You ARE a Woman of Destiny

Remember Gideon? In the book of Judges, chapter six, we witness an angelic visit. Remarkably, the angel first announced who Gideon was in God’s sight, much to his surprise. In spite of the fact that Gideon was hiding down inside a winepress to sift wheat—this out of necessity, as the Midianites had destroyed their crops, and precious little food was available. Sifting wheat in a winepress may have been the prudent thing to do, but it certainly wasn’t the bravest. Yet God saw Gideon’s potential and spoke to it.
And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage (Judges 6:12 ampc).
The angel then gave Gideon his marching orders. Scary marching orders. And Gideon could hardly believe his ears. Gideon’s response? “But…how can I?” (verse 15).
Gideon’s question was the very same question I have asked more than once.
Isn’t that the very question that pounds against our hearts when we sense God speaking scary words of promise? Words that require effort and cooperation and faith on our part, especially when we don’t understand and when every cell in our bodies trembles with fear?
“How can I _____ when ______?”
Yet God saw something in Gideon. He saw his potential. And I’m convinced He sees the potential in us too. If only we will rise to the occasion.
We may not defeat the Midianites, but God still desires to accomplish specific, awesome things both in us and through us. Things for which He has uniquely equipped us. Things that may not always appear grand or flashy, yet if He is the Author and Establisher of those things, we can be assured they hold eternal value.
Everything God accomplishes in and through us matters. It all holds value and divine purpose. Even the nonglamorous things. The day-to-day things. The things we do that nobody ever sees. But God sees. And when we do each thing unto Him, He is not only honored, but greatly pleased.
God uses who He wants…He doesn’t look for the talented so much as the willing. In both Gideon He saw a willing heart. Not a perfect heart, but a humble and willing heart. And with those two qualities, God can do anything. Those two ingredients allow God to fill in every blank.
God chose us, equipped us with specific gifts, and desires for us to produce fruit. Eternal fruit. Jesus has literally appointed us to produce lasting fruit using the gifts God has entrusted to us. He is interested in results that remain—results that matter in light of eternity. In addition, we are expected to use well what we are given, or it will be taken from us.
To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away (Matthew 25:29).
I want to be a faithful steward of what God has entrusted to me. I want to wisely use what I have been given, and I want to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).
How about as we ponder and pray, we ask God to enable us to recognize and accept the gifts He has given us? How about if we choose to accept the gifts—no matter how surprising—and commit to doing our part?
What if, instead of agreeing with the enemy that there’s just no way, we link arms with Jesus, Who is the Way? What if we determine to believe God is not only able to reveal our destinies, but to equip us in whatever way He sees fit and in His perfect timing? What if we step forward trusting Him instead of doubting ourselves?
Let’s lay our humble and willing hearts before Him—those two beautiful ingredients with which Almighty God can supersede all we could ever dare to hope, ask, or imagine. Let’s acknowledge that we are women in possession of divinely bestowed gifts and talents, with specific assignments. And let’s dare to believe that we are, in fact, determined women of destiny.

This is an adapted excerpt from my new book, From Hot Mess to Blessed. For more encouragement on your God-given destiny, and to receive hope that will enable you to embrace God’s promises for you, get your copy HERE or HERE
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A Hot Mess and Her Mouth

Wouldn't it be great if we all said the exact right thing all the time...and kept our mouths closed when appropriate? I am a long way from that goal (remember? I'm a hot mess...), but it's still not only my goal, but my heart's desire! I long to honor God with my mouth.

That's why I thought it would be good to share these verses along with a specific prayer. Because prayer for our mouths (what we do AND don't say) is a very good and necessary thing!

One of the keys to guarding our mouths is knowing Scripture, which acts like an inner restraint in our hearts, and we know that out of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).

Here are three verses that I need to tape to my forehead. *grin*

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29)

If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. (James 1:26)

These verses are a lot to live up to, and I know I certainly fall short. But we have to trust that as we grow in Christ, as He increases and we decrease (John 3:30), and as we learn to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh (Galatians 5:16), we can grow in this area.

