Have you ever been in a season of your life where you felt you should be doing more, accomplishing more, providing more and stretching out more?
Usually I can just sit down and start writing. The words just seem to flow but this time was different. I was nervous and anxious but I wasn't sure why. Despite knowing what I wanted to write about, I kept delaying the inevitable. Why wasn't it flowing? Why was I being so hesitant about writing this time? Was it because it was too personal or hitting a little too close to home? Or maybe I wasn't making it a priority. I decided "enough was enough" and I needed to get this out. I believe that if God puts something on your heart, you better listen. No need to miss blessings because of laziness. Throughout my journey in growing in God, I have tried to be a better person, making adjustments here and there just like we all do. Most of those changes didn't cause much of a fuss in my life and seemed easy— but then God challenged me. Why was it okay for me to grow in God but not others?
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. - Romans 14:13 NIV
We are all guilty of judging others. No matter how many church services we attend or holy communions we take, at some point in our lives we have judged someone else. Whether it be how they dress, how they look, or even how they raise their children. We have all done it. Primarily we judge others based on how their behavior or actions measure up to our moral compass. This is a part of life but I realized that even if the person has changed, often we don't allow the perception of how we think of them to change. We create this barrier in our minds that blocks out their growth. We refuse to believe that our pettiness is no longer warranted or excusable. I was guilty of all of these things. Why was I still holding on to stuff people did in college or even last year? How could I grow in God but not give them the grace that God so eagerly gives to us?
After the nagging feeling just wouldn't go away, I started to evaluate myself. I realized that whatever I was holding on to was holding me back from being greater. So I made a decision that I would allow others to grow in God. Who was I to refuse that? If someone reached out or apologized for their wrongs, I wouldn't secretly wish they didn't so I could be the “better person.” Also, I decided to not let the opinions of others prevent me from developing my own opinion of someone. Just like I grew, others can too.
As women in this crazy NFL life it is easy to just judge others or refuse to associate with someone based on who they used to be. As women we should challenge one another to grow in God not through criticism or judgment but through love. Growing in God is a blessing that is not limited to the few that qualify; it is open to everyone.
You know her. We love her. She is one of us! Meet Leah Miller, better known as The Diamond Duchess and the face behind the most amazing, customized, crystallized pieces in the game. When she isn't creating masterpieces for yourself and your little ones, she is building an empire that embodies the principle of "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." Leah is wife to retired NFL veteran QB, Jim Miller, and mother to three (plus one on the way!). She is a Believer and a genuinely beautiful "BOSS" who shines bright like a diamond.
"I give all glory to God! All of His door openings, all of His vision and all of His ideas that I have received have taken Bella to where it is today. I know that it is ALL HIM because I work from my home studio, in a basement in Michigan. Who on earth would ever see me or what I do if it weren't for HIM?!? No one would know about me if it were not for HIM."
Name: Leah Paulovich Miller, Founder of Bella Artistry
Player/Team(s): Jim Miller (QB) Steelers, Jaguars, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Patriots, Giants
Children: 3 (Sophia-14, Emmanuel “Manny”-9, King James “KJ” -2) and one on the way arriving November 2016.
Kanye or Carrie Underwood? Carrie
Ice Cream or Potato Chips? Ice Cream
Yoga or Spin? Neither
Manicure or Massage? Manicure
Where are you originally from and how did you get to where you are now?
I am originally from Pittsburgh. We (my family and I) now live in Michigan near Jim’s hometown. Oddly enough, we don’t have family here anymore but he started a custom home building company when he was playing here so he wanted to be near the company after he retired from the NFL.
How did you meet your Husband?
I was in college during my senior year at the University of Pittsburgh. I met Jim three days after the Super Bowl (96’), the Steelers had just lost that year (that was actually the first football game I ever watched on purpose). Ironically, I was actually dating an Olympic wrestler at the time and he was supposed to meet me out that night but he didn’t show up for some reason. That was the night I met Jim. I dated both of them for a little while. The funny part is that they were both "hometown heros" and would be invited to be on the same celebrity panels at a lot of the same events in the area. It was quite surreal when Jim was starting his first game in the NFL and the wrestler was at the game to flip the pre game coin while I watched from the stands. After awhile Jim and I started dating exclusively and we dated for three and a half years before getting married. We got married in Vegas. We didn’t elope but we knew there would not be enough time between him popping the question and me planning the wedding of my dreams during the offseason. We’ve been married 17 years.
