Become … a short but beautiful word. As I thought about this word something drew me into it. Something simple. Something so simple that most of us can’t even see it. Something like… the syllable. Yes, I’m talking about the dividing line that separates the word “become” into two words “be” and “come.” Then I knew. I knew that this is where it all begins…the journey. And your journey begins with…”Be.”
“Be?” Yes. You see your journey begins here because you became. You became because the most powerful force in the universe designed, constructed, and patterned your very existence out of the particles of dust from the earth. He, Almighty God, formed you and gave you radiant physical attributes that were carefully thought of. Attributes that He patterned after your mom and dad whom He also created.
David, a man after God’s on heart, said in Psalm 139:13-16…”For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.”
This Designer skillfully created everything that you are. Your personality, what you like and don’t like. He knew what would make you happy, what would make you sad, what you would be afraid of, and most importantly…what you would become. He brought you into being hoping that you would simply…come.
Would you come to the one who designed you? Would you draw near to him in your distorted view of what he created you for and allow him to reform that view into what it was intended to be. The view that you were uniquely designed for a God given purpose to simply…become.
Become all that He designed you to be…to be like Him, to know Him, to follow Him, to worship Him. He brought you into being to come unto Him.
So…as you journey, be …and know that the Almighty God perfectly designed every part of you; as you journey, come … and he will give you an abundant life; as you journey, become … more of Him. The created ... in the likeness of the Creator.
Reading between the lines,
Are you busy? Several years ago, I had an awakening to what it means to be busy. When my oldest, now 14, was a little guy, my husband owned his own delivery business. He delivered documents, groceries, prescriptions, t-shirts, flowers, King Cakes ... you name it. He delivered all over Baton Rouge and New Orleans and worked 12-15 hour days. I would run deliveries for him most days, packing our son into a carseat and driving all over town. I was nursing, running between naps, keeping up the house, keeping the books for our business, leading a small group for church, attending a small group at church, and building a house 30 minutes from where we lived. I felt rather busy. One night at our small group, a friend of mine who was newly married and very young, didn't work a job, was taking 9 hours in college, and her parents had given her a house for her and her husband to live in, said, "I almost didn't make it tonight. I'm just SO BUSY." I about came out of my skin! I gotta tell you, I was not exactly sympathetic with her that night - I didn't say anything to her, but I certainly wasn't going to console her for her "busy" schedule of taking 9 hours in school with NOTHING else on her plate and no mortgage.
For the next few days, I actually stewed over her innocent statement and then I came to a conclusion. We are ALL busy in our own ways! We can't compare our schedule to the schedule of others. God gives each of us what we can uniquely handle.
Just to let you know, this beautiful young lady now has 2 kids and has worked very hard to finish school, build their own nice house with almost no mortgage, and stays active in church leadership. She WAS busy, in her own unique way, at that time in her life. I'm sure she feels a different kind of busy now. :)
So, I ask you again, are you busy?
I'm positive we are all busy in our own ways. Different seasons of life bring different schedules and different types of busy. Marriage, kids, career, homemaker, caretaker, work relationships, church relationships, leadership - all require us to be "busy." And it can be difficult to find time to even sit down and enjoy a moment of silence. For this reason, we have got to be intentional and proactive with our relationship with Christ, especially during our busy seasons. It can be very obvious when that relationship gets pushed to the back burner because of our business. Our attitudes, our moods, our perspectives, our self-images...the way we work, the way we mother, the way we lead and manage...our emotions, our responses, our reactions. Everything can suffer if we allow our
Spiritual life to suffer.
Choose today whom you will serve.
Will you serve a calendar? An emotion? A sleepless nite? A lesson plan? A client? Your checkbook? Your family? Your job? None of these in and of themselves are bad things, but when you serve them and put them above your personal growth and relationship with Jesus, they become idols. Even good things can become idols when they are put above God. Build your life on a solid foundation, THE solid Foundation.
Maybe He's already your Foundation, but maybe that's all He's allowed to be. Maybe you’ve been focused on asking God for things and asking Him to be on your side. Maybe it's time to ask what can you do for Him and evaluate whether or not you are on His side. Ask Him again what He wants you to become for His glory, and spend time listening to His answer.
