Unwrapping your #YesIDo

Hey ya’ll! Stephanie Clayton here! First thing first, I want to share a video with you! Click here to watch it (if you can’t see it below).

So, if you haven’t realized by now, I am a hands-on kind of girl. I can’t just read about the Bible or read a book, I want to experience it so I can really take in the fullness of the message. I want that for you too!

So…here is our activity for today. It may sound and seem silly. I get that, but I am asking you to push past the awkwardness, and DO IT ANYWAYS!!!

1. Take a sheet of paper and write down a few of your doubts and insecurities in the corner…like this…

thumb 1

2. Tear or cut out the writing….

thumb 2

 

3. Wrap it around your thumb and tape it!  But don’t just sit there with it taped, do some work. Do the laundry, get your kids ready for school, cook a meal, type a comment, get dressed etc… Just go about your normal business, but go about it with your thumb wrapped up. Spend at least an hour this way, or you can spend all day, it’s up to you! Now go, and read the rest of this post when you are done.

thumb 3

 

So what did you think? Was it difficult to get things done with your thumb all wrapped up?

My paper kept falling off, which I found annoying. It got dirty and soggy as I chopped vegetables, and really hindered the speed at which I made my grocery list! So you may be wondering why on earth I had you do this…

That we might have a momentary realization of what it is like to try and do the work God has called us to do, the work He knowingly designed us to do, while wrapped up in thoughts that tell us we are messy, broken, ineffective, unnecessary, and have nothing special to offer.

Just like it’s difficult to use your thumb when it’s wrapped up with a frumpy sheet of paper, it’s difficult to do what God asks us to do when we wrap ourselves up with layer after layer of I don’t have anything special to offer.  #YesIDo

So what should we do now…

TAKE IT OFF!

A Confident Heart,  SCRIPTURE TRUTH, and this Online Bible Study are designed to help you do just that…TAKE IT OFF…and unwrap doubt, insecurity, fear, and feelings of brokeness so you can be all Christ has called you to be. An effective, valuable, important, loved, treasured part of the body of Christ.

This week as negativity creeps in: unwrap it, take it off, throw it away, and meditate on God’s truth! When doubt whispers, “I don’t have anything special to offer,” shout back (out loud if you can) #YesIDo!

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  Psalm 139:1  NLT

Also, take today and Tuesday to read Chapter 8. You are going to love it! Put some thought into what your spiritual gifts might be and what personality type you most identify with. Keep these in mind as I have another activity for us on Wednesday where we will use them!

Your Turn to Share!!!!

Please share your thoughts and feelings about the activity we did today.  Everyone who comments this week will be entered to win a copy of Renee’s new A Confident Heart Devotional!!!

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Comments

  1. It’s very difficult to do the things that I normally would. Uncomfortable and irritating. I have thought so much about what has been said and reinforced already for this week’s studies. That while I may feel unnecessary God has placed within me things for me to do, gifts for me to use and impacts for me to make. I’m so ashamed that I haven’t thought about this before. For the past several years things have been especially difficult for me and i’ve allowed myself to sink father and farther down into an ugly pit of despair. I’m no good to anyone in my current mindset, but I never thought about the fact that I could be affecting someone’s eternity by NOT doing the things God planned for me. Really thought provoking already, not sure if I’m anxious or nervous to get this week underway!

  2. Hi Steph, thanks for sharing. I tried the activity and I was conscious of my wrapped-up thumb all the while. That’s exactly what doubt does. It keeps our thoughts on all the negative things. It almost refuses to allow any positive thoughts in. It keeps us from #MovingForward with #aconfidentheart. But I was so relieved when I unravelled the scribbled and wrinkled up paper from my thumb. I felt so free again. Now that’s what happens when we allow the Holy Spirit to remove our doubts and insecurities, one by one. There is a release in our inner man and we are able to accept ourselves just the way God made us and accept His plan and design for our lives. I must add, that was a beautiful illustration which I am going to share with my family to encourage them too. God bless you.

  3. Wow, what an insight Stephanie! I loved the activity and yes how often we limit God from using us fully because of our insecurities, doubts and fears. #YesIdo have something special to offer.

  4. Jennifer, I am just taking this study like you are. I saw your comment. I am praying for you
    and want you to know that I care about what happens to you. God loves you. You are important
    to Him. You are special to God and I know to the ones who know you and love you! Praying
    for You!

  5. Jennifer, I too struggle with depression and self worth, but I have found that if I concentrate on who God thinks I am not who people or even I think I am that is what gets me thru. This is a wonderful bible study for each of us because we are reminded daily WE ARE GODS BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS and we are worth gold to Him. Your purpose is for Him and He will show you that your wonderful….just concentrate on Him and His word. I’m praying for you and your family.
    Lisa

  6. Christa (OBS Group Leader) says:

    Jennifer,

    Oh sweet sister… I hear your heart and hurt, and my heart hurts for and with you. Please know this deep in your soul… You are MORE than sex, and you were created for a purpose. The Lord loves you unconditionally, without a doubt. You know how you LOVE your daughters? God loves you (and them) even more! I will be praying for peace, restoration of your soul, and an overwhelming sense of God’s gracious, and UNFAILING love for you. Much love and (((((((((HUGS)))))))) to you!

  7. Abby Tomell says:

    The fact that you are able to realize that you want and that you need help is an amazing first step. Don’t let the fears and judgment of Satan win. You are an amazing gift from God and your work is not yet done here. Take a deep breath and a leap of faith and trust that you are strong enough to get through this. I know that you are and your girls know that you are. Seek out God’s help and then seek out some help from some people in your town. You are welcome to email me anytime … (batomell@yahoo.com) I know that you can get through this!!! You are much strong than you think. Don’t let that doubt and worry win!!! <3

  8. Wow, Stephanie! You have an amazing gifts! I’m also a hands on girl (no pun intended). I love the way you think about things, and how they can used to teach other women about how they can realize their beauty and worth in Christ! I just lift you up in praise!

    Michelle

  9. Such a cool idea!! Totally gets the point across!! Gennifer

  10. Kim Kangas says:

    Good morning everyone!
    First off, I LOVE the verse this week! …and I love the idea of taping my thumb. What a wonderful hands-on experience! I may not be on the blogs very much, but I appreciate and adore each of you. I am amazed at how many beautiful women have the same feelings as I do. Just knowing that has helped enormously! I’m not alone and God has so much that He wants for all of us. #YES I (WE) DO…have something to give, offer, say, contribute…as God does a mighty work in me (us)!
    MANY BLESSINGS ON THIS FINE MONDAY MORNING, FROM MICHIGAN’S U.P.
    Kim

  11. It is very difficult to do any activity without your thumb. I have found that through out this study I have been slowly unwrapping my insecurity and doubt. I have felt that my spiritual gifts have been moving more freely and unhindered. I am so thankful that The Lord is revealing his truths and unwrapping my insecurities and doubts. I want to thank Proverbs 31 Ministry ladies for sharing such an amazing message.

  12. Rebekah Valdez says:

    Jennifer, I am praying for you. I have felt depression also. During that time, I did have moments of thinking who cares or why Am I here. Sometimes, I still do, I understand your struggle. I have 2 daughters still at home & one son who is married. I am divorced and live in a different state than all of my family (including my son). My son was in ninth grade and my daughters were 1 & 3 when their dad decided he didn’t want to be married any more. They are now 25, 14, and almost 12! My driving force to keep on going was and is my children. I believe God gave me the children he planned just for me well before I even thought about having a family. I believe my purpose even if everything else I try or pursue fails is to raise my kids to know and love The Lord. God says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made & that he has known you before you were in the womb. He knows you so well that even the hairs on your head are numbered. Seek Him, Trust Him, Believe His Word when He says that you are never alone and He will never forsake you. You have blessed me with your honesty and transparency in sharing your heart. I pray for You to have peace that passes all understanding, that God will bless you and your family beyond measure, that you will not be discouraged or dismayed because The Lord thy God is with you ALWAYS. The Bible says that God even cares about tiny sparrows, & if He does that…. How much more He Cares for you and your children.

  13. Jennifer -
    I am glad to hear that ypu recognize you are having suicidal thoughts. Please take the following out of sisterly love. You need to seek help immediately. Not for anybody else, but for yourself and God’s glory. I am concerned about your thoughts, but also the fact that you have a plan if your thoughts ever went deeper. Please use the following link to find somebody to talk to where you live. They are confidential, and to be frank, I have used it myself – so you are not alone. suicidehotlines.com/ Listen, if I were there, I would dial the number for you. I also cannot physically see or listen to you, so I don’t know if you are expressing frustration at the end of your rope – or if you are really contemplating this – even though you feel you would never do it. So, forgive me if I am overreacting, but if I’m not – make a call. I am praying for you sweet sister, and remimding you that you are never alone. God is with you.

    Michelle

  14. Steph -

    I haven’t tried your activity yet. I really want to wait until my daughter gets home to do it with her tonight. Maybe doing it together will also show her that as sisters in Christ we can help each other accomplish things even when we are wrapped in doubt. Maybe we’ll wrap both thumbs. We can each remove one ourselves, and then I can remove hers and she mine. What do you girls think?

    Michelle

    • That sounds like a good idea, Michelle. May I ask your daughter’s age? Just wondering. God bless you Maybe you can let us know how it goes. :)

  15. “Take it off!” I like that. Simply…..take it off……lose the insecurities by simply (ok…so it’s a little bit harder than that) taking them off. God knows us completely, so let’s trust that He will lead us and show us how He would have us use our gifts. GIFTS, that HE has given us.

  16. Bethanne W. says:

    Crazy true story. I don’t have to wrap my thumb. Burned the tip of it yesterday and I have been so handicapped! But somehow (Holy Spirit whisper) I knew God had something for me to learn in this… Other than make sure that little leaf of spinach you are chasing isn’t on a hot burner before you reach for it! (Stinking glass stovetop). Thanks ladies for helping apply God’s truths in our everyday lives!

  17. Jennifer.

    You are not alone. Jesus said he would never leave you or forsake you. He knows everything, sees everything, and still loves you. Even at your worst. And He wants your to be free. Free from anxiety and fear. Free from all the baggage that comes from life’s struggles. Use this time to depend on Him more. Seek His Word. Get your thoughts of who you are from him, not people. Humans disappoint us, that is a given, but god loves you with His whole heart, nothing held back for a rainy day. And the word of God explains His love for you. He says, cast your cares upon me for I careth for you. It says, he had compassion on them (us) and he wants us to be healed because of His great love for us. Nothing in all the world demons, angels, nothing as high as the heavens or as deep in the ocen nothing in all creation can separate us from His love. If we just humble ourselves and pray and seek His face, he will hear us and heal our land. Do not give up. Dorothea

  18. And just from me personally, has anyone else felt like the enemy is working overtime. I have really had emotions and even outside influences trying to rain on me during this confident heart devo. Even a chinese fortune cookie call me stupid. I don’t pay attention to that or live my life there but good grief. We need to make sure we know where to get the truth for sure. The Word of God. Pure revelation from God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for this devo, I may have to retread it for a second time.

    • Girl, I am so with you. It seems like the deeper I get into the book the deeper the problems I start to face. Doubts have come screaming at me. Worst of all, the time I had seems to be rushing by, BUT I know without a doubt that I am in this for the long haul and no matter how many times I may trip up and even fall, I will not stay down. Holding onto God’s truth with you. :)

    • Yes, Dorothea, I have felt the pressure of Satin trying to make me doubt myself even more. But I’m going to keep powering through the doubts– by the strength of the Lord.

    • Totally!! Satan is at work overtime and he doesn’t want us to draw closer to the Lord. Satan doesn’t want us to have His knowledge. We will win this fight! God is our Master and we won’t fail. Step aside satan, your attempts to overwhelm us with schedules, doubts, fears, whatever?? will be no match for our Heavenly Father. He loves us and uses us for good. You hate us and use us for bad. We are sisters in Christ! God will keep us strong!

  19. Thank you for your prayers. The scripture was wonderful. I’m in counseling and I’m going to be honest with her about my thoughts. I promise not to hurt myself. Instead I prayed with my husband. I was so honest that he didn’t say amen. I asked God to convict him when he is wrong. I asked for change and conviction in me too. I’m determined to have a confident heart when this is study is thru. There’s a reason the devil wants to destroy me and keep me from reading this chapter. Thank you for your prayers I love you girls!

    • Jennifer,
      Remember you are here for a purpose. Your life is not yours to end. You are God’s daughter, his chosen child. I don’t know what you’ve gone through but I feel it was terrible. But, you’ve survived it, you’re the victor. Love your husband & your girls they all need you. But, you need to love yourself too. Tell yourself I love me, Jennifer, God’s child every time you get the doubts then go to your no fail pail & grab a verse. You have a mighty God that loves YOU.

    • Praying for you Jennifer. I’ve been there and struggled with depression for many years. God is good and with you always even when he feels so far away. A verse that carried me through was Ps 18:1 I love you, I LORD my strength. I know that because of His love for me that I am here today and that the Joy of the Lord is my strength. I am hesitant to say this as antidepressants are very controversial but think and pray about them. They have made a world of a difference for me and I am a different person than I was a year and a half ago.. I hope not to be on them forever but for now it is what I need. So good to hear that you are seeking counseling. Take care Jennifer.

    • Jennifer, I understand what you are going thru. I have had a couple of times in my life where I have wanted to end it. When I was around 19/20, I had a gun to my head, even though I wanted the pain to go away (I had been raped), I was still afraid to end it for good, and instead, I reached out for help. About 15 years ago, I wanted to end my life again, this time I had 3 children, and I had a friend that constantly reminded me of how much they needed me. Please know that God loves you, and he cares for you more than you will ever know. His purpose for you on this earth was to not take your own life, but to do His work for Him. I still struggle, but this study is helping me bring all that yucky stuff to the surface to be able to deal with it, it’s not easy or fun, and satan is certainly enjoying this time, but I have to change those thoughts with God’s word, and choose to believe how He sees me rather than how I see me. I urge you to be completely honest with your counselor, and that is great news that you prayed with your husband, but you need to continue to be honest with him also. He is never going to know how you feel unless you are honest with him. Trust me, I am just now starting to be honest with my fears, anxieties, etc with my own husband after 11 years of marriage, and he has been understanding, and it has been a freedom for me to release those feelings from my heart.
      “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Mat 11:28
      I will pray for you, if you need to talk, you can email me at ajhugnkis@hotmail.com. You are a very brave woman for stepping out and reaching for help, proud of you for that.

    • Praying for you Jennifer.

    • Thinking about you Jennifer. You’ve been on my mind all day. I continue to pray for you. I hope that you have sought out help today. Hugs to you.

  20. WOW! This activity in wrapping my feelings around my thumb was so good for me to realize that when I do hang on to these thoughts that it does stop me from being what God has for me. The memory verse is perfect for this week and will help me remember that HE knows my heart and HE has already examined it, and the icing he already knows everything about me including the feelings of doubt and insecurities. So why not unwrap those thoughts and allow God to use me. Thanks especially since this is the way I learn!

  21. Pamela Pitts says:

    Love this analogy, my daughter sprained her thumb last year in Color Guard, had to wear a big splint, but thank God, the next week was a Holiday because there’s no way she would’ve kept it on long enough to heal! But I did have to help her do some things!

  22. Donna Torrado says:

    I am so excited about this activity. I have been trying to figure out what my gift/strengths are to use for His greater good. I can’t wait to begin.
    #YesIDo want to be a servant of our Lord.

  23. What a great illustration of how doubt can paralyze us! And also how God can liberate us! How wonderful my thumb feels with the paper off. Not suffocated and free to move around. Lord, help my heart feel the same way! Have a great week ladies!

  24. Christine Ann says:

    The practical exercise of writing out the doubts and insecurities and wrapping up my thumb, was really good for me today. Being at home on my own after a busy weekend, gave me the opportunity to practice doing it.. Having my thumb wrapped in stiff paper all morning was really funny and also made life difficult.. I could’nt turn on the dimmer light switch, pick up a small object on the floor, txt on my mobile .. and lots of other little things. The message you set out to teach us, was clear and practical. I am saying out loud #YesIDo , as those doubts and insecuruties were really trying to get a hold of my thinking. Thanks so much Stephanie, for being a ‘hands on’ kind of girl,you are really encouraging..

  25. Right after I became a registered nurse in 1998, a patient’s father accidentally shut my thumb in the crossbraces of a wheel chairand folded it on my thumb. I was removing the foot pedals in order to put it in their trunk and they were chained to the chair which neither of us realized. It fractures my thumb and I worked for four weeks with a brace raped to that thumb while it healed. I could not use it at all and even though it was my right thumb and I am left handed; it proved many tasks almost impossible. My days consisted of constantly asking for help. Or telling coworkers that I just could not complete a certain task.

    Now, I am increasingly allergic to latex and have to be hypervigilant when working. Even in every day life as I reacted to two Hallowe’en Isles in,stores. Balloons that are inflated especially with helium, except for Mylar ones also truggor this anaphalactic response.
    As a Christian I have allowed doubt to cripple me when God has called me to tasks or to speak for or about him. I know of some opportunities I have allowed to pass and am sure I missed many,more.
    Yesterday, in fact, God was dealing with me and has been for several weeks about allowing him to help me by renewing me and overcoming my fears and doubts. Finally, after 21 days of fasting and praying, a meal or two a day and near. I really believe he got through to,me. I am also fasting due to my son’s surgery on Dec 10th, my niece’s difficulty in class, my son-in-law’s job situation, renewal in out daughters’marriages and mine and some lifting of generational curses of suicide, depression, infidelity, pornography usage and discord. My daddy is to be 40 days/nights in length. I have seen some answered prayers such as a raise and relief at work, security in my husband’s job, my husband responding positively to requests for relational,improvement. But oh how Satan is attacking as well. My niece’s professor is targeting her and this could mean the loss of a job opportunity which is weighing heavily on her. My daughter’s chest pain has had some relief but she still has it at times. My oldest daughter is trying a party jewelry business and right now they are in the hole financially.
    I would ask that you continue with me in prayer to see God’s glory and I am choosing to pray and rely on him rather than doubt, worry and stew!!
    That illustration was very timely!! :-)

    • Praying with you. Praying that you will be strengthened in your inner man to keep your eyes, heart and mind fixed on Jesus and the truths in His Word. May you always be aware of His loving presence with you, and strong, everlasting, loving arms wrapped around you. May you experience His peace and comfort as you move step-by-step, hand-in-hand through it all with Jesus. Father, please also give Amy clarity of thinking regarding the issues she faces and the ability to hear what You have to say about these things and her handling of them – what she is to do, and not do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

  26. Simple but excellent example of Gods message to us. Wrap up doubt & throw it away!

  27. Welcome back Stephanie Clayton! I just love your “hands on” way of making a point come alive. Now that is a good way of making a lesson stick. I am still using my “No Fail Pail”.

