Monday, September 14, 2020

What if...

 I have trust issues. 

With God. 

Not always, but more often than I want to admit. 

I find myself replaying or imaging a scenario in my head. Over and over. 

Even, I find myself preparing myself for the worst possible outcome over something I am praying over. 

I find myself in this place now. 

We have a decision to make as a family. I have prayed and prayed and asked God to open or close doors in this situation. 

My heart and head still have doubts. 

It is almost as if I don't trust the outcome even when left in God's Sovereign Hands. 

Can you relate?

These thoughts have absolutely consumed me the past few weeks. 

What if we get it wrong?

What if the choice ends up a painful one?

What if...

What if...

What if...

 The doubts are never ending. The mind spins. The heart races. The worry consumes. 

Yet, I know God goes before us. 

He has prepared the way for us. 

Why, then, is it so hard to just let it go and trust God?

Why is it so hard not to become cynical and questioning and all things lacking faith?

This feeling, is almost like a mold over my lungs. It suffocates. It depresses onto the heart. 

It is hard to focus on other things. 

I am afraid of heartache. I know the reason for this constant doubting and upheaval of faith. 

 I am self preserving. 

There. I said it out loud. 

Actually, I am self preserving someone I care about as well.

I cannot bear to see them/us have heartache...again. 

I am afraid. 

I am fearful. 

There. I said it again. 

What if God doesn't bring good from this? What if His plan is to mold us and prune us...again??

We have been through heartache and we have been better for it. 

But, can I be just really gut punching honest? I am not real happy with the thought of more heartbreak...even when it brings good fruit.  It is hard. 

It is really hard!

Heartache hurts. It scars. It leaves a hesitancy in your soul that whimpers when the thought of going near something again could possibly bring more pain. 

I think of Jonah. 

We are reading it now in our Bible Reading Plan. 

He knew where God was calling him. 

But, he did not want to go. 

He ran. 

And was even thrown off a boat into the belly of a fish. 

He wanted to avoid the "Plan". God's "Plan". 

I know how Jonah feels. 

Often, I want to run the other way. 

I want to hide in a bush or in the belly of a fish-- until God forgets about His "Plan" for me. 

The problem is, He never forgets. 

He knows what we do not know. He sees what we do not see. 

"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." Deuteronomy 31:8.

 As I type this, a precious friend just sent me this text. I am going to copy and paste it for you to read. It overwhelmed my soul with Peace and I pray it does yours as well...

 Aren’t you so thankful that God sees us and knows our hearts before we even ask? And He lovingly hears and answers us over and over! He’s got all of us. So thankful! Praying we all rest in His peace and trust Him. He’s the best Daddy. He sees the beginning and the end and knows how it all plays out. He is ordering our steps and we can trust that He has us. He’s in control of each and every detail. 

He is the maker of heaven and earth, and He cares about us and loves us so much! Praying each of us feel the warmth of His love and comfort and peace today. God, let us not be anxious or overwhelmed by our circumstances...let us receive the overwhelming peace of Your Spirit in us. Breathe on us today, Holy Spirit. Fresh wind. In Jesus’ name.

 This friend had no idea I was in the middle of writing a SHINE post, but God did. He knew we needed these encouraging words to spur us on. To remind us that HE SEES. HE KNOWS. HE CARES. HE GOES BEFORE US. ALWAYS. 

we can trust Him, 


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Finding my way....

 I find myself in a quiet house again. The boy is off at college. The girl begins her sophomore year of high school. 

Looking back, I knew this time was coming...again. I just seem to never be ready. 

When I was a little girl, all I EVER wanted was to be a mother. I had no desires to work outside of the home. 

I would sit on that big yellow school bus watching mothers walk their children out to the bus stop in their house coats and huge mugs of coffee. I wanted that. Desperately. 

Senior year, my high school counselor asked me what I wanted to "do" after high school. I looked down with cheeks blushing and found these words falling out of my mouth,  "Umm, well.....I want to get married and have children."

He told me he had never had anyone tell him this and then thanked me for being honest. 

Those dreams never died. 

God fulfilled them in His time, and I will be grateful until I breathe my last breath. 

So, when I find myself in a quiet home....

I am unsure of how I am to feel. 

He brought me here. I knew this was coming. I know He has plans for me after my children leave the nest...

