Category Archives: Women

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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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The #1 Weapon for Your Loved-Ones

There is a quote I love. One that I try to live my life by. One that fits perfectly into our discussion on encouragement as a weapon. It goes like this…

People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be, not what you nag them to be.

As we continue to talk about using encouragement as a weapon we cannot overlook the importance of using this weapon for our husbands, children and families.

Husbands:

I would bet my life fighting for the truth that encouragement has tremendous power when we use it in our relationship with our husbands. Men naturally have a need for words of affirmation, especially from their wife. The reason this need exists has to do with the question they are always asking themselves “Do I have what it takes?” (Thank you Wild at Heart.) While our men should not find their self-worth in us, their wives, it doesn’t hurt to let our men know that we think the world of them.

But what if you don’t think the world of your man? What if he struggles to be the man God has called him to be? What if you are struggling in your marriage because you’re both not meeting the expectations of the other? Encourage anyway.

You want to see your man grow spiritually? Encourage him every time he does something remotely spiritual (goes to church, prays, talks about God, etc.) Instead of, “I wish we prayed more together!” say, “You are a great prayer warrior. Thank you for praying for us.” Want to see him grow in confidence? Encourage him every time he does something around the house. “Honey, you’re amazing! Is there anything you can’t do?” Want to see him grow relationally? You get the picture. People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be, not what you nag them to be. Change the way you talk to your husband and watch him change before your eyes.

Children:

Now, I’m not a mother, so those who are will have to share their thoughts here. However, I am a daughter to a great mother and have watched how encouragement has changed my life as she used it in our relationship. Words of affirmation are a HUGE part of a child’s love language, especially as they grow up in the home. This is where they find the confidence to face life as an adult. If you as their parent, aren’t encouraging your child, who do you think is? You want to see a child shut down? Don’t encourage them. Don’t praise them. Don’t challenge them to be better by telling them you know they can do it. You want to see a child thrive? Encourage them. Praise their work. Tell them you believe they can do anything and watch as they prove you right.

Maybe you don’t have a husband, or children, but God has put you in a family to prepare you to one day be a wife and mother. Use these truths with those in your family and watch as your influence with them grows. There is nothing more powerful than the encouraging words of a woman. Use the weapon well.

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A Woman’s #1 Weapon for Herself

EncourageAs we talk about the word “weapon” we must also talk about what it is we are combating. To use a weapon against something connotes that there is also an enemy. We all know that ultimately we fight against our spiritual enemy whose one goal is to take us out. But to say that a woman’s #1 weapon is encouragement, it signifies that there are certain enemies we fight against that may be more powerful than others.

Looking at the root word encouragement we find “courage.” So let’s think of some of the enemies that encouragement fights against:

  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Distrust
  • Low self-worth
  • Insecurity

Are there some others that you would like to add to the list?

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to using this weapon of encouragement, is that it must be used first and foremost for ourselves. You might think it is wrong to encourage yourself. Maybe you feel guilty for even needing encouragement. But here’s the truth, sister: We need and should take all the encouragement we can get. Especially if the only place we’re getting it is from our own brains.

Here are four thoughts on how you can encourage yourself:

  • Read a Psalm a day. (Kind David, the man who wrote most of the Psalms was always encouraging himself in the Lord. He would often use words of praise to remind himself how great God was to him. He also often reminded the Lord that he was “blameless” and “righteous” which of course is the same way God sees us since we have been covered with the blood of Jesus.
  • Change your Inner Dialogue. (No more negativity, girls! You can’t afford to think or talk badly about yourself. This type of behavior has got to stop! It is a huge sign of insecurity and no one likes to be around a negative person. If you discover that you often think less of yourself I want you to stop and ask: what would God say about me in this moment.)
  • Ask a trusted friend or mentor to speak truth over you. (It’s okay to ask for some encouragement every now and again. Let’s face it, we are our own worst critics, but the encouragement of someone we know and love can go a long way in helping us see the truth of who we are.
  • Encourage others. (Proverbs 11:25 says, “He who refreshes others, will himself be refreshed.” If you start to feel like you could use some encouragement chances are you’re not the only one. Find someone at work, at the gym, at church or wherever you are and encourage them. This means more than just giving a complement, it may mean spending some time talking and sharing with someone. Encourage others and you will also be encouraged.

Share your thoughts on other ways we can encourage ourselves.

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A Woman's #1 Weapon for Herself

EncourageAs we talk about the word “weapon” we must also talk about what it is we are combating. To use a weapon against something connotes that there is also an enemy. We all know that ultimately we fight against our spiritual enemy whose one goal is to take us out. But to say that a woman’s #1 weapon is encouragement, it signifies that there are certain enemies we fight against that may be more powerful than others.

