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She’s Still There Bible Study – My Notes Week 1 – Chapters 1-5

9 Sep

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

When I began this study by Chrystal Evans Hurst, I thought it really would not apply to ME!  Really, I’m still here.  I’m that girl I’ve always been although a little more outgoing and a little more extroverted, and yes, a little bit (okay a lot) bigger.  BUT……………

I’m a volunteer with Proverbs Online Bible Studies, and I get to do a lot of different studies.  Let me tell you there has not been a single one in four years that did not speak to me, and WHOA this one has already and it is only week 1.

Chrystal has faced struggles like teenage pregnancy, financial difficulties and all those mommy things like diapers and long nights, being a little heavy and  ………..

CHAPTER 1 – Break a Leg or Two – You Are A Masterpiece

This book opens up  with Chrystal telling us how she hated her job and how the time crawled by, and that is why she asked God to break her legs to just have some down time to think about where she had gone wrong and assess how she had gotten off track.

I can remember those crawling days when I worked, wishing for Friday and the weekends.  Now that I am retired every day is like Friday, but let me tell you I am as busy or busier than I ever was, but I’ve had a broken hip and wrist, and I never would wish that on anyone to slow down.  Those were two very boring times in my life, but today I think back and see it as a time God slowed me down from all the busyness.

Chrystal talks about being a little girl living in anticipation, and asks where had that little girl gone, and how do you get her back? Have you lost that “little girl” feeling?  Ever want to go back and do a “do over”?  We don’t get “do overs”.  We cannot go back and change our history, but we can make new history.

Chrystal believed the girl was still there, and so can you.  She believed in the “idea of a masterpiece”.  I do too and it has made a difference in my life.  This has been one of my favorite Bible verses for a very long time.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)

 

The word in the NIV person is handiwork.  The NLT version says masterpiece.

Do you believe that?  No matter what we may think of ourselves the truth is that God knows who we are and if we only believe that truth.  What does workmanship, masterpiece, or handiwork make you think of?  For me I picture a beautiful painting by Michelangelo.  The word in the NIV person is handiwork.  The NLT version says masterpiece.

You are His workmanship – a masterpiece – His handiwork.  You were created in Christ Jesus to do good works, and He ordained that we should walk in them.    You may not feel like a masterpiece some days, but the truth is you are no matter what.  His Word, His truth trumps our feelings.

The Greek word for “masterpiece” is “poiema.” The word “poem” comes from this.  Isn’t that beautiful?  God is saying, “You are my “poem”.  I am His “poem”.

Chrystal believed that “all parts of her life -the good, the bad, and the ugly could come together in the hands of the person who gave her life.”  I know that to be true in my own life.  Nothing has happened in my life that does not have purpose.  For instance, I had five to six miscarriages.  That was bad at the time, but today I can look back and give thanks to God for the two adult children I have – children I would never had know had I not gone through that pain.

We are masterpieces, and God is continually painting our lives.  Do you want to “break a leg”?  I hope not.  As Dory says in the movie or was it Nemo – “just keep swimming”.  It’s not too late – just keep going.   Never, ever give up.

Chapter 2 – Full-Blown Ugly Cry – You Are Okay

I love all the titles in these chapters.  In this one, Chrystal talks about one of her ugly cries to a friend, and how she was reminded Chrystal that “you are okay, you are going to be okay, it’s going to be okay.”

Friend you may not feel okay today, but hang tight because no matter what is happening today, right now, it is not going to be forever.  Know who you are in God’s mind, know that you can choose and Chrystal reminds us  “every day you get to choose to honor you.”  We have to embrace who we are: a masterpiece and unique.  Embrace that and one day you will look back at whatever you are going through was only a small part of your life, and you are going to be okay.

“Your darkest moments are only moments in time.” Pg 39

Over the years I guess there have been many dark moments – loss of babies, loss of parents, a grandchild born with a disease, loss of two nephews, and the list is long, but I only remember one time when I went thru full-blown ugly cries.  I never want to be there again, but as bad as it was it turned out okay and was just a moment in time.

Chrystal says, “Every day.   Get up.  Keep going.  You are okay.”  That will offer hope.

Chapter 3 – Get Out Of The Middle Of The Road – Own Your Story

As I began this chapter I had heard this story somewhere about a lady on a bike in San Francisco and how she fell and was hurt badly.  I remembered it was at a Declare Conference in 2015 where I heard Chrystal speak.  It was a different spin than this chapter.

In this book Chrystal talks about how we have to own our story whatever it is.  For me I’ve owned my story. I know it is all His story. Because of all the miscarriages I went through I was able to minister to my daughter and daughter-in-love in their losses.  Even if I was quiet they knew I had been there and felt their same pain.   Because of their pain and infertility I am able to minister to women going through the same – stories that bring hope. Even the embryo adoption which some of you may know with the twins has been something I can share with women thru my blogging, when I see them commenting that there is hope. It was something I had never heard of and it took me awhile to understand what they were doing – adopting embryos from someone else, implanting them, and carrying them.

