Don’t Quit Your Day Job

In March 2017, I celebrated the release of New Woman, New Clothes: Outfit Your Soul to Live, Lead, Love by delivering the closing message for a women’s Bible study. We focused on what it means to find purpose in life and jokingly adopted the phrase, “Don’t quit your day job,” as a reminder that God uses the day-to-day stuff of living to transform us into women who fulfill God-sized dreams. As I stood on stage, I was poignantly aware of when I’d been in just such an audience twelve years earlier and had felt God calling me to step forward to serve Him in new ways.

Or perhaps “waddle forward” was a better description, since I was full-term pregnant with our second child. The baby had dropped so low in the womb by that time that she felt like she’d fall out if I didn’t cross my legs. As full of baby as I was, though, what I recall most was that I was also full of a sense of God’s purpose for my life. Read More

What If Your Calling to Go Forward Means Going Back?

Go.

Go fast. Go hard. Go far.

Just go.

That’s the message of our culture, isn’t it? You want to be labelled a leader? Then, you better race to the top, push all the boundaries, blaze all the trails.

Even in our churches, we sometimes double-down on that one word in the Matt 28:19-20  great commission—”Therefore GO“—and de-emphasize the steady, relationship-oriented work that must happen to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Certainly, when God calls us to go, whether it’s into a new opportunity or a new place, we need to go. But what if one way He’s calling you or me to go is by calling us to stay? Read More

Reading Roundup: Get Growing in Leadership, Prayer, and Faith

If you read last week’s post, you know we’ve started a series on finding and fulfilling our callings, with a special emphasis on the how God equips women to live on purpose for Him. With that in mind, I’ve got three resources in this quarter’s Reading Roundup to help you pursue your goals this new year. It’s time to get growing in leadership, prayer, and faith, and these books will help. Read More

Wise Women, Leading Ladies, and What They Teach Us about Calling

Calling is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep need meet.

My friend, leadership expert Angie Ward, branded this Frederick Buechner quote onto my brain during a conversation on all things women and calling. For Angie, the idea of deep gladness answering deep need encapsulates the theme of her upcoming book, I Am a Leader: When Women Discover the Joy of Their Calling. The quote resonated with me as an invitation to trust God as He matches our gifts, talents, and life lessons to His purposes. And if our callings don’t look like everyone else’s? What looks different may be what God needs for something new.

Just look at Lydia. An unexpected person in an unexpected place, she used the deep gladness God unleashed within her to help open the door to Europe for the gospel.

However, the story of that open door began with a closed door. Read More

How Wise Prayers Shape Our Lives

Shout out to every woman in seminary right now. It’s been a week for us and our sisters serving on the front lines, regardless of ministry role or theological conviction. I’m not going to rehash the “women in ministry” debates, especially the ones that seem like misogyny cloaked in religious posturing, but let me say two things:

First, I am thankful for classmates like these as well as professors, pastors, families, and friends who cheer us on to become better equipped so that we can better equip God’s people.

Second, I believe there is room for thoughtfully considered theological differences as long as we are willing to wrestle with ALL the relevant passages of Scripture and humbly seek the Lord for wisdom. Wrestling each other in arrogant, disrespectful ways is not God-honoring.

That brings me to this week’s passage from Proverbs 3. Last post we studied a wise, loving explanation for why God’s wisdom is of prime importance. This week, we home in on 3:5-8 with how to apply wisdom, including how we apply it as we walk in our callings. Read More

Wisdom Packaged in Love

I miss my Nana. Yesterday, I wanted to phone her so badly. I loved the way she would call me “Dahlin” in her Deep South drawl and end our conversations reminding me, “I prayed for you and all my grandchildren today!” Makes sense I would think of her as I study Proverbs, where wisdom is often personified as a regal lady a lot like my Nana.

And oh, how I miss her wisdom—the practical kind like how to fry chicken fingers and the spiritual kind like how to pray bold prayers for my family. I’m thankful for the loving friendship between us that made me seek her out for advice and made her eager to share it. She wasn’t just passing along dry, how-to lessons. She was sharing her heart to bless me.

In the same way, Proverbs reads much more like that kind of family blessing than I think we realize. One-third of the book is an entreaty from parent to child to learn what will produce a vibrant, godly life. Chapters one through nine are addressed from a wise dad and Chapter 31 from a wise mom, both wanting their children to live in ways that bring blessing not only to themselves but to whole communities.

This is not knowledge from a guru on mountaintop. This is wisdom packaged in love, delivered from one heart to another. Read More

When Wisdom Speaks, Be Ready to Listen

There’s a whole lot of talking, but not a lot being said.

Pretty much sums up our culture, doesn’t it? Everybody has a take or a taunt. You know it’s only going to get louder as we head into 2020. This introvert gal has had about enough and would sign up to be a hermit if it weren’t for how much I love my family and friends.

I’ve been challenged lately, though, not to retreat (much) but to listen for a different voice calling out to be heard above the noise. Read More

How Can Self-Control Become Your Game-Changer? Summer Devotional 10

All ten weeks of our summer study, I’ve been humming that silly kid’s song, “The Fruit of the Spirit’s Not a Coconut,” but lately, I’ve been thinking that IF one such spiritual attribute WAS a coconut, it would have to be self-control.

All the others from love right through to gentleness evoked sweetness that sent me bounding into clip-art-apalooza for all things berries and blossoms. But then, there’s self-control, a.k.a. self-discipline.

That’s one hairy beast of a spiritual fruit, a tough nut to crack.

I’m convinced, though, that Paul concluded the Galatians 5 list with it because self-control is what gives us the structure and determination to carry out Christ’s command to love. Read More

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