God’s Plan for Us has Not Changed

I pray that all are safe and healthy. The state of this world right now, may be causing us a little stress, anxiety and uncertainty. However, I believe that many of us may be in places where we really do NOT want to be, but may I suggest that we are just where God needs us to be … because God has a uniquely designed plan for each of us. Our message comes from the Book of Jeremiah, verses 10-14 (KJV). I hope that this message will inspire and encourage you.

10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

Most times, we single out verse 11, but today let’s put it in context, by looking at the backstory. Starting with Jeremiah 27:22 KJV, God says, They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the Lord; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place. God told Jeremiah to tell ALL the nations of Israel, good and bad about His plan & it was non-negotiable. I believe that God will use whatever He feels necessary to move us out of our comfort zone and into our purpose that He has ordained for us...a pandemic though!?!?

Point # 1 – Flourish & Be Blessed in ALL situations

Beginning in Jeremiah 29:5, God says now while you are in captivity in Babylon, I want you to Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;  He tells them to marry and have children and then He goes on to say in verse 7, Seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. We should set aside that quiet time to seek the peace of God that passeth ALL understanding that will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7 (paraphased)

Point # 2 – We have an Expected End

Jeremiah 29:11, The Message translation says, I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 2020 did not catch God by surprise! 

Point # 3 – Worship is a Command

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13 KJV … We should take the time to worship God for Who is and to thank Him for what He’s already done. Not only praying for God to just fix things, but to ask Him what He needs us to do.

When we go through tough situations, it is to remind us that God is God. In Isaiah 55:8 (paraphased), He says, as far as the heaven is from the earth are my thoughts from your thoughts and my ways from your ways. We just need to stop trying to figure God out.  What He does is just not going to make sense! If we would truly trust God with our whole heart and lean not on our understanding, acknowledging Him in ALL our ways and He will direct our paths [and decisions]. Proverbs 3:5-6 (paraphrased) … even when we are tired, discouraged, uncertain and even stressed, God is Still God and He’s with us every step of the way (Read Psalm 91).

There’s not only a MIRACLE after this, there’s a MIRACLE in this, no matter what your “this” looks like. 

God’s plans for us have not changed!

God’s Grace

Knowing that God has Blessed us WAY beyond measure, I’ve cried a lot this past week, although my immediate family is safe & healthy. God has had to keep reminding me that He had the solution before there was a problem(s). So I’m TRUSTING Him with my whole heart and leaning not on my understanding (reasoning), Acknowledging Him in ALL my ways and He’s directing my paths (my decisions) and Ordering my Steps! I know that although it may not be easy right now, I’m listening to the Holy Spirit and will continue to seek Him for Grace, Comfort and Direction to walk as God would have us to walk! I believe that God is miraculously parting the waters and we will walk across on dry land….

god-grace-Ram in the Bush

DeClutter Your Mind

Last year, Order Your Steps hosted an absolutely AWESOME workshop entitled “DeClutter Your Mind” and as I was going through our videos, this particular message “Silencing the Noise” by Jewelle Daquin is so appropriate to help us to cope with our challenges of today.

(Please note:  We are not videographers, so you may have to turn up the volume. )

My Grown Daughters Conspired with the Governor of Maryland

I pray that all are safe and healthy!

Disclaimer:  Before you judge me for being reckless and irresponsible please read the whole story.  😀

My story begins about a month ago.  The crisis of the Coronavirus was in the news and like many people, my fear that  I had contracted the disease was very real.  I contacted my doctor via text and shared my symptoms.  Since there was no fever or cough, she put me a ease but said that I should stay home because I’m over 60.  In the meantime, my grown daughters were saying “Mom, Stay Home!”.  I didn’t know tat the time that they were plotting to put me on House Arrest (remember that movie) and lock me in the basement until I came to my senses!  :-/

So when did I find out about the conspiracy… Wait, I’m getting to that.  A week later, I contacted my doctor again and scheduled an appointment, in hopes of being able to continue to work.  As a professional organizer, my sessions are one on one and very seldom are other people in the house.  Interestingly, the Lord kept opening doors and more clients were coming in.  In my heart of hearts, I knew that the Lord would protect me and close the doors when necessary.  Ultimately, my doctor gave me the ok to continue working, with specific precautionary measures to be in place, which I followed.  However, this wasn’t good enough for my daughters.

Understanding that my daughters love me and were very concerned about me, I decided to take off the week of March 30 for vacation, to appease them, I thought?!  But guess what happened, on that very same day, the Governor of Maryland announced the Stay at Home Order for the state.  Coincidence? I think not!   My daughters conspired with the governor and yes, I’ve been home every since.  It has definitely been an adjustment and I still have moments of uncertainty, especially with regards to our financial situation, but the Lord has always taken care of us.

Easter concept 2020. Vase with birch tree branches with Easter eggs and frame with slogan - Stay at Home, Save Lives.

