How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Concidence "Game" (also known in normal computer land as The Confidence Game:)

Hello, dear friends...from South Dakota!!!

This should be interesting since I am writing from my iPhone. I am used to typing the old fashioned way with ALL ten fingers and not just with thumbs, but right now I am thrilled I have this technology to stay in touch with you...even if it is through "thumbing it out" rather than typing:). So all that to say, this is going to be short!

This week we are going to be discussing "confidence." What did you girls discover taking the "Confidence Robbers Checklist"? Did God show you any areas where Satan was "playing games" with your self-esteem? Did any verse on page 73 particularly impact you?

Well, girls, the thumbs are beginning to cramp:). I can't wait to hear from you!

Sending love from South Dakota!!!!



  1. I'm chuckling, Cherri, cause I bet you have an auto-word thingy on your iPhone since your title says the "Coincidence Game". You did mean confidence right? I just posted my last comment on humility but think I put it in the wrong place. Well maybe I'll learn this blogging thing eventually. :-)

    BTW, we're in Wisconsin but will be in SDakota around Thurs-Fri this week! Have fun!

  2. LOL!!! You are so right, Diane!!! I did mean "confidence game." I do have auto correct and this screen is so stinkin' small. Not my favorite way to write posts.

    I am leaving this wonderful state Friday morning. It is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful here in the Black Hills. I hope you will be blessed as much as I have been. Love you...Cherri

  3. Well I am loving this week on confidence I think the thing that has really helped me (all of it has) but the one thing was to be aware of extreme thinking. The postive self talk also was so good. The verse that is so awesome is Romans 12:4-5. Just as our bodies has many parts and every part has a function, so it is with the body of Christ. When we function as we are called to, the work of the kingdom get done. Amen!!!

  4. What I love about this study is how it's exposing weaknesses I had not recognized in myself. Like confidence -- you girls know me. I thought "Humility was a killer, perhaps confidence should be easier, after all -- I'm confident!" (At that point perhaps I should've reviewed humility again.)

    Anyway, my greatest weakness is comparing myself to others who I see as more "successful" (this has multiple meanings) especially in ministry. I berate myself thinking I should be more like them. I loved Rick Warren's comment about God saying "Why weren't you more like you?" Reminds me of another book I read where the author said with the power of the Holy Spirit we don't change into somebody else, we become "youier" -- what God made us to be.

    Anyway, I see this comparison thing for what it is and want to focus on knowing (1) I belong to God, (2) I am part of His body made for His glory, and (3) He is more than able to guide me to be what He has made me to be. I don't have to be like anyone else. I can rest in that. And as Bettie says...Amen!

  5. Hello, dear friends!

    I am finally back in California, but I learned a lot in South Dakota. Wouldn't you know that during the week on "Confidence" I would be spending it with probably the most confident woman I know, my cousin, Mary. It was interesting to kind of study her this past week while reading this chapter. One thing in particular stood out to me: She is not in the least self-conscious. We had a situation while I was back there where God very slyly turned the tables on me.

    Thoughout my childhood, my father would talk of a ranch in South Dakota where he was raised. The stories he told were the magical kind...stories of lightening balls circling their braided rug in the living room during a thunderstorm, of crystal caves and the remains of Indian encampments, of cattle round-ups, blizzards, arrowheads and riding his horse over freshly plowed fields after a rain looking for arrowheads. Every time we go to South Dakota we drive by this ranch, stop on the road and take pictures. I was talking with Mary about the ranch, which her mother was raised on as well, and Mary said she would go with us this time and ask if we could go on back to the remains of original ranch house. She added at the end..."The worst they can do is say, 'No.'" Well, one afternoon, I was out driving around with my mom, my husband, my son, his wife and my four granddaughters when we happened to be passing "the ranch." Of course we stopped, intending only to look from the road as usual. So we were in the process of taking pictures when a man drove into the driveway. Of course, he was looking at us like "What in the world?" For all I know he could have been thinking: "There are the same loonies that come by nearly every year and snap pictures from the road!" I had no choice but to go talk to him as he excited his car. When I explained the situation, He smiled and said, "Go on up there...take us much time as you want." We had a marvelous time and a few days later took my aunt up to the ranch as well, and to make the blessing complete, I taped my aunt as she recalled her memories growing up on the ranch!

    This is what I learned: My lack of self-confidence and courage sometimes steals from me blessings I could have had. Mary's comment at the end of my conversation with her echoed back to me as I walked towards the man in the car that day. I loved that God put me in a position where the only choice at the moment was to walk forward with a smile on my face and hope for the best and that He had very lovingly prepared me before hand.

