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!  =)

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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.

Melissa
Jun 18

SLL Week 11, Day 2

Hey there!  Stephanie Raquel here again today … thanks for joining us and commenting with your awesome ideas yesterday on how you shared Romans 8:26!

Speaking of that verse, check out the gorgeous Pin we have with it today!

pinterest pin 11

Thank you, thank you to Samantha Evilsizer & Amber Oatman!  :)

It is hard to believe we are nearly to the end of Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles.  Bittersweet, isn’t it?  Sweet to be drinking in all of the fantastic teaching from this book.  And yet … bitter to know our time together will soon be ending!

However, we’ve got two chapters left, so let’s make the most of it!!  And if you’re still here with us today, I want to commend you for sticking it out.  Give yourself a big high five from me!  You are almost to the finish line … just two laps to go!!  :)

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Chapter 11 is fantastic.  
Super short and unbelievably practical — as it’s filled with six action items to help us “reboot” our lives.  (Which I love.  Give me perspective and head knowledge, sure, but at the end of the day, I am a “So what?  What’s the bottom-line?” kinda girl!)

If you’re anything like me and crave applicable wisdom, then you’ll love this chapter!  So, today’s assignment is to read Chapter 11 and enjoy!  

To summarize:

  1. Realign your life to God’s word.
  2. Recognize your need for God’s help.
  3. Adjust your focus to God, not your circumstances.
  4. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.  (Remember the one who’s praying on your behalf??) :)
  5. Be faithful in your prayer life.
  6. Believe God is Who He says He is.

I love the way Tracie describes many women of faith on p. 216:

“When life gets hard we tend to start doubting that God is God.  We dabble with the lie that, just maybe, he isn’t really in control.  We wonder whether he is big enough to fix our problems.  Or, at a minimum, we wonder whether he is taking time to see our problems at all.  But God is who he says he is, all the time. …

“Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God; faith puts God between us and our circumstances.”

Ladies, I don’t know about you, but that hits me right between the eyes.  The enemy of this world, Satan, totally wants us to lack faith, and be filled with inescapable doubts.  The enemy wants us to put aside the truth of who God says and is, and focus on the lie that we don’t really need God anyway.

Let me assure you, God IS big enough to handle everything that comes our way!!   And I say that as someone who’s dealt with cancer, unemployment, divorce & addictions with extended family, and more …  Not only have I gone through a lot personally, I’ve also ministered to others battling major issues.

So to conclude today, let me encourage you with a powerful song from Chris Tomlin, Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) which reminds us that God is there for us, helping us fight our battles and completely conquer stress so we can live stressed-less lives!  (Incidentally, the background & scriptures for this song are pretty amazing as well!)

I hope it encourages your heart!

 

YOUR TURN!!
We love to hear from you!  Share your thoughts on one or more questions below in the comments section, and be entered in to win an autographed copy of our next OBS, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst.

  1. Which of the 6 steps above encourages you the most?  How can you take a step today to reset your life?
  2. How can you realign your life to God’s word?
  3. What would you try to accomplish for God, if you fully believed that the “God of Angel Armies” is by your side?

 

Melissa