Sunday, March 22, 2009

The God Chronicles-March 2009

I know, the God Chronicles is supposed to be on the 20th. So, I'm a few days late. Although, judging from the fact that I haven't blogged in an entire month (where did the month go? Oh, that's right, we've been sick all month!), I'm guessing you weren't really expecting a post anyway. So, surprise, here I am! Okay, let's get started, here's what God's been doing this month around here...

This is my youngest daughter, Miss O. This is her new thing she does when she has done something that she knows she is not supposed to. I often find her walking through the house covering her eyes.

I can immediately walk into the room that she came from and see what she has done. For example, an entire roll of toilet paper in the toilet, stickers on the bookshelf, pen marks on the counter-top, playing with big sister's Leapster, using every wipe in the container, putting on sister's dirty underwear. Okay maybe that last one was a bit much. I'm just telling it like it is. That was this week.

It cracks me up because it is a dead giveaway, yet she genuinely thinks that if she can't see me, then I can't see her, which means that I can't see what she has done. I'm having a hard time telling her otherwise, because I kind of like being able to tell when she has done something wrong!

I wonder how often we treat God this way. How often do I just hide my spiritual eyes thinking that if I don't look at Him, he won't know what I have done? Or how many times do I see a need in someone else and instead of helping, I just hide my spiritual eyes and pretend that I didn't see?

As much as I would love to not tell her that I can still see her, it has provided a great teachable moment with all three of the girls. God still sees us, even when we try to hide. We are so much better off to just go to Him with our problems! And, we should use our spiritual eyes more often to see the need in others and ACT on it!

For more God Chronicles go here!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The God Chronicles-February 2009

I sat down to write out my God Chronicles today, but God started talking to me about something else. Something I wrote about almost a year ago. So, I'm going to use an old post today too.

See, my husband is away at a conference right now for 5 days. I have all three kids to myself for that time. I'm in a new city (well we've been here for a year now) with no family nearby and no close friends yet. So, I've been feeling all-alone in this. Truth be told, I guess I've been feeling kind of whiny. Which reminds me of this post. This is from my testimony blog Healing Hope. I hope it encourages you today, and I'll try to have some new material for March! :)

The Three-Year Temper Tantrum

I was having my quiet time and Bible study on March 28, 2005 and God spoke to me in a way that I still remember three (now four) years later. I wasn't even really listening to Him at that point, but I heard Him and I understood Him.

Let me give you a little background. I had a very protected and blessed life. I can't remember anything bad happening to me growing up. No illness. No death. No abuse. Nothing bad. I truly was spoiled. Not rotten, just spoiled.

When the first and only really bad thing to happen in my life happened when I was 24-years-old, it hit hard! I got used to things going my way. I enjoyed things going my way. This was totally new and I was unprepared.

When the doctor told us that our baby potentially had a fatal defect and would not live outside the womb, the walls of my world came crumbling in around me. I never thought that I was exempt from bad things, I just took God's protection for granted. I was in His Word. I prayed. I was growing spiritually. You just don't grow through normalcy the way you grow through adversity. I was totally unprepared for how much I truly needed Him.

The next 20 weeks of our pregnancy, I poured my heart out to God. I spent time with Him every day. I communed with Him all day, every day. I knew Him in a way I had never known Him before. I had so much peace in the midst of such turmoil and such uncertainty. I was seeking Him. I desperately needed Him. The problem was that I wanted Him on my terms. I wanted Him because He could heal her, and He was the only one who could. I wanted Him because I knew that there was no other way that I could make it through.

I experienced Him with such closeness that I decided I didn't ever want to go back to not "knowing Him". I wanted to continue that closeness and grow it until the day that I was looking at Him face-to-face.

Then He chose not to heal her. He chose to do things His way. He let me down, or so I thought. Jael was born. She died. I searched for Him. He didn't answer, or so I thought. I wanted His comfort. He didn't give it, or so I thought. This continued for 3 years, until that day.

In those three years, God had already blessed us with two healthy daughters. Things were going my way again. I didn't realize how mad I was at Him. I didn't realize that I was choosing to ignore Him. I didn't realize that I had believed Satan's lies. I didn't realize that I had given bitterness a root, and it was flourishing. Time passes quickly when we allow Satan a stronghold. As long as I was focused on the here and now, I didn't notice the absence of Him, or so I thought.

