Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mirrors and Reflections

Old post I started and never finished (until now)...  It's been two years since I've written.  Perhaps I should stop being afraid of putting myself "out there", and just write .....

Recently I found myself in the position where I've had to buy a number of mirrors.  It's interesting. While it's possible that each mirror, due to size, type, and quality may present a differing reflection, what I noticed more greatly is how I would see myself in the reflection, depending on my state of mind or feelings toward myself in the moment. Was I obsessing about my outward appearance? Or was I looking at myself from a place of grace, and knowledge of my beauty because of my value in Christ? Mostly, I've noticed my external appearance. My inner state of doubt, and of want of belonging and acceptance amongst others, seems to drive my own constant criticism of all that I'm not.  Is this all there is for you and I? I have to believe that Jesus did not suffer, die and rise for us, for us to be stuck in this "state".   

How are we seeing ourselves? What lens are we using to see and view ourselves in this life? Do we see ourselves as weak, fat, lazy? Or do we see beloved, made-new, made-whole, ones loved by a God who gave His ALL for us?  If you could measure the depth of His love by outstretched arms on a Roman cross some 2000 years ago, why would we not run to the only one Who has given everything, A living God who died for us, to set us free from us looking and seeing "less than" in mirror and heart reflections.  Why would we rise and fall by the criticisms of a world and people instead? Why wouldn't we rest in, trust in and lean on this living God and all He says we are to Him, with Him, through Him and for Him. He loves us. He loves you.

When we will stop being swayed and underwhelmed and unfocused by the madness of this world. The superficiality of this life? Perhaps fully letting go, and being overwhelmed with Jesus grace and love will help us to be released to revival in ourselves, and others? I certainly don't have any answers, save this....  Even though I fully believe in Him as Savior and Lord of my life, heart, mind and spirit - I haven't fully released myself to Jesus yet. But I "know", when and if I do, I just may find everything I've ever wanted and been hoping hard for, I might just release myself from this unhealthy, and unnecessary criticism and expectation - and likewise - release others of it too. Will you be brave today, and lean into and trust Him? Keep going, Beloved! All we need, we can find in Jesus! He is our only endeavor. 

Curiously, I posted this on social media in 2014, on this day. I felt it appropriate to re-share here with this post ....

Yesterday was rough. Today is a new day and offers a fresh start.
So as I prepare to start the day I imagine God speaking these things to you and I...

“You’re awesome, don’t let anyone tell you any different.”

“You can do all things through Me, who strengthens you."

"I am with you all day.”

“I love you for who you are, not what you do. I am proud of you because you are mine.”

Here are some verses to lean into today...

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1)

For He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in His sight in love (Ephesians 1:4)

And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12) 

We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you... (1 Thessalonians 1:4) 

Look around you... you are part of the beauty you behold... you are His heart with skin on (made in His image, set apart, called His Beloved and adopted into His family in Christ, through Christ)


In His Love, and By His Grace ~ 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Baby's Birth Story and The Number 7 ~ Encouragement for Your "Onward!"

I consider myself a mainly optimistic, hopeful person of Christ. But lately I’ve been thinking…. sometimes it seems like things will never change.  

Maybe it was just having woken up this morning… Newborn, crying. Five year old not responding to requests and questions. Husband telling me that dream we’ve been working toward and hoping for, still is a long way to being “realized”.  And, big dreams of who I would be and what I would be doing in this life, echoing in my heart and mind… mostly not yet realized.

And then my newborn smiled for the first time, and my daughter responded, and my husband hugged me and whispered how it would all be ok, and we will realize all of our dreams, with God’s faithfulness, ever present help, and perfect timing.

It’s so hard to remember His assurances, His promises, His whispers of His great “plans”.  But it happens, and I’m writing to you today to tell you to remember His whispers of protection, provision and passion for you, and prophesy and affirm over you …. with Him, all things are possible, and you will behold the “promised land” He’s prepared for you!

Every heart dream, every peace, every hope.  He’s heard our prayers. He sees the need.  He knows our hearts.  He is making ways, and He is preparing the above all we can dare ask or think blessings.  

How can I say this?  Well, I had forgotten, but He asked me to share the miracle of my daughters birth to assure you “It Is Well”.  This was over a month ago.  I’m so very sorry for my delay.

I had the worst third trimester of pregnancy. You name it, and it happened. Discomfort, pain, illness, all of it.  My beautiful baby kept on showing in breach position in every scan and follow up.  We were nervous and praying feverishly for the situation to change.  For her to turn the proper way.  Why is it the entering of the miracle of birth is opposite of what one thinks?  Why is it that head down is right?

