May 14, 2012

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week Six w/ a Giveaway!

Welcome to Week Six of our Hidden Joy on-line study. This week we study Chapter Eight, “Quiet Time.”

***** Remember  the Prayer of Forgiveness is now available under the “Free Resources” link located in the top bar of this web site. Click here if you would like a copy of the Prayer. This takes you directly to my free resources. Click on the link that says “Prayer of Forgiveness.” If you have any trouble, just let me know. *****

This week we have another special guest post written by my dear friend and sister in Christ, Noelle.  Noelle and I met through my on-line studies.  She has been one of our greatest encouragers, supporters, and prayer warriors.  I asked her what she would like for me to share about her and have copied her words below.  These few sentences reveal the passion of her heart more than any introduction I could ever write.

God has taken me down some crazy paths in my life, including surviving heart failure when I was 28 and losing both of my parents in the span of 62 days. Through the twists and turns, God has completely transformed my heart, mind and body by His truth. My heart’s desire is to walk alongside others as they uncover their own heart, mind and body transformations. 

Noelle has journeyed through very difficult trials in her life, and God has brought her through them in some powerful ways.   I invited her to share bits and pieces of her journey with you today.  She has written a beautiful message straight from her heart.. I am praying that her words encourage you and motivate you to go deeper still in your personal time with God.

If her words speak to you today, please leave her a comment in the comment section of my web site.  Noelle has graciously offered to do a giveaway with her guest post.  She will give away three copies of Hidden Joy and will select  the winners from the comments you leave this week.  If you already have a copy, we would love for you to give the copy you win away.

At the end of Noelle’s message you will find the video for the week as well as this week’s memory verse and homework assignment. The prayer for the week is Noelle’s prayer.

I asked my doctor what went through his mind 13 years ago when he was called into the emergency room.  His eyes filled with tears as he explained, “I couldn’t sleep a wink that night because I knew you would be dead by the morning.”  We had a special patient-physician bond since I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in my early twenties.  Knowing my kidneys were my weakness, we were both completely blindsided when the fight for my life ended up being unexpected heart failure when I was 28 years old.

It was nearly impossible to reconcile.  Within the span of hours, I went from being an athlete to needing emergency open heart surgery.   After my operation, I was on life support.  The physical pain was excruciating.   Fear and anxiety filled my days.  Oddly enough, though, I grew accustomed to this new way of life.  I’m not saying any of it was enjoyable… or even tolerable… but I got used to it.  There was only one thing I couldn’t endure.  My thirst.  All of the adjectives in our language cannot begin to describe how thirsty I was.

When I came out of my coma-like state, I used my best sign language to ask for a glass of water.  I was still in critical condition, so my fluids had to be significantly limited.  Instead of water, my nurse would put a couple of ice chips in my mouth.  Those ice chips did nothing for me, so I’d try to sleep as much as possible to escape my torment.  In my dreams, I’d fantasize about drinking glass after glass of pure water until my thirst was quenched.   It was heaven… until I woke up to… another ice chip.  As you can imagine, when I graduated from life support in the ICU to a regular hospital room and the nurse brought me a pitcher of water, I almost broke down in tears. 

Did you know that we are all born with that same kind of thirst? 

As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him? (Psalm 42:1-2 NLT)

This psalmist knows his deep thirst and he knows that only time with God can satisfy his need.  Your soul is thirsty.  Are you quenching your thirst with springs of “Living Water” (Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13) by having a daily quiet time?

What does your quiet time look like?  If you asked me ten years ago, I would have answered you this way (use your best robotic voice as you read), “First I go to my kitchen table, then I read one chapter from the Old Testament, one chapter from the New Testament, one Psalm, one Proverb and then I pray for ten minutes.”  Now, I know God honored my discipline, but I was trying to quench my thirst with ice chips.  I was still thirsty for more! 

How about you?  Do you have your quiet times scheduled in your calendar as irrevocable appointments?  Think of it this way.  If Wendy Blight said she was coming to your town and really wanted to meet you (probably at Chick-fil-A for some sweet tea), you know darn well that you would be there with bells on!  You would want to know all about her and you would be so excited to share what’s on your heart.  Admittedly, it can be hard to have that same excitement with God since He’s invisible to our eyes.  But Jesus said, “…Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”  (John 20:29 NLT)

Once you have your Father-daughter date scheduled in your calendar, what are you going to do?  Consider the newfound victory you are living in: you are finding forgiveness and releasing strongholds.  You have the freedom of a new life!  God is holding your face in His hands and He excitedly says, “See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19 NIV84)  He is making a way in the desert!  Streams in the wasteland!  In other words, He is offering Living Water, not ice chips!

There are two tactics that have helped me transition from ice chips to water.  I have personalized my quiet times with God, and I have personalized His tone of voice so I can hear Him deep in my heart. 

I’ve traded my robotic quiet times for tailor made dates with my Heavenly Father.  Before I begin my quiet time, I take a moment to see where my heart pulls me.  Most early mornings I spend my time in my home office with a cup of coffee.  But there are instances when I feel drawn to get cozy on the couch, or maybe the kitchen table seems more fitting.  On the weekends, I drive out to my favorite bench which overlooks the beach.  Sometimes I let God lead me through the Bible.  Other mornings, I might be in the mood to sing praise music (I’m convinced my parrot-squawking voice sounds more like Carrie Underwood to God’s ears).  There are times when I’m involved in Bible studies and other times when I just want to write God a love letter or a thank you note. 

I’ve also learned to personalize God’s voice.  Matthew 11:28 is Jesus’ call to us when we are tired and burned out, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  I’ll tell you… when I was drinking ice chips, I couldn’t relate to that verse since I heard a Harlequin-romance-meets-Old-English voice in my mind.  But just as we use different tones of voices when we speak to different people, God’s voice is personalized to each of us.  I’m a playful and quirky girl.  In faith, I picture Jesus running a few strides in front of me turning to me with a big smile and calling me with a strong voice, “Come to me Noelle!”  Now, I can relate to that.  I have a friend who is more of a romantic, and she hears that verse whispered in her ear.  That resonates in her heart.

What about you?  How can you go from ice chips to Living Water?  Are your daily Father-daughter dates scheduled in your calendar?  What can you do to personalize them?  Do you hear God’s voice in a tone that touches your heart?  Drink up girlfriends!  God is pouring out Living Water for you and me…  Cheers!

 

Noelle, thank you for sharing this beautiful message with us! And, yes, I do LOVE me some sweet tea.

 

Below is this week’s video lesson, assignment, and prayer.

Assignment: Read Chapter Eight in Hidden Joy, “Quiet Time.” Complete the Guide for Reflection and Study questions for Chapter 8 located in the back of the book.

Memory Verse: “Be still and know that I am God..” Psalm 46:10

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for this amazing “small” group. You perfectly called each one here because Jesus has set her free… free indeed! As the heavy chains of unforgiveness are broken and as each stronghold is rendered powerless, You are calling us to an exciting new life! Give us ears to hear You as You call us to our special Father-daughter date each day. Help us to personalize our quiet times so we can fall madly in love with You. Help us to recognize that our thirst can be quenched by You alone. In our lives today, we can get deceived and think that busyness is a badge of honor. Our cell phones buzz, Facebook draws us in, even serving at church can take us away from the intimate times You want to have with us. Let us not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but let us be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Our quiet times help us to renew our minds. Abba, bring us from ice chips to Living Water. We love You so much. We lift our prayers and sing Your praises in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Noelle and I will be praying for God to speak personally and powerfully to each one of you as you become intentional in your time alone with God.  Please share with us what you experience throughout the week in your quiet time.  And don’t forget when you leave a comment, your name will be included  for a chance to win a copy of Hidden Joy.

Blessings,

Comments

  1. Noelle,

    I can’t tell you how encouraging this is to me. I have personalized God’s voice, too, and I thought I was maybe a little crazy for doing that! :) To me, He sounds like Father who is never too angry to offer compassion. I lacked that as a child, and I think I draw so much from Him in that way. His voice is always tender, but strong, so that I know He is in control. And I’ve heard Him laugh too…and that I love. Thank you for spending time ministering to this group of ladies. Blessings to you!

