Apr 20

Spring Break Crazy (and mid-week check in)

This week has been full of fun and good, but boy oh boy, do I feel like it should be the weekend already?!?!

Last weekend I had the awesome privilege of traveling to Virginia (about 5 hours from my home) to speak at a women’s retreat in Goshen.  It was such a fabulous time and I just love my new friends! God spoke, we listened, we laughed, we cried, we played, we ate, and we slept.  We also got wet! REAL WET! As the rain poured it seemed we may need an ark to get out of there, but somehow I survived in my little Honda and made it home safely Saturday evening.  It was such a blessing to be a part of God’s Word moving in the hearts of the women this weekend. I’ll never forget it. He moved in me too, and I’m just so in love with Him!  I honestly don’t know what I’d do without the love of God and His Word!  What do people do????

It’s been Spring Break Crazy around my house this week!  The kids are out of school. Hayden is taking driver’s ed. all week, so his spring break is pretty shot! (except he will be one step closer to getting his license as I keep reminding him). We took Blake up to beautiful Appalachian State University on Tuesday for a campus tour. He’s a junior in high school and beginning to look at colleges. On Monday and Wednesday (after work), I took all of the kids to our local amusement park, Carowinds, to ride the big rides and have some family fun together. You see, it’s all been fun and good, but this old lady is tired!!!  I’m not sure how much more fun I can take! haha

 

Yes, I rode this! And screamed my head off the whole time!

So, how has your week been?  Once again, I’m hearing from you how challenging this study is. I really think Rachel has a way of reaching in and presenting God’s Word into our lives, but also at the same time, she doesn’t let us off the hook so easy. She really asks us to step up to the plate and deliver!  God asks us to do something and we need to ask ourselves, are we really doing it.  I love this because I feel like it has been more than reading a good book. We are growing, learning, and being asked to step out of our comfort zones for the love of Jesus.  Seriously, I could write a book with all of the emails I’ve received about how this study is changing lives.  God is speaking through this study. In order for Him to do that though, we have to have open ears and hearts to hear Him. So I want to commend you on that. Thank you for diving in and being open to hearing God. And then responding.  I know it’s not easy. It’s not easy for me either. I’ve said outloud the word “OUCH” on more than one occasion!

Let me know how you are doing!  Comment here and share your thoughts from the chapters in this book and how God is speaking to you.  You can share anything here….your struggles, your victories, your honest opinions and feelings. This is your safe place so speak up!  Also take advantage of the new comment style where you can reply personally to the specific comments in the comment section. (this is somewhat new to my blog)

Enough for now. I’ll see y’all on Friday for my Good Friday Vlog!  Don’t forget to check out what Rachel’s been blogging this week too over at her blog. www.RachelOlsen.com .

Love and Blessings!

 

Melissa

Comments

  1. Savannah says:

    This study is amazing!!! I get excited to keep reading on as every chapter reveals another treasures!! I am so blessed that Rachel wrote this book it is exactly what I needed at this moment. I stay at home with my 4 small children so finding time to read it is limited but it is an easy read that even in the 15 min here and there I can feel God speaking to me threw her book. I do say sometime I fall behind but that is ok as this is not a COMPETITION 😉 and God is not judgeing me by PERFORMANCE:).. It is so crazy how I have driven myself nuts on what seem to be small issues but are huge in adding unnecessary stress into my everyday life ..The chapter I have loved the most..even though they are all fantastic is chapter 6 .Don’t be afraid in the Dark has really touched me and given me the confidence I need to keep calm during a storm. A powerful verse that I will hang on to forever was Isaiah 45:3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness-secret riches. I will do this so that you may know that I am the Lord the God of Isreal, the one who calls you by name. Along with Hebrews 13:5..I can say I am ready for what storms come my way because I know and it is ingrained in my heart That God will never abandon me especially during a storm and that he will use what the enemy has throw at me and use it for my benefit. :) I remember being a little girl and having to memorize scriptures for Sunday school well these are a few I will memorize now! Reading this book has shed light on so many areas including not being so focused on my self, staying at home in a city 2 hours away from family and friends gets lonely at times and it is easy for satan to attack and start thinking inwardly and focus on myself and “feelings”. I have learned that it is not about me but about him, and I have learned to shift my focus on cheerfully helping others knowing that God will take care of me and my needs.I have truely been blessed beyond words and I can go on and on. Hugs for you and for Rachel!

