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Fighting Battles

I know that the last million and one posts have been about books, but today is different.  This post really adheres to the reason behind the blog title, This Is Me.

We all deal with crap.  Crap that happened in our past, present crap, dog crap and otherwise.  There are days when I feel as though I am walking as the overcomer and the warrior daughter that God has created me to be, but then there are days and situations that take me back to a place that I have worked so hard to get away from.  As I sit staring out at the Atlantic Ocean during my first trip to Florida, I realize just how rough life can get.

The waves are crashing on the rocks because a storm off of the coast has stirred up them up.  The tide is high and the water is rough, but yet there is a peace in knowing and in seeing the power of God right in my face.  This has been the hardest, but also the most rewarding of years.  God has called me to trust Him in all things, but in doing that, I have had to face the struggles that still plague me.  The freaking enemy knows the exact moment when I am weak and tired and proceeds to slide the doubt, fears, and then I am right back to that teenager who doesn’t know her place.  She’s scared, hurt and doesn’t know who she can trust.  She fears being alone, yet she fears being around others.  She thinks that everyone either has an ulterior motive of will hurt her further.

As I feel these things that I haven’t felt in forever, I realize that I have not fully processed the feelings I had then.

But then, I am called back to the place I am now.  40 years old, following the calling that God has put on my life and learning how to be the woman that He created.  Learning to be healthy mind, body and soul.  So as I stand on the rocks and the water crashes in, I raise my arms up in the air and release it all to Him.  He releases the power, grace and every other gift inside of me for me to share with others.

Amen God!  Thank you for the work that needs to be done so that I can find peace, trust and rest in You

Not From God Review-Kaitlin Chappell Rogers

This book y’all…this is power! Kaitlin goes through 10 different narratives going on in our minds that are not from God. She guides the reader through the associated verse, a brief section of encouragement and truth, and finishes with a section to remember, replace and reflect. This book is a very easy read, but one you will come back to over and over again! I would recommend this book to anyone who struggles with thoughts of not feeling enough or too much. Also for people who feel like they need to be people pleasers or compare themselves to others. Everyone needs to hear these truths and learn how to walk in the narrative that God truly has for you!!!

I Am David Review-Jimmy Evans

In this book, Jimmy Evans looks at the life of David. He looks at how David was still considered on of the great kings, even with all of his faults and missteps. He reminds us that greatness is what we are seeking, not the world’s definition, but God’s. He addresses nine different characteristics of David and relates them to the reader using 10 lessons and a study guide. One of the many quotes that stood out to me was, “Worship is the true foundation for all other relationships to grow upon” (pg.96).

I believe this book will serve as a great reference and study for any individual who is wanting to find the greatness that God has created them for. It has something for everyone and will challenge the reader to dive deep into their own beliefs and find God on the other side.

Comparison Girl-Shannon Popkin

The world loves to make us feel as though we have to compare ourselves with others. Shannon takes the reader through the process of becoming free from this need for comparison. She breaks it down so that it can be used into a 6 week Bible study. Shannon writes in a way that makes you feel like you are sitting down with her drinking coffee and working through these issues. This book is a great tool for women to learn how to learn how to appreciate their differences and love themselves as the created daughter of God. Also how to love others for how they are created. I would definitely recommend this book for every woman! Also for them to share it with the younger girls so that they can start out on a different level than what we did.

Guest Post-Barb Roose

Part 1 of an interview with Barb Roose,
Author of Surrendered:
Letting Go & Living Like Jesus

If COVID-19 has taught us anything so far, it’s that we are not in control. When life gets hard, aspects of the future are uncertain, and we’re at the mercy of other’s decisions, we want more power over the situation. However, those are precisely the times when we need to learn how to surrender, just like Jesus did. In Surrendered: Letting Go & Living Like Jesus, Barb Roose leads readers in a study of Jesus in the wilderness to show that when our need to fix things takes over, that’s when we need to embrace God’s plans rather than our own.

Roose wrote the Surrendered Bible study for the weary woman who needs to let go of control-loving behaviors and learn to live like Jesus in the midst of the hard times or during the heartbreaking circumstances each person will face at some point in life. There are problems in life that can can’t be fixed no matter what we do, and living out the phrase “Let go and let God” is much easier said than done. She asks readers to consider if it is possible that giving up on what they can’t change is God’s path to peace for their life.

Q: There may literally be no better time for this specific Bible study to release! Tell us about the theme of your new study, Surrendered.

In light of what our world is experiencing right now, I would totally agree! Who knew that toilet paper would become the hottest commodity in America?

