December 12, 2013

Doses of Oxygen And A Give-A-WAY!

Do you find yourself gasping for air and trying to stay afloat? If so, you’ll relate to my friend, Sharon. She is the sweetest most giving person I know. I’m delighted she’s willing to share her story with us today.

 

 

Here’s Sharon…

“This is my comfort…Your Word has given me life.” – Psalm 115:50

Gasping for air.

That is often how I felt when our two children, Joshua and Gabrielle, were very young. Overwhelmed with the blessing and responsibility of caring for two precious lives – physically, emotionally and spiritually – I often felt like I was just trying to stay afloat. Just 21 months apart, with one precious Glory Baby in between, these two bundles of joy kept my tired face lifted to our Gentle Savior. Sleep deprived and stunned in this new sacred season of life, I looked for doses of oxygen to keep me going.

“He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.” – Isaiah 40:11

My mom would come over, bring diapers for the babies and bring lunch for me. She would hold them or take them for a walk so I could take a shower. A simple shower had become a treasured luxury. {OXYGEN}

Meals from family members, friends and co-workers were left on our porch. We were so blessed that I rarely had to think about dinner for weeks. {OXYGEN}

My husband, Jim, came home from work each evening with heart and hands ready to give me a few minutes to breathe before our children’s bath and bedtime routine began. {OXYGEN}

Doses of oxygen. They kept me going.

Yet something wasn’t quite right. I hadn’t walked away from the Lord, but in the midst of exhaustion, dirty diapers and loads of soiled laundry, I had let my daily quiet time with Him slip away. I was dry and gasping for air.

My girlfriend came over one day with her two young ones, who were just about the same ages as Joshua and Gabrielle. She brought me a refreshing cold coffee drink and a new book. {OXYGEN}

The book was co-authored by Lysa TerKeurst. I had never heard of Lysa before but the title of the book drew me in: A Woman’s Secret to A Balanced Life. My life was out of balance. This gift was an “I love you” whisper from God. I opened the book and finished it within a few days. {OXYGEN}

God used that book – a gift from a friend – to change my life. He used the heart of the authors to redirect me and put me where I needed to be – back into His Word every day.

His Word has given me life. {LIFE-GIVING OXYGEN}

You see, the co-author of that book and President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst, will often say that her heart’s desire and the mission of Proverbs 31 Ministries is to “get women into God’s Word so God’s Word gets into their hearts.”  Why? God’s Word gives life. God’s Word changes hearts. God’s Word as the solid foundation of a home changes families and equips our children.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower  and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I  sent it.” – Isaiah 55:10-11

From reading that book, I was introduced to Proverbs 31 Ministries. I signed up for their daily on-line devotions and subscribed to their magazine. My husband enthusiastically encouraged me to attend the annual She Speaks Conference hosted by the ministry. The first year I attended the conference, I was late to dinner and sat in the back corner of the room with my travelling-companion friend. There were two seats open next to us – the only two seats left in the banquet room. Serendipitously, Lysa and her assistant came in and sat down next to me. God ordained the table seating that evening and began a friendship that has blessed my life. I received that gift from Him and have desired to honor Him with it.

God uses our home churches, our families and our friends as His vessels in our lives. He also uses hearts and ministries that desire to exalt His Name and His Word above all else. God has used Proverbs 31 Ministries in my life because they desire to exalt His Name and His Word above all else. He used P31 to get me back into His Word every day, and He is still using P31 today to bless and refresh me.

“…for You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word.” – Psalm 138:2 (ESV)

I promote a personal, life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ, our Savior. I promote delighting in God’s Word and not neglecting His decrees. Proverbs 31 Ministries promotes these things, too. {OXYGEN}

My husband and I will be remembering P31 in our year-end giving as they reach women around the world with God’s Word through on-line Bible studies and as they minister to women through their godly resources.

My world became very small when I became a mother of young ones. Necessarily and beautifully so, the Lord pared down my life to the simplest of places. My prayer is that our gift to P31 will be used to reach another mom – somewhere around the world – who is looking for a dose of oxygen: the simple and life-changing gift of God’s Word.

Thank you, Micca, for inviting me to share here today. You are another sweet reason I am thankful for P31! You are such a blessing (and you make me smile)! ~ Sharon

Thank you for encouraging us today, Sharon!! If you feel lead to give an year-end gift to Proverbs 31 Ministries, click here.

GIVE A-WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is exciting! Sharon is giving away two books today! Leave a comment and enter to win!!!

