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The ultimate friend

Verse of the day: "If you will make the decision that you don't mind inconvenience or interruption, then God can use you." -Joyce Meyer

The ultimate friendship:
The more time you spend with or around a friend, the more you pick up on their tendencies. Right? Ever notice how the friends or friend you hangout with the most you start to emulate or duplicate? We start to act more like them, talk like them, think like them...etc. So is the same for your relationship with Jesus. The more you hangout with Jesus and spend quality time with Him, the more you will act like Him and love like Him and BE more like Him. Isn't that the goal? Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Your relationship with Him is the only thing that truly satisfies your spiritual hunger. It is the only thing that will quench your thirst for life, because he IS life. Those other things start to matter less and less. He is the bread of life. We can eat as much food as we want but it will never be enough if we are using food to satisfy us in a way that only Jesus can. We cannot fill our God-shaped hole with anything other than God. "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God."Matthew 4:4. People, places and things might bring us happiness...but happiness is dependent upon our "happenings." God will give us JOY which is everlasting and we can have joy with Him no matter what our circumstances are. That is true stability. Today I aim to sow to the Spirit and not to the flesh. For the fruits of sowing to the flesh are rotten and will be thrown away and burnt, but the fruit of the spirit will bear more fruit and bring eternal JOY.

Catching up from the weekend...

So it has been one busy weekend...sorry I have not blogged in a while. From Thursday on, it has been nonstop. The Hope for the Nations dinner was more than I could have imagined or dreamed. Not only did I get to meet Linda Oliver but I got to talk to her one on one before and after she spoke and sang. What an honor. She is a true "carrier of His presence." One of the most gracious, humble and eloquent people I have ever met. "You cannot serve your own God-given dream until you first help serve someone else's God-given dream." This was the message at church last Sunday...and by Thursday night it was crystal clear to me. I had prayed earlier in the week for God to guide me and show me who's dream he wanted me to help fulfill. Who he specifically wanted me to help and serve, for His plans and purposes. Then I meet Linda. Need I say more? She is an elder, and by that I mean has been a Christian for a long time. She is definitely a spiritual mentor. I knew the minute that I met her that she was an instrument, chosen by God for His glory. I have faith in her and believe in her calling and her gifts. Not only that, but I want to soak up (like a sponge) all the wisdom she has received over the years on her walk with God. She has and is still going through some intense healing, that I know God wants me to learn from. He puts everyone in our lives for a reason. Her and I talked about music and how it heals, we talked about my dad's death, recovering from my parasite, food allergies, trials and tribulations that God has brought us through in order to sharpen us and give us empathy and wisdom...and so much more. I don't know exactly what God is going to do with this connection, but I do know that I am willing to help and serve in any way I can.

It is crazy how you can look back in your life (hindsight is 20/20) and so clearly see all these divine appointments that God strategically set up in your life, to bring you to exactly where you are right now. It is a long story but I will try to explain. God brought Danelle into my life the first time I ever came to Alabama, we had an instant connection and so much in common in our testimonies. She always talked about this woman that she worked for named Linda Oliver. I could tell right away that this was an inspirational woman of faith and that I would be honored to ever meet her. Little did I know the magnitude of God's plans. It is all starting to make sense. Then when I first previewed some demo songs of mine to Connie on my second trip here, she kept mentioning her mentor Linda Oliver. She told me that Linda owns a recording studio and that she is a Christian recording artist working on her third cd. WOW!
So after meeting Linda on Thursday night, Connie saw the way I reacted to her and how we hit it off and just knew it was a divine appointment. Everything had been leading up to that moment. You get the picture...all the stars were aligning, slowly but surely in God's timing. More will be revealed...as it always is. It is just so exciting to even get a glimpse of God's big plans. To be continued.

