The Medicine Cabinet of the Heart 

The Medicine Cabinet of the Heart 

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Susan

Susan York Meyers is the author of several children’s books, including the picture book, Grrr…Night! for which she won the Creative Women of Oklahoma Award. If you enjoy Susan’s humor, check out Two Little Old Ladies: It’s all in the Attitude, a humorous inspirational book combining both fiction and devotionals. Susan lives with her hubby and Kira, the dog that thinks she’s people. You can find out more about Susan and her books at susanameyers.com. Sign up for her newsletter which comes out four times a year.
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A Moment of Panic 

“May I use your other bathroom?” 

A simple question, but one that threw me into a panic. My carefully cleaned hall bath was in use. That left my definitely not-ready-for-guests master bathroom. In one moment, I had to decide whether to graciously say yes, (oh please, help me to have remembered to close the closet door on our dirty laundry) or plead a lack of toilet paper. I’m not sure which scenario would have left me looking worse, but as I mentioned, I was panicking. 

In the end, I let my guest use the bathroom and hoped she ignored the used towels and toothpaste splattered mirror. And please, let her be gracious enough to stay out of my medicine cabinet.  

The Medicine Cabinet of the Heart

Bathrooms are truly the great equalizers of life. Want to know a little secret? Everyone hides scary things in their medicine cabinet. The lady who always looks like the wind wouldn’t dare blow her hair stocks Gas Away medicine by the case.  The lady who makes you feel like nothing ever goes wrong in her life hides hemorrhoid cream behind her moisturizer. And the woman whose kids call every day, twice on Sundays – well, that little mustache razor doesn’t belong to her hubby. 

We often don’t see the ugly in other people’s lives. And unfortunately, that can lead to a type of reverse judging. I see your clean house, supposedly perfect family, and totally put together life and decide my prayers aren’t needed.  Why pray for someone who has no real problems?

But if I could look into the medicine cabinet of your heart, I might see a different story.  

I’d see a Sunday school teacher who struggles with a substance abuse problem. 

A mother whose heart breaks as she prays about the wrong choices her child is making. 

Or the woman who, every morning, prays every prayer she has to fight her pain just to get out of bed.  

And beneath it all, beneath the embarrassing secrets and heartbreaking pain, is a terror of being judged, especially by her fellow Christians. 

I need to start focusing on the heart.

Not because it makes me feel better to know Ms. Perfect also has problems, but because Proverbs 12:25 tells us,

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. 

We all have anxiety and pain. I need to look past your carefully crafted-exterior. I need to see the fellow Christian sister who hurts. I need to throw away the judgement and simply approach with love.  I need to be the kind word.  

As for that actual medicine cabinet in the bathroom – if you keep your mouth shut about mine, I promise to keep mine shut about yours! 

Prayer Over our Hearts

Dear Lord, I don’t need to know all You know. But I pray that You help me to see the needs of others. And, Lord, help me be willing to help, love, and comfort, but never judge. In Your Son’s name, Amen  

 

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How Being Ghosted Has Haunted Me

How Being Ghosted Has Haunted Me

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Being ghosted. It’s not a term I was familiar with but the moment I read about what it was, I realized that’s exactly what had happened to me. I didn’t have a name for it, but I carried a lot of pain from it. Being ghosted has haunted me.

Sadly, I realized it’s hurting a lot of people even within the church body.

What Does It Mean to Be Ghosted?

Ghosting someone happens when one person in a relationship (be it platonic or romantic) decides to end all forms of communication with the other person.

In my case, a person I considered a very dear friend vanished. Like, literally vanished. One minute we had planned a play date for the following week, the next minute there was nothing. We literally went from communicating all the time to absolutely no response to any type of reaching out.

Yes, we did have an issue arise, but what relationship doesn’t?

It was never something I thought couldn’t have been talked through and worked out. But that was the issue, it’s impossible to discuss anything when all lines of communication are suddenly dead.

What broke my heart the most was that this was someone I trusted. This was a fellow sister in Christ.

