Back to Basics: Authentic Community

Hello, my name is Gina and I…

Lately the ladies in our office have been discussing sharing and how important it is to share your life with others. Not just what you did over the weekend or the latest thing your child did, but real, authentic sharing. Sharing of struggles and hurts and dreams that did not come true. It’s easy to share our wins with others but why is it hard to share our struggles? Why is it that we always want to put on a front and not be real with the community that God has put around us?

Ladies, there is someone out there who has struggled with infertility, who has lost a job, whose filed for bankruptcy, whose husband has left them, whose child is away from God, whose loved one has an addiction to drugs, pain killers, pornography, or alcohol, who has suffered a miscarriage, who is battling depression or another mental illness, who has a child with special needs, who has post-partum depression, who is struggling with having an empty nest home, whose spouse has cheated on them, who is caring for an aging parent, who has been physically or mentally abused, who has an eating disorder, who has had an abortion or an unplanned pregnancy, who is struggling with being single, who is lonely, who is grieving the death of a child, who is in an unhappy marriage – the list could go on and on. We all have stories to tell.


Our Father doesn’t want us to keep these hurts and struggles bottled up inside and hidden from the world – I believe He wants us to share so we can help others and bring Him glory. Your struggle is part of your story, your testimony and your journey with Him. You never know what someone else has walked through but how are we to know who that person is unless you share? Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]” (emphasis mine).

Since this topic first came up in my life it has come up in many conversations the past few weeks and I have seen people talking about it on social media. I keep going back to work and saying – “guess what I talked about with so and so today – sharing”! I believe that the Lord can really heal our hearts and bond us together through this.

We need to embrace the community that God has placed in our life. This community is there to lift you up and pray for you when you are struggling and having a hard time. Community is there to call you out (in love of course), community is there to make sure you are not alone – Satan wants nothing more than to isolate you and make you think you are the only one. You do not have to be overwhelmed alone! There is wholeness and transformation when we share our stories with each other. Galatians 6:2: Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.


Pastor Pete Scazzero says, “The church is hopefully the place where people can come and it’s safe. We want to be in a place where we admit we are broken, we are vulnerable and we are authentic. If we really believe in grace, we can come out of hiding and hopefully be something that will make the world a little thirsty for Christ. Without transparency I’m not sure we have much to offer the world.”

Ladies, we need each other and it is so important to never stop sharing the stories…your story…my story…so let’s not stop. Keep sharing, keep loving, keep encouraging and keep talking to people around you.

I’ll start it – Hello, my name is Gina and in January I had a miscarriage. What’s your story?

Christ Centered Easter Resources for Kids


by Gina Mayfield

I don’t know about you – but I am always looking for resources to point our 2 1/2 year old to Jesus and show her the real meaning behind Easter. So, I began to scour the internet to see what I could find to help me in my parenting journey, here are a few things I have found…

Family Devotional:

Trail to the Tree: a devotional book for families written by Ann Voskamp

Activities and Crafts:

3e1b594a4fb40d7e20219bf48e1f201cResurrection Eggs: Each egg in this one dozen set includes a meaningful object that helps teach the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. You can also create your own eggs instead of buying them in a package. Here are a few resources – Motherhood on a Dime for Preschoolers, From Tots to Teens, and Day to Day Joys.

Create a Holy Week Calendar

Easter Breakfast Resurrection Rolls – make these with your family on Easter morning

He died…for me – an easy, yet powerful reminder

The Jelly Bean Prayer – a prayer jar filled with jelly beans

Cross Crafts

Crown of Thorns Snack

Holy Week and Easter Activities for the Whole Family – this is a series from Focus on the Family

Books & Music:

61moihaxiql-_sx258_bo1204203200_God Gave Us Easter

Jesus Storybook Bible

The Parable of the Lily

Benjamin’s Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs

Seeds of Easter by Seeds Family Worship

So, help a new mom out, what resources do you use to point your children to the real meaning of Easter? I’d love to hear them!

Unrealistic Expectations

by Gina Mayfield

Recently we celebrated my daughter’s second birthday party. As a lot of moms do I began scouring the internet at party planning blogs and Pinterest to get ideas on what kind of theme to do. After a lot of searching I settled on a milk and cookies theme – cute and simple…or so I thought. I mean, how hard can it be to bake cookies and buy milk – right? pinterestlogo2With the help of ladies from work I gathered my cute containers (similar to the ones I had seen on Pinterest) and set out to plan my menu for the perfect milk and cookies party! I settled on eight different types of cookies, three types of milk, Oreo ice cream dessert and a birthday cake. Easy peasy…or so I thought.

As I was settling into the cookie baking I decided to start with chocolate chip cookies. I set out with my Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe and my mixer and went to baking. When I pulled them out of the oven – it was a giant cookie mess! They were not cookies, they were more of a cookie sheet as they had all combined together. I tried again and sat by the oven to watch – same result, tried again, same. I thought maybe it was the recipe so I decided to try another chocolate chip cookie recipe and that didn’t work either. At that point, I was losing it! It was over – I was not going to be able to pull this party off. I might as well go and purchase cookie dough. I threw those in the garbage and started on my other cookies and thankfully they all turned out well….and my chocolate chip cookies were made from cookie dough.



As I was having my cookie debacle the Lord began to speak to me, ” Gina – you have let impressing others with your cute party make you lose sight of everything. Lose sight of honoring and celebrating your little girl, lose sight of having people in your home and entertaining them and lose sight of Me. I have called you to love Me and love others not impress others with your parties”.

I know I am not the only one has let social media make you a crazy mess! But, why do we do it? Why do we make ourselves crazy in order to impress others? Why do we let comparison creep up on us? Why do we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves? 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. We need to be authentic with each other and stop the ugly comparison game. Some people can pull off gourmet meals and smock beautiful dresses and that is ok if I cannot do that. Instead of slamming myself for not being able to do that I can thank God for the gifts He has blessed those ladies with and thank Him for the gifts He has given me. My focus should be serving my family and friends but most of all be transformed into His image.

I’m learning that it’s often the little things that speak love to my friends and family most. It’s abandoning the dishes to play with my little girl. It’s making myself stay up late and watch that football game with my husband. It’s an impromptu visit to the park with friends. It’s being available.

While I’ll still try to make things pretty and creative, it’s not going to be my focus. My goal every day should be to show love to my friends and family instead of planning that Pinterest spectacular birthday party. When I am faced with the temptation to compare myself to the glories of others, I’m going to contemplate on the glory of God instead.