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Square Peg

Krista Burns shares with us today about square pegs in round holes…I am so excited about this post, ladies!!  Krista is stepping out and being real and authentic and showing us her heart!!  Here she is….

 

You know that saying that you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole? Well I’m pretty stubborn, so I’ve been trying most of my adult life to make it happen.

I can shave a little here, shove a little there, bend a little, break a little, but in the end, the integrity of the square peg is destroyed. I mean, with all the struggle, and as hard as I may try, it was designed and built to be square; it was never intended to be put in a round hole!

 square-peg-round-hole

 

Women’s Ministry has always been very difficult for me.  

I would attend retreats and events and really feel very out of place the whole time. I began to resent traditional women’s ministry as a whole because as hard as I tried, it just didn’t seem to work for me. I would see women around me being affected, spiritually touched and renewed, bonds being made and strengthened, but I still felt like that square peg trying to fit in the round hole of how we normally do women’s ministry. I would smile and nod and pretend everything was wonderful, and then be exhausted and emotionally drained when it was all over. I would always feel like I would rather be on the men’s retreats camping out, shooting things, and burping and stuff. That’s way more my style!       

Please don’t get me wrong, the Women’s Ministry here at the Springs is fantastic and is meeting the needs of many, many women. Having the ministry team in place has been a great way to incorporate different ideas from women from different walks and stages of life.

But, it’s kind of like a sermon. One sermon may speak to the depths of one person’s heart but mean almost nothing to the person sitting next to them.

This is the point where God started to work in me a few months ago. Back in September when Phil was teaching about our giftings and how we could use them at the Springs, for some reason, when it came time to write something down on the blue cards, I wrote down women’s ministry. I didn’t know why, and I was even like, “What was I thinking!?”

When I was contacted about how I wanted to serve in that area, I didn’t even know how to answer.

And that’s when the “Aha” moment came!

God began to show me so many things about my life, and I could go on about that for quite a while, but it basically boiled down to this.

We are not all created the same.

He created me to be the person I am and to have the personality that I have. Maybe it was actually more of a “Duh” moment than an “Aha” moment. I am fearfully and wonderfully made! God knew what he was doing when he made me a square peg! And here I have been, trying to break down and change what God had made.

I realized that there were so many things that I had once enjoyed doing that I had given up in the name of “compromise.”  Yes, we all have to compromise; that’s part of being an adult, but that doesn’t mean that we are supposed to set aside the things that God has made us to enjoy! The desires of our heart come from God!

He created me to be adventurous and somewhat of a daredevil. He created me to want to shoot guns, ride roller coasters, and climb mountains, just as he has created other women to enjoy cooking and quilting. I realized that it’s okay if I don’t enjoy Ann Voskamp or Beth Moore as much as other women do, and that I shouldn’t be judged by either myself or others because of that.

I have to give myself permission to find that square hole that God created me for. We women have to give each other permission to really live the way God created us and not expect each other to fit a certain “women of the church” mold.

We need to give each other permission to take the pressure off of ourselves and each other so that we can be real – not who we think someone else expects us to be.

Through all of this the idea of the Women’s Adventure Club was born! It is not to be separate from, but rather an extension of our Women’s Ministry; to provide another way for the women of The Springs to bond and grow together, as well as being a great opportunity to get some of your unchurched friends involved. It is still in the beginning planning stages, and I would love any feedback, and welcome any involvement.

I am so looking forward to getting out and exploring this beautiful world that God created for us to enjoy. Who’s in??

 – Krista

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What Does 2013 Hold?

Cathryn Wright shares with us today what God is doing in her heart as 2013 gets under way…Thank you, Cathryn, for so beautifully sharing your heart with us and where God is at work in your life!

Happy New Year!

I hope your 2013 has been wonderful so far. This is generally the time of year when we reflect on the past year, 2012, and look forward to what is coming in the next, 2013. I can say that this turn of the year has been very different for me than the last.

 

At the turn of 2011 into 2012, I was truly fearful. I was so very afraid that the difficult circumstances that had hit us in 2011 would continue into 2012. All of my “this is how it is supposed to be” plans for our lives had drastically changed. I desperately wanted a new, fresh set of circumstances, to forget 2011 ever happened and take a redo. I was not sure that I could handle another year like 2011.