It’s a choice and you HAVE a choice – it’s up to you! We are all on a journey of becoming. It’s ok to reevaluate our lives and discern when we need to tweak some things. We have a choice to
stay where we are or continue growing.
Choose today whom you will serve.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Thanks for being a part of my journey!
As we all know, a vehicle has many components, but one of the main components is the lights. There are lights that are needed on a daily basis and some that are needed for special occasions. At the front of the vehicle, there are headlights, brights, and fog lights. At the back of the vehicle, there are tail lights, brake lights, and reverse lights. Then there are our hazards - our emergency lights - that are on the front and back of the vehicle.
We'll be taking a look at all of these different types of lights to see how they are a physical representation of our “inner vehicles” that we need to maintain on a daily basis for ourselves, others, and God. Today, let's start with the front of the vehicle where the headlights, brights, and fog lights are.
Your headlights are used to light the way in front of you and they are used on a daily basis. You use them at night when it is dark out and when it is raining. You really have to keep those maintained because you use them daily. Your brights are used to illuminate more than what you can see with just your headlights. They have the specific purpose of exposing more of the darkness outside than what you’re used to. Your fog lights are also used for a specific purpose. They are used only when it gets cloudy outside and you can’t see in front of you.
What I thought was interesting about headlights is that they are at the “head” of the car. They are like the “eyes” of the car. When you turn them on, they light the road in front of you so you can see in the dark. If you don’t maintain them, you won’t be able to see.
The Bible talks about our own “headlights”? It says in Matthew 6:22-23, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness."
What this tells me is that I must turn my lights on and keep them maintained so that I can see my journey in the midst of the darkness around me. They reveal what is real. And the same is for your eyes. Now you may ask…how is that so? Well, have you ever looked in the mirror…I mean really looked in the mirror at your own eyes? I know I have done this many times. I remember looking straight in the mirror and asking myself…Who am I? What is my purpose? Am I being real with myself and others?
Your eyes can reveal so many things about you. So my question is…are you being real and transparent with yourself and others, are you lying to yourself and others, or are you keeping things inside because you’re afraid of what others will think of you?
You’re on a journey. Maybe on your journey you have your headlights on. You can see clearly and you know what direction you going in. You can see how God is making a difference in your life. Or, maybe you THINK your headlights are on and you THINK you can see clearly but deep down …your heart is telling you something different. It may mean that you have to turn your brights on and illuminate the darkness that is invading your inner vehicle. You made need to tweak your lifestyle. You may need to make an adjustment in your schedule and find some time to spend with God that will keep you tuned up to lead others.
Or maybe your lights seem dim because of all the fog. You can’t see clearly. You have no idea what direction you’re going in. Maybe it is because of the trials in your life, your past, or just too much busyness where you have no time to even look at who you are. I want to encourage you to MAKE TIME! You are worth it! Others are watching you whether you realize it or not. You have influence whether you are choosing to or not. Maintain the lights in your vehicle so you can not only see your own path, but so you can help others see theirs as well.
What do others see in you? Can they see you clearly or do they have to strain their eyes to see your transparency? Your true beauty of who you are in Christ. I want you to know that you are uniquely designed for a God given purpose with a God given identity. No matter what your front lights look like, turn them on and let God guide you as you lead.
Keep Calm and Journey On,
Keep your windshield clear!
It’s hard to see out of a dirty windshield. Plain and simple. But, one little bug here and there, or a little dirt doesn’t necessarily keep us from seeing out of our windshield, right? And sometimes, we can even let things build a little – maybe even a lot – before we actually realize we can’t even see where we are going.
There are so many issues when we can't see clearly - we might turn down the wrong path, we may even go off the path all together, we might end up traveling down a road we were never meant to travel. If we can’t see to keep our journey in check, we definitely can’t help anyone else along their journey. And heaven forbid we steer them in the wrong direction because we can’t see what’s in front of us.
