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

Worth It All

The Darkness – It isn’t supposed to be like this

Last October, I surrendered everything I had been holding onto to God. Within a matter of days, my life changed and since then the only thing I have been able to hold on to is God. He began a new work in me that is uncomfortable, scary, and frustrating. Though this process seems so dark, I have been learning to trust and depend on Him more than I ever have. During this time of my life, I realized that He is answering my prayer to go deeper and on another level with Him. The deepness that He is taking me through requires a trusting faith, a real faith without any room for doubt or another plan, and a faith that can’t be measured by expectations of even human comprehension.  A faith that is completely reliant on God to carry out His Will, His Way.

The Call – This was not a part of the plan

I’ll never forget the Sunday Morning that I audibly heard God begin to answer my payer and confirm that I was to go to Greece on a mission trip. During the prayer at the end of service, I audibly heard God tell me that my sign to go would be “eating Greek food”.  Of course, God does not answer prayers like this. Right? Apparently, if you pray for a sign to hit you over the head like a cast iron skillet, you do get your answer and it is never in the way you expect but ironically in a way that is real to you.

During this time, I remember replying to God as if we were having a conversation that I wouldn’t be going because we do not have Greek food in Eastern Kentucky so of course, I knew I would not be going to Greece to be a part of this mission trip. End of Story – I tried, I sought, and did my part. What a relief! Although I felt relief, I must admit that I was disappointed as well. Isn’t life funny sometimes? I was even rebuking myself for having thoughts of eating Greek food in church – I had never tasted Greek food so why was I even thinking like that?

As we were getting in our car to leave, a friend came up to me and handed me a container of food. I thanked her and asked, “What kind of food is this?” Her response caused my breath to stop as I heard her say, “It’s Greek.”
In the moment, I realized that was indeed God’s spirit talking to my spirit and I heard the audible voice of God. I explained everything to my husband, of course, with a “you’re not going to believe me!” and in the church parking lot my fate was sealed – I was going to Greece and God had answered my prayer in such a way that I could not deny it, nor could I say no.

I was going to see the process through and would do everything in my power that I was supposed to do to follow through with my commitment to God and the plan He has for my life. It has been a bumpy journey – I have been stretched in ways I could have done without, but my faith has soared and is continuing to a new level. There were many times I questioned if I could even be able to go due to time off, increase of the cost of the trip, deadlines to have a percentage of the trip paid for, and the dates of the trip being adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances. Family and friends have questioned why I am even doing this and have suggested that it is not the right time.  God put a Rhema Word in my heart and He audibly told me the sign I would receive before it happened, so I have been clinging to that Word and trusting God to provide.  When our trip price increased, I was experiencing many sleepless nights and one night when I woke up, God reminded me, “God’s Will, God’s Bill.”

From that moment on, I chose to have faith that God would carry out His provision for the spoken word I received.  God has given me these moments to have something to cling to when the doubts and questions come in and when my mind races.  I always go back to that Sunday in the church pew.  Now, it is less than a couple of days that my bill is due, and I only owe $184. God is faithful, and He does provide. His ways are higher, greater, and as humans, we just can’t understand.

The Day I Died

This season of darkness has not lifted but the beautiful thing about walking through this time in my life is that when God does speak it is audible, loud, and clear. It can not be denied that it is God. As the days approaching until our team leaves for Greece, I must admit that I am beginning to have my reservations as questions run through my mind. Am I doing the right thing? Is it selfish of me to leave my kids and potentially risk my life causing them to not grow up without their mom? I can’t help but remember the pain of losing my dad at 19. Leave my husband widowed? Leave my mom with her worst fear coming true? My heart tightens with deep pain thinking about these scenarios.

The truth is even in today’s society, no matter where we go as Christians, we have the chance of being persecuted and that is growing every day. People lay down their lives willingly every day.  Am I truly ready to lay down my life? As I have been asking myself this hard question, I have come to realize that yes, I am.  In the face of the unthinkable, if my wonderful Savior has the unthinkable apart of His great plan then I will trust His heart. I will be joyous that I was given the opportunity.

Sometimes I must take a deep breath and move forward. I’m not sure what circumstances await me, but I do know that I will be forever changed.  I’ll gladly go, dying to self every day if that is what it takes.  He called me.  Life does not exist apart from God and through Him,  I am alive.

