My Husband’s Legacy

I know this wonderful man. A man that believed his efforts were good enough on their own, who thought he could determine his own destiny. He had prayed a prayer inviting Christ Jesus to enter in and take control of his life, but didn’t let go. Not fully understanding how that prayer he prayed would actually change his life he stayed in his sin. So this young man grew in the confidence that his self-efforts were making him successful. And he tried to find rest in his achievements: business owner by age 17, plus a husband, homeowner, and rescue dog by age 20.

Brian Bradley (3)While this man knew all along that sin broke the heart of God, but had a hard time being affected by that. The man believed he knew what was best and that surely God would agree with him. He carried on until the day when temporal triumphs crashed in, and all he thought secure threatened to fail. At age 22 he felt the severing cut of divorce, while business struggles constricted around the life he had built. To his knees he fell as he bowed before God, desperate for Him for the first time. He placed the motives of his heart on display to the God who already knew them, and got real. He literally cried out to God, questioning His goodness in this life. The man came to the place that God had wanted him to be all along, completely at his end and unable on his own.

There are many facets at work in this man’s journey and his learning to utterly depend on Christ. It is beautiful to see the incredible and deep healing that Christ did in his life, turning him around completely. This man has now led several people to the redeeming grace of Christ, and has discipled many in the ways since his own surrender.

I know this story well, for this man has been my husband of almost 7 years. The things that God has done to change his life have been a blessing to me and our children. He is a loving, devoted husband, a fun, caring dad, and leads in our church as one of the church’s pastors.

Two years ago my husband and I sat down with his grandparents to talk about the family tree. As we peeled back layer by layer of his paternal family’s history, we learned something that still brings us to tears. After years of feeling like the only pastor type in his family. My husband discovered what he thought to be true was a misunderstanding. In the retelling of generations past it was revealed to us that there is a long line of preachers in his ancestry. A great grandfather, a great-great grandfather, and many great uncles generations back. I think we may have lost count after seven different small town pastors / preachers in the family line emerged from the pages of his descendants. That day we inherited an old Bible that was preached from and written in by his great grandfather, a man who most likely planted seeds of prayer for those who would someday be born into his family line. Stories of joy and loss were listed on the front page, and it was absolutely incredible to read about the journey of faith that had been hidden from our knowledge, but that still wove a legacy.

Prayer for childrenAs I think about the legacy we want to leave for our children and their children and down through the generations. I think of all the things I want to be known for. In actuality, it’s a little bit vain when I base the hopes on myself and what they will remember of me. However, when I look back down the line and see that people in my daughter’s ancestry, even hundreds of years back, loved Jesus and devoted their lives to serving Him, I am so overwhelmed with gratitude, and I too begin to pray for generations to come.

My husband is a living example of a man who lays down his life daily for his family, taking sacrifices upon himself for our well-being. I love that my children get to look at his life, and see Jesus reflected. I am deeply inspired that it is not just his life, generations of the faithfulness of God are intertwined with in their bloodline. It encourages me to dream about how the story of God at work in our lives will be told to those who may never know us. How curiosity may one day lead a young man or woman to look back with wonder about the works of our Mighty God.

Come what may, my prayer for my children is that they will surrender to Him who loves them most. That they will use the gifting God has given them in a way that will glorify Him as they follow fearlessly in the calling He has for them. And that they would open their Bibles in times of sorrow and joy to proclaim to the generations, “Look what God has done!”

 

“That the generation to come might know,

even the children yet to be born,

That they may arise and tell them to their children,

That they should put their confidence in God

And not forget the works of God,

But keep His commandments,” Psalm 78:6-7


Readers, Thank you for going through this series on legacy with us. What legacy would you like to leave?

britney-squareBritney Bradley loves being a wife to her loving husband, Brian. She is mother to 3 girls (so far) Ruby, Cora, and Lily, as well as auntie to 8, and friend to many. She has always dreamed about marriage and motherhood, and is now navigating God’s will each and every day in these realms. She enjoys writing when she gets a chance, and of course, coffee.

The Legacy of Adoption

Author: Kimberley Mulder

My daughter was born and abandoned. This is a fact I cannot change. It deeply affects her sense of the world and herself. She, nor I, can separate ourselves from this legacy—as painful as it is. In fact, disowning or denying it equates to putting a rock in a crack to create a path, only to find that the rock pushes the sides apart. Then we are left with a greater divide.

I too was born into a broken legacy. Adam and Eve brought forth this terrible break from the Provider of our needs, both physical and spiritual. We cannot separate ourselves from that which our forbearers passed on, nor can we change it, nor prevent continuing it, for that is a fact of the world until God’s kingdom comes fully.

Care and ConnectionWe are sure to leave a legacy of need. Even beyond our physical, cellular level which clamors for touch, food, water, and shelter, our spirits are born with a screaming cry for care and connection.

God sees. God foresees. God made a way to rescue us from our old legacy not by removing our needs, but by meeting them.  God changed our legacy by adopting us, giving us Himself, all His loving care, and all His delight.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!” -Psalm 33:12

So Jesus came within our legacy of need and brokenness. Fully human and fully God, He experienced His spirit’s cry for connection. Each of his prayers a cord stretching across the gap connecting God and man. Each healing another cord of love drawing God and man together. Each teaching another cord of revelation of God’s heart to man. Then God wrenched those cords tight, drawing the sides together, closing the gap humanity’s fall had created. With the might of his self surrender and self sacrifice on the cross Jesus met our greatest need. The temple curtain ripped, the day turned to night, and God suffered so that we no longer had to. He gave us a new legacy.

Adoption LegacyTo live into our new legacy we must still walk honestly through the old legacy—with Jesus. The more I bring my needs to God, or allow him to excavate them in order to meet them, the more I am able to say with words and actions to my adopted daughter: “I see you. I want to meet your needs so that you can feel safe and worthy, to be with you in the legacy you find yourself.” As I do so, I am entering the legacy of Jesus—the legacy of love, healing, and connection, and I am, with every prayer and participation in every healing, drawing the cords of loving kindness across the crevice in my daughter’s heart so that she too can grab hold of the legacy Jesus holds out to her.


Readers, How has your legacy been redeemed? Tell us in the comments.

2016-11-02 13.10.06Kimberley Mulder is a contemplative at heart who deeply enjoys the company of Jesus in the day-to-day of caring for her family of 5 (plus a dog and a cat), teaching English to immigrants, growing her garden, and writing. Currently, her walk with Jesus is taking her more deeply into writing as she leads a spiritual formation group at her church, and records the reflections and connections Jesus gives her to share with others.  She treasures the truth that God’s Word does not go back to him without accomplishing the purpose for which he sent it, and that that Word is embodied in our lives. (Isaiah 55:11)

This Side of Wonderland

Author: Kimberley Mulder

When I was younger I lived off of Wonderland Road. It’s a long boundary road on the west side of London, Ontario, that unassumingly enters from corn fields in the north. It rolls down the best bike coasting hill, through countless intersections, over the River Thames, past gaping parking lots until again it trundles back out to the cornfields. There is nothing deeply wonderful about it, and London is a long way from Wonderland, but it’s there that my wondering began. 

God can take our wonderings, even our worryings, and use them to draw us close to Him.It is here that I grappled with the wonderings of youth: “Do they like me? Does he like me? Will she be okay? Why did they have to die? Who is God? Is He good? What should I do with my life?” I had moved to this beautiful old subdivision off Wonderland Road at age nine, but the map to identity seemed like it was hidden in Wonderland itself. 

This was as it needed to be, so that I could discover Wonder Himself. I took my questions everywhere and found answers at church, not at school. When I reeled in shock at the sudden deaths of friends in a tragic accident, I wondered “How could this happen?” My comfort came not in knowing why or how, but in knowing Him.

These words of the Heidelberg Catechism sprang to life from their deaths: “What is your only comfort in life and death? That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” Into this assurance I dug deeper, wondering anew at each discovery and finding a new wondering underneath, until I found that the process of wondering and discovering produced true Wonder in my heart.