 

Well, the challenges and uncertainty of 2011 did continue into 2012, and I was right; I could not handle it.

 

I fell apart while trying to hold my family together and make our life work.

 

I failed daily because I had taken on a job that was not mine; I had tried to become God in my life. I had tried to plan my circumstances into submission and was crushed by the burden…

 

But God is so gracious. Even as I fell apart, I was in His righteous right hand the entire time. There was not a moment that He did not have a hold of me. And then, in His abundant love and grace, He began to rebuild me and reshape my heart.

 

I read January 5th’s entry in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and it sums up what God has taught me throughout 2012. I’d love to share it with you:

January 5

You can achieve the victorious life through living in deep dependence on Me. People usually associate victory with success: not falling or stumbling, not making mistakes. But those who are successful in their own strength tend to go their own way, forgetting about Me. It is through problems and failure, weakness and neediness that you learn to rely on Me.

True dependence is not simply asking Me to bless what you have decided to do. It is coming to Me with an open mind and heart, inviting Me to plant My desires within you. I may infuse within you a dream that seems far beyond your reach. You know that in yourself you cannot achieve such a goal. Thus begins your journey of profound reliance on Me. It is a faith-walk, taken one step at a time, leaning on Me as much as you need. This is not a path of continual success but of multiple failures. However, each failure is followed by a growth spurt, nourished by increased reliance on Me. Enjoy the blessedness of a victorious life, through deepening your dependence on Me.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
—Psalm 34:17–18

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
—2 Corinthians 5:7 nkjv

At the beginning of 2012, I had no clue how to live victoriously and overcome the world when circumstances were overwhelming me. Now at the beginning of 2013, circumstances are not all that different, but I look forward to 2013 because I know victory and God’s favor have nothing to do with circumstances. It’s about living in a deeply dependent relationship with God – come what may.

I love you ladies! Have a truly blessed 2013!

– Cathryn

And the winner is…

Thank you to everyone who posted their favorite Christmas traditions!!  I think reading everyone’s traditions has been one of my favorite giveaway questions yet!!

And now – drum roll please – the winner is:

 

Random Number Generated:  3

Winner:  Missy Caporale

 

Woo hoo, Missy!!  Enjoy!

 

I hope everyone has had a very merry Christmas!  See you in 2013!

Well, it’s been awhile, friends!!  How’s everybody doing out there?  How’s life?

 

Life for me has been a little cra-cra….(a/k/a CA-RAZY!) Christmas 2012 has just done gone right up and snuck up on me.  How does that happen?  We all know how the Christmas season can seem to just pile extra “to do’s” on us and how simple things (like getting a can of frosting for my son’s class Christmas party – working on it, Ms. Sewell, I promise!) can be a casualty of a list of things to do that just STRESSES us out! 

 

And don’t even get me started about work.  Clients are worried and freaked out and that translates into lots of work for us – all on a deadline of getting it done before the end of the year.  One giant stress storm in our offices right now.

 

We all just need to chill out a bit….

 

Well, for at least one of you out there, we can offer a teeny little bit of help…Melody Dawes and HOME&FAMILYMAGAZINE have kindly donated a ONE HOUR MASSAGE for a giveaway!!!  WOOO to the HOOO!!!  It’s from massage therapist Katherine Irwin.  She works out of Global Health Chiropractic Clinic–North at 4716-4th St. inside the Compass Bank building.  Who couldn’t use a nice one hour massage?

 

So – if you would like to find yourself relaxing and enjoying that massage, here’s what you do…answer the question I’m about to give you in the comments section below before Saturday, Dec 22nd, 10 a.m.  We will then use a random numbers generator and whoever’s comment matches up to the number will win!!  How easy is that?  Just think!  You could be nice and relaxed in no time!

