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31 Days of Faith, Family, Home and Joy – Day 16 – Anxious for Nothing – An On-Line Bible Study – My OBS Story

20 Oct

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Hey friends and family we are about to start a new study.  I wanted to  take a moment to invite you to try it just once, and share my personal OBS story.

Y’all OBS has had the greatest impact on my faith.

I was a little hesitant when I joined my first study in 2012, shortly after I retired, but the study was I Used To Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer, and after working for 44 years I needed help.  Yep, I was going to get my home organized. HA!  That has not exactly happened, but I did learn how to organize my life.

I didn’t grow up in church because when I was seven we started moving and traveling with Dad’s work, and well Mom stopped going and taking us.  Before Dad’s change of jobs we were in church.

I became saved and joined church when I was in high school.  I met my husband in high school also and the rest is history – around 50 years of “us” right now if you include dating time.

We married and were really active in church – I mean really active and for me that was Pre-School Director, Church Clerk, choir member, teacher of 4s and 5s, and before kids my husband and I did a nursing home ministry with him leading a devotion and me playing the piano, he was in college full-time and seminary, me part-time college,  and I was up late with him typing all the papers for school.  I was  working full-time, and you see I was busy, and as our children came and with sports  and home work I was even busier.

Honestly people I did not spend adult time in the Word.  What I got was during sermons and an occasional women’s retreat, and that is not enough to grow like I should have.  At times I’ve had regrets about that, but I know in my heart God has a perfect plan, and I was right where He needed me then in ministry, and I’m right where I’m supposed to be now with the biggest desire  and longing to learn and grow and know Him MORE each day.

That first OBS study Facebook Group – I was SCARED because I am or was a little introverted.  OBS has changed that.

These Facebook groups fill up fast.

These groups are AH-mazing.  Here is a link.  If they are full,  you’ll be placed on a waiting list.  If you are reading this and sign up and get in please come back here and let me know.

I was in Small Group 15 – back then there were not too many groups.  Today we have over 100 groups and constantly growing.

I was a little quiet at first, but soon it got easier and easier, and the more I was in my Bible each morning the more I learned, the more I grew, and the more I loved meeting new sisters.

By my second study I became a Group Leader for Group 31.  SAY WHAT!  I was asked to lead and after a whole lot of praying and talking to my family, and I became a volunteer. I personally have met many of the Group 31 ladies for lunch, a marathon, coffee, brunch, and a couple of years back the Proverbs 31 ladies had a huge retreat in North Carolina at the Billy Graham Retreat Center.  I got to meet so many of the ladies as well as touring the Proverbs 31 office.

About a year later I became a Team Leader, and now a Coach.

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 a hot cuppa 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.
  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.  Hey you can do these in your car while waiting on the kids in afternoon car lines.
  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.
  15. You are home bound and it is not possible to get to a church.

Our next study is Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado.  You can sign up for the study here and get the daily emails, but don’t forget the Facebook community to meet other ladies in a group of about twenty and that link for small group registration is here.

Sooooo, what are you waiting for?  Come join the best community of women ever!!

REMEMBER!  Your life may be crazy, but your Bible study does not have to be.

Enjoy the rest of my 31 Days Series below:

Day 1 – 31 Days of Faith, Family, Home, Fitness, Coffee and Joy

Day 2 – Love

Day 3 – Did Someone Say Coffee-eeee?

Day 4 – Worthy an Online Bible Study of She’s Still There – My Week 2 Notes, Chapters 6-11

Day 5 –  Books I’m Reading, Cuppa Tea and Joy

Day 6 – His Mercies Are New Every Morning

Day 7 – Things I Love About Fall

Day 8 – Free Printable Lunch Box Notes

Day 9 – Prayer Walk

Day 10 – Refrigerator Thingy Notes – Free Printables

Day 11 – Worthy – An On-Line Bible Study Based On She’s Still There – My Notes Week 3 – Chapters 12-15

Day 12 – I’ll Worship Him In The Waiting

Day 13 – A Trip To The Dallas Arboretum

Day 14 – Fitness Bible Verses – Free Printable

Day 15 – Worthy – An On-Line Bible Study Based on She’s Still There – My Notes Week 4 – Chapters 16-21

 

 

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31 Days of Faith, Family, Home and Joy – Day 15 – Worthy – An On-Line Bible Study Based On She’s Still There – My Notes Week 4 – Chapters 16-21

19 Oct




Week 4 and this study zoomed by.  In fact it’s over and during this break I am trying to catch up on my notes – so many of them, and I have scribbled video and conference call notes that I want to get typed up and in a notebook.  These were too good, and I wrote down so many things I don’t want to forget.  It’s been an awesome study y’all, and one that I will not forget.  You can still do the study here.

