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"anything" - (chapter 4)

Sure. We are abandoning the approval of others and getting our heart under control. 
Easy, right?  Is that even possible?

We talked about our preoccupations, our "streams" if you will, this week.  What are those messages, those thoughts we have running underneath the surface that get pushed to the top when we are squeezed?  Those unspoken but learned messages can send us careening in directions we don't want to go, and make us do things we didn't mean to do.  

Jennie Allen asks the question "How does one control the heart?"  Our small group couldn't answer that one.  In fact, we all laughed out loud thinking about all the times we have tried but failed!

As women, we are blessed with lots of feelings, aren't we?!  That can be such an asset.  We can offer comfort and empathy and hope because we feel things so deeply.  Or....we can let our emotions rule us and carry us to unhealthy places.  (and I don't mean Taco Bell)

Proverbs 21:1 says "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever He will."  When we let God control our heart, he brings us back into fellowship with him, and changes our perspective to his perspective.

I passed out blank index cards and asked everyone to write down the things that were keeping them from praying that "anything" prayer.  Not everyone wanted to share their thoughts, but there was some discussion that centered around fear, loneliness, loss of control. Can you relate?  

What would it take for you to let go of those things? 


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"anything" - abandoning entitlement


Unfulfilled expectations are something I have struggled with before, and probably always will.  Anyone else?  

I don't think I really expected my life to be perfect or easy, because it didn't start out that way.  I did, however, have a plan and a goal and I headed toward that with everything I had.  I mean, ever since I was very young I had a picture in my head of what my "ideal" life would look like, and I orchestrated lots of details to make it happen.  

But..... what happens when life doesn't look like that?  Honestly, it feels like failure.  

In chapter 5, Jennie explains that "It is too easy in this country for blessings to become rights, for stuff and money to become what calls the shots in our lives.  And before we know it, God's gifts have replaced himself."  Wow.

Why do we settle?  The point is not that we have a plan and it doesn't work out.  The point is that we shortchange ourselves when we pursue our plan and not his.  On pa…