Week 17 – We Renovate

Recently I decided to give The Chic Creative’s Instagram page a much needed and long overdue renovation.  

Why?

Well, not being an expert in social media growth tactics especially Instagram but with a deep desire to positively impact women I caved to the social media “rules.” 

Those “rules” said I had to be an “influencer” even though I had no idea what that even really means and still don’t. 

However in the process of trying to become who I thought I was supposed to be I completely lost my authenticity.

The “rules” imply an Instagram page should be cohesive and aesthetically pleasing which in no way reflects my beautifully messy life.  

I tried to follow the rules but felt like a fraud and a liar.

I hated looking at my Instagram page and one day in frustration finally said “Enough of the rules! I am renovating this until it looks like me.”   It is still a work in progress.

And it was here I had an Aha moment!

When we aren’t happy with an area of our lives or it no longer feels genuine or joyful we can simply renovate it!  

Whether it’s our relationships, home, body, friendships or job we can edit, add, delete and rearrange until we step back satisfied with the results.

Since we’ve been quarantined many of us are decluttering, organizing and cleaning our homes until we like the overall look and feel of each room.

This same process applies to every other area of our lives.

We have to be honest and sometimes ruthless in our assessment of What and Who needs to stay or go. 

Have you ever entered a room looked around then shut the door because you hated the decor or the clutter?

Or glanced into the mirror dissatisfied with your body before heading to the fridge for comfort food? 

Or stayed in a friendship even though it had take a turn towards the toxic?  

I have. Many times!  

With some simple renovating that messy room can become an elegant inviting space, the body can go from lethargic to energetic and the negative friendships can be replaced with positive ones.

All of this is leads to a rich life that feels real and enjoyable instead of draining. 

So are there are areas in your life in need of renovation?  

We have been given a divine gift during this social pause. 

A chance to accomplish tasks we always planned but somehow never got around to doing.

To start renovating, redefine “normal”, delete what we don’t need, add what we do, rearrange and redecorate until we look around and smile because we love the life we see!

This week we decide then begin renovating!

Sandra Hubbard:  Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach 

#timeforchange #renovation #keepingitreal  #thechiccreative 

Never Walk Alone

Psalm 23:4 Study Session IV

We begin this study session with our key scripture Psalm 23:4.  

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Have you ever walked through a valley, a long season of what feels like never ending darkness? 

I have and one thing I’ve learned is that in order to reach a mountaintop we have to go through some valleys.  

The mountaintop offers a beautiful, expansive view of this glorious life but it’s in those valleys where we experience the most growth and gratitude.   

Psalm 23:4 reminds us we are never alone “for thou art with me.” We may feel alone but we aren’t.  

Feelings are never to be confused with facts. 

David writes “though I walk” not “if I walk” meaning it’s not a question of “if” we will go through difficult times but “when.” 

We know from verses 2 and 3 God “leads” us meaning we aren’t navigating life alone. 

Verse 4 reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Ps 46:1.

Often in winter we’ll have a period of ongoing dark, overcast days and it’s so easy then to forget the sun is still shining. It’s simply blocked by the shadow of clouds.

This is what going through dark times feels like.

The future’s uncertain, the fear is real and loneliness and doubt creep in trying to convince us God has abandoned us. 

Well, Psalm 23:4 confirms He hasn’t. 

How is it David could walk through his valleys unafraid?  

Because he knew “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life – whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1    

He saw and benefited many times from God’s presence, protection and provision.  

Throughout the Bible we see many references to the Lord being our Shepherd. 

A shepherd tends sheep, carrying a staff with a hook on the end so when a sheep wanders off, strays too far or gets into trouble, the hook can be used to retrieve the roaming sheep. 

The rod part of the staff is designed to protect the sheep from hungry wolves. It’s also used for correction when a sheep needs to be disciplined as well as guiding the sheep along. 

I finally understand now why David called the Lord his Shepherd.   

Many times God has protected me from the enemy’s attempts to destroy me. 

He often too has to reign me in when I start drifting from my lane into places and with people that threaten to pull me from His path.

I’ve lost count of the many times He’s had to discipline me when I disobeyed. I am a bit stubborn but He always corrects me from a place of love like any kind father would. 

