Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Top Women’s Ministry Blog

I got this e-mail last night:

Dear Anna,

Congratulations! Jen here, and your blog, Anna Light Ministries, is a
Master Blog of Women in Ministry!

We’ve scoured the web looking for amazing blogs that not only are great in
content, but informative and helpful when needed.  And we’ve determined your
blog to be such!  We like to call it a Master of its category!

You can see your blog and others right here

Click on the link and see who’s number 4! Pretty cool.  Thanks for making my little corner of the world a place others feel is worth knowing about.

Your Insecurity is Holding Back Your Husband!

We’ve talked a lot about how our insecurity holds us back from being the person God created us to be, but have you ever considered that our insecurity might also hold back those closest to us? Consider for a moment that your insecurity might be holding back your husband (married or not, stay with me.)

If you’re married think about this: The old ball and chain might not be marriage itself, but marriage to a woman who is insecure.

Let’s say your husband works in a place where there are a lot of pretty women. If you are constantly insecure about your husband being around those pretty girls, soon you’re going to say something. At first it might be a passing comment to see if he’s noticed, but if you’re nagging insecurities aren’t satisfied, your comments, or demands might get much worse.

“I don’t want you having lunch with those women, or be alone with them… You need to be careful around them because you’re married. What if you started spending more time with one of them and then you cheated on me!”

First of all, I realize this may be a little extreme, but if you’re not saying it out loud, you’re probably thinking it in your head. And we all know that the battle for overcoming insecurity is often won and lost in our minds. Secondly, I need to remind us all that even suggesting to our husbands that they might be less than faithful is like a punch in the gut. Has he noticed the pretty ladies in his office? Probably. He’s a guy. Has he thought about having an affair with one of them? NO! Well, at least not until you mentioned something about it.

What has your insecurity done? Nothing positive.

A. You’ve: insulted your husband’s faithfulness by giving into the enemy’s fear that your husband is going to abandon you,

B. You’ve put yourself down by comparing your beauty to another women–a woman your husband is not married to, but works with everyday.

C. You’ve injected doubt and worry into your mind like a syringe and now every time your husband leaves for work, you wonder… but above all, you’ve

D. Put thoughts into you husbands mind that might not have been there before. How is he going to act around the office now? Cautious? Unsure? Distracted? Held back?

That is just one of many examples I will write about for space and time sake. But let me talk briefly to my single ladies.

Single ladies: you’re insecurity is holding back your husband. Now, I understand about God’s perfect timing and brining Mr. Right along should be out of your hands and firmly placed in God’s, but ask yourself this question: Might God be waiting on you to learn a few things before He brings along Mr. Right? Are there some insecurities that are holding back that moment when you and your husband-to-be will meet for the first time? This was true in my own life as I look back on almost a year of marriage. I can honestly say, my insecurities were definitely holding back that beautiful moment when I first met my husband. So what should you do? Get to work!

A. Find out what those things are that are holding you back from being you.

B. Ask a trusted friend to be honest with you about what they see in your life that could be a stumbling block to the next chapter unfolding.

C. Don’t let yourself or the next stage of your life be held back by your insecurities.

Your Insecurity is Holding Back Your Husband–it’s time to let them both go.

A Girl Worth Fighting For

Last night I was listening to the Disney station on Pandora–Yes, I know. I’m a hopeless romantic who loves to listen to Disney songs. I thought it was just a phase when I was younger, but I still get a thrill out of singing along to those classics. A song came on from the film Mulan–which I don’t consider a classic, but it was still a good story. mulan_poster

The song was called “A Girl Worth Fighting For” sung by the deep voices of the men going into battle. They needed something to keep them going, something to think about when the battle got too hard or overwhelming. They found their motivation in imagining a girl worth fighting for…

That got me to thinking. Am I a girl worth fighting for? Even though I’m married and I found my warrior, shouldn’t I still live in such a way that makes my husband want to fight for me?

