Wind Chimes

Today is December 27th, the 2nd day after Christmas and a few days before the New Year. This can mean 2 things; you may be caught in the hustle and bustle of post Christmas shopping and pre-new year prepping and planning… or you may be trying your best to squeeze in as much rest and family time as possible before walking into all that is about to come forth! Whichever category you may find yourself in, I just want to take a moment to remind you that you are loved, and share something that my heart was reminded of on this peaceful Thursday afternoon.

As I sit here in my aunt’s kitchen, having a cup of coffee with reminiscent thoughts of the many laughs and even tears of this week, I am reminded of God’s consistent nearness. Earlier this morning, I honestly woke up in a bit of a slump. Thoughts of comparison began to parade my mind of all the things that did not happen as planned in 2018. It also did not help to scroll on Facebook/Instagram and see posts that could easily feed into the lies of comparison. I immediately sat my phone down, went into the kitchen, heated up a plate of sausage balls, made a cup of coffee, and sat at the table. No phone, no iPad… just me and Abba.

Too often we get distracted by all of the “noise” that surrounds us. The noise of social media, outside opinions, and even our own thoughts can easily distract us from what the Voice of God is saying to us through His Holy Spirit. I have found this to be true quite often as someone who has struggled with identity, insecurity, and low self-esteem. The voice you listen to is the voice that will rule. So in this moment with me and Abba, I decided to just listen. To turn off the other noises and choose to take some time and tune in the God’s loving voice; and boy was I in for a treat!

My aunt has these wind chimes that hang outside on their balcony. They are simple, black chimes that have been there for years, since I was a little girl. I’ve noticed them before, but today they meant so much more. As I sat in my silence, I ask Abba, “what are you saying Lord? There are so many things that are seeking to pull my attention away from you… but what are You saying?” As I sat there for a few minutes, I began to hear the soft, sweet sound of chimes playing in the wind. A sound that was so soft, it could easily be missed amongst all of the other sounds of daily movement and duty. But in the stillness of that moment, the chimes began to play softly, then louder with the picking up of the wind. I could feel the rest of the Holy Spirit wash over me as He ministered to my heart.

Zephaniah 3:17 says:

“The Lord your God is in your midst; The Mighty On, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

I truly believe that in my moment of searching for Him, He revealed His nearness through His song over me in the wind, through the wind chimes. We are His children, and He rejoices over us with gladness! He sings over us! What gladness it brings to think that the Savior of the world, our Heavenly Father celebrates us with joy and endless love and affection. We are special in His sight!

So even in those moments where the noise seems so loud, and those intruder thoughts come knocking, remember the song of Abba; a song of joy, love, and peace. Steal away for a moment, breathe, and just listen to His heart. He loves you, and values you more than you could ever imagine.

May the love and peace of Christ wash over you, God bless!

Richarra Hardaway

Easy Listening

What I have found in my Christian Journey with Abba Father is that one of the ways He often speaks to me is through dreams. So much so that I have dream journals where I write them down because of the much needed warnings, or important instructions from the Holy Spirit that are sent through these dreams. Recently, I had a very significant dream that seemed to serve as both a warning, as well as a revelation; both of things that hinder the immediate reaction of believers’ to the Holy Spirit’s initial instruction.

Dream: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was in a classroom setting with peers, with a blank sheet of paper in front of me, and the teacher began to tell us what to draw. He first instructed us to draw a girl, inside of a sailboat, with birds, etc. and the instruction continued as we drew exactly what he told us to, as he was telling us. Once He was done, He told us to look at our papers; when I was done, I laughed because I was really impressed with the way it turned out, so much so, that I decided to show my friends/peers. But when I showed them they scoffed and questioned saying, “why did you draw it like that? Why are the birds black? Why is it so close together?”, so on and so forth. After hearing these comments and opinions, my countenance fell, and my view changed as I began to see the “flaws” in it and how crazy it probably did look.

So I threw the picture away, and began to look around the classroom for a new sheet of paper to start over. When I turned around in my seat, I saw plenty of empty chairs at other tables with blank sheets of paper from people who didn’t come; and from a far those papers looked clean. But overtime I approached one to grab, I realized that it was stained, or dirty and torn. After looking in frustration, I finally found one that was clean… but a piece of it had been ripped off the bottom. So i took it and began to redraw what I remembered from the teacher’s instruction, but this time, I was focusing on the wrong things (the girl, how long/what color her hair was, etc.) to the point that I kept erasing and redrawing, erasing and redrawing; ultimately trying to make it look as good as possible.

Time passed, and as I had just started the coloring process of my picture, yet still making changes, the teacher called out that it was time to turn in our drawings. I began to panic because I realized that if I had f just stuck with the first one, I’d be done already, and it would have looked beautiful. So as I looked around the classroom, I saw that there were still a few stragglers that were trying to finish theres up too, so I had hope; but what initially began as a one-by-one presentation turned into being called up in mass groups, and even still, my work was not finished.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This dream hit me like a ton of bricks because while thankful for the Holy Spirit’s revelation, it convicted me so heavily. We as believers are to listen to our Abba Father’s instructions the first time, blindly (by faith), doing exactly what He instructs us to do; and while it may seem or look crazy, we are still to do it in obedience to Him. However, when we allow the tainted (stained, torn, fallen) opinions and judgements of others  into our minds and hearts concerning our path, or what God told us to do, it can cause us to question the very thing we heard from God. “Was that really God speaking?” “Do I look crazy?” “Why did I choose to do this??” Before we know it, doubt and fear have settled in; causing us to change, and try to recreate God’s instructions for us into a presentation that is pleasing to man/makes man comfortable, or worse… completely removes Him from the equation.

When putting our own spin on things, it causes us to then rely on our own intellect more than God’s Word. It causes us to paint our own/the world’s fallen perception of what God told us to do, versus what He really said.

So my question to you is, what are some areas that maybe God has spoken to you about, or given you instructions to do that have been thrown away or cast to the side due to fear or doubt caused by the opinions of man? No matter what it may look like or sound like to others, we should always choose obedience to the Jesus Christ vs. the opinion of man. In Matthew 4:18-22, when Jesus called Simon-Peter and Andrew to follow Him as His disciples, they didn’t get a second opinion… they immediately left their boat, dropped their nets and followed Jesus! We are called to do the same; and though it won’t always be easy, we can definitely rest assured that the story will be one of purpose and beauty; all working together for our good as Romans 8:28 promises those that, “love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose.”

God Bless!

Identity Declaration

This is a Declaration of Worth and Identity in Jesus Christ!! I want to challenge you to speak it out loud daily over yourself in Authority, Declare it, and BELIEVE IT!!

I am a Daughter of THE KING!

I am Chosen!

I am a Ruby (Precious and Rare)!

I am a child of God!

I am the Head and not the tail!

I am MORE than a conqueror!

I am a Mother!

I am a Sister!

I am a Wife!

I am a strong woman of God!

I am HEALED of ALL sickness and infirmities, in Jesus’ Name!

I am a Lender and not a borrower

I am the righteousness of God!

I am Blessed to be a blessing!

I am VICTORIOUS!

I am BOLD in Jesus Christ!

I am SET APART!

I am Protected by the Blood of Jesus Christ!

I am under Jehovah Jireh’s supernatural Provision!

I am at PEACE in Jesus Christ!

I am BEAUTIFUL!

I am a Temple of the Holy Spirit!

I am ALL that GOD says I am!!!!

But most of ALL… I am Nothing without JESUS CHRIST!!!!

Jesus loves us, and we must love ourselves! We must believe who God created us to be!

You Are Loved

God bless!