A Decade Ago by Bombi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was 29. I had just one child and she was only 5 years old. I was living out my last years as a resident of Arizona. I was in a much different place mentally, physically, spiritually, and I can tell you I was a mess. I remember not believing in myself. I didn’t believe that I could be strong or beautiful or fully capable of living out life. I was struggling to be a good mom to Avery and juggling so many bad habits and hang ups that it exhausts me to even recall it. I was drowning in a sea of anxiety, stress, drama, and depression. My body and mind were so weak, my spirit was broken, and my faith was barely there. Friends and family would try to speak life into me, but I thought they were trying to pity me or be nice. I was in a place I never planned on being and I hated it.

A decade ago God had me in His hands. He had me covered so well, yet I couldn’t fully see it. God was providing the strength and all that I needed to make it through, but I couldn’t fully grasp it. A lot can happen in 10 years, like living in a place I never knew I would, or now having the son I longed for, and an amazing husband who knows what, “I love you,” truly means. He shows it to me everyday. I can now look in the mirror and accept the woman looking back with gratitude. 10 years ago I never planned on even being able to look back on anything. But humbly, here I am, and I love it.

I don’t know where you are in your life. You could be living out a bad year or a bad decade yourself. But when you’ve dedicated your life to God and surrendered to Him, then your life is in His hands. It might not look like He’s in control, but He more than is. It might look like you don’t have a place to call home, or a friend to call upon, or a promise to even pray for, but God has you in His hands. You might look in the mirror and feel shame because you see a person that you don’t know anymore and it scares you. But God is growing you. He’s pruning you. He’s watching you, He’s keeping you. He knows exactly where you will be 10, 20, 30 years from now. He knows what time it is, even if you can’t even tell what life season you’re in. He’s ever loving and interceding for you with a love so powerful that nothing and I mean NO THING can separate you from. You might not even love yourself yet, but His love will fully persuade you that you are more than your habits, hang-ups, and circumstances. You’re so much more, because through His love, you’ll find that you are even more than a conqueror.

Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV)

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Be Present With Your Love by Sonya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The upcoming Valentine’s Day has me thinking about how I can better love my spouse. God put it on my heart to be more present.  We have a busy life with four kids and carving out time to go on dates can be hard. However, being present is key in the way we interact with our spouses. I look at all aspects of our relationship and I’m more aware that connecting with my husband will allow him to feel more loved by me. It is in the little things like when he calls me.  Am I focused on the conversation or am I distracted? My husband knows when I am not fully listening to him on and off the phone. In order to affirm that I am listening on the phone, I ask questions or repeat what he just said to make sure I understand.   Eye contact is the key in person and truly giving him your attention by turning off the television and phone, or going in another room where your kids can’t distract you. Giving of your time and listening well allows you to be present in the moment with your love/valentine. Our spouses deserve to be loved well and if we can’t give them our time and focus, then we are missing out on a deeper relationship that we can have with them! My husband does a great job at loving me well.  For Valentine’s Day he makes a homemade dinner and we stay at home and just be together. He shows me he is present by making himself available and carving that time out. It is not complex, but a simple gesture to just spend time with your sweetie and it doesn’t have to cost to be present with your love. I challenge you this Valentine’s Day to take a break from the busyness and spend time with the ones you love.  You will never regret being present in their lives!

Photo Credit:  ID 82818616 © Viacheslav Iacobchuk | Dreamstime.com

Dispelling Lies by Trish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s 2018 and what are we as women going to do differently this year to grow, to challenge and to “become”?  By now I’m sure there have been many to-do lists, goals, plans and vison boards created to help us stay on task with what we desire to see fulfilled in this year. Be mindful that as soon as you take that first step towards self-improvement and growth, there will be an enemy waiting to launch missiles your way to get you off course and discourage your faith. One of the greatest tactics used against humanity are lies planted in our thought lives. The more we allow these lies to marinate in our brain the more power we give it to grow. Like a weed, it grows, rapidly choking out what was meant to give life and beauty such as those dreams and goals.

For us as women, most of us are moved by words. We take to heart what is said and what is not said. Some may refer to it as being, “too sensitive,” when in fact we have a God-given gift of feeling things very deeply. Our heart is attached to how words make us feel. It’s part of our make up as women.  So when either a person or the enemy speaks lies we must dispel these lies and replace them with the truth of God’s Word. As I thought about penning this article I began to list some of the top lies used against women and I want to encourage you to disarm the enemy by dispelling such lies.

