Tag Archives: stringing peals with Wendie

“I love bread!” (Me too, Oprah ;) !)

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I was so incredibly excited when Oprah signed on with Weight Watchers.   I mean, I’m thrilled that she’s getting healthy and all that.  But honestly, the best part was when she said, – ON NATIONAL TELEVISION –  “I love bread”!

Breakfast toast with red heart jam symbol on a red checkered table cloth.

ME TOO, Sister Oprah! Me too!

My favorite kind of bread is homemade and hot out of the oven, fresh as can be, and with special touches (like organic sundried tomatoes baked right in and homegrown rosemary sprigs on top, and maybe even a little finely shredded artisan cheddar thrown in for good measure) that everyday, store bought brands just cannot produce.

rosemary-bread

(Excuse me while I salivate…)

I’m coming out of the anti-gluten closet and admitting it.  I’m a girl who loves artisan bread.

I ALSO love craft beer and single vineyard wines.

I like small batch iced teas and I love the health benefits and freshness of organic food.

I’m “all-in” on the farm-to-table movement.

I completely support the sustainable food agenda.

I’d much rather each a whole food than one that’s been processed.  And don’t even get me started on stuff that’s been genetically modified or chemically enhanced.

(Let’s ignore my diet coke habit for the moment, shall we? *Ahem.*)

People  who love and care this much about food know ONE THING for sure: the process is just as important as the end product.

For instance, a food artisan knows everything about the ingredients and process of what she’s making, and often uses traditional methods.  Why?  Because she’s learned that tried and true ways of doing things endure; traditions create consistently masterful products.

The craftsman makes his product by hand, using minimal processing and checking each step of that process to ensure it is done to his specifications for a quality product that he’s proud to call his own.

small-batch-wine

The small-batch creator believes in taking the time and effort to make each batch just so, just right, to please her consumers and make them feel special in receiving something that got such care in creation.

The food producers, shops, and restaurants who subscribe to the farm-to-table philosophy understand the value of cutting out the middle-man and ensuring the good stuff is coming directly from the maker.

And everyone who buys into the concept of sustainability is 100% on board in making sure that the resources we have will not be used up or destroyed so they can replenish as needed and continue for as long as possible.

The artisans who create these kinds of foods and drinks have two things in common:

  1. They are intentional in what they do (meaning they put thought, care, and time into each part of the process); and,
  2. They are specialized in their trade, not diversified (meaning they don’t have a million different things going on) which allows them to focus on the passion of their particular trade.

That’s pretty amazing stuff right there, don’t you think?!

So, what if we applied these concepts to something spiritual in addition to food? What if we used these ideas to radically affect our prayers and how we spoke them?

I think we’d be equally as nourished spiritually as we are when we eat cleanly!

I’m encouraging each of  us to do one (or more!) of the following things this week as we set some time aside for intentional prayer:

  • Apply the principle of organics: cut out the stuff that doesn’t need to be there!  Don’t be so verbose, adding in all kinds of words that don’t add anything to the purity of your prayers.  Keep it simple, sisters, and just say what you need to say as simply as possible. Then quietly sit back, waiting for Him to speak back to your spirit.

 

  • Use the concept of small batch creations and artisan work: be intentional in how you speak your prayers, carefully thinking about them and making little notes for yourself before you dive in.  Use traditional methods passed down to you from previous generations that honor the sacred process of prayer.  Use time-honored prayers you’ve heard in your own faith tradition to enrich your prayer life instead of saying those prayers as rote and perfunctory obligations.  Rewrite them in your own words in order to make them come alive to you again.

 

  • Subscribe to the main idea behind the farm-to-table “theology” and cut out the middle man! You have a direct line to Jesus!  Don’t “worry your prayers” with friends and hope God was listening while you did it; instead, sit down with God one-on-one and offer him your best instead of worn out and tired thoughts and prayers.  (“Go to the throne, not the phone!” 😉 )

 

  • Focus on sustainability in your prayer life. Try different methods until you can settle in on one or two that make it possible for you to be consistent and create quality, positive interaction between you and your Father.  Tend to the “soil” of your prayer life – if you will – which basically means to get your heart in the right condition to not only offer up gratitude and praise, but also to receive nourishing sacraments like forgiveness and loving correction.