K Mulder WonderThat place of Wonder became homebase, became my rock to stand on, became the soil for my roots, became the “I” for my identity. Wonder welcomed me on this side of Wonderland. It is beautiful how God can take our wonderings, even our worryings, and use them to draw us close enough to Him that we stop wondering and simply sit in Wonder. Gone is the need to know and be in control,  what comes is peace in the unknowing as the Wonder of our hearts holds us close.

Had Jesus answered every question quickly and definitively (which is what I wanted), I would not have discovered the wonder of being with Him. Sure, I would have had answers but no relationship. A text book faith.

My faith would have been as boring and expected as the asphalt strip of Wonderland that bounds London. I think I would not have ventured far in faith or life (and what is the difference between these?), I would not have become glad in the humble place of not knowing. I would not have clung to Him but rather to the road. Jesus is the Way, but he is not a road. Do not cling to the path you are on, cling to Him – and He will lead you in all ways wonderful!


 Readers, How can you incorporate more wonder into your day? Take a moment to marvel at the greatness of our God.
2016-11-02 13.10.06Kimberley Mulder is a contemplative at heart who deeply enjoys the company of Jesus in the day-to-day of caring for her family of 5 (plus a dog and a cat), teaching English to immigrants, growing her garden, and writing. Though trained as a bassoonist for her undergraduate degree, she expresses her creativity now in gardening, cooking and writing.  Traveling to new places is a joy for her, including the challenge of learning a new language and trying whatever the local food is – even roast guinea pig and horse meat! And wherever she is, she spends as much time outside as she can. Currently, her walk with Jesus is taking her more deeply into writing as she leads a spiritual formation group at her church, and records the reflections and connections Jesus gives her to share with others.  She treasures the truth that God’s Word does not go back to him without accomplishing the purpose for which he sent it, and that that Word is embodied in our lives. (Isaiah 55:11)

Embracing Vulnerable Beauty

Author: Kate Franken

“Do you have children?”

“Are you married?”

I get that these are questions most women often ask as a cordial attempt to get acquainted. Their success rate in forging a connection amongst my female counterparts is high, but their ability to alienate someone in my current stage of life is just as steep.

beauty-vulnerableMy 20-something self detested being asked such questions. With each passing year, as I became more and more the minority, my reflex to cringe upon hearing them became quicker. I hated how they made me feel vulnerable. Because once I revealed my single, childless state, the magnifying glasses seemed to emerge from in front of puzzled faces. Attempts would be made to put the pieces together as to why I fell short in growing a family my own. Suggestions would be made as to how I could fix the problem they found in me. Some would even be so bold as to ask, “What’s wrong with you?”

I sought to avert situations that might turn into an  exposé of the supposed truth of my circumstances, so I clung to the safety of masks, walls, pretenses, hermit-like living and the lie “I’m okay.” A hard heart became my shield. I thought it would protect me.

Fortunately, God grabbed a hold of me. He knew there was more for me than a hidden life. He placed His love over the clenched fists that were wrapped around my semblance of control and tenderly loosened my grip. He squeezed me tight until I could finally see He was everything I needed. He taught me to sing a new song, one of surrender. He revealed the beauty of vulnerably giving one’s life.

He led me through one story to the next and spoke to me through the printed divine wisdom locked firm and true in the pages of the Bible.

David

David confronted Goliath, the towering 9 foot something  Philistine beast, with five smooth stones and a sling. David stood before this man, known to be the strongest of warriors, without any protective covering to shield him, having previously declined the King’s armor. He relied solely on his faith in God to deliver him and he victoriously prevailed (1 Samuel 17).

Paul

Paul identified himself as the worst of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15-16) to point to the saving grace of Christ. He remained fervent in preaching the good news of Christ, knowing it would inevitably result in violent persecution.

Jesus

Jesus came in human form, sharing in the sufferings of humanity, to pave a path for us to follow. In the years that He walked this Earth, He sacrificially gave of Himself to the needs of others. The most vulnerable moment in all of human history was His crucifixion, in which He gave of His own life so that we may have life eternal.

A theme was evident. When they chose faithfulness to God, they made themselves vulnerable and it pointed to the beauty of God’s faithfulness. Then God carried this theme from the pages, I loved, to the existence I lived.

