Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Who Or What Controls Your Emotions?

Who or what controls your emotions? Is it you, someone or something that happen to you? The book of Proverbs warns, “Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Behaviors that bind that hurt self and others start early in life. Many people, even in the best of homes, are living on “leftovers” – emotions and attitudes left over from the way they were raised.

For instance, those who as children felt they could never measure up to expectations are likely to experience feelings of inadequacy, rejection, shame, and guilt as adults; they may also deal with resentment and hostility. 

And grown people who walk away from responsibility or commitments when they don’t get their way are frequently the ones whose parents caved into their every desire. This is why it’s so hurtful to give in to children’s temper tantrums and demands. They learn the world is their oyster and grow to be demanding, entitled, selfish, self-centered adults. 

Those who struggle with low self-worth or low self-esteem are often a byproduct of lack of childhood acceptance and affirmation. It’s important for children to learn they are of tremendous value to parents but most importantly their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Their sense of security should come, not from possessions, whether they are “good” or “bad’ but from a personal relationship with Him that says they are valued and loved for who they are no matter what. Otherwise, as adults, they may operate out of shame instead of the precious gift of God’s never-ending grace.

“Do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”

Colossians 3:21

…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:5-6

Monday, February 27, 2023

Cure for A Heavy Heart

Lord, I worship You. You are my Lord and King, my precious Redeemer. There is no other God like You, entirely full of goodness, grace, and mercy. 

You heal us when we are brokenhearted and bandage our wounds. You build us up when we are weak in our soul. You are great and powerful  O Lord, and You understand all things, even what is in my heart.

Thank you that I don't have to live with sadness hurt or depression. Thank you that you have put gladness in my heart. This day I put on the Garment of Praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness, and I glorify you as Lord of all.


“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,  to proclaim freedom for the captives  and release from darkness for the prisoners, to comfort all who mourn,  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise  instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. “ Isaiah 61:1-3

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Accepted In the Beloved

There are times when others praise us and times when they criticize us.  It's normal, it's human, and there's no part of our lives immune to this, am I right? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

There have been times where circumstances in life caused us to toss to and fro.  Our emotions and our worth were coming and going with the tides of applause.  We realized, through wise counsel, that our thirst for acceptance caused us to be unstable.  We knew that God says, we are: chosen, heirs, conquerors, children of God, favored, forgiven, etc. but we were feeding off the lies seeded in the opinion of others.  The knowledge of His Word had not made it to our hearts.  We were miserable, defeated, and overcome.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Do we die under the weight of trying to gain favor amongst men or do we live & believe in who God says we are in Him? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

If this feels close to home for you, as you're reading this, then we want to pray with you, because we get it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Dear God, may the truths of Your Word find a place in our heart, may the words of Your truth be heard over the noise clanking around our soul.  May the weight of Your love break the chains of bondage so we can feel Your presence above all else.  If we have wandered away from You, then help us press in closer to You than ever before.  Help us to seek living waters only You can provide, a thirst that can only be satisfied in You.  Help us to focus on Your kingdom and forgive us when we try to build our own.  Empty us out Lord, and fill us once again. In Jesus name, amen.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

"I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth" Ps.121:1-2 CSB⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

"Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again.  But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again.  In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life"  John 4:13-14 CSB

Niki Chiles 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Address Your Past Or Your Relationships Will

You will get many people who don't agree with this, simply because, they feel like they have done a really great job moving on from those things. They might have it all together on the outside, but it doesn't change the wounds that their heart took on the inside. Burying things doesn't take away the fact that they happened. Whether it's knowing someone for years in marriage and they eventually start to change or act way different, or walking into a relationship right away and recognizing there might be things that aren't right in how someone deals with things, how we dealt with things of the past will dictate how we handle and deal with things of the future. How we healed or didn't heal from things in the past WILL impact our future and our relationships.

I think the one of the most attractive traits someone can have is acknowledging they have gone through some things and that they have or want to deal with them. I think some of the bravest conversations to have with someone you love or are going into a relationship with is ones about our past and how some of the things we have gone through have impacted us. There is such beauty in vulnerability. There is such courage in going back and salvaging what might have been done. And you know what? It's one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. 

