Who Are You Looking At?

Praying for extended periods of time used to frighten me. I was nervous about the silence, about what to say, about getting bored. I was especially nervous to pray out loud with others for extended periods. Now however, joining together in prayer with others, especially women who are in ministry with me, is a highlight of my week and my ministry. It is as if we are entering into battle in the spiritual realm. We link arms and raise our voices, seeking the throne of our Almighty God. We thank God for who He is, for what he has done and we beseech Him to continue His good work.

Last week while praying I was encouraged to hear the prayers for me and about me. It is one thing to bring your own requests before the King knowing He will answer, it is another thing to know someone else is raising your needs to the Lord and it is an altogether different blessing to listen to someone cry out to the Lord on your behalf. In the midst of prayer last week I was blown away by the prayers about me. The woman being prayed for was so contradictory to how I see myself. The prayers of the women about me opened my eyes to the subtle lies I believe from the enemy. I was tempted to ask “Who are You looking at? Who is this woman you are praying about?” when they thanked God for my leadership, for my inspiration, for my growth over the years, for the mighty ways in which He is using me. I instead mulled these things over in my heart. I began to contemplate if these things prayed about me were true, and if they were how do I begin to assimilate them into my understanding of who I am. God asks us to be humble and meek, He does not ask us to see ourselves poorly, or in essence spit in the face of His creation. While I don’t think I despise myself, I know I don’t see myself as God does, or even as others do. I wonder what would happen to my life and my ministry if I truly took to heart who I am. What would it mean to my interactions with those I lead if I fully grasped who I am in Christ? All of this to say, I don’t want to be self indulgent and boast in myself, but I want to begin to see who I am and boast in Christ. I wonder if you can grow in this area as well.

Theological Thoughts

If I am being completely honest, my thoughts in the past year have revolved around my turning 30. Those of you older than me, think my life is just starting, those of you who are younger, agree with me and think I’m old! Or not! The truth is, I simply feel like I am beginning to view life more seriously. Now some of you think I don’t need to get MORE serious, and some of you think GOOD, she needs to get serious. Well, whichever side of the line you fall on, I assure you it is a good thing! Perhaps I do not mean that I’m getting more serious, but that I’ve begun to look at the world around me with a more eternal perspective. In this way my thoughts have become more theologically focused.

In November I had the chance to teach women a seminar I titled “Transforming my Meology with Theology”. This thought keeps coming up in conversation and in my thought life. Do I truly live as though I am being transformed by my theology, my understanding of, study of or my Knowing God? Who He is should transform who I am. While I know this in my head, I often forget to focus my heart on it and live from there. I don’t want to shy away from theology I want to understand it more fully. Being  a woman who is transformed by my God is my goal for 2015 and beyond. I desire to look less like Nicole and more like Christ every day, not because of how hard I strive toward perfection but because my eyes are focused on Him, and my heart is surrendered. I hope that in my 30s I tend less toward the perfectionist Nicole and more toward the submitted disciple. It is my desire to realize that I am unable to make myself like Him but I am able to spend time with Him, and hopefully because of that time, I look more like Him. So here’s to striving less and to surrendering more.

From Wheaton College!

Hi all! What a marathon I have had! Thursday of last week I trekked from Syracuse, Indiana to Washington D.C. I was part of adult conference there and able to celebrate Women of Grace’s 75th anniversary with them as well as had the opportunity to see Janet Minnix honored for her 17 years of service as the Women of Grace President. I then traveled to York, PA Friday night to pick up Jen Lepore who is now representing SMM with me here at Momentum in Wheaton, Il. Saturday Morning I had the opportunity to share with and encourage some dear women in York, PA who are working with women and girls in the church. Our time together reinforced to me how important it is that women in ministry, especially those ministering to girls have connection with one another. The chance to share with these ladies about the direction of SMM as well as the opportunity to share ideas and encouragement with them was such a blessing.

