The Four Fears Women Face When Impacting Others for His Kingdom

Can you imagine a world where women realized how strategic and impactful their role is in God’s kingdom?

God has created us with influence from the beginning of creation we see it played out with Adam and Eve. I have heard many say that the Devil went to Eve first because she was easily fooled or more vulnerable. But I think it was because he was very aware of the impact and influence a woman has on others.

Since the beginning of time the enemy who is also known as the Deceiver; has been trying to sidetrack, silence, confuse, and crush the impact women have in God’s kingdom.

Not anymore! We will no longer stand quiet listening to the deceiver’s lies or his threats.

Not only have we been entrusted with the Gospel but we have been equipped.

He has placed you exactly where you’re at, for this time, on purpose, to declare His word and live it out for His glory.

Let’s take a look at the word “ministry” before we unfold the 4 fears women wrestle with. The word ministry in greek is “diakoneo” which means to serve. That’s it! Pretty simple! It doesn’t mean ordained or theologian it simply means to serve.

Serving God and others for His glory. But in the Christian circle, we’ve taken that word “ministry” and have used it as a label for those with the role or career of a pastor, women’s ministry director, children ministry, missionary, Sunday school teacher…

It’s seen as a vocation for a select few instead of an overflow of who we are.

I do believe that there are vocations like pastors and teachers but ministry is not reserved for only the select few it’s for all of God’s children.

Maybe if we viewed the word “ministry” as an overflow of who we are as God’s children then we would live differently.

The Four Fears Women Face Impacting Others for His Kingdom

  1. I have nothing to offer. We often confuse ministry with thinking it involves being on stage or sharing on a big platform, having a seminary degree or evangelizing many.Ministry happens in our everyday ordinary life.

    It can happen when I’m washing the dishes, changing diapers or guiding and teaching my children. It can happen when I interact with my neighbors or write that email. How about when I get on social media? It can happen when I forgive that family member or reach out to that person that has wronged me.
    We see 1 Thessalonians as Paul writes to the church what he’s calling them to in verses 7-12. Look over those verses for just a minute. You’ll notice his charge “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling” doesn’t require a degree or a specific role. He uses words like caring, loving, teaching, exhorting and encouraging one another. 

  2. I am not qualified. You’re so right you’re not. It is what Jesus Christ did on the cross that qualifies you and me. I have seen over and over again in my life that God will equip you for what He has called you to. We are reminded of this in verse 5:24, he says, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
    Even if you are physically or academically qualified we still need God to fulfill the good work He began in us. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that “We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which He prepared in advance for us to do.” Friends whether you feel qualified or not please don’t ever forget that it is God’s work on the cross that qualifies us to do His work.
  3. If it’s challenging, God must not want me there. This is another lie we tend to believe but imagine if Paul believed it we would not have most of the New Testament or his missionary journeys. In Matthew 16:24 we are told, “Take up your cross and follow me.” We are constantly warned in scripture that we will suffer. The book of Thessalonians amongst others were written while Paul is imprisoned. Scripture constantly reminds us that we will suffer as believers.
    Everything that is of value to us in life has cost us. The beautiful thing is that in the midst of the suffering we are not left alone. He is with us.
  4. My past is too messy. This is a lie straight from hell. We are not defined by our mistakes or sins. He redeems our past for His glory. Do you know what Paul did before he wrote this loving and caring letter using words like “We were like nursing mothers, fathers…”? Paul killed Christians.
    Murder may not be in your past but we all can relate to sin that so easily entangles us. We live out the gospel not because we are perfect but because His perfection already covered our sin and shame. He tells us in verse 13 “it is His word at work in us.”

Stop Holding the Baton

Because my children ran track I can’t help but use the baton as an example. Can you imagine if in a race when you get the baton you just stand there and look at it? Or you stick it in your back pocket and go along doing your own thing? Perhaps you take it and decide you’re going to hang it around your neck as if it were the prize.

