Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Odds and ends

Well, there are several excuses that seem to have led to my lack of blogging recently. Humor me while I fill you in.

1. It is cold. Really cold. Being that my computer is in our cold basement, I have stayed away from dressing super warm to brave the frigid temperatures. I know that it doesn't take long to blog but that leads me to #2.

2. As a perfectionist I somehow believe that my blogs have to be about something. Yes, I know that the best sitcom of all times is about nothing but I don't have a whole lot of nothing going on in my world either.

3. My grammar is horrible. I am so glad that blogger has spell check or I would be in trouble there too. I love writing in my journal and have done that for many years but knowing that no one would be reading them makes it much easier to write about everything that happens. It has been a long time since I had to write anything that needed to be good so the pressure of a blog that could be read by more than myself can cause me a bit of stress, so go easy on my writing ability please.

4. I've been spending a lot of time thinking, reading and praying recently. This is obviously a good thing to interfere with blogging. I'm through the first 5 books of the new testament and am almost done with Isaiah since the beginning of the year. (That is a lot of reading where I come from.) I'm amazed that although I have read the Bible through several times, things are starting to make more sense and click more now. God has been speaking to me and I've had some really wonderful times of private worship. I feel enriched and have been walking in the Spirit so much more. It really is a God thing and I am so glad He meets me where I am at.

So, I guess what I am saying is that yes I still exist in the world of blogging and hope to post more soon about all that God is doing in my life as well as more about nothing too. Catch you later.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Church girl

As a non video game kinda person I was a bit chagrin when Justin introduced Lydia to Mario Cart on the Wii. Though they don't often play it I was in the room the other day when a very funny series of events took place. Justin was playing Mario cart and Lydia was holding an extra remote "playing" along. Like I said she doesnot play often but being the bright and observant little girl she catches on to things pretty quickly. Justin tells Lydia that he is looking to get the magic bullet as a reward when he hits certain boxes. (The magic bullet helps you go faster.) He got what he calls the magic bullet and Lydia says something like "Yeah daddy, you got the magic bulleitin". Now that is a girls who has been in church her whole life. I got a kick out of it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Musical Monday

I worship and serve a very good God. I am so thankful that His mercy is new every morning and that His patience is like nothing this world has to offer. Today I was looking over a prayer journal from the past year and a half and was unfortunately saddened by the fact that I am still struggling in so many of the same areas. I know there has been growth in my life but it also shows that our problems don't just go away. It takes time, effort and hard work to make lasting change. If you didn't notice I will let you in on a secret, as a christian I left something really important out of that list. In fact I left the most important person out, that is the Holy Spirit. By following the promptings of the Holy Spirit inside of me, that is the only hope I have to experience real and lasting change.

I tend to rely on my own strength and try to make a whole bunch of changes at the same time. I know that His mercy and grace are there for me and I need to cling to Him in all my decisions. Inevitably when I rely on myself and/or make too many changes at once I end up defeated and unchanged. I need to choose to do good and rely on the only one who can help me. I the love HCSB translation on Joshua 24:15 which says, "choose for yourselves today the one you will worship". Sometimes I worship the perfect schedule in which I get everything done that I wanted to, or I worship the emotion that I feel at any given moment. I know that I sometimes worship things, stuff or ideals more than the God who gave me life. It is in those times that I so badly want the Holy Spirit to convict me and remind me that it is my choice to choose TODAY, right now who I will worship. The worship team at my church played this song this week and God really spoke to me through it. I thought I would post it here for all to enjoy. Who or what will you choose TODAY!

Found love beyond all reason
You gave Your life Your all for me
And called me Yours forever
Caught in the mercy fallout
I found hope found life
Found all I need
You're all I need

The time has come
To stand for all we believe in
So I for one am gonna
Give my praise to You

Today today it's all or nothing
All they way
The praise goes out to You
Yeah all the praise goes out to You
Today today I live for one thing
To give You praise
In everything I do
Yeah all the praise goes out to You

All we are is Yours
And all we're living for
Is all You are
Is all that You are Lord

Monday, January 5, 2009

Both, yet neither

"Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary." Luke 10:41

I am a Martha. I get worried, anxious and upset over many things. The funny thing about me being a Martha is that I'm not a very good one. For all my trying to get things done I still have a pile of clothes that needs ironing, a kitchen floor that thankfully hides the grime, a basement that is over-run with too much stuff and a whole list of other things that a true Martha would get done. I guess it is just that I can identify with her busyness and her perfectionism.

