Jesus’s Luxurious Love

The older I get the more I understand and can appreciate the word Luxurious.

When we are younger we don’t pay much attention to the details. Whatever makes us happy or feels good, out of ignorance and youth we indulge, and we are just fine. As we age we gladly exchange comfort for the extra cash. Honestly 20 year old me would have been ecstatic to book a hotel that had a swimming pool. Mid 30’s me is all about that Jucuzzi bath tub and KING SIZE bed. Oh, and you better believe I am reading the reviews to see if this place is COMFORTABLE.

Luxurious to us is heated and cooled seats, extra fur in those house slippers, a silk robe, a big comfy couch we can melt into, or maybe even upgrading to the next package weather it be a spa day, bedroom suit, car, etc. In a nut shell when I hear luxurious I know it is the top of the line, maxed out, all bells and whistles, and I will benefit the comfort and enjoyment it brings to me.

I was reading Psalms 23 today out of the Passion Translation and what really caught my eye was the word luxurious attached to the Lord’s love. The scripture actually reads:

2 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quit brook of bliss. 3 That’s where he restores and revives my life.

I stopped and closed my eyes for a moment. I imagined being in a true place of rest. A true surrender to my savior who offers me and welcomes me in to his luxurious love. I imagined the whole room was softly light, the smells were only the finest aromas of luscious flowers, the room had a huge couch that was covered in red silk. Honestly my mind can’t really perceive just how amazing this place was. Classy, fine, sophisticated, and a safe place created just for me. A room with all the upgrades; the bells, the whistle, and Jesus himself giving me his full attention as I just rested beside him.

That is our Jesus. He is so loving, so kind, and so luxurious. I imagine he has BIG swagger, and all the mansions he is building for us up in heaven makes the worlds most expensive luxurious mansion look like a Polly pocket home in comparison. I imagine there are technologies, fabrics, and “comforts” we have never seen, heard, or felt.

His love is so rich the closest word we can get to in our human dictionary is luxurious. His love is so soft, so enjoyable, so comfortable, so peaceful, so valuable, so powerful.

So, the next time your sister or your friend says you need to go rest, remember what opportunity is being presented to yourself. Really rest in his goodness. Rest in his love for you!

He is waiting to restore your soul in his luxurious love!

What are you waiting for?

Don’t Worry

I know what your thinking. Eye roll 🙄 this girl is over here telling me not to worry, but hello I feel like my life is crumbling right before my eyes. I know, I get it.

To say I don’t ever worry would be a lie, but the Lord is working on my heart with that. I have learned that when I am more open to trust him the worry fades.

Jesus says seek first the kingdom and it’s righteousness and all these things will be added on to you. I use to think material things but now I believe he is speaking of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Where there is peace and joy and patience there is no place for fear, doubt, or worry!

I want to encourage you to lay your worry at his feet because he cares. He loves you, he doesn’t want you upset. You were created for the impossible and that is living a life of freedom even if your bound in the flesh to a disease. We don’t have to live a worried defeated life because of what the enemy has thrown at us to kill, steal, and destroy.

Rise up beautiful one and find your strength in Jesus. He won’t let you down! 🙌🏻🙌🏻💜

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It’s Your Choice, Life or Death

It amazes me that no matter what our circumstances are in our lives we actually get to choose how we are going to navigate through them. Like seriously, that seems almost imposible to comprehend to me. With so many decisions that have to be made on the daily, we are in control of our actions. Notice I said our actions!

Depression is a black misty fog monster. It swallows you up in the depths of it’s belly and it wants to keep you there hidden from the outside world. Depression doesn’t care if it’s your loved one’s Birthday, or vacation time. He usually comes with out warning, and over stays the uninvited welcome.

I know Depression, and because of my autoimmune disease and childhood trauma, I am extra sensitive to being snatched up by it.

If you are not familiar with it yourself, it can make you feel lifeless like a zombie, uninterested with life, emotionless, sad, afraid, hopeless, empty, angry, the list goes one, and it can manifest itself differently each time.

For me I have noticed a Cycle. It will start with extreme anxiety and panic attacks which make me feel helpless and out of control and them BAM…the Black Mist, and my emotions are high jacked, I can’t process words to describe what is going on in the inside, and then….. hope defered.

Last night I had hit that bottom of the rope. I was getting aggravated with myself. “Ash, you have already been healed of so much trauma in your life, why are you taking us into the deep end? We wont be able to keep our chins above water, and I don’t see any life savors floating out here.” I kept trying to remember how did I get to be mentally sound minded like I was just 12 months ago before this ms diagnosis?

And wouldn’t you know it, it all started with a surrender heart and a yielded spirit to the Lord. Joyce Meyer’s Battle Field of the Mind was the second book I read, Beauty from Ashes was the first.

