Unglued Bible Study-3 Ways to Stay on God’s Side

angry-woman.jpgHola Divas!  If you will recall, we discussed Joshua earlier this week and the choice he had to make before going into battle.  I would call getting ready for battle an “unglued situation”.

When I come unglued, I fly into action to “fix” the situation. Stopping to choose a side is the last thing on my mind.  In the Unglued Participant’s Guide, Lysa gave us some action steps on how to “stay on God’s side”.

1.  Use Truth–What is REALLY true about the situation or person.  There are so many outside influences that sometimes getting a little truth about the matter is a really wise thing to do.  Remember, our perception may NOT be the reality.

2.  Use self-control.  I can only control KATINA! In Unglued situations, I often behave in ways to control the other person or the outcome: pouting, yelling, sulking, silent treatment, etc…)  As Lysa says, “Our feelings are indicators NOT dictators”.

3.  Use prayer–Pray for the person who is getting on your last nerve!  I think it is only natural to pray for the resolution of a situation that has us unglued. The only issue with that  is what if the situation does not resolve?

Our prayer for the week:

God, help me choose to be on YOUR side, trusting that YOU will help me face things outside of my control without acting out of control.  

Homework for this week:

Read chapters 1-2 in the Unglued book!

Determined….NOT Desperate-(Made to Crave Bible Study)

Made to Crave Bible Study

Hola Divas!  Welcome to week three of our bible study, Made to Crave by Lysa TerKuerst.  If you are just joining us, you may want to check out previous Made to Crave  posts or visit our Meetup Page

During each session, Lysa gives us a theme word.  For the first session, the word was empowerment.  Our word for this session is Determined.

Webster’s online dictionary defines determined as: having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it. 

Determined is a mindset.

At the opposite end of the “mindset spectrum’ is desperate.  Desperate is defined as: feeling, showing, or involving a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with.  

As Lysa so eloquently put it…Desperation breeds defeat. 

When we are  desperate,  we want instant gratification.  We become laser focused on what we want. We see what we want. We think about what we want. We simply MUST have it or we couldn’t possibly live on!

In desperate times, we just might do, say, eat, or give away….ANYTHING!

girl-eating-chocolate-cake-280X280

In Genesis 25:29-34, we find an exchange between two brothers illustrating what desperation can do:

One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry.

(Can you say set up for desperation?  When I arrive home after working all day exhausted and hungry…the best intentions in the world just may not be able to keep me from  running to a drive through instead of cooking a healthy meal.)

Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.”

(Do we have some sibling rivalry going on?  Jacob did NOT have Esau’s best interests in mind.  However, Esau’s defenses were down…he smelled the soup, the saw the soup, he wanted the soup, he simply had to have the soup. So….. he went straight into crazytown-manipulation-drama-king mode:

“Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?”

I am sure NONE of you have eeeevvvver  gone into drama queen mode (the attitude, pouting, noodle-necking, sulking, silent treatment, oh no I am fine…just about to die), when you desperately wanted something.

pout

Divas, we have to be careful with desperation…it breeds defeat. We want …..and we want ….and we start manipulating to get what we want and before we know it….desperation turns our manipulation back on us,  and WE GET PLAYED!

But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.

Divas would you trade your inheritance for soup?  

soup 

One method of handling “physical” desperation is to not allow ourselves to get soooo hungry we become desperate.

Part of the homework for this week is to determine in advance what we are going to eat so that we are not caught off guard…exhausted and hungry!  If you need help, check out our post on the plate method and plan out at least 3 days worth of meals.

Maybe you don’t have a food issue.  Where do you become so desperate in your life that you make “feel-good right now” decisions with painful long-term consequences?

Come on back later this week as we talk about “spiritual determination”.

Keep us posted about how things are going in the comments section!

 

Five Minute Friday-After

imageEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. The word for today is AFTER.

Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

It was 37 degrees here yesterday:(  I had remind myself that it really is spring.  Along with the cold weather, it hailed, snowed and rained all day.  As my ladies (the “Divas”) began to arrive to class, it warmed my heart to know our class is viewed as important enough to endure harsh weather.  Yes, AFTER yesterday’s weather, the divas can tell their friends tall tales about walking to class uphill in the snow—both ways.  (LOL!)