Looking at the root word encouragement we find “courage.” So let’s think of some of the enemies that encouragement fights against:

  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Distrust
  • Low self-worth
  • Insecurity

Are there some others that you would like to add to the list?

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to using this weapon of encouragement, is that it must be used first and foremost for ourselves. You might think it is wrong to encourage yourself. Maybe you feel guilty for even needing encouragement. But here’s the truth, sister: We need and should take all the encouragement we can get. Especially if the only place we’re getting it is from our own brains.

Here are four thoughts on how you can encourage yourself:

  • Read a Psalm a day. (Kind David, the man who wrote most of the Psalms was always encouraging himself in the Lord. He would often use words of praise to remind himself how great God was to him. He also often reminded the Lord that he was “blameless” and “righteous” which of course is the same way God sees us since we have been covered with the blood of Jesus.
  • Change your Inner Dialogue. (No more negativity, girls! You can’t afford to think or talk badly about yourself. This type of behavior has got to stop! It is a huge sign of insecurity and no one likes to be around a negative person. If you discover that you often think less of yourself I want you to stop and ask: what would God say about me in this moment.)
  • Ask a trusted friend or mentor to speak truth over you. (It’s okay to ask for some encouragement every now and again. Let’s face it, we are our own worst critics, but the encouragement of someone we know and love can go a long way in helping us see the truth of who we are.
  • Encourage others. (Proverbs 11:25 says, “He who refreshes others, will himself be refreshed.” If you start to feel like you could use some encouragement chances are you’re not the only one. Find someone at work, at the gym, at church or wherever you are and encourage them. This means more than just giving a complement, it may mean spending some time talking and sharing with someone. Encourage others and you will also be encouraged.

Share your thoughts on other ways we can encourage ourselves.

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A Woman’s #1 Most Powerful Weapon

tankAs I was thinking of the title of this post, I asked my husband what he thought a woman’s #1 most powerful weapon was…

“Sex?”

I looked at him with a shameful expression. “Come, on… really.”

I made him keep guessing and his ideas ranged from tears to gossip. I told him “You’re thinking about this all wrong. You’re thinking of a weapon as a negative thing.” (Which of course makes sense because he’s a Marine!)

And perhaps you did too when you read the title. But when I talk about a woman’s #1 most powerful weapon, I’m talking about a positive weapon, a weapon we use not only for others, but ourselves as well.

A Woman’s #1 Most Powerful Weapon is: ENCOURAGEMENT

I believe it is one of the purposes for which we were created. There is so much power in the action word, encourage. To miss the truth that it is our #1 most powerful weapon is a tragedy too many women find themselves facing. So this week we are going to be discussing the effects of this positive weapon of encouragement in these four areas:

  • Ourselves
  • Our Loved Ones
  • Our Enemies and
  • Everyone

I hope you might join into the discussion by leaving a comment or Tweeting about this post so all can share. You can also grab the RSS feed down on the right hand column and have daily posts sent right to your e-mail.

Questions for discussion:

Do you agree that ENCOURAGEMENT is a woman’s #1 most powerful weapon? Why or why not?

How have you seen encouragement work positive outcomes in your life?

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A Woman's #1 Most Powerful Weapon

tankAs I was thinking of the title of this post, I asked my husband what he thought a woman’s #1 most powerful weapon was…

“Sex?”

I looked at him with a shameful expression. “Come, on… really.”

I made him keep guessing and his ideas ranged from tears to gossip. I told him “You’re thinking about this all wrong. You’re thinking of a weapon as a negative thing.” (Which of course makes sense because he’s a Marine!)

And perhaps you did too when you read the title. But when I talk about a woman’s #1 most powerful weapon, I’m talking about a positive weapon, a weapon we use not only for others, but ourselves as well.

A Woman’s #1 Most Powerful Weapon is: ENCOURAGEMENT

I believe it is one of the purposes for which we were created. There is so much power in the action word, encourage. To miss the truth that it is our #1 most powerful weapon is a tragedy too many women find themselves facing. So this week we are going to be discussing the effects of this positive weapon of encouragement in these four areas:

  • Ourselves
  • Our Loved Ones
  • Our Enemies and
  • Everyone

I hope you might join into the discussion by leaving a comment or Tweeting about this post so all can share. You can also grab the RSS feed down on the right hand column and have daily posts sent right to your e-mail.

Questions for discussion:

Do you agree that ENCOURAGEMENT is a woman’s #1 most powerful weapon? Why or why not?

How have you seen encouragement work positive outcomes in your life?

Did you like this? Share it: