The Final Approval

"The Final Approval" by Kendra Schwarz | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies | #UninvitedBook #P31OBSFriends, we made it. We’ve spent the last 6 weeks dealing with rejections of the past and learning how to live loved in the process. So how’s that going? Do you feel more equipped to stare rejection in the face and conquer it? I hope so!

Right now, I feel pretty good about dealing with rejection. I mean, really. I’ve called friends in the past whom I’ve hurt because I don’t want to be the rejector in their story.  I’ve highlighted verses in my Bible so I can recall them at a moment’s notice when I feel rejected. I can quote Uninvited up & down and sound so “wise” to my family and friends (giving credit to the author, of course).

But what happens in a week, month or year from now — when the next rejection lurks around the corner? Will I be ready to deal with my future rejections?

Rest assured because Lysa TerKeurst has set us up for success!

Let’s take it back to Chapter 15 for a minute, shall we? Lysa writes:

“Heartbreaking seasons can certainly grow me but were never meant to define me.”

"Heartbreaking seasons can certainly grow me but were never meant to define me." - Lysa TerKeurst #UninvitedBook | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Week 6 #P31OBS

Woo! She is always takin’ us to church.

So if heartbreaking seasons were never meant to define us, then what does defines us? Let’s take it one step further & add “God defines me” to the end of Lysa’s quote. It would read something like this: 

“Heartbreaking seasons can certainly grow me but were never meant to define me. God defines me.

So when the next rejection comes, and unfortunately it will, we can remember we’ve been chosen, pursued and loved by the King. He is ours and we are His. And if we allow Him, our story will have His stamp of approval on every page through every rejection.

And all God’s sweet-loving, hard-working, Uninvited OBS ladies say, AMEN!

Hope to see you again for our next study!

~Kendra

P.S. Done with the book? Take a sharpie marker and cross out the “un” in Uninvited and let it serve as a reminder that you are always invited in. Oh! And, did you miss the #UninvitedBook conference call series? DO NOT FEAR! The calls were all recorded. #Praise. 

Let’s Chat: 

ObserveSince I shared a few realizations from #UninvitedBook OBS, I’d love to hear what you have learned from this study as you deal with rejection!

Bible Write out the Verse of the Week in your OBS journal again. Cross out every sentence before the comma. Here’s an example: We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;” Now when you read it, you’ll see you’re NOT distressed, not in despair, forsaken or destroyed. Talk about a feel-good verse!

Stretch Think of a friend who might benefit from the #UninvitedBook message. Pray and watch for God to provide an opportunity for you to share this message with her.

 

GIVEAWAY: Comment on the blog today for your chance to win The Best Yes prize pictured below!

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I’m Living Loved

"I'm Living Loved" by Angela Diemer| Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies | #UninvitedBook #P31OBSHi there! I can’t believe we’re in our final week of study for Uninvited.  This has been such an amazing experience, and I’m really going to miss my girl time!

Can I share something I experienced while reading Uninvited? I used to live in fear of what others thought of me. My goodness, the crazy scenarios that would run through my mind. Good grief! Then one day a scenario became reality.

Two people I know personally were having a conversation they thought was done in secret, but I heard everything said about me. I felt like I was in a bad dream, and I couldn’t wake myself up.

Standing there, tears running down my face, Lysa TerKeurst’s words kept repeating over and over in my mind: “I’m living loved … I’m living loved!”  Then I stepped outside, closed my eyes, and whispered “I forgive them”  and I could feel the love of my God, as I felt the warmth of the sun on my face.

In that moment, I was able to remember what we’ve been learning in Uninvited. So even though the words spoken about me attacked who I was as a person, I knew in my heart God fully accepted me. He made me to be ME. Not what others thought I needed to be. And guess what? Knowing I was fully loved by God … WAS enough.

When I read this in Chapter 16 –- I highlighted it and drew stars all around it with arrows pointing toward it:

“It’s not about you becoming anything. Your soul was made to simply be with Me. And the more you are with Me, the more you will stop fearing what the world might take from you. With Me you are free to be you. The real you.”

Past rejections attempt to cause devastation, but God’s love gives us new revelations.