My new Surrendered study is written for the weary woman who needs to let go of control-loving behaviors and learn to live like Jesus in the midst of hard times or during heartbreaking circumstances that we all face at some point in life.

Q: Surrendered focuses on Jesus’s time in the wilderness. How do you use the wilderness as a metaphor for the reader?

The wilderness is a spiritual symbol for those long, difficult and uncomfortable seasons in life. I’ve never heard anyone say, “Yes! I’m in a wilderness season. This is going to be great!”

Usually triggered by change, our wilderness seasons are often characterized by spiritual confusion or a long-lasting situation that seems to press the “pause” button in our life. Wilderness seasons are frustrating because there are no quick fixes and we often have no control over how long it will last or ultimately, how that hard situation will turn out.

Yet, the wilderness season is a beautiful invitation for us to experience God in new and powerful ways. As we travel through hard days or heartbreaking times, the wilderness is often a place where we experience God’s might power, abundant provision and comforting presence in ways that we never have before.

Remember that both Jesus and the Israelites spent time in the wilderness. Jesus’ forty days model for us how to live by faith during his wilderness seasons while the Israelites forty years teach us valuable lessons on what can happen when we allow fear to overrun our hearts in hard times.

Q: It’s not a sin to be tempted, so why do we feel so much shame and guilt because of our temptations, after all, Jesus was tempted?

While it’s not a sin to be tempted, we’re often feel shame around the source of our temptation. Once we feel shame, silence and isolation quickly follow. Satan loves to show up in our spiritual isolation, but that’s when his lies stick the most. As long as we’re silent, we’ll struggle against Satan’s assault on our own—and that’s dangerous for us!

However, Jesus showed us that we can find victory over temptation and avoid getting trapped in spiritual isolation by fighting back with scripture and relying on the Holy Spirit.

Q: We’re seeing a lot in the news about stockpiling due to future uncertainty. Let’s talk more about God providing what we need for today, and how you began practicing your “Principle of Daily Bread.”

I believe that God takes care of His children at all times, especially hard times!

When my adult children were young kids, I used to panic if I couldn’t immediately repurchase or replace something that broke or ran out. One of the ways that I used control to push back against the panic was to join the coupon craze. I’d spend hours each week clipping coupons or printing them. I’d haul home handfuls of free toiletries or snacks and store them in a closet that I called “my stockpile.”

However, a season of life came when I couldn’t even afford the newspaper to clip the coupons. Eventually, my stockpile went away, and I hit a spiritual rock bottom. I began to reflect on Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:11, “give us this day our daily bread” and realized that I’d placed my faith in a stockpile, not in God.

The “Principle of Daily Bread” means that I will trust that God will provide exactly what I need for the day in front of me. Like the Israelites had to wait for God to provide manna each day, I learned to wait for God to provide and stop letting the amount of food in my cupboard or the amount of money in my bank account, determine my level of peace or joy.
Q: How is Surrendered designed to be used? What other resources are available to groups?

I wrote the Surrendered study for the control-loving woman who is exhausted from trying protect what she loves, fix what’s broken or trying to get everything in her life back on track. This six-week Bible study invites participants to follow Jesus’ footsteps into the Judean wilderness and immerse themselves in studying how Jesus overcame those trials and temptations.

As I dream about the control-loving woman who knows that she needs to let go, I dream about a supportive community of friends who will take this journey toward surrender along with her. Surrendered is a study that should be experienced and shared with others!

The Surrendered Study includes a participant workbook, leader guide and DVD.

Q: What are the components of each week’s study? Are there daily lessons too?

Each week’s study includes specific letting go topics as well as application exercises and various. There are five lessons combining study of Scripture with reflection and application. As part of the study content, you’ll find Extra Insights; a weekly Memory Verse; a Daily Surrender Prayer and short, memorable Surrender Statements to stock your Surrendered toolbox.

Throughout the study there are practical exercises that will provide you with real-time opportunities for reflection and create next-step action plans for your life, whether that might be working on a spiritual breakthrough, destroying a mental stronghold, or following through with a Spirit-led act of obedience that God may be asking you to do.

Each daily lesson should take about twenty to thirty minutes. These lessons will help you prepare for the discussion and activities of your weekly session, if you are meeting with a group. Though you can do the study individually and reap benefits, it is designed to be done with a group for encouragement, support, and accountability. As you gather to watch the Surrendered DVD, you also will have the opportunity to share what you are learning and pray together.