The rest of the weekend was filled with love as well. Connie came over Friday night; we fellowshipped and prayed together. Then Saturday I had a meeting in the morning which was amazing because I got to be the CPR-"Christ Person in the Room," showing everyone the love of God and shining my light for HIM. Then I went to the Samford University baseball game with my roomie and got to support and encourage her as she sang the national anthem (beautifully I might add). Sunday was jam-packed: went to church with Connie and her family (my adopted spiritual family in Bama), then lunch, picked up Kelly and then Savannah's bridal shower with all the girls in the Basement women's ministry. It was a bit overwhelming to be around all of these amazing women who I admire and look up to, but it was good to step outside the comfort zone and challenge myself. I ended up having a wonderfully full and beautiful day. I even got to chat with Missy Pitt (Matt Pitt's mama) for a while at the shower. She is another amazing role model/mom. She asked me, "So how does your family feel about you being all the way out here? They sure must miss you!" I get that question/statement a lot. I just told her that they do miss me (well at least I hope they do haha) but that they are happy and excited for me to be following God and my dreams.

It was a long weekend...I definitely took a much needed rejuvenating nap Sunday afternoon. Sorry this blog is so verbose...it is hard to catch up on a few days of life all in one little nutshell.

Mom's Birthday...change, growth, journey

So it is my first time ever being without my mama on her birthday...very sad for me : ( But I am so thankful because she is in good hands. She will be surrounded by many many friends and family members today (she is one loved lady). I know the Hope for the Nation's benefit tonight will really help distract me and get me out of self and of service. Blessings! If you are reading this mom, I love you very much and wish you the Happiest of Birthdays!!! Cannot wait till you are here with me in less than two months...woo hoo!!! We will surely celebrate together then!

Some things that have been on my mind and heart lately...change, growing up, journey's, my walk with God.

Food for thought:
"Going outside your comfort zone can be a good thing only if you choose to learn from the journey"...can I get an amen? :0)

"Change is inevitable, growth is optional."

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% your reaction to it (your attitude)."

"I don't wanna grow up...I wanna stay in never never land forever." -Peter pan ; )

Well thank God I DO want to grow up...although never-never land is a very familiar place and existence, a comfortable one. God has much bigger plans for my life and for yours! Life goes on, the world keeps spinning, time ticks by, I get older...these are all things I cannot change or do anything about. What I can do is accept. Accept the things I cannot change, and then move forward and eb and flow with them. Ride the wave instead of fighting it...it is a losing battle to fight it (powerless). Grow up into the woman God intended, created, and is making me to be. Enjoy the journey because we are only given one shot. "Consider it pure joy when facing many trials" and accept the trials along the way as gifts from God...to build and grow me up into the likeness of Him. I can choose to run from life or I can choose to run with life, with God by my side. "wherever you go, there you are." I am not going anywhere and neither is God. Fortunately my relationship with Him is progressive, so even if my growth is stunted for a time being, my relationship with Him is growing stronger everyday whether I know it or not. Now that is grace. I want to handle myself with grace as I walk through the different seasons of my life. Each step I take and each fall along the way is just getting me closer to God and closer to who He has created me to be. This topic is pretty intense...so take what you want and leave the rest (as with all of my blogs). I come to you humbly. I am not on a soapbox. Anything you read is purely my experience, at the end of the day it's only you and God.

Psalm 84:5
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

"Every past problem is preparation for some future opportunity. God doesn't just redeem souls, He redeems experiences too." -Mark Batterson

