Faith WITH Works is Alive


During prayer I told the Lord, “God, YOU said faith without works is dead and I’ve had faith and been taking steps of faith! You see me, You know it!” Then I remember saying as it came to me, “So if faith without works is dead, then faith WITH works is ALIVE!”

These are some synonyms for the word alive according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: active, functioninggoing, livingop-eratingoperational,  running, and working.

God was reassuring me not to worry because HIS word is out there moving, aligning things, and on my behalf, going, functioning, and working! Thank You Jesus, for my promise is ALIVE because of my faith AND works!



Prophesy Over Your Week


Last night as I was in prayer and communion with God, HE gave me specific instructions after I brought my petitions before HIM. I heard HIM tell me to prophesy over my week in HIS name first thing in the morning to start this week off! This made perfect sense to me for I know our words have power and that God moves on our behalf when we have faith and are obedient.

Prophecy Prayer

Early this Monday morning, I prophesy to this upcoming week in the mighty name of Jesus. I declare and decree that this week will be filled with happiness and blessings. I will hear good news after good news. I declare and decree that I will be highly favored and blessed. Open doors of opportunity await me this week, and the devil is under my feet. No weapon formed against me shall be able to prosper. I declare and decree that God has already sent the angels who are assigned over my life to make crooked paths straight, guide, and protect me and all that pertains to me. This week will be one of great joy, victory, and vindication in Jesus name!  What I have been waiting for in the past few years will come to pass this week and by this week’s end, God will show up and show out in my life.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.-Proverbs 18:21

I prophesy over my family this week. I speak healing over my mom, grandma, and very close friend this week in the mighty name of Jesus. By YOUR stripes, they are healed! I speak favor, protection, and blessings over my husband and children as well. This week will be one of celebration with good news coming! When I receive it, I will not fail to give YOU all the glory and honor for I know that EVERY good and perfect gift is from above (and directly from You)!

…call those things which do not exist as though they did. -Romans 4:17


I speak these things in faith in the matchless name of Jesus! Amen.

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. -Isaiah 55:11


Peace During Transition



Why is transition so tough for so many? I mean, the fact of the matter is, whether it’s a good or bad transition, it’s never something that seems or feels easy. This morning I began to feel guilty after a moment of sadness came over me since transition will be taking place in the Padilla household soon. Funny thing is, I prayed for it, I believed God for it, and it’s here. It is a good transition and we know every good and perfect gift is from above, so why is this so tough? Then it hit me as I was in communion with God over a cup of coffee. TRANSITION is tough because it always involves CHANGE! Change can be hard! Change can be great! But one thing is for SURE, CHANGE is inevitable!

For the past few months, we have been preparing for my son, Jacob, to go to trade college. We’ve done ALL the legwork that’s involved in this process (and boy is it a lot), and it’s finally here! In 7 days he will be off to this next journey of his life. He will be leaving home to stay at his school’s housing and is beyond excited to start this new season of his life. God has answered my prayers! For some reason, with all that being said, I became deeply sad this morning and began to pray as every single memory between us flashed before my eyes. I had to come to terms with the fact that my son, my first baby, a piece of my very own heart, was leaving. I reflected on all of our past memories, including our seasons of struggles to our seasons of great success! I thought of our times alone and how we would engage in long conversations, as well as all the countless times we fooled around and just laughed and laughed.

I began to cry out to God and ask for HIS forgiveness, after all, HE answered my prayers and here I was crying. That’s when I felt it. HIS perfect peace that surpasses all peace. It was as if HE took me in HIS arms and comforted me HIMSELF. Guilt, sadness, and worry left me! I felt consumed with PEACE and pure JOY! With tears in my eyes I began to worship HIM! I can’t explain it, but it was as if I heard in my spirit confirmation that change was in fact difficult, however, HE wanted me to know,

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to ME, and MY peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6


Experiencing-the-Peace-new-dimension.pngIn closing, because transition involves change, we can understand that there is something to leave behind and something to look forward to! The NEW!! God’s word is clear on moving ahead in life. His word says,

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. – Philippians 3:12

Closing Prayer:
If you or someone you know is going through a transition, whether it is a young person or parent, pray this prayer with me.