Once class started, we forgot all about the weather.  Perhaps it was our abs done in a big circle, the dance battle, or our cool down worship song. 

When you are really engaged and intentional about doing something, external circumstances do not affect you until, AFTER.  However, when we are discontented and focused on all that is wrong, external circumstances are downright debilitating—now, later, and AFTER.   It is hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other in faith “right now” because we often don’t see God’s handiwork until…AFTER.

If we take the time to look back, we realize God has brought us through so many things.  Each valley experience had an eventual peak…AFTER.  We just have to remember…AFTER.  Trouble don’t last always.

Five Minute Friday-Ordinary

Happy Friday Divas! We are linking up with Lisa Jo Baker, (The Gypsy Mama), for her weekly writing link up–Five Minute Friday (FMF). For most FMFs, Lisa Jo provides a one word prompt and challenges writers to write about the prompt for five minutes ONLY. Today’s word is ORDINARY.

What happens when ordinary women come together and encourage each other? The extra-ordinary love of God is experienced.

I am simply ah-mazed at all the beautiful rainbow of women that attend class each week. Empty-nesters, toddler mommies, mommies of teenagers, married without children, single, brown skin, peach skin, tall, short, thin, and my favorite..chunky but funky—all together dancing away the cares of the week.

A wonderful lady we will just call “V” dances on the front row of class. “V” is from Miami and I LOVE to watch her dance. We did a merengue number last night and I was just mesmerized watching her. At one point in the song, I yelled “whoo-hoo” and told everyone to watch her.

At the end of class, ladies kept coming up to her to compliment her dancing. She graciously said thank you but then informed everyone that she is just ORDINARY in comparison to her family in Miami. She even said if her family members were in class, they would put her to shame!

Believe me when I tell you there is NOTHING ORDINARY about “V” as a dancer or as a person. Just watching the way she feels the music and then loses herself to the point where she does her own routine and adds her signature spin gives me so much joy. Just talking with her and being in her presence makes you smile.

We often down play our awesomeness because we look at ourselves through the dark-colored glasses of comparison. When we compare, it is hard to see ourselves as anything but ORDINARY. God uses ordinary people every day. Little truly does become much when it is placed in the Master’s hands.

If you are in the Kernersville, NC area–join us for bible study and class on Saturday.

Let It Go Girl!

imageHello Divas! Today I am participating in a blog hop on Melissa Taylor’s blog! Melissa hosts online bible studies and is currently hosting an online bible study of the book Let. IT. Go! Isn’t that so cool? Right along with us, there are thousands of women all over the world learning how to LET. IT. GO.!

Each week, Melissa provides blog post topics from the book. One of the topics for today is to write a prayer inspired by a wonderful truth Karen wrote on page 54 of the book:

When we willingly accept our lot in life, welcoming all that God is trying to teach us through it, we lose the drive to over control, to micromanage in an all-out attempt to appear perfect and ensure everything in our lives is “just so”.

Divas, if anyone needs to remind herself of this truth it is me. As much as I feel alone sometimes in trying to navigate life while wearing all the different hats that I wear, I suspect I am not really alone. I bet willingly accepting and welcoming all that God has to teach us sounds glorious to you too. Lord give us the strength! Here is my prayer today:

Dear God,

Thank you so much for another day. Your ways are truly above my ways. You are all-knowing, all-powerful and gracious. Oh Father, help me with my “want to” on willingly accepting where I am in life right at this very minute. Although I know you are ultimately in control, I keep manipulating and agonizing over trivial things to make what I want happen. Forgive me.

My futile attempts at getting and keeping everything “just-so” are exhausting. As I exhale, may your presence energize me. Today, I choose to be thankful for what you have done and are doing in my life and I am trusting you to navigate me towards my best. Today, I choose to LET. IT. GO!

Amen

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31

Homework for this week:  Read through chapter 4, complete the session 2 “between-session” study guide questions.

If you are in the Kernersville, NC area, join us for our Let. IT. GO. bible study this Saturday 8:30am -9:15am (just before class).

