Jun 21

SLL Week 11, Day 5

Hello there!  Steph Raquel** here again, as we conclude Chapter 11 of Stressed-Less Living.

This week was all about hitting the “re-set button” in our lives.  On Monday, we focused on Romans 8:26, and the power of the Holy Spirit praying on our behalf.  On Tuesday, we examined some uber practical ways Tracie Miles outlines to help us attain our goal of a stressed-less life.

And today, we get to unlock the single required ingredient to live a stress-less life: Jesus.

As we read in our Stress-Busting Scriptures for the week, Jesus is a pretty big deal.  Maybe that’s already true in your life.  Maybe it’s not?  If not, I’d like to invite you to seriously consider what Tracie outlines in Reflection Questions #5:

If you have still not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior, will you pause and do that right now?  He has been waiting for you to discover that he is the answer you have been so desperately seeking.  Your stress, anxiety, chaos, and busyness are merely symptoms of the absence of his hand in your life.  He is standing with open arms, waiting to welcome you into his Kingdom.

Think of it this way …

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to help with some clean-up and gardening at a nearby rescue home for human trafficking victims.  I don’t do much of any gardening, but I can follow directions and play well with others, so they let me go along. :)

When it came time to clean up the back lot, recent spring storms had brought down tons of leaves and debris.  The task looked daunting, until someone brought in a leaf blower.  It was awesome!  It saved the day!  Until … it quit.  All of a sudden.  The power cord was plugged in, and the machine was turned on.  But then we realized the problem: the electric cord wasn’t connected to the leaf blower itself!  It was disconnected from the source of power, and therefore totally not doing what it was made to do!

Sometimes our lives are like that.  We think we’re connected, but we’re really not.  Or, we were plugged in and making progress, until some storms of life came along, and disconnected us from our Heavenly power source.

This video might help explain it a little better:

Next Steps

If you’ve dropped a few plates in life (we all have!) … if you’re feeling disconnected from God and the Son who came to earth to die for you … or wish to renew your commitment to living your life for Him, you can do that right now through a simple prayer.

As Tracie writes, there is no right or wrong way to pray to Jesus.  View this prayer as an opportunity to admit your need for God and invite him into your life.  Jesus isn’t concerned with how we talk to him or invite him in — just that we do.

Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner.  I believe that you are the one true God.  I believe the Holy Bible is infallible and that every word is true.  I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life in Heaven.  I know that without You in my heart, Lord, my life is meaningless and without purpose.

I believe in my heart that Jesus was raised from the dead and sits at your right hand.  Please forgive me for every sin I have ever committed in thought or deed.  Please come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today.  I need you to be my Father, and I want you to be my best friend, fostering an intimate relationship with me.

I give you my life and ask you to take full control from this moment on.  I am excited about the new life I will have in you.  I pray all this in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

If you prayed that prayer today, let me be the first to say, Welcome to the family!!!  You can also check out some helpful resources via the Proverbs 31 web site, Do You Know Jesus?

YOUR TURN!

  1. In your attempts to handle stress, have you become too self-sufficient?  Do you need to surrender your life and your issues to God, giving him an opportunity to work in your life?  Feel free to share your thoughts here.
  2. What does Jesus mean in your life?  What is the next step for you to live a stressed-less life?
  3. If you prayed this prayer today, we’d love to hear it and encourage you in your new relationship.  Let us know!

THANK YOU again for the privilege of leading you through this week, and for sharing your hearts in the comments below each day’s posts!

And finally, the winner for the book for our next OBS is … Courtney F. from Dallas!  She posted Mon., June 17 that: “Romans 8 is just a wonderful chapter that contains so many great verses.”  We have your contact info., so will be in touch!  =)

~ ~ ~

** My web site has been hit by some crazy Internet thing a few towns over.  My apologies!  So, if you wondered who’s writing all this stuff, here’s a little more about me.  :)  Stephanie Raquel is passionate about leading women who lead women. She has been leading small groups for more than two decades, prior to graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She and her husband, Steve, have three spunky daughters and have served with Cru’s Metro Chicago development team as well as their local FamilyLife Leadership Team. Stephanie currently directs the women’s ministry at The Compass Church in Naperville, Ill. and is a Group Leader for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies with Melissa Taylor.   A cancer survivor and occasional triathlete, most days you can find her enjoying sports, savoring a Cafe Mocha or tweeting on @stephraquel.

