A Confident Heart Blog Hop ~ Week 1

Hey there sweet sisters! It’s the first official Blog Hop of our A Confident Heart (ACH) study! I’m so excited to see all of you who are returning and to meet all of you newbies for the first time! I’m Shelly, and I will be here every Thursday leading the Blog Hop (actually I’m here every day – you can find me participating, studying, growing, being challenged, and commenting in the comment section like all of you!)

This is my second time to read Renee’s book and it probably won’t be my last. It’s a great tool to keep and revisit (sometimes I need a reminder). Doubt is something I think most of us as women deal with on some level or in some area of our lives. It’s refreshing to know we are all on a similar journey. We weren’t meant to do life alone, and we don’t have to.

Like Renee’s story in Chapter One, my own story is riddled with moments of doubt. When I turn away from the light of God’s Word – even for just a couple of days – I find doubt invading my thoughts and fear and uncertainty threatening to seize my heart.

God’s Word is my life-line. I imagine it’s yours, too, and that’s why you’re here. We can survive or make do (in the natural) apart from it, but I don’t want to just “survive.” I want to live the abundant spiritual life we are entitled to live as daughters of the King–a life filled with all the benefits that come with knowing Jesus as our personal Savior.

One of those amazing benefits is confidence and assurance in Christ.

No matter what Bible study we are doing, our starting place is always the same–Jesus. Without Him, there can be no lasting change. Without the Word of God, true transformation can’t take place.

Let’s dig into the Word, ladies. Write it on your heart, keep it on your lips, infuse it into your thoughts. Embrace it, love it, live it.

I can’t wait to read your stories in the Blog Hop today. Remember, if you don’t have a blog, please use the comment section to leave a comment or post about one of our topics. Your words matter, and your story is important!

Love,

Shelly

**********************************************

Now let’s get to hoppin’! 🙂

New to the blog hop or a regular around here? Here are the details!
 Before posting your blog to the blog hop, please read The Skinny on Blog Hopping  created by Heather Bleier. The blog hop may seem scary at first but our team is here to guide you through the process. To ensure your correct post is linked to our Blog Hop and is not deleted from the Blog Hop, watch the following 3:00 min tutorial and refer to those instructions. Click here to view directly on YouTube or copy the following link into your browserhttp://bit.ly/X8UX0u.

We can’t wait to read your blogs, but remember, you must blog about one of the Blog Hop topics. If your blog does not fit within the guidelines (the specified topics), it will be removed. If there is a question about your blog, someone from our Blog Hop Team will contact you. And if you post a blog here, make sure to grab our Blog Hop Button (right column) for your own blog!

Here are this week’s topics: {The names in BOLD are suggested titles.}
NOTE: Please specify which topic you chose by either using the suggested title OR adding the Topic # somewhere in your post.

1. #perfectlove ~ Define #perfectlove and share a personal story/example of God’s #perfectlove in your life.

2. Isaiah 49:23b ~ Unpack our Verse for the week. Learn more about “verse mapping” here: http://bit.ly/11j4zW2

3. I Believe ~ In order for change to take place, we have to first believe it is possible. Refute your own thoughts of doubt with declarations of faith.

4. At the Well ~ Reread Sam’s story in John 4, asking Jesus to meet your there and show you things in your heart that need His repair. Is there part of Renee’s story or Sam’s story that you can relate to most? (Ch. 2, Discussion #6)

***The link tool looks a little different this week for some reason but it still works the same. Just click on the words ADD LINK (below) and fill in your information when prompted to do so.***

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Comments

  1. Angela Hall says:

    I Believe.
    God’s love will bring me through difficult times. I Believe God’s will is perfect. I Believe that he has created me for a purpose. I Believe he is going to bring me through this trial I face each day. I do not understand his ways at all times, but I choose to serve him, and to love him. I Believe all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me.

  2. I BELIEVE

    I Believe that God has a plan for my life. I Believe that even when I’m going through the fire and the floods (which I am right now) that He is with me, holding me in the palm of His hand. I Believe that when every door shuts in my face, He will open the right door at the right time. Though my situation looks impossible, I Believe that with God, all things are possible. I refuse to give up, I refuse to allow doubt to reside, I Believe every Word He has spoken and I speak those Words with a confident heart knowing that He loves me, He cares for me and He has already taken care of my tomorrows. I Believe this with all my heart.

    • Hi Vanessa…I was reminded of Isaiah 43:2 when I read your post…”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.”

    • Barbara Prince OBS Small Group Leader/Prayer Warrior Team says:

      Dear Sister in Christ, you are so right to stand on God’s promises to you. Yes, we go though things we don’t understand, but we can always trust that God does love us with a #PerfectLove. He never, ever leaves us. I’m praying that, whatever you are going through, you will sense God voice speaking to you “this is the way, walk in it.”
      Love in Christ,
      Barbara

  3. I believe…
    … God is good and that his plan and timing is perfect.
    … God is strong when I am weak.
    … what God says about me.
    … God will never leave me nor forsake me; He is my Savior and the source of my hope.
    … that now is the time, this is the place and I am the one; He called me by name before I was formed in my mother’s womb. If He be for me, who can be against me?
    … in God’s perfect love.

    • Naomi, how beautiful…that now is the time, this is the place and I am the one….. God bless you.

    • Love it Naomi! “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.” Deuteronomy 31:8

  4. I believe……
    God’s Word and the power of His Word to change, transform, mold and grow, me into the woman that He designed.
    I believe…
    That I am cherished and loved
    Amen to that!

    • Yes…we are changing every time we peek into His Word and spend time in His presence…into the women of God He created us to be! Thanks for sharing Carol! “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

  5. I’m having problems with my blog so I will post here:

    Like the woman at the well, I have let past failed relationships convince me that people don’t think I am worth being/staying/pursuing in a relationship.
    Just like Jesus knew what Sam desired, to be loved for who she was: a divorced woman, who had doubts and insecurities about her past; a woman who has made bad decisions and mistakes…He knows that about me! Jesus invited Sam to dig deep in the most graceful and non-threatening way by asking her questions to help her reveal the patterns in her life and in her heart.
    I have similar patterns:
    How?
    I pretend everything is ok, when in actuality a lot of times it’s not.
    I isolate myself because I don’t want people to judge me for having insecurities and doubts. (People are quick to judge you before looking in the mirror)
    These are the reason I started this bible study…I want to rid myself of negative thoughts and doubts about myself, concerning certain areas of my life. Jesus is slowly showing me the areas I need repairing.
    The only way I can overcome my struggles is to rely on God and depend on his living word.
    My meditation verses are:
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
    One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3: 13-14
    “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
    There are many more and I will share as this bible study progresses.

    • I’m so glad you posted your blog in the comments section. I could relate to so much of what you wrote! Thanks for sharing!

    • Beautiful, Vivian! You’re so right…the ONLY way we can overcome is by relying on and depending on His Word….as He slowly shows us the areas that need repairing. Good word. Love the verses you shared, too!

    • Oh my goodness, Vivian, this is me also! I’m discouraged by my past decisions, carry guilt from a divorce. I read Phillipians 3:13-14 also, and I read Phillipians 4:6-8 daily to try to transform my mind into something positive.

  6. God’s word is a lamp! I thank God for assuring me that I am not alone. He is here to meet me at my well.

  7. Cynthia Salas Rodriguez says:

    Perfect Love…God is perfect love. There is no other love that can match His love for us. Through His word we are transformed by this perfect love. His love surpasses any insecurity or doubts we may harbor in our hearts. Allowing His Word to penetrate our hearts will capture the very essence of our being. Christ is the perfect love for every woman who finds herself in the shadow of doubt or in the darkness of insecurity.

    • Hi Cynthia. So glad you shared! Yes…His love is amazing and perfect! And He rejoices over YOU! 🙂 “Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

      • Hi, Shelly! Thanks for sharing Zephaniah 3:17, it’s one of my favorite verses. Like so many others have said I relate to Sam at the well. I live in a very small town where “everyone knows everybody.” My husband and I have been through some things and there have been times when I hated that trip to the grocery store or the bank because it felt like everyone was watching and whispering. Those times brought me to my knees at the precious feet of my Lord and that is when He brought that verse to my attention. Since then I try very sincerely to overcome those feelings by saying that verse and remembering that His singing over me can/should drown out anything said by human voice. It’s up to me to keep my heart tuned into Him and not the whispers of this world.

        • Yes, Michelle! I love how you said, “It’s up to me to keep my heart tuned into Him and not the whispers of this world.” So true! Blessings!

  8. Elizabeth Petrie says:

    I didn’t get to hear Tuesdays online because I couldn’t find it or get it. HELP. HELP PLEASE

  9. Paula Moses says:

    I started a new blog for this but I couldn’t figure out how to add your blog hop link to my blog page. It’s through Blogger. Any help on this?

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9SDzv61sMg
      Try watching this video and see if this helps. 🙂

    • Hi Paula! So glad you have decided to join us! Welcome!
      Are you trying to post your blog link here on the blog hop? If so, watch the video tutorial above in the instructions and then let me know if you have additional questions. Or if you are trying to post the blog hop button onto your blog, you will paste the link into a sidebar or wherever you want it placed. I use WordPress and this is how it works for me: Go to dashboard, click “appearance,” select a “text widget” and paste code.

  10. When I want to doubt myself I’ve been quoting this scripture about hoping in Christ. And funny thing is I’m actually starting to believe it. Maybe the future will be greater. I excited to see what’s next.

    • That’s awesome Jennifer! We can truly have our thoughts transformed when we meditate on His Word! Keep it up, sister! 🙂 “…but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2b

  11. I believe!
    I believe that God will do what he says he will. His word tells us that God works for good for all those who love him and are called according to his purpose.. I believe everything that God’s word says….I believe God loves me and cares for me. He will not leave me or forsake me
    He is all knowing and all powerful. I can hope in him and not be disappointed. God lives me unconditionally! I can trust him in everything.

    • Amen, Robin! 🙂 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28

  12. Perfect love is knowing God loves you with no condition .

    • So true Felicia…He knows every single thing about us and loves us still!! 🙂 “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:1-5

  13. When I read this in Ch 2: “The only way we’ll have a confident heart is if we move beyond knowing about God to knowing and relying on Him -to depending on His Word with our whole heart, mind, and soul.” I was reminded of a conversation I had with my pastor… I was explaining how my now ex-husband didn’t understand my faith and that he complained that I used God as a crutch. What my ex called a crutch, I view as devotion, dependance … yes, relying on Him. I believe that is the way it is to be.

  14. Danielle Hicks says:

    I believe I am worth loving. I believe that God will never let me down. I believe that His #perfectlove is all I need when it comes right down to it. I believe He desires a relationship with me and wants me to desire a relationship with Him. I believe He loves me despite my flaws, faults, and failures, and THAT is what I will cling to!

    • Yes Danielle…God’s love for you is perfect! And the Word says when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us (James 4:8). May you find refreshing and feel loved in His presence today.

  15. Isaiah 49:23b
    I find myself using the phrase “I hope” quite often. My family has a big life change coming next year (moving and both of us looking for new jobs). At times, I am beyond scared. Scared that we won’t get the jobs we need, we won’t be able to provide for our 3 daughters. Basically scared of everything. So I started saying “I hope….I can find a good paying job” “I hope it all works out”. I would feel guilty using this phrase because it felt like I was taking God out of the equation and relying on myself. This verse showed me that it is ok to HOPE….I just need to make sure that the root of all of my HOPE is in Christ and not in my own works.

