One of the things I learned from Margo Dill in Blogging 101, is that every successful blog has a theme. Her advice proved salient and my readership has more than quadrupled since taking her course. Thanks to YOU and to Margo!
That said, she also gave her students permission to go with the flow, follow our whims and enjoy the growing, morphing, evolving trends of our writing. So, as you and I move into another, fast-escaping month, I want to introduce a new theme.
Graceful Giving with Gratitude
Do you see the influence of this month’s holiday? God has been opening my mind to so many ways of giving lately.
I’m involved in a ministry at my church called “Heart to Heart.” This is a mentoring ministry, pairing mature Christian women with generally younger believers to help them grow righteousness. I’ve spent hours working on rosters, praying for the right pairing of people, reading about the ministry and visiting with my co-leader. On an individual level, Heart to Heart is going to require an immense amount of gracious giving – of time, energy, resources, encouragement, hope and honesty.
God doesn’t believe in coincidences. Therefore, neither do I. On a recent In the Market with Janet Parshall broadcast, I listened to Janet interview Dr. Kevin Leman about his newest book Have a New You by Friday. Janet frequently takes calls from her listeners. One particular caller tore at my heart with her story. I once believed the same PREDATORY LIE.
“The best word I can use to describe myself is incidental,” the caller whispered. Pain seeped through the cracks in her voice.
Incidental: happening or likely to happen in an unplanned or subordinate conjunction with something else. (www.dictionaryreference.com)
I have felt that way. I just happened to be in my family. I didn’t need to be there, no one would miss me if I was gone. Sure, I was a nice appendage, but certainly unnecessary.
Isaiah is an intimidating book of the Bible. But one verse sealed the tomb on my pain and has worked amazing freedom and joy in my life. “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O [Abby], he who formed you, O [Abby]: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name and you are mine.” Is. 43:1 and in verse 4a, “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.”
It is my heart’s determination to extend grace to all women out of gratitude for the freedom and purpose that Christ has given to me.
So, here’s the plan for Thanksgiving’s honorary month:
Each Monday I will share a different story of a woman who invested herself in my life. There have been so many, using so many different means, in so many different places, with so many varying levels of intentionality. Many do not even know how much they impacted my life.
On Wednesday I want to pray with you. I am an advocate of Scripture prayers. They keep me from losing my train of thought or meandering into “if it’s your will territory.” If I’m praying according to His word, then I can be confident that I am praying within His will.
But there’s a catch. On Wednesday, I want to begin establishing a new reputation as the WEB’S MOST GENEROUS BLOG. Every Wednesday, I will draw a name from the past week’s participants (commentors). Each week, someone will win two $5 gift cards to Starbucks. The condition is that you must take someone else to coffee. Extend God’s grace to them and invest in their life. I’d love it if you want to pray with them! Then, write me and tell me about your experience.
Finally, Friday. I think I want to keep Friday as a free day – for pictures, poems, sharing your stories or guest posts by friends who enjoy the grace of God in their own lives. Friday will often offer another chance to win a free… CD? Gift card? Book? After all, this is going to be the WEB’S MOST GENEROUS BLOG!
So, what do you think?