Last night I went to a women’s ministry event at our church. Two women shared their stories and left us all feeling encouraged. The women were amazing and had clear victory stories to share; wins for the Lord. But I had a bit of spiritual warfare joining me that evening because as I heard the stories of these women and felt that inspiration they humbly encouraged, I also felt the inner tugging, nagging, whispering voice in my head. Have you heard it too?… “be inspired to be better because you don’t measure up and your family is suffering simply because you’re not nor will you ever be the Proverbs 31 woman”.
Oh yes, I heard that voice. I calculated how I would better love , teach, mother, etc. etc. etc. so that I might measure up to something quantifiably worthy.
I tried to refocus. Fight the lie- you know the lie- it’s the one Satan just sold me on…I’m not worthy. I’m less. I’ll never be good enough.
Does everyone do this to themselves? self deprecation that is…
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.Psalm 51:10 I remind myself of this verse because Satan is winning. He loves that I’m beating myself up.
But victory is the Lord’s and it ends well because I was able to get myself together. And after all, the night was intended for encouragement even though Satan decided to attend and apparently came as my guest–. Anyway, I digress-
Like I said, I got it together and this is what I saw:
*blessings I had and the talents in the ladies sitting around the table
*even though we can see our flaws so easily, chances are we’re way harder on ourselves than anyone else
Of the 6 ladies sitting at my table, two of which were strangers, I saw that one brings joy to a room where ever she goes.
I saw that another brings a sense of peace and calm to all things preschool (including the actual preschoolers).
I saw that another brings a welcoming spirit and is a natural at making new friendships…anywhere she goes (amazing).
I saw that another encourages others to try new things (and that encompasses a whole host of things- spiritual challenges, cooking, making new friends..and the list is actually quite long regarding all the things she’s encouraged me to do!)
And from the ladies whom I didn’t know, I saw a sense of risk taking and adventure in coming to an event in which they would know almost no one. They were willing to be vulnerable and that’s a hard one for me to volunteer.
I’m hoping that by reading this post, you can take a minute to think about how those around you are encouraging your life. What lasting impressions have they left on your life?
One of the by-products that has been left on my life( from a lovely lady mentioned above) is a wonderful tomato soup recipe! I was not a natural cook but now I love to try new recipes. Here’s one that I love, thanks to a little encouragement 🙂
(for all your excess Tom’s out there!)
Sautee 2 tbls onion w/ t tbls butter
Add 3 tbls flour
2 ts sugar
1 ts salt
1/8 ts pepper
Add 2 Cups Milk & bring to boil
remove from heat as soon as it boils.
Add 2 cups Tomato’s – chopped or blended….depends how chunky you like it.
Add dash of basil, oregano & thyme.
Move back to heat and heat through.
My only addition to this recipe is feta cheese. I know parm is a standard cheese for this soup but feta is delectable! Serve with fresh bread or croutons.