Angela Jo Manieri
As the summer of 2016 comes to a close, I have learned some lessons. This past season was a huge struggle to say the least.
It began with not being able to stay focused on things for a period of time. Then the extreme fatigue came along. Chores like emptying the dishwasher felt like I just ran a 5k race.
The days seemed to be consumed with a longing for the night to appear so I could justify the sleep. Yet, the days were also filled with countless hours of laying down to cope with the unexplained pain, debilitating headaches as well as isolation. I was behaving like the world only existed through texting, FB posts and social media and a few outings here and there. The game of solitaire became a new friend, sad to say.
Then a diagnosis of fluid on the brain, even though scary as it was, brought some relief to the explanation of the fatigue. That combined with side effects of autoimmune challenges and vertigo, made it extremely difficult to function.
Yet through it all, I knew God was faithful. The struggles are real, yet He is so much BIGGER than all of it! Even though I am not totally on the other side yet, He is there in the midst of everything.
So thankfully my 10 weeks of excessive sleeping does not compare to Van Winkle’s 20 years. It’s been frustrating, but I know the worst is behind me.
In conclusion, my lessons that I learned during these Rip Van Winkle summer months are as follows:
- God’s Plan is Perfect!
• To trust the process
• To embrace the experience and to ask God to reveal the lesson
• To be still long enough to hear His voice
• To rest in His provision
• That each test brought me one step closer to my testimony
• That in trusting God I needed to claim His promises and to speak His word out loud
• That just because something is delayed…does not mean it’s denied
• The more I focused on the problem…the bigger it got. The more I focused on the One who is bigger than my problem…it diminished.
• And that in my weakness…He is Strong!!
And lastly…my new mantra is this….
I AM HAPPY!
I AM HEALTHY!
I AM HEALED!
I AM WHOLE!
Celebrating the lessons and embracing the seasons of my life. Here’s to the revelation of healing!
With all “I Am”…
As we complete our Courage walk for the month of June, I want to share a few truths that can become stepping stones on our path.
One of the quotes that was shared on the radio show that resonated loudest for me was this: We are never going to feel our way into acting. But we will certainly act our way into feeling.
That is so powerful cause how many times do we catch ourselves saying, I don’t feel like doing this or that. But if we act, and then take the necessary steps, our feelings will catch up with us.
In our everyday life, it can be hard to be courageous. It’s looking to God to know that He has already won the battle for us. Each day we need to just suit up, put our armor on and become a warrior for His kingdom. It’s powerful and equips us for the battle, so we are strong and courageous, through Christ who strengthens us!
Sometimes, courage is taking action and sometimes it’s waiting. Being discerning and asking for wisdom and direction from God. Confusion is not from God. We may need to stop the madness of the spinning and get off the craziness wheel, and onto the wheel and into the hands of the Potter. Allowing Him to shape us and mold us into what He wants us to be. It’s the process that shapes us.
So yes courage is both. It’s knowing when to take that step and do it afraid and it’s also knowing when to be still.
It’s daring to trust God and to follow Him and to rely on His promises, provision and protection. It’s believing in the impossible, that only God can provide.
Does that phrase sound a bit familiar? Well…during a conversation I was having a while back with my dear friend Elizabeth, I was sharing something and attempted to reference the familiar phrase… “putting the cart before the horse”. However….what came from my mouth were the following words…. “putting the heart before the course”.
We laughed about it after realizing what I just said. Then I paused for a moment to think about how easily those words flowed? There was no accident that those words came to me, in that turned around manner. It was a teachable moment for me to ponder about that phrase and how it is applicable in our lives.
With the close of 2015 and embracing the newness of the upcoming year, I felt this title appropriate. We think of resolutions, new dreams, hopes, desires, habits, and routines that we will implement for the New Year…for a New You! Yet…have we taken a moment to check in with our “hearts” before determining our “course”? Or should I say…His Heart….for His Course, Purpose & Direction for our lives.
In Proverbs 3:5-6 it says to… “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” from the Message Bible
Sometimes we tend to make our plans and then ask God to bless it. Maybe, just how the above phrase was switched around for me, we may have it backwards too in life. Asking God for His plan and purpose and walking in it, is so much easier, fulfilling and freeing than to do it our way.
That is my desire for this year. To ask for God’s direction for my life. To walk in obedience according to His Purpose. To allow His GPS….Guided Personal Spirit to lead the way for me. His course is already set…our destiny is determined…our blessings are waiting! All we have to do is listen to that still small voice and obey.
Wishing you blessings that abound, peace that transcends all understanding and a heart that overflows with joy!
With all that “I Am”…
Is There Room in Your Inn?
During this special time of year, as we prepare for the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus…I take a moment to reflect on the journey leading to His Marvelous birth.
Imagine Mary, 9 months pregnant on a donkey, and Joseph by her side on foot, traveling through the dark night.
After days of traveling, they arrive in Bethlehem looking for a place to rest and deliver this special child. To no avail, each time they arrive at an inn, the response was the same. There is no room here. The “No Vacancy” sign was lit!
I wonder what was going on in their heads. Lord, you gave us this assignment and we are being obedient, however the circumstances are just not aligning with the purpose before us. We need a place to give birth to this little child, the Savior of the world.
Finally, an inn keeper shows them to a stable on his property and there, the Son of God was born!
This story brings me to our current world! There is a Savior who is Alive, waiting to be born in our spirits…to awaken us to live a miraculous & blessed life. He is the Great “I AM” looking for a place to abide.