But, I also feel unequipped for anything else. I feel utterly inadequate at attempting life outside of this house. 

Vulnerable and honest and raw....and true. 

If I let it, sadness will come in waves. I steady myself and swallow hard. 

Every season has purpose. 

I dig my heels in and repeat what I know is Truth. 

He has a plan. He has a plan. He has a plan. 

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Motherhood fits me. Like a well worn pair of shoes. I am comfortable here. 

I know I will always be a mother, long after my kids begin new lives with new people. 

But, it is the mundane. The chaos. The crazy. The carpools. The long waits for practice to be over. The constant tripping over big teenage shoes scattered all over the floor. 

This is all I know. And have ever known for a very long time. 

My prayer daily is. "Lord, use me. Use any gift you have given me to serve others. I need to be used up."

He shapes our hearts. He chisels and He smoothes. 

He wants us dependent on Him and Him alone. 

I find myself immersed in the book of Daniel. I think of him often throughout my days. 

He prayed. He prayed. And he prayed. 

Lord, is this what you want from me?

I have time to do this. I can do this. 

Perhaps these quiet seasons that come are for this very purpose. To pause. To pray. 

We can be busy and still pray...

But, something happens in the spirit when our world is quiet. When the rhythm of life slows down for a bit and you can actually hear yourself think for once. 

You hear things you could not hear before. You notice things you never noticed before. 

So, I will be content here. I will steady my heart and I will trust in a plan much bigger than mine. 

He is Good. He is Faithful. He is Sovereign. This, I know.

What season do you find yourself in at the moment?

What if we trust God here. What if we surrender it all to Him. The busy, the quiet, the lonely, the chaos...

Lay it at His feet and ask Him to lead the way. Ask Him to give us Grace and Patience and Mercy as we navigate this unfamiliar path. 

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. " Psalm 119:105

still tripping over tennis shoes, 


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Here we go....again.....

I sat in the yellow lighted room. Again, I waited.

She took her test, and I sat with anxious thoughts.

What if she fails? 

What if she is not ready?

What if I am not ready?
I prayed silently.

A few minutes later, she emerged.

Big smile on her lips...

"I passed, momma!"

Presley received her learners permit to drive.

I was LITERALLY just here with Joseph. 3 years ago, I sat in this same seat.

Now, baby sister gets a turn.

And, momma's heart prepares.

High school, college, driving...

How do people do it without Jesus?

I will never know.

Please pray for patience as we teach this child how to drive. She is a *little* more stubborn than her big brother. [wink wink]

And, her best friend, who happens to share her birthday, passes too!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Wide open spaces...

Hello, friends and family.

It has been a while.

A long while.

Joseph is in college. A freshman at University of Georgia.

Presley is a freshman in highschool.


I have found myself in this quiet-er place. Deafening quiet at times.

But, I am learning to live here. To enjoy it. To soak it in.

To listen to God.

To be still.

To stop trying to fill the void.

But, to instead be filled with Him.

In searching for a hobby or two...I always come back to this place.

To write.

To pour out.

To wring my heart of the words...the everything.

It is my joy.

It will always be.

Remind me of this often, ok?

My heart has been down over some things. I have struggled with the "why?'

I have struggled with the pity party of "where are you, Lord??"

Then, I sit on my back porch and see the birds playing and singing.

The cool air hitting me in my sullen face.

His reminder to me..."I am here."

He never left me.

As I whine and mope and get caught up with the trivial things of life.....

I look up at the giant sky.

The expanse of His Creation.

And I realize how small I am.

How small these worries and concerns are.

These anxious thoughts and this desire to control outcomes of people...

How silly.

I so often feel like King David felt...

Spewing with faith and courage in one breath...

Then. curled up in a ball crying and complaining in the next breath.

Yet, God remains.

He never leaves.

He never will.

Children will leave.

Friends will leave.

Husbands will leave.

Yet, One thing remains....


There is beauty to behold. All around.

Yet, we close our hands into fists and refuse to the offering.

The offering brings the gift.

The gift of gratitude and joy.

But, we must unclench our fists...palms up.

And receive.

My dog is begging for a walk this cool morning...

I need it more than he does.

I need to be reminded of the vastness of His Creation....

He is infinitely wiser.

He is infinitely faithful.

I will keep writing to remind myself.....


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Joseph goes to prom....


So, a big thing happened recently...


