With Your faithful love, You will lead that people You have redeemed; You will guide them to Your holy dwelling with Your strength.”
As I write this, I am currently 40 weeks pregnant. In this last month or so, I have gone through many different emotions. Some days, I am so excited to hold our sweet boy soon. Then there are also some days that I have been worried about all the details involved in pregnancy, labor, and the days thereafter. If I let myself fixate on any particular worry about the future, it can consume my thoughts and rob me of joy.
As I have been sitting before the Lord in my quiet time with Him, I’ve attempted to surrender these various worries. He has given me peace in such gracious ways as I pray and read His Word, but as I have been going about my day, the worries worm their way back into my mind. I have been getting defeated because the peace and Scriptures that He has been lavishing on me in the morning would “go out the window” throughout the day and I would quickly choose to focus on the potential bad things that could happen, instead of His truth.
I remember a few weeks ago feeling like every morning I would begin my prayer time with a new worry that I was frantic about and needed to bring before Him. I was disappointed in myself because I thought that even though He has been faithful to listen to and guide me each day, I kept failing to consistently apply it. I knew what His word says about worry, yet sometimes it felt like worrying was an easier option and I chose to not heed what it said. It reminds me of how Paul describes himself in Romans 7:17, “’For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.’” The enemy would whisper to me that God was frustrated with me for my failures and worries, so much so that I shouldn’t talk to Him about them. But in His still small voice, God reminded me that those were all lies.
Although it is very important for us, as believers, to strive to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:16), God is a gracious, faithful, and forgiving God. Prayer is about relationship with Him and that means bringing all our needs, desires, failures, praises, and thanks to Him, knowing He will always love us. During this time, God has continued to show me of His amazing faithfulness. No matter how many times I get consumed by the “what if’s” and fail to apply the truths of His word to my life, He will never leave and is always there to listen when I talk to Him. He reminds us of this in Exodus 15:13, “With Your faithful love, You will lead the people You have redeemed; You will guide them to Your holy dwelling with Your strength.” Once again, this is another reminder that His faithfulness and love towards us is not based on what we do or what we bring to Him, but is solely based on His strength and redemption through His Son Jesus Christ.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.