That’s A Wrap: But Wait …

Hi sweet OBS friends and welcome to our final Keep It Shut OBS post.  It makes me sad just writing that! But if you must know, the only reason it makes me sad is because I loved this study so much and hate to see it end. I love the message Karen Ehman wrote in Keep It Shut, and I love this OBS community … that’s you!

I have a special message for you as we wrap this up. I hope you’ll take time to view it because I’m sharing some things I think you’ll want to hear as we close and move on to our next study. Check this out:

If you can’t see the video above this, click here.

As I wrap this up, just a few reminders:

This study may be ending, but we have another one beginning April 13, 2015:


What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst

Order your book now from Proverbs 31 Ministries and you’ll receive a free printable, 10 Scriptural Promises to Boost Your Faith, plus right now the book is just $10.99! (You can get the book almost anywhere, but only Proverbs 31 has this offer & gift for you.)

Wondering what you can do between studies?

1.  Hang out with us on Social Media! We are extremely active on social media and would love to have you as part of our community on the following outlets:

Facebook: Like our P31OBS Facebook page for daily community, encouragement, and special features such as our popular Lunch Break, Wednesday & Friday Night Chat, and newest weekly feature, Bible Time! This is a great way to stay connected to others who are also interested in OBS, make new friends and get all the information you need about what’s coming up next! Join us at

Twitter:  Follow @P31OBS for daily encouragement, inspiration and fun! Twitter is the place to get great news fast! Follow, retweet, tag and hashtag with us on Twitter all during the break.  #P31OBS

Instagram: Follow @P31OBS where we really do believe a picture is worth a thousand words. We’d love to have you as a part of our encouraging and interactive Instagram community!

Pinterest:  Follow our Pinterest boards to not only find the great encouragement, hope and inspiration we are known for, but also some great ideas for real life and Bible study! More boards to plug into are coming soon!


2.  Practice your Bible Study Skills

If you look in the sidebar, you should see “View Past Studies.”  Click that section or just click here, and close to the top you’ll see “Bible Study Skills.”  Click that and you will have access to all six of the Bible Study Skills posts from our Keep It Shut OBS! Isn’t this AWESOME? Now if you missed a week, there it is! Or if you forgot what a certain skill was, there it is! Voila, you can thank me later!

3. Reread Keep It Shut

This book was so packed with goodness, it’s definitely worth reading again! Or if you happened to get behind, now you have the chance to catch up and finish!

4.  Subscribe to and read the Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today devotions

5. Whatever you do, don’t forget to purchase the book for our next study! (see above)

Thank you again for being such a beautiful part of the Keep It Shut OBS. On behalf of all of us on the #P31OBS Staff & Team, we love you, we’ll be praying for you, and we will miss you! Most of all, we hope our paths will cross again soon.

God Bless,

Melissa Taylor 🙂


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To Retreat or Not

Picture of ErinHello cherished friend! It’s Erin Peters with you today as we discuss a little of Chapter 11, “Gotta Have The Last Word.” Oh, how I wish you were sitting in my green kitchen with a steaming cup of something as we dig in and share our hearts, but here on the blog is the next best place!

Before we go any further, take a look at the final DVD clip for Keep It Shut from Karen Ehman.

If you can’t view the video, click here.

I just love listening to Karen as she shares her wit and wisdom!

But I also have a bone to pick with Karen because she made me a little uncomfortable. Okay, it was actually the Holy Spirit convicting me through Karen when she posed this question in Chapter 11, “When was the last time you spent time in a quiet place?”

Ummmm, I can’t even go to the bathroom in a quiet place without little fists pounding on the door, so I guess it’s been a while since I actually had a retreat. My quiet time is usually quietly escaping to my room (and getting one uninterrupted half hour is a miracle)!

When I first read Karen’s words encouraging me to retreat, my internal conversation went like this: “Oh no! Not another person telling me how to have my quiet time. I read my Bible every day and even journal, which is sometimes a huge deal! And I already get up at 6 a.m.! What more can I do? Oh boy!!”

So, as you can see, my spirit put up a bit of a fight at this concept. Anyone else feel the same? I’m sure I am not the only momma with littles underfoot who struggles with this.

But honestly, it’s not the external noise that keeps me from getting quiet with God. More often than not, it’s what’s going on internally in my mind. Sometimes I wish I could give myself a time-out, just so I would be forced to sit and be quiet without doing something.

Oh, how thankful I am Karen included some fabulous tips in the chapter on how to retreat with God, because a lot of the time I am out of ideas and just get frustrated. I’m excited to try some of them in order to treat myself to a retreat of solitude!

Let’s chat:

  • Does finding time to get quiet without your Bible and prayer list come easy or is it something you need to work on being more purposeful about?
  • What is your favorite tip on finding solitude from Chapter 11 that you are going to utilize?
  • And just for fun, do you have green thumb or is your thumb the opposite of green?