His Disciples

The lyrics of this new song God was teaching me penetrated my heart all the more as I sat again and again across the table from godly examples both married and single. I entered into community and found my heart ministered to by the stories of others. They sat unmasked before me, drawing my eyes to Jesus. With their vulnerable words, they were His disciples and they were doing the work of the Great Commission.

God knew just how to prod me into being vulnerable myself.  He knew I was drawn to beauty.  He created me that way. And beauty is what I saw in the women across the table from me, in David, in Paul, and in Jesus.

vulnerable-beautyI now look at vulnerability with new eyes. When I see vulnerability, I see courage, unthwarted by imperfections. I see a resistance to the chains of fear and shame. I see a softened heart. I see a confident trust in what God has done. I see rest with a rightly placed hope in Jesus’ perfection and not one’s own. I see a healing agent. I see love shining through. I see an expression of who God is. I see it to be altogether beautiful.

God did not leave me the same, once He got ahold of me. He freed me. He told me I was more precious than jewels. He wrapped me in the security of Christ. He made me content with my mistakes, scars, brokenness, and the truth that “I don’t have it all together”, knowing God’s grace is sufficient for me, and His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). He has changed me into now being the woman that vulnerably shares her story of God’s saving grace to minister to hearts of others, and has given me a heart to encourage others to walk forth with a vulnerability that speaks of His goodness,inviting others to grasp its beauty.


 Readers, It is important that we seek to understand others and their experiences. There is a great treasure hidden in friendship with those that are different than ourselves. Our circumstances do not threaten our identity when our identity is rooted in Christ which empowers us all to hear the story of the other.

kate-squareKate Franken is a 4th grade teacher and a volunteer coordinator at her church in Oregon. She enjoys indulging in raw conversation whilst savoring a cup or more of coffee. Her hunt for good books and podcasts is endless. She finds refuge surrounded by trees, on hiking trails, with her two dogs in tow. She is especially fond of mountaintop views, wit, “best teacher ever” love letters, breakfast, a painted sky, and Jesus. She has a heart for connecting people to His church and encouraging others into relationship with Him.

Free Anchored Printable: Loved

Dear Readers,

We want you to know that you are loved! As our galentine gift to you, Sarah Dohman has created this beautiful printable to awaken your heart to the fact that you are loved by the God of the universe. No love can match His, and He chose to lavish this great love on you through His son Jesus. May these words on your wall, desk, or wherever you like to put your printables remind you that we love Him because He first loved us.

Click here to download your Loved Printable
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2 Things I had to Face While Reading Jennie Allen’s Newest Book

I am always ready for a new Jennie Allen book. The lady can preach, teach, and lead, and has no problem bringing truth the world needs to hear. She points people at Jesus and she invites the masses to join her in the great adventure: living in the light of God. I was thrilled to be able to join the launch team for Nothing to Prove and was looking forward to diving in, but in doing so I was forced to face motivations, sin, and hurt that had been hibernating.

jennieallen-nothing-to-proveHere is the thing about hibernating sin: it is still hindering us from the freedom God offers even when it’s quiet, and this is why He is willing to shine light on it if we will come to Him humbly. When I begin a new non-fiction book I ask God three things:

  1. Please, teach me.
  2. Give me discernment. Show me how to separate biblical wisdom from worldly philosophy.
  3. Help me to be humble, willing to confront things within me that are not from you.

Well, He did all those things, and here is just a piece of what I learned.

I Love To Numb Out

When I am surfing on unseen WiFi waves, I am also often hiding. When my kids get too loud, phone up. When I don’t feel like talking to my husband about that thing I need to address or apologize for, play next episode. When the plight of our country is begging for prayer, scroll level: Master. But as Allen said, “The danger for us is not that we would enjoy the cheap wine on earth, but that we would grow addicted to it….If I didn’t believe the lie that these shallow empty pursuits would satisfy me, I guarantee you I wouldn’t keep exchanging mirages for Jesus” (90).

