Face Your Goliath

by Angela Jamison

Last week in my Women’s Small Group we discussed the Bible story of David and Goliath. We pondered on how brave David was to stand up to Goliath after soldiers twice his size ran in fear and how much faith he held to do so scantily armed and with little doubt. Even when Saul attempted to talk him out of it or Goliath himself laughed in his face, David stood strong in the belief and knowledge that God had saved him from adversity before and He would do it again.

David stood up to Goliath.

After a brief discussion, I proposed a question …

What Goliath in your life do you need to stand up to? 

 We all have one, a giant in our life that we spend more time and energy on avoiding than simply facing. These are the moments when the Bible, and it’s truths, come alive for me.  The moments when I can insert myself into the story, see and feel, the depth of it’s meaning.

David and Goliath could be a fairy a tale. A fairy tale of the underdog winning against the big bully, taking him down with one well placed stone. It could be.

But it’s not. 

David and Goliath is a story of faith, a story of the necessity of believing in God’s mercies and arming ourselves, every day, with his power and love. David didn’t win because he had a large stone, was a top-notch pitcher or kung-fu master. David won because he believed he could and he trusted in the One who had protected him always.

David won because he had God.

The best part of this story? We can win, too! Just as David did, we too can face our Goliath and take him down because we have the strength and the power and the love of the most strong Almighty Father.

 It’s so easy to be like the hundreds of other soldiers running from Goliath in fear. It takes faith to stand up and be like David. So again, I ask …

What Goliath in your life do you need to stand up to?

 Sometimes our Goliath is an outside force, another person or situation, but often times, our Goliath lives within ourselves. Sometimes, our Goliath is the doubt, the fear, the self-deprecating talk we allow to manifest in our hearts and minds. We are our own worst enemy, our own Goliath.

David won because he had God and we can win too. Wrap yourself in the blanket of truth of God’s word, knowing and believing He will deliver you from whatever giant you are facing, inwardly or outwardly. With Him, you are capable and through Him you are strengthened.

Stock your arsenal with these Bible verses to help you stand up to your Goliath…

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -Isaiah 41:10

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.  -Psalm 119:114

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all – Psalm 34:19

headshotAngela Jamison is a mother of four and works with young children as the Director of a Christian Preschool. She derives joy from children and is passionate about connecting with mothers to encourage and reiterate God’s design for the toughest job on Earth. 

 After struggling with infertility, Angela and her husband entered the world of foster care and began the journey to create their family on God’s terms.

When she is not entertaining children, or buying LulaRoe, Angela loves to read, write and explore the path being laid before her by the most perfect parent, our Heavenly Father.

Read more of Angela’s writing and journey at www.angelajamison.com

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Exulting in the Promises!

Long and difficult describe many days of motherhood. Still other days filled with happiness and laughter spill out as precious memories in the landscape of time.  The challenge for us lies in the knowledge that we never know which day it will be, on any given morning as our feet hit the floor and we start the day. In each of these days, we can rest in the promises of God’s word. The good and the bad in light of God’s truth can encourage our hearts when we hurt, and keep us grounded when the days are easy.

Come join me at w2wministries for the rest of the post – just click here!

You are Beautiful!

I am so incredibly excited to introduce you to my friend Angela Jamison.

She is guest posting for us today at Encouraging Women and I want you to get to know her and her really big heart better. At the end of her post, you’ll see her bio and info and you’ll be able to catch her here as a regular contributor as well as on her own blog – https://angelajamison.wordpress.com/

I scroll Facebook and am inundated with pictures. Pictures of people who are traditionally thin with radiant complexions and perfectly styled hair. I look in the mirror and wonder where I’m going wrong. I’m not thin. My complexion fluctuates more than the weather here in Kentucky and my hair is one of two styles – loose and limp or messy bun.

 Satan capitalizes on social media and uses it to instill doubt and destroy self-worth. He nurtures comparisons and watches with delight as we sink into self-destruction. Satan doesn’t want you to know that you are beautiful.

