I always thought I was good at setting goals. I’m organized and great at making lists, but that is all my goals were: an organized list. I am great at starting something, but horrible at finishing it. That is why I started the June Goal Challenge. (Click here to read “Tired of giving up on goals?)
God has taught me powerful life lessons through the June Goal Challenge, and I wanted to share these insights with you. Here are 10 tips for setting goals & sticking to them: (more…)
During my freshman year at USF, I began to meet with an older women in Cru, a college ministry. She prepared lessons for me and helped me in my walk with Christ. I loved our discipleship time together. As a freshman, I had recently surrendered my life to Christ, so I was very excited to learn. Every word she spoke to me I held on to as if it was gold. I made her an idol. When the year ended, she left and I was devastated.
Our friendship was one of the most helpful, but also the most harmful, during these early stages of my walk with the Lord. Thankfully, Jesus made me realize the problem, and used everything to bring Him glory.
I hope to help you figure out now if you are in a similar situation before the problem gets worse.
Here are 4 ways to figure out if you idolize a friend, mentor, or leader in your life: (more…)
In my opinion, this is the biggest lie that women believe when they’re thinking about doing ministry or joining a leadership team.
This thought first entered my mind when I was in high school.
I was trying to figure out what God was calling me to do. I was confused, unsure, and it did not help that people always asked me, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”
Adults frequently ask this question. In high school, kids are between 14-18 years old. How do they expect someone to know what he or she wants to do for the rest of his or her life at such a young age?
During my 10th grade year of high school, I started to get the call that God wanted me to go into ministry. What ministry has meant to me has changed over the years, but I knew two things: that I wanted to help people and that God was pretty cool. Combining those two things seemed like a perfect option! But I believed a lie that I was not qualified.
So, when I was asked that question, I felt embarrassed to share with others my heart desire for my career, so I would always reply, “Orthodontist.”
This was the safest way to go. If I would say, “I don’t know.” Then, I would get additional questions, “Well, what is your favorite subject? Did you like math? How about teaching? Etc… Thus, I realized the safest thing to do was reply, “Orthodontist.” There were no follow up questions, just a nod of agreement and maybe an encouraging statement.
For a high schooler, it is extremely difficult to fully trust God with this subject. It is difficult to share with others when you are not 100% sure that this is what you will do. Students also worry about what others will think of their choice. I worried people would not understand or try and talk me out of it.
When I was thinking about going into ministry, I believed the lie that one had to be perfect. How could I help people in their walks with God when I was not perfect?
Again, when I was asked to lead a Bible study in Cru my freshman year of college I did not want to step up and lead because I thought I was not qualified. How can I lead other women when I have my own issues to work through?
It is common to respond to God by saying, “I can’t. I’m not qualified.” I’ve heard this in high school. I’ve heard this in college.
My response now is, “Well what is qualified? Name one person in the Bible who was qualified.”
Abraham lied about Sarah.
Noah was a drunk.
Jacob was a liar.
Joseph was abused by his brothers.
Rahab was a prostitute.
Jeremiah was said to be too young.
David had an affair.
Elijah was suicidal.
The Samaritan woman had multiple divorces.
Jonah ran away from God.
Peter denied Jesus.
The disciples fell asleep while praying.
And there are more examples found all over scripture!
Friends, if you are thinking of going into ministry, leading a Bible study, or joining the leadership team at your church, I want you to remember one thing: God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.
Hola friends! I’m super excited that Tierraney Richardson is sharing her story today.
I love Tierraney’s passion for Jesus and the way she is trying to fulfill God’s purpose for her life daily. She just created a new ministry, She is Set Apart. I’m so excited to see all the fruit and life change from it. Be sure to subscribe to her blog.
Enjoy the post below!
Many women have a story that goes something like, “I used to be in and out of relationships with men seeking validation until I realized that this isn’t working, so I sought the Lord and learned to base my identity in Christ.” However, my story is quite the opposite.
I had never been in a relationship and never had a boyfriend and for years I was ashamed of this. While I had high self-esteem, I never shared this information out of fear that someone would think something was wrong with me. I was the girl who was never asked to prom or dances. None of the boys ever took interest in me, and the few that did I was not at all interested in. I was ashamed of all of this.
In June 2012, I found out about an amazing organization for women titled, Pinky Promise Movement. One day I was randomly on twitter and I saw a re-tweet of something by Heather Lindsey. I ended up finding Heather’s blog and was immediately hooked. Heather would post things online to singles like, “You are set apart…. you’re hidden by Christ.” Before that I never looked at my life of singleness in that way.
