A couple weeks ago Austin and I wrote our 101st ministry newsletter to our supporters which motivated me to look back through all our past letters. It was so encouraging reading stories of lives the Lord had changed who I had totally forgot about. It was also humbling that I could forget such incredible stories of what God had done. Then I think of the Israelites and how they forgot what God had done. I used to think, "Oh you silly Israelites, how in the world could you forget that!" and yet here I did the same thing in forgetting His miraculous life changing work that I saw right before my eyes. No wonder the Lord wants us to take initiative to recount and remember the wonderful things He has done. We forget.
So since this is the 156th Faith Filled Friday, I thought it'd be an appropriate time to remember what the Lord has done here in this space by sharing about the journey and history of Missional Women.
The Journey to Missional Women
I wish I had a super start at blogging but the reality is my blogging journey began with failure. My first blog (Sufficient Grace) was birthed in 2008 out of a deep desire to teach and share God’s Word. My boys were tiny ones and I had less time and opportunity to teach so I felt like I was going to explode. I heard about blogging but was clueless about the entire blog world out there. Without learning a ton (well, or anything for that matter) I started a blog and thought people would miraculously find and flock to it. How embarrassing to admit that!
Well, one day I wrote about how after starting the ministry in Ephesians, Paul didn’t just leave the baby Christians there alone but called in reinforcements. Not a particularly controversial topic right? Well, my ministry director at the time sat me down and pulled out my post she had printed off and began to tell me why what I had written was wrong for so many reasons. I was crushed, and fuming mad. It felt as if my newly found outlet was stomped on right in front of me. Out of spite I went home and deleted my blog.
In 2010 I was again just about to burst at the seams because I longed to teach God’s Word but my opportunities didn't match what I longed to give. So I started my second blog, Beholding Glory. This time I was determined to be a good steward and get wisdom. I wanted to actually try to glorify God the best I could by growing my readership. After all wasn't He worth my effort. I didn't want to get followers for followers sake, as if that was the end goal, but I was going to put effort into growing my readership as a means to the end goal of glorifying God.
Then a couple years later I was asking the Lord what He wanted to talk about and Beholding Glory came to mind along with a lot of questions. Was it just a spiritual activity or really something rooted in faith? If God were to have more control of it, would it look different? And if so would I be able to let go? As my time with the Lord went on, He showed me there was some changes He wanted to make. Things I never expected yet totally made sense with how He works in my life.
Remember in school when you had to do group projects? I really really did not like those. All my insecurities came out and I clammed up. I grew up as a very independent child and could just not understand why in the world a teacher would make you do school work with other people.
Well, the Lord led me to bring on contributing writers. Isn’t that just like God! Bringing me back once again to my need to be part of a team.
So in December 2012 after inviting a large group of godly women who actively lived out and talked about the mission onboard, I launched Missional Women.
The journey of blogging itself has taught me a lot. Here’s a few key things:
1. Be willing to flex in the Lords hands. I can’t think of a time when the Lord kept things the same forever. With Him the process is just as valuable as the end result. So keep evaluating and reflecting with Him on your blog’s effectiveness.
2. Get wisdom. Just as the stewards given the talents in Matthew 25 were expected to not bury their talent, the Lord desires we steward well the blog He’s entrusted to us. We have incredible potential to glorify God in influential ways through blogging (an influence no other generation has been able to have) and He wants us to put effort into maximizing it. It has helped me to subscribe to wise bloggers, ask questions from those we have more experience and read a lot.
3. Reminding myself often it’s not about me. I began blogging out of a felt need to teach God’s Word. And though my desire was good, it can’t be the end goal. Glorifying God, not my desire to teach has to be the end goal or else I act as though the Gospel revolves around me instead of Jesus. So keeping our eyes on our purpose of glorifying God (aka making His character known), we then have to think of ourselves as servants to our readers. Although we can technically write whatever we want to write, not all things are beneficial.
4. Time with the Lord is essential. Spending time with the Lord and relying on His strength is really the main thing that keeps me going. Blogging is not something my husband really gets so it’s hard for Him to value it the same as I do. If I didn’t sense the Lord was the One leading me I would have given up a long time ago. And vision leaks. So I need to be letting the Lord continually give me vision for why my blog is eternally valuable to keep me pressing through when it feels overwhelming.
5. See other Christians as partners. Community with others has helped me keep going. Talking with other bloggers and talking about Missional Women with other people has really encouraged me. We have a Facebook group for the missional women contributors and I am so encouraged by their faith, prayers and enthusiasm. Joy, Lyli and Abby serve that community so remarkably well! Each of the contributors are so amazing that I just sit back sometimes and am so grateful I get to know them! (Even though some of us have never met in person.)
So this week, I remember how the Lord has been faithful in providing an outlet to share His Word. And not just me but so many other incredible women. I remember how He has done beautiful things in collaborating a team to make Him known. And I remember how the Lord did grow the readership from a handful to 4,000 subscribers and readers from over 130 countries. What Lord!?! Surely He is faithful and generous and does more than we could ask or imagine. I never would have thought He'd use me alongside amazing women of God to coach others in making Him known way over in Pakistan, Botswana, Mongolia, China, Cambodia, India, Saudi Arabia, Russia and a ton more.
To celebrate the 156th Faith Filled Friday Link Up, I'd like to give everyone who links up an e-copy (I'll send pdf and kindle) of my Judges devotional. So leave your email when you link up and I'll email it to you.
We exist to glorify God, to display His heart and character. And I just love how we are all uniquely built to do that. So every Friday I want to give you, uniquely designed by God, an opportunity to link up your thoughts on God, art, baking, photography, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, writing or blogging and more if they tie into or display the Lord somehow.
Here's how it works.
1. Link up as many blog posts as you want below by clicking the link below and following the prompts. (Perhaps think of old posts you want more exposure to as well as new ones.)
2. Let your readers know by including a link at the bottom of your post (or somewhere on your side bar) or paste my button code (found below and on the side bar).
3. Take a minute to visit and comment on another sweet lady or two's post. You're encouragement might be just what she needs to keep pressing on in being a voice in the darkness.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has five kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 13 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks to college and women's groups. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook, twitter,pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.
If you'd like to read more from this contributor, type her name in the search box on the top right.
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I'm Laura the founder of Missional Women and this is my sweet friend, Lyli. We host a link up for bloggers every Friday and look forward to having you join us. But before you go, look around, we are here to glorify God and be a blessing to you.
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