Aren’t you thankful to have a Shepherd who protects, guides, rescues and disciplines you?  I am.

It’s also comforting to know we aren’t out here in this vast wilderness of life alone, prime prey for the enemy to devour.

How many times have we just wanted to lie down in death’s valley and quit due to exhaustion and overwhelm?  

This is the exact moment the Shepherd, the one who has walked beside us holding our hand now picks us up and carries us.  This is what love looks like. 

Isaiah 40:10 says “Like a shepherd He will tend his flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom.”   

He also writes “For I the Lord your God will hold your right hand saying to your “fear not for I will help you.” Isa 41:14

Christ beckons us to “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28.    

For years I wouldn’t go to Christ because of shame, guilt, condemnation and pride. I deeply regret that. 

I now know that “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.  John 3:17

And that there is “now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Rom 8:1

Instead “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deut 31:8 

Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12.   

These are only a handful of the promises of reassurance God gives his daughters. 

We never have to walk through our valleys alone, be afraid of the unknown or chart our own course as God goes before us paving the way.

We don’t have to shoulder all of our troubles or live everyday in anxiety. 

We can choose to listen to a world that heavily promotes worry and encourages fear or to the Word that is the never-changing, unaffected by circumstance, absolute Truth. 

Who do we want walking with us through this valley of uncertain times?  

The latest news report, our social media feeds, a pessimistic friend’s negative, cynical opinion or a loving, faithful, ever-present Father who promises to protect and provide for us until the darkness passes by? 

There are going to be valleys. It’s inevitable.  

But we walk unafraid knowing “Thou are with me.”  

And while the world is in turmoil right now we are moving through each day in peace because “thy rod and staff, they comfort me.”  

One thing I know for sure is God’s got this!

Sandra Hubbard 

Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach 

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1.  Life can often leave us tired, weary and lacking energy. How do we replenish and recharge?  Read:   Isaiah 40:28-31 – Ps 73:26 – 2 Cor 12:9

2. There may be times we when feel we are alone.  But are we?  Read:  Ex 33:14 – Matt 28:20 – Heb 13:5  – Gen 28:15 – Josh 1:9

Week 16 – We Post Peace

Welcome to Week 16 of our 52 Weeks of Chic.

Since we began isolating, social media has been one of our primary forms of communication as we share pictures, thoughts, etc.   

Yet it seems to me that over the past several years social media has become anything but  “Social.”   Would you agree? 

It’s so easy to get sucked into a toxic vortex of misinterpreted facts, opinions and rants that before even realizing it, we read something that angers or frustrates us keeping us in emotional turmoil the remainder of our day.

So this week we commit to posting peace. Even if it’s just for the duration of this season our nation is in. 

Solomon in his vast wisdom lists seven things in Proverbs the Lord frowns upon, one being “a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” (6:16-19)

Why? Because “. . . a whisperer separates close friends.” (16:28) BUT “where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” (26:20)

Solomon also remind us our words are to promote healing (12:18); turn away anger (15:1) and give health to the body and soul. (16:24)

David prayed “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” Ps 19:14

Christ reminds us: “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.” Matt 12:35-37

If a post pops up on our timelines that contains negative or controversial undertones lets graciously continue to scroll even if we fully agree and appreciate the information.

There is no firm rule that we must comment on every post. 

And when we disagree lets not cave to the urge to respond with a hastily written, emotionally charged comment. 

Please understand I’m not opposed to speaking out and standing up for our convictions and I admire the boldness, zeal and passion many have on certain topics. 

But from what I’ve seen lately it seems more than anything else to only create more conflict at a time when we need unity so desperately.

If our convictions on certain topics demand we speak out, perhaps let’s consider creating a separate platform (blog, website) or Facebook Group or Community Page specifically for the purpose of sharing those beliefs and invite others to voluntarily choose to view and respond. 

This week The Chic Creative Ladies commit to putting the “social” back  in social media with every post, comment and share making sure our online conversations are “full of grace” (Col 4:6)

Let’s invite social graces and manners back into social media recalling the words our moms told us as children “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.”  

We are all overwhelmed and dealing with enough negativity as it is as we learn to adjust to the times we are in. 

Do you often find it disheartening when you log in to social media hoping to see the smiles of familiar faces only to be involuntarily bombarded with information you didn’t necessarily want to see? 