Tell us about some of your most favorite WAGS memories?
The Super Bowl, of course. Even though Jim was the backup to Tom (Brady), we were still a part of the team and you can’t compare anything to that experience. I would also say I enjoy the lifelong friendships that you create. I know women all over the world from all walks of life because our paths crossed in the NFL. We don’t talk every day but, when we do, it’s like we have not missed a beat. My business (Bella Artistry) was born out of that time in our lives. I owe a lot of credit to that part of our lives for the niche I am in now.
As the wife of a retired player, how does your day to day differ from when Jim was still playing?
Jim is retired from playing but still involved with the NFL and fully immersed in football. So, my busy schedule and his still revolves around the NFL. Out of all of Bella Artistry's sports clients, the NFL clients make up 80% of our business, so my busy season ends up being the same as his. Jim is still gone three to four days out of the week and he travels more now that when he was playing in the NFL. During NFL season/school year I get up at about 5:15 to get my kids going and get ready for my staff of 13-21 (depending on time of year) to arrive. On the business side of my life, when you own your company- work doesn’t stop. You don't get to clock out and forget about it until the next day. But that's okay because I love to be busy and feel so much more accomplished when I have worked a 16-hour workday. For me, having my own "thing" is more enjoyable than working out, cooking dinner, house stuff and waiting for Jim to get home from football practice. I was busy then (when he was playing) but, this busy is “times 1000” and I LOVE work. My children are my most perfect creations and I am so grateful that I have been able to work from home for so long and spend as much time with them as I can.
What advice would you have for WAGS trying to find the balance between their own identity and that of their men?
My tip for anyone is to find something you love, to make it your job and to get your own identity outside of who “he” is. When the crap hits the fan after football is over (and EVERYONE will go through a period of transition), if the wife has something of her own then they are more likely to stay married. Find out what is important to you because football does not last long. I never liked the idea of being “Jim Miller’s wife.” Funny story, a few years ago at the Super Bowl someone came up to my husband and asked, "Aren’t you Leah Miller’s husband"? I got the biggest kick out of it! For years, I prayed that God would make me independent, self-reliant, and self-sufficient and He did it. I don't have to rely on anyone but God. Even if your spouse isn’t on board (with what you spiritually believe in), God will ensure that you have the desires of your heart if you make HIM your number one.
How did The Diamond Duchess concept and brand develop? You create the most amazing pieces, Leah!
I appreciate that. I’m touched by your kind compliment. I was an art major by training (my bachelor's is in painting and sculpting) and I worked for my father’s marketing firm for eight years and did really well for myself. I was making six figures on my own before I got married. Part of our (Jim and my) deal was that during the offseason we would live in Pittsburgh so I would still be able to work for my parents' company and travel back and forth from our in season locale to continue to service my clients. But when it was time to make the move, Jim didn’t want to move. So I was forced to leave my job. There was only so much shopping, cooking and cleaning I could do before I lost my mind. So I decided to cultivate my first love, which is murals and furniture. I started a painting company and painted furniture and murals for doctor’s offices, other player’s homes and other clients for about two years until I got pregnant. One day while pregnant with my first baby, I was working on scaffolding painting on the ceiling of a doctor’s office and caused myself some serious issues; I almost lost my first baby because the work was more dangerous than I realized. I knew then that I had to come back home.
What were the early days like?
When we first got into the league, there was not a lot of team-related things to wear to your husband’s games except a big, boxy jersey from his locker or the same one everyone else was wearing from the team store. I started creating because I didn’t want to wear something like that and there weren’t any other women’s sports clothes options. They didn't make any women's jerseys then. I had already been designing with crystals and other embellishments and would do pieces for myself and my girlfriends to wear to games or as gifts. Word would eventually spread as my friends moved from team to team so Bella just got bigger and bigger. At first, I did it for free but while we were in Palm Beach during one of Jim’s recoveries (2003, I believe), I began to charge a fee and made it into a business.
What are some of your favorite items you’ve created?
I really like designing shoes and I like to see footballs completed. I design every single piece that goes through the company. At any given time of year, I can have up to 21 wonderful and talented seamstresses and artists working at Bella bringing my ideas to reality. During Super Bowl Season, I had a team of 21 ladies working double shifts to get all 90 orders done in a 10 day period. I still say that accomplishment was miraculous! I prayed and prayed God would help us get our orders completed on time and we finished everything in 9 days (plus some of the orders for the girls on the waiting list)! Having something you've designed in your head and scribbled on paper come into existence from almost nothing but a pile of materials and Crystal is very rewarding.
