Don’t Let Anger Steal Your Joy.

I would consider myself a very happy person.

I can think back to the many people who often referred to me as bubbly. It’s a part of my make up. I like being happy, but I have had my share of sorrows too. I don’t focus my attention on the negative things in life.

Growing up in a dysfunctional family you can either laugh or cry. Most times, I would choose laughter. In fact, we all did. It’s how we survived. We found the funny in the drama.

To this day when my siblings and I gather to reminisce about our past the laughter echoes throughout the house. My children say to me, “Mom you had a messed up life and you laugh about it”. You learn how to remove the really painful parts in order to add some levity, some excitement. It’s a gift of a good story teller. My kids hear the stories now and they laugh too.

The funniest people we know hide their pain in the laughter. A lot of comedians use comedy to cover their hurts. For some, the sadness becomes too overwhelming. They can turn to drugs, alcohol or anything to end the suffering. However, the show must go on and back on stage they go. People are great at hiding pain.

It’s a thin line we walk when we deal with our emotions and hurts. Our mind and heart will try to conceal the pain and sadness, so we don’t break into a million pieces. It’s a merry go round with good days and bad days. We eventually have to stop the ride and get off to finally deal with it.

When the emotions got the best of me I dealt with it like I was taught to do, go to sleep. My husband would refer to this as “The Palieri Coma” because my entire family does it. Yep, it was safe to sleep and just wake up when it was over. It was a coping skill when laughing about it wasn’t funny.

There comes a time when even “The Palieri Coma” isn’t working and it’s time to deal with it.

That’s when I got serious about giving it All to God. I knew deep inside He could take it all away.

I had to make the choice to let it go. Let it all go. What I started to learn is letting go isn’t done in a day, it’s a process.

What God started to show me through this process is that I had developed JOY blockers.

The build up unforgiveness, anger, resentment and frustrations from people, from life had allowed blockages to stop the joy from continually flowing from God.

Slowly, God started to remove these hardened pieces of my heart, one stone at a time. He wanted to release a river of joy into my life.

I can remember the hours spent in prayer. I was crying out from the innermost parts of my soul. I was praying in tongues, so I don’t know exactly what I was praying for. I knew that this is what God wanted me to deal with. There were times I would shake so violently as if a earthquake was happening on the inside of me.

This phenomenon happened when the presence of God would hit me. I didn’t understand it, but I knew it was from God. In fact, I found videos on YouTube just to verify it was really from Him.

I will never forget the night that God shook me for 45 minutes. I went to a conference and the speaker called us up to pray over us. I went up and was ready to receive whatever God was giving out. The speaker quickly prayed over us and immediately I was buckled over shaking from the top of my head to tips of my toes.

I could feel each wave rushing over me like a tidal wave. I tried to stand up, but the weight of God had me bent over shaking as if I was being pulled by an in seen force. The intensity grew as my body tried to fight this supernatural encounter. My stomach began turning as if I were a ship being tossed in a raging storm.

I began to cry out to God to make it stop. I heard His voice, “Do you trust Me?” I quickly replied “Of course I do, please make this stop I’m going to be sick!” Again, I heard His voice, “You will not get sick, do you trust Me?” Once more I said “Yes I do, please make this stop, I’m going to throw up!” As soon as those words left my lips, I heard My Father reply “You will not get sick, do you trust me?”

I realized that God wanted something to happen through this encounter. Tired and completely nauseous I gave in and let Him do what He needed to do. My response this time was different, “Lord, I trust you, do what you must.” As my heart released the fear or mistrust I had inside of me the shaking immediately stopped.

I began to cry as I realized God wanted me to shake loose those things that had hindered Him completely. I collapsed to the ground and tried to collect my thoughts. I heard The Father gently telling me that there will be no more fear in coming to Him, but I would come joyfully.

I rested a bit and then gathered myself together to go home. I tried to comprehend what happened and I was too exhausted to figure it out. I knew that God did something huge and I would just have to wait and see what that was.

A few month later I went to another prophetic conference. The speaker was powerful and I could feel the shaking slowly bubbling up, but then something unexpected happened. I began to laugh.

I couldn’t contain it. I was bursting with joy! The laughter had me buckled over, tears were flowing and the guttural sounds of joy over powered me. I couldn’t stop it and when I did try, the more I laughed.

God said that He was removing the stones of anger, hurt and pain in order for His joy to flow. I didn’t believe that His love could feel like hearing the best joke in the world. That His joy could be as powerful as the shaking I had experienced before, but it was.

I decided to research this further and found a woman by the name of Kathie Walters who has this gift of giving joy to others. I reached out to her and asked what is the reason for the joy? Her response floored me and gave me such a wonderful perspective of God’s vision for us. Kathie said, “Joy is an end time weapon of God. Your spirit hears The Father in heaven laughing in victory and you are pulling it down here on earth.”

God took my all my sadness and in return gave me His Joy! I became a carrier of this most precious and powerful weapon to give to all His children as freely as He gave it to me.

Now when I’m praying as soon as the laughter comes I know that this is a done deal. I don’t have to worry if God is going to move on my behalf, because His heart already told me that this battle is over.

Yes, God laughs! He rejoices in victories. He breaks through the fear and trepidation with one big belly laugh!

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Baby Of Mine- A Journey Of Becoming A Spiritual Mom

I’m not quite sure how it happened. I didn’t believe I was qualified or could possibly ever fill the shoes of a “Spiritual Mom”.

God began speaking this role into my destiny deep into my heart before I was ever born.

I became a mother to my younger siblings at the age of 16 because our mother was not always able to fill that responsibility. A mid life crisis crippled her to handle motherhood. She had her demons to fight with and she left us. It was hard and shocking to be abandoned at a time I needed my mother the most. I had to assume the role because my dad was only capable of working and providing. Nurturing was not in his upbringing although he was able to love us in his way.