    This study was an answered prayer by the way. I had it on my heart to start a bible study with friends/ family but it wasn’t working out. And I did not have to do anything but Show Up :)! p.S Maybe a book should be written from all the women who get touched by the book, Kind of like a testimonial book. I am sure that women would be touched by being able to relate to others who are going threw the same things in life!..

    • Dear Savannah,

      Wow and Yay God for what He is doing in your life! Home with 4 small children…I have been there done that and can relate to the hectic and time restrictive life style that comes with caring for those 4 precious ones! You are where you should be! You are so right in so many of your points..no need to be competitive or feel guilty for being behind…the point is that you pick up where you left off and never give up or quit! Isaiah 45:3 is one of my faves too!

      Blessings to you and thanks so much for sharing!
      Love,
      Melissa

  2. Chapter 7 is really hitting hard. I grew up going to a very conservative, legalistic church, where you had to mind what you wore and how you looked. Women weren’t allowed to wear pants. God forbid we wore any make-up! Wearing too much jewelery was a no-no. (We couldn’t wear earrings or necklaces.) There were just so many rules to live by. But even though I left that church over 20 years ago, I still have that “I’ve gotta be and do good” mentality. I know that I’m saved through Christ. I know that I can never be good on my own and that it is by grace that we’re saved. But it feels like there’s something keeping me from being able to accept it and live free. It’s been such a struggle for me.

    • Dale,

      Keep turning over your fears, perfection, performance, and that “good enough” mentality over to the Lord. Keep praying every day what you KNOW, even when you don’t FEEL it. Remind yourself that you identity does not and will never come from what you do or how you do it, but from who you are. Ask others to pray for you as well (I’m already praying this for you today…that you will fully accept who you are in Christ and that you will live free in Him.)

      Thank you for being real and sharing your struggles! It’s how we grow.

      Blessings and Love <3
      Melissa

  3. The bible study is awesome and I’ve also begun this Holy Week with the Artist’s Way journey….As I begin Holy Thursday I recognize the spritual warfare going on in my soul. This past Monday I officially became a college Freshman at age 40. After years of procrastination and listening to my “Pharisees” I pushed away that energy and went ahead with it. But I’m still filled with doubt and fear…

    I’m a single mother now and worry constantly…I’m encumbered with loneliness (I feel tears approaching right now), I struggle daily financially and emotionally….I work for a music ministry that serves the homeless in Chicago, and I often find them in better spirits than myself. I don’t know why I’m suddenly compelled to write all this…it wasn’t my intention when I started, but here it is.

    I can’t tell you how much your writing helps me and the others at P31…I look forward to waking up each morning to read them.

    Love and blessings!!! Jolie

    • Jolie,

      You are doing a lot…raising a family, going to school, working. I hope you know (I know you do!) that God sees everything you are going through and He sees every tear, fear, and struggle. And now that you’ve shared with us we can be praying specifically for you.

      I’m claiming Joshua 1:9 for you today! Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, the Lord your God is with you WHEREVER you go!

      Love,
      Melissa

    • Jolie,
      I hear you!
      I also struggle with the everday battles of lonliness and burdens of finacial hardships. I can only remember that I am never alone if I call out to God who is always with me. I just need to ask for His comfort and He will give it to me.
      I too am enjoying this study and am encouraged by it. It is good to know that I am not the only one out there who deals with these types of struggles.
      From one struggler to another….hang in there and remember to ask your True Friend, God, to give you comfort.

  4. I completely understand having a crazy week. My extended family (over 50 people) will be coming to our home Sunday afternoon for lunch. I am thrilled to be hosting Easter this year. However, I found in my preparations for Easter I was convicted by Chapter 8. I don’t want to impose on others to help. However, this chapter made me realize that by asking for help, I am allowing someone else to use their God given gifts and talents. I certainly needed that perspective this week. Thank you Lord for your timing.

    • Jamy,

      50 people???? Yes, ask for help! Wow, I can’t even imagine serving that many! The most I’ve had is 23 and I always ask others what they’d like to bring :)

      I’m so glad that this chapter came in time for you to put on a new perspective. I hope you have a fabulous Easter with your family!