A Prayer for Your Mouth

Lord, my heart’s desire is to control my mouth. I confess that I sometimes say things I shouldn’t—things I regret. Will you please help me to grow and mature in this area? Set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips. Keep me aware that You hear every word I speak. Help me to control my tongue. May no reckless words come out of my mouth; but may my tongue bring healing. Let my words be good and helpful and encouraging. May the words I speak honor You and bless those around me. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

7 Promises for a Hot Mess {Give-Away!}

Welcome if you are visiting from my Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion! I hope you will take advantage of my free resources, and I invite you to subscribe to my blog or become part of my Facebook Community Prayer Page. I’d love to stay connected!

Years ago as I sat in my worn prayer chair, crying out for God to change me, He gave me a glimpse of the future me—radiant, emotionally whole and stable and confident—far from the hot mess that I was at the time. Not that I have arrived. I happen to hold an honorary degree in hot mess and take it from me, apart from the Lord’s power at work in us, that doesn’t change.

A holy promise was conceived in my heart that morning in my prayer chair. The promise of how far God could take a woman if she dared to believe that He was greater than past hurts, past screwups, past foolish choices, and zero confidence; that He could somehow take all the fragments of a tragically broken heart and life and make them whole. It seemed outrageous to believe that a hot mess like me could be made whole, but everything in me ached to be whole and free.

Over the years as I have chosen to believe God and cooperate with His process (and it is a process, not a *poof* you're perfect thing), He has brought freedom and transformation that I scarcely knew was possible (and He continues to work in me). And Jesus, who raises the dead to life and frees the captive, will do the same for you.

Below are seven Scripture-based promises. Each one of these promises represents a chapter in my JUST RELEASED TODAY!! book, From Hot Mess to Blessed (actually there are twelve chapters in the book, which also includes questions for personal reflection or group study). My hope is that these promises and verses will not only encourage your heart, but help you to trust that hope and promise exist for you.

Whatever you’re walking through and whatever state your soul is in, know this: God is for you. He loves you. He is with you. And if you will dare to hold on to Him, believe Him, trust His Word and cry out in prayer, He will move on your behalf.

7 Promises for a Hot Mess

When your heart and emotions are battered and broken: 
I will make you whole - "And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague." (Mark 5:34)

When you don’t understand who you really are: 
I will give you a new identity - This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

When hard things keep happening: 
I will work all things for good - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

When you feel inadequate for the task ahead: 
I will enable you - For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. ( Philippians 2:13)

When you feel unimportant or invisible: 
You are significant - O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.  (Psalm 139:1-2)

When you feel unloved: 
I will give you my unfailing love - Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6)

When you have no dreams or feel uncertain about your dreams: 
You are a woman of destiny - 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)

GIVEAWAY! I am giving away a signed copy of From Hot Mess to Blessed to 5 winners! Enter below. (NOTE: You do not have to choose every option to enter. Complete the option(s) that you like best!) 

Be sure to visit my Free Resources page for your FREE From Hot Mess to Blessed Printable Prayer Guide and FREE From Hot Mess to Blessed Printable Promise Cards! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reading this via email? CLICK HERE to visit my blog and enter.

A Celebration! {Hot Mess Give-Away!}

Sweet friends, celebrate with me – today my new book, From Hot Mess to Blessed releases!

If you’ve ever felt like a hot mess (and who of us hasn’t?), then you will love this book. It’s filled with holy hope to enable you embrace God’s promises. Authentic, deeply personal, and encouraging, From Hot Mess to Blessed will help you dare to believe. And isn’t that what a hot mess needs? To believe God’s promises, to believe that He is at work, moving in our hearts and lives, doing what only He can do, smack in the middle of our hardest moments, our meltdowns, our freak-outs, and our disappointments.

Be sure to visit my Free Resources page for your FREE From Hot Mess to Blessed Printable Prayer Guide and FREE From Hot Mess to Blessed Printable Promise Cards! 