I spent time in His Word. I wanted to hear from Him. I just didn't want to hear what He wanted to tell me. I wanted answers, not Him.

Our second-born daughter was almost two-years-old, smack dab in the terrible twos and very "strong-willed" as some would say. We could not find any discipline that would work for this girl. She laughed at spankings. We physically had to hold her in "time-out". It was exhausting. We finally put a baby-gate on the door to her bedroom and removed all toy-type things. Whenever she would throw a tantrum, we would put her in her room and put the gate on the doorway. She could still see us, but she couldn't get out. All that was required of her was that she stop screaming, tell us sorry (in an almost two-year-old way), and we would come get her and comfort her.

This particular morning, she had one of those episodes. I can't even remember what it was about now, I just remember allowing her to get me very flustered. I put her in her room, but was so flustered that I forgot to put the gate up. I realized this a few minutes later, but wanted to see what she would do. She screamed in that room longer than I ever remember her screaming. I kept thinking come on child, quit screaming, I am right here waiting for you to stop crying. I want to hold you. I want to talk to you. I want to tell you that I am disciplining you for your benefit. It was killing me to hear her scream and not run in there to comfort her. She didn't realize that the gate was not up. She was waiting for me to come get her.

It was in my quiet time that afternoon that God reminded me of my daughter's tantrum that morning. You see, I had been throwing a tantrum myself. A three-year long one. I was screaming at God. I was refusing to listen to Him. He was wanting to comfort me.

I felt Him telling me that all this time, the gate was not even on the door. I didn't have to wait for Him. He was waiting for me. All I had to do was stop screaming, talk to Him, and walk into His open arms. No gate involved. It was all for my benefit. He was right there waiting to comfort me the whole time, and my screaming pained Him the same way my daughter's screaming pained me.

That was the day that I quit screaming at God, I told Him I was sorry, and I ran as fast as I could back into His arms. There were still strongholds to break, and issues to deal with, but I was ready to do things His way again. No more temper-tantrums.

Click here for more of The God Chronicles.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Memory Monday 2009-verse 4

"Blessed is she who has
believed that what
the Lord
has said to her
will be accomplished!"

Luke 1:45 (NIV)

For more Memory Monday, go visit The Simple Wife.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Question #31

In what area of your life do you most need change,
and what will you do about it this year?

Again, discipline!
This is something that makes a difference in all areas of my life!

I'm sticking to my daily quiet time, Bible study, scripture memorization, and exercise! Also, scheduling my "free time" so that I accomplish more!

Thanks so much for joining me in these questions! I've enjoyed learning more about some of you and I am excited to go into a new year with focus! I hope that you are too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Question #30

What's the most important new item you want to buy this year?

Silly as it may seem, beds for the girls. Poor Miss C is in the toddler bed still and Miss O is in the crib still, time to move 'em on up!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Question #29

If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice,
what would they say?
Would they be right?
What will you do about it?

I was thinking that I needed to be an audience of one more, you know pay less attention to what others think and more attention to what God thinks. But then, I asked the husband what advice he would give and it was this. "Do your best to find the positive in everything." Which is totally true and I've been working on it more and more each year. I grew up around a lot of negativity and I struggle with it constantly! Half-full it is!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Question #27 and #28

What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the
quality of your commute this year?

Well, I suppose I could walk more carefully down the stairs, seeing as how my commute is walking down to the basement to do school with the girls!

For those of you who do have a commute, my husband used to have a very long very frustrating commute through downtown in rush hour. He started listening to the Bible on MP3 and it helped tremendously. When I was in college and doing my student teaching I had a long commute and I relished that time as I would spend it praying for my day.

What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year,
and what will you do about it?

So many! I don't know about specific doctrine, because these "topics" incorporate several, but I want to learn more about heaven and believing God/Faith. I want to get some good concordances and study books. I also want to read Randy Alcorn's Heaven and do Beth Moore's Believing God study.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Question #25 and #26

What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?

Learn: Video Editing
Improve: Public Speaking.

