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My First Tattoo

Café Menu for Thursday, October 1, 2015
Today’s Special is: A Painful Lesson on Self-Control
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey
Main Ingredient:

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

Proverbs 25:28 NLT


Did you know that God is a tattoo artist?

Seriously.  Did you know?  Because I had no idea until He graced me with His artistry.  My husband says it looks like a constellation.

No, there was no needle involved.  God creatively used shingles as His ink and my hind side became His canvas.

I’m not claiming to be young.  But let’s just say that I’m well over a decade from being eligible for the vaccine.  Although I thought I was managing my life well, my body revealed the naked truth.  I was apparently overstressed.

In my prayer time, I asked God if this could be true.  Could I really be over my limits?  His answer stopped me in my busy tracks,

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

Said another way,

My sweet girl, you lack the ability to graciously say ‘no’ to tasks that are not from me.   So your body’s immune system broke down its walls and a virus came in to attack.

It prompted me to re-read Galatians 5:22-23.  When I did, God connected the shingles dots.  If I don’t exercise self-control, the other fruit of the Spirit decrease as well.  What I mean is that I’m not as loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful and I’m certainly not as gentle when I go beyond what God has called me to do.  Just ask my family. I’m sure they would say, “Amen!” quietly in their hearts (they know better than to say it out loud).

We live in a crazy world.  But take it from a girl who doesn’t want to be tatted up.  Jesus said, “my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:30)  Let’s flex our self-control muscles together.  Although my constellation is a great reminder, I’d love to spare you from God’s divine ink.

Take Out:

Make a list of your current responsibilities.  For me, it’s being a wife, mom, being a representative for a company and participating in a couple of ministries.  If I wrote this list pre-shingles, it would have included a few more roles.

As you consider each responsibility, ask yourself if the fruit of the Spirit is evident in your work.

Pray and ask God if there’s anything on your list that is not God-authored.  Then ask Him the practical steps you need to take to flex your self-control muscles.  That way the rest of the fruit can beam from your heart to bless those whom God has entrusted to your care.


Dear Heavenly Father, we live in a crazy busy world.  But You tell us to not conform to this world’s patterns.  Renew our minds.  Reveal what You’re calling us to do. If the work is not from You, we don’t want to jump in.  Show us how to use our self-control so we can be Your vessels of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness to each person You place in our paths.  We love You and lift our prayers in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

For more encouragement, check out Noelle’s book: Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a healthy heart, mind and body.

© 2015 by Noelle Dey.  All rights reserved.

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Woah!  I totally over pack my schedule.  I get so mad at myself because I need to relax and not rush certain parts of life that are super important to me.

Just being honest.  I will read my devotional quickly, pray as I walk and push through the day sometimes. I do not like that.  This again was an on time message.

Very enlightening and encouraging.  God bless you!

You ladies are such gifts from God.  Each of you live scripture in your day-to-day lives and you teach me so much through your role modeling.  Thank you for teaching ME these lessons as we walk these roads together!

Wow!  Noelle, your devotional spoke right to my heart today.  This is something I am walking through right now.  Prayerfully asking the Lord to help me when to say "no" and when to say "yes."  And you are part of the answer to that prayer.  Where am I bearing fruit and where am I not?  And if I said yes, is it a place where I would bear fruit!!  Thank you, thank you, sweet friend.




I've never heard this so brilliantly and poignantly (not to mention, so hilariously) expressed before.  Balance.. that elusive thing that seems impossible to strike in our society.  It's so easy to just ignore the warning signs.  Thank you so much for giving such Biblical clarity (including the why's and how's) to such a direly needful concept.  I always learn so much from you, Noelle.

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