Father God, we come before you with a humble heart and thank you for today. You are worthy to be praised and honored. You are not a man that you should lie and we thank you this morning for all your promises and blessings upon our lives. We thank you specifically for the youth that are transitioning. We ask for Your divine hedge of protection upon their lives. As they transition in this season, Lord cover them, protect them, grant them favor, give them wisdom, knowledge, and keep Your word pressed in their hearts and minds alike.

Right now in the name of Jesus we cover them with Your blood! We come against every single lie, plan, or attack of the enemy upon their lives. We break every single generational curse, word curse, incantation, spell, and we call every plot and plan against them null and void in Jesus name. NO weapon formed against them shall prosper! Satan, you have NO power, NO authority over our young people and we stand in the gap with the POWER of the blood of Jesus to bind you and cast you out in the name of Jesus! We come against every mental battle over parents who have a youth right now in Jesus name. Every spirit of worry, anxiety, depression, sadness, and loneliness leave now in Jesus name.

We declare and decree our youth will walk in God’s divine transition for their lives. They shall find purpose in Jesus name. They will be the head, not the tail. We declare and decree right now that everywhere they walk will be blessed, and that God’s protection, blessings, favor, presence, spirit, and provision will be upon them. We declare and decree every parent reciting and reading this prayer will experience Your peace during the transition in Jesus name!

We thank You God for You never leave nor forsake us. We thank You for the transition and for the favor. Most of all, God, we thank you for Your PEACE! In Jesus Holy name we pray, AMEN!





No matter what you are facing today, I want to encourage you to ASK HIM, for nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). This morning I reflected on the many times GOD has saved, delivered, inspired, and encouraged me, despite the opposition I endured. Push through your emotions and feelings today and make a verbal declaration that you TRUST, BELIEVE, HONOR, and SERVE the ONE true and living GOD! ASK of HIM! When you ask, ask knowing the GOD you serve, for NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE for HIM!!

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. – Ephesians 3:20-21


What is it today? Well, whatever it is, ASK of GOD!! HE CAN and HE WILL!! Believe that today in Jesus name and thank HIM in advance. HE IS WAITING, so ask!


The Enemy’s Lies VS. God’s Truth

Lies vs Truth

God inspired me to encourage you to replace the enemy’s lies with God’s truth. You are NOT who and/or where you use to be! The enemy wants you to believe that you’re still in the old and that you will never be who God called you to be. This is a trick to keep you from growing and evolving in Christ. We must remember that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but God came so that we may have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10)!


You may be asking yourself why? Why does the enemy want to whisper lies in my ears? Well, when most of us get saved, we come to God and realize, through relationship with HIM, that there are things and thoughts we need to change to grow in HIM. We begin to seek HIM in all things and work diligently to transition from the old to the new. We set our heart, thoughts, and prayers to be in HIS divine will. If the enemy can convince us that we are not who God says we are, that we have not changed, or that we are still the old person, he can persuade us into thinking that our efforts have failed and ultimately get us to cave in and accept defeat. If you find yourself questioning if you are good enough, or if something has recently transpired and you’re worried about where you stand with God, you feel undeserving, or you made a mistake and think it may be over for you, God wants you to know that nothing can be further from the truth. Repent and ask God to forgive and to strengthen you to continue moving forward. His word reminds us that if we confess your sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  The enemy wants to convince us of these lies because it is his ploy to deter us from Christ, but most importantly, to deter us from who we can and will become! This is what he fears most!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.-2 Corinthians 5:17

What Do I Do?

God revealed to me that if we’re aware of the enemy’s tricks and schemes, we’ll be ahead of his tactics. I heard HIM say, “Counteract his curses and lies with what I say to be true about you!” Speak life over yourself, especially in the areas you struggle the most in. This will not only cancel the lies and plans of the enemy, but it will fill you with all God says to be true about you because death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). So speak LIFE!

If the enemy is trying to tell you that you can’t do something or that you do not possess the ability to, remind him of God’s word.

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

If he tries to get you to focus on negative thoughts or feelings related to circumstances that have transpired in your life, speak life over those thoughts!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.-Philippians 4:8

When he tries to remind you that you are not healed, and in fact, you are sick, rise up in the authority Christ has given you here on Earth and tell that devil,

by HIS stripes I am healed!-Isaiah 53:5

HIS Word produces LIFE! So speak those things that are not as though they are! If they already are, continue to speak that what God started, He will complete!