Good soil can take years to cultivate, right? And even a novice gardener like me knows that sometimes the fields you use to grow something great need to be rested every now and again to maintain and regain their efficiency.  So be patient with yourself in this process and remain flexible in trying new things along the way, okay?

sunflower-field

The important thing is that you DO commit to trying to create something artisan with your prayers. Why?  Because it will make the difference between a processed, plastic bag of white bread and a hot-outta-the-oven, multi-grain loaf bejeweled with morsels of deliciousness!

Following along with our Wonder-FULL series?  (You can click here for more info!)  We are reading chapters .005 and .006 in the Wonderstruck main book and completing section 4 in the participant guide!  And check out our song of the week:  “In Your Hands” by Unspoken.  This acoustic version makes me SO happy!  Enjoy!

Peace, love and JOY!!!

Wendie

Up Next Week:  The Wonder of Friendship

 

 

simpl.if.I: Be Real! (Summer Series Week #6)

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Sometimes you just need to know you aren’t alone.  Sometimes you need reminding that weeping is cleansing and good and painful and hard, regardless of the reason why you’re weeping.

 Be Real Angel Statue

Jesus Wept.  John 11:35

When I read those two words from John 11 above, I honestly didn’t care why he was weeping.   I just needing reminding that Jesus wept and in the midst of it, I realized the healing power of this very short verse.  Jesus wept because he knew what it meant to be broken.  Just like us.  He wept because He knew it isn’t easy being human.  Just like us.  He wept because life is hard and He, Himself, experienced the fact that earthly life deals us blows we aren’t expecting and aren’t even able to deflect.   Just like us.  So He wept.  And therefore, it makes perfect sense to me that we do too.

 

We each weep because of a catalyst – an event.  Maybe because of a diagnosis.  Maybe because the bottom falls out.  Maybe because we can’t cope with the way it is for one second longer.  Maybe because it shatters our heart to see someone we love in shambles.  But honestly, regardless of the reason, we weep because we have been rocked at our very core.  We weep because we cannot have imagined “this” was coming.  We weep because we didn’t want it to be this way.  And we weep because we know change is coming.  But maybe change is just what we need to heal.

 

The beautiful flipside to the sadness is that we also weep when we are happy!  Can you even imagine all the times Jesus must have felt blessed tears on His holy cheeks when He looked around and thought, “My heart could burst with joy in this moment!”?  Even with all the heartache, there were most certainly tears of happiness shared around the table, too!  Just like us.

 

Weeping lets us be real, and being real is a grounding and simple and holy experience.  It puts us on an honest and transparent footing with others and, most importantly, with God.  Being real is a lifelong process that prepares us to intimately share ourselves with Him face-to-face.  To be real means to really know love.

Be Real John 11-35

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’ ‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. ‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ ‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ ‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

 

So today, go ahead, be real.  Do the “ugly cry” if you need to – regardless the reason.  Because remember, sweet friend, you are infinitely loved and understood.

 

Practical Application:  (simipl.if.I’ed steps you can take to get REAL today!)

 

  1. Find/print our scripture card for this week: Be Real (John 11:35). Put it somewhere you can see it and read it to yourself over the course of this week!
  2. Read the verse in context of what was happening in the life of Jesus when this was recorded. Realize that Jesus experienced everything we do as humans. What a gift we have in watching how he did things.
  3. If there’s something going on in your life right now that is moving you to tears, let yourself be real enough to weep. Write a letter to yourself giving yourself permission to be mad/sad/happy/elated/frustrated. When you’ve written it, read it to God as a prayer. Tuck it into your Bible or a safe place to come back to once the emotion has faded and the situation has either resolved or lessened in intensity. It serves as a reminder that God brings us through to the other side of all things WITH Him.
  4. Check out this audio/video version of Francesca Battistelli’s “Holy Spirit”!

If you are reading before amen, by Max Lucado, this week you can read Chapter 5:  “Heal Me”.  And, if you are so inclined, complete the Chapter 5 study guide at the back of the book!

 

Thanks for joining us in this series!  We are growing together in Christ – it’s such an awesome thing!

 

Peace, love, and Joy!

 

Wendie

 

Up Next Week:  Simpl.if.I week  7:  Let Go!

Watch Where You’re Going!

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When I was little, I had a habit of looking at the ground when I was walking. I don’t know if it was an insecurity thing or just a personal quirk, but my parents would repeatedly say things to me like, “Watch where you are going! Look up, or you’re going to run into something! You’re going to trip if you keep looking down!”

stone wall background

With those seemingly endless reminders (that I am grateful for…!), I retrained myself to look ahead when I walked. And I’ll bet I’ve avoided a lot of pain along the way because of it!