I learned how to protect and defend my siblings as any good mother would do. I didn’t ask to be put into that position, but I accepted it. I wasn’t very good at it, so I tried to find women who were! I watched and learned. I knew by the time I had children of my own I would be the best mom I could be.

When I became a mother in 1998 and 2000 I was overwhelmed with joy! I wanted to be the mom to my children that I secretly longed for in my childhood.

Motherhood brought out this over achieving “Carol Brady” perfectionist that I believed would change my past. I made my children their first Halloween costumes. I did all the things I thought a good mom does. I would read to them, sing to them, dance and play with them. I was determined to fix all my childhood disappointments through my children lives. I would never leave them or hurt them. I would always be there to cheer them on! I was not my mother and I was proving it with each assignment I would take on.

I engulfed myself into every part of their life. I took turns with each child being their class mom. I went above and beyond the duties of a class mom so that my kids would know how much I love them. I became involved in the Parent Teacher Association eventually becoming President. I even became a cheerleading coach for daughter’s cheer squad. Yep, I was present in their life and I made sure everyone saw it. It was that constant proof that I needed that I was good mom, so I volunteered for even more things.

I even taught Catholic CCD class for my kids. This was a once a week after school program to teach children about God. That’s when it began to change. God started to change my heart and I fell in love with my little class of first graders. My heart would delight as I taught them about God and share the information from the printed pamphlets that the church provided. I wanted to adopt them all.

I think that’s when God stepped in. He wanted my little world to include His bigger world. He wanted me to be a mom to many.

First, He needed to heal me of all my broken mother wounds. It wasn’t just my mom who abandoned me, but any woman who wanted to be a mother figure in my life. The rejection from these women left an emptiness inside of me.

God broke through the striving and began to unwrap the hurts. My picture of what a good mother looked like was going to change me from the inside out.

My world began to crash around me. I couldn’t keep up the charade any longer and needed to it let go. That’s when God began to mother me.

He needed to fix my mother wounds for His greater purpose, become a mother to His children.

I remember the first time I heard God say to me “You are her spiritual mother”.

I didn’t understand it at all. I just met this beautiful young lady at a women’s retreat. I instantly connected with her. I felt such a shift inside of me. We bonded within seconds of meeting and I knew that this relationship was something different, something special.

As I got to really know my new daughter I was astounded at the understanding she had about God and the Bible. Our conversation was more of her teaching me then me teaching her. How could I possibly be a spiritual mother to someone who knows so much? I asked God “Are you sure I’m her spiritual mom? I can’t teach her anything about You.” I then heard The Lord say, “Can you be a mother to her? Can you love her with a mother’s love?” I quickly responded, yes I can.

After that confirmation I would recognize that quickening as young people would pop in and out of my life. I would just know that one needs a mother’s love, approval or nurturing.

One son referred to me as “Momma Lisa”. I giggled and smiled as I heard those words ring out. I knew that only a son or daughter could call you that. I guess it was out that I was a Momma.

At my last conference I had a vision as I was ministering to a young lady. I saw the movie Dumbo. In the scene Dumbo was being rocked in the trunk of his mother. I heard the song “Baby Of Mine”. I’ve asked The Lord why am I seeing this and The Lord replied, “Sometimes a child just needs to be rocked and held by a mother just to know that they’re loved.”

I could feel the love bubbling up from within my heart as I started to rock. My arms became the trunks that tenderly cradled this child letting them feel a mother’s love. The breaking of chains started to fall off. Any of the doubts I ever had of being called a spiritual mom were now unlocked as this vision from God suddenly became my reality.

I knew that healing was happening here not just for her, but for me. I allowed God to use me as His surrogate mother to rock away the pain, the hurt, the loneliness and the fear.

I heard the lyrics of “Baby Of Mine” from the movie Dumbo singing over us. Father God playing a lullaby that would rock away anything that would hinder His love from flowing.

Baby mine, don’t you cry.
Baby mine, dry your eyes.
Rest your head close to my heart, Never to part, baby of mine.
Little one, when you play, Pay no heed what they say.
Let your eyes sparkle and shine,Never a tear, baby of mine.
If they knew all about you,
They’d end up loving you, too.
All those same people who scold you, What they’d give just for the right to hold you.
From your hair down to your toes, You’re not much, goodness knows. But, you’re so precious to me, Sweet as can be, baby of mine.

It’s said that elephants make the best moms. They never leave their children, are very affectionate, are very protective and very nurturing.

I didn’t know anything about the mother elephant, but God does. He used an elephant to show me His truth and backed it up scientifically. I read many articles about elephant mother’s and how we can learn from them. God is teaching me about motherhood through an elephants eyes.

Spit Happens!

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I’ve often thought of different ways that Jesus healed people. It was unique for each person, but one completely threw me for a loop! The story of Jesus healing the man by spitting into the dirt.

It says “Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes.” John 9:6 NLT

This one story of healing has just fascinated me. I tried to understand it better by my human reasoning, so I googled it!

I found lots of sermons on this one particular topic. It seems that many people have been perplexed by this way of healing. Each person having their own theory or discovery of the use of the mud.

Researching more I discovered that both Greeks and Romans believed human saliva had healing properties, especially for ocular issues. Apparently, it was very common then and is still being discussed today. Mud is also used for medicinal purposes one use is in healing in bug bites. Both of these findings prove it wasn’t just a crazy notion from Jesus, but something actually used.

All this information still didn’t answer my questions about this healing. Jesus didn’t use this technique in every case of blindness. So, I knew that there had to be something more.

I began to ask The Father about this. I began to pray in the spirit questioning this story. I wanted God’s revelation and not mine.

The Holy Spirit started to enlighten me and He took me right into the book of Genesis where God created Adam from dirt.

