Tag Archives: Faith

Come Gather at The Well 

4 Oct

For the last year and a half, I have had unbreakable evening plans for the first Tuesday of every month. You see, during this hour and a half block of time, I gather at The Well with women of all seasons of life who are each experiencing a uniquely different relationship level with God. While we don’t meet at an actual well that pumps water to drink, we meet at the spiritual well where the water runs deep. 

Where does that name, The Well, even come from you might be asking. It comes from biblical times when women would gather at the well, often in the morning, to draw water for their families. Without water they wouldn’t survive. In John 4 we read about Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. She was all alone, choosing to come get water in the evening when the other women had gone. This alone speaks volumes – she was not accepted by the other women because of the lifestyle she had been living. BUT GOD still loved her. He still pursued her. He still wanted to give her his living water:

“Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” ‭‭John‬ ‭4:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Our church’s women’s ministry was established by two women who felt God calling them to share their journey of building a relationship with Him with other women. It’s not always hearts and flowers – we dig deep, exposing fears, regrets, anguish, the lies we believe about ourselves, our hurts and hang ups. Many times there are tears. This living, running water, which is moving within each of us, reminds me that I’m not alone. Someone out there, another women, has felt, experienced, and grown through similar troubles. 

Each month our time together centers around a different theme. Last night we examined friendship. Our two hosts had invited their four best friends to join them on stage for a “round table” discussion. Picture this – stunning, long wooden table with six elegant and Godly women seated together. They were a beautiful group. Love radiated from each women as she spoke about their special bond of friendship, which was born out of a need to connect and rally around one another in times of heartache and pain, and is strengthened by each women’s individual love and relationship with God. 

As evident by the friendship that was before us, life was not meant to live in isolation. We need close companions and friendships. And those extreamly close relationships they likened to a table with limited seating. 

They asked us to reflect upon our own lives and think about the following questions:

  1. Think about your life’s table. How many seats are available and who is sitting in those seats? 
  2. What prerequisites do you have for those who occupy those seats? 
  3. What fruits are the people at your table bringing? 
  4. What conversations are you partaking in?
  5. Who do you trust with your life? 
  6. Who’s truth do you value the most? 
  7. How are you growing from this relationship? 
  8. What are YOU giving to this relationship?

The enemy wants to isolate us. We are easier to attack when we are lonely and I can personally attest to that. This stage in my life I would describe as lonely and because of that, difficult. Yes, I have my family, boyfriend, and some friends out of state to lean on, but I don’t have a friendship rooted in God’s love. 

The six friends described their friendship as a place of:

  • Trust
  • Depth (friendship and spiritual level)
  • Encouraging
  • Honesty (Ephesians 4: 2)
  • Real
  • Sacrifice 
  • Love
  • Willing to get uncomfortable
  • Fortify (Protect/strengthen against attack, provide, surround)
  • Patient
  • Steadfast
  • Guide in wisdom
  • Rejoice
  • Grieve together
  • Vulnerable
  • Interceding on their behalf in prayer
  • Permission to speak truth and love – I seeing you doing X and I love you too much to keep doing it, to keep ruining your life

Those women are willing to bare the scars of pain and uncomfortableness for their friendship because that’s when they grow. We were encouraged to be very selective of the friends we are relying on for the most strength and reminded the best relationships are made up of the best forgivers. 

We were reminded of the many women’s groups available through the church to meet fellow Christian women – MOPS (Mothers of preschoolers), Mom’s Next (mother’s of elementary school children), Wednesday Night/Thursday Morning/Sunday Morning women’s bible study groups, and so on. I struggled with this part because I don’t feel like there is a group of women my age, who aren’t married, who’ve never had children. I’m too old for the young adult class and not a mother (where the majority of the women my age are meeting). Yes I attend the Wednesday evening bible study when I can, but even in that class, I’m one of the youngest. I often find myself wondering where I fit in at church? Where are the other nearly 30, single, non-mothers like myself hiding?

We all need an honest, insightful, God-speaking friend, who in times of trial, will remind us,  “You can have your moment, but you can’t stay there.”

