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Simply Wonderful programs…

For years I have mourned the assumption by many that Women’s Ministries is a silly social group layered in “bubble gum” themes, and am concerned that are not our best advocates.

Women desire both community connection and life-giving content infused with the Gospel. Because we live in a broken world, we fully experience all that it is to be human. Love. Loss. Pain. Joy. Elation. Brokeness. Concern. Longing. Loneliness.  Our roles and relationships leave us exhausted. The Women’s Ministries group is a safe, loving place where Christ is welcomed as central to everything we do.

And so – we can choose better!  Infuse meaning into every act.  Every time we gather we have the opportunity to make this holy time.  Use symbols, projects, tutorials, and even….(gasp) celebrations to make the main thing *the main thing. Infuse JOY!   Allow the Spirit to transform your women.

IDEAS!  Simply Wonderful Programs.  This is an IDEAs platform where you can browse and identify programs that can be adapted to your location. Find free downloads and materials that can be used without hours and hours of preparation.  Use these resources for other groups as well- you are limited only by your own imagination!   I have determined to present only cost-conscious ideas as prices do not determine effectiveness.  Currently serving in Moldova, Eastern Europe, I am keenly aware that inspiration and connection are achieved as women spin “hay into gold”.

Find some of our favorite ideas for your group on this blog site, and if you like them, leave a positive comment!    Seeking creative inspiration? Yes!  Always! Fight to create the group you’ve always dreamed of.

Major Ronda Gilger               grace4ashes

 

Ronda and Lamb
“feed my lambs”

 

“If the SHOE FITS wear it”

Favorite shoes program

“If the Shoe Fits- Wear it!”

Have each woman bring their FAVORITE pair of shoes.

Sharing time: “Why is this your favorite?” Answers range from: “They are gardening shoes and remind me about how much I love to work in my garden”; “I use my running shoes every day as I get out and exercise”; “These old slippers…I just can’t throw them away they’re so comfortable”.

Use some of their ideas to underlie your devotion about “Walking with the Lord”.

Teach women 2 or 3 basic Bible study techniques; ensuring that they know how important it is that they learn to “walk”… because they will need “spiritual strength” to run (persevere), and to “garden (harvest-evangelize), or to be as comfortable with prayer as you are slipping on your favorite comfy slippers.

Tonight’s Activity: God sees great BEAUTY and VALUE!

The best elementary school rooms I see are plastered wall to wall with imaginative paintings, pictures, sayings, writings. These are each works of art that “tell” stories about the children. What does Alyssa dream about?  Her art looks so brave and bold? What does Matthew want to do when he grows up? It appears that Anna is a poet and Erin loves little doggies! Noelle wants to move to Mars!!!

IDEA: Take the time to explore the value of each woman present.  “Make it your mission to underscore their great worth and abilities.  During this session, you are asked to have some freedom from the traditional weekly schedule you might follow.   You want to allow them to express who they are- understanding that you are facilitating the process.

watercolor woman with butterflies

Ladies enter the room which has been set up with paper-covered tables, art supplies and worship music playing in the background.  Begin with your welcome and prayer, then invite them to take part in a new activity!  The activity they are being invited into is to reveal their true identity:  NOT BY WORDS… but on paper (a roll of butcher paper would be great!). Pictures, poetry, magazines can be placed on each table, from which the ladies can cut out pictures, words painted that express their hopes, dreams, prayers. At first- this may feel uncomfortable.. but you are prepared!   Have art supplies on hand. When you are done- adorn the walls and take a moment to look and comment on the whole of the project. Ask: What do you see here? I see God’s masterpiece within you! What do you see in one another’s work?

Still-way too often women hide their own talents and gifts in deference to serving those around them….or they feel they have nothing to offer.

The truth is- –
*No circumstance, mistake, problem or weakness is so big, that it can remove God’s unique expression of Himself in you.

blue butterfly

“Why?”, you ask.
Because God’s work of art in you is sealed with the Holy Spirit from the moment you became His. God’s work of art is insured by His love.
The amazing thing is this: God puts the brush in your hands and invites you to paint every day upon your canvas.

Don’t be mistaken. God is not afar away observer. He inspires us from within — by reshaping our hearts and renewing our minds.  You and I have a part in this growing art: to nurture our interests and rekindle our giftings. It is time to start living as God’s work of art. Because you are exactly that.

“For we are God’s masterpiece (the original Greek word poema is translated “poem“), created in the Messiah Jesus to do good works that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.” Ephesians 2:10

Don’t discount that voice inside you, the one you were born to speak in — whether you do it through writing, photography, cooking or engineering, teaching, crafting and anything else.

rainbow butterfly watercolor

DIY Customizeable THEME Banners & Printables 4 yr EVENTS!

A Boquet of DIY Crochet face-cleansing flowers.