Image result for gods word is his truth

Closing Prayer

Lord God, I know there is no distance or barrier in You because You are omnipresent, so I believe by faith that as the reader joins me in this prayer, YOU and Your spirit are with us and that YOU will do all we speak by faith regarding our destiny in You!

God, we come to You with a repentful heart and ask you to forgive us, first and foremost, for sinning in any knowing or unknowing way. We ask you to forgive us if we have allowed the enemy to play with our minds or have believed his lies with regards to our destiny in YOU. We know that you are all powerful, all knowing, and that you have a plan and purpose for our lives. Your plan is good and created to prosper us in Jesus name.

Right now, I come against any and every wicked plot and plan of the enemy over our destiny in Christ! Every lying, evil spirit that has been sent to try and steal, kill, and destroy our destiny and purpose in God, I bind it up right now in Jesus name. You have NO power and NO authority over our minds or over our divine purpose in Christ! I come against every lie trying to convince us that we are still in the old, that we have not changed, that we cannot be who God has called us to be, and that it is over for us! I come against every witch, warlock, word curse, incantation, and every demonic attack that is trying to steer us from God’s truth in Jesus name.

I declare and decree that we will walk in the purpose and plan YOU have for us God! We will not be stagnant, but move forward in YOU. I declare and decree we will go from glory to glory! I declare and decree that we will hear from you regarding our purpose and our destiny and that You will keep us rooted in You. I declare and decree that You will position us to receive supernatural favor in every area of our lives. I declare and decree health over our lives and our loved ones. No weapon formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17) in the name of Jesus and as we decree this prayer, it shall be established (Job 22:28). Every lie of the enemy is defeated right now by the blood of Jesus in Jesus mighty name. Amen.



Psalm 33:9-For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.



Don’t Give Up: Wait on God


Have you ever had to wait? I mean, truly wait? You know, the kind of wait that involved petitioning God for something and feeling confident that HE would handle it? Then, your days of waiting became weeks, your weeks became months, and your months became years, and nothing! No sign in sight that it would happen. As a matter of fact, you began to see things get WORSE. The wait became heavy, too much to bear, and extremely uncomfortable. Come on, I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced this at some point?! You know, that initial moment God assured us that HE will take care of something on our behalf. We believed and had confidence in HIM, and then when it didn’t happen after some time, we became anxious, worried, and in some instances, angry. Well, this was our wait, and I want to encourage you to NOT give up, but rather, wait on God!

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.-Psalm 37:7

How It Began
Our story began when Des and I embarked on a friendship in 2007. Although we were just friends the majority of 2007, we fell in love in the beginning of 2008. In November of 2009, we got married. Six months later, we were in the doctor’s office hearing that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney failure and could potentially be at Stage 5 any day (meaning dialysis would be needed for him to survive). In September of 2010, his sister became his donor after being found to be his perfect match! So you can only imagine the devastation we felt when we were informed, after routine blood testing, that his kidney was rejecting, just three years later.

Dialysis officially began for Des following the rejection in 2013, which brought with it, a whole slew of troubles in of itself. There were many instances Des had to be hospitalized, needed surgical procedures to de-clot his accesses, became swollen in his body from retaining excess fluid, feeling sick, dizzy, and/or weak and fatigued. All the while, he was a hard worker. He would not quit, in any area of his life. He did not give up! We had some very scary moments and close calls, but GOD!

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

After a routine surgical procedure to de-clot an access one day, my husband lost use of all of his accesses for hemodialysis. I was called into the office and informed that the doctors no longer felt comfortable doing this procedure. They mentioned the clots were going into his lungs, and they feared something tragic happening if they continued. They recommended surgery so that he could begin peritoneal dialysis. He began dialysis at home shortly after, which hurt him because he didn’t want his family to see him go through that. It was his last resort, so he had to bite the bullet and go through with it. Then, worst case scenario occurred. The new dialysis method, and last resort, was not working as planned. He was hospitalized a few times on some close calls. We suffered…We prayed…We begged GOD to show up…We waited.

