The Nudges…

I’ve learned not to ignore the nudges. Often times when we are seeking direction from God or not, we expect Him to instruct us with lightening and thunder, with a James Earl Jones voice hammering down from Heaven. Yet, some of my most critical instructions in  a moment’s notice have been given with just a nudge, an unction, an ever so slight tap towards a certain action or direction.

Oh, how I’ve learned not to ignore the nudges. Sometimes we want a raindrop to fall just above our left eyebrow in the scorching sun so that we will KNOW that it’s God speaking, but that wouldn’t require much faith or stretching would it? That wouldn’t require that we stay tuned in to His frequency.

Although I grew up in the Bay Area and lived there until a year and a half ago, I do NOT like driving in San Francisco. You really have to know the one way streets, having committed them to memory to navigate the downtown area efficiently. It’s all just a maze to me, and years ago, one of the countless times I was lost, I was in a residential neighborhood. Mind you, this was before GPS was a “thing”. I was desperately trying to find my way back to the freeway and was growing more and more frustrated. I was literally at the point of tears. I felt a gentle nudging to turn left, but turning left didn’t make sense to me. From where I could see, it appeared to be a dead end. I could see the house that faced me at what I perceived to be the end of the street, yet the nudging just wouldn’t go away.

Finally, I said something as ridiculous as “Ok God, I’ll drive down here just to SEE that it’s a dead end!” I had been circling the same blocks for quite some time and didn’t feel I had much to lose. I figured at least if I went ahead and turned left, I could get rid of this nagging “nudging”. To my surprise, when I got to that house that faced me at the end of the block, I could see that the street actually continued in a perpendicular direction. Furthermore, the street literally turned into the freeway onramp!

I could bore you with countless examples, but I think you get my point. There will be times you have an unexplainable nudging to pray for a person, take a certain route home, change an appointment time, go see about a friend, etc. . Don’t ignore it. Remember, God isn’t obligated to explain Himself on the front end. It is our responsibility to trust Him one nudging at a time and obey one often blind step at a time.

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

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.

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 ❤️)

Accountability is Freedom…

God taught me a lesson a LOOOOOONG time ago that I’ve never forgotten. I, Kelsi, I (emphasis on me) injured a sister at my church and in her pain, she basically yelled it from the mountaintops. Some of what she told people was the truth and some of what she told people were lies. C’mon she isn’t the only one to ever embellish a little due to the sting of pain. In my pride, I was appalled. I began to tell others….”How dare she go around telling people these things!!! She is ruining my reputation! It is so mean for her to tell others what is between she and I- and now she’s started lying!!!”
One day in prayer, the Holy Ghost impressed upon me to STOP and He showed me my fault- my fault alone. At that moment, I realized that the genesis of ALL of it was my transgression against her. I basically overlooked what I had done, to be angry about how she “mishandled” it. With my own sin illuminated before me, I sincerely repented and didn’t look towards her faults anymore. And guess what? In return, for my [now] clean hands, the parts that she shared that were lies, were eventually exposed (yes, it took YEARS). GOD HATES SIN no matter who the culprit is.
You cannot step over your mess in hot pursuit of pointing out someone else’s (Matthew 7:5). You cannot set your own faults aside to deal with how someone else is handling your faults. Your pursuit should be to live above reproach and a life worthy of your calling. With clean hands though, you can plead mercy, especially if others can be hurt. Yes, all of us have been lied on, and someone bearing false witness is a different topic. Here I am referring to when you KNOW you have done wrong, but choose not to take responsibility, all the while, playing victim, angry and upset that someone shared it.
The next time someone gossips about you, before becoming indignant, repent for whatever TRUTH there is in what they are saying, next become resolved that you will not give the enemy anything else to work with, and finally, ask that the truth of the matter be exposed and any lies dispelled. I learned this SOOOO early in my walk with Christ. And I will teach here that you CANNOT be a mature christian without understanding this fundamental element of integrity.
Sometimes if you don’t start none, there won’t be none….. (improper use of english language noted).

So Right I Was Wrong…

I had a really bad habit that came from a very sincere place. Because I didn’t want to deal with negative or painful emotions in a way that is unbiblical, I found myself making it a habit to not deal with them at all. I know how dangerous and destructive the spirit of offense is. I noticed how some people were so self-centered, EVERYTHING seemed to offend them FOREVER. People who operate in a spirit of offense will become bent out of shape over the most minor violations. I didn’t want to be a whiner who always went on and on about who did what this time and become stuck in a place where I couldn’t let anything go. I didn’t want my hurt or anger towards people to interfere with my ability to love them as I am commanded.

What I noticed was that several times I endured injustice when I probably should have stood up for myself. You see, some people are of weak enough character, that if they CAN take advantage of you or mistreat you, they will. They don’t have an inner conviction that would steer them otherwise. I also found myself sad and crying DAYS later only to search my heart about what was bothering me and find it was something mean, vindictive, dishonest, manipulative or destructive someone had done. And since I didn’t want to walk in “offense”, I shrugged it off and didn’t deal with it in a timely manner.

