Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 31: Transformed

"Tiger Jordan"
I really do have two kids.  My daughter, as you can see in the picture, does not mind her picture being taken.  My son does mind.  I have lots of pictures of the back of him and of his hand in front of the camera.  Haha!  Hopefully one day soon I can include another picture of him as part of my blog, too!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year.  Despite the negative connotation surrounding the day in some circles, I enjoy the good, clean fun of the day.  It's cool how we can transform ourselves into lions, and tigers, and bears (oh my!).......or any other thing we want to "be" that year.  All it takes is a tiger hat/mask and a grrrrr face, and viola!  Cutest tiger in Walmart!

A Confident Heart, by Renee Swope, talks a lot about transforming yourself--specifically your heart and  your mind.  Chapter 6 has been talking about how to do this in your life.

We can hear and read about the fact that we need to transform our mind and hearts, but if no one or nothing tells us how, then we tend to have a hard time getting started. The Bible tells how to transform ourselves very simply.

The verse that comes to my mind is:
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2 (emphasis mine)
1.  I need to be transformed.

2.  In order to be transformed, I have to renew my mind.  That means that I need to think in a different way--different than how I have been thinking.

3.  Then, I will know what God's will in my life is.

This is the "how-to" verse.

God's Word is so awesome!  It is always new and always speaks to me.

It will speak to you, too!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Days 27-28....AM or FM? Word-Association

This is my daughter, Jordan.  She is a High School freshman this year, and plays the french horn in the marching band.  The band is doing an outstanding job this year.  In fact, they got a Division 1 rating last weekend at the District marching competition, and are advancing to the Area marching competition this weekend.  Needless to say, much excitement is in the air!

I L O V E music.  I loved being in marching band when I was in high school.  Music reminds me of the analogy in Chapter 6 in Renee Swope's book A Confident Heart.

She talks about having AM thoughts or FM thoughts.  In the book, AM means "Against Me," and FM means "For Me."  This is awesome!

I think if I can put a title or a name on an issue I deal with, then I think I can deal better with it. AM thoughts can be identified and dealt with when they have a name like that.  I also usually have AM thoughts in the A.M. (the morning time), and so it all works for me.  I need a lot of word-association for things to sink in sometimes. HaHa!

FM thoughts are cool.  FM radio is better than AM (in my opinion), so the FM thoughts are the better thoughts.


Love it!

**Once again, I just want to give  little "plug" for Renee's book.  A Confident Heart is a life-changing book!  It is amazing how Renee put into words the many things that God is impressing on my  heart.  Being confident in who you are in Christ is so very important.  Christ wants that deep relationship with you and for you to put your whole trust in Him confidently.  Pick up a copy today!  It will change your life for the better!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 25: Friends are the Best Bible Study Buddies!

(My hubby Seth, me, her hubby Terry, & Traci)

I have some great friends.

I love doing Bible study with my friends. :)

My hope is that all of my friends will want to remain my friends after the Bible study. Haha!

All of that said, I want to praise God and tell y'all a little about my current Bible study group.
There are 4 of us ladies, and we are following an online/Facebook-driven study on Renee Swope's book A Confident Heart.  It is organized and done by Melissa Taylor with Proverbs 31 Ministries.  We meet on Monday evenings in each other's homes and have a  simple supper.  Then we review the previous week's chapter, the end of the chapter questions, and anything else Melissa wants us to focus on.  Lately, we are good to get through all the questions!  However, if life gets in the way and we can't meet, then we can still do the study because of the online community.  It has been a great study.

