It is so easy for me to get distracted.  I start cleaning my living room and go to the kitchen to get something and before you know it, I start cleaning the kitchen, forgetting about the living room.  I go on the internet to google great colors to paint your kitchen and also begin to look up colors for the closet.  There are times where I am “accidentally” distracted.  However, most of the time I am actively looking for a distraction in attempts to avoid something that needs to be addressed. 
The other morning I was exhausted and desperately needed to clean my house but I was LOOKING for something to distract me. I didn’t want to think, I didn’t want to move. Then it happened.  I heard the Holy Spirit whisper ever so gently inviting me be distracted by Him.  Now there is a thought for you!  What if in my moments of fatigue, desperation, and despair I run to the Lord to distract me?  This is certainly not a novel idea. The Lord has already made this invitation to all of us in Mathew 11:28, when He said, “…Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 
We look for distractions because we don’t want to deal with whatever is before us.  When I allow the Lord to be my distraction, He gives me rest and I don’t become overwhelmed or consumed by the very thing I am running from.  When I sit in His presence, I get refreshed, gain wisdom, find peace and abiding joy!  Very much a worthwhile distraction!


The other morning I was having devotion with my five children.  Let me rephrase that, all five of them were in the room but only 3 were paying attention.  I read them the story of Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones.  Then we got to the verse where Ezekiel calls God sovereign.  Of course inquiring minds wanted to know what sovereign meant.   I tried my best to explain to my young children the meaning, then the light bulb went off for my 8 year old and she said, “Oh so God is a know it all!”  EXACTLY!  Yes He is a know it all because He is in control!  The two go hand in hand, being in control and all knowing!     In her 2nd grade world, being labeled as a know it all is right up there with being called a tattletale.  But she understood that God’s label was a bit different.  I absolutely love the way God reveals Himself to children.  Simple yet very profound.   
I am so happy that I know THE KNOW IT ALL GOD!  If I rest in the fact that God is in control and He knows it all, would I worry so much?  Would I question His plans for my life, wondering if He may steer me the wrong way?  Would I fight with everything in me to have control?  I mean really.  I should be floating through life in the arms of my in control, know it all God, rejoicing that He knows the end from the beginning and ALL (I mean ALL) I have to do is TRUST HIM!  So refreshing to be reminded of this truth.  Life is unpredictable. We will have seasons of joy and others of great struggle but relax our know it all God is in control.
Read the story of Ezekiel and Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37).  Great source of encouragement! 

Answered Prayer

At the beginning of 2011, the cry of my heart was for the more of God.  I asked God to fill me with His spirit in a way that I had never experienced before.  One year later I can reflect and say that He did just that.  He didn’t quite answer my prayers in the way I had script it in my mind.  Yeah I got the more of God, but it wasn’t in a pretty package.  I went through a “winter” season in my marriage, a month’s stay in the hospital and 3 surgeries for my newborn baby, a long season of uncertainty, fatigue, helplessness, and TADA the result is the more of God.  Yeah, not a pretty package but   definitely the desired result. My marriage is now even stronger and my baby is healed; but even better, It was through my suffering that I came to a “sweet” place in God.  My suffering reminded me of my helplessness and the beauty of knowing Jesus!  IT was through my suffering that I saw Jesus even the more.  There is something about suffering that gives you the proper perspective, that is, if you CHOOSE to surrender and rely on God’s grace.  I will be the first to confess that coming to that place of surrender and relying totally on God’s grace is a lot easier in the theory than in practice.  Nevertheless IT IS POSSIBLE!  What opportunities are in your life now for growth?  Opportunities to be even closer to God and to look more like Him?  We don’t always look at sufferings as opportunities for growth, but they are. Embrace your suffering, something beautiful awaits you on the other side.
Romans 8:17 (NLT)
17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
2 Corinthians 1:5 (NLT)
5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.


Below is my journal entry from the beginning of 2011.  Tomorrow, I will post how God answered this cry of my heart…stay tuned!
January 11, 2011
It almost seemed morbid when I used to hear others say they longed for heaven. I  couldn’t understand, perhaps because I was not spiritually ready and heaven was not to be my inheritance.  But I think I got it, I too am NOW homesick.  I long for my heavenly home.  No I am not depressed or ungrateful for what God has blessed me with, but my perspective has shifted…I got it!  This earth is not my home.  This is just a speck in regards to the rest of eternity.  I am homesick and I want to remain homesick.  Lord help me to never get comfortable here on earth, let me always live in the reality that this is not my home.  If I stay homesick then the cares of this life wont carry the same weight.  If I am homesick what does it matter that I don’t have everything that I want and desire this side of heaven.  If I am homesick  then Jesus is at the forefront of my thoughts and I don’t allow myself to get distracted.  God don’t cure my homesickness, don’t take it away, increase the desire so that I may remain focus on you while I am here on earth. 

