Discovering Disobedience

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Why did I start a small group while selling my house?
Good Question.
The answer is the last line of this post.

We are moving but let’s just say I haven’t been obedient in my heart.

I wasn’t following what God was calling me to do. Disobedience took over and much like Jonah disregarded God’s call on his life, I began to “flee”. Not physically flee, but in my heart, I fled.

“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,  “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.”  But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:1-3

The word of the Lord came to the McDaniel family, arise and go to Tulsa.

But boy, I resisted. “But Lord, I don’t want to go. I like St. Louis. I like our house. Our church. Our Friends. Our Framily.” Jonah and I would probably have been good friends if we had known each other. And Jonah would be hinting to me, “Girl, don’t run from God’s call. Let me tell you a little story about me and a big fish.”

Could this be why our house hasn’t sold since July? I’m not sure, but I know I have been running in the opposite direction. Race you there, Jonah.

Recent events (and maybe you have your own recent events of disobedience) have led me to see that I caused my family “to be thrown in the sea and swallowed by the great fish.” I needed to pray for deliverance and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness from God, my friends and especially my husband.

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish, and he said,
“I called out of my distress to the Lord, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.” Jonah 2:1-2

In a moment of tumultuous grief and unrelenting stress, my disobedience was revealed to my blinded eyes. I was swimming in the belly of a fear and worry-filled “whale.” Now, I could clearly see what attitude I was walking in, what words I was using, and what I was neglecting.

God’s Best. I thwarted God’s Best for our life.

But when I heard God call me to do a small group, I arose. Living in disobedience wasn’t bringing me any closer to where He had called me. So, in the midst of selling our house, I knew I would have at least four weeks for a study which led me to choose Tools for Living.

I have met some incredible women while walking through God’s Word together. We have realized an important thing about God: when God calls you, don’t wait for the second time. Because now, I want so much to be with my husband in Tulsa and follow God’s Best for my life. I could be walking in that right now, but I have to wait because of the selfish decisions I made.

And know this though, God doesn’t stop calling you.

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,  “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.”  So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord.” Jonah 3:1-3

God called Jonah. Jonah ran from God. Jonah was stuck in disobedience. He prayed. He arose.

Where is God calling you?

I know now, when He calls, it’s time to arise.

Love.

 

Photo by Luke Marshall

“By Faith”

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After a peculiarly long week and a few mind numbing ridiculous tirades of which were not filled with behavior of a peaceful person, I read this blog by SCourtneyLawson and poured out tears like no other.

She had the ability to create in me a longing to follow my own “by faith.”

“By faith”, in 2017, the #NerdyWordyGirl family are moving from St. Louis, Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Because “[I] will never know if [I] don’t take that first step ‘by faith.’”

Love.

7/17/17

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I’ve come across a few new beginnings occurring in life, but one that I have craved is the beginning of what Kristy Cambron calls a “story road”. 7/17/17 inquired of me to start a more personal relationship with our Lord and Savior. A craving that no crunchy, sugary or salty food could satisfy. More on that food situation later.

Story roads involve sharing the paths that have created my life story. One road which I newly formed is verse mapping. Even though verse mapping may include different colors, mine is what I like to call “law enforcement” style because my pens were two shades of blue and one shade of light black. The only colors I could find around my husband’s desk.

My first verse map was on Proverbs 16:7 (NKJV). “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

After comparing five other Biblical versions of this verse, looking up the definition of words that jumped out to me and asking three questions; all of which must be backed by the bible, I came to a simple conclusion.

The Lord makes your opposers be at peace with you and shake your hand.

How is that possible?

Because the Lord does it. Not us.

Love.

Watered Coffee

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 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

When my brain is on autopilot, I make watered “coffee” for my morning drink. I pour out the old coffee (yes, we don’t drink all the coffee we brew – side note, we don’t drink coffee every day- gasp!), then rinse the coffee pot with fresh water, fill the coffee pot to the number of cups we hope for, close the lid, and press brew. And there I am, watching water percolate through the “coffee”. Until halfway through, I realize, I did not put the coffee grounds in! AGAIN. For the umpteenth trillion time when I really, really, really wanted the caffeinated boost to jolt me towards a productive morning.

Now I have to sit and wait for the “watered” coffee to run its course and start over. If only I had done it right the first time. If only I went to the Word before, well, before any situation that could cause strife.

