Living with God-fidence

Ahhhh, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! What a perfect time of year for us to “wrap up” 😉 our study.  I still can’t believe this is our final week of A Confident Heart!

I don’t know about you, but I often experience mixed feelings at this time of year.  Part of me absolutely LOVES Christmastime.  The high Sanguine in me (see Ch. 8 & p. 140) loves all the fun decor and festivities, and the Phlegmatic in me loves the traditions and extra relational time with friends and family coming together. However, the Choleric in me has a tendency to get bossy and impatient with the world.  Plus, I have zero ‘Melancholy’ in my personality style so slow-paced, task-oriented routines that often simplify Christmas are simply NOT my strength.  It’s easy to lose my confidence with my December to-do list and think there’s never enough time to do enough, get enough, spend enough, or even … worship enough.  No matter which personality blend I have, there’s never enough in me to meet every need.

But that’s exactly what the enemy of this world wants!  He wants me to ignore the real reason for Christmas and have me meditate on my multiple “Mayor of Schmuckville” moments where I inevitably disappoint someone (even myself). Satan works hard to have me forget that the whole world needs a Savior, which is why Jesus HAD to come to earth, because none of us is perfect. (See Romans 3:9-20.)   Instead of meditating on God’s grace and the miracle of a virgin giving birth to God Almighty, I find myself thinking, Christmas comes at the same time every year, so why on earth can’t I get more organized to completely focus on experiencing every bit of Jesus this year??!  Why does life have to be so difficult?

And that, sweet friends, is where we begin Chapter 10: “When Doubt Whispers … ‘I Can’t Follow God Consistently’.”  (By the way, on our Connections Call last week, author Renee Swope said it was her FAVORITE chapter in the whole book!  So we saved the best for last!)  As Renee Swope writes on pp. 186-187:

 “I want you to know we all blow it, but God offers grace to cover our guilt.  Satan wants us to think we’re the only ones who mess up, but it happens to all of us, every day.”

Instead of dwelling on the ways we mess things up, we need to shift our focus to all that God has done for us.  Remember our verse for the week?  Hebrews 10:35-36 says,

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Which brings us back to our hashtag term for the week: #ENOUGH. God Almighty is more than #ENOUGH to give us what we need to live with “God-fidence” (a term Renee uses in her DVD excerpt). So I don’t have to be enough, and neither do you.  Thank you, dear Lord, that this is true! May I pray for us?

Dear Father God,

At Christmastime and always, help us to remember that You alone are enough. I pray You will allow us to give and receive grace to others, with confident hearts that come from You.  We thank You Lord, that you nailed every one of our sins to the cross, so we need not dwell on them.  Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence that only You can give, so we might receive mercy and grace when we need it most.  Help us as Christ-followers to live a life worthy of Your name and continue to be strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might, so that we may have great endurance and patience and joyfully give thanks to You, Father. Help us to not throw away our confidence, knowing it will be richly rewarded.  Give us strength to persevere so that when we accomplish Your will, we can receive the ultimate gifts You have promised us.

In Jesus’ precious name I pray, Amen.

(See Hebrews 4:16; Colossians 1:10-11; Hebrews 10:35-36.)

TODAY’S ASSIGNMENT:

1.) CLICK HERE to check out this week’s DVD excerpt from Renee on Chapters 10-11, and learn how to live with “God-fidence”.

2.) Read Chapter 10 (aim to finish by Tues.) & Chapter 11 (by Fri).

For anybody wrestling with this, I grant you absolute permission to watch the DVD excerpt even if you’re behind on your reading, or are missing the book.  IT’S THAT GOOD!  (Plus as extra incentive, the publisher has only made these available through Dec. 14, so today’s the day to make it happen!) But what if I’m not caught up on the reading?  You ask.  Here’s my answer: Skip ahead!!  These last two chapters stand alone and because they’re so powerful, we’d love to have you join us! (It’s okay to get caught up later, if you are an always-finish-what-I-start kind of person.  That’s not exactly me, but it’s totally my husband!)

YOUR TURN:  Share your thoughts below and be entered for a chance to win a copy of A Confident Heart Devotional this week!

  • How does Christmastime affect your confidence?  Tell us, what is it that especially impacts your God-given confidence this time of year?
  • As Renee writes on p. 201, Have you ever blown it and felt like God was ready to give up on you?  What happened?
  • Do you sometimes doubt God’s grace and patience with you?  How does doubt in your life perpetuate more doubt and distance from God?
  • What are you thoughts from the DVD excerpt?  Favorite quote, or what stood out to you?

TOMORROW, we’ll talk more about Chapter 10, and Gideon’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid-turned-Warrior.  Can’t wait to keep the discussions going!! ~Steph Raquel

Join the Conversation | 96 Responses
Would you like your picture to show up next to your comment? Click here for instructions.

Visit Gravatar.com and create a free account with the email address you use to leave comments on blogs and other websites. Upload the picture you want associated with that email address and you're all set!

Jump down to the comment form.

Comments

  1. At Christmas I’m reminded of just one important fact – the love of God. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God loved ME so much that He gave His only son for ME. That kind of love just blows my mind. There cannot be love without giving. Loving and Giving go hand in hand. Because God Loved, He Gave. Isn’t it beautiful? So Christmas is a time for all of us to do exactly what God has shown us by His perfect example – Loving and Giving. So let’s go Love and Give. Happy Christmas to the entire OBS team and all my sweet sisters.

  2. Here at Christmas I’ve been reminded of God’s grace and mercy and unfailing love. And that even in my storms through the desert of my life He is my manna, my bread of life, my living well of thirst that is quenched by His words of knowledge wisdom.

  3. John 15:5
    I am the vine you are the branches
    Whoever abides in me I in them. He then bears much. For without me (our heavenly Father) we are nothing.

    My favorite scripture

    Have a blessed Monday ♥♥♥♥♥

  4. At this time of year I do get overwhelmed. I am so glad to be in this study. Yes, God is
    enough and I need to remind myself of that more. Sad that this is the last week, but
    so glad to have found these online Bible studies. Thanks so much.

  5. I loved the video from this week so much. I especially loved the names of God that Renee shared, specifically Jehovah Shemma “the Lord is there for me.” That personalizes my relationship with Him and reminds me that He will never, ever forsake me even though I fall short of His mercy every day.

    • So true, Katey!!

    • Lana Archer says:

      Yes.. very true.. and that is what touched me is that even though I MESS up and I do not always act like I am his child ( not by choice.. by not choosing to stop and talk to God before I act) he is always there for me… never gives up…. loves me… Satan is constantly saying I am not worthy .. but I know I AM….. and Jehovah Shemma is always there for me….