    • Thanks Jessica. I am verse mapping today and you have given me new insight into the word “hope”

    • Yes, Jessica, our hope is in Him! And when it is we can rest there in confidence that He is taking care of us. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 62:5 ~ “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Blessings!

  16. Isaiah 49:23, I will be verse mapping today. Reading the verse throughout the day and discovering something new each time. “Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed” .
    …you = ME
    …know= feel it in my heart and with every breath I take and with everything I do

  17. ” Chapter two was so awesome. I could relate to a lot of Sam’s Feeling. and I had to learn that I’m not perfect and I can’t think about what people think or say because they are not perfect either. There is only one perfect being and that is God almighty. He loves me with all my imperfection and through him I can learn to be more like him because I’m created in his image. I just have to keep the faith and trust in him because he loves me if no one else does

    • So true, Shelia…one of things I struggled with for a long time (and still sometimes) is worrying about what others think about me or trying to always please everyone. God’s love for us is perfect…we don’t have to earn it and we surely don’t deserve it but we get it anyway! Keep trusting Him…His love for you is greater than you can even imagine! 🙂

  18. Barbara Abdallah says:

    As I read I can certainly relate I have been married three times and during those in between moments of life I had several affairs I never knew my self worth that was taken from me at the age of 14.I struggled with my self worth as well as not knowing what true love is. I thought who could truly love me.Renee story and Sam story was truly relate able to me.For years I knew God word that Jesus love me but still struggled with getting that word in my heart but Thank God I am on my way to true healing God is restoring my soul muscles each day.My prayer is that all women will experience true restoration.

    • Hi Barbara! Thank you so much for sharing a part of your story! I love reading how God is healing and restoring so many of us here! His love is amazing!

  19. Jodi Major says:

    Ok, so I’m just getting on and reading the blog and I think I’ll read a few of my sisters blogs. Oh, my. There’s 58 of them already and it’s only 8:30 AM. You ladies rock. I can’t wait to read some of what God has laid on your hearts. I wasn’t going to post a blog today, but I may reconsider after praying on it. I love our verse this week and #perfectlove is something I completely struggle with!
    Love and encouragement ladies and thank you all in advance for being transparent in your blogs for us!

    • Hi Jodi! Isn’t it amazing how many blogs are here already? And even some in the comment section! I love reading how God is moving and the testimonies…oh my! I hope you share your words, too! Thanks for spending time here today! 🙂

  20. I believe that God loves me and is waiting on me to let His perfect love wash through me. I am willing to let go of the isolation that I feel so comfortable and safe with and trust that HE will show me the next step on my path, just as He showed me this Bible study.

    • I can totally relate! Isolation is much more comfortable but it is such an unhappy place.

    • Sue, I’m so glad you are letting go of the isolation and have joined our study here! You are not alone. I have read so many stories like yours…other women who are taking a leap of faith and stepping out of what they think is their “safe” place. Our true safe place is in His presence and in His Word, where there’s power to transform and heal and love and forgive. May we all rest in that safe place today.

  21. I could relate to Sam at the well. Reaching out to people to fill an emptiness in my life,accepting anyone who would give me attention (even if it wasn’t healthy), and seeking love, that I was so desperate for. It is interesting how God brings these things to our hearts when we ask himto show us unresolved issues. I struggled for many years of my young life with self esteem issues, feeling less than others, unworthy, unloved. I didn’t have someone in my life that was strong in faith that would teach me about Jesus. I attended Sunday school hit and miss. It wasn’t until I was in my teens, that I accepted Jesus into my heart, and began my walk of faith. Yet as a young adult, I still struggled, still seeking someone to fill the lonliness I felt in my heart. Then my mother got sick, and my focus changed from lonliness to caring for her and at that moment God brought my husband into my life. A strong man of faith, something that I prayed for. It was God’s timing not my own. I lost my mom not long after she became ill with cancer, but through her sickness, I was taught so many lessons. The love I so desperately sought from her was there all the time. I did not have to seek for it from others. God led me to scripture that comforted me and I prayed for God’s plan for her and for my life and I felt His peace in my most difficult time in my life. My faith carried me through her funeral and life went on. Now I have children of my own, and I understand things so much more. We have had and still have some tremendous trials in our lives, however my faith has grown in tremendous ways as well. The loneliness I felt back then can be filled through staying in God’s Word everyday. I still isolate myself for periods of time through trials, but God is still working in my life and is leading me to break free from isolation, I feel he is at work in my life and my life s changing. He longs to hold us in His arms and comfort us. I would love to return to those early days to change some of those things, but this is how God works in our lives. Our trials become stepping stones, growing us in ways we don’t always understand. I would be lying if I said I am happy for all those trials, but I am so grateful and thankful that they led me where I am today. Life is still tough, and can be extremely difficult, but I am more grounded, stronger and so blessed to know that whatever I face God is right here beside me with open arms.

    • Becky, thank you for sharing a part of your story with us. I love reading how God is moving in your life. We are all on a journey…a “becoming” more like Him. In our pursuit of Him and our time in His presence our lives really do change. His Word is alive and powerful and His love is so amazing.

    • Nina Gamble says:

      Thank you Becky for sharing your with us. I get so disappointed with myself for not being further along emotionally with dealing with past issues that started with my parents. I know that I have done all I can do and although I have not seen a change with them, I see a change happening in me. I am not angry or bitter, just have those moments of wanting them to just be my parents and grandparents to my son. Our best is yet to come and we are never alone.

    • Thank you so much for your openess Becky! I can relate to you and your testimony helps me stay strong…

    • I love your word that our ‘trials become stepping stones’… Thank you for that.

  22. Good morning ladies – I am excited to say “I did it !!!” I learned how to blog hop !! During the last OBS, I listened to all of my doubts and fears, “You can’t figure that out.” “You know you’re not good with computers.” “Look at their blogs – THEY know what they’re doing. Yours would never be that good” I allowed the doubts to control me and I didn’t participate. I felt like I missed a part of the conversation so I was determined not to do so again this time.

    My doubts resurfaced as I read the instructions and watched the youtube video. But this time, I held fast and pushed beyond. Is mine the greatest blog ever? No, but it’s there in the hop anyway where it can change and grow as I do. Once again God proved that He is always with me and will bring me through anything, including a blog hop.

    Happy Hop Day,
    Traci

    • So proud of you Traci! And excited about what God is going to share through your words! Keep pressing in, sister! You are important and God’s plans for you are good!

    • Nancy Prewitt says:

      I can’t figure it out. I don’t know what I’m doing, so I’m just going to read the book.

      • Anything particular we can help you with?
        Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

      • Nancy – Honestly, I just had to keep trying and trying until I got it. That did not happen without frustration, without stopping and coming back to it later or without a head full of doubt. My biggest challenge was creating the actual blog site on Word Press. I think part of what helped me too was that I shared my challenge and experience with my co-workers who were incredibly amused by and at me while I talked to the computer as if it could talk back. To say that I kept us entertained for the better part of an hour would be an understatement. Anyway, with the handy dandy printed instructions from Shelly (on OBS) and from Word Press, I eventually created my blog page. And again, is mine the best Blog ever? Certainly not, but it’s mine and I can improve on every time I post.

        Challenges are best shared with people who will support and encourage you – like everyone here on our OBS.

        Hugs,
        Traci

    • Chantine Pegha says:

      Hello Traci,
      wish I could relate to that!

    • Yay!!!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

    • Christina says:

      I loved reading your post …. I do not have a blog and do not plan to do so at this time (I’m truly okay with that) … However, I returned to school a couple of years ago (I’m in my later 50’s) and am this year in graduate school, so the idea of discovering something new … persevering with it until you complete and figure it out resonates with me! Your post made me smile with joy (along with many on this site today) of God’s work in our lives regardless of whatever point in our journeys we are … He is perfect in His love, His power and His ability it meet us and mature us wherever we are …. I am very blessed by participating in this new online Bible study venue.

  23. Karina Escalante says:

    believe that although I have had several failed relationships that leave me doubting myself, that God has my perfect husband set aside for me. I believe that I will get married, even when my family has quit believing. I believe that God is going to bring me my husband this year so we can get on the road, no matter how many times the enemy puts false starts in my path!

  24. I wish I could find the blog again to comment BUT I can’t! Whichever one of you lovely ladies who put in your blog that fear is not from God. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! The verse you noted, 2 Timothy 1:7 is exactly what I needed. I might be unpacking that one today as well.

  25. At the well- I ask God everyday for healing in my heart. Since my husband had an affair my heart and emotions have been damaged . The only relief I get is from Jesus’s love, prayer and reading Gods word. I constantly ask God to help me with overcoming doubt and insecurities, and rebuild and restore my marriage. I related to the story of Sam in Ch. 2 because after learning of the affair and that he was conversing with other woman as well I felt so ashamed. Some of the women were from his work and some from our gym. Just as Sam avoided the well at certain times I avoided these places and felt as though everyone was looking at me or talking about me. I am slowly starting to get my confidence back and heal my heart through Jesus. He is my strength and comfort. He gives me what I need everyday to make it through. I am thankful for His water everyday. I drink it up because it’s the only thing that gives me strength and comfort.

    • Tiffanie Young says:

      Chrystal,
      I feel your pain.. in my life, I am the one who cheated.. though I suspect he did first.. it didn’t make right the pain I cause.
      I sit at the well waiting for my daily dose of living water. I need God to heal me, my thoughts, my reactions, my thinking.. I got so wrapped in my own hurt that I didn;t stop to think that my actions could cause another pain.
      People at my work know what I did to my husband, though they do not know what he did to me.. I accept my guilt.. I too avaoided places and looked down for a time. I have since held my head up. No one’s life is perfect. No one can ever claim they are innocent or that they have never been ashamed.

      • Chrystal and Tiffanie, thank you for your bravery and willingness to share some of your stories with us. May God’s living water flood your hearts and spirits and give you strength.

    • Praying for you, Chrystal! Thanks for sharing!!! May you hold on to God and feel His #perfectlove.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

  26. Tiffanie Young says:

    I believe….
    I truly do believe that all things are possible through Christ. Sometimes I still allow doubt to creep in and the devil tries his hardest to convince me that my life is too far gone to ever heal. Right now I am separated from my husband of 12 years. We were having issues already, (lack of love/respect on both ends). I do not know if he had an affair, but I suspect one.. BUT I did end up cheating in April and lied about it until June. NOW he has told me that he too has slept with another person since we have separated.
    This last month and a half, we have actually been spending a large amount of time together, and he has agreed to counceling again. I could not have imagined in July that he would ever allow me back into his life again. No matter what he did, the things I did were wrong. No matter what anyone else ever does, I know what God wants from me and that is where I need to keep focus.
    I still worry that we won’t be able to heal and get through this and we will still end up a divorce statistic. I have doubt that either of us will truly ever be in a place to trust one another again. Even just last night, I spent the night with him in our home, in our bed.. I thought I saw a text from a female. It scares me to think that he may still be being unfaithful to me. I am scared that he will forever now be unfaithful as a way to “get back at me” for causing him this pain and loss of security. I fear that I will never again trust any man.

    • Oh, Tiffanie, my heart is breaking for you. Praying for you and your husband. Cling to God and His #perfectlove. Keep your focus on Him. Seek Him. You cannot forget, but you can heal. By Jesus’s stripes, we are healed.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop Team

    • I feel you Tiffanie! It seems as if everything that happens, you feel as if you’re being punished for your sins or paying for what you did. Hang in there, God restores and we have to believe that together. My name is victory and so is yours.

