Tuesday, November 29, 2016

When You’re Facing an Empty Calendar

 

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are treating yourself tenderly in recovery week. Christmas is coming, but it’s ok to take a nap today if you need it. You have my permission! 🙂

I’m going to write a short-ish post today because I really need your help with some problem-solving. I hope we’ll pull together here in our community to share some ideas that will help us all. Please read and then share a comment–it won’t be the same if you don’t add to the conversation!

Here’s the problem I’m facing that I’m guessing you’ve faced from time to time too:

My speaking calendar is almost empty for 2017.

First of all, is it safe to confess to you that I felt a little shame typing out that statement? Eeeeekkkk! Here I am part of a national ministry with a huge platform of its own and a speaking coach, but nobody is currently asking me to speak. Seriously, y’all. It’s pretty much crickets.

Have you ever experience this kind of season?

I want to go ahead and call it a season because I’ve seen it before and have lived to tell about it. Before I launch into ideas about how to solve “the problem”, let me first acknowledge that it might not be a problem. It might be God’s grace.

For example, during the whirlwind year that I wrote, edited, launched and promoted my book, my coaching clients were almost non-existent. One day when I expressed my concerns to Barry that my speaker coaching seemed to be “dying”, he said, “Really, Amy? When would you have time to coach anybody? I think this is God’s grace for you.”

Sure enough! The book stuff has slowed way down, and the coaching has picked back up to record speeds this year. I’m thankful that God knows me better than I know myself, and He always provides my portion. Nothing more. Nothing less.

If your calendar is empty too, prayerfully consider this. God may know what’s coming in 2017 and know that we won’t be able to meet the expectations of a busier schedule. He may want us to pull away for a time of rest. Maybe He wants to do a work in us that He couldn’t accomplish if we were speaking.

But there’s another thing that might be happening. He might be waiting for us to take steps of obedience. My wise and experienced friend says it this way:

I’ll keep my eyes open for what God’s doing, but I’m feeling led to take some pro-active steps to build my speaking calendar. Here’s what’s on my list:

Create a new sample video— I had one produced last year, but I’ve got another message videoed that is begging to become a sample. I want it to look fresh and to be a second tool I can use on my website and social networks.

Have some outsiders look in— Based on some great advice my savvy friend Lisa Allen gave in a Compel training, I am going to schedule two people to look at my website and give me advice about how to highlight my speaking more effectively. One friend is the founder of Vend Raleigh, a networking group for mompreneurs, so she’s genius at connecting through social networks and media. She’s also an event planner, so she’ll be able to look at my site from that point of view. She does this professionally, so this coach will be paying for some coaching. My other friend is a speaker who has been taking some classes on building your blog. She’s innovative and will help me up my game, and she’s bartering her services for mine. (Just wanted to give you an idea on a budget but to also say that a monetary investment is sometimes needed.)

Contact event planners from my past events— I feel a deep connection to the event planners I’ve served, so I’d love to get to minister with them again. I’ve already built trust with them, so an update with an expressed desire to come back will (hopefully) be received well.

Now it’s your turn! What kinds of steps have you taken to fill your speaking calendar? Please share the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’d love to learn from what’s worked as well and to save time by knowing what hasn’t.

Amy

Leave a comment here | 6 Comments
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
Thursday, November 24, 2016

We Thank God

we-always

It’s a seriously wonderful thing to be part of this group of Speaker Girls. You are loved, and we give thanks for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Amy & Melanie

Leave a comment here | No Comments
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Resource You Cannot Miss

 

Goodness gracious! Be still my resource junkie heart!

Ya’ll know how much I love a fabulous resource, and I’m sending this bonus post to share one that you simply can’t miss. The fabulous Kathi Lipp and Michele Cushatt have started a new podcast for speakers called Communicator Academy.

Several weeks ago, I got the chance to do an interview with them that you can listen to by clicking the graphic below. Please visit, listen, and see what I mean. I don’t want to miss a single episode!

communicator-academy

Last week, I had a little road trip, and I listened to Michele and Kathi all the way there and all the way back. My only regret is that I was driving, so I couldn’t take notes.

I wanted you to know and have access. You’re welcome. 🙂

Leave a comment here | 2 Comments
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
Monday, November 14, 2016

Loving Words and The Word

 

Do you remember when you fell in love with words?

