Archives for February 2017

Stretch Marks

Recently I’ve been marinating on Proverbs 31 Ministries and the tremendous way He’s growing us, in faith and in size.

It made me think of stretch marks. Yes, stretch marks.

I’ve had them on my hips ever since the summer before 9th grade, the summer when I grew 5 1/2 inches in one growth spurt. I was bumbly and awkward back then, towering over all the girls AND guys. Yes, I still am a little bumbly and awkward as a tall drink of water.

I remember aching that summer of growing so much. I felt such weird pain. Little did I know they were growing pains.

Mommas, I can only imagine the sensations you feel as that baby is growing inside of you, stretching you.

One definition says:

“Stretch marks are a form of scarring with an off-color hue. Over time they may diminish, but will not disappear completely. They are caused from the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or weight change.”

We won’t worry about the weight change part, shall we?

As leaders it is normal to experience stretch marks and growing pains during growth spurts.  The Lord sometimes grows us rapidly, faster than we feel comfortable with.

In 2016, because of the support of our Proverbs 31 Ministries donors, more than:

  • One Million people are digging deeper into God’s Word with the First 5 mobile app.
  • 700,000 people receive Encouragement for Today daily email devotions.
  • 4.6 million people find encouragement and hope by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
  • 3,000 people are getting equipped for their ministry calling through our She Speaks Conference and COMPEL writers training.
  • 6 million women and families are hearing biblical teaching through our Everyday Life with Lysa radio show airing on 1,300 radio stations throughout the US.

These few statistics are humbling. All glory goes to God.

In the middle of “growth” is the word “OW.”

Sometime growth is painful.

IMG_0434

Just like a gardener prunes branches to get a tree to grow better, God prunes us and stretches our faith. He is the Gardener of our souls, tending us.

Whatever growing pains you are experiencing at home, at work, at church, or in the community, embrace the stretch marks. They are beautiful signs that God is faithful.

“I am the true vine and my father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” –John 15:1.

Lord Jesus, Thank you for growing our faith, for stretching us,for giving us stretch marks. Every time I look at my stretch marks, I’ll appreciate them much more. Please guide me in the growing, Lord, so I can bear the most fruit for Your Kingdom.

Reflect:

In what areas of my life am I experiencing stretch marks and growing pains?

With God’s guidance, what can you do to prepare for this new fruit that you will bear?

Renew:

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” –Colossians 1:10

Leave a comment here | 2 Comments

True Love Confessions

It’s tough being single on Valentine’s Day. As soon as Christmas is over, the stores are full of red hearts, roses, love balloons, and cheesy Valentine’s Day merchandise. Hallmark Channel even plays non-stop sappy Love movies! Yes, I sometimes get sucked into watching each one. Yes, I am a hopeful romantic.

Last Valentine’s Day was different. It was a cold night. I built a cozy fire. I was excited. I was ready. Sitting by the warm fire, it was time to write my Love Letter.  Opening my journal, the following is the Love Letter penned on those pages:

Dearest Lover of My Soul,

Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you for being my First Love, today and always.

Thank you, Lord,   healing and removing the sin of idolatry I have suffered for a future husband without even realizing it. I had elevated the idea of my future husband much higher than I had elevated You as my Lord and Savior. My heart is changed. Please forgive me.

Holy Spirit, I want to be content in my singleness. Help me.  I am Yours. You are mine.  I am at peace.

My Rock and My Redeemer, Gentle Healer, it is a joy and honor to convey a portion of my immense love for You. No journal, no library can record all my love, dear Jesus.  Thank you for loving me. Every breath is for You, precious Lord.

How may I serve You more? On this Valentine’s Day, I recommit my life to You. It is You and You alone who I need, You alone who I want. 

Right now, make me more of a vessel for You and Your Gospel. I want to be your humble ambassador, Your spokesman who only utters worthy, not worthless words. (Jeremiah 15:19). May it be so. 

 “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”  (1 Samuel 3:10)

I Love You With My Whole Heart,                                                                                                                                                              Danya, Your Daughter of  the King

FullSizeRender-27

Friend, I learned that Valentine’s night that God is the only one to fill my “soul holes.” 

I’m embarrassed to admit this to you. You might think it’s TMI. For a few years I even bought sweet Valentine’s cards for a future  boyfriend  I knew the Lord would bring me.  That night I burned those cards in the fire.  It was liberating to know that Jesus is my First Love. My contentment in Christ alone is there whether I have a man in my life or not.

Since the Bible is God’s Love Letter to me, I had finally written my Love Letter to Jesus. That night transformed Valentine’s Day for me. Contentment came.

I’m so thankful for today as Valentine’s Day. Bring it.

Reflect:

–Are you content in your circumstances? Please comment.

–How can you express your love for God more?

Renew:

“Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” –Psalm 63: 3-4 NIV

“‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.'” –John 15:12-13 NIV

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. ” –Philippians 4:12 NIV

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” –1 Timothy 4:12 NIV.

Recharge:

–Write your Love Letter to Jesus today.

–The Bible is God’s Love Letter to us. Please enjoy reading it daily.

Leave a comment here | No Comments