So whether there's some things buried you know need to be deal with. Or, you are with someone and well, they might need healing from things they never dealt with. Pray for the courage to do it. Pray against the pain that might come from awakening it. Pray for the strength to unbury it. Because friend, you can't put a price on the healing that God wants to do in it. You cannot put a price on the freedom that you didn't realize you didn't have as a result of it. And every day you wait, is a day to long, to finally rid yourself of it.

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

You Don’t Have to Be Who You Were Yesterday

Maybe you royally messed up. Maybe something came over you and you acted completely out of character. Maybe you just don't like who you've become lately. Friend? You don't have to be that person one more day. You don't have to keep doing the things you are doing that you know aren't helping. You don't have to keep numbing yourself just to get through. You don't have to be who you were yesterday. You can make a choice, today, to start the change for tomorrow. And you know what? It just starts with awareness. Awareness where you might have gone wrong or astray. Awareness and an actual want or desire to change. To be better. To be more of who God created you to be. Because that is all God needs. He just needs your hand, stretched out in His, trusting Him with the rest. He just needs you to know in your heart, that He knows what is best. And truly believe that. Sometimes it takes all we have just to grab His hand. Sometimes we are so done, that we honestly just want to collapse into Him. Wherever you, take the first step. He's not an all or nothing God. We didn't get to where we are at in one day, and sometimes, it takes days, months, or years, to be free. So whatever it is in your life, whatever you want to change, bring it to God. Maybe it starts with cutting back. Maybe, it's making the phone call. Maybe it's surrendering. Maybe it's just wanting more. Whatever it is, bring it to Him. And with all your heart, know you can trust Him.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Monday, February 20, 2023

Love People Where They Are At

I don't think there is anything more powerful than loving people where they are at.  Loving them for not what you necessarily see with your eyes, but more, what you see with your heart. Not where they should be, or where you'd like them to be, or who you'd hope for them to be, but where they happen to be at that very moment. Because once you start looking for that person, the person tucked under the pain and underneath the places in their heart that have become guarded, hardened and maybe battered, you'll see person who is just looking to be deeply loved. And you'll be able to love them so differently. You're able to see them differently. You’ll be able to know them differently. And show up in their life, differently.

The way into someone's heart often doesn't start with words, but roadways that are paved through the way we love them. Sometimes we need God’s help to open our eyes to do this, but when He does, you’ll start seeing more and more people with your heart instead of your eyes. Whoever is in your life today. Whoever God has brought into your life lately, look for ways to just, love them where they are at. With your heart. Because you'll be amazed at what genuine love for a person, wherever they are at or however they are handling things in life, will do. You’ll be amazed of the change that heart to heart love can do.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12

Friday, February 17, 2023

Don’t Get Even Heal

Not sure who needs to hear this, but the best way to get even with someone who's hurt you is to heal from what they did. Otherwise you'll spend the rest of your life trying to numb it, not address it, and live life with it, and end up carrying the weight of their sin as a result of it. And the worst part? They're running free, and even if we think we are managing it and "alright", deep down, it's there.  Avoiding it will only harden our hearts more, and lay dormant until there's a point in our life where it decides to come out and sees an open door. Wounds like that just won't go away. 

So, as easy as it is to want to be consumed about ways to get even, numb yourself, avoid it, or ways to just, make that person pay a tiny bit for what they've done, it's not worth it. It's exhausting taking that duty upon yourself, and being consumed by it.  It's nauseating to think about them, and always feel it in the pit of your stomach. The greatest thing you can do is invite God into the pain of what's been done, and as hard as it is, take your grasp off of the anger, hurt, and bitterness, and fully let go and leave it in His hands, asking Him to heal you of it. He promises He'll take care of it, friend. He promises that vengeance is His. So let Him. He sees, He knows, and He deeply cares about what's been done to hurt you. What that person did wasn't right. In fact, it was awfully wrong. So know that it's HIS job to deal with them, and you're job to just trust Him through it. He will use this season you're in, and birth the most beautiful fruit out of it. Even if you can't see it yet. Keep looking. When you give ashes to Him, He gives beauty back. That's a promise.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Change Is the Sincerest Apology

Not a gift. Not a "I'm so sorry...it won't happen again." But a true change in behavior that reflects a truly changed heart.

It's easy to say sorry in the moment. It's easy to say what is needed to "fix" the moment and make things right. But it's a LOT harder to be honest with ourselves that our behavior or what we are doing is causing issues, hurt, or confusion, and that addressing it is going to be the best solution. 

