Kristin Schmucker » Equipping Women in the Word

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Shifting Our Gaze of Thankfulness

Thanksgiving. You can hear the leaves crunching beneath your feet at the very mention of the name, can’t you? Maybe smell the fragrance of cranberry sauce, feel the crispness of the autumnal air as it tickles your cheeks? There’s so much in the name of “Thanksgiving.”

Even so, I’m sure a companion to all these cozy thoughts are also considerations of cleaning the house for guests, babysitting the turkey to ensure it isn’t burning, sitting through unpleasant political conversations with distant relatives. Perhaps you’re more laid-back, and the stress of the holidays doesn’t get to you like it does to me. Or maybe you’re haunted by loneliness during this season. Maybe you’re perfectly content with a time of dinning and sleeping for too long.

I hope and I pray that your time is filled with warm traditions and the embrace of comfort, but I realize that for many of us, it may not be. Somehow, each year, the holidays are simultaneously delightful and stressful. While I can’t speak to your situation, sister, I can speak for the crippling stress I put myself through each year during the holidays.

Thanksgiving is largely marketed as a time for family, a time to truly set aside our own preferences and yield ourselves to one another. Sometimes this entails traveling for several days to see family members or friend you haven’t seen in a while. Other times this means opening your home up to you neighbors so they can have a welcoming refuge from a cold and intense world. However you choose to feel about this holiday, I think we can all recognize that there is more for us than stuffing our faces, being weary and stressed over table-settings, and watching an afternoon of football.

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The Fount of our Supply

There are many women of ages past that I look to as examples of Godliness, fierce and biblical femininity, and partakers in the Great Commission. One such woman is Corrie Ten Boom, who despite the risk of grave retribution, hid and transported Jews to various safe havens throughout Poland during the Holocaust. She was a God-fearing woman, who worked diligently to preserve and protect God’s chosen people. And for this, she would eventually be sentenced to live in a concentration camp.

Corrie endured years of fleas and forced fasting, she was often abused and under extreme duress. She still loved the Lord. She remained faithful to the task He had place before her by stewarding her time in the concentration camp to minister to the women around her. When Germany surrendered at the end of WWII she was, by the grace of God, released from her camp due to a clerical error. She did not wallow in anger against God upon finding that the life and family she left years prior was all but gone. She did not remain in bitterness for the lost years of her life. Instead, she committed to continue on in the work that God had for her; she spoke publicly about the horrors she endured, the grace of God that had sustained her, and pleaded with the public to remember the victims of Hitler’s regime. Needless to say, she was an incredible woman.

But there’s one thing that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since I finished reading her biography. In this book, an event is described in which she was speaking publicly at a church, once again describing her harrowing testimony. After her speech, a man approached her. She immediately recognized him—he was a Nazi solider that had tortured her during her imprisonment. He extended his hand, described that he had found God, and asked for her forgiveness. Knowing that forgiveness is an action rather than an emotion, her hand met his. She inwardly prayed, “I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.” In that moment, she forgave.

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Gift Guide For Busy Moms

Christmas is almost here! We have the perfect gift guide for the busy mom in your life…or maybe to forward to your husband as your own Christmas list! These are some of our favorites for the busy mom who wants to get in God’s Word. 

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When the Familiar is the Enemy

A few summers ago, I decided to budget $30 every May for a steroid shot. And plan to pick it up two days after Memorial Day Just when everyone else was picnic-ing and playing cornhole and eating hamburgers, I was celebrating summer with a steroid shot, followed by three weeks of NO SUN EXPOSURE. Can you say […]

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Self-Talk Matters

Do you ever have “one of those weeks”? When you don’t want to wake up and face the known? Or, worse yet, the unknown? When you want to leave your phone off so you don’t get any more bad news? When you want to stop living because it’s just. too. hard? This is exactly what […]

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