How I stopped Being a Hater.

“I’m jealous…That’s not fair!” That really came out of my mouth. Like a toddler having a tantrum. Rob was calling to tell me some great news about someone and those gross words came bubbling out.

“Uh….Ok. I’m really happy for them and I was just sharing with you. I won’t share that kind of stuff if that’s how you’re gonna respond.

“No. No no no…I’m sorry….I was being honest about my initial thoughts and I should not have said that. No, I’m happy for them. I am.”

Normally I would have gone with the MUCH more honorable thing and kept that mess under wraps inside of my head. Butchyaknow…. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Mm hmmm. Not pretty.

I wanted to be happy for them. I really did. What was wrong with me?? I’d always heard that the goodness of God was like a river, not a pond. That there’s a never ending, unlimited supply of goodness to go around. So why was my first response filled with the notion that there wasn’t enough blessing for us all? And why wasn’t my reaction filled with excitement for them?

After we hung up, I straight up told God: “Lord pleeeease help me. I want to be happy and kind and loving and glad for other people’s successes. All the time. First response. I don’t want to be a hater!”

Acting like His normal Self, of course, the next morning these verses were included in the day’s Bible reading plan:

If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.

Amen.  It went on to say:

For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

‭‭Eeesh, that hurt. But then:

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. ~James‬ ‭3:13-18‬ 

So you’re telling me there’s a chance.

What I was hearing was that I had not been filling myself with God’s wisdom, but with jealous, worldly wisdom. I wasn’t walking in God’s ways, but my own. And according to Mary J. we don’t need no hateration OR holleration in this dancery.


Mary J. said it: no haters!


The Dancery is real, people. Except it’s “Dance Soirée”. But who’s keeping track?

What’s a dancery, anyway? In my world, the dancery is where God has enough blessing flowing for everyone. It’s where I’m humble, kind and generous, planting seeds of peace. No jealousy allowed, because it stops the flow. It’s where I put on my empathy hat and, on purpose, feel the excitement that others might be feeling when great things happen for them. That takes humility. And sincerity. But that’s what I decided in my heart to do. Telling myself what to do and then doing it is powerful. And God gives us the how- to.

“Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.” ~Proverbs 12:12 

According to Proverbs 12:12, when I’m busy staying in my own lane, producing my own results, well rooted in who God has made me to be…it makes it a lot easier to look around and become thrilled about someone else’s success.

So…haters gon’ hate. I’m just not going to be one of them. Bye, Hater!


 If you’ve ever said goodbye to the hater in you, how did you do it? Comment below-I want to hear your story!


Do it Anyway.


You know the deal- you’re praying. And while that’s happening, your thoughts, distractions, the enemy and God are all at war for your focus. It’s like Inside Out on ‘roids. Today I was driving and praying for one of my sons when I thought, “Anna. How are you gonna pray right now when you just went off on Rob like 10 minutes ago? And how are you gonna pray when you — -”

“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power…”

In the thick of my self-scolding, a soft spoken but powerful scripture cut through.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”  ~James 5:16

So…what do I need to do to be righteous?  Absolutely nothing.  I have confessed Jesus as my Lord, so I am righteous.  Not self righteous, nope.  I’m the righteousness of God himself:

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” ~2 Corinthians 5:21

Whaaaat!?  That’s right.  I’m reminded–even when I don’t measure up to my own standards, God made it so I measure up to His.  I am the righteousness of Christ because of what He did for me at The Cross.  I did nothing to earn it, but I…am…righteous.  Therefore my heartfelt prayers are powerful and they are heard.

I will never be “good” or “perfect” or “well behaved” enough.  And that’s not false humility or a cry for help, nor is it an excuse to act a dang fool.  It’s a declaration of what God has done for me.  And because of Him, I can enter boldly and confidently into God’s presence.  Because HE is good enough.

So…When I want to ask for something but think I don’t deserve it, I will ask anyway.