In all seriousness, we must maintain our spiritual health -and- our physical health.  We will continue to pray for this world and all those families that are affected by this disease. A Special Prayer for our health care professionals, first responders, law enforcement, etc. We must follow the instructions and directions of the Center on Disease Control (CDC) and our state officials in order to safeguard our physical health and that of our families.

From a spiritual perspective, I’m reminded that when it seemed impossible, the children of Israel crossed a great body of water, first the Red Sea and then the Jordan River, ON DRY LAND!  Our situation looks bleak right now, with seemingly no end in sight, but I believe that the Lord is going to part the waters and we are going to emerge on the other side of this, even better that we were when we began this extremely difficult journey in the wilderness.

And there they stood; those priests carrying the Chest of the Covenant stood firmly planted on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground. Finally the whole nation was across the Jordan, and not one wet foot.  Joshua 3:17 MSG

He is risen.

Stay Tuned for my next post when I talk about growing “older” with grown daughters and how our responsibilities change.

The Birth Your Dream Event Series Backstory

MP FB event cover 505x266As you may or may not know, the Lord has had me in a season of obedience, since 2018.  In May, I hosted my first Ordering Your Steps (OYS) women’s workshop, entitled “A Mother’s Perspective”.  I must admit that it was a struggle initially, because being who I am, I wanted to control all the details and I had my own expectation of the outcome.  However, my lesson in obedience required just the opposite.  I had to listen to the Lord’s direction and allow Him again to Order My Steps!  Let’s just stay that the event was very interesting.  In my eyes, I can’t honestly say it was successful, but I am confident that it was just what God had planned.   In September of the same year, I began writing Order, Organize & Obedience, another very interesting experience, one I’ll never forget.  Ultimately, what God revealed to me, had nothing to do with the book itself.

DYM graphic 800x800-02In 2019, my 2nd Annual OYS event, “DeClutter Your Mind” was absolutely AMAZING!!  This time, I found it much, much easier, just to let God do what He does best.  He orchestrated every moment, from the idea to the event itself.   The Lord began to show me more and more about how the overall mission of Order Your Steps is evolving into more than just the opportunity to minister to individuals one on one, but to have the opportunity to reach women in many other areas of life.

Then around the middle of last year, I was asked to accept the position of president of our Business and Professional Women’s Federation (BPWF) for the DC Jurisdiction of our church.  The mission of the BPWF is to strive to provide business minded women with an opportunity to put their professional abilities to work to achieve their dreams and God-given purpose.  This was right in line with what the Lord has shown me as He expands my role as owner of Order Your Steps, to reach even more women.

door lightIt was shortly after my appointment that I was listening to a message by Bishop T.D. Jakes.  He was talking about how the Lord will show us our dream or purpose, but we must do the work to achieve it.  “The Door is Open but You Gotta PUSH”!  He used the analogy of a woman giving birth and although the womb in open, we must push really hard to birth our baby.  By the same token, we must push really hard to birth our dream.  The Lord continued to impress upon me to share with my audience, who are primarily women, the idea of putting forth all of our efforts, through the pain, frustration or disappointments, to birth what He has put in us.

BirthDream-01

As a result of the Lord’s prompting, in April, we will host our 3rd Annual Ordering Your Steps Women’s Workshop, entitled “Birth Your Dream”.  This workshop will focus on tapping into our God Given gifts and talents that just waiting to burst through, those things that God has put in us that are waiting to be birthed.  Whether a promotion, a thriving ministry, starting a new business, etc., we must acknowledge the Lord as the true owner of our career, business or ministry and view ourselves as just a steward over it.   We want this event to spar and ignite the participants to take at least one step closer to their goal, dream and purpose.

In January, 2020, I was reading my daily devotional from the Spirit of Prophecy bulletins by Marsha Burns and this is what it said:

Expansion is the order of this season.  You can reach higher, go deeper and search wider to know Me more intimately and to accomplish that what is set before you, says the Lord.  Refuse to allow a sense of not being capable to cripple your efforts.  Go forth with courage and expectation.

Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.”

Once I read this, I soon realized that what began as one event, would become a three-event series.  Again, the Lord has orchestraed every moment according to His plan.  Therefore, in the works is a July 18th “Live Your Dream” networking event, which will be an opportunity for all current and potential entrepreneurs to get to know each other.  This will be a chance for us to share our successes and lessons learned.  It is critical that we support each other and not compete with one another. We are much better together!  Then on October 10, we will host the BPWF Women’s Conference entitled “Pursue Your Dream”.  Stay tuned for the AMAZING details that are evolving as we speak

We are sooooo super excited about what the Lord is doing through us.  We will keep you posted as we proceed.  Tickets for our Birth Your Dream April event will go on sale on February 15th, in only two more days.  You don’t want to miss it!  We hope to see you there…