So I failed my husband. NO, not in the way you might think. Let me start with a verse that I thought I had down. A verse that I thought I could check off… More
So I know I have been fairly open and authentic with you. At times, I have gone a bit silent as there are points in our lives that need to be lived before shared, and I am in the middle of one of those.
Today I want to share about strategy. Intend AND unintended. This will upset both feminists and whatever the opposite to feminists are.
I am okay with that, in honor of just being honest and truthful in my own brokenness.
As a leader in business I never had to worry about offending a man. I consistently led in the way I was built to lead. Strong, fast and hard. Someone’s sex or age didn’t bother me as I didn’t worry about emotions or feelings or caring about others. I worried about more money and more power not caring on who I had to step on.
After giving my life to Christ, I have shared about how I thought the traditional Christian women was to be seen not heard. Pushing past that as I grew in my own walk with Jesus, it still has not been a completely overcome issue it is a journey as I find my place in His church.
As a passionate person, I tend to build and blow. I’m not much at keeping things in, but have learned, over time and a LOT of prayer to only “blow” when God says, “Go for it, sweetie!”. In a male-led church I haven’t felt comfortable in truly letting my anger and frustration show. Please don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job and church, but in LIFE we don’t agree with everything that happens. It happens in the church as well.
When I have gotten upset, I have used the word tantrum. I would say I am throwing a tantrum as it is a word that men would associate with an angry woman. (I know that some of you will not continue reading out of shear anger at reading that. That is fine.) While being upset, I tears would be shed. OH NO, you think. NOT TEARS!!!! That shows weakness!!! They won’t take you seriously!!!
I hear you. HOWEVER, my heart IS hurt when God’s people are hurting. My heart IS hurt when their is injustice. The tears I shed weren’t to be humiliating, but a release of pent up emotion. I would share that I needed to throw a tantrum AND cry. I know… you might feel that has set us back, but it hasn’t. It is what God had me do, until the culture was strong enough for me to change.
And it has.
With time and being tested, both by God and His church, I felt a shift. I felt the shift yesterday in a discussion with one of the pastors. I was fed up, hurt, frustrated and teary. He let me “throw a tantrum”, paused and then told me to, “Grow up”.
He has no idea that in that moment their was a shift. Without even knowing it, he was the catalyst that had the Holy Spirit put a hand on me and say, You got this.
I now hear God whispering, that I can be who He made me to be. I don’t need to “throw tantrums” anymore. I can stand firm knowing that I love Jesus and I love my church…but I will get mad at times. I will get frustrated and need to share my frustration and anger…and the people over me are strong enough to take it, hear it and not hold it against me, but help me walk through it with change or understanding.
We all have moments like this. Where God has us walking in one direction because He needs us to be obedient for either our benefit or for the benefit of others around us. They aren’t always easy times, but God will change the direction. It won’t always be hard. You won’t always have to fight to be heard. Lead with your actions, the ability to share the words will come.
As long as you are doing it all for Jesus, allow yourself to be humbled to the point of being difficult to handle, and then watch the growth that can happen when you are low enough to see that He is in everything. He is in all directions, you just have to see Him and follow His lead.
What I learned today…We have to trust the people around us to be strong enough to feel our anger over situations, but not hold it against us. We also have to have a solution to every problem or injustice we see, we can’t just get angry and not give direction. That is whining.
This is not a deep theological post…it’s more of a quick note regarding my frustration at the loads and loads of laundry that seem to multiple daily!
So, when Eve took that bite of the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, that God said not to touch, and then realized she was naked and put on fig leaves to cover herself…do you REALLY think she realized what she got herself in to?
Do think that God, though upset, smiled to Himself thinking, “Oh, honey. Fig leaves now…but wait until people fill their closets with clothes to wear each week. You just took hours and days and years away from the lives of people in the future!”.
Pains of childbirth, ruled over by our husbands AND laundry. God knew what He was doing.
What I learned today…Not to expect chores to be done unless I ask for them to be done. I need to be specific as in a house full of boys, NO ONE can read my mind.
I am stubborn. I am so stubborn that when I hear from God that I am supposed to be doing something, I’ll dig my heels in and say “Maybe tomorrow”.
