Fun night carving pumpkins with friends. We ate chili, enjoyed peanut butter pie! And most importantly loved on our families. Sweet time!

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Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart week 7 Review

on becoming whole.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

 (from relationships by drs. les and leslie parrott)

There are no shortcuts to personal growth & wholeness. But there are a few suggestions & steps we can take in order to voluntarily walk the road with the Lord of discovering who we are in this life & who we are in Christ.

 

  1. Heal your hurts. Beginning your journey towards wholeness means self-exploration into the places where you hurt. The purpose is to acknowledge & accept your relational pain-no matter how big or small, instead of burying it.
    1. Write down the hurts & make this a life-long journey. You may not think of something right now, but as your practice, you may remember things in 1 week, 1 month, 1 year. That’s okay.
    2. Agree with the Lord & yourself to write down EVERYTHING that comes to your mind & heart that has hurt you. Whether you think it’s big or small, jot it down.
    3. Understand & accept this is a process. Unfortunately, we will never rid ourselves of self-exploration because we can never rid the world of sin. We will continually hurt others & be hurt. However, the more we submit ourselves to this process, the easier we can walk through healing & redemption when it does happen.
    4. Recognize that walking through this process will protect you from repeating the pain of your past in your present relationships.
      1.                          i.   Every relationship gives you another chance to resolve  issues you didn’t get squared away in the previous ones.
  2. Take of your mask. Each of us has a natural, built in, desire to be known, but we often stifle our vulnerability out of fear. We’re afraid of being seen as too emotional or not emotional enough, as too assertive or not assertive enough. We’re afraid of rejection. We all vacillate between the impulse to reveal ourselves & the impulse to protect ourselves. We fear rejection & that no one will love the real us so we slip behind a self-made facade & pretend. Sociologists call it impression management…the rest of us call it pain.
    1. The mask may help us guard against pain, but we’ll never be whole. Which means we’ll never enjoy true intimacy.
    2. When what you do & say do not match the person you are inside, when your deepest identity is not revealed to others, you developed & incongruent or fragmented self. Your outside doesn’t match what’s going on inside.
      1.                          i.   You’re constantly focused on self & your impression. What should I be feeling? (healthy-what am I feeling?) or How am I doing? (healthy-how is the other person doing?)
      2.                         ii.   A shift in this thinking from self to others is a mark of wholeness. Healthy & whole people have the security to focus on how others are doing-not because they want to look good, but because they genuinely care.
    3. What about when I’m tempted to save face? & I put my mask on? It’s a process, remember? Vulnerability generates vulnerability. Once you take off your mask & reveal the real you, your fears, desires, excitement, others are likely to do the same.
  3. Sit in the driver’s seat. It’s easy to be passive. To move through life simply reacting to outside forces is “easier”. Sometimes we plan more for parties than we do for our lives. You don’t catch wholeness from reading a book, listening to a podcast, or going to a conference.
    1. It is earned. It comes from hard work. “Hell is to drift, Heaven is to steer”-George Bernard Shaw in Don Juan in Hell.
    2. Taking responsibility for your past, present, & future means you determine the kinds of relationships you build.
    3. All of your relationships, if they are to be healthy, must be determined on the premise of you having an identity, forging a purpose, having courage, & making commitments to things outside of yourself.
    4. Once you take an active role in the quality of your own life, other people share in your growth rather than becoming responsible for it.
    5. Purpose statement, mission statement, & life sentence.
      1.                          i.   If you are going to achieve a sense of wholeness, you are going to have to set goals, & if you are going to meet these goals, you are going to have to delay the impulse of immediate gratification.
  4. Rely on God. Relying on Him means NOT relying on others to meet your needs.
    1. Personal significance & the desperate need for significance is real. We want to be the most important to someone else. We want to be needed. However, even the most loving relationship cannot quench our deepest need.
    2. Only God can truly love you “no matter what”. Yes, you seek a man who will rely on the Lord to love you like Christ loves the church. But, he will fail. Your family, friends, & ultimately your husband one day…are all sinners & make mistakes. Know & believe God loves you always & unconditionally.

 

 

How are you in the department of vulnerability, self-examination, & accountability? What will you do to improve this area of your journey towards wholeness?

 

What are your masks? What keeps you from being yourself?

 

How would you rate yourself on a scale from 1-10 on your ability to delay immediate gratification? How do you succeed? How can you do better?

 

What do we struggle to rely on God to meet our needs?

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart week 7 preview “on becoming whole.”

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Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart

Melissa Sharp

10.17.13

on becoming whole.

