Thursday, December 27, 2012

Year end review

Review the post from January goals. 

Books I plan to read to help me grow:
Parenting:
Parenting Beyond Your Capacity - read, but not as good as I had hoped.
Resolution for Women - only read half, plan to read the next half in the next year.
Writing:
Guys Like Girls Named Jennie - thought this would be a good book, sorry to say it was not.  Could not make it past the first chapter, so I could have missed stuff.  Didn't like that it was an old book with a new name, I felt slighted on that.
Biography:
Working It Out - awesome book that helped me see God in new way.
Let's Roll - Didn't get to read, but will move over to next years list.  It is purchased - which is a step closer.


For someone who found it rough to read non-fiction, these books and many other's that I did read has helped me progress reading non-fiction. 

Learn to sew a dress, bean bag chairs, skirt and American Girl clothing.  I made the chair, and AG clothes- who knew the dress would be for AG dolls. 


 
 



Finish editing my book and send to agents. - God called me to other things.

Create my own version of drift wood stars found on The Homemade Home via Completely Coastal.  Prepped and no execution, maybe I don't want to make these now...

Learn to make more casseroles like this Creamy Ham and Potato Casserole from Scattered Mom. I’d like to be able to make more freezer meals beyond lasagna so I have more options on those hectic days or to give to a friend in need.  Total fail, casseroles are not my thing.  Will keep trying recipes.

Mostly, I expect 2012 will be a year of Joy. God has delivered me in the past few weeks to not focus on circumstance, to focus on Jesus. In doing that, I have found joy. Putting the smile of faith and the Joy will come.

...Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

J-Jesus first

O-Other’s second
Y-Yourself next
 
This year was full of joy - when I wasn't messing with my own head.  What stood out more than anything is Faithfulness.  God wanted me to display faithfulness in my walk with Him.  He's enabled me to make great strides toward this.  My pastor's words still stick in my head, "Would you go into business with someone who would quit in two weeks?  Would God?" 
 
Hmmm, I'll have to write more on that again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas

Spending the week in awe of my Savior.  He humbled Himself and came to earth as a mere infant.  He did not strive to establish equality, but submitted Himself to the will and plans of the Father.  He endured the pain of separation from the Father with the hopes of redeeming all.  Through Christ I have communion with Him.  A humble blessing to remember as I spend time with my little girl and husband this next week.

Joy to you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Big Flaw Part 2

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.  Galatians 6:1

To elaborate more on the last post, I struggled over being the reason someone was withdrawing from a part of God in her life (not sure the extent).  I cried and mourned for her.  Satan used it to spur doubt over my current calling.  My God has revealed much over the past week.

1.  My comments - unknowingly- were just the straw on the camel's back - it wasn't the sole reason (why flatter myself).  That this sweet lady has other issues He is working in her.

2.  That in my new ministry I may say the wrong thing.  I will undoubtedly fail at some point.  I need to trust Him through the whole process.  I fail when I don't make Him the center.  Trust God for the change in me that He has planned.  Trust for the work He has me to do.

3.  Trust that although the work will be personal, I need His perspective on things.  As God is working on a heart, that heart may rebel and I may be the one who take the second most brunt of it (for God always receives the bigger offense).  I am called to be slow to be offended, quick to forgive and focus on the issue.  Not dwell on the past or what should have been, but to in love get to work with how things are right now.

4.  To know when I fail, I can be the Christ like example.  To be humble, ask for forgiveness and seek to restore the relationship.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Big Flaw Part 1

1 Thes 5:23
My brashness is obvious.  I lack that gentle demeanor that listens, understands, that is gently, humbly, conveys God's desire - Biblical advise to other.

I've spoken without tact.  I've been blunt.  I've been mistaken by the assumptions I've made and declared myself right, not allowing any correction to come my way.

And for one called to be a Biblical Counselor, these are major road blocks.  Big flashing signs that say stop, turn back, quit, you were mistaken in your calling.  You are not equipped and it's impossible for you to change.  You've tried before only to fall back into speaking without thinking, barreling ahead to get your way, dismissing everything else just to be able to file away the issue.

Fortunately God is teaching me to be what He sees me as.  Humble, a hearer (not just a listener), gentle and understanding.  These things are me, God has given these things to me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy for you

A friend today finally came public on her success to have two books published.  I am very happy for her.  Yes, I aspire one day to be a novelist, I can truly say I'm happy for her and hope she has great success - along with looking forward to reading her work.

Yet, because of my own dream, I'm a little disheartened.  With myself, not her.  See I struggle with sharing my work, I posted on that before.  At different points I even felt God called me to give up this dream.  However, it comes back.  I'm disheartened because her bravery shows my cowardice. 

I flash back to kindergarten (come walk with me there).  It was the first time I remember having a whole room laugh at me and awakening a desire for it never to happen again.  I was alone in my play center and my teacher neglected to notice the rest of my group was absent.  I quietly played, put the babies to bed and sat down with my pretend cup of tea in the rocker.  A little boy pointed at me and said, "Hey look, she looks like a grandma."  Everyone laughed.  And did I mention my hair was in a bun?

It seems funny now.  I was so embarrassed and wished it to never happen again.  As any introvert knows, embarrassing things happen often. 

