By Julie Fuller
I just don’t understand why my boys do the crazy things they do. Alex was around 8 years old; we were getting ready for Wednesday night church. I was standing in the living room when he came strolling around the corner missing his eyebrows! Now, Alex has dark brown hair and the sudden disappearance of his eyebrows was so shocking all I could do was repeat, (in a high pitched screeching voice) “What happened to your eyebrows?” I probably said it 20 times before it hit me that his older brother must have had something to do with it because he pulled this stunt several years before. The only difference is he has light colored hair so the lack of eyebrows didn’t look quite so ridiculous.
I was certain Logan had something to do with his brother’s new Frankenstein forehead because this is not a common practice. You don’t see many boys walking around without eyebrows. The next phrase I repeated (well, mostly yelled as I walked across the house) “Logan what did you do?” Logan came out of his room bewildered because he didn’t know what was going on. I said, “Logan, you did this to your brother!” Logan took one look at him and began to laugh, which did not sit well with me. Then he kept repeating, “I didn’t do it.” I asked Alex, “Did Logan shave off your eyebrows?” he said “no”. I falsely accused Logan of this crime before I had gathered any evidence or checked the facts. This was not one of my finest mom moments…apologies ensued.
For some of us (including myself), there is something deep inside that struggles with the need to be well thought of. A false accusation or an untruth believed about us gets ahold of our mind and runs us into the ground. Now, most people have a desire to clear up a misunderstanding or speak up if they are falsely accused.
But the thing I am talking about is rooted in sin, (sin that Jesus continually called the Pharisees out on) it’s an all-consuming fixation on setting the record straight or making sure our reputation is flawless or that others think good things about us. We are caught in a futile pursuit for the approval of man. It’s futile because we will never be able to sustain it because it is fickle; it is based on the latest performance and outcome. Even those closest to us will unjustly disapprove of us or believe untruths about us at times. Seeking human approval will never give us the security and acceptance we desire.
So how do we escape this destructive thinking? By remembering what the Lord says about us, because of Christ, His love and sacrifice we are a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
And because of this, we are:
Blessed, holy, blameless, loved, adopted into God’s family,
forgiven and redeemed
We will never be rejected, forsaken or forgotten
Psalms 94:14, and Isaiah 53:3
The Creator of the universe delights and sings over us
We are treasured and engraved on the palm of His hand
There is nothing that can separate us from His love
These are the things that must fill our minds when we are tempted to place more value on what others think of us than what the Lord says about us. This is what it looks like to “take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). In this obedience resides the joy and true acceptance our hearts long for. It can only be found in the unearned, undeserved acceptance of our loving Heavenly Father.
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, have five children, one son-in-law, one soon to be daughter-in-law, and one wonderful grandson. Donna and Bryan have recently moved back to their home state of Arkansas after livingin southeast Alabama the past 23 years. 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.