May 10

SLL Week 5, Day 5, Weekly Take Away

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

Some of the best times in my life have been when I am stripped of pride, kneeling on the floor before The Lord. I have begged, blundered, cried, and torn my heart to shreds before His throne of grace. All in search of the peace that surpasses all understanding. As if it wasn’t already mine to have.

Have you ever begged God for something that is already yours? Like His peace, or His love, or His presence? I bet we all have. But it’s hard to know what we already have when we can’t physically see it. We can know it is there because God’s Word says it is, but until we see it we have difficulty acting as if it already exists. But it does. His peace existed inside of you before you ever asked for it. The moment the Holy Spirit entered you, His love, peace, grace and mercy were poured into your heart.

Hope Graphic Beach

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

Our hope does not put us to shame. The confident expectation of all God has to offer will never be something we have to retract or say that it didn’t really exist. Even if we can’t feel it at the moment we can be confident that we posses all we need to live a life glorifying to Him. Why? Because He is Christ in me. He is in Christ in you. The promise of Exodus 33:14 is true. Wherever you go, his presence indeed goes with you.

As we close up this week I want to give you a take away. You have heard and read that The Lord your God is always with you. You may have done as Tracie did in Chapter Five and surrounded yourself, literally, with His promises.  And yet many of us still have a hard time moving this knowledge from our heads to our hearts.

Today I am challenging you to start as acting “as if.” Acting as if  His Word is true. Acting as if  you already possess His peace. Acting as if you are loved by God.  Acting as if you can let go of your stress because He is in control. You may not be able to accept these truths in your heart just yet, and that’s okay. You can act as if until your emotions have a chance to catch up and the fruits of your faith begin to blossom. It’s okay if your heart doesn’t flutter with delightful trust yet, just begin to act as if.

It has been an honor it has been to spend time with you this week. Chapter Five was a challenging chapter. Many of you have commented that the questions were tough to answer. I agree with you, they were. But growth is challenging and tough. It takes time, and even requires you to open your hands and let go of a few things. However, I am astounded and amazed as I read what each of you post throughout the week. God is certainly moving!

In closing, I want to pray for us~

Dear Lord, Thank you for each and every woman participating in this Online Study. Thank you for what a blessing she is to her friends and family. I pray that you will protect her heart and mind. Guard her from shame and doubt as she transitions into a life less stressed with You. You have given her peace-help her to accept, begin to understand, and identify this peace wherever she goes and whatever the circumstances. We praise you Lord. You are faithful and mighty to save. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

Please take time in the comment section to share a small victory from this week. One time or moment when you found yourself acting less stressed, when you were able to find that peace that surpassed your understanding. How were you able to do this? Did others notice anything different about you? I can’t wait to hear how God is giving you victory of stress and anxiety!

The winner of the book is Jessica who commented on the day 2 post on May 7th at 9:52 pm. Please email me at stephkevinryan@hotmail.com with your mailing address and we will get your book mailed out to you! And don’t forget to come back to the blog tomorrow as it will be prayer request and praise day!

***To access the Week 5 Blog Hop, click here.

***To access the Week 5 Wednesday post, click here.

***To access the Week 5 Tuesday post, click here.

***To access the Week 5 Monday post, click here.

***To access the Week 5 Sunday post click here.

Melissa

Comments

  1. It has been one crazy week with financial stresses piling in from all directions, like fire darts one after another and finishing the week with the tax department threatening to freeze bank accounts and drain whatever funds we had. When notice came of this situation and I had to start the process of negotiation with the tax department I quickly sent a text to a friend and asked her to pray for us. After an hour had passed and I had successfully negotiated a new payment plan I got off the phone and texted my friend back. As I wrote the words “enemy diverted” and “praise the Lord” I thought to myself I actually don’t feel very stressed about this. When my friend texted back suggesting a glass of wine for the nerves I made a joke about only having sherry and then said but I don’t need it as God’s peace has transcended all understanding at this point in time. I do sometimes feel as if I’m actually displaying an abnormal way of coping with this level of stress but I’m choosing to believe that it is God’s peace working in me. I know the problem isn’t going to disappear but I now feel a little more confident that God will be there with us in the midst of trouble, he’ll stay close.

