Tag Archive | Proverbs 31

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!

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Do the Work

A dear friend posted the above statement yesterday.  It got me to thinking.  Three little words, how powerful they can be when we trust in Jesus.

As many of you know, I attended She Speaks Conference last week.  Let me give you a short version of the weekend:

  • Day One ~ I was encouraged and excited.  I knew there was a purpose for me attending!
  • Day Two ~ By the time I crawled into bed I had a heavy heart and many tears, with thoughts racing through my mind…
      • Thinking “Is this where God wants me?”
      • “Is this His plan or mine?”
      • “I am not as talented at writing as all these other women!”
  • Day Three ~ I woke up praying the LORD would show me a path.  Trusting He would show up in a huge way.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Whitney Capp’s talk was exactly what I needed.  Through out her talk, I kept hearing:  OBEDIENCE!

Returning home I had an overwhelming spirit of exhaustion.  I couldn’t get my thoughts to slow down long enough to journal.  I was stuck, feeling unworthy to have attended She Speaks!

Then my friend’s post:  Do the Work!  I realized my feelings of confusion and exhaustion were tied to the fact I wasn’t sure if I was up to doing the work required.  Often when we see all the details of a project before us, we get overwhelmed and discouraged, we allow the enemy to wear us down before we even get started.

Today I want to encourage you to be obedient to Jesus and just do the work.  Rely on Him and His Word:

Be firm and steadfast; go to work without fear or discouragement, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.  He will not fail you or abandon you before you have completed all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.  ~1 Chronicles 28:20

What stops you from doing the work?  Will this verse help you complete the work God is calling you to do?  Leave me a comment and share your thoughts.

I’m Somewhere in Here

So excited to see what Heather has for us today while she steps in for Melissa.  Join me for today’s post by Heather, by clicking here.

This is the title to Chapter 4 of I Used to be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer.  The title capture my attention immediately, I feel like that often:  Somewhere inside me is ME.  I have been finding bits and pieces slowly but I still can’t quite get a picture of who I am. It is scary and exciting at the same time but more often it’s very lonely.

Not only did the title speak to me but sadly the truths Glynnis learns about herself are the same things I have been learning about myself and slowly through each Bible study they have been stripped away one by one.  I can relate to the behaviors Glynnis writes about:

  • I have lived my whole life on building my worth on my accomplishments;
  • I tried so hard for so long to control the world around me only to have it come crashing down;
  • Frustration reigned in my heart and mind more than anything else;
  • My heart was a mess;
  • I moped when I didn’t get my way;
  • Poison and bitterness filled my thoughts;
  • Low self-esteem, depression and feeling like a nobody has been with me for my whole life
  • I was self-centered;
  • Self-interest motivated much of my life;
  • I was motivated to prove myself worthy to others and myself by what I did;
  • My priorities were upside down;
  • It has at times (even now sadly) been about me, me, me;

 I don’t have it all together; I am a work in progress needing my Creator’s Hand each and every day.  Some days I slip back into my old habits but I catch myself pretty quickly or something comes to my attention and slaps me.

In this day and age it is easy to fall into the trap that doing more is the key to success, financial freedom and happiness but I have lived that way too long, I know that’s NOT the key.  The key is as Glynnis writes is by BEING versus DOING (page 52).  By being centered in God’s will.  If your heart is where God wants it to be, you’ll see things with new eyes, have more peace and feel less pressured to get things just so (page 54).

Take the time to enjoy the simple pleasures.  Don’t feel guilty for sitting on the porch enjoying nature, soaking in your children’s play time, enjoying a leisure hour or two with your loved one.

I drive my family crazy because I take pictures of everything, no matter what is going on.  I take pictures of the sky as we drive to dinner.  I take pictures of beautiful flowers as walk into a business, church, and someone’s home.  I take pictures of probably twenty things each and every day.  Why?  Because I don’t want to forget the way God shows up in my life.  I want to treat every day as if it were special; these moments are gone before we know it.  I have learned to stop and enjoy the simply things – however, I still need help to match my outsides with my insides (page 47).

If you would like to join our Bible study, it’s not too late.  To find out more information or to sign up go to Melissa Taylor’s website.  I want to leave you today with one verse from Chapter 4 along with one saying that my friend Karen Dye has taught me.

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7b

*~* It’s NOT about me, it’s all about HIM *~*

It’s all about Him. From Girl Talk “live”

Chapter 8 ~ An Untroubled Heart

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

I remember the day I finally realized exactly what this verse meant. It was the day I finally gave up my son to the LORD, which came after a very tumultuous night. I woke up the next morning with a very heavy heart, I couldn’t’ shed another tear and I was angry, this time though instead of being angry at God, I got made – VERY MAD – at satan.

