Category Archives: Women Ablaze

Women who are on fire for Jesus Christ and being what God calls us to be!

Wonderful

Last night in Bible study, we began Lysa Terkeurst’s Made to Crave. Already a few chapters in the book, I had a pretty good idea of the subject matter.  But Lysa’s speech.. wow!  I got home and had to veg.  I couldn’t wait to slip out of bed in the quiet of the night and ponder.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14

Do you know what was tripping me up???  “I know that full well.”  Yep.  Ding. Ding. Ding.  ((sigh)) I have been putting  “should,” “think,” and “oughta” (that’s “ought to” for those of you not living in Arkansas) between the “I” and “know.”  I haven’t been standing firm in my belief that God made me wonderful.  It says it right there that His works are wonderful.  God made me and I’m a piece of work His work.

So why is it that I haven’t stood firmly in my belief?  Is it because of our world today?  No… I don’t think so.  Was it something that happened in my childhood?  No…  had a wonderful childhood.  Is it that I don’t feel significant enough to be called a wonderful work by the hand of God?  B. I. N. G. O!  I don’t feel significant.

I didn’t feel significant because well.. I was overweight as a child.  There wasn’t stores that carried the “preppy” clothes in my size.  I didn’t fit in the clothes; therefore, I didn’t fit in with the kids at school.  I recall being told by a “so called friend” in the 7th grade… “I can’t be your friend because you don’t wear Izods.”  Crushed me.  Killed me inside.  We had been friends since like 1st grade.  All because of an alligator, I couldn’t be her friend.

Sadly though diets didn’t cure the craving for significance.  I dieted and exercised but I wasn’t ever the perfect Izod fit.  I was tall and well…curvy.  If I did manage to squeeze in the shirt, boys made “Pike’s Peak” comments.  If I wore Calvin Klein jeans, they were high waters and I still didn’t make the grade.  Between the comments of floods coming and Pike’s Peak, I felt horrible and another ugly side of insignificance formed. I was left at the mercy of teasing no matter what.  So there was no way to fit in…((sigh))  Guess that’s why I taught middle school.  I was the spokesperson for the underdogs!

My body’s shape has always been a sore subject for me.  I have no waist, no shoulders, bad eyes (blind as a bat), big lips and flat straight hair.  I have learned to work with what I have over the years.  But, after last night’s class, I left feeling like that 7th grader again with no way out.

This morning, I was studying the workbook.  There was some really powerful reflection questions.  I felt so yucky.  I closed the book knowing it was easier to stop than to press forward.  I went straight to my room, crawled into bed, and prayed my heart out.  I cried out.  The 7th grader cried right along with me.

Then God’s word filled my soul… “You are wonderfully made.”  I couldn’t help but smile through the tears.  God loves me… there’s no doubt.  It is time for me to stand firm and shout, “I’m wonderful!  God told me so!”

God Bless…

Okay, today’s the last day!  You better get your name in the drawing for the handbag!  I will be announcing the lucky winner tomorrow!!  Just leave a comment and your name goes into the drawing bag!!

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Doubt

Hey don’t forget the Sabbath Challenge!  I can’t wait to find out how your first Sabbath went!  Please let me know on Monday!!

Three years ago, I stepped down as children’s minister.  I lost sense of my existence at that very moment.  I fell into a tangled mess of doubt, anger, and despair.  My world, in my eyes, caved and I no longer had a title.  Out of frustration one morning, I found myself yelling at God.  I was walking and the blood was pumping.  The hurt and anger bled from my enraged words.  I just wanted answers and I got one.

I began this blog to find myself.  I thought until I figured out the whole speaker/motivator thing I would blog.  Little did I know that I would reach 48 states and a handful of other countries.  God’s grace changed me.  God’s appearance in my life molded me.

And I pray that He has done the same for you, my dear friend.

Last year, I faced controversy.  For the first time, I questioned this ministry and path God placed before me.  I looked at our simple life and how Mark and the kids have sacrificed so much.  At first, I stood strong but before I knew it, I was job hunting.  This act shocked Mark and put a sense of relief in other’s minds.  I did go back to work with God’s blessing.  God had a lesson for me to learn.  Mark and the kids were unhappy and unsettled.  I was frustrated and confused.  Relief came the day I quit.  I gave in to the controversy.  I stepped off God’s plan and He let me.  It took two months for me to realize that God might have given me permission to do what I wanted but it wasn’t a wise choice.

