Inspiration

Priority #1

Do you know what our first priority is? To love God.

Not try harder or work harder or strive to get it right to be enough for Him. Just simply love Him. It’s all He ever wants from us. Really. Just love Him.

Like a little child loves a parent. They don’t work hard at it. They just love. They trust us to take care of their needs. Their hearts respond to our love. It’s easy for them and they don’t have to do a darn thing. Just be.

And that is one of the hardest things for a people-pleaser like me. But notice I said people pleaser. Not God pleaser. In order to please God we just have to love Him with our whole heart.

Funny how when we do that, He directs us. He teaches us how to love others and even ourselves. He shows us what is important and what needs our attention. He teaches us how to love HIM.

And he directs us to go to Him and rest. Just love Him. Rest in Him. Just be. And He is delighted with us. Wow! So freeing.

 

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message Bible

 

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

For those of you who want more, I found this beautifully written devotional while researching scripture: The Father’s Love Letter

 

Blessings, my friends!

Passionista Mimi

Inspiration

You Can’t Carry It All, My Friend

Happy Sunday morning. I just wanted to share something with you.

I was praying for the babies and also for the essential workers that people have given me, praying for their protection, peace, health, and safety of their families. Nothing unusual about that. But this morning I felt an additional burden, that I wanted to just carry all of these precious people, and it felt a bit overwhelming.

As a highly-sensitive person, I do sense things very deeply, and my heart cries out to keep these people safe. I want to wrap my arms around all of them. But it’s a very heavy load to carry. Don’t get me wrong, I am so very honored to do this. But what I have to remember, as do YOU, we CAN’T carry these kinds of burdens. God carries them for us.

As I was pondering this, I saw the picture I’ve drawn of me holding all the babies, and then God’s hands cradling me, wrapped around us all. HE is carrying the people I’m praying for. I wish I were an artist. Cuz it was the neatest picture.

I know that God carries our burdens, goodness I’ve known for a long time. I’ve written in my blog about it, I’ve talked to others about it, I’ve even sung about it.

Sometimes I forget. I take it all on myself.

Have you been doing this?

Taking all the burdens of the world, your family, your safety, your future onto yourself? As if you can make everything work all by yourself?

I’m here to tell you that it’s a huge burden, and leads to stress and burnout.

I’m so blessed and thankful that I can call on the name of Jesus and trust in my heavenly Father to take these burdens. My responsibility is to pray and lift them before His throne, asking in Jesus’ name. HE does the rest.

Really cool visual, huh?

Be blessed, my friends.

Passionista, Mimi

Honest, Keepin' It Real, Mimi's Messages

Quit Yer Yappin’ And Pray!

Fear divides us. And I know that there are so many things that cause fear right now. I’m not down-playing the dire situation our world is in. But honestly, how does it help us to bash people, to write ugly comments about our leaders, to become hateful about certain people?

Y’all, our strongest weapon is prayer! God is the source of our strength, our faith, and our love. And He is the One who will bring an end to this virus. It IS scary. Do I worry? Sometimes. Do I doubt? Sometimes. But do I pray? All the time.

Did you know that you can keep up a steady stream of communication with God as you go throughout your day? You do not have to “assume the position” on your knees or with hands clasped. You can position your heart toward God. He has promised to be listening and waiting. He is a wonderful, attentive listener.

I like to focus part of my prayers (actually most) on thankfulness, because it really clears my mind and puts things into perspective. Perhaps you think it’s easier for me because I have food and shelter, and my family is healthy. My heart goes out to those of you who are heartbroken and struggling. It really does, and if I could help you, believe me I would.

So your thankfulness may sound more like this, “Thank you God for your love. Thank you for dying for me so I have the hope of a joyful life here on earth, and the promise of being with you when I die. Thank you for the sacrifice of your son, so I may become a child of yours. Thank you for the air I breathe, the beautiful world you created, the sun and rain, and the peace you bring to my heart.”

As I go throughout my day, my heart is turned toward God. I ask Him for wisdom dealing with my kids. I ask Him to provide for us financially. I ask Him to turn my worry into faith in His provision. And I ask Him to protect the mamas and unborn babies He has assigned me to pray for.

