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Tea for Two: A 30 Day Devotional

Have you pre-ordered your copy of Tea for Two? You do not want to miss out on this 30 Day devotional filled with encouraging words and various teas that can be used as natural remedies to everyday health issues.

Pre-order your copy now at Smith Publishing and Amazon!!!

Be Still.

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Have you ever felt like you were on the verge of something great…on the verge of a breakthrough? Things in your life are going fairly smoothly, you are getting on your face before Jesus daily, Jesus is speaking great things in your life, and you can literally see little by little Jesus making moves and setting things up for His plans for you to come into fruition. And then all of sudden Jesus is quiet. You call on Him, but you don’t hear His voice…

This is the story of my life right now. At the start of the year, I went on a fast and I grew even closer to Jesus, went even deeper in my relationship with Him, and He started giving me a glimpse into His plans for me. He didn’t reveal everything, but what He did show me left me so in awe…left me literally speechless. I even started seeing Him, little by little, put things in motion. But these last couple of weeks, Jesus has been fairly quiet. It’s like everything is at a standstill. This caused me to become anxious. I started questioning myself, asking myself if I have done something wrong, if I have pulled away from Him without even realizing it. That wasn’t the case. Then I started asking Jesus, “What’s going in? Why have things come to a halt?”

This morning the Lord told me,

“Be still beloved. I am right here with you. Right now it seems like I’m not doing anything, but I am doing many things in the spiritual realm that you cannot see in the natural. Right now I want you to focus on resting in Me and trusting Me even when it seems like nothing is happening. The key to you successfully fulfilling My plans for your life is your trust in Me and you keeping your eyes on Me. Once you stop trusting Me or take your eyes off of Me, everything around you will begin to fall apart. You need Me every step of the away along this journey.”

Be still. Two simple words, yet they hold so much meaning. Hearing that from the Lord was hard for me to accept. I don’t want to be still. I want to start living out His plans for my life right now. I’m tired of waiting. Although I want to keep moving ahead in God’s plans for me, He tells us in His word “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” (Psalm 37:7).

God doesn’t tell us to be still for no reason. He tells us to be still because He sees the whole picture while we see only a small portion of it. There are things that He has to develop in us before He fully moves us into a position to do these great things for His glory. If we run ahead without Him, it’s only going to end in disaster. King Saul is the perfect example of this. In 1 Samuel 13, King Saul was instructed to wait 7 days for Samuel to come to offer a sacrifice to God. Saul waited but started to get anxious because the men in his army started getting anxious. Instead of waiting and fixing his eyes on God, he started to look at what was going on around him. This lead him to take matters into his own hands and offer the sacrifice even though he knew it was against God’s will. As soon as he offered the sacrifice, Samuel showed up. And then in 1 Samuel 13:13-14, ‘13 “How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”’

King Saul was destined for great things, but because he stepped out of God’s will for his life, those plans for him would never be fulfilled, and his life continued to get worse and worse. It is a challenge being patient, especially when God gives you a glimpse into all that He has in store for you. It’s even more challenging when you feel like you are so close to those plans coming to fruition, but they are not happening soon enough. Although it may not make sense as to why the fulfillment of these plans are taking so long, put your trust in God. Keep your eyes on Him and trust His perfect timing. Ultimately He knows what is best. Don’t try to take matters into your own hands because that will force you out of His will for your life. His will for your life is perfect. Do not be anxious or worry that His will for you will never manifest. Remember Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” Every promise God has ever made to you, He will fulfill it. BUT it will be in His timing.

The Peace that Surpasses All Understanding

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“and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)

The peace that surpasses all understanding…when I first came to Christ, I would hear this verse and even meditate on this verse time and time again, but I never fully understood what it meant. Ever since I was a young girl, I was a worrier. I would worry about everything. I would worry about things that children shouldn’t even be concerned about, such as finances and having food on the table. Not to go into too much detail, but growing up things were hard for me and my mom. A lot of things that happened in my life were out of my control, which caused me to worry. This habit of worry followed me into my adult life even after I became a Christian and truly started living my life for the Lord. You see, I knew that God would give me a peace that surpasses all understanding, but I didn’t know how to tap into that peace. Philippians 4:6 (NKJV) tells us how,

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”

My mistake was that even after praying about the situation and telling God what was going on, I was still anxious about it. I still worried about how God was going to make certain things happen. I was trying to figure things out in the natural, but the thing is that God doesn’t work that way. Just because I can’t see my prayer manifested in the natural does not mean that God is not working on my behalf. God is always working on our behalf. He hears our prayers, but there are things going on in the spiritual realm that delay the manifestation of our answered prayers. The enemy is always trying to prevent the manifestation of your prayer. We can see that happening in Daniel 10. Just to give some background, Daniel had a vision about events that were to happen in the future so he prayed to God asking for God to give him understanding. He had been praying and fasting for a while and still did not hear from God. After a few weeks had passed, an angel appeared to him.

