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.
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
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
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45
We are down to the last 48 days. WHEW! The big stuff is complete, now it is just the little stuff. And there is a lot of little stuff!!! Decorations, seating charts-if any, rsvp management, follow up with caterers, photographers, honeymoon planning, ceremony planning. I should be stressed but I’m not! I find great peace in crafting and creating. This is my favorite part of it all. Planning this wedding has been one of my greatest joys. We have been together before however this time is different. This time I have the husband God intended for me.
Now that I have Lee here with us 24/7 life is so much easier. I can get things done quickly and easily with his help. We make a great team. As he gets his private counseling practice up and going, I can work and not worry about the home and kids. He is having to be Mr. Mom as I do my job until 8 or 9 pm 2-3 days per week or travel at the last minute anywhere between Austin and DFW. And he is very supportive in doing so. He makes sure my car has gas, the tires are good, and the oil level is what is supposed to be. This is why I love this man. This is why I’m ready to marry him and be his wife.
Together we will build a ministry that God has intended us to lead. Lee has some great fellowship meetings this week here in Temple and I have been invited to an exclusive Women’s Ministry group with a group of about 8 women from DFW to Austin. This can only help us grow even more rapidly!
I think we have found our church home at Vista Community Church. They have embraced Lee’s counseling services and willing to work with him on growing this ministry. God’s favor is with us as we search for a house, grow Lee’s ministry/counseling practice and get Marissa transitioned to adulthood.
As always, life has been a blessing here in the Medina-Hutcheson household. It’s crazy busy as we clean up for our wedding but it’s a good busy and not a stress filled mess 🙂
God is good all the time; all the time God is good!
Have a blessed night!
AKA a very blessed woman
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs[a] and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”
Genesis 2:21-23 NLT
Today I started Reading Through the Word with Wendy Pope. In our daily readings we journal our take away, something old and something new. My something new that stood out to me today was reading Genesis 2:23 “At Last” the man exclaimed. This one sentence struck me. All the years I have read this book and Adam’s excitement to have a companion was overlooked. This tells me that God created man to rely on us as women. After all, he did take us from the man’s rib. (Genesis 2:21-23) We are an extenstion-bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh-of the man God has intended for us.
Men want us in their lives and live for us to be with them. God created them that way! However, God also created them to be the leader in the relationship. This is where we as a modern day woman struggle. Not unbelievable since we are now single mothers, business women, and live on our own. However, He gave man the power and control not us. He tells us this here in Genesis, he tells us this in Ephesians and it is a repeated theme in the Bible. The man is the spiritual head of the relationship. God wants us as women, even today, to submit to them and let them lead.
Easy task? Not really. When you are truly submissive you put someone else’s needs above yours. For us a mother, we are submissive to our children with no problem. But not our husbands or significant other. This is what causes so much strife in our lives. We as a modern day woman place our children and our careers above all else. But in doing so, we are living against God’s will. God tell us in Ephesians 5;22-23 we must submit to our husbands. He does not say your children, your job, your friends. He says, YOUR HUSBAND!!!
As I look back on my own relationships I know submission was a problem for me for a long time. It was the downfall of every relationship I had before Lee came into my life. I would not give up that control. I would not give up putting my children, family and friends first. Why would I?
At the time, I was not aware that God created one man for me. I was not aware that God not only created this man but he made him have a burning desire for me! Think about that ladies–God created this man who will say “AT LAST!” just for you. WOW! How good does that make you feel? I see some mustard seeds being replanted in a lot of lives right now.
Now as I look back on my past relationships I know that was not what God had intended for me. I know because the men I was with I was not equally yoked with much less did we live with God at the center of our lives. Instead I lived for the “next big thing” that came along. Never feeling that WOW that God had waiting for me. I did not feel it because that was not the man God intended for me and I forced something against God’s will it did not work.
These verses in 2:21-23 for me shows me that God creates one woman for one man and that man is waiting for us to find him. However we are always looking for the beautiful and overlook what God has given us. That man over there is more handsome, that man has more money, that one is better than this one. Because of those things we pursue what is bright and shiny instead of what God has intended for us. It’s our typical “the grass is greener” phenomenon we fall into repeatedly in today’s society. However, if we look at what God gives us and has placed in our path we see the true beauty of a relationship between a man and a woman as God intended.
Every morning I wake and say WOW! I have been given the gift of God’s love not only through my children but through a man who truly loves me and adores me as God loves his church. Yesterday when I picked up Lee this was our convo:
Me: How are you?
Lee: I am a blessed man honey
Lee: Yes, I am with you now!!!
As simple as that convo is, it means everything to me. I get convos and texts like this all day long every day. Lee constantly shows me that kind of love and I truly feel as though I am an extension of him. I feel him saying “AT LAST” every time he sees me. Never a doubt in my mind that I have made the right choice. However, had I made some judgements and not forgiven him for past mistakes life would be different. I would have looked for the next shiny thing to come along and I would be missing out on what is the most amazing person God put on this earth just for me.
This is why I am blessed.
Goodnight and God Bless!
A Blessed Woman