Women Empowering Women 

W.E.W

Blog

view:  full / summary

"Get in Formation"

Posted on December 13, 2016 at 10:40 PM

Blog for December, Written by: Michele Dekle



"Every so often my husband and I will have a disagreement about something silly like football or grocery shopping, and those small disagreements often go from 0-60 really quickly because (regardless of whether he is right or wrong), I often push things too far.

 

As women, we are called to lead many things. We raise children, we run organizations, we head ministries...you name it, we do it. We also serve in supporting rolls in many areas too. In my opinion, a great leader must know how to lead as well as follow. We can lead and follow with the best of them. So why is it so hard for us to get in formation when it comes to our husbands?

 

Let's be honest, being a helpmeet is no easy job. There is a huge deal of responsibility, when you aren't 100% things around you are likely to suffer in some way, and most importantly being a great helpmeet requires you to strike a balance between what you want personally and what is best for a given situation. To put it plain, you have to be humble.

 

In one of my favorite readings lately, Humility is defined as meekness, modesty, submissiveness. Yes, as wives we are charged to submit to our husbands. Yes, we hold a great responsibility to create a home full of peace and comfort for our families. Yes, we must nurture and care for our children. But we don't do these things just because "it's a woman's job" to do it, we don't do it because our husbands tell us to, but we do it as unto the Lord because that is exactly what HE instructed us to do. (Ephesians 5:22). The word advises husbands and wives to love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12:10) We have to do what's right now on Earth because that is what the Lord advises. We must be humble and exalt ourselves unto the Lord so that He will exalt us. (James 4:10)

 

This is not my favorite topic to discuss, but important nonetheless. We empower one another to work hard, to make our own money,

 

to be our own boss, and ALL of those things are important. Likewise, it is last important to empower each other as Sisters in Christ to do this thing the way God intended. Walk with a spirit of humility, honor your husband, Get In Formation!"


 

"Humility is not an ideal, it is the unconscious result of life being rightly related to God." – Oswald Chambers

 

#PrayLiveBeBOLD

"She's Your Queen To Be"

Posted on November 18, 2016 at 10:55 PM

Congratulations to Michele Anderson Dekle, our "Blogger of the Month":


"For those of you who know me, you KNOW how much I love the movie “Coming To America”, and I can probably say the entire script for memory, lol! There is a scene in the movie where the character “Oha” sings a song to the character “Prince Akeem”, announcing his new bride, who will be his queen. The song includes the line, “She's Your Queen To Be” which is said multiple times throughout the song. Somehow, after singing this song and laughing at myself, my mind instantly thought of Queen Esther, the faith she exercised, and the integrity she displayed.

Queen Esther wasn't always a Queen. Esther was a lovely young girl who obtained favor from the King. Well as the story goes, Esther was put in a position to save the Jews from the wrath of the King who favored her. The ironic thing is, the King who hated Jews, loved Esther, and he didn't know she was a Jew herself. When it came down to maintaining favor from the King and remaining silent about the fact that she was Jewish, or making a choice to be honest no matter the consequences, Esther chose to honor people and stand up for what was right. (Esther 4:14) Esther knew the fate of her people was on her shoulders and boy did she deliver!

There is so much to learn from the life Esther chose to lead. So many things worked together for her good. Esther was at the right place at the right time, she had favor with God, and when it mattered most, she displayed integrity and stood up for who she was. I will go a step further and say Esther displayed great faith when she stood up for the Jews and revealed she also was a Jew. Are you allowing God to place you where He can use you? Is your integrity in tact? Are you an encourager? As women, it is so important that we don't let ANYONE force us to fade into the background, or diminish ourselves to fit their agenda. If we are going to encourage each other, I mean really support one another we must do so when it may be easier to fade to black. We must remind our Sister Friends to always have faith in what seems impossible, and to always live a life of integrity, no matter what. People who display integrity are joyful because they take their instruction from the Lord (Psalm 119:1). So ask yourself his question…Got Joy?! I believe the only way to have real joy is to do what my favorite high school teacher preached to us on a daily basis, “To thine own self be true.”

-Michele Dekle










"The Winner's Circle: Who Are Your Maidservants?"

Posted on August 8, 2016 at 7:15 PM

"Man, life is sooooo busy right now. There are so many wonderful things going on in the lives of those around me. There are engagements, weddings, pregnancies, babies, promotions, relocations, birthdays, business successes...everything. Great things all around!