  28. Jennifer, Lisa, ladies,
    WE ARE ALL VALUABLE TO GOD! We are not our own. We were bought at a price and we are priceless. Only by His blood we are made alive in Him. I love you all and am praying for ALL of us. Have a BLESSED and GLORIOUS day in the LORD.

  29. Thank you Stephanie for that activity. I started not to do it for the fear of looking ridiculous, but I’m home alone, so I did it. But I was so glad to “TAKE IT OFF!”. Being wrapped in My insecurities and doubts does hinder me to live fully and confidently. Thanks again. God bless you.

  30. What a clever way to make a point!!! So simple yet so powerful. Thank you!!!! There are many times that I don’t feel I have anything to offer because I’m comparing myself to others who appear to have so many more abilities then myself, but not any more. Even the tiniest gift that God has given me is worth just as much to Him if I use it! Thank you again for all the words of encouragement that get me through life.

  31. Love that activity, what a great way to show how burdened we make ourselves with doubts and insecurities! And to just think – that was only one finger wrapped; how “disabled” are we when our entire souls are full of doubt?! That’d be like wrapping up both hands! :) Thank you thank you!!!

  32. I loved the activity. It was thought provoking. Plus my thumb wrapped up lasted all of 10 minutes. I am so ready to say #YesIDo.

  33. Great exercise to show how we try to go about our day and handicap ourselves with doubts. We need to remember that we all have different gifts – and all have a purpose. If we try to do what we are not gifted for – it will frustrate us, make us miserable and hurt others also. By this I mean that we may stop someone else from being able to be a blessing. If someone else truly has a gift for something we do not, they need to be able to share their gift – but if we rush in and try to force ourselves in their place – they may give up and not try to share their gift. I’m sorry if this is as clear as mud – but I hope the point is made that we all need to understand what our particular gifts are and go about sharing them.

  34. This is such an excellent activity! Impacted me on how I think about every area of my life. Hmmmmm thank you!

  35. Hi Stephanie
    Thank you for this activity. Right now I am trying to type you this email and really and truly I am having a little problem in doing it. It is because of the wrap around my thumb. This is very practical. I like Joycelyn am home alone but I was glad to do it. Why? Because most of this weekend I had to battle with insecurities, doubts, not capable, I failed God miserably, am I hearing God’s voice. I was in a whole messy situation. I thought I was going to die. My heart started to hurt. I feel God was mad at me. I was glad this morning to do anything even if it look foolish. I want liberty, freedom. So I thank God for this activity and please pray with and for me sisters. I need it. I desire to continue to unwrap anything, I mean anything that will try to hinder my full potential that my loving God has given me. Stephanie I love my Jesus. He is good to me.

    Love sisters

    • Dear Lynda: Yes, we want God’s freedom/liberty. May you be so aware of His loving presence and great and deep love for you. He walks with us hand-in-hand and step-by-step. We must acknowledge His presence whether we feel it or not. He is so very good. Underneath you are the everlasting arms, upholding and sustaining you. Let us rest in Him, in His promises, truth, hope, joy, all that is ours in Him. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

  36. My paper didn’t last too long. LOL What a fantastic analogy! Thank you!! Now, if only it were as easy to just “take it off” like I did that piece of paper and to toss it in the trash and move on… That’s what I’m going to be working on now.

    Looking forward to this chapter! very very much needed!! (as they all have been!)

  37. Charity Ashworth says:

    Jennifer im praying for you do get help. God doesnt want us to think of death as an option.. i know 13 yrs ago i was just where you seem to be. If i end it things will be better but the truth is only with God and faith will my life be better.. God is more in my life now than i ever thought he was.. i didnt even realize when i was so doubtful in my life He wss there. I thought i was alone.you are never alone someone is always there for you always. God had a plan for me it took me years to understand but now i know i had to go thru that to understand why i have what i have now.. that walk drew me closer to god and to my children. Sadly away from my husband. The sadness he brought into my heart wasnt good for me or our chilfdren. Im remarried now and my hubby accepts my children more than their own dad. I dont think i would be here today if I had not hsve got on my knees and asked God for help…Ask him honey and he will comfort you and bring you peace… God bless if you wanna email me feel free to ill be here for you too. Charity2447@yahoo.com subject put jennifer from confident heart so i lwill know its you ill be praying for you…

  38. Stephanie!!!! I love love love this activity. I kept getting distracted from the tasks at hand because of my restraint. It totally got in the way…and gross for that matter. I liked that part the best really. When I took the paper off of my thumb, the paper was gnarly and dirty and a tad soggy (had to make coffee). I realized how ugly those thoughts are as well.
    PS – You have inspired me to put up my Christmas tree.

  39. I surely understand what you are getting at! Those lies that wrap(or as I almost typed)warp around my mind try to get me to forget who I am in Christ. They steal my confidence and destiny in Him…or in the very least cripple my walk of victory…as more than a conqueror! Thanks for reminding us to re-focus on TRUTH.

  40. I’m still using the no fail verses! Loved this one too!!

  41. Doing things is possible just much more difficult. Some things I just couldn’t complete, like the dishes. That’s what doubt abs fear does. It bogs us down and keeps us from doing what God Has called us to. Keeps us stuck where we are. But just like taking the paper off my thumb, when I let go of the fear and doubt, I can see what God is calling me to.
    Thank you Stephanie. And Jennifer, don’t lose sight of the fact that you are a wonderful creation. God put you here at this time for a reason. Depression is serious and knowing that you need help is a good thing. I will be praying that you can see yourself and your worth through God’s eyes. God bless you all and have a wonderful day.

  42. This is a great activity for reminding me of how much I let my doubt and insecurities get in the way. Many timand throwes, I have set out to do what I feel I’ve been called to do in my life and I’ve let those doubts get in the way. Having that paper on my thumb showed me how much it interferes with what I need to do. It also showed me how easy it really can be to take it of and throw it away

  43. I have always been a very visual person and so of course I love this hands on lesson. I wrote down my shortcomings on the paper taped it to my finger and then went about my ritual of getting cleaned up and dressed for the day, what a mess. The paper representing my fears and short comings really tripped me up and made getting ready for the day pretty much impossible- DING DING DING I got the point that all these things are making my ability to be used by the Lord in the Kingdom pretty much impossible too. As it fell off I prayed God I am yours-You made me just as I am-Use Me!! These shortcomings will not stop me, I can and will overcome by the blood of the Lamb Amen! Then loudly I said -YES I CAN!!!!! Filled with hope I will now go about my day with a more Confident Heart!!! As Carla said Thanks for reminding us to re-focus on TRUTH.

  44. The personality portion of the books was so accurate. I did identify with two in various ways. I have enjoyed this bible study tremendously. When working with a new youth group this year we took the spiritual test again. Love to take it every few years. Over the years it has changed to what God needed me to do for his kingdom. However, the last couple of times it hasn’t changed. I am thankful to know God has me exactly where he wants me. Administration officianto (most of the time)…:) And loving on the youth of today. Helping them break free as best we can.

  45. What a powerful way to remind us of what a hinderance our doubts and insecurities are. I am so appreciative of you ladies here at Proverbs 31 OBS and the effort you put in to helping us in these areas. Just wanted to say THANK YOU!

  46. Karina Escalante says:

    It was like a reminder of the doubts and fears I had but also that they do not need to be so present that they hinder my every move. The biggest lesson is how freeing it is to let out go, throw them away and move on!!!

  47. Elsie Daly says:

    It was difficult! I wished I could take it off, get rid of it! But I perservered with it on and even managed to take a picture of it! This exercise really helped me see what we are doing each and every day! We can read the words and know the idea in our head, but to actually put the paper on your thumb and carry on helped me to realize that we don’t need to carry that around with us! It burdens us and hampers our day! We are not the best we can be when we carry around this “baggage”.

  48. STEPHANIE CLAYTON YOU ARE JUST WAAAAAAYYYY TOO ADORABLE! Love the video, love the activity. Love your hands-on teaching that connects God’s word from our heads to our hearts. =) Mmmmmwwwwwah! Thanks for blessing our socks off! YOU ARE GIFTED! =)

  49. Kelly Wallace says:

    That’s a great idea! Sometimes it helps to physically do what we mentally need to do. I like how you mentioned about how we need to tear off those thoughts from minds. Thank you!

  50. OH, this activity was so great! Of course, it hurt to write those negative thoughts and doubts on the paper but then it felt like such a relief to take it OFF! I know so many of us are visual and/or experiential learners and this really made a strong image in my mind! Thank you!!

