Food for Friday

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:6-7 NKJV

Today, (which will be “yesterday” by the time this post reaches you) I played a little catch up and spent some time reading a few of my favorite blogs.  I only have a few, because to be quite honest, I simply can’t spend all day reading blog posts.  I could, but…  Well, you get what I’m saying….

Anyway, not long ago I met a young lady in “blog land” who hosts a corner of the blog world entitled The Watered Soul.  She’s a very gifted writer, even though she would tell you she doesn’t consider herself a writer at all.  I am a subscriber to her posts, and some of her writings from this week were a part of my blog reading today.

It appears her Monday post was inspired by another blogger who hosts something called  “Monday Manna” at her place a couple of times per month.  This month’s “Monday Manna” was based on the scripture above and entitled Son or Slave?.  Well the post REALLY grabbed me, so I just had to share it with you all (“Monday Manna” /”Food for Friday”, get it?  Come on, work with me!  lol…).  Click on the title in the previous sentence, or click here to receive nourishment for your spirit on this fabulous Friday.  I promise it will be great fuel to jump start your weekend.

P.S. Make sure you stop by The Watered Soul to leave a comment.  Tell her Monica sent you! 🙂  Have a great weekend!

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

This Sickness is Not to End in Death

John 11:1 – 4 NASB – “Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.  So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, ‘Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.’  But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.'”

Happy Monday everyone (or whatever day it is by the time you grace this post with your presence)!  This post was originally scheduled to go out on Friday, but I enjoyed the comments on the  Who Am I? post so much that I just had to celebrate those ladies a bit on Friday!  I really enjoyed sharing with you.  We’ll have to do that again soon.

Well, I’m trying to play catch up from my unexpected blog hiatus.  I hope you don’t mind.  (I told you I missed you! lol…)  In my post from last Monday, I shared that I have been lassoed by John 11:1-45.  This is John’s account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  After doing a little research, I found that the book of John is the only Gospel that records this emotional story.  Just a little tidbit for your Bible trivia library.

Anyway, I have heard this story time and again, and I’ve read the book of John more times than I can remember.  But never has this story so sucked me in the way it did about a week ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I mean HOOKED folks!  The best Christian Fiction or any other Fiction (and I know there’s some good stuff out there) has absolutely nothing on the raw truths contained in God’s word.

To date, I’ve received two comments on my I Have Missed You post from Monday, and each of these ladies expressed an interest in checking out the “goods” in this passage of scripture.  So I decided to end our week by sharing a few of my revelations, and then maybe some of you can chime in.

Let’s begin with the first four verses above.  The story opens by telling us that dear Lazarus – brother to Mary and Martha – is ill.  One of the first things I noted is that John was intentional in providing further identification of sister Mary.  Hmmmm….  I wonder what that was for.  Maybe we’ll toss around some ideas on that one later.

We can infer that Lazarus’ illness was pretty serious, because his sisters sent word to Jesus to tell him about it.  Their message to him was simple, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”  For me, this is where the emotion of this passage begins.  Just think about it.  How did you feel the last time you found out someone you loved was ill?  Not so great, right?  Although Jesus was perfect in every way, as He walked this earth in the flesh, He did experience the emotions we work so hard to keep in check today. I don’t know about you, but that thought is always comforting to me.

What captivated me and really started me thinking was Jesus’ response to the message he had just received.  He simply stated, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the son of God may be glorified by it.”

After reading these words, I couldn’t help but begin looking at my own life, surveying my “sickness”, and wondering if maybe I’ve been looking at things through clouded lenses.  Am I sick physically?  No I am not, praise the Lord.  But there is “sickness” in my life.  There are places that look so ill, so weak until I can’t imagine how life could ever be revived there.  I’ll go a step further.  There are places in my life that even look, dare I say it, dead.  So I asked myself, “have I sent the message regarding my sickness to my Lord?”

And here is where I will stop, leaving you with a few simple questions and the four verses above to ponder.

1.  Are you struggling through a “sickness” today?  Maybe it’s a physical illness, or maybe it’s something a little less obvious – like a plague in your Finances, a virus in your relationships, or an infection in your emotions brought on by an open wound that’s slow to heal.

2.  Have you sent a message to Jesus regarding your “sickness“?

3.  Do you trust His answer?

4.  Have you considered that God’s plans are always to use your “sickness” for His glory?

5.  Will you let His perfect will be done?

Take time over the next few days and really give some thought to these questions.  Let me know if I can run to Jesus with the message of your “sickness” on your behalf.  I would be honored to do so.

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

P.S.  Next week we’ll continue this study of John 11:1-45.  Stay tuned…

Celebrating You!

WOW!!!  Do you hear me?  WOW!!!  I REALLY enjoyed reading your comments from Wednesday’s post entitled “Who Am I?”  If you missed it, it’s certainly not too late to join in the fun and let me know a little about you.