When I want to go to church but I feel like an impostor because I’ve just had a yelling match with Rob, I will go to church anyway.

When I want to be close to God but feel I don’t deserve to come near Him because I haven’t been doing enough praying and Bible reading, I will seek Him anyway.

When I want to pray but doubt God wants to hear from me because I haven’t done enough to merit a response from Him, I will pray anyway.

I won’t allow the enemy, other people or even myself to stop me from connecting with and loving God and others.

Saying it out loud: I am righteous.  Thank you, God.  So….I’ma do it anyway.


Have you ever felt this way?  Did you stop yourself from doing what your knew you needed to because you felt guilty, far from God, or ashamed?  Share your experience in the comments below.  I’d love to hear your story.





“Not again, Lord,” I heard myself saying to Him. “Maybe it’s ‘love’. Yes, that’s it — love is the word. We all need to learn to love like You do, Right? I definitely could use some work in that area. That’s got to be the word. LOVE.”


“But…I already know about obedience, God. Remember? You said to move to Texas and we moved to Texas. We heard and we obeyed and it’s beautiful. End of story. Besides, LOVE is everlasting and there’s so much depth to love. And obedience is boring. So..I’ll study love for 2015 and….”


“Well…OK. But why….”
You know why, Anna.


I did know why. I knew exactly why. I had picked up a Bible reading plan called “One Word.” The plan was a simple enough: A four day devotional where you nail down just “One Word” from God for the entire year. Not a phrase or even a verse, but a word. I didn’t even have to read past the first couple of sentences in the devotional before I heard the word. It was clear and it was strong. And it was obedience. And I DID know why…

I had been ignoring God in a certain area of my life. An area where I thought I had gained a newfound freedom: Drinking.


Now, before you start getting all, “There’s no law against drinking… and Jesus drank wine — He even made wine….and Paul told Timothy to drink wine,” etc., etc. — LET ME CLARIFY. You’re right. I agree. There is nothing wrong with drinking. And this story is NOT about drinking. It’s a story about obedience. So take this story and insert whatever you know you’re supposed to be obedient about.

A few years ago, the first season of the hit show “Scandal” had closed out and the second season was well under way. Everyone at work and several of my friends were constantly like, “Ohhh… mah…gosh. Did you watch Scandal last night!!? EEEEEEEEEeeeee!!!!!” And as they jumped up and down and piano tapped their fingers together and squealed in high pitched voices and then spoke in hushed whispers and then screeched back again to high pitched voices, I was sooo in the dark. And since I abhor being left out, of course I went home and downloaded the first season. It. Was. AMAZING. I sat on my bed and devoured hour after hour of juicy wonderfulness. I bonded with Olivia and vowed to follow her unrelenting fashion cues. This was my new favorite show! I couldn’t wait to be able to participate in the pitch-fluctuating conversations with my coworkers every week. I was so looking forward to my cryptic Facebook posts that only other “Gladiators” would understand. I had visions of the memes I would create for Instagram. It would be hashtag heaven! I would finally be in the know!!! As I finished the first season, and was about to click on the first episode of Season 2, I heard it.

It’s not for you, Anna.


It’s not for you.

“I am not hearing this right. What do you mean it’s not for me?! Clearly, it IS for me, because I am in love with this show!! Finally a show that I can really get into! Plus everyone is watching it, and I need to catch up! I just have these last few episodes here, so…”

It’s not for you.

With my finger on the play triangle, I stopped. “Ok, God. I’m listening.”

I’ve got something different for you.

Ugh. “Why? It’s not fair. Everyone else gets to. I want to watch this show so much. Why would you take this away?”

I’ve got something different for you, Anna, and this show is not for you.

And that was it. I knew that I needed to obey Him. Because whatever God had for me, it had to be good. Because HE is good. And He loves us and wants the best for each and every child of His. Individually, uniquely.