  51. Karen Rhodes says:

    Awesome activity! It is so much easier to take the physical paper off my thumb than to stop the sound of the voices in my head telling me those things! But with God #YesIDo and #YesICan!!

  52. This is such a good idea Stepanie! It’s so true I let those thoughts of your not good enough, if you just did this….things would turn like this it’s good to know God is writing a new story free of brokenness I let those negative thoughts and things hinder me thanks for a great reminder!

  53. Stephanie Christensen (OBS Group Leader) says:

    Jennifer~ Sweet, sweet, Sister! I am wrapping you in prayer right now! Even thought the enemy is trying to attack you with these thoughts, you are recognizing it and you are fighting back by saying ” I won’t do it”. I am praying that when these feelings start to come over you that you grab your Bible and press into God as hard as you can! Remember what HE says about you! We can’t trust our feelings and emotions but we can trust HIM. He is the only one who will never fail us and can love us unconditionally. What HE says, (and only Him) defines YOU sister!! Nothing and no one else! You are a precious, beautiful, daughter of God! Sending prayer, love and hugs your way!!

  54. I so loved this. I too am a hands on person, it spoke loud and clear. Thanks!!!

  55. Hi! Okay! I am typing this comment with my thumb wrap in place. A little awkward, but not awful. I do have a bit of pain from keeping that thumb straight. I chose my left thumb, and may trade thumbs in about half an hour. What a creative exercise, Stephanie! I look forward to reading others’ comments. God bless you, and thank you for sharing your creativity with us! Onward!!

  56. Love, love, love this illustration! I’ve only had it on for a half hr and it’s already hampered my day so much. I’m going to leave it on all day while I’m out and about running errands to really drive the message home for me. Thanks Stephanie for this powerful activity :) I’m going to share the idea when I meet with my Pastor tomorrow as He is leading us through a message that also involves the body of Christ and learning our gifts/calling.

  57. I love this activity! Even though it may haved looked silly, there was nothing siily about it after seeing how we do paralize our spiritual gifts with the thoughts of not being good enough! Today i am unwrapping myself from my insecuries, my doubts, my failures, my cannots! I am screaming from the top of my lungs, with a confidenr heart, #YesICan! Thank you Stephanie, I LOVED THIS! You Roch Girlfriend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. Rock not roch lol

  59. Great exercise for reminding us how we can be bound up by our doubts and insecurities! I know when I have a paper cut or have to wear a bandaid on my thumb or finger for a while how awkward and distracting it can be, not to mention sometimes painful! Thanks for reminding us that through the power within us (the Holy Spirit) we can just take it off and throw it away and claim our worth in Christ! “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9

  60. Stephanie! I love the video and your creativity. Your hands-on teaching is so helpful and such a great way to connect God’s truth from our heads to our hearts. Im taking notes :)

  61. TABITHA JONES says:

    I need your prayers this morning. I am heart broken. This chapter comes at a good time for me. I have felt like such a failure as a parent today. My son is a senior in school and has struggled so much . He went to school this morning and he quit. He is 19 so he can do it on his own and knowing what he has been through I understand. When you read my status you might think, you are the parent why would you let him do that? I have prayed and prayed all weekend, but I can’t make his decisions for him anymore. I have done all I can do. I had to back off because I love him to much for him to move out and cause so much turmoil in my family. Please remember me in your prayers today.

    • Diane Barney says:

      Tabitha I feel your heartache I know where you are right now and I can share with you some things I’ve learned stand on the word of God for your son and fear not for God has engraved him into the palm of his hand, he will never leave or forsake him, and he will be restored in due time. It is so difficult to watch our children rebel and go astray, however, God has promised to call them from the East and the West. In Isaiah 45:11-13 “This is what the Lord says the Holy one of Israel, and it’s maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children? 12 It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; and I marshaled the starry hosts. I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. God has promised to listen to our prayers he hears them and keeps a jar filled with our tears he knows your hurt and pain and will answer the prayers in the right time. Stay at peace, know who you are in Christ we have the victory, and let your son know you don’t agree with his decision but your love is unconditional for him. Love covers over a multitude of sin and the enemy our adversary can’t stand it he will flee. Trust God. God Bless my Sister in Christ. I pray this encourages you. You are not a failure Be a Prayer Warrior and overcome what the enemy meant to tear you down. Your son will soon see God answers prayer.

      • TABITHA JONES says:

        Thank you for your words of encouragement. My son quitting school is a relief in a sense to me because he has struggled so long but I know that it is not a good things and it breaks my heart all at the same time. I can defintely feel your prayers today. It feels so good to come to you ladies because I know you will pray for me without judging me.

    • Hi Tabitha, I praying for you and your son. Through God all things are possible. In His timing, not ours.

      • TABITHA JONES says:

        Ladies keep praying . I got a call about an hour ago and had to go to the school and it is not final yet. I have until in the morning to change his mind. So please pray if its Gods will we can talk him in to not giving up. I apperciate all you ladies.

  62. Stephanie Christensen (OBS Group Leader) says:

    Okay, I managed to wear this thing for almost an hour and that was long enough to drive home the point it was intended to make! This is my insight from the activity: My mind was always focused on my wrapped thumb. I could function and go about my duties but I could not function to the fullest of my ability and I was not 100% focused on what I should be focused on, I was always partly focused on this thumb. The paper was annoying in that it kept slipping and it made my thumb feel weak, tired and the tape around it made it feel restricted. and that is exactly what my doubts do to me. They suck away my focus, they weaken me and they wear me out, and they restrict me from believing in God’s words and promises. When I unwrapped my thumb, it felt better,stronger and I could function fully! This was an eye opener for sure!!

  63. Loved this exercise and the point it made. We are restricted, held back and frustrated by our doubts. They can make even the most simple tasks seem difficult. I’m so distracted by how hard and unnatural everything seems and how silly I might look attempting something that I can’t even focus enough to hear what God might be telling me to do or to recognize what I might actually be doing well (what my gifts are). My doubt just assumes for me that I’m going to fail. I’m looking forward to seeing how He will use Chapter 8 to change me!

  64. Diane Barney says:

    I have to say I didn’t last long with the paper around my finger I found it annoying and quickly realized how all my self doubts had become just that annoying. It’s difficult to work hindered by anything which prevents me to work freely in the house. I knew it would get wet and soggy and real messy as I made the cheesecake for this evenings group. A light bulb just went ding, ding, ding what am I doing doubting what God can do with me. YESHECAN and YESICAN because my God is the Great I Am. WOW I usually avoid visual tools like these but glad I did it this time because God spoke loudly through this visual. Praise God he answered some of my growing self doubt which crept in again despite working through with this bible study. It’s still a daily battle a habit which has taken years to build now to be broken and these tools are a necessary part of that process. Thanks for the visual tool it was helpful.

  65. Stephanie: What a wonderful way to help remind us that we CAN do so much! Every time I was working at something this bandage was bugging me (in the way). It reminded me that we so often doubt ourselves and our abilities instead of looking at the positive traits we have! Thanks again for a wonderful example of how to lift ourselves up, instead of knocking ourselves down as we all so often do!

  66. Great idea ! I realized how hard I had to concentrate to KEEP the paper on my thumb. I thought of how hard I have worked in the past to keep my doubts and fears first in my mind and heart. I am trusting God that He will strengthen me to reverse that process now that I am actively aware of how destructive this is to my walk with God. Thanks so much Stephanie !
    PS Tabitha… Don’t let your son view himself as a failure just because he left school. God has a plan for him, His plan, not the world’s plan… Come along side him and be his cheerleader and encourage him in his next steps. High school does not determine success or failure in any one’s life, knowing God and loving His ways are the only true path to success in this life. I will be praying for you and your son.

  67. Ok I tried the experiment of wrapping my thumb and after just a little bit of preparing supper to put in crock pot this is what happened to me. The paper got wet from onion juice as I was careful not to get wet with water lol, I then went and re- wrapped and re-taped it and it fell off. God revealed to me that just like wrapping our thumb: 1) we are hiding in darkness that the enemy tries to keep us in with thoughts that are Not His thoughts. 2)We are careful not to let people see the hurt, pain, negative thoughts, sin, in us. We can try and patch (re-wrap / re- tape) ourselves up like we did with experiment , but unless we let God which is the Light in we will be in the enemies camp of darkness ( hurt, self doubt, negative thoughts) No matter how many times I taped up thumb it kept coming undone and fell off and paper tore. 3) That is what God wants us to do, tear up the negative thought and take them captive in Jesus name. We are more than conquers . We can do all things through Christ Jesus. We are His precious children that He loves and made us. Just like the experiment God also revealed that Jesus washed away all my (our ) sins and negative thoughts. That by His stripes we are healed and made hole. Amen. Isn’t that Exciting friends. Have a Blessed week as we go into Ch. 8 :)

  68. Jennifer. I am praying for you now. God loves you and has a purpose for you. Please do not listen to the doubts and convictions Satin is putting in your heart and mind. Not only does God consider you precious, but your children need you. You can trust God, and like Stephanie Christensen said in her reply to your post, You can trust GOD.