    • Christa H. (OBS Leader) says:

      I know what you mean, Kerry,about feeling “abnormal”. I am facing huge challenges at work and I am not really stressed about it. I don’t lay awake at night wondering how I can fix it. I don’t get nervous every time the boss or client calls. I don’t quite know what to do! I realized after reading your comment that this is God’s normal for us. And that old, debilitating way of dealing with stress is what was abnormal. Thank you for sharing your story,

      • Hi Christa, Thank you for sharing. I was beginning, seriously, to think that I was out there on my own on some navel gazing introverted and “in denial” trip that was a sinister plot of the enemy and I had bought it. I have a history of illness that has caused a lot of mental and emotional instability, so it’s easy for me to get caught up in me and my thoughts and fighting for God’s thoughts every day is a real battle. I think because I have been so used to being governed by raging emotions and depression for a good chunk of my life that when this new feeling of almost feeling completely devoid of the stressful situations I’m in then I think there must be something wrong. I was so pleased to read someone else is feeling these things as well and loved what Kelley said below. Thank you for sharing.

    • VICTORY!!!!! Woohoo!!!! Love this! Amen and Praise God for transformation within your heart! <3

      • Oh my gosh Kelley. Is this what transformation of the heart looks like, because I still feel like I’m a little blase about it all. But I’m praising God anyway – at the end of the day what else can I do but praise Him for getting me through another day with as little stress reactions as possible. Thank you for that.

  2. Lynn Graham says:

    on Monday May 6th I would say my victory was a one time, because I had a lot to get at walmart and needed to catch the bus back in the next hour. as I was shopping I didn’t feel stressed at all. actually it was very peaceful. I’m not sure how I was able to do that, because I entered the store peaceful and stayed peaceful. no other people didn’t notice, I was shopping alone.

    • Beth Wright (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Lynn- girl in my book that is huge! Not only does shopping (especially in walmart for some reason) stress me out, but to have to do it on a time limit knowing that you had to get finished in order to catch the bus- and you still stayed peaceful! Great job!

  3. I have felt God’s peace this week as my son came home from college and has been quite grumpy, moody, and messy! We talked about his walk with Jesus and what his quiet time is teaching him and he explained all the emotions he is feeling after a stressful week ofexams, no summer job yet, roommate issues, and just feeling weird. It was a good talk and nice to clear the air, pray with and for him, and remind him that God is in control and will meet his needs. Then I took 3 steps backwards. My extended family is coming into town to stay with us this weekend and I really wanted everything to look nice. My oldest son has been taking care of the yard and had our grass looking great. He is a horticulturist. My youngest son cut the grass for us to help us with chores and had it on the lowest setting. Our grass is ruined. I drove up and saw the yard and was so disappointed. My husband reminded me that it was just grass. I was so ashamed of myself and my reaction. It just shows how weak I am and how much I need Jesus in my life. I can look at all the big stressful things I dealt with calmly all week and pat myself on the back. Then when I reflect on my reaction over grass I know that I constantly need to turn every thought and circumstance over to Jesus and not let the little things get me down. It is such a silly, trivial thing that I got anxious over and I could hear Gods voice along with my husbands voice chuckling over a grass cutting mistake. I am growing a little bit each day as I turn my thoughts to God and fill my mind with scripture.

    • My son home from college has been grumpy and moody as well. I daily have to hand his moods over to the Lord as He is in control and I am not. Praying for a blessed but not stressed summer for both of us!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Fran,
      I remember coming home from college being grumpy and moody:-) Praise God that you had a great talk with him. God has redeemed us and He desires to restore our life in every way:-) Our Heavenly Father gives us so much grace. The things we tend to get mad over always makes me think “what in the world.” Fran, we all do it sister. Thankfully your husband gave you thoughts of truth. I once got really upset with my husband for parking “not my way” in the driveway :-(Thank God that we are in His family. Being in His Word and PRAISING Him is a great weapon against these things. I hope you have a blessed weekend and that you are able to dwell in His Presence like never before.

  4. Marie (Ree) says:

    I’m seeing my victory over stress on the job daily. I see and feel the difference of how being in control of my reactions keeps me calm inside and out! The old pattern of frustrated “outbursts” only fueled the anxiety I felt inside!! Staying calm and talking to God through every situation…even the traffic on the way to work, has made all the difference! I’ve grown to love and look forward to my quiet time with The Lord each day and have really noticed the changes in my heart. I don’t want to be the person I was before this study anymore!! I’m excited about this new girl, the girl I’ve always wanted to be is finally peeking out from behind the curtain! I think we are going to be fast friends and that I will continue to learn from her too!!

