Barefoot Devotions

Blooming In Off Seasons

This winter season has been unusual to say the least.  I have heard stories of flowers blooming this month because of the much warmer temperatures that are not expected in a cold January.   It’s supposed to be snowing, frigid cold, and signs of plant life are supposed to be anything but blooming.  Expectations for winter seasons are already set for us.  When things happen out of season, we tend to get confused, scratch our head, and ask, “why?” We often get stuck on thinking it’s not supposed to be this way.

Perhaps there is a lesson we can learn from the blooming flower in the off season.  Naturally, we think the flowers are confused because this is happening against the season.  The flowers did not question the season they were in, but they bloomed as they were created to.  They know the conditions needed to produce blooms and they spring forth into action.

Like the flower blooming in the off season, we may find ourselves in seasons we do not understand but we must find a way to spring forth into action.

The Word of Truth is needed in a believer’s life to produce fruitfulness, steadfastness, and new life.   When we are in relationship with God by engaging in His word, prayer, fasting, and worship we are then in right balance with the creator.  When the word is implanted in us, it is deeply woven in every part of us.   We won’t be able to stop the growth and we will want to live a life pure and undefiled.  This kind of life leads us to be doers and hearers of The Word as James instructs Christians to be. 

James teaches us that every believer will experience trials in life, but trials are a blessing.  They are opportunities for growth and to see the Father of Lights who created the light that rule the days and seasons.  His nature is unchanging, and His promises are secure.  Through creation, we can see exactly how faithful and unchanging God is.   Therefore, it is so important as believers to be deeply rooted in Christ so that when these off seasons do come, we will not be swayed but we will spring into action as we were created to.  Off seasons are opportunities to truly learn where our faith stands when resources have dried up, time is against us, and there isn’t any light at the end of the tunnel.   These seasons are where we meet opposition, lack, frustration, and maybe even wonder if we had faith at all?

But we were created for this.

It’s the place where we find out who we truly are, what our character is made of, and the condition of our heart.  In this place, we see God, place our trust in Him, and surrender. 

We must find a way to stay focused on God and our relationship with Him in every season of our journey so that when these off seasons do come, we will not find ourselves stuck or wavering.

 God is at work in all of our seasons, spiritual growth is a process and growth happens most in the seasons that seem out of balance. 

He is there and we can trust that He has a great purpose.

Qualities Needed In Off Seasons

Be swift to hear

Slow to speak

Slow to wrath

Be a doer of The Word

Read James 1 here:

With all of my love and encouragement,

Hannah B.

Barefoot Devotions

What’s Brewing In Your Heart? Lesson Seven | Envy

What is envy and how does it affect your life?

Definition of Envy:
1: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage
2: an object of envious notice or feeling

Similar Words: envious, grudge, begrudge, jealous

Examples of Envy:
• Having a want for a job, house, car, or other processions that someone else has
• Being envious of someone else’s life in general
• Be envious of someone else’s spouse or significant other
• Feeling discontent with what you have and desiring a different life, job, or materials
• Wanting something that you do not have access to or resources for

What The Bible Says About The Sin of Envy:

Proverbs 14:30

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

James 3:14-15
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

James 3:16
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

James 4:2-3
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

1 Corinthians 3:3
For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

James 1:14
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

Proverbs 4:23
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Take Away

1 John 2:15:17 tells us to not love anything in the world and that if anyone loves the world then the love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world. Just like Eve lusted after the fruit on the tree God told her not to touch, this problem continues for us today. It’s so easy of us to lust after the next meal that we will temporarily enjoy, the new shiny car, iPhone, and materials that twinkle to our eyes. Envy begins with a desire for something we do not have, and it is so important that we be aware of our surroundings so that when our eyes notice these things, we can quickly squash these desires. If we let these desires take root, the consequences can be catastrophic! Each day we must be aware of what is happening around us and be on guard so that we can be vigilant about the things of this world we are seeing. Seek God daily and walk in the Spirit as you overcome these lustful desires. God is faithful to provide for us daily. When we start thanking Him for the things we have in life – our health, family, a place over our head, a bed, and all the things that we take for granted something in our heart begins to change and we see things in light of who God is and what He has done for us.

Heavenly Father,
I confess the sins of envy in my heart and I pray that you will cleanse me from my sinful desires, wants, and pride. I invite you into my heart to invade my life and free me from these desires. It’s my heart to serve you wholly and fully. Thank you for what the life you have given me and teach me to serve you with what you trusted me with. Teach me to walk in the spirit and not by the flesh.
Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen!

