Deep calls

During my personal Bible study and devotional time this morning, this particular passage of scripture came up in one of my readings.

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, And from the heights of Hermon, From the Hill Mizar. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life. I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalms‬ ‭42:1-11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Then the lyrics of a song I remembered with the phrase ‘deep calls to deep’ started playing in my head, so I began searching for the music video and not only did I find many different versions of songs with this particular phrase in it, but I also stumbled upon many sermons, podcasts, commentaries, books, devotionals, etc.

This search for a music video turned out to be so much more, as I came to recognize that this ‘deep calls unto deep’ mantra was so much more than I could have imagined!

So I dug deeper to find what the Lord wanted me to get from all of this.

I discovered that the Hebrew word for ‘deep’ has two very distinctive definitions, which in some ways are the complete opposite of the other.

One definition is ‘a powerful abundant supply of water’, the other is ‘an emptiness where nothing at all exists’.

So one version of the word deep is ‘a depth of such complete fullness that it will never run dry no matter how much it gives out’, while the other version is ‘an emptiness and a void that can never be filled no matter how much is poured into it’.

The body, mind, spirit and soul of man will always find itself in one of these two places called Deep.

One is a place so full of Life and Light and Goodness and Peace and Freedom and so much more. While the other, well you get the point.

If we are completely honest we ourselves, we will admit that we have found ourselves at some point and time in our lives, on the wrong side of the deep.

Maybe we deliberately ventured off into the deep, maybe we drifted…

Regardless of how we ended up there, if we are not careful, we can get swallowed up if we allow ourselves to get to a place where we are in over our head.

The Good News for those who may have found themselves on the wrong side of the deep, is that you don’t have to stay there.

Deep Calls

Thirsty

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Beneath the Surface of the Circle

Growing up in a family with all boys, and in a family that moved around every couple of years, it was somewhat difficult for me to cultivate and keep long-lasting, meaningful relationships with other females. Although I grew up having friends, in every town I lived in and at every school I attended, those classic childhood BFF friendships, you know the kind that carries over into adulthood…Yeah, well I never experienced any of those. Sure, I still communicate with a few of my old friends here and there. But, I can’t honestly say that I have any one particular friend that I am deeply rooted with and thriving in life with, because that relationship doesn’t exist.

Yes, I do have friends, friends who I genuinely love and care about and who love and care about me. But honestly, most of those friendships were developed, and are thriving mainly because of common life goals that we currently share. However, they are only surface deep. If either one of us were to change our goals or direction in life, those friendships would inevitably fall by the wayside. I have experienced it time and time again, regardless of how genuine the love and care is being shown and reciprocated, it happens.

For many years, I assumed I was all alone on this seemingly peculiar journey, as I often encountered females with their “girlfriends”, spending “girl time”, doing what gathered girls do…

If there is one common and consistent thought among the majority of females, regardless of their relationship status, it is the idea that we are all alone in whatever situation we find ourselves in. That no one else knows what we are going through, no one else can relate or understand our personal situation. It’s a lie that most live by, despite knowing better.

Growing up, I occasionally imagined what it must be like to have “those types” of close, deep, meaningful friendships. I especially favored those who had sisters or strong relationships with their Mothers, or with other women in their lives, like daughters, aunts, nieces, grandmothers, etc.

For years, I was taught to believe that there must be something wrong with me because other females weren’t interested in inviting me or keeping me in their “inner circles”. There were times I even had difficulty connecting with and bonding with my own mother and daughters, regardless of how much we love each other or how much time we spent together. I couldn’t convince anyone that I preferred being alone rather in the company of others, even family. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy spending time with them, because I certainly did. But giving the choice, my default was to opt out of social gatherings and preferred spending time alone instead. I was quite content with being a “Loner” and not having those deep connections and close relationships.