  6. Stephanie Edwards says:

    Christmas time is hard on my confidence. In years past, I had a tendency to focus on all the preparations and worry about getting my Christmas tree and holiday decorations up “on time”. This year, I am trying to “keep it simple” and focus on the reason for the season. I am so not worried about how we are going to pay for gifts and such. I am trusting God. This study has helped me so much. It has helped me to give my worries to God, to uncover my spiritual gifts and not compare my insides to other people’s outsides.

    • I agree with you Stephanie in trying to keep it simple. We too have tried to cut out a lot of busyness this holiday season and just focus on Christ. We purchased simple gifts or I made them. It’s interesting how keeping the costs down keeps our focus up. We continue to give our worries to him, and fret not over the simple gifts under the tree.

  7. I love Christmas but I do feel like everybody else has a perfect family and i do not, especially after my separation. I used to think of my childhood and wish I were back home.
    Now I strive to make it whole, a good thoughtful Christmas that is not only about the gifts. I do end up feeling lonely though. I am hoping that I remember some of the things from this book and how God’s love can fill me up, unconditional love.

    • Christmas definitely has a tendency to remind of us of our emotional holes as well, doesn’t it? Praying for God to minister to each of us who yearn for relationships of the past (be it someone who’s passed away, or who’s just emotionally absent) … that even then, He is more than enough. Just like this Chris Tomlin Song! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHEm-b4IRYk

    • Tiffanie Young says:

      Marie,

      I can relate.. though we are physically back living in the same house, my husband and I are still very emotionally separated.. I don’t know if he has plans to leave me or not, but I am very much afraid that it is in his thoughts and possible plans. I too feel very loney at times. During those times is when I sit and pray.. sometimes its just me crying and begging God “please fix this”.. but I always end up feeling better for praying!
      Praying for you my dear

  8. I love Chirstmastime, and that is the truth. I love the sights, smells, sounds…the comforting and cozy feeling I get when I snuggle up on my favorite part if the couch while reading a Christmas story or watching a Christmas movie and enjoying the quiet roar of the fire. But I feel like I fall short too. Maybe I got my Christmas cards ordered too late this year and now I’m rushing to get them done. I’ve got several homemade christmas gifts that need completed for ones that I love. Between church and work, I sometimes feel like there is a Christmas event all the time and I can’t keep up. One way I’ve definitely been afraid of falling short is making sure we are taking time out from our crazy Christmas schedules and to do lists to spend time with our four year old, making sure she gets what Christmas is all about…making sure understands the true meaning and why we celebrate…as much as a four year old can understand those things. She is a four year old who is confident she has Jesus in her heart, which is a beautiful thing. The greatest gift I could ever hope for. But this time of year it can be difficult…especially with her birthday in the same month…to keep focused of the true reason for this season. God has entrusted this precious child to my husband and I, and We certainly don’t want to let Him down. But the beauty of it is…what I’m learning…is that because of His awesome grace, He’s not expecting us to be perfect parents, and He knows that even when we want to, sometimes giving our best just isn’t there. He’s with us through it all. He loves us through it all. Thank you God for your grace and understanding! And thank you for blessing us and trusting us with our beautiful girl and the little boy who is on his way. God is great! Merry Christmas!

  9. Christmas time reminds me of the sacrifice of Christ. I always think of it beginning at Christmas. I love talking with my kids about that and going through scriptures with them, seeing Christ foretold many years before, both His birth and crucifixion and resurrection…but it all started with His birth. Christmas brings our Savior, our grace, our salvation. His love for me is displayed.

  10. My confidence is deeply impacted by my desire to make each year the “perfect” Christmas. I want the perfect tree, I want to find the perfect tradition to pass down to my daughter, and I want my home & my family to look like the perfect warm, cozy Christmas ads or movies you see on t.v.
    God reminds me every year that there is no such thing as a perfect tree, or tradition, or home decoration, or family. God reminds me that He is #ENOUGH to make each year the perfect Christmas. When I put Him at the center of Christmas, (wait for it…an ah-ha moment: which is what Christmas is all about to begin with) I am so much more relaxed. I am able to focus on what is truly important this time of year; the birth of Jesus.
    So, I’ve come to realize that the traditions I want to pass down to my daughter each year, are God-centered traditions. (Advent wreath, giving away toys/stuffed animals to children who may not have a Christmas, teaching her the true meaning of Christmas and the symbols that represent it: candy canes & Christmas trees, just to name a couple.
    Have a blessed Christmas!!
    Amy 🙂

  11. Karina Escalante says:

    Yes!! I so sometimes doubt Gods grace and patience. After the 50 thousandth time I say sorry or come to God for forgiveness of the same sin, I feel that God will say to me no more. I find in those times I have to pray harder and realize that our God is omnipotent and patience is not a concern of his but of mine. The devil wants me to say why ask for forgiveness, you are just going to do it again? My God says I love you daughter and that is greater than your sin that my son has already paid for you!

  12. At Christmas time I can get overwhelmed with all the crowds and the hustle and bustle. I also feel pressure to buy gifts when I may not be able to. But I don’t want to let anyone down, especially young children. I am praying that God will help me to do the best I can. I will trust Him with the expectations of others and allow Him to bring about a peaceful and happy time for all.

  13. I constantly fail with healthy eating. I go back and forth between thinking God is tired of my failure and maybe God just wants me to carry this extra weight as a way to be humbled. But I also know he wants me to be victorious with him and that all things are possible through Christ who gives me strength so I will confess(again), accept his mercy (hardest part!) and make some small good choices today. I must believe that I can have success and ask for my God-confidence to keep trying. Accept my weakness and know in it he is strong. This is the hardest sin filled place in my life. The sin I haven’t overcome and have fought my whole life. The one thing I completely disobey the Holy Spirit in. Forgive me, Lord and help me accept your mercy and believe things can change in your power.

  14. I get so excited when I read or hear the names go God. It’s time to write them out & have them near by at all times. Great idea Renee, thank you.

    • jean buist says:

      I too Stella share your excitement of knowing the names of God. Especially when we can recognize and experience how they apply to our life, at that specific given time. A few months ago I was so broken due to circumstances from my childhood, but God showed me that He is my “Jehovah Rapha”. He took me from being broken to truly being healed. I also recognized Him at the time as being my, ” My Emmanuel”, My El Sali”, and “My Jehovah Shalom”. ” Those who know your name trust you’ O Lord, because you have never deserted those who seek your help” . Psalm 9:10 Have a Blessed Day!!!!!!!

