Raising ’em Right

Raising ’em Right

May our sons in their youth be like full-grown plants, and our daughters like pillars destined to decorate a palace. Psalm 144:12 ISV

I remember going to the local rodeos when I was younger and I would see these little kids dressed up in their best wranglers, brushpopper shirt and little Stetson cowboy hats, and their Justin Boots. The Girls were not to be outdone, often dressed similar with a pop more of color and sometimes even a bow popping out from under their hat to hold back their long pony tails. They looks like tiny adults walking around. The more intriguing thing to me, is that most of them had better manners, could maintain eye contact and carry on an enjoyable conversation when most adults I had encountered could not do that. 

I often wondered what the difference was between city folks, and country folks were. Now, I realize I am using a broad generalization here but for the most part I came to some conclusions. Many times the country kids knew more than the city kids the importance of hard work and team work. They had chores, that the family relied on them to accomplish to keep things moving. The city folks might have chores, but the consequences for missing a chore wasn’t as strict in the city as it was in the country. The Country families had family dinner time, where it was not about racing through the meal, but instead it was about a time to connect and learn about each others hopes and dreams, and provide wisdom to the next generation. 

While both country and city kids were afforded countless opportunities to pursue their dreams it still relied on which ones embraced the opportunities that came their way. It also depended on which kids were mature enough to embrace the opportunities and not squander them. 

Now, I am not saying that all city kids are lacking anything, after all I was raised a city kid. However, I am recognizing that even though I was raised as a city kid the importance of the things that were instilled in me by sitting around the dinner table with my family, and doing chores. When the adults take the time to invest in their children, they afford them the opportunity to receive blessings for their future at a much younger age. They set them up to be the answer to prayer for a mom who is praying for their future son or daughter in law. 

Whether you live in the city or country, what are you doing today to fan the flames of your children’s hopes and dreams? 

Daily DIVAS Challenge: 

  1. Ask a young person about their hopes and dreams
  2. Listen to them intently
  3. Encourage them to Dream Big! 
Beatitudes | Day 10

Beatitudes | Day 10

 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Matthew 5:11

I remember growing up and learning so much about the freedom we have in the United States to express our beliefs. I also remember learning about hundreds of thousands of people around the world who could not openly express their love for Christ for fear of being imprisoned, or even killed. 

As I am writing this we are about to celebrate our country’s birthday, and amidst all fun and fan fair of a fun celebrations all over the country, I want us to reflect on what freedom really is. The birth of our nation afforded our fore-fathers the right to be able to speak freely, believe freely and yes, I will say it even bear arms freely. 

Today’s political climate has so many narratives that actually threaten the foundational points this country was founded on. As each one gets challenged among the political parties, we must be diligently in the word of God to know where our strength comes from. 

We cannot be complacent in our faith, we must stand up for it. We must not be worried about what the world says of us, but instead we must focus on what God has called us to, and what He says about us. 

Let this birthday be a reminder to you to stand strong in your faith, even as core Christian fundamentals are being attacked. This may not be an easy season we are stepping into, but God is faithful and we are blessed. 

Daily DIVAS Challenge: 

  1. Read thru the Beatitudes 
  2. Treat July 4thas a celebration for how you will move forward in your faith
  3. Stand Strong in your faith
Is the Sky Really Falling?

Is the Sky Really Falling?

We have all heard the tale of Henny Penny running around shouting, “The sky is falling; the sky is falling!”  And simply because an acorn fell on Henny Penny’s head. We all know people who exaggerate every little thing to the point of exhaustion. And if we truly look inward at ourselves, we have all, at one time or another, fallen into that doom and gloom trap.

As women, we are constantly going from one task to the other, rushing to car pool, going to work, going to the market, picking up kids, cooking dinner and on and on. All of these outside demands can add up to tension, insecurity and anxiety within our own heads. And these pressures coupled with the overall state of the world can lead to our own Henny Penny moments.

Have you ever had a day that just seemed fraught with adversity? You hear yourself saying, “Can this day get any worse?” It’s as if the universe itself is against you! Life seems like a colossal struggle. Everything you try to accomplish ends up in failure or complete and utter frustration. In short, the sky is falling.

