Monday, March 12, 2012

you know you are in a community of love when...and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's time to pull up your chair.  Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria?  You do.  It's reserved every week only for you.  This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone.  This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter.  Scooch in close.  You won't want to miss a word.
photo source
Last week, I had a little mini-meltdown (no, I'm not talking about mourning the loss of my clean floors, but that does qualify).  I'm speaking instead about the fact that I had neglected my Sabbath, let the numbers game into my head and let the underlying premise of Soli Deo Gloria get away from me (you know, the whole for HIS glory alone thing).  I had to look underneath my actions for the true motivations for my frantic behaviors and what I found there, friends, was not pretty.

I was hesitant to publish the post in which I let it all hang out and yet, what good is it to pretend that I am something I am not?  How can I know that I am really part of a community until I am accepted for the entirety of what I am and not just the good stuff?  I can be encouraging and welcoming and loving, but I can also let my overachieving, driven-by-success, scale mentality-side of my personality get in the way of what God wants me to do.  I can make my whole life about ministry for God and still forget God.  Yes, I didn't even realize that was what I was doing when I neglected my Sabbath until I was in front of my class talking about Jonah.  Nothing like standing in front of twenty women and realizing that the words coming out of your mouth are words that God is directing straight back at you.  Yeppers, that was a fun moment for me.

But, back to community.  I was just absolutely floored by the emails and comments I received -- the understanding, the compassion, the wisdom, the forgiveness flowed into my heart and overtook my soul.  There is nothing that motivates me more to get rid of the sin in my heart than love (I need to employ this with my children more often).  It's like love makes the soil of my heart drenched with living water.  The watering enables roots of the weeds to become unentrenched from the recesses of my heart, and God can pull them out with so much more ease.  Or rather, I am more willing to see them go because my soil feels nourished, the nutrients present.  The craving for a good, healthy mind-set surpasses my desire for worldly acclimation and success.

In this community, I feel loved.  You all inspire me to press in more fully to God, to you.  Without fear of rejection, I can lay my soul bare, and I thank you for that.  Thank you for loving.  Thank you for caring.  Thank you for supporting and growing and being in this space with me.  It is my desperate prayer that every single one of you would feel the intense love that spans this space, the love of God that flows through Sisters in Christ.

SDG Community Builder:  1)  In effort to make sure everyone feels loved here, will you please visit the 2 people ahead of you and leave a comment for them?  (If you are numero uno or dos, come back and visit the last person in the link up).  2) Don't forget to order your t-shirt (click here for details).  I'm extending the pre-order deadline to March 17th.

26 comments :

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I often find myself preaching right back to little ol' me with the things I write. It's funny how God works that way. I too wanted to let you know how welcome I feel in this community. I have only been here a few weeks and everyone is so friendly. Thank you and everyone else for making that possible.

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  2. Jen,

    One thing I admire about you is your ability to be real. I think it makes people connect with you in a deep way because they see a part of themselves in what you share. I believe battling numbers (of one form or another) is something I will do for a long time. So your willingness to share your struggle is important for me to reflect on and hear.

    As for the shirts, yipee. Thanks for the extension. I want one, but I am also scattered and need lots of reminders. Will do asap.

    Thanks for building this great, little community.

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  3. I must tell you that joining this sisterhood last week has been such an encouragement to my soul at a time I desperately needed it. Your post and my post this week sound like they come from a very similar place- desiring to be for God rather than do for God. Thank you for creating this welcoming, safe place!

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  4. PS Just tweeted about SDG. Wanted to let you know I was spreading the word, girl.

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  5. Love this reminder that pretending does neither ourselves or others around us any good. Blessings for this wonderful post!

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  6. Ah, that is just what community is all about.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  7. i love your heart, friend. you are safe here with us. xo

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  8. That moment when you realize the Sunday School lesson is really for you and not the people in the audience ... I have so "been there." Thank you for not wearing a mask -- sometimes the hardest person to show grace to is yourself. I am so thankful that He gives us a "do-over" every new morning with a fresh day before us.