Suddenly, The Holy Spirit brought me to the book of John, where Jesus spoke to the woman at the well. He said to her “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:10 NLT

I quickly went to the Bible and read both verses. I saw the dirt from Genesis and the water from John. When I put these two things together I got mud!

I finally got it!

Jesus used the dirt which God used in the original creation of man and mixed in spit for this new creation of miracles! He just used something from the old way of creating and added the new and better ingredient a little bit of HIM!

I was completely thrilled with this new revelation that was just downloaded to me. This made so much sense and it answered all my questions. I believed I had received a greater understanding, or at least that’s what I thought.

It was months later in my prayer time that God spoke about giving me a better understanding and a deeper comprehension of the Bible. I thought I was already receiving it, but I wasn’t. It was the deeper understanding for the miracles and that His heart had for healing. It was all the reasons why Jesus had such a desire for those discarded, rejected and unwanted.

I began to notice a pattern. I read in the Bible it was common that Jesus would become filled with compassion and then a miracle would take place.

The Holy Spirit began showing me the movement behind the miracle.

I was listening to a great friend teach about how differently Jesus healed people. Each case specific to that persons needs. He began to talk about Jesus spitting into the dirt when I was taken into a vision or a day dream.

I was back in the day that Jesus walked the earth. I saw the blind man asking for help from people walking by. I could see his hands lifted up for any offering. His brokenness and unworthiness clinging to him like a poorly made garment.

The people would slowly walk by him and I saw them spit on him! Each person looking down on this poor man trying to survive only to spit in his weathered face.

I then saw Jesus and two men beside him conversing. I was completely aware of the story I was witnessing first hand. I knew that the disciples were asking Jesus if this man was born blind because of his sins or because of the sins of his father as it is written in John 9:2.

Still caught up in this vision I watched the look on Jesus’s face as each person spat on this blind man. I somehow knew why were being so hateful. Some were afraid that they would catch the curse that had afflicted him and they believed spitting warded off evil. The others just reacted out of the vileness of their lives, it caused them to strike out at this person as if he was nothing.

I continued to watch Jesus’s face and I could feel the compassion rising up. The disciples were riding the same band wagon asking what did this man do to be born blind? I watched Jesus as He spoke to the disciples, Jesus answered, “Neither. It happened to him so that you could watch him experience God’s miracle.”John‬ ‭9:3‬ ‭TPT‬‬, and He proceed to go to the blind man. Jesus had enough and He was going to end this suffering forever!

In the Bible it is written that Jesus only did what His Father showed Him. Jesus knew His Father’s heart. He knew He needed to heal this man from blindness, but He was also going to remove the shame, unworthiness, rejection, disdain and abandonment. He was going to use what the enemy used, spit!

He is the God who redeems, so why wouldn’t Jesus use the very thing that kept that man in a place of hopelessness. He would redeem the spit! Redeem is to atone or make amends for evil. Jesus was going to change it all.

Jesus approaches the blind man. He grabs dirt and holds it in His hand. The next sound out of Jesus is a familiar one to the blind man.

The man immediately anticipates the sting of the saliva that he learned to expect. It was just his lot in life or so he thought. He waited for the spit to hit him and it didn’t come, instead he felt two tender hands touching his face. A human touch that was denied from birth. He could feel the fingers of love for the first time. A thick paste was being gently administered to his eyes and he knew on the inside something different is happening to me.

A soothing voice spoke. The man thought it almost sounded familiar. The voice told him to go to the pool of Siloam and wash his face. The man slowly got up. He knew the way to this pool. It’s where he went to clean off the mucus that would cling to his clothes.

He did as he was told. After washing off the mud from his eyes some light began to breakthrough the darkness. The light became brighter and the darkness diminished, he could see for the very first time in his life.

Suddenly ,I was aware of my surroundings of the church again. The vision was over and it completely wrecked me! I saw something I never thought of before. God was showing me His redemptive power at work. He was giving me the greater understanding of why He would use spit. The story had packed a punch that I never expected. The why’s were forever answered.

Now, I don’t have any proof to the validity of this vision being scriptural, but I do know that My Jesus uses the foolish things to make the greatest impact!

This story impacts our society more than we realize. We can all raise a toast to The Author and Finisher of all perfect works. So, Here’s mud in your eye!

Turning Water Into Wine

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s a process.

We hear that in our mind as the trials come and go. It’s what we say to get through. It’s a word of comfort we use during uncomfortable situations.

I’m all for change. In fact I love change, but sometimes change is hard. The process of change is difficult. Because in change we are becoming different.

As a new on fire believer in God I knew that change would come, it had to. The beliefs, ideas and theories I had about God were much bigger than I had ever imagined.

I began slowly allowing Him to graft me into His vine. Letting go of everything I knew, I became part of Him, His life source. My mind, ideas and passions were not just mine anymore, but part of The Father’s too. He was intertwining me into Him as I was letting go of me.

The process of turning ordinary grapes into a extraordinary wine requires timing. The grapes need to have a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. They need to be at the point that the juice is about to burst out of it’s skin.

Once picked all debris including the stems need to be removed. This is to ensure the wine will not become bitter.

Then comes the cleansing of dirt, debris or insects. This is very important because you want nothing to contaminate the wine. It has to stay pure and untainted.

Next comes the crushing. This is is just the right amount of pressure that will push the juice out. If you apply too much force you can actually make your wine bitter. When all the juice has been extracted then into the barrels it goes to sit and wait to be used.

It’s a funny comparison, but I feel like a grape!

Throughout the Bible you can see that grapes are used as a metaphor for humans. God uses the things that people understand to make His point clear. People know the difference between a good or bad wine!

I was going through some rough spots and felt immense pressure all around me. I prayed and asked God, “what the heck is going on right now?” I heard His voice gently answer me, “I’m crushing you!” This was not what I wanted to hear at all, but then I saw a vision that shifted me from anger to understanding.

