Blessed, Broken and Given

Sometimes you do the right thing and end up getting hurt.

Tonight, I went to the bathroom, used the last of the tissue and thought I was doing the right thing by going to replace the roll (instead of being lazy and doing it later).

I grab a roll. Realize it’s the last one in the package and then I tell myself to do the “right thing” again….only to bump my tooth on the countertop while trying to reach the empty wrapper. It’s slightly chipped, but thankfully I’m not in any pain!

Initially, I was in shock. I cried a little. Started to think that doing the “right thing” isn’t all it was cracked up to be (unintended pun there). I was tempted to feel as if my efforts were in vain. I was trying, in the smallest way, to be a good wife. I didn’t want my husband to wake up and not have any tissue to use. ESPECIALLY since I always ask him to remember to replace the roll–what would I look like if I don’t practice what I preach!?!?

BUT THEN I REMEMBERED–ALL THINGS work TOGETHER for MY GOOD. Clearly God has somewhere I need to be tomorrow morning and it’s not at my desk.

We’re often tempted to see a problem, where God sees a possibility/protection.

Challenge yourself to shift your thinking. The next time something catches you off guard, instead of asking “Why me?” or “Why this?,” Let Romans 8 COME ALIVE in your spirit and say to God, “I’m EXCITED to see what you’re about to do with this!”

My tooth may be “broken,” but my spirit is not. This experience made me think back to a devotional I shared with my praise club group. I pray it blesses you this morning….


Alright ladies, 

I hope you are all doing well this morning.  I’ll be my usual transparent self and share with you all that this was a VERY hard post for me to write.  This took me down memory lane and challenged me to really look deeper into myself and try to unpack what this 2 year phase in Mississippi has taught me.  I was actually asked to appear on a blog hosted by one of my friends and this post was created for that.

I began writing this weeks ago and I sat on it– trying to collect my thoughts and wanting to make sure that the overall message made sense.  All that being said, I share my testimony with you with the hope that it will encourage you and strengthen you on this journey.  

Blessed, Broken, and Given

Back in 2010, I prayed that God would use me in a mighty way and that my next career move would not be one based on money or prestige, but that God would send me to the place where I could do a good work and walk in my purpose.  I prayed one day, and heard the Holy Spirit so clearly say, “What if you have to go to Utah?” and I thought—“Oh, that’s weird, but ok.”  

I didn’t end up in Utah—instead I finished Grad School and was selected for a Policy Fellowship that placed me in Jackson, Mississippi—a place where I knew nothing and no one.  I stepped out on faith and left my family and friends and everything that “made sense” in NC and went where God was taking me. The first week here my car was flooded, the movers disappeared somewhere between NC and Mississippi with my belongings and I was in the middle of my biggest blessing but feeling the lowest I’d ever felt in life. 

I made up my mind that I was going to speak life and faith over my situations and time and time again, I’ve seen God move—random checks coming in the mail, family/friends sending me a note or gift that came right on time to lift my spirits.  The trials continued, but I embraced this phase of my life as my “Job (the person, not the thing) experience”—It hurt, but I learned to stop questioning God and to focus on being obedient and continuing to pursue Him above ALL ELSE! 

What I never expected, was the way my story would move others and inspire them in their walk with God.  At one point, I refused to post anything negative about my life, because it was already enough to live it—I didn’t need it all over social media.  I had an associate (now turned close friend) who was so inspired by my posts that I became a part of her decision to give her life to Christ.  Another one of my friends became one of my biggest encouragers.  Even more mind-blowing was seeing my baby sister and other friends/associates become BOLD in their walk with Christ and sharing their faith on social media – only to hear them say that I was their inspiration.  What the devil meant for bad was turning out for good and lives were being saved (Genesis 50:20)! 

The key takeaway from this is that in life there is a “blessing” and there is a “breaking”—but in the breaking our power and anointing comes.  Our greatest example of this is Jesus in his suffering and trials leading up to his crucifixion – but HE ROSE with all POWER in his hands because He was obedient to God’s will for His life.  Don’t let yourself become so overwhelmed by what you are going through that you miss the place that God is trying to take you to.  Your sufferings work toward a greater glory (2 Corinthians 4:17).  Jesus picked up his cross and carried it, and as believers we have to do the same (Matthew 16:24). 

I’ve embraced the breaking—but I don’t say that lightly, because it was and continues to be a PROCESS.  But I press (Philippians 3:14) – And I encourage you to embrace “the press” as well! 


The lyrics below inspired me and led to this post.  I encourage you to listen to the song yourself and meditate on the lyrics as well. 

Blessed, Broken and Given (CeCe Winans)

My life has been BLESSED far more than I could ever imagine.

I’ve been touched by God’s grace more than I’ll ever know!

So let me be BROKEN through the suffering and the sorrow,

Let me feel what you felt when you were broken for me.


After my blessing, and after my breaking

Let me be GIVEN to bring sight to all men.

When I’ve been blessed and

When I’ve been broken

Then after I’ve been given–

Lord bless me, Lord break me, again and again”


Scriptures to meditate on:

John 15:2

He CUTS OFF every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he PRUNES so that it will be EVEN MORE fruitful.


Galatians 2:20 (ESV)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME. And the life I now live in the flesh I live BY FAITH in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


Matthew 16:24-26 (ESV) Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?


