Thursday, June 24, 2010

Confessions of a Cry Baby

I have a confession to make. It’s a big one. Those who know me well are gonna understand why this is so difficult for me to admit…………

I’ve turned into the biggest cry baby, sissy girl!! The woman whose always prided herself on being composed, keeping it together, not showing emotion, and being in control, has become a sniffling, blubbering, cry-ee (my term – it’s a Manthieism) girl!

And you know what...IT’S AMAZING!!!

Let me explain.

I have learned that tears heal. I asked the Lord back in November to begin healing my heart, and with every tear shed there is a piece of me that is being made new. The very thing I used to fight with all my might is the catalyst which helps transform me into the woman God made me to be.

“And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God],” – Ezekiel 11:19 AMP

In the last 8 months the Lord has flipped me upside down, got me off my bearings, turned me inside out, and completely blown my mind in ways I have never experienced before. He has shaken me to the very core, opened my mind to things I never could have imagined, and broken down every false image I had of myself – and Him. There were tears, many tears, streams of tears….and now there are more, but these are different.

These new tears are tears of reverence and awe, love and passion. I have come to know Him in a way…..a way……a way that is so hard to explain because I can’t tell where I end and He begins. He has covered me. He has healed me. He has loved me in a manner that has so completely captured my heart that He is my every thought. He has knitted me in Him. He has shown me elements of His grace that take my breath away. He has brought good from my hurts. He has given me wisdom through my trials. He has brought purpose from my mistakes, and He has spoken destiny into my heart. He has overtaken me, overwhelmed me and overshadowed me. There is no me without Him. I am taken by Him, I am moved by Him, I am consumed by Him……I am undone.

He has shown me His power, which is so incalculable it can’t be measured – He is God, and He is sovereign; He is the final authority on every thing; He speaks and worlds are created; He breathes and life is born; He has taken into account every action, circumstance and decision that will ever happen in my life and before time began orchestrated it all to work for my good. How can tears of reverence and awe not flow when the God whose power cannot be contained chooses to visit with me throughout the course of my day, and guide every step that I take? Wow!

He has loved me so passionately and unconditionally that my heartbeat speeds up at the sound of His name. He holds me. He comforts me. He tells me who I am and who I am to Him. He values me. He accepts me. He is jealous for me. He wants me. He chose me. He loves me – on pretty days and ugly days, bad breath, bad attitude, bad behavior – He loves me completely. His love is not dependent on me, it’s who He is. He is MY love. I am His love. I am His bride. I am His heart. I am His hope. I am His. He died for me, just so He could be with me – now………. and forever. I have never experienced anything so sweet, so tender, so consuming.

And here’s the thing – He feels the same way about you! This is the mystery of the gospel in my terms – the love of Christ. It is unmerited, undeserved, unearned, but it is available to everyone who says, “I choose You, Lord!”

If we can ever fully wrap our mind around the fullness of the cross and have a true understanding of the grace of God, then surrender is no longer a choice, it's a compulsion. His love is so big - an all-consuming fire, an unquenchable passion, a flood of desire. You can never get enough of Him, and there is no end to Him!! It’s constant abundance in the center of His grace.

When we “get” that, then trusting Him is the easiest thing we can do. How can you not trust the intentions of a heart like that? The revelation of the abundance of God will make a cry baby out of you.....and that’s a good thing! He is worthy of every tear.

So my prayer today is this:

“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in.

And I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love.

Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!

He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.” – Ephesians 3:14-21 The Message

Overflow in the love of Christ today!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Edge of Destiny

“Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you]." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Standing on the edge of the cliff I close my eyes. I want to remember this place, this time, this moment. A season of transition has led me here, and suddenly I find myself at a place of destiny. I know in the depths of my spirit that once I take that step there is no turning back to the familiarity, the comfort, the normalcy of what I have always known as my life. I also know that in front of me is what I was born for – my completion, my fulfillment, my destiny. The call of the Lord beckons me forward, and I step closer to the edge. However, unlike times past, I do not look down, for I no longer have a fear of falling. I look forward - to the beauty of promise in front of me. Glistening like a diamond in the noonday sun, my future calls to me out of the breadth of the uncharted. I hesitate – not from fear of the unknown (as in times past), but from fear of leaving the comfort of the known.

The words of Jesus in Mark 8:34 begin to take on a deeper, more personal meaning as I deliberate my next step, “"If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” Live for me or live for Christ? - the lifetime battle between flesh and spirit continues to rage when suddenly I am reminded of His promise in the next verse, and the Word again divides soul and spirit. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me and for the gospel will save it.”

I recall standing in this very place several times in years past, and I ponder the difference this moment holds. Why am I now so compelled to make this leap, when before the very thought sent me fleeing in the opposite direction gripped by fear? Slowly realization begins to dawn – the difference is me. I have come to understand with every stumble, fall and temptation, the faithfulness of the Lord. I have experienced the loving touch of His mercy and grace in ways I never could have imagined, and finally, after gut-wrenching internal (and external) battles I have learned that I can irrefutably trust His heart and confidently surrender mine to His hand and His will.