 

Chapter 16- Dig Deep – Focus on the Finish

This chapter speaks to us about focus, and like Chrystal I struggle with focus in making healthier choices with food.  I do great with meals at home and out, but those snacks are what get me most of the time.

Like Chrystal too I am distracted by technology.  I mean really I have so many things open right now on my laptop, and I am constantly jumping back and forth.  I’ll hop on here to do one thing, and an hour later I have not done that one thing or forget why I hopped on here.

She reminds us that “focus always starts with a simple decision to do one thing with what you have, decide on a direction, use discernment, and finally exercise discipline.”  I do that with my dieting, but somewhere the discipline fails.

Have you ever found yourself knowing where you want to go or who you desire to be and losing focus?  It is never too late – FOCUS.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.   3:13:14 (KJV)  

Now verse map this verse.

I forget those things that are behind.  I reach forth unto those things which are before.  I press forward.  That is true FOCUS.

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I love how every single study touches on something that is going on in my life right now.  We were reading this chapter, and I went to school to sub and that was on the wall.

Chapter 17- Analysis Paralysis– Make a Decision

Raising my hand right with Chrystal on being “extremely indecisive.”  When we buy something it takes me forever to decide.  I research, look at reviews and spend weeks, but guess what most of the time I am so happy with our purchases.  We recently bought a new washer and dryer, and I pondered and worried until the day they delivered them and I saw how they looked in my laundry room.   Yes I liked the reviews and the looks of them, but then I could not imagine how they would look in the laundry room.  I love doing laundry now.

Analysis paralysis is when we delay a decision or never make a decision because we are so overwhelmed by the options and overthinking them.  I’ve been there too even recently.  I want a new desk, but again how will it look in the office.  I worry about not liking it and having to send it back so I do nothing.

When we have a destination in mind, Chrystal gave us three steps to making a decision:

  1. Write it down.  That is a step to making it happen.
  2. Remember it.  Put it where you see it.
  3. Rehearse it.  Share with someone.

Chapter 18- Forty and Fat– Maintain Your Direction by Paying Attention

One of my favorite quotes from the book, and a great reminder I don’t want to forget because it has spurred me on these last few weeks to walk 45-min 3 or 4 days a week.  I’m not there yet with my eating, but making progress, and doing well drinking water.  Here is my biggest take away from the chapter:

“Without treasuring the gift of life that God gave to me, and without doing what was in my power to take care of myself, I looked up years down the road and realized that my health was way off course.  And the health of my soul was off course too.”

If my weight is off course and my health is off course, most definitely I realize as much as I love my Lord that my soul is off course until I get the diet under control.

Chapter 19- People, Places and Things– Use Discernment

We need people in our lives who will promote us moving forward.  Chrystal reminds us we always have Jesus who is our “perfect pacer, partner, and promoter” so start with Him.

We need to put ourselves in places where we are surrounded by others who honor God.

Don’t allow things to rob us of living the life we were meant to live.

Chapter 20- A Gift You Give Yourself – Exercise Discipline

The discipline we use to  live our life is the foundation which helps us live the life that we love, and we have to use that discipline to accomplish our goals.  Funny the chapter title says, “exercise discipline.”  I am so into exercising lately and it is taking a whole lot of exercise to discipline myself to walk 45 minutes.

Chapter 21- Five To Seven Yellow Lines– Just Keep Going

Sometimes like Chrystal it’s hard driving to a new destination, but we have to keep our eyes on those yellow lines in the road, or whatever color they are.  The key is to just keep moving on those lines on the road of our lives.  Keep moving.  It’s a key I’m learning as I get older.

Enjoy the rest of my 31 Days Series below:

Day 1 – 31 Days of Faith, Family, Home, Fitness, Coffee and Joy

Day 2 – Love

Day 3 – Did Someone Say Coffee-eeee?

