Thursday, May 29, 2014

The One

 "True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less."
C. S. Lewis

When we focus on the one...


The one thing that we struggle with the most.
 

The one thing that we like the least about ourselves.


The one thing that we want and can’t have.

The one thing that we’ve tried and just can’t master.

The one person that dislikes us, regardless of how many others love us.

When we focus on the one it’s because we’ve taken our eyes off of The One.

The One who is our strength when we are weak.

The One who loves us just as we are.

The One who is more than enough.

The One who we can do all things through.

The One who loves us unconditionally and competely and always.


 

If Jesus is all we have, we have all we need.


 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Words that (in)courage



"But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His interposition deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed."
-Amy Carmichael
 
 
 


Words of encouragement can heal even the deepest wounds.
Don’t think so?
Well then let me tell you a story…

Numerous times in my life wounded people wounded me with their words. Whether they meant to or not didn’t matter, the things that were said hurt me deeply and in their wake ugly scars were left.

Each time hurtful words were spoken, or hurtful things were done the wounds became deeper as the enemy of my soul whispered the lies I so quickly believed- you aren’t good enough, you have no worth, you have no value, you were a mistake.

I believed that I had no value and therefore I didn’t value myself. It was evident in my choices, in the ways that I allowed others to treat me and the way that I viewed myself. I believed that others saw no value in me and I believed they were right.

This outlook may have begun in childhood but it carried over throughout my entire adult life. Although I am now happily married to a Godly man who values me, I experienced two failed marriages and several attempts at careers that ended in failure as well.

A little over six years ago God opened the door for me to work for an incredible company and while He had a plan for me, the enemy had a plan for me too.

The first several years I was continually criticized by a person in authority over me. I was offered very little, if any, affirmation. She saw no value in me and I believed she was right.

It was difficult and I wanted to run like I had done so many times before when I was hurt and situations felt out of my control. I begged God to open another door but instead He encouraged me to push through and to stay.

And so I did. After four long years God closed the door in a way I hadn’t expected. He kept me right where I was but brought someone else into a position of authority to encourage me. This person spoke words of affirmation and I began to believe that I could do more than I was told or ever thought I could do.

After a year of being encouraged and affirmed, God opened yet another door to a position I never dreamed I could be in and certainly didn’t feel qualified for but I know that God doesn’t always call the qualified but qualifies the called.

This time however, the person in a position of authority over me continually offered words of affirmation and consistently encouraged me saying "I know you can do this. I have faith in you." Her words of encouragement began to break down the walls I had erected to protect myself and demolished the lies that I had believed for so long.

I finally believed that I had value. I finally believed the truth of who God says I am and what I’m capable of and I finally began to believe the possibility of God sized dreams for me!

While there were many years that I didn’t believe that God could possibly have a plan for me, now I know that He not only has a plan but that I have a purpose…

  • to encourage other women with words of affirmation, hope and love!

  • to pour into them, what has been poured into me!

  • to destroy the lies of the enemy that have held so many women in bondage to shame, fear and doubt.

Healing is a process but with words of encouragement applied to the woundedness of our past, the Healer sets us free to be exactly who we were created to be!

I am so honored and blessed to be an (in)courage leader, co-leading Healing for Wounded Hearts with Sherry Curtiss!


I just know God is going to do great things through all of these wonderful (in)courage communities!



"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be."

Ralph Waldo Emerson






 







 



 

Monday, May 19, 2014

(in)courage one another



They won the victory over him because of the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. They didn't love their life so much that they refused to give it up.
Revelation 12:11



I spent much of my life believing the lies of the enemy based on the mistakes of my past and not just my mistakes but the mistakes of others as well...
 
It shaped who I was, who I believed I could be and who I would become for so very many years.

As I stepped forward in faith and began to share my story, other women shared their stories too and healing began for all of us, healing to become who we were created to be!

That's what community is all about...sharing our pain, our struggles, our fears, our doubts- sharing our hearts.


It has become my passion to lead other women in courageously stepping forward to be encouraged and to be an encouragement.

Please consider joining us at (in)courage to be part of a community where you can connect with other women in a safe environment, sharing and encouraging one another. You will be blessed and you will be a blessing! I'm sure of it...

If you would like to join myself and my co-leader, Sherry Curtiss at Healing for Wounded Hearts just click on the link and register, but do it quickly- this is the last week to sign up!

 


Most of all remember that God has a plan for your life...

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, May 16, 2014

Knowledge and Wisdom


 

Now, I guess I should begin by saying that I’m not a bible theologian just an ordinary woman with a wounded past immersed in an ocean of grace-- desperate to share how Jesus has redeemed, restored and renewed me.


That being said, I was recently contemplating the definitions of wisdom and Knowledge-- I thought, what’s the difference? Is there a difference? I decided to do some research, so I googled it, because that’s what you do when you want answers right?


Ok, so that’s what I do when I want answers.


When my husband and I are debating something, he despises when I say "GOOGLE IT!", and I have to admit, sometimes I say it just to bug him (and of course to prove that I’m right!).


While I found a plethora of information on the subject I thought this simple quote by Phil Drysdale summed it up nicely, "Knowledge is knowing the truth. Wisdom is knowing how to apply it." And I love this quote from Miles Kington, "Knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in your fruit salad." –yuck!


And so I began thinking about the knowledge and wisdom that I’ve collected over the last almost forty-seven years.


I’m knowledgeable about some things and I truly believe it’s the life experiences (good and bad) that have taught me wisdom concerning many things, but when doubt creeps in we question whether we have any knowledge or wisdom at all. We allow offenses and criticism to make us question who we really are, what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, mostly because we attempt to operate in our own strength.


Pride can cause us to want to "appear" knowledgeable instead of humbly seeking wisdom from the One who created us. 

 

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 (NIV)


 
Knowledge of the things of God produces wisdom as we apply what we know (from the God we love) to the choices we make.


Even as we grow in knowledge and wisdom, sometimes we blow it.


Sometimes we fail.


Sometimes we hurt or offend someone -- often times the ones we love the most.


And sometime we’re on the receiving end of hurts and offenses.


This is where wisdom reminds us of the grace already poured out to us, the grace that was more than enough to cover all of our sins, and the sins committed against us.

We acknowledge that we live in a broken world, that most of us are at least a little wounded, and that ALL of us are in desperate need of the grace and love of our Savior.

 
For this reason we have not stopped praying for you since the day we heard about you. We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through every kind of spiritual wisdom and insight. We ask this so that you will live the kind of lives that prove you belong to the Lord. Then you will want to please him in every way as you grow in producing every kind of good work by this knowledge about God. Colossians 1:9, 10 (GW)


I’m so incredibly humbled and thankful, that while I certainly didn’t deserve it, Jesus poured out all the grace and mercy I would ever need.

Now, I just need to remember to extend that same grace to others when they need it most.



"Knowledge is knowing the truth."- of the grace and mercy we have received. "Wisdom is knowing how to apply it."- extending it to ALL unconditionally, the same way it was given to us.