it is cold and snowy here, and school has been canceled for tomorrow. i have prepped the cookie dough and hot chocolate, but i need some crafty ideas. i'm thinking about having them make a pendant sign for valentine's day or a footprint angel. what are your favorite kids crafts?
note to self: is there a perfect way to exercise? no! the perfect exercise is the one you will do each day. is there a perfect way to organize? no! the perfect organization is the one you will follow. is there a perfect time to get started? no! so why wait for the clock to hit :00, :15, :30, or :45? the perfect time is never. just start!
i struggle with myself sometimes. the things that i want to get done fight with the work required to DO them. does that make sense? my natural inclination is to rest, take it easy, watch some t.v., be lazy. but goals can't be accomplished by resting, taking it easy, watching some t.v., or being lazy. i am fighting against inertia.
inertia is a habit i have allowed myself to get away with when saying that 'good enough' is okay.
i believe (for most things) lasting change comes slowly. so slowly it almost doesn't seem like change. we've all heard 'slow and steady wins the race'. it is especially true when the race is a long one. a life-long one.
the problem is i want the change NOW.
i want to be the Godly woman i see in my head, the proverbs 31 woman - the one that prays eloquently, the one that knows the bible inside and out, the one who is a good communicator and companion for her spouse, the one who is the most beloved mommy, the one who makes their house a home/haven/refuge, the one who works a career successfully and prosperously, who is beautiful and healthy and fit.
people that say 'patience is a virtue' are wrong. patience is a habit. just like saying 'no' to sweets and snacks is a habit. just like brushing your teeth everyday is a habit. just like becoming THAT woman is a habit.
habits are reinforced action. inertia can be pushed into momentum.
my goals become reality when i choose the 'better' habit instead of the 'natural' habit... everyday. i become the person who can accomplish great things for the glory of God.
do you have excess in your life? not abundance. excess. excess of 'stuff'? excess of drama? excess of weight?
i do. i have much more than i need... exceeding normal; surpassing proper limits. yuck! excess is draining. excess is about me trying to wrestle control from God. i try to out-plan God. how silly i am.
what a difference abundance is from excess. abundance is fullness overflowing, a great supply. it feels ENERGIZING. it is meant to be given away.
i don't like that my excess blocks me from sharing my abundance.
my parents taught me to work hard, but they didn't teach me to work joyfully. or maybe they tried and i just failed at it. (what can i say? i'm deeply flawed.) if you are like me and can stand to have a little less chaos in your life, then try implementing some short and easy routines to your morning, afternoon and before bed. mine are pretty simple and are easy to do with a happy heart.
**MORNING: -Make Bed -20-30 Minutes of Exercise -Shower -Get Dressed to Shoes -Moisturize Face/Wear Mascara -Quickly Clean up the Sink -Check the Calendar -Eat Breakfast/Take Medicine
**AFTERNOON: -Feed Cocoa (kids) -Empty Dishwasher (kids) -Homework (kids) -Read One Chapter in the Bible -Reboot Laundry (one load a day) -Clean or De-Clutter Paper for 15 Minutes -Play a Game -Start Supper -Drink 8 Glasses of Water
**BEFORE BED: -Check the Calendar -Lay out Clothes for Tomorrow -Put Needed Items at the Door -Spend 2 Minutes Cleaning Living Room -Clean off Countertops -Feed Cocoa -Drink Water/Take Medicine -Wash Face/Brush Teeth -Pray -Go to Bed by 11p.m.
how are you doing on your new year's resolutions? are you about burnt out? ready to give up? haven't even started? where ever you are, take a minute to read this essay. making small changes = lasting changes.
The following are goals may look a little familiar. In 2011 I will:
-Be more prepared -Get more rest -Embrace frugality
Uh huh, sure I will. I mean those goals sounds nice on paper -or my computer monitor as it were- but how will they happen?
Having the New Year fall on a weekend tends to make the first Monday of the year feel like any other. Those carefully thought out resolutions or goals, if you must, tend to go right out the window as we slide back into our usual routines. Don’t let that happen this week.
What if today you did things a little differently? What if you changed the way you looked at your calendar/planner?
Why not look at your calendar and instead of the usual I have x to do this week, you said. What do I need to do today to get ready for x? And then, what if you actually did it? That’s the important part, you know.
What if tonight you looked at the weather and figured out what you were going to wear tomorrow?