 

Here’s your Christmas themed question:

 

What is one of your favorite Christmas traditions ?  It can be something global – like singing Christmas songs – or something more personalized, like a tradition your family has that’s unique to you!   You pick…

 

When my kids were really little, I used to think – we don’t have any family Christmas traditions for our little family of 4.  I would just scratch my head and couldn’t come up with any.  Then, as Abby and Will got a little older, they started asking every year about things we had done the year before…and it hit me – we DO have our own little traditions – from everything to special ornaments we put up, nativities for each of their rooms, to Christmas snacks we like to make.  One of my most favorite family traditions of late is that Dallas, Abby, Will and I go and volunteer at the South Plains Food Bank every December.  Sometimes we have packed boxes for giveaway, sometimes we have just gone through MOUNTAINS of cans of green beans to mark out the barcodes with a sharpie, but it’s something the 4 of us have done together for the last 3 years and something that I intend for us to do every year…when Ella is old enough to not want to eat everything she sees, she will join us. And maybe someday my grandchildren will join us, too.

 

Another favorite Christmas tradition of mine is a rowdy game of “white elephant” Christmas at my extended family get together…it gets rowdy, let me tell you.  And we always wonder who will end up with things like “the pea pillow” or the actual “white elephant” or the NSync doll – just some of the many wacky things that show up for a recurring re-gift each year.  So many laughs and such awesome memories with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

 

Now it’s your turn.  What’s some of your favorite Christmas traditions?  Let’s hear it!

 

 

Running the Race…

We have a guest post from Desirae Culp today…thanks for sharing with us, Desi!!! 

“I heard Phil’s sermon Sunday was intense…a black & white call to be present….to commit fully & not just in words. I wish I’d been there, but I was learning another important lesson that actually corresponds with Phil’s sermon.

I was running a half marathon Sunday.

This was my second one to run & in a weird way a much easier one. You see, I did no training for it. No prepatory long runs before hand, no everyday running to get myself ready like last time. Nope, I went from running 2 to 4 miles every other day to running 13.1 on Sunday.

Perhaps not the smartest thing ever, but the thing is, this time I had a running partner. Last time I had people waiting for me at the finish line, people I knew were cheering me on, which was great. But this time I had someone who stayed with me through the entire thing. Someone to encourage me, push me on, hold me accountable.

I can honestly say there is no way i would have finished the race this time without that.

When a friend & I were talking about the sermon on Sunday (she was there for it), it occurred to me that maybe that was what has made it hard for us to jump in fully, to be fully present. I know,to an extent, it has for me.

I walk around in my own little world trying to run this race without allowing myself accountability, without allowing people to run beside me & encourage me & push me on.

We want to walk in grace but we do it alone.

Ladies, we aren’t meant to walk alone.

The Springs Women’s Fall Retreat is coming up Oct 19-21…and the theme is all about walking in grace. I highly highly encourage you to go. Invest in people’s lives & let them invest in yours.  If you can’t go for various reasons, start investing anyway. Find someone that will walk beside you – & not just in the random go to the movies when you’re husband refuses to see the latest  chickflick kind of way – but truly walk beside you & encourage you & push you on & that you will do the same with. That’s my plan… 🙂

– Desirae

Some of you may have heard my moaning and groaning and whining all summer long…I am now the mother of a middle schooler.  Ouch.

Middle school brings back painfully awkward memories for me…the first plants of the idea that I’m not ENOUGH –  “cool” enough or “popular” enough or “pretty” enough or “athletic” enough….losing the cheerleader election….none of the boys wanting to ask me to dance…not having a boy give me a mum for my small school homecoming (although – on this one, I have to admit, my daddy is amazing.  He bought me a mum and made me feel pretty darn loved).  Middle School was a time of learning to be more responsible or suffering the consequences when it came to papers, tests, athletics…

In all honesty – Middle School/Jr. High sucked…there’s no way around it.  (sorry, Mom…just couldn’t express it any other way!)

You see – that was the time in my life when I first stopped having grace for myself and became my own worst enemy and my number one critic…

So now, as my sweet daughter, Abby, embarks on her middle school journey, I find myself bracing for it…cringing every day she comes home from school.  Yes, I’m waiting for the eye rolls, the “fine” answer when I ask her about her day, the slamming of the bedroom door that often comes with being a middle schooler, but I’m also waiting for the heartaches and the bumps along the way and for glimpses of that “not enough” thought to raise its ugly head.

