• Erin E. McEndree

Your gifts are dangling right in front of you; grab them!

Has Satan written you off as a slave because he knows you are part of the 96% of people who make goals, but never make a plan of action of achieve them? How are you doing on those things (we won't call them Resolutions) you wanted to do for the New Year?

Do you want to be a mom with more patience, but don't memorize Scripture about patience or ask someone to pray for you? Do you try it on your own? Do you want to have a better prayer life and stand in the gap for your husband and kids, but you don't set a timer to remind you to pray or write down specific prayers when they cross your mind? Do you want to be a better cook for your family, but do not prepare with cookbooks or shopping lists? Do you have regrets? Do you use words like 'should have', 'could have', 'if only'?

Change that recorder in your mind. Tell Satan he has no hold on you anymore. "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world,"1 John 4:4.

"Has Satan written you off as a slave?"

I heard that in a song yesterday. If only 4% of people who make goals ask for help with those goals, I wonder how many women stay trapped in the lie that they have nothing to contribute to anyone. Satan is sneaky that way. He will keep feeding you a lie that you do not have a gift, time or talent; therefore you do not ask for help to find it or to use it. Are you a Christian guided by the Lord that strives to use her Spiritual gifts (maybe unrealized gift at this point) OR are you a Christian distracted by Satan because you do not PURSUE your goals by making a plan and asking for help? You are probably one or the other.

Do you trust God has made you with special Spiritual gifts to further his Kingdom or do you float around with no direction, no goal, no passion thinking you are nothing special...Satan loves this attitude and has written you off as a slave.

Choose today before we go forward, to pursue your Spiritual gift given to you from the heavenly realm. Don't float around lost, unfulfilled and confused in the playground of Satan.

Erin E. McEndree is a Life Coach who helps struggling women understand their story and step into their purpose by helping them identify their God-anointed gifts. Her specialty is helping women with adoption issues free themselves of pain, guilt and fear. For more information go to www.steepedinpurpose.com and shop the store for programs that can help you plan and execute your ideal self.

  • Erin E. McEndree

The only place women can speak from is their own experience. Impeaching other women's viewpoints based on the one you have acquired (whether in person or on social media) is harmful. Maturing into a woman who can see value in different beliefs, attitudes and morals is a rare characteristic these days and difficult to develop from what I've experienced.

All women experience social, financial, emotional, spiritual and physical situations differently. These experiences come because of our good/bad choices and from good/bad choices of others that affect us. Convincing other women to support, change or reject issues because of what you experienced can be difficult. Experiences create emotional responses that tug at our hearts. When another woman does not have that experiences, her need to apply it to her life may not be important. That does not make her wrong and you right? It does not make her right and you wrong?

"One man's logic is another man's crazy," David Rossi (Criminal Minds)

How do you deal with other women who have different values based on their unique experiences? How do you interact with other women when you feel strongly that your position is best and beneficial based on your particular knowledge? Thousands of issues come to mind that are 'hot buttons' in conversation and social media such as vaccinations, homeschooling, church affiliation, politics, essential oils, co-sleeping, elderly parenting and the list goes on and on.

There are hundreds of issues that are not right or wrong, but are personal. Our goal as women should not be to compare or convince other women, but to support, listen, respect and learn. Implying that you are the standard every woman should be measured by causes division, comparison, arguments, belittling, hurt feelings, and relationships that cannot be mended.

The only place we can speak from is our personal experience.

These seven characteristics of a mature woman, wife and mother, when applied, can make your friendships deeper, your family peaceful and your soul tranquil. Even in the midst of restless trials, a mature spirit can find serenity.

  1. Sympathize: "Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble," 1 Peter 3:8. Support and understanding for one another comes with knowledge. Knowledge come by getting information about other plight in life. You can support someone in their circumstances and not join them. Mature women can offer sympathy because they know even the prostitute, the murderer and the Atheist can have a place in the Kingdom.

  2. Unconditional: "You have heard, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you...," Matthew 5:43-44. Not being limited by other's actions, reactions, choices and words can open up a whole new area where you can be used by God. I work with felons. I work with teens sleeping with the houseparent's ex-husband. I work with the mentally ill. I work with homeless. Maturity is treating each like a Child of God when they don't act like it.

  3. Comfort: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,...,who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God," 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. There is no situation off limits that we are to reject comfort if needed. A group of ladies go to strip clubs here on Friday nights to comfort the women in the sex industry. Their comfort gives some confidence to change. A mature woman can leave all judgement aside and give hope and strength.

  4. Respect: "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves," Romans 12:10. The highest respect is to value others above yourself according to Philippians 2:3. Mature women can deny themselves to lift someone else up who is in need.

  5. Learn: Jesus said, "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners," Matthew 9:13. Mature women don't weigh their decisions bases on popular culture, societal norms or other moms. They use Truth and Truth always goes against what society deems as 'good'.

  6. Teach: You are being watched. You teach whether you try or not. 1 Peter 3:1 basically says that we (women, moms, wives) can win over others without words just by the behaviors that flow out of us. Mature women teach and sometimes they use words.

  7. Confidence: "Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded," Hebrews 10:35. Even when we are persecuted and bullied and our possessions are stolen or destroyed, we have confidence and a lasting hope in eternity which is better than anything here on earth. Mature women don't allow others to deplete their confidence.

Life is less about trying to persuade other women to believe your beliefs, attitudes and morals and more about your actions, reactions and words towards those who don't agree with you.