    • Katie… I LOVE that tone of voice… and His laughter! Huge hugs from one crazy girl to another… both of us lavishing in God’s crazy, abundant love for us!

  2. Noelle and Wendy,

    Both of your messages are amazing! There is just nothing like Jesus that can fill that thirst for Him we were created with! Thank you both so much for these words of Truth and encouragement!

    <3 Heather

    • Sister! God has quenched my thirst many times by your sweet spirit and your deep wisdom. Thank you Heather! xo

    • Thank you for your sweet words. I agree with Noelle. You have fed me many times with your God given words of wisdom.

      W

      • You BOTH have poured truth into me when I have needed it the most! I am blessed beyond measure to have you both in my life. I look forward to the day when we can all meet face-to-face…oh the joyous nerd dance that will burst forth!! All sense of decorum and poise will seriously fly out the window the moment I lay my eyes on the two of you!

        <3 Heather

  3. Noelle and Wendy,

    I am new to this site and have been following the ‘Hidden Joy’ study for the last few weeks. What a blessing it has been! I am not able to purchase the book but I am still getting a lot out of the study by listening and reading online. Today’s message was especially encouraging to me. In the last few years God led me from being a working wife/mother to staying-at-home with my family full time. I LOVE it, but I have struggled in learning my new role, particularly in getting organized. I feel like the Lord has said to me “Everything would fall into place if you would give Me the firstfruits of your time each morning.” Then, a few days ago, I told my husband “I am spiritually starving.” After reading Noelle’s writing and listening to Wendy, I realize I am not only starving but THIRSTY! I love the Lord, but my quiet times with Him are erratic at best; no wonder I am so thirsty. With small children in the house, I need to be more disciplined to get up and have my time with the Lord when all is quiet. I have been asking God to help me and He spoke to me today through you with some really practical tips. Thank you so much!

    • Abba, thank You for bringing Kris to Wendy’s study. You know every need Kris has as a wife, a Mommy, a homemaker… and You have blessed her with the wisdom of giving You her firstfruits of time and energy. We trust that You will open the floodgates from heaven for her as she heeds Your call. Bless her with Living Water and she’ll never thirst again! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

      Kris, I am having my daughter pick numbers out of a hat when the week is over to choose the winners of the Hidden Joy books. If your number is not chosen, I will definitely send you a book regardless! So, email me your info (noelleandryan@aol.com) and I’ll get the book out to you!

    • Kris, I pray the Lord will awaken you with His quiet sweet Spirit and draw you unto Himself and into His Word. While you sit at His feet, I pray He will fill and refresh you so much so that you will HUNGER to return the next day!! We are so thankful He is ministering to you in this way. It is an anwer to our prayers!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  4. Margarita says:

    Noelle/Wendy/Study Fam

    Your story just amazes me every time I hear it. The person you are and the God in you that shines through so bright is such an amazing blessing to be a part of.
    I am so thankful to God that I get to learn from you.

    I love the room transition from ICU and ice chips to a regular room and a pitch of water!
    For my personal story to look at it from that perspective just takes my breath away.
    I have been in so much pain and remembering where the Lord has taken me from in the last few years has not been easy.
    Today I am in my regular room and I am so thankful for the abundance of water flowing into my pitcher as I consume it into my heart as fast as I can take it in.

    God is so good.
    Looking back even a hand full of years ago, never did I think I’d be where I am today.
    Healing, fighting, loving what feels like even more than before, knowing I’m so loved and so valuable, even with nothing.

    It’s funny because when you taught about Quiet Time years ago when I first met you, I just didn’t get it and I didn’t understand it.
    I was frustrated like, this woman is crazy. I mean does she just sit there in the dark? What is this quiet time?

    For me it took time to understand it but once I began my Quiet Time, I can’t imagine my life without it!
    I have my QT (Quiet Time) in the mornings, at a lunch break and even do them if I have
    I am sure God has spoken to my heart before but as my relationship with our Father has grown and continues to grow I too have heard him so loud and clear.
    He’s funny too, seriously, there are days were I belly laugh and go God your funny, I hear ya and I love you so much!

    Ahhhh I love this book, this study, this amazing journey of life God has me on.

    I loved last week’s chapter on strongholds and the Forgiveness prayer was amazing.
    Thank you so much for sharing that Wendy!

    As I went for a run Saturday morning, I just was filled with so much joy. I was running and as the wind blew around my body I just felt so free, so at peace and you better believe I looked like a crazy happy woman running down the street. This book is helping me so much to heal. Praise God! Thank you Jesus!
    My heart is being so filled.
    I know this is work that will be on going the rest of my life and I am all in!

    I love you ladies and this amazing group.

    • Margarita… the Holy Spirit cannot be contained in your body! You are a living example of the victory Wendy so desperately wanted when she wrote Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner! You inspire me (and countless others) to no end. God is moving mountains by the way He is moving your heart. I love you.

    • Wow!! Your words fill me with GREAT JOY!! We can just FEEL the freedom you are experiencing. It is absolutely beautiful. Noelle is exactly right. You are a living example of the victory I prayed for every day I sat down and wrote the pages of Hidden Joy. You are an answer to those prayers I prayed. May God continue to take you deeper still with Him as you seek to know Him more. May He fill you so full that you overflow into the lives of those around you and bring His Light, Love, Joy, and Healing.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  5. Margarita says:

    Just realized I didn’t finish one of my sentences :) … QT (Quiet Time) in the mornings, at a lunch break and even do them if I have…meant to say I even do them while waiting at appointments or just when I’m lounging around.

  6. Karen Doll says:

    Dear Noelle and Wendy,
    Thank you for your strong and sweet words of encouragement ! In this fast paced world we live in today, it can be a struggle to have quality quiet time with God. And, sometimes when I am supposedly in my quiet time, my mind wanders. I pray for God to bless this time with Him with such a fervor and focus so that I can walk away refreshed and closer to He who created me. I know I am weak, but with Him I can and will be stronger.
    I pray for each of you ladies as you walk with God, as well as, lead us with your testimonies and faith. I pray that He will continue to bless your gift of leadership so that many more of us may benefit.
    Thank you.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Karen

    • You rock Karen! Thank you for your prayers! I hear you with the wandering mind. The enemy tries to distract me with so many random thoughts in my quiet time. But we have the mind of Christ and we are more than conquerors! God’s richest blessings to you in your Father-daughter dates!

    • Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement and your prayers. I pray God will give you an extra measure of the mind of Christ as you commit to spend more focused time with Him. I pray through His Spirit you will be able to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  7. Thankyou for posting the bible studies and for being awesome encouragers!

    • Amanda, I second that! I have been insanely blessed by Wendy’s studies. Most of them I’ve done with the group, but there have been a couple when I did them after the fact and they still blessed my socks off! Amazing!

      • You are so welcome. I LOVE doing these Bible studies and walking through the Word with all of you.

        W

  8. Thank you for your post, Noelle! Maybe I have been eating “ice chips” when I could have been drinking from the well of living water”. Thank you for personalizing it for me. I am very anxious to see where God will lead me with this new knowledge.

  9. Kristi S says:

    I already have Wendy’s book so I don’t need to be entered into the giveaway.

    Wendy, thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Reading your book helped me heal during a time much like Noelle’s and I want to thank you so much for answering God’s call. Noelle. I am so thankful that you shared your story. The tears are still flowing. I have been exactly where you are except for me it was food. I was so hungry and, yet, my body wouldn’t accept food. It wasn’t until you made the analogy between your thirst for water and your soul’s yearning for God as Living Water. When I was broken, God blessed me and allowed me to eat again. It took a similar situation as yours where my heart failed as well at the age of 31. And, yet, for some reason, through several miracles, I could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. It wasn’t an easy process but I could eat. We take advantage of these simple things but God can provide all things. My body is now 60 pounds heavier than it has ever been since my stomach is still healing but I’m alive. Even when I was afraid I wouldn’t wake the next morning, God had allowed me to find sustenance again. It was a process but Wendy’s book helped to heal my soul and to realize that His bread of life is all I need. I know it may seem silly to compare but I never thought of my quiet time with Him like that until I read your story. Thank you! God bless you Noelle and Wendy!

