We had an absolutely AMAZING event this past September for the women and an equally AMAZING event (in slightly different ways) for the Teenage girls this past August. I'm so super excited about all that God seems to be doing with and thru TWU. I have experienced a whole new level of being wow'd by God over the last few months.
I can't wait to share it all with you! Thank you so much for your patience. I'm posting a great message from Suzanne. She wrote it a few months ago, but I think you will enjoy starting your year with it. (Sorry I didn't post it sooner.)
Thank you for your patience as we are growing and focusing our efforts with TWU. Looking forward to our year together!
It is hard to believe that it has been a month since we spent time together at the Dare to Believe conference. Since that time, my life has been a whirlwind. As usual, everything I spoke about has been road-tested in my life. That seems to be the usual routine after a SHE Event for me. I know the struggles and battles I have faced have been for my good because it has allowed me to clear away the cobwebs of untruth and lies and replace them with HIS truth.
When Claire and I began speaking, we posed the following questions to you.
1. Who do you think you are?
2. What do you think God thinks about when He thinks of you?
We then asked: Is Scripture your basis or is the world your basis?? I spent a very miserable, LONG week basing my answers on what the world thinks. I worried about my performance and gaining the approval of others. It was not a pretty picture. I am so thankful for friends who got my perspective back on track. Looking back on that time a few weeks ago, it reminded me of a few quotes:
“Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.” Neurotic Notebook
I heard this quote this summer while listening to a sermon from 1 Peter. Wow, that is what Father wants us to know when we are in the midst of a struggle…..HE WILL HAVE THE VICTORY. We still have HOPE!!
“Challenges can define you, destroy you, or strengthen you.” Tricia Edmundson (Senior Executive Director with Thirty One Gifts)
Wow, this is so true too. In the midst of my challenges, I believed they would destroy me. I can tell you that they did not, and I am now strengthened in a way I was not before. You see I was leaning on my own strength and not His; therefore my perspective was skewed.
At the end of the conference, I asked you to consider your spheres of influence . To the right is the diagram for you to think about and possibly draw or print out yourself.
I will give you an example from my life. AS YOU READ THIS DO NOT MAKE COMPARISIONS……REMEMBER, Jesus is the one doing ALL of this in and through those in this example.
One of my main goals as a parent is to make sure that my two precious children know that they are children of God who are deeply loved by their parents and their God. I want them to know that even when they mess up or make a mistake that they are not bad kids….they are children of God who made a mistake. Ok….now that you know that…..here is the example. I hope and pray that people will see Jesus in my kiddos. I want them to SHINE His light to those around them. I am a public school teacher, and my children attend public schools. It can be EXTREMELY difficult to SHINE in that environment. Well, last week I had other school employees coming up and telling me stories about my son and his special friend in class. Camden had been interacting with a little girl at school who has some challenges with communication. He had been her buddy out at recess and in the classroom. Other people saw it and were blown away. I had no idea this way going on because I do not encourage my son to do that, it is just a natural overflow of Christ’s love flowing out of him onto others. Then, I received an email from an administrator at my daughter’s school telling me that, “She was beautiful inside and out.” My daughter struggles constantly at school dealing with people who treat her poorly, but she still SHINES His light to all those around her. Are my kids perfect….of course not….they struggle just like all of us. On the days they remember whose they are and are grounded in that truth, it overflows to all they interact with as they walk through life. My hope and prayer is that I will do the same thing. The people who were impacted by my kids are in that outer circle. I pray those people will go out and impact the lives of this around them.
When you think about the lives you impact around you, do not use this as an exercise to condemn yourself. Use it as an opportunity for Father to show you the lives HE wants to influence and impact all around you. WOW….what a blessing to be used in that way!
Next time, I will share more about the SHE Reads Truth devotional and Jeff Henderson.
I love you my sisters and I DARE to BELIEVE that He can make a difference through us in the lives He allows us to touch around us!!