December 14, 2017

Captivating: Chapter 10 Review – “Mothers Daughters Sisters”

I am going to start off by telling you that I did not really want to read this chapter. I have put off reading it, until I could no longer. But God….

On Monday, Jackie reminded us that some of us might not have fond memories of our mothers because of the pain our mothers may have caused. She said that no matter what happened in our past, a mother/daughter relationship is the most important of all. It is the relationship that helps us when we grow up and become mothers ourselves.

On Tuesday, Tonya shared with us that the redemption and healing of a relationship is possible. Through some of the most difficult situations and circumstances God will rebuild ties that were severed forever. He will mend together the pieces of our heart that we thought were not able to be fixed.  Redemption is possible. Healing is possible.

On Wednesday, Cariss reminded us that we did not have to give birth to be a mother. All we have to do is care about someone, offer a listening ear to that person, and encourage him or her to simply be who God created them to be.

On Thursday, Michelle reminded us that an important aspect of a successful relationship is your own personal security of  your identity in Christ. Fallen women want people to come through for them, they have been hurt so they withdraw to avoid further pain. Redeemed women know Christ has come through for them, and are freer to give of themselves and ‘put themselves out there.’  They know they are valuable and secure in the Lord, so they are able to be vulnerable.

Girlfriends, I told you earlier that I put off reading this chapter. A lot has happened in my life, and a lot is still happening, where it concerns my mother. Today I am just so blessed to say that I serve an awesome God. When we choose to trust God and forgive without being forgiven by those who are supposed to love us the most, God can make us whole, He can use us in His Kingdom! He will come through for us!!!!

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Let’s Pray:

Father, what a privilege to be in Your presence again. We need You all the time. Help us to mother those who are in need of love, direction, or just companionship.  Amen.

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GWS

Our next Women’s Online Bible/Book Study begins March 24th!  Click on the Girls with Swords book above, complete the registration process, and we will email you further details!  We hope you will join us for this amazing study!

Captivating: Chapter 10 – “To Mother” – “My Sister, My Friend” (pgs 176-181)

So, if you don’t already know, I’m single.  I’ve never been married, and I don’t have any children.  Furthermore, if you know me at all, you know that little kids fascinate me.  I’m one of those creepy people who will stare at your kids just because they always put a smile on my face.  Nothing brings me more joy than when I wave to a little baby and get a great big smile in return.  Children are life in its most simple, pure, and innocent form.

Deep down, beyond all the outward fascination, I struggle with jealousy.  Oftentimes, I watch a mother take her toddler’s hand to “go find a book to read before bed tonight,” and I get jealous.  I want that.  I want to take a little mini-me and read bedtime stories to her.  I want to watch my son play baseball or score his first goal playing soccer.  I want to get lost in an imaginary world, dress up like a superhero and fly around my living room with my little ones. I want to listen as they try to pronounce words like “popsicle” and “spaghetti.” I want to snuggle with my baby as she falls asleep in my arms.  I want to mother.

When I find the jealousy creeping in, I have to turn it over to God.  He’s faithful, He knows these desires of mine, and I know He will give them to me in His time.  And when it is my turn to mother, I want to encourage my children to live a life from their heart, as our authors state.  I want to encourage them to be the person God has created them to be—nothing more, nothing less.

But, even if you don’t have children of your own, you do have opportunities to mother not only other people’s children, but other people in general.  All you have to do is care about someone, offer a listening ear to that person, and encourage him or her to simply be who God created them to be.  Let the following passage from Philippians resonate in your hearts:

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Phillipians 2:1-4 ESV

Count others more significant than yourself? Really? I mean, who does that?

Mothers. Mothers do that.  Or, at least they should do that.  If you haven’t had a mother who sacrificed and loved you the way she should have, I’m sorry.  But there is Someone who has filled her role. There is Someone who counts you more than He counts Himself.  There’s Someone who died to save you from your sin so that you can live forever with Him in Heaven.  That Person is Jesus, and He loves you unconditionally.  I love this quote by Jerry Bridges, a notable Christian author.  It reminds me of a mother’s love for her children:

“God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.” — Jerry Bridges, Christian author

Right in suit with caring more about others than yourself falls our friendships with other women.  Do you have those? How are they? Can you think of a girlfriend who you know would be there for you if you needed someone to talk to, cry to, receive godly advice from, or just goof around with? If you don’t have a friend like that, I encourage you to seek one.  My mother told me that when I was a toddler, she didn’t have many girlfriends.  When I entered preschool, she had been praying for a good friend to come into her life.  God was faithful! Through a fun course of events, He placed another family into my family’s life, and our friendship continues to this day.  Not only did we gain a friendship, but this family led my family closer to God.  Our faith was strengthened through that friendship.

Do you have a friend who causes your relationship with God to deepen?  Does she encourage you to grow and walk closer with Him daily?  If not, I pray you seek, invest, and spend time with godly women in your church, Bible study, or even with this group online!  Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that “iron sharpens iron.”  Do you have an “iron” friend in your life? Friendship with like-minded women is crucial to your spiritual growth, and I’ve seen it create accountability and a safe place in my own life.  If you already have your “iron” friend or two, then don’t forget to nurture those friendships with love and attention.