When I was meditating on our scripture passage for this week, it really made me think of those little reminders my parents would give me as a child. It reminded me of the importance of focusing our attention on a higher plane – whether physically, like lifting your eyes, or spiritually, like lifting your soul’s gaze God.

 Col 3-2 REAL

Relying just on our own perspective, it’s easy find ourselves being led by our feelings and emotions down roads we shouldn’t necessarily travel. Relying on voices and signs in the physical world, like public opinion or political rhetoric, our paths get gnarled and bumpy, and often times can trip us up and lead us down a low road of pettiness, greed, or pride.

BUT, when we “pursue the things over which Christ presides” (Col. 3:1)  and, in doing so, “see things from His perspective”, (Col. 3:2) we are literally choosing to heart His voice. We are asking Him to align our thoughts to His (not the other way around…). We strive to know His will for us, and in turn, set our hearts, minds, and spirits on a path of personal relationship with Him.

“So if you are serious about this resurrected life with Christ,” (Col. 3:1) you are no longer trying to make these things happen by your own effort alone or by willpower. Instead, it’s a transformation that begins when you fall in love with Jesus.

And when that happens, the Holy Spirit comes in and renews our mind, character, and behavior. It’s a spiritual re-wiring, or retraining, of the way our brains think. It allows us to take our thoughts captive and give them to up Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). And the road we travel becomes a lot higher as a result.

Forest road. Landscape for background

Look up. Avoid the pain of stumbling along a gnarled path by pursuing a better road. I’m not saying you won’t trip. I have my share of scars and fresh scrapes, too. But the longer I pursue Him and seek the things of heaven, the quicker I can get back up and back on track. You can, too.

Following along with us on our Pure Joy 2014 journey?! Here’s what on tap this week:

  • Find or print your scripture card for this week (Colossians 3:1-2, MSG). SAY IT and PRAY IT!
  • Keep reading Notes from a Blue Bike, by TSH Oxenreider (it’s soooo good! I love her honesty!).
  • Be on the look-out for deets for our final Pure Joy 2014 dinner of the summer on Thursday, August 14th! Evite going out this week!
  • And finally, you simply MUST watch this video of “My Lighthouse” by Rend Collective Experiment! It’s my FAVE song of all the songs this summer!

(And for those of you who read last week’s post about Elle’s softball team, well, someone of you out there must have been praying for them, because I’m so excited to tell you they won THIRD in the state tournament this weekend in their division! Amazing stuff – these girls!) (link to photo)

Peace, love, and JOY!

Wendie

Up Next Week: Flying FREE!

S.F.F. (Sister Friends Forever!)

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One fall, eons ago, I pledged a sorority called Kappa Alpha Theta  (Gamma Chapter, baby!).  Say what you will about the pros and cons of “going Greek”, but it honestly impacted my life for the better.

Theta house picture

Now, let’s get one thing straight. Sorority life, and sorority rush in particular (the process of choosing a sorority and being chosen by the one you want to join) isn’t exactly the most fun – or authentic – process a girl can go through. I mean, talk about wearing a mask!  It pretty much is the antithesis of authenticity.  But in the end, for this Theta-For-Life girl, it all worked out just fine!  There is nothing like gaining a houseful of instant “sisters” alongside whom I have continued to walk through life!

To me, one of the oddest things about becoming a full-fledged member (or  “initiate”) was that we had to memorize a chapter from the Bible (1 Corinthians 13) and recite it from memory at initiation.  Lest you think I joined a particularly spiritual sorority, let me flat out tell you – I DID NOT.  It was just one of the silly hoops we had to jump through in order to be eligible for initiation (you know – a light version of hazing, so to speak…which I’m sure doesn’t happen at all these days…) .

I never gave much thought to that chapter after initiation.  And to my surprise, when reading this week’s chapter from Holley Gerth’s book, You’re Already Amazing, I was struck by the depth of meaning it actually does hold!

Take a look:

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.  1 Cor 13:4-7, MSG

THAT is what LOVE looks like.  And THAT is why Holley uses it as a “safe person checklist” when considering true, Godly friendships (what I like to call – sister friends!)!

