Sacrificing the Snooze

I’ve walked with Jesus long enough to know that choosing Him means He is always present. Even when I hit the snooze button, pray a minute and fall back asleep. On my walk with Him thus far, I have also learned that I will always need Him. Especially, when my alarm goes off and I have never been as cozy in my bed as I am in that moment. And by the way, why is it that the sweet spot in your bed is nonexistent on the weekends?

I’m not much of a morning person. Over the last couple of years, I have really tried to overcome this aversion. For those of you that know me well, and are shaking your heads, remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint, people. I love the the idea of getting up early and rising early is not the issue. I just haven’t mastered the art being able to “people” for at least an hour post waking. I need a shower, a cup of coffee, and at least 30 minutes with Jesus before I can fully function. So, this means I gotta get out of bed. However, the purpose, for me at least, of getting up earlier than required isn’t so I can interact with people. The reason my soul longs for early mornings is because that it is a time of day when I can devote my attention completely to the Lord. I can sit in the quiet, watch the sun rise, read my Bible and pray. Most importantly, I can listen. I don’t even generally attempt to venture out of the bed before I have talked to God a few minutes. Honestly, jumping up and rushing into my day never ever goes well. I need a clear sense of direction. I need to communicate with my Creator. And yes, I pray at various times throughout the day. For me, praying is like breathing or eating. But I have discovered that the morning is sacred. If you haven’t ever met with Jesus early in the morning, I encourage you to give it a try. It changes the course of your morning, it changes the course of your entire day.

For many years in my late twenties and early thirties I felt a pressing on my heart to get up early and meet with the Lord. I won’t say I ignored it, because I acknowledged it. I just quenched it with excuses. Mostly, “I’m not a morning person.” and “I spend time with the Lord, it doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning.” And so, it saddens me to admit but I missed so many opportunities to make God the first priority of my day. And still now sometimes, I choose my flesh and I hit that snooze button (multiple times, is there a support group for this problem?). And let me tell you, those days don’t get off to the best start and I miss out on sitting quietly with the Savior of my soul.

So, if you continually find yourself stressed out in the morning, sacrifice a little sleep to sit with the Savior. Sacrifice the snooze button. Tell Him that you woke early just to be with Him. Tell Him about the busy day you have ahead, ask Him to go ahead of you. Tell Him about how tired you are and ask Him for an anointing of energy for the day. Pray over your children, pray over your spouse, pray over your co-workers. Just pray.

But first, just thank Him for waking you up. Thank Him that His mercies are new every morning. He woke you up. If you can’t think of anything else to talk to Him about, just thank Him that He woke you up and ask Him what you can do to glorify Him as the day unfolds. Then, just sit at His feet and listen. I promise you the peace and comfort this brings cannot compare to the short-lived coziness the snooze button brings.

I hope you have a great evening and set your clock just a little early for tomorrow morning. Even if you hit the snooze button, talk to Jesus, and fall back asleep, you’re making progress…baby steps. Let me know how your day goes.

Love in Christ,


What Did You Learn?

It’s a new year. I have been praying about 2018 for months now. Asking God for the vision, the word, the rest of the plan, really just anything to help me gain insight for the path 2018 will take me through. He’s been pretty silent on that. I thought I would have it by News Years Eve. (I laugh in spite of myself. Does God shake His head when we give Him deadlines?) New Years Day came and went. Everyone is sharing their “word” for 2018. I am seeing them everywhere and feeling a little let down. So I prayed, and asked God for some direction. I feel stuck, Lord. I got no reply. So, on January 11th as I got up early for my quiet time I thought well…maybe I am distracted, unfocused. So that morning I spent some time with the Lord, and I realized I was distracted by my pursuit of this “vision”.

I didn’t really feel inadequate because I did not have some grand “motto” for 2018. Honestly, I just like to have direction. I have some goals for this year and I really want to make sure I stay on track. I flipped through my prayer journal and found a quote from St. Padre Pio I has jotted down quite a while back.

“The devil is like a rabid dog tied to a chain; beyond the length of the chain he cannot seize anyone. And you: Keep at a distance. If you approach too near, you let yourself be caught. Remember that the devil has only one door by which to enter the soul: the will.”

I read it about three times and then I realized that I had found what God was speaking to me months ago… again. Have you ever had to learn a lesson over again? This usually happens because we didn’t learn the first time, or the second, (and thank God He is long suffering) even the third time. God is patient, and gracious, and full of mercy. But the truth is when we get stuck, when we are like the Israelites, wandering, complaining, it is because we have our eyes on something besides the Lord. So, could it be that the reason I could not really get a clear vision for 2018 is because I have a few things I need to work on?

Most of us, given a choice would never get too close to a rabid dog. Most of us, don’t even like to think we would intentionally get too close to sin. But, let me tell you something, we get about as close as we possibly can without getting bit. Then, when sin snaps at us, perhaps even takes a bite, we stand wounded, bleeding, and blame the rabid dog. I think this happens a lot with invisible sin. The ugly things deep within that others cannot see, bitterness, envy, terrible attitudes and all those other icky things we can cover up. (most of the time)

When we began to justify these things we are getting way too close to the dog on the chain. We make excuses. We say it’s the dog’s fault.