I don't know about you, but sometimes I have to learn things the hard way. Sometimes some of the same things have to happen over and over and over again, until I finally come to the end of myself and admit to God that I desperately need His help in an area. And you know what? Every moment this happens, I am so so grateful that I have. So grateful that I can quit "trying" on my own, and invite Somone greater into it, to help show me what needs to change. It's defeating to try in our own strength, and fail time and time again. But when you can finally invite God in and ask for HIS strength and wisdom to go forward? You begin to change from within in. And it's beyond freeing. It's beyond incredible.

Broken promises and unchanged behavior only damage our relationships with people and end up hardening our own hearts toward them and to God in the end. But setting aside the pride that rules us, and admitting we are weak and we need God's help, is what leads to change, growth, and a softened heart towards not just others, but ourselves, too. It's healing to admit our weaknesses. It's a relief to admit our brokenness. And it's incredibly transforming when we begin to see God Himself change us.

So whether it's you who needs to change, or someone around you. Take it to God. If it's you, admit it, and if it is others, pray for them to see and recognize it. Either way, you need God brought into it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Don’t Reconnect With Toxic People

Don't do it. In fact, when you are feeling like this, do everything you can to run far from it. It's so easy to forget what was wrong when you're in search of just feeling right for a moment, longing to feel fill the empty void for just a second. But when your mind begins to go back, you have to stop and realize the thing you're longing for is not going to be found in that person. What you are looking back at and hoping for isn’t the reality of what’s there. You have to force yourself to play the tapes and remember the truth. There's a reason it didn't work out. There's a reason it ended. 

Sometimes we don't even realize we're hungry for Jesus, and instead, set out on a search to do anything to fill this void that is deep within. And it just sets us in a tailspin of looking back. Satan's biggest tactic is to literally cloud the craziness and ups and downs of what we lived through before, and try to get us to go back to the vomit. He'll tell us things weren't that bad. Maybe it's different now. Maybe, they're different now. And that what you are looking for is THERE. And the crazy thing is you'll believe him if your spiritual tank is empty. If you've been unplugged from God and not seeking Him, you won't be seeing clearly.

So, if you needed the reminder, here it is. If you've been feeling dry lately, thirsty from inside, and you are beginning to look back -- grab hold of Jesus, so He can realign your focus and help you what is ahead. His love is the only love that is going to go into the deep places and actually last, satisfy, and fill that longing you are having. You can be alone and not lonely, but only if you are satisfied in Him. And if you haven't been satisfied lately, it's because you aren't turning to Him. So grab your Bible, get away with Him, open up your heart, and let Him in, so He can remind you of what you have in Him. And when the enemy tries to remind you of that person or the past, tell Him the truth -- it was not good. And the last thing you want to do is go back to that and get wildly off track.

Don't drink the poison just because you are thirsty, friend. You're not thirsty for them. You're thirsty for Him. ❤️

Monday, February 13, 2023

Children Don’t Deserve the Broken Version of Us

Regardless if you think you are okay today, do what you need to do to repair what was done yesterday.

Maybe your heart has been shattered in the past. That will affect your ability to fully love again. 

Maybe some pretty horrible things were done to you in the name of love. That will greatly distort what love really is.

Maybe you've done some things and you don't even recognize the person who did them. 

Finding out the WHY will be the biggest gift you can give to your children.

Maybe the version of God you have is a result of people around you poorly representing Him.

Seeking out the truth for yourself about Him and His Son will change your entire life, starting from within.

We all have a story. We have all have seen some things, done some things, and have had people say and maybe even do some pretty bad things. It could have been your parents, your classmates at school, or people you never invited into your life. Or worse yet, the hurt and wounds could have came from people you openly invited into your life, and gave them pieces of you that you feel you can’t get back.

Whatever has happened, back then or just yesterday, friend...invite Jesus in. Let Him walk you back through it and show you where you were hurt as a result of it. Let Hjm show you how He can go into the darkest places and repair all of it. Because only He was there and saw it and knows it all. And He is the only one that can put His scarred hand upon your heart, heal it, and restore it all. So you can fully trust again, believe again, and love again. 

What was done will eventually come out. In one way or another. So, heal. Not just for you, but for your children.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Trust God When He Removes People

We can go back over every word said and situation in our mind, wondering why, what we could have done different, or what happened to change things. But when there are simply no real reasons or answers, the only left one is to know and trust that God removed that person, for reasons only He could know about. 