Day 4 – Worthy an Online Bible Study of She’s Still There – My Week 2 Notes, Chapters 6-11

Day 5 –  Books I’m Reading, Cuppa Tea and Joy

Day 6 – His Mercies Are New Every Morning

Day 7 – Things I Love About Fall

Day 8 – Free Printable Lunch Box Notes

Day 9 – Prayer Walk

Day 10 – Refrigerator Thingy Notes – Free Printables

Day 11 – Worthy – An On-Line Bible Study Based On She’s Still There – My Notes Week 3 – Chapters 12-15

Day 12 – I’ll Worship Him In The Waiting

Day 13 – A Trip To The Dallas Arboretum

Day 14 – Fitness Bible Verses – Free Printable

 

 

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31 Days of Faith, Family, Home and Joy – Day 11 – Worthy – An On-Line Bible Study Based On She’s Still There – My Notes Week 3 – Chapters 12-15

12 Oct

You’ve got to pick up this book.  My blog can only hit on the BIG things that captured my heart.  There is so much stuffed in this easy to read book.  It is so good, and I am wearing it out and loving every single page.

Chapter 12- Sleeping By The Window – Nurturing Your Soul 

Chrystal talks about sleeping by the window on the floor even as she grew older, and reminds us that somewhere on the way from being a child to an adult we move away from the window that nurtured that girl inside us.

One reminder I loved was that she says, “we work too hard and play too little………….we forget what it means to simply be.”  Ponder on that – what does it mean to simply be?

This chapter reminded me of all the to-dos and my need to-dos.  I was and am still doing all the time.

What was I doing?

  • Full-time job as a Contracting Officer
  • Housework
  • Cooking
  • Carrying two kids to school, sports,  (soccer, volleyball, baseball, football, cheerleading) and an hour and a half round trip to school from our home.
  •  Church duties of singing in the choir, pre-school director, 4s and 5s teacher, church clerk, associate pastor’s wife………
  • Helping with an elderly Mom after the loss of Dad with many nights in the hospital

NOTE:  I miss sports with the kids.  I miss having them here.  I miss my Mom and Dad most days – so many memories.  I don’t miss my high stress job, but I miss friends I made there, and do get to meet some of them very occasionally for lunch because retirement has been a busy, invigorating, fun time for me.

What I’m doing now

  • Retired and loving it.
  • Watching our five grandchildren when I am needed and that’s usually two or three days a week.
  • Substitute teaching.
  • Volunteer Coach for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies – Have changed my life.  That’s where I am doing this study.  Our next one starts on November 4 and is Max Lucida’s Anxious For Nothing.   Come join us!
  • Trying to organize my house, and it is not going well.

So how do we learn to embrace life and love ourselves and delight in the simple joys?  She shares three ways – your senses, your significance, and the Spirit.

SENSES

Why did God create us with sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing?  She says it was God’s way for us to “perceive and experience your world.”    For her it is a “favorite book, watching athletes at the top of their game, hear music that inspires, or touch the soft fur of a puppy, and Bath and Body Works smell of “spa”.”

For me I do love books, don’t love athletes unless it’s family, Christian music especially when I’m cleaning or walking.  I really don’t want a puppy and all that goes with it, and I need to go check out “spa.”

Her Mom loves sunsets, flowers, and Cadbury Fruit and Nut chocolate.

I love sunsets, sunrises, flowers and chocolate.  I really need to try that Cadbury Fruit and Nut.  I love watching and listening to our  grand babies learning to sit up, crawl, stick out their tongues, walk, and even sleep, and our toddlers running around the den chasing each other.  I also love seeing animals,  butterflies, dragonflies and remembering Mom, kissing my husband goodbye in the morning and hello in the evening, folding his clothes and praying for him.  I love watching the rain come down and the birds all year-long – red birds, hummingbirds, doves, and blue birds.  There are always some year round feeding on the feeders my husband gave me when I retired.

YOUR SIGNIFICANCE

Chrystal says, ” relationships fill our cup – relationships with people who know us, value us, and treasure us.”  She also reminded us that significance is not only a gift to be received, but also to be given.

My relationships primarily center around family and my on-line Bible study sisters.  I can share with those folks because I’m not a real trusting person after being hurt by close family and friends.  Who can keep a trust – my husband, my kids, but honestly I haven’t found a friend that can.  Still looking for her, but I have found sisters in my studies that I can share some of my heart with.

