Today, Rebekah speaks to us about how racism has no place in the church, the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and the importance and ministry of caring for our children.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
This passage reminds me that no matter what I do on a daily basis, no matter what my work is– whether mothering, pouring into my marriage, writing, podcasting, being involved in business and ministry, or extending hospitality to others– it’s all good work that the Lord has not only prepared beforehand for me to do, but it’s work that He promises to equip me for, as well. It’s all worthwhile. It isn’t mundane. It’s my God-given purpose.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Walking by the Spirit. I’m focusing on seeking the Lord’s guidance and direction for every area of my life, rather than first turning to “experts”, my own thoughts and feelings, etc., and realizing that growth and sanctification doesn’t come through us trying to muster up in our own strength the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. Instead, it comes through simply walking by the Spirit– abiding in Christ, communing with the Lord in prayer, meditating on the truths and implications of the gospel. It truly is all about a relationship– as we spend more time with the Lord, we will become more and more like Him as the fruits of the Holy Spirit that is within us will begin to rise to the surface in our lives.
Profession: I’m a self-employed Etsy shop owner, blogger, self-published author, podcaster, and the editor-in-chief of Spirit-Filled Woman Magazine.
A one sentence bio of yourself: I’m a wife, mama of 2 littles, business owner, and ministry leader passionate about equipping women to know the gospel and its implications for Biblical womanhood.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I was raised in a Christian home, with my birth even being announced by our pastor from the baptistry the Sunday I was born. I was actively involved in the children’s ministry, VBS, children’s choir, etc. and was saved at the age of 7 during our church’s kids Easter presentation.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Hands down, the Bible Study/Study Guide entitled Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry Blackaby. I was already on a journey of understanding the importance of walking by the Spirit and what that means, but this book totally hit all that home for me and continued my growth and understanding in this area. I can’t recommend it enough!
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I’m one of those voracious readers who is always in about 5 books at once. One book that I am really loving right now is The Ministry of Ordinary Places by Shannan Martin. I am all about encouraging women with the truth that nothing we do could ever be considered mundane when viewed through the eyes of eternity. Shannan feels the same way and encourages and equips readers to view their homes, workplaces, families, and neighborhoods as their mission field. I love it! So good!
Top three essentials: Coffee, my Bible, and my phone (that sounds terrible, but there are so many great podcasts, apps, and other resources out there! )
How did God speak to you recently? The Lord has been showing me the joy and importance of pouring into my kiddos. It’s easy for me to become all-consumed in my work and how much I enjoy it and because I am a work-at-home mom, that can be very challenging when trying to balance work time with also pouring a lot of time and attention into my kids and their hearts. The Lord is showing me that every moment spent reading to them or playing with them or teaching them is far from unimportant. It is Kingdom-furthering work.
“The Lord is showing me that every moment spent reading to them or playing with them or teaching them is far from unimportant. It is Kingdom-furthering work.”
Hobby: Does writing count even though it is also what I do for work? *laughs* I also LOVE to read, like I mentioned. I even read while brushing my teeth. One hobby that I really want to get into, though, is hand-lettering. I also love furthering my education in all areas of natural health and wellness, so that has become a bit of a hobby for me, too.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
- Be in the Word daily. Even if just for 5 minutes and even if you only listen to it on the Bible app. Time spent in the Word is never ever wasted time.
- Be in community. Pray for, find, and invest in strong, intimate, real, godly, supportive friendships. This is so, so valuable and important for your growth and encouragement as a Christ-follower.
- Pray for discernment. The Holy Spirit’s job is to guide you into all truth. He will do that! Compare everything you are taught by others to the truths of God’s actual Word just as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11.
Favorite person in scripture? Probably Paul. He totally understood the struggle with sin and the flesh (see his lament at the end of Romans 7). But he also understood the depth of the grace and love of God which results in there being, nevertheless, no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1).
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want them to see that He is a kind, gracious, freeing, rescuing, compassionate, just God who delights in celebration, life, and joy, He’s all about rescuing the captives and freeing us from the bondage of sin. He is so good!
Favorite season? Definitely fall! I’m all about pumpkin spice everything, cooler temps, and changing leaves!
Favorite holiday? Christmas! I love everything about it!
A dream you have? I’m a self-published author of 3 books, but would also really love to be a traditionally-published author, as well. We’ll see if the Lord has that for me sometime in the future!
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Commemorating Advent, the final four weeks leading up to Christmas as found on the traditional church calendar. I love Advent calendars, lighting a new Advent candle every Sunday of Advent, going through special Advent readings, etc. It makes the Christmas season even more special and sweet and helps us remember the reason for the season!
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? What, fully, was God’s heart for women and His will for men’s and women’s roles? There is so much confusion and division in the church over this issue, and I myself have gone on quite a journey in this area, too. I’m learning a lot and growing a lot, but I still have some questions in this area.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Unfair, unequal, and inappropriate race relations, even in the church and even in 2018. Heaven will consist of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue, and we are all made in God’s image. There is absolutely no place for racism in the body of Christ.
“There is absolutely no place for racism in the body of Christ.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I love the morning hours! I get up with my husband, and we enjoy breakfast together before he leaves for work. After he leaves, I brew my first cup of coffee and curl up in my comfy chair for time with the Lord. After that, I spend some time doing some other reading and then transition into writing time before my kiddos wake up, and I make them breakfast.
What is on your nightstand? An all-too-tall stack of books! 😉 Also a candle, Chapstick, Kindle, and pens.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Freedom through Christ from sin, death, hell, the expectations of man, man-made rules, God’s wrath, and legalism, and the gift of joy and love in Christ.
For more Rebekah:
Facebook – Hargraves Home and Hearth
Instagram – @rebekahhargraves
Twitter – @hhomeandhearth
Until next time, keep witnessing!
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