When Someone Comes Asking – “What’s Your Secret?”

“How do you do it? What’s your secret?”

Have you ever been asked that as a believer? Finally, you’ve come to that place in life where you’re no longer emotional about every little thing. That quick temper that you once had is gone. Those nasty words you used to say….well….you don’t say them anymore. When something suddenly changes at your job, you no longer act as if it is the end of the world. You embrace the change and continue to effectively do your job. When problems arise in your family, you no longer fall apart like you used to. And even if you suddenly did, you find Strength to pull yourself back together.

Those who have become a witness to your change of character, who aren’t used to seeing anyone act or respond the way you do, are left asking the question(s) above. They can be the very person today that you used to be 5 years ago. And after having been witness to how you remain in control, they want to know what it is you do. They want to know your secret. The only answer is that…..

 

 

 

There are just a Person and an encounter. Now that they have asked, you have the chance to gladly share your experience with them. That’s the privilege that you, as a believer, have been given. Never turn away from it.

God and His Son are so worthy to be known. The encounter you had with them, was no light matter. Something happened on that day. Your whole life changed. You became a new creation.

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,

he is a new creation; old things have passed away;

behold, all things have become new. 

~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Not only did you become a new creation, but you became a witness for the life of Jesus who now lives inside of you. The person who has been asking or will ask, “What’s your secret?”, is getting a taste of what that newness of life in Christ looks like through you. You may not have done it in words, yet, your life has become a witness to something greater than what they have been previously experiencing.

There was a sermon preached on American Family Radio that spoke on the subject of families. The pastor giving the message was saying that how believers raise their children should leave those of the world asking them “What are your strategies? How do you do it?” 

My Sister, your life will do and should do the same. And when they come asking, freely share what you have been given. God has called you for this very reason. Your life as a witness to the life of Jesus is how someone else will be led to knowing Him. Remember always, that in living for God there is no secret. 

 

Freely you have received, freely give. 

~ Matthew 10:8b

Every One Can Do This

 

God is not just speaking to the Saved when He says, “Come”.  No. He’s speaking to you who are unsaved.

Now let me say it this way too. God is not just speaking to the unsaved when He says, “Come”. No. He’s speaking to you who are Saved.

Oftentimes, whether Saved or unsaved, we think that we have to have it all together before we can come to God. Our i‘s have to be dotted and our t’s crossed. There is to be no flaw in us, right? This is not true. God knows that we are far-from-perfect people; full of flaws and imperfections. He doesn’t want us to have it all together. In fact, He wants us to be broken and in pieces when we come to Him. Why? Because He is the One who can put us rightly together and make us whole.

 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

a broken and a contrite heart –

these, O God, You will not despise. ~ Psalm 51:17

God bids us come. He loves it when we approach Him in whatever state that we are in. The Word of God says that those who God chooses and causes to approach Him are blessed (Psalm 65:4). It’s okay for us to not have it all together. It is in not having it all together that we are blessed. Take a look at these reasons why:

  • When we walk in darkness, God becomes our Light.
  • When our lives are filled with sin, God gives us His righteousness.
  • When the enemy attacks us with lies, God reveals to us His Truth.
  • When we are full of doubt, God becomes our Blessed Assurance.
  • When there is hate in our hearts, God fills us with His love.
  • When we are weak, God’s strength makes us strong. 

 

In coming to God as we are, we are able to find two things: 1) Rest from all of our strivings. 2) What is acceptable to Him.

 

Come to Me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads,

and I will give you rest. Accept My teachings and learn from Me,

because I am gentle and humble in spirit,

and you will find rest for your lives. 

~ Matthew 11:28,29

The awesome thing about it all is that………God sees everything. God knows everything. There’s no need for hiding or pretense. Sister, just simply “Come.”

 

One Woman’s Story – Gessica Rodriguez

“My name is Gessica. It’s pronounced like “Jessica”, but spelled with a twist. I was conceived by my young Sicilian parents back in the early 1990’s. As excited as they both were, only one of them could make it to the American delivery room that night.

My father had issues entering the United States, so my mom raised me alone until she met my sister’s dad. I was a couple months shy of 3 years old. That’s where my recollection begins.

My mother carries a strong presence. She is hilarious and full of life and laughter. She is not the bashful type, but quite the contrary; she can make anyone feel at home within minutes, and her warm personality will have you feeling like you’ve known her for ages.

She’d always battled an inner sadness, however; and due to her very traumatic past, she had a tendency to react out of defense and anger. My upbringing can be personified as a shaky, wooden roller coaster. There were many ups and many downs.

I’d like to think that my life is more colorful because of my mom. She taught me how to laugh and how to feel others’ pain. She taught me how to be affectionate, caring, and family-oriented. I watched her cook and clean religiously, and those things have stuck with me.