Scrolling social media shouldn’t feel like we’re picking through someone’s garbage or thumbing through the pages of their journal.  

I would like to believe it was developed so we could communicate with our friends and loved ones regardless of where we live and without geographical limitations. 

As Abraham Lincoln once said “Sometimes not saying anything is the best answer.  You see, Silence can never be misquoted.”   

What I know for sure is this:  “Blessed are the peacemakers . . .” (Matt 5:9) 

Sandra Hubbard: Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach 

A Soul Restored

Psalm 23:3 – Study Session III  

Psalm 23:3 reads “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” 

What does it mean to have our souls restored?   

The Hebrew word for “He restores” comes from a root verb form that means “to turn back, return, bring back or take back.” 

No one including David is immune to difficult times that can leave us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually exhausted.   

When my soul is depleted, I feel robbed of energy and struggle to focus.  I lack direction, have trouble making decisions and feel rundown.  

This is when I know I’m in need of a soul restoration and like David I go to the Soul Restorer for “times of refreshing.” (Acts 3:20) 

For years I tried to restore my soul with possessions, people and pursuits and when that didn’t work I tried to numb it with avoidance or addiction but to no avail. 

As king, David lived in luxury and had many friends but he knew only his Father could refresh his spirit, renew his energy, his focus, determination, commitment and drive. 

I never knew until reading Paul’s words that we were not designed to take on daily life in our own energy but with “. . . all His energy which so powerfully works in me.” (Col 1:29).   

When we learn to tap into His energy we also access His grace so the job, dealing with co-workers, taking care of children, keeping the home and tackling the never-ending to-do list becomes much easier.  

I’ve noticed that when I ask for His energy each morning to carry me throughout my day I accomplish so much more without the mid-afternoon crash, with a much better attitude and needing less caffeine.   

He is our Source for all things including our energy.

God created us to follow not lead and wants to lead us “in the path of righteousness” for a reason which is to give Him glory so when others look at our lives “they may see your deeds and glorify God . . .” (1 Pet 2:12) 

Thankfully God kindly leads us along this grace-paved path of righteousness so should we get disoriented or distracted by life, He “will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.” (Ps 32:8) We only need to listen and obey.

And never before have we needed to listen to God like we do in the times we are in. 

He promises that “whoever listens to Me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Prov 1:33).

Right now more than ever I want to live without dread and at ease. How about you? 

When we don’t know which way to go or unsure if we are even headed in the right direction we listen for the Holy Spirit’s instruction “And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying “This is the way, walk in it,” “when to turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (Is 30:21) and then go that way.   

Walking with God requires we trust Him with all our “heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov 3:5-6)   

The Holy Spirit promises to “guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13) which is where we find freedom. (John 8:32)  

All He asks is that we “commit” our way to Him; “trust in Him and He will act.” (Ps 37:5). The Holy Spirit is our “Helper” so we are never on this journey alone and is here to “teach you all things” (John 14:26).   

And please remember you never have to walk through life alone. Because “This is our God, our God forever and ever.  He will guide us forever.” (Ps 48:14)

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1. To walk in grace we must understand GRACE. Grace helps us maneuver through the difficulties of life, empowers us to better do our jobs, parent our children, cultivate beautiful friendships and love deeper. Grace is readily available when we have a need and is sufficient to see us through whatever life throws at us. Read 2 Cor 12:9Rom 6:14Eph 2:8Heb 4:16

2.  The path to righteousness leads straight to peace, rest for the soul, wisdom, abundance, healing and eternal life. Read Jer 6:16Prov 4:11Isa 2:3Ps 143:10Ps 25:10   

3.  Please take a moment to look up all the scriptures mentioned in the full study as they are promises on which you can stand when you are feeling tired, discouraged, confused, afraid or when you’t not sure what to do, which direction to take when faced with tough decisions.

Week 15 – We Bloom Where We Are Planted

Growing up my grandmother would sometimes tell me to “Bloom where you are planted” whenever she sensed my discontentment or restlessness.

It took me many years to finally grasp the meaning of her words. 

Learning to bloom where we are planted means we take advantage of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.  We begin to seek opportunities and create experiences that bring joy regardless of our surrounding, situations or geographical location.