There was a Pastor I had been working that was AWESOME. My heart is completely consumed for Jesus and His people, and I could tell this guy’s heart is as well. So, when I would get frustrated about injustice or passionate about a team not loving people well, he would calmly listen and direct me wisely.
After a couple of months working for him, he asked if I had ever considered seminary. I laughed as I had never considered working for a CHURCH, much less going to seminary! He told me I should pray about it and talk to HR regarding steps. I smiled and nodded and left.
A couple months later he stopped me in the parking lot and, fairly firmly, asked why he hadn’t gotten a call from HR stating I had started seminary. I shuffled my feet, made excuses and nodded and smiled, again. He made me promise to at least get information about it.
YEAH! My way out!!! I could get INFORMATION about it and tap out.
I could tell God was shoving me to get this done, but feelings of inadequacy and my stage of life told me it would be a reallllly stupid decision. Soooo, I stalled. Then because I had made a promise, I talked to HR and let them know my Pastor wanted me to get some “information” on seminary. I was promptly sent an invite to HR for a 15 minute meeting. AWESOME, I had kept my promise and I’d scoot out of there ASAP.
When I arrived, I saw the smile on the HR ladies face, and got a tad bit nervous. As another woman arrived, her eyes landed on me and she excitedly said, “You are going to seminary, too!”. I of course said, oh NO, I was only there for information. Looking back at the HR woman, I now distinctly remember seeing a twinkle in her eye that filled me with dread.
We prayed to start the meeting and then HR slid over a folder to each of us. As I opened it, there was a letter saying “Congratulations, we acknowledge you as a Minister…”etc… I was in shock. I said, “WAIT. I am only here to get some information on seminary!” HR looked at me and said my pastor, and the church, wanted to give me a temporary license while I finished seminary. Not to worry, I only had to take 5 courses to make it official.
WHAT?!?!?! I remember pushing the folder right back at her and said NO THANK YOU. I am in NO way a minister. I don’t need a title…I could NEVER imagine being Pastor Julie or Minister Julie or ANYTHING like that. I would like to stay in my little world downstairs encouraging, equipping and empowering God’s people to do what God built them to do. Thanks, any way!
I will never forget…she looked me straight in my eyes and said,”Everything this paper says, you are already doing. You are already a minister of God. This is just us, saying we acknowledge that.” I replied that I thought that was really nice, but lets keep it at that, and not worry about anything else.
She then rocked my world by saying, “I hear you. Again, you are already doing what God put you here to do and I hear that you don’t ‘NEED’ it. I want you to pause and think of the women who come after you. The ones that will grow up in this church and need strong women to look up to. This will help THEM.”
At that point, I acted in a very mature and professional way and started crying. Me?!? A minister?!?!?! Me crazy, wild, prodigal, partying, loose, Julie….a Minister?! But if it’s to help others….
I could never imagine those words together. Minister Julie Sathoff. Nah-uh.
I told her I would pray about it, talk to my people then get back to her.
Sooooo, I called my husband. I said, “You will NEVER believe what happened!!”
As I explained the meeting to him, he was silent. Finalllllly, he said, “Well OF COURSE this happened. Can’t you see the path God has you on? This is You.”
That was a dumb answer, so I ignored it and planned to talk to my small group that night. THEY would agree there had to be some sort of joke! When I went over it with them, they were exchanging “looks”. When I asked their thoughts, they echoed my husband. “Julie, we are surprised it took this long. You are so good at helping other people on their paths, why can’t you see God has a path even BIGGER than this for YOU.”
That was REALLY stupid.
So I called an old long time friend. She responded by first laughing hysterically, then agreeing it sounded about right…then threatened to post old “Prior to Christ” pictures on social media. (I love her).
My last phone call was to my Mom. She was the one who cried and was upset. Born and raised in the Catholic faith, for me to officially be turning from it would break her heart. She wanted me to REALLY think about it and pray about it as her opinion was NO.
Sadly, this was the push I needed to say, “Yes”. Weird, I know, but we are all broken and my brokenness showed me – sometimes it takes opposition to strengthen my resolve. I am working on it.