1 corinthians 1:26-31

Glory Only in the Lord

26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”[c]

We cannot seek relationship and maintain relationship the way the world does relationships. We have to be different. We have to care about others. We have security in the Lord so our security doesn’t come from a person here on earth. The world doesn’t understand how we do relationships. They don’t understand how we can love because He loves us. We must process through the sin and hurt in our own lives on a regular basis in order to love others.

There are no shortcuts to personal growth & wholeness. But there are a few suggestions & steps we can take in order to voluntarily walk the road with the Lord of discovering who we are in this life & who we are in Christ.

As we read excerpts from “relationships” by Dr. Les & Leslie Parrott, we’ll discuss what it means to become whole. We’ll walk through 4 steps: heal your hurts, remove your masks, sit in the driver’s seat, rely on God.

There is a process to walk and it’s a life-long process. We’ll discuss biblical and practical direction for these 4 steps and prayerfully consider how we can each gracefully maneuver our self and relationships with regard to becoming and being whole.

to have loved and lost…

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I have written about our journey through miscarriage HERE and HERE. Yesterday, as my husband got home from work, it didn’t take 10 seconds before he was in the floor wrestling and tickling our 2 sons. We have a son, about to be 3 at the end of November, who was conceived 3 1/2 months after our miscarriage. We have another son, about to be 1 at the end of November, who was a little bit of a surprise and a little bit of hope! Every pregnancy and child’s presence represents something different. Both of our boys represent hope, but for very different reasons. Our oldest son came after miscarriage. He didn’t bring healing, only the Lord can bring healing. He brought further understanding and peace that we have to move on. We don’t have to leave behind the memory of our Baby C, but we have to move on. Move on in the Lord, move on for our family, and move on in life. We talk about our precious baby. The Lord knows us so much better than we know ourselves. Sometimes I need a reminder. He’s given me a reminder every time I think on the absence of our first baby. Miscarriage isn’t unique or rare. Since the fall of man there has been sin, evil, devastation. We can’t and don’t have to explain it. It’s a hard journey to trust and believe the Lord when heartache and tragedy strikes. But, if we believe Him in some we must believe Him in all. I’m thankful for my children here now, so I must be thankful for my child not here and thankful that He has a greater plan for that baby. I should say a greater plan. It doesn’t get any better than Heaven!

 

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My husband just said yesterday, I feel a void when I play with our boys. We’re missing someone. I definitely agree. When I fix my boys meals, do their laundry, give them baths, do every day menial things that are exhausting and even unenjoyable-I think there should be more food to fix, more clothes to wash, another one to bathe. But there isn’t. And I especially feel a void when we’re cherishing moments and making memories. This void draws me close to Him though. There is a void and only He can fill it because we don’t have Baby C here to enjoy and to make memories with….that was His plan.

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We have to approach the throne of grace to walk through heartache. We have to surround ourselves with Truth speakers. Those who will value and enrich the moments we need grace. Alongside of those who support and encourage, we need to have humor. Speak fondly of our loved but lost babies. Speak truth to each other and rally in understanding, yet reality of our circumstances. I love this graphic. We know we aren’t the ones who make angels, but we carried them and we love them forever. I hope you’re encouraged to walk this journey with boldness and grace. He entrusted us with this testimony and He will equip us with the wisdom and courage to walk in it and share it.

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Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart week 6 preview

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play it smart.

 

Praying about the character of the person you date or how you should act when you date. 1 John 3:24

Making the distinction between ROMANTIC love and REAL love

  1. What is LOVE?
  2. What does Scripture say about love in regards to marriage?
  3. Three drives of Romantic Love.

We will be discussing practical & scripture wisdom concerning relationships as it pertains to dating & marriage. For those who have already made decisions they aren’t happy with and for those who trying to navigate decisions right now, this will be a time of learning and discussion as we seek accountability and help.

Looking forward to seeing you!!!!

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart week 5 review

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adapted from “Lady In Waiting”

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart

Melissa Sharp

October 3, 2013

 

the alabaster box.

 

  1. History of the alabaster box & it’s meaning
    1. A young woman’s dowry. The size & amount was parallel to her family’s wealth.
    2. When a man asked for her hand in marriage, she would break it at his feet to show her response & honor. This anointed his feet.
  2. Mark 14:3-9 and Luke 7:37
    1. She found Jesus as worthy of such a sacrifice & honor.
    2. Jesus memorializes her actions in Matthew 26:13
    3. She gave her all to a heavenly Bridegroom, the only One who can truly make her dreams come true.

 

What is in your alabaster box? What are you dreams? What do you envision for your future? What are you holding so tightly to because you fear it being taken away?

 

If you have truly broken your alabaster box before the feet of Jesus, it will be reflected in the appearance of His Lordship. Mary’s response in Luke 1:38 gives us an example of an attitude of submission.

 

  1. Ruth recklessly abandoned. She willingly broke her alabaster box & followed the Lord wherever He led her. Ruth 1:16
  2. High price for this investment. Matthew 19:29
  3. Do not make substitutions when get discontent. You will not be complete until you really understand that you are complete in Jesus. Colossians 2:9-10
    1. Completion is Jesus’ responsibility and complementing is a woman’s privilege.

 

“Marriage teaches us that even the most intimate human companionship cannot satisfy the deepest places of the heart. Our hearts are lonely ‘til they rest in Him” –Elisabeth Elliot in Lonliness

 

  1. Does your relationship with Jesus reflect reckless abandonment to Him? Or is it tokenism & superficial effort toward following Jesus?
    1. Are you content to offer Jesus that which cost you nothing? Are you influencing those around you to consider a life-changing commitment to Jesus Christ?
      1.                          i.   The Song of Solomon 6:1 example of the Shulammite
  2. As a single woman, now is the time to establish a relationship with Christ and remove the tokenism of church attendance, verse spouting without heart & belief, & really enter into intimacy with by drawing near to Him Psalm 73:28a

 

offerings::what do you need to walk away from? Why do you need to walk away? You will need help. How will you get help walking away? How will you stick with your abandonment?

 

remembrance::what Truth do you need to tuck deep inside of your heart? What did you hear tonight that resonates with you but is difficult for you to believe? How will you remind yourself of these Truths? Will you choose to believe God?

 

alabaster box::what is in your’s? Anything you would change? What will you replace? With what will you replace those things?

 

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart preview week 5

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“Marriage teaches us that even the most intimate human companionship cannot satisfy the deepest places of the heart. Our hearts are lonely ‘til they rest in Him” –Elisabeth Elliot in Lonliness

Tonight we will discuss the alabaster box that contains all of our hopes, dreams, & priorities and challenge ourselves to fill it with the desires of our heart and recklessly abandon our box before Jesus. We will recall much of Ruth’s journey (our study of Ruth here) as we discuss what it looks like to completely surrender.

offerings::what do you need to walk away from? Why do you need to walk away? You will need help. How will you get help walking away? How will you stick with your abandonment?

rememberance::what Truth do you need to tuck deep inside of your heart? What did you hear tonight that resonates with you but is difficult for you to believe? How will you remind yourself of these Truths? Will you choose to believe God?

Busy Mind, Deceptive Heart week 4 review

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such a time as this.

Esther’s parents die & she is raised by her cousin, Mordecai. God ordains her protection.

God ordains her favor. 2:9

Mordecai gives her directions & walks with her through this. 2:10 We must all have spiritual mentors & sensitivity to submit.

God allows for her increased favor 2:15 and she continues follows direction.

Her submission & boldness lead to a throne & she is favored more than any others. 2:17-18

The more she obeys, the more she is favored. The more she is favored, the more her borders for trust & influence are enlarged.

As she gains more influence, more challenges come her way. With more challenges, come more opportunities for faith. 2:21-23

Near genocide of the Jews Esther 3

What is Esther’s heritage? Mordecai?

Esther’s Dilemma Esther 4

She hedges because she knows the ways of the king. But Mordecai speaks truth.

“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

She responds with a willingness to walk the path Mordecai has directed, but asks for fasting.

everyone in Susa—-herself & her attendants—–3 days & nights

Her request reveals she has come into her own dependence on God & own understanding of His direction. It also reveals her need for a direction & peace higher than Mordecai.

Esther’s Approach Esther 5

The first step in her process requires the King extending the gold scepter

Next, she threw a party

Then, she keeps the king in suspense

She throws another party

Haman loves the attention & isolation of being chosen by the king. But he can’t get over his hatred of Mordecai.

His friend and wife help him plan Mordecai’s demise.

The end for Haman Esther 6

He neglected humility, so his thoughts were skewed. His answer lacked thought & wisdom.

Esther’s boldness Esther 7

She answers the king. She cannot handle her distress anymore.

Haman dies on his own pole for impalement.

The Jews, Esther, & Mordecai Esther 8-10

Esther receives Haman’s estate

God honored Mordecai’s steadfastness.

The Jews have all right to assemble & defend themselves.

How can we enter the turf of our own enemies, eat with them & encounter the beginnings of understanding?

How is Esther, a young Jewish woman displaced from Jerusalem, having eyes for her people an example to us?

God had her in a place of a foreign king at a time when high ranking officials turned on her people-the Jews.

She made a bold appeal to the king. She approached the king in a very unorthodox manner, one which would bring death to anyone (wife included) unless the king gave clearance. This is a great attachment to Hebrews 4:14-16 and of the fact that she wasn’t even approaching the king for herself. She risked her life to save her people.