"Sew Cute" Event

 Join us Saturday, April 21st from 10am to noon for our first Sew Cute event.  The class will include skills for all different levels, so whether you are a beginner or a professional come out and learn new skills.  Register for the event by emailing us at womenslife@sebts.edu. Please register by Friday, April 13th.  Childcare is not provided for this event.

If you have questions or would like more information please contact Women's Life at (919) 761-2340 or womenslife@sebts.edu.  

It is officially SPRING and I’m so excited! It’s time for trips to the beach, picnics in the park and being able to wear skirts without getting goose bumps on my legs. It’s DEFINITELY time to go driving with the windows down and the music up. I have a few “go-to” songs that I enjoy during this time. One of them is by the band Vega4. It’s called, “Life is beautiful.” Here are some of the lyrics:

Life is beautiful. But it’s complicated, we barely make it. We don’t need to understand, there are miracles, miracles. Yeah, life is beautiful. Our hearts, they beat and break.

I wouldn’t exactly “wrap my biblical doctrine or theology” around these verses, but I think there are some interesting truths here. They are right; life is both beautiful and complicated. Sometimes it is beautiful, sometimes it is messy and SOMETIMES it’s beautifully messy. And just like the author of Ecclesiastes points out, there is a season for everything. (Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-18, it’s amazing!) 

Life is full of diverse moments. There are moments of birth and moments of death. Some moments are for weeping and some are for laughing. Some are for mourning and some are for dancing. Life is also not just about the “big moments” (wedding, babies, new jobs, moves, graduation, etc). It is full of little moments of responsibility and routine that impact our day-to-day life. How can we honor God in these moments? I’ve been thinking lately about how difficult those little moments can be in the wake of the bigger ones. In the midst of stress or strife, sometimes as we plan something really good (exciting new adventures, marriage, children, etc.), those little daily routines can feel extremely daunting.  These are tasks that otherwise seem easy and routine. Things like  paying bills, putting gas in your car, taking kids/loved ones to appointments, making dinner, etc.  

I’m not sure what your moments are currently full of. Perhaps a stressful boss, wedding planning, pregnancy, a big upcoming move, job applications, soccer practices … you fill in the blank! One passage that has been extremely helpful has been Matthew 6:33-34 (emphasis on 34 has been added by me). 

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)

I love that last part in verse 34, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” It’s so simple and sensible. It’s such a sweet reminder that God has only given me enough grace to get through today. When tomorrow comes, He’ll be there waiting for me with what I need. That certainly gives me the strength to wake up and go about my day, no matter what is lying ahead or hanging above me.

Personally, this reminder has been especially helpful as graduation approaches in May. I’m excited about the possibility of going to East Asia, but there have been moments where I have been so full of anxiety that I have not been able to enjoy what God has done. I allowed my mind to be full of doubts and “what-if” worries. However, these are all things that I cannot control. I must embrace what I know to be true about God and what I have seen Him do. I cannot control tomorrow. To be honest, I can’t control today. But what I can control are my reactions and my responses. I can also trust that, while life can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult, with Him life is abundant and full of hope.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Elizabeth Elliot is an amazing author. She once quoted a poem that has stuck with me for a long time. The title is “Do the next thing.”

“Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing. 

Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing. 

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing." 

Naturally, I would like to wish you moments of laughing, dancing and healing. But, as the author of Ecclesiastes pointed out, there are all kinds of moments in this life. However, I can always wish you moments full of hope from Christ. Praise the Lord that those moments will never end and that hope will never run dry.

Know that the LORD, He Is God!  It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with Praise!  Give thanks to Him; bless His name!  For the LORD is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.  Ps. 100:3-5

 April Smith is from Charleston, South Carolina and will be graduating in May with her MA in Intercultural Studies. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, Clemson football, gardening, crafts and anything that has to do with the beach! Her undergraduate degree is in Special Education and she hopes to one day combine her love for the world with her love for special needs. She is currently making plans to move to East Asia with her roommate for a year and is so excited about what her Father is up to. You can check out her blog at aprilmariesmith.blogspot.com!

Hi! My Story Is...

