By: Gina Barton Sewell
There was a time in my life that my relationship with Jesus wasn’t quite what it is now. I was raised in the church. I was saved and baptized as a young teenager. I had a clear plan for my life, which entirely centered around Jesus. But then, somewhere down the line, I got a little off track. Rebellious teenager, you might say.
Years later, just as I’m getting back on track, there was a tragedy in my family that just brought me so much anger toward God. My mother, who was the staple of our family, the whole reason I knew who Jesus was and loved Him so much was involved in a terrible accident. A drunk driver hit her on her way home from my house. The ambulance arrived within one minute, and they were able to bring her back. But, unfortunately, her head injury was so severe that she never really came back. She spent months in the hospital, where I stayed with her, and when she came home, I tried so hard to take care of her, with no help, and the belief that she would make a complete recovery. I mean, after all, she did it right. She spent her life serving the Lord.
But she did not recover...
It took months for me to come to terms with the fact that she was never going
to be the same, that she was never going to remember my children or me, that,
my mom, as I knew her, was gone.
“In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)
But God felt differently, and suddenly, I began to see blessings in my life. I began to see that, maybe, there was a way to find God again, which was through His grace. I surrendered it all to Him, and I was happy to know that His arms were still open for me and for all who love Him. Carrying me out of that pit, he gave me a whole new life. God changed my life just in time to spend my mom’s last couple of years with her. Sitting there at her bedside, I held her hand as she passed.
Gina is a mom and grandma from Dallas, Texas. She loves encourage others through writing. She writes about Jesus and her personal journey on her blog, Greatly Emboldened. Gina also finds joy in cooking and spending time with her family. You can connect with Gina further on her Website, or Instagram.
By: Tamika Mahomes
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27 KJV
As I woke up this morning, I found myself meditating on the word in John 14:27, "let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." As I found myself reflecting on this scripture, I understood that this reminder is necessary for the times we live in today. In this midst of the current pandemic, racial injustice, and even our lives' problems, the Bible reminds us that we have access to the peace that comes from the Father.
The Bible does not say that we will not have problems, the Bible does not say that troubles will not come, but instead, the word of God reminds us that throughout life's ups and downs, as believers we do not have to be afraid. Our troubles, our worries, our fears, they do not have to lead us, but instead, we can rest in the truth that when we walk with the Father, he can give us peace, even when the world is full of chaos.
The Bible says that God leaves his peace with us, His peace, and not the worlds; there is a difference. We can try and find peace in this world, we can try to find answers in this world, but the true peace and rest that our soul needs comes from the Father. We can choose to wrestle with our problems, or we can choose to rest in the promise.
The choice is up to us. And while the choice may be ours, our true answer is found in Christ and him alone! It is not found in this world, it is not found in people, but it is solely found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Today, before I close out this blog, I invite you to choose the peace that comes from Christ. I invite you to stop focusing on your problems and start focusing on the problem solver. While you are searching for answers, Jesus is the solution. The peace of the world is fleeting, but the word and truth of God is forever. Rest in his peace, rest in his truth, rest in his word. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. v
By: Shakiya Mackall
If we were to evaluate the first half of 2020, I'm sure we can all say it looked different than what we imagined. From a global pandemic to the uncovering of racism, this year has brought on a lot of things. But even in the midst of all of the turmoil, we can still have hope. You may be thinking, but how? Honestly, I have asked myself that question. Personally, when hope would try to spring up, it was often choked by another heart-wrenching discovery in our world.
It honestly felt like I would take one step forward, but be knocked down two more. This was recurring until the Lord began to speak to me about my focus. Because let's be honest, we tend to take our eyes off God in the midst of disaster. In no way is this condemnation, because I have been there more than once in just these last few months. So if you have found yourself in this space, please give yourself grace.
It is so interesting how the Lord works. Being the loving Father that He is, He often prepares us for the things to come. Oftentimes even without us knowing. Earlier this year (pre-pandemic), I had a vision. In this particular vision, I saw a clear blue jewel. I found myself looking at the jewel in fascination not only for its size but it's color; it was something I don't think I've ever seen. The shade of blue was so unique I can barely describe it. Blue often represents freedom, trustworthiness, wisdom, joy, and strength. The closest gem I can try to describe would be an aquamarine, which ironically is the birthstone of March. And can you believe that March is considered to be a month of war?! In moments like this, I have to look up to God and say, wow! I didn't understand why He gave me this vision until these things came together and then I realized how we ALL faced some sort of battle during this time. But the Lord reminded me that to win a war, you must have hope. And that He is that Hope.
