Archives for April 2013

Apr 24

SLL Week 3, Day 3 ~ Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference

Breaking News****Just announced TODAY! The She Speaks 2013 special guest keynote speaker is Michael Hyatt, NY Times Best Selling Author, Top Rated Blogger, and Social Media Expert. Only 150 spaces left!  We are SO EXCITED and honored to have him at She Speaks! Visit Michael Hyatt’s site today and subscribe to his blog and you can get an awesome FREE ebook about your personal life plan. Then plan to see him in person at this year’s She Speaks Conference!


Wondering if She Speaks is for you? Read on as Stephanie describes her She Speaks experiences. (And she will be back for her 3rd She Speaks this year!)

There I sat, on a plane destined for Charlotte. It was my first year to attend the Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speak Conference. What in the world was I thinking? Why I am I going? What if everyone thinks I am too young…or too Texas twangy…or too fat…or too whatever! What if I am not good enough! What if I walk into my publisher appointment and vomit on the table, rendering the publishing agent unable to complete her daily tasks, a room unfit for further use, my cute outfit ruined, and my shoes sloshing with the product of my uneasy stomach! What if that actually happens?!?!

Talk about stress and a panic attack! I wish I had the Stressed-Less Living book then! But one thing kept me moving forward. I wanted to meet my friend and Bible Study Partner, Melissa Taylor, for the very first time. I couldn’t wait to hug her and I knew that even if my anxious stomach projected vomit on her…well she would just laugh it off and go change clothes. She is that kind of friend. Here is a picture of us the first time we met face to face. And I will tell you in that very moment my anxiety didn’t disappear, but I knew everything would be okay. (If you cannot view the pictures in this blog post, click here to go directly to the blog.)

Stephanie Clayton, 1st time meeting!

I spent the next few days attending sessions and workshops, meeting other ministry minded women who had hopes and dreams just like me, basking in times of worship, listening to the amazing speakers, and bathing in the glory that is the prayer room (the prayer room is one of She Speaks best kept secrets…if you go…I guarantee it will be one of your very favorite parts).

I got to meet two publishers while I was there (this is optional), and although my book proposal was far from ready…I really enjoyed meeting with them and learning about what they want and expect from a prospective author. And I didn’t even throw up on them!

If you are interested in writing, speaking, or women’s ministry in any way I want to encourage you to consider attending the She Speaks Conference. It will take place July 25-27th in Concord, North Carolina. Please click here to read all the wonderful information provided on the She Speaks Website.

The biggest reason I hear that people hesitate to go is the price. Yes, it is expensive, but not when you consider what you get. The opportunity to hear and be motivated and challenged by top-notch speakers such as Lysa Terkeurst and Renee Swope, amazing praise and worship time, tailored workshops from industry and ministry professionals, your hotel stay, food, and networking opportunities unmatched by any conference I have ever been to before. Plus, many of your Online Bible Study sisters will be there – and girls, let me tell you, meeting these women face to face has blessed me beyond measure. Here is a picture of some of the Online Bible Studies Team at She Speaks last year.

OBS Team at She Speaks 2012

If you are interested, spend some time in prayer about going, and if God says yes – then I can’t wait to meet you there! That first year, I could not pay the way myself, so I sent out support letters and over half of my expenses were paid by others who believed in what God was doing in my life. God made a way where there seemed to be no way. And He met me there in ways I couldn’t have ever asked or imagined.

I would love to spend some time answering your questions about She Speaks in the comment section. First look at the website because you likely will find the answer there, but if not, please ask! I may not get to every question but I will do my best. Also, I would love to hear about your experience at She Speaks if you have been before, and if you haven’t, but want to go, how is God speaking to your heart and calling you to attend either this year or on down the road?

Remember every time you comment you will be entered to win this weeks giveaway! A beautiful OBS necklace donated by “The Rusted Chain”.

And don’t forget! Tomorrow is the Blog Hop!!!! The topics for this week are:

1.  Rest. In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. ~Isaiah 30:15b (NIV)

Haven’t taken the “verse mapping” plunge? Dig into this verse for three days and share with us how your heart responds to His message to you?

2.  Hope From Upstream. Being a parent isn’t always easy and as Tracie shared, it’s even more challenging to follow God’s plan for our kids when you feel like you’re going against the flow. If you are a parent, share some godly advice from upstream on how you help your kids follow God’s will. {Ok, I hope we have LOTS of these since I only have a 3 month old cutie pie, so I’m excited to hear from you!!}

3.  Healthy Tomorrow. Chapter 3. What are some healthy choices you need to make for your life as you deal with stress? OR Share with us the healthy choices you already make!

4.  #Blessed. Add to your #Blessed post, or start one today!

Stress can cause us to overlook the many blessings God has poured out into our lives. Make a list of five things God has blessed you with. Once you have listed five, try for five more…then five more…then five more. You can add to this list whenever you have something new to add. I.E. I am thankful for the dirty laundry because my family is well clothed. OR I am thankful for the beautiful weather we had today. OR Thank You Lord for my family.

