For the first eight years of our ministry, I didn’t have a friend to my name. In those same years, I birthed and stayed home with three children, and I remember willing myself not to get sick because I didn’t know who I would call for help if I did. Community was something I created for other people, not something I enjoyed myself. At least, that’s how I felt.
When we prepared to plant out of that church, my husband gathered prospective core team members in our living room and asked, “When you dream of what church could be, what is it that you think of?” For me, the answer was simple, and I timidly spoke out loud what I’d held inside for so long.
“I don’t want to feel as if I’m standing outside of community, helping it happen but not enjoying it myself. I want our church to be the kind where I get to enjoy the inside. I want to have friends.”
What I didn’t yet realize is that community isn’t something that comes to us; it’s something that we go toward. We make choices that either invites community or hinders the very thing we long for. The reasons I’d struggled in friendship were many—my lack of initiation, the very specific parameters I’d placed around what type of friend I wanted and how they would relate to me, time constraints that I used as an excuse, but, primary among them, is that I chose not to take the risk of vulnerability with other women.
God gave me a do-over with church planting because the difficult nature of the work made it nearly impossible to hide behind carefully maintained facades or self-sufficiency. My spiritual, physical and emotional neediness pointed like arrows toward asking wise and faithful women for help. And so, I did.
Vulnerability is the spark for us to enjoy and help cultivate true community. Only through vulnerability can we fulfill...read more
When you think of emotional maturity what do you think of? Do you think of someone who doesn’t blink an eye at human critique, disappointments, relational hurt, strenuous schedules, or an unexpected bill? Some zen goddess whose inner thoughts are like a peaceful field with wildflowers blowing in the wind? Emotional maturity is not the ability to renounce certain emotions never to feel them again, but the wisdom to understand and manage your emotions appropriately. Controlling the outward reaction to our emotions is not enough. Sure, we want to avoid mishandling our emotions and negatively affecting someone that we are leading. Beyond this, emotional maturity is vital for the soul care of a leader. We can control our outward responses, while negative emotions take a serious toll on the health of our heart and mind causing burnout, discouragement, or much worse...read more
One of the best things we can do for our friendships, whether fledging or lifelong, is to become cheerleaders for other women.
Don't we all crave a cheerleader friend? Absolutely! We don't want cotton-candy flattery or even the niceties about our appearance or choice of couch pillows, nor do we want silent cheerleaders who think but don't speak words of encouragement. We want a friend of the super athletic cheerleader variety, who exerts enthusiasm and energy in exhorting us on, even as they do their own faith-thing at our side. These kind of friends are rare, and we can't guarantee we'll have a friend like that. But we certainly can be that kind of friend to others.
I tell you what: being a cheerleader for other women can be awkward. I know because I am the queen of awkwardness and, frankly, I don't care. I see too many women standing on the sidelines of life feeling like a failure when, in fact, they are walking by faith and adorning themselves with the glorious beauty of good works. They need to know that God's fingerprints are all over them! ...read more
It happened almost every Sunday morning. His cell phone would ring loudly in the middle of the sermon, set to Oh When the Saints Go Marching In. Sometimes, he would let it finish the chorus. Other times, he would answer it and begin his conversation as he walked down the center aisle toward the sanctuary exit. Whichever way he chose to react, there always seemed to be a lack of urgency to stop the interruption and an absence of resolve to avert the situation the following week...read more
Repurposed...Refreshed... Renewed... Those are just a few of the words that describe our time together at Cross Pointe Camp and Retreat Center. Ladies, we had fun!
Ninety-three women attended this year's breakaway for ministers' wives and credentialed women. The afternoon sessions proved to be a line-up up of just what God's girls needed - inspired and gifted teaching, laughter, and making new friends.
Keynote Speaker, Bridgett Tomlin
What a dynamic word Bridgette brought as she
challenged us to be women of faith!
Late-night fun with our budding artists
Saturday morning panelists
sharing their repurposed testimonies
Wrapping it all up with table discussion and prayer, we were challenged to write down our weekend takeaway, place it in our prayer box and refer to it
as a reminder of what God spoke to us through this ministry time together.
Praise the Lord for His faithfulness!
We're already thinking about next year.
Can't wait for you to join us!
More to come in our Photo Gallery
Are you ready for our special weekend? This coming March 24-25, pastors' wives, staff pastors, missionaries, and credentialed women from every corner of our wonderful Southern Missouri District will gather to share a time of refreshing in God's presence with girls who get you because they are just like you.
Consider this declaration Job made to God in Job 42:2,"I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted."
Ever notice how life doesn’t always turn out the way we expect? New becomes old, health becomes sickness, shine turns dull, relationships drift apart?
REPURPOSED is about awakening to the beauty, value, and purpose that exists in areas of our lives that don't always feel very purposeful.
REPURPOSED is about breathing new life into dead bones. It's about Reinventing, Reimagining. Rethinking. Refreshing.
Just because life doesn’t always meet our expectations, it doesn’t have to be a dead end for us. God’s Word says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 (NLT). That’s what this year’s Refresh Ministry Women Breakaway is all about - using what you have and making it work together for good, for you, for others, and for God.
