Thursday, April 16, 2009

YES to GOD study: CH. 4~The Pressure's On

So glad you have come by ON THURSDAY for So sorry I'm late. Yesterday I returned to work at my day job since before Gene's surgery. He is very fragile right now and will be for quite some time so I try not to leave him home alone for very long.

For years now Gene has challenged me to the TV game of Jeopardy and each time he has beat me down like a pinata. For the first time this week, I've loudly crowned myself the Jeopardy Queen, as I have somehow managed to keep my lead and win!

Granted he is taking large amounts of pain control drugs which may cause his responses to be slower, but a win is a win, people. I am taking advantage of my husband on prescription drugs. I wouldn't feed him last night until he answered this question...

Gene, who is the reigning Jeopardy Champion?

Through laughter, he gave in and finally yelled YOU ARE loud enough for our next door neighbors to hear. I felt satisfied, so then he got fed.

Anyway, I feel the rest of this week looks good for me and Jeopardy host Alex Trebek.

Here's a little glimpse of how the rest of the week will look for Gene...

Alex: Let's read the clue.

She is the smartest and THE most awesome player of Jeopardy.

Gene: Who is...Lelia Chealey?

Hey, it takes more than a 6 hour lying on your face back surgery for me to show mercy in a round of Jeopardy!

Okay...let's get to our discussion about Micca Campbell's book...
Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

Are you just not loving this book? Of all chapters for me to feel pressured to get my post done, I choose the one with that title.

No doubt about it, life today is stressful! And with stress comes fear.

Well, isn't that the truth! When I turned on my computer the other morning, this is the headline that greeted me:

Boy, 5, rides NYC subway alone, unnoticed for 34 stops; has been reunited with mom

Can you imagine what his mom went through as her son ran from her while she was getting coffee, ducked under the turnstile, made his way onto the subway and was out of her sight for an hour? And in the Big Apple of all places? The poor woman, I'm sure she was just a little stressed out and filled with lots of fear.

Micca reminds us of God's promise in Psalm 23 that goodness and mercy will follow us through our lives.

I loved the story she shared of when she was unexpectedly given the Mother of the Year award after forgetting to pick her son up from school twice in one week . The week she would be bogged down by much guilt and feeling like a failure as a Mom, God gave her a pick me-up that said she was so opposite of how she felt. I had the privilege of hearing her tell that story last summer at She Speaks and she had us laughing and in tears. We also realized through her story how close our God pays attention to us. Sometimes God lifts us from discouragement of failure in the most unexpected ways.

I loved the next section titled Finding Balance in Contentment.
Sometimes the most merciful thing God can do is let us fall. For some reason, it's when we're down among the mess we've made that we can truly see our lives clearly.

I can really relate to what she said here: Balance comes when I lay my to-do list before God and allow Him to prioritize my life. My life doesn't belong to me as a Christian. I shouldn't be the one ordering my days. When I do, my life becomes unstable.

Turning the pages we learn that:

God is the only One who can truly satisfy us.
True satisfaction in its purest form is found in the wealth of who God is and the riches He graciously lavishes on us.

That when we become anxious we need to re-focus.
Naturally, anxiety is the result when we focus on anything other than God and His will for our lives.
And she teams up with Paul to reveal the marriage between thankfulness and contentment.
You don't have to like it, but if you will choose to thank God for His provisions regardless of your feelings toward them, you'll experience the same contentment Paul encountered.
Everything in this chapter just spoke to me.
I loved this next section she called God Has Gone Ahead of You.
Whether you are a mom of twin boys like my friend Lisa in Jackson Hole is or a single lady like many of my girlfriends are, our lives are filled with pressures. Our pressures may be very different from one another. Lisa is learning how to juggle not only one addition to her life, but two precious little ones, but I've never heard such happiness in her voice like I do now. Then there is our blogging buddy Paula who has been under the pressures of buying a home and selling one at the same time.
Different pressures, but both women are becoming closer to God and better because of them. Sometimes God allows us to become pressured---not to terrify us or cause us undue pain but to purify our character.
He uses the pressures in our lives to create in us a thing of rare beauty that everybody wants. When we allow the stress of life to purify our nature, we permit God to work for good and His glory.
Jumping over to page 75, Micca reminds us that the Lord..He is our Portion. He is all we need.
Whatever your circumstance, God is aware of your needs and ready and willing to provide.
Gene and I have banked at the same bank for over 10 years now. Recently there was a charge made on our debit bank card that we disputed. Never having done this before, I had to go into the bank and cancel the card I had while the bank fought on my behalf. The charges were reversed and then they ordered me a new card. While waiting in the bank to sign on the dotted line, the bank manager brought me over a piece of paper to sign so that I could transfer all of my points to my new card. I was clueless to what points she was even talking about. She explained to me that every time I use my card as credit that it racks up points and after accumulating 1,500 points, you can begin to redeem them for stuff. I signed it and thought nothing of it until I looked at the brochure they gave me.
Then I found out how many points I had.
Then I found out how many points Gene had on his card.
Then I remembered about another card I had before the one I had recently canceled.
Then I found out that I couldn't use those points because I never signed a paper to transfer over my points.
Points I never even knew existed.
Then I found out that my bank could override the Visa people and give me my lost points.
Then I found out that we could combine Gene's points and mine onto one card.
Then we got to choose a gift.
Then we received our redemption gift.
We ended up having over 25,000 points on our cards.
We cashed them in for a $400.00 gift card to Best Buy.
Points we never knew we had, but God did and He provided the knowledge of these points only a few weeks after our 10 year old fridge started making noises and leaking. Gene and I had discussed how we needed to get a new refrigerator and weeks later God provides most of the money for it.
I just have to let Micca repeat herself here...Whatever your circumstance, (broken fridge) God is aware of your needs and willing to provide (waiting to reveal the points on His timing). I can harldy wait to get our well needed, provided by God fridge.
I really felt in this chapter that I am not alone in feeling stressed and like I'm being torn apart by the needs my family has. I often feel the responsibility of caring for so many, and it drains me. I get worn out.
Then she talks about rest. The rest God wants us to get.
God's Goodness and Mercy lead us to "lie down in green pastures" in order to revive emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I am horrible at getting proper rest. I always been such a night person that going to bed at a decent time is incredibly hard for me, but I know when I do provide my body the rest it needs it is such a benefit for me and my loved ones. I'm just so much nicer.
I have a choice to make right now in my life. I can choose to allow myself to get completely overwhelmed with Gene's health and our teenage daughter being pregnant again. I can lose sleep from being fearful of the future OR I can choose to allow God to lead me in His direction.
I want to choose to be led. Led to rest. Led to trust. Led to believe. All I do is make messes when I try to do the job God never intended for me to do and that is be my own Shepherd.
There are going to be hardships that come our way and some are harder than others. Pressures are going to weigh us down, but if we allow the weight of them to take us to our knees then when God helps us up we are only better because of it.
The Pressure is On.
Poor health.
Rebellious Teens.
Not being content.
Know that whatever is going on in your life that God literally has your back.
Goodness and Mercy will follow us into every stressful situation.
Loved this chapter so much. Thank you Micca!
If you have something more to share on your blog about this chapter, please sign up under Mr. Linky below.
Also, if you have minute, go by and introduce yourself to Heather. She just started up her blog and I really loved her 1st post on her desire to surrender to God. So take some time to welcome her into the wonderful world of blogging.
See you next Tuesday (I promise) for chapter 5: Family Matters.
~Many Blessings~


Kelly's Ideas said...

I am always inspired by your posts. They make me want to be a better wife and mother....oh and Jeopardy..My husband is the reigning king right now...may I should borrow some of your hubby's drugs too....
Your sister in Christ

Sharon said...

I Love the part you said "thank God for His provisions regardless of your feelings toward them" I try so hard to remember this always. Great reminder! He is all I need and my portion has been provided by him for me.

My hubby and I play jeopardy as well, he wins alot~~~ maybe I should try some of your med's hahaha I remember when he use to complain about watching the show, He saw my excitement when I would get an answer right, now he's doing it, I think he is enjoying the challenge as well! It's alot of fun :)

I enjoyed this post alot, like jeopardy you have mind pondering!!

Have a beautiful and blessed filled day :)

Sandra said...

Hi Lelia,

I pray Gene feels better every day. And you are so right about this book - I am loving it! I was hesitant to do the study because for the most part, I feel happy and content. Or so I thought! I didn't realize that I do tend to worry and fret so much until I started reading this book. There are definitely areas in my life that require more faith in God. Thank you for heeding God's call to lead this study.

Blessings and love!

Tina said...

Hi Lelia,

Love the Jeopardy story! I think the only way I would win would be a drugged husband as well. Ha, a win is a win though. Enjoy your reign as the queen!

"I want to choose to be led. Led to rest. Led to trust. Led to believe. All I do is make messes when I try to do the job God never intended for me to do and that is be my own Shepherd."

Me too!

God bless,

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

To all the commentors at Write From The Heart:


Jennifer said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I loved reading yours. I just started another book club on a blog but will definitely put this book on my must read list!

Thanks for sharing it!

And I LOVE the that you are the QUEEN of Jeopardy!!!



Paula (SweetPea) said...

Hey sweet one. I'm taking a quick break from moving boxes, etc. I just can't stay away from my internet, I'm just plum tuckered out.

I love all you had to say here.

I was surprised to see my name mentioned but that was sweet.

Many of the quotes you pointed out, so did I.

I did a amazon review for Micca...I mentioned how even as a writer, I've struggling with being able to say it any better than Micca does. She has a way with words, for sure.

I love, love, love how God showed up with the points and $$ for fridge. I immediately thought, I bet if you had find that out earlier, you would've spent it on a needed/desired computer. I know you've been wanting/needing one yet, I'm sure you'll agree a fridge is much more needed.

I have seen God do this exact thing but in different ways over and over during the house purchase.

Thanks for posting to Mr. Linky.

I better grab a bite and get back to it.

Monique said...

I am getting better at jeopardy and Keith was not in the room when I was dominating...I could be the winner between us:o)
That was great about the points turning up on your card right when you were in need of a larger purchase--love those stories!

Jeanies Heavenly Treasures said...

I'm so happy to her that Gene is doing better. Also, well enough to play jeopardy with you. That should be a nice memory for both of you! Smile!
This chapter deeply affected me! The pressures on for me too!
Teenage Son
Married Son
I'm so thankful for Gooodness and Mercy!
Thank you sweet Lelia for hostessing this incredible Bible Study!
I will do the linky thing so come on over and check out my blog.

Jill said...

Great post Lelia, I love the way you close up saying we need to allow the weight of the pressures to take us to our knees! Wonderful, Jill

Mel said...

Alright Ms. Jeopardy Queen...and let me just say your chapter 4 comments are incredible!!! Parying for Gene.

HisPrincess said...

I want to choose to be led.

I really do. But I'm stubborn, and opinionated, and just not a very good person.

So. Today I choose to be led. Lord please lead me.

Praying that Gene is feeling better everyday...although of course not well enough to reclaim his jeopardy crown!

LisaShaw said...

Continuing to pray for Gene dear one Miss Jeopardy (smile). I was blessed by your insights and sharing. I have got to get this book!!!!

I loved when you said: "Pressures are going to weigh us down, but if we allow the weight of them to take us to our knees then when God helps us up we are only better because of it."

Shanda said...

Congrats on your new title! Glad to here Gene is doing well!

I loved all that you shared here - I have not yet purchased this book...but I'm going to have to now!!

Joyfulsister said...

HI Sis,
I will surely keep Gene in Prayer. My husband's only option is surgery as well, he has digenerated Disk Disease. He is thinking it out more, I pray the Lord gives hime the wisdom to decide what to do. He got out of the service because of his injury to his back. He reinjured it while working in the medical xray record file room UGH... Have fun Miss Jeopardy Diva !!!!

LOL Hugz Lorie

Vern ~ Inspired said...

Hey Girl!

I was thinking of you and Gene today so I thought I would stop by and see how you guys are recovering. I bet it is hard for you to juggle going back to work...I pray the Lord provides all you require during this time.

I am loving all that you are sharing from Micca's book...good stuff! It reminds me I need to order my copy!

Blessings to you my friend!

Michelle said...

I'm reading with you, just not participating as much as planned. I continue to pray for Gene's healing. I will make time to post this week for Chapter 5. Thanks for your dedication to the study through everything. Blessings!

Carol said...

I'm still running behind, haven't gotten to read your post, but finally posted my link. I'll be back later to read and catch up with everyone in the next few days.

Love you, and I'm still praying for Gene's healing, and your strength Lelia my friend.


Carol said...

I finally got to read your post. I love it. I love how God shows up in the most unexpected ways.

God provides everything down to the last detail. Your posts and all you do I can see God all over your life. Can't wait till the next post on this upcomming chapter.

I love the Queen of Jeporday you crack me up.

Be blessed my friend,