International Women’s Day: The women who inspire you

International Women's Day symbol
International Women’s Day symbol

Today is International Women’s Day. It became a national holiday in Soviet Russia in 1917, after women gained the right to vote there. Today all over the world, people are celebrating women.

God celebrates women, too–in a holy way. He created woman and He loves women, His precious daughters and the Royal Bride of Christ. When He made the earth and everything in it, He said “It is good.” But it was after He made the woman that He said, “It is very good.” That word very is m@`od, which means “substantive” or “exceedingly.” (Strong’s H3966, BlueLetter Bible). 

Heather, Eden, and Leah
Our beautiful daughters Heather, Eden, & Leah

 

My precious sis Maria
My precious sis & BFF Maria

 

My BFF Rochelle Valasek
my BFF Rochelle Valasek

I’m so very thankful for the women God has brought into my life who have impacted me and inspired me to become a better woman of God:

  1. foremost, our three beautiful daughters, Heather, Eden, and Leah;
  2. my sister Maria;
  3. my friends Shelley Valasek, Doreen Penner, Dana Arcuri, Stephanie Carter, Ruth Christian, Liz Zacharias, Diane Bishop, and Kim Weber;
  4. my spiritual moms Suzy Bunton, Betty Spangler, and Blanch Hershberger;
  5. and many other women of God who have influenced me. I love you all!

Today on International Women’s Day, think about the women in your life. Pray for them and maybe send them a note to let them know how they have made such a difference in your life and that you love them.

Also think about how you can impact and inspire others. There is no one else like beautiful you with what you have to offer! Today celebrate yourself and all women whom God made.

“After women, flowers are the most beautiful thing God has given the world.” –Christian Dior

Here is today’s video–International Women’s day: The women who inspire you. Just click on the link below at YouTube:

https://youtu.be/NyO3w00UNeI

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God’s sweet grace: My speaking event at ladies’ retreat in Liberty, Missouri

This past Sunday, October 15, 2017, I had the honor to speak at the Precious Blood Retreat Center in Liberty, MO, for a women’s retreat. I’ve been speaking for over 10 years now, and in all that time, I’ve never received such a generous gift as the event planners and women gave me at this one! 

Carla, me, & Kathy (event planners for retreat)
Carla, me, & Kathy (event planners for retreat)

 

chapel
chapel

 

center
center

 

statue in garden
statue in garden

The event planner, Carla, told me that as a small church, they had a tight budget and might not be able to pay me a lot. Not only did they give me twice the amount of speaking fee I was expecting, but they also gave me a bag of chocolates, the goody bags they gave the attendees, a beautiful journal, and an entire cute, white crate filled with new gifts the women had bought me! I was in shock and so touched by this! WOW! What a blessing!

white crate of gifts
white crate of gifts

 

the generous gifts
the generous gifts

 

2018 planner, dip bowl, prayer note cards, bird deco
2018 planner, dip bowl, prayer note cards, bird deco

 

cute measuring bowls
cute measuring bowls

 

hand-made blankets
hand-made blankets

 

coaster
coaster

I was just blown away by their generosity!

ladies at retreat
ladies at retreat

 

women at weekend retreat
women at weekend retreat

The women were so sweet and made me feel so welcome. Several ladies came up after I spoke to thank me for sharing my testimony and said that it blessed them. Their theme for this retreat was A Chocolate Life Devotional by Deb Burma. I tailored my presentation to this, sharing my story and talking about God’s sweet grace.

me as keynote speaker
me as keynote speaker

 

A Chocolate Life devotional
A Chocolate Life devotional

 

Here in the pictures below, the women are writing their thank you cards to Jesus for the blessings He has given them in their lives. The event planners, Carla and Kathy, put so much work, planning, and organization into this; I was so impressed! The ladies went through all of the devotionals in the book on Friday night and Saturday. It was a full weekend of teaching from Carla. And of course, there was LOTS of chocolate! (I brought some Dove chocolates for them, too.)

women writing thank you's to Jesus
women writing thank you’s to Jesus
women at ladies' retreat
women at ladies’ retreat

 

teen girls
teen girls

This beautiful lady, Jennifer, is the mom of two beautiful twin girls. Jennifer is a nurse at Saint Luke’s hospital in Overland Park, KS. I enjoyed talking with her and am so glad there were all ages there, including youth! They have a powerful testimony, almost dying at birth.