How can he be a junior? Can someone please fill me in. I cannot even bring myself to scroll my own blog to see pictures and read stories about him. My heart is just too tender right now.

The days are long, but the years are short.

Whoever said that phrase needs to be a gahbillionaire. Because it is so stinking TRUE.

I mean, not only are my kids growing up, I am too. But, who has time to think about that when your KID/MAN is going to PROM.

Okay, so I have pictures to prove it.

I wanted to take a million more. But, it's not cool to be the mom-a-razzi around all of his friends. Apparently. [eye roll]

Joseph and Lucia

Joseph and Presley

Joseph and me

Aren't they cute??

Lem, Joseph and me

The Prom Crew 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

How can it be....

This past weekend, Joseph turned 16.

Honestly, I never thought this day could come. The early years were slow as molasses. The good kind of slow. The kind of slow that makes you think it will always be like this and it is just a wonderful little life.

Then, they grow older and taller and bigger.

The older they get the quicker the time goes. Middle school is a flash. High school is a half of a flash. [am I right moms of older kids?]

As I watched my man-child blow out his candles, a lump formed in my throat. Tears started to swell. Memories of his first Winnie the Pooh birthday flooded my heart.

How could this Winnie the Pooh loving baby be 16 years old?

I quickly gathered myself before the last line of Happy Birthday. The last thing I wanted was for this party to be a sob fest about ME.

I turned those tears into prayers of thankfulness to God. Thankful that we still had him to celebrate birthdays. Thankful that he is learning and growing still.

Before the party, I gathered up all of his scrap books and memorabilia. **Note to self: do not do this again right before a big gathering. especially if mascara has already been applied.

Looking at those pages brought me straight back to those moments. Sweet moments. Hard moments. Laughing moments. Crying moments.

As I turned the pages, I saw pictures of me in some of the photos. I am growing older too. It's not just the kids that are growing, it is us parents too.

Growth is good.

I would not trade my 42 years of life under my belt for a younger age. Truly, I would not.

Change is certainly hard, but I believe life gets sweeter along the way. Some would argue with me. I understand.

However, it has been my experience that my heart has softened along the way. I see things from a different view now. I'm not near as hard on myself. Or on others. I let things go a lot quicker. Forgiving has become much easier. Humility is easier to come by too because I have learned that I really am nothing without Jesus.

Growing up is not so bad.

My favorite part of growing up is taking littles under my wing and nurturing them to grow and thrive. I love little people. I love little things.

Getting the chance to take care of, feed, water, and nourish little people is the greatest gift in the world....whether I gave birth to them or not. It really doesn't matter. They all need love and cherishing.

As I kissed my newly turned 16 year old goodnight, I realized something. He would always be mine. No matter his age, no matter his location. He was mine.

I thought about God. How He must love us. How He must cherish us, His children.

No matter where we go, how far we wander...

We belong to Him. We are engraved on the palms of His Hands. [Isaiah 49:16}

As a momma, I get this. Oh, how I see God's love for us so much more clearly.

My children will always be mine. Engraved on my heart. Memories etched in stone in my soul.

Nothing can change this. Not time, not distance..

Wanting them to stay little and turn back time is depriving them and me of growth.

A tree is most nourishing when it is full grown. When its branches spread out wide providing shade for others. When the fruit it bears is ripe and sweet for others to taste and see.

They will be called mighty oaks, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:3

I pray this scripture over my children. Lord, let them be mighty oaks. Deep roots and far reaching branches.

We must water them though. Nurture them. Prepare them for full growth.

That is our job. And, what an honor it is.

still growing,


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Oh, I have a blog....

Well, here we are. February 2017.

Whew. I think this blog goes back to 2008?

So, going on 10 years. Crazy.

Since I discovered Instagram, I don't post on here as often as I used to. Instagram is just so darn easy.

I can take a picture and upload it straight there. It documents our life, kind of like this blog used to do. Well, and still does at times.

But, I do miss writing. So much.

So, I will try to write more. When I can.

Joseph is in 10th grade. Gulp.

Presley is in 6th. Double gulp.

Raising teens and tweens is very different than raising littles.

It was easier when the exhaustion was physical and not mental.

My brain never turns off thinking about my kids. Their friends. Their school. Their safety. Their future. Whew.

I try to remember to turn those thoughts into prayer. I am successful sometimes. But, I need to aim for a higher success rate.

