Who are your mentors in women’s ministry?
I am often asked this question. And Barb Roose is always included in my answer. Barb is not only a colleague and fellow Bible study teacher, but I am fortunate to call her my friend. Like, I have her cell stored in my phone you guys.
So I am telling you about her new devotional book not just because I think it will be a fabulous resource for you, but also because I know, trust, and believe in her work. I am currently reading Surrendered: 40 Devotions to Help You Let Go & Live Like Jesus in my personal quiet time, and I want to give you the opportunity to enjoy this meaningful and manageable devotional also.
Which means…there’s a giveaway at the bottom of this post!
But first, I had an opportunity to chat with Barb about why she wrote the Surrendered devotional and I think you’ll understand why I have so much respect for her after reading what she had to say:
Q&A with author and speaker, Barb Roose
Q: There may literally be no better time for this specific devotional to release! Tell us about the theme of your new book, Surrendered.
In light of what our world is experiencing right now, I would totally agree! Who knew that toilet paper would become the hottest commodity in America?
My new Surrendered devotional is written for the weary woman who needs to let go of control-loving behaviors and learn to live like Jesus in the midst of hard times or during heartbreaking circumstances that we all face at some point in life.
Q: Surrendered focuses on Jesus’s time in the wilderness. How do you use the wilderness as a metaphor for the reader?
The wilderness is a spiritual symbol for those long, difficult, and uncomfortable seasons in life. I’ve never heard anyone say, “Yes! I’m in a wilderness season. This is going to be great!”
Usually triggered by change, our wilderness seasons are often characterized by spiritual confusion or a long-lasting situation that seems to press the “pause” button in our life. Wilderness seasons are frustrating because there are no quick fixes and we often have no control over how long it will last or ultimately, how that hard situation will turn out.
Yet, the wilderness season is a beautiful invitation for us to experience God in new and powerful ways. As we travel through hard days or heartbreaking times, the wilderness is often a place where we experience God’s mighty power, abundant provision, and comforting presence in ways that we never have before.
Remember that both Jesus and the Israelites spent time in the wilderness. Jesus’ forty days model for us how to live by faith during his wilderness seasons while the Israelites forty years teach us valuable lessons on what can happen when we allow fear to overrun our hearts in hard times.
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Q: We’re seeing a lot in the news about stockpiling due to future uncertainty. Let’s talk more about God providing what we need for today, and how you began practicing your “Principle of Daily Bread.”
I believe that God takes care of His children at all times, especially hard times!
When my adult children were young kids, I used to panic if I couldn’t immediately repurchase or replace something that broke or ran out. One of the ways that I used control to push back against the panic was to join the coupon craze. I’d spend hours each week clipping coupons or printing them. I’d haul home handfuls of free toiletries or snacks and store them in a closet that I called “my stockpile.”
However, a season of life came when I couldn’t even afford the newspaper to clip the coupons. Eventually, my stockpile went away, and I hit a spiritual rock bottom. I began to reflect on Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:11, “give us this day our daily bread” and realized that I’d placed my faith in a stockpile, not in God.
The “Principle of Daily Bread” means that I will trust that God will provide exactly what I need for the day in front of me. Like the Israelites had to wait for God to provide manna each day, I learned to wait for God to provide and stop letting the amount of food in my cupboard or the amount of money in my bank account, determine my level of peace or joy.
Q: Why is it so hard to trust God to take care of us when he promises that is what he will do?
I don’t know about anyone else, but I expect that God will do things like I would do them. So, when I’ve got a problem that I can’t fix, and then God either seems to delay or doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it, I get disappointed. I’ve learned that disappointment is often the doorway that leads to distrust.
However, Isaiah 55 reminds us that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways. So, in my experience, wilderness seasons have lasted a long time because it takes me a long time to let go of my expectations and learn to wait in anticipation.
Here’s a big lesson for me: wilderness seasons have taught me to trust God’s heart in hard times. In fact, I introduce what I like to call the three “Wilderness ABC’s” for when we’re in a wilderness season or facing a difficult trial:
- You are ALWAYS loved.
- BELIEVE that God is for you.
- CHALLENGE yourself to trust God and let go.
Q: What are some of the lessons that trials can teach us?
While some people may not agree, I’m not a fan of the saying that “everything happens for a reason,” which many mistakenly believe is the message of Romans 8:28. When we try to apply earthly explanations to everything that happens, that approach could lead people to feel that God intentionally causes bad things to happen in order to teach a spiritual lesson. God doesn’t do backhanded blessings.
However, God does redeem our trials when we keep our eyes on Him in the midst of what we’re walking through.
Trials can teach us to worship God more, depend on ourselves less, and to become more like Christ. Even though those lessons are tough to learn, the blessings that we receive during our wilderness season and on the other side is absolutely worth it!
Q: What are the steps to letting go?
Letting go or surrender is a prayer and a process. Rather than identify steps, I identify four questions in the “Letting Go Loop” that equip control-lovers to not only identify their control-loving behaviors but also identify God-honoring and life-giving next steps toward letting go and living like Jesus:
- Awareness – Am I trying to control others or outcomes right now?
- Arrest – What do I need to stop trying to protect, fix, or force to make happen?
- Acceptance – Where do I need to acknowledge the reality that I do not have control, but God can handle it?
- FaithFULL Action – How can I show love, kindness, and wisdom without control-loving behaviors?
As the questions are answered, the Letting Go Loop reveals where we need to open our hands and turn toward God instead of trying to fix or force the solutions for ourselves.
Are you ready for the giveaway!
One THREE lucky winners (thanks to the fabulous team over at Abingdon Press) will receive a copy of Barb’s Surrendered devotional! To enter, leave a comment at the bottom of this post by answering this question: what is one word you would use to describe this season in your life?
will be open until October 31, 202 0 is closed and the winners have been contacted directly via email. Congratulations to Donna, Lori, and Sara!
Barb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about teaching women to live beautifully strong and courageous so that they experience God’s great adventure of faith and purpose for their lives. Since 2005, Barb has been speaking to audiences in the US and abroad at women’s conferences and events, including national platforms like the Aspire Women’s Events, She Speaks Conference and the UMC Leadership Institute.
Barb is a Bible teacher who loves following God more than anything else in life. She’s a real woman who has experienced God’s power and presence during battles with depression and anxiety, parenting challenges and family addiction trauma. Rather than teaching audiences to follow God to get what they want, Barb inspires audiences to discover that God is all that they truly need!
Barb is the author of multiple Bible studies such as Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus, I’m Waiting, God: Finding Blessing in God’s Delays, Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle and Beautiful Already: Reclaiming God’s Perspective on Beauty. She’s also the author of multiple books like Surrendered: 40 Devotions to Help You Let Go and Live Like Jesus, Winning the Worry Battle and Enough Already: Winning Your Ugly Struggle with Beauty.
She also writes a regular blog at BarbRoose.com and hosts the Better Together FB Live show. Barb lives in NW Ohio and is a proud mother of three adult daughters. Whenever possible, Barb prefers to eat dessert first.