      • Tiffanie Young says:

        Thank you Chandra and Laura.. I belive also that when we come together in prayer Jesus is able to then bring more weight of our concerns to the Father. I have asked a number of people to pray, but I will ask anyone who reads this, please pray for me! I know we all need it and I pray generic prayers for all.. But mine is a specific request.. Pray that the changes I seek in myself will be permanent and I will never again stray from God.. Pray that my husband will soften to God and allow His peace to flow so that real healing can take place in his heart. Pray that my marriage will be stronger than before and filled with the Agape Love and Unconditional Respect that is commanded of us in Ephesians.
        Thanks all!

        • Cristina Borges - OBS Prayer Warrior Blog Team says:

          Tiffanie,
          What a strong & beautiful woman of God you are! Your longing and love for Our Heavenly Father is a beautiful thing. I pray for the healing and restoration of your marriage. Our God can make all things new. He will wash away any feelings of shame so that He can come in and heal the our most hidden pain. It is one of His many promises to us. I pray that the enemy never again uses the love and passion that God created for His purpose against you. I pray that your husband grows closer to God each day. That no matter where he turns, he finds someone that speaks the Truth into his life so that he can grow in His walk with the Lord. I pray that both of you are reminded daily that you are LOVED, WORTHY, LOVING, COURAGEOUS, and LOYAL children of the Most High God. Know that you have an army of sisters in Christ praying for you my sweet friend!

  27. Jean Buist says:

    I believe God’s Word. I believe He is my Strength. I believe He is my Hope. I believe He will never leave or forsake me. I believe that everything is in His perfect timing. I believe that He loves me unconditionally in all my brokenness. I believe His Perfect Love will never fail me. I believe by the end of this study I will have a Confident Heart. ” See , I am doing a new thing”. Isa 43: 19

  28. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13). I read this verse and felt moved by it in a different way that I have in the past. I think the part that struck me was when Jesus is saying that we will never thirst again. I don’t feel like I’ve really gotten to that point where I have not had a thirst. Sometimes I feel like things are really going well and I’ve made progress and then that about when I fall back into the defeat, isolation, insecurity, and despair. Maybe this isn’t exactly the way that the scripture is meant. How do you come to a place where you really allow Jesus to be enough and really feel that way?
    I want to have the confidence the Samaritan woman in the story had when she went back and told everyone about Jesus. She really demonstrated the “water welling up” inside of her spilling out as she told people who Jesus was.

    • Oh, good analogies… and good question about how we allow Him to be enough. We know in our head that He is enough… but keep seeking. The point I got out of this verse is that to thirst for something is different than just being thirsty. When I’m thirsty, anything will satisfy my thirst, water, pop, etc. When I’m thirsting for something, though… I just want it, like a good thick peanut butter milkshake. We keep looking and looking to fill our thirst, but because we were created to thirst for Jesus, to long to be filled up by relationship with HIm, we stay thirsty. Ihad never thought of that. He is so good. Praying we will both discover HIs confidence to allow His #perfectlove to spill out of us… so that our cup runneth over!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

    • Tiffanie Young says:

      Kate,
      I hear what you are saying.. I too feel like sometime I am still thirsty and in need. I think for me, it comes from the need to feel loved and accepted. I want it from humans (specifically my husband) who may or may not be capable of giving this to me at any given moment in time.
      Lately when I have been feeling alone I go imediately to prayer.. I usually then feel a need to pray a prayer of thanks for something I never thought of.. An example for me is that right now I am separated from my husband.. worst thing in my life so far! I feel alone, afraid, abandoned, insecure, and many more harsh words.. BUT I learned that I needed to thank God for my blessing I still have and then He will show me more.. I started out with thanks for just breathing, having a job, and a roof over my head.. then I realized that this time on my hand could be spent growing closer to God, so I have made him a priority. Last weekend, I was feeling alone and then prayed about it and then was feeling deep desire to thank God for giving me alone time with my youngest daughter. She is just shy of 13 and I needed to reconnect with her at this important point in her life. We are closer than we have been for years!
      Just keep praying and thanking God for the blessings you have and more will come your way with out you even realizing it!

  29. I am so excited to have blog hop back! It gets me back in my writing rhythm and I love it! The study is going well…CHANGE that…it is going awesome!! I love it! God bless!

  30. Tracy Venable says:

    From very early on I always felt worthless, stupid,ugly. I had self esteem issues and still do today that I fight. My mom was never my mom. She was always the one who would tell me I was stupid and ugly. Our relationship was not great at all. Instead of love I felt hate. Then of course in school people would say the same things. I have heard so much negativity all my life, and thinking that I am nothing. So of course into my adult years I always feel the need to rely on people to define my worth, and always worrying what others think of me.
    Over the past 3 years I have been come soooo much closer to God and staying in his word, studying, and reading devotionals. My mom recently became a widow and it seems like her heart has changed. We are slowly trying to establish a mother/daughter relationship. Taking one day at at time. Of course I still fight with those unworthy feelings, and the people pleasing, but I keep reminding myself that the only one I need to please is my GOD and he loves me sooooooo much. All I need is him!!! He will never leave me or forsake me! I have read “A Confident Heart” before and I am so glad to be part of this bible study.

    • Jean Buist says:

      Tracy, Thank You so much for sharing, as well as your honesty. I feel that God is softening your heart in His perfect timing. Will uplift you and your mother in prayer. So glad that you are in this study with us.

    • Praying you will cling to God and put your confidence in HIm. Glad you are joining us, and thanks for sharing!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

  31. Chantine Pegha says:

    I’m still on Chapter two.Hope to learn about God’s perfect love. I know He has loved me with an everlasting love Jer 31:3 and that His love for me is unconditional, yet I often struggle to accept His love. I need his favour yet I found out that in my heart I want to have everything by “merit”.

    • I love that verse from Jeremiah. His love is everlasting… always!!! Even as we struggle to “earn” it… it has been freely given. Prayers for you as you seek God and His #perfectlove.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

  32. I love knowing the Greek and Hebrew meanings for words, it makes God’s word so much more real to me. Know=Yada=deep emotional experience; a bonding between two people when one truly feels the emotions of the other. To think this is how Jesus wants to know me. Wow… just blows my mind.

  33. As I go through Chapter 2 it really resonants with how most of my life I have never been me – only until my 30s have I really started to know who I am in God and not care about what others think. It still creeps up on me – thoughts of being excluded, not appreciated or having to be the center of attention. My husband and I are struggling financially and he is without work. He is really lost and it scares me of his emotional well being. I have to strong for him, my boys, keep up the financial responsibilities, take care of myself physically. Even though this is extremely overwhelming today I feel peace in confidence because of this study. I know God gives me the tools to be strong. PRAISE HIM!

  34. Amie Fulton says:

    I BELIEVE! I have always tried to do things that pleases others and forgot to keep my focus on God and what pleases Him. Even though I’ve made many mistakes, I shouldn’t pretend everything’s FINE; but I do believe God responds to my hurts! I believe God loves ALL of me because He made me! It is so comforting to read scripture and be assured of this!

    Amie

    • Yes! God loves ALL of me! I love that, Amie. I can relate to what you said…I, too, have struggled with people-pleasing even over pleasing God. I’m so thankful for His grace and mercy to bring us back and help us keep our eyes focused on Him. 🙂

  35. Kristi Rassi says:

    I took some time to read the entire chapter of Isaiah 49 and was really affected by what I read. First I began to list all of gods promises in restoring Israel…there were over 22 of them! I was struck by how they were all about what HE would do…” I will answer you…I will keep you…I will make you a great nation…” But the one that made me stop in my tracks and I’ve been thinking and talking about all day is…”though she [your mother] may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15-15. I instantly wrote that verse in the palm of my hand so I could remember to rest in god that day AND I wrote my husband and children’s names in my other palm so I could remember to pray for them. It’s so close, so visual, so powerful, so precious! If I was going to get a tattoo that’s the first one I’ve considered in following my gods creative idea! Love it! 🙂

    • Kristi, your post struck my heart today and brought me to tears. Specifically where you said, “But the one that made me stop in my tracks and I’ve been thinking and talking about all day is…”though she [your mother] may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15-15).” Wow! The power that I felt reading that is indescribable! Thank you for sharing this!

    • What a neat idea, writing a verse on the palm of one hand and your family’s names on the other hand. I may borrow that idea!

    • Waiting on God says:

      Powerful!

  36. Mavis Tipton says:

    My heart breaks for these dear sisters who are hurting so badly. I pray this OBS will be life changing for them. I can’t thank the Lord enough for the scriptures that have been given to us this week. Isa. 43:19 I have been quoting all week. I prayed it back to the Lord on Sunday as I went into a meeting, and He was faithful. The meeting went so well, and God gets all the glory for it. Isa. 49:23 has been another scripture that I have been using all week as well. I believe that God is doing something new in me. I believe that His love is perfect and I don;t have to be perfect, such freedom. I believe that He will help me to recognize and not throw away my confidence. So many great and powerful scriptures to help me in my walk this week. God’s timing is always right on time. I could relate to Renee’s story of how things look from a distance. Not letting people in. Thinking you have to be this perfect person, but then when you fail, you allow the enemy to beat you up, NO MORE! Thanks you once again for this OBS. God and His Word are our answer. Blessings to all of my sisters in the Lord. 🙂

  37. Nina Gamble says:

    At the Well.

    Rejection, I remember my first experience with it after completing the 2nd grade and that summer, before beginning 3rd grade, my sister and I were in the custody of Child Protective Services. The way I looked at my mother and father went in a direction that changed my entire life. I am 31 years old today and am still experiencing rejection from my parents although I forgave and only want to talk about that day. So in order to try to live, my words were “I am doing just fine” “I don’t need anyone, I can do this by myself”. Isolation, insecurity, fear, and doubt was hidden behind the woman that people see, who looked like she had it all together. Afraid to fellowship with others outside of work or church, afraid to love again because I look to being rejected all the time. All I could do was push my face in my pillows after answering the reflection questions in my journal, I was real, it hurts but it is already getting better. I am sticking with the OBS and truly believe that the best is yet to come. I have come too far to turn back now.

    • Nina, I’m so glad you are sticking with OBS and seeking God with us all here. I’m sorry for the hurts you’ve experienced and how they have affected your relationships. What perfect timing for God to remind us that if we put our hope in HIM we will not be disappointed! OH, how He loves YOU! The best IS yet to come! Hugs sweet friend!!

  38. I believe: Something I have been struggling with is doubt of my salvation. I have “always believed” as far as I’ve known. When I was very young my grandmother scared me into believing in Jesus. Saying: “You will go to hell if you don’t and everything you do will cause you to go to hell.” At six you can imagine how this affected me. Once I grew up and got married to a wonderful Christian man he re explained the gospel. Told me the Jesus died for ALL my sins once and for all. I re dedicated my life to the Lord and have been on a great journey. Just recently I have experienced some trauma / spiritual attack in from to my childhood. I have always been a confident women and now am finding myself feeling anxious, worried and “unsaved”. It has been a battle to “believe” in anything even Jesus. This is something I have to constantly battle and am beginning to feel weak. I asked the Lord to help me with all of this and through prayer, my husband and the WORD He is being faithful. A battle scripture he gave me the other day was this: 2 Timothy 2:13 “if we are faithless He remains faithful, for He cannot disown himself.” Also, 1 John 4:4 “…Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” These scriptures and constant encouragement from other believers help me battle these lies and distractions! Praise Him for His Word.

    • Heavenly Father, I lift Meg before Your throne this morning. I ask, Father, that you will restore her confidence. Thank You that You know all about what happened, and that through Your word Meg can be assured that she IS saved, she IS loved, and she WILL come through this a confident woman through Your perfect love.

