Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
The tree is decorated.
The presents are wrapped.
The stockings are filled.
The food is planned and ready to go into the oven.
Now it’s time to gather for the most important part of the day. Jesus. I mean that’s why we do this thing right? Because God gave the best he had as ransom for many? Yes, that’s why we celebrate.
May you have abundant joy, plentiful peace, good food, lots of family and friends and above all an awareness that the blessings we’ve been given must be shared!
On behalf of TLC4Women and myself we’re wishing you a Merry Christmas!
I’ve missed writing this past week! April 1 saw some of the women of TLC head to Fresno, CA to see Beth Moore at the Save Mart Center. What a blessing for us. We stood in a stadium of 6,500 women and worshiped to the music of Travis Cottrell and then heard a powerful word from Beth Moore. At one point, during the worship, I looked around the stadium and just shut my mouth. I watched in awe as the daughters of the Most High King praised him with song. It was just beautiful. Tears filled my eyes as I stood on holy ground and watched women from all denominations, all colors, all sizes and shapes, all ages including babies come together for one common purpose. To praise and learn about our Father.
The Save Mart Center became holy territory the moment our feet entered that space together in one mind and one accord. With all debate between denominations and all the Christian voices we hear battling one another it was pure honor to be one voice among many that sang in unison, that laughed in unison and that talked non-stop during break! There were so many of us, honestly I saw about four men there, that we not only used all the women’s restrooms but the men’s as well.
Of course the women of TLC who went to the conference, spent the night in a local hotel, and I spare you the details of that, but suffice it to say that we all slept about 3 hours or so and then went back to the conference. I can tell you that our ride home in the church van was MUCH quieter than our ride up!
I wasn’t able to catch up on my sleep that night or for many nights. Lulu, the wonder dog, began to scratch like crazy. I thought she had fleas so I pulled the flea comb out and began to brush her out but there was not a single flea. A trip to the vet told us that she has an environmental allergy. What the heck does that mean? Well, she allergic to either her food, her treats, flowers or grass. So guess what? Lulu and I are on prednisone, my seasonal allergies and her whatever allergy. There’s a problem though. We decided to eliminate one thing at a time to see what she’s allergic to. So we had to eliminate all snacks and put her on a special diet. Lulu, is not used to getting told no she doesn’t get people food, so she’s not happy. Plus swallowing a pill without a treat afterward is not her idea of fair.
So life’s been rolling along and my writing has lapsed but I’ve got so much to share. So many things on my heart, so many things I am learning. I can’t wait to get back to time writing. For now, I have to give my dog her next dose of meds!
Greeting my uncle who is in his 80’s, we began talking and somewhere in our conversation I referred to myself as a girl. He scolded me saying, “I hate when women refer to themselves as girls. You go through so much to become a woman and then you refer to yourself as girl.” I laughed and brushed it off in the moment but later I realized that he had a valid point. I’d been mulling it over off and on when I gathered with a group of women for tea yesterday.
I looked around the room. This tea brought 30 women together. We began to speak about the topic at hand that day which was the privilege of being adopted into the family of Christ and what responsibility that carried with it. The women began their stories slowly and softly as is always the case. They began to tell of where the Lord had brought them from and where they thought they were going. These were women who had earned the privilege of being called a WOMAN. Two hours later and a few cups of tea, there were women who were laughing, crying, comforting, counseling and you began to feel the camaraderie of women who had made their way through some STUFF! I realized I was in the company of some strong women, some women who had, as my uncle said, “gone through so much”.
The things that were discussed in that room, stay in that room. Suffice it say that there was breakthrough and prayer and that when women get together and pray SOMETHING HAPPENS. The next day at church, I saw a sparkle in the eyes of those who attended. I saw a look of acceptance and love and knowing, we had opened up our hearts to each other and the payoff was love. One thing I know about women is we can be each other’s biggest enemy but also each other’s biggest ally.
Although we may not have walked in the footsteps of the other, we had walked through things which had hurt us deeply and we had come through. We understood the pain, the trial of overcoming and the triumph. We also understand the gift our God has given us of redemption and restoration and future and a hope.
My uncle is right. We aren’t girls, we’ve come through a lot to be women. Now we need to own it.
We were honored to have such powerful conference this weekend. Almost 150 women gathered to discuss why God asks us not to arouse or awaken love before it so desires. Women from the ages of 10-100 came and learned what God’s plan was and why he said wait. I was so impressed by our teens who were honestly saying that they had never really considered why God said wait.
Some of the comments that touched my heart were:
“Now I understand why my dad acts like he hates boys to talk to me you know? He is trying to protect me. I mean, he’s still not doing it right but I see his heart now you know?”
“I would never do the things I do in front of my dad but I had never considered that my father in heaven is always watching. It makes you think.”
“I can’t talk to my mom because she always runs and tells her sisters and her friends.”
“I can’t talk to my mom because she always starts yelling and judging.”
“I feel helpless when my daughter comes to me because I see my baby asking 13 year-old questions and it scares me.”
“I sometimes don’t know what to say to my daughter so I revert to rules.”
“I still wear scars by the things boys said to me in high school”
“I didn’t live what I am teaching and I want more for my daughter but I don’t know what to say.”
“I’m scared of what I see happening to the young girls today.”
“My mom just lectures and I have no one to talk to but my friends.”
Thank you Jesus for a ministry that allows us to come forth with the questions of our heart. Thank you that you see every question and that it is meaningful to you!
It’s time to go to retreat. It sounds funny that we drive off to go to a retreat that we hope will advance our relationship with Christ, but I’m praying for a few days of some serious revelation and relaxation! See you in a few days. I have no idea whether I’ll have Internet or not, and it doesn’t even matter!