I saw Jesus standing in an old fashion wine barrel filled with grapes. I immediately recognized it because I saw this same image in a “I Love Lucy” episode. Lucy was stomping the grapes to make wine while on a trip to Italy.

Jesus knew just how to make me understand. I saw His foot lift up and then I saw something different. I saw Him position His foot ever so carefully. His eyes closed and I felt His compassion as His foot gently pressed down fully on the grapes, on me.

There was no delight in this, but it was a necessary to crush the grapes. Jesus showed me that crushing hurts Him too. I could see that He wanted this process to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We are called to be the good producers of fruit. Have you ever wondered why it’s fruit? It’s because fruit creates the wine.

He wants to take the best of what we produce and bottle it up. God is going to store it and use it at the great Marriage Supper in heaven! Our Heavenly Father waste nothing, but holds tight to all His children’s accomplishments.

God is making a wine from all we produce. He uses our tears, laughter, joy, frustration, excitement and love. He extracts the best we have in us to create the perfect balance. God desires a wine that palatable for every taste.

The bouquet is harmonious as the blending of His children comes together. The complexity could only be achieved by a master wine maker. The finish is the brilliant workmanship of perfect structure and fermentation. The yield will be great as each bottle is filled.

Humans are comprised of 50-75% water depending on age and weight. So how does God turn us into wine? It’s actually explained very clearly in the Bible. It’s through Jesus!

The first miracle Jesus did on earth was turning water into wine at a wedding. Jesus told the servers to take the empty jars that were used for cleansing people of their sin and had water poured in to fill them. Jesus then changed the water into wine.

It says in the book of John,

When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” John‬ ‭2:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Yes, God is saving the best for last!

Casting The First Stone

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I’ve often tried to imagine how the woman who was caught in adultery felt in the Bible.

I could envision a partially dressed woman being paraded around in disgrace throughout the streets of Jerusalem.

Surprise and horror as her secret was exposed for all to see. The terror surging through her veins as her blood quickly pumped adrenaline throughout her body.

Her mind trying to comprehend what she did, what just happened. The unbelievable becoming a reality as she was pushed and beaten by the religious leaders.

She was guilty and now she would pay the price. A public stoning as the Jewish Law demanded.

The justification of breaking the law needed to be played out to discourage anyone else from falling into sin. Death was the result of sinning and there was no other way out.

She could could hear the crowds gathering for her public execution, but something unexpected was about to happen. Love was about to knock the stones out of the hands of her accusers.

Jesus was there.

He was not there to condemn or judge her. He knew that she was guilty, but so was everyone else who held a stone in their hand. Each person there had a secret sin too. Jesus revealed that. He knew their indiscretions and that made it impossible to throw a stone. He called them out and they knew they were guilty.

Just because we haven’t been called out publicly doesn’t make us less guilty than someone blatantly committing a sin for all to see.

Jesus knew the law, in fact the law was written in His heart. However, the law Jesus followed was quite different than man’s.

He was about to rule from a place much higher than rules of this world. It was His grace that saved the woman. His mercy was extended to a broken and battered daughter. It’s His grace and mercy that saves us.

Somewhere along my walk into religion I started picking up the stones of accusations and some how began throwing rocks at people.

Before I knew God, the life I was living was filled with bad choices, so how could I point a finger at anyone else’s problem. I had my own stuff to deal with and that was more than enough.

It was only after finding Jesus that I believe I was starting to change. I got white washed in religious ideas that said I needed tell people all their faults. My belief was that I was helping them to see their sin sooner and that was going to expedite their transformation.

I was taught it was the churches job to do it and I now belonged to the church. The church had to tell the world how terrible they are acting. My job now was to be this bearer of this bad news. How else would they get saved?

Truth is I really don’t like conflict. I try to avoid it at all costs. Telling someone that their life is not pleasing to God always felt uncomfortable. To me, that’s not the good news I was hoping to share.

I began to reread the story about the woman caught in adultery. Jesus didn’t condemn, correct, judge or reprimand her. He quietly wrote in the dirt. No one really knows what He wrote, but whatever it was canceled a death sentence.

Jesus had a heart of reconciliation. The Father sent Him to show man a better way of living and it was through love. He was leading people out of sin by showing mercy, compassion and forgiveness. The extended hand from heaven redeeming a broken and hurting world.

God loves to show me just how alive His word the scripture is today as it was when it was written. He began to show me the identity of this brutalized woman, it’s us, “The Bride”. The beautiful Bride of Christ caught in deception. She is looking for love in all the wrong places. She is lost and feeling unworthy. The religious zealots are stoning her at each wrong turn she makes. Quickly they condemn her and ridicule her publicly. Their stones destroying the true vision of how God sees her.

How will she ever become who God intended her to be pristine, beautiful and flawless?

Jesus is preparing her gown and Holy Spirit is preparing her heart. Together they are working behind the scenes to make her ready for her grand entrance. Her dress is made of redemption. Her veil is a covering of Grace. She is carrying a bouquet that is an intoxicating fragrance of mercy. The shoes she wears are laced in peace and ring given to her is the promise of His love!

When I got this revelation I was floored! I needed to become a part of the great wedding party, because I am a part of the bride.

I had it all wrong, people already know that they are making bad decisions and I don’t need to rub it in their faces. My job was to bring “The Good News” that there is a better way to live.

My job is showing the Bride just how truly beautiful she is. Her Groom is madly, deeply and passionately in love with her. I need to tell her that, so she can walk confidently down the aisle and be received by her Groom.

That’s when I started to change my Christian walk. I decided as a representative of Jesus I wanted to be just like Him. I would love fiercely. I would be moved with compassion. I would only do what I saw My Father do. My mission was being His “Love Child”.