Fortunately, I've come along way.  Especially once I committed my life to God.  That memory is with me though.  It is a tool satan uses to keep me from moving forward.  I commit my writing to God.  If  When He sends someone my way to read my stories, I will give it out.  Writing is a gift God gave me for His glory, to be given to others.  To help them in their walk with God.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Spirit prayer

So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.  1 Cor. 14:15

I studied a little bit on praying in the spirit versus praying with my words and thoughts.  In the example 1 Corinthian 14, praying in the spirit is praying in tongues.

To be honest, I've tried the pray in tongues, however, I'm to conscious of what I'm doing.  I just can't get into it.  I know a lot of people are on both sides of the fence with this topic and this post isn't about that.  I can only go with what scripture tells me.  Speaking in tongues is a gift.  It is not one I'm blessed with right now.

But does that mean my spirit doesn't pray?  I don't think so.  No where does it say the spirit only prays in tongues.  Then God revealed Himself to me on this issue.

While I was struggling with doubt and had my focus wrong, my spirit was in prayer for me.  I was off inside, but I sought God, continued to study His word and do what He led me to do.  Out of that obedience, I now have revelation. 

Revelation is so awesome.  To come to a new understanding that I didn't possess before.  Looking back I can tell that to spirit was in prayer for me.  Once I released some of the junk in my head and faithfully showed obedience, things fell into place.  Something I listened three times now sinks in.  My mind is now in a place to hear and understand what the spirit has prayed for me to get.

Only when I gave up myself.  Only when I kept my focus on God.  Only when I allowed Him to prioritize my days.  It all worked out.

Although I said I didn't have time to write, God has opened the door back up for me to write.  He created a few pockets of time and gave me the revelation on what to write.  I was obedient to push pause, now He says go, so I stopped and now I go.   

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stepping out

In all that I've shared, right now I'm putting this blog on hold.  The posts are slow in coming anyway.  I don't have a lot of time to post and God has revealed it's not where I need to focus right now anyway.

So Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas - just in case I'm not back until the New Year - Happy New Year.  God bless you.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Doubt creeps in

I shared my victory and now I'll share my doubt.  It was hard to write about during the two weeks doubt pressed on my heart.  Dread came as well, because I thought about last year and how I got into a funk that lasted several months and included me going on a sugar binge.  

What happened?  Not really important.  Now that I look back, it was little incidents that magnified in my mind.  I already shared a few issues I took care of like projects that need finished or put away for later.  My lessons were on tough subjects that condemnation pressed in.  

Through it all, I repeated God's ways, His words, I countered every lie in my head with His truth and asked for Him to show me.  

That He did.  I made my lessons about me.  I made the projects about me.  I made a lot of things about me.  To be honest, when things are about me, I'm not nearly as dedicated or motivated to stick with it.  I've let myself down so many times that it's expected to fall short.  

As I cried out for direction, I put going to bed early for search of God's message.  It wasn't about me.  Thankfully, when it's about others I'm motivated.  When it's for God, I can't be stopped.  Why?  Because He is behind it.  It took a couple days for my emotions to catch up with my head.  During those days, God managed my time, helped me to focus.  I was able to do what I thought would take twice as long.  I ticked along in awe of the God I serve.  

God is so good.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Provisions given

I have a few items that I've wanted, some needed, but I've been patient, waiting for God to open the doors.  Back in May I wanted a Kindle ereader.  However, I patiently looked research and finally settled that the Samsung tablet would meet my families needs.  Next was to wait on the price.  In trusting that God would make it possible if it was a blessing for me and He did.  I was able get a new tablet at a cost of $50 out of pocket.  I used sale price, online gift card I earned and yard sale money.  I was pleased that my patience paid off.  I praise God that I was able to have the patience that I didn't run out and buy the best I could get back in May.  

Now a week later, He opened the door for another purchase at a great price.  I wanted two dressers and a filing cabinet.  I've looked at resale shops and on Craig's list.  I wasn't comfortable with anything I saw.  Again, if I'm impatient, I will just go with what's available, which is often not the best for me.  I shopped for this again this past week.  I found a couple good deals, I just didn't have peace over the selection, so I postponed with the options before me.  I said many times to myself that the Lord knows my needs and He will provide.

After I dropped Kat off to school, I headed to the library.  On the way was a moving sale sign.  I turned and found the house.  In my mind I could see a filing cabinet.  As I walked into the garage, there was the cabinet.  It looked like it might be part of the garage, but as I walked closer, it had a tag on it.  Not only did I get the cabinet for a great price, it locked - with keys and it came with enough hanging file folders for me to file every lose piece of paper in my house.  

Again, I am in awe of God's blessings.  Had I settled on a dresser that didn't quite meet my measurements earlier this week, I wouldn't have purchased the filing cabinet.  I know God provided the cabinet because I need it now more than dressers.  It will bring more organization to my home, which you may remember, has been a goal over the past few month.

It's simple, it's amazing.  It's God's provision and His blessing on His children who are patient for His provision.  I can trust Him to provide.

And in an odd way, this is the second time in a week that God allowed me to foresee what I would purchase, and how I would purchase, before I arrived at the place of purchase.  It's kind of neat and I hope it continues.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Victory!

Candy,
Candy,
Candy....
It's all around.  This year, I've made wiser choices.  This year, I've experienced victory - courteous of my Lord and Savior Jesus.

I'm going strong with my no sweets eating.  I did partake in a few bites randomly when it was part of the experience, but the times are few and far between.  

