Week 6-Homework Discussion

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalms 84:11

I love this verse. In fact the Lord had already spoken this verse to me this week concerning an issue in my life before I read it in our lesson. First and foremost, I love that it reminds us that God is good! In the midst of the good times and bad, in the big things and the little things, God is good.

As I mentioned this is one my favorite verses, but I tend to focus on the last bit of it reminding us that God will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly. This week the Lord broadened my scope a bit and allowed me to see the importance of the first half of the verse as well.

To begin, the Lord God is a sun. What does the sun do? It shines light. And this is what the Son of God does for us. He illuminates our path showing us the way in which we should go, just as we see in these verses: “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:6) and “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in the details of their lives” (Psalms 37:23). I am also reminded of the beautiful picture painted in Prov. 4:18 that the path of righteousness is like the first ray of dawn shining brighter until the full light of day.
As Jean points out in Day 4, as we let the truth of the Word of God and the promptings of the Holy Spirit lead and guide us, we will gradually know the path in which we should go. It will be illuminated just enough for us that we will not stumble as we continually seek the Lord’s direction.

We are also reminded that we are to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 4:7). Was I the only one comforted by the disciples’ lack of faith even though Jesus was right there with them in the boat? As Jean points out that is just a reminder that walking by faith does not come naturally. But we learn that it is as simple as trusting in the Word of God and obeying it! In order to do these things though, we must be disciplined to study God’s word. After all, I love the reminder that we cannot take our children any further in the faith than we have already been. Doesn’t that make you want to become a student of the word of God?

Just as studying the word of God will show us God’s path for our lives, it will also help us stay clean, pure in a dirty world. Bible study along with keeping short sin accounts helps us stay clean and usable in the hands of God. For us Christian mommas, this is a full time occupation, and we want to be found faithful in these things!

Psalms 84:11 also tells us that the Lord our God is a shield. What does a shield do? It protects. It’s a defense. We know that God is our protector, our defense. As the Psalmist says, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; he is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold. He saves me from my enemies” (Ps. 18:2, 3). We know that God is ultimately in control of our lives. Suffering , hurt and heartache are inevitable, but they come to us through the hands of a loving, good God. Those difficult times are also what the Lord uses to refine us, to make us usable in the Master’s hands. This process, known as sanctification, is long and slow, but it will ultimately transform us into the image of Christ. And don’t we all desire that?

In closing, I also wanted to point out these opportunities that Jean gives us for allowing our children to see the reality of Christ in our lives. I love tangible things, and I found these were helpful to keep me focused on ways to teach my children through exhortation and example:

1. Let your children see you study the Word of God.
2. Let your children hear you pray.
3. Talk to them about what God is teaching you.
4. Show them ways that God is at work in your family.
5. Demonstrate asking for forgiveness.
6. Teach them that God is good!

Have a blessed week!


Week 5 Homework....A Little Late

Hello! Sorry that this post has taken a while.  I have to admit I have gotten a bit behind and needed to get it all together. Lauren and I discuessed posting about 2 weeks in one, but I wanted to focus on two things from week five that stood out to me most and not rush into week 6. Day three and four were really important to me because not only do the things Jean wrote about apply to our children but everyone.

"Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver":
How often have I said something and to come across to the listener in a totlly wrong way? The listener mostly being my husband and kids? So many times I have not applied Proverbs 10:19 to my life, "When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise."  When I am discipling my kids I tend to want to go on and on about this or that, when in reality I need to breif and to the point as Jean explains. On the flip side of that how often have I gone on and on with my husband to use up too many words and start something I did not mean to start?
As my girls are getting bigger they REALLY want my attention and want me to listen, so not only do my words need to be wise and controlled my ears need to be more open to listening especially before speaking. Proverbs 18:17, says we will be ashamed if we answer before listening. 
One important thing that I want to make sure I do as a mom is to raise my girls to be respectful of others words, to really listen and because of this I hope they will be a good friend, future wife and mom.

"I Want Patience NOW!":
Ok, so I pray for this about a million times a day! Really! As Jean discussed toward the end of this lesson our relationship with Jesus will ultimately change our lives.  If we are having a true communion with Him, He will grant us that patience and peace throughout the day! We need a daily filling of His love and mercy through the Holy Spirit to battle the day.
Colossians 3:12-17 sums up Christians charateristics we must have, honestly I think I'm going to print this out and hang it in my house to read everyday!
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

I pray this week that my words and yours be apples of gold in setting of silver and that the Lord will dwell in us richly so that the things we say and do be patinet, kind and loving!


Week 4-Homework Discussion

Remember to Remember

Remember to remember. I like it! Why? Because let’s face it, as mothers our minds run in 100 different directions, and we need a reminder every once in a while!

In this week’s lessons, Jean encourages us to focus on our spiritual condition. The challenge here is to evaluate whether we are “baby” Christians only able to feed on the milk of the Word, or are we growing, maturing Christians ready for the solid food of God’s Word. We have to remember to remember by being doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22), putting into practice the sound teaching we are receiving from others and the guidance we are receiving from the Holy Spirit so that we can grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord (Col. 2:7). God’s challenge for me in this area is to be more diligent to memorize scripture and to read his Word and also to be still in my prayer time allowing Him to speak to me.

Convictions. We learned on Day 1 that we are free to choose but we are not free of the consequences attached to our actions. The question that really hit home for me: Am I a stepping stone or a stumbling block in my husband and children’s lives? This should be a question we ask ourselves daily. Thankfully, our Lord is faithful. He will tell us whether we are right or wrong and His power will help us do as we should (Rom. 14:4).

Ironically enough, my pastor preached this past Sunday on finishing strong. He noted that one of the things that keep us from finishing strong is that we compromise our convictions. Conversely, one of the things that enables someone to finish strong is that they live by their convictions not their emotions, or in other words, by faith not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Let’s formulate our personal convictions under the direction of the Holy Spirit and allow him to guide and direct our lives.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly for us girls, is the challenge on Day 3 to “Mind Your Own Bee’s Wax.” It’s hard, isn’t it! We want to be right up in everyone’s business! But what a healthy reminder from Jean that “one of the reasons so many moms are exhausted is that they are involved in things that are none of their business. They have taken on burdens that God has not assigned them. They waste their precious limited supply of emotional energy on things that do not involve them, rendering them unavailable for the things that do” (p.106-107).

Did that strike a chord with anyone besides me? I remember in a past study, Jean taught us that a need does not necessitate a call. Just because there is a need doesn’t mean you are the one that’s supposed to meet it. Just because something is good doesn’t mean its God’s best for you. What does it do to our husband and our children when we carelessly exhaust the grace and emotional energy God has granted us for this day in the wrong places? We have nothing left to give them or to give God.

Let’s strive to be a usable vessel for the Lord by being pure and holy in His sight. I was reminded of Jean telling us that we can’t be perfect but we can be blameless before the Father. Let’s get clean and stay clean, keeping short accounts with the Lord.

Remember to remember. Let’s do it in order to grow deeper in our walk with Christ, to establish godly convictions that allow us to walk in obedience to the Lord, to allow the Lord to determine our priorities and to remain pure and holy in His sight. Let’s run well and finish strong!


Week 3 - Homework Discussion

 "Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others." 2 Timothy 2:1-2 (NLT)

The picture is a little fuzzy, but do you remember these toys? It is called a view master and as I was starting my search for a picture of it I had absolutely NO CLUE what they were called. I remeber playing with them as a child and I actually ran across one when I was Christmas shopping this year. If you never had the joy of playing with a view master it was like looking through a kelidascope but with pictures.  When you pushed the little orange lever down a new photo would pop up.  The fild wheel would go round and round as you went through all the pictures.  There were many picture wheels you could interchange. VERY facinating for a child!:)
So, why in the world am I talking about a view master? Well, as I went through this weeks lesson I thought about Paul and Him as a teacher, Paul was like the View Master, giving Timothy little snippets or pictures of the Christian life, how to carry these out and to teach them to others.
We as mothers are also like that View Master so that our children see small pictures of Christ through us at ALL times.  On day one Jean reminds us that not only should our children see Christ in us but our husbands as well. If Jesus is a constant in our lives then our children will see that and they can never deny that we did not put God first. When she talked about tradtions on day two I could totally relate from a child's perspective of wanting to keep "My" families traditions sacred.  When I think about the traditions we are making as a young fmaily it makes me excited that we have those fun memories to cherish, but ultimately those things will perish.  It is the traditions of our Christian walk that will be of the upmost importance for our children to carry on!
On day five Jean talks about sowing a crop and that the farmer ought to be the first to get his share of the crop. She discusses how mothering is hard work and it is a spiritual investment.  The most important thing that I took from this week was when she explained how we are to sow the seeds of the Spirit in our children but we must leave the harvest to the Lord.  The best way to sow the seeds she says is to be a living example. So, back to the view master...If my children were looking through my view master what would they see? Would they see a kind loving mother? Would they see a mother who is short tempered? Would they see a mother doing the dishes and cleaning at every moment or a mother taking the time to read them an extra Bible story that day? Would they see a mom who loves their father or a mother that can be disrespectful?  This week has made me readjust my view master so that prayerfully my kids will see the Lord in EVERY picture of my view master, and prayerfully the Lord will be able to reap a healty harvest!!


Week 2-Discussion of Homework

A Sweet Smelling Aroma

Remember Jean’s unwanted house guest, well-hidden in the walls, but certainly not forgotten because of its awful smell? Well, I don’t know about you, but I don't want to stink!! My heart’s desire is to be that sweet smelling aroma to my Savior, to my family and to my friends. I want to create a living legacy that lasts well beyond my life and even the life of my children; one that lasts to my children’s children and beyond.

But how do we do this? Jean pointed out some important truths that really stood out to me this week. To begin, we learned that staying passionately in love with Christ requires discipline—discipline to spend time in His Word, to become intimate with Him. That “discipline rooted in devotion will produce a stable walk with God” (p.55). Discipline is active. As Proverbs 12:1 and 23:12 point out, we must LOVE discipline in order to learn, we must COMMIT ourselves to instruction and we must ATTUNE our ears to hear knowledge—all active verbs!

We must also actively walk in faith instead of fear. We were reminded that God does not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and discipline (II Tim. 1:7). I really felt challenged this week to operate in faith instead of fear. I want to choose to “walk in obedience to the Word of God and dependence upon the Spirit of God” (p.54).

More than anything this week, Jean’s challenge in the homework and also in her video to be intentional and to be purposeful really stood out to me. I should say convicted me because I really saw areas in my life where I was not being intentional, especially in my role as mother. Some of my favorite verses in this regard remind me to:

“Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. ” Ephesians 5:16-17

“Redeem the time.” Colossians 4:5

One of the ways we can do this as a mother is to pray for our children. Did you catch it in the video? Our prayers are ETERNAL. They are held in golden bowls in heaven, ignited as incense to our Father (Rev.. 5:8 & 8:3,4). Let’s make time for concentrated prayer time!
I have my prayer time early in the morning (the only time the house is quiet!) And a prayer journal is my way of staying focused. I simply write out my prayers along with the scriptures I am praying for any given person or situation. It may sound inefficient, but it helps me to look back and see how faithful the Lord is, and it also helps me with my scripture memory as I write out those verses. However, you do it, just do it! Let’s be intentional, purposeful, concentrated.

I love the verses in 1 Corinthians 9:23-27 where Paul says he doesn’t just run to participate, he runs to WIN! Oh, how that has spoken to me this week! We aren’t to just sit back and enjoy the ride. We are to be disciplined, operating in faith and intentional in all that we do and say. Jesus tells us we can do all things through Him, so let’s run this race to win it!!

***Take a minute, leave a comment and tell us what the Lord has shown you through this week's lesson. I have no doubt he is speaking and ministering to you as He has been to me!


Week One - Discussion of Homework

"Enjoy Life - it's not a rehearsal!"
...those are the words atop a notepad where I was scribbling notes while studying this week. I am not sure where the notepad came from, but it was just something to write on. As I started listing the things I had learned during this week's homework I kept looking up at those words. I thought wow, how profound! If I were a non believer I might take a different spin on it, but since I am a Christian I saw it mesh into what I had learned this week:

*Have an Eternal Mindset
*Follow the Sovereign Will of God
*Share the Grace, Mercy and Peace God has so Lovingly Given You
*Praise the Lord
*Be Joyful in Raising your Children for the Lord

All of these concepts wrap up so beautifully into mothering our children. First, having an eternal mindset on everything teaches our children to keep their eyes on heaven and not worldly possessions. Today's society can easily warp our minds into thinking that more is better. I do not want the world's ideas to rub off on myself or my children. I want to have an eternal mindset so that my girls will also prayerfully inherit that as well.

"But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:11-12a

On day two we discuss God's will. Jean's spin on God's will really impacted me a few years ago when I was so OVERPROTECTIVE of my new baby, thinking NOTHING would harm her. This lesson helped me realize that she was God's baby and that HE had a plan for her life, and that I could rest safely in HIS arms knowing that HIS will was better than my own!
"The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way." Psalm 37:23

GRACE, MERCY, PEACE! I was convicted by this lesson that I need to give these away more freely! Especially in mothering!
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)," Ephesians 2:4-5

One of my favorite verses that we discussed on day four sums up "Passionate Prayers" so well.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
We have so many "needs", but we also must first give Him thanks. We have SOOO many things to be thankful for! Jean writes, "Spend time praising the Lord without asking for anything. Focus on Him completely, and you will find the joy of the Lord resonating within your soul."

I have recently been teaching my girls the verse, "..the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
Many days I must remember this as a mother. I am here to teach them the Joy of the Lord, I am here to be in joyful in this position God has given me!

I did not mean to ramble through each day, but I just thought I needed to hit on something in particular that that spoke to me as we study about Timothy. What did you learn? What did God teach you this week?



Hello there!
Have you been able to watch or listen to Jean's first message?  If not, check it out HERE. I promise it is worth your time to listen and learn from such a wise Godly woman! Also, Jean has written some amazing notes to go along with her teachings, you can find those on Scribd.  (the link is on the sidebar)

Also, if you would like to purchase a workbook you can do so HERE.

We will be discussing week one homework via blog style here NEXT WEEK. I can not wait to talk and discuss what the Lord is teaching us through Run Well, Finish Strong!

"Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith." 
 Hebrews 12:1-2


A New Start

So, do you want to run well and finish strong as a mother? Do you want to run well and finish strong in your relationship with the Lord? This Bible study, Run Well Finish Strong will help you do just that! Jean Stockdale has written an amazing study on 2 Timothy that will have you laughing, crying and praising the Lord!  The first time I did this study my first born was only 7 months old, and I am looking forward to starting this study again.  That 7 month old is now 3 1/2 and she has a sister that is almost 2! Times have changed and in a time like this I need the Lord to lean on! Please join us as we start this journey!
What you need to know:

*You can purchase your workbook for the study HERE
*You can listen to new videos each week where Jean will dig deeper in the study HERE
*You can listen to pod casts of the same lessons found HERE
*You can download notes to go along with the lessons HERE
(all of these resources can easily be found on the sidebar as well)
*Work at your own pace and time...this online study is for everyone!
*Each week (Wednesday Nights) there will be a post dedicated to that week's homework
*Your comments are always appreciated....that is how we learn and grow...from sharing with one another!

We are all looking forward to this new study and hope that you will join in with us as we prepare to run well! The first video can now be viewed HERE. Please join us back here February 3rd for our first discussion of week 1!