So, what’s our windshield? We see, feel, touch…we experience life, we filter everything through our emotions. How we feel any given day at any given time for any given reason. As women, we tend to be quite influenced by our emotions. When we are living an honest life, the little bugs that seem to splat on our windshields can easily be wiped away. They still hit the windshield, but you have enough water in that little button in your wipers to clean it off. Even when it rains cats and dogs and we just want to pull over, when we are prepared with sharp wiper blades, the water brushes aside almost as quickly as it hits the glass.
However, when we hide what’s going on inside, when we don’t surround ourselves with close confidants who can “tell us like it really is,” stuff inevitably starts building up on our windshields. We push our feelings down and let the hurt build. Someone hurts you and you push it down, you pretend you aren’t hurt but really, you ARE hurt. Or maybe you get let down by a friend. Again, you push your feelings down and hide them. Maybe you find out your co-worker was recognized by your boss and you weren't. You know you SHOULDN’T be upset, but you are. You aren’t willing to admit that such seemingly insignificant things bother you. You lie to yourself. You don’t let anyone else know what you are dealing with. You don’t let anyone else help you get to the REAL root of any of those issues. Now your windshield isn’t only dirty, but the jealousy and bitterness that is building has caused you to take your eyes off the road entirely.
Now I’m NOT saying you SHOULD allow little things to bother you. As believers, we need to be spiritually minded and try to see the bigger picture. However, we ARE human and there will be things that hurt us in this life. What happens when you allow something that genuinely hurt you to sit? Something begins to grow. It grows and it develops roots. Then one day, somebody says or does something and you explode – you look up and you can no longer see the road, so much so that you now run the risk of wrecking the car. What grows is ugly and it’s dangerous. Jealously and bitterness are 2 emotional cancers that can destroy much more than your ability to lead.
Most of the time, it is easier to disguise what’s going on inside than to admit we are struggling with something. But, we have got to keep our windshields clear! Try your best not to hide your feelings and let disappointing emotions build up in your life. And don’t deny them in an effort to make them disappear, either. We’re talking about being transparent. You can’t pretend nothing is bothering you so you CAN pretend to have a clear windshield. The truth WILL come out – one way or another, your true emotions will emerge. Don’t simply DENY that you are struggling. That doesn’t keep your windshield clear – it only adds mud to it. And in the end, it will take a lot more to get your windshield clean.
Sometimes you can clean that windshield all on your own. If you admit what’s been going on, maybe even go to the person you are upset with and let them know they hurt you – they may not even know it. Sometimes, simply praying and confessing to God how you feel can make you feel better. Sometimes writing a letter that you trash when you are done helps – it’s a safe way to vent so nobody but God has to hear. :) Sometimes, praying for the person who hurt you will help since it's hard to stay mad at someone you are praying for.
But sometimes, you just can’t do it on your own. I wouldn’t suggest you share your challenges with just anyone, but find some peers, friends, mentors that you CAN be honest with, who make you feel safe to be transparent. These women can help you keep your windshield clear. They can encourage you as you cry and they can challenge you to see the big picture. It’s not always easy to get that windshield clean. It may take a little scrubbing – it may even take someone else helping you to scrub. It may be a little embarrassing that you weren’t able to clean that windshield on your own, but it’s ok. God has given us those friends – allow Him … to work thru them … to help you.
Being a "Christian" doesn’t mean you never struggle, never have questions, never lose your cool, and never make a mistake. Being a Christian means that even when you are struggling you have the hope in Jesus that you can grow thru your struggle and become a better person on the other side of it. Being a Christian is recognizing that you can’t do things on your own. It is discerning who to ask for help and then having the courage to do so. Being a Christian means keeping bitterness and jealousy off of your spiritual windshield so you can not only see your own path, but so you can help guide others as well.
Praying for us all to have clean windshields!!!
Thanks for being you,
and for allowing me to be me!
Pressures are everywhere and we deal with different pressures every day of our lives. It's important to acknowledge the fact that, just as tires lose a certain amount of pressure over time with simple wear and tear, so do we.