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  9. I feel such grace in this community, too, Jen. Thanks for paving the way for that. It blesses many of us.

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  10. Oh...an honest heart draws others in...thats what you do here...thanks for being real...we are all in this together...blessings to you Jen...

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  11. I do feel loved here and glad you are at the helm showing us how to do it well. Thank you!

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  12. Jen,

    i love this--beautiful. i am so glad that you shared so honestly--it is powerful when you tell the truth, the truth of God's glorious gospel--how everything we do is all about Him and for Him, and not for us. i struggle too, with writing--not knowing why i'm doing it, if i'm truly sacrificing and it's really about Him, knowing when to step away and live my real life, and leaving it all in His hands, whether I'm successful or not. i wrote about this last week, and i mentioned you at the bottom of the post as one of the ladies who inspired me to write so honestly! love your heart, Jen.

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  13. Jen,

    As many have already stated...I also appreciate your "realness". We ALL struggle, and that is how we know we are human :)...thank you for hosting this wonderful group...

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  14. Thank you for being authentic, Jen. I resonated with 2 comments you made. 1st - "I can make my whole life about ministry for God & forget God." Ahh yes, which is why Jesus said Mary chose the better thing when she sat at His feet. Why is that so hard for me?

    2nd - "There is nothing that motivates me more to get rid of the sin in my heart than love (I need to employ this with my children more often)" - Conviction for me right there, girl.

    Thanks for helping me start my day with the right focus. Hope your day is blessed!

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  15. Love this post. Continue to keep it real, Jen.
    I appreciate your authenticity, transparency, and vulnerability.

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  16. "I am more willing to see them go because my soil feels nourished" so very true. When we stand face to face with love, there is always choice. We can choose to hold tight to our "rights" as we perceive them, or simply breathe out, confess and let go...

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  17. Jen there is such a warm inviting comfort to your blog and your honest sharing with us. Thank you for creating this community.

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  18. Love this community, and so glad you reached out so we could give you a big old virtual hug!

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  19. it really is freeing to find that the real you is what others respond to...it invokes their love, the love of God in them for you...it's a lesson I can never learn enough of as we walk our journey, that it be in truth and vulnerability that it is God who is glorified through these cracked vessels He is choosing to use. Keep on Keepin' on this way friend!

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  20. Loved this honest post (and your sweet comments on mine, too). You know what hit me? Love motivating you to get rid of sin -- and the thought of how we must use that with our children. That's grace, girl. Mama grace passed down to the kids. Love it.

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  21. Hi Jen. :-) I haven't joined Soli Deo Gloria for a few months and I'm glad I did today. I was able to receive a few comments from this community on my post and they were truly uplifting and inspiring. This is such a wonderful community who speak and breathe Christ. And to have Christ speak through the people here is such a blessing.

    I admire how you are able to speak your heart out, Jen. And what you wrote is something I definitely can relate to. But unlike you, I have neglected God so many times. And this sometimes makes me feel guilty to talk about God and encourage others to get closer to Him, because I, myself, have an imperfect relationship with Him.

    Thank you so much for creating Soli Deo Gloria. Being a part of this community is truly a blessing. :-)

    Irene
    http://bit.ly/yinZET

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  22. Thanks, Jen, for the beautiful post and reminder. God has been reminding me that He wants us to love one another, not judge one another or try to change them.
    Love in Him,
    Laurie
    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

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  23. Nothing but goodness and grace comes from this community- especially when we are raw and broken and honest. I love that soo much. Makes me even want to consider dusting off my own blog so I can re-connect... almost. Working on some heart matters there.

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  24. You are so very loved. Such an honor that you trust us enough to get real. That's a real sisterhood :).

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  25. I tried unsuccessfully to link my blog, so I'll put the address here: http://wordsbyrobin.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/dear-inner-song/.

    God bless you in every way with everything Jesus came to give you.

    Robin

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  26. I missed the love fest, which really disappoints me because you've always been there for me on those days...Your words, this space, your ideas from heaven are all a real world of encouraging sisters. How I have come to love this community...and YOU! Be heartened, may your spirit soar...you matter muchly.

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