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Yes To God

Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study ~ “What Happens When Women Say to God” by Lysa TerKeurst

This weeks blog topic I choose was number 4. #yestoGod. Share a time you caught a “glimpse of eternity” as you said yes to what God was asking you to do.

I can totally relate to Lysa’s hesitation when God asked her to give her Bible away. I remember the day God asked me to give away something just as precious to me. As I was praying the Rosary for a dear friend who needed some serious prayers for her child, I had the sense God asking me to not just pray for her but to GIVE her my Rosary.

I argued with God saying “she’s not Catholic!” But the more I prayed for her the more I KNEW I was supposed to give it to her. So I finished praying, loving packaged the Rosary up to mail, all the while thinking “I have had this Rosary forever, it has been with me through every one of my son’s hospital stays; every prayer for my marriage, my children; it was a comfort to me as I grieved the death of my mom; every tear I cried over my son and the setbacks; it was a comfort to me during the times I prayed over the uncertain future of my son.”

I teared up as I handed it over the post office counter. Afterwards, I stopped into the Catholic store and bought me a new Rosary. Walking back to my office with my new Rosary in hand I thought “really God?” and then I heard a whisper “new Rosary – new chapter!” I paused to think about that and it was true, I was entering a new chapter. My son had not been hospitalized in over a year and even though he wasn’t able to live on his own, he had just moved into an independent living home and was doing remarkably well – all my prayers were being answered. As I thanked God for that, I heard another whisper “Your old Rosary was passed on to another mama who knows the heartaches and tears of an unknown future of her child.” I bowed my head in awe and thanked Him once again.

Who was I to argue with God and His plans? Whatever God says do, do it!

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

 

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Prevailing Through God’s Plans

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. ~ Proverbs 19:21

My Plans

Oh I had all sorts of grand plans for when I grew up. I was going to marry prince charming, have four adorable and well-behaved children, own my own dream home with a white picket fence and a wrap around porch where I would sit in the afternoon admiring my children at play. Inside my home would always look like Martha Steward herself lived there. I would be a picture perfect mom and wife. Our home would be filled with the laughter and love of family and friends.

My Reality

I became a mom for the first time at 17. I married at 19 and had our second (and last) child at 20. Nowhere in my plans did I dream:

  • Raising a son with autism and cystic fibrosis
  • My daughter struggling to learn to read due to severe dyslexia
  • My husband and I working so very hard at our marriage
  • Our home being empty of family and friends, because we were just trying to survive the day
  • Only sleeping 2-3 hours each night for 22 years
  • Being very lonely, stressed and at times miserable
  • Fighting a public school system for my son’s right to be educated as he needed
  • Fighting with a different school that my daughter was in fact dyslexic
  • Having a daughter who would rather play basketball and baseball with her cousins instead of having pretty dresses and tea parties
  • Being broken, lost and isolated
  • Being a hands-on parent 24/7 for 23 years
  • Spending a life time in hospitals (both medical and psychological), thousands of doctor’s office and many ambulance rides

Fast Forward 23 Years

I could never have dreamed of the blessings that came with God’s plans for my family. Yes, I called all of that a blessing. Why?

  • Most marriages don’t make it through the kind of stuff we went through: married early, two small children, Marine Corps, special needs children, and life-threatening illnesses. But God knew exactly who would stick by my side through all of it, even if we didn’t like each other very much on some days. We will celebrate 22 years of marriage this year.
  • I questioned, ranted and raved asking God “why? why me?” Then one day I realized God was teaching me about unconditional love, patience and the bigger picture.
  • Because we didn’t have close friends we depended on each other very much and our dependence on God increased.
  • Because I didn’t have a girly girl my daughter opened up the world of sports to me. I look forward to going to basketball or baseball games.
  • I never thought our son would be able to move out. God knew though. Our son is flourishing in a new home learning daily life skills with the hope of one day moving into his own apartment.

When our son moved out in April 2011 and our daughter was in her own apartment at college I thought “finally smooth sailing – it’s been a very long 22 years!” I thought surely we have faced and conquered enough obstacles to last three lifetimes…….

God Had Other Plans

Six weeks ago our 20-year-old daughter was diagnosed with seizures. As we look back over the years we realize now that what we thought were migraines were seizures. This is a pivotal time in her college education – Spring semester of her junior year. Her life has changed. She needs other people to drive her. She has to ask for help and that bothers her greatly. I have to once again rely completely on God.

