“Exhale” Book Study Week 3 Loving Who You Are

Hi Friend! We are rolling on into Part 2, Loving Who You Are. I know for me I can look in the mirror and say there are parts of me that I love, but I know in my heart that Jesus wants me to love all of me. He wants you to love all of you too. During this section we are going to learn so much about ourselves with Amy and Cheri’s gentle guidance. But first, let’s take a few seconds to square breath:

Inhale: Love who you are, 2,3,4 Hold: 2,3,4, Exhale: Lose Who You Aren’t’, Hold: 2,3,4, Inhale: God’s Truth, 2,3,4, Hold: 2,3,4, Exhale: Lies you tell yourself, 2,3,4.

Let’s jump right in this week with a video from Cheri as she teaches a new lesson from the story of Mary and Martha!

I don’t know about you sweet friend, but as I was watching Cheri’s video so many scenarios from my past flashed in my mind of times I was listening to lies and didn’t even know they were lies. My senior year in college when my high school sweetheart broke off our engagement. I heard the lie: I’m not good enough. Then there was the time I missed passing my National Teacher Boards by one point. I heard the lie: You are a failure. And for way too long I listened to the lie alcohol whispered to me that it was the answer for everything.

How comforting, calming, and freeing it is to know I don’t have to listen to those lies. As Cheri so beautifully illustrated, when we know the truth of Jesus and His love for us that is all that matters.

Read the Truth in Ephesians 1:1-14 below. What words in these verses show you how God sees you? How does it make you feel?

Share your thoughts in the comments today. I will tell you it calmed my soul and filled my spirit with true JOY knowing that I am “chosen”, “loved”, “enough”, “blameless”, and “forgiven” by God.

This week we will be reading chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11. Get ready for some fun! I can’t wait to find out what your personality type you are. I’ll share mine with you later this week.

Until then, Remember to “Exhale”!

Here are the links you will need for this week:

Record Keeping sheet: https://exhalebook.com/wp-content/uploads/EXHALE_Ch_8_pg_98_Record_Keeping_Sheet.pdf

“Love Who You Are Personality Quiz” https://exhalebook.com/wp-content/uploads/EXHALE_Ch_10_pg_115_Personality_Quiz-compressed.pdf

“Exhale” Book Study Week 2 Labels and Borders

Hi Friend, I hope you are loving this week’s reading! In chapter 4 Cheri breaks down the story of “The Women at The Well” . I don’t know about you, but for me, Cheri brought a whole new meaning of this story to me.

I used to read this story and just see a women who would have been rejected by people because of her past. Then Jesus speaks to her, which she knows is weird, right, she is a Samaritan woman why would this man give her the time of day. But Jesus sees so much more in her. She is a human being, created by the Father, to be loved and accepted. Not a wrong interpretation, but Cheri takes it further and I love it!

Check out page 53, “What would it be like to be a woman who leaves her jar at the well?’

When Jesus tells the women to run back to her town to tell everyone who she has met and to come meet him too, she leaves her jar at the well. Now friend, this isn’t a little old Ball jar she has carried to get water. Take a look at what she was carrying. And it was probably much bigger than the jar pictured here, but you get the idea.

Cheri goes on to say, “So you carry that heavy jar full of fears from your past all by yourself. You’ve carried it for so long, you know just how to balance it; how to hold your head up, how to tighten your grip, how to suck in your gut, now to throw your shoulders back, how to take your next step.”

Boy can I relate! Can you?

I love the next thing she writes, “To encounter Jesus and leave it all with Him. It’s not that the past doesn’t matter, but now something new matters more,”

“She is no longer a girl gripped by fear, she is a women held by faith.” (Cheri Gregory)

And so are we! We can leave our jars at the well! Leave it all with Jesus. When I got sober over eight years ago, I literally left my “jug” at the well with Jesus. I no longer had to be a girl gripped by fear, I could be a woman held in faith. Now, it wasn’t an over night thing, and I am still a work in progress, but today I know that whatever comes my way I don’t need to take a drink to get through it, I can take it to Jesus! He will get me through today, tomorrow, and the next.

Here is a link to a picture frame you can print of and put your picture in. https://exhalebook.com/wp-content/uploads/EXHALE_Ch_4_pg_56_for_3X5_pic.pdf

https://exhalebook.com/resources/

This is for a 3×5. If you would like a larger frame that can be found at the second link.

