Friday, March 26, 2010

Step By Step

"I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." John 15:1-2

I was sitting in my Wednesday morning Bible study class. We were studing A Woman's Heart God's Dwelling Place by Beth Moore. This particular morning we were looking at John 15 and studying about The Vine and the Branches. Beth was teaching that sometimes we hold on to last seasons fruit in our lives so much so that we are left with a handful of splinters. We fight the pruning process. God began to speak to me and it became very obvious that I was indeed holding on with all my might to last seasons fruit. I was comfortable with last season's fruit. It was easy for me.

Last seasons fruit in my life was the Women's Ministry that I was leading at the time. I had led the women at my church for ten years. And I loved it!

That Wednesday morning I sat for most of our class with tears in my eyes. God was doing a number on my heart. God reminded me of something that months earlier I had dismissed. I had felt His nudging to write a Bible study but quickly dismissed it because I felt I could not do it. So, I guess I reasoned that since I wasn't comfortable with the idea surely it wasn't from God. I knew better because I have lived my Christian life long enough to know that God's first priority is not my comfort zone. But still I ran from it until that particular Wednesday when He would not allow me to run any more.

As soon as Bible study was over, I went straight in to my Pastor's office and resigned as the Women's Ministry leader. I knew I had to act immediately otherwise I might decide to pick up my running shoes and run some more.

This all happened back in November. I would love to tell you that I have been busy writing and have everything all in order. But the truth is that God has been working on some areas in my heart that He does not want to come on this journey with me. The last several months have been hard. I have really struggled. I have gone from being a "doer" to just letting God still me.

My current passion is to be about the good work that God created in advance for me to do. (Ephesians 2:10) I do not want to miss what God had put me here to do. I feel it is through writing, which is totally a God thing because I never would have dreamed this in my wildest of dreams. But isn't that the beauty of God that He has plans that we could never dream of.

So that it why I am writing this post. Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, posted on her blog an opportunity to win a scholarship to the She Speaks conference. This is a conference that Proverbs 31 Ministries hosts for those who feel called to speak, write, work in women's ministry and also for teens who want to lead in their generation. You can find out all about the conference by clicking here. And if you are not familiar with Proverbs 31 Ministries, you should go here to check out their website. They can provide you with tons of encouragement.

I attended the conference several years ago and participated in the Speakers track. To say it was a life changing experience is an understatement. I experienced the presence of God like I never have before. I struggle even today to find the words to describe my weekend. I remember being so intimidated as I walked in the conference room not knowing anyone. But what I quickly realized was that we all had something in common. We were all carrying around our dreams. It was not a competition to see who would emerge as the best speaker or walk away with a book deal. It was a place of refuge where we could all come, with dreams in hand, and peal back the coverings that we had placed to protect our dreams. And as they were laid out in the open for everyone to see, God gave them flight. He breathed life into them, He gave us His confidence and He equipped us through the efforts of the Proverbs 31 team.

Today is the last day to enter for the scholarship. I have prayed if this is God's will for me; if it is meant for me to go back. You see I never want to run ahead of God but I also do not ever want to lag behind. As of this morning, I did not have a clear answer. So I began to pray. I sat down at the computer and just cried out to God. And the words of this song came to my mind and I began to sing it to the Lord in my heart:

O God You are my God and I will ever praise You
O God You are my God and I will ever seek You

I will seek you in the morning
I will turn to walk in Your ways

Step by step You lead me and I will follow You all of my days!

I believe in my heart that writing this post was the next step for me. Only God knows if I will win the scholarship. But I will continue to follow Him all my days as He leads me step by step!

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Do we realize what we are allowing?

Today I was volunteering at my children's school. I was helping serve ice cream at an Accelerated Reading Party. The table was loaded with everything yummy; sprinkles, nuts, chocolate chips, oreos, M&Ms, chocolate syrup, whip cream and cherries.

It was so cute to see the children's eyes as they saw everything on the table. I really enjoyed getting to help out.

