Sunday, March 13, 2011

Good Morning Beautiful Girlfriends,

Spring is coming! I woke yesterday to the birds singing and the smell of spring was in the air. Flowers are bursting through the ground and patches of grass are beginning to turn green. Good bye cold weather and old man winter!!!

I am preparing for an upcoming Women in Ministry retreat in April. Our theme this year is Unmasked. As women in ministry, how often do we wear masks? Why is it so uncomfortable for us to remove those masks? Being real is often something we seem to battle but when we remove the masks we become a source of encouragement and blessing to others in ways we cannot even imagine.

Have you ever had a friend who was never “real” with you? It isn’t difficult to detect that type of individual. She always wears a fa├žade and never allows you to really get too know her. She pretends to be someone she isn’t, preventing a true friendship to develop with you. The relationship you have with that person is “fake” because she refuses to reveal her true identity. You most likely were cautious with her as well in revealing your true thoughts and struggles.

Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one man (or woman), sharpens another (Paraphrased).

When we are ourselves around others, we actually set others free to be themselves. We become a source of encouragement and blessing to others in ways we can’t even imagine!

In ministry I totally understand there are times we simply cannot be “real” and remove the masks, but in our sincere friendships, with those we trust, the masks need to come off. Especially with other pastor’s wives and ministry women, we need to encourage one another. That is a tough challenge if we appear to always have it together. Plastic people are not encouraging. When we choose to be transparent with one another, we become a source of strength, and hope for others. Through real relationships we can encourage and challenge others to be all that they are meant to be.

In looking back on your own life, are there areas of struggle that you’ve faced where you can now become a source of encouragement for others? Who is God calling you to help set free by simply being yourself and loving unconditionally? (You Will Set Others Free to Be Themselves, Women of Faith Series)

God’s desire is for you and I to be an encouragement to women around us. I know many of us have been hurt over the years but at some point those walls we have built need to be destroyed. Pray for discernment so that you can feel “safe” to remove the mask and be “real” to those God is calling you to minister and encourage.

Have an awesome Sunday and a blessed week! I would love to read your input on this topic. Please feel free to email me with any thoughts or comments or simply post any comments to the wall of Chocolate and Coffee.

Love and appreciate you,

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