It is my absolute pleasure to share the wisdom of Shannon Upton, a Christian speaker, author and blogger over at organizingjesusmoms.com- where she helps Christian women, especially mothers, "clear out their spiritual clutter".
In today's interview, Shannon discusses Hagar (her favourite woman of the Bible), what some of the events of Hagar's life can teach us, as modern women, and encourages us with her own personal testimony of "living all in for Jesus".
Who is your favourite woman of the Bible and why? What would you say that modern women can learn from her?
I go through different seasons of loving and identifying with many of the women of the Bible, but right now my favourite is Hagar. Hagar was the slave woman in Genesis who was “given” to Abraham to bear a child. When she became pregnant, she let her pride in her new position overwhelm her, until her jealous mistress, Sarah, mistreated her so much that she fled the household (Genesis 16:4-6). All alone and miserable, Genesis 16:7 says that an Angel of God found her. He spoke with her. He saw her completely: her heart, her mind, and her future. As a result of that she said, “You are the God who sees me". When I’m feeling broken-hearted or weary, I find myself thinking of her. When we feel alone, we can also say, “Lord, I know that you are the God who sees me". No matter what it looks like or what we may be going through we are never alone; we are beloved- just like Hagar.
Please finish the sentence: I am a Christian woman who is...
I am a Christian woman who is living all in for Jesus. I heard an unmistakable call to begin my ministry, and I’ve given up many personal desires in order to start speaking and writing. I’ve dedicated many, many hours to writing two books that I wasn’t sure would ever be published, and a blog I didn’t think anyone would read! I’ve left my home and family to travel to speaking engagements far and wide. I’ve dedicated time, money, and so much of my heart to this ministry, sharing what God has done for me and encouraging women to live in His abundance. God has taken those sacrifices and used them for His glory. I know that He’s blessing other women in ways I cannot even see, and He has blessed me—directly through this ministry—more than I can fathom. When I get to Heaven, I hope to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
Please finish the sentence: I am a Christian woman who is not...
I am a Christian woman who is not ashamed of my Lord Jesus. I am not judgemental or closed-minded, but I am absolutely rooted in Biblical truth and will not be swayed. I am not afraid to be open about my story of suffering and healing. I am not overwhelmed by circumstance, I am contented in all circumstances.
Any final words of encouragement?
Through my speaking and writing ministry, I help women use a little organisation to clear out their spiritual clutter of anxiety, making room for peace and joy. I believe we can use personal and home organisation skills, not to pursue perfection, but as tools to build an intentional life that will enable us to enjoy our families and grow closer to our Lord. When you feel worried or overwhelmed, listen to your internal dialogue. Is there something you need to do about those thoughts and feelings, an intentional step the Holy Spirit is nudging you to take? If so, get organised and get going! If not— and those feelings are simply hurtful— release them. Lift those lies up to the Lord and fight them with truths straight from God’s Word. You don’t have to feel like you’re not being the wife, mum, or daughter of God you should be! Listen, discern, do and release. My heart is with and for you, my sisters in Christ!