I haven’t written in a while but please don’t take that to mean nothing worth writing has happened; that couldn’t be further from the truth. But rather than trying to fill you in on all that Jesus has done in my life in the last six weeks, I would like to introduce you to Lyla.
It is no secret that Jesus is my BFF but even in knowing that; I asked for more. I wanted girlfriends in Jesus….but I digress. I didn’t even know what girlfriends in Jesus were but that didn’t matter; Jesus continued to bring women into my life even if we had just one thing in common….Him. I have been sooo blessed to have women come along in my Christian journey; some that are still there as they have been since the beginning and others that were there for a week or a month….or even just an hour.
Since moving to Nineveh…ahem, Oklahoma; I have experienced an abundance of Lylas. Lylas means simply; Love ya like a sister….in Jesus. My definition of Lyla is also quite simple: I see Lyla as a modern day Proverbs 31 Woman; the woman that we can only hope to try and measure up to and the woman that has so many amazing qualities, it is impossible for one woman to attain. BUT…. Lyla takes the best qualities that each one of us have and together we make ONE pretty amazing person. Lyla is the epitome of who we can ALL be in Him. Lylas is about strengthening our relationships with Jesus while creating friendships with each other.
Recently I decided to create a group on Facebook called Owasso Lylas. (Owasso is the real name for Nineveh and where Jesus moved me to just a few months ago. For the record; Owasso means “Trails End”… how appropriate). It was a Wednesday night about 9pm and the inviting of one woman and then another began; each woman also sharing this group with friends from their own Facebook account. Within an hour we were up to 50 women. After 3 hours we had over 100. By Friday morning, we were nearly 250 strong. Jesus wasted no time in making His presence felt and in between the networking for one small home business or another, the prayer requests popped up; the needs for a Christmas tree or help with dinners were met, and the planning of a fundraiser for a complete stranger in our community overfilled our hearts.
I knew why interacting with Lylas meant so much to me but I couldn’t help asking what others were getting from the group and that is where this blog began. I wanted to not only acknowledge their appreciation for what this group of Christian women had to offer, I wanted to show them what Jesus had to say about it. I wanted to show them the relevance to their response from the bible; a collection of 66 books that were written for us to refer to in daily life. We are just doing what the bible shows us to do. This is what Jesus and I came up with.
The question: What do you ladies enjoy about this group? What does it mean to be a Lyla for you?
Jenny: The fellowship, the sense of community, the passion for Christ…I love that when there is a need, there are a minimum of 10 Lylas all over it.
1 Thessalonians 5:11…. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Lena: The fellowship and concern for others
1 Thessalonians 5:13-14…. “Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peach with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
Ashley: The willingness to help, and the love that just beams off this page and the members.
Matthew 5:14-16…. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Mary: Watching Christ at work. We are truly His hands and feet and I can already see the camaraderie and love that just saying “I’m a Lyla” can bring. Knowing it’s having someone’s back and the comfort that they would have yours too if ever the need were to arise.
1 Corinthians 12:24-26…. “But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
Kendra: I feel a sense of peace that I have not felt in a long time. I have been “Lylas-ing” for days and can’t get enough. This whole group makes me want to be closer to God and I want that so much. I want Christian friends in my life and I really hope all of you can help me remember that I need Him in my life. Gidget, thank you for this group and bringing these ladies together. Who knew there was such amazing people left to befriend out there?
John 15:12-15…. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Jodi: I love that there is a place for people to go, especially those of us that are new in town, to ask for help and know there is someone to be there. Somewhere to go where there are like-minded women who will be there for those who are in need, abundantly. Somewhere to go where women with Christian values can support each other through our businesses and personal lives, both triumphs and challenges.
Philippians 2:1-5…. “If you have any encouragement from being united in Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”
Shala: All of the above. I think Jesus is shining through this group and that is what draws us together. It’s so amazing that I can’t explain it but I know I don’t have to because you all feel it too.
Matthew 18:18-20…. “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven. Again, I truly tell you that if two on earth agree on anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.”
Missy: I love knowing that there is a place I can come to ask for prayer and have no doubt that people are all over it. I love the feeling of knowing there are people praying when I need it! I also love being supportive to others and having them support me! If/when my son gets sick again, this will be the first place I come.
James 5:13-16…. “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Alyson: I love the enthusiasm and passion for others; prayer, meeting needs, going the extra mile and just intentional acts of Christian love. I love seeing busy women making time for others. It is beautiful!
1Peter 3:8.13-15…. “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have”
Lacey: The support I’ve gotten is amazing! I love prayer sisters as well as how we show love for others in need. Amazing women!
Ecclesiastes 4:10-12…. “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Robyn: The complete love for Christ, each other, and total strangers!
Matthew 25:40…. “The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Patty: Personally, I have loved a novel series called “Yada Yada Sisters.” Remarkable stories based on truth about a group of Christian women who meet at a conference and become the best of friends regardless of financial, racial, or religious backgrounds. I have prayed for a piece of that in my life. I am hoping beyond hope that this group is the answer.
Colossians 3:12-14…. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And above all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity.”
Sara: I love having friends! Keeps me from being lonely. Everybody is so kind hearted and helpful. It’s like having a big family. It gives me something to look forward to everyday.
Genesis 28:15…. “I am with you and I will watch over you wherever you go. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Philippians 4:4-9…. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent and praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Sibbie: I am just addicted to this group. I love that I can meet and talk with such fierce women who share my interests and the sense of belonging, not to mention the kind, caring hearts you all have.
2 Corinthians 7:2-4…. “Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.”
It is my wish that these Lylas named above don’t mind my sharing of their stories of hope, belonging, love, and need. I wanted you to get to know a few of the women that I call friends; some I have met in real life and others that that I have yet to meet but pray for daily nonetheless. I haven’t had a relationship with Jesus that long; celebrating two years in October BUT He chose me nonetheless. “….but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16
I know that I am living a fruitful life because Jesus forgave me. I want nothing more than to be the juiciest, most colorful fruit that Nineveh has ever seen. Okay….maybe I do want more. I want to inspire others to be juicy fruits and to show others what being a Lyla is all about; more than a secret handshake or a wink could ever imply. This is a sorority of Christian women that want to grow in Him and inspire others to do the same.
This is why I moved to Nineveh.