Seminary hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would. I am learning by leaps and bounds. I was done with the 5 courses needed to be “official” months ago, but I am continuing as I know that is what God wants for me.
What I learned today…I thought there was no possible way I could be in school and work and have 3 boys in sports and activities and small groups and be in a small group and be a present mom and present wife, all while in school…but hanging on to Phil 4:13 I am seeing GOD is the one making it all happen. I love Him.
As I am reading through the Bible, trying to learn how to be the best leader I can, I am stuck on 1 Timothy. In Chapter 3 Paul talks about how an overseer must be temperate and self-controlled among other things.
Those two ways of being are both VERY hard for a passionate, impulsive person like me!
Now I can use the cop-out of, that is how God made me…OR I can understand that I want to obtain maturity be being able to be temperate and self-controlled.
Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean subdue and a passive doormat. It just means there is a time and a place.
What I learned today…To remember that the Fruits of the Spirit show Maturity in Christ. I can say I am following the Bible…but in less I am growing in each of these areas, I’m not growing in my maturity as a believer.
Prior to giving my life over to Christ I did not battle with pride. I WAS prideful. I thought, though I am not better than the next person, NO ONE was better than me. I could stand on a stage and talk in front of 1000s and be fine as I couldn’t care less what they thought of me and/or what I was saying.
When I became a Christian and had the opportunity to teach, I FREAKED OUT. Why? Well, in reading the Bible I learned that teachers are held accountable, by GOD! (Check out Paul’s letters to Timothy).
As I learned more about abilities give at birth or learned vs spiritual gifts, given at baptism, I learned that I do have a gift of teaching. I can let the enemy use it and do it to get all the glory for myself, or I can let God use it and point all the glory up to Him.
What I still battle with, which you can read in 1/2 my earlier posts, is pride. God gave us abilities and we should not be prideful in them, yet we should be confident in them, right? How do you be confident in them, while not being prideful, while expressing humility?
I know that was written in a circle, as that is what my brain has been stuck on…until last night. We went to church and it was a terrific service. Check out “God Can Use Anybody” from April 3rd.
Pastor Rick talked about my favorite subject, how everyone is necessary in the Kingdom of God. We are all built to serve, using our God given abilities, to help others grow.
In the sermon, he said something that was a BIG AH-HA for me…
“Humility is not denying your strengths, it’s admitting your weaknesses.”
What I learned today…I can be CONFIDENT, not prideful, in how God made me. I can be humble in the fact I have a LOT of weaknesses. A LOT.
I have decided to turn the whining of my family in to a win. For example, when I say we are going to a museum for a family activity, all of my boys tend to start whining. As their mom, I know that one of the best things I can do for my family is open their eyes to new experiences. I can take them places they wouldn’t normally choose to go, to learn things they wouldn’t learn otherwise.
Now, my husband is NOT thrilled when I suggest these things, but thankfully I do the same thing with him that I do with my kids…
I replace their whining words with my own.
For example if my kids say, ” I can’t believe you’d MAKE us go do something so stupid! You obviously hate me if you don’t let me stay home and hang out with my friends!!”.
I translate that in to a winning response and reply, “What I just heard you say was, Thank you, mom, SO MUCH, for broadening my horizons and taking me places I might not have thought to go!”.
Then my husband will say something like, “I can’t believe you are forcing them to go with you. Just let them stay home and do whatever they want.”.
What that translates into is, “I am so thankful you allow us to do things with you. That you have the strength to push through all of our whining and be a great mom to our kids. I love you and your determination.”.
At this point, you might be thinking this is craziness. Or you might think it won’t work for me and that is okay. This works for ME.
When I verbalize the things above, and other ways of responding in a way I wish happened, it changes the feel of the conversation.
I remember that this won’t last forever.
I remember that I only have my family for a limited amount of time.
I remember I am their mom and they love me, even if they aren’t showing it in the moment.
I remember, these are memory making times.
I remember the days are long and the years are short.
How can you protect your heart when you KNOW you are doing the best thing for your family.
What I learned today…Look for the best in all situations. You can find good, or push through knowing, the negative will end. Be patient and do your best to be the best YOU you can be.
