Jun 7

SLL – Week 9, Day 5

Fellow Warriors, how are you doing this week? How is God working in your life through this study? I pray that you have used the appropriate weapons in your stress battles.

God has been working on the weapons that I turn to in my life this week. I have been craving God’s Word. There are several stressors in my life and the enemy is trying to get that foothold in my life. However, in my times of fear I have turned to my Father and His Word.

You may be asking yourself how do you develop the dependence for the weapons Tracie talked about in Chapter 9? It will not happen by itself. You and I must begin first by making the conscious choice for God and His weapons. By doing this, you will begin to crave these options first instead of falling into the trap of the world’s solutions to stress. In using the appropriate weapons (God, His Word, Spiritual Vitamins and Prayer), this will bring about the victory God wants to bring about in your life.

This process may be a little scary, but keep in mind the stress busting scriptures for this chapter:

Psalm 27:1

Psalm 46:1b

Isaiah 43:1b-3a

Romans 16:20

1 Corinthians 16:13

I want you to get out your Bibles and look up these scriptures. Take some time and not only read the words, but also really think about what God is saying directly to you. We do not need to fear because God is with us not matter what trials come into our lives. God promises to be our refuge and strength. What more can we ask for?

 

Your Turn

  • Share what you learned through your verse-mapping this week
  • What is your take away from Chapter 9?
  • How  has this study changed or impacted your life?
  • I challenge you to set a goal of drawing closer to God through the remainder of this study and then share what your first step in that journey will be. The Online Bible Study leaders would love to pray for and encourage you today.
Melissa

Comments

  1. This study continues to change my life and open my eyes. God is really showing me where I need to change and transform to bring Him glory….dishes are still sitting in my sink, on my stove, and on the counter from my daughter’s graduation party on Wednesday afternoon – it’s not been top priority to get them done….I’ll get to all of the glass dip bowls and plates, etc. – but right now, I’m not stressing over it….change! I feel it! Thank you for an awesome post!

    • It is odd that you mention this!
      Our school year ended on May 9. I had good intentions of jumping in on the house cleaning- a good, heavy-duty, FULL cleaning. That hasn’t happened and I haven’t stressed over it. I have swept, mopped a bit, and spent some time de-cluttering and just dusting. That has been enough. I am not whining at my children as much as I might have earlier. I am noticing the little things that they do and I am telling them THANK YOU for those.

      The biggest difference though, is inside ME….. I am feeling a calmness that I have not felt in a VERY LONG time! I am not letting things agitate me as much as I might have in the past. I can’t wait to see how the “New ME” changes my classroom atmosphere when school restarts!

      • Christine says:

        Amen to that ladies! I too stressed over the house, but now…focus on the more important things in life!

  2. I was so looking forward to this study and told everyone about it. I just couldn’t get enough in the beginning. Then my health continued to decline and decline and has turned into the biggest giant of all.
    I will be lucky to even finish this study if my health keeps going the way its going.
    My prayer is that my health will get better and my attitude will get better as well.

    • Shannan – Oh girl, I am right there with you! I just had a follow-up MRI this week, 3 young boys at home and both me and my husband are out of work! We just sold our house and we need to be out by July 1 and Im interviewing trying to see where God is literally moving our family!

      I get stress!
      I TOTALLY get the health frustration!

      Literally, I was sitting in the waiting room a few days ago, on the brink of a total breakdown (which moms are allowed to have by the way) waiting for my rescan. Things went differently that I wanted them to go. But this Study got me through. Well, okay…not just the concepts Im learning, but my girls (oh yea…totally calling them my group because they have been an AMAZING encouragement to me during this Study!!) MY Stress-Less OBS Group 44 ladies and leader Mary were literally praying for me, sending me Bible verses and encouragement the ENTIRE day!

      Shannan, I have no clue if you are part of a smaller Facebook OBS group, or just involved here…but this Study is meant for those of us thinking “I might not be able to Finnish because…” I have not read the chapter this week, but today’s post sent me here…the verses just totally designated with me…and I read your post and I had to respond.

      First, listen to your body. Do what you need there first (As a mom, I’ve allowed my kids to come before my health a lot…this book helped me realize that and my “craving” for constant activity was -and still can- distract me from the root cause of my problem.

      Second, start reading wherever you left off and read as much as God allows. I know if you are in the heat of a health battle it’s going to be IMPOSSIBLE to keep up…but don’t stop reading just because you fall behind! Keep reading, keep soaking in these Bible verses. Apply the strategies to your life! The cool part about this blog is even though they may be ahead of us (at times), we can always go back and see the posts that correspond to the chapter we are reading! To me, I’ve been a week behind…ummmm…like I am now HA, and I read the chapter first, then I catch-up on the blog…it’s GREAT! The blog is like an always-on small group discussion :).