I like to think my love for words was birthed even before I was physically born, as my mom was a voracious reader, reading book after book during her pregnancy with me.

I remember as a young girl curling up with books…Berenstein Bears, Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew mysteries and Judy Blume books.

I remember turning words into stories on my mom’s manual typewriter.

And then I remember falling in love with the Word, Jesus.

John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word,
            and the Word was with God,
            and the Word was God.” 

blog-graphic

On a dark, starry night, while sitting on a rock at the foot of a mountain in North Carolina, Jesus, the Word, captured my heart forever.

And from that point on was it God’s plan to intermingle the words I love with the Word I love even more?

I began to delight in books containing more of the Word.  Christian writers and books left an imprint – Elizabeth Elliot, My Utmost for His Highest, Elizabeth George, and my first Bible, a paperback version called The Way.

Recalling the stepping-stones leading to my writing life turns my heart toward Jesus with thankfulness.

Today can you take some time to do the same?  Reflect with thankfulness the stepping-stones leading to your calling of being a writer for the Word.

Jesus, Thank you for all the stepping-stones leading to our calling of speaking and writing for You.  I pray You will fill us with creativity, truth, and perseverance.  May our ears and hearts hear only your voice of love, encouragement and power.  Protect us from discouragement, naysayers, and our own insecurities.  May our words, whether public or private, be a beautiful offering to You, the most beautiful Word of all.  Amen. 

I’d love to help you with your writing.  I offer writing coaching and editor services.  Check out specific options on our Next Step site under Writing Services.

Melanie

Leave a comment here | No Comments
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
Monday, November 7, 2016

Why It’s Essential to Refresh

Following an intense year and a half of writing my book, launching my book, and promoting my book along with all the other ministry hats I wear, I was toast. Done. Stick a fork in me.

I was sick of writing, and sick-and-tired of sitting behind a computer screen alone instead of in the company of others which is my favorite. The thought of typing one more word made my shoulders clench with anxiety, and I should have had a massage therapist on speed dial.

I needed to give myself permission to rest and refresh, so I did. I started months in advance telling people that I was taking a writing sabbatical. That gave them the wrong impression, though. “Oh, that’s so nice that you’re taking time away to write,” they all said.

“Oh NO!” I’d quickly correct them. “I’m taking a sabbatical AWAY from writing!”

Thanks to all my wise speaker friends who stepped in here to keep the content flowing. It went all crickets on my personal blog except for posting links to Grit ‘n’ Grace. Guess what? I lost a few subscribers, but I kept my sanity. Turns out the world doesn’t revolve around my blog posts after all. 🙂

I have to tell you that it was a bliss-filled month of no writing. I basked in every minute of it, but I started the month with a purpose.

I wanted to do life tasks that had gone undone: (You know it’s been a long time since you’ve done these things when you actually enjoy them tremendously!)

  • Painting my boys’ rooms which are now a guest room and an office.
  • Washing windows.
  • Re-caulking the shower.
  • Cleaning out the attics.
  • Oh… this list was glorious and lengthy!

I wanted to seek God about what should stay and what should go. I asked Him to show me:

  • Which “hats” needed to be taken off.
  • Which assignments were ongoing.
  • Which roles needed mending, renewing, or rethinking.

It’s funny because I thought I’d come back to you with an overhaul of what I’d be doing, but that didn’t happen at all. God didn’t show me anything that needed removed. He just spoke to me about true Sabbaths and better time management. He also gave me new vision and renewed desire to do what I had been doing.

I knew that I was getting my groove back when early in the month I attended an American/Indian wedding, and I thought of a blog post that I can’t wait to write. I hadn’t been excited to write in ages! Stay tuned to my blog if you want to see that one coming up, and there’s some great video to share too.

Do you need a time of reflection and rest so that you can be refreshed? I encourage you to take it! Not much about my work or schedule has changed, but my heart has shifted back into a place of excitement and gratitude. My windows are still smudgy, but my vision is sharp and clear!

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Note: I had completely forgotten to choose a winner for Wendy Pope’s Wait and See giveaway, but I remembered today. Congratulations, Iris Peterson!! I’ve sent you an email, so if you haven’t heard from me, please check your spam filter. 🙂

Leave a comment here | 2 Comments
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Why Coaching Is for You

 

Happy fall, y’all! I’m ecstatic about the cooler temperatures, all things pumpkin, and a future that includes a sweater.