Like I said, there are four of us in the group. I'd like to tell you about them.
1.  One of the wonderful ladies in our group, who has become a good friend to all of us, is Cassie.  Now, Cassie has some spunk to her, although she seems quiet.  She has such wonderful stories of God working in her life to share with us all.  I am always so encouraged by her.  She is just as cute as a bug, has a wonderful husband who is still trying to "find himself", and two beautiful daughters--one of which is a part of our youth group at church.  Such a fantastic family centered around God's will in their life!
2.  Another good friend in the group is Carol.  Now Carol loves the Lord more than anyone I have seen.  She does have a very hard life.  Her health keeps her down a lot, but she is powering through it.  She has twin 16-year old boys that she is raising alone, and she tougher than I could ever be as a mama. She has had a lot of hard knocks in her life, but the glory of it is this:  She is consciously trying to rely on God to get her through all of it!  Praise God!  Thank you for Carol in my life and thank you for making her part of this group.
3.  The third dear friend in our group is Traci.  Traci and I have such similar thoughts and "issues" sometimes that it is a little "spooky."  We get each other on a level that is very rare.  That is so cool to me!  Traci adds a very confident dynamic to our group.  She shares her heart, her life, and her thoughts from God.  She's honest with us all, but she very loving about it.  Traci is one of those beautiful ladies that looks absolutely perfect without makeup, in a T-shirt and sweats, and/or out in the yard working.  During study, she digs deep into the Word to pull out more of what God is saying in scripture and then shares her insights. She is married to a great guy (who is friends with my husband) and has 2 daughters. 
4.  And then there is little 'ole me.  I felt God leading me to start another Bible study group that was a little more flexible and self-sustaining than the ones we have at our church currently.  I try so hard to be honest with our group and hospitable.  My husband is the youth pastor at our church, so I feel like everyone thinks I have to "have it all together." News flash:  I don't!  This group lets that be OK, and I am so grateful for that.
I hope, when we are done with this book, that we can continue in the study of God's Word together.  I really am enjoying this season of study--even though it has been very tough as well.  Having good friends as a part of your study time with God makes a great difference, too. I hope you have the chance to study God's Word with your friends, too!

Lots of laughs, tears, inside jokes, and love.

Thank you Lord for this time together and thank you for Traci, Carol, and Cassie.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 24: Digging Deep

Note:  This is the 2nd publishing of this post.  The first one got away from me before I proof-read.  Ooops!

Do you let doubt rise up inside of you?  Does it make you feel like God can't use you because of your "short-comings?"

Chapter 5 in A Confident Heart by Renee Swope has been a real doosey this past week.  God has been using Renee's book to dig around in the deep recesses of my heart and pull things out that I had buried deep many years ago.  I'm not going to go into all the gory details, but let's just say that I have spent a lot of my time in prayer, in tears, and in conversation with a dear friend.  It has been good, though.  Lots of breakthroughs!

1.    "...damaged emotions and insecurities from our past have a powerful influence over how we see ourselves today."  (A Confident Heart, pg. 89)
This specific statement really took hold of things deep in my heart.  I hadn't ever looked at it that way.  The way that I look at myself now has been influenced by negative things in my past.

Don't you just love it when God speaks directly to you?  I felt this statement was God showing me the "why." Why did I get down on myself so much and why couldn't I function like I knew I should?  I was letting my emotions and insecurities from my past have TOO MUCH influence in me now.

2.  I need to focus on God's power in my life--not myself.

What happened when Peter took his eyes off Jesus when he was walking on the water?  The waves got big and the storm got fierce, yet Peter was walking on the water toward Jesus as long as he kept his eyes on him.  As soon as he took them off, he started to sink.

Keeping my eyes on Jesus is imperative.  It is all I need.  I don't need to worry about other things in my life.

Jesus needs to be our only focus, so that we won't sink.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"A Confident Heart" Day 21

"Football" lighting at Cowboys Stadium


Turning away from the
"all about me" to the Father.

Turning from the shadow of my doubts toward the Light.  

We live in a world that is all about me, me, me.  It's human nature.  Self-preservation is important. But, what if it is getting in the way of God's plan in our life?  What if it is keeping us from being all we can be and should be as part of God's will?

Renee Swope touches on this topic in her book A Confident Heart.  She says:  
"When I find myself standing in the shadow of doubt, I ask Him to show me what triggered my doubt and got me to start turning away from His truth.  I ask Him to shine the light of His Word on my heart so I can see His reality versus the lies I am believing."  (pg. 92)
She says that turning is crucial.

Could this turning be repentance?

