May 6

SLL Week 5, Day 1 ~Bible Verse

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

A promise worth pondering. The presence of the Lord will go with us, wherever we go, and give us rest!

The words in this verse were spoken to Moses in Exodus 33 as he went before the Lord. In this chapter, Moses pleads with God for His presence to continue with the entire Israelite people. You see, God was irritated with the Israelites due to their constant doubting and disobedience. The Lord even warned Moses that His Presence would not continue to go on with the Israelites because if He did, He may not be able to hold back His judgment on them.

And yet Moses implores the Lord to go on with them because He knows without the presence and hand of the Lord, they will be like everyone else in the world. How can they continue to be God’s chosen people if God will not travel with them?

And the Lord grants Moses request. He continues on with them.

Over the past week I have felt a bit abandoned by the presence of the Lord. Stress has lain upon my heart and twirled itself around my neck like a heavy binding wet blanket. Work has been tough. Home has been unusually busy. And the bills just keep stacking up higher and higher.

Today I got on my knees before the Lord, not because I am holy or deserving of meeting with Him, but because I know this is the only place where my hope can be found – when I choose to purposefully posture myself before the glory of the Lord and His righteousness.

As I knelt there on the floor the word Halal came to mind. I didn’t know what it meant, but it just kept popping in my head. So of course when I arose from the prayer position, I had to google it. The first thing I found for the meaning of the word was a way that Muslims prepare meat. Well, I  knew that wasn’t what the Lord was speaking to my heart, so I dug a bit deeper and found a different meaning in the Hebrew lexicon. Please click here now to read it.

I also found this link to Halal as it is in reference to forming part of the Word Hallelujah. I wanted to share a quote from this page with you here:

“Halal denotes an exuberance, for whatever reason. It takes no great poetic leap to see symmetry between the shining of a star and the praising of a worshiper, certainly also because in the Bible true believers are compared to stars (Daniel 12:3). Halal denotes a letting go of restraints and inhibitions, and, entirely depending on the heart behind it, can result in either a complete surrender to God’s control, or a detrimental flight without anyone at the helm. Halal can turn to either a most holy expression of devotion or else a blasphemous display of derangement.”

Look at the phrase I emphasized with bold and italics. Halal denotes a letting go of restraints, which can be good or bad depending on the heart behind it. As we come upon Chapter 5 of Stressed Less Living, I am all to aware that I need to Halal. I need to let go of restraints that are holding me back from the Lord. And one of those greatest restraints is stress. When I am stressed I make excuses like I don’t have time for prayer…or I don’t have time to do Bible study with my children…or I am irritable and rude towards my husband. I can even be irritable and snappy with God.

This week I want to challenge you to let go in the throne room of grace, not just once, but every day this week. Get down on your knees (if you are able) as you pray, and unbridle your hearts desire in worship and request before the Lord.  I want you to go into the Lord’s presence just as Moses did and plead for a more and a deeper understanding of His presence. Not just for you, but for your people. For your family and your sisters and brothers in Christ. Because only with a deeper understanding of the Lord and His will can we Take Back our Lives from control and deprivation by stress.

Take the time to look up the scriptures on page 115 of your Stressed Less Living book (the end of Chapter 5). They are listed here as well.

Colossians 2:9-10

Ephesians 2:10

Proverbs 10:12

Exodus 33:14

Psalm 37:3-5

Then share with us! Share what scripture you will choose to study a bit deeper and maybe verse map. Also, I would LOVE for you to share about your experience as you go on your knees to the throne room of grace before the Lord. What did He speak to your heart…how will you apply His Words for you this week?

And of course we have another giveaway this week! This week we will be giving away  a book by Tara Furman called Intimacy with God: Your Daily Guide to Prayer. Every time you comment you are entered to win. Also, if this book looks like something you could use, you can also order it off of the Proverbs 31 store by clicking here.

Have a great week ya’ll! Can’t wait to spend it in the Word and on my knees with you!

Love, Stephanie Clayton






  1. Alejandra p says:

    I will map Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”
    I trusty needed to hear this verse. My husband and i have been betrayed by my in law reaction…something I believe a mother would never do to there child, but It happened. Unfortunately

  2. Alejandra p says:

    I would continue to love her and watch what I say about her cause she’s still my husband mother and the grandmother of my child.

