Sunday, February 21, 2016


What creates the contentment you feel?

I was asked that question in counseling one afternoon. And I have thought of it daily for a month.
What creates the contentment I feel?
Contentment: to show willingness, be pleased, determine, undertake (to do anything)

The question was asked after choosing to walk away from the one thing I thought I wanted. When I chose & verbalized to God that “he” was not what I wanted, the weight was lifted- a freedom was present- & my spirit stood on the firmest Rock. I began to walk forward in complete freedom & knowing what I did want more than anything was God & His tangible presence in my life daily.

Emunah is the seal on my arm and actions being played before my very eyes.

As I looked at the definition & pondered… I asked God- how do I answer this? Am I really content?
With each passing day, I realized He was leading me into contentment. For the first time in my life I could honestly say I was walking in contentment.
Every morning I wake up- slightly frightened this content feeling will disappear- but it has not yet.
What about my life- situation- goals- frustrations- state of being- has me content?
I should be the farthest thing from content
But this is how I know God has me in held here.
A picture of Shulamite woman comes to mind. She was at one point locked in the garden & did not like it. But once she left the garden, on her own will, she soon realized what a wonderful place it was. To be in the safe keeping, security, beauty, sweet fragrance, loving place with her Beloved. When she lost that and realized it- she panicked. Searching high and low for her Beloved- unable to find Him.
He found her- right where she was, picked her up, and carried her back to His garden.

His mercy for me everyday is in so much abundance.
He was arms opened wide when I came running to Him. I want to be in that garden with my Beloved till the day this earthly body dies. Then to be with Him for eternity.

So my contentment comes from the Lord. From a place where I know the daily grind will get frustrating or I will become impatient or dissatisfied or tired or wanting. But being content in whatever situation life presents happens by being content with God having control, leading you, & trusting that He is there & engaged in every little detail.
I may not be where my 5-10 year plan had projected- but I am in a better place than what I envisioned. I may not be married, but divorced in fact or have any children on the way or have a big house for my entire family to come stay for holidays or be traveling on missions consistently or be the soccer mom driving a mini-van or have my masters… but what I do have & would give ALL things up for is the love & joy & active presence of God in my life.

I remember when my first nephew was born- Isaac. I was sitting with my husband at the time on my brothers couch in South Carolina. I was watching my brother and his wife (my amazing sister in law) interacting with their first born. We were packed in their small side of the trailer along with all the furniture which wasn’t much at that point. They had no money and what seemed like no direction or career or goals.
“He” & I had money, the house, the cars, the careers, the friends, the stuff, the ability to travel wherever and whenever- but we lacked one thing.
My brother and his new family had selfless love. They had joy. They had the active presence of God, daily. Even though they had trouble & fights & difficulties- they had what I desired so greatly, but just didn’t know how to get it.

My life is nothing like I thought it would be… it is better!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lion Arise

Tonight as I was talking with my mom about how I felt inside with the lack of his call or response after so long- I honestly said- "I feel free, lacking nothing. My decision- I stick with- God is who I chose until He allows someone to walk along side, in step with Us. 

I began to explain how some similar feelings from when my life was in a waiting period for my "husband" to now when thinking about my ex-husband... I felt sad. I actually cried in anger. 
As my life has continued & blossomed into God's original design, my prayers for this man have changed, yet stayed the same.  Reconciliation to God- to see his full potential as Christ designed him. To see- to hear- to know the love of God.
My anger is a righteous anger- one that comes with the passion in a heart that is yielded toward God & therefore angry at the things that anger Him. 
I think of what the enemy has tried to accomplish & I laugh! 
You have no hold on me- You have stolen nothing from me! You do not win... remember?!

I hear him taunt me saying, "but your marriage is demolished & ruined. you are alone. and I have him. he is mine."

I have pondered on that. 
Is he his?
I was reminded by my mother tonight that he is not ignorant of the Truth. He does know and believe. 
And we know- the purpose of all of this was to bring you (april) into right alignment with God, as well as him too. Our greatest weapon & most effective job is to pray for him as He desires. 

As my tears of anger rolled down my cheeks- I explained that I was angry at what the enemy had done & how he holds ever so tightly on what does not belong to him
I may not be able to make him see or say the words to change his mind or be able to do anything in this realm... BUT... I will pray!

Mom saw the Lion rise as I spoke of my anger for him. 
The Lion rises. 
His anger is very present. 
He is coming to take back what is His. 
He is coming!

