“THE GOD WHO EXCEEDS OUR EXPECTATIONS”
That was me to a very wise friend a short while ago! I can’t get over a conversation with her when I was trying my best to get hubby to come and visit us in the US instead of the kids and me coming to Nigeria to see him. I was looking for every excuse not to come, but she spoke to me very sternly, “Look, you need to come and see what’s going on with your husband and how everything going with him.” Thanks, sweetie! Then it was the appointment with God where I asked Him what I should do, and I felt Him saying that we should overwhelm the leaders who work hard for us with love, appreciation, and respect. I automatically knew God was speaking about my husband! I told the kids, “We’re going to Nigeria!”
Two and half weeks later, I can honestly tell you, “God has exceeded my expectations!” I see clearly see His hands in the entire planning of this trip. It just blows me away by the intense love and faithfulness God has for our family. I’m like, ‘Wow, God! Wow, God! Wow, God’ That’s why it’s my honor and privilege to tell you guys, “Don’t miss out on a life close to God! His ways are not our ordinary human ways; they are sooooo much better! Make it your priority this year to seek a closer walk with Him.
The God perspective changes everything! And I can’t get over the many ways He finds throughout the day to make me aware of His invisible Presence with me. Like yesterday I had such fun talking with a customer who has been insisting for years now that my daughter, Ember, should marry his son. “Don’t worry, we have money; we will take great care of her,” he said.
So, before leaving, he came to show me his new tag/plate number, which included the number 91. I told him how God had Ember and I land on Psalm 91 one morning, and how she surprised me when I got to work and met it on a board we have at our office. A couple of hours later, after telling him the story, I went to have an appointment with God on our family’s website, and I promise you, I felt God saying to go specifically to page 7, only to read this:
“Under the God tree today (my alone time with God!!!), this verse showed up:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” – Psalm 91:1
It was a great reminder that I’m resting under God’s protection, help, support, guidance, love, approval, and favor (AMEN!), and I went as far as taking a picture of it. Fast forward to coming to work a few hours later, I look up from my desk, and I see someone wrote “Psalm 91” on a vision board we have here, which wasn’t there yesterday. I screamed in amazement, “Who wrote that there?!?” My daughter Ember said it just came to her, and she decided to write it. Wow! I got goosebumps all over, showing her the picture I took on my phone of this verse from Psalm 91.”
Believe it or not, out of 141 web pages, for God to say to me in my spirit to go to that specific page for an appointment with Him to read that same story I had shared with that customer only like two hours before this was, again, everything lining up too perfectly to be some ordinary coincidence, it was all God orchestrated to remind me and you that His invisible Presence is always with us. Every thought we think, every conversation we have, everywhere we go, His invisible Presence is ALWAYS with us.
And this awareness of His Presence gives me such peace and joy, knowing I don’t handle my life alone. My job is to do exactly what He asks of me at every moment, as best as possible. WHEN YOU ARE OBEDIENT TO GOD, THAT’S WHERE THE BLESSINGS ARE!!! Wink! Wink! I promise you, this is how He will guide your life on the path where you, too, are continually saying, ‘Wow, God! Wow, God! Wow, God!’ (HUGE SMILE!) Do everything for the glory of God as we claim Psalm 91 together:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
ANYTHING THAT IS A CONCERN TO ME IS A CONCERN TO GOD HIMSELF!!!
That’s my testimony, baby! Like I can’t get over how I wasn’t happy with some furniture we have at our office. I had the girls work with me to see if we could clean them up and make them nicer, but without luck. So in driving back from somewhere on Monday, it just so happened that we had to stop because of traffic directly in front of some people selling sets of brand new furniture like the ones we already have. I found myself staring at them and thinking that this was exactly what we needed to refresh our office for the new year. I thought the bright orange cushions would give the place a cheerful and happy vibe. Can you believe that without any discussions about it, within less than 24 hours, my husband was at the same place looking to buy the exact furniture I so loved the day before?
I promise you, hubby and I had no conversation about replacing that furniture! So how did he end up looking to buy it so quickly without talking to me about it? The answer: GOD! With some profound lessons for us all:
In talking to Kevin later, I told him I said to myself, ‘Nik, have a Coke and a smile, and shut up! Check your emotions and stand strong. Take the negative criticisms from hubs, improve from them what you can, and ignore the rest!’ Kevin is training me to be a wise and strong woman! Wink! Wink!
I went to work super happy, knowing God’s deep love and involvement in my life! I know that God sees my heart, and I need not stress about what anyone else thinks of me. I love my hubs, but God’s opinion is what counts most. I’m learning to live my life with one foot on earth, with all the disappointments, messiness, frustrations, and challenges, and one foot in heaven, seeking to please God, which still means shooting to be the best wife, mother, and person, all for His glory! Amen!
That was the type of tea hubby picked out for us to buy at the store on Sunday and where I want us all: EXTRA STRONG KNOWING GOD HIMSELF IS WITH US AT EVERY MOMENT OF OUR LIVES, HELPING AND SUPPORTING US (Wink! Wink!). I want the joy of the Lord to be our strength as we bravely and happily take on any challenges that come our way, tapping into God’s voice on a moment-by-moment basis as to what to do (or not do!), what to say (or not say!) and where to go (or not go!). We’re never alone; GOD IS WITH US!!! It’s just for us to spend time alone with Him to learn His voice and direction for our lives! NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN LEARNING THE VOICE OF GOD!