I would let The Holy Spirit handle changing people. That His job. In scripture it says, “As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life.” Galatians‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭TPT‬‬

God had it taken care of it all. He sent Jesus to love and His Spirit to guide. He only needed me to share this revelation.

One day in prayer I asked God for His heart for all His children. After this, a great transformation occurred.

All those stones I had carried just dropped from my hands. I started to minister in such a different way because I was no longer a Servant, but a Daughter. My mission was simply to be the flower girl. I would simply walk down the aisle preparing the way for the Bride.

Dance With Me!

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I am such a huge fan of the show “Dancing with the Stars”. I have watched it for many years and loved every minute of it. There is something so magical as the couples intertwine on the dance floor weaving a tapestry of movement.

My love of dance began as a child.

My mother took my sister and I to dance lessons every Saturday until my pre-teen years. Whenever we would visit my grandparents the polka music would be playing in the background, without hesitation I would grab my younger sister and begin spinning her around the living room.

The 70’s introduced me to disco dancing. My girlfriends and I would practice for hours. We imitated the latest dance moves we learned from watching “American Bandstand” or “Soul Train”. In my 20’s alternative and club music kept my feet moving. We would dance so much that it was like a workout. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I would discover my favorite dance, the waltz.

My brother’s wife had been a dancer in a Vermont dancing troupe called “The Green Mountain Volunteers” and they were having a dance for peace. This was my first contra dance. Contra Dancing is kinda of like an old fashion barn dance with polkas, contra/square dancing and the waltz.

The best dancer there was Ted, an older gentleman in his late 60s. He also was a part of the dance troupe. I watched Ted the whole night, he was an amazing dancer. At the end of the night the band began to play the final song and it was for a waltz. Ted approached me with his hand extended. He asked, “May I have this dance?” I nodded yes and he escorted me to the dance floor. I sheepishly told him that I never waltzed before. His reply still brings a smile to my face. He said “I’ve watched you all night and you dance beautifully. You are a natural, just follow my lead.”

I grabbed his hand and off we went. It was like my feet just knew where to go. I could feel his arms moving me and directing me as we spun around the dance floor. When the dance finished Ted bowed and said “I knew you could waltz!” with a kiss on my hand and a wink of his eye, Ted walked away.

There is something that is so beautiful and intimate that is shared in a dance. That one dance forever brings a smile to my face. Since then I’ve danced at weddings including my own, but I didn’t waltz. The next time I would, well that dance experience would change me.

One night I was in worship at a church. The atmosphere was just in that sweet place where you become one with the music.
My natural eyes were closed as I prayed and worshiped. I began to open up my spiritual eyes and I immediately felt the presence of Jesus. I knew He was standing next to me. Suddenly, I imagined that He bent over and kissed my cheek. Giddiness took over as I tried to shake of the thoughts of Jesus ever giving me a kiss!

I began to push in deeper with my spiritual eyes. I wanted to experience everything that having a relationship with The Almighty God gave me. I wanted to allow The Holy Spirit to show me a world where the impossible becomes possible. As the darkness of this earthly plane began to disappear, it gave light to another dimension. Slowly I began to see something coming into focus and realized it was a ballroom.

I saw Jesus in the center and then He began walking towards me. I could see a big smile on His face as He was coming closer.
Now, this is the first time I really saw Him fully! In the past I could only see him from the neck down. He reached for my hand gently pulling me closer to Him and then I heard Him whisper into my ear “Dance with Me”!

I could see Him putting His hand out to take mine. Then, like in a movie I felt His hand pull me even closer. I could feel His other hand resting on my lower back. I could hear the music playing in the background from church. My body was still present in the real world, but my spirit was engaging into the reality of this encounter. I could feel that my spirit was drawing me deeper into this beautiful vision. The music slowly changed into one of my favorite worship songs “Good Good Father”, it was the perfect song for this special dance!

Jesus was the groom and I was His bride! We floated on the dance floor. It was effortless. I could feel myself lowering my eyes as I felt not fit to dance with The King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I could see the hairs of His chest glimmering with a golden light beneath His white robe. The emotions began to overwhelm me. How could I look up. I wasn’t worthy to see My King and all His Glory.

Jesus must have felt my unworthiness because we stopped dancing. For a brief moment time just stopped. My breathing quickened as I could feel His hands pick up my chin to look at His face! I was taking in all His beauty and splendor. The Groom wanted His bride to see Him fully as He is. There was nothing hindering my vision this time.

I looked hard and deep into into those eyes that pierced my soul. My mind was shouting, “look at His eyes, the color of His eyes remember them.” People who had encounters with Jesus always talked about the color of His eyes. I saw His eye color change from the deepest blue to the softest green and then back to blue. My heart was bursting through my chest as I was trying to decipher the color when suddenly I knew the color. It’s was love, that’s the color of His eyes LOVE.

I decided let go and allowed this vision to be more than a dream, but a real encounter! I was dancing with My Jesus. My greatest love and my best friend.

We twirled on the dance floor and I could see Jesus throwing back His head in laughter. His hair glistening with light and golden flecks. We both we started laughing and smiling as we spun around. We were having fun just being together. No pressure, no performance. Our dance was a celebration of finally coming together and meeting each other face to face.

This was more than a dance for me, but a dance for His bride(the church). He wanted her to feel loved and safe. He wanted her to let go and allow Him to lead her through the intricate spins and turns of life.

Jesus began to speak into my ear about this dance! He said,”Lisa, if you have a strong partner to lead you, than the dance is smooth and beautiful. The lead dancer will take control and guide the other with ease and grace.” He went on to say “If the partner will not submit to the lead dancer, then it’s pure chaos. The movements will be jerky and not fluid. There will be confusion as which way to go and inevitably the dance will come to a abrupt halt. The partners will become frustrated and the dance will have to stop.” I felt His sadness as this revelation took hold of my heart.


