Name This Post

©2010 Photo by Laci Coppins

Lately, I’ve had a great deal on my mind.  Doesn’t the picture to the left LOOK LIKE I’ve had a LOT on my mind!!  LOL…  Actually, there’s been so much I’ve wanted to share with you until I’ve had a hard time deciding where to begin.  I still don’t know; that’s why today I’m going to be super brief.  Excuse me, but I HEAR the giggling and the “yeah right”!  LOL….  I CAN be brief when I want to, thank you very much!  I’ll prove it to you.

Today, I’m tossing in the air some words for you to catch and juggle in your brain, as I have been.  While you’re busy doing that, I’ll be busy praying about which word(s) (and corresponding thoughts) to begin sharing with you first.  With that said, are you ready? I sure hope so, because the balls are heading your way.

Alright, show me your juggling skills.. 🙂

CATCH:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (we touched on this one last week)

Freedom

Teaching

Value

Leadership

Transparency

Story

Identity

Complete

Patience

Virtuous

Wisdom

Daughters

Seasons

Change

Idolatry

Waiting

Adjustment

Spinning

Assignment

Love

Marriage

Relationship

Family

Whatever you do, don’t try to make heads or tails of the list for me.  I’m still trying to do that myself.  However, maybe a few of these words have been swimming around in you, lately, as well.  If so, I’d love to hear what’s been on your heart.  Don’t worry.  I’ll be back to share my heart with you soon.

Oh, by the way, I had NO IDEA what to title this post.  I played around with ideas for a while.  Then I thought, “why don’t I just ask the ladies?”  LOL….  I’ll be looking for your suggestions in the comments.  So your assignment for today is:

title suggestions and

thoughts on the words I’ve been juggling….

See you in the comments!

Until then…

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

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Seasons Change

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven
A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
~Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, NASB

Happy Autumn, dear sisters!  I don’t know about where you are, but if my calendar didn’t tell me today was the first day of Autumn the arrival of this new season might very well go unnoticed by me.  The world outside my window is 90+ degrees today, and 90 degrees spells Summer to me!  So in honor of the lingering Summer summer (which, by the way was a scorcher this year), I am STILL wearing my sandals AND tossing in a sundress or two for good measure.  Oh yeah….  I don’t give them up, especially not my sandals, until Jack Frost is nipping at my pretty little toes! 🙂

Even though my toes rebel and the Lord has not seen fit to bless us with the cooler temps of Fall, the season has officially changed.  Before long we will stand in awe as the leaves give glory to the Father in heaven by adorning the trees in an array of rich, vibrant colors!  We like to call those colors “earth tones”.  LOL…  Then they will shed themselves, fall to the ground, and bless someone (not me) with a reason to use that good old RAKE that’s been feeling just a little lonely in the garage for the past several months. LOL…  Ahhh yes, Autumn/Fall is upon us, and we’ll feel its true essence soon enough.

In the meantime, have you noticed that even though it’s still hot outside, we are somehow still aware when the seasons are changing.  It’s as if we have some kind of internal timer embedded deep within us that starts to tick a bit louder or ring periodically to prepare us for the changing of the seasonal guards.

And so the story goes with our lives, as well.  King Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that there is a time, a season (depending on what version of the Bible you’re using) for everything.

Lately, life has been shifting so fast around me.  As I began reflecting on all of the movement – the ins and outs, old and new, endings and beginnings – for a moment, it seemed almost impossible for my mind to make sense of it all.  Then it dawned on me.  The seasons of my life are changing.

When I sat down to write this post, I started to stop with verse 1, above.  However, as I read the verses that follow I realized Solomon gave us a lot of food for thought in those first 8 verses.  I could write a WHOLE LOT today.  I could write a whole lot ANY day, but I digress….  Instead, I simply want to challenge you to take some time to consider God’s time for every purpose under heaven.

What season are you in?

Do you sense the season of your life changing?

Do you WISH the season of your life would change? (In some ways, I know I do!)

Which time(s) that Solomon mentions in the passage of scripture above can you truly relate to these days?

