This particular study has no video, so I assumed we'd keep things short. Maybe an hour at most. Especially since getting people to talk can be like pulling teeth in some studies. Nope. With no video to show, we get into some really great discussions. After a full ninety minutes, my ladies' are still meeting with their prayer partners, encouraging each other, opening up to each other, learning how to best pray for one another. The church is "kindly" kicking us out fifteen minutes past 8:00, our "ending time". I love it. It's been a real encouragement to me, confirmation that God chose this particular study specifically for these women.
We are learning how to live free, how to overcome strongholds, by praying Scripture. I think I've found my biggest stronghold--anxiety. I struggled with severe anxiety when we went through the adoption process the second time. (Who wouldn't?) I blamed it all on the process and assumed it would go away. Sadly, a year later, I find myself still struggling. Before, I worried about not having enough money just to get through the process. Now, after finally getting that long-awaited tax check from the Adoption Tax Credit, I worry about spending it unwisely or too quickly--rather than seeing it as the blessing it really is. I fret, I stress, and I panic, even when I see God blessing us through it.
So, I am claiming today's verse as my own, one I want to commit to memory to help me overcome this stronghold:
Mark 4:19--The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
I totally see my mind going in all of those directions when it should be going straight to God first thing every day.
Instead of focusing on the worries of this life, fretting over a lack of or even an abundance of money, or thinking about more stuff that I want, I came up with a list of ways God has blessed our family this summer alone.
2014 Summer Blessings
- A gym membership, giving my boys an incredible bonding opportunity
- Feeling healthy again, reenergized
- An abundance of work-out clothes that a friend passed to me a year ago
- Coffee dates with friends
- A friend's gift toward our family vacation
- Family camping time
- An adorable little camper
- Church camps for the boys
- $ to pay for the boys' camps
- Juan David making so many new friends
- Juan David's English suddenly improving by leaps and bounds
- David's desire and opportunity to serve on a mission trip this month with other middle school kids
- New floors in the house
- Bedroom makeovers
- Our adoption tax check
- Opportunities to improve the health of our home and family
- An amazing group of ladies for Bible study
- A publisher (friend) to work with to publish my books together as a set
- Writer's group--a constant inspiration and learning experience
- Our amazing church, Lifegroup, and small group
- Watching my boys bond more every day
- David's indoor soccer experience
- Getting to know the Colombian family with boys on David's soccer team
It's amazing how our whole mindset can change when we focus on our blessings.