    Heavenly Father help meeee to forgive the ones the hurt me and love them as you love me…

  3. Joan Group 26 says:

    Oh my goodness!! I so wish that I’d have taken the time to read this yesterday!! I had a totally crummy day! I was busy from the minute I woke up to when I went to bed and had a lot of stress in the day. I’m hoping that some day my thick head will learn that these are the times that I need to lean on God instead of trying to handle things myself!! Exodus 33:14 is such a comfort! The stressors in life can be so exhausting at time but He will “give you rest — everything will be fine for you.” Wow!

  4. Sherri J says:

    Psalm 37:3-5
    3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the LORD,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:

    I need this verse with me everywhere…it really gives me a sense of comfort in God’s strength. I am going to print this off and carry in my wallet for those times that are trying…which has been a lot lately.

  5. Dallas says:

    I will be going deeper into Ephesians 2:10 this week. It really spoke to me as I read it this morning after struggling all last night with something that happened. Over the weekend, God led me to a mission trip that I feel he really wants me to be on. I won’t go through the whole process of what led me to it but after taking a few steps back and considering how I found out about the trip and the way I came to know the leader, I know in my heart that it was all God that led me to it. Needless to say, I am very excited about it and when I told my mom about it last night, not only was she less than thrilled, she actually rolled her eyes and acted disgusted. I was incredibly hurt by her actions but did not say anything because my son was there and I didn’t want him to hear anything negative she had to say about the trip. I have been simmering over her reaction for the past 12 hours now and am incredibly hurt but have been trying to remind myself that I don’t need her approval for this trip, I only need God’s approval and he will bless me and the children I will be meeting, even if my mom thinks it is a joke. Today’s verse telling me that I was created in Christ Jesus to do good work and that God prepared this in advance was exactly the scripture I needed to soothe these hurt feelings and to know that someone is rejoicing in my plans as much as I am!

    • Leigh Ann Sells says:

      Dallas, I am so sorry that that your Mom let you down and responed so negatively to your news. We dont know what made your Mom respond this way but God does! Let’s pray for your mother and that God will help her understand and spport your decision! Sadly, you’re right, you don’t need her approval you already have the,MASTER’S!!!! God Bless!

  6. I mapped out Exodus 33:14. And some thoughts I gained from this was that I am not alone for God is always with me. Trust God because in Him you will find peace. Then a song came to mind, not a Christian song, but it’s one that is often performed at graduations…from Carousel, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

    I am also wanting to dig a little deeper into Psalm 37 but looking at verses 1-6…

  7. I want to share something with all the women in this study. God impressed on my heart several years back to start saving change that I would find on the ground, or wherever, and use it for Him. So I did. I started collecting change that I would find, but it wasn’t amounting to much. I started doubting that God even had spoken to me, and what was the point. I felt like one person can’t make that much of a difference. I joined a small group in my church called 2nd mile ministry. This ministry is more like a mission group, but more on a local basis. God impressed on my heart once again to start collecting lost change, and use it for the 2nd mile ministry. I prayed about what God wanted to call this, and what He wanted the focus to be. He impressed on me to call it FCFC, Found Change For Christ, and focus on the found part. He reminded me, I once was lost, but He found me and changed me from the inside out.
    God impressed on me to be the one to present this to my church. So this past Sunday, I got up in front of the whole church and presented FCFC. I asked them to participate in collecting lost change and we can use it for Christ.
    I was very nervous, but wanted to take a stand for Christ. I had to create a logo and get containers set up in our church.
    I have been on cloud 9 ever since, not by what I did, but what God did through me. I can’t describe the way I feel, knowing that I took a step of faith and obeyed what God was calling me to do. I’m so looking with excitement on what God has in store for me next. I also want to encourage anyone who feels like God is calling her to do something, just say Yes! Yes Lord! You will be blessed.
    Please pray that God will bless this new ministry. Thank you for letting me share.

