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Part 2: Living Kidney donors, 2 ladies each rocking 1 kidney to save a life of another. (The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom,Episode #5)

Today I want to introduce you to Teresa.  This amazing women choose to give her kidney to a total stranger.  She is a wife and a mother of two (8 and 11 years old).  Teresa is also a high school principal and a former teacher which means, beside making a huge impact on the life of the person she gave her kidney for she is making a huge impact on the lives of the high school kids that attend her school.

It was at University High School (Spokane) in 2012/13 that Teresa heard Doni share her story. Teresa was at University High school because she had been hired as a one-year replacement, for a health teacher (prior to becoming a principal).  Little did she know God would have a very powerful calling on her life that she would learn about when Doni came to speak for the organization called “Donate for Life.”  Doni was encouraging the students to sign up to become an organ donor upon their death. Teresa shared with me that Doni spoke briefly and humbly about giving one of her two kidneys to a stranger and how she wanted to be alive to see the difference she could make. Because God is God, Teresa went from thinking that the idea of giving a kidney, although admirable, was something she could not do herself, to actually doing it.   “I could never do that”  would become a thing of the past just a couple of months later.   During the second semester Teresa had the same group, but a different speaker come to speak to her health class.  This time this living kidney donor named Keith jokingly said, “I kinda feel like God gave us two kidneys, one so we could give away”.  This is a perfect example of God wanting us to do something and getting his point across. Teresa went from “Not me to YES GOD”

photo[1]“Although he was joking I knew that message was for me.  It was a God moment, forever stuck in my mind. God was nudging me that He wanted me to do this.  Within minutes of him making this comment, I called Spokane Kidney transplant and asked about becoming an “alturistic donor” (giving to a stranger).  I never hesitated, never felt scared, fully believed this was something God not only wanted me to do but I felt excited to do it.  They sent me the paperwork that day and my journey began” said, Teresa. (Photo: Teresa and her beautiful family just before surgery)

Teresa wanted to make a difference in someone’s life, in this capacity, while she was living.  She is a person who gets life by giving life and the opportunity she was given to be a living donor was one she fully embraced.

She had a lot of support from friends and some criticism from one particular family member but the criticism she received never was a showstopper for her.  Knowledge is power and Theresa found out in doing research that people live just fine on one kidney.  If she could live just fine with one kidney, then why wouldn’t she be willing to give her other kidney so someone could live?

Teresa used a different program to give her kidney than Doni because Spokane did not have program in place when Doni was a donor.  Teresa went through Sacred Heart Kidney Transplant Center with the help Joanne McCleary.

As with Doni, my mind was blown once again with Teresa’s take on this whole thing.  I told her I could not wrap my mind around it and I did not think I had it in me.  She responded to me with a question. She asked me if I had to bungee jump in order to save someone’s life would I be able to?  I have told my husband more than once no way, not a chance would I ever bungee-jump but when she said that I could save I life I said “Yes” without hesitating…She said, “Well, I couldn’t.”  I sat there for a moment trying to let what she said sink in.  After a moment of silence she said to me God made each of us different, each of us has a specific purpose, a specific calling, we are not all called to do the same thing.  You could do that and I couldn’t.  I gave a kidney and you are not called to do that.  Wow!  Let me say it again, WOW!  That simple question made it seem so much easier to understand.

After helping me to understand, Teresa told me about her interview with Nadine Woodward when she used the same analogy. I did not want to get it wrong I asked her to write it down for me.

“I remember in the initial interview with Nadine Woodward her asking me what it felt like to be a hero.  I laughed and told her that I don’t think I’m a hero because we all do things that we believe we are called to do.  AND…when we do what we are called to do….. we are in our wheelhouse.  It isn’t laborious.  It is purposeful and meaningful.  What one person is called to do isn’t necessary what another is called to do.  For example, if I was asked to bungee jump to save someone’s life I don’t think I could do it. Yet, for someone else, they probably could and would.  I couldn’t and wouldn’t.  But for me…I would much rather go through major surgery to save a life.  AND..I did”. 

This “Real Housewife of God’s Kingdom” may not see herself as a hero but I sure do.  I think both her and Doni are heroes.  Her favorite scripture is Ephesians 2:10 (AMP) and I have to say it one of my favorite parts of this series.  I love to see how God’s word speaks to each lady.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s own handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, (born anew) that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.)

