Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Women, Ministry and Priorties that Last

Wednesdays are always busy days. But it's ok, I like busy!  After work, every minute was rationed out.  Laundry, supper, food preparation for an event the next day.  I was sitting down working on our church bulletin and checking my email - because I love to multi-task!  In a few moments, it would be time for  a church meeting, one where willing workers were connected to available ministry opportunities. A bulletin announcement I was typing referred to having a servant's heart, ready to jump in and work. 
An email titled "How to Face the Challenge Facing All Women and; How to Support Women to Be All They're Called to Be." drew me in.  Women, ministry and encouragement, all areas I want to be a part of. 
Most woman face the same challenges, just in different ways.  There is so much to do and not enough time to do it in.  Some powerful reminders came through that short devotion that changed my heart and mind a bit:
Invitations aren’t obligations. Invitations are options. We can greatly free some time and lose guilt over saying no when we realize this truth.

Every yes automatically says no somewhere else. Ouch! Being one who loves to do it all, this truth helps bring priorities to light.  What is vital to say "Yes" to and what areas can not bear a "No".
Your most meaningful work in the Kingdom of God may not be the big things that you do — but the one little person you love. Day in and day out, values are passed along through daily interactions. Those we do life with everyday, and have an impact on, that is a huge investment and one that has much lasting value. .

Cut out that which seems good to invest in the best. There are a ton of 'good' things to do.  May we choose to invest in something greater.  They say, one of the most important things to invest in is one that will outlive your life.  Where will your influence carry on?

What seems like hard work that’s taking an eternity today — is exactly what may make the most difference in eternity. There can be beauty in the mundane. The daily things that never end forge in us patience, perseverance and character.  When we keep on and on, we set an example to follow and share a valuable visual lesson for others. That's not drudgery, it's character building!
After reading this, I began think of all those young moms in our church, with a willing heart to serve, but no free time to give. They need grace in response to their "no" and encouragement for their "yes" to give to their family. There will be season when time frees up....I promise!

Women come in all ages and stages of life. A crop is made by all the seasons and the only way to have it all — is not all at the same time… but letting one season bring its yield into the next  There are times to serve, time to stay, time to pray.  But those times and seasons change and pass into a new one. Each season and work has value and fruitfulness. It is a beautiful cycle when we learn to recognize the power of each season. 

May we be encouraged to never hold our own standard for another. May we not hold our image as a model for anyone else.  May we understand grace as we encourage and celebrate our uniqueness. One woman’s thrift store donation is happily another woman’s thrift store sensation. And one woman’s ‘no’ can happily be another woman’s ‘yes’. One isn’t necessarily wrong and the other one right.
It’s the differences between us that makes us a Body and not a uniform.
Christ makes us a Body — not a faith factory. He calls us to be Christ followers — not cookie cutters. 
People will always have opinions about you. But you live for God because He’s the only one who has intimate knowledge of you.
Often the evidence of maturity is response-ability — the ability to make the right response at the right time.

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