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What's New:

  • The 2018 Conquer Conference: Be Brave, Grow Strong tickets are here. This event happening October 2018, will be amazing. You can click here for more information.

Invest in Yourself

By Leslie Vernick

For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:10

Do you feel guilty intentionally spending time, money and energy to nurture a gift God has placed inside of you? How about taking classes or going to school to develop skills to follow God’s calling in your life?

If so you are not alone. Many women feel it’s sinful investing in their own self. They believe or have been taught that it is selfish or self-centered to focus on themselves as a person outside of their roles as wife and mother.

Think back. In high school did you have a dream or desire to do something big? Have you longed to stretch yourself beyond the typical female roles of wife and mother but you’re so busy taking care of everyone else, you can’t prioritize your own dream?

Others never develop their gift because they’re afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid they can’t do it perfectly, afraid of what other people will think. I remember when I sensed God calling me to write a book. I was 40 years old. I thought, me? I never had that dream. I never earned lots of A’s in English. No teacher in high school or college pulled me aside and said, “Leslie, I think you have some writing gifts, why don’t you develop them.”

Afraid? I felt more than afraid. I was terrified. I had one kid in college, another in high school. Do I have time or money to invest in developing a talent or gift I didn’t even know I had?

Jesus tells a story in Matthew about three servants. These servants were given various portions of silver to invest. The first one invested his silver and doubled his earnings. The second used his silver to start a business and he also doubled his silver. But the third servant was too afraid to make a mistake. So he buried it for safekeeping. This third servant is the one that the master was angry with. Why? Because of fear and laziness, he did nothing with what he was given (Matthew 25:14-28).

God has put good things inside of you, but they are not fully developed. It is your responsibility and calling to grow them, nurture them into maturity.

A child who shows musical, artistic, or athletic gifting, will never mature into his or her fullest potential without help, training, and practice no matter how much natural talent he or she is given.

I never knew I had a gift or calling to write or speak until well into adulthood. However, that gift did not just appear one day and then I wrote a book. I sensed it was there, but then I had years of work ahead in order to develop it.

The apostle Paul encourages young Timothy to fan into flames the gifts God has given him (2 Timothy 1:6).

What about you? What gifts and talents has God given you? Do you even know? Every single person has been created by God with raw talent and unique gifts that will grow and improve through focused effort and attention.

God does not need you or me to accomplish his purposes in this world. But he gives you and I the privilege of participating in His work of eternal significance.

Sadly, many of us do not pay enough attention to crafting and maturing our own gifts. We don’t take the time to listen to our heart’s dreams and desires to see what songs or even discover what songs we are uniquely designed to play to glorify our Creator.

Many times we’re not only out of tune with ourselves but also our Creator. Instead, we’re busily saying yes to everything we think we should instead of asking God what he made us to do and to be.

In my last newsletter I asked you a question, “Do you say No to Yourself” (click here to read the article). The power to say no to yourself comes from having a higher yes. Perhaps you need to say no to meaningless busyness for a higher yes so that you have the time and energy to invest in your gifts and talents to the glory of God.


Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal

by Dr. Sherri Keffer

*Sheri Keffer is one of our Conquer keynote speakers. Click here to learn more about the Conquer Conference*

Drawing from her experience both as a marriage and family therapist and a woman who personally experienced the devastation of sexual betrayal, Dr. Sheri Keffer walks women impacted by betrayal through the pain and toward recovery. She explains how the trauma of betrayal affects our minds, bodies, spirits, and sexuality. She offers practical tools for dealing with emotional triggers and helps women understand the realities of sexual addiction. And she shows women how to practice self-care, develop healthy boundaries, protect themselves from abuse or manipulation, and find freedom from the burden of shame and guilt.

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter.

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide name and email address.

The winners of “Boundaries for Your Soul” by Alison Cook PhD are Merrin F. and Sara W.


Upcoming Events

September 28th and 29th
Conference Dallas, TX

October 12th and 13th
Conquer Conference

October 26th and 27th
1st Baptist Church
Houna, LA

November 2nd and 3rd
AACC New Life Summit
Charlotte, North Carolina http://charlotte.cmhcsummit.com/

Want to have Leslie speak at your event? Click here to find out more information.

I Want to Quit Couples Therapy

Question: Thank you for your work and ministry. I started the process of therapeutic separation about 1 year ago and just moved back in with my husband. It is now obvious to me he is not interested in any repentance or growth but is happy to blame me for creating all the marriage problems. He is emotionally and verbally abusive as well as alcoholic.

I have been seeing a therapist as well as using a 12 step program.

My question is this… I feel like I want to stay married but just need to detach.

I feel like continuing going to couples therapy is a waste of time and money when my husband is just using what he learns in counseling against me once we are at home… I feel my time and energy is better spent with God, in support groups and bible study … Please share your thoughts…I know I will take the “heat” for “quitting” couples counseling. Thank you.

Answer: I wish I could ask you a whole lot more questions about this. For example, what were the reasons you separated from your spouse and what did you hope would be accomplished by it? Also, what led to your decision to move back in with your husband after a year of separation? I’m curious because you shared that you are in personal therapy as well as in a 12-step program for yourself. I’m assuming that you talked over these decisions with your therapist and with your group.

When did the couples therapy start? Was it during the separation? After you moved back home? Who initiated it? Answers to these would help me to better answer your question but here are a few of my thoughts based on what you’ve told me.

First, I don’t recommend couples therapy when there is addiction and abuse present. So, if couples therapy hasn’t been safe for you and your spouse is using the information you share in therapy against you, bring that up with your couple’s therapist as a reason for terminating the therapy. Therapy cannot progress if someone uses your vulnerability to bully or blame you.

Here’s What People are Saying About the Last Conquer Conference

Attending conferences often give[s] you an immediate boost of energy and good feelings. But even a year later I noticed I was referring to the copious notes I took in the Conquer Conference handouts to connect with that joyful and life-sustaining experience again and again. Even though I was sitting among 500+ women it felt like a small bible study because we were there for the same reasons: to deepen our personal relationship with God and learn about OUR WORTH through His eyes. The event was very well run. All the speakers had unique and relevant messages, and the worship was uplifting and, at times, very moving. Even though I traveled 3,000 miles to attend, I can’t even recall the expense it was so valuable. The love and support that weekend was real. You can count that the next Conquer Conference is on my calendar. Oh, and I’m not keeping this to myself, I’m bringing some girlfriends!

– Annette G


Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.

Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.

Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.


Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States