    • Kim Parris says:

      Meg,
      I have had the same struggle in the past when feelings of guilt over past sin has overwhelmed me and made me feel like I couldn’t possibly be saved if I did this or that. I think that is what I’m hearing you say. This is what helped me. You have started off great with “He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” We know that GOD is not a liar and that HIS WORD is TRUTH and that HE will do what HIS word says or He then becomes a liar. We can stand FIRMLY on HIS WORD even when we can’t stand firmly on our feelings. Now, in Romans 10:9-10, it says. “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is LORD and believe in your heart that GOD raised him from the dead, you WILL BE SAVED! For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with GOD and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. SO ask yourself , have I done this? Then by HIS word you are saved! Then I would encourage you to live in Romans 8:31-39 for awhile.
      The other thing is to look at all of times you have had answered prayer. GOD tells us to remember what HE has done for us. I truly believe HE tells us to do this so we can stand firm when attacks come. James 4:7So humble yourselves before GOD. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. .8Draw close to GOD, and GOD will draw close to you.
      Be blessed sweet sister in Christ.

      • Thank you ladies fro your prayers. I went outside to worship and was overcome with peace and a promise that God will take away all fear and doubt. I have fully surrendered to Christ and believed in Jesus as my risen Lord for years. I came back to find prayers and application. So encouraging! Thank you I will live in Romans for a while! And I totally agree with what you say Kim “We can stand FIRMLY on HIS WORD even when we can’t stand firmly on our feelings.” So true! Thank you both,

    • Praying for you that God will take away your doubt. When you confess Jesus as your savior, the Holy Spirit comes in to dwell in you.. you have that strength; the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead. Trash those doubts, my friend.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

  39. Trina Williamson says:

    Im sorry but I do not have a blog but wanted to share my thoughts. I have enjoyed this book so far. I have so many insecurities but I suppose my most blatant one is my low self esteem with relationships. I recently went through a bad breakup and had a divorce many years ago so this has left me feeling like I am unworthy of love. I have even went as far as to think this is what God wants for my life to be alone. I know this is not true however daily doubts appear when I least expect thin.

    • Praying you’ll cling to His confidence and #perfectlove. Thanks for sharing!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

    • Cristina Borges - OBS Prayer Warrior Blog Team says:

      Sweet sister! I am lifting you in prayer. I pray that Our Almighty Father fills your heart with so much of His abundant love that you can physically feel it. That You feel His warm embrace, especially in those moments when the enemy attacks with feelings and thoughts of insecurity and loneliness. His promises are true and He is faithful. His promises and love for you are eternal. Take comfort that feelings and thoughts will pass and change. Remember that you are LOVED and WORTHY. God knows the desires of your heart and I know that he has the man he has chosen for you. I pray that your heart and mind will be ready to receive all the love that is coming your way. I pray all of this in the name of His Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

  40. I believe
    God has brought me through many things in my life to teach me to trust Him. I am an Interpreter for the Deaf. I have done primarly educational interpreting because in my mind it was safe. I kept out of higher level because I didn’t believe I was good enough. I did not apply for work with an agency when I was unemployed for a year. I used the excuse I needed stable income and insurance. The real reason was I didn’t think I was good enough to do it. This past week I went to Community Services for the Deaf Agency and was hired on. It has been 20 years since I graduated but finally I believe I am good enough to do what God has gifted me to do.

    • Karri (OBS Group leader/Prayer Team) says:

      Good for you! To God be all the glory!
      Congratulations on facing your fear and taking a leap of faith! (((HUGS)))

    • Congratulations on the new job and for not letting that nasty devil-dude continue to put doubt in your mind. Our God is GREAT!!!

  41. Brenda Parish says:

    I am struggling with fear and doubt – fear and doubt of the unkown – not knowing from day to day or moment to moment what is gong to happen. And letting that fear and doubt (worry) comsume my thoughts. Keeping me from focusing on God’s promises. Not knowing if my marriage of 46 years is going to last. I am holding on to 1Timothy 1:7. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

    • Karri (OBS Group leader/Prayer Team) says:

      Praying for you Brenda!! Fear is a scary thing…but I think that God lets us not see the future for a reason. If we did know everything that was going to happen, how would that affect our daily lives? We have to learn to not live in the fear, and trust that God has a plan for our lives and even if hardships prevail, He placed them there for a reason. Even though we don’t know the reason, trust that it is apart of His perfect plan… I am praying that God will ease your mind and wrap his arms around you for comfort. You have chosen a wonderful prayer to cling to. Love you, my sweet Jesus sister!!

    • Praying for you! Cling to His #perfectlove.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

    • Prayers for fear to leave and joy to come!

  42. I hope this fits in with this weeks theme correctly.
    http://justanotherdaysjourney.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/the-good-and-the-bad-works/

  43. I am really enjoying reading how other ladies are expanding our memory verse this week! So much food for thought!
    I have struggled my entire life with feeling “not ___ enough”; not pretty enough, not smart enough, not *anything* enough. During this, my second time through ACH, God is expanding my idea of Him, of the confidence I can have through Him, and of his #perfectlove. I am learning, through His Word and the words of other ladies in this OBS, that He makes me enough. I am enough, through Christ! Praise His name!!!

  44. At The Well: This story (which I’ve heard a thousand times in my life) really reverberated with me as I read it yesterday. You see, I’m in a place that is super hard and riddled with SO much doubt I can’t even begin to describe it. God is calling me to love a person who, by the world’s standards (and quite frankly, my own) seems wholly unlovable. He hurt my family in a way none of us could ever have imagined – not even when imagining the worst would we have come up with this kind of pain. I’m not to a place yet where I can offer that love to this person who has wronged me, but God is offering to meet me where I am and walk me through it. Loving this person would look ridiculous – even foolish – to the world around me. But God is asking it of me. So many doubts encircle this scenario, but I’m fighting to keep God’s promises in the front of my mind. Particularly our week’s verse, which promises that if I put my hope in Him, I will NOT be disappointed.

    • Wow…thank you for your honesty! I have learned that loving someone that seems unlovable doesn’t mean that I have accepted what they have done to me. Every person on this Earth deserves our love, as God loves each of us. And aren’t we supposed to love others in the same way?!?!?!?! What I hear is God calling for forgiveness of this person. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what the person did is ok…and isn’t something to be done for that person. God wants us to love/forgive others so that we can be at peace. I have heard it put that harboring resentment and not forgiving someone is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. The other thing I have learned is that it is none of my business what others think of me. We can’t be thought of as foolish if we are doing what God is asking us to do. He would never ask us to do something or bring us through something if we were going to look foolish on the other side. Find peace in knowing that God is always by your side and will help you work through this. I fought long and hard not to forgive someone whose actions could have killed me, but my life has been so much better since forgiving this person. A heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders, I can now love him as God loves all of his children…he deserves to be loved, just like you and I do…but I know it must be done from afar. Your post touched my heart because it was something that I have struggled with in the past. I hope that by sharing what I have learned that I have been of service to you. You are in my prayers, sistah!

      • Pam, your words have touched my heart to the core this morning. The analogy about taking poison and expecting another person to die is so eye-opening, and feels so accurate for me and how I’ve been handling things. Thank you for your prayers, your story, your support and your love. You have definitely provided helpful insight and a glorious reminder of God’s ever-present love. I am thankful for you, and I’m praying for you, too. God bless you!

      • Julianna,
        I was just going through some of the blogs on the blog hop and found this verse…totally made me think of your situation!

        “My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!” 1John 4:11-12

    • Praying for you and your situation. Remember that while you may not feel like you can do what God is asking of you, you can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength. Thanks for sharing!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

    • As you continue to pray, your ability to love this person will increase. In God’s timing! Love that you are pressing in…

  45. mary lamb says:

    Can we view/read the different blogs after “the hop” if we don’t have our own blog to post? Will there be a link to connect to the blogs posted?
    thanks, Mary

    • The blog hop is archived along with the rest of the study. To get to the different blogs, go directly above the comments and click on the link under each individual picture. The individual’s blog should open in a new tab. Hope this helps!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

  46. I believe….that God has a purpose for me. A lot of my life has not made sense to me. I mean, why would God have me suffer like this over and over? I used to ask myself this everyday. Now, I know he is the only one that can truly offer me #perfectlove. I have endured and survived my struggles so that I can help others. I believe God has a plan for me and has set me on a course to do something great! I believe he and only he can give me all I need. I believe God has truly blessed me with amazing gifts.

    • God DOES have a plan for you, Melissa. Praying for strength as you trust in His #perfectlove, even if you can’t see what’s on the road ahead.

    • Praying that you will continue to see His purpose in your life, realizing all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to HIs purpose. Thanks for sharing!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

  47. Karri (OBS Group leader/Prayer Team) says:

    All I can say is, WOW! No love is anything compared to God’s #PerfectLove! Reading the blogs and these comments has moved my heart to tears. Everyone has the right mentality, God’s standards are all that matters. People pleasing is pointless….As I read the book and post in my group, God is almost tangible throughout. These studies make me feel closer to God than ever and I am so thankful for each of you. You ladies encourage me on days I don’t want to even get out of the bed and this confirms (even more so) for me that we are all here for a reason.

  48. I Believe~
    So in reading the OBS, P31 Daily Devotions, His Word, etc. I keep seeing that you not only have to believe in our Lord, but you must BELEIVE HIM!!!! So as I have been thinking about this, I do believe in him and I believe him, but do I??? This may sound bad, but I think I need to work more on the believe Him. At times, I read something or have a thought and then think “yeah but does that really happen?” or “That is really awesome, but that would never happen to me or in my life!” or “Did that REALLY happen to that person, probably not!” So call it doubt or disbelief or whatever, but if I am having those thoughts, then I have more work to do. I have been reading His Word more often and praying a lot more for him to show me what he wants me to see. I think I need more and maybe that is what God is telling me. Anyway, please pray for God to speak to my heart and for me to not only believe in God but to believe HIM!!!! Have a very wonderful day all you lovely ladies!!!

    • I, too, need to work on the BELIEVE HIM part! For me, I think this is part of being a new Christian and having old beliefs about God that I was raised with as a child. I don’t personally know God yet. I was so insecure when I first started believing in God again that I googled how to pray so that I would do it right. LOL!!!! For so long I doubted there was a God because when I prayed, my prayers weren’t answered. I now know that he was always there, I was just praying for my will and not His. I think this doubt, however, still colors whether or not God will be there for me again when I really need him. Can you say INSECURITY?!?!?!?!?! You are in my prayers, sistah!

      • Pam~
        Thanks so much. I am also a newer Christian. I did not grow up knowing God either and I am still getting to know him. I also googled how to pray!!! That is too funny:) This is one reason I LOVE OBS and the blog. We can all get together with out really getting together and share our silly stories, encouraging words and prayers. Thanks so much Pam and have a great evening.

    • Each disciple struggled with this. And I haven’t met anyone that isn’t amazed by God coming through for them when He answers a prayer. We are in the flesh. I haven’t found anywhere in the Bible that it is a sin to doubt God. In fact, most times it is through our doubts that we draw closer and closer to Him and He is able to reveal things to us. I heard it best by a preacher from South Carolina “elevation church”. We don’t “know” what we believe but we do know “who” we believe in. If we knew what we believed we would be like God. He knows perfectly and one day we will. Most of the time he is working “upstream” in our lives where we can’t see. He is so humble that He doesn’t just come down and show off, He allows us to trust in Him. When I doubt if He is working in my life or doing what He says He is doing I think of all the stories in the Bible especially Job. God never even told Job why He allowed Him to suffer but we see in the end of every story He came through. We get to see the end of all these people’s stories but they couldn’t see the end. David literally asked God where was He? He got angry and was like “what is going on up there? Where are you?” Our own children do this with us. They struggle believing we are doing what’s best for them or what we are telling them is true. Abraham did it too and so many others. Be encouraged that you will struggle with this and it’s ok.