I believed her to be a true friend and then “poof” it was like our friendship had never existed. And of course my heart hurt for my children as well, because all of a sudden their close friends had vanished too. They begged to see their friends again. But how does a mother explain that she has no clue when they will get to see their friends because the person she thought was her friend won’t return a text, a call, a message, or anything?

The Pain

Years removed from when it happened, it’s hard to believe that it actually did. It’s difficult to conceive that a friendship so close could vanish into thin air. At the time it hurt like the dickens. I remember breaking down in the middle of a Bible study one night not wanting to share what was going on but unable to control the tears.

Wise women gathered around me and one asked if a friendship was hurting. I couldn’t even answer initially. Then quietly with these two women, I remember sharing through sobs how I went from having a friend to stone cold silence, how it was affecting my children, and that I wanted to make things better but didn’t know how.

With empathy and love, one of the women asked,

“Would you want your children going through the same hurt you are feeling right now?”

Of course, not!

“Then maybe it’s the best thing because the children will learn from the mother how to treat others.”

Such wisdom took root but it didn’t start to grow until almost a year later. Up until that time, I was grieving the lose of a close friend, one who had not died but was haunting me with her silence, and praying that somehow we could at least talk through things. That never happened.

The Affect of Being Ghosted

The ghosting haunted me and kept me from allowing others in. Because of what happened, I unintentionally guarded my heart from forming deep relationships for a couple of years. Those who had been with me up to that point, I held onto, but others I didn’t initially let in until I realized what was happening.

Through prayer and God’s help, I’ve been able to grow deeper relationships again. God has truly blessed me with some amazing women, who have literally been with me through my highs and lows and whom I’ve been able to encourage and cheer on through their highs and lows.

That is what true friendship is! I’m not sure who to attribute this quote to, but I find it very true:

If you want to find out who’s a true friend, screw up or go through a challenging time, then see who sticks around.

At the Heart of Ghosting

It is only possible to overcome a conflict when we are willing to take down our guard, engage each other in conversation, and listen. It’s impossible to reconcile or fix a situation when we are trying our hardest to avoid it.

Avoidance is at the heart of ghosting. Some think it is easier to quickly say they “forgive” what is bothering them but if the issue is never addressed then the situation can become more frustrating and painful before the other person even realizes what all is going on.

Honestly, the hardest part of being ghosted is being haunted by what happened. Why did such a good friendship have to dissipate into thin air? Why could we not just sit and talk things through? We are both Christians and yet somehow it was “easier” to cut off all communication than choose what might have been uncomfortable and talk to each other.

I believe anything can be worked through. God did a miraculous thing when he redeemed us through Jesus Christ. If God can do that I truly believe with him any relationship can be redeemed.

Why Speak About Ghosting Now?

Several years removed from being ghosted, I can finally speak to this situation without physically hurting. I don’t believe the person who did this is a mean individual or even intended for this to happen. I just don’t think she wanted to deal with any type of conflict.

I’m speaking up about this now because it has become too common in our culture and it’s invading the church. We as followers of Christ should be setting a pattern of how to navigate conflict and difficult circumstances. We will not be perfect at it because none of us are perfect. I know I am not, but we should try.

To Ghost or Not to Ghost

There is a prevalent idea in our culture now that if someone is weighing you down, draining you, not making you happy, or happened to hurt you somehow, or your just done with them, then they are nixed from your life. (I am not speaking of abuse. That is a totally different subject.)

In any relationship there should be boundaries, but we should also expect true relationships to look messy sometimes, if we are really being open and honest with each other. There will be times that conflicts arise, but this idea of dumping people who we have a conflict with goes against what the Bible says. It goes against how Jesus handle his friends who hurt him.

Jesus reaches out to those who are in absolute need and cannot encourage or lift him up at all. 

Jesus reminds those who will turn their backs on him to come back and know they are still loved.

Jesus gave forgiveness to everyone. He calls us to do the same.

Jesus reiterates the importance of forgiving and the “limit” on how often we should forgive.

Jesus calls us to resolve any issues that we may have with someone.

Jesus knowing that relationships will face challenges, gives us a road map of how to navigate conflict in Matthew 18.