Giving significance to others is easy for me.  Like Chrystal it’s easy to give a smile.  I’ve learned to stand in the hallways of school and smile and greet every child walking by.  I love waving when I am out walking to neighbors and school busses.  This morning one of the three busses that passed me stopped and opened his door as I waving and I said I was just saying good morning.  He said, “good morning and thank you.”  I learned when someone is on my mind it’s so easy to text, message, email or call.

THE SPIRIT

Chrystal reminds us that “the joy that can fill your soul through your senses and significance is temporary, and that kid of joy doesn’t last.”

True joy and peace for me comes from my Savior.  Let’s face it life is hard.  People disappoint us, they hurt us, don’t notice us, betray us, offend us.  His joy and peace are there for us no matter our circumstances.

How do we get that joy and peace?  She reminds us that we have to “cooperate by opening your Bible, making time for prayer, and walking in obedience.”

All these years I went to church and opened my Bible at church or to prepare for a children’s class.  It was not until I retired, found on-line Bible studies, and changed churches where we have women’s Bible studies that I truly learned to open my Bible.  The Word has come alive and I’ve found joy and peace no matter what I’m walking through.  I didn’t say it’s easy – it’s not – but it is amazing that when I am walking through tough times that He always sends a special verse, the right Bible study, or Christian song to bless my heart.  I feel Him daily.

His joy is my strength.

Chapter 13 –  A Labor of Love – Finding Purpose In Your Pain

Pain.  There is so much of it in life.  I’ve seen it over and over – miscarriages, infertility, death, sickness, disease.  How can it be a labor of love?  I know because I have found purpose in my pain.

Some of my favorite things from this chapter – too many to list them all.

  • “If we skip the pain, we skip part of the process.”
  • “Your pain is part of your journey.”
  • “Our pain affects how you see the world, and therefore how you see yourself.”
  • “It’s part of your experience, the stuff God allowed to impact your soul.”
  • “God wastes nothing.”
  • “Never forget that it’s in the darkest of spaces and places that the light of God’s hop can shine the brightest.  He is a master of making miracles out of our messes.”
  • “Pressing through your pain is always a push for life.  And ultimately, that push for life is a labor of love.”

This morning after writing all this I had to go get some of my favorite stone ware I hardly use and fix a cup of that “rockin’ hot chocolate” with a little cool whip on top.

 

 

Chapter 14 –  Rockin’ Hot Chocolate – Do What You Can With What You Have

You’ve heard that.  I’ve heard that, but what do we do with what we have?  We are reminded to not “delay making memories or sharing your life with your friends.”   She says, “do what you can to live your life well with what you have.”

Have you delayed making memories because your house is too small, too dirty, you don’t have the right dishes, don’t know how to cook?  I think we’ve all been there over the years as we were starting out.  So how do we live our lives with what we have?

I wonder, too, how many of us don’t pull out the good china, the cloth napkins, the crystal saving them for another time.  I’ve learned to enjoy those things.

I loved this – “We’re tempted to wait until just the right moment to do the right thing or a “big” thing.  And while we wait, we do “no” thing.”  I thought about this.  We do “no” thing and someone dies, gets sick and we never do anything.

What has God placed on your heart?  Do it.  I know I’m guilty.  It is not about the house for me, but it is time.  I have been talking for a year about having neighbor women over for coffee/tea brunch.  I have not done it.  It just needs to be on my calendar, and I am thinking I need to do this during Christmas holidays when school is out.  We can have some of that “rocking’ hot chocolate”.

We were reminded about Mother Teresa and how famous she is.  Chrystal reminds us that Mother Teresa embraced opportunities.  Let’s embrace the opportunities that God places right in front of us, but we are so busy we miss those blessings.

Chapter 15 – An Answer, Not The Answer – The Process of Your Progress

What are you doing today to make tomorrow better?  For some of us we are looking for answers, and we do not know how to make a life happen for ourselves that we will be proud of.

Let me remind you what Chrystal says, “Your job is not to find the answer that leads to a master plan or purpose.  Your job is to move forward as you become aware of an answer that you can act on.  You must accept that an answer is part of the process to getting to the answer.”

What have you become aware of?  What have you been afraid of?  Oh let me tell you this girl has been there, but it’s been small steps even when I was afraid for all my life.

