Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Life Creative- a book review

A Mother’s natural bent toward creativity doesn’t just wither and die with the birth of a child.This core component remains a part of her intricate design”
~ From Life Creative written by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart ~

When I saw the opportunity to be a part of this book launch for Life Creative by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart, I had no idea what a blessing to my creative soul it would be!

I had not understood nor claimed my way of doing things as my expression of creativity. It was just my experience and a way of life to me. This book helped me recognize the creativity the Lord has invested in my soul and that I ought to not only embrace what He gave me, but use it to do great things that point others to Him.

“God can use your creative bent to bend others to the cross”

“The Master created us as masterpieces, 
that we might create masterpieces 
to reflect the Master”

The authors speak about “the dark ages” of motherhood. Any mom can relate to this description. We have all looked at the mundane chores of changing innumerable diapers, potty training a stubborn child, sleepless nights rocking a sick toddler, and always trying to answer the never ending question of “what’s for dinner” and wondered if this is all there is. These ladies have taken that season in life and highlighted it this way:

“Worship isn’t something we do at church with 
heads bowed. Worship is a chin-up, face-forward 
thing to do.”

“From the moment you pull yourself out of bed until your head hits the pillow again, you’re met with countless opportunities to worship.”

Scripture tells us to do everything to the glory of God in I Corinthians 10:31. Motherhood is the sacred, holy calling of raising little warriors for Jesus. The way we chose to use our creativity that God placed within us expresses our gratitude to Him and teaches our children to glorify God with what you’ve got in your hand. We spend our time longing for someone else’s life, someone else’s calling or someone else’s experiences. Each one of us has been created as an Image Bearer of the greatest Creator there is! He loved us so much, He didn’t just create us individually, but God placed His personal mark on each of us in unique ways to mirror Himself. We have to stop discounting the reflection of God in our soul!

“You are also forever learning to be an artisan. As your art moves with you in and out of different seasons, it naturally changes. Together, you grow – the art and the artist- as you master your skill set, comprehending the message you want your art to convey. There is always so much work to be done.

Nearly 20 years ago, when I became a mother, creativity was still foreign to me. I had dreams. Dreams of decorating my home beautifully, being the best cook and baker for my family, writing my heart, singing out my heart, and leading others to Christ. Over the years, my personality has changed, my list of to-dos has changed, and my ability to create has changed. Through reading Life Creative, I have rediscovered the creativity God has placed in my heart and it has borne a new feeling of gratitude for who He made me to be.

“These mothering moments are consecrated acts of worship, presented to the Lord with the same heart that beats behind your Sunday dress as you belt out a solo or teach the story of David and Goliath to a roomful of 5-year-olds. By acknowledging the tasks that He places before you, and faithfully attending to each one, you live life worshipfully.”

“Cleaning dirty floors, painting empty canvases, folding loads of laundry, penning lyrics to the music that swirls in your head- worshiping, working, serving, laboring… All of this is sacred Renaissance worship.

I couldn’t say it better myself. All of these quotes from the chapters of this book bless my heart and continue to point my line of vision to Jesus, and isn’t that supposed to be the entire point of life here on earth? To glorify God with everything we do?

I am very grateful to have come in contact with these women, Wendy and Kelli, and witness their testimony of living Life Creative, pointing others to Jesus with the creative work of their souls. What an honor to get to promote something that bears the fruit of a worshipful expression of renaissance mothering.

You need to make it a priority to get this book. You can find it on Amazon

Monday, September 26, 2016

When She Falls...

Do you ever wonder how the attacks in your life are so pinpointed perfect to make you suffer to the max? Like someone is in your house watching you?
Well…. There is…

Inspired by C.S. Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters, this series for the #write31days challenge is going to pull back the veil a bit so we can see what the devil attempts to do to bring down the Saints and make us think we are defeated.

He cannot take us, 
so his goal is to 
stain us, soil us, and destroy us.

Starting October 1st, check back each day for a new installation in our story about 3 ladies, Mary, Lisa and Anne. Women who are from 3 different walks of life that end up intersecting and experience deceitful, heinously accurate attacks in their daily lives.

Oct. 1st- Valuable information

Thursday, September 1, 2016

...Because women need each other!

Sometimes you come across a book that is so timely and perfect for your place in life. That is this book, “Giddy Up Eunice”. Besides loving the title, this book by Sophie Hudson is chock full of adorable humor and southern sweetness.

The theme is that women need each other. In this world of comparison and competition, and where my success seems to means less for you, or your likability seems to mean less for me…this book cuts through that fakeness and untruth and exposes clearly what scripture has to say about what our relationships are supposed to be.

I loved reading every bit, it was a quick read, mostly because I couldn’t put it down! I strongly recommend it for any woman, or actually… all women.

In my own life, my relationships with older women have been both pivotal and shaped me as a grown woman, wife and mother. As a young mother, I had an army of grandmothers, 2 moms, and a host of incredible church ladies that made sure I was well equipped! I not only respected them but craved their wisdom. The weird realization I had reading the book was that I am now smack dab in the middle. I am not the young mom anymore and neither am I older. My kids are teens and it’s my turn to impart my wisdom to younger women and moms.

Sophie Hudson uses three sets of relationships from the bible to show us the benefit and necessity of multi-generational relationships. Mary (Jesus’ mother) and Elizabeth her cousin and the mother of John the Baptist, Naomi and Ruth, and Lois and Eunice (Timothy’s grandmother and mother) are such friendships that show us why we need each other.

Besides the obvious family ties, the life lessons, experience and direction that come from multi-generational relationships are priceless. 
Sophie says “it’s so important for us to have older women in our lives; they know how to make things grow
They know how to grow plants, sure, 
but they also know how to grow in faith, 
how to grow in marriage, how to grow in singleness, 
how to grow in friendship, how to grow in parenting, 
how to grow in a relationship with the Lord. 
And in addition to all that growing, 
they know how to establish roots that are 
deep and well-nourished, 
they know how to prune away what’s no longer necessary
and they know what it takes to bear fruit.

Something else that I know, at least for myself, that comes into play with older women (myself included) is that we know the heartaches of life, we know what it means to be caught in sin and have to surrender to God to get out, we know feelings of regret over decisions and all of that we can impart on younger lives to warn them and help them to choose a better path than we did.

Titus 2:3-5 says “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, 
not malicious gossips 
nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 
so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, 
to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, 
being subject to their own husbands, 
so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

I have noticed that there is this shift from what used to be, with older women teaching and showing the younger women they way, to now we always seem pitted against each other. Older women are feeling outdated and useless, put on the back shelf and younger women are advancing in prominence and crippling insecurity all at once. 

We have to get back to recognizing the richness in multi-generational relationships. We can find common ground and build from there. We aren’t in competition with each other, we need to be walking the road of life side by side.

Sophie, thank you for addressing and bringing into the light this issue and encouraging us to change the tide!

You can find Giddy Up Eunice through B&H Publishers and also on Amazon