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. –Psalm 27:14

The NO’s That Broke Our Hearts
In the midst of all the health complications and the waiting, we were also awaiting potential living donors. From the middle of 2014 to October of 2017, we faced three different NO’s with regards to living donors. The second NO broke us. At first, I was in shock and in denial by the NO we received! When I finally came to terms with it, I felt heartbreak that was totally indescribable. My husband did as well, except he shut down. He wouldn’t speak to me or anyone else for that matter. It felt as though he was giving up. I couldn’t help him out of his pit because to be honest, I was worn down, and in my own pit. We spent weeks grieving, mostly in private. Many times we would see each other grieving and not even be able to encourage one another. It’s emotional to even think about now, especially since we are in such a good space today. Thank God we made it through that, but truthfully, we were just tired. We felt let down yet again. And if I’m being totally transparent, we were angry and heartbroken.

You say you can’t see him, but he will bring justice if you will only wait.-Job 35:14

Have you ever faced a NO that broke your heart? If you answered yes, then I’m sure you know how bad it could hurt. I had a moment with God one evening in my car after petitioning HIM to help us in this season, and a prayer I prayed to HIM flashbacked in my mind. I heard in my spirit that very day I asked God, “God give us your BEST! Let the next one supersede expectations and statistics. Give us Your BEST!” Then it hit me! It wasn’t HIS best! The NO we received wasn’t a rejection from God. It wasn’t GOD forgetting us. His no to THIS one meant, HE had something better! I shared this with my husband and we finally had a breakthrough.

By the time the third potential donor was in process, I assured her that God had my husband’s best. I made it clear that our hope was not in man, but in God! However, we waited some more. Needless to say, that turned into our third no. It was a bit disappointing, but not as painful as the previous ones because we had hope, and our hope was in HIM. So, we waited some more. In the meantime, we prayed, we worshipped, we spoke life over the situation, we surrounded ourselves with other believers, and we gave glory to God in it all.

Divine Opportunity
We remained in consistent contact with the hospital regarding my husband’s situation. After being denied by the transplant committee to be on the emergency list, we got a call from a staff member one day asking if my husband would be interested in being nominated for another list. This list had not yet begun, but the approved candidates would be the first ones on it. It entailed receiving a kidney from a deceased donor who had traces of hepatitis C in their blood. There was minimal chance of contracting the disease, but if so, he’d be medicated immediately. We agreed at once! After all, doctors had just told us peritoneal dialysis would last 2 months at best. We both shared this immense divine feeling that overcame us which gave us peace about the whole thing. It was as if God was providing a divine opportunity for us. We decided to keep it private, to avoid external, negative comments and opinions. I can’t explain how or why, but we knew God’s peace was with us. He was accepted for the program and signed in agreement on December 29th, 2017.

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.-Psalm 5:3

The Call
My husband received THE call on February 13, 2018. I still remember how his voice sounded that morning. Shocked is the best way to describe it to you. Thinking back, he probably couldn’t believe the day had finally arrived! Only, this call was not for a kidney from a deceased donor on the hepatitis C list. This kidney was from a LIVING DONOR who was on some sort of kidney donation chain and the kidney was completely healthy. He was the BEST match for the anonymous donor. Get the key words in that last statement? Yes, BEST and ANONYMOUS! Sounds like God to me! We had no idea who it was, but we knew GOD was in the midst. We had a date! On March 8th, 2018 my husband would be getting a kidney transplant. Thank you Jesus!

Transplant Success

The day was long, but a successful one nonetheless. Four hours after taking my husband into the OR, the surgeon came out to discuss the outcome of the surgery with me. He assured us that all went well. As a matter of fact, he specifically mentioned how “youthful and beautiful” the donated kidney was. He also made it a point to tell me something that I know God wanted me to know. He said, “As I made the last staple, the kidney immediately began producing urine!” It was confirmation. THIS…WAS…GOD’S…BEST!!!


Meeting the Donor
We mentioned to the coordinators prior to surgery that if the donor ever wanted to meet, we were up for it. On April 15, 2018, we got the call for a meeting day. We immediately agreed. To say we were ecstatic would be an understatement. We didn’t even think we’d ever have this opportunity, let alone so soon after transplant. So, it was a pleasant surprise, and the date was set for May 2nd, 2018.