As I picture the Lion, I am at peace. 
It is no ironic fate that my new study is Lioness Arising...
I am excited to see what God does with this Lioness as He teaches her to rise 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

mcdonald moment to remember

The drive thru was packed, so I parked the car to get my sweet tea fix. Smart business plan located this McDonalds next to a high school... wish I had thought of that.
As I walked in- I was shocked at how busy it was. Packed with high schoolers of all ages- races- sizes- & walks of like. I couldn't quite find where the line began- so as I was asking others if they were waiting to order, I became very aware that I was the oldest person in the building. 
I was a little caught off guard that I had to wait for my "order" to be filled (aka... pass me a large sweet tea cup)- but I wasn't put off by this. 
As I waited- I watched- I listened. 

small children, on their own, being led by just slightly older children
despite the cold and windy weather... provocative clothing
foul language I have only heard from infantry men & sailors
disrespect of each other
name calling
a young confused kid power walk thru the crowd shoving each person in his way- he arrived at the counter & began yelling at the worker about his fries not being "hot"- he started throwing them at her- a manager walked up to help- the fries thrown at her- comments made from him to her & right back at him. he reached in a box near the counter to grab sauce packets & threw them at them. once he got his now "hot" fries- he turned and loudly called out someone's name then pushing his way thru the waiting crowd to get to another person to begin calling them names & talking about a party this weekend. 
Homosexuality was written over most of these children
fingers snapping for people to pay attention to them or look them in the eyes or to be quiet or name calling to get someone's attention
It's Sodom & Gomorra- but worse!

I could see the life-sucking figures- nail sunken deep- attached to them... they turned and look at me- "these are ours!" they screeched 
more and more kept pouring in the doors
I felt the place getting smaller 
I filled my cup 
I excused myself as I was walking through the place, not to run into anyone- smiling the whole way- even though my heart was heavy

As I walked to my car... deep breath... 
The tears began as I closed my car door. 
"God- this is what You have to work with? This is the next generation? OH God!!!"
All my thoughts went to what I had just witnessed... it has reached our children... what are we to do?

I felt broken hearted and overwhelming sadness as I thought of these children- any child in this day & age. This is just one building in a medium size city, and this is mild Im sure. 
I cried out to Him... "Thank You that You are so much bigger & greater than my little mind. This is too much for me to hold. God- you love these children- each one- they are not too far gone- help them find You. Help them turn away from the world & see what is eternal & good & righteous. Help this next generation. Help us!"

I sat in silence for a while... sobbing 
As I drove to the elementary school to get the Boy, I prayed, "let me see You here. Lighten my heart but not to forget what I saw."
I had watched the seriousness of these teachers before. Radios- name tags in the cars for kids- ID's of people picking them up- no child without an escort or known destination. It was a work of elementary school dismissal art.
Near the buses, a teacher loudly commented to a child walking out of the building with her parent... "Miss Amy, your valentines box is most beautiful." A smile was plastered across this little girls face as she walked proudly out with her mom & highly decorated and bedazzled box in hand. 
my heart melted
In the office they checked my ID and called over the radio for the Boy. I again found myself watching...
a small boy holding the door for a parent
the 6 girls in the office with their moms were so full of life & laughter & excitement talking about who gave which valentine & their favorite
the older girl using the overhead mic to announce the next bus number release for the children- she walked with such pride with her yellow hall vest through the door to watch the children being released and filling the awaiting bus

I was trying to hold my tears back standing, watching, waiting, listening
the Boy and his new black mustache walked in & was surprised but smiling to see me
my heart leapt at the this sight- peace and innocence 
"God- there is hope that not all is lost. Thank You for this reminder."

My mind raced as we drove to the park. 
How can I make a difference?
Maybe I won't be a mom. It really doesn't matter if I bear flesh. 

For the second time in my life- a picture of older children flashed through- these kids were in my care- they saw me a their parent- did not call me mom, but friend, elder, respectful & loving protector. 
There are tons of kids that are "not wanted" due to their age... maybe these kids are meant to be mine. I can remember God promising to open wide my tents- actually that they would be busting at the tent pegs... 
I receive Your call to protect & pray for these kids. And if You give some into my keeping- I will do as You want. 
We are to teach our children what it means to love God, to love others, to live not of this world but of eternity. We are responsible for the changing of the atmosphere- the rewiring of their precious minds that will one day impact the world in ways we do not know. 
Lord, when You are ready- I will receive the children You bring. I will love them & teach them as You have loved & taught me. Thank You for laying this heavy on my heart. And I am thankful that You love the children & say come. That You have not given up on us yet. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

less or more

It is like the zoom out button was being pushed
I could see the back & top of my head, 
the bar I was sitting at, the sushi I was eating, 
the people sitting at the other end of the bar, & 
the bar tender
I suddenly became very aware of how quiet the noise around us had gotten & how in-tune I become of our conversation

