WOMEN'S MINISTRY RESOURCES

FAQs

Weather Policy for Women's Events

(except MOPS and Phase 2 – see below)
Because we are on the border of Littleton and Highlands Ranch, our weather-related cancellation/closure policy is as follows:

If either Littleton Public School District and/or ALL of Douglas County School District announces closures, we will cancel events. You can also check news channels, or call our office at 303.794.3564 for weather-related closure or event cancellation.

If either Littleton Public School District and/or ALL of Douglas County School District announces a delay in school starting time, our Bible Studies will begin on time, with attendees getting to Bible study as they are able.

Weather Policy for MOPS & Phase 2
If either Littleton Public School District and/or ALL of Douglas County School District announces a closure or a delay in school starting time, MOPS and Phase 2 programs will not meet.

Spring Break Closures
During the week of March 20 – 26, 2016, Mops, Phase 2, and Bible Studies will not meet.

Women's Ministry Facebook Groups
Childcare Policy

Doors will open for check-in 15 minutes before each meeting is scheduled to begin.

Please check in your child at a computer check-in station to receive a name tag for your child and a guardian receipt that will be used for pick-up.

If your child is bottle-fed, nursing, or potty training, before checking in, please be certain to pick up a sticker reminder to help us better care for your child. Stickers can be found at a table in the lobby of The Barn or at the Guest Service Desk in Sidewalk. The stickers will inform our workers of details regarding feeding and/or alert them that a child in their care is potty training.

To avoid any unnecessary accidents, we ask that you take your child to the bathroom before dropping them off at their assigned classroom.

Please pick up your child no later than 10 minutes after your meeting has been dismissed.

Please bring the following items with your child and make sure each item is labeled:
• Diaper (no cloth diapers) and change of clothes
• Bottle if needed, with mixing instructions
• Pacifier
• Blanket or comfort item

If your child is potty training, make sure they have a potty training sticker and communicate that to the classroom greeter. Please provide a labeled bag with a pull-up and change of clothes, as accidents do happen.

For snacks, we provide Cheerios for infants and apples and pretzels for toddlers and older. Please notify the workers if your child is not able to have one of these items, due to allergies, and provide an alternative snack (clearly labeled in a baggie, with their first and last name). We ask that you not bring squeeze pouches or food requiring a utensil. No nuts, please.

To protect the health of families and staff, we ask that you do not bring children with the following symptoms:

• Fever
• Persistent cough
• Unexplained rashes
• Thick or green runny nose
• Pink eye or other eye infections
• Vomiting or diarrhea

In the event you realize your child may have been contagious with a serious illness after they have been in our care, please contact Kid’s Ministry so we can notify our families.

Should you need to be reached with regard to your child, we will text message your cell phone with the location where you are needed. If you do not have a cell phone with you, please let the classroom greeter know of your location so we can locate you.

If you have any questions, please contact Tina Harkess, Childcare Coordinator.

I have another question

Still have questions about who we are or what to expect when you get here? Just let us know and we would love to connect with you personally.

Janet Carter // Women’s Ministry Executive Director
Stacey Stafford // Administrative Assistant | Prayer | Outreach | Events
Christie Haworth // Administrative Assistant | MOPS | Phase 2

WOMEN’S MINISTRY DEVOTIONALS

April 2018 // A Fruitful Summer

A FRUITFUL SUMMER

By Sharon Sands

The evening sun inches across our west facing front porch and sets the stage for yet another glorious sunset.  Summer evenings often find our family on that tiny porch…ice cream, watermelon, laughter, conversation… These summer porch evenings feel like a wonderful exhale after whatever busy activities the day held.  As the sun sinks behind the mountains and the warm blanket of a summer night enfolds us, we linger, not wanting that sweet time to end.

Summertime…oh how I adore the changing of seasons!  Each season holds its own treasure and summer’s bounty is no different!  Fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance at a Farmer’s Market, pool toys and the smell of chlorine and sunscreen…hammocks, firepits, cricket songs, s’mores, vacations…the list is endless.

As with any season, summer has its own pace…certainly slower at times, but there can also be those incredibly full days when activities overtake us, that sense of urgency to pack as much fun as possible into these long, warm days!

Summertime is known for being a time of growth.  Gardens flourish, lawns become green and lush…But may I confess to you that more than once, I have rounded the corner from summer into fall with the realization that my own spiritual growth has come up short, that my time with the Lord and time in His Word, has been crowded out.