Talk about living out your favorite scripture! “That we may do those good works that God predestined for us, that we should walk in them” Nailed it!!

Teresa says she doesn’t have any regrets about doing this and she shared her thoughts with me in such a beautiful way I thought it would be best said in her words not mine.

“I would do it again if I had another kidney to give. This whole process has been extremely amazing and rewarding for me.  I feel like God gave me a beautiful gift.  I would never thought that by giving a kidney, I would be the one to be blessed but it is true.  I have a richer life through this “good work” that God prepared before the foundation of the world for me to do.  I do believe that I’m the lucky one.  So I thank God for the opportunity I was given to “get life – by giving life”. 

As I said before, Teresa is now a High School principal and I have to say I think those kids are lucky to photohave such a wonderful woman over seeing their school.  God is really using her for His Kingdom and that is why I wanted her to be a part of this series.  This woman of God has not only made an impact in the school, in the life of her children, her husband and her church; she made a huge impact in the life of a man named Albert when she gave her kidney to save his life on May 24, 2013.  Take a moment to really read what the card says that Albert gave to Teresa.  “From the person who you gave back their life”  Talk about being the “Hands, Feet and for this post the Kidney of Christ”

Recently Teresa was able to speak to a women’s auxiliary group and said It was sooo rewarding to see how a simple act of surgery could impact so many lives! Simple? I think choosing rather to eat the chocolate or not eat the chocolate is SIMPLE.  Choosing to give up a kidney would not be simple for me.  Again, I am humbled by her story.

Albert and Teresa stay in touch just like Doni and Teri do.  They will share a very special connection that most of us will never understand.  There lives are forever intwined by two of the most selfless acts of photo[2]kindness I have ever witnessed.  This photo shows how God uses all of us in his incredible plan.  Doni on the end in the pink was inspired after reading an article to give her kidney, she then speaks at a school where Teresa (in the green) hears her and something starts to happen in her heart.  God would then use Keith (with the glasses)  to speak the words, “I kinda feel like God gave us two kidneys so we can give one away” to move Teresa’s heart to say, “Yes”.  Albert (on the end) is now living a happy and blessed life with the help of Teresa’s kidney. Jeremiah 29:1, “For I know the plans I have for you,” Declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope for the future.”  seems like the perfect verse to wrap up this latest episode of the real housewives out God’s kingdom.

I hope you have been inspired to see how God wants to use you and please, if you have not signed up to be a donor on your driver’s license please do so.  You could be saving the life of someone else.  To see more of Teresa’s story you can watch her interview with Nadine Woodward at Kxly.com

Until next time on the Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom when we meet two women in ministry, blessings and may  you be filled to overflowing with the love of God.

-The Midlife Domestic Goddess.

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Living Kidney donors, 2 ladies each rocking 1 kidney to save a life of another. (The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom,Episode #5)

Our next two “Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom” both took the idea of giving ones self to the service of another literally.  Both of these women felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to give a kidney away to a total stranger to save their life.

1888610_601121329965191_516321340_nI am honored to have crossed paths with these ladies.  I met Doni (on the right) our first of these two amazing women while standing in line at the bookstore.  My kids have rolled their eyes more than once when I have struck up a conversation with a total stranger but, I feel we are missing a lot when we don’t reach out and talk to others.  My theory was proven correct the moment I spoke my first words to Doni.  Standing in line with me was one of the most amazing women ever and I would have missed the blessing of her story and the story of her friend had I not spoken to her.

She told me she was buying the gift for a friend (Teresa on the left above) who had signed up to give her kidney away to a total stranger because she felt led by the spirit.  I remember saying something along the lines of, “That is amazing and I don’t think I have that in me”.  As the conversation unfolded I would learn that Doni had also given her kidney in the same way.  I stood there in that line, humbled by the love of the Lord that these two women had in them that would lead them to be willing to give up a piece of themselves to give life to another.

I shared John 15:13; Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends in my last episode about Toni, a women in the military who was willing to put her life on the line for her country in her service and it seems like the perfect scripture to carry on to this 2 part episode.

There is no way to tell the story of these two women in one post.  Today I will start with Doni since I met her first.  Doni is one amazing “Real Housewife of God’s Kingdom”. Her journey began in June of 2001 when she read an article in Parade magazine. It was in that article that she first learned of Altruistic Kidney Donation.

