Archives for June 2013

Jun 23

Stressed Less Living, Week 12

Can you believe that we are beginning our last week of the study?  I don’t know about you but I have really learned some great ways to eliminate stress in my life and the Scripture Studies have been a wonderful way to hide God’s word in my heart.

While we may be winding down, we’re not through yet.  We have an amazing week planned for you.  Here’s a peek:

Reflection Verse~

 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:41-42

It’s our last week of study and we want to finish STRONG!!! It’s our goal to be stressed-less, and I have an important message for you as we begin to wrap it all up this week.

Suggested Assignments for week 12

Monday – Melissa is back to finish up the study.  Start reading chapter 12 of Stressed Less Living, titled “Enjoying Your Stressed-Less Life”.  What do vacuuming, mopping, weeding and cooking have to do with it?  Read and find out.  Be sure to stop by for a special message from Melissa, as well.

Tuesday – Stop by the OBS blog for some Q & A.

Wednesday – We’ve got some Proverbs 31 info coming your way today!

Thursday – Blog hop!  This week’s topics are:

1.  One Thing. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 Even if you do not have a Blog, we invite you to map this verse and see what God shares with you!

2.  Priority Shift. Life a bit “too busy” for quiet time with Jesus? We’ve all been there. How do you keep Christ a priority in your daily life? What encouragement can you share with others who are struggling?

3.  #StressedLess. What is the biggest, most life-changing lesson you have learned from Tracie’s book and this online study? Why would you recommend this book to your friends and family?

4.  #Blessed. Alright ladies, this is your last chance to share your #Blessed list with us. We hope that even though this study is over, you will continue searching for His blessings each day.

Friday – Today we close out the week, and the book with Melissa.  While the study may be over, it is time to begin some Stressed-Less Living!  

Saturday – Prayer request, praises, and a short message from Ginny Blankenship.

It’s going to be a great week!  Be sure to stop by and leave us some comments.  Each one is a chance to win the last Stressed-Less Living giveaway.

Jun 22

SLL week 11 ~ Praises & Prayer Requests

“What if we began to consider the Bible our only lifeline?  What if we gave it the importance it actually deserved?  Would our lives be different?”  ~Tracie Miles

We have God’s. Holy. Word. available to us 24/7/365 and yet all too often we seek worldly answers to our problems.  We compare ourselves to the world and determine that we aren’t successful enough, a good enough parent, wearing the right clothes, driving the right car, going to the right places or saying the right things.  The problem is that the world isn’t our ruler to measure by and when we allow it to be we let the world be our RULER.

The news carries stories of people who are stressing out because they aren’t living up to the lives they are reading about in the blogs they follow or their attempt at the crafty/culinary thing they found on Pinterest turned out less than spectacular.  We are stressing out over things that don’t really matter.  I can say this with confidence because the thing that does matter -God- tells us that He brings peace….when we allow Him to rule our lives.  And that is what this whole study has been about, hasn’t it?  Recognizing that He is our only lifeline.  He is the one we should be focusing on.  He is the one we should be looking to emulate.

 photo Romans826.gifillustrated by Joe McKeever, used with permission

Problem is, I fail and I bet you do to.  Not all the time, but enough that I allow stress to creep back in again.  And I don’t always recognize that I am failing when I am failing.  That is where Romans 8:26 comes in.  You see, we aren’t alone in this.  God sent a part of Himself to be with us, to advocate for us, to help us even when we don’t know we need help.  This isn’t a free pass to get out of prayer, but it does comfort me to know that when I am broken and stressed and don’t know how to begin, the Spirit will open the lines of communication for me and for you.  What an awesome God we serve!

So what are you waiting for?  Press that reset button and get ready to start living your Stressed-Less Life.  A life in which we are realigned and refocused on our Creator.  A life in which we are spending time with Him both in His word and in our prayer life.

Ginny Blankenship

Are you still struggling to find, much less press, your reset button? Do you need prayer? We would be honored to pray with you. Leave us a comment and a member of the Online Bible Study team will lift you up in prayer. Have you pressed that reset button and been blessed? Won’t you share that with us to so we can rejoice with you?

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?


  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!  =)

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** 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.