My Fearless Mama by Bombi

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For as long as I can remember I have watched and learned from my mother’s Godly example. I was just a tot in diapers when Mama decided to fully surrender her life to God. Pops would soon follow, and thus the family began a spiritual journey that lives on in me today. As far as personality traits go, some would look at a shy person as always being shy, or an angry person as always that angry soul, but I believe that with the power of God people can change. I know it because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I’ve witnessed it in my own life.  I’ve seen it in my own mother’s life.

I have watched Mama battle timidity and win. I have seen her graciously set boundaries with leaders and loved ones so that she would gain her voice, and be freed from any bondage to keep quiet about the truths that God had shown her. There are certain scriptures that she would share with great passion throughout the years like, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25 NKJV).  She didn’t want us kids to be afraid of people and what they thought of us; she wanted us to trust God and what He said about us. I got to thank Mama for pointing me in the right direction over and over again.

Now that I’m grown, I can tell you that there have been hard storms that have hit my life. I mean life has beaten me up in ways I never even knew were possible. As a woman, wife, and mother, what I have come to find is that in those times I did not need a shopping spree or a bubble bath to make it through. No, I needed a refuge. I needed Jesus. Thankfully I can tell you that I have found my refuge in Christ. Thank you Mama for showing me that the fear of God is truly the beginning of wisdom.  Because you feared the Lord you secured a fortress for your very own children, and now your children’s-children.  I love you Mama. Happy Mother’s Day!

“Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.”

Proverbs 14:26 (NIV)

 

 

How Dare You by Trish

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Have you ever been in a situation where you were presented with the opportunity for offense and in that split second your initial thought was “How dare you?” The question posed privately can quickly dispense a seed of offense within the heart. Offense then turns into bitterness if not dealt with.

Unnecessary Hurt/Offense

We have countless thoughts that we are bombarded with each day. If for one moment we choose to dwell upon a negative thought, we then give LIFE to this and it now becomes a seed within the essence of who we are, our heart. (As a man THINKETH, so is he. Reference: Proverbs 23:7).  By nurturing or giving life to this thought, we’ve now embraced it and fostered a home for it within our heart. We now respond to life and become a product of what we believe to be true.

For example:  How many times has someone told us “Wow, you look great today!” Our first reply is a simple “thank you” to the compliment given. However, depending on the person giving the compliment OR the filter in our hearts which processes daily interactions (I’ll explain this filter process in a moment), we can think about the “compliment” that was given and ponder, “What did he/she REALLY mean by that statement? Was that a jab at me because they think I look busted every other day?”  The more we think upon an ASSUMED thought we allow open door access for offense to come into our hearts with a packed bag for an extended stay.

A heart open to offense that questions everyone’s motives and can never truly embrace life. Time, thought and energy is now spent protecting ourselves from those who we think are out to hurt us.

Let’s talk about the filters in our heart for a moment. We are told to “Above all else GUARD our heart for out it flow the issues of life.”  In my understanding I have to protect what is nurtured in my heart because from within this precious area is a flow that affects all areas of my daily living. Ladies, it is imperative that we keep the filters of our heart clean. (Create in me a CLEAN heart and renew a right spirit within me. Reference: Psalm 51:10). Just as in the natural, if our bodies consume too many bad foods, we run the risk of causing blockages to the heart that can impair the flow of blood or life rather.

Unresolved issues and past negative experiences not dealt with can create blockages by which daily interactions are filtered through. If a person is quickly offended or easily hurt at even the simplest of things it’s very possible this person is processing life through contaminated filters or a blocked heart. Something innocent and meant to be a compliment becomes a “sore spot” where every word spoken is analyzed and turned into a negative.

Legitimate Hurts

Ladies, I know most people think we have super powers and we never bleed, but the truth is at the end of the day we do have a beating heart that is subject to getting hurt. In those moments where there is legitimate cause for hurt, that is when we lay down our “Super Woman” cape and ask God for His strength to overcome what has been sent as a dagger to offend and bring hurt. Offense whether perceived or with intent hurts no matter what. God desires that we let love triumph in every situation.

So many times we’re told not to be led by our emotions and while this is so true, I do believe it is healthy to acknowledge them. If my emotions are so bad then why did God create me to have them? After all, a wound cannot truly heal until it has been exposed, cleaned and then covered properly. Many times when we’re hurting we skip the steps in between and go straight to keeping it covered, which does more detriment in the end. Me acknowledging how I feel is not a sign of weak faith. If anything when done correctly, it strengthens my faith because I’m acknowledging my dependence on Christ. My flesh feels like hurting the person who has wronged me, but FAITH moves to me to forgiveness.

If you’re mad be mad (we can be angry without sinning), and if you’re sad, cry it out. Deal with the emotions associated with the hurt in a healthy way, but then release it to the one who can heal you.

Growing Up

Sometimes we take on unnecessary hurt or offense when a person is just sharing truth with us in love.  I’m so blessed with my Ladies On Life girls.  We have given each other permission to speak into one another’s life. During times of constructive criticism, a heart of maturity is required to understand the motive behind the message and in doing so we abolish the opportunity for offense. In other words, we choose to be adults who operate in understanding and maturity.