On the other hand, I picked up some bad habits, too. I grew up emotionally UNstable. My temper had a fuse as long as a fingernail. I suffered from constant anxiety. I felt I was being eaten alive by depression. I ate and ate to compensate for my powerful feelings. I had no control over my thoughts or emotions. My life felt very chaotic, and it was discouraging when my mom couldn’t help me stand up. That’s because I’d already watched her fall the exact same way I did.

I’ve been faithfully following Jesus Christ for almost 6 years now. I made the decision to rededicate my life to Him while my mom was away on a trip. Though her absence hurt me deeply, I encountered the most amazing Gift a person could ever receive, and that was the love and salvation of God’s only Son, Jesus. The more time I spend in God’s presence, the more my heart heals.

I’ve been married for 3 years, and now that I’ve had the time to look back and reflect on what it means to be a Godly wife and woman, I see that it was definitely not modeled in my home.

With that being said, I am all the more inspired and motivated to be the best woman, wife, and future mother that I can be because I understand the vital importance of leading by EXAMPLE. Before giving my life to the Lord, I never really considered what my words or actions would do to somebody else, but now I’m aware that everything I say and do is not only seen by our heavenly Father, but is affecting those around me.

As a woman, I have a position of influence on my husband and my future children, and I have to make a conscious decision every day of whether or not I’m going to walk as Jesus calls me to walk. I have the power to set the tone in our home’s atmosphere, I have the power to uplift my husband’s confidence, and I have the power to instill Godly principles into the lives of our children.

It’s an honor to be a woman, and not just any woman, but the woman that God has called me to be. May the Lord of Heaven be glorified forever and ever!!!”

~ Gessica

 

** Gessica is currently a housewife who blogs at gessicaparisi.wordpress.com.

It Starts With You Being In The Home

 

Back in 2012, after I was let go from the job I was working, I questioned if I should look for another one or not. We were going through some family issues at that time too. If you remember in my recent post, I had stated that my husband had threatened divorce if things didn’t change. With prayer, asking God to show me His priorities for my life – making me a woman after His heart, it wasn’t long before I had my answer.

I was forced to take a step back and to really look at and evaluate a few things. Things like my role as a wife and my role as a mother. We all as women at one point in time or another in our lives, have this false vision of what we think marriage and parenting are going to be like, right? But then it happens, and it turns out to be not at all how we actually pictured. Well, that was my world at that moment. Things were not going at all as I had pictured.

Reading A Woman After God’s Own Heart was truly an eye opener for me. As I began reading the content of its pages, I developed this burning passion in my heart to have and to be what God wanted me to have and to be as it pertained to marriage and motherhood. There was so much that I found out I didn’t know. So much I had to learn. It didn’t bother me at all as long as I was able to be pleasing to God.

I took a look back over my early motherhood years. Because for most of that time, I was a single parent, who had her children out of wedlock, I had to work to take care of my children. That meant that I had to be away from home. That meant that I had to entrust my children to the care of someone else; allowing them to be shaped and influenced by all of these different people who didn’t have the same values of teaching my children the way I did. Actually, I can’t say that I was doing a better job than they were then anyway. I knew I needed to teach my children. It just never really dawned on me how important teaching them was until reading that book. Sad, I know, yet that was my life.

 

Train up a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not depart from it. 

~ Proverbs 22:6

I learned that the most important years of a child’s life to be weaned is when they are first born to about the age of three years old. Let’s look at the life of Hannah. Hannah was the first wife of Elkanah. Peninnah was the second. Hannah was barren and had no children, yet she desperately wanted them. The LORD had closed up her womb. Peninnah knew this and would often provoke Hannah severely until she became miserable. So miserable that she refused to eat.

 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”

 And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth.  Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.  So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”

 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. “Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”

Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”

 And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

 Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.”

 Now the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and his vow.  But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the Lord and remain there forever.”

 So Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the Lord establish His word.” Then the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

~1 Samuel 1:10-23

 

Hannah didn’t leave her home or allow her son to leave until after she had weaned him. Hannah also didn’t stop there after weaning Samuel. After she dedicated him to God, the Bible records that she visited him every year. It was definitely too late in my house for that. My children were all almost well into being teens. I had spent the years that I needed to wean my children away from them working. And it seemed to had created a bit of chaos that needed to be fixed fast. That’s when I made the decision to stay at home.

God impressed upon my heart that my children needed me there. I believed it was what He wanted me to do so, I obeyed. I’ve been home ever since. What’s great is that I also do not ever regret the decision that I made to do so. I obeyed God. It has truly been such a blessing to my family. My husband and I are still together……and happy. 