“I read an article in the Parade Magazine about a man named Harold who had given one of his kidneys to a total stranger.  As I read the article I realized that the story was no longer about Harold but about me.  I too was going to do this.  At that time in my life, this feeling was one of the most overwhelming experiences I had ever had.  It was almost as if I had heard God’s voice saying, “Doni you too are going to do this.”

Once Doni is on a mission she doesn’t stop.  She began calling the numbers on the list for those interested.  In 2001 Spokane (her home town) did not have a kidney transplant center for altruistic donors so she found herself at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Today Spokane is fortunate to have Sacred Heart Medical Center to do the procedure for people in her hometown.

In order to do this Doni would quickly learn that there was a different protocol to giving a kidney from a donor that is not deceased. She began working with the University of Washington Medical Center and going through the process of various requirements and medical testing.

Since the day I met her I have tried to roll this around in my head many times wondering, how do people do that?  As I read what she said I still find myself saying, “Could I really do this Lord?” Her words are so powerful.

“I didn’t tell many people what I was doing.  I was afraid that if I told people then I would really have to do it.  I wouldn’t be able to back out.  I began to question my motives and reasons.  Spending hours talking to God.  My mantra became – God if you want me to walk down this path then just keep the doors open.  I wanted to be obedient to what I felt I was being called to do.  My husband and I met with our pastor.  I spent hours trying to figure out how to do this as a stay at home mom in a blended family of 5 kids ages 8 –18”

God was going to have to work all this out is what Doni decided. When she began to settle into the idea that this was actually going to happen, the unexpected happened.  Three days before Doni was to fly to Seattle for additional testing everything came to a halt.  It was the day we will never forget in this country, 9/11/2001. After the shock of what had happened to our country, the holidays came and went.  Doni was asked to train for a marathon to raise money for diabetes. Her friend was rounding up six women to go to Dublin, Ireland and run with her in a marathon for diabetes.  Since Doni’s sister was an insulin dependent diabetic she said. “Yes” to the opportunity to make a difference for such an important cause. She called Seattle and put the donation on hold so she could run the marathon in October of 2002.  That would lead to a half marathon in Kona, Hawaii in June of 2003 with her husband.  Now that she had her fill of running she called the University of Washington Medical Center and said “OK, I am ready to do this now.”  Sadly, too much time had passed and she would have to start the medical testing all over again.

“Ok God, here we go again.  Was this a door closing, was this God telling me that it was too much to do.  My faith was tested so many times in the coming months”.

In April of 2004, Doni and her husband took all 5 kids to Seattle.  Doni had to have some medical tests ran and we wanted to show the kids where mom would be if this all continued to move forward.  Though all this time had passed she continued to tell very few people.  “I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.  I just wanted to focus on God’s calling,”  Doni said.  In May of 2004 she got the final word that she had qualified to donate and now just needed to pick a date that worked for her.

Insert the sound effect of screeching tires after the brakes are slammed on as I stop this story for a moment….I have to be honest. I don’t’ think I have it in me to do what Doni did. I don’t think I could pick a day that would work for me to just give my kidney to a total stranger.  My kids yes, my sibling yes, but a stranger is so hard for me to wrap my mind around.  I am guessing there may be many of you reading this that are in the same boat I am.  That being said, let’s get back to the story.

Things seemed to be moving along smoothly and then there was a bit of a speed bump.  Doni called her sister (the one who is an insulin dependent diabetic). She figured because her sister was such a huge supporter that she would be thrilled.  Instead she was met with, “How could you do this to me?  Don’t you know I have diabetes and could possibly need a kidney someday?”  Doni couldn’t believe her ears.  What was she talking about?  Things like: We had been down this path. Why now?  Was the door closing?  Began to fill her mind.

Doni shared with me that she called the University of Washington Medical Center and that they arranged for her sister and her to see a Nephrologist in Spokane.  One that didn’t know either her or her sister and that could be an unbiased third party.  After the doctor met with them he praised Doni’s sister on how well she has managed her diabetes.  He strongly felt that the chances of her ever needing a kidney were so small that by the time that would ever happen that Doni would be too old to donate to her.  No one had ever told Doni that she would be too old to do something.

I think the next part of this story would be best be told in Doni’s own words:

“Hurdles passed, faith still strong.  Continuing my mantra – God if you want me to walk down this path then just keep the doors open.  Surgery was scheduled for the middle of June 2004.  In the last rounds of blood work and a small abnormality was detected.