He tells us He is our defender, our protector, our friend, our Father, someone who always looks out for us. Well do you believe Him? Isn’t that what a good dad would do? Or a good friend, or someone sworn to protect someone else? If you heard or knew something detrimental was going to happen to someone you loved, your friend, or your child, by a certain person, and you had the power to prevent them from being hurt in the ways you knew it would do, even if it would cause temporary pain in the moment, wouldn’t you do what you knew to stop it? Even if you knew they might not understand? I think we would all hope to be that person who would. And just as it would pain us to have to do what we knew was best, it grieves God’s heart just the same, to see us so confused, saddened, and trying to be okay with something that we didn’t see or know, something that sometimes is just so hard to accept.

But, friend? You have to trust Him. He was there. He heard, He saw, and knows things that you don’t have a clue about. And when you can fully grasp that, trust that, and rest in THAT, you’ll be able to fully let go, breathe, and finally thank Him for what He had to do. He loves you. And He won’t ever stop watching over you. ❤️

“He provides them with security, and they are supported; And His eyes are on their ways.” Job 24:23

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

A Relationship Shouldn’t Drain You

Challenge you? Yes. Show you areas of your heart that need to be worked on? Yes. Teach you patience and compassion? Yes.

But completely drain? No.

Yes, it might be hard on some days. It might take work. It might take understanding and learning how to communicate better. It might take humbling and knowing when to say sorry. And on some days, you might want to throw something at the other person's head and just give up. That is all very normal. But, it should not be draining you, day in and day out, with no changes in sight. It should not be slowly sucking the life out of you, and every day, constantly being entangled in an argument, defeat, or a fight. And making you into someone you don't want to be.

The mind games are not okay. The abuse (in any form), is not okay. And there needs to be boundaries or something in place to facilitate change, or you need to walk away (if you are not married), until change does happen. Until (or if) BOTH parties want to change and make it happen.

I am not saying to give up on people if you know God has placed you their life. I am reminding you that you are a child of God, and how you are treated, matters to Him. Your relationships matter to Him. You, matter to Him. And I am reminding you that this kind of behavior isn’t okay to Him.

Is this a friend? Boyfriend? Or maybe a marriage where some boundaries or counseling need to be discussed?

You CAN break free from this way of living. If this is a pattern in your life, well, maybe you have some issues that need to be addressed. If this is something new, and somehow you have gotten sucked into some unhealhty relationship, maybe you just needed this reminder, that you don't have to stay in it. Wherever you are, be honest with God, and friend? Invite Him into it.

Some of you are in a relationship right now and you know it isn't the right one. Some of you have a friend in your life, and they aren't treating you like one. Some of you might be married, and just don't know what to do anymore. Friend? Invite Him into it. Bring it all to Him, be honest with Him and yourself, and listen when He tells you what to do.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Boundaries Are Not Grudges

Friends, don't let someone else's undealt with issues begin to make you feel like you have issues. This kind of person wants a reaction and thrives in dysfunction -- not necessarily because they are a bad person, because this is what they know. This is how they lived, and if they have never gone back and allowed someone or God to help them see it wasn't healthy, they'll stay in it, and pull the people close to them into it.

Sometimes we have family members that do this and we have gotten healthy, but they have not. And often, they have a hard time with that. Well, in comes the boundary, and you can trust that God will help you stand your ground as you make it in love, and just speak the truth. Be prepared though, because often when that person sees their tactics aren't working anymore, it can get bad. It can get ugly. But you have to remember, it's not you, it's just God bringing to light some of the wounds, hurt, and ugliness in their heart that needs dealt with.

Recognizing the toxic behavior ahead of time will save you years of heartache. As I said, if we are used to toxic behavior in our relationships, we will almost crave it, to feel normal. But all it takes is looking back over your life at the relationships you’ve had, and how your family operated (or didn't operate at all), and if you know it wasn't the greatest, or you know there were some issues, bringing them to God and asking Him to show you what needs to be dealt with, so you don't carry those things or behaviors into any more relationships with you. A Christian counselor is a game changer. Their job is to literally look over your whole life with you, and help you receive healing in every area, for what's happened to you, what's been done to you, and what you might have done to others.