Finally, remember we’ve got our fast, fun and fabulous #P31OBS Bible Study Live! It’s TONIGHT on our Facebook page at 8 p.m. ET!

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Bible Study Skills: Verse Mapping

Sarah TravisHey guys, it’s Sarah Travis back with you for our final week of Bible Study Skills. 

That makes me so sad to say, but WOW, what an incredible journey we’ve had over the past six weeks! I know I’ve certainly learned a lot about how God intended me to use my words, and when the whole world would benefit if I just didn’t use any at all!!

We really hope you have enjoyed this new Bible Study Skills day on the blog. Melissa Sherlin and I have had so much fun digging deeper into God’s Word with y’all, and are already looking forward to learning together during the next Online Bible Study!

Speaking of which … did y’all see Missy Pettigrew’s big announcement on Monday? The next study is What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst! Have you ordered your book yet?!  Order your book from Proverbs 31, then submit your receipt to and you’ll receive a free printable — 10 Scriptural Promises to Boost Your Faith. Your printable will be delivered electronically to the email address provided. Click here to order!

Okay, back to Bible Study! I know many of you have done Verse Mapping before and loved it! It is an awesome way to combine some of the skills we’ve learned … and more!

Verse Mapping includes:

  • Personalizing the verse
  • Highlighting words/phrases that jump out to you
  • Reading the verse in context
  • Using a parallel Bible to compare other translations
  • Cross-referencing
  • Word Study

Check out this video of putting it all together:

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

As you can see, art is not my gifting!! So I hope that encourages you anyone can do this!! “Personally, I like to use a different color for each Bible Study Skill, but there really is no right or wrong way to Verse Map!

P31OBS has created a free downloadable .PDF to help you with your verse mapping:

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It might help to do all the research first, so here’s a separate .PDF to help you note what you discover while digging deeper. Then, you can get creative turning it into a work of art!

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Let’s Chat:

Last week Melissa Sherlin talked about application and how important it is “to apply what we have been learning so we can know how to use our words for good.”

  • Share something you learned from Verse Mapping our verse of the week, Proverbs 18:21, and how you’re going to apply it to your life.
  • Let’s tell the world about Verse Mapping! Snap a photo of your verse map and share it on social media (especially Twitter/Instagram!) using the hashtags #P31OBS, #KeepItShutBook and #VerseMapping. I’ll be looking for them!

So, let’s get out those colored pens and get creative!!

Have fun!

Sarah 🙂

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Ok Y’all, Let’s Do This Today

MelissaHeadshot2Hey Awesome OBSers! Happy Tuesday to ya! It’s me, Melissa Taylor with you today and I’m excited to be here!

Last night on our conference call with Karen Ehman & Darlene Schacht, I thanked Karen for saturating Keep It Shut in God’s Word. Have you noticed how many great verses and Biblical truths she has given us in the pages of this book?  We aren’t just getting good advice on how to use our words, but we are receiving God’s direction! After I thanked her, she replied, “Well it wasn’t hard! There are over 3,500 verses in the Bible about how we should use our words!”  Well then, I just love Karen Ehman!

As much as I love the way we are continually led back to the Bible throughout this Keep It Shut message, today I want to focus on something completely practical. And actually I guess you could say it’s putting this message in action.

My favorite part of Chapter 10, “Something to Talk About: Wonderful Ways to Use Your Words,” is a little section titled “Love Prompts.”  I’m all about a good challenge, but I get really excited about it when it has the potential to spread some love and happiness.

These “Love Prompts” can be found in two places of your Keep It Shut book. They are on p. 172 of the paperback book within chapter 10, and they are also in the back of the book in a section titled More Things You Can Do. I’m not going to copy the “Love Prompts” here, rather, I’d like for you to locate them in your own book.

What are love prompts? They are “prompts to get you started on jotting a note, an email, or a text to a loved one in your life.” Or they could be used to start an encouraging conversation! They are are prompts to get you started speaking to your spouse, child, parent, friend, or you could really use them for anyone in your life!

Karen writes in Chapter 10 about how one year for Lent, instead of giving up something for 40 days, she decided to give something for 40 days. Her gift was a hand-written note to a different person in her life. She took a little time out each day to write a few words expressing her love, gratitude, or thoughts toward that person. Then she mailed it. Can you imagine being the recipient of one these sweet notes? Especially if it wasn’t even your birthday or Christmas?!

Now, we might not be able to commit to 40 days of hand-written notes, but I bet we can commit to a few sweet words to send to someone special, for no special reason. (I think the “for no special reason” is the best part, don’t you?)

Let’s Not Just Chat Today, But Let’s Do This:

Check out all the love prompts in the “More Things You Can Do” section of your book. If you have the paperback, you’ll notice “Love Prompts” on p. 216 and then “A Sweet Treat to Accompany Your Sweet Words” on p. 217.