  • Working through high school, after school at a furniture store
  • Typing and shorthand classes in high school preparing for a job.
  • Upon graduation took a job with the Navy in contracting using my typing and shorthand.
  • College – a few night classes here and there while my hubby was working part-time and finishing his degree, and eventually completing my business degree.
  • Willing to take risks and apply for new jobs in my office working my way up to one of the first two women who were Contracting Officers.

I had no master plan, but the Master did, as I continued to move forward and act on things that came about.  I never thought I would finish college – that all happened once I was as high as I could go in my office as a Team Leader and a Contracting Officer without being upper management one grade higher and that was not something I aspired to do.

Enjoy the rest of my 31 Days Series below:

Day 1 – 31 Days of Faith, Family, Home, Fitness, Coffee and Joy

Day 2 – Love

Day 3 – Did Someone Say Coffee-eeee?

Day 4 – Worthy an Online Bible Study of She’s Still There – My Week 2 Notes, Chapters 6-11

Day 5 –  Books I’m Reading, Cuppa Tea and Joy

Day 6 – His Mercies Are New Every Morning

Day 7 – Things I Love About Fall

Day 8 – Free Printable Lunch Box Notes

Day 9 – Prayer Walk

Day 10 – Refrigerator Thingy Notes – Free Printables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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31 Days of Faith, Family, Home and Joy – Day 4 – Worthy – An On-Line Bible Study Based On She’s Still There – My Notes Week 2 – Chapters 6-11

4 Oct

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This book just gets better and better.  We covered six chapters this week.  They are easy to read and it goes quickly.  Let me tell you each chapter has found a way to step on this girl’s toes.

Chapter 6- An Episode from Adolescence – You Are A Soul 

At one point in her life Chrystal tells us she went to her parents and told them, “I don’t know who I am”.  Her father’s response was, “you are Chrystal”.

Who am I?  Who are you?  We start having those doubts and Satan takes hold of us and tells us who we are NOT!  Are you trying to figure it out?  Have there been times you questioned who you are?  I know I have, but today I know who I am – I am Debbie, and I know whose I am – His. That’s all I need to know, but how do we get there – how did I get there?

I am a masterpiece.  I am a soul.  I am unique.  I was uniquely created.  There is no one like me?  I am His child.  I am loved.

Chrystal spoke to us in a video this week about something I had never thought about.  I knew our fingerprints are unique.  But have you ever thought about your DNA, your culture, your relationships and so much more even your signature?  Crystal says “there is no one like you, no one can do you like you do.”

Chrystal reminds us even if we have it all figured out things can shift.   You know what I mean if you have lived long enough.  One moment life seems perfect, and the next moment it is not.  My husband often reminds me this won’t last – these good times – there will be hard, and he is right because life has been ups and downs and most of the time not of our own fault.  This hit close to home last week when we went to the hospital to visit a friend who had a stroke and is critical with brain bleeding.  It hit home this week as I started having some back issues, and today going for an MRI.  It hits home when your children can’t have children.  It hits home when you lose a parent or parents.  It hits home when you have a child born with a disability.  It hits home in the loss of a job or a tornado, hurricane or fire destroy your home.  It hits home when you lose a child, brother or sister.

Chapter 7- Double Blue Lines – Chronicle of a Collision

When Chrystal was in college she became pregnant.  She had lost her “clarity and focus“.  Life became blurry and messy.  Her drifts and the decisions she was making she says “became a head-on collision.”    When she told the father of the child she was expecting, he told her it wasn’t his.  I can’t imagine the pain of a father saying that.

Like Chrystal, sometimes our crashes are our own fault like taking that first drink, having that first drug, following the crowd or how about texting and driving.  One moment can change our life and others forever.  Warnings all over the place – we’ve met alcoholics, drug addicts, people who have caused a death because they were texting or dialing a number or drinking and driving.  We lost family members because of drinking and drugs, and marriages break up.

I love this quote from page 84, “While there may be times when I feel that things cannot be repaired, they are never beyond repair when placed in the hands of the One who can make something out of nothing, mend what is broken, restore  what seems unsalvageable.”

God is right there waiting no matter what we are going through.