I turn my head and look back once again down the path which led me here. It is my choice to make, and the gravity of this knowledge grips my heart. Trading known for unknown, seen for unseen, comfort for faith, I am called to transfer my weaknesses for His strengths. I am called to trust Him with my life……and I do – finally, without reservation – I trust Him!

The assurance of this is the confidence of my being and the anchor of my soul.

So I jump!

Monday, June 14, 2010

His Grace is Sufficient - Excerpt from Bubble Bath Moments

Below is an excerpt from my book Bubble Bath Moments - a compilation of inspiring stories for women.  Please feel free to contact me at if you would like to purchase a copy of the book.

Praying God warms your heart with His peace, joy and love today.


His Grace is Sufficient

By: Manthie Hayes

“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

In 2002 my mom was diagnosed with leukemia. If you or a family member has ever had an experience with cancer and chemotherapy you know how destructive the chemicals are to the body. Throughout the weeks of her treatment I watched as her body deteriorated from the medication. She had one complication after another, from staff infections in the port which was used to administer the medicine, to her body becoming septic and literally poisoning itself. It was incredibly hard to watch her go through that, and I can’t imagine what it was like for her. But it was during this time that I really got to see God’s lordship in her life. I remember one day in particular, she had been so sick all day from the treatments. She had nearly no strength at all and nothing they gave her seemed to help. Her phlebotomist came in to take her blood and asked how she was doing. With the most peaceful and joyful look on her face she said, “It hasn’t been an easy day, but isn’t God good!” I thought to myself, ‘How can she say that? I’ve seen what’s she’s gone through all day, and most people would be miserable and complaining (I know I probably would have), but she just says, “Isn’t God good?”’

That is one of the most vivid memories I have of my mom. She went to be with the Lord in October of that year, and since then when I think of her, that moments sticks out more than others, and has helped and inspired me when I was going through difficult times myself. You see, she was so covered in God’s grace, so comforted by His hand, and so confident in His love that she understood what the apostle Paul spoke about in 2 Corinthians 12. I’m sure her greatest desire was for the Lord to remove that thorn from her side, but regardless of her circumstances, she knew with her entire being that His grace was sufficient. I absolutely believe that my mom fulfilled her purpose in the hospital, and that when we all get to heaven there will be people there who were touched by how she lived her life those last few months, for without a doubt, His strength manifested in her weakness.

If you’re facing a difficult time, I encourage you to meditate on this verse. Allow the Lord to strengthen you and minister to you. Completely turn your situation over to Him and rest in the knowledge that His grace is sufficient. It will give you strength you never thought you could have, and you never know when someone’s life will be changed by witnessing Christ operating in you.

Father, thank you that your grace is sufficient. Help us to continually strive to enter that place in You, where Your comfort, grace and mercy overtakes anything we may be experiencing. In Jesus name, amen.

Additional scriptures:

Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 16:23; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 4:7

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

From Bruises to Bandaids to Balm - The Journey to Restoration

I believe……

that light pushes out darkness;

that forgiveness is key to freedom;

that truth will always defeat lies;

that when we choose to love authentically & sacrificially it changes us first, then affects those around us;

that a sincere smile from a pure heart has the power to change a life;

that both laughter & tears have healing power;

that we learn more from our failures than our successes;

that patience really is a virtue;

that sometimes you just need to spend some time with yourself;

that true friendship gives us a glimpse of God’s heart;

that there is a spiritual dynamic between believing women;

that there is power in agreement;

that no matter how old you get you never outgrow the need to be hugged by your mama;

that grace is the most beautiful word in speech and action;

that kindness is never in vain;

that the first step to wisdom is realizing you really don’t know anything;

that everything is purposeful;

that good always triumphs over evil;

that sometimes listening is better than giving advice;

that having a great life is a choice……in angels.

I don’t believe……

that people never change;

that pride is a good thing;

that we can scare people to heaven;

that anyone is too far gone;

that you have to defend yourself;

that there is any excuse for prejudice;

that saying is doing;

that enabling is loving;

that humility is weakness;

that you’re ever too old;

that one voice can’t make a difference;

that your teens are the best years;

that it’s our place to judge;

that being in a bad mood is an excuse for anything;

that true beauty is fleeting….in coincidence.

I know….

that each person has a destiny and purpose;

that everyone makes mistakes;

that God speaks;

that miracles still happen;

that there is an appointed time for everything;

that submitting to God’s will is the most difficult decision to make, but the easiest one to walk in;

that His grace is sufficient;

that joy is not contingent on circumstances;

that He works all things together for good;

that God is faithful;

that peace is always possible;

that a warm & sincere heart cannot be imitated;

that deception is dangerous;

that God can change a heart;

that things are not always what they seem;

that independence is not necessarily a good thing;

that prayer works;

that He orders the steps of the righteous;

that the enemy has been defeated;

that love never fails… the power of redemption.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

Manthie Hayes