I grew up in small town Mississippi (Magee to be exact) always believing the life I wanted was anywhere other than where I lived. 

It’s easy to believe the best life is “out there” somewhere.   

I thought “if only I lived at the beach” or “big city” basically anywhere else other than where I lived that somehow I would be happier. 

If I have learned nothing else during this time of isolation I have learned this:  all I had been searching for “out there” has been right here with me all along. 

It turns out happiness and the life I wanted isn’t dependent on my geographical location but on my attitude and creativity.  

So just because my husband and I can’t go to dinner for date night, it doesn’t mean we can’t still have date night. I can cook a delicious meal, set the table, light a candle, turn on Cool Jazz Radio on Pandora and enjoy an elegant evening of quality time and conversation.

And while I may not be able to stroll through a clothing store I can clean and organize my closet and shelves to create my own boutique with a simple wardrobe I feel amazing in.  

And although the museums are “closed” they are open 24/7 online. I can set aside a few minutes, pour a glass of tea and walk through the Louvre or The Met or Guggenheim at my leisure.  

Learning to bloom where we are planted is finding the silver lining in whatever circumstances we are in. It’s playing the cards this season has handed us. 

It’s creating adventure instead of postponing it until circumstances change, we relocate, downsize, come out of isolation, retire, etc.

Life is what we make it. 

We can complain about what we can’t do or we can bloom where we are planted by focusing on what we can.   We get to choose. 

This week let’s focus on blooming where are planted.

Sandra Hubbard * Speaker/Writer/Transformational Coach

The Walk of Grace

The path is uneven and the crowd is jeering. The cross is so heavy, His back bloodied, beaten and bruised and yet He walks. 

Stumbling under the weight of the world’s sin one labored step at a time towards my freedom and yours He walks.  

What did this man do to warrant the punishment of such a cruel, inhumane death? 

He said “Yes.”  

“Yes I will go.  I will heal their sicknesses, revive their loved ones, calm storms and take a cross meant for them upon my shoulders and I will walk.” 

I often wonder as He walked the path to His death, did He see the familiar faces of all those who benefitted from His presence on this unworthy earth?

Did He lock eyes with the adulterous woman He saved from certain death, the numerous lepers He healed or the woman at the well whose soul He restored?   

Had they turned on Him or did they weep like His mother Mary as she watched her firstborn child walk to His death unable to kiss away His fate like she did His pain when He was but a boy running free in the backyard?

I will leave this life never fully grasping the magnitude of the gift of the cross or God’s love for His children.  To sacrifice one child to save another goes beyond what my small mind can comprehend.

Easter always fills me with hope knowing His resurrection assures me of eternity with Him. 

And the cross – well I can only say my eyes fill with tears when I think of the sacrificial gift placed in my hands with each pounding of the hammer into His wrists, each breath He struggled to inhale as His body weight rests on His feet with searing agony and throbbing pain shooting through every muscle, nerve and tendon.

And as His heartbeat became more faint with death quickly approaching He struggled to make His final act on this earth one of forgiveness – “Forgive them Father” (Luke 23:34) 

And all of this He endured for you and me. 

Today I am reminded of that old gospel hymn The Old Rugged Cross 

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross. The emblem of suffering and shame. And I love that old cross where the dearest and best. For a world of lost sinners was slain

On this Easter weekend let us never forget this amazing gift of grace. He paid a price He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. 

Sandra Hubbard

Beside Still Waters

Beside Still Waters – Psalm 23 Study Session II

Last week we gained a better understanding of David by getting to know his story as we began this study of Psalm 23. 

This week in verse 2 David writes “He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me besides still waters.”  Ps 23:2 

God does two things here. He (1) “makes” and (2) “leads.”.

Notice God didn’t suggest David lie down but He “makes” him perhaps knowing David like many of us wouldn’t voluntarily rest on his own.   

So many people suffer emotionally and physically due to stress, busyness, worry and anxiety, pushing the mind and body to exhaustion never stopping to “lie down” and rest.  We carry burdens God never intended often forgetting to “Give all your worries and cares to God for He cares about you.” 1 Peter  5:7 NLT 

There’s too much to do, places to go, people to see, work to be done, bills to pay, children to be transported, homes and yards to maintain, social media to scroll and tv to watch. 

