Sweet Surrender by Trish

 

 

ID 48582858 © Golyak | Dreamstime.com

Okay, I’m about to let you in on a little secret…I, Trish Davis, LOVE to have structure, order and dare I say it, control. I’m the type of person who loves to plan and prepare and then rehearse what was just planned. While it is good to have a plan in place and structure established, we need to be flexible with the change of plans and the change of seasons.

The other day during our worship service at church, I was compelled to simply rest in God’s presence. As women especially, our nature is to nurture and our goal is to make sure everyone is taken care of and ensure that all details of our day go according to the plan we’ve carefully formulated.

However, in case you’ve not noticed, God’s ways our not our ways and His thoughts aren’t ours. This is why we need to align ourselves with His Word daily and be open to move quickly and in sync with His desires. While it is true that He longs to give us the desires of our heart, He also longs for us to seek His face and to inquire of Him for the plan He has for us.

When we learn to relinquish control we find strength in sweet surrender. I love the story of when the disciples are on the boat with Jesus who was sleeping during a storm. Frantically, the disciples awaken the Savior as if to suggest their safety was threatened and He could care less as He slept. Jesus knew a secret, that no matter the storm, you can find peace and rest while in the midst of it. We only need to surrender our fear, doubt and worry.

What about Mary and Martha when Jesus was visiting their home? Martha was working feverishly in the kitchen while Mary knew how to surrender her time and daily planner to pay attention to what was needed in that moment, communion with Jesus.

Maybe life has dealt you a hand that you weren’t anticipating, or perhaps your “schedule” has been interrupted by unexpected events and you find yourself trying to adapt to a new normal. Hold fast to your faith, but surrender your will. The ultimate example of this is Jesus Himself. He was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, to save mankind and restore humanity to relationship with the Father. This sacrifice would require everything He had, His very life. Jesus was faced with a battle of His flesh vs. the will of God. Stricken with stress unlike anything we will ever know, His body began to sweat blood and in His struggle, He surrendered by stating, “Nevertheless, not my will but Your will be done.”

I encourage you ladies to continue to be women of excellence and plan accordingly, yet be flexible, throughout your day with any changes God allows to enter your path. His plans for you are perfect  and you can trust Him. Embrace the perfect will He has for your life and rest in sweet surrender.

 

Photo Credit:ID 48582858 © Golyak | Dreamstime.com

Pilgrim’s Progress by Bombi

 

ID 41902181 © Kasto80 | Dreamstime.com

 

I’ve been realizing more lately that you don’t have to be a kid to experience peer pressure. Adults young and old can feel it too. It’s the whole “keeping up with the Jones’” mentality. It’s the pressure to try to look like a movie star or succeed at all costs, it’s all around. Although as a Christian I aim to live an abundant life of victory and joy, it must not be mistaken with a vain and greedy pursuit of “having it all” at all costs. One way is God’s and the other is the age-old selfish pursuit.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with going for that degree, or that dream business we’ve wanted for so long, or having a beautiful home and car for our family. What I am saying is that our joy should not hinge one these things because after all, they are still just things. One minute we can have lots of stuff, the next minute it can be gone in an instant. The stuff of this world is temporal, the stuff of God is eternal.
I remember my late father telling me, “We’re just pilgrims passing through.” The older I get, the more I understand why and what he meant. So here’s to the mom who feels cheated for having to put her dream career on hold to have her surprise baby, and to the young lady who feels the pressure to cave and not stand with her convictions because she thinks this guy is her only chance at love. Here’s to any Christian who feels weary in their walk, who wonders if they are missing out somehow. Pilgrim, this world is not your home.
“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” 1 John 2:6 (NLT)

 

Photo Credit: ID 41902181 © Kasto80 | Dreamstime.com

No “Buts” About It by Kenika

 

 

ID 27787056 © Andrey Kiselev | Dreamstime.com

As women we wear many hats and fulfill a variety of roles to all the people in our lives. It’s not to say that men aren’t as expanded or stretched as we are, but it would seem that our ability to multi-task and take on several projects at once is simply unmatched. We can be in the middle of a conversation with one person, engaged in it mind you, and simultaneously be planning what we are going to do later that week, day, or evening. The worst/best part of all is that we won’t even skip a beat!
I can only speak for myself when I say that I take on too much. This may sound strange, but I’m grateful for a body that occasionally shuts down, and a mind that almost reaches capacity. The reason I’m grateful is because these are telltale signs that I need to slow down. When this happens, I take a day or so to myself in order to pray, think, reflect, or simply do absolutely nothing in order to physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally prepare for my next move. This usually involves cutting something out, or letting something go. Now as overwhelmed as I can claim to be, I still struggle when it’s time to let something go. I know that sounds crazy, or maybe it doesn’t to most women who can relate.
The reason I do this is not to be seen as incompetent or inconsistent but rather, the opposite. I don’t want to become that person that is good at something “but”. What I mean by that is people can have so many accolades for you, your gifts, your talents, your abilities, your reputation, but at the end of the sentence they have to add a “but”. The reason this “but” is added is due to the fact that you’re always late, you don’t come through, you have a bad attitude, you never return calls, and/or your work is suffering because you can’t give your all to it. I don’t want anyone to say that I’m great “but” and then fill in the blank with a shortcoming. Especially not if the reason is because I have stretched myself entirely too thin, saying “yes” to everyone that asks for something, and not taking time for myself in order to regroup in between projects.

I think excellence in every area is something that we should all strive for. Not perfection, but excellence, there is a huge difference. Perfection means you never make mistakes, excellence means you give your very best at all times, and if/when you make a mistake you are so on top of things, that it’s already corrected by the time others find out about it. Okay, I confess, that’s the “Kenika” version of perfection and excellence, but come on, it’s still pretty good right? The point is, don’t cause others to make excuses for you just because you failed to manage your time correctly. Let others boast about how God has gifted you to do xyz, and refer you to others with zero disclaimers at the end because you balance your time, and obligations with grace and excellence.

 

Photo Credit:ID 27787056 © Andrey Kiselev | Dreamstime.com