Tuesday, September 30, 2008

YES to GOD study: Chapter 2

Welcome to This past weekend Gene and I had to go to a wedding and of course I had nothing to wear. Before embarking on a shopping trip I finished reading chapter 2 of "Behind Those Eyes". Needless to say, Ms. Perfection was not invited to the mall since she is my worst critic, especially in the dressing room. I try to remind her sorry self that the lighting is poor, the mirrors are weird and the space is small. Plus, Sunday I'll be turning 38, so this cellulite on the back of my isn't going anywhere. Somehow, Ms. Perfection found a ride to the mall and gave her opinion on everything I tried on, so I ended up going home empty handed and found something in my closet.

I rushed home and tried so hard to get ready on time. Those of you who have been with me any length of time know that I am time challenged. The wedding was at 1pm and we arrived into the parking lot at 12:53. I was so proud of myself. I was also very surprised at what a small wedding it was and when I voiced that Gene confessed that the wedding was actually at 1:30!!! He had tricked me so we'd be on time.

My first reaction: Oh, how sweet you are. I love you. Moments later when he turned the car off and I realized with my perfectly straightened hair, that he was planning on sitting there for about 20 minutes, I had a slightly different reaction: Who does this? Who comes to a wedding 37 minutes early and just sits in the parking lot? I would have been ready on time Gene. This is ridiculous. Since we have all this time now, let's go to Walgreen's and get a card and gift card for them.

Windows back up with the air conditioner blowing my straight hair, we were on our way to Walgreen's when he took my hand in his and said, See honey, if we weren't early we wouldn't be able to come get what you said you were going to get yesterday.

22 minutes later we walked into the church looking like the perfect couple. We looked good, we were punctual and we were armed with a gift.


For those of you just visiting, we are discussing "Behind Those Eyes" by our dear friend Lisa Whittle. We meet right here every Tuesday and you are more than welcome. Details to join are in the upper right corner of this blog.

Let's get started...

CHAPTER 2: Ms. Perfection

Remember, anything in blue is a quote from the book.

I loved Lisa's detailed description of what she labeled as The Great Sunday Morning Fakeout and how the family fought all the way to the church doors. "Stop it!" hisses Mom. "We're almost inside the church. " The fakeout is already under way. Pasting on their smiles, the happy party of five greets the men waiting at the double doors. "Good morning!" The cheery sound of Mom's voice surprises even herself. Oh, wasn't that just ugly seeing that in print? We all know we have been there and done that, some as recent as 2 days ago.

Women, the truth is that God doesn't have to prove anything to us to let us see our own imperfections. We can manage that all on our own. I remember when I worked at the hospital with my dear friend Lisa (not the author). Our desks were literally side by side. Gene surprised me and brought Alyssa and Aaron in to see me. Aaron was just 2 at the time very loudly he asked me, "Mom, why don't you like Lisa?"

I think I by-passed turning red and went right for the shade of purple. Now, keep in mind, this girl and I were very close outside of work. I, of course, never said that about her, but I was probably venting to Gene about work within earshot of my toddler and he took it that I didn't like her. She turned to me and said, "Yes, Lelia, why don't you like Lisa?"

My imperfection of running my mouth really caught up with me that day.

We are buying into the notion of perfect wife, perfect mother, and perfect package, at the expense of ourselves and our loved ones.
I thought all of Lisa's descriptions of what we try so hard to portray was just,well..perfect. I don't know how many times I put someone on a pedestal of perfection. Thinking they have it all together and then you take a seat across from them at Starbucks and after they spill their fancy coffee they start giving you glimpses of the life they really live and you sit their shocked that they have just knocked themselves off the pedestal you so perfectly had them perched upon.

The day the kids got out of school this past summer for break Alivia had brought home all of her writing journals. I love reading her stuff so I stood in my kitchen reading journal after journal. Imagine my excitement when I came across an entry titled,"My Mom". Then I read her thoughts neatly printed out...

My Mom's name is Lelia. She is 37 . She is thick and she is white.

After reading something so innocently penned, one either sinks into a deep depression or strives harder for any amount of age allowed perfection she can achieve. You know I started exercising and tanning all in the same day. It also gave me a good laugh because to me, "thick" sounds so much healthier than obese.

Perfection was held by Mary and nailed to a tree by soldiers. Perfection ascended to heaven promising to return for who is His. Perfection is Who we call out to and Who we praise. Jesus is the only Perfect about us. Let's relax and just let Him live through us.

In the Bible study section in the back of the book for this chapter, the challenge question Lisa gave us is: Search your heart. Is it more important for you to be seen as perfect in a certain area...or seen as real?

Answer the question above in the comment section below, then if you have more to share what God showed you on your own blog, then sign up under Mr. Linky. Even if you are not participating in the study, go ahead and answer the question.

Remember: After you write your Tuesday post then double click on the TITLE of that post. Then highlight the address that shows up in the address bar. Right click on it and copy it. Then paste it in the URL blank under Mr. Linky. The reason for this is if someone clicks on your name in 3 days, they will be directed right to your Tuesday post. Otherwise, if you just put your blog address in the URL blank it just takes you to your blog and will show your most recent post. E-mail me if that doesn't make sense.

You all are a huge blessing to both Lisa and I. We are trying our best to make it to every one's blogs. I have laughed, praised and even cried on some of your posts. This past Monday Lisa had a special message for you. If you missed it, you can go to my Monday post and be directed right to it. God really spoke to her heart and out of obedience in the midst of such a busy life she wrote to you.

Keep sharing with each other about His greatness...that's really what this is all about.

Don't forget to answer the question above as we love your insight!

~Many Blessings~

Next Tuesday~Chapter 3: Ms. Confidence!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Upside Down

I attended a conference this past summer called She Speaks for writers and speakers in North Carolina. Saying it was awesome is such an understatement. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in women's ministry,speaking and/or writing.

The speakers of Proverbs 31 Ministries who run this conference had such special things planned for us. One night they ran this video and there were tears shed and cheers shouted all over the room. It was incredible. I remember calling my Mom from the airport in Chicago trying to tell her about it, but I did it no justice.

P31 speaker Renee Swope had it on her blog recently and if you'd like to read more of what she had to say after viewing it then click here.

Okay, this will only take 2 minutes of your time and I'm telling you, it is so worth it!!! My 14 year old son Aaron just watched it and I quote, "I'm feelin' it Mom, I'm feelin' it". Now, your response may not be as cool, but please make the time to watch this.

See you tomorrow for the YES to GOD Tuesday study of "Behind Those Eyes".

~Many Blessings~

Saturday, September 27, 2008


*If you are participating in the YES to GOD Tuesday study of "Behind Those Eyes", please read yesterday's post just for you.