    • Beth Wright (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Can I just tell you that I LOVED your comment! Especially your comment about how the new girl, the one you’ve always wanted to be is finally peeking out from behind the curtain! I love that visual! She’s always been there but now, thanks to your new found relationship with Christ (spending time with Him each day) she’s getting more and more bold and is starting to emerge!!

  5. Oh wow, I have found this book esp this chapter to be so helpful in my walk with God!
    There has been a huge decision lingering and we finally made one this week and I know that as this came to pass I definitely handled it with more grace and less frustration.
    I am not holding things in anymore
    I am writing them down again as I did when I was younger.
    I am watching what I say before I say it
    I know that it hasq been this study and you amazing ladies that are helping me focus and allow Gods love to shower my heart with hope, patience, slow to anger, I am slowly learning to put all what I’ve ever learnt from a child about my faith into practice.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Amy,
      What amazing things happen when we journal with God:-) What a praise your post is. I am so encouraged by the way God is working in your life. Our Father amazes me everyday. He is our Resting Place, Refiner, Deliverer, and King of Kings. You have given me a wonderful reminder today. Our words can’t ever be taken back and I need to remember this all the time. Like James 3:6 tells us the tongue is like a flame of fire. I am praying that God continues to fill you with hope, patience, and love. That anger melts away and the peace from Jesus would overwhelm you. Thank you so much for sharing. Have a beautiful weekend:-)

  6. jackie s says:

    my mind strays to worrying about my son – as he finishes college (answer to prayer), i am concerned that he will not be able to find a job, not be able to get focused on looking for a job, etc…
    then my mind (or perhaps the Holy Spirit) shouts out to me and says “trust me” and i realize that it isn’t me that’s in control – it’s God.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Jackie,
      I am also a worrier. It is quite the joy stealer, isn’t it? :-) Praise God that He renews your mind as that worry starts to rear its ugly head. God gave us His Word so let’s continue to use it to fight worry, fear, and discouragement. Thank you for sharing, today! I hope you have a wonderful weekend:-)

  7. One of the biggest causes of my stress is procrastination. However, this week I’ve had the courage to face unpleasant or difficult tasks, and as a result, I’ve been prepared for all of my meetings this week. I need to continually pray though, because each meeting has brought about more follow-up items for me.

    • Beth Wright (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Lisa- as a fellow procrastinator I totally understand where you are coming from. My procrastination doesn’t take place at work but at home instead and it causes more stress than is ever necessary. I have prayed about this for years but I don’t think that I’ve ever really tuned it over to Him completely. I’m praying that I will be able to do this. Will be praying that you are able to continue to allow God to help you in your quest to be prepared!

  8. This week has been super crazy for me. I am still a chapter behind but I don’t want to hurry through it. But I feel like I am missing so much. But I know this study is helping because no matter how much my circumstances praying and staying in Gods word has brought a fence between me and all those deceiving words that pop into my head.

    • Beth Wright (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Dawn- do not get discouraged!

      “Don’t panic. I’m with you.
      There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
      I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
      I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”
      ~ Isaiah 41:10

      Continue in your journey to turn your stressful situations over to Him. He will help those fences to become fortified walls that separate your heart from those words of deceit.

  9. My husband and I are both currently unemployed. Money is a huge stress for me. It doesn’t take much to get me all worked up. This week we had a few things that needed repaired (which would usually give me panic attacks). This week, I just gave my husband the money he needed to do the repairs and gave it over to God! No panic attacks, no fights, no screaming about where will this money come from. I just trusted God! He is my source and my provider! My husband got a few small jobs that not only covered the repairs, it is giving some extra toward other bills!

  10. Paige Ward says:

    Yesterday was a very hard day for me of not feeling good. Whenever that happens my brain tells me so many lie straight from the enemy himself, and it is always a battle to try to remember to fight the lies. Yesterday, I was able to remember Scripture that combated the lies. As a lie would come it, God would give me a scripture to tell me that lie is not so.

    Thanks for concentrating so much on Scripture! It is getting into the place in my heart and mind that it needs to be to combat the enemy.

    • Beth Wright (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Praise God for placing scripture in your heart and on your mind so that you can fight the lies of the evil one.

