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.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
My children are too old for Easter baskets this year but a prayer jar will last forever!
Every week a new prayer is written and placed in this jar. As troubles arise in each of their lives and verses are discovered they are placed in this jar and prayed over constantly.
The girls’ jars are complete and finishing my son’s in the morning.
At the end of the year, they will get their jars to read through and it will be their gift to cherish.
Have a Happy Easter and remember the best way to be the best mom possible is to pray for yourself, your spouse/significant other, and your children.
A very blessed woman in TX
In the blog, Pick Up Your Crown, Girl I discussed 10 steps to gaining confidence. I also folowed up with Step 1 in the blog How to Pick Up Your Crown Step 1. In this blog I explain the most important step of picking up your crown and owning it- coming to know God through a personal relationship with our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. Another very important step in being able to pick up your crown is to Give the Glory to God ALWAYS and to honor Him ALWAYS!
Let’s face it it’s easy to love God and praise Him when things are going right but when things are falling apart it’s hard to say “thank you, LORD”. I know, I’ve been there and done that. I tithed when things were great and didn’t when they were bad. I prayed when things were good and didn’t when they were bad. When everything in my life fell apart, I blamed Him instead of praising him through the storm.
giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, ~Ephesians 5:20
The Bible does NOT say give thanks to God when things are good. It says FOR EVERYTHING (good or bad). This is very hard to do. When I was learning this lesson I was living in a hotel because I had lost my job, got evicted from my home, and I had 3 children to raise and feed. ALL BY MYSELF! This was during a period in time when finding a job was next to impossible. The economy had taken a downward spiral and jobs were scarce.
So that weekly hotel you pass on the highway and think who stays there weekly? Well, me and my children did. The PTA mom, the soccer mom, the baseball mom, the Jr. Leaguer with her hair done just right and dressed just like you -she stayed there. This is why I never judge a book by its cover-I’ve been that book misjudged many times. I know what is happening on the outside is not a true representation of what is happening on the inside.
I look back on what seemed to be a very dark moment in my life and I am reminded of how great God really is because as I look back on that moment I am reminded of a what was born from me being there in that moment of time. A sweet friend of mine came to visit me at my worst at that hotel and as I was crying about my circumstance and complaining about my life, she saw a need I could not see. All I saw around me was MY situation.
Out of my darkest moment a very good ministry was founded for the children who lived there. Kids playing soccer next to a highway. Kids running around without solid parental guidance. Teens having sex in the hallways and rooms of a hotel because of the lifestyle they were raised in. They finally had a voice through my sweet friend and her Life Group from church.
Funds were raised and kids who didn’t know what a Christmas tree was like or the joy of decorating for Christmas suddenly found that joy. Children and parents were mentored on a life with Jesus and still are because I weathered a storm. Because although I reached my lowest moment in my life; there were families reaching one of the highest moments in their lives-coming to know the LORD. Only God could make that happen. But if I had not lived in that place for that season of my life, it never would have happened. My life made that happen. That, my friends, is very empowering to know my life impacted others in that way.
I could tell you countless stories of weathering the storm, we all have them. Some of us have more than others. But the biggest lesson I learned through all my trials was that God DOES have a plan for me. He does have a hope and a future for me. I just have to listen to my Heavenly Father and see the beauty being created even when my life is a hot mess for that hot minute. That, my sweet friends, was so empowering to me.
My life is very blessed now but I have a past. I had shame from bad relationships and poor choices in men. I had guilt from bad choices that led to sexual promiscuity and poor financial management. I had loneliness from low self esteem. Sound familiar? Good news is that it will get better. You see one day I found out I have Jesus and my whole life changed. My Jesus is my friend and he held my hand when I thought no one else in the world was there.He led me to Central Texas. He brought me to my beautiful life in my beautiful home with my amazing husband, my three beautiful children and friends who are now family.
It wasn’t easy and it has taken a lot of healing and a lot of forgiveness of others and myself. It took me realizing that no matter what God has a plan and no matter what He deserves the glory for all my hurts, all my pains, and all my success. Without the trials and tribulations I would not be who I am today. I would not know a life with God. I would not be a mother who prays for her children not to know the experiences I endured in my life. I would not be a wife who submits to her husband and prays for him daily. I would be a lost soul walking on this earth filled with pain, filled with misery, and void of the love and laughter that my family and friends today bring me.
