Layla’s Light Blog – Encouragement

Say “No” to Shame

forgiven sins

Every one of us can relate to having regrets from the past. We all have something we can reflect on…and cringe when we think about what we did. We were born into this world, given the breath of life, and the ability to make choices. We were not given a childhood instruction manual. We were given parents or caregivers to take care of us as we grew up. We made it to adulthood and were given free reign to choose how our life direction would go. It is not easy to know how to handle adult life…if you don’t have the foundation of Christ. Many people come to know Christ as adults…after they have lived a pattern of mistakes and regrets. This is the reality of life. Even those who were raised with Christ in their home, have made their share of wrong choices. We are all human, coming from all aspects of life, trying to place one foot in front of the other. So why is it so hard to admit we made mistakes? Why do we do all that we can to cover up those past regrets? SHAME. Shame is the enemy in our subconscious. Shame is that small voice in your head, whispering, “you are not worthy”. Shame is the devil’s way of pulling you down. Holding in our guilt from what we have done in the past, is like pouring fuel on burning embers. Just as soon as the embers are about to go out, they are re-ignited by the shame that spews out within your mind.

YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE VALUABLE. You can and will be forgiven for any and all things you have EVER done in your life. Jesus Christ died for us, carrying all our sins to the cross (past, present, and future)…so we could be given that free gift of repentance and forgiveness. God did that for you and for me. God knew we would make mistakes, so He gave us a way to be free from our sins. God loves you unconditionally, without contingencies. Receive the love of Jesus. Believe and confess that Jesus is Lord. Then, ask God to forgive you for anything from your past…and allow that shame to be lifted away. Save yourself from unnecessary pain. You deserve this.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ROMANS 9:9-13

 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. HEBREWS 8:12

 God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa– 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232


She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
​​South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121

What’s wrong?

WhatsWrong

What did I do wrong? Why do things keep happening to me? What’s wrong? Why am I going through this? These are the questions that get asked over and over in life. As Christians, there is a misconception that we are not supposed to face adversity…if we are ‘doing’ all the right things in life. The next time you face trials in your life…stop and say ‘thank you’ to God. Many of you are rolling your eyes at me right now…just for saying that. How hard is it to say ‘thank you’  for pain, suffering, or the unexplainable? It is very hard. It is not the natural human response…and it is not going to be easy to understand why. As life moves forward, our difficulties can compound…making it even harder to understand the ‘why’ in our hardship. God becomes the one to blame…because He is the easiest source to place the blame on. However, God did not cause things to happen to you. God did not make an event or a situation arise, to punish you in any way. God is a God of love, compassion, and help. God gave us free will to do everything in our lives. That means we make the decisions…we make the choices…and we are responsible for the direction of our lives. The challenge is…not everyone in this world makes the right choices. A situation may be happening to you…not because of any choices you made…but because of the choices, someone else made. God may be protecting you from future disaster…by allowing certain situations to happen. This is why we say thank you. God is the creator of all…and the one who can give you the guidance and wisdom to work your way through all situations. Yes, there are still certain tragedy’s that we will never be able to explain…but God has allowed those things to happen for a reason. We must remember that we are only here on this earth temporarily. Our goal is eternal life. God gave us a way…through His Son Jesus…to have eternal life with Him. Focus your thoughts and your future on trusting that God has an eternal perspective for all of us. Trust in God’s plan…His way…and His purpose. Lean on the Word of God as the soul resource of your direction…and find peace in knowing that what you see and feel right this moment…has a reason…and it is only temporary. God is with you…and His eternal promises are real.

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. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 CORINTHIANS 4:16-18

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 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. EPHESIANS 6:10-13

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa– 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232


She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
​​South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121

Reach Out

reach out

God…I can’t hear you. Why aren’t you responding to my prayers?

What am I supposed to do? Which direction do I take? How do I know how? Where are the answers?

How many times in our lives, have we been there? It is difficult to admit we are in a dry place in our life. We struggle, we press on…and on…and on. The answers are nowhere to be found. How are we supposed to trust and have faith…when we ‘feel’ lost, empty and deserted? God is God, and we are not. God knows. God hears. God is there…and He will always be there. You have heard the phrase, “Thank God for unanswered prayers.” Well, that is very true. But when you are in the moment…and even the un-answered prayers seem to be lost in the oblivion…it’s hard to hold onto faith. God knew we would battle this heartache. When He gave us the free will to choose…God knew He might not be the winner in the battle of faith, doubt, and unbelief. Struggling through the raw emotions of the human condition does not mean we don’t believe and trust. It means we need help. It means we need to admit to others that we are struggling. We need to ask others to pray with us…for us…and surround us with their love. It means that God gave us the ability to love one another…through the tough stuff. If you or someone you know is struggling through difficult times…reach out to them. Help them feel the love of Jesus…by being the love of Jesus through compassionate prayer, and actions. Take the step that God has given you…to reach out and ask for encouragement…or give encouragement. In doing so…you are being the living example that God calls us to be.

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. HEBREWS 3:12-13

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 PETER 1:6-9

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa – 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232


She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
​​South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121

How do you press through?