Two years later, I read a book by Alyssa Joy Bethke and Robin Jones Gunn called Spoken For. In this book Alyssa talks about how she spent her life never dating until she met her now husband Jeff Bethke. Hearing Alyssa’s story and reading Heather’s tweets liberated me knowing that others empathized with me and could relate. I began to embrace that I am a rare and treasured jewel that God is saving for only His best. I learned that I am wanted and that the God of this universe loves me and that I do not need another flawed human to love me or the title of someone’s girlfriend to make me feel valued and important.
If you can relate to my story here is some encouragement:
In Job 2:3 God says, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on Earth like him; he is blameless and upright who fears God and shuns evil.” Now if you read the book of Job in its entirety and this passage specifically you will know that God is actually saying this to Satan. God was telling Satan about Job’s character. Job was a great man of God.
However, you can also apply this scripture to your current situation. If you feel discouraged in you current season of singleness know that you are God’s princess. As you continue to seek God daily you he will develop Christlike character within you. Keep striving to be a true Proverbs 31 woman one day he will open the eyes of your Ephesians 5 man. Just as he described the character of Job he will be revealing your character to your one day spouse saying, have you considered my servant, there is no one on Earth like her. She is blameless and upright and a women who fears God and shuns evil.
Satan wants you to feel unloved and unwanted but we must continue to remind ourselves of God’s truth – that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, we are a peculiar treasure, we are hidden and we are set apart.
Bio: My name is Tierraney. I am a Texas born & raised 20-something year old. While I am totally obsessed with the color pink I am even more so obsessed with Jesus Christ. I currently teach 3rd grade Math to underprivileged children in Houston. Learning how I have been set apart inspired me to create a ministry for other women to learn how they are set apart. Visit my website: SheisSetApart.com. I am always looking for other women to share their story on how they are set apart. If you would like to please email: SheisSetApart@gmail.com You can find me on the web here: Personal: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Blog, YouTube – Ministry: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest
I am so excited today because I get to be the first ever blogger to share her story on the Set Apart Spotlight!
She is Set Apart is a Christian ministry with this vision: to see women of all ages un-ashamed of what makes them different, to be bold and embrace what sets them apart and not conform to worldly standards. (Romans 12:2) This ministry was founded by a wonderful new friend of mine, Tierraney Richardson. Later in the week, her story will be featured on my blog, so make sure to check it out!
It’s important to show your dad some love every day, but since it is Father’s Day weekend – Daughters lets go out of our way to love our dads.
Here are 3 Ways to Love Your Dad
Ask him questions. Ask your dad questions about the things he loves. This will show him that you care about what he cares about. For example, my Dad loves playing music. He recently tried out as guitarist for a local band. The band gets together and plays for fun, but I secretly hope they’ll make it big. Either way, I have a rock star for a dad. When he came home from the audition, I made a point to ask him about it. I asked how he did, what they said, how they sounded together, etc. I may not be as interested in music as he is, but because I love my Dad, I care about what he cares about. What is your dad interested in? Go out of your way and ask him about it.
Spend time with him. My Dad loves to golf, so every fathers day we go golfing. Think about what your dad likes to do. Could you spend time doing this with him? Plan something for the weekend that your dad would love. Has he mentioned something that he’s been wanting to do? For example, my Dad mentioned how he wanted to go to a concert downtown. So, I found one for us to go to. Brainstorm different things you could do with your dad this weekend. You could even make him a delicious breakfast or some fancy cupcakes. What dad doesn’t like to eat!
Share Jesus with him. This may be the hardest, but it may also be the most important. There are many ways to do this. Invite him to church or share your story. Depending on where your dad is on his journey with God, you can ask different questions to have Jesus centered conversations. Here are some examples: What have you been learning in your recent Bible reading? How have you been growing closer to God? What question would you like to ask God? After he has talked, then you could share your answer to the same questions. Share how Jesus is working in your life.
I hope you all have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend! Comment if you have any other tips or ideas. xoxo joy
Have you ever found yourself between two choices and said, “God, which one do you want me to pick?” Many days I have longed to know God’s will. I believe this is a question many ladies have for different situations. We want to know: is he the one, what is my next step, should I take this job, should I live with them, am I doing what God wants…etc
Guess what friend, God’s will can be known!
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” –Psalm 32:8
How often do you question is this God’s will? Here are 7 ways to know God’s will:
Spend time daily with God in the word. The only way to understand and know a person is to spend time with them.
Journal. Write down how God speaks to you during your quiet times. Journaling is a great tool, here is why: why journal?
Seek God’s will and do it. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17.
Do not conform to the world. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2.