Questions to Ponder and Life Application Thoughts:

  1. In what areas of your life are you currently envious after? Confess these to God, repent, and surrender this to Him.
  2. Acknowledge any area in your life that you may abhor any discontentment and diligently make a mindful decision to turn from this daily.
  3. Ask God if there is any area in your life that you need to fully surrender to Him.
  4. Ask God to teach you to walk in the Spirit so that you can overcome the flesh by His strength.
Barefoot Devotions

What’s Brewing In Your Heart? Lesson Three | Sloth

What is sloth and how does it affect your life?

Definition of sloth:
1 a: disinclination to action or labor
b: spiritual apathy and inactivity

Similar Words:

Laziness, Idleness, Indolence, Inactivity, Inertia

Examples of Sloth:

• The inability to bring to completion what you have started due to lack of motivation or purpose.
• The refusal and rejection of God’s design for human life and the life of a follower of Christ.
• The refusal and rejection of God’s plan for your life.
• Someone who may not help around the home, work, or in other areas where help may be needed.
• Including these phrases in our life: “I’m too busy”, “I’m tired”, and “I don’t want to”.
• Finding excuses to not complete our work or delay your work.
• Neglecting our prayer life, participation in church, Bible study, and active tasks that have Kingdom-minded results.
• Partaking in activities that do not promote you toward your calling or benefiting the Kingdom of God. For example: Binge watching Netflix or scrolling Facebook for far too long.
• When you plan an escape from your relational, financial, work and emotional problems instead of solving the problems you may have. For example: You may decide to change your job or get a divorce because you are looking for something better.

Bible verses regarding the sin of sloth:

Proverbs 12:24 – The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
Proverbs: 13:4 – The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
Proverbs 15:19 – The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.
Proverbs 19:15 – Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
Proverbs 21:25-26 – The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
Hebrews 6:12 – We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
Hebrews 10:24 – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
Mathew 25:26 – But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?
Romans 12:11 – Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Take Away

Sloth is a sneaky sin that slowly creeps into your life without you recognizing the immediate harm this sin can cause to your daily life and relationships. Being under the control of sloth gets us to do things based on the way feel rather than doing tasks because we need to, cultivating a relationship, or obey God. We were made to be in relationship with God and to pursue Him with all things. Before the fall, He gave us the dominion over the earth to subdue it. Work existed before the fall and it was created because it is good for us.
In society, we have created an idol out of freedom, and we have neglected the calling God has on our lives. However, this quickly comes to an end when we find ourselves consumed with the freedoms we chose to do over and over with our time.

When we become consumed with everything and anything but God, we lose ourselves in the process. We forget to discover what God called us to do and who He created us to be. Sloth is the rejection of your God given purpose. He placed you in a position to work at your job, to be a student, He called you to be the parent to your children, and He called you to be the husband or wife to your spouse. He placed people in your life for you to cultivate relationships with them.

If you find yourself unsure of what to do and without peace, then I encourage you to seek God and keep seeking Him as long as it takes. If you find yourself, just “killing time” for the sake of doing something, then pick up your Holy Bible and engage in God’s word. To overcome sloth, you must cultivate your humanity and you must do so by first seeking God.

When you seek God, He begins to remind you of the sacrifice He made for you, He reminds you of who you are in Christ, and He begins to change your heart and desires to beat with the desires He has for you. When you make a choice over and over, you become that kind of person. Your character is formed by experiencing the demands and even heartaches of life. That why it’s important to always be making the right choices so that we do not become stagnant in our faith journey.

It’s important to remember not to be consumed with freedoms or consumed with always working because creativity and vision happens in downtime. We must be good stewards of our time and direct the time we have wisely and for God’s glory. When we do this, we can ensure that we can reach our potential and live out the purpose God has called us to.

Heavenly Father,

I acknowledge the areas in my life that I have allowed sloth to enter into my life. I ask that through your power, you show me what choices you would have me make so I may glorify you and live out the purpose you have for my life to the fullest. Thank you for knitting in my mother’s womb and setting me apart for a specific work. Give me the strength to work with diligence and joy for You. Show me the areas in my life that I need to change and give me the courage to step out do it without delay.