 

When I think about all of the things I have going on in my life, I know I have a lot to be thankful for; my family, my ideas, time to develop those ideas. Most importantly, I am thankful for friendship and those in my winner's circle. When I think about my responsibilities as a wife, a mom, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a business partner...There is sooooo much to get done and seemingly no time to do it. A while back I was reading up on the Virtuous Woman described in Proverbs 31 and all of the things she was able to execute consistently. As mentioned in a previous post, I know there was a great deal of intentional planning and sacrifice to be all things to all people the way she was. It wasn't until one of my best friends read my post and shared her thoughts, that I remembered one of the most important parts of the passage (which is often overlooked). My Best Friend said, "...She had maidens and servants to help her, she didn't do any of that by herself. We're not meant to do any of this alone. " Powerful right?!

 

The Word says, "She also rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household, and a portion for her Maidservants." (Proverbs 31:15) Reading through this passage again, of course I see the sacrifices the Virtuous Woman made to be her best self. There is just something about helping others while letting your light shine bright�� At the same time, the Maidservants were important enough to be mentioned which tells me their presence was key, possibly making it easier for her to get her day to day tasks done. So, who are your Maidservants? Who is in your winners circle? Who do you count on? It may be your mom, your older sister, your best friend, a group of co-workers who you laugh with, your therapist, your sorority sister, etc. It may seem like you are alone, but I know if you think about it, you will realize how many people God has strategically placed in your path to make it easier to move about life. In one of my favorite faith pieces, "Footprints", a man had a dream that he was walking on the beach with Jesus. Throughout the dream, he saw two sets of footprints in the sand, showing that Jesus was with him throughout his life. It wasn't until the end of the dream that he only saw one set of footprints. When he asked Jesus why he left him in the toughest times of his life, Jesus replied, "During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you." Even if you don't have a circle of women to call or go out to dinner with, you always always ALWAYS have Jesus.

 

I know as women, we often have a heavy load to carry because of all of the moving parts we manage on a daily basis. If you are anything like me, you can get overwhelmed really quickly, and you often put the needs of others in front of your own, sacrificing self when you shouldn't. My Dad always makes it a point to tell me to take good care of myself because if I am not at my best, then I'm no good to anyone, especially myself. He is absolutely right. In the times that I am down, the times when I am frustrated, the times when I feel misunderstood...I know I can call on one of the women in my circle and they will be able to give me just what I need to keep going. Most importantly, I can do the same for them! There is just something about women empowering women that makes you feel like you can keep going when things get tough. Maybe it's knowing someone can relate to you, maybe it's because you can draw strength from them. Whatever the reason, I thank God for my circle."





 

Where is my sister's friend?

Posted on May 14, 2016 at 2:35 PM

Featured Blogger for May: Disele Capers

'WHERE’S MY SISTER’S FRIEND?"

  

Today, there is a serious issue!

Finding true friends or just that one real sister friend…. Sad huh? Yes, it hurts me to my core. But why tho? Why? Back in my days, a person’s character was easier to recognize and not hidden by a false smile in a text or covered by shade in an email. A Sister Friend was right in your face and had your back. She was there and not hidden in the cell phone or on your notepad! We laughed out loud in front of each and other not “LOL” in a cloud. Our coffee time was sitting in our kitchens, eye to eye with convo, not with a Starbucks frappe or Caramel Macchiato to go! In times of need a Sister Friend was there indeed. She kept your deepest secrets and covered you in prayer. Together we cried and kneeled. There were no underlying traces of our business put out on the “www” for everybody to wonder. “Is she talking about me?" Naaaa, we didn't have that cowardly agenda. Instead, we had good ole simple “trust”

Sister Friends knew how to read all your silent cues of distress without saying one word. She would come get the kids, and tell you go ahead and get some rest. She would go get some groceries and bring them to your kitchen; enough food for the week. When your account was zero and hers was twenty, Sister Friend gave you ten. That's how we rolled without speaking one word on a cellphone or text.

Sister Friend where you at? Hiding behind that screen for all the world to think they see? Are you somewhere shedding real tears while typing LMBO? Is your head down while looking thru IG or FB searching for who and what you think you can see; absorbed in this fake reality. Are you sucked into this impersonal eternal black hole of disconnect? We are missing all the cues! There is no direct person convo, everyone moving so fast... ain't got no time for me!

We're passing each other in the wind!

Girl, Where is my Sister? Where is my friend?



Gratitude

Posted on December 27, 2015 at 12:15 AM

Self-Care Series: Part 2

Gratitude

By: Jessica Brooks Morency


“Being grateful to and for others is the gift that we can give to ourselves daily.”


