Tag Archives: inner strength

I Am Woman

Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in..
They stand up to injustice.
They don’t take “no” for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they
think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They’ll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.

warrior2

 

The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends.

Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.

HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE FLAW IN WOMEN,
…THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.

~ ANONYMOUS ~

 

Proverbs 14:1: Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish plucks it down with her hands.

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Filed under Values, women

Oil of Joy

What exactly is joy?

I’ve heard it said, “The world didn’t give it to you and the world can’t take it away.”

Joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. At least that’s what I read online. Sounds good to me, but I know from experience pleasure and happiness don’t last. Let’s face it, most of us look to others to please us. We look to others to make us happy, just as we look to things to make us happy and bring us pleasure. But if we’re honest, that in itself is fleeting, isn’t it? Before you know it, we’re needing another fix!

So, how is “joy” different?

The Bible teaches that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10b); I love that! But can one experience joy while going through everyday life with its many toils, twists and turns? To be honest, during times of trauma, the thought of joy escapes me. I mean, I am not necessarily thinking about joy during these times.

So when I read my bible and reminded that the joy of the Lord is my strength, this is what it means to me: It’s a joy unspeakable and full of glory!

I may not be able to explain it, put my finger on it, or even see it. But I know it’s there – I know it in my knower. (Bear with me please, I’m fully aware this isn’t “correct” English.) But I just know that I know. It’s not an “in your face” kind of thing. It’s not necessarily a giddiness. It’s not even a denial of difficulties. For me it’s a reassurance that everything is going to be all right. I may not understand some things, even while having a meltdown, feel sad or grieving.

The pain is real. The battle is real. But so is the joy real. This joy is an indescribable knowing that come hell or high water, I am safe and secure in my Heavenly Father’s arms (just like when I was a child in my earthly daddy’s arms). Even in the midst of pain and sorrow, here is where there’s strength and comfort. This joy floods the heart, it brings an inner peace and strength even though everything else around may be chaotic.

I didn’t always know this or believe this way. But through my experiences, I’ve learned some things. Life happens. Happiness is fleeting. Pleasure is temporary. But the joy of the Lord is constant regardless of circumstances and situations.

Joy is the best makeup – Anne Lamott

Excuse me while I put some makeup on.

Have you experienced this joy?

imagesSign2

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Filed under Devotional, Isaiah 61:3

“Mrs. C”

We affectionately call her Mrs. C.

In her sixties, with remarkable zeal, she carried a charismatic and a gregarious personality. She was a Bible teacher, an author, a missionary, a powerhouse, a woman of great faith. She exuded genuine friendship in a Godly persona and took me under her wings. She held many prayer meetings in her home, and often prostrated herself on the floor on her face interceding for others. She became my lifesaver, my spiritual-mother. Throughout the years, I often counted on her for spiritual advice and much-needed counseling.

On one dreary afternoon, the sky grew overcast along with my hope and faith. Suffering from battle fatigue, I sat in Mrs. C’s den. I told her I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

“I can’t take it anymore,” I confessed, wringing my hands.

Patiently, unassuming, non-judgmental, Mrs. C handed me a tissue and gave me time to release the dread and pain in my heart.

“I’ve tried everything. Done all I know to do. Yet nothing seems good enough.”

“Has he stopped hitting you?”

I sighed, much relieved that he had. “Oh, yes.”

“Mary Ann, in his own way you know he loves you” she began, “but you have become ‘weary in well-doing.’ In your mind’s eye, you’ve conceded it’s not worth it.”

She honed in on my sentiments. I hung my head in shame.

“You know,” she insisted, “it is worth it all.”

At that moment, I wished I were stronger and smarter, and Mrs. C wasn’t so wise and read me so well. “But shouldn’t this be a two-way street?” I suggested.

“Are you and the kids better off without him?”

I figured she knew the answer before I did. “We . . . we have nowhere else to go.”

“Are you better off without him?” she repeated, and handed me the tissue box.

“Money is tight. I can’t afford to do anything else.”

“Are you better off without him?”

No,” I whispered and wiped my nose.

I felt weak, inadequate as a Christian wife, struggling to maintain a measure of peace and sanity in my household with four children and tending to a man struggling with his demons.

“Then, go home and be the best wife and mother you know how to be,” she said.

Sometimes, it’s easier to talk the talk than to walk the walk.

“But first,” she added, “I want to pray for you.”

That woman knew how to enter the Throne Room of God in her prayers. Electricity surged through my entire body when she touched me as she prayed. Before I left, she handed me her book, Wives, Unequally Yoked. I figured reading couldn’t hurt, plus the title intrigued me. I’d already devoured The Total Woman, by Marabel Morgan. The pages worn and underlined with a yellow marker, much like my Bible.

“PRAY HARDEST WHEN IT’S HARDEST TO PRAY”

I didn’t leave Mrs. C’s company the same way I arrived. Resolved in my heart not to become bitter, I determined to be better and left strengthened, with a made-up mind.

Mrs. C suggested that I study a passage in the Bible that read: “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”

I had to admit this wasn’t easy. I’d used my tongue as a weapon more times than I cared to count and didn’t know if I could keep my mouth shut. But with renewed determination, I worked on dropping the holier-than-thou attitude and to pray for my husband more. This time, I prayed–not that my life might become easier–but that his might become whole: physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Note: Has anyone outside of your family meant the world to you? Made an impact? Enriched your life?

Throughout the years, many have come into my life, which I am eternally grateful for. Mrs. C recently celebrated her 87th birthday. Although not as active as once before, Mrs. C has touched and helped countless lives still going strong today. Because of her, many realized their true potential and reached their purpose.

Michael C. Dudash

Painting by Michael C. Dudash

© M.A. Perez 2013, All Rights Reserved

3 Comments

October 6, 2013 · 12:51 PM