Lie: 1 You aren’t valuable//Truth: Your worth is far above rubies

Proverbs 31:10King James Version (KJV)

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

 Have you ever noticed that exquisite items aren’t visible? They are kept behind a locked counter out of sight and definitely out of reach. That is because the owner knows what has been invested to obtain such an item of worth and is not willing to risk it being mishandled or taken without its value being compensated for. Before I was married I would meet guys I was interested in or vice versa and it just never worked out. I felt like I was doing something wrong or being punished for something. I felt that way until God revealed to me I wasn’t being punished I was being protected. YOU ARE VALUABLE and you cannot rely on someone else to identify or validate this for you. You are not being “shelved” or set aside because you aren’t valuable. If you haven’t been “revealed” for a particular position or person, perhaps God is reserving you for those that can handle correctly the gift you are and value you bring.

Lie: You aren’t pretty//Truth: You are made in the image and likeness of God

 Genesis 1:27New International Version (NIV)

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

 What defines beauty? Let me remind you it is not in the hips, lips, booty and breasts. Those are temporal and going to change in time. Society has created a picture that beauty is all of these things and more. The beauty you carry should come from the inside of you and when you know your worth and where your beauty comes from it will show up in how you care for yourself and represent the God you serve. Notice I did say it would show up in how you care for yourself. Meaning beauty isn’t only having a good heart, but it also means caring for and presenting yourself like the queen you are. The essence of beauty is found in the image of who you mirror or represent.

To the young lady who is constantly comparing your waist size to someone else. Stop. You are enough.  Take care of who you are and walk in your beauty confidently whether size 2 or 22.

To the lady who has never been told, “You’re beautiful,” I’m telling you now that you are.  To the woman whose husband has eyes that have wandered elsewhere, don’t doubt yourself and mistake beauty for airbrushed images and fake body parts.

Lie: You’ve made too many mistakes//Truth: You can do all things through Christ

 Philippians 4:13New International Version (NIV)

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 I love reading about people who have failed in life and yet have had this amazing comeback moment that launched them into destiny and purpose.  Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Colonel Sanders to name a few. Then in the Bible we have those who were unlikely candidates for success.  Moses with a speech impediment, chosen to lead God’s people, David, a ruddy kid on the back side of the mountain chosen as King, Mary, an adolescent girl chosen to give birth to the Messiah. So, who are you to tell God and others what you’re not capable of doing?

You are created to win, to excel and overcome EVERY obstacle. No weapon formed against shall be successful.  You are a daughter of God, which means you are royalty.  Don’t allow a lie to cause you to question your role or forfeit your dream!

Photo Credit:ID 46088472 © Stepan Popov | Dreamstime.com

You’re Better For It by Kenika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 20:35

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

I love this verse because it’s promotes generosity.  It displays Christ’s purest desire to give rather than to receive.  It highlights the needs of the weak and the poor yes, but you can also take on this attitude in many aspects of life.  Other versions say, “It’s better to give than to receive.” To the truly selfish person that may sound perplexing.  Surely receiving is more enjoyable!  I’ve managed to learn over the years, however, the joy that is attached to giving.  One of my love languages is Gifts.  Which means I express love through giving gifts, and I also interpret or receive love through gifts.  When I was younger I think I much preferred getting a gift. Now that I’m older and more experienced, the joy for giving gifts has far surpassed the happiness of receiving one.  The look on a person’s face when they behold what I have spent time and money on to give to them is truly a delight to me.

“It is more blessed to give – It is a higher privilege; it tends more to the happiness of the individual and of the world. The giver is more blessed or happy than the receiver.” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

It is a higher privilege indeed to be in the position to give. Think about that for a moment.  Think of how impacted you were when someone reached out to meet your need. What a blessing to be in the seat of the giver at a later turn in life.  This verse isn’t talking about physical gifts alone, but also about meeting the needs of the disenfranchised.  Maybe you were the person in need for a long time and now you are stabilized.  The best way to honor those who helped you is to help others.  People need food, shelter, community, a friend, a prayer partner, and the list goes on and on.  Sometimes in the “name it and claim it” circles of ministry believers are consumed with trying to get their needs, wants and desires met, and they neglect the needs of the weak.  I’m all for a strong prayer life, and humbly asking God to grant you what you need, all I’m saying is that the bigger blessing is in giving.  Don’t believe me? Well, Jesus said so.

Let’s hit the pause button on some of our typical requests and instead maybe ask the Lord to show us ways that we can grant requests. Let’s ask God to point us in the direction of opportunities where we can be the better for giving to those in need.  It’s the higher privilege that will leave you more blessed and happy than those you choose to look out for.

 

Photo Credit:ID 60458032 © Stefan Dahl Langstrup | Dreamstime.com