Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Are you truly hearing the voice of God?

Are you truly Hearing the voice of God?

Have you ever Googled,  "How do you know if you are hearing the voice of God?" I have.  Have you ever been so weary, so exhausted in your thoughts and prayers that you wonder, truly wonder, is he hearing you or if you are praying right?  So you think well, everything else is on Google, why don't I ask someone smarter than me?  I guess I could be embarrassed that I have.  But when you have been in those rough patches, and you have prayed and poured your heart out, in that quiet place, You just know that God is gonna speak so loudly that it will solve this issue.  Like manna from heaven, Gods gonna say, oh look she is so spiritual today, let's go ahead and let her have her answer!

Have you ever been at this place?  Back years ago I would study my bible, read a devotion, pray and close my bible for the day.  I would talk to friends and they would say things like, " Today I just really felt God leading me to do this or to do that.  Or, I just felt this on my heart so strongly!"  I would walk away feeling like, "What's wrong with me?  Why don't I feel like this?  How come I don't hear him say these things?"  Or even more like, Could I please just get an email address?  That way there is no confusion down here!

I came across a dear friend, her name is Jessica.  She is a superhero to me.  Her spiritual walk is like no other.  She is a strong mama and prayer warrior like no one I have ever met.  She loves to homestead, raise her kids, and praise Jesus just like I do.  But there was something different in the words she would use about her realtionship with our Lord and Savior that was different... And I desired that different.  So one day, as we were talking about it, she says, "Hayley do you journal?" Not bible journaling with pictures.  Cause I absolutely love doing that.  But this is real-time, in your quiet spot, on your knees journaling?  I said no, I have never thought to do that.  She said, Just Try It!  Write out your prayers, your feelings, your worries, and your fears!  Everything you can think of, Give it all to him.  So I Did.  And boy!  It is awkward and weird at first.  I felt like a 13-year-old writing a dear diary page.  As I would write, I would praise him first and foremost, and then tell him everything.  From how I loved seeing the sun peak over the trees in a house that had no walls from the kitchen to the bathroom, to how I was terrified that with homeschooling my kids, that my son would never learn to read or spell correctly.  
He. Is. In It! He wants to hear.  He wants to know that you trust him with all these things.  By telling him, it confirms that you care that he is above and below it.  Isn't that what we Want?  We want something or someone more powerful than what we are, to take all these things?  Gosh, I sure do!
She also Instructed me that once I talked to him to just sit in the silence.  Wait to see if he speaks.  Write what I hear.  Be it scripture, thoughts, whatever you hear.  So I did. And it was Amazing the growth and the closeness I started to come to have with Him.  I can't even describe how it feels to go back and read something that I wrote years ago.  Things I prayed over, worried over and now those thoughts are just a vapor.  And how He was right there.  Now, there will be times that I hear my own voice.  Or write something I hear and its just desires of my heart.  This has been hard for me.  One of the hardest parts to decipher.  But, just as that has been hard for me, this is nothing for my Lord and Savior.  So he sends another friend along.  
Her name is Sally.  She is the most loving, welcoming, hardworking mama I have ever met.  She has a laugh that is contagious and loves her family with a ferocious kind of love.  Agape Love.  She and I share this way and how we love our kids. She has bio kids, adopted kids, and ME as a kid!  And she loves us all.  She wisely advises me, when in question, "Is it biblical, Hayley?"  Ok, if it is then it's in his will.  Always, always, always, check God's word for what you hear!  If it's there, its something he could be whispering.  If it's not, then its the flesh.  Somethings are that easy to see.  But, if we look, a lot of things are.  If they aren't, then we pray for Wisdom.  James 1:5

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

So with all that said, I have been journaling for quite a few years now and went through right many notebooks.  I have had many, many answered prayers, and a couple that I still don't know the answer to.  One thing is for sure is that when he speaks you will know it.  There is a peace that is unlike anything I have ever felt.  
I came in from a run the other day and just as still and peaceful as a newborn baby sleeping, I heard out of nowhere, "you need to let this go"... Um... Lord, say that one more time.  I had been praying for over 2 years about this and just that easy, I heard it.  Now, I will say, I busted into a million tears.  I got in the shower and had the ugliest girl cry you have ever seen.  But the peace...  All this time I would read about it, hear other people find it, get on my knees, and beg for it.  
Like Paul who wrote, 

