Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Today for "we encourage" Stephanie has graciously agreed to guest post. I admire her so much. She is a true woman of God who is always teaching me something. Thanks for filling in for me Stephanie! Love you! 
Can't wait to share what God accomplished in Mexico!

Hi y'all!  I'm Stephanie. I blog over at The Honey Pot where I share about "stuff" as a wife, momma, Jesus lover and "Honey" to three grandchildren who have rocked my world. I was so blessed and honored when Jami asked me to guest host for We Encourage.  It's one of my favorite link ups...  Even when I don't have time to write a post myself, I always go read what everyone has shared and get a big dose of encouragement.  What a blessing. Thanks Jami for that.

What I sensed the Lord leading me to encourage everyone with was simply this...
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Just be yourself. no one else....just you.

The Lord taught me this lesson what seems like a lifetime ago..
I was in my late 20's when my husband surrendered to the Lord's calling on his life.  Our three daughters who are now married, engaged and about to graduate, were all still little girls then.  Neither me nor my husband came from a "ministry background"...I wasn't brought up as a preacher's kid and was feeling rather inadequate about the whole pastor's wife idea.  And at that time, the only pastor's wives I knew on a personal basis were ...ahem...old. 
You see, I'm a flip flops and t-shirt kind of girl and they all wore pantyhose and heels.
Uh ohh.

The day that we were going to sit down with the pastor search committee, my mother gave me a "talkin to".  I was into toe rings at the time and she made me promise her I would take mine off and then she asked what I was wearing to this all important event.  I told her a yellow sundress with  sandals. She then said...
"You're not gonna wear pantyhose and heels?"
"Uh..no mom.  I hate pantyhose."
"Well I think you need to wear pantyhose" she said again. "The older generation notice stuff like that."
Well, I value my mom's opinion and always want to honor her and as I got dressed that day, I went back and forth.. should I wear pantyhose or not wear pantyhose?  I finally went with my original plan and wore my sandals.....but I threw the pantyhose and heels in the backseat...juuust in case.

On the ride over, as me and my husband talked about our future and what God was doing in our lives and how we were so amazed and humbled that He would even use us in such a way, I mention to him about the pantyhose situation.  (I take my role as his helpmate seriously and always want to be an asset to his ministry...never a hindrance.)  And my sweet husband, with much wisdom said,
"Stephanie, just be yourself.  If they don't call me to pastor this church because my wife isn't wearing pantyhose, this isn't where we need to be to start with". 
 So, with a smile on my face and the desire to serve the Lord with all my heart and no pantyhose, I nervously entered that room where "The Committee" was waiting.

Well, they did call my husband and his non-pantyhose wearing wife and we spent seven years there serving His people.  Funny thing is that one of the people on the committee told me years later how he can still remember what I was wearing that day...that, in his words, "You looked like a "vision" in that yellow linen sundress and strappy sandals.  Such sophistication and class.  We knew we were getting a lady that day for our pastor's wife".  
All I could do was laugh.... at myself for being so ridiculously silly to start with 
and at God's incredible sense of humor.
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We waste so much of our time and energy trying to fit in or trying to be the person others think we should be, that we often miss opportunities to be used by God exactly the way He created us to be.
I must admit, there are still people in my life that I find it hard for me to be myself around.  It's "work" to be around them because I'm so conscience of everything I say and do.  And I hate that.  I'm working on that. Whether they like me or not,  whether they look at me like I'm ridiculous....I'm gonna just be myself....
The person God created me to be when He knit me together in my mother's womb and fashioned all my days before a single one had come to pass! ...Plus He says I'm fearfully and wonderfully made.
Why would I ever be anything but myself?
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Stephanie :)
p.s.  I have since grown to like pantyhose...as in a cute pair of tights kind of pantyhose.
They hold me in in all the right places ;)  
You think those older pastor's wives knew something I didn't?



the lowes said...

oh i love this Stephanie! and you know i love YOU!! I love being reminded about being EXACTLY who God created ME to be...been contemplating this a lot myself lately. love how you brought it back to how He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made...so WHY would I want to be anything different?! so good. love to you today friend!!

michelle @ this little light said...

This is a wonderful piece. Thank you! And I bet you DID look like a vision that day!

Tiffani B. said...

I just started following. I love reading your posts. So encouraging!

Erin said...

What a great reminder, as this is something the Lord put on my heart a little bit ago. Such an encouragement to start the day!

hannah singer said...

prsise jesus. LOVE this, stephanie, thank you.

kinze said...

just love that girl!

Leslie @ top of the page said...

what a great post, steph! (can i call you steph?) i love that story and the message is so important. i hope i can impart it well to my children. your husband had one wise comeback for the pantyhose situation! i hate pantyhose too. they make me itch.

Juan Fernando said...

No matter whether you're wearing pantyhose or some lace black leggings, you'd surely look pretty and adorable. Just my take. :)