Automatic is largely or wholly involuntary and acting or done spontaneously or unconsciously; like our automatic coffee pot that needs me to do nothing in order for it to work. Wait; except add coffee grounds. Do we find ourselves trying make coffee without coffee? Do we find ourselves separate from the life-giving vine of Jesus? I find myself going through the motions of life and looking back at the points where I missed the mark with my behavior or I strayed off course with my marriage, children, finances, friends, ministries, etc.

Autopilot is short for automatic pilot. It’s a device for automatically steering ships, aircraft, spacecraft…and us. Our autopilot is our brain and we become steered by our device into any direction without even knowing it. We don’t want to think this is happening but when we “wake up”, we see the destruction that could have been avoided if we would have been deliberately and intentionally living. Before we know it, we’ve crashed without even realizing we were going down. Parts and pieces of our aircraft are lying around in the faces and hearts of our friends and loved ones.

How did this happen? How did I let this happen? How am I going to rebuild?

When we go on autopilot, we immediately fall into what our flesh says is okay or no big deal. Often, we return to our old ways and comfortably sink in like a couch we have loved for years; the one that has our mold in the cushion.

I’ve recently been reminded how intentional we have to be with our words. I fell back into judgement, criticism, jealously, gossip, without restrain and boy, did it instantaneously feel disgusting. I immediately asked forgiveness of the person I fell into strife with, but I didn’t realize the two bystanders who were affected by the strife. When we sin on autopilot, we are not the only ones affected.

Praise God for the leaders in my life who reminded me that is not the way of God’s best in our life. Praise God for Godly friends who will pull you out of autopilot and offer grace, mercy and forgiveness.

We are all a work in progress. Boy, am I thankful to have a Heavenly Father who loves us where we’re at and guides us to the next level of the best us we can be. He wants that for us. And when we rest in Jesus, what would cause earthly heartache only brings heavenly joy.

Thank you, my vine, my Lord for the living water you provide that we may brew only the finest coffee in our lives.

Love. 

 

 

Easter Serving

jon-flobrant-229724Today we chose to serve for Easter. We haven’t joined in and served for Easter service many years. I am unsure why. We really do love serving and meeting new people and hearing, “This is my first time here.” My heart seriously jumps for joy when I hear that statement. It’s like, hello, you are now my new best friend.

Isn’t that why we’re serving? Not for any other reason but for the souls who make the first step and seek Jesus. It’s my favorite thing.

It’s still my favorite thing even when after all these years.

Let us not forget why we’re serving. Not for fame. Not for gifts. Not for recognition.

But for the pure joy of serving Christ.

Love.

 

Photo by Jon Flobrant

It’s Time

adam-birkett-216660Well, look at this. It’s 2017. April, in fact. If you scroll down, you can see, it has taken me 3 years to feel worthy to share thoughts. When also in fact, Jesus has always made me worthy. I didn’t feel wise in the skin I was in. Good thing because I may have had wisdom but it certainly wasn’t Godly Wisdom. And so you don’t think I have arrived and have all answers and well, for the most part even know what I’m talking about without God, don’t lean on my understanding. Find a bible. Dust it off. Read it. And feel free to come back and say, “Hey Donna, Let’s talk!”

Love.

Photo by Adam Birkett

Worth it…

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Is this blogging thing really worth the time and energy? Not sure. Should I be spending time doing something else? Maybe

Do I have the information to share? Yes

Well then, I guess it’s worth it.

Do what is worth it and less of what is not.

Love.

On to the New Year…

jiyeon-park-224073After three months of “humblizing” or so it may be called after every thing you deemed a normal life crashes down, I start this new year with hope. Hope for a better year. (Can only get better, right?) Hope for a healthier physical, emotional, and spiritual me. Hope for a stronger marriage. Hope for a closer family. Hope for…well, probably a good long laundry list of happy hopes. For now, hope and excitement for this new year to come starting with today. Love.

And here we go…

blake-moulton-106638After much deliberation and soul-searching, and anti-blog, and pro-no one really wants to hear or care about what I have to say, I took the step and created this blog. So, steps lead to leaps and leaps to bounds and on this journey we’ll take together, we can learn from one another and find love and peace and good food. And of course, the occasional laugh. Love!!

*I can’t believe I wrote this back in 2013 in December on the 18th at 7:17pm. Wonder why my scaredy pants took so long to publish? Scaredy pants dance. Scaredy pants dance.