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!  =)

~ ~ ~

** 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.

Jun 17

SLL Week 11, Day 1

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,

but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
~ Romans 8:26 (NIV)


Hello there!  Stephanie Raquel here, from Illinois — not Steph in Texas :) — and I am beyond thrilled to be teaching this week, as we jump into Chapter 11 of Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles.

Because I haven’t yet met most of you, I’ve prepared a brief intro video, which also gives you our Reflection Verse challenge for the week!  And by the way, hello to the amazing women from OBS Facebook Group 47!  =)

(If you can’t see the video, please click HERE to see it.)

I’m soooo very excited about this chapter.  You know why?  Because it’s chock-full of practical wisdom.  LOVE THAT!!  We’ll dive into more of the specifics of the book tomorrow.  Meanwhile, as you probably saw in the video, here is your assignment for today:

  1. Read all of Romans Chapter 8.  Ideally, twice, in two different versions.  If you don’t own two different bibles, BibleGateway.com is an awesome resource for you to add a parallel translation, even in another language!  (Two of my personal faves are the NIV and The Message.)  EXTRA CREDIT:  Begin exploring Romans 8:26 a little deeper, and verse map it over the next few days!
  2. Take a moment to share the reflection verse with a family member or a close friend.  This is a powerful verse, in the middle of a powerful chapter!  And it deserves to be shared because not only will it encourage someone else, it will also cement God’s word into your heart.  You might even encourage her to sign up for the next OBS with you!  Some optional ways to do this:
  • Handwrite the verse on your bathroom mirror.
  • Text it to a friend who’s facing difficulties.
  • Send an encouraging e-mail.
  • Make it visually creative, and post it to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram (@P31OBS).  Make sure to tag us if you can!
  • “Go old school” and write the verse in a card, or send it in a letter with a stamp on it!  Who doesn’t love getting actual personalized mail??


Finally, I would love to hear from you in the comments below!  Please note, every comment enters you into a drawing for a chance to win an autographed copy of What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst, our next P31 Online Bible Study.  We’ll announce the winner on Friday!

  1. What are your impressions as you read Romans 8?  What was your favorite verse or verses, and why?
  2. How did you share the reflection verse with a friend or loved one?   And, if you know it, what was the reaction?
  3. What do you think about the fact that the God of the Universe, who knows all and sees all, is capable of praying for YOU?  How does that impact your prayer life?

Bonus Assignment

Start reading Chapter 11, cuz it’s only 5 pages long.  We’ll be back in touch tomorrow!

Love & Hugs,
Steph Raquel