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When No One’s Looking

When No One’s Looking

To listen to the podcast, click here.

A couple of years ago, I had gotten to the place where I was open to starting a relationship with someone to share my life with. I was not ready for the dating world, but ready to consider a new relationship.  I was a hot mess and was pretty confident few and far between would be interested. 

This past June, towards the end of the month, someone asked me if I’d be interested in getting to know him better and maybe even date. I knew this man and he already had three strikes against him. He was older, a pastor and had a pacemaker. My first husband was older, a pastor and died of a sudden heart attack. Jesus and I had a few heart to heart conversations before I agreed to get to know this man better to determine if dating was the next step or not. Over the next two months we talked and texted often. We had some candid, open, honest conversations about each other as individuals, who we are in Christ and the hot mess we were both bringing to the relationship. 

I had only dated and been with one man, my late husband. I was not looking forward to the dating world. I’m not one to date for fun just to have someone to hang out with. To me, that was a waste of emotional energy that I did not have a surplus of. By mid-September I took a leap of faith and we went on our first date. We both agreed that dating was a huge step and knew it had potential to lead to a long term commitment. 

Spoiler alert! Dating worked and we were married  January 1st! Once we both realized that we were going to make this a life long commitment and get married, some tension released as other tension intensified. 

Today’s society has relationships backwards. Too many couples are living and being together intimately before marriage. They are planning, looking forward to and can’t wait to be married and share a life together. They rationalize that since they are going to live together, why not be with one another now? 

Because of my integrity, values and belief in Christ, that was not an option. During one of our candid conversations we discussed, agreed and felt strongly to hold onto our integrity and trust in Christ.

C.S. Lewis said it well. “Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.” We could have done what we wanted when no one was watching. No one else would know. We chose Christ and to do what was right even when no one was watching.

The struggle is real. You can decide to not do what’s right when no one is looking. In return, you lose value in yourself. Maybe you chose to do something wrong because no one is looking. No one will know. No one will care. 

Integrity comes from within. It’s knowing the difference between right and wrong and choosing to do what is right. 

The real power is doing good when no one is looking. The real power is being the anonymous blesser in someone’s life. The real power is choosing Christ above all else. 

Jesus captured the true essence of character, when He said be a secret blesser. Identity in Christ is not about what we don’t do, it’s what we do. One of my greatest joys is blessing people in such a way they don’t know where it came from, and must give God the credit. It’s a true delight to be the surprising encouragement in a world of discouragement, when no one is looking. 

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, living out His integrity, in Him. 

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

To listen to the podcast, click here.

After a long, hot day out on the water, the men came to shore with empty nets. The fishermen’s spirits were heavy as their families depended on their fishing success. As they were cleaning their nets, a guy from the shore shouted, “Go back out and try again.” One fisherman responded, “We were just out and we caught nothing.” “Go out and try again.” Said the man from the shore. With a heavy sigh, the fisherman cast out and dropped their nets. Their nets immediately began to break with the overflowing fish. A fellow fisherman came along and helped bring in their bounty. They were in awe of their abundance and searched out the man who told them to try again. When they found him, He said, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men!” 

Does the story sound familiar? Jesus was in the process of calling His 12 disciples. Simon Peter, James and John were His first disciples.  They left everything to follow Jesus. This event demonstrates Jesus’ miraculous power and the strong desire for others to follow and learn from Him. 

Simon Peter, James and John, left their families and livelihood to go with Jesus, to become His closest companions. What about the boat, all the fish and their families? They didn’t sell their business and put their profits in a trust fund for their families to live off of? What happened to what they left to follow Jesus? 

Here is the Molli version of what could have happened. You know that other boat that came along to help bring in the overflowing nets of fish? He must have known these guys rather well. They worked in the same business, shared resources and probably knew each other and their families well. My guess is they helped each other out often. This time was one of those times. The friends and family took in the boats, cleaned the nets and sold the fish. The profit from their miraculous catch provided what they needed to survive while the three men spent quality, relational, spiritual time with Jesus. Jesus knew what these men were going to have to leave and provided for their families while they were gone. The men hadn’t planned on leaving. There were no conference calls and consulting on how to make the most profitable decision. The men witnessed a miracle, realized the significance of who Jesus is and wanted to be a part of His world. The three men took a leap of faith and trust with Jesus on a new adventure they knew little to nothing about. 

I’m a planner. Spontaneity has a tendency to give me hives and take a 180 degree turn! My mind doesn’t have time to process, work through all the different scenarios and choose the best one. Spontaneity is making a quick, split decision. I’m not good at those! 

