December 17, 2017

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Trusting God {a prayer exercise}

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Dear Megan,

Lately I have really been struggling with trusting God and I feel horrible about it. In my heart, I know what I need to do, but my mind is fighting me every step of the way. I don’t know if you can help, but I just don’t know where to begin.

~T

My dear T, we have all walked through these seasons and I am so happy you have reached out for help. In addition to being in the Word daily and having as much quiet time with the Lord as possible, I have found this prayer exercise to be very helpful in training my heart to work with my mind in letting go and trusting God with every single little thing. I pray this is a blessing to you.

Trusting God {a prayer exercise}

A five-minute exercise you can do anytime you need to.

Your heavenly Father promises relief from adversity for those

who honor him, have faith, and trust him.

A word from scripture:

Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright. Psalm 112:4 (NIV)

 ***

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,

which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18 (NLT)

Meditation Guidance:

 1. Tell your Heavenly Father that you are looking to Him for relief, like the dawn, to come. Talk about your faith and trust in Him. Speak of your doubts also. Use these scriptures to shape your prayer:

I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.

I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.

In your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry; let me be revived

by following your regulations.

Psalm 119:147-149 (NLT)

***

Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Psalm 31:14 (MSG)

***

To you, O Lord, I offer my prayer; in you, my God, I trust. Psalm 25:1-2a (GNT)

***

But even when I am afraid, I keep on trusting you. Psalm 56:3 (CEV)

***

Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me.

Psalm 23:4 (GNT)

2. Talk to your heavenly Father about the despair and darkness in your life. Cry out to God. Use these scriptures to help you:

O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.

Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you.

Psalm 5:1-2 (NLT)

***

Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: “Be good to me! Answer me!”

Psalm 27:9 (MSG)

***

Hurry with your answer, God! I’m nearly at the end of my rope.

Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!

Psalm 143:7 (MSG)

***

Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.

Psalm 13:3 (NIV)

 

3. As you wait for your heavenly Father to answer your prayer, meditate on these scriptures to strengthen you:

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (NIV)

 ***

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him. Psalm 62:5 (CEV)

***

You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields of green grass.

You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths.

Psalm 23:1-3 (CEV)

***

I can lie down and sleep soundly because you, Lord, will keep me safe.

Psalm 4:8 (CEV)

 ***

I know that I will live to see the Lord’s goodness in this present life.

Psalm 27:13 (GNT)

4. Repeat as often as needed and let each and every word in the Scriptures penetrate the depths of your soul. Breathe  in the truth of God’s Word and let satan’s lies tumble on out.

Your assignment: give one thing over to God today to trust Him with.  It can be as small or as big as you want it to be…just give it to Him.  Once you do, it is not yours anymore.  Do this exercise to keep that thing out of your imperfect hands and safely in the magnificent hands of our Lord and Savior!

Blessings,

Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Releasing Present Anger

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Dear Megan,

I pray you can help me. I have spent a lot of time working through the anger from my past, but I am really struggling releasing anger I am currently feeling in a constructive way. Maybe that means I haven’t truly released myself of the pain of my past anger, I don’t know. I do know that I need help now and I pray God can speak to me through you on this. Thank you for any help you can give!

~C.D.

Dear one, thank you for your question. I think we need to start off by understanding what is at the core of anger. Really, when we feel that our real or perceived rights have been violated, we can easily respond with anger.

This is something very real that many people struggle with…sometimes in certain seasons, situations and circumstances more than others. What is not okay is if we are walking around with the wrong belief that we have the right to be angry about our disappointments and choose to stay angry for as long as we feel like it. It is not okay to walk around with the belief that you have the right to express your anger in whatever way is natural to you. That is why I loved in your question when you said that you are struggling with releasing anger in a constructive way…. this implies that THIS is the type of guidance you are looking for and THAT, I believe, is pleasing to God!

What we want is to believe in our hearts that our Lord is sovereign over us and that we trust Him with our lives. We must yield our rights to Him and, through that, our human disappointments become God’s appointments to increase our faith and develop His character in us! We must choose to NOT be controlled by our anger, but to use our anger to motivate us to do whatever God wants us to do.

1 Peter 1:6-7

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold,

which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

I pray that the following steps will help you to handle your present anger constructively and biblically.

1. Acknowledge Your Anger {Proverbs 28:13}

  • Be willing to admit you are angry
  • Be aware of when you feel angry
  • Become aware of suppressing or repressing your anger because of fear
  • Be willing to take responsibility for any inappropriate anger

2. Analyze Your Style { Psalm 139:23-24}

  • How often do you feel angry?
  • How do you know when you’re angry?
  • How do others know when you’re angry?
  • How do you release your anger?