All the fervent prayers, and believing and speaking life, and no changes.  I was discouraged.  Why God? Is my faith not enough to change this situation?

Imagine our surprise when our scheduled cesarean section was upended by God’s and Baby’s choice, as water broke two days prior to it, and Baby was quickly on the way.

Water broke at 1:30am.  At the hospital at  2:30am.  Upon arrival I was already 6 centimeters dilated. Computer problems, vein locating problems, and all happened along the way. But there was His peace. Every time a contraction would come, I would utter Jesus name through groanings and large breaths.  He was there.  It was painful, but He was there.

Baby came to us healthy and blessed at 7 lbs 7 ounces, at 4:03 (which adds to seven) on 2/7.  And we were promptly wheeled into room 107, to enjoy our beautiful "gift".

My husband walked into the recovery room with her singing “Seven times Seventy times”.  

It turns out that the number Seven is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). Hallelujah!

I believe my baby’s beautiful birth story was assurance, not only for our family, but for all whom our lives are touching.

Though this time may be hard, the pain present, and the trials difficult, the situation seemingly turned “on it’s head”.... our Greatest God is guiding, and He is planning on not only making ‘it’ perfect, but complete (both Physically and Spiritually).  

Father, You’ve spoken dreams, visions and blessings over us all.  Please give us strength, courage and hope to remember that Your plans, Your perfect timing and Your miraculous blessings, are going to come to pass, as You’ve shown us. All of our hope continues to be in You and You alone.  May we be encouraged in Jesus amazing grace, and perfect love as we wait upon Him and His Kingdom come and will being done in our lives, the lives of our beloveds, and in this earth. In His Matchless and Wonderful Name, I Pray. Amen!

Keep moving forward in hope and keep looking up in gratitude, Cherished Ones!  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lessons From My 4 Year Old

Before my husband leaves for work everyday, He exchanges "I love you's" and "I'll miss you's" and then asks my daughter and I if there is anything he can get for us, or do for us before he returns home.  (And Yes! I do realize how I am blessed!)

Our daughter always obliges with utmost enthusiasm to this question, and today was no exception. 

She requested a chocolate topped donut with sprinkles.  And we went on our way for the day. 

At one point during our day, we happened by a donut shop to retrieve a blessing for someone else, and I offered, at that point, to get our girl her donut. 

She refused my offer, saying, "Daddy will get it for me, Mama", with all gusto and belief in the world, of that fact. 

As I reflected upon this, I realized some spiritual truth and correlation.... 

Do we trust that God will provide what we've asked Him for? 
Are we willing to wait for His when, will and timing? 
Are we willing to wait for Him to provide it to us, and not someone or something else to provide it?

God wants us to believe Him. Trust with and in faith as small child that He will deliver what our hearts desire is, and know that He always comes through for us!

Matthew 18:2-4
2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Don't settle. Wait on Him. He won't disappoint. 

He will ever provide. 
He will ever look after you. 

Romans 8:32
32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Go In His Love Today, Beloved Ones ~ And Rest in His promise, in faith, like that of a child....His child!

~ Amy O

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Morning Rev

I woke up today with a out, shower, time with God, email reduction, make breakfast, send hubs off, etc.....

If there is one thing I know, it's that God has a funny way of standing our plans on their noses! Love Him for it too!

This morning went so differently than I planned, and I'm so glad it did.

I won't be working out today.
Instead, I got to text with a friend, and beloved mentor.
I got to hug my daughter for a minute (she's normally stand-offish with me in the morning, so this is a rare gift)
I got to sit, pray for Ya'll, write to Ya'll, and I got to spend a few intentional minutes with God, taking in His beauty and creation song.

I came across this, in the Word too, and I knew I had to share it (it's just plain slaying me right now - how "on time" this Word is). 

May you be blessed, as I was, and set right, as I was, in starting the day, and the rest of the week to come, in and through it!...

1 Timothy 6 (MSG).....

6-8 A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough....

11-12 But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.

18-19 .... Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.

20-21 And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith.

Overwhelming grace keep you!

Indeed! His grace is sufficient! He is more than enough, and You, Beloveds, are more than conquerors in and through Him! Take this truth and fact with you as you begin this work week! 

In His Love ~ Amy O xo

This life is a gift...take hold of, treasure it and by God's will and means....ENJOY IT! (Preaching to myself now too!) :-)  .....