Morning Inspiration

Last Sunday, I was talking to my youth about a couple of things and we got on the topic of “empathy” vs “sympathy.” I was thinking about that conversation just now and this thought came to mind. I pray it encourages you this morning.

We want God to only pour “good” things into us. Those things that make us happy and that are easy to bear.

That desire is shortsighted and overlooks the fact that our deepest burdens/moments of breaking equip us with a testimony that can empower someone’s breakthrough!

If you don’t get those good AND bad things poured into you–you won’t have anything to pour out. People aren’t just looking for someone that can “feel bad” for them, they need that person who understands the sting of defeat/discouragement, the pain of betrayl/failure, and the depth of sorrow/hurt.

It may not feel good, but God is equipping you for SO MUCH MORE! If you turn those broken places over, God will reveal their purpose to you. That’s my testimony. I see it every Sunday I share with my youth. In my day to day activities when a random exchange brings up a memory that no longer carries pain, but gives me an encouraging word to share.

Scriptures to meditate on:

2 Corinthians 4:15-18 ESV
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Genesis 50:20
As for you, you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. .

Isaiah 55:9
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine….”

Romans 8:31-39
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 61:3
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

Philippians 3:7-14 ESV
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

#PURPOSE #BeautyforAshes #allthingsworktogether


Image source, unknown

It’s not done yet…

This morning, I woke up earlier than usual, browsed Pinterest some, and became so overwhelmed with gratitude that I found myself in tears. It’s an indescribable feeling when you look around and see the promises of God fulfilled in your life. Things are not perfect, but I am thankful for the presence of things that were once simple figments of my 12 year-old imagination.

Then my mind went to thoughts of my “waiting place” experience. We all go through various waiting periods in life, my most recent one happened from 2011 to 2013. I’ll post more about that another time, but the memory of that season in my life left me wanting to share some encouragement this morning. My old notes are included below. I pray it provides some encouragement for you this morning.

This morning I was driving and this thought hit me: 

Anyone that cooks knows that sometimes things take longer than we expect.

The cake doesn’t rise — the meat doesn’t brown.
But we don’t eat a half baked cake or a undercooked piece of meat.

We WAIT– sometimes standing close by so that the item doesn’t overcook
and when it is done we take it away from the heat/fire.  

A good cook ALWAYS waits because they know it won’t be RIGHT unless they let the process do its work!  (If they do take it out early– they know they will be disappointed!)

In that same way– God’s not going to give us an underdone meal just because we’re “ready to eat.” 

Habakkuk 2:3 
This vision is yet for AN APPOINTED time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, WAIT PATIENTLY, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

God never forgets and even when it looks like nothing is happening, He continues to orchestrate things in the background so that at the right time, the outcome will be super abundantly above what you could have imagined! (Eph 3:20)

James 1:4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects, lacking in nothing.

Psalm 37:1-5 AMP
FRET NOT yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness (that which is not upright or in right standing with God). For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.


The Day We Conquered Kale

Last week, I got a bag of Nature Green’s Kale Greens and said I was going to try to make Kale chips.

For some reason, I thought Kale would be really challenging to work with at home. I’m a southern girl, but I left the art of cooking collards and greens to my mother because she does it well!

With light trepidation, I went on Pinterest, got some inspiration, and got to fixing!

Fix-It Fran’s Kale Chips:
-1 bag, Nature Green, Kale Greens
-Sugar (3 Tbsp.)
-Garlic Powder (1/2 tsp.)
-Cayenne Powder (A pinch–optional)
-Mustard Powder (1/8 tsp.)
-Parmesan Cheese (6 Tbsp.)
-Olive Oil (I used an all natural spray–a light drizzle should be fine)

First Batch:
For the first batch, I set the oven to 325°F. Gathered my ingredients and tossed the kale in olive oil. I incorporated about half of the dry ingredients into the kale-olive oil mix and reserved the rest to sprinkle on afterward.

Next, I lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper and arranged the kale in an even layer. I read a few recipes that warned of overlapping leaves creating a “steaming” environment, but I didn’t have that problem. Just make sure your greens are as dry as possible before tossing them in oil.

The kale browned in under 10 minutes and I was rather pleased with the results. I sprinkled on more of my seasoning mix and still had some left over (the first batch only used a quarter of the bag).

Since the Kale came pre-cut, there were some tiny pieces that weren’t really “chip worthy.” However, those chips are PERFECT for a make-shift Gremolata

I thought I was done for the day, but then the Husboo requested more….

Mind you, this was a new “health nut” recipe, so I was happy to make another batch. 

Second Batch:
For the second batch, I set the oven to 315° and used the convection mode while repeating the steps I used for the first batch.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a convection oven, I just wanted to see if it would make a difference. I think it was easier to monitor the chips without them browning too quickly, but there was no drastic difference from the first batch.


The final batch


Chips from the first batch


Kale chips

As always, recipes go according to taste. If you’re not a garlic/cayenne pepper/parmesan fan, this may not be the recipe for you–but there’s hope!

Just substitute the ingredient you’d prefer. This is was my first attempt to write down one of my recipes. Hopefully it makes sense. Leave a comment below if you have any questions and I’ll respond ASAP.

You can also check out my Cooking with Kale Pinterest board for other ideas.

Until next time– Go fix something! 🙂