Seems my thyroid was off a bit.  Sure I was always tired and didn’t sleep well.  I was in my mid 40’s and had 5 kids.  I was busy with women’s ministry, school volunteer, scouting volunteer, band mom, wife, and CEO – of our home.  Of course I was exhausted.  Only that wasn’t the case.  I had hypothyroidism.  Really God?  Not funny.  The one thing I must say is that when a person decides to give away an organ they certainly get wonderful medical care.  The best specialist in town immediately saw me.  Once my thyroid was under control, I was able to pick a new date to donate.  Now my last hurdle would be to explain to my now 11-21 year old children that my biggest risk would be, being put under for the surgery.  Laying it all out on the table my children never wavered.  While explaining to them that this could possibly be the day that mommy goes to meet Jesus, my youngest said, “It will be ok mommy, Jesus will be with you.”  To witness their faith and trust was an overwhelming gift.  As I said goodbye to them when I left for Seattle, they were so strong and brave.  I will never forget the smiles on their faces as tears clouded my eyes and God assured me that they were in his hands.  The best gift of all!

I was blessed to finally donate a kidney on August 18, 2004 to a total stranger. (Doni is on the left in this and the recipient Teri is on the right) I spent 2 weeks IMG_0926in Seattle and then was home just before school started.  I was back at my job of making school lunches and driving kids here and there. Life was back to normal.  16 weeks post op we went back to Seattle where I ran – very slowly – the Seattle half marathon with Team Transplant.  It was at this time that arrangements were made for Teri and I to finally meet.  Donation is always confidential unless both parties want to meet.  Three months post op the hospital had heard back from both of us that we wanted to meet and so it was arranged.

I continued to not share my story much.  It was our pastor who first asked me to share with our church.  A story of faith and giving was what I had.  It was shortly after that, that once again God came knocking.  Now God wanted me to step out and share my story with people and continue to be able to help save lives by doing so.  Just like Harold and how he had shared his story.  Harold was God’s angel that day and encouraged me to follow.  So nowadays I work as a volunteer with Life Center Northwest, and I go into the schools and speak primarily to freshman classes about the importance of understanding the choice to mark their drivers license to register or not to register to be an organ donor.

The Life Center Northwest program that Doni volunteers for is a totally different that the DOL program.  Doni said if anyone would like to know more information about what she does please contact her at doniguyer@gmail.com.  Also she would like everyone to know they can go on line to the DOL at donate life today to register their driver’s license as a organ donor…..When a life is ended, another life can be saved by simply marking yes to organ donation.

I ask every one of these amazing Real housewives of God’s kingdom to share their favorite verse with me. Doni has many that she loves but this one sets on her desk and she focus on it everyday is Matthew 16:26 – With God all things are possible.

One of the questions I had for Doni was, “What did you learn from this?” Her answer was,  “There have been many but, the biggest is that God is always with us, he is in charge, we just need to listen and allow him to do his work.  Easier said then done.  In today’s world we often don’t slow down enough to listen, we don’t like what we hear and we want things done NOW.  It is no fun to wait.  But waiting on God, in his time, being patient, following His ways, and trusting Him and walking is faith is so sweet.”

Doni and Teri (the recipient of the kidney) continue to be wonderful friends.  They talk and email, exchange cards and see each other about once a year. She has now begun the mentoring process for another lady who is hoping to donate a kidney to her brother.  This lady lost her husband to kidney failure and now her brother is in kidney failure.  She is a believing woman but she is very fearful at this time.  Doni has only spoken to her by phone but looks forward to meeting her.  She was able to pray with the lady and hopes she give her some help to start this journey.  One of the last things Doni said was “I just love how God opens doors for us”.  I have to say I love it too.  I am humbled that he opened a door for me to meet this amazing women and to be able to share her story with you and to see how God used her to open the door for the next women in our series Teresa who was moved to give her kidney after hearing Doni and another volunteer speak.  God is good and I thank him for blessing all of us with this story.

I hope to see you back tomorrow when we pick up this story with Teresa who also gave her kidney to save a life.

Blessings, The midlife domestic goddess.

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Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom (Episode #3)

In our last episode “Two are better than one” I focused on the gift of friendship and today I continue on that theme with a story of three friends who said yes to God.

