Me and My Journey

God's Plan and Purpose

Author: meandmyjourney (Page 1 of 2)

The Truth Behind the Lies

I am a Christian woman.  I am grateful for what God has given me.  Truth be told, I could probably be more grateful, but nonetheless, no matter how little or much it is, gratitude is in my heart because even in my darkest days God still smiles upon me.

With that being said, I am going to describe what my personal darkest day feels like.  By letting you as the reader into my most personal feelings, it is my prayer that you see that no matter the darkness, God will ALWAYS shine and prevail.  So here goes….

Some mornings I open my eyes and think to myself “God, I just can’t do it today!”  Sometimes I feel inadequate as a mother, a wife, and just as a woman all round.  Of course, the devil instantly jumps at this opportunity to attempt to do his filthy work.  The will feed of off those emotions and do everything in his power to stop you from moving.  Believe me I am telling you from my personal experience. 

Anytime you think or say to yourself that you can’t do something, the devil is going to jump in and say “You’re right!” “There’s no way you can do this on your own because you’re weak!”

If you think about it for a second, the slimy snake is actually right.  We can’t do anything on our own.  Can we raise our children on our own?  NOPE!  Can we carry our household on our own?  NOPE!  So yes, the devil is right.  BUT, can we raise our children with God? YES!  Can we carry our household with God?  ABSOLUTELY!  I wouldn’t want to do any of this on my own! Would you?!?!?!

We are blessed to have a God that carries EVERYTHING for us! All we have to do is trust in Him and have faith! Praise God!  It doesn’t matter how dark the days are and no matter of our loneliest hour He shines His heavenly light so we can see!  He wraps His loving arms around us and holds us during our pain and loneliness to ensure us that no matter how lonely we feel, we are truly never alone!  YES!  AMEN!  For if God is for us, it doesn’t matter who is against us!

So, I’m going to challenge you today.  This goes for me as well.  When we wake up in the morning and the devil – the slimy, good for nothing snake says we can’t do this alone or we can’t fight this battle, lets stand together and tell the him how it really is!  Let’s tell the devil that he is the weak one and a lie!  But God – God is our strength and our truth!

We have God’s strength within us and we stand by His truth and His truth alone! Praise the Lord!  God gives us the strength.  All we have to do is MOVE!

Philippians 4:13

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

 

 

 

 

 

One of the Many Attributes of God

One of the Many Attributes of God

 

Among the many attributes of God, encourager is in that list.  Since I have started writing my blog, I’ve received some mixed reviews.  For the most part, I’ve read some really encouraging and heart felt comments from my awesome readers.

Because my blog seems to be helping people learn about God from my personal life experiences, the devil is not happy!  So, he is doing his best to stop me from my calling.  The devil knows exactly what buttons to push on all of us.

While I’m on this crazy roller coaster called, Life dealing with children, bills, marriage, and so many other things – I honestly sometimes feel discouraged and overwhelmed.  I’m going to tell you something though.  Every time I feel that little bit of discouragement, God smoothly steps in and lifts me up!  Seriously! IT. NEVER. FAILS!

Here’s one example.  Sometimes I find myself wondering if my stories are truly helping people.  My stories are written from the heart based on actual events in my personal life.  Ultimately, I write these stories to show that no matter what goes on in my life, God always prevails over everything. 

Anyhow, when I begin to wonder if these stories are in fact helping the world learn of God, my blog page gets completely loaded with great and encouraging comments from the readers!

God, on many occasions has used the readers of this blog to push me to keep going.   That is His way of encouraging me.  If you take a moment and step back, you will see that He has done the same for you as well. 

God not only encourages us because He loves us but also because He wants us to succeed and evolve!  When you give all the glory to God in everything you do, you are bringing light to a very dark world!

 

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous.  Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

God Is Everywhere!

As I’ve stated before, I have five kids.  Their ages are: sixteen, six, three, and a set of one-year-old twins.  Well, Jeremiah(AKA Man Man), one of the twins is having a really difficult time teething.  On top of the teething, he’s also asthmatic.  So he’s just having a hard time all around.

