Strong Women Wednesday – Sarah Slamar
I am beyond excited to introduce you to my friend Sarah. I have always admired her heart for the Lord and I got to see first hand how He has created a servant heart in her. Sarah is one of the director’s for our church’s Mom Time group and I’m continually left in awe by her desire to serve other moms. I hope you will be as blessed to get to know her as I have been.
KE: Tell me about yourself
SS: As I approach my golden birthday this coming Monday (I know…kind of a big deal, right?), I can’t help but feel incredibly blessed. I have a great little family including: Micah -my hard working, spontaneous husband of 6 1/2 years, Chelsea – my spunky, strong, and sweet 5 year old, and Brody – my dirt-lovin, energetic mamas-boy . I am a stay at home mom, and even though I am an optimistic girl, I am almost always exhausted from my little people. My family is a great joy, even though they all drive me crazy at times. It’s amazing to see how God gives my kids unique personalities, and I can’t wait to watch my little ones grow and do big things for Him.
My family and friends are super important to me. I love, LOVE meeting new people and making new friends. I try to be hospitable, and have a desire for making others feel welcomed.
I currently enjoy co-directing Mom Time at Fox River Christian Church; this ministry has helped me grow so much as a mom, and I am so thankful to serve on the team.
I love to create things…anything from small crafts to planning big events. I never thought of myself as a creative person, but I really do enjoy seeing a project come together. I have been blessed to serve with a great group of friends for the last four years, planning a variety of events at church, and it’s something I absolutely love!
I might have a bit of a shopping problem… but I am always on the lookout for a good deal -rummages, thrift stores, or target clearance are my favorites 🙂 There’s just something amazing about taking something and making it new again – whether it’s crafting or shopping!
Speaking of making new again – I have a personal relationship with Jesus, and I am thankful to be on this journey with Him at my side. I am really good at trusting God with the big things in life, but continually working on handing over my daily thoughts, struggles, and plans to Him. Fox River Christian Church has been my church home for almost 10 years, and has provided me many opportunities to serve and connect with others.
KE: What book are you reading right now?
SS: Reading? Well I can tell you what I should be reading – Unglued by Lisa TerKerust. I read this years ago, and I keep thinking about how it applies so well to my current life endeavors. This would be a great one to start up in the New Year 😉
KE: Do you have a favorite song that has helped you through a tough time?
SS: Yes – Music is so important to me -so much can be expressed and felt through music. The acoustic version of “Reach” by Peter Furler has been so humbling for me. It helps me remember that when everything around me is unpredictable, I have a God that reaches for me and wants me no matter what. My favorite lyrics are “I fall again and again but you whisper you’re still mine, you feel the pain of the world but you never push mine aside.” The song helps bring me down a notch and think about my place in God’s Kingdom and what I can do for Him. I find through life, that shifting perspective to the “big picture” or eternal perspective helps keep me in check, and that’s what this song does for me.
KE: How do you define strength, and what does it look like in your life?
SS: Well when I think of the literal meaning of strength, I think about obedience, perseverance, and positive thinking. But I also can’t help but think more out of the box with this one- and I dare to say, strength is grace. It seems so contradictory, but I really believe that a strong woman has grace flowing into her life from Jesus, and in return extends grace to others. Humbling yourself to receive and extend grace daily takes A LOT of strength. Sometimes it means setting aside our own personal desires, our time, our emotions, and so on. But because the effects of grace are so powerful and life changing, I have to believe that it takes strength, and a lot of it!
KE: As you know, strong faith is the focus of my ministry/website. But, it can be hard to maintain a strong faith when life gets real messy. What do you do to keep your relationship with Jesus as strong as possible?
SS: What helps me lately with growing relationship with Jesus, is 1)having a thankful attitude and continually giving the praise to Him. 2) Picking a word or a verse or two and asking God to speak to me through the verse in my life.
Last week I was working on various crafts for my home and to give as Christmas presents. I kept thinking of the word “Create”. I wanted to use this somehow, but I wanted more. I thanked God for my desire to create things, and asked Him to speak to me on this. He brought to my mind Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” I was actually amazed by this, because I had been praying about one thing – creativity – and He revealed so much more to me. Don’t you just love when that happens? I have been struggling with my patience… or lack there of, with my kids lately, and also with reacting instead of responding in love. This verse that God placed on my heart reminded me that if I surrender my struggles to Him, He will renew a steadfast spirit within me. Taking just one word and praying about it can make a big difference!
KE: Managing a household is hard. Whether you work full-time, stay home, are single, married or have 8 kids; women often feel like they are just surviving each day. What advice would you give to women to help them strengthen their family?