Questions to Ponder and Life Application Thoughts:

1. If you find yourself too busy, consider everything you have to do and do away with certain activities that do not produce good fruits of the spirit or bring glory to God’s kingdom.

a. In what ways can you reprioritize your to-do’s?

b. How much time do you spend mindlessly scrolling social media or binge-watching Netflix?

c. Take inventory of your time and see where it goes! With the time you discover you have, use that time to continuously seek God during those times!

2. What habits do you continuously do over and over that need to be addressed?

3. Has God revealed any area of your life where sloth may have entered?

4. If you need a vision or a place to start, then ask God to reveal it to you in a way that you will understand and be motivated to work toward the call He has created for you.

5. If you are stagnant in your faith journey and the places God has placed you, then make decisions over and over that will cultivate your character and propel you further into your calling.

Barefoot Devotions

Transforming Brokenness

Brokenness. A place where we all hope to never find ourselves.

The reality is that we are all broken. We have broken moments surrounded in immense pain, shame, and despair. There are parts of our life that we so desperately want to take back and even the parts we wonder why this happened to me? How did I get here of all places? It’s really not supposed to be this way.

God’s grace doesn’t leave us in our brokenness. He loves us far too much to do that. His grace has carried me through all of my brokenness, despair, and heartache.

Even when I didn’t deserve it.

Even in the midst of the circumstances I didn’t choose.

When we keep our brokenness cocooned in the protection of our own hands, it’s impossible to see the potential it will morph into when we surrender our brokenness to our Heavenly Father.

We must surrender justifying our brokenness to God. This means fully releasing every thought and emotion you are holding onto so tightly into the hands of JEHOVAH ROPHE.

A beautiful transformation happens in your heart when you allow the Holy Spirit to step in and morph your brokenness into healing.

It begins in complete surrender.

It begins when we stop asking why.

It begins when we realize that God didn’t mean for us to live this way.

It begins when we realize that God’s love is greater and His grace is beyond sufficient.

It ignites when you step into your anointed and set apart position IN Christ.

When we are IN Christ, our brokenness is gracefully broken for meaning and a purpose far greater than you can even imagine.

Be brave and surrender everything to our loving Father for transformation.

With all of my love and encouragement,

Hannah B.

Barefoot Devotions

Beautiful Detours

The day began early with a 5 hour drive to South Carolina to celebrate my best friend’s surprise birthday party. I decided against getting a hotel that night and would make the drive home. When it was time to head back to my house, I used Siri for directions like I always do. I was certain she knew the address and would find the best route.

I spoke into my phone, “Siri, get me directions home.” She responded confidently, “Getting directions home.” As we began the drive back to Kentucky, I got lost in a flowing rhythm of praise music and praying. Before I knew it, I had listened to Siri’s step by step directions and was headed on a road that I just knew wouldn’t lead me to my home.

As the miles kept passing, I began to become panicked and anxious. I was tired and already regretting not getting a hotel room that night. I pulled off on the road to breathe and reassure my direction.

Destination: Another address that I’ve never been too.

I quit my current directions and said, “Siri, get me directions.” Without delay, she did to the same unknown address. Sure enough my home address has been changed. I assume my four year old altered my settings somehow.

As I manually typed in my home address, the only thing I could think was how ridiculous is it that I trust this phone so much to get me home and how comfortable I am to just say, “Hey Siri, get me directions home” and not even look to see if the right address has been selected.

When I looked in my rear view at my sleeping child all I could do was laugh that he was probably the one who got a hold of my phone and changed the settings. Yet, he was sleeping as if nothing happened.

With a deep breath and the right directions, I started the journey back the way I came to get on the right road to head home. I couldn’t be mad at myself because I knew God allowed it to happen and for my benefit and for my safety especially for the safety of my child. All I could do was continue to praise God for His faithfulness and goodness. After all, I was stopped and looking at the most beautiful view of the sky. If you look closely, it even looks like a hand in the clouds. The ironic part is I have been asking God if my last year has been a detour but even if it was, it’s been beautiful. I’m content and that concern has been washed away.

It’s such a relief to know that God is in control and is the ultimate guide that will always lead us home. Even when we wander and drift away from our road map for life – He already has our u-turn planned. He is waiting for us to make that decision to accept His intervention. Even when you are lost in the rhythm of life and notice this doesn’t quite feel right, He is there to guide you back at home. There is even beauty in the detours because it gives us our story and it guides us back home to the Creator.

When we ask God for directions home, we can be certain He will always give us the right directions.

With all my love,