So…I obeyed. And every conversation that I missed out on, every post that I didn’t understand, every Scandal commercial that would come on, every Olivia Pope makeup or clothing promotion, was a reminder. A reminder that I was missing out on something. But immediately after that reminder would come another one: “For I know the plans I have for you…

Back to the drinking. When I became a born again Christian, I removed many things from my life that I deemed detrimental to my spiritual growth. It was not necessarily a word from God, but a quickening in my spirit. Me just knowing what I should and shouldn’t be doing in the moment. One of those things was drinking alcohol. In addition, drinking was understandably frowned upon by my pastor, since he had been saved from a destructive lifestyle fueled by drug and alcohol abuse. Rob struggled with some addictions in the past so it just made sense to stop drinking. Every few years we would enjoy a glass of champagne on our anniversary and such, but we were not what I would call drinkers. If we did drink, we didn’t advertise it, so as not to cause another person to stumble.

When my mom passed away, I went back to work only a few days after her death because I had a special event I was hosting. I probably should have cancelled, but I went anyway. When I got to work, I didn’t function well at all. I was a mess. Toward the end of the day, my coworker, who is a beautiful, strong, Godly woman, told me to go back to my hotel room and have a glass of wine and rest. I did. And I felt I had a total OK from God to do it.

From there, I began to realize that drinking wasn’t a “bad thing” in moderation. And I still believe that. If drinking doesn’t have a hold on you, and God hasn’t told you otherwise, go for it in moderation, is what I say.

When we moved down to Texas, I began seeing more and more pastors who drink openly. Some have Bible studies in bars and are beer connoisseurs. This was totally new, refreshing and very Jesus-like, to me! I can absolutely see Jesus teaching in a bar, hanging out with the people that the Pharisees would have shunned. So, I started drinking more often. Openly. I would have a beer at a restaurant. A glass of red wine with my coworkers. A frozen margarita with my friends. But then….

It’s not for you.

“Ugh!!! Really??!? Well guess what, I’m not listening. This is getting out of hand, Lord. I mean, why do you ask me — and no one else — not to do fun stuff??! Everyone else gets to watch whatever they want, drink whatever they want, but not me? Totally unfair, Lord.” *Fingers in ears* “LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T Heeeear YOU!”

So, I didn’t tell a soul. Not anyone. Because if I did, I’d have to stop. I’d just keep this between me and God. I decided to negotiate. “Oh, I get it, God…you meant just don’t have alcohol in the house. Ok. I won’t have it in the house, then.” And I got rid of the bottle of wine on my countertop. But I still drank. For 6 months, I ignored Him. Until…


I began to study the word in depth. I looked up every scripture that mentioned obedience, obey, obedient. I meditated on it. And I saw something. I saw a very clear pattern: Obedience precedes joy. Obedience precedes peace. Obedience precedes freedom. Obedience precedes everlasting life. Obedience precedes abundance. Obedience precedes blessing. Obedience is good!! And it’s not so God can throw rules at me and control me and take something away from me, it’s to open up the paths and doorways that lead to the good plans that He has for me, plans that will create a domino effect that is infinite, not just for myself, but for others — many, many others.
That being said, I decided not to drink. But just in case, I told no one. I told no one what God had said to me. Because I knew. Deep down, I knew that I wanted a back door. A back door that would allow me to disobey in private, with no accountability. A back door that would allow me to indulge every once in awhile. I just wouldn’t go overboard. That would be OK.


A few days later, we went out to eat Mexican food with another couple. I went to the bathroom and when I came back, I realized that Rob had ordered me a frozen margarita. “Oh well,” I thought, “it’s not my fault Rob ordered me a drink. I’ll have to drink it now.” *Darn.*
As I was sucking down my delicious refreshment, my friend began telling us a story about how God had told her to do something completely out of her comfort zone. She went on to explain that even though it would be hard, she was going to do it anyway. Immediately, I thought of my incredible study on obedience and the amazing revelations I had received from God Himself. I was going to share with her how God blesses obedience, and how it was good for her to do what He asked her to.  As I took a gulp of my frozen treat and readied myself to school her on obedience, I realized my mouth wouldn’t open. My jaw was cemented into place. My tongue. Wouldn’t. Budge. I wouldn’t be able to share. Not as long as I was ignoring God. And it was no longer a still, small voice. It was coming through louder and clearer than Beats by Dre Pro with Rotating Ear cups.