Five Minute Friday-Afraid

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off.  I am so thankful that I found Five Minute Fridays!  FMF gives me an opportunity to just “freestyle”!

Many of you have told me that you really enjoy reading the FMF posts!  You can read previous FMF posts: HERE.

Today’s word is Afraid.

When I was a little girl, I was AFRAID of the dark, monsters, scary movies, bugs, and big scary dogs.  When I became a teenager, I was AFRAID of not having friends, what my boyfriend thought of me and making good grades.

As an adult, finances have a tendency to make me AFRAID.   I worry about grades and friendships for my daughters.  (Let’s not even talk about boyfriends.)  At nearly forty years old, I still have dreams and aspirations that I am AFRAID will not come to fruition.

Everyone feels AFRAID at times. Often, at the point where we feel the most fearful is where we make hasty decisions or react in ways that are not our best. 

 I just love this quote by Lysa Terkeurst from her book Unglued:  “Feelings are indicators, not dictators. They can indicate where your heart is in the moment, but that doesn’t mean they have the right to dictate your behavior and boss you around. You are more than the sum total of your feelings…”

Divas, we ARE more than our feelings.  We are bigger than feeling AFRAID.  Most of all, we are not alone. 

Hebrews 13:5-6 (NIV 1984) …..God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.

Five Minute Friday-Cherish

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off.  I am so thankful that I found Five Minute Fridays!  FMF gives me an opportunity to just “freestyle”! Many of you have told me that you really enjoy reading the FMF posts!  If you have NEVER read the FMF posts, I urge you to read the ones from last year: HERE.

The word for today is CHERISH. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

 When you CHERISH something; you hold it dear, you cultivate and care for it….you love it.  I love, hold dear in my heart and CHERISH the women in our class.  When I stand up on stage and look out in a gym full of… “life givers, joy raisers, laundry folders, world changers” (thanks Lysa Jo Baker).  I am humbled.

Our time in class together provides so many with so much.  It is so much more than a room full of women jiggling around all sweaty.  Although there is plenty of jiggling around and enough sweat that if sweat could be sold we would be rich, it truly is more than that.  For me it is God allowing me to do what I feel like I have been waiting my whole life to do.  I am so alive on that stage dancing and sharing the love of God with women of all different shapes, sizes and colors. Oh how I CHERISH my time on my God-given platform.

From what I observe, it is the relationships and the environment that makes our class so much more than dancing and sweating for the ladies in class.  It is the praying for each other, giving each other a much-needed hug after a long day, and punching together in the song my ladies call Beep-Bop, that is CHERISHed

We CHERISH our families, as we should.  We are learning how to CHERISH ourselves.

Join us for Soulful Saturday affectionately called praise and tone tomorrow 9:30am-11am AND join us for BIBLE STUDY…Karen Ehman’s Let. It. Go.  8:30am (just before class).

 

Five Minute Friday-RACE

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. The word for today is RACE. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

Life seems to happen quickly.  Ladies RACE into class with only a few minutes to spare with the grimace of a long day on their faces.  It is so refreshing to watch some of our Divas take a deep exhalation breath when they get in place and start dancing.

Although our class is face paced, we are NOT in a RACE.  We come together to sweat, to get a great work out and to get our “happy” by encouraging each other.  We RACE outside of the four walls of the Kernersville Parks and Recreation Gym.  When we come to class,  it is time to refuel.

More times than I can remember, I have come to class weary from my own life RACE and leave with a little more pep in my step.  I just love our cool down song, REST by Laura Cooksey.  The song just reminds us to take all the things that make us so tired on our RACE to the ONE who can handle EVERYTHING!

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take a little break from your RACE today and stretch with us: (Warning–the video is a little wobbly but God is doing amazing things in the hearts of the women in our class–wobbly videos and all!)

(click HERE if you cannot see the video)

The Exploders-Unglued Bible Study Chapter 5

Welcome to our continued discussion on our Unglued Bible Study written by Lysa Terkeurst.  In chapter 4, we learned about the different ways we come unglued:  we either explode or stuff.  Chapter 5 is all about Exploders!