Praise Him!

Carissa

 

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Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, thank You for our innate desires to mother, care for, and encourage those in our lives.  I pray that we will apply these desires in the lives of our children, future families, marriage, friendships, and even acquaintances.  I pray that Your love that dwells in each of us will overflow to those around us.  Father, thank You for the gift of girlfriends and friendships.  Lord, I pray that our friendships will grow as we all seek to know You and serve You better each and every day.  In your Holy Name we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment:

Do you like kids as much as I do? I can’t be the only creeper out there! What does your heart desire with regard to children and a family?  Do you feel the desire to “mother” as our authors discuss?   In the past, what has held you back from forming friendships with other women? How do you plan on changing that for the future?

 

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GWS

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

To sign up for this amazing study, click on the picture above, complete the registration form, and we will email you further details.   

We hope you will join us.

GCH:decaf — Meet Jordan’s Sister, Tristan

“Meet My Sister, Tristan”

I am SO excited that 2013 is here… I think every one has expectancy in their hearts when a new year comes. So much can happen in 365 days, and I can’t wait to see what the Lord does in my life!

I am so honored to be a blogger at GCH:decaf, but more so than that, I am so honored to be a part of what God is doing in YOUR lives.  I had the privilege of interviewing my younger sister, Tristan, for this blog post, and here is what we talked about.

Jordan and Tristan

Tristan is 17, and she lives in Pensacola Beach, FL. The house she (we) lives in isn’t directly on the beach, but you basically just cross a street and you’re there. It’s beautiful!

Her favorite artist is Taylor Swift. What girl doesn’t love some Taylor Swift? I know I do. It’s one of the only CDs I keep in my car to listen to at all times.

Her favorite Christian artist is Meredith Andrews. Her song “You’re Not Alone” is Tristan’s favorite! We both love the honesty in her lyrics.

Her answer to “What’s your favorite movie?” is probably shocking to some of you, considering her age… She loves “Despicable Me.” But I’m going to be honest, I could watch it 1000 times and never get tired of it. Could the minions be ANY cuter? I’ll answer that for all of us — Nope!

Her favorite TV show is “Gossip Girl”. She loves to see all of their clothes. The fashion in the show is amazing! And she loves to see all of their over the top houses/hotels/penthouses.

Tristan’s style is all about comfort. She LOVES a cute pair of skinny jeans – maybe in a fun color like red or royal blue. And she loves over-sized sweaters and anything grey, black, or white.

She loves to go to the beach with her friends. During the spring and summer, she and her friends will go out to the beach around noon and stay out all day.

Her favorite food is sushi… And even typing this right now, I could totally go for some sushi, too. YUM!

She didn’t get a chance to answer the bonus question, so I will just answer it for her! Something life-changing that has taken place was when we moved to Pensacola Beach from Jackson, MS. We moved there two years ago, and it has made such a different in Tristan’s life! She has been free to be herself, and she has had the opportunity to make friends based on her personality and hobbies.

I love you, Tris!


If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.  We’ll be starting our next online Bible study soon!  So be sure to keep checking back for sign-up details to be posted!

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 10 / Day 4 – Influence Your Younger Sisters

I grew up in a house with two sisters and I was the oldest. Boy was that interesting! It was a little stressful at times because my mom and dad always made sure to remind me of this one very thing, “Tonya you are the oldest and you should always set a good example for your younger sisters.” I heard it so much that it became a part of who I am today. It’s not saying that I have never did anything wrong, because I have…who hasn’t? But I have always strived to set a good example for my sisters, to be a good role model for them.

I can remember a time when my parents allowed me to babysit for the first time. My two younger sisters were my guinea pigs. Well they decided that they wanted to play softball in the house…now why on earth did they want to do that when we had a lovely backyard?  Well, the inevitable happened…my parents’ new china cabinet, glass window was broken! I asked who did it and of course, they both yelled, “Not me!!  🙁 Well, when my mom and dad got home and my mom saw the crack, she was angry! She asked the question that ALL parents would ask, “What happened? Who broke it?” Well, I honestly didn’t know, but because I was left in charge, I took the blame and the punishment. My sister has told me that what I did that day showed her how much I loved them and she wanted to follow in my footsteps.  When we got older, she said that it reminded her of what Jesus did for all of us when we sinned.  Jesus knew no sin, but yet He died on the cross for us. That is LOVE!

Girls, you can be a positive role model for your younger sisters, as well as your younger relatives and friends. They are watching you, so be careful what you say, what you do, and how you interact around them. You can make a difference in their lives, which brings me to my next story.

1 Timothy 4:12

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

My sister, who is two years younger than I, used to follow me to a ministry called Young Life, every Tuesday after school. She wasn’t old enough to go, but my leader allowed her to tag along. She followed my every move. I didn’t know it then, but I know it now. She decided one of those days after sitting through numerous Club Talks that she wanted to know Jesus for herself. She had been following my on my heels and watching me, and when I accepted Christ, renewed my walk with Christ, it was then that she followed me up to the stage and put her hand in Jesus’ hand and she has been walking and working for Him ever since. I am so very proud of her!

