Meet Susie… a Courageous Prayer Warrior {Learning from Job}

Originally posted on Heartfelt Reflections:

As I mentioned when I introduced Jen in my last post, suffering, pain, and trials in life are inevitable.  Each of us has been and will be affected by the fact that we live in a fallen world where bad things happen… even to very good people.  Where’s the good news in all of that?   The good news is that we have a loving God who is always in charge.  He can speak to us through pain and draw us close to Him for our eternal good and His own glorification.

//If you’ve been following along for a while, you know we’ve been studying from the book of Job.  Learning and studying is one thing, but living it out is quite another!  God laid a few very special, godly women on my heart during the writing of this study who face suffering, pain, and struggles on a daily…

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Meet Jen… a Woman Who Shines for God {Learning from Job}

Originally posted on Heartfelt Reflections:

Suffering, pain, and trials in life are inevitable.  We live in a fallen world where the effects of original sin touch each of our lives.  The good news is that we have a loving God who is always in charge .  He can speak to us through pain and draw us close to Him for our eternal good and His own glorification.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know we’ve been studying from the book of Job.  Learning and studying is one thing, but living it out is quite another!  God laid a few very special, godly women on my heart during the writing of this study who face suffering, pain, and struggles on a daily basis.  I know I have a lot to learn from them, so I interviewed them and asked permission to share their stories here with you.

Meet Jen… a Woman Who Shines…

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Yes. :) Really.

Hope.

Hope Lives.

His Name is Jesus. 

Call His Name. 

He is the Answer. 

Do Not Be Afraid.

Jesus is Hope Alive. 

He Loves You.

Yes. :) Really. 

He Loves Y O U. 

Jesus is Hope Alive.

Do Not Be Afraid.

He is the Answer.

Call His Name. 

His Name is Jesus.

Hope Lives. 

Hope.

 

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To Walk or Stay by: Lara Williams; a Book Review

To Walk or Stay by: Lara Williams; a Book Review

To have a friend, yes, even an online friend who pours her overflow of God’s blessings into your life is exactly the kind of friend I have in Lara. What’s more special to me is that she did so even before she knew I existed. Now, I’ve had tne honor to call Lara ‘friend’ for a couple of years and serve with her on the Hello Mornings Team. Yet, I didn’ know the depth of her walk through such a devasting valley. I knew however, that she does trust God.

God changed me quote from To Walk or Stay

Her new book, To Walk or Stay, Trusting God through Shattered Hopes and Suffocating Fears reminds me that each of us has something that we are being challenged by that few, if any know about. What Hope of yours has been shattered? What Fears have suffocated you? No matter the circumstance, we all can use a reminder to Trust God through it all & that He Keeps His Promises.You will find such Hope in this book, told against the backdrop of her valley in simple, honest voice.

Lara says,

“The ultimate point of this book is to show you how I wrestled before my God in the midst of a devastating valley and to testify to His faithful guidance.”

And, Lara has also already prayed for you. I too pray that you will be enCouraged by Lara’s book through which she pours an abundant overflow of blessings that spring from the depths of God’s Love. A Love that she dared to Believe in. We all have to make a daily choice. Will we Walk or Stay.

Be sure to pick up your copy of this New Book: To Walk or Stay. Trusting God through Shattered Hopes and Suffocating Fears.

Want even more blessings…visit Lara at: http://www.ToOverflowing.com

Please come back and let me know how Lara’s book has blessed you!
Love Ya! :)

Posted in Book Review, Christian LIving, Encouragement, Faith, Family, Husband, Lessons, Marriage, Pain, Suffering, Testimony, Trust, Uncategorized, Wife | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

100 pound loser ~ a book review & my renewed perspective

I had the usual struggles with weight and health that come with aging. At the age of 33, this 130 pound wife and mom of 2 was in the best shape of my life. Wham! Life hit me from behind. Yes, Literally, I & our then 7 & 9-year-old children were hit from behind by a semi. Yes, they are OK  That was exactly 14 years ago today. Now, our son will be 24 on January 6 and our daughter will be 22 on February 3. Praise \o/ the Lord for His Blessings!

