happy valentine’s day

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Valentine’s Day:  A holiday that some love and others love to hate.  A day where your Facebook and Instagram feeds will be filled with pictures of happy looking couples and posts about gifts and probably even an engagement or two.  Seeing all of this can ignite negative emotions for some.  If you’re in a relationship, it may make you feel upset because someone else’s partner did something more than yours.  If you’re single, it may make you feel alone, insecure, or unwanted.

I thought a lot about what to write for a Valentine’s day post.  So I’ll just start with a confession:  I’ve never had a Valentine.  There have been times when I’ve bemoaned that fact.  I’ve sat at home feeling lonely and upset more times than I’d care to admit because all my friends were out with their significant others.  But over the years, I’ve truly begun to learn and lean on the love of Jesus.  The only real, true, and flawless love we will ever know.

One of my absolute favorite stories in the Bible is the story of Hosea. If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend it.  In the story, the Lord asked Hosea to go and love a promiscuous woman.  To bring her to himself and love her as God loves his people.  He had him do this as a parallel to His love to “promiscuous” Israel.  So Hosea married a woman named Gomer, who many scholars believe was a prostitute.  Gomer had a few children by Hosea and was unfaithful to him.  At first, God seems very harsh in how he punishes her.  He speaks of taking away everything He’s given to her because she doesn’t realize that it is the Lord who has given her everything she’s had until now (Hosea 2:8).  So there’s half a chapter dedicated to everything the Lord is taking away from her(and when he is speaking of “her” he is really referencing his own rebellious people in this parallel).  Then, halfway through chapter 2 in one of my favorite verses, he flips the script.

 “Therefore, I am going to persuade her, lead her to the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” (Hosea 2:14).

 He goes on from there to say that he will give her everything back and will take her to be His wife forever.

 “I will take you to be My wife forever.  I will take you to be My wife in righteousness, justice, love, and compassion.  I will take you to be My wife in faithfulness, and you will know Yahweh.”  (Hosea 2:19-20).

This is the kind of love that is hard to even fathom!
And certainly not a love that is able to truly live in the flesh of men.  This type of sacrificial, sometimes unrequited love is only able to come from the true lover of our souls.  Our Savior, our Messiah, our Lord.  Gomer in this story is every single one of us.  She is the one who has been unfaithful to her husband.  She is the one who has made idols of work and legalism.  She is the one who has put her love life or her marriage on a pedestal above her true King.  She is the one who has sat at home on Valentine’s day bemoaning her single life instead of reveling in the Love she already has.

Gomer is all of us.

My challenge to you this Valentine’s day, no matter where you are or who you’re with, is to remember this story.  Remember the love that our God has for us, that no matter what we do, how we behave, He is ready and waiting to lead each of us into the wilderness to speak tenderly to us. So while you’re getting ready for your Valentine’s dates or girls nights, put on some worship music and praise Him.  If you’re home alone, consider spending at least part of your evening in prayer and reading about the immense love God has for you. That is what earthly men can only ever strive for.

 You will never know a more sacrificial or righteously jealous love.
You will never know another lover who will want you back,
after you’ve turned so far away from Him.
You will never know a love so great as the love of God.
Let Him love you, dear sister.
On this Valentine’s day and every day.

Love,
Ashley

You Will Never be Alone.

To my sister who feels lonely in her faith,

You know that feeling you get when you want to do something awesome like run a marathon, learn how to surf or take a painting class? You’re excited. You’re pumped and want to try something new and start as soon as possible. But then you stop and realize that you’re the only one who wants to do that and you get discouraged because you’re alone. Then you can’t muster up the motivation to do that awesome new thing by yourself. Let that be your life no longer!

The solution is discipleship. Maybe you don’t know what that is or you’ve never heard of it. Just know that it is not a new trendy idea. It’s not a get-friends-quick-scheme. It is God’s plan to refine us and challenge us; help us to be more like Jesus and provide us with the encouragement we need to run the race of Faith with joy. He is so sweet and gracious for giving us this. You basically get to say to your friend “Hey friend, do you want to do this awesome thing called Christianity with me?” And then BAM, you are not alone. You get to walk with Jesus alongside a sister, receiving and giving wisdom, truth and encouragement along the way.

For me, discipleship has been one consistent call upon my heart from the Lord since I became a follower of Christ. It’s the reason that I have deep and encouraging friendships that lead me to pursue the Kingdom of God.

It all began at my first Young Life Club when I was 15 years old. (Young Life is a ministry that shares the gospel with teenagers through relationships, fun and easy-to-understand gospel messages.)
I walked into the room alone and nervous, and someone met me at the door with a huge smile. She looked genuinely happy to see me, and I couldn’t fathom why. From the very moment I met her I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Not because of her physical nature, although she is very pretty, but because there was something so bright and kind about her. She captivated me. I wanted to be just like her. She was like a beacon of hope and joy. This woman(we will call her Ruth) became my very first mentor. And through her obedience, faith, and pursuit of my heart, God drew me to his Son.
Ruth was a busy mother of 8 kids, yes 8! She was very active with ministries, church, bible studies and other things that kept her busy
and yet, she found time for me. She taught me how to read the Bible, how to pray, how to go to God with my struggles and my sin. She got to know me and she accepted me, flaws and all. She walked with me through the brokenness and messy parts of my life, always pointing me to the truth of who Jesus is. She welcomed me into her life and she literally embodies the message of

1 Thessalonians 2:8 – “So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”

I can’t thank God enough for sending Ruth into my life. She empowers me to love other women and teach them about the person of Jesus Christ. Her real-life example may enhance your picture of discipleship, but it is most important to look to God’s Word and the life of Jesus to establish your understanding.

