Tuesday, February 24, 2009

YES to GOD: Ch. 8: Look Back: Forget Not His Benefits, O My Soul

So glad you are here for our weekly YES to GOD study of
If you were actually walking into my home right now I'd beg you not to look down at the dirty wood floors that I let my precious grand baby Amiyah crawl on.

Even in this picture she looks disturbed that she is sitting on dirt and dog hair.Then I'd warn you that you're gonna have to hold it until our time together is over because my bathroom isn't clean. With the boys being outnumbered by the girls in our home it remains a mystery as to why my bathroom smells like Gene and Aaron pee on the floor.

But isn't that the beauty of a blog Bible study?

We can just come together every Tuesday as we are and fellowship with no worries.
I believe that God has blessed me with letting me play hostess every Tuesday to such a wonderful group of women on line because as one of His problem children He knows me very well.

He knows my desire of wanting to host a Bible study in my home and actually doing it would turn out to be a frustrating disaster for me.

He knows I'd try to make my house look different for you every Tuesday then how it looks the other 6 days of the week to my family. He knows it always confuses the children when Mom acts like an out of control cussing lunatic then an hour later is speaking Christianese to her Bible study friends. So He has graciously spared the Chealey children of that whole crazy scene.

He also knows I'd be trying to make you all an impossible never heard of dessert from Martha Stewart instead of the boxed brownies my husband applauds me for. Especially when I make them fancy and add nuts to the mix.

Isn't it weird how our hearts' desires get trampled on by our efforts of trying to portray ourselves as the perfect woman.
For instance...I have a girlfriend who has a library day with her kids.
They all pack into the mini-van with their book bags and they each get to rent books and videos from our local library. She has done this for years and it's always been a pleasant experience for her kids. So I look at that and think that I too should have a library day for my children.

So I tried it. I had a van too so why not.
Yah, my children's library cards are now used as pretend credit cards in Alivia's purse for when her and her friends play "shopping".

Let's just say what worked for Sheryl didn't work for Lelia.
From the fines I have irresponsibly accrued over the years, the city will be able to build a new library by the time Amiyah is old enough to get one.

No kidding...I just called and the man at Gere library laughed when he read me the amount due on each family member, especially when he got to my son's...

Lelia Chealey...$14.50--overdue charges in 1995 (WHAT??), 1997 and 2008

Alivia Chealey...$10.90 overdue charges in 2005, 2006 and 2008


Aaron Chealey...$51.13 four lost items in 2001

First of all I wondered aloud why they would let me return after my 1st offense in '95. Then I explained to the laughing librarian that Aaron's "lost items" were the result of a birthday party sleep over gone bad. Just so happened the night Gene and four 7 year old boys spent the night in a tent, God sent a flood that washed away Aaron's library books that Gene was reading to them by flashlight.

Sheryl...I hope you aren't reading this because if you are I know you're totally ashamed of me. I know Aaron is 14 years old and 6'1" , but I'm sure he'd still be interested in a library day if you'll take him with you.

So see, sweetheart, if you are THAT type of woman...the type whose house is a mess and you owe more money to the library then you do on your house...then you are in the perfect place.

No pressures...when you post you post.
No worries...we don't compare posts because we are each sharing what God has shown us.
No need for perfection...just come as you are.

Library fines and all.

I feel this atmosphere is grace based which is why I can tell you I worked overnight last night and only got 2 hours of sleep so I will be posting later since I left my book at home and forgot to memorize the chapter. ~smiles~

If interested in reading my thoughts, I will add an editor's note to the top of this post letting you know I posted because instead of doing a separate post I'll just start writing my thoughts HERE...

CHAPTER 8: Look Back: Forget Not His Benefits, O My Soul

I don't know about you, but I found myself thinking alot about what I've learned so far in this wonderful book by Jennifer Rothschild. Paula from Australia...I know God is really working in you girl through this book...keep seeking the Master cuz He's evident in your life even from way over here in the US of A!

In the each other's wonderful insights to this chapter by signing up under
Mr. Linky. I read quite a few of your posts last week from my cell phone but have trouble leaving a comment. Love your hearts though and what God is showing each one of you. Let's just keep after Him.

OH...and I have some very exciting news.
Come back this Friday to see what the book is for the next study.
Just like with all our previous authors and books you will
L. O. V. E. Love this author.
I have shared it with a few of you so if you know already...shhhhhh!
I will give you a hint:
The cover of The P31 Woman magazine never looked so good!

~Many Blessings~

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Follow the Leader

I originally wrote this a year ago and couldn't believe it is exactly what I needed to read today...