This is one of my favorite passages because no matter how many times I've read it or heard it spoken about I always know that I need to live it more. I believe there are definitely parts of me that are Mary too. I earnestly desire to sit at Christ's feet and I take time daily to read His Word and open my heart to hear from Him. Unfortunately I'm not a very good Mary either. My intentions to sit quietly are often interrupted by a child or my own wondering thoughts or even my head nodding off. I desire the time with God but making it a reality doesn't always seem possible.

So here I am stuck between two roles, falling short in both. Not measuring up to actually getting things done and not always choosing the "one thing" that can make all the difference. Without a doubt I can say I have not achieved the balance that I know God has in mind. I want to follow God's priorities rather than my own or those of the world. I want to live a life of simplicity but often add too much junk to make that a reality.

The verse the kids are focusing on this month in church is Colossians 3:23-24 - "Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord - you serve the Lord Christ." I serve a BIG GOD who can handle the fact that I am messed up. I have flaws and He knows every one. I also know that He is bigger than my mistakes and that He knows my heart. Whether it is a really good day or a really bad day I know that He loves me the same. I know that His grace does not change and is always available. For all my striving to become more I sometimes forget that He knows right where I am at. I wish I could say that I am glad for the challenges that this life presents but what I can say is that I am glad for a God who is with me through the challenges that this life presents.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dare I say resolutions?

Well it is that time of year. I am definitely a big goal setter and a rather schedule driven person so this time of year is always exciting to me as I look back at what I set out to achieve and forward to what I want to do in the future. As far as looking back, truthfully I can't recall exactly what resolutions I had last year or exactly how I did so in an effort to be able to not be in the same situation net year I am sharing them with the world.

Linda Dillow is one of my favorite authors and I have read several of her books several times. I am using some of her ideas in my new years resolutions as I find them very helpful. She has a tool called a "priority planner" and I find that I am most productive and balanced when I use it. Of course there is also the part of me that is always looking for the perfect schedule in which I achieve and accomplish everything I set out to do and I know that does not exist in this life. So here it goes.

Priority 1: God - I want to fast at least one full day each month. Having been pregnant and nursing and pregnant and nursing over the past four years has been for me an excuse to put off this spiritual practice. I know that fasting really does make me think more about the sacrifices that God has made on my behalf and I desire to continue to grow in my awareness of Him.

Priority 2: Justin - I want to set up at least one date night a month. That was a goal last year and I believe we almost made it. There are more unknowns in this goal since you can't predict illnesses and the availability of others but I desire to persevere and make this happen.

Priority 3: Lydia and Emma - I desire to respond with loving words and actions to my children. I am an over-reactor and know that my kids pick up on this. I want to respond to situations in a way that the principles I want them to display in life (respect, obedience, good manners, etc.) are the characteristics that I display.

Priority 4: Home - There is definitely room for improvement here as well. I certainly do like to clean and seem to function best when there is less chaos in my physical surroundings therefore I try to maintain some semblance of order. I want to get a handle on my recycling efforts. I need to take it to the center once a month because in my efforts to recycle anything that Fairmont will recycle I am easily overwhelmed by how much there is. My biggest downfall and the loftiest goal in this priority however is menu planning. It seems that no matter how good my intentions I end up deciding last minute what to make for dinner. My desire to make healthy meals sometimes causes more stress and I may need to ease up in order to just get something on the table every once in a while. By the way, feel free to send any good quick and easy recipes my way.

Priority 5: Myself - This is probably the trickiest place for me to come up with resolutions as there are so many areas I would like to set goals so I will only share a few. I want to consistently make time to workout as I have been over the past few months again. I want to take some relational risks. Having had two good friends move over the past year has been difficult and left me wanting some new relationships so I am going to make an effort to get to know some people as friends.

Priority 6: Outside the home - Well goal one is to get outside my home once in a while! Seriously, I want to teach a community music class for toddlers and parents. I've called a few places but have not had any real confirmation. I want to offer a free class that is basically just music exploration for little ones. It just means that I need a facility big enough to meet in that is available for free to me to use. Also, I want to get back into nursing homes. I grew up performing and visiting nursing home and would love for my children to experience the same thing so I am contemplating just how to do that.

So for now, those are my goals and aspirations for 2009. I will keep you posted.