      Love,
      Melissa

  5. This week I have begun falling a little behind, I have to transfer my answers from my book to my journal and that causes me not to answer a rather vicious circle but this will be passing soon and everything will be right with the world again.

    I like the idea of a book about what we are learning.

    The chapter so far that has hit hard is the competition I have with not so much everyone as with me to get as good as you. I want to be as good as but I push me to learn more do more and take on more which stops all learning as I break down. I am learning to even things out and follow Jesus’ lead as I go through each day.

    The first half of my week were crazy I went to two different lectures and yesterday ran around to get paperwork to mail in so I could get a payment plan that will work for my family on one small salary. (I have a student loan to pay off and they dont like waiting) Any way, today I think I can settle in and read write and reflect.

    Coming here and reading these posts and comments start my day right. Have a good day all.

    • Debi, thanks for sharing. I think many of us can relate to the wanting to “be as good as _______”. I always remind myself that God made each one of us for a reason. He didn’t need 2 of the same person so I don’t need to try to be like someone else or as good as someone else. I just need to figure out what it is He wants me to do with my talents and abilities and do my best at it!

      LIfe is so busy, keep pressing on dear sister!
      Love,
      Melissa

  6. Chapter 8 really hits home for me. I am the type of person who loves to help but hates to admit to needing help. I love the comparison made to red woods, or more specifically the roots of the red wood trees. The fact that they grow more shallow roots but grow together to support each other painted the perfect picture of how I should be living life. It really was an a-ha moment.

    • Jenny,

      I am just like you in regards to wanting to help. I’m much more comfortable being there for someone else than needing someone to be there for me.

      Thank you so much for sharing today :)
      Love,
      Melissa

  7. Jennifer Renee says:

    I’m currently reading chapter 8. It has hit me like a ton of bricks and has me in tears. I don’t like asking for help. Most of the time it’s because I feel like people don’t have time to be bothered with me and I don’t want to be a burden on them. Because I don’t have any friends in church who talk to me on a regular bases or talk to me outside of church and who I feel like I could call at any time for help I’m afraid to ask anybody to help me. Since I’m blind there are several small minor things I need help with that others may feel are an inconvenience if they were to help me. For example: I sometimes will ask a neighbor to help me find a color of thread I need for something I’m doing. I feel like they don’t want to really be bothered with this. My dad seems like the only one who is willing to help me with such minor things. Well, except for my niece who I paid to help me sort out some beads and maybe my sisters will help me more when I move closer to them. Organizing things like this takes time and being blind means I need help. Many people might need help with bigger things but I also need help with things that make me say, “I wish I could see.” I even have trouble asking someone to take me grocery shopping or to get a prescription because I don’t want to be a bother or put people out of their way.

    • I’m so glad you shared on the blog today!!! That takes courage and Jennifer Renee, you have courage. I think we should pray for you to accept help without guilt or fear of what the other person is thinking and accept yourself just the way you are. I just prayed for you.

      Blessings,
      Melissa

      • Jennifer Renee reading your post made me want to reach threw the screen and hug you. I haven’t gotten to ch 8 yet but from what others are saying I need my tissue ready. I will be praying for you. I can relate to it cuz there are times I have a hard time asking for help ( I have cerebral palsy and doing things is often hard or impossible for me).

        Take heart sweet sister you arent alone.

        Debi

        • Teresa C. says:

          Also, I want to say to you that some people have the gift of helping others, you just need to see those who are willing to help. God gives us people in our lives when we need them. At some other point or in some other way, you will be helping others, too. It’s a big circle of love.

          There have been times when I needed the exact people to get me through something or on the right path. Then, they sometimes fade away due to circumstances. Other times, I am in the right place when someone’s needed help. It’s all part of being the “body” of Christ.