    • Agreed Stela! We get to talk more about these tomorrow! Just for you, here’s a sneak peek! =)

      http://reneeswope.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/KnowingGodByName.pdf

      • I’m sitting here with no voice, sick. You just made my day! Jehovah Rapha, my God that heals me has touched my heart using you. Thank you!

  15. I love Christmas time and the reason for the season. I do get reminded yearly that I am a single mom but I am thankful for my daughter that I am able to enjoy the season with.

  16. I don’t doubt God’s confidence with me, but, sometimes I doubt myself. Through participating in this OBS, A Confident Heart, Renee has reminded me time and time again that I can be confident in God’s love and grace, even when I fail at believing in myself. Thank you, Renee and the whole OBS team. 🙂

  17. Christmastime always affects my confidence negatively. I know it is not all about the presents but I LOVE giving! And it seems every year I have overspent throughout the year/not saved enough to share in the gift of giving! It always makes me feel like a failure as a wife, mom and friend. This year my husband lost his job in November due to some poor choices he made and again this year we will not be able to do much for Christmas.. I am especially angered this year as we would have had enough money had my husband not lost his job.
    I definitely feel I’ve blown over and over and over again. Especially throughout my late teens and early 20s. I won’t go in to specifics but I got caught in a never ending spiral of bad choices. I often would think about how I knew what I was doing was not what God wanted for me but there were days I just didn’t care and continued to make super selfish choices.
    There are times that I have been SO selfish that I do wonder how God could possibly have enough grace this time or if he even feels like extending that grace. More and more, especially through this study and Unglued, I am learning that God’s grace is never ending as well as his love for me. I am learning to fall into him instead of my own battle in my head and allow his truths to speak to me. I am reminded that in the past when I have fallen to my own understanding I always pull further away from The Lord.
    This study has come at one of the most challenging times in my life. I cannot thank anyone enough for all the time and effort they have put into this study! THANK YOU!

    • Amiee, thanks for sharing your heart. My husband, too, was laid off from a job in November. That was 12 years ago and it was definitely a trying time in a post- 9/11 economy!! I shall be praying for God to provide you with all that you need, not only materially, but spiritually. Glad you are joining us!!

    • Tiffanie Young says:

      Amiee,

      I know what you mean about a spiral of bad choices.. I’ve been there! a few times! Each time God has lifted my out of my own filth and cleaned up to make me his again.. With my current situation, I know God has forgiven me and I see him working.. but I get impatient and that is when additional bad choices can be made like speaking disrespectfully to my spouse and trying to force my agenda onto others..

  18. Amanda Shipton says:

    What a great video! I love the idea of making sure we are looking through the right lens in life! I know I struggle this time of year as well looking at Christmas through the lens of the world and trying to make it “perfect”. The perfect decorations, the perfect gifts, the perfect meal, even the perfect traditions! I am really trying to take a step back this year and look at Christmas through the lens of Jesus, the reason for the season. Focused on the hope and joy of His truly perfect gift, Himself!

  19. Barbara Abdallah says:

    Yes I am feeling that way right now it seemed like when I was not working I had more time to spend with God and to hear him but now I feel like a failure I am behind on my reading and lessons each day I tell myself I will get caught up but I never do.Before I started this new job I thought I was in a good healthy place with God bit the hours in retail are long and my right and left knees are not as strong some nights I am so tired all I want to do as come home and rest .I feel like a failure because I just don’t want to spend time with God but I want the quality time with God and I have been slacking but the past two days I am back on track.I thought by this time I would be back living in Maryland working on my relationship with the daughter I walked away from 16 years ago my heart is breaking that I have the time off to go home but have no transportation to drive.Not sure what all this is about but I know Good has not left me he will come through not sure when my faith right now is being tested on many levels.I really need someone to talk with if any one reads this my number is 678-896-1017.God Bless all my sisters.

    • I sent you a message. I am not able to talk tonight, but I can tomorrow.

    • Barbara,
      I can relate to what you are saying. I too wish I had more time to spend with God. I began a new full-time job in September and am still trying to find balance in my life. So I pray you know you are not alone in your struggles. You are still here persevering in spite of everything, and that alone brings glory to God. I am praying that you will have a way to get home while you have time off. I know that we serve a God who can make a way where there seems to be no way. If you would like to talk more my e-mail address is sarahalsop81@gmail.com

  20. Cindy Oliver says:

    This year I have tried to pace myself and find balance in shopping, wrapping, and decorating. We are having training at work at another location on a new software that we will begin using in January. We have been told that if you don’t do the training and pass the tests you will not have access and you will no longer have a job there. Saturday was a day I had to train from 11-1. I had a tight schedule that day, but figured that I could still get the last bit of shopping in. I went for training, and no one was there in the building. I was 10 min early. There was no list on the outside of any of the doors with my name on it. My email wouldn’t come up on my phone for me to confirm the room where I was to be. At 11:30 I finally got my email up and found the room. I opened the classroom door. There was the instructor and one trainee(who got there at 10:30). I was frustrated and calmly but firmly asked why she had the door shut if all the trainees had not arrived. I just went on and on. She realized that she did not have the list of names outside the classroom for me to see. She apologized, but I was already in a mood because MY schedule was off. MY day was going to have to be rearranged because now I had to stay past 1 to get the information needed. Basically MY Saturday had been ruined (in my mind). I calmed down and asked for forgiveness after about an hour. I apologized to the trainer. I lost focus on what Christmas is about. God giving us the greatest gift of all. His son Jesus. What was God thinking about me and how I acted? I was disgusted with myself. All because my schedule was off by 30 min. God has so much grace for us. I know this happened because God saw me losing focus. HE wanted me to see that. So, HE tweaked my schedule. I was way out of line, and He brought me back. God is in control, and I forgot about that for just a minute, but He reminded me by showing me. Praise God I am not in control. What a mess that would be. 🙂

  21. Barbara A. Landis says:

    Christmas time affects my confidence in a good way, in that, I am reminded that because Jesus came and did what he did for me in His death, burial, and resurrection, all is well in my standing with God. There are many times that I still feel doubt try to shatter my confidence In Christ, but I am learning to encourage myself with His words when these lying whispers come. Worship and praise are effective in putting doubt out and putting confidence back in it’s rightful place. A few months back, I was going through a rough patch in a particular circumstance and thought that surely this mess up can’t be forgiven. In spite of doubt and feeling no confidence whatsoever, I chose to stay with God’s view of me and received His love, help and comfort. As Peter said in the word when Jesus asked His disciples if they were going to leave with the others, Lord, you have the words of eternal life. There is no where else to go but to HIM and agree with the word of God.

