Author Archives: Jessie Prestridge

Patsy Climb

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Y’all, I don’t wanna jinx anything but I am just so dadgum proud of our little rose garden. Not only is it still alive but it’s actually blooming!!!

(If you know me and my Black Thumbs, you know this is truly a feat. I sing “I Will Survive” to every plant I own.)

Mother’s Day weekend we created a brand new flower bed on the north side of our farmhouse. We planted 5 rose bushes in all and of course, they have names. There’s Reba, Naomi and Wynona (all red double knock-out roses); Miranda (my one official Miranda Lambert hybrid bush); and Patsy “Climb,” my only climbing rose.

Sad to say, but Patsy was a goner. She was pretty shocked by her move. Her leaves were brown and crunchy and she looked done for. In fact, I almost gave up hope and yanked her. Figured I’d go buy a new bush and start over. But Momma told me to hold on, don’t give up just yet. So, I kept on watering her and waiting and watering and waiting…

And would ya looky-here! She’s blooming!!! Not only are all 5 girls still alive, but Patsy Climb has made a full recovery!🙌🏻

Isn’t that like life? Sometimes things seem dead, done for, hopeless. And so we think to do the easiest thing—just yank ’em and start over. Move on. But if we would just be patient, keep on doing the right things and not give up…

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When the time is right, we might find there is still life in the thing after all. A “harvest” even. Blessings we would’ve missed if we had given up.

I don’t know what thing you’re wanting to give up on today, but I’m guessing it seems dead to you. Won’t you give it a bit more time? Just…wait? Don’t get tired of doing good. Press yourself to keep doing what is right.

You just might wake up and find something beautiful.🌹

❤️Jessie

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I Want More

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The Lord asked me a question today… “Do you remember asking me that?”

He reminded me of something I pondered a few years ago, before Daddy moved to Heaven and so many other events transpired. I wrote my question out in the most secure, most private of places—the Notes app on my phone.😉

Yes, Lord, I remember asking.

So I looked for it and low and behold—do you know it’s still there?

I wrote these questions and pondered these thoughts on exactly May 12, 2014. And today, May 22, 2018, I finally have the courage to ask them out loud.

>>>>>>>

Do I have to be satisfied with what I’ve seen God do or can I expect and anticipate more? Not in a selfish or greedy way, expecting Him to bless me or increase my wealth, that’s not what I’m talking about.

Can I always be wanting more of God Himself? Of His goodness and His miracles? The amazing provisions He sends to cover the need and fill the gap in my life? Can I long to see more of His glory, like Moses did?

Moses started with a burning bush but then he got to see the parting of a sea. And then he saw a pillar of fire and a cloud leading the way. He progressively saw more and more of God’s amazing evidence in his life until he finally saw God Himself. His very Face.

Moses was never satisfied with what God had done because he knew God wasn’t finished. His story and the work God was using him for wasn’t finished. Moses lived in anticipation and expectation of what God would do next. He had to.

Moses knew he couldn’t get himself out of the mess he was in after killing that Egyptian. And he couldn’t get himself out of the desert. He was aware if his inadequacy, sometimes to a fault. But rather than allowing his insecurity to hold him back, his faith muscled through and propelled him to obedience.

“Obedience isn’t a lack of fear, it’s just doing it scared.”

Moses was never satisfied with what he had seen God do. He wanted more. Like a kid on the Fourth of July, Moses said, “I wanna see more! Do some more, God!”

And today I realize, that’s okay. It’s okay to want more from God. Not for my comfort or my personal gain, but for the simple joy of God’s glory.

“My expectation is in The Lord. My hope is in Him.”

In fact, it’s actually more than okay—it’s good! If I’m ever at a place where I am satisfied, I need to see that as a red flag warning. If I’m satisfied it means I have no need for God in my life, for Him to intervene. It means I’m in my comfort zone where I can handle things on my own.

Don’t confuse this with being satisfied with what I have: my home, possessions, etc. I’m talking about being satisfied with where I am with God. Do I want more of Him?

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I asked these questions and wrote these thoughts long before I had any inkling of the ways I was about to see God work in my life. Before I had any clue this path of mine was about to take an unfamiliar course.

