Friday, July 28, 2017

Strength in weakness

 I’m not sure about you, but I have to be honest and share with you that I really despise having weaknesses.  I have always worked very hard to overcome weakness.  One such time was a class in high school.  I’m old enough to remember our original “keyboarding” class was a typing class on a typewriter. Yep! Typing class was my nemesis in high school.  Now this was kinda strange because I’m a pianist.  I had played for several years already at that point, and I struggled with typing.  Determined to not be beaten by that course, I practiced every night and now still type quite accurately and quite fast because I was determined to not have a “weakness.”

Being a perfectionist, I am always trying to figure out how to get better, how to improve a weakness. I have rested in my strengths many times, and often I have used those strengths as my place of service for God instead of seeking first what He wanted for me.

Over the last few years, I am noticing some irony in my life.
  • Irony, because I am noticing that the places that God is moving for me is in my weakness.
  • Irony, in that He is showing me very clearly that God gets the most glory in my weakness just as the Bible teaches.
  • Irony, because I’m a little slow in connecting the dots.

Boy, motherhood sure falls in this category for me many days.  Oh, is it just me?  I realize my limitations far more in the daily life experiences of motherhood, and marriage then anything previously in my life.  Typing class was a cakewalk by comparison.  I have to accept my weaknesses in these areas and beg for God's grace and mercy to help me in the day to day decisions and difficulties.

But don't let me stop there either, because honestly balance in my life in every department is a weakness.  For instance, when comparing mercy and justice in my life, a short time ago, I admittedly leaned most heavily into justice. I don’t like seeing the injustice in the world, and I connect to David’s thoughts about how he wanted the wicked judged. My normal process just a few years ago was to post opinions on social media about politics, about social injustice, about evil, and many, many, many things. I have lots of opinions. But over the last few years, I have felt the Lord telling me “no.”
  • No, don’t comment and get into that debate on Facebook.
  • No, don’t be negative in any public forums.
  • No, don’t judge that person’s words too deeply before I think about what I know to be true.  Perhaps they just chose the wrong words but their heart is still the person I know and love.

Instead, God is directing me to work…notice it is WORK, it does not come naturally - to be positive and encouraging. I read news headlines, and prayer requests, and my heart is wrecked. I want to share the despair with others and commiserate together, but God has shut my mouth and instead called me to look for His beauty and to share HOPE. It is my weakness - He is ordering my steps here.
Also, I do want to point out that I am not making a commentary on anyone who is still speaking out publicly in any forum they have access to about ignorance and injustice.  This blog post is specific to my journey, and what God is doing in my life.  This is definitely not commentary for what I believe is God's will for everyone.  And I also have no idea if this is for a season, or forever.  I am taking one step at a time.

This also doesn’t mean I will stop trying to improve my weaknesses, or try to limit my strengths. It means instead, I’m actively looking for the ways that God is moving and asking Him to use any part of me that He will. I am enjoying seeing what God is going to do next and as overwhelming as it tends to be to be doing things in my weakness, I trust that God’s way is best, and I trust what He is doing in me!  I also get the privilege to lean on Him to fill the gaps of my weakness.

II Corinthians 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Slow down...Breathe deeply...Pray!

by Debi Baker

You know that saying, "I'm too blessed to be stressed?"  Well, lately I've been feeling like 'I'm too stressed to be blessed!'  

I'm in that stage of life where my kids are grown and my parents are beginning to need more of me.  I'm not complaining, I'm simply stating a fact.  I wouldn't change a thing...except maybe my ability to not stress over it.  I'm pretty easy going {cough, couch}, I think.  However, when things are going a little crazy, I tend to get this feeling inside of rush, rush, rush.  Normally, it's a short event but lately I haven't had much time in between these crazy times and feelings of rush, rush, rush!!!

I put myself in these situations.  See, I'm the Nana that wants to go to every event in her grand-baby's, basketball, school function, doctor appointments, etc!  And I've got 12...yes, 12 grand-babies!  They range in age from 1 year to 19 years!  It can be very taxing but it's my choice.  I want to be involved in their lives as much as possible.  I'm also the daughter that wants to be there for her parents, no matter if it's a fun thing or the more difficult things like doctor appointments, etc.  I want to know what is going on in their lives and I want to make sure they take care of themselves!

That being said...doing grandkids and parents at the same time will wear me slick!  Besides the kids, grandkids and parents, I am a wife, I pastor a church and my hubby & I own our own business.  Any one of those things can wear a person out, but you put them all together and wowzers!!!

I've had to tell myself to slow down, breathe deeply...pray!  I think...I need a vacation!  What good will taking a vacation do me when I'm worried sick about all of that stuff!  Well, if I just slow down, breathe deeply and pray...perhaps when vacation time rolls around in a month I'll be able to enjoy it!

