Faith

Chapter 8 Review

A Time for Fruitfulness and Replenishment

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. Ecclesiastes 3:5

‘Just as God has a plan that bolsters the fruitfulness of trees, He also has a plan to develop the fruitfulness in our lives. In seasons of life, God will call us to gather-to become highly active and productive. In other seasons of life, God will call us to scatter- to become less active and productive so we can recover and become rejuvenated. Times of fruitfulness and replenishment are necessary in our lives if we’re going to grow into all God has for us.’

I am most definitely in a “scatter” season. As most of you know I went through a divorce last year. Anyone who has been through a divorce knows how painful it is. So many emotions and stages of grief. For me I feel relief, anger, failure, sadness, and happiness depending on what day it is. Because I have all these emotions that I’m dealing with I feel like I can’t share or post because a lot of ugly comes out. 😬 So I know before I can write and share about my divorce or anything else about my life, I need to heal. That’s why you see more posts from Elena these days than from me….and because she is a better writer, but whatever! Lol

I am not normally a person who likes to sit alone and do nothing but it is exactly what I need for now. I am figuring out who I am, what I want to do in life, and what makes me happy. I have set goals for myself and I’m working towards them. I am easily distracted so being solo, staying home, and never going out helps me stay on track. 😂

Most days I feel like I can’t meet my goals, that I’m not smart enough, and I’m not strong enough but it’s all fear. I know that God has a plan for my life and I’m excited about the future!

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

-Erin 🙌🏻

Faith

Chapter 7 A Time to Remain Faithful

A time to weep,

And a time to laugh,

A time to mourn,

And a time to dance.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

This Chapter opens with the story of Elizabeth and Zacharias. If you’re unfamiliar with them they are the most remarkable couple in the Bible. ‘Both known for being righteous before God. Yet despite their faithfulness, the couple struggled with infertility.’

I honestly thought about reviewing this chapter without touching on their story. But at the last minute I decided I should because I know so many women struggle with infertility. I can’t relate to it, but my heart goes out for the ones who have struggled.

You can read their story in the book of Luke, Chapter 1 Verses 1-25.

‘We all go through times of sadness and loss as well as times of hope and joy.’

‘But no matter what season of life we’re in-whether marked by hardship and pain or great joy and celebration-we can remain true and faithful to God even in the midst of our experiences.’

‘We can trust that God can transform our most painful and difficult areas into emblems of beauty and inspiring stories of restoration.’

I love that the Bible helps us not feel so alone when going through difficult times. That since the beginning of time people have struggled and God’s restoration gives us hope.

We all have this fear to share our struggles and I’m not sure why. I’m not sure if we are scared of being judged, (which let’s be honest they will no matter what)? OR is it because we want to look perfect and put together? Life isn’t perfect, people are not perfect, and life is full of disappointments. But by sharing our stories and opening up about our struggles and how you got through that terrible season and into a season of joy could help someone else and give that person hope.

Whether our current season of life is marked by hardship and pain or great joy and celebration, we can remain faithful knowing that God remains with us.’

-Erin

Faith

Chapter 6 A time to Reassess

A time to break down, And a time to build up.

In order for us to know if it’s a time to break down or a time to build up, we need to know what season we are in. We need to reflect on the past (where we have been) and where God is leading us. To reassess requires us to prayerfully seek God.

I know that I am in a season of rebuilding. I have more alone time than I like but it has allowed me to spend countless hours reassessing my life. I had a vision of how I thought my life would end up and unhappily ever after was not the plan! Lol

Now that I am in my rebuilding stage, it is so overwhelming that it is paralyzing some days. I feel like God is opening a door somewhere and it’s immediately shut and the rethinking begins. Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and give up. But thankfully each day is a new day to start again and allow God to take the wheel.

One thing I know for sure in life is that you can’t force things. So I’ll continue to open doors to only have them close until the right door opens. All I can do is continue to pray that He will work out the details. My trust is in Him.

The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!

What doesn’t kill me, will only make me stronger! 🙌🏻

-Erin

Faith

Chapter 5 A Time to Heal

Hope for the wounded

a time to kill and a time to heal .Ecclesiastes 3:3

In this chapter we learn about two types of wounds. The physical wounds, which sometimes take a while to heal and can be alleviated with modern first aid practices. Then there are wounds on the inside, unseen …which are the hardest to overcome. Whether emotional or relational they can be more complicated to heal.

God draws close to those who are wounded and broken hearted.

“Through His Holy Spirit, God comforts, encourages, and heals us in areas of our souls and spirits that medical science can’t explain.”

Throughout the chapter there are questions to help dig deeper and get you thinking. One of the questions that stuck out for me is ‘Which do you tend to heal from more quickly, the scrapes and bruises of life that people can see or the scrapes and bruises of life that people can’t see? ‘

I would definitely say the scrapes and bruises of life that people can see are much easier to heal from. People carry a lot of heavy things inside whether it is hidden sin, things that happened in their childhood, things that happened behind closed doors, or regrets from their past. It’s those things that eat at you, that make you question yourself, question others and cause you to have doubts. While some people are self destructive, others have had someone cause them hidden pain. The good news is there is hope if you draw close to Him.

Psalms 147:3 He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.

The same God that opened the eyes of the blind, allowed the deaf to hear, and the crippled to walk can heal your wounds!

Entrust yourself to God as your healer.

-Erin

Faith

Chapter 4 A Time to Transition

I skipped over Chapter 3 because I didn’t realize that the study broke up the first part of Ecclesiastes 3:2 in two chapters.

a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,”

Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

So Chapter 4 talks all about the second half of the verse, a time to plant and a time to uproot.

