A very good friend gifted me with
Joyce Meyer’s New Day, New You
devotional about seven years ago. I
think she knew God was getting ready to do some major construction in my life. J So, this was one of my first real
introductions to Joyce Meyer, and my first real devotional. That first year I worked straight through the
book. It was a major blessing. The devotionals short, easy to understand,
and to the point. As someone who was
just learning to spend real time with Christ, this was perfect. Another plus for me is that the devotionals
are dated (October 23). Seven years
later, this devotional is still blessing me.
I have not worked straight through it since the first year, but every
time I open it up the word is right on time.
morning I woke up feeling some kind of way.
I can’t describe exactly how I was feeling. There are just morning s when I wake up in a
mood and I know I need a word fast to get my mind right. So I decide to crack open my trusty Joyce
Meyer devotional. As always, the word is
spot on. When I read the words I know
that God knows me better than I know myself.
Even though I don’t know exactly what the problem is, He does. He directs me along the right path as long as
I am open to receive. What’s even more
amazing and hilarious to me is when the page has already been dog eared. It makes me wonder what I was going through
when I dog-eared that page in years past.
30 – First Things First: But seek (aim at
and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of
doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given
you besides. – Matthew 6:33(The Amplified Bible)
After the verse, Joyce proceeds to
discuss the importance of priorities. She
emphasizes how keeping God as your first priority allows a peace that passes
understanding. Fantastic! But why is it that I constantly need the
priority pep talk. It’s not like I don’t
know what my priorities should be. Yet,
time and time again I get that unsettled feeling and need a reminder. Maybe I’ve been surfing Facebook and
Instagram and Twitter too much. Maybe it’s
time to take a social media break. Or
maybe it’s not the social media, but real life socializing. I’m not sure quite yet. I do know that I sometimes let the events of
other people’s lives bombard my visual space.
Once that happens I start feeling some kind of way. It’s weird.
Lol I’m sure I’m not making any
sense. Please bear with me. J I guess it’s a cross between comparing,
feeling like I’m missing out on something, thinking hmmmmn what happened to
that friendship, etc., etc., etc.
Really, Jocelynn? You feel that
way? You have a husband and a
child. You have a baby on the way. You’re in graduate school. You have very close relationships with both
your family and your husband’s family.
And YOU HAVE VERY CLOSE FRIENDS!
LOL I know. I know.
But do you see how peace can escape you with the click of a mouse? I’m going along just fine and them BAM! Here come the thoughts. The seeds.
My mind is a battlefield (also a great book by Joyce).
what do I do? Well, I grab the Word. I pray for Christ’s leading. I go where He takes me to get those thoughts
out. I also have to reset m
priorities. Sometimes I physically write
them down. Sometimes I speak them
allowed. It really depends on where I am
in the mental process.
My priorities are simply this:
1) Continuing to develop my relationship with Christ.Seeking His face, His will, His ways every day.Maturing in my praise and worship.Listening to God’s prompting – opening my
heart every day.Seeking my purpose in
Him as it changes in ways that I never planned or expected.Discovering ways to give while honoring my
2)Loving, supporting, and encouraging my husband.Learning my husband’s needs as they develop
over time.Growing in Christ as a
couple.Taking time to close off the
world, and just be each other’s world.Care for his heart.Pray for
peace as he leads our family according to Christ’s will – spiritual, personal,
3)Loving, raising, and educating my children in a way that is pleasing
to Christ.Learning who each of my
children are as individuals and encouraging their passions.Teaching them that Christ gave them their
passion.There does not have to be a
separation in the pursuit of their spiritual and passion fulfillments.Praying for their future – relationship with
Christ, schooling, finances, spouses.
4)Loving, supporting, and praying for my family.I have been blessed with an amazingly supportive family, both by blood
and by marriage.Supporting family by
spending time together.It’s not just
about the weddings, formal family reunions, and holiday get-togethers.It’s also about the random Saturday afternoon
couch lounging, kids screaming in the backyard.Praying for strong, healthy marriages.Praying for the destruction of generational curses.Praying for Jesus at the center of it all!
5)Loving, supporting, and praying for my friends.The Bible is clear that iron sharpens
iron.It is important to that I my
husband and I are surrounded by friends that are lifting us spiritually.Praying that God continue to touch the lives
of my friends so that we can pour into each other.Pray that God give us the discernment when
bringing new friends into our lives.Praying that God would give us the grace and the courage to release
friendships that are no longer healthy.