This was a big wedding year for you, wasn’t it?
Yes, we were honored to be asked to create for some of the most fabulous weddings of the year. Nina and Earl Thomas, Gypsy and Aqib Talib, Cannon and Collins Tuohy Smith and Risalyn and DeAngelo Williams were some of my biggest weddings this year. We are honored to even be asked to create for such a special day. It’s up there next to the Super Bowl. Also, the volume of work is great to have, especially in the off season. Nina Thomas, for instance, had 22 robes, 15 jerseys and glasses made for the ceremony. The wives are pulling out all of the stops for their big day and they want it to be the best of the best so it’s an honor to be included in that. What’s your big picture for the brand?
We are currently working on our new storefront and studio. Our house is on a lake and so is our new location. We’ve slowly been refurbishing an area that is literally a “stones throw” from my house. We started it about two years ago but, over the past year I’ve really been working hard to get in the new space. My next goal is to complete it by the time the baby comes (God willing). The new location will quadruple our working space and we will have a storefront that will allow people to come in and design their own furniture, clothes and accessories; Customers will be able to procure our seamstresses on staff for alterations and custom clothing as well. You have accomplished some really beautiful moments over the past decade. If you were not an entrepreneur, what would you be doing instead?
Well, I always make jokes that my mom and I would open up our own Private Investigator/ Interior Design Firm! I do love to do interior design AND use my superb sleuthing skills. I am very much like my mom (and dad) because they are very artistic and brilliant business people. I hope to become half of what they are.
I have to say that looking back on where I have come from is amazing. I honestly started my company in my spare closet. To go from just me in a 5'x8' closet to 21 people with 4000 sq. feet makes me teary-eyed. I give all glory to God! All of His door openings, all of His vision and all of His ideas that I have received have taken Bella to where it is today. I know that it is ALL HIM because I work from my home studio, in a basement in Michigan. Who on earth would ever see me or what I do if it weren't for HIM?!? No one would know about me if it were not for HIM.
Check out more of Leah's work on Instagram @thediamondduchess or online at www.bellaartistry.com
Psalms 148:8, “The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous.”
I woke up the other morning in panic; my vision was very blurry. Then I realized that I had removed my contacts from the night before and just needed to put on my glasses. Wow, simple fix. Then God reminded me of how we see certain people, things, situations, and circumstances. We begin to panic when we cannot see how things are going to work out or how things are going to look. We tend to have an idea of how we want things to look or assume they will turn out the way we have pictured it.
I realized that once I placed my glasses on my face, my vision came into focus and everything was clear again. When God opens our eyes to see through His eyes and not our own, everything becomes a lot clearer. His perception is greater than ours will ever be. I sat and thought that my prayer should be, God, open my eyes so that I may see, as You would want me to see every situation and circumstance.
Sometimes we are “blind” and do not even know we are. I heard a pastor talk about a situation that happened in his family’s life. He lost his daughter to an asthma attack during one of the holiday seasons. He was an emotional wreck. A few years later, he talked about the complaint he had to God of how it seemed that as the years went by he felt as if he was losing the memories he had with his little girl, and that she was becoming further and further away from him. God gently spoke to him and told him that he was not getting further away from her; he was getting closer. God’s response slightly disturbed him. God told him the more he walked in the direction that He was pointing him into, the closer he was walking to destiny and one day his life in Heaven. This insight made him refocus and acknowledge the fact that every day he was living for God placed him closer and closer to his little girl and it totally opened his eyes to see a little differently.
All of us see our situations and circumstances differently, but the key is to ask God to show you how He sees what is going on in your life. This will allow you to shift your perspective and grab a hold of what the Bible talks about as the “peace that surpasses your own understanding.”
My challenge to you is to ask God to open the eyes of your understanding when it comes to how you see the world, people, politics, business, family, career, motherhood, being a wife and the life you live in the arena of football. This will ultimately assist you with walking out your full purpose in God and through God.
Father, I thank you for the awesome women who read this prayer. Cover them, lead them, guide them, and over shadow them with your love and grace. Show yourself strong in their lives. Give them eyes to see as you see and a heart that will love as you love.