1.) A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life

2.) Everyday Women’s Daily Devotional Bible. (I love mine, by the way!)

Plus, you’ll want to visit Sharon’s site, Serendipity! What’s Serendipity?

SerenDIPity — a unique dip party – is an experience in fun, hospitality and fellowship. It is a how to and why to on the principles of simple hospitality. What’s better is thatSerenDIPity is trending as a social gathering because of the unique, fun elements and tasty dips Sharon shares with us in the pages of this easy read.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Terri Clum says:

    Thank you so much for sharing with us. Sharon, you are a blessing.

  2. Michelle Carnes says:

    Thank you Sharon for your words today! They were exactly what I needed to hear today. I am a mom of a young child with special needs and can relate to my quite time not being what it was before becoming a mom. Your words are encouraging. Thank you!

  3. Marge says:

    I feel that one of life’s greatest blessings is that God never sets us aside but always provides the way for us to draw nearer to Him. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Michelle says:

    Thank you Sharon!

    I have read a couple of Lysa’s books and loved them.

    Your `SerenDipity` book looks like a great way to fellowship.

    I can already think of a few people I would love to get together with.

  5. I so appreciated your posting today. If there was ever a book that I needed, it would be A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life! Thanks for the contest!

  6. Chelsea says:

    yay! Thanks for sharing! :)

  7. Amanda says:

    What an awesome article! Such a great reminder :) God Bless.

  8. Tina Turcott says:

    YEAH! LOVE PROVERBS 31 MINISTRIES!

  9. Love your story, and I can SOOOO relate! Thank you for sharing it!

  10. Deanna says:

    This was such a great story. It’s so great to come together
    and listen to how Gods plans turn out! Thank you so much for sharing
    Deanna

  11. Hillary says:

    Thanks for sharing, what a blessing.

  12. Amy KW says:

    Thank you for this today! What a great reminder of how we can be a blessing to others……sometimes in rather ordinary ways. I love the concept of providing oxygen! Thanks again — definitely brought a blessing to me today.

  13. Missy B says:

    Man it is so easy to get out of balance. Book sounds like it could be very helpful.

  14. Renee says:

    I’ve been so depressed since August – overwhelmed with every little thing and sad about all the change in my life. I think this book would help me so much. The devotional by Sharon was so good – only I’m dealing with the other end of that spectrum – empty nest – and not handling it very well!

  15. Denise says:

    Thanks for reminding me to breathe…..

  16. Heather says:

    Lovely sharing Sharon, thank you so much for reminders needed to stay in His Word to be blessed by it, making His Word alive and active within us. So excited to see who wins: 1.) A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life
    2.) Everyday Women’s Daily Devotional Bible
    Both would be a great blessing as I just started a new pt job and feel unbalanced ;-) but as I read this, I thought of the new job – the mom I’m caregiving for as she would be greatly blessed by these.
    Thank you for this opportunity, Hugs, Heather

  17. Sharon Sloan says:

    Heather – that is so sweet of you to think of that mom! Winners will be announced in a few days. :)
    Thanks for the encouragement!
    Sharon

  18. Melissa says:

    After our Thanksgiving company came t our home and then they ended up staying for two weeks due to a totaled vehicle…..I realized I am not putting on my oxygen mask! I can fake it for a few days…but when it came right down to it, I quit breathing. Due to being unbalanced and not breathing I was a mess, when i should have been a blessing. Hoping to win your book and thank you for the chance too! ~ Blessing!

  19. Sharon Sloan says:

    Oh Melissa! Thanks for your honesty and humility. I think we all daily need to make time for The Word and prayer so we begin our day washed and then stay balanced. :) Abiding is active…I keep reminding myself of that!

    Hugs,
    Sharon

  20. Toni Sprouse says:

    Great post and awesome giveaway!! Thanks for your inspiration!

  21. Wendy Downey says:

    So grateful for your words of oxygen to our souls, Sharon! God is faithful and I am anxiously awaiting this new chapter of my life with eyes wide open as I feel his calling… As someone who lives out of balance regularly, learning to Be Still and give God control of all things is a daily process!! The giveaway of these books is very exciting, and am blessed for the chance to win.

    Merry Christmas!

  22. Teresa R says:

    I’m so blessed to know that when I am out of balance, Jesus is waiting to bring me balance. My job has recently been plagued with cut hours and uncaring owners. Only with Jesus’ help have I remained at this job as I hear Him tell me to wait patiently and He will present me with a better job

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