Gina (Akao) Decker

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Prayer Devotional: Day 130

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. – Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV

Vision boards are very popular in the coaching industry. A few years ago, I created a vision board that helped me “manifest” my trip to Italy with my husband before our son was born.

But after my son was born, my priorities changed to follow God’s direction and have work-life balance, instead of writing down a vision statement that included a specific monetary amount that I would see as evidence of success in my freelance business. Motherhood has changed my perspective.

God doesn’t ask us just to make money and tithe. He wants to change our minds and hearts to seek Him first, and then all the things we need will fall into place. Money doesn’t necessarily equal happiness. When we come to see ourselves as beloved children of God, we can release ourselves from wanting more and more material possessions. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 129

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13 NKJV

With all the activities going on as I prepare to move to New Mexico with my husband and son, it would easy to get overwhelmed, but I cherish each day that the Lord gives me.

It’s the little things that count.

Today I had a break in the day while my husband was completing his meetings at work to take my son to the park. My toddler loves playing outside an would be bored hanging out at his dad’s office Downtown Albuquerque so we headed to the park.

The warm sun of New Mexico shone down on me as I watched my little boy gleefully going up and down the slides. The warmer temperatures of New Mexico are certainly a welcome thing compared to the cold, icy Idaho winter.

As I prepare for the final stretch of my packing and moving next week before the movers arrive on the 27th, I took time to be still and know that God is God, and He has everything handled. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 128

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19 NKJV

After giving some thought about the flooring and carpet in the home that my husband and I will be purchasing in Tijeras at the end of January, I paused last night and spent some time in prayer. I knew that God would not rush me into making a rash decision. My original plan had been to put hard floors on the bedrooms so that it would be easier to clean up the spills that my toddler causes. I spend a good amount of time each day cleaning up after my one and only son, cute as he is. Do I really want to shampoo bedroom carpet too?

I spent about an hour at home depot comparing costs and materials. Even though I didn’t have to put in the order today because the flooring can only be held at the store for 7 days after purchase, I breathed a sigh of relief when the lady who was helping me told me that all the flooring to cover the bedrooms and carpet I needed for the stairs was already in stock. All I would have to do is call with the credit card information next Tuesday to finalize the order so it would be ready for pickup the day I receive the keys to the house. Our handyman is going to give us an estimate on the cost of the work for the installation.

Our Heavenly Father wants the best for us. He doesn’t leave us in need. He supplies everything to us, from the air we breathe to the food we eat, and to the roof over our heads. He grounds us with His love. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 127

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. – Philippians 4:11 NKJV

John Lennon said, “All you need is love.” God is the essence of love, so all we need is Jesus! Wherever we are and whatever we do, if we keep our eyes on the Lord, everything will be okay.

Today I received some information and estimates on how much it might cost to paint the walls and replace the flooring at my new house in Tijeras. Time is of the essence, but of course none of the work can start before the house closes.

My son had taken a nap and woke up too early right before the meeting for estimates. He had an absolute meltdown in Smith’s…until he spotted a balloon he really liked. Even though it wasn’t his birthday, I bought him the “Happy Birthday” balloon that he wanted. And immediately, the waterworks stopped. He was happy.

Do we treat God that way? Do we make a fuss and have a tantrum if He doesn’t give us what we want, when we want it? Of course not! Without God, we couldn’t live or breathe. We can simply say, “thank you” and trust Him. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 126

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

Perhaps the best cure to information overload is a tight deadline.

There is a time to be busy, and busy can be good!

As things fall into place for the close of my new house in Tijeras, New Mexico, I get to enjoy one of the more fun aspects of buying an older home: deciding on improvements.

The previous owner of the home had a cat, and I am highly allergic to cats. After spending about two hours at the house during the home inspection a few weeks ago, I knew that the first order of business once I get the keys to the new house will be to replace the old carpet with new flooring.

I spent an hour today talking to a nice lady at a flooring company to discuss my options. I was surprised that the samples I like most were not what I might have chosen online, but why not dare to be different?

Replacing old carpet with more carpet wasn’t my preference, because I have a three-year-old son who really likes to make messes. The family room and the dining room I would like to put waterproof laminate flooring in, but I am considering new carpet for the bedrooms. I coordinated a meeting with the flooring company and our handyman to come out to the new house so that they could measure and give estimates.

Of course, there is a time for everything, for every purpose under the sun, so I know that as the pieces of project come together, I may be very pleased with the result. I know that God has a way of working everything out for us, even things like fixing a door to a crawl space! Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 125

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:23 NKJV

With so much change in my life going on right now as I prepare to move from Blackfoot, ID to Tijeras, New Mexico, it sometimes seems like everything changing, but everything is not changing.

