If we're really honest with one another, sometimes that beautiful leather-bound Bible starts to gather a little dust. Full of best intentions, from time to time, we will puff away the cloud of neglect and crack it open, hoping to get immediately hooked in and discover life-changing revelations...... but of course, developing an actual habit of spending time reading, studying and meditating on scripture sometimes takes a little bit of support. How do we cultivate a regular devotional life? Don't worry. You're in good company. We are in this together! Click 'Read More'
My kids and I love looking at pictures of the universe. We scrunch up our eyes and just try to comprehend just how big God is.... Nope. Can't do it! My brain just can't seem to stretch that far! How do we get our heads around just how huge and immeasurable God is....
I have sensed a pushback against the legalistic way in which the Proverbs 31 passage has sometimes been used to make Christian women feel inferior as they read about this ancient Superwoman. Who wouldn't feel inadequate next to a woman who doesn't seem to even sleep because she is so busy making everyone around her gleeful. Yet that wasn't the message I took from the chapter at all so I wanted to bring an empowering and deeply encouraging message to modern women, from all walks of life, based on the character traits I saw in this inspiring representation of Biblical womanhood......
Jesus asked this question on more than one occasion. He asked 'what do you want?' as a tactic to reveal the heart, just as my mentors had as they pushed me to articulate my career hopes. However, Jesus went further still on one occasion when He asked 'what do you want me to do for you?' We know that Jesus works in us, and through us, but when was the last time you told Jesus, explicitly, what you want Him to do for you.....?
I love my apple tree. It is my organic focal point for day-dreaming as I sup my morning coffee. To be honest, it’s not the best producer in the world. The apples are small, a bit tart and very oddly shaped - but it faithfully blossoms and triumphantly pops out about 100 apples each year. One autumnal day as I gazed at my beloved apple tree, I had an idea…
If you've ever dreamed of starting your own business but never quite begun, this post is for you. You might already have an idea, or many ideas, about what you would like to do but still you’re holding back. So, let us help you sift out some of those mythical barriers you might have in your way. Let's sort the fact from the fiction and you might just be shocked at how close you are to starting your own business....
There's A Pulse.. It's Called Hope
When my daughter was born the looks of panic on the doctors’ face made it clear what they were thinking: stillborn. We prayed, we cried and then we cried out in prayer as the medics began to do what they were trained to do. As they worked to revive our baby girl I stared at her and just tried to drink her all in:
She was my heart. And it was breaking.....
Have you ever noticed the sheer volume of depressing, demoralising, discouraging stuff all over social media. What's a girl to do? Turn to the Proverbs 31 example of Christian womanhood and be completely overwhelmed by this off-the-chart crazily productive woman who would put us all to shame? No, a girl looking for inspiration, encouragement, support to navigate the tumultuous twists and bends of modern day Biblical womanhood needs a modern, savvy, sassy, Jesus-lovin', God-fearin', people-helpin' role model... so let's look afresh at what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman...
Have you ever wanted to take a leap? A really, big, fat, scary leap into something new? Or, actually, perhaps not-so-new, but rather something that has been burning little scorch marks in your heart for a while now to the point where you just need to DO SOMETHING...! No? Just me then.
She31 was birthed in a coffee shop near Loch Lomond, Scotland, UK (not that you could see the Loch from where my friend & I were sitting). As we enjoyed our frothacinos we pontificated about the sheer volume of depressing, demoralising, discouraging stuff all over social media. What's a girl to do? A girl looking for inspiration, encouragement, support to navigate the tumultuous twists and bends of modern day Biblical womanhood ~ a modern, savvy, sassy, Jesus-lovin', God-fearin', people-helpin' girl, just looking for her tribe, that is.
It didn't exactly feel like an epiphany moment at the time, more like an excuse to ingest calorifically terrific cakes and vent our spleens about the perils of social media (not a bad topic for a Tuesday evening) but it set a fire in me to do something about it. For myself, for my beautiful friend there in front of me, for my own beloved daughter.. for all our friends and daughters who are growing up in a world of tweets, snaps, posts and non-erasable digital footprints.
So, I started in the only place I knew and bungled my way through 12-months of sharing thoughts, prayers, jokes and mini Bible studies in a Facebook Group which I called She31 ~ Women After God's Heart. It slowly but steadily grew as girls found a safe place, encouragement, some positive little rays of light beaming out of their newsfeeds here and there. Girls, young and less young, from every arc of the globe; from Africa, to Australia somehow found us and we connected. We really connected.
Why call it She31? And why on earth then build an entire website of the same name? I shall tell you why. Come in a bit closer. Okay, so we've all heard of that woman in the Bible, who suddenly charges in around about the 10th verse of the book of Proverbs, with all her business and investment know-how, early rising, bread-making, wise-beyond-her-years, clothes-stitching stuff and makes us feel a twinge of despair at this impossible job description. Who is this angelic creature we read of and why on earth is she in a Book that is meant to encourage us? Who is this uber-productive saint who makes children rise up and call her 'Blessed' when merely getting my kids to rise up out of bed in the morning gets me skittish?
And on another hand, we've all heard of David; the Shepherd-boy-turned-King who, despite being an adulterous murderer bagged himself the jaw-dropping eternal reputation of being 'a man after God's own heart'.. And this speaks to the extravagant, pigeon-hole-ripping, undeniable Grace of God which for me, and now for hundreds of others, the name She31 ~ Women After God's Heart rolls up in its own clumsy way to represent the seedlings of something powerful to come. She31 is the vision of a tribe, a community, a circle (close and far) of women who determine to excel in life, yet remain in the bosom of our Savior.
We want to soar as a women of the 21st Century, unfurling wings of wisdom, generosity and faithfulness - and yet whist emulating our foremoms in the Word of God; those mighty, courageous, icons ~ Hannah, Ruth, Esther, Deborah, Dorcas, Junia, Mary, Phoebe... That's right. That allegedly antiquated, anti-feminist library of holy scripture is chock full of dynamic, fearless, effective, loving women and from them ~ we have so, so much to learn. Even now. Even today. Whether at the kitchen sink or the office water cooler. We can deploy the wisdom of these spiritual mammas knowing that we too, have a unique story to tell those yet to come, about our very own God-blessed lives.