I am a huge believer in spiritual gifts and the notion that each one of us is given a unique gift, from the Lord, that enables us to successfully complete and live out His plans for our lives. Some of us are given stronger voices than others or more powerful platforms but nonetheless, our humble God planted a seed in our hearts to allow us to build His kingdom and share the Good News. We are all given the chance to make a change, a difference, and to be an influence. (I wrote a post last year about spiritual gifts and being The Body)
Some of you may be familiar with The Influence Network, and some of you not, but if you haven't, you're in luck. A group of strong willed, Christ focused women started The Influence Network as a way to , support, connect, be a resource, create community, and encourage Christian women to use their influence. When I think of the birth of The Influence Network and how successful it has become, I can't help but to think, "these ladies were in my shoes at one time, and they are using their gifts!". The network offers web based classes on everything from succeeding in your small business, grammar and public speaking, managing life as a busy mom... all while using your platform to further the Kingdom.
Let's face it friends... life is hard! I remember hearing a sermon earlier this year where the pastor said that it is naive to think becoming a Christian will make your life perfect, or easy. Nope. Choosing to follow Jesus will probably be one of the hardest things to do, but the most rewarding, fulfilling, and worthy things in your life. Right now I am almost 9 months pregnant, still working full time, trying to maintain my blog, along with friendships, family time, church, community group, setting up baby gear. I can't even begin to imagine how my life will be turned upside down in just a few weeks. But with my heart and head in the hands of the Lord, I am free. Y'all should see the lists I have stored in my phone right now. Things to do before baby, everyday to do list, grocery list, Target list, list of blog posts to write, lists of people to email, things to do at work before my baby is born, house project lists... yeah I am one of those people! It's so easy to stray our minds to focus on the minuscule details and forget to ask God for guidance.
My prayer has been throughout this entire pregnancy and especially these last few weeks is to be a positive influence, shine a light on where I am struggling, yet show how God has redeemed me. If you've followed my pregnancy, you'd know it hasn't been easy. I've struggled with chronic sickness and every bad/random symptom you can imagine but not once have I struggled with understanding that this experience is such a precious, fleeting gift from our Lord. Yes there have been times over the past 9 months where I've been on the bathroom floor begging God to heal my sickness and make me well, but after a quick refocus of my heart, I am reminded of the gift He's given me. He's not only given me this precious baby but strength and positivity to truck through the pain, and the platform of my blog to share.
And so many of you reading this have blogs too! Think about it for a second... is your blog where God has given you your voice? You may only be comfortable with blogging about recipes, parties, and crafts but I encourage you to pray and ask if it is God's will for you to use your blog as a platform for the Gospel. I bet the answer will be yes.
I feel so humbled and blessed to be a part of this group of ladies and only have scratched the surface of what God is going to do in my life with The Influence Network. Today I encourage you to sit and spend quiet time with the Lord, talking about your influence. What has He gifted you in this life that can help you successful bare the name of Jesus?
I also encourage you to check out some of The Influence Network resources...
The Influence Network Blog- women sharing their thoughts and hearts on many different subjects. You don't want to miss one of the most recent posts about what we can afford.
The Influence Network Classes- like I talked about above, The Influence Network offers a wide variety of classes that I promise will be worth every little penny (they are cheap!) and second of your time
The Influence Network Prayer- need prayer? Look no further
The Influence Conference- the 2nd annual Influence Conference will be held in late September in Indianapolis and the Hart's will be in attendance! What an answered prayer this has been for us, I can't wait to share more about the conference as it nears.