I thank Him for my washer and dryer. I thank Him that my children can tell me they love me. I thank Him for you, my readers, and ask that my words will touch and help someone’s heart.

Y’all, this whole blog thing is for YOU. It is an outpouring of love, and my desire to help.

So I do pray for my readers. Consider yourself blessed. 🙂 

And if the shoe fits…….try a little less yappin’ and a little more praying.

All said in love.

Passionista Mimi

Inspiration

Does God Know Me?

Do you ever feel as if God doesn’t know you, doesn’t even see you? That you are just floundering around down here, trying to make this crazy life work?

Well, dear friend, I’m here to tell you that God’s word tells us again and again that God does know us and that He wants to have a relationship with us.

Whatever you may believe about God is yours. I believe He is the Creator and made the earth and all things therein. Which makes it even more phenomenal that He knows us, personally, every one!

He is the God who formed and named the starsHow much more important are we, the people He loves with His life?

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” Psalm 147:4

We must trust that God knows our name.

Then when we “come boldly before the throne” we know that we have the right to be there.

We are not a stranger to God. He formed us, has marked our days, and eagerly waits for us to come to Him. 

“So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.” Isaiah 30:18 

I find great comfort in knowing that God knows me. He created me exactly the way I’m supposed to be, and I don’t throw Him any surprises. My abilities, my strengths, and the desires of my heart were fashioned by His hand. 

The psalmist David said it this way:

“You created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

And Jeremiah wrote that God told him, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5

I realize I’m giving you a lot of scripture, but it’s important to know that I’m not just making this up from my gut feelings. God’s written word is an important way that we can know Him. And if God told one person that He knew him while he was in his mother’s womb, it applies to all of us humans. God created us.

You can be confident that God cares about you. God listens to you, He longs for you to love Him and spend time with Him. He will be found by you.

You only need to turn to Him, embrace Him as your heavenly Father. Your Creator. And know that He loves you with an everlasting, unconditional, deep-as-the-ocean love.

And that He has redeemed you and called you by name. Does this realization bring you comfort? Is it hard to realize? Is it tough to wrap your brain around such an impossibility?

Ask God to show you, to burn it deeply within your spirit. Ask for faith, wisdom, the ability to accept God’s amazing love. For He is the One Who gave His life for you, to redeem you, so you can dwell with Him. And be comforted by Him.

He already knows your name and who you are. You are not a stranger to Him.

Just ask Him.

Let me know if I can be of any help to you. 

Much love,

Passionista Mimi

 

More verses for you:

“Look to the heavens; who created all of these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by nameBecause of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26

“Fear not, I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

 

Inspiration

Grow In The Dark!

Your our first glance at this picture probably made your brain go, “Waaaat?”

Well, yes, it is quite the strange photo. But it does speak a thousand words…if you are like me and see stories in everything.

Here’s what I saw: like these crazy Allium bulbs–that were in bags in a dark place–we can grow in spite of the dark times around us.

These bulbs somehow “flipped a switch” that said it was time to grow. (Don’t you just love how the Creator did that?!) And grow they did. Imagine my surprise! (And chagrin, that I had not been a good Gardener Mama and planted them in the fall.)

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands

in moments of comfort and convenience,

but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. 

Martin Luther King Jr.

So here’s the thing. Even though the COVID-19 virus that is ravaging our world is causing so much fear, stress, inconvenience, loss, grief, sorrow, and uncertainty, there are incredible things happening that demonstrate how adversity creates growth.

Creativity: some amazing displays of solutions in regards to social distancing . Examples are how loved ones are seeing their family members through windows, of how schools are doing online learning for the first time, teachers creating classes for their students, businesses working from home and holding Zoom meetings. The list goes on, this just names a few.

Empathy and compassion: people are going beyond their own convenience and needs to help others. Taking supplies and food to people, giving of their own items to help someone, and making meals for children, again, just a few.

Strength: oh my goodness, can I just say that our “essential workers” are super heroes?!! But so are you! The inner strength–the reserves you didn’t know you had–that you’ve had to draw from in order to endure is amazing!

