Do You Want to Write for Give Her Grace? I'm Looking for Guest Writers!

January 17, 2017

Have you recently felt the call to write and share your words?  Have you ever wanted to share your story to encourage others?  Has God been working in your life and you want to share it with others?  If your heart just leaped up into your throat and you whispered a quiet yes, then I’ve got some exciting news for you friend. 


I’m looking for guest contributors for Give Her Grace!







I could hardly type this all out because I’m so excited!  God has been showing me so much about fear and bravery.  My thoughts are all jumbled up as I'm trying to make sense of all he's put on my heart lately.  I know if I'm experiencing some of this, many of you are as well.  

This upside down time of trying to be brave and fearless has prompted me to invite you along the journey with me.  I'm looking for similar stories from you.  Stories of fearlessness and faith. 


  Fear. 


That can be a scary four letter word, I know.  But here’s the thing friend, that word can encompass so many things.  Calling, gifts, difficult seasons, waiting, hurt, redemption.  Hard stuff.  Good stuff.


What has God done in your life as it relates to fear?  Has He brought you out of a long season of waiting or difficulty?  Has He called you to pursue a dream?  What is God showing you about fear in your life?

Fear is something I have long wrestled with.  To be frank with you, I’m sick of it really.  As this New Year started I vowed to be more fearless and brave in my own life.  I'll be writing more on that in that future, but for now, let's talk about YOU.  Perhaps you have felt a similar tug.  Here's your invitation.


Will you be brave with me?  Will you take a chance on sharing your story?  


Here’s what I’m looking for in a guest post:

-Posts should center on Christian-living and should be encouraging in nature. 

-Please limit posts to no more than 1200 words and no less than 500.

-DO NOT include a featured image or title image.  I will take care of this for you.

-DO include a photo of yourself and a short bio. If you already have a blog, feel free to link it in your bio. 



FAQ’s:

Do I have to have a blog to contribute a post?
            Absolutely not!  Having a blog is not a requirement, but if you do already have one, feel free to post the link in your bio so that readers can follow up with you. 


When do I need to submit a post to you?
            Deadline for posts will be February 28th


Who do I submit my post to?
            That would be me, Amanda!  You can submit a post via email to me here.  


Can I submit more than one post?
         For now, please only submit one post.  There may be opportunities in the future to submit more, so hold onto those posts!


What else should I know about submitting a post?
            Please know that as the author of this blog, I reserve the right to format the post and edit the post as I see fit.  I will do my best not to take away the original content of your post, but I need to stay true to the format of posts I use and to the mission of Give Her Grace.  If you have any questions about the guidelines, feel free to contact me!




I can’t wait to read your words sweet friends.  I’m ready to be brave and fearless.  Are you?

What if You Just Start?

January 6, 2017

I spend a lot of my writing time staring at a blank white screen with a blinking cursor. 


That cursor.  


It’s surprisingly intimidating.  The constant blinking reminds me with each passing moment that I’ve not put a single word down.  Which for a writer, isn’t too great.  We’re sort of required to put words on a page. 


It’s always the first sentence that makes me clam up, makes me hesitate.  Part of my COMPEL training was centered on nailing the first sentence in a post.  Grab their attention.  Make them want to read more.  Draw people in.  Every time I start a new post I have that in the back of my mind.  I just have to make it through that first sentence.  


In these last years of writing, I've realized that I have let that first sentence have way too much power over the rest of my post, even over my confidence as a writer. 


As I sat down to write this week I had a thought. 


What if I just started and didn’t obsess over that first sentence?  What if I simply poured out my heart and didn’t worry about whether it was perfect or whether it would get likes or comments?  What if I just wrote and didn’t look back?


It may sound like a silly thought, but I’m wondering how many of you are hung up on your own first sentence.  Now it may not be actual writing that’s got you hung up, but nevertheless, you’ve got your own battle with your “first sentence," whatever it is. 