      THIRD – Sometimes, you just need to know that someone out there gets you and really cares. Ok, Im not pretending I get you…but I completely understand the feeling of constant health issues and the feeling of these stupid, unpredictable sick days taking away life the way you want it to be. I know what it feels like to feel like your life is completely out of control. I know the feeling of loneliness, even when there are others trying to care for you. I know the desire to connect with others while the whole time thinking “If they only really knew me…”. So, if this connects with you, let me know. Visit my blog and connect with me. If not me, I pray that you find someone that encourages you to keep going during your Study. Don’t stop…you can do this!!!

      Ummm…ok…so Im going to setup for our garage sale and then guess what Im going to do? Yep…gonna read (or at least START) reading the chapter for this week! Im not giving up Shannan…don’t you give up either!!!

      • Great wisdom & encouragement! Love it! Believe God wanted thy to be a word for me too :)

      • Great post, Bethany! I will pray for you Shannon and know things will work out for your good!

      • Mary (OBS group 44 leader) says:

        We all love you just as much Bethany… you INSPIRE many of us. God is with you and we are so grateful to call you our friend!

      • Shannan I too have had medical issues as well as caring for my hubby who has many medical issues. Bethany that was an awesome post. You do get it.. shannan it is never easy when your health gets in your way, but know that we are all praying and loving you. As for being behind don’t worry about it. You are right where you need to be. I know that being sick constantly makes it hard to concentrate. I am asking God to provide you with calm and peace and answers. God loves you and is with you.

      • Oh my gosh, I just saw all these posts!! Bethany, u r amazing! Ur post made me smile, laugh, tear up, everything. I really do wish I had more effort to put into this study cause it’s sooooo what I need. But as you know and so many others on here know, when you’re going through something it can take over and keep you from doing what you want to do. And health can be so crippling… ugh.
        Thank you so much for everything you said. I’m going to check out your blog, would loooove to connect with you. It’s nice when other people can understand what you are going through. Not that I want to sit and dwell on my problems all day.. you know what I mean.
        I hope your garage sale went/is going well and God bless you. Thank you Thank you again!!!!

      • :)

    • Renee D. says:

      Shannan, I am along with these other ladies and lifting you up in prayer. I don’t know or need to know the extent of your health issues, but I too battle with health issues that are “little” compared to others…but feel “huge” to me. I pray that you health improves and that during this time God works on your attitude to come into agreement and know that there are people out here praying for you & believing in your healing. May you find people close to you that you can reach out to… You are not alone! Prayers, online hugs, and my sincerest thoughts to you <3

    • sondra s. says:

      praying for you daily my dear shannan. i love the responses you received from those who are also struggling with health issues. it’s interesting how total strangers can “get you” even when your own family does not. God is faithful, and i hope and pray you feel support and encouragement from the words they wrote.

      • Oh wow, I though I was going to be able to reply to each one of you individually, sorry!!! All of you thank you so much for your kind words. I will be praying for you as well. Its so nice to be able to express what I’m feeling and going through on here and get such wonderful feedback. Praise God!!!! I pray for all of our health issues, and that we can get some kind of relief/answers… something!! Take care all of you and God bless.

  3. This study is showing me so many areas I need to work on in my life. I was using God like a bandaid to hold together the things I couldn’t instead of turning to Him first for the solution. This chapter especially has shown me the importance of giving this to God. Only He is capable to fight the monsters of my life. I need to look to Him for prevention first not run to Him when I’m at the end of my rope & have exhausted all other options. So thankful for this amazing ministry & how God is using it to change lives!

    • What a great comment, Hannah! I can really relate to using God as a bandaid to hold things together instead of turning to Him first.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Hannah,
      I love how you said that. It is so hard to intentionally turn to God first instead of relying on the flesh but it is a MUST! Thank you so much for sharing and for this beautiful reminder.

  4. Vanessa says:

    I have a friend who is dying of cancer she is in her last stage of fighting this for the past five years. I have been visiting her this week and will be taking her to Duke for treatments next week. As I read these verses, I thought about her. I plan to text a couple of these to her today. She let me read a couple of pages from her journal yesterday and the very last sentence she wrote was,”God keep me filled with Your love.” Wow when I left her house I was changed!!

    Love
    Vanessa

    • Karen R. says:

      Wow Vanessa! I am one year out from breast cancer. I will pray for your friend (Duke is in my backyard practically) and that you will continue to be a light for her!! (Hugs)

      • Vanessa says:

        Thank you Karen and I pray for you as well!!! May you continue to be filled with God’s love!!

    • Vanessa – Im in remission from brain cancer. During the heat of my treatment I had an “encourager” literally READ me scripture. You just have NO IDEA how TRUE and CALMING Gods Word is, compared to all the medical advice I got all day. So yes…pass these passages on to your friend! I sit here today because of my encourager that did the very thing you are doing. You are such a minister! Your ministry is so powerful! Thank you for just being there for your friend!! JOSHUA 1:9

      • Vanessa says:

        Thank you Bethany for sharing this with me. I thought this morning how much maybe she just needs to hear the words of scripture each day to get her through that day. She told me that she’s good with The Lord and she has peace about eternity with Him but her biggest sorrow right now is her family and leaving her family not knowing if they are secure in their salvation. She has two grown sons and one of them has three children. Thank you for your encouraging words; I know God is present in our conversations…

        Love you!
        Vanessa

    • Vanessa,
      Your post sent chills me! My son is in remission from stage 4 bone cancer. Every 3 weeks he went in for chemo. He had a statue of Jesus his pediatrician gave him and he faithfully packed it and set it on his night stand. One time a nurse came in and asked why my son was so calm and peaceful. Alex answered because God is sitting next to me. The nurse said yes I see him on the table. Alex said”No, he is sitting on my bed holding my bed and I’m not afraid”.

