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!

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?”

 

“Home.”

 

“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!”

 

“Elyse!”

 

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?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

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

 

“Nah…”

 

“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.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“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…”

 

“I…”

 

 

**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

 

 

 

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.

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 ❤️)

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).

Sometimes You Have To Eat It…..

I could write a very DIRECT status, but instead I will put this in laymen’s terms.
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)