"I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."(Revelation 3:8, NKJV)


A child of God, saved by grace, alive to God and dead to sin, sanctified, a new creation, reconciled to God, free, justified, chosen, adopted by God, accepted, forgiven, predestined, raised and seated in heavenly realms, created for good works, called to eternal glory, more than a conqueror, an overcomer, never forsaken . . . (~ Christine Caine)

YOU ARE the righteousness of God in Christ!
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. (Romans 3:22) 

And one step at a time WITH HIM, FOR HIM, IN HIM.....

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV)

His Grace Is Sufficient! By grace, through faith, we are changed and everything changes!....

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8, NKJV)

He's commissioned You to do greater things....

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12, NKJV).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

He Is - "I Am"

I had the privilege of going to worship last night amongst brothers and sisters in NYC, with Kim Walker Smith and Kristene Dimarco of Jesus Culture as the worship leaders. One thing that Kristene sang unto God, was "We believe who You say You Are!". The room, and my heart and spirit erupted in agreement. Yes. Exactly. 

No matter what we are going through today. No matter what's coming against us, acting as a really pressing matter, or a "thorn in the flesh", may we believe God, and Who He says He is!

Because when we really believe Him. When we believe in the God of All, the God of Miracles, the God of our Salvation, the God Who Was and Is And Is to Come....It doesn't matter if the relief comes, or things "it"/"they" change/s, because He is truly all we need. Of course, He answers every prayer. It may not be in the timing we desire, or the way we hoped, but all our hope should be in Him to know what we need, and not what we want!

This excerpt from Exodus 3, speaks so greatly to my heart this morning, and what I am attempting in exhorting/reminding us of....

12 God said, I will surely be with you; and this shall be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.

13 And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them?

14 And God said to Moses, I Am Who I Am and What I Am, and I Will Be What I Will Be; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I Am has sent me to you!

15 God said also to Moses, This shall you say to the Israelites: The Lord, the God of your fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has sent me to you! This is My name forever, and by this name I am to be remembered to all generations.

May Your perception of the Greatness of Your God become over-abundant today.

May His Love overwhelm and assure Your aching, longing heart.

May His Peace, surpass every understanding, and take root in your Spirit assuring you of His steadfast faithfulness.

May His Joy overwhelm You, in abundance, to the full, to overflowing, that You may share Him with All whose lives He blesses you to be touching.

May His Justice overwhelm You, and You stand up to be an Artisan of Hope, Ambassador of Reconciliation, and Agent of Grace. (~ E Cho)

May His Fire, Set within Your soul, and May Your desire of more of Him lead you to more than you can dare ask or think.

May You take hold of this truth today.....I’m just one, but I’m one with The One who made heaven and earth. And nothing is impossible for the one who has The One!

"Now arise in the fullness of your union with our Lord." Philippians 4:1 TPT

God Bless you, Beloved Ones!

In His Love and Ever and Only By His Grace ~ Amy O

If you've not ever accepted Jesus as Your Lord, please reach out to me, through the "contact" section. I want to pray with you! 

Here's some relevant worship songs I felt led to share that go along with this encouragement....

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Feeling Powerless Today? Giving Is The Best Medicine!

I couldn't think of a more worthy causes to give to today....My heart is aching. I may be one, but I can do something....So can you! God answers prayers, through His people! And we heal ourselves as we give unto others! Love wins! 

Searching for a meaningful Mother's Day gift? The best things in life aren't things! Honor a mother by helping to create change in the lives of hundreds of women and children in need. In 2014 Education and Hope is providing scholarships to 212 children and young adults. Over 100 students now attend our after school program where they receive hot meals, tutoring, showers, medical care and love in a family-centered environment. Education and Hope is proud to provide stable employment to 46 people, many of whom are single mothers, the sole source of income for their family. Our support is having a tremendous positive impact on hundreds of lives. Make a secure online gift on our website and include a note in the comment section to let us know who we can send an acknowledgment to, via notecard or email. The blog post below will give you an idea of what your donation amount means to our program. Thank you for being a part of our important work!

A Prayer and Blessing for Today

May God speak peace to your soul and calm to your storm. May you sense His nearness even when the winds blow. May you know His joy and strength from the top of your head to the tips your toes. May the hope He stirs in your heart cause you to live with a holy expectancy and trust that this storm too shall pass. And, in the days ahead, may His very real love for you compel you to dance in the rain before the sun breaks through. He goes before you, He's got your back, and He's there, just around the bend. He'll never forsake you. May you entrust your whole soul to Him tonight/today! ~ Susie Larson

Father ~ May it be well with us. No matter what things look like. Be with us in triumph and in trial. Help us to keep moving forward with hope and keep looking up with gratitude! Help us to ever remember that the wind and the waves still know Your Name. In Jesus Name. Amen!