Let’s look at a few ways to make sure we have and keep the best balance of pressures in our lives - the best balance of pressure to keep us productive and effective for God.
First, when it comes to tires, we need to learn the recommended tire pressure for the actual vehicle, not just the tire. This isn’t found on the tire, but is found on the vehicle itself (or in the manual).
Remember, we are each UNIQUE! We are all different! We are created that way! We all work differently and we can all handle different amounts of pressures. YOU need to learn how much YOU can handle. Don’t overcrowd your schedule or take on more than you know you can handle, just because someone else seems to. Be honest about how much you can handle. Be honest with yourself and be honest with others. Just as the vehicle’s recommended tire pressure is on the vehicle, YOU are the only one who can decide what your schedule should look like. Listen to what the Lord tells you – He’ll guide you!
2ndly, choose a time to check your tire pressure regularly and stick to it. You can’t check it once and never check it again.
Situations change, so does our ability to handle pressures. Keep evaluating your life, your situations, your job, your family's needs, your needs, your areas of contribution in the community and all of the things in your life. Again, you won’t be as productive or effective as you could be if you take on more than you are created to take on, OR if you choose to take on responsibilities that someone else is better suited for.
The 3rd tip is to use a high quality pressure gauge and ck the pressure when the tires haven’t been driven more than a few miles, AND when the tires are at the same temperature as the air around them, in other words, not in extreme temperatures.
Find quality women who can help hold you accountable. They can help you gauge when you don’t have the proper balance of pressure in your life. And don’t be pressured by extreme situations that can influence you to make extreme decisions.
Lastly, remember to check all 4 tires. Don’t assume any one of them is ok bc the others are. And don’t forget to check your spare tire – that’s just plain good advice. :)
I’ll end with a quote:
“Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” - Thomas J. Watson
Again, we are going to lose some steam at different times of our lives simply due to normal wear and tear. Whether you realize it or not, others are watching you and you have influence in their lives. We need to make sure we aren’t out of balance with over or under-inflated tires. It’s our responsibility to make sure we don’t get in our own way by overcommitting and underperforming so we can be as productive and effective as we were created to be.
Thanks for being you!
If you've been to any of our SHE events, you've know we love the JOURNEY concept. We are all on a journey - this life is our journey. It's not as much about the exact destination we are trying to reach as it is about becoming who God uniquely created each one of us to be.
So, if we are on a journey, then we must have a vehicle. I'm not referring to the vehicle you have to get you from your house to Hobby Lobby or Lowes or your church. :) I'm talking about your very own personal vehicle that God designed for you in which to travel thru life - YOU! Sometimes our “personal vehicles” need some maintenance - an adjustment, a tweak, a tune up. While there is definitely a need to maintain our physical vehicle - our body itself, we want to discuss some maintenance for our Spiritual and Emotional vehicles. For the next few weeks, we're going to be blogging about this type of "Maintenance" and we hope it blesses you!
Our first area for maintenance is TIRES.
How many of you have ever experienced a flat tire? We all know we need to have some air in our tires, but did you realize that just as under-inflated tires can slow you down, over-inflated tires can keep your car from traveling at its best and can even be dangerous?
Many things can affect tire pressure. Some things include normal air loss thru the tire itself, payload, temperature and damage to the tire. Tires lose a % of air every month just due to regular wear and tear.
What happens when the pressure is too low? Pressure that’s too low leaves too much of the tire in contact with the road. These tires wear early and have the potential to overheat. That under-inflation can lead to tire failure or reduce the tread life by as much as 25%!
Tire pressure that’s too high results in less tire touching the ground. This can create a harsher ride as well as compromised traction. The tires can be damaged more easily when they run over potholes or debris. And, over time, over-inflated tires lead to excessive inner tire tread wear which can decrease the overall life of the tire.
Balancing pressures in our lives works much the same way. We need pressures in our lives, but we need to make sure they are balanced - we can be neither under-inflated nor over-inflated. We automatically have a level of pressure on us daily. But we can allow these pressures to help us grow personally and help sustain us or we can allow unncecessary pressures to overwhelm us and keep us from becoming all we were created to be.