3. Assess the Source {Psalm 51:6}

  • Hurt, injustice, fear, frustration, _________

4. Appraise Your Thinking {Proverbs 21:29}

  • Are you expecting others to meet your standards? “She should take better care of her children.”   “They ought to notice what I do for them.”
  • Are you guilty of distorted thinking? {Exaggerating the situation, assuming the worst, labeling one action based on other actions, generalizing, etc.}

5. Admit Your Needs {Anger is often a tactic used to get inner needs met} {Philippians 4:19}

  • Do you use anger as a manipulative play to demand certain “musts” in an attempt to feel loved?
  • Do you use explosive anger to get your way in an attempt to feel significant?
  • Do you use controlling anger, insisting on certain conditions in order to feel secure?
  • DO you know that only Christ can ultimately meet all your needs?
6. Abandon Your Demands {Learn to look to the Lord to meet your needs instead of demanding that from others}  {Jeremiah 31:3} {Jeremiah 29:11} {Psalm 118:6} {2 Peter 1:3}
  • “Lord, though I would like to feel more love from others, I know that You love me unconditionally.”
  • “Lord, though I would like to feel more significant to those around me, I know that I am significant in Your eyes.”
  • “Lord, though I wish I felt more secure in my relationships, I know I am secure in my relationship with You.”
  • “Lord, though I wish others would be more responsive to my needs, I know that You have promised to meet all my needs.”

7. Change Your Attitudes {Take these steps outlined in Philippians 2:2-8}

  • Have the goal to be like-minded with Christ
  • Do not think of yourself first
  • Give the other person preferential treatment
  • Consider the other person’s interests
  • Have the attitude of Jesus
  • Do not emphasize your position or rights
  • Look for ways to demonstrate a servant’s heart
  • Speak and act with a humble spirit
  • Be willing to die to your own desires

8. Address Your Anger {Galatians 2:20}

  • Determine whether your anger is really justified
  • Decide on the appropriate response {How important is the issue? Would a good purpose be served if it is mentioned? Should I acknowledge my anger only to the Lord?}
  • Depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance
  • Have constructive dialog when you confess
  • Don’t speak from a heart of unforgiveness {think before you speak}
  • Use personal statements such as “I feel…” instead of “How could you…” or “Why can’t you…”
  • Stay focused on present issue {don’t bring up past grievances}
  • Don’t assume the other person is wrong… actively listen for their point of view
  • Don’t expect instant understanding. Be patient and always respond with gentleness
  • Show the love of God by saying the following to yourself: I placed my anger on the cross with Christ. I am no longer controlled by anger. I am alive with Christ living inside me. I will let Christ forgive through me. I will let Christ love through me. I will let Christ reveal truth through me.

****Please, please journal out your thoughts, prayers and fears as you begin this journey to constructively release your present anger. I am praying God will move in your life in a mighty way through this and may He get all the glory!

Are YOU struggling with anger? How might you benefit by using this exercise along with our dear C.D?
Blessings,
Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Getting Past the Hurt

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My sweet Megan!

I have a friend who used me in hopes to gain something better for her daughter through a sport they are both involved in. After realizing that I was not able to offer any more than what she was already receiving, she got angry at me and started speaking badly of me. I am hurt, #1 because she was just using me and had not intention of actually being a friend #2 because of the negative things she has been speaking about me. I want to forgive and move on, but am struggling with complete forgiveness. How do I move on? I need some life coaching!! I need to know what a woman of God would do to resolve & get passed this issue!!
~S

My dear S,

It sounds as if rejection is at the root of this issue and I believe that once you deal with that rejection by healing the wound in your heart, you will be able to move forward.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

All of us are created with three God-given inner needs: for love, significance, and security. Because people fail people, it is essential not to let other people define who you are. Realize that rejection can easily skew your view! Now I realize that there was more to your hurt than the initial rejection of thinking she was a true friend but finding out she was using you…. but please stay with me through this discussion because I believe it will help to talk about rejection as a whole and I promise to bring it together for you at the end! 🙂

Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

How do you accept yourself when others reject you?

1. Focus on the facts, not feelings.

First off, you must admit the rejection of the past and acknowledge its pain. Ask God to bring to mind every rejection from your childhood to the present, and then consider the circumstances of each situation. {Yes, we bring past hurts to present situations}. Then, acknowledge the wide range of feelings of rejection you experienced with each past event. Release to God the pain AND the person(s) involved. Ask God to heal the physical, emotional, and spiritual damage caused by each of these painful experiences of rejection.

Lamentations 3:19

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitternessand the gall.

2. Claim God’s acceptance and unconditional love

Confess God’s love for you and all the ways He has shown you His love {like Christ dying for you}. Cite Psalms 139:1-18 and praise God for your life and His divine creation and plan for it. Convey your appreciation to God for His love of you by loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love others as He loves you.