When we arrived, my husband seemed so calm, cool, and collective. He was happy, excited, but relaxed. Me, on the other hand, I was extremely excited, but nervous. We were immensely grateful and wanted to share that with the donor, and at the same time, we wanted to give all glory and honor to God.

It was the moment we had been waiting for! The door opened, and through it came this very youthful looking woman. I don’t know what I expected, but from the moment we saw her, we felt pure humility, happiness, love, and gratefulness. MY husband and I began to cry as she walked in, and we took turns hugging her. This was an extraordinary moment that we’ll cherish forever. She embraced us in return! We spent a good amount of time together. She shared the entire story of how she got on this donation chain, and the more time we spent with her and heard her story, the more we realized what a truly amazing individual she was. All I can hear in my spirit was, John 15:13, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life…”

Des' Kidney donor

The Letter That Made a Difference
The night before transplant day, I decided to write a letter to the kidney donor. I had no idea who I was writing to at the time, but I just wanted to thank the person, wish the individual a speedy recovery, and tell them about how God used him or her to bless us! I cried the entire time, but I just wanted the person to know the impact he or she made on our lives. I wanted the person to know how God used them. I wanted the person to know, this was our miracle.

When we met her, I felt so compelled to hug her tightly. I thought about how this transplant has affected our lives for the better. Surprisingly, she mentioned my letter. She said, “That letter!” She went on to explain that she had read the letter days after transplant day and it encouraged her. She told us how it was on time and as she read, she cried. It gave her insight as to who she was helping, what this meant to us, and how she was truly making a difference. I called her our very own God sent angel. We had a moment of true joy together!

It’s been about 10 weeks since my husband’s transplant. He’s doing exceptionally well! Each and every day he gets stronger and has developed this newfound zeal for life. His medical tests, measures, and numbers are all on target, and we believe his best is here!!

Seeing where we are today is such a huge difference from where we were last year, the year before that, and the year before that! We almost gave up on our hopes of this ever happening, on each other, and on God. Thank God we didn’t, because if we had, we wouldn’t be able to share our miracle and encourage you today that GOD CAN and WILL for you, just as HE did for us, if you DON’T GIVE UP and WAIT ON HIM!!

What I Pray You Take From This
If you have been or are waiting, then there is something you can take from this. Maybe you are waiting on a husband, a wife, or a new found love, don’t give up. Maybe you are waiting on your healing today, whether it’s of a broken heart or from a sickness, don’t lose hope! You may be waiting on a promotion, career shift, increase, favor, or a school acceptance letter, don’t give up! Wait on God! He can and will do it for you. God knows what you need. Do you know what HE is requiring of you? If not, ask HIM. The word reminds us that if we ask, it will be given to us; if we seek, we will find; if we knock, the door will be opened to us. The Lord just reminded me to encourage you that God will not forget about you as mentioned in Isaiah 49:15. It says, “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands…” Thank you God for not forgetting us, and HE will not forget about you. DO NOT GIVE UP! Wait…On…GOD!





*This is dedicated to all the families who are affected by kidney disease and/or kidney failure. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Hang on! Don’t give up!

**For more information on how you can become a kidney donor in our local area, check out .


When You Least Expect It

Quick Morning Reflection:

Sometimes we’re concentrating so much on what we want, what we’re  praying for, or what we’re desiring God to do for us, that we forget to just focus on HIM, our relationship, and what it is HE wants from us. There’s nothing wrong with petitioning God, asking so we shall receive,  and expecting in faith.  Actually, the Word encourages us to do these things in Matthew 7:7 and Philippians 4:6 (and probably a slew of other scriptures). However, we should not be so consumed by a thing, carry ourselves with anxiousness,  or stop living the now as we wait on it! The Word reminds us to take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4). It also encourages us not to be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God in Philippians 4:6.

I want to share the insight God gave me this morning during prayer. I had a flashback vision of the times in my life I was desperately petitioning God for a thing. I saw myself crying, praying, and feeling anxious and worried. I saw the times I struggled alone as a single mom of two boys, the time I went through having to leave my home and not knowing where I would go, and the times I prayed and cried out to God to save my husband from Stage 5 Kidney failure! This is what God showed me afterwards. He showed me that in EVERY ONE OF THOSE INSTANCES, HE…DELIVERED…ME!!! My God!! Thank you God. But this is the best part! He delivered after I stopped worrying about the problem and started focusing on the problem-solver. It was in the moments that I sought after HIM wholeheartedly in reverence, praise, and full trust, in spite of my situation, that HE intervened! It was in the moments I least expected it! When I least expected it, God answered and miracles happened!!! Praise God!