Episode #3- “I WILL GO WHERE YOU SEND ME” (Part 1)

Once upon a time there were three real housewives of God’s Kingdom. They were all serving at one church (City Harvest Church), raising their families and enjoying the goodness of the Lord. What is amazing about these three is that in order to be God’s hands and feet they were willing to go where God sent them. Now this was not an easy thing to do. They had to give up their homes, take their children away from what they had always known, and go to a new city.

God also did not plan on sending these three friends to the same city either. One by one they left behind what they knew and followed God to where He had called them.  They have stood in faith beside their husbands as they have planted churches and as they saying goes, “behind every great man is an even stronger woman”. So without any further ado lets meet these three REAL HOUSEWIVES OF GOD’S KINGDOM.

Lori:

Not only is Lori a friend of mine, her and her husband are my Pastors at City Life Church .  Lori has a gentle spirit and 1466118_10202308521695094_1280063267_nis filled with so much wisdom.  She is a mother of 3 and has been married 25 years. She graduated with a degree in Organizational Mass Communications, and is a very affective leader.  When she is not serving on the worship team, leading the women in our church, being a mom and a wife, she works full time as the Volunteer Coordinator for Horizon Hospice.    She also has a passion for writing, preaching, and teaching along side her husband.  A servant’s heart is a perfect description for her.  Deuteronomy Chapter 8 is the passage for the season of her life. When I asked Lori to share something she learned from God she responded with this:

“His life poured out for my sin on the cross, and that alone is worthy of every moment of my life in service to my King.  The cross is the measure of Gods love for me. Sometimes circumstances are difficult and in those seasons, it can be hard to believe the goodness of God.  But the measure of his Love for us was proven when God’s wrath and mercy met at the cross. He took the wrath and gave mercy instead.  Proof enough.  I remind myself of that when my selfish heart thinks I somehow deserve to be free of testing and sorrows that life on this earth can bring.”

I have to say I am very thankful for Lori’s obedience to the Lord.  Because she was willing to go where God sent her, I am blessed to call her and her husband, Van, not just my Pastors but my friends also.

Raydeane:

Raydeane and has been married for 23 years which is the same number of years she has been in ministry. When God put his calling on the lives of her and her husband to plant a church they IMG_1021moved their family to Idaho to plant Heart of the City Church.  She attended University of Idaho & Lewis Clark State College and has a background in retail management.  At the age of twenty-one Raydeane gave her heart to the Lord and  began youth pastoring at 23. Both her and her husband have also served as Evangelism and discipleship pastors.  Currently she serves with children’s ministry, women’s ministry and she administrates large women’s events. Periodically, Raydeane writes articles for the Coeur d’ Alene Press and she writes/records one-minute devotionals for her local radio station. When given the opportunity she loves to minister at women’s conferences, retreats and prophetic presbyteries. Some how in the middle of all that Raydeane finds time to co-lead a city business women’s group each Friday.  She loves being in God’s Word and her favorite book is Isaiah Chapter 49.  Raydeane is one of several real housewives of God’s Kingdom that has faced cancer.  She has had cancer three times and says, “I have experienced the love and power of God. It has sustained me and brought me back to health”.   Besides all the ministry and health issues Raydeane has balanced her time at home so that her first ministry, her 2 children could be a priority.  Just recently both her children were engaged and she will be busy helping to plan their summer weddings.

I have said that I am writing this series because the real housewives of God’s kingdom are not in this for fame.  All they do they do for the glory of God and this quote by Raydeane sums things up perfectly,

                                  “My passion is to make Jesus famous!”

 

Lisa:

Psalms 27 is a favorite of our next real housewife of God’s kingdom.  

 The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His temple. verse 4.

Lisa has been married 22 years and has served as a youth pastor, pastor over women’s ministry, 1419999_10200963698199062_1859228563_npreaching at times, and emceeing services. Lisa’s most important ministry however is her 3 kids and she says she is her kid’s biggest fan.  Lisa and her husband Matt helped to start City Harvest church in 1997 and after 13 years of service they listened to the call of God.  Just like her friends Lori and Raydeane, Lisa was willing to go where God wanted to send her. She packed up her family and they moved to the Tri-Cities to plant New Vintage Church.  Lisa is a graduate of Portland Bible College, she is passionate about what she does and she has a great sense of humor.  Put all that together and you have the perfect mix to make a strong and effective in servant/leader in women’s ministries. I was blessed to listen to some of her teachings last year at our women’s retreat and I must say she is a truly gifted speaker and teacher.   Lisa (along with her husband) has a passion to make the Gospel relevant and practical, touching all parts of life, and every type of person – a “do-able Christianity”.

