Posted in Updates

ONE Week Away – Meeting the Thessalonians

Friends, Our study is only one week away! I am excited to share this journey with you all! The study of “Meeting the Thessalonians” has been such a rich time of worship, that has led me closer to God. Honestly, God has used this study to prepare my heart and mind for the season He is allowing me to enter into. I am eternally thankful for this time of study, and that I have been able to daily commit myself to taking the time to scripture write 1 Thessalonians. As I conclude my last week of 1 Thessalonians for this study, I am thankful for this time of preparation for our study together.

God knew it was exactly what I needed. So now, I invite you, dear friend, to join me in “Meeting the Thessalonians”. This is where God is going to meet us and speak tenderly to our hearts – no matter what we are facing in our daily lives. No matter what circumstances we may find ourselves in.

Honestly, life has been tough for me lately. There was even a millisecond of hesitation of switching the study date. Fear not journal lovers (if there are any of you out there), we are pressing on and going to begin our study in one week!

While there is a lot of things I am currently facing, I also have a lot of things on my heart and mind that I believe God is leading me to share with my fellow bloggers and readers. But this study isn’t solely for me, it is for you too. God has a specific word He wants to share with you personally! God wants to meet you right where you are, even if your life seems like mine – a big mess.

Even in the mess, God wants to show us Himself. He wants to reveal Himself to us, even in times like now where life is far from perfect. These are the exact moments, where we need to draw nearer to Him. We need to experience the faithfulness and presence of our great God!

With all that said, I hope you will consider joining me for our study. “Meeting the Thessalonians” is our nine week Bible study. There will be something for each of us to read, during the weekdays. We will meet back here, during the week to grow and learn together.

As a way to prepare ourselves for this study, I advise grabbing the journal. If you can afford it, please consider purchasing the official “Meeting the Thessalonians” journal. It helps to support this blog, plus all new format to help us gain a better quiet time. The new format will be utilized in all upcoming studies. I wasn’t able to afford the journal this time around, but I am looking forward to getting one of the future ones. They look really good, and helpful to move me in the right direction in growing spiritually.

Whether you use the journal or a notebook, you will have all you need to enter into this study with confidence that you will abound in your faith and relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ!

We begin January 29, 2017. Get ready, my friends, for you are going to love all that God will show you during this time of spiritual worship!

You can find the Thessalonians reading plan, by clicking here.

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Posted in Chronic Illness, The Overcomer Life

Sunday Confession

I really do love church. The people, ermm not always (just sum it up to::: highly sensitive introvert, who lacks the ability to pour out emotional energy to be there for people when she can barely be there for herself). The music, yes. The nursery where I service, absolutely.

… But, sometimes, I struggle with my “want to”.

As someone with POTS, it can be utterly terrifying to go anywhere. And church is no different. It can be difficult to go and know if I will be able to stay. Lately, my symptoms have been worsening and I have the lowest attention span. There are often a bombardment of thoughts accompanying the questions – “Am I well enough to go to church? Or, how bad is it?”

Most people have to find their “want to,” in order to exercise. Me too, but my life has many areas where I have to find my desire to riskily make decisions.

The risk is what it comes down to. This morning, I had to weigh the risk. Was the pinnacle of symptoms worth the few minutes I would spend at church – especially knowing I was not in any kind of mood to jollily go socializing and encourage the world (my personality… if you see me at church, you know this one) before Sunday school?

You know, I believe it was worth the decision and symptoms (in the grand scheme of eternity, anyway). Contrary to the struggle to find my “want to,” I actually do want to go to the church and be with God’s people. This is simply (and it is not simple) just part of the process that it takes – in order to get me from my house to the church. There are internal talks, prayers, and questions going on, while I make the decision. I may feel “a little” uneasy in my decision, but at least I made the decision.

The hardest part of it all is – making the decision, and coping with the aftermath wondering if I somehow made the wrong one. I hate it when we have to leave early, because POTS is trying to kill me. Today was definitely one of those days. But, the highlight of my church day today was – sitting in the nursery, underneath our speaker that allows me to hear our musicians practice singing before service, and working on the Bible Reading Challenge. I loved just being there.

