Getting Matched with Morrison

Good morning and happy DICAS season! You applicants are only 1 month away from submitting your internship applications! In light of that, I thought I would provide another interview with a current dietetic intern. Jacy is one of my sweet friends from high school; we played volleyball, tap danced, and embraced our white skin and sunburns together. After a switch in schools we lost touch…until my junior year of college when Jacy walked into my healthy cooking class. Of course we were the same major! It was one of my favorite surprises of college! Jacy graduated with me from Fresno State in May and was matched with the Morrison Dietetic Internship. I hope you enjoy the wisdom and info from Jacy!

  1. Why did you choose Fresno State / Morrison?

The main reason behind my choosing to apply to both Fresno State and Morrison was the fact that they were both located in Fresno. My husband was in Fresno State’s nursing school, so at that point in time, I could only apply to internships in the area. However, with that being said, I was interested in each internship based on what they had to offer.

Fresno State offered a wide variety of experiences in every field of dietetics, which would allow for numerous connections with Registered Dietitians all over the Central Valley. Another aspect that was appealing to me was the fact that I knew that the Fresno State internship would be run in a fashion that I was used to, seeing that I completed my undergrad at Fresno State.

Morrison’s internship was of interest to me because they concentrate on the foodservice and clinical aspects of dietetics. Clinical was my concentration, so I was excited for the possibility of participating in an internship that focused on clinical. Another draw to this internship was that the education section of the internship was online, which I knew I would enjoy. I also knew that this internship would push me outside my comfort zone due to its overall unfamiliarity, which I knew would benefit my professional career.

Overall, I had connections to each internship, which is why I decided to apply to both. I completed my undergrad at Fresno State, so I knew the director personally, along with some of the members on the selection committee. For a year prior to applying, I was employed through Morrison as Catering Associate at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno and my boss made sure to mention me to Morrison’s director so that she would recognize my name when she saw my application.

  1. What was the most difficult part of the DICAS application process?

The most difficult part of the DICAS application process was writing the personal statement. Adequately portraying myself, my accomplishments, and my professional goals in 1,000 words was difficult and took time. I wrote and rewrote my personal statement about a dozen times to finally reach a personal statement I was willing to turn in. I also had had my professor, the University Internship Coordinator at Fresno State, friends, and family read through my personal statement to offer their input and advice. However, I knew ahead of time that this part of the application would be difficult for me, so I made sure to start working on it months before that application was due.

  1. What resources did you use when applying for DICAS?

The only resource I used to help my application was All Access Internships. I purchased a checklist, along with other resources from that website that helped me navigate my application.

  1. How did you prepare for the application?

Years prior to applying, I sought out specific and meaningful volunteer experiences and purposefully tried to build relationships with my supervisors to use them as references when applying to the internship. Throughout this time, I also made sure to consistently update my resume so that I could accurately portray my experiences on paper at around the time they were happening. The semester prior to applying, my professor assigned many assignments to better prepare for the application, such as organizing all volunteer/work experiences and researching each internship of interest.

  1. Describe your confidence level in your application.

Though I knew my application was thorough, I had doubts regarding my competitiveness compared to the other applicants. However, when I submitted my application, I knew that I turned in the very best application I could at that point in time.

  1. What was the strongest part of your application?

I believe my two strongest aspects of my application were my work experiences and my GPA. For two years I was a Registered Behavior Technician through Kings Canyon Unified School District and one of the kiddos I worked with dealt with a carpet eating behavior. Through my time working with him, we were able to decrease his behavior. This experience gave me a unique opportunity to understand and implement behavior therapy in a real-life experience. My next job, a Catering Associate, gave me experience in both foodservice, as I built trays for patients, and clinical, as I delivered food to patients and interacted with hospital staff. Both experiences showed that I had dedication to expanding my knowledge in various aspects of dietetics. My GPA was also another aspect of my application that I focused on throughout my entire college career. My GPA at Reedley College was 3.75 and my GPA at Fresno State at 3.88.

  1. What was the weakest part of your application?

I felt the weakest part of my application was my lack of specific leadership opportunities, such as being a leader of a club, organization, or project. I also was not confident that my application had a wide enough variety of experiences, as I purposefully did not take every experience offered to me in fear of becoming too overwhelmed and negatively impacting my GPA.