Gratitude: all over the world people are showing their gratitude for the people who are working in the trenches, for what neighbors have done for them, for the ability to obtain supplies, and many other things. A couple of the ways that many are showing their gratitude is by painting signs and putting hearts in their windows. 

New self-awareness: I don’t know about you, but this whole pandemic has a tendency to bring out the uglies in me! I’m not happy about it, but it sure does put me on my knees before the One who can change me. It’s only Jesus in me that will help me change. But also, I have had time to spend in prayer and seeking Him that I haven’t had before. I am always driven by the need to “do”, but now I can just “be” without any feeling of guilt. It’s a beautiful thing and I will miss that. Maybe I can hang on to it.

Closeness to God: this whole pandemic has proven how easily things can get out of our control, and has brought a fresh realization that our only help and strength is from the Lord.

These are just briefly some of the ways I’ve observed how people are growing and rising to the occasion, doing things they never have before, looking outside of themselves, and learning to endure.

Some of us are being tested for the first time in our lives. And we don’t like it one bit, thank you very much! However, testing does produce strength. Just ask someone who has had to endure hardship.

And we do have these promises from God’s Word:

“Suffering produces endurance (fortitude, strength), and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I pray that you will be able to grow during these dark times.

Be like Allium…GROW in the DARK!!

Love and hugs,

Passionista

If you’d like to read about my own growth during hard times you can check out here and here. And to read what I wrote about strength read this.

 

 

 

Mimi's Messages

Praying For The Babies

On March 20, 2020, as I was spending time with God, praying against the COVID-19 virus that was overtaking the world and now our country, I felt led to start praying for the unborn babies and the mamas who carried them. I put on my Facebook page that I was doing this, and if they knew anyone who was pregnant let me know. Well, that list has now grown to 105 babies! Eleven have been born during this time and they are all healthy. No virus!

But besides these eleven miracles, here is what else is happening. (God does not waste an opportunity!)

*“Warrior Women” are uniting to pray for these babies.

*It’s bringing us together, creating a connection between us.

*We are focusing on others, not on the virus, and on something positive, rather than negative.

*We are being reminded daily that there are “others” out there and we are not alone.

*It is giving us hope, and it is wonderful to focus on new life.

*And it is helping our own spirit to pray for someone else, to have a purpose.

I know that even in the best of circumstances sometimes babies are born with problems. But by faith I am asking God that these will be healthy, that they will be protected from the virus, that their mamas will feel peace and calm, that all of their physical needs will be met, and that there will be joy in the home and family.

I am not telling this story to bring any notice to myself. I am truly honored to do this. And thankful I have the time, as I am sequestered at home these weeks.

I’m sharing this because you may want to do the same thing. And as usual, God intended this prayer focus for more than what I thought it would be. That’s God’s economy. 

If you do start a prayer focus like this, PLEASE let me know.

I pray that you are well, and the ones you love are safe and well also. Let’s unite in praying for our country and world.

Many blessings and hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

THE WHY:
Rather than make this post too long, I put this part here so if you are tired of reading you can quit now.  But maybe you want to read something about me, personally, so here goes:

In 1993 I believe that God told me I’d have a ministry with babies. You see, He had given me a passion—not just a liking or enjoyment—but a passion for newborn babies. If there was a baby in the room, I was the one who ended up holding it, and most likely feeding and rocking it to sleep. So this “nudging” really isn’t unusual.  

In the last decades, I have been honored to pray over pregnant mamas and their unborn. It is always a delight! I had never birthed any children, but the passion for infants never left me. It led me to become a foster parent, so I could receive infants from the hospital until their adoptive family could take them (moms had twenty-one days to consider before it was final).  I had my own ideas of what this meant, but of course, God had His purpose in mind. I envisioned my doing this over the summer in between teaching. Hahahaha!

And so my adoptive journey began when I fostered two precious babies, starting with the first in 2000 and the second in 2001. I was married at the time, and we believed (after a LOT of prayer and consideration on my part!) that it was God’s plan for us to adopt these at-risk children in 2002. Little did I know that over the next eight years I’d become a single mom, and then, tragically, end up parenting completely on my own. I also didn’t know they were special-needs children.