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” Romans‬ ‭12:9-13‬, ‭NLT‬‬

Listening to their stories, there was one woman who described herself as an introvert and I could see myself in many of the things she was saying – difficult to meet friends, never felt 100% accepted by other women, always quiet, searching to fill a void. In my seat my heart was screaming – that’s me! I feel that way right now! Her next words stopped my mental anguish – “I prayed for God to send me a friend and I was blessed with five women who are extroverted. My life is a lot more fun now.”

Pray for a friend? Really? Could it be that simple? That innocent? Could I be that open, honest, and raw? It can. Surrender it to God. He will give you more than what you could ever even think to ask for.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians‬ ‭3:20‬, ‭NLT‬‬

 I’m going to be braver than I’ve ever been before. Tonight, Lord, I ask that you open my eyes to the people around me. Help me to form and kindle relationships with women who will be able to draw me closer to you through their friendship. Lord, teach ME how to be that friend for someone else. I am lowering my walls, Lord, so that your truth, light, and spirit may fill my heart and soul with a deeper peace, love, feeling of acceptance than I have ever known. Lord, I don’t want to do life on my own anymore – guide me to my tribe of women would will fortify me and I them. You know the plans you have for my life and I know that includes friends. Show me, Lord, where to find them. 

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Happy Happenings – February 2017

28 Feb

I just can’t believe how quickly February flew by! Perhaps it was because I spent all of my spare time doing homework for my PR history and the modern world class. Or maybe, just maybe, because it didn’t feel like February. Whatever the reason for its seemingly speedy departure, looking back, it was a month filled with many joyous moments!