You are not responsible for what they say….but how you react to it.
On Resurrection Sunday we reach the culmination of Passion Week.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event, the crux, you might say, of the Christian faith.
The very foundation of all Christian doctrine hinges on the truth of this account.
Early Sunday morning several women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna, and Salome are all mentioned in the Gospel accounts) went
to the tomb and discovered that the large stone covering the tomb’s entrance had been rolled away.
He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.” (Matthew 28:5-6, NLT)
On the day of his resurrection, Jesus Christ made at least five appearances.
Mark’s Gospel says the first person to see him was Mary Magdalene.
The eyewitness accounts in the Gospels provide undeniable evidence that the resurrection of Jesus Christ happened. 2,000 years after his death,
followers of Christ still flock to see the empty tomb, one of the strongest proofs that Jesus Christ actually did rise from the dead.
As you celebrate Jesus today, make sure to pause throughout the day to say , “Thank you!”.
He is Risen!
He is ALIVE!!!!
Read More – Sunday’s events are recorded in Matthew 28:1-13, Mark 16:1-14, Luke 24:1-49, and John 20:1-23.
What I learned today…I am so very thankful He is ALIVE!
When the Sabbath ended at 6 p.m., Christ’s body was ceremonially treated for burial with spices purchased by Nicodemus:
“He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.
For a time, both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions in the Jewish community.
Similarly, both were deeply affected by Christ’s death. They boldly came out of hiding, risking their reputations and their lives because they now realized Jesus was, indeed, the long-awaited Messiah.
Together they cared for Jesus’ body and prepared it for burial.
While his physical body lay in the tomb, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin by offering the perfect, spotless sacrifice. He conquered death, both spiritually and physically, securing our eternal salvation:
“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.
Read More – Saturday’s events are recorded in Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1, Luke 23:56, and John 19:40.
What I learned today…We need to remember this time of pause. AND what am I willing to risk for the Kingdom?
Some people wait until the last second. They wait until they land in the hospital. Until they find out they have a life-threatening disease. They wait until they have more time. They wait until their death bed…to say, Yes, to Jesus.
Why? A lot of the time it is because they don’t want to follow all the “rules”. They don’t want to be held accountable, or KNOW that they will be held accountable. They don’t want to take the time to be “good” and follow what the Bible says…all of it.
They are also missing out on all of God’s promises.
They are missing out on years of being blessed in extraordinary ways.
They are missing out on hope.
They are missing out on an eternal family, that starts NOW.
What I learned today…I am so thankful I didn’t wait until the last minute. I had NO idea how amazing it feels to be in my forever family. Even the lows aren’t so low. I have HOPE.
Praying we are overwhelmed with people prepared to take a leap of faith and say YES, JESUS, now. At Easter. All over the world.
Today we’ll trace Jesus’ steps on Good Friday, the most difficult day of Passion Week. Christ’s journey turned treacherous and acutely painful in these final hours leading to his death.
According to Scripture, Judas Iscariot, the disciple who had betrayed Jesus, was overcome with remorse and hanged himself early Friday morning.
Meanwhile, before the third hour (9 a.m.), Jesus endured the shame of false accusations, condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment.
After multiple unlawful trials, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion, one of the most horrible and disgraceful methods of capital punishment.
Before Christ was led away, soldiers spit on him, tormented and mocked him, and pierced him with a crown of thorns.
Then Jesus carried his own cross to Calvary where, again, he was mocked and insulted as Roman soldiers nailed him to the wooden cross.
Jesus spoke seven final statements from the cross.
His first words were, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV).
His last were, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46, NIV)
Then, about the ninth hour (3 p.m.), Jesus breathed his last and died.
By 6 p.m. Friday evening, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea (Ar·i·ma·thea \ˌa-rə-mə-ˈthē-ə\), took Jesus’ body down from the cross and lay it in a tomb.
Take a few moments to let the events of this day sink in…
Read More – Friday’s events are recorded in Matthew 27:1-62, Mark 15:1-47, Luke 22:63-23:56, and John 18:28-19:37.
What I learned today…I need to remember this day throughout the year, not just on this one day. I need to remember the true meaning of the cross every time I see one.