Ladies of Southeastern are invited to attend  
Connecting Point's next event Hi! My Story Is...

Every women has a story.  Join us as one of Southeastern's own shares her story of what the Lord has done and is doing in her life.  Please bring a book to donate for someone in need.  The book can be new or used and for any age.

When: Monday, March 26th at 7pm
Where: Ledford Center, Main Floor

Childcare is FREE!  Please RSVP for childcare to the Women's Life Office by Friday, March 23rd at 3pm.

(919) 761-2340 ~ womenslife@sebts.edu

When You Don't Feel Beautiful

Reblogged from (in)courage
March 13, 2012

I stood in the baby aisle at Target, overdue with my first child. Every inch swollen with expectancy. I read labels of diaper ointment and rubbed the foot kicking my side.

photo source
Someone stood beside me. I could feel her staring at my profile. I pointed my belly towards her and smiled. She leaned in and said the words like I took her breath away, “Oh, you’re so beautiful.”

I looked down at my too-tight shirt and tugged it over my child. I couldn’t see my feet, but I knew the flesh pressed out of my sandals.


I looked around the empty aisle.

I smiled shyly, smoothing my messy hair. How I longed to hear those words and not just because I was awkward and uncomfortable. I never felt like a beautiful girl. Cute, sometimes pretty, but never beautiful.

And then she tried to sell me Mary Kay.

My face flamed. I dropped the butt paste and turned, leaving my cart and my pride in the baby aisle.

I believed the stranger for a second and then it was back to self-loathing.

I continued to pass mirrors without looking and tried to disappear in a room full of pretty people.

It was years before I believed I was beautiful. It was years before I realized beauty had nothing to do with my complexion or eyebrow shape or latest fashion.

Ralph Waldo Emerson says beauty is an outward gift, but I believe true beauty on the outside begins when we love ourselves on the inside. It is perfected when we love others more than ourselves.

“Beauty is not in the face, beauty is a light in the heart.” -Khalil Gibran

Beautiful isn’t a feeling. It’s His light in our hearts making us glow. When I started taking care of the inside, loving myself, others more, that’s when I started to feel beautiful.

I am getting older: my hair is turning gray, laugh lines (wrinkles) are evident and my once-firm body, isn’t.

But then I remember:
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:3

I watch my 12 year old daughter. She is in the discovery stage. She fixes and primps and seeks out beauty in the mirror. I pull her close at night, we read, talk, I pour into her: Beauty on the outside isn’t bad, but what are we doing to make the inside match?

I ran my fingers thru her hair the other night and ask: “Would you rather be gorgeous on the outside and just okay inside or stunning on the inside and okay on the outside?”

She said, “Can I be both?”

Source: etsy.com via Angie on Pinterest

I laughed and said yes. But I gave her a challenge. One I want to offer to you:

For every minute, hour you spend primping and beautifying the outside- your hair, clothes, body, etc. I want you spend that same amount of time on the inside.
I reminded her it’s not just about doing good works: it’s putting others first, serving, encouraging and forgiving. Inner beauty comes from accepting our weaknesses and offering them to God. Beauty is seen in being genuine and spending time with God. It’s about who you are when no one is looking. It’s about fearing God.

And now I’m talking to me.

Because odds are I will wake up tomorrow and catch a glimpse in the mirror and wonder if I’m beautiful.

My answer will have nothing to do with my appearance.


Kristen writes at her parenting blog, We are THAT family, and offers an honest mixture of humor and inspiration. Her first book, Don't Make Me Come Up There, a book for busy Moms, will be in bookstores March 1, 2011. Kristen and her family are launching a non-profit ministry in Kenya, Africa, in the fall of 2010 called The Mercy House Each Wednesday, Kristen hosts the Works for Me Wednesday blog carnival. Kristen’s blog was recently named to the 2010 ALBIE Top 50 Mom Blog list and the 2009 Neilsen Online Power Mom 50 Blogger list. Kristen lives on sweet tea, the love and support of her best friend of 15 years and the laughter of her three hilarious children. Follow Kristen on twitter as @WeareTHATfamily.