Why is friendship so important to us?  Well, probably because our GOD is fully relational!  Think about it – the Holy Trinity is three in one, not just ONE!  And because we are created in His image, it’s only natural that we are relational as well, isn’t it!

What makes a friend more than an acquaintance?  And what makes a sister friend – someone with whom we share not only earthly friendship but also our eternal destiny because of Christ?!

sirach 614-17

We want people to come alongside us and walk through the good times and bad, accepting us as we are, challenging us to grow, and to faithfully stand by our side.   And do you want to know something pretty cool?  Those very thoughts are echoed in scripture!

“A friend loves you all the time, but a sister friend was born to help in times of trouble.”  Proverbs 17:17 ERV.

Sister friends, sweet sister friends, carry you through the storms, celebrate your victories, support you with their super human strength, and love you no matter what.  And I’ll bet you dollars to donuts, you do the same for them.

power of three

By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
 A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.

  Ecclesiastes 4:12, The Message

Sometimes it’s scary to let yourself be known and fully by someone else. We kinda prefer to keep on the mask, telling everyone that everything is “great”, especially when the opposite is true. But I pray you let scriptures like Ecclesiastes 4:12 and Sirach 6:14-17  encourage you to seek out like minded sister friends to support you in the high moments AND in the moments it feels like life has left you sitting all alone at the middle school lunch table.  Stop hiding under that mask.  You’re beautiful and I, for one, am dying to see you!

Like Holley says in Chapter 6,

“Hiding is a response out of fear, while guarding is a proactive choice to protect what matters most….What God wants us to avoid is making a habit of hiding that leaves us feeling alone and as if no one really knows us.”  Holley Gerth, You’re Already Amazing, copyright 2012.

And THAT’S why it’s important to use scripture like 1 Corinthians 13 (remember that one up there that I had to memorize as a sorority gal?!) to sort of check yourself and make sure you are making good choices in relationships.  If you want, you can even replace the word “love” with the phrase “a sister friend”.  After doing so, if something doesn’t ring true, perhaps that person isn’t the best choice as best friend!  (For example, “A Sister Friend doesn’t keep score…” doesn’t fit a friend who consistently throws your mistakes in your face.  Therefore, you can create boundaries to make sure you aren’t letting that person get a front row seat to your life.)

Whether you’ve been blessed with one great friend or many, take a moment today to let at least one of them know how much she means to you.  I guarantee you will love the reaction you get – and you, in turn, will find yourself blessed in doing so.

Well, week 6 of our Fall Series is here!  So what’s on tap for this week:

1.  Rewrite/memorize our scripture for the week (one of my ALL TIME faves!!!)…For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7, NIV.

2.  Read Chapter 7 of You’re Already Amazing and complete exercises in the chapter itself, as well as, questions in the Go Deeper Guide at the back of the book!

3.  Listen to our song for this week!  It’s a new one by the incomparable Steven Curtis Chapman called “Love Take Me Over”!  So FUN!!!  Here’s a link to listen and see the lyrics!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8DiZhNVu1I 

Have a great weekend, everyone.  Love you much!  Now go get blessed by blessing one of YOUR sister friends today!!
Peace, love, joy and GLORIOUS GOD’S BLESSING ON YOU!
Wendie
Up Monday:  A Crazy Cool Costume (that isn’t even a costume!)

My Letter To Satan

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I know.  Probably not what you expected from me on a Morning Glory Monday – a “Letter to Satan”.  Not what I was expecting to post today, either.  But the Holy Spirit is stirring the pot of my heart today, sweet friends, and I had a little revelation or two, thanks to a young girl from Pakistan whose courage moved me to action.

Have you seen the following clip of Jon Stewart’s interview with Malala Yousafzai?  What an amazing young girl!  You can click here to read her whole story, in case you don’t know it. http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/09/world/asia/malala-shooting-anniversary/

What struck me – as in AWESTRUCK me – in this interview was Malala’s response to what she would say to a Talib (a Taliban soldier) were one to come again to harm her.  Her response (see starting about at 4:20 on this clip) is amazing.

Glorious, revelational, and amazing.

THAT is how you fight evil.  You stop worrying about when it’s coming and what you’re going to do when it does.  Instead, you decide to tell evil why you will not bow down to it and you tell evil your reasons why.  You tell evil that you wish for everyone – even for EVIL, itself –   to know the glory and wonder of the Goodness you know to be true.