Perhaps it is just me but I tend to come COMPLETELY UNGLUED with my family.  As much as I love my girls and would take a bullet for them, those two can really push my buttons! The morning shuffle, homework, and picking up after themselves are our largest “mommy-comes-unglued” triggers.

When I say Mommy-comes-unglued.  I don’t mean, mommy gets a little upset.  I mean Mommy Goes Kray-Kray! Of course once I do that, I feel HORRIBLE and shame myself about being a bad mother.

Do ever explode and blame others and then later shame yourself?

I just love how Lysa describes emotions and relationships as being like nailing Jell-O to the wall–complicated and messy.

When things are complicated and messy it is hard to see God at work.  When we get in an exploding mind frame, Lysa challenges us to get quiet so that we can see what God is doing and then do what HEwants us to do.

To further explain the getting “quiet” concept Lysa referred to the following scriptures:

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Humbling myself means that I may NOT need to respond right away. Ooooh, not responding right away is HARD and sometimes makes me feel like a wimp.  But the Word promises that when we humble ourselves HE will lift us up in due time. Getting quiet doesn’t mean we don’t discuss our feelings, it just means that we talk to God about the unglued situation FIRST! (Ouch)

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

When we get quiet, we realize that the person or people who are getting on our nerves are NOT the enemy.  Satan is our enemy.

1Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

And that Divas is our promise.  God can use our conflicts for our good. 

Getting quiet before we explode gives perspective, identifies the REAL enemy, and as Lysa put it “frees us from the pressure to make everything turn out rosy”. WOW!

Dear God,

Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to learn about how to control my emotions YOUR way.  Lord, stretch my mind and my feelings so I can embrace people who “dance on my happy” with grace.  Remind me Oh Lord to get quiet and seek instructions from YOU BEFORE I explode.   You never said this life would be without troubles.  In fact, your Word says that WHEN troubles come they should be an opportunity for joy.  Help me live out my God-created identity and be a light to the world.

What can you say or do to remember to get quiet BEFORE you react this week?

The Homework for next week is to read Chapter 6.

Looking for more discussion on this bible study? Head on over to Melissa Taylor’s Blog

What Kind of Unglued am I?–Unglued Bible Study Chapter 4

Hello Divas!  Is is just me or are there just TONS of opportunities to come unglued these days?  We had a great discussion on last Saturday talking about the labels that other people place on us or that we place on ourselves.

I just love the way Lysa Terkerust (the author of our study) summed it all up:  “God doesn’t allow the unglued moments of our lives to happen so we’ll label ourselves and stay stuck.  He allows the unglued moments to make us aware of the chiseling that needs to be done.”  AMEN!

At the end of our time together, Lysa challenged us to practice pausing and whispering “Let God Chisel” before reacting to difficult situations.  How is that working out for you?

In chapter 4, Lysa discussed the ways we come unglued. We either 1) explode  by loudly or forcefully expressing our feelings or 2) stuff everything deep down inside and pretend to be “fine”.  Lysa went on to describe actual subcategories of exploding and stuffing.

The four categories of unglued reactions are:

  • Exploders who shame themselves (Yell first, feel horrible later)
  • Exploders who blame others (Yell and then blame the other person for your behavior)
  • Stuffers who build barriers (Say everything is fine but then get distant)
  • Stuffers who collect retaliation rocks ( Silent record keeping of every wrong doing only to be brought up later)

Call me crazy but depending on my audience, I can react in all of these ways.  Don’t let someone close to me like my husband or children dance on one of my nerves, I can explode and blame, stuff and build a barrier while collecting my retaliation rocks, and shame myself for it ALL  in record time.

The point is to have something Lysa calls “Soul Integrity”.  “Soul Integrity is honesty that is godly.  Soul Integrity brings balance to unglued situations.  It makes us true peacemakers–people who aren’t stuffing or exploding but rather honestly demonstrating what they are experiencing in a godly manner.

A passage in the book of James speaks about Soul Integrity:

James 3: 13-15, 17

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic….But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

How can you respond in ways that are: considerate, submissive, impartial, full of mercy and sincere this week?

Homework:  Read Chapters 4, 5 and 6 before our next study time together (October 20, 2012)