I am about to be as transparent as I can be. The last year has been rough. Marriage is hard. Blending lives is difficult. Couple that with two demanding jobs, a husband working on his doctorate, a 15 year old boy, growing into a young man, learning to drive and pursuing his dream of baseball. Non-stop weekends that start on Saturday morning at 5 AM and end Sunday night at 11:59 PM. You combine it all and Satan has been given an opportunity to dwell around the Hutcheson household. He has lingered and brought a cloud of negativity like no other. My children were bickering, my husband and I were in constant disagreement, and illness has plagued our home-me, kids, husband. To say Satan had a foothold on my life and in our home is an understatement.
At the beginning of October, I was admitted to the hospital. Prior to being admitted, my husband and I were on the brink of divorce. My son was not talking to his father. My girls were not talking to each other. Misery and heartache were overshadowing my positive outlook with a darkness and taking over my life. I was not fun to be around. I loathed getting up. I did not care what I looked like or if anyone saw me like that. My breaking point was reached.
My first night in the hospital was fine. I was only being monitored. Then the next day I was told my gall bladder needed to be looked at because I was symptomatic of that. A day later I found out I was chronic. My gall bladder was full of stones and suddenly I understood half of the reason I felt the way I did. Surgery was scheduled and it was the most horrible pain of my life. I would say worse than childbirth.
I had too much time in the hospital and at home resting for a total of seven days. I had to do something so I read books, wrote, jounaled, etc. In that time I picked up my tablet and started doing a deep dive into a bible study called Worthy of the Calling by Sarah Koontz I had the pleasure of previewing, helping with edits, and launching it. I never knew this book of the Bible was the RX I needed. Ephesians! I have studied it often. Never like this!
Sarah Koontz has a way with words and explanations that I do not need a Masters of Theology to understand what she is telling me. I have done Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer studies spending hours daily studying. Half the time I missed a lot of the meat of the issue because I just wanted to get through it. But Sarah only needed 15 minutes of my attention and WOW! I never knew 15 minutes could make a big difference in my life. Sarah spoke to me in short emails that spoke to my hardened heart.
When I was given the opportunity to launch her bible study, I had no idea of the impact it would have on my life. I have read many Christian books and studies but this one study on Ephesians changed me. For the better.
Sarah’s easy to understand text intertwined with daily activities and the most beautiful freebies I have ever seen created for a study, make this a winner for any woman at any stage of her life.
In the last 14 days I have learned that in Christ I am:
- Chosen in Love to be holy and blameless
- I am not at fault because Jesus has paid the price for me and my sins
- Chosen by God to be His daughter; a recipient of His inheritance
- I am His princess entitled to the riches of His kingdom
- A treasured possession
- Defined by God (and ONLY God)
This is a short list of what I have learned in the first 14 days. By day one I learned that with the first two verses of Ephesians 1:1-2 I AM WORTHY! I am a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. I remembered who I am and whose I am. By day three, my marriage was saved. My husband and I talked through our issues like never before because my heart was softened. By day seven, my girls were loving one another and being kind to one another again. By day fourteen, a father and son finally hugged for the first time in months. Satan is no longer lingering in our home. Why? Because through this study, I found my Christian heart again. I was reminded of an unconditional love of a father and his daughter.
I never realized how much changes when we truly put God first. This study has helped me establish good study habits because I could not wait to see what God, through Sarah, would share with me. I enjoy my Sabbath now with rest and reflection because Sarah stresses this within the study as well. Whether it was reading my prayer cards or coloring my downloads, I have finally truly learned to rest.
In this study, I have cried tears of sadness, prayed in a different more spirtitual way and let my past go. I can look myself in the mirror for the first time in a long time and see the woman God created me to be-fearfully and wonderfully made. I have nothing to be ashamed of because all my trials were the ones He prepared for me. He knows my story. He wrote it. Only He knows the ending. No matter what path I choose going forward, I know I am Worthy of His Calling on my life.
In September of this year, I would wake up. Get dressed. I might brush my hair or I might not. I would go to work. Come home. Live in depression and strife. I, a blessed woman of God, never understood that I am worthy only because He made me.
Today, I woke up blessed and full of His love for me. I got dressed. I did my hair. I put on my makeup and looked in the mirror for the first time in months and said “I am Worthy”.
Thank you, Sarah Koontz! Because of this study, my family has been saved. I have come out of the darkness which has brought others in my home out of the darkness. God is first again.
I cannot wait to see what else God has in store for me in the next 17 days of walking with Sarah through the rest of Ephesians.
If you feel the call to join Sarah, please click the image below.
Just a quick reminder that God wants to hear us cry out to Him. He also wants us to start our day with Him. Then we should prepare our day around Him and His will for us and watch our lives unfold according to His plan.