How can we as a church body teach the world how to resolve conflicts, if we are unwilling to try and resolve issues that come up between our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Lord, you know more than any other how difficult it can be to deal with people sometimes. With so many different personalities and misunderstandings, the devil loves to create issues where there are none or fan the flame on an issue that could easily be extinguished. He loves to make us think the worst in each other instead of giving the benefit of the doubt. He loves to have us focus on our hurt instead of extending grace and talking to each other to hear the heart of the matter.

Lord, help us not to allow Satan to sneak in and destroy the good you are doing. Help us to individually examine our hearts and if we are hurt to reach out to the one who hurt us. If we are the one that hurt someone else, help us to see it and be willing to acknowledge our part in the problem.

None of us are perfect that is why we need you so much! Help us to extend the same grace you have given to us to others.

In the One who while being crucified asked you to “forgive them because they know not what they do.” – Amen

 

Create a Fall to Remember!

Create a Fall to Remember!

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Each season brings it’s own cravings and fun activities.  It also brings many opportunities to do some soul searching, encourage each other and reach out to others!  You’ll love these ideas to use either in your own family or gift them to others. We’ve gathered a great list of activities, crafts, recipes, printables, decor and more for you to create a fall to remember!

creating-a-fall-to-remember-pinterest

creating-a-fall-to-remember-pinterestSoul Food

Let’s start by feeding our soul with a little of God’s fall flavor. McKenzie’s way of digging into Scripture through Bible Journaling is inspiring and definitely brings a new perspective to God’s word.

theletteredlight

Sharing God’s love with others is a wonderful way to kick off the fall! Go on a Scavenger Hunt with friends, family or church group. Head out to your neighborhood or one that could use some tender loving care and love on the people there by doing different mini-service projects.

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As we look forward to the changes of fall and all the things that we can create, we can pray for the Lord to create a pure heart in us as well!

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Food

Kick the Morning off Right!

The first thing you reach for in the morning is coffee, right?  Well, that’s my husband. I prefer hot chocolate or a protein drink.  But as soon as I saw this deliciously, healthy version of a pumpkin spice coffee creamer I thought of him.

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These gluten-free apple cinnamon protein pancakes are so good you won’t even need to drown them in syrup!

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These Apple Harvest Muffins are perfect for mornings on the go.

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Fall Inspired Desserts

Ever since I was a child, desserts were what I enjoyed creating in the kitchen the most. As an adult, I still enjoy them but so enjoy finding recipes like this healthier apple crisp that chooses to not use refined white sugar, but instead adds an wonderful fall flavor by using maple syrup.

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These frosted maple cookies have me licking my lips.  I can’t believe I’ve never had these before.  Have you?

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It truly wouldn’t be fall unless homemade pumpkin pie is included!

pumpkin-pie

Fashion & Home Decor

I’m not one that enjoys shopping for clothes.  I do, however, enjoy shopping with friends who enjoy shopping and finding cute things for me to wear.  Now that I’ve moved into a warmer climate, I found this post about dressing for fall in a warmer climate to be helpful.

how-to-dress-in-fall-fashion-while-living-in-warmer-locations

Weclome guest with fall before they even enter your home with this adorable Hoop Fall Wreath.

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There are several fall themed signs for welcoming fall into your house.

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If you prefer to just add subtle hints that fall has arrived consider adding these 3 accessories

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Arts & Crafts

It would not be truly fall without crafts!  Craft fairs and festivals are some of my favorite places to visit in the fall.  I love seeing all the creativity and finding pieces that are draw in the season!

Engage all the senses with the most amazing apple cinnamon no cook playdough.

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This Autumn Hand Print Tree is such a cute way to capture our children’s hand prints and this could totally be made into a card to send off to the first person that pops to mind.

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Get the modge podge out and create a peppier fall look by mixing up the bright colors with your pumpkins!

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Get inspired by nature to create fun art like this digi-leaf art project!

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Activities

There are so many wonderful activities to do during the fall.  Visiting pumpkin patches is probably the first thing that pops to mind but don’t miss enjoying these other activities:

Visiting an apple orchard and picking your own apples!

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Interact with our feathered friends by creating an apple bird feeder for them!

