I have just returned from a fabulous weekend retreat at the Relevant conference and find myself at a loss of words. My spirit was so refreshed and revitalized by the fellowship I shared with the wonderful gathering of sisters from all over the country. Ladies from different walks of life, different cultures, different standards, and yet we shared one core value of uniting together in being a writing force that builds the Kingdom of God. It was truly beautiful to see the community that blossomed in our midst.
This is the message that came loud and clear to my heart. You and I are together in the fight to be women that build our homes rather than tear them down with our own hands. We each have been gifted uniquely to bring something different to compliment the meal at the table before us, in our homes, our churches, and our lives.
I am just as messy as the next, as I battle to be a joyful mother and yet stumble once again in anger in response to my little boy wetting his pants (shouldn’t we be done with this?), or when these two little people fight over who gets to pull the silly suitcase from mommy’s trip around the house while they play camping. Or when I groan and complain because my body craves sleep and God has other plans for me.
I can’t remember the last time I made my own bread or toothpaste. We had canned soup last night for dinner. I sit here with a tangled mess of hair in my bathrobe. I don’t have my act together. We each have a voice…we each have a unique story. We are called to encourage one another. To tear down the masks of perfectionism. To admit that we are messy.
I can compare myself to another and seep in bitterness and a fruitless life, or I can rejoice when another succeeds and together we can be fruitful in our own mission field in the home, church, work, and community. It is easy to compare yourself when you only look at yourself. But when you look at God, there is such freedom. (Thanks Joy for that message!) Comparison steals our unity.
Remember, our God “rejoices over you!”
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zeph. 3:17)
HE rejoices over YOU, just the way you are.
Can you tell I like to laugh?
Am I willing to be honest in showing my messy self before others? What is my greatest hindrance to being real with others? Am I finding my identity in Him?
Let’s overlook our differences. “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” (Eph. 4:2). Let’s embrace the fact that we are truly loved by an amazing God. Let’s give grace to one another. Let’s be humble and honest to share our stories and encourage one another in our faith.
When we let go of comparing ourselves, throw aside our own insecurities, and simply embrace the way God has created us…beautiful, unique, and loved by an awesome Father, we can make a huge difference for His kingdom. Hand in hand…heart to heart. Let’s go!
These are the truths that have been ruminating in my heart…and I can’t help passing them on, my dear sisters.
Eden and I with my sweet friend Kat
Hear more about what others gleaned from the conference here.