  22. Christmastime affects my confidence because I feel “less than” or “not happy like others” because my husband and I haven’t been able to have any children. We have been married 23 years. We have had 3 adoption opportunities fall through, one at the last minute while we were packing the car to go to the hospital. So when I see others sharing love and gifts with their little ones, I feel sad. I wonder why I didn’t get to be a mother. I feel disconnected and alone because Christmastime revolves around my sisters and their children.
    Christmastime affects my God-fidence because He came to dwell among us and go to the Cross for me! He would not be separated from me for eternity, so he provided a way to cleanse me and give me the best gift ever – Him and eternal life with Him!

    • Amy, yes those heart aches are soo very real. Praying God’s peace & joy is enough for you this season, and that God will bless you with a younger generation to mentor and love on… be it a child, or a younger sister in Christ. Thanks for sharing with such honesty today!

    • Tiffanie Young says:

      Amy,
      I can feel your pain in your words on the page! I have a friend who was also not able to have children, but never did go the adoption route.. She chose instead to volunteer to help children in Foster care, or with reading help at the local schools.. she did a bunch of stuff..
      Yes the worldly part of the holiday tends to revolve around children. If your family tends to do this, then embrace it! Be the best Auntie EVER! Invite the kids over to make christmas crafts or DIY gifts for their parents and siblings.. bake cookies with them.. be involved in the lives of the children around you!!

  23. Nancy Silvers (OBS Small Group Leader) says:

    Christmastime used to always affect my confidence but not anymore. I’ve been disabled since Sept 2004 and in the last 9 years I’ve learned that I can only do what I can do and the things I can’t, well, that’s ok. I used to stress so much over trying to find the right gifts for everyone-now we are in a place where we are not able to purchase gifts and I have realized how much less stress I have. There is one special gift I always get my mom (a prayer journal for the next year) and I get things to put in my husband’s stocking and that’s pretty much it. I make little things for friends-bake cookies or candies, give little gifts for my nursery children and keep it very simple. I used to stress all through the Christmas season now I LOVE it. 🙂

  24. Renee’s DVD message was exactly what I needed this morning. As we enter into this Christmas season, and my anxieties rise, I feel more and more pressure to make sure my home is decorated just right, that we are celebrating advent just right, and that my children are creating a “just right” memory. But when I strive for this perfection, I inevitably fail. I am a mother of three children under the age of 5…”just right” rarely occurs. BUT, when I look through the lens of God’s eyes, and I approach this time with grace and truth from him, I find the “just right” moments everywhere. And even when I fail, his hand is their to hold me. It was impressed upon me this morning that following Christ is not about perfection, but rather, by accepting our weaknesses we can allow them to make us more dependent upon HIM. This is Godfidence. And this is the new “just right” with which I will be approaching Christmas.

  25. Collette Sawyer says:

    I really appreciated the quote and understanding shared by Joshua Swope: “We need to be careful what we look through before we judge what we see.” Such a powerul reminder of taking time to see ourselves and others through God’s lense…. instead of comparing ourselves to others – allowing His grace and mercy to flow. Rembering to see others as God’s see’s them instead of looking at how they may have failed us or let us down.

  26. Every year I get “caught” with a messy cluttered house and life really. You see, I am a nurse and I go full hilt all year. I chase after whatever meaning I seem to get from my job. As a result, the majority of the time, my home is neglected. Perhaps, my heart and soul too, along with my physical being. My family too.
    I have really lost my confidence in past years and lost my temper along with it. My husband and children have bore the brunt of this. My impatience with myself overflows my mouth and actions. I would be hard pressed to see Christian stamped on me if I were a stranger looking in.
    This year, my youngest son is having jaw revision surgery tomorrow. So, I am off for two weeks with him. He will be wired shut for 6 to 8 weeks. The surgery could include one or two bone grafts. He was born with a cleft lip and palate.
    I have been fasting a meal or two per day and various other things at times for 40 plus days. The Lord has given peace but it is still very scary.
    I would like for you to pray that this year is different and I do not throw away my confidence. Also, please pray for my son’s recovery and good outcome. Thank you.

  27. I had a rough day yesterday, feeling little confidence as my husband and I dealt with the antics of our 7 year old son with autism. Normally his behaviors are pretty easily dealt with however yesterday he broke a window in his room. No one was hurt, thank you God, but it was a fairly new window put in by our landlord when all of them were replaced. Hopeful, during this last week of this study I will be renewed. I love this time of year and try to remember the real reason for the season. it’s about Him…not me!

  28. I absolutely love Christmastime but it does affect my confidence! All the busyness of concerts, gifts, rehearsals, decorating, sending out cards, etc. really makes me feel stress rout and stretched too thin. I am trying so hard this year to keep our family’s focus on the Reason for the Season! May I please ask for prayers for my horn playing this month? I have 3 services to play for on Christmas Eve and 1 more on
    Christmas day. I love playing these services but I need prayers for strength, calm, good playing and beautiful music.

  29. Christmastime used to affect my confidence by creating a lot of anxiety and the need to put on the “perfect Christmas.” I now realize how silly that was and how there is beauty and joy in simplicity by focusing on Jesus First. Since then Christmastime has been so much more of a blessing and time to enjoy God’s love through the birth of our Messiah. Not everything goes perfectly, but when does it ever? I don’t need perfection; I need Jesus, all the time. I used to beat myself up over so many things that needed to be done this way or that way and God stopped me right in my tracks at one point and now I see through a different lens. It’s not about gifts, but THE gift. I do enjoy time with family and other important relationships, and I think that is where my time is best spent. God places a very important burden on my heart this year – to spend time with widows. So far I’ve had the privilege of spending an evening with one and what a blessing that was to me!