      • Meg I can’t thank you enough. I had a hard time posting my insecurities but felt like I needed to. I believe that God was asking me to so that I could hear your wonderful response. Words can’t express how your post has made me feel. It reminds me the stories and how all the people in the Bible were just everyday folks like you and me and they were able to see the amazing Truth of God. Thanks again. God Bless you Meg!!!

        • Absolutely!! This blog is helping me in the same way. It’s wonderful! A great book is “battlefield of the mind” by Joyce Meyers. This book encourages me too! I highly recommend it.

    • You’re not alone in your doubt. We all struggle… we are rational and try to rationalize things, using logic. It is so hard sometimes not to doubt… but we know that we are to trust God. Easy to say, but not quite so easy to do. Praying that we will all gain confidence in His #perfectlove and stop the struggle of doubt. Thanks for sharing!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

    • Praying that over the days ahead that you have a moment that makes you go – no that… that is awesome! He loves you so much!

  49. Angelique says:

    I just keep thinking on how Jesus knows our pains fears doubts and disappointments. But on the same note He understands my dreams and desires. To me this is what I believe is all about. I pray daily for Him to speak to me and help me gain a confident heart.

    • I’m praying for your confident heart, too!

    • Melchorita Fahey says:

      Angelique, our life is a miracle. Our Heavenly Father the creator of the universe knows us by name. His big enough to breath out stars, yet intricate enough to fashion together the trillions of cells that make up every facet of who we are. Our Heavenly Father who spole the earth into existence made us, too, and knows everything about us. From the smallest molecule to the situation we find ourselves in right now, He’s aware of our circumtances and intimately acquainted with everything we do. And He cares about us and promises to carry us through.
      That’s where we find hope in the midst of the darkest places in life. The journey is often complicated and painful, filled with confusion and chaos. Yet, the Cross of Jesus Christ the only begotten Son reveals God’s promise to preserve and restore us no matter what the circumstance we are facing, He will hold onto us and hold us together, giving strength to those who hope in His unfailing love. HE IS THE EVERLASTING GOD! #PerfectLove. Proverbs 3:5-6 says,”Trust in the Lord with all our heart, And lean not own our own understanding; In all our ways acknowledge Him And He shall direct our path.” May God bless you and grant you a confident heart, Amen!

      • Melchorita Fahey says:

        So sorry angelique, I type wrong word “spole” instead “spoke”. I hit the wrong key letter. there’s no edit button that I can undo it. So sorry. God bless!

    • Thank you for sharing. How amazing that He does know us, even our flaws and weaknesses, but loves us anyway. Praying you’ll find your confidence in His #perfectlove.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop Team

    • He has dreams for you that are beyond what you can imagine! Can’t wait to hear more about how he moves in your heart!

  50. Hello ladies! I wanted to share something today from either the I Believe category or the Perfect Love category. I even started a study of the memory verse. Instead I’ve not been able to come with something to write. Instead I reviewed my prayer journal since starting the study and summarized it in another prayer to the Lord Jesus today. I’ll share my prayer with you. I’d ask you pray for me and share as the Lord leads you. Here goes……………
    LORD JESUS,
    I’ve reviewed all my prayers in my journal (since starting a Confident Heart,) and what I’ve been saying to you Lord. I’ve highlighted the things I’ve prayed that still bother me, that still are things I’m seeking You about. So in this prayer today, I will share with you my continued struggle, as well as things I’ve affirmed to You in faith and belief.
    Lord, I’ve been telling myself that I’m incapable of feeling secure. I’m not able to get it like others get it. I’m not able to trust You like others trust You. That I can’t feel the feelings of true faith and trust, so I can’t know the reality or comfort and assurance of my salvation like others seem to. These are lies! Lord, speak Your truth over me! Free me from this stronghold that imprisons me from the comfort and reality of You, Your Promises, Your Spirit within me, etc. I’ve prayed to you about this, Lord. I’ve poured out my heart to You Jesus. I’ve sought You and I will continue to seek You. Let your Perfect Love minister to me. Our memory verse this week applies Lord – and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. Lord, I will not be ashamed or disappointed waiting on You. My help will come from You, Lord!
    Lord, I just don’t want Your help in this matter to get from You, or to get release from my discomfort, or to just have a devotional life that I can check off a checkmark on my good Christian girl list. But I simply want You and the Helper you Are – so I can revel in the glory of Your grace! So I can praise the glory of your grace! That You did something great for me, your daughter. So I can delight in my Jesus!
    Lord, I’m not incapable of feeling comfort from You or experiencing the reality of knowing you through emotional bonding. Again, Lord, I will say to you and to myself, “I’m not broken!” I’m not incapable of grasping You and Your security. I am able to surrender my heart to you to hold it safely, to love, nurture, instruct, correct and guide it. Lord, give me a Scripture to counteract these lies. Let the Scriptures be for my learning and for my comfort! Let the Comforter you have sent forth into my heart arise and give me the ability to recognize, know, realize, understand Him. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is the world. Lord, Your Spirit is greater in me than my heart’s struggle.
    Lord, I have affirmed to you belief and trust in my prayers so far too! I’ve acknowledged that you welcome me, so you want me to feel comfortable in your presence. I’ve acknowledged that if I ask anything according to Your will, You hear me. I’ve said you’re hearing me now and I’m thankful for that! My soul must have felt that to a certain degree to say/pray it! I acknowledged that you will fight for me – you will fight the lies that are imbedded in me, holding me captive. I’ve told you that I am capable of being repaired and healed, but only by You. I said my hope is in You, and I felt more of the depths of that for the first time. I’ve admitted I can’t fix myself, but instead of said I will allow You to lead me in this journey. I told you I need Your help and guidance, but that I need to hold Your hand most of all, that I want to hold on to You. I’ve believed that you know exactly how much I’m struggling, how intense it is and how much it impacts me.
    Lord, give me a Perfect Love story to share! In Jesus’s name, Amen!

    • This prayer was VERY encouraging and I will pray it out loud often myself if you dont mind? You are not alone! He is with you and others struggle too. He WILL deliver us. He does not wish ANY to perish. Anyone that calls upon the name of the Lord WILL be saved! Mark Driscoll has a great mini sermon about how you know if you are a Christian and are saved… basically if you have the desire to seek Jesus and continue to seek Him you have the Spirit!! Take heart He has overcome this battle for you already!

      • Thank you Meg!! Feel free to pray it out loud youself. I really appreciate your encouragement to me and the verses. I do seek Jesus and continue to seek Him 🙂 I will look up Mark Driscoll’s mini series too. I told the Lord that maybe my true struggle is not that I’m alienated from God, not that I don’t believe the gospel or the free gift of salvation by grace through faith, but that maybe it is me questioning or wondering what it feels like to be attached securely to Him. Or what it feels like to rest in His work. The author of the Prodigal God summed it up for me when he said “Jesus’s salvation is a feast, and therefore when we believe in and rest in his work for us, through the Holy Spirit he becomes real to our hearts. His love is like honey. Rather than only believing that he is loving, we can come to sense the reality, the beauty and the power of his love. His love can become more real to you than the love of anyone else. It can delight, galvanize, and console you. That will life you up and free you from fear like nothing else.” I want to know that I have that. Maybe its self doubt more than God doubt. Thanks for letting me I’m not alone. I sometimes feel like I’m uniquely alone in my area of doubt.

        • Amen and amen. Agreeing with you in prayer this afternoon.

        • Definitely understand feeling like I’m uniquely alone. We are uniquely made and definitely NOT alone. Our souls are on a trajectory towards our savior. He has sealed us whether deception is taking place or not. He can’t disown himself and our lives have been taken over by Him. It’s not our soul to lose anymore.

    • Thank you so much for sharing. Agreeing with you!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

  51. OMGoodness…learned about Verse Mapping last week…and totally love it!!! I have added an additional step to my process. I do a Google search for other Bible studies on the same verse, as well as commentaries. I have learned soooooooooooo much!

  52. I’m hoping someone can help me with this. I’ve never put a blog hop button on my page before and I’ve tried to follow the instructions (and several YouTube videos) but it just doesn’t seem to work. Is there anyone who uses Blogger that has successfully done this that could give me a hand?
    Thanks so much!! 🙂

    • I use Blogger. I just copy the “code” in the box below the button icon on the right hand side of this page and then paste it in the body of my blog. I usually just type my final sentence, hit return and then paste the code there. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks, Lori, for your reply. I will give it another try. I must be missing a step because I did try what you suggested and still no luck. LOL! I’ll keep trying. 🙂

        • Are you typing it in html? When I’m using blogger, my default is set for compose, and I have to change it to html before I post the button code. It’s found right under the title bar. Hope this helps!

          • Thanks, Lauren. It was totally user error. But you were right, I wasn’t typing in html. I can’t believe it took me so long to realize what I was doing. Silly me. 🙂
            Now I’m trying to get fancy and create my own blog hop button just for fun. 🙂
            Thanks again!

    • Diana Ramirez says:

      I’ve spent all my morning hours trying to blog, I done all those things that Tina stated. My love for God and His Word are #1. Once asked, if you house burnt down and you can get only one thing, what would it be? Response: My Bible. Again with the same question and honestly there was nothing else. My life has been a journey of love, trials, sickness and victory. There are many times I need to go back to basics because I’ve missed something along the way. The book of Proverbs is my favorite. I’m a newbie, my first study and I signed up and hope to get out of it…tremendous joy, sharing and empowered to learn and also share to encourage. My nook has failed me and had to purchase the book. Visited the ladies blogs and have been bless so much. May the Lord Bless you! PS if I can get some help to work on my page, I would definitely appreciated.

      • Hey, Diane! So glad you are wanting to join in and blog. What types of issues are you having? Hopefully we can help.
        Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop Team

        • Diana Ramirez says:

          Hi Lauren, I had tried to comment on some beautiful stories and could not blog. I connect to inkli and word press and just could not move on. I didn’t know how to use the OBS Blog Hop.
          I tried to copy and paste but couldn’t. So lose. It’s been a long long time since I been able to put together a web page. I love this study and want to be able to comment some extraordinary stories.
          Thank You so much:)

  53. Brenda Parish says:

    Isaiah 41:10 Fear (doubt) thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Had this verse marked in my Bible in the past. Reread it and it has a whole new meaning to me. Hope it helps someone else.

  54. This is my first online bible study, that said I am feeling a little lost. I am a stay at home mom of three beautiful daughters ages 8, 7, and 5. My youngest of the three finally started kindergarten, and I find my self all ALONE. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed in thinking, what’s next for me. My girls are all I know as my life. They have been all I’ve known for the last eight years. Praise the Lord, and to him be the glory, I did receive an associates degree while attending online classes to have something to look forward to once they’d all start school. So I have my RHIT license, and have yet to look for work. I feel very insecure and fear rejection. I keep telling myself “You’ve been home for eight years, who will hire you?” I BELIEVE… I am equipped, talented, valued and approved, empowered and well able to do what God has brought me to do. I believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I ask that God gives me the strength to believe what he says about me and stop listening to the one who wants to see me down and defeated. Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. I serve a supernatural God with whom ALL things are possible.