Do I still say all of this is a blessing? Yes – a thousand times over yes!!! The one central unchanged theme in my life has been I have needed God at all times, in all circumstances! Each time I thought “whew, that’s behind us, it should be easy peasy from here.” I would find myself on my knees asking God to see us through.

If I would have had my dreams come true, I wouldn’t have needed God for anything. His plans require that I need Him minute by minute. I have lived through hell, been broken and had my dreams crushed but through it all God has been and will continue to be my Refuge, my Rock and my Shield. Yes, His plans are always better than my dreams.

By the way – I absolutely married my prince charming.

 

Freak Out Woman ~

Week 1 of Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study ~ Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

“Look mom, we cleaned our room!” shouted my four year old son.  One look and I came unglued!  “HOW HARD IS IT TO PUT YOUR CARS IN THE CAR BUCKET? YOUR ARMY MEN IN THE ARMY BUCKET? YOUR SISTER’S DOLLS IN THE DOLL BUCKET? OH NO, INSTEAD THEY ARE ALL THROWN IN ONE BIG PILE!!!!”  Turning around I started in on my husband, “Thanks a lot!  I thought you were going to help me!  I should have done it myself in the first place!”

Mom of the year or decade I was NOT, the saddest part, I can’t even remember the looks on my children’s faces. I do remember my husband saying to me, “If you want perfection from a four and one year old, you will always be disappointed.  That makes me sad for you.”  OUCH!!!

Perfection was always expected of me.  I knew no other way.  I was raised with the expectation of perfection, “if you are going to do something, do it perfectly, there is NO other way!”  The motto in my family home.  I wanted to change that for my own home, I just didn’t know how.

Fast forward ten years later…

“Mom what can I do to help you?”  asked my daughter.  “Megan if you can’t see what needs to be done and then do it, don’t bother!  I swear I have to do everything around here.  You all enjoy family coming over while I have to make sure everything is done!”  I yell.  The next words my daughter says to me breaks my heart and makes me have a huge amount of respect for her (I wish I could have said something like that to my parents.)

“If Jesus’ birth means a perfectly cleaned house and yelling every year….I wish He hadn’t been born, it doesn’t make Christmas Eve fun.”  says my 11 year old daughter.  OUCH OUCH OUCH.

Right then I stopped what I was doing and I gained a new perspective. Never did I want my daughter or anyone else to remember Christmas or any other get together that way.  I decided to let my perfectionist tendencies go.

Has it been easy?  Uh, NO!  I have went from all or nothing attitude.  I have had a hard time finding a middle ground, however, holidays and family get celebrations are a lot more fun around here.  I haven’t yelled in years.  I don’t care which bucket things go in as long as they are picked up and my daughter loves celebrating Jesus’ birth all year long.
I would say that’s progress!

Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study is having their very first BLOG HOP ~ check it out!!!

Unglued Facebook Party

It was such an honor last night serving beside Melissa Taylor and Team for our very first Facebook Party.  There were over 500 comments.  It was crazy – but in a good way 🙂

I thought I would try to highlight some of the FAQ’s for those who were unable to make last night’s party.  Remember there is still another party so get your questions ready.

  1. What is needed to participate in the study?  Just the book Unglued, everything else such as the participant’s guide, DVD, conference calls, etc. enhances the study.

  2. Is there a cost to join the study?  No, Melissa never charges to join her studies.  The only cost is for the book, unless you borrow from a friend or the library.

  3. Which is better an e-book or an actual book?  It’s your personal preference.  I own an eReader but when doing studies I prefer to have the actual book.  Again, it’s just your preference.

  4. What time do we get on the computer to do the study?  Melissa posts assignments on her blog at the beginning of the week.  As your schedule allows you check the blog.  Complete the assignments as listed.  To make it even easier, you can sign up to have all the blog posts sent to your email.  It’s completely on your schedule.  However, I do caution – you will get out of the study what you put into the study.  Meaning if you don’t make it a priority, you won’t get very much out of it.  I schedule my study time.  I get up at 4:00 a.m. and spend two hours before work doing my study assignments.  I have done this for the last five studies and this is my favorite part of the day now.

