A Basket Full Of Good Intentions


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I’ll admit it! I’m sporadic in my love for journaling. I have a sacred place where I store a plethora of half filled personal journals I’ve collected over time. Every year I get a new one (I usually search till I find just the right one that expresses me) in high hopes that “this’ll be the year” that I become more consistent. So when I say the Lord lead me back to an old journal entry, know this mother of four didn’t have to dig through too much to find the dangerously powerful prayer that served as a catalyst to the greatest adventure of freedom and friendship I’ve ever known.

When I look back over the entry below I see truth, but nestled right in the midst of truth through new eyes … I see a lie. My heart was for God and for change but I was still striving in my own strength. Look back with me and see if you can see the lie too.

7/22/05   Written to God

Do I intend to be a good Mom or am I?

When I take inventory of my heart I’m full of good intentions. I intend to be a better wife, mother, friend, and spiritual person. It’s my heart to be this person but Lord it’s not always the person that manifests.

My question is: How do I get past good intentions and being/doing that which my heart desires?

I can say the power of the Holy Spirit. But I know it’s my choice, my responsibility to make changes, to challenge myself … with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit (His voice/His direction.)

He doesn’t just miraculously change me without the work. I have to surrender to the process.


I surrender to the process … expose the yuckies in my heart that keep me a prisoner from my destiny … revisit all the dreams in my heart that have been buried because confidence has succumbed to pain. Let all my good intentions be the reality I desire … for Your glory … for the destiny of Caleb, Colsen, Hudson, and my marriage. Reveal ME to me beyond my deception and denial. Thank you Holy Spirit that it is only by your Spirit at work in my heart that I desire to be more set free and alive in you. I give all of me to you, the good and the not so good, to be transformed for your glory.

I love you Daddy! ~Your Ris

I love when I look back at this rendering of my heart to the Lord that it shows He  honors the sincere cries of our hearts regardless if our doctrines off.

The lie: “He doesn’t just miraculously change me without the work.” I kind of set myself up for loads of condemnation right there. I knew the following scripture but my heart didn’t know it to be true.

And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.” Romans 11:6 (NLT)

The Truths: Yes I need the Holy Spirit and His empowerment. Yes I need to surrender to “the process”, which is truly the school of the Holy Spirit because it’s the Holy Spirit that makes me holy, not me.

“I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God,made holy by the Holy Spirit.” Rom. 15:16 (NLT)

It’s NOT what I can DO … it’s what HE has DONE that makes change possible and there is grace for all the folly on the way to the change we desire called grace. And grace comes by and through the Holy Spirit’s deep heart revelation of what Christ did at the cross.

When this was written in 2005 I was a mom of three young boys all about 18 months apart (3yrs., 2yrs., and 3mo.). We planned it on purpose and knew what television was, despite popular belief :) .  Becoming a Mom was a dream come true to me. With my dream I also had a lot of ideas of how I was going to do things differently then how I grew up. How my kids would be so well behaved because I would follow all the biblical principles to a tee. You see where this is going fast, don’t you? It didn’t take long after my first son was born that I saw that little gleam in his eyes with a mischievous grin as he threw his toy off his highchair after I said no. I swatted his little hands and went on to swat more little hands as we added each year a new addition to our family. My life had been full of years of pregnancy, breast feeding, sleepless nights, potty training, child training, disciplining and all this with little heart knowledge of grace. I would hear about grace and think that sounds fabulous, give me some of that, but didn’t know how to receive it. I knew all the rules and thought I was a failure as a Mom if I couldn’t keep them. I was convinced my children would turn out a wreck if I couldn’t getthem to keep them.  Needless to say, I had little grace for myself, my husband, and my children because I hadn’t received grace, I couldn’t give it.

And then

In 2006 I went to a ladies life group through my church and my leader began teaching on the Holy Spirit. I was holding back tears as something was jumping up and down on the inside saying, “This is it! This is the answer to all my questions!” I listened like my life depended on it and looking back it really did. The life in God full of power to do right, to be all that was in my heart was being unwrapped like a present before me. It was a free gift and an invitation to walk in intimate friendship with God.

I had received the Holy Spirit at the same time I received Jesus as my savior alone in my Uncle and Aunt’s bathroom. After confessing my sin and receiving his forgiveness I felt something on the inside, I had prior knowledge and I knew it was the gift of speaking in tongues. I prayed to the Lord to make me not afraid of it and in faith I began speaking in tongues. So I knew about the Holy Spirit and had amazing testimonies of His power and leading in my life at Bible College and during mission trips. I started having children and started relying on my head knowledge instead of being led by the Spirit. Somewhere along the way I tucked Him away in that same sacred place full of half filled journals. Because by all means I had been trained for this, I had memorized all the parenting scriptures, attended every parenting workshop and life group, and even positioned myself around great parents from whom I could glean parental wisdom. None of that in itself was bad, it’s just that I made law of it in my heart and I couldn’t keep it. The enemy was having a hay day condemning me that I couldn’t be innately who I wanted to be without the“trying” so hard.  I loved God and to the best of my ability was living for Him but at the same time I was drowning and losing a little piece of me in every struggle to be a “good wife,” and a “good mom”.