Maybe you want to start your own business but you’re afraid to take the plunge.  Or you’re worried about chasing your dreams, because what if you fail?  What will your family and friends think?  There are so many things that can be “first sentences” for us. 


They symbolize the fear that runs deep in us.  It’s not the actual first sentence (whatever it is-the dream, ministry, idea, etc.) that has us fearful.  It’s what they represent.  Change.  Challenges.  Possible rejection.


But what if we didn’t worry about the big picture of things for once and we simply just started




   

Years ago before I started blogging, I was at a conference with our Acteens group and recognized a writer and blogger whom I knew in the crowd.  I debated whether or not to talk to her.  I certainly didn’t want to bother her but I was also intrigued by her story of how God had stirred up in her the calling to write. 


As the conference ended I found myself standing near her and decided to go up and introduce myself.  I had long felt the stirring in my own heart to write and start blogging and so I asked for her best piece of advice for a new comer like me. 


“Girl, just start. Just go for it!” were the words she said to me.  About a month later I did just that.  I simply started.  It hasn’t been a perfect journey.  When I go back now and read some of my first posts as a blogger I actually cringe.  {I wouldn’t recommend you go back and read them either! } But it’s all part of the journey.  Not only has my writing changed but my relationship with God has drastically changed as I’ve gotten closer to Him.


I’ve been writing and blogging now for five years.  It's hard to believe it's been that long already.  Over the years the focus of my blog ministry has shifted, my calling is now a bit more within reach and I truly know in my soul that no matter what the lifelong outcome of this is, I have to write.  I have to.  It is ingrained in my soul. 


But it didn’t just happen.  I had to start. I had to lay it all down at the foot of the cross and be obedient to what God was calling me to do.  It was scary.  It still is. 


The hard truth is this: 

If we let fear grip us and we never start, then we’ll never know what God can truly do in us and through us. 







Author Annie Downs says this in her book, Let's All Be Brave:

"You just have to start, my friend.  That thing that is whispering on your insides?  That conversation you need to have or that place you need to go?  That job you want to try or that ministry you want to attempt?  That major you want to pick at college or that mission trip you want to go on?  You've got to start somewhere.  So do.  Tell somebody you want to be brave."



Five years ago I was just a girl at a conference with a big dream but a slight hesitancy to obey what God was calling her to do.  Thankfully a fellow sister stepped in and offered me the encouragement I needed to start. 


Today, I want to give that same encouragement to you sweet friend. 


Just start.


Stop worrying about failing.  Stop trying to make everything perfect before you even begin.  Stop thinking that you’ve heard God wrong.  Stop ignoring that tug in your heart that He’s placed there that maybe, just maybe, you were designed to do more. 


It doesn't matter where you begin.  Just take a small step towards that dream you've got tucked away in your heart.  Just start. Achieve that goal you have.  Do the thing you have always wanted to do.  Leave behind the what-if's and let God open the doors that are in His will for you to be opened.  


Just think: what if you left behind all those “first sentences” and all the other hang ups that leave you feeling unqualified and unworthy?  What if now is the time you bravely step over the line and lay it all down for Him? 


"You know the thing God is doing in your life better than I do.  It's time to get quiet before the Lord and ask him what it looks like for you to live a life of courage today.  To start."

Annie Downs, Let's All Be Brave




Friend, what might happen if you just start?

Dear Mama, at Christmas Time

December 14, 2016




Dear sweet mama,


I know that we may not know each other.  If we passed by one another in the store we may not even make eye contact.  It’s not because we don’t want to look at each other, it’s just that we’ve got so much we are trying to remember to do.  We are probably juggling at least one child and trying our best to keep them from grabbing unwanted things and throwing them in the cart.


I want you to know that even though it doesn’t seem like it, someone sees you.  I see you. I see how you’re trying to juggle it all.  




Shopping.  Baking. Wrapping.  Cleaning.  





I see how you’re giving it your best effort to teach your children the real meaning behind this beautiful season.  Jesus.


But it’s hard, isn’t it?

  
I want you to know that it’s okay that everything doesn’t get done.  It never does, does it?  Even despite our best efforts, something always gets left undone.  