I had been praying all week that I would be aware of what was being said or talked about at our dinner this week
 I wanted to see things as they really were & how he really was 
I want wisdom & clarity
so as the tuning in began- I was not surprised but relieved.
"You never leave me & You are not slow in answer my prayers. Your timing is perfect & I thank You for allowing this strange yet amazing moment to occur."
he was doing so well in life- the money, the job, the house, the travel, the friends, the social life, the dog, the memories, the girls, the sex... yet there was an emptiness to his answers. 
Knowing what the emptiness was & who wanted to fill it... I found myself very sad
My heart was saddened further as I had to lead the conversations and ask questions of him or his life or his job or old memories from our past & his... 
Why was it not reciprocated? Why did I not feel myself? Why could I not talk about the things my heart desired so much to talk about- especially with him? Why couldn't I tell him what God had done in my life & with me? Why couldn't I speak about who I was?
As we walked to his place- we were met with a wet wiggly creature, very happy to see us. As we sat and watched ESPN in silence... my heart continued to be saddened. 
I looked around and felt an even deeper emptiness. 
I was tired and somewhat broken down by what I was in the midst of. 
I left feeling empty & cold.
I immediately laid it out before God the moment I sat in my car. 
"Well- You let me see things clearly, thank Yo for that. why is this so difficult? Is this what You have for me? Is this what You want for me?"
My question was once again met with the same question as weeks prior... "Is this what YOU want, April?"


a few days pass & I was faced with the life changing decision I knew had been coming my way.
 It didn't look like I expected but I was painfully aware of its existence. 

Is this what YOU want, April?

Moments before this, I had spent what felt like wasted energy on responding to someone who was trying to shake every decision I had made in my life. Why I chose to get married in the first place- why I chose the military- my daddy issues- my mother issues- my decision to go all in with God & each decision made recently as I laid them before God & waited- my divorce- my lack of contentment & (what they thought) happiness- my dog- my house- my passion for missions & travel- my nursing career- my choice of state to live in
all creating a slow rise in my heart rate until the words- I hate God- came across the screen

tears welled up
skin hot & red
I was boiling with anger!

Just focus on getting out of work then you can loose yourself at His feet

And the moment I stepped onto the pavement to my car... the tears and wails came
I am not sure I have been so angry in all my life
"God- do they know that they are the problem? They don't know how to love because they don't see Love as it truly is... YOU!
They hate You & You have done nothing but love them & die for them. 
I dont understand. I can't do this anymore. I don't want to be here anymore. I want to come Home."
As I laid before His throne- unable to speak or pray.. moans & tears were all I had for my Daddy. 
I saw Him get up from His mighty throne, kneel down to cover me, wrapping me in His arms... His hand catching ever tear. 
As I laid there being held by my Father, it grew so silent & still... the intensity of His love was overflowing
I didn't want it to end!

I sat up. 
"This is who I am. I long for the moments that You break my heart for what breaks Yours. My heart yearns for Your presence. I am me because of You. You are in me & if I can't share that- I am nothing. I like who You have made me to be. I like who I am.       God- if I can't be me... if I can't be who You have made me to be with a man- then I don't want him. I can't be myself with him... so I do not choose him."
I heard God say so softly... "Really?!"
"Yes God. This is not what I want. I want the more You have promised me."
I felt my spirit stand tall- chin held high- I am choosing God, not the good- and even though I don't know and can't see it, I still choose it, because it is the best thing- a God thing. My spirit began to walk straight- focused- each step was planted firmly on the foundation- freedom pulsing through me
I want more- I want God

I felt God hushing the angels in heaven to listen to my answer for the second time in my life. 
I moved His gaze- stopped His heartbeat for a moment... 
when you have tasted so sweet a love like this... there is no comparison in all the world

He began to give me instructions after this 
"you can pray for him 
you can only love him-not like you have once before loved him, but only like I love him
you must open your mouth & speak truth to him- it is no where else in his life but here
you can be his friend- with walls like Jericho around you- no climbing out- no climbing in
and lastly- you cannot wait for him. you must not wait on him. you must continue to move forward because I HAVE MORE FOR YOU!"
He was direct- on a mission- and concise with each direction

Life continues forward- better than the moment before it- more clear- more real- more beautiful...
           This was a piece of the more He had been talking about & there is MORE to come