  69. Well the wrapped up thumb is irritating, annoying and uncomfortable. It makes trying to do things awkward but I thought about how God must feel when we focus on the failings we think about and not about the wonderful joys he has given us. He must find us irritating and annoying but that does not stop his love for us. I IMAGINE He must be uncomfortable with our focus on us and not on His love and plans for us.
    Lord help me to be the woman you want me to be. Help me to be strong in you and keep looking forward to you and your plans for my life. STOP me from looking behind as that is the past which cannot be changed but to look forward to your love and see your beauty which surrounds me. Help to keep my eyes and heart focused on you. In Jesus name ,. Amen. Thank you for not giving up on me.

  70. Thanks for the activity! Great way to illustrate how doubts, insecurities, & negative thoughts can hinder us from being all God desires for us to be & doing all He desires for us to do for Him. It was mostly just an aggravation for me until I cracked open an egg & got egg white on it!!! I knew then it was time to read the rest of the post & free my thumb! Lol!!!

  71. julie reynolds says:

    I discovered that when I really needed to use my thumb, my thumb was stronger than the paper/ insecurities that I had wrapped and taped around it. When push came to shove, my thumb was used properly and tore through the paper and bent the tape. I believe that God will do the same to our weaknesses in insecurities if we allow Him to flex His almighty strength and we allow Him to use us as He has planned. We are weak, like paper. Our will can be bent like the tape if we do not inhabit Gods will with our free will. Submit to the thumb! Submit to Gods plan for our lives. Now..just what is that plan…Lead us O God, our Father.

  72. Jennifer,
    I’ll be praying for you. I went though similar thoughts this past summer when my anxiety and depression got so bad. I ended up being hospitalized twice because I tried to end my life by taking a handful of pills and then when I got out and ended up talking to my doctor about still having those thoughts. I have been in counseling and on medication since then and have been realizing that there has to be a reason God kept saving me and that I have a purpose. Being in this study has helped a lot too. Just keep talking to your doctors or seek help and keep trusting that things will work out! :)

  73. I tried the activity. Still wrapped around my thumb now. It is hard to do anything, especially when you are used to using your thumb. But that is what our doubt and insecurities are doing, weighing us down, keeping us from a normal fulfilled life that we all deserve. Perhaps I should wear this all the time just to remind me that I need to let go of my doubts and insecurities and start living a life that God planned for me.

  74. Thank you So much for this activity!! I quickly realized how frustrating it must be for God when I constantly listen to the horrible little voice in my head that whispers all my insecurities. With the paper on my thumb it was harder to do everything and took my a lot longer, my thumb isn’t that big and you wouldn’t think it would make much of a difference, but goodness it does!!! So no matter how little I feel my gifts are God can use them to make a big difference!! :D

  75. I LOVED you activity! I think it was a great visual, for us visual people- exactly to see how self-produced doubt get unnecessarily on the way. Thank you for that! Also, I was thinking as I read instructions (and then later when you described yours)- the more we get active to do things we are supposed to, the more we will wear off that ‘doubt band’ that restrains some of our motions…it will indeed fade away, wear off, get soggy, and then eventually fall off, no matter how hard we may try to put it back on (as the soggy paper you described)- and I think this is our ultimate victory too after we persevere and press on based on God’s tasks for us- and all that self/flesh-produced doubt will eventually fall off too and we wont be able to keep it on even if we wanted to! :)

  76. What an excellent example of how we grab onto our own thoughts and tape them to ourselves to carry around. These thoughts we carry annoy and irritate and hinder, yet we keep them when it is so easy to let the Lord help us get rid of them. Thanks for the great activity today

  77. It is hard to do anything with my thumb taped up! And I get it. With the Lord’s help I will change the habit’s that hider the Lord’s work in my life!
    Thank you!

  78. I am a cross between a Phlegmatic and a Melancholy. I also read the gifts. apparently I fall toward mercy and service. I’ve been told I have compassion for people. My friend Marie says some don’t have it nor do they ever acquire it. She says it’s the one thing that draws her to me. With that being said, How do you use what you have learned from the book today? How can you use mercy as a spiritual gift. service I got. I do that everyday with my family. This book has been a joy to my heart. Thanks for doing this study.

  79. Great learning aid Stephanie, thank you!

  80. Stephanie, you made that scripture and reading this week come alive with that little piece of paper! Wrapping it around my finger made me feel instantly annoyed. I don’t like to feel constricted or constrained (probably why I can’t stand spanxy type undergarments, either!). Knowing that piece of paper with all of my doubts was wrapped tight enough to not come off until I chose for it to, was lesson enough! Thank you for keeping it real for us and allowing us to really dig in today!

  81. Good lesson. What I took away from it was that those things get in the way. Not just the few strokes of ink on a tiny piece of paper stuck to my thumb, but in life. My negative thoughts or perceptions get in the way of hearing what God wants me to hear and know. Sometimes because I believe them. Sometimes because I say them to myself so often they have misled me. I’m going to pretend that all those things I wrote down and have repeatedly said to myself for decades were written in the sand and He has washed them away in the surf. They are gone forever. If my memory wants to recall them, I’ll will stop and say that message is not from God, and replace it with a good thought.
    Thank you for another great lesson. And thank you Lord for helping receive the messages. Help me to believe how You see me and not how I have seen myself in the past. I am blessed beyond measure.

  82. Today’s activity was perfect timing for me. I have been struggling with confidence and self-doubt for a long time now. I struggle with a negative self/body-image and emotional eating and depression at times due to the body image. This study as a whole has been so refreshing and has given me a lot of tools I desperatley needed to help me through. God has been working in my life so much through the past few weeks with this Bible study. But, this morning I woke up feeling tired, anxious, overwhelmed and wieghed down. I just wanted to crawl back in the bed and go back to sleep. I wake up this way most mornings, and the first thing I do is ask God to take my focus off of me and my negative feelings. To give me joy and hope and to keep my eyes focused on Him. However, this morning, I just didn’t have it in me – I felt tired of trying to overcome all the issues, I just felt like giving up. I felt like, I might as well get used to this feeling of being weighed down and depressed because I keep trying to overcome it and it keeps coming back. I cannot be successful. Then, when I got to work and checked my email, I read today’s assigment. I immediately tried it. I wrote down all I had been struggling with this morning and taped it around my thumb. As I began my work day, that paper around my thumb felt exactly like what I had been feeling in my heart all morning. Weighed down, cumbersome…a burden. Then, when I took off the paper….freedom, relief, joy! Thank you Stephanie! I thank God for using you today for teaching me and reminding me of exactly what I needed to hear! Do I fail? yes…am I a failure? #IAmNot…can I overcome this? yes…why? Because, #YesIDo have something special to offer!

  83. Melanie (P31 OBS Small FB Group 48 Leader) says:

    I love this! Thank you Stephanie Clayton for this activity. Yes, the paper & tape around my thumb was annoying. As I rub my now bare thumb ( I could only take an hour), I am reminded to replace those doubts but I am also using it to make healthier food & exercise choices. I am reminding myself that with the extra weight I have on me, I am not able to perform to the best of my ability the work God has called me to do. I need to make healthy choices to be all that I can be.

    • I could only take an hour too. It drove me insane. :-) I am using this activity to remind myself as well that we are called to do Gods work. Its amazing how much my insecurities have kept me from moving forward. Thanks for sharing!

  84. I have a 3 year old… this task was very hard as he always wants something and I found that my doubts frequently got in the way. What a relief to remove the paper! It’s a great exercise that will really help me to remember to unwrap myself from my doubts. Thanks Stephanie!!

  85. Janet Daniel says:

    This was a very interesting task which I really found Challenging! I wanted to keep it on all day. The more I tried to do activities the more it slipped off. After ratting it god all soiled from food. It was hard to wash my hands with it on. It makes me realize how many things I use my thumb for, but more importantly I kept thinking every time it fell off and I put it back on was like putting a weight on my heart by taking the worries back on. And on the other side u kept hearing the whisper from God #YesICan’ yes I can throw away my insecurities, my i’m not good enough, smart enough, …, I don’t have to carry those chains around. Just stop and pray and seek God’s words. His wisdom. I am eager to see where this leads me.
    Thanks!

  86. Oh Jennifer. I’m sorry you are feeling the way you do. I don’t have the expertise to offer advice, other than I pray that you will reach out to your pastor or doctor, immediately. Please don’t resort to what seems may be the only solution…been there…it’s not. But you need help to get through this. Listen to your fellow sisters. God lead you to this bible study for a reason. We love you and deeply care about you. Pray without ceasing. Please promise to get help, today, ok?

  87. Janet Daniel says:

    Jennifer,
    Praying for you!
    Love you Janet

  88. Yadi Lamphere says:

    This activity was awesome! I loved it! At first, it was extremely annoying and distracting. It made things so much more difficult and complicated. It even made me a little frustrated. But I noticed that as the time went by, I grew more and more used to it. Kind of like my doubts and insecurities. I have filled my head with them so often that they are just an everyday part of my life. I am taking them off! Thanks to this study, I am much more aware of these negative thoughts, and through the help of God’s word I have been able to replace these thoughts with God’s thoughts.