What about you beautiful single ladies? Instead of pining for a husband, wondering if it will ever happen, ask yourself: “Am I a girl worth fighting for?”

Well, before we can answer that question, maybe we should ask ourselves, “What does a girl worth fighting for look like?” Here are a couple of my thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think as well:

A Girl Worth Fighting For:

  • Is always concerned for others. She is not self-seeking, but always has others on her mind.
  • Sacrifices for the needs of others. A girl worth fighting for will sacrifice what she can to help meet the needs of those around her. Sacrifice is attractive.
  • Isn’t afriad to fight for herself. A girl worth fighting for isn’t just waiting around for someone to come along. She is strong, confident and can fight for herself if she needs to. However, when/if that someone comes along who is willing to fight for her, she knowingly steps out of the way–even if her warrior doesn’t do it the way she would!
  • Is beautiful from the inside out. Beauty is never just one sided. A girl worth fighting for is beautiful from the inside out. That means she cares enough about herself to take care of the outward appearance but also knows the importance of a beautiful spirit. You can’t have one without the other.
  • Builds others up. A girl who is truely worth fighting for will always take an opportunity to encourage others. She would never use her words to tear others down or make them feel inferior.
  • Knows who she is. A girl worth fighting for doesn’t need a man, a job, friends, or anything else to validate who she is. She has a strong sense of confidence because she knows she’s already been faught for by the One who matters most.

What other characteristics would you add to a girl worth fighting for? It’s never too late, whether you’re married or not to start living your life in a way that someone would fight for you.

Dear Woman–A Letter from Your Heart

Dear Woman,

This is your heart. I have a few words I’d like to share with you. I’ve been thinking about this long and hard and finally decided it was time things changed. First of all, you should know, I’m not mad, I just feel like you need to know some things, because maybe if you know them you can do something to stop them.

The first thing I’d like to bring to your attention is the way you constantly compare us to every other woman we come across. Do you know what this does to me? It kills me! We are unique and beautiful in our own way. We have our own set of strengths and weaknesses, struggles and victories. No one else is like us. When you compare you are diminishing any sense of individualism we have. We were made incomparable to anyone or anything. Please, if it’s possible, when you feel the urge to compare, remember me. I love the way we are. I love how we were made. Do you not?

Another thing I’d like to bring to your attention is the way you often put us down with our words. Not only with our words, but also our thoughts. Yes, I hear those too. They wound me deeper and deeper every time we think them. Those words are like a dagger, slicing through my flesh with the intent to kill. Why do you want to put us down? What value does it bring?

Also, there’s another thing that drives me crazy. When we hold ourselves back from things it’s all I can do not to shout and scream to get your attention. I want to play the games, I want to be a part of the conversations, I want to make our voice known, but every time we shrink back into the dark, a little bit of us dies. What is keeping us from being bold? Know one cares! I need some light. I need some air. Won’t you let me come out and show the real us?

I am your heart. I am what makes us woman. If you take care of me, I will take care of you. If you give me a chance I will swell inside you and become stronger, fiercer, more powerful, than you can imagine. Dear woman, I am your heart. It’s time to let me lead.

Top Ten Things to Know as a Woman Pastor

Top Ten

10. Don’t forget an extra bra if you are going into the baptism pool!

9. Never say “Period” “Tampon” or “Menstrual Cycle” in the office.

8. Always have someone else with you when you pray with the opposite sex!

7. Keep a bottle of Aleve or IB-prophen in your desk.

6. When you make a call and a woman answers and you ask for her husband, be sure to say you’re from the church!

5. If you’re on the first day of your period, it’s probably better just to stay home.

4. Whatever you do, try NOT to cry when discussing things with your boss or fellow co-workers.

3. If you’re single, men may find you intimidating. If you’re married, or in a serious relationship, he must be a strong guy!