Each video message is designed to follow and complement the content that you have studied during the week. Whether or not your group watches the video, it’s so helpful to share your struggles and victories in your journey to surrender. As you do, you’ll encourage one another and find strength to complete the study and put into practice all that you’re learning.

Ultimately, women can discover that the blessing of living a surrendered life is a healed heart, a calmer mind and open hands that willingly accepts or surrenders whatever God allows.

Q: What are some ways women can creatively come together to do the study as a group, even if they aren’t able to meet in person?

While I hate the difficult circumstances that the COVID-19 outbreak has created around the world, but I love seeing how God dropped some opportunities in place before we realized that we needed them. Here are a few wonderful opportunities that are available during these wild times:

Here’s some exciting news! One of the ways that I want to serve women in the midst of the virus crisis is to provide an online gathering for them to do the Surrendered study. So, I’m hosting the Surrendered Online Study beginning on April 22. I’ll be doing live teaching on Wednesdays in a private Facebook group and then, Thursdays will be our group discussion day. I’m excited about this because many women can’t meet with their groups, and I don’t want that delay to keep them from experiencing the Surrendered study. More information is available at barbroose.com/onlinestudy/.

Here are a few other ways that women can experience the Surrendered study:

1. AMPLIFY – To help groups stay connected and continue to study the Bible together during this time of social-distancing, Abingdon Women and Amplify Media are making the video sessions of Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus available for free for group members to watch at home from any device. Sessions will be available free of charge from April 7 to June 30, 2020.

View the video sessions at https://my.amplifymedia.com/amplify/series/unitedmethodistpublishinghouse/32668-surrendered.

Amplify Media is a streaming service allowing churches large and small unlimited video access in order to discover, customize, and share diverse resources that encourage deeper discipleship and equip churches to pursue their mission with greater impact.
Learn more at AmplifyMedia.com.

2. DIGITAL DOWNLOAD – Each individual session of the Surrenderedstudy is available for digital download at cokesbury.com/surrendered.

3. ONLINE GROUPS – I’m so encouraged and inspired by women’s Bible study and small group leaders across the country who are so dedicated to leading their groups in these challenging times. I’m also a group leader at my church, too! Like many group leaders, our group is leveraging technology like Zoom, Facebook Groups and other platforms to meet together online.
Surrendered: Letting Go & Living Like Jesus
A Study of Jesus in the Wilderness
By Barb Roose

Available April 7, 2020 from Abingdon Women

Participant Workbook
Paperback ISBN: 9781501896286 / $16.99 ~ eBook ISBN: 9781501896293 / $16.99
Leader Guide
Paperback ISBN: 9781501896309 / $14.99 ~ eBook ISBN: 9781501896316 / $14.99
DVD
ISBN: 9781501896323 / $49.99About the authorBarb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about connecting women to one another and to God helping them apply the truths of God’s Word to the practical realities and challenges they face as women in today’s culture.

Roose enjoys teaching and encouraging women at conferences and events across the country, as well as internationally, including national platforms such as the Aspire Women’s Events, She Speaks Conference, and the UMC Leadership Institute.

She is the author of the Surrender: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus,I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays,Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle and Beautiful Already: Reclaiming God’s Perspective on Beauty Bible studies and the booksWinning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua and Enough Already: Winning Your Ugly Struggle with Beauty. Her writing has been featured in many magazines, and she also writes a regular blog at BarbRoose.com. She is the host of the bi-monthly “Better Together” podcast.

Roose lives in Toledo, Ohio, and is the proud mom of three adult daughters. Her perfect day includes sleeping in, taking a long walk outside, shopping for shoes and eating two big bowls of chocolate peanut ice cream.

Visit Barb Roose’s online home at barbroose.com. Readers can also keep up with her on Facebook(BarbaraRoose), Twitter(barbroose), and Instagram(barbroose).

Instaprayer: Prayers to Share Guest Blog

One of me dear friends, Kelly O’ Stanley has an awesome book on prayer that comes out today! Below is a blog that she has created just for today! Click the link at the end of the blog to order! It is so good! Leave a comment to enter for a giveaway to win a copy! Also, refer people here and have them put your name in the comments for extra entries!

I’ve been creating calendars full or prayer prompts for almost five years. I’ve designed keychain prayers, online prompts, and now (with the release of InstaPrayer: Prayers to Share) a whole book of them.

But still, I think a lot of people wonder, “What exactly IS a prayer prompt, anyway?”

Think of it as a prayer starter. Do you remember the old game show “Name That Tune?” They’d play three notes (or four or five) and the contestants would try to recognize the song. If you’re anything like me, though, the rest of the song keeps playing in your head. It doesn’t stop on the fifth note.