It’s not easy to always give the glory to God. Sometimes we forget. We are human, it happens. But I have prayed for God to convict me when I fail to praise him even during the bad times and He does.
My challenge to you today is simple: Find your hope and your future even when you are in the storm. See the beauty in your hot mess moments. We all have them. Turn the negative into a positive. Know that no matter where you are in life at this moment that God, and ONLY God brought you to where you are today. GIVE HIM THE GLORY FOR IT ALL! But most importantly, know that even when we are a hot mess in those hot minute moments we still deserve to pick up our crowns and a know that even when we feel no one else is there our Heavenly Father is because we are the daughters of the King of Kings and LORD of Lords.
And that my sweet friends, makes all of us blessed women!
A Blessed Woman in TX
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6
For the last few months I have been struggling to get my son to go to youth group. As I have prayed over this fervently, God finally gave me the answer the other day in Lifeway. “I’ll buy a study we can do at home together”. So, since both the 14 year old and 19 year old can’t make it to youth group on Wednesdays, I’ll bring it to the house! I’m a little nervous but also super pumped about this. I haven’t done anything like this since they were little!!! But then I asked “why not?”
We have to remember that no matter how old our children are, we are still parents. Yes, they can take care of themselves but without proper guidance and teaching and training, life can get hard real quick. Everyday I talk to my 25 year old. Sometimes they are long conversations sometimes they are a quick text message, and sometimes, I just don’t want to talk but everyday I hear from her. When I don’t, I know something is not right and I reach out. My job as a parent never stops!!!
It can be tiring to be always “on”as a mom. Even when they get older, they still only talk to you when you are on the phone or in the restroom or when you are trying to rest. Even when they get older they still need you to cook them a meal, love on them and comfort them when they are sick. It can be exhausting shuffling kids from point A to point B. But then they get the drivers license and you miss taking them and having those little conversations in the car. And you would give anything for that moment once again.
Here is what I know today: I would give anything to go back and do it all over again to really bask and take in those moments with Megan and Marissa. I am down to my last one at home and I am learning to put a new spin on this because one day there won’t be anyone to drop off in the morning. One day they will all have their own families, their own lives. But the one thing I do know, they will never not know they are loved. I will never not be there for them. Just because they are grown does not mean they do not need me. It means my job as a mom is different. I lean on my parents everyday, so why shouldn’t they lean on me.
So, today I prepared for youth group at the house and my son’s best friend and his mom will be joining us. They have been our extended family for quite some time. We will fellowship and worship together tonight at we study The Battle Plan for Prayer Teen Bible Study.
To prepare for this I have put together my Mom Prayer Journal for Christi and myself. This is where we will journal everything about being a mother and all our prayers for our children.
In here I have a spot for all those awesome downloads, prayer calendars, bible studies, etc I find online. Then I have a section with paper and dividers for our children and my step grandchildren. But I digress! I will save this for another post another day……..
I have also put together some sheets for the kids tonight and found some on the internet.
The first thing I put together is the battle plan worksheet! You can find it here–>Teen Battle Plan Session 1 I had to add some baseball images to it to make it interesting for the boys! (In my internet search I could not find anything teen boy friendly so I created it). This sheet is the main points I wanted to get across tonight.
One of the topics we will discuss tonight is confession of sins. So after many hours of searching for something appropriate, I took an old favorite Catholic examination of conscience and made it into a Christian examination of conscience. You can find it here –> Confession Sheet
I will also be using some others but again I’ll save that for some other posts. There is so much I have done to prepare for tonight. I just hope the boys have fun as they begin to learn what it has taken me 44 years to figure out-prayer is the answer to EVERYTHING!
I’m sure they will since we will also be making prayer jars! WHAT? Of course my inner Martha Stewart had to create something!
At the end of the day, I will just be happy to teach these young men (and the young woman) about my new passion for prayer and all the good it brings to your life.
Tonight I will be blessed with 2 young men and a young woman and one of my dearest friends who all mean the world to me. I look forward to what God has in store tonight……….
There is much more to come! God has put so much on my heart lately and I can’t keep up (hence the reason for the many prayer journals I have purchased lately). Copious notes and conversations being recorded. But until then…………
A Very blessed woman in TX
Do you have a stack of books you need to read?
- In my living room, I have 25 new books.
- In my office, I have 3 new books.
- In my purse, I carry 4 new books.