    I realized that what I need to work on in this area of confidence is not to be so stinkin' self-conscious. My inward focus is a pronounced handicap in my life that I had never really acknowledged before this week. I am grateful that God was so obvious with me (He knows He HAS to be) and I will be working on this area in prayer with Him. I am tired of being robbed!!! I love what you said, Diane, "He is more than able to guide me to be what He has made me to be." Yes! Yes! Yes! Amen!!!

  6. Ugh, I just posted a long post, but it disappeared. I'll try again.

  7. Well, I just finished the confidence chapter this morning and God is sure stirring up some things for me. Diane, I can certainly relate to comparing yourself to others and not measuring up. For me, my struggle is in the area of managing my home. I am always working on it, but I seem to stop short of finishing many tasks. It feels like some sort of self-sabotage so that each time I come across another half-finished job, I am reminded of my inadequacy. It feels like there is something deeper at the root of this, like not loving or accepting myself in this area of my life that keeps me from succeeding, keeps me from having that sense of satisfaction. I'm sure if I was tested, which I have no interest in being, I might have adult ADD with as scattered as my mind can be, but I see many ways God uses me in spite of this, so I do have a positive sense of worth overall. But in this one area, I feel such defeat. There are two parts to it really. There's the practical side where I could use a plan that I would stick to to be more productive and develop better habits, but the bigger part is how I feel about myself in this and the negative self-talk that is so prevalent. Each time I come across another task left undone, or another area of my house that needs attention, or that all too common experience of not having any idea what we're having for dinner, I think and believe that I am such a failure. I definitely compare myself to others who just seem to get how to keep things rolling smoothly, have the meals planned for the month, have a routine that works, have their house nicely decorated, etc. This always leaves me feeling "less than".

    I don't want to let that defeated thinking go on unchecked. So, my next action step is from page 90. I'll use my own measuring stick. Instead of comparing myself with others, I will compare my efforts with how I did the last time and remember how God feels about me. AND that this one area of my life is not the measure of my value.

    And just to clarify, my house is not a pig sty and I have people over often, so it's not likely you'll see me on the next episode of "Hoarding", but I'd love to get more organized and feel more successful. So, I'm going to be ready to recognize the condemning thoughts when they come, and practice thinking what is true, doing my best, but giving myself grace when I fall short. Light bulbs of understanding are going off in my head, so I trust God is bringing this up to free me and bring victory.

    So, after all that rambling, if any of you have any thoughts or have struggled in a similar way, I'd love to hear from you. :)

    Time for a little "big picture" thinking, I am so blessed, and am really enjoying my life right now. This is not a huge deal, but it is an area where the enemy is trying to rob me, and I want my thinking to agree with God's and I want victory.

    Robin :)

    Thank you for "listening". Hope it makes sense.

  8. Robin,

    It makes complete sense to me. I have never been a "cleanie" though I have always wanted to be. During the young years of my family, when I was in the midst of raising children and trying my hardest to balance all the family's activities along with keeping a house, I found that something had to give. There just was not enough hours in a day to get it all done. There was ALWAYS a pile of clean laundry on my living room sofa; consequently, I had a friend at the time who dubbed that never eroding pile "Mount Never Rest." The truth was I honestly thought folding and putting away clean clothes a complete waste of my precious time when they would all be dirty in a few days anyways!

    I wanted so much to be like my wonderful homemaking friends that I was constantly trying to "fix" myself. There were times when I would read the latest "Get Yourself Organized" book, and I would be inspired and clean the house from top to bottom and nobody would come over to see my amazing "makeover." The minute the house got completely out of hand, my mother-in-law would stop by on her way home from the grocery store to see the kids, and I would be mortified. Talk about negative self talk...I despised myself and would beg God to change me. I remember one time asking Him not to let me die until I had learned how to keep my house clean. (I could get very dramatic:) I hated the thought of leaving this life without having victory in this area.

    Now, my house is cleaner and more organized because, frankly, hardly anyone lives here anymore, I have time to invest in keeping my home up, and I have watched, emulated and taken the advice of some very talented friends. To this very day, none of this comes easily or naturally to me, and I still don't enjoy housework. I would rather be outside or sitting with friends talking ANY DAY rather than washing a dish, dusting a table or scrubbing a floor.

