There were around 40 women who gathered for the fall brunch at the Tupelo Campus in September. It was such an encouraging time to gather together and be encouraged to press into the calling God has placed on our lives.
Notes from Erin Ledbetter
We are all living the story of our lives. We can’t see the whole picture, but just for a second, think about what you want to look back and see for your life.
For me, at the end, I want to be able to still be sitting next to my husband, laughing at his jokes and getting all the butterflies when he looks at me. I want to have to strong, loving and kind daughters who love Jesus and boldly live out whatever He calls them to. I want to still be a part of a growing church, loving each other and their community well. I still want to have girlfriends that I encourage and encourage me and do silly stuff with every now and then. I want to have surrounded myself with people that helped me love Jesus more and I want to look back and see the people that I have helped love Jesus more.
However, I know I will look back and also see a lot of heartache, pain, difficult conversations, and hard leaps of faith. I will see tears cried with family and friends. Death and sickness. Hard stuff…
But you know what makes up a lot of life, that I probably won’t remember… The everyday, mundane things. School pick up and drop off, daily time in prayer, all the small group meetings, all the nights we go to bed and barely get I love you out before falling asleep. The messages just checking on friends and figuring out what to wear. The days at work doing things that seem like they would never matter. Going to the gym or just eating the salad…
These are the things that get us through the hard things and at the same time make up the great things.
It’s easy to say, this is what I want my life to look like and then get frustrated when it isn’t happening. But the thing is.. It is happening.. Those drop offs and pick ups are when I get to talk to my daughter about being kind to her friends. Those nights saying I love you even if we don’t feel like it are getting us to 30+ years married. And going to the gym and choosing the salad are setting me up to be there in the long run in my best physical and mental state. All the small group meetings and Sundays spent serving, eventually build a community that love each other deeply..
So I’m here to say, wherever you are: how is God writing your story? It won’t look like mine, or anyone else’s. What is His story for you? What do you need to do today to see that happen?
“Your life will always move in the direction of your strongest thoughts.” – Craig Groschel
Notes from Danette Becker
All of us have choices. How we will invest our talents and resources. What we will do with our time. What our priorities are.
Focusing on immediate circumstances, it can seem easiest to focus on our current needs and desires-Not worrying about eternal consequences, or even tomorrow. With this attitude, many simply seek escapes. To accumulate assets and indulge in short-term pleasures.
But the Bible reminds us that a day will come when everything we do will be tested by fire. Some work will survive, but some will be burned. The Bible calls this “wood, hay, and stubble.” These are the temporary things that can seem important and desirable in the moment but, ultimately, which don’t last. In fact, they can distract us and distort our attitudes and perspectives. I’ve realized in my life that I’ve had too much hay wood, and stubble. I want to encourage you to seek the things that will come forth as pure gold.
I’m reminded of a talk John Piper gave to young people in 2000.It has had a profound affect on my life. Many of you have heard it and simply remember it as the seashell story.
He spoke of Ruby Eliason and Laura Edwards were killed in Cameroon. Ruby Eliason—over 80, single all her life, a nurse. Poured her life out for one thing: to make Jesus Christ known among the sick and the poor in the hardest and most unreached places.
Laura Edwards, a medical doctor in the Twin Cities, and in her retirement, partnering up with Ruby. [She was] also pushing 80, and going from village to village in Cameroon. The brakes give way, over a cliff they go, and they’re dead instantly.
Two women, in their 80s almost, a whole life devoted to one idea—Jesus Christ magnified among the poor and the sick in the hardest places. And 20 years after most of their American counterparts had begun to throw their lives away on trivialities in Florida and New Mexico. They fly into eternity with a death in moment. “Is this a tragedy?” he asked.
The crowd knew the answer, calling out, “No!”
“It is not a tragedy,” Piper affirmed. “I’ll read you what a tragedy is.”
He pulled out a page from Reader’s Digest.
‘Bob and Penny . . . took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball, and collect shells.’
“That’s a tragedy,” he told the crowd.
“C. T. Studd a poet said, “Only one life, twill soon be past / Only what’s done for Christ will last.” The longer I live, the more I look forward to the day when I am in the presence of Jesus! Oh how I long to hear the words, well done good and faithful servant.
- How do you see God moving around you right now?
- What challenges are you facing?
- What is your next step? It can be big or small.
- Who can you give permission to help you along the way? Who do you want to speak into your life?