God has blessed me with so many
amazing priorities. Why do I get
distracted from them? Why would I want
to be worrying about anyone or anything else than what God has already given
me. I have been given the awesome
responsibility of being in the aforementioned people’s lives. I have to honor that by being fully engaged
in their lives, to the extent that is required based on their position on my
list of priorities. While there may only
be five priorities listed, those are some pretty hefty priorities. Why get distracted by things that are not on
the list? I don’t have time, and I will
most definitely run out of energy trying to fit unnecessary items on my list.
on your list?Do you struggle staying
focused on this list sometimes?
Great friendship is a flower that blooms in due season.
It is beautiful and fragrant.
It brightens your day each time you see it.
Just like a flower, friendships are delicate and can wither.
There is a strong desire to preserve and protect the greatest friendships.
You may need to prune and pluck, but the root is good.
A few weeks ago one of my very best friends contacted my husband to find out exactly where I could be so she could surprise me.
Over the past few years she has been a rock! We have prayed with each other through some amazingly painful times. More importantly, we prayed and celebrated with each other through some wonderfully amazing blessings. She was a prayer and accountability partner during my most painful time of spiritual growth. She has been a shoulder to cry on when I was disappointed or embarrassed. She was a shoulder to cry on when I was so excited to meet my husband. She has been a listening ear for so many years and I thank God for her.
During the many years that we have known each other we have had some really great times, but just like any beautiful flower, parts our our friendship had to change and die. As she and I become new creatures in Christ, as we live each day, we also have to hold each other accountable for the ugly things we see. God is so funny though. Before either of us had a significant other, our arguments and navigation through appropriate constructive criticism were great exercises in learning to effectively discuss matters with our spouses. God uses every opportunity to prepare you, if you let him, for the next step. Having good, God fearing friends who will hold you accountable without judging is super important.
So one evening Jonathon tells me he wants to take me to a bakery he just heard about. Now if you know me, you know I love sweets. So, I happily hopped in the car. As I surveyed the menu I heard someone say behind my back, "Ma'am have you decided what you want?" This was not the voice of the young lady behind the counter. LOL I turned around and just burst into tears. I'm so sappy sometimes, but I was just so happy to see my friend. I had just been telling her and Jonathon that I miss my friends. The fact that she rearranged her schedule to come see me meant everything! I am so blessed to have such an amazing friend. And she brought me a bouquet of my favorite flowers! :) :)
So many days my tongue gets carried away. Sometimes I don't even realize it until my husband gives me one of those looks like, "Um, you need to be quiet." Other times he'll tell me that I've said hurtful things either to him or to others.
So many days I want to pop on this blog and just rattle on about someone that I feel has done me wrong. I don't.
What is wrong with me? Why is it so difficult to control my tongue. Why am I so tempted to spout off? *sigh* I thank God I'm not as bad as I used to be, but I am definitely not where I need to be. As a wife, mother, former teacher, woman of God - I am in a position to speak life. Why do I choose, at times, to speak words that tear down instead? Well, I choose not to let the enemy win this battle. I want to speak light and life into my husband, my child, my family, my friends, and others whom I come in contact. Our words are a gift. Therefore, my friend and I have decided to read a book called, The Power of A Woman's Words by Sharon Jaynes. We are reading a chapter at a time and discussing them. I invite you to read this book as well, and share your thoughts. Maybe you and a few other women can read the book together, discuss and pray for each other. I encourage you to encircle yourself with women who will hold you accountable, not judge; women who will pray for the success of your spiritual life.
There are some movies that get me crying every time I see them. Forest Gump is one of those movies. I'm sure it sounds cheesy, but I'm serious. It just gets me. And now that I'm married and have a child and one on the way, I find myself crying even more. :) Silly. I know. I think I cry because it makes me think about the simple parts of life. The important parts of life - love, family, true friendship, peace. I mean, all I really want to do is love my God and my husband and raise our children together. I'm so blessed to have a love that is pure. After all the chaos and the storm, God brought me a man who would love me thru and thru. He's given me the sweetest baby. And Jonathon is the best Daddy. :)
I don't have the perfect life, but I have the perfect life for me. It's amazing how resting in God - trusting Him - can lead you to a life of happiness that you never imagined. It's the simple things that bring true happiness.
Thank you, Father for reminding me of this as I watched Forest Gump.