Here at Momentum (we drove in and arrived Tuesday afternoon) we have had great conversation so far and have had many girls stop in at our table. The need is great in the hearts and lives of teen girls and I’m excited to see how God can use SMM to meet this need. Please pray for us as we continue to make connection with these girls and women. Please pray as we have dinner discussions Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that we would facilitate these well and that we would be able to connect with the hearts and concerns of both the women and the girls attending this week. Please also pray for the Power Trax session I will be sharing on Friday. This will specifically focus mentoring and why it is important and what it can look like.

This has been such an exciting summer, but I am getting a bit weary please pray for endurance!!

Love to you All!!
Nicole

Abundant Blessings!

I have felt so blessed this last week. I have had many opportunities to be reminded of my heart and the passion which God has placed in me. Today, at church, the pastor spoke on the fight to men specifically and last week about the difficulties we face as women. I love when the Church has the chance to hear how the Enemy specifically attacks our genders and how God has prepared us for this fight!

Women of Grace USA held a Leadership Studies class on equipping others for ministry the weekend of April 26th. I had the awesome opportunity to connect with women who are like minded and that God has called to ministry, the conversations that took place during this weekend were just amazing and God was in it!

This past Friday I had the chance to attend a Marked Moment at Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana in which I got to connect with women, hear other’s stories and worship together! Thursday was the final day of our 2013-2014 SMM at Jefferson Elementary and while I will miss my volunteers and girls I am so thankful for the time I had with them this year and cannot wait for another year in 2014-2015. God is good and He is moving in the SMM ministry!!

Thank you for your prayers and for supporting SMM!

Stones of Rememberance

The waters were surging rapidly. The men who carried the Ark of the Covenant stepped forward, placing their feet into the raging waters. All at once the waters parted to each side, standing high to reveal dry land. The priests carried the Ark across, as the rest of the Israelites crossed, too. Once across, Joshua commanded the men to place 12 stones upon the place where they would lodge so that “when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”
 
I have had the opportunity to share with groups of people about the journey God has brought me on in SMM. Ten years ago God began calling me to this ministry, and it has been a process of following His guidance ever since. As I had the chance to recount His work in my life and this ministry, it was as if I was placing my own stones of remembrance. Talking about the ways that God has worked in my life and ministry is a reminder that this ministry is His.

 

I encourage you to take some time to recount, either out loud or in writing, all that God has done in your life and your ministry. 

 

Taking time to remember all God has done is no small thing. 

The Holi-daze!!!!

The holidays seem to go faster and faster each year. I’m not sure if this is because holiday decorations begin selling in stores directly after Halloween or simply because as we get older, life seems to move more rapidly. Whatever the reason, I find myself praying to see God in the midst of the pace of this season. It is wonderful to see family and visit with them. It is great to celebrate the wonderful time of year but sometimes when it finally slows down and I’m sitting quietly alone, I wonder, “God, is this really how you want me to celebrate this season?”

Now maybe you are not like at all me and you have no trouble slowing down and being thankful and thinking of Christ’s birth in the midst of the busyness, and if you are I congratulate you! Well done! If not take some time, sit in stillness, rest in His peace. 

Daughters of the King

We had the great privilege this week to host a dinner event during CE National’s Momentum week! We had over 100 girls and women attend this event on Thursday evening July 18th. We had a wonderful time celebrating 100 years of God’s ministering to the hearts of girl’s through the SMM ministry. Indiana Wesleyan’s staff was fantastic and helped us tie together all the details for our event! The Cake Lady of North Webster Indiana provided a beautiful Cake! Marie Owen of Marion provided a fantastic give-away for 10 lucky women and girls as well as a foot spa night for the ladies who worked hard to make this event possible! Anita Baughman, Rachel Zachardy, Viki Rife, Chery Boehm and Vonetta Carter each were part of our steering committee leading up to this event! God opened many doors for us leading up to this event. Many women and girls were able to hear God’s truth about being His Daughters and we were able to celebrate 100 years of SMM ministry with them!! God is good and it is great to be His daughter! Thank you to all those who give financially and prayerfully to this ministry!