See, when we truly see God for who He is, we can experience the hope found in Him. In the midst of being bombarded with everything the world throws at us, we can look to Him for that peace. And as we put our gaze on Him, we can see that there are more sides to Him outside of the limits we give Him.
He can be whatever we need Him to be at that moment. Whether that is: Strong tower, Healer, Provider, Father, Savior, Miracle worker (Insert yours), know He can be that for you.
Be encouraged in knowing even in this time of crisis; He is being exalted.
Shakiya is a content creator and social media influencer who is passionate about faith, beauty and lifestyle. On her platforms which includes a blog and YouTube channel (Purity Vanity), she inspires women to grow their faith, maintain their inner and outer beauty, and balance this journey we call life! She hopes by doing so, God’s daughters will realize their true beauty in Christ and how much He loves them.
By: Tamika Mahomes
One of the most common questions I get is as a Pastor's wife is do I feel the need to be perfect.
And while the answer I could easily give is no, and carry on with the persona that I do not deal with this type of struggle, I am here to share the truth that I like many others often struggle with, the need to be perfect.
But the truth is, the need to strive towards perfection I have found is not limited to my role as a pastors wife, but rather my walk as a Christian.
I wonder, if I don't respond a certain way, will I cause someone to miss Christ?
If I get upset or let things bother me, does that make me less of a Christian?
If I fall short, will I lose my witness?
If I make a mistake, big or small, will I miss it, will I miss someone, will someone miss Christ?
Have you been there? Have you wondered? Have you found your strive to perfection is one that is missed?
Maybe it's not your relationship with God; maybe it's your parenting, or perhaps it's on your job, or even in your marriage.
Whatever it is that you are striving toward, whichever role you are looking to be perfect it, I want to share this truth with you...WE ARE NOT CALLED TO A LIFE OF PERFECTION!
I know that truth might be hard to grasp, I know that truth might be hard to understand, but the only person who calls us to perfection is US!
I love this verse from Philippians 3:12:
"I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me." (KJV)
Did you catch that? Paul didn't say that he was perfect, and he didn't say that we are called to any level of perfection, but he says, I follow after the one who is. And out of my relationship and love towards the one who is perfect, I strive to be more like him.
I don't know about you but, that gives me hope, that reminds me of truth, that tells me that I can lay down my desire to strive to be perfect, and I can instead press toward the one who is! Walking in perfection, is not my job, walking in perfection is not your job, there's only one who is perfect, and that is who we strive towards.
So friend, If you are reading this, I encourage you right now, to stop striving toward a title we are not called to, and instead, look to Christ, and find rest in Him who is perfect!
By: Tamika Mahomes
Here I am...
Sitting back at the computer, writing yet another blog...
If I am honest it's hard, with everything going on, I still feel it is not the right time to come back...
But while I realize that it might not be the right time, I know that in this time, especially in this time, the gospel must be preached...
God's word must go forth...
And this blog must continue.
For on this blog, I share Jesus, and on this blog, I invite others to share Jesus, and while there is a world full of chaos the truth is that in the midst of the chaos Jesus is still moving, he's still working, and he is still calling us to him.
So here I am one more time, resting on God's truth even in the midst of the hardest times.
Friends, I invite you to reflect on this very scripture that brings me hope even in a time such as this.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
The peace of this world is fickle, but the peace that comes from our Father is everlasting, and in God's peace, we can find rest.
While this time is hard, and while we are desperately searching for change, let us find rest in the truth that God and God alone is in control.
By: Dawn Beauchamp
Many times as we manage the land of motherhood, all we say is NO. The days are full of no, stop, don't do that, and not now. We say it so much it is often our children's favorite word. They are only repeating what they hear incessantly. The true nature of motherhood is a lifetime of saying YES. Saying yes when things are easy and yes when they feel impossible, knowing our yes is what sets the pace on our path and the paths of our children.
Saying Yes To The Impossible
The perfect example of an impossible yes is Mary. Think about the immense courage it took to say yes to God. What if she had said no? Would anyone blame her? When the angel Gabriel came to Mary, she was young, unmarried, and inexperienced in the ways of the world, but smart enough to know the path would not be easy. What if Mary was not the first woman Gabriel visited that day? Maybe there was an Abigail, Ruth, and Laura who said no thank you, that path is too hard. Gabriel came with a request that involved an immeasurable amount of trust in God.
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered, "May your word be fulfilled." Luke 1:38 NIV
When I look into my heart, I see true strength and ultimate trust in our mighty God. A resounding Yes to motherhood is a lesson in saying Yes no matter how difficult the road appears.
