5 Ways She Speaks Was Nothing I Wanted

Hello sweet friends! I sure have missed you, although it certainly has been a welcome break of refocusing. I returned from She Speaks a few weeks ago to immediately repack and head for camping! You might remember this city girl was a bit nervous, but other than loads of mosquito bites it was tons of fun! Life has officially returned to normal with the start of school and my writing time being reclaimed!

I wanted to share a few things that impacted my life while at She Speaks. I went to North Carolina with definite expectations and came home with none of them being met…isn’t that the way God works! So here is my list of 5 ways the Lord gave what I didn’t know I wanted.

20150722_222328She Speaks Swag It Begins! Ministry Stone

1. A Lesson of Insecurity = Pride 

Yep, you read that right, those words had me on my face in repentance. On the first day of pre-conference, the workshop I was most excited for was on spiritual warfare by Whitney Capps. I was initially on the wait list for this but  I’d say God knew I needed it!  I have always struggled with insecurity. My name, my body, my calling, my ability as a mom, wife, photographer, christian. I could go on and on, I’ve doubted just about everything in my life. I’ve labeled myself mediocre at best, failure at worst. I NEVER considered this a source of pride. When this light was cast over insecurity I saw myself written all over it. I used my labels to replace God’s truth, I thought and worried about what others thought of me over what God wanted me to do. Hence why 2012-2014 on this blog is virtually non-existent. I knew I should write and share but, was too afraid.

Meeting Whitney Capps

Me with Whitney Capps, if you haven’t heard this firecracker preach the word of God you are missing out!

2. Given a Rhema word. 

The first main session of the conference started, tables for 800 women to sit were set up. As we wind our way through the isles and choose a seat we see little scrolls of paper. We were told that these papers contained verses that had been prayed over, selected and laid at each place setting. That winding through the tables and sitting where we did wasn’t by accident.

I received 1st Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 

A rhema word from God is a portion of scripture that speaks into your current life situation. For me I came to She Speaks with baggage of, am I on the right path. Is blogging my plan or the Lord’s? What is the next step? So for me to read stand firm, let nothing move you. Just wow! Then to read that when you work for the Lord it can’t be in vain. Talk about baggage being dealt with as I continue to mediate and process that!

3. Anointed with Christ’s Confidence

During the last workshop of the weekend there was a call to be anointed and prayed over. A room of more than a hundred women were anointed and sent out. Talk about powerful stuff. This room swelled with worship music being played on a single guitar and a single vocalist. I was the seventh shaky woman to stand in front of Wendy Blight, she placed the oil on my forehead and prayed over me. The only words from this prayer I grasped on to and refuse to let go of was to “go and be filled with Christ’s confidence.” He alone will be my confidence, when I look at that spot on my forehead or graze my finger over it I am flooded with thoughts of His confidence.

 

Meeting Wendy BlightHaving God breathed truth spoken to you

Me and Wendy Blight! The lovely lady taking this picture, who I had never met, asked me my name and said I was beautiful from the inside out. She gave me another rhema word from Song of Songs, You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. 4:7 She said I was beautifully filled with the Lord, never have I felt instantly loved and given words like this.

4. I was called from birth

In an earlier workshop, the speaker encouraged the group to reflect back on the moment of your calling and in moments of discouragement remember that moment in order to have strength to go on. I pondered that thought for the entire workshop, spent some time in the prayer room pondering that thought afterwards, and after being anointed continued to ponder it. I thought well, maybe if I can’t remember a moment of being called, only having this overwhelming urge to make Jesus famous (that I’ve prayed to have removed) then perhaps I’m not truly called. As woman after woman went forward to be anointed and voices joined in with the vocalist to worship our Lord, I took a moment to ask my new friend sitting beside me this pondering question.

She responded with “have you considered the possibility that you were called from birth?” She went on to share that she has been told since she was little that she was called. Her mom during pregnancy felt she had a light growing within her that would shine bright. She knew her baby before birth, had favor with the Lord so, she named her Anne-Renee . This struck a memory that has been coming to mind for months. This moment of childhood, I was 5 or 6 jumping on my bed singing. I remember bouncing and singing, likely off key, that God was good, greater than satan and Jesus would always win. At this point in my young life I had been to church only a handful of times, yet I knew truth, I was called to truth. Truth, that I now believe was put inside of me before breathing my first breath.

New Godly Friends

Anne-Renee of The Masterpiece MomFunny story, her and Amanda (the other half of The Masterpiece Mom) happened to be some of the first girls we met upon arriving Wednesday night, all they said was they were from Alaska and I already knew their blog! It can be a small world here in the blogging sphere.

5. There is intention to being named Winter.

This might sound a little weird to you, why would the Lord address your name, you maybe thinking. For me though, growing up very shy and having the name Winter drawing attention to me, I hated it. HATED it! As an adult I’ve learned to tolerate it. Because what other choice is there. It was minimal tolerance though, since nearly every time I introduce myself to someone I receive an “oh, that’s different” (with a puzzled look on their face).

