How can we start on the path of transformation? Invite Jesus in to be a part of this. He knows just how we need to be transformed in whatever ways we desire. If we don’t… More
I had gone off the grid.
I had to. The signs of a crash was coming. First everything started to slow down, no systems were running at full speed, but I’m not talking about my Macbook . . . I’m talking about me.
Life had gotten way too busy. Too many programs were running all at the same time, and I started to feel like the spinning wheel of death that freezes everything on my computer when I try to operate too many things at once.
Everything needed to come to a halt.
For months I had been nonstop. On a mission, doing good things that the Lord sent me out to do, but I had come back exhausted from my journey.
I needed to enter into a season of rest but my mind and emotions did not agree. “There’s too much to do, you can’t stop now”, were the words that constantly guilted me.
All I could see were deadlines, serious needs that needed to be met, and my “to do list” only grew more with each new day. I felt like so much was riding on continuing at my same pace, and that my future success was at stake.
But the more I tried to press on, the more depleted I felt, and the more depleted I felt, the more defeated I began to feel. My emerging feelings of defeat weren’t based off any real failure or fact, it was solely based off being depleted of much needed rest.
I knew I was in a desperate place as I cried out for help, when the Lord heard my cry and brought to me these sweet words, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
In the sixth chapter of the book of Mark, Jesus had sent out the twelve disciples on a mission. They went out and preached to the people. They drove out demons by the power given to them by Jesus, and they anointed many sick people with oil and healed them of their infirmities.
When the disciples returned and told Jesus all they had done, people still continued to come to them. Knowing exactly what his disciples needed, Jesus said, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Jesus knew they needed rest after their long journey of ministering to his people. He knew they needed replenishment because they hadn’t even had a chance to eat. He knew exactly what they needed, and so they went away in a boat with Jesus to a solitary place.
But what happens next might surprise you.
When they arrived at their destination many of the people had seen where they were going and got there ahead of them. Instead of turning them away Jesus had compassion on them, and does one of his most famous miracles . . . he miraculously feeds not only his disciples but also five thousand men by supernaturally multiplying five loaves and two fish.
I can’t help but find the placement of this miracle so interesting. In one verse Jesus calls his disciples to come away with him to rest, and then only a few short verses later he is performing this magnificent miracle.
Maybe Jesus was trying to teach them that when we go away with him and get some rest, that is when he will do some of his greatest miracles in our lives.
Those miracles won’t be done out of our own strength or abilities. They won’t be done by anything that we will do or complete. They will solely be done by the power of our great and loving God when we go to Him and rest.
Right now I’m in a season of needing rest and a miracle. Maybe you are too.
If you are like me you may be feeling like you don’t have enough energy to do anything to help this miracle occur. All the best within you is already spent, and you have nothing left to make something amazing happen.
Perhaps like the disciples, Jesus is calling us too, to come to Him and rest. To trust Him for the miraculous. To believe that He already knows what we need and that He is faithful to not only meet those needs . . . but exceed them.
For me that means I need to embrace this season of rest. To stay off the grid as long as necessary, and to turn my “to do list” into a “not to do list”.
I do believe rest is a powerful weapon, given to us by God, and I pray we all enter into the power that only occurs when we rest in Him.
Diane Swan is a Credentialed Assemblies of God Minister, Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: Facebook – Pinterest – Twitter – Website
Dear Child of God,
God welcomes us with loving arms ‒ unbiased and ready to love on His children. Eager to show His mercies and grace in our lives. Saturating us with the love we deserve and were created from and died for.
Being human, I often find myself looking for this love outside of the realms of God. I sometimes get this expectation and entitlement that others will or should love me like this. I look for this in my husband, my kids and my friends.
Why can’t they just love me?
Why can’t I always feel that they love me?
If they really love me, I should always feel that they love me.
Because I don’t feel it all the time, they must not love me enough.
Why can’t they give me all that I need to fill me and sustain me? Serving me outward expressions of the inward love they feel for me. I want to hear from them 24/7 that I am good enough, I am mother enough, I am wife enough, I am friend enough. Enough.
Sounds like I’m a pretty needy women right? (insert eye roll emoji)
Have you ever felt this way?
I have to be reminded that the people in my life circle are sinners in need of the love of Jesus just like myself and will not be enough to fill me. They’re only humans. We were not made to FULLY look to others to self-sustain ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If that were the case, we wouldn’t feel the need for a relationship with God. We are told in the Bible to seek what we are thirsty for in Christ.
“Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
The tribe of people in my life are wonderful, loving, encourages to me. This is not a dig at them for not giving my needy self-enough. They are incredible and I am well-loved and cherished and I know that.
What I am saying is, when I have that incredibleness in my life, why do I sometime feel broken and unloved and not enough?
I have to shift my focus on the real issue here.
The issue is that the enemy knows my insecurities and pounces at the chance to use them to cripple me. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” I notice this more as I am drawing closer to Christ in my relationship with Him and being obedient to the calling and responsibility He has gifted me in life.
But why still do I fall into the enemies trap and choose to allow the lies of the enemy to break me down and steal my joy?
Why do I keep the door open for the enemy to come in my heart and allow feelings of discontentment and unworthiness enter into my mind?