October is usually a month of anguish for me.  I want to diet - to look good for the holidays, yet the abundance of candy and sweet are to tempting for me.  Look at that sentence, it was all about me.  Last year this time I was deep into eating whatever, not caring for my health.  Needless to say when Christmas came around and God called me to give up sugar, I needed to obey on so many levels - both spiritually and physically.

My experience yesterday.  Kat came home from her travels around the neighborhood.  In her stash:  3 Musketeer bar.  Full size, not one of the bite size (which she had as well).  It struck me that this candy bar is a comfort food for me.  It is part of my earliest memories.  Yes, I remember being 3 years old and asking for this candy bar.  However, I've learned to turn to God for comfort, not food.  What a journey to get there.  I'm not perfect with it yet (ask me about a week before my cycle), but this is great victory and I'm celebrating!  

Other things I did this year:

I didn't buy a big stash in the off chance we would get a lot of visitors.  My rural community could go either way.  I decided that if I ran out, I ran out.  BTW, I didn't run out.  Next, I stuck to non-chocolate candy.  Yes, I know it isn't a favorite with the kids.  My waist line and victory is more important than that.  I knew and acknowledge if I bought our favorites, I would be at a greater risk of "just this once."  Now I'm not.

Yes, victory is wonderful.  I will continue to call on God to help me stand firm on this point.  To help me choose to obedience over my whelms of the day.  God will help you, just ask.  Seek His will.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Operation 15 minutes

I didn't prepare a lot of post to go while fall break was upon me.  I fell behind in my studies.  Kat's teacher wanted extra help in the classroom.  This all had me a little overwhelmed and doubting my God.  So, I spoke His truth, declared I trusted His calling, determined if I stay behind I will persevere to the end, because of His grace to do what He called. 

Just a few hours devoted to my lessons over the weekend helped me catch up mostly.  At least removed a lot of pressure I was placing on myself.

This has brought me to realize that my schedule for my life really hasn't been in place since Kat started first grade.  I need to get back there for most of my week, especially when it comes to cleaning.  I've been wanting to tackle my house and do a deep cleaning since the start of school.  Of course you may remember I tackled the garage, which was HUGE.  

On looking at my schedule I am not finding chunks of time to devote to cleaning one room - this includes dusting, purging clutter (anything we can do without), sweep, mop, clean windows, etc.  So this week I will give Flylady 15 minutes a shot again and see where I end up.  I may have time to devote a near whole day later this week, but we shall see.  

My plan is to do two 15 minute attacks a day.  These are for the extras and do not include what I do on a regular basis, such as laundry, sweeping, dishes, etc. 

Today session 1 began with dusting my great room.  I really need to go over some places with windex, but that will have to wait for another time.  It's amazing how much dust can collect in a few short months (or ten).  We won't even talk about the ceiling fan.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Break Outing

Kat is enjoying her week of fall break.  We went on a short car trip to a town we used to live before Dale and I were married and Kat came into our lives.  We enjoyed our day, but that isn't what this post is about.

As we drove around the town, I was presented with a past life.  A life that was 99% focused on ME.  As we went from place to place in this wonderful little community, the one thing I remember were the restaurants.  This is a community that is made up of mostly engineers and factory workers.  Needless to say, the food choices were abounding.

I remember what I used to order and how often I would eat out.  No wonder during this time I moved up the weight scale until I settled on 50 pounds overweight.  It brought back to mind how much of an idol food was in my life.  How I would go with the current emotions and eat where ever.  How I knew the daily specials at the local dives that made comfort foods like no other.

“Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both. 1 Cor 6:12-13

I was mastered by food.  I would starve myself for a day, then eat until no end the next - top it off with ice cream.  God did destroy both idols for me.  The idol of me and the idol of food.  It's not that the idols don't try to move back into my life.  I must be on watch, guard my heart, listen to God, be in His word and filled with Him.

 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.  Gen 4:7

Sin is waiting for me, waiting for a poor attitude to pounce on me, to get me focused on an idol instead of my God.  I must not be mastered by it.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Which is God


So they took the bull given them and prepared it.  Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling.  Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”  So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.  Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.  1 King 18:26-29

As I studied this passage, I had to wonder at the behavior of the Baal priests.  They danced; they shouted; they cut themselves; they became frantic.

But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

To serve a god that didn't answer.  How could they serve a god they didn't feel or see its majesty?  The work of its hand?  

If you look at this passage in context (1 Kings 16:29-19:21), the end of a three year drought is about to end.  This god hadn't sent rain.  They only thing it "did" was enable these priest to eat at Jezabel's table - meaning they had food, despite a nation that was probably starving.

We experienced a short drought in the Midwest this summer.  The crops didn't grow well.  The streams dried up.  Lakes lowered or disappeared.  People frustration were in their words with complaints of the heat and dieing landscapes.  I can only imagine what would happen if it had lasted three years!

Ahab in this story is concerned for himself and his possessions.  Instead of looking for water to help the people, he wanted to feed and water his animals.  Instead of repenting and seeing God's mighty hand in the drought, he continued to sacrifice to all gods and live for himself.

We can't forget that God didn't answer prayers with rain during this drought either.  However, He provided for Elijah, the 100 prophets and for any Isrealite that adhered to His decrees.  Although the Bible doesn't reference any, so I can't be sure of that one.  

The Isrealites had a history with God.  They knew what He had done leading their people to the promise land.   Yet this story does indicate that they served Baal and Asherah poles, just as Ahab did.