    • Tiffanie Young says:

      Emmy,
      Don’t be afraid of rejection.. if you get a NO.. its because it was not the place for you that God knows you will be happy at.
      I was sad several years ago about being rejected by a potential employer.. bu a few months later, the job I am in now opened up and I love it! I never would have been looking for this one if I had gotten the other.. Ive been here almost 6 years now and have no plans to leave..

    • Believing with you.. and also believing that God works things out in His timing for His Will. Praying you’ll feel Him so you won’t feel so alone. Thank you for sharing.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

  55. Can someone help me I set up this blog last week and it worked fine, now this week I can not get anything to upload???

    • Are you getting an error message? Are you posting the direct url to today’s post? I’m happy to help, just give me a little more information, please. We want to get you linked up so we can see what is on your heart!!! I see where you posted below… but if you’ll comment back and let me know what’s going on, hopefully we can figure it out.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

  56. At the Well~ Reread Sam’s story in John 4, asking Jesus to meet your there and show you things in your heart that need His repair. Is there part of Renee’s story or Sam’s story that you can relate to most?

    Paraphrased from the book, A Confident Heart

    I too walk to the well alone to avoid the scorching pain of other’s rejection and judgement. The weight of the water filled jar in the heat is almost unbearable, but the weight of my family’s words remind me of my failures and imperfection’s and it’s more than I can take at times…

    I have not had five husbands, but like Sam I have initially hurt about 5 of my family member’s. I have a husband and children that are directly influenced, by my past behavior. I avoid my family and push them away because the pain of the past is to unbearable. Let’s start with my middle sister. She and I have never REALLY gotten along because as a teen I broke sister code for lack of better words, and well to this day I can not remember it. Not a day goes by that I don’t pray that God would just let me see and rewind to that day so long ago. The day that FOREVER changed OUR LIVES so that I can take accountability for my action’s. Instead, I have to live without the love of my sister, I barely know my nieces. My children will not know their Aunt as they should. I long for that relationship with her, Oh how nice it would be to have her family come to visit with us on a Sunday afternoon. I long for that acceptance that Sam longed for, and most of all that approval. Something I will never get. I really can’t say never because we did go from NOT TALKING EVER to an occasional HELLO out in public. Never anything personal.

    Then there is my daughter who I mentioned in my first post. Her father is my husband and she did not grow up having him around. She met us when she was 17 years old. I was a stay at home mom. We had 4 children of our own then. They were our everything. I had a daughter, he had two girls, we had just had our son.. everything was perfect. Everything in OUR life had been for us. Our son was just turning 6 months old when we met her. At first I was like, this is wonderful… Our three girls were shocked to have a older sister. They loved her to death, they could see nothing wrong with her at all. I saw past all that and I was so jealous. I let it consume me with the fear that she was trying to replace me. I look back at things and think WOW was that real or did I make that up? How silly is that? Fast forward…. its now almost 10 year’s later we have a very rocky relationship she has lied, I have lied. She has tried, I have tried… we both do not trust one another and it’s hard to go on… We have worked on this in the past and I always get hurt. I am sure if you ask her she is the one who got hurt. My husband and I have 3 grandchildren we do not see. THAT WE MISS DEARLY. I was in the delivery room for two of them and we practically raised our granddaughter till she was 4. To me it’s just easier to push her away and act like everything is fine on our end than to deal with the pain of being hurt, rejected or embarrassed once again. We currently talk over text messages about 3-4 times a week about an hour at a time. We are trying to work things out. But the thought of her coming to visit gives me high anxiety. I know that is wrong. I am ashamed to admit that.

    I understand today is the day where that excuse is no longer acceptable and I have asked Jesus to meet me there so we can have a sit down a one to one heart wrenching talk about these two people in my life in particular. He needs to show me things in my heart that need repair so that I can deal with these two people in my life. So that I can accept that this is not who I want to be or how I want to be remembered. This statement from the book that Jesus knows my pain’s, fears, doubts and disappointments how he understands my dreams and desires is so true. I understand my life is mapped out already. I just don’t understand how I just accept defeat and continue on and life as nothing ever happened and act like everything is FINE. I don’t talk to my sister not for lack of effort on my part. But, because she wishes not to get close to me for the same reasons I choose not to get close to my daughter. How awful is that? I have got to be one of the most horrible people alive.

    I am often told I don’t have a heart and no wonder I like penguins because I am so cold blooded I don’t care, In actuality I am not, I CARE AND LOVE EVERYONE…I want everyone to know that I do love my sister and my daughter. I am just to afraid to let anyone see it for fear of being rejected,judged being told I am not a good person and so on and so forth. I have accepted Jesus Christ in my life and I hope and pray that one day I will be able to have that relationship I so long for from both of these women. I have believed in HIM for years but never really BELIEVED in HIM until just a few years ago. I know God loves me and has forgiven me but, I still beat myself up everyday for the mistakes I made and the ways I have let other’s down.. This book has taught me in just a few day’s that If I hold onto the Promise and live in the power of it’s truth: God’s love is perfect so I DON’T HAVE TO BE. The only way we will have a confident heart is if we move beyond knowing about God to knowing and relying on HIM– to depending on HIS WORD with our whole heart, mind and soul. Those words from the book A Confident Heart are what I am ending with this evening. God Bless!

    • Thanks for sharing. Praying for you and your relationships, especially with your daughter and your sisters. Our God is a Healer of broken hearts.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop team

  57. Oh wow! I wish I had time to visit everyone’s site, but I’d have to take tomorrow off from work! I have been so touched by the words of Chapter Two – Because God’s Love is Perfect, I DON’T HAVE TO BE! From a diehard perfectionist, Renee’s words pierced me, but they also opened my eyes to what common traits I hold with “Sam” and how there is a future waiting for me where alongside Jesus, I can shed the weight of my past self and go forward confidently. I hope that this passage has spoken to others here as it has spoken directly to my heart. May you recognize your fullest potential and be covered in His blessings!
    http://www.breething.com/blog

  58. Wow i have to say, I just read chapter 2 this morning.Don’t know if i was ahead of the game or not but i was anxious to read it. Anyway everything in and all events of my days lately are all fitting around the same thing. freedom and confidence.

    I am applying in my chruch for this class one can take called steps. And it is actually a workshop if you will. To actually work at and digging anything into your past and bring it to the light sort a speak.

    Then i read this, thennnnnn i like to listen to sermons especially i like Charles
    stanley, and his sermon for this week was on freedom I mean wow. and in the sermon he explains just how one will digg into your past to bring certain things to light.
    And it did work. Although i have come to a very interesting conclusion. That He said in the sermons of How Jesus came to set the captives free. Well we can be held into bondage of things. which in essence makes us in captivity. And Jesus came to set us free. Jesus brings everything to light does he not. well i did some soul searching if you will i have found there are alot of things in my past i had no idea would be holding me back,rejection, sef doubt. and i believe i can see it all how it folds in together. I also find it so ironice to have decided to do this obs on the confident heart.and applying to go through a steps program and have heard a sermon on the freedom of oneself.. It is so enlightening yet eeery.

    • God knows what He’s doing. I love it when He confirms something to us through multiple sources. Praying You’ll find His confidence and shed your doubts. Thanks for sharing!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop TEam

  59. I struggle with doubt everyday. I wonder if I had made different choices in my life, would I be in a different position than I am now? My father passed away from a heart attack when I was 15, and through that experience instead of looking towards God, I walked away from Him and lost my faith for almost 15 years. I have just started bringing faith back into my life, but again I wonder, if I would have made different decisions 15 years ago, would I be where I am today? I am in my early thirties and single. All of my friends are married with children…and I have the stigma of, why are you not married? Don’t you want kids someday? Maybe you should think about what you are going to do since you are not getting any younger. It is very hard, and frustrating and lonely. I am trying to turn to God and rely on his strength and love so I do not feel so alone, but it is very hard for me. I was taught and truly do believe that God has a plan for all of us, and we need to believe and open our eyes to Him for His guidance, but my doubt is definitely hindering His guidance. Am I supposed to be alone for the rest of my life? Does God have a plan for me and I am not being patient enough? Is my doubt getting in the way of my destiny? I am hoping there are other women out there like me that can relate, because at times I do believe I am the only one. But there is one thing I am sure of…since I have brought God and the power of prayer and faith back into my life, things are better and better each day! God’s perfect love…what a wonderful feeling when there is no doubt in the way.

    • I don’t know what God’s plan is for you, but I know He has one. He tells us that in His Word, in Jeremiah 29:11. Cast your cares upon Him. Claim His confidence, and trash your doubt!!! Praying for you! Thanks for sharing.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop Team

  60. I don’t have a blog so I thought I’d post my assignment here instead. I chose At The Well:

    I am at the Well. I have some things in my past I’m not proud of . Some of these things are things I had no control over, while others were of my own making. My spirit sags under the weight of it all.

    I’m at the Well. I’ve come at a time that no one who knows my stories can see me or my baggage. I know if they did, they’d be shocked, they’d whisper and gossip, and I’d be more ashamed than I already am.

    I’m at the Well. There’s this man and he speaks to me as if he knows me. It becomes apparent he really does know me. He knows my baggage, but he sees me despite it. There’s no judgment or criticism. Only love, unconditional, gentle, never-ending love. I have never known anything or anyone like what he offers.

    I’m at the Well. My name’s not Sam, but it might as well be.

  61. Rebecca Greene says:

    Hello there, my name is Rebecca Greene, but most people call me Becky. I live in Charlotte, NC and I don’t have a blog, so here I am. I normally like to do small group Bible studies (with a great little group of ladies on Tuesday evenings) but I decided to give this online Bible study a try. I think it’s gonna be just what I need – I’ve never been too strong in the confidence department. Looking forward to an insightful study – so far, so good!

  62. I am so grateful to have been led to the OBS. After posting my blog today, I had someone (not of this group) making negative comments regarding my “I Believe” statements and challenging my confidence. Just last week, I would have cried, shut down my blog as well as my heart. Not this week!! I am gaining confidence and I am learning of the perfect love and I will not let someone else take that from me! I blocked that person, deleted their negativity and am moving on. I will no longer dwell on the negative. I want to live in CONFIDENCE!! Thank you ladies for accepting me and for walking this road with me! God knew what he was doing when he led me here!!

  63. Irene cunningham says:

    So wonderful to read the stories from the many women who have committed to Jesus thank you all for sharing

    • I love how God can take something so similar and speak to us each in so many different ways. One of the reasons I love Blog hop day! Thanks for joining in !
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop Team

  64. I believe that though my childhood was not filled with love, God has loved me with an everlasting love. I believe that although I’ve been divorced and broken an engagement, He is my husbandman. I believe that although I’ve lived my life behind walls, God came for me like “Sam” and many others to deliver me and set me free…and free indeed. I believe that although I’ve seen financial challenges, God has prospered me and will continue to do so as my soul prospers. I believe that although I’ve had social and relationship issues in the past, the treasure in this earthen vessel has continued to open doors, draw promotion, and bring favor. I believe that every good and perfect gift in my past, present, and future have come down from the Father because He is my Shepherd and I will NOT want any good thing. I believe that although I’ve fought self-esteem and self-worth issues, I am a daughter of Zion who is the apple of His eye and inscribed on the palm of His hands. I’ve felt alone and uncovered at times, but I believe His banner that covers me is His love. I believe that I will see Him one day despite my faults and shortcomings. I believe He loves me dearly and that His grace is renewed daily towards me.