One night, Jeremiah slept pretty much ten minutes on and ten minutes off.  At least that’s how if felt to my husband and I.  Many times through the night, he would wake up crying from pain or the fact that he was congested.  There’s not much my husband and I could do outside of what we have already done.  All we could really do was take turns holding and calming Man Man down.  My husband and I call it taking shifts. J  I find myself often praying for God to get us through this as quickly as possible because my husband and I are just exhausted!

Anyhow, the morning after the rough night with Jeremiah, I had to get up to take my three-year-old(Hurricane Isaac) to school.  After taking Isaac to class, I started heading back to my van.  I was struggling so hard to keep from falling asleep right there in the hallway guys! Trust me! It was a ROUGH NIGHT!  My face was about as pale as a piece of paper and the circles and bags under my eyes were ridiculous!

One of the ladies that works at the school saw me and asked me if I was okay.  Before I could even get the words out of my mouth, she said “You need a hug, come here.”  At this point I’m fighting the tears and just said “God is good.”  “This to shall pass.”  She agreed and encouraged me and then we went our separate ways.

God put this incredibly sweet, godly woman in my path not only to remind me that He’s here for me but, that little hug and word of encouragement gave me just enough energy to safely make it home.

Look, God is with you everywhere you go!  Do you think He just waits outside while we go to the grocery store, work, school, or where ever? NO! He’s literally right there by your side!  And in case we forget, He uses everything and everyone around us to remind us of just that!  God is with you and will always be with you.

If you look closely, you can see God everywhere….

Man’s Vision VS God’s Vision

I’m currently working with a fantastic graphic designer whom I love dearly!  She is designing a logo for me so that I can officially be branded with my website and my future books.  Once all is said and done, I will be announcing that I will be publicly speaking as well as writing.  Unless God puts an opportunity to speak publicly before that time of course.  It’s all according to God’s will and time-not my own.

Anyhow, once the logo was finalized, I sent a picture to a couple of my friends asking their opinions.  Of course, they looked at it and gave me their input as I requested.  However, my cousin whom I consider to be my spiritual mother was the only one that said it was perfect.  My cousin is very spiritual and a devout follower of God.  So, when she looks at anything, she opens herself up so that she can see through the eyes of God and not of her own.

Why am I telling you all this?  I’m telling you this because I want you to understand that in man’s vision we are to much or too little of something.  No matter how hard we try, we will never be perfect in the eyes of man.  To be quite honest, you shouldn’t want to be perfect in man’s eyes.  What truly matters is what God sees.  If God sees a beautiful mess, then so be it!  We are His beautiful mess!  There is no too little of this or too much of that in God’s eyes.  With our flaws and all, we are still perfect in His eyes.  Why are we perfect in God’s eyes?  For one reason:

God created us and God doesn’t make mistakes.

 

I Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or the height of his stature, for I have rejected him.  For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

Where Does Your Strength Come From?

trust-in-the-lord

On November 6, 2016 I took my eleven month old, Jeremiah (A.K.A. Man Man) to the hospital.  He had been wheezing for a couple of days.  Normally, a few breathing treatments would get him back to normal.  Unfortunately, that was not the case this time.  When I got to the hospital, they gave him two very long breathing treatments and also had to do suction in his nose and mouth.  To be quite honest, I really thought that after all that, we were going to go home and that was that.  This is how it happened in the past.  Little did I know things were not going to go as I planned.  Let me say that last sentence again.  LITTLE DID I KNOW, THINGS WERE NOT GOING TO GO AS PLANNED.  That right there was already a problem! We can plan all we want but, ultimately, at the end of the day, it is God’s plan that will prevail.  And sometimes our plans do not match up with His plans.  So, when I was planning to go home with my child, I was looking at my plans and not the plans of our Maker.