3. Choose to forgive those who rejected you

Consider all the hurt and anger you feel over your rejection. Realize the cost of withholding forgiveness {a bitter spirit building up inside you, which will cause trouble and spread to those around you}. Commit to forgiving those who rejected you just as Christ forgave those who rejected Him (including you). Write down their names, their offenses, and the pain caused you. Then release each person, offense, and pain into the loving hands of God.

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

4. Expect future rejection as natural in a fallen world

Empty yourself of the pride that drives your desire to be accepted by everyone. Since gaining everyone’s approval is impossible, commit yourself to pleasing God. Empathize with others who feel rejected by friends, family, employers, business associates, or anyone else important to them. Embrace the truth that as a believer, you will experience rejection, just as Jesus did. You are not exempt from being rejected in daily life.

1 Peter 4:12

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you,

as though something strange were happening to you.

5. Secure Scripture in your mind to produce new thought patterns

Purpose to renew your mind by selecting meaningful scriptures to read. meditate on, and commit to memory. Plan a specific time each day to read God’s Word and pray. Partner with someone who will hold you accountable for applying God’s truth to your heart.

Romans 12:2

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.

6. Thank God for what you have learned through your rejection

  • “Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to make me more dependent on you.”
  • “Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to make me less dependent on people.”
  • “Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to make me more dependent on Your Word.”

Psalm 119:71

 It was good for me to be afflicted
 so that I might learn your decrees.

7. Encourage others as an expression of Christ’s love.

Give compassion to those who are hurting as someone who has been hurt. Lift them in prayer, faithfully praying for them and with them. Ease emotional wounds by embracing those in pain and encouraging them to talk.

Hebrews 3:13

 Encourage one another daily

8. Draw on the power of Christ’s life within you

  • “I will see Christ as my security whenever I feel insecure.”
  • “I know that I have all I need, for Jesus will meet all my needs.”
  • “I will daily set aside my selfish desires in favor of His desires, saying ‘Not my will, but Yours, be done.'”

Philippians 4:13

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

While rejection is real and it hurts, we need to make sure that we are keeping our feelings in check as they can be so deceptive. We need to be careful not to take on someone else’s issue as our own and through forgiveness and loving as Christ loves, we free ourselves from hanging on to the yuck that keeps us from moving forward in such circumstances. No it is not easy, but it IS possible as God calls us to this in His Word. Seeking God through such trials and letting Him soothe your deep wounds is the only way to live free and get past the hurt. I pray this guides you though healing and is a blessing to you <3

Lord, give us Your unfailing compassion as we walk through tough relationships and help heal all the places we are hurting. We yearn to not stay stuck, but to get past out hurt and break free for good. Thank You for the guidance we find in Your Word. May You get all the glory as our hearts and relationships are restored, Lord! In Your Son’s matchless name we pray, Amen <3

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Guarding Your Heart

 

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Dear Megan,

I am really struggling lately and everywhere I turn I hear “guard your heart,” but I don’t feel like I really know what that means. I want to just shut my heart down so it won’t hurt anymore, but I know that isn’t what God is calling me to do. HELP! Any guidance would be appreciated!

~S.

This is such a great question, S, and it is so important to get our heart around it to truly be living the abundant life God calls us to! Thank you for reaching out!

So….What does it really mean to “guard your heart?”

I keep coming back to the same verse: “… and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).  There’s so much meat in this verse; but today I want to talk about a particular piece – “guard your hearts.”

It seems to me, the best way to protect ourselves in this world, in relationships, jobs, dreams, or whatever, is to keep our expectations in check.

There are two verses people often quote with regard to guarding one’s heart. The first is Proverbs 4:23. In the NIV it reads “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The King James and the NASB, however, choose a slightly different word than “guard.”  NASB says “watch” and KJV says “keep.” And we must remember that in the Hebrew, “heart” actually means far more than the seat of our emotions. It’s our mind, our soul, our inclinations, etc.

When we consider this, and look at the verse in context, it’s not telling us to guard, in the sense of how we might use this word in modern English. It’s not telling us to clamp down, be closed off, walled apart…it’s just telling us to be wise.  Solomon is imparting wisdom to his son and is telling him to remember his words, embed them in his heart and try to keep himself from going astray. It means that we should pursue the truth of scripture, such as that God loves us, is trustworthy, and is for our good, so that we make wise decisions. I don’t believe it means we’re to tense up in self-protection…. But that is what we tend to do, isn’t it?

If we only consider this first verse, we might be inclined to actually forget the truth of God’s ways, His sovereignty, and His love, and take too much into our own hands. We’ll try to desperately control our environment, and every thought and emotion, thinking we’re doing the right thing. We are told to take every thought captive, but here’s where that, in excess, falls apart and ceases to be of God.…

How much angst and stress are you putting into trying to figure out how to guard your heart?