      “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time.” ~ James 4:7-8

  11. Jennifer says:

    I was a mess last Friday trying to schedule a doctor’s appointment for my son with one doctor’s out visiting their daughter who had had her first child, another doctor who refused to see my son “just once,” and I know it was the Holy Spirit that enabled me to say with tears rolling down my cheeks as I was a complete stressball, “Abba, I choose to believe you’ve got this no matter how I feel.” And through His power, I was able to calm down, think of another alternative, and we made it in to see a different doctor that morning. This week has been another roller coaster, but I so want to hold on to that knowing that I had last Friday in the middle of my breakdown – I do ask for your prayers to remember to ask when I’m done on my own.

    I heard a song on the radio that touched me so deeply Wednesday, and I pray it blesses you with the confidence that He’s got what ever’s going on in your life – it’s “Safe” by Phil Wickham, and here’s a youtube link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWJrV6dN7zA

    I love when he says, “The hands that hold the world are holding your heart.” I need that picture in my head.

    Much love,
    Jennifer

    • Beth Wright (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Isn’t it amazing to think that the God who created everything, the God who is over this entire world, takes the time to whisper into YOUR heart- “Jennifer, peace, be still, I’ve got this under control”! I love t the lyrics that you posted!!!

  12. What a wonderful bible study. Just what I have needed. I am at a new job as of Sept 2012. My duties just keep growing, along with my stress level. But God has been there every step of the way. Yesterday I was asked to do something I really did not want to do, however, I said to God, ” I am here to bring glory to YOU”, if this what You want me to do, then so be it. I came through with flying colors only because I new God was there with me. The week has been extra stress full, covering for a co-worker while she is out for training. Also, training 2 new employees. I could go on and on, but every morning I asked God to indwell me with the Holy Spirit and to nudge me and remind me to take it slow, one task at a time, focus, it will all get done just as he has planned. His will, not mine. God has come through so amazingly as always. I praise Him and thank Him for being with me all day, everyday no matter what. On the weekends, I love to get up, get a cup of tea and go into my den and be with God. I can close my eyes and feel as though I am sitting on Jesus lap and I get the most amazing feeling of security and love. It’s my way of recharging my batteries for the week. Thank you God, Thank you Jesus, Thank you Holy Spirit.

  13. Vanessa says:

    The Lord has really been showing me so many different new and different ideas of how stress has been less the more I don’t think about me and put the attention on someone else who is struggling. I was reading in John 21 where Jesus ask Peter to throw his net in another direction. Peter does this and the net is so full that Peter can’t even hardly drag it to the shore. Then Jesus invites Peter to breakfast and feeds him while asking him three times if he loves him and all three times after Peter says yes Lord I love you! Jesus says feed My sheep, tend My lambs, feed my sheep. After realizing that all these fish really represented people in our life. I began seeing fish every where. The first booked I pulled out at the library was entitled “FISH”. It’s amazing how God speaks to us through small things. When we are throwing our nets in the right direction of where God is leading us, fish will start to show up. Many opportunities have come up this week with people hurting and all of a sudden God was like “FISH”. So I responded to that person. I was walking through the parking lot at a store and looked down on the ground and there was a kids sandwich baggie with, will you believe it, a fish on it. I felt like God was saying look at the kids that are being fed when you feed my lambs. What does this have to do with stressed less living? Well I have been using this study of putting people’s names in verses this week as I pray for people and send out encouragement. Takes attention off me on onto others and that is less stress!!! God is feeding my soul so I can fish and then feed others!!!

  14. Before I read this Friday’s post, I felt strongly that God had already challenged me to live “as if.” Although I still struggled I’ve made great strides in living my life as if. Trust is a huge issue for me as is my thought life but as thoughts pop up that threaten to cripple my progress I continue as God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

  15. I put aside my own frustrated/selfish feelings about an issue in my marriage. This allowed my husband space to talk and ‘feel heard’ by me!! Yay! One more way the Holy Spirt is working to strengthen my marriage!!

  16. Well we have taken in two boys! 14 and 17. We have had a tough year financially this past year and even lost our house. We are now renting a small house which was fine because it was only me and my husband. But now he has given us two boys. And no matter what our finances are there is no way we would turn them away. But teen boys eat alot! lol I raised two girls light eaters :-) So on Monday my husband and I were talking how it was going to be hard to feed these boys. But I was totally calm (not normal for me with finances) And I said you know what God gave them to us. He knows our situation and I believe he will take care of us and them. An hour later a friend of ours called who knew nothing of the conversation my hubby and I had just had. He said are you home I need to come by. I said yes. So he came over and brought enough food to fill our refrig inside our house and we have an extra in the garage and filled that one too! Food and meat!! I started to cry cuz God knows our needs :-) Then I met another friend the next morning for coffee and she said I know having these two boys are going to take a toll on the finances and handed me a check for $300.00! So yes, God is showing me not to stress and trust him big time. So thankful he continues to show me his power so we can step out and help others with out a worry. That is what I always want to do! Never let anything hold me back form serving and loving others the way he has done for us! God is so good!