My days go much smoother when I do this.
May your day be blessed according to His will for you, today!
It is in watching my children grow together that I am reminded of this verse and it’s meaning. Having a special needs sibling can be tiring and exhausting but it is also what brings you to a relationship with Christ like no other. My youngest and oldest struggle with this everyday as they watch their sister struggle from Spina Bifida and all the other minor diagnosis’ she received.
Just when I think I need to get on my knees because of animosity amongst them, I turn around and can capture moments like the one in the image of my son pushing his big sister in difficult terrain for a wheelchair. It is then I am reminded that I have done my job as a mom. They do love her and care for her just as I do as her mom.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. ~ Hebrews 6:10
They are siblings and they will fight. But being the sibling to a special needs sister is different and requires a lot of hard work and understanding. It can be exhausting coming second to her needs. You can grow resentment because you just don’t understand why mom has to keep spending time with her at doctor appointments and performing procedures that MUST be done for her health.
However, just when I think my children are falling apart I notice things. Things like hearing them reassure one another when one of them is down. Watching their faces brighten up when they spend sibling time together. There is no better sound than their laughter. It brings so much joy to my life and makes my heart full. But most of all I see them make sure their sister is included or find a way to include her. When she’s having a hard time, they lend her a hand.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. ~ Galatians 6:2
This is where I take my lesson. I need to do that more as a wife, as a friend, and as a mom. How many times do you get frustrated with your spouse? The friend who asks for advice but never takes it? The kids calling out “mom” for the 100th time in a day? I need to make sure I am including those who are often forgotten or different. When I am tired, exhausted and feel like someone should be able to do something for themselves, I need to reach out and help anyway.
I have to love people for who they are and meet them where they are. I am blessed beyond measure and just as God has loved me I must love ALL his people.
Children give you teachable moments too. This is one of mine.
This book is so easily written and not bogged down in fluff that praying for my husband has never been easier. I am expanded beyond the normal everyday prayers into praying for his Christian maturity, his health, his career, his relationships in new ways.
If your prayer life needs a lift, this book can help!!! It has helped me go from being the average wife praying for her to husband to a fervent wife praying for her husband!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” ~Psalms 27:14
A few months ago I took one of my infamous trips to Hobby Lobby. I came across this beautiful, gold journal normally $30. However, they had it marked for $10. I also bought the gorgeous journal insert with my 40% off coupon costing me $17 total for the entire journal.
So as you can see, I could not pass up this deal. If you’ve ever visited Hobby Lobby you know the struggle when you find that ONE deal. It was like the heavens aligned and God put this together for me and only me as there was only one left!!! I actually pray before going shopping for God to make known my needs. This one was easy to see although I did not know why at the time.
I have what my husband and children call a jounal/crafting/Hobby Lobby addiction. I call it my stress reliever. However if you come to my home, you will find a journal in every corner of my home as well as a stash in a Rubbermaid container under my table/desk. If you come to my office, you will literally find 3 pad folios 20 spiral business notebooks 2 five subject notebooks and 3 journals. I love paper products and pens. Maybe my family has a right to feel the way they do!
Now why this one journal popped out at me that day, I didn’t know until here in the last few months. I have been asked to help launch a few Christian books in the last year. I have a habit of writing notes, tagging pages, and highlighting as I read. But I don’t like to go back for references I like my journals for that.
As I was reading my friend Barbara Koob’s book Dream Discoveries It really came upon me that I needed a place to keep my notes. Here’s where God’s timing came in to play for me. As I was praying about this, it came over me to clean my home office and this beautiful, gold journal showed up as if God was hitting me over the head with it.
Now I use it for my dream disvovery journaling (more to be written on this topic/book soon). I also use it for the exercises in Hope Prevails as well as Fervent and Power of a Praying Woman prayers and scriptures from those books. What better place to keep God’s word than this gold leather journal? It is a good fit for this princess that’s for sure!
Anyone of you who know me, know this journal will be blinged out and used. It is a Project Life journal so I have so much flexibility with it. As you can see below, I have inserted some pocket pages and been truly inspired by Barbara’s and Dr Michelle’s books. Individual reviews are coming soon.
God blessed me with great women like Barbara and Michelle in my life. Helping them grow their message has been a true blessing to me and expanding my faith in different ways.
My husband and children can roll their eyes when I walk through the door from one of my hobby lobby trips but they have no clue how much stress relief this one find has given me. Bi-regional living is hard! This journal has kept me sane…..
This is my fun way of expanding my knowledge as I read, pray, and journal. How do you do it?
God bless and goodnight
A blessed woman in TX