Week 5 Wrap-up!

Happy, happy Friday, friends!!

Congratulations on making it through another week! And thank you for being a part of the P31 OBS Community! We could NOT do this without you! Gathering here and doing Bible study with YOU is certainly one of our Best Yeses!

To wrap up Week 5 and to say hi — I made you a video! 🙂 Take a look below!

If you can’t see the video in your email, click here.

Just so you know, I totally stress out over doing these videos! And there are usually some pretty interesting things going on around me that you can’t see. For this particular one, my homeschooling 9-year-old in the desk next to me making faces, turning things off and on, and mouthing words of desperation and need for assistance. All in a day’s work. LOL!

Even though making and publishing these videos feels a little out of my comfort zone, I know they have purpose. Public speaking is also uncomfortable for me, but I know it is one of my next Best Yeses God is calling me to. So, as I move forward, I’m holding tightly to two of this week’s verses:

  • If people pleasing were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant,” Galatians 1:10 (NLT).

and

  • The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe,” Proverbs 29:25 (NIV).

Now, because we LOVE to hear from you (and your words matter!), let’s chat!

Let’s Chat:

  • What is your favorite takeaway from this week? How has it changed you?
  • Is God asking you to do something out of your comfort zone? Is there a verse you are clinging to as you trust Him moving forward with your next Best Yes?
  • What are your plans for the weekend? Fun stuff? Work? Worship? Setting aside some sacred spaces?

One more thing —

Have a beautiful weekend!

Peace, love, and OBS,

Shelly

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The Sacred Spaces of Relationship

Our greatest assignments are found in connection with each other. That place of risky vulnerability. Of knowing and being known. That place where we feel the deepest and love the biggest.

God planted in us the need for relationship. And relationships are where we flourish.

I know that for myself, but I also discovered it just this week for my 9-year-old.

We are newbie homeschoolers. When we started in September, we each had our own expectations and grand ideas of how things would go. Often the ideas in our head don’t quite match up with the reality of our days (anybody know what I’m talking about?).

Some of those expectations have been met and some have even been exceeded, but others have fallen flat and highlighted areas that need a little TLC.

One of areas we uncovered smack dab in the middle of Chapter 15.

His soul needs time for relationship.

Yesterday, we made a list of all the ways he felt we could improve our homeschool journey. At the top of his list was friend time.

The absence of a daily connection with 15-20 of his peers has created a great deficit. So at 5 p.m. we met a friend for hamburgers and basketball in the park. What a difference two hours can make!

Not only did he need to connect with his friend, he also needed to connect with me –- to share his feelings, his emotions, his needs — to be heard. Allowing him the freedom to scribble that little 10-point list on our dry erase board opened up a channel of communication and understanding that had been blocked in the last few weeks.

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I need the reminder to slow down and connect. I need the reminder that soul-connecting trumps list-completing and schedule-keeping.

Lysa TerKeurst says, “Connecting with those we love is like soul food. It’s not that we don’t have tasks to do, but rather that we don’t fill up with tasks at the risk of starving our relationships. Relationships nourish us in a ways nothings else can. It’s the relationships that help unrush us.”

I have to be intentional about the other relationships in my life, too –-

  • My husband and I spend the majority of our days going in opposite directions. This is our normal. Work takes us there. Life takes us there. We have to be intentional about finding “sacred space” for one another. Spending this time together keeps our marriage strong and helps fill in those places where the world tries to tear us apart.
  • Our eldest two children have both graduated from school and are working full-time jobs. We have to look for opportunities for connection. A weekend doing something fun. A Tuesday night family dinner. Shopping and coffee and taking silly selfies in the car. Movie night with popcorn and M&Ms.
  • I spend a lot of time connecting online. God has blessed me with some of my best friends in this amazing space on the internet. But I have friends in real life, too. I have to schedule time in for face-to-face conversations and in-real-life connecting. I need to hear friends whisper truth into those hard places and look me in the eye to say it’s going to be okay. And I want to reach across the table and be that friend, too.

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“This kind of together can only happen when we choose to experience the thrill of an unrushed yes … Leaving room in my life for the unrushed yes strengthens the fabric of my relationships so they can better withstand the wear and tear of everyday life.”

And friends, there’s a lot of wear and tear in our everyday lives, yes?

Lysa TerKeurst made a list of ways she could leave that sacred space for relationships. I’m going to share mine and then challenge you to make your own.

  • Leave space for listening to the needs of my family.
  • Leave space for face-to-face friendships and connections by setting limits with online time and connections.
  • Leave space for basketball in the park.
  • Leave space for telling funny stories around the firepit.
  • Leave space for holding hands.
  • Leave space for sitting with my 96-year-old Granny and listening to the same stories over and over again.
  • Leave space for the unrushed yes.

THIS is the kind of together we need. These are our greatest assignments.

Let’s chat:

  1. Make your own list of ways you can leave that sacred space for relationships.
  2. Make this weekend about connection. Who do you need to connect with? Find some sacred space and make it happen.
  3. What is your favorite quote or aha moment in Chapter 15?