An attitude of gratitude, or as we believers call it: Praise and Thanksgiving, is the exercise that expands not only personal joy, but our ability to receive more of life’s goodness. Appreciating what, where, and who we are, are not always easy to do. There are those moments we desire to dwell on the negative and remain lifelong guest at our very own pity parties. We are human after all. But, this consistent way of thinking is merely a trap which leads towards a downward spiral of depression, anger, frustration and confusion. Reflecting on the goodness in our lives shifts perspectives and wellbeing. Learning to be content with our current circumstances does not make us complacent nor lacking ambition.


Possessing a thankful spirit is a weapon so powerful it repels negativity while attracting abundance. Last week we discussed the importance of goal setting and progression. Let’s learn to embrace and appreciate where we are today as we endeavor towards tomorrow.


Stop Selling Yourself Short and Claim What You Want

Posted on November 13, 2015 at 7:00 PM

In today’s ever-changing environment, we all have to find ways to make ourselves more marketable, standout above all others and to seize every opportunity that presents itself. Whether on a job or trying to start a business this can be a daunting task for some, and most people may have no clue how to get started. I believe that this is especially true for women. While there are many ways that one can go about this, I want to share three ways (the 3 C’s) in which I believe can help us get started. The 3 C’s are simple but they can be life changing and can help you “stop selling yourself short and claim what you want.


The 3 C’s are clarity, confidence, and commitment. Clarity is realizing who you are, whose you are, and knowing what you are capable of achieving. In realizing who you are, you must determine your purpose and your vision. You must ask yourself the questions, “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “Why do I exist?” “What is my purpose?” These questions are the most basic questions in life and once you have clear answers to these questions, you will be on your way. Your life, your career, your relationships, and your response to life’s difficulties will have new meaning.


Knowing whose you are is vital to your very soul and to your very being. If you recognize that, there is something more powerful than you are and your very existence is because of that power you will have clarity in your life, as you have never known. Knowing who you are and whose you are will bring about knowing what you are capable of achieving because with those two things comes the assurance that your achievements are endless.


That brings me to the second C, confidence. Webster defines confidence as a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. However, I believe that when we know our purpose and our vision and realize we belong to someone greater than us we can be confident that we can achieve great things. {Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.”} Our confidence has to be such that we will not allow for derailment. We must control our minds so that we have a positive self-image. A positive self-image requires self-love and self-respect.


The third and final C is commitment. Once you have clarity on your purpose and your vision, understand that you must be confident and believe in you as your creator believes in you, you must then be committed. You cannot achieve anything unless you are 100% committed to the idea of claiming what you want. It is important to have positive conditioning and control of your mind, your desires, your actions, your beliefs, and your words and even your habits. In order to claim it you must commit to it, even when it gets hard or when it seems as though things are not falling into place, as you would like. True commitment is never giving up, no matter what happens.


Finally, my sisters, I leave you with this, quote from Rasheed Ogunlaru. “You don’t ever build you confidence from a perception of lack. For it grows and evolves from realizing who you are and what you already have.” So, stop selling yourself short, step out, step up, and go for it.



Patricia Brown Ross, Co-owner, The Darkberry Co.

 

Untitled

Posted on July 9, 2015 at 9:40 PM

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Most people will recognize the words of the above prayer, though they may not attribute it to St. Francis. And even fewer readers will remember the second and third verses.

I’d forgotten about those verses myself until recently. That first stanza is a poetic marvel, a series of contrasts between the state of the world now and what God’s Kingdom will bring, a prayer of comfort so often murmured that the words themselves have become subsumed in a greater meaning. But the second and third verses speak rather plainly to me, offering a pragmatic prescription that I find hard to follow.

As I reacquainted myself with the prayer, I particularly felt the gentle sting of the second verse, a reminder that, while my first inclination is to pray for myself and my family, my fellow men experience vast concerns outside my immediate spiritual (and material) yearnings. Perhaps it’s only my lack of familiarity with the last two that make them more urgent and personal than the first stanza; St. Francis certainly requested ownership of the world’s problems as he uttered, “Lord, make me an instrument…” a monumental task even for all of the saints.

Whatever the reason, I focused on these words and discovered that the promise of the St. Francis prayer is that as we reach for strength and courage to help one another, we are, in fact, achieving cures for our own woes. It’s human nature to worry over our intimate griefs and sadnesses, to seek sympathy and validation from those around us regarding the problems we ourselves are facing. While we are engrossed in our own pain, it’s natural to be unconcerned or even unconscious of the hurts and needs of others; it’s less natural to see that our own healing lies in helping others heal. God calls us to push back against that natural instinct of self-interest.