To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?

There are two...

1. My husband's ministry at church and TentPeg Productions (the personal ministry started in memory of our daughter). Running camera, learning how to edit videos and then helping him create them, and helping with the media team at church in other ways necessary.

2. Women's ministry at our church. (Building a leadership team, teaching, planning, growing, etc.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Question #23 and #24

In what area of your life do you most need growth,
and what will you do about it this year?

Self-Control/Discipline. This carries over into all areas of my life. I'm working on my morning routine and having discipline with my daily exercise and quiet time. Once I get that "habit" formed, I believe the rest of the areas will just fall into place, with God's help that is!

What's the most important trip you want to take this year?

The key word here is want. It's actually probably one I won't be taking. I really want to go to SheSpeaks and get some solid instruction and fellowship for starting and leading a women's ministry here. However, it's most likely financially not possible this year, so it will have to wait until next year.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Question #21 and #22

What one thing do you most regret about last year,
and what will you do about it this year?

Last year was a really good year! But, I do regret not getting healthy with exercise and good eating habits, basically that I didn't break those strongholds! Stick with it this year and draw on God's strength until it is done!

What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?

More babies? I don't know, just thinking about it because I am getting older. Maybe His blessing on making videos? Maybe success in starting a women's ministry (not for my success, but for Him reaching the women here). Maybe excellence and growth in my husband's ministry? I don't think I tend to pinpoint blessings to "seek", so this was a hard one to think on.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Question #19 and Question #20

Alrighty, I need to get through these questions because life is about to get busy and I don't know that I will have time to post here every day, so we're doubling up! Enjoy!

What's one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?

Continue to deepen my own relationship with Christ and share it openly with my children through a written journal (blog or paper) and through conversation. Using everyday moments to teach them about God. Set the example of rising early to spend time with God each and every day.

What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

Oh I do love reading! There are too many to count! My reading list for the year is located on my sidebar on the right. I've already read a couple of those. The Bible Study I most want to do is Believing God by Beth Moore. As far as just reading a book, I suppose it is What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and the new books by the Gosselins and the Duggars.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Question #18 and Memory Monday

What's one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor
(or to another who ministers to you) this year?

Consistently praying for all the staff and their spouses at our church. Stepping up to help in the area I feel God asking me to help with.

Time for a new verse...

I feel God asking me to step up and do some things at church, so I need to memorize this scripture to help me throughout this year! I typically memorize the NIV or NLT, but the wording of The Message really spoke to me this morning, so I'll be doing it out of The Message. It's longer and more "wordy" than I'm used to, so it just might take me the whole two weeks to get it right, but I will!

"Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely." 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (MSG)

Here's last week's from memory...

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves become burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

For more Memory Monday, head over to The Simple Wife and see what other's have memorized!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Question #17

What's the single most important thing you could do to improve
the quality of your work life this year?

For the record, I'm considering homemaking as my "work" for this question.

Have more patience and use my time more wisely.
That's two, but I notice when I haven't used my time wisely, I'm more impatient, so I figure they go together!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Find Joy in the Unexpected

On the day of Jael's funeral, my sister gave me a necklace with a pendant of Jael's birthstone. It was exactly what I needed that day and has brought me such joy ever since, except that having three healthy children since then means that the chain it was on has been broken numerous times. Okay, so I've actually been through four chains (babies just LOVE to pull on necklaces!)

I've been looking for the perfect necklace to put it on, but haven't been able to find one. I think I found two that would be perfect today.

This is the first one, it says, "Find Joy in the Unexpected" which summarizes exactly how I feel about Jael.
This second one would be simply stunning with Jael Elise written on it and her pendant hanging on it. I've been inspired today for what to do with my pendant. Now if I can just win it. That's right! Sarah Mae is giving away one of Lisa Leonard's necklaces over on her blog. If you want a chance to win one for yourself, head on over and check out Lisa's designs and then go to Like a Warm Cup of Coffee to enter the giveaway!