And do you know He has been faithful to answer? We can have as much of Jesus as we want!

Tonight I’m beginning Beth Moore’s study, “The Quest” at my church. As I’ve been preparing for it, God has shown me that it’s not only okay to ask questions, by that He in fact WANTS me to ask questions. If you’re in the Mineola area, I want to invite you to come ask questions with me. Join me on The Quest for more of God.

He has promised He will always answer.

❤️Jessie

“The Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth–Jehovah is His name–says this: Ask Me and I will tell you some remarkable secrets…”. ~Jeremiah 33:3 TLB

The Long Way Around the Pond

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Daddy used to scare me.

When I was a kid, we spent nearly every spring break, summer and Thanksgiving at my grandpa’s farm. When Daddy wasn’t working cattle or bailing hay, we’d often go fishing. Grandpa’s place covered quite a few acres, so we had our choice of ponds. But the one I always dreaded was the one with the narrow dam that sat just across the old creek.

The old creek had dried up some years ago, but the bed remained. Bumpy. Dry. Steep. Especially steep. Or at least that’s how it seemed to my child-sized eyes.

Whenever we’d decide to fish that particular pond, it meant we had to cross that old creek bed. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but did I mention we often crossed it on the tractor? Yep. Daddy drove while Momma, Jake and I hung on for dear life. Well, I hung on for dear life.

Sometimes we’d make it up the bank on the first try. I’d close my eyes and wrap my arms and legs around that old blue tractor as tightly as I could; I knew what was coming. Daddy would gun it at just the right moment and ta-da! We were at the top. But other times, it wasn’t so easy. If Daddy didn’t get it on the first couple tries, we’d get off and find a spot to climb the bank while he manhandled the tractor up the hill. I’d stand and watch and hold my breath until he was at the top.

Once we landed my breath would return, but only for a minute. Now it was time to face The Dam.

Now, when I say this pond had a dam, what I’m really saying is this pond had an extremely narrow path on one side that was baaaarely wide enough for a truck. Fall one way and you’re in the pond. Fall the other and you’re falling down a pretty steep drop. Either way, you did NOT want to fall off!

Have I mentioned the word Steep yet?

The problem was, the best and pretty much only fishing spot was on the other side of the dam, and the dam was the only way to it. So if this was the fishing hole of choice, crossing the dam wasn’t optional.

Once again, a’riding the tractor we’d go. With Daddy at the helm and the three of us holding tight, we’d cross that skinny strip at whatever speed Daddy felt fair. Sometimes fast. Sometimes slow. But every time, narrowly.

Sometimes I’d get so intimidated I’d jump off the tractor in tears. I’d rather walk than dangle from the heights of that old tractor. Daddy would just shake his head. Even though we’d done it so many times before, I just couldn’t bring myself to trust him this time.

Truth is, I knew my daddy would never let me get hurt. He’d never let any of us get hurt. He was our Protector. He had crossed that dam a thousand and one times. He knew what he was doing, whether I trusted him or not.

Daddy was also our Adventurer. Not only did he know he was capable, but he knew we’d enjoy the thrill of the ride. We’d feel we had accomplished something on the other side of it. We would trust him and thank him and praise him for getting us safely across.

Clearly he was right on all accounts.

Today would be Daddy’s 63rd birthday and if I could, I’d ask him to drive me out to that old pond. Old blue tractor and all. I’d be brave. I’d keep my eyes open. I’d stay on it the whole way and never let go.

I would fully enjoy the ride. I’d hold on tight and hug him even tighter when we made it across. I’d know we had accomplished something, and I’d trust him and thank him and praise him.

And Daddy would grin. He’d be so proud of his baby girl for being brave. He might even chuckle. He’d know just how much I love him because I proved I trusted him.

Oh, that I would trust my Heavenly Father like this. That I would find a way to enjoy the ride, even when it’s narrow and bumpy and steep. That I wouldn’t jump off and go my own way but trust that His way is safest and best; an adventure worth talking about on the other side.