Confess your sin and repent. If you are living in sin your heart could mishear God’s voice, or to even hear it at all. Read 1 john 1:9 and Proverbs 28:13
I hope these 7 ways help you better understand God’s will for your life. If you still have no idea what to do with certain decisions, remember that our God has a perfect plan for your life. God has this covered, so begin to trust him. When we have no idea what to do, it is easier to turn to our friends and loved ones for advice, instead of talking to God about it. Go to God first, others second. God’s opinion matters most.
Journaling has changed my life. If you asked me to pick one thing to take to a deserted island, I would bring my journals. My journals tell a beautiful story of how God changed my life and continues to work in my heart.
I journal about everything!
Prayers, moments of sadness, moments of complete joy, scripture that touched my heart, lessons God has taught me, notes from sermons, and so much more.
Here are 7 ways that journaling can help your walk with God. Journaling can help you:
Focus in prayer. I love writing my prayers to God in letter form. Often when I pray to myself, my mind drifts away and I lose focus. When I write out the prayer, I’m able to stay focused on God.
Trust God. You begin to trust God more when you see that he is faithful. Rereading old journals is one of my favorite activities! I will read a prayer from two years ago and realize that God answered it. When that happens, I sometimes write the date next to the prayer so I will remember God is faithful. This is great evidence that God cares, listens, and answers for days when I doubt him.
Believe God loves you. The Bible is a love letter to us from God, so why not write it like one? I will take a passage and write in my journal, “Dear Joy…. (insert scripture) Love, God.” These letters help me further believe God’s love for me.
Understand scripture. I learn through writing, maybe that is why I love journaling so much. Writing the verses out in my journal helps them seep into my brain.
Stop thinking. Before bed, countless thoughts roam through my head. If I don’t write them down, I won’t be able to fall asleep. Journaling takes the thoughts off my mind and helps me fall asleep.
Teach others. I write down everything, pretty much, especially when I’m going through a struggle. Then when a friend goes through something similar, I can pull out my journal and share with her verses or sermons that helped. This is a way to encourage her and teach her.
Remember. I never want to forget the amazing things God does in my life through the years. My journals become a yearbook of all the beautiful memories between God and I.
I hope this post has encouraged you to start or continue journaling! Sign up for the monthly newsletter to stay connected! —->>> Sign up today!
Think about a statue. On my college campus, we have a statue of Martin Luther King. What is the purpose of that statue? A statue is an image erected to display an event or a person who has achieved something in their lives that we want to remember. The image points to the original person and brings them glory.
We were created to be God’s statues and images.
Genesis 1:26-27:“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them;male and female he created them.”
God made human beings in his image so that the world would be filled with reflectors of himself.
Today there are over 7 billion people in the world. 7 billion people created in the image of God. 7 billion people who point to God.
God created us for his glory.
Here are some additional verses and questions to reflect on:
How are you pointing the world to God’s glory? For example, we can reflect God’s glory in our love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, and faithfulness.
How are you not pointing the world to God’s glory?
How will your thinking and feelings change if you truly understand why God created you?
Important to note: God does not need us to make him glorious. He does not need to be enhanced. When he calls us to glorify him, we don’t make him glorious, he already is. Being a statue for God means we are called to show and display his glory.
I love talking about how powerful our stories are, because when I realized this my life changed. I began to understand why I needed to share my story with other women. Through this, I experienced so much growth in my walk with God!
In the past two weeks I’ve blogged about how powerful our stories are. Here is why:
Finally, the third reason why our stories are powerful is because vulnerability leads to growth.
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
When we admit our weaknesses to others, God has an opportunity to be glorified. We are powerless. God is powerful.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Have you ever gone through a difficult time, reached the other end, and thought, “How in the world did I get through this?”
My freshman year of college I was in a ditch of loneliness, sadness, and anger. At that time, I never thought I could be where I am now. Now, every time I am vulnerable and I share my story with someone of how God healed me, I let my weaknesses show God’s strength. I get to give God all the glory.
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.” 2 Tim 1: 8
When Jesus was dying on the cross, everyone thought he was a complete failure, except God. They believed that all he had done was a lie and was now dying a useless death. They didn’t know God’s plan or look at the bigger picture because they focused on the now.
Three days later they saw things differently. God’s plan became clear.
Friends, we are just like this! In the midst of pain and struggling we question God. Then when we see the other side, we see how God used that situation to glorify himself. We begin to think differently.
I love journaling. When I go back and re-read old journals I can truly see that God has used my story to bring him glory. Here is one prayer I wrote in November of my freshman year of college, “God, I know someday I will see how you’ve made a beautiful thing out of this.”
God has answered my prayers. He has fixed my broken heart. And he can fix yours too. He can and will make a beautiful thing out of all your pain and suffering.
Ladies, be vulnerable with the other women in your life. You don’t know what they are going through. Maybe you have similar stories, and God wants to use you both to help each other.