Now don't try to do the math on this if you know the ages of our kids, but this past summer Gene and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. Well, actually if you call a celebration sitting a prodigal daughter down with the news that her car is being confiscated then dealing with much drama afterward then Gene and I partied hard. Truth be told, we looked at each other at some point in the evening and said, "oh yah, happy anniversary". Seriously, there was no flowers, cards, special dinner and probably not even hugs or kisses that night and sadly, we were okay with that.

I don't ever want to overlook that day again. Gene has to be my first priority, under God, and I have to be his, underneath God. We need to put each other first and never take advantage of one another. Sounds good doesn't it?

Today we attended a wedding. I wanted to grab the bride and pull her aside as her and her groom ran through the bubbles to the limo and say "Sweetheart, always make him your #1 human priority. Even above any kids you may have. Don't lose the love you have for him today." But I didn't, instead I blew my bubbles like everyone else did and wished them well.

Over the years we have endured some great stuff, some hard stuff, some sad moments and some joyous times. We have forgiven right away and other times chosen to give the silent treatment to each other. We have resolved differences while the sun beat down upon us and we've also let the sun go down on our anger not just one day but a few days in a row. We have been supportive of one another and at other times looked at the other person like they're crazy. We have imagined forever with each other and at times wanted to walk out the door and never return.

We have been prideful thinking that we can manage without God as the center of our relationship. We were wrong. Damage was done and hearts were shattered. God was invited back in and mercy was granted while grace was given. We love each other deeply, but in a marriage that is not enough. Gene and I would both tell you that God has got to be the center, the focus in a relationship to make it work. Without Him we would be living separately and not share the same last name anymore.

On the verge of giving up God restored. He has healed. Last night I saw the movie Fireproof. It was amazing. Gene couldn't go because of his back, but encouraged me to go with my sister. Many emotions ran through us as we sat for 2 hours totally captured with the big screen.

Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you anything about the movie, you must go see it though. Lysa TerKeurst had recommended on her blog after a preview of the movie a few months ago that even single and married people should go and I agree.

Marriage. It's so tough. My heart aches for my bloggy friend Paula (Sweet Pea) who longs for reconciliation with her ex-husband and my sister Michelle who begs God to bring the husband He has for her into her life especially when the loneliness that surrounds her at night gets too much to bare.

Then there's me. A Mrs. of a man she sometimes can't stand. A wife who refuses to be her husbands helper and picks fights over the petty things. One who has left behind the days of gazing at her wedding ring he picked out for her finger only. One who has told her man too many times to count, "I don't want to do this anymore".

Last night as I sat in the dark theater with tears streaming down my face as I thought, "I love my guy and no matter what I want to make this work". I honestly can say that I don't ever want to know what life is like without Gene Chealey in it.

Marriage is probably the toughest thing I have ever done and by the time I get it down we'll probably be sitting in a retirement home not knowing who we are from the Alzheimer's that has invaded our minds.

Marriage is probably the best thing I've ever done too. It's definitely a challenge and Gene never knows what he will wake up next to. I feel like I either grow from what I learn about how to be a Godly wife or I go backwards 10 steps when I don't apply what I learn. Thank God He is so full of mercy and has blessed me with a man of never ending patience.

Then there are the pressures that couples face. I honestly don't see how couples do it when they don't invite God into their marriage.

Just last night Gene told me that he found out that we may have 6 months of no paychecks from Pfizer. All because he has to switch from short term disability to long term. We will find out for sure on Monday morning. That's a little bit of pressure I'd say.
Now what's a girl to do with my little thirteen hundred dollar contribution I make a month?
Blame him?
Leave him?
Make it harder on him?
How about turning to my family and friends and asking for prayer.
Or reviewing my notes from the two book studies by Lysa TerKeurst that I've done since March of "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" and "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith".
Or perhaps read my Bible and take God at His own Word?

Marriage. Singleness. Both tough. Both must have God at the center of their lives. Whether you are a wife or you want to become a wife, may we learn to place God in the center of our life and then no matter what, keep Him there.

I don't know what happens to women that say yes to God and choose to walk in faith, but you know what?

I'm about to find out!

~Many Blessings~

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hiding and yet Seeking

Here is Alivia at Disney World a few years ago trying to be cool as she sat on top of her Daddy's shoulders wearing his sunglasses. We were standing on the side of the street waiting for a parade to come around the corner.

Alivia knew there was a parade about to start, but she had no idea who was in it. If you notice in the picture above she has a sweatshirt on and a solemn look on her face.

Then the music could be heard and suddenly around that closely observed corner came a moving stage with the beautiful Belle from Beauty and the Beast standing on top of it waving to the crowd. It was a breathtaking sight to this little princess and she was beyond excited! She quickly handed her Daddy his sunglasses and frantically worked to get her sweatshirt off.

Before the parade passed her by, Alivia wanted the beautiful princess in the yellow dress to see that she was wearing a t-shirt with Belle's face on it.
Even though we were in a crowd with hundreds of excited little girls perched up on their Daddy's shoulders, Alivia felt noticed by Belle as she yelled down at me, "She saw me mommy!"

When Belle waved, it was at her.
When Belle looked into the crowd, Alivia was who she saw.
When Alivia shouted out Belle's name, it was her voice Belle heard.

Alivia took off the layers of clothing she had on so when Belle looked at her and saw her t-shirt, Belle saw her own reflection.

Belle's face was what covered Alivia's heart.

Even when Belle's float rounded the bend in the street and she was out of sight, Alivia felt like a Princess in her own right from just being in her presence. I love the sweet look on her face.
Pure joy.This past Tuesday was the launch of chapter 1 of the new YES to GOD blog study of the book, "Behind Those Eyes".

Chapter summary: Tough.

The flesh of me wants to keep the layered look going for as long as I can and the author of this book is challenging me to take them off and learn to become real before God.

I have to be honest with you.

Want to!!

I don't wanna take my sweatshirt off like Alivia did.
I find comfort in keeping covered.
It's what I know.

If I go with what my heart desires and learn how to get real with God, what if I don't like what I see under all these layers?
What if I'm not even close to being who I think I am?
What if God doesn't see His reflection across my heart?

If I allow Christ to strip away all of my comfort what or who will I turn to in times of doubt or stress?
How will I know that it will be Jesus coming around the corner on the float of faith?
When I call out His name...will my voice be heard?
Will He notice me?
Will I be seen by Him?
If He does see me, will He see pure joy on my face?

I don't know what lies ahead, but what I do know is I'm tired.
Tired of layering so you can't see the "real me".
Tired of hiding behind so much junk while genuinly trying to seek Him.
Tired of not giving Jesus free reign of and in my life.

These last few days I have shed many tears late into the early morning hours. Weighed down and heavy with exhaustion from doing life my way. It's been good.
I believe that God has not just thrown me into this study. I feel He has prepared me with the previous two studies that were done here on Tuesday's. He taught me how to say yes to Him and how to walk in faith with Him.
I feel a spiritual growth spurt coming on and I welcome any stretch marks that learning to be real with God will leave behind.

Ladies...if you are doing this blog Bible study with me on YES to GOD Tuesdays of "Behind Those Eyes", I want to encourage you to be like Alivia was on the side of the street at Disney World.

Wait on God.
Layers and all.
Then when you see Him, allow Him to peel those layers off.
Let Him see His own reflection across your heart.
And just like Alivia felt, we too will feel like a princess just from being in His presence.

I have no idea what is coming our way. All I know is that it has to be better than anything the enemy has ever offered us.
I told Lisa tonight on the phone that I was so glad I didn't read her book ahead of time because I might have gone against God's plans and chosen a different, easier study to do.

But truth be told as much as I'd rather keep coasting, I'm tired of easy.
I'm tired of being hidden behind a bunch of layers.
It's time to let God work in my life and let Himself be completely revealed.
In public and behind closed doors.
No more secrets.
No more pretending.

Just Jesus

Lisa Whittle, the God-chosen author of "Behind Those Eyes" has an encouraging word that God has given her to write specifically for you today. Please hop over to her blog by clicking here to read what God has spoken to her heart.

~Many Blessings~

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sweet Surprise

This Tuesday afternoon my phone rang...


Hello, is this Mrs. Chealey?

Yes it is.

This is Mrs. B (Alivia's 2nd grade teacher) and
we are making a Celebration Phone Call!!!
I'll let Alivia tell you about it, but first we have to cheer.
Ready class? 1...2...3...

The sweet sound of 15 second graders cheering for my girl!

This is where I experienced loss of clear vision.



MOM! I got a 100 percent on my math test today!!

YEAH!!! I am SOOOO proud of you Alivia!

Thanks Mom. (giggling)

Thank you for calling me!! You've made my day sweetheart!!

Thanks Mom. I love you.

I love you too honey. Have a good rest of your day.

Okay. Bye Mom.

Bye honey.

OH! Mom??


Can you tell Dad I called with a Celebration Phone Call?

Yes honey, I'll go tell him right now.

Thanks Mom. Goodbye.

Bye honey. Love you.
Love you too.
Mrs. B & Alivia

Oh, that was so special!!

Just think...if bill collectors would take on this approach we'd happily empty our pockets for them and the children's piggy banks!

I just want to encourage you that whatever you're doing right now to draw closer to God, whether it's...

reading a chapter out of the Bible each day
going to church for the first time
listening to Christian music
joining a Bible study...

Whatever effort you are making to get close enough to be able to lay your head on God's chest and hear the beat of His heart pounding, please know that Jesus sees you and He is making
Celebration Phone Calls
to the throne room to His Father about

He loves us. He does. And in that truth alone we too have much to celebrate.
Press on ladies. This walk with can be tough, but comparing my walks in life without Him...
this journey is SO much better and SO worth it!

~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

YES to GOD study: Chapter 1


Oh can you smell it in the air? The sweet aroma of women all across the country and across the sea burning with the desire to say YES to GOD? Women who want to learn how to be real, how to let the stories behind our eyes finally have the spotlight? I do...from Arkansas to Australia the craving for more of Jesus is strong and the desire to just be ourselves cries out from the depth of our hearts. What better way to learn how to be the real deal than with the beautiful inside to out author Lisa Whittle as she walks us through her book, "Behind Those Eyes".

I am thrilled to introduce you to the first chapter and study of this book so without further delay, let's get started. Anything in blue is a quote from the book. Also, read yesterday's post to see where everyone signed up for this study is from...God is just too cool!

CHAPTER 1: The Truth Hurts

I loved the stories that Lisa shared in this chapter...from her childhood display of honesty to Dolly Parton's look alike sister showing up on her door step while moving into a new home in Nashville. Every story she shared brought out a great point. This is what she said after finding out that the woman that came to get boxes from her was not a female impersonator, but indeed kin of Miss Parton.

Just as I was led by my eyes to believe that the woman standing at my door was someone other than who she really was, so we, as women, often lead others to believe we are someone other than who we really are. The story behind our eyes often goes untold. Our engaging smiles mask things we don't want others to know about us.
I'll never forget sitting at a Women of Faith conference with a bunch of women. We sat in the nose bleed section and I was so moved by each speaker that shared with us. The thing that caused so much chaos inside of me was the fearful thought that if these God fearing women I'm surrounded by really knew who I was they would probably faint. So I did what they did. I raised my hands and praised Jesus during the worship music. I carried my Bible with me and bought a book to take home with me that would make me into the perfect Christian woman that I was trying hard to portray. But inside I knew who I was dealing with and I was nothing but what Lisa calls a female impersonator.

We put up the barricades, allowing very few to penetrate the walls we've erected around us as a means of self-protection.

We desperately hope and believe that someone, somewhere, somehow, will think we have our lives figured out and perfected to a T. This is the great charade of womanhood, and most of us have gotten really good at it. My 7 year old is in acting class right now. She is learning to become something she isn't. Right now her role is a sea monster. When she gets on stage her goal is that I don't see my Alivia, but rather a monster from the sea. She'll talk different, look different on the outside and even have a different attitude. No matter how much changing she does on the outside though, she will still be my Alivia on the inside. I know I've done this very thing with myself. I put on this face of the Christian I think I need to look like and go out into the world appearing as if I have my act together but inside knowing if the wind comes my way I'll crumble into a heap of false appearance.

In the same way, sometimes truths about our inner selves hurt to the point where we also want to make a change.
There are things that my husband has encouraged me in changing for the good. Things that I've expressed to him and he has lovingly pointed out to me that yes indeed a change in that area would be a good thing. Unlike Pat in English class who pointed out that I had a "patch of zits" on my chin or when Mario, my high school boyfriend lovingly told me that his mom said my legs were like telephone poles. Both hurtful and yet I cleared up the face and worked out harder. Changes were made from hurtful situations.

You can't really blame us for pretending to be someone we are not. We are somewhat geared this way. From a very early age, we pretend to be singers, beauty queens, pop stars, princesses, brides, and mommies.
I loved how Lisa pointed out that since we were little girls, we have been pretending. Oh my goodness, when I was in high school, I was Whitney Houston. My aunt even bought me a microphone. I cannot even begin to count the hours I spent in front of the mirror impersonating her. I knew how she flicked her hand up on top of the microphone when she sang, I knew how she scrunched her nose to the audience while she belted out her hit songs. It got worse after I drove 5 hours to see her in concert. I was a pretender because truth be known I make my grand baby Amiyah squirm when I sing "Jesus Loves Me" to her because Lelia cannot hold a note. But in the mirror I could pretend to be Whitney so well you couldn't even tell the color difference in our skin.

