We hope to have you join us for this year’s retreat on Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 8am-4pm at Cornerstone Church of Christ. While this year’s event will be a little different, we are still excited to gather and to study our role as daughter’s of the King!
Haley Martin will return as one of our speakers, there will be food and fellowship, crafts, tshirts, and more! Be sure you’re following us on Instagram: modfemva
Joining us this year as a speaker is Elizabeth Tucker! Native to Chatham, Elizabeth is works as a school nurse at Hargrave Military Academy, and gets to cuddle babies at her other job at the Danville hospital.
She has spent over a year total living in West Africa volunteering with Mercy Ships, and loves exploring new places whether local or abroad. She is a health nut and loves to create and experiment with new recipes. Cooking for people is one of her love languages.
Elizabeth will be speaking on our identity in Christ!
Joining us for ModFem Classic this year is Haley Martin!
Haley is 22 years old and lives in Lynchburg, VA. She recently graduated from Liberty University and is currently an Assistant Manager at Church Street Bridal. She loves to go thrift shopping, watch Disney movies, drink coffee, listen to music, and hang with friends during her free time! She is currently a member of a conference ministry called Woven Together and also hosts her own podcast called “Here’s the Thing” with Haley Martin.
She will be speaking on how modesty is being confident in who God created you to be.
Hello, sisters!!! We are SO pumped about this year’s retreat, which is quickly approaching! This year’s rotation is Sisterhood. This year’s retreat embodies the concept that we, as Believers in Jesus Christ, are united in the bonds of sisterhood.
As children of God, we are part of a family that doesn’t always have it all together, but we know that together—united in Christ—we have it all.
I think we can all admit that at some point (maybe even now) we have had a soft spot for some thing in our lives. I’m talking about an object that holds significant meaning, like a special sweatshirt or stuffed animal, a book, or a pair of shoes. It may not even look like something of value to an outsider. It may look like a ratty t-shirt to someone else, but to you, that shirt is priceless!
As Christians, we know that we are storing up treasures in Heaven (Matt. 6:20), not on earth, but we still have human tendencies. One of the strongest impulses we have is to attach our heart-strings to the substantial things around us.
It’s not just things, though. It most certainly can be music or movies or locations, but most especially, we attach ourselves to people. We all have our squad, our tribe, our families, our PEOPLE. We love our people, and in most cases, our people love us.
Think of Jonathon and David (1 Sam. 18). Jonathon put everything he had on the line out of love for David. Think of Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16). Ruth left all that she had behind to follow Naomi, out of love, into a foreign land.Think of Paul and Timothy (2 Tim. 1). They were such dear friends that they came to regard one another as true family, united in faith and love.
Think ultimately of Jesus Christ, the best and truest friend of sinners, who extends His hand to us though we could never be deserving of His compassion.
As much as we anchor our heart-strings to people and places and things, our passions can shift dramatically. Have you ever wondered why something or someone you loved was perfectly wonderful one day, and completely inadequate the next? Have you taken the time to pray about it and thoughtfully consider why?
We’ve all done it, cast some thing or some one aside because those heart-strings we had so happily entangled with it were cut. Sometimes it happens quickly, and other times it’s a slow severing of tiny threads that fray and eventually break. Somehow, we’ve all lost our love for some thing or some one, but I’m thinking it’s really not that mysterious at all.
What happened was this: we stopped seeing what was once beloved through our own eyes, and started seeing it through someone else’s. We allowed the judgement of others to color our vision and alter our perception.
I’m experiencing this very phenomenon as I type. Our family is in the process of putting our house up for sale, and almost overnight, my home became far less appealing to me. I started seeing my house through someone else’s gaze—specifically, our realtor’s. He came to our home to help us draft a list of things we ought to do to make our house more appealing to prospective buyers. As I looked at all of the repairs and cleaning and work that has to be done, I felt my spirit sink. All I can think about our home is…
It’s not big enough.
It’s not clean enough.
It’s not new enough.
It’s not special enough.
It’s just…not enough.
A few weeks ago, before I wanted to move into town and out of our home, I loved our house just the way it was. Sure, the floor vents needed to be cleaned. And the kitchen needed some TLC. And the paint could use some sprucing up. But it was all part of the charm. Our home looks lived in. It IS lived in! Very quickly, however, those feelings changed. I stopped seeing all of the memories we have made and started seeing all the imperfections that we have tolerated.
How often do we look at what God has given us and give it a negative label? Even as young children we were taught to accept gifts graciously (even if it was another awful itchy sweater from Grandma Gertrude) and admonished when we complained about the presents we received. As we get older, how do we remember these lessons of our youth, especially when it comes to our dearest companions, and even, to ourselves?
When the Lord knit us together, He gave each of us a gift. God fashioned for every human being a unique physical form, a body for life on earth, that we get to use and enjoy and discipline and mold until its time for us to leave it. Do you remember the moment you fell out of love with your own body? When the hair on your arms or the freckles on your face just weren’t good enough anymore? I can almost guarantee you that up until a certain point, you were oblivious to what you now consider flaws in your physical body.