I know that’s what Daddy knows now. His view from Heaven is so grand, I know he would tell me to hang on, keep my eyes open and enjoy the ride. Don’t jump off! Don’t worry about the heights! Just hold on and trust The One behind the wheel. He’s The Greatest Protector and Adventurer of All Time, totally worthy of my trust and thanks and praise.

Yes, Daddy was all of those things to our family and more. An amazing earthly example of Jesus. Oh how I miss him.

To celebrate Daddy today, we went fishing and ate giant cheeseburgers. No, we didn’t ride the tractor or cross a dam, but the memory of Daddy and that old pond has played in my mind all day.

Happy Birthday, Daddy. Thank you for taking me the long way around the pond.❤️

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.””

‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NLT‬‬

My Story

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Praise the Lord for YouTube, because some stories are easier to tell than to write!😆

Here’s a link to watch my testimony and catch up on the last couple years of my story.

Jessie’s Testimony July 2017

❤️Jessie

“I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place.” ~Psalms 31:7-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Today Counts

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Hello, friends. It has been quite some time since we’ve visited, but I promise I’ve not forgotten about you! As you know, my life has changed rather drastically since we first met back in 2013. And to be totally honest (as I usually am), writing my heart has become somewhat difficult.

It’s been ages since the Lord has overwhelmed me with a message to share. Make no doubt, He still overwhelms me with His presence and direction in my life, but my Feels sometimes get in the way of my Skills.

But I’m pressing through all that today. I’m writing from a place of pain, once again. From a place I feel certain you want to hear nothing about. And yet, I feel Him giving me the grace, the strength to share anyway.

Two years ago today, my family lived through one of the darkest days we’ve ever known. No matter the calendar date, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving will forever be a marker of deep loss for us. We literally awoke to a brand new life, one we neither planned for nor expected. Sometimes, that’s just how it is.

And yet, God is still so good. He is the One who has held our hand and walked us step by step across the murky, boggy wilderness of grief, carrying us at times or pulling us out when we’ve gotten stuck. He has been so faithful. Gosh, I cannot even begin to recount the ways for you here. So good. So on-time. Every time. Even when my heart falls to the floor He is there, tenderly lifting me back up. His mercy truly is new every morning.

If you will, please pray for us today and anytime you think of us this week. God’s nearness and love is healing the hurt, but our hearts are still so fragile. We give thanks and praise to Him for each and every one of you who takes time to lift our names to His Throne. We will never be able to repay you for that.

And if I may, there’s one other thing I’d like to suggest. Love hard today.

Love your spouse, your kids, your parents, your in-laws and extended family. Love your friends and your enemies and the strangers along your way. You only have them for a time, so make that time count. Use the 24 hours you’re given to bring glory to God and to love people. All people. We’re all in need of the same love, grace and forgiveness.

Let’s make today count.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, too. I hope to meet you here again real soon.

❤️ Jessie

“My help and glory are in God…so trust Him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for Him. God is a safe place to be.” ~Psalm 62:8 (The Message)

Come Monday

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It’s Monday.

Easter and it’s egg-filled fun is over. Chocolate bunnies have lost their ears and marshmallow peeps have been demolished. Walmart is gearing up for The 4th while the rest of us are getting back into our usual weekly routine.

But as I clear away Easter baskets and boiled egg remains, I realize something. This Monday had to be anything but routine for the Disciples.

The Monday after Resurrection Sunday was only the beginning; a whole new life and adventure was unfolding for them. Jesus’ sudden and gruesome death was still fresh in the disciples’ minds. The shock and sorrow of watching Him suffer was a surreal moment they couldn’t stop reliving. But mostly, I imagine the buzz of rumors and gossip was all but a deafening roar.

Could He really be alive? Was this some cruel joke the Romans were playing? And what about the Mary’s and those who say they’ve seen Him? Are we all losing our minds?!

Having lost our earthly hero and leader, Momma and I feel somehow acquainted with Jesus’ earthly family and friends. Our loss has been so deep, it’s as if our minds can better process their loss; our hearts can utter their despair. We can almost close our eyes and imagine standing in their place…

…On Friday
Oh the incomprehensible shock, denial and physical illness they surely felt as they witnessed their loved one, their hero and supposed Savior, fall silent in unexpected death. The dream-like state they endured as they moved through the motions and events of that day.