That next year, while learning to live with ‘new normal life’, I ate and drank whatever gave me comfort, however temporary it was. Looking in the mirror one day, I discovered a frowning woman, whom I did not recognize…at first. As I looked closer, I found myself in her eyes and stared in silence, while awful reality seeped deep into my soul.

Soon afterwards, stepping on the scale at the Doctor’s office, I was horrified to learn the number that represented this stranger who looked at me in the mirror. The number confirmed my ‘new reality’. I had doubled my weight…in just. one. year. *long, slow sigh* From there I struggled from 260 pounds to 180 pounds. Victory! But then, life hit again. I was not prepared. I struggled still, yet, I found myself back to 220 pounds. Seems that I’ve been everywhere in between since. Today, my body weight is 195.8 pounds, a BMI of 33.42 (yes, I just weighed myself!), a renewed perspective, a long-term Goal of being a ’35.8 pound loser’ and Praising God that… 

I found myself this first week of the New Year 2013 sitting down to read this eBook called 100 Pound Loser: How I Ate What I Wanted, Had Four Babies, & Still Took Control Of My Weight – And You Can Too! by a sweet lady that I had kind of ‘met’ online via’ some twitter friends & her blog. I was thinking ‘This sounds like it will be a good book of encouragement. I’ll read this so I can share this encouragement with others. Maybe I’ll learn something new to help me lose a few pounds because the 30+ Pounds I need to lose, just seems out of reach for me now.’

I hear the word, Weight. And Ugh! Just the word brings on sad, frustrated, guilty & depressed feelings.  Do you look in the mirror and Smile? My answer was an un-hesitated “No. Not often”. So, when I read the Dedication of Jessica’s Book, “To every woman who has ever looked in the mirror and frowned: you are loved.” …hmm, I had a strange feeling that I might find more in this little book than just how to lose a few pounds. I was right.

Happy Surprise. Jessica is Not an Expert! I love that she is just. like. me. and I’m sure, just. like. you. She is a woman who wants to have a healthy body. I grew to like her more and more as I read. I felt as if we were having a conversation in my living room, each of us, curled up on either end the couch with mugs of hot coffee, a roaring fire in the fireplace, snow falling outside the window… Ahem…ok so yes, I like winter and I really liked her straightforward, conversational style of writing.

She is honest. She is authentic. She is simply sharing her story and perspective with humor and candidness to encourage us and cheer for us as we reclaim our health. Knowing there is someone else out there who experienced the struggle, has won the battle while still fighting the good fight provides a support. It will be a continued struggle. (I said she’s honest.) However, I can take control of my body. I am not alone in this struggle. When you read this book, you will know that You can take control of your body. You are not alone either.

As I was reading, I found that I could declare as Jessica did, “things had to change.”. I love that Jessica refers to 1 Corinthians 6:19 in her book. She gives great encouragement to all of us who have ever struggled with body image. I must admit that I struggled with body image even when I was at a healthy weight. Her idea of beginning with rejecting was a brilliant move! Nope…you’ll have to read it for yourself to see what I mean. All I will say is that my perspective is now in its proper place again…and will keep it there with the help of her many tips and insights.

I shared a little part of my story  with you so you may understand just how much Jessica’s story means to me. (gulp…those numbers are out there now!) I was taken by surprise at just how God is using Jessica and her book in my life at this moment…His Perfect Timing. Saturday, January 5, 2013 is the 14th Anniversary of the accident. I am posting this review on this date because I am creating a Positive Moment to Remember on January 5ths in the future. I am excited to say . . . I have a Proper Perspective. -35.8 pounds is a ‘do-able’ Goal. I’ll be Celebrating all future January 5ths as a ‘Pound Loser-Health Finder’ Anniversary!

So…What do YOU have to Lose?! Improper perspective? A negative body image? Bad eating habits? Self-control issues? A few pounds or 100 pounds? 

No Matter what Your Goals Are this year, I know you’ll be encouraged by Jessica and her book, 100 Pound Loser: How I Ate What I Wanted, Had Four Babies, & Still Took Control Of My Weight – And You Can Too!

*Grab a Copy of Jessica’s Book HERE.