  1. 10 out of 10 on last week’s homework! My professor complimented my great use of storytelling for the second week in a row!
  2. Random coworkers will now pop their heads into my office to see what the “smell of the day is” for my diffuser. This morning was On Guard and Eucalyptus and in the afternoon they asked for Motivate!
  3. Hummus veggie pizza for dinner!
  4. For some strange reason my work account, and those of a number of other people on campus, was deactivated. Since I was unable to access internet, my shared drives or my email, I got paid to catch up on my class readings this morning.
  5. When lunchtime rolled around, the problem still wasn’t fixed so I was able to take a 1/2 vacation day to come home! It was so much fun to surprise Scott before he headed off to work this evening.
  6. Had a box of Samoa Girl Scout cookies stashed away, busted them out tonight as I wrote my forum post about FDR and the importance of photography in PR history. (***Just for fun, out of 35,000 photos of FDR, how many depict him in his wheelchair?! The answer might surprise you – I know I was surprised when I was doing my reading for class!)
  7. Helped my coworkers get our 50th anniversary display case all set up!
  8. Watching Twilight while making dinner. Tried a new recipe – cauliflower alfredo pasta.
  9. Watching live TV on the Disney Channel app! Currently enjoying Despicable Me!
  10. Pancakes and raspberry hot chocolate for breakfast.
  11. Thanks Abbey for sending photos of Bailey’s (Jacob) 1st birthday party! Wish we could have been there to celebrate with everyone, looks like it was a fun afternoon!
  12. Tried another new recipe – One Pot Mexican Quinoa and it was delicious! Tasted just like tacos WITHOUT the meat!
  13. Chatting with Kira! Thanks for being one of my very bestest friends in the whole wide world!
  14. Great time chatting with my mom. I’ve missed our mother-daughter bonding time.
  15. Visiting with my grandparents for a little while this afternoon. They are the cutest!
  16. All emotional watching former President Bush and First Lady participate in the Super Bowl coin toss. Such a special moment for them!
  17. One of my coworkers surprised our office with cream sticks from DeLuxe Pastry Shop!
  18. Helped teach our Dean how to tweet! She’s so excited to join the online conversation!
  19. The feeling of just washed, just braided hair! I have a cute hairstyle planned for tomorrow, fingers crossed it turns out the way I picture it in my head!
  20. Stepped outside of my comfort zone and layered my LuLaRoe pieces to create a new outfit! Love how it came together! 16473690_10154479016006693_3310079714335901254_n
  21. Loved the way my time lapse video for the College turned out! I shared it to my page earlier, take a look!
  22. Great night at The Well! Lesson from Luke 8, learned all about the condition of our soul soil – is your soil compacted, filled with rocks, taken over by thorns, or good top soil?
  23. Made it home safely in the rain and fog.
  24. Pinterest planning how to grow a bountiful vegetable garden on our 2 floor balcony.
  25. Walks, talks, and lots of laughter with my work friends.
  26. Had an awesome meeting with the creative minds of KSU this afternoon. They taught us some cool new ways to use our new branding elements. I’m so excited to try out what I learned! My designs are about to go to a whole new level! Can’t wait for next month’s meeting!!
  27. Crossing items off my project to-do list at work.
  28. My windshield wipers weren’t frozen to my car at the end of the day and it only took a few moments to defrost the ice.
  29. Homemade crispy sweet potato fries for dinner tonight, with some extras for lunch tomorrow! 16602671_10154485264911693_3885807182169895729_n
  30. Scott and I are slowly getting caught up on all of the Designated Survivor episodes!
  31. Surprising Angie with her first oil purchase!
  32. Buying my textbook for my next class from Amazon for $0.25! Plus the $3 something in shipping, but that’s still such a steal!
  33. Loving my Lasko space heater on this chilly evening. It’s keeping my living room cozy without having to turn the overall heat on!
  34. Taxes are done! Hallelujah!!
  35. Great time at the movies with Macayla and Natalie! 16602569_1363341823687554_7983116607515526958_n
  36. Brand new pillow and microfiber sheet set! Here’s to having some wonderful sweet dreams! G’night!
  37. Quote from today’s sermon: “Faith without action is like horsepower without traction. Makes a lot of noise and your wheels spin fast, but you aren’t going to go anywhere.”
  38. Had a fun conversation, spurred by a debate between Macayla and Mason at lunch today about the correct way to “make a phone with your hand.” Which then led into signing the alphabet and other basic signs.
  39. Thanks mom for sending me home with a clean dress (after the adorable little baby at church got sick on me!) and a can of Chicken Noodle Soup for Scott!
  40. Being the first one in the parking lot means I got my pick of the spots today!
  41. Finished my first draft of a new blog post for the college featuring one of our alumna.
  42. Sent out an exclusive first look of the features to our 50th anniversary website and before I left work, we had someone submit their story to the site!! I can’t wait to open it up to everyone!!
  43. Angie and I brought a friend to the #MindfulMile walk today and got two punches in our reward card instead of just one! We were also somehow front and center in the group photo!
  44. Rocked my Valentine’s Day LuLaRoe at work today! Everyone loved my leggings!
  45. Had a great planning meeting for our 5K! Mark your calendars, it’s Saturday, May 6!
  46. Date night with Scott at Mike’s Place. It was so nice bumping into Hannah and Shirley and Bill!
  47. 10+ hours of sleep and a nice hot cup of Winter Spice tea – here’s to feeling less icky tomorrow!
  48. Phone conversation with mom!
  49. Surprise text from Abbey! Love our silly conversations!
  50. Listened to a great webinar at work today about coping with stress. So glad my employer provides these learning opportunities for us. This one came at the perfect time.
  51. Published a new blog featuring one of our prominent alumna for Black History Month.
  52. Grade back for my last journal entry of this class – 10/10!!
  53. Mid-morning Auntie Anne’s pretzel run!