Here are some pictures I took recently...captures a little bit of our life.

Lem took Presley to breakfast for Valentine's Day

Then...he took me to dinner. Yippee!

I captured this on the way home from morning carpool.
I love how bright the sun was shining. And how the telephone pole looks like a Cross.
I was praying over a friend who's son was recently diagnosed for the second time
with leukemia. This scene was God filling my heart with HOPE.

This is our Fun Friday picture. They don't like pictures anymore so
I have to put inanimate objects in front of them instead.
Insert a big parental eye roll.

I captured this today. Sunday after church at Scoops.
More ice cream, yes.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Be still, Jill....

As I sit here staring at this blank computer screen, I haphazardly look over to my left. Our Christmas tree is standing there. Still. Warm. Inviting.

It's hard to look away. My eyes just want to engage in the beauty of this tree. No ornaments are even hung yet. But, it doesn't matter. She is glowing with colorful lights. Inviting anyone to come and sit next to her warmth. [yes, I do believe our tree is a "she".]

There is nothing really special about this tree. Average height, average breadth. Yet, it is hard to look away. She's just quite a breathtaking sight.

This verse quickly comes to mind, "Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10

Yes, still.

There's that word again.

Still .

Rhymes with Jill. You would think I would remember. It also rhymes with my last name, Hill. A double reminder. Still. Jill. Hill. 

[God really does have a sense of humor]

Yet, so often, stillness escapes me.

When worries pile on, my mind is not still.

When sickness is looming over a loved one, my heart refuses to be still.

When finances get crunchy, and anxiety rises, I forget about being still.

When my to-do list seems to never get done, frantic overcomes any sense of stillness.

When my children get on my ever last nerve for the 108th time in one day, my actions are anything but still.

Why is it so hard to be still?

Stillness takes surrender.

A heart surrendered to its proper authority.

Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer John 1:13-15

In this season of hustle and bustle, I want to be still. Really, I do.

I want to soak in the joy of Christmas.

I want to linger longer.

I want to live in this moment with my family and my children.

I want to be like our Christmas tree. Warm. Inviting. Still.

Yet, so often get I can caught up in the wrong things. Worry. Fear. Anxiety. Busy.

I need a reset. How about you?

Instead of doing the usual crazy we are so used to, let's be still.

I hear you laughing.

It's Christmas, how are we to be still??

Stillness begins in the heart.

When our hearts are still and at peace, our bodies will soon follow.

A heart at peace gives life to the body. Proverbs 14:30

When I had my first baby, I would go and sit at Lem's grandmother's house for hours with my newborn swaddle.

Something about her house made everything better. It was still.

Lem's grandmother was never rushed. I never felt like I was a burden to her. I always felt welcome.

She was still.

I think the elderly get it.

They see the other side of this life in a whole new way.

Time is a precious thing to the elderly. They know how short life really is.

What if we slowed time down a bit this season.

What if we created a space for us to be still and be with Jesus. Not because we want to "squeeze" our quiet time in, but because we want to be still with Jesus.

Jesus stills our hearts. He pours peace into our worn-down souls.

Do you know what would happen to my beautiful tree if I didn't water her daily? She would die.

Her green branches would turn brown, and slowly she would wilt.

The same happens to our souls when we don't take the time to be nourished with God's word.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. Psalm 42:1

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35

Let's be still.

And, just like our Christmas trees, let's invite a weary world to soak up some peace, warmth, and stillness.

being still,

jill hill ;)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hi, my name is....

Gosh, it has been a while. Hey, y'all!

I have a feeling my voice is echoing and maybe two can hear it.

Oh well.

I am still writing on the SHINE blog from time to time. So, I haven't neglected writing all together.

Sometimes it is hard for me to come on this blog site. I see the pictures of my "little" ones and it brings me to tears. They are not so little anymore. I don't have to heart to change out these pictures, so I guess they will stay. :)

Don't get me wrong, I love this season of life. My kids are a blast. They crack me up like nobody can, except that husband of mine.

It's been a new place mothering tweens and teens. A lot changes in how I mother them. The nurturing doesn't stop, but I tend  to be a little less in their faces. I find myself praying a lot more. Which is crazy because I thought I prayed a lot when they were little. NOTHING compared to the prayers I pray now. Whew.