And it’s okay.





This Christmas season my prayer for you isn’t that you get everything done.  It’s that you take moments to breathe.  That you take this all in.




I know it’s hard to stop and just be during this busy season.  I know that even when you are trying to push everything aside and be present with your family, in the back of your mind you’re still going through your to-do list.  



I get it.  I am right there with you. But let's not miss this precious time because of our shopping and Christmas to-do lists.  Oh God, I pray I remember to breathe in these precious moments.  Help me to savor this time.




As you prepare for the busy week ahead, here are the things I am praying most for you:



I pray you snuggle up under cozy warm blankets with your kids, and hold their little hands, which are probably sticky from eating too many candy canes, and you breathe in these moments.





I hope you get to sit back and not worry about the mess that is being made, and you watch your children light up with joy as they open their presents.  A joy that cannot be taken away.



I want you to soak up the smells of your mother’s home cooking and your aunt’s famous dishes.  Those are the smells that fill the house with a warmth and love that cannot be recreated.  For those smells won’t be there forever.  



I pray that beyond all the chaos of toys on the floor and wrapping paper everywhere, you remember The One whose birth we celebrate, never intended for you to be overwhelmed with anything other than joy and thankfulness during this sweet season.








Our kids won’t remember that everything didn’t get done. Or that the house was a mess or that your cake never did get baked for the work Christmas party.  



But they will remember the moments you create with them.



They will remember snuggles on the couch and staying up late watching Christmas movies. They will remember singing Jingle Bells and Silent Night at the top of their lungs on the way to look at Christmas lights.




They will remember that this season isn’t about us at all.  It’s about Him.  Our sweet Jesus.





So to my dear, precious mama at Christmas time, I know you may be overwhelmed with your running lists.  I know you’re worn out from school parties and wrapping presents and helping put on the church Christmas play.



But, don’t miss this. 



Every year I look back after Christmas has passed and I think to myself, what was I doing the whole time?  I feel like I missed it.


  
But not this year.  This year I will be intentional about Christmas.
  


I will sit down in the wrapping paper mess and play with my girls.


I will bake a birthday cake for Jesus.


I will hold my husband’s hand as we watch our girls play with their gifts.


I will sit back and breathe.  And enjoy.  And I will be thankful for the blessings we don’t deserve in so many ways.


And mostly, I will be reminded that this time, although it is fun, has meaning because of Him {Jesus} and not because of anything I could ever do.




Dearest mama, let us not miss it this year.  




I am praying this for you and so much more.  I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!






Photo Credit: Heather Gunter of Rustic South Photography


Merry Christmas!

Love, 
The Martinsen's



                     *This post was originally published on December 22, 2015.*



When All You Can Do is Pray

November 30, 2016

This is not the blog post I intended to write this week.


I’ve been working on a post about Hagar’s story in Genesis for a few weeks now and I spent time this week putting the final touches on it.  But as I tried to craft the final sentences, nothing was coming together like I needed it to.


The truth is, my heart is elsewhere.


Perhaps you have heard of the horrific wildfires spreading across the Western part of my beloved state of North Carolina.  The wildfires have now made their way into a place that is near and dear to my heart, Gatlinburg, TN. 


You see, my husband and I spent our first week as husband and wife walking those precious city streets.  It is a place full of culture, warmth, and love.  I feel it every time I visit.  Its beauty is prestige and unmatched for me.  


But things have taken a horrific turn.  People are losing their homes, losing everything they own.  It is simply heartbreaking to see.  I sat at my desk looking at image after image of this beloved city burning to the ground.  I thought about all the people having to leave their homes knowing it wouldn't be there when they returned.  I thought about the emergency personnel who are literally risking their lives to help.   With tears in my eyes I thought, what can I do Lord?  What can I do?



The only thing I knew to do was pray.  Pray, I thought.  Right now that is all I can do.