All purchased in the last 2 months.
You know the books I’m talking about, ladies. The ones that discuss growing deeper with God, they help you be a better Christian wife, Christian mother, make Christian decisions and all the Christian topics you think will “fix” or “help” you? If you’re like me, then yes!
Why? Because I’m going to read them all! Right? Well no. However, in my defense, I am currently reading 3 of the 25 books.
My husband just shakes his head and walks off every time we are at Lifeway and he says “Why are you getting this book?” and I reply “Um, for Bible Study” and he replies “How many bible studies do you do? Shouldn’t you finish one before you start another” Um, OUCH!
This recent conversation with Lee and a group of friends who are in the same boat with me made me think. If we are doing this, there are others doing this! We are overwhelmed with where to start. We are tired. Which one do we read first.
If you are like me, then you get on Facebook and join your Christian groups in a quick early morning conversation. Then you head over to your devotional you go to in the morning where you click a link and you are lead to read through a blog, that blogs leads to another, and another. The next thing you know hours have flown by and it’s 10 am or 12 pm. AND now your email is overwhelmed with the 4-5 devotionals you signed up for in the process. Then you feel guilty because you don’t have time to read them all. Guilt hits you because afterall, THIS IS GOD’S WORD! ln the process you also came across 1-2 more books you need to purchase because if you get them, everything will be okay!!!! You feelin’ me, ladies?
WE NEED TO STOP DOING THAT!
Don’t get me wrong, I love these books. They all are written by wonderful men and women with awesome insight to the LORD. And the blogs, I love them. I write one and have friends who write some beautiful words and I cherish them all but Oh -My -Goodness I have become overwhelmed on where to start because of my desire to be a better Christian wife, mom, daughter, and friend
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God. ! ~2 Corinthians 3:5
Ladies, hear me closely: God says we are good enough! As long as we are following Him we are enough. Do we need insight and fellowship from our Christian sisters, heck yes! Are these books awesome resources, heck yes! But that’s just it, these are resources not our whole source. Have faith that God will lead us to what we need. He did not intend for us to freak out and be overwhelmed in our walk with Him.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
I’ve sat here with 6 books piled up, over 20 blogs to read through, and feeling like I would never get through it all in a day. That’s because I won’t! I work fulltime outside of the home, I’m a mom, a friend, a daughter and most importantly a wife. I have a household to run and two regions to manage with 500 agents. As great as it would be to sit with a cup of coffee nestled in the corner of my couch wrapped in a beautiful blanket reading and posting blogs about my new wonderful findings, I can’t. God blessed me with a family, a career, and a Bible.
God told me my solution was simple, when all else fails, start with the Bible and a simple conversation with Him to lead me to what and who I need in my life. I did this recently and was blessed with this wonderful group of mentors who are guiding me in ways I never thought imaginable. I have formed new friendships and been guided to Him like never before in my life. Who knew the solution to being overwhelmed by a simple, enjoyable act like reading and self improvement was so simple. ASK and PRAY!
I reassessed my involvement in all things in my life. I deleted Facebook groups and business groups I didn’t visit anymore or are no longer aligned with my values in all areas of my life. I gave myself permission to read what God leads me to and puts on my heart. I have a crown on my head put on there by God Himself. I am His princess. He is my King and He told me I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. He told me what studies I need to attend and who I need to be around right now. Most importantly, God told me I AM ENOUGH! My crown is straight again. I just needed to slow down, take a deep breath and LISTEN!
So, if you are like me and want to “fix” your life or need “help”. Yes, God provided resources but the most important source he gave us is the Bible. Do a google search on scriptures that cover your topic. Ask God to help you find what YOU need. If you find a book, ask God if this is the one. Sometimes he’ll show you through cost, shipping, difficulties ordering. LISTEN TO HIM!
When signing up for devotionals know you only need 1-2 devotionals per day. I have one for the morning and one for the evening. And I know it’s the right ones because they usually address something I’m facing in my life at that time. God’s timing is everything!
I was signed up for so many online bible studies before I did nothing but study, study, study. I had no time for application and it was not fruitful for me anymore. I was still receiving these updates and such and although the information is useful and awesome material I unsubscribed. Not because I don’t like them, but because there was a time these were right for me, but now God told me I needed something different. He has provided it.