I’m sharing this with you today JUST IN CASE I’m not the only one. It is not God’s best, nor His will for you to voluntarily remain in a position or posture where you are abused and beat down. Doesn’t that sound like bondage or slavery? He whom the Son sets free is free INDEED (John 8:36).

-Remaining in tumultuous relationships where there are vicious cycles of abuse is not “admirable”. So if you stay, don’t say it is because it is what He wants or planned for you. Be honest about the fact that it is a fruit (albeit a sour one) of your choice.

-If something hurts you, allow yourself to FEEL. One of the best pieces of instruction I’ve ever received was when Holy Spirit told me to be still and GRIEVE. He needs a clean palette to work in, with and through. Cast all of those cares to Him (1 Peter 5:7)- He can handle it!

-Remember that the sin isn’t in the honest feeling(s), but in HOW you choose to process it / them. There are times we need to repent for the way we feel and ask Him to do a work in our heart as we open it to Him. There are times we need to admit anger, hurt and frustration and then yield it to Him, asking Him to strengthen us to process it biblically and in a way that glorifies Him. We are never instructed to ignore feelings that are honestly there!

-Ignoring your feelings isn’t noble. Not allowing your feelings to rule your actions and yielding your heart to God’s instruction about life events and how they impact you (including the actions of other) is. Acknowledge Him in EVERYTHING and then let Him lead. There is no hurt on Earth that He cannot heal.

And remember, time does NOT heal all wounds. I know some old and bitter people. Some people end up diseased because of all the dis-ease they have carried. It is God in His timing who can heal ALL wounds…when we let Him.

Say this prayer with me…. Lord, help me not to tie your hands in my life. Amen.

I love y’all. Remember, God is good and Clarity Is Divine​!!!

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!!!

Who Remembers Jordache?

I was just thinking today about how much I hate INSECURITIES. They are such tricks and tools of the enemy. If we never come in to full agreement with what God says about us or who God says that we are, we will never live the life, steward the ministry or take the territory for God’s kingdom that Christ died for us to take. Insecurities cause us to be timid, shy, depressed, despondent, and just flat out CRAZY at times. And YES, shyness is a form of FEAR. How will I be perceived? What will happen to me? What will people say? Will I be good enough? What will people think? Will I be embarrassed? I could go on and on….. but it’s all FEAR!!! I HATE FEAR!!! God didn’t give that to me!!! We serve a God who takes NO pleasure and has no delight in a drawback spirit. What have you missed out on, what chances did you not take, because of a fear of failure? Better yet, what job, relationships, circumstances have you settled for, because deep inside you didn’t believe you could do or have better? OUCH!
Insecurities have many different faces. Show me a bragger, a self-promoter, a bully, a flaunter and I’ll show you someone as insecure as the person who sits in a corner with their head down…. just a different execution of the same mess.
I remember when I was in the 2nd grade I had a friend who came to school with a turquoise Jordache purse (yes, I’m revealing my age) with fringes hanging from the bottom. OMG!!! That purse was EVERYTHING. See, she had a sister who was several grades ahead of us and shopped in the “juniors” section. Oh, how I loved that purse. She’d even let me wear it for a few minutes at recess.
I remember feeling like the light of the sun shone on her when she wore that purse and like the skies above me were overcast. That one purse made me feel “less than” and insecure. I wanted a Jordache purse like hers!! Not having that one thing, made me lose sight of all of the awesome stuff that I had. It didn’t matter that people fell out over my thick, long, beefy ponytails, my various flavors of Lip Smackers (for the men, those are lip glosses), or whatever new tennis shoes my father had bought me…. it wasn’t the Jordache purse with the fringes on the bottom!!! Insecurities, along with the sins of covetousness, envy and jealousy will make you MISERABLE!!! It will blind you to the fact that some who have never even paid you a compliment will begin doing their make up like yours, style their hair like yours, etc. The mental turbulence just doesn’t allow you to see your own value.The one major thing my childhood friend had that I didn’t, was CONFIDENCE.

This is a comical example of how the adversary slithers into our thoughts to discount everything God has graced us with, all the while, looking to the one thing someone else appears to have, that you don’t. We walk around bogged down with blessings while our sight is set on what we don’t have. How ungrateful!!!
Not long after, my mom bought me the cutest pink little girl’s handbag and I was over the Jordache purse! I completely forgot about it.My point? Don’t fall for the mind trick. Don’t dummy down and get all insecure. KNOW YOUR WORTH!!! And never ever forget you have your own batch of blessings!!!
Never allow the enemy to trick you out of identifying and being grateful for your strengths. If you don’t believe you have them, you will never use them and he wins. You have access to everything you need to run your race, win your battles, finish your course and accomplish your purpose. Find it. Use it. Thank HIM for it!!!