STRONG WOMEN

I saw a poster at a place recently that said, “in case of an emergency, keep calm, and go get a feminist.”

Several thoughts came to mind, I thought of the feminist movement that I think mostly originated because women were being treated unfairly, perhaps not cherished, weren’t valued, men at the time perhaps didn’t think they could accomplish as much.  There were so many bad, wrong thoughts about women.  Some women began this movement because they wanted improvement…a change.  Others wanted to take it really far, in my opinion, way too far.

I thought next about what I think God’s intention for women is and how many wrong thinking patterns exist in many a man’s mind still…and sadly, women too.  I reflected on different Scripture that speaks to God’s role for women.  I feel qualified to speak on the matter because not only was I a wife for nearly 11 years, but I am still a mom of 3 and I went to West Point and I love reading the Bible.  I was trained as a young girl by a dad that believed I was capable of doing anything.  I can honestly tell you there is no greater feeling in a little girl’s heart than to know, she can do anything her heart is set on and her daddy believes it!  As I believed his words, and had my mom’s absolute assurance and support, I was able to accomplish much.  My body and my brain cooperated with my heart.  And I truly believed without a doubt, I was capable to go to West Point.  4 years later after arduous work, I graduated in 2004.  Surrounded by extremely capable women, I realized that truly, women were capable of doing just about anything that their male counterparts were!

After graduation, and after getting married and starting my family, I felt a tug on my heart.  I still had the same drive and desire to accomplish and walk worthy of my 4 years at a very reputable institution, but now my mission had drastically changed.

But, I was not disappointed!  I realized that it would take even more strength to raise my kids. Especially with a husband who was fully committed to the Army and often gone as many are during this heavy cycle of deployments/tdy trips, command assignments and field assignments.

Yesterday, I knew without a doubt in my heart, God FULLY INTENDS FOR HIS WOMEN TO BE STRONG.  He made us capable of childbirth, long nights awake with crying babies, strong arms to accomplish our work (that is Scriptural too! Proverbs 31), and strong minds to wield off the Enemy’s attacks over our children’s hearts and our own.  God never intended us to be weak.

Today, I  face the reality that every time a woman is strong, it has an affect on those around them.  I want to be strong to be obedient to Christ, and I do hope my strength might inspire others to their calling also, but sometimes there are other outcomes/responses.  I must remind myself, that no matter what the response, God always intends for me to be strong.  Sometimes, boldly strong, other times quietly strong.  But always strong in mind, heart, and body.

Next week I am starting more serious training for my marathon.  The last few months have been 30min-1 hour of training, but now I have to train more to prepare my body for Nov 4.  I know embarking on this race without proper training will be foolish and painful.  My last one I trained up pretty well to run, but I came in late at night the night before and couldn’t find my way in the dark in the early morning to get to the race start line.  This one, I’m preparing for even more rigorously.  And I’ll be able to come in to the race location a day earlier.  I think the fact that I couldn’t run the race last spring makes me want to run this one so much more!

This is a life dream for me, a goal I’ve set for myself. I know I will need God’s grace and strength and protection all the more.  I’ve always seen this life as a marathon.  And the finish line like heaven.  I’ve always liked running. I will try and run my race with perseverance, running the race that is marked out for me.  I’m thankful to have a job with the YMCA for this year, to serve an organization that has stayed true to its Christian values over decades, and to spend time training in between my classes and dropping off/picking up my kids from school.  I’m thankful for a family friendly job and for the joy I have in my heart to work there and connect with the other awesome personnel that I’ll be working with who have similar passions/priorities.

I was reading about God’s COMMANDS in bible study this past Tuesday and in my personal devotions, this particular command: “BE STRONG and COURAGEOUS.”

I thought this was so pertinent in training for my marathon, raising my kids, and signing up to be a upward soccer coach for the fall at my church.  I’ve never run a marathon. Never coached a team!  I love the command to be strong and courageous, it feels to me as if I have no other option and that God has many blessings and rewards on the other side 🙂  I want to BE STRONG and BRAVE.

I pray my children might see the reward that comes with obedience to God’s commands now and throughout their lives.

 

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Leadership

Brian and I are learning all about lessons in leadership in a series at our church called “King Me.”  It is an amazing church…so focused on speaking truth…bodly, lovingly, gently, but unapologetically.  I love that.  It is the truth that sets us free…and it is beautiful.

I have struggled with the application of leadership a bit in my life.  I’ve always had a desire to be a leader.  It’s something that has always been a part of me.  The Lord has impressed upon me the importance of being a follower for some time now…and I have been embracing being a follower.  Coming out of a school that was very focused on leadership for 4 years and then another 5 years of application of that leadership…I was actually very happy to be unknown…to be a follower…to be unseen for a bit.  As I have been learning to do that, the question of leadership keeps popping back into my head.  As my heart has been changing toward what the application of leadership looks like in my life, I have had many questions to submit to the Lord.  And He has graciously answered.

You see, God never asks me to do something that is contrary to His Word.  Or Spirit.  If I am seeking with an open, contrite heart, He always shows me what I need to be doing.  As I was listening to the sermon on leadership…I kept thinking, how is this going to look like in my life right now?  As a homemaker?  As I drove back home…the Lord gave me glimpses of how I can be a great leader in my home.  I want to be a strong woman.  I want to be a great leader.  But, I want to do it in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.  God showed me the best way to be a leader in my marriage is to set a good example as a disciple of Jesus, to serve my husband, to love him, to enjoy him, to partner with him.  To do the things that God asks me to do as a wife.  God showed me the best way to be a leader with my children, is to be a servant to them, to enjoy them, to train them up in God’s ways, and to teach them about Him always.  God showed me the best way to be a leader in my oikos (the 10-15 people God has supernaturally and strategically placed in my life right now), is to LOVE them and serve them and if prompted by the Lord, to disciple some of them.  Basically, I can be a leader to everyone around me by seeking to demonstrate and declare who God is in everything I do.  THAT is great leadership.  (And I am so far from it!)

There was more to the sermon, more parts about how to be a leader, no matter what role you play in life.  You can check it out at highdesertchurch.com.  It is an incredible church and has God’s blessing all over it!