I pray for their school days. Their peers. Their relationships. Their teachers. Who they sit beside at lunch. All of it.

All of those things are important to they are important to me.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I cannot believe I get to be their momma. I sit back and look at them and I am just so amazed that God entrusted their little bodies and hearts to Lem and me.

What was He thinking????????? just kidding. kind of.

Oh y'all. I so want my children to love the Lord with every fiber of their beings. I want that more than anything in this world.

I used to be on a mission to "save the world". Ha! It's hysterical. Really.

My mission has narrowed.

I still love telling people about Jesus, and blogging is an easy way for me to do this.

But, telling my children about Jesus is a whole different thing.

Here's why...It's not just telling them about is showing them about Jesus.

Can I admit? That is the hard part.

I mess up so many times! My SHINE readers never see my mess-ups...but my children do.

They see the real deal me.

I pray that God will help them to not remember certain not-so-great moments. Eek! And, honestly, I trust that He will.

He loves them more than me. They will be fine.


I want them to know that their momma loved Jesus. Even when I messed up. Even when I didn't show heart was beating for Him. Even in the crazy times.

I don't live in guilt or regret...I know that the enemy would love for me to live there.

I live in the great trust and faith that God works all of this life out for our good. Which includes the good, bad, and the ugly.

There is nothing He cannot fix.

Praise Jesus.

I have dreams in my heart. I would love to write a book one day...I would love to talk to more women, one on one, and tell them how God's word and His Love can heal a broken heart.

I have broad dreams.

But, for now, my dreams are narrow.

Zoomed in on the ones under my roof. For such a time as this.

The time goes by so quickly.

Enjoy. Savor. Soak up this time.

Invest everything in your family...everything.

This is contrary to what the world tells us...

The world wants us to save some for the world! Hold on to yourself and don't lose yourself to your family! Hold onto your identity!

I laugh at that because I don't believe in that philosophy.

I say, lose yourself completely.

In fact, go BIG, or go home.

Go BIG in loving your family. Go BIG in investing every single word you speak to them. Deposit encouragement, words of affirmation, and more than anything...deposit God's Word into their hearts.

They are listening. Even when you think they aren't. They are.

The world will be effected by our children. You can bank on that.

What we teach them, what we show them, what we speak to them...

Will be poured back out.

Our prayers we pray over them...

they will come into fruition. He hears the prayers of the momma's.

"He bends down to listen" Psalm 116:2

It is never to late to pour into our children. NEVER.

As long as we have breath, we can pray over them. Teach them. Love them. Encourage them.

God chose YOU as their momma. YOU are the chosen one. You are equipped, capable, and up for the job. God said so.

So, when you mess up....

get back up.

wipe off the dirt.

(my jeans are filthy by the way)

and start all over again.

It is so worth it.

having the time of my life,


Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Secret Prayer....

My husband and I share many intimate conversations together. Things that we discuss just between the two of us that are special and treasured. We dream about our future, and the future of our children together. We express concerns and observations of things happening around us. This openness creates a secret and rare vulnerability between us that I cannot put into words.

These talks are sacred between the two of us. Many of the things on my heart, I have never shared with another living soul. They are meant to be kept between the bond, the unity, and the love between the two of us. When we took an oath before God on our wedding day to be submitted to one another, our spirits became one. God sees us as one as well. That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Romans 8:26

Our prayer life is the same. When we approach the Father in prayer, it is a time of deep intimacy and lavish openness of our hearts to His. We express things, even if not spoken in words, they are expressed through the groaning of our spirits.The bible tells us in Romans 8:26, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."

Jesus teaches us about the power of prayer in secret. Not just prayer in secret, but the power of giving in secret, and fasting in secret. Take a look at Matthew 6 verses 6-18. Here's an excerpt...

6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 

When reading God's word, hang onto things you see repeated over and over again. Make note it it, and store it up in your heart. Like a good Father to his children, He reminds us so we will not forget.

In my own personal prayer life, I have seen the power of prayer in secret several times over the last few years. Honestly, I didn't even realize the prayer was in secret at the time. These requests were just so deep and so personal in my spirit, that I kept them between the Father and me.

One experience that I will share from a couple of years ago is that of a prayer over my husband. It was regarding a trip he wanted to go on with some friends. He would be gone several days and something in my spirit just was not at peace about it. I never told him my concerns. Instead, I took my concerns to prayer.