Perhaps Baal was a demon.  With Elijah's  presence on the mountain, God being with Elijah, Baal couldn't come there, couldn't be that close to God.  

The priest of Baal were weak with the bleeding.  After God showed up mightily and burned everything down to the ground, these weak priest were easily carried off and killed.  Ahab did nothing, for he still only served himself.

I'm called to look closer at idols.  How does it make me weak, easily carried off by the enemy?  How does it not do anything, yet has my full attention?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Interruption

I posted yesterday about the chatter bug among me.  I need to confess I'm often on.  I'm not always "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,"  James 1:19.  It definitely happens more than I'd like.  

Each time it does, God gently reminds me.  Just this past week someone was speaking and I interrupted.  Now I know it can be Ok to do that in the natural course of things, however, this time it wasn't.  It sounds silly and perhaps to small a thing to be concerned with.  But then why is it in James?  It is important to God.  I didn't show this person proper respect (1 Peter 2:17a) to this person.

Bring on the practice.  With God in my side, who can stop me?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Life Mate

I had a wonderful weekend.  Dale and I spent nearly two days together.  It's been a while that we were alone without the constant chatter bug that we love.  We went to a football game on Sunday, thanks to Grandma who drove two hours each way to spend time with Kat. Then wonderful Columbus Day.  My husband works for the government, so he gets all these wonderful days off.  

The weekend was full.  Dale wore many hats.  Helping friends move into a new home in the pouring cold rain.  Did I mention it was cold?  He is a natural heater, so for him to come home cold means it was cold!  

He also helped me complete a couple projects that were on my list.  We have ornamental grass we no longer want to care for.  I'm done having welts from caring for this plant and Dale suffers more from it.  So, I attempted to dig it up last week, only to find I'm not stronger than the roots.  Did I mention that I had promised a few people they could have it for pick up over the weekend?  Fortunately they were patient and Dale dug it up and broke it up for me.  

The next thing he did for me was put dirt into a flower bed he created for me last year.  It's patiently been waiting to be completed.  It may sound simple, but it involved driving our old truck (what a blessing it is) to pick up the dirt and drive back with all the weight.  One load was just enough to fill the bed.  

These things he did in a short amount of time would have taken me a long time to do.  I really appreciate his help.  I totally enjoyed our time together yesterday working on these projects and having adult conversation.  I am blessed to have him as my partner.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Who Touched Me? Mark 5

24 So Jesus went with him.  A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”  Mark 5:24-34

This is a story that is found in Matthew and Luke as well.  It is one you may have read often.  I had heard/read this story this many times.  Yet this last time, something jumped off the page at me.

Jesus called out for who had touched Him.  He felt His power leave and wanted to know to whom it went.  Who among Him had the faith?  Such faith can't be hid.  He would not go on to the pressing matters of a young girl's health without knowing who had the faith.


The woman finally went forward, knowing she must.  She trembled with fear, yet did the right thing.  She came forward, declared her past, her faith and all the Jesus did for her.  Jesus in turns credits her faith and releases her from suffering, granting her peace.


The spirit turned to me.  See I like to write.  I have a novel written, several others outlined and started, just waiting for me to be brave enough to step out of the boat.  I have this blog that I've kept anonymous.  Here I am, calling on Jesus to share His power.  He's granted me the gift of story telling, yet, I choose to be part of the crowd.  He's waiting for me to come forward and declare me faith.


So here goes.  I will step forward.  I will share me faith, who I am and who my God is calling me to be.



I've updated my profile for who I am.


I'm sharing who I am with all around, including my writing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In Eden

Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9 

In my exploration of how to focus, God revealed more of what I do to me in Genesis. The trees of Life and Knowledge were in the middle of the garden. 

Two points to make to drive home my need to focus. 

  1. Which tree am I focused on? Am I focused on the knowledge of good and evil - the world? Or Life - which comes from Jesus? 
  2. In the middle of the garden the tree of Life grew. This tree of Life is a gift that comes from Jesus. Does He take up the middle of me? Is He at my center? 

It gives me much to think on, ponder and allow God to teach me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Look at the weeds!

“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Mark 4:3-8

I'm listening to a sermon series on Mark 4.  I had to come clean and be true to my actual position when it comes to the various places the seed is growing, meaning where I am.  For in other versions of the Bible, I learned the seed is the same, where it falls depends on how it grows.  The seed is God of course.  The soil is us.  

Are you stubborn and hard, not letting the seed even grow?  Are you not spending enough time with God that when the harsh circumstances come along the seed withers (not going deep in your relationship with God)?  Are you among the thorns, although you are growing, you are distracted by the weeds of the world?  Are you good soil?  How do you move from producing 30 x to 100 x?

In looking at these questions, I striped away all the "what the world should see" and came face to face with me, growing among the weeds.  It is hard to come forth and admit that I have an issue.  Of course my past post would indicate that.  God is tugging on my heart to get me to see.  

It's my lack of focus.  It's waking up and decided to not do what is schedule and do what I want to do - which isn't productive based on God standards.  It is another place where I compromise.  It's keeping from being fruitful for my God. 

So, how do I get out of the weeds.  How do I make the move to the good soil?  Be mindful of what goes in my head.  Stop thinking of me and what I want and think more about God and what He wants.  I have my gardening gloves on and I'm ready to change.  God will lead me to that change. 

