The deepest root of a Christian woman is hope in God, and it yields this strong tree of fearlessness in the face of suffering.
Do you remember my favorite verse in the Proverbs 31 woman chapter? Proverbs 31:25: Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
I love that verse. “Everything that’s coming at me, I’m laughing at you.” That’s a woman. She doesn’t cringe. She doesn’t run. She’s not naïve about what’s coming. She knows what’s coming and she laughs because holy women of old hoped in a sovereign God who promises to help women whenever she needs him.
A woman in Christ knows her Bible, knows her theology of a sovereign God who makes promises, knows his promises to be with her, no matter what. She draws strength down from this and a certain kind of tree grows up from this massive deep root of hope in God.
This hope in God yields fearlessness.
— John Piper, in a sermon on April 15, 2007
I think of the legacy of women before me, my sister, the woman I call my best friend, the sisterhood of friends in my life, and I thank God for His grace that strengthens, challenges, and inspires us.
Sitting around a living room with friends I have come to love, talking about God and the Bible, is one of my favorite things about church. The other week it was Matthew 6, next week it’s discipleship, and the next we begin looking at James.
The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. Matthew 6:21 The Message
Treasure: something of great worth or value, a collection of precious things.
Lately I have been prompted to consider the choices I make. Choices that result in my personal collection of precious things. Does my collection please my Heavenly Father? Does the treasure I keep excite Him? I really want it too.
I think freedom is embracing how He wired me to be, and choosing accordingly, with no fear of how others perceive me or the perfectionistic pressure culture might try to place on me.
It’s amazing how distorted my thinking can be sometimes… in the name of self-discipline, of course.
Body image and the number on the scale is an example of that distorted thinking.
This one was a tough one for me to admit here, honesty time, but I hope and pray it inspires and encourages others toward Jesus.
In the name of good stewardship of my ‘temple,’ being disciplined, and a competent and capable athlete, body image became an ultimate thing for me.
I’ve written about this so many times, and have come a long way thanks to Almighty God, but this time, everything in me has shifted.
Looking back, I see clearly.
The other night was a women’s ministry event complete with good food, laughter, and creativity. The speaker’s bread and butter was the ministry of relationships.
Her recent book is all about listening well, loving those in front of you, and relationships. She told of her new favorite practice, listening for heart drops.
The definition of a heart drop is (in Karen’s words): When a person, either directly or in a subtle way, gives you a peek into their heart. It may be through actual words, or you may pick up on a feeling, perhaps sadness or loneliness. It could even be a simple preference or “like” of theirs, such as their most-loved high-maintenance coffee drink or a favorite sports team.
I sat next to a only-known-for-a-year-but-love-dearly friend and told her in between dinner courses how overwhelmed I have been feeling lately.
A few days later, I opened up to the girls in my small group, friends (and they families) I have come to admire, trust, and love. I was honest about where I’m struggling and my raw emotions about my current situation.
They pointed me to Jesus and Scripture, but also were bummed with me.
They reminded me that they love me, and committed to pray for me.
Have you ever gone through a season, challenging or joyful, and realized at the end of it that it was what you had prayed for?
Or asked God to change something about you and He does it in a way you weren’t expecting?
If yes to either of those questions, I can relate to you. Big time.
A consistent prayer of mine for last few years has been ‘Lord, change me.’
I read Evelyn Christianson’s book of the same title and was deeply convicted about how I prayerfully approach and handle situations. The different between spending great amounts of praying energy asking God to change someone else’s behavior or tendencies and looking inward is vast.
I grew in this way of praying (after lots of time and practicing) and I’m grateful for it. It’s actually been a beautifier of inner chaos instead of adding to the mess.
For example, when it comes to my sister, I used to wrestle with God over how she wasn’t super talkative with me, wouldn’t open up a lot, but it became a burden that was tiring, and hurting our friendship. Thanks to Holy Spirit I then began to pray, Okay, God, change me. Change my perspective, to see her through Your eyes, how You wired her. Change the way I put unnecessary pressure on our relationship. Change me, help me trust that You are working in our midst.
And I found it was a little easier to trust Him with the situation as a whole because I could see progress in me, believing He had good plans for our future friendship. Now we’re in a great place and it is a gift from Him. All grace upon grace.