I was beat down by lies that day at life group when the leader began sharing about the Holy Spirit. How the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Grace and by grace and fellowship with the Holy Spirit we walk in grace. I remember leaving group that day and while driving away in my car saying to the Holy Spirit, “I’ve missed you, please come back in my life and with power. I love you and I need you. I can’t do this anymore without You and I don’t want to.”

Shortly after I started going to a Spirit led prayer group and began praying in the Spirit at home making a place for God in my life instead of trying to follow all His rules without Him. I would pray in tongues in the car on the way to Walmart, yes with my kids listening. I would tell them Mommy doesn’t know what to pray but the Spirit of God knows what to pray and He prays the best prayers for all of us (Rom. 8:27-29).  It’s never freaked them out and they have never thought twice about it.

I began hearing the Holy Spirit speak to me daily during our prayer times. These are some of the things He would say to me as grace took hold of my heart:

  • You don’t have to strive, because you never arrive, you always become and are becoming who I’ve called you to be.
  • You don’t have to be perfect … that’s my job … aren’t you relieved.
  • I count your shame as my treasure, don’t be afraid to give it to me … I died for it.
  • I will make every ugly place beautiful in it’s time
  • So you fell, get up and shake it off and follow me.
  • Your destiny will always be greater than the opinions of those around you. Stop listening to them … listen to me.
  • Give yourself permission to be who you want to be in Me … I have.

That’s just a few. The Holy Spirit has been so incredibly gracious to me to love me in spite of me. That love overflows in tangible grace to others. My husband will tell you I’m a different person because CHANGE started happening on the inside of me and I couldn’t contain it. As I saw to the Holy Spirit, making place for Him in my life, listening to His voice and obeying, He began to see to everything that concerned me. He gave me great favor with my husband and children. I’ll never be perfect, my house may never be perfectly clean, I’ll blow it, my kids will blow it (maybe even in front of you :) ), but I’m ok with that because His grace covers me and teaches me to be more like Him everyday. I don’t have to arrive … I just have to become.

So maybe your like me who felt like Little Red Riding hood on her way to Grandma’s house with a basket full of good intentions and when the wolf came to deceive you, your good intentions only went so far and you were left feeling condemned.

It’s time to fill our baskets with His power and overcome the enemy’s deception. His power reveals truth and exposes lies, like the lie I believed and wrote in my journal years ago. What lies have snuck their way into your heart and kept you from the fullness of life God has for you? Ask God to reveal them. Do you feel like your drowning in a whirlpool of condemnation? Let the heart revelation of His grace rescue you.

The Holy Spirit comes to offer His friendship where daily He exposes lies as you open your heart before Him. He replaces lies with the truth that brings freedom.  Change that seemed so hard begins to become a natural byproduct that flows from this friendship, the kind of change you couldn’t produce if you tried.  I know. I’ve lived it.

Does this kind of life sound too good to be true … It’s NOT! It’s as simple as asking for it.

Holy Spirit,

I invite you into my heart. Get all up in my heart Holy Spirit and make yourself comfortable … make it your home. Let the width of your arms hug and cover any pain or lack and fill it with yourself. Do what your good at … expose lies and set free every lame way in me with your truth. I have believed that You are good and now I choose to believe You are good to me! Lead me to all truth and everything you have for me. Fill every empty place with a heart revelation of your love for me that I may know the tangibility of your grace and may grace anchor me to see your faithfulness in every area of my life.

With ALL my heart and in JESUS name … AMEN!!!

If you know the Holy Spirit like this already, share Him with others. This kind of Spirit led life and freedom is contagious. There is nothing like good intentions being swallowed up by grace.

I think a red carpet just got laid out and a new you gets to walk down it! Here’s to kicking good intentions to the curb and Holy Spirit life makeovers!

Written with you in mind and GREAT love,

~ Ris

This blog is dedicated to my best friend the Holy Spirit, my son Colsen who always extends me great grace, and to my friend H who recently received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, who’s faith to step out from what she has known gave me the courage to write this piece.

If you’ve never been taught about the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit you can use the link below to learn more.


A free study guide on The Holy Spirit by Jack Hayford

You can also see this post at: Destiny in Bloom

1 comment

  1. Becki Sapien-Melchor

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