For me, I love reading back through my old posts with such crucial reminders for me to tackle my life TODAY. I especially loved this one that reminded me to throw off anything that’s holding me back and the reminder from Kevin not to try to be God (let God do His thing!), but also learn to be extra soft and be God’s angel in the world:
WOW! WOW! WOW!
‘Before you call your husband, have an appointment with God first!’ was what I thought to myself. The last time we spoke, it didn’t end well, and I wanted to call him from a gentler and softer place. It was 18 minutes past the hour, so I went to page 18 of our family’s website, and the perfect reminder showed up in this old post:
“DON’T TRY TO BE GOD, BE GOD’S ANGEL”
Are the words from my brother, Kevin, that I can’t seem to get out of my head this beautiful Sunday. This is where I believe God is calling us all – to be His angels in the world. God, I’m in! That means not being so hard on myself or on others. To see the good, their innocence, and what people can become. Not on past failures, fallings, and mistakes. To forgive endlessly with the hope that better days are ahead by God’s grace. Be kinder and gentler with our words (holding some back when necessary) and focused on building others up, not tearing them down.”
Right after reading that first paragraph, my husband surprisingly called me from Nigeria, and a much softer Nik showed up, asking him, “How’s our Big Daddy doin’?” He was bragging about some car parts our daughter, Ember, had ordered for him from the US and were shipped there to him. I then told him about a conversation I had with her late the night before. I said there was a verse that showed up in an appointment with God saying that we should strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back.
Hubby then got a phone call that he had to rush and take. So, I continued with my appointment with God reading that same post from page 18. Look what incredibly showed up there:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us.” Wink! Wink!
I’m talking about the very verse (Hebrew 12:1) that showed up the night before for Ember and me! And just like that, God revealed His invisible Presence that is always with us. It was another God wink where, out of the blue, everything lined up extremely toooooo perfect to be considered some ordinary coincidence.
Ember actually came into my bedroom extremely late to discuss a decision she made. I asked her if she got God involved before making that choice. She said she had, and I then said, “Let’s see what God has to say to us reading my book.” It was 11:22 pm so I thought to read page 22. She said, however, that we should see what day November 22 is, and let’s read that day instead. That turned out to be the 326th day of the year, so we read Day 326. When this verse showed up, she felt it was God confirming she needed to strip away something that she felt was holding her back. That’s my very wise daughter, guys!
So, for Ember and I to go through all of that trouble for our appointment with God late last night and for this verse to show up, to me to tell my husband about this very verse first thing this morning, and for it to show up less than a minute after our conversation, was all God showing us His deep love and involvement in our lives. No coincidence!
It doesn’t get better than this, guys! Knowing God Himself is walking through life with you and that He is intimately involved in every single moment. From essential discussions with your children, to how to deal with a sometimes difficult spouse (SMILE), God is there to help.
In fact, yesterday, Coach Andy asked me on my run, “What is your song of the day?” I thought, ‘Leave The Door Open’ by Bruno Mars as I imagine God singing it to me, saying that He is leaving His door open, meaning His love, wisdom, approval, help, and guidance is always. I then hop in the car to take my sons to work with me, and amazingly my son, Joshie, of all songs on the world, is singing this very one to himself. No doubt, another God wink! Then all day long, I kept hearing it play on my fav radio station, 96.5, Miami’s Party Station. God’s love! By the way, He is leaving the door open for you, too! Wink! Wink!
“PRAYERS DO CHANGE THINGS”
That was the message I included in my last post! Can you believe God went to the trouble to confirm this in a movie from 2009 my daughter, Ember, picked for us to watch yesterday? At one point in the film, I told my husband that there was no way the underdogs of the movie would defeat a force against them with lots of military weapons to back them up. “They can’t possibly beat them!” I said. But right before the attack, someone from the “weaker” set did one crucial thing: went under a tree and PRAYED. Can you believe the prayer was answered and the “weaker” group defeated the “stronger” one? That movie left me with one HUGE impression: NEVER FORGET THE GOD FACTOR; PRAYERS DO CHANGE THINGS!
Nothing is impossible for God! We’re not going by the ordinary rules; God is working in the spiritual realm on our behalf. Our job is to show up in every moment, giving to the best of our abilities what God Himself would have us to do, listening and being obedient to God, then we leave the rest for Him! We walk by faith, not by sight! Trust God with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding!
‘God, what would make you happy here?’ is the question I want us to ask continually. Not worrying about what anyone else is doing, just seeking to please God in all our ways. And when you do that, trust me, God works on your behalf like that movie brilliantly portrayed. God’s ways are not our ordinary ways, and just as I was saying in the film that there was no way for them to win, God comes through in unexpected ways we can’t even imagine. Obey God and leave the consequences with Him is my advice to you! Learn God’s voice for your life and follow Him step by step to your own victory! The joy of the Lord is our strength as we learn to fully trust that God has our backs no matter the difficult situations we face! Amen!