I was told I had “Mommy Issues” and that was the main reason why I couldn’t develop those deep relationships. I was also told I had Commitment issues, Connection issues, Accountability issues, Trauma issues, Trust issues… basically, me and my issues were the reason why I was having issues developing and keeping deep, personal and close relationships with other females…

So for years, I worked really hard to change things about myself, in order to Trust more, Connect more, Commit more, deal with past Traumas and get some Accountability in my life, etc. Yet nothing significant happened or changed in my relationships with females.

Interestingly, after having conversions with other females over the past several years, I discovered that I actually hadn’t been the Lone Ranger I thought I was all of these years. There are literally hundreds of other female acquaintances, just like me, who have journeyed through most of their life, alone or without long-lasting, deep, meaningful female friendships.

>Females who DO NOT HAVE Mommy Issues or Connection Issues or ANY of the other issues that so many tend to believe are at the root of the female relationship gap.

>I have also had conversations with females who DO HAVE Mommy Issues and some of the other issues listed above, yet have simultaneously been able to develop, nurture and maintain deep, lifelong friendships with other females.

So I say all of this to say…why is it that people continue to put blame where there is no justifiable cause to do so?

Why can’t we simply call it what it is, rather than trying to find someone or something to blame?

>>What it really all comes down to is Personal “Choice” and “Preference”.

Because truth be told, People “choose” who they want or don’t want in their inner circle, just as some people “prefer” to do life with or without others in their deep, inner circle.

Plain and Simple.

Oh and BTW, Males aren’t exempt!

 

 

Spiritual Daily Disciplines

Why are Spiritual Daily Disciplines so important in Christian Life?

Spiritual Daily Disciplines, such as Bible Reading, quality time spent in Prayer, Worship and/or Devotion are opportunities where we encounter and interact with Our Creator and Savior. When we are still and silent, we are in a better position to hear directly from God concerning His Will & Purpose for our life. As a Christian, this is a very important aspect of life and should be a daily priority!

Another reason why establishing Daily Disciplines is so important is because our enemy never sleeps. He is very skilled and experienced in his own daily disciplines, which involves our destruction.

Why are Spiritual Daily Disciplines so difficult to develop?

Spiritual Daily Disciplines are difficult to develop without consistency! Some of the greatest people I know have difficulty committing to Daily Disciplines. The most common reason I hear is, there just isn’t enough time in my busy schedule to fit in anything else.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

With so many areas competing for our time, it’s difficult to prioritize and fit everything into a 24 hour time period…

  • Work schedule
  • School schedule
  • Home schedule
  • Exercise schedule
  • Children’s Sports schedule
  • Church schedule
  • Small Group schedule
  • Volunteer schedule
  • Vacation schedule

Spiritual Daily Disciplines somehow end up getting pushed aside and before you know it they are no longer happening. We reason with ourselves in our best attempt to justify our lack of, but honestly, there really is no justifiable excuse to not practice Spiritual Daily Disciplines!

sorry i m bussy print notebook photo

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

 

How to put Spiritual Daily Disciplines into practice?

Daily Disciplines will look different for everyone and regardless of what you see, hear or read, there is no right or wrong way to do it.

1 minute, 5 minutes, 1 hour…

with a book, without a book…

with music, without music…

Personal preferences is what will ultimately determine all of the details.

Main key is consistency and continuously!!

When the trials and tribulations come is when we will recognize why this is so important.

Resources to help establish Spiritual Daily Disciplines

Abide using Daily Disciplines

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan B: When the bottom falls out

I have only met a handful of individuals who have intentionally created a strategic plan for their life, which can ultimately serve as a personal safety net for when the bottom falls out.

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Who actually has a Plan B to put into action when the bottom falls out?

I am not talking about a 401K, or an emergency fund for support when a financial crisis hits. I am referring to the type of fall-out that is beyond financial recovery. Despite popular belief, money IS NOT the save-all solution when disaster strikes. I know that may come as a surprise to some of you and somewhat hard to believe, but it’s a well-proven fact.