  8. I have to say that, for me, Psalm 37 really spoke to me. I ended up printing off the entire psalm to carry with me this week. Like so many women, I am a pleaser and I really struggle. At times, I am faced with what I know to be God’s call for my life and it doesn’t always fit with the ideas of people around me. I can’t always please God and please others (or be like others!) and that can lead to real stress. This Psalm so clearly reminds me that I just need to do what fits with my calling and that I need to “not fret” (verse 7) about anyone else’s opinions or life choices.
    It just always amazes me the way that the scripture that I need to hear always seems to come when I most need it.

    • Karri (obs leader) says:

      You totally expressed what I wanted to say! All the scriptures listed, I’ve written on note cards and placed throughout my house and even in my car! Psalm is the one that grabbed me the most, so i read the entire chapter and printed it out! It’s amazing how God speaks to us!!!!
      <3 you!

  9. Because of this book I had a victory this week. Monday, the day before my final and it seemed like teacher appreciation duties and preschool Mother’s Day party commitments were overwhelming me. I realized I had to work this fri during my preschoolers Mother’s Day tea party…..instead of panicking, I said, “I trust God will work it out.” I felt calm and assured this is true. I asked my sister to be my sub and luckily she was off for work (she always works Fridays). My son was content with auntie coming just as long as she didn’t wear lipstick?! Amen to trusting God and relinquishing control.

  10. I like what Proverbs 10:12 had to say, however Psalms is one of my favorite books! I turn to it when I need a “pick me up”. I plan on doing some verse mapping with Psalms 37:3-5 this week and see what the Lord is trying to tell me.

  11. Dawn H. says:

    It is definitely Exodus 33:14 for me. It is so hard for me to rest! My brain is constantly thinking and re-thinking things through. It isn’t that I don’t sleep, I do but I’m not sure that it is restful sleep because of my worry for others and for myself. Even over little, dumb things….how will be kids do on their testing, why does their father such things, why are kids so mean, etc. I Trust God so, so, so much and I feel as though I am in constant communication with Him. I pray in conversation to Him. Resting is hard – this is going to be a terrific verse for me this week to repeat again and again and to have plastered all around my world!!

  12. Stephanie L says:

    Psalm 37:3-5 really spoke to me. I want to dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. If I am spending time with him each day it really will make my day much less stressed because my perspective is right.

  13. Katrina says:

    I chose Psalm 37:3-5 to verse map. I always start with hesitation, unsure of myself or where to begin and so things come slowly at first, but then I’m always amazed at how much suddenly starts jumping off the page and flows out of my pen. Thank you so much for teaching us this method and continueing to challenge us to dig deeper. I feel drawn closer to the Lord and His word feels more alive to me each time; like he’s speaking to me personally.

  14. This week, I chose Psalm 37:3-5 to hold close to my heart and dig a little deeper. This verse says so much to me about the deep and intimate connection I want to have with God. I must place my trust in God, I must do good for God, I must commit my way to God. When I can do my part, God can do his work.

  15. Tonya Norris-Wile says:

    I am so sorry about your mom’s negativity. I too have had that happen several times from my mom on trips I have taken and she is a Christian! Just Go! Follow the Lord for he is our ultimate parent. Your mom will be just fine and well “Get Over It” like mine has done. God will bless you more than you can imagine on your trip.

  16. I have spent much of the day yesterday reading Chapter 5, and it seemed like I highlighted most of the chapter. Then I answered questions at the end of the chapter then i started on the exercise at the end where I made up strips of paper with the bible verses. I will do anything, try anything to reduce my stress down because I am so afraid it will end up killing me if I don’t. I still have to do my verse mapping and will try to do that this afternoon and tomorrow. I do enjoy doing that part. Funny, every time I see any verse, I end up verse mapping it. I am totally hooked on verse mapping.

  17. I loved all of the lookup verses, and this chapter. Exodus 33:14 stands out to me, as do any verses about peace or rest these days. I have come to a place where I truly believe that I can overcome any situation if I have rest and God’s peace. What always throws me in this life is the physical and mental anguish of anxiety. I know we are told not to fear and have anxiety, but for 17 years I haven’t even begun to see how NOT to have them, although I have asked God. I had to go on a journey of a whole other level of fear and anxiety I didn’t ever want to visit to come face to face wth my God who will walk with me and help me conquer any situation, with His peace and rest.