And then, you took it a step further and made sure that it was clean and not rolled into a ball somewhere. Are planning on kicking off the new year with a session at the gym? What if you got your gym bag packed and ready to go. It’s one less excuse. While you’re at it, find your keys.
What if tonight you went to bed a little earlier than usual?
With Hulu, Netflix, DVRs, etc. Really, what IS your excuse? I promise the news will still be the news in the morning (and the afternoon and the evening, just with more gory details and additional drama). The news is always there.
What if you set your alarm ten minutes ahead?
Showing up a little too early is not the worst thing that will happen in your day.
Arriving on time isn’t just about getting yourself out the door when you should, it’s allowing buffer time for everyone else’s screw ups.
In my opinion, buffer time is awesome time.
I used to keep a book in the car, now a smartphone fills that role. However, there’s more than entertainment to life, you could: take a walk around the building or parking lot, menu plan, meditate or pray, etc.
It’s ok to step out of busyness and just be.
What it tomorrow you had coffee at home instead of at Starbucks?
Even if you buy the fancy beans or grounds, it’s still a fraction of the cost. Let’s pretend you drink one of the cheaper options $3.00 x 260 = $780. If passing up the caramel macchiato extra whip every day makes you cry, what if you turned the Starbucks run into a Friday treat? Now, you’ve got something extra to look forward to, and you’re still probably keeping $624 or so in your budget. (I’m a plain latte or cappucino girl myself. At home it’s just cafe au lait, if you were curious.)
Please, whatever you do, don’t tell me you buy the oatmeal at Starbucks. If you need to know how to make awesome oatmeal at home, just read this post on making oatmeal at home.
Now think about the time not spent in the drive through or waiting in line. . . Yup, you just found some more awesome time.
None of these are big changes, they are just small steps in a positive direction.
i like easy. i like simple. i sometimes confused easy for simple... do you?
i'm slowly realizing the two are NOT the same. easy means not difficult, requiring no effort, free from reflection. simple means modest, humble, one part, not blended, uncomplicated.
as i try to simplify some aspects in my life, i am becoming more aware that sometimes simple is hard. it requires thought, work, and continuous effort. it requires routines and organization. it requires attention.
we are trying to cut back on eating out. it is easy to grab something in the drive-thru or let someone else cook at a restaurant. you don't have to think beforehand about what's for dinner. you don't have to plan ahead or buy groceries. you don't have to do the actual cooking or cleaning up. why not stick with easy? because easy comes at a cost. the cost for us is finances and health.
on the other hand, it is simple to prepare a nutritious, healthy meal for my family. to do this, i just need to plan ahead. even though planning ahead may sometimes be difficult and time-consuming, it frees me from stress.
same with clearing out clutter. it is easy to run to the store and be dazzled by some beautiful item you just have to have. it is simpler to only buy what you need to keep your home running smoothly. what happens when you accumulate more than you need? it becomes clutter, and causes you anxiety and strife. sifting through the memories attached to a physical item is definitely not easy; but the feeling of harmony from having only what you need, use and love is simple.
living a balanced life is simple but not easy. what might take more planning on your part to make your life less complicated? what 'stuff' can you release to live more modestly?
take a look at your life. really examine it. is it a life that other people would want to mimic? not in a keeping-up-with-the-joneses kind of way or everything-is-so-perfect kind of way, but in a genuine that-family-really-loves-each-other kind of way.
what new idea can you implement today that would bring joy to your family? turn off the saturday morning cartoons. cook up some pancakes with chocolate chip smiley faces. get out a board game. it's time to start a trend!
do you have one day that you spend doing a family activity? we try. not only does it help our boys listen to us the rest of the week, but it provides us all with a good laugh. tonight, during our family favorite friday, we are going roller skating. it is going to be so fun! (but pray that bfp and i don't break something. lol.)
i have much to be thankful for. my beautiful home, my sweet puppy, my healthy kids, my husband who provides so well for us. i am abundantly blessed.
this morning i am thankful for my clean kitchen countertops that hubby shined for me last night. i am thankful to be spending my day with a client i enjoy. i am thankful for a website to track my calories and the friends i have made there. i am thankful for the delicious meal i made for lunch. i am thankful for HEAT and warm water. i am thankful for my car that allows me freedom. i am thankful for my date on sunday morning with my husband (running a 5k called the polar bear run). i am thankful for winter exercise clothes. i am thankful for the money my dad left me (the check arrived and i need to cash it). i am thankful for my sister's happiness and my brother's future child. i am thankful for my mom's generous spirit. i am thankful for beauty that God created (internal and external). i am thankful for computers.
