MELANIE REYES—Puerto Rico
"There is a huge amount of freedom when you take nothing personally."
"Even in the darkest moments of dealing with bipolar depression and life in general, I have had to WORK HARD at focusing on the positive. Changing my focus became my goal during an incredibly dark time, a few months after losing my mother when it was hard to be positive at all. Then I started seeing my positive actions take shape as positive outcomes. I was moving in a positive direction when the unexpected (and privately my worst fear) blindsided me. It was the day I realized "I'm having my first heart attack —not an anxiety attack." Thankfully God gave me another chance to keeping living this amazing life. Yes, I'm scared every time I walk into a doctor's office, I'll be faced with more bad news. And yes, at least two times a year it is. But many times I should have never come back or pulled through, but my God is good even in my most fearful moments—I've put my trust in Him. Bottom line, in all things I know He will never fail me."
"I’m not sure why I’m always disappointed with myself when I realize I can’t be my life ringmaster, stage performer, animal trainer, and stage manager all at once. When I embrace this reality, it empowers me to focus."
SAUNDRA DALTON SMITH—Alabama
"Soccer moms no longer sit and waste time during practice. We walk the perimeter of those fields and circle them in prayer. "
"Someone told me I’m trouble looking for a place to happen. This looks like a good spot."
"All of us have done stuff of which we are ashamed. We were probably quite good at performing those shameful deeds too. In fact, I bet we spent time planning them, exhausted resources perfecting them, and expended energy performing them. Thankfully (and hopefully), we put those days behind us once we had a real encounter with God. Still, unfortunately, after we commit ourselves to the Lord, there are times when we still sin, both unintentionally and willingly..."
KATHY COLLARD MILLER—California
"I call myself dependable but I’m selectively dependable. I let things go I should get done and as a result, there is increased clutter, dirt, and messes. I don’t like the results, but I don’t seem motivated to do what I should. As I faced my problem, I began making some commitments led by the Holy Spirit."
"It's hard for some to understand how racism—especially towards the families of mixed ethnicity, can still be very much a part of our culture in the 2000s. The truth is this kind of hatred, more precisely evil, still exists on a larger scale than we'd even care to accept. It was the late 80s, and I wasn't trying to fall in love, especially with the African-American quarterback our high school's football team. I was 15 years old. My family forbade it, society hated and scorned us and openly voiced their "disgust." Then we married and made beautiful children. That's when the battle intensified. At times, we couldn't even leave our house without getting harassed and tormented. There were moments that our lives were threatened. When the entire world was fighting against us, our family's unity and God got us through. He has blessed us with four amazing children and 28 years and counting of doing life together. God brought us together, and that together keeps us strong. Love doesn't give up, but sometimes it takes a fight. Don't give up. You must fiercely fight to protect each other, build each other up and at the end of the day, LOVE always wins."
#stopthehate #lovewins #realchurchladies
"Every mom has moments of complete insanity; this includes forgetting to get 3rd-grade math homework completed and forging my son's handwriting on the way to work and school while "asking" him for the answers in between red lights. Motherhood is leadership in the trenches—and that is a rhythm that sometimes grooves crazy off-beat."
"I question my ability to lead every day… all the time. People say, “Oh Beth, you are so strong,” and I say, “No, I’m desperate.” I know I’m dependent on God because I know no matter what education or skills, professional skill or strengths that are there, I know ultimately in a day of great spiritual battle. When we’re facing a tsunami of evil, my power, my abilities, are not enough."
JO ANN FORE—Virginia
"One afternoon my 7-year-old Lacey could tell I was feeling a little overwhelmed with a decision I need to make. She didn't ask details; instead she made some party hats and noise makers and decided to throw me a surprise "Happy Love" party. We bopped each other with feather pillows and laughed a lot over the silliest of things. And it worked. I felt both the happy and the love. So I've decided that anytime I need to make a grown-up decision I'm going to default to Lacey's plan. I like it much better than the stress of real-life.."
"Sometimes the thing I struggle with the most in the day-to-day, especially in "ministry" is realizing my limits and learning to say "no." I also have to recognize that I'm not called to be a volunteer for everybody who needs my expertise or simply a warm body to fill a spot. If I don't enjoy where I'm serving or simply keep overloading my plate, I'm not going to be much good for anyone, including myself. However the worse part about saying, "no" is feeling like you let someone down. I don't like to disappoint people, no one does. "
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