Thus far, I’ve had 4 beautiful women share a little about themselves including some of their wonderful dreams.  I had another post scheduled to run today, but I was so excited to hear from you ladies that I just had to stop and celebrate you today!  Friday just seemed like a good day for it, don’t you think? 🙂

Let’s see now, I’ve learned some favorite colors – 2 RED-lovin’ women of God and another who feels pretty in PINK, like me.  Then we have one beautiful sister (who just happens to be MY beautiful sister) who has no favorite taste on the rainbow.  Since she’s my sis, I happen to know that she wears all colors well, so I guess a favorite really isn’t necessary, now is it?  Did you all notice that the favorite colors are red or some variation thereof.  “….for her price is far above rubies.”  (Proverbs 31:10, KJV) Yep!  I think that’s why! 😉  Love it!

I noticed the ladies chose to play it safe by sharing their favorite colors and their visions and dreams (of course sharing your visions and dreams often requires its own leap of faith).  Apparently, not even a ten foot pole could place a sufficient distance between them and that AGE!  LOL!!  Just kidding!  Alas, one brave soul was unashamed to proclaim she’s recently reached the end of that “rapidly unraveling rope” that I lovingly referred to as my 30’s.  Good for you, Ms. “Flying Solo“.  Sounds like you’re wearing 40 well, my friend!

What touched me most about their comments were the varied visions and dreams with the common denominator of being all they were designed to be for the glory of God.  And this is what I want to pray for:

Father, thank you for  Miss “Foto Bella”, Elisa, Marcia, and Ms “Flying Solo”.  My heart is so excited about the visions and dreams you’ve placed in their hearts and minds.  Some are completely certain of their direction; others want to be sure you approve, so Lord make Your perfect will for the lives of each of these women crystal clear to them.

I thank you for Miss “Foto Bella’s” heart to run her own business.  I personally know she’s a gifted photographer, as well!  Bless her gifts and her desire to be a business owner, according to your will, Lord.  Order her steps.  Above all, continue to prepare her for that thing that is dearest to Your heart – covenant!

Lord, Elisa has a heart to use her knowledge of all things financial to educate women on stewardship of wealth and investments.  Give her clarity of Your will and your perfect timing.  Help her to discern times and seasons.  At Your appointed time, bless the works of her hands.

Father, Marcia, my sister, has a passion/dream to be a successful entrepreneur.  In the midst of their diligent work toward this goal, she and her husband are preparing for parenthood ROUND ONE!  Bless them, Lord!  Help her to know that she’s walking out the words that You spoke before she was formed in her mother’s womb.  The wisdom she needs for parenting, for entrepreneurship, and for leading others to know You and love You as she does comes from Christ who LIVES within her.  It’s all for Your glory, Lord!

Lord, last but certainly not least, Ms. “Flying Solo” has the most humble vision/dream of breaking through barriers that were not erected by You to become the woman of Your original design.  Without question, I am confident that this IS Your perfect will for her life, and I just thank you for Your will being done.

Becoming the woman of Your original design is Your perfect will for the lives of each woman who commented on this blog, each woman of Full Circle Women’s Fellowship, each woman on this earth!  Today, we say to you that we are as Mary, mother of Christ, “may it be done to me (to us) according to Your word.” (Luke 1:38, NASB)  Amen!

There’s absolutely no more to be said for this beautiful Friday except…HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

Who Am I?

On a six hour road trip a few months ago, I had a bit of an epiphany.  It dawned on me that I have been blogging for a year, but I still haven’t shared very much about myself, have I?  I mean I have shared a bit about my struggles (and boy do I have them), and I’m sure you could guess a little about my passions.  I’ve given you a glimpse of my heart for this ministry, maybe, but I’m sure at least one of you is curious about the woman behind the Full Circle Women’s Fellowship.

And what about the basics??

Who am I….really?  The answer to that question depends a great deal on how much time you have.  LOL…  Seriously though, I know I can be wordy, but I promise to TRY to keep it simple this time.  Here goes…

Name:  Monica P. Watkins (maybe later I’ll tell you what the P. stands for, but let’s just say I love both my first and middle name.  Mom and Dad, ya did GOOD! LOL…)

Hometown:  A small city in the peach state that’s famous for a sport that involves a little white ball, a competition that involves a green jacket, and male competitors who used to occasionally wear plaid pants (thank God that fashion trend is over!).  That ought to keep you busy!

Siblings: I am 1 of 4.  You guess which one!

Age:  Let’s just say I’m clutching my thirties by the last couple of threads left on a rapidly unraveling rope.