  89. I loved todays activity. I cried just writing the insecurities I had on the paper…my favorite part was ripping it off.

  90. Hi, Julie! I really appreciate what you have written here. Yes! I could operate with my thumb wrapped without much discomfort. Also, the paper at the end wrapped around the end eventually, making it even easier to use that thumb. Yes, allow Him to flex His almighty strength and allow Him to use us as He has planned. I do like that. I want to inhabit God’s will with my free will. Selah! God bless you! Thank you.

  91. In church yesterday, My husband and I are taking a parenting class and it was talking about getting your kids not just to say a prayer and ask Jesus into your heart but live it. Because it says in the bible many believe they were christians but Jesus says “turn from me I never knew you”.

    That makes me paranoid and insecure because I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins and the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ.

    I go to church, talk with God, read my bible (not everyday but I get devotions emailed to my emails)

    I do not like feeling this way..

    • nancy collins says:

      as long as you are loving Jesus with ALL your heart then he is able to meet where you are and dont give up, we dont just make a cake with a blink of an eye we have to make the effort and God provides the ingredients all that we all called to do is read the instructions and put it together according to his word.. please i encourage to think of that paper on your thumb try cracking eggs, and mixing the cake mix and water and oil that you have to pour and measure makes it hard to make a awesome treat or dessert for your family, so much is the same about doubt what a sweet and delicious reward we have from the Heavenly Father himself, and you hinder from being able to share that with you family… love keep up the good work

  92. Anastasia Corbin says:

    The thumb wrapping exercise was a great one to do. The wrap was so annoying and in the way a lot. It was such a good visual for me though to realize how I do this to myself with my doubts and insecurities. I hinder myself from living to my full God given potential when I believe the lies. Oh Jesus, help me to daily take off the doubts and throw them away. And more importantly focus on Your truth!

  93. Funny how when you have something that continually hinders your progress that is all you can concentrate on…with a piece of paper taped around my thumb I focused on the inconvenience of what was slowing me down…..and thougth about the negative thought that also slow us down in our every day life…I personally could not wait to throw those negative (cumbersome) words in the trash right where they belong!
    The more we focus on the negative–incorrect thought we have of ourselves the less time we have to spend on who God truely intended us to become. This was an asesome activity!!

  94. Doing this activity reminded me how much it matters to me what other people think. I kept waiting for my 5 year-old son to ask why I had that paper around my thumb. Wasn’t sure how I would explain it to him, so I spent the whole time “stressing” about how I would explain what I was doing. He didn’t even notice, or at least never asked about it. What a silly think to worry about, and I do it so often, every day. I want to change that!

  95. nancy collins says:

    i lovee this thank you i am a very visual person and the fact that i’m able to see this really helps me see the paper on my thumb and keeping from what i am called to do and it hinders me and helps my friends that i’m helping in the process and we are able to encourage one another with just simple reminders and make Gods lessons in life fun for us!! yeS I CAN!! THUMbS UP… i have been called to step out the boat and doubt stamps out on other people, not only do you affect your self but stops all of Gods children as well .. LOve you Jesus n that you love us enough to not leave us broken and that you want to help us , so we can help others as well

  96. It definitely got in my way and was very annoying. Which is how I feel about my insecurities. ….they get in my way when Im trying to step out of my comfort zone. Great exercise.

  97. nancys1128 says:

    Your “Take it Off” directive brought to mind Karen Ehman’s book title: Let,It.Go. Same concept, and words that won’t cause any eyebrows to be raised when heard out of context.

  98. I loved this activity and I am certainly going to do it. What a great reminder not to let things/feelings/attitudes get in the way of serving the Lord.

  99. You are so right, Stephanie, about our doubts keeping us from being able to do what God wants us to do, just like your thumb wrapped up in index card. Thank you for that picture.

  100. I loved having something “physical” to do to really let the lesson sync in. It was annoying and distracting, and I found myself preoccupied with it and trying to keep it from falling/ripping, etc. at first. And it reminds me that when we focus on the negative, sefl-doubt that enters our minds, it keeps us from being able to focus on and do God’s work. But I also found that I was able to “get used to it” after a little while and it became less annoying…another reminder that we have to be careful of our thought patterns and that if we entertain the negative self-talk for too long…it can become our “normal” way of thinking which of course is so damaging and will keep us from having the confidence to focus on and have the confidence to do God’s work. Thank you so much P31 ministries for this amazing study and all the wonderful tools you are providing to really let the message sync in. (This is my first online bible study and I am LOVING it!).

  101. Kally Moyer says:

    When you told about the activity of wrapping your thumb and then taking it off, I immediately thought of a scene in the Mission movie. Robert DeNiro’s character finally lets go of the sack tied to his back representing his burden/ sin and found God’s forgiveness, mercy, freedom and purpose for his life. Thank you for sharing that activity.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkzxdDy95rA

  102. Am SO loving this study!! It is truly a miracle right from God….every chapter ministering just where it needs to….but HELP!! Video in the post is not working for me today?? Anyone else having the same problem??

  103. Wearing that thing all day was a BIG bother, I kind-of feel like a big fat complainer now that I know God has to deal with us with all this clogged up mess we leave ourselves in. I feel like a big baby, but now I know better. :) ♥ I feel more Loved from God than every before. Great example.

  104. Crissy Johnson says:

    For the first 25 minutes it drove me insane!!! I couldn’t type correctly, my finger was hot it was just annoying!! But you want to hear something sad….I got used to it being there after that. I hardly noticed it now. It had become like a part of me. So, what did I learn? I learned that at first my doubts and insecurities bother me. They make me uncomfortable…but just like with the conviction of the Holy Spirit to something sinful…if not dealt with right away it becomes part of you. It almost becomes “ok” to feel that way. No wonder I have held on to my doubts for so long. They have become a habit, something I have gotten used to.

    Taking it off reminded me that I need to remove these doubts from my life. I need to be intentional about it and not put it on the back-burner.

  105. OBS sisters-
    I wore my paper splint since 10am, I was shocked at how I’m the one putting up the road blocks. God Is Good! Do I believe Him? #YesIDo!
    Hugs.
    Jane

  106. I realized that God does not want me bound or wrapped up in labels that define me contrary to His Word. I’m not defined by the insecurities and broken cracks I have! I am a new creation! I have personality and spiritual gifts that define me! I have His Personality within me that wants to wrap me up in God’s truth, and I’m going to wear that from now instead!

  107. Jennifer -
    I will be praying for you. Big time!!! The Bible says in Jereimiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”!!! You have a beautiful future laid out for you by God himself and planned for you before the beginning of time. You are precious to Him!!! You are fearfully and wonderfully made and God sees and knows your pain and sadness and tears. He counts your tears. Talk to Him. Cry out to Jesus. He has felt it all… He took on all of our pain and shame on the Cross. I find that I get the most comfort from the Lord when I write out my prayers and feelings to Him – especially when I am overwhelmed with emotions…. it really helps me to stay focused and see things more clearly. I pray that God gets you together with a good Christian Sisters, in person, who can hold you up and pray you through! We all will be praying for your healing and deliverance from the sexual shame that came on you as a child. That you are delivered and set free in the mighty name of Jesus!

    If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are a precious child of of the Most High God and the evil one cannot touch you! There is now no condemnation (shame) for those in Christ Jesus!!! Thank you for reaching out to us and letting us know where you are and how you are feeling!!! Most of us, if not all of us, have been there in similar ways, for sure!!! We love you — and more importantly, God, Abba Father, loves you with an everlasting love! May His awesome love, grace and forgiveness become more real and powerful to you as you seek Him, right now, in the name of Jesus!!!

  108. I used to try to change my personality. I thought I could not be (and was not) a good Christian woman with my personality. I had a wonderful pastor who helped me to see that God made me with my personality and has a purpose for the type of person I am. I believe my struggle to change who God made me to be caused much of the chronic depression I suffered with for 11 years. I wish someone would have told me just how wonderfully I have been made. I always heard things like, “if you were like so and so” or “if you looked like so and so” you would really be good or pretty or thin, etc. those comments made it difficult for me to believe God’s word.
    I am thankful for spiritual healing of my heart and mind and for the physical healing of my body when Gid set me free from depression. I still struggle with doubt, am I good enough or if I make mistakes I’m a total failure. But these thoughts and feelings don’t and cannot last long because of God’s word hidden in my heart and the Holy Spirit’s comforting power.
    I love me and I love who God made me to be. I hope to continue to progress fully into the woman and life He has planned for me.

  109. Wow, unbelievable that you would use this illustration! God seriously works in mysterious ways! I am a healthy energetic “middle aged” woman! I’ve always done cartwheels and tumbling with my kids! Right about the time I started this bible study I did a round off and hurt my THUMB!!! I’ve been in a cast thingy for weeks and it is driving me crazy, what a hinderance. I really know God is totally making me get this illustration!! I’m loving it!❤️

  110. grr…it’s one of those days. I didn’t do the thumb exercise because I know how it will be. I just don’t if my attitude can take it today! I think I want a bacon cheeseburger with fries and lots of them! Next is Made to Crave right???

    Anyway, I have read the chapter and learned a few things about myself and can’t wait to unleash it all on you!