  65. Cheryl Smith says:

    Am having computer trouble. I may be out of the loop for a while since all I have is a smart phone. 🙁

  66. Melodee Rinkel says:

    #perfectlove
    For me, it is so hard to define #perfectlove, because my first thought is “Nothing in this world is perfect”. But that is exactly the point. Nothing in THIS world is perfect, only in God’s world (heaven) are there perfect things, because that is the way that God created it. I know God’s love to be perfect, because despite a VERY sinful past, when I decided to begin going back to church and really became more interested in God’s word and wanted to become more of a Christian, I felt God’s forgiveness and acceptance immediately.
    Because of circumstancdes in my childhood, I grew up always beliving that I was not worthy, I was dirty and I akways would be this way. But when I realized that God had forgiven me and accepted me and was working in my life; well, that was a game changer for me!
    I fail God on a daily basis, but I know that God’s #perfectlove never fails me. I am so grateful for that and I give praise to him for it.

    Melodee Rinkel

    • “I fail God on a daily basis, but I know that God’s #perfectlove never fails me.”- and all the people said Amen. And amen. Thank you so much for sharing!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop Team

  67. Angela Hedrick says:

    I can so relate to Renee’s story in Chapter 2. After my son suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury three years ago, I was constantly telling people I was “fine” when I really was it, and the pretending has led to isolation and hiding for me. I tried to go places (even church) and be around other boys around Cameron’s age that were normal just like Cameron used to be . I used to pretend that I was happy for them and that I was a strong person with great faith that God was/is going to heal my son and he will be just liked he used to be and can hang out with his “old” friends again. It has gotten to point where I no longer have the strength to pretend anymore. I hardly ever go places where I have to put on that pretend front which means I stay home alot more that I used to (that includes church). I can’t even attend some of my daughter’s events because it is just to emotionally difficult for me. I need to heal myself and, unfortunately, the only way I felt to do that was to avoid those people and places that made me sad, and find other people and places to take their place but that is easier said than done. I no longer talk to anyone, either, that I felt jealous of or caused me to feel sad because then I get angry with myself for having those emotions and it was just a vicious cycle. I hope this book gives me confidence to get my life back again even better than it was before because I want to have a closer relationship to Jesus.

  68. First, love that you refer to the Samaritan woman Bible Story as “Sam”. I think that in some way or another we all can relate to the shame and doubt that Sam feels. I, too, am divorced and am re-married. The shame felt from this divorce was overwhelming! It is still there. We have left the church we were in and have come back to it. I have married a wonderful man that attends that same church, but not without much speculation and rumor. Some of it was right, but the problem with all of that – is no one came to me. No one asked me the “real story.” Not a single person – even my “friends.” Most have moved on and some don’t even know. The divorce was a right decision because of abuse and protection for my children, etc. We have a new pastor, there are new members and life has moved on for the most part! There are still folks who say they have forgiven, but still refuse to speak to me, although will speak to my husband. It is non-sensical! In this chapter, I LOVE the quote Renee Swope gives on page 41, “Although some of us feel uncomfortable that God knows so much about us, it is good to be known, to be listened to and not judged. Jesus is the only One who can meet our deepest needs to be accepted and delighted in simply because of who we are. We can offer nothing but our presence, and He will desire us just the same.” Sometimes I offer nothing to offer, but my presence because I am so beaten down my doubt and shame. God loves me just the same! That, my friends is good – very, very good!

  69. This study could not have come at a more appropriate time! I am so in awe of the way God already knew I would need this. Right now I am going through some things that have really tested my resolve. I have been placed in question for my motives on something. I have been blamed and made to look like it was all my idea & my fault. Since I already have admitted I have this deep need to please people, it has been very difficult for me. I know I was pure in my intent. In fact, I know I was right according to God’s word. But when I am being brought into question about it, I am feeling like I just want to run & hide somewhere. Ephesians 1:17 – 19a has really helped me focus on where my resolve & strenght comes from. I feel very week right now, but I have also felt encouraged that the One who knows me best sent me these words in a love letter to me:

    Ephesians 1:17-19

    New International Version (NIV)

    17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] 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.

    • I love how God knows just what we need. Thanks for sharing that beautiful verse from Ephesians. Praying for you!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop Team

  70. I am responding in relation to question #6 of chapter 2. I relate to Sam having been married and divorced twice. I have learned that without the presence of my father since I was 6 years old that without even realizing it, my whole life I have been constantly trying to gain the approval and acceptance of a man. My father made the decision when I was 6 (Im 42 now) that he no longer wanted to be married. And apparently didn’t really care to be a father any longer either. He went his way and we, My mother and siblings went ours. I never felt like I was good enough for anyone. No matter what they said or did. It has never been enough. Since I have started to realize that perhaps this is because of my father, I needed to get even closer to my Heavenly Father. And over the course of the past few years, He is showing me how he accepts and approves of me. More than that, God is teaching me how to depend completely on Him. Learning that there is no earthly man that can ever fulfill my heart the way that He can. I get it some days and some days I struggle with accepting this fact. Its comforting in reading and studying with you ladies that I am not alone with the feelings that I struggle with. Looking forward to digging in even more and healing my heart and soul further.

    • Thank you for sharing. I agree, it is so nice to know that we all have similar feelings, regardless of where we come from. Praying that He can fill you up so you will know Him like never before.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop Team

  71. At the Well….I shared a little bit yesterday about Sam. I really like that Renee gave her a name. What surprised me is how much I could relate to her in yesterday’s lesson. I think that God is helping me go beneath the surface. I know that there are times when I pull away from others because I don’t want them to get to close….like Sam in our lesson I am afraid of rejection or what others might think about me. After reading chapter two God opened my heart to look below the surface and see that some of the hard family situations that happened when I was growing up have impacted how I see myself and how I relate to others. although I have been a christian for some time now and am involved in my church I still struggle with doubt and confidence and have a hard time letting people in. I am praying that God would help “the walls around my heart ” start coming down and that I will begin to trust and believe in His #perfectlove for me(:

    • Thanks for sharing. It is so nice to know that we’re not the only one`, that there` are` others like that feeling just like we ar`e. Praying that You’ll feel His #perfectlove like never before!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog Hop Team

  72. For myself I feel that the possibility of change taking place is not within my reach. I’ve been dealing with rejection and low self esteem/confidence since my early teenage years that it has become intertwined with my personality. I’m hoping that this book may help me discern God’s wisdom and truth for my life, and as I write this I’m already doubting that any change will happen. I read God’s Word but when it comes to everyday situations – I find myself reacting based on my experiences and emotions instead of the Word. I want to believe that change is possible with God.

    • Janet F (OBS Prayer Warrior) says:

      Karen praying for you that God will give you #AConfidentHeart through this study and that He will replace your doubt with HOPE and TRUTH. Change IS possible and I pray that by the end of the study you will believe it!! ♥ God bless you!!

  73. Sarah Alsop says:

    Just wanted to share something I posted in my small group tonight. Today I am overwhelmingly thankful to everyone who has read and/or commented on my blog today. I was almost in tears today at work because I was blessed and encouraged so much <3. This week's blog was harder for me to share but God has affirmed in me today that when I am obedient no matter what he will bless me 🙂 It was not that long ago that I prayed for someone to read, comment, and be blessed by God through my writing. I am so thankful to God for bringing me to Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study and the opportunity to participate in the blog hop. 8 comments may not seem like much to some people, but to this girl with a writers heart it is something.

    • Janet F (OBS Prayer Warrior) says:

      Sweet Sarah we are so glad God led you here to P31 OBS’s!! We love you and you keep writing those blog posts!! ♥ God bless!!

  74. Julie Davisson says:

    I Believe ~ In order for change to take place, we have to first believe it is possible. Refute your own thoughts of doubt with declarations of faith.

    I Believe – that somehow, my husband I will find the perfect place to relocate to that will be right for our special needs son. Although many times I am at a loss at what would be the best setting for him — a city, with services and help? Or would a place in the country, a farm be best — a place where he could get away from sounds and stimulation and enjoy raising animals, etc. I find myself drawn to moving to the country, but not sure this is right for our son, and I also have two older children to consider. God has given us this son, and He will find the perfect place for us — one that is also in keeping with our place in life ….both have just turned 50. We both have good jobs, but long term finances can be daunting. I believe God will enable us to find a home that is affordable, and in a place where we can both find work and be near all our children, and a place where our son will thrive.

    I also at times doubt the future of our country with the debt so out of control and our leaders seeming unable to agree or accomplish anything. It seems our Constitutional form of government as well our freedoms, are slipping away. I believe, and I will claim that God watches over this country still, and will protect HIS children from harm in the coming months, years, and decades. As long as WE pray, He will restore this nation to one that puts HIM first …if not, HE will lead us out of this situation, whether it be physically or spiritually.

  75. I thought this was going to be easy, but as i thought about the topic i would write on ,I would change my mind and choose another, until God drew me to another topic, and this one hit home, and I cried. ” Then you will know I am the Lord. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23b….the situation I face is one that has been a part of my life, a part of my experience for so many years. It is nothing horrific, or disturbing, but as a mother it is heart wrenching….all i can say is that I do hope in God, I always have, and although He leads me on many paths to research and find answers, sometimes, I wonder where is he really leading me/ my family to. Confidence, strength, composure, wisdom, knowledge, patience and answers is what i am searching for, all the while feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. I know through God I can find them, but the road has been so long and still I continue the journey.

    • You will not be disappointed… cling to Him. Praying for your sitation.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog hop team

      • Thanks Lauren. This morning i went to work out at the gym and an elderly gentlemen whom I see daily, happened to laugh/smile at me this morning during my workout, and he approached me as he was leaving he said, “It’s okay to smile. I see you here many times, and that’s good. You must enjoy it.” At first i thought he was a tad rude even though he smiled and said it with a sincere heart I am sure. Well, i thought how can i be smiling at the same time I am lifting heavy weight and exerting myself. But it got me thinking. Mmmmm, smile, I thought. Was this a message from God. So I stopped and thought about it and in spite of my feeling low yesterday and carrying worries, I heard God whisper softly, yet clearly,” Yes, smile. There is so much to smile about. ” So I began to think of all the things that I have in my life that make me smile, everything from my husband, to our children, to a roof over our heads, to the sun shining, to being able to cook for my family, to have legs and feet to walk with. You name it, a list of things poured into my thoughts of things to smile about. All these wonderful gifts God had given me made me smile. There truly is much to smile about, from the littlest things to the biggest things in our lives. So through the remainder of my workout, another 10 minutes, guess what i did? I smiled, and those weights really did not seem that heavy after all. I guess when there are troubles in my life i should reflect on the things God has given me and then the worries and weight on my shoulders just may not seem so heavy..

  76. At

  77. I believe that god called me to a relationship with Jesus !! Through our difficulties in daily living my god will not forsake me. He knows our needs and he will provide a way!! Believing in #perfectlove for me!! Moving into my next season increasing faith in my god that he always comes through his #perfecttiming

  78. at the well. I could so identify with Renee. You jump into something and as it approaches so does all the doubt! I believe in God but not sure my knowledge of His promises is enough to believe God. That is what I am hoping for, to learn word so I can go from head knowledge to heart knowledge and then truly believe God and His promises for me!

  79. I BELIEVE…
    …God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good!
    …in my weakness God’s strength is glorified.
    …God has a plan for my life that is far greater than my wildest dreams could fathom!!
    …my marriage can, and will be, all that God intended a marriage to be.
    …in God’s unconditional love as the model for how we love others.
    …that God’s Word is meant to be written on all our hearts so the evil one will have no place to get a foothold.
    …that all things are possible with Christ who strengthens me.

