Thursday, April 29, 2010

Book Club Thursday- The Confident Woman Chapter Seventeen

You Go Girl!
Oh, you just have to love the title of the last chapter in The Confident Woman! And you have to admit that Joyce is just so super cool (we tell Addie this constantly- especially when she is wearing sunglasses)!

Don't forget to check out Kristi's blog to see what her thoughts on this chapter are. Kristi is another super-cool person in my book!

Joyce ends her book giving several reminders and pointers on how to carry on the life of a woman whose confidence is found in the Lord. As always, Joyce's words are printed in bold type. I don't know why, but I feel like I am in school writing the final exam essay before summer vacation!

Confident Talk and a Confident Walk

Don't dread the day, attack the day. Know what you want to accomplish today and go for it. I loved this! I am the kind of person who loves knowing what to expect and what my goals are going to be. I have grown in this area in the sense that if I don't hit every item on my list, I no longer get down on myself. I have my list ready, and in the evenings I look forward to the next day, and I am ready to attack...until the alarm clock goes off at 5:30. At that point I don't feel much like attacking, but as I get moving, the more motivated I am to accomplish each goal.

Having a goal to shoot for really helps me in having a definite direction to go in. But I have also learned not to be bound by my list. It is there as a guide for me, but sometimes, as life happens, I have to be willing to change course and go in another direction (another lesson I am learning). But having a starting point and a finish point helps the day move in a direction.

Smile

Smile a lot. People tend to gravitate towards others who smile. A person who genuinely smiles makes us feel comfortable and helps us to be ourselves. It only takes 17 muscles to smile as opposed to 43 muscles to frown. Even babies who have not yet learned anything about communication understand a smile.

Before Addie turned one, she seemed like a very serious baby. In fact, many of her month by month pictures do not show her smiling. However, once her little personality kicked in, that smile of hers blossomed and just lights up the room. In fact, when we are ou and about, people comment about her smile and just how friendly she is. You can even see them smiling as they walk away. Addie is ever the joker and loves to see people smile. If she does something that got a chuckle out of someone, she keeps doing it just to hear them laugh. She also likes for us to smile. In fact, if I am not smiling (like when Addie is trouble), she will try making those sweet, innocent faces that will make me smile (Moms, you know those looks. The ones you have to turn you head so that they don't see you as you try to hold back the laughter because you are supposed to be upset and they can't know they made you laugh! Oh, Mom, now I understand!).

Confident Talk

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it (for death or life). Proverbs 18:21

It is always so easy to speak the first thing that pops into our minds, and so often it has a negative tone to it. We need to remember that God's Word always holds true and our words hold tremendous power. How we use those words will in many cases determine the direction that our lives take.

If we really understood the power in words, I think we would change the way we talk. Recently, someone close to us told Addie that she was a flirt because she was being friendly (the way Brian and I have taught her to be) to some retired gentlemen at a restaurant. Those words hurt severely because, first of all, a 2 year old has no concept of what being a flirt means, and secondly, this person does not understand the power of words. Right away, I took those words to the Throne and left them there. I also tried, in a respectful way, to explain that Addie was just being friendly the way we are teaching her to be, especially to those who are older than we are.

Our words are like seeds and our hearts are the soil. We can either plant wonderful words into the lives of those around us or we can plant damaging words. When we understand the power of our words, I think it will make it easier to plant wonderful words in the lives of others.

Speak Life to Yourself.

Speak God's Word over your life. There are so many words out there, but there is only one set of words that really matter- God's Word. His Word brings light into the darkness, faith to the faithless, and life to where death had been.

For those of us who are wives and mothers, we are always speaking God's Word and encouragement to those around us- husbands, children, etc. We often forget to speak God's Word into our own lives. We need to constantly remember to speak God's Word into our lives, our marriages, children, finances, homes, gardens (that was for me- no more talking about dead plants for me!), and any other area you can think of. God's Word brings life, so speak it boldly!

Confident Talk Rubs Off

When I was teaching, I used to tell my students, "You are the best 4th (or 5th) grade class in the whole school!" They would all giggle and then shout back in unison, "We're the only 4th (or 5th) grade class in the whole school!" However, God used that sentence to bring confidence to my students. As the year would go on, I would see a sort of pride (in a good way) in the fact that they were 4th or 5th graders.

If we speak confidently (not pridefully), our confidence will rub off on those around us and they will feel confident, too. From Addie's birth, she has been told what a blessing she is, what a good girl she is, how proud of her we are, how much we love her, and how smart Jesus made her. She has an amazing confidence about her. She walks (more like runs) with her head up, and never views herself as being less than what God made her to be.

Have a Confident Expectation

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace [the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners], that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-times help, coming just when we need it]. Hebrews 4:16

So many times we are afraid to ask God for anything. When we do ask, we usually put the disclaimer, "and if you choose not to (we really mean can't), I will accept that as Your will." With that kind of attitude, it is a wonder at all that we have answered prayers.

We need to approach God without relying on all of the "stuff" we have heard our whole lives but based on what His Word says. We have heard that He may not. His Word says that He can. We have heard that we are in a new era of the church. His Word does not give an expiration date for any of His gifts, promises, and blessings.

If you have not seen the movie Faith Like Potatoes, I would encourage you to do so. It is a true story based on the life of a South African farmer who came to know the Lord as an adult. Because he had no prior "religious" background, he did not know about the "box" that many of us put God in. He believed only what the Bible said about God and His ability to do anything. Because of the confident expectations he had in the power of God, God answered his prayers and used him mightily.

It's a New Day

I am going to end this post by leaving you with Joyce's closing remarks. I think they say it all.

You go girl! It is a new day. There are no hindrances. The door is wide open for you to realize your dreams. Walk confidently into your future and never look back!

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