The tension between our needs and those of others is difficult to ease; it’s nearly impossible to sublimate self-desires into concern for another, whether that person is our child, our spouse, a friend, or total stranger. That has been a source of tremendous guilt for all people of faith, including me, and the theme of many prayers as we seek absolution and guidance.

Answered prayers don’t usually come as bolts from the blue. And, of course, that makes them harder to spot, an example of how our God is a God of ironies, large and small. As I grappled with the directive of the St. Francis prayer, a paragraph from C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity prodded another epiphany and lent me a key to making the St. Francis prayer a bit less daunting:

“The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or — if they think there is not — at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.”

I’ve spent a fairly significant portion of my life attempting to “do good” as though I were preparing for a test, hoping that I’d score enough correct questions to offset my misses. With that has come disappointment and failure and even hollowness and resentment as I did the right things for the wrong reasons.

The following discovery may seem simplistic to the reader, and I’m shamefully long in the tooth to be figuring this out, but I felt as though I’d stumbled upon spiritual gold: I am not relieved from my duties to love my neighbor, nor is any less expected of me, but I realized that I don’t have to do it myself through my personal strength or intellect or endurance. In fact, I can’t do it myself, any more than I can create a tree or cause the sun to set. God makes me good because he loves me. God’s grace defies our simple understanding and definitions, presenting itself anew depending upon what we need and what we’re ready to accept.

Old habits die hard, and I know I’ll spend huge chunks of my days worrying and trying to get it all just right, and feeling powerless and insufficient when I fail. The good news is I will occasionally succeed at consoling, understanding, and loving others. The better news is that I won’t do it alone, and I won’t even have to work as hard at it, because God’s grace and promises and love are sufficient for the task. A beautiful irony, eh?


-Jo Ann Crooks Hall




Work of Art

Posted on June 14, 2015 at 7:55 AM

Congratulations to Brianne Jones

W.E.W INC's Spotlight of the Month!

 

"Work of Art"

“Every part of me is a vision of a portrait of Mona.. Mona Lisa.. Every part of me is beautiful and I finally see, I’m a work of art.. A masterpiece.” – Jazmine Sullivan Masterpiece 2015

The above quote is a lyric from Jazmine Sullivan’s latest album released this year, Reality Show. I personally love the song simply because the lyrics exude so much nakedness. A raw explosion of emotion about self-acceptance and the beauty in knowing that flaws and all, you’re a work of art. A colleague and I were discussing topics that ranged from having children to self-esteem and the heartbreaking reality that we as women have become accustomed to accepting foolishness from men. As a result we see higher teen pregnancy and suicide rates. We see less women educating themselves and instead becoming subjects of ridicule and shame. However these stigmas can be overcome. I’m not at all advising that you become overly concerned with what people think of you. But when you think about how we were created, in the image and likeness of a God who loves you enough to grant you purpose and strength, is it really wise to allow our weaknesses to take dominion of our lives?

I can say from personal experience that I understand the thoughts of feeling less than you are and accepting love subsidies in place of the real thing. I don’t condone it, but I do understand it. By love subsidies I mean things such as, being involved with a married (or otherwise in a relationship) man because he makes you feel “so good” when you’re with them. Or the chemistry is so strong between you and that man but he doesn’t nurture your needs as a woman. How about he buys you whatever you ask and some things you don’t. He’s so spontaneous and romantic but he’s abusive verbally or physically. His gifts are a way out of saying sorry and asking you to accept his abuse. For you, his words become scripture and you’re left feeling as if there is something wrong with you because he can’t commit, he can’t engage in you, or he won’t stop the abuse. It’s not fair and it’s not accurate either. There is a huge problem and it’s thinking that you can change him with your sensitivity, nurturing, and doing what he asks. It is not your job to change a man, it’s your job to change your way of thinking and doing so that going forward, you are encouraged enough to say, “No. I will not accept his foolishness and call it my happiness” then walk away. And maybe none of these scenarios fit your personal circumstances. But any woman who feels worthless or as if she deserves to be mistreated has been sadly misguided and is confused about the purpose for which WOMEN were created (reference Genesis 2:20-25).

The message I want to stress upon you today is simply this: your worth is not found in a man’s acceptance of you. Your worth is found in you accepting who you are and loving all attributes that make you uniquely you. You have more power than you give yourself credit for. You must first discover it and use it to overcome all of your thoughts or feelings of inadequacy. It won’t happen overnight, but it also won’t happen if you continue to allow someone else’s negative contributions to your life become more important to you than your own positive influence. Keep God first and the all things will work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).

“I’ll share my picture with the world. I’m not afraid to let it show anymore…” Jazmine Sullivan, Masterpiece




Rss_feed

Google+ Google+