    • Oh Abba… Thank You for Kristi’s amazing testimony. Thank You for healing her heart and for the journey to completely heal her stomach. Kristi’s wisdom speaks such truth… that You are the bread of life. Bless Your beautiful daughter with Your perfect sustenance and Your complete healing. Let her eat and drink in Your truest riches. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

      Kristi, thank you so much for sharing your story. Incredible!

    • Kristi,

      Thank you for sharing a bit of your story with us. You have an amazing testimony, and I would love to have you share it on my web site. Please e-mail me so we can visit about it. It blesses me beyond measure to know that the Lord allowed me to have a small part in His healing work in your life. It means even more to have you continue to journey with us through the Word to share your wisdom and testimony. You are such an inspiration!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

    • Elizabeth says:

      Kristi,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I awoke to a thunderstorm in the middle of the night and I started to be afraid. I started thinking of all the trees in the neighborhood that had been hit by lightning in the past (one in my front yard which has now grown “sucker branches” where the limb was cut off). Nothing ever damaged my house (that one had fallen on the gutter). I turned on the radio and the minister was talking about Jesus being asleep in the boat when the huge storm blew the waves and they woke up Jesus and said, “Don’t you care…?” As I was listening to the minister I think the Holy Spirit must have reminded me of that part of the story because I said aloud “Don’t you care?” right at the exact same time as the minister. Then the minister said the disciples were actually rebuking Jesus for not caring. Instead of being very angry, Jesus asked them a question about their faith. At this point I started crying and asked God to forgive me for doubting that He cared. I really felt God’s closeness at that moment that He was right there with me and He did care. Then a commercial came on for a Christian health sharing plan using Psalm 81 as part of their phone number. I looked it up. Psalm 81:6-7 says “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah.” The last verse 16 says “But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” The Lord cares about our physical and spiritual needs. Praise the Lord.
      Hugs,
      Elizabeth

  10. Mandy Currie says:

    Noelle, thank you for such a beautiful message, it truly lifted me up on a day when I really needed it. I know what’s it’s like to live with health issues, but I’m believing and praying. What a lovely giveaway, I would enjoy a Bible study, I’ve not been in one for a while and could do with the inspiration of the Word. Thank you. Kind Regards Mandy Currie (mandycurrie@googlemail.com)

    • Mandy, I’m sorry today has been so trying. Health issues are so tough, but how beautiful your belief and prayers are… certainly music to God’s ears! I am praying Psalm 147:3 over you! xo

    • Mandy, we would love to have you join us for our on-line studies!! Please pray about registering for future studies. I know you would be blessed by the studies as well as the fellowship.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  11. The Shepherd's daughter says:

    Wendy and Noelle,
    Thank you for sharing this story. And thank you Wendy for the lessons you bring to us that help us submit and heal.
    I do not have a book, and would love to have one.
    I have been in a long trial with a prodigal daughter and family who enable her.
    Forgiveness has been important as a daily action through this. The Prayer of Forgiveness will be a tool that will help me heal and love more.
    Noelle’s story is amazingly beautiful and I must share that in my 3 yr. trial, I have been drawn closer to The LORD and find my time in His Word and my prayer time with Him to be like a spring of living water that I can’t get enough of!
    I thirst for more each hour. I find this time to be a time where I get to KNOW WHO GOD IS and therefore KNOWING GOD heals and comforts me because I see that in all things He has all power and that all HE allows in our lives is done for good. All trials grows us, strengthens us, and is for His glory. He is not out to hurt us, for He loves us. He is all knowing, all powerful, and all loving. He is just and He will work it all together for good. I read about Job and Joseph last night. Job began to ask why and in chapters 38-41 God showed Job that God is THE CREATOR with ALL POWER, and showed Job God’s Wisdom. Then Job repented and rested in God.
    Joseph rested in God and Trusted and saw God’s plan unfold and bring glory to His Name, and work together for good. But he could have panicked and responded wrong in many situations which would have changed much for Israel and us today!
    I am learning to let God quiet my soul. A noisy soul fears, ask why?, doubts, panics, etc.
    But when I thirst for God, learn of Him, I can rest. I Chronicles 29: 11-13 reminds me of Who God is! My soul can rest. God is More Than Enough! “Quieting a Noisy Soul” by Jim Berg has been a blessing to me in helping me learn this. Your lessons have grown me many a time.
    I believe your book would be an asset to my learning tools!
    Thank you.

    • Thank you for filling our comment section today with so many powerful truths. Wow!! He has poured His Word nto you, and you are being so faithful to pour it back out. And how wise are your words that we need to let God “quiet” our souls because if we do not, they become a cacophony of worries, doubts, fear, and panic. He commands us to “Be still and know that He is God.” He knows what is best!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

    • I love that term “Noisy Soul”! That’s exactly what it feels like when we drift, right? Thank you for such rich wisdom!

  12. Gayla Whitaker says:

    Noelle, I too know the thirst associated with a stay in ICU; and the joy of finally tasting water. Your inspired story truly impressed upon me the despair of my spirit without the Living Water that only Christ can provide. Thank you. ~Gayla ps Sweet tea is a favorite!

    • Always love meeting another “sweet tea” girlfriend!!

      W

    • I’m sure Wendy just wrote that with a huge Southern Belle grin on her face :) Sister, I am so thrilled God wrote your story as He did. Quenching my spirit alongside you…

  13. Jessica Jackson says:

    Wendy and Noelle,
    I did some extra reading today, what a confirmation this chapter was for me! I woke up this morning saying I really need to get up earlier and read my bible and pray. I have been so busy w/ my 3 kids and activities and it’s just never-ending!, I was so committed a month or so back and since I haven’t been in the word as much I am so missing it! My alarm is set for 30 minutes earlier for tomorrow am and I will be reading and praying first thing in the morning! Thank you so much for passing this info along and God Bless you both :-)

    I definitely have a friend who is very mad at and confused about God that could really use a copy of your book! I have sent her the YouTube links to check you out Wendy, I know my friend would greatly benefit from your book, I have been so blessed! Have a beautiful week ladies!

    • Hi Jessica,

      I thought about you this morning as I stood at my kitchen window. Please let us know how your reading and quiet time went this morning!!! I am anxious to hear how He spoke to you.

      W

      • Jessica Jackson says:

        Thanks Wendy, I was thinking of you too! I couldn’t fall asleep to save my life last night I was up tossing and turning in bed and finally fell asleep at 12:30 am :-( when my alarm went off I hit snooze at least 5 times :-( then I thought I would be ok b/c I would work from home which I didn’t…. I still listened to worship music and did leave work an hour early to come home and relax and read the next chapter in the book about praying which I SO NEEDED! My alarm is set again and I will be asleep early and up early for quiet time w/ God before I start my day!

    • Jessica,
      I love your heart. You remind me of Revelation 3:20. You hear God knocking at the door of your heart and you’re opening it to have amazingly rich time with your Heavenly Father. Like Wendy, I’m excited to hear how your extra 30 minutes went!

      • Jessica Jackson says:

        Thanks Noelle,
        I have been Striving for a great relationship w/ God and to listen for him and spend to time w/ him and to meditate and really hear the purpose God has for my life! God Bless Noelle :-)

  14. Kathleen says:

    What a great message and one with which I can identify on a few levels. Following a serious motor vehicle accident, I spent six weeks in ICU and I too remember that thirst and how it seemed like they must bring in the ice chips from the Arctic by the spoonful they were so stingy with them. :-) We lost two children in the accident and due to the extent of my injuries and related surgeries, I was flat on my back in bed for several months. I could not even hold my Bible and how I thirsted. PTL for a Christian brother who worked at the hospital and would come and read to me during his lunch break.

    During that same hospitalization, God laughed with me. What a sweet experience and it broke the pain and distress of the moment. At an earlier time, during our years of infertility, my heavenly Father held me while I sobbed out my heartache. When Mom was killed by a drunk driver, He was a quiet, understanding tower of strength while I railed at Him because Mom was killed without any assurance that she had become His child.

