year wordWhen you think of the word “thrive” what image comes to mind? For me it’s always been a tree in summer. I can see its sturdy trunk and dark green leaves dancing in the sunlight. Birds flit in and out of its branches. It’s strong . . . solid . . . alive.

When God gave me “thrive” as my word for 2017 late last December, the verses from Psalm 1 came to mind.

” . . . like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.”

That’s what a person who follows God’s way, who delights in his Word, is like. That’s what I would love my spiritual life to model.

A tree.

Firmly planted.




Summer is a great season for growth. We see it all around us–flowers blooming, trees thriving, new birth bursting forth in the fields and gardens, birds and wildlife bringing forth their young. Life is teeming all around us, and I love it.

But I confess, my spiritual life in summer does not always mirror the physical world around me. It’s often too easy to get off track . . . lose focus. Schedules turn upside down, vacations interrupt routine, and children demand more of my time and energy. So what’s the answer? How can we thrive in the midst of change and, at times, chaos?

That’s what we want to explore on the blog this summer. During the months of June, July and August we’ll be hearing from a variety of voices in our Equip Her community on this topic. I hope you will join us and that together we will be women who THRIVE!



Summer Activities for Women

hello-1281232_640It might feel a lot like spring today, but summer is coming. Here at Women’s Ministries we want to keep you informed on how you can stay involved this summer!

Summer Bible study – Mark: The Jesus We’re Aching For

Mark’s account of Jesus paints Him as a deeply personal and intimate God whose heart is moved by you – your cries for help, your shouts of joy, your silent fears. Join us for seven weeks of video study with Lisa Harper, small group discussion, and prayer.

Sunday morning – June 4 – July 23, 9-10:15am

Wednesday evening – June 7 – July 26, 7-8:30pm

MUM’s (Moms Uplifting Moms) Activities – there are various activities you can join throughout the summer! Updates and activities are posted here.

LifeGroups for Women – A simple gathering of friends where community takes place for support, spiritual growth, and encouragement. If you’re interested in joining one, contact Marlys at


Boot camp // Cardio & Strength: Monday-Friday, June 5-July 28, 5:30-6:15am

Back to School Blast // Cardio & Strength: Monday-Friday, July 31-September 1, 5:30-6:15am

Clothing Exchange

Come and shop in the gym by the North Entry! All items are free and donations (only clothing) are accepted anytime at the drop off shed in the west parking lot.

  • Thursday, June 8, 12:30-7pm
  • Friday, June 9, 12:30-7pm
  • Thursday, July 20, 12:30-7pm
  • Friday, July 21, 12:30-7pm

For more details or to register for classes and activities, click here.

The Joy of the Lord

woman-2188033_1920I’m pleased to welcome a new voice to the blog this week. I know you will enjoy hearing from Sheryl Murray as she shares an attribute of God that has had great meaning in her life recently.

“This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10b

It has been a difficult ten months–no deaths or serious illnesses, no divorce or wayward children, no great financial or spiritual crisis–just a huge change in geography and jobs, and what feels like a winding down of our lives.

But in the midst of intense changes and a seeking and searching for the Lord’s will for us here in Lincoln, He has shown me that each day is to be treasured–one day at a time.

In the midst of the sorrowful book of Lamentations, God reassures His people that His mercies are new every morning and that He is our portion and hope (Lamentations 3:23-24). So I awaken each day to life anew. Even those days when I do not feel like getting out of bed, He patiently nudges me to just begin. Out of bed, one foot in front of the other, I ask Him to open my eyes. I start with the basics–taking a shower, getting dressed, eating breakfast. Then I move on to the necessary–washing dishes, doing laundry, grocery shopping. Some days I have something scheduled; some days I do not. That’s OK. I try to go through the open doors and trust God for the closed ones.

But God knows my weakness and in asking me to live each day He also provides the strength to do so through His joy.

Joy through my precious husband of thirty-eight years who is on his own journey of resolving disappointments and a new job. God shows me the joy of ministering to him by making him meals or cheerfully greeting him whenever he returns from work. In turn he makes me laugh with his silly jokes and stories as well as including me in his puppet ministry.

My three young red-headed grandchildren are an ever source of joy. Seeing the excitement of life through their eyes fills me with long forgotten wonder at the majesty of God’s creation, whether it be an ant, or a dandelion, or a limestone pebble. Going to the park or the zoo or just being home is a joyful adventure with them.

God has showered me with the joy of friendship, both old and new. There’s nothing like an old friend who knows you well and still loves you. They are busy with their own lives and family but have carved out pieces for me. New friends have been an unexpected gift of joy at Bible study and life group.

Yes, as Nehemiah expresses, the joy of the LORD is my strength. He knows that I am having a difficult time. He knows that often I am frustrated for things not turning out as I thought they would. He knows that I need to heal. And so He offers me joy. I accept it gladly, with a thankful heart. Indeed, it is my strength!