Virtual Bible Study: Recap of Week One

Hi there!  I am super excited that you have joined me on this bible study journey.  I believe there are about 20-25 ladies who are signed up and are following along.  This is so awesome y’all.  I look forward to hearing from you during the upcoming weeks.

Each week I want to take some time to recap what we’ve learned.  I will post a short video and a blog post to share a little bit about what resonated with me during the week.

I went ahead and bought the Church of the Small Things book along with the study guide.  You do not have to read the book, but I’ve enjoyed it so far.  I read chapters 1-3 this week.

Throughout the week we talked about a couple of things.  The first was about remaining in Jesus and what that means to us.  I believe that remaining in Jesus goes along with trusting Him.  When we remain in Jesus we bear fruit.  We make a difference in the lives of those around us.

Many times when we are doing the small things we find ourselves frustrated, angry and just really fed up.  Remaining in Jesus keeps us focused.  It reminds us to be joyful in all things.  This week tested me.  I had a bad day where I let my frustrations ruin my day.  I had a bad attitude and really had to fight hard to change it.  I went back to reminding myself that the small things matter, but they will not make a difference if I am grumpy doing them.

In the book, Melanie Shankle talks about Abby Wambach.  She played for the US Women’s National Soccer Team.  Gatorade aired a commercial as a tribute to her and in the background she says these words, “Forget me.  Forget my number, forget my name, forget I ever existed.  Forget the medals won, the records broken, and the sacrifices made.  I want to leave a legacy where the ball keeps rolling forward, where the next generation accomplishes things so great that I am no longer remembered.”  (Church of the Small Things, page 43)

Wow.  What humility.  She had great success, but all she wanted was to make sure that those behind her accomplished great things as well.

But I agree with Melanie when she says that it’s hard to forget those that have come before us.  When you have lived life to the fullest, taken advantage of every opportunity, enjoyed the small and the big things and “you have carpe diemed the heck out of who and what God has created you to be, you leave an incredible mark on the people around you and on those who will come long after you’re gone.” (Church of the Small Things, page 43)

We leave an incredible mark on those around us.  And you know what?  Sometimes it’s the small things that make the BIG difference.

I think about my dad and the legacy he left behind.  You know, my dad was not perfect.  But he did take advantage of every situation to show God’s love.  Whether it was our waitress at a restaurant or the cashier at the store, he always took the opportunity to tell them God loved them.

He did those small things and those small things impacted the lives of many.  It took me to a memory I have of him growing up that I shared in the video.

I hated storms as a kid.  Especially the ones with loud thunder and crazy lightning.  One night during a storm, I woke up in the middle of the night and cried out for my dad.  To my surprise, he was already laying in the floor beside my bed and he let me know he was there.  “Aqui estoy hija,” he said.  (I am here my daughter)

That small thing that he did, to come lay on the floor by my bed, will be something I will never forget.  All of the little, daily, mundane tasks we do each day, they all matter.  We may go about our day thinking nobody notices, but they do.  You are making an impact on everyone around you.

Nothing is wasted when we look at it through the lens of what God has for us.  Everything we go through, everything we do is all part of who we are.

“For some, that may be a public role on a big stage, but for the vast majority of us, it’s about being faithful in the small stuff: going to the grocery store, volunteering in our kid’s classroom, befriending the new girl, coaching a Little League team, showing up for work every day, being kind to our neighbors.” (Church of the Small Things, Page 25)

What we do is important.  Big or small, it matters to those around you and most of all it matters to God.

We go through life looking for that big moment.  We pray and ask God to show us what His will is, what His purpose for our life is.  We desperately need Him to show us that big thing that we are waiting for.  But we forget that life isn’t made from just one thing.  Life is in all things, every single moment of our life.  That is where life is.  The small things may seem insignificant at the moment, but they are making a big difference in the lives of those we encounter every single day.

“A life isn’t made from one thing, one big moment, or one huge success.  It’s created moment by moment, often with pieces that don’t look like anything beautiful on their own but are the very fabric of who God meant for us to become as we pack lunches, raise kids, love our neighbors, and simply be who he created us to be; nothing more, nothing less.” (Church of the Small Things, page 15)

We finished up the week reading Ruth chapter one.  Ruth and Naomi were embarking on a journey on their own.  Naomi had lost her husband and sons.  She told both of her daughter-in-laws to return home, but Ruth chose to stay with her.  She took a risk and chose to be loyal to Naomi.  She was faithful in one small moment.  As we go throughout the study we will see how the story unfolds.

Sweet friend, you may be going through life, moment by moment wondering if what you do truly matters.  I want to tell you that it absolutely does.  I know you are probably tired, exhausted and worn out, but hang tight.  God is using you right where you are.  You may think your life is small, but the impact you make each day is big.