Do you have a story you own – a story of hope you share with others? Those trials can bring HOPE to so many.

Chapter 4 – Good Girl….His Girl – A Chapter From My Story

As I read that title I thought about my Mom. There were 3 of us girls. I was the oldest, and Mom would say I was a good girl. I cringe when I say that because I was.   I stayed out of trouble, did what she and Dad said, and saved myself for my man. I was more of an introvert but had lots of girlfriends in school. I’m still Mom and Dad’s and His good girl even though I’ve lost them both.

As Chrystal says, “Drifts happen when we unintentionally move away from who we believe we can be, what we believe we can accomplish, or where we hope our lives will take us.” 

I drifted once, no fault of my own except had I not been working so hard at church as church clear, choir member, pre-school director, teacher of 4s&5s, teaching older students in the evening plus working full-time, kids in sports, and a 45 minute drive to school and church, and the fact those times were a part of the reason I was not able to fill myself up with the Word because I was filling others up and maybe it might have been different.  I was a worn out mess.

One GOOD THING about our drift we changed churches and now are in a larger church. I’m not all those things. I help with women’s ministry and have time to be in a Sunday School class to study and be fed. We have many people to help now. I’m fed there and I’m fed here.

Have you ever  just “drifted through life?”   Trust me, the results were not helpful to me or anyone, at least not until they became a part of my story, but still there are times that Satan rears his ugly self to remind me of who I am NOT, but I know who I AM. I can say today this GOOD GIRL……HIS GIRL would handle things a whole lot differently today with all the armor I have to battle that drift.

NOW I ask you after hearing my story can you identify any drifts in your life?   Please share.

Chapter 5 – Hershey and The Highway – The Anatomy of A Drift

Loved this story.  Oh I could be that girl sitting in the driver’s seat seeing that candy bar in the floor, grabbing for it, and running off the road.  This is like drifting, but we get distracted.   I think mostly today it might be with cell phones or it could be a baby or toddler in the car.

We have a choice not to drift, to pay attention.  Chrystal had a choice that day not to grab that candy bar.  She had the choice to focus on the highway.  We have that choice today not to drift no matter what may be happening in our lives.  We have to remain focused on the one who loves us and is directing our paths.

 

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Show Me What Is Important Today

31 Aug

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The closets are overflowing with clothes that need to be donated.  Okay, I’ve really been working on it this summer while school was out but if you know me, my summer was busy, and now the phone is ringing again for subs.  Books I want to read, and was going to read this summer are still waiting (but thankfully our studies are starting back up and right now I am reading that book – She’s Still There.  The kitchen counter is no longer full of mail except for three paid bills waiting to be dropped off at the post office, and my laundry room thankfully is not overflowing with clothes.  We bought a new washer and dryer and I have been enjoying washing.  The ironing was done last week, and you know when the washing is caught up there is more ironing to do, and there are now five shirts in there I need to press.  Yep I still iron.  I know some of you don’t know what an iron is.

I know we are all busy – life is just busy and for all of us it is a different set of circumstances.  Life is unpredictable and sometimes just hard especially if you are dealing with a health issue, elderly parents, or a special-needs child and look at all those precious lives in my precious state of Texas and what they are dealing with now with Hurricane Harvey.  My heart is breaking for them, and some of them are friends and family.  Now that school has started you are busy with sports and school stuff, and I am busy subbing so I can make a difference in my community.

Our on-line Bible studies sort of took off for the summer.  We had one, but did not have our Facebook Groups so it was less busy, but being a Coach for this study starting next week did require a little time.  We will begin a study on Tuesday by Chrystal Evans Hurst called She’s Still There.  Would love for you to join us.  It’s not too late to sign up here, and all you need is a book.   The study takes place here.  You can find out more about that here on Suzie’s blog today – great video with Chrystal.

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Do you take your family for granted?  I do!  I am really good with my husband, kids and our mother-in-law,  but we stay so busy we leave family out for the most part except for special occasions (Christmas, Thanksgiving, graduations, Easter, Birthdays, etc.).   I hardly ever make the time to see my two sisters although we did meet this summer for lunch, and my middle sister came to visit one day with gifts for my new grand babies.  We never know what tomorrow holds.  I received news last night that one of my aunt’s died.  I was able to go visit her last week at the hospital and she seemed to know me.  It was so hard to get away that day.  I keep our grandchildren several days a week and now with school I am subbing a few days and I juggled to find the drive to Dallas to go visit.  So very glad I did now.

