Give It All To God

“You will never influence the world by trying to be like it.”

I have never liked the thought of growing up, but who does, call me Peter Pan! Yet here I am, 22, trying to figure out what I’m REALLY supposed to be doing with my life.

I decided not to go to college, no matter how much I tried to talk myself into it, it just was not going to happen. So, at 17 I started working at a café full time. For four years I worked like crazy. I had no life except for work and the friends I had (and still have to this day) all in the same building. Actually, the friends at work turned out to be three of my best friends in the whole world, two of them Woven Together blog writers! Four years went by and it was time for me to say goodbye to the cafe. Time to move on because I quickly realized that the world was moving fast and I was missing it! I had spent little time with my family, my brothers were growing up, and I do want to get married and have a family of my own at some point!

Long story short, three months have gone by and I am happy! Happier then I have been in a long time. I had no other job lined up for when I left but knew I had a take that step of faith to keep my life moving and trust that God would take care of me like He has promised.

I am telling you half of my life story to get to this, something I came across in a devotion one night shortly after I had left my job, starting to doubt why I had left in the first place! One of the passages I was reading was Psalm 90:12, which says, “Teach us to number our days, that we my gain a heart of wisdom.” I love that verse! We don’t know how long we’re really going to be on this beautiful earth. So when you hear the Spirit saying move, then MOVE. Whether that’s for a job, a house, or from a guy who just isn’t right for you, etc. No matter what everyone else may think about it. God wants you to enjoy life and He will always have your best interest at heart!

The devotion I was reading is called “Live, Love, Lead” by Brian Houston. He had a great statement that says, “Make the decision to embrace your unique grace and shake off the limitations of living up to others expectations.” This was so perfect for me to hear at that moment! I was feeling so out of sync with not having a job, telling people I don’t have a job anymore, plus having to say I didn’t go to college either.

I now see things coming together piece by piece and it’s all God’s movement! Take this blog as an example! I had been praying for an opportunity to be involved in some sort of ministry and then my friend, Haley Martin, contacted me about writing for a blog. I freaked out a little, not going to lie, because I am not a writer by any means. But as I talked about it to my family and told other friends about it, God opened my heart saying, “You can do this! Why are you so nervous? Isn’t this what you’ve been asking for?”
Don’t be afraid to run after what you feel is right! “God made you special and He loves you very much.” -Veggie Tales
I am so excited to be writing and sharing with you all and hope that these posts that the girls and I write help you in ways you did not think you needed.

Also, we would love to hear from you, whether that’s prayer requests or just need someone to listen! Hit us up on Facebook or our email that’s in the contact drop bar!

Thank you guys SO much for taking time to read some of my life. I encourage and pray that you will live the life God gave you! Live in your unique grace!

Your friend, Olivia 🙂

The Key to Abundant Life

My dog likes to prance around with her favorite toy. She takes it everywhere, including outside where she drags it through dirt, grime, and other smells that I’m glad to not know. It’s her absolute favorite, even though it is grungy and the squeaker barely works.
She plays this game where she’ll bring it to you, place it in your hands, and wait.
She did this the other day and this thought hit me.
God asks us to give Him our life. But what kinds of things do we hold on to that, when compared to God, are just as grungy and stinky?
I provide for my dog. I feed her, shelter her, love her, etc. But when her toy is in the picture, she’ll always choose it over me. God showed me that this is exactly how we treat Him. He provides for us, shelters us (from things seen and unseen), loves us, etc. We give Him our attention until our favorite things are in the picture with Him. This could look like anything from normal time consumers to hidden fixations. We tell God that He can have our everything and we say He is Lord over our life. Yet there are things that we haven’t given to Him that seem small but actually hinder our whole relationship with God. My dog’s fascination with her small grungy torn-to-pieces toy completely uproots our relationship because it matters more to her in that moment than I do. The same thing can be said for things in our life. We don’t realize it but those things could look like our children, our money, our future, and our secret addictions. These can look normal, but to live a life totally committed to God it requires trust.
Many of us, when it comes down to it, have trust issues with God. These are some of the thoughts that I know I’ve had before:
Is He really good?
Will He really satisfy me like His Word says He will?
If I give everything to Him I will just have an empty life that is boring and the world will leave me behind.
I have to compromise to have fun or to have experience.
There is a statement found several times in the Bible I have found to hold a magnitude of importance. It can be found in several passages such as Hosea 6:6, Hebrews 10:8 , and Matthew 9.
These references all say the same thing yet there is still one more reference that I’ve held close to my heart for years.

