Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If your gift is to encourage then encourage!

I was recently at the park with all 4 of my children.  Everyone was having a great time!  Lijah, the 3 year old wanted to go across the monkey bars.  I had my hands full holding baby Ledjer.  My children always jump in and help when needed, especially with their younger siblings.  It is something they have been taught to do. (Teaching our children to help is an entire post of it's own.)  Lilli told Lijah she would help him cross the monkey bars.  I stood back and watched them work together.  What I noticed the most was how encouraging Lilli was to Lijah.  She was saying, "You can do it!" and "Just a little farther."  When he was done, she was praising him for doing such a great job.  He may have been able to cross them without her words of affirmation, but I'm not sure that he would have felt as excited and confident to have gone again.

My children and I  have been memorizing a passage from the Bible, Romans chapter 12.  We just about have the entire thing memorized.  It's full of wisdom on how to live and think about yourself and others in view of your own relationship with Jesus Christ.  One things thing the author spends a lot of time talking about is the fact that all believers have gifts that they should be using.  One of the gifts it mentions is encouragement.

Romans 12:6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.  If a man's gift is prophesying let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching let him teach; if it is encouraging , let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of other let him give generously; if it leadership let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

My gift is encouragement.  I love doing it in my home, in my local church and in my Mary Kay organization.  I saw my daughter encouraging her brother in the park and it made me wonder, does she have the gift of encouragement as well? I'm now  asking God to show me if it is one of her gifts. If so, then I want him to teach me how to spur her on in that area and to show me how to enable her  to use her giftedness.

What about you?  Are you a member of the body that is referred to in Romans 12? All Christ followers are referred to as the body.  If you are a member of the body than you have specific gifts that you have been called to use. When you are using your gifts the way the Creator intended for you to use them, you will know it and you will never want to stop!  I encourage you today to search the scriptures and seek the Father as he reveals to you how to live out your giftedness.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 years ago mom beat breast cancer!

I remember distinctly the feeling I had when mom told me she had discovered a lump. By the time she told me, she had already had a mammogram and the biopsy was scheduled. I didn't know much about breast cancer.  I wasn't quite 22 and I had just had my first child. I was scared for my mom's life. How could this be? Was she going to die? Would she even know my daughter?

Without sharing all of the details and all my emotions let's just say she decided to fight it! She had double mastectomies, reconstructive surgery and chemo.

One day during her journey with cancer I called her and was surprised to hear the tone of her voice.  The chemo was making her ill, but she had been able to maintain her positive attitude.  Her hair fell out, but she was able to keep it together. She had an infection with one of her implants and some complications and her psyche was still intact. But on the morning I called she had hit the bottom of her will to fight.  We talked and I tried to encourage her. When we hung up I began to pray. I was praying for my mom's will to fight, I was praying selfishly for my mom to survive and I was praying for God's guidance on how to keep her going.

God directed me to remind her to go to the scriptures.  Well I knew she knew to read the scriptures but she needed something more in her face. So I took paper, cut it into squares and began writing scriptures on them.  I then went to her house and plastered these little strips of paper everywhere. Bathroom mirrors, above light switches, behind the kitchen sink and etc.  I then got in my mom's face and gave her a hard core pep talk.  I told her she was going to fight.  In Ephesians 6, you can read about the Armor of God. I reminded my mom of this armor and I reminded her that when she was feeling her weakest it was the scriptures that would be her truth and her strength. That was 10 years ago this month!

Praise thee Lord!  I am so thankful that God decided to spare my mom.  I don't know why some stay on earth and some go to heaven when they are diagnosed with breast cancer.  I suppose that's a mystery I will never know, but I'm so blessed that I was able to keep my mom through her battle. I believe one day in America we will have a cure for cancer, even possibly a preventative medicine to keep cancer cells from forming.  This kind of research only happens when we give. I encourage you to support your local Relay for Life or any other charitable organization that funds cancer research, especially those that affect women.

This is Relay for Life month.  I have decided that 25% of all Mary Kay sales will go to the Orange County Relay for life for the next 7 days.  If you want to support the cause you may do so at