    Although a quiet time is an established part of my life, I loved the suggestions offered. I have also found that when I have dry periods and I feel like I am not hearing from God if I remain faithful to spend time with the Lord, I will once again have that thirst quenched and rejoice in hearing from God again. He is so faithful even or maybe especially when I am struggling.

    Thank you both so much. Is there any tea other than sweet tea? Lol

    • Kathleen,

      I love testimonies like yours…you have suffered so much pain and loss and yet you have trusted God and long for more of God in your life. It seems He has met you in every trial and faithfully brought you through. Thank you for sharing from yoru heart today. I sense your words were spirit led and have encouraged and brought hope to someone doubting and questioning what God is doing. May God continue to use you and your powerful story mightily to bring hope and healing into the lives of His precious lambs!!

      And, no there is no other kind of tea!!!

      W

    • Oh Kathleen…
      I was captivated by your testimony. You are so filled with the Holy Spirit, and it’s like poetry the way He moves in and through you to impact others.

      Abba,
      Thank You for Kathleen. The intimacy the two of you have shared through life’s tragedies is beyond beautiful. Kathleen’s response to her trials is 1 Peter 3:14-15 personified.

      14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

      Open the floodgates of heaven for Your daughter! In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen!

  15. Trina Kerr says:

    Dear Wendy and Noelle,

    I thank the LORD for giving you the courage to tell your stories and share your hearts.
    It has been a painful process to recognize that I am a sinner and need a savior when I have been the victim of the sinful behaviors of others. My story began as a very young girl and being sexually molested by different men in my parent’s church body. At age 12 my own father again molested me after my mother left us one summer. At the age of 14 my eldest brother molested me when he was visiting after leaving his own wife. I was then date raped @ 15 by a 23-year-old man who spent time hanging out at the High School I attended. I began to assume that I was “wanted” by men in this manner and never really felt a value for anything other than being “desired” by men. It was a lonely and emotionally painful existence.
    When I got married I still struggled with being wanted and truly desired by anyone, especially my husband. It was when I was pregnant with my daughter that the LORD began working on my heart to receive Him. I became “saved” a month after she was born but I wasn’t really “born again”. I couldn’t understand why I was considered a sinner but I desired healing. My marriage was hurting and I was feeling very lost. I felt as if I was in such darkness and kept hearing a passage… “Go back to your first love.” I wasn’t very strong in the LORD and went back to my first “real” boyfriend and committed adultery. It was during that terrible trial that the LORD revealed to me that I was a sinner who truly needed a Savior. He brought me through that time and I became “born again”. I won’t say it was easy but it was there that He gave me a new beginning. Through the years He has taught me so much! How to forgive my father and brother and the other men who took advantage of me but something has been missing… A consistent quiet time with Him. I am terribly thirsty and hunger for a deeper and more refreshing time with Him. These past 3 years have been increasingly difficult. Our children have grown; one of my sons got married and the other moved away. The sadness of the “empty nest” has caused a great void in my marriage. This last summer my husband and I got into a terrible argument ending with him hitting me and going to jail for Domestic Violence. We are now reconciling and going to counseling. It is during this time that your book came into my life, Wendy. I feel the LORD is calling me into a deeper relationship with Him. He is pursuing me and knocking at the door of my heart to abide in Him. I thought that I dealt with my bitterness and self-pity but your book is opening my heart to the deeper and darker places where the LORD desires to shine His light and bring healing. This is a whole new insight in my relationship with Him. He is calling me to have unconditional love in my marriage and true forgiveness for everyone because He alone is Sovereign.
    I am so very thankful to the LORD for giving you the courage to publish your story.
    He is using it to bring new meaning into my life and I am grateful.
    Blessings,
    Trina

    • Trina,

      Thank you for sharing from the depths of your heart. You have journeyed through so much pain and sorrow. How very thankful I am you know the only ONE who can bring healing and restoration into your life. I pray the Lord will use His living and active word to penetrate those deep, dark places in your heart and shine His LIGHT. I pray He will begin a transformational work that will free you from all bitterness and self-pity. I pray He will draw you close and reveal to you how far and wide and deep and long is His love for you. May He wash you with that love and cleanse you of all that holds you captive. May your walk in full freedom from all that has bound you!!! Please keep us updated on what you hear as you sit with your Father and listen for His voice.

      Blesings,

      Wendy

      • Trina,
        As I read your life story, I became speechless. Then I read Wendy’s reply to you and she gave words to my deep emotions. I stand with Wendy and hold you high to our Heavenly Father! God’s abundant blessings to you Trina… xo

        • Trina Kerr says:

          Noelle,

          Thank you for your encouragement and your prayers.
          I know the LORD isn’t finished with me yet. There’s still work to be done!!
          Blessings,
          Trina

      • Trina Kerr says:

        Wendy,

        Thank you for your kindness and your prayers.
        It is humbling to share the “secrets” that have haunted me for so long, BUT the LORD… He alone is worthy to be praised. He also knows that you were called for such a time as this.
        It feels like an honor to be a part of this study and to have His healing hand upon each of us.
        May He continue to bless you and fill you with His Spirit of love, grace, and mercy.
        Trina

  16. jackie s says:

    I have been a Christian for 40 years (just turned 50) and I feel like I am finally taking the time to really find that time to seek God. The dirty dishes in the morning can sit; my quiet time is so much more important. I work outside the home and am finding that if i don’t find this time, the day is just not as focused. Thank you both for your message.

    • You are so welcome. I pray He will reveal wonderful new truths and promises as you sit at His feet each day.

      W

      • jackie s says:

        Do you know what is even more fantastic this week? God’s timing! Our women’s Bible study group (i host, another speaks) on Monday nights is covering a study speaking to BALANCE in our life. The entire message on Monday was placing God first before everything else takes over – specifically QUIET TIME WITH GOD! Then I listened to your video, began reading the chapter and it’s now been 4 days of non-stop encouragement to seek God, get into the Word, and BE with Him. This was no accident. I thank God for the Bible, Bible studies, women willing to share, and the awesomeness that God works things together in such a beautiful way.
        Ladies – one last thing. A friend of mine needs PRAYER @ 1:30pm today (Thurs). She needs prayerful support. Thanks.

    • Ahhhhh! What a breath of fresh air… to know that the dirty dishes can wait… because nothing can compare with the blessings of your quiet time with your Abba Father. May God’s blessings continue to overwhelm you, Jackie!

  17. Edie Clavelli says:

    Dear Wendy and Noelle,

    I am privileged to be in Heather Bleier’s Monday night Bible study! Heather is truly a person who walks alongside others as they uncover their hearts. From the first day that I met her she has taken hold of my hand and intuitively never let go. She listens with genuine concern and she shares with her whole being- I love that about her- and this is with everyone that knows her as well! Heather has revealed so many truths with scripture,prayer, and Christian fellowship. I am perhaps her bird with a broken wing, but through your book I am transforming in mind and soul.
    Thank you ladies for sharing your lives so spiritually and with such grace each week. I have been humbled to the core of my being.

    • Edie,

      Heather is a true blessing. Your words describe her perfectly. She has been such an encourager to me personally, to our prayer group, to Proverbs 31, and to our on-line studies. She blesses so many with her faithful prayers and amazing knowledge of the Word. I know your words will mean so much to her.

      I pray that God will continue to grow your faith and give you a strong foundation so that you may stand with confidence…no longer a fagile bird with a broken wing but a soaring eagle, strong and fre!!! May His Word continue to do its penetrating work transforming your heart and mind.

      Sweet Blessings to you,

      Wendy

    • Oh wow Edie!
      I wish I could be a part of your Monday group! Heather has blessed me beyond measure with rich wisdom, genuine friendship and healing affirmation. I can tell that YOU are a gift as well. You have a humble spirit, you are seeking Christ with your whole heart and you are uplifting. I love how Heather has let God’s Spirit work through her to help transform your mind and heart. And as you soar as Wendy said above, you will pay Heather’s work forward and YOU will be a living example of 2 Corinthians 1:4! God bless you Edie!

    • I love you Edie!! I love that I get to spend time with you each week in Bible study as we grow together through His Word. I can’t wait for us to dig into this chapter together on Monday, I bet we’d need an additional hour to cover all of the incredible truths Wendy has shared with us. Then it’s onto PRAYER, be still my beating heart, I LOVE prayer!! See you Sunday beautiful!!