2. Don’t take things personally. They never are!

And the # 1 thing to know if you’re a woman pastor…

1. Don’t kiss random strangers in Brick Town… it could come back to haunt you!

Only Ugly Girls Talk About Inner Beauty

Have you ever seen that reality show, where they gather the most beautiful girls from all over America? I think it was called “Beauty from the Inside, Out.”

They tell these girls that they are in a contest to see who is the most beautiful. What the contestants don’t know is that the show is really about their inner beauty.

The show sets up scenarios that unknowingly tests the girl’s character. Scenarios range from helping an elderly man into a cab, to helping a lost child find his mother, and everything in between. When these girls get eliminated from the contest, they bring them in and show them footage of how they acted in these scenarios. Let me tell you, most of it was not what you’d call “beautiful”. Beautiful

My co-workers were talking about the show yesterday and it got me to thinking how much attention our society puts on outward beauty. The sad part is, if we’re not intentional, we let society decide what is important for us. I noticed this happening in my own life recently.

For the past month I have been working my booty off at the gym. I worked out for nine days straight one week, most of those days I was doing two, 1 hour workouts. I was killing myself because I knew bathing suit weather was just around the corner. Many of those days, if I didn’t have enough time to squeeze in my workout and my Bible reading, it was the Bible reading that got skipped. I know I started to drive my husband crazy when every other conversation we had was something about my body or how unhappy I was with how I looked. I even started comparing myself to every skinny, beautiful girl I saw, letting my inner dialogue take me to a place I’m not proud to share. I was getting off track, following a path that only led to disappointment and discontentment.

I tell you this for many reasons. A. It’s cheaper than therapy. B. I want to show you how caught up I got in what the world has labeled “beautiful,” and hope that we can drop the the masks for a bit and find some common ground.

We have to take back the lie that says Only Ugly Girls Talk About Inner Beauty and realize that we will never be satisfied striving for the perfect image. We must except the truth that we’ve already been given the perfect image if we are living in Christ’s. Yes, I know we’ve all heard this before, but don’t you think it’s because it might be true? Beauty from the outside only lasts as long as your money holds out. Beauty from the inside is a priceless gem that if truly sought for, will last well past your life.

When will we stop putting the focus on what only goes skin deep and start purposefully growing our beauty from the inside out? I’m starting now.

Laceration-Fest

Ladies, we have a problem. I’ve never really noticed it before, but lately it has become increasingly evident that this problem is indeed something that needs to change. This problem mostly arrises when women get around other women. You probably think you’ve guessed what the problem is: tearing each other down. You wouldn’t be too far from the truth, but the problem I notice more is not that we tear each other down (not to each other’s faces at least) but that we tear ourselves down. Negativity

I was at a women’s luncheon the other day where about 35 women sat at round tables to get to know each other. I had my listening ears on and what I picked up only confirms my estimation of this growing problem.

You know how it goes. You’re talking about exercising and one women makes a joke: “Oh, these thunder thighs haven’t seen the broad side of a gym in months!” Or you give a lady a complement on her blouse and she comes back with: “Oh, it’s so old, I don’t even know why I wear it anymore.” “It’s a wonder my family hasn’t admitted me to the insane asylum.” “You don’t want to hear me sing!” “Oh, I’m horrible at that!” I’m sure you could add a few of your own. Maybe you’ve already said something negative about yourself today.

You might think these small conundrums are nothing to consider, “that’s just how women are,” you might say. But what puzzles me is how we got to this place. Why is it that any majority of our interaction with one another can turn into a Laceration-Fest, as if we’re trying to one up each other with our own cut downs. Does it make us feel good to say negative things about ourselves? Do we hope the other person will come back with a complement, defusing the negativity we just bathed ourselves in?

What’s more frightening is that usually what comes out of our mouth has already planted it’s seed in our minds. Do we really feel this way about ourselves? Are we constantly entertaining negative self-talk as we go about our day?