Jessica’s Blog ~ Muthering Heights and other Senseless Sensibilities

Thank You Note ~ Jessica, I offer my sincere, heart-full ‘Thank You!’ to you. One day this year, I pray that God Blesses you as He is blessing others thru your heart and the work of your hands. Also, that one day, I’ll be able to give you a {HUG} in person. For now…here’s a cyber {HUG}. Love Ya, Susie :)

*Jessica gave me a copy of her book for a review.  I am pleased & honored to help her spread the word about her book!

*This post contains affiliate links.
Posted in Beauty, Book Review, Chronic Pain, Encouragement, Journey, Mom, Uncategorized, Weight, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Morning Bible Study > Living Stones

><> It’s the week of September 23, 2012 and I’m staring Week 6 of my Hello Mornings Challenge.

My Prayer from Insights Learned ~ 1 Peter 2:1-12 ~ Bible Study Kept : Secure in His Hands Whatever I face. 

In these verses, Peter talks about Stones and Rocks…

Morning Bible Study

He references Isaiah 8:11-17 & they are so Encouraging
especially, when Isaiah continues in Isaiah 9:1-7 with the thought that…

we are now out of darkness and in His Wonderful Light
so we may Rejoice…

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and
the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”

This Child who was born to us & this Son who was given to us
is the same Living Stone, a chosen and precious cornerstone.
The one who Trusts in Him will never be put to shame.

Peter learned about who Jesus is when Jesus turned to him in Matthew 16:13-19

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah,
for this was not revealed to you by man,
but by my Father in heaven.
And I tell you that you are Peter,
and on this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven:
whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Like Peter, If we Believe, Trust in Jesus, we will never be put to shame.
Like Peter, When the Father reveals to us who Jesus is and we can say:
“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”, we can also know that:
_____ (enter your name) on this rock I will build my church, and
the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven:
whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

My Prayer: Father, God, In Jesus’ name,
May we, like Peter, as aliens and strangers in this world,
remember that we are also
“a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people belonging to God,
that you (we) may Declare the Praises of Him
who called you (us) into His wonderful light.”.
May we be the Living Stones that Shout Your Praises! \o/

Susie and Marilyn

My *Shout* of Praise ~ *Shout* of Praise \o/ ~ I Praise You, Father for the Blessings of being in Your Family and the Surprises filled with Wonder-Full Delights delivered just when You know we Need them most! \o/ I spent some time with Dear Family Friends who were unexpectedly in our area this weekend. ♥ :)

 

Susie and Lydia

<>< What Praise will You *Shout* This Day!?! Please share your Praises in the comments’ section below!

May we Remember to *Shout* Praises\o/ every time we see a Stone…even if it is just shouted in our hearts! ♥ Love You, Susie :)

Posted in Bible, Christian LIving, Encouragement, Faith, Lessons, People, Prayer, Scripture, Trust | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Real-Life Time”=Ask for Help . . . yes, that 4-letter word!

One Critical Lesson I’ve learned: 
“Real-Life Time”=Ask for Help . . . yes, that 4-letter word!

Image

‘Real-Life’…chipped nail polish…

Though humbling, asking for help of any kind is hard for us women/moms to do yet, it is an important Blessing for those we are asking. I used to think, “I can’t ask for help because I’m supposed to be helping others.” That is a…LIE. Do Not be snared by that way of thinking. 

Sisters, Please, if you haven’t, Learn this Lesson Now & don’t wait until ‘Life Hits you from Behind’ & you have no other choice but to accept or even plead for help & encouragement for yourself and the ones you love.

How do we Encourage One Another if we do not know there is a need & how that person needs the help for EnCouragement is not only words but also actions? Let’s have a Truth Moment, We all have need of help in the “Real Life” times and asking for help only makes our bond as Christian Sisters Stronger. We share our lives, the parts with our make-up on and our best smile on our faces but…we need to also share the parts that the smile doesn’t quite reach our eyes & there was no time for make-up. The times when pony tails & chipped nail polish while sporting the same t-shirt you wore yesterday is the fashion of the day. The times when children [and maybe our husbands] are cranky and Mama is too but, we have to go and Encourage/Inspire those others who ‘seem’ to have it all together. 