Then it hit me. If I want to get well, if I want to be healed, if I want to be back to joyful me I WOULD HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE.

Dueteronomy 30:19

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against youthat I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Seeking the Lord for his grace and strength is part of choosing LIFE. Jesus is LIFE. His Word is Life. His Spirit is Life. Apart from him we are spiritually dead. Did you know you have a Spirit, Soul, and a Body? Did you know you are to align your Spirit to lead your Soul (mind, will, emotions)?

When we make the choice to be lead by our emotions, we are actually out of alignment and we are being lead by the flesh; our souls.

Depression is a Lying Spirit. Depression thrives on our emotions, our will. That is why it feels so real, because it was a weapon designed to smite us at our weakest part -the soul.

When you are saved, you get a new heart and your spirit is reborn with Christ. But, unfortunately you don’t get a new soul. However God didn’t leave us without help, and he tells us to renew the spirit of our minds. This is where discipline and self control come into play. Also where receiving salvation in Christ through grace and working it out through fear and trembling becomes priority. The Bible tells us that we are being transformed from Glory to Glory in Christ. So being human, and having this human experience has it’s cost. Sure we can bow down to the flesh and give it what it wants, but its a choice, and apart from God it is clear it leads to death.

What I realized was this was my formula I used in the past. 👇🏻

My surrendered heart, my faith and trust in God + God’s love and mercy over me, God’s sufficient Strength = Freedom to Heal

You make a choice then you let go of the fear and trust God to walk with you every day with this choice you have made. This choice means every day you get to walk with a Savior who is relational- a person- not just a statue on a shelf. Every day you get to walk in the Spirit, be lead by the Holy Spirit, and fellowship with the Holy Spirit through prayer and worship.

To not choose to Trust God to be your Sufficient Grace for the Hard things in life means you are Choosing yourself, trusting yourself, and your own strengths. I don’t know about you but I am glad I am not a God because I would be letting myself down all the time. Don’t even get me started on trusting my own flesh to make the right choices for all of us! No way Jose!

What negative circumstances have you been dealing with in your current season of life?

Father I pray that the person reading this would have faith the size of a mustard seed because that is all you require to trust you with their life and release their burdens to you. Renew their minds and strengthen them. Release them from the temptations to navigate life on their own! In Jesus name I pray, amen.

What is too powerful for God?

He holds the whole world in his hands. The Bible tells us he spoke the World into existence! That’s right, spoke! His breath oh man, it’s mighty and powerful! His breath filled the lungs of the created first man, Adam!

We wrestle with so much opposition in this world, but wow to think of the profoundness that it is He, God, who holds the whole world in his hands!

Your world…. In his hands!

Be encouraged today there is nothing God can’t do! He can fix that mess going on over there if you let him!

Struggling with Identity after Diagnosis

⁉️🤨Have you been struggling with finding your new identity after your MS diagnosis?

🙋🏼‍♀️ I will go first! (Yeah, I have)
A lot has changed in my life in the past 12 months. I went from this emotionally stable, and joyful human being who knew her identity in Christ but was also a wife, mom, friend, and co worker for the school district.

After my relapse and diagnosis I started to experience extreme anxiety and depression that I hid from everyone but my husband. I also left my job at the end of my contracted school year. But….

There is beauty in new beginnings! (Even the ones that are not glamorous or desired).

The truth of the matter is eventually we have to pick the pieces back up and create a new masterpiece.

My True Identity, my inner Spirit man is a fighter, a survivor, victorious, and more then a conquer in Christ Jesus. Although my soul (mind, will, emotions) took a nose dive with life’s circumstances I’m able to pick myself up and remember who that Jesus girl is inside me. She won’t back down and she will not allow negative forms of identity to latch onto who she really is in her spirit.

We are tridimensional beings, we have a Spirit (eternal), a Soul (fickle as the wind blows), and a Body (temporary). We must tend to each part of us. When my body and my soul start feeling down, my Spirit has to rise up and remind Me… I got this! It can only do this is if I’m rooted and grounded in God’s love.

There is a bigger picture and a Bigger Plan! So I encourage you to do some some soul searching and ask yourself if it’s agreeing with your spirit? If Not… go to work!

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

I have started this post about a million times. I have thought about the words I would use to describe every detail of the harsh reality of those words spoken to me on December 10, 2020, but my heart isn’t there anymore to share just that. Maybe another day. Today I wanted to talk about the supernatural grace God has given me to live with this disease. I want to flip the script for just a second. I don’t want to come at this as unsympathetic, trust me I lived those initial days, and if I am being honest have to be careful not to slip back into the thoughts of fear that came during that season in my life. The Devil is always knocking, trying to get to me through those familiar thoughts and feelings. I tell him to get out of here with that mess.

The Devil is a liar.