      The three of you are waaaaaay too generous with your words. As I read your comments, you brought tears to my eyes, it’s strange reading these words of acclamation and realize that you’re talking about me. It’s definitely not something I see when I look in the mirror. Thank you for your uplifting words, I am truly touched.

      <3 Heather

  18. Hi Wendy,
    Have gotten a bit behind on the study and am trying to get caught up. After an almost 2 year separation, my divorce was final this past Monday. It is not the outcome I have been praying for, but I am totally trusting God in this. I know this has to be one of he reasons I was led to the bible study, and am desperately trying to learn how to hear God’s voice and know His will for my life. I am still very much in love with my husband, and pray that if it God’s will, that maybe one day we can have another chance together. Thank you for sharing your experience through your book, I am so encouraged by your wisdom and words. It has been a long valley for me and my children, but I am confident that God will bring good out of this situation because of what He promises in His Word. Blessings, Tricia

    • Tricia,
      I too am in the same “season” of life as you are now. I will be in prayer with and for you. I know how it feels to be in love with someone who has lost any feelings for you. But perhaps through this study, the words of hope and faith from Wendy and the lives of so many others you and I can become stronger women in Christ. Allow him to be our husband and true love. Stay strong and be still……allow his peace to protect your heart.
      Praying for you
      Dona

      • Dona,
        Thank you for your response. I am sorry that you are in the same situation as I am, and will be lifting you up in prayer as well. It seems like we have had one thing after another happen lately. A week to the day of my divorce, I had to rush my daughtrers pet to an emergency clinic last night almost an hour away. She is away at college and it broke my heart to have to call and tell her about her “baby”. He was her 16th birthday gift, and she is still dealing with the divorce of me and her step dad, who she was very close to. Needless to say I am at work after only about an hour and a half of sleep. To say I am ready for something good to happen in our lives is an understatement. But I know I have to stand in faith believing God’s promise tht He works all things together for good for those who love and trust Him, and I do. My children and I have been through a rough couple of years, but I am trusting for something good to come out of all of this. Do you have a personal e-mail? Would love to keep in touch and share scripture. If you would like to get in touch, my e-mail is tgibson@fbclj.org (work) or my home is txtempr@yahoo.com. Blessings to you, will be praying. Tricia

      • Abba… thank You for Your beautiful brides Tricia and Dona. In the most intimate ways, let Your love penetrate their hearts like never before. Lift their veils so they can see You looking at them with a deep longing in Your heart. Heal their hurts. Thank You that they know You so well that they are confident in how You are moving through this season of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

        Huge hugs girlfriends… xo

  19. Blessings Wendy and Noelle and sisters in Christ… Quick message and thanks to both of you for another week of a great message and Word from/of the Lord on Abiding… my favorite favorite place and time daily, nightly, whenever… but my special day set aside is Fri. in anticipation of a great weekend and ministry with Him and the body of Christ (at church and at and about in the community here). A way of gearing up… many times, I have so many prayer requests in a week and people in great need of prayer intercessors and warriors, but I try to make Fri. a special day with Our Lord, praise and worship, sitting at His feet (sometimes laying), dancing, whatever His choice…(and mine).

    Once again I am blessed by this beautiful testimony and great questions to reflect and draw closer from Noelle. Praise God…for Living Water, His power and even sweet tea!

    Wendy (as always) your prayer, your video message and your precious heart throughout this study are ever so timely and anointed. I am truly blessed. Praying for you and your loved ones for safe traveling mercies and a wonderful time. Vaya con Dios!

    Love to you all … today’s Women Bible Study and I can’t wait to see how the Spirit will move… thank you so much again. This week’s Fri. I think I’ll try this memory verse and BE STILL and WAIT!… this message lines up again with “Soul Detox and my Tues. blog post with a song called “Restless” and some notes from the study. (sorry Wendy, no “Wendy On Weds. this week)… God bless!
    Peggy
    (I would be greatly blessed to have a copy of Hidden Joy to share. You don’t happen to have it in Spanish? (not for me but for others that may need this here).

    • Peggy… you lit my heart on fire thinking about your extra special Friday night dates with God! I can picture you sitting (or laying) at His feet… dancing… moving how the Spirit moves your heart. Beautiful!

      • Julie S. says:

        Awe Peggy! I do the same thing! I love turning up my praise music dancing around the house in the sunshine or bowing at his feet…raising my hands in praise and thanks! It renews my spirit and is food for the soul! Always extra special when my children are praising with me <3!!! Hope your week is great! Hugs and love!

        Julie

        • You bet Julie!!! Hope yours is also!

          My Friday date time was indeed awesome! Worship music in Spanish and then I just had to bow at His feet and WAIT!

          Remember, I mentioned that I would put into practice “Be Still…”… well, I’m not really the patient “waiting” kind of girl and I love to be actively involved in dance, worship, flags, tambourine… but this Friday was really different… but I did not wait in stillness… long enough… I began reading and found His Words (from Sarah Young’s devotionals) and then in Cherie Hill’s “HOPE BEING GONE”… I was so excited I just had to come here today and share…

          “WAITING, TRUSTING, AND HOPING are intricately connected, like golden strands interwoven to form a strong chain. Trusting is the central strand, because it is the response from My children that I desire the most. Waiting and hoping embellish the central strand and strengthen the chain that connects you to Me. Waiting for Me to work, with your eyes on Me, is evidence that you really do trust Me. If you mouth the words “I trust You” while anxiously trying to make things go your way, your words ring hollow. Hoping is future-directed, connecting you to your inheritance in heaven. However, the benefits of hope fall fully on you in the present. Because you are Mine, you don’t just pass time in your waiting. You can wait expectantly, in hopeful trust. Keep your “antennae” out to pick up even the faintest glimmer of My Presence.” John 14:1; Psalm 27:14 and Hebrews 6:18-20

          “I AM LIFE AND LIGHT IN ABUNDANCE. As you spend time “soaking” in My Presence, you are energized and lightened. Through communing with Me, you transfer your heavy burdens to My strong shoulders. By gazing at Me, you gain My perspective on your life.

          This time alone with Me is essential for unscrambling your thoughts and smoothing out the day before you. Be willing to fight for this precious time with Me.

          Opposition comes in many forms: your own desire to linger in bed; the evil one’s determination to distract you from Me; the pressure of family, friends, and your own inner critic to spend your time more productively. As you grow in your desire to please Me above all else, you gain strength to resist these opponents. Delight yourself in Me, for I am the deepest Desire of your heart”.

          Young, Sarah (2011-03-08). 40 Days With Jesus: Celebrating His Presence 1st one(p. 15) and 2nd one(p. 18).

          And so much more in Sarah Young’s other “Dear Jesus:Seeking His Light in your life” … LIGHT is my WORD for 2012!!!

          Thank you Wendy, Noelle and Julie for being His Light and may each of us continue seeking and being His Light in the dark corners… so we too can be transformed with JOY like Wendy and filled with His Living Water rather than ice chips… let’s not miss a moment of DELIGHT… Our delight is in Him and He is delighted with YOU!

          Love to you all <3 HUGS…
          Peggy

    • I just love how you do Friday “dates” with God. What a wonderful idea!!! I always appreciate learning new ways to do quiet time. Thanks for sharing this.

      W

  20. Vonnie Kronk says:

    Wendy, thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Reading your book has helped me heal during a time much like Noelle’s and I want to thank you so much for answering God’s call. Noelle. I am thankful that you shared your story too. I had a Brain Injury from an accident in 2007 & I am slowing getting better. Through several miracles, I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. It wasn’t an easy process but I am seeing Simple Daily Tasks getting easier. We take advantage of these simple things but God can provide all things. It was a process thru Wendy’s book that helped to heal my soul and to realize that His bread of life is all I need. I know it may seem silly to compare but I never thought of my quiet time with Him like that until I read your story. Thank you! God bless you both!
    I am doing another online study & it Too Talks about Quiet Time with God so I Know God is wanting me to Get This Good during my alone time Now.