  17. I realized this week that somewhere along the line during chapters 1 – 5, I had already become ‘stressed-less’ – I already KNOW that God is with me and that He keeps me grounded and loves me regardless. It was a huge breakthrough – shows me that my heart is driving my life and NOT my circumstances. Thanks for an incredible Week Steph – always love having you teach and lead! <3

  18. I’ve had a crazy week of stressors (are there really any other kinds?) and I’m really excited by the motivation I’ve gotten to just change my mindset. instead of dwelling on things and allowing them to churn in to a rotten stew of toxic thoughts and negative self talk, I’ve been deliberately hitting the off switch and focusing on God by reading scripture or thanking him for a problem that I know will draw me closer to him. This is going to sound dumb but God strengthened me with an email! I’d been really struggling to come up with appointments for our company VP who decided last minute he wants to see how the San Diego market is doing. If you work in sales you’ll understand how something like that can send you in to a tizzy. I prayed hard, decided to use it as a opportunity to get closer to God and boom, I get an email from a high level executive who NEVER gets back to me saying she would be happy to meet with me and my VP. That motivated me big time and is helping me deal with something else that came in to my life which is much bigger and harder to deal with. God is with us, always!

    • Amber Oatman (OBS leader) says:

      That does not sound dumb Tricia! God uses so many things to get our attention, to comfort us, to affirm his directions, etc. The wonderful thing here is that you recognized this email as God’s word and blessing to you. Our reflection verse this week is so perfect for your situation “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

      Praying that you continue to feel God’s peace and presence in your situation!

      Abundant blessings!
      Amber <3

  19. Tracey Knafel says:

    I received a phone call last night telling me that my brother-in-law was in the ER. I will skip all of the details but God spared his life on December 7, 2012. Given the history I normally would have lost it and been frantic with worry but I have really felt God’s peace this week. I know God has a plan for my brother-in-law and through a lot of prayer I am trusting Him completely with this situation.

    Have a blessed day everyone!

  20. I’m reading this and nodding my head. Then I see my name, Hope, written in the sand in the picture. Hmm. I think someone is trying to get my attention:) This week I’ve truly felt like I’ve crossed a bridge into a place where I’m not living as if I believe but because I know God’s incredible peace. That bridge does not take me somewhere that is without trials and troubles but to an awareness of God’s constant presence in my life. What an indescribable blessing! During the OBS studies I have participated in I have felt my sisters taking my hand and bringing me to this place of peace. Knowing that we are not alone because of the Holy Spirit’s presence as well as our virtual sisters makes all the difference.

  21. TABITHA JONES says:

    This study has been so good for me. I have became stressed-less through these 5 chapters. God has really took control of my finances and that has really lessened my stress. If we put in ALL in Gods hands he will take care of it.

  22. Nancy Dye says:

    As I await cancer surgery for a double mastectomy with reconstruction, I know that God is in control. I’m not afraid and He knows that I just want to get it over with. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who’s been with me through every step of the diagnosis journey. My mother passed 7 years ago but she is in my heart and I’ll think of her often on Sunday. The “as ifs” that are mentioned in today’s e-mail are very powerful and I plan to use those in my thoughts as I move forward.

    • Lord Jesus I thank you for Nancy and her testimony of faith. I lift her before you and ask for her body to be healed and brought to health. I thank you that Your Presence will go with her and that You will give her rest. I thank you for her husband and his support and I thank You that Your Presence will go with him as well through this next step in their lives. Bless them above all that we could ask or think we pray. In Jesus’ name we pray amen.