I pray this encouraged someone out there! God will show up with your husband, wife, house, healing, provision, favor, and/or any other desire of your heart, but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

When everything is said and done, how do you want to be remembered? What can you do TODAY to prepare for that?

Nana's Memory Blanket


Over the weekend, I traveled to Virginia with my husband and family to attend my husband’s grandmother’s funeral. My goal was to be at his side and support him during this incredibly hard time, as his grandmother played a huge role in his life, as well as offer my condolences to the family. However, God had so much more in store for me than that. This question, how do you want to be remembered, pierced my soul during this time.

What Did Nana Leave Behind?

I got to really see first-hand what Mamie Elizabeth Lyles, aka Nana, left behind this weekend. She made such an impact in and through those she poured into. Yes, family cried and had sad moments in facing her loss, but I saw such a sense of family unity, love, and strength in the midst of this weekend’s engagements.

Family unity was huge and evident in Nana’s life. I heard many family members talk about how family was always important to her. In the expressions part of the funeral, I heard someone refer to her as the “glue” of the family. I also knew this was true because of how all the family came together in love to honor her life. Many played their part in this, whether it was the sacrifice of travel, contributing to flower arrangements, getting together to share family time in laughter and sharing old stories, or stepping out in faith to speak at her service to share who she was and what she meant to them. I recall being in the church, pulling out my notebook and writing, “Thank you Nana, for teaching me to value family, love, and to remember to leave something behind.”

Strength was also a huge attribute Nana left behind. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, strength is the quality or state of being strong: capacity for exertion or endurance (the ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially, the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity). An example of Nana’s strength being passed down was evident in the life of my husband, Desmond Padilla. He showed strength in the way he endured in the wait for his transplant. He fought the good fight, and got to see God’s hand over his life because of it. In spite of how sick he felt, how weak he became, he pushed and kept working, and got up every morning to worship God, ask HIM for strength, and tackled the day. I also know this by seeing how the family worked hard to make everything come together in spite of being tired, sad, and having so many other things on their plates. They showed strength in their work ethic to make sure this weekend came together smoothly and effectively.

I heard a few people share reflections as to how they remember her and what she meant to them. My husband’s reflections hit me the hardest. He said, “She was Mamie Lyles to some of you, but to me, she was my Nana!” He went on to share how she would bring him to church (give him mints so he would sit quietly), teach them the importance of being clean and organized, taught them to be strong in the face of adversity, and corrected them when they needed it. He mentioned how she was a woman of few words, but when she did speak, she spoke with wisdom and was received. All of these things I heard about Nana’s life forced me to ask myself, “How do you want to be remembered Evelyn?”

What Do I Want to Leave Behind?  

In my experience this weekend with my husband’s family, I realized I wanted to leave something great behind as well. I want to leave an impact and be remembered as strong, wise, God-fearing, loving, kind, and giving. I want great memories shared about me and I how contributed here on earth. I want my next generation to be able to learn from my mistakes and grow from my teachings. I want them to know that when I’m gone they can celebrate my homecoming, for I will be home!

As I thought about God’s word, I asked myself, “What scriptures stand out to you regarding this question?” Then it hit me. When it’s all said and done, I pray that in this life, I would be a Proverbs 31 woman. The Amplified version of Proverbs 31 highlights this:

An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous]…Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls. The heart of her husband trusts in her…She comforts, encourages, and does him only good and not evil all the days of her life…and works with willing hands in delight…She brings her [household’s] food… She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and assigns tasks…With her profits she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong… her lamp does not go out, but it burns continually through the night [she is prepared for whatever lies ahead]. She stretches out her hands to the distaff…She opens and extends her hand to the poor, and she reaches out her filled hands to the needy. She does not fear…Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates. She makes [fine] linen garments and sells them… Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; and she smiles at the future [knowing that she and her family are prepared]. She opens her mouth in [skillful and godly] wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue [giving counsel and instruction]. She looks well to how things go in her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired); Her husband also, and he praises her, saying, “Many daughters have done nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.” Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised. Give her of the product of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]. #GOALS


  1. How do I want to be remembered when it is all said and done?
  2. What can I do today to get myself in the right path towards the goal?


