Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Part Eight

God’s Word-Psalms 138: 1-18

1 You have searched me, Lord,

    and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;

    you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;

    you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue

    you, Lord, know it completely.

5 You hem me in behind and before,

    and you lay your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

    too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?

    Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

    if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

    your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

    and the light become night around me,”

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;

    the night will shine like the day,

    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;

    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

    your works are wonderful,

    I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

    when I was made in the secret place,

    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;

    all the days ordained for me were written in your book

    before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!

    How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,

    they would outnumber the grains of sand—

    when I awake, I am still with you.

These words should motivate each of us to live the unique life God has called us to. 

What better words to end this series, ‘Not Comparing Ourselves To Others.’ You are wonderfully made!!!

Your Journey

Part Seven

You are fearfully and wonderfully made!  Does anyone believe this anymore?  The bible tells us this, but I look around and find more unhappy people than ever.  They do not want to be who they were born to be.  They want to be someone else.  They are not happy with their lives.  

You have a calling that is unique to you!  No one in the whole wide world is created for your purpose and for your journey.  If you really think about this, it can bring peace to your soul.  

I am wondering if social media has a lot to do with this dissatisfaction?  YouTube?  When we see what others are doing or what they have, we can tend to lose our personal focus.   

For example, I found myself wanting my garden to look like those I was following on Instagram or YouTube.  I wanted all the plants they had.  I wanted my yard to look like their yard. I wanted what they wore for garden attire.  Good grief, how does a person keep up with this kind of living?  This kind of thinking keeps us from being personally creative. 

I knew my yard and my situation in gardening is specific to me.  No one has what I have.   If I take the time and energy and put it into the uniqueness of my situation,  think how beautiful life and my garden would be.  

In my personal observation, I feel the happiest people on earth are individuals who are content with who they are.  They walk in their gifts and talents. They are thankful to the God above for how they were fearfully and wonderfully made.  They have the peace of knowing they have a Savior.

God’s Word-Psalms 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. (NIV)

 

Having Faith

Part Six

Having faith in yourself might be the hardest hurdle when chasing your dreams or sharing your gifts.   You will think you are not good enough.  You might feel that you need to clean up your life before God can use you.  There is good news for you.  Except for Jesus, God never uses perfect people to accomplish His will.  

You will not find one earthly perfect person in the Bible. (except Jesus) 

I am reminded of Moses in the Old Testament.  Moses was asked by God (burning bush) to go to Pharaoh to free the Israelites.  I am sure Moses was overwhelmed by the calling.  He began to give God all the reasons he was not adequate for the job.  “I am poor in speech, please send someone else.  Who am I to talk with Pharoh?  ”  Exodus Chapter-4

But God told Moses that He would be with Him.  He would help Him speak and teach Moses what to say.  

When I began writing for this blog, I could come up with every reason not to start.  For example, “I am not a good writer.  I didn’t go to college.  I have no experience with a blog.   I have many flaws.” : (  (Just to name a few).   If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, I am sure you have found grammar errors and poor writing.   Writing a perfect blog is not my goal.  My goal is to encourage couples in their marriages.   I don’t have to have perfect writings to encourage!  : )

It is easy to focus on our weaknesses instead of God’s strength within us.

I am thankful God is with me and will help me, whatever my calling may be.  

God can use you right where you are at.  He will be with you!  He is not looking for perfect! 

Such great news!

The Hurdles

Part Five

Anytime you are called to a ministry or using your gifts for others, you will find that it will not come without hurdles.  You will face people that don’t believe in what you are doing.  They might discourage you.   It is easy again to compare and look around at what others are doing and feel inadequate.  You might want to give up.  You might have some people who disagree with your mission.  It may be something no one has ever done before.    It’s Important to keep your focus on your purpose for your dreams to move forward.  You will need to surround yourself with those who will support and encourage your calling. 

