Wednesday, August 21, 2019

P is for Prayer, Philippians and Preaching

This summer I ended up taking some unplanned sabbatical time in a few areas of my life. This blog ended up being one of those areas. It was unintentional, as were the other areas I took a break from, but all of them were good. As summer draws to a close and school starts, I find I have a good energy.

This year has been a year of ups and downs creatively, and it feels like there is change on the horizon. The problem is that I don't know what it looks like yet. What I do know is I simply need to be patient and trust in God. He will lead me and reveal what is ahead in His perfect timing.

Taking these unintended sabbaticals freed up time for a few things I had not planned on and ended up enjoying. All summer I have met weekly with a friend who wants to learn inductive style Bible study in order to lead women's studies in this manner. It's been quite a while since I have taught Bible study skills and I have been reminded of how much I enjoy teaching these skills to others. That may be a part of the change that is coming. I'm thinking about ways to incorporate some of these Bible study lessons in my blogging.

Our Living Your Word Facebook group is doing an A-Z Inspirational Challenge this year as a way to stay connected with our word for the year. My word for 2019 is sacred. Throughout this year I am exploring what it means to live a sacred life as God calls us to in His Word.

For N I chose nature, as any time spent outside enjoying what God has created always nurtures my soul.

For O I chose obedience and then came across a quote that Kathy Shaull had posted on Instagram. It fit this word perfectly!

For the letter P I selected prayer. There has been a passage in the book of Philippians that I have been memorizing and studying over the past six months. After I made this page for P I realized I had used the same passage on my J page back in early June. But then I have been on a journey with it so it makes sense that it would continually pop up!

 Immersing myself in memorizing and studying this Philippians passage opened up an opportunity for me to share my journey this past Sunday at my church. We are in a series on prayer and my pastor gave me the privilege of preaching through this passage and sharing about the experience of memorizing it and how that has changed my prayer life. If you are interested you can listen to me here.

I have had a few adventures over the summer, but those will wait for another post. My sabbaticals are over and school began this week. This school year is the start of my 14th year leading our church's ministry in adopting a public school. My passion for this ministry has not waned. There have been seasons of burn-out over that time, but my passion for it has increased. Last year we added the high school in our neighborhood to our ministry and this year we increase the number of schools that are served through our school supply pantry to seven. God has taken what a few churches began and He has created a  movement in this city of churches adopting public schools and serving the community with His love. We ended last school year with 33 of our 53 public schools having church partners. I am so blessed to be a part of it!

So, as I end my sabbatical from blogging and look ahead at how it may change in the coming months, I welcome feedback in the comment section below from those of you who have followed this blog. Would the addition of Bible study tool/skills posts be a benefit to you? If so, what are some skills you would be interested in reading/learning more about? 

Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group: Living Your Word of the Year
Bernice Hopper, Valerie Sjodin and I facilitate a Facebook group about Living your Word of the Year. In it we share insights through blog posts and connect with other like-hearted and like-minded people who want to live out a word focus throughout the year. We offer participants a bi-weekly A-Z Inspiration to help prompt reflection and creativity. as well as other inspirational ways to connect with your word of the year. If you would like to connect with others in creative ways about living your word throughout the year, explore new ideas, record thoughts, prayers, and events, you are invited to join our Facebook group.

Please use #livingyourword2019 on social media.

Check out the other blogs:


  1. Welcome back, Mary!

    I hope you decide to teach us how to study inductively. I've been attempting to "teach" myself but come away feeling sadly lacking. I know it will benefit me personally and as I continue to lead a women's Bible study. Our next session begins Sept 10 and is on
    Uncovering God's Word, (a Women of Faith study). You always speak to my heart and seem to know what I need, either through your quotes, teaching, or art (I definitely need to unplug from social media for a season). Thank you.

    I am looking forward to listening to your teaching on prayer...another parallel journey. LOL Our last Bible study prior to summer break, was on prayer. My word last year was "Prayer" and this year's word is "Seek".

    I love & appreciate you, my dear sister! Have a blessed and productive school year!