A DIY Original pattern for our CROCHET enthusiasts: I love projects that make sense and can be used daily.  Below I share an Eco-friendly little makeup removal flower that you crochet. These are so easy that you will crochet a pile of them out of your cotton sports weight yarn scraps. They make wonderful gifts. I crochet about 10 of them for girlfriend gifts and place them in a toile 4×6 gift bag- so cute.

Crochet mini face cleaning pads

They save your washcloths- look sweet filling a bowl in your bathroom, and are simply thrown in with your laundry along with your wash. 

For this project you will need:
US Size D Crochet Hook. 3.0 mm.
Sport weight cotton yarn scraps– Using sport weight creates a smaller, tighter make up removal flower.

To download the pattern as a pdf: click on the link below;
Eco -Garden Make up Removing Flowers

Tip: These can be made with one solid color yarn for your entire flower– or you can change colors on each row. Pictured are a variety of petals using the same pattern, but alternating colors of cotton yarns on rows 2,3 or 4.

DIRECTIONS:

Row 1: ch 4, sl st into 1st chain to form loop.
Row 2: ch 2 (forms 1st dc). 11 dc, sl st into 1st dc space.
Row 3: ch 1, 2 sc in each dc of previous row (24 sc). Sl st into1st sc space.
Row 4: *5 dc in 2nd space from sl st, sl st in 2nd space to complete petal (shell). Repeat from * 5 times (6 petals total). Tie off and weave in ends.

Summertime DIY French Garden Tins

Summer is in the air and the idea of creating your own French Garden inspires thoughts of beauty and adventure.   Summerrtime tins

This Summertime DIY French Garden Tins project upcycles “throw-away gift tins” and adds beauty for minimal cost.

I am an avid THRIFT STORE NUT & after seeing this idea; I ran to our local thrift stores to find these tins in various sizes. I paid .25 to 1.00 gathering up a collection of tins a few at a time. Using either silks or fresh flowers- fill your tins and set atop a mirror or cloth napkin. You can make one, or fill an entire event center with groupings of this little masterpieces.  Warning: Addictive DIY Project.

Why- I’m proud of you!
YOU ARE A GENIUS!

thrifty too!

Hidden Treasure: Thoughtful, Impactful Reading

An important read for women in ministry.  Authored by Major Leanne Ruthven, bringing together experience and studies, and voices that are honest,  written with wisdom and boldness.   This could be used as an online bible study for officers.

Hidden Treasure

Read #HiddenFigures? Now read #HiddenTreasure
Salvation Army officer-women share the joys and frustrations of leadership in the church. Now available on NOOK, Kindle and in hard copy athttp://commerce.salvationarmy.org.au/
#empowerwomen #itsnotrocketscience

Pinecone Candles DIY Simply Wonderful

Add a beautiful DIY element to your Christmas programs.
Drawn to the simplicity of these Christmas decorations, I wanted to share them as a TO-DO for your group as well as adding a lovely devotional thought. Teach-Worship-Create.
Pinecone candles
CREATE:
Using a kitchen shears-or smaller garden pruning shears (make a few calls to have several available for your program). Cut the top half off of your pine-cones, one at a time. I suggest lining your work area with a plastic garbage bag or table cover. Using a Hot glue gun-glue in your tea lights and it is just that simple. Line them down the center of a table, group them, or give them as fits. Be sure to use the tea-lights with the hardened plastic insert. For those hosting large events- this may be just what you are looking for.

GROUP ACTIVITY:
Have each person share a situation in their life which seemed “IMPOSSIBLE” at the time, but each must also acknowledge God’s work in that situation. Allow each person just a minute or two- Be a gracious “director” here.

DEVOTION:
Alas, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too hard or too wonderful for You.
~ Jeremiah 32:17(AMP)

Today we have each been part of creating the impossible- A pine-cone that when it’s candle is lit- glows, showing the beauty of the flame. Traditionally when one lights a pine-cone on fire people scatter and call the fire department! You have contained the power of the fire, redirecting its energy. Impossible? Of course not.
Now if you want to hear about IMPOSSIBLE- Read about the parting of Red Sea, the fiery furnace of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, a virgin birth, the raising of Lazarus and all the other miracles recorded in the Bible. We serve a God who works in the realm of the impossible every day.
No matter how impossible we see the situation we’re in today, or how hopeless and difficult the road ahead seems to be, there is a truth that reaches through to where you are today – a promise that our God sees what we don’t see, and He works the whole thing out and brings us through. God sees possibilities in our impossibilities – for with God nothing is impossible.
It seems hard for us to completely trust Him when our world is crashing in around us, but as we grow in our relationship we trust…more today, more tomorrow…more in the future because of the faithfulness of this One who was born, lived and died so that we could be forgiven and restored with our Loving Father.

Today, let’s pray…holding one another up as they go through their own difficult life circumstances- We must learn to take our eyes off the circumstances and look to Jesus. Joy, knowing the faithfulness of our Savior.