But guess what? You are!

I don’t need to be thin with a perfect complexion and styled hair to proudly claim the title of beautiful. And neither do you. Our beauty does not lie in the number on the scale, the glow of our face or the shine of our hair. Our beauty lies in the hands of the One who created us.

 Read that again … Your beauty lies in the hands of the one who created you. You are beautiful, just as you are, because you were purposefully created by the most high God.

 In His word, God reminds us repeatedly, that we are beautiful. We are created in His perfect image and our worth does not lie in our outward appearance, but rather in the condition of our spirit.

 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

 As our seasons change, we often look to the past or the future for confirmation of what we desire. We want our pre-baby body back or we want to lose ten pounds before that summer wedding. Each season is unique and allows for our unique beauty. You were beautiful then, you will be beautiful in the future, but most importantly, you are beautiful now!

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL NOW.

Embrace the season you’re in! Instead of turning to Facebook for validation, turn the pages of THE book and be confirmed in your perfect, beautiful design.

Song of Songs 4:7 (NIV)

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

headshotAngela Jamison is a mother of four and works with young children as the Director of a Christian Preschool. She derives joy from children and is passionate about connecting with mothers to encourage and reiterate God’s design for the toughest job on Earth. 

 After struggling with infertility, Angela and her husband entered the world of foster care and began the journey to create their family on God’s terms

When she is not entertaining children, or buying LulaRoe, Angela loves to read, write and explore the path being laid before her by the most perfect parent, our Heavenly Father.

Living lives filled with intention

Recently on my other blog, I wrote about the differences between good intentions and being intentional.  If you haven’t read it yet, please check it out here http://lifelessonsinmyhead.com/good-intentions-vs-intentional/

While this blog post will be similar, I promise it’s not exactly the same.  As women I find that we are often filled with incredible guilt.  This guilt comes in many forms, and sometimes I suppose can be well founded, but for me personally, the guilt I “feel” is 100% self induced and false.

  • I’m not sure what you might feel guilt about, but perhaps you have had these thoughts in the past, or have them now.
  • I’m not a good daughter, I don’t spend enough time with my family.
  • I’m not a good wife, I don’t give my husband the respect he deserves.
  • I’m not a good mother, I yelled at the kids today.
  • I’m not a good housekeeper, my mother never had a messy house.

Should I continue?  I don’t believe that God ever intended or desired us to live under such a heavy weight of guilt and shame.  Instead He desires that we live in victory and enjoy the life He’s given us.

Most days I spend time praying that God will fill in the gaps in my kids lives that I am not filling.  I pray that He gives them what they need to become remarkable adults in His kingdom work.  I pray that my husband knows that I dearly love him, and treasure my life with him, even when I forget to show him how much he means.  I pray that a magic fairy will arrive at the house overnight and clean my home so I don’t have to. Ok, ok not really, but a girl can dream right?

I pray that you will understand that this false guilt of should haves and should do’s  is the enemy working to keep you defeated.  Being intentional in this arena of thought, means getting rid of the thoughts that weigh you down mentally.  Committing every thought to the Father, and asking Him to provide your every need.  May you know His strength and purpose today!

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Don’t forget the other wonderful resource of coloring pages available to you for daily download.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, go here now! www.365fearnot.com 

 

Book Review & Giveaway!!

Oh! I am so excited to be doing a giveaway!  I received a book to read and review and post on my blog, and I never expected it to be such an encouragement to me! WOW!  So below you will see the review.  But keep reading! Because there you will see the giveaway info as well!  And a bonus!  Amy has a book club Breaking Up With Perfect that will start on August 1. Check out her website http://www.amycarroll.org to receive more info on the book club!  I’ve already signed up 🙂  You can also be added to the Facebook closed group page by clicking here

Breaking Up with Perfect by Amy Carroll

I just finished reading this book, and I am sitting here wondering how Amy crawled inside my head and wrote a story about my life.  Coming to grips with my propensity to perfection has been such a lifelong journey, and it wasn’t until after I was married I realized how very deeply entrenched my perfectionistic tendencies were.  Amy describes the Good Girl list so perfectly and I instantly identified with this idea.  What I was surprised by though, was the way she included the Never Good Enough girls.  I had never thought about this group of women in this way.  My heart has always longed to encourage and many times, the women I find myself encouraging could fall onto that list.  I had never connected the perfection problem for them as well since it’s looks different then the Good Girl list.

