I had no idea what I was doing...

Have you ever started reading a book and almost finished it but didn't? Maybe life happened, or you had a few days where you just weren't feeling it so you sat it aside. Those days turned into weeks and then before you know it months had passed. In between those months, you picked up another book or several that caught your eye and finished them in a matter of days. Then out of nowhere you picked up that one book again, you know that one you almost finished but didn't?

That was me, ladies. I had been reading a book by Joyce Meyer called, How to Succeed at Being Yourself. There were literally only two chapters left in the book and I had stopped there for months. 

God answers prayers and sometimes He does so by leading you to a book. The last two chapters were about condemnation destroying confidence and confidence in prayer. Ha, two things I struggle with. Bam what, as Maddi on the Disney show Liv and Maddi always says! Those last two chapters help remind me of God's love for me and what He desires for my life.

Over the last several months I've been feeling like a new creation in Christ. I don't want to sound all holier than thou but I'm not sure how else to explain it. I'm not a new Christian, I've been a believer for as long as I can remember. With that being said I've been a fan of Christ most of my life instead of a follower. It wasn't until recently that I began to feel connected to God for lack of better words. You might be asking yourself so how was she a believer and not connected to God. That is an excellent question, one that I'm not sure I can answer fully. But I can start here, I made a commitment (publicly) and I stuck with it. There was this coach who was running a free prayer challenge for 31 days. She had offered to partner us up so we would each have an accountability buddy throughout the process. I had some resistance to joining this challenge in the beginning when I first saw her promoting it. I thought to myself, 31 days of prayer I'll never stick with it, what all will I be required to do in this challenge, will I have the time daily, what about my accountability partner will they really hold me accountable? So I didn't signup right away I kept scrolling through my newsfeed. Some time had passed and Facebook reminded me I had been invited to join an event, the prayer challenge. So I went in and read some of the post from a few other women who had decided to join and I then made the commitment.

First off my accountability partner was awesome. I had the chance to connect with another women that shared different beliefs than I did and I truly enjoyed getting to know her. Just to give you some background this prayer challenge was structured around a book by Jenn Sprinkle and Kelly Rucker called, 31 days of Prayer for the Dreamer + the Doer. Each day there is a prayer written by a different woman following the prayer are three prompts for you to journal on + pray through. Wow, I mean I had been doing nightly prayers with my daughter for a little while but I'll just be honest and say I was known to skip them on the weekends. So I seriously don't think I ever prayed at least once a day for 31 consecutive days. 

Ladies, it was (is) a game changer! I'm not going to sit here and tell you all felt right with the world, all the sudden all my problems disappeared and I became super successful in my business because that simply isn't the truth. But the truth is I had this peace within me, I began to receive more clarity in my personal life and business, I was getting connected with the right people and I just knew I was on the right path. 

There were still many unknowns as there still are. But I wasn't bothered, worried, or stressed out by them. It felt good to know that God had a plan for my life and He wasn't going to reveal everything to me He was going to keep it on a need to know basis. I remember telling my husband and my best friend that I had this really good feeling that went deep within, I felt that good things were coming I just didn't know when they would arrive and I was OK with that. 

So I had no intention of sharing any of that with you but it sort of just spilled out, so there you have it. Now let me get back to why I started writing this blog in the first place.

Those two chapter's in Joyce's book were reminders I needed. God doesn't condemn us He convicts us. He convicts us, we shouldn't be doing it to ourselves. All too often we start to tell ourselves if I'm truly a Christian I need to stop doing x,y,and z and start doing a, b, and c. So each time we do or don't do these things we being to talk down to ourselves, we being condemning ourselves over and over again. God doesn't want us treating ourselves like that. When He see's an area in our life that could use adjustment He will convict our heart and we will then be able to work towards changing it. God has already freely given His grace to us we can do nothing to earn it. We would all do well to remember that, I know I for one would.

The second thing I was reminded of was God doesn't care about the way I pray, the length of my prayer, the words I use, how biblical I sound or anything of the sort. What He does care about is the state of my heart when I come to Him. He desires that I believe in Him and come forth with an open heart. That's it, I just have to believe, share with Him what's on my mind and heart and have faith that if it's within His will all will be taken care of. 

We cannot impress God with our biblical terminology, long-winded prayers, fancy words, amount of time spent in prayer, or the number of times we pray a day. What a relief, right? It feels so good to have all that pressure taken off. Because I'm just going to be honest here sometimes I don't even know what to pray. There are times when all I know is I need help, I need direction, I need guidance, I need support and I need a miracle. I also know that there isn't anyone in this world who can truly give me any of those things. I need GOD! You know what? That is all I have to say, that's all my prayer has to consist of and He hears that, He responds to that. I am his daughter, He wants nothing more than to help me, support me, guide me and pour out His wisdom. He wants to do that VERY same for you too sister. 

God loves YOU. He wants and has great plans for your life. Trust me when I tell you that the bible is filled with scripture telling us this. He's left promise after promise for us to hold onto. We have to let God know we desire that life He has planned for us, we have to let Him know we are gettin' in the game, we are here to say. How do we do that? By spending time with Him daily. Yup, that's right, He wants to have time alone with us. All those chats we have with our BFF that are so amazing God wants us to have some of those with Him, I'm sure He get's jealous all the time.

Feel overwhelmed when it comes to spending alone time with God? Not sure how to start or what to say? Start small love, it's that simple. Set aside 5 minutes a day just for God, that's it just 5 minutes a day. Make a commitment to do it for 30 days if you feel like having an accountability partner would help ask a friend to join you in that commitment. If your not sure what to say I've created a little sheet with a few prompts to help get you started. You can download it below. But I want you to know that it doesn't matter what you say God listens, there is no right or wrong way. He just wants to hear from you it's part of having that personal relationship with Him. 

Until next time...

Blessings, Love, & Gratitude,

Xo Staci