Make no mistake about it: women are yearning for something real. We're hungry for truth and authenticity. We crave honesty. We want someone to cut through all the fluff and get to the bottom line.
Amen amen amen sister!!! Lisa couldn't have hit this truth any harder on the head. I know when I go to my husband and ask him if something looks good, I'm going to hear the truth. I crave that in him. I would never want him to let me walk out our door looking horrible. Sometimes the truth can hurt like the Sunday morning before church when I asked him if my black pants looked okay and after turning in a circle for him heard him say, "Honey, you need to go to the gym". I know. I gasped too, but I knew he was speaking what I didn't want to hear, but needed to hear. A thumbs down would've been better received, but his honesty is what I crave and he was only responding to weeks of me complaining about how I look with a gym membership going unused.

The truth may initially hurt, but the truth may be the best thing that has ever happened to you.

It took me awhile, but I'm working out now and eating better. Best thing that has happened for my body.

In the Bible study for chapter 1 in the back of the book, Lisa asks us to define the word authenticity and what it means to you. How can you tell if someone is being genuine and real, or can you tell?

I really loved this chapter. I don't want to deal with it, but I know in order for me to be the woman God has called me to be, I need to hear the truth about myself and make the changes He desires for me to change. Last night Lisa called me and one thing she said to me that really struck me is that she wants us to learn how to be real...not just during this study, but for life. We have to get to the reason that keeps us from being real with God, ourselves and others. Right now my Grandma is in the hospital and last Friday had surgery. The surgeon was to go into her colon and remove the tumor; however, when she was in surgery he realized the tumor was bigger than what he had ever seen and due to the amount she was bleeding he was only able to remove 20% of the tumor. Yesterday he had a powerful scope brought over from another hospital determined to remove the rest. Again, only 20% of it was removed. She'll go home, but in two weeks has to go see the surgeon again. He knows he has to remove what doesn't belong inside of her or it will get worse.

I believe God is like this with us. He may not go in all at once and remove the problem areas in our hearts...He may take out 20% here and 20% there until we are changed into the real woman He wants us to be. I just want to encourage you, to let your hearts be open to surgery in this book. Let God get in there and do His thing. Lisa has written a God-led plan for us in learning how to be real women. Women with authenticity. No more pretending.

Okay, in the comments below answer the question above from the Bible study. Then, if you have more to say about this chapter and what God spoke to your heart then sign up under Mr. Linky so we can visit your blog. And remember, if you are not a blogger, leave your thoughts in the comments along with your e-mail address.

This is going to be good ladies. It is because He is.

~Many Blessings~

*Next Tuesday chapter 2 plus the Bible study in the back of the book. Remember if you don't have your book, get it and join in at your convenience and invite a friend...or 10!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Desires given...God-style!

Psalm 37:4

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Last winter a pool table took up most of the space in our basement. I was frustrated because it had gone from being used to play pool to where we put our unfolded clean laundry. One Saturday night last January, I told my husband, "We should get rid of this pool table and get a sectional couch. Then we could have Bible studies here". I imagined all these women gathered in my basement sharing about God and growing closer to Him together. Knowing finances were tough, my husband just said, "yah right" which I responded with "God can do it Gene".
The next day we got home from church and there was a message on our answering machine from one of Gene's buddy's wondering if we wanted a free sectional couch from a friend of his. This friend never knew of my hearts' desire, but God did.
You know I was going crazy for my King!

Well a few weeks later on Super Bowl Sunday, while moving the couch to the basement, my husband's back went out. This time for good. April 3rd he had his 6 hour back surgery, then on April 9th we welcomed our grand baby, Amiyah into our lives. A Grandpa recovering from surgery while a new teen mom was trying to figure out how to breastfeed and text her friends simultaneously did not seem like the right time for this Grandma "Nonnie" to announce to the family that I'd be hosting a Bible study. Plus Gene would have had to find a new spot since the recliner in the sectional couch had become his new place of rest.

So, needless to say the timing of having a Bible study in my home was out of the question. That's when God gave me the idea of having an on-line Bible study. I had just read Lysa TerKeurst's book, "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" and was so taken by it that it became our first YES to GOD Tuesday study on March 25, 2008.

Toward the end of the study I started getting asked by study participants what the next book would be. That's when we began another one of Lysa's books. Her book "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith" too was an incredible journey that we just finished last Tuesday.

Once again toward the end of this study I began to get questioned of the next study to be done on Tuesday's. This summer I had the privilege of meeting author and lover of Jesus, Lisa Whittle at She Speaks. I bought her new book, "Behind Those Eyes" and after meeting her, just felt certain this was to be our next book for YES to GOD Tuesdays. I never mentioned this to other bloggers, but God confirmed it when I received about 3 email/comments from different bloggers suggesting this same book. So this coming Tuesday, September 23rd we begin our journey together of "Behind Those Eyes" by Lisa Whittle. We'll be discussing chapter one and the Bible study in the back of the book together right here.

This weekend I took some time to look at every one's blog. Based on each blogger's profile, I wrote down where everyone is from and sat back in my chair in awe of our great God.

Having a Bible study in my home was my heart's desire. God knew this. I had prayed this to Him and trusted Him with this information. When life got crazy in the Chealey household, that dream was let go of for the time being. I let go of that dream, but God didn't.

God took my desire and turned it into something only He is capable of doing. There is no way I could have gathered all of you together under my roof, but God could. God did. Each study seems to get a little bigger and every Tuesday, women from all over the place gather together in one spot under their own roof, to praise Him and share what He is doing in their lives.

God has brought together lives that may have never had the opportunity to reach one another. Praise Him with me as I show you the places represented that will meet every Tuesday in one spot with one desire...
to say YES to GOD.

New York
North Carolina
South Carolina
West Virginia



Does that not just amaze you? I tell you what, our God is so much bigger than we know ladies. He can take something and make it into the unimaginable.

I am so looking forward to this study. If you aren't signed up and want to be, don't let the start date discourage you from ordering your book now and joining at your convenience. You will find me to be a very laid back hostess. Bloggers, non-bloggers, commenter's, silent-type...everyone is welcome! What I love about this too is women that would never join a Bible study in person out of fear of socializing, etc. can join this and even do it in their pj's! So, please come as you are welcome here.

Expect life to happen between the start and the finish of this book so if you don't get some read on time or get the chance to post about it, come back in when you can. This is a no pressure study.

Click here to sign up if you have not done so already.