Jesus continued His lesson, “You see Lisa, waltzing is the same as your walk with me. You are My beautiful bride I want to twirl you on the dance floor. At times (you) the bride will fight to be the leader. You will want to control the way to go and when to turn. I Am The Groom and I will always try to show you that you can trust Me, but because of hurts and disappointments you won’t give Me the control. There are times that you do and we can dance.

There is so much joy that is released when we dance together. You feel beautiful and loved. It’s a dance of power, surrender and trust. It’s filled with joy and complete agreement of who is leading. That dance is effortless! All you have to do is just allow me to lead!”

This completely blew my mind and yet it made perfect sense.
Jesus wasn’t trying to be anything other than a good dance partner. He wanted to show me how beautiful partnering with Him could be. He showed me in a language I could understand, in a waltz and I finally got it!

Then in an instant the vision was gone. I sat there perplexed at what just happened. It made so much sense. It seemed so real.

I was about to dismiss it as my imagination running away from me when this woman approached me. She looked at me and began to speak, “Hi I’m Marie and I didn’t want to bother you during worship. I just need to tell you that I saw Jesus standing next to you and then He bent over and gave you the sweetest kiss on the cheek.” I was floored. I began crying telling her what just happened and knowing that Jesus showed Marie so I would know it really happened.

Since that encounter I have met many women who have had the honor of dancing with Jesus. Each experience I heard was so unique and very personal. The one thing that is common, all the women agree He is a great dancer.

So, now I ask you the same question that Jesus asked me “Do you want to dance”? If you do, then all you have to do is let go of your control and give it to Him.

He is coming for His beautiful bride and that’s YOU!

Now, just take His hand and let Him lead you in your dance of life!

Grab Your Paint Brush

The joy of creation!

You can see it in any child’s face. It doesn’t matter if it’s crayons, colored pencils, markers, play dough or legos. Children love to let their imagination free.

Go to any kindergarten classroom and just observe finger painting time!

Huge smiles emerge on each child as they run to put their smock on. The energy of this room has gone from a low hum to electrified! The giddiness of creation is overflowing and the teacher can feel it.

The paints are poured into each child’s cup. The instructions are given and the paper is distributed. The time has arrived to begin to paint!

Quickly the warm fingers dip into the cool paint. The classroom has now changed into studio because the artists inside them have been released!

Each child excitedly swirls their fingers into the paint and releases their imagination onto the paper. As each color is added the artist begins blending and shading the picture. There is no judgment, just joy. Nobody compares their masterpiece to another. Nope, each has their own unique vision and all is acceptable in finger painting.

When it’s finished each work is proudly displayed for all to see. The children look at each other’s painting and agree it’s great. The teacher encourages these budding artists to continue to create and when it’s brought home the parents proudly display their child’s picture.

Yes, children are able to do what has been instinctively placed inside; and that is to release their innovative ideas. In fact they are encouraged and pushed to release their talents.

As we change from children into adults, something shifts. Criticism and judgement from the world enters in. This onslaught of negative reaction to anything that comes from the left side of the brain hinders any creative expression we may have been given. The right side of the brain takes over and uses logic to quiet down the left. A saddened and disillusioned artist retreats into the secret place of their heart never to release what’s inside. The creative flow stops because we tell ourselves that it’s safer. There will be no judgment and we can’t be criticized if we never release that artistic side.

We hide ourselves away from showing any public display of our gifting. The excuses we make will begin to solidify that lie that whispers “you don’t have any talent.” We believe the lies of I can’t, I’m not good or I’m not creative.

That imaginative part of us slowly dies. We just bury it deep inside, beneath our tears, along with our dreams.

We can always reminisce about the freedom our childhood had given us. The uninhibited living that told our minds to be free and flourish. It was ok then, but not now. The old cliche of having to act like an adult. Grown ups don’t have time to dream anymore or there is no needs to do silly childish things like use your imagination. That is one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves.

If it’s true that humans are created in the image of God, that we are like Him, then we should accept the truth? We were created to create!

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

To not create is to go against our natural design. Our Father is a master creator. We are His children, so we carry His DNA, His creative genes.

Yet, so many hide their amazing talents away from the world afraid of persecution.

Fear is the creation killer.

The fact that most people are so afraid of the rejection that they don’t even try anymore. There are some brave individuals that fight through the fear and release their talents. They can’t contain what’s inside them and they have to let it out.

What if someone never told you that you couldn’t do it?

What if the music, art, writing or acting inside you was never impeded?

More importantly, what if someone told you that you were really good at something? Would you have continued to be artistically driven?

God started to really talk to me about the hidden dreams and talents locked inside His children.

I could feel His heart breaking at all the songs, movies, books, tv shows, paintings, ceramics, jewelry and clothing that would never see fruition.

God has a long list of things He wants released into our world.

It’s in your imagination where all these dreams are birthed. God places these beautiful seeds inside us and all we need to do is give them life. If we partner with God, Our Creator, then we can produce amazing things.

Think of the greatest works by famous artist, some weren’t truly recognized until after their death. Countless books were rejected numerous times before they became best sellers. Producers who risked everything to make a movie that would become a treasured classic. These men and women were creators.

The people willing to release what God gave them. They became the vessels He used to bring new creations into the world. Pushing past the fear of man, judgement, rejection or criticism all away. They knew that what was inside them had a destiny, it needed to be birthed and they began to push.

What’s inside of you needs to come out too.

No more excuses. No more delay.

If you love to paint, then paint. Sing out loud. Write those stories. Dance in your living room. Play your instrument. Let your inner child free to explore the possibilities. Create and release what’s inside!

The canvas is ready, are you ready to create? Your Creator, He is waiting!

Choose Wisely

There are moments in your life where a decision needs to be made. It’s a choice. It can’t be ignored or pushed away! The time is now and you will be forever changed.

