Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Inner Views of Wanda Ward

"The God of my rock; in Him will I trust: He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, 
my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence."
2 Samuel 22:3

Today, I am so thrilled to share the interview of a precious sister in the Lord,
who has been a dear blessing to me, through the writing on her blog,
through the encouragement she so often leaves here,
 and through the technical expertise and help she has been so willing to provide.

I know you will be abundantly blessed as you read her testimony and the words she has shared with us here.  

I am so thankful to bring to you the
Wisdom-seeker, Jesus-lover, Book Enthusiast, Blogger,
Wanda Ward.

Cheryl:  Please tell us about yourself. 

Wanda:  Thanks for having me, Cheryl. I’m an Arkansan that still lives in my small hometown, which was mentioned in Maya Angelou’s, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings". For the longest time, I considered myself a middle child, but then my younger brother came along and totally threw off that balance. Until then it was just three girls, and I indeed was the girl in the middle. Currently, I spend my days working as a case management coordinator for an older adult program and my free time is spent reading books and tending to my blogs.

Cheryl:  We would love to hear about your Christian testimony. How long have you been a Christian? What life events led you to the cross? 

Wanda:  Having been raised with a Christian mother (however my father was not) church has always been a part of my life. My siblings and I joke that she had us at church every time the doors were opened. Because I felt church was forced upon on me in certain regards, it would be years before I fully accepted the Truth of God’s Word as personal to me. Being raised in a very strict religious environment, it always felt as if I didn’t measure up or wasn’t quite good enough. I even went through a period of not attending church for a couple of years, but God in his faithfulness drew me back to him in my early twenties. And I’m grateful that He pursues us.

Cheryl:  Looking back over your walk with Jesus, can you share with us about a season of life in which you most felt His love for you? In what ways did He physically demonstrate how much He cared for you during that time?

Wanda:  One of those times for me would be when I desperately wanted a career change and to everyone around it made no sense to walk away. However, I dug into God’s Word believing that He could provide good for me even in this small place. I wanted to know that He was God of the little town just as much as the big city, and it wasn’t necessary to move off to see his goodness. And God proved himself to me. I saw a job announcement for a position just a day before it was to close, and I applied. After being interviewed and hired for the position that was advertised as  a 3-year grant-funded position, I find myself still there today. My job duties have changed, but God has kept me there and even used a skill I wanted to let go coupled with a degree I went back to school for.

Cheryl:  Who are your spiritual heroes of the faith? Who has most inspired you on your Christian journey?

Wanda:  One person who has inspired me is my older sister, I have seen her walk through the things I didn’t even know existed in churches. While she was shaken for a season, she continues to remain assured of God’s promises. I want confident faith like hers. She always challenges me to see God in the smallest of things.

Cheryl:  When did you begin blogging at The Watered Soul? What do you believe to be the most important thing God wants to accomplish through your blog?

Wanda:  I started my blog, The Watered Soul, in 2010. To this day I am amazed that it even exists. I didn’t know what a blog was, and I have never been one to talk much. It all started as a  way to process my thoughts as I walked through a particularly dry season of my life. I wanted desperately to see and experience what I heard other Christians talking about, but somehow I felt I was missing. I believe God wants others that come to The Watered Soul to know we all have searched and will search for something or someone to feel the empty places in our lives, but He alone fills. I hope they see that I’m just a person trying to find my way. I make no pretense that I have all the answers. But I trust in Jesus, who is our answer.

Cheryl:  Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Will you share with us about a desire you are still waiting for God to fulfill in your life? How do you remain hopeful during the waiting process?

Wanda:  As an older, still single adult, there is the desire to be married, and honestly I struggle at times to remain hopeful. I wonder if I missed my moment by being consumed with education or other things.

Cheryl:  What are you most passionate about? What ministry endeavor most fulfills you? If you could choose any line of Christian service to be involved in full-time, what would you most like to do?

Wanda:  I have always had a love for books, education, and learning. Give me something that relates to researching, teaching, administration, or technology, and I can get lost for hours. I’m definitely a behind the scenes type of girl.

Cheryl:  Can you tell us about Kingdom Advantrix and the services you offer?