It is women like these three amazing women that are a reality to me and I hope it is women like them that are part of your life too.  They are just a few of the real housewives of God’s kingdom who live their lives for His glory. They do not care about fame or that Hollywood may find their lives unworthy of TV time, they live to serve God and to share his love with others.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of “I will go where you send me.”

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The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom, Episode 2

Welcome back to The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom.  As I said in Episode 1 I have done this series to show that what we see in the reality shows like, The Real Housewives of this city or that city, is not a reality to most women.  I am writing this series to show that there is a whole different reality in the everyday lives of women in this country and it is not at all like what the TV shows portray.  We are the Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom. Fame is not our goal.  We want to glorify God in what we do.  We don’t care that our lives are not what the world and the networks see as worthy of TV time.

 “Two are better than one”

One of the greatest gifts God gives us is the gift of friendship.  If you are blessed to have one friend you are truly blessed!!!

Two are better than one, because when they have good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Both myself and my writing buddy Cassie of Cassie’s Corner are blessed to have good friends in our lives who can pick us up when we fall down. The laugh both with us and at us! They are there to be the arms of Christ when we need a hug and the voice of God when we need wisdom.

Krista is one of the best friends I have ever had.  She is a mother of 2, a wive of 19 years and one 72478_1613587227044_78921_nof the busiest sports moms I know. I met her when our girls were in Kindergarten and the first thing I saw in her was her servant’s heart.  She is also one of those people who always finds the positive in a bad situation. God has used her not only in the school where she has given countless hours of service but  she has also served in Children’s Ministry, The Food Bank, College Group, Youth Group, women’s bible study, and other outreaches. I asked her what her favorite scripture was she told me it was Philippians 4:6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. It is that scripture that has carried Krista through some painful things one of those things is her health. Krista has both Factor V Leiden and Sjogren’s Syndrome.  Her body hurts and she never complains. She has been a rock in my life and thank God for her.

 255204_4465771452775_1756098272_n2 Tim 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart is favorite scripture of your next real housewife of God’s kingdom.  Nina (on the right) is a young mom of a sweet little boy who also has a heart for the Lord.  She has been married for 6 years and she has been the inspiration behind one of my other blog posts. Nina currently runs the children program at her church (one of the most important ministries there is). She is also a student and a stay at home mom. In her 20’s she served as a high school youth leader and God has also taken her on mission trips to Mexico.  Nina has a very sweet spirit and a great sense of humor which makes her a very fun woman to be around.

She can often be found with her friend Cassie of “Cassie’s Corner” who I am honored to have as a writer on my page.   They are two of the feistiest women of the Lord I know and I love this picture of them.  The saying a picture is worth a thousand words is so true. The two of them share a very special friendship and they are very powerful set of prayer warriors. Cassie blesses those who read my blog with a post each month. If you want to see some of Cassie’s wisdom go to  “Cassie’s Corner”.

I hope you give thanks for your friends, laugh with them until you cry, pray for them, listen to them, and never be afraid to tell them you need prayer yourself.

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow. – William Shakespeare

Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one man (woman) sharpens another.
A knife can not sharpen it’s self.  It takes iron to sharpen iron and a good friend can help you to be stronger and happier. Wisdom shared from one friend to another is much like the iron sharpening iron

 

Take a moment today and thank God for the women He has put in your life.  The women who have seen you at your worst and love you like they have only seen you at your best.  God has given us friendship so that we can hold each other up, so that we have someone to share our joys with and arms to hold us during our pain.

Be sure to tune in next week for another episode of the Real housewives of God’s Kingdom: “I will go where you send me” about 3 friends who were willing to move to new cities to plant 3 different churches.

To learn more about Cassie and I just click here: about us    Blessings:)

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The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom, Episode 1

Our Televisions are flooded with reality shows like Jersey Shores, Mob wives, Dance Mom’s and The Real housewives of one city after another.  I don’t know anyone who truly lives a life like that.  That is not a reality to me or anyone I know. The Networks however try to pass them off as “Reality” and sadly the public feeds off of them.  The women I know live in a way Hollywood and the networks would not see as entertainment worthy. Sadly our lives would be to boring and we wouldn’t have the scandal that sells advertising.