I'm putting this post up to get another chance to win and also hoping that if I don't win the giveaway, then maybe my husband will read this and he'll be able to save the money to get it for Mother's Day or March 28th, whichever. Love ya hubby! :)

By the way, this would be an incredible Mother's Day or birthday gift to any mother who has lost a child! I'll be bookmarking her site so that I can utilize her designs in the future! Now, go take a look and maybe you will be inspired by Lisa's designs today as well!

Question #16

What is your most important financial goal this year,
and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?

Get debt free!

I'm trying to get the food and toiletries spending down and I am also "working" to try to increase our monthly income. The most important step though is praying about it daily because this is absolutely something that is impossible for us to do ourselves!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Any Prayer Warriors Out There?

I read a message on Facebook this morning from a family that we used to go to church with and that have a special place in our hearts. This family has been through so much in the past and are facing a very difficult time right now. Could I ask you to please lift this family up in prayer with me? I've taken out their names to keep their privacy, but the husband's name is Kurt and the wife's name is Kate. Here's the message...

Most of you know my family's struggles. Challenges with how to best parent J with ADHD, my sorrows and joys of mothering my sweet L, and Kurt's cancer. Well- we found out today that Kurt's cancer has returned. Kurt was already fighting metastasized stage 4 prostate cancer under treatment for almost 2 years now. Now that treatment isn't working. While we haven't talked with his doctor yet, we know that the medical prognosis is poor. At very least this means more chemo, more hormone supression treatment when just yesterday should have been the end of his treatment. We also know that Kurt's form of cancer has a point where doctors stop treatment and place patients on hospice. Kurt is not that far from that point.

My friends- I am scared. Scared of not coping with all this, scared of losing Kurt, scared of being a widow with 2 young children by age 41....

But before I bring you all down...I am not without hope. God is greater than anything that scares me. My faith is real, strong and always with me. It can just be so hard living here on this earth, you know?

Will someone please life Kurt up in prayer on Sunday? And any others at other churches too....
I love you all for your support and care. And I guess I need it now more than ever.

Question #15

Who do you most want to encourage this year?

My answer isn't a specific person, but two specific groups of people.

The women at my church.

The other staff members and their spouses at my church.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Question #14

What habit would you most like to establish this year?

Rising early to spend time with God.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Question #13

What's the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?

So many, but it all depends on the definition of need. :)

Debt free, bunkbeds for the girls, new windows and doors on house, new HVAC, homeschool curriculum or private school tuition, better health insurance, life insurance, etc...

My list could go on, but really we have food, clothing, shelter, and family. We are blessed abundantly!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Question #12 and Memory Monday and Motivate Me Monday

I haven't done Motivate Me Monday for a few weeks because I've been working on these questions, but then it occurred to me that the questions themselves could be a Motivate Me Monday post. So, for those of you in the 5:16 Club and any of you readers who were wondering what the 31 Questions were all about, here goes again.

In addition to some goals for 2009, I found this article with 31 Questions to ask for The New Year, and so I'm working through them here on the blog. It has been a wonderful way to start this year off intentionally. And doing the questions one a day for a month (or more!) is really helping to give me time to pray about them and determine what God desires of me this year. Feel free to go back and read the rest of the questions or just pick up today with question #12.

What area of your life most needs simplifying,
and what's one way you could simplify in that area?

Cooking and grocery shopping. I had been spending way too much time trying to clip coupons and menu plan, and it wasn't working for me! I think I've decided to go back to a once-a-month cooking plan, stop clipping coupons, and only go to the store twice a month. I'm not one of those people who enjoys time in the kitchen, so it is far too tempting for me to just "grab" something for our family instead of cooking. Somehow already having meals in the freezer or at least having some of the prep work done helps me tremendously!

And now for a little...

Here's my verse from memory this week:

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves become burdened again
by a yoke of slavery."

Galations 5:1

I'm only doing two verses a month, so no new one for me next week, but I'll repeat the two I've done so far. For more Memory Monday, visit The Simple Wife.

Also, for more Motivate Me Monday, head on over to Like a Warm Cup of Coffee and see how the other 5:16 Gals are motivating you this Monday Morning!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Question #11

What's the most important decision you need to make this year?

Whether or not to continue homeschooling my girls.

