Thursday, May 29, 2014

One more announcement...are you ready for this?

On June 9th, the SDG Link-up returns at our new home, www.solideogloriasisterhood.com!



But this isn't a link up for you to join to drive traffic to your site.

Nope, it's even better.

This is a link-up that allows you to share your heart and meet new ladies. Ladies Jesus could totally use to rock your world.

We are bringing the link-up back, yes, but we are going back to our roots -- the roots of encouraging our friends, our sisters in Christ, with the very love of God that resides inside of each and everyone of us.
{God really did call me to lay down the SDG link-up for a time and for a purpose, but by His grace, He's let us enjoy this gift for another season.  Praise God, because friends, it's an amazing way to get to know each other, isn't it?}

You game? Mark your calendars.  Tell your friends.  This is all for Soli Deo Gloria...for God's glory alone.  Get ready to meet some amazing ladies. {Don't you know you're one of them?}

June 9th! See you soon! {I've missed you already!}

{Seriously, this should be my last post here, but you never know what I'm going to forget.}


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We've Moved!

Feel free to poke around here, but for the most up-to-date information and to participate in our community, we'd love you to come over to our new home.  Can't wait for you to join us!



Monday, May 19, 2014

Until we meet again and the {last} Soli Deo Gloria Party



I completed my sign! (Not sure what this is about? Click here.)
Y'all.

I'm not sure what exact words I can say that could possibly express what I feel right now. Do you know how many Soli Deo Gloria parties we've had? This is number 178.

178 weeks of being together in this space.  178 weeks of sharing our hearts, of encouraging each other.  178 weeks of walking each other through devastating news and crazy miracles.  178 weeks of getting to know each other.  178 weeks of allowing God to use these relationships so we do not feel so alone in our triumphs and our tribulations.

178 weeks of forging friendships.

It's hard to let go of something I've had for 178 weeks.  And I would be incredibly sad if I didn't know God's promises to continue this group healthy, whole, and vibrant.  (Our new site is www.solideogloriasisterhood.com, but it's not ready yet.)  Last week, I asked y'all's opinion on tag lines for our group (because it is our group, not my group).  The majority of people chose "Come as you are," but those who chose "No make-up required" had some amazing reasons for loving that one.  And so, I emailed the wonderful person, Katie Radke, who is designing our logo, header, and such and asked her if we could have both.  The tag line on the header will be "Come as you are" and the footer will have "No make-up required."  While I understand the rules of branding are to pick one and stick with it, I don't really care. I think God will use both to speak to women who enter our new site.  I just want to thank you for participating in this community -- I was amazed by the number of Facebook posts, emails, and texts I got regarding this.  I love your participation, your investment, and your encouragement.  Thank you.

I don't know when I'll have everything ready for our new page, but I will announce through our Facebook page, Twitter, and our email group, so stay tuned!

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Just a few more updates:

Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A couple's journey to freedom from pornography:  Craig and I have 2 more chapters to edit before we are finished!  Hooray!  And the big news? God really used Beth Moore's book, Praying God's Word, to help me pray Craig through his recovery.  One of the things that brought me so much comfort was her recognizing that porn addiction is real, a problem, and something we can use prayer to overcome. In addition, she issued a bit of a wake-up call to the church to begin to bring this problem into the light.  God started talking to me about asking her to write the forward to our book, to which I promptly replied, "No."  Risk that rejection?  Ask a prominent Christian writer to be a part of something started by little us?  Ridiculous.  But, He wouldn't let me drop it.  So I wrote a letter, asked my editor about it, and she sent the letter with a copy of our book on Friday.  This is beyond craziness to me.  I would love your prayers for this process.  I just want God's will.

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3rd Annual Soli Deo Gloria Retreat: Retreat registration is live!  Go here to get more details and a link to the registration form.

