All posts by Shannon

I am a sinner that spent years of my life putting other people in God's place. Through some very painful life changes, God used those moments to refine me into the person I am today. This blog is my personal testimony, my story and the truths I learned along the way and continue to learn as a follower of Christ.

Tithing of Time

The Bible is very clear about tithing a tenth of our income. We are to give back ten percent of what we have been blessed with to The One who gave it to us in the first place. One day while I was spending some alone time with God, he challenged me. He told me that if I was to give a portion of my income, then why wouldn’t I do the same with my time? That question shifted my perspective in regards to giving God the time He deserves. We are given twenty-four hours in a day, so if we use the ten percent rule of tithing, we should be giving God two hours and forty minutes. As followers of Christ our alone time with our Heavenly Father is crucial to the depth of that relationship. The more one on one time we spend with Him, the deeper the relationship. Think about it this way, if you are dating or married it is crucial to spend alone time together to keep the relationship alive and thriving. Failure to do so would result in the death of that relationship. Or think of it from a food standpoint. You cannot eat one meal a week and expect that to provide the nutrients necessary to fuel your body for an entire week. So why do we as Christians think that going to church on Sunday is enough food for our souls the remaining six days of the week? Well, it isn’t. God created us for relationships and our relationship with Him must be our top priority if we want to live the Godly lives He created us for.

My challenge to you is to put God to the test in this area. In Malachi 3:10, God says, “Test me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” He promises that if we tithe what He requires of us, His blessing will overflow.

Once you have started this challenge, please share your experiences and stories as a result of taking sure a bold move in your walk with Christ.

The Handiwork of God

A few weeks ago I received a phone call from a friend telling me that the man I dated prior to my husband, the one that I have spoken about that broke my heart, had shared his testimony with his wife at Re-Engage at Lakepointe. After hearing it, I realized for the first time that there aren’t just two sides to every story, there are three. Ours, theirs and Gods. Our stories just go to show that we never know what God is doing in our or the lives of others when he takes things away. His hand is working miracles every single day and we have to trust Him even when we don’t understand. I hope that hearing the other side of this story gives everyone that sees it a glimpse of God’s handiwork. His love is a redeeming love and no matter where you have been, what you have done, or how many times you have screwed up, God’s love wins every single time!

God Redeems

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Trey & I grew up in the same town and even went to the same high school for two years, but our story begins much later. I was friends with his brother, Brent, and fell in love with their parents, Butch and Peggy, when I met them at the age of 16. I had always stayed in contact with Butch and Peggy and even sat in front of them at church for years. They were like second parents to me and God was definitely laying the foundation of trust with them before bringing Trey into my life. God knew my deepest desire for a loving extended family that I could trust would love me and my girls like their own and I found that in Butch and Peggy many years ago.

Trey and I’s paths crossed at church one Sunday morning. Since I sat with Butch & Peggy, on this particular day, Trey joined us. We shared small talk and he joked that he had a date that day. I was excited for him so I asked who she was and he said it was me. I laughed at the idea of it because it was a crazy thought. A few months passed and since Peggy and I talked often, I knew Trey was having a rough time. I contacted him just to make sure he was okay and to see if he needed a friend. We decided to have dinner together and really enjoyed one another’s company. We had so many things in common that it was a little creepy!
Over the next few months, we grew closer and became the best of friends. Our kids loved hanging out together and everything just fell into place. We still laugh at the fact that I sat in front of him at church almost every Sunday and I never in a million years imagined that he would one day be my husband!
Our story is simple, but it is nothing short of amazing. Our wedding day was a true testimony of God’s grace and unconditional love for us. He took two broken individuals, used our heartache to refine us, and then brought us together to love one another and our children the way He loves us.
When I heard the lyrics to the following song, they expressed everything I was feeling and so much more.
The day we met
Frozen I held my breath
Right from the start
I knew that I found the home for my heart…
Beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone?
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

One step closer…

I was afraid to love again because in the past love had brought me so much pain, but this love was different. It was the kind of love that God had placed in my heart from the time I was a little girl dreaming of my prince charming. Trey is a great man, but our love has nothing to do with who we are and everything to do with who God is and what He has accomplished in and through us. You see, when God is your everything, it allows you to see others as God sees them and that is the kind of love that frees us to experience a 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 kind of love. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Now we have the rest of our time on this earth to love one another with everything we have and raise our kids in a God centered home that models what a Godly marriage is supposed to be like!

In Loving Memory of Brianna Escobedo 9/15/98-5/22/13

Bullying others, it was your game.
All for fun, not intended for pain.

But the words cut deep, they caused me strife
And because of it all I took my own life.

I now know I should have stood up for myself,
But I couldn’t escape my own living hell.

So you continue to hurt others with your stupid lies,
Not seeing the pain in those gut wrenching cries.

I wish I had asked why being mean was your way,
Then maybe I could have put an end to your bullying days.

But since I gave up, you still cause others pain
And I pray taking my life wasn’t all in vain.