Just tonight, I just didn't want to do what I had planned.  My mind just wasn't in a place to pay attention to get into what was planned.  My mind went over all the things I could do tonight.  Thankfully the Spirit breezed through to stop me.

I had to submit.  God, whatever you will have me do, regardless of how I "FEEL."  I'm quite tired of getting to the point where how "I feel" dictates what "I do".  And to follow that up, I asked that He enable me with the gumption to DO what He will have me do.  

So I'm here, writing.  It wasn't what I planned and that's OK.  It's what He wanted and it's wonderful.

God is so good!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Plus to forgetting things

Quick post on forgetting things.  I need to stick with reading my Bible daily for I often forget what I wrote.  Thankfully I don't feel guilty anymore for this.  I know even if I can't remember the words that my soul is enjoying the food and is storing up all I need.

If I forget something, the next time I study it, it is new teaching and I am awed once more by the passage of scripture.  It also keeps scripture alive, for it is a living Word, it sustains my soul.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Life Verse

I studies Titus over the summer.  God when I got to:

It [God's grace] teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:12  brackets added.

The Spirit said this is to be your life verse.  Whether it is my life long verse I know not.  It is to be something I cling to until I get it.  It is only by God's help that I can say no the worldly passions.  It is only by God's grace that I can live self-controlled and produce any fruit in the present age.  

I read this verse every few days, who knows, I may even memorize it.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Another Affirmation

I may sound like I'm grasping at any justification for my actions, however I'm at a point in my walk that anything that brings God's call on my life into clarity it something to be grasp and recorded.  I mean clarity as in understanding the WHY behind the request and have another weapon against any guilt that tries control me.

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.  Acts 20:28

What caught my eye is the Holy Spirit has made you.  The Holy Spirit has assigned you to your work.  And if He hasn't assigned you, you shouldn't be doing it.  To me it says: Don't lead because no one else does, trust that God will fulfill the need and allow time for the chosen one to respond to the Spirit's conviction. 

Does this mean that something might not get done when we want it done?  You betcha.  Does this mean that someone might fight with God, have a stubborn  heart about the call He placed on them?  Of course.  Does this mean I help the situation by doing it all for everyone?  No, I do not help.

Keep to the Path.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Book of Philemon

This is a little book tucked in between Titus and Hebrew.  You may not know it's there.  It's a personal letter from Paul to Philemon (Phi - Le - Mon), who was the owner of Onesimus (O - nes - i - mus).  Paul intended it be read to the entire church of Colosse.  Take the few minutes to read it, there is some great treasure there.

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 6

Talk about stop you in your tracks kind of verse.  I just love it.  Active in sharing my faith and in doing so, my own understanding of all the good things of Christ grows.  I want more understanding.  I want to be closer to God.  A key to doing that is sharing my faith.  It opens my eyes to how God is working in others.  It opens doors to His path with I'm able to see Him clearly. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Cycle

God gave me clarity on the cycle I go through.  With this knowledge I can and will be on guard against the attack on my thinking.  It's breaking a link in the old rusty chain that weigh me down. 

It starts usually with a goal.  Say a desire to lose weight (for this is one goal I've visited much in my life).  Yes, the initial process lists healthy and glory to God.  It is an attitude of accepting who I am and how I will be patient to get where God is leading.

Then misplaced desire will creep in, via a photo or movie.  Then my thoughts become obsessed with how to attain the new goal, to take things in my own hand to make it happen and happen now.  Gone is patience, acceptance or any other good attitude.  Determination sets in and it brings all the laws that go with it.  I'm not a Bible scholar, but I know law means death.  Yet I still succumb to the laws.  I will do this and I won't do that . . . ugh!  Where do the laws lead, you guessed it - compromise.  'Well I will just put this on hold, just for this one meal, one snack, one day', which of course leads to more compromise, more determination, more laws and ultimately more failure.

This is just where the enemy wants me.  I'm not glorifying God.  I'm not following His plan for me.  I'm allowing my soul to die in order to live under the law.  I am full of guilt, disappointment and worldly desire.  That sums up to me being ineffective in my walk with God.

Then the funny thing happens.  When the Spirit finally gets through to me that this process is happening and I'm not glorifying God, what do I do?  I am determine to stop.  Good right?  Not when I'm determined to stop on my own.  For I can't do it.  The thoughts are still there.  No matter how much to try to divert my thoughts, the world is full of reminders to bring you right back to the thoughts and attitude that I shouldn't have.

Humbly, I fall to my knees and ask the one who can make it stop to send His grace to me.  Only by the power of Christ can I change.  Only by Him will my heart be softened and my focus centered on Him.  He so graciously gives, welcomes me back, refocuses me on Him and His goals for me.  Thank you Jesus.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Moses - a book review


I had to spot light another book we've read recently.  Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. 

This book is a Caledcott Honor book as well as the Corretta Scott King Award.  Harriet has always been one story I loved in history class.  How brave she was!  This book had me in tears - I haven't been moved to tears from a children's book ever.

The book leads up to Harriet accepts God's call to go back and lead others north.  It goes through how God prepared her from her early childhood for such a task.  To have such a strong call on your life and to willingly agree to God plan.  It was an encouragement to me. 

As a disciple of God's, I am called to lead people to freedom.  The freedom from sin and the hold this world has on our lives.  It live in the world, but not be part of it.  Just as God prepared the great people of the past, He prepares me.  To Him be the glory for the privilege and enabling to do His work for His people.