Being self-centered and making it "all about me" IS sinful, and so we NEED to  turn and repent of that sin so that it doesn't hinder our relationship with God.  Renee also says:  
"Turning leads to transforming, as we allow our thoughts to be made new, and transforming leads to  believing as God's thoughts become our truth.  Are you ready to start turning?" (A Confident Heart, pg. 93)
I'm ready to start turning.  Are you? 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 20 - Forgiveness

Be very afraid!! Hunter & Jordan
Paintball Champs

"'Why are you frightened?' [Jesus asked]. 'Why are your hearts filled with doubt?'"  Luke 24:38 NLT 
Have you ever been to scared to forgive.  Not "scary monster coming after you" scared.  I mean-- scared to admit you are wrong for not forgiving?  Scared to forgive because it may drag up old hurtful feelings?  Scared to forgive because that other person deserves worse for hurting you?

I have a couple of people in my life that I need to forgive.  I feel if I forgive them, then I am letting them off the hook for hurting me.  But, that is the wrong frame of mind to have.  We should  forgive because Christ forgave us!  He forgave us for all the rotten things we have done in sin, and will forgive any future sin as well.  So, why can't I seem to forgive?

Honestly?  I'm scared.

I'm afraid of what that might do.  I want to be mad.  Crazy!  This is continually hurting me worse than them.  Harboring this pain, resentment, and unforgiveness is wrong.  God's Holy Word says it is.
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you."  Matthew 6:14
Renee Swope's book, A Confident Heart, has been good to bring this out in me.  Instead of being scared to forgive others, I need to stand tall in the confidence of who I am and forgive as freely as Christ does.  In the book, Renee says:
"We'll also need to realize our family of origin does not define our true identity. Once we become daughters of the King, we have a royal inheritance that determines who we are. Gideon had to stop thinking of himself as the runt of his family and start seeing himself as a child of God, a mighty warrior in his Father's eyes.Whether we had a great family or not, our hearts will only find lasting confidence when we find our identity as children of God." (A Confident Heart, pg. 90)
Stand tall in who we are in Christ.  Forgive others with that unbelievable confidence that only Christ can bestow upon us.  And don't forget to always ask Christ to come along with you.  He is always with you, anyway.  Acknowledge His mighty presence, and He will give you the power you need to do anything!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"A Confident Heart" Day 19

Beautiful Texas sunset

Did you know that God desires a personal relationship with us and that he loves us so much?

Of course you do.

But, do you feel it?  I mean really believe and feel that God wants a very personal relationship with you....He cares about our day to day stuff and our little petty, self-centered issues as well.

I ask this because I want each and everyone of you to understand that this God that we love, worship, and believe in----He is REAL.  He wants to commune with each of us individually!

You do not have to go to the church building or talk to a priest or your just call out and talk to Him.

Wherever you are.  When-ever you are.  How-ever you are.  He is always there anyway.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to commune with our Heavenly Father on the deepest level that I ever have.  Such sweet fellowship......filled with such amazing JOY through my many, many tears of frustration.  God comforted me.  He communed with me.  He spoke with me. I could feel it!   My heart can barely contain how much joy this brought me!  It is overflowing out onto these pages and feel awesome this morning!  :)

You see, I got a negative physical report from my doctor.  Apparently, I am WAY over-doing it and need to back off a few things and simplify my life even more.  Anxiety has crept back into my life, and it is affecting my health this time.  *sigh*  What am supposed to back off of?  I have 2 teenagers, a youth pastor for a husband, and work a full-time job.  Plus!  I'm the Mom (duh!), so I run the household.  I totally see it.  But, what do I eliminate???  I was so frustrated about this yesterday.  I was in tears; ready to give up.

But, when I opened the scriptures, read my devotional, read my A Confident Heart book chapter again, read my Facebook Bible study posts, and talked to God.......HE SHOWED UP!

I would have a negative thought of worry in my head, and His Word would answer it immediately and comfort me.  I have never had this type of real-time fellowship with my Heavenly Father.  It was so awesome!  I'm hoping He and I can commune again like that really soon.  What an awesome way to show Himself to me that HE is my comfort and I need not worry.
I want to share one of the scriptures through which God spoke to me:
"I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you."  Isaiah 43:1-2

Stay in the Word constantly.  Pray constantly.  You can still carry on your daily duties while doing this.  That is why we are told to surround ourselves with His Word.  Praying constantly doesn't mean you have to be on your knees all day.  Talk to Him all day.  Praise Him for the wonderful blessings as they come, and ask for strength when a tough moment arises.  Life is SO much better when God is with you all day.**

**If you are reading this and you don't know Christ as your personal Savior, all you have to do is call out to Him.  Give your heart to him now.  Ask Him to come into your heart.  All you have to do is believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He came to earth, died on the cross to pay the debt for our sins, and then arose 3 days later. He ascended to Heaven to be at the right hand of his father, God.  Admit you are a sinner and that you need His saving grace in your life.  (Oh!  And make sure you tell everyone that you have made this decision so that they can rejoice with you as well!  Angels will be rejoicing in Heaven, too.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"A Confident Heart" Day 18

7th/8th grade Cross Country Meet Medalists- 10/12/11
The boy on the far left is my son, Hunter.  He is a 7th grader this year, plays football, and runs cross country. Cross Country, for those who aren't familiar, is like running a 5K (more or less) or any longer distance running event--not quite a marathon or anything, though.  Hunter placed 12th out of about 50 boys (7th and 8th grade).  He also ran his best time, too!  I'm such a proud mama -*sigh*.

I have no idea where he gets this from.  I am not very athletic (although I do love sports).  My husband is very athletic--just not a runner.  I do enjoy the fact that Hunter, and my daughter Jordan, are both runners.  I just never could physically run very well.  I enjoy watching my kids, though.  It's almost like I can be a good runner through them.  Awesome....

Running makes me think of how we, as Christians, tend to run away from God when things start getting "personal."  You know.......when God starts doing some pruning in your life and starts working in your life to change you for the better?  That's usually not one of the most comfortable encounters with God.  Sometimes, pain is involved; but we always come out better on the other side.  But, in our human nature, we tend to run away  from anything that "hurts" or that is uncomfortable and we miss the blessings that God is doing in our life.
In Renee Swope's book, A Confident Heart, she says: "All the while I was running.  Running from my past and my pain.  Eventually, I would discover that I was also running from the healing work God wanted to do in my heart."  (chapter 4, pg. 71)
She also speaks of Jeremiah 29:11 where God says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Ok, so we run away from the pain that God wants to heal because He has a plan for us-a plan to prosper us? Hmmmm.......does this make any sense to anyone else?  Why do we do such silly things, sometimes?

Trust in the Lord.  Lean not unto your own understanding.

We don't have to see the end result to trust the LORD and that He has our best interest in mind.  If He is working something in your life, let Him in.  Let Him do a mighty work in your life.  He is not going to put you through more than you can handle.  Furthermore, let Him help you get rid of the hurtful stuff in your life and in your past.  He knows you!  He loves you!  You can trust Him with your heart.  Give it over to God today, and don't run away.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"A Confident Heart" Day 17

Alright, so I can think of a million better ways to spend my weekend than being sick with a cold.  Wow!  I had a doosey of a cold, too.  It was fast moving from my head right down into my chest with a vengeance.  All that said--I am back at work today with just a small cough and a little stuffiness.  Thank you God for your healing power and thank you to everyone who prayed for me!

Since my laptop and iPhone were hijacked all weekend due to the crazy "brick my phone please!" update, my blog has gone undone again.  This is really a lesson for me, but I am totally ok with it.  I'll day.


Question:  When we pray for people, do we only pray for things that are only important in the moment?
Or do we include prayers for lasting things?  Hmmm......strange question, huh?  I was reading this scripture this morning and it made me think, "Am I praying for 'forever' things or just for things to satisfy the here and now?"

16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:16-19a

A friend of ours is going into surgery as I am typing this-emergency gallbladder surgery.  Of course, I have been praying all morning for him and his family; but I have been praying only for this moment.  No, that is not wrong to pray for "moments", but I do think we need to consciously pray for eternal things as well.  Just like the scripture above says, we need to pray that they will "know him better."   How awesome would it be to pray these things over ourselves?