  30. Judy, YES! So true! “It’s not about gifts, but THE gift.” And oh, what a gift you can be to those widows!!! Thank you for loving them like Jesus would. I am certain that makes God smile. =)

  31. Christmas has almost always seemed hard for me. I am not exactly sure if it is the reasons I have thought were responsible for it but it has been an issue for years. As a child we were very poor and there were underlying stressors I believe I felt from my mother with her desire to be able to get gifts for her children. Returning to School after vacation was hard because classmates were always going on about what they received and asking what you had gotten. Now before you think that my confidence has been weak due to not receiving gifts I want to say that is not the case. It just was a stressful situation in so many ways for me,and my family. Celebrating Christmas was always about the “babe in the manger” for us and we did church plays and celebrated Jesus year after year. As I grew up and had my own family money was an issue and Christmas was again a huge stressor and , Yes it was my confidence that was knocked down in the areas of not being able to give to my kids what would be nice gifts and yet not break the bank,and that would last and be a blessing.I lacked Confidence in how I was as a mom in the church and Christian School activities at that time when so many other moms were able to create nice packaging and gifts and just knew how to be a gifted and accomplished celebrator of the season. I was left standing, in my mind any way, as less than others around me just like years gone by in returning to class and seeing what others were able to do and have. I know it sounds pretty narrow as I read what I am typing but it is the truth. But now I am beyond the small children in my home and I am looking back as well as ahead. I am seeking to see what my true confidence should be holding onto. Is it in my abilities to recreate the Christ Child’s coming as a babe in a manger ? Is it in what gifts I can give , or even in what I have received? Is it in any of the preconceived ideas I have about how others make Christmas come alive for their families? NO it most definitely is not! As I get ready to post this I think about how just posting this is not going to change my feelings of depression about Christmas. It changes nothing about my struggle with Christmas. By God’s grace in the giving of the greatest Gift of all, His Son Jesus , I can come to terms with this confidence thing and walk in God-fidence and see this Christ-mas in and through with a joy and elation in the Christ who came to bring me hope and peace , and confidence in and with God.

  32. Yes, I do doubt God’s patience with me. There are things I need to give up and give to him; changes to be made, and I cannot seem to get them done…..I know it will be in His timing; but, I also know I have my part in giving up these bad habits……I do distance myself further from God when I fail….I know He wouldn’t want that….I must always let go and let God….even if it takes 777 times….Thank you, Daddy God, for your patience with me…for your understanding…for your unending love……In Jesus Name, Amen!

  33. suzanne minor says:

    This Christmas will be different for me this year. i love Christmas and the family traditions and time spent with special friends. i loved shopping and trying to find the favorite gift for everyone. i also enjoyed the preparation and trying to make Christmas a special day for everyone. having 7 grandkids i always overspent, wanting to give them a funfilled holiday! being my first Christmas divorced, i am struggling. i am focusing on Christ this season, yt battling with depression of what will no longer ber. finances are tighter as well. so, these readings are reminding me to focus on Christ this Christmas and to give what I have – love.

    • Suzanne, my heart aches for all that you are processing right now. I hope and pray you can continue to be gut-level honest with the Lord and keep crying out to Him. He hears us when we cry and He alone can mend our broken places. You are in my prayers!!

  34. suzanne minor says:

    oops, “what will no longer be”

  35. Tiffanie Young says:

    Sometimes I think I see God just exasperated with me! I see the same look and tone of voice my earthly father uses when I have blown it again!

    I have had 3 major sinful events in my life.. All 3 times, I was afraid to admit my faults to my loved ones so I lied.. and I kept on lying until the truth was litterally right in my face and there was no way to lie anymore about them.. This has cause major issues for me.. most recently in my marriage! I never thought that I would ever do anything I would have to feel like I needed to lie to my spouse, but I did.. months worth of swearing to God that I was being truthful..
    I feel like God each time was shaking his head at me.. I feel the weight of the lie, but can’t seem to lift my voice to tell the truth. The truth is out now, but is it too late? Is being FOUND OUT instead of coming clean going to cost me everything?

    • I am praying for you Tiffanie. I struggled all of my life with being truthful, perhaps it is part of my phlegmatic personality. I was always trying to “keep the peace” and not cause trouble, not knowing that it only would make matters worse down the road. I know exactly what you are saying about that look and tone of voice with your earthly father, mine too had his fill of my lying and deceitful behavior, it was only after the work of the Holy Spirit in my life that I eventually overcame the need to rosie color coat every thing I spoke about. My lies got in many a terrible situation, but there is always hope in our God…. He is #Enough
      Love to you,
      Suzanne

      • Tiffanie Young says:

        Suzanne,
        I generally don’t lie.. only when it is something real bad that I don’t want to admit to.. BUT those are the things I need to admit the most and more freely.. Well, they are the things I should not be doing really in the first place and I know that and THAT is why I don’t want to admit I have done them.. Cause I don’t even want to admit to myself that I did a bad thing.

  36. that video was a joy to my heart. At some point each day I feel God ready to give up on me. I get so caught up in what I am going through, that I miss the big picture God wants me to see. Having a hard time putting food in the house, clothing on the kids, My hubby, Steve will be laid off during the week of Christmas, I found out last week my 4 yr old has obsessive defiant disorder. Now I need to learn how to discipline him in a whole new way. My kids seem to be always fighting with each other. I keep asking God where’s the joy in all this? I know You will provide, You tell me so in Your Word Father God? What am I to learn in all this, God? I feel bad because at times I doubt. I see us struggling. I see how hard my husband works, I see the kids at each other. I know God never promised it would be easy, but a little bit of calm would be nice.

  37. Blessings to All. This time of year is hectic and we all scrabble to get things done. I still like to take time to light a few candles, turn on the Christmas music and light up the tree and sit, in the dark, with those things being the only light. Just listen and sometimes sing to the carols but just sit and give the Lord praises. When the kids were little and it was hard to do I still made time for that quiet interlude. I praise the Lord as at times even that was trying but he gave me peace even if it was just a short time I could spend with Him. Have a very Merry Christmas and may the Lord bless each and every lady in this study with his wonderful peace and love. May it fall strongly on you all. In Jesus name I pray. amen

  38. How does Christmastime affect your confidence? Tell us, what is it that especially impacts your God-given confidence this time of year? I don’t know that Christmas time affects my confidence any different than any other time of year. Except it seems I have less financial stability this time of year. I always feel I am just not giving enough to be a good person. I feel inadequate most day. At this time especially while seeking employment my confidence waivers completely. I just had three interviews today. Two of which required me to study. I did study but obviously not enough. I couldn’t answer the questions accurately enough. So I know I didn’t do a good job. I hate interviews. I never feel like I have done that great of a job. I never know what to ask or what to say when given the chance at the end of the conversation. I feel my answers to their questions are not good either. It is so stressful. My personal life isn’t that different. I do not feel I can relate enough to others to actually have a relationship with them. I feel like an outsider no matter where I am even in my own family. I hate dating also because I don’t relate to men in any way and distrust their intentions.
    As Renee writes on p. 201, Have you ever blown it and felt like God was ready to give up on you? What happened? I blow it every day. I feel like God has already given up on me long ago. I just never felt like I had that close of a relationship with him. I feel like I prayed for forgiveness and yet God didn’t want me as a part of his family. I am not good enough for him and he probably regrets creating such a fraud and a failure.
    Do you sometimes doubt God’s grace and patience with you? How does doubt in your life perpetuate more doubt and distance from God? Yes I doubt Gods grace and patience with me. I am not really living in Gods grace and don’t feel like I am close to him at all.

