LOVE our enemies….to pray for those who despitefully use us. 

There are times when NOTHING or NO ONE can comfort and settle me, except Jesus Himself. 

When we truly desire to yield to the Word of God, we are extended a grace and strength to do just that. 

I’m grateful.

What I realized is that, while I am required to love those who are kind to me AND those who are foul to me, I cannot take credit, nor can anyone else. This “love thing” is totally Him. Even when we don’t deserve it, He desires that we have….love from others. Even when they don’t deserve it, He requires that we…love others. 

I then realized that there are some people in my life who I not only love, but are so driven by His agenda and undone by His love, that they demonstrate trustworthiness …. The God in them. And that says a LOT about them. I’m not required to trust them. That makes me wealthy among ruins.  

To those who are trustworthy, thank you for being a breath of fresh air! 

Sometimes the best bonding is time spent in a joint effort to be the best reflection possible of the One who is COMPLETELY worthy of our trust and confidence and who loves absolutely perfectly!!!

It’s OVER!!!

So, there’s been road work by my home for the past 22 months. The detours have caused delays and visitors to the area to become lost. Businesses have complained about the losses in profits – it has just been a mess! The kind of mess that had me checking the city’s website for a completion date and always noticing it needed to be updated more often. THIS WAS ONLY SUPPOSED TO TAKE A YEAR!!! 

When you want to go west, a windy road will lead to the freeway eventually. If you want to go east, EXPECT DELAYS!!! There will be a train crossing your path, but only when you’re in a rush. 😊😉

Well eventually, as you can imagine, I no longer needed to follow the detour signs. I had the detours down pat. I stopped looking to see if any progress was being made, I just followed the detours as the blocked road and extra time driving became what I was used to. 

Then it happened….A few days ago, I noticed a car in front of me go straight as I made my right to follow the detour. Don’t they see the sign! They’ll have to turn back! Don’t they see all of us turning right, taking the detour!!!??

Wait a minute, the car disappeared! Wait! Hold on! ….

I made a u-turn in the middle of the street (sorry) to see where this lone car wandered to and… ALAS! I drove straight through!!! We have access again!!!

Wait, how long have I had access? How long have I been following the detours, because I didn’t LOOK to notice there were no more signs up?

How often do we become so used to delays, messes and dysfunction that we no longer look for the completion date, the END that was promised? 

I knew this situation was prophetic and I immediately repented and prayed. I repented, because somewhere along the line, I stopped expecting the road to be complete. Somewhere along the line, I became tired of being disappointed every time I looked for a “through street” and I just stopped checking! I had been taking detours longer than I had to!!! 

I asked the Father to OPEN MY EYES and reveal every place in my life where I have stopped expecting, become stagnate and accepted delays and detours as though they belong in my life, and thus extended and strengthened their presence. Some stuff is no longer blocked!!! I wanted to share this experience and prayer so that you too will look for the changes you stopped expecting to see. There are some areas where you are no longer hindered. You have FULL ACCESS!!! Drive right on through- LET’S GOOOO!!!!! 

IT’S OPEN & OVER!!!

Love Levels

Human love has levels. Often times we say someone doesn’t love us….or else they wouldn’t have done “this or that”. In the context of being treated with respect and loyalty consistently, sometimes the person does love you, they just don’t love you ENOUGH. They love you or what you do for them in the sense that they would cry if you died and they don’t want to see you hit by a car or something. YET, they haven’t the ability to love you with God’s love. The love that nurtures, protects, defends, guards, is truthful, thoughtful, selfless, compassionate, etc.. In order to love you well, they have to hate hurting you, more than they like or love doing what harms you.

 Sometimes people love us the best they can given their capacity and maturity, but it just isn’t at the level with which a healthy relationship can be sustained with us. There are many people whom I love, but from a distance. Not because I’m angry or hurt, but because when they’re too close, there’s a toxicity that is abusive and damaging to me. When one can’t maintain the distance which keeps them safe, one must question their self-love. You have to BE WELL to LOVE WELL. #kelsimarie

I’m Unraveling….Join Me!!’

I’m a planner. I like order. I create forms, checklists and systems to make my life flow easier. I write things down and organize. I believe in preparation. There is so much beyond my control, so I try my best to make sure that what is in my control is taken care of and properly planned. If things go awry, I’d rather it be because God allowed it or wanted things to go differently than for it to be because I didn’t prepare well or  complete my tasks. I don’t like suffering when it is MY fault- talk about depressing! So I try to use good judgment and I’m careful with decisions. All of this is just a quirk in my personality, but it’s Kelsi all the way. When my home isn’t clean, I get anxious. I don’t like the way clutter makes me feel. I like seeing lines in my carpet (from the vacuum cleaner) and unclean bathrooms (anywhere) send me THERE. I don’t move (residences) a lot and I pray before EVERYTHING, not only to honor God, but (I’m admitting) to minimize regret. I like SURE moves because they are STABLE. Stability is important to me. Even before salvation, for me, Vegas was never a place for gambling (I think I did nickel or quarter slot machines ONLY), simply because of the risk involved. If I was going to spend my cash, I wanted to have something to show for it. 

In case you haven’t noticed, all of this is about maintaining my comfort, and SANITY. Well, recently I’ve decided to yield my comfort, sanity to God on a deeper level. I have ASKED for an opportunity that is going to challenge my systematic, methodical, “plan everything out so nothing messes up” self!!! 

You see, I want to free fall so that He can catch me. I’ve learned to live on a little after having much more. I’ve learned to sacrifice the “look”, the “clothes”, the regularly scheduled hair appointments, the “only shopping at this or that store”, the “never repeating an outfit to church more than once in a year”, the “switching purses everyday”. All of that seems so silly to me now. Don’t get me wrong, I STILL like nice things, but there was a time I put more concern and energy into my image, than I did my actual walk or prayer life. I’ve been broken and stripped in ways people would never know unless I told them. There are so many things that were “important” to me that had to become less significant so that I can keep in CLEAR VIEW what is REALLY important. It hasn’t been easy, especially when you watch others, and comparing is NEVER wise. It has been downright humbling and painful BUT what it has done in my walk with Him, cannot be measured. What I have experienced in HIM cannot be bought!!! Besides, I KNOW the day will come when all is restored. 

Again, I’ve decided to go DEEPER, because I want so much more of Him. No matter what I’ve lost, or where I stopped working, how lean my bank accounts are, or how much less my yearly financial contribution at church is (has anyone else ever been embarrassed by that and then convicted by the Holy Spirit, realizing the pain of it is really about pride), I realize that with all the things I’ve learned to live without….I can’t live without Him!!!! And I want MORE of Him.

So I’ve asked for this particular opportunity that is going to challenge the area that I’ve still held tightly and kept so neat….everything and everyone concerning my personal space. It’s going to challenge me and I’m going to look for Him and to Him at every turn. When I feel like I’m going to lose my mind, because I can’t “plan and prepare” concerning this, He is going to find it (my mind) and continue transforming it!

Anything that ceases to grow & produce is dead!!! 

I’m yielding….DEEPER LORD!!!! 

I challenge you today to think about what you’ve been protecting. Think about what would make you come completely unglued and give it to Him. There is nothing wrong with our personality quirks! He created us to be individuals!!! It’s just that EVERYTHING concerning us, every quirk and aspect of our personalities, need to be yielded to the instructing, shaping and character molding of the Holy Spirit!!!

#kelsimarie