Sometimes all we can do is pray because there is simply not anything more we can do.  Sometimes the only thing we can do is put our knees on the floor, clinch our hands together and cling to God's promises through prayer.  We pray for whatever hurt is happening, whatever destruction.  Pray for whatever situation there seems to be no end to.  Pray for resolution.  Pray for peace.



When all you can do is pray, that is what you do friend.  You pray.



I know it sounds cliché, even silly to think that the words we pray during these desperate times and situations will do anything to help.  But let me tell you, they do.  I believe in the power of prayer.  With every fiber in me I believe in it.  I’ve seen its effects firsthand. 


There have been times when I’ve witnessed very dear friends walk through unbelievable hurt and pain and I wanted nothing more than to take it away from them.  I would have given anything to do so.  As time wore on, I had nothing left to offer them.  No more words of encouragement.  No positive outlook.  No silver lining. 


But I could pray.  And so, I did.  I prayed prayers I have never prayed before in my life.  Prayers of questioning.  Prayers of unbelief at times.  Prayers of hopelessness on their behalf.  But then came the prayers of power.  Prayers of understanding.  Prayers of trusting and believing. 




Sometimes all we can do is pray and we must believe in the power of that



I am a doer.  I am a take action kind of girl.  So let me be transparent here, this is hard for me.  Sitting still, not having a plan, not helping someone, is really hard for me to bear.  But sometimes God doesn’t need us to take action.  He needs us to rest in Him and trust in His promises. 



God is still on the throne.  He is still in control.  We may feel helpless but God is not helpless.  We may feel weary but God is not.  He is our stronghold.  We may feel desperate and broken but God is the sculptor, The One who puts us back together. 



There may be a situation in your life right now where you feel utterly helpless.  Powerless.  Unsure.  Fearful of what’s to come.  Everything seems out of your control and you don’t know what else to do.  Friend, you keep praying.  There is power in prayer.  There is power when we lift up one another in the name of Jesus.


 “Never stop praying”

1 Thessalonians 5:17
 (NLT)



There is certainly a time and a place to take action.  But there is also a time and a place for us to let God work and do only the things God can do. 



And so we pray.   And we keep praying.  In the mighty name of Jesus.  Amen.




Friends, will you join me in praying for the many things that I’m sure are heavy on our hearts? 

Pray for rain and relief for the wildfires.  Pray for the people who are losing everything precious to them.  Pray for our nation and the division that only seems to grow with each passing day.  Pray for peace.  So much peace. 



How can I pray for you?

To the One Running from God

November 8, 2016

I can’t get you off my mind.


I’ve tried for weeks to push this message out of my heart and file it under things to write on in the future.  I’ve put off writing these words for many reasons.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear you won’t hear my heart and won’t understand where I’m coming from.  I wanted to leave this alone.  Truly I did.

But it doesn’t always work that way.  There are some words, some messages that won’t leave me alone and friend, this is one of them.  I can’t promise that these words won’t stir up something inside of you, I actually hope they do.  Maybe these words aren’t meant for you at all.  Maybe they are meant for someone you hold close to your heart.  A family member.  A beloved friend.  A co-worker.  


Friend, please hear me when I say, these words of mine come from love. Such a deep love for you.  There is no judgement.  No malice.  No ill intentions.  I need you to know that so when you move down the page of my heart on this screen, you know that my words come from me wanting you to know you are cherished.  Loved.  Worthy.  Magnificent.  So with that, I need to tell you something hard but something ever so important.



Stop running from God. 











I’m sure it feels like life is just a giant question mark sometimes.  You struggle to know who you are, where you’re going or what the next season holds for you.  Maybe you find yourself looking in the mirror at yourself and wondering when you changed.  




I know it’s an uphill battle.  Sometimes the pain is just too great and there are too many questions unanswered.  Perhaps you’ve asked some of these questions before:



If God is such a good God, then why did He let this happen?
If God really loves me, why didn’t He save me from this?
If God is real, then why is there so much suffering in the world?
If God…
If God…
If God…




Those are difficult, valid questions.  Questions I won’t pretend to know the answer to.  But I do know that God uses our trials and struggles to draw us closer to Him.  I know that if He brings us to it, He will more than bring us through it.  In this way, we learn our desperate need for Him, for a Savior.