People tell me this is my “calling”. Honestly, I believe every parent has a calling; to be the best mom or dad they can be, to provide all the love and nurturing their children need, to be an excellent role model, and to love with their whole hearts. (Side note—it’s been said that babies do not come with an owner’s manual. Amen to that! And there’s nothing like trying it at age 48 with a newborn who doesn’t sleep, followed by another one the next year who didn’t either—or eat!)

True to His faithfulness, and that He equips those whom He calls, God has provided strength, wisdom, energy, and a closeness with Him I’d never had (funny how reaching the end of ourselves puts us at His feet!). He will do the same for you. And that’s another story for later.

Supporting verses:

 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“God is able to make all grace abound in you so that having everything you need, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Cor. 9:8

“May the God of peace equip you with everything good for doing his will.” Hebrews 13:21

Inspiration

Illuminate Our Hearts

“I pray that the light of God will illuminate

the eyes of your imagination (innermost heart)

flooding you with light,

until you experience the full revelation of

the hope of His calling.

I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness

of God’s power made available to you through faith. 

Then your lives will be an advertisement

of this immense power as it works through you.” 

Ephesians 1:18-19 The Passion Translation

Our imaginations are truly limited. We have so many filters in place that restrict our belief. But God…

He’s not limited by us. Thank goodness!

Ask God to show you His glory.

Ask God to shine His light into your heart.

Ask God to help you see His power, the same power that rose Jesus from the dead, that same power that is available to us though our faith in Him. 

I love the last sentence! I want to “be an advertisement” of God’s power at work in my life. Don’t you?

Inspiration

God Please Do It Again!

Our world cries out for God’s touch! Now is the time to storm the gates of heaven,

worship our God, and petition His throne for a mighty move on the earth.

This song helps me do that. 

God please do it again.

I’m praying for our nation and the world. Won’t you sing with me?

Click on this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOBIPb-6PTc 

 

Do It Again Elevation Worship

Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet.

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet.

I know the night won’t last
Your Word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus, You’re still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again.

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed.

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed.

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again.

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again.

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again.

I’ll see You do it again
Oh-oh

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed.

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet.

And You never failed me yet
I never will forget
You never failed me yet
And I never will forget

Thank you,

Much love and prayers,

Mimi

Inspiration

Are You Tired? Afraid? Heavy?

 

Jesus says,”Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28 The Message Bible

 

 

Raw Honest Brave

God Is The Great “Recycler”

Okay, so this post is very open and raw. I have made myself vulnerable in order to reach you. I’m telling another part of my story. I believe that God wants to use all of our experiences as a way to connect with–and maybe bring hope to–another person’s heart. I’m really glad that He does that. It makes the rotten stuff worth a lot more. Let me begin…

Sometimes we just feel like garbage. I’m not talking about when we are sick and our bodies feel “trashed”. What I mean is how we fell when someone degrades us, or we can’t accomplish something we have worked really hard at. Or when we realize that we have screwed up big time. Or we disappoint someone whom we love deeply. Everyone feels this way at some time(s) in their life.

However, when abuse has been a building block of a person’s life, like mine, “feeling like trash” persistently winds its way through our lives, intertwining our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and affecting our quality of life.

Pictures7

Abuse can tear away at our spirit, making us vulnerable to lies. It can crumble and deteriorate self-confidence. It can take away our sense of worth and purpose. Basically, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse will change our quality of life. Forever.

My sexual abuse happened when I was very young. Like many, I showed the classic signs of being abused, but didn’t realize it until I was in my forties. In the early 1990s–before we became aware of statistics revealing that one in four girls will suffer abuse by their eighteenth birthdaya sexual abuse case happened within our church membership. It really tilted our world! This was before the internet explosion, with check lists and resources for those who had been abused. And many of us who had been were living in ignorance, or denial. 