-i were a natural runner -it was easy to lose weight -i could eat whatever i wanted whenever i wanted however much i wanted :) -my house stayed magically clean -my boys didn't bicker -i had two daughters, as well as my two sons -we lived closer to family -we had more money than we could spend -my husband and i spent more time being productive -i spent more time being thankful for all that God has given me
sometimes my wishes are fanciful or unmotivating or shallow. sometimes they are soulful longing.
sometimes they are just a bit humorous like this song: I wish I was little bit taller, I wish I was a baller I wish I had a girl looked good I would call her. I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat and a '64 Impala...
the boys don't have school today. (federal holiday, ya know.) the distruption to my normal routine is beyond frustrating. (to say the least!) my morning has been full of whininess, bickering, and crabby, needy boys... but i am reminded of proverbs 14:1 -
"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."
it would be so easy to let my frustration 'pull down this house with my own hands' (aka ruthless words or nasty tone of voice). my make-a-difference-monday goal is to be sweet in word and action to my loving sons all day before shipping them back to school tomorrow. (with a hidden happy dance, of course.)
my sister got engaged last night! she has been wanting this for a while, so i am really happy for her. i can't help thinking about how the wedding will have one missing person though. if i am thinking about it (and it's not even my wedding), i am sure it is also on my sister's mind as well. bittersweet.
a friend told me to look for ways to use my time to honor God and bless others. so it made me think about how i use my time normally. am i using it to honor God? am i using it to bless other? to be honest, no. i use my time selfishly.
there is an old song (i'm not going to date myself by saying how old) with the lyrics 'free you mind and the rest will follow' and i find that to be true. as i was running today, i let my mind wonder and the workout just flowed. free your mind and your feet will follow. :)
Romans 12:2 talks about letting God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. do you find it as comforting as i do that i am not required to change on my own? God will help me change, or be renewed. as i pray about my dreams, goals, resolutions and aspirations, and do the work to achieve them, i feel God bringing about a change in me - my thoughts... my actions... even what my goals and aspirations are. he is transforming me, little by little, to become more like him.
i started work again. as much as i loved doing it, i was also dreading it (and i couldn't fingure out why). when i pulled up to the client's building, i got this overwhelming sense of guilt. i realized that my last day of work was the day my dad died and that i missed being at his bedside because of feeling responsible to my clients and fulfilling my shift. :(
it was hard walking in the door, but my client was so grateful to see me again and i am happy to be able to help her. :) it hurts my heart to be there, but it is healing as well. please pray for me and my emotions.
in addition to my new year's resolutions, i also have a few hopes for the year: continue running longer distances, lose the last 10 pounds, do p90x once, stick to our (new) budget and find a publisher for my children's book.
i submited my book to a well-respected editor and she has agreed to take a look at it and give me some feedback. next step will be to revise and then find an agent. whoo!
as for running, i have already signed up for 3 races already this year - a 15k in new york city for colon cancer in march, a half-marathon in deadwood, sd in june and a 5k for prostate cancer in denver in september. i hope to compete in a race a month.
**what do you want to accomplish and what are you doing to make it happen?
i love it when we have a productive day. i love it even more when that productive day is on a saturday, which means our sunday will be couch-potato-land. :) we went to the elks hoop shoot for the oldest to compete (he had fun), took cocoa to the vet for her yearly check-up (she did not), did a load of dishes (put away clean and loaded up again), completely cleaned the kitchen, dusted and vacuumed the living room, had a nice family meal for lunch, cleaned the dining room, exercised (ouch! poor thighs), completed six loads of laundry (i normally do a load a day but this week i didn't, so it was all done today), oldest son went to his first reconciliation at church, the boys picked up their room, i cleaned the downstairs bathroom, we all watched some football, and then took the boys to barnes and noble as a treat for helping us so much today. :) whoo-hoo!
