If any of you have been following me for a while (and I'm talking about five years or more) you might remember Christian Women Online Magazine. For those of you who don't remember, let me tell you about it.
It started out as a little writing project between myself and a few of my writing friends. I wasn't expecting much, just a small group blog where we could share our articles.
Then I got this idea. This BIG idea. Why not set it up like a magazine? I could publish it once a month along with a magazine cover that featured a new guest each month.
The cover was full size and the links were clickable. The second page of the website was also full of clickable links.
The purpose of the magazine was to unite women of faith. There were so many of us online, but we were quite disconnected at the time. And so I got to work on my little project. Every writer had her own column with topics ranging from homeschool to cooking and every thing in between.
Within a few months we started to notice that this little project was bigger than any of us dreamed it would be. Readers loved it and kept coming back. It was unique because there weren't a lot of online magazines or group blogs out there at the time. It was different, it was fun, and it was deeply rooted in truth. (I loved that part!)
Before I knew it we were hosting the world's largest blogroll. I know it was the largest because it surpassed the capabilities of the service I was using by thousands. Bloggers wanted to be connected and CWO was at the hub of it all.
It was there that I met Candace Cameron Bure. After interviewing her for one of our covers, Candace and I became fast friends, she joined the team, and later we co-authored her book, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness.
Also on the writing team was best-selling author Ann Voskamp, who introduced us to One Thousand Gifts.
We started a sister site which is now known as Internet Cafe Devotions. We were busy little bloggers, weren't we? ;)
You know what the coolest thing in all of this was? God's grace. I wasn't cut out to be an editor or lead a team of incredible authors, but He was and He did. I wanted to be a writer, but I wasn't anywhere near the place I needed to be to step into this ministry. Again, He was and He did.
The thing is that God doesn't need us to accomplish His will, He's fully capable of doing that on His own. But what He wants is the ability to work through His people. He desires fellowship with us, therefore He calls us to be His hands and His feet. Not by our strength alone, but by His mighty Spirit that works through us.
Consider the life of Moses who lacked confidence
David who was merely a boy facing a giant
Paul who said, "And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling."
And Peter who failed Jesus by denying he knew him
God didn't choose these men because they were equipped for His mission, He chose them because He desired to use them for His glory.
So the next time you're standing there facing a giant, simply ask yourself if you're ready and willing to respond to His call. It's not your ability He desires, it's your obedience.
It is not my ability, but my response to God's ability that counts. - Corrie Ten Boom
You are loved by an almighty God,
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P.S. I know that some of you are going to ask why I ever stepped down. The reason is that after about three years, I felt that it was time to move on. Most, if not all of the writers did too. God was leading us in different directions and we just knew it was time.
P.S.S. This week I had the privilege of reconnecting with one of my fellow writers from CWO. Shelly Ballestero wrote a column called "Beauty by God." She was and is the sweetest girl ever. I used to enjoy emailing back and forth with her and chatting over the phone, but somehow we both got busy with life and lost touch.
Shortly after we stepped away from CWO, Shelly discovered that her son had cancer. Unfortunately their lives have gone through the fire over the past couple of years.
Shelly writes, "Life is full of beautiful truth in the most unlikely places. Some of those places force us to walk through the roughest sharp of the journey. This has been the unfolding of our family's one and a half year, one day at time testing of the outer limits of faith as we walk through our oldest son's, Angelo Jr., diagnosis with Osteogenetic Sarcoma (in layman’s terms, bone cancer) complicated with an extremely rare bone marrow failure syndrome--Diamond Blackfan Anemia. In our sons case, chemo caused the tumor to grow and then the unthinkable happened...amputation above the knee."
Please keep Shelly's family and her son Angelo in your prayers.
Read more about their story at Shelly's website, My Beautiful Truth.