Ok, before we jump in to this week (which I shall endeavor to make more brief since last week’s post kind of took a long walk down Rambling Lane) I just have to say, IT’S OCTOBER!!!!
PEOPLE! October, which is arguably my FAVORITE month of the year- though really mid-September through December are my most favourites- so favourite that you have to spell that word with the “u” to make it as fanciful as this quarter of the year is to me. Here are some reasons why October (and November too…) are totally AUTUMN ((get it??? Like “awesome” but “autumn” instead??))
That’s a wreath I made for my front door… And by “wreath I made for my front door” I mean “wreath I pinned on my Autumn Happiness Pinterest board because let’s face it DIY isn’t really my thing.”
So. My Abundance verse for this week was inspired by If Then Move’s motto of 1 John 3:17-18, which says,
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them,how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
I say inspired by, because this week is a little different. Instead of doodling a verse to put in a frame and hang on my wall ((or, you know, tape it…)) I am using something that was lovingly made by my dear friends, Wendy Fitzgerald and Cheryl Fraser, who- along with being the founders of If Then Move- are two of the MOST AMAZING women I’ve ever met. And they’re artsy like me! ((Basically, they give me hope that you can be an artist and share the love of God and simultaneously not starve.))
If you’ve been around LongLiveBeauty for awhile, you might know that I’ve been working for ((Wendy would correct it to “with” but I’m saying for)) Wendy as If Then Move’s communications director- taking care of booking events, and being the contact person for churches, camps, retreat centers, etc. who want to have their own ITM event. Here is a video to give you an idea of what this amazing discipleship ministry is all about!
Wendy is, as I have said like, a million times, one of my mentors and basically who I want to be when I grow up. Get a snapshot of her here. Then there’s Cheryl- OH MY GOODNESS she is so ridiculously talented and would never tell you this herself, but she’s worked for all kinds of fancy schmancy big deal companies like Disney, Warner Bros., and a handful of others as a product designer and developer. Go read about her here. The amazing thing is, these two brimming-with-talent ladies are using their gifts because they love Jesus and want to expand the kingdom of God. I am so passionate about this ministry not only because of who they are, but what God is doing through them!
And this weekend, I got to attend and help with their event at this church in Somerset, KY, where we hung out with some amazing women! Here are some snapshots of the weekend:
Are you sad you weren’t there? I am too! Because let me tell you, it was WONDERFUL. ((Might I recommend you tell your church staff people that you heard about this amazing ministry that you think totally needs to come and do an event at your church???))
And watching Wendy and Cheryl live out this If Then Move verse in 1 John 3 embodies the kind of life I want to live- because it takes bravery and boldness to pursue a dream, especially one that involves being perpetually vulnerable with complete strangers in the effort to build the community and kingdom of God. They are dangerous, risky ladies. And I want to be dangerous too- dangerous for Christ. And the stories I could tell you… Satan clearly thinks we are a threat, because each of us could tell you about the days leading up to this event of how we have lately been attacked by him. But we have just as clearly been delivered by God. He’s so good- not only does He deliver us, He pours out blessing after blessing on us. His abundance.
So, while these thoughts were going through my head this weekend, I noticed this beautiful cuff bracelet on the product tables:
May we risk. This reminded me of the very beginning of this year- and this blog- where I shared my deep desire to live bravely. There are so many verses that go along with this. Take anything from Joshua 1, or that verse in Colossians, and the list goes on and on.
I need the boldness and courage to risk- to be vulnerable, to stop trying to be perfect, to have grace for others (and for myself), to love generously, to pursue God-sized dreams that I have, to own up to my mistakes. And I love this bracelet, because it reflects this verse in Deuteronomy 6:8
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
So many people around me are risking every day. Friends from our church are taking a risk to go back to Africa for two weeks, our friend Justin and his band Carrollton are going on tour for 7 weeks starting last week, and my husband has a week of important meetings this week to help prepare for next summer’s convention… All of these situations require putting yourself out there, and risking security, talents, resources … Risk requires trusting in God.
I talk a good talk sometimes, but when it comes down to really risking in relationships, in jobs, in anything… I struggle not to waver.
The underside of the bracelet has a prayer pocket, a place to tuck reminders of those people, places, situations where I need to be brave enough to risk.
Maybe this little cuff around my wrist will help me risk; may I love generously, not holding back, and let my abundant heart overflow into the world.
P.S. My wonderful mother-in-law, Debbie, came to the event too- mostly to give her some much needed Grandma/Lucy-time. 😀 …And it enabled me to help and engage with the goings-on of the event.