My faith in Jesus is exactly the same. He comforts and stabilizes me when I feel unsteady. He restores my soul and quiets my mind.

My son and I took a long walk outside our hotel in Albuquerque today. Going outside always seems to improve my three-year-old’s mood, and he is easier to manage after he has spent time outdoors as well. He found a stick and immediately turned it into a walking stick.

With all the toys that I have purchased for him, the simple stick entertained him for quite some time.

The Lord is the constant in our lives. He provides for us, and he even gives us good gifts to occupy our attention. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 134

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. – Isaiah 30:21 NKJV

Although the drives that my family has been doing every other week back and forth from Idaho and New Mexico till we are fully moved to New Mexico at the end of January have been useful to transport large items such as my car and my husband’s tractor, an added bonus is that we were able to stay at a tourist attraction spot last night.

Moab, Utah, is known for its rugged landscape and amazing arches. Although we didn’t have enough time to explore because our move is the priority, it was nice to wake up and gaze out the window at the spectacular terrain around us.

Ironically, I took the stairs down from our hotel room this morning and didn’t know whether to turn right or left to get to the complimentary breakfast area. I had to go to the elevator on the ground floor to get pointed back in the right direction to the lobby on the first floor.

The Holy Spirit never guides us in the wrong direction. His navigation compass is always correct. He is always available to help us.

The Lord knew what He was doing when He created the world. He knows the direction for our lives better than we do. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 133

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

The pandemic has brought on a whole new set of fears, but instead of letting fear overcome our thinking, we can remind ourselves that God has blessed us with a sound mind, capable of reason. He loves us, and He is more powerful than any illness.

During my husband’s first week at work in New Mexico, he took an at-home COVID-19 test after he developed chills and a fever. We suspected it was COVID-19, but instead of panicking, we quarantined immediately the five days required by the CDC, and waited it out in our hotel. He was allowed to work remotely.

My husband and son still have a cough, but by the grace of God, they had a relatively short case, and fevers went away after only three days. My son was only mildly sick.

During the time it took to acquire an at-home COVID-19 test, which wasn’t easy, I could have let fear get the better of me, but instead, I trusted in the Lord and followed the guidelines that I knew I needed to in order to take the necessary precautions to make sure I did everything in my power to reduce the spread of the virus.

I even wiped down every surface in our hotel room with Clorox wipes before we checked out after the quarantine was over to make sure I did everything possible to ensure that the maids who would be cleaning our room later would not have as big of a risk. I even opened the hotel windows to ventilate the room and clear as much of the virus out as possible.

During that incredibly stressful week, I didn’t get COVID-19 because I had gotten my booster shot. According to the CDC guidelines, those who had both their vaccination shots plus their booster shot were not required to quarantine, which allowed me to place a contactless grocery order for pickup during our prolonged hotel visit.

All things considered, it could have been worse. God protected me from getting sick, allowing me time to take care of my husband and son as they recovered. Our God is a powerful God! Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 132

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love Him. – 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

Sometimes with a lot of changes going on in my life all at once, I buckle down and focus on the day-to-day tasks of just getting through the day. I get a lot of stuff done that way, without getting too overwhelmed.

The only problem with that laser-focus strategy is I sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees because I am just trying to get through the day.

Whenever I get too worried about little things that don’t really matter, I try to focus on the big picture that God has laid out for us.

We can’t even comprehend the good things ahead of us, so there is very little reason to sweat the small stuff. Amen.

Prayer Devotional: Day 131

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. – Psalms 24:1 NIV

We belong to the Lord. He made the world remarkable.

When I had passed through Arches National Park in Utah on the way back to Idaho, I got to see a beautiful arch alongside the road. It took almost no hiking to pose for a picture in front of it, yet my shoes were layered with brick-colored, orangish dirt by the time I got back into the truck.

I was dismayed to find that I tracked the dirt into the immaculate hotel that I stayed at that night. I really didn’t want to track dirt everywhere, so I carefully washed the dirt off my shoes that evening.

The earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord. We don’t have to get mad if dirt gets on things we don’t want it to. All of it is God’s. It is not bad in and of itself.

It takes work to become mindful of our thoughts and emotions and disconnect them from things that are how they are. There is no inherent problem with dirt. It is a matter of perspective to choose what we get upset about or not. God can steer our thoughts towards thankfulness. Amen.

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