I am beside myself excited! Which was not the case yesterday. Yesterday morning I was feeling sorrowful. I was feeling down. I was feeling like I had let a friend down and in turn had let God down. I was wrestling with pride and the need to make right, a wrong. I didn’t want to do it. But I did want to do it. I was dragging my feet on another request from God, I was struggling with the “what will they think” syndrome. After time in prayer, and wrestling with my inadequacies and beginning to be confused on how God could use someone so imperfect and flawed as I, I finally came to the point where God’s will was more important. He reminded me of just how gracious and merciful my friend is, and she in fact was, when I reached out to her. He reminded me that my cooperation with Him brings blessing and I finally followed through on the second request.
My afternoon was MUCH different. It was as if the floodgates of God’s presence poured out! I’m not trying to be dramatic, but it was. I attend a local church, which I have grown to love and appreciate so very much! But on Mondays I also like to listen to a Pastor from New York. I have been listening to the sermons from Times Square Church since 2008, so about eight years now. It began when I rededicated my life to the Lord, and I was hungry for truth. Anyway, I didn’t go to my book marked page for the sermons, and instead landed on the homepage, where I saw “Women of God Rising”. I was like whuuuuuuut?! When I selected the link…blown away!
Wait, what’s the big deal you ask? Throughout the last challenge, this theme of a Shepherdess Rise Up began to take shape. I sensed I, and other women, were being called to Rise up to properly tend to our “flocks”. Flocks that may include our husbands, children, family, friends and community. But I sensed it was time to “rise up” and get into God’s Word to see how HE needed us to rise up in His strength, and a devotion series was created. Following the challenge, I “fell off the horse”. Devotions were there, but not nearly as rich, deep and I rarely felt as connected as I did during the challenge. Now, here we are again. Since committing to do the second challenge, and seeing our current devotions as an addition to the Shepherdess Rise Up series (although initially I thought it would be a small “pause”), the theme has been prominent in my mind again. And then I see this!
As I listened to the Pastor’s wife speak on Women of God Rising, I was overwhelmed by God’s presence. It was as if He was saying to me, “I am doing a work. Not just here, but everywhere. Women are coming together to RISE UP. Keep going. Keep encouraging. Keep supporting women on their journey of rising up!” I got so excited. I listened to a portion of the two and a half hour session. But dinner, a 5k, my kiddos, my hubby – all took precedence. I listened to a bit more before bed and finished this morning! The same thoughts, the same ideas, all aligned with God’s impressions upon my heart. We are a part of something so much bigger than we know!
When Pastor Teresa went into the book of Luke, I about lost my mind. Seriously. How could this not be God, speaking very directly?! A testimony on adversities, a testimony on impurity, a testimony of what young women need from us “older” women, a testimony of God given strength, and a testimony of deliverance. ALL so the women sharing their stories could rise to the purpose God had set before them, not in their strength, but in His. I’m still very pumped, just in case it isn’t being translated in text.
I’m pumped, because I have WITNESSED women in this challenge and the first, rise up to the occasion and now get to hear their stories of how their husband is being affected. How their children are being affected. How their parents, siblings and in-laws are being affected. I’m hearing how those husbands and children are then affecting those in their circle of influence, because they are rising up! God is AMAZING. And it is amazing He is weaving a redeeming thread through the fabrics of our brokenness and need for Him, to create a covering we all can be comforted and transformed by!
If you have been following along since the beginning and you too are blown away, let’s just praise God right now! If you listen to the message that was delivered to the New York congregation on February 20th (just one week before we kicked off the second challenge), here is a heads up: it is very animated and could be overwhelming for the sensitive of heart. I personally don’t mind the delivery, but I know some are a bit “turned off” by certain methods. If after you listen you are just as excited as I am, please let me know. I believe we should join together in prayer, continue to be encouragement to one another, and lend ourselves to other women who are hearing the call to rise up in their homes and lives.
Have a beautiful day!
My very first trip to Seattle sent me home inspired to begin this blog. It motivated me to refocus on my fitness. The first trip convinced me I could overcome obstacles that had been persuading me things were never going to change. The adventure was a way for God to breath new life, hope and confidence into my life, and sent me on the journey I have been intently taking for the past eighteen months. This second trip has brought me home inspired and motivated, yet again. It has reinforced the trajectory God has this life going, and I have to tell you, I am stoked!