Live each day to the fullest.  Choose to be faithful in all things because one day our kids, grandkids and great grandkids will be talking about all the little things we did for them and what a big difference it made in their life.  Just like my dad coming to lay beside my bed is something I will forever remember, your kids will do the same.

Love hard.  Offer grace.  Enjoy every moment.

What resonated with you this week?  How did this week impact your life?  I would love to hear from you!

-Maggie

 

 

Virtual Bible Study: Church of the Small Things Introduction and Session One

Good evening everyone!

I am super excited to finally kick off our first Virtual Bible Study.  I am so glad you have joined me on this journey.

You should have received an email to get started with session one’s video link.  Go ahead and watch the video.  It is about 17ish minutes long.

Here is how this will work:

Each week on Sunday I will post a video on my Facebook Page and a blog post on my blog.  I will introduce the week and go over the week’s discussion questions.  You will be able to comment with your responses and interact with the other ladies that have signed up.  I encourage everyone to comment and participate.  This will be a great way to get to know other ladies that we would never have met had it not been for this study.

During the week you will work on the “on your own” section.  This is kind of like “homework,” but please don’t feel bad if you don’t finish it all.  Life is busy and some weeks we will get it all done and other weeks we won’t.  Don’t let that discourage you at all.

On Thursdays, we will come together through FB live to go over the week and share things we learned or felt that God showed us.  The live will be at 8 pm EST and will last about 15-20 minutes.  If you can’t jump on during that time, you can still view the video later.

We will do this for six weeks.

If you have any questions, please message me, email me (myeterno@gmail.com) or if you have my number shoot me a text.  This is not meant to be stressful.

I am excited that you have decided to join me and I can’t wait to see what all God has for us during the next six weeks.

So let’s get started…

After you watch session one.  Answer the following questions.  You can comment using the comment section here or go to Facebook and comment there.

1. What is your name and where are you from?
2. Which of Melanie’s thoughts from this session’s video resonated most with you, and why?
3. What kind of person do you want to become?

What really resonated with me is that the small things are just as holy as the big things.  I’m a girl who always felt that my accomplishments defined me.  I lived for those big moments and when those big moments didn’t happen, I became seriously disappointed.  It showed in my life through depression and anxiety.

I was constantly asking God to show me His will and His purpose for my life.  But all along, I was ignoring what was right under my nose.  My family.  They were my purpose.  I was a wife and a mom and I had to be ok with the fact that my calling at that moment was just that.  A wife and a mom.

Melanie reminded me that the small acts of service that I do for my family are important.  But more important is my attitude towards those small things.

As far as what kind of person I want to become…I want to be joyful.  Life brings so many ups and downs, but I want to experience the joy of the Lord at all times.  I want to be intentional with my day.  I want to obey in the little things.

What about you?  What spoke to your heart from the first session?  And what kind of person do you want to become?  Share in the comments or click here to go to my Facebook page.

I’m going to try to add my videos to my blog, but I’m having some technical difficulty.  I’m hoping to get all of that figured out this week.  I think my video was a little too long so I’ll have to make sure the ones to come are shorter.

As I head to bed, I want to leave you with one more thing.  Take the following verses and write them down on a note card.  Take the note card and place it where you will see it every day.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Matthew 10:29-31

Every detail of our life is important to God.  Don’t think for a moment that your daily requests to Him go unnoticed.  He cares for you.  You are worth more than many sparrows.  Don’t be afraid my friend.  Trust in the love that God has for you.  He will take care of you no matter the need.

-Maggie

Tuesday Talk: Bible Study Sign Up Reminder

It has been a crazy couple of days around here. Nothing has gone as planned and I’ve found myself hanging on by the coattails of the day. Today I am linking up with Erica and Ashley for Tuesday Talk.

I am waiting on Mary’s softball game to start and wanted to jump on and remind everyone about signing up for the Virtual Bible Study. You can read all of the details here.

If you want to join us, comment with your email and I’ll send you all the info. I have a coupon code for the book and the link to sign up for the session videos.

We will “meet” once a week via my blog or Facebook page (Maggie Eterno Blog). Be on the lookout for a short video on Sunday with all of the details.

I am excited to share this journey with you and looking forward to all God has in store for us.

Until then, like my Facebook page, buy the book, sign up and get ready to be encouraged, challenged and blessed!

-Maggie

Virtual Bible Study: Church of the Small Things

God has placed something on my heart and I am super excited about it.  For a couple of weeks I felt the desire to start a bible study in my home with ladies in my community.  A time to chat, drink coffee, get to know each other and study God’s Word.

I then started to think of who I could invite and asked God to place ladies on my heart.  As I thought of ladies I began to realize that they were stay at home moms, work from home moms, and work outside of the home moms.  They were married, single, divorced and in different seasons of life.