Lord, I pray I would be a woman who speaks to the King in her husband and King in her sons. I pray I would be a mother who speaks to the Queen in her daughters! I pray, Lord, that I’m remembered as a virtuous, strong, and wise woman who her children will rise and call her blessed. I want to be remembered as being strong and faithful to YOU God in the face of adversity, and as one who encouraged another to believe, to press, and to never give up! I pray, oh God, that I’m remembered as one who taught the younger generation great things, that I put others ahead of myself, that I was there when I was needed, that I showed grit and grace, but most of all, that I’d be remembered as a woman who loved and believed in YOU God! Give me strength to endure to the end. Continue to speak to me and guide me, that I may fight the good fight to the end. I know you knew me before I was in my mother’s womb. I’m here with purpose and with divine intent; therefore, I ask You to help me walk in YOUR will for my life! You called me and YOU have an awesome plan for my life. Help me uncover that plan so I can continue to run this race with confidence and obedience unto YOU!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!


In loving memory of Mamie Elizabeth Lyles aka NANA! You will always be loved…and remembered!

Mutual Exchange

I’ve heard so many people talk about how we are not to do anything expecting in return, but are to do it from our hearts as God would want us to. Agreed! However, today, I want to share a different perspective to challenge you as well. Don’t get me wrong, God calls us to be cheerful givers (2 Corinthians 9:6), whether that’s monetary giving or giving of our time and energy, however, we also have to be wise and have discernment in circumstances.

My short reflection involves what God showed me this morning on mutual exchange. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word mutual means (of a feeling or action) experienced or done by each of two or more parties towards the other or others. Exchange means an act of giving one thing and receiving another (especially of the same kind) in return. That phrase, mutual exchange, comes from a thought I had on having a balance in relationships. Where each of two or more give and receieve, receive and give. Balance! It made me reflect back on those who expect, expect, and expect. It had me thinking about those who may not even realize that they come across as ungrateful. Then, there are some who do give (whether it’s of their time or something else), but they do it with a complaining spirit,  frustrated, or in a rush. I thought of how the word reminds us to, Do to others as you would have them do to you in Luke 6:31. In Matthew 7:12, it says, So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

So in short, you can take away two perspectives  from this. One, challenge yourselves to do unto others what you want for yourselves. Clap for others in their successes, as they clap for you. Be there for them, celebrate them, show love and support, the same way you would want in return. Do it with a cheerful heart instead of making them feel like a chore or something you HAVE to squeeze in. Then, second, evaluate your life. It’s good to give and be there for those who need us, but not at the cost of someone taking advantage of us. Feelings and  actions should feel mutual. There is always someone or something else that could use all God has called us to be somewhere else. There is someone or something else that can use your love, support, and gifts and appreciate them and show you a mutual exchange. That mutual exchange doesn’t necessarily have to be what you poured in, but when you’re in Christ, you will sense it’s their portion.

God bless and don’t forget to put in your mutual exchange today, for God calls us to do unto others as we would want them to do unto us!



Fail Forward

failforwardEver prayed in faith for something or took steps of faith to reach a goal, and STILL failed to accomplish it, see it through, or receive it? If so, I want you to know that you’re not alone! There’s so many of us who’ve experienced this. Yesterday night, God revealed something amazing to me in regards to this. He showed me that it isn’t the actual act of failing that counts, but rather what you do afterwards!

I was researching a children’s museum online yesterday. I noticed that one of the missions of the experience there was to teach children the importance of failing forward. FAIL FORWARD! It hit me like a rushing wind! FAIL FORWARD! God was speaking to me with regards to something that had happened earlier, and I got this sense of joy in knowing I had pleased HIM. He showed me that I had failed forward! As I read on in the mission, it said, “to fail forward is to develop GRIT.” That was it! I knew without a doubt God was speaking to me. GRIT is a word used often in the Padilla home. In short, it means strength of character and perseverance to push on. So when I read this, it was confirmation that God was speaking to me. After all, HE is an intentional God.