God used John 6:37 to speak directly to my heart, which reads:

“… those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.” (NLT)

What a sweet confirmation to my soul! God created me to be ME, and He will never reject ME. He loves me, the real me, even the stuff I’m still growing in. And, the same is true for you too!

I love how Lysa closed out Chapter 16 with this beautiful declaration, so I wanted to end our time together with it as well:

“With you, Jesus, I’m forever safe. I’m forever accepted. I’m forever held. Completely loved and always invited in.”

"With you, Jesus, I'm forever safe. I'm forever accepted. I'm forever held. Completely loved and always invited in." - Lysa TerKeurst #UninvitedBook | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Week 6 #P31OBS

Love,
Angela

Let’s Chat:

Observe  Have you ever feared what others thought about you?

Bible  Read John 6:37 then share: How does this verse help you look at your rejection situation?

Stretch — When you have a moment to be quiet, ask God one or both of these questions:

  • “God, what do you call me?”
  • “Who do you say I am?”

Write down what He says in your OBS Journal so you can remember the truth of who you are!

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Finishing Strong with your Uninvited OBS, Week 6

"Finishing Strong with your Uninvited OBS, Week 6“ by Stacy Lowe | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies | #UninvitedBook #P31OBSHey, y’all! Welcome to WEEK 6 of our #UninvitedBook #P31OBS! We are so proud of you for sticking it out with us over the past month, but don’t walk away just yet! We still have this one last week of study to go, and it’s chock full of GOOD STUFF you don’t want to miss!

First of all, have you seen our Verse of the Week? It comes from 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (KJV) and it says this:

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (KJV) I "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." I Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies I Week 6 Verse I #UninvitedBook #P31OBS

So much beautiful truth tucked into those two verses, y’all! Just think about it for a moment — no matter what we may be facing, no matter how hard the journey, we are NOT distressed, in despair, forsaken or destroyed. No matter WHAT. That’ll preach! And that’s a truth I want to hang onto this week!

Speaking of truth, Lysa TerKeurst has some great truths to share with us this week about humility. In fact, she calls it a gift! Say WHAT?! Check out this week’s video to find out more!

*Note: All of our YouTube OBS videos are now closed captioned for the deaf/hard-of-hearing. Click here for instructions on accessing closed captioning.

If you can’t view the video above, click here to watch on YouTube.

So what do you think? Humility as a gift? I’m thinking YES!

Alright, y’all, it’s time to dive into Week 6 and to help with that, here’s our Weekly Lowdown! It is the one-stop shop for all things OBS, including a schedule for the week, events, a suggested reading plan and more! Be sure to click the link below, then save the Lowdown to your computer or print it for easy reference throughout the week.

2016_OBS_Uninvited_Weekly_Lowdown_Button-01

OK, y’all, Week 6? LET’S DO IT!

Let’s Chat:

Observe Have you ever thought of humility as a gift before? What do you think now?

Bible Read through 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 again and write down the truths you find there in your OBS Journal. How will these truths help you to #LiveLoved?

Stretch This is it, y’all! Our LAST week of study! What will you do this week that will help you finish strong?

You’re Invited! We have one last conference call to go in this series and it is happening TODAY at 11 a.m. ET. Our very own Nicki Koziarz will be with us speaking about preventing future rejections. Learn more about the series and/or purchase the calls here! And as always, if you can’t be on live, NO WORRIES! All calls are recorded and available for download later, which means it’s not too late to join in!

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Deal With It

"Deal With It" by Kendra Schwarz | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies | #UninvitedBook #P31OBS Friend: “Hey Kendra! How is everything going?”

Me: “Hey girl! Everything’s going really fine! Thank you for asking! How are you?”

Confession: I’m really good at “faking fine.” And the above conversation is standard for me. But do you know what I’m realizing? It’s really hard to be fine all the time. And that’s when the pain and the struggle starts to get ya.

In Chapter 14 of Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst writes, “If we avoid the hurt, the hurt creates a void in us.

"If we avoid the hurt, the hurt creates a void in us." - Lysa TerKeurst #UninvitedBook | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Week 5 #P31OBS

Major #FacePalm.

I would much rather not deal with my pain and avoid the hurt than admit it to my family and friends. Why you ask? Because I’ve been known to be happy and to have it all together. So who am I to be “down”? I need to hold it together.