  1. Discuss some of your volunteer experiences.

One of my volunteer experiences was volunteering at a WIC office in Clovis with the Breastfeeding Coordinator through United Health Centers. Through this experience, I was able to gain a greater understanding of WIC and all they do for their participants, while also increasing my knowledge of the importance of breast feeding. Some of my jobs were to create promotional material, create content for meetings, and I also created a study guide for the staff to ensure that they understood the logistics of breastfeeding education. Another experience I had was through the Community Food Bank. I entered data into their software system that helped them keep track of their participants and also kept track of important details such as how many lived in their household and their education level.

Jacy is an incredible person and is going to make an absolutely AMAZING RD! I am so glad that you all had the opportunity to learn from someone who successfully was matched to such a competitive program! Jacy also shared her personal statement and resume with all of us! Feel free to take a look and get some inspiration from a polished example.

jacy beckenhauer’s personal statement 2

jacy beckenhauer’s resume

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Easy Roasted Carrots

Happy January Everyone! More importantly, happy National Carrot Month! I thought it would be fun to highlight this well-loved vegetable this month. I wanted to kick off carrot month with a simple recipe that would showcase their pure flavor. There isn’t much seasoning or fuss in this recipe, but I think the carrot’s favor speaks for itself.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large carrots
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Place carrots on sheet. Drizzle oil over carrots.
  4. Add salt, pepper, paprika and parsley.
  5. Gentle toss the carrots in oil and spices to evenly coat.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted.

 

Fun facts about carrots:

  • Excellent source of beta-carotene (needed for vitamin A)
  • Carrots have higher sugar content than any other vegetable.
  • Americans eat an average of 10.6lbs of carrots every year.
  • There’s no such thing as a “baby carrot.” It is simply the type of cut

 

oatmeal cookies

 

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2019

Welcome 2019! I’m so so happy that you are here! I wanted to write a blog post that would sum up one of the most influential years of my life. I wanted to provide a vulnerable and life giving perspective to the highs and lows of 2018. So, here it goes….

2018 has been a year of extremes; from weddings to funerals, pregnancies to hospital visits, break ups to new friends, graduations to first days, goodbyes to nice to meet ya’s and everything in between. The highs of 2018 were high and the lows were oh so low. That neutral in-between feeling, of most years, never made an appearance in 2018. Whether joy or sorrow; emotional were always high. God has taken my life, that once felt certain and constant, and turned it into an unrecognizable place. This year I have experienced 5 close family/friend weddings, 2 engagements, 3 family pregnancy announcements, a break up, two moves, graduation from college, a dietetic internship, and one death, and two hospital visits – on top of the normal transitions into adulthood. Sometimes I look at my current position with confusion; life seemed so set and consistent for so long, and within one year everything has changed.

I love setting goals for the new year. As I took my time getting ready this morning, I read through my journal from the beginning of last year. I had listed out specific goals for 2018. Some included the obvious, such as graduate from college, get into a dietetic internship, read the whole Bible in a year, go somewhere you’ve never been. I was proud to be able to cross off a lot of accomplished goals. One that I am extremely proud of is reading the Bible in a year! I have never done that and I finished the challenge today! As my eyes scanned to the next page I saw that I had written a little prayer about the new year.

“For 2018, I don’t want to have the same mediocre relationship with Christ that I’ve been fine with. I want to see true growth and change. I want to walk out my calling and not get wrapped up in non-sense and lies or schemes from the devil. I don’t want to allow fear to be my direction. I want 2018 to be a year that I remember as a turning point in my life. A year that changes me for the better and opens up the giftings and callings that I’ve been sitting on for all these years. Lord, let 2018 be the year of progress, growth, change, healing, newness, and giftings. Give me the ability to learn and a spirit that is teachable.” – 2018 Goals from my 2018 Journal

I can’t help but laugh at my prayer for 2018. I was so clueless asking such a bold request from God. When I wrote this prayer, I had no idea how God was going to answer it. I’m sure I thought it would be this glamorous transformation, like I always do! I thought God would miraculously change my heart and mature me. Little did I know, my whole world would have to be shaken in order for “true growth and change” to occur. I can truly tell you that 2018 has been a turning point in my life and has changed me for the better, just like I asked for. God has “let 2018 be the year of progress, growth, change, healing, newness and giftings.” Wow, has God answered this prayer!