Education:  I have a Math-related Bachelor’s degree, but I don’t like math!  I have a passion for music, writing, God’s word and women’s ministry.  So, “you do the math“, because I’ve finally decided NOT TO!  🙂

I enjoyMUSIC – all kinds, but especially soft rock music from the 1970s and 1980s (“Sailing” by Christopher Cross STILL stops time for me!), Rhythm and Blues from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s; reading, shopping, traveling, the ocean (hope to own a home overlooking the Pacific one day),  spending time with those I love, laughing uncontrollably, dining at restaurants I’ve never been to (I enjoy the company, the ambiance, then the food – in that order), traveling by plane to places I’ve never been to (I love the whole experience, even standing in airport security lines.  Don’t ask me why, because I have NO idea!); walks in the park; concerts; plays; musicals, buying a new CD (yes, I STILL buy CDs, and you can’t imagine how merry my heart gets when I do!), movie night on Fridays, ordering takeout, talking on the phone until the wee hours of the next morning, the moment new revelation hits and my pen works frantically to keep up with my thoughts (scribble is of the Lord, dear friends!! lol…), visiting my local Lifeway, Borders or Barnes and Noble bookstores (I’ve literally spent half a Saturday in a Lifeway before; true story!); walking through new homes under construction and imagining the life that will soon come to dwell there; I could go on, but I promised to TRY to be short! 🙂

Favorite Color: Used to be yellow, but now I believe it’s pink (I sure hope you could read both of those.).  Pink just makes you feel like a girl, don’t you agree? 🙂

Vision & Dreams: To one day be a loving and devoted wife and mom and for those two things to always be numbers 2 and 3 in my life, right behind number 1: to be a loving and devoted child of God.

To be a published author (books, bible studies, and journals – the things I love); to write at least one song; to work on a sitcom;  to host my own radio show; To teach God’s word from the overflow of my life to women all over the world.

I guess you could say that one of my missions in life is to be a vessel of freedom for women – encouraging them to embrace God’s original design and His unique assignment for their lives to achieve the ultimate goal of bringing Him glory.  This Wisdom, Virtue and Rubies blog, the bible studies I write, and Full Circle Women’s Fellowship are my humble first steps toward walking out God’s unique assignment for me.

That’s a little bit about me.  What about you?  It’s comment time and your turn to tell me who you are.  You can choose from the categories in bold that I used above or make up your own.  Make sure you include at least one or two of your dreams so that I can join in prayer with you that God would set you on the path toward them.

Until next time….

I have missed you….

DEARLY!!!

It’s true!  I really have missed you so much, my friends, and I’ve thought of you quite a bit.  I know you think I’m pulling your leg, but ask yourself this one very important question:  Would a wise, virtuous, and valuable woman lie to her sisters?  Absolutely not!

You truly can’t imagine how often I’ve felt pressed to write something, anything, but I had so much in my mind, on my heart, and spirit and seemingly not enough time to sort it all out and figure out what to share first.

I just checked the date published for my last post, and I was saddened to find that it was almost a month ago.  Can you believe it?!  My goal for the year was once a week, and I’d been doing so well.  I guess I fell off the blog wagon, the BLOGON, lol….  Seriously, though, if you knew the twists and turns my life has taken in the  past month, well really since the end of June you’d cut me a little slack…I think. 🙂  Well, I hope you would.

It was that doggone trip to LA LA Land.  That’s what did it! I haven’t forgotten that I promised to share more of my revelation from that trip, and I will.

In the meantime, to get my fingers typing again I just thought I’d share a quick run down of some of the ways I’ve been occupying my time since I’ve been M.I.A.:

1.  Contemplating “next steps” – Life can seem so complicated sometimes, don’t you agree?  But I’m learning that God truly is faithful to provide wisdom and direction for every season of life we enter.

2.  Studying Genesis 2 & 3 – The Lord is really pressing me to learn about and teach about marriage to His daughters.  (More to come later) I almost couldn’t sleep one night; I was just so in awe of the account of the creation of the first man and the first woman.  SMH(shaking my head, for those of you who may not be up on your 21st century shorthand, lol) ….  It blesses me each and every time I read it.

3.  Contemplating the future of the Full Circle Women’s Fellowship Facebook page – To be or NOT to be on Facebook.  That is the question.  I’ll be the first to admit I’ve not been very good at regular status updates.  Part of the reason for that is because I like REAL contact, not the pseudo-community social networking sites have created for us.  I think I’m going to try one more option for about a month or so then make my decision.  If you’re on the FCWF facebook page, by all means PLEASE sound off.  What would you like to see happen there?  Do you pay attention to the page at all, or does it just get caught in the clutter of your news feed like everything else?

4.  Scouting for a new church home – I don’t know about you, but as an unmarried woman, looking for a church home is a pretty lonely journey.  It was cool years ago, but now I’m feeling the family bug, and I really would rather not have to do this alone.  Just being honest.  God is faithful, though.  I think I may be closing in on a place to rest. 🙂

5.  Interviewing for jobs – enough said…

6.  Wondering when Fall is coming and thinking it’s not coming SOON ENOUGH!

7.  Studying John 11:1-45 – I REALLY want to teach from this passage.  My goodness!  There is just so much there – so many emotions, so many lessons in faith.  One night I found myself jotting down notes in my journal AND another notebook.  The word of God is intoxicating to me!

I guess that’s enough for now.  What have you been doing during this unplanned hiatus?  Let me know what’s been going on in your world.

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