Fall is a time when I get re-energized to tackle projects that I was just too unmotivated to do in the summer. (If you lived in NC with 100% humidity most summer days, you’d understand. You really just want to stay as still as possible.) In the past few weeks, I’ve worked on redecorating three rooms in my house, and cleaned out my attics. It’s a pure hive of activity up in here!

I thought you might be feeling the same way. I know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are imminent, but we have a little window before all the holiday crazy hits. How about working on a speaking project with me? Or a writing project with Melanie?

You might have thought that coaching isn’t for you, but let me try to convince you otherwise. There are many reasons to hire a coach, but the greatest gifts of coaching are:

  • The gift of deadlines.
  • The gift of cooperative work.

Do you need a little extra motivation to get things completed? Knowing that Melanie or I are waiting for your work will help you get ‘er done!

Does your creativity kick into high gear when you work with a partner or team? Melanie and I would love to come alongside as your team to work cooperatively.

Here’s what one of my latest clients and new friends has to say about working with me on a speaking project:

nicole“I just finished working with Amy Carroll on developing my speaking message, and this is the best money I have ever spent. I was referred to Amy by two women at She Speaks in July, and now I know why. Working with Amy gave me a confidence I didn’t have before. She is a cheerleader, counselor and brilliant professor all rolled into one! If you are thinking of expanding  your speaking ministry, I highly suggest you check out Next Step Speaker Services. And no, I was not paid for this ringing endorsement. I’m just the newest and biggest Amy Carroll fan!” ~Nicole J. Phillips

Awww… thanks, Nicole!

If you’re still not sure, if you have any questions, or even if you’re ready to go today, please fill out the Request Information form (make sure to click on “Send” at the end), and I’ll get in touch to schedule a free consultation call with you.

No matter if you’re working on your speaking ministry or cleaning out your attic, enjoy fall!

Leave a comment here | No Comments
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Finding Your Niche

 

The last guest blogger for October is my dear friend, Lynn Cowell. Lynn has actually lived this message in her own ministry as well as teaching it in a breakout for She Speaks.

Lynn is actually in the process of transition in her ministry niche. She was primarily speaking to teens and moms of teens, but as an empty nester, she’s feeling called to speak more to women. Her post today is great for those of you who are just starting out but also for those who find yourselves in transition.

Identifying your niche is ground zero for any ministry, so soak deeply in Lynn’s wise words. Welcome, Lynn!

________________________________________________________________________________

You feel this nudge; this prompting to invest in the lives of others. The question is where do you begin?

Finding your particular niche begins with identify your core message and comprehensive mission. But if you already knew that, you wouldn’t be reading this post would you?

A wise place to start with some pondering and praying.

When you begin to think about what you want to share, initially, this may be very topic may be very broad. You want to help women find Christ. You have a passion to empower women. When our comprehensive mission is this broad, it can make it hard for others to connect with us. They may feel that when they come to hear you speak, they are not quite sure what to expect.

Begin with asking yourself some key questions.

Grab a blank sheet of paper or your journal. Start a fresh page by writing each of these questions at the top each page; one question per page. This isn’t a once a done thing. Think of these pages as an ongoing conversation you will be having with yourself.

As you fill in these blanks, see if you find yourself moving toward something they have in common.

Questions to ponder:

Page 1: What do I love?

What are the things you cannot help but talk about? When you are in a conversation with others, where does that conversation gravitate?

Seeing new believers learn their new identity in Christ? Prayer? Wellness? The next generation?

Become a detective of yourself and write the things you see that you love.

Page 2: What do I loathe?

When this particular subject gets brought up, your passion gets revved up.  You just have to be a part of the change. Sex trafficking? Teen issues? Racial prejudge? Social injustice?

These topics might be part of your particular niche in speaking and being a part of bringing change through your words. 

Page 3: What are my life experiences? 

You have gone through some things in your life that are unique to you. Along the way, you have learned what to do and what not to do. You have experienced God’s faithfulness in ways others can learn from. How might God want to use these life experiences in the lives of others?

Be sure that you have experienced healing enough if the experience is painful that you can speak from a place of moving toward wholeness. 

Page 4: In a sea of vanilla, what makes me different? 

