That was me to my brother, Kevin, this morning on my way to my God tree. I was begging him to record another one of his helpful voice notes that guided me to make some significant decisions. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE VALUE OF THE PEOPLE YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH!!!!

The most important lesson from Kevin that I cherish was one day under that tree when I was trying to process some messy things going on in my life. He incredibly said, “Neeks, all I can tell you is to make God your priority. Get closer to God.” THAT WAS THE BEST ADVICE EVER!!! The love and intimacy God shows me are so beautiful. He truly makes me feel as if I’m His favorite girl. Every morning I open our blinds overlooking this beautiful lake, and after mentioning that He now uses ducks as a symbol of His Presence (and strength) with me, I notice a duck always camping out under one of OUR trees (not any of the neighbors!) and I just smile with God.

Then, last night, I was so happy when my son, Joshie, noticed a little wink from Him. We were watching the movie ‘Hustler’ on Netflix, and my hubby called, so I put the film on pause exactly when there was 1 hour and 17 minutes remaining with my famous “1:17” showing up with God revealing another glimmer of His invisible Presence there with us. Joshie was amazed! He said, “And daddy never calls us this late!!’ Hubs woke up in the middle of the night to make that phone call to see if I had made it home safely after I told him I was staying late at work to focus on an important project. (Hubs is truly one of my gifts from God!)

Joshie didn’t know the value of that God wink to his momma, though. We were both snuggled so closely under one blanket, watching and enjoying that movie, when my husband called. It was another special reminder from God to me to stay on the high road with Him. That everything was between Him and me, not between me and anyone else. It was like God was saying, ‘Let’s keep going, my Nik, being the best wife, mom, and person. My Presence is right here with you (Wink! Wink!).” God said all of that with that “117” showing up! He is pretty talkative once you get to know Him and He COMMUNICATES ALOT THROUGH NUMBERS. It’s crazy but 211 now has one meaning, 311 another, 411 another 711 or 117 another, and recently, 811 another! Start paying attention!!! Hubs calling all the way from Nigeria when it was that specific amount of time remaining on that movie was no coincidence!!!

And that’s my reminder to you guys today! Let’s be God’s people out there going overboard in love, mercy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and patience, no matter the evil we may be surrounded by (it is what it is, folks!). Doing everything for His glory, especially in our homes and spreading out into the world. May we all be God’s influencers by looking to Him to help us make the utmost best decisions in every moment by tapping into His Almighty perspective for our lives. Not always easy, but His STRENGTH takes over where our human strength fails.

I promise you, this verse has certainly been my experience as I know that in every moment I have God’s love, protection, favor, wisdom, and guidance backing me up so that I can joyfully and peacefully hold on to Him, as I bravely and lovingly tackle all the challenges that come my way:

“Instead, You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending and I know true joy and contentment.” Psalm 16:11