Do you need a prayer for wisdom for your new season or a prayer for healing from your old season?

I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me.  See you in the comments!

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Wisdom, Virtue, Rubies….

You will never believe how often I think about these three words.  Right behind them, or right alongside them, I think about you.

Wisdom, virtue and rubies.  Those words were given to me somewhere around August 2008.  I was writing my very first bible study lesson for a group of women who’d, for some strange reason, agreed to walk with me for 9 months in a small group bible study.  🙂  Back then that group was called The Future Wives Club, and “Wisdom, Virtue and Rubies” was the title of our very first bible study lesson.  Part of my vision was (and still is) to teach unmarried women the importance of preparing their hearts, minds, and spirits for marriage.

Looking back, I realize the lessons I prepared over those 9 months spoke more to the character of a woman than to preparation for marriage.  I guess character is a pretty critical component in that area, wouldn’t you agree?

Those 9 months were the most exciting I’ve ever experienced!  I was unemployed and had fewer material possessions than I’d ever had before, yet my heart would dance from month to  month as I allowed the Spirit of the Lord to stretch me to bring forth a new lesson for the ladies who had joined me.  I LOVED IT!

Somewhere around the 4th or 5th month, I found myself squirming like a two year old in timeout trying to determine the direction for the upcoming lesson.  I mean we’re talking a two year old little BOY, my friends, and I’m sure we’ve all seen how challenging it is for a toddler little boy to sit still.  Anyhoo, at the end of my squirming came a lesson based on one little ol’ word – SURRENDER!  LOL….  As it turns out, I was trying so hard to maintain a consistent pattern (cute words for CONTROL) to the lessons that I had inched away from allowing the Lord to lead me to the lesson in a fresh, new way each month. I needed to surrender.

That was just one of the many lessons I learned during those beautiful months.  Girlfriend, I could tell you some stories!  LOL…  Lord knows, I fumbled a great deal those 9 months.  I still reflect on some of my mistakes, even now.  However, I’ve been told fumbles are part of the raw materials necessary to build a great leader.  I pray that’s true in my case, as well. 🙂

The vision has evolved quite a bit since I launched the bible study 2 years ago.  Our first meeting was held in a small, eclectic neighborhood coffee shop on a Saturday morning, exactly 2 years ago today (September 20, 2008).  Happy anniversary to me! (This trip down memory lane is beginning to make a whole lot more sense to you now, isn’t it?! lol…)  Writing those lessons, sharing with those women…. well, it was my sweet spot, sisters.  It was that place where my heart beat wildly with joy!  I had great anticipation, because I had NO IDEA what to expect from one month to the next!  I LOVED running with all swiftness to carry the special messages from the heart of the Father to the hearts of His daughters.  It was more than my pleasure.  It was an honor!

Two years later, my heart longs to do it all over again.  Although I love this blog, and I’m so thankful to each of you who join me here, I knew it would never completely satisfy satiate my appetite for sharing with God’s daughters.  I pray this corner of blog land becomes our place where the Lord keeps us connected, even as He watches between us while we are absent one from another. The ultimate desire of my heart, however, is to meet you, to shake your hands, hug your necks, cry with you, laugh with you, pray with you, study with you, and grow with you.  I hope that many more women will meet us here after I have met them out there, in the REAL WORLD!!

So, this is my anniversary prayer:

Lord, thank you for this beautiful day, one we’ve never seen before.  We’re delighted to see what you have in store for us today.

Two years ago today, You blessed me to be a messenger for You.  I’m still humbled that You would do anything so meaningful with one who’s failed you as often as I have in the past and am sure to do so in the future.  In spite of my multitude of flaws and fumbles, it was the sweetest time of my life.  I saw your glory.  I thank you for the wilderness that followed.  I thought I wouldn’t make it, but You knew I would.  Now, here I am – on the other side and ready to go again!  Take me to the next level of Your glory.  I know there’s more you would have me to say.  I know there are more of your daughters you would have me to encourage and more of them You will send to encourage me.  I thank you for them, in advance.