Quick tips to Combat Offense

  1. Know who you are-

Don’t allow others to define your identity. When you are clear about who you are and what you stand for, you’re not quick to adopt someone else’s opinion of you and be offended. Sometimes you just have to realize there will be people who don’t recognize your value. Pick yourself up and keep it moving.

2. Know who you Serve-

When you are in relationship with Christ you can rest assured that when you face opportunities to be hurt/offended, your God is with you. Don’t engage in a battle that is not yours to fight.

3. Know your purpose

You are called to be a light to the world. If you’re constantly overcoming offense, how can you be a representation of an overcomer? The world needs to see us ladies overcoming in life.

4. Practice forgiveness

Forgiveness can be done when we realize our need for this very gift. Ask God to help you to truly forgive so that you can move forward!

The next time offense knocks on the door of your heart instead of responding, “How Dare You?” take a deep breath, close the door and keep moving in your purpose!

A heart that is quick to forgive is a heart that is truly free. Even if you never receive an apology from the one who hurt you, forgive them anyway. You’re not responsible for those who hurt you, but you are responsible for how you deal with it.

 

A Mother’s Role by Sonya

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There is no better position or role than being a mother. Having four children has been one of my greatest joys. As I look at each child I am amazed by how fast they grow and mature right before our eyes. We really only have such a small window of time to mold and shape our children. Our impression is so important and what we teach our children will forever be with them. I am realizing this as my two older girls will be turning seven and nine in a few weeks. I can’t believe that as they get older their friend’s opinions take on an influence in their life and they start to question who they are as a person. As a mother we have the power of influence in their life and we should be their ultimate role model. Developing their character and modeling Christ to them is so key in what a child needs. As a mother there are three things we can do for our children:

  • Being a role model and lead by example in our words, actions, and thoughts. This shows our kids what it means to be a follower of Christ and a Godly example. As our children look up to us, they are watching for what is true and right and we are the closest image of who Christ is. That can be a lot of pressure, but God wants us as parents to look to Him to be our guide and model. As we draw closer to our Father, we will display the image of Christ to our children, and they will see Him in us.
  • Always be available to your children and show them that you are invested in their life. This can be shown in many ways by being available in their activities and hobbies or at home. Another way to be available is through communication. To have continuous communication with your child so they know that you are always going to be there to talk about anything with them. Listening is a key in the communication process and don’t do all the talking because they really just want us to understand them and let their voice be heard. So taking the time to listen and not to act shocked on what they are going to tell you and jump to conclusions, because that can steer them away from talking to you again. Another area is your time to make available to your children. I believe children spell love by “TIME” and that is so important to make the time to be there for your children. This shows them that they are important and that you are making them a priority.
  • The last area, but most important, is prayer. Praying over your child’s life and character are essential in your child’s growth. Prayer has power and incorporating that into your daily life should be like eating everyday. We can’t ever pray too much for our kids. Keep a journal and watch what happens as you pray daily for your children. I have been amazed how God answers even the smallest things that I pray for our kids. God is all-powerful and all knowing and we shouldn’t hesitate to come to Him and pray on anything with our kids.

 

Being a mother is hard work but the reward far outweighs all of these. God designed moms to play such an important role and influence in our children’s life.  We are not to take it lightly and model the truth and be the ambassador God has called us to be. A mother’s role is precious and our calling from God is even bigger as we look to HIM to be our guide. Don’t underestimate the influence you have as a mother. To every mom out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

You Have Me by Kenika

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I do not know how people do life without a connection to the One who created it.  That statement is not intended as a criticism but rather a sincere curiosity as to how the world makes it without Him.  There is much available to me inside a relationship with Christ Jesus.  I never have to feel alone and peace, joy, salvation, security, love, you name it, is available to me just by knowing Him.  We understand people as resources through connection whether it’s for networking, business ventures, or a job search.  We’ve even coined the phrase, “It pays to know people”, to further prove this point of advancement, opportunity and promotion through who we have as contacts.

However, I’m not talking about an earthly connection or a person that can offer a “foot in the door”, I’m talking about a direct line to the Famous One.  The assurance that I have in that relationship is that He will always have my back, no matter what. When it’s convenient for Him and when it is a huge inconvenience, He will never let go.  I can do absolutely anything because He is holding me.   “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28 NIV)  In my version of this verse, Jesus is simply saying, “I have them”.

There’s nothing to worry about, nothing to fear, nothing to concern yourself with, because He has you.  He has us in the palm of His hand and nothing can ever remove us.   Which means we can do anything, we can endure everything, and there is no end to what is possible to us, if we believe (Mark 9:23).   I love the line “I know them” from 1 John 10:27-28.  There is so much safety and security in hearing that He knows me.  Which means if no one else gets me, He does.  He understands me and He is concerned about me.  When all else and everyone else fails, He is still there holding us, encouraging us, letting us know He’s with us.  Once we grasp this reality and decide to never let go, we can boldly believe and declare the He has us and we can transform into the fearless beings He made us to be.