It’s now the year 2017 and guess what? I am still learning and applying how to be that wife and mother God designed for, I believe, all women to be. In fact, I’m going to say something that most women of today may not agree with. That is okay. It is to be expected. But, from all that I have learned and am still learning, a woman’s true role and purpose is in the home. That’s where being the woman God has called you to be must to start.

 

“God holds parents responsible for the upbringing of children – 

not grandparents, not school, not the state, not youth groups,

not peers and friends. ~ Rebecca Hayford Bauer

A mother’s role of influence is so vital and needed to that growing child; those growing children. Just as much as the father’s role is vital and needed. And you are responsible for their upbringing. The most important training that they will ever need must come from you being in the home. Most mothers today are not able to properly train their children because working away from home tires them out to where the influence that they need to give their children, they can’t give it. That leaves so many families sending untrained children out into the world for society to have to deal with them.

Please don’t get me wrong. I understand that there are single parent households. My mother did not always have her husband at home. Most of the years they were married, they spent separated. She had to single-parent for many years. I did too. I started out as a teen parent who didn’t meet her husband until she was 28 years old. But when we hold this single parent issue up to the light of God’s word, we all will see that there is nothing right about anyone being a single parent. It means either two things have taken place: 1. The sin of fornication or 2. The sin of divorce.

 

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled,

but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. 

~ Hebrews 13:4

 

Single-parent households are not God’s way of life. They are that way because of sin. This is indeed a sad reality. The real reality is that women better serve their families by being in the home, not away from the home. Don’t just take my word for it. My word means nothing compared to Scripture itself. Take God’s word for it.

 

The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior,

not slanderers, not given to much wine,

teachers of good things – that they admonish the young women

to love their husbands, to love their children, 

to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, 

obedient to their own husbands,

that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

~ Titus 2:3-5

 

Or what about the dictionary’s definition? It defines being a homemaker as a person who manages the household of his or her own family, especially as a principal occupation. And in defining the word principalit means to be first or highest in rank, importance, value, etc. 

 

Another Bible translation puts it this way…………

 

That they teach the younger women to be sober,

to love their husbands, to love their children,

to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, 

obedient to their own husbands, 

that the word of God be not blasphemed.

~ Titus 2:4,5 KJV

 

There’s nothing that can be done about what has been done out of God’s order, which is that men and women marry first (Genesis 2:21-24), then have children (Genesis 4:1), and the wives become keepers of their homes. Yet, when you come to know the Truth, we would do well to act on that Truth.

 

That the Word of God may not be blasphemed:

 

“Paul wanted the older women to teach the younger women

so that their actions would glorify God, build His kingdom,

and strengthen the family. Failure to follow Paul’s instructions

would result in the word of God being maligned in the pagan community.”

~ Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible Commentary

 Ladies, whether you are married or single, I consider myself to be an older woman to my daughters; to teach them. I desire that they know the truth and obey the truth. Therefore, I aim to teach them everything God says that I am supposed to teach them. I also aim to reach out to you too. To truly love and care for your children (future children), to truly love your husband (future husband) and raise a strong godly family, it starts with you being in your home. 

I love that this is already being modeled for my granddaughter. To share a bit of what just happened last week, my granddaughter saw an old photo of me from when I used to work come across my computer. She said, “No. What did I say? Women don’t work!” She is four years old.

Have you ever read A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George? Share your thoughts about it in the comments below. 

 

“Be That Woman” – Three Simple Words That Have Impacted My Life

 

How profoundly did that statement ring to me. Immediately my mind started to really ponder over the deepness of it. I started to think about my mom and the kind of woman she was to me during my childhood days.

My mother was loving. My mother was hard working. She still is. She always kept a clean house. She kept food on the table. She always made sure that my siblings’ and my hair was combed and that we had on the best clothes and shoes she could afford for us. She trained us in how to cook, clean the house, and do the laundry. She trained us to keep ourselves well.

We didn’t have much of a spiritual upbringing in my home as I was growing up. My mother believed in God, but we were the family who only went to church occasionally, unless we went off to stay with one of her siblings in what we called the country for a spring break or two. Then, we went every Sunday.

Then the day came that we had started going to church more frequently. It was at that time that I gave my life to Christ when I was sixteen years old. I had become a teenage parent by then. But going to church was about the extent of it. I learned nothing at that time of what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus. Going to church had become short-lived again.

My walk with God really didn’t happen until almost 10 years later. On December 3, 2006, I recommitted my life to God. Having become much older, having had a few more children, and now able to get myself around, I decided on that day that it was time. I confessed Jesus once again. I began my real journey of walking with and having a relationship with God.

This is when the scales fell off of my eyes. God, through the power of the Holy Spirit had been teaching me so much.  It brought me to the point where I realized that there were a lot of things that I was not taught growing up, that I felt I should have been. And it made me feel a certain way towards my mother for not having taught me.