Roomie

Finding a good roomie is just as important, if not more important that finding a good room. I am seeing more a more reasons and connections as to why God paired Jaime and I together. Besides the fact that she is a worship leader too and is friends with the music pastor of the Basement, we have so much else in common too! She has dealt with similar health issues as me in the past, and has a lot of experience, strength and hope to offer me : ) Her dad reminds me of my grandpa-they both have beautiful voices and are faithful men of God. She totally knows what homesickness feels like because she moved from New Hampshire a few years ago, where her whole family still resides. Empathy is a beautiful and wonderful quality to have, but it is not something you can learn from a book...you must learn from experience. You can only lead others as far as you've gone and you can only empathize with as much as you've been through. So I count every struggle and trial I have been through as gain, because now I am able to truly empathize and have compassion with others. Jaime can totally empathize with my homesickness...among other things. She is a great listener too, which is wonderful because we all need someone to just listen to us don't we? To be heard and seen for who we really are, and still accepted and loved-the way God loves us. Even more of a gift than being heard, is to be the one to listen. I have been listening and hearing her process stuff too. It is a wonderful give and take! I think that listening is truly an art...in fact my friend and I just talked about the art of listening and how it is one of the most selfless and loving acts. It is a gift to be able to truly listen to and hear others, without thinking in your heard while they talk, about what you are going to say next in your head. It is meditative. To empty yourself of your worries and just really listen to someone else's for a while...with a sincere and loving heart. Beautiful! I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can only keep it if you give it away-give LOVE!
I am very excited because I have been applying for some really cool jobs around here, one of which is a freelance writing gig. I would love to do that! I mean I write for atleast an hour (if not more) a day anyways, might as well get paid to do it. Haha easier said than done. If it's God's will He will make it happen : ) God's got me thinking WAY outside the box, which is really exciting! I am just going to keep taking the leaps of faith and trusting Him. He got me this far, He will remain faithful-providence flows. Tomorrow night I get to go to a wonderful function called The Hope for the Nation Dinner with Connie. What an honor! I can't wait to meet Linda Oliver, she is one of Connie's mentors and a wonderful Christian recording artist. I admire her and her work very much. I will take pictures!

If you're confused about blogs:

I am not good at all this technical stuff, so I am trying to make this as easy as possible. I can only see what I see being logged in so I have no idea how the blogs look to you, or how hard/easy it is to view them, or even if you guys are getting the updates when I post new blogs. Let me know if you are not, or if you need help. I want to make this as easy and available as possible : )


If you are confused about how to view blogs:
I switched settings under BLOG ARCHIVE (on left hand side)
It should archive daily, so if you want to see the blogs I posted on a particular day all you have to do is click the arrow and all the dates should drop down and then you can select one. Please give me some feedback and let me know if this is working or if there is a better way you could suggest. Thanks! Love you all!
-Maly from Cali

Self-love

I did some writing after my morning meditation today and came up with this. Hope it makes sense...if not just take what you want and leave the rest : )

Love is not self-seeking and does not have expectations. Love is not conditional, it is unconditional. But to be able to love others this way, we must first learn to love ourselves unconditionally. Accepting and appreciating every flaw and every quirk, and seeing that there are no mistakes. Because every experience, flaw or failure has shaped who we are, served its purpose for us at one time, and now our experience can help others. Compassion and empathy can comes from forgiveness, understanding and love...because we too, have been there. So there are no mistakes, and that self-awareness is where our growth comes. And from that we can truly begin to learn unconditional self-love, which will blossom into the greatest gift of all, unconditional love for others.


In everything that we say and do, may we try always to come from a place of love. Love never fails.
Whatever you hear from those who love you,know that it too comes from a place of love. Nobody is perfect, just as we are flawed so are they. Just as we have been forgiven, we should also forgive. Though we may not like what they say or how they say it to us, they love us. They may not have the tools or words to say it "right" but all we should ever hear, is "I love you". So if someone that loves you passes judgement, or tells your something that open an old wound, remember that all they are really trying to say is, "I love you" and "I care". Just as you hear love, the answer is always love. If your filter can translate whatever is said to you, as "I love you unconditionally" then your response can come from a place of "I love you unconditionally"

Thought stopping

Thought stopping
Rewrapping
Reframing
Remodeling
Reconstruction of your thoughts
Demolition of the mind
Tearing down all the lies
Firmly rebuilt up in Christ
Hold captive every thought
claim freedom in His holy name
claim Truth, casting out all shame
set free from all those heavy chains
Automatic Negative Thinking
Sends you down in quick sand, sinking
The downward spiral can be stopped
You must hold captive every thought
Make them obedient to Christ alone
And your true self, you will be shown