Do you  crave organization/cleanliness in your house?  I find I do – it is just hard with so many responsibilities.  To drop in on me most days you would not think I crave cleanliness.  I want simplicity and organization and I am finding I am doing a better job of throwing out and donating.  I just need some time to really keep purging!!  I donated several bags of clothes and shoes this summer and I have more stacks already in one of the bedrooms just waiting for me.

When it comes to messes or  to make dinner for a friend who just had a baby and leave the dishes on the counter, I am at a stage where the friend comes first.  Family comes first.  The dishes will stay, but life goes by, we lose loved ones and we can never get a single day with them back.  Have you lost a loved one or loved ones?  Do you have regrets?

Have you rushed through your days just looking forward for them to end?  Have you longed for some quiet time just wishing your children would play so you can get the house clean, get dinner cooked, or perhaps sit with Jesus? Make ALL your moments matter-2.png

STOP!  I’ve learned to stop.  I get in the floor with those grandchildren.  We roll cars around the kitchen floor, we work puzzles and read books.  Our older one is already four and I want to make moments with him.  We go to the park, sometimes a movie, and sometimes to Wal-Mart to pick out a toy or one of his favorite places, Chick-Fil-A for lunch.    I love sitting and rocking our new grand babies.  We have three you know.  Yes, three – a little granddaughter and twin grandsons born a week apart in March.  I savor rocking moments that won’t last long and sit there savoring memories with my own children.  ARE YOU READY TO ROCK TODAY?  I am – the granddaughter is on the way.

Friends I want to tell you those precious moments go by quickly.  Those nights you did not savor with a new born when you were being awakened to feed.  Those moments they wanted to sit in your lap and you were too busy to stop and hold them, hug them, read to them.  Those moments the adult children invited you to do something and you could not find the time.  Those times you don’t want to sit for a moment and talk on  the phone  to a loved one because you are busy.  Those visits to visit your grandparents or parents when they are lonely.  Those moments you can never get back – only memories – are you making them moments to savor, precious moments to remember?

Do things with your adult children.  Go shopping with your daughter or daughter-in-law or a quick lunch.  This weekend we are going to our lease in the country with our son and daughter–in-love, the twin babies and the four year old.  We are inviting some precious friends for lunch out at the cabin.  We just got back from a wonderful vacation in Colorado with our son, his wife and her family.  We had so much fun and quality time with all of them.

Be careful that someday you don’t regret that you were more worried about the laundry then  sitting  to read a story or to get off the computer to be with your children.  And speaking of computers, how many times do I go out to eat and see a couple both texting, or a young lady with what appears to be her grandmother ignoring her and texting.  Even the little ones are now sitting on their iPads.  Can we not put our phones and ipads down for a short meal to love on our loved ones?  It breaks my heart when I see this.  What matters today may be gone tomorrow.

The truth of the matter is that someday you will have quiet moments and peace and time to yourself.  You will be remembering the moments with children, family and friends who have either grown up, moved out, or are no longer with you.  Are you making the moments – both bad and good – matter???  Stop and play with the kids.  Go meet a friend for lunch with your phone turned off.  Send an email or text to brighten someone’s day, but even better call them and spend some time chatting rather than that quick text.

We had several get togethers with a lot of people at our house this summer.   Do you know I never heard anyone say you need to clean, look at those weeds in that one flower bed, you are not the best of decorators (sigh)?  What I heard was that peanut butter cup ice cream was amazing, loved the hot dogs and hamburgers, love your pool, your house is beautiful and thanks.

So to friends and family I want you to know that a mess at my house means that I am busy with what really matters and that is savoring the moments with you, finding some “me time” for me and being like Mary and sitting at Jesus’ feet.

Joining Suzie Eller today.  Come link-up with us.

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Aspen Tree Facts

28 Aug

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We just arrived home from a vacation in Estes Park, Colorado.  We  spent a lot of time in the Rocky Mountain National Forest.

One evening we took an adventure sunset ride to the Roosevelt National Forest. During that trip we stopped in a big grove of Aspens, and one of our drivers told us a little about the trees.  I was so excited to learn more about them.   Some of it was eery for me, especially some of the Indian beliefs like they thought the trees protected them at night and other things I don’t want to remember like those black spots are eyes, but here is some of what I’ve learned:

  • Leaves quake, flutter, or tremble in the wind.  I sit out on our porch and was mesmerized at the fluttering even in the gentle breezes.

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  • The leaves shimmer.
  • Dark scars on the white bark that look like eyes are actually where deer and elk have eaten the bark which is nutritious.
  • Indians thought the dark spots were eyes, and the trees protected them.

BloggerLovesTheKing-12An entire grove can form from one tree, seed, etc..  They are one organism.  They are connected by their roots.