Sometimes the hardest part of prayer—or any conversation—is figuring out how to start, so you can use my prayer prompts as visual aids to jump-start your prayers. They help you bypass whatever routine prayers you’re used to saying and open your mind to new possibilities. New prayer needs. New ways to look at people.

Let’s look at the prayer prompt above. You can take it literally—for instance, there were just bad tornadoes down south. You might start by giving thanks for those who survived, and asking God to help them as they work through the process of clean-up and repairs. You could pray for the linemen who will be restoring electrical service, and for those who are temporarily without a home or job. You could pray for those who build homes, those who donate to relief efforts, and those who have done so in other circumstances. You might pray for missionaries, or pastors, or community leaders who make a concerted effort to help people in the aftermath of disasters of all kinds. Or use the “down south” part of my earlier statement to think of all your friends and family who live in the south. Picture a map as you work through and pray for those who come to mind.

If you know that a weather storm is coming, you might be moved to pray for the homeless that do not have shelter, and then pray for the people and agencies that work with them. You might ask God how you can offer help to someone whose circumstances are more challenging than your own. You might give thanks for the home that shelters you from the weather, and pray for each of the people who live there with you. Empty nester? You can pray for those who started life in your home and moved on. Or start by praying for your own household and expand it to praying for your neighbors, your community, your schools, your workplace, your world.

You might take the prompt metaphorically—who’s in a life experience that feels like a storm?Someone with a dark cloud of depression or anxiety. Someone living through intense grief or disappointment. The friend who’s nursing her mother through her final days. Those of us isolated and lonely at home right now, or worried about sick loved ones, or fearful about lost jobs and income. The woman who just mentioned the anniversary of her miscarriage—and then you might pray for her other children, her partner, her support system. Maybe you’ll be led to pray for those who are without a job—you can ask God to provide for them, to take care of their family, to meet their needs and be present in their life. Which could lead you to pray for your own job, your boss, your coworkers, your career—or ask God for direction to pursue your passions.

You might pray for a storm you’re going through, asking God to give you faith to walk on the water, like Peter did when in the boat with Jesus. Then you may feel like giving thanks to God for those whose faith has taught and inspired you, or those who have helped lift you up in prayer as you’ve gone through a hard time. Maybe the worst of the storm is past, but the consequences remain—there are still mud puddles every time you try to take a step forward. Ask for direction, wisdom, endurance, patience.

Or use the visual itself as your prompt. Pray for every woman you see wearing red, or a raincoat, or carrying an umbrella. Pray for the people inside any businesses with striped awnings or flags outside. The woman in the image looks like the situation is too much for her. Who else in your life is in over their head? Is lacking resources? Is in a position they’re not equipped for financially, educationally, or otherwise? Lift them up in prayer. And let your mind go from there.

Think Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the game that is based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, which says that any two people on earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart. Movie buffs challenge one another to find the shortest path between any specific actor and Kevin Bacon, who’s been in tons of movies. In college, I learned that following these connections or trails of thought can also be called stream of consciousness. There are different ways to look at it, but the idea is the same. Let one connection trigger another. The woman in the red coat > red uniforms > basketball team > your old basketball coach > your favorite teacher > college > college roommate. Woman carrying an umbrella > man walking with a cane > your grandfather > your grandparents’ neighbor, who just had a baby > a friend who recently became pregnant.

There is no “right” or “wrong.”Prayer can look a million different ways, just as we—all of God’s creation—are varied and unique. By definition, prayer is simply a conversation. Just as your discussions with friends might bounce from one topic to another faster than you can figure out the connections, your prayers can do the same. Because what makes prayer valuable and worthwhile is that it is time spent with God. A chance to deepen the connection, or simply allow your mind to focus more on God, so that you can see Him throughout your days.

I don’t always know what to pray for. Sometimes there are so many needs I don’t know where to begin. So I just pick a jumping-off point and start. Because along the way, God shows me things I didn’t think I knew, people I hadn’t otherwise remembered, and inspires me to keep talking. To keep listening. To keep reaching out to Him and making Him part of every day. Every conversation. Every thought. In turn, my love for Him grows and my mind stays fixed on Him.

It is my prayer that you will use the prompts I developed to simply start that all-important conversation, to keep your dialog with God running non-stop in the background as you walk through your days. Because He is good, and He is faithful, and He loves to hear from us.


My new book, InstaPrayer: Prayers to Share, released today!

