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You are mine

When reading. Replace with your name. ❤️

You Are Mine!
(YOUR NAME)
I love you!
I love you in every-way. (Psalms 36:7)
I know you!
I know you by name. (Isaiah 4:16)
When In darkness you fall.
I am there shining my light. (Micah 7:8)
So that you can see
To make it through the night.
I see you! (Genesis 16:13)
I see you when You’re fighting.
Fighting to find your way;
Through the pain, through the fear, through the shame,
I am near –
near to your heart! (Psalms 34:18)
I know the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:4)
Do not wonder from my voice.
From my word May you never part.
(YOUR NAME)
I see you
And I say…
You are mine (2 Corinthians 6:18)
And I am here with you to stay. (Joshua 1:9)
Trust me.
Trust me in the waiting. (Psalm 31:14-15)
Trust me. Let me lead you.
I’m leading the way! (Proverbs 20:24)

The Swing

The Swing! Co-written by @jessierayos

A few months ago we took a walk to a nearby swing set. On the walk there our minds were filled with such worry. We pushed the kids and then I (Helena)took a turn. There was something about the feeling of the breeze as I swung back and forth. That feeling was calming and God suddenly filled me with so much peace. It was a reminder that despite what trials I am currently facing in the season that this isn’t my final destination, I have so many more good moments in life left to experience. Life does that sometimes. It tries to make you feel that a hard season is now something permanent. It tries to put the problem right in front of you so close to your face that you can’t seem to see anything else. When life seems dark and you feel as if the life is being sucked out of you, take a turn on the swing and feel the breeze and remember that the storms will come but the rain can’t last forever. There are better days ahead. Seasons of sunshine and laughter. There are great memories left to be made. God has more good in store for you regardless of what you’re going through and even if you are the one who caused the problem in the first place. Take your eyes off the problem and put your eyes on Him. Stop focusing on how hopeless your situation is and start focusing on the God who makes all things possible. When we are hurting, our heart is broken and We are wounded deeply our hope can still be in Jesus.

Be encouraged that the little things in life such as a turn on the swing can lift your spirits and give you a new perspective on Gods unending love and plan for you.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16

The school Bus!

The School Bus!
Ellie had the best morning ever getting on the school bus for the first time. She begged to ride it last year in kinder but I told her my emotions could hardly handle sending her to school for the first time, the bus would have to wait a year. She was ready to ride in kinder and she’s definitely ready to ride now.
Ellie is growing up so fast and I’m trying to slowly let her spread her wings. Every morning I tell her “you can always come to us when you need help!” We want her to know that she can come to us no matter how old she grows and no matter how big she might have messed up. Jesus is the same with you and I. Figuratively speaking, He gives us the freedom to get on the school bus. He loves each of us so much and His sacrifice on the cross reminds us that we can always run to Him when we need help or are in trouble. More importantly, I was encouraged as I watched Ellie confidently get on the bus this morning. Jesus doesn’t just watch her walk on but he goes with her. Today I put Ellie on the school bus and didn’t get on with her. I sent her off but I didn’t send her off alone. I know Jesus is on that bus, in that class, on the playground, in the cafeteria and walking in the halls with her. He is in her heart! The school bus will drop her back off today after school and I will be waiting. I will watch her excitedly walk off the bus and in my heart I know Jesus will still be walking with her.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalms 23:1-6

No Longer Contained

We set Jay in a booster seat with straps at a restaurant recently. He is a ball of energy and will disappear on you in less then a second. Next thing we know he is crawling across the table with the booster seat still attached to his bottom. He has always been full of energy. When I was pregnant with him I tried on explain to my OB that Jay would kick and move so much until it was too much for me to handle and I would throw up. She said that wasn’t possible but I’m telling you these Covid babies are different and I’m positive this is what was causing my continuous puking episodes.

If Jay wants something he is going to get it regardless of whether or not it is a good thing to go after. While this can be a bit frustrating in these toddler days, I find myself praying that as he grows and finds his trust in Jesus that nothing in the world will keep him from going after the calling God has placed on his life. I pray that nothing will contain Jay from all God wants to do in him and through him.