“And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling. Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.”

Daniel 10:11-14 (NLT)

You see, God answered Daniel’s prayer immediately, but the enemy and his demons were trying to prevent the angel from manifesting Daniel’s answered prayer in the natural. Not once while Daniel was waiting for a response did he begin to worry nor did he become anxious. Instead, he fasted and prayed. Daniel is an excellent example of how we need to be when we are waiting on God for a response to our prayer.

In addition to praying and not worrying about how and when God is going to answer our prayers, we must also fix our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 (NASB) tells us  “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”. When we focus on Jesus and keep our minds stayed on Him, He strengthens our faith in Him and we become confident that He will answer our prayers and do what He said He will do in our lives. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) tells us You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” When we fix our eyes on Jesus, that means we focus our hearts and minds on Him. By doing this, we show Him that we trust Him and in response to our trust in Him, He overwhelms us with His peace. 

I finally get what the peace that surpasses all understanding is. It is a peace that to someone looking at your life in the natural will not understand why you still have joy and why you are calm and still enjoying life. It’s having peace in the midst of a crisis, peace in the midst of your life falling apart around you, peace in the midst of chaos. I have finally begun to experience this peace. Right now my life is far from going smoothly. I haven’t been working for almost a year. My only source of income is my financial aide and the assistance my parents give me. Not once have I been late on or not paid any of my bills. I still have money to buy my necessities and do things with my friends every now and then. I have gas in my car every week. That’s God! And because I submitted that to Him and trusted Him to be my Provider, I do not worry about anything. I have seen Him stretch my money and make it last. I don’t fully understand it nor do I need to. My job is to trust Him and let Him do the rest. There are some things that God has been promising to do in my life and some amazing visions He has given me for my life. I have no clue how those things are going to be manifested. When I started trying to tell God that I don’t have certain connections or certain skills, He told me to hush. It’s not my job to worry about the ends and outs of everything. He has it all worked out. Now when He shows me things, I tell God that I don’t know how He’s going to do it, but I trust Him to make it happen in His perfect timing and I rest in Him. And now I have this crazy peace that does not make sense, but is such an amazing feeling.

If you are having a hard time trusting God and tapping into His peace that surpasses all understanding, give those worries and concerns to God. Anytime worry starts to creep in your mind, cast those thoughts down and start thanking God for what you are trusting Him to do. Praise Him as if that prayer has been manifested in the natural. Continue to do this and as with doing anything repeatedly, it will become a habit.

Love and praying for you all!

The Holiday Season

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The holiday season can be a tough time for singles. You see family that you haven’t seen for most of the year and the first question out of their mouths is “when are you getting married?” or “are you seeing anyone?”. When you respond that it’s all in God’s timing and that you aren’t seeing anyone right now, you can see the disappointment in their eyes even if they don’t verbalize it or they may verbalize it, such as, “you’re not getting any younger” or “you’re biological clock is ticking”. Deep down you know your family means well, but hearing these things get old and sometimes downright discouraging. What’s worse is that you get that random “Happy Thanksgiving” text or “Merry Christmas” text from your ex that you haven’t spoken to in weeks, months, or maybe a few years. If you’re like me, you’re just like “really!?!?!?!” *rolls eyes*

This happened to me yesterday. Back in October I started dating this amazing guy. He literally was the whole package. Most importantly, I finally decided to do things God’s way. I prayed about him and did not do anything until I heard from God. For once in my life, I did not let my emotions guide me in the relationship, I let the Holy Spirit guide me. Everything was going great until the guy started changing. He literally did a 360 on me. I didn’t understand it. In the past when I was trying to do things my way, I would be quick to think that I could “fix” whatever was wrong with the person and try to make it work. This time I prayed about it and the Lord led me to confront him. After confronting him, everything went down hill from there. I didn’t understand it because I did things God’s way. I decided to end things even though it hurt. Now that I look back on it, that brief relationship showed me how much I have grown and how far God has brought me, and I honestly believe that is why God allowed this brief relationship. I submitted everything to God during that time, I was led by the Holy Spirit, and I did not compromise in anyway, which was a huge deal for me (see my testimony to find out all that God has delivered me from).

