If you're sticking around home this Spring Break, be sure to check out my A to Z ~ Spring Break "Stay-cation" ideas! What fun!
Hey friends! :)
I received a sweet note from a new Red Hot Retreat/Bible Study friend. She asked great questions! Here's her note (with her permission, of course) and my response. I would love to hear anything YOU might add ~ you have great suggestions to my Mailbag requests! Here is her e-mail...Dear Cindy,
I really enjoyed the Red Hot retreat and tonight's brush up at Bible study. It gave me a wake up call and quite a challenge.
I'm struggling to meet that challenge.
I'm going to be honest (and I'm also tired) so this might sound all crazy but here's the deal:
The retreat/Bible study really resonated with me. I'm 26, been married for 3 1/2 yrs. and have 2 kids (2 1/2, 1yr), so my life has done a lot of changing.
I look back at my college years and hate the girl I was (and that was not that long ago...).
I'm ready, willing, wanting, whatever you want to call it, to fully submit my life to Christ, like really do it. You know, be Red Hot. I want to be able to really say without hesitation that I love God with all my heart, with all my mind and with all my strength. I want to fulfill my purpose as a witness. I want people to see in me something that only God does.
I'm just having trouble knowing what's next and how to get there.
I've been thinking about a mentor, but I don't know really what that would look like, let alone who.
How did you go from one opposite to the other? Was there one thing that was the hinge on which everything else took place?
If you're banging your head, saying this is the side of ministry I'd rather not deal with, I understand. But, I thought hey, if something comes to mind, I would love to hear it.
Thanks, A New Friend
And for my response...
Hello dear one ~
I've thought about your note all week long! I love your passion and desire to fully submit to whatever God has for you!! I know God will honor you for your commitment, and trust He will reveal Himself to you in new and significant ways.
Thanks for trusting me ~ and if there's any way I can come alongside of you, I am here! :)
As for the mentor, for every season of my life, I've prayed and asked God to bring someone into my life to mentor me. He is so faithful, and for every season God has brought a special person to me. When I worked full-time, it was a woman boss/mentor. When I was home at home with my little ones, He brought women into my life to help me grow in being a Godly wife/mom, etc..
Now that I am pursuing the study of the Scriptures, once again God has provided an amazing mentor who is a faithful prayer warrior/former Bible teacher.
My encouragement would be to pray and watch God work. And if you see someone who you want to be like (because you see in Christ in them!) ~ don't be afraid to pray into the relationship, invite them to coffee, and ask them more about their journey.
Does that make sense?? Does it help at all??
Also, how did I go from one extreme to the other?? Good question.... :)
It definitely was a journey and process.
When I met Jesus (as you know from the retreat) ~ I was a single mom, had a drug & alcohol problem, potty mouth, low self esteem, negative thoughts, etc.. I was a real mess when I look back!
Thankfully God sees us not as we are, but who we could be!
I guess I would describe my transformation like an onion. Slowly, through a lot of love, grace, and tears, God would pull back layer upon layer upon layer.
First, the drugs had to go. Then the alcohol. Then He changed the way I talked. Then He changed my mind. Right now He is working on my heart...softening it and making it tender to the things He cares most passionately about.
Thankfully it's through grace. I used to beat myself up big time because I had so far to go (and had made such a mess of things) ~ but now I realize that's not how God talks to His dearly loved girls .
When I hear...."You should have...You ought to...You're not good enough...", etc.. ~ I know that's not the voice of my Daddy. And I know this from spending so much time in His Word.
As for the "next step", my encouragement (as "hokey" as this sounds) would be to remember those P's.
(Side Note: I taught 5 P's at the Red Hot retreat ~ Presence, Purpose, Power, Promises, and Passion)
* Spend time in His Presence.
* Listen for His voice and what He has to say to you.
* Remember your purpose, even in the midst of mothering. You'd be surprised at how many times God has opened "spiritual doors" at play dates, McDonalds playland, mommy gatherings, etc..
* Receive by faith the filling of His Holy Spirit power, and watch Him open doors and work through you.
* Keep your thoughts fixed on Scripture, and as you spend time with Him, keep your relationship fresh and vibrant so that your passion stays alive.
I'm not sure if this is helpful at all, but I am asking God to make "stick" those things He wants you to hear. I look forward to getting to know you in the weeks to come.
If you ever want to talk/pray after group, please let me know. I'd love to do so!!
What do you think, Bloggy friend? How would you encourage a friend struggling to meet the challenge of living "Red Hot" for Him? Also, may I ask for you to pray for this young mom ~ and any woman wrestling with living out their calling? May God infuse us with strength, courage, patience, Truth and a whole bunch of joy!
And please....I'd love for you to share what you've found works for you!!!
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have an amazing, joy-filled week!!!
P.S. If you have a Mailbag question, feel free to send it my way! :)