Put on Your Big Girl Panties!

Let’s be honest. Life can be hard. There are times when we just want to give up- or sit down with a chick-flick, a tub of ice cream and forget about our hurts, stress, responsibilities. Even when you are doing the things that God has put in your heart, it can be challenging at times. There have been many times that I question if what I am doing is even worth it. My life would be so much easier if I just quit. Or, instead of quitting, I just want to have a pity party. “Poor me, look at all that I have to go through.” “Why isn’t everything working out perfectly?” “How come my turn hasn’t happened yet?” Surely I’m not the only one who has hosted one of these parties!

But often God reminds me of Proverbs 31:17. I love the Amplified version:   She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.

It is my responsibility to gird myself with strength and to make my arms strong. If I have physical strength but not spiritual and mental strength, I am out of balance. No wonder I feel overwhelmed and ready quit. It’s the same if you are strong in one area but weak in others. Often we want God to make us strong, to give us strength. But He has given us the resources we need to make ourselves strong. I have the Holy Spirit and a prayer life that keeps me spiritually strong. I have His Word that I can meditate on to keep me mentally strong. I have the ability to eat well and exercise to stay physically strong.

I think “makes her arms strong and firm” is there for a reason. We have a lot to carry in our everyday lives. As women, we often shoulder daily responsibilities of the home, of our family’s well-being, and our own calling. That is a lot of responsibility! We don’t carry it alone. In Matthew 11:30 Jesus said, “for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Some misinterpret this to mean that we don’t have to carry anything, that we have no responsibilities when we accept His calling for our lives. That simply isn’t true. We still have a calling and responsibilities to carry out- but it is easier with Him!

So, give yourself the pep talk you need.  No more regularly scheduled pity parties. No more waiting for something easier. No more quitting. Wipe your tears. Put on extra mascara if you need to. Throw on some sassy red lipstick. Put on your big girl panties. Spend time with God and strengthen yourself spiritually and mentally. Get active, do something- anything!- and strengthen yourself physically.  It’s time to accomplish great things!

Why Life Out Loud?

“Life Out Loud” probably seems like a catchy phrase that has no real meaning. But, in fact, it is the very essence of what I feel God has placed in my heart to accomplish. We see women all around us, through social media, that are living seemingly perfect lives. Their husbands are perfect. Their children are polished and polite. They constantly have #proudmom moments. We see their highlight reels. Then we look at our own hot mess of a life and wonder why we are failing at this. Over the years I have found this to be even more true within the church. We see the Sunday perfection and we have our mid-week friendships. We laugh together, we smile at everyone, but on the inside we are crying for someone to know the real us. The real person that is hurting, that wants to walk out on her marriage, that feels guilty because she yells at her kids when no one is around. Many of the life issues we face are not unique to us alone. Countless other women have struggled and overcome. But we don’t always hear about that side. We only see the amazing end-results. Life Out Loud is about addressing those “secret” parts we try to hide from others out of fear of judgment or condemnation. Real Women= we are authentic. Real Lives= we are hard-working, busy, emotional, imperfect. Real Love for God= we are passionately seeking a loving God and doing our best to walk out our destiny for this life.