These three men looked at the miraculous bounty of fish, looked at Jesus and said, “I want what He’s got. I’m following Him!” 

When I made the decision to stop teaching, I didn’t know what my next step was. I knew that teaching wasn’t it and Jesus had something better in mind for me. I wanted what He had for me. In order to do that, I had to take a leap of faith, and take the next right step. I couldn’t plan, think through all the options and choose the best one. I didn’t know what the options were. What I did know is that with each spontaneous step I took, He provided what I needed. He was and is my Planner. 

Little did I know, He was preparing me long before I knew He was preparing me. God provided overflowing nets of fish so I could walk away from a comfortable resource and join Him having the provisions necessary to do so. 

After a time of rest and reconnection with Him, He has slowly brought me to the place He desires me to be. As I have taken one spontaneous step at a time, He has provided all I’ve needed. Along the way, I have grown deeper and more in love with my Jesus.

I’m still a planner (Yes, I have our summer vacation planned 6 months in advance!). Yet, I am becoming more and more comfortable leaning into spontaneous decisions with my Jesus. I no longer break out in hives. I am working on embracing the gift of taking a leap of faith and trusting my Jesus more and loving Him deeper with every step I take. Joy, fun, laughter, growth and love has been a result of Jesus encouraging me to trust Him and lean into His wisdom and guidance. 

Simon Peter, James and John were brave and courageous to take a leap of faith and join Jesus. In doing so, they got front row seats to Jesus’ life here on this earth. They were eyewitnesses to the miraculous power of Jesus that soon became a part of them. Yeah, I want some of that!

Taking a blind leap of faith towards anything is scary. Taking a blind leap of faith towards Jesus is priceless! I am forever grateful for His faith and trust in me to have faith and trust in Him to follow Him and become fishers of men.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, one spontaneous leap at a time, in Him. 

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

Night Light

Night Light

To listen to the podcast, click here.

When I woke up at 3 a.m., I thought a living room light was left on. As I walked into the room, I realized all the lights were turned off. I looked out our window and realized it was the moon. The darkness and clarity of the sky magnified the light of the moon. I stood mesmerized by the brightness of the moon. The beauty in the darkness stopped me in my tracks and forced a moment of observation. Looking away wasn’t an option even if I wanted to. 

“What is your favorite season?” is asked often. Never in my days has my answer been Winter. Daylight Savings time, shorter days and less sunshine are not my favorite. Give me a sunny, summer day and I’m a happy girl. A few years ago, we had a long, dark dreary winter. By the time February rolled around, gloominess had settled into my being and I was aching for sunshine. That was one of the longest winters I had experienced and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. 

In just a few short days, in the midst of winter, I’m going to participate in a momentous ceremony. At first I didn’t like the idea of having it during the winter season. The trees are bare, the flowers are gone and it’s cold! Then, my light turned on! During a season of darkness, God provided light, newness and growth. The bare trees are still very much alive on the inside. My mums are healthy and green under the soil where we can not see. The coldness invites me to snuggle up next to a warm fire. We may not see growth and color, but it is happening on the inside where it will soon bloom again on the outside. 

A light is being flipped on as I enter rooms. Finding the light switch is a top priority in my world. I have broken toes, stepped on toys, tripped over chairs, ran into a wall (yes, I really did!) and knocked things over trying to navigate the darkness without turning a light on. Darkness is not my friend. 

Darkness on the inside is not my friend either. Several years ago, I went through a dark time in my life and started down the tunnel of depression; a depression I wasn’t sure I would be able to walk out of. Outside darkness symbolizes inside darkness that is an unwanted place to be. Thankfully, through prayer, support, love and Jesus, I walked out of the darkness and into His Light. The lack of light around me touches a nerve that is a reminder of dark moments. 

So, when I walked into the living room and realized the light source was the moon in a dark sky I was paralized to see the beauty of the light in the midst of darkness. You see, Jesus is my Light. Darkness on the outside and darkness on the inside is luminated by His Light. His Light casts out all darkness. 

My epiphany moment as I gazed at the moon, was that Jesus is the “moon” inside of me. I have His Light shining in my darkness that brings Light to my soul. I may feel like I’m dormant on the inside. But the truth and promise is that Jesus, within me, is my nourishment and strength. At just the right time, I’ll sprout up and bring life and color to the world around me. 

At times I feared the darkness. I know what it’s like to walk in darkness and I never want to do it again. Therefore, I avoid or do what it takes to not be in darkness. Yet, at times, it’s inevitable. BUT, instead of being overcome by the darkness, I invited His Light to luminate where He is and keep my focus on the Light and not the darkness. 

Do you realize Jesus was born at night, in a barn, with no electricity and they only had the light of the sky? Jesus entered our realm of being in darkness and became our living, breathing Light of life. The only light Joseph had to clean the area around them and deliver his son was the light of the moon. Mary relied on the same light to see and care for her son. In the darkest of nights, our Light was born. The gift of eternal Light was given. I have that same Light within me shining out from me for all my days. Darkness doesn’t have a chance. The Light of Jesus outshines all darkness. Jesus is our eternal Night Light. 

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, In His Light, in Him.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

Struggle Bus

Struggle Bus

To listen to the podcast, click here.

How crowded is your Struggle Bus?? It’s not a matter of if you’ve been on the Struggle Bus, it’s how often and crowded has it been? As much as I would like to see life through rose colored glasses, Jesus specifically said, “You will have troubles. Take heart, I have overcome the world.” 

Truth be told, I was on the Struggle Bus not knowing what to write. I had an idea, but it wasn’t coming together. I might have moaned and groaned a little while struggling.

It’s not the first time I’ve been on the Struggle Bus and won’t be the last. The crazy part is, the Struggle Bus is where growth occurs the most. 

Teenagers. That’s a Struggle Bus all on its own. Being a teenager, teaching a teenager, raising a teenager is a guarantee of challenging moments. 

Like most teenagers, I struggled with figuring out who I was and the type of person I wanted to be. I spent many nights on our front porch swing contemplating the teenage woes of life. In the midst of the front porch swinging, at the age of 17, my heart and eyes were opened to the knowledge that Jesus was, is and always will be my best friend. As a young girl, heading into her senior year of high school, this Holy Spirit encounter was a milestone in my relationship with Jesus. While on the Struggle Bus of identity, I found a deeper level of identity in Christ. 

Substitute teaching is not for the weak hearted!! During my short lived substitute teaching career, I dreaded covering high school classrooms. I have great admiration for high school teachers. The great high school teachers have a knack for reaching teenage dysfunctional minds and producing intellectual students. It’s truly magic!!

I thought surviving the toddler years was going to be the life of me. The teenage years are a whole new level. I am currently walking with my own kids through the teenage years. All three have been raised under the same roof with the same expectations. Yet, all three have experienced the teenage years uniquely. It causes mental and emotional whiplash often. I turn to parents who have already walked their children through the teenage years and realize they survived, so will I. Their kids survived, so will mine. 

Mary was 15 when an angel appeared to her. Let’s pause there for a minute. Have you had an angel appear to you lately? As in a direct messenger for God? This is not something that happens all the time. In fact, it might freak someone out. Fear and doubt corrupts the message that came directly from God. And, why would He choose a 15 year old virgin girl, who has little to no social status to carry, birth and raise our Jesus? Okay, unpause; after overcoming her own shock and disbelief, she says, “God, I don’t get it, but show me what You want of me. Your will be done, not mine.” “Lord, Your way is better than mine, lead me and show me Your way.”  “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I know You do. I will rely on You.” In the midst of being on the Struggle Bus, Mary stayed in tune with Christ. 

At the age of 15, my greatest concerns were how much playing time I was going to get on the basketball team and anticipating getting my driver’s license so I could drive myself around. Nowhere near my brain was the thought of being a mom, let alone the mom to the King. Having an angel, a direct line to God, show up at my door and say, “Guess what? You have been chosen to be the mother of a King.” Stepping on the Struggle Bus now.

The question is, how do I get off? I have experienced three different exits. The first one is not so pretty. I have been so consumed by my woes of life I miss the path that is right in front of me. A good swift in the rear end or a back of the head slap sends me stumbling off the bus to gather my footing. “Okay! Okay! I’m going! I’m going!” 

Have you had a friend that has walked beside you through thick and then, sayas what needs to be said, and then yanks you off the bus? Yeah, we all need one of those. I have a tendency to dig my heels in and not want to budge. Some of you are shocked, I’m sure! Then comes the statement of truth, said in love, “Molli, you do realize you’re only delaying the inevitable, right?” “Okay, fine, off we go!” 

During a transition in careers, I knew what wasn’t working anymore, but didn’t know what was going to come next. I was confident the transition was the right next step to make. But, what the next step was leading to, I was unsure. The banter was going back and forth in my brain for several months, do I or don’t I? Getting off this Struggle Bus took great courage and a leap of blind, confident faith. I knew He would lead me to the right place at the right time, I just couldn’t see the path to get there. That was nerve racking! I like to have a plan and know the destination. I was confident in the plan, but took confident, blind faith in Christ to lead me to His destination. Ready or not Lord, here I go! And off the bus I went!

Mary struggled for a minute, but didn’t stay long. She heard, understood and accepted God’s plan for her life. 

If you are currently on the Struggle Bus, search Him out at the next stop. Step into His arms of grace, take a hold of His hand, and follow His lead. He is your exit plan off the Struggle Bus.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me, We are in this together, exiting the Struggle Bus together, in Him.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

People Movers

People Movers

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Anyone’s inner child get excited when an escalator is in sight and you are going to ride up or down it?? No, just me? I feel like royalty surveying her kingdom as I ride up and down. No matter the cause, I do enjoy a nice escalator ride! 

What about the people movers in airports? The people movers are like a preview to an upcoming flight. Feeling like I’m flying as I pass people left and right, thinking, “See ya! Wouldn’t want to be ya!” Ya gotta let the inner kid out every now and then, right??!!

If you will notice, I mentioned the riding of the escalators and people moving. I did not mention my graceful transition on stepping on and off either of them. 

I must have been sleeping in when God was handing out grace. If you’re out and about with me and I’m looking around, admiring the scenery, I will probably grab your arm to prevent stumbles. The sidewalk has a tendency to jump up and grab my feet. Or a post moved right in my past and I might run into it. Have you ever thought you had climbed down all the stairs, except there is one more and you almost faceplant? No, just me? Okay. Thankfully (knock on wood) no broken ankles. 

Since I struggle with coordination, the timing of getting on and off moving objects is a little tricky to say the least. 

After a few stumbles going up an escalator and a couple of stubbed feet getting off, I think I have mastered the transition. Gently lift one foot as the escalator gently guides the transition. It’s a similar technique with the people mover. Gently lift one foot, ready to plant it, when the other foot is at the end of the people mover. This technique is not fool proof or 100% accurate. Stumbles still occur. But no faceplants!!

Periodically we go through transitions in life. You’re cruising along the people mover when it comes to the end and you have to take a step to move forward or stay frozen in place. What are you going to do? 

There are pieces of what you are transitioning out of that you don’t want to let go of. There are pieces that you look forward to grabbing a hold of in the new adventure that awaits you. Do you stay where you are, frozen in what is known and familiar? Do you take a leap of faith and trust that there is more that awaits you? 

I’ve traveled through a transition of being married and sharing a life with someone for 20 years to being the sole provider financially, emotionally and spiritually. I have walked, crawled and stumbled during the last four years. Yet, through it all, God guided each step and the transition went as smoothly as possible. During that time, God laid upon my heart to tell my story. He then added the idea to write devotionals. About a year and a half ago, I wrote out my ideas on post-it notes and placed them on my bedroom wall. Periodically, I’d read over the post-it notes, rearrange and add new ideas. 

It was time to transition the post-it notes to my notebook. Fear not, the devotionals will come to fruition. I consider this the next stage in the project, not the end. If I were to be honest with you, it did hurt a little and the wall looks bare. 

We all have grandiose ideas of what we could do or be. Honestly speaking, how often do we follow through and see the idea to completion? Not often enough. We start out with gusto and nothing can get in our way. Time passes, life happens and some things get pushed to the side. We lose momentum and our ideas start to collect dust. I have looked and stared at my wall of post-it notes long enough. It’s time for the next step. As I was taking the post-its off the wall and putting them in my notebook, a few tears leaked out. It was a moment of transition. The realization of moving from the wall to my notebook caused me to snag my foot on the floor (or my comforter, literally!) and open my eyes to the reality of the next steps.

Does the notebook end up on a shelf and collect dust? Or am I going to wear it out as I flip through the pages gathering more thoughts, ideas and a plan of action? It’s up to me. Am I going to stand frozen in what I have or am I going to take a leap of faith and take it to the next level?

I have seen people look at the escalator and choose to take the stairs instead. We all have a choice. What choice are you going to make at the end of a cycle and the beginning for a new adventure?

There is no right or wrong. No matter the choice we make, Christ is ever present to guide our footing. There is no face planting with Jesus. Maybe a few trips and stumbles, yet, He is always there to pick you up and help you take your next step.

Next time you use an escalator or people mover, have confidence in your footing and balance. As Christ is your stronghold, your next step is the right one.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this transition together, in Him.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.