Because our congregation was totally unprepared to deal with the chaos and ravaged emotions this abuse case caused, we hosted an all-day seminar to educate us on how to work through it. During the seminar I began to realize I had shown behaviors indicating abuse in my own life. This often happens to those victims who have suppressed memories as they begin to learn about sexual abuse.  I remembered some rather disturbing interactions with family members. I acknowledged my promiscuity, and the careless attitude toward sex. I realized that my need for attention and the feelings of never being enough could be rooted in sexual abuse, as could my low self-esteem and dislike of myself. Like I said, abuse will intertwine all aspects of our lives. And quite honestly, I fell apart. My tightly-held-together-world began crumbling.

The good news? (Yes there is good news.) It’s possible to find hope and healing. Not in a day or two. Maybe not in a year or two. It’s been a process (how I came to hate that word), removing the effects of abuse layer by layer. I needed to completely reprogram my brain to stop believing the lies (I’m worthless, used up, can’t be good enough, no one will want me like this, I’m garbage, I’m ugly) and believe truth instead (I’m created for a purpose, full of worth, I’m a priceless treasure, I’m more than enough just like I am, I’m beautiful and intelligent and amazing).

The process involved teaming up with a woman of great wisdom who could direct me to God’s truth and identify the lies I believed. I began to read books on the subject of abuse, co-dependency, and emotional healing. I read over and over how God could and would “make me new” (“The former things have passed away… behold, I make all things new.” Rev. 21:5). I chose to renew my mind, rather than dwell on what had happened, because I wanted to change. (Not nearly as easy as I make it sound!) I did not want the abuse to have power over me any more and control my behaviors and thoughts. I realize my abuse was relatively mild (if that’s possible) compared to others I’ve come to know or have read about. However the root of it still caused damage in my emotions and spirit and shows how even the smallest offense of sexual abuse can wreak havoc in a life. It was as if my emotional DNA had been changed.

abuse

One garbage collection day, while I was picking up the recycle bin and looking at all the ”throw away” bottles and boxes, I immediately pictured my life and those of others like me whose life-scripts had been altered by abuse.  We often feel like a throw away–used up, soiled goods that nobody would want. But immediately my mind raced to the finish, or rather, what is being completed in me. I am NO LONGER a throwaway. I never really was, though I was sure of it.

And God has, indeed, done a new thing in my life. I am a totally different person!  Visions of the many wonderful recycled products we can see–that look nothing like their item of origin–came dancing through my mind. Those items have been completely “made new”! And that is exactly how I feel. I am just a shadow of the person I was.

All things made new

I realize that living this many years has given me a wealth of experience to fuel my self-confidence. However, it wasn’t until ten years ago that I really began to blossom into this crazy, passionate, outspoken, fun-loving and confident woman. (Unfortunately I had to leave an emotionally abusive relationship before I could fully bloom, but that’s a story for another time).

If you have encountered abuse, my heart goes out to you. With everything in me, I hope you will take steps toward healing and hope.

1*I encourage you to find someone you can talk with, someone who will love you honestly and help you see truth. Identify the lies you have believed.

2*Begin to reprogram your brain with new words and ideas (new scripts to play) that speak the truth about you. You have such power! Speak who you want to be and your mind and emotions will follow. I’m proof of that.

“I am loved.”               “I can heal.”               “I am worthy.”           “I am strong.”

“I deserve a life free from the effects of abuse.”           “I am more than enough.”

3*Find something you enjoy doing and do it! Try many things and experiences until you find your niche. Doing this has helped me tremendously!

4*Help someone else. I cannot emphasize this enough! There is such healing that happens when we begin to focus on helping someone. There are people around you who would benefit from your smile, touch, note of encouragement, listening ear, help with housework, yard work, babysitting, groceries, a ride somewhere, reading out loud to a child. Kindness warms our hearts whether we are giving or receiving it. And, I always say that “good multiplies good” in our lives.

Once again this has become a very wordy blog post. To those of you who stayed to the end–BIG hugs!! I hope something I’ve said will help you or enable you to help someone you love. Abuse is horribly prevalent, and our society has become one of broken, “walking wounded”. Let me know if there is any way I can help you. Peace, love, and blessings.

Passionista Mimi

OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!