As I received this message from HIM, I thought about those believers that may say, “FAIL?! I don’t receive that and God isn’t in failure?!” I immediately heard in my spirit, “Show me ONE who has NEVER failed?!” My God!! For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)! That’s the WORD! It was then, in that very moment, that I knew I had to write about this.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word FAIL is defined as, to lose strength, to fall short, or to be unsuccessful. English Oxford Living Dictionary defined FAIL as, being unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal. The next part hit me! The word FORWARD in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is described as, toward what is ahead or in front. English Oxford Dictionary described FORWARD as, onward so as to make progress towards the future. Immediately I heard in my spirit, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward (upward) in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). So the revelation I received from God was, “Tell them to learn to FAIL FORWARD!” In life, we’ll all set goals, have desires, or try to pursue something! Sometimes we fall short, don’t reach our goal, doors are shut in our faces, or we plain old get a “NO!” I’m writing to you today to let you know that this is inevitable at some point in all of our lives, but we are NOT to give up! We aren’t to believe because it didn’t come to pass yet, it never will. We aren’t to stay down, be defeated, or remain pessimistic! We are to acknowledge the fact that it may have been unsuccessful THIS or THAT TIME, but we are to PRESS on towards the prize! God has the last word, and HE is a rewarder of those that diligently seek HIM (Hebrews 11:6). We are to continue to push forward, believe, take more steps of faith, and continue on with our heads high knowing that God is in control, and if what we are praying for, has not come to pass, then either it wasn’t HIS timing for us, or HE has something better. So press onward!

See, I did something yesterday in faith…again! I prayed before I did it, and moved  forward in it trusting God. I got a response I wasn’t even expecting (a good one), and even though I have not received confirmation regarding this particular matter, I heard from GOD! He showed me that the testing of my faith HAS produced patience (James 1:3) and that all things (even the closed doors and the no’s) are working out for my good (Romans 8:28)! He showed me that the mere fact that I have continued to take steps of faith towards that which I have had in prayer for years, shows I have produced GRIT (strength of character), PERSEVERANCE (steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success), and have done so in a FORWARD movement (onward)!!! My God!!! Thank you Jesus!! I could have given up after all the no’s I’ve received. I could have allowed rejection to keep me down. I could have had a negative outlook on the fact that, I tried on numerous occasions, and was not successful…YET! God showed me in failing forward, I have produced much good, much strength, and for that, I am grateful. I cried my eyes out! Nothing is vain in Christ I heard I felt in my spirit!

Most of us know the journey and story of Joseph. He believed he received a prophetic dream by God regarding what was to become of his destiny. He shared this with those closest to him, his brothers. They were filled with jealousy, envy, and anger and set out to try and take him out. They didn’t kill him, but decided to sell him off to merchants. He was sold in Egypt to Potiphar, where he was a hard worker who was in charge of Potiphar’s household. His master’s wife had her eyes on him and because he would not cross any lines with her, she lied on him causing him to end up in prison. The bible doesn’t go into detail about Joseph’s “feelings,” but we do know he was human. I imagined him questioning the dream God gave him once upon a time. I imagined him feeling like he had FAILED. But did he? He didn’t do anything wrong, but was  unsuccessful in living out the dream he believed GOD gave him. What we do know is, through it all, he FAILED FORWARD! No matter what he faced, he put his trust and loyalty in God and moved onward believing God had the last word. My GOD! In the end, GOD rewarded Joseph’s GRIT, PERSEVERANCE, and FAITH in HIM by giving him  VICTORY! The dream God gave him came to pass. In Genesis 41:39-42, the Word says , “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck…VICTORY!!!

In conclusion, it isn’t about our failures, but how we move forward from them! Choose today that although you may have seen the closed doors, heard the no’s, or been unsuccessful at reaching your goal thus far, you won’t give up! Choose to keep pressing and believing God’s best for your life. Choose to believe God in the situation you’re in right now! God told me to tell someone, “Your moment of Victory in HIM shall come to pass!” Decide that no matter the failure, you can get up and press on! In that pressing, God’s producing something in you! Decide, my friends, to FAIL FORWARD!