Unglued Revisited

 

Welcome Back Divas!!!  Yep, our summer Bible Study is back in session!!! We are revisiting UNGLUED by Lysa Terkeurst!  This study was life changing the last time we completed it 2 years ago.  After many requests…. it’s BAAAAAAACCCK!

The tag line for the book Unglued is:  “Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Raw Emotions”. Perhaps it is just me but I have quite a few, “raw emotions”.  What do we do with these raw emotions? Is it really possible to make emotions work for us instead of against us?

Yes, and the Unglued Bible Study turns us to God’s Word and shows us how!

During our first session, we focused on Joshua 5:13-14(NLT)…just before the battle of Jericho.

When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.” At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”

Just prior to meeting the man, Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan River after God parted it for them  [Joshua 3:13-14] (just like he did with Moses and the Red Sea).  With such a spiritual victory, it is quite plausible that Joshua may have been feeling victorious and ready for battle.  Yet before he acted, he was required to chose a side.  

“We tend to approach our battles and causes backwards; we turn things all around and try to marshal God to support us rather than to submit and follow Him.”-bible.org (OUCH!)

Just before becoming completely unglued about a work situation, bills, something that someone has done to us or an interruption in our schedules, we have an opportunity to choose God’s side by submitting to HIM right then. We can ask God what HE wants us to do BEFORE we do what we want to do in the moment.

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 the week:

Read chapters 1-2 in the Unglued Book.

Don’t have the book?  Purchase it for $5 from Christian Book Stores .

If you are close to Kernersville, NC..join us in person!  Visit our Meetup Page for more info..otherwise just follow along online!

Let us know in the comments about your week!

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-Again

Each week, Lisa Jo Baker, “The Gypsy Mama” hosts a weekly meme called Five Minute Fridays. The joy of Five Minute Fridays is that Lisa gives a word prompt and writers are to “write” for FIVE minutes–no crazy editing–just write. The word for today is “AGAIN”.

Has life ever had you use the expression, Aggggggaaaaiiinnnnn (in your best whiny voice)? When you say AGAIN in your whiny voice, you are actually saying, I don’t feel like it. Life is FULL of things that need to be done AGAIN and AGAIN. I can think of more than a few things that if I never had to do them AGAIN, it would be fine with me.

The interesting thing about “AGAIN” is when we enjoy an activity, we don’t mind doing it…AGAIN. It is when we loathe the activity or when the activity causes pain that AGAIN seems like just too much.

Just before teaching class last night, I said “Aggggaaaaainnn?” in my best whiny voice. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be there, I was exhausted. My exhaustion led me to question everything from the playlist to my shoe choice.

When we got ready to cool down, I was secretly ecstatic. “Whew, I made it”, I thought. “I won’t have to do this AGAIN until next Wednesday”.

Then the song “What a Wonderful World”,  performed by Ledisi, began to play and I was reminded that AGAIN is a blessing.  When she crooned the following verse, I realized AGAIN is something to be THANKFUL for:

The colors of the rainbow
So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces
Of people going by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, “how do you do?”
They’re really saying
“I love you”
 
Thank you God for rainbows, thank you God for the sky I get to see AGAIN and AGAIN, thank you God for these beautiful faces dancing in front of me yet AGAIN.  Thank you God for loving me AGAIN and AGAIN even when I don’t notice. 

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).

 

Cut The Crap-Eating Out Tips

Happy Tuesday Divas! How are your “Cut the Crap” efforts coming?  Weekends are hard but sometimes Mondays are even harder in terms of staying on track.

 I JUST posted about planning ahead and alas….I did NOT plan ahead yesterday.  I got home a lot later than usual yesterday because I had a CPR class.  I FORGOT to take out our lean ground beef. Soooo,  I tried my Mother’s method of putting the frozen meat container in cold water for 30 minutes.  NOTHING, still frozen solid.

My children are chanting about how hungry they are and my husband says….”Let’s just go and pick up something”.  Just before the horror music started to play in my head, my oldest daughter asked if she could pick the restaurant since she made an “A” on her math test.