ISurrenderAll

“Will things ever get better?” “All I want is some calm and peace in my life.”

Does this sound familiar? Life can be so difficult. There is no easy road or detour through some of the challenges we must face. We often wonder what we did to deserve the things happening to us. Are we being punished for past mistakes? How did things get to this point? What did I do wrong? These are common questions that run through our head. However, these questions…these doubts…are the enemy’s way of altering our thinking. The enemy does everything he can, to keep us from seeking and trusting God. There is nothing we can ever do, that will alter the amount of unconditional love God has for us. God never leaves us. God does not punish us. God does not cause things to happen to us on purpose. Rather, things happen to us in the freedom that comes with the gift of life.

The questions of life have been around forever. We cannot give a clear answer to the ‘why’, but we can give a clear answer to ‘how’. How do you press through the difficulties? How do you persevere…even when you don’t see the end of the road? How do you find the strength to keep pressing on? JESUS. God became flesh on this earth, for this very reason. God gave us the most precious gift of His Son so that we could have the opportunity at eternal life, forgiveness, and hope. Jesus carried our sin…the world’s sin…to the cross. He died for us, and was resurrected…so that we could have the hope we have today. Jesus is that link between us in this world…and our Creator, our Heavenly Father. Anything that happens to us is never the last word. God is the deepest and last word. That word is love and eternal life with God. God loves us and is grieving with us in our pain. God is seeking us out, waiting for us to call on Him. Whisper in prayer to your Father, and ask Him to take over and help you. Reach for the hand of Jesus. Allow Jesus to walk you through the fires of life. You can face anything in this life when you allow God to be your source of hope.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. (content) He makes me lie down in green pastures. (peace) He leads me beside still waters, (Holy Spirit) He restores my soul. (grace) He guides me in paths of righteousness for His namesake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, (love and guidance) they comfort me. PSALM 23:1-4

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  JAMES 1:12-14

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 


AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa – 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232


She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
​​South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121

Are you exhausted?

are you exhausted

Do you ever wake up some days and just feel exhausted? The day hasn’t even begun, yet you feel completely drained. This is called emotional overload. Attempting to achieve every goal, answer every demand, or force yourself to meet unrealistic schedules…can cause us to become imbalanced.  This is when we must do an assessment of our life. It is not possible for us to be effective when we pile too many things upon ourselves. This is true in all areas of our lives…even our spiritual life. You may be serving your church as well as your community…and trying to “do” more in as many areas of ministry as you can. However, if you have taken on too much…your spiritual service becomes challenged. First and foremost, we must tend to our own faith. We must dedicate time spent in prayer and seeking the Word of God. We must consider our own relationship with Jesus…as a priority in our life. We cannot be effective for others if we are not diligently growing in our own faith. Pay attention to the deeds you are doing on a daily basis. Are they fruitful and helpful to yourself as well as others? If you are consistently feeling that emotional overload, it is time to analyze your life. Seek to balance your life so that God can use you in the most effective ways. Deeds without faith are simply actions without compassion. Remind yourself that faith comes before anything. As we grow in our faith, we are then able to show others through our actions…the compassion, love, hope, and peace of Jesus.

Jesus says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” MATTHEW 11:28-30

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. EPHESIANS 3:16-17

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa – 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232


She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020
​​South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121

Purposeful Decisions

I took this cover photo picture just a few months after my daughter Ashley passed away December 24, 2013. It’s always been dear to my heart. The Cross stands strong, reminding me of the hope we have in Jesus. The clouds symbolize an angel wing; bringing me peace that my daughter is with our Savior. I’ve been asked by Facebook repeatedly to update my cover photo. I have ignored every request. As I reflect on these facts this morning, I am reminded how purposeful we must be in our daily decision making. The world as we know it, can push us. We must always analyze our actions and our purpose; seeking our Heavenly Father continuously. Every day we are faced with decisions. How are you going about that decision making process? Are you in prayer every morning before you even begin the tasks of the day? Are you taking the time to whisper prayers throughout the day, each time you are faced with a decision that needs processed through? Remember the Cross. Jesus gave us a way to The Father. We have a Savior that walks with us and lives within us. We must recognize the need to seek Him. We must remember that God loves us and wants the best for us. This world is not our permanent home. We are here momentarily. Let’s keep our focus on seeking a more intimate relationship with Jesus, so that we might know His peace. We are blessed to be given that gift. Embrace this day and each day forward, thanking God for His eternal love and peace that surpasses all understanding.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2018
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslightLayla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

Hope in the Struggle – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle – https://www.amazon.com/Layla-Freeman/e/B01M0VNTIM

Another Chapter Bookstore – 9455 N Owasso Expressway, Owasso, OK 74055  (918) 609-5946

Stonebrook Day Spa – 1875 N Old Hwy 66 A, Catoosa, OK 74015 (918) 379-6838

Cozy Cottage Store – 518 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 283-2232

She Brews Coffee Houses – Claremore, OK  (Downtown & within The Vessel) 
Downtown – 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard
Claremore, OK 74017  (918) 923-6020

South – 1301 West Country Club Road, Suite 100
Claremore, OK 74019 (918) 965-1121