Quarantine Continuing to Bring the Shift

The time that I have spent basically at home have brought forth a lot of issues and things that I have been avoiding.  I usually spend my after work time with my friends, family or at my church, but right now, that is not possible.  I haven’t had this much time to sit around and think about my life and the direction it is heading.  I don’t know what is going to happen, but what I do know is that God is in charge, knows the ending and won’t leave me.

I have been spending time in His Word and in devotion.  I have watched the daily check ins and noon prayer with my pastors.  I have been focusing on a study that is bringing healing to areas of my life that have needed it for a long time.  Those things have been great!  I have also been blessed to still be able to work full time for my day job.   I have not been any surer of these things.

I have also experienced more anxiety than I have in a long time.  I can feel it coming and I try to just feel all the feels, but eventually it gets to be too much.  There are times where I feel like I am losing it.  I know that my feelings are an indicator of other issues and not to let them rule my mind, but it gets difficult.  These are the times where I would like to say that I go and do battle in my prayer closet all of the time.  Sometimes I walk around and let the anxiety wear me down until I am too exhausted to keep my eyes open.  Situations that were big before are becoming enlarged and in focus now.  I do not like this part.

God has been bringing the word, Anchored, into my mind so much during this time.  That is why I changed the name of my blog and wrote it on my Bible.  I believe this is a time in which God is bringing everything into the light.  I believe He is calling me deeper into relationship with Him and wants me to look at every aspect of my life, both good and bad to get down to the basics.  Sitting here, writing this blog, feeling everything, listening to music is putting me in a place that is confusing because I don’t know the outcome, yet renewing because I can feel a shift happening in my life.  I feel it happening for the world because they are learning just how much is out of our control.  I also see the same thing in my own life.

I know I am not the only one going through all of this.  I am not the only Enneagram 2, hugger enthusiast, extrovert sitting in her office going crazy because of this upheaval.  The thing that I have the most certainty in is that God is on the throne and He sees everything.  He did not cause bad things to happen, but He has given us hope.  He has also given us 365 examples in the Bible to not be afraid and not to fear.  There is a peace that only He can give us.  So, join me and look to the One who knows the ending and has us in the palm of His hands.

Finding Your Voice by Csilla Muscan

This is a beautiful 40 day devotional guide about discovering who we are as daughters of God. Csilla takes the reader through her story and gives examples of Biblical stories and verses to help them understand the love God has for us. I would recommend this book to every woman who is trying to use this time in our history to find out who they truly are.

Mindset Shift Happening

This is quite a different time in history. We are all having to slow down, stay home and decide how we are going to react to everything. I have not been fearful during this time because I know where I put my trust, but I can admit that anxiety has been attempting to get me. I am not used to not being busy and always being on the go. I am used to finding places to go to fill my time. Now, I am only going out one evening a week. No, I don’t have the virus, but I have been sick on and off over the last few weeks so I have been sticking close to home. Earlier today, a major moment of anxiety hit me and I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I got up from the table and stepped onto my deck and I just stopped. I stared out into the backyards that all come together on my allotment and took a deep breath. I realized something. I realized that I can choose how to respond to this situation. I could run around like freakin chicken little and scream about the sky falling, or I could look at it in another way. I could see it as a shift.

My church’s word for the year is shift. I have helped launch a boom entitled Shift. God gave me the words, Renewal, Peace and Selah for this year. I am going through this amazing class about healing from my past. I am learning how to follow the call on my life to write and speak about the freedom He has given me. These are the things I need to focus on. My focus needs to be on what is right in front of me. I need to look up at Him instead of all around for the answers. Yes, being educated and taking the situation serious is crucial, but even more than that, growing more focused on God and what He is teaching me, and each of us, is paramount.

He wanted me to take this year to focus on Him, healing, writing and community. Now that the initial shock of this situation has hit and gone, it is time to stop, shift my gaze, and use the gifts that He has given me, including time to rest and renew.

 

 

Dear Wife Review

This interactive book was created by the A Wife Like Me team. It involves 26 different invitations from numerous different contributors that encourage both growth in our relationship with God and with our husbands. It includes discussion questions, prayers and activities to do on your own and with your spouse. I would recommend this book to any woman who is wanting to grow in her relationship with God and her husband. I also believe that this would be a great book for an engaged woman so that she could start finding new ways to connect with her future husband.

Chasing Vines-Beth Moore

Beth Moore hits this one out of the vineyard! I love her correlation with physical vineyards and Jesus’s description of the vine and the branches. This book is relatable to every woman at every stage of life. Her encouragement and insight make this a must read! This book will be one to read over and over again! Thank you Beth for your encouragement and for paving the way for those behind you!