I want to share a small portion of how God has answered this prayer. In one week, I broke up with the man I was dating for 2 years, graduated from college, almost ended a friendship of 8 years, signed for a house in SLO, and moved back in with my parents. The rest of the year would continue the pattern of extreme highs and lows. As I stated above, I was part of 5 different weddings (including bachelorette parties and showers), received 3 pregnancy announcements, buried my uncle, spent Christmas night in the hospital with my great grandmother, started my dietetic internship, moved to San Luis Obispo and even today watched my sister get taken to the hospital by paramedics. There were plenty of times that I stopped and asked God what He was doing? I didn’t understand the necessity of taking away everything that I knew and completely bulldozing it.

The things that used to bring me so much joy, didn’t. And the things that used to be so important, weren’t. Life felt like those cities that you see on TV after an incredible storm. But something so beautiful happened in the middle of this crazy year; God answered my prayer above. During the break up, deaths, changes, and moves I found intimacy with God. I sat at His feet with tears streaming out of me, begging for Him to change the circumstances and take away the pain. During the wedding celebrations, new adventures, and births He brought joy that could only come from Him, in the purest form. No one can comfort you in the middle of a storm like the one that has the ability to make it calm. In the middle of these changes, God’s intimacy produced this new maturity and growth. The maturity and growth came from a place of brokenness and uncertainty. Looking back at the prayer that I prayed for 2018, I didn’t realize that my prayer could be answered through brokenness and uncertainty, but it was.

It’s a painful process when God begins to prune. That “true growth and change” came from God removing toxic relationships and fruitless habits. Even though all of those things were bringing nothing but death it still was one of the most painful things I have experienced to date. God had to remove all of the things that were causing confusion and stagnancy in my life in order to grant me the newness that I was asking for.  I can truly say that I have experienced God for myself in 2018. In the process of being pruned, I found the maturity, growth and change that I longed for at the end of 2017. Do I wish things could be different? Absolutely! But there’s a beautiful maturity that comes from the battle that can’t be gained in the victory.

 

Getting into Cal Poly: Interview

Happy DICAS everyone! I have been looking back on my DICAS application experience all week and am bursting with information! I wanted to share some words of wisdom from other voices to get you all prepared for the application! I will be interviewing other dietetic interns about their application process so that you all can have a leg up on the competition!

Meet my first dietetic intern, Rachelle Caviness. Rachelle is currently one of my roommates who moved to California in August to start the Cal Poly dietetic internship. This Washington native completed her Bachelor’s degree at Seattle Pacific University in 2017. Rachelle got into Cal Poly during her second DICAS application, after only applying to combined Masters/internship programs her first DICAS round.  Rachelle’s story is a little bit different from mine and I thought that it would be beneficial for you all to learn from her! She has been kind enough to not only share her story and answer my questions, but she has also shared her personal statement and resume with us! Here’s Rachelle…

1.Why did you choose Cal Poly Dietetic Internship? 

“I had already gone through every possible program on AND’s list of internship and picked out the cities I was willing to move to. I went through it one more time and Cal Poly stayed on my list. The program had an emphasis in wellness promotion and I liked that it was a broad emphasis rather than just clinical or community. Plus, it was only 10 months versus other lengthier programs…and California wasn’t too far from Washington. I created an excel spread sheet that listed a variety of information about each internship when it came time to apply for my DIs Cal Poly was ranked number one.”

2. What was the most difficult part of the DICAS application process? 

“I think for me, the fact that I had already applied before was really scary. I felt a lot more pressure to get into an internship this round so my personal statement, my descriptions; everything felt like it needed to be perfect. I had applied to combined programs during my first round of DICAS and got into one of the internship programs but not the graduate program. It was really challenging to go through the second application process with the fear of not getting in the second time.”

3.  What resources did you use when applying for DICAS? 

“I used the all access internship personal statement and resume guides. The personal statement guide was extremely helpful! I also received help from my advisor, who read my personal statement. I also had my friends, who were also applying, read my personal statement. I also asked my parents to read through it and that was hilarious to watch them have no idea what was going on. Their oblivion was actually very helpful because they could just tell me something didn’t make sense.

4. How did you prepare for the application? 

I started DICAS 5-6 months before it was due because of the amount of time that it took for my personal statement. I typically write with an outline so I made one for my personal statement as well. I also made a lot of excel spread sheets that had DICAS due dates because some had earlier due dates than February. The sheets told me what programs I was ranking highest, GPA minimums, and internship directors information. I also used my school’s career center for making my resume. They were very helpful with layout and verbiage.”