  54. Thanks mom for sending me this yummy zucchini chip recipe. Didn’t have Parmesan, so I used shredded mozzarella instead! 16807509_10154515003356693_8203490452848789049_n
  55. Late to the party, but started watching “This is Us” and I LOVE IT!!!
  56. Waking up to Scott’s alarm and being able to go back to sleep!
  57. 65° F in February means open windows for some much needed sunshine and air circulation.
  58. Had a blast at the women’s basketball game with my coworkers! Even got a selfie with President Warren!
  59. Love driving and feeling the warm sun streaming in through the windshield!
  60. Played Phase Ten with Scott before he had to head off to work tonight.
  61. You may think I’m crazy and that’s okay…but “planted” two avocado seeds today! Fingers crossed we’ll see roots within the next 3-6 weeks! According to all of the YouTube videos I’ve watched, people have had the most success with this method! Fingers crossed!! 16641099_10154520382746693_3041490619680927773_n
  62. When I got home from work, I discovered one of our Tulips was starting to open! 16830753_10154523155751693_954702074053095616_n
  63. In a race to get to the grocery store before it closed, every light we came up to turned green. It was one of those moments like in an action movie where the techie guy changes all the lights at the exact moment the hero approaches the intersection.
  64. Bought some Parsley tonight, and since I know we won’t use the entire bundle, decided to see if I could get a few to root! If they do, we won’t have to buy it again! 16864194_10154523155861693_9110339167456637944_n
  65. Seeing the joy on college students’ faces when I passed out free t-shirts!
  66. Used my lunch hour productively to get caught up on some homework reading.
  67. Hammered out 1/3 of my final paper tonight! Only 2,500 words to go!!
  68. Human Resources surprised our College this morning by dropping off some snacks as part of a random acts of kindness/unity campaign.
  69. Another alumna submitted a story in celebration of our 50th anniversary – and she was a member of the very first graduating class! So excited to roll out this campaign publicly!
  70. “Graffitied” the front office windows in preparation for “Month of Gratitude” which begins March 1! We are hoping more of the faculty and staff will participate as well!
  71. Laughing and joking with our Dean during a team meeting today. She apologized for being late and I responded with “The Dean is never late, everyone else is simply early” and she loved it! Thank you Princess Diaries for the awesome quote at the perfect moment!
  72. So glad I fell in love with a man who enjoys cooking. Scott was slaving away in the kitchen making “meatloaf” when I arrived home from work. This was our first time trying this recipe and we enjoyed it – very filling. 16730675_10154535372351693_3022324288754319106_n
  73. Found a way to reference LuLaRoe in my homework post this week! Consultant friends, I hope you’re proud!
  74. This morning Angie and I attended a Gratitude Journaling seminar. It was neat for me because everything the presenter told us to do, I’ve been doing for nearly two whole months now! She shared a great quote by Melanie Beatty that said “gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. I can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
  75. Received the BEST surprise interruption during our budget meeting today – Megan came to visit me at work and brought me a chocolate milkshake as well! It was fun introducing her to my coworkers! 16806721_10154538973061693_988365819408642982_n
  76. In honor of today’s beautiful 75° day, and because it felt like summertime, I made Sunshine Rice. So many memories from my childhood center on that dish. It’s a beautiful presentation and a symphony of flavor!16998187_10154538973931693_1783533658159110836_n
  77. Always love when Manda and Michael pop over just to chat! Loved hearing all about how they celebrated their anniversary last night and chatting nonsense with Paul – Ryan was down for the count taking a nap.
  78. Saturday’s mean PJ day!
  79. Found the missing link for my research paper. I will be so glad to turn it in this week!
  80. On my way home tonight I got stopped at the railroad tracks. Normally this would be irritating, but since I was in no hurry, I put the car in park and turned up the radio. I was blessed with a message from my Heavenly Father in the form of the song “Mended” by Matthew West. Had I not caught the train, I would have missed this beautiful reminded that while I am focusing on the pain of life, He already knows all the ways in which He will help me use that to future His Kingdom.
  81. I never laugh as much as when I am with my family. Sunday lunch and afternoons are my favorite times during the week.
  82. Great sermon delivered in church today about having more patience. This hit pretty close to home as I know this is an area in which I have traditionally had difficulties, but as I was sitting there listening, I began noticing all the little ways the Lord has been working on my heart this past year to help me become more patient with myself, others and situations.
  83. Received an angry email at work from someone who claimed he had asked to be taken off the email list years ago. I emailed him back apologizing that he had not been removed and let him know I would personally remove him from the list. He emailed me back this afternoon to let me know that he was glad I had reached out to him. Apology accepted and bridge mended!
  84. First time at a new doctor’s office today and it was a fantastic experience – in and out in less than an hour. No waiting. No delays. She took the time to answer all of my questions and concerns and never made me feel like she had somewhere else she needed to be.
  85. Thank goodness our internet behaved tonight. 90% done with my paper. Just a few more sources to refind and plop in! I am so tried of reading and re-reading the history of tampons!
  86. The IT guy surprised our department with these adorable mini donuts! Happy Fat Tuesday! 16996488_10154550213346693_300246490286572445_n
  87. Thank you dad for editing my 19 page research paper! You’re the best!!! And it’s been submitted an entire day early!
  88. In order to allow me to finish the last little bit of my paper, Scott made dinner! Then we started watching Inferno, but as we are both falling asleep, we’ll have to finish it tomorrow.