For years I avoided being still afraid of what I might hear. 

What if God commanded me to do something I didn’t want to do like forgive, apologize, confront issues or take responsibility for my life. I was also afraid that if I stopped to rest I might fall behind or miss out.

Resting is so important in our spiritual walk that God set the example for us to follow. On the seventh day “He rested from all the work of creating He had done.” Gen 2:1

In Ps 23:2 God provides the place David is to lie down.  

It wasn’t a hot, dry, miserable desert but a blooming, flourishing, green pasture overflowing with nature’s abundance like we see in Spring when our world transforms from barren to blossoming. 

On March 19 we welcomed Spring and it wasn’t long after we were asked to stay home. 

I wonder if this is God’s way of gently “making” us rest providing us a front row seat to listen and hear “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of His hands.” Psalms 19:1.  This ongoing declaration of praise we’ve never heard or seen because we were too busy. 

God is granting us permission to set aside our to-do lists and “lie down.”  He’s presenting us with a gift we didn’t even know we needed – the gift of time to rest. 

Ps 23:2 continues “He leads me besides still waters.”  God not only instructs but He also leads

I don’t know about you but I’ve often tried to tell God how to do His job by making suggestions or throwing my two cents in.    

But in verse 2 He asks us to submit our will, hand over our egos and let Him lead. 

To trust Him when He promised that “I know the plans I have for you saith the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jer 29:11.

His plans for us are clear:  Prosperity, Protection, Hope and a Future. 

Like the prodigal son who returns home hungry, hopeless, broke and broken to a father who welcomes him back without condemnation so can we.  Luke 15:11-32.  It’s never too late to return home into the arms of a loving God. 

Letting God lead means trusting in His Word knowing “the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 

God wants to lead us into a place of peace and quiet so He can be heard without interruption, noise, crowds or cell phones.

So, how do we hear from God? 

Elijah shows us.  He’s in a frustrating situation and God tells him to  “Go out and stand on the mountain of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”  1 Kings 19:11  

First came a “great and powerful wind … but the Lord was not in the wind” then came an earthquake “but the Lord was not in the earthquake” then a fire “but the Lord was not in the fire.”

After the fire “came a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11-18. 

That still, small voice telling us when to speak or remain silent, when to stay or go, what to do or not do or when something or someone needs to be in our lives or doesn’t is the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit, who guides, directs, warns, advises, empowers, encourages and comforts and  “He will lead you into all truth.” John 16:13

Just because it seems the world is falling apart doesn’t mean ours has to as well.   

God is leading us, holding our hand to keep us from stumbling as we make our way through the uncertainty.  “For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living.” Psalm 56:13

My prayer for you today is simply this “May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13. 

Because while we may not what tomorrow holds we know Who holds tomorrow. 

Sandra Hubbard  

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1.  What else does God’s Word tell us about the being still, being quiet and taking time to rest?  Read:   *Psalms 62:5-6   *Lamentations 3:24-26   *Matthew 11:28-30   *Psalms 4:8

2.  To understand who the Holy Spirit is and what His role is in our lives read the following scriptures:   *John 14:26   *John 16:12-14   *Romans 8:26 

3. If possible after completing work or school log off, turn down the noise and news, beeps, alerts and notifications.  Leave the phone behind and go for a stroll, watch the sunset or simply sit out under the night sky. “Lie Down” — Be Led”

Week 14 – We Extend Grace

Most of us have been working and staying at home for the last few weeks, most likely spending more than the usual amount of time with the entire family in one space.  I hope for the most part it’s been a pleasant and productive experience. 

However as the days pass with no idea how long we will be sheltering at home eventually nerves may begin to get rattled, patience wears thin and feelings get hurt. 

If we aren’t mindful it’s easy to respond to temporary situations with angry words we later regret saying. 

If ever we needed to learn the art of extending grace no doubt it’s now. 

I get it. While we all want to do our part in helping control the virus situation, there’s an underlying current of uncertainty and panic that permeates the atmosphere. 

Reconnecting with each other, reviving family dinners around the table, completing long over due home projects and tapping into our creativity finding ways to entertain, laugh, learn and have fun has been a welcome blessing. 