I started yelling “you can NOT have my son – he belongs to Christ. You may have been successful up to this point but NO MORE. he is covered by Jesus’ death on the Cross. No longer will I allow you to control my mind, my emotions or my behavior by fear of my son. You are don here, NOW BE GONE!!!!!”

Immediately I began to laugh at how foolish it would have looked to someone to walk into my bedroom and see me that way, but I didn’t care I was full of a peace I had never felt. I felt something other than fear for my son’s future finally sink into my heart. I knew without a doubt the future didn’t hold despair instead it held hope. I let Jesus speak to my heart and I was reassured:

That no matter what happened to my son on this earth, NOTHING could take him away from Jesus. This life isn’t what matters. It’s not the main even, it’s the opening act. No matter what heartache I may face in the future with my son, no matter how heavy my mama’s heart may get, I can live through it, why? Because I have my source of strength and my source of hope in Christ. Nothing on this earth can overcome the LORD and my son belongs to the King of all kings!

That was the day I finally decided to let go and let God have full control of my son’s life AND my mama’s heart. That was also the day I began to see His mighty hand. The day everything in my life changed.

My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my refuge and my savior. ~ 2 Samuel 22:3

Visit Melissa Taylor’s website for more on An Untroubled Heart Bible study.

Chapter 3 ~ An Untroubled Heart

 

Check out Melissa Taylor’s website for more on our study, click here.

As I write this I am asking God for wisdom as to what story to tell.  There are so many stories I could write about fear – my fear.  What story best tells of God’s magnificent love and grace?  I could tell of five distinct things God called me to do to confront my biggest fears.  I could tell of my journey through this season of Lent or I could you how I finally came to live in God’s presence even in the midst of the storm.

How do I choose which story to highlight the awesome love God has for me and for you too?  Each story is a different spot on the same large canvas God is painting of my life.  They are the steps that I have learned to walk in faith and in trust.  In learning that God is my ROCK.

Before these steps I was the biggest scaredy cat ever, even at the young age of five.  Terrified of the dark, would not go outside after dark, I would not ever stay alone at night.  Petrified of heights – I have never climbed a tree, never played on the monkey bars and never jumped out of an airplane, even though this has been a dream I have had forever.

So how did I lose my fear and find a faith that is stronger?  Well, I believe it started with God’s sense of humor.

My husband has always traveled a lot for his jobs, usually it was one or two nights here and there but when three hurricanes made landfall in Florida my husband was gone for 2 ½ years.  When my children were small (7-8 years old) I would bring them to sleep with me.  I would keep all the lights in the house on.  I would wake up to every noise and never really sleep.  By the time of the hurricanes in Florida my daughter was 12 years old, she came to me one night and said “mom it’s time for you to learn to sleep alone – I promised nothing will happen.  Listen to music or something will you sleep.”  Wow! What a wake-up call.  It so happens that Joel Osteen would be on when I would go to bed so I listened to that and slowly night by night I would turn off one light after another.  A month later I was sleeping with no lights on at all.

These are the steps I climbed up and down. I could only do so because of placing my trust in God.

In 2005 we went on vacation to Seven Fall in Colorado.  Beautiful area that has the most gorgeous scenery and great hiking trails.  I was so excited to experience this with my husband and daughter.  However, standing between me and that dream were 750 steps straight up and down.  My husband and daughter said “we won’t make you climb them; you can sit here and wait for us.”  I thought for a second and then said “NO WAY!” I waited until there were very few people on the stairs and up I went.  No stopping, no thinking just praying the Hail Mary and Our Father for each and every step.  My daughter laughed and said “I have never heard someone pray so fast and with so much heart.”

When I reached the top it was the best feeling in the world.  I was so glad I didn’t let fear steal that from me.  We hiked for hours, found a great place to sit and look down at the awesome view of Colorado Springs.  Afterwards – oh yeah, here is where I tell you my absolute biggest fear has never been climbing up something, it’s always been GOING BACK DOWN – yep 750 steps back down.  Guess what?  That day I have climbed those steps three more times!!!

God wasn’t finished yet.  Although I was now sleeping alone in peace when hubby was gone, I wouldn’t go anywhere if it risked coming home at dark.  God placed on my heart to take on an Adoration hour at church.  I gladly signed up.  My mouth dropped when I learned the two hours available:  1:00 am and 3:00 am.  I took a huge gulp and picked 3:00-4:00 am.  I won’t lie the first six months I ran from my car to church and back.  Then one night I realized I was no longer running.  Instantly a Scripture came to me:

Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened.  Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man and he saw.  And behold, the mountains were full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha protecting him.  ~ 2 Kings 6:17

Five years later, my favorite time of the week is 4:00 am on Thursday mornings.