How crazy are you making yourself trying to figure out what to do and not do, so that you won’t get disappointed or disappoint someone else?

 That is not God’s will for you. God wants you to trust Him, be in the moment, and seek His wisdom and guidance ALONG the way…not build a fortress around you so you can’t experience anything! Do you realize that if you guard your heart too much…you may actually miss what God has for you? You may entirely sideline His will and plan because you’re too busy protecting yourself. We need to learn to be okay with uncertainty and just go with it, maybe even open our hearts up a little, remembering that God is good no matter which way things go.

This is where we bring in the second verse. Philippians 4:6-7 reads “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This is a little different than in the first verse, and they have to be taken together.

Here, it is God’s peace that guards your heart. It is a work of God…not a work of you. God doesn’t want us to live in anxiety and worry. And uncertainty sure causes this, doesn’t it? But instead, God wants us to lay our requests at His feet, thank Him for who He is and what He has already done…and leave it at that, knowing He’ll continue to do good in the future.

We don’t pick it up again. We let the peace of laying it down guard our hearts. This submission is based on that constant insistence that God loves us and is for our good. I’ll say it 1000 times because it IS the most important thing for us to EVER understand. God loves us with an immeasurable love. God loves us so much in fact, that we may not get our way, because He knows better. He will do what is for our good. Pray this deeply into your heart. Confess and release all your fears that are keeping you from this truth in the wholeness of your life. That is where you’ll find peace and how your heart will be guarded in a way that you can experience all God has for you, in wisdom, joy, and grace.

You see…the enemy wants us to miss out on all the good things God has for us by getting us to worry and doubt. Sometimes we need to sit in uncertainty when we want to RUN!!!! But if we run, we will miss God. We will miss what He wants to show us in the situation, things He wants to teach us, ways He wants to bless us, and ways He wants to use us to bless others. God just wants us to believe Him and go with it. He wants us to have the freedom to experience what He has for us without fear. That may mean living in a lot of uncertainty, but don’t wall yourself up to avoid getting hurt. Just be at peace, let God be God, and take it all one day at a time.

Where might you be wrestling with expectations today? Is it a struggle at work? A living situation? A family situation? A relationship that you just don’t know which way it’s going to go?

Release it.

It’s going to work out exactly as God has planned and it WILL be good, any which way. Just enjoy today. Enjoy God. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the uncertainty with great expectations of what God will do through it. Submit to trusting God, ask Him for discernment in wise actions, and leave the rest to Him. Remember, His ways are not our ways, so we probably won’t be able to figure it out anyway.

AMEN!….. and blessings to you,

Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Discerning The Will of God

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Dear Megan,

How can I discern God’s voice from my wants so that I can be in His will? 

I know that God will open the right doors, but in the meantime trying to wait and not push what I want to have happen is so hard.  Sometimes it is so hard to discern His voice when our desires are so strong and the enemy starts to make us doubt, plot and plan, and he makes us think that we are in God’s will when we are really just doing what we want. Looking forward to your thoughts!

Blessings!

~C

 

My dear C, this is one of the questions I get asked most as a Christian Life Coach and I am so excited to discuss it with you and a few friends here today!

One thing I know for sure is that the more you are in the Word, and have a consistent, deeply intimate relationship with the Lord, the more your will will be aligned with His and the easier it will be to discern His voice through your wants.

I think it is important to begin this discussion with a few Biblical facts about the will of God:

1. God’s will for you was prepared in advance:

Ephesians 2:10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,

which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

2. God desires to reveal His will to you in a personal way:

Acts 22:14

“The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will.”

3. God reveals His will primarily through the Spirit of God and the Word of God:

John 16:13

“…the Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth.”

Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.”

4. God sees the whole big-picture of your life…past, present, and future. Discovering God’s will for you is like unrolling a scroll….  He unrolls it one line at a time:

Psalm 32:8

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you and watch over you.”

5. Sometimes God’s will for our lives includes sorrow and affliction. Suffering gives us compassion for others and allows us to see God’s sufficiency as we learn to depend on Him:

Psalm 119:71

“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”

Okay! Now that we have that background established, let’s move forward and discuss what decisions are pleasing to God. One thing I know is that God doesn’t play hide-and-seek as you try to discover His will! As you sincerely place HIS desires above YOUR desires, He will be faithful to point the way. Let THIS be the prayer of your heart:

 Psalm 40:8

“I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

In His Word, God states that He blesses decisions that…

 

He initiates (Proverbs 4:11)

line up with His Word (Psalm 119:33)

accomplish His purpose (Philippians 2:13)

depend on His strength (Philippians 4:13)

result in giving Him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)

promote justice, kindness and humility (Micah 6:8)

reflect His character (Romans 8:29)

come from faith (Hebrews 11:6)

consider the interests of others (Philippians 2:4)

are bathed in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

My friend C… I so wish that I could just tell you exactly what to do and what decision to make, but we all know that is not possible (and you probably don’t even want that)!  I do know, though, that God is guiding you each and every day as you discern which path to take:

  • through your spiritual gifts, talents and abilities
  • through your understanding all facets of this decision
  • through impressions God is making on your spirit in the form of convictions and  establishing truth
  • through knowing that God placed certain desires in your heart for a reason
  • through advice from trusted sources who God so divinely places in your path who are grounded in the Word, who are mature in godly wisdom and who might also have overcome similar circumstances in their own lives
  • through the possible necessity of the situation (like having to move because of a sick parent, etc.)
  • through seeing beyond circumstances (Proverbs 16:9)
  • through the elimination of options which you discern are not the best options (1 Corinthians 10:23)

I pray that this has helped you to have a better understanding in your current situation and know that even if time has run out on this decision and you still don’t know what to do, you can still pray!

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Because You know everything, You know the decision before me and the way I should go. I want only YOUR will, Father. Because I no longer have the option of waiting, I will choose one option. If this decision is not right in Your sight, I ask Your Spirit in me to put a heaviness in my heart. If this is the right direction for me to walk, please confirm it with Your peace that surpasses all understanding. I am willing to take whatever detours You decide to put in my path, as long as I reach the destination You have for me. In Your Son’s matchless name, I pray, Amen. <3

 

Blessings,

Megan Smidt, CCLC

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: How to Stay Motivated

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Dear Megan,

How do I stay motivated? To reach goals? I try to lose weight and exercise but I keep losing my ambition. I also am struggling in doing my bible studies.

Thank you.

~D

Oh, my dear…what a perfect question to start off this blog with! This is something almost every single person who comes to me for coaching needs help with, and it is certainly so important in every aspect of our lives! Here are a few ways you can endure success in staying motivated in areas you know God has called you to have focus on. 

1. Accountability

Share your new goal or endeavor with the people closest to you so that they can ask you how it is going and hold you accountable to getting it done. Use discernment about who to share with.  When you share what you are endeavoring to do with someone you trust, you are more likely to stick it out just from knowing that they know and will ask you about it! If you can enlist someone to go on this adventure WITH you, that is even better!

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:16

2. Surround yourself with cheerleaders!

This is so important! When you make the commitment to do something new whether it is a new weight loss challenge or start a daily quiet time with the Lord, it becomes so much harder to do if you are surrounded by people who don’t believe you can do it or do what they can to discourage you. Even if your closest circle is full of Negative Nancy’s, that’s okay! Make sure you are keeping in frequent contact with the positive people God has so intentionally placed in your life!

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

3. Know you are not in this alone

You are not created to do ANYTHING in your own power. You know that, right? God is with you and wants to walk this out with you every step of the way! Please do not try to do anything alone. <3

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed,

for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

4. Create margin in your day

Are you too busy? That is a big big way we all get unmotivated. If you are going to take on something that will take an hour of your time a day, make sure you make room for that to physically be able to happen. God does not intend for our lives to be so stretched that we don’t even have time for Him! Take some time to really look closely at how you are spending your time and see where you might be able to delegate tasks or delete time-wasters!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,

that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

5. Just do it

Sometimes, it just comes down to those three words…. JUST DO IT! If you know that God has called you to it then He will equip you with all you need to get it done… you need only get out of the way! It really is that simple sometimes, and sometimes the only answer is to JUST DO IT!!!

As long as you are going to do it, you might as well do it right. Right? As long as you are going to show up for work, you might as well do your best on the job. As long as you are going  to raise a family, you might as well make it a happy, well-adjusted one. As long as you are going to have a life, you might as well live a life of excellence and live it with intention!

And if you throw yourself wholeheartedly into everything you do, with a total commitment to excellence, there are no limits to what you can accomplish. It is time to get up and give God 100% no matter what gets thrown your way! Satan would love nothing more than for you to stay right where you are and never move forward toward the life that God has intended for you…. Will you let him win or are you going to do your due diligence and just make it happen?

With God on your side….you’ve got this! 🙂

Blessings,

Megan Smidt, CCLC

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If you are interested in contacting Megan about personal coaching, please go to:  www.megansmidt.com

 

Captivating: Weekly Review Chapter 3 – Haunted By a Question

Weekly Review

With her blog on Monday, Tonya said that we often don’t feel like a life-saving lover, a relational specialist, full of tender mercies and hope, especially not when life is overwhelming and we feel caught in the struggle of balance.

But ladies, and this is a big but, we have to remember that on those days when we feel torn and unbalanced, that on those days especially, we need to remember the most that we are God’s. We belong to Him. We have to remember that we are inviting, we are captivating, and we are alluring.