At the same time with the constant activity, quiet moments have become scarce and everyone has an opinion on what to watch, eat or do.  In the process we might find ourselves speaking or acting in ways we wouldn’t under normal circumstances. 

We’re all human and while we are enjoying this time with our family and freedom to clean and upgrade our homes, it’s only natural to experience moments of frustration.  

So when the spouse gets snappy, the child gets sassy and even the dog cops an attitude here is what I want us to remember.

Let’s extend grace – the same grace God gives us when we get snappy, sassy and have attitude with Him.   

So, when things don’t go as planned, people are getting on your last nerve and expectations go unmet, instead of reacting simply take a deep breath and extend grace.  

Right now we are all out of our routines with schedules that have changed dramatically.

It’s easy to feel out of sync and out of sorts. This disruption to our normal structure can feel chaotic while we are attempting to create a new normal. 

If your house is beginning to look and feel like a circus overrun with chaos or drama and you are certain you are going to explode just remember this is not a forever season even though it might seem like it. 

In your moments of frustration, extend grace, kindness and forgiveness even when the apology never comes. 

To extend grace is to give to others what God gives us each day. 

There is a good chance in the coming weeks you will be offered many opportunities to extend grace so this week we commit to operating from a place of grace in order to maintain peace, calm and our sanity.

Sandra Hubbard 

I Shall Not Want

I Shall Not Want – Study Session I 

For the next six weeks we are going to walk with David through Psalm 23. 

Never before have David’s words been more relevant and needed. 

To understand David’s writings we must become acquainted with him. 

In David’s lifetime, he was overlooked and underestimated. He was imperfect, envied, betrayed and exalted.  He was a writer, shepherd, father, warrior and a king.  He knew pain, struggles, failures, frustration, sin and shame. 

Within the six scriptures of Psalm 23 we find hope, strength and an understanding of a doting Father’s unconditional, unending love.  

Like Christ, David too was a shepherd and understood that shepherds are protectors, providers and caretakers of their flock seeing to it their needs are daily met. 

“The Lord is my Shepherd” places Christ in control of us His sheep, the most vulnerable of all animals. 

As long as Christ is our Shepherd we “shall not want” knowing “The Lord bestows favor and honor, no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”  Ps 84:11 

Christ knows “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.” John 10:27

We can either follow the world or we can follow the Shepherd who reminds us that “The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy.  I came that they may have and enjoy life and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10 AMP 

Satan’s purpose is to destroy while Jesus’ purpose is to bring joy and the abundant life, not subject to circumstance but guaranteed in spite of them.

The negative news that tries to throw us into panic worrying if there’s enough to go around is a poor attempt from Satan to shipwreck our faith and put a spirit of fear in us, a spirit God never created or intended us to have.   

No one is immune to fear and all of us at some point experience fear.  I do.

Fear is the most powerful tool in Satan’s arsenal. It is the weapon he uses to steal our faith, kill our hopes and destroy our belief in our Shepherd.

I have to remind myself daily that “God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self control (sound mind).” 2 Tim 1:7 otherwise fear would paralyze me emotionally and spiritually. 

And when things look bleak I remind myself that if God can provide quail, manna, water, guidance and protection for His children in a dry, hot desert then He can provide for our needs during this isolated wilderness we are now in. 

Today we choose to “walk by faith and not by sight” regardless of what our eyes see and our ears hear. 2 Col 5:7.

The enemy’s goal is to throw our faith into a tailspin assuming we don’t know that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Ps 46:1. He mistakenly believes we aren’t aware that “You, O LORD, are a shield about me . . .” Ps 3:3

He would be wrong. Make no mistake, Satan is not stupid but make no mistake he is not in control. 

He bows to the same Lord we do. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the God the Father.” Phil 2:10-11

David knew “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”  Ps 145:16.

God’s hand is open and filled with all we need which is why “we shall not want.”   

God knows your needs, spiritually, financially, physically and emotionally.  

He promises “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”  Isa 46:4

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1. Over the course of this next week let’s become acquainted with David by reading 1 Samuel 16 through 1 Kings 2:12. Witness his victories and defeats, his losses, sins and struggles. Get to know his family, friends and his faith because only until you know David’s story can you appreciate his writings in the Psalms.