This much I know to be true. The Bible even gives us forewarning. His only mission is to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus came so we would have life abundantly. I had this crazy notion to hide my MS at first. The enemy came at me hard. You see I am in an intercessory ministry and praying for people to get healed is what we do. When I couldn’t feel my feet and could hardly stand for long periods of time (MS ATTACk) during one of these special ministry moments I felt so defeated and pathetic. What faith could I help bring to the table for God for these people. I am just a wounded bird who can’t even fly right now. The enemy wanted me silenced and definitely not helping advance God’s Kingdom here on Earth!

Let me explain where I stand in this matter. I believe that God will Heal me. I believe that. I believe that he does not want me sick. I believe that this was not from him. This was not a lesson to teach me, or nor was this done because I had done something wrong. LIES! And if you are reading this, and you have been believing these horrible things I urge you to stop and listen. God loves you! He would never punish us because of something we did wrong in the past. 1 John 1:9-He says that if we accept his son Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and we confess we our sinners; he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, erased forever, as if we never sinned at all. The devil wants you in a self pity, self defeated stage. He wants you isolated, and he wants you powerless, because he knows that if you ever got wind of a renewed mind and a promise from the Lord, his schemes and weapons would be dismantled over your life. Yes even with a chronic illness.

So as much as I hate to say this; yes I have ms, yes it is a chronic illness, and yes I am fighting a monster that hasn’t left me yet. It is hard for me to admit that because deep down inside my spirit I know it’s only temporary. I know that I am bound by this here in the flesh UNTIL Jesus heals me, but my spirit is not! Praise God, it is not my FOREVER eternal condition, and it is not your FOREVER/ eternity as well! Oh, and it sURE as HECK is NOT MY IDENTITY! I am always ready and available if he wants to heal me today! 🙂

With the Right mindset and the Right measure faith and grace to believe, we can live very Happy, Joyful, Exciting, Adventurous, looooooong lives with a chronic illness. Why do I say that? Because it is what I believe! It is almost like a ha ha slap in the face because the enemy tried to put something else on us, that has no power over us because we are children of God. Hallelujah!!

So we must activate our faith! How do you do that? The Bible tells us that Jesus is the author and the perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2 Pray and ask him for more faith to believe that we can still live free in him, no matter what medical labels are thrown on us, or terroist that try and high jack our immune system!

That sounds great, I know you are probably thinking, but I am not sure God has ever given me a promise. ?? That sounds new to me. If this is you I would encourage you to pray and ask the Lord for a Promise from him for this season.

In the mean time you can use the one he has given to me. He is a good Dad who shares with his children, and what he will do for me, he will do for you as well.

The morning before I went in for my very first MRI in October of 2020 I heard so clearly upon waking up to full consciousness. “My grace is sufficient for thee..”

I immediately got out my bible to find the scripture and read it allowed, tears flowing. I knew then I was about to hear the news I didn’t want to, as I had asked him to take this burden from me, and hope it wasn’t ms. I also knew he was with me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” There fore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Each and every day I wake up and I remind him of this Promise he made to me, and I also remind myself that he has my back, no matter what comes that day.

MS is not the mountain I wanted or even asked for, but with Faith to move mountains I will see the victory in the end, because I am more then a conqueror in Christ Jesus.

If you need some advice or someone to talk to please leave a comment. MS WARRIORS -You are not alone in your fight!

Grow in Grace

The darkness will come. Fear will creep in. It’s all apart of living right? But, it doesn’t have to be our permanent outcome, or our new identity. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we will respond. In every moment God has always offered his grace to enable you to get through, to keep you strong, and to make you a fighter! You must fight! You must grow! Then, you must use your growth to empower, support, encourage others. What are we doing if we are not growing?

Full of life

Thought provoking question for you!

It is officially SummEr Time! Wooot, Wooot! ☀️

Thought Provoking question: If I am full of life and you are full of life in this present moment….then what are we doing with it?

Reflection from my perspective: I am cleaning out the cobwebs of the things that are not important, and don’t add value to my life. This list includes social media. I have a Scentsy side Business, so obviously I need a social marketing network connection so I can’t just jump off the bridge and delete the account. I have discovered thumbing down social media threads leaves me entertained and or excited but it’s only temporary, or I feel uninterested, annoyed, and………. with each passing second I without fail become olDeR!!! Sorry folks to disappoint, but I am NO time traveler. (That would be cool though!) I also would like to be more disciplined in writing. It is one of my creative outlets. I need to focus on letting go of toxic relationships and actually pour more into the cups of my family and friend relationships. I need to continue to pray for a positive renewed mind each morning and through out the day. I don’t have time to waste my life thinking things that do not align to the word of God. (So there goes all the complaining). I need to just keep pursuing Joy, and find things that make me laugh and smile and purposely surround myself with these things.