  5. Do I HAVE to get up at 4:00 am?  NO, it’s what worked for me.  I wanted to make my time with God and my study time mesh together.  I needed it to be first thing in the morning before a busy hectic day started.  I wanted to start my day off with my mind and spirit in a good place and this is what worked.  I also didn’t start at 4:00 am.  I began getting up 10 minutes earlier each week until I found the amount of time that fit for what I was looking for.

  6. Are the conference calls worth the money?  The conference calls are worth double the money that Proverbs 31 charges for the simple fact that you get a link to download.  You then own that conference call and can listen to it whenever you want.  I still go back and listen to some of the conference calls from a year ago.  The other benefit is to make a connection other than online.  Online is great but when you can but a voice to a name and hear someone tell their own story, it deepens the experience.  I highly recommend the conference calls.

  7. What are these small groups all about?  We have formed some Facebook small groups that provide a more intimate setting, allowing for the possibility of gaining a closer relationship with each member and accountability.  We discuss the study while getting to know each other on more a more personal level.  The very first small group that was formed was for Hidden Joy last year.  I thank God for that group. We have been there for each other through some heartaches and celebrated joys.  We are still together even a year after Hidden Joy ended.  The groups are completely private and secret – NO ONE except group members can see any posts!!!  We have double and triple checked this.

  8. Where can I sign up?  To sign up for the study go to Melissa Taylor’s Blog – on the right hand sidebar you will see “Sign Up for Bible Study” enter your information there.  For the Small Groups on FB watch for a post on Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Studies Facebook page.  The groups fill up fast.  Unfortunately, we have a limited number of groups.

  9. I still have questions?  That’s great!!!  Email your questions to MelissaTaylorQuestions@gmail.com

The next Facebook party will be Thursday, August 16th from 4-5 pm EST.  Meet up with Melissa and our team of leaders on our official Facebook page. There you can ask questions, comment, and we will respond to you. If you have questions about our team, what they do, what I do, Proverbs 31 Ministries, our small private Facebook groups, upcoming studies, our previous studies, our conference call series, our personal lives…whatever!  Many of us will be present to chat with you.

It’s a Celebration and a Party

Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Studies is celebrating over 10,000 “likes” on Facebook!  We are so excited and blessed. Our team works hard to reach women where they are and provide them with the tools they need to have real hope for real life…all through the power of Jesus.

To celebrate on Facebook we are having two parties and six giveaways!  Yes, you read that right – SIX giveaways!  For more information about our parties, visit Melissa’s blog here

Now on to the other big news ~ our winners to be announced from yesterday.  One person will win an Unglued book along with a Participant’s Study Guide.  Another person will win a complete conference call series ~ Part 1 & Part 2.  The lucky winners:

Unglued & Participant’s Study Guide is……Faith Rausenberg

Conference Call Series is……Tanisha

Congratulations to both winners!! Faith please email your address and I will get your books out today.  Tanisha please email me your phone number so I can register you for the conference calls today, the first pre-study call begins Monday, August 20th. My email address is veronicaherzing@gmail.com

For those still anxious to win, remember we are partying with Melissa this week ~ SIX giveaways!!!!

Official Drawing Results

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To my wonderful guests, my Facebook Page has reached 100 Likes! Which means someone won the conference call series and our winner is Kendra Anderson Keller!! The next prize is at 200 Likes and you can help get us there by clicking the Like button at the right of your screen. Remember, the more you share my new Facebook Page, the faster I get to give away prizes!

Unglued…..Oh and A Giveaway!

Mark your calendars!

September 23, 2012 – that’s the day that the Melissa Taylor Online Bible Study of Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst begins!!! ; I know, I can’t wait either, it’s going to be soooo good!

For six weeks with Melissa Taylor, her Online Bible Studies Team and thousands of our closest girlfriends we will gather on Melissa’s blog to learn how to process our emotions and resolve conflicts that lead to a much more peaceful life. ; We will also learn how to:

  • Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your important relationships.
  • Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly improve your communication.
  • Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff, explode, or react somewhere in between.
  • Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control

I don’t know about you but I can use that in my work and home life! ; Read the first two chapters here for FREE!