SS: I find that my family is the strongest when we are able to have fun together. Sometimes it’s planned – a dinner out, or a trip to somewhere special as a family… but I find that if we can really be present in an ordinary moment together, this is when we really connect and feel like a family. I’m not going to lie, this takes effort!
Most of the time there are so many things I “could be doing” or “need to get done”, but life is short, and we can’t let too many opportunities to pour into others pass us by. I have little ones at home, so for me, I’ve had to learn to let go of control a little bit. Maybe it’s letting them help with dishes – even if I have to rewash everything again. Maybe it’s letting everything on my to-do list wait, and get on the floor to play… or dance around like a lunatic…or just talk with them face to face. After moments like this, everyone is a little happier because someone took time for them. It makes sense, it’s just not always easy or convenient. But if we really want to have a strong family, we have to start with being present!
KE: Depending on your definition of strength, “strong body” can mean something different to everyone. What healthy habits do you incorporate into your daily schedule to help keep your body strong?
SS: My focus on “strong body” is lacking a bit, but I do try to make healthy choices. I am big on essential oils, and I feel they’ve helped me maintain good health in general. I love dancing, and even though I don’t coach or dance anymore, enjoy hip hop or Zumba workout DVDs. I also am very aware of what is in the food I eat – I try to eat things with natural ingredients, no preservatives, and so on.
KE: What do you feel is the difference between relying on your own strength and relying on God’s strength?
SS: Relying on my own strength is just a big headache, and waste of time. And seriously, that’s what I feel like … when I rely on my own strength, I let my problems and struggles consume me, and it brings on headaches, bitterness, emotions, anger, and other not so great things. Relying on God’s strength takes pure trust and faith. But honestly, there is such a peace about giving your cares to the Lord with open hands. To me, humbling myself to a position that say “I need you, and I can’t do this alone” can shift my whole outlook and save me from going down a dark road.
KE: Would you mind sharing something you have struggled with and telling us how you used God’s strength to get you through?
SS: I struggle quite a bit with wondering and caring what other people think about me. This is a huge insecurity of mine. I can also be a people-pleaser and I tend to worry about others feelings. A friend shared with me that I am not responsible for what others think, or for their emotions or responses. I am only responsible for mine. After thinking about this, I have made this my prayer, and asked for God’s strength in this area. Handing it over to God, and praying for Him to help me take responsibility for my own thoughts, emotions, and reactions, has been HUGE! It’s also a matter of finding my assurance in Him, and truly believing that I am Loved by God right where I am. It has freed my mind from going places that aren’t helpful, and places that just breed bitterness towards others. God’s strength is so much bigger than mine, and always better. This struggle is one that I have to hand over to God time and time again, but when I do, I can feel His working in me.
KE: Do you have a favorite Bible verse you could share with us and could you explain what it means to you?
SS: Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “Everything is made beautiful in His time” This verse is so special to me. I find time and again in my life, God’s timing is perfect, and so many times I’ve experienced His blessings with things in my life AFTER I’ve surrendered them to Him and trusted His plan. For instance, my husband and I said we did not want to have kids until at least 5 years into our marriage and after solid careers. Well, I got pregnant when I was 22, after being married for 7 months. This was so unplanned and shocking. It’s interesting, because we had these plans for our family, but God showed us Who is really in control. Looking back over the last 5 years, I can see how having kids when we did has been such a God thing.
KE: If you could share one message with every woman who is willing to listen, what would it be?
SS: Make the most of your life. God gives us opportunities, but we have to take the steps and trust! I used to be a little rebellious and have a YOLO attitude, but now that I have a relationship with Jesus, I see that you can really live life to the fullest by walking with God and joining Him in furthering His Kingdom here on Earth. I know this is scary, but life is an adventure! And it’s not about us. Give a little bit of yourself, whether it’s your time, your talent, your story… don’t keep it to yourself. You will be so blessed by walking with God and doing BOLD things for Him!
KE: Where do you feel like God is leading you next?
SS: I know God wants me to put more energy into my kids and family right now, and really be present with them. I have a heart for moms, and will continue to serve at Mom Time, where I am able to plan and organize, and direct a team of amazing women. I know God is also calling me to dig deeper into His Word and be more obedient with daily quiet time.
KE: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
SS: If you’re a mom in the Milwaukee area, and haven’t tried out Mom Time, we’d love to have you join us! It’s a place to connect with other moms, grow spiritually, and learn about parenting in today’s world. You can learn more at www.foxriverchristian.org
Thanks for sharing your heart with us Sarah. I can’t wait to continue to get to know you and see what God has in store for you next. I pray that each and every one of you has a Merry Christmas. I encourage you to take some time to exhale and remember the true reason for the season. He came for us!!!!
Stay tuned next week as I have the privilege to interview someone who is an expert in the field of fitness and nutrition. You won’t want to miss it!
In His Strength,