Who Do I Say I Am?

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YHVH (Yaweh) is the most sacred name of God, I AM! When God sent Moses to the Israelites he said to tell them “I Am” sent him. What a great and mighty name, yet we use it all the time and don’t even acknowledge or recognize we are using the name of Father.

When I introduce myself I say, “I am Stacy”. When I describe myself I say, “I am sad” or “I am angry” or “I am excited”.

Jonathan Cahn stated it best when he said, “It (I Am) is woven into the fabric of existence that when you speak of yourself, you must say His name. It is because your existence comes from His existence. Your I am only exists because of HIS I Am.”

One of my focuses for 2017 is to speak more kindly to myself and about myself. After receiving this revelation it is fueling me to fill myself up with the creative and encouraging words about who I am. It is opening me up to be more reflective about who’s I am.

I Am Stacy. I Am the daughter of the creator of the cosmos. I Am an heir. I Am an overcomer. I Am a friend of Christ. I Am fearfully and wonderfully made. I Am a daughter of destiny. I Am good. I Am important. I Am an open vessel ready to receive all that the great and mighty I AM has for me!

As you walk into 2017 take this revelation and hold it close to your heart. Use it to find the resolve to speak of yourself from your original place of existence – I AM!

Isaiah 40:28, 2 Cor 6:16-18, Rom 8:17, 1 John 5:4-5,
John 15:15, Psalm 139:14-15, Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Tim 4:4,
1 Peter 1:3-5

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Un-Mined Jewels

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As I pulled up to the quaint little chapel my heart was beating rapidly and I started my deep breathing…just so I could get out of my car. The environment that surrounded me wasn’t ominous at all, it was just the uncertainty of what was waiting inside that was causing such trepidation.

I quietly prayed, “Father, if this isn’t a nice place, with nice ladies get me out of here quick.” One last deep breath, followed by another quick prayer, “Don’t let my car door open if I’m not supposed to be here!”, and then I stepped out of the car.

The minute my foot hit the ground a lady approached me, introduced herself and ushered me inside this quaint little building. She made sure to introduce me to everyone before she left my side. My fear had immediately fallen away and I knew I could make it through this new adventure today.

Scenarios like this one had become common place for me during the years of mine and my husband’s tour of Texas. Experiences of trying to find a way to fit in, in relatively short periods of time, with women I had never even met before.

On this particular day, with those fears and reservations running through my head, I met two incredible women who would instantly become forever friends. It was a jewel nestled in a package of uncertainty, a low sense of self confidence, and the fear of rejection.

Or, God’s kingdom is like a
jewel merchant on the hunt
for excellent pearls.
Finding one that is flawless,
he immediately sells everything
and buys it.
Matthew 13:45-46 (MSG)

Every day since then I have thanked Father for not allowing me to give in to the whispers of the enemy and possibly missing out on such precious gifts. Gifts that would lead to more jewels lying beneath the surface, just waiting to be mined.

My encouragement for you today is to simply step out. Be that girl who opens the door of uncertainty with the confidence knowing Father has something waiting for you to unearth. Be that girl who speaks out against the fear of rejection with boldness allowing Father to polish the diamond of “you are enough”…regardless! Be that girl who sparkles because you are the daughter of the Most High God and that is how you were created!

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
Isaiah 60:1

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“Hey Girl!”

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Since my dad’s passing I haven’t stayed connected to very many of his friends. Although this might seem like a strange comment, it is very normal considering how and where I grew up. We lived in a very small, rural community so those friendships often times crossed over generational lines. Along with the fact that several families all shared the same hobby of rodeo, which made those connections even stronger.

Often times we would all travel together. When Dad was busy roping, I would often times turn to one of his friends if I needed help getting ready for my event. So, I guess you could say, I traveled most weekends with several sets of parents.

The rodeo community has always been a very tight knit group. Although you might not hear from them in years, when things got tough or life happened and one of them moved on…they show up in droves! It probably isn’t that different than most families except they are rarely blood kin.

One night as I sat on the couch watching tv my phone rang. As I looked at the number it registered from my hometown. I played with the thought of not answering, but curiosity kicked in and so I did. The “hello” on the other end of the line shot me back in time. The atmosphere of a relaxing evening was bolted with excitement and energy at the sound of that voice. All he had to say was, “Hey girl!” and I knew immediately it was my dad’s best friend. My heart leap with excitement and I was a teenager again.

He had been watching a documentary on the Stamford Stampede Rodeo (Texas Cowboy Reunion Rodeo) and thought of me. This was a yearly event in our lives, typically around the 4th of July. He reminded me of the many times his daughters and I would get so excited about how many times we got to ride through the grand entry. We reminisced about staying in some utterly disgusting cinder block cabins by the lake, that Mom and his wife had to clean before we were allowed in.

As we lingered on those conversations I began to smell the meat grilling outside and my dad standing on the bank fishing. Only the second time in my life I recall that ever happening! Card games late into the evening and singing in the half shell camper attached on the bed of our red Chevy truck.

When the conversation started to wind down he said, “I just needed to call you and remind you how much you are loved. I think of you often and if you ever need anything, girl, you know where I am.” We ended with “I love you”, gentle tears flowing and the promise of keeping in touch.