Our husband?
Our family?
Our kids?
Our friends and church congregation?

Wow.  What a wonderful thing this would be.  All of us knowing God more and having our eyes opened to our calling.......

I think that is going to be added to my prayer life.  Even if I have to read the scripture while praying, God will honor that (especially since He knows I am not good at memorizing!).  I hope you all accept the challenge to do the same.  Oh, to pray for our family and friends in such a way to make them better for eternity....not only in the moment!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Be still.....Days 8-13 ("A Confident Heart")

Cowboys Stadium, Oct. 2011

1000 apologies for dropping the ball the past week on my "31 Days of a Confident Heart."  I did not prepare myself very well for this week to blog while being out of town.  Live and learn, I guess. :)

I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany my husband to Conclave in Arlington, Texas.  This is, in so many words, a Youth Pastor Conference.  It was great.  I have no other words, except to say that God SERIOUSLY showed up.  It was great to be there and worship, learn, fellowship, and be encouraged by others who are on your level and do what you do (or what my husband does!).

And no kids.  (Yay!)

I'm not talking about MY kids.  I'm talking about our youth group kids.  I love them dearly and love being involved with the youth ministry, but this was for US....not for the kids, and we were not chaperoning.  Bliss :)

Our great friends Terry and Traci Hall also came along with us.  We had a great time in fellowship, worship, dreaming together, and coffee.  Starbucks to be exact.  We shut down the Starbucks two nights in a row and then stayed an hour longer visiting and dreaming together out on the patio. Party animals--I know!  We also got to have the VIP Tour of Cowboys Stadium.  Wow.  It was really awesome, but totally excessive. Never mind.  I'll save that one for later.

All of that aside, God DID show up.  Specifically, the Holy Spirit did during worship Tuesday evening.  I was worshiping like usual, enjoying the band, and got into my "worship bubble."  You know--when you block everything out and it's just you and God (and sometimes the band, but I digress).  I was in that place when God  said "Be still, Beloved.  Know that I am God.  Just be still........"

Wow!  I thought I was being still!!

Be still.......I've got this.  Just be still and patient.  It's coming......the answer.  Relief.  It's coming.....


I had brought my empty well, my empty cup, my empty heart to God and held it up to Him asking, "Please Father.....fill my cup!  Fill my heart!  Heal my child, O Lord.  Heal MY heart Lord.  Hear my cry, Lord and tell me what to do.  You have to tell me Lord.  Please, Lord!"

And He did.

Be still and be patient.  It's coming......

"Be still and know that I am GOD..."  Psalm 46:10a

"How precious is your unfailing love, O God!  People take refuge in the shadow of your wings."  Psalm 36:7

Friday, October 7, 2011

31 Days of "A Confident Heart" Day 7

My son's 7th grade football team won their game for the first time last night, 34-0!  It was a fantastic victory.  All the boys seemed to be at the top of their game and I think this win was the first for the 2nd-year rookie head coach.  There was celebration all around, and of course Seth and I were extremely proud.

This victory reminded me, however, that sometimes we get caught up in our accomplishments, social or relationship status, or anything besides God, and tend to put all of our self-worth in the success of these things.  Even when we do attain status or victory, sometimes it just doesn't seem to be enough.  It just doesn't fill that huge whole inside of us that longs to be filled.

In Renee Swope's book A Confident Heart, she says:
"We long to be acknowledged.  We want to be noticed.  Whether it's a calling in ministry or a corner office at work, a plaque on our wall, a title on our door, a promotion, or even an education, we work hard to get to higher places--and then wonder why they are never enough." (A Confident Heart, pg. 59)
After the game was over and I listened to my son and these boys celebrate (they were on cloud 9!), I realized that the "feeling" of this victory would soon fade, because it wouldn't be enough to keep them filled up with what they wanted/needed.  My thoughts went to the book and Renee's words above.  It doesn't ever stop.  We start out so young in life hanging our worth upon our accomplishments, but still do it on into our adult life. We have to make a conscience effort to change our thoughts.

