When I read these verses, I immediately think of you…
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:3-6
But seeing how a computer screen separates us, (and maybe even thousands of miles) I can’t help but imagine what our conversation would be like if we sat in a local coffee shop chatting across the table from one another.
I’m betting, though, that I’m longing to hear your heart. Your struggles. Your triumphs. Your passions. And how God has moved on your behalf this past year, after all, He’s in the business of completing us. And sometimes that completion, that transforming process, brings about change, which can result in pain, tears, and letting go of the plans and hopes we had for 2013.
Then I’d tell you that you’re loved.
That you’re beautiful.
That you’re doing a fabulous job.
That you have a purpose here on this earth.
That you’re a vessel for the Lord, therefore, you’re needed.
That God has a plan and a purpose for all of the pain and suffering you’ve endured, so don’t waste your tears.
And if you’re married, I would gently remind you to keep Christ at the center of your marriage and press on to be intentional to make your relationship your first ministry.
And if you’re single, I would encourage you to faithfully keep your eyes on the Lord rather than seek your Mr. Right. After all, Mr. Right (Jesus) is already with you! 🙂 Learn to thrive and be content in your singleness.
And if you’re a mama, (deep sigh) try to relax a bit. God’s got your back. Remember that your children belong to the Lord and that they’re on loan to you from Him. He loves them more than you do, so learn to have faith in Christ while you parent your kids.
So my dear friend, as I take a sip of my iced decaf mocha, hold the whipped cream, and I take a bite of something with chocolate, I want to encourage you to find the good in 2013, because if you’re anything like me, then you see your failures and shortcomings. For me, I usually see how I didn’t accomplish a certain goal or I’ll become disgusted by the fact that I should be more disciplined today than what I was last year, but I’m not.
So this year I decided to do something different. I decided to highlight the good that Christ has done in my life before I rushed ahead with plans and hopes for the coming year.
Here are a few things that God did in my life in 2013…
I flew across the country and went to a ministry conference where I spoke with some publishers about a book I was writing. They gave me a thumbs up but I chose to self-publish instead. Now I must say that writing a book and self-publishing it was quite the undertaking! Quite honestly, seeing how I failed college writing not just one, but twice, I can’t believe I accomplished this task. But God….He was with me. 🙂
Then this stage-fright gal took on speaking engagements as God was calling me to speak to women.
In the midst of writing a book, a blog, and speaking, this camera shy woman shot more videos then I cared to. And each time I was hoping it would get easier!
Then I hid behind the screen and started podcasting. This was nice because I didn’t have to do my hair and makeup. 🙂
Then I was asked to contribute to a few other ministries. The newest one is the Reflect Community App. for Women. It’s a new app for your phone. In fact, an article of mine is being featured on the 30th! How cool is that?
Now before you start saying, “How did I do all of this?” Here’s my answer:
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” Mark 1:27
God made everything I did in this ministry possible. I just showed up and tried to be obedient to that which He has called me to do. Simple as that. It wasn’t copious amounts of coffee or energy drinks. Nor was it the latest or greatest ideas or a 10 Step Process. It was simply God. He’ll do the same in your life. Will you let Him?
So why do I share all of this? Because it helps me to see that God is truly moving in my life. It helps me to see that He is completing me in His ways, not mine.
I found this exercise to be pretty powerful. It increased my faith and it’s given me a better perspective in life; one that is Christ-centered rather than me-centered. I highly recommend you jotting down the good things Christ has done in your life, as well!
And before I leave the coffee shop with you, please know that I’m giving you a big hug and I’m saying one last thing:
You make me a better woman of God, wife, and mom, and I thank you for allowing me to pour into you. My hopes for our relationship (and this ministry) is to equip, encourage, and inspire you so you can use the gifts that God has given you, so you can pour into others. Thank you for sharpening me and for encouraging me to press on for the Lord.
Now it’s your turn. What are some of the good things God has done in your life this past year?
Live a poured out life for Christ,
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