But that’s when I need to look at myself in the mirror and remind myself I’m not a robot. And in order to actually be fine, I have to face my problems & deal with it –“it” being my rejection. As Lysa states, “we must feel the pain to heal the pain.” But sometimes that sounds downright hard and makes me feel weak.

All too often, the pain is screaming from the depths of my inner-core — wanting an outlet but I’m not letting myself feel it. I’m forcing, pushing, shoving it down in the dark pit of who I am, suffocating its existence because, if I can keep it down, I don’t have to deal with it.

Yeah, Kendra, that’s healthy. (Not.)

But what does Lysa do? She offers hope – hope for this “in-between where we know there’s a problem, but we’re not fully over it.” She suggests we ask God to be near – invite him into our in-between.

But how?

In Chapter 14, Lysa walks us through Psalm 91 and adds a prayer to every line of scripture. And dare I offer a challenge? If you’re like me, and you’ve pushed down your pain, take time to:

Find the pain.

Feel the pain.

Deal with the pain.

Like the challenge offered above, search deep within you. Find that pain, and hurt, and feel it. Sounds scary but if we embrace this process, healing will follow. And once we learn to deal with it, our gaps are filled and our pain is met by our sweet and ever-so-loving God.

Let’s Chat:

Observe — What’s your go-to line when someone asks how you are?

Bible — Lysa writes little prayers for each section of Psalm 91. Write down the verse from Psalm 91 that most resonated with you, and then write your own prayer! Make reference in your Bible so you’ll always have it as a reminder.

Stretch — So, now that we’ve decided to deal with the pain, and I hope you have, share how you’re going to work through your pain. If you don’t want to share below, feel free to write your thoughts in your journal!

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Lessons from Maggie Mae

"Lessons from Maggie Mae“ by Stacy Lowe | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies | #UninvitedBook #P31OBS

 

Hey, y’all! Meet Maggie Mae, my sweet 2-year-old rescue kitty I adopted over the summer. She’s a bit Facebook-famous due to … well, due to antics like THIS:

 

"Lessons from Maggie Mae“ by Stacy Lowe | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies | #UninvitedBook #P31OBS

She definitely has quite the personality on her!

If Maggie could talk, she would tell you she loves to be on my bed, staring out the window, watching the world go by. But here’s what’s so cool about Maggie Mae: As much as she has places she prefers, her favorite place to be is wherever I am. Given the choice between a window view by herself or anywhere else in the world with me, she picks being with me. Every. Single. Time.

Which brings me to this statement from Chapter 12 of Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited:

“What is holding my attention the most is what I’m truly worshipping.”

While I’m in no way suggesting Maggie Mae worships me, she DOES have the right idea. You see, Maggie quickly learned she’s safe with me and that I love her and look after her. She knows I give her everything she needs; she has never lacked in my care. Because of that, she wants to be in my presence, wherever that may be.

Could the same be said of me and God? Could the same be said of you and God?

He has a plan for each of us, but it might look vastly different than anything we would dream up on our own. Sometimes it’s not easy. Sometimes it’s a little uncomfortable. It may even be a LOT uncomfortable.

Satan knows that, and he knows just the carrot to dangle in front of us to tempt us to look away and go after something else. But no matter how great that “something else” appears to be, if it’s not where God is, is it really worth it? Do we still want Him the most? Or do we become stubborn 2-year-olds, insisting on our own way?

When it comes down to it, it’s not about US, and never has been. Instead, it’s about God working THROUGH us to accomplish His plans in this world. There is a vital role for each of us to play, but it can only be discovered when we’re willing to follow, even when the path forward doesn’t make sense.

Will you choose to be a Maggie Mae today?

Let’s Chat:

Observe — When your plans and God’s plans don’t line up, whose plans do you tend to defer to?

Bible — In Chapter 12, Lysa shares with us the words of Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV). What do those words teach you about your desires?

Stretch — Are you ready to lay aside your own plans in favor of His? Write out a prayer of surrender to God, asking Him to help you follow Him forward from here.

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Answer the Let's Chat questions in the comment section of today's blog and you'll be entered to win this week's prize pack I Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies I #UninvitedBook #P31OBS

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