But if you are the one dealing with someone toxic, don't take it. Sometimes the best thing you can do is put a boundary in the sand that will push them directly into the healing arms of Jesus. Even if it hurts or is hard to do, it is the GOOD, right, and loving thing to do. For you, AND them.

Monday, February 6, 2023

He Will Never Leave You


People sometimes leave us and abandon us. We may feel rejected and alone, and that God is nowhere to be found. We may even feel abandoned by God and feel anger towards Him.

Feelings are based on thoughts. While these feelings are true the thoughts behind them are not. God's Word says that He will never leave us nor forsake us. So even though we may not "feel" God is with us, He is always there because He promises to always be there and He cannot lie. God never goes against His word. He promises His eternal presence.

Feelings change all the time which is why they can't be trusted, especially if they are based on lying thoughts.

You our are not alone. You are not abandoned. Some people may leave you but God never will. .

Take comfort by reminding yourself of the truth. God is with you, even in times of trouble. If God is for you who can be against you?

Friday, February 3, 2023

Choose to Live Life Unoffended

I cannot tell you how many people unfriended, unfollowed me, and made their opinion strongly known after I announced who I supported for president. It didn't matter that some were friends and we shared parts of our lives together...no, they were offended. And I had to go.

I think this year alone, people saw some sides of people that they never knew were even there, and so much of it came down to people being offended. I get it. People post or say some things that we might not agree with, someone says something to you and it triggers something deep in you, but you know what? Our first response should never be to cut them out. Attack them. Or try to choke them with our opinion. No, our first response should be either to look at their life and try to understand them, or move on. Or, scroll on and hide them and their posts. 😋

We live in a world where everyone is offended about something. And my question is, why? Why are we so offended? What is really making us so upset? Because let me tell you, it is not nearly as much about that other person having a different opinion or trying to hurt you, as much as it is about what is actually going on inside of you.  Because healthy minded individuals don't cancel people out of their lives for thinking a certain way, or maybe saying the wrong thing. Right-minded people don't get offended at something that you never said to intentionally hurt them or that was not directly AT them. And even they do, there's a right and mature way to handle it.

So if you are someone who finds yourself always being offended, to the point where it literally sends you overboard, and you are one of the very people that cut people out of your life because of it? Friend, know, it's probably not them, as much as it is you. I know that is hard to hear, but it's just the truth. You're the one that likely has the issues that need to be sorted out. And if you don't know what those are? Take it to God. Invite Him into the hardened part of your heart that sometimes lives in offense. Because it’s no way to live, and it can cause a lot of damage.

Choose to live a life unoffended. It's a GOOD thing to want to be free of offense. It's a FREEING thing.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

JEALOUSY (save for later)

I think if you are human being, at some point in your life you have struggled with comparison. And the awful thing about comparison is if it is left unchecked, it leads directly to jealousy and self-doubt. We envy what's happening in the life of someone else, and at the same time, start doubting ourselves and God, and then questioning our own. It's a vicious hole to fall into, and a sin that can easily take root and linger. 

Jealousy is usually sad at the happiness of others, makes us hostile (in our hearts) towards those who have (often) never harmed us, and it is essentially telling God that what He has given us, isn't enough. (Ouch). When we begin to envy someone else's life, we take our eyes off of who God made us to be and the life He gave US, and begin to focus on that person's life, and the life He gave THEM.  We zero in on what's around us, and then satan uses it to get in our minds and make us feel like things aren't good enough. And friend, the minute we entertain it, the minute we allow the enemy to drag us into this sin. "It will never happen for you, you're not good enough, you're not faithful enough, you're not pretty enough....."...sound familiar? Many of us have heard these lies at one point, because satan plays the same kind of tapes to us all, just at different times in our lives. And the person who we get jealous of? 99% sure she has heard them, too.

So how do we break free from the sin of comparison? Over the next couple of posts we are going to tackle it, and hopefully you will walk away with ways to overcome it with Truth. In the meantime though, remember, where people are in life does not take ANYTHING away from where God has you in yours, or what He is doing in yours. He sees them, but He also sees you. Your lane is a one-way lane to Him, and constantly looking at someone else's, is not only robbing yourself of the joy and treasure that can be only be found in yours, but affecting your relationship with Him, and more things than you think along the way.  God knows exactly what you need and will provide for you according to His will. And as we embark towards healing in this area, you'll start to believe it!