*This is an unsolicited review.  I received no payment for this review.  No money or products was exchanged for my personal opinion and experience of this book.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How It Could Be

The Spirit wouldn't let me go resting in the joy of God's affirmation.  Why it is so great is the change in me that allowed me to see it all.

Discontent would have been my attitude.  I would have been frustrated.  I would have blamed D or K for somehow moving what I was looking for.  Yet those thoughts never came until I looked for the difference.

Discontent over not having a greater work than caring for my home and family.  The world (and my father) dictates that an able, educated woman should seek full time employment so to make more money so we can have more things, hire someone to clean my home, eat junk because I deserved not to cook...oh I could go on, but you get the picture.

Thoughts of why things never stay where I put them.  Why couldn't things go smoothly?  Why must I be plagued with all these little frustrations that are causing others to be inconvenienced?  I would have been angry, full of self-pity and just plan ugly.  Oh, and I wouldn't have time to exercise or eat well either, because I need that food to make me 'feel' better.

Yes, looking at all the possible reactions to this circumstance, I can only praise God all the more.  For He has changed me.  I am being sanctified and enabled to respond to the circumstance with truth, not react with selfishness.  Any attempt at a bad attitude I quickly spoke truth and did not allow the thoughts to run free in my mind.

God is good!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Affirmation

I love it when I'm going down a path and God sends affirmation.  With each day, my trust in Him grows and I am enabled to kick doubt to the curb.  I don't have time to doubt.

However, I'll take affirmation anytime God wants to give.  Its that little extra 'you're doing well' that keeps me going on His path.

I had a meeting to pass on a service project that I headed up this past year.  I knew several months ago that God didn't want me doing that over the next year.  I've posted about giving up some service to focus on counselor training.  I stood firm even when the person pressed for me to come help.  Fortunately she understood the importance to obedience over the desires of men.

I came home from that meeting to an email from a friend who loaned me a DVD for the Made to Crave study I led earlier this year.  She needed the DVD back.  I looked all around the house, where did I put it so I wouldn't lose it?  The words from yesterday's post on why I cleaned my garage where in my head.  

Over the past month I have misplaced two other things.  One - an important quote with house measurements my brother gave me, the other - our well used desk dictionary.  I like to look up the words I don't know while reading.  I had bought another dictionary, but with the DVD I had three things missing.  I turned to God, as I had done on my other attempts to find the missing items, not allowing frustrations to impede my search.  I was able to declutter a few baskets while I searched.  I wondered what God was trying to teach me.

When my daughter came home, she needed dice to play a game her teacher sent home.  In looking in a game for dice, she found the quote.  (It had clung to a game board that we played several weeks ago.)  I praised her and God.  She was excited to tell Daddy and I put a call into my brother, who was relieved not to have to measure again.  

I began discussing the DVD with D and how I couldn't find it.  I said I found the books, one in a basket, one on the bookshelf.  As I thumbed the bookshelf again, I found the DVD, it had slid back behind two books.  With a high-five praise God, we were amazed that we had found two of our lost items in just an hour.

Getting ready for our evening activities, K needed to get her water bottle from her room.  In the process, she found the dictionary.  Amazing.

I know, I sound a little crazy, but praise God for this affirmation.  I knew He had something to teach me.  He waited until I needed three items before opening my eyes to find them.  

It's not that our house is total disaster zone, either.  I don't want to down play the need for me to take better care of my home, in doing so, take better care of my family.  This is a point God is working in me.  To be content in the work He gave me today and allow Him to lead me to the work He has for me.  I don't need to fill up my time with doing that I'm not serving.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Purpose of Garage Reveal

What's up with my reveal of my garage?  It doesn't really follow what this blog is about, does it?

Well, here's the story behind it. I need to simplify my life.  The things around my home that suffocate me and remind me of all I haven't done.  It is  spending time trying to find something and can't because it doesn't have a home so it is likely where ever it was last used and then buried under the next project.  

Releasing junk and getting rid of trash is trusting God as well.  If we keep an old wall outlet just in case something goes wrong with the ones in our home . . . where is that logic coming from?  Outlets cost less than a dollar.  I have a house full of them and if one goes bad I can go to another outlet.  I don't need to keep the one made in 1968 any longer.  I trust God that anything that went to the curb or was donated will be replaced if a need arises.  He has always cared for me.  I don't need to hold onto trash for security.

Freeing up space in the garage and in my house frees up me.  Instead of spending my time managing my things, I can do the things I love.  I can read a book in peace.  Create a painting or repurpose a frame.  

It's about caring for my home, being a good steward.  That is one of the essence of a Proverbs 31 wife.  She cares for her home.  She gets things done that need done to take care of her family. 

I know I can't do it all in one month, but I can tick away at each project, at each task until things are easier to manage because the clutter and trash is gone.  It's about making my home more hospitable.  It's realizing this work on my house is just as important as work else where, if I'm doing it for God.  He's called me to be the primary caretaker of my home.  I need fulfill that job the best I can.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Garage Reveal

Ok, here are some comparison pictures of all the work I did.  What I didn't take pictures of is the mess the took up the middle of the garage for three weeks while I sorted and trashed a lot of stuff.  This garage has been the hiding place for the past eight years.  I do hope I don't let another eight years go by without cleaning this up and out again.


This corner was piled high and I couldn't walk over there. 