Jeremiah’s oxygen level was supposed to be at ninety-five and one hundred percent.  However, his oxygen level was at that time ranging between seventy and eighty percent.  After the two very long treatments, his oxygen level did not change.  It did not get any better or worse.   It just remained the same.  So after a while, the ER doctor came in and informed me that an ambulance had been called and my son will be transported to The Children’s Hospital in Atlanta.

After hearing this news, my heart immediately stopped and my brain began running!  I called my husband to inform him of the news and told him to bring me some things for an over night stay.  Again, I was planning to only have to stay one night and then go home.  Once again, my plans differed from God.

Anyway, as soon as my husband got to the hospital, I needed to get some air as I felt like I was going to pass out! My nerves were completely shot at this point.  If I did not walk out and get air when I did, the hospital would be putting me in a bed as well.  That was not an option for me as I needed to be there for my youngest boy.

As I am walking to the car to get a few things, my mind starts racing.  I start thinking to myself “What did I do to case this?”  “What can I do to fix this?”  “I can not believe this is happening!”

This whole mindset was me, me, me and I, I, I.  At that point, I was not only thinking on a self centered level but I was also damning myself! As a parent, it is very hard not to take blame for things that happen or don’t happen to or for our children, right?  I mean, I am pretty sure I am not alone with this.  If I am the only person on this earth that worries like this then so be it I suppose.

Well I come back in and look at the same woman that registered us to let me back in.  Guys! She looked at me dead in my face and said “NO.”  Initially, I was ready to jump over the counter and tell her about herself!  But, the Holy Spirit put His hand over my mouth.  So with a crazy look on my face, I said “excuse me?!”  This lady motioned me with her hands to come to her.  I was completely beside myself and thought ” I don’t have time for this!”  So I went to her.  As soon as I got to this lady, she wrapped her arms around me and gave me the biggest and best hug I think I have ever experienced!  In that hug I felt God and heard Him say “Lean on Me for I am your strength.”  Believe me when I tell you I heard the voice of God! Clear. As. Day.  While feeling and hearing this, it took all of my energy to stop my knees from buckling and began to cry on this woman’s shoulder.

You see, during this time, I was trying to figure out how I could fix this situation.  In doing so, I was trying to find strength within myself and not God.  I also failed to remember that while I was shocked, God was not.  He knew that this day was coming.  It was set in His spiritual calendar.  Jeremiah 5:1 in the Amplified bible says the following:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you[and approved of you as My chosen instrument] And before you were born I consecrated you[to Myself as my own] I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

With that verse alone, I have to believe that both my son and I were exactly where we needed to be because out of this was going to come a beautiful story.

I was so wrapped up in finding strength within myself that I lost sight of the big picture.  I lost sight of the fact that God is in control of everything.

So I’m writing this telling you flat out in all honesty, I FELL SHORT! I attempted to rely on my own strength and understanding rather than the strength of God Himself.  The beautiful part is, God still loved me and chose this stranger in the emergency room to remind me “Hey! Remember who runs this honey! Lean on Me! I got your back!”

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in the final outcome.

Are You As Excited About The Holy Spirit As I Am About Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?

being-thankful

When I was pregnant with Theo, my six-year-old, I LOVED Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Anyone that walked in my house knew not to touch my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  They were welcomed to have anything in the house EXCEPT THAT!

Well one day, my husband came home and surprised me(I love surprises) with just a little two pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  I didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary to get such a great surprise.  However, my husband knew that it would make me happy.  BOY! Was I ever happy!  I saw that little two pack in his hand and my eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store  I threw my arms around his neck and squeezed ever so tightly saying “Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!”  Honestly!  I really did love that candy that much!

When God gives you little blessings, do you get as excited as I did with the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?  Do you praise Him saying thank you over and over again?  Can you imagine how different your life would be if you showed that much gratitude toward Him?

Seriously! Look, God loves blessing us.  He really does!  Unfortunately, some don’t believe in Him or His blessings.  While others who do believe in God’s blessings take Him for granted.  Being able to open our eyes and breathe are blessings by themselves.