Okay, so back to the present. Starting last week, I kept getting this feeling that my ex was going to text me on Thanksgiving. I talked to God about it and was basically like “Lord, don’t let him text me. Even though I have moved past that situation and I have forgiven him, I’m not sure if I will respond in a Christ-like manner”. The days leading up to Thanksgiving, I kept telling the Holy Spirit that this must be some kind of joke, like this man is not bold enough to text me. Well, Thanksgiving arrived and I got that “Happy Thanksgiving text.”

Before I go any further into the story, let me break down the “Happy [insert holiday]” text from an ex. The holidays tend to make singles who aren’t content in their singleness lonely. They get to thinking about their exes and start thinking that maybe they made a mistake or they simply just don’t want to be alone. The “Happy [insert holiday]” text is a way of opening up that door to reel you back into a relationship you had no business in to begin with or that God ended for a specific reason. You see it doesn’t end at the Happy [insert holiday] text. It then goes to “how are you”, “are you seeing anyone”, “I miss you”. And then you find yourself in that dysfunctional relationship once again. So, how do you respond to a text like that?

I’m glad you asked. My response was simply “No”. You see the word “No” is a powerful word. It may be a small word, but it holds so much meaning. When I responded “No”, I was telling him “No, you can’t come back in my life without an apology and act like everything is okay.” “No, you don’t have a right to tell my Happy Thanksgiving after how you mistreated me.” “No, I don’t want to talk to you.” Just by saying “No” I felt so empowered. You see for once in my life I didn’t let my emotions rule me. For once in my life I wasn’t desperate for a man or his attention. For once in my life I finally saw myself through God’s eyes and knew my worth and knew that I deserve so much better, that I deserve God’s very best.

That’s what you have to do when your ex tries to pop back into your life during the holidays (or tries to come back in your life at any point). God has someone so incredibly amazing for you, someone who will love you as He loves you, but how can God bring you that person if you keep running back to your ex every time they come texting or calling you? If that position next to you is filled, God can’t bring you your mate. It’s that simple. Saying “No” is not easy, but it’s so worth it. Know your worth.

“…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.”-Psalm 139:14

You were created by the all powerful God. You are one of His marvelous works. That means you are worth so much. Most of all, Jesus Christ died on the cross for you. The fact that someone so perfect, holy, righteous, amazing, and so much more, as Jesus died for you tells you alone that you are worth so much! Embrace your worth in Christ. Don’t settle for less. Wait on God and He will bring you His best.

I can honestly say that I thank God for using this relationship to show me how much I’ve grown in Him and how far He has brought me. I remember how I used to be, how I used to be so desperate for a man to want and love me. I’m not that person anymore. I have Jesus who loves me unconditionally and honestly that is more than enough for me. As long as I have Him, I am good. Now don’t get me wrong, I still desire a spouse and I know that one day, in God’s perfect timing, He will fulfill that desire. The key is to wait on God. Don’t take matters into your own hands and don’t settle. If you get an uneasy feeling about someone, listen to the Holy Spirit. It will save you heartache. If you’re dating someone who is trying to get you to contradict God’s word, run with the quickness! If you’re dating someone who isn’t treating you the way you deserve to be treated, then drop them. The enemy will send so many counterfeits during your season of singleness. In order to not fall for these counterfeits, you have to be on one accord with God. Your relationship with God has to be first and foremost. Pursue God like never before and He will show you that person’s heart and intentions. I’m not saying that the person that God has for you will be perfect because none of us are perfect. However, if this person has you sad or crying more than happy or smiling, then they are not the one for you. Relationships are supposed to add to your life not take from your life. Stick close to God and be about His business, and He will allow everything else to fall into place.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” -Matthew 6:33

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Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?”

Do not be discouraged because God has yet to fulfill His promise to you. Trust His perfect timing and rest in Him. He will fulfill every promise He has made to you. Don’t lose hope ❤️