There are so very many voices out there, all with a message to bring. You are a unique person God made. How can that difference come out in your messages and delivery?

Part 5: Where do I see a need in the lives of others that I can speak to? 

In your community, what do you witness in the day to day living that others need God’s wisdom and the knowledge you have?

Moms of young children? Women in the workplace? Teen girls trying to find their place in this world?

You have your own set of gifts and talents the Lord can use to help bring guidance, hope and encouragement to others.

Give yourself grace as you work through this process. And remember, it is not a once-and-done. Just as we are changing and growing, so will be the messages we are bringing.

lynn_cowell_headshotlores

Visit Lynn’s blog today to see how she’s defined her ministry niche on her beautiful website.

Leave a comment here | 3 Comments
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

When Life Gets Hard We Can Either Give Up or God-Up

 

Two of my friends from the Proverbs 31 speaker team graciously said “yes” when I asked them to share a little piece of their breakout from She Speaks last summer. Our guest writer today is my dear friend Tracie Miles sharing some wisdom about what to do when ministry seems too difficult. Welcome, Tracie!

________________________________________________________________________________

When I said yes to God’s call on my life eleven years ago to become a speaker and a writer, I didn’t even know what those things looked like exactly, much less what God had in mind. I knew it would require a lot of changes and be a lot of hard work and , but I assumed it would ultimately be rewarding, awesome and trouble free. Like a carefree frolic in a beautiful meadow where I just smelled the roses all day long. After all, when we say yes to God, life should get easier, right?

Ummmmmm. Not.

Although I had left some stressors behind by virtue of leaving my corporate job to pursue ministry, I soon noticed there were new stressors raging into my life –  parenting challenges, new financial constraints, trying to figure out who I was, loneliness due to being at home all the time, unexpected marriage issues, extended family member illnesses and problems, and so on.  In fact, it actually seemed like life got harder instead of easier. It was not only upsetting and disappointing but also kind of shocking.

After a while, I found myself grappling with a lot of internal questions, and maybe you have found yourself secretly entertaining these thoughts as well. Questions like:

If I’m following God’s plan and the leading of the Holy Spirit, shouldn’t He be protecting me and my family from trouble?

If I heard God correctly about His plan for my life, shouldn’t pursuing my God-inspired dreams be pretty easy? Shouldn’t He be opening doors for me at every turn?

I made sacrifices, gave up my career, took a huge pay cut, and devoted myself to my family and ministry – shouldn’t God reward me with a perfect carefree life now?

God is surely so proud of me for trusting Him and taking a leap of faith into ministry – ahem – and for all the hours and expense I’m putting into trying to build a website, market myself, get a book published, serve at my church, etc., shouldn’t life be easier?

I eventually realized that life getting harder when we choose to serve God is the norm, not the exception. The reality of that hit hard, and I felt frustrated and spent. It was in that moment I knew I was faced with a hard choice. I could give up, or I could God-up.

You’ve heard the term “Man-Up” before, right? It simply means:

  • be brave or tough enough to deal with an unpleasant situation.
  • to fulfill your responsibilities as a man, despite your insecurities and constant ability to place yourself in embarrassing or awkward scenarios.
  • to start being brave and dealing with a difficult situation with courage.

This sounds like a great way to be – being brave and tough and just dealing with difficulties in stride and not letting any problem trip us up. But kind of unrealistic. The good news is that God doesn’t expect us to just “man-up” (aka, “woman-up”) when life gets hard, while pushing through our hard times in our own strength. He doesn’t expect us to put our heads in the sand and ignore our problems and emotions, while keeping a fake smile on our faces. He doesn’t require, much less expect, that we try to keep going like normal and never struggle with doubts, discouragement, burnout or frustration – in life, or in ministry. He knows at some point, we’re all going to feel like giving up, for one reason or another.

But He also knows that we each have the power within us to God-up because of who He is, not because of who we are. What God wants is for us to refuse to give in the enemy’s tactics, no matter what they are, and not let them keep us from pursuing our faith inspired dreams. He wants us to God-up –  to rely on holy strength and power to be brave enough to deal with unpleasant situations, push past our insecurities, and start facing difficulties with courage and faith – so that frustration and discouragement don’t cause us to give up.

You see, whenever life gets hard, we can either give-up or God-up. The choice is always ours.