There is a book called The Master Plan of Evangelism. It lays out God’s #1 plan for spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth, and I’ll give you a guess as to what the author believes His plan is… Yep, DISCIPLESHIP! The book is awesome and I highly recommend it because it’s a closer look into the life of Jesus and the way that he led and loved his 12 disciples:

“All the disciples had to teach them was a teacher who practiced with them what he expected them to learn. Evangelism was lived before them in spirit and in technique. Watching him, they learned what it was all about. He led them to recognize the need inherent in all classes of people, and the best methods of approaching them. They observed how he drew people to himself; how he won their confidence and inspired their faith; how he opened to them the way of salvation and called them to a decision. In all types of situations and among all kinds of people, rich and poor, healthy and sick, friend and foe alike, the disciples watched the master soulwinner at work. It wasn’t outlined on the blackboard of a stuffy classroom nor written up in a “do it yourself” manual. His method was so real and practical that it just came naturally.”

(The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman)

I truly believe that in Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus places a specific and powerful call on the life of every person who follows Jesus. It says this:

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

This is the biblical basis of discipleship and is often referred to as “The Great Commission.” Reading those verses gives me chills sometimes. Jesus is so mighty, so divine and yet so available. Can there be a greater call on your life? I am overwhelmed by unworthiness and gratitude when I think about how God showers me with grace as He chooses to involve me in His miracle of salvation! It’s the biggest privilege of my entire life. I don’t deserve such a purpose. And His grace doesn’t end there; Jesus declares he will be with us always, He will never leave us or forsake us!

neveralone

 

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Not only will he never leave us alone, but he has modeled for us the most beautiful and inclusive lifestyle of discipleship. In his kindness he says “I do not want you to live your Christian life by yourself. Be with others. Make disciples.”

If you feel encouraged by this, maybe God is starting a fire in your heart for a discipleship relationship. Take a leap of faith and ask your younger sister, niece or friend if she would like to study a book of the Bible with you. Believer or non-believer. Maybe just ask a younger high school or college student if she would like a mentor to walk through life with. Jesus will give you the courage to reach out! And through the beautiful relationship of discipleship we reflect the heart of Jesus and His desire that we love one another as He has loved us.

Us women are notorious for sticking together and doing things in groups. Arriving to a party, going to the bathroom, starting a diet, taking fitness classes and more. We like the company, we like the confidence and security that a group of friends provides. God made us relational. I know he had Titus 2:3-5 in mind when he created us. He knew that we would learn best from the women that surround us. His Word instructs us:
“Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.”

This is yet another biblical doctrine for discipleship. I love the picture that these words bring to my mind. Two women, of different ages, walking through life together, one learning from the other and one blessing the other with wisdom and genuine care. Perhaps God is placing a desire in your heart for a discipleship mentor.  If so, start praying for one now. Tell God you are ready to grow in your faith and learn from a teacher. And then pick up your head and start looking for someone who is faithful and available, not perfect, just willing to care for you. Something anointed and special could begin with this. I encourage you to open your heart up to a sister in Christ and step into the calling of discipleship! You won’t regret it. God has such beauty in store for you. I know this because I know Him.

If you are already involved in a discipleship relationship feel free to tell us about it in a comment, email or on the gram. We would be honored to hear your story!

Much love,

KayJ

Welcome

The heartbeat of this blog is love. The love of Jesus. Wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you become; you cannot escape the reaches of His love. It knows no bounds and no defeat. This love that restores is what we have experienced and what we aim to share with you. We call you sisters even when we do not know you. We write letters that are filled with wisdom and vulnerability and holiness. We love because he first loved us. We give because he first gave to us.

If you visit this blog, read a post or two, join the newsletter, comment or email us or anything, and you do not feel the love of Christ, then we have failed.  We plan to create a good mix of discipleship and sisterhood, God’s Word and prayer, grace and laughter, every time you join us here.

Receiving love and grace from Jesus will empower you to live your life abiding in Him, pursuing discipleship and seeking Truth. This is powerful. He is powerful. Let’s walk along side of each other in this crazy life of faith. We are incredibly honored to be your sisters in Christ and so thankful you found us.

Love,
The Sisters

Hey y’all!
We are so excited to have this opportunity to share our lives here. We have been dreaming, planning and praying for months, and it is almost time to fully launch!
Our official launch date is December 1st!
We hope you find your way back here time after time. When you do, you will find encouraging words, wisdom, humor and so much more! We hope you feel right at home and a part of this special sisterhood when you are here.

Hope y’all have a happy thanksgiving, yummy food, and feel surrounded by love.
Love,
The Sisters