Coming Up Next:

  • Thursday: Steph Raquel will be back on Thursday to share some exciting stuff happening within Proverbs 31 Ministries
  • Thursday, October 23, 10:30 a.m. ET – Conference Call #5 – with Angie Smith, author of Chasing God
  • Thursday, October 23, 8 p.m. ET – Bible Study LIVE (Free Facebook Event)

As we close today, let’s pray Hebrews 10:24-25 together:

Dear God,
Help us to think of ways to motivate each other, to spur one another on toward love and good works. Keep us mindful of our need for connection and relationships and let us not neglect finding and setting aside that sacred space to meet together. Unrush us. Help us to encourage one another, especially now as we draw closer to meeting You face to face.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

PRIZE ALERT! —> Everyone who leaves a comments will be entered to win one of three conference call series we are giving away this week! 🙂

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When We Choose to See The Best Yes

Wow. Where do I start? My heart raced as I read through your comments on the blog yesterday. I get it. Really, I do. This people pleasing issue is hard stuff. It’s a real, in-your-face, daily struggle for so many of you. And I understand because I’ve been there. Actually, I still find myself there sometimes.

Some of you have known this struggle for a while. Others of you are just realizing it for the first time. Can I say BRAVO?! Bravo for being brave and allowing God to reach down and shine His light on those areas that need healing and truth poured in.

It takes courage to face those hard things that we’ve held onto for so long and also those our eyes have just seen.

You are brave, sweet friend. And you are strong.

So where do we go from here?

I say FORWARD. We keep surrendering. We keep seeking. We keep listening. We keep leaning in to Jesus.

He is our resting place. He is our safe place. And He is always the balm that soothes our souls and breathes life into those dry places.

So today, we have another short clip from The Best Yes DVD series (if you are interested in the whole set, visit the P31 bookstore). Today’s clip continues yesterday’s discussion on people pleasing. Take a look:

(Click here if you can’t see the video in your email.)

Fear keeps us caught between pleasing people and pleasing God. But when we choose to put our trust in God alone, we find safety.

“The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe.”
~Proverbs 29:25

What an incredible truth to keep close as we continue to find that courageous Yes and that confident No!

One more helpful tool on the topic of people pleasing is Lysa’s blog post on 10 Ways to Graciously Say No When You Feel Pressured to Say Yes. (Thank you, Lysa!)

Now on to Chapter 14.

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Sometimes we are too busy dreaming of or trying to figure out that big, world-changing, future assignment we just KNOW God has for us that we miss the little, seemingly insignificant daily assignments sitting right next to us on the airplane (ahem).

Just as soon as I finished thanking God for the generous gift of an empty seat next to me, I saw him coming toward me. I’m not going to lie here. I felt like this guy was about to invade my space and rob me of a gift God had surely meant for me – alone time and room to spread out. After all, I was tired and had much to process from my weekend at She Speaks and so many plans of women’s ministry to close my eyes and dream about.

You know, important stuff.

I forced a smile and stood up so this last minute passenger could steal my gift get to his assigned seat.

We each retreated to our very limited personal space. I was excited to finally open my new book (personally signed by one of my favorite authors whom I had met during the weekend) and he turned on his movie. Maybe this wasn’t going to be such a bad flight after all.

About half-way through Chapter One I heard God whisper.

Give him your book.”

I immediately began to try to convince myself this “voice” was originating from my very crazy imagination brought on by lack of sleep and delirious exhaustion and not from any place holy or divine.

But for three whole chapters my spirit stirred and all I heard was, “Give him your book.”

I glanced over at my neighbor and I knew the book in my lap did not belong to me.

We talked for a few minutes and his eyes filled with tears as I placed the book in his hands. For the next hour God empowered me to encourage, listen and offer hope while my brother poured out his story.

A preacher’s son who had lost his way.

The father of a struggling teenage son.

A husband who needed a miracle in his marriage.

A man on his way to Iraq for a whole year to make money for the family he left behind.

God set up a divine appointment to let him know he was not traveling alone.

We talked. We shared. We prayed.

What an honor to share this space with him.

What a privilege that our Father would use me to bring His son back home.

I could not believe I had spent my whole weekend in ministry training and submitting my life in prayer for service and here I was on an airplane in the middle of an assignment and I almost missed it. But thank You Jesus, I didn’t miss it.

In Chapter 14, Lysa says, “Paying attention to what’s in front of us will help us see our Best Yes.

Let’s not get so busy planning, dreaming and doing that we miss those assignments and divine appointments God places in our paths. With strangers. With family. With friends.

These “little” assignments have the potential to change more than we know.

I can’t wait to hear from YOU today!

Let’s Chat:

  • Lysa says, “a soul well-spent will be one who lives Best Yes answers.” We spend our souls on the big moments and also countless little moments that fill our days. Consider those little moments that are right in front of you. Maybe it’s a bedtime story with your kids, a Friday night date with your husband, or a few moments to encourage the overwhelmed mom in the grocery store. Are you ready now to extend God’s love to what’s right there and give it your Best Yes?
  • What is a Best Yes you can choose right now?