Melissa

Comments

  1. Carol Thompson group 26 says:

    Our God is an awesome God. We will be leaving Sunday am early for Honduras for a week. I wanted a relief veterinarian to come in, but my husband did not. I prayed that God would show me the answer. I found a Christian veterinarian who was willing to come and would even accept less than his usual fee to come. Then after everything was arranged, he found he had a conflict with the dates. I felt that God was closing the door and we were to go back to the plan of having the staff in on a few mornings. I feel a peace about it that I did not feel before. God is good and He will provide.
    I will trust Him to protect us and the business. I would ask for your prayers that I would be open to what The Lord desires to show me. My husband has been before, I have not. I know it will be life changing, it was for my husband.
    Thank you ladies.

    • My prayers are with you. It is a bit nerve wracking going out of our comfort zones and into another country. I pray for safe travels and a successful mission for you and yours. I pray that God makes His path known to you, and as I pray for myself many times, I pray that if you start going down the wrong path that God slams the door hard and gets you back where you need to be. This is awesome what you are doing. It takes much courage to go into another country in this day, I believe. God bless and safe and happy travels!

    • Charlotte O (OBS Leader) says:

      Praying for you Carol, may the voice of the Father you know and the voice of a stranger you will not follow. May your eyes be open and your spirit sensitive to Him and His leading.

    • Carol, add me to these prayer warriors praying for your Honduras trip. May God bless it and keep you safe as you travel.

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      How fantastic! Praying for your trip to be a blessing in your life, those you serve, and those who support you while you are away.

      “Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” ~ Psalm 5:12 =)

    • Courtney says:

      Hi Carol! I’m praying that you will have a safe trip. And, I’m praying that you will be a blessing to someone, and they will bless you!

  2. I was raised in a good, Christian household, so I don’t really know what it is like to not believe in Christ. But I do know what it feels like to follow my own path, thinking I know better, only to stumble and fall. I know what it feels like to make God my last resort, rather than my first as He should always be. Everyday is a new opportunity to carry on the relationship I have with God, and make it better than it was yesterday. I have problems and stressors everyday, so I need to lift those up to Him everyday. When I wake up every morning and take that first step out of bed, God has officially given me another chance to get it right…to renew my life in Him…to let Him be in full control of my life and the mistakes I have made in the days before.
    Jesus is my everything. He is my strength. He is my forgiveness. He is my calm in the storm. He is my understanding. I can’t do anything without Him. If I get feelings in my heart to do something, whether it be at home, work, or anywhere, and those feelings are clear as crystal with no doubts in the way, God is the one that put those feelings in my heart. That is God directing my path. Everyday is a new opportunity to shove my brain out of the way, and let Christ be my guide as He leads the way through my heart. I am eternally thankful for blessings such as these Bible studies because it makes every opportunity for daily renewal that much easier. There is strength in numbers, and there is certainly strength in God. May God bless all of you…Steph you have been a blast this week, and I truly appreciate you responses and the responses of my fellow OBS girls. Love to you all. Have an awesome and blessed weekend!

    • Jenny, that following of our own path. And botching it up good? I totally get that. There IS such strength in fellowship (those numbers) and I am so grateful for this fellowship, right here, too!

  3. Good morning ladies! I once again am just overwhelmed with the blessings of this study and the fellowship here . God is so good and he is a rewarder of those who seek him! I could use prayer as I am having health issues that can be a little distressing. I know it is no where near as bad as it is for some of you and feel a little reluctant to ask for your prayers with what some of you are called to deal with. I sure do need to hear from God in these times with so many things coming at me. I know you understand. I tend to get anxious when the issues arise and once again find myself awake with anxiety and not feeling well . My mind runs on and on with what ifs? I appreciate this group and the prayers and encouragement that is lavishly poured out to one another! Thank you and may God bless you with his extravagant blessings. Amen . Thanks.

    • Charlotte O (OBS Leader) says:

      Liz, praying for you and your health and praying for peace for you. A peace that surpasses all understanding, His peace. His peace brings rest, rest brings rejuvenation. Give Him your worries for He cares for you and leave them with Him not to be picked back up or revisited but resting in the knowing He has it under control. God wants to be in every aspect of our lives no matter how big or small we may think it. It sounds cliche and wall plaquish but He does love each of us as if there were only one of us. There is never any problem too great or small for Him. Praying His healing over you.