Also, I think it's important to pray for each other throughout and please pray for Lisa Whittle, the author. I think the enemy attacks us anytime we try to get closer to God. I assume he'll go after the writer of this book even harder; especially since she wants to be involved in this study and has been praying for you all.
If you want to get to know Lisa better, click on her book cover in the upper right corner of my blog.
So meet here Tuesday the 23rd and be ready to discuss chapter 1 along with the study!
If I missed your location, please let me know so I can add it in~if you don't want people knowing where you are from since we're on the internet, you can comment under "Anonymous".
Just this morning I added Jean from Oklahoma...welcome and Sharon from Australia...welcome matie! Is that what you say? I blame Crocodile Dundee if that's not right!
So, we have another state represented and Sharon joins Paula from Australia. WHAT is God up to??? How exciting to be a part of this. Being used by God is awesome and reminds me of something I once heard,
"I am only the straw to a great drink"!
I humbly keep in mind that God is using this blog as His platform to draw us near to Him.
Let's sip away dear friends and taste what is good!
Psalm 34:8a
Taste and see that the LORD is good;

~Many Blessings~

Friday, September 19, 2008

Grace with a Twist

Oh what a week it has been, but nothing compared to what those who have faced Ike have experienced. This afternoon my Grandma will have surgery and so far I have not had attitude when Gene starts a sentence with "Honey, will you get me...".

My mind seems so cluttered though and I'm a little more lost than normal. This week my 7year old daughter showed grace to me. So undeserved and yet extended without a hint of hesitation.

Tuesday, the day Grandma was taken to ER by ambulance while Gene and I were in Omaha with his surgeon, was a day that my 7 year old was oblivious to the stress pressing in on the adults in her family. All she knew in her world was that Tuesday night was SKATE NIGHT for her school.

When she got home from school I told her the news about her Great Grandma and she couldn't wait to go see her. Returning home I cooked dinner while Alivia made a Get Well poster to hang in Grandma's hospital room. She scarfed down spaghetti and garlic bread and we drove the 4 blocks to the hospital to drop the sign off. The plan was to give Grandma the sign, accompanied by hugs and kisses, then off to Skate Zone for an hour of fun on wheels.

Walking to the room we saw all of our family members outside in the hall. The nurses were busy with Grandma so we had a little bit of a wait. Once we were let in her room, Alivia proceeded with our plan then off we went.

We got the skates on and I said "Now get out there, you have 45 minutes to skate!" She rolled herself out onto the floor while being greeted by her excited classmates. Then that's when the guy behind the booth said, "Okay students, we have 2 more songs left."

Two songs left? That's when I asked the mom next to me, "Does this end at 8?"

"Yes" she replied.

"Oh, I thought it was 6:30 to 8:30". I said

Feeling my pain, she said, "No it was 6 to 8".

My girl would had 15 minutes to skate.

Tears filled my eyes as I watched her pattern of skating, falling, laughing, rising over and over again. "How could I have messed this up?" I harshly interrogated myself.

The next time she was close enough, I motioned for her to come to me and she rolled herself up to the wall. I said, "Alivia, Mommy messed up. I thought your party got done at 8:30 but it gets done in a few minutes at 8 o'clock." This is where I expected instant tears, pouting, gasping...just something to make me feel worse. Instead I got a gorgeous smile and "That's okay Mom at least I got to skate". That's when Elizabeth rolled up and I snapped this picture of them together.

(Alivia is on the left).
Leaving me alone, feeling so blessed, she fell a few more times on her bottom hard enough to cause bruising. Then at the direction of the man in the booth she came back to me for help in taking off her skates.

Walking to the car, hand in hand, I thanked her for showing Mommy grace tonight. "Grace? Gracie? She's here?" she said looking around the parking lot. Grace would be my sister's dog.

We decided to go for a snack and while sitting at the Target cafe licking an ice cream cone I took the alone time with her to explain what showing grace meant. That is when she took advantage of our alone girls time together to do some explainin' of her own.

This conversation is very accurate. While still in a state of shock, the blogger in me took the xerox copy out of my purse of Gene's x-ray of his back done that morning and wrote down our conversation on the blank side of it. You'll see why I wanted to have this as a keepsake.

"Mom, can I say something? " she said between licks of her mint chocolate chip ice cream cone.


"You're not modest. Well, one time you were unmodest."

"Oh, why do you say that?" I asked, a little taken back.

"Because" then she began to whisper (thank God). "You were naked in front of Daddy."

She nodded her head and said, "Tons of times".

"What does modest mean to you?" I figured I better ask this since she thought showing grace was a dog show.

"Modest? Not showing parts of your body, like up here" she said as her hand scanned her chest area, home of her future boobies. Then she squinted her eyes, pointing below her belt and said, "And your private parts. Yah. That's being unmodest. When you show those."

Knowing I should correct her and say immodest, but just couldn't bring myself to correct her I asked, "Ummm, why do you think I've been unmodest with your Daddy?"

"Cuz. I watch you all the time. I have eyes like an eagle."

That's when this beautiful Asian woman came around the corner and my sweet child turns toward me with green ice cream on her chin and says...

"Hey Mom. Just think. If you had Chinese eyes then you'd know Kung Fu and you'd be really cool!"

Leaving Target with my jacket zipped to my chin, I just stared at this child who had one minute shown me grace and then flipped the switch on me and called me out on my immodest behaviors.

I think I subconsciously got her back for calling me unmodest when Wednesday night I dropped her off at acting class at 7:10 thinking we were only 10 minutes late. Luckily I asked the lady on my way out, "Pick up is at 8:30 right?"

"No, eight. Class is from 6:30 to 8."

I just smiled as the tears again stung my eyes "Oh, I thought it was 7 to 8:30."

Perhaps one day Alivia will get the Mom of her that is full of purity with beautiful slanted eyes and the ability to kick butt between dropping her kids off places on time. One day.

~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

YES to GOD study: Chapter 20

Welcome again to the Thank you so much for your understanding yesterday and allowing me to not worry about posting. Also, thank you for your cherished prayers and comments. You all are just such a special God sent bunch.

This afternoon, I went with my 83 year old Grandpa to the hospital to see Grandma. After 60 years of marriage,it's so sweet to see the two of them together... A fist-sized tumor has been found in her colon. The doctor believes it is non-cancerous but will operate on Friday to make sure if she is able to endure surgery. Grandpa held the hand of his love as she shared the news with him...Whatever the outcome of this is Lord, our praises You will receive!

Gene's surgeon told us the fusion is not setting as it should and the screws are loose which causes him pain to the highest level. His movement needs to be restricted in hopes that he will heal so he was fitted for a brace that I might be using on my kids when they misbehave. It's tight and limits his ability to do anything. The surgeon also put him on 4 weeks of bed rest. Gulp.
Four weeks or
28 days or
672 hours.
Resting. In our bed.
I've called the Dallas Cowboys to ask if they can play every night for the next month just for my man. If they don't I fear I may become like the role of the psycho caretaker that Kathy Bates played so well in the movie "Misery".
May be good to keep Gene in your prayers.