Cover their families; cover their children and future children, and their husbands. Create peace in their homes and unity with their spouses. Calm their fears and give peace in their hearts with things that seem to try to overwhelm them. Grant unto them blessings beyond their asking or thinking. Provide unto them benefits that will keep them from lacking in anything or any area of their lives.
Where they need joy, fill them up, where they need peace, comfort them and where they need strength give them everything that is necessary to endure as a good soldier. Allow them to see that you are blessing them in the midst of trial and tribulation. Allow them to see that what the enemy meant for their bad; you are setting it up for their good.
Father, you have inclined your ear to hear our hearts cry as it is in heaven so shall it be on earth in Jesus name we pray, Amen!
If you are anything like me (a hopeful and expectant person), then you have more than likely arrived to a place in your life where you are truly believing God to manifest some things for you in the natural. Now, these are not just any little things...NO they are the things that we have been asking and praying and hoping for, for quite some time now. They are the things that we really can’t share with everyone, because we might actually sound crazy if we said them out loud. They are the things that appear in the natural to be absolutely impossible, so much so, that they keep us up at night. You know...those things that we have tried to accomplish over and over again, but we have yet to achieve. I am even speaking about those things that have isolated us and separated us from other people. Simply put, they are the things that we have held near and dear to our hearts…
…and yet, they are the very things that we have allowed to LIMIT God and all that He can and wants do in our lives…
I am so remorsefully guilty for doing this…I start out believing with great expectations, and when life happens, I allow my expectations to transform into limitations. Limiting God in my mind by letting my thoughts go wild and crazy. Limiting God in my heart by settling for what comes fast and easy. Limiting God in my prayers by accepting the notion that “the sky is the limit." I begin to set unrealistic timeframes out of impatience and desperation, as if God is not the author of time. I make suggestions to God on whom He should use, how He should use them, and why he should use them, as if He is not the creator of the earth. I start to doubt the reason why I even began to expect some things from God in the very first place, as if He didn’t give me those desires and placed them in my heart. Listen, God has NO limits! He is not limited to the things we see, the way we feel, or even the life we’ve lived!
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Isaiah 40:28-29 NLT
Reading this scripture speaks directly to my heart, and it lets me know that we can not possibly fathom the things God can do and will use to answer our prayers, to exceed our expectations, to bring healing to our bodies, to deliver a loved one, to make a barren womb fruitful, or to even fight for us. God is such a good good father! He cares about the things we care about. He is interested in the things we are interested in. He knows our limitations but He is not moved by them….He sees what we are up against but He will never let it overcome us!!! Look, I don’t know what you have been waiting on God to do in your life, but I want to encourage you to never give up on God. He knows exactly what He is doing. God has been God a very long time, you can trust Him with your most ridiculous prayers! He is crazy faithful and watches over every word to perform it! If He said it in His word, He will do it!
In closing, I want to encourage you right where you are….with everything you are believing or at one point in your life once believed. God is more than able! He does not give the way this world gives, so get into a posture of renewing your mind about your limitations. And if you have been waiting for what seems like such a long time, let me assure you that God can, and He will make up for all of your lost time. He knows how to get you to where you need to be, in the time that you need to be there…His timing is so perfect. Be inspired my lady, to pray prayers that scare the things that are scaring you, to pray prayers that overcome the things that appear to be overcoming you, to pray prayers that stop the things that are stopping you, to pray prayers that attack the very things that are attacking you and your family, and to pray prayers that limit the things that are limiting you!!! I dare you, no I double dare you to go beyond the sky in your prayer life!!! Pray like you have never prayed before and just let God be God!!
Stay encouraged!! Keep your eyes on where your help comes from….the good Lord! He will strengthen you and help you! The enemy’s weapons will never prosper. Even when the enemy comes in like a flood in your life, trying to wash away all your hope, all your joy, all your trust, all of your patience, and all your faith….Our God will build a mighty mighty standard against him, he shall never prevail!!!! Until next time, I want to leave you with two scriptures to hide in your hearts when you feel your expectations are becoming limitations…
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord. Psalm 27:14 AMP
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe in him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also the world to come. Ephesians 1:19-21 NLT
Keep on believing and never stop until you receive it!!! The sky is NOT your limit...I will be praying for you!!!
Cast Your Cares1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.”
Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I remember a few months ago, I was worried about so many different situations that were occurring in my life. I recall trying to figure out what was going to happen with my health, what God’s plans were for my ministry, how I was going to continue supporting my family members and how I was going to continue to work hard at my day job while fulfilling the assignment God had given me with all of the moving parts of Game Changers 180. Life had begun to become overwhelming.
Known for being a strategist and a problem solver, I was exhausting myself trying to figure out the perfect game plan, Ha! God must have been looking down on me shaking His head. He must had said, "my child, if you just cast all of these cares on me I will work all of these things out for you." It hit me that the word of God reminds us that God knows the thoughts and the plans that He thinks towards me. Thoughts of good and not of evil, to give me a hope and an expected end. Wow! God’s word never fails.
God reminding me of His word put me in a place to stop worrying and instead placed me in a place of more prayer and study. The more I sought God and was reminded of His spoken word, the more the weight of stress lifted from me. The more I began to trust that God had everything under control and that He just wanted me to rest in Him knowing that He could not lie and that He was surely going to provide a solution for every situation I was facing.
I don’t know each one of your situations or circumstances, but I do know that God has an answer for you and the only thing He is asking you to do is to cast all of those cares upon Him. He is strong enough to handle every situation. God’s strength is perfect in our weakness. I challenge you to increase your prayer, study time with God, and watch how the peace of God will begin to over shadow you.
Father, I thank You for the opportunity to come before You with open hearts. You have instructed us to come to You when we feel labored and heavy with the cares of this world. Father, teach us in Your ways. Give us insight, clarity, wisdom and the perfect game plan to overcome every situation and circumstance that we may face. Father, keep us faithful to Your spoken word and grant our strength when we feel weak.
Lord, thank You for supplying every one of our needs according to Your riches and glory. Grant us peace in our coming and our going and rest when we lay down. Allow us to lay aside every weight that so easily besets us so that we may live a life of freedom in You.
Thank You for Your loving kindness that You show towards us daily and remind us that You have benefits for us every day. Let us not miss one blessing that You have in store for us and let us give freely to others as You have given freely to us. Lord, bless our families and loved ones to give them peace of mind and hearts of joy and gratefulness. Lord, we thank You for inclining Your ear to hear our prayer in Jesus name we pray AMEN!
This week’s WAG Feature Wednesday is an introduction to our newest platform, Behind The Brand. Our first brand we are highlighting is NFL Wife Handbook, an online blog that was founded by Mallory Brown, the very gracious with a heart of gold wife of NFL veteran, Donald Brown. Mallory and her business partner, Stacie are passionate about sharing their love for Christ with our NFL community and do so in such a motivating and refreshing way that showcases the strongest women in the game! To share your testimony or become featured on their blog; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Who is Behind the Brand?
Mallory Brown is married to NFL veteran Donald Brown who has played in the league for 7+ years — Donald has played for the Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, & recently was added to the New England Patriots Roster. We have two energetic, beautiful, amazing little boys — Hudson, 3 years old and Piersen, 18 months old.
What is her brand?
Back in October of 2015, I was asked by another NFL wife to start a blog — ironically so as this was something I wanted to do a few years back, however I clearly heard God say “wait Mallory, it is not the right time." Sure enough when I got the nudge this past year, I realized God was merely affirming my vision from a few years back. “The NFL Wife Handbook" is merely a platform for NFL wives to share their stories. I view myself as “editor in chief” and love helping share these womens’ awesome testimonies. Stacie (my business partner) and I both felt it was FINALLY time for people to understand and comprehend the real livelihood of our husbands — better yet, the way we pursue the ups and downs of this league is by walking alongside Christ.
I would love for this blog to be a never-ending story. I pray 20+ years from now, I am still blessed with testimonies to share. The power of a wife/girlfriend’s voice in this league is huge — therefore why not hoist up your megaphone and give all the glory back to Jesus. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the NFL was known as a Christian organization with insanely talented football players? It is certainly ambitious to think this, however we are called to pray bold prayers, because we have an omnipresent, powerful God who serves us, and is merely waiting for us to ask Him to do BIG things.
What have you learned on your NFL journey?
My journey through the NFL has been nothing short of amazing. We have had many highs and lows, yet amongst all the inconsistencies Donald’s profession posseses we have loved every waking minute of it. To be truthfully honest, when Donald and I began dating, a few months into our courtship, he informed me of his future plans to pursue the NFL. When I heard those three letters “N-F-L” I immediately pulled back and planned on ending our relationship. I wasn't a football fanatic, and I “knew” enough about the character of these athletes that I certainly did not want to do life alongside one of "those" men. Shame on me for not realizing, Donald was and is so far from the typical stereotype.