It was such a sweet way to finish off a semi-hectic day. My heart felt a little lighter and my spirit was soaring with joy at the memories of a lifetime experienced so long ago.

As I laid my head down on my pillow I thanked Father for such a sweet remembrance and as I drifted into sleep He whispered, “My thoughts are always towards you, speaking into your life during times when you don’t always know what you need to hear.”

That’s the God we serve! A Father who sees the longing in a daughter’s heart.

“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

One who sees the heart crying out for a word reminding her she is not alone and not forgotten.

I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.
John 14:18

The Lord himself goes before you
and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.
Dueteronomy 31:8

A Father who uses the influence of a tv program to set in motion a conversation this daughter’s heart had been longing for, but didn’t even know it herself.

Many, O Lord my God,
are Your wonderful works which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
they are more than can be numbered.
Psalm 40:5

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
and He shall give you the desires
and secret petitions of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 (AMP)

Tomorrow, remember that as Christ looked into that cup You were on His mind. Hear His words whisper through your day about how much you are loved.

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What’s In Your Way

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I need a place to get out of my head! I need a way to stop the noise that is racing through the cortex of my brain. The incessant chatter is starting to interrupt the sweet sleep I so desperately need to function.

I have spent days trying to form a thought that would allow me to sit and put pen to paper. I am so desperately
trying to see the God stories I know are happening all around me, but as soon as I begin to see a slight flicker it is chased away by this incessant chirping.

I have been doing life with Father long enough to know I need to switch my focus to His word. So, I open my Bible and begin reading, hoping something will wrangle my thoughts and silence the chaos of my mind. But even there, the noise overtakes me and the words on the page elude me.

Between the words of the scripture race the thoughts of my day. As much as I try to focus my thoughts they are stolen from me and there I sit. Appearing to everyone around me entranced by what I’m reading, but in reality barely there; seeing nothing but white paper with lines of black.

As I throw my head back, hands to forehead and look toward my ceiling. I allow this question to rise to the surface and be heard, “Father, why?”

Two words…

That’s all that formulates…

I can sense the answer is coming. The anticipation of it stirs a rumbling in my belly that brings me to a place of nausea. And I almost stop letting it come. Then something inside me rises to the top and pushes through the noise, daring me to face whatever truth is on the way.

I hear it…

But don’t want to repeat it, because it hurts my heart!

This truth that will pour out a soothing salve will make me face a self inflicted reality.

But I have this [one charge to make] against you,
that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first
[you have deserted Me, your first love].
Rev. 2:4 (AMP)

And there it is..

Although some may find this harsh, I really see the heart of my Father in such correction. I asked the question, “why?” and He responded with Truth. The only Truth that would make sense and the only Truth that would bring healing.

This noise and clatter and chaos running rampant in my head is a result of my choice. My choice to let other things become more important than Him. I have not stopped loving Him, I’ve just abandoned putting that love first by putting the world first.

Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world.
If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15 (AMP)

Please don’t see or feel any condemnation in this! I don’t! What should be seen is a Savior who is teaching, in real time, how to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Then I will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom 12:2 NIV)

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The Lesson in Fall

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I Love Fall. The coolness of the mornings and evenings. It seems perfect to me. The changing of all the colors….I L.O.V.E. it.

When we lived in Waco, I loved sitting out on our balcony in the morning (image above from a trip to Alaska – not my balcony view). We had a beautiful creek that ran behind our condo that was lined with Maple Leaf Oaks. As I watched the trees turn colors and then release their leaves I would wonder if there is any sadness in them at their loss.

Watching mighty trees be stripped bare and exposed through the harshest months of the year. Realizing not once does their stature ever change. They always stand tall, firmly rooted, magnificently awaiting the re-birth of their beauty. They seemed to understand the necessity of shedding the old; exposing themselves to the elements for cleansing which releases a deeper and more pure beauty with every passing year.

I believe the revelation in this, from Father, is pushing us to embrace the bareness and falling away during this cleansing season. It has shown me that we have to be willing to let go of some things we may cherish for our purest beauty and God’s best to be exposed. Allowing ourselves to be fertilized with the dry foliage (of our successes and failures) laying at our feet. Through the harshest of months, that foliage will become our compost and will release nutrients into the soil. Providing us the best opportunity to be stronger, healthier and more vibrant in the coming season.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

My prayer is this….
Father, help me to stand tall, not afraid to release the old. Exposing myself, with joy and thanksgiving; for Your cleansing. All the while waiting patiently for the newer, purer beauty of who You have created me to be. Holy Spirit don’t let me hold on to anything that needs to fall away that will help to produce a newer, purer part of me.

During this season, I will cling to and declare the promises found in these scriptures…

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.”
Psalm 1:3

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Knowing that during this season I am being prepared for a stronger, more appealing cover when the spring buds begin to peak through. My position of planting will not be changed, I will still be firmly rooted in the goodness of my Father and that through this season of exposure He is forcing my root system even deeper into His overflowing river of trust, faith, grace and mercy.

Happy Fall Y’all!

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