So, inspired by Malala’s example, I decided to figure out what I’d say to Satan the next time he comes to try to “kill, steal, and destroy”.  Here it is:

Dear Evil,

I’m tired of worrying about you.  I’m sick of wondering when you and your thugs are going to attempt to swoop in and steal my joy, kill my spirit, or destroy my hope.  I loathe the thought of each moment I’ve spent planning what I would do if you were to (insert any one of my fears here).  I’m done standing by and idly watching as you take Peace and try to trash it.

I am a daughter of the One True God, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

And, because of that fact, I’d like to point out some pretty powerful Truths that you may, or may not, be aware of:

God made me in His image and therefore, I am glorious.  There is nothing you can do about that.  So, in the name of Jesus, back off trying to make me think otherwise. (Genesis 1:27)

Even your own workforce flees and trembles at the name of our mighty God and Savoir, Jesus Christ.  You have no power over Him.  He trumps all. (James 2:19, James 4:7)

The Lord is my strong tower, one that no one and nothing can topple. (Proverbs 18:10)

Through Him, we have been granted all authority and over you and the principalities and power of this world…and that means as long as we are operating in Him and with His grace and mercy, in the name of Jesus, we have that authority over you, too. (Isaiah 54:17, Ephesians 1:21)

As much as you’d like us to think you have it all figured out, there is only ONE omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent being:  GOD.  That means you don’t know the future, you can’t read our minds, and you cannot be everywhere at the same time.  In other words, you don’t know how any of this is going to turn out.  Therefore, in the mighty name of Jesus, I refuse to give you any power over it. (1 Peter 1:11-12, Ephesians 2:2)

I am never alone.  God orders His angels to protect us wherever we go. THE GOD OF ANGEL ARMIES IS ALWAYS BY MY SIDE.  (Psalm 91:11)

You know those “things” you like to continually try to hang over our heads?  He’s already forgiven us for “that”, and “that”, and “that”….so I’m not going to fall into a guilt trap anymore. (Acts 10:42-43, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, Ephesians 1:7-10)

Oh, and those “things” you like to try to make us think He cannot possibly control better than we can on our own?  Well, He can.  And will.  With prosperity and goodness. He knows what is best. And I believe Him.  (Jeremiah 29:11, Isaiah 55:8-9)

Jeremiah 29 11 Postcard

He loves us more than you could ever even imagine.  (Psalm 139, Isaiah 31:3, Isaiah 49:15-16)

I could go on, but I think we’re both getting the picture.  These are my personal battlefields, I’m going to fight them using Truth in this war.

(And, by the way, you should be aware that Jesus wins the war.)

Yeah.  I know.  You’re probably still going to try and trip me up.  Your arrows may still get through a chink in my armor now and again.  But I’ll do my best to fight you.  For the One who is in me is far greater than you. (1 John 4:4).  So, in the end, Jesus still wins.

And, yeah.  I know bad things are still going to happen on this side of heaven. (John 16:33)  But I ALSO know He’s got it under control and already working it out for good (Romans 8:28) and doesn’t leave me here to do it by myself (Isaiah 42:16, 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Just thought we both ought to get all that straight.  The Truth, I mean.  As proclaimed by GOD – not by you.

Oh, and one more thing:  Jesus is coming backAnd by all accounts, He wins that day, too.

IN THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS,

Wendie

Sweet sister friends, in Christ Jesus, we have the power to not only resist evil, but actually defeat it.  Let’s use it.  Fight with me, girls!  We have been given holy armor for this expressed purpose (Ephesians 6)!  But that’s a post for another day…

Up Thursday:  Riding Out the Ruts on the Journey!

Here’s the story, of a LOVELY lady…!

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Did you ever watch The Brady Bunch? Oh please tell me you did! I mean, come on! Was there ever a better show?!  Everything about that show was spot-on and hilarious, from the groovy lingo and clothing down to the ridiculously unbelievable plots – that we all somehow managed to buy into!

The brady bunch

I loved all the episodes, I think, because there was ALWAYS a moral of the story that I could relate to! My sister and I can still quote all the famous lines from Marcia, Jan, Cindy, and the boys: “Something suddenly came up…!” “Mom always said, ‘Don’t play ball in the house’…”. “I’m not a snitch, I just tell it like it is.”