Fast forward three years into our lives together (clearly we stayed together), we attended a Christian ministry retreat for NFL athletes and their significant others. It was here, (going on year 4) that our lives, and outlook in the NFL radically were changed for the better. We were invited by a former teammate of my husbands’ and in that week, we gave lives over to Christ. Years 1-3 of Donald’s career were wonderful, however we didn’t do life with God first in mind, rather ourselves. Years 4 and on, God has been the focal point for us as indviduals, as a married couple, as parents, as “missionaries” in our realm of work.
It has been the most insanely rewarding outlook for our each of us. It has made every high that much better, and every low more easily comprehended. I don’t view myself as a “WAG” but rather in a season of my life, where I am called to be His hands and feet to those around me. I understand the value of this platform we have been blessed with, and realize our time is limited to have such a noticeable voice. Therefore if I (alone or with other members of this league) can show the world that we are just regular, Christ-like individuals who are wanting to pave a highway for the Kingdom, then I have done my work with the role I am currently in — that of a “WAG”.
As the end-of-year holidays rapidly approach, we as women are often so wrapped up in the festivities, taking on every responsibility and making sure every detail is organized for every single person in our lives, that we often fail to come back to the audience of one.
The One who centers us, balances our lives, regulates our heartbeat, steadies our footing and reminds us that as we sit with Him, He comforts us. God desires time with us, to hear what is on our hearts and minds. He is the one person that will always care about YOU and you can cast every single one of your cares upon and KNOW that He cares for you; and nothing you can ever tell Him is too heavy or too much.
In the busy times, in the rushed times, when it seems like we just don't have enough time ... He is still faithful to call us to Him. No matter how long your to-do list is or how many things are pressing for your time, make sure you stop and take time for the most important audience you will ever sit or stand before ... Your Lord and Savior ... the audience of One!
Let's Pray ...
God I thank You for being a great God, a BIG God who is capable of hearing every detail of our heart and caring so much for us that You never stop calling us to your presence. Thank you for sustaining us, for being our safe place, our place of peace and comfort. Lord even as the holiday season is upon us, keep our hearts reminded that You are still the center of it all. Allow us to be grateful and thankful. Show us how to love as we never have, to embrace those who many would turn away from, and to hold tight to our faith. Lift heavy hearts, ease troubled minds and let us walk with grace and peace in Jesus name. Amen
Psalm 90:12, 17 - “ Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts." “Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands- establish the work of our hands!”
Colossians 1:11 -“Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light.
Preparation is key to life as a woman, a mother, a wife, and a business owner. You need preparation for everything, especially if you want things to run like a well-oiled machine. John C. Maxwell outlined several things that preparation allows you to do:
- Allows you to focus on today
- Increases efficiency
- Increases confidence
- Saves money
- Pays for tomorrow now
- Takes you to a higher level
There was a man by the name of Moses. He began to pray to God on behalf of the children of Israel. Moses had seen a generation squander 40 years in the wilderness. He believed that if leaders could only gain a keen sense of the swift passage of time, and if they would work for something significant, they could die with a great sense of satisfaction. He wanted them to understand that leaders don’t kill time, they execute it.
Preparation and good use of time, otherwise known as time management, go hand and hand. When you waste time – you waste moments of preparation. As women that stand beside some of the world's greatest athletes, you know there is an allotted time during off-season to prepare for the next season.
Consider this your off-season time to prepare for the things that God has given you. Use this time to ensure that your house is together, that your business ideas are growing and prospering, that your children are supplied with the necessities of life and that you have all of your off-season plans together. This can include: moving, gearing up for a new team or preparing for a list of family activities that bring rest and relaxation after a long hard season.
This is your moment to showcase all of the gifts and talents that God has given you. This is your moment to display your superior skills and talent, confirm your maturity level, and show your leadership and problem-solving capabilities. You can prove you're as much of a team player as you are an individual player for the sake of your family. You can show that you're a go-getter, a follower of direction, a student of the game of life, and an avid listener.