So I ask you as we prepare for the Christmas Season, is there vacancy in your inn? What does your sign read? Does it say ‘no vacancy’, I am way too busy and my life is too full? Or does it say, with open hands and a welcome heart, please come in and stay. Not just for a while, but my home is your home. My heart is your heart. Take this heart and make it yours!
That is my wish for all of us this Christmas Season. To know Jesus and invite Him to have permanent residency in our hearts. To take Him in! To carry His Light, Love, Peace, Joy and Grace to all. To be His hands, feet and voice in our world.
May you be a witness this Christmas for Jesus!
With all that “I Am”…
It has been on my heart for quite some time to share this and I truly feel that more than ever…The Time is NOW!
There is so much going on in the world around us…signs that we sometimes ignore as we are too busy with our own agendas at hand. There are imminent events that we as a nation must take notice of and pause and take time to turn to the ONE who created the ultimate agenda….God!
I am not one to come from a place of FEAR…however, there are reasons to believe that we truly need to take heed of what is coming down the pike, so to say. There are messages all around us that scream…be alert…and turn back to God! He is the Great “I AM” and not a God of convenience when we need Him…but a God of ALL! An Omnipotent God and ONE who wants us so desperately to know HIM and make Him known!
I invite you to take a journey with me over these next 30 days to Discover God…from the Inside-OUT! To take time to know Him and share His Love with others. To LIVE in and Walk in His love!
This is not a time to be afraid…but to be JOYFUL….because 2 things are for sure. God is in control and Jesus is coming back! So let’s join hands and Discover all that we are…because of WHOSE we are…and then make a commitment to reach out to one person each day…to invite on this journey with you!
There will be posts, songs, videos and inspirational messages for you to reflect on and share. And as the weeks unfold, you will be invited to join us on an interactive Radio show to share and fellowship.
Join the “I AM” Community at www.facebook.com/YourIAMWakeUpCall
The Time is NOW! It’s time for us all to WAKE UP and LIVE His message and more importantly…share His message with others!
With all that “I Am”…
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This isn’t about religion by any means. It’s about a Wake Up Call! A returning to God to bring back Truth to our Nation. One Nation under God is part of our Pledge of Allegiance. Where is that anymore? Since God was removed from our schools it was the beginning of the demise of our nation. There was no longer a need for God-dependence…it was all self-dependence. Our nation was founded on Christian values of what’s right and wrong and America has plummeted from righteous living in the last quarter century. As Oswald Chambers declared, realize that “God’s laws are not watered down to suit anyone; if God did that He would cease to be God.”
So where does this leave us? It is way too long to share on this blog….however simply put…it’s a return to God. To love…be love and share His Love! To share His Love in Truth and with Grace. To be FREE to share and live according to a country founded on Godly principles. That’s true Freedom.
Today…on this 4th of July, I encourage you to pause and say a prayer for nation. To return to putting God first…in ALL things. To celebrate our Independence as a Dependence on God….the One Who knows all and created us in His Image to Love and be Love!
Wishing you a Blessed 4th of July weekend!
With all that “I Am”…
Have you ever given any thought to the emotions wrapped around putting Christmas away? For some, it may be a feeling of emptiness. For others, it’s a feeling of finally getting back to normal. Either way, there’s a lot of time, energy & feelings wrapped around this activity.
Sometimes, we may have finally put it all away, and then lo and behold, there’s another decoration that we missed. But then we add it to the other pieces and pack it away until next year.
Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive!
What if this year we decided to intentionally keep one special piece out to remind us about the true meaning of Christmas! Imagine if we took the little baby Jesus in the manger and put Him somewhere central in our homes! Would that be a gentle nudge to remind us that He is alive and is wanting a relationship with us?
As you put Christmas away or if you already have, why not keep one important piece visible, the precious reminder of His Spirit alive in us!
With all that “I Am”…
Happy New Year! As we begin a New Year, the phrase that is familiar to many of us from the popular movie ‘Frozen’ comes to mind; Let it go! To me, there is so much significance in those three small words.
Sometimes in life, we tend to hold onto things that do not serve us. Emotions like bitterness, unforgiveness, blame, hurts, if-only’s and so many other feelings hinder us from moving forward in a positive way. Instead of ‘letting go’ we tend to hold on as if our fists were clenched and that we deserve to hold onto them.
Open your hands to receive!
As we embrace this New Year with resolutions and goals we wish to accomplish, how wonderful and liberating would it be to ‘let it go’ and open our hands to receiving all the blessings God has in store for us!
If our hands are clenched there is no room to receive. Let 2015 be a year to open our hands and hearts to the Glory of God!
With all that “I Am”…
As we celebrate this Wondrous Season, I pause and reflect on the preparation that we all go through to celebrate this special time of year.
We know how busy we get and try to make time to remember the true meaning of Christmas or as the saying goes…’the reason for the season.’
I think about the gifts we give and those we receive and I stop to ask a question of myself and to you…”What gift are we giving to the One whose Birthday we are Celebrating?”
Saving the best gift for last!
As I ponder this question, my response is two simple words…My All!
This year has been a realization of the beauty of surrendering my all to the Lord! Relinquishing the trying to figure things out and learning to walk in obedience to His Calling, Will & Direction! As difficult as it’s been for someone who likes to be in control, it also has been extremely liberating!
So, as this Holiday Season continues, I challenge you to ask yourself, what gift are you giving to the One is the Ultimate Giver of all!
With all that “I Am”…