    Pray tomorrow is a better day! :)

  111. I thought it was a great activity to get the point across that we can’t be all God wants us to be if we continue stay wrapped up in our insecurities. Point well taken! Thanks for such a creative teaching method!

  112. Jane Hilson says:

    I read the blog on my phone before work (no video or pics) My right thumb already doesn’t weork right, and after looking at the thumb project, I doubt that piece of paper would have made it past the first paint spill clean-up at 5:00 this morning, and I change gloves way too many times to even try this (OSHA)
    Anyway, I’m off Wed so maybe I’ll try it

  113. I must have those things wrapped around me like a mummy, and secured with duct tape. Lord, please help me be the woman you want me to be. I know what you say in my mind, I long to feel it in my heart.

  114. This experiment reminded me of when i received third degree burns from hot scalding soup, to both of my thumbs. I was limited to doing much of anything with my hands and I had to depend on my family. Although the burns improved within 24 hours, it did make me realize that when the going gets tough, the tough get going and that some things in life can be very challenging and hard for us to do or even conceive of doing. I’ve walked through many hard days and still do, carrying a very heavy cross……but knowing God always was and is there, in may ways and forms, is what gets me through it.

  115. Jada Smith says:

    I thought this activity was awesome and I learned a lot from it! I also think the verse and discussion was great! Sometimes, I have too many to write down or it would cover more than my thumb! LOL

  116. sarah simms says:

    I love Psalm 139 and God’s promise to always be beside me.

  117. I think it was a great idea and really showed how A LOT OF DOUBTS KILLS DREAMS AND HOPES
    GOD PUT IN US AT BIRTH. #3WOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  118. This activity was a great visual aid as to how we keep ourselves from doing all God has called us to do! We need to unwrap it, fling it off and get on the move for the Lord. Have a blessed week Ladies! #YesIDo! :-)

  119. Christe McKenzie says:

    Haven’t had a chance to wrap my thumb! But I could tell you without a doubt it would’ve been awfully hard to cut hair with it wrapped!!! Can’t wait to dive into chapter 8 in the morning!

  120. I think that the hardest part about this activity was admitting that I had insecurities other than my weight. My weight insecurity is ridiculous also. It is just a number on the scale. I tell myself that I am the way God wants me to be, and I also tell myself it is muscle weight. Yes, I know I need to quit thinking negatively, and I am working on it. This whole process is just a little slow…

  121. I think Jennifer should be the winner of the devotional
    I didn’t get online early enough see her first prayer request, but I can gather what it said from all the comment
    and I know it made my heart so sad.
    Let’s put some “Hope” in her hands. Amen.
    Jennifer, hang in there. There are many women praying for you tonight sweet sis! /HUGS!

  122. Loved this activity. I wore it to the department of motor vehicles and wow did people stare. All I could do was kinda giggle. Can’t wait to start Chapter 8 tomorrow.

  123. Oh my God dear sister,
    That was a powerful teaching for me ! wearing that doubt on my thumb whole day and fixing every other thing!
    It was a bother but in the process a learning!
    I thank God for your creative ways of helping us learn there is nothing so hard if you are determined.

    Be blessed with more ideas!

    Christine Poni

  124. Good evening ladies,
    Unfortunately, this is the first chance I’ve had to comment on anything since this study started. Between working, school, and a bible study I was doing at my church, I got somewhat behind. I’m all caught now, having finished my class at school and the bible study at church. I’m really glad I can spend more time on this study now. This exercise was really great!!! The doubts I wrote down were: Am I too old or not good enough for nursing?, Am I too old to be a Birth Doula?, and Will I ever have another close relationship with a good man?, I don’t usually let my doubts into my thoughts very often, or for very long. I started this by deciding to put the paper on my left thumb, since I’m right handed I figured it wouldn’t be in the way as much. I guess that’s how I do my thoughts too. It did bother me, though. It came off once and tore a little, and I had to put a smaller piece of tape on it. I still found that I needed my left thumb for things and could only use my thumbnail, and couldn’t wash my left thumb, just the other fingers. By the end of the day it was frayed around the edges. I did however use the opportunity of wearing it to tell other people what it was all about and that was awesome!! It also made me aware of how much I want the things I wrote on it, and why. I was reading in yesterdays newspaper about a hospital in one of the places in the Philippians that was devastated by the typhoon. The NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) has been submerged under water, all the equipment destroyed, and there isn’t any electricity. The story centered on a mom and dad that were squeezing a rubber bag attached to a hose attached to an oxygen tank, trying to keep their newborn baby girl alive. She had been born the day before with breathing problem at birth. They said she probably would be okay if they could put her on the ventilator, but it wasn’t working. The couple was taking turns squeezing a half hour at a time. The mother said she just wanted her baby to know how much they loved her. They had moved the babies upstairs to the chapel, but had little supplies and medicines, and no equipment. There had been several babies born after the typhoon hit, premature, and I think 5 had already died. Reading that yesterday made me want to be there to help, and inspired me to aim for completing the Doula training and the nursing so I can have the skills to help. It also made me a bit angry, wondering why no one from the US has gone to help these poor babies. After putting those doubts on my thumb today, I read a follow-up article in today’s paper. The baby girl, they gave her name but I’ve forgotten, died yesterday! It broke my heart! I cried! There is no doubt now!!!!! I did a study on Spiritual Gifts a couple of years ago to find out what I already knew, that I have the gift of service. I love doing things for others, and I love it even more when I’m doing it for God. I know that God has put babies in my heart, I have 9 children of my own, and is calling me to learn all I can to help as many as I can. The article said that the baby wasn’t born premature, that her breathing problems at birth were probably from poor prenatal care for the mother. I want so much to be able to make a difference and bring those precious little lives into the world. Nothing gives me more pleasure than holding and looking into the face of the most precious gift from God. I don’t know where my nursing skills will take me, maybe labor & delivery or a NICU, or maybe childbirth classes and beyond that in educating pregnant women on having the best pregnancy they can. My experience with alcohol and drugs could lead me to pregnant women in those situations. I don’t know what God has planned for me but I’m going to do my best to learn as much as I can, and be open to whatever and wherever God leads me. Great exercise Stephanie, thank you! Now you see why it’s hard to find time to comment, I’m “long winded” . I hope everyone has a great night, and I’ll try and make my next post shorter. Goodnight!!!!!

  125. I wasn’t able to participate in the activity today because I don’t get to do my study until very late in the evening just before I go to bed. I can relate to the exercise though. Several months ago I had surgery on my left hand (a growth removed at the base of my thumb) and my hand was bandaged and completely immobile for almost 2 weeks. It was very difficult to do anything I needed to do. Even though it was not my dominant hand, it was a nuisance to try to do anything with it while it was all wrapped up. The same thing applies when I’m “all wrapped up with layer after layer of I don’t have anything special to offer.” But when the bandage was finally removed from my hand, I was able to successfully complete all the tasks I couldn’t complete when it was bound up. So in comparison, when I cast off the bindings of doubt, I am able to do what God asks me to do, using the gifts and talents He’s given me to do them with. So, do I have anything special to offer? Well…#YesIDo!!

  126. I loved this exercise. Sometimes it takes me to see something physically to realise what I am doing and this done the trick. It showed me how I dwell and focus too much on my doubts and insecurities rather than on God’s promises for me. I liked the way we had to “take it off” too and it got me thinking that as I take off my doubts and insecurities, instead I should be “putting on” God’s truth and having it wrapped round my finger as a reminder each day of his promises to me

  127. I am praying for you Jennifer and want to echo everyone’s words of wisdom. I can only imagine what you feel like and I pray you will feel Jesus’ arm around you through all of our words and prayers.

    Thank you for the illustration of how much we can hold ourselves captive with insecurities and doubts. Our thoughts are powerful and if we can ward off some of these bad ones with God’s truths it can open a new world for us.

  128. Even typing was awkward and I thought on all the people I have seen with a cast or a wrap of some kind and I really thought nothing of it, but it can really hinder your progress. I just got annoyed looking at it and feeling it on my thumb(I taped it pretty tight so it wouldn’t come off) I was glad for it to be off and I’m sure that God is glad when we take that doubt off-I bet He gets real excited like a kid on Christmas-Finally He get to use what He has waited for. :)

  129. Kristi Rassi says:

    That was very annoying trying to work without a thumb! I almost didn’t do it bc I already knew it would be annoying but like you said, just so it anyways bc it’s so different experiencing something instead of simply knowing about it. I’m learning to engage in my life (good and bad), so thank YOU Stephanie for encouraging us in this! Analysis: I do not want to be that annoying thumb to the body of Christ!

  130. It is very easy to say “Just take off the paper” and everything that you do will be easier. But what if that paper that is on your thumb is back by proving evidence? I have felt so attacked lately but there is proof that it is true. I know that God loves me and that I am very special to Him, I know that my family loves me but beyond that, I feel that no one else does. I have no close friends, no one I am really close to that I can be honest with. Every time I have had a close friendship, something happens that ruins it and then I am no longer friends with that person. This has happened time and time again (my proof). So, I put up walls and do not become close with anyone. I tell myself that I am alright with this, that God is enough and all I need! But I feel that satan is taunting me lately with this…”you have no friends, you have no friends”. I would love to just cast this aside. How can I be of any service to my God when I am incapable of maintaining a close friendship?