      It’s taking me a while but I’m learning the wisdom of a child. We need not fear!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      I am praying as are all these OBS sisters. This support and love is amazing and is the work of God. Thank you, Lord!

  5. Tonya McCoy says:

    After reading this chapter Satan knew he was in trouble so he came at me with one of his weapons that he knew would be a giant to me. Though none other than my dear husband he tried to make me believe I’m no Christian & what’s the point in this “whole church thing” as he called it. So, I I started feeling guilty for even getting my bible out. I started thinking how can I allow myself to come unglued & then read my bible. But ladies then I remembered Tracie saying we have to guard our hearts from the enemy. It seemed like everywhere I turned I was reading how much God loved ME no matter what. Satan is trying hard to destroy my home but I have news for him as long as this girl is breathing he better look out cuz I got my weapons!

    • Karen R. says:

      Tonya I totally understand where you are coming from! Sometimes I get down in that deep pit myself and you are right, it is the devil trying to devour another home but you know what, we are one of those women that when we get out of bed in the morning Satan better watch out cause here we come!! LOL Prayers for you this morning!!

    • Tonya, the last scripture is just for you today! And I’ll add the next verse to it also – 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14 ” Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.”
      When I read what you wrote, I knew I thought of that scripture right away. Hold it close and keep clinging to Jesus!
      Love and Prayers,
      Beth A. (OBS Group Leader)

      • Tonya,
        If there was an Amen button I would have hit it for Beth’s reply. Keep clinging to Jesus my friend and the scriptures. Remember these weapons are things no one can take away from us.
        Love in Christ,
        Kati

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Love it! Keep your weapons out and be alert. The enemy prowls around ready to devour. Yay God!

  6. This OBS, God’s word and some awesome leaders are helping me defeat my giants. I am learning to deal with my stress by turning to His word. I love discovering scriptures that give me encouragement and I love sharing them with others.

  7. Karen R. says:

    In the verse mapping I looked up a couple of words in The Message version and this is my takeaway:

    Fear not, Karen, for I have rescued you. I have called you by name, you are mine! When you are in over your head I will be with you. When you are between a rock and a hard place, it will not be a dead end….

    Wow, I love that!! How many times do I get into something that is over my head or puts me between a rock and a hard place….alot….but this verse assures me that God is with me at ALL times!!

    My spiritual weapons and vitamins are increasing everyday with this bible study!! Love it and thank you!!

    • Diane W. says:

      Karen, I love that version from the message. That really speaks to me. Thanks for sharing that!

  8. When I read this chapter it spoke to my heart. I am going to write out these verses on notecards and carry them with me to court next Thursday with my son as he faces his sentencing and also in my car. My best friend found out her husband was having an affair this past week. I reached out to her and was able to talk with her about trusting God to guide her through this. In my son’s situation fear has had such a grip on me. I have been lifting it up daily to God. I read a blog yesterday that said we don’t know why we have to go through these troubles, but with God by our side we can get through them by letting Him hold us and good can come out of these troubles. While my son’s charges are serious, without them he would not have sought help for addiction, we would not have been led to the doctor who has stabilized his mental illness. There can be good in the bad! I told my friend this as I talked to her about trusting God’s plan for her life. I gave her my Kindle so she could read Stress Less Living. I also showed her A Confident Heart which is another great book when you are struggling. God is definitely working in my heart, I just have to pray, pray,pray when I feel the strongholds of others seeping into my thoughts and heart. I am so grateful for this study and the group of people participating. There is so much to learn from others stories.

    • Diane W. says:

      Becky, I can somewhat relate to what you are going through, and praying these scriptures over and over again has helped me. My 40 yr old daughter is an addict. She has been in and out of trouble for years, but Mom’s have a way of telling themselves everything is all better. She remarried a year ago, which I thought would be the end of all her problems. Last week, my husband decided to do a little checking up on her and went to the Internet to look up police reports. She has been arrested 4 times since November. I was completely shocked. 3 charges were for forging prescriptions, which she has access to, since she’s a Dental Hygienist. My heart took a big plunge, and only these Spiritual weapons could get me out of this sadness and anger. This chapter really has helped this week. I’m praying for your son and for you. Please pray for my daughter. She doesn’t know that we know about her.