  80. I thought being transparent in this space would be easy but I guess it’s more challenging than I thought it would be. I hear you (my sisters) and I can relate. I’m learning more about myself that I care to learn about but is so necessary for the season that I am in right now. I don’t have any heartfelt words today but prayerfully by the end I will be able to share more transparently as some of you have shared today.

  81. Jordan Mills says:

    At the Well
    I loved Renee’s story about the outer appearance of her house. Most of the time, I do go around saying things are great and fine because I don’t want to bother people with my problems or be known as “that weird” person, the TMI person. So I put on MY “I’m Great!” mask. If only we were more real with each other and more accepting of each other! And when someone is correcting us, knowing that they are doing it in love. Sometimes i don’t take the time to notice or work on myself, especially where spirituality is concerned. I know I have been guilty of putting off my bible study, reading God’s word, or praying. I think of an excuse to push it off till later because later will be better…or at least that’s what I tell myself…I’m too tired, etc. I know I am now ready to clean up the cracks and peeling paint on my house! I’m ready to add that fresh coat of paint! Amen! 🙂

    • Oh, I feel you! Let’s all head out to buy some new paint… or at least put in some elbow grease through prayer and Bible study!
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog hop team

    • CHERYL HILLIARD says:

      this part of the book confused me a little. I think often times when we respond to someones ” how are you doing?” with the truth, they don’t really care,,, OR it is a sign of us being negative instead of trying to see the positive side of things? does any one know what I am saying?
      Cheryl H

  82. Amanda Detmer says:

    I believe God has a plan for me, I believe He will direct the path for me, despite the difficulty. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my head around it all, when all you’ve known how to do is “rely” on yourself and doubt yourself for so many years. Seasons of life can be difficult, and I know they last just for that, a season. I hold on to the belief that God will be holding my right hand, walking with me, blessing me and strengthening me thru this journey.

    • Keep your focus on that which is eternal, and remember our struggles are temporary. Praying you’ll feel His #perfectlove and presence with you always.
      Lauren, P31 OBS Blog hop team

  83. Thank you for the message. I know now I have to put God first always ask for his mercy, grace, and guidance. I’ve started reading ch. 2 of confident heart & through out my day I asked the Lord to give me confidence.

  84. I believe the Lord is always with me,Psalms16:7,”I will praise the Lord,who counsels me;even at night my heart instructs me” God is seeking to establish a trusting loving relationship,with me,I need to make time to let God steal my heart,opened it up and help me heal with His unconditional,forgiving,understanding of what has made me,me.To rely on God totaly,talk with God unceasing,loving through the eyes of God,following the wisdom of His word,seems sometimes like a dream,will I ever achieve it?

  85. I believe that God knows what is best for me. But I want so badly to believe that God will show me that I will not be disappointed when I hope in Him in EVERY area of my life. I cannot make this declaration of faith yet. Some areas of my life are easy to trust in Him, and others not so much. Even if I think that my ideas are good, I need God to have grace on me and allow me to understand that ALL of His plans are better than mine and to trust Him in EVERYTHING. I believe that He will do this for me.

  86. Maria Murphy says:

    Excited newbie! First online Bible study for me. I signed up after my daughter invited me to do the same. I like the idea of doing a Bible study conveniently online and at the pace that works for my schedule. I hope to gain the ability to let go of my fears that prevent me from being the successful woman God has created me to be because He loves me with a #perfectlove. #Ibelieve Lookin forword to the transformation only He can bring about in me!

  87. Sandra Marconi says:

    Good Morning, this is my first online study ever. I run a business and have been looking for a place to connect with other women due to my schedule that is hard. Even at our church it’s hard due to where God has me right now. So grateful to have found this sight. Have downloaded Rene’s book am looking forward to learning and making new friends all over the world. Uber excited. Hope I did this right.

  88. I started a blog and blogged the correct thing (I hope). What I don’t know how to do is find the proverbs 31/confident heart blog. Any help would be appreciated!

  89. Melchorita Fahey says:

    We all have struggles in so many different ways in life. God’s #PerfectLove because he loves us unconditionally. God promise us that “He will never leave us nor forsake us,”(Hebrews 13:5). So, “The Lord is our light and our salvation—whom shall we fear of dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of our life—of whom shall we be afraid?” The Lord is on our side, we will not fear, (Psalm 27:1 Psalm 118:5). “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all our heart and mind and do not rely on our own insight of or understandin; In all our ways know, recognise, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain our path,”(Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP). God loves you all and so do I.

  90. 4. At the Well ~ Reread Sam’s story in John 4, asking Jesus to meet your there and show you things in your heart that need His repair. Is there part of Renee’s story or Sam’s story that you can relate to most?
    One thing that I can relate to is often in my life I have expected people to fill the gaps left by someone else. Be it a father who left when I was 6 years old, an employer who fired me, a boyfriend who didn’t feel the same depth of emotion as me, who ever left me with “gaps” or needs, I sought out someone else to fill them. Renee mentions this when she says she realized she was expecting her husband to fill the gaps left by her father. I used situations and people to give me what I felt I needed. It was all about how it looked from the outside, and who I thought I could impress. I still do this sometimes, but now I am realizing that there is no recognition worth anything if I am not able to recognize myself as a worthy daughter of God. It’s so different to not really care what people think, but this is what I need to do, in order to focus on myself, and my relationship with God.

    • What a heavy burden we put on ourselves when we look to others and our accomplishments to fill us and determine our worth. I can relate to what you and Renee both shared. I’m so glad we can place our hope in a God whose love is perfect! We are free from performance based measuring and validation from other people! Moving forward with you, Shelly (great name, by the way!), as we continue to find our worth in Christ and accept His unconditional love. Blessings! ~Shelly

  91. Sara Bowen says:

    I love the idea of putting our doubts in the trash and seeing that is what they are. Thanks Renee for the
    freeing action.

  92. Amanda Triska says:

    4. At the Well
    I relate most to Sam’s avoidance of Jesus’ agreement to her martial status. I, like us all, have felt that quick feeling that steals over us when someone sees straight through to our hurt, flaws, mistakes, etc. I recognize Sam’s quick dismissal of her feelings that probably rose at his words, then she quickly moves the conversation along to something less painful. I,now, see that mine and Sam’s next step is described in Chapter 2 of “A Confident Heart”, to surrender to that “safeplace for you to be transparent with Him where you can ask questions and be real about your desires, doubts, disappointments, and dreams. He knows You and wants you to really know Him.”

  93. Wow Ladies! My finger hurts a little from scrolling down ALL these comments and posts! Awesomeness! Praise God! I just wanted to shout out a praise as I am close to finishing my blog entry. I have been feeling a tad spirituality low this week, and kept choking on my words every time I sat down to examine and express myself. This morning, I woke up refreshed, and responded to meet me at the well. What an awesome exercise! Writing from Sam’s perspective, and fusing it with my own desires for Jesus was so wonderful. I have a better grasp on her story, and how Jesus used her and touchef her life, and the life of others!

    Michelle

  94. I did not receive Friday or Saturdays email. I know I can get it on the website but it is harder to access with my phone. I checked my spam and it’s not there either? Has there been other issues?

  95. Kim W (Texas) says:

    I did not receive Friday or Saturday’s email either.

  96. Kim Riddle says:

    This is my first OBS, and I am happy to report, I am loving it! This week has opened my eyes on the fact that, sometime or the other, everyone in my life has let me down or disappointed me! My parents have let me down, my kids have let me down, my husband, my friends, my co-workers, my church family, they have all let me down! Some to the point that I had to ask, how can I trust them again! I have had to choose to forgive them, but can I trust them? God has spoke to me and told me, “it is not them you have to trust, IT’S ME!” My God will never leave me nor will he ever forsake me! He will always have my back, and He will always have my best interest! I have learned that My God will NEVER let me down or disappoint me! He truly is my #PerfectLove!

  97. I am on the right path to letting go of in-securities and taking hold of God’s promises. I am 63 years old,and I wish this study had come along earlier in my life. God bless you sisters in Christ

  98. I have struggled with feeling unworthy all my life. My parents divorced when I was 2. I was molested several times. I was mentally abused when my mother showed back up 5 years after leaving me as a baby. Physically abused while living with her. Always told I wouldn’t amount to anything. But I was saved at 16 while I was pregnant with my daughter. God whispered sweetly to me that I was important. It’s hard though when all you ever heard was bad. I married at 19 and have 4 beautiful kids. I have struggled with bulimia and still do sometimes. I want this study to help me finally see what God sees in me.

  99. I believe in truth and I know God has made me to be the me I am. I believe this study was for me and I accept it with open arms. Thank you God for leading me to this study and letting accept the guidance you want me to.

  100. CHERYL HILLIARD says:

    my big revalation for today is: That maybe only God can love unconditionally, We say we love our kids unconditionally but is it humanly possible?. I know I ‘feel’ the love towards people much more when they are acting and doing as I think they should. since I tend to love conditionally, I find it hard to realize how God can love me with ALL of my faults and failures. I am praying to accept His unconditional love, and to try to learn how to not feel I need to earn it. I just don’t know how to think that way. Thanks all. Cheryl H

  101. Yesterday, I saw a chart with negative feelings, and how to use words of Scripture to replace those negative thoughts, but I can’t find it now! Does anyone know where to find this?
    Thanks!

  102. I believe blog hop post:
    First of all, I apologize for this post being a day late. I am choosing to talk about about why I believe change is possible. To do this Proverbs 31 encourages us to refute our own thoughts of doubt with declarations of faith.

    I believe that I am worthy of love because Christ loved me so much that He gave up His life for me.
    I believe that I am a beautiful person inside and out because God made me perfect in His eyes and loved me before I was born.
    I believe that I am not alone because Christ is always there to turn to in difficult times
    I believe that I will know the path to take for my life because God has a plan for my life and it’s a plan for good. Even if it’s not my plan, God’s plan is perfect.
    I believe that I can handle any obstacles that come my way in life because through Christ anything is possible and when you have faith and trust in Christ you can move mountains.

    I know that I need to repeat the above affirmations weekly if not daily. Already through this study I have realized how I don’t really believe I’m worthy of love whether that’s human love or the love of Christ. I consistently beat myself up for having a child out of wedlock and think because of my sins I deserved the pain and heartbreak of the father of my child leaving me for a younger woman, of dealing with cancer and the general struggles of being a single mom in a new city while trying to handle a graduate program. Growing up I usually received the message from my family that I was difficult and my mom and myself did not have a great relationship. She always told me what a mean person I was and even if I didn’t act out in spitefulness she always viewed my actions as negative and I began to believe I was a mean, spiteful person. It has taken a long time but I have recently realized that even though I still sin and make mistakes and sometimes hurt people without meaning to, I am trying to be a good person and every day I pray to God to help me become a better person and that means something to. Every night I evaluate my day and the things that I did that might have hurt people and how I can be better in the future. I am a work in progress, but I think the point is that I’m always trying to be a better person and that I don’t just hurt people without thinking about it. If I accidentally hurt someone it sticks with me and I think about it and feel awful for what I did and think about how I can make it better and be a better person.

    I’m really hopeful that through this study I will grow in my confidence in Christ and I learn to forgive myself and realize I am worthy of love.

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  1. […] A Confident Heart ~ Week 1 […]

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    A Confident Heart Blog Hop ~ Week 1

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    A Confident Heart Blog Hop ~ Week 1

  5. […] I started this blog just more than one year ago in order to share what was on my heart during the Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study of A Confident Heart by Renee […]

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