So yes, a good show with deep story is not bad in and of itself, but if it is a form of self-medication or becomes an addiction — If it steals rather than gives, it must be eliminated. I would rather be alive than numb, and I am willing to fight for that. Because, yes, “I want to see Jesus in my everyday life, not just when I arrive in heaven. I want to love Him more than I want to appear religious. I want to love people enough to lead them to the One who can heal them. I want to be healed myself. I want to initiate for the good of those around me rather than pad my existence with comfort and ease” (155).

I Was Trying to Prove Something

People pleasing is not typically my modus operandi, I have my own issues that hold me back, but this isn’t a predominant one. To the marrow of my bones I know that God is enough (if you question this truth, this book is for you). I have learned this because I’ve blown it big time. The dark night of the soul and I are well acquainted. But God, oh yes, but God came to my rescue.

“Guess what the person being rescued has to do? Trust the rescuer and cooperate with the process. You and I don’t need to be the hero to save the world we just get to be part of the story of the greatest hero of all time. Which is good news, because being hero is a lot of pressure and a lot of dadgum work.” (135)

nothing-to-prove-jennie-allenAs I read, asked the questions, and meditated on the scriptures Allen encourages the reader to engage with, I found within me something I was trying to prove. It stung. Two sentences, each only four words, echoed within me, “Look at me now. You couldn’t stop me.” They were not directed at the masses or even friends, but at those who have hurt me most. Those who have forsaken me, and received my weightiest forgiveness. Here directed toward individuals was a deep, hidden, and pride-filled whisper many would excuse and mark  as understandable. While most motivators in my life may be submitted to the Lord, it was clear this one was not. I checked to make sure I had truly forgiven, got down on my knees, put my face to the floor and confessed the pride with sorrow. Then I sought God for the strength to go about doing the work of crucifying this nasty, internal, self-focused, provocation. I am His, which means I don’t have to settle for anything less than freedom.

There is so much more I could tell you about this book, but seriously, why read my words about it when you could read it for yourself? It will convict you, encourage you, and be a tool for God to use so that you can be freed by the great love He has for you. Read it. Be taught and reminded that He is enough. You can cease striving. When you are His, you have nothing to prove.


Readers, One final quote, because it is just SO good. “And then I did it, the most freeing brilliantly foolish thing in my life: I led with everything I had been hiding” (102). What would you do if nothing was holding you back? Would you forgive that person and leave that situation that replays in your mind over and over in the past and be free. Would you make that phone call? Fill out that application? Volunteer for that organization? Write that book (psst…this one is mine)? What would you do? Tell us in the comments, and come back and tell us about your experience with Nothing to Prove. We would love to hear it. You can also join in with other women for the Nothing to Prove Book Club hosted by Jennie Allen.

DON’T MISS OUR NOTHING TO PROVE GIVEAWAY OVER ON INSTAGRAM! SEE POST FROM 1/31/2017 (ENDS 2/6/2017).

chara-donahue-head-shotChara Donahue can often be found with her nose in a book and coffee in hand. She enjoys freelance writing, Biblical counseling, and speaking to women when her four kids are out playing with dad. She holds a MSEd from Corban University and is passionate about seeing people set free through God’s truths. She is a regular contributor at Portland Moms Blog and her words have appeared at (in)courage, Patheos, and The Huffington Post. She longs to be a voice that says, “Hey we are in this together, and there is room for us all.” You can find more from Chara at One Anchored Voice, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Hope at the Comic Store

Author: Chara Donahue

As a child I often wove through tales of great heroes. Aligned in sequence they greeted me in a procession of freedom fighters, redemption seekers, and ruckus rumblers. Box after box they lured me into worlds built around different rules and unique powers that surpass the things of dreams. There in the aisles of my uncle’s comic book shop I lifted Wonder Woman, Captain America, and the X-Men carefully from their plastic sleeves and invited them into my imagination.

