Week 5 Wrap-Up: But I Don’t Wanna!

Picture of ErinHello from Canada, my friends! It’s Erin Peters back to wrap up this fabulous week 5, and what a week it’s been! Nicki Koziarz, Melissa Sherlin, Missy Pettigrew and I have so enjoyed interacting and reading your comments. Each one of you has blessed us!

Remember on Monday how I told you I was a little nervous about Chapter 9? Well, Karen Ehman did not disappoint with bringing her wisdom, but my reaction has resembled my 4-year-old’s when I tell her it’s time to clean up her room.

Can I be honest with you right now and admit I’m not comfortable with any of the stuff Karen is talking about? I don’t want to die to self. It’s a lot of work to pause on what I want to say before I say it. It’s much easier to get angry and ignore the problem.

But unfortunately, God never said obeying Him was going to be easy or comfortable. And dying to self? Well, that just takes it all to a whole new level!!

Karen sums it up beautifully at the end of Chapter 9:

“In order to die to self in the daily, routine hassles and relational challenges we face, we must draw deeply from the available power of the Holy Spirit, surrendering our life and words to his will.” ~ Karen Ehman, #KeepItShutBook

Did you catch that? She said we have the available power of the Holy Spirit!!! No wonder I get frustrated, because let’s be honest, I don’t always tap in to what’s available from God. Eeek! Did I just admit that to thousands of people? I sure hope I’m not alone!

Dying to self

If you’re discouraged, please know you’re not alone! I’ve been there so many times I’ve lost count. But what keeps pulling me off the floor when I’m having my little tantrum is our great God!

He wants to be walking this path with us. He wants us to cry out to Him, rather than just sit down and cry. He wants us to accept His Spirit that gives us strength and accomplishes things in us we can’t even imagine!

Can you imagine what over 45,000 women dying to self would do in our families? Workplaces? Communities? Social media?

Lets join together and start that change, my friends!

Let’s chat:

  • What’s your definition of dying to self?
  • What is your natural reaction when you are angry? What should your reaction be when you are angry & how can you make that happen?
  • And just for fun, what type of plants and flowers are you looking forward to seeing this Spring?

Come back next week and join us for our final week of Keep It Shut!


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When Soft Can Be Wicked Hard

Missy_Professional_HeadshotHowdy Sweet OBSers! It’s Missy Pettigrew here today. Yesterday’s teaching from Melissa Sherlin had me digging around in Hebrews. I so love that book of the Bible. So much instruction that I can apply right into my everyday life! How about you?

And, I’m learning tons this week, too, as we learn how to better deal with anger.

Let’s have a little chapter chat, because this one … oh wow! I’m fairly certain that Karen Ehman came into my home, spied on me for a day, and then went home and wrote Chapter 9. I am so hoping there’s a chorus of “me toos!” going on out there, because, whoa Nellie!

Up here in New England, we say something is “wicked hard” to let folks know something is really difficult. Friends, I don’t know about you, but it is wicked hard for me to pause before I pounce.

Harder still, is to die to my righteous indignation or hurt, and instead give no answer at all, until God provides the softness needed to respond.

I find this especially challenging with my children. You see, one of them has special needs. And, although we are usually in complete agreement with the school team about what our child needs to succeed, once in a while, we’re not. There have been times when someone on the team makes a comment that hurts. My parenting skills seem called into question. I get angry.

It’s in those moments that I do well to remember a wise saying my Gramps used to tell me: “You win more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Even better, I do well to remember a verse we see in this chapter. Proverbs 15:1 tells us, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”


Oh, Father God! How I need You to place your Holy Hand over this mouth of mine. Make my answer so soft that no more anger is stirred. I don’t want to let my anger get the best of me. And, I certainly don’t want it to be given as the worst to someone else.

Going through our #KeepItShutBook “Climate Change Exercise” on pg. 164, I made a startling discovery. As I focused in on the times I let my anger fly, and what those times have in common, a clear trigger emerged. For me inadequacy = angry.

In those moments where my abilities as a wife, mother, co-worker or friend are called into question, I am much less likely to pause and ponder a softer response. I default to defensive mode. And once those hurtful words are hurled, there’s no catching them in time to stop the harm done.

But that’s no way to live. How much more joy can be found in words soaked in kindness and grace? For everyone!

Karen Ehman writes that “Softness feels good.” It surely does. In those moments when I feel a slight to my soul, I want to get better at intentionally applying Proverbs 15:1.

So, I’m resolving to change my default pattern from hurtful to heartfelt. This healing hearts business is wicked hard work. But, oh, it’s so worth it, isn’t it?

Let’s Chat:

Alrighty now, I’ve told you what I’ve resolved to try to change. Your turn! What makes it most difficult for you to pause before you pounce?

If you tried the Climate Change exercise, share a trigger and a pattern you’ve resolved to change.

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Bible Study Skills: Applying What We’ve Learned

IMG_20150129_175546 (1)Wow! What a great time we’ve been having during this study & digging into God’s Word. Can you believe we’re already halfway through week 5?

I pray that as you have been applying the principles we’ve been learning in Keep It Shut that you’re beginning to see the fruits of your efforts.

That is our goal right? To apply what we have been learning so we can know how to use our words for good. What good will this knowledge be to us if we don’t apply it? We’re here to make a change so we can become better wives, moms, co-workers, daughters, stepdaughters and women altogether.

The same is true with our Bible study. In order for it to have the ability to change me, I have to respond to it by applying it. Applying the truths of Scripture activates the power of the Living Word in my life, just like we’re reminded in Hebrews 4:12!

IMG_3609 (1)Hasn’t it been fun discovering the timeless truths and historical events together? It is so important for us to study God’s Word in proper context. Over the last several weeks, we have discussed some great tools to help in our studies! The Bible calls us to go even deeper and do what it says. (James 1:22)

“The ultimate goal of dynamic Bible study is application, not just interpretation. We do not want to settle for understanding alone; we want to apply the biblical principles to our daily living.” — Pastor Rick Warren, “Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods”

I like to ask myself the following questions when studying a verse or passage of Scripture:

  • Do I understand why this passage is here?
  • What is God saying through what I’m reading?
  • What are my motives for applying this Scripture? Is it because I feel like I have to, or because I want to be more like Jesus?
  • Is God asking me to make a change in my heart, thoughts, or actions?
  • Is God asking me to work on a relationship, with Him or someone else?

When we apply the truth of God’s Word  in our lives, it activates the power to transform us into the beautiful women we were created to be. We’re never going to be perfect, but girls we’re being perfected day by day until we see Him face to face. I want to drop my jar, my gossip, my anger or whatever it is in my heart.  I want to drop it right now … before the sun goes down.

I also want to get better at applying what I’m learning in God’s Word! Will you join me?

Let’s Chat:

Do you have anything you want to drop before the sun goes down?

Let’s take the verse I shared with you today, Hebrews 4:12. Write it down and answer the questions I also shared with you above. When you are done, share with us how it changed your understanding of the verse.

  • Do I understand why this passage is here?
  • What is God saying through what I’m reading?
  • What are my motives for applying this Scripture? Is it because I feel like I have to, or because I want to be more like Jesus?
  • Is God asking me to make a change in my heart, thoughts or actions?
  • Is God asking me to work on a relationship, with Him or someone else?

Thanks for joining me today! I hope by applying God’s Word to your life and these Bible study skills to your study time, that you are finding you experience God in a whole new big way!

Have a great day!

Melissa Sherlin :)


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