Saying Yes To The Possible
Some yeses in motherhood are simple, easy, and natural. Yes, I want to snuggle on the couch and watch my sweet baby sleep. Laughing through silly toddler play is also a pretty easy, yes. Happy, silly, full of fun days are simple yeses. Motherhood is full of natural yeses, but there are also impossible yeses; times, we would rather say NO. It is at these moments that we need to trust God and say Yes to what is possible, even when the path is hard. NO – I do not want to watch my child struggle and feel helpless and inadequate. YES – I will stand by my child as she struggles and seeks ways to lessen her struggle and find some semblance of peace and stability. The following words are my motherhood mantra and how I say yes when I want to say no:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Like Mary, I've learned to trust that the Lord will help me do hard things. God knew what He was doing when He made me a mother, and I will say yes to the good, the bad, the hard, and the scary. I will say yes to all of it.
Remember, Mommas; God knew exactly what he was doing when he placed these babies in our care. He knew we were strong enough, smart enough, and full of Love. Mommas, we all want to say No sometimes. The fact that we keep saying Yes is what makes motherhood the hardest job you will ever love. Love your life, trust in God, and follow your path.
Dawn Marie Beauchamp is a wife and mother of three residing in the great state of Michigan. She currently owns a business with her husband, blogs at Embrace Controlled Chaos, and enjoys spending crazy amounts of time in the kitchen or outside enjoying all nature has to offer. You can connect with Dawn via her blog, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Motherhood. There is SO much behind that one word. Think back to your pre-kiddo days. (If you don't have children, keep reading – motherhood is not a role solely for women with children in their home) What kind of mom did you think you'd be? Did you feel ready? Most of us probably had no idea what we were in for! And, for most of us, all preconceived notions went out the window real quick. Because once that baby was in our arms, everything changed. Priorities changed. Schedules changed. I/You changed – physically, mentally, and emotionally. There are great days, and there are hard, hard days. But on all days, "mother" is one of the most important roles we will play.
So, what does motherhood mean to me? It is my mission field. Stewarding my children well, according to the Bible, is something I can do every single day. Motherhood is a constant opportunity to teach God's word, to show His grace, and to reach the generations to come.
Let's be real – motherhood is often overwhelming! I have to repeatedly remind myself that I am not responsible for my child's salvation nor their future choices. While I am honored to play a role in these aspects of my children's lives, I am only called to take advantage of opportunities to teach and model the fruits of the spirit. Children provide MANY opportunities for this! When I am in God's word and praying regularly, it is easier for me to see disobedience as an opportunity to remind my son to "obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." (Ephesians 6:1) I become thankful that God allows me to witness my children's sins so that I can help them see it and remind them what God says about it. I don't do this perfectly. In fact, I probably fail more than I succeed…but God! His grace applies to me, as well. So when I fail, when I lose my cool, He is there with abundant grace. And these failures provide another opportunity for me to share with my children that I am not perfect, that I too struggle with sin. I get to model asking for forgiveness, and they get to show grace. God can even use my failures for His glory! The mission field of motherhood is a field laden with roaring rivers to cross and land mines to avoid.
I'd love to leave you with a few of my favorite resources.
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman – It shows how motherhood is a calling for all women, not just those who have children in the home.
Praying the Scriptures for Your Children by Jodie Berndt – This has helped me focus my prayer time and has aided my whole family in scripture memorization. So good!
1000 Generations: A Record of our Faith by Sara Haddox – This beautiful heirloom book provides a place to document how God has been faithful in your family in a way that can be passed down for generations. (picture courtesy of 1000generationsbook.com)
By: Vivy Fomengia
I believe a mother’s role is to pray for, nurture, teach, guide, protect, and encourage her children. Here I will share the unique colors I have used to paint a beautiful portrait of what being a MOTHER means to me.
As my son approaches 11 months, we pray together, and I read the children’s Bible to him. I believe that as I train him up in the way that he should go when he is older, he will not depart. Though I will not always be physically present, I believe the seeds that I am planting will activate God’s faithfulness to protect, provide, and guide him.
Observe. I pay keen attention to my son’s tendencies. I do not want to change who he is becoming. Instead, I want to create a healthy environment that will allow him to grapple through the complexities of life, grow in understanding, and flourish in the fullness of who God has designed him to be. My desire is that he accepts Christ into his heart and submits to God’s plan for every area of his life.
Trust God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3.5-6). I often remind myself of this scripture as I juggle full-time work, motherhood, household responsibilities, family, friends, and ministry. These verses quickly arrest my thoughts of being in full control.