BALANCE is the key!
We can choose to highly reduce pressures in our lives by reducing the things we do. We can delete everything from our schedule, sit at home, and do nothing. BUT, this kind of lifestyle could leave us UNDER-INFLATED, and we weren’t created that way! God, Himself is relational. God, Himself created, Jesus walked the earth and did miracles and spoke and led others. But we see God and Jesus both set examples of balance for us. God rested on the 7th day and we see Jesus pull away from the crowds plenty of times.
Yes, we are human “beings” and there’s a time for just BE-ING, but we need some level of pressure to help us grow and become all God created us to be. Under-inflation (too low of pressure) can significantly reduce our productivity for God.
On the other hand, OVER-inflation (too many pressures) can create a much bumpier ride and can reduce our effectiveness for God. Putting too many things on our calendar and not knowing how to prioritize can leave us feeling overwhelmed and frazzled.
Again, BALANCE is the key! We each need to find the balance that will work best for us! We were created unique and we each have a unique amount of pressure that we are capable of handling. It takes time and intentional effort, but if we can take the time to figure it out, we will be further along our Journey to becoming ALL God created us to be!
We'll talk more about ways to stay balanced next week. :)
Thanks for being on this journey with me!
Thanks for being YOU!
This morning, I was looking through my digital photos for a specific picture - which I found - but a few spots over, I saw a picture I had taken of a page out of a Bible. I evidently took the pix in March out of a new translation I was reading called The Voice. Have you heard of it? It was of Romans 12. I'm sure you've heard parts of this before, but you might not have heard it from this translation. And if you haven't heard it, you are in for a treat. :)
Romans 12:4 starts like this:
"For in the same way that one body has so many different parts, each with different functions, we, too - the many - are different parts that form one body in the Liberation King. Each one of us is joined with one another, and we become together what we could not be alone."
Easy enough - we are all parts of one body in Christ. I love the last part of that, though. "Each one is joined with one another, and WE BECOME TOGETHER WHAT WE COULD NOT BE ALONE." WOW!!! I hadn't heard it put quite like that. Together, we can become what we couldn't become alone. So maybe we need each other after all. I heard it said once that we were meant NOT to COMPETE with each other, but rather COMPLETE each other as sisters. That verse is a great example of that - we become together what we could not be alone. Again - WOW!!!
Ok, to continue on with verse 6 ...
"6) Since our gifts vary depending on the grace poured out on each of us, it is important that we exercise the gifts we have been given. If prophecy is your gift, then speak as a prophet according to your proportion of faith. If service is your gift, then serve well. If teaching is your gift, then teach well. If you have been given a voice of encouragements, then use it often. If giving is your gift, then be generous If leading then be eager to get started. If sharing God's mercy, then be cheerful in sharing it."
We did our strengths and skills exercises, have you worked on them again? Have you gone back to look at what you wrote that day? Have you avoided it?
Remember, BECOMING IS A JOURNEY! This is a process. Don't just attend the conference and be excited that day, that weekend, or that next week. EMBARK!!! Go back to your notes from the conference - what did God say to you that weekend? What has He said to you since then? Are you listening??? Are you asking?!?! Embark on that journey that God has for you discovering, uncovering and becoming! Put the effort in - some days the effort will be much more than others - but take time to discover things about yourself you didn't know, to uncover things you have consciously and subconsciously hidden, and to become more like Christ in ALL areas of life.
BABY STEPS!!! Some days we just need to focus on baby steps. This week, let's take a baby step together. Pick ONE area, just ONE, to work on this week. Maybe this area is a role you have, maybe it's a strength of your yours, or a skill, but whatever it is, do it well. As we just read, "serve well, teach well..." Whether our roles, strengths, or skills are being a co-worker, being a mother, being a wife, being a boss, being a manager, being an artist, being a singer, encouraging, writing, speaking - whatever it is, do it well. Mother well, lead well, manage well, design well, write well, whatever you do, do it well as you are becoming all He created you to be.
You are BEAUTIFUL! You are BECOMING!!
thanks for being you -
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