I moved a shelving unit that was on the other side of the garage here.  Got rid of the corner counter top and replaced it with a straight shot counter that I received for free on Freecycle.  I mounted the shelf on the wall the free up counter space.  This was after much debate on using this shelf or repurposing it for something else.  I haven't ruled out repurposing this, because I love the curved lines, but for now, it is mounted to the wall. 

I removed the lower corner shelf to open up counter space.  I removed the door from our old kitchen cabinet to allow easy storage.

The area with the doors will be cleaned up a bit when they return to a closet or to the trash.  Then this space will hold the ladder and our soccer chairs.


This was the dumping ground for old household projects from paint, tile and roofing.  Along with the hopeful mantel that will one day be IN the house.  


Here is after.  The paint is moved to the above corner shelf area.  I put roofing in our outdoor shed.  The extra tiles I gave to my sister.  Just enough for her (her husband) to redo their children's bathroom.  Behind the metal cabinet is only one door we use to make an extra table.  The rest are gone.




Here's two different views, but I wanted to show the new space I created.  



This is the space where the metal shelves were.  I cut the old corner counter, moved the small freezer and drawers over and hung shelves on the wall.  I love this extra counter space and hope to keep it from being a hotspot.  I painted the front of the drawers with chalkboard paint.  Then my cats promptly came in, rubbed most of the chalk off.  Oh, well, it's fun to have.  The shoe box totes are labeled with what is inside.  See the one to the far right.  It has tape in it.  I don't know how much time I've wasted in this garage looking for tape!

These spaces all endured a lot a vacuuming.  A few spiders met their demise in the process. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lord, I want

Lord, I want what You have for me, not what I can go get on my own.  I know there is much to gain in the journey.  I know You have a plan for me.  I could go the easier route, but You haven't given me peace about it.  You haven't sent affirmation.  I will trust what You do have for me.  I will trust your leading.  Oh, Lord above all else, I want what You have for me.  For You are the Giver of good gifts.  Your timing is perfect.  I will trust You, for I know You love me.  You equip those You call and I know You will equip me before You send me or even along the way.  The journey getting there is as important as the destination.  It is the time for growth, to being secure in You, to having confidence in You.  Yes, Lord, I want what You have for me.  If I'm misguided, trying to get things on my own, please reveal it to me fast, help me to get back to where You want me.  I trust You, God.  I love You, God.  You are the perfecter of my faith, always and forever. Amen

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Update

Wow, August just flew by.  I was able to get much done and drop a pound.  I worked on my garage until I was urged by the Spirit to pull the plug on the work.  I have some places left to organize and clean still.  My mind turned to mush after trying to decide what to do with it all.  As a bonus, the hubs cleaned up part of his tool area.  We're getting close to finding things we actually need.  I'll post picture soon of the areas done. 

I started a few other projects the last week of August.  I'll show that soon to after the paint smell goes away and they are up on my walls.  

I enjoyed Labor Day weekend.  Only wish I had taken my camera along to show you some.  You'll have to settle for my description.  It was rainy and overcast (praise the Lord for the rain).  We had a lot of family time.  

  • Saw two great movies - Odd Life of Timothy Green and We Bought a Zoo.
  • Put a puzzle of Yellowstone (map) together.  Very hard because we realized quickly into it, we only had a picture of the middle of the puzzle.  The rest was a guess.
  • Visited with my mom, her hubs and a few siblings - something we hadn't done in a while.  
  • Went on a boat ride on the lake.  We saw four white geese that have decided to live here.  Also a snake (yes snake!) swimming across the lake and a giant cat fish that only made me glad they are scared of us for it would make it hard to swim otherwise.

God's joy is bubbling in my heart.  I spent most of the day Sunday laughing, starting with my girl wearing two different shoes to church.  That will make her pay more attention to what she slips her feet into.  Fortunately, she had her Crocs still in the car.

For September, I have a few projects I need to get done including finishing the front flower bed and prep an area for a garden next year.

Counselor training starts tonight. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

In the Shadow

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings Psalm 17:8

Watering over the summer, with the drought in our area, it was often.  The Spirit breezed in.


In this photo, the plant grew tall.  Look where it grew, in the shadow of the wall.  This wall blocked it from the harshness of the sun, helped retain the water.  Overall it had protection.




This photo is a plant that grew a few feet away in the harsh sun.  It grew, but at a fraction of the growth.  It was watered the same amount, but without protection.  The sun dried the water to fast, the weeds thrived in this area too.







Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  John 7:37b

When I live in the shadow of the cross, Jesus satisfies my thirst.  He fills me up.  He enables me to grow and flourish.  Despite harsh circumstances and high heat of the environment, I am protected.

Out on my own, I have faith, but I am doing things my own way.  I grow, but slow, fighting weeds and the harshness of the world on my own.

In the shadow of the cross is the only place to live.  It is the only place I can be all He plans for me to be, all He sees when He looks at me.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Whatever is pure

I'm still discussing having control over my thoughts with God.  You may remember several post about where my mind takes me such as this one last week.  It is a point that God is working on and will give me the grace to change.

I was doing something mundane around the house, I believe doing the dishes.  Something sparked a memory of my past that I didn't want to spend my time thinking about.  I said 'Lord, why does this keep happening?'  

(It's not a every minute problem, but enough that I want it gone.  It's not just thoughts of me personally, but of what others went through, movies, books, stories I've read, just random things that add nothing to the here and now.)

Then I became aware of my situation.  My husband had just turned on the radio and Jesus Calling was playing.  Then I said, 'Why can't these things spur thoughts of You?'