Waking Up from Someone Else's Dream

Reblogged from (in)courage
March 7, 2012

Big Dreams. Big is relative, but we all dream. Many of those dreams may be seeded in reality or at least in the realms of human possibility … but we all have aspirations blended with a dose of whimsy.

I’m a dreamer. I keep mental lists of dream vacations; top 20 places to visit before I’m 50; family activities; career goals, mission activities, etc. Sadly, many of the dreams and wishes I’ve claimed as my own, really aren’t mine at all. I named those dreams … talked about them excitedly, and placed each one on an invisible line of dots connecting to my future. I lived like those dreams were mine, but they belonged to the girl I wanted to be, or at least the girl I thought I should become. 

Somewhere along the timeline of my life – and I cannot pinpoint the exact day it happened or why it happened – I deemed myself undesirable. I knew that God loved me and that Jesus died for me, but never grasped the entire beauty that resides in that truth. Instead, I viewed myself as someone that God had to love … and someone whom most humans would never want to get close enough to know, let alone love. And with that warped world view, I began my quest to be wanted. I began changing everything about myself … starting with my dreams.

Since I thought myself drossy, many of my interests became guilty by association. It is not uncommon for teenage girls to want to look and act like everyone else, so at first, my confused sense of self identity was normal for someone of my age. Yet, my desire to be anyone but me grew and aged with my body and morphed into perfectionism. Knowing that no one was perfect, but thinking that everyone else was superior to me, I began to take parts of others to create the “perfect me.”

My friend Casandra is a champion cleaner. Her base boards shine and counter tops glisten. Even the doorknobs on her closet doors sparkle. I added this trait to my repertoire, along with my friend Melinda’s impeccable sense of style, and my friend Molly’s up-beat demeanor and zeal for multitasking. I could list at least twenty-five friends and acquaintances from whom I’ve stolen parts of their identity and weaved them into my own. 

And I didn’t stop at personality traits. I added their dreams and goals to my lists as well. In fact, the sheer notion of me making a dream list to begin with was something my friend Doreen did. When she mentioned her desire to Jet Ski through the Everglades before moving from Florida, I added that to my new list. Why not? It sounds like fun, right? Actually, it does not sound like fun to me. I am terrified of alligators and have no desire to soar into their territory. It doesn’t matter that the loud engine would probably scare them away…it only takes one hungry, insubordinate gator to take the bait. Yet for years, and I mean twelve long years, I honest-to-goodness thought that I would enjoy jet skiing in alligator infested waters.

While I think there is no harm in being influenced by Godly friends and acquiring positive traits and ideas, disregarding my talents, dreams, and desires was not only befuddling, it was sin. I was disobeying the voice of God and trying to recreate what He already made.

God didn’t create me to imitate His other creations. He created me to serve Him with the specific qualities he gifted to me. And knowing this doesn’t make me prideful or hoity-toity, it humbles me. It’s OK that I don’t want to teach preschool, ride a mule down the Grand Canyon, or deep sea dive.

God also did not create me to be perfect this side of heaven. If assigned mass and tied to a string, my character flaws, quirky habits, and sins would circle the planet at least once. But God did create me for a purpose, and I will never discover or live up to that purpose if keep exchanging my character traits for those of another. It’s simply unacceptable for me to hide who I am and yearn to be who I am not. 
I still struggle with who I am, but each day I try to take every ounce of my flesh, every molecule of my soul, every pound of baggage, and each and every one of my dreams and I am lay them down – without shame – at the throne of the Holy of Holies. For with His masterful hands, He will use all I am and all I can become for His glory. And that is my dream.

“But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.”
Ephesians 4:17-25 (The Message)

Angela Nazworth is a flawed and forgiven wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. She’s also an encourager, a lover of good books, coffee, girl's night out, sunshine, and waterfalls. In the 11 years since she got married, Angela and her family have lived in 11 different homes in 8 different cities in 6 different states. This year, she and her husband switched places...he became a stay-at-home dad and she reentered the work force as a Corporate Communications Specialist for a prominent bank. Angela believes the creator of the universe is both the author of and lead character in her life story. With every experience she learns more about who she is in Him...and takes another step on her journey.

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