Palms open…


Frantically she jabbed anything she could find down the space between her car window and the door. Locking keys in the car is irritating and mortifying all at the same time. And yes, I would choose the parking space right next to her.

I hear God whisper, “Go in and get money for her. She can’t afford a locksmith.”

“No God,” I reply. “I’m in a hurry! Ryan leaves for camp tomorrow, plus I have to pay for Bella to get spayed….where is this money going to come from? Can’t somebody else help her? If she’s still out here when I get done shopping, I will help her.”

Well, I finished shopping, and guess what, she was still there.

The kind young man who loaded my groceries noticed her plight and offered to find her a better tool than the coat hanger she continued to frantically finagle.

“See God, she doesn’t need my money.”

But $40 cash sits in my purse like a lump.

Again I hear God whisper, “Give her the cash. She can’t afford a locksmith.”

But I harden my heart and tell God no. It’s the end of the pay period, school supplies will be needed soon, and bills are due. No God, I can’t.

So I smile at the woman, tell her I hope the kind grocery sacker finds the tool she needs, wish her well, and drive off in my car. The whole way home, trying to shut off the guilt trickle now flowing like a river in my heart and mind.

I could have helped her. I could have said yes. But I said no. I held to my financial security tighter than I held to God. I trusted my bank account more than I trusted God. And it was $40, easily spared had my hands been open. But I gripped that $40 tight. I had earned it and I wasn’t about to let it go.

Fast forward a few days. I read the first chapter of “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa Terkeurst – the subject of the Proverbs 31 online bible study that begins today.

Then I read the bible study assignments for this week. The phrase for the week is #palmsup. The material challenges me. Could we choose to hold everything with palms up, loosely, so we may say yes to God.

Conviction falls like a ton of bricks. I thought I had this obedience thing down. After all, stepping out in faith and writing a book is huge for me. But what good is obedience in the “big” things if we choose disobedience in the “small”.

God wanted to bless the woman locked out of her car. He chose to use me, but I refused. I robbed her of a blessing, and even more so, I robbed myself.

I wonder if I am alone in my struggles. And I know I am not. Why? Because over 21,000 women are signed up for the Proverbs 31 Yes to God study. 21,000 women want to say yes to God, but probably struggle just like I do! And what freedom there is in knowing I am not alone and that I can learn to do better. The study starts today. You can still sign up here. I would love to have you join me. And let me pray for us before you leave…

Thank you Lord for forgiveness and grace. Thank you that your will is accomplished regardless of our obedience. But God, please help us to choose obedience. We want to live with palms open. In Jesus Name, Amen.



  1. says

    Thanks for this message.. I to can relate to saying yes to the world around me while God patently waits for that yes to be pulled from the strings of my heart…

  2. says

    Wow. I think we have all done the same thing, though, at one time. I know I’ve been already working on saying “yes” to whatever God leads me to do, so am excited about this study!

  3. stillybee says

    I can so relate to this post! I remember being THAT woman..broken down in spirit, things breaking apart & “dying” …one thing after a widow from Suicide Loss.
    #palmsup and waiting for God’s people to come around me. Only a few brave warriors came….

    I remember telling my youngest son after his dad died, that we must unclench our fists. They would turn into palms up..8) Ten years later…they have.
    Its a blessing to “live” on both sides of exsperiences.
    Your post tells me that your heart KNOWS.

  4. says

    I think most of us have let many opportunities to serve others pass by. We have said no to others
    and no to God. I am looking forward to the study and forward to listening more for God’s voice and having the courage to say, Yes!

  5. Cathy House-Strickland says

    I am encouraged by this study.I want to be able to say yes to God.To be able to be used of God in a mighty and powerful way.That is my prayer for today.Thank you Jesus

  6. TheMotivationalGirl says

    Thank you for being so honest and open with us! We all have been through this I know I have.

  7. Teri says

    Ive actually been on the receiving end of this situation. I was driving to Oregon from southern, CA single mom with my two young sons, saved money for my first week paid vacation (this being about 15 yeast ago). I had driven about 14 hours and one of my sons got car sick and it was everywhere!
    We still had two hours to the motel in Crescent City, CA. Pulled over, cleaned up and finally made it to the motel. The same time I got ther with my kids another couple came in behind me. 1 room left. I could tell the desk person wanted to let tbe couple have the room, but dang it I was there frist. Exhausted and irritable I took the room. Tha went across the street to a Dennys. As we ordered I told boys the could only get something small because I had to budget everything down to the penny. The boys cranky and tied started arguing with me and it was then I saw a man in the booth behind the boys kinda chuckle and leave his seat. Well all of a sudden the waitress comes to the table and said the gentleman in the next booth had just left and told her to tell me order whatever you all want and dessert to it was on him. I turned to thank him but he was gone. The waitress said he didn’t want thanks he just wanted us to have a good meal and enjoy our being together. I cried right there in Dennys and thanked God people like that still existed.