Psalm 51:16-17 says:
“You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
You are not pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.”

The Lord wants every part of our heart and life. He is our creator and therefore knows every single one of us fully. He knows our wants, our needs, how to protect us, and how to give us live more abundantly than we can ourselves.

John 10:10b says:
“I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”

He promises us that when we give Him our life fully, there won’t be a void left. Rather it will be a life overflowing with more than we could imagine. He fills us not just to the brim but so much that we overflow with His presence and His attributes such as joy strength and peace.
I have told God several times that He is my all and He can take the lead in my life. But over the last two years I’ve come to realize that I had more of a grip on it than I thought. I would tell Him that He was my everything but in reality, my grades and future came first. They were my security and my hope for money and prestige. I kept coming to God, all excited like my dog does to me, but I came with my hope in something else and couldn’t let it go.
I have since realized God’s hand on my life and have learned to give those areas of my life to Him. The amount of peace I have is like none other I’ve ever felt before too. I thought I knew peace, but when I gave these final areas up to God I had this greater peace come over me. I have concrete knowledge and faith that He will protect me and hold me up. I do not have to fear my future and wonder where my needs will come from. When you give everything (literally everything) up to God, the promises He gives us become sweeter and more filling. They’re not just an added bonus, they are the tenacious gifts of our hope.
I pray that God will reveal to you what areas you may have in your life that need to fully given to Him. Trust is the hardest thing for people to do, but once you get past it there is rest like none other that comes from the Father. We can trust Him. Let go of the grungy dog toys and see the Master, God, who sees you and loves you just for who you are.

 

Picture from: ohpioneer.com

Work of Art

When I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t like what I see. My hair isn’t wavy enough, my makeup isn’t right, and I just feel like I could lose a few pounds. I may look like I have it together, but I don’t. I’ve got insecurities like you wouldn’t believe. My husband reminds me every day that I’m gorgeous and that makes me smile.

Why am I so hard on myself? Maybe it is all the magazines I see in the checkout line with “HOW TO LOSE 12 LBS” in large print. It could be all the fad diets I hear about. All these things I see and hear have underlying messages (i.e. too fat, too small, too wide, and too tall). These things aren’t from God.

This is what God says:

  • So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” –Genesis 1:27, ESV
    • God made us how He wanted to; He created us and that’s enough.
  • For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” –Ephesians 2:10, NLT
    • So, I’m a work of art?? Yes! I am God’s masterpiece and I am one of a kind; I don’t need to change a thing. I struggle with wanting to change so much about myself that I forget Who made me.
  • For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” –Psalm 139:13-16, ESV
    • God formed every single part of me. He shaped me and put me together. This is me.

Even with all of my insecurities, God loves me just the way I am. It is hard to believe, but it’s true. I’m a work of art just like the sunrise and sunset. I am loved and I have purpose.

I’ve got a husband that adores me and two dogs that give me sweet kisses when I get home. Why would I change because of some article in a magazine? I am enough.

Much Love,

Meagan

*Picture found from Google

It’s 2017, so here’s a new thing!

      Hey there to whoever is reading this! My name is Haley Martin and I guess you would call me the founder of this ministry! God laid a vision on my heart to reach women in every part of the world and gave me a call to help unite women no matter what walk of life they come from. Anywhere you go in this world, you’ll find there is a ton of division especially among women and I know I have found myself causing division towards those around me. I have found that no matter what age, each of us women still have insecurities, struggle with comparison, and do not find our identity in Christ. The mission of the ministry is so that each of us writers will grow in each of those areas, and hopefully help you grow too! We are passionate about people and want to be real with each of you. The purpose of this blog ministry is not so that people can see us, but rather, so that people can see Jesus working in and through us. We want this to be a place where women can come to learn about Jesus and grow in Him. We want to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with you, come along beside you, and walk through this wonderful journey we call life together.