      • I will pray for your daughter. Addiction is so hard to understand, difficult to watch. My son went to a rehab center in our state. And they had a really good friends and family program that helped me and my husband. Al-anon is also a help, but my faith is what carries me day by day. A great movie to watch that really is helpful to understand addiction is called “Pleasures Unwoven”, it really was helpful in understanding what happens to the addict. It is available through Amazon and you can see little cuts of it on You Tube. The facility my son was at shows it in their Friends and Family program every two weeks and all patients watch it as well. I will keep your daughter in my prayers. If you want to send me her name to my email I will pray specific. bschafs@comcast.net. These years have been so difficult, but I know Arron is God’s child first and he has a plan for him. Otherwise, I truly believe he would have died with all he put into his body. I hold him in God’s light everyday. Life surely is a journey isn’t it?

        • Sondra R says:

          Amen, sweet sisters, our daughter is also 40, and continues in a drug program. Addiction is one of satan’s great weapons against this fallen world. Holding each in prayer.

          • Diane W says:

            Praying for your daughter too! This is so hard, and you are right. One of Satan’s weapons.

  9. This week has been interesting. Since the start of this study, I have had a routine of what I did each night and it went smoothly. This week I have not been physically feeling great and was out one evening, so my schedule got thrown off. But last night I realized that I needed to stop everything I was trying to accomplish and just spend time with God. Reading his Word, praying and just being in his presence. I know I felt so much better at the end of the day yesterday. Hopefully, the devil was busy last night with a night of little sleep and a bad headache this morning. But I am fighting through this. Have a great day, ladies!

  10. The sheer power these spiritual weapons yield has been shown to me this week. Not necessarily in any big ways, but in ways that are subtle and peace-giving.

    And, I do think that these weapons might be my greatest take away up to this point. I had simply never thought of them as weapons. Spiritual vitamins, when used consistently, turn into weapons to use against the evil one.

    This study environment, my Facebook group online, my Bible and my Journal, these things along with Tracy’s book, has given me a renewed sense of peace and purpose in my life. I am so grateful!

  11. I still haven’t finished the Chapter, but one thing mentioned in the book is spending time wondering why we are in a certain situation, rather than focusing time and energy on going to God for help. I am so guilty of focusing on the why. I do it all the time. In fact I’m currently wondering why my sweet one year old has not turned into a whining, fit throwing 2 year old. Why is my child acting like this??? Actually last night when she acting up, I thought – just pray about it. God will lead the way. And when I step away and thing about it, asking why usually doesn’t solve or help any anyway. Sure I might get some added insight or understanding to the issue. But that doesn’t always equate to a better situation. I”m just going to continue to get into the habit of God, rather than the why.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Andrea,
      So much truth. As a mom of 2 small children it is difficult not to get frustrated with “THE meltdowns.” I am also learning to step aside and pray! Sometimes, I fall to my knees and quietly pray right there at that second and my 4 year old will kneel beside me and sometimes my 22 month old does too:-) Praying we all get in the God habit and not the flesh habit.

  12. I’m and so thankful for this study. It really has opened my eyes and opened my heart to what is truly important–what God wants me to prioritize in my life…which is HIM…not my to-do lists. I can tell a change in myself over the last couple of weeks especially. As a mother of a three year old, I’ve been told I have a lot of nervous energy now that she’s older and not as reliant on me as she was when she was an infant. But I always have to be doing things, and I don’t mind. I love doing things. I don’t like to be bored. But I was having a difficult time allowing myself to take a break. This week, I’ve tossed my personal to-dos to the side and gone to bed to enjoy my novel…the newest Nicholas Sparks which I am stoked to get into. It gives my brain a break. I don’t have to be functional. I just have to sit and read…and last night, listen to my daughter and husband snore at the same time. I loved it! What a blessing! Reading an awesome novel by an awesome author in the comfort of my bed and being surrounded by the snores of the people I love. Blessings blessings!

  13. I’ve spent more time reading this post and commenting on the comments than even reading the chapter! Lol!! I just wanted to say THANKS for these PERFECT verses!!! I haven’t even started my chapter yet (and I know Im not alone in that either) but gotta say I LOVE the community this Study has brought to my life! Thanks Melissa and crew…you all are doing a great job!!

    Ok…Im seriously getting off the blog, setting up for our amazing garage sale…and then catching up on my reading!!! Im excited!! Happy Friday everyone!!

  14. It is majestic the way God works. He always knows when I will need to sign up for these online studies. I have had the most stress at work, church, and at home since April and what a time for God to intervened through this wonderful study. My Bible has been my greatest weapon but there are times when like back in Ch. 5 I just needed to crawl into it to truly feel like I was in my Father God’s lap. I still feel that way depending on the day. The thing that this study is giving me is determination and purpose to realize that I have to keep trying and that God is always there so I must keep searching.

    What a wonderful God we serve. When everywhere I turn in life is chaos, sickness, and death I can open my Bible or close my eyes and see my Jesus smiling and hear him saying “I’m here my child and I know exactly how you feel.”

    Come on girls lets rock this, can I get an Amen!

    • TABITHA JONES says:

      Amen Kati!!!! I have been sitting here reading everyones post this morning and it has truly blessed my heart. I am so glad God sent me to this study. I have grown as a Christian and literally love getting into God’s word. I love to hear the Lord speak to me in the still small voice. I am at work this morning but can not focus on work for being so engulfed in this study.

