You are Significant...right where you are!
My life doesn’t have purpose. I wish I had a spiritual gift or ability that made a difference. God can’t use me; I'm at home with my kids all day. I haven't been asked to serve on the retreat team. I guess I'm not good enough or smart enough.

These thoughts used to chase me around all day. Nagging me with their negativity. Weighing me down with discouragement.

I was lost at sea, tossing and turning in the monotony of motherhood and feeling like I had no purpose. I know now that I was fulfilling my purpose right there with my two toddlers in our sweet little home on Dansville Drive.

But to my significance-seeking heart, it didn’t feel like enough. Every day I begged God to show me what He wanted to do with my life. Have you ever been there?

One day He sent my neighbor (and good friend), Janet, over to my house to make a really big deal about a thank you note I'd written for her. In it, I described unique things about her that I appreciated. And God used her encouragement to show me I had a purpose and was part of His plans. Right where I was.

I didn’t need to seek a more significant position or purpose. I needed to see that where I was serving was significant, because it was where God had me.

Let me be your “Janet” today: Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing - it's significant - because you’re a significant part of God's purpose and plans right where He has you today.

Like Rick Warren tweeted this week, may we “never envy a significant place of service. Instead, (lets) make the place (where we) serve significant.”

Oh that we would we remember we are significant right where we are. That we could encouraged in heart and united in love with Jesus, and each other, as we do the little things He nudges us to do - noticing and caring about others, expressing appreciation, writing notes, leaving encouraging messages. It is simple yet so significant to take words and thoughts and turn them into gifts from God that we have the honor of giving away.

All it takes is getting a little intentional about making the most of spare minutes between meeting deadlines, driving carpool or changing dirty diapers. And that’s what 300 of you did last week when you committed to encourage others. I believe you did it because…

You want to God to use your life -- and He did.

Your heart is filled with love to give -- so you gave.

You long to make a difference -- and you can.

You really can.

Last week, as I read your comments, I kept hearing God whisper, "I don't want this to stop here." So I've decided to launch Encouraging Words Wednesday March 9th and continue every 2nd Wednesday of each month. I hope you will join me. I’m so excited about the difference this could make in our lives, our families, marriages, workplaces, churches and communities.

Encouraging Words Wednesday

On Encouraging Words Wednesday I’ll post what God puts on my heart that day and a few of my favorite promises. We’ll all log into the comments section to tell who and how we're going to encourage someone that day/week. It doesn't need to be complicated. Simple is significant! And you can share an encouraging verse if you want to. If you’re having a hard day or feel discouraged that week, this will also be a great day to get filled up with encouragement so you'll have some to give.

I want this to be "our thing" so I’m hoping someone can make a cute blog button for us. And I'm going to find out how to use Mr. Linky so if you write an Encouraging Words Wednesday post on your blog, you can link back to the post here. It would be fun to meet and encourage one another, and invite others along.

I'm excited about having this day once a month to help us follow God’s nudges and fulfill His significant purpose for us, right where we are. Here's our theme verse. Hope you'll be part of EWW.

My purpose is that they (that's us!) may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they (that's us and those we encourage) may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3, NIV

I don't know about you, but it's a little hard for me to remember to check back on certain days, so you can be notified or sent a little reminder to hop over on Wednesday. Just enter your email in my "subscribe" box at the top of my sidebar, and/or friend me on Facebook.


Blogger lisasmith said...

I've wrestled with the same thoughts. Wrestle with them every day.

You are so right about us not letting our giftings get lost. It is so easy in the bleary-eyed world of no sleep to just forget.

And this week God keeps encouraging me that every little bit will eventually add up to the whole of something He is doing. He will finish this good work in me. He promises.

Looking forward to Wednesdays!

Blogger Bonhomie Jewelry said...

what a wonderful idea!!

God has been encouraging me as of late with tiny, little answers to prayers about my career - putting the right people in my path and nudging me in the direction I should go. I am overjoyed to be so connected to Him that I am able to recognize and discern His path for me.

My sister is struggling with a similar situation so I've been praying for her and I'll ask you all to do the same.

My encouraging verse actually came to me from Lysa TerKeurst's blog:

1 Peter 3: 14-15

"Do not fear what they fear, do not be frightened." But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect....

Thank you, Renee. I started searching my "God-powered" blogs this morning searching for something and I found it. This was just what I needed!

Blogger Angie said...

Renee -
I am so thankful for the words God has given you to say. For the past year I have been crying out to God asking Him to show me His purpose - for my life, for our marriage. Just over the past week, God has been showing me that I need to be faithful and find purpose right where I am, that His idea of purpose and mine might look different from each other. So as I seek and pray that God opens my eyes and my heart to His leading in the "everyday" things, your words are an encouragement to me. Thank you so much for sharing!

