Life is a lot like a roller coaster ride filled with excitement a little scary and when you least expect it you soar sky high then plunge down into great depths followed by a series of twists and turns. Last week was quite a ride for me!
My week began at a gathering of women to pray, worship and hear a word of encouragement. The evening was orchestrated intentionally to invite us into the presence of the Lord in a very tangible way. Between praising with my arms outstretched wide and my soul eager for a touch from God, I hit the floor and cried out to Jesus to do what only he could do for me. Little did I know at the time how desperately I needed that time.
Valentine’s day is sandwiched in between my mom’s birthday and Peter’s mom’s birthday which made it super convenient to remember their birthdays when they were alive. But now that they are gone it makes for a somber week of remembrance.
On Valentine’s Day, I sent my first manuscript off to the editor for review. Releasing a book to someone is much like birthing a baby. It is a labor of love filled but comes with all kinds of emotions. Since my manuscript was due on Wednesday, we decided to celebrate on Friday evening. My husband Peter and I had a transcendent evening gazing at one another in love celebrating 25 years of Valentine’s Days together, complete with the best meal I think I have ever eaten in my entire life.
Thrown in with the gamut of highs and lows this week was regular life stuff, like dishes, laundry, school, work, grocery shopping, meals, exercise and shuttling kids.
Sometimes it is hard to find space to grieve or rest in this crazy world we live in, but it is crucial for our souls to find peace and solace to make sense of life. Making time to escape the daily grind and get alone with God to pray is imperative. Even Jesus had to break away from the crowds and get alone so he could pray.
But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Luke 5:16 ESV
Rounding out the end of this week I had the pleasure of gathering with a group of women in my home who are walking through different seasons in life, some are going through deep waters and others who feel like a mess and are in need of a special touch from the Lord. We have all been there. We are all busy, so we compartmentalize the problematic stuff and keep moving on. Life is hard and at times it can be soul crushing!
I looked one woman straight in the eyes and told her what I wish someone would have been brave enough to say to me at various times in my life when things were spinning out of control and I felt like a complete mess. “Go get flat on your face before the Lord and pray and don’t get up until you have peace because He is the only one who can change you!”
As women, we lead hectic lives often caring for everyone but ourselves. Although, we can’t care for anyone else well if we don’t first make time to get alone to a quiet place and do the soul work necessary to care for ourselves.
We are in the second week of the second month of the year. How are you doing so far with your dreams, goals, and aspirations for 2018? I am amazed at how God is showing up in my life and new and refreshing ways through the lens of my focus word Presence so far this year!
Today I would like to talk to y’all about being intentional. What does being intentional in our callings mean, and what does that even look like?
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. -Colossians 3:23-24 ESV
It will probably look different for each of us because we are all at different stages in our life. We have different challenges and responsibilities with our home, our families, and our careers. We also have varying degrees of giftings and talents. But I think there are some similarities and principals that we can all use to help us be intentional in our callings, and that is what I want to talk to you about today.
Intentionality is your secret weapon in a war against mediocrity. – – Brian P. Morgan The 12 week Year
Since I am a word nerd lets begin with a few simple definitions.
If we are to be intentional in our callings, then we are doing things on purpose. They are deliberate. We are not being tossed about from one thing to the other. Instead, we are purpose-filled and make conscious decisions on how to plan our day, weeks, month and year.
If we take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves. – Benjamin Franklin
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10 ESV
God has specific work for each of us to do, and those things are good things. He has specific things planned for each of us, that only we can do.
The premise of the book is that anyone can explain what they do, and some people can explain what differentiates them from others, but very few people can articulate why they do what they do. Why is what we believe, at our core and when we can articulate that in a meaningful way we inspire those around us. This is why knowing our why will also drive our what and how. However, if we know our core beliefs and our why we can motivate ourselves and others in radical ways.
If you have a free 15 minutes watch his TED Talk on start with why, or if you have longer read the book or listen to it on audible. This concept is taking off like wildfire in corporate America, and I think we can learn a lot about ourselves and our calling if we truly understand our why.
As Christians, we all have a similar why. We have a calling on our life to make Jesus known and to shine our lights to an increasingly dark world. God has called us to love him and love others, and that is our why. Our purpose is to love God with all our mind, soul and strength, and love others.
It is Valentine’s week and love is in the air, but when God tells us to love others it is not a romantic type of love, it is a love that is patient and kind. This kind of love serves others and doesn’t insist on its own way.
Last year I reviewed Karen Ehman’s book and Bible Study Listen, Love, Repeat! This book is jammed packed full of ways that we can live aware of those around us and serve them in love.
1 Corthinians 13 is our Christian roadmap that show us the way we should go, and what love looks like.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantor rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part,but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthinians 13
So as we plan and prepare for all of the wonderful things, we would like to do this year let’s be intentional with our time, talents, and resources, and choose to love and serve others well!
What are some ways that you and your family are living intentionally this year? How are you loving and serving the Lord and others? I would love to know how God is using you to shine His light! Leave me a comment below and let me know what good things you are doing!
I know it has been quiet here on the blog the last couple of weeks. I haven’t forgotten about you all, I have been busy working hard to finish writing my first book to get to my editor next week! Y’all this has been such an incredible undertaking for me, and I can’t wait to see what the Lord does with it. I would appreciate your prayers as I finish up and move into the editing phase. You all will be the first to know when it gets published!!
Until then I wanted to share an interview that I did with my friend Author Amy Elaine Martinez in her Victory Girl interview series on Facebook Live this week on February 6, 2018. Amy is the Author of Becoming A Victory Girl. We both attended the She Speaks Conference 2016 and became friends online and finally met in person this year at the Declare Conference and we’ve become fast friends.
We had some technical difficulties at the beginning of our Facebook Live video, but my sweet husband was able to edit the video down from an hour to about 20 minutes. Amy and I have a fantastic conversation about how God meets us in our grief and makes us overcomers. We talk about how our world is loud and noisy and we have to get into the quiet place to hear from God, and how we have victory through living a surrendered life in faith to Jesus. We talk about praying hard prayers and the importance of praying specific prayers.
Amy and I both share a bit about the loss of our brothers who both died in tragic accidents. I also share about coming to a place of absolute surrender when I broke both my arms at the same time and how God showed up in a mighty unexpected way! We discuss the deep and painful wounds of losing a child, and how God used that difficult situation for good.
The more time I spend with Amy the more I find we have in common. Amy is a passionate Victory Girl that has a beautiful heart for the Lord and the girl is a prayer warrior! She is an author, speaker, Bible teacher and ministry leader who longs to see women walk in victory.
Becoming A Victory Girl is available now on Amazon! If you need encouragement to become a VICTORY GIRL, Amy’s book packs a punch and you will love her victory’s girls battle cry, prayers, and encouragement!
Y’all, we can have victory in Jesus even in the middle of difficult situations. Life is hard, and Jesus warned us that we would have trouble in this world, but He assures us that we can have peace.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Jesus overcame the world when he conquered sin, death, hell and the grave through his death, burial, and resurrection. An unlikely paradox, Jesus entered into our human condition and humbled himself to death on the cross to heal our fractured world. If you have any questions about this I would be honored to pray with you and share the hope of Jesus that is within me. Or if there is an area in your life that you are struggling to gain victory in, I would love to pray for you!
If you enjoyed this interview please like and share this post with your friends and tag it #IamAVictoryGirl. Also, be sure to follow Amy Elaine so that you can watch future Victory Girl Interviews! Please leave me a comment below and let me know which part of this video resonated with you most.