I allowed the controversy to make me believe that what I was doing wasn’t what was best for my family.  I believed wholeheartedly that God’s plan was best, but doubt has a funny way of kicking us down.  This doubt leaked into my writing.  It became difficult and uninteresting.  I was rejected by several magazines and didn’t finish my book proposal, on purpose, because I didn’t want to feel the sting of rejection again.  Doubt tripped me up and I fell for it.  That doubt opened the classifieds for me.

Soon after regaining my focus, I prayed and sat still.  God wrapped me into His arms and gently forgave me.  His path for me stood before my feet.  I had never felt so happy and so at peace.   I love Jesus and I love telling people!  I love how God uses me and a conversation over Bible study to change a dear friend.  I love how God puts me in the craziest situations for His glory.  I love how God connects me to people so I can grow and learn.  I love how God works… its that simple.

I should have never diminished God’s work with a little controversy and doubt.  Please learn this lesson from me.  God’s plan is true.  His grace is life changing and guard your heart.  Don’t allow harsh words or a bad day take away from God’s beautiful purpose for you.   God gave us gifts to use for His sake.  Value that.  Hold on to that.  And. Don’t. Let. Go!

Enjoy your Friday… God bless..

First 2011 Challenge

I almost fainted when I heard the news.  Chick-fil-a is opening its doors on Sunday.  Makes your heart flip doesn’t it.  Rumor has it that if you show your church bulletin or proof of tithing you will get a discount. My heart sank when I heard that..I mean, COME-ON!!  Chick is the last of its kind.  I’ve always thought it was honorable that they stood against today’s thinking and allowed Sunday to be valued and not just another day to earn a buck.

I scoured their website…Here’s what I know..

RUMOR!!

Whew!

I feel better!

This spurred an idea for the first challenge of the year.  Do you think you are up to it??  I bet you are!  Now roll up your sleeves and listen up..this is going to be fun!!

I challenge you and your family to observe a very traditional Sabbath for the next four Sundays or Friday night-Saturday evenings like our Jewish friends.  I would love to hear your responses. What’s that you don’t know what to do???  Don’t worry.. here’s a list of blog posts I did a few years ago..

What the Jewish Do for the Sabbath

The Sabbath Begins on Friday Night

The Do’s and Don’ts  of the Sabbath

Do you think you are up to disconnecting to the world and connecting to God?  Doesn’t it sound refreshing??  Oh I do hope you will join me in this challenge!

Enjoy your Wednesday and God Bless….

Just Ask

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8

Few years ago, my daughter was in the third grade.  She was having difficulty with a particular math concept.  She tried her best to understand and ultimately buried herself in shame when she realized that no matter what she did, she wasn’t going to get it.  She struggled and made a bad grade on an exam.  She came home with the test having to obtain a parent signature.  She was devastated and afraid of what we might say.

When she showed Mark and I the exam, she immediately began to explain that she just didn’t understand it and couldn’t get it.  I ever so tenderly asked, “Did you ask for help?”  Her brown tear filled eyes widened by the question.  It was obvious it never occurred to her to ask for help.   I could read her mind, “Now, why didn’t I think of that??”

Oh, dear friends, how many times I struggled with this!!  Being faced with a conflict, I tend to keep quiet and try prayer to figure out how to handle it.. ahem, by myself.  Please let me know that I am not the only one who does this sort of thing.  I should take my own advice, “Ask for help.”  All I need to do is drop on my knees and pray for help.  God promises that if you ask you shall receive.  He is there waiting eagerly to help in every situation.

Since that little talk with our daughter, she never fails to ask for help.  She will enroll our help, her teacher’s, and friends’ help whenever she needs it.  In fact, something similar happened to her little brother and she was quick to suggest, “Ask for help.”

I could learn from my darling daughter!  I just hope that she will keep asking for help throughout her lifetime.  Especially the kind of help provided by God.

Enjoy your Thursday… and God bless…