It is awesome and rewarding to serve God with our lives, but on friend, it will certainly never be trouble free. Yet, what an unmatched privilege it is for God to call us to serve at all, in the unique ways He gifts us each to do so.

No calling from God will ever be easy, nor will life. But every time we choose to God-up instead of give up, God will always show up. And that my friend, makes it all worthwhile.

tracie

 

Tracie Miles is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and author who helps women grow stronger in their faith, learn to love who they are in Christ, and pursue the life of purpose God designed them for. Visit Tracie’s blog by clicking here.

 

Leave a comment here | 1 Comment
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Start with the End

 

My oldest son Zachary is engaged!  There’s so much rejoicing in the Chitwoods’ lives for the answer to our prayers.  Since the day he was born, I have prayed for Zach’s future wife to be a girl who would love God, love Zach, and, of course, love this mom! And these prayers have been answered abundantly.

Beyond just wanting to talk about this engagement all the time, what does this have to do with writing?  Hold on…we’re getting there.

While Zachary and Kylie settle into their junior year of college, they’ve given the moms freedom to commence wedding planning.  We delved in with gusto, little prompting needed.

The first place we started was to ask Zachary and Kylie, What do you want your wedding to look like?  Give us your top three priorities. 

We probed with questions:  Elegant or casual?  Large or small?  Indoors or outdoors?  Black tie or rustic?

Their answer, because I’m sure you’re wondering…. An elegantly casual, festive celebration with outdoor and indoor areas.  And Kylie wants pizza.

fiance Kylie with a pizza bigger than she is!

Now that we know the goal, we’re ready for wedding planning.

In the same way knowing the end goal of your writing will shape your writing journey.

What’s the end goal for your writing? 

I can think of many ways you might answer this question.  Maybe you’re not sure; you’re figuring out your goal in the process.  You’d like something written to share with your family.  You’ve been speaking for years and want an accompanying manuscript for your audience.  Maybe you want to try self-publishing.  Maybe your ultimate goal is a contract with a publishing house.

I know you may be in the very beginning of your writing journey.  Maybe all you can consider right now as an end goal is simply to stick to a consistent writing time.  That’s okay, but trust me.  The early stage of the writing journey is the best time to define your end goal.  It will motivate you, increase your efficiency, and save you from feeling overwhelmed as you write.

Let these questions help you define your writing end goal.

Describe your audience. 

How old is your reader?  What makes her happy, what brings her down?  What’s her typical day like?  What does she wish or hope?  What kind of relationship does she have with God, her family, and her friends?  Does she go to church?  Has she been a Christian for a while, or is she just learning about her faith?  Let your imagination roam, as you picture her reading your manuscript. 

Identify your purpose. 

Entertain, inform, encourage, exhort, or teach can all be purposes. Can you be even more specific? For example, help women to engage with God’s Word; reach freedom from strongholds; or provide encouragement for everyday parenting.

Determine which genre (fancy word for type or form of manuscript). A memoir looks different from a devotional, which looks different from a how-to book. A combination of several forms?

One more thing.  Write down your end goal.  Display it in a place where you will see it daily.  Review it on a regular basis.  Let it have space in your mind, heart and schedule.

It’s okay if you wander off the path some; rabbit trails and tangents can be part of the journey.   I’ve already gotten off track a bit with the wedding planning.  Kylie gently reminded me of her end goal when I sent her a few photos (okay, a whole lot of photos) of reception ideas.  In response to one picture of tables covered in white linen tablecloths and burlap napkins, she texted, No burlap, please.  The end goal reminder got me back on track. 

Take some time to talk to God about your writing destination.  He made you a writer, and He has a plan for your writing.  Then write down your end goal, and let it  be your guide as you write.

Sign-up opportunity for Proverbs 31 Ministries’ COMPEL is now open! 

Proverbs 31 Ministries offers an amazing writing training service called COMPEL. Subscribing to this monthly service gives you access to practical and inspirational podcasts, written teachings, interviews of well-known Christian nonfiction writers, and so much more. Well worth the $25/month fee! Registration is only open several times a year, so don’t miss this opportunity. Click here to find out more and to register!

Melanie

Leave a comment here | 2 Comments
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
Friday, October 7, 2016

Waiting Misconceptions & a Giveaway

 

This month I have the pleasure of introducing some new voices to the blog. I can’t wait for you to meet my wise friends!