    • Amen, amen, and AMEN!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Amen, Kati!!!

    • AMEN

  15. DebbieK says:

    The Lord has been continuing to show me through this study that it has to be a conscious effort on my part to turn to Him and utilize all that He has waiting for me. He is always there ready and willing to equip me for anything and everything I have to face, but just like an electric appliance, I have to plug myself into the power source before I will be able to access that power.

  16. This week I have been intentional and hit my goal of getting my quiet time EVERY DAY!!!! This is a major weapon for me. It is most certainly my most useful. I must say this chapter has been very helpful.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Mandy,
      This is also one of my strong weapons and it is also the most difficult for me to do:-) You said the key word “intentional.” We have to chose God’s Word and chose to spend time with our Father.

  17. Diane W. says:

    My take away: “David chose God as his weapon of choice to beat Goliath. We can choose God as our weapon of choice when facing battles of any kind…there s a battle going on for your mind and your heart…
    My weapons of choice: God, God’s Word, prayer, spiritual vitamins… I feel stronger just writing this here. I can feel God’s presence right now!!!!

  18. It’s been an interesting journey as I have gone through this book. Stress is not my friend and I have been so encouraged as I have worked through this book and what God is teaching me and changing through me. Thank you for the journey and the wilderness experiences that draw me closer to You. My weapons as so many others: God, His Word, His people, prayer and meditating on Him especially on the hard days.

  19. TABITHA JONES says:

    I am loving this study. I have engulfed myself in this study and love soaking it all in. My stress level has reduced so much that my husband and boys have even noticed. I was sitting on the couch last night and I made the comment that I was bored. My husband said that is a first, you are usually so caught up into everything you don’t have time to be bored. I told him I was letting all that extra go to get rid of the stress and he was proud of me. When I read over these verses again this morning the one that spoke to me the most was 1 Corinthians 16:13 I read in in the KJV and the NKJV and it was what I needed this morning. “Be on guard, stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” I want to be strong and courageous for the Lord and show others his way. My prayer is always that I hope that everyone can see Jesus in me where ever I am not just when I am in church. I want to be that Leader for the Lord and not lead anyone away from him.
    I hope each one of you ladies have a blessed weekend.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Tabitha,
      I don’t have much to say here but I absolutely love this post for so many reasons. When your husband notices then that says something. Praise God! He is soooooooo good:-) I am praying you have an awesome weekend and that you just dwell in God’s Presence.

  20. Not only have I been blessed by this OBS and this chapter, but I find the comments by you OBS sisters to be a great weapon in my struggles as well – you are all so real and share such great insights. There is power in this community of believers!
    As I drove to work this morning under a dark cloudy sky, I looked up and saw a break in the clouds where the sun was trying to shine through. I heard the Lord whispering for me to always look for the Light in the midst of darkness, to turn to Him when the Enemy tries to take me down the negative and worldly path. Daily spiritual strengthening through prayer, getting into His Word, worship and study will help me to remember to look to Him first.

    • Janet F says:

      AMEN Kim I agree, I get such good insights from the others who post on here!!!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Kim,
      You are so right and I know the enemy gets so mad over this OBS community:-) God is working here. He is working big time and I am honored to be a part of it.

  21. The stress-busting questions at the end of each chapter have really made an impact into my daily life. I’ve noticed that when I do {read each passage in my Bible & write them down in my journal} at least a couple of them each night, the next day seems to go much better at my jobs.

    My take away from this chapter is focusing on the spiritual “vitamins” that are available for us, including prayer, daily Scripture reading & journaling, listening to Christian Music & fellowship with fellow believers. One thing I need to work on in fellowship with other believers. Yes, we attend church regularly and we are involved with a lot of church groups but we don’t have anybody at our church in our age group (upper 20s-low 30s) that are involved with the different activities.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Holly,
      We don’t have many our age either but our church is our home. I am 31 years old and don’t have many church friends that are even in their 30’s. It can be difficult to be interactive but the most influential women in my life are years older than me. God knew what He was doing:-) Praying for some amazing young Christian couples to come your way. A couple you can connect with and gain spiritual insight and fellowship. It is very important to fellowship with other believers. I am also praying this for myself tonight. Have a blessed weekend.

  22. Katrina says:

    I have a confession to make – I didn’t verse map the reflection verse this week. I let the length of it intimidate me. However, in reading so many of the blog hop posts yesturday that were written in response to the verse, I was so enlightened and blessed! While there is so many good things packed into that verse, what stood out to me the most is the importance of how God calls us by name. I just love that! My take away for chapter nine that I’m applying to my walk comes from the qoute on pg 179 where Tracie talks about God taking snapshots of what strength means to him. This is my new focus and goal in approaching the struggles in life thrown my way – to be a pillar of strength in the Lord. This study is drawing me closer to God again and He is using it to heal my heart in the areas I’ve been struggling in. I’m realizing that I need to be focused on remaining consistent in my walk with God to be better equiped for the spiritual battles being faught in me and around me. My first step in drawing closer to God in the remainder of this study is going to be in reading a portion of God’s Word daily and first. I know this is something I should be doing and I used to do it, but then got off track in my schedule and never consistenly picked it back up again, so my actual Bible reading has been spuradic and random at best lately. When I read my Bible first, this always opens my mind and puts my thinking where it needs to be for the day and preps my mind for getting more out of the devotions and studies I’m taking part in. I also feel closer to God and am able to hear Him speak more often and more clearly. He always uses what I’ve read that day and applies it to something else I read later and/or to a situation in my life. As my hunger for Him and His Word grows again through this study, I’m looking forward to getting back to reading His Word REGULARLY again.