    One time when I was telling my sister how much I envied those women who were naturally organized and the "cleanies" of the world, she (who is a wonderful cleanie herself) told me that she loved me just the way I was because I could let the dishes go and focus instead on people and relationship rather than the stuff that needed to be done. This helped me to see that though I might not be gifted with an organizational mind, God had given me gifts in other areas that were valuable as well.

    I think that you are a relationship person, Robin. Housework and organization might not be your favorite either, but relationship with others is. There is a lot of good in that.

    On the practical side, something I learned from my "cleanie" friends that has helped me loads is to tackle one small area at a time. One of my friends came over and started me in a kitchen drawer and showed me how she would organize it. Another of my very organized friends told me to choose one task that I could commit to do EVERY TIME, creating a habit and then build on that. I couldn't even think what one task would be good to choose, so she chose for me (she was my "Mount Never Rest" friend). The task she chose was to fold Peter's undershirts. I know it probably sounds silly to many, but it worked for me:)

    We need our organized friends, our "cleanie" friends and our relational and our "stop to smell the roses" friends because we learn from each other such valuable life lessons. What a blessing it is that each sister can use her God given talents and gifts to bless another

    Robin, you, my dear friend, are so gifted in ideas and vision, in friendship and encouragement and you have given of these gifts so liberally...I'll bet there are some sweet organized, HDTV watching, cleanie sisters out there who would love to help and inspire you.

    Thanks for your humble honesty...

    Love you sooooo...


  9. Thank you, Cherri. You're so sweet and encouraging and you get me. :) After writing yesterday, I felt pretty exposed, and questioned myself as I often do after being "publicly" vulnerable. But, just writing out my thoughts has been so helpful and has allowed God to shine His light of truth on the lies I've been allowing myself to believe.

    It's true, Cherri, I'd much rather sit and talk with a friend any day than scrub my floor, BUT, I do like a clean house! The answer? housekeeper! :) jk

    We're just Marys doing our best to do our necessary "Martha" duties. And I want to do them as worship unto the Lord and set a decent example for my girls. What if they marry "Dinner must be on the table at 6:00." kind of guys? The enemy has guilted me with that one a ton, but no more! God loves me and accepts me just as I am - He made me a Mary! And His grace is sufficient; and my girls will be fine. They will have their own hurdles and God will lovingly guide them as He has me. I love Him so!

    So, after writing yesterday, I was so productive and I even enjoyed it! And we had a yummy dinner too. :)

    And Cherri, I meant to comment on your post yesterday, but I was too self-focused apparently. I loved reading about your experience and the great blessing you received because you asked. I love it! I'm a firm believer in the idea that "It never hurts to ask". Just ask my kids. (I've often said it would be on my headstone some day.) Oops, there I go again - this is not about me.

    May God continue to grow in you that confidence and courage as you discover more sweet blessings along the way. And welcome home! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. What special memories you'll treasure always.

    Love you!

  10. Thank you, Robin, for being so honest and open. I know it took a lot of courage for you to offer your personal struggles to an audience...even a loving and supportive one such as this.

    Just wanted you to know that you are appreciated and that I am celebrating with you...smiling at this computer screen...over your success!!!!

    Have a great week! I am off to North Carolina tonight on a red-eye.

    Love to you, too!

  11. My dearest "Marys" --

    As a recovering "Martha" let me say that we envy the Marys who can "let it go". The challenge for both of us is finding the balance to finish those things that are important and let go of those things that are not.

    Robin, there is such freedom in exposing ourselves, isn't there?

    My challenge (and now I'm exposing myself here) is that I think somehow I've missed the boat and I'm not doing all the things I should be to have a more significant ministry. When the interview for the CEO of MOPS came up, I was speaking fairly regularly and I thought "wow, God is really moving! Here we go!" Screeeeeeeeeeching halt.

    Enter the "measuring" thing. Pam Farrell is co-author with my friend Doreen, and we have become friends. We're on FB together and I see how this woman is one incredible dynamo -- she has written 35 books, speaks full-time, mentors women. Extremely challenging & a non-stop dynamo. Plus she's just so darned personable and down-to-earth friendly.

    Every time I read her posts I stick my measuring stick up to hers and mine reads "lazy, unfocused, see what you could be if you just did..."

    So Katie really brought it home with the whole comparing myself. So that's my focus. One day at a time, doing what He calls me to do, not doing what He doesn't call me to do. So whether it's housework or ministry, or sitting with my hubby to watch TV, I'm pretty sure following His lead on a moment-by-moment basis is the answer.