          God bless you all!
          Teresa

  8. This study is both comforting and convicting for me. Lately I would say the best way to describe how I’ve felt is defeated. I too stay at home with 5 children, all under the age of 9. I just can’t keep up with taking care of the home, meals, my own health, etc. I am about to cry thinking about this. I will ask for help in some areas, but feel ashamed of how I’ve let our house go. I don’t want to be the mom always yelling at my kids and husband to clean up, but I just can’t do it all either.
    The past few chapters have been a comfort to me. They’ve also been convicting. I had a chance this week to open our home to a close friend, but declined. I know she would not have judged me.
    Rachel’s words have also been a comfort for me in dealing with a situation with a friend/acquaintance lately. I’ve considered myself a mentor to her and was challenged immensely in that relationship lately. I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone to reach out to her and others she is affecting by her negative actions. I’ve also had to examine my own behaviors. So in brief, it’s simple to say this book/study has been a great comfort and convicting at the same time.
    I thank God for all of you women since my local group has not met in some time. God bless all of you and your Resurrection Celebrations! Hugs from afar!
    Megan

  9. It’s amazing to me that so many of us are so far apart but struggle with the same issues… Learning to say no, learning to not put on a show, learning to show our weaknesses… it is so scary. How many times have we been taught,or we have falsely assumed that we had to be superwomen? Family, work, church, volunteer, run here and there and everywhere and never get to any destination… I am so glad that God is showing me there is a better way than that… a better place to be, at the feet of Jesus. Yes, I still struggle with prioritizing, yes, I still have days when I feel like I am stupid or crazy or doubt myself, but God has shown me that He made me… and He doesn’t make junk! Bless each and everyone of you as we look toward Resurrection Sunday! =)

  10. I am definitely convicted by Chapter 8. Asking for help is something that never seems to get any easier for me. I guess it is because I went through a dark time in my life when I didn’t feel like I was worthy of anyone’s help. During that time even my best Christian friends were silent, offering no help. It wasn’t because they didn’t want to help me , they just didn’t know how. It was easier for them to be quiet. Anyway, I became very self sufficient (except for the Lord who was my only help for a time) and that behavior has become comfortable for me now. I am married to a man who lives out the gift of service every day towards me and towards everyone he comes in contact with. God has used him to show me that the “helper” is often times blessed as much or more than the one being helped. Keeping that in mind should make all of us more willing to ask for and accept help from others. I am trying, and Rachel’s words are right on for my life!

    This study has been great and I have really enjoyed hearing what everyone is learning and applying to their lives.

    May all you bloggers out there have a wonderful Easter! God Bless you and your loved ones.

  11. I just now finished reading ch. 8 and, Jennifer Renee, I’m so with you. I cried through most of the chapter. I’m a quadriplegic and need help everyday for the basic things: getting dressed and undressed, getting in and out of bed. And it’s the little things I hate to ask help for the most, like when I drop something or need something I can’t reach. Or when my leg goes into spasm and I need to wake someone up in the middle of the night to straighten it out for me and help get it relaxed. Because o that, when I struggle emotionally and spiritually, God has to bring me to the edge before I reach out and ask for help because I’d just as soon keep things to myself and not bother anyone. I know a lot of people, but I don’t have very many friends. It’s hard to let people in and allow them to see what goes on within my walls. All this said, I truly do believe that this is all part of God’s great plan for my life, but there are times when it’s hard to accept.

  12. Teresa C. says:

    The older I get, the more I realize that I ask for help on the really big things. It usually includes prayer. My “Prayer Warriors” come through when I need them and they can ask me to pray, as well. I feel like prayer has the biggest impact and that’s where I need people offering up to God on my behalf.

    The little things don’t get to me as much (usually) but we have a very laid back and pretty accepting family so I don’t feel pressure for things like holidays too much. I’ve also gotten the phrase for this time of year (end of school and baseball) that “something’s got to give”. Maybe I have low expectations on some things, but I guess I’m okay with that. I can’t handle stress for little things when we have so much going on.

    The place I get convicted is at certain times when I just get down on myself for the way I look or making a mistake. That is when I need the help to try to see myself the way God does.

    Love the book!
    Teresa

  13. I AM BEHIND THE PACK READING BUT I AM REALLY ENJOYING IT .IT HAS HELPED ME TO STOP AND THINK ABOUT THINGS. THIS HASN’T BEEN A GOOD WEEK. TODAY WAS AWFUL WE A HAD A FAMILY CRISIS BUT GOD BLESSED US AND SEEN US THRU. WITHOUT KNOWING HIS SECRETS I WOULDN’T HAVE MADE IT THRU THIS DAY. THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME AND LEDING BIBLE STUDIES FOR US, KAY