I wasn't sure why I was so hesitant about this trip for him, but I was. I asked God to grant me peace for him to leave if His will was for Lem to go on the trip. I also reached out to three friends and asked them to please pray for an unspoken request for me and my family.

At the time, I wasn't sure of my motives for wanting him to stay home. I wanted to be clear the motives were not selfish, so I spared sharing the details with my praying friends. I just asked them to pray.

About a month later, my husband came to me and told me that the trip he was planning on going on had fallen apart. Nothing was working out for he and his friends to be able to go.

Bewildered, I gasped out loud.

I could not even believe it.

God had answered this prayer, and I knew it was only God that could have made the details come together for the trip to not take place.

I never did tell him that I had prayed about that trip. The things that God had done were so personal and so intimate and so intricate, I wanted to keep it between He and I. Also, I did not want for one second for Lem to think that I had prayed him out of going. It would have put a shadow on future trips he wanted to take with the fellas, and I did not want the enemy getting a foothold there.

I love when Lem is able to get away with his friends to hike and camp. I love it because he loves it. It makes him smile, and it makes him excited! So, not for one second did I want him to think that I had manipulated the situation for him not to be able to go.

Another time that God answered a secret prayer was one I love to share to anyone who will listen. If you have heard it, I apologize in advance.

A few years ago I was running out of my favorite skincare line. I had purchased it for myself  from some money I had received for my birthday months before. I loved it so much and I wanted to order a whole new set! The cost would be...a LOT. Way over our budget. Especially for fancy skincare.

I had rationalized in my head that I deserved to get it. I specifically remember thinking, "This is the ONLY thing I splurge on. I deserve this for myself. Plus, I will save my husband on a face lift because my skin will be firmer due to this awesome skincare line." 


I logged on to the website to order this outrageously expensive skincare. I had everything I needed [wanted] in my cart online. I scrambled for my credit card to put it all on there, praying that the bill would not come for at least 30 days. I wasn't ready for a fight with the hubby any time soon.

I began to type in the numbers, and I stopped. Conviction seized me. I couldn't do it. My husband had clearly marked our budget boundaries just that very week, and this was not even close to being in the equation.


I logged off of the site feeling sad and feeling sorry for myself.

Silently, I prayed that God would forgive me for almost stepping into disobedience.

Are you ready for what happened next?

The very next day, a friend called me on the phone.

She asked me if I would like a bunch of skincare that she had purchased a few weeks ago. She said she did not really like it, but she didn't want to go to the expense and the effort to send it all back. Plus, she knew I was a huge fan of that particular skincare.

YES!! I would love to take this off of your hands!

I was beyond elated.

Y'all that afternoon, I went to pick up the skincare she had left in her car for me at her work. It was DOUBLE what I had planned ordering online the day before. DOUBLE. There were even some items that I wanted to get, but knew there was no way I could at that time.

I was absolutely blown away. That big gold bag of skincare was a gift from my Father.

He heard my secret prayer. I didn't even really ask Him, I just asked Him to forgive me for disobedience. Yet, He knows the desires of our hearts, doesn't He?

I share these things to encourage you that the Father loves to lavish us. He loves to be one on one with you in the secret place of prayer. Just the two of you.

In my case, those secret times of prayer have built my faith stronger. I think if I would have asked a lot of people to pray, I would have missed out on a chance in intimacy with my Father. In my flesh, I may have thought that it was certainly not because of my feeble prayers that it was answered. I would have not felt the same intimacy with Him, I believe.

Please don't for one second think that asking for prayer or group praying is not powerful. It is!

Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:19

However, I do believe that there is a time for intimacy as well. A place and time to pray secretly those deep groans and desires. He will lead us how to pray, and with whom to share our prayers, we just need to ask Him.

I have learned in these secret prayers with my Father, that He is most concerned about the well-being of my spirit. My faith and belief are of the greatest concern to Him. More than a prayer being answered, it is about my oneness with Him. The intimacy that develops when I share my heart, my desires, my confessions of sin, and my whole being with Him. It is the power of what happens during that process that ends up being the greatest miracle. The answer to the prayer is just the icing.

What is it that you need to approach your Heavenly Father about today? Oh, friend, go to Him. Go to a secret place and pour your heart out to Him. Believe that He hears you. Believe that He will answer. 

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

praying secrets,