    • Wow Vonnie! Your story is unfolding with such grace and gratitude. I’m praising God that He is taking you down healing roads with such intimacy. Isn’t He amazing how He communicates? He’s romancing you to your Father-daughter dates! God bless you during your sweet quiet times.

    • Vonnie, thank you for sharing how Hidden Joy and the message from Noelle have blessed and encouraged you. It truly brings tears to my eyes to know that God used Hidden Joy to bring you hope and wisdom during such a difficult trial in your life. It brings purpose to those many years of pain and suffering when I wondered what God was doing and why He allowed me to suffer at the hands of a rapist…wondering if He forgot about me. But really, He knew about you!!! He knew one day He would meet you in your trial through the pages of Hidden Joy. Our God is so big. If only we could trust Him to know He only has plans for good even in the bad.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  21. God had me re read off the mat ( ch 5) to my eyes were opened because right now I am going through a time of worry and anxiety over school transportation and other minor things and He spoke to me loudly this morning regarding the matter. And this relates to quiet time because it was during this quiet time God began speaking to me and I was at a point where I was listening. I started out looking for videos of how others use and have their quiet time. Although I read the steps I was not able to observe how others did it, then God whispered and met me right where I was saying , ” why aren’t you asking ME how you should have quiet time with me.???” and when I did that the re reading of chapter 5 really hit home. God is truly Awesome!!!!!!!

    • Debra,
      You speak to a truth I have to remind myself often… to listen! I love how you heard Him in the hush of His whisper. Keep us updated as to how He personalizes your quiet times with you. Chapter 5 is so powerful… I love how God is helping you put together all of the puzzle pieces. Awesome!

    • Thank you for reminding us of a VERY IMPORTANT TRUTH relating to quiet time….the word “quiet.” We must be still and listen for His voice. We can read what everyone else says, but first and foremost, we need to hear what our Father says.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  22. I will do that, I am eager to see what He shows me.

  23. I get so frustrated with myself about quiet time. My husband isn’t home much and when he is he sort of does his own thing, so I have all the parenting responsibilities as well as working full time, cooking, cleaning, all that stuff. I just feel so overwhelmed sometimes with all the things I need to get done. At night I collapse into bed and the mornings…well, I have never been a morning person and even if I get up early, I sit there in a stupor trying to read and pray. I have a toddler, so quiet time is somewhat of an impossibility while he’s awake. Does anybody have any suggestions? I am so frustrated with this area of my life and I feel so far away from God when my quiet time becomes a treat instead of a regular thing.

    • Julie S. says:

      I hear you Katie! I nanny 4 days a week for twin girls that are 2 and have a 5 and 3 year old myself. I also am not a morning person. I take my shower and get ready and try to busy the boys for a few so I can have my quiet time before heading out for the day. Sometimes it works awesome, other days I have 2 little ones there with me. So on those days I read to them. If they are going to be in there, they are to be quiet and listen. Otherwise I will put them in their rooms with books or whatever to try to get a few minutes to myself. I then try again at nap time when everyone is down. You are only one person and there is only so much you can do. Try your best each and every day and pray about it. God wants to spend time with you, and I know he is capable of all things so I am sure he will provide! My only other suggestion is often having little kids we don’t have a lot of time. I have started to read the bible and prayer books to them and it is also time to help me. I’m reading them the Old Testament and I am reading the new Testament and Psalms (over and over). Sometimes I leave dishes or house stuff bc I know it will be there tomorrow and my time with God is priority! I don’t feel the same if I am not filled with his grace and love! Each day is a new day, start small and I am sure you will carve out wonderful time with God! Wish I could help, I will be praying for you! Hugs and love!

      Julie

      • Thank you Julie. :) It’s just nice to know we’re not alone in these things. I LOVE my quiet time when I get it. But like I said, I am just so mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day, that doing anything that requires thinking seems so far-fetched. I sing praise songs with my son at night before bedtime and I’ve begun using that as part of my time when I just offer myself to God. But still, I feel like I am shorting Him so much. He has literally carried me thru the last year and a half and the tiny bit I feel I have to offer doesn’t seem nearly enough. I am so thankful that we serve a gracious and patient God. :)

        • Julie S. says:

          I wonder if you could get a special toy basket filled with special toys that your little one could play with only when you are trying to have some quiet time. Just thought of that when I was thinking of you and how hard it can be as mom’s to find time! How many children do you have? How old? I also do the praise songs and dance around with my boys! Chrisitian music is so good and uplifting….keeps me on the right track when I cannot be in His word! I pray the Lord continues to show you ways you can have more time with Him!!! Have a wonderful day! Hugs!

          Julie

      • Katie and Julie… I wonder if someone from your church or family of Christ-centered friends could donate an hour of babysitting so you could enjoy your quiet times. Or maybe you could trade with other parents?

        Abba, please open the avenues for Your daughters to have their quiet times. It may seem impossible to us, but with You, all things are possible including crazy schedules and kids that need us! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

        xoxo

  24. Julie S. says:

    God is so good! All the time! He is amazing! His love for us is unconditional and forever! I sat in my quiet spot yesterday as I prepared to read the chapter this week. Tears were streaming down my face as I was reading bc God told me to make a spot to meet with him daily…just last week. So I set up a cozy beanbag in my room, by the window so I can feel close to Him. Everything that I am reading, God is already showing me. It just amazes me!! He is confirming and showing me the way each and every day! Noelle I often feel I am hungry and thirsty for more of the Lord. I feel like I just can’t get enough! Thank you for sharing! Your encouragment is wonderful! I started reading my bible during nap time (my break) and it is transforming into so much more! I find myself in my cozy spot several times a day! I told myself anytime I feel weak and like my strongholds are trying to sneak up I will replace it with truth from God’s word…in my spot if possible! Wendy when you spoke of everyday life sneaking up and taking your quiet time I remembered something that has helped me. Emotions are strong in all of us! I ask myself…am I controlling my emotions or are they controlling me? When I get in that emtional state I want to give up bc I am letting my busyness control me. But God is in control, come back to him and you will be full. I ask him to fill my cup till I am overflowing once again, sometimes daily :) !! I feel like I often do really good during my work week and fall apart on the weekends when there are so many distractions around. After my wonderful quiet time yesterday and reading this weeks chapter I prayed to know and feel him more. I took my children to play outside, boys love nature, and to be honest that is where I feel closest to God. After my prayer, I was wondering our yard….it is a mess bc we just built our house and moved in….no grass just mud and mess everywhere. A stick caught my eye and as I picked it up tears started to well up in my eyes…it was a perfect cross! I picked it up and called to my son Harper….what does this look like?!? A cross Mom! Amazing love! I picked it up and put it into the arms of my angel on the porch. Shortly after we were exploring some more and a big gust of wind stopped me in my tracks….it was Him. Hugging and loving me….uplifting me and encouraging me. When we take the time and listen he shows us amazing things. Girls I hope and pray you are experiencing some of the same amazing things I am on this journey! Wendy when you spoke of every knee bowing I always think of the song by Chris Tomlin, How Great is Our God…and the world edition at that! It has so many languages all praising God and it is awesome! That day will be amazing when every knee bows! Lord we are made for you, please lead us with your strong hands. We walk by faith, not by sight! I pray you reveal yourself to these wonderful women in new ways Lord. Amen! One last side note…I didn’t read the bible verse for the week until today, my week was kindy funky as I changed a few work days this week. Anyways…as I was sitting last night thinking, praying, talking to God….he told me….Be still and KNOW that I am God. The same verse for the week…WOW!!! Blessings and love ladies, thanks for all you do!

    Julie

    • Julie… your story inspires me to no end. I can picture you in your beanbag… and in your continuous seeking! I got choked up reading about the perfect cross-shaped stick. I love the gifts God perfectly plants for us and I want to be like you where I’m constantly looking for the abundant intimacy and blessings! Thank you for sharing that!!!

      • Julie S. says:

        It is my comfort zone for sure! Safe spot when I feel those strongholds trying to creep up again. I crave my time with the Lord there! I didn’t get it this morning so I feel like I’ve been a mess today! About to go sit outside in the beauitful sunshine and have some quiet time with our wonderful Lord! Thank you for your kind words Noelle! Prayers and love!!