While having a financial cushion to fall on during hard times is a wise decision and a life goal to accomplish, money most certainly cannot provide stability during a psychological or emotional breakdown, it cannot restore a fragile and troubled relationship, money certainly can’t undo a pending divorce, or reverse a terminal illness, and it definitely can’t heal the effects of a tragic accident or death of a loved one. As beneficial as money can be, it is not a key component in the restoration process when the bottom falls out.

Aside from money, there are a number of other things which people turn to in hopes of restoring their own sense of normalcy, most of which only contribute more to the problem. Extramarital affairs, substance use and abuse, or other destructive behaviors which only add fuel to the already out-of-control inferno. Fall Outs are a really hard place to be in and if there is no Plan B to resort to, lives will inevitably go in a wide range of unsafe, unhealthy and unholy directions Very Quickly!

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Why it is necessary to have a Plan B!

Anyone who has ever experienced the bottom falling out can testify to the fact that right after the bottom falls out, all hell breaks loose, lives get flipped turned upside down, emotions are scattered all over the place, chaos shows up at every turn, door after door gets slammed shut, then one break down and obstacle after another comes barging in with little to no help or relief in sight. Not to mention, everyone around “appears” to be untrustworthy, undependable, or not genuinely concerned with what is happening in your life. But, it’s not the end of the world, and Redemption is not as far off as one may believe.

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Bottom Fall-Outs can be very brutal, difficult to navigate and are hard to bounce back from, especially when there is no Plan B. Even with a Plan B, the journey will still be challenging. At least with a plan to fall back on, it makes the trek back to normalcy more tolerable and manageable. And as hard as it may be to wrap your mind around this fact, Fall Outs are not always linked to something that you have done wrong AND Most Importantly Fall Outs have significant spiritual value.

SO…How does one create a Plan B?

Creating a Plan B for any event in life takes nothing short of being Intentional.

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Strategically making preparations ahead of time is not something that most people think about doing, until the inevitable happens. Then they find themselves in the midst of the chaos with no clue on how to navigate through to the other side. It is only after-the-fact that they come to realize the importance of planning ahead.

This particular type of life preparation is more than the typical planning ahead that most people think about. For instance, purchasing life insurance for the future financial peace of your family in the event of your death, or creating a financial cushion for when the lay-off comes, or having a back-up plan in the event the mortgage company forecloses on the family home, etc.

You can be sure that when the bottom falls, there will be no time to stop and create a strategic plan of action. Because when the bottom falls out, the walls also begin to close in all around you and the ceiling is but moments away from crashing down. So a Plan B is definitely something that needs to be intentionally created well in advance.

I have read several articles, blogs and self-help books on the topic of creating a personal strategic plan for life, which can ultimately assist one in the event of a fall out. While there are no fool-proof scientific methods of survival, it is still worth putting in the effort to create your own personal back up plan because Your Life and all of its events are worth planning for.

Why? Because Your life and all of its events have eternal significance and purpose.

John16verse33

 

 

But…

If there is one thing the enemy of your destiny enjoys doing to you, it’s reminding you of your past and all of your mistakes.

If you spend too much time there, you will begin to feel unqualified, unworthy, unfit to do what you know God has purposed for you to do.

You will get all tangled up in what you feel and think about yourself, and all of your incapabilities, or worse, what others think and say about you will trip you and cause you to become stuck and immovable.

Do me a quick favor and >>Hit That Pause Button Right Now<<

REFOCUS on WHO and WHAT this is Really all about…

REMIND yourself Right Here-Right Now that…

It’s NOT about You!!

It’s NOT about Me!!

It’s NOT about Us!!

It’s NOT about Them!!

It doesn’t matter who you WERE, He STILL Chose YOU!!

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, HE STILL Wants To Use YOU!!

It doesn’t matter what others say, think, feel, or believe about you, HE HANDPICKED YOU!!

