All these were descendants of Asher—heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders. 1 Chronicles 7:40
I saw an interesting question from a friend on Facebook today and it had me thinking of the perspective of everything I read. The question was:
“Men, what are your thoughts about reading books by women?
There was more to her question but that one sentence stopped me to think when was the last time I heard a man recommend a book written by a female author.
Then I started asking myself what perspective do I read the books from? Whether I am reading a self-improvement book, Christian living, leadership or the bible, how I identify with the author can dictate how much I buy into the ability for me to have the transformation promised in the book.
Early on in my married life I would read Danielle Steele novels, I was hooked, I would sit and read a complete book in one sitting. This did absolutely nothing for the upkeep of my home. I began to feel guilty after arguing with my husband over why the house was so trashed. So I would barter with myself, I can read a chapter after I clean up the breakfast dishes, I can read another chapter after I start a load of laundry and dust, I can start another chapter after I clean the bathrooms. The house was getting cleaned my husband was not happy but a little more satisfied. I was miserable, being jerked back to the reality of snotty noses, baby diapers, fixing dinner, and cleaning…. None of the characters in the stories I read had to put up with this. Why couldn’t my husband be like the romantic love interest in the story I was reading?
See, when you read a book, any book it has the ability to transform you and transport you to another place and time, but when you stop reading you are still right back where you were when you started unless you are moved to action.
Why did those Danielle Steele novels speak to me? Because she was a woman writing about the things many women long for, but very seldom talk about. However, I cannot tell you one man I know of that has read a Danielle Steele novel. There are very few that will admit they have read Emily Dickens or Maya Angelou.
All my life I have been told that the Bible is THE LIVING BREATHING WORD of GOD, as much as I believe that today when my friend asked that question I began to think there are some ways that I feel the Bible does NOT apply to me as a woman. I was feeling a little uninspired as I began flipping through the Bible reading about Warriors and I came across 1 Chronicles 7:40 All these were descendants of Asher—heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders.
When you read that as a woman, first thing I notice it says is “Choice Men”. I was about to be dismissive of the verse and go on searching for something more along the lines of what I wanted to read about.
Please tell me I am not the only one who does this?
But anyway as I began to move on I felt God tell me to wait.
Asking me how could there be so many descendants of Asher without women?
It said these men were heads of families, that means they had women who handled everything while they were away at war.
It said they were choice men, choice men only associated with choice women.
Brave warriors you know what I am going to come back to this point….
Outstanding leaders, one thing I know for sure is outstanding leaders raise everyone around them to be outstanding as well.
Going back to Brave Warriors, as a veteran, who is married to a veteran, I will tell you it is very difficult to serve during a time of war, I would never minimize the warrior mentality of a service member in the field. However, as a mom of a service member, and daughter of a police officer I also know that it takes a warrior mindset for those of us at home while our loved ones are serving on the battlefield.
Yet when I read this scripture there was even more that He whispered to me. That there are many women, maybe you are one of them who are standing strong as the head of their home. Women who are Choice women, and brave warriors and outstanding leaders.
In a verse that has over a dozen words, I was letting one small word disqualify the whole sentence and how it applied to me. What if instead I stopped and asked God to reveal to me how He wants me to see His word, and even more how He wants me to apply his word.
Funny thing, when I was done reading the Bible today, I was not snapped back to the reality I started with, like when I read those empty romance novels. Instead I was transformed with a new warrior mindset by a God that loves me and knows me more intimately than any author could ever write about.
Let’s be mindful of what we are feeding our minds, our bodies and our souls so that we can be transformed from the inside out by our heavenly father.
Questions to Ponder:
- What are you reading?
- How is it moving you closer to or further away from your purpose?
- Do you have a Warrior Mindset?
“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:
- What does this verse mean to you?
- Have you been victimized?
- Have you found your way to victory after victimization?
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
A friend who has been reading the Daily DIVAS was giggling yesterday when she asked me “what do you have to say about the meek, you are anything but meek!” I knew she was right, at least the way most of the world sees me. As a strong and confident woman, I have been called intimidating and unapproachable. Once I knew others saw me that way, I did not stop being strong and confident, but I became more cognizant of where my weak points are.
Can I be transparent with you for a minute? When most of you see the strong and confident person, I am 90% of the time, there are a few trusted people who have seen “behind the curtain”. While, I can step on a stage and speak and engage with an audience and have a fabulous time because I am in the fullness of what I was created to be. What you don’t see is, how humbled and submissive I am before all of that takes place. I am not the girl who goes out and asks people to let me speak on their stage. While I love promoting others, I have a huge reservation promoting myself, not because I will do a horrible job, but because I am still so humbled by what I get to do!
Recently I have been called an expert, guru, and influencer and you would think that a girl who calls herself DIVA would be comfortable with that. However, I look around at so many out there using those same titles who are overpromising, underdelivering and price gouging their clients all while talking about how great they are so people will throw money at them. While they are being loud and obnoxious, I am committed to be the quiet storm, stay the course, and add value to my sphere of influence.