She studied really hard so we let her choose.  MISTAKE! She chose a local diner/dive that sells breakfast 24 hours a day.  This is not my favorite place to eat normally but now that I am “Cutting the Crap” it is soooo NOT on the list.

So we get to the restaurant and slide into the booths.  It takes me at least ten minutes to read the entire menu then decide what I was going to order.  I ended up ordering some ol dry chicken, asparagus and water.   

 
Let’s just say I left that meal unfulfilled.  However, I DID laugh and talk with my family which is priceless! 

So Divas, learn from my mistake!  Follow these tips when eating out and ENJOY your food:

1.  Research the restaurant BEFORE you go.  (Here we are right back at planning–smh!)  Most restaurants have their menu online.  Most large chains also have the nutritional information and ingredients online as well. (Local dives like where we went…not so much.)

2.  Eat something at home before getting to the restaurant.  This will make passing on the appetizers and bread easier because you won’t be famished.

3.  Drink water.  Free refills are an  easy way to large amounts  of sugar or chemically altered products that are turned into sugar.  For a little flavor, add lemon or lime to your water.  If all else fails remember, drinking water saves you almost $3.00 per meal!

Do you have any tips for eating out while following a healthy meal plan?

New Year New You-Cut the Crap

Ok Divas, it is 2013!  We have been on our cruise and the holidays are behind us!  It is time for us to get serious about our fitness goals and cut the CRAP! “Cut The CRAP”  is  a 21 day challenge to eliminate unhealthy foods from your diet.  Our challenge is a great way to jump-start your healthy eating resolutions AND we will be journeying TOGETHER!

CRAP stands for…

Caffeine –I like to have a cup of coffee in the morning and actually 1-2 cups of coffee or tea per day are not that bad. It is the Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and all the other sugary stuff that people (me included) tend to put in coffee that is the issue. Also, having more than a couple of cups per day can lead to muscle tremors, rapid heartbeat, nervousness, and depression.

Refined Sugar – Just think of EVERYTHING! Just about everything in the American Diet has sugar in it! My beloved Coca-Colas, cakes, candy and just about every packaged food you can buy in a vending machine.

Alcohol – I have always viewed alcohol as empty calories. I am not one of those people who need alcohol to unwind and have a good time! Just turn on music, and I am ready to dance completely sober! At any rate, limiting alcohol in take is a critical part of cutting the crap.

Processed Foods – Most things that come in a box, jar, can or foam packaging from a fast food restaurant are processed. Most processed foods contain bleached wheat flour like white bread (gasp!). White sugar, white rice, white pasta are all processed and should all be avoided-at least during the challenge and then eaten in moderation afterwards.

So what do YOU need to do for our “Cut The Crap” challenge:

1.  Eat things prepared by human hands NOT a machine and drink lots of water:

Whole grains!
Fruits!
Veggies!
Lean cuts of meat!

Don’t even know what a healthy plate looks like?  Go HERE

2.  Write your food down on a food diary OR use an APP for your mobile phone.  Need a food diary?  Go HERE.

3.  You can have one *cheat meal* a week.

4.  If your physician agrees, take a daily fish oil supplement.

5.  Take a steam bath at least twice a week—-Make it fairly hot to sweat out toxins and add some Epsom Salts.  Use a body brush all over, working in the direction of your heart.

 Don’t forget to come on back to class this week!!!! Go HERE for our calendar!

Five Minute Friday-Wonder

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!  This week is the last FMF for the year! The word for today is WONDER. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

WONDER is one of those things that tends to get lost as we age. Children are often in a state of astonishment or WONDER over the smallest things.  As old rusty adults, we are hardly in  WONDER about anything.  Things just are.  The few things in entertainment today that do evoke WONDER, tend to do so under a veil of darkness.

I guess that is why I am often in complete WONDER when I get on stage to teach to my fabulous Divas in class.  When I started teaching our class, I committed to an eight week session and I prayed that God would send at least twenty regular attendees to class.  Fast forward two years later and we have at least fifty regular attendees in each class, over 500 women as part of our online meetup community, next Wednesday ninety-five of us will cruise to the Bahamas together, and on Saturday we will conclude our first group bible study!  Talk about WONDER.

