Just Pray?

I shared this on Facebook and decided to share it on here as well. I have talked before about how prayer as a solution is being rejected by the world and how sadly, many churches are adopting this mentality. For these people, Prayer Is Not Enough! However, I will say it until my dying breath… Yes it is! Yes HE is!

My status reads as follows:

I am really sad about the recent suicides that have made headlines over the past week. People who appeared to have it all ending their lives. Mental illness runs in my family, so this cause is especially near and dear to my heart.

I am heartbroken by the way the Church has responded in light of these events. I don’t know when prayer became about being “politically correct”. When did it become taboo to tell someone suffering from mental illness to pray? I don’t know if I’m just naive, but I still believe that there is nothing impossible for God! Yes, I understand that mental illness is like being diabetic or having another physical ailment, and that you’re going to need some kind of treatment. I myself have been in therapy. Sometimes you’re going to need that and/or sometimes you’re going to need medication, but at ALL TIMES you’re going to need prayer. I don’t know why it’s not okay for the Church to say that anymore.

The Bible says: “is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” I believe that God still heals! And he doesn’t just heal physical illnesses… he can heal your mental illness too! Yes, we should connect them to the appropriate resources, but let’s not belittle the power of prayer when doing so. Yes, we have fellow believers also struggling, but when I say, pray… I’m not saying “just pray” like it’s an easy way out… I’m saying PRAY because it’s the ONLY way out. Pray like your life depends on it… because it does! It will not be easy, but your life is worth it! It’s worth waging war for on our knees!

One final yes, for those who don’t know Christ… I do believe knowing him will make all the difference!!!!! In his presence there is fullness of joy! Peace that surpasses all understanding! Hope like an anchor of the soul! New mercies every morning! Love that covers a multitude of sins! And so much more!!!!

Thanks for reading & don’t forget to pray! 🙏🏻

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Bloggers Support Bloggers Award

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Thank you, Gail, for nominating me for the Bloggers Support Bloggers Award! I am relatively new to all of this and so appreciate you thinking of me! I find it so encouraging to read your blog. I especially love your poetry! Your love for God is evident in everything that you share!   


The Rules:

  1. Thank the one who has tagged you for this challenge and link their blogsite.
  2. Add the official photo in your page.
  3. List at least 5 bloggers you like. (Suggestion: You can list up 3 bloggers that you’ve known for a long time and you can also list up 2 newbies or more. It’s up to you though!)
  4. In 5 sentences or above, give a short description about why you love the blogger.
  5. Tag at least 3 bloggers to do the challenge.
  6. Put #bloggerssupportbloggers in the Tags section so whenever a blogger is looking for new blogs to read, it will be easier to find!

Blogs I Like:

I love the following blogs because of their transparency. They recognize that we’re all on this journey of faith together and there are no pretenses to what they share. They “keep it real”. The world needs to hear about God from more people like them. People who aren’t all about appearances, but who speak from the heart. 

Inside Cup

Beauty Beyond Bones

Elihu’s Corner

Matthew Winters (Comeback Pastor)

Seeking Divine Perspective


The Nominees:

Dreaming of Guatemala

Nocturnal Mom Talks

Valerie Cullers

God bless! ❤

Against Your Fears

Today, I am home from work with a sick toddler. While she rests, I thought it would be a good idea to “catch up” with my BLOG. I had started the year with a a review of Priscilla’s Shirer’s book Fervent and loved it so much that I decided to continue my review weekly- chapter by chapter. I had made it all the way to chapter five, but then life happened and well, now it’s May. ☹️ Nevertheless, I am determined to finish the other half of this book, just don’t be surprised if the date reads February. 🙂 Just Kidding. 😜

If he [Satan] is working that hard to keep me from moving forward, there must be some blessing or beauty from Heaven he’s trying to divert me from. And I’m not having it, not anymore, not from him. 

So, I started a Teen Mom Support Group at my church. Due to the nature of my job, I felt led by the Lord that this is what the youth in our community need right now. My hope was to grow this Support Group to encompass Teens with Depression, Teens in Foster Care… basically, teens who have nowhere else to go. Because these teens will eventually turn to drugs and alcohol (if they haven’t already). That’s how their parents have coped and they know nothing else. I was able to promote this support group at my job and we even had someone sign up after being referred by our County’s Health Department. I know it’s only one person, but it’s a start.

I asked my mom to be the group’s facilitator since she was a teen mom herself and she has worked with troubled youth for years. She was on board, of course, but when she received the first email from the Health Department’s Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program, she was terrified. A lot of her excuses sounded like the ones Priscilla mentions in this chapter: “I’m not ready”, “I’m not educated enough”, “I’m not capable'”.

Fear is the antithesis of faith.

Priscilla reminds us in this chapter that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Fear comes directly from Satan to hinder us from moving forward in what God has called us to do. If the Israelite’s had wallowed in fear- they would have never crossed the Red Sea or made it to the Promised Land. In the same way, we will never make it to our destiny if we allow fear to paralyze us.