Pre-register now and take advantage of the Early Bird Registration!
Can't wait to see you there!
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3 (NIV)
A winter Saturday afternoon found me cleaning our basement storage room. There were boxes of papers to sort, bins of holiday decorations to shuffle and other assorted items to realign neatly on the shelves. I’d estimated it would take me an hour or so to tidy up the space. Except I hadn’t factored in one thing.
The items I straightened and stacked weren’t spectacular; they were common articles found in many basements and garages. But the fragrance of precious memories clung to them. Memories of events that changed my life. Memories of people who touched my heart. My pace slowed significantly...continued
Karen Ehman is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and New York Times bestselling author. Described as profoundly practical, engagingly funny and downright real, her passion is to help women to live their priorities and love their lives as they serve God and others.
She has co-authored two books just for moms with Ruth Schwenk of The Better Mom - Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe and Why We All Need to Knock It Off and the newly released ECPA best-seller Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus. She is also the Speaker Track Director of Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference and a teaching staff member of their writers' training site COMPEL.
“The quality of our lives,” stated my pastor during a recent sermon, “is determined by the quality of our relationships.” Nothing could be truer. Good friends and loving family are like islands in the fast-moving streams of life. They provide a place where we can temporarily dock from our duties, shuck off our shoes, and wiggle our toes in the warm sand of companionship. I call them “featherbed friends,” because they provide us with a soft place to land. How restoring it can be when we make room in our lives for those who support, encourage, and lift our spirits!
Unfortunately, not every relationship will be as restful. We all know those as well who, whether consciously or unconsciously, drain us dry if we let them. Somehow in our search for more respites during the daily rigors, we must learn to differentiate between the two, inviting more time in the first even as we learn to limit or, in some cases eliminate the latter.
The reality is that there will be only a few choice comrades throughout a lifetime who truly care and understand unconditionally enough to stay the course. I can tell you from experience that you can be the most popular person on the block—one with a Facebook full of friends—but very few real and restful ones. Likewise, you can spend your life constantly surrounded...continue
These days Judi is a busy author and motivational speaker for retreats, seminars and workshops. She has published numerous other articles, poems and essays, both religious and secular. Her six books are all non-fiction works. Prodigal In The Parsonage: Encouragement for Ministry Leaders Whose Child Rejects Faith is written from personal experience and provides hopeful, helpful and heartwarming insights for parents, especially those in ministry, who are walking the prodigal pathway. Simple Seasons: Little Lessons for Large Living, is a devotional featuring a compilation of her articles from Woman's Touch Magazine. It All Comes Out In The Wash: Sorting Through Priorities When Your Load Is Out of Balance, weaves a wash-day theme that helps women Gain the knowledge to help turn the Tide in bringing their spiritual lives and relationships back into balance. True North: Staying on Course Through Life's Changing Circumstances, employs her experiences living in a remote Alaskan village to create an enjoyable journey, helping the reader find faith and footing whatever direction life takes. Camp Gramma: Putting Down Spiritual Stakes for Your Grandchildren combines personal examples with practical helps to impart insight, wisdom and the tools for embracing modern-day grandparenthood. Everyday Sabbath: The Art of Real Life Rest explores the foundational principles God used in establishing Sabbath rest and illustrates practical ways to insert Sabbath rest into your daily routine. Judi and her husband Jim are recently retired district superintendents of the Northern California-Nevada District.
I wish I could be more confident!
So many times I’ve whispered this prayer. Sometimes God asks us to do crazy things. Following Him requires a great deal of faith, and confidence is a good thing—or is it?
Confidence: a full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.
This culture heralds strong, confident women. But strength and confidence in what? In ourselves? We need to guard ourselves from this bad idea. What happens when we come to the end of our strength? Or when someone comes along who is more talented?
As a social worker, I have watched the feminist movement champion the power of femininity and self-reliance...continue reading.
Kimberly Waldie is married to an incredible man, mother of four great (sometimes challenging) kids, and pastor’s wife to an awesome church in Traverse City, MI. She has served over 20 years in ministry to children, youth, women, and alongside her husband as lead pastors. She has a passion for speaking, teaching, and mentoring women to discover their true identity in Christ and navigate the challenges of womanhood. As a social worker and adoptive mom, she has worked with families dealing with the difficult issues of foster care/adoption. She enjoys using her horses for ministry, writing, running, and spending time with her family.
In a discussion based on her book, For the Love, Jen Hatmaker describes how women can find freedom from unrealistic standards of perfection and embrace God's grace in their lives, marriages, parenting and communities.
Mrs. Jen Hatmaker: Pretty much every day I wake up and I think, "I'm gonna make a short list of who I am prepared to disappoint today. Someone's gonna be on it." And so, I have made my peace with never, on (any) given day (be) able to meet every demand in front of me or please everybody that wants something from me...so, in some regards it's a pressure I took off of myself.
Listen now to the broadcast: "Letting Go of Perfection and Accepting God's Grace".
This is a safe place for ministers' wives and credentialed women to be renewed, resourced, and build relationships with others just like you.
New Connect 5 Groups start
April 30, 2017