Think of a few people in your life to share some sweet words (and maybe even a sweet treat) with. Bless them today. Yes that’s right, today. Don’t wait or put it off or it may never happen.

I’m going to text my two college kids a sweet message today. I’m going to hand-write a sweet little note for my husband and two kids who are still living at home. I’m going to put that note beside their plate at the dinner table tonight. And who knows? We may just have that sweet treat to accompany it all!

Here’s my text to Blake, that I literally just now sent!


*** “Your Pal” has been our way to sign notes to each other for years. When Blake was just 2 years old, he looked up at me as I was tucking him in one night and said, “We’re pals Mommy.” He’s 21 today and yes, we are still pals. 🙂

What are you going to do? Share with us in the comment section please! I bet your ideas could help and inspire someone else! Let’s spread the love today, y’all!


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Keep It Shut, Week 6

Missy_Professional_HeadshotHowdy friends. It’s Missy Pettigrew here to kick off our final week of study with you, and I’ve got some exciting news to share. But, I’m hoping you’ll hang in here with me until the end of the post, to hear it.

Just curious … did anyone see 5 weeks zip by, because, HELLO! Here we are, in the last week of our study of Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman. It sure feels like these weeks have flown by! Or, maybe that’s just my bruised piggie toes trying to find some light at the end of this challenging journey.

Who’s with me on that one?!?

We have some great things in store for you this week. Let’s let Karen Ehman, Melissa Taylor and Nicki Koziarz tell you what in the video, below.

Keep It Shut Week 6 from Proverbs 31 Ministries on Vimeo.

If you can’t view the video, click here.

I think Melissa shows some real potential on that piano. Don’t you? If you missed that, you’re gonna want to go back and check that out!

One idea that Karen shares with us, in chapter 10, is what gratitude does for us. And friends, we truly do thank our God every time we remember you (Philippians 1:3). When we read through the comments, we are profoundly touched by the way you are trying to allow God to tap on your hearts and guide your words.

In fact, it’s clear from all of the godly chatter going on here on the #P31OBS blog, that so many of us have been scooching over to make room for the Holy Spirit. I love the thought of tens of thousands of people moving over to make room for more of God in their conversations. Isn’t that just a beautiful picture?

Let’s finish this week strong! Here’s our #P31OBS Lowdown:

Memory Verse

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” ~Proverbs 18:21a (ESV)


  • Monday – We are diving into these last two chapters, 10 and 11, as we wrap up our time together in the #KeepItShutBook. Start reading chapter 10, “Something To Talk About,” and let’s see how we can use those tongues to speak life!
  • Tuesday – Nicki will be here to share her thoughts on Chapter 10. Stop by! Your tummy will thank you.
  • Wednesday – Bible Study Skills day with the lovely Sarah Travis. (It’s okay, let’s just all admit that we love watching her videos so we can hear that accent!)
  • Thursday – Erin Peters will be here with her insights from chapter 11, and with Karen’s video clip. Such. Great. Stuff!
  • Friday – Melissa Taylor will be back to close out our study of Keep It Shut. (SAY WHAT?!?!?) Sorry, couldn’t resist …

Optional (but awesomely fun) Events:

Tonight – Join Melissa tonight, at 8 p.m. EST as she welcomes Time-Warp Wife, Darlene Schacht to the 5th call in our 6 part series. We’ll also uncover our final step to making our words matter. For more information, click here. All previous sessions have been recorded, so even by joining now, you don’t miss anything!

Thursday – Bible Study LIVE from 8-9 p.m. EST on Facebook. Join Stephanie Christensen and the team as they lead you on an incredible hour of Bible discovery! Click here to RSVP or for more info.

Congratulations!  You hung in there with me until the end. And guess what? I get to tell you something wonderful.

Are you ready?

Our next study will be …


That’s right!  It’s What Happens When Women walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst! Registration for the next study won’t begin for a few more weeks, but you can go ahead and order your book NOW! The first 500 copies sold will be signed by Lysa TerKeurst!

Our What Happens When Women Walk in Faith OBS begins April 13th!

Let’s Chat:

  • Karen Ehman walks us through ways to practice gratitude this week. I will never forget the handwritten note that one of my second graders handed me on the last day of school one year. She told me I was her “favoritest teacher EVER!” (I think I know where I got my “shouting” instincts …) This was a child who struggled all year with keeping up. But, she surely did. And that handwritten note was the most precious display of gratitude that I had received during my time as an elementary teacher.
  • So, tell me, what is your favorite gratitude story? It can be one where you were the gratitude giver or receiver. Let’s flood this comment section with ideas about gratitude.
  • Where are you going to place your memory verse this week, to help you remember the power your tongue holds? (Mine’s going on my bathroom mirror!)
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