On Tuesday Tonya shared with us that as women we want to be lovely, we want to be captivating. We question our inner “loveliness” in addition to our outer beauty.  As women we have vulnerabilities, we do have the habit of wanting to control situations, we are affected by relational issues, but thank God, He is strong where we are weak!

Tonya ended her blog with the following words,:” Rest assured, God knew what was going to happen; He knew what the outcome would be. He also knew that despite the curse, despite the fall out from the bite, we would be beautiful”.

My friends, you are…. and will always be …. Captivating!

On Wednesday Carissa asked the very important question, how do we deal with fear of being vulnerable? Do we play the defense trying to control our situations and that of others, or are we wallflowers,  preferring to be silent and unseen, thus also controlling the situation instead of surrendering it to God?  No matter how much we try to control or how well we hide, God knows our hearts. He knows  the motives behind everything we do.

She ended her blog by saying that God wants us to know Him. He wants us to know freedom from our fears and past hurts.He wants us to know the depth of His love for us. He wants us to know that in His eyes we are way more than “cute”.

Ladies you are beautiful and irreplaceable. God delights in you because you are captivating.

On Thursday Michelle addressed the issue of ‘ indulgences’. Jeremiah 2:13 refers to it as our ‘broken cisterns’.  What is your ‘broken cistern’? Where do you tend to turn when things get tough?  We were created to be fulfilled by only one thing – the love of God. The time comes when we have to choose who or what will control us. We are given a choice. Will it be God or our own limited personality, or another imperfect substitute?

The good news according to Ezra 9:9 is that ” God has not deserted us in our bondage”.

Today, I want to finish this review with some personal thoughts.  Girlfriends, for years I, Edwina Botha Howard have been in bondage. To me life was all about looking a certain way, wearing name brands and it was just about stuff and more stuff. When I was happy I would shop, when I was sad I would shop, when my husband looked at me the wrong way I would shop. There was just no stopping to the madness. As a teacher I would buy a new outfit after every holiday, and believe me I am not exaggerating.

A month ago or so, I finally came to the realization with God’s help, that by always wanting and buying, I am saying that I am not satisfied with who I am because I could just never get enough. I came to the conclusion that it costs far less to work on the content of my character than on draping my frame with expensive fare.  What I wear and the price tag on my clothing is not of importance, it is what is on the inside. After all, the Word of God says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  This is the message that John and Stasi are trying to convey in this book.  You are beautiful!  It doesn’t take “things” to make you beautiful in His eyes!!

 

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

Psalm 139:14

 

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Before we close, I would like to leave you with a personal message from John and Stasi Eldredge on the Beauty of Women.  This is a video of an interview they did on the Joyce Meyer program.  It’s Part 1 of 3.  We’ll share the other two parts in the next two weeks.

 

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If you would like to join us for the Captivating online Bible study, click HERE to register. Once we receive your registration, we will email you further details.

If you would like to email Edwina in regards to this blog post, please email her at:
Edwina@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

Captivating – Chapter 3: Dominating Women – Desolate Women

I remember the moment like it was yesterday.  I was 8 years old and away from my family for the first time for a week of Kids Camp with my church.  It was one of the best, most memorable times of my childhood.  And the scene that follows left an immeasurable impression on my mind and heart.

While drying my hands in the bathroom, one of the counselors whom I greatly admired and loved, said to me, “Carissa, you’re so cute!” Boom.  The words were spoken, and those words felt so good.  I had a new goal.  I wanted to be “cute” all of the time.  I wanted to feel special, noticed, admired, and loved every day.

But the fact remains: I’m not as “cute” as I once was.  Over the past 17 years of my life, there have been way more “non-cute” comments directed my way.  And so, I’m sitting here, writing to you as a scarred and broken woman.  Because of the Fall, I’m cursed with a longing to be beautiful and irreplaceable. Since the world has shown me more coldness than warmth, I’m guarded.  I know I’m not alone in this either.  My guarded mindset is driven from fear—fear of being vulnerable.  Every woman deals with this fear differently.  The two main methods, pointed out by our authors of this book, are either domination or desolation.

So how do you deal?  Do you play the defense, trying to control your situation and others, sometimes even masking your controlling nature as “caring” for others?  Or are you a wallflower, preferring to be silent and unseen, thus also controlling your situation instead of surrendering it to God?

We must realize that these two attitudes are inspired by fear, a fear that was not sent from God.  Ladies, 1 John 4 affirms that “God is love.” And we know that “perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”  So if we live in love, then God lives in us and fear has no place to dwell.

So no matter which woman you identify with (either dominating or desolate…or maybe both) and no matter how much you try to control or how well you hide, God knows your heart.  He knows the motives behind everything you do.  He knows every thought, every attitude, every action, and every reaction.