Looking at this summer…the Summer of 2018, I’d like to be more intentional about nurturing my heart as any “good gardener” should do!

Isaiah 43:19

“Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”

Notice how the Lord says, “Behold, I will do something new…”  He is calling us to come up out of the ordinary!  I love this quote:

“…the Bible declares that God has made a way, carved a road to lead you and positioned rivers of provision to refresh you.

‘If anyone thirsts, let him COME to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.’ – John 7:38 (MSG)

So much is on the horizon, so much lies ahead…Taste and see what God is doing in your life, your church, or across the world and be amazed.” Brian C. Houston

As I read that, my appetite to grow in every season intensifies…I don’t want to bench myself during these summer months…I don’t want to miss a moment of the adventure!

I find that routine helps me stay faithful in the Word, and yet summer so easily messes up that regular rhythm.

So, this year, I am setting a new summer rhythm.  For the mornings, I am picking out a new devotional, Awaken, by Priscilla Shirer…something that will cause me to look with fresh eyes at Jesus!  I’ve also chosen a personal Bible study book to leisurely work through in the evenings (maybe on my front porch!) as the day is winding down.  Those two things will keep me digging in and nourishing my walk with Him.

But growth also comes from walking alongside one another!  Proverbs 27:17 reminds us, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Summer is a wonderful time to gather “walking buddies”. I find that those walks at sunrise or sunset can open up some sweet and even deep, heart conversations that draw my gaze upward, that fix my heart on heavenly things.

Finally, I have a wise friend, who picks THE MOST AMAZING books to read each summer!  Her selections include a few rich biographies of great men and women of faith…then some lighter reading that simply encourage her heart – books that keep the “soil” of her heart fertile and healthy!

What are your plans for a fruitful summer? I’d sure love to hear from you so that we can encourage one another during this fruitful season!  ssands@missionhills.org

About Sharon Sands

Sharon is well acquainted with the different seasons of life. As a single woman involved in student ministry for 11 years she worked with students in Heidelberg, West Germany, Texas and Arkansas. At the age of 31, Sharon married a wonderful man and then the Lord blessed them with five children. Sharon is now the Executive Director of Passionate Heart Ministries and Mission Hills Women’s Associate Director. She nurtures women in ministry across the U.S. She has a passion to equip, nurture and encourage all women in their pursuit of Christ!

January 2018 // Walking with Hindsight

WALKING WITH HINDSIGHT

By Coletta Smith

We sat together… waiting for tomorrow to come. My dear friend, “Terri,” and I had sat here on her couch for many mornings, pleading with the Lord to do “whatever it takes” to bring her daughter back to Himself. We had watched as her anger fed a rebellion that came out in more and more new ways all of the time. But now, we sat together and waited for tomorrow, when a judge would announce what the future would hold for their dear girl.

It had been a year since a tragic accident had brought us all to Skyridge hospital to identify this young girl. We stood by as her parents, our dear friends, identified their daughter by a tattoo that only she could have had because the rest of her was damaged beyond recognition.

Now this waiting was coming to an end. When the judge’s gavel came down, announcing a seven-year sentence in a Colorado state prison, we wept. We wept deeply. But we didn’t grieve as those without hope. You see, during that year of waiting between the accident and her sentencing, we had watched as God slowly used this tragedy to turn a headstrong and hostile rebel into a young woman who longed to see God move in her as she sought His face and let Him rebuild her broken life. God began to fill the longing in her, numbed up until now by drugs, with a relationship with her Creator, the Lover of her soul.
God also began to change what she wanted from me. During that year of waiting, we started out sitting together in her driveway while she had a smoke and she’d come up with one shocking statement after another, just to see my reaction. But over time, they took on a new flavor. She began asking questions about how Jesus could give her a new start. After a while, she did something that truly shocked me. She walked into my kitchen and asked to be in a girl’s Bible Study that I led “so that I can grow as much as I can because I don’t think I have much time.”

Seeing the Worker of Miracles do His thing in her life during this past year would give us all the much-needed confidence to walk by faith in this seven-year journey that was ahead.

So even as we sat waiting for the judge’s decision, not knowing what the future held, Terri knew Who held the future. She knew that this same God who had worked to transform her daughter’s heart would hold her and keep her, no matter what came tomorrow.

We often walk fearfully because we don’t know what the future holds.

We think that if only we could see what was ahead and how God was going to “work through all things for our good,” then we might be able to walk with courage and confidence.