          I do not feel as if I am a qualified writer, but I know I have a passion in my heart along with the other girls on my team to share the gospel. I know Jesus has moved radically in my life and has changed me. Even though I accepted Christ at a young age (at 8 years old in my third grade classroom! Those were my glory days and I’m blessed for that…), I did not fully start to understand Christ until the past few years of my life while attending Liberty University (Go flames…it’s lit. Wow that was a funny. This is your turn to laugh. Thanks.) All of my life I kind of put Christ as this side figure in my life that could help me in times of trouble, and give me a few miracles here and there.

         Throughout the past two and a half years I’ve realized that I am a mess, an actual literal hot mess. Some days, I compare myself to jello. I’m just kind of all over the place, bouncing around and pretending I’ve got it all together. But if we’re being real, we all are like that sometimes. I always thought I had it together on my own and that Jesus just made me look better. I’ve learned that without Christ I am nothing. That I cannot find my identity in anyone or anything. The only one who can fully satisfy my soul is Jesus!

         I’ve learned that through Him, I can choose to love. Being a lover is sometimes a lot harder than being a hater. I’ve learned that I can choose to not compare myself to my friends but rather empower them, and find my identity in Christ. I’ve learned that I do not give myself purpose, my future career does not give me purpose, my friends and family do not give me purpose, and my future spouse will not give me purpose.

      I want to do this ministry/blog for God, for you, and for me. I want to learn through this, and I want to show other women  what I’m learning. The women that will be writing on this blog are some of my closest friends. Some days, I end up comparing myself to them. Some days, I have divisions with them. But instead of acting out as myself in comparison, I decide to act how Christ would and love them.

          The name “Woven Together” comes from Colossians 2:2-4 (MSG), which says, “I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery.” All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries or secrets that promise the world.”

         I love this verse. It ties together our whole mission for this blog. Throughout my life I have found myself not confident nor not finding rest because in my mind I was not putting my life into Christ’s hand. I, at first, did not understand the mystery of Christ. I believed Christ loved me, but I didn’t fully think about just how much Christ loves me. I would look for affection from other people, instead of Christ, and honestly some days I still try to do that. I would feel like my life was spinning out of control because I was being led off by the world on what success is in the worlds standards. I would always try to be better, to be skinnier, be with the latest trend, focus on my image, focus on social media, and in the end I’m distracted by the world completely. Some days I still struggle with all of these things, but I have to preach the truth of God’s word to myself. I believe this verse shows exactly what the writers of this blog want you to know. That women all around the world can be woven into a tapestry of love by allowing Christ’s love to reign in our lives. That we can look to Jesus for our fulfillment, our hope, and our affection. We can choose to live with purpose, the very purpose that God created us for. That we do not have to run around aimlessly, that we do not have to follow everything the world does, instead we can follow God and be content in Him through the good times and the hard times.

         I truly believe that each person reading this has a unique story. I pray that throughout reading the blogs posted on this site that you and I both will be able to allow God to demolish sinful strongholds in our lives, to find our God-given purpose, to not allow comparison, anger, cattiness, etc. to ruin our relationships with one another but instead allow us to stand strong in the love of Jesus and reach the lost together. I pray that this blog also encourages you, that no matter what the world says, you don’t have to have it altogether. Christ died for you for a reason, and that is so that you can look to Him for your perfection and all your needs. He dies to give you a perfect relationship with the Father so that you can find wholeness in Him and lay your burdens at His feet.

      Throughout the next year, as each girl from this team writes about what they believe God wants them to, we pray you will be encouraged, challenged and strengthened through it. We pray that some of the topics we write about are the exact things you will need in that very moment. We were not made to stand alone in this world, instead to rally together, and grow with each other daily. With that being said, we hope you’ll grab your coffee, tea, Dr. Pepper.. what ever you have to drink to wake up in the morning and you’ll join us every Monday morning for a new word of encouragement to help you get through your week.

    Here’s the last thing… we want you to be involved in this ministry. We want to be there for each of you to answer any questions, pray for you, encourage you, and walk with you. You can contact us anytime through commenting on a blog, messaging us on our Facebook or Instagram page, or also emailing us at woventogetherministries@gmail.com.