  23. Katrina says:

    When praying what to blog about this week, God poured out His truth to me in Exodus 33:14 and it finally went from my head to my heart. I’ve been feeling rather alone since my mom died 8 months ago, and though I knew in my mind that God is always with us, I wasn’t feeling His presence in all of this in my heart. This month I’ve been planning for a Mother/Daughter tea party I’m hosting in remembrance of my mom. I’m DIYing all the decor, invites, etc. While I love to plan parties and to craft, my usual self would become crazed, overwhelmed, and frantic at some point in the process, if not at many points. However, I was able to bring everything to completion by yesturday (except the food) without becoming a stressed-out maniac, or without becoming overwhelmed by my emotions of my first Mother’s Day without my mom. Praise God!

    • Amber Oatman (OBS leader) says:

      Thats amazing Katrina! As a diy’er myself I know the stress of planning a party. Praying that God’s peace continues to surround you through this weekend. What a blessing you are organizing a tea party in remembrance of your mom, such a selfless act <3 I pray that you will be filled with His joy and love and that all those who come will have an amazing time.

  24. Carissa D. Huffman says:

    I, like Hannah, have been struggling with the overwhelming desire to add to my family. It was a long wait for my son, and now it feels like time is running out. This week, I have really talked to my Father about my anger, disappointment and grief. I have read many promises and prayed His Word over my life. Nothing has changed yet, but I feel more at peace. Minute by minute (some days), I come to Him to ask for more faith–I know that is a gift from Him, and it is His will for me to have that. I truly feel that my heart is in a better place. I’ll certainly report any news about a happy ending. :)

    Blessings!

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  25. Amber Oatman (OBS leader) says:

    Awesome post Stephanie!! I love the thought to live “as if”. Its so true. We already have all these things and often I too have found myself asking God for something He has already given me. I accept your challenge to live “as if”!!

    I have a little story from this weeks chapter…
    On Tuesday mornings I attend Ladies prayer and Bible study with a small group at my church. Well, I was running behind as usual so I rushed my 3yr old into his car seat, rushed out of the driveway, only to find myself stuck behind a slow moving vehicle (go figure). At first I was growling, looking for the first chance to pass. But then I remembered what you said earlier this week about Jesus and how he was probably never rushing around the streets in a frantic pursuit to get somewhere lol. I immediately took a deep breath and slowed down. I stayed behind the car all the way to town. I even stopped and got a chai tea on the way! As I came up on the driveway for my church (20 mins late) another car was pulling in. It was the babysitter, she wasn’t even there yet!! I just smiled and laughed, looked in to the heavens and said “Jesus, you are amazing <3."

    If I had shown up earlier chances are I would've gone home since the women were already praying and I wouldn't want to interrupt. Jesus had been telling me to slow down all morning <3 I put myself and my son through unnecessary stress instead of immediately listening to His nudge. So many blessings await us when we slow down and listen, when we obey.

    Stephanie thank you for your teachings this week. Without the mental picture you placed in my head about Jesus rushing through the streets (not) I might not have been blessed on Tuesday.

    Blessings and love to you!!!
    Amber <3

  26. Christine says:

    I faced this week what I think to be one of the hardest to ever deal with in education – the death of one of my students. I kept reminding myself of this week’s verse. How Gods presence goes with me as my class and I face the empty desk left in the room. As we deal with grief. But also to reflect on the good memories. God took care of me these rough days. Putting people in my life and coming my way to help me deal with this. I didn’t feel like Hannah this week even before the tragedy. But I do feel greater love and peace and I know it is because I am in His care.

    • Beth Wright (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Oh Christine- what heartbreak to lose a student. As an educator, I know how it is so easy to become so involved in the lives of the students that we work with. My prayers are with you (and all of your students) as you go through this time of grief. Just remember that He is always there right beside you, holding your hand and guiding your heart and words as you lead these precious ones through this time! Blessings!

    • Christine I too have lost a student. It is a very difficult journey,but with your heart in God’s hand it seems a bit easier. You never forget but holding on to all those precious students and families left behind was part of how I made it through with prayer and the wonderful supports God sent me. I am praying for you and all those touched as you navigate this difficult journey. God bless you for your continued journey shining as a bright beacon of Gods love.