Seeking to go deeper with God has taken me into the darkness but during this time I am learning His voice, who He is, who I am, and hopefully, discover another part of me that is waiting to be unleashed.
Even though I am blindly following, I can’t wait to see what is about to happen – not just in my relationship with Jesus, but on this trip, and in the next season of my life.  For now, I’m trusting His good, good heart because He is worth it all.

Photo Credit: Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

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

Wandering In The Darkness

I was driving home last night from Bible study and I was spending time talking to God about this current season I am in. The night time in Eastern Kentucky is a different kind of dark compared to the the city night I am used to. As this thought came to my mind, I realized that this season I am isn’t any different.

God showed me that even though this season isn’t ideal to me, it’s necessary. He is still here and when He answers me, it’s like a huge bright light shining on my path.

Often times in our journey, we find ourselves wandering in the dark. Seeking and searching for any kind of sign from God that will bring comfort, peace, or an answer as we continue to walk out the call God has for our life.

During this season of trials and tribulations, we can take comfort in knowing that God’s eye is on us. If we stay focused on Him, He won’t let us aimlessly walk in the dark without a purpose. He is there and we can trust that He is purposefully guiding us. He is allowing us to get to know Him intimately and is building our trust in Him. Though He may seem far away, the next time He speaks to you, answers a prayer, or gives you what your spirit is needing – it will be the brightest and purest light bulb moment that can’t be missed.

Though I have been in the dark and have felt like I have been aimlessly kicking up dirt down here on Earth, it’s the clearest I have ever heard from God in any season. For me, these moments have been pivotal and defining.

I pray you are having them too as we need to always be growing, stretching, and planting seeds. Too many people given up the fight in the darkness. Suit up and even if you feel like your just kicking up dirt, fight.

I leave you with God’s truth that is sure to get you ready for battle!

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

With all of my love and encouragement,

Hannah B.

Barefoot Devotions

The Power Of A Woman – Choosing Life

As women, our bodies were created to grow the next generation and bring them into the world. God chose us to be His vessels to carry the miracle of life.

We are women. We are mothers. We were born women for a higher and worthy purpose. We must be united and stand up for our unborn children – all of the unborn life in every city and in every country.

Life begins well before a child is conceived. The Word of God tells us this,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5

No matter what you are facing, there is a community of women with hearts of desire, love, and encouragement to come along side of you and see you through this chapter of your life.

No matter your situation, whether you are married, single, withchild going through a divorce, or even raped. We all share the same fears and doubts about motherhood and failing at motherhood. Every woman asks, “Am I even good enough to be a mother?” Maybe you are questioning, “Will I be able to find the strength to give this child up from adoption?” or “How am I going to do this by myself?” or “How can I love this baby since it was a product of something negative that happened to me?”

Even if the pain is too deep, we must take that one step of faith and deny ourselves to honor the gift of life that is growing inside our bodies. There is a greater purpose for our pain and there is a purpose for our heartache. I know this is repeated but I can’t stress enough how important it is to not get sucked in by the pain.

” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who ihave been called according to his purpose. ” Romans 8:28

You may not know the answers but with one step of faith, you can do this. You were born as a woman to do this and you are capable. There is a community of women that will come alongside you. You were created by the God of the universe and He can be there if you allow Him to. He makes the bumpy road we are traveling, straight, and He always provides for His children.

If you are considering abortion, I am pleading with you to find the courage deep down to take on the opportunity God has given you to raise this child despite the challenges you may face.
Maybe it’s not the right time for you, and that is more than okay. Rise up with courage and give the most precious gift of life to a woman desiring a child to love. Your decision could be the answered prayer for a woman waiting for a child to love. The perfect gift of love and sacrifice that would display through your obedient act.

It is up to us to live up to the power of being a woman. We were given the gift of growing children in our bodies and we must protect the gift of new life. For the sake of humanity, let’s unite. Let’s raise our voices and let’s take a stand. When God gives us the opportunity to birth new life, we must follow through with His plan and accept His will for our life. Trust that He knows better, and His purpose extends past us and into generations to come.

Our sisters need us and we must do it for the unborn that cannot speak.

With all my love and encouragement,

Hannah B.