  18. Julie Gardner says:

    I love Psalm 37:3-5. What peace to know that I don’t have to do it alone. I am sitting at a vacation resort right now as a winner of a top sales trip. So no stress here. Except for, “oh, how do I maintain my status as a top producer?” Will The Lord take me there again? Is this the continual direction I need to go in? My peace comes in knowing as long as I am connected to Him, I don’t need to worry. I do long for more of His presence. What a sweet thing it is! Where peace and security resides.

  19. Sheila says:

    I have a dear friend who is going through a difficult time believing that God even cares about her anymore. She’s been a Christian all her life , but has had some major life setbacks in the last 6 years. She no longer lives near me, but I send her books from P31 and other inspirational writers. When Tracie wrote about the prayers in the box, I thought this would be the perfect inexpensive item to mail to her. Then, to my surprise, she actually harps some of the verses at the end of the chapter. I’ll be working on that project this weekend.

  20. Jessica says:

    Exodus 33:14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

    1. After the performing the word study and reviewing the cross references, I rewrote the verse to say “The face of God will go with you, I will give you a time of calmness and quiet.” The face of God will be with me, not just His presence, but if I look close enough, I can find His face in midst of it.

    2. It doesn’t appear that we really have to do anything to receive this wonderful gift. Moses said “if you are pleased me, teach me your ways…” And God simply replied “My Presence will go with you….” No strings. It didn’t even seem that Moses had to be pleasing, he just had to humble himself and admit he needed God. Moses continued to ramble and God said said “I will do what you asked BECAUSE….” As I looked through Moses’ ramblings to see what the second thing was that Moses asked for, he didn’t ask for anything. He basically repeated himself. To me, verse 17 was really about assuring a less confident Moses that he is indeed pleasing to the Lord and needed hear God say it. And then once Moses received this confidence boost from God, he moved on from begging and was like “OK Lord, now show me your glory.” From insecurity to boldness.

    3. In the NIV, verse 13 says “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways…,” but in the Message its says “If I am so special to you, let me in on your plans..” I had to laugh when I read the Message version because I always ask God to let me in on His plans. I’m like “OK God, you made me a planner, soooo what’s the plan; give me a hint or something.” He never tells me the plan and it made me feel good to know that God didn’t tell Moses His plans either. But he responded to the request with “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” We don’t need to know what the plans are, we need to rest in the promise that He will be with us and give us rest.

    If we earnestly admit our need for God, He will show up and graciously and mercifully grant us rest. And if we’re insecure and keep sniveling, He will still show up. And we don’t have worry about how it’s all planned out. How awesome is that?!!

  21. My heart is full. God is talking to me about my time with Him. I do read and pray but when I find moments to get alone. I would love to take back control of my schedule, give it to God and work towards having my own time in the mornings. I always have in the past but it seems that my life and family have sucked it all up. Plus we live in an apartment. It is so hard to find a quiet place with three teen boys, my Hubby and a dog. As I type my dog has climbed up on my lap to sleep. Lol. I know god is speaking to me to clear the distractions. I will be writing out a plan today, praying over it and working through it, not stressing through it.

  22. So behind this week but I am finally getting back in.. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Wow talk about driving it home..IN ADVANCE=PURPOSE! ! I have been asking the Lord to show me my purpose, what am I on this earth for, I have felt like I had been nothing more then a shell wasting space here, but God has said hehad prepared in advanced, before I was even born a purpose, man what an awesome thought. This will be a scripture that I hold on to forever.

  23. uncteal says:

    wow. I like a lot of these scriptures and they spoke to my heart in different ways. I think the Psalm 37:3-5 spoke to me the most. More than once, the word “trust” is used. Trust in the Lord. Trust him. I think sometimes we trust other people such as our families but I wonder if I trust God enough? And why not, he is so worthy of my trust! I need to focus on trusting God first and foremost. Do good. Take delight in the Lord. He will give you your heart’s desires. Each day I try to do what is right and what God would want me to do. BUt in the difficult times especially, I need to look to God and trust him even more. He has my best interest at heart. I just have to commit all I have to him!!