Wondering what this list is all about? Check out my introduction to my daily Happy Happenings!

Oh Come Let Us Adore

24 Dec

Breathe in. Breathe out. Relax. Repeat.

How often do we let ourselves do that during the busy holiday season? I would bet most of us are too busy racing around for the perfect gift, creating a Pinterest worthy holiday dinner or just trying to keep it all together on the outside while we slowly fall apart on the inside.

Often, I fall into the latter category. Holidays are proving to be hard for me this year being out on my own, I saw that last month with Thanksving. There will be some who don’t understand this struggle, and that’s okay. It’s just that had I known last Christmas would be the last Christmas morning I woke up in my childhood bedroom, if I’d known last Christmas was the last time I would wait for my family to all go to bed before I snuck my gifts downstairs and sat looking at our tree in the quiet for an hour, I would have appreciated it so much more. I have been so focused on everything I’m going to miss – late night holiday baking, Santa’s footprints, my parent’s house at Christmas, when I really should have been focused on the reason for the season.

Thank goodness earlier this month we had a meeting at The Well, the women’s ministry that meets each month at church. The theme – Oh Come Let Us Adore. Perfect! Before we entered the sanctuary, we were reminded of the symbols of Jesus in the holiday decorations – the red to represent the blood Christ shed on the cross to pay for our sins; green, specifically in evergreens, to signify everlasting life; the pointy leaves of the poinsettia plant to remind us of the thorns that adorn Christ’s head. Hearing this was a wake up call…Christmas is all about the cross. (Oddly enough, I just found a song by that same title a few days ago by The Ball Brothers, trust me, you’ll need tissues!) And then they let us into the sanctuary as the worship band softly sang “Oh Come Let Us Adore.”

Our hostesses gave us two gifts that night – first, a time to relax and worship; and second, prayer. On our seats were little cards that said “Adore” and during the service they asked us to write down what we needed prayers for. We didn’t have to add our names, just what was on our heart, and then drop that card into the basket. At the end of the service, we each drew one card and were asked to pray for that sister in Christ, for whatever she had written on her card.

Lord, I lift this sister up to you. I don’t know her name or the extent of her struggles, but you do. I ask that you enfold her in peace, comfort, and strength. Help her to remove her worries and troubles from the basket she carries daily and place them in your hands. Lord, help her to see others as you see them. Help her to choose her words and actions wisely, and to be conscious of other’s feelings, thoughts and desires. Let her know that she is never alone – she can turn to you at any time, day or night and you will be there to listen to her. Help her to know your unending, unconditional, all-encompassing love, the kind of love a daughter can only receive from her Heavenly Father. Lord, help her to be wise and strong, and to know that surrendering to you is not a weakness but an act of unwavering faith. Lord, be with her tonight. If there is anger, hurt or resentment in her spirit, I ask that it be removed and replaced with openness, kindness, acceptance and understanding. Help her feel peace and joy at home. Be with this sister, reminding her that You are the Light of the World, the reason for the season,  the Greatest Gift of All.

That night was exactly what my troubled heart needed, and I too, have felt the prayers of a sister in Christ as she prayed over my card. I am so blessed to have this church family to help me grow in my faith. And it was even more wonderful that I was able to spend this amazing evening with my extended family and that we could all be blessed and strengthened together.

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