Recently I was pulling a late night when my 6 year old daughter Alivia woke up.
She saw I was still up so she stumbled over and sat on my lap. As I held her in my arms hoping to get her back to sleep, I started singing softly to her.
Eyes closed, head against my chest, she whispered, "Please stop."
I stopped singing the words and started to hum the song instead.
"Mom, please."
Not being offended by her midnight rudeness, I kept quiet as my leg began to softly bounce.
As she slid herself off my lap, I could tell she was clearly irritated with my efforts to help her return to dream land.
She looked at me and with a hint of disgust said, "You're still singing in your head!"
Needless to say, she tucked herself back into bed.
I wonder if God also gets that way with me sometimes?
You know, just plain irritated with me when I choose to have selective hearing.
There are times when I know God has asked me not to do something, but I think I need it in my life. So, in order to keep the forbidden in close range, I just change the way I do it, hoping my lack of obedience will go unnoticed.
Instead of singing, I hum and instead of humming I bounce.
It's as if no matter what God asks me to change I still keep the rhythm of disobedience going inside of me instead of just changing my tune to what the Master Musician wants for my life.
I really need to trust in the Lord to direct my paths even if it means to stop doing something that He knows isn't good for me. I may not agree with Him, but I need to trust Him enough to surrender whatever He wants given up.
I need to know that He doesn't even have to give me this big explanation of why it's not good for me. That's where my faith steps in.
When my husband asks our kids to not do something and they challenge him with the question "Why?" his authoritative answer is simply "Because I said so."
Think I've heard the same answer from my heavenly Father a time or two. Or three...
Funny how daily life is just so much better when I don't try to hum when He's asked me not to sing.
He knows my thoughts, so even though my mouth isn't moving if I choose to still sing in my head I haven't fooled Him. Just means that I'm being disobedient of what He has asked of me.
I want a life completely surrendered to Jesus even if that means giving up something that I want or think I need.When my heart is obedient to my what my Savior asks of me I am just beyond amazed at what He replaces my surrendered areas with.
Lord, I thank You for using someone like my irritated, sleepy-headed daughter in the middle of the night to teach me to just follow the Leader with whole hearted trust.I want to know the plans that You have for my life Lord.

~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

YES to GOD: ch. 7: Calm Down: I Have Stilled and Quieted My Soul

I really love Tuesday's.
Even though I'm computer less at the moment, when I do get the chance to get to your blog and read your thoughts on the chapter it just seems like we're just sitting at one big table at Starbucks just chattin'.
You all are some godly women and I feel so blessed to be your hostess for this study.
I've been going through...Nope, let me rephrase that...
I have put myself through some stuff. Unnecessary stuff as of late.
Lots of changes have been going on in my life.
Some good...some bad.
Some by my own hand...some out of my control.
This study that I'm doing by Debbie Alsdorf called He is My All has been so good for my heart and I've just started week 2 of it. The thing I'm learning is that God really wants my complete heart. He wants relationship from me. I've known that...but Debbie has gotten my attention by focusing on Him not me.

I used to work at a hospital here in town known for the excellent heart care they provide. I can't imagine if I was told by a Cardiologist that my heart was bad and I needed surgery that I would only let him work on part of my heart. I can't see any patient telling the surgeon the way he is going to perform the surgery or what part of the heart he can have access to, but yet I do that with God. I try to hold on to stuff from my past, just in case things don't go right in this area I will have this comfort to fall back on. I'm slowly learning that I just need to get up on the operating table and let God do His thing...His way. He needs to have full access to my heart or Lelia Chealey is going to be the same year after year and Lord knows I or He does not want that.

This last year has been one of the most challenging of my life.

When I think that in only a few months my teenage daughter will give birth to her second child, my heart just aches. But then....she announced on Sunday that my friends' church she has attended the last few weeks is "her church". Hallelujah.

Yesterday I had to go pick up my son from the assistant Principal's office. Suspended for the entire week for poor judgement on his part. I sat in the office looking at this kid exploding with potential and found myself in my heart getting angry with the enemy.

Last night God through His tenderness showed me that He has Aaron by the neck with the small things so that he will think when presented with the bigger temptations.

So I praise Him. In the good and in the bad.
And I know that He is watching over my children even when His holy ears are met with my pathetic prayers asking Him to"help them to have a good day". He intercedes in my kids' lives even when this Mom allows her busy schedule to override serious prayer time over what He has entrusted her with.

I share all this with you because like my friend Jill has said before in previous studies...this chapter went right along with my life. Hand in hand. God used Jennifer's writing to teach me.

Okay...let's get started.

CHAPTER 7: Calm Down: I Have Stilled and Quieted My Soul.
Remember, anything in blue is a quote from the book.

Our reactions reveal the temperature inside our thought closet. We can use soul talk to keep the thermostat at a cool and steady temperature. We must learn to still and quiet our souls, to tell our souls to calm down.

I loved the honesty of how Jennifer shared how she kicked a hole in the wall from releasing her anger. I've had a few of those moments in my life and just like Jennifer noted: I didn't feel so good afterward. One thing Aaron was worried about yesterday was his Dad's reaction. I was so proud of Gene because the way he responded to Aaron's news just had to have brought pleasure to the One who sits on the throne. After he told Aaron he loved him he went into our bedroom and just was still before the Lord. He allowed his soul to calm down and he isn't even reading our book! It was good for me to observe as my husband sometimes yells first then calms down later.

I really loved the part of this chapter called Loosen the Grip. Jennifer's admission of being a blind control freak was refreshing especially when she included us in her revelation...Blindness didn't take away my control. It simply exposed that I never had ultimate control in the first place! And, my friend, neither do you.


I suppose this author is right because if I had control of the events in my life...
1.) My husband would be completely healed from his back surgery.
2.) My teen daughter would be a virgin.
3.) My son would be in school this week.

Jennifer did an excellent job of pointing out the few things the Creator has allowed to be in our control:
1.) Our attitudes
2.) Responses to circumstances
3.) Our choice to seek God
4.) Our determination to be still before Him
and my favorite...
5.) Our choice to acknowledge that He is God--and we are not!

There was so much in this chapter that I found myself saying more than once...Oh that's good. I don't want to share everything as I hope other readers will hit the points I don't mention, but we also learned about anger and peace. I felt she saved the best for the last when she taught us about water words and gasoline words.
When your anger rises, what you say to yourself will either calm things down or absolutely ignite them. Those internally spoken words you use at such crucial moments will be like water or like gasoline. Water will quench the flames. Gasoline will turn them into an inferno.

I pray that during the difficult seasons my husband and I will choose to speak water words to our souls. To the world we must look like the most mismatched parenting team, but we know that the paths our children have chosen is somewhat out of our control. So instead of telling ourselves we are horrible parents, we have to fill our soul with water...we have to believe what God says in Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

I must do like Jennifer instructs me to do on page 113: guard the door of your thought closet. You cannot allow words that ignite anger and promote discord in the door. They will make your thought closet dangerously hot.

Years ago Gene held a brief position as a bouncer at a bar. This would be in our pre-comin' back to Jesus days. ~smiles~. His job was to stand at the door and not let the riff-raff in. The ones that didn't belong...under aged nervously holding their fake id's and the already drunk and obnoxious. He stood his ground and didn't let the bad even through the door. Just like Gene did, we have to become the bouncers of the door to our thought closet. We have to stand firm and not allow those words that cause nothing but drama and heartache to even cross the threshold of the entrance to our closet.

I long for the day when my teenagers halo's are evident for all to see, but until that day I will guard my thought closet like a dog guards a meat bone.
I will pray my kids up until my being on my knees is more natural to me than standing.
And I will do my best to lie still before God while on the operating table and allow my heart to fall into a surrendered rhythm.
Love you much.
~Many Blessings~
Next week: Ch. 8~Look Back: Forget Not His Benefits, O My Soul.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pursuit of a King while being pursued by an enemy

Please take a second to watch this before reading the post...don't worry there's nothing gory shown.

One thing the narrator said in this video that really got me was when he was talking of the prey... "It is to do battle once again with their eternal enemy." In this video, the lion never gave up his chase; not until his target was on the ground facing death.

Before Christmas a close friend of mine and her family endured the unthinkable. In the middle of the early hours of a Sunday morning my friend and her husband were awakened by the voices and flashlights of policemen piercing the darkness and their dreams. They were told that a 16 year old girl had reported an intruder.

They would later learn that their 16 yr old daughter was woke up to a man standing above her.
She prayed.
He left.
Thinking something horrible had happened to her family she escaped through her bedroom window, ran to a neighbors home and called for help.

When her parents turned out the lights that night they had no idea that in a few hours an intruder would let himself in through a window and hover over their sleeping beauty.

I found myself getting so mad when I thought of this because it gave me such a clear visual of what the enemy does in our lives. He finds a weak spot and lets himself in.

1 Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Before he boldly let himself into their home my friends' college son, who was home for Christmas, had seen him lurking next to the garage when he came home from a night out with friends. The guy took off running so her son thought he had scared him away for good.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

With boldness in each quiet step, the intruder returned.

In the book I'm reading by Charles Stanley called When the Enemy Strikes he says You will never fully eliminate the devil's temptation from your life. No matter how mature you may become spiritually, he still has access to you. The devil does not give up stalking you, especially if you are a Christian.

Just like Satan, just like the lion in the video...our friends' intruder did not give up.

He comes to steal...that night their daughter was robbed of feeling secure in her own home.

He comes to kill...a family that loves Jesus could be torn apart, relationships killed if they don't rely on Jesus Christ at all times. My friend's family is intact because of Jesus Christ.

He comes to destroy...a young innocent 16 year olds' life has forever been changed in one night. May God be glorified through her pain and questions. May He restore in each family member every piece of stolen ground the enemy took that night.

Are some verses in the Bible just not meant for me? In Ephesians 6 we are told to put on the full armor of God. Does that mean me....or am I a seasoned enough Christian that I can I pick and choose which verses to apply to my life?

Since this has happened to my friend and her family I have slowly become more aware of the words penned in the Bible years ago and know these words are alive and meant for us TODAY warning us of our enemy. It's funny how we know these things and still choose to do life our know, the messy way.

I look at my teen daughter's growing belly...pregnant. Twice in one year. Showing up with black eyes from the "dad" of Amiyah and this little one due in June.
WHAT part of the warning in 1 Peter am I not taking seriously? If my daughter was the one being chased in that video instead of a hyena, would I just sit and watch the attack happen?? No, I'd be on my knees ahead of the chase to prevent her from becoming the lion's meal of choice. I'd memorize scripture and put on the full armour of God so that when the attacks happen I can rightfully tap into the Almighty One and let Him fight the battle.

This enemy of ours...he is so real and he is not going to stop the attacks so we best get our noses in God's Word and listen to what He tells us to do. Not just pick out the pretty verses, the ones that don't have required participation in order to see change. If I want to draw closer to God then I better draw near to Him and the only way I'm going to do that is to read His Word and do His Word. Live out what I read.

I have to ask myself as I examine my own heart and life...HOW MUCH MORE LELIA?

How much more ground are you going to give to the enemy?

How much more freedom on the playground of life are you going to give this bully...the one that hates your children? The one that wants to destroy your marriage with outsiders.

How much more?

Got to put on the full armour. It's just a must, because walking out the door without Jesus Christ before me I have no chance. My family has no chance. This's real.

My friend loves her kids and there is no way she would knowingly allow a stranger to come into her home and hover over them. Her and her husband would have never turned out the lights to go to bed knowing that someone was going to come inside and invade their lives. Everything within my friend would have fought for what she loves.

If you are a Christian then everyday you have an enemy stalking you...just waiting outside by the garage for the perfect time to make himself real in your life.
He looks for the easy entrance...when we are not in the Word...when we are not praying.
He hovers over our loved ones or ourselves...he steals, kills and destroys whatever he can.

As painful as the memory of that night is to my friend, I know that God is going to continue to produce nothing but holiness in her. I have seen Jesus so loud in her life before and after that night and I know He is not finished with her or her family.

God is good...God is great and He is Who I want to live for.
These last few weeks I feel I have not only had my guard down, I feel I've given the enemy a written invitation into my life. My Bible collected dust and my heart has been covered in the cobwebs from living apart from God. Last night on a trip to the Christian bookstore to buy Alivia her valentine's cards for her class party I bought and started a Bible study called
"He Is My All; Living in the Truth of God's Love for Me"
Just flipping through it, I was all excited so I text my dear friend Pam from In His Graces to tell her to keep it in mind for her next personal study. Day 1 was awesome and I'm trusting that God will reveal a whole new side of Himself to me through the next 10 weeks. I just pray I cooperate. This world is so easy to get distracted by. No matter what distraction I fall for though, I believe that God knows my hearts' true desire is for Him to be My All.
Lord Jesus~
May we be alert and put on our full armour every morning so that we may live out a life that you are so evident in that the blind will see nothing but You in us.
I love You sweet Jesus and You know I've told you a million times I think You are wasting your time on me and yet...
you never give up or leave me. Your love for me is such a mystery but I know I need more of You.
May I be as faithful to You as You are to this unfaithful and undeserving mess of a woman.
I love & adore You, my precious King.

Make Jesus your daily pursuit my dear friends, because I am living proof that if He is not #1 in your life, then at the end of your day you will have exactly what you started your day with...
absolutely nothing.
Love you much,

With everything else going on this week, I'm just going to try to read your posts' from
Yes to God Tuesday and will share my thoughts on chapter 6 next week along with
chapter 7: Calm Down: I Have Stilled and Quieted My Soul

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

YES to GOD: Ch. 6: Look Up: Hope in God, My Soul

Hello dear friends!
I will be posting tomorrow on chapter 6.
I tell ya, it's tough when life gets in the way of blogging isn't it? ~smile~

I have been walking every morning at the mall and Saturday morning my husband Gene went with me. If you have been with me for any length of time then you know back in April a week before we became grandparents, he had major back surgery. Lately he has been experiencing numbness and tingling in his leg along with a burning sensation. He loses his balance and his walk has lost its strut. Well, Saturday morning we walked into the mall and he sneezed and instantly his legs just went out. And there, in the middle of the mall entrance was my big muscular husband sitting on the ground. Oh, it was a heart breaker, but this nice elderly gentleman came and helped me get him up. So...his surgeon called and moved his appointment that was later this month to today.
YES to GOD Tuesday.

So, anyway we spent what we thought would be a one hour appointment in Omaha but acutally was an all day adventure. Gene had x-rays, an MRI with dye and an injection that hopefully will subside the pain.
Just wanted you to know that if life would stay out of my way I would be the best YES to GOD hostess in the whole wide world!! your thoughts on your own blog and sign up under Mr. Linky so that we can come read what God showed you in this chapter. I'll be back tomorrow to share my heart with ya.

Thanks again for all are the best!

~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

YES to GOD: Ch. 5: Tune In, Awake, My Soul

With the death of two loved friends in less than one the young age of 65 and the other the tender age of 3, my heart has not been focused on blogging at all. Why God allows what He does is beyond me, but yet I still trust He knows what He is doing. So many in the world are hurting and yet I sometimes have the nerve to complain about things that God must find just utterly ridiculous.

Anyway...let's get to Chapter 5 of this incredible book by Jennifer Rothschild, Self Talk Soul Talk. I hope we are all APPLYING what we learn or really we might as well just put the book back on the shelf we got it from. Without application of what we are reading we will remain the same and Lord knows we don't want that, nor does He. ~smile~

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

Keeping something clean is easier when you tend to it daily.
The same is true with our thought closet.
Guarding the doors of our thought closets includes becoming alert enough to refuse any junk to enter.
Oh, do I know this so well. When I had my affair it was because I did not tend to my thought closet or my heart on a daily basis. Oh, I spent time with God...I was even on the youth leadership at the church we attended. But one all that would change when I allowed my thoughts to turn into actions.
We risk what is most precious to us when we are not alert.
I risked my marriage. I risked my kids' security of an intact family. I took a babies life. My relationship with God was temporarily severed.
I risked much for nothing.
My affair was with someone from my past and because I was not alert I allowed him to come back into my life and became willing to give up everything for what I convinced myself I needed. I wish now I would have spoken the words David did of "Awake my soul!" in Psalm 57:8.
When we are not alert to the enemy and his tactics we go from "I would never" to " I can't believe I just..." in the matter of moments.
I really loved the part of this chapter titled Roaring Lion. As a matter of fact, I have a post ready to go later this week about this very thing. Something I was going to share a few weeks ago and never did.
I thought Jennifer really nailed the truth to the wall in this chapter.
We grow so accustomed to the distractions around us that we barely notice their influence. And that's when we become easy prey.
I really got much from all Jennifer said in this part. Here are a few things she wrote that just got me...
Until I let a thought in, it's not my thought. It belongs to the enemy.
Thoughts aren't yours until you embrace them and invite them into your thought closet. If you do, you'll find yourself wearing them again and again. But when you are alert and recognize where they come from, you will refuse them entry.
Our thought closets can become arsenals stocked with the weapons of truth.
So be aware of the real enemy. Talk to yourself about his tactics, and tell your soul to tune in. Remind your soul that the One who lives within you is greater than the one who roars at the door!
I just loved that. Be aware Jennifer tells us. 1 Peter 3:8 says this very thing to us. Be aware! We hold responsibility to what we allow into our minds and eventually our hearts and souls. We can't just be walking around unware of where we are and what we are doing. We must be aware at all times because its those times we let our guard down that we become the devil's dessert.
Oh Lord.
This enemy of ours wants to not just disable us, he wants to cause destruction. He wants to kill us. What are we fighting against him with?
I can't imagine when these soldiers that are fighting for freedom are prepared for battle that their commanders just send them out into the war zone without being prepared. When these men and women take their stance to fight against the enemy they are prepared mentally and physically with weapons that will take out the ones trying to kill them.
This spiritual battle we are in is so real ladies, and the enemy will never leave us alone as long as we are a Christian. He knows if he can get in our thoughts he can get anywhere in our lives.
Let's be prepared and guard our thought closets.
Next week: Chapter 6~Look Up Hope In God, My Soul
~Many Blessings~