Runners have been trained to know that when you get the baton you run with it. and pass it on. You don’t keep it for yourself, you run with it and you keep passing it on until the race is finished.

In the same way, we have been entrusted with the Gospel. We constantly have God’s word reminding us and training us to do the same–pass the baton.

We not only have been entrusted with God’s word but we’ve been equipped to declare it and live it out for His glory–right now, right here where God has placed us.

Isn’t that amazing? He’s entrusted us with the gospel. 

God  has placed you exactly where you’re at,

 for this time, 

On purpose, 

To declare His word and live it out for His glory.

Did you know I wrote a book? It makes a great gift for your daughter, grandmother, mom or friend. It’s for the busy woman so you can do it in 5 minutes a day. You can read more about it HERE or HERE.

Take Heart! God Sees You and Calls You By Name

Do you remember Hagar an Egyptian slave to Sarah? She reminds us to take heart because God Sees you and calls you by name!

As you may recall Sarah is unable to give Abraham children. As time went by she grew more impatient and concerned. Her problem got bigger and her God got smaller. Usually, when we find ourselves in this place we are tempted to take matters into our own hands.

Sarah did the very exact thing and she told Abraham to take Hagar as his wife in hopes that she could build a family through her.

Well, Abraham slept with her and she conceived. Sarah became jealous and bitter so she began mistreating Hagar. We don’t get the details of her mistreatment but for a woman carrying a child to run out to the wilderness to die, I think it would be safe to say she was harshly mistreated.

Maybe she felt like God had forgotten her but He had not.

The Lord goes out to find her with a message Genesis 16:9-12:

  • He calls her by name– Hagar. He doesn’t simply address her as a slave but by her given name.
  • He gives her a blessing–Descendants too numerous to count.
  • But before this promise, he asks her to do something hard. Go back to Sarah and submit to her.
  • He tells her about the child in her womb.
  • He tells her that the Lord has heard her misery.

Her Response to the God Who Sees Her

Our all-knowing gracious God…calls her by name. He blesses her, comforts her and reminds her of who God is and whom she belongs to.” ~Proverbs 31 in 5 Minutes a Day Bible Study

She responds with praise. She gives God this name–El Roi. She says in vs 13 “You are the God who sees me”, for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me”.

She also responds with obedience to Him even when it’s hard. We read further in the text that she returns back to Sarah.

He Sees You

This morning I was reminded in my time with God that it’s easy to feel forgotten, taken for granted, or unappreciated.

He sees your hot mess. He sees the ordinary mundane routines you help your children with, He sees the ugly cries (that come forth from your inner soul), the precious moments–He sees ALL of it.

He sees you wake up in the middle of the night with a sick child. He sees you running around trying to get to the grocery store in time to get back home for your child. He sees you listen to that person who needs some TLC. He sees you stand firm in your convictions at work even if it means possible ridicule. He sees you come early to church and stay late to serve. He sees you patiently and sometimes impatiently handle another tantrum. He sees you write another blog post that will go into the world-wide-web without a single response. He sees you leaned over the kitchen stove stirring another pot of food for your tribe. He sees you up late at night because you’re heart is worried about that thing.

He sees you! Nothing is wasted in His hands and nothing goes unseen on His watch.

Your Turn

So I’m going to ask you to do what I was asked to do in my devotional because it was so healing for me to write it out.  Write out 2 or 3 things you do that go unacknowledged or unappreciated.

“Instead of shoving those feelings down, bring them to God and let Him, minister to your heart. Ask Him to comfort you and guide you.”

It will do us good,

To remember in the darkness what God has told us in the light”.

So for each thing you listed, write out–

You are the God who sees_____. Help me _____.

For example, You are the God who sees what I do to keep our home a safe and loving place. Help me not become resentful when my efforts are taken for granted or ignored. Help me remember that you see it and it’s worth it.