5. How confident did you feel in your application? 

“HUHHHH…I didn’t feel great about my DICAS application but I felt really great about my personal statement. I adapted my personal statements to each internship very well…plus I networked the crap out of the four programs I applied to. Even if you don’t have questions, just ask questions.”

6. What was the strongest part of your application 

“Probably my work experience. I had worked as a diet aid and an NDTR at two different hospitals.”

7. What was the weakest part of your application? 

“My GPA was my weakest. I received Cs in the majority of my science classes but my nutrition classes had an average of 3.4 GPA. Not saying that you can get into any internship with a 2.8 GPA in your science classes, but it can be done.”

8. Discuss some of your volunteer experiences

“I worked at a food bank through my church for a year ,on and off. I was on a community kitchen team during my undergrad which was a group of students that planned monthly cooking classes for low income families. I also received class credit for this opportunity which was a bonus. Another important volunteer position that I had was being on the board for my school nutrition club which showed leadership skills on my application.”

If you have any more specific questions for Rachelle feel free to email her at rcaviness@calpoly.edu.

And as promised…here is her personal statement and resume!

Cal Poly Personal Statement

DI Resume

 

My DICAS Application

Today I got to sit on my balcony, enjoying some conversation with my roommate along with her pillage of goodies from her catering job. Our conversation varied from the beautiful SLO weather to our experience applying for the dietetic internship. We both realized that this time last year we were preparing for the dreaded DICAS application. Oh mama, is that thing a beast. We reminisced on Cal Poly’s virtual open house and the many fill-ins of the application process. Looking back at that time in life I remember feeling so uncertain about where I wanted to be next year and what opportunities I would be offered. Now, I find myself sitting at my kitchen table in San Luis Obispo, CA living this intern life that I dreamt about for years.

I wanted to write the first of many DICAS help blog posts today to get you ready for the process. The application isn’t due until February but I wanted to offer some basic tips that helped me through the beginning portions of the application process. As you make your DICAS log in and look at all of the empty white boxes, you can often feel very overwhelmed. There’s always a fear of forgetting something, a personal statement being uploaded improperly, or a letter of recommendation not being sent. But don’t worry! Trust in the fact that you have made it this far and thousands of people have completed this application.

Below I have provided a quick timeline to get you thinking about your DICAS application. This timeline might not work for everyone but this is just an example of what it might look like. Word to the wise; DO NOT WAIT TO THE LAST MINUTE!

Simple Red Wine Timeline - Infographic.jpg

 

 

Portfolio Addition

I am very excited to be adding a new portion my by blog. Part of the dietetic internship curriculum is creating a professional portfolio that includes evaluations, projects, etc. Part of my future profession will include growing this blog and providing resources to my fellow RD2Bs. With this in mind, I thought it would be beneficial for my readers to have a centralized location that showcased more than just my recipes. And I thought it would be unique for my future employers to see more than just my resume but to demonstrate the skill set that I have developed through my years as an undergraduate student, and now as a dietetic intern. Throughout the year I will be adding various parts of my rotations. This portfolio will hold clinical, community and food service projects and evaluations. I hope to demonstrate my ability as a nutrition professional through this platform, while also providing additional resources to those that are looking into a dietetic internship. Feel free to contact me through that Contact page, if you find that you have any questions.

A passion of mine has always been teaching. As much as I have tried to run away from that profession, it always finds me. I have found such joy in mentoring fellow RD2Bs and helping them through this process. This blog is designed to make your lives simpler and I truly believe that this new section will contribute to that goal.

 

 

Chili Verde Soup

This week I went to my favorite local Mexican restaurant with my family and had the most amazing chili verde soup. I craved the soup the rest of the week and had to try and make it for myself! This soup is incredibly easy and so flavorful! It has a lot of canned items in it so it makes it cost effective by utilizing some non-perishable items.

 

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I also made some pork in the crockpot while I was at class to add to the soup. The pork ended up being so tender! The crockpot is my new favorite cooking method for this season in life. It’s so old school and I love it! My working mom utilized the crockpot the entire time I was in elementary school and it was so nice to come home to a warm house with the smell of food that has been cooking all day!

Crockpot Pork

Ingredients:

  • 1-2lb pork tenderloin
  • 2-3 T Trader Joes chili lime seasoning
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T pepper
  • water

Methods:

  1. Rub the pork with the mixture of seasonings.
  2. Add pork to the crockpot.
  3. Fill the crockpot with water just above the pork.
  4. Cook on high for 1 hour
  5. Turn to low and cook for 7-8 hours.