This can’t be happening. He is our leader, our friend, our hope for tomorrow. Didn’t You give Him to us, God? How could You let this happen? Why are You taking Him? Why…?

…On Saturday
Such a horrible day. So many tears. Shortness of breath. A gnawing, guttural ache. The realization that all their hopes and dreams and expectations have been dashed to pieces.

It really is finished. He’s in the grave. It’s over. What do we do now? How can we go on without him? How…?

…On Sunday
The chaotic confusion that must have gripped their minds when they heard the rumors. While I can’t fathom someone telling me my daddy is alive, that they’ve actually seen him, I can imagine the simultaneous terror and ecstatic hope those words would elicit in my soul.

Could it really be? He’s back? We get him back?! This nightmare is over?! I must be going crazy– I saw him die! I watched him buried…but now the tomb is empty? That’s not possible! And yet, he’s not there…?

…On the days to follow
Oh, but then! The glorious fear that surely paralyzed their hearts as Jesus himself stood before them! Like the Mary’s who saw Jesus as they left the tomb, it would be the most joyful and terrifying moment of my life! (Matthew 28:8-10)

He is here! In the flesh! Alive!! I can’t breathe…How can this be?! I saw him die!! But it doesn’t matter because I see him NOW! HE IS HERE!!!

Oh what I would give to see Daddy on this Monday. To touch him, see him smile, hear him chuckle and tell me not to fear. And then to share a meal with him!

It’s mind-boggling, but these believers were able to do just that!! The Friend they saw tortured, they now could touch! The Teacher whose voice they knew, they could hear once more! The rumors were true; Jesus was alive–standing right in their midst!!

Yes, Easter and the following 40 days Jesus walked this earth now mean so much more than before.

It’s not just the start of springtime and eggs and new life. It’s not just the Sunday we all go to church to honor what Jesus did. It is The Day and weeks we stake our claim on. The season we find glorious joy in. It is no longer a past tense remembrance to move on from come Monday, but instead a very present reality to rejoice in every day! It is proof of all our hopes and dreams!

Because Jesus rose from the grave, my daddy will rise from the grave. And my baby brother. And my grandma. And my grandpa. And all of the friends and family I’ve lost who put their faith in Him. Those who knew Jesus’ salvation and trusted in His resurrection in this life WILL rise again. And I will, too!!

How can I live out my days and not make a big deal about that? How can I possibly overlook it for a chocolate bunny and jelly beans? How can any of us refuse this offer, this hope? Jesus. Is. ALIVE! He is NOT in the grave. We CAN believe this!

Oh friend, how I desperately hope you know Jesus. The alive, always-present, death-defying Jesus. He loves you so much. And that’s present-tense, too. He loves you NOW. Today. Monday. Just the way you are. He died for you while you were still a sinner. And even better, He conquered the grave for you before you ever believed it possible.

Yep, Momma and I agree: Easter is our favorite now.

Come December, you can bet your boots we’ll celebrate because the manger was full. But today, Monday, we live in awe because the tomb is empty.

❤Jessie

But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:20-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?””
‭‭John‬ ‭11:25-26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

If I Were a Super Hero

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When I wrote this, I had no idea how important this super-power would become or how desperately I would need it in the coming days. A LOT about our world changed just 8 months later. I’m so thankful the Lord granted me the ability to freeze a few of those moments in my mind and heart.❤

notmyownblog

Faster than a speeding bullet, the years come and go.

My little man is 3 today.

And oh how we have entered the super hero phase of boyhood! With the swirl of his cape he’s off to fight the bad guys lurking under the bed.

“Don’t worry, Momma, I get them! Suuu-per Cole!!!!”

For the past few days we’ve been gearing up for a Super Hero birthday party, so the spirit of Heroism is definitely in the air.

Sitting at the kitchen table surrounded by capes and masks and super power cuffs, my daughter asked, “Momma, if you were a super hero, what would your super power be?”

If I were a super hero? Hmmm…

I had to think about it. Choosing a super power is not a decision to take lightly.

I mean, there’s flying. X-ray vision. Being invisible. Having the strength of 100 men. Moving faster than the…

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