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Fall & football go hand in hand.  Find budget friendly ways to decorate when you cheer on your favorite team.

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Explore nature with the fun fall scavenger hunt.

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Make art out of pressed leaves and flowers by making your own DIY Nature Press!

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Winding Down

There is something about fall that makes me want to gather with friends around my favorite drinks. Of course, Hot Chocolate will always be my favorite but since this is a fall round up post, I’ll share some others that are tempting me as well.

My Mother’s Quick and Delicious Apple Cider is one people always as about when they come over. It also makes a perfect gift for your neighbors!

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One of my favorite fall treats is a caramel covered apple and this Caramel Apple Cider recipe seems to be the drinkable version of that treat!

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And if you still need more ideas to dive into fall, check out these posts:

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50-ideas-best-fall-ever-1024x691

fall-bucket-list-activities

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What are some of your favorite fall activities?  

What is a new fall activity you are looking forward to enjoying? 

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

Spiritual Bucket List Favorite Soups Confessions of a Homemaker Shine on Halloween

Why Do I Keep “Thank You” Notes!

Why Do I Keep “Thank You” Notes!

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Once again as I am purging, I come across a pile. A pile that will eventually get tossed by someone else, but my hands and heart can’t seem to part with one single note in that pile. It’s a pile of “Thank You” notes and other cards I’ve received. Why do I keep “Thank You” notes and other cards that have come my way?

That is a great question and one I ponder every time I choose to keep them.

Why I Keep Thank You Notes!

1 – First and foremost, it reminds me of people I love.

God has put me in the path of so many amazing people that seeing their handwriting or reading a note that came from them lifts my heart and reminds me of the gift of friendship.

For someone who has been hurt or lost a good friendship, it’s nice to remind the heart what a blessed gift it is and to not give up on being a friend just because I’ve gotten hurt before.

2 – It gives me the opportunity to once again lift those people up in prayer.

Yes, I know I can pray for them anytime, any place, any where, but sometimes life happens. And a gentle reminder will rekindle my prayers for them.

3 – I’m encouraged to write more notes to others.

Writing notes is almost a dying art. We send text messages and instant messages all the time, but how often do we sit down and write a note?

Several years ago, I actually purchased a book to help me write notes better. That book has helped me to venture into the world of blank notes where I actually have to come up with the words. It encouraged me to write sincerely. And so I make more of an effort now to reach out in my own handwriting more often.

4 – Although this is last, it is definitely not least.

It’s probably the most important reason why I keep “Thank You” notes.

There are days that Satan attacks me hard and makes me feel alone. He makes me think I’m a total failure or reminds me of how selfish I can be. He will lead me to a dark place if I let him.

When I realize what is happening, I speak truth to his lies. I remind him my past is not my present and that my heart is to serve God and others and not myself.

Interestingly enough, those “Thank you” cards come in handy on those days. They remind me of all the times I listened to God calling me to serve someone else. They remind me of the power of loving people in simple ways. They call me to pray and ask who needs serving now.

In essence, those “Thank You” notes, lead me back to God and are an encouraging blessing to my heart.

So for all those who have ever written me a note of any kind, know it is in my pile and it still encourages me today.

Who might you encourage with a simple note today?

 

 

 

The Mission Field in Your Church Building

The Mission Field in Your Church Building

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
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“Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”
Hebrews 10:24

I love going to church. Growing up as a minister’s kid, church was my life. This joy has stayed with me into adulthood. That being said, I realize this is not the case for everyone. Some people have been so turned off by an experience they have had with a church that they’ve completely turned away from the Lord. Some people are just on the fringe–perhaps they wonder why they even bother coming.

Can you think of anyone you know who might not enjoy church?

It truly breaks my heart to see this, and perhaps it hurts me the most because I know that I’ve been a part of the problem.

Do you view your church as a mission field?

Think about it…we can do all the outreach and evangelism outside the church walls that we want (and should!), but if our church is not welcoming every person who steps through our doors with warm love then we are failing. What good is it to get someone through the door if they never experience Christ’s love within his church? Our church building is a mission field in so many ways, but I’m going to try to stick with one very important way: relationships.