We need to stop getting so excited about the worldly things and get excited about the Holy Spirit!  We need to be as excited about God as God is for us!  Yes you read this right.  God loves us and He is so excited for us.  It pleases Him when He has blessed you and you give all the praise and glory to Him.  After all, He is the one and only reason we are here.

We Are Where We’re Supposed to Be

gods-plan-and-purpose

I am a stay at home mom.  While it is very pleasing to be able to be home all the time with my absolutely beautiful children, it is also financially difficult at the same time.  With a household consisting of five children ranging from fifteen down to ten months, my husband, myself, and two dogs, it is a challenge to stretch my husband’s paycheck to cover everything.

Some of you may say “Well Ilena, why don’t you go back to work?”  Well anyone who knows anything about daycare knows that daycare alone is a very hefty bill.  Although, my husband and I have discussed on numerous occasions the positives and negatives of me going back to work, we both are in agreement that at this time, it would be more of a hassle than a blessing to our family.  Upon doing some research, I have learned that the daycare bill for my ten month old twins would be more than our monthly mortgage.  With that being said, I have to believe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  While loving, understanding, and forgiving are just a few characteristics that describe God; Strategic is among that very long list of characteristics.

God strategically places each and everyone of us where we are with a reason and a plan.  The reasoning and plan are brought to light only when God decides it is time for us to know. No sooner.  No later.  Sometimes it is hard to understand this but, it is very true.  Things happen on His time according to His will.

When I was about five months pregnant with my twins, I had to stop working due to health issues.  I had no idea that God’s plan included what I do today.  Writing a blog and in a journal everyday were so far from my mind at that time!  Being a stay at home mom, you are constantly on the move.  Running errands, taking care of the kids, cooking and cleaning tend to fill up your already tight schedule very quickly.  So to be quite honest with you, writing was not on my list of things to do at the beginning of this journey.

God has strategically placed me where I am so I can tell His stories.  If I were able to go back to work, there is no telling if I would have the time or the energy to post and share these personal stories with you.  So God placed me in this situation so that I can do what it is that He wants me to do.  This also gives me the opportunity to get to know Him on a much deeper and intimate level.

So when you find yourself in a certain situation and wondering as to why you are where you are, simply pray to God.  Ask Him what it is that He wants you to do.  I guarantee that you will not only get an answer, but you will have an absolutely beautiful testimony as well.  Your story and your testimony can be the very key to help someone else.

No matter the situation, keep moving forward.  Back is not an option! We are where we are supposed to be.

Sometimes our situations in our lives just seem crazy.  Our minds can’t comprehend as to why we are where we are.  Make no mistake, God has strategically placed you where you are supposed to be.  No matter the situation, good or bad, it is not permanent.  God is not done with His masterpiece.  Where ever you are in life, know that it is simply a stepping stone in preparation for something much bigger!  Stay faithful.  Keep moving forward as back is not an option.  Most importantly, keep God at the forefront  of all you are and all you do.

                              ___ Ilena Weathers-Jones

How I Do What I Do

strength-within-god

I have five kids with the ages of fifteen, five, three, and nine month old twins.  Sometimes, I have to run errands with my twins while my husband is at work and the older kids are at school.  I try to plan my errands around when my husband is home because to be quite honest, it’s just easier!  It is no easy task to travel twenty minutes(I live in the country) to the grocery store with the twins at all!  When I go to the store with them, I have to get two carts.  One cart is for the twins and the other for the groceries.  On top of that, I have to walk thru the store with the two carts, carry the diaper bag on my bag, AND keep them as happy as possible so the already hectic trip can be at least peaceful.  So you can imagine  by the end of this grocery trip, I am just EXHAUSTED!

A typical day for me starts out with getting Theo, my five-year-old and Isaac, my three-year-old ready for school.  After they are ready, I then move onto getting the twins, Jasmine and Jeremiah ready to go.  Once Theo is on the school bus and on his way to school, I quickly pile Isaac, Jasmine, and Jeremiah into the van and head to Isaac’s school.  When I arrive at the Isaac’s school, I get the double stroller out for Jasmine and Jeremiah.  I then get Isaac out and we walk through the grass (There’s no ramp) to walk Isaac to class.  Once Isaac is signed in and settled, I then walk back through the grass yet again to head home.  In the afternoon, around 1:15, this whole process starts again.