    • Liz, I’m lifting you up. Sometimes, we don’t ask because we assume our prayer requests couldn’t really be all that impotant – but if God numbers the hairs on our heads, I’m thinkin’ He cares just as much about what’s on our hearts.

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      I hear ya on the What Ifs! I’m awaiting test results today, as a matter of fact!

      We shall keep you in prayer, Liz! Glad this group is encouraging you, and thanks for letting us know how to pray for you!

  4. Charlotte O (OBS Leader) says:

    I love this! Great Word Stephanie. When we stay plugged into the power source we have Light and that makes it easier to see when the plates are getting ready to drop. without that source and Light we can’t see the “wobble” and then ensues the fall. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Steph, this week has been just so good. Jesus is literally walking me through this study. Hand in hand. I feel it. I feel God’s goodness and his discipline and I am thankful for it all. I’m focusing on being faithful in my prayer life and I find myself making efforts to stay in the present moment and just soak up whatever He is giving me to do/consider/enjoy or observe. The fact that summer is officially here in our house has nothing, I’m just sure, to do with the feeling of Stressed Less-ness. 😉

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      YAY SUMMER!!! =) So glad you’ve got a personal tourguide for this study!

  6. This week has been amazing. Digging in deeper into letting go of those things that are keeping me from realigning my heart with God’s word, at first, was NOT what I wanted to take the time to do. This study has provided me with a deeper understanding of my relationship with Christ and that it is personal, very personal! I have realized over these past weeks how disconnected I had become in my relationship with Christ–allowing little things to creep in and they subtly got in the way of my faith and trust in my Heavenly Father.
    This OBS has been one of my favorites and most meaningful. :)

  7. Stephanie Raquel says:

    Love it!! Glad to see you gaining insights! =)

  8. Katrina says:

    Wow, what an impactful video. Thank you for sharing it and for leading us this week Stephanie. “Self-sufficiency was my middle name before I was saved. Maybe even my first name, and I was very proud of that fact. Accepting Christ changed that as I learned more and he worked on my heart. Then 4 yrs ago I fell back into that trap through my struggles. Thankfully, the Lord led me here and through P31 and these studies, I’m letting go once again. Thanks so much to all you wonderful ladies here and especially to Melissa Taylor fo being brave and following the call to start these studies.

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Katrina … if we’re honest, “self-sufficiency” is the middle name for everyone of us. That’s why Jesus had to show up — cuz we needed a Savior!!

      So glad to see that God is bringing you to new heights!

  9. Awesome video! Thank you for the reminder!

  10. What a great visual – the video is an awesome tool to help us right where we are – Yes, He loves us; He doesn’t want us to die, he came that we would come to have life in abundance – and to overflow!
    release pains, hurts and all our life to Him, the Healer! Praise God, he answers us always!

  11. Amber Oatman (OBS leader) says:

    Awesome teaching this week Stephanie!! Your teachings have been enthusiastic, informative, powerful, and moving. Great job!

  12. Amada hermana en Cristo, doy gracias a Dios por la bella oportunidad que me da de conocer mas de Él, a través de usted. No sabe como ha sido de gran bendición esta pagina a mi vida y en especial hoy, donde usted me mostró que mi Dios es real y que ama tanto. Verdaderamente que uno en su afán de buscar las cosas para sentirse agradada, no miramos el sacrificio que Dios hizo por nosotras, el darnos a su hijo precioso para que muriese por mi. Hoy mi Dios aquí en este blog te entrego mi vida nuevamente y prometo confiar mas en ti. Hoy decido buscarte mas mi Jesús, que usted sea real en mi vida, y al hacer nuevamente la oración de fe, se que usted me perdona todos mis pecados, Gracias por ese inmenso amor que Usted me da. Amen

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      ¡Qué hermosa oración! Y sí, es la verdad, Dios es real! Y él nos ama tanto!

      Gracias por compartir tu corazón con nosotros hoy! Que Dios le bendiga ricamente!

  13. Courtney says:

    Stephanie,
    This has been an awesome week of teaching. My heart is at such peace. I have changed my perspective and focus. I can’t do one single thing without God, therefore, I need to take all my situations to him. Stressing and worrying is only going to give the enemy fuel to keep poisoning my spirit and give me more gray hairs. By the way, I saw a new one this morning…. Eeeeekkkkk! But even in this case, God is still good! I have eyes to see, hair that can gray, a home with a mirror to see the changes, and all these things equal to I’m living to see another day!
    And, I’m sooooo excited about being selected for the book! I’m doing the snoopy dance! I love Lysa’s books and how she relates to us women and our insecurities, fears and struggles. I’m soooo looking forward to the next OBS! Thank you and God bless!