How do I stay in the place of thinking about heaven?  How do I stay in the place of always having my eyes fixed on Jesus, the Lamb that was slain for my sin; the one who made  it possible for me to come home someday?  Jesus I don’t get it all and I know that I cant live as if I am not human, but keep heaven on my mind.  Keep heaven on my mind.  This year I desire to go to a place in you that I have never been before.  I don’t know what that place is, I don’t know what it looks like, what it feels like but God I want more of you.  I want your spirit to just explode within me so that when my day comes to be with you in heaven, you wont be foreign to me.  Worship will have already been my breath; communion with you will already be my lifestyle.  Show me everyday how to prepare for eternity.  The angels are constantly giving you praise in my heavenly home, show me how to praise you so that my voice can join there’s when I finally see you.   Are you homesick?
Philippians 3:20-21
 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.  He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

Are you serious…rejoice in suffering?


Below is a journal entry I wrote shortly after our fifth child Isaiah was born.  A day after his birth, Isaiah had to be admitted to the NICU and eventually underwent three surgeries.  This was a season of intense pain for our family because every day was so unpredictable and his life fragile. Today, Isaiah is totally healed (yes God is still in the healing business).   I chose to post this today because we often look for God to do something new and tend to have spiritual amnesia and rob God of the glory and the praise He deserves for what He has already done.  Today as I reflect on what he did for our baby boy, I will PRAISE HIM!

Journal Entry from August 2012

Yesterday I was gripped with a sudden fear that Isaiah may die.  It pained me to think of this.  I tried with all my might to “pull” through this fear, but it was overwhelming.    I could barely find the strength to fight, I felt paralyzed. I rebuked the devil, declared that God had not given me the spirit of fear but of power love and sound mind, but must admit I was still struggling.  I also felt bad that I couldn’t be there for him at all times to just hold him whenever I wanted and whenever he needed me.   Isn’t this what a mother is supposed to do?  Talk about feeling inadequate and guilty.  As I went through the day, I could hear in a still small voice, “it pleased the father to bruise the son.”  I couldn’t remember where the scripture was taken from, but as I tried to sink in self pity, the scripture kept on ringing in my spirit.  It was puzzling to me because I could not comprehend HOW (not why) God could handle seeing His own son crucified.  I understood the theology behind it but as a parent I couldn’t understand the emotional aspect of it, you know, the feeling part.

Right before I went to sleep last night, I struggled to open the bible, but I finally did.  I turned to the book of James and came across James 1:2-4  “Count it all joy, (ANIKA), [ when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. This was not even the scripture I was looking for but God knew it was just what I NEEDED!  Why is rejoicing in suffering such a resounding theme in scripture….AWWW!  What is there to be happy about when you are suffering?  I obviously missed that memo yesterday.   I didn’t want to hear what the scripture was saying at the moment but all I could do was smile because I knew what the Lord was speaking to my heart.  As I sat and reread and reread and reread that passage, a great peace came over me, a peace that exceeded anything I could understand (Philippians 4:7).  Amazing how the word of God gets to the heart of the matter and cause all fear to dissipate.

I can’t understand all the why’s behind the what’s during this season of my life, but I have to learn to not just accept it and say the Lord knows and He is going to bring me out, but I have to rejoice (not just lip service) even in this because it is ultimately about God getting the glory and Him perfecting me.

So this takes me back to the scripture that was ringing in my spirit yesterday, I looked it up and found that it was Isaiah 53:10,“But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and fill him with grief (Speaking of Jesus). Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s plan will prosper in his hands. 11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.   God could rejoice in what Jesus went through because He knew what the end was going to be…my salvation, our salvation. Jesus’ story did not end in suffering, it ended in triumph!  God provided an awesome example for me to REJOICE IN THE MIDST OF THE SUFFERING.  It was easy for me to speak faith when all of this began. I thought it would end just as quickly as it started but this is not the case.  Isaiah is still in the hospital, and even after he comes out, there is much adjusting that we will have to do.  There is also another surgery awaiting him when he gets a little older to reconnect his intestines.   I don’t know all the details of Isaiah’s story and what God has in store for him, but I must learn to press pass my feelings and begin to rejoice as I am in the MIDST OF IT because in the end God and God alone will get all the glory!  Can I live at this place EVERYDAY as I wait for the full manifestation of Isaiah’s healing?  I pray for the grace to do just that.


One of THOSE Kind of People

I happen to be one of THOSE  kind of people.

You know…

The kind that are narrow minded and are fully convinced that Jesus is the only way.

One of those that get to shouting loud and dancing in church when they reflect on where God brought them from.

The kind you avoid talking to & screen their calls if you are not in the mood for all that Jesus talk

You see, to understand who I AM

You have to understand who I WAS

I used to be one of THOSE kind of people

You know…

The kind that knew the truth but chose not to live it

One of those that were in church but not in Christ

The kind that would prefer to pretend that all was well but falling apart on the inside

But today

I lift my hands and shout with everything that is within me


Yeah , without apology

I happen to be one of THOSE KIND OF PEOPLE!