But what if it isn’t foresight that we lack… but hindsight?

What if godly courage doesn’t come from seeing what God will do, but rather intentionally remembering what God has done?

Over lunch, the other day, my husband, Craig, and I were talking about what it takes to walk with a God-centered confidence into the future. Ironically, we talked about walking backwards. Walking backwards is focusing on the surety of God’s faithfulness, based on His character and our experiences, instead of on the uncertainty of our circumstances and the future.

When we walk backwards, we can’t see what is ahead but instead have our focus on the places we’ve already walked. Since we can’t see the future anyway, we trust Him to lay out the path and set our feet where they should go. The confidence to put one foot in front of the other comes from seeing how He has guided in the past – and how He has been faithful where He has led. Here are some practical ways to do this:

MAKE A HABIT OF MONUMENT-MAKING

We are visual people who need constant reminders of how God has been faithful to us in the past. If your relationship with Jesus is new and you don’t feel like you have lots of examples yet, make a point to find someone who does. Listen to their stories and celebrate God’s faithfulness with them. Hearing how God has worked in someone else’s life inspires us to allow Him to work in ours. And if you have seen God be faithful, share those stories! Every time you do, Jesus’ name is lifted up. Here are some ideas for creating monuments to remind you:

Journaling – I’m not so good at this but have found that doing it on my laptop is way more practical than a written book

Creating a God-sightings wall (even post-its or a big piece of paper, have one day a week where you make a point to add to it)

Have everyone in your family find a rock that represents something God has done this past year and create “stones of remembrance” (see Joshua 4). We have a pile on the corner of our property that we made when we sent Rochelle off to college.

ESTABLISH A CONVICTION THAT GOD WORKS FOR HIS GREATEST GLORY AND OUR GREATEST GOOD

They are NOT mutually exclusive. He is always at work to accomplish both of these and they don’t compete with each other. Ruthlessly banish the lie that God is willing to sacrifice our good to accomplish His purposes.

BUILD THE PRACTICE OF LISTENING AND RESPONDING TO THE SPIRIT’S LEADING.

This has become a mantra in our family. The more I listen to the faintest hints of the Spirit’s leading, the more I obey. The more I obey, the louder He becomes and the more often I sense His leading and see Him move daily through my life to do crazy things I hadn’t even dreamt of.

We are headed into a new year. I don’t want to be the same person at the end of it as I am now. I want to see God lead me to new, terrifyingly wonderful places that I don’t even have a glimpse of today. I want to let Him transform my need to know, control, and determine by course into a faith-walk, based on the legacy of faithfulness that He has already built into my life. I want to let His faithfulness in my past provide the stepping stones for the risks He is calling me to take in the future. Don’t you? I’m looking forward to hearing your stories of God moving when you have made a point to listen to that still, small voice. Come tell me!! I’m around.

Oh, and I ran into Amber, the ex-rebel turned young mamma of two, yesterday at King’s Soopers. Her kiddos gave both my legs bear hugs and we caught up on what God has been doing in the last few months. My eyes got teary, as they always do, when He caused me to remember what a miracle He’d done in her life- transforming death to life, and ashes to beauty. When we hugged good-bye, I thanked God for putting that monument to His faithfulness, right there in the baking aisle next to the flour.

About Coletta Smith

Coletta Smith is married to Craig Smith, our Lead Pastor at Mission Hills Church. She has spent 25 years helping women get to know God through His Word and find their purpose in His Kingdom. She is passionate about coming alongside women as they pour into others. She and Craig have two teenage girls, Rochelle (18) and Lynae (15). She loves good questions, family time, making jewelry, hiking and skiing.

February 2018 // Wrinkles...the Story of our Lives

Wrinkles…the Story of our Lives

By Sharon Sands

Just want to share a couple of thoughts about wrinkles…those things we are told to fight, to moisturize, to conceal, to eradicate, to inject, to hide…hmmm!!

I do believe the cosmetic industry has come up with a great little plan! Shame women for having them, then offer hope for ridding themselves of them…for ONLY $39.95 plus S/H!

Yep, when I came into my mid 40′s, without realizing it, I had slipped right into that mindset…(well, no injections…but all the other good stuff!)

As much as I would say with my lips, “I want to grow old realistically!”,  with each new wrinkle discovery, my heart would be just a little bit sad and my femininity felt just a little bit shaken.  Not a lot…but a little…and I didn’t like that feeling!