The news that made fear try to rise up inside me since I'm our family accountant, is that he gets switched from short term disability to long term. His pay goes from 100% to only 60%. I told Gene to attach a note to the paperwork he has to fill out informing the benefits people at Pfizer that we are barely making it on the 100%. Lord, we choose to praise You. Period.

Thank you also for your prayers for my Mom's wrist. She is still in pain but her hand looks normal and she is feeling alot better. She'll spend every moment at the hospital with my Grandma so my Dad will be the Lone Ranger with the 3 kiddos. He has his own company and is his only employee so I pray he finds balance on top of the tight rope of filling in for Mom.

Oh, life is good isn't it? I'm anxious to see how God just works out what looks impossible for His good.

Okay...let's discuss the last chapter of Lysa TerKeurst's AWESOME book, "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith". Hard to believe we are at the end of this study. (sniff sniff)

Remember, anything in blue is a quote from the book...

CHAPTER 20: Every Promise Fulfilled

I want to be just like Joshua don't you? Oh, the faith he displayed in God was just tremendous!
Joshua must have known his calling had very little to do with his qualifications. God would be the deliverer, Joshua understood and walked confidently in that knowledge.
Joshua's confidence was steadfast because he was confident in God's promises.
Must have known his calling had very little to do with his qualifications. What a humbling revelation.

I loved how Lysa showed us the differences in the way Moses and Joshua chose to lead. I also loved that she showed respect to Moses and his mistakes by showing us how Joshua watched Moses and learned. Based on what he witnessed in Moses' leadership, Joshua chose to embrace his leadership role different from how Moses did. He let what he saw have a profound effect on his life.

Our son Aaron, who just started high school, is watching his older sister Alyssa closely. Just last night he was talking to me about some choices she has made that has effected him deeply. Chances that he'll venture down the same destructive path of choice looks pretty slim because he is learning from her mistakes. I wonder if Moses had realized just how closely he was being watched if he would have chosen to lead differently.

Lysa also makes it clear to us that we are in preparation to fully possess all the promises of God for ourselves.
It's easy to think of Joshua claiming promises, or Abraham deserving fulfilled promises, or Noah riding out the rain water of God's vows, but us? Strange to think we have access to the same God and the same promises as those mentioned in the Bible.

Lysa wraps up this book and chapter with this truth:
Walking with God takes you to amazing places, but even more importantly, it allows you to experience Him in amazing ways. We have not only experienced Him but hopefully we have also been transformed by Him.


It seems so many of us were blessed and challenged as the chapters we read coincided with our life. I'll never forget reading fellow study participant Jill's blog and grieving with her over her recent miscarriage. Just days before she would learn that her baby would be saving her a seat in heaven, God would have her read the chapter in this book titled: God Isn't Surprised by Death. God knew what was coming ahead for Jill and instead of being too busy for her, He prepared her. WOW!

We serve a God worth serving. We need a God that doesn't need us, but longs for us. We have the same God that Moses ticked off, but loved deeply. The same God Joshua so faithfully obeyed.
He's ours and what He has for us is up for our taking.
How bad do we want what He has for us?
Let's continue to chase this God down. I think it's one pursuit we'll never tire of.

I have enjoyed every step of this journey with you of learning to walk in faith . Who knew, the day we'd end this book/study that I'd find out that my husband's pay will be cut by 40 %? Or the day after I'd watch my Grandparents hold hands as Grandma tells her family she has a tumor.

My God did.
He knew and He has prepared the heart that pounds inside of this chest to choose to trust Him. The human part of me wants to crumble in fear at the thought of losing my Grandma. I feel the need to panic at the thought of less income, but the woman who is crazy about Jesus knows this is nothing to Him. He may not change my circumstances as I learned in this book, but if my heart pounds harder for Him when this is all said and done...praise be to God!

In no way do I want my blog to be about making myself look like something perfect. Something I'm not. I only write from my heart and so what you read is what you get. I don't believe that anything that comes our way is bad luck or just because. There is a purpose and reason of why my Grandma is enduring this in front of my unsaved Grandpa. There's a reason why we'll be losing 40% of our income. There is a reason Amiyah Elizabeth, the baby born to our 18 year old daughter last April was chosen to bless this family.

THIS is what gets me all excited and stirs up the passion I have for God. These things in my life right now...they look impossible. But this is the beauty of all the craziness I'm surrounded by: the God I love and adore is the same God Joshua loved and adored. I may not be doing it the same way he did, but what an example he left me. I am choosing to let God be in control here and what happens is only because He has allowed it to.

God is bigger than any pay cut. He is bigger than any confused teen mom. And my God is bigger than the tumor inside of my Grandma.
He is huge and He is worth walking life in surrendered faith.
At the end of each day I pray that my choices in my words, thoughts and actions brings Him glory. Most days I fail, but when I'm one on One with Him, He hears the cries of this wife and mom that so desperately desires to do life His way and one who knows He'll never give up on me.

Sweet sisters, whatever you are facing in your life, grab onto His hand and allow Him to walk you through it. I think when He gets us to where He wants us, we'll just be in more awe of who He is and what He's all about.

Thank you to Lysa for your obedience in walking in faith and then writing it down so we could learn from you. You have been our Joshua and I speak for many when I say we love you.
If you have more to share of this last chapter please sign up under Mr. Linky below so we can come visit you.

I love you Lord and one day I'll get it, just please never let Your patience run out with me.


Don't forget to get your book for the next YES to GOD Tuesday study beginning next week. Scroll down a few posts to get signed up and don't forget to invite fellow bloggers and even non-bloggers to join us.

God is good ladies, don't forget that truth!

YES to GOD study post is coming soon!

Welcome to

Hello dear friends!!

I was trying to post last night, but my old school computer wouldn't cooperate and this morning I was too rushed.

I had to go to Omaha with my husband Gene this morning to meet with his surgeon to find out why his back isn't healing and on the way received a phone call from my sister who filled in for me at work. I work for my Grandparents and my office is inside their home. When my sis arrived, Grandma was on the floor and soon begin to throw up. The ambulance was called and she was taken to ER. Found out her potassium is low and she was dehydrated, but her will to live is small: "I'm tired of swimming" is what she told my Grandpa while leaning her head on him.

I just returned home not long ago and am heading outside to get Alivia off the bus then up to the hospital. Please forgive me if this final post becomes a YES to GOD Wednesday post, but I need to tend to my family. I will do my best tonight to post, so check back later if you have a minute.

God bless you & I can't wait to hear what God spoke to your heart in the final chapter of this book. This study was incredible to say the least!

If you want to sign up for the next YES to GOD study of
Lisa Whittle's book, "Behind Those Eyes" beginning NEXT TUESDAY, September 23rd, then scroll down and sign up! I had the chance to visit some blogs this weekend and have enjoyed meeting you and can't wait to visit the rest of you. So get signed up if you're not and don't forget to invite a friend...or 5! :) Expect much from a God who has much to give!