Blogger Jill Beran said...

Great post Renee! I can relate to your opening statements - I really remember that when our first son was born and I left teaching to stay home. As time went on and more children were added - He did use my gifts and I was part of the retreat team. But now as He's called me away from that I've let my mind slip back and have heard the, "You're not good enough" and "God doesn't need you" lies run through my head. But God has gently been reminding me that it's not what I do that makes me who I am!!

Last night as I attended the visitation for one of my former junior high basketball girls who was now our senior Homecoming queen, I was reminded that where I am is very important!! My family must be number 1 and there are many people right here in my community in need of a "Janet" and who need to know HIM!!

Anyway thanks again for your reminders of truth! I'm looking forward to your encouraging words Wednesdays!! Praying for the ripple effect as well!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog caught my attention this morning by the first few lines. I was thinking "is she reading my mind?" I have been a sahm for 10 yrs this year. Wow!! 10 years!! I am not an outgoing person, and have not been involved in much of anything to say that I have kept myself busy during this time. I have no education (beyond high school) to fall back on, and I feel, that other than raising our children, I have lost a lot of my own time to discover who I am. I was young when I started out as a sahm, and now 10 yr.s later my littlest one will finally be in school this fall. Where will I go? What will I do? I have accomplished nothing in the last 10 yrs. I have cooked, cleaned, and raised a family to the best of my ability. I do feel that I have everything I could ever imagine and am blessed in my life, but now what? God has really showed me that he is there these past few weeks, though. My mom struggled with cancer in the brain and through out her body and she is now in remission!! Yes, in remission! God worked a miracle!! I feel that he is giving me signs to just keep following him and that he is there...and someday I might have a talent to share with others.

Blogger Stephanie said...

It took me a LONG time to figure out that God loves me for who ME....because He made me that way!!

We all have gifts! Many times, I have felt I wasn't good enough. But lately, whenever I start to think that...God sends someone to tell me I am wrong. FB is my ministry. I use it to share scripture and devotions that I read.

I have often felt it was just for me and that no one got much from it, but lately, God has been sending MANY people to let me know that I am HIS messenger!

Love reading your blog and LOVE the idea of Encouraging Words Wednesday.

Here is a link to my blog, where I posted a button I made for the Encouraging Words Wednesday. (I just linked it to your blog)

and here is a link straight to the image if you would rather have that

Encouraging Words Wednesday BUTTON Image

Let me know if you like it and if you have any issues getting it!

Blogger Bonhomie Jewelry said...

i've linked up with you, renee! hopefully there will be more who are interested in doing this weekly!

Blogger JottinMama said...

I feel so..... encouraged :)

What a wonderful idea, Renee! I'm there myself. I have two little ones here at home - and I often catch myself searching for significance among the crumbs, the toys, the diapers. It's good for me to remember and recognize the significance of shepherding two young hearts towards Jesus. It's a privilege, isn't it? It's an assignment that isn't always recognized or rewarded - but it's effects are eternal!

Love and Blessings,
Kate :)

Anonymous MaryL said...

Thank you so much for sharing what God has placed on your heart. I am in the midst of this same struggle as we speak and I am truly blessed by your blog.

I am super excited about Wednesday's.

Blogger Cheri Bunch said...

What an awesome idea, Renee'! A friend of mine recently encouraged me in such a special way. I wrote about it on my blog. I pray it will bless you!


Blogger Renee Swope said...

Thank you guys for encouraging me in this, too. I can't wait to kick things off on Weds March 9th. Will you join me in praying for who God wants to join us and for the ripples of relationships that will be impacted through our words and simple gestures of encouragement. I have a devotion through P31 running that day so lots of new friends will be stopping by. Will you help me welcome them and be praying now for the people God will invite them to encourage that day, too.

God's given me such a love for each of you! I also really appreciate the kindness of those who have created buttons for me to consider. Some emailed me links and I saw Stephanie's on here today. It's going to be hard to pick one but I'm so thankful for your help.

I'm heading out of town Friday to speak in Williamston, NC this weekend so I'll be in touch next week about them.

Blessings and hugs,

Blogger Mrs. Laborn said...

I LOVE forward to words on wednesday! God Bless! Check out:

Blogger Kathryn said...

This post certainly encouraged me when I read it. It has taken me a while to be able to come back and leave a comment but I wanted you to know I appreciated you writing this. I started to wonder why I even write my "pitiful lil ol' blog" anyway. It's not like anyone really sees it. But I have been reminded twice now, by reading two entirely different blogs, that I don't do it for others to see as much as I do it just to get in 'print' what I feel He is teaching me at that particular time. IF someone else sees it and it helps them, then all the better - but I think it is mainly so He can show me that He CAN work through me if I will only allow Him to do it.

Thank you again for this second reminder.


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