Hebrews 10:24

It’s so easy to get caught up in ourselves when we go to church services or activities. Our desire to fellowship with our friends can sometimes cause an unintended, but detrimental effect. Nothing sends the message “You’re not welcome here” like a church full of cliques. Yet this happens, maybe without us even noticing.

Missing the Mission Field

Sometimes, during the distractions of entertaining our personal friendships, we miss those around us, and we miss opportunities to show Christ’s love.

We miss

  • the visitors, the elderly, or the handicapped.
  • the ones who are hurting or who need help.
  • the new members who haven’t made any connections yet or the new Christians who need support and someone to study with.
  • the children and the teens who need to know they are important.

I don’t put this blame on others, as I’m very guilty. I’ve been on BOTH sides of this and it’s very likely that you have too. So what can we do about this?

fellowship

Mission Field, Not Social Club

Let’s change our mentality when we are within the walls of our church building. Let’s view our church as a mission field rather than a social club. “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24)

We love visiting with our friends, and we should because Christian friendships are important. Fellowship time is a huge blessing, but we’ve got to open our eyes to those around us and realize that some have no one to fellowship with. Our moments of fellowship at church can’t just be about those with whom we are comfortable; we must reach out so that every person in our church building or at our church activities experience what the body of Christ is all about: love.

I get it, there isn’t much time to talk to our friends, much less other people. Have church friends over on a Tuesday night for dinner. You can even invite someone you don’t know very well! Get together with another church family on Saturday and go to the zoo. Find time to build relationships and enjoy the company of your Christian family! But how about during church gatherings we make it a goal to see the mission field? Maybe we can even get our friends on board with us! 🙂

 

During Visiting Time:

  • Here is what often happens: We say “hi” or smile to those we don’t know and we have conversation with our friends. Let’s reverse that! Start conversations with those you don’t know and give a wave to your friends, or even better, introduce your friends to this person. The moment we walk through our church’s doors we should be on the look out for those who might need our encouragement or friendship.
  • Be a greeter! I’m sure your congregation likes for people to stand by the door and greet people as they come inside. This is so important!

 

During Class:

  • MEET THE VISITORS! This seems like a no-brainer, but in my experience it’s more normal to be ignored when you’re visiting. Would you want to come back to class if it felt like you weren’t even noticed? Seriously–we can visit with our friends later. But if we don’t make the effort to walk across the room and meet a visitor, we might never have an opportunity again. What’s more important?
  • Volunteer to teach or help in a class. The functionality of a church should be a community effort. We should never go to church expecting everything to be done for us. There is always a way to pitch in and help. Talk to the ministry leaders at your church if you don’t know where to start. By doing so you will have the opportunity to see others and show them Christ’s love.

 

During Worship Service:

  • It’s tempting to go straight to our usual spot by our usual people, and it’s OK to do that sometimes! It’s also fun to change it up though. You will get to know new people and you can hear new voices praising Jesus.
  • Help in the nursery or children’s worship. Who doesn’t want to snuggle with a baby? By doing this you have the opportunity to help out and encourage young families. You might even be the first friendly face for visitors, and giving their children loving care shows Christ love so beautifully!
  • Sit with someone who has no one to sit with. Sit by a family or a single parent with young children who might need an extra hand. Sit by a mom who just watched her last child go off to college. Sit with an elderly couple who lives away from all of their family. Sit with a visitor. Sit with someone hurting. Sit with someone who might need your help. Realize that the pew you choose to sit on might very well be a mission opportunity from the Lord!

 

meet someone

 

Find a Way to Show God’s Love

Life is hard…sometimes we don’t feel like we have anything to give. We might feel empty and broken and needing to be filled. Pray that someone will find you, my friend. Reach out to someone. Draw close to Jesus every day of the week.

Is your church family one that radiates God’s love to all who walk through your church building’s doors? I certainly need to work on this more. It’s easy to fall into what’s comfortable. You might be more of an introvert, so this concept might have your knees shaking in anxiety. There are also quiet ways to serve and encourage, like sending cards to those on the prayer list. You don’t have to meet everyone, but try to find someone to invest in and love on. Let’s hold each other accountable and look for opportunities to serve God and bring him glory during our church gatherings. Let’s have Hebrews 10:24 on our hearts always!

“Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”

The Mission Field in Your Church Building pinterest

Pouring Out and Giving Back to Your Leaders

Pouring Out and Giving Back to Your Leaders

Sara

Hello! I am a native So Cal resident. Human Resources by day, but more importantly Mom to a teenage boy who I often refer to as "Man-child".
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Pray for your leaders. Encourage your leaders. Pour into your leaders. Love your leaders. Sacrifice your time for them. Inconvenience yourself. 

I had the privilege of praying with a few friends this morning in my home. I guess you could say I called an intervention on behalf of someone who has spent about a decade pouring into me, mentoring me, and loving me, even when I could be oh-so-yucky in heart. No more accepting surface answers that would allow this friend to change the subject away from herself. It was time for it to be about her. (It was actually past due, but better late than never.)

I called in two other dear friends of hers who are business owners with full schedules, at the last minute, to drop what they were doing on a Friday morning and just shower her with love and prayer. Was it hard? Did I have to pull their teeth and convince them to make it work in their busy schedules? No. Why? Because of the way this friend has poured out and sacrificed and supported those in her life without reserve. They asked no questions. Literally, not one question other than “what’s your address”; they just said yes and showed up. It was time to give back what we had so graciously been given from our dear and loyal friend. This was our opportunity to take the initiative and help carry her burdens without waiting for her to ask.

Take a second to picture the leaders and people of influence in your life. Let their faces sweep through your memory right now. Call to mind the specific times in your life that you know their support had a major impact on your life. Now, when was the last time they reached out to you for support? Told you they needed someone to lean on? Showed the slightest amount of weakness?  Are those memories harder to recall than the memories of when they were there for you in times of need? These instances are likely few in number.

I sat at a table of leaders yesterday, all women who are leading the charge in some area or another. Strong, competent, capable women. None of them alluding to the slightest ounce of discontentment in conversation or otherwise. My assumption in these situations is that if they appear so put together, there must not be anything too heavy going on in their lives, because otherwise there would be some evidence of it. WRONG! We started off by praying for each other and soon after each lady started sharing what they could use prayer for, my false assumptions were incinerated.

Death in the family, tragic diagnosis in spouse’s health, financial struggles, loneliness, cancer..

This is a small list of what was shared among these women of faith. I was stunned. I could not have imagined the group sitting around this small table was carrying so much pain. Sometimes we have no choice but to press on, so it can appear we are okay, and it can be easy to fly under the radar with our struggles while the pain goes unnoticed. The very true reality is that we cannot walk these trials alone. Leader or not, there is a pouring in that our souls will ache for when we are in a season of suffering. That is why scripture offers us this little tip…

Share each other’s burdens and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2

I’ve noticed (this is just my observation) that leaders and people in positions of authority are less likely to reach out. We can try to evaluate why, but I think we have much more important questions to ask ourselves:

Are we willing to be more observant in regard to this?

Will we resolve to help them carry their burdens in an appropriate capacity, no matter how big or small the situation calls for?

This can be a little tricky to approach. What do we do when it is time for a shift in the dynamics in a relationship, and the one who normally is pouring out, needs some pouring in? There is no uniform answer or formula. It is going to require us to use discernment, prayer, and put some of that maturity they’ve modeled for us into practice and maybe, for some of us, a little bit of courage.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

The last thing we want to do is create another problem for those who are in need of encouragement. If we are not careful a well-meaning but awkward attempt to help could be just that. Another problem. A safe place to start would be to ask yourself some questions about your ideas before jumping the gun. I would encourage  you to consider the following:

  1. Have you prayed for them yet?
  2. Will this attempt to help preserve their privacy?
  3. Will this attempt to help cause any kind of inconvenience to them?
  4. Have you first acknowledged it is not your job to try and fix whatever the situation is?

What can you do today to help give your leaders the ability to continue to lead with joy and help renew their strength? Ask God to show you how it is that you can be a blessing of encouragement to those who have already prayed the same for you. I promise you, they have.

Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

Hebrews 13:17

Pouring Out II

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