I stayed behind to get my urban walk in, do some prepping for the current LES45 Challenge, and then head out to my friend’s house to meet with some other gals for dinner. Wouldn’t you know, I began to have a titch of anxiety. First anxious thoughts about being alone in the city. Then about doing my 5k by myself. Then about driving to my friend’s house. I nearly had myself worked into a frenzy, but I reminded myself it was different. That, and I ate a good meal. My sugar was low from all my recent activity, and it was certainly compounding (if not creating) the anxious feeling I was beginning to have. The 5k was amazing, even though walking on a bridge over an eight lane highway is something I didn’t prepare for. Getting groceries at Whole Foods was a treat. Driving was fine. Dinner was a blessing. Hanging out at my mentor’s house with a few other gals deep into fitness, was awesome. We shared our stories, stuffed our faces with delicious, whole foods, and laughed – a lot.
form of a travel trailer. Several of these homes were sprinkled along the way. We finally arrived to our destination after about fifteen minutes. And it was a cabin. Not a luxury cabin you might be envisioning (I sort of was), but a cabin with creaky wood floors, a wood stove, a river as the back yard, and no cell phone service (although it did have WiFi, which was a bit perplexing). Now, if I were the panicky type, I would have asked my husband to get us out of there, but I’ve stayed in worse. Much worse. God reminded me of this, and I was then ready to see the blessing that would come of the situation.
try it again. That all changed when my youngest daughter took up skiing, and I decided I wanted to be able to share the experience with her. I’m not that good. I prefer to stay on the green, easier grade hills, rather than go down the life-threatening black diamond runs. I’m a weenie really. It decided to snow the entire day we were there. Remember that dramatic experience I mentioned? It ALSO involved all day snow. I grew quite comfy on one of the easier slopes, and was fine hanging out there. However, my hubby kept saying, “If you go on the other trail… If you make it to this trail… If you choose to go from this to the next…” You see what he was doing there? He wasn’t saying “get off the bunny hill already!”, but he was certainly attempting to use his power of suggestion to do so. Again, back to the dramatic experience, there was a degree of coercion by him as well…
In the spirit of challenging myself and hopefully helping my husband to have a better time, I decided to go up the next level to the blue run. The lift was longer. Much longer than I had thought. I exit the lift and slide, all the way until I stop. Flashback. You guessed it, to the dramatic experience I mentioned earlier. Nerves begin to kick in. I stand and look out. Oh. My. Word. What. Have. I. Done? My stomach an instant knot. My legs begin trembling. I want to puke. Crazy physiological response to the situation, I did not anticipate. Then I’m taken back to the hike a year and a half earlier. The Spartan Sprint. The Spartan Super. All physical feats I took on, to challenge myself and overcome barriers, both mentally and physically. This was no different. Ok it was a little. I could catapult myself off the path into a tree due to my lack of experience and inability to control my speed, but who was thinking about that?! I needed a positive vision…
Monday we headed back towards the city. It was supposed to be a cloudy dreary day. I said a prayer, “Lord, please clear the weather up, at least for our 5k”. And He did. The sun was shining, we made it to Discovery park, and had a very intense run. Woods. Beach. Light house. A break for some yoga. Stairs. Hills. Nice people. It was fantastic. Twenty minutes later we’re in downtown Seattle, checking out Pike’s Place, the Farmer’s Market, the original Starbucks and eating food at a Mexican restaurant in an alley. One of the most adventurous vacations yet. And we loved it.
months. Appreciative of the healing He has provided in my mind, body, marriage, and home. Blown away by the number of people He has caused me to cross paths with, and I now have an opportunity to support and encourage – all because on some level we have something in common. Excited to live a life I don’t feel I need a break from, but wake up excited to take on every single day. Hopeful He will continue to move through my life and reach others. Inspired to give everyone and everything my very best, knowing God will multiply and bless what little I feel I have to give.
Now I have to get back to work, plan some meals, get my 5k in, make dinner, run the kiddo to basketball, and get groceries. This is my life. A daily adventure. And I love it. Have a wonderful day!
Past Blog Posts