        Julie

    • AWWWW Julie… this is so SPECIAL!!! So glad I made time to come and read here! Love the way you incorporate the kids and the wonder of outdoors and even the “beanbag”! I’m inspired and touched! Hoping your weekend is not so filled with distractions but more precious signs from Our Lord ‘cuz I’m sure He holds you in His hands and arms of love! May HIS SONshine on you and yours! Stay in touch!

    • Julie, I am just now reading this string of comments. It is wonderful to see how God answered your prayer so quickly to find a way to get some time with Him. You girls are so creative, showing us great ways to have time alone with God. It is not a formula…it is a relationship. It is how He draw you to Himself. It is how He works with you to fit in to your day. Praying He will continue to reveal Himself to you in fresh new ways. Thanks so much for sharing!

      W

      • Julie S. says:

        Thanks girls! I appreciate you all so much! Your encouragment means a lot in this dark world. God is so good we must simply wait upon him <3. Happy Sunday!

        Blessings and love!
        Julie

  25. I have been reminded that I have been chewing on ice chips instead of drinking the Living Water. Time to make a change. Thank you!

    • Lori, I’m praying that you get your fill… that your cup overflows… and that you have an unquenchable thirst for our Lord! How exciting to think about a change… I love the feeling of having a new adventure in front of me. I hope I get to hear your updates! xo

  26. Morning Ladies,
    I have always had my morning time with the Lord and also in my closet as Wendy had spoken of hers. It is amazing how quiet it can be and even in the darkness you can and do feel the presence of the Lord. Due to my current life situation, I have an even greater need to hear and feel the Lord in my life, over my thoughts and over my needs. So seeking him is what I am doing…and in a constant state of waiting.
    I go to work very early as the office is quiet and I can often get alot done. But I also have daily devotions sent to me and the one today from Nancy DeMoss Revive Our Hearts was titled “One Thing is Needed” and it was about Martha!! Luke 10 how she got obsessed with her to-do list and ended up perturbed with her sister and Jesus himself. What our chapter and lesson was on this week.
    But Jesus said to Martha, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.”
    That one thing was to sit at His feet, listening to His Word, responding to Him in love and worship!!
    So there you have it…conformation that we all are in this together…..needing to seek and FIND HIM, go after what is really important.
    Bless you all as you seek and find
    Dona

    • Julie S. says:

      So good Dona! Blessings to you this week! Thanks for sharing! I pray you continue to feel Him in your quiet time <3. I love how we read things and they are confirmed again….the same things are happening to me! God works in awesome ways…all the time!!

      Julie

    • Thank you for reminding us that only ONE thing is needed! And yes… doesn’t it feel comforting to know we’re all in this together?! God bless YOU as you seek and find. Thank you for sending us that same message. xo

    • Nancy Leigh DeMoss is one of my favorite Bible teachers. I had the opportunity to meet her in person a few years ago when she interviewed me for Hidden Joy. She is an amazing Bible teacher and one of my favorites. If you get a chance girls, please visit her website, http://www.reviveourhearts.com/.

      It is so like God to give us the same message many times over in different forms, from different people when He wants to speak a truth into our lives. Thanks for sharing!

      W

  27. Sometimes abiding in Christ is all about sitting back and simply listening to Him speak. Think of this song often when I think of spending some QT with God…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trUI1wtIIFk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    • Oh my GOSH Heather… I can’t thank you enough. I’m downloading that from iTunes RIGHT NOW! I can’t wait to know the words by heart so I can belt it out. Tears of truth, gratitude and love are filling my eyes! xo

  28. Jessica Joy says:

    Thank you Wendy and Noelle for sharing your stories! They have been so encouraging to me.
    A little over a year ago I knew God was calling me to separate from the man I was planning to marry because of some “sin” issues that my fiance was struggling with. I knew the Lord was calling us to a season where He wanted both of us to become dependent on Him before we got married. However, days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and now it has been over a year since we separated. We both have endured a brokenness AND healing that only God is capable of doing. One struggle we’ve had is that so many of our family members, brothers and sisters in Christ, and our pastors have been involved in giving us advice and counsel that recently it was making our situation confusing. Such words that we’ve heard are: “The guy needs more time to prove he isn’t going to slack off” or “You guys should probably wait longer before beginning to talk again”. I believe that seeking counsel is biblical, but sometimes doesn’t align with what God’s will is. The words that people are sharing are weighing heavy on my heart, BUT the Lord’s voice and calling is much heavier and I want to be obedient to what He’s calling me to do. A year ago I wouldn’t have been able to hear the voice of God as clearly as I am now because I was so entangled in planning a wedding and my relationship that I wasn’t making the Lord a priority in my life. Since then, God has done such a great and wonderful work in both of our lives to the point that we are both seeking Him on a daily basis and have a passion to grow stronger in the faith through reading His word. Up until two weeks ago, God continued to give me the verse Psalm 46:10 over and over again as I was waiting on His timing to move forward in this relationship. About a week ago we began talking again as we felt the Lord opened doors and gave us the “go-ahead”. God has also confirmed through His word that one day we will be married. As I think back on the past year, I realized that the Lord spoke to me so clearly through His word in each state of emotion that I was in. He is so good and faithful to meet us where we are if only we seek Him wholeheartedly! I can’t express how important reading the Bible (in a personal way) has made such a difference in my personal relationship with Jesus Christ… I open the pages with the intention of finding answers and seeking His direction for my life. I love that the Word is living and active! :-)

    • Praising God from the mountaintop with you Jessica! What a testimony to listening intently to God’s whispers… even in the midst of the earthquakes of others’ opinions. Amen to the Word being living and active! Thank you so much for sharing your powerful story!

    • What a wonderful God story, Jessica!!! Thank you for sharing this with us. We will talk more about this in the next two chapters…prayer and abiding. You are such a great witness to continuing to seek God even when it does not make sense and you are not hearing clear direction. God is so faithful. Sometimes He just has much He wants to teach us in the “wait time,” as my friend, Marlilynn Chadwick says in her book Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars.

      W

  29. I wanted to share apart of my quiet time with you this morning, as I feel led to do so, This morning at about 3:30 am my spirit began singing praises to God. I drempt I was in a cafe around Christmas time and was singing – Although I do not remember all of the words when I woke up these were the words that stayed with me and I thought they were timely for our study. The words were ” You know all of my wants, you know all of my needs. i may not get all of my wants but i do get all of my needs. And what I need is Jesus. Feeling His blood wash over me cleansing me of my sins. Then refreshing me with His living water. Jesus died for my sins and brought me salvation. All I need is Jesus … Jesus… Jesus…”

    And after that I awoke. I knew then that it was the Holy spirit speaking on my behalf and immediately prayed as i laid in bed. Thanking God for sending Jesus and the Holy Spirit so i could know Him better and be with Him. I just felt I wanted to share this with my sisters (in Christ)

    Hope your day is blessed…

    Debi

    • How beautiful it must have been to awaken with those words resonating on your heart! Thank you so much for sharing!

      <3 Heather

    • margarita says:

      I love the visual I get of his blood washing over me, then the refreshing water that is living he gives us thru Jesus Christ.

      Love it!
      Thank you for sharing.

    • Oh Debi… it’s like poetry to have the Holy Spirit romance you… and to have you respond as you did, immediately praying. What a beautiful dance! Thank you for this!

    • Julie S. says:

      Love this! It reminds me of one of my favorite songs. Take this world and give me Jesus! Blessings!

      Julie

    • Debi,

      Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.

      W

  30. Noelle thank you for sharing this week! What a powerful story, I love that visual of the ice chips & thirsting for so much more. For several years now I have been very diligent about a morning quiet time. On the few days that I miss, I find myself all day long yearning for Jesus! One of the most important & meaningful things I have focused on is scripture memory. During 2011, I joined a group of women who were challenged to memorize a verse every 2 weeks. Some weeks I even did more than that, so over the course of the year I memorized over 24 verses. And so many of those verses then became my refuge when in October I remembered that I had been sexually abused as a child. In God’s amazing way, many of the verses I memorized were exactly the ones I would need as during this most difficult time of my life. It is vital to have God’s word written on our hearts!