Yesterday I received my first Cytogam IV transfusion. This drug contains cytomegalovirus antibodies. The doctors are hoping that pumping my system with extra antibodies will reduce the likelihood or severity of transfer between myself and the baby. This drug is not 100% guaranteed to work. It is in fact still being tested in some research trials in Virginia. Although I would have qualified for the research trial I decided not to join because of the 50/50 chance I'd receive the placebo. If I'm going to do this, I'm getting the real thing! lol If however, you have the virus and are interested in obtaining information about the trial or drug you can contact Dr. Stuart Adler: http://www.cmvregistry.org/stuartadler.html He works out of Richmond, VA.
The entire process was not bad. My pharmacy had to receive a referral from the high risk doctor, place a special order, and then send the drug. The drug and supplies to administer the IV were sent to my home. A home health care nurse came by and gave me the transfusion. You can also go to the hospital to receive the infusion, but my insurance allows for a home nurse and I thought that would be more comfortable and convenient.
The entire transfusion took an hour and a half. The medicine was given slowly since it was the first time I received it. The nurse checked my blood pressure and temperature every fifteen minutes. Once the transfusion was complete, she packed up and I was able to continue on with my day. I did not experience any side effects from the medicine. My arm is a bit sore where the IV needle was placed, but that is to be expected.
Overall I was pleased with the experience. I am supposed to have the same transfusion once a month for the next few months.
That said, Jonathon and I are still walking in faith and wisdom. We just keep praying for God's guidance regarding this situation. When it's a God plan, He makes your path straight. There is no confusion. So, we forge on. :) I truly thank everyone for their support, kind words, and prayer. I am so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to share this journey for His glory.
During my pregnancy with Jace, "Love on Top" by Beyonce was my anthem. If you got into my car you heard "Love on Top" on repeat. While I was in labor, I danced and breathed through contractions to "Love on Top." Yep, it was a "Love on Top" kind of pregnancy. Jonathon and I were at a good place in our marriage. Jace was truly conceived in love...and a little wine. LOL I will admit that I didn't have the best hormonal attitude during that pregnancy, but Jonathon was still my rock. He never left my side; never stopped being a loving and supportive husband. He made my breakfast in the morning, packed my lunch and snacks for the day, and made sure dinner was ready when I got home from work and class at midnight. He went to EVERY prenatal appointment. He rushed to my job when I experienced preterm labor. When I needed him everything stopped! He was and is my rock. God, I am a lucky, lucky girl. Blessed with the most amazing husband.
So, I've been wondering what my anthem would be for this pregnancy. Yep yep, you heard me right. I am currently expecting baby #2! The prayers of the righteous availeth much. But y'all this has been a much more challenging pregnancy than my first. I was ill with Jace, but I'm down for the count most days with this one. I started my first trimester going to the hospital to get fluids for dehydration. I literally had to come stay with my parents because I don't have the energy to take care of my Jace. (I'm not complaining. I'm thanking God for a supportive family. No questions asked they have taken me back home to help me. It was a tough decision for Jonathon and I to make, but sometimes you have to make tough decisions.) The absolute icing on the cake was the news we received after the initial prenatal blood panel. Because I just recently stopped teaching they still wanted to test me for a few extra things. One of those things is a virus called Cytomegalovirus (CMV). It is actually a very common virus. The average adult has probably had it and not known. It has silent symptoms that your body works to defeat. Contracting this virus only becomes a problem in pregnancy. It is one of those viruses that can pass through the placenta and cause birth defects. Upon hearing this news Jonathon and I were both confused and devastated. We searched for information about the virus, talked to my brother in law (he's in medical school), and finally saw a high risk doctor. But you know what? God is good. After the initial shock, Jonathon and I have both been experiencing a crazy peace. We're just not worrying about something that God has in control. Whatever the outcome, God has already given us the strength as a COUPLE and as a FAMILY to handle it. And this morning we are ROARING! This morning we are not going to let this get us down. We are champions created in the image of God. We put full faith in Him. God's ways are far above ours. He has blessed us with one amazing son, and we are thankful that he has trusted us to parent another amazing child. I'm ROARING this morning! I won't stop until the Devil knows that he can't have a victory by causing me or my husband to fear. We have faith! So I believe my anthem for this pregnancy will be "Roar" by Katy Perry. I've honestly never listened to much of her music, but when I heard this song on Good Morning America a couple weeks ago, I knew.
Roar with me! Stand in agreement with us. Let the Devil know that we are champions! He will hear us ROAR!
"Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals." (NLT)