  27. I started this study in dire straits! I was having what I consider severe panic attacks waking me every night almost at the same hour. I would even wake mornings after a night of one to two hours of anxiety and panic to feel the anxiety still racing through me. There had been multiple trips to doctors and even an emergency room visit. There is nothing like desperation to send one to their knees! In the midst of that I came across the information on this book Stressed-Less Living and immediately ordered it. I signed up for this study and never expected to experience all I am experiencing . The verse from Jeremiah 29:11 in chapter 3 jumped off the page and struck me as my verse once again. But this time I realized I had not really taken hold of this verse,not really believed God feels this way for me. I did not believe I could trust that it was so. As a child I had experienced the loss of a brother and then when my son committed suicide 4 years ago I was thrown into dread and more fear for the lives of my other children, expecting more bad and disastous stuff. I took a step of faith and started repeating this verse and thanking God. In the process I realized I can hold onto this truth for my children as well. I have lived ” as if ” God does not have plans for good for me and my children. I have believed that disaster is mine until I die. Now I am praising God that although there may very well be more bad things to come the truth is : He has good plans for me,for us, and that He will give me a future and a hope! So now I will live ” as if ” I have and am living with good and not disaster, with God giving me a future and a hope! Amen.

  28. I often wake in the night and my brain kicks into gear with all that I need to accomplish. It is difficult to fall back asleep and then I struggle through the day just waiting to get back in bed only to repeat the cycle.
    I know the culprit is satan trying to steal my peace.
    Last night when I woke God brought to mind His promise along with the relaxation breathing technique….INHALE …. YOU keep her in perfect peace……EXHALE… whose mind is stayed on YOU ….INHALE …..because she trusts in YOU …. EXHALE Isaiah 26:3 …. Repeat until rest and peace overcome you.
    Thankful for the Word to overcome the enemy!!!
    Praising The Lord!!

  29. Thank you so much for this take away! So great! I’ve been working on accepting help with things, and although it was hard at first, once I accept that its not a weakness, it has been great. I’ve also been working on being more selective about the choices I am making with my time, and the peace has begun to increase.
    Thank you again.

  30. Barb Truman, OBS group 19 says:

    Stephanie, what you said about needing to move the knowledge (that we already have the hope, peace, and love of the Lord inside us) from my head to my heart really resonated with me. I was feeling that I was somewhat of a failure in not really trusting and believing yet. I can’t wait to start acting “as if”–I know now that my emotions need time to catch up. Blessings to you!

  31. Deborah Dean says:

    Praise God, I had a beautiful day I actually allowed gave myself the privledge to enjoy today on the beach with two friends and did not worry just enjoyed the sunshine and ocean a true MIRACLE. I am a type A and not good at living stess -less my problems are still here but let them GO today! Thank you Stephanie

  32. Rebecca says:

    I really like this post from today. Yesterday was probably my day when I was able to feel less stressed. I had the day off work since I had a dr’s appt I was kind of stressed about but that all checked out good and I was able to have lunch w/my mom, and shop, and grab and smoothie and read so that was pretty good!

  33. This week I have been able to feel more relaxed. Yes… Things have gone wrong and out of control but for some reason I have stayed calm through all of it. Just a feeling of peace. Also a feeling of Gods presence in a comforting way. Kinda like gods way of saying trials may come but I’ve got this handled for you. I have also been trying to let go of some negative thinking and replacing it with the scriptures at the end of each chapter. I found that if I keep repeating them in my mind and thinking of what they mean to me I can push aside my negative thinking . It works and there is no room for it to consume my thoughts and feelings. I hope everyone is doing well also. God bless all of you.

  34. If I needed to hear anything today, it was to choose to live “as if”. As much as I pray and cry, I think I will only get there if I choose this route. Asking God to strengthen my faith and trust so I can let go of stress won’t work if I am not living “as if”!

  35. Chantale says:

    Thank you Stephanie for your encouragement. I accept the challenge to act “as if”. I am in a period of transition with my career and keeping stress and self doubt at bay has been a challenge this week. Yesterday, despite a beautiful “collection of moments” i chose to focus on one anxious moment which completely derailed my train of thought and made me feel like I blew it – by day’s end although I had no energy I chose to step back and gain perspective. By God’s grace my heart was open and I could clearly see how God walked with me through every moment, finding a parking spot, trusting the process of transition, accepting help, being real and vulnerable in a moment of anxiety, hearing his promises sung from Parliament Hill (today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it…I won’t worry about tomorrow), feeling a breeze across my face and recalling his presence, a timely prayer from a friend, an encouraging word from my doctor and once home the strength to call his promises to mind when an irrational thought crossed my mind. I am so grateful for the timeliness of this particular bible study…already I am believing by faith and releasing stress. Looking forward to how else God will grow me in living a stressed less life. Thank you to each of you for sharing, it helps to know that I am not alone in my struggles. May you be richly blessed

  36. My victory this week is my peaceful heart. I truly believe I’ve made that step toward having true peace within me. I am still searching for that closer life with Jesus our Lord and Saviour. I feel that I am headed in the right direction, but something is missing; I have not “gone to Him” or “leaned on Him” when I should. It should be my first instinct, not a back up plan.
    I actually posted on some blogs(finally) and that was fun. The one verse that resonated with me from the blog posts was “God wants to change your heart, not your circumstances.” That’s my prayer card for the next few days.
    I am still a work in progress. Love you all for sharing your thoughts and stories.

