Fear Fighting: Stomping Out the Image of Perfect {Guest Post}

By: Kelly Balarie

I blame it on TV. I grew up watching the princesses. You know them, right?! They were the ones whose complexions looked like porcelain, whose lips were the color of rose and whose lives were a hot mess. Until, the prince came in and swooped them up into his arms and forever changed their lives.

They always looked perfect. You see, they had dresses that swooshed in the wind and 90% of the time their voice sounded like an angel sent straight from heaven. Usually, I was jealous of them.

I guess I still am. Because, in so many ways, I try to be them.

I try to doll myself up. I try to show the world there is not a fold in my face. I try to pretend I have Pinterest Christmas when really my focus is on having Christ in Christmas. In reality, I’m the centerfold for T-shirts with yoga pants. I live in the model house of toilet paper adorned floors, little droppings of paper my kids rip up and leave behind like trails of their journey.

Ugh. I fall short.

I don’t think I am fooling people either.

My sister came over just the other day. When she got to my porch, she said, “Kelly, you do know that Halloween was over weeks ago?”

The frozen pumpkins on my stoop threw her for a loop, I guess.

Whoops.

I want to fool people though. I want to fool you – real bad. Because then you’ll aspire to like me. This is what I tell myself anyway. If I look all great for you, you’ll approach me like that prince and you’ll want to give me things and bless me with kind words and pour out love on me. I’ll take that. Sometimes, I convince myself I need that.

I need your approval. I need to feel good about myself.

Or, do I?

I am not so sure lately. Because, what I am coming to terms with is the fact that – there ain’t no woman who can do everything. You find her and I’ll buy you whatever material item you’ve convinced yourself you need to have to finally reach the pinnacle of…dun, dun, dun…”perfect woman.”

The lady is imaginary. She’s an illusion. Yet, still, we all chase her as if she worthy of our highest praise. And, this is what I am realizing – if I am praising this image of the woman I want to be, I can’t really be the image of whom Christ has created me to be.

Dang! I could truly spend my whole life chasing carrots, rather than partaking at God’s feast? His bounty. His spiritual riches.

I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.. (Eph. 1:18)

I wrote the book, Fear Fighting: Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears to find God’s truth. In so many ways, God answered. He showed me there is a glorious inheritance awaiting me and it is not found through appearances, airs or goods.

It is the joy found in the lopsided nature of my nose – a nose God adores.
It is the grace covering the moments I forget things.
It is the peace dug up from a heart that knows God is in charge.
It is the hope God will shape me into the likeness of him.
It is the knowledge God loves me just as He created me.
It is the belief that he chose me.
It is the understanding, in Him, I am secure.

It is in the need, we find our prince, Christ Jesus. Will you let him rescue you?

Interested in fighting fear? Join the 4 Days to Fearless Challenge!

About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears:

Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day. www.fearfightingbook.com

 

About Kelly Balarie:

Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear here.

Guarded by Christ {Book Review and Giveaway}

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. Psalm 18:2

What is a fortress?

If you’d asked me that question a year ago, I probably would have thought about the “forts” the neighborhood kids and I use to build in the woods when I was a little girl, and then, said something like a place to hide.

The truth is I didn’t know what a fortress was until I set out to teach a group of children that God is our fortress.

In preparation for the lesson I jumped on the Internet to find some pictures I could print and show during the lesson. What I discovered blew me away!

battlements-1239279_1920I didn’t find anything that looked like the stick and leaf hideaways my friends and I use to build. Instead, I found large, majestic stone structures with castle like characteristics. These structures were strong, immovable and would provide protection for anyone dwelling inside them. I found places of refuge. But, what I found more than anything was a new understanding of who God is.

You see, on multiple occasions I had read about God being my fortress. I had even quoted these scriptures. However, it wasn’t until I saw an actual fortress that these scriptures had a marked impact on me. After looking at each picture, I paused to read the scripture above again.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. Psalm 18:2

Like the fortresses in the pictures, God’s strength is beyond anything we can imagine. He’s our refuge when the enemy attacks. He can withstand anything we bring to Him and He desires for us to cast our cares upon Hialnwick-castle-92607_1920m. He’s a place where we can safely tuck ourselves whether the storms of life are raging.

But how do we make God our fortress?

Simply by admitting our need for Him and asking Him to be our fortress.

Here are some specific times we can run to him for refuge:

  • When worry threatens our peace: “God, I’m placing myself in your hands; you are larger than ____ (whatever is on your mind), and I thank you for keeping me safe in the fortress of your love.”
  • When fear taunts us: “God, you are my fortress; in you I find confidence and safety. I’m casting ____ (whatever has made you fearful) upon you and I trust you for a beautiful outcome.”
  • When uncertainty keeps us from moving forward: “God, my times are in your hands. I’m hiding in the fortress of your love today and giving you full control over my life.”
  • When we feel out of control: “God, I’m placing myself in the fortress of your love and wisdom. Please guard me from myself and cause me to walk in peace and wisdom with all things today.”
  • And then there are times when all we can say is: “God you are my fortress; I’m hiding in you.”

Making God our fortress doesn’t mean we will never experience difficult times again. But, it does mean we can endure difficult times with peace and rest knowing He will meet all of our needs.

So go ahead, turn to God and ask Him to be your mighty fortress! His arms are open to you, today!


guarded-by-christWe all experience feelings of anxiety, fear, and worry at times, but God never intended for us to live this way. God’s Word says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) If you want to overcome these feelings and experience life at its fullest, I recommend reading Heather Hollerman’s book, Guarded by Christ.

It will help you break free from the thoughts that bring you down and teach you how to live with God as your fortress.  You’ll learn memory techniques to help you experience God’s Word on a deeper level by connecting scriptures to visual images. Guarded by Christ would be an excellent gift for anyone you know struggling to rest in God’s love.