So far – we are through our third week and no major catastrophes.  She’s rolling with the punches and hasn’t changed into a preteen gremlin or anything.  In fact, she has made me smile just about every single day as she regales me with stories of her day…

Here’s one such story:

On Monday, Abby is getting her usual after school snack as she takes her
30 minute unwind time before hitting the homework, when suddenly, she bursts out:
“Hey, Mom!!!  Guess what!!!”
 
Me:  “What, Abs?”  – she seemed so excited, I couldn’t wait to hear what she had to share…
 
Abby:  “I got 43rd place in a race in pre-ath today!”
(That’s pre-athletics.  They are learning all about cross country for the next several weeks
and had a race, with a distance that totaled about 1/2 mile, she later told me.)
 
Me:  “That’s awesome, Abby!!!  How many were racing?”
 
Abby:  With a gleam in her eye and a nod of her head and in all seriousness, she responds:
 “46…..My goal – was to not get last!  YES!” as she pumps her arm in victory.
 
After I got my encouraging momma face
(as opposed to my wanting to fall in the floor laughing face) back on,
I responded with “That’s great, Abs.  Set a goal and work towards it. 
What’s your goal for next time?”
 
Abby says, without missing a beat, “Better than 43rd!”

What a sweet memory for me as a momma. I’m storing that one away.  You see, right in the midst of middle school, here she was walking in grace. Instead of hearing those voices telling her that 43rd place was not good enough and she wasn’t good enough, all she heard was a number that meant nothing about who she was and was only an indicator of whether or not she met her goal.  She was tuning in to hear what God thought about who she is.

For our upcoming women’s retreat – the theme will be Grace – Breathing In, Breathing Out and Standing in Grace.  Yes, this includes grace for others, but it also includes having grace for ourselves and understanding God’s grace for us and living right there in the middle of it…

Romans 5: 1-2 says:

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our

Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace

in which we now stand. 

And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” (NIV)

Registration for our upcoming retreat kicks off this weekend.  Make plans to join us – Oct 19-21, 2012.  Let’s learn together how to breath in, breathe out and to stand in HIS grace…

 – Kacey

Seasoned with Grace

Good afternoon! Today is the last day of August, and for the last couple of weeks, autumn has been on my mind. I’ve wanted to make soups, hot chocolate and wear long sleeved shirts! I love the relief of cooler weather after a hot, hot, hot Texas summer. Along with the typical longings for all things autumn, I think about the Springs Women’s Retreat. I love the women of our church, and I love spending an autumn weekend with you ladies! The food! The laughter! The relaxing! The worship! The fellowship! The sharing! The food! (Let’s face it, part of my reason for attending is the delicious desserts and snacks everyone brings! And the cinnamon rolls. Yum. Yum. Yum.)

This year, the theme for the retreat is “Seasoned with Grace: Breathing In, Breathing Out & Standing in Grace”. Over the last year (or maybe more), I know many women in our church have experienced heartache, publicly for some and privately for others, and it is only through God’s grace that we can put one step in front of the other because we just can’t do it on our own. We’re not strong enough, and that is (contrary to societal or our own expectations) exactly as it should be.

“But [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I wil boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

So by God’s grace, even when we’re broken, we’re ok. Even when we’re flawed and lacking, we’re ok. Even when we’re failing, we’re ok. Even when our lives are no where near “pinterestable”, we’re ok. Whether we’re functioning at 98%, 46% or 0%, God’s grace is sufficient for where we are right now, how we are right now, and what we face right now. 

So here’s what I desperately need to know:

What is grace to you? How have you experienced or witnessed God’s grace (received it, given it, or lived in it)? What do you think of when you think of God’s grace? (You don’t have to answer all these questions. Just take a minute to let us hear your voice about God’s grace.)

My experiences are limited, and we all benefit so much from hearing the voices of our peers. So please take some time, share with us how you (or you’ve witnessed someone else) breathing in, breathing out and standing in grace. 

Have a lovely weekend and beginning of September!

Cathryn Wright

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