HE HAS A PURPOSE AND PLAN SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU AND YOUR LIFE, IN THIS TIME, DAY, AND AGE!!!

Please Receive This Truth!!

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?

Do not be deceived.

Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 

And such WERE some of YOU. 

BUT YOU were WASHED,

BUT YOU were SANCTIFIED,

BUT YOU were JUSTIFIED

in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

That’s Great News right there!!

Believe it for yourself and Share it with others who may need to be Reminded!!

A.B.I.D.E. The Why & How To

John 15:4-5

 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

I began my investments into the Multi Level Marketing (MLM) world when I was just 18 years old. Since that time, I have invested in and tried many, many different products and business opportunities. Part of the package deal with nearly all MLM business endeavors includes conferences to attend. I have literally heard hundreds of motivational and personal development speakers in my 30+ years of being in the MLM world. There are certain commonalities in every MLM conference, and if you are the least bit familiar with that environment, you will most likely agree with what I am about to share.

Conference time in the MLM world are Really Exciting Times! It’s like a high school Pep Rally before the big game, times 10, some times 100!! If you have never been to one, you should really try it out, at least once in your lifetime, even if it’s just for the experience and personal development aspect of it all. The agenda is always filled with really great speakers, who know exactly how to get your creative juices flowing. They are highly skilled and trained to Motivate, Inspire and Empower you to conquer your fears and take on the world. There will always be at least one speaker who will emphasize the need to find your “WHY”. Which is a really important factor, not just in the MLM world, but in life and with any endeavor or journey one finds themselves in.

In the MLM world, Your WHY plays a huge part in the success of what you are trying to accomplish. WHY you love the product, WHY you love the company, WHY you love working for yourself and being your own boss, WHY, WHY, WHY, You Must Find Your Why!

Then they shift gears and share 1001 “HOW TO” tips and tricks on HOW TO market the product, HOW TO market the business, HOW TO grow the business, HOW TO grow Your Team, etc…

Most MLM models include not only those two really important components, but the Major Selling Point is always found in THE RESULTS!!! The ticket to success is not about SELLing the products or SELLing the business, but about “SHARING The Results.” Because when you Share The Results, then you don’t have to SELL a thing. The Results do the selling, basically the product & business sells itself. So then, you are left Reaping The Rewards, The FRUIT!!!

Everyone loves a positive outcome, an inspiring testimony, a major win after a rough and tough start. The Results portion of an MLM Conference Reaffirms the WHY, causing all of the HOW TOs to either Jump Start or Add Momentum to those already with a running start.

Now PLEASE stay with me here and don’t let any of this MLM talk get you confused as to where I am heading with all of this.

Some of the Products, Businesses, and Results I have been privy to invest in and have tried over the years, have been and still are Real Legit Products & Businesses. The majority are actually really great products and are really good for you and your family. So I am NOT knocking any MLM business or product. I am simply saying all of this to prove a point… The Point being that Models and Methods used in the MLM world Really Do Work!

The Why + How To = Results [FRUIT]  THE METHOD REALLY DOES WORK!!!

So, if that method works on getting individuals to try new products, or invest in starting their own business, why not use the same type of concept in other areas? Areas where it takes a little more persuasion than normal to convince someone to give something new a try. Areas where it takes a system, a method or a specific model to accomplish an end goal, to Reap The Results…a.k.a…to Bear Fruit!

Now do you see where I am going with this???

It’s “The Method” of, Finding THE WHY, plus learning all of the HOW TOs, in order to reach THE RESULTS, which can be used in just about any situation, circumstance, event, relationship, purpose, or plan for Personal Development & Growth.

So I said all of that to say…

Simply “Knowing About” Christ and “Being Familiar” with The Word of God are simply not going to be enough to “Set Your Heart On The Things Above”. It’s a really great start, but it’s going to take a little more effort than acquiring a general knowledge of or possessing strong feelings for, or having a deep desire to ABIDE In Christ and in The Word, in order to experience that deeper, more intimate level of spirituality.