Do you know what my most favorite part of the studies are? ; The conference calls! ; The calls are better than ever before, you don’t want to miss out on these:

  • Part 1 Unglued Conference Calls: ; Beginning on August 20th, just seven days away, there will be four pre-study conference calls to get us prepared for the study! For $14.00 you get four calls live and the download! But wait, that’s not all (yep, just like the TV infomercials)
  • Part 2 Unglued Conference Calls: ; Beginning on September 24th, the first of six conference calls will begin. ; Again, these calls are live and include a download that you get to keep! ; But wait, if you act now…..

Order both Part 1 and Part 2 now and get them both for $24.99 ~ the best value ever!!!! ; If you want to know who will be the guests on the conference calls, click here.

GIVEAWAY

Some lucky person will win a copy of Lysa TerKeurst’s new book Unglued along with the Unglued Participant’s Guide I will also select a winner for a complete conference call series – Part 1 & 2. Two winners and all you have to do is to be entered is follow the steps below:

  1. Leave a comment below.
  2. Visit Melissa Taylor and register for our next study starting September 23rd.
  3. Get MORE entries by sharing this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. {One extra entry for each}. Leave a comment below letting me know where you sharing.

UPDATE:  Winner will be announced at 6:00 am on Tuesday, August 14th.  Check back then!

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You can connect with Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Studies by visiting us on…

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To my wonderful guests, my Facebook Page has reached 100 Likes! Which means someone won the conference call series and our winner is Kendra Anderson Keller!! The next prize is at 200 Likes and you can help get us there by clicking the Like button at the right of your screen. Remember, the more you share my new Facebook Page, the faster I get to give away prizes!

Cleaning with Jesus

Can I let you in on a little secret?  I hate to clean!  Oh, I also hate to go to the grocery store and cook!  It wasn’t always this way.  Before computers, the internet and Facebook, cooking and cleaning were my hobbies.

Now I tend to put it off until there is no other choice.  Half of the problem is the lack of organization in our home.  The other half is my perfectionist tendencies.  I want the situation to be perfect before beginning to clean or organize.  Yep, still waiting for that….

For the past eight weeks I have participated in Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study of I Used to be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer (whew that’s a mouthful!)  The study has been amazing.  I have incorporated small new habits into my days, such as not sitting anything down except where it belongs and taking an extra five minutes to straighten up a room before I leave.  Besides those two things, not much else has been accomplished.

Waking up Saturday morning with another migraine, I looked around in disgust realizing our house hadn’t been cleaned in three weeks.  Knowing some basic things need tidied I prayed “Please LORD block the pain for just thirty minutes, please!” A funny thing happened, with each area I cleaned, my migraine eased.

It was then that the LORD placed on my heart “Some of your migraines are an attack to keep your from doing the work I call you to do.  The only way to fight them is to call upon Me and do the work anyways.”  Which opened the door to a conversation with Jesus about how much I really hate cleaning.  I wanted to know “who elected me to be responsible for housecleaning?”

Moving from room to room Jesus kept speaking to me, “Don’t think of it as cleaning, think of it as prayer.  Dedicate each room as an offering of prayer for someone.  Someone who can’t clean but would give anything to do so:  a mom battling cancer, a mom with a newborn baby and no sleep, a mom with a special needs child, a wife who just lost her husband, a family losing their home, the list my daughter is endless.”

As I cleaned the fridge I told Jesus “It is so pointless to cook, I hate it!!!  Here I am a week later tossing the uneaten leftovers out.”  Jesus spoke to my soul, “Don’t despise the service of nourishing the loved ones I have blessed you with, instead as you prepare a meal for them, use this time to offer them up in prayer to Me.  Make this the time you pray for them.  Make this the time you tell Me all about your family.”

Getting on my hands and knees to mop the floors, I asked Jesus “Really, all the advancement in technology and I am still doing the old-fashioned way of mopping?”  I knew He would have words of wisdom and I wasn’t wrong.  He said “Do not despise any part of this daughter – for through this whole day you have been in contact with your Father.  You have been in contact with your Healer, your migraine is gone, right? You have also been in contact with your Personal Trainer, there is no need to spend money on a gym membership, this takes care of two needs at the same time.  See daughter, I am always providing.”

Let me just say my house sparkled, my migraine was gone, my muscles are sore and it was the best four hours of housecleaning ever!!!!  I hope this encourages you to use those things you hate as prayers to your Father.  I leave you with this reminder, from one of my favorite songs….

Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long
As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you,
Cause he made you,
To do
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

Do Everything ~ Steve Curtis Chapman