Find what resonates with you right now, this minute. Ask God to lead you. It can be overwhelming and cause you greater stress as you try to read through a pile of books and click through blogs to fix your life.
I read blogs for fun and leisure. I love seeing what my friends are doing and what God places on their hearts as well. But I don’t look at each one everyday. Sometimes I’ll read 4-5 when traveling sometimes all I have time for is 1. Sometimes they are pertinent to me and sometimes they are pertinent for a friend and I pass it on. No matter what I am reading, I have learned God leads me to where I am for a purpose. I may not know that purpose today, but eventually it will come to me and be useful.
I love books, I enjoy reading and learning more about my walk with the LORD. I am in no way saying don’t read books or blogs. I am just saying read what is intended for you and your circumstances. Maybe you are firm in your decision making processes so books on this are fruitless to you however, if your prayer life needs some sparking then books on prayer would be fruitful for you.
In 2016, I agreed to simplify my life and increase my prayer life. So being the Type A personality I am and overachiever I have purchased every book possible to make this happen. But God and I talked.
Today, I am reading 3 books: Lord, I Want to Know You for bible study at church, Fervent for my online study and The Battle Plan for Prayer for my personal knowledge. I also purchased the Audible versions since I travel so much. The more I hear it AND read it the more it resonates with me. I will also turn these on when cleaning or cooking at home or working in the office. I have loaned out some of the other books I purchased to friends. If I get them back great, if not, then when I need something God will provide it.
I am blessed with the resources God provides.
A Very Blessed Woman in TX
In my last blog, I shared one of my husband’s sermons. This is the last and BEST part of it (to me at least). This was where I had new insight to a very long history with Prayer.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened. ~ Psalm 66:18
- We must remain in right-standing with God. We must not have unconfessed sin in our lives. We must confess our sins routinely, keeping short accounts, then going to the Father seeking forgiveness, grace and mercy.
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” ~Matthew 6:14-15
- Be pure in heart. We cannot have have unforgiveness in our heart toward anyone. No resentment or longheld bitterness. If so, ask the LORD to create a clean heart in you to reveal anything you may have overlooked or have buried deep within you.
- Pray with love and ferventcy out of a pure heart with all sincerity.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
- Speak of things as though they are not as they are. In 2 Corinthians 4:18 we are told as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal And in Romans 4:17 we are told as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. God did, Jesus did, Abraham did, and WE MUST!
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children. ~Hosea 4:6
- Pray in knowledge of God’s word. Look up and know the scriptures pertaining to certain requests. Know God’s promises. We must know how to stand on God’s word.
- Never doubt. God hears and will answer on HIS time. And it may not be a yes. If it goes unanswered it wasn’t HIS will. At least not yet! Sometimes unanswered prayer is a blessing.
- Pray in Jesus’ name and authority always
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. ~Job 42:10
- Pray for others regularly. God will bless you for it and readily answer more of your prayers. Everything Job lost in his terrible ordeal was restored to him DOUBLE when he entered into prayer for his three friends who had accused him so vigorously of sin.
TO BETTER UNDERSTAND HOW TO PRAY FOR YOUR FRIENDS READ AND MAKE NOTES ON PAUL’S PRAYERS FOR HIS FRIENDS
Paul prayed that his friends:
- Ephesians 1:18-19 Might have wisdom and power
- Ephesians 3:16-19 Strength in the inner man
- Philippians 1:9-11 For discernment
- Colossians 1:9 That they would know God’s will
- 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13 That they have a growing love for one another
- 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 That they be worth of their calling
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 That they be comforted and established
- 2 Thessalonians 3:5 That they be steadfast in their love for God
- 1 Timothy 2:12 They they live quiet and peaceful lives
- Philemon 6 That they recognize all they have IN CHRIST!
- Hewbrews 13:20-21 That God would work in them that which is pleasing to Him.
Begin to pray this way and you will become a real prayer warrior and the devil will flee from you.
And there it is. This is my favorite sermon from my husband. Knowing him and living with him makes these sermons even more personal because I know the blood, sweat and tears that went into writing these sermons. I know the backstories to each one of these sermons and makes it mean that much more to me. I am very proud of the changes he has made in his life and the man he is today. Putting on the new man has never in my life looked so good as it does on him.
I am blessed to live with my favorite pastor. I am blessed that he shares his faith with me. I am blessed he prays with me and for me everyday. I am a blessed woman.
A Blessed Woman in TX