Now let’s jump into Chapter 5 with Amy.

Amy introduces us to “The Principal of Intention”.

She defines “The Principal of Intention” as ” We say the words our Father is telling us to say and not one word more”. “We do the things our Father is telling us to do and not one iota more.”

When I first read this I was so glad Amy threw in a “Mercy” there, because I was thinking to myself, “Are you kidding me!” Say and do ONLY what the Father tells me to! I’m in BIG TROUBLE!

But seriously, this concept is something I have been “pray-cessing” on since I read the book for the first time. Yes, I am on my third read as I am sharing the study with you. And I am sure it won’t be my last.

I know, though, in my heart, “The Principle of Intention” is how God wants me to live, it’s how I need to live. It’s how Jesus lived.

Amy explains that “God’s directions become our boundaries.” And heaven only knows I need to set up some boundaries with a few people in my life, one being my adult child.

I love how she sums it up on pg. 64, “We can let go of worrying that God’s boundary lines won’t be for our good, or that they will leave our family, friends, or co-workers adrift. Jesus shows us that faithful following, even when it clashes with someone else’s agenda, sets us in a place to enjoy God’s glorious work.”

Well, this has been a big check in, I’d love to hear your thoughts on becoming a “Woman held by Faith” or how you are living out the “Principle of Intention” and setting boundaries in your life. Remember you will be entered in this weeks drawing.

I am praying for you this week. Remember to “Exhale”!

If you would like to dig deeper this week, here are two more resources for you:

Grit ‘N’ Grace Episode 10 “Overcoming Error Terror” https://gritngracegirls.com/episode10/

And

Amy Carroll’s Blog “Why You Should Think Of Yourself When You Give” https://amycarroll.org/why-you-should-think-of-yourself-when-you-give/

“Exhale” Book Study Week 2: What Will You Do With Your Leftovers?

Welcome back for another amazing week of “Exhale” Book Study! Amy and Cheri have an amazing week of reading for us that at least for me have had me “pray-cessing” quite a bit!

Chapters 4-7 are chalk full of practical ways, backed by Biblical principals, and of course Amy and Cheri’s life experiences to help us see that change is possible.

This week we will be reading about two amazing women of the bible, one only known as, “The Woman at The Well” and Rebekah. Hold on tight friend, these two women are going to teach us a thing or two (maybe three or four!)

But first, we have Amy on the video this week telling a story about her grandmother who grew up during the Great Depression.

God uses our left overs, just like he did with the loaves and fishes when he fed the Five-thousand.

Comment today how do you think or how do you see God using your leftovers?

I’ll go first. Talk about some left over pieces, I have left a trail behind me, enough that even Hansel and Gretel could find me. (And I have moved a lot over the years!) Slowly but surely with the Grace and Forgiveness of my Savior, Jesus, I am picking up those leftover pieces to make positive changes in my life that affect everyone around me. God is using those pieces today to show me that I am more than the names I have given myself in the past as we discussed last week. He is my strength. He is my guide today. Today I know that I no longer have to drink alcohol to hide my fears. I can cling to the Truth of His Word, His power, His love. I can do His will. I can, I just have to be willing. You and me friend, we just have to be willing to “Exhale”!

Let’s do it! “Exhale”!

I’ll be checking back in with you on Wednesday. Until then I’ll leave with you “Breath Prayers” from Amy and Cheri. They are amazing prayer starters when you need to breathe.

https://exhalebook.com/wp-content/uploads/Breathe-a-Prayer_final.pdf

Don’t forget to leave your comments to be entered into this weeks drawing. Also, if you feel comfortable to leave your prayer requests in the comments, I will pray for you. You can also pray for the person who commented above you.

“How Your Story Changes”

“Exhale Book” Study Week 1

What an incredible launch party Amy and Cheri threw last week. If you missed it you can jump over to the Grit ‘N’ Grace Girls Facebook page to watch!

I am so excited to “Exhale” with you starting this week and through the next five weeks. We are going to jump right in today with a video from Cheri Gregory. She has an amazing personal story to share along with a story that appears in three of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke about a women who is changed.

Click on the video below to watch, then we can discuss some questions from Amy and Cheri’s “Study Guide”.

What are some names you have given yourself that you need to give up to take your God given name, “Daughter”?’