Lord, today, on my anniversary, I say “Yes” again.  Two years ago, I didn’t know what would flow from my “yes”.  Today, I know very well the consequences of “yes”.  And I still say YES!

Now I pray for your daughters.  You called us to seek wisdom, to treasure virtue and to understand value.  This calling is often more challenging than we expected, but we can do all things through You.   There are some who are uncertain about who they are and why they’re here.  I know that feeling.  I’ve been there.  I pray that clarity from You begins TODAY.  Let her know she’s not a mistake.  She was created on purpose, for a purpose – to bring You glory!  Whisper that to her, wherever she is.  Let her know, You are a God who is immune to mistakes.  And we are all so thankful for that!

Lord, we will remain committed to be led by Your word and by Your Spirit to become women of your original design.

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

Dying to Live

John 11:5 – 15 NASB – 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus6 So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.  7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?”  9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.  10 “But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”  11 This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.”  12 The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”  13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.  14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,  15 and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”

I was dying.

At times it felt like a physical death; I was  just that “sick”.  A message was sent to Jesus about my sickness, but He hadn’t shown up yet.  Where was He?  Was he going to come check on me, touch me, heal me?  Life seemed to be slipping away; I could feel it.

I was dying.

I was beginning to suffocate, being strangled by grief’s cold clammy palms around my neck.  Everything was so confusing.  Choices that seemed right yesterday seemed wrong painfully wrong today.  I was lied to, abused, and left for dead.  Money was gone.  Loved ones walked away.  New, pseudo friends slowly were now flaunting the vibrancy of their true colors.  Old friends invoked their right to remain silent when I desperately needed them to speak LIFE!   My dreams seemed only a draw bridge away, but suddenly, without warning, someone raised the bridge.  Now I was forced to find another route to the other side.  Once crystal clear vision was now blurred.  Nothing was certain.  Nothing was stable.  Nothing was real.

And I was dying.

Many around me were like the disciples surrounding Jesus.  They thought I was merely “sleeping” and assumed I would “recover”.  They didn’t realize how bad it was.  They didn’t realize I was slipping…. away….  But someone ran to tell Jesus about my sickness.  Though it seemed He tarried a very long time…(*sigh*)… He finally came.

But, in the meantime…I died.

When you’re in the middle of death, it’s not likely that you think about the fact that there’s life on the other side; Lord knows, I didn’t.   I mean for those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that He rose after His death.  We believe that His spirit lives within us.  We believe He died so we could live.  And we believe that when we physically leave this earth, we will live eternally in heaven.  But very often, before we meet that physical death, we die 100 times over emotionally and spiritually.  Relationships die; jobs die; loved ones die.  Oh but when Jesus shows up….  Life returns!

There’s so much meat in the passage of scripture above, but as I read it I had two reactions:

1.  I wondered what Lazarus was thinking during all of this.  We know he was dying, but was his mind alert?  If so, what were his thoughts?  Did he know that his sisters sent a message to his friend, Jesus, to tell Jesus of his illness?  Was he wondering why it was taking Jesus so long to come see him?  Had he hoped to see him before he died?  Heck, did he even KNOW he was dying??  Did he know he may have to die but he would live again?

2.  I found myself reflecting on my life.  I flashed back to a time when life stretched me far beyond what I felt were reasonable limits.  I didn’t think I’d ever return to my original form.  It was all part of God’s plan.  He allowed me to become so weak in mind, body, and spirit – to seemingly die – so that He could command new life to enter my body.  I’m not supposed to return to my old form.  My death brought new and increased capacity for life.  He could have come swiftly, but I know the Lord tarried as I was dying so that when He arrived and called me forth into a new life, everyone would believe.  I would believe, and He would be glorified.

Jesus told the disciples in verse 15 “and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe“.  Wow!  He was speaking to His entourage, those who were with Him all the time.  Yet He knew that there were still those among them who didn’t believe.  Hmmm….  Was that me?  Is that you?

For some reason, this post feels like a bit of a ramble.  It didn’t, at all, go in the direction I thought before I began writing.  I hope somehow it speaks to you.  If not… well, maybe this one was just for me….

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,

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