Thursday, April 26, 2018

Fierce Marriage Book Review

I was first introduced to Ryan and Selena Frederick via their website last year.  I was going through a very difficult season personally, professionally and especially physically and it was all taking a toll on my marriage.  I was looking for help and advice anywhere I could find it and lo and behold there they were in my Google search!

I read a little about their story online and then began to devour (yes, gobble up every soundbite and word I could find!) every video and blog post they had shared.  And it was so good!

When the opportunity came to join the Fierce Wives Facebook group I was glad to be part of a larger community of women speaking life into one another, sharing their struggles and their praise stories.  It feels good when you know you are not alone.  That others have the same struggles.  That you are normal.

(If you are a wife looking for community, check it out here)

Then came time for their book launch to begin and I was accepted to be on the launch team which has been so exciting!

To be transparent I did receive this book free as a member of the book launch team.  That being said, I would buy more of them to give to any friend about to get married, going through a difficult time in marriage, etc., as it is an excellent resource and tool for strengthening your relationship!  

The honesty and rawness of their relationship is on display in this book with the wisdom of scripture to back up their teaching on how living out your marriage the way God intended yields beautiful results!  

I appreciate the work Ryan and Selena put into this is not just a religious work, nor is it just a self-help is the best of both.  Offering practical tips, sound Biblical wisdom and real world situations that we can all relate to makes this one of the best books on marriage I have come across.  In the season my life has been in the last year to eighteen months, I have read several books, articles and visited counselors regarding marriage help for crisis situation.  This book spoke truth into so many areas and helped me see why I had stumbled for so long trying to do things my way.  

Get this book, read it, then read it again with a highlighter in hand.  Then read it again with your spouse.  Each time you will glean new truths.  Then buy some for your friends.  They will thank you for it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wisdom Whispers Bible Study Review

I have had the pleasure and honor to be a part of the creative team with Sarah Koontz as she prepared to launch her third Bible study titled Wisdom Whispers which is a character study of the life of King Solomon.  I have done a couple of studies with Sarah now including one on Psalm 119 and one on Ephesians titled Worthy of the Calling.

While both were excellent, the Ephesians study is where Sarah and her love of scripture and ability to teach it really grabbed me.  I was in a season of life I would never have expected myself in and that study begin my journey of understanding who I am in Christ. I had been rocked to my core and I knew I needed to hold onto Jesus to get me through but I was struggling.  Although I had been a Christian for many years, my knowledge and God's Biblical wisdom were not lining up.

And that brings us to Wisdom Whispers...

King Solomon had everything a person could ever want...wealth, fame, possessions, stature, respect of the people.  And wisdom...the one thing he had prayed for and God blessed him by giving wisdom along with all of those other things in abundance.  Yet, alas, King Solomon did not rightly apply the wisdom God so generously gave him.  Rather than staying on the narrow path God had instructed him to follow, King Solomon strayed...

In this character study, Sarah takes us through the scriptures across multiple books of the Bible dealing with the life of King Solomon.  She explores how Solomon's kingdom fell apart and how he went backwards from riches to rags in terms of his spiritual life.  Sarah examines in depth the highs and lows and what we can learn from King Solomon so we do not make the same mistakes.  One of my favorite quotes from this study is this "God doesn't demand perfection, but He does require devotion."

With this study, as with all of her studies, Sarah makes it easy to devote time to Bible reading and application.  Just 15 minutes a day.  That's it!  

Here are 5 reasons you should jump into Wisdom Whispers today:
  • Email delivery - you don't have to search for it, it lands right in your inbox daily!
  • Mobile access - complete the study right from your phone!  You know your phone is always hand-y (haha, couldn't resist!)
  • You can LISTEN instead of reading - there is an audio version link included in the email.
  • Enrichment - Grow in your spiritual walk and see God move in your life.  I have!!
  • Encouragement - Use what you learn in the study to touch someone else!
Although I am part of Sarah's team, I would not be recommending this study if I did not believe in it...this is a devotional experience you do not want to miss out on!  So what are you waiting for?  Join us now!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Guest blog post on Rock Solid Faith - Marriage and the "S" word

I'm excited to share with you my guest post I did for my girl Shanique over at Rock Solid Faith. 

This last year has been a journey for me in learning about what it really means to be a Christian woman and wife.  I don't always get it right, who does?  Yet, I feel better equipped now after studying scripture on the topic to live my life in a more God-honoring way.  And to be the best wife I can for my husband...Click here to read the whole post!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What is your head telling your heart?

This year has been a series of ups and downs for me.  If you have followed along with my story you know from my writing that it has been a difficult year.  To be perfectly honest I am ready for this year to be over...yet I fear it dragging it's heartaches and drama into 2018 with me and that I do NOT want.

This season has found me only making a handful of posts this year as it has been hard to just get through my days.  Hard to breathe.  Hard to put one foot in front of the other.  Hard to think.

Which brings me to today's post...what is it that I am allowing myself to think on?  God's word tells us in Philippians 4:8 that we need to think on the following:

Unfortunately, this world we have live in is often far from true, noble, honest, just, or pure.  While it is sometimes lovely, it could be said it is rarely commendable...we hardly ever hear about excellent things and thinking about what is worthy of praise becomes a difficult task indeed!  Even more so when you are walking through a is hard to see the light through the shadows of darkness that seem to envelope you.

What I have found this year though is that it is absolutely necessary to realign my thinking if I am to realign my life.  When I allow myself to remain in the negative thought process than life truly becomes overwhelming.  It is a bit of an Eeyore mentality...take a look here if you are not sure what I mean...Life as an Eeyore

Can you relate?  I'll be honest...I can!  I have felt that "Woe is me" feeling.  Even when I know others have it far worse than me...even when I know in my heart God is in my humanity, I am still prone to throw a pity party.  To get down in the dumps.  Call it what you will...the root of it many times is a wrong thought process.