Hard. Being a single, first-time mom is currently the hardest thing I have ever done. However, I truly believe God has graced me for this divine assignment. I love everything about what I am learning and who I am becoming. I know that while the days are long, the years are short. I believe my current sacrifices will count as joy in the greater journey.
Engaging. The moment the Lord placed this seed in my womb, we became inherently connected. This connection has developed during his infancy and will strengthen throughout our lives. Seasons will change as well as the levels of engagement, but the foundation will continue to be spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental.
Role model. My son gazes at me and hears every word that I speak. Soon, he will begin to emulate what he sees; this thought alone, causes me to be vigilant of how I function. It also challenges me to become the best version of myself. I am not chasing perfection but truly seeking progress.
Valerie Fomengia, who goes by Vivy, is a government contractor by day, financial coach by night, and new mom to infant Azariah. Her learning experiences with her finances and her passion to help others become financially aware led her to establish Vivy Motivates, Inc. in 2018. Vivy also loves to eat, sleep, travel, exercise, binge watch Netflix, and sob her heart out to authentic Christian worship music. Connect with her on her website here!
By: Amber Smith
Mothering, the word brings to mind visions of fleshy newborn babes, gauzy blankets, with impossibly tiny noses peeking out—sleepy newborn yawns, outstretched hands, tiny and delicately detailed. At the same time, like my son, feeling much less adorable, in those early morning hours twenty years ago, I, too, was born. In-between joyful tears and searing pain, I was delivered as abruptly into this new life as a Mother.
I have always mothered in my capacity as an older sister, neighborhood babysitter, Sunday School teacher. Yet, in all of those years, I was a midwife to the Mothers of the children I loved. As they handed me, my son, I felt the weight of his future and my own, fall squarely into my labor wearied arms. Playing mother was no longer enough.
I could feel the dappled patterns of my family’s past cast shadows over my future. As a child of divorced parents, raised in a cycle of fear, loss, and approval seeking, I wanted more for this child. Being a mother was to be reborn with a new future and the desire to seek a way to outpace the dark corners of my past.
Every birth story includes pain. My past was full of wounds, failings, and losses. These were my rubble to pick over and choose what was going to be true about me. How was I going to overcome it? By choosing to grow in my spiritual walk, I decided to be honest with myself about my fears and seek healing from the past. I chose to be brutally, honestly, and humbly open to what I believed about who I was.
Like my baby, I have learned to trust and depend on God to teach me about who He says I am.
If I was going to grow in my role as the mother God intended for my family, I was going to stand on an infallible foundation. Not the wreckage of my past. When I am afraid, I have learned to seek God, and His Word has led me in truth.
In Isaiah 43:16-19, says,
“This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)
If God could take a people who did not choose Him, lay waste to their enemies, and make a way for them in the wilderness, I knew he would make a way for me to raise a family in a way that brings Him glory.
Being a Mom means following the lead of the One who knows the way, even when I do not perceive it. Over the years, God has led me through the deep waters of healing and kept His promises to create streams in the desert. You are not bound to your past. He is doing a new thing by giving us a rewritten future if we choose to seek it.
By: Tamika Mahomes
Being a mother is one of the best things ever. But even with all the good times, there's still some bad. Even with all the easy days, there's still some hard. Although being a mother can your greatest accomplishment, it can also be your hardest feat. And despite the hard days, despite the days when we want to give up, through it all, God calls us to this beautiful thing Motherhood!
While we talk about the good days, let us not forget that we made it through the hard. Let us not dismiss the days where we've sat next to our kids and cried, the days when we make mistakes the disrupt our entire mood and perspective, or the days when we tell ourselves and sometimes everyone else that we have no clue what we are doing.
While we should not always reflect on the bad, we ought not to forget the fact that it is sometimes our hardest days that redirect us to the fact that yes, being a mother requires we depend on the Father. Let us reflect on 2 Corinthians 12:9 where Jesus reminded Paul:
"...my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness...' (KJV)
Oftentimes as moms, we want to have it all together, for our kids, for our spouses, and even to leave a misleading media persona. But wouldn't it be something if we realized, no we do not have to have it all together, and no every day does not need to be perfect, and instead understood that even on our hardest days where we feel like we fail at mom life, we can lean on Jesus as our hope, our help and our strength in our weakness.
So yes, it's great to have good days but know that it is okay to have the bad ones too. Bad days do not define you; Jesus does. Motherhood does not come with a book, it does not come with a manual, but it does come with a Savior. Mama, do not miss the beautiful exchange of this season you are in and know that when we depend on Him, we can Mother through it all.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalms 46:1 (KJV)