GIVEAWAY: If you would like to enter to win a free copy of Guarded by Christ, simply leave a comment below. For a second entry into the drawing, sign up to receive future posts by email or like Raising An Arrow on Facebook. (Just be sure to comment below and tell me what you did.)

Deadline for entry is December 13th. Winner will be notified by email. Open to US residents only.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU FOR READING.

 

 

 

 

An Unexplainable Life {Book Review and Giveaway}

unexplainable-lifWe had just finished a lesson about creation when she appeared at my side. With glistening brown eyes and a head full of curly hair, she looked at me with her small frame and said, “Where did God come from?”

Excited about her curiosity I said, “Well, sweetie, He’s God. No one created Him. He never had a beginning and He will never have an ending.”

“But I don’t get it,” she responded. “Where did He come from?”

I tried to answer her again, but nothing I said seemed to satisfy her.

“I just don’t get it,” she proclaimed.

The truth is, I don’t’ get it either. But, here’s what I know: with God anything is possible. His wisdom is infinite and his power is unlimited; therefore, somethings will always be “unexplainable.”

I want a life like that. A life that’s lived in the power of God; and therefore, is unexplainable. But sometimes (okay, most of the time) this seems like a goal I’ll never reach. When I wake up in the morning and see toys scattered across the floor, clothes still waiting to be put away and a kitchen floor that bares the crumbs from yesterday’s dinner, I wonder how I will ever live a life for God that is unexplainable.

Recently, I had the opportunity to review a copy of Erika Wiggenhorn’s Bible study, An Unexplainable Life. In the middle of my mess, this study spoke a message to my heart that made me believe it is possible to live an unexplainable life – even in the midst of laundry piles and dirty kitchen floors.

An Unexplainable Life takes readers on a ten-week journey through the first twelve chapters in the book of Acts. Warmly written and powerfully engaging this book isn’t your typical study. It will take you from being a sideline observer to an on the field player in the book of Acts.

Each week, Wiggenhorn presents a portion of scripture, along with just enough thought-provoking questions and prayer prompts to make each week’s study uniquely applicable and powerfully transforming.

Wiggenhorn says, “The purpose of this study is not simply to reiterate a message…Our purpose here is to reignite a movement of the power of the Holy Spirit in each of us individually and in our churches collectively.”

Whether you are looking for an individual study, small group or a church bible study, An Unexplainable Life is applicable for women in all stages of life.

To win a copy of An Unexplainable Life, leave a comment below telling why you think it’s difficult for Christians to live an unexplainable life. If you are running short on time just say, “please enter me.”  (Open to US residents only.)

Winner will be announced Monday, October 3, 2016

CONGRATULATONS, VALERIE! YOU ARE THE WINNER!

The Book that Made Me a Reader

Literary Musing MondaysGrowing up I loved to check the mail. I’d run to the mailbox each day in anticipation of finding an envelope or package with my name on it. My momma had subscribed me to several reading clubs and books were arriving continually. I’d safely say I had more books than toys. Yet, no matter how many books arrived, one thing was still missing. My desire to read.

Early in my reading journey I began comparing my ability to the ability of the other kids in my class. I saw myself as “less than,” and as a result, I closed up. I dreaded being called on to read aloud in class and writing answers to comprehension questions made me want to cry! Sadly, I didn’t enjoy reading.

Then I started high school and was given an energetic ninth grade English teacher. Never before had a teacher made me enjoy English quite like she did. Every lesson she taught captured my attention. I looked forward to everything she taught, until the day she announced we were responsible for a book report. My heart sank!

To read the rest of this post, please join me at Literary Musing Mondays. I’ll see you there….

A special thank you to Mary Hill for inviting me to join the team at Literary Musing Mondays for this week’s link up. Sweetest blessings to you, Mary!

5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit

I’ve never thought of myself as a quitter.10426856_10204329484716157_6242537118572845057_n

As a youngster I was taught integrity includes following through with your commitments. Therefore, backing out of a commitment, even if something more appealing presents itself, has always been difficult for me. That should mean I’m not a quitter, right? Wrong.

Before reading 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit I had never realized how quick I am to quit on myself.

  • Limiting sugar consumption
  • Exercising regularly
  • Folding Laundry (and putting it away)
  • Pulling weeds out of the garden
  • Painting the doors entering into our home (I started this FIVE years ago and it’s still not finished!)

All of these are endeavors I started with gusto, but somewhere along the way they went from being a great idea to no longer interesting, and I quit. While I’ve always tried to fulfill my commitments to others; I’ve cut out on my own personal projects more times than I can count.

So this got me thinking. How many times have I lamented to my husband that I don’t feel fulfilled? Could it be that my feelings of being unfulfilled are related to the countless personal projects I’ve begun, but failed to see through to completion? Is my lack of completing things well causing me to feel unfulfilled?

Perhaps.

Feelings of being unfulfilled are real, and well…discouraging. And, I’m just thinking I may not be the only person who has experienced these feelings. While there are countless reasons fulfillment can evade us, could one reason possibly be that we (myself included) are cutting out on our assignments before they are complete?

This is where 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit came to my rescue.

Author, Nicki Koziarz, has crafted a powerful and applicable message about not quitting. Nicki uses the power of God’s Word, coupled with her own personal testimonies of quitting to present a message that’s unforgettable. I won’t give away her 5 Habits (you’ll have to purchase the book to find out those), but here is what I will tell you.

5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit has given me the insight to:

  1. Recognize when I’m on the verge of quitting.
  2. Receive biblical perspective to help me press on.
  3. Rekindle my determination for the goals and dreams I’ve held long in my heart.

And, it can do the same for you! Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a woman working in corporate America, a small group leader or fresh out of college there’s something for you in 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.