The Game Changer (Take-away) - John C. Maxwell, says:
- Good Decision – Daily Discipline = A plan without a Payoff
- Daily Discipline – Good Decisions = Regimentation without Reward
- Good Decisions + Daily Discipline = A Masterpiece of Potential
This is your moment! Prepare for the greatness that is ahead of you! It’s your time! Every minute of every second counts. God has given you something that most people can only dream of. Make the most of your preparation time.
Lord, we honor You for being such a great God and for keeping and carrying us once again into a brand new season. We are grateful and we are thankful. Lord, I lift up these great women to You today and thank you for the strength, love, endurance and keen insight that you have placed within them. Give them even greater eyes to see, ears to hear and revelation as they walk beside their husbands for the remainder of the football season.
Lord, we know that all things are in your hands, under your supervision and in your control. You are the great Alpha and Omega and you are the one who leads, guides and directs every footstep that they make. Lord, show them where to put their footing as they make decisions concerning their family, household and business movements for this season. God, give them clarity and the words to speak over their husbands as they are preparing for the field each day and when they come home.
Lord, I pray a spirit of peace and clarity to fall upon their household and every member in it in the name of Jesus. Let there be no clouds of confusion, distraction or division this season. Remove the weights, barricades and blockages that would endeavor to hinder or stop the move and flow of God in their homes, life, husband, business and family. God lift the standard yet again and show Yourself strong in their lives, emotions, stance and home. Thank you God for a mindset of preparation and a spirit of excitement. It is in the mighty, matchless and holy name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me.”
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
All too often as women we are reminded that we must remain strong; strong for our families, children, loved ones, friends, etc. We develop an ability to smile when we really want to cry, to push when we really want to stop, to carry what so many others would have dropped, to continue to nurture when we ourselves need to be nurtured…and let us not forget that we are to do it all and still be perfectly polished right?!
But let’s just take a moment to throw that thought process of being strong all the time out the window and realize that God never told us to be strong in our own ability. As a matter of fact, He said that it is His very strength within us that is made perfect in our weakness. We all have areas in our lives of weakness, and if we spend our life trying to cover, camouflage and conceal our weaknesses, then we never truly allow God to be great in or through our lives. If we never get to the point of recognizing, and embracing our weaknesses, we will never know and experience the fullness and the power of the strength of God in and through us.
The most powerful moments in life you will ever have will not be at the height of the mountain top or in the things that you were able to accomplish in your own might and strength. It will be in the times when you were at your weakest and looked up to an everlasting, ever loving, ever powerful God and said, “God I need you. I need Your strength. I can’t do it on my own and I don’t want to. Be the strength that I am not. God show Yourself strong.” When God said in Exodus 3:14 “I AM THAT I AM”, it meant that God would be everything that you would ever need Him to be, when you needed Him to be.
He will be your strength when you are weak, your cover when you are exposed, your comforter when you are lonely, He is your EVERYTHING and there is no area of weakness in your life that is too much for God. He wants to be your strength so allow Him! You don’t have to do it on your own and it’s okay to be weak. Those are really your strongest times!
Lord, I thank you for your amazing strength that is made perfect in our every weakness. I thank you for showing us the blessing in the weak areas of our lives because it is in those places that we see your greatness. God, thank you for using the foolish things to confound the wise and the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Thank You for allowing us to rest in you and to fall into your arms of love when we don’t know what to do. When we feel our weakness rise, I ask that You be the strength within us. Give us the peace to know that our weak areas do not make us fragile, they simply remind us that we are still in need of You. Lord, You are so great in all Your ways and for that we are forever grateful! In Jesus name. Amen
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Psalm 28:7-8, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.”
Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Women were created to be nurturers, carriers, incubators and producers. We were created to help establish and carry out the vision for the family and the home. This is the reason that God called us to be helpmates in the book of Genesis. It's in that very purpose where we tend to wear a lot of different hats and face all types of challenges and obstacles. While enduring hardships, learning to juggle many hats, balancing life and walking through some painful situations, our peace can sometimes be shaken.
In the times of ups, downs and roundabouts your strength can become tested and the mental strain can sometimes can become unbearable; but thank God, He promises that He is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in the time of trouble. He promises us that He will provide a safe place for us to run to when we need it. When we run to Him that is where we find strength that produces peace.
There is something about the peace of God that surpasses all of our understanding. God’s peace will allow us to walk in the midst of storm with strength knowing that He has everything under control.