Here’s what a couple of people are saying about From Hot Mess to Blessed:

If you’ve ever thought you were too messed up to do anything important for God, read this book.  Julie Gillies writes with vulnerability, honesty, and with a deep commitment to helping women find answers in God’s Word. If life has thrown you a few curves and you’ve wondered how to move forward with confident faith and renewed joy, this is the book for you.  Read it for yourself and then take a group of friends through it.  The study questions for each chapter will take you deeper into God’s truth and the list of scriptures at the end will give you solid footing for a life of blessing!  I highly recommend this book! –Carol Kent, Speaker and Author, When I Lay My Isaac Down (NavPress)

Julie Gillies writes in the fullness of grace and truth, and offers hope for any one wondering if they are too much of a mess for God to bother with. In From Hot Mess to Blessed, Julie peels back the lies to get to our hearts’ greatest needs – and then introduces us to the One who can meet them completely. If I could put this book in the hands of every woman, I would. I would look her in the eyes and say “Read this, believe it and keep it handy for the rest of your life!”–Glynnis Whitwer, Author of 10 books, including Doing Busy Better, Exec Director of Communications Proverbs 31 Ministries

GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away a signed copy! TO ENTER: please leave a comment right here on my blog sharing a promise God has given you even though you are a hot mess. (I love how He does that!) PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL so I can contact you if you win! Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via email within three days. (Sorry, giveaway is open only to those living within the continental United States.)

Reading this via email? Please CLICK HERE to visit Julie’s blog and leave a comment to enter giveaway.

Don’t Let Hurry Steal Your Contentment {Give-Away!}

My sweet and wise friend, Glynnis Whitwer, has written a book many women need! "Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God's Gifts of Work and Rest" helps us embrace the good kind of busy, the kind that is guilt-free and wisdom-infused. 

I'm so pleased to share her insights with you. Here's Glynnis:

Most of us long for life to slow down. Maybe that’s why so many of us want a home that looks like a farmhouse. We idealize a lifestyle led by a simple faith and daily routines, prompted by the rising and setting sun.

But I’ll be honest, I’d have to have a farmhouse with good wifi. I’m not sure I could give up my electronic devices. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have a slight addiction to my laptop and smartphone. And by slight I mean significant.

And I am still waiting for my smartphone to make me smarter. Somehow I just feel dumber when I enter an appointment on my phone and it shows up on my computer—but not my phone. I can’t figure it out. It’s like they are in cahoots.

I think if we were all honest, we’d be miserable if things slowed down. We’d much rather things hurry up.

The problem is that hurry is the enemy of what matters most in life.

We were designed to go at a slower pace, to ponder, to process thoughts one at a time. And when we try to go at computer speed, we miss out on what’s important in life.

Hurry robs us of the beauty God has placed in front of us, and the grace that others so desperately need. Hurry is also a tool Satan uses to undermine God’s plan for us.

Jesus calls Satan a “thief” and warns us that he’s out to steal and destroy everything good in our lives. In John 10:9–11, Jesus says,

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

Using hurry as a tool, Satan steals our contentment.

As someone who struggles with her weight, I’m always looking for a tip to help me lose a few pounds. One tip is to eat slowly. WebMD reports that it takes twenty minutes from the time we start eating for the brain to tell the stomach it’s full. Until then, we will keep eating in order to experience that sensation of being full. And in that time, we will overeat.

What a profound parallel to our need for speed in other areas of our lives. Could slowing down give us the time to feel content with what we have?

When I’m in a hurry, I don’t appreciate the beauty around me. My awareness of others is diminished in my increased focus on the goal. I miss the small details of life that bring me the most joy in my rush.

Contentment isn’t found in the big splashes but in the gentle ripples.

Hurry isn’t our friend in the most important areas of life. Neither relationships, nor quality, nor depth can be found when we hurry.

So the next time we feel that panic start to sneak in and push our gas pedal, let’s pause and breathe deeply. Refuse to be rushed. Declare that hurry has no place in the good work you are doing or the beautiful life God has placed before you.

GIVEAWAY: Please leave a comment for your chance to WIN a signed copy of Glynnis's encouraging new book, "Doing Busy Better"!

Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God’s Gifts of Work and Rest

In Doing Busy Better, Glynnis helps you examine your heart and your schedule in order to seek a healthy, holy, and enjoyable balance between work and rest. Most importantly, she shows you that your worth is found not in your accomplishments but in the love of the One who made you for work and for rest.

About Glynnis

 Glynnis Whitwer is Executive Director of Communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and contributor to their Encouragement for Today devotional, reaching over a million women each day. She’s the author of nine other books, including Taming the To-Do List and I Used to Be So Organized. She and her husband, Tod, live in Arizona and have five young-adult children. Connect with Glynnis at where she encourages women to live with margin and room to breathe while still getting things done.