Life gets crazy...crazy fast!  It's just a fact!  I could let life roll off my back like water off a duck's back but what fun would that be?  As crazy as my life is, I wouldn't trade it for all the money in the world.  Instead of that, I'll just slow down, breathe deeply and pray...a lot!

What about you?  How do you cope with life as it runs rampant around you?

I'll leave it here for now...I've got to get at it to meet this day head on...I think I have 4 appointments today...slow down, Debi...breathe deeply, Debi...pray, Debi!!!

Have a blessed and amazing day!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Give it Up and Let it Go

By: Shari A. Miller

>> If you'd like to enter our 3rd Annual Summer Blessing Giveaway, please take a moment to head on over here.

When you sigh out of pure frustration, when your children have gotten on your last nerve, when you go to the mail box and all you find are bills, and when the wash machine overflows for the second time this week, give it up and let it go.

When you've become entwined with the rush of the week and you don't think you'll ever get a good nights sleep again, give it up and let it go. 

Solving the problems of life on your own is no longer and option.

Instead of trying to do it on your own, give it up and let it go, and let God handle it. Nothing can be accomplished by trying to put out the forest fires of life on  our own, the only one who can do this is the Savior.

Instead of trying to trust in yourself, trust in the One who loves and cares for you the most, the Lord Jesus Christ. In the book of Romans we find the key to joy, peace and hope...

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
~Romans 15:13

I don't know about you friends, but I'm pretty exhausted and I'm ready to let the Holy Spirit move in my life. It may result in dying to some things that I "thought" were important, and instead allow my Father to open my eyes to what really is important.

Take the step of faith with me friends, I don't know about you but I'm beyond excited to see where this journey will take me.

It is time for the Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up. We desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories in their comments.

Use hashtag #w2wwordfilledwednesday

Three rules to this link up:
1. Must be a {Christian} faith post.
2. Link back to W2W somewhere in your post. (Feel free to use our button if you want!)
3. Visit and comment on at least one other blog in the link up.

Woman to Woman Ministries

Monday, July 24, 2017

3rd Annual Summer Blessing Giveaway

By: Jenifer Metzger

At Woman to Woman we know how important spending time in God's Word is. Yet we also know how hard it can be to do so. We get so caught up with our day to day tasks as wives, mothers, homemakers, employees, friends, sisters, daughters, and so on.

This is where accountability comes in. When you have someone walking along side you in this journey, someone to pray for you, encourage you, discuss things, and even just someone waiting to know that you spent time in God's Word, it is easier. This is why we have Morning Reflections. Morning Reflections is an accountability group to help women stay in God's Word. Each day after you read the Bible, you hop in our private Facebook group and share what you read. You can also ask questions, share insights, share what God is speaking to you, praise reports and prayer requests.

To join a Morning Reflections group, click HERE.

It's time for the 3rd annual Summer Blessing Giveaway! And friends, you are going to love it!

Giveaway Rules: No purchase necessary. Must be 18 to enter. Void where prohibited by law. **Open to US residents only.** This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or associated by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. By entering this giveaway, you agree to release Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Woman to Woman Ministries and all participating bloggers of all liability. Contest ends at 12:01am EST on August 1, 2017. Winning entry will be verified. Winner is randomly chosen by Rafflecopter and will be emailed.

To enter, complete each task in the rafflecopter below. Come back each day to share the Blessing for more chances to win!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Twelve things to consider about the steadfast love of the Lord...

-to think about carefully
-to think of, especially with regard to taking some action
-to take into account

Consider that God's steadfast love for you abounds-it is abundant!
Exodus 34:6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,

Consider that God's love toward you is faithful.  He keeps His covenant to you.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

Consider that God's love for you endures forever.  He will never stop loving you.
1 Chronicles 16:34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Consider that God's steadfast love is for you is trustworthy.  You can trust in His love for you.
Psalm 13:5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

Consider that God remembers you through His eyes of love.  When He forgives your sins, He also forgets them.
Psalm 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

Consider that God, in His steadfast love, sees you and cares about you in your times of affliction and distress.
Psalm 31:7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul.

Consider that God's steadfast love surrounds you at all times.
Psalm 32:10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.

Consider that God's steadfast love is a refuge for you at all times and in every situation.
Psalm 36:7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Consider that God does not reject your prayer or remove His steadfast love from you.
Psalm 66:20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!

Consider that God redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with His steadfast love and mercy.
Psalm 103:4 Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

Consider that God is merciful and gracious and slow to anger because of His steadfast love for you.
Psalm 103:8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Consider that God comforts you with His steadfast love.
Psalm 119:76 Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.

still following,