And I bet if you are anything like us, you can sing – BY HEART – every single song The Silver Platters sang (“When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange…” AND “Think I’ll go for a walk outside now, the summer sun’s callin’ my name…”). Go ahead – I’ll pause here a moment while you sing a few bars. You know you want to!!! (It’s making me giggle just thinking about you singing right now!!!)

Probably one of my favorite episodes was the one where Jan is fed up from all the attention Marcia gets and she tells her parents, “Well, all day long at school I hear how great Marcia is at this or how wonderful Marcia did that! Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” Of course, Mike and Carol say all the right things and reboot Jan’s confidence in being the person she was created to be. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had our own Mikes and Carols who could, in 22 minutes (30 with commercial breaks, of course), speak Truth into our spirits for a little reboot of our own?!

If you know me, you know I LOVE the book of Esther. It simply rocks my heart and soul for reasons that I could spend the next 10 weeks writing about. I’ll spare you that for now (you’re welcome). But as I was thinking about it the other day, I thought that maybe Esther’s Uncle Mordecai does a little Jan Brady reboot on Esther, himself! I think I’m going to start calling him the Biblical Mike Brady!

esther 414

In a beautiful, life-changing moment of a sort of “parental-chiding-but-also-trying-to-boost-your-confidence”, Mordecai reminds Queen Esther of who she is, what’s she’s been given, and what she should be doing with it! And her actions from that “pep talk” result in her single handedly saving the Jews from annihilation and God’s chosen people live on!

We’ve been given gifts, characteristics, positions, and circumstances for a reason. This is our time. This is our place. Right here. Right now. This is where (and WHEN) we are supposed to be! Let’s not slip into Jan Brady mode and wish we were someone else, covet someone else’s position, or lament the gifts we have.

Instead, let’s USE what we’ve been given in order to live out – in Godly confidence and JOY – what we were put here to do. Your purpose and destiny are based first and foremost on your standing with God! Once we are in a deep and loving relationship with Him, following hard after Him, He will bring our strengths into the light (and even use our weaknesses) to see His will done through us here on Earth!

Esther realized she was here for such a time and place as this. You are too.

It’s not about “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” It’s about Jesus and You.

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.  Luke 12:48b, NIV.

Like Esther, you’ve been given more than you can imagine, sweet friends. Ann Voskamp recently suggested that we are the Esther Generation. I’d like to take that one step further and say, “Let’s start an Esther REVOLUTION” – changing the world, one palace gate at a time.

Open the gates of your own little world and see what might just happen!

And speaking of opening gates, my very good sister friend, Kim, is doing just that for over 30 women tomorrow night! That’s right! It’s time for our Pure Joy Dinner #2! This time, we’re having a Mexican Fiesta and celebrating “Our Favorite Things”! Here’s a sneak peek into what’s going on:

Every good fiesta deserves a really good margarita, don’t you think?! Our JOY wouldn’t be complete without this Pink Lemonade Margarita found on (where else?!) Pinterest:

pink lemonade margarita

Inspired by the song from “The Sound of Music”, party goers will be bringing packages of their favorite things to give away! I cannot wait to see what everyone else is bringing! Mine, of course, will be in brown paper packages tied up with string! But if you want to just see ONE thing I’m including in my packages, I’ll give you a little look into my latest summer obsession! (EOS Lemon Drop Lip Gloss!)

eos lemon drop

Just like last time, I’ll post pictures from the night here on the blog later this week (Thursday, I think!). You never know – you might be able to see a few of those shots earlier on the Stringing Pearls with Wendie Facebook page by Wednesday if I’m technologically coordinated enough to do that! Wouldn’t that be joyous?!

And speaking of JOY (!), here’s what’s on the docket for this week of our Pure Joy Summer Series:

1. Rewrite/memorize this week’s scripture: Esther 4:14!!

2. Listen to “Gold” by Britt Nicole. Okay, it’s kind of a summertime, tween girly tune (Elle loves it!), but it definitely makes me happy and I LOVE the message!

3. Keep reading! I just started The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan!

4. Come to the Pure Joy Fiesta #2 dinner tomorrow at Kim’s if you are local! Check back here later this week for photos and a recap of the night!

5. Continue with the Joy Dare! I have been recording mine in a journal lately instead of photographing! Shake things up a little to keep it fresh!

Have a beautiful week, sweet friends! And for your viewing pleasure, click here for a Brady Bunch giggle!

Up Thursday: A Photo Montage and Recap of Pure Joy Dinner #2!

Peace, love, and JOY!

Wendie