    • Hi Kelly K, I was just about to post a comment when your comment caught my eye. I read it all and felt a nudge to respond. God hasn’t given up on you – He would never give up on his children! God loves you and cares for your deeply. I pray that you will feel His loving arms surround you. I pray that interviews would go well and that you’ll find a job doing what you’re meant to be doing.

    • Kelly K, I agree with Suzanne. Your comment touched my heart deeply. I feel like I am the “Mayor of Shmuckville” more often than I can count, too! But God is faithful – even when we are not. He promises us that. I pray that as you read through chapter 10, that you feel a sense of grace just fill you up. He loves you SO much Kelly!

  39. I love the term that Renee uses – God-fidence! It’s also nice to know that I’m not the “only” one who fails all the time but we have a God that loves us and shows us grace.

  40. mary lamb says:

    I always feel overwhelmed and sad at Christmas each year. This year, after participating in this study, I find myself in a more positive frame of mind. I have given my worries to God and know that I am blessed to be one of His believers that know that I can do anything with God showing me the way. I am so thankful that I discovered this study!

  41. You rocked this, Stephanie! I think my favorite line was “Mayor of Shmuckville” because, HELLO!, I can relate. Often. Sigh… But, I love that God sends us an encouraging Word in Hebrews to keep at it. And that He will reward our God-fidence! That brings me such peace. Such peace!

    Christmastime is especially hard on this very undomestic God’s girl. I find myself working hard not to fall into the comparison trap of what all I don’t do (roll out cookies, handmake gifts, or scrapbook all of the memories as soon as the holiday is over). But, the reality is, God’s not asking me to do any of that. And the sisters that He does call to those things bless me BIG with their talents and gifts. He IS asking me to remember that He came down so that I don’t have to feel like a failure every time I fail at following Him closely. What a gift THAT is!

    • I’d like to say I could limit the “Mayor of Schmuckville” moments to only 1 or 2 per month. But this time of year? They are daily, if not every hour on the hour! Alas … as long as God who sees all and knows all extends me grace, the least I can do is extend it to myself, right??

      Thanks for your kind words, Missy!! =) ~Steph

  42. Janine Crowe says:

    In the women’s Bible study at my church, we have been studying the book of Romans where Paul teaches us that we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This happens to me all the time year round. For me, going to church every Sunday and receiving Holy Communion is a very meaningful way to receive God’s grace, to let me know that I am forgiven and to prepare me to begin anew. In fact, the entire worship experience gives me confidence for the week ahead. Prior to Christmas, I have always enjoyed Advent, the lighting of the candles on the Advent wreath and the hymns and songs of Advent. Celebrating Advent helps me focus on the real meaning of Christmas. I also sing in the church choir and we have been busy preparing for our Christmas Concert. It is a busy and hectic time, but it is very rewarding for us as we give of ourselves in the telling of the Christmas story in song. We know that we touch people’s hearts, especially our own. Gloria in excelsis Deo.

  43. Christmas time has been difficult for me since I was a child. My parents split up when I was 12 just before the holiday season. My mother was so distraught that she wanted the holidays to go away that year. Even after becoming a mother and having a family of my own, my brain still associated the holidays with sadness. Growing up Christmas was all about presents and food; we didn’t go to church or talk about Jesus. Over the years I have struggled to provide a good Christmas for my children but looking back I can see that God has always provided, especially since I got saved and He has become Lord of our lives. Now that they are getting older I can see that He was right there with us and we have developed some celebratory traditions that are important to my kids. He has been my strength and my song, even more so at Christmas time. I now look forward to Christmas instead of seeing it with sadness and trepidation. Thank you God for your perspective and for showing me the real reason we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  44. Christmastime effects my confidence by reminding me I don’t have a job, therefore I don’t have money to buy ANYBODY a Christmas present. This is several years now I have struggled to get through Christmas financially, I’m pretty over it, ready for this coming year to be out of the long, dark tunnel and cruising along with God-fidence guiding my financial, personal and relational issues that have dragged me down for too long.

    Yes, I have blown it a lot, but I posted earlier today that I just blew it on Friday night. God was with me throughout the weekend bringing me to the places I needed in order to ask for forgiveness and seek to patch the possible damage I had done in a very important relationship. All is well now, and I couldn’t believe when I got up this morning to find a Facebook post from this ministry saying “we all blow it”! God is so full of grace and mercy, I’m astonished everyday at how much He loves me.

    I definitely doubt God’s patience with me, I feel like a little spoiled child sometimes always stomping her feet and crying because she’s not getting her way. It doesn’t last long because I know that God’s timing in everything is perfect and He always gently reminds me of that and I stop behaving like a child and begin adoring and thanking Him for all that He has done and is doing in my life. The perpetuation of doubt is fueled by the enemy and my selfishness, but God keeps me near Him and I have learned to recognize it and move away from it more quickly, thanks be to GOD!

  45. 1. Christmas sends me into a fretful worry about havnig enough money for gifts, and trying to honor Christ and show my children it’s more than just Santa and presents. My confidence is fragile as I feel uncertain we will be able to give everyone nice gifts, but every year we always do fine, so I don’t know why I worry and doubt.
    2. I’ve had moments of wondering where God is in my mess, but I’ve come to rely on Him and turn to prayer each time I’m having troubles. I’m usually able to understand He forgives me, and I eventually forgive myself but it takes time sometimes.
    3. I sometimes wonder when things go bad if God is punishing me for my sins or for not being a good enough Christian. Doubt in my life puts distance between me and God by making me question His existence and fulfilment of His priomises to me and all people. It’s horrible! But I try to remind myself of Scriptures which are Truth about God, and push my doubts and fears aside.

  46. Jane Hilson says:

    Have I ever blown it? Yes!!! And it’s a constant battle with my mouth.
    Saturday, a co-worker left a dock door open over break, despite several meetings on the importance of keeping these doors closed. After break, I closed it and informed her that she needed to close her dock doors. She replied with a “Whatever” and “It’s not that big of a deal anyway” and walked away. I LOST IT!
    With temps near zero and wind chills below (this is Wisconsin) liquids freeze. I know what happens to a can of paint when it freezes solid.
    It wasn’t a pleasant exchange, and as hard as I try to rationalize that her leaving dock doors open makes my job harder, it doesn’t make me feel any better.

