Why the World Needs Your Voice and No One Else’s Will Do

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I saw the look of frustration on my son’s face. We were leaving his classmate’s birthday party and he tried to get her attention, but his voice was drowned by the noise of the skating rink.

After he called her name several times with no response, he gave up.

“It’s loud in here, buddy,” I said, trying to reassure him.

And it was. I could hardly wait to get outside into the sunshine after two hours of musty air, loud bass and sticky floors. But I knew he felt a little defeated.

For better or worse, he’s inherited my quiet demeanor and his voice doesn’t always project. When he has something to say, he’s intentional about it, but his words sometimes get lost on those with a short attention span.

I can relate in more ways than one. All it takes is a few minutes on social media for me to feel overwhelmed by the influx of voices.

“What do I have to say?” I ask myself. “No one is going to miss my words.”

Will you continue reading with me? Today I’m sharing over at PurposefulFaith.com about why the world needs your unique voice in a world that’s loud. You can read the rest of my post here.

Today I Am Brave Because I Made a Choice

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“So what are y’all declaring?”

The middle-aged man paused in front of me, his thick Texan accent hanging in the air. It was a logical question. My nametag had the name of the conference emblazoned across it in bright purple: Declare.

“We’re declaring our love for Jesus,” I said without hesitation.

Fidgeting a little, I looked at him and secretly hoped he wouldn’t start an argument. I was in unfamiliar territory. Were Texans friendly?

“Well, that’s a good thing to be declarin’,” he said, and walked off, a single male in a sea of estrogen and high-pitched conversation.

My body relaxed but my head raced. What if he hadn’t been so agreeable? If he’d started an argument, would I have remained unmoved?

I’d like to think so. After all, we were in America and this man was a complete stranger. I wasn’t in a country where people are imprisoned for their beliefs or fearing for their lives because they are Christians.

What if I was?

In this brief moment I was bold, but so often I am timid and insecure. I miss opportunities to share the love of the Gospel because I am afraid of judgment and isolation.

I let my feelings dictate my behavior. My self-conscious, flighty feelings tell me I’m not good enough or well-versed enough, so I stay quiet.

As I sat outside in the first crisp breezes of a new season this morning, I read Psalm 42. Sheer poetry jumped off the page and I soaked it in the poignant descriptions, but one facet of the Psalm stayed with me throughout the day: Instead of letting his feelings dictate who he will become, David commands them.

He commands his soul to hope in God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,

Why are you in turmoil within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.

 Psalm 42: 5-6 NIV

Even though David is overwhelmed by the circumstances of life, he commands his soul to give thanks. He directs his soul to place hope in the only One who stands firm and secure when his situation is rocky and uncertain.

Hope placed in a fickle feeling will never satisfy, but hope in an unchanging God will not disappoint.

Where is my hope? Where is yours? Is it in your abilities or the temporary high you get when you accomplish something on your to-do list? Is it in the praise and affirmations of others?

The truth is, regardless of how I feel God calls be to step forward in obedience. Even if the man at the conference hadn’t been friendly, God’s Spirit would have been present, guiding my words and guarding my heart.

Sometimes we have to place our feelings aside and step out in faith.

Being brave doesn’t mean not having doubts. It means trusting God more than our emotions.

When step out, we see the faithfulness of a loving God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He transforms our weaknesses and insecurities into evidence of his power.

Today, I’m commanding my soul to be brave even when my feelings say I’m the opposite. I’m doing the next new thing, because of where I put my hope.

Through his strength alone, I am an unstoppable force.

 

*Photo credit

*Linking up with Grace & Truth and Dance With Jesus.

Finding Purpose in Unexpected Places

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It was the season of slow.

I pushed my ever-cautious son to try a new activity and he resisted. With further coaxing he took a step forward only to take two steps back.

I submitted my writing to various publications and waited. Then, I waited some more. Weeks passed until finally received a “no” from one with still no response from the others.

Our church prepped for a new outreach geared toward local moms. Anticipation mounted as we discussed plans for our first meeting. Then, more waiting.

One evening as I minced garlic and boiled pasta for dinner I thought, “God, am I really making a difference? I longed to see tangible results, but in ministry and the tedious days of raising children some of our greatest impacts go unseen.

We pour love and life into others and hope it will produce fruit, but the real Life-Giver is not of this world.

Still, I needed a sign. I yearned for a little slice of encouragement.

I nearly missed it when it came.

Will you continue reading with me? Today I’m sharing at Faith Spilling Over in a series called “Finding God in Your Everyday.” I’d love for you to join us. You can read the rest of my post here.

 

*Linking up with Kelly Balarie and Jennifer Dukes Lee to encourage and be encouraged. Come join us.

Help End Sex Trafficking Now

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I remember the first time I heard the word “sex trafficking” mentioned. It was six years ago, and I was watching the movie Taken with my husband and in-laws.

I was appalled. It shook me to the core to realize that this trade was not just taking place on the silver screen, but in real life. I had recently become a new mother, and the thought of my child suffering such a violent crime made me sick to my stomach.

Movies and social media help make us aware of sex trafficking, but how are we to stop it? What can we do now to help the victims of the sex trade rebuild their lives and escape the horrendous circumstances they are faced with? It is easy to feel helpless over a situation that affects so many, but there are ways we can offer support.

One way we can help is to provide a sustainable income. We can provide jobs for these women who have suffered the unthinkable and give them a way to make a living.

When I heard about an organization called Work of WorthI was both excited and intrigued because this company is actually doing something to make a difference. Not only that, but it is easy to get involved and impact lives without even leaving your home.

Work of Worth exists to sustainably employ entrepreneurs in dignity from poverty and the sex trade. Each purchase of their quality items helps to support men and women who desire a choice for freedom and dignity for their families.

This organization is dedicated to utilizing the power of commerce to free the oppressed throughout the world. WoW exists primarily as an import and distribution company, for the purpose of connecting entrepreneurs and businesses in the developing world to the Western market. The result becomes people of worth who are transformed, sustainably employed, changing the poverty cycle, and freed from trafficking.

Work of Worth is devoted to philanthropic entrepreneurship in impoverished regions of the developing world through importing manufactured goods from entrepreneurs in the developing world to markets in the United States. WoW supports and promotes entrepreneurs dedicated to treating their employees with dignity, paying a fair wage, and transforming lives.

We invite you to see their product offerings and spread the word so that they may sustain a future for their family’s and future generations.

Your Curated Collection with Work of Worth impacts hundreds of men, women, and families for generations. It begins a journey to freedom, dignity and a better life. You are making an eternal impact in the lives of entrepreneurs and changing communities for generations to come.

 

*Linking up with Kelly Balarie & Friends and Holley Gerth. Come join us and be inspired.