I have had these life changing experiences since I began my walk with Jesus back in 2009. I was never pushed or forced to choose His way, but I was gently lead by The Father on to a new path of believing and thinking.

I’ve recently experienced the most challenging of times. The truth of do I really believe what God can do? Do I believe that He is calling me? The question that can plague our thoughts on any given day.

It’s a fork in the road we don’t expect, but it’s on the path we walk in relationship with God.

Doubt is the killer of faith. When we begin to doubt everything around us, that’s when we come to a crossroad. In that moment we become frozen.

No one can tell you which way to go.

We can turn to Our Heavenly Father and try to listen to what He says. The choice ultimately has to be made by us. We can go in prayer trusting for wisdom, guidance, faith or we can do it alone.

I think of the movie “Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade”. The scene is set where a major choice to be made. Indiana’s father has been shot and is on the verge of dying. Indiana can save his father by choosing the right cup and letting his dad drink water from it. The cup is the one Jesus used at the last supper and has been guarded for centuries. This cup holds immortality in it.

Among the cup that Jesus used are many other counterfeit cups that are placed in around the real one. The cups are made of gold and lavished in jewels, however there is one cup that is ordinary and plain.

One represents life and the counterfeit will guarantee death. Indiana hit a fork in the road. Now, he had a choice to make.

It’s in those moments that we struggle for the right answer, the right antidote and the right cup.

We search quickly through our memory bank of information we have held on to. The verses, the teachings and testimonies of what God has done immediately rises up inside us. We start to delete the lies and begin compiling the truth. A deeper knowing overcomes all logic and we choose.

In the movie, Indiana remembers all the information that was compiled by his father. This was his father’s life work researching and finding the cup of Christ. He searches row after row of golden goblets, he pauses and then chooses. Indiana has chosen wisely and saves his father. In real life we don’t always have that Hollywood ending.

Life is hard.

We may not always believe that all the challenges we face are life or death, but in some ways they are. We don’t know what the repercussions will always be for a good or bad choice.

Walking a life of faith with God is a harder road to travel. To a believer, that means we are on a path that requires us not to look at the road with natural eyes, but with spiritual ones.

Many people who don’t understand God can call us crazy or fooled for living life that way.

This is what I can say. In my personal walk with God you can call me crazy, but this path is filled with adventure, passion, power and incredible love.

See, I don’t walk alone. I walk with God. He is my traveling companion. He is my GPS (God’s Positional System)!

The knowing that God is for me is my truth. It strengthens me to believe for more. The path I left behind is not as important as the new path I’m now on.

No regrets, no condemnation and no looking back.

I’ve made my choice.

Now, it’s up to you. You can walk alone or you can ask for a companion to walk with you.

God is good and He will lovingly guide you to choose wisely, but the choice is always up to you!

My Funny Valentine

It was subtle at first.

Soon it became obvious and then I looked for it.

All the messages God was sending me was becoming a sweet game we could play together. A kind of hide n seek of sorts. God would hide them and I would find them.

I always loved to look at the clouds as a child. I could spend hours just gazing into the sky watching the clouds form pictures. I could see so clearly the formless clouds slowly turning into a whale or duck. I was good at guessing what shape would be formed before it completely stopped moving.After I started spending time with God I began to look into the clouds again. My child like behavior was coming alive during my time in prayer. I would sit on my deck searching the sky for images when I noticed the hearts. It started slowly then I would just sit, wait and watch them form before my eyes.

I would become that little girl delighted by the formation of the clouds. I really believed that God was sending me hearts to tell me He loves me.

I told my girlfriends on a trip to Siesta Key, Fl that God sends me hearts in the clouds. Of course they laughed it off until I started to point them out. Each day I would show them the hearts. It began to change my vision into looking beyond what is in front of me and into searching for the hidden things.

It’s funny, what you start to look for you will find. I started to look for hearts!

That weekend at lunch I pulled out a heart shaped potato chip. My friends were as shocked as I was. The signs they were a changing. Now, it was becoming personal.

It was apparent that God wanted to make His love more evident. He knew how to touch me in the deepest place. He wanted me to know that He loved me deeply and He was going to show that love to me everywhere I went.

God started to place hearts in the most unexpected places.

The finding of hearts became more and more common to anyone that spent any time with me. My daughter, Sam began pointing out the hearts even before I had a chance to see them. One day I was pouring dipping sauce on to my plate and out formed a heart. Sam said, “Mom, of course you would have a heart.” I would find hearts on the ground in rocks and in pot holes. My eyes wouldn’t be searching for them, but my spirit inside of me was. I was searching for love!

I was growing more excited about finding the hearts. I guess I was love starved and I needed to understand why love was so important to God.

Love was something I didn’t really understand. I never understood the significance of the Valentines hearts. They didn’t have any meaning to me except I would smile when I would see them.

My parents showed me a broken version of what “I love you” meant. For them, it was I love you today, but tomorrow we will have to see. It was a conditional love. If you please me, then I will love you, but if you don’t you can be replaced.

I was in love with the concept of love. However, love was something that eluded me because I thought I couldn’t measure up.

The phrase “I love you” was something you said, but it was just that a bunch of words. It didn’t hold the value and importance in my heart that God wanted it to have.

I wanted to believe an “I Love You” from God meant so much more, it had to. In the Bible, there is a book called Song of Songs it apparently talks about this kind of love. To be honest, I read it, but I still couldn’t understand how it could relate to me. I saw myself as God’s child, but not His great love. He was going to change that because of the hearts.God would find such delight in sending me a heart when I didn’t deserve it. It was the moments I was angry or felt out of control that a heart would grab my attention. I would ask God, “How could you send me a heart after I acted so terrible ?” The quiet whispers of God would reply “I love you in your weakness.”

