August 23, 2017

Captivating: Chapter 12 – An Irreplaceable Role – The Power of a Woman’s Life

Mary responded, I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.    

Luke 1:38

IT ALL STARTS WITH AN INVITATION….  Invitations to the prom, the Christmas party, New Year Eve’s party, your best’s friend’s wedding, and even your own wedding.  Whether the question is ‘will you be my date’ or ‘will you dance with me’ or ‘will you marry me,’ things turn around upon your acceptance.

Just like a gentleman would ask you any of the above questions depending on where you are in life, so too does our God.  God does not bulldoze himself into our lives.  He invites us to the most important and irreplaceable role in this world; and everything depends on our answer.

Stasi Eldredge takes us through the life of Mary, a teenager who is betrothed to Joseph.  The Angel comes to her and gives her the news that she is to have a child—not just any child—but the Son of God.  Imagine with me how it was… First of all, the message is being delivered by an Angel—a heavenly being with wings and full of light.  Secondly, Mary is a teenager who has not yet slept with her fiancé, Joseph, (or anyone else for that matter).  And thirdly, this child she is going to have is the Son of God. How is it going to happen?  This must have been a conversation to discuss with your family at length before saying yes, right?  But not so with Mary.   “Mary responded, I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true” (Luke 1:38).

Most of us have received invitations to do something for God.  But, unlike Mary, we have and still continue to deliberate over our answer.  We ask ourselves “Is this really God?”  “What if I fail?”  “I am too young or too old to go on a mission’s trip.” “What will my family, and friends think of me?” The debate within ourselves goes on and on until we convince ourselves not to do it.  We hide in the words: “I have prayed about it and my heart is at peace.”  Wait a minute!  Your heart is at peace for refusing an invitation to do God’s will?

What would have happened if Mary said “No.” to the Angel?  If she had told him that she was too young to be a mother or that she was afraid that if she got pregnant out of wedlock the elders of the village would throw her out of the village and stone her to death or Joseph will divorce me if he hears I am pregnant.  All these were valid reasons to say “no.”  But Mary chose to trust God and said “Yes!” to the most important and irreplaceable role of her life.  She said “Yes” to become the MOTHER OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.

My sister, you and I have an irreplaceable role to play in this world. God is waiting for us to accept that role so that He can use us for His glory.  You and I have the power to influence our world for God.  As our precious authors point out:

“There is much lifesaving that needs to be done yet, and someone needs to do it. Not in a pressure-filled, You’d better get to it kind of a way. Rather, an invitation. Your feminine heart is an invitation by your Creator. To what? To play an irreplaceable role in his Story. Isn’t that what your Lover wrote there? Some dream, some desire, something so core to who you are it almost hurts to think of it. The very longing is such a part of your being it’s scary even to give it a voice. You may not know the dream itself yet. But you know the longing to play an irreplaceable part. That is a good beginning.

Ezer is woven into the fabric of your feminine heart. You must live this out. What lives, what destinies are hanging on your “Yes” to God?”

My prayer is that we will all accept this invitation by our Creator in order to become who we are meant to be.  Our callings may be different.  Some of us are called to be mothers, wives, teachers, nurses, counselors, prayer warriors, leaders in the church or community, deacons, evangelists, preachers, caregivers, or whatever it is that you are called to do.  The most important thing to do is accept this invitation with faith and trust that God will prepare and equip us for this role.  Some roles may look like they are less important than others but in God’s eyes each role is equally important.  All we have to do is say YES and watch how God will use us.  WILL YOU ACCEPT HIS INVITATION?

In closing I would like to thank you so much for being with us for the past 12 weeks that we have been together on this journey.  It has been challenging and transforming but I have enjoyed every moment.  I hope your life is no longer the same because you now see yourself as CAPTIVATING.

I would love you to join us for the new study so we can take this journey even further with Lisa Bevere’s new book GIRLS WITH SWORDS.

LET’S PRAY:

Father, thank You so much for taking us through this Bible study.  You have taught us so many things throughout these 12 weeks and our lives have been transformed because we know how much You love us and how much You want us to know that we are Captivating and Irreplaceable.  May we live what we studied and be doers of Your Word.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

What is the role that God wants you to play and you have been putting off?

 

Be Blessed,

Jackie


Captivating: Chapter 10 – “Mothers, Daughters, Sisters” – “The Long Road Home” (pp 168-173)

 

Adam named his wife Eve,

because she would become the mother of all the living.

 GENESIS 3:20 

If you want to understand any woman

When I think about the woman that I have become, I give all the credit to my mother.  I may not have been the perfect daughter, but I did my best to be who she wanted me to be.