To ABIDE means, comply with, obeyobservefollow, keep to, hold to, conform to, adhere to, stick to, stand by, act in accordance with, upholdheedaccept, go along with, acknowledgerespect, defer to, toleratebearstand, put up with, endure, …

Sounds simple enough, but in actuality, ABIDING is not a single, one-time decision or event, nor is it an easy task to accomplish. It requires nothing short of Daily Discipline, which in turn requires Divine Intervention, even for the Super Spiritually Devoted Follower of Christ.

The Fruit reaped through this “Act of Abiding” are out-of-this-world incredible!!!

Finding and using every available tool in order to accomplish the task is worth searching for, to help one stay focused and actively “Abiding”.

In my search of a “How To” guide and not being able to find what I needed to fit my individual needs, I decided to create one of my own, one that works just right for me.

Using the same concept I learned in the MLM world, I began by asking myself 2 very simple questions:

Why?

and How To?

Why? because I wanted to Reap the Good Fruit as mentioned in John 15.

1. WHY Abide?

2. HOW TO Abide?

This personal model was created within a couple of weeks, as I sought answers to those questions, and waited on the Holy Spirit to Guide and Direct me.

Using each individual letter of the word A.B.I.D.E. the answers to those questions began to unfold and this model was the end results…

A.B.I.D.E.

Struck Down again…But Not Destroyed!

We have all heard the saying, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you Stronger”

Stronger?

YES, Stronger!

HOW???

How is that even possible when one’s heart has been completely crushed and shattered and emotions are all over the place?!

Especially if the heartbreak comes out of nowhere and things don’t seem to add up or make any sense and life as one has known it to be, has been completely flipped upside down?!

Where and How can one find strength when they are weakened by life-altering events?!

Strength is found only by Surrendering to the Father and allowing Him to handle what we can’t. He supplies Supernatural Strength when our own strength has been compromised through traumatic experiences.

Strength has a way of emerging during trials because of an inner coping mechanism called Resilience, which God designed and placed inside each one of us. When we surrender everything into His Hands, He activates our inner strength and thus begins the process of developing character through endurance and perseverance, leading to HOPE and JOY! Yes, even JOY!!

When we are finally in a place where we can look back, after-the-fact, then we are able to recognize that God had our back from the very beginning, to the bitter end, and everything in between, thus producing Strength for the next battle that is to come. Trust me, more will come!

It still blows my mind when I look back and see the resiliency and Hope I have developed over the years in light of all the traumatic events & experiences I have been through in life.

Here lately, I have managed to hold it together despite being separated for the last 4 months from my husband of 12 years. It has been an adjustment on so many levels, but it’s actually been a lot easier than I thought it would be. It hasn’t always been a nice walk in the park, but it’s definitely been manageable.

All of the shifting and changes that had taken place over the last several years, leading up to this separation, is also what has made this transition more bearable in comparison to the other breakups from my past. I do have to admit though, this is the last thing I expected to be going through again, especially at my age. I’m not quite sure yet if this separation is just a temporary thing or if it will lead to something more permanent, but I do know that God is in control regardless of the outcome and I’m following His Lead!

When I look back at past relationships and experiences I’ve had, it’s any wonder I am still alive & thriving today.

The Goodness, Faithfulness & Amazing Grace of God has always been my Unfailing and Unlimited Source of Strength, Courage, Love, Joy, and Peace!

I could very easily swim in the pool of despair and misery, and allow all of the “things that have happened to me” to harden my heart, but I truly believe there is more Strength in Forgiveness.

I also understand that there is a Purpose in all of the pain. God surely hasn’t wasted a single event or forgotten a single tear shed through it all.

There are literally thousands of passages of scripture I use to gain Strength from.

here are just a few…