My response to my friend was that I believed that we could be strong, confident and still be meek. Knowing that any success I have is only because of the doors that have opened for me and my obedience to step through them.
Daily DIVAS Challenge:
- Do you believe you can be strong and confident as well as meek?
- What areas of your life are you meek?
- Who is a meek person you admire?
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Unlike yesterday’s verse, I can totally relate to this one.
It has been a rough year. The loss of family on my husband’s side, started us off; losing 3 of my husband’s aunts. Then between my husband and I we have lost 3 friends within a month of each other.
What I have come to realize is each loss has hit us a little bit differently. How we mourned and how we have grieved has been in direct proportion to how we felt and loved the person we lost. Pay attention it did not say how much we loved them but HOW we loved them. I have learned that there is not a “normal” way to mourn, there is just mourning. The feelings, the emptiness, the rhythm that is missing because of the loss plays differently for each one.
You may be out there grieving a loss today, and people are telling you all the things you need to be doing to move through the steps of grief. I want you to know that it is ok, to just rest in the Lord and let Him provide comfort and peace for you during this time. It is his promise to you and it is not contingent on you checking things off of a grief checklist. So today just be comforted that God has you, and your grief and He wants to comfort you!
Daily DIVAS Challenge:
- Trust that God can and will provide comfort
- Read this verse over and over until you receive it
- Reach out to someone grieving today and just let them know you love them
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
As I was talking through this verse with a friend yesterday, I admitted I didn’t like this verse at all. I personally believe that this verse has been a primary catalyst to poverty mindset. When I don’t really believe that is what it is teaching at all. Being Poor in spirit, meaning your faith is low, and you may be down on your luck; but you are also in the greatest position for a supernatural miracle in your life.
When I was little my mom was as frugal as she could be, to ensure we had what we needed. We had meals that even to this day are some of our favorite meals but back then, it was just my mom trying to stretch the family budget. Even with us living paycheck to paycheck, my parents still tithed and still made room in our home to bring in those who needed care. I woke up one night to see a strange woman sitting at our kitchen table eating. I later learned she was a homeless person my dad, who was a police officer, had brought home. My mom washed her clothes, gave her some more clothes, filled her belly and showed her compassion.
I think my parents really understood why Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and they decided the best way to honor Christ in their life was to be a blessing to those who are down on their luck.
It is so easy to shift your gaze away from the homeless person on the street, or scroll on by your Facebook friends who are struggling with “their own” issues. What a shift we could make if we decided to be a blessing to those we see.
Daily DIVAS Challenge:
- Share with us what being poor in spirit means to you.
- Share with us a time when you may have been poor in spirit and you received a blessing.
- Be diligent to see your ability to make a difference today.
Be steadfast in the storms
Please tell me I am not the only one who at times feel like life is passing me by?
Have you ever felt like everyone else is having amazing success, but you are fighting every day just to make it to the next hour much less the rest of the day.
Several years ago, I spent some time at the beach with my family. I was amazed at the end of the day how exhausted I was from just spending a leisurely day in the ocean (so, ok it was the Gulf of Mexico, but you get the idea).
See I grew up going to a beautiful peaceful lake, where I could swim, ski, layout and relax, I might float a little distance from my target area, but just a few simple strokes or an anchor I would be back in my safety zone. This was not the case in the waves that kept coming in pounding the shore and me in the process. If I did NOT keep my feet on the ground, the waves would pick me up and take them with me, which could lead to a the dangers of either being thrown onto the shore, or sucked out to sea. If I DID keep my feet on the ground my body was exhausted from using all my muscles to brace against the waves that were coming in just seconds apart. Then because we were in Florida, we had to be aware of other hidden dangers. I am mentally alert watching my surroundings and do the stingray shuffle I am physically on point to stand against the waves.
The past few years, I have felt this very same way. Like there has been a repeated beating of wave after wave of disappointment, failures, and pain. I have tried to not give energy to them, but by fighting to stand against these things I have exhausted myself even more. I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.
I was standing ALONE!
I was not leaning on friends, much less God, I was leaning on my analysis of my situation instead of the truth that I know, but was not believing had validity for myself.
Recently my mom sent me a post from the Upper Room and the post was titled God’s Team. It’s reference was James 1:1-12 which I encourage all of you to read but I want to focus today on James 1:6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
What is it you are asking for?
Are you lonely and need friends?
- Are you over worked and under appreciated?
- Have you gone thru a major health or financial set back?
- Has your life has been turned upside down by the tropic storms wreaking havoc?
Take time today to be bold, and believe, exercise your faith to ask God to present you with the answers to your challenges. Be Steadfast and do not waiver!
Join us in our DIVAS 101 FB Group for added support during those times of trials
Reference: New International Version