    • Kelli, normally I probably wouldn’t have even seen your post. I try to read the posts on the exact day and not be “behind” but I really wanted to read through this chapter in depth before I read the posts and so here I am today. I completely understand where you are coming from. I too have felt as if I have no friends (a lie from Satan) and that those I have I push away, especially close girlfriends. My own doubts and insecurities keep me in what felt like a constant competition. I am learning to release those things, break down the walls that have protected me from being hurt, and let people see the real me, in all my brokenness. It’s not easy and some days are clearly easier than others. Kelli, I am not perfect, I have my faults just like everyone else and I too can name instance after instance of betrayals albeit large or small of close friendships, but one of the biggest things I’ve learned is the power to forgive. It is in that forgiveness that I too have been forgiven and friendships have been restored. Think about what it is that you want and expect from a close friendship, and ask yourself if you have those same qualities or do you have something totally different to bring to the relationship. Remember there is no condemnation, your are uniquely created to be who you are, just as I am who I am, when we accept ourselves, others accept us as well. Praying that God will send you someone into your life that will become that close friend that you desire, one that stays through the adversities and challenges of life and that you each can be the other hand when you stumble. Blessings

  131. Lesley Morris says:

    Physically doing this exercise really brought home my “stinkin thinkin”. I was so caught up in fixing whatever (the chaos) in my life instead of trusting God. The exercise proved that it hindered everything I did! EVERYTHING! So grateful that His mercies are new every morning. I can run to Him every time I fall and learn to lean on Him daily.

  132. As I read this post this morning It spoke to me as I am experiencing difficulties in my family. I know that I need to take it off but I am having trouble with that process. I am staying in the word….. I hate feeling this way….I have an issue with not being in control of my feelings. As I put this on the screen I find my thoughts being jumbled through out my head. Arrrggghhh!!!!

  133. wow, that was a beautiful activity. I just loved it. thanks for sharing.

  134. I loved unwrapping my thumb and throwing away my insecurity and doubts…..Thank you for showing us how to do that!!!

  135. The last 2 weeks have been hard for me. I feel pulled away from the study and am struggling to catch up and continue to fight my way toward #AConfidentHeart. It is so hard to continue when you would rather hide your head in a hole and just stay there.

  136. I just discovered my Personality Type: Sanguine: Desires FUN
    Needs interaction, affection, approval, attention

    Loves people, Friendly, Exciting, Humorous, Emotional, Dislikes schedules, Makes excuses, Gets bored easily, charming, creative, thrives on activity, great storyteller, loses tract of time, takes on too much, easily distracted

    WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! This is SUPER TRUE!!!!! God has wired me to this personality for His Kingdom Glory and Purpose. Now, i just have to get training and practice it on this planet Earth. I love this bible themed verse Psalm 139:1 that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I noticed that I was born with a lot of sickness when I was a child with Asthma, Scoliosis and Psoriasis. When I realized and rewind myself when I was five-years old, God has showed me in my dreams while I was asleep the sickness that I have gone through and He was helping me all along and He was in control all of my sickness and pain. All I can response is SURRENDER!!!!! I am surrendering all of me–physically, mentally, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually. I surrender all my plans, agenda, schedules, my household, my relationships with my widowed mother, divorced sister and her three kids, my cousins , nieces and nephews. God also wants me to use my Spiritual Gifts to them. I love and need this chapter to discover and use my spiritual gifts for God’s Glory!

  137. Hey Family,
    Will you please join your agreement for my mother’s health? The doctors have found another mass in her right breast. This is the fourth time something has been found, but the previous three have been benign praise the Lord. She is such a trooper and fighter and I could use some peace for my heart too. I am thankful for my mother and she had been the one to point things out to me and has shown me glimpses of what I have to offer. It is my prayer that we both are here until He parts the sky :) THANK YOU SO MUCH

  138. I have been working on a blanket for our g-grandson. He is coming in Dec. to visit and I want to have it done when he gets here. It is my first attempt at knitting and I am really enjoying it (: It was kind of interesting what happened after I taped my list to my thumb. At first I thought that I was going to have to find something else to do with my thumb wrap…. It seemed like it would be impossible to knit with the paper wrapped around my thumb… But I kept trying and after a few min I was able to keep knitting , although not as fast and as smoothe as I can without it. I could still knit, but it wasn’t as enjoyable and easy as it is without it. I think we can still do some of the things The Lord wants us to do , even with our insecurities and doubts…. We might get the job done , but we might miss out on the peace , joy, and fullfillment that God wants us to experiance through the process. (:

  139. Nicole Scribner says:

    I am so doing this project tomorrow. It may really motivate me into getting things done that Satan seems to condemn me from doing and telling me I can’t, when GOD tells me I can. I can’t wait to see how it works. Thank you for sharing the #YESIDO. Because with GOD, when doubt creeps in, and that paper is on our thumb, I’m sure that will be an instant reminder. I guess some of us need a kick of motivation. Love it.

  140. Anita Plante says:

    I am visual and I love experiments for a purpose…
    I wrote out my doubts, the things I worry about… and wrapped it up!
    SoooOOoooo I found it…
    Annoying, distracting, noticeable, awkward, & inconvenient (Paper was hard & stiff)
    Time passed…

    Still annoying, noticeable, and a little less distracting, & inconvenient (Paper was bent)
    Time passed

    It was not as annoying or distracting… Still noticeable even to others (paper softened as it bent and was a tad bit wet, & wrinkled)

    It was as if I adapted to it being there?
    I typed differently, I handled objects differently, I had to purposely try and not think about it…
    But when I was not busy doing something or if I was alone (in the bathroom) my mind went right back to it.
    It became my focus… until I was busy again.

    I could not fully use my hand to its fullest ability. It was as if I was handicapped!

    When the day was over and I took it off my body was changed because of it… my skin was pale, and a bit wrinkled, as if I was wearing a gum band. (or how your skin appears a bit pruney after you’ve been in the water too long)
    It Left a mark!

    Conclusion:
    The doubts, and worries I carry is not natural, it is distracting, to God’s purpose and goals for me. It is mentally and physically inconvenient and takes its toll even on my own body.
    Stress and worry leave a mark physically as well. Spiritually I am sure if you are so busy thinking about the worries and doubts trying to figure out ways to adapt it becomes tiring and pointless.. The worry is still there…
    God cannot use us, as part of the body, to our fullest potential if were wrapped up in self-doubt or worry…

    It is only once you remove it, and give it to God that it can free you up to go on with your life’s purpose! Not as if it did not exist but knowing it is in God’s Hands and He is sovereign and trusting and capable and bigger than the problem. Worry and doubts are not natural, it is not helpful and it can be a flag to others, and a reminder to our self that we all need more faith! That God is Bigger, and He is our focus! Cast your cares on Him!

    Thank you for the Stephanie Clayton

  141. Girl Galeotti says:

    Thank you. I really needed that. I have been involved in prison ministry for the past several weeks and didn’t find out about this study until today. I think this would be great to do with my incarcirated sisters in Christ.

  142. Thanks Stephanie for giving us such a great practical exercise to prove the point. So simple and yet so powerful. Can really see how we get caught and hindered by wrong thoughts in the same way that the paper was a hindrance. Funny how something that seems so small (stinkin’ thinkin’) & seemingly insignificant initially, can really get in your way – big time! I’m learning more and more how powerful the words we think and speak about ourselves truly are.

  143. Cindy Uhrick says:

    The activity was interesting. Couldn’t get my piece of paper to stay on, so didn’t really have to time to be frustrated or annoyed with trying to complete my work for the day.

  144. I enjoyed the personality test. My skill is Mercy followed by Pastor/Teaching. I do not fancy myself someone able to minister, although my gifts would say otherwise. I am anxious to begin exploring them and figuring out just how God uses them in me. Honestly, I do not see myself as either by God clearly as has other plans for me.

    I am working on another Bible Study and tonight she quoted Job 23:14 For he performs what is appointed for me, Andy many such things are with him. I couldn’t think of a more perfect verse application for me then this verse! God speaks in so many ways.

  145. Its kind of an awkward feeling (which I am assuming is the key) because we all feel awkward when we have that self doubt nagging at us and we have to learn to push past that to find the place God has for us in this world.

  146. Cheryl Freier says:

    I’m behind on this weeks study I had my two grand daughters and no down time forgot what it is like to have little ones in the home my baby is 23 anyway to have my thumb wrapped up was annoying I can’t stand things in my way keeping me from doing what I need I felt I lost something that I needed and was important to my daily task good challenge definitely an eye opener thanks for this challenge

  147. Also behind but working to catch up! This activity I could only do for 15 minutes. It was annoying to have the paper there, and I was constantly aware of it — just the thought of it was irritating. I had to tape it on. I felt nudged by the Spirit about this — what things do I do in life to make sure that my insecurities don’t fall off? Hmmm…Also it got wet and as I was tossing something into the trash and fell off on it’s on into the trash. I thought to myself, that’s where it belongs and I am not retrieving trash! Thank you for this tangible lesson.

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