See you in a little bit.
Love you,

Friday, September 12, 2008

YES to GOD study sign up

You know how some people are just impossible to work with?

Well, I don't mean to brag but I'm afraid I must.

I really, really love my co-worker...

Even when she does this to my Sharpie markers...

Overall, she is a really hard worker...

and is always looking for more work

(to slobber on)...

She has a fun side to her...

but she also knows when to be serious...

And during our meetings she always pays attention...

The only complaint I have
that some days...

She's real lazy

Amiyah Elizabeth. I am loving being this little one's Grandma!
This precious little bundle of sweetness, definitely brings much JOY not only into my office but into my life!

Okay, WHO is doing the next YES to GOD book study of Lisa Whittle's "Behind Those Eyes" right here starting on Tuesday, September 23rd?

If you have any questions click here and read the study FAQ's.
Don't worry if you don't get your book by the 23rd, join in any time. Below, sign up if you know you are joining us so we can "mingle" with each other by visiting each other's blogs before the study starts.
Don't have a blog?
Still leave your name under Mr. Linky, but leave the URL line blank. Then in the comments section leave your e-mail address.
If you want to be a silent participant, so be it!
This study is for everyone and the height of your involvement is up to you!
This weekend if you have time, do some blog hopping and get to know one another.

Have an awesome weekend and remember that no matter what you are facing whether it is good or whether it's a trial...choose to PRAISE.
Lavish your King with praises.
He's deserving and He's One we know can be trusted!

One more August, my Mom Linda had surgery on her wrist. Last weekend she wanted to cook dinner for her mother's 79th birthday and while getting things ready, she fell outside on the concrete. On her wrist. She scraped up her hand and the hand connected to the wrist the surgeon just fixed is swollen and the pain is intense. The night she fell she was home alone with 3 small kids while my Dad was at work. She called my sister and asked her to take the kids and the food to her parents for her while my Dad took her to the ER. No broken bones, but the pain and swelling is really taking its toll on her. She works during the day and then is trying to take care of 3 kids under the age of 8, one which is a 6 month old (my parents do foster care).

Would you please say a prayer for her?

I just think that Satan has such a hay day with us when we get down and out and I'd be blessed to know she's being lifted up to Jesus by someone like you.

Thank you & God bless you.
~Many Blessings~

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Specific Duty

One day almost 4 years ago my husband Gene and I had planned on meeting at the YMCA after he got off work and after I picked the kids up from school. He beat me there and since the spot next to him was empty I pulled in right next to him. I didn't expect to see what I saw though when I looked at him.

Tears covered every inch of his cheeks and I'll never forget the look in his eyes window through window. I told the kids to stay put and I went and joined him in his truck instantly bombarding him with "honey, what's wrong"? My guy is big and strong, but so tender hearted and in the many years we've been Gene & Lelia I've seen him shed a tear or two, but weeping was another thing.

He finally got it out pausing to catch his breath as the tears would not stop pouring out of him. Here's what happened:

He had just left work and was waiting at the light. He was going to turn right onto the ramp that would take him onto the highway toward the Y. All of a sudden he heard, didn't see, but heard a horrific clash of metal and when he turned his head to see what it was he saw the aftermath of a truck that hit a small station wagon in the intersection before him. Immediately he threw his truck into park, unbuckled and ran to see if everyone was okay.

Carl wasn't. Carl he would later learn his name was in the yellow station wagon covered with his place of work on it. His body was leaning all the way over into the passenger seat. His eyes were fixed and his breathing was labored. Instantly a lady in army fatigues commanded Gene to go get her key chain out of the ignition of her car. He said he remembered as he ran to do what he was told thinking how strange that she was worrying about someone stealing her car, but away he went. He returned and handed the keys to her and she popped open this thing which had a CPR mask on it and had it ready to use. Some guy ran and grabbed a towel as Carl started bleeding deep purple blood from his nose. No one could get the door open and with everything, Gene preyed it open so they could get to him while the driver of the truck was calling for help. Everyone was trying to save the life of this stranger.

As I sat crying listening to my husband and thanking God he was safe, Gene kept saying "Lea, I couldn't do anything. There was nothing I could do. I wanted to help him so bad, but I couldn't do anything. So I just held his head and started to say In the Name of Jesus, In the Name of Jesus over and over again. I probably said it over him 50 times."

Gene then looked up at me and with a gush of tears said, "I watched a man die today honey and there wasn't anything I could do." He cried so hard as I held this man in my arms.

We cried, hugged, prayed and decided to go home. I called my Mom to ask for prayer because I had only seen my husband this broken one other time and it was when his sister Ment was sick before her untimely death. When I shared his grief of not being able to rescue Carl from death with my Mom, she said, "You tell Gene that he did what he was supposed to do. Everyone had a job. The army lady was in charge. The man ran and got a towel. Gene was supposed to say the Name of Jesus over Carl and that's it. He wasn't supposed to save him. He did his job. He did what he was there to do. He did what God had him there for."

I passed that on to Gene and he nodded his head in agreement and instantly he looked a little less responsible for Carl's death. When I called our church to share with them for prayer they had already heard about it. Just so happened that Carl was a co-worker of one of our church members.
Later that evening our church member, Angela called us at home. Her husband worked with Carl and she wanted to thank Gene for being there. She wanted to thank Gene for saying the Name of Jesus over Carl while he was dying. See, for 2 years Angela and her husband had been witnessing to Carl and his wife. Hearing what Gene had done out of desperation brought much comfort to Angela and her husband even though Carl never let them know if he had extended Jesus an invitation into his life or not. Just like Gene, Angela and her husband's job wasn't to save Carl. They were to plant seeds and tell him about Jesus. They did what they were supposed to do.

Everyday we are face to face with dying people. People that don't know Jesus Christ as their Savior. What is our conversation like with them? Do we say the Name of Jesus over them or do we just make small talk?

I found myself thinking of Gene and Carl this morning as I read Jesus' words when He shared how He prays for all believers in
John 17:20
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.

Had Angela and her husband never told Carl about Jesus, would he have recognized the Name being spoken so loudly over him the day he left the earth? The last thing Carl heard was not the radio, it was the Name of Jesus being spoken loudly over him. Over and over again.

I am so challenged by the role God gave Gene that day. As my Mom so so wisely pointed out, he did what he was there to do.

May we do what we are here to do. Let's live on purpose my dear friends. Christ came and conquered our enemy so that the the lost will believe in Him because of our message.
What's the message of your life say?
Hopefully it represents
the Name of Jesus...