I would hate to think what her life would be like now, if I had not been a positive influence in her life :-/ What an AWESOME God we serve!

Girls, whatever you do…live your life as if Jesus is watching you ALL the time, which He is!! Be the same person when people are watching and when they are not…that my girls is called Character.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father please help the girls to know that You are always watching them and so are their younger sisters (biological and spiritual). Remind them to be the young women that You have designed for them to be. Remind them that little eyes are watching them. In Jesus Christ name I pray. Amen.

Love, Tonya

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For the A Daughter’s Worth Online Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website from clicking the sign-up form button located at the top of our webpage.

If you are interested in joining us in our GCH: decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.

Lady in Waiting: An Advantageous Position

This chapter makes me think of my sister so incredibly much!  Reading through the story of the married lady you may think-no way does married life really get that crazy.  Now, I am not married, but my sister is, and I can assure you that the story in the book is not even close to as crazy as it really gets being married and having children running around.  Trust me, I have experienced the crazy right alongside of my sister and honestly if it wasn’t for the grace of God-there would be no way she could get through her day without putting her children and husband up for adoption.

My sister and I are very close and very similar.  We both strive to live our lives for God alone.  We both cry at the same things, and laugh at the same things-mainly each other.  We share similar passions.  We encourage one another and are both thankful we are sisters and have each other to go through life with.  There is one thing about us that makes us very different as we live out the lives God has planned perfectly for each one of us- she is married with three ADORABLE children (I know I am biased but they truly are the most adorable kids in the universe) and I am single living in a perfect little apartment all for me.

There are so many times that my sister and I will be talking on the phone (me usually whining on the phone) in the midst of living out the difference in our lives and she will mutter the words, enjoy being single while it lasts because when you are married you won’t have time to yourself.  This is usually said after I go on and on about the fact that I am single and alone and wondering how I am ever going to find the man God has for me if I am sitting home, alone talking to her.  Meanwhile, my sister on the other end is wishing and praying for some sort of miraculous thing where time freezes just for her kids and husband and she can move around doing what she wants and needs without them just for even a minute will do.

I am always reminded of a few things when I talk to my sister in these moments:  living out married life with kids is a lot different than the married life with kids we dream of when we are single.  By enjoying single life she doesn’t want me to enjoy the fact that I feel like a loser sometimes, she wants me to enjoy the time I have with God alone and make the most of that time.  Married women want what single women have-not so much singleness, but aloneness: time to spend alone with God or with a good movie without any interruptions of motherhood and being a wife.  In the same way single women want what married women have: a husband to come home, give us a kiss, ask us how our day was, and to spend our evenings with him and not alone.

The fact of that matter though is that GOD IS CALLING ME AND YOU TO SINGLENESS FOR THIS SEASON OF OUR LIVES.  WE MUST NOT WANT SOMETHING WE DO NOT HAVE.  WE MUST EMBRACE THIS TIME IN OUR LIFE, WE MUST USE OUR TIME THAT WE HAVE ALL TO OURSELVES AND SHARE IT WITH GOD, YEARNING TO HEAR FROM HIM AND GROW CLOSER TO HIM.

My sister will be the first person to tell you that marriage and motherhood is such a blessing and gift from above.  You NEVER want to trade those blessings and gifts for anything.  She will also be the first to tell you that being a wife and mommy makes spending time with God a little more of a challenge.

As a single woman, I am telling you that the only thing that keeps us from taking advantage of the TIME we have to spend with God daily (distractionless) is the whining we do in our minds, the unrealistic dreams we will not let go of.  There will come a day when most of us will not have the luxury of one-on-one time with God without a husband needing socks, a poopy diaper needing changed, and the Bible you are so desperately trying to read being chewed on by a teething little child.  So let us make the most of the time we do have to put all of our attention and focus on the one and only satisfaction to our hearts desires.  You are where you are for a reason, married or single-God still desires to spend time with you.  And as a single woman of God it is our hearts desire to be concerned with living our lives for HIM ALONE.

LET’S PRAY:  Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you and praise you so much for the time you give us every day to spend with YOU!  I pray that in the midst of our singleness we do not become distant from you, but instead we use this time to grow closer to you.  Prepare our hearts for whatever lies ahead for us.  Help us to take full advantage of our single days-with you.  I love you so much Jesus!  We pray all of these things in your HOLY name, AMEN.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:  List everything you want in your life.  Give that list to God, literally take that list and pray to God about everything on it.  Then put the paper in a safe place.  Ask God to turn that list of your wants into HIS LIST OF HIS WANTS.  As time goes by, compare the lists.  See what has changed and what you have been living out for Him all along!

Love you ladies!!

Diane

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For the “Lady In Waiting” Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website by clicking the “sign-up here” button at the top of our webpage; which is also where you can sign up to participate in this awesome bible study!