I know this sounds contradictory to my answer yesterday. I don't approach HS from a perspective that I will always do it, but from the perspective that I will re-evaluate every year what I think God is asking of me. This school year, I knew I needed to HS. Next school year, I'm still praying about and waiting for His guidance.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Question #10

What single thing that you plan to do this year will
matter most in 10 years? In eternity?

Instruct my children in godliness.

This is one of my main reasons for homeschooling. Not to shield or protect them, but to have more than a few hours a day to teach them. I love that we get to use the Bible as a school book and learn together, because on my own, I do not feel "qualified" to teach them!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Question #9

What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

Keep getting up early to have time for prayer (uninterrupted) before my family wakes up!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Question #8

What's the most important way you will, by God's grace,
try to make this year different from last year?

I'm focusing on spending time with God each and every morning and doing Bible Study and scripture memorization. As a result of that, I expect that this entire year will be different than last year; emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially, etc.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The God Chronicles-January 2009

I have a dear bloggy friend named Tyler. Over on her blog, Titus 2:3-5, she is hosting "The God Chronicles." On the 20th of every month, she will be posting a story about the ways she has seen God at work in her life.

I started blogging last year because I wanted to document life for my kids. It has mostly been funny mommy stories and ideas about motherhood and organizing and budgeting and cleaning, etc. While those things are wonderful to share and learn about, I have begun to desire something else for my children. I want to leave a spiritual journal for them. That's why when I read about Tyler's "The God Chronicles", I knew I wanted to participate. So, here it is, the very first story ...

There are times in life when you pray and pray and pray and seek God, yet the direction you are to take still doesn't seem obvious. So you make a decision and go for it, and you still don't know if you made the right decision. This is not one of those times. This is one of those hit-me-in-the-face-and-knock-me-on-my-you-know-what really obvious times, and it doesn't make a lick of sense. I love those.

This is a story about surrender and stepping out of my comfort zone.

God has given me a passion for women's ministry and I have really been wanting to pour myself into beginning one here at our new church. However, my husband is passionate about media ministry. We moved here for him to become the Video Producer at the church. I really want us to be a ministry team, but oh how I love women's ministry and I have such great ideas that I think God has given me, and the women here really need it and have asked for it, and everyone sort of expects me to do it, and I think God gives us passions for a reason, etc... On and on my dreams and excuses go.

My husband thinks I would be great at making videos. Huh? I barely figured out how to blog, much less make videos! Doesn't that require some kind of technical mind? I really don't think I'm all that creative either. (Does anyone ever think they are creative?)

So, that's been the dilemma. I kept asking God why He gave me a passion for women's ministry if I wasn't supposed to use it. My husband and I sat down one night to talk about it and he just said, "It's obvious what you should do." Again, huh? "You can do both. Why can't you use your passion for women's discipleship to make videos. Why does it have to be separate?"

Well, it did kind of make sense. Except for the part that I do not have a technical mind. I don't feel creative. I don't really want to make videos. I. I. I.

This is where my heart and prayers began to change. Didn't God create me to be a help meet for my husband? Is this what my husband desires? Can God make me more technical-make me smarter than I am? Isn't God the ultimate Creator? Doesn't all creativity come from Him? Doesn't God know what I am capable of even more than I do? Doesn't God know what I would enjoy doing even more than I know?

With a total knot in the pit of my stomach, I realized that my priority needed to be helping my husband and I can use my passion as part of that. So, I decided to surrender my desire to do women's ministry and step out of my comfort zone to learn how to make videos. I've given up my "me time" to blog and read. I have decided to start using the girls' nap time and after they are in bed to do some tutorials and start the learning process.

My husband has a computer in the basement with all the software for editing. (He uses this when he works from home.) I kept thinking in my head about how difficult it was going to be to do all my work downstairs and still keep an eye on the girls. I didn't feel comfortable being downstairs while they were all upstairs. (Our house is a ranch). We were talking about how we really could use a laptop to edit with so that we could both work at the same time and so that I could work upstairs. We were dreaming pretty much because we knew we wouldn't be able to afford it for a long time. I began to question whether I was making a big mistake. Maybe I should do women's ministry. I don't see how this is really going to work after all.

This was a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday.