We found this to be true when we started ‘Dance with Me Ministries’ over 13 years ago.  We began to approach the small group pastor of our church about teaching ballroom dance to married couples.  At the time, no dancing was allowed in the denomination we were attending.   There had never been a dance ministry.  So as you can imagine this was our first hurdle.  We shared with a Pastor about our mission of gelling ballroom and marriage ministry together.  He became our first big supporter.   Thank you, Pastor Dave!  He loved the idea of a ballroom dance marriage ministry.  He approached the other Pastors and elders of our home church about our small group idea.   We were on vacation at the time of receiving the news that we had the okay to begin ‘Dance With Me Ministries.’  It surprised us both.  It was a bit frightening, to say the least.  We didn’t think we would get past that first hurdle.  

Excited to share the news with others in the church, I began to spread the news of our upcoming dance ministry small group.  One of the first church ladies I spoke to, just laughed at the idea.  Not sure exactly why, but you definitely will run into those who don’t share your vision.  

We have had venue changes,  couples drop-out of our class,  low attendance, discouragement, challenges of writing curriculum, and Covid for more hurdles to jump.   

But Dan and I can share how God has opened doors when we needed doors to be opened.  God jumped the hurdles and laid them down as they came before us.   We just ran right over those laid-down hurdles. 

Don’t look around and keep your focus.  Believe in yourself.  Believe in your mission. 

God’s Word- Jeremiah 29:1111 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

Gifts and Talents

Part Four

What are your gifts and talents?  Some of us go through life never really knowing what they are.  We won’t know what our talents and gifts are if we are always wanting what others have.  

I always wanted to be a great singer.  Let’s even say a good singer.  I am neither.  I always have admired those who are gifted musically.   But there was a time in my life that I had to come to the conclusion that it is just not going to be.  I am not going to make it on American Idol.  : (  This is not a gift that I have been blessed with. I knew I had to look at what gifts the good Lord has given me to be able to bless others. 

I have the gift of hospitality.  I love having people over to my house.  I enjoy having friends over to share a meal together.  When you are working in your gifts and talents-it is easier to accomplish.  You will have the desire to work out your purpose in life.  If I was still chasing my music dream, well let’s just say, it would be unpleasant on everyone’s ears.  I wouldn’t be ‘blessing’ anyone.  I might not even have friends. : (

One of our icebreakers in our dance class is, “Share a gift or talent your spouse has.”  We always enjoy hearing what the husband or wife shares about the other.  In fact, it is sweet to see a husband and wife smile when the other shares their special gift. 

If you don’t know what your gift or talent is, ask the one closest to you!  Ask your husband, wife, friend, or family member.   Pray that  God will reveal to you your gift or talent.  Pray to God on how to use your gift to bless others. 

You will change the world!

God’s Word- Ephesians 3:20

20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (NIV)

Your Purpose

Part Three

A real danger in a marriage is comparing your spouse or yourself with others.  It will bring dissatisfaction in all areas of your relationship. You will not be happy.  

It is so easy to look at what others have.  It’s amazing how perfect a person can look on Facebook.  

It’s easy to be jealous of what others have.  Maybe a new car, a big house, perfect kids.  When comparing sets in, I am finding myself not happy with what I have been given. 

God has called each one of us to a specific purpose.  He has given each of us unique gifts and talents.    If we concentrate on what we have been given instead of what we don’t have- it will bring us true satisfaction.  We will fulfill our purpose, our mission!  

Comparing will bring you dissatisfaction every time. 

 Key: Don’t look around, look within!

God’s Word-1 Thessalonians 1:3

 It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. 

Why Am I Dancing?

Part Two-Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

I can be a very competitive person.  Ask my family.  I don’t like to lose in games. I always want to win.  I want to be the best.   It seems to be part of my personality.  Can I use that as an excuse?  When it comes to dancing, I can also be competitive.   Dan is not so much this way.  

At the beginning of our dance experience, it was hard not to compare myself with the other outstanding dancers. 

To enjoy my dancing experience, I knew I had to ask myself one question:  Why am I dancing?

I am dancing:  because it is time to spend with my husband.  It’s a date.  It is a night out having fun.  I am learning a new skill.  It keeps me socially and mentally healthy.   I will meet new friends. 

Admiring other dancers will encourage me to keep practicing and not to give up! 

It’s not a competition.  

It’s not “Dancing with the Stars.” 

To be content in my dancing journey, I can’t compare myself to others!  It spoils the fun!

God’s Word-1 Peter 5:6-7

6-7 So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; He’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you. (The Message)

2009