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Some of our reactions our natural- sweaty palms, racing heart, etc., but if we allow the enemy to intensify these reactions- we will miss out on experiencing the beauty of God’s promises being fulfilled in our life.

So, mom, if you’re reading this- Do not be afraid. This is what you’ve been praying for. God is making a way for you into the lives of these teens, so that you can help them.

Heavenly Father,

I praise you because you are FEARLESS! ❤

I praise you because you are the “Way-Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, and Light in the Darkness!”

I ask you to help us not be paralyzed by fear, but to give us the discernment to know where you are asking us to go and what you’re asking us to do!

I ask you to please help us not be afraid to walk worth of the calling we’ve received & to have faith that you are preparing us to do your good work!

I ask you to forgive us for the times we have been afraid and missed out on experiencing your glory!

Yes! Because you have not given us a spirit of fear!

Yes! Because you know what you’re doing!

Yes! Because you are greater than ALL!

In Jesus Name,

AMEN!

P.S. I am currently obsessed with this song!

The Truth About Working Moms

When I first started working- Sarah was only six months. I could not live with the guilt I felt leaving her every morning. I remember crying to my husband that I was an “evening and weekends mom”. I know, I know, harsh.  I hated feeling like my attention was divided between home and work.  Notice my use of the word “was”. Although I still feel guilty; I’ve learned not to be so hard on myself for having a career. My attention isn’t divided. Sarah with me, even when I am not at home. Yes, I still feel sick to my stomach every Sunday at the thought of leaving her the following morning, but hearing her squeals of delight because “Mommy’s home” is everything.

The worst part for those of us suffering from “working mom guilt” is the way we beat ourselves up for all of the milestones we feel our children haven’t accomplished yet because of us. For example, I’ve been struggling to potty-train Sarah. When I look around and see all the other potty-trained 2-year-olds- I feel like the worst mom in the world. Is my career somehow holding Sarah back? Am I selfish because I not only  “need” to work, but because I want to work as well? I’m sure I am not the only mom in the world who has asked themselves these questions. Probably more than once. Some days, it’s all I can think about.

Every day I’m learning not to punish myself for everything that goes wrong at home. Yesterday, we went out to eat and I took Sarah to the bathroom and she peed in the toilet for the first time and then announced it to the whole restaurant. Seeing her raise her arms and then yell at the top of her lungs, “I went pee pee in the toilet!” was the highlight of my weekend. We still have a long way to go, but it’s a small victory.

And that’s what I am choosing to focus on. The small victories. Making Sarah dinner and hearing her exclaim, “Mom, this is delicious!” Brushing her hair and watching her dance around in excitement as she shows it off. Tucking her in at night and hearing her little voice whisper, “pica”, so that I scratch her back until she falls asleep. These “small victories” are the moments I live for.

Yes, I still think, If only, if only- I could be a stay at home mom!  I could do all of the things on my Pinterest board that I’m normally too exhausted to do! I could have “me time” and not feel like it’s taking from “her time”. I could stop sharing self-care memes and actually take care of myself. 

But, I’m realizing now that I can do both. I can take care of myself and still making taking care of her a priority. I work for Child Protective Services and one of the things I like to tell my clients is: “If you’re not safe- your children will not be safe”. I think that statement is true of anyone. Our physical safety may not be at risk, but our spiritual and emotional well-being is compromised when instead of taking care of ourselves- we wallow in our working mom guilt.

So, let’s stop beating ourselves up! Because when we do that- we’re not only hurting ourselves- we’re hurting our children! I melodramatically declared to my hubby the other day that I was going to take a nap and not feel guilty about it. He looked surprised at first, but then nodded and said, “you should never feel guilty for being tired”(And that is why I love him!).

So there you have it,  you should never feel guilty for being tired, or for ordering pizza instead of a home-cooked meal, or for falling asleep in the church nursery (True story!)… or for being a full-time mommy who also works.

Thanks for reading!

-Damaris ❤

Prayer Is Not Enough

Several weeks ago, someone from my church was complaining about how we are not doing enough. His exact words were: “we don’t need to pray anymore, we need to start working”. I am still a little hazy about what he means by that, but his message on prayer was loud and clear. Prayer is not enough.

In the wake of the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School; I was surprised to see so many people echo this sentiment across the nation. From the viral tweet from Sarah Chadwick, a student who survived the shooting, to the endless debates across social media on the need for gun control and mental health care.

I don’t want your condolences you f****** price (sic) of sh*t, my friends and teachers were shot. Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But Gun control will prevent it from happening again.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims and the survivors; I cannot even begin to imagine the depth of their grief, but I am saddened by the thought that behind every “Call To Action” lies the idea that prayer won’t fix what is broken in America. Moreover, It saddens me to think that the Church agrees with this heresy.