Just like Stasi Eldredge, I went through different phases while growing up.  I, too, did things I am not proud of; and I, too, gave my mother grief during my college years and my early twenties.  When I was at home, I made sure I was doing everything as I was told but all the while hiding the things I was doing.  I wasn’t into drugs, but I portrayed myself as someone who wasn’t dating or going to parties.  However, no matter how hard you try to hide, things come out in the end and, in my case, they did. My mother was disappointed and threatened to have me withdrawn from college.  For a while I lived up to her expectations until I started working and began to live with my aunt.  Well, my aunt made sure she reported everything I did—if I came late from work, my mother knew about it; if I had a date on Saturday afternoon or if I didn’t go to church on Sunday morning, my mother would ask me why on Monday morning.

My relationship with my mother was restrained during this time, and it made me hide who I was from her.  I longed to be a good daughter…but I couldn’t be since all she heard were the bad things that I did.  My mum would say that “I needed Jesus.”  All the “bad” I was doing was because I didn’t know Jesus.  Well, like a daughter who wanted to be in the best books with her mother, I received Jesus at a major crusade that took place.  I stopped pretending that I loved the Catholic Church and started going to a Pentecostal church.  I broke up with my boyfriend at that time because he didn’t share my new faith.  My weekends were spent at church or at home if there wasn’t a church program.  I became someone who my mum and aunt were proud of.  The reporting slowly stopped and life was good.

I wish I could end here and say that things were like that over the years.  Unfortunately it wasn’t.  I wasn’t always the good girl and this wasn’t the last time I would hide or make wrong decisions in life and disappoint my mother.  However, despite my shortcomings, my mother was there to correct me and show the correct path.  My mistakes did not stop my mum from loving me.  She was there with me through the heartbreak and pain that I suffered in my relationships.  She always rushed to be by my side when I needed her the most.

“Girls’ hearts flourish in homes where they are seen and invited to become ever more themselves. Parents who enjoy their daughters are giving them and the world a great gift. Mothers in particular have the opportunity to offer encouragement to their daughters by inviting them into their feminine world and by treasuring their daughters’ unique beauty” – Stasi Eldredge.

Looking back at my life now, I cherish the life that my parents gave me and my siblings.  We were given opportunities to excel in everything that we did.  My parents encouraged us to dream big and rejoiced with us when we did well in school and never failed to show us how much they loved and cared for us.

My mother went to be with the Lord last year after she lost her battle with diabetes.  She left behind a legacy of love, strength, and care.  She was always full of advice.  She was not someone who would embarrass you when you did something wrong;she would call you aside, listen to your side of the story, and tell you what you did wrong and what doing the right thing looked like.  My mother lived by example.  If she wanted something done, she would be the first to do it.  She was someone who would be the first and last to leave a room, making sure everything was fine.  I pray that I  become half the person that she was.

I know that some of you cannot say such things about your relationship with your mother because of the pain she may have caused you; but at the end of the day, a mother and daughter’s relationship is the most of important of all.  It’s the relationship that helps us when we grow up and become mothers ourselves.

My prayer is that no matter what went on in the past or if it may still be happening right now, we would look to the Lord to help us restore the relationship with our mothers.  My mother said I needed Jesus—and she was right.  Our faith in the Lord is what cemented our relationship.  Every time we discussed issues regarding faith, all our differences would melt away.  When we talked about Jesus, we were not mother and daughter but we were both children of the most High God, we were both daughters.  I enjoyed hearing my mother say “I am praying for you” because I knew that she meant it.

Be Blessed

Jackie

LET’S PRAY:

Lord, I thank You for the precious gift that You gave to me—my mother.   I thank You for the life that I had with her, and what she meant to me and my family.  I pray for my fellow sisters whose relationships with their mothers are not great right now, that You will restore it.  May they cherish one another and learn from one another.  May their relationships be Christ-like and forgiving.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

How is the relationship with your mother or daughter?  If you were given an opportunity to write about her, what would you say?  Please take time today and tell her how much she means to you.

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GWS

Our next Women’s Online Bible/Book study begins March 24th!

We hope you will join us.

Click on the picture above to sign up today!

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If you would like to send Jackie a private email in regards to this blog post, you may email her at:  Jackie@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

Resolution for Women- The Encourager

1 John 3:18

“We must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.”

_____________________________________

The Intentional Encourager

 In our chapter, Priscilla was amazed that a very young 22-year-old Solomon – when given the opportunity to gain health, wealth, prosperity, and prestige – asked God simply for WISDOM to lead the people he was made king over.  This amazed me as well.  I have 4 children ranging in age from 17-26 and if given the opportunity to gain health, wealth, and prosperity OR wisdom – my crowd would certainly choose health, wealth, and prosperity. What child this age today wouldn’t?  Once again, like Priscilla, my initial thoughts were the same – King David certainly must have raised his child the right way ~ a way different from what I raised my own.  Do you see the similarities of this situation with times today?  They really aren’t any different.  We all have character defects or deficiencies, we all make errors in judgement and King David did as well.  Priscilla says, ‘He made some colossal mistakes in both his personal life and his parenting’; as we all have done and continue to do.