    May we all become what He has made us to be and be more-than satisfied!


  12. After reading all the posts on confidence, I realize we are all definately sisters. I compare myself with those around me quite often, and, in so many areas. Like Cherri, I think I was born worried, or learned it at a very young age...ha! I often obsess about housework, and other things, which I think stems from insecurities( which I am trying to dump with the rest of Satin's lies...) What I think struck me the most in this chapter is that our confidence is to come from God, and the other is that we see our problems as unique, but we don't see our potential as unique. Yesterday, reading over the verses I chose to memorize as part of "breaking free", I came across 2, Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence:and his children shall have a place of refuge. The other: Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great promise of reward. So many of our battles are in the mind, no wonder we are told to think on these things.

  13. Just a side note to my friend,Diane, you have no idea how much influence you have and how successful your ministry is... and that is AT PRESENT... I, for one, am very grateful for you, your testimony & your ministry. I often share lessons learned in bible studies with friends, family, and yes, I have learned so much. I know we just studied pride last week, but please don't sell yourself short. I love you. You are a blessing.

  14. The great thing about the book, or maybe the not-so-great thing, is that it keeps broadening definitions for me. I knew before reading this chapter that I wasn’t the most confident gal, but I didn’t realize how many things I let steal my confidence, leaving me with a “less than” feeling. My need to control, deflecting compliments, downplaying, comparisons, and worst of all futuring was all robbing me of self-confidence and I didn’t even realize it.
    I can identify with all of you. Cherri, I often don’t ask, because what would that person that I barely know think of me? Why do I care their opinion of me? What do I fear? I’m not sure, but I’m going to change it since I never realized the blessing I might be missing out on. The really sad thing – I see the same behavior in one of my kids. Hopefully I can begin to set a new example that will help to break it.
    Robin, I desire a clean home. In fact, I want an organized spotless home so much that I probably tantrum once a month where I scream and yell, clean the house and then fall into despair because my hard work has been undone right behind me. Then I figure I might as well do nothing, it’s all wasted time and I seem like a better mom when the house is messy. It’s that extreme thinking Bettie mentioned; an all or nothing mentality bites my butt on so many occasions. Clarity is coming more often and I am finding a median, but for a while we didn’t have anyone over because of my perception of chaos and fearfulness of people thinking I was a slob. I’m not sure why I would feel that way, because there is nothing I like more than going to someone’s house that is “real,” who doesn’t make excuses but just welcomes me in their home and whose white grout is as black as mine.
    Much like Diane, I compare. Not necessarily as nice as Diane does it, mine stretches a bit farther than ministry, but never-the-less it’s comparison. Homes, family, my writing, ministry, and my body…and this is the short list. It’s all so conditional. Conditional on my mood, on whether I’m bloated, what I perceive others to be thinking. This is also the area where I often wrap futuring in and some more extreme thinking.
    As crazy and broken as I sound, the times I am most confident is when I don’t even realize it. Years ago, when Cherri and I did a Bible study together one of us was going to speak at a meeting. (Cherri may remember the details better than me.) We prayed Isaiah 50:4 “The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.” I have prayed that prayer before I speak and I have had complete confidence in it, because it came from God’s Word. He has proven faithful over taking me with his Spirit to encourage with boldness and authority. It’s only afterwards when I’m home that I replay everything and begin to doubt and have to call a friend to sort it out. If only I could keep that confidence for more than a half an hour…I’m gonna figure that one out. ;)

  15. After reading all these posts, I had to sit back and take a deep breath. I'm glad I don't have to speak this because the lump in my throat is tremendous. Not necessarily because I am sad, though I am really ticked that our enemy has lied to us over the years, keeping us suffering in prisons of shame until now, but I hear such honesty and determination in the words written that as I read them I can nearly hear those walls crumbling at the feet of Jesus!

    As I wrote this, Zephaniah 3:17 came to mind:

    "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

    Thank you, dear sisters, for sharing your hearts so openly, loving so freely, encouraging and supporting each other so sweetly. These are the kinds of things I believe cause the Lord our God to rejoice with singing:)I love the thought of it!

    Talk to you from North Carolina this coming week!

    Love you...


  16. Cherri - you travel as much as I do! Thanks for your leadership. Lynn, thank you for your sweet words; they meant a lot. And Erica, my comparison goes far beyond ministry, I was afraid if I started making a list we might run out of 'paper.' LOL.

    You girls are great & I'm blessed to be walking this road together with you.



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