Your reflection from your perspective: You fill in the blank in the comments if you so wish, or privately answer on your own! 😜

When You Can’t Find What You Are Searching For

Living a counterfeit life of what’s trending and relevant to present times.

Do you ever feel a little lost in this world like me? I wish I could tell you that I have mastered the arts of all things pertaining to life in my short 35 years of existence on this planet, but sadly I can not. Don’t lose me, don’t click the back button yet.  I promise this is not a pessimistic blog post. I would like to think of it more as thought provoking, and a call to action! You see as much time as I spend searching the inter webs for insight, ideas, help, and entertainment, I ended up being stumped today as I could for the first time not find what it was I was searching for.

Of course, this got me thinking!

What if… sometimes we can’t emulate from someone else’s story line because we were not designed to? I mean yes we all know we are individuals created so intricately that we have our own finger prints, but if you stop and watch the patterns of this world, everything pertaining to life and life style’s are based on trends and relevance to the times by people we call influencers.

WHAAT!?

If you stop and think about how absolutely lame and boring that is to conform to the patterns of the present time are you actually becoming the person you were created to be, or a counterfeit of another someone in society? But, not only lame but also exhuasting and not really obtainable in our natural raw authientic state.

My point is, why do we search and think that what we are searching for exist when maybe we are suppose to create a life style no one else is currently living? What is our Why for our every day purpose of getting up and moving forward? I think if we can slow down and actually think for ourselves what out why is then we can create in our own dynamical way a lifestyle that is tailored for the way we were designed to be. What drives us, and what will be the rich ingredients to this self made original recipe that will sustain us and bring us happiness and purpose for our every day life? I think we tend to gravitate towards common interests because it makes us feel like we belong to something bigger then ourselves. Also, we don’t like to be alone. But how many times have we personally not been true to ourselves because deep down inside we aren’t truly what we become by default. I am not suggesting that we can’t have commonalities and simularities, but to not completely become all of what someone else has become for themselves. We can have commonalities but don’t be a complete copy of another, which creates sterotypes of people.

Don’t be a sterotype.

I don’t know about you but when I want to change, I dive into whatever this change is going to bring about. For example, diet. Say I want to become a vegetarian, so I do all the research, watch all the films, read all the books and blogs, and now I have laid a foundation for this new eating life style with knowledge and a game plan to roll it out. Every time I have searched for some one else’s way of doing life, every time, un doubtfully it has brought me to this place I am sitting her today. I am still in square one, reaching, searching, looking for a mold I can fit into. BUT WHY? Why can’t I create my own mold?

What if God created you and me to have our own molds, our own way of designing a life that ultimately glorifies Him? And, what if he did this because he knew this one mold we get to create with him for ourselves would bring about the most sincere self-confidence, self-value, and happiness? Our love for him of course being the anchored fondation to this formation.

I feel like before I can move on with this new way of thinking for myself, I need to get on my knees and I need to seek the Lord in prayer. I need to ask him to reveal to me what changes I can make that will sustain consistency and bring him glory. I need to look into every aspect of my every day routine. I need to consider where all my time and energy is going and what the return is on my investment.  I need to stop comparing my life to others, I need to stop focusing on the flaws when I don’t measure up to what I perceive as their success and my failures.

COVID Season has been a season to let go of idols, pause, and reset.

I have to go back to work in two weeks. Maybe this truth is the motivating factor of the new rush I am feeling to master manipulate a grand plan to create a routine that will help my family and myself slowly transition back into a normal life. After all, don’t we all want to live a life that maters? Don’t we all want to make every day count for something? Our time here is short, but eternity is forever. I would rather spend my energy and focus expanding the Kingdom down here on Earth, and leaving love behind, then waisting it all away on what is trending, and relevant to the times. Letting go of what society and this world gleams as awesome, wonderful, healthy, sexy, acceptable, and laying seeds into some deep God breathing soil that will grow a happy, and healthy family, Woman, Wife, Mom, Friend, and Co-Worker. Now, that sounds so much more realistic and EXCITING!

That’s God’s grace… to love us enough not to leave us lost! 😉 Grace to change, and grace to grow. I love this thing we call life!  I love my life absorbing grace!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic? Do you truly live a life that reflects who you are–who God created you to be, who you want to become, or are you happy living life pertaining to what everyone says is the right and favorable way to live? Do you emulate the life of others, or would you say you have created your own personal mold to fill? Drop your thoughts below!

 

Be Blessed-Ash’Leigh Harris

By Your Side

Cloud Heart

I was walking this morning trying to get some light exercise in because I’m soooo sore from starting back at the gym, listening to a teaching on the gift of exhortation, and this beauty caught my eye! When your beliefs in God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are “relational” and not “religious “ in every detail of your ordinary day His presence is always by your side! ❤️😘🙌🏻

John 14:21
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

📸 Filtered by color only!

🤍 Ash’Leigh Harris