Now pause and list yours.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I proclaim the words of Hagar, “You are the God who sees me.” I praise you for being El Roi (Hebrew for “the God who sees”.) I thank you because nothing is wasted in your hands and nothing goes unseen on your watch. Help me keep my eyes on you. In your name, Amen.

 

The quotes mentioned above can be found in week 3 of the Proverbs 31 5 Minutes a Day Bible Study.

 

 

Motherhood Is Supposed to Be Hard

Have you ever felt like somehow you got jipped in this motherhood thing? Like somehow you got the short end of the stick when God made you a mother? I get it, we all have our “mom fail” moments, days and even weeks.  In fact, I had one this morning and it’s tempting to feel like I was put in the malfunctioning motherhood group.

We’ve subconsciously or consciously believed this false narrative–that motherhood is supposed to be easy.

Let’s go back to Genesis to get some perspective. Since the beginning of creation, we are told in Genesis that motherhood was not going to be easy the words used to describe motherhood in Genesis 3:16 is “pain, toil, work, labor…”

Motherhood is supposed to be hard but it doesn’t mean it’s all hard. Yes, there are beautiful and magical days but just like a farmer has to toil in order to enjoy the harvest so do we as we plant seeds in the hearts of our children.

In our heads, we know it’s’ going to be hard but we don’t really know it until we experience the depths of sleeplessness, sickness and worry.

It’s easy to lose sight of truth and feel embarrassed or shocked when:

Our kids are acting like kids. You know when they are tattling, whining or arguing with you.
When our cute little cherubs behave sinfully.
When we behave sinfully.
We are shocked they’ve forgotten what we’ve taught them. But if you pause for a moment and think about how old you are and how long God has been teaching you the same old lesson you get some perspective.

Motherhood Is Supposed to Be Hard

When we enter mothering with the belief that motherhood is supposed to be easy then when we experience challenges and it gets hard we blame ourselves or our children. We believe that either we are not suitable for this work or that they are the problem.

Both of these thoughts are birthed from a lie that claims if things are hard something must be wrong. So you begin to feel dissatisfied with the most important work you’ve been given –to mother.

Instead of entering the “motherhood pity party” and compare our mothering to other moms, our children to other children and letting the bitterness and jealousy creeps in let’s shift our thoughts.

Let our imperfections remind us of His perfect work on the cross.

Embracing Motherhood

Let’s start embracing motherhood for what it is; it comes with challenges and that’s okay and normal for you and your child to experience struggles. It does NOT mean that our kids are horrible or that you’re incompetent.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

The reality is, the most important things in our lives have come to us with much labor.

Motherhood is brutal and it’s also beautiful. It’s brutiful!

Motherhood is the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do and the most unappreciated role you’ll ever have.

Motherhood will take you off your high horse in a matter of seconds and the next minute you’ll find yourself having a “proud mom moment”.

Motherhood will make you ugly-cry and happy cry and I mean really ugly-cry to the point you can’t even catch your breath.

Motherhood has lots of long nights but the years are short.

As mothers, we have birthed and nurtured a precious life into this world. It’s pretty amazing and you should be proud of this beautiful sacrifice and accomplishment of bringing and raising a precious soul. In the process don’t forget that motherhood was designed for you to lean into the Giver of Life, it doesn’t all depend on you.

Mommas we need Jesus. His grace is sufficient for you. We were never meant to mom alone!
So stop trying.

The Many Seasons of a Woman’s Life

Just as the earth has seasons in the same way women have various seasons of life. As women, we are constantly moving in and out of season whether it’s physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

Sometimes we graciously flow into one season and at other times we are dragged into it. The many changes like family, career, relationships, church, community and our body all impact us. Even the phases our children go through seem to leave an impression on our lives.

No matter what challenges we are faced with in this season let’s remember that we may not have it all together, but we know the One who does.
God is always at work.
Nothing is wasted with God.

Let’s invite God into each season of our life.
As you read this blog post I want you to consider this question–What season does God have you in at this stage of your life?