I had my eyes opened today. As I was serving up the scoops of ice cream one little and let me stress little girl said she really shouldn't. To which I replied, " Oh you can't pass up ice cream especially on a rainy Monday." She then proceeded to tell me that she shouldn't because she was dieting because she really looked horrible in a bikini. I looked at her and my heart literally broke. I told her she did not need to be concerned with things like that at her age.

Isn't that the classic "old lady" thing to say. I was at a total loss of words. I told the lady with me that I couldn't believe what I had just heard. I told her it was the saddest thing I had ever heard.

The truth is the little girl who is in the 5th grade is really beautiful. I mean outwardly she is a very beautiful girl and it breaks my heart that at the age of 10 or 11 she can't see that. All she can see is that according to some crazy Hollywood image, she doesn't measure up.

What are we allowing to happen to our daughters?

The enemy is lying to us and we are believing it!

Do you know why this makes me jump up on my soap box? When I was about that little girls age a boy said he wouldn't like me because I was fat. Up to that point, honestly I really didn't know that I was fat. But believe me once he said it, well I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Do you know what happened as a result? I began dieting and I have been dieting ever since.

As long as we look to this world for our worth, we will never measure up. There will always be someone skinner, prettier, smarter, funnier, you name it. But do you know what I have found out...that girl who looks like she has it all together really doesn't. She thinks her thighs are fat too! And I have yet to meet a women who likes the way she looks in a bathing suit.

I so do not want my daughter to go through the image issues I have. I want her to know that her worth and value comes from Jesus Christ ALONE! And He says that she is beautifully and wonderfully made in His image!

Last year our church hosted The Real Me Conference for teen girls and women. We are starting now to plan for this year's conference. Today confirmed for me how great the need is for a conference like this. Please mark on your calendar The Real Me Conference - Friday, September 17th and Saturday, September 18th. I really hope that you will come and bring a teen girl with you.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's A Comin...

I have to tell you what I did today because I am very proud of myself. I went outside and trimmed my rose bushes. My mama is gonna be so proud of me. She told me on Sunday that it was time. When I talked to her on Monday she just casually mentioned that she had trimmed her's that day. I knew she wanted to say "Girl, go trim your rose bushes!" but my mama wouldn't do that. So I can't wait to call her and brag!

I noticed as I was trimming my bushes that I had no idea what I was doing. I really had no idea how much I should trim, so I just started cuttin. I stopped when I thought it looked pretty. I mean isn't that why we go get a haircut. My rose bushes are no different...they want to look pretty. Here's hoping that I didn't stunt their growth! I'll keep you posted...

We had a beautiful weekend with lots of sunshine. I loved every minute of it. And here is something to shout dog is permanently outside. Honestly, I hear the hallelujah chorus in my mind as I type this. We got an invisible fence installed last week and we love it. Except for the fact that our dog really doesn't mind being shocked. They have had to come out twice to "turn up the juice". Today the man came out for a second time and he said we have a stubborn, hard headed dog. All I could say was "well, at least he's cute." Don't you agree?

All this beautiful sunshine has made me so ready for spring! I can not wait to pull out the flip flops and put these socks away! I am busy this week preparing for my daughter's sleep over party this weekend. She is turning 7 on Friday and she is pretty much beside herself. I made big tissue paper flowers today to decorate with. Do you know what I love about having a daughter...she gets so excited over pretty decorative things. I am not trying to generalize genders here, but in my family my husband and son could care less about these things.
The other day I picked up some curtains for my living room. I really invested heavily in them...they each cost $3.74. And they look really good on top of that. I tucked them into my blinds just so I could see if I liked them. My daughter came in from school and the first thing she said was "Oh mama they are beautiful!" I didn't even know what she was talking about until I saw her gazing at the windows in the living room. I just smiled and thought to myself about all the fun we have in store.
I'll post some pictures one I get my decorations complete.
Have a great day!

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