I beg you to think before you are cruel
And always remember the golden rule.

Treat others the way you want to be treated
and instead of tearing them down,
provide love and support which is desperately needed.

Forgive Me Father, For I Have Sinned

Over the years, God has been speaking to me very subtly. His voice would start as a soft whisper and over time it would magnify into a loud roar if I didn’t catch on in a timely fashion. Most of the time I caught on at the whisper stage, but then there were times that I needed to hear Him yell to get the point.

I had just purchased the car of my dreams and had been toying with the idea of a personalized license plate. I wanted something that would be a testimony to others. After brainstorming for a couple of days, I thought “I’m His” would be perfect. I procrastinated a little too long and the dealer plates arrived. I placed them on the trunk of my car to install and got sidetracked with the kids. Later that day I went to the grocery store. It wasn’t until I arrived back home that I realized the plates were left on the car and were now gone. I drove my route hoping to find them on the road somewhere between my house and the store, but no luck. So I ordered replacements. Two weeks later my plates arrived and I opened them to see 850 HYS. My heart stopped. Was this for real? I thought I was seeing things. At that moment I knew God had something very important he wanted to share with me. I went straight to my bible in search of verse 50 in chapter 8.

Before I tell you what I found, you need to know what was going on at that moment in my life. I was married to a man with a sexual addiction. In my brokenness, I had justified certain behaviors of my own. The lines between right and wrong had turned from black and white to grey in our household. After years of pain, instead of relying solely on God to comfort me, I found comfort in things that never gave me what I was longing for. I turned to friends for ungodly advice, spent countless hours easing my pain with shopping, and even turned to another man to meet my needs for emotional support.

I found three verses in the entire bible with a chapter 8, verse 50. All three of them hit my like a ton of bricks. 1 Kings 8:50 says, “Forgive your people who have sinned against you. Forgive all the offenses they have committed against you.” The moment I read the verse, I realized my pain and agony had not subsided because I had unforgiveness and fear in my heart. I had forgiven myself but I was holding captive the forgiveness towards my spouse because I didn’t want to get hurt again. Luke 8:50 says, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” This verse was God’s way of telling me to trust Him and believe that He had a plan for me and that He would meet all of my needs. John 8:50 says, “I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge.” Through this verse, He revealed that He is the judge, not me.

God took something he placed in my heart and used it to teach me a very valuable lesson that day. Healing will never take place the way God intended for it to until we forgive others the way He forgives us, trust Him and believe His promises, and let Him be the judge of those who disobey.

If you find yourself in pain, whether it is the result of your own sin or the sin of someone else, know that God is right there waiting for you to give it all to Him. He is the only one that can heal and restore what Satan has tried to destroy.

 

Put On the Armor of God

Lord,

Help me put on the belt of truth today filtering everything the world tells me through the light of Your Word. Remind me with the breastplate of righteousness that I cannot achieve goodness by the things I do or don’t do. You were the perfect sacrifice and I stand forgiven because of my hope in you. Help my feet carry your message of peace to a hurting world. Let me encourage those around me with the story of your gospel and son, Jesus Christ. Give me strength to carry my shield of faith. I am a part of a community of faith and we all stand together against the attacks of Satan. Cover my mind with the helmet of salvation. Help me think on things that honor you and give me discernment to do what is right and best. Arm me with your sword and hide your scripture in my heart. Your words, not mine, are powerful and effective. i pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, who was the perfect sacrifice to overcome death and give me eternal life.

Amen.

Heaven Sent

While I was married to my ex, before our third child was conceived, I was driving behind a truck that had the name Tryston on the back window where the driver sat. I loved the name and felt that one day I would have a son and that is what I wanted to name him. When I got pregnant with Shaylie, I knew God was giving me a son. At my sonogram appointment, the nurse said it was a girl and I was so sad. I chose to believe she read it wrong and had two more sonograms done because I wanted to know for sure. They all said the same thing. 100% girl. I got over my sadness, but still wanted a little boy. Then my life fell apart. I had totally forgotten all about the name and lost all hope of ever having a little boy. Then I met Trey. It wasn’t until he proposed that God reminded me of what he put on my heart the day I saw that name on the back of that truck. I never imagined it would happen in this fashion, but He did follow through on His promise! Today Tryston, my step-son or as I like to refer to as my bonus son, celebrates his 11th birthday and God reminds me every year on this day that His ways are not my ways and His plans are not always the way I think things would turn out, but His are always better than my biggest, wildest dreams!

If you find yourself with dreams that haven’t turned out the way you wanted, give it all to God. He put those dreams in your heart for a reason and He will bring them to life in His timing. They just might be packaged a little differently than you envisioned! Tryston may not be my biological son, but I love him no less. God whispered to me that day in the car and shared a piece of His plan for me. I look forward to the day when I am standing at the feet of Jesus and He reveals every detail from His perspective. Until then, I feel so blessed that God gives us glimpses of His heart and dreams for our lives.

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