I understand that we want something to be done… something tangible… something that we can hold in our hands that will make us feel safe- a security blanket. However, at the end of the day, all of our work will be for naught if God is not allowed back in our schools.

Not only have we rejected prayer in our schools, but we reject the very sentiment. It’s not enough to say, “my prayers are with you”; no longer is “I’ll be praying” welcome among those who grieve. I imagine that they are disillusioned with God. If God is real, where was he? I don’t pretend to know why God allowed this to happen, but I do know that prayer could have prevented it.

Prayer can open the ears of these politicians to hear the blood of our children crying out. Prayer can move them to take action. And if we prayed together? Uff, what couldn’t we accomplish? The Bible says,

“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

The world needs our prayers, now more than ever before. They need a united church that can stand firm in their faith and not be shaken when things like this happen. E.M. Bounds said it best:

“Men and women are needed whose prayers will give to the world the utmost power of God; who will make His promises to blossom with rich and full results. God is waiting to hear us and challenges us to bring Him to do this thing by our praying…. As though God places Himself in the hands and at the disposal of His people who pray – as indeed He does.”

We need to really pray and not just go through the motions of prayer. We need to prayer like our lives and lives of our children depend on it… because they do.

Prayer is more than enough. It is the “work” we are called to the do and the best course of action we can take during times like these. Don’t take my word for it, I challenge you to pray and see for yourself.

But what can I do?

Water for Camels

Most social workers know the analogy of the old man and the starfish. As the story goes: a young woman, jogging along the sea shore, stopped when she came across a strange scene. The beach, she observed, was covered with starfish, having been thrust upon the sand by violent waves. Unable to live outside of the sea, those tossed furthest away were dead or dying. There were so many of them she feared to count. More curiously, an old man was slowly picking up the still moving starfish, one at a time, and tossing them back into the sea. She approached the elderly gentleman and asked him, “Why are you doing this? The numbers are too large to save them all. Your action will not make a difference”. He smiled at her and tossed another starfish into the churning sea. Then he replied, “it made a difference to this one”.

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Against Your Past

Every Thursday, I have been sharing one of ten strategies that Satan uses against us from Priscilla Shirer’s book Fervent. So far, I have covered: Against Your PassionAgainst Your FocusAgainst Your IdentityAgainst Your Family. This Thursday, I wasn’t able to post. 😦 To be honest, I was feeling so drained.  My job isn’t easy. Being a wife and a mother isn’t easy. I feel so exhausted all the time. It’s hard to prioritize doing what you love (like blogging <3) when there is so much else going on that demands your attention. Thankfully, my husband is a saint. He and Sarah are currently in Cleveland right now visiting his parents. I was able to sleep in, clean (which believe it or not, helps me decompress), and read.

I was tempted to backdate this blog for Thursday at Noon when it should have gone live, as I’ve been known to do in the past, but  I decided not to. We can’t backdate life. As much as we wish we could go back and do things differently. We can’t. We can only learn from our mistakes and move forward. Which brings me to strategy number five: Against Your Past.

This is by far the shortest chapter of Priscilla’s book , but it is very straight forward and I appreciate that.

He [Satan] carefully archives footage from our history so he can pull from those files and remind us what our days of defeat, sin, and failure look like. You’ve seen them, same as I have, a million times. If your life is anything like mine, I’d imagine he’s turned every room in the house at one time or another, popping in one of his old favorites into the old player- for his amusement, for our humiliating shame and embarrassment. -Priscilla Shirer

Satan loves to remind you of your past because he knows that you love the Lord and you don’t revel in your sins against him the way the world does. The world sees sin differently than we do. Sin for the world is often categorized as having a good time, following your heart, or doing what makes you happy, but first us, sin is the gap that separated us from God that only the cross could bridge.

Satan uses our guilt and shame to keep us from moving forward instead of learning from our mistakes and/or teaching others who might be going through something similar. Priscilla reassures us that when we pray we remember the following:

  1. God doesn’t live in the past. “God exists outside of time”. Therefore, when Jesus died on the cross for our sins- he did it for those past, present, and future.
  2. We only live by grace anyway. Everything Satan is holding over your head are testaments of God’s grace over your life!

God forgives you. Now forgive yourself.

Heavenly Father,

I praise you because you are rich in mercy! I praise you because I once was dead in my sins, but you gave me life in Christ! I praise you for your forgiveness! I praise you because you make all things new! I praise you because your anger is but for a moment! I praise you because your favor is for a lifetime!

I ask you to forgive me if I have sinned against you!

I ask you to help me forgive myself and not call to mind the former things! I ask you to help me not live in the past, but in the newness of life in Christ! I ask you renew my strength, so that I walk and not grow weary, run and not faint!

Yes! Because you are the same yesterday, and today, and forever! Yes! Because I am a new creation! Yes! Because the old things have passed away! Yes! Behold, new things have come!

In Jesus Name,

AMEN!