In life it can be easy to allow fear, frustrations, rejection, disappointment, mistakes and so on to keep us restrained and confined. We are too scared to go after that God calling. We are afraid we will be disappointed. We fear we might fail. We believe our sins are too great for God to still use us. These are not words from God. These are tactics from the enemy that keep us isolated and confined from all God is calling us to.

Daniel didn’t stop praying when in the den with the lions. (Daniel 6)

Sarah didn’t lose hope when God promised her a baby. (Genesis 17)

Job didn’t stop trusting God when he lost everything and everyone he loved. (Book of Job)

Esther stayed brave when God called her to something bigger then herself. (Book of Esther)

And you are not going to stop following God even in the storm that you are standing in right now.

When you feel restrained and unable to push past the fear, shame and rejection know that God has called you to something great even in your pain and shame. You no longer have to live contained.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 2:6 NLT

Maria

While in Mexico a few years ago (2013), I remember seeing these two little girls. You can see one holding the other. For the purpose of the story I’ll call them Maria and Veronica. I remember for hours Maria set holding Veronica while she slept. Even during all the fun games, upbeat songs and dancing Maria patiently sat holding Veronica. I took a picture because the love of Jesus was reflected so greatly and I didn’t want to forget. I am reminded of how much God loves each of us. He loves us so much He will never let us go. He will never leave us. Hebrews 13:5 is the verse that comes to mind when I see this picture.

“I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Jesus loves us so much and like Maria holding a tired child, Jesus will hold you through every trial, every victory and every moment of life. Not only will He hold you but He will never let you go.

Hold Him Up!

2010 was a tough year for me. I lost my first real job, my stepdad passed away and I was already in the mist of dealing with a lot of past childhood trauma. My stepdad passing away shook me. Suddenly my anxiety hit an all time high and to be quite honest I was no fun to be around. I cried all the time. When I wasn’t crying I was angry and mean. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was not the best version of myself in anyway. Jessie and I were dating at the time and I’ll never forget how strongly he stood by me. I know it was not easy for him to walk beside me in my pain and heartache. He took a huge part of my pain and frustration on his shoulders when he had every right to walk away. He prayed with me and for me. He held my hand at the funeral. He stood beside me as I cried over my stepdads casket. He carried his casket as well. He was always waiting with the biggest hugs. When I first heard the passing of my stepdad he held me as I sobbed in a way I never knew anyone could sob. Guys, he stood beside me for the next two years as I grieved in a way I never thought anyone could. One specific thing I remember is him knocking on my door on many occasions telling me that he was taking me to dinner or breakfast. When I gave up on myself and wanted to isolate from friends, family and food he showed up and loved me. I’m so thankful God placed him in my life.

There is the story of Moses. The story tells us that Moses’ hands grew tired. As long as Moses was able to hold his hands up, Joshua prevailed, but as soon as his hands grew weary and dropped, Amalek prevailed. When Moses’ strength began to fail, Aaron and Hur put a rock under him to sit and held up his arms. (Story found in Exodus 17)

This story reminds me of Jessie when like Aaron and Hur, he held me up when I felt I would surely fall.

“Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset.” Exodus 17:12 NLT

Before Jessie ever said “for better or worse” he was choosing to love me at my worst. That is a different kind of love in my book.