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.                          Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV)

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you…..John 15:16 (KJV)

 

Chapter 8- Double Blue Lines – Precious Cargo – Carry Your Contents Carefully

Have you ever fallen asleep driving?  Chrystal did not.   She fell asleep at a red light long enough for people to call and the police arrive.  She reminds us that we are precious cargo, and that it is our duty to love ourselves enough to live with hope, intention, and focus, and to never forget that we “are behind the wheel.” It is our “choice to live with acute awareness is the key to getting where you’ve been designed to go.”  Ouch she is stepping on my toes.

Raising my hand up here I have not been living as responsibly as I should.  I need to walk more and I need to eat less.  Since this chapter I’m pushing that pedometer up, up, up and I’m watching more of what I eat.

Chapter 9- Gain Perspective – Look and Listen

GAIN – Gifts, Abilities, Interests, Nature

We all have gifts whether we think we do or not.  Crystal reminds us that “God expects us to discover, develop, and deploy our gifts as we live this life.”  She began to list her gifts, abilities, interests, and her nature.  She did all this to gain a new perspective and encouraged us to do the same.

I thought about my gifts – good listener, abilities – good with numbers, love grand baby sitting, and interests – reading, genealogy, cooking, walking, mowing, taking care of grandchildren, meeting someone for lunch

 

Chapter 10 – Wake Up and Drive  – Participate and Drive

Have you ever fallen asleep at the wheel?  I have NOT, but my husband has once or twice in 48 years,  and that keeps me from napping when we are traveling.

Each chapter steps on my toes, pricks at my heart.  It’s that weight thing.  I know I’m fat.  Maybe this is where I had to get to move forward.  I look in the mirror and appalled at what I see.  That skinny girl – where is she?  Chrystal says, “We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves”, and “each and every day, your body moves one step closer to its inevitable end.”

She also talks about something you know if you are a woman and that is we are always taking care of someone else but ourselves.  That’s the truth – we raise our children, we work outside the home, we are doing things at church, we take care of aging parents and then grandchildren.  I know I need to exercise and this book has caused me to stop and listen.  I’ve been working hard to get in 10,000 steps a day and eat healthier, but oh that healthy part comes hard for me.

To lose weight we have to wake up and participate.  I need to make a menu and post it each week.  I’m not consistent.  I need to push myself to reach those 10,000 steps.  Our den is big.  I had hit my 10,000 yesterday, but when my husband went to shower I spent the next 15 minutes running around the sofa adding another 1,000 steps.

One of my favorite parts of the chapter was when Chrystal says that a mentor advised her to “get up every morning, stretch my hands to heaven before my feet hit the floor, and offer God my mind, my heart, and my day.”  Do you get up and ask God what He wants you to do today?  My husband asked me the other morning when he was leaving what my agenda was for today.  I said well Hope and Cal are coming and whatever else the Lord asks me to do.  We have to be open each day to be available for whatever assignment He sends our way.

Chapter 12 – Follow The Yellow Crumb Road  – You Don’t Have To Know It All

This chapter starts with something I have failed to do – not allowing the kids and grandkids to eat anywhere but the kitchen.  Someday!  Those trails they leave are now as crumbs.  Yep Chrystal reminds you can follow those crumbs the kids leave, but she also reminds us of the crumbs that our Lord leaves.  Are we following them?  I can yes to some and no to others.  There is so much in the Word to learn and follow, but first I have to be in the Word to know what the crumbs are.

We have to follow the trail that He has given us.  Here are a few verses that reminds us to follow the trail in the KJV (Chrystal uses the NLT):

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.  Psalm 119:133

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.  Psalm 37:23

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  Psalm 16:11

 

You can  my Week 1 notes for Chapters 1-5 here.

You can read the rest of my 31 Days Series below:

Day 1 – 31 Days of Faith, Family, Home, Fitness, Coffee and Joy

Day 2 – Love

Day 3 – Did Someone Say Coffee-eeee?

 

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Worthy: An Online Bible Study based on She’s Still There – 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, that wasn’t just in time with what was happening in my life, and WHOA this one has already spoken to me 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 or a sculpted piece.

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, infertility, 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.  No, I will never forget that moment – months actually, and there is still some pain, but it has turned out well.  It is well with this girl’s soul.

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.  Your story is His story.

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 clerk, 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 as a volunteer coach for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.

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, but mostly for me I need His Word hidden in my heart to remind me I am His and He is there every moment through every drift.

Sharing and joining with Suzie Eller on Live Free Thursday.

 

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