I went home silent. Washed my face, pressed on my La Mer Moisturizer, put my waffle knit jammies on, and climbed into bed.

“Are you OK?” Of course. Rob could sense something was off.

“Yes, I’m fine,” I quickly squealed. Not ready. Not ready to tell. Not ready to close the back door. Not ready to be held accountable. Not ready to miss out. Not ready to feel like an outcast. Not. Ready.

“You sure?”

“Yep.” I got on Facebook. Rob read a book. And after about 10 minutes, I blurted it out. “I’m disobedient!! I’m disobeeeeeedient!!” I sobbed. And I proceeded to tell him. Everything. From the beginning, through that very moment. And as I told, my heart, which had become tighter than Kim K.’s Spanx, began to unfurl. My body felt lighter. And the peace of God washed over me.
Whoop whoop.

Look, people. Some things are black and white, right or wrong, clear as day, written out word for word in scripture. Those things we already know. But some things are specific to you. The plan for your life is as unique as your fingerprint. YOUR plan you will receive by hearing God for yourself. By listening to what He is saying to YOU. Do you want to know what it is? Well, you’ve got to hear and obey. Only then will you start to receive what He has for you. And believe me — the peace of God, direction and blessing come, like a flood.

Since I’ve decided I WILL obey, God has dropped into my spirit glimpses of my future. Visions and dreams. He’s given me specific messages to give to people. And it’s been so good. So much better than enjoying a fleeting indulgence. Will I ever know specifically why he chose drinking as a no-go for me? I don’t know. And I don’t have to know. Because HE knows the plans He has for me. And the plans are good. They are hopeful. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that blessing ALWAYS follows obedience.

Listen. He’s speaking. What’s He telling you to do (or not to do)? All YOU have to do is obey.


Have you ever ignored God?  What got your attention?  Leave your story in the comments below.  I want to hear from you:)

What if….


So….I’ve starting a blog.  After over a year of contemplating, I’ve decided to get past the “what ifs”: What if people judge me? What if someone thinks that I’m just a bandwagon-er?  What if NO ONE reads it??!! I had to walk myself all the way down the yellow brick-what-if-road until I reached the worst case scenario.  I may feel rejected. But will it be devastating? No. Will it kill me? Probably not. Will it end with the destruction of the world? YES! Just kidding….I may feel a little discomfort, but those fears of mine and their possible fruition will never outweigh the pleasure I would receive by nudging even ONE person closer. Closer to working through hardships, moving forward and growing up (even if that one person is ME).

It’s like donating blood….kinda. OK. Not really, but you know what I mean. Yes, the prick of the needle hurts. Sure, it takes some time and it’s inconvenient, but it feels so good knowing that someone out there may be helped by your sacrifice. So here goes.

James 1:2-4 says: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

This blog is about that. Facing trials of MANY KINDS. And somehow finding the joy in the process. Like the trials of my kids’ homework and their lack of bathroom manners. The trials of married life and the toilet paper roll installed backwards. Every. Single. Time. The trials caused by my past. The trials of my own personal pain. The trials of eyebrows gone wild (PLEASE….ladies, step AWAY from the tweezers…OR pick them up–it’s all relative).

With any trial, our faith is tested. But we WILL walk through it, with God maturing us during the process. Good really does come out of the hard things!

So here is my blog about trials, joy, the testing of my faith, and the things I am doing to persevere. I’d love for you to join me so that one day, together, we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Do you have some “what-ifs” keeping you from doing something you know you’re supposed to do? What are you doing to move past it? Share your thoughts! I want to hear from you!