Through the years I have increasingly realized the value of having a teachable heart. Esther 2:15 beautifully summarizes the blessings of that to me: "When the time came for Esther to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her." Because Esther was willing to receive and heed council, she not only won favor, but became a queen who God used to save His people.
Dayspring has launched a new website to (In)Courage Christian Women. There are several amazing writers that will be contributing to the site and I am sure it will be a tremendous blessing to many! You can check it out here!
Today they are inviting bloggers to answer the question, "What Encourages You?" You can link up and enter for a chance to win a limited edition t-shirt. ---- While I am often blessed by the smiles, laughter, and words of others; I was intrigued by the way that the title of their new site plays on the word "encourage." The emphasis is placed really on "what brings you courage?" As I thought through what it is that brings me courage each day in the many roles that I hold, the following things came to mind:
The example of Godly men & women in the Bible. Currently, I find myself drawn to Daniel, Esther, and Abraham. Each of them were faithful and obedient in their walk with God. Each took a stand in the face of danger and/or the unknown. They looked to God for their approval and were willing to die rather than to walk away from what God had called them to do. Their courage stands as an encouragement to me.
Other Christ followers who I know IRL and on the internet. I am blessed to have amazing Christian men and women in my life who speak life and truth to me. Those who allow me to be real and open and who are transparent enough to be real with me as well. Transparency requires humility; but it is so worth it in relationships.
My Husband. One of the prayers that I pray daily for my children is that they will marry someone who will draw out their gifts, support them in developing them, and push them to be all that God intended for them to be. (I pray that my children would do the same for their spouse as well.) My husband encourages and pushes me to be courageous and step out in faith when I am prompted and he does his best to equip me for success.
Our marriage has gone through ups and (some very large) downs. But as we have grown in our relationships with the Lord and one another; it has given us courage to push our "marriage" to being all that God designed it to be. If you are needing encouragement in your marriage; click here. God is a God of restoration. Through Him all things are possible!
Lives near Washington D.C. with her wonderful husband of 15 years and their three precious children. She is the Co-Founder of Bloom! (a ministry for 4th/5th Grade Girls,)and she enjoys speaking at ladies events. Shanda is a Proverbs 31 Ministries "She Speaks" Graduate and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org