Anybody else feel like you're getting to the center of a cookie?  The warm, gooey, melt in your mouth, what you've been waiting for moment?  I feel like we are getting to the best part of Grace for the Good Girl this week.  The part where we can receive the Truth and remain in His presence.  Now, all we need is a glass of milk to wash it down. Emily begins Chapter 11 with the story of The Wizard of Oz.  She made me look at the story from a whole different angle.  Her opening question to us is: Dorothy and her friends are a great example of a group of people who needlessly lived the try-hard life.  They already hat what they were looking for, they just didn't know how to let it be true.  In what ways could you relate with the concept of working hard for something you've already been given?

This made me think of my marriage/family.  I so often find myself working hard even though I have already been given this gift of relationships.  I get mad at myself if I mess up and I stress over having everything just right.  The last thing I want to do is make a mistake and when I do, my defenses go up.  I have to realize that Raleigh loves me for me - the wife that doesn't keep a perfectly clean house - and that is fine by him.  I have to realize that he isn't comparing me.  And, I don't need to compare myself as a mother.

Emily says, "Knowing the truth is essential.  Dorothy walked all over Oz and Munchkin Land in those ruby slippers without knowing they were her ticket home.  At the end of the movie when Glinda finally told her she always had the power to go back to Kansas, she knew the truth.  But simply knowing it wasn't enough.  Once she knew it, she had to let it be true.  As the songs says, she had to "march up to the gate and bid it open."  There is a lot to the letting.  I make it harder than it needs to be."

I couldn't agree with you more.  That is my truth for today - Letting it be true.

She goes on to say, "There is no other hope but the truth of Christ in you.  Now we are called as believers to be obedient to the truth."  This relates so much to yesterday's post, I do hope you go back and read it.  What she says next is so personal to my good-girl self.  "There is a becoming that happens as we walk with Jesus, but it isn't under a system of achieving.  Rather, it is in the act of receiving.  In order to receive, we have to first let go, to honestly release our right to hold on to those things we trust in for life, those counterfeit sources of truth and security, those false hiding places that seem to offer peace but leave us feeling restless."

What has kept you from receiving your blessings and identity in Christ?  What keeps you behind your masks?

In Chapter 12, Emily asks if there is something in your life that has led to a deepening in the way you approach time with the Lord of the Universe.  She shares the story of becoming a mother, and I'd have to admit that is mine too.  With the twins premature birth, I began to understand a whole new side of Jesus.  I not only knew his love, but I felt it.  I clung to it in desperation.  It was all that satisfied me during that dark time.  I had somebody say once about me, "When did Christen Ridley get all religious?"  The question makes me smile.  In high school, I was labeled a good girl, not necessarily a good Christian.  It wasn't that I didn't know Christ, but it was I didn't know how to share Christ.  I would give myself the praise instead of Him.  I would participate in activities involving Christ but that is all it was: participation.  The Holy Spirit was inside me but I didn't understand how it could guide me.  In college, I learned most what it meant to be a servant and I strove to have a heart like Jesus.  It wasn't until the age of 25 that I began to be obedient enough to trust in His calling on my life.  Then, the girls early arrival changed everything.  Oh, how my heart agrees with what Emily says about being a woman - "In the midst of grief, there is no such thing as strong women of God.  There is only brokenness, desperate need, and little girls in Daddy's lap.  We are not called to be strong women."

She gives the example of Exodus 3.  Moses made the shift from asking Who am I? to considering Who is I Am?  Emily says, "I AM is my present reality and my only hope of freedom."  In this chapter, she talks a lot about quiet time and how we can find that in the midst of our chaotic lives.  She says, "When I have a chance to either be still or check my email, I can choose to be still.  Not every time.  Just this time."

Anybody else relate?

I want to end with this passage today.  It fits so beautifully with our 31 Days of Truth series.  Love how God works that out.  Enjoy!

"Quiet time is no longer something I do.  Rather, it is a description of what happens when I am with God.  Time can be a loud, chaotic, rushing-around companion.  But as I sit in the presence of God, he quiets my time.  Now that I know what the truth is,  I long to allow space for my soul and spirit to begin to believe it.  To remain in him means both to sit with him and to walk with him, to literally let the peace of Christ reduce the noise of worry and the clatter of chaos so that we can receive truth."

Emily invites us to journal about the fruits of the Spirit (Gal.  5:22-23).  Circle the ones that are the most difficult for you to let be true in your life.  This is not so you can "work on those fruits" to get better at them.  Rather, it is intended to make you aware of all the gifts that are available to you, so you can ask the Lord to enable you to let these gifts that you already have become evident in your life.  Our Truth to Remember is Col. 3:15-16 - "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.  Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you."  Go ahead and read Chapter 13 & 14 and we will meet back here same time next week.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

Truth #1 – The Truth

Truth #2 – I hate laundry

Truth #3 – I’m bad at memorization

Truth #4 – My dogs drive me crazy

Truth #5 – I’m scared at getting in trouble

Truth #6 –I struggle with being a mom 

Truth #7 – I was nervous to start N2S

Truth #8 – I like to dance

Truth #9 – I enjoy a simple life

Truth #10 -  I desire to live life according to God’s will, even when I don’t feel like it.

Truth #11 -I love a clean closet

Truth #12 – I am never satisfied with me

Truth #13 – I have a short temper

Truth #14 – I love things

Truth #15 – I sew to make memories

Truth #16 – How I define success

Truth #17 – I desire to be the best that I can be

Truth #18 – I love to decorate

Truth #19 – I feel shame daily

Truth #20 – I love blogging

Truth #21 – I have control issues

Truth #22 – Nature brings forth peace

Truth #23 – I feel guilty to rest

Truth #24 – Trying not to get discouraged

Truth #25- Obedience is a Discipline