We all lose that sweet, child-like naivety when we accept societal standards of beauty, when we change our lens. If you need proof of this, consider the average second grader. It’s hard to find a 7 year old who wants to look good in her skinny jeans or be ready for bathing suit season. The reason why is simple: she hasn’t learned to see herself through some one else’s eyes. She still surveys the world, and herself in it, with the optimistic outlook of a child who hasn’t learned to be critical and unkind to herself. When we accept a worldly lens in substitute for a Godly perspective, we set ourselves up for unimaginable pain and disappointment.
Nothing we have loved or ever will love will be good enough if we are using a flawed perspective. It’s the interposition of Jesus, it’s Him coming into our lives and transforming us, that makes anything and everything beautiful, complete, and pleasing to God.
If you’ve recently lost your love for some one or your own self, spend some time in prayer over those things. This is not a call to idolatry; we must not inalterably love the world or the things of it, but I believe that God gave us affectionate natures for a reason. He gave us friendship and family as a shadow of the Kingdom yet to come, and to help us understand our places in it. We care for the things that matter to us, and I believe that is by design. Did God remove a passion you had been cultivating because He has greater plans for you? Or did you abandon a friendship or a positive body-image because you started looking at things through someone else’s eyes?
Let the Lord search your heart, and with Him, see the world (and yourself in it) through His eyes.
As human beings living in a messed up world, we all handle baggage.
We drag our own around. We help our friends sort through theirs. We watch our parents stuff their share of it into closets (after they shove the skeletons aside).
When we’re living in constant communion with Christ, we give Him our baggage. As soon as we make it, we hand it over. The problem arises when we get out of sync with Jesus, and start relying on ourselves instead of on Him.
You listened to me talk about baggage at MODFEM 2016. We focused mainly on The Dad Bags, but after collecting the paper suitcases that were tossed in front of the platform, I can easily say…we’re all dealing with way more than just Father Figure Issues.
Once the music was over and the gym was empty, I gathered up all of the paper suitcases. I expected to look through them and pray for mostly insignificant burdens, like annoying little sisters or not having an iPhone.
What I read literally knocked me over.
So I sat on the cold floor, my lap overflowing with broken hearts, wondering how it could be. Just minutes ago, I had been looking out on a crowd of eager faces unmarred by the stress and heartache that was written on those paper suitcases.
How often we see the quick smile and feel the squeeze of a half-hug and think—she’s fine! She’s got it together. If she needed help, she’d ask for it. But so much of what I read was nowhere near fine. Tears fell as I read the tiny glimpses into the things we’ve been carrying around.
“I don’t understand my feelings.”
“A LOT OF SHAME.”
“Worry and stress.”
“Beaten. Abused. Raped. Ruined. Used.”
“I’ve wanted to die.”
“So many boyfriends.”
“Feeling unloved and unwanted.”
How do we handle all of this baggage? Sitting in a pile of so much pain, the only thing I could think to do was pray. Consistent, compassionate prayer is what I can do for you, and I do it most days. Did you know that someone out there is praying for you? I keep all of the paper suitcases in an orange folder and I take them out to think of you and pray. But what can you do for yourself? Here are a few ideas for being an effective Baggage Handler.
It’s not just for elementary school field trips! Any time you find yourself venturing into unfamiliar, unpredictable or potentially scary territory—take a friend. Don’t expect any of your peers to be prepared or equipped to help you completely work through your baggage, but be sure that someone knows what you’re going through. A buddy can help you hold onto the end of your rope (if you come to it) and identify when it’s time to ask for more help (which we often can’t see for ourselves when things get tough).
The easiest time to fall or be led away from Jesus if when isolation sets in. The devil can’t get a foothold if he has to step in between you and your family, friends and pastor! Independence is not what Christians are called to. Remember the cheetah and the gazelles? The hunter will always go for the easiest prey: the very old, the very young, the weak, and the loners. When we embrace a culture of inter-dependence, we learn to live in true community with one another. Be aware of becoming too close to people who encourage you to skip youth group or stay home from church events. Nothing good grows in darkness, and that includes relationships.
Be vulnerable When you find a sibling, friend, or adult you trust, pray for a willingness to open up. The Bible tells us that “a brother is born for adversity, and a friend loves at all times,” Prov. 17:17 NIV. Love can just be a listening ear; love can be a 2 A.M. milk shake! Love can also be stepping outside of your comfort zone, even if your friend asks you not to. Beloved counselors in my life have always told me that there are 3 instances where keeping secrets becomes dangerous: when a person has a plan for hurting themselves, when a person has a plan for hurting someone else, or when a person is habitually being hurt by someone in their life. Include a trusted youth leader or adult if the bags are too big for you to handle. The more we tell the truth—even when it means risking rejection—the easier it becomes to be honest. No matter how scary it is, we all need somebody to lean on!