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

God wants you to know Him, too.  He wants you to know freedom from your fears and past hurts; He wants you to know the depth of His love for you.  He wants you to know that in His eyes, you are way more than “cute.”  You are beautiful and irreplaceable. He delights in you because you are captivating.

 

Praise Him,

 

Carissa

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Let’s Pray
Our beautiful and wonderful Savior, thank You for who You are, thank You for creating us in Your image, thank You for the beauty that you instilled in each woman.  Father, I pray that every day, we will wake to dwell in You because You are love.  I pray against the Evil One and his attacks on our hearts with fear and doubt.  Help us to daily surrender our lives to you – surrender our desires to both control and hide.  Father, we know that we can do all things through You because You are our strength.  In Your precious name we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment
Are you more dominating or desolate?  Can you see how these attitudes stem from fear?  What are some ways we can daily practice to abide in love and thus reveal the beauty within each of us?

 

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If you are interested in joining this online Bible study, please click HERE to sign up.

Once we receive your registration, we will email you further details.

 If you are interested in sending a private message to Carissa, please email her at CarissaMarkantone@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

 

Life’s Healing Choices – Week 1 – Admitting Need

“Each of our lives is tangled up with hurts that haunt our hearts, hang-ups that cause us pain, and habits that mess up our lives.” (Baker, page 1)

Ouch! What a sting those simple words can bring. And immediately I begin the defense – I’m only hurt because of what other people did to me. I don’t have hang-ups, that’s just the way I am. Habits? They’re coping skills necessary to deal with life & the people around me. We’ve all done it, allowing the behaviors and attitudes to continue.

But hope is here! January 2013 marks not only a new year, but a new journey in your life. It’s a time for change … to shed the habits, hurts & hang-ups that affect your relationships, your life, and your walk with Christ. Using the book “Life’s Healing Choices” by John Baker as our discussion tool, the GCH: Victorious Healing ministry will lead you on this journey to joyful change, freedom, and blessings only He can provide to us.

RECOVERY. What comes to your mind when you see or hear this word? Do you brush it off as something only addicts or alcoholics deal with? Or do you think only of illness, surgery or other physical ailments? The truth is very simple. We all have hurts in our life that require healing. Some of us choose to symptomatically treat our hurts with food, chemical substances, spending sprees, toxic relationships, and more. But true healing, not just masking of symptoms, is possible only through the power of Christ in our lives. RECOVERY.

There are eight basic principles we will uncover during our study together:

  • Realize I am not God.
  • Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me. Consciously choose to commit my life and will to Christ’s care & control.
  • Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God and to someone I trust.
  • Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life.
  • Evaluate all my relationships.
  • Reserve a daily time with God.
  • Yield myself to God to be used to bring His love & Good News to others.

What areas of your life do you have power (control) over? What areas of your life are spinning out of control? What coping skills do you use to get attention, or protect yourself? How do you handle pain & disappointment? What hinders our ability to admit our need for change, or help?

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” (Invictus by Henley). What comes to mind when you read those words? For me, it’s a sad commentary on how many of us live our lives. So often we believe we can handle our lives on our own. We determine our futures and no one will keep us from doing what we want, dream, or desire. Our decisions will only affect us. No one can tell us what to do.  But this idea is what causes so much of our pain. Until we realize that we are not in control of our lives, and allow God to do what He intended for us, our pains, hurts, habits, and hang-ups will continue.

Are you ready to “let go, and let God”?

In “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount” by Oswald Chambers “There must be a dominant, personal, passionate devotion to Him, and only then are all other relationships right.”

God tells us “You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there” (Jeremiah 6:14 TLB). How many times do we try to ignore our hurts by saying we’re fine, or nothing’s wrong? How often do we try to tend to issues by our own power because we don’t want to burden others, or appear weak or “out of control?”Denial only hinders our growth more, freezing us in our pain, insecurities, and worry even more. Denial encourages us to keep secrets as we continue to pretend that our lives are going well. Denial brings shame, anxiety, and a false sense of protection from our pain.

The admission of our powerlessness is the first step on our journey. From here, we need to leave to stop denying our pain. There’s only one God, and you ain’t Him, so stop trying to control your life as if you are.

God promises so much more.

  • Light in our darkness (1 John 1:5-7).
  • Rescue from the darkness (Ps 107:13-14).
  • Healing from our pain (Jeremiah 30:17).

So, join us this week as we explore this principle deeper. Instead of packing for a journey, get ready to unpack all that baggage you’ve been carrying around! But I warn you, this journey won’t be an easy one. However, I promise that we have the best Guide with us because He promises to never leave us, nor forsake us. Ever!