  23. Crystal says:

    This study has helped me recognize where I turn to in times of stress. Though I seek God regularly, when I feel overwhelmed, I used to turn to and still have to make the choice not to turn to Tv or a game, some non thinking activity. Now I’m seeking God first in prayer and sometimes worship music as my go-to when I feel stressed.

  24. My take away is to use ALL of my spiritual vitamins and most important is to sit and listen for God’s answers or direction. I love to get into God’s Word andd good spirit scripture books. My problem is learning th how to apply what I learn. Retaining, focusing, and applying with chronic pain has been taking its toll on staying on the path and growing. Today I see my doctor as I do every 3 months and God is going with me to tell her I’ve done all I can and recieved prayer so tthis is as good as it will get. So what medication change to improve conztIn pain? I’ve been praying God is already speaking to her heart as a Christian Doctor.

  25. My “monsters” are shame and blame. They have been my constant companions since childhood. I have always felt I have had a “yeah but” mark on my forehead. God’s word is true…yeah but…not for someone as bad as me etc.

    This study has really empowered me, through the book, the Bible but more importantly through the participants to realize God loves me, forgives me, and will protect me through anything!

    • Kelly H says:

      Wendy,

      Please know that you are not the only woman to play the “shame and blame” game. You have a ton of sisters that are right there with you!! What I love is that you have been empowered thru this study and I can only imagine what joy that brings you. Keep the faith and know that I am praying for you!!

      Kelly

  26. Lee Roberts says:

    1 Corinthians 16:13

    The Message (MSG)

    13-14 Keep your eyes open Lee, hold tight to your convictions Lee, give it all you’ve got Lee, be resolute Lee, and Most of all Lee love without stopping.
    This was so powerful for me as my husband and I are trying to save our marriage and he has felt God’s call for him to the ministry. God has worked on us both while we have been apart. I am praying for God to show me what he wants me to work beside my husband. I am trying to learn how to be the submissive wife that God calls us as wives to be. I never wanted to be submissive. But have learned what the true meaning of it. With so many of us going through trials I am just lifting prayers up.

  27. Jamy,

    Thank you for another powerful week studying and seeking together! You are a blessing!! This morning while studying 1 Corinthians 16:13 I was reminded that we must be so very careful and remain on guard in our every day lives in order to remain steadfast in the peace of God we are seeking. It’s so easy to neglect Bible study, prayer, devotions (and any other “spiritual vitamins” we take) when things are going well for us. Verse 13 says we must “watch” which means (according to the Strong’s) to “keep awake” and be “vigilant” (alert, attentive, aware, cautious, guarded, keen, on guard, on the lookout, on toes, sharp, unsleeping, with eyes peeled – dictionary.com). And “stand” in this same verse means to “be stationary” and “to persevere” …keep at; work hard. Taking our spiritual vitamins really is a spiritual discipline and one that we must purpose to practice every day in order to remain spiritually healthy and prepared for what our day may bring. Thank you, Jamy, for this reminder and for encouraging me to “keep at it.” So thankful to be here in this beautiful community of women. Blessings to you today!! :)

  28. Renee D. says:

    My take away from this week is really a reality check for me personally…I seek relief from stress/fear/anxiety from the WRONG things, yes there are things that can help but for the ONE true help, I need to turn everthing over to God. I have said it before but my huge issue is TRUST in the Lord. This OBS has helped me as well and has been a spiritual vitamin since we began this journey. I have a ways to go, but I am not where I started and am believing God for He can get me to my true stress-less live….I embrace it now because I know it’s coming. Praying for you Ladies :-)

  29. I consider God, His Word, and prayer to be the spiritual vitamins she’s talking about. Also, other spiritual vitamins would be listening to Christian music, memorizing scripture, going to church, participatibg in OBS, reading scripture based devotions & books, participating in small group discussion, journaling & personalizing scripture … I am planning on making a couple of changes- upping my prayer time, reading & personalizing scriptures daily, and I really want to get in the habit of starting my day in His word. This week, I took the stress busting scriptures, personalized them, and wrote a letter to me from God. :-)

  30. My take away.PEOPLE TURN TO WORLDLY WAYS TO RELIEVE STRESS>TURNING TO GOD IS THE ONLY ANSWER.I am definitely calmer and trusting in the Lord more.