I made this declaration almost 2 weeks ago that this year I would not be blaming things on the devil. I have almost done it 2 or 3 times, but I have stopped myself. Yes, I still pray against his interferences, but I refuse to acknowledge every setback and every little thing that goes wrong as an opportunity to blame the enemy. I have stepped back and I am closing the door on that for 2018. The truth is that I have the choice as to whether or not I “take the bait” every single time. I am trying to stay focused on the fact that anything that makes it to me needs divine permission from my Heavenly Father, so maybe, no definitely-if I find myself in the midst of something that is trying to hinder me; it might be a good idea to remember that fact. So, instead of blaming the enemy and using it as a crutch to not search my own heart, I am going to search my own heart first, and see, if there is something I need to learn.

When we continually shift blame for everything to the enemy of our soul, he wins. If you are blaming the devil you certainly are not being accountable for your own shortcomings and this is a very dangerous place to trod. No, I don’t always blame the enemy for everything. And yes, sometimes it is completely an attack from the enemy. But that is not always the case. I frequently ask God to help me “clean out my closet” of junk and shortcomings. But I believe that some of that stuff gets pushed way back in the back and we just don’t deal with some of the things we need to deal with. Maybe it’s your attitude, maybe it’s your circumstances, maybe it’s just easier to say, “it’s the devil”, than admit it is you.

And yes…I certainly have been through this before, but it would appear that I didn’t really learn everything He wanted me to learn. So here’s to 2018 and here’s to a 2019 post that doesn’t have me learning this lesson again. So, good Lord willing at the end of this year I can ask myself “What did you learn”? And the answer will be, “exactly what He needed me to learn”.


He is _______.

I used to blog a little years ago. But never really about things that were really personal to me. I am actually only sharing this now because God has weighed heavily on my heart to do so. I have been in much prayer and even now I hesitate. However, my heart wishes to be obedient to the God who has been so good to me.

Not too long ago, I was driving into town. I was listening to the radio and enjoying the bright, sunny day. There was a vehicle in front of me and another one following behind me. I drove on in between the two for several miles without noticing much about either of the two. As I continued on I realized that the vehicle in front of me was actually a hearse. I really do not care for the sight of these particular vehicles for obvious reasons along with several personal ones. However, I continued driving behind it and looked in my rearview just to check behind me. The car that was behind me was actually much closer than it had been earlier and I was able to see it well. It was a police car, but not just any police car, one of “those” police cars, from his department. I took a deep breath (I see these all the time and most of the time I just look away). But I actually thought to myself “Seriously, am I really driving down the road between these two?”. I tried to just focus on the road and think about something else, because truthfully, I don’t really like thinking about what happened. It was really such a nice day, just the right amount of blue sky and puffy clouds. The farther I drove the more I began to think about another sunny day. Except this day was hot and miserable.

On that day I was riding along behind a hearse. There was a procession of police cars escorting that hearse, though, with lights flashing. I couldn’t stop crying that day, as much as I tried. I began to think about the moment he died, the day we buried him, the 21 gun salute, and the Chief walking over and handing me a perfectly folded triangular American flag. I began to think about the uncertainty of what would lie ahead and if I would be able to ever feel okay about any of it. I remembered all of that like it was yesterday, except for one thing. It didn’t hurt like it was yesterday. It didn’t hurt the way I was afraid it would always hurt that day.

As I drove that day behind that hearse many years later, I realized that other than the few, tiny tears forming in my eyes and the lump in my throat. I was actually…okay. I couldn’t remember the last time I thought in detail about that day but I felt as if this was a perfect moment to once again glorify God for bringing me to this place. The truth is we are better than okay. I have watched and felt God do a miraculous work in my life since that sad day full of loss. He has carried me many steps and walked with me as well. I remember not long after that funeral telling Him I didn’t want to be sad and I didn’t see how I could do it on my own. I remember His still small voice within my spirit whisper “No, you can’t, but we can.” The fact that I am happy and peaceful says absolutely nothing about me. But it speaks volumes about the grandeur of the God I serve. I am able to overcome trials because He overcame the world. I can dwell in peace, joy, and hope because He is peace, joy, and hope. I enjoy a blessed life full of love, happiness, and a grateful heart because He is restoration. He is love. I can accept loss because with Jesus nothing is ever truly lost.

I realized as I drove on along and the hearse turned off onto another road that God was indeed winking at me that day. He was showing me yet again that as we journey through life sometimes those we love take another road. We don’t follow them and we don’t always like that their part in the journey leads them down another path. Especially when the path is one from which they don’t return. But He is enough to make things better than okay. He is enough. He is life. He understands that we will hurt, but He sees the value in hurting, even when we cannot. We never know what life will bring, but He does. He has written our story from beginning to end. He knows. He sees. He comforts. I am so thankful that He never leaves me and He will never leave you.

I am reminded often that God has a handle on everything that concerns His children. He will remind me gently whenever I get worried or stressed about something that seems big and even things that aren’t so big. His eye is on the sparrow.

No matter what we should never fret about anything because He is ____________. Just fill in the blank with whatever your heart needs.

Love in Christ, Cassie