I hate the fear and questions I have to face, but I love the blessings I get to pick up along the way – that I would have missed otherwise. That’s what make the decisions hard. I don’t want to miss anything. It’s there that I need to remember that I am…

  • loved by God – whether I go to church biweekly, weekly, monthly, etc. He knows I am plugging into my relationship with Him.
  • called His own. I am even called His daughter, because of Jesus Christ!
  • still me, I am still me, despite illness.

Until next time,

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“The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing (Zeph. 3:17).”

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates

Two New Opportunities (For the New Year)

Hey friends,

Welcome to 2017! I have TWO NEW THINGS to share with you all today. These are some pretty nice ways to get “plugged in”. Even if you are a part of a church family, it would still be a great way to get spiritually fed this year. Bear with me, as I share the details of both.

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Picture from Free Images

Bible Reading Challenge is the first big opportunity I have to share with you all. While it started on the 1st, it’s not too late to join in. The goal is simple: to get into the Word of God and to encourage one another to keep spending more time in God’s Word.

The reading plan is a combination of reading the Bible in the order that things happened, and also reading daily Psalms. For the Bible Challenge, I have set up a blog to share the thoughts/posts and a facebook place to help my friends have easy access to the daily reading schedule. Just five days in, I have already gotten a bit behind and all. But you know what, I am really enjoying this Bible challenge. I am enjoying having the opportunity to just sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to my audio Bible as I remember how God has worked on behalf of His people – and – how God is our awesome Protector and Defender who initiates a relationship with us through His Son Jesus

Our Nine Week Bible Study is next on the agenda. I feel a bit scatter brained right now, so bear with me – as I write up this post. I am looking at my already higher-than-normal word count, and hoping I don’t miss details. While I know I haven’t shared much details about our new blog study, there has been a reason for that. These past few months have been crazy and hard as far as my health and symptoms go. I have wanted to make sure I would be up for this, as I do put a lot of time and attention into each of these studies (or I try to). Anyway, I am ready to share. =)

Are you ready for this? We will be studying the Thessalonians. Both books are included in this Scripture Writing – Bible Study on this blog. Honestly, I have already begun this study and am on week 3. So, I can say we will grow a lot. God is speaking to me in really good ways. He is reminding me of His presence. So, I invite you to join me in our study of Meeting the Thessalonians!

 

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Our new study will be a bit different as far as its format. I believe this will make it a better study for both you the reader and myself.

The Thessalonians study has been an amazing ride, one ride I am definitely ready to share with you all!

Big changes for our study –

  • It’s a “weekday” format – meaning five lessons per week.
  • A focus on memorizing Scripture.
  • Our weekly blog posts will continue, but perhaps only 1-2 posts per week.
  • A posted reading plan for those who cannot afford the journal (I couldn’t get one either, so don’t feel bad).

Also, there are changes within the journal too. What are some of those changes?

  • A weekly prayer sheet to help us jump start our week in prayer.
  • A reflection questionnaire to help us end each week well, and prepare for the following week.
  • A space to actually write out the memory verse, along with tips to help us memorize Scripture.

God is going to do some very amazing things in the course of our study. It will be 9 weeks of honest conversations with God and seeking Him in His Word! Look forward to having you join us.

We will begin our study on January 29!

Psst a little secret: We will begin studying the book of Romans after this study in the same format. We will take bite-size portions of Scripture to meditate and focus on, studying Romans over several Bible study eight week “sessions”.

Click here to support Gracefully Overcoming, by purchasing our Meeting the Thessalonians Scripture Writing Journal!

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Posted in Introversion/Highly Sensitive, The Overcomer Life

New Year’s “Hang Over”

Tonight is New Year’s Eve. I made a plan last week to go out to a little party thing. Today, I tossed and turned about going. The habit of living fearlessly is something we can all pursue. I do, for the most part, try and keep on the fearless mask. However this whole “fearless” act I have going on, well I was not that for a good part of today.

I am one of those people whose personality traits include: introversion and being highly sensitive (otherwise known as HSP).

Obviously, it sounds easier to stay home at this point. Right? I mean, I could have used pouring rain as an excuse. I have loads of excuses, besides the valid one of “people freak me out” (a whole new level of honesty, I know). I really do love people, friends, family, random strangers I connect with, as long as I have room in my human interaction cup.

I literally have nothing to offer anyone if my human interaction cup is full

Excuses Versus . . .

I had a moment of realization tonight. I do things like attend social gatherings, when part of me struggles with it, because I want to honor God with my entire life. If it wasn’t for God, I would not push past the fears or moments of struggling to face the world when my spirit is hung over (detailed explanation below). It’s pretty simple for me. They say you need a “why,” for goals and such.

Here is my why: I don’t want to miss out on opportunities to bless God, because I was too afraid. So, I wrestle between being fearful versus fearless. On one side, I have introversion where human interaction can literally suffocate my spirit. And on another, I have the hindrance of being a highly sensitive person where too much stimulation causes me to run away and never return if given the option.

I want Jesus, my King, to be lifted high in my life. And I know, God can do miraculous things – even when I am scared out of my mind.

… Jesus is why I can step out of my comfort zone and face peopling, even when my spirit screams “I am done for the week. I need silence!”

The Hang Over

With peopling and being overstimulated (noise, lighting, people, reacting more deeply, etc), I face something I call a “hang over”. It is simply from overwhelming my spirit. My spirit becomes intensely weighed down, that it is hard to interact with anyone in a meaningful conversation or watch a favorite show without adding to it. My spirit is just scattered, beyond overwhelmed, and struggling to just get through it. My spirit, in some ways, becomes paralyzed. Everything becomes difficult. That is the best way to describe it to a non-introvert.

… And, the answer is “recharging”. I have to take a “time out,” and allow myself to recover. I have to allow myself the time and space to process and recover from the past few days or weeks of human interaction and a heavy load of stimuli.

Jesus Christ, my Beloved Savior, is the One who walks me through this process of welcoming the new year and process through the past few days or weeks.

 

Posted in Updates

ANNOUNCEMENT::: 2017 Studies

I have some exciting news to share, my friends!

I realize many of us are in a frenzy of shopping and cooking, as the Christmas countdown is going on. Only two weeks left. For me, that is hard to believe. The New Year is almost upon us!!

While this year has been crazy for me, as it has for many of you, I am looking forward to what God has in store for us in this new year.

As we continue to seek Him, God is going to do some unbelievable things in our midst. 2017 will be a new beginning, filled with all kinds of new opportunities to know Him on a deeply intimate level and join Him where He is at work!

Today, I am planning what will await us this new year. We have some good things in store.

Starting in January, we will begin a brand new study!! Meeting Thessalonians is going to be an AMAZING time of worship and getting to know God for ourselves! It will be a NINE WEEK study!

I am doing our studies differently this year, though. I must warn you. In order to make sure it is a pace I can follow (because we all know how I can make plans and naturally struggle to keep them – it is part of chronic illness, but also just part of life happening as it does for us all), I am choosing to make our studies “week day” studies. Basically what this means is – we will have two “catch up” days per week. This way… when life surprises us, it doesn’t leave us missing our Jesus time that we are in desperate need of.

The journals will have the same format as before. Well, almost. Our Thessalonians study has a reflection at the end of each week, to help us process what God has taught us during the week as well as preparing for the new week. It also includes a new format for the weekly memory verses, as well as tips to help us memorize God’s awesome word!

After Meeting Thessalonians, I do have a ‘nother set of studies I am planning and learning what I need to still do – in order to make them happen. We will spend most of the year studying a specific New Testament book in a way that helps us to grasp more fully its truths. I will share the name of that book, when the time comes.

… More details to follow!

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