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me--NIV

I was starting to fully 100 percent understand what this meant.  I have prayed, wrote, and poured myself out to God over this thing.  I would say 100 times, I'm over it, no really, I have completely given this to him.  Next day... Pick it right back up.  
Until this Day!  This particular Sunday morning, I hear it.  Just as soft and as still as a morning sunrise.  It's like he spoke with the gentleness of a loving and soft-spoken Father, "This will be ok," sound.  But, you need to hear this, he said.   And instead of being upset, like wanting to lay on the floor and roll around like a toddler, I embraced his love.  I understood what he was trying to tell me.  There is one thing that I do know for sure.  God uses pain.  He never lets it be wasted.  If you have a pain, a prayer, a worry.  I can promise he will use it if you allow him.  He will show up.  And when he does, in his timing He will show up Big!  I've seen it... I have watched it through a young woman who was ravaged by drug addiction, come into my home as a small broken child.  And I watched our lovingly and powerful Father turn her into a daughter of King!
Now once all this happens, you don't want to pick it back up.  This is a true hearing.  No: Please, but no Lord? Well are you sure, can't we try this or that??  Nope, this is a "you know he has spoken"  It is also weird that you can also actually do what the Bible calls, us to do in James 1:2-4

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  

Even when the answer is not what you thought it would be, you can still Praise.  This has been a true revealing to me.  He has answered so many prayers in my life, blessed me beyond measure, but this...
This Agape love that he shows us through sweet, quiet, communion with him.  If you don't have it, I urge you... Just try it!

Photo Credits to Kylah Knowles and Editing by me.  
Sites used: NIV Bible Study App 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Cozy Bathrooms

I'm a sucker for an old fashion bathtub! I have wanted and pined after one of these for years. So, as part of the remodel plan, we decided that we would add one to our Master Bathroom.  I love how it sets such a great accent to the room.  The only negative drawback I have about the tub is that it's a little small on the inside. Say you're wanting more than one person in the tub, then you might want to rethink the shape you purchase. Also, when you have a cast iron tub the material holds the temperature around it which means it's EXTREMELY cold!!  You know how when you first fill a tub up with water and lean your back against it and you forget your tub is cold? Well, with this tub it's worse.

It is such a relief to be coming out of cold weather.  I'm not big on winter, the only thing I like about it is that it makes my coffee soooo much better, and that's about it. So with springtime coming, and the flowers are blooming; I have been taking pictures and can't wait to share them.  I just love pretty things, they make me happy!

I mean, how can you not like spring? Well, there is Pollen of course, but still! Look at these Peonies! They look fake, they so dang Pretty! My Mema planted them and I absolutely love to pick them and put them in jelly jars like she would. 

I have included a few extra pictures.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Cozy Entry Ways

First of all let me say: Hey Y'all! Its been so long since I have posted anything.  Right now we are enduring this pandemic and well it got me to thinking maybe I should catch things up. We have been on a journey, buddy, let me tell you. The previous post was from at least 3 years ago.  We were living in a different place doing different things... Well, some different things.   

The kids have grown so much, I now have a 17, 14, 13, and 10 year old... *sigh* But, with that said all is well and we are moving right along.  Since then we've purchased my dad's homeplace and did a complete remodel,  now that things have settled down from that, I thought it would be a good time to share some of the things from that journey. I am still making home-made soap and other things, but just for our family.  It's like everything came to a halt once we were living inside of a home that was being torn apart.  And boy I will tell you, living in a house that is being remodeled at the same time is not for sissies!  


Ok, So this will give you a somewhat idea of how we changed things.  First of all, the entire house has beadboard walls! Yes, it was like a Texan finding shiplap in Waco! Here in North Carolina, our shiplap is beadboard.  As we ripped and tore out pieces of sheetrock we found it.  Now don't panic I did use shiplap in the house! But I fell in love with the beadboard.  It could easily be chaulked and painted in areas that had holes from pictures from long ago.  The problem was the insulation had fallen quite a bit, so we had to do a lot of re-insulating in places where the beadboard was on an exterior wall.  My Papa and Mema purchased this farm back in 1961 to raise their 4 children and grow tobacco and cows.  Not having much insulation, the house stayed drafty and cold.  So over time, to keep my mema (she was a little woman) warm, Papa covered all the beadboards in sheetrock. (oh and lowered the ceilings, to keep in the heat.) So as you can see here she had sheetrock walls with fancy chair molding.  The picture above isn't the entryway somehow I have lost my picture of that wall.  But it looked almost identical to this wall.  It was white sheetrock with chair molding.  I wanted more of a different look to the front doors, which will come in a different post, but once we took those out I could tell there was beadboard behind the sheetrock.  So I started tearing it all down.  Once I painted, added some farmhouse molding to the tops and bottoms, it was done!  I think it turned out right nice, to be able to display all my kiddos and some of my favorite verses and sayings.  

I will say this though, taking down sheetrock and doing molding... whew!  It was a long job.  Especially when doing something like this by yourself, so make sure if you take on something like this you can plan to have dust, dirt, and feet prints everywhere in your house, and I mean, 

A church pew from an old church sits in the hallway to put on shoes and my memas old churn.  My kids keep asking when we are gonna make butter? I hope you enjoyed these pics!