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What's a going away party {for Finding Heaven, not the SDG Sisterhood} without a parting gift?  Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter to win one of our SDG necklaces! (If you'd like to order one if you don't win, just email me at jenfergie2000@me.com)


Comes with chain
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Okay...time to link up your heart and let us know what's happening in your world. Make sure to leave your neighboring sister a word of encouragement!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Time for a little FUN!: Without a wing to hide under

There are some people for whom play and FUN! come naturally and others who need some specific direction on how to infuse these elements into life. Whether you are more in need of direct instruction or  not, I am SURE you will glean something from this post to help you incorporate even more FUN! into your lives.
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My husband is the fun one of the two of us. There isn't much he will not try; other than trying new foods. His first time on an airplane he sky dived out of it. Who does that? Kids adore him because he will gladly get on the floor and play with them. Once they find out he’s a soldier they simply admire this fun hero of mine.

I'd love to say I'm his wingman but it’s more like I fly under his wing. I leave the fun stuff to him.

I'm a watcher more than a doer. I will come watch the fun any day. Someone needs to capture the fun being had so I typically choose to hide behind the camera.

Then my husband goes off for a year. He had no choice. The Army called. They took my fun guy away. I no longer have a wing to hide under. To be honest, there are days when mustering up a smile is way too much to ask of me.

But God (those two words are always followed by good news) decided my One Word for the year would be joy. I'm discovering a lot about this word. Most importantly, God reminds me over and over again how joy can be found no matter our circumstances. Joy can be found because our joy is found in Him.

I often find myself humming the children’s hymn,

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay”

I stop to consider when I'm humming the words. Maybe fun for me looks different than it does for my husband.

For me, fun is whatever makes my heart sing.

~ Meet me for a cup of coffee and my heart dances with joy from our time of fellowship.

~ A long walk with the sun shining down on me...oh what joy!

~ Whether on a Sunday morning in church, with my small group, or in my car, I love lifting up my arms to worship Him. Yes, even in my car.

~ If my entire family is together, which is too infrequent for this mom, it does not matter what we are doing. I rejoice and praise God for the moment.

However, I believe God wants to draw me out of my comfort zone. He knows I let my insecurities get in the way of joining in for some fun. My fears of failing or rejection hold me back.

The half-way mark of my husband’s deployment was approaching and I desperately needed a night of fun. I needed a ladies night out. As I scrolled through the newsfeed on Facebook I came across an update shared by a friend saying she had plans to attend a ‘Canvas and Cocktails’ event through our park district. Out of desperation for some fun, and a nudge from God, I replied, Can I come too?

I do not paint but it sounded like fun. Without a wing to hide under I ventured out a few weeks later to join two friends, and a few others I did not know, for an evening of painting and a glass of wine.


As I stared at the blank canvas and paint palette before me, I feared having the worst painting in the room and being laughed at. To belong there my painting must be perfect. A beautiful painting would make them like me more. I feared rejection. At the same time I could not wait to begin.  

Once my paint brush touched the blank canvas I could not stop.


I did not know blending colors and spreading paint on a canvas could be so much fun.


We all watched the same instructor but each created our own unique masterpiece. As we oohed and aahed over each other’s piece of art, I quickly realized no one cared how good or how bad I painted. We were all there for the same reason . . . for fun.

It became clear to me as our evening came to an end that I’ve let my need for approval from others hold me back from having fun long enough. As Jennifer Dukes Lee writes over and over again in her book Love Idol, I’ve already be pre-approved by God.

I may have arrived at the event that night seeking approval from others but I left saying, Good-bye, insecurity.

I went to the event for an evening of fun but I left with my identity rooted a little deeper in the place where our identity should truly be found – in Christ.

I left with this . . .


And more “joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.”

That wing I like to hide under . . . when he returns home I will choose to stand beside him as his proud wife instead of hiding. I think we shall venture off for some fun together too.
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About Beth...


Beth Stiff is Simply Beth, at least that’s what her blog is called. A wife to her Army Reserve husband and a mom of two boys, with her oldest son serving in the Navy, and a mother-in-law too. She a Jesus lover, a family gal who loves her friends, and reading with a hot cup of coffee. Her life is changed, even after 20 years of marriage with a love that grows stronger. But the bottom line, is in the heart. Beth loves the heart things and to speak about the Love that changed her and keeps changing her. She’s an encourager who thrives on being in our corner. You can also find her over here, bloggingTwitteringFacebooking, and posting pictures to the Pinterest world.