In a conversation I had with my her,  I was forced to consider some things that I had not considered before. I had not considered her childhood and what it was like growing up for her. I had not considered what she may have and may not have been taught. Because in reality, these things make a major difference in how you parent your own children. And suddenly I extended to my mother grace. I took a moment to consider her upbringing. I considered the fact that just as God has graced me in the raising of my children, He has graced my mother too.

But here’s the thing. I call it the flip-side. God in His grace sees all and knows all. Therefore He is merciful. Yet, though He gives grace, He still requires us to learn in the now what we had not in the past. Some things are excusable for children who have grown up into adulthood who don’t know. But once the Light of Truth has shined, those things become no longer excusable.

 

“If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father (John 15:22-24).”

 

In looking back over my life, with how I grew up, to my many experiences I’ve encountered, and with knowing what I know now – after having given my life to Christ – there are a lot of things I wish would have happened over the course of my childhood concerning my mom. Was my mother a bad woman? No. I believe she did the best she could with what she knew. But here’s what I wish:

 

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• I wish my mother could have been a woman who taught her children about God; the importance of having a relationship with Him (Deuteronomy 6).
• I wish my mother could have been a woman who took the time enough to talk to her children about the things that mattered most.
• I wish my mother could have been the kind of woman to model for her children the example of a woman who builds her house (Proverbs 14:1).
• I wish my mother could have modeled for her children the importance of being a woman who kept her word.
• I wish my mother could have modeled for her children the structure of training her children in the way that they should go.
• I wish my mother could have been an example to her children of what biblical submission to her husband looked like.
• I wish my mother could have taught her children the importance of standing up for God’s Truth even if it meant standing alone.
• I wish my mother could have taught her children the value of guiding their hearts while not living by their feelings and emotions.
• I wish my mother could have taught her children the importance of financial stewardship.
• I wish my mother could have taught her children the importance of their bodies being God’s temples; how they should take care of them.
• I wish my mother could have taught her children the value of true decision making.
• I wish my mother could have been a better example of Christ.

 

my-babies

 

My upbringing as a child greatly influenced the way I’ve parented my own children. Especially in their earlier childhood years. I was a single mom for most of that time, and a tender babe in Christ. I had no clue what real parenting was. I didn’t get married until I was 29. It was God in my husband who opened my eyes to the true importance of parenting my children correctly. But, for me, that wake up call until the year 2012 when my husband threatened divorce if things didn’t change.

 

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It all started with this book. I was in the garage one day praying unto God and asking Him to make me to be a woman after His heart and show me His priorities for my life, when I came across this book that my mom had given me. Ironic, huh?

It only took me to get to the table of contents before I realized God had given me the answer to my prayers. He had given me guidance. And in that instant I knew that He wanted me to build my house (Proverbs 14:1). Since then, I’ve been doing my best to obey what I believe God wants me to do. I even believe that He impressed upon my heart to not go back into the work force. Since then, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. 

I’ve learned so much while on this journey. Over the course of my parenting since 2012, I have had to learn some new ways and unlearn some old ways. Let me just tell you, it was not easy. It forced me to have to truly see what parenting was as well as what parenting was not. And let’s not mention having to learn how to be a true, godly wife. It was all a total life changing reality for me. It forced me to truly grow up. I praise God for that!

With the more that I learn as I go, it seems my hunger to fulfill my assignment just keeps growing and growing. I’ve come to realize that it is a high calling.  It has caused me to have the desire to be to my children what I wish my mom would have truly been to me. I am needed for such a time as this.

To be honest, I believe it’s every woman’s high calling. I say high because the focus and center of the calling  is God who called you. We are all needed for this great assignment.

We are needed to be fearless for God.

We are needed to be strong  in God.

Contrary to popular belief, despite what the media portrays as a depiction of the woman of today, God is still raising up His faithful daughters who desire to be women who:

  • Are single godly women.
  • Are married godly women.
  • Love Him with their whole heart.
  • Serve Him daily.
  • Practice godliness and holiness.
  • Practice discipline
  • Respect their husbands.
  • Care for their families.
  • Help the needy.
  • Walk in wisdom, purity, and goodness.

I don’t know the kind of upbringing you had growing up. In your home, your mom could have been the one to model a perfect example of Christ for you to follow. Or your mom could have been the total opposite. The point is is that we all have been given the chance to be for others what we wished someone would have been for us.

I can be that woman. 

You can be that woman.

Together, collectively, we can be those women. 

Sister in Christ, will you accept your high calling?

 

“For us to answer God’s high callings, we must look to Him.”

~ Elizabeth George

 

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