I’m leading off with a message from my friend Wendy Pope that I know all of us in ministry need. Almost without fail, God uses a wait to develop the character of His speaking and writing girls. You’re in one of two categories today. Either you’re in the midst of a wait (and it seems like ministry doors are never going to swing open!) or you remember the pain of the wait you’ve already lived.

Either way, Wendy has perspective-changing words for us today, so please welcome her and leave a comment for the amazing giveaway at the end. Take it away, Wendy!

_______________________________________________________________________________

When times get hard and the wait seems too long, we begin to doubt God as well as the unlimited and mind-blowing future He has planned for us. We begin to question God: Did I hear You correctly? Do You see what I am going through? Why does this have to be so hard? We blame God because our circumstances seem more difficult than before we invited Him into our wait. It is during these times that we have to fight to maintain our focus on the Person of our faith rather than the object of wait or distracting circumstances that surround us. One way to do this is through prayer.

The Lord longs for us to reach out to Him and ask for help, clarity, and direction. See what James 1:5–8 says: “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who ‘worry their prayers’ are like wind whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open” (THE MESSAGE). In this verse, James clearly tells us we are to ask our Father for what we need. James says God loves to help. I certainly like the sound of that—how about you?

Wait and See identifies common misconceptions “waiters” encounter. Recognizing these misconceptions will empower us to wait well, stay present in the present, and experience God in our delay.

Misconception #1: If I am waiting, I must not have heard God correctly.

Meet Ashley: Ashley learned that waiting doesn’t necessarily mean you heard God incorrectly. Ashley says, “We give up too easily because we don’t see what we want to see when we want to see it.”

Misconception #2: If I am waiting, I must desire something not in God’s will for my life.

Meet Samantha: Samantha desired to be married. She knew God ordained and approved marriage, but did He want her to be married? There are plenty of verses in the Bible about marriage, relationships, and how to be a loving spouse. Yet Samantha also knew the verses in which Paul clearly states that some people are called to remain single.

Misconception #3: If I am waiting, I must not be praying enough.

Meet Dianna: Day after day, Dianna prayed and sought the Lord. Many days, she ate only one meal so her family could have all the food they needed. She watched her husband take odd jobs here and there just to make ends meet. She knew in her heart God would supply their needs, but she had to keep telling her head.

Misconception #4: If I am waiting, I must not have enough faith.

Meet Scott and Wendy: This was the lie I believed as we agonized over my husband’s declining health. What was I doing wrong? Was God holding my past against me? Had I not done enough to earn His favor? Sometimes waiting has less to do with the strength of your faith and more to do the perfection of God’s timing.

Misconception #5: If I am waiting, I must not be working hard enough.

Meet David: David did not ask to be king. David did not dream of being king. He wasn’t born into a royal family line from which he would naturally be appointed king. God chose David to be king. It is possible you and I could find ourselves waiting for something we never desired but God desires for us. He knows better than we do what we need to fulfill what He’s called us to do.

We need to prepare in the pauses so we’re ready to embrace God’s plans.

WendyPope_LowResWendy is the wife of Scott, mother of Blaire and Griffin, author, speaker, and Bible study teacher. She loves lazy Sundays watching golf with her husband, thrift-store shopping with her daughter, and watching building shows with her son.

Wendy is the author of Wait and See. She is a contributing author to the Real-Life Women’s Devotional Bible, Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Daily Living, The Reason We Speak, and God’s Purpose for Every Woman. Wendy writes devotions for Proverbs 31 Ministries’“Encouragement for Today” and is a content provider for the free online devotion app First 5 as well as a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker team.

She leads women all over the world to life change through her in-depth online Bible studies. She has led thousands of women through her Read through the Word study of the One Chronological Bible. Down-to-earth and transparent, Wendy teaches in a way that women feel she is speaking directly to their hearts.

________________________________________________________________________________

Giveaway:

To enter for the fabulous giveaway below, leave a comment telling us a lesson you learned in a wait. If you’re living life on the fly today, you can simply say, “I’m preparing in the pause.”

wait-and-see-giveawayThis incredible gift pack includes: a copy of Wait and See, whimsical beaded bookmark with a butterfly charm, and hand stamped Don’t Rush the Wait aluminum cuff bangle.

Leave a comment here | 21 Comments
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks