Can anyone else believe we are on week three? Thank you for those who have been faithful in your study and participating on Facebook. It’s been such a fun journey and we are glad to be on it with you. Click here to watch the video for week three and then jump over to facebook to keep participating.
Two years ago I attended my first AAC women’s retreat. It was a wonderful experience and as the weekend came to an end I found myself already anticipating the next one. Near the conclusion of the retreat the speaker for the following year was to be announced. Having just completed Jennifer Rothschild’s Missing Pieces study, I held my breath and clenched my hands together hoping it would be her. I couldn’t believe it when they said her name! I was so excited.
Fast forward to last year. Jennifer Rothschild did not disappoint. The retreat was awesome and once again as it was coming to a close, I found myself looking forward to next year’s event. Finally, the moment arrived and the guest speaker was announced. The entire room erupted into joy and elation…and maybe even a little delirium.
Meanwhile, standing among the jubilation I found myself thinking, “Who’s Susie Larson?”
Based on the reaction in the room I quickly realized that I better find out. When I got home I did some Googling and found out that Susie Larson is a big deal! She hosts a daily radio show, her Facebook page has over 80,000 likes, and she’s written twelve books. Did you catch that? Twelve books! From her website: “Susie has a passion to see women everywhere strengthened in their faith and mobilized to live out their high call in Jesus Christ.” The more I read about her, the more excited I was to see her at retreat.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t matter who the speaker is, the AAC Women’s Retreat is a great event! From the beautiful setting of The Osthoff Resort in winter, to the amazing group of women from all ages and stages of life, and the meticulously planned and expertly executed retreat itinerary, you can’t go wrong making the decision to go. There’s plenty of things to do to keep you busy, yet there’s ample opportunity for down time and reflection too. If you’re considering it, I say go for it! You won’t be disappointed.
Okay, back to Susie Larson. I was super excited this past Fall when I noticed that her book Your Sacred Yes was one of the options for Women’s Bible Study. I knew it would give me a chance to get to know Susie’s style and maybe give me a glimpse of what to expect from her speaking at retreat. I’m so glad I went for it because the book was awesome! Susie describes how it’s so easy to give away our time to things not appointed by God. “We commit to something because it’s a good cause or there’s a great need. Or maybe because no one else will help out. The result? The days blur together and we find ourselves overworked and underjoyed, desperate for a faith awakening.”
I could totally relate to this because even though I may not be over-busy, the things I am busy with aren’t necessarily appointed by God. But, Your Sacred Yes goes waayy beyond helping us manage our commitments. Throughout the book, Susie gently yet boldly encourages us to see ourselves through God’s eyes. Her sincerity, warmth and passion come through strongly throughout. I can only imagine how endearing and engaging she will be in person!
I hope to see you there!
We hope that your first week of Online Bible Study went great! Hopefully you were able to go onto the Facebook page and interact with the group and get through your first week of homework. Click HERE for the link to week two video. As a reminder, you do not have to read this website, we just want you to scroll down to watch session 2 video.
Once you’ve watched the video, you can begin your homework for session two. Don’t forget to log into Facebook often and engage with the other women. This really will be an important part of the study.
We’re so glad to be on this journey with you!
Life is complicated. Relationships are messy and I like things black and white. It’s easier to make judgments and find solutions that way. I especially want this when it comes to faith and living it out.
But the story of Naomi and Ruth reminds me that our faith can sometimes be rather ambiguous.
The Biblical book about Naomi and Ruth is actually called Ruth. Her story has the distinction of being one out of only two books in the Bible named after women (the other one being Esther.)
Ruth is a superhero of the faith as she fights for redemption and lets nothing stop her. Naomi is her mother-in-law who reflects back on her life and believes God has abandoned her. Naomi’s plans for her life and family did not turn out the way she had hoped and she becomes bitter.
Yet to her credit, Naomi seems to have enough faith left to return to the Promised Land. And she shows immense compassion and strength toward her daughters-in-law (Ruth being one of them) even in the midst of her own pain and sorrow. I would say Naomi has “messy” faith. On the one hand she seeks God, takes a step forward, and on the other hand she also doubts, taking a few steps back. [Read more…]
Welcome to the first official day of Bible study! We are glad that you can join us! There are almost 100 of you, which is very exciting! If you have not been added to the private Facebook page yet, please email email@example.com and we will get you added to that page.
Philippians 2:14-15 Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
This verse was not designed to get our children to clean their rooms or for Personal Trainers to get clients to eat broccoli and run. It may be of use in these contexts and I would be lying if I didn’t admit to using it in similar circumstances, but I think this verse could change our lives if we applied it to our morning routines.
Have you stood in front of a mirror and complained? Have you stepped on a scale and complained? Have you looked at the woman next to you and complained? Have you thought I don’t measure up, or I measure too much? Do you think if only just 10 pounds? If only my hair….? [Read more…]
We have exciting news! We are about to launch our first ever online Bible Study. The goal is to help keep you connected and to build relationships over the next two months. Here’s what you need to know if you want to get involved:
We call it holiday hangover. Everyone is recovering from two days of hyperactivity, wacky schedules and sugar overload. If your kids are a little bit “off” today, then it hit your house, too.
Before hubby and I even caught a whiff of coffee percolating this morning, my pajama-clad sweet things bickered over yesterday’s loot, both demanding first rights to pry open the new Play-Doh canisters. Our toddler begged to “eat candies” for breakfast, and big sister announced she wants Daddy to stay home from work forever. Meanwhile, I’m worried about early-onset arthritis from untwisting enough toy packaging wires to stretch from our playroom to the moon and back.
It makes a mom wonder—was the yuletide flurry worth the fallout?
There are some aspects of the Christmas season that I wish would linger a while longer. The intangible gifts we unwrap in our spirits—those are the real holiday takeaways.
. . . Hope swelling our hearts when “Silent Night” resounds through a candlelit church
. . . Unquestioning generosity toward people in need or hurting
. . . Camaraderie of neighbors uniting to share recipes, stories, memories
. . . Grandpa’s smile that welcomes us into his kitchen, grateful for one more Christmas together
. . . Laughing to tears with my sisters
. . . Pure delight shining on my favorite little faces when a thrashing of wrapping paper reveals the long-awaited doll, game, storybook—followed by thank-you hugs that don’t let go.
I think I’ll keep the tree up a few extra days, just as a reminder. Christmas doesn’t have to end when the calendar flips. Jesus was born to give us lasting peace and hope. Throughout the year, we can harbor all that is beautiful and true about the season.
The cookies and boxes can go.
Joy, adoration, kindness, benevolence, love—they are welcome to abide.
this post can be found on her blog, Time Out with Becky Kopitzke
If we all told the truth, there would be some serious ugh-ing over the thought of getting ready for the holidays. After all, good women bake 20 different types of cookies, work out 3 times a week (maybe more during cookie time), cook nutritious and authentic cultural meals all while decorating the interior of their house with lights, reds and greens, silvers and golds. Then there is the infamous shopping list. Presents to wrap, grandma to pick up, and yikes. . . I forgot to get Jimmy a gift!
As a family therapist, I know that Christmas can be filled with sorrow and grief. Families are suffering loss—of a job, of a relationship, of a parent, of a child. Good people are struggling with chronic conditions—addiction, mental illness, physical debilitation, cancer. Loved ones are going through changes and life transitions in which the outcome is yet unknown. All of these situations cause a sense of instability and instill fear. They drain one of energy and make doing even the simplest of tasks seem monumental.
Pressure mounts as we attempt to do it all even though our bodies are dragging and our hearts are not able to engage in the “cheer”. As we head into the Christmas season, I ask myself—how do I want to feel the day of Christmas Eve? How about that evening? How about Christmas Day? Do I want to feel relaxed? Do I want to be at peace, and feel the peace of Christ and His birth radiating from my heart? Do I want to take my time and linger on my children’s faces and remember the gift of these memories together? Do I want to laugh and feel light hearted? My answer is yes. This is what I want. And with that goal in mind, I now make a plan for how I am going to achieve that. [Read more…]