It’s time for you to tap into the power, strength and peace that God can provide to you. If you try to wear all of your hats and balance life on your own, you will burn out. Burn out always causes fatigue, lack of sleep and frustration which leads to anxiety and stress. The choice is yours, but I know you would rather relax in God knowing that He has it all under control and will provide the strength necessary to flood you with peace, clarity and direction for every area of your life.
Father, I thank You that You thought of these women so much that you sacrificed Your life so that they would know what it was to find strength that produces peace. I thank You that Your peace surpasses all of their understanding and Your strength is made perfect in their weakness.
Lord, fill every lonely place, every dry place, breathe life into every place that seems dead in their lives. Reveal to them Your purpose and good pleasure for their lives. Strengthen them for the course and provide guidance and understanding so that may reach their full potential in You. Give them ideas and creativity for business, community development and kingdom building.
Father, grant unto them strategy to balance all of the hats they have to wear. Give unto them the grace to carry the weight and responsibility that You have given them. Allow them to know that You have a safe place for them at all times for every situation in Jesus name Amen!
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2 Corinthians 10:12, “ For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves to themselves, they lack understanding.”
Jeremiah 1:5, “ I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.
William Shakespeare said it best, “This above all: to thine own self be true.” The power of success lies in true identity. Recognizing and knowing who you are has the power to propel you to fulfilling your purpose.
Identity is defined as “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.” You can only be who you were created to be. When you operate as a counterfeit, you are no longer authentic and you have just lessened your value to become null and void. In order to find out who you were created to be you have to go to the source of your creation, the creator Himself, God.
God created us to be a representation, reflection, or mirror image of Him. It is amazing that through life we take the images, patterns, personalities and behaviors of everything and everybody that we come in contact with. We see all kinds of NFL wives images on television, in magazines, on social media, Internet and walking around us that sometimes causes a mental distortion in comparison. When we begin to take on those various distortions and they begin to cause us to lose our true identity and the very thing that God created us to be.
When we look in the mirror we should see ourselves as Christ does. Our reflection should be that of God. He created you in His image and in His likeness. Don’t let others opinions of you and what and who you should be conform you into what you were not created to be. Remind yourself daily that you are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Lord, I thank you for your beautiful daughters. I thank You, that You made no mistake in their molding, shaping and creating. You have adopted them into the beloved and You chose them to call Your own.
Lord, I pray that You show them their true identity in You and that all false labels and life lies fall off their lives this day. I ask that You allow them to see their authentic reflection in You when they looks in the mirror and that their lives align with Your truth about who they are in You. I ask Lord that You shape their ways to be Your ways, their will to be Your will and their minds to be Your mind.
Let them no longer question who they truly are, or what their true purpose is, but show them clearly and give them the courage and the strength to walk out the fulfillment of it. Show them clearly the women that You have created them to be. Let their kingdom purpose be known and their lives be lived in the fullness of Your design in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
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Genesis 1:26-27, "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Psalm 139:14, “I will praise You because I have been fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.
So many of us have heard that we're "made in the image of God." The very idea is a nice thought to hold on to when we need a reminder of our value in life, relationships or difficult situations. But I want us to challenge ourselves a little further than to just think of this in the sense of a nice thought and truly grasp hold of the truth that God literally created the beauty, strength, stature, mind and everything that composes who you are in the very image of Himself.
Do you realize that when you feel like you are less than adequate or inferior or life is telling you that you are not good enough or enough, that God looks at you and says remember that everything I am you are! There is a beauty about you that is astonishing, it radiates from the heart, spirit and soul of who you are. You are the image of The I AM! Nothing about you is less than.
You are GOOD because God is GOOD! You possess everything that you will ever need to in order to accomplish everything that you will ever need to. The greatest blessing in knowing who we in the image of God is that God didn't make us "GOD"...He made us "godlike"...meaning that we have such an incredible strength and ability but even in that, when we face things that get tough we don't have to look to OURSELVES to have all the answers...we can look to the GREAT GOD that created us.
Lord I thank you for making this incredible woman in Your image and Your likeness. Lord always remind her of the greatness that is contained on the inside of her and the beauty and grace that she carries.
Give her peace in her mind and strength in her spirit to always see herself as You see her. May she never look to herself to be her own god, but always look to you as her Great and mighty God. Show her that she is indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.
When she questions her value, her position, her beauty or what she is made for, speak clearly Your word back over her that she is the image of I AM and in that she can stand boldly. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
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