I’ll go first. “Quitter”, “Not Enough”, “Dumb Girl”, “Fool”. Just to name a few. Daughter sounds so much better, doesn’t it!

Let’s get the discussions going: Each post I will share a question or two based on the “Exhale Study Guide” Feel free to comment on 1 or all. Also You can reply to other’s comments as well. You can feel free to share your thoughts on your reading and pray-cessing too. Encourage each other as we learn to “Lose Who We’re Not, Love Who We Are, and Live our ONE Live Well!

What is Something you would like less of?

What is Something You would like more of?

After completing “Exhale” what is one thing you desire to learn, benefit, or change?

Comment below to be entered in this weeks drawing. I can’t wait to “Exhale” with you, my fellow “Daughters in Christ”.

Here is the link to find the Bible Verse Comparisons Cheri referenced in the video https://exhalebook.com/wp-content/uploads/Bleeding-Woman-parallel-accounts.pdf

Who Doesn’t Love A Party!

Friends, You are invited to a Facebook Live Party to kick off

“Exhale”

Click on the link below for all of the details for the Grit ‘N’ Grace Girls Exhale Small Group Virtual Launch Party!

Wednesday, August 26th at 7:30 CST

https://www.facebook.com/events/355729702029429/

Our study here will actually begin Monday, September 2nd!!

It’s not too late if you haven’t order your book or study guide, you can do that right here. https://exhalebook.com/

See you at the Grit ‘N’ Grace Girls Facebook Page Wednesday!

Let’s Party!!

I Found Peace In My Soul Praying For My Son’s

Isaiah 43 2 3

Time really does fly by when you are having fun, well and even when you are walking in the valleys.  It was just yesterday I was eating a Jumbo Jack from Jack In The Box and two tacos in labor, ready to deliver this amazing baby boy I had waited what seemed like forever to arrive.  That was twenty-one years ago.

Now that baby boy is grown and out on his own, working and making plans to move across country,  So many days I stop to think, “This isn’t the plan I had for you sweet child twenty-one years ago.” I had plans for you to grow up and go off to college, find a beautiful girl, of course she had pledged Pi Beta Phi like your mom, and you would live happily ever after.  Christmas’ would be spent at my home, decorating the tree, listening to the sound track of “The Nut Cracker”, while smells of mulled cider and cinnamon filled the air.

But alas, God has a different plan and path.  Many days I want to question God or yell and scream, “why is your plan for my son not matching up with mine?”  In my heart of hearts, I know why, God’s Will isn’t my will.  I am sure when I took off to Texas at age 23 my mom and dad might have been feeling like I am today, “This isn’t the plan, God, we had for our middle daughter.”

They had a strong faith in our heavenly father then and I have a strong faith in Him now, which is why I know, even as hard and frustrating as it can be at times, I hold on to God’s truth and believe He knows what is best for my baby, better than I do.

Proverbs 3_5-6

I also know that his dad and I raised him with Jesus in his heart and the seeds are planted there even though today he is making choices that are so far from what Jesus teaches us.  But the more I nag, the more I am just a clanging gong in his still growing and developing, trying to figure out who he is brain. Then that brain just tunes me out. As Proverbs 25:24 reminds us, “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome mom.” (okay, so I changed wife to mom here, but you get the point).

If you have ever watched the television show, The Goldbergs, you will totally understand where I am coming from here.  The mom, Beverly Goldberg played by actress Wendi McLendon-Covey, is a totally helicopter, smothering, over – the – top sparkling, loving, doting mom.  She would go to the ends of the earth for her children.  However,Erica, Barry, and Adam, her children usually see her as meddling, bothersome, and smothering.  When I start in on him and how I disagree with the “adult choices he feels he is making for his life” he wants nothing to do with me, feels I am over bearing and smothering, and turns away, as the Goldberg children do on television.

So what’s a mom of a young adult son to do?  A mom who has a big faith in her savior, Jesus?  Well, she prays.  Don’t get me wrong, I have learned this lesson the hard way, trying my way first, worrying.  Trust me, fretting gets you no where.  Now prayer, specific prayer, gets you every where!

Phil 4 6

When I started specifically praying to release my child over to God’s care, praying for God to secure his protection, praying that he would have a sound mind, and praying he would  break down ungodly strongholds, things started to change.  Not so much with him, but within me.