  8. karen says

    “God wanted to bless the woman locked out for her car. He chose to use me, but I refused. I robbed her of a blessing….” This convicted my heart. I had never thought of it that way. It was enough that I have said no, but I had never considered that I was robbing the other person of a blessing and me the opportunity to be one.
    I’m ready for more! Love the study so far.

  9. says

    Love your post Stephanie, thanks for sharing with us. I know I have ignored that small voice too because I was in a hurry or just being selfish with my time and money. I love what you said “But what good is obedience in the “big” things if we choose disobedience in the “small”.” It seems to be those”small” things I don’t obey. Thanks so much for this post!!!

  10. Alida says

    I heard about Proverbs31 Ministries on KLOVE and decided to visit. I’m so happy I did. This is my first online Bible study. I have my palms up and I say yes to God

  11. Courtney says

    Thank you for sharing Stephanie! I love your brutal honesty! This is the area where I fall short. So often I’ll not give the full 10% or put a few extra dollars in a special offering because I’m so worried that if I do, my household may suffer. I’m so ashamed as I write this. I’m praying that during this study I will learned to totally trust and totally obey!

  12. Barbara McMann says

    Reading these posts makes me know how much I really need this Say Yes To God Bible Study. Mainly because I’m not sure I ever even hear God’s call much less say yes or no. I’m hoping to HEAR GOD and respond with a resounding YES before this is over.

  13. says

    I did the same thing a few years ago. I had been in a meeting all day and was leaving to go retrieve my car from a parking deck (I had to pay to get my car out). A lady wanted $3 for a bus ticket and told her I didn’t have the money, yet I had a $20 bill in my purse. I felt guilty for a very long time, because it reminded me that could have been Jesus and I just rejected Him…..It put a lot into perspective for me!

  14. says

    My husband and I were in that woman’s place many years ago. Back when gas was .50/gal. We were staying in our car surviving on one meal a day and working when we could find it. I was cleaning trucks at a truck stop and a driver watched me walk back to the car and get in. My husband and I were counting our pennies to see if we could get a room for the night and be able to eat. We had the windows down because it was warm. A driver walked over to the car and handed us a 20 and told us to go eat. I asked him if I could clean his truck and he said no here is my home address if and when you get it send it to me or just pass it on. That was the first time in 7 or 8 days we actually had a good dinner and got to sleep in a cool motel room. I put his name in my purse and told myself just as soon as I got a job I would pay him back. Well time passed and we found jobs and a home and I could not find the purse. I cried and prayed because it was something I wanted to pay back. That afternoon we were at the grocery and there was a woman with 3 small ones in her basket. She was looking at the basket and obviously counting her pennies. She had a half gallon of milk, some eggs and bread in her basket. She told the kids it would be Fried egg sandwiches this week. I walked over to her and hastily handed her a note and 30. The note said my name is Elaine and I am paying back a stranger who once helped me. She teared up as I rapidly walked away because I was in tears of gladness. One week later I found his note in an old suitcase. I got a money order and sent it to him. He sent it back and said I know you have paid it forward so your debt is paid. I have never figured out how he could know because the only person on this earth who knew was my husband. I listened to that small still voice and I am so thankful I did, because I believe that is when I realized that God does use others to help us! Praise him and yet I am always working on that yes to Him.

  15. ghyland says

    OMG!! I had a situation like this one…One day the Lord told me to cook a meal for a family from our church. I did cooked the meal, but I was to lazy to bring it to them. Instead I use it for my family’s dinner that evening. We were eating it when God said to me, “you’re eating your seed” and a minute later that family called to ask if we could take care of their children because their mom need it to go to the Hospital to the Emergency room. The conviction that came to my heart was hurtful…..I cried and told my husband the whole thing. He encouraged me by saying, “next time you need to say yes to God”.

  16. Kim says

    Wow!! This message has really touched my heart. My husband has always been better at saying yes when God tells us to do something. I have a tendency to micromanage everything and have tightly clinched fists. God has been dealing with me over this, for quite some time. I join a YES GOD STUDY and day 1, PALMS UP, not clinched fists. I’m so thankful that He loves me enough to send me reminders.

  17. says

    I always wonder when I don’t obey that Holy Spirit’s prompting what would have happened…and we might never know. Or maybe we obey and the results aren’t anything seemingly spectacular and we don’t know what that was all about. But this is a journey, learning to hear His voice. Sometimes we’ll get it wrong; sometimes we choose to ignore, and He shows us grace and we can press in again to try to hear and respond with immediate obedience next time. I’m on this same journey!! Thanks for sharing your story!

    • says

      Heather in my situation after I disobey God, I started to feel guilty and Immediately I started to condemn my self. Thank God for my husband, he told me not to feel that way, that God is a God of a second chance and that next time I would have to say “YES” to God no matter what. I asked God for forgiveness and moved on. God is LOVE, and love keeps no record of wrong……THANK YOU JESUS!!

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