His reply, 'They can'.  I just rolled that over in my mind.  I know it is so simple.  It felt like a big slap to my head, duh, moment.  Jesus can be my trigger thoughts.  To think of what He's done for me.  The blessings He gives me each day.

Paul says it best:
Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Jesus Calling



I had to write about this wonderful book.  We do a lot of Bible study with my daughter.  So when we were at the Tree of Life book store and she asked for a devo, I wasn't sure to get her yet another thing to study.  Silly right?  

I was pleased to realized this is something she wanted, not something I told her she needed to do.  It makes my heart sing with praise to God each time I see her with her book on her own.  D has even taken to discussing it with her and looking up the extra passages.  

She is growing with this book.  It helped her trust God in her fears.  It has spurned real life application discussions that my family has grown from. 

*This is an unsolicited review.  I received no payment for this review.  No money or products was exchanged for my personal opinion and experience of this book. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ahhh Avocado


Ode to Avocado.  Such a sweet, nutty fruit.  I love to eat it sprinkled with salt and red wine vinegar.  The green mushy flesh may turn others away from this treasure.  I am thankful I was brave to try it.  I'm now enjoying the full reward of this blessings.

In switching over to a less meat diet, I gave thought to protein combos to even out my blood sugar levels.  I suffer with low blood sugar, so diet management is my only choice.

A friend shared her vegetarian diet that her daughter ate.  Pureed rice and beans, half avocado, yogurt (yes her daughter is a toddler).  It clicked with me that since I didn't eat meat, the fat in avocados isn't makes up for the loss and since it's plant based, it is healthier.

Since adding half an avocado to my lunch, my blood sugar is level.  No more trembling late afternoon.  I'm having other symptoms of hunger, which I learning - but that's for another post.  I'm happy I added this since it has taken away that empty hollow feeling I had when I eliminated most meat (thus the protein from the meat).  It's a learning process.  One day soon I'll need to add up how many calories I'm eating. 

On the down side, when I do eat something that isn't all that healthy (Frito corn chips), I can feel it the next day.  My eyes swell up.  It's like my body is saying it only wants the good stuff and doesn't want to go back to processing all the other junk. 

  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TLT answer

I'm sharing a answer to The Lord's Table Bible study I'm doing.  Sorry for the randomness of it, but I think it says a lot.

When I am controlled by my sin, when it dictates my actions.  It wants fed.  It wants plugged into this world.  Currently, my flesh wants something - secular music, yuck stories, chocolate, alcohol.  Something, just something.  I keep turning my head and thoughts to God.  I recognize it as distraction.  I'm on the verge of growth, break through.  Even the temptation to be impatient.  If I did this, then this would happen sooner.  Yet is faster better?  Will it get me to where God is calling?  Yes, but is it how God called me?  No.  There's so much value in the journey.  In having the patience to prove my faithfulness.  I have to be in God's presence to make the desires of the flesh die.  Only time with Him will make it happen. Only time in His word, allowing it to change me, will I be prosperous and successful.  Not by the world's standards, but by God's standard.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Joshua 1:8

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday update

Well, I'm still going strong in the garage.  I'm getting 2-4 hours in each day....and yes, it is taking that much time.  Although I skipped a few days week one waiting for the trash man, there wasn't any room until it was gone.

I'm making shelves out of scrap wood I saved.  Yea, it's no longer taking up space, but creating new space.  I've gone a little crazy with new containers, but hopefully things will stay where they are suppose to.

I have a clear, distinct memory of watching Winnie the Pooh as a child.  I was slightly older, knowing full well Pooh was for littler kids.  But I was under ten and had little siblings, so I could get away with it, LOL.  In the episode, Pooh decides his house is too messy.  He gets shoe boxes and a crayon.  He organizes and labels everything.  Oh, in that moment an organizational seed was planted.  It just took me many years to realize I can't organize clutter - that I need to get rid of.  Then organize what is left - the useful things.  Well, enough down memory lane for now.

I'm making slow steady progress on my weight.  After the initial one pound loss, I think I've lost another half pound in the past two weeks.  I had planned to reevaluate my exercise, but that is on hold right now.  I just finished two weeks in physical therapy only to have more pain than when I started.  I'm giving it a few weeks to see if I can go my own way (with wisdom), to get rid of the pain before resorting to getting a shot.  We have hiking plans for fall break, so I need to be prepared for that.

I'll share soon about my food changes and how they are working out.  I'll post pictures of completed projects once they are done.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Accountability Partner


It is advised that everyone has an accountability partner.  Someone who you report your progress to – be it for weight loss, exercise, daily Bible study….and aught.  I want to tell you about my accountability partner.

He is my  best friend.  I am so blessed to have him in my life.  Always by my side, he gently calls me out when I’m tempted to go my way instead of God’s way.  He also quietly waits when I do choose to go my own way, and reminds me to turn back. 

He keeps high standards and urges me on to those standards as well.  He is willing to help me do all it takes to live up to God’s standards.  When I’m lost on which way to go, he speaks truth to me and directs me.  He always upholds God word.

Yes, he’s the best accountability partner.  Guess what, He can be yours too.  Jesus is willing to be your partner in life, your best friend.  He wants what is best for you and wants you to choose the ways of His Father.  He is always there, showing His love, love demonstrated on the cross, love that has the power to transform you, make you holy.

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