Remember, Conference Call #4 with Lysa TerKeurst is TODAY at 10:30 a.m. EDT.  Click here to purchase the Call Series, and/or here to join the conversation on our Facebook event.

Also, make sure you leave a comment to be entered to win one of three Conference Call series we’re giving away this week!

Come back tomorrow and we’ll take a peek at Chapter 15.

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Week 5 of The Best Yes Starts NOW!

Goodness gracious! Can you believe we are already in Week 5 of our study?

Hey friends! This is Shelly, and I am thrilled to get to pull up a chair and join you at the table again this week as we open our hearts and fill up on all that God has for us here! Every week has been packed with powerful, life-changing truths. Truths that — when applied — can set us on the right path today and change the course of our tomorrow. And guess what? This week is no different!

First, let’s sit down for a chat with Melissa and Nicki:

Click here if you can’t see the video in your email.

Things You Need To Know:

  • This week we’ll be reading Chapters 13-15 of The Best Yes.
  • Our verse of the week is: “If people pleasing were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

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Special Events:

  • Tuesday, October 21 @ 10:30 a.m. EDT – Conference Call #4 with Lysa TerKeurst
  • Thursday, October 23 @ 10:30 a.m. EDT – Conference Call #5 with Angie Smith, author of Chasing God
  • Thursday, October 23 @ 8 p.m. EDT – Bible Study LIVE (Free Facebook Event)

You can visit our Facebook Events page to join the conversation for any of these optional gatherings.

Now, let’s take a peek at Chapter 13.

Confession: I know first-hand the misery of being trapped in a life of people-pleasing. If you were on the conference call last week, you heard me share a snippet of my story. (It’s not too late to sign up for our conference call series. All calls are recorded!)

In that particular season of my life, I elevated my desire to feel accepted by people above my need to please God. And really, part of me thought that by pleasing people and saying yes to everything expected of me, I was pleasing God. More specifically — for me— in church and ministry.

Pleasing people isn’t always a bad thing … but when our hearts and motives are in the wrong place, both parties are just a breath away from disappointment. Because we’re human, right? And so are they. No one is ever happy or pleased all the time. When we fail to meet someone else’s expectations, we can begin to feel less than or not good enough. Especially when we give them the freedom to tell us who we are.

When we say yes to demands that are not truly part of our assignment, we take on the false responsibility that comes with it. False responsibility leads to unnecessary pressure, undeserved guilt and feelings of inadequacy.

Our value and self- worth are not meant to fluctuate with how many people we do or do not make happy on any given day (thank you Jesus). But when our heart is set on people instead of God, that’s exactly what happens. I have at times measured my self-worth by unreachable human standards and a roller coaster of good and bad opinions about me from others, based on my performance. If you’ve ever done this, you know how it can just squeeze the life right out of you!

Being rooted in Christ and understanding who we are in Him allows us to move forward in confidence as His wisdom guides our choices and direct our steps, even when others disagree.

“We are afraid of people not liking us. Not admiring us. Not being pleased with us. So we spend the best of who we are doing a million little things we know we aren’t supposed to be doing.” ~Lysa TerKeurst, The Best Yes

I don’t want to spend the best of me (anymore) doing a million little things I’m not supposed to be doing.

I want to honor God with my gifts in the assignments He has written for me.

I don’t want to invite crazy into my life (ever again) by saying yes to everything and everyone.

I want to rest in God’s peace by moving forward in the freedom to say yes or no as a wise woman who’s heart is set on Him alone.

And I bet you do, too.

Let’s chat:

  • Do you ever struggle with people-pleasing?
  • In what area of life are you most likely to fall into the trap of people pleasing? (work, church, social media, etc.)
  • Make this your declaration today: I, (insert your name), will rest in God’s peace by moving forward in the freedom to say yes or no as a wise woman who’s heart is set on Him alone.

Prize Alert! —> Everyone who comments this week will be entered to win one of three conference call series! Winners will be notified via email at the end of Week 5. 

UP NEXT: Come back tomorrow for a short DVD clip from Lysa TerKeurst and a discussion on Chapter 14.

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The Best Yes – Week 2 Wrap-up

What an awesome week of study we have had!! I’m adding some volume to my words today and wrapping up Week 2 with a video. Click here if you are unable to view it.

It has been a JOY to be with you this week! I’ll be back again for Week 5 so see ya then!

Let’s Chat:

  • What is one change you have made this week or one truth you have learned that will help you establish a pattern of wisdom in your life?
  • It’s Fall! My favorite time of the year! I love tall boots, pretty scarves, bon fires, and white chocolate mochas! What’s YOUR favorite part about Fall?

Next up our teacher for Week 3: Kristy Aiken! 🙂

**Our winner from Monday’s contest is De Jordan! Congratulations! If you haven’t already received an email from us, you’ll be getting one soon!**

Happy weekend and Happy Fall, y’all!!

Love,

Shelly

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