Although the numbers are great, it is what happens in the lives of the ladies in class that is most astonishing and keeps me in complete WONDER.  We have had marriages, divorces, children born, cancer, jobs lost, college started, illness and surgeries… But most of all we have drawn closer to God together.

Dear God, thank you so much for bringing us to the close of another year.  May we revive our WONDER for YOU and YOUR will for our lives. 

Join us Saturday for Bible Study (Unglued by Lysa Terkerust) @ 8:30am and then class 9:30am-11am!!

Remember, we do NOT have class next week!

The Empty Woman-Unglued Bible Study Chapter 9

Hello Divas! We have been really learning some things about ourselves with this Unglued study haven’t we?  In chapter nine, Lysa talks about the elephant in the room…jealousy.

I don’t like to think of myself as a jealous person.  But honestly, it is hard to see other people get something that I really want but don’t have yet.  On one of my CRAZY weeks,  I had “work” to do at work that I really did not want to do. My nose started running, so I took Benadryl and had “medicine head”. I had been screaming and rushing around to get out of the door in the mornings and I had to start planning for a Zumba® event. (Y’all know all of that was a recipe for an UNGLUED MOMENT!)

Anywho, during the planning, I began to feel a pang of frustration. One of the other instructors helping with the event has her own fitness company. As I tried to complete the work I did not want to do at my regular job, my mind started to turn cart wheels. “Must be nice to do what you love ALL the time AND make tons of money”. “Why can’t I do what I love AND make money?” Then I really took a dive into the sea of green. I began to reflect on closing my party business and the dealing with the debt from doing what I was passionate about. Then, just looking at her email address made me very depressed.

The more I compared myself to the other instructor, the more lethargic and empty I felt.  Empty women come unglued.

Do you EVER compare your self to others?

In chapter nine, Lysa gave two simple action steps to deal with jealousy and comparing ourselves to others and I added a third:

1.  Focus on your own responsibilities and actions.

Galatians 6:4-5 (NIV)  Each one should test their own actions.  Then they can take pride in themselves alone without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. 

2.  Carry some love to others.  Find a way to be a blessing to someone else. When you change your focus away from yourself, all of a sudden your self-image improves. You get to experience the feeling of satisfaction that only comes when you’re a blessing to someone else.

3.  Have an attitude of gratitude.  An attitude of gratitude in all things helps bring joy to our lives.

How can you be a woman full of joy instead of an Empty woman this week?

Homework for this week’s bible study meeting–Chapters 9 & 10

 

United We Dance and Change the World

I truly believe every one in America needs to come to our class and learn how to be a community. Although no one wore their political preferences on their shirts for all to see, I am sure we had women who are Republican, Democrat, and all in between in class tonight.

I felt led to start tonight’s class with a prayer for our country. I prayed for unity, peace, wisdom for our leaders and reminder for us to submit to God’s will. Then we danced. We started off with Mary J. Blige’s Just Fine “So I like what see when I’m looking at me in the Mirror” OH YEAH!

We then removed our “Shackles So We Could Dance” with Mandisa’s Shackles.  I threw in a little cumbia, gnangam style, a killer salsa, a merengue, and a little reggaeton mixed with energy through the roof and we had a recipe for true community…embracing our differences with LOVE!

Women of both red and blue danced their hearts out tonight, TOGETHER. We  applauded the new job of one diva, listened intently about the upcoming wedding of an excited diva-bride-to-be, and asked about the health of the husband of another diva. Our lives are connected much deeper than politics.

We cooled down to Kirk Franklin’s “Smile” and that for me sealed the night with a Heavenly Hug. 

I love the line, “I know God is working so I smile”. 

God IS working!

I couldn’t help BUT smile at y’all tonight. I forgot that I put Proud Mary at the end just in case we had time. When it came on and y’all ran back onto the floor and danced an encore, it was just confirmation of the mighty work God is doing! The sheer joy on your faces was breath-taking!

Until we Dance again,