 

Chili Verde Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cans diced green chilis
  • 2 can salsa verde
  • 2 cans white beans
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • pork or chicken

Methods:

  1. Begin by heating oil over medium heat with white onion.
  2. Once onions are sweating and add chili powder and garlic.
  3. Once onions are softened and slightly browned add 1/4 c cilantro.
  4. Mix cilantro and onion well. Add diced green chilis, salsa verde, and white beans.
  5. Add chicken broth and pork.
  6. Cover and bring soup to boil.
  7. Once soup is brought to a boil, add the rest of the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Bring soup to simmer.
  9. Enjoy with cheese, a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and radishes on top!

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Sweet Potato Chili

One of my favorite recipes to make during fall is chili. It’s really inexpensive, quick and easy to make. Plus it’s primarily made of canned foods which means I always have the ingredients on hand. Chili is a great recipe that can prevent food waste if you’re cooking for one or two people. Too often fresh products get thrown out because you can’t eat it fast enough. With chili, all you need is your canned goods!

Ingredients:

  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1lb ground turkey or beef (optional)
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 12 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 small can of green chilis
  • 2 cans ranch beans
  • ¾ c pepper jack cheese (optional)

Methods:

  1. Add 2 T canola oil and onion over medium heat to a large pot.
  2. Once onion has softened, add ground meat of choice, 1 T chili powder, garlic powder, and salt.
  3. Once meat is fully cooked add in your stewed tomatoes and chilis. Mix well.
  4. Add in your sweet potatoes, and ranch style beans.
  5. Bring chili to boil.
  6. Once it begins to boil bring it to a simmer until the sweet potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
  7. Add pepper jack cheese and 1 T chili powder.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

From a very young age I became obsessed with food. I remember looking through cook books and food magazines circling all of the recipes that I wanted to make some day. Most kids are given Disney picture books…I was given a Mickey Mouse Cookbook. I still have that cookbook. It’s from Disney World back in the 90s (or older). I would spend hours highlighting and circling recipes that I wanted to make someday when I got older. I have actually never made anything from that book, now that I think about it. I should probably do that! Anywhoo….the first recipe that I ever made by myself was from a Rachel Ray magazine that I use to get when I was 10. I went to my mom and begged her to help me make it. So we went to the grocery store and found all of the ingredients that we would need. This chicken soup recipe is an off shoot of Rachel Ray’s. This one recipe gave me the foundation I needed for other recipes and made me feel like I was capable of making any meal. So thank you Rachel Ray for inspiring the world with your 30 minute meals! I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do!

Ingredients:

  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 T garlic powder or 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1/2 T chili powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 T cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • Meat from 1 rotisserie chicken or 4 cooked chicken breasts , shredded
  • 32oz chicken broth
  • 1 can of black or pinto beans
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced

Methods:

  1. Add canola oil to soup pot under medium heat.
  2. Add white onion and cook until softened.
  3. Add garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper and bay leaves.
  4. Lightly toast the spices with the onion.
  5. Add canned tomatoes with chilies and mix with spices and onion.
  6. Add rotisserie chicken, chicken broth, lemon juice and lime juice (I like a lot of lemon and lime but this might be too much for you so maybe save those two for the end to taste)
  7. Cover and bring to boil. Once boiling start bring down to low and let soup simmer until ready to serve.
  8. Top individual portions with extras like sour cream, more citrus, red onion, or radishes.

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Fight My Battles

“For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

– 2 Chronicles 20:12 

As I read my allotted Bible reading last night, I felt God speaking to me so strongly through 2 Chronicle chapter 20. I have been in a season of life where I look around and at times I don’t know what to do. My norm was stolen, trust was broken, and I have felt like the Israelites – powerless to face the attack. It’s such a bittersweet feeling when God brings you through a season that shakes your whole world. You find yourself with this need to control a situation that is uncontrollable and you’re forced to throw up your hands and say “I don’t know what to do,” as Judah cried out in 2 Chronicles 20. I think my current season has given me a new understanding of this Old Testament scripture. I read it through the first time not thinking much of it until I found the following line..

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.”

– 2 Chronicles 20:17. 

See I’m not typically one of those readers that digs real deep and asks incredible questions that changes my perspective. I’m typically a reader that takes everything for face value. But when I read that line, this question popped into my head. “What did King Jehoshaphat do to warrant that response from God?” I sat there jealous of that response. God has been so faithful to me and has walked me through this season with so much grace. But I never really allowed Him to fight my battles for me. I was the one on defense, staging my next plan of attack on the situation. But this verse stopped me and made me seek out a response like that of God to Jehoshaphat. I back tracked and found a few key things that the king did to cause God’s response.