Also, Asking for help in the small, ‘only matters to me’ things is important. God cares about what His Girls care about. So do your Sisters! I have to remember to ask myself this, “What would I say to my sister if she were to ask for help about this __ ?” Or “What would I say to my sister if I found out she didn’t ask for help with that __ ?” these questions help my Perspective and my Attitude. :)

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.! ~1 Peter 1:3

By the Way…Did you know? Asking for Prayer for yourself (& others/circumstances that affect others) IS a form of Praise! \o/ You are Acknowledging that God HEARS us + CAN & WILL DO Something about Your Request! \o/ PRAISE God that Jesus Gave us the GIFT of Prayer thru our Reconciled Relationship with Our Heavenly Father Thru His Death & Resurrection! Remember, He is our High Priest who Intercedes for us!

May You Be EnCouraged this Day to Share your ‘Real-Life Times’ with your Sisters. Now, I’m off to re-do my toenail polish! ;)

I Love You, Susie :) 

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Susie Cantrell ~ Mountain Ministry, Speaking

SusieMM413 ~ Susie Cantrell :)

Mountain Ministry ~ Philippians 4:13

Following her heartbreaking car crash in 1999,

“Hit From Behind” Our Car After the Accident  January 5, 1999

Susie Cantrell shares her testimony of God’s faithfulness when she was almost home with her children asleep in the back seat when they were hit from behind by a Semi. Since she is still on the long journey of healing, she has much to teach about the lessons that she learned and is learning at the feet of the Father.

Mountain Minsitry ~ Susie offers Encouragement for all of us making our way to the Mountain Top thru sharing Testimony & Teaching.

As a Christian Wife, Mom, Retired/Disabled High School Teacher, Writer, Artist & Speaker, please consider her for Your Next Event.

~ Women’s Events ~ Retreats ~ Conferences ~ Meetings ~

“When Life Hits You From Behind”

Includes A Unique Message for Your Group.

  ~”I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me.” ~ ~ Philippians 4:13

 Note from Susie ~ Hope this finds you JOY-Full. So glad you stopped by. I look forward to discussing your group’s unique personality, focus, format and needs. Contact info is found on the About Me Tab. Please, leave a comment below.

Love Ya, Susie :)

Posted in Christian LIving, Conference, Encouragement, Faith, Family, Journey, Lessons, Ministry, Mountain Ministry, Retreats, Scripture, Speaking, Teaching, Testimony, Women, Women's Ministry, Women's Retreat | Leave a comment

23rd Anniversary ~ John&Susie

On this special day, I am overwhelmed by Love &  so Thankful that God brought John & I together and keeps us together. Our marriage is a gift that has seen trials & victories and we know life will bring more of each. Walking together with our God, we will be able to face any circumstance as we continue this journey together.

Below is a prayer that is on a plaque that John & I have had since we were married. It holds much meaning & wisdom. I pray that it may be your prayer as it has been ours with God’s Love being the tie that binds together hearts & lives.

For His Glory,

Love Ya, Susie :)

Marriage Prayer

Gracious Lord,

You have joined us in marriage

that we may walk courageously

life’s journey in mutual love and oneness of purpose.

Make us patient and forgiving toward one another

as You have been toward us.

Protect us and keep us Lord,

in the hour of difficulty and temptation

According to Your tender mercies.

We stand together, united by Your love

for Your glory.

Amen.

(unknown author)

Posted in Beauty, Devotional Encouragemtent, Encouragement, Faith, Family, Husband, Journey, Marriage, Prayer, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Humor

“Humor is one of God’s most marvelous gifts. Humor give us smiles, laughter and gaiety. Humor makes our heavy burden light and smoothes the rough spots in our pathways.”

~ Sam Ervin

Humor ~ bonding agent for families…at least for ours thru rough, unanchored storms.

Humor! :)

:D How’s your sense of humor?  Is humor a bonding agent in you family’s life? Please share your comments to enCourage others!

Thanks, Love Ya! Susie :)

Posted in Devotional Encouragemtent, Encouragement, Faith, Journey, Lessons | 2 Comments