While at She Speaks people already seemed to know me and remember me (there was a private Facebook group for getting to know each other) which I found shocking, all because of my name. Well, ok also partly because of my current very red hair color! In having a conversation about this with my new friend from Costa Rica, she encouraged me to search the meaning of my name and allow God to reveal Himself through my name. As she is saying this, an amazing dawning poured down over me. The day I was born was the middle of October (the 23rd in case you are wondering when to send the gift! Just Kidding!!) This ordinary day in October that I was to be born on and to be named Kelly Nicole, it snowed. Snowed and made it feel like winter, prompting my grandpa to suggest the name Winter Nicole. Frankly, I had always scoffed at that reasoning. But this idea that the God of all the universe sent snow, in order to have His message received by a non-Jesus believing man all so I could have the name Winter stopped me in my tracks.

I looked up the meaning of my name by the way….Winter Nicole means bringing renewal / victorious people. God blows me away.

Friends Speak Jesus Truth2 from Costa Rica + 3 from Indiana = Forever Friends

This lady spoke pure Jesus truth to me the entire weekend! I was beyond blessed to meet her and can’t wait to visit Costa Rica one of these days! The 5 of us made the best of friends!

 

Why do I write all of these terribly personal, reflective thoughts? Because through these five occurrences, the Lord revealed my true calling and passion. I was called to boldly become like Jesus. To be boldly confident in who I am in Christ. I am passionate about allowing God to work in me, making me more like Christ as well as seeing others embrace and boldly become who God has called them to be. Just in case you had any remaining thoughts that I have it all together or some such nonsense, the above should take care of that. I am nothing without the presence and grace of the Lord.  But I am confident in moving forward in who I am, who you are, and encouraging both of us to be bold, all in the name of Christ.

You can usually find me on these amazingly awesome blogs! 

 

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Friend Sharpens Friend + Link Up

As I sat crying through Steel Magnolias yesterday, it gave me a picture of what I experienced myself this week. Friendship at its best. In the movie at the funeral of Shelby, M’Lynn loses it, she has just lost her daughter. It is perfectly acceptable to lose it, in the screaming, crying, mad as a hornet lose it kind of way. The girls gather round to support her and join her in the midst of her crazy. They bring laughter to the darkness, that is true friendship.

 

All of us are designed to live in community but women are especially designed to live this way, I know for myself it is vital. I am a ESFJ on the Briggs Myers personality test – 100% E (extroverted) to be exact. For me to not have friendships, meaningful connected friendships, would be detrimental to my mental health!

 

I have had friendships that were for a season of life, or were because of a job or hobby, as I’m sure you have too. I even have friendships that I cherish and I know I could lean on them if I needed, but nothing quite lines up with my relationship with two amazing women. All of these types of relationships are important but today I praise Jesus for the true friendship He has blessed me with. Yep, girls like you see in Steel Magnolias, who can be there in the yucky muck of life or the celebrations.

Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest. | Me, Coffee and Jesus

I’ve known Lorissa more years than Amy but God has cemented the three of us together in the last few years that doesn’t reflect the time known. As we have cried, prayed, and laughed together Jesus has bound us together as only He can. We have become the iron that sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17) for each other.

 

We meet together each week on Wednesdays, it is a rare exception that we don’t, and this past week I showed up with my crazy showing. You know the grumpy funk of being overwhelmed, the enemy had been saying all week, “what on earth are you doing trying to encourage others for Jesus when you don’t have it together.” You better believe it that these two called me out. I spilled it and immediately they filled me with truth, it makes me teary just thinking about what a blessing it is to have two Jesus girls to build me up.

 

Jesus had the disciples, he didn’t just teach them but he did life with them. I’m sure that there were nights filled with tears and laughter. There were moments that the disciples let Jesus down and moments that Jesus confused them. But it didn’t matter, they were the iron that sharpens iron to each other.

As iron sharpens iron. So a friend sharpens friend. | Me, Coffee and Jesus

Who we surround ourselves with impacts the direction of our journeys. If I had shown up with a bad attitude like I had on Wednesday to a different group it likely wouldn’t have ended with laughter and a weight being lifted off my shoulders. It likely wouldn’t have had conversations ranging from family health concerns to secret dreams to laughing over putting our crazy away in front of others.

 

When we aren’t surrounded and being sharpened by iron we become dull and less effective in our lives, when we are consistently sharpened we can be used to our full potential. God designed us to connect and purposefully live out our journeys together. He is pleased when two or more gather together and invite Him into their friendship.

 

I know that we have busy lives as wives and moms, or maybe you are the total opposite as me and as an introvert, making time with others seems less needed. Let me just say, it is not! God created all of us for community and we all need to get out of our heads and be filled with the truth in the way only the best of friends can.

 

 

 

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

 

 

This week I am featuring Rebekah of Faithful With the Little she shared about when nothing goes as planned. I can really relate to her post of trying to find time for my quiet time or just me time and everything seems to go against us. I loved that she shared the verse from Proverbs “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  She is so right even when we don’t think it’s fair the Lord has a purpose and a plan.

 

I am also featuring Bonnie Lynn of Espresso of Faith her post about how her dog curled up at her feet causing her to reflect at being at her Master’s feet really resonated with me. How she“yearns to be in a position of constant worship, with head bowed, because in that place, I feel safe, humble, ready to receive what my Master would give me.”

You can usually find me at these awesome blogs!

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