God wasn’t finished with me yet.  This Lent He had a plan for me.  I fought it.  He was asking me to give up my control for good, not taking it back no matter what!  I will come back to this, just keep this in mind.

My family has been living in the middle of a massive storm for over 18 months – a storm that we have lived through long ago but now it was a stronger, more intense storm.  Our options were running out, satan was stalking and gaining on us.  I wish I could say I knew exactly what to do and that I ran to God immediately, but I didn’t.  I fell back to relying on myself, to taking the control and feeling like I had to be the one doing something.

As I look back at the past 18 months I can see that the storm was made worse by thinking I had the control and that I knew the best things to do.  I have learned some hard lessons, have had my heart broken and cried a thousand tears.

It wasn’t until three days into Lent that I gave in to God and said “fine, okay LORD I am giving up all my cares, worries and this storm to YOU – they belong to YOU.  I can’t do this anymore.”  I felt a peace come over me that I have never felt and a whisper from God saying “I have been waiting for you to give it to Me and to rest in Me.”  It was then I learned His grace IS sufficient for me!

And when this storm ends, as it will in His time, it will be evident to all that only God and His love calmed our turbulent sea.

An Untroubled Heart ~ Chapter 1

Today begins Chapter 1 of An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell, to join the study go to http://www.MelissaTaylor.org and sign up.  To get in on the discussion for Chapter 1 click here.

Perseverance & Endurance

The Merriam-Webster definition of perseverance:  continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure or opposition.  The action or condition or an instance of persevering:  steadfastness.

The definition of endurance:  the ability to withstand hardships or adversity; the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful event or activity.  The act or an instance of enduring or suffering.

For the last 35 some years I have been living a life of perseverance and endurance.  You see I have had a lot of chaos and upheaval in my life – as a child, a young mother, a young wife and a mother to an adult child that needs 24/7 care.  The last year has probably been one of the absolute hardest I have lived through and I have been very mad about it!!  I was mad at God who very well could have instantly made things better and i kept crying out to Him “why?  Why must I live with total chaos my whole life?  Don’t I deserve some peace? When will things change?”

I felt deep in my heart the answer “when you allow ME to work in your son’s life.”  My gut reaction was a fear so strong I uttered “but I can’t let go.”  Then an incident happened that opened my eyes to show me that by holding on too tight I was harming my son more.  I prayed that night giving him to the LORD fully and completely.  Then I was brought to this Scripture:

But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a good and generous heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.  ~ Luke 8:15

I can not bear good fruit by holding on so tightly to my plans or living as a victim.  God has other plans for my life and that of my son.  I believe God is showing me that, though my life is filled with chaos I need only to look at Him for my peace.  Peace is not about the perfect circumstances but found in persevering and endurance through the storm, with eyes on Jesus who is my Refuge and Shield.  So now through the chaos I look to Him not asking “why?” but “what lesson am I learning?  How do You wish to strengthen me, mold me and shape me through this event?”

Made to Crave ~ Chapter 5

Although today Melissa’s website is talking about chapter 6, I took a little bit longer on chapter 5.

How many times have I went through the honeymoon phase and believe “this time I will succeed, this time is different?” Too many times to count and something always throws me off.  So why will this time be different, because this time I am not doing it for the compliments, I am not doing it to feel better about myself through MY actions and I am not doing it to stand out and say look at what I HAVE accomplished.  Instead I am growing closer to God, relying on Him to be my everything and that’s why this time WILL be different.  I am not beginning another cycle – I am putting a stop to the cycle once and for all, letting God be my everything.

Every year of since I was 5 years old on Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday I gave up something that means the world to me.  For those six weeks although I may miss my “forbidden” item I am able to give it up.  Why?  Because I knew there was a higher purpose, a sacrifice to show my dependence on God.  This is no different, it’s just a lifetime change instead of 6 weeks during Lent.

Looking back on all the “things” I have given up through the years tells me I have been practicing for this journey.  I have given up at one time or another:

  • Sweets
  • Soda
  • Shopping
  • Snacking in between meals
  • Reading
  • Distractions:  computer, games, facebook, etc.

During Lent I also add something to my daily life that brings me closer to God:

  • Spending more time in prayer
  • Time with family
  • Giving more of my time and talents

Each time during Lent when the cravings for the forbidden item would come up I would offer a prayer “I am offering my wants up to You, Lord, I am lovingly sacrificing my wants to walk with You in a deeper way.”

Why I never put tow and two together before beats me but now that I realize I have been practicing for this moment in time gives me confidence. I am made for more, my God is bigger than any craving.

“I am offering my wants up to You, Lord!”