Over the last year I have seen Jessie navigate through his season of emotional pain. The sleepless nights and feelings of hopelessness. Anxiety attacks and feeling burned out. Seeing him in a season where he doesn’t feel like himself and limping through life but trying to keep on going. Experiencing a loved one go through these things can make us want to push them away but I want to love Jessie like he loved me when my arms were too tired for me to keep holding them up. ❤️

I love you Jessie Rayos ❤️

Diet Coke and Faith

Each week in VBS we did an object lesson to point to the Bible character that we were talking about. This week we did several object lessons that all related to The miracles that Jesus performed. The kids loved it!! After each object lesson the kids would tell us which Miracle it illustrated. One of those miracles was Jesus walking on water. To illustrate we used a can of Diet Coke and a can of Coke. The Diet Coke would float (walk on water) but the can of Coke would sink to the bottom. We want our faith to be so strong in Jesus that we stay above the water (problems in life) and not sink. Jesus is our helper. He wants to help us stay above the water. Our faith in Jesus helps us stay afloat. ❤️

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Matthew 14:27 NLT

When you are facing tough circumstances that leave you with fear, know that Jesus is walking beside you.

Standing in a storm

I’m standing in a storm
with sheets of rain pouring down on me. I’m terrified and
I can’t see through the darkness
but I know I can trust in you.

When the rain pours down on me and I can’t escape the lighting. I’ll raise my hands
and lift my voice.
I’ll praise you in the storm.

Let the rain fall down
and the lighting chase me.
Let this heartache make me strong. Let the rain pour down.

I pray the walls of my heart stand firm if the lighting catches up to me.
I believe the heart beat
that beats in you
Is beating inside me.

When the rain pours down on me and I can’t escape the lighting. I’ll raise my hands
and lift my voice.
I’ll praise you in the storm.

Let the rain fall down on me.
Let the thunder rage war.
Let the lighting come.
Let the floods pour in.
I’ll keep looking for a glimpse of the sun.

I’m standing in a storm
with my arms stretched out to you.
My heart is bruised from the lightning.
My clothes soaked from the rain.
I’ll still praise you as I wait.

Commotion Motion!

Commotion Motion!

Jay loves the Peoria Playhouse. His favorite area is the Commotion Motion Center. There are different areas in the center where you put a ball in a tube and watch it be moved up with the power of the force of air. Jay stood in awe as he watched his ball balance simply because of the air blowing out of the tubes. Watching Jay stand in awe while watching the different activities throughout the Peoria Playhouse made me think of how in awe we should stand because of God and His blessings on our life.

There are many moments in life that are tough and it can feel like there is too much negative commotion around. In these moments we have the opportunity to sit down and give up or we have the opportunity to remember all the moments when life was a challenge but God showed up. When has God come through for you? When has He made you stand in awe of Him. If He came through for you in the past you can rest assure that He will come through for you again. Remain faithful. Remain hopeful. Remain encouraged because we serve a God who deserves for us to stand in all of Him. It’s not a matter of “if” He will come through for us it’s only a matter of when He will show up! Keep your focus on God and all He has done for you. He is working behind the scenes in a way we cannot fathom. He is preparing an open door when it feels like there is no future. He is alive and at work in your life. Trust Him. Seek Him. Stand in awe of Him.

“I have heard all about you, Lord.  I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by.
And in your anger, remember your mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2 NLT

I’ve had several of my readers ask how they can help me in my writing journey. My writing has always been a way to minister. My writing is a reflection of my relationship with Jesus and the mark He has made on my life. I desire to publish more Christian based books for children as well as adults. Here are three ways you can help me achieve my goals if that is what you desire…

1. Pray – I need prayer that God continues to use my writing to bless others and that He continues to speak to my heart and tell me what to write.

2. Share – If you read one of my post and it blesses you, could you share it so that it can also be a blessing to others?

3. Give – Publishing books takes a lot financially. I have only broken even on the first two books I have published. If you desire to financially bless what I consider to be my ministry, I would greatly appreciate it.

Venmo: @Jessie-Rayos

Thank you for all the love and support you have given me as my readers.

The Bear Crawl

Ellie made it half way across the obstacle course and started yelling that her legs were burning. I encouraged her to keep pushing through the pain and she would soon reach the other side.

In life there are moments when we have to endure a painful situation and refuse to give up no matter how badly it hurts. We keep bear crawling across that obstacle knowing that God is cheering us on just on the other side.

“I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind.” Psalms 94:18 NLT

“Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36 NLT