Tuesday, November 18, 2008

YES to GOD study: Chapter 10-the final chapter


So glad you have come by to discuss our last chapter of our current YES to GOD Tuesday study of our dear friend Lisa Whittle's book, Behind Those Eyes.

I wish this book had 52 chapters for every week of the year so we didn't have to stop so soon. If this is your first visit here, I highly recommend this book as well as the other YES to GOD studies we have done. You can find them on my sidebar. They have all been such a blessing to me and many others.

This morning my husband Gene and I went to Omaha to see what the surgeon had to say. 6 weeks ago he had x-ray's done and the doctor told him that the bottom things were not fused together yet and told him to do nothing but lie in bed. He also had to wear this $5,000.00 bone stimulator belt for 4 hours every day.

Today Gene had a CT done and guess what girls...HE IS FUSED!!! If you're saying what is that? It basically means they put bone into his back and fused the bottom discs together with screws and this other stuff...kind of like cement. We have been waiting for the "cement" to set on that bottom disc which has caused him a great deal of pain. Today was such a good day for him. This past Sunday some men in our church prayed over Gene and that came to mind when the doc said, "I don't know if we should give credit to the stimulator belt or what, but you are fused." Ummm...Jesus is who we're giving credit to!!! Gene has been released to return to work and we don't return to the surgeon until February. We are so excited and we thank you so much for your prayers. You all are so awesome!

On the way to Omaha I was reading through the comments from the last post and started bawling when I read Sheena's out loud to my husband. I told my husband that I am just blown away by what God is doing with this study. Who knew, but our Heavenly Father that a young lady from Malaysia named Sheena would be divinely directed to this study of Lisa's book and she would be passing it along to friends and starting her own study. HE IS AMAZING and I am again teary eyed at typing that with this lump in my throat because this is all about HIM. This morning tears would not stop flowing and my husband just kept saying, "God is working on your heart honey, He is working it." I can't begin to express the blessing I feel from what He is doing. When I read Cindy (Consider All Joy) post from chapter 8 I just lost it. When I read Lea's (Shabby Old Potting Shed) e-mail about doing the next study with us out of obedience to God, the tears just came again.

WHAT is He doing? All I know is that I have lived that life of following my own lead and leaving God out of the picture and I don't want to return to that emptiness. This. This is so much better!!! God is good ladies. He is and He loves each one of us.

Okay...I've stalled getting to this last chapter long enough, let's get to it.


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

Women, the truth does hurt: we are flawed...we are selfish...we are unlovely...and we are unworthy of the love of almighty God. But fortunately for us, that is not the end of the story. There is more truth we should know. The truth is also that we are loved...we are accepted...we are wanted...we are important to God...and we are His beautiful creations.

When I look at all the things I have done in my life, up to recently I can't help but think, God, how? How can You love this? How can You forgive this? How could You want to use someone like this? But can He not? When we decide to follow Him and allow Him to use the messes of our lives that is when His glory outshines any darkness in our lives. When I look at my Prodigal daughter Alyssa...I don't see the bad choices, I just love her and I imagine it is that way with our Father in Heaven...He sees what He has created in the middle of our messes and yet still pats Himself on the back and says well done.

Lisa shows us how to be real women and not impersonators any longer by sharing three very basic truths based solidly on the Word of God.

~God created us and He does not make mistakes. The genius master inventor, Jesus Christ, came up with the concept of you...and me...and everyone else in the entire universe, starting with Adam in the garden! Phenomenal!

~God created you with a free will to choose your behavior and mess up your life.
I loved how Lisa tells us how God does want us to live fulfilling lives, but at the same time our choices will not go without being dealt with. If Gene and I didn't love our kids we would let them do whatever they wanted to and just shrug our shoulders when caught, but we don't. There are consequences that follow every bad choice they make.
We are encouraged by this godly author to take responsibility for our choices and seek God first in our lives. That is, if we want to be women that are
genuine...authentic...real...and without pretense.

God created us to discern and discover who we are and where we function most effectively, without trying to be someone else.

I loved Lisa's Subway story and how we are all different down to our taste buds. Lisa made such a good point of telling us to praise God for even our flaws. I believe that it's time for us to stop wasting our time trying to be the girl to our right instead of being the best me all of us can be for the glory of God.
Lisa then shared about the first time she felt "used" by someone and it felt good. After speaking to a group of women she said for the first time she felt empty of herself, but so full of God she could hardly breathe. THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!
This morning on the way to Omaha I tell you, I could not stop the tears. I just kept telling my husband, I can't believe He wants to use me to play hostess for these YES to GOD Tuesday studies. I of all people, am so unworthy and God knows this.