  37. Thank you for your encouragements this week, Stephanie. This line right here is going to stick with me for a long time, ” You can act as if until your emotions have a chance to catch up and the fruits of your faith begin to blossom.” This week’s chapter had me thinking hard about how I react to stress. I’m purposing to be proactive starting now. The grace that abounds, both here on Melissa’s blog and in my OBS Facebook group, while I’m sorting it all out, is such a gift.

  38. Jessica says:

    I surely was attacked by the enemy this entire week at work. On Tuesday I completed the verse mapping for the reflection verse. Wednesday at work, I had to physically leave my desk and the presence of others because I was getting ready to have a melt down. As I sat alone in a conference room, with tears streaming down my face, I remembered all that God revealed me to during the verse mapping. I prayed that verse and said “God, I know You’re here with me. Your word says so, and because You’re with me, the Word says You will give me rest.” I immediately felt my body relax and emotions calm down. I was able to work the rest of the day with the peace of God.

    • Jessica,
      Same thing has happened to me in the past. It is my current struggle now to lean on or go to God first as I feel the anger and frustration mounting, I need to remove myself from the situation physically, find a peaceful area and go to God first before I become out of control. I pray that we both can find the strength and grace from The Lord to deal with these situations..
      Plan A, Seek God first.

  39. This week I have noticed yes when I normally would want to run and I haven’t because I could feel his presence. I have also been stopping myself and sending a short prayer to him. In so doing it gives me time to calm myself down even when students are not. Now I just need to continue to pray and listen to his words.

  40. Victory-going to God rather than whining to friends in an effort to get sympathy…taking things to HIM, leaving them there and trusting Him.
    I firmly believe we are to bear one another’s burdens BUT i felt that at the heart of my prayer request I was seeking others to tell me how I was wronged MORE than I was seeking direction from Him…..
    (does that make sense?)
    as a result-God stepped in, I believe I handled the situation with grace….and I KNOW i learned to Trust in Him……

  41. Yes Sally that makes perfect sense to me. I have been there and it is definitely an awesome eye opener when my heart finally gets it. God ble

  42. One thing that I’ve been able to implement is, rather than taking a stressful situation and running with it, thinking of every possible outcome and how I am going to deal with, I’m choosing to hand it over to God. This means letting go of the worrying over the situation, letting go of trying to control the outcome, and trusting that God will take care of it and work everything out for my good-regardless of the outcome. It is so draining and exhausting to constantly feel like you are the one controlling your circumstances-to me that’s the source of much of my stress. By placing things in God’s hands, I no longer need to worry in vain. God’s got it all under control, and he’s shown me that I can trust him.

    This week’s study verified that I need to spend more time in his word and more time in prayer. Simple things like beginning my day in his word and taking some time to pray can make all the difference. Even listening to uplifting music can draw my thoughts back to God. I just need to make sure my endless list of take care of’s and to-do’s don’t crowd out or drown out his voice.

  43. This past week was so busy that I have just completed the reflection questions and opened up this email. On Tuesday evening, I spoke at a school community meeting. My thoughts were not well received and I was threatened before I left. I had prayed about what I would say and felt confident in my heart. After being threatened, my confidence wavered and I was filled with anxiety but that did not last long. I remembered our scripture verse Exodus 33:14 and knew He was with me! I have learned so much from this OBS and I am changing my heart with God’s help…through His Holy Spirit! Stephanie, you were phenomenal this week in sharing the most stirring thoughts as we read this chapter. They will remain in my head and my heart! Thank you!

  44. I like the message about skipping parts of the study I’m behind on to keep up. I have started getting behind, but I will go back to the parts I missed. I also really liked the message about acting as if God’s promises are true to allow my heart to catch up. I often know things in my head but have a hard time really feeling it in my heart. I am really glad to know that God is patiently waiting for my heart to catch of with my head.