Things to Remember in the Four Seasons

Have you noticed how God speaks a lot about “process” in the Bible? The word “process” is not necessarily used but people and situations being in “process” are constantly talked about in scripture.

When we look at Hebrews 11 the “Faith Hall of Fame” each one of those people mentioned Enoch, Rahab, Abraham, Jacob, and Moses; every single one of them was in process.

  • God values “process”. So one thing we can take away from the many seasons we will encounter in our life is how much God values this thing we often fight called “process”.
  • In nature, the fall season of harvesting doesn’t happen overnight. We need the tedious work of pruning, weeding, and sometimes even replanting that happens in the summer. The hope of life that we see bud forth in spring as the earth is awakened is only possible because of Winter.
    The lovely thing about our Heavenly Father is that He is walking with us in the darkness and the light. Jesus Immanuel means “God with us.”
  • He doesn’t expect us to reach the point of completion while we are here on earth. We live in this tension where we possess every spiritual blessing in Christ on this side of heaven, but we will not yet experience the fulness of it. He uses our brokenness, failures, challenges, all as a part of our faith process. For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
  • God also doesn’t expect us to be in a season that He has not called us to. So you can stop comparing your season to someone else’s season of life.
  • God knows that death and darkness are inseparable and are a vital part of the process for life.
    So you may find yourself knee-deep in a season of darkness and it may feel like you’re being buried, but maybe, just maybe, you’re actually being planted.

Are you in the season of spring, summer, fall or winter? Whatever season we find ourselves in let’s remember to embrace the season God has us in right now. In order to do that we need to remind our wandering heart who our God is and who we belong to.

Here’s what some of these seasons may look like:

  • Spring Season – “Hope of life” is what I call this season. It’s a seed planting season when we see signs of life shoot forth from the dark soil. It’s a time we discover God’s delight after a dark winter season. It’s a time when God is planting new seeds in our hearts. I see this stage as similar to what I do with my kids when I want to plant seeds of faith in their hearts. I teach, share, model, remind them of whatever faith principle I want them to recall, walk-in, and fall in love with. Sometimes God reminds me of His truth by crossing my path with a person, or through a sermon, a song, a scripture passage.
  • Summer Season – It’s also a time of hard work that involves watering, pruning, weeding, and sometimes even replanting. It’s a lovely time to play but it must be balanced in order to enjoy the bounty of fall.
    In this season we learn lessons in obedience, service, and preparation that may involve painful trials or change. This growth season maybe those moments when the faith lessons have clicked and we are walking in them or when we fail and we are learning from our mistakes.
  • Fall Season – is what I call the Harvest Season- The season of reaping the bountiful harvest. This is a time when we get to enjoy the blessings of God’s work in our life and our faithful service. It’s a time of reaping the benefits of our hard work in the summer. It can be a child who is finally cleaning his room. Maybe you walked him through this monotonous routine for what felt like a 100X but now she’s doing it on her own. Maybe the bounty you get to enjoy is in your ministry, career, marriage, or healing relationships.
    Here in this season, we may be faced with a different challenge of not becoming complacent because of our blessings.
  • Winter season – This is a challenging season in our life when we find ourselves asking, “Why God?” When we may find life to be overwhelming and filled with darkness that threatens to devour us. It can be a move, job change, rebellious children, health issues, relationship issues.

No matter what challenges we are faced with in this season let’s remember that we may not have it all together, but we know the One who does. We get to call Him our Abba, El Roi, Almighty, Provider, Redeemer and Waymaker.

He has made everything beautiful in His time! Will you trust Him?

You can download this beautiful verse and print it off by subscribing here: ecclesiastes13_11 Printable

Influence In Every Season

I want to leave you with this encouragement — Ask God to open your eyes so that you may see the influence He has given you in this season of life that you’re in.

He did not call you out of darkness for nothing!