~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

YES to GOD study Chpts: 18 & 19

9/12/08 EDIT: Scroll down for the YES to GOD study FAQ's.
I'm so glad that you have come over for

I can't believe we're almost finished with this wonderful book/Bible study, "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith" written by our dear friend
Lysa TerKeurst. She is currently working on writing another blessing from above and you know as soon as it is for sale, we'll snatch it up and gather here and work our way through it. If you want to join in on the prayer team that prays over her while writing this new book email me at and I'll forward your address on to her assistant/friend Holly.

Next week, we'll gather here one more time for this book as we discuss chapter 20, the last chapter. This has been an amazing journey with you all and I can't wait to start up again on the 23rd. So next week, Chapter 20 then on Tuesday, September 23rd, we'll meet here and begin discussing Lisa Whittle's book, "Behind Those Eyes".

Here are some Yes to God study FAQ's:

1. ) What is Yes to God Tuesday's?
YES to GOD Tuesday's was birthed in my heart from God after I read Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God". I longed to do a Bible study in my home, but with my husband having major back surgery and our teen daughter becoming a Mom within the same week, hosting a Bible study in my basement was impossible, so God gave me this idea. The 1st study we did here was Lysa's book and if you want to read those Tuesday posts you can find then on the sidebar of this blog on the right side all the way at the bottom. It was an incredible study and the enthusiasm over what God was showing us from women all over the place was awesome. Collectively, we decided to do this current study and now God is lining up the studies He wants done.

2.) How do I get the book "Behind Those Eyes" for the next study?
~check with your local book store first & if they don't have it, see if they can order it for you.
~check on line (Amazon...)

2.) How many people can join this study?
~as many as God has in mind. There is no limit of participants, so please invite your friends to join us. One lady is going to do this with some co-workers!

3.) Do you have to have a blog to participate?
NO! You can just read every Tuesday's discussion OR you can leave your words of wisdom by commenting under the anonymous button. My Mom is not a blogger, but she leaves comments.

4.) What do I need to do?
~Pray. Pray that God shows you what He wants you to learn in this study then meet here every Tuesday. Also pray for each other.
~Buy your book & read CHAPTER 1 & the Bible study in the back of the book for that chapter and be ready to join in on the discussion of it by Tuesday September 23rd.

5.) How can I let others know about Yes to God Tuesdays on my blog?

~On my sidebar there is a Yes to God button that you can right click on and add to your own sidebar. You would go under 'Layout' then add it to the sidebar under 'Add Picture'. If you want to link it to my blog then you'd put my URL in the URL blank That directs them here.

Ladies, anymore questions, let me know. I'm so excited about this and the author, Lisa is going to be involved with us and can't wait to see where God is going to take us on this journey. I encourage you to visit her and you can do so by clicking on her book cover in the top right hand corner of this blog. Know you are being prayed over. We have sisters from all over the US of A joining us and even sisters of Christ in Australia too. So, believe that God is up to something and together let's get curious enough to find out what it is! I don't believe that He just brings so many women from so many walks of life from so many different locations to one place just for the fun of it. Nope, He has something up His Holy sleeve here....Let's. Get. Curious!

Okay....on to our awesome current study. Remember, anything in blue is a quote from the book.

CHAPTER 18: A Promise Made is a Promise Kept

We live in a fallen world, where people's circumstances belie what God meant for His people to be and become.

I wonder how many of us never experience what God has for us because we get so caught up and focused on what is before us instead of staying completely fixed on Him. If I had followed God's plan for my life to the exact...what would I be today? Where would I live? What would my life look like right now? I have no idea, but I know that today I choose to not wonder about what I could be or have, but instead keep seeking Him in my present. I don't believe it's ever too late to get in line for God's best designed specifically for you.

I received one of my most precious assignments in the middle of the night. I woke up with tears streaming down my face. At first I was confused and asked the Lord why I was crying.

I loved the story Lysa shared of Sergei. Lysa's obedience to her role in his life may not have matched up to her ideas of what it should be, but how powerful to know that God let Lysa shed the tears of an orphan so that Sergei was able to lie down with dry cheeks that night. How precious and what a picture of the One that catches our tears in a bottle.

He isn't looking for people to dance in the limelight.

Ministry that makes the biggest impact is that which is done in the secret places, the hard stuff that is void of glory but full of guts.

A few years ago a high school friend, Glen moved his wife and 4 kids to India for a mission from God. A young, promising lawyer he sold his house, his SAAB and resigned from his position to take on the task as the lawyer representing young girls rescued from a life of a sex slave. First Glen and his crew go on secret missions and rescue the young girls then they go to court. A life far removed from driving up in a luxury car to the Starbucks window. A life void of glory from fellow lawyers for a life filled with glory for God. A life done in much secrecy for Kingdom gain. A life full of guts.

He may not resurrect all of the circumstances in your life, but He will resurrect a deeper and more secure trust of Him if you will let Him.

This was the last sentence of a chapter encouraging us to keep seeking God even when this resurrection phase of our faith walk is not what we expected. This author is living out what she writes friends. Let's listen to her wise words and keep seeking Him when our circumstances are tough.

CHAPTER 19: God Brings Dreams to Life

Regardless of where you are today, God is with you. God is wooing you. God wants you to experience Him. Whatever you are going through today, you can find His joy and peace.

April 3, 2008 my husband Gene underwent a 6 hour surgery on his back. September 17th we go to Omaha to meet with his surgeon. The doctor called Gene at home the other night responding to my husband's complaint of intense pain. We will find out if Gene's fusion of the lower back worked or not. Doc is leaning toward Gene being one of the 45% that it doesn't work on the first time. That would mean another surgery, going on long-term disability which only pays 60% of his pay and his job going on the market. Looks like a horrible situation the Chealey's are facing. So do we look at each other, throw our hands up and cry our eyes out or do we believe Lysa's statement of truth above and believe that God is in control here. As a couple, we choose the latter. We have to. If we don't, we will be shorting God the opportunity to shine. Gene Chealey, let's experience God together in this part of our faith walk and let God's greatness shine bright.

I really loved how Lysa ended this chapter:

The important thing is not what you do for God, but rather that you come to know and believe Him along the way.


Listen to this challenge she gave us in the Bible study of this chapter in #2 when she said: Talk to your kids and your loved ones about God. Make His name famous in your home.

Let's take that challenge and apply it to all areas of our life.

May how we choose to live life make God famous!

Okay friends...leave a comment of what God showed you in these chapters and if you have more to say on your own blog about these two chapters then sign up under Mr. Linky. God bless you and see you next week for the finale of this great guide for living a life of faith.

Don't forget to get your copy of Lisa Whittle's book, "Behind Those Eyes" and invite a friend to join us. Friday I will have an official sign up for those doing the study so check back so you can get to know you're fellow sisters on this next journey before we begin on Tuesday, September 23rd.

~Many Blessings~