We are the “Real House wives of God’s kingdom”.  We live our lives for God’s glory.  We come in all sizes, colors, and backgrounds.  We may not be what the world sees as true beauty because of its airbrushed false idea of what true beauty is.  In God’s eyes however, we are the true meaning of beautiful. Some of us are stay home moms and some work outside the house.  Some of us are married and some of us are single parents who are balancing the rolls of provider, household duties and all the parenting. We have suffered loss, known heartache and we have dealt with or are dealing with sickness.

Pastors, wives of pastors, writers, students, stay at home moms, and career women are just some of the titles we hold.   Each and every one of us is different but we all have one thing in common, our love for Christ!!  We don’t do what we do for praise and honor from those around us.  Fame is not our goal.  We want to glorify God in what we do.  We don’t care that our lives are not what the world and the networks see as worthy of TV time. We are happy to know that in God’s eyes our lives are pleasing to Him.

It is the women that I know who are living a life for God that have led me to run a series called “The Real housewives of God’s Kingdom”.  The first two women do not know each other, they come from different sides of the world but their love of the Lord and their desire for others to know the Lord makes these two sister’s in Christ.

 

1479843_10201932757914805_1364877601_nOur first real housewife of God’s kingdom is Shari. She has been married 21 years and has two children. Shari is a stay at home mom and blogger. Besides home schooling both of her children, she has worked with the homeless for 11 years (Salvation Army and St. Margaret’s Shelter).  Case management for homeless clients and teaching life skills are just two of the things she has done. She has also helped people reach independence, find jobs, and keep stable housing.  God has also used Shari and her heart to serve in the children’s department at her church.  As I stated earlier, some of us have been faced with sickness. Shari has stage IV breast cancer and she holds on to her favorite verse in Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Her faith and her journey as she has faced the cancer is truly a beautiful testimony. To see more of Shari’s story and her heart for God go to   “Shari A. Miller ~ Living to Leave a Legacy”.

Almaz came to the United States from Ethiopia when she was 25 years old.  She has been married 21 years and 8239_674382255917055_933720858_nhas 2 children.  Almaz shared that she has felt God’s hand on her because she can look back and see that He saved her 3 times from life threatening situations.  Almaz prays daily for her Muslim family in Ethiopia that they will come to know the Lord and she is a women who posses the true servants heart. I have had the joy of watching her in her restaurant as she waits on each customer.  With each interaction she is truly the hands and feet of Christ.  In 2012 my husband was blessed to go to Ethiopia and meet her family.  Almaz had my husband and two other men loaded up with things to take to her family so that she could bless them.  The guys got to have a meal with her family and it is something I know my husband will never forget. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works: that I know very well.  Psalms 139:4 is her favorite verse and I know that she will never stop praying until each member of her family knows that they too are fearfully and wonderfully made also.  There is so much to write about Almaz and the amazing things God has done in her life but I must keep this short.  I do know however that God hears her prayers for her family and he sees how see serves so many.

Two women from different back grounds who without even knowing one another can call themselves sisters in Christ.  They may not have the network worthy lives, but what they do have is far greater.  They live their lives for God and I believe he must be very pleased with what he sees.

Until next time on the “Real housewives of God’s Kingdom”

BLESSING:)

 

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Formed in his image

I am more than a Full-time mother and Housewife; I am the Daughter of the One True King, predestined for great things for His Kingdom. Jeremiah 1:5 is such a fantastic illustration of this, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…(NIV).” Sometimes as a mother with young children it is easy to forget that life is happening outside the four walls of your home and in different parts of the city other than your route while taking the kids to school.

Last night while with a wonderful group of ladies at our Women’s Bible Study, I was reminded of something I learned a long time ago; I am a one of Christ’s Precious Creations.  This morning, I am thankful to God that His mercies are new each day.CassiesCornerButton

I was reminded that God created each of us as a special individual with a specific purpose. Just because one person may talk more than another, may look a certain way, or act in a manner that differs from the “norm” does not mean one is more valuable than the other. Psalm 139:13-14 clearly states, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my motherʼs womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (NIV).”

Praise God that we were all created specifically for Him and no one else. Simply knowing that the beauty within enthralls Him makes my heart overwhelmed with peace. Each day, we get to walk out a life predestined and designed just for each of us. I (We) was created to be a Woman of God.

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