I am usually a creature of habit and not big on changing things up. I say that as I am in the middle of transition after going through my divorce. But normally I don’t like change that’s why I get the same exact latte at Starbucks every single time I go, I have tacos every single Tuesday, and depending on which restaurant I’m at I get the same exact meal I get every single time at that particular restaurant. If I find something I like why would I risk trying something different?! I don’t want to spend money on something I hate and then end up being hot mad the rest of the day. Nope, not gonna do it!!

So here I am now going through a transition season. I’m living by myself half the time and a single parent the other half. So my whole world has been completely turned upside down and as much as I know it needed to happen, it’s been hard at times. I worry for my girls, I worry about finances, and I worry about how I will find the perfect full time job that will fit best with my girls schedule. It’s scary and overwhelming all at once.

I know some of you love change, everyday is a new adventure and it’s exciting for you. But I am not that person! I have found ways to make this time exciting like decorating my new place, going to the movies by myself, and sleeping in past 9am! Lol

Change isn’t easy for most people. But rest assured that whenever you face a time of transition, God is with you. He longs to see you to a more fruitful life in Him.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Revelation 22:13

On top of everything else that I am going through, I also wrecked and totaled my car about a month ago. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I totaled a car that I had only owned for a solid month. So the worrying began, what will insurance cover, what will I drive until they figure that out, etc. I had to completely put all my trust in God because He is the only one who can work those type of details out.

If we believe, truly believe that God is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End then we need to start loving change, embrace what life throws at us, and know that everything will work out in His perfect way.

After two weeks of not having a car and fighting with a really crappy dealership I have a car again. I have a cute little apartment that I got to decorate the way I like and my girls see me being the best me during the storms of life. I am really trying hard to keep a positive attitude no matter what life throws at me because I know that the One who created me will be with me from the beginning to the end. I will rest in Him.

-Erin 🙏🏻🙌🏻

Faith

Chapter 2 A Time for New Beginnings

“a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This chapter is all about how God uses us to share the love of Christ with others. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you have done God can use you to spread His Love and bring Him glory. God loves to work through us but sometimes the work He is doing is within us.

‘ One of the most exciting things about being a Child of God is that God is always up to something new.’

When Elena and I decided to start this blog we both had a lot going on. We both had lost friends, made friends and my almost 14 year marriage was coming to an end. We were excited to share with people our likes, dislikes, and our love for God. But we were also and still are super nervous about sharing and getting personal about our lives.

I feel like my life is a wreck most days, that I have failed, and that I have nothing to offer. I know that’s not true but we all have things happen in life. So instead of thinking I’m a failure because of things coming to an end, I know that God is doing something new within me. I am not the same person I was, I have learned from my past and I am becoming the person God has called me to be. I still have a long way to go but I’m excited about the new things happening around me.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

It’s comforting to know that even if I have failed today that tomorrow is a new day. That my story isn’t over and the best is yet to come. My hope is that by us sharing our stories we can help others to not feel alone.

God is good y’all!

-Erin

Faith

Bible Study: Chapter 1- A Time for Everything 🦋

For our new study we have chosen the Women of Faith series study guide, A Time For Everything: Discovering the Beautiful Rhythm of Life. I love the layout of this series. We don’t have to flip back and forth to answer questions and I feel as though the questions make us reflect more on our own lives without being repetitive. I love reading Bible excerpts and comparing them to my own life, but I also want the study to help me better myself. As a parent we go through so many stages all different in their own right. So I’m really excited to get started and reflect on the seasons of my life as a parent, wife, friend, etc. as we go through this study.

“God’s timing is not our own. Rest assured that God has a time for everything under heaven. And He is with you every step of the way.”

Chapter 1 tells us to reflect on the seasons of the year as in comparison to seasons of our lives. I love the seasons, all 4 of them. I’m always ready for a change when they near the end….change of clothes, temperatures, holidays, decor and activities. Each season has its pros and cons but they all have something special about them. I have to admit I don’t feel the same way when I think about seasons in life. In life, change scares the heck out of me! I love order, schedules and routines. Changes in life are often preceded or followed by the unknown. The unknown makes me anxious. I don’t like to play out scenarios because there’s too any variables. So all too often when the possibility of change is near me I avoid it. I don’t want to talk about it or think about it. But once I come through whatever the life change is I realize it’s all good. I made it and no doubt God carried me through.

“Every season of life provides an opportunity to learn something more about God. Though we don’t always get to choose our season of life, we can always choose to call out to God and worship Him in the midst.”

Right now we are knee deep in summer. Hot, humid days here in New England, we’ve had some days approaching 90 degrees. But in the season of my life I would probably say I’m currently in winter. I’m in a bit of a hibernating stage. Not really looking to be social but instead focusing on my family & myself. For me that’s not hard because I’m a bit of an introvert (ok really a lot of an introvert 😬). Some seasons have been harder than others and when my kids were littler, my husband at work and me home taking care of them I felt lonely at times and wished for more adult social interaction. But I managed and became a better parent because I focused on them at the time. Now socializing is the farthest from my mind and my priorities have shifted a bit. So although some of the seasons seem harder than others for various reasons, looking back I can see how God uses them to make us better and bring us closer to Him.

What I’ve taken out of this chapter is to trust that whatever season we are in or phase of life we’re dealing with, God has us there for a reason. Trust in Him. He knows what He is doing and in due time we will reflect and say ‘oh, I get it now!’

💗Elena