Maybe it’s not questions that plague your mind.  Maybe it’s simply that sin feels better than repentance and change.  Satan is so good at making us a slave to our sins and the things of this world draw us in like moths to a flame.  They fulfill us, for a short time.  They feel good.  They give us what we want, what we desire.  Whatever it is- drinking, sex, partying, gossip, lying, greed.  But none of it compares to Jesus. 

 
Friend, I've been there. I've turned my heart away from Him before.  It was easier to go through the motions of life and pretend my sin didn’t exist.  To look for value and acceptance from others instead of letting Him blow my heart wide open with His truth.  It was easier to pretend that He was some distant God in the sky more than a personal Savior.  It was easier to push the pain down than to allow Him to do the work He needed to and heal me.


God is a fierce pursuer of our hearts and He doesn’t stop pursuing His children.  “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Deuteronomy 4:24 (NIV).  I’m so glad He never stops pursuing us.  Aren’t you?


I need you to know this.  You are never too far gone for God to reach you.  To see you.  To work in your life.  To love you.  Never.  God’s love is never-ending, never ceasing.  You see it doesn't matter what you've done or where you've been. It matters that you return and that His arms are wide open ready to receive you.







What if, just for a brief moment, you stopped and sat still with Him.  You let your shoulders relax and your breath slow.  You focused your mind simply on Him, on His peace.  There is no agenda there, from you or from Him.  There is simply stillness.  I think in those still, quiet moments God would whisper to your heart, come home child.


I love you.

I miss you.

I cherish you.

Nothing you do will stop me from loving you.



Do you believe that?  Do you know how much He loves you?  How much you matter to Him?


You matter.  Your life matters.  And if it sounds like I’m being overly dramatic and too serious, I’m okay with that.  That’s how serious I take this.  Because I want you to know just that badly how much God wants you to stop running from Him.


It’s okay that you messed up.  It’s okay that you don’t have it all together.  Welcome to the club!  We’re all broken and in need of a Savior.  You think you’re too messed up for Him to use?  Look at the people in the Bible-Noah, Moses, David, Rahab, Mary Magdalene, and Paul just to name a few.  They messed up, but God used them in mighty ways.  Ways that brought Him glory; that fulfilled His promises and purposes.



If you need healing, who better to heal you than Jesus?

You need acceptance?  Who better to accept you than The One who was rejected by man.

You need love?  You’ll never find anyone who will love you more.  I guarantee it.

You want to know there’s something beyond the life you’re living?  That God has a plan for you?  You bet.  1,000% He does. (Jeremiah 29:11)



But you have to stop running friend.  You have to let go of the things that have held you captive and release them to God.  There is nothing too dirty, too painful or too burdensome that God can't handle or that you cannot be forgiven and redeemed from. 


What if today, you stopped running, stopped pursuing other things and gave yourself back to Him? 



You are never too far gone for God.  You can always come home.  Will you come?




Lord Jesus,

I don’t know why we run from you.  I don’t know why we think our ways are better than yours. Forgive us for turning away when what our hearts need most is You.  You give us this beautiful parable in Luke 15.  A story of the prodigal son returning home.  He thinks he will be met by his father with haste and anger, yet he is welcomed with open arms, a celebration of return.  You give us this beautiful example of your love for us in this story.  Thank you for your unending patience and grace with us.  Thank you for open arms and unending love.  You are the only thing that can truly fulfill us.  Draw us closer to you and help us to run fast to you.  Fast to your everlasting arms. 


In Your Name, Amen. 








I Feel Called...Now What?

October 19, 2016

They’re there.  You want to push them away and pretend you don’t constantly feel them.  You can’t quite seem to figure out why they won’t leave you, why you can’t stop them from happening.  You make a lot of excuses for why you don’t acknowledge their presence.  But you can’t deny them, even if you tried.  These feelings, these heart tugs, these constant nudging’s that won’t go away, want you to finally surrender.   Give upPut up your white flag.  Answer the call. 