  47. Normally, Christmas is my most favorite time of the year. I love to decorate (it is the only holiday that I decorate for), I love to bake, I love to find gifts to make everyone smile; however, this year every thing is different. I am not finding the joy I normally have. I don’t want to make dinner, I don’t want to shop, I don’t want to do anything. I never thought it was about confidence, but maybe it is. Currently, I am so over whelmed in every area of my life.

    Have I ever felt like God was ready to give up on me – oh yes – all of the time. Especially, now. What happened – well I am still in this spot. I keep praying for wisdom and guidance and I especially keep trying to just be silent and listen to God (my mind is always overworking).

    Do I every doubt God’s grace and patience with me? oh yes! all of the time. It is like a hamster wheel. just going around and around.

    My favorite quote or what stood out from the DVD? “We need to be careful what we look through before we judge what we see”. This is so very true for everyone.

  48. I love Christmas,I cannot wait to put up the decorations and see kids so happy and full of joy and hope,I love thinking of the fact that God left his splender in Heaven to come and live and die for us in our world!I always feel sorry that I cannot give gifts that people really want but I know that is not what christmas is about but they seem to give to me!
    I always feel God is dissappointed in me,I promised God when I got a Guitar for my 12th birthday I would use it for Him,here I am at 57 still hesitating to sing a Christmas song I wrote because I am not good enough.I think my own self worth keeps my distance from God,I missed devotons for 3 days this weekend and today,God told me to read,It was on Jonah and how he didnot do what God told Him to do,I know god wants me to do this why cant I get over the doubts,please pray for me! Thank-u!

  49. To look at myself through God’s eyes,I love that thought,I want to start doing that,I need only to please god and do his will! And the verse where she said God holds her hand,those that fail,that sounds like Love not dissapointment,Thank-you Renee!

  50. Sandra Lynn says:

    Christmastime to me since I’ve gotten older is not about the gifts we give or receive. It’s about Jesus Christ birth who came to us wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger! Jesus is the greatest gift of all and He is the true meaning of Christmas!

    I have several verses from Renee’s video I liked.
    Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10
    Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again. Proverbs 24:16

  51. I must say sometimes I feel like I am over whelmed during the Christmas season, but when i really think about it, I guess i do have it all together. The presents are bought and most are wrapped, the baking for my family almost done, the cards are all sent and my dates with god are happening more frequently. During this month i not only have a child who will be celebrating a birthday, but my husband also celebrates a birthday just a couple of days before Christmas, so i try to make these days special for these two men in my lives, through special gifts, food they want to have on that day and a special cake they each love. So there is extra baking, extra preparations. Through God and a friend, i learned to organize myself rather well, but i do find, I am exhausted by the time Christmas comes, and so I love Christmas day, where on many occasions we have left overs from our big Christmas eve meal and we just enjoy each other.. After having had surgery four weeks ago and still recouping from it, I have had to learn that i can only do so much. It is God’s way of having me slow way down and to have my family share in more of the responsibilities and also letting some things that usually get done, simply not get done. This has been a great time for me to reflect while still trying to keep all the busyness of Christmas as low as possible. I believe God has changed me through the circumstances we have faced just during this four week period…to me being alive is simply a blessing and a gift and I am so thankful to be alive this day, to be with my family. Page 196 of Renee’s book, Isa. 43: 1-2 I felt was God speaking to me, because i have passed through rising waters, i have walked through flames….and God was with me. then as He is now. I especially loved the list of names that God promises who He is.. Thanks Renee.

  52. I always feel less than at Christmas. I am always behind and doing things at the last minute. Every year I say next year I will do things differently. I may improve slightly but not where I should be or want to be. Despite this I love the Christmas Season! My dad died Dec 16 the 14 years ago each year I struggle with Christmas because of that. I miss him and am sad. Sad for the loss of the relationship we had and the one we never did have. Also struggle not being with my older daughter her family and my grandchildren. I seem to take steps forward at being happy in the moment, the season and then its like guilt overwhelms the happiness. Wow I am not sure why I wrote all this…. I do love the Christmas Season , the REAL story, despite all of this. Merry Christmas!

  53. Christmastime affects my confidence by creating utter chaos. I have rely on God to maintain confidence & serenity. Since this is the first Christmas in years that I have been married, it is a time of transition also. It more important for me to focus on God’s blessings and goodness in my life. I am trying to listen to God’s will and desire for my life.

  54. I love all of Renee’s video’s (as well as all the videos for our study!). What stood out the most to me was when Renee quoted Proverbs 24:16 “Though the righteous may fall seven times, they rise again.” I know that I have blown it many times, as a mom, a friend, as sister, and a daughter. I feel guilty and like a failure. This part of the video stood out to me because even though I will fail and I will blow it, it is by God’s grace that I rise again.
    When Renee talks about in the video about how we have to spend time with God in order to trust Him. This is so true and I know from experience. I have been having a DATE with God every day and I have noticed that I am more patient with my children, and in other aspects of daily life. Developing a deeper relationship with God is helping me to be a better mom and a better person.
    God Bless,
    ~Johanna

  55. The thought of me blowing it and feeling like God was giving up on me is a constant struggle. Honestly I never felt that more than on the day that I made the choice to walk out of the house and away from my marriage. I was figuring that it would be temporary, and yet when two months later I was served divorce papers I felt that I had really blown it. I was to honor, cherish and obey my husband and I had failed God. And for a long time I was sure that the divorce papers were proof of God giving up on me and my rash actions. And yet over the past two years, I have seen that event thru a much more godly view. And while I am still fighting the feeling of being a failure. I can also see that God hasn’t walked out on me. We never seem to have much, but we always have just what we need. I have managed to find a few people in this world that I can trust. And with that trust I am starting to be able to process all that has happened and what I continue to face.
    It is especially hard during the Advent/Christmas season because many of these days are reminders of loss. And in many ways thought I don’t want it to be… It is a count down to the day I left. And it is also a reminder that I am not the only person who feels the loss. Having a child, she feels the loss of her father… and thankfully she is such a gracious child who doesn’t want much. Because honestly we only get what we need. There is not much extra left in the fall out of my leaving. And yet I know we are being taken care of… we are being guided to safety… we just have to make sure that we are thankful for every penny we have, because without them and without God… I know this could have been a whole lot worse.