In 1 Peter 2:9 it says, “You are a chosen people… God’s special possession, so that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into the light.”

Sometimes we get confused and we think this “influence” is for when we have it all together, in 5 years, when we have more time, we get a bigger platform or promotion, when we lose weight or the never-ending excuse of “when the kids get older”.

It’s not! Your influence is for right here where God has placed you.

In my book that I recently published called “Proverbs 31 in 5 Minutes a Day,” I dig deep into the Proverbs 31 passage. As I look at the passage I see a woman who uses her influence because she knows who she belongs to.

In the various seasons our Heavenly takes us through hold on to the fact that God is walking with you, alongside of you.

God is always at work!

Nothing is ever wasted with God.

As we look at Ecclesiastes 13:11 we are reminded that “He has made all things beautiful in His time.”
There’s a God-given purpose our Heavenly Father has invited us all to as His children and that is to glorify Him in everything we do. You may remember it from the Westminster Catechism “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
That’s why you and I no matter what we do have–influence. Not because we are famous or have some high powered job, but because we are made in His image and we have been adopted into His family therefore giving us influence.

So what are you waiting for? God has already given you a purpose as His child and He has already given you influence right here where he has placed you.

Praying For Your Children From Head to Toe

For years my subconscious mode of operation was–It’s all up to me!

I’m not sure where I came up with that idea but it was leaving me exhausted and unhappy.

Well, I’m happy to report that this is NOT how God designed motherhood for us to go at it alone. We are not meant to carry the burden and weight of the souls, lives, emotions, actions, heart and words of our children. Yes, we are to train them, guide them, love them and coach them through life but it is God who does the heart work.

God has been teaching me this lesson over and over again in my 16 years of motherhood that I don’t need to save or fix my children. My mama bear heart wants to save them from hurt, pain, challenges, bullies but I also know that God can use that pain to strengthen them, redeem them and draw them close to Him. My mama heart wants to “fix” their weaknesses but I also know that in their weakness His power is made perfect.

God didn’t make me a mother so I could fix or save my children but to love them, guide them and pray for them.

So today I want to focus on the honor and responsibility we get as mothers–to pray for our children.

Praying For Your Children From Head to Toe

You can download this printable by clicking—-> Praying for your child from Head to toe but the longer version is below.

We are going to pray for our children from “Head to Toe”.

Pray for Their Mind:  Lord, I pray that you would help ___ catch every thought and make it obedient to you. Help ___ not be conformed to this world but that __ would let you transform ___ into a new person by changing the way ___ thinks so he can discern what is good, acceptable and your will. (Romans 12:2, 2 Cor. 10:5)

Pray for their Eyes: I ask that you’d give __ eyes to see the wonders and goodness of who you are in and around him. Help ___ really see people for who they are and respect them. Give ___ the ability to turn his eyes away from evil and focus them on you.

Pray for their Ears: Heavenly Father, There are so many voices out there that want to influence our children but ___ tune those out so ___ can hear your voice above all of them. Help ___ discern evil from good and choose truth in the midst of it all.

Pray for their Mouth: Lord may ___ words be pleasing to you; filled with truth, gratitude and kindness so that others may see You through ___. Remind ___ to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. (James 1:19)

Pray for their Hands: Lord, May they use their hands to work hard and may they be willing to serve those in need. Let the beauty of the Lord be upon them, and establish the work of their hands. (Psalms 90:17)

Pray for their Feet: Let ___ throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let ___ run with perseverance the race, fixing __ eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2) May ___ walk with the wise and not the foolish. Give ___ the courage to stand fast and to remove those stumbling blocks from ___ path.

Pray for their Heart: Heavenly Father, May ___ desire to be in your presence above all else, draw ___ close to you. May ___ trust you with all ___ heart and not rely in __ own understanding but in all his ways acknowledge you. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Teach ___ to hide your word in __ heart.

This school year may look different for your children but we can still pray that the Lord will work in them and through them in a might way.