Washing dishes I would find a heart as the menial chores of life became an I LOVE YOU for being a good mother. Brushing my teeth or taking care of myself I would find a heart. God was saying, “I LOVE YOU for taking good care of yourself.”

Even cooking became a place of finding hearts. It was becoming a game for me or it was that gentle reminder that God was saying, “I see what you’re doing and I love you for doing it.”

Even when I was resting or just having quiet time, God would surprise me as only He could.

Having a facial I spotted a heart on the sheet I was laying on. While finishing a cup of tea at the bottom of the cup the tea leaves had formed a heart. He was always so creative with sending His love messages.

Yes, He Loved me when I was happy, but also when I was sad. Whether I was having a bad day or amazing day His love never changed because God is LOVE.

He doesn’t waste any opportunities to tell His children He loves them. Even the crumbs of a cookie can be used to express His love for a child.

The reminders were there. He told me in the sky, in the food, in the earth and in everything I did. I suddenly began to understand what love is. Love isn’t fickle, love remains, love endures and love forgives. It’s was all written in the Bible in the book of 1 Corinthians
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-5, 7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The reminders were all around me I only had to look for them. He diverted my attention ayway from the world’s definition of love and focused it on His heart of love for me. In the book of Song Of Songs I finally found a verse that I can relate to!

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. Song of Songs‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God was able to breakthrough the hurts, fears and trepidation that held me back from feeling love. True love, His love.

He pursued me and sent me valentines to prove His love. Special deliveries sent from God to make me His forever love!

He took every advantage to get my attention. Victory was His with each heart He sent. I’m devoted now to showing everyone God’s love for them. I’m all about being His love on earth that God now calls me His “Love Child.”

The valentines are still being sent as I continue to find the hearts. God loves to lavish His children with surprises for no other reason, but show them love. Some of the hearts were sent a long time before I was able to see them.

The best heart I ever received was on the paw of my dog, Elvis. Funny that I never saw it before. We were laying on the couch together when I found it. It’s was just another reminder “He REALLY LOVES Me”!

He Loves Me!

It’s was all about love! He always loved me and He was going to show me just how much.

It was my first women’s retreat ever. I was excited and scared at the same time. I was so new to the church, but something inside me said, “GO!”

I didn’t know what to expect, I just knew that God wanted me there. I didn’t know anyone that was going, and so this would be a big leap of faith in many ways.

I laid in my bed with thoughts of what was this going to be like. My husband wasn’t convinced that this was a good idea. I had just come back a few months earlier from a girls getaway weekend that was absolutely disastrous.

It was the same kind of scenario as the retreat, because I didn’t know the ladies that invited me to the get away weekend very well either.

I went on this girls weekend adventure full of excitement. I had always managed to fit in. You could call me a chameleon because I could adapt to any environment, that was until, that trip. I couldn’t fit in and I felt like a fish out water.

The one women pushed every button to make me feel unacceptable, inferior, shamed and uninvited. The funny thing was the one who hosted the entire weekend.

My husband endured countless phone calls and text from me during that time begging to come home. I was miserable and in tears. I just didn’t fit in and they made it known.

My husband must have had similar thoughts when I heard him from the other room call out, “I’m not coming to get you if you hate it. Are you sure you really want to go?”

My heart started racing as fear began to tighten its grip on me. I quickly began praying, “Lord, please protect me. Please don’t let me get hurt again.” My emotions got the best of me as I began crying. I heard His gentle voice quietly calm my nerves, “Don’t worry daughter, this weekend is all about love.”

As the tears streamed down my face I smiled and began to wipe the tears away. I got up and began to prepare for my trip.

I was carpooling down with a bunch of ladies, so had my husband drive me to the location where we would meet. I knew only one woman, but this other woman who I briefly had a quick conversation with one day at church kept popping into my thoughts. I didn’t know her name or if she was coming on the retreat. The only thing I knew is God put her on my radar.

We pulled into the driveway and much to my surprise there she was. She was the designated driver and I offered to be her co-pilot on this Holy Spirit pilgrimage.

The car ride was filled with laughter, stories and bonding with complete strangers that I now regard as sisters.

We got to our destination as one big happy family.

There were so many surprises God had in store for me that weekend. He arranged our rooms to be across the hall from each other. God had another lady write me a note, not only of encouragement, but it shared the deepest desires of my heart.

Yes, He Loves Me and He showed me in every possible way that He could that weekend.

I fell in love with these women. They became a part of my heart and my life. The bonds made that weekend became lifelong friendships.

God gave me a greater understanding about relationship with women. I was able to compare the differences I experienced between this trip and the last one I had been on.

He began to show me why I didn’t fit in on my first trip, and why I was a puzzle piece placed perfectly on this trip.

He showed me that I’ve been changed by His love. I couldn’t walk through life and not be affected by the hurting. I had a new compassion that would see past the exterior of a person and see their heart. Not only did my heart change, but so did my spiritual senses.

I was becoming a Kingdom kid!

Kingdom changed the atmosphere and brought heaven down to earth. In the Kingdom was freedom from judgement, ridicule and shame. My Daddy was teaching me as His daughter how these new principles would apply to my life.

The relationships that were blooming were all because Kingdom was His goal

I discovered that I was so miserable on my first trip because I was lying to myself. There was truth being placed inside me that was difficult to accept.

In the world is judgement, prejudice, anger, betrayal, condemnation, hurt and the list goes on. However, in His Kingdom, God brings a greater truth of who you are so you can live above what the world says about you. You now live with the understanding that He loves you and because of that you live Free!

That weekend was my freedom weekend. I started building these new relationships with women in a greater way because I knew who I was.

I cherish the memories of that retreat because it was a game changer. I became a new and better version of me. So when the world tries to tells me who I’m not, I just have to remind myself that I’m loved and I have a tee shirt to prove it!