  56. Barbara Thompson says:

    Have I ever blown it? Ive blown it so much that I think God is fed up with me. I think that my ex husnand is to me like Paul’s thorn in the side. Other times I look at it as a test from God that I keep on failing. The devil certainly knows how to use him to get to me, and time after time I blow it. When it seems like God is silent I think he’s just waiting for me to get over myself already and stop blowing my cool. I belive he’s waiting patiently to take me higher in him ifI can just get over these hurdles in my life.

  57. Have I ever blown it? – boy have I! Every day it seems on some level or another. Have I ever felt like God was ready to give up on me? – I know He won’t, but I sometimes feel He should. Sooo thankful though that he does not succumb to those giving up attitudes we women can have on ourselves! Thank you Lord for your daily grace.
    Do I sometimes doubt God’s grace and patience? – I believe and am thankful for them. Again here, I sometimes feel like He should limit them with me, but when I mess up, it’s not doubt in His grace that causes me to distance myself from Him, it’s more letting the enemy shame me into a guilt trip or not being ready to repent…usually because I have doubts I will follow through and not mess it up again. All messed up “logic” that God’s truth clears away in the end.
    My favorite quote from the DVD was the one from Renee’s son Joshua: “We need to be careful what we look through before we judge what we see.” So true and wise and good to remember 🙂

  58. It is so easy to mess up and then get mad at myself for being so stupid. But I am learning more each day how not to beat myself up. I realize I will never be perfect this side of heaven, and God doesn’t expect me to be. He only wants me to follow Him and trust Him more each day. I have found that it is easier to trust Him each time that I do. My “Godfidence” grows more every time I fully trust Him and realize how much He loves me and makes something good out of every bad circumstance. Just trusting Him a little more each day, makes it easier to trust Him more a little bit more each day – it is a viscous cycle – a GOOD cycle – one that I will keep repeating. Thanks for your inspiring words and may God bless you and guide you more each day

  59. I’ve really enjoyed this study. Part of me enjoys christmas, part of me doesn’t. I have just had the first anniversary of my sister’s death yesterday (9/12) and I find this time of year really difficult, she was a big fan of christmas. Also because my dad doesn’t really celebrate christmas he just sees it as another day so I find christmas a lonely time as I sit on my own with noone to share the special day with and I look at other families enjoying themselves and my heart yearns for that. But looking at the names of God i know that he is my healer and that he will heal my heart and emotions and will provide for me at this special season

    • Gillian, so sorry to hear of your loss, and so close to Christmas too. 🙁 I pray that you have the Christmas that you wish for and that your heart fills up with God’s love for you. May you be blessed dear friend in Christ, Merry Christmas. Debbie

  60. Normally, I am ok at Christmas. I never ever think God gives up on me. I never believe His grace and patience runs thin.
    This year, I am struggling getting ready for Christmas. I’m usually on top of it, but don’t even have the tree up. My baby grandson is coming and we are celebrating his first Christmas! I’m excited! But our house has not been cleaned in over a year because of my health. So we are doing that. But I have now gone into full panic attacks because there is a lot do and I’m not ready. I keep focusing on the statement ” in comparison with all eternity, does it matter?” Well, no. But I still need the the pretty picture for a first Christmas! I can’t hear God over my pounding racing heart. I know intellectually (Confident) it will get done, even if its two minutes before we leave for the airport. But I’m missing the calm and rest I need and enjoyment of the season. So, in effect I feel I’ve blown it, but I never ever feel that “God left me”. He is right there, even in my rapid pulse, waiting for me to figure this out, because He wants me to understand His power and His peace. It’s His birthday, after all! And that matters!

  61. Christmastime can be difficult, it brings on so many memories of the past that will never be again. My husband passed away 9 years ago at the very young age of 48. My grand babies are so fun and enjoyable and I find myself imagining him with them, playing with them and teasing them like he did our daughters. My mom was married to my dad for 57 years! I talked to her yesterday and she has a hard time especially this time of year, and misses him so much. He worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad, so I sent her that little Hallmark Lantern ornament yesterday, it’s just like the one my dad used while working for the railroad. I hope it brings a smile to her face and warms her heart. I’m all alone here in Texas, no family anyway. Everyone has moved around the country and we used to spend every holiday together, now we spend them separately. I always envy those who have family close by at Christmastime or any holiday. Maybe someday I will live closer to my kids in Colorado, we’ll see. I do know that when I focus on the true meaning of Christmas, Christ our savior, and not all the hustle and bustle that comes with this time of year, I do feel peace and calmness within that I need so I don’t get too wrapped up in the accessories of the Christmas season. I pray that everyone has a joyful Christmas and finds the true meaning and that it will bring peace to them. God bless.

  62. Robbyn R. French says:

    This is another chapter that I can say WOW….Renee were you following me around and I can see why its your favorite. We I kept up the battle of self-forgiveness and I kept doing the gerbil in the wheel I was pretty sure God was going to give up on me. I also sometimes thought that this was too good to be true. How could he love me so unconditionally after all I had done. As I read this chapter and the others before them I thought of my handy tool box I have and how I have kept it on a shelf…If I was a good mechanic my toolbox would be pretty worn…I have taken out allot of stuff in there and replaced it with other stuff then I would forget it was there. Then I think about all the times of my fear and doubt and I had one tool sitting next to me on my couch …my BIBLE …I am working on my spiral notebook and other things I can use and reuse again when fear and self doubt coming knocking on my door…it is really bittersweet …I don’t want this bible study to end….I have stepped out in Faith and asked another lady in my church if she will co lead a bible study with me…she said yes…My Celebrate Recovery is moving forward …I am moving forward more confident everyday….

  63. I remember it was two years ago this time when I was coming out of a dark and hopeless time, I asked God what He wanted for a Christmas present. He said, “the JOY that I gave you, I want it back”. It is the joy of the Lord that I feel so much this time of year. The Christmas story of the shepherds in the field experiencing the JOY of the heavenly choir, gives me JOY in knowing that God is with me, (Jehovah Shammah), His love for me endures forever. And He is Jehovah Shalom, my peace. For man years, I had no peace until that year. Praise God that the ever present God is the same today as He was for me two years ago and two thousand years ago when His JOY and PEACE came into this world. JOY TO THE WORLD, God is #ENOUGH
    Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
    Let earth receive her King;
    Let every heart prepare him room,
    And heaven and nature sing,
    And heaven and nature sing,
    And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Would you like your picture to show up next to your comment? Click here for instructions.

Visit Gravatar.com and create a free account with the email address you use to leave comments on blogs and other websites. Upload the picture you want associated with that email address and you're all set!

Share Your Heart

*

Notify via Email Only if someone replies to My Comment

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!