***To access the Week 3, Day 2 post, click here.

***To access the Week 3 Overview and Day 1 post, click here.

Apr 23

SLL Week 3, Day 2 ~ Chapter 3

SLL Week 3 Pin Pic Isaiah 30-15

Feel free to share, pin, or copy the graphic above. You can find it on our Pinterest page. If you can’t see the graphic for our Reflection Verse, Isaiah 30:15, click here to view it directly on the OBS blog.

We are off to a great start to Week 3 of our Stressed-Less Living Online Bible Study! I’m Stephanie Clayton, and I’m so excited to be your Bible study leader this week! Let’s continue where we left off…

This week we will be reading Chapter 3, The Silent Killer. I loved reading your comments from the Overview and Day 1 post. It seems we all know why stress is a silent killer. We know that stress can harm us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. What we don’t know is how to stop stressing!

I love what Courtney shared in the comment section:

“Stress will take the joy out of your life and make you the most unpopular girl in your circle! When we are stressed, we tend to let the world know what we’re stressed about. We want those who we are confiding in to tell us what to do. We forget our Heavenly Father is waiting for us to cry and be vulnerable to him. Plus, he has an awesome life and stress manual for to follow… Our Bibles! I am the first to admit that I forget all these things when stress comes over me.”

True that girlfriend!!!! We all have stress reduction strategies tucked away in our minds…stress busting scriptures highlighted in our Bibles…God’s truth written on our hearts…but in the moment…it all seems to disappear! I watched the movie The Avengers this weekend and I couldn’t help but identify with the Incredible Hulk! When I get stressed, I bust out of everything I know…stress takes over me like a massive ugly green monster…and I end up hurting people and things I never meant to hurt…including myself!

As we read Chapter 3 there are a few things I want us to keep in mind so that we can learn to battle the stress monster!

  1. What stress busting techniques have worked for you in the past? Examples: Progressive Relaxation, stretching, exercising, doing something you enjoy,   spending time with friends, taking a hot bath, drinking a cup of hot tea…etc…
  2. What scriptures and Biblical truths have you found particularly helpful?
  3. How can you use these things to help you in the moment before you turn into the crazed green stress monster?

For me…I am going to choose to use the relaxation techniques I enjoy (taking a hot bath, exercising, progressive relaxation, or a cup of hot tea) to get me to a place where I can focus on God’s Word and spend time communicating with Him. Stress reduction techniques will never replace the peace that comes only from the Lord…but they can be very helpful in getting us to a place where we are ready to receive God’s Truth and healing.

Take time to answer the questions in the back of the Chapter…they will guide you in understanding what stress management strategies have worked and haven’t worked for you personally.

In the comment section you can choose to answer one of the questions in the back of the book from Chapter 3, or you can choose to answer the questions I posted above. If you are reading this post via email, click here to comment!

And as Melissa mentioned a few days ago, our give-away this week is beautiful jewelry! YES please! This week we are giving away a custom designed P31 OBS Necklace donated by The Rusted Chain! Isn’t it gorgeous!!! Every time you comment throughout the week you will be entered to win! So let’s get to studying and attacking that silent killer!

Necklace P31 OBS

To read She Left a Legacy of Hope, click here.

The Week 3 Overview and Day 1 you can be accessed here.

Apr 22

She Left a Legacy of Hope

Hope. It was my mother’s favorite word. And it became mine too. That’s one reason I’m so passionate about bringing “Real Hope for Real Life” through these Online Bible Studies. My mother taught me to have hope and to never lose it. Hope has gotten me through and I am passing my hope on to my kids too. I want everyone to have hope, that is my passion.

It’s been three years since my beautiful mother died. After fighting a difficult battle with cancer, she left this world for her eternal home with the Lord. She was too young and I wasn’t ready for her to go. We still had so much to do together.

I was with her when she took her last breath. I watched her breath in, exhale…then nothing. No movement. No noise. Just quiet peace. In the stillness I thought:  I will never again…

  • Hear her voice
  • Look into her eyes
  • Feel her comforting touch
  • Seek her guidance
  • Hear her laugh

I grieve these things, but I’m thankful for the memories and life lessons Mom left me. Like hope.

It was hard to hold on to hope in the midst of overwhelming grief, especially that first year, but I had to. That’s what Mom taught me to do. Hope became my lifeline, the one thing I could count on. Jeremiah 29:11, which happens to be the very verse this OBS was founded on, says, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”  Although life sometimes feels hopeless, it’s not. Hope has led me through some of the most trying times of my life. I have my mother to thank for that.

Mom and HG Merry Go Round

Mom was always so much fun! Here she is with Hayley Grace~  Aren’t they both so beautiful!

Do you have someone who you have lost that left a lasting legacy in your life? Why not honor their memory with a donation to Proverbs 31 Ministries? Through your donation in honor of their faith, you will help us reach and strengthen the faith of millions of women around the world each day through our website, devotions, radio show, online studies, events, prayer ministry and more. I can’t think of a better way to honor my mom’s memory. Her hope became my hope and I pray I can pass that on to others. I know my donation can help that happen. That’s why I’m giving in memory of Mom! Would you pray about joining me?  Click here for more information and to make your donation.

Donate by April 28, 2013 and your loved one’s name will be posted on the Proverbs 31 website during the month of May.

***If you are looking for your Stressed-Less Living Assignment 1, you can access it here in the Sunday post.