  • The tree gives off a white powder on the outer part when rubbed that can be used as a natural sunscreen.  Native Americans used it as such.
  • The groves were a safe place for the Indians because they could see far and wide while camping.  So perhaps that is why they believed the trees protected them.
  • The leaves have a square stem instead of a round stem which makes them flutter or quake  like they do.
  • Leaves are not fuzzy on one side like other leaves.  They are shiny on both sides.  Photosynthesis happens in the bark instead of on the leaves

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You can read more about our Colorado trip here.

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An Awesome Colorado Guide Team

27 Aug

We just got back from Colorado.  Our son and daughter-in-love invited us and her parents to tag along.  This trip was easy, except well the airport part.

Before the trip our DIL’s mom found us a great house to stay in – three stories – was a floor for each couple.  It was right on the Big Thompson River, and the guys could just walk out one of the three decks and fish for trout.  We had jacuzzi tubs and our bedroom had a fireplace adjoining the bath and jacuzzi. It was just amazing having the windows open and hearing the river, watching elk walk by, chipmunks playing on the front porch, and just so peaceful and beautiful.

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View from the back of the house.  It was so relaxing throwing open the windows and hearing the Big Thompson River flowing.

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Now for our guides – our son and DIL.  Here are just a few snapshots of places they took us.

An evening drive and we saw a double rainbow.  Picture does not do it justice.

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So many elk can only share a few:

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This big ole’ boy walked right across our front yard:

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And deer

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Lots of waterfalls.  Here are two of my favorites.  We had to walk some long trails to get up to these.

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And we saw this one driving home one evening thru the Rocky Mountains by the road.

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We stopped to see elk.  Our son doesn’t miss anything.  Saw this mushroom.  Is this not awesome?  Like being a part of a fairy tale.

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Aspen trees were everywhere.  We took a hummer evening ride and they stopped at a grove and told us all about them.  I blogged about them here.

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Very top of the Rocky Mountains.  Awesome views.

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EVENING DRIVES

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RIDE on a tram and we could look out at Estes Park and also the Rocky Mountains.

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BIRDS

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FLOWERS

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MOUNTAINS

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Worthy – An On-Line Bible Study Based On She’s Still There – Come Join Us

24 Aug

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You are invited to Worthy – A Bible Study Based on She’s Still There

Hey y’all I am really excited to invite you to join me in a new study called Worthy based on the book by Chrystal Evans Hurst called She’s Still There.

Are you the woman you want to be?  I am NOT!  The more I am in the Word the more I realize He is constantly working on me to be MORE.

It begins in September, and for six weeks (Sep 5 – Oct 13) you’ll find me in my pjs in the mornings  with a big ole’ cup of coffee doing my study with Proverbs 31 On-Line Bible Studies ,and some cherished friends and women from all over the world.

It’s not too late.  You can still sign up here for this on-line Bible study which is great for anyone including shut-ins, those that can not get to church or have not found a church home yet, or even ladies like me that have a church where they do Bible studies, but craving to learn more about Him.  I realize every single day that where I am today is not who I am or where I should be.

Can you relate?

From the back cover of the book:  “Where you are is not who you are”.  In She’s Still There, Chrystal Evans Hurst shares the secret to loving and honoring your life – even if your road is tough and your story is messy.  From her heartrending journey through teenage pregnancy to her humorous struggle with a Hershey bar, Chrystal explores what it means to find direction, purpose, and beauty especially – when you find yourself living a life you didn’t plan.”

Again I say can you relate?  I certainly can with the Hershey bar.

If you’ve never joined an on-line study here are some reasons to:

  1.  Do it from the comfort of your home in your cute pjs or your granny ones sipping that hot cup of coffee or tea.
  2.  Make connections with other women from all over the world.
  3.  Make precious friends.  I have met so many women across the states and even other countries personally for lunch or coffee.
  4. It can be done 24/7.  Have a hard time sleeping? Do them on your own time, any time.
  5. Because you are bored.
  6. Our studies are there to go back to anytime in our archives.
  7. You don’t have to go somewhere to do it.
  8. They are FREE.  All you need is your book.  We usually provide the first few chapters so if you start late, you still have time to order or go out and purchase a book.
  9. They will change your life.  They have mine.
  10. You don’t need childcare.
  11. Your church doesn’t offer women’s Bible studies or even if they do, like mine,  I am able to keep up with both – well most of the time.
  12. You are so busy with after school activities like football, cheerleading, sports, etc. you can’t attend a study anywhere else.
  13. You have not found a church home yet.
  14. You don’t attend a church, but feel you want to grow in your relationship with God.

Sooooo, what are you waiting for?  Come join the best community of women ever!!  I am so thankful that God led me here.

20953686_10210235774876466_4714066751247067245_nhttp://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/current-study/  

 

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