Why do I stumble and allow him to have full reign over my body, mind and spirit and have me convinced that I am not enough?
As we are maturing as Christian women and walking closer with God, the enemy will pull out all his tricks to make you lose sight of your lighted path.
But be encouraged! Christ knew this before you were even born. He has called it out in His big book of truth!
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled.” 2 Timothy 3:12 & 14
Stand firm on the truths of God and stomp out the lies of the enemy. Tell him who you are. Make him run with his tail between his legs and have him so annoyed that he doesn’t stand a chance with this God girl!
I am enough.
Who am I? I am a daughter of the King ‒ an heir to the kingdom of the most high. A woman who will not be shaken by this world. I am a warrior princess, a deliverer of God’s word, and a vessel of his love.
I am a wife who deeply loves, respects and uplifts her husband.
I am a mother who is training up her children to have a natural, instinctual relationship with Christ.
I am a friend whom her tribe can rely on and seek wisdom and encouragement from….and to always be up for a good laugh and a cup of coffee.
I also acknowledge that I am broken, in need of my Savior daily. Honestly, I don’t always hit the mark and get it right because I am human. I am one big ‘ol hot mess of imperfect progress.
But what I can get right is spotting the lies of the enemy and slamming the door in his face because those lies have no place in my world! Buh-bye!
I don’t know about you, but knowing that I don’t need to fully rely on my feelings of being
enough brings me this overabundance of joy and peace. Now when I am feeling that I’m not enough, I quickly become aware that this is an attack ‒ a tactic of the enemy to belittle me and rob me of the joy and love for myself and others.
The Bible tells us in Romans 8:39 that “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” You are loved. You are so loved! He is right there with you, in the midst of your storms and you are enough for Christ. He created you in His own image and knows exactly what He’s doing. Invite Him in to your world to walk in front of you, behind you and by the hand with you.
A woman who is enough
Heather and her husband live in Smithsburg MD. They attend Lifehouse church and are active at the local YMCA. Heather is a photographer, coffee lover and fitness momma with 3 babies. She is thankful to be a stay at home Mom and is passionate about women’s ministry and the opportunities and gifts God has placed in her life and on her heart.
When first discovering who God was, I remember hearing someone say, “God spoke to me.”
This got me wondering if God would ever speak to me?
What will God sound like? If I did hear him, would I be scared? Would I freak out?
Not much longer after questioning this, I heard,“I’ve got plans for you.”
Plans for me? Continue reading “Schemes”
For several weeks, James 1:2-3 has been my touch stone. I am not really sure why. I felt led to read James, and once I started, it was as though I just couldn’t get past those verses.
In my day job, I often take messages or concepts and try to break them down into the essential elements. So, I used that technique when I looked at these verses.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2
“I find it hard to confess that I was emotionally wounded. Because you might question my faith.”
When I read this sentence, I felt a deep hurt. For years I have tried not to speak about the loneliness, numbness and detachment I feel. I am a Christian. I love Jesus. I have seen God work in my life; answer prayers, heal, open doors. I am extraordinarily blessed. I know this.
But it doesn’t change how I feel. How life causes me to feel. But I often fear that if I speak my complete inner truth to anyone but God, people will not understand. Continue reading
We live in a high-pressure world. Instagram selfies, Snapchat filters, photo shop – voices from every direction are telling us that we need to look a certain way or have a certain level of education, job, marriage, a certain type of parent or have so much money to have any sort of value. I can say with 100% confidence that no matter who you are or what stage of life you are in that every single woman alive falls subject to this battle. The thing is, if you don’t recognize your intrinsic value given to you by your Creator without these things, you sure as heck won’t with them.
We also need to keep in mind that we only see what others put out for us to see. We have no concept of the whole picture. We don’t see that the happy couple in the picture just had an epic fight. We don’ t see that the skinny girl with the thigh gap has battled an eating disorder and just wants to be free. We don’t see that woman got fired 4 times before she got her “dream job”. We don’t see that mom was just locked in the bathroom crying hysterically. We don’t see behind the selfie to the girl who had a horrible home life and just needs some affirmation from somewhere. We can’t make assumptions and compare our lives to everyone else’s “highlight reel”. Continue reading “the comparison trap”
My nana’s name was Mary Elizabeth Kelley but she preferred to be called Betty. She was a single mother of three children. She had 2 boys (who were only 1 year apart from each other) and a little girl.
She was not a single mother by choice. My grandfather had passed away from health issues created by the war just 6 weeks before my mom was due to be born in 1952. This put my nana into the hardest point of her life. She was to raise 3 children all by herself and on one income. Continue reading “treasures of the heart”
Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
There are several times throughout the year when it feels like a natural clean slate. Of course January 1st. Also, for some is the day after the Super Bowl. For me, the one that seems so natural and so necessary is Easter. Continue reading “a new start”
I would like to share a story with you. It is told by Ann Voskamp in the foreword to Jo Saxton’s book The Dream of You: Continue reading “who am I?”
Today was a normal day. I woke to our typical morning hustle for a family of six. I was looking forward to going to my Wednesday morning Bible study. Then the well-intentioned texts started. Family and friends that recall this very day three years ago. The gut wrenching day that I gave birth to our still-born 24-week-old son, Bradley Quinn…. Continue reading “i’m fine”