2. David looked to the Lord to meet his needs, trusting he “would not want” and He will meet yours as well. Study then stand on the promises found in Philippians 4:19 

3. In Philippians 4: 4 -7 Paul gives four powerful, effective spiritual components that when combined bring PEACE.

They are: PRAISE, PRAYER, PETITION (requests, needs, wants, goals, desires) and THANKSGIVING.

Isaiah 25:1 proclaims “Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.”

Praise brings His promises of provision and healing – “Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.” Exodus 23:25

David said “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests (petition) before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3

If possible, take a moment to write down your petitions then praying in faith ask and believe you will receive them. Lay them down at His feet and leave them.

Then give thanks for His countless blessings, mercy, compassion, patience, forgiveness, grace and kindness He has shown you over the years; for every time He showed up on your behalf and right on time.

“The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” Psalms 23:1

ADDITIONAL READINGS

  • Ephesians 6:20
  • 1 Peter 5:7
  • Matthew 7:7

Week 13: We Go Outside

Nature is our playground. God’s designated area for us to explore, experience, regroup and reflect. 

After the rainy winter and now suffering from social distancing, nature is beckoning us to come outside and play surrounding us with signs of hope and buds of renewal. 

Nature is therapy, she’s inviting, non-judgmental and kind. 

In our ever-changing unpredictable world, nature gives us a sense of consistency and calm in our chaos.

She is the moving portrait painted by God with artistic brilliancy and colorful vibrancy.   

This week we leave our isolated hibernation and go outside and simply breathe while quietly listening to her song. 

She is the declaration of God’s glory and hidden within her is knowledge. 

Let’s find a comfortable place on the porch or patio to simply enjoy the serenity nature provides while remembering that although we are socially distanced we are all still connected by nature, being warmed by the same sun, awed by the same full moon and all created by the same God. 

David so poetically describes nature saying “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech, night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words, no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world.”  Ps 19:1-4

So this week we head outside to sit, play or plant and enjoy the beauty that always been just outside the door. 

Sandra Hubbard 

Psalm 23: A Study

Psalm 23 is perhaps the best known of all the Psalms. Never before have six scriptures been so timely and relevant for the season our Nation is in.

Please join me as we study and reflect upon these beautiful, powerful and hope filled passages of scripture starting Wednesday, April 1st at 10:00 a.m.

THIS IS NOT AN ONLINE GATHERING. I will simply post the study and you are free to read at your convenience.

The study will be posted on The Chic Creative website with a link to the site posted on The Chic Creative Facebook Community page as well as The Chic Creative Instagram page.

Let’s step away from the worries of this world and step into the Word extracting wisdom, knowledge, insight and encouragement from Psalm 23.

And as always, please feel free to share, comment, invite and include your friends and family if you wish.

Sandra Hubbard


I Am Not Listening

Within a New Testament story is a simple yet powerful principle of living the bold life.  

Christ is headed to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter who was sick but gets sidetracked on the way to help a woman desperate for her own miracle.

While ministering to her, Jairus’ daughter dies and some people from his house came and said “Your daughter is dead,” “Why bother the teacher anymore?”  “Ignoring what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:35-36

Did you catch it?  Jesus ignored them telling Jairus to just believe.  

Christ didn’t reprimand them.  He simply ignored them refusing to allow their unbelief to deter His plan.  

When others tell you to give up, quit or walk away from whatever miracle you are believing God for, ignore them. 

When people say things will never change, to stop trying, hoping, pursuing or believing, ignore them. 

When they tell you that you can’t, never have and never will do what you desire, ignore them. When they label you, gossip, criticize or judge you, ignore them. 

When the enemy tries to convince you that God has forgotten you, is mad at you or won’t forgive you, ignore him. 

When he tells you this season our nation is in will never improve, when there isn’t enough to go around, when we should be fearful or panic, ignore him.

Christ shows us by example how to deal with opposition, negativity and haters. Ignore them.  

Don’t let their words stir up your fear and rob you of your miracle, joy and peace. 

Had Jairus believed them instead of Christ, his daughter would have been buried instead of restored to life.  

You get to decide so decide to just ignore them!

Sandra Hubbard 

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