First, I jumped right in and asked Martha how God developed her artistic talents . . .
Q. Why do you think it’s important for people to use their God-given talents, and how have you made time for your talents throughout your life?
A. The Church is made of a body of talents. He did it for a purpose so He can have us contribute. I wanted to draw since I was a little girl. I knew I was an artist, but had to help take care of my siblings and then later raise my children. The important thing is you have to keep the desire. God will use it when you come back to it.
When I retired, I went straight to college. The first picture I drew was of a baby called “God’s Blessing” because I realized after all these years, I still had my talent! His timing is perfect for when he will use your talent!
I wanted to teach art at the adult school. I woke up each morning and thought of my art first thing. I even want to step down from BSF to focus solely on my art, and I wrestled with the Lord. After a struggle, the Lord changed my perspective, and I surrendered. He told me when I entered Heaven, he wouldn’t care about how many credits or degrees I had. What He cared about was how many souls I brought to Him. So, I put my art aside again to continue leading in the Bible Study Fellowship and make Him number one in my life. And then He gave me everything I needed to make the time and the way for me to do my watercolor art AND minister for Him through BSF with my cards and bookmarks. It wasn’t me. It was the Lord who led me, and this is exactly what I needed. Now, my ministry through BSF and art are married. God will often speak to me and have me give a participant a bookmark including an appropriate Bible verse just for that person.
After many years of serving others, today Martha’s artistic talent and service to BSF are blended through her watercolor greeting card ministry. She creates watercolor paintings, cards, and bookmarks for people who God places on her heart to encourage, including specific Scriptures that correlate with particular art pieces.
While trusting God with her dream, Martha raised her two children with her husband, who she has been married to for decades since the young age of 16. I wanted to glean some wisdom from her life experience and hear her advice for busy moms and single moms.
Q. What advice could you give single moms who are going through a difficult season want to grow closer to God and get their priorities straight?
A. First off, I have never experienced being a single mom. I can’t know what it must be like, but I do know the effects, the difference it would make in your life and the kid’s lives. Since 1999, I have been a Bible study leader for the international organization, Bible Study Fellowship. Young mothers of all denominations, both married and single, bring their babies and come for Bible study. They want to raise their children so they would know God and also get support and spiritual help. Joining BSF enables them to benefit from childcare while they learn about Jesus. After BSF one day, a mom even pulled over to the side of road to pray for her child to know the Lord. Both the mom and child can grow together in Christ. The attachment to God produces a joyful life of being filled up through Him.
Every Tuesday morning before BSF, I pray that the Lord would empty me completely so He can use me. I pray for Him to give me the eyes to see these young women like He does. I want to help people know God through the Bible study. All kinds of women share their heartaches and pray for each other. When you are praying for each other, you have a closer bond.
Speaking of a closer bond, are you looking for love, ladies? Martha also had a thing or two to say about what it takes to develop a successful marriage, so listen up!
Q. For single moms who have finally found God’s man for them, what advice do you have for them to do things differently and make their marriage work?
A. What I would have lost if I would have given into my feelings instead of my marriage! I prayed to be a better wife. When you meet someone who you like enough to want to spend time with and have a future with that person, check your heart. If you like this man exactly how he is, then he is the one you want. A man needs respect from his wife. If he doesn’t get it from her, he will find it somewhere else. If you respect that man, you will love him.
You have to ask yourself, what do you not like? What is he covering up? You have to find out these things before you marry him.
Learn from the mistakes of others. I had a woman friend who was nearing her forties and she had a heart for caring about people, but wanted to get married and have kids desperately. She had lots of specifications, but wasn’t thinking about character. She was focused on appearances.
She met a man who was a very smooth talker and misquoted the Bible in order to have control. She ran off and got eloped. Unfortunately, he was abusive, controlling, and had a criminal record. In order to be protected, the authorities gave her a complete change of identity, and she had to cut ties from all her family and friends so she could go into hiding to escape from him.
Marry somebody you don’t want to change.
Always remember that the person is your best friend and you don’t want anything to get in the way of that, including hardships, finances, or even the children. Marriage can be such a blessing, and a joyful blessing! Once you get to know the Lord and He’s in control of your life, you receive joy and peace through submission. That’s what I have.
Interested in joining or serving at Bible Study Fellowship International? Click here for a location near you: Bible Study Fellowship International
Linking to: Coffee for Your Heart
Linking to: Coffee for Your Heart