During the time that the kids are at school, I am at home being thrown back and forth between Jasmine and Jeremiah.  Thankfully, now that they are a little older, things are starting to get a little easier and not as hectic.  Either that, or I have just gotten used to it by now. By the grace of God, I am able to at least have my quiet time with God and do a few things around the house.

Most people I have come across have asked me the same question: “How do I do it?”  Without a second thought, I simply reply with……PRAYER! LOTS AND LOTS OF PRAYER!

I could not do what I do with out God.  I pray for strength every morning when I wake up.  Proverbs 3:5-6 states the following:

(5) “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. (6) “In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”

Those verses only confirm my answer to people.  I lean on God for strength and understanding.  While leaning on Him, I trust completely that He will take care of me.  While leaning and trusting, I am more than confident that in all aspects of my life….God has my back!

Due to the fact that I recognize and acknowledge that God is and always will be with me, He makes my paths clear to me.  Therefore, what looks to be a crazy and hectic life to someone is actually a clear and simple life to me.

I urge you to not look for strength within yourself.  Look to God.  Let Him be with you in the battle field.  You will still have your trials and tribulations, but I can assure you that you will not be alone.

Why I Do What I Do: The story behind my stories

obey-god

I remember it like it was yesterday.  Driving to my friend’s baby shower, I felt God telling me that I needed to tell people of Him.  So of coarse, my response to God was”Really?!”  I’m about three or four months pregnant with my twins, still dealing with the passing of my mom, AND I’m still trying to run my household, Lord!

Being a good servant of God, I began writing of various situations of which God truly came through.  I really didn’t know where God was going with this but, I still obeyed.  I began to write exactly how I felt whether it was good or bad.  With great detail, I literally began to write my life on paper.  No matter what the subject or situation, my faith remained strong.  This is the main point that I want my readers to come to understand.  No matter what is going on, God is always there.

After that, I created a FaceBook group page titled “Me and My Journey.”  The role of this page was to do exactly what God intended me to to.  He wanted me to share my journey with Him to a world that is trying so hard to take Him out.  God wanted me to show the world that no matter what is going on, HE WILL PREVAIL.  As a child and a firm believer, I truly believe this with all my heart.

Soon after the Me and My Journey group page was created, my blog was created.  So now I post my stories on my blog, my FaceBook page, and various other sites as well.

So why do I do this?  There are two reasons. (1) God told me so.  This is the top and up most important reason.  He has a purpose – an assignment for all of us.  Right now, this is MY purpose.  As I have stated before, I don’t know where God is going to take me from here, but I can tell you that I trust Him.  Therefore, I will continue to do this until He tells me it’s time to move to the next step.  (2) Writing these stories actually help me a great deal.  For as long as I can remember, writing things down has always helped.  So, while I’m sharing my trials and tribulations with you, I’m not only getting them off my chest but, I’m also showing God’s great power and love over my life.  Trust me when I tell you, every trial I have told you about, GOD HAS PULLED ME THROUGH!

In essence, what I do is open my life to you.  God wants me to show you that my life isn’t perfect.  I don’t have millions of dollars stacked away.  I don’t live in a mansion.  However, with those few things I don’t have, my growing faith and hope totally out weigh and are far more valuable.  When I write, I am not whining or trying to get attention.  I want you to understand that even though there are rough patches, I still praise and have faith in our Father.

Attention, praise, and glory are not why I do what I do.  I do what I do to bring glory, honor, and praise to God.  While doing that, I’m also helping someone to understand God if they do not understand how He works.  Much like a mustard seed, the littlest of curiosity can truly change the life of an unbeliever forever!

I absolutely love telling you my stories and I hope you enjoy and share them.  However, at the end of the day, it is really all about honoring and glorifying our Heavenly Father.

Colossians 3:23 ESV

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men

Fear

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