 Whatever you allow in your thoughts is what you will feel in your heart, your soul.  When I got this into my way of thinking then I was better able to implement the beauty of Philippians 4:8 and find positive things to dwell on instead of the dark negativity I had let reside too long.  Mind you my circumstances have not necessarily changed.  I am still walking through a season that I wish I could shake off.  Yet, I am working each day to think on things that are praiseworthy...that call to mind God's goodness, greatness, and grace.

Exchanging the negative for the positive is changing me from the inside out.  It is putting joy and hope in my heart even on days when I have every reason to curl up in the corner and cry.  It is reminding me that because He overcame, I will too.  It is allowing me to rest in His strength instead of trying to rely on my feeble efforts.

Some days I still find it hard to breathe.  I have a hard time making it from dawn to dusk.  But now I have thoughts I can pull from that raise me up, instead of dragging me down further.  Thoughts that remind me there is always something better to dwell on than my circumstances and situation.  Always something to be thankful for.  There will be beauty from ashes...don't be an Eeyore...find some happy thoughts to root out that negativity!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Seasons...and Ephesians...

I am continuing this year in a season that I never would have thought I would find myself in.  It has been and still is one of great struggle, pain, identity lost and found.  Through it all what has kept me afloat is His word.  I just keep digging into the spiritual food I have been languishing for - years of undernourishment led me to a place where I had nowhere to go but up.

Yes, I read my Bible on occasion.  Went to church at Easter and Christmas.  Listened to Christian radio.  Read Christian books. They did not feed me like I needed to be fed though.  It wasn't the "daily bread" that would fill my soul.  They were just small morsels, not the full feast.  God has prepared for us a feast!  Did you know that?  Yet many of us never eat from the table...we only get the leftovers and scraps that fall on the floor.  We are not pursuing our rightful place as His heirs.

If I could choose to be done with this season I am in I would have ended it months ago.  Yet it is not my will but His.  He has me on this journey for a purpose and a reason.  I may not enjoy parts of it and I may question and even rail against it (yes, screaming, crying fits are okay...He can handle it), however, I am learning there is meaning in it.  I am growing in it.  He is making me a daughter...a child of the King in new ways.

 I am learning, really learning and taking it to heart for the first time, that I am not defined by my past mistakes, fears and failures.  They do NOT hold me captive.  HE has the FINAL word!  I am so very glad!

In what I call a God-cidence, another daughter of the King, Mrs. Sarah Koontz, has written a most excellent online Bible Study that is starting Monday, October 16th.  This study is so timely to me in this season I am walking in.  I think you will find it helpful for whatever season you are in right now as well.

Through this study you will learn more about your worth in Christ...your strength in Him...your calling.  Worthy of the Calling is the name of the study...and the time commitment is small.  Just 15 minutes a day...and it is even accessible on a mobile device! You can register via the link here - Ready to go deeper? Enter here!

I really hope you will join us as we dig into rich truths about who we are in God and how we can walk "Worthy of the Calling".

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Roller coaster ride

My life has literally been a roller coaster this year.  It has been full of tears, fears, pain, heartbreak, distrust, trust regained, wounds, scars, and finally now...healing.

If you are struggling today, give it to Him...whatever healing you need, physical, mental or spiritual, He can handle it...He can heal any wounds, any illness, any hurt. And he is much better equipped to battle than you are. Let His strength be your comfort.

Another verse that has been a constant companion this year has been Psalm 28:7.  Psalms and Proverbs both are great places to start if you feel a need for comfort and wisdom.  So many rich little bits there!

My continued focus for this year is to keep my eyes on Him so that I will not stumble, fall, or be a stumbling block for someone else. My biggest problem is and has been worry...when I forgot to give everything to Him, when I do not spend time in prayer and His word...I find myself slipping back into a pattern of worry, fretfulness, easy to be angered, upset, thinking the worst in all situations, seeing things in a worse light than what they truly are.

It is only when I begin to pray and read His word more diligently that I become centered and grounded again in the truth that He proclaims over us...the power of His love, grace and mercy. God let my focus stay on you...lest I worry myself into a frenzy over something you have already defeated and won victory over.

If I can just remain focused on Him and not on my situation, everything becomes much calmer...more peaceful...not fixed maybe, but hopeful at least.  I leave you with this illustration...

Now arm yourselves with Biblical weapons and go SLAY!

Monday, February 27, 2017

To be a woman of God and not the world...

I've been thinking a lot about God's blessings to us and how, at least for me, I have taken many for granted lately. As I delve into scripture more and more I am reminded of how divided and unholy my thoughts and ways are at times towards my fellow man...and woman. It reminds me of James 3:10 - "Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing". (Chapter link for perspective on this verse
Just as the Bible says, this should not be so...yet it happens. Every day. Every week. We get angry, we get offended, we get upset...and in anger and haste, words pour forth in a torrent. And we apologize. But are we forgiven? And do we truly forgive others when we are so attacked? I dare say we often do not...or we take our time about it.
I am far from perfect, yet I pray most earnestly that God will work on me in these areas to bring blessing and words of positive praise and good report to others. To lift up and build up, not mock and tear down.

It is often easy to find fault in what someone has done to us in the heat of the moment, yet if we stop, can we truly say we have always been good to them? Have we always been kind? Loving? Generous? If not, how can we resolve to do better?

I yearn to be a Proverbs 31 woman...a woman who finds good in everything, is pleasing in temperament and wholesome in her speech. Who is industrious without complaint, smart and strong, yet without being haughty or rude.

If you are struggling like me, will you be brave and comment "Me too!"? It is always nice to know you are not alone.