I want to challenge us, ladies. Put on your observation glasses and take a look at your interactions today. Do you speak negatively about yourself? Even if it’s just in jest? What about your inner self-talk? Is it positive? Does it make you feel good about who you are and who God has created you to be?

It’s time we fight back to “just the way women are” and make a new name for ourselves. It’s time we put down the negative knife words and become women of encouragement, women of life-giving words not only to those around us, but often more importantly to the woman in the mirror.

Rebellion

Sometimes, my husband tells me I’m stubborn. I, of course, argue my case, not backing down for anything…. which just goes to show that of course he’s right. I am stubborn, but admitting it would be a kind of surrender. One I’m not quite ready to give.Rebel

Stubbornness, for a woman can either be her friend or her enemy. Our stubbornness is that rebellious streak hardwired into each of us as a daughter of Eve. Sometimes it gives us the ability to face and conquer the issues of life as they come. But it is also that same rebellion that can get us into trouble if we don’t know how to use it to our advantage.

How do we use rebellion to our advantage? How can we put the power of stubbornness to work in our lives to bring about a positive outcome? It’s all in what we choose to rebel against.

  • Instead of rebelling against obedience to God, rebel against sin.
  • Instead of rebelling against your husband, rebel against the desire to always be right
  • Instead of resisting change, rebel against mediocrity
  • Instead of allowing life to just happen, rebel against laziness

Rebel against that which is against you. Harness the power of your stubbornness and use to bring about positive outcomes in your life.

What do you need to rebel against?

The #1 Weapon for Everyone

Now the truth has been revealed. Encouragement is a woman’s #1 weapon. This weapon is so powerful and brings such effect on those we use it on.

I don’t want to leave this conversation without first reminding ourselves that encouragement is not just giving out complements. It’s not just making someone feel good about themselves. To think of encouragement in those terms would demean this powerful gift. When you encourage, you may have to challenge, speak firmly, point out faults, or push someone in a direction that may be uncomfortable.

When we encourage, we are not focusing on ourselves, but other people. This causes others to want to be around us, because they know any time spent with you will be encouraging, uplifting, challenging and joyful. When you become a woman of encouragement, you become a woman of charisma, possessing the power to influence anyone you might encounter.

For some of us this ability to encourage comes naturally, for others we may have to work at it. Wherever you find yourself in your journey to becoming a woman of encouragement, allow me to cause courage in you. There is nothing more powerful than the encouraging words of a woman. Remember, you have the ability, the duty, to cause courage in those around you. You have been given this awesome calling as a women. Let’s not let it go to waste.

Who do you need to encourage today? It may be you, your husband, your children a friend or family member… do not let today go by without speaking a word of encouragement.

The #1 Weapon for Your Enemies

Okay, let’s admit it. Maybe we don’t have “enemies” like what you think of when you hear the word (I don’t know maybe some of you do!) but we definately have people we:

  • don’t get along with
  • don’t understand 
  • don’t like
  • People who intimidate us
  • People who drive us crazy

I’ve learned that when I run into people like this the best way to deal with them is through the lense of encouragement. Instead of acting on what our flesh would like to do (strangle them, scream at them, trip them and act like nothing happened) we need to realize they are human beings just like us, created in the image of God. They deserve our love and respect just like anyone else.

Here’s an example: Think of someone you would love to meet. Perhaps its a celebrity. The President of the United States. Perhaps it’s Jesus himself, in the flesh! What would you do if they walked into your work, or home and asked for something to drink? Would you snicker at them? Talk about them behind their back? Trip them and act like nothing happened? NO! Hopefully, you would bend over backwards to serve this high profile individual. If that’s the way you would treat one group of people it’s also the way you should treat the people you do not like. God Himself tells us to “show no favoritism.” (James 2)

The weapon of encouragement can and should be used for this group of people as well. Yes, it might be a little more difficult, but the results of weilding the weapon of encouragment bring harmony to those hard to deal with relationships.

What do you do when dealing with “enemies”?

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