  ‘My son Solomon – God has chosen him alone – is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God.’            Chronicles 29:1-2

Solomon has been instructed to build God’s temple – did you get that?  God’s temple!  That is HUGE! …..and although he recognizes that his son is “young and inexperienced”, he also realizes that he is the chosen one.  That God chose Solomon to be king, to lead his people, to get His temple built.  Now it is his job to support, encourage, and most of all BELIEVE and have faith in his son to accomplish this undertaking. David does just that.

Like most parents, I have high expectations for my son and daughters.  I want them to have wisdom, health, wealth, prestige and all the blessings God promises in His word.  Unfortunately there have been many choices made by my children that were not in their best interest, that go against God’s instruction – that have caused me to lose faith in them, that have caused me to stop believing in them in many areas.  Shame on me.   I certainly was not perfect growing up and only in the last 4-5 years have built a relationship with Jesus Christ that has given me the desire and conviction to make my life’s decisions based on my Heavenly Father’s desires, the desires found in His word.  God didn’t give up on me.  God believed in me.  However, it remains very hard difficult to give my children that same gift (virtually impossible! – although we know with God all things are possible!)

As God’s child,  He was with me every step of the way growing up.  I know this because I should have been a ‘street kid’.  As a teenager my brother and I were being raised by my father.  He left our house to move in with his girlfriend and we had free reign.  Our dad wasn’t there giving us parental guidance, he wasn’t cooking for us or taking care of us.  I remember living in that mobile home (our home), just me and my brother (who was only 18 months younger than me) wanting to take care of him. There was no desire to ‘party’ as many teenagers do today. There was no desire to stay out until all hours or to do drugs or drink. God delivered us from what could have been a disastrous young adulthood.  He gave us wisdom.

The lesson being taught to us today is that we MUST be INTENTIONAL (and we have heard this word throughout many chapters n our study) with our children.  We must INTENTIONALLY encourage them, we must INTENTIONALLY provide them support (and I’m not talking about financial support or treasures), we must INTENTIONALLY believe in them.  We have to trust that our Heavenly Father has them – after all, they are His children.  We are simply here to give them earthly guidance and support until such day that they are reunited with their Father in heaven.  They are on loan to us.  We must never give up providing them with the spiritual food they need to get to know their daddy.  We must believe that they are going to do GREAT things in the course of their lives, that they too will build a relationship with God that will allow them to give their children what David did to Solomon.  This is a hard task ladies – a tough, tough task.  It is for me anyway – maybe it’s easier for you guys.  Perhaps you are in a different place in your life than I am in mine.  However, the lesson remains the same.  BE INTENTIONAL with your children.  As we have read in the past chapters, our jobs as parents don’t end when our children become adults.  Even with our grown children we must be INTENTIONAL in our actions towards them and continue to ‘train them up’ in the ways of the Lord. We must believe in them, encourage them, and support them – Intentionally. What incredible life gifts for them!

Let’s Pray:

Father, work in our lives.   Work in my heart Lord and in the heart of every reader here.  Allow us to become convicted and determined to be INTENTIONAL with our children AND the children of this world – those in our churches, in our communities, in  other cities and countries we visit.  Especially those father that do not have a parental figure in their lives.   You know every situation Father – for every parent and every child.  Provide us with the wisdom, guidance, and gentle nudges OR large pushes necessary to give our children the gift of belief in them, of encouragement, and the desire to continue spiritually feeding them regardless of where they are today in their personal lives.  May we be more like David in our daily walk with our children.

Your Assignment:

List some of the immature actions and temperaments in your children that may discourage you.  Keep this list in a place where you can always be reminded to pray regarding them, and consider who you can enlist to encourage your child in these areas (along side of you).  Carefully consider how you can make the overarching tone of your relationship with your child one of encouragement.  Please comment and let us know how we can pray for you in your walk, attempting to be more like David with Solomon.  or God with us.

[My note:  It is very difficult for me personally, psychologically, to see the roses over the thorns many times with my children.  This prohibits me from giving them the encouragement that I need to.  Especially with my son, who is covered in thorns.  This lesson has challenged me.  I will be praying for each of you in your own lives and request you cover my family in yours. Thank you for this.]__________________

Don’t forget, on October 1st, we will begin our brand new Online Bible Study, right here, entitled “Winning Him Without Words” by Lynn Donovan and Dineen Miller.  If you are in an unequally spiritual marriage, you won’t want to miss this study!!  It is AMAZING! (as a personal note, I have read this book – I have communicated with these authors over the past year and they are amazing.  Their personal stories changed my life.  Their words confirmed what my own pastor said when he counseled me in my own marriage.  I pray that you will join us for this study as well!)