Her insights on friendships and dealing with conflict are needful and while I had assumed I had made such progress personally, she highlighted some needs I still have to deal with.

The added benefit of going deeper is such a nice bonus.  While my initial reading has been fairly quick, I am looking forward to going back and going deeper and using my highlighter throughout many of her pages.  Friends – if your perfectionism is keeping you from living a joy filled life, you need to take a look and consider what she has to say.

She writes not as someone who has all the answers, but someone who has been in our shoes, and still fights the battle.  She’s given it to God and she’s learned from her past mistakes and shares with us what she learned.

So here’s the deal – I have one free copy of Breaking Up with Perfect by Amy Carroll to give away to you my sweet readers and friends!

To be eligible for the giveaway I need you to do only 3 things:

#1 – like the Encouraging Women Today Facebook page here .  If you want to see what happens more regularly, you need to check the box under the like menu to see first, or to receive notifications, otherwise you might miss out on some good encouragement!

#2 – share either the link to this blog post, or the link to the Encouraging Women Today post on Twitter or Facebook or both

#3 – comment on the Facebook page that you have completed the steps. If you also want to comment here on the blog that’s wonderful too.. 🙂  All the comments help!

The winner will be chosen randomly from the people who tell me that they followed the steps!  Winner will be selected on Friday!

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Be all there

www.encouragingwomentoday.com

Today, it was like the above message was on repeat!  First I found this meme while searching for good content this morning for the Facebook Page.  It reminded me of the saying to “bloom where you are planted.”  I love that one too.  I’m a visual person, and so when I see the things you are seeing as a picture, it stays with me.  So my morning started with the reminder to be all the way there wherever I was today.

This afternoon, I was doing some edits on some devotions I am writing, and happened to catch a live podcast by Brendon Burchard.  He talked about prioritization being key to not living a life out of balance.  It was really a motivating talk.  But he also mentioned one thing that stuck with me since then.  He said if he had only one hour to spend with someone that would be totally fine, as long as they were completely in the moment with him.  That would be far better than to have several hours, but not have their full attention.

So this all the way grabbed my mind..intentionally living out this message means that we need to be sure to be available to the people we care about the most.  This is a challenge for me because I am so completely GOAL driven.  As we live out our days looking to encourage and love others, we have to be all in.  Be present.  Be available.  The littles are only little for so long.  The bigs leave soon enough.  The dishes get washed eventually.  The laundry gets folded..or does it?  I’m not really sure, but I do know that in the midst of working to live intentionally to encourage others to love and care for those around them, I must also heed my words and be all there!

Be encouraged!  You are loved and cherished!  You are valuable and you are enough!

The GIFT of encouragement

Good morning!  Hope you are all having a beautiful morning!  The sunrise was really pretty here today as I thought about what it was that I needed to share with y’all today.  I wrote a post a couple months ago on the GIFT of encouragement and so instead of trying to reinvent the wheel I’m going to have you check it out over there.  I’m mulling over how the daily blog will be structured so bear with me while I work out the kinks and if you have suggestions I’d love to hear them.  My thought is that each day could apply to a certain season of life for us women.

Anyway – here’s the link to the post on encouragement – just click on “encouragement” and it will take you there.

Also another little project that may be of interest to you is a daily download coloring page regarding the “fear nots” of the Bible.  You can check it out here.  It’s been a blessing to search for the Scriptures that tell us not to fear, and to share them each day!  If you enjoy coloring, I think it’s a great way to meditate on Scripture and do something you enjoy also.  Here’s todays page – if you like it just go to the website to download. isam1224