  1. There was an attack

I know that sounds so ridiculous, but I think we forget that there has to be a problem before there can be a resolution. It’s like I want the maturity and growth that hard times bring without having to walk through the hard times. I want to be able to say God is faithful but avoid a time in life that causes uncertainty in my worldly security. The Bible says that “the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat.” There are going to be seasons when friends, family members, situations, etc come to make war on you. But it’s in war time, more than peace time that God moves.

2. Jehoshaphat responded rather than reacted

“Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”

– 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 

When Jehoshaphat learned of the army coming to attack him he made a decision to seek the Lord instead of seek the gods of worry, anxiety, self-pity, hopelessness and despair. When we are faced with an attack or a difficult season we will learn a lot about the position of our hearts. If our hearts are trusting God our first response will be to seek the Lord and His deliverance. If we are doubting God, then we instead will react with worry, fear, anxiety, and stories in our minds of things that haven’t even happened yet. Jehoshaphat resolved, meaning he made a decision, to inquire of the Lord. He not only sought the Lord but initiated an action that demonstrated how desperate he was to see God move. I have found myself more and more desperate to see God move in my life. This season that God is walking me through has brought me to tears of desperation more times than I can count. I’m at a place in my life where I don’t just want to know God, I need to know God. I need to know His word because it has everything that I need. His promises are so certain and lasting – unlike this world.

3. Jehoshaphat praised God before the battle

Jehoshaphat does something so precious in verse 6. He praises God before he even enters the battle field. He praises God before God has even done anything! God hasn’t even said that He is going to save him. He declares victory through praising God. His praise tells God “Yes, I see death all around me but I choose to walk by what I know not by what I see.” And in that praise he says one of the most honest prayers someone can pray. “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12. This verse has been my anthem this week. When I feel hopelessness, anxiety or uncertainty begin to creep into my mind I stop and remind myself that I have no power and I have no idea what I’m doing but my eyes will not be taken off of the one thing I know to be true – that God is good, God is good to me, and God is good at being God. (Shout out to Lysa TerKeurst for that beautiful concept.) We can’t let our minds wonder into defeat before the battle is over. Yes, life can look so dry. We walk through seasons that don’t feel like they are ever going to end. But they are going to end.

4. Jehoshaphat positioned himself

After Jehoshaphat seeks God, he gets that most incredible reply. “He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.  Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel.  You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” – 2 Chronicles 20:15-17. God has given me such a sweet response like this during my season of hurt, confusion, and insecurity. He has declared victory over my life and reminded me that He fights my battles. It’s not my responsibility to fight a battle that I obviously can’t win. But it’s not my job to just hide in the corner while God takes care of it. The Lord commands Jehoshaphat to position himself; to stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give him. How can I see the deliverance the Lord will give if I’m too busy looking at the things that I lack? How can I stand firm if I’m complaining about the battle or comparing my life to other’s?Comparison is the thief of joy and it will take and take and take until you find yourself empty and insecure. Yes, God will fight my battles. But it is my job to position my heart to receive His victory. I can’t carry the flag of victim and victor at the same time. 

5. Praise God through the battle

“Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever. As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” – 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 As we walk through hard seasons in life we have to declare that His love endures forever. It is not reliant on circumstance, emotion, or human power. God’s love is outside of all of the wavering things of this world. Praising God during the battle is the fuel that you need to make it to the end. There is something so beautiful about bringing a sacrifice of praise. When everything around you looks contrary to praiseworthy…. keep praising.

After God brought deliverance to the people of Judah, He also brought them “a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value – more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.” – 2 Chronicles 20:25 God doesn’t just bring us through a battle in vain. These battles bring greater value than we could ever imagine. Sometimes it is monetary gain like finances or material goods. But God also lavishes wisdom, confidence, maturity, growth, understanding, and closeness with Him that outweighs all of the equipment, clothing and articles of value you could ever have. I am learning, everyday, that my eyes have to stay fixed on Jesus or else I will wear the crown of defeat. My first response to something hard is typically comparison or complaining. But in this new season God has brought a fresh understanding and maturity that I don’t think I have ever experienced. And I am so grateful to know a God that fights my battles, even when I don’t deserve it.

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