  31. Courtney says:

    This study has been a blessing to me. Each day I feel more relaxed and letting things go. Today, I exhaled and admitted to God that I have no control and I can’t do life with Him. With tears falling, I felt his arms wrap around me. I heard Him whisper Psalm 27:1…. I am your light and your salvation, whom shall you fear? I am the stronghold of your life, of whom shall you be afraid. Ah! So power! I’m been stressing far too long over things I can’t control. I’m turning my why me attitude to Lord, I’m accepting what you allow. I’m changing the all the bad things are not bad, they will work out for my good and give me a great testimony. Use me Lord in the manner to uplift you and for your light to shine through me.

    Thank you, Traci for this powerful book! Thank you Melissa for leading this OBS! Thank you Jamy for leading this week with all your powerful words and thought provoking assigments. Thank all of the OBS leaders! You all have challenged me to look deep within myself. I have dealt with things I have hidden for so long because they were so traumatic. I’ve learned it’s okay to be flawed. It’s okay that I’ve made mistakes. I am forgiven! And as long as I admit this and surrender to God, he’ll heal me and make each day a little easier. :)

  32. Kelly H says:

    Verse mapping has become my new obsession and so I took the time this week to map every verse. The 3 verses that really stuck out at me this week were Psalm 27:1, Psalm 46:1 and Romans 16:20. The all have similar themes of course but it just seemed like God was trying to pound into my head the message that they hold. He is my rescue in times of trouble. He is a fortress of protection. With God on my side I am fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. So why do I try to run and hide when the first sign of stress appears?

    I have been changed from the inside-out due to this bible study. Not only am I challenged every week to dig deeper into the bible than I have ever gone before; I am challenged to dig deeper into myself as well. Digging deeper into myself is something that I have needed to do for a very long time now. In Romans 16:20, the verse begins with the words “The God of peace.” During this study I think I have finally come to the realization that it does not mean “peace of mind” but instead the building of a NEW relationship with God.

    I am not without my moments of doubt or lack of self-confidence when it comes to stress, but I believe that now I am better equipped to handle whatever comes my way and I plan on kicking it to the curb!!

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Kelly,
      Your post just brought the biggest smile to my face. Praise God for what He is doing in your life. I love our OBS community! Thank you so much for sharing!

  33. Christine says:

    That last verse from 1 Corinthians about being on guard really strikes a chord with me. Just after reading the chapter and reflecting on each spiritual vitamin, I got down and poured out my heart to God in prayer like I hadn’t in a while. Well, God was preparing my heart because just two days later the enemy tried to get me down, and I wanted to give in, but with my friend’s encouragement and our theme verse this week reverberating in my head, I was able to stand firm with Gods strength and help. I think the worst is over, but I am not letting my guard down and will continue to seek him through his word and prayer. I love how we are focusing so much on scripture. It really has helped me tremendously these past few weeks, and I am seeing a change within me and in my relationship with my heavenly Father.

  34. Jeanie Kelley says:

    I am so ready to take this challenge to get closer to God. I am looking forward to this great adventure that I want to be on.Granted I do not have the entire chapter read since I do not read that fast, but will finish it along with the questions on Saturday. My biggest issue has been time. Time to get up early enough that I am not sitting down at the computer doing email and focusing more on God and his word. I plan on getting a devotional which I already have several to read from or read something from here then spur myself into the reading from God’s word. Thanks so much for praying for me. So to conclude, I am getting my weight taken care of so the physical, emotional, spiritual with this and mental–not watching as much tv and being on facebook as much through the day. So much to do. Will appreciate the prayers. Also working on my marraige–Biggie. Thanks again for praying.

    • TABITHA JONES says:

      Jeanie I am praying for you. It is hard to make time but just pray for the Lord to put the time there and he will cause I have been there. I used to not have any time for anything and my constant prayer was Lord please help me in this area. I now have the time I need and extra time to go along with it. It is such a blessing to have this OBS community. I just love connecting with everyone. Stay strong.

  35. Love the verse : Romans 16: 20 And the God of peace will crush satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen . Don’t we look forward to that day? In the meantime we can keep seeking His help to do this battle we are in. Through Jesus we will do valiantly ! Amen

  36. Also laid eye on this one: 1Corinthians 1:9 : God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness to us! We would be lost without you. Be our help in all our days and bless all who come here. In Jesus name .

  37. As I sit and think about what I have gotten out of this chapter, I admit that it came at a very God-appointed time. I must admit that I have not map-versed any of these scriptures due to our daughter being in the hospital but I have had time to look at this chapter and absorb many things out of it that have helped me get through this very “stress-ful” time. The one thing that I took away was the point of God having a camera- I love photography so that really hit home. It hits me that photos capture so much and if God were to have a camera of my life, He would not have many of the moments that I so desire him to have in my album. I realize that through His power I can achieve so many things that I want to but only through Him and what He has to offer. The one thing that I took away from this chapter is that I really need to tap into His power and do all of the great things that I come up with to do but never really accomplish.