We basically have been programmed to think this way our whole life:

Do well = reward.

Don't do well = no reward.

Ugh!  What are we to do?

My HOPE in this situation is that we having a loving God who wants a relationship with us DESPITE our faults and despite how well we do.  Our God is a God of grace and love.  He only asks that we believe--not that we be perfect or that we have a long list of accomplishments.  The "wells of our hearts were created to be filled by God alone" is what Renee says in her book.  THAT is why all of our accomplishments and victories will never be enough.  Those things are great, but they aren't God.  Those things make us feel great about ourselves, but they aren't God.

Nothing can compare to God.  Nothing can fill up our hearts quite as perfectly as God.  The love and acceptance that we are looking for comes from God.  Selah

So......let us all remember that as wonderful and basically harmless as victory & recognition are in our life, God is the only one who can fill that void in our hearts.  He is the one and only.  Let's hold our cups out to Him and let Him fill them with confidence.  Have a super wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days of "A Confident Heart" Day 6

from Microsoft Office
"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."  Psalm 90:14 (emphasis mine)
The memory verse of the week in the "A Confident Heart" study is Psalm 90:14.  We have  a new one each week that we are to TRY to memorize.  I'll have to say that I cannot memorize scripture.  I know, I know...........that is such a cop-out; but I really have a hard time with this.  Memorizing things is like "kryptonite" to me. I was a straight-A student in school, a whiz at math, can read and interpret as good as anybody..........but I just "can't" memorize scripture.

What's a girl to do??

I caught myself singing along with a song on the radio this morning.  I don't know the name of the song (sorry!), but it included the  Philippians 4:13 scripture in the lyrics.....and I was singing along like it was no big deal.
"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  Philippians 4:13
I came to realize just this week that I actually CAN memorize scripture.  All I have to do is sing it!  I absolutely love music.  Any kind of music is okay by me.  I can memorize and sing repeatedly a song that I love (like any good girl can) without even having to try very hard.
"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  Philippians 4:13
Wow.  That not only solidifies the truth that I CAN memorize scripture, but it preaches too!  I have been relying on my own strength to try and memorize scripture all of my life.  What was I thinking?  I can do ALL things through Christ, who gives me strength (including memorize scripture).

I am humbled today.  Thank you LORD that you are my God, and that you DO care about the small things like giving me strength and HOPE.  Praise be to YOU, LORD.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days of "A Confident Heart" Days 1-5

I am currently studying the book A Confident Heart by Renee Swope with a small group of ladies from my church.  I am also participating in a Facebook study group of the same book under "Melissa Taylor's Online Bible Studies."  These 2 groups are studying the book concurrently, so it works for me.  I guess you could say I am REALLY studying this book. So, I am doing this 31 Days of ______ challenge on my study of this book.

The portion on the cover of the book underneath the title says, "How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises."  This is what really drew my eye.
Stop doubting myself?  (I had never really thought about.)
Live in the security of God's promises?  Surely I was doing that already.  As the wife of the Youth Pastor in our small Southern Baptist church in Texas, surely I was always living in the "security of God's promises."
Or was I?

We are on Chapter 3 of this book this week.  I realize that I am living securely in SOME of God's promises, but not all of them.  How can that be so?
Because I have DOUBT in my heart.
I have doubts that God can take care of all my needs, but I trust Him with the health and well-being of my family??  How can I be so "double-minded"?  Apparently, I have some work to do here; albeit, some soul-searching to do.

Renee Swope has written a fantastic book entitled A Confident Heart.  I highly recommend it!  It is filled with scripture and real life situations and examples in Renee's own life.  This book speaks to me.  (Maybe this is the reason why I have been so scatter-brained lately--Renee has stolen my brain, emptied it out into her book, and then applied God's Word to it.)  Haha!  No, not really; but it is like she got the examples in her book straight from my heart.  In this 31 Day "challenge", I will walk through and blog what God has put on my heart regarding this book as we study it.  I hope you all go out and buy it, read it, complete the discussion questions after each chapter, apply it to your life, and maybe start a small group of your own.  This book speaks to all of us women (and probably men alike!).  Enjoy!