I would stand in the cosmetic department staring at all the potions that were supposed to rid me of this “problem”…trying to decide which one, within my budget, would do the trick!

I remember in my 20′s, sometimes looking at an older woman, and, being very young and into outward appearance, I would notice an excess of wrinkles, and think to myself “Bless her heart!” (as if she had some sort of illness that we just needed to pray about together…or at the very least, help her find a better wrinkle cream!) It wasn’t really all that conscious of a thought…but the underlying sense was there.

I remember clearly the day  that I first, rather boldly, flipped my mirror to the magnified side, not something I usually did back then…and got a really good look at…(gulp) MY wrinkles!  I believe the first thought I had was,

“Bless my heart!”

There they were…the “mommy wrinkle” in the middle of my forehead…you know the one (I try to hide mine with my bangs!)…it’s vertical and it’s from when you furrow your brow and say things like, ‘You put WHAT down the toilet!?”  or “Who spray painted the inside of the refrigerator!?”

(It was silver paint, and the fumes hit me like an 18-wheeler when I opened the refrigerator door…the butter was also silver!) 

Yes, THAT wrinkle!

There are the ones around and under the eyes…

…and then, there are the hands! 

When I was younger, that was one thing people would compliment (go figure!) “You have such lovely hands!”   Now, 22 years into mothering 5 kids, changing approximately 20,000 diapers, washing dishes, etc…they are not quite as “lovely”!

So, I’ve been talking to the Lord about the “wrinkle issue” in recent years…about the fact that I am becoming the “older generation”…sitting across the table from younger women, wrinkles and all!  I have been asking Him for a “redemptive perspective” on it all!

A verse I have come to love is:

2 Corinthians 4:16 – “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”

(I know, decaying…ha!  No mincing of words here!!)

Then 2 Corinthians 3:18 goes on to talk about how we are daily being transformed into His image from “glory to glory”! 

LOVE IT!!!  HOPE!!!

So, I’ve begun to see my wrinkles a bit differently!  They show a bit of the story of my life…a forehead that has been AMAZED over and over at the challenge of raising 5 kids (ha! Isn’t that a great slant to put on it!?)

Eyes that have smiled and laughed, and cried and cared!

Hands that have served a family…

Through my life, I have had the privilege of having several amazing older women as mentors.  Precious women who deeply loved the Lord!  I remember sitting with them, gleaning so much good stuff from their authentic, mature, ignited hearts…seeing the twinkle in their eyes and LOVING their beautiful, glowing, wrinkled faces!!

I think of those dear women that impacted my life so deeply…some up close and personal, like a precious aunt, 2 amazing grandmas and my own sweet mom…As well as those who impacted me from a distance, Elisabeth Elliot, Corrie ten Boom, etc… Women that poured out their lives to love others…who felt things deeply, invested whole-heartedly, who weathered storms in a way that called the hearts of  others to look to Jesus…lovely, wrinkled women!

I also have thought about how, we don’t have much say over the fact that we WILL wrinkle, but we do get to choose HOW we wrinkle!  I want my wrinkles to be ones that show,

that I loved,

that I served,

that I felt things deeply,

…that I laughed…often!

…that I trusted and clung to Him through some incredibly tough times (I have a few of those already!)

I love beautiful candles…I really love them…the scent, the look…BUT, in the past I had a real “issue”…it was hard for me to want to burn them, because I didn’t want to wreck them! 

Candles were meant to give off light, heat, and a lovely scent…if we don’t burn them, they won’t do what they were intended to do…they remain lovely looking cold wax!

I have decided I do NOT want to do that with my life…holding back, preserving myself, for what?  SO that I look wonderful in my coffin!?!?!  No!  I want to finish this life like a little puddle of wax and a black wick on a plate…used up for His Name Sake!!

Oh, and trust me, I still stop at the cosmetic counter and buy my little bottle of cream…I want to keep “the story of my life” well moisturized!

About Sharon Sands

Sharon is well acquainted with the different seasons of life. As a single woman involved in student ministry for 11 years she worked with students in Heidelberg, West Germany, Texas and Arkansas. At the age of 31, Sharon married a wonderful man and then the Lord blessed them with five children. Sharon is now the Executive Director of Passionate Heart Ministries and Mission Hills Women’s Associate Director. She nurtures women in ministry across the U.S. She has a passion to equip, nurture and encourage all women in their pursuit of Christ!

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