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Woot! Glad you’re doing the snoopy dance! We’ll be in touch!

      And may I encourage you with Proverbs 16:31 ~ “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.” =)

  14. I have been knocked down, drug through the mud, shaken to my core and slapped around, but I know that God is right there with me. Shaping me, molding me and creating an even bigger testimony! There are days when I think i’m not going to be able to stand up but I know that He is there carrying me. I cannot even express how much I have grown and learned from this AMAZING group!!!! You ladies are so wonderful. I appreciate all of the love and support I have received. :-)

  15. Mary G. (OBS Group Leader) says:

    Wow! Feeling completely knocked around lately. Awesome video to communicate God’s love. Needed that!

  16. lynn fincher vi says:

    This video was great! and it touched my heart..

  17. TABITHA JONES says:

    I have really enjoyed this weeks study. The Lord has really put this study on me right when I needed it the most. Before this study came into my life I would stress over about anything. I thank the Lord that he has helped me with that. I was told this week that my hours were going to be cut drastically at work. I DID NOT stress out. I was so proud of myself.
    Without Jesus in my life I do not knw were I would be today. I went through many troubles and trials in my life and he has always been there for me. It feels so good for my heart to have such peace. I have had times to were I was so stressed that I felt I could not go on. I want to thank you ladies for being prayer warriors in my life. I have gotten so much out of this OBS and it is a blessing.
    Please say a prayer for me today. I am trying to get another migraine and I a having to work on the computer fo at least 4 more hours today. I need some relief. This is the 3rd migraine I have had in 2 weeks and it hurts really bad.

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Praying for relief! Migraines are THE WORST.

      Glad to see that work issues didn’t stress you out too much. That’s awesome progress! Praying for God to provide for your needs!!

  18. I have really enjoyed this weeks study. Although shorter, it spoke directly to me and I love the action items that are listed for us to do. I hate to see this study coming to an end:(

    • Stephanie Raquel says:

      Robin, Next week you’ll be hearing more about our “Gap” study for 3 weeks before the next formal 6-weeks study begins. Free, no book required, and lots of great stuff! Watch here for details! =)

  19. I have tried to handle my stress on my own and think that God needs my help to solve problems. Through this book I have learned that I need to let go and let God have the control. He doesn’t need my help to solve problems and He is infinitely more capable than me to handle my stress. Sometimes it is multiple times a day that I have to once ago let go and give it to God but I have noticed that my days are much more pleasant when I let God have control.

    • Hannah. I too have been there and know how difficult it can be to let God have it! As I continue to study I realize that all I must do is let go and let God. Having said that I too often ave to stop and put it back on the shelf and leave it there! God Bless and continued imperfect progress for us all! Stephanie I have enjoyed this week and can’t wait to hear about the interim study

  20. Lee Roberts says:

    This book and bible study has helped me to really let things go to God. I have always been a type of person that just relied on myself until things got bad and then I would call on God for help. But since I started doing this study I have decided that God can have it all the good things and the bad things the things that seem easy and the things that seem hard. If I just give him everything first just imagine how good the good things would turn out. It sounds simple but for a person like me it is difficult to do. But I have been doing it one day at a time. Thank you God for all your blessings and trial I can learn from them both.

  21. Thank you for a great week of study, Stephanie!! :)

    Hugs!
    Shelly

  22. Karen Wilson says:

    love the falling plates video and plan to share it with my son and others! thank you

  23. Annette McDonald says:

    Praise and Prayer request – My oldest daughter and I will leave next Saturday on a Mission Trip with our church to Puerto Rico. We are very excited!!!! We had to cancel our names off the list in Feb. due to my daughter had some healthy issues going on. God had bigger plans!!!! He worked out everything in 30 minutes so we could go on the trip.

    Another praise- My middle daughter had a small scoliosis curve in her spine. We had to go to doctor this week from 6 months ago. It’s straight!!!! PRAISE GOD!!!! She had a 13 degree last time and we looking for it to curve more but God wanted to show a miracle. I have scoliosis. I surgery 2 years ago. I had an S curve in 70 degrees top and bottom. The doctor was able to line my body up and get it to the 60 degrees. God had to remind me to put my daughter in His hands and not worry or STRESS about it.

  24. I really like the falling plates video great analogy

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