Finding common ground, no matter the issue, is a sign of maturity. Allow the cross to bridge the gap between beliefs and compassion.

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Erin E. McEndree

Steeped In Purpose, LLC

  • Erin E. McEndree

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

There was a woman who thought that if she could get everything accomplished all at once, her life would be manageable because she could finally keep up with all her duties and responsibilities each day. She thought that if she could get all the laundry done, even the tub of socks matched, she could make it stay that way. She thought that if she could get the whole kitchen clean, even under the fridge and in the stove, she could make it stay that way. She thought that if she cleaned up the clutter, she could manage it daily like the FlyLady suggests (FlyLady.net). She also thought if she could make her husband, son and daughter get all of their stuff organized, she could make them keep it that way. This was her grand plan for dusting, vacuuming, toilets, meal planning, grocery shopping and pet messes… to make it stay that way.

The Problem

What she didn’t realize is that for this plan to work, she could not work outside the home, she wold have to miss activities with her kids. She would have to neglect her husband, stay up late, wake up ridiculously early and have dictator-like rules. She would have to deny her children times in the mud, playing with chalk on the porch and making concoctions in the kitchen.

Do you remember what Bob said in the Incredibles? “No matter how many times you save the world, it manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved!”

I…ahem…I mean, this woman has been know to say, “I wish it would just stay that way!” to her husband and two kids hoping she could get them on board with her fail-safe plan to keep clutter at bay and the home tidy and clean.

"I wish it would just stay that way!"

Truthfully, this woman is me and I know I’m not alone. What I came to realize, was my dream of maintaining a clean house, home cooked meals, and a well oiled family machine was really nagging my family into a rigorous and unattainable goal. They were walking on egg shells and trepid around me. It was leaving me in emotional, spiritual, relational and physical poverty because I was depleting myself of present blessings right in front of me. In trying to control all these aspects of my life, I came to serve already empty, thus, giving my leftovers instead of my best.

(Aside: These two men in their 60s just sat at the table next to me and one man said, “People think the grass is always greener on the other side.” Without knowing it, he confirmed the point to this article.)

Let’s make the grass green where we stand by giving up on the perfect ideal of what a woman and mom look like. Our lofty mom expectations probably comes from perfect FaceBook post, glam celebrity sightings and self-help authors who seem to all have it together. Comparing our life to all that is not all that.

I admit, every time I hear the Proverbs 31 Woman discussed, I ALWAYS say, “Well, she had servants. Give me several servants and maybe I could pull that off, too.”

So how do we begin to keep the fuel in our tank, keep our sanity, have better relationships with our families and have peace? Give up! Yes, it sounds counter intuitive, but giving up is the best way to get what we desperately think a clean, well manicured lawn and perfect looking kids will accomplish.

Give up worldly control for God’s rest: When I gave up control, it freed me. I began not to care about the process as long as the goal was met. I allowed my kids to fold towels any way they wanted. They started doing their own laundry or they didn’t have clothes. They also had to help with many other duties before playing games or taking a break. I am free from that responsibility which teaches them responsibility. They also get to work along side my husband and I. Our whole family sat in the floor and has a sock party with the tub of socks. I’m free from overwhelm. Emotionally I feel better.

Give up worldly comparison to become like Christ: All this media is one big comparison trap. It is so difficult to live on our green grass and love the moment instead of wish it all away for something we perceive as better. Comparison causes anxiety. A friend asked if she should give goodie bags at her son’s birthday party. She said she didn’t want to, but every other mom does. Give it up mama! I carry around a quote in my bible: To live authentically means you don’t care what other parents do or think. Write down your family values as a team and develop confidence striving for your values not the values of your friends.

Give up expectations for the joy of surprises: Some people hate surprises. But, knowing all is also a type of control. It is micromanaging. It really stresses people out around you, too. Allow things to fall into place naturally. Allow your kids to make their own decisions and mistakes. Mistakes while young with small consequences are better than mistakes while older with big consequences. When I stopped micromanaging my son in 8th grade and his school work, I was free. I stopped looking in his backpack. I stopped telling him about every failing grade (I get an automated email for that). I stopped grumbling at his lack of effort. It freed me! I put the responsibility on him and gave up my expectation of great grades. Every kid doesn’t make As and my pressure was just making him feel worthless. Our whole family felt the pressure lift when I put the responsibility at his feet.

Give up worldly waste for eternal abundance: How many times do we choose a vacant, void and empty lifestyle instead of one of abundance overflowing with plenty? We choose FaceBook instead of the Word. We choose bitterness instead of grace. We choose worldly poverty instead of eternal riches such as forgiveness. We choose grudges instead of mercy. We choose to take the difficult path and wonder why things don’t work out. Giving up on what this world offers looks and feels so hard, but the benefits are amazing. Our purpose is to live counter to this world and that goes against all our desires, but it frees the soul.

Give up on these life-sucking strongholds to release you from spiritual, physical, relational and emotional poverty and bondage. You can learn to be free to serve in love, anticipate in hope and work for purpose.

Control, comparison, expectations and wastefulness keep you in a poverty lifestyle that depletes you of energy to be who God created you to be. The desire of your heart is under piles and piles of waste that acts like quick sand pulling you under a suffocating life.

My house may be a little messier, but I’m not going to ever say I wish I would have sacrificed family for memories.

Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” I have truly applied this and strive to find the green grass I am standing on each day.

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