Jennifer and her twin daughters
Jennifer and her twin daughters

These ladies, Kathy and Karen, are sisters, too. Karen bought my book on 8 women’s powerful stories of spiritual warfare, and greatly encouraged me about what I’d shared. Here we were outside, on the fun scavenger hunt. We looked up Bible verses for the clues.

Sisters Kathy & Karen on the scavenger hunt outside
Sisters Kathy & Karen on the scavenger hunt outside

This cute, little older lady is Fran. She chose to be my partner when we worked on the scavenger hunt. She was so sweet!

Fran
Fran

I always give away a gift bag when I speak at events, including a free copy of one of my books. In this gift bag I included my memoir, a pumpkin scented candle, and a cute orange notepad with a cat on the front, which read “Meow! Meow! Meow!” I asked God to help me pick the right woman to receive it and asked, “Who loves cats?”

gift bag for Paula
gift bag for Paula

I chose Paula, who is in the pic below with me. She was so happy; she’d never won anything before. She has an orange cat named Garfield! God knew!

She blessed me so much, giving me a big hug. She also hand-made one of the beautiful blankets in the white crate gift!

me & Paula
me & Paula

The night before, it had stormed badly and there was even a tornado watch there at the retreat center, with the power going out a couple of times. But Sunday was a gorgeous fall day. The sunshine and cool weather were exhilirating!

It was a gorgeous fall day!
It was a gorgeous fall day!

At the end of the retreat, each woman could choose a beautiful journal to take home.

journals
journals

 

trust journal
trust journal

I chose the one which had the scripture on love.

love journal
love journal

The Precious Blood Retreat Center is by a beautiful lake with a walking trail. It was so peaceful there. I was very impressed with the center, and contacted the staff today about possibly hosting my own ladies’ retreat there next spring or fall 2018. It has a building with a meeting room, a big kitchen and a dining room, numerous bedrooms upstairs and downstairs, bathrooms (including showers), and a washer and dryer room. BIG PLUS: it has a Keurig coffee maker and cups in the dining room, and Wi-fi!

retreat bedroom
retreat bedroom

 

writing desk in bedroom
writing desk in bedroom

 

Keurig coffee maker & cups
Keurig coffee maker & cups

 

retreat lake
retreat lake

 

fountain
fountain

 

beautiful lake
beautiful lake

 

I had a perfect ending to this event; I had chips and salsa and soft chicken tacos at a nearby Mexican restaurant!

chips and salsa
chips and salsa

 

chicken tacos
chicken tacos

It was such a blessing and privilege to meet Carla and all the ladies at this event and to speak there. If you are an event planner or know someone who needs a speaker for their women’s conference, retreat, or event, you can contact me here.

me, women's retreat, Liberty, MO
me, women’s retreat, Liberty, MO
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In the chaos, be still

couple holding hands

Right now there’s a lot going on in our family:

  • marriage conflicts for us and our middle daughter and her husband;
  • all of our family’s financial problems;
  • Ray’s daily back, knee and joint pain, but still having to work to provide;
  • uncertainty what’s going to happen after Ray’s and my rental house lease ends April 30–where we’ll live;
  • lots of questions about my online business and exactly what it is that God is wanting me to do;
  • our youngest daughter Leah looking for her first job;
  • just daily life stuff (etcetera!).

We know that as Christians, we have an enemy, Satan, whose job is to kill, steal, and destroy. To cause as much destruction, distraction, and chaos as possible in our lives. 

be still -lake

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”–Psalm 46:10, ESV

*******

Walking With God

To learn more about being still and listening to God, check out my eBook on prayer, Walking With God.

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