  38. I decided to try the vitamin application that Tracie mentioned in this Chapter. For about 5 years now I have been taking a sedative at night for my sleeping problems.The dosage has gone up and down over the years as it has also managed depression and anxiety symptoms. While I am now on quite a low dose I can still have nights where I don’t sleep through or struggle to get to sleep and consequently get myself into a panic. The thought of not sleeping can literally turn me into a blithering mess as I’m so dysfunctional the next day. My daughter who also struggles with sleep is the same and at the moment she is experiencing a lot of pain with a gut disorder that she has had since she was born. This often means that she doesn’t sleep well at night or wakes up in discomfort and distress. Between both of us, the possibility of not sleeping is a very real fear. So I decided to challenge myself and make my “go to” to God at the beginning of one of these episodes. So far this week I’ve had 2 nights where I’ve taken my small dose of sedative but have been woken up or not been able to go to sleep. On one night, my daughter was extremely distressed – to the point of tears – (she is 15 yrs) that I felt so hopeless as I had no solution for her pain. I prayed with her, offered to lie down beside her which she didn’t want and ended up going back to bed and decided I would continue to pray for her and me over and over. At this point I have in the past just taken another small dose of the sedative, but instead I said to God that I would pray to Him and trust him that he would put us both to sleep. So I prayed over and over “God, please be her comfort, be her peace, be her sleep and be her soother”. I woke the next morning, realising that God had put us both to sleep not long after that. I then had episode just last night where I didn’t get to sleep until well after midnight and decided again rather than reach for more sedative I prayed to God those same things. It worked again. A bit like a lullaby – a God given one! I will continue to trust him and pray that I will eventually trust him for getting off the sedative altogether – in the mean time I’m praising him for his comfort and care of myself and my daughter. :)

  39. Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

    Hi Kerry,
    That was beautiful. Our Father loves us so much and He is our Helper, Comforter, Healer, and Deliverer. Thank you so much for sharing. What an encouragement to turn to God FIRST:-)

  40. I wish I had more time to read all these comments, but your victories and encouragement are such a huge blessing to me. In the midst of unknown health challenges, I have kept faith by being in His Word and His community! 1 Corinthians 16:13 was the verse I needed to hear today. God is with me through my trials. He is my deliverer and will bring me through my current challenges.

    This study continues to bring me into God’s Word on a more consistent basis. I am so thankful for this study and the women on here. Your fellowship is part of my growth as a Christian.

  41. Tristine says:

    Hello! What a week this has been for me but I am so thankful for this study. I took a lot away and am going to re-read it. The reflection verse is amazing. He is my total everything. I am safe! I am His. I can have peace and know He IS always with me.

    I really love the last verse listed, 1Cor16:13, “Be on guard.Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” I am going to reflect on this one also. I don’t feel I have been strong lately.

    What I have taken away from this Chapter is I need to choose God. Let Him take over my battles, and learn to guard my heart. I have committed to extra time alone with God and in addition to this study, read your daily devotionals (love them-been signed up for a long time now), and use them to also guide me into the Sord. I have taken away that The Word us the best weapon against stress. I am learning the very importance of Scripture memory which is hard for me because my memory is not that great.

    I have taken much more from this Chapter and study. Foremost, I have a wonderful
    Small FB Group (Yay #28) with beautiful ladies that are bar none. I have made great connections, have been prayed for and have prayed for others. I love my OBS! :-) I can never say enough. What I have taken home from the book and study as a whole is priceless. I have learned so many amazing tools and truths about God and His Word. The conference calls are well worth the price. Everyone here cares and Tracie is brilliant as a writer. I am inspired and have great hope that I will conquer this. I have loved to also be able to contribute in the FB group and through my blog. The best is learning more about God, giving Him the glory, and coming closer to Him.

    Thank you all for everything. I like the challenge also Jamy. Thank you.

  42. I continue to go back to the vitamins Tracie spoke of. Each time I get down I start going through the verses and praying. As I do I find myself feeling stronger in Him and less in me. The issues are still here but I am more often giving them to Him and leaving them there. I know he is with me each and evey hour of the day. I am stepping in deeper and as we finish this study I will continue to take my spiritual vitamins as often as needed. I continue to pray for my sweet sisters as they continue to make this journey. I praise God daily with providing me with the many words of wisdom in each post. God bless!

  43. Paige Ward says:

    I went through a really rough spot yesterday. I just started praying, quoting scripture, and singing. The pain did not subside and it was hard to get through, but when I was at the worst part it is as if I could feel Jesus beside me wrapping His arms around me saying I am with you. It was wonderful not to feel alone.

    This so much reminded me of Isaiah 43:1b-3a. “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

    God didn’t take the pain away, but He was with me and it did not consume me.

    As I was verse mapping this verse a few other verses came to mind:

    Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

    Psalm 22:5 – I trust in You and will not be disappointed.

    Matthew 19:26 – With man this is impossible, but with god all things are possible.

    Psalm 25:3 – No one who hopes in You will ever be put to shame.

    As I was looking at I Corinthians 16:13 this morning I realized I can’t be on guard, stand firm in my faith, be courageous, and be strong if I am not daily using God’s weapons to fight the spiritual battles around me. It is only through God I can do these things.