As women we are busy.  We have demands coming from all directions and fitting in a bible study sometimes isn’t feasible.  I know because I’ve been there.  I’ve had to opt out of bible studies because I didn’t have childcare or it was in the evening during sports practices.

So how could I accommodate to women in all walks of life?

I thought about my blog and immediately felt this was the way.  I started blogging again for fun.  I love to write.  It’s therapeutic for me.  But how amazing would it be to be able to encourage women through my blog?

I began to think about my dad.  He loved to read my blog posts and he loved to hear me speak at church.  He even asked me to speak to his congregation one year while him and my mom were out-of-town.  I still can’t believe he trusted me that much.  I remember him telling me one day that he saw me on a stage speaking to an auditorium full of women.  I remember thinking…nah I don’t think that will ever happen.

But lately those words have been on repeat in my heart.

Could it be true?  Is that what you have for me Lord?

Then the negative thoughts began.  I am not perfect.  I drink wine.  I listen to gangster rap.  I am known to cuss during a heated discussion or when I can’t power clean the weight on my bar.  And during double unders because they are the devil.

I’ve messed up.  I’ve done bad things.  I grieved my dad’s death by giving up on God and quit church.  What in the world could I offer?

But lately God has taught me a lot.  It started off with Jen Hatmaker’s book, Of Mess and Moxie.  In her book she talks about learning to embrace the fasting and the feast.

“God gave humanity many healing tools, and they exist for beyond circumstances.  Some are traditionally spiritual:  prayer, communion, sanctuary, Scripture… But so many others are tactile, physical, of soil and earth, flesh and blood.  Some are covert operators of grace, unlikely sources of joy, like a beautiful piece of art, a song, a perfectly told story around a dinner table, a pool party with friends and margaritas.  These things also count, they matter, they are to be consumed and enjoyed with gusto, despite suffering and even in the midst of suffering.

God gives us both Good News and good times, and neither cancels out the other.  What a wonderful world, what a wonderful life, what a wonderful God.” -Jen Hatmaker

Y’all.  God gave us life abundantly.  He gave us the Good News but He also gives us good times.  This hit home.

I love the Lord with all my heart.  He has given me life and makes my world go round.  Even on the days when I want to give up on Him, I know that He will never give up on me.  I enjoy life.  I love hard.  I love to encourage women and empower them to be the person that God made them to be.  But I’m not perfect that’s for sure.

I understand that many won’t agree with me, but I just felt the need to be real because being fake is not cool.  I quit that a long time ago.  But even though we may not agree we can still be friends because I respect the way you feel.  My walk with Jesus will look completely different to yours.  That doesn’t mean we are doing “it” wrong because as far as I’m concerned we are told to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul and mind and love our neighbor like ourself.  Those are the two greatest commandments.

Love God.  Love Others.

So it brings me to this:

I want to lead a virtual bible study.  I want to create a community with women of all different walks of life.  A community where we love, respect, encourage and empower.  A safe place because life is hard and we all need some girlfriends that will lift us up and pray for us.

How will this work?  I am still trying to figure out the details.  I am a list girl, you know this, so I will have all the details for you in the next couple of days.  But for now, go ahead and get a copy of Church of the Small Things Study Guide.  You can buy the book as well, it’s good!  But you don’t need to because the study guide will be what we use.  If you want to participate send me your email and I will send you an invitation letter. In this letter you will get a link to buy the book with a coupon code.  I think it ends up being less than $10! You will also have access to the companion videos available online for free! And the best part? You can do it all on your time.

We will begin on October 22nd and will go for six weeks.

In this book the author, Melanie Shankle, reminds us that God does extraordinary things in our most mundane moments of faithfulness.  What if it’s the LITTLE things that make a BIG difference? (Church of Small things)

The little things can be cooking dinner, washing dishes, laundry, carpool, or being nice to a co-worker.  In life, we want to focus on the big accomplishments and we live for those moments.  But what about those small things?

enjoythelittlethingsinlife

Oh girls, this is so true.  For years I focused on the BIG things.  I didn’t enjoy the everyday stuff and now I wish so badly that I would have.  A simple hug, a smile, a kind gesture.  Laundry, dishes, carpool.  We don’t realize how big those little things truly are.

I am so excited to get started!  And I can’t wait for you to join me.

Here’s how it will work:

I will kick off each week with a video or post and then we will be able to chat throughout the week.  At the end of each week, we will “talk” through a group or maybe on the blog (still trying to figure out the details) about what we learned throughout the week.  It will be a good way to virtually get to know each other.

The reviews on this study are great and I am so excited to dig in.  If you would like to join me, send me an email to myeterno@gmail.com. I’ll send you the invite letter with all of the information.

I hope to connect with you all soon!

-Maggie