To sign up for this study, please send an email to:  Womens@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com and we will send you all the details you need to get started!

Don’t forget to stop by Craig’s blog to see what the guys are up to with The Resolution for Men.

www.adversusmundi.wordpress.com

Be sure to jump on over to our Facebook Group for the daily activity!! If you do not yet belong to this group, and would like to, send us an email at GirlfriendsCoffeeHour@gmail.com with FB GROUP in the subject line, and we’ll be glad to add you!

 With the greatest love ever and many hugs,

<3 Kelley

Resolution for Women- The Soul Shaper

1 John 3:18

“We must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.”

___________________________

In today’s lesson, Priscilla talks about 3 roles a mother must take on if they are going to love their children well….

The Soul Shaper

The Intentional Encourager

The Discipline Dealer

Mama and dear friend…. I need you to understand right now that YOU are a soul shaper for your children.

It is so vitally important that we pray for our children. These prayers need to start forming in our spirit before we even have them and they must continue to grace our hearts and lips even after they leave our nest and have their own homes and children.

A Soul shaper must….

  • beware that her prayers for her child are significant
  • understand that once her child has received salvation, she is God’s primary tool to work alongside the Holy Spirit to see that the transforming process occurs effectively in her child’s soul.
  • know that she cannot accomplish this without involving her church and relatives to assist in the effort.
  • know along with her spouse that the main responsibility of this soul shaping is theirs.
  • not allow anyone else to take her or her spouse’s place as the primary influencers in the child’s life
  • help the child to become sensitive to God’s conviction
  • teach the child how to recognize God’s way of directing them through their conscience
  • continue to walk this out along with the Holy Spirit as the child grows and matures.
  • continue to seek the Lord for guidance for how she can be used to guide her children in their adult lives.

Dear friends, I hope with all my heart that you see what an intentionally BOLD role you play as your child’s soul shaper! You cannot be lazy about it or turn a blind eye. You must intentionally, every single day make this deliberate choice to invite the Holy Spirit to help you in your actions and speech in order to mold your child’s soul. What an honor and privilege!!!

Please…. if you haven’t already been walking out this bold task, start today. Don’t look back but look straight ahead at what the Lord is asking of you on behalf of His children that He has entrusted you with on this earth. HE deserves no less and neither do they. You will not be perfect… I hope you know that and are okay with that. Being human, we are flawed…. but what is so important is that you believe with your whole heart that your parenting is KINGDOM BUSINESS!!!!

You also must come at this call from a proactive stance and not one of defense. Don’t wait until your child is in trouble to cover them in scripture… we must each live each day being creative and consistent in how we clothe our children in the Word of God. What does this look like?

  • diligently and deliberately read the Bible to your kids
  • post scripture throughout the house
  • play worship music
  • be in fellowship with other believers
  • write scripture on the napkin in their lunch for school
  • send them scriptures in txt messages and emails
  • do devotional together as a family
  • ___________________________. (you fill in the blank)

we all know that if WE as women and mothers love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, that we can only then be able to fill this role to its potential and be our best for our children. If you are not regularly in the Word and being fed spiritually…. make it happen today. If you’re not going to church regularly, start this weekend. Your children, wether unborn, non-biological or adult NEED you to! As Priscilla so eloquently puts it….

“A transformed child start with a transformed mom”

________________________

Let’s Pray:

Lord, we ask that you give us bold revelation into this area of our lives today. We don’t want to be the same, Father…. we yearn to be THIS deliberate for our children, who are your’s first. Renew our hearts, minds and spirits to be able to give each of them all we have everyday to work alongside the Holy Spirit in shaping their souls. Thank you for this provision, Lord, and we thank you in advance for all you will do. Amen <3

Your Assignment:

Please leave a comment below telling us how you can creatively live your Christian life openly before your children… in REAL LIFE…. be realistic here, friends and tell us what you are already doing or what you are going to do. If you don;t have children of your own, tell us how you can do this with other children in your life. If your kids are grown, how can you begin to think outside the box to do this? If your children are very young, how can you creatively do this now?

___________________

Don’t forget, on October 1st, we will begin our brand new Online Bible Study, right here, entitled “Winning Him Without Words” by Lynn Donovan and Dineen Miller.  If you are in an unequally spiritual marriage, you won’t want to miss this study!!  It is AMAZING!

To sign up for this study, please send an email to:  Womens@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com and we will send you all the details you need to get started!

Don’t forget to stop by Craig’s blog to see what the guys are up to with The Resolution for Men.

www.adversusmundi.wordpress.com

Be sure to jump on over to our Facebook Group for the daily activity!! If you do not yet belong to this group, and would like to, send us an email at GirlfriendsCoffeeHour@gmail.com with FB GROUP in the subject line, and we’ll be glad to add you!

 Be a Blessing today and everyday,

Megan 🙂