You’re scared.  You wonder if you’ve heard God correctly.  You don’t even know where to begin.  To put into motion all of these things He has laid so heavily on your heart.  But you want to.  You want to be obedient, willing. 


Oh friend I have been there many times.  I have felt the heart tugs, the Holy Spirit’s constant nudging to obey the call He has given me.  But fear gripped me.  Satan’s lies about my inabilities and unworthiness called louder than ever before.  I stood frozen, unsure of what to do next.  Have you been there?


This past weekend I had the privilege of leading a breakout session at our women’s event on calling and purpose.  I titled our session, “I Feel Called…Now What?” because so often we feel a call that God has laid on our hearts, but we aren’t sure what to do with it.  



I want to take a few moments today to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way to encourage you.  Now hear me out, I’m no expert on this.  I come from a place of personal struggle on the topic and as I shared these resources with our group on Saturday, I noticed it was something many of us deal with on some level.  






Find a mentor.

Surround yourself with like-minded passion people.  I know it sounds strange right?  But that’s no typo.  Look around you. Who is doing what you want to be doing?  Who can help you navigate your calling?


Years ago I was with our Acteens group at a teen conference and I spotted a fellow writer and blogger in the crowd whom I had long admired.  I waited around for the right time to go up and introduce myself to her.  The opportunity finally presented itself and I briefly talked with her about how much I enjoyed her blog and how her posts spoke to me.  Then I confessed to her that I felt God calling me to begin writing again and perhaps start a blog too.  With excitement on her face she encouraged me to go after that call, then gave me a few helpful startup tips.   


I would never have expected it, but right then and there we formed a relationship.  Months later after I had started blogging, she asked me to guest post on her blog.  I was elated!  She introduced me to other writers with similar callings and I found myself in the midst of a wonderful community of women who helped me flourish as a new writer.  In that season I was blessed with several new friendships and several mentors who helped me grow and have a better understanding of my calling.


Is there someone that can help you grow in your calling?  Is there someone who is already doing (in some form) what you feel called to do?  Someone you can look to as a resource?  If you don’t have this yet, pray that The Lord will put these people in your path. 


Some of my mentors have been in my life for a short time while we worked on a project together. Some were my age, some older, some through an online community.  Mentors can come in a variety of forms and seasons of life. 


Let me also stress this: find a biblical mentor.  Someone who is in The Word and can speak encouragement and life to you based on the foundation of God’s word.  This will help immensely as you figure out and pursue your calling.



Equip yourself.

Part of pursuing your calling involves knowing your strengths and weaknesses.  What are you really good at or what have people told you are good at?  Perhaps you are talented in music or making things.  Maybe you are a great writer, teacher, or organizer.  Maybe you are someone who is great at recognizing other’s needs.  If you're not sure, let me encourage you.


Grab a spare sheet of paper next to you and jot down 3-5 strengths you have.  It doesn’t have to be formal or fancy.  It can look like this:


Strengths I have:
1.       ________________________
2.      ________________________
3.       ________________________
4.      ________________________
5.      ________________________





Now take a few minutes and think of 3-5 of your greatest passions.  These are the things that set your heart ablaze.  They give you those heart tugs we talked about earlier.  Serving, human trafficking, children, discipleship, youth, music, missions.  It can be anything. 


My passions:
1.       __________________________
2.      ___________________________
3.       ___________________________
4.      ___________________________
5.      ___________________________



Take a look back over your lists.  Do you see similarities?  Do you see where some of your strengths collide with your passions? 


If you’ve never done so, I highly encourage taking a spiritual gifts test. Spiritual gifts are different in that they are gifted to us by God when we become believers.  The tests don’t usually take a lot of time and can help guide you as you assess your strengths and gifts.