1. a roaring fire in the fireplace 2. reading a book that i have been anxiously waiting for 3. caramel apple spice from starbucks 4. the puppy dog laying across my feet 5. a surprise call from bfp saying he loves me 6. scrapbooking a new page 7. the color turquoise 8. lilacs blooming in spring 9. raspberries 10. sparkling kitchen countertops
this morning i got up with bfp and made him breakfast before he left for work. he commented that he wished i did that more often, so i am going to try. :) i love and appreciate him and this is one way that i can show it.
today is the first day that i didn't wake up with the death of my dad the first thing on my mind. in fact, i was talking to someone on the phone and i actually forgot the exact date that he died. at first, i felt relief because i was moving past the grief; then i felt guilty for forgetting a date that is so important to me. now i am worried that i will start forgetting more and more about him until he is just a wisp of a thought in my mind.
mister memory come to remind me, be my steadfast witness. memorize precious moments in my mind, display my recollections there for always.
gratitude Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~Colossians 3:15-17
strength The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. ~Psalm 28:7
joy Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. ~Psalm 97:10-11
purpose Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. ~Proverbs 19:21
grace But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. ~2 Peter 3:18
wisdom Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. ~James 3:13
my mission statement is to serve the Lord with gratitude, strength, joy, purpose, grace and wisdom.
gratitude Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie
strength Strength is a matter of the made-up mind. ~John Beecher
joy Now and then it is good to pause in our pursuit of joy and just be joyful. ~Anonymous
purpose Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time. ~Marian Wright Edelman
grace Grace comes into the soul, as the morning sun into the world; first a dawning, then a light; and at last the sun in his full and excellent brightness. ~Thomas Adams
wisdom Wisdom, among other things, is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve those ends by the most perfect means....All God's acts are done in perfect wisdom, first for His own glory, and then for the highest good of the greatest number for the longest time. And all His acts are as pure as they are wise, and as good as they are wise and pure. Not only could His acts not be better done: a better way to do them could not be imagined. ~A. W. Tozer
Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It's the courage to continue that counts. ~Winston Churchill
**what quotes do you find inspirational? do you use quotes as a mantra to keep yourself on track? where do you find your favorite quotes?
last year's resolutions are here. some of this year's resolutions may seem familiar. i was successful completing most of them, but they don't feel like a habit yet so i will be repeating them.
1.) read one chapter of the new testament each weekday 2.) teach my children to pray more deliberately, and pray more purposefully for my children 3.) continue to spend 30 minutes a day PLAYING with my kids (board games, card games, wii, outside) and read to them before bed 4.) make time for my vanity everyday, including using a face moisturizer, wearing mascara and exercising at least 20 minutes 5.) call my brother and sister once a week, leaving a message for them counts 6.) write a letter (or card) once a month and MAIL it to my grandpa 7.) run (without walking) a 15k with my friend nicole on march 27 8.) make 2 nights a week be meatless meals by may 30 9.) finish painting the dining room (with new wainscoting) by july 30 10.) take a 'girl's vacation' with just my mom, sister and sister-in-law by september 30 11.) be pregnant or start adoption process by november 1 12.) clean off my kitchen counters every night before bed
A blog for me to thank and praise our Lord and Creator. I'm working at serving the Lord with gratitude, strength, joy, purpose, grace and wisdom.
Favorite Bible Verses
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." ~Psalm 19:14
"But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of your righteousness and Your salvation all the day for I know not their limits." ~Psalm 71:14-15
"If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom." ~James 3:13
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." ~Ephesians 5:15-17
"…to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another." ~Titus 3:2-3
I started writing this blog because of a New Year's Resolution to keep up with technology and spend more time in reflection. I pray it blesses you as you read it, and gives you one more thing to be grateful for. I pray that I am always grateful, even when facing life's trials, because having a relationship with my God is enough to be grateful for.
I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. I love my amazing husband and my often-frustrating children. God is so gracious to me!
I am a list-maker. I am not and never have been a morning person; if I ruled the world, nothing would start before 10 a.m. I like sun tea and all things dealing with food, especially the eating. :)
I can be totally obsessive about some things (like how the inside of my kitchen cupboards look) and completely unorganized with others (like being on time). My favorite color is brown and my favorite room in our house is my closet. I have a sunny window, hanging chandelier, comfy ottoman and framed art in there. Blissful!
You now know all the important things about me. The rest is just details.
that you will be blessed from reading my ramblings. that what i say will encourage and uplift you. that you will be an encouragement and uplifter of others. that you will be a light that shines in the darkness.