Wanda:  Kingdom Advantrix is my freelance business where I provide assistance with blog set up/design, newsletter setup, or one-on-one help to other bloggers. It grew out my love for handling the back-end of blog administration. The business is all about helping other Christians advance the Kingdom through technology. The name was inspired by God, and I had no idea what Adantrix meant. However, when I looked up the the suffix “trix” I was so surprised to see one definition is a female that does or is associated with a specified thing. I am woman who is associated with advancing God’s kingdom through technology. Many people of faith have a desire to share the good news but are not comfortable with the tech side. It’s my mission to help close the gap.

Cheryl:  One of the blogs you have been instrumental in designing is "Blogs by Christian Women". We would love to hear more about this community and what it represents. How can we get involved? 

Wanda:  Yes, I started out volunteering as the Design Manager for Blogs by Christian Women, and at the end of last year, I took over ownership of the site. BCW aims to connect Christian women bloggers and showcase the unique voices of fellow sisters in Christ. There are several ways to get involved. We hope to be a resource for women who are looking to connect with other Christian bloggers, through our directory. So we encourage any women who are Christians that blog to get listed. We just rolled out a new directory. For those who like to share their story, we accept guest post submissions and are looking for regular contributors. I’m also seeking to form an Editorial Board. Anyone interested can feel free to contact me.

Cheryl:  You are an avid reader and often share book reviews on your blog, The Watered Soul. How do you choose which books you would like to invest time in reading?

Wanda:  Oh, how I love books, and it has gotten harder and harder to choose which to give my time and attention especially since joining book review programs and receiving requests from authors. My first criteria is if it’s a topic I think I would enjoy. I don’t want reading a book to become drudgery. Second, does the author’s timetable fit within my time constraints? Also, I have a desire to help showcase Christ-centered books. Many books I read and never share on the blog because it doesn’t fit within my blog’s theme.

Cheryl:  If you could go back and change or re-do any chapter of your life, which one would it be? Why?

Wanda:  Do I have some regrets in life? Certainly. However, I don’t think they grant a do-over. All of my experiences have made me into the woman, I am today. Some lessons I wish didn’t take me so long to learn.

Cheryl:  Will you share with us about a particularly dark place you have walked through? How did your faith in God sustain you? What most encouraged you during that time? 

Wanda:  One of the darkest moments for me was walking through a betrayal in a relationship. I remember many drives to college campus with tear-stained prayers of, "God, don’t let this make me bitter, but better". I wanted to forgive because that is what God’s Word said I should do, but I didn’t feel it in my heart. Clinging to key scriptures and repeating them along with that simple prayer and being honest with God about where I was at helped me. I knew I didn’t have to pretend or keep a happy face with him.

Cheryl:  Who is the one person you feel most indebted to? Why? How has their influence shaped and molded your life? What attribute do they possess that you most admire?

Wanda:  Beyond God, I would say I’m most indebted to my mother. She has faithfully shown up for me and modeled faith and resilience in the face of obstacles. It was her that ensured that I had a rich spiritual foundation.

Cheryl:  What are your favorite "go-to" Scriptures? Can you recommend other sources of encouragement? (Books, hymns, other resources, etc.) 

Wanda:  I find that my favorite Scriptures tend to change depending upon the season I am going through, but my blog’s foundational scripture of Isaiah 58:11 (And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail) remains a favorite. In times of trouble, I find encouragement in Isaiah 43:2. When I’m feeling alone, I’m reminded of Psalms 68:2, "God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land". And, at other times, I find comfort in the old songs the ladies would sing at my church when I was child like, "Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand". I didn’t understand the words then, but, oh, what meaning they have now!

Cheryl:  Name three things on your bucket list that are closest to your heart.

Wanda:  I don’t have a bucket list per se, but I would love to be able to travel to each of the 50 states. And I always wanted to have a scholarship fund to help send children to college.

Cheryl:  How can we pray for you?

Wanda:  Pray for wisdom, favor, and provision as I lead this online ministry at Blogs by Christian Women. Pray that I would be connected to the right people and the right leaders at this time in my life. And that I have the courageous faith to follow where God leads me.

Amen, and amen!
Wanda's prayer request is one that echoes the cry of so many of our hearts.
Thank you ever so much for sharing your inner views with us here, Wanda.
Your presence is such a dear blessing to us all!

Please keep Wanda and her prayer requests on your minds and hearts, dear readers,
and, if you get a chance, please go by and visit her blog and consider becoming a subscriber.
Please keep her technical help in mind for any future blogging issues or website needs.
She has been a huge blessing to me, and her rates are very reasonable.
Her heart and main focus is in serving God and His people, and it shows.

May God bless each and every one of you in a special way!

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