    • Oh my goodness Kathy… you have no idea… my daughter and I have been given that same challenge of hiding God’s word in our hearts. That is so awesome that you memorized 24! It’s incredibly powerful to use God’s active and living word in our prayers and to navigate this world. I love how intimate your story is… that He would use those verses to hold you through such a heart wrenching time. Thank you for sharing! What an inspiration!

    • Wow!! 24 verses…that is WONDERFUL!! Well done good and faithful servant. You are hiding God’s Word in your heart just as He commands. May it continue to bear much fruit.

      W

  31. I am just thankful that I get to read Hidden Joy more than once, and am always so encouraged by Wend’s thirst for His Word and her seeking heart for God in those pages. I could sense that God’s Words come alive and is so precious to Wendy, that I am also drawn to it.

    Noelle, I share a somewhat simlar story with you – I lost both my parents, 55 days apart, when I was 40, and then 6 years, a sister, all to cancer. It’s amazing how God use you and Wendy, despite the trials and pain you been through. Certainly, God works in marvellous ways to those who come to Him with brokeness and a contrite heart.

    I do have a thirst for God’s Word and love bible studies, but have problem doing my quiet time. I am not a morning person as my mind tends to be foggy as i would feel very tired and couldn’t seem to get much out of it. It didn’t help that i work full time and go to work early. I really missed those days when I was in Uni as a matured student in 1990s, when my quiet time was more consistent, as I need not go for early morning lessons. I think i am making excuses. I would be most grateful if someone pray for me and give me advice..

    • Abba… Thank You for Your perfect intimacy. I’ve never met anyone who had lost her parents within the same timeframe as I have. I can’t imagine what it was like for Laura to then lose her sister. Outrageous losses on our end… obviously heaven’s gain. Thank You that You’ve put that deep, unquenchable thirst in Laura’s heart that she knows can only be tempered by her Father-daughter time with You. In Jesus’ Name, give Laura the ability to hear these words from Isaiah 43:19 as Your call to her, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Help Laura to find her “new thing.” Open the eyes of her heart to find the dates that You have planned with her. Make a way in the desert for her quiet times. Either bless her with energy for early morning quiet times or show her where her times with You can perfectly fit in her schedule. Help her to prioritize and to get help where it’s needed to put her time with You as an non-negotiable date in each of her days. We lift our prayers and praises in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

      I’m believing that God will do immeasurably more than you can imagine! xo

      • I agree with Noelle and this beautiful prayer. I to am believing God will do exceedingly abundantly above all you could ever ask or imagine as you seek to go deeper still with Him!!!

        W

  32. Noelle,

    Thanks so much for that beautiful prayer.. It certainly speaks of my heart’s desire. I just can’t wait to grow deeper in my walk with HIm. I sometimes get the feeling that time is running out for me. I just love all the sharing and encouragement of all the ladies, I ask God to quench each of your thirst for Him and shine for HIm where He has called you.

  33. Wendy,
    I am wayyyy behind because I did not order the book in time for it to get to me before the study started but my husband ordered it for me and I was so surprised to find it in my mailbox today! I have a lot of catching up to do but I so enjoy your Bible study’s! Thank you for keeping these study’s so easy to find and navigate for those of us who are just beginning the journey with Hidden Joy. Your such a blessing! I love to have my quiet time with the Lord in the morning while the house is quiet and everyone is still sleeping. Then I can totally focus on the Lord and my day starts so well. I have my hymn station playing on Pandora and read my devotions and sit in prayer. And, as others stated before me, thank you for your courage and willingness to tell your story and show us all a good example of the Lord’s grace!
    Noelle,
    I also thank you for sharing your story and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by women of God when I am here! You have such an inspiring testimony. My husband (mid-thirties) also has had some heart issues (not like yours but he has gone into AFIB that he had to be shocked to come out of) and this is very encouraging for me. Thank you!

    Noelle,

    • Thank you for your kind words!! It is truly my joy and delight to lead these studies and walk alongside women as they go deeper still in their walk with God.

      Blessings,

      W

    • Sherri, you have a beautiful gift of affirmation. Jesus healed by affirmation and He is working through you to do that same work! Thank you! xo

  34. Hey girls,

    Lauren and I had a FABULOUS time together in New York. Thank you for your prayers. Our flights were timely and uneventful. We SO enjoyed each other…shopping, eating, walking, taking in a broadway show (Phantom of the Opera), visiting ground zero, praying together, even riding the subway!! It was everything I prayed it would be AND MORE!!!!

    Because I have been gone since Wednesday, our lesson may not be posted till later on Monday. Hope you will forgive my tardiness. We will be studying prayer this week!!!

    Thanks for all your GREAT comments this week.

    And, Noelle, thank you for a powerful message and for all the precious time you spent ministering to and praying for each woman who left a comment. You have been such a blessings.

    Love,

    Wendy

    • Wendy… I am SO EXCITED you had that time with Lauren! You are a role model in so many ways. I hope to follow in your footsteps as a Mom… Welcome home!

      Thank you for this amazing blessing to be a part of your healing ministry. Like every woman here, I thank God for the blessing of YOU! xo

    • Wendy,
      I’m so thrilled to hear that you and Lauren had a wonderful time in NY! I remember taking a day trip with my family and visiting the city, it was simply incredible. I’m thankful that you two returned home safely and I have no doubt y’all made some incredible memories together!

      Noelle,
      You are truly amazing and I just can’t wait to give you a huge hug when I see you in July!

      <3 Heather

      PS. Phantom of the Opera is my FAVORITE musical of all time and yes, I know every line of every song! I used to dream I would grow up to be Christine Daae on stage, LOL…that didn't happen, but a girl can still dream ;) .

  35. Noelle, I’m sorry you had to go through so much. Thanks for sharing your story. I love your ice chip analogy!

    Wendy, thank you again for writing this book and doing this Bible study. I love how the study questions urge me to dig deeper into God’s Truth and to search my heart. I got a bit behind, but I’m caught up again. :-)

    Coming from a legalistic background, I don’t always “set” a time for quiet time as it can feel uncomfortable and stilted to me. I’ve been trying to break away from the “have-to or you’ll go to hell” to the “want-to because I miss my precious Savior.” I ask God to give me the longing and thirst after His Truth so that I can’t stay away from it. There is so much difference between “duty” and wanting to spend quiet time with Jesus, isn’t there? Kind of like ice chips vs. the Living Water…

    My heart cries for all the pain and suffering each of you women have had to bear or are still going through. I admire your courage for sharing your stories. May Jesus pick you up and carry you, cleanse your wounds and comfort your hearts!

    • Trudy, thank you for your beautiful compassion! For me, after enduring the temporal pain (and after receiving really amazing counseling) of losing my parents and having my heart failure and survival, I can see at least some of the pieces of God’s incredible puzzle. God allowed my parents to endure a lot of pain with their battles against cancer. But it was through those days of desperation, that they allowed Jesus in before their time on earth was over. Those six years were nothing compared to enjoying eternity with them. Holy guacamole… they’re already in the presence of God! And for me, my heart failure was the greatest blessing. I would have been a lukewarm Christian (at best) had I not been faced with my own mortality when I was 28. God has shown me through my stories that Romans 8:28 is true! “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose.”

      I love your heart. I love how you’ve overcome your legalistic background to move from duty to having an unquenchable love for Jesus! You inspire me!!! xo

  36. Sheila Payne says:

    I have read Wendy’s book more than once. It always inspires me. I have given it, recommended it, read it for devotional time, read it to just feel connected to a woman of God as one of my mentor’s, written all in it and I never get tired of it. It is a great book to give someone who is new at all this. I hope someday Wendy will write another one sometime.

  37. I had to post! I’m not doing this study, I didn’t have the book. But I have been reading posts! I love Wendy! Did the Hebrews study! This is amazing! I love all of your posts!!! As I too am learning how to have a quiet time with God!!!! So loved reading this!!! Thank you.

  38. thank you for a beautiful post on how to have a quiet time.

  39. The video is my very favorite thing you do–provide timely verses for review and intructions for how to drink in God’s word.
    thanks, karen

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