There is so much more to this chapter, but I don't want to share it all as we can read others insights on their own blogs. I will close this book with a quote from our Lisa...
Accept the truths found in God's Word about who you are: completely flawed yet forgiven completely; an awesome spirit being, truly loved and accepted by God.

I have so enjoyed getting to know you all through each chapter in this book. You have made me laugh, cry and shout praises to our King. It would be easy for me to focus on my flaws which are many and justify why I should shut this blog down and do my own thing, but what I would be missing out on is so much. All of you have been worth the struggle of unworthiness that I deal with. When I read your thoughts on each chapter it's such a peek into your heart for God and it is so special. I know for sure that I am not the same woman back in September when we began this journey together. Thank God for that.

Thank you all for joining me and sticking with it...whether you blogged on it or silently are such a blessing. Mari...thank you for posting through your health pains. Jill...I am so sorry about your Grandma that you just lost. So many going through so much.

God is using each one of you, don't ever believe the lies the enemy tries to feed you. Instead, run to God's Word to find out what your very own Creator thinks of you. For your King, as the psalmist tells us, is enthralled with your beauty! I love you!

Lisagirl...God must smile down upon you daily as you step out to seek Him flaws and all. I love how God has brought us together in such a unique way. We haven't done lunch or gone shopping together, but I know we have become girlfriends for life. When I met you at She Speaks this past summer it was like we had been childhood friends and picked up where we left off. You my dear friend are easy to love. Thank you for this book, it has changed my life and I am just not saying that. God knew I needed this study and He used you in a huge way to change my thought life in only 9 short weeks. I feel I have become more "real". More honest. More authentic. You my friend have forever blessed me. I look forward to reading more of your work that God assigns you too and know that this blog study can always be a venue for your books. I trust whatever you share. I love you Girl and someday I'll hope God gives me an accent just like yours! xoxo

Okay...I posted here about what our next YES to GOD study is going to be, but if you have signed up for it, after much thought and asking Paula(Sweet Pea)'s opinion I am changing the start date from December to January. With Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations right around the corner I need to take a little study break and so the next YES to GOD study will begin on the 1st Tuesday of 2009! So mark your calendar for Tuesday, January 6, 2009. I hope you can join us. Click here to see what book it is and continue to be women that say yes to this wonderful God we serve! It's going to be a good one, I can tell already!

If you have something to share on your study about this chapter or what God has done in your life from this book then sign up below. If you don't have a blog you can e-mail me or leave a comment.

Thanks again for your coveted prayers for my family. I wish we could have a big YES to GOD party and just celebrate God! Someday....

~Many Blessings~


Pastor Susan David said...

I was commenting on your last post when I reentered and you had just posted this about Gene!!! Praise God!. I knew we would have testimonies about Sunday. Nothing can take the place of the Presence of God when people worship together in unity. He is AWESOME!!!

Anonymous said...

oooooohhhhhhh YES LORD!!! HE IS JUST SO AMAZING!!!

May God continue to bless you and your family as YOU Lelia have blessed all of us!

I received my Self Talk, Soul Talk Book today so I am all ready and excited for January!!

love ya,

Cindy said...

Count me in for the next study!

HIS Daughter said...

You are beautiful. You are honest, open and passionate about your Father!

You are the only one that HE picked to do this study. You are HIS girl for this time, for this moment and for HIS glory.

You take it from HIM and run with it Sweet Girl! As Beth says, "Let the wind of the Holy Spirit just blow through your hair" as you have been given your calling for this time.

I sure love and appreciate you.
Gene is the man! HE is GOD'S man and HE will be blessed for covering you with his blessing.


Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Praise God!! There is nothing more amazing than the power of prayer and our God answering them!! I am so so happy for Gene's report!!

You are such a blessing to us all Lelia!!

In His Graces~Pamela

Lisa said...

Oh, friend.

The privalege has been all mine. Now I am crying. Your words are way too generous, but I have taken them in and offered them back up the God who has produced anything in me that is slightly usable. I cannot tell you what participating in this study has meant to me. I will forever treasure the opportunity. It has been worth every busy moment and extra bit of sacrifice to read and comment and get involved. I am leaving blessed. I should be thanking you for this study, not the other way around.

Please go read what I read in my post. It is my prayer for ALL of us.

Yes to God Girlfriends for life!

P.S. I am so excited about the Jennifer study you are doing next. Self Talk, Soul Talk is a POWERFUL book. The women will LOVE it! Please let me know if I can do anything for you with this study -- I am friends with Jennifer's assistant. Ironically, Jennifer attends the church my dad used to pastor that I have referred to in my recent posts. She is a beautiful person, inside and out!

Amy L Brooke said...

Thanks so much for hosting us each week Lelia! You are wonderful!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Oh Lelia,
Thank you so much for everything you do. I'm so blessed because of you.
I'm also SHOUTING thankyou Lord!... for Gene's fabulous news! What an answer to prayer!

Beginning the next study on the VERY FIRST TUESDAY TO START 2009 SOUNDS AWESOME! I'll see ya there!

I'll be droppin in from time to time to see what's happening with yall.

Thankyou for everything Lelia Chealey! God continue to bless you and your beautiful family.

Tammy said...

What a wonderful journey this was!

When I started this book,I thought what a great way to get to know others...silly me.Oh,don't get me wrong,I have meet some wonderful women who willing shared their lives and have become my friends. For that I am sooo gratful.

God used this book to showed me that it's OK to be me,just the way God made me for His glory. He loves me because of my imperfect life so much that He sent His Son to die for me...that's AMAZING!

Thank you,my friend,for your kind words and friendship.


Letters From Midlife said...

I was also praying for Gene so this is wonderful news and God gets the glory for it. Your faith has touched my heart!

Kelly said...

Leila, thank you for hosting this study...I didn't blog about the last few chapters, but wanted you to know I thought Lisa's book was really insightful and helpful and I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the study half on my blog and half just silently finishing.
And that is such wonderful news about Gene, praise God! I will keep praying for him too that all will go well when he goes back to work! I am sure he must be anxious to get back!
You are such a sweetheart, Leila!
Hey, checkout my blog, I have a knitted scarf giveaway for my 100 post! You might need another scarf to trade off colors!

Jill said...

Lelia, What great news about Gene!! Thanks also for your words about my grandma! She was a wonderful woman, but I know she is in a better place and as my little man J.D. (he's 5) said, "We will see her 3 more times Mom." I asked when, "When she's in the box (the funeral home), when we bury her and in heaven, but you'll see her first." Kids do have their way!

This study has been absolutely wonderful and though you doubt your role at times, God had you here for a reason. And I am so thankful, your honesty and openness has encouraged me. Seeing God's strength and light shine thru you makes me think maybe he can do that with me too. Blessings on your day, Jill

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Sweet Lelia,
First, I praise, praise, praise Jesus with you for fusing your man!!! Seriously, I know it was a heavy burden to see your hubby down, out, and in pain and also the burden of the lesser income.

Praise the Lord. Who would've thought five weeks later and you'd receive the opposite report of what you anticipated.

You are such a beautiful person. I just love reading your words. It makes me feel closer to you since we are miles apart.

I meant what I said in my last email...count on me, I'm here for you.

Hopefully, with Gene returning to work, you'll be able to regain internet access and we can keep in touch more via email.
Much love,

Darlene said...

Thank YOU, Lelia!!!

Praise God for Gene's restored health!

Also, THANK you for moving the next study to January. What a great, and realistic, idea!

God bless you for your service to Him. This study has blessed me so!


Anita said...

I am so glad that all has worked through God for Gene and your family. Your faith in God to heal him was answered. His returning to work is truly a blessing for you both. Remind him to be careful at work.

And Lelia I am so blessed to have met you online through your Mom. You are truly gifted with words, open, and honest. Would you tell your Mom Hi for me and I wish all of you Happy Holidays and the very best for the New Year. Anita

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Well, that's a bum. Mr. Linky no worky. It was working earlier. Shame on him. If he was a Mrs. Linky I bet he'd/she'd still work, aaaa?

Of course, I have more to say so anyone can feel free to click on my name and check out my two cents on the subject.
Or copy and paste:

Let's hope Mr. Linky comes back.

Laura said...

Oh, Lelia! I am so grateful for Gene's good news! You and your family have become so dear to my heart through these Yes to God studies. What a blessing you are.
Love you,

HisPrincess said...

Thats really fabulous news for you and Gene.

He is SO GOOD!!!

Cindy said...

So thankful about your hubby.

This was a wonderful study and I am looking forward to the next one. I have been receiving Jennifer's Ministry ideas and newletter for more than a year. I just adore her.

Here is my blog link:

See you all soon!

Renee Swope said...

Hi there Lelia (and other bloggy friends) - I was hoping I could join you for this book club b/c I had just started reading it, but God had a few more assignments than I had anticipated this fall. Just so you know I have been been lurking in the background reading blogs and stories and absolutely loving what God is doing in and through this study - and your ministry Lelia! You girls have totally convinced me that I've got to find a way to get back to reading the book. Lately God's been telling me to write more than I read so we'll see if it can be my December study.

I love Jennifer's book, too. I am all about doing some good soul talk and not listening to those lies that defeat and discourage us all. I am going to pray about joining you girls in January! I sure would love to be able to!

PS. Lelia, I loved your comparison of God's love for us in the middle of our messes the same way you love Alyssa so unconditionally and abundantly. I am so thankful for God's provision for you and Gene, too.

Love ya!

Liz said...

What a fun ride with God and all the Yes to God ladies! Thank you for your obedience, your love for our Lord, and the passion that you have in doing this!
Praise God for Gene's good news. Does that mean you won't be coming for a Dallas Cowboys football game...or now that he is better, you will?? :)
I am looking forward to the January study and will be continuing to pop over to all these wonderful blogs for encouragement during the interim.
Love, Liz

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Lelia!! Woohoo!! God is so good! Wow! I am doing a happy dance for Gene! One of my dear friends had similar issues, and he had to have fusion surgery. Give Gene hugs for us in bloggy land.

I am confessing--I have yet to read the last chapter.(Was out of town over the weekend and am getting back into the swing of things). I will go upstairs and begin--it looks awesome--as all of the others have been. I'll be leading this study at church at some point. I'm looking forward to that.

As the other gals have said, thank you darling girlfriend for being obedient to our Holy Father and leading/hosting this study. You do a marvleous job. Bless your precious heart. And I truly mean that!!

Love you!

Julie said...

WOW, such good news....PRAISE GOD!!!


Anonymous said...

Oh Lelia,
Thank you so much for hosting this study, and being willing to host another. I hope to be joining you, it will depend on how things are going, and if I can get my hands on a book! :)

My post is finally up... if Mr. Linky ever shows up again (it did earlier today) I will log on there too...

Otherwise, just follow my name (the link with that) or

Love to you all,
and God bless you Lelia,

Anonymous said...

Dave told me to tell you that we are crazy... crazy is not bad, but we are still crazy! :)

Love you so much,

And you are so welcome for letting you know about Mr. Linky... it's out again, but it seems to have a "start and stop" issue, so who knows when it will come up again!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Such wonderful, wonderful news about Gene. What a God, hah!!! I posted my 'sharing bit' for the study, a little long-winded, maybe even a bit all over-the-place, but Mr Linky has it now... :) Big hugs! And even though I don't know the man, could you give your hubby a congrats hug from the mad Aussie who is so very happy for him, and all of you!!!

Leebird said...

Yahoo about Gene's fused "thingies" :) I guess the belt of God's truth acted as a stimulator belt, eh?? :)

I have thoroughly enjoyed this study. I look forward to the next one. I have already read most of Jennifer's book, but I put it down and I'll start it again in January. Thanks for waiting til them to start back up...the holidays are kinda bonkers.

Lelia girl...I love you bunches...I've never been to Nebraska and have never really had the desire to come...but now Nebraska sounds like a great place to go! You never know when a little birdie might show up on your doorstep.

Thanks for everything! Lee

Mari said...

I haven't posted my thoughts yet vecaue our internet connection at home has been down since Tuesday. But I plan to post them tonight.

In the meantime let me just say our God is completely awesome!!! I've been praying for Gene and your finances and for strength for your family to walk through whatever He had planned for you. WOW WOW WOW. He planned a miracle. can I just give God a little praise dance?!

And thank you for giving me a "shout out". As much as I despise my fibromyalgia, I just refuse to let it keep my from praising God and trying to make Him real, close and personal for others. Sometimes God gives me strength to do just one thing. But when that one thing points people to Him, I'm okay with that. So give God the glory on this one!

Blessings to you Lelia. And thank you for being a willing servant of Jesus the Christ!

P.S. If Lee comes to visit, she better let me know so I can join her!