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Reading Assignment for Week 1:

Chapter 1 of Life’s Healing Choices
Monday: Laurie will discuss Principle 1
Tuesday: Leslie will discuss The Cause of our Problems
Wednesday: Kim will discuss The Cure for our Problems
Thursday: Amy will discuss Make The Choice, Action Steps to make it real in your life
Friday: Laurie will bring it all back home with a recap of our week

Ps6_2-3

Restoration is possible. Will you move towards this for your life … today?

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Principle 1 Power Verses:
Jeremiah 6:14
Ecclesiastes 11:4
Job 30:27
Romans 7:15-17
Proverbs 14:12
Job 17:11
Psalm 6:6-7
2 Corinthians 1:9


If you would like to join this amazing online Bible study, click HERE to sign up. Once you are registered, we will email you further details.

If you would like to send Amy a personal message in regards to today’s blog, please email her at: Amy@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

 

Winning Him Without Words: Let’s Have a Word

The tongue can bring death or life;

those who love to talk will reap consequences.

Proverbs 18:21 (NLT)

The verse for today really intrigued me, so I looked it up in the NAS version of the Bible. It sent me to two other verses:

Matthew 12:37  “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” and also Proverbs 13:3  “The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin”.

They are all equally a warning to us. The truth is we must speak our words carefully. Not only for ourselves, but also for the ones we love. We have the ability to tear down or build up those whom we love on a daily basis. I know this for a fact, as I grew up in a house where there wasn’t a lot of building up.

In my home, as we grew up, there weren’t a lot of positive, encouraging words spoken. In fact, most of what we heard was very destructive to my life. I suffered self-esteem issues as a teenager and even into adult years. I never trusted anyone to really love me for myself until I met Jesus. When I met the Lord, I never knew anyone could love me unconditionally.  He had a lot to teach me!  But, as a result of my home life, I also suffered from depression and thoughts of suicide during the tumultuous teen years.

I also met my husband at a young age, too. Between him and God, I learned what real love was. Ronald seemed to genuinely love me through all of it. He was a rock for me and proved it over and over with words of love and encouragement whenever he could.  He made me feel I was worth something.  I didn’t always receive them; in fact I doubted them a lot!  But he meant every word he said!  He stuck with me through that time and is still here 35 years later!!

I also read a lot of scripture then and tried to focus on that.  I know that we really need to realize when, how, and what we speak because words touch us in ways that can be good or bad.  Things we say in anger can really hurt our husbands and loved ones.  I am a testament to that. Our relationships are shaped and nurtured through our words.

My son, who has gone through alcohol and drug abuse when he was a teen, said that had we not told him every day that we loved him and were praying for him daily during that time, he would not be here. We spoke life and healing words to his soul as often as we could, and I believe I still have my son because of those words.  That is how God speaks to us.

What words does the Father say to us that we can hang onto and speak to our spouses?

*Jeremiah 29:11 Tells us that He knows us and has a plan for our lives!

*1Peter 5:7  Tells us to cast our cares on Him for he cares for us affectionately and watches over us.

*Romans 5:8 Tells us that even when we still in sin God loved us and Christ died for us.

* Psalms 62:8 Says trust in Him and we can pour out our hearts to Him because he is our refuge.

* Psalm 147:3 Says He heals the broken hearted and binds up our wounds.

* Psalm 103:8 God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

*Psalm 103:13 Says God shows us compassion just as a father would.

These are words form our loving God and Father! He speaks life and love to us throughout His word. Can we be any different? Unfortunately I am sometimes.  Matthew 12:36 says that “we will give an account on the day of judgement for every careless word we have spoken”.   That should give us pause to think before we speak.

I try, and often fail, to speak words of life and love to my husband everyday. I even text him throughout the day to let him know I’m praying for him. It’s an easy thing to do, so why don’t I do it all the time? Ladies can we purpose today to be more like our heavenly Father and speak life words to our husbands? It benefits him as well as us. It shows him you love him and are concerned for him.  It builds him up and in turn you are built up, as well.  That can only benefit your marriage if you build one another up.  And it gets easier the more you do it!

Like Lynn, I want my words to speak life and healing.  How about you?

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Let’s pray:

Lord we thank You for the gift of words. We thank You that You love us through Your word. Help us to always speak life and healing to our husbands and shut our mouths when we are tempted to tear them down. Give us the right words at the right time to say. Thank You for being our example of what words can do. In Jesus name-Amen

Your Assignment:

I’ve already texted my husband and told him how much I appreciate his working hard and for the provision for our family. I know that is important to him.  What life words can you speak specifically to your husband, whether in a text, phone call, note, or even right to him, that will build him up and make his day? Comment below and show us how we can do the same.

I pray you all will have a life building day!

Donna

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For the “Winning Him Without Words” Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website by clicking the “sign-up here” button at the top of our webpage; which is also where you can sign up to participate in this awesome bible study!