August 19, 2013

Saying Goodbye… [Taken From 2011 Post]

This past week, we said goodbye to my sweet girl, Lauren, as she began her third year at University of Georgia. It was hard, but not as hard as that first year!

Below is the post I wrote three years ago when we said our goodbyes to Lauren. The Lord led me to share this message again to encourage you, whether you are saying goodbye for the first time, the second time, the last time, that you are not alone! Saying goodbye to our “babies” breaks our hearts in two. Beginning a new normal hurts so much. But it’s all part of God’s good and perfect plan…a plan we can trust…a plan that is His highest and best for us and, most especially, for our children.

Please know I am praying for all of you saying your goodbyes and beginning your new normal.

Stop by next Monday and I will share a prayer I have written that you can pray over your son or daughter as he or she heads off on her own.

Saying Goodbye…

No one ever prepares you for the hurt that accompanies sending your baby off to college. Moms share their experiences. They give advice. They pray. They send Scripture. But when the moment arrives…nothing prepares you.

As we stood in the darkness of the parking lot outside Lauren’s dorm, I felt as if I could not breathe. Waves of grief overcame me. She hugged her Daddy. Next she hugged her brother. I stood, waiting for my turn, tears streaming down my cheeks. Finally she came to me. I held her for what seemed forever as we both wept…no words just tears. Finally, we spoke our last goodbyes. I watched her walk up the stairs to her new home. Everything in me wanted to run after her. I wanted to turn back time and take her home…just one more year with me. But I knew that was not possible.

It was time…time for her to journey into the next phase of God’s plan for her life…a plan I know is perfect…a plan I know is one planned by God since before time began…a plan to prosper and not to harm her…a plan to give her Hope and a future.

But knowing those truths does not make saying goodbye hurt any less. As we drove home, the ache in my heart grew.

Walking into the house brought waves of tears. It hurts so much. How do I walk this walk? How do I live each day knowing her bright, smiling face won’t be walking through the door every afternoon. How do I serve dinner every night with one less place setting? How do I go to Target knowing she isn’t with me to stop at Chick-fil-A to get our sweet tea? How do I watch “Bewitched” without her at 4:30 every afternoon? She is everywhere!!!

How will I walk this walk? The only way I know how…one step at a time…with my Lord guiding each and every step and with you, my sweet friends, whose prayers and words of encouragement have held me up. It is such a lonely feeling, yet you have helped me know I am not alone.

My friend Marlo Huffington wrote these beautiful words:

Let the sweet waves of loss wash over you for they will eventually give way to joy!

So, I will wait patiently for the Joy that always comes in the morning.

Until then, I rejoice for Lauren. Her first two days were so hard. But now she is enjoying Rush and making new friends. Nights are still a bit lonely as she misses “home.” But I told her soon UGA would be her new “home,” her “home away from home,” and it would feel good to be there.

So many friends I know are taking their kids to college this week and next. Please know I am praying for you!!!

If you are one of these moms, or if you have a Scripture or word of encouragement for one of these moms, please leave a comment today.

Love,

March 22, 2013

Announcing Wendy’s New On-Line Study

First, I want to  welcome  all my Encouragement for Today friends joining us from my P31 Devotion.  I am so excited that you stopped by. One of my passions is encouraging women to spend time alone with Jesus…to sit at His feet …to dig into His Word…to grow deeper in prayer.  God has laid a new study on my heart that will equip us to do these very things.

Today I am announcing that new study.  Just so you know, announcing new studies is one of my favorite parts of being a Bible teacher.  So that makes today one of my favorite days!

Our new on-line study will begin May 8th and run for three weeks.  It is shorter than most of my studies, but it will be packed full of wonderful lessons gleaned from the lives of two of the most beloved women in the Bible….Mary and Martha.  We will follow the two sisters as they meet with Jesus on three separate occasions.  Of course, we will begin with the most well-known story of Mary and Martha where Jesus reprimands Martha for being “too busy.”  So before you leave the web site today, I would love for you to share with us whether you are a Mary or a Martha and why.

If you want to learn more about the study, please read the description below:

Quiet My Anxious Heart:  Learning to Sit at the Feet of Jesus

God longs for a personal intimate relationship with us. He waits patiently for us to come to Him.  But like Martha, often we are too busy. We spend our days attempting to be everything to everyone. In the busyness of life, we find it hard to hear God’s voice or even know if He is speaking at all. Join Wendy and discover how to choose what is “better” – receiving the unspeakable joy and peace that comes from sitting at the feet of Jesus. In this three week study Wendy will  …

  • share practical tools on how to have an effective daily quiet time with God.
  • teach you how to read God’s Word in a way that will make it applicable to your every day life.
  • impart principles that will renew your mind with God’s Truths
  • leave you with a Thirty Day challenge to apply what you have learned.

I am so looking forward to meeting here with you each week to discover what God has to teach us through the lives of these two amazing women.