The nights of lying awake in bed worrying about what he ate for the day and did he have everything he needed drifted away.  Tears of sadness for parenting mistakes and guilt washed away.  Relief, forgiveness, and grace flooded my soul.

Praying God’s word over my child has brought me peace.  Are there times I still worry and disagree with my son’s choices, you bet.  But I quickly look up, let go, and live joy.  As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds us, “Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.  

Some days are hard, the days I feel I am in the valley I can lift my eyes and know my God sees me there.  I can pray continually His words and he hears my cries.  On the days I am on the top of the mountain, I thank God for putting me there.  No matter where  I land, I  give Jesus the praise and glory for all things, thanking him for the blessings in my life, especially one beautiful child, well now handsome 21 year old son.

Here are a few of the scriptures I have been praying over my son.

I have used a fabulous little book by Stormie Omartian, “The Power of a Praying Parent”.  A friend of mine at the gym where I work out gave it to me a few years ago and it has been the little gift that keeps on giving.

The first being the scripture I opened this blog entry with, Isaiah 43:2-3a:  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

I pray, Heavenly father I know you will be with my my son when the waters pass through and I know you will keep him safe as he passes  through deep waters of big decisions.  Father as he walks through difficult situations keep the flames of trouble from setting ablaze, for you are the Lord God, the Holy One.

Prayer format based on Stormie Omartian’s book “The Power of a Praying Parent”

To Release My Child Into God’s Hands:

Psalm 103:17-18:  “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”  

Heavenly Father, Today in Jesus’ name I give (name of child) to You.  I know in my heart that only You know what is best for him (her), and what his (her) needs are.  I hand him (her)  over to You to care for and protect.  I come to you Lord, to devote time each day  to pray for all areas of my child’s life, and I ask that You guide those prayers in the direction of your Will.  I thank you and praise you God for helping me to raise my amazing child.  Amen.

1 John 4:16: : “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them”

Dear God, I pray today that (name of child) feel loved and accepted by people in his (her) life that will guide him (her) to good not evil.  I pray, Father, that you will fill my child with your Holy Spirit and love, and I pray he (she) will totally understand how complete and unconditional Your love is.  I pray that You, Father, remove any lies the enemy has placed in my child to believe otherwise.  Lord I pray that you will manifest Your love to my child today in a super real way that he (she) feels and knows Your presence.  I pray for that love to be returned to You by my child.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Today I can say, “It is well with my soul.”  Thank you Jesus.

Here is a link to purchase that great little book by Stormie Omartian.

Power of a Praying Parent

“Exhale” Be Who God Planned You To Be!

Exhale book Cover

Do you struggle with knowing the identity you want for yourself and the one God planned for you?  Are you tired of pleasing others and always trying to meet their expectations for you instead of following the path God has for you? Are you ready to “Lose who you’re not, Love who you are, and Live your one life well”?

Then this is the book for you my friend.

In their Co-Authored book, “Exhale”, Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory  walk with you on a journey with Jesus to help you find, through biblical principals, the person God created you to be and love her deeply.

Reading “Exhale” is like having two friends come along side you, hooking elbows, and skipping along a path of beautiful treasures.  Gems of  Jesus’ love and truth shining brightly for you to grab hold of as you journey with Amy and Cheri to take the steps they too have taken and continue to practice, to live their one lives well. They share genuine battles they have faced and overcome, as they have at times had to stop skipping and trudge through the messy to get to the place God was leading them.  Like true friends, Amy and Cheri don’t sugar coat this pilgrimage, friend, after all, they are the Grit ‘N’ Grace Girls.(Check out their podcast, amazing!)

Each chapter concludes with a practical principle to help you practice what you have learned and each section concludes with a “Quick Reference Guide” to summarize the unit.  Super handy for girls on a mission to finding their true selves.

“Exhale” is a book you will want to keep handy to refer back to as you take this journey to “Losing Who You’re Not, Loving Who You Are, Living Your One Life Well”.  It is jam packed with scripture and prayers for daily study to help you stay on the path God has so meticulously and perfectly planned just for you, no one else.

“Exhale” is launching June 4, 2019 at a book seller near you!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of Amy Carroll’s and Cheri Gregory’s “Exhale” Launch Team.  The opinions expressed here are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”