Keep in mind.  Passion is a wonderful thing, but it must be met with skill and purpose.  If I don’t put the work in and equip myself, I’m like an artist who wants to paint a picture but doesn’t know how to hold her paint brush. 






Equip yourself and evaluate yourself.  What areas do you excel at?  What areas can you improve on?  Ask yourself these questions often. 

Attend conferences, training's, or read blogs that relate to your calling.  If you want to run your own non-profit one day, you could take a class on obtaining a 501(c) (3) status or go observe other non-profit directors at work.  Whatever this may look like for you, find those helpful resources, do your research, and prepare yourself as much as you can to serve in the way you desire to.



Gather your army. 

A little backstory to share with you.  Before our women’s event this past weekend, I found myself full of nervous energy.  I was anxious of how everything would turn out.  I felt prepared but also nervous about leading a breakout session and I just needed someone to speak encouragement and pray over me.  I texted my sister in law and told her how I was feeling and asked for prayer.  She not only prayed for me, but shared some reaffirming words that my soul needed to hear.  She is in my army. 


An army includes people who can pray specifically for you and for your calling.  It can be family members, friends, church community, and mentors.  It will look different for everyone.  



These are the people that help you, encourage you, and go to battle in prayer for you. 


Do you have people around you that lift you up?  Pray for you?  Pray for your ministry?  Do you have people that help you with projects, events, etc. that are in this work with you?



I know some of you may be thinking, why do I need an army?  How can that really help me?



You need an army friend.  Because there is a real live enemy out there waiting to derail you, waiting to shift your focus off of God, off the Kingdom work He has called you to.  He is ready and more than willing to attack.  Gather your army, your spiritual army, and be ready to fight back. 


Gathering your army is important because at some point, you’re going to want to quit.  You’re going to want to throw in the towel and give up.  Your army can give you that encouragement to keep going and keep pursing what God has called you to do.


It’s important to have an army of believers around you, and it’s just as important to be in someone else’s army.  Be that person who is praying for other ministries, other callings of the women around you.  If you haven’t experienced some of these relationships yet, pray that God will reveal these people to you. 



Stay disciplined.

I know you've heard it before but it's worth mentioning over and over again.  It’s going to be very hard to pursue your calling in the fullest sense if you are not in God’s word.  As believers and followers of Christ, we need to be in the Word of God.  We need to continue to learn more about God and who He is.  We need to continually have a relationship with Him that includes letting Him speak to us and through us from His Word. We also need to be able to recognize Satan’s lies.  We can only do that when we are grounded in the foundation of God’s truth.



Some final thoughts on calling.

It’s not going to look like everyone else’s and often we want so badly for it to.  We want to model our calling after what others have done or the ministry they have.  And while many of us will share the same passions and similar callings, each of us has a special calling that is unique to the work God wants us to do.


Your calling will probably lead you to some scary, messy places.  But that is how we reach others for the sake of The Gospel.  At times it will push you out of your comfort zone.  It will take you places you never imagined.  Isn’t that scary and beautiful all at the same time?





Pursuing your calling is a life-long process.  God gives each of us purpose, but He will continue to call us deeper in our relationship with Him. 



Maybe for some of you, you aren't sure what God is calling you to do.  Maybe for some of you something is holding you back from pursuing your calling.  Don't worry friend.  Keep being obedient, it will come in His timing.  


Whatever stage you are in with your calling, I hope you are encouraged to keep going.  I would like to end with three simple questions that I think can help you no matter what stage you’re in with your calling. 




Reflect:  
What’s stopping me from pursuing my calling?


Respond: 
I think God is calling me to:


Act:  
One way I can pursue my calling is:




So you feel called and you wonder, now what?  Now my sweet friend, you begin.  You take small steps.  You reach out to someone, share your dream.  You take a class, attend that conference or retreat everyone is always raving about.  You center yourself on the foundation of God’s truth, His word. 


You just start.  It doesn’t matter what you do really, just that you start.  It’s not going to be perfect and it’s not going to be easy.  But you can trust that God is going to work it all for good and for His purpose.



"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 (NIV)
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