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

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,


Barefoot Devotions

A Purposeful Journey

Jonah 4:2 NLT |So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.

You have been uniquely crafted by the hands of the Creator for a specific purpose that only you can fulfill.  But what if we don’t like where God is asking us to go or do? What if it’s too scary?  Perhaps, you don’t feel qualified?

Jonah’s life teaches us one thing and that is this:  God will have His way.  

You have the power to choose to take the way God desires for you or you can take the way you desire.  In the opening chapter, God doesn’t waste any time in telling Jonah, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

 Then there is a but.

 Jonah decided to hop on a boat and head in the opposite direction, away from God.   We quickly see that Jonah’s life is being interrupted by God – the very One he was trying to flee from because he did not like the mission that God called him to.  Once the sailors realized that Jonah’s God was causing the great storm, Jonah told them to throw him overboard so that the storm would stop.  

If Jonah would have simply said, “Okay God, You know best” and set out to complete his mission, a lot of time could have been saved and he would have avoided putting himself and the lives of others in danger and being swallowed up by a fish.    Instead, it took being inside the fish’s belly for three days to finally understand that God’s plan was going to happen.   I know I have found myself stuck inside the stomach of a fish until I came to God’s senses.   Once Jonah finally makes it to his destination and completes the mission God gave him, the people immediately repent of their sins and turn their hearts back to God.  

God is so gracious and compassionate that when we truly repent and seek His face, He is faithful to forgive us of our sins – regardless of how dark and rotten our hearts are.  Here is the other but:  Jonah wasn’t happy.   He would have preferred the entire nation be judged, condemned, and destroyed.   All through the mission, Jonah’s heart was not compassionate, and he is treating this great calling like a task that has to be done.   Even at the end of the story (Jonah 4:4), he is more worried about his reputation and says, “it would be better for me to die than live.”

Whatever God has called us to, He has equipped us, and He has prepared the place and people that we will serve and witness to.   It’s so much easier to allow fear, doubt, and our own selfish desires to overrule our judgments and plans than to listen to God because it removes “us” from the equation. It’s important to not Listening to God requires us to die to self and choose God and His plan over the desires and dreams we may have for our life.  Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is to be compassionate toward someone we may feel they don’t deserve grace.


 In the grand scheme of things, the plan God has for your life is oh, so good!  His purpose is to work everything for the good of those who love Him.  If we fully submit to Him and His will, we are guaranteed this promise!  Just as we see in the testimony of Jonah, God’s compassion for us is continual and even when we don’t listen the first time, He will provide another chance.

Romans 8:28 | And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

So next time God sends you on a mission, do a heart check and go with a joyful heart and a willing spirit to serve!

Let’s Ponder!

1.        How many buts are you going to let come between you and your purpose that was uniquely hand crafted for you?

2.       What is God calling you to do but your heart is not in it?

3.        Will you allow God to work on your heart to prepare you to go with a heart of joy?

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father,

I thank You for creating me specifically for the unique purpose that You have called me to.  I ask that You continue to shape me into the person You created me to be so that I may fulfill the call You have on my life.   Make my heart match Yours and the desires You have for my life, guide me as I walk closer with You and discover my unique purpose.  When the buts come, remind me of your grace and that You have called me for such a time as this.  In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.

Barefoot Devotions

Cultivating Confidence

Psalm 27 teaches us that God is always around us even when we feel as though our enemies, life circumstances, and even our emotions are against us. Whether the war is raging on the outside or inside, we must practice and learn to Be Still in all circumstances to cultivate confidence.

In verse 3, David writes, “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.”

Like David in verse 5, we can be confident that God will hide us in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal us under the cover of His tent, and He will lift us high upon a rock.

If David could trust and have confidence in God during his troubles, we too can trust God even with all of life’s circumstances.

God does protect and work on behalf of those who trust Him and choose to have confidence in Him. We can be confident of God’s light, stronghold, and salvation.

God’s light directs us when we are in doubt, our hearts are shattered, or we just feel hopeless. He gives us comfort and peace in our hearts that causes us to rejoice regardless of our circumstances. God’s is our stronghold and He protects us in all ways perfectly and for a perfect reason even if the pain does not make sense for the moment. We can run to Him for shelter from the storm and He is faithful to provide for us. God is our salvation even when the walls are closing in – He always saves us in His perfect timing. If God is faithful to be our stronghold, He will be faithful to save us from danger and set us above our fear.

We have the confidence to shout and rejoice during life’s circumstances because God does listen to us as we cry out to Him and He already knows your solution. Your confidence may be low but I assure you that with each trial and tribulation that is thrown your way, this confidence that I speak of will grow as you experience life and deliverance from this experience. My advice? Praise your way through it – speak praise to God, sing praise to God, fill your spirit with praise music, sermons, and God’s word. Turn the volume up LOUD and drown out the sorrows you are feeling.

God will honor your faith and trust in Him and even if the timing doesn’t match yours, we can rest assured that He is working all things out for our good and for His perfect will.

On this day three years ago, a heavy burden that I carried was finally gone. This burden was an ongoing court case from a terrible car accident six years ago. Without going into details, I can tell you that the world said I was going to be crucified. However, God had different plans. Each time the court date was postponed, I felt as though my faith was wearing down. However, I didn’t have an option to quit believing for a miracle. Finally one day my case was dismissed. It was one of the most glorious days of my life. The relief that came was one I will never forget. I’ve praised God all day today for what He did for me three years ago. I knew during this time in my life, God was the only one who would be able to work out the situation for my good, I chose to have faith and I chose to keep believing and trusting even when I could not see.

As I look back, I realize that my trust and faith in God grew drastically during this time. God showed me who He really was and even though it took three years, I learned so much. After each court date that was postponed, I didn’t know why it was delayed once again but it didn’t matter. What mattered is that I knew God had something better – a better outcome and to give me an experience that He led methrough to cultivate confidence in Him.

Each day we have a choice – we choose to live for Jesus. It’s not always easy but it is always the best way. No matter what your circumstances, I hope you use these moments on your journey to allow God to cultivate confidence in Him.

Personal Reflection

  1. What circumstances in your life do you feel unsure or hopeless in?
  2. How can you surrender to God to allow Him to accomplish His plan in your life?
  3. How can you cultivate your relationship with Jesus?

With all my love and encouragement,

Hannah B.