Think about the time you went shopping and everything you tried on looked awful. Or you bought something beautiful, got it home and the security tag was still on it. Remember locking your keys in the car? The dinner you burned for your husband’s boss? That awful haircut you got right before a work party? What about showing up for work with two different shoes on? All Henny Penny flashes that can weaken your self-confidence and allow you to question yourself and your ability to succeed.

Sometimes we reach the point of saying, “Oh Lord, just shoot me now!” We are in a place where our lives seem like an over whelming migraine or a never-ending barrage of Chicken Little events that turn into apocalyptical occurrences. We bask in self-pity, and we say things like … “What I am doing will never work.” If anything else goes wrong, I quit!” “My life is a failure.”

Remember the day you finally had the kitchen floor mopped? Then, boom! The sky fell and somebody spilled a glass of juice all over the floor. Yep, self-pity at its finest hits you like a ton of bricks. And you feel like sitting down and giving up. Life is full of ups and downs and for sure, a total balancing act. Acorns hit you each and every day along with all the lemons thrown at you.

We do, however, have the ability to change our circumstances and to have faith in those around us and in our heavenly Father. Through faith, we can overcome adversity and fix those things that are broken. We can learn to make adjustments, to laugh at ourselves, to enjoy the people we meet along the way who may have helped us with that flat tire or the broken window or the stopped up toilet. We can learn to see a future without doom and hopelessness. You can learn to recognize all the blessings that have been laid out before you.

We can all find a way to surround ourselves with people who support us, laugh with us, provide constructive criticism and move to the side with us when they see an acorn falling from that tree. In times of trial and tribulation, they will truthfully ask you, “Is the sky really falling?” These are the inspirations that will uplift you in times of trial, and they will walk with you as you carry on with life. These women are our friends, our sisters, and the encouragers who give us courage to move forward, one step at a time.

Remember, it’s easy to get caught up in our own drama, to become frantic, to overreact. But if you truly want to live a life of victory, stop for a moment and smell the coffee. Wake up to the reality that the sky is not falling, and you can make lemonade with all the lemons that life has thrown at you. Then have a party with all those beautiful ladies who lift you up each and every day.

To gain more insight on “The Chicken Little Syndrome,” be sure to tune in to Warrior Divas, Episode 7 available now at divasimpact.com/podcasts.

Beatitudes | Day 9

Beatitudes | Day 9

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10

I believe that many women today can relate to this verse. Over the last few years we have heard a lot about the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. These movements have shined a light onto the victimization of women. It has helped and sometimes hurt our ability as women to stand up and be heard when we have been wronged. 

We have watched “powerful” men fall as women speak out, but the same women speaking out have been raked over the coals for speaking up. It seems like the first woman to speak up was the hero, the ones who came after were treated more like lemmings just following the leader. These “followers” were discounted, made fun of and their voice was disqualified. 

Does this mean their story didn’t matter? Absolutely not. While I know there have been accounts that were made up, there are still a large majority of women like myself who have been victimized. Some of us handled it in the courts, or workplace when it happened some of us didn’t; but only felt strong when others came out about the same things. 

In the moments of being a victim some things happen, you start to feel isolated, alone and like you are the only one in the world this horrible thing has happened to. While we know not all circumstances are the same, we also know that our reactions to the circumstances are varied as well. However, there is hope. There is a way of realizing you have a right to stand up for yourself. The persecution of you seeking righteousness for your situation may come from just sharing your story or from testifying in a court case. There will be people who won’t believe you and will believe your offender, there will be people who will disqualify you at every opportunity. However, they can never disqualify what God has qualified. So walk boldly and confidently in your faith that God has you in the palm of his hand. 

Here at DIVAS Impact we have been attacked for being a women’s organization that doesn’t talk about #MeToo or #TimesUp. Don’t get me wrong, like grief the journey from victim to victory has many stages, and I feel that these movements help you check off a couple of the boxes. However, we at DIVAS Impact have made a choice to focus on women who want to move past being a victim to walking in victory.  Then being able to share our stories in ways to not only bring other women out of the darkness they find themselves in after victimization, but to also help women identify some ways to help keep them from being victimized. 

Daily DIVAS Challenge: 

  1. What does this verse mean to you? 
  2. Have you been victimized? 
  3. Have you found your way to victory after victimization?