My devotional today talked about living a life “set apart” for God…having the courage to say “no” to everyone else and “yes” to God.  Friends, we will struggle making these choices if we do not KNOW the Word of God.  As you and I fill ourselves with the Word, it becomes a part of us.  God’s Word becomes integrated into every part of our lives.  And as that happens, making the hard choices becomes easier.  Choosing to live a life set apart becomes the desire of our heart and not a drudgery that we must do to receive God’s approval.  In this study, we will begin to fill ourselves little by little with some powerful truths…truths that will bring life transformation.

I have prayed for every woman God will bring to this study.  I hope you are one of those women!  To register simply visit the right side of my blog and click on “Sign up for Wendy’s On-Line studies.”  Place your e-mail address in the box and click “subscribe.”  Doing this registers you for this study and ensures you will receive invitations for all future studies.  If you have registered for an on-line study in the past, you do not need to re-register.

If you would like to receive the weekly posts for the on-line study in your inbox, visit the side of my blog again.  At the top of this sidebar, you will see ”Subscribe to Updates.”  Place your e-mail address in the box and click “Go.”  Each week you will receive an e-mail with the post for the week.  It is important to note that to view the video, you will need to visit the web site directly.  You may do so by clicking on the title of the post in the e-mail.

All registration information you share stays confidential.

And please share this study with your friends.  We have placed a button on the side of the blog that you can grab if you want to share this study on your blog.

Also, if you have not joined Wendy’s Street Team, we now have a link on the right side of the blog that says, “Join Wendy’s Street Team.”  This Team will be an important part in helping participate in and promote my new Bible study that will be published by Thomas Nelson in February 2012.  To learn more or to sign up, simply click where it says “Click Here.”  I will share lots more about the new Bible study in weeks and months to come!

****I also want to announce the winner of Suzie Eller’s new book, The Unburdened Heart:

Sandra who posted on March 12th at 5:43 pm

Congratulations, Sandra!  Please send me an e-mail with your full name and mailing address so Suzie can send you your book. ****

Thank you again for stopping by today.  Don’t forget to leave a comment today and share whether you are a Mary or a Martha and why.  I am so looking forward to hearing what you have to share!

Blessings,

January 27, 2013

Winners for our Resolve to R.E.S.T. Challenge

What a joy to read your comments and to see how you have practically applied the Resolve to R.E.S.T. post!  Thank you for taking time from your busy lives to share how God used your time with Him.

Here are some practical ways you shared on how to rest:

Kay and her husband  spend time reading and praying together.

Mary meditates on the verse “Be still and know that I am God” and spends time alone with the Lord visualizing and remembering a time He met her in a very real and personal way at the beach.

Melissa finds rest in the precious moments of life, whether it be in the quietness of the morning, the sounds of her children playing or  in the arms of her husband.

Charlotte finds rest in carving out time each day to sit with Jesus.

Michelle ends her day in the Word with her Father just before she goes to bed.

Elisa walks daily with her husband and they pray together; she also meets the Lord alone, face down on the floor in prayer.

Noelle finds a reminder of the significance of rest by looking to the example of Chick-fil-A closing  on Sundays…just as our Lord rested on Sunday.

Jill finds rest by being proactive in the Word, finding verses on rest, memorizing them and truly living them in the busyness of her day.

What a blessing to hear how each of you finds rest.  Each story is creative and unique, just as we are!!  There are no rules about how to rest…no regulations.  Rather, God calls us “TO JUST DO IT!”

And I so appreciate the honesty from  many of you sharing how you struggle to rest with the busyness of your lives.  You are not alone and that is why we spent time together these past two weeks practicing R.E.S.T.

My prayer is that our time of R.E.S.T will not end here but  will be a journey we will continue.

I too have been setting side time each day to be with the Lord.  Some days it is just a few minutes and other days it is much longer.  What I love is that my prayer journal is full again.  Notations fill my devotional book  as I jot down what I hear as I read.  And my heart is more tender to hear the whispers of the Spirit.

I pray that you have found these  two week that there is NO BETTER PLACE TO BE than at the feet of Jesus!

I announced that I would give away two devotional books.  Well, guess what?  I will be giving away three because of a precious friend and sister in Christ who follows my blog.  She has offered to donate a third book for our giveaway.  Thank you, Tarnisha!

The winners are:

Jennifer January 19th

Jana who left a comment on January 20th

June who left a comment on January 25th

And, no, it was not a requirement your name begin with a “J’ to win.  It just worked out that way!

Please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and mailing address.

Please join me here on  Friday as I have a Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today Devotional running entitled “How Do I Know that I Am Called?”  I look forward to meeting you here on Friday!  If you have a friend struggling to hear God’s call on their lives, please send them here for a visit.  Scripture contains powerful truths on this subject, and I look forward to sharing  some with you and hearing from you!!

Blessings to you,