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How I longed for superpowers as a child, how perpetually that desire increases now as a mom of four. If only I was faster than light, had an extra hand, or could just see through the stinking wall. Come on, whoever doles out the mystery gifts, I am waiting. I would even settle for no real powers and accept fancy gadgets and expert training like Batman.  Is that really so much to ask?
Oh, wait, just one more request, could I please have the ability to absorb the energy of others? My children seem to have that aptitude. In fact, this vigor theft seems to be at its strongest when I am seeking to empower them.
Whether teaching the kids how to load dishes or to stand up for what they believe in, empowering them seems to drain my vivacity. It is my kryptonite. I must resist the pleadings from my ancient nemesis Thy Own Self that says  “just do it on your own, that will be faster, done right, and done at all.” I must step forward into the depths of patience, diligence, and perseverance while joyfully giving thanks to the God who supplies all strength. I need to teach them to pee in the toilet as opposed to on the floor, tree, or toy of choice. It is my duty to impart to them the wisdom of not sticking metal objects into electrical sockets. It is imperative that I instruct these precious ones in the ways that are right, but more than anything else, these little lives need to know what it means to truly follow the real life hero who supersedes the things of fiction and brings the greatest love the universe has ever known.

To know this hero of torn flesh and sacrifice lived, this conqueror of death and reconciler of all. The one for which heaven opens to reveal through the clouds, “behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.” The God man who’s eyes are like a flame of fire. Who’s robe is dipped in blood.  The firstborn of the dead, and ruler of the kings of the earth. The Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

Jesus—Greatest hero EVER!

I MUST give from my own power what it takes to empower my children to live for Him. I will take the risk of treading into areas in which my parenting tactics seem questionable to others, because I begin to become less concerned about obedience to me and more concerned with devotion to Christ.

I begin to say things to my children like, “Yes, respect your elders, but you can say ‘no’ to adults. Especially, if they are asking you to do things that make you uncomfortable.”
“Yes, it is good to have friends, but their opinion doesn’t define you, Christ’s does. He says that through Him you are the righteousness of God,”
“Yes, God tells you to obey your parents, but not over obeying Him. If anyone tells you to do something that is against what God tells you in His word, don’t do it, even if it is Mommy or Daddy.”

“Yes, the world will ask you to choose what is popular and easy, but stand, baby stand. Stand for justice, offer freedom, and walk humbly. Stand for mercy, share truth, and above all, love Jesus. For there and there alone  ‘you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.’ There and there alone will you taste power uncorrupted.”

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Hope at Nap Time

Author: Chara Donahue

nap time theologian

I was putting my four year old down for a nap, and she thought this was a horrible idea. I began to fluff her covers and nestle her in, and she kept flipping around and thrashing like I was tying straps instead of tucking sheets.  Then suddenly she freezes, stares at me intensely, and spits out, “Mom, why do you work out?” Not a completely random question considering earlier that day I had taken the kids to the gym with me and had yet to change out of my lovely sweat laced active wear. I told her, “So, I can be strong, healthy, and live a long time.”

Apparently, still quite irate at my insistence of a nap, she grunts out these kind words escorted by an icy glare, “I want you to live with Jesus.”

My jaw dropped. Her words felt threaded with poison, yet in them hope.

I didn’t know how to feel. On one hand, living with Jesus is wishing the very best for me, and on the other…”Child, did you just say you want me dead?”

I was thoroughly confused and mortified.  I also didn’t know how to respond.  I stumbled through communicating my deep bewilderment, hurt feelings, and greatest hope.  I then backed out of the room, shut the door wide-eyed, and looked around as if to find someone who had just witnessed what had happened.

Um, hey Jesus, WHAT WAS THAT????

This isn’t the only time she has blown my mind, leaving me baffled and scrambling to put together a coherent thought.  Four months later, she was angry at me, AGAIN, for putting her down for nap (I promise she really does still need naps).  I finished our usual rest time routine and took my leave – ready for my own quiet time.  That silence was soon shattered when I heard a hefty bear like grunt, fists slamming into her bed, and a shout of “Jesus died for you!” echoing through the hall.

It was clear to her, as it is clear to me, that my biggest problem is that I am a sinner.

I totally get it. I empathize; when I’m frustrated with daily things, I begin to see other people’s sin clearly as well. I ask God for the strength to be patient. Calmly, I mentally state to myself that “those” people are loved, that “they” need the gospel, and “he/she/them”  is/are in desperate want of grace. I wholeheartedly proclaim the same words my daughter screamed at me. “Hey world, Jesus died for you!”

In that, I promise, there is genuine, beautiful love that God has grown in my heart for others. But… really, if I am honest – there is a bit of something dark and ugly in there.  As my flesh and spirit war I declare as my daughter did, “Jesus died for you!” and my depraved inner self silently hisses “so do what I want you to.”

Don’t worry God doesn’t let me get away with this stuff. He doesn’t take it lightly when others are vying for His place, and He is too good to let me slide. I am quickly and lovingly chastised with truths spelled out in scripture: God is God. I am not. His kingdom. His justice. His law, not mine. The Holy Spirit graciously chimes in with “you” are loved, “you” need the gospel, and “you” are in desperate want of grace.

He is God. I am not.

Yep, the kid is right. Jesus died for me. I need a savior.

Present tense, not that one time needed so that I get to live with Jesus when I am good and dead. That’s there – yes, but I need my Savior, every moment of every day.  I need His strength to fight the fights that come my way, whether they be with mundane tasks, seductive temptations, or letting Him become more as I become less.

I am also seeking and pleading for His patience, hope, and power at about 1pm each day, so I can stand under the truth from my local nap time theologian who keeps me humble and points me at Christ.

Who We Are and Why We are Here

Only Jesus can anchor something as precious as the soul.

Welcome to Anchored Voices, a place for women to use their words and creativity to point each other to the God who anchors the soul. Conceived to foster an online community where we can remind one another that when the waves hit—in Jesus, the soul is safe.

“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf.” Hebrews 6:19-20

Hope. For some, you might be unmoved by the word hope. You think of it as theologically soft,or see it as a foolish ideology. Hope isn’t frilly, passive, or weak, but it is fierce, active, and central to everything Christians believe.

Ladies, do you know that Christianity doesn’t exist simply to make you moral and supernaturally efficient?  What  is truly offered is a relationship with Jesus that exposes your mess, makes you truly beautiful, and ignites a FIRE within you. God created you for something beautiful and specific. Find the hope that doesn’t focus on what you are not, but is willing to dream about what God might make of you if you trust Him.

Hope sings to the numb places within us. It beckons to parts of us we long ago locked away, shut out, and hid from – to awaken.

We have felt hope, built dreams upon it, and experienced it in both great joy, and deep despair. When we interact with the Bible, the word of God, we find hope in its purest form.  We find that HOPE is a person, and that person is Jesus – our High Priest and King.

Sometimes when people are looking for life, they tinker around with the idea of hope and they determine the risk to be too high. The potential consequences seem not like hints of life, but diseased shadows. A lie from the pit of hell that sends the message that hope is deadly.

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We have felt the truth of what Proverbs 13:12 says, that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Some of us have promised ourselves never to be hurt “like that” again. Yet by forsaking hope, we lose out on witnessing the second half of that verse: “but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

If you make a vow to protect yourself from pain, pain may be all that you can see.

The heart feels sick so we turn. We search out lesser lovers for our souls to worship and find ourselves tired…withered…lifeless.  We take our eyes off of Jesus and gaze at unanchored hopes. Tempted to tie ourselves to relationships, careers, children, addictions, or ministry, we float through our days feeling alone, lost, and abandoned. So how do you anchor yourself to the truest hope of Christ? How can you offer others life? What can you do to point others at the anchor that cannot, and will not, be moved by the flightiness of temporal things?

We want to hear from you: to hear the voices of other women; to hear how God helped you through a struggle; breathed life through His Word; and helps you today as you walk through daily life.  Young, old, out in the workforce, at home with kids, single, or married, every age and stage of life is welcome to the table.

What has our Jesus given you to say? Your message may be the help that lightens the load of others who are fighting off chains, weights, and shackles of worry, despair, and sorrow. If you have a blog post, poem, artwork, a picture, etc. which can point us all to the Lord who anchors the soul, please consider sharing it here, so that we may encourage each other’s hearts.

Send your submissions to livingisaiah61@gmail.com We may not be able to post all submissions, but please be brave – and share with us what Christ has done in your life – so that more would be helped by finding hope in Him.

Thank you for visiting us. We are glad you are here.
Sincerely,

One Anchored Voice – Chara Donahue
Founder & Editor