The next day at church, one of the volunteers asked my husband if he would come over to his house on Monday. My husband, being the "I don't really need details" kind of guy just said "sure, what time?" So, he planned to go over there and had no idea why. I was wondering why in the world this guy was inviting him over. I just thought maybe he needed help with a video or moving something because I am an, "I need details" kind of girl!

My husband went over there at 4:00. He walked in our door at 4:30 with a Dell box in his hands. Inside was a laptop for editing. Given to us. I'm not kidding.

Once I pulled my chin off the floor, I believe I might have danced around the room in delight. Might have. I'm even more convinced that I made the right decision now. I love when God does things like that, even when you have no earthly idea why! I can't wait to see why in the world He wants me making videos, but it is obvious that He does! I've only gotten a few lessons in, but I'm getting into a daily "work" routine and hoping to get through the tutorial by the end of this month. God has already give me a few ideas for videos from my Bible Study, so I'm excited to get writing on them too.

God knows what I am capable of more than I do. He knows how He created me and why He created me that way. He can enable me to do anything. He can even teach me how to make videos. He can use videos to reach women. He. He. He. See how a little surrender changes your perspective?

Want to read more of "The God Chronicles", click here to go to Tyler's blog! Want to join in, go here to learn more about "The God Chronicles."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Question #7 & Memory Monday

For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

Actually, two people in my family. M&C.

Here's my scripture from memory:

"Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.

Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."

Psalm 5:1-3

Next week's verse is Galations 5:1

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Question #6-And help from some older Titus women?

What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

This one is hard, because my immediate answer is women's ministry. We're a church of over 1600 and thriving in every way, except that there is NO women's ministry. I thought when we first moved here that God wanted me to start and grow this ministry here. However, I began to feel like it was competing with my husband's ministry for time away from family, etc. So, I made the decision to put the women's ministry on the back burner and work at supporting my husband's ministry. (And God has made it obvious that this was the right decision). So, now I feel like the women's ministry is maybe for a future time?

The only two other things I can think of are more focused prayer and helping in my husband's ministry more deeply.

God has made it clear to me that I am to be home with my children and homeschool them (for now). So, I feel like my priorities have to be my personal relationship with God, my husband, my children, taking care of the household, homeschooling, and helping with my husband's ministry. I don't feel like that leaves time for other ministries (even though I would LOVE to do some! I have lots of great ideas that I feel like God has given me!)

So, in addition to answering the question. Anyone have any advice on how to balance it all? Or on the idea of phases of life and how some passions are maybe planted for use at a later time versus using them all at once? If you know of an older woman who has been through this who would have some great ideas, please send her this way! I would love to hear many different ideas from some Older Titus women! (Titus 2:3-5)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Question #5

What is the single biggest time-waster in your life,
and what will you do about it this year?

Without a doubt, blogging and time on the computer! I've felt God telling me this for awhile and so I'm going to listen. This year, I'm limiting my blogging. Here's how.

1. I want this year to be a Jesus-Year in my life and on my blog. So, for Pinkadoodledoo I will only be posting Motivate Me Monday and Memory Monday and Bible Study posts (after the 31 questions are over that is).

2. Once a month (or more if necessary) I will post pictures of family stuff on my family blog.

3. I'm not adding any new content to Healing Hope. Unless, God makes it evident that there is something he wants me to share.

4. I have dropped a ton of subscriptions from my Reader and just kept friends and family and a few women that I really want to keep up with. In this way, I hope to limit my time blog reading. (I even dropped, Big, Boo, and Rocks!)

So, what do you waste your time doing?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Question #4

In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year,
and what will you do about it?

1. I definitely want to grow in my knowledge and memorization of scripture. (I would LOVE to go to seminary, but I'm just going to have to study on my own for now! So, more Beth Moore and Kay Arthur studies, daily Bible reading and studying on my own, using Commentaries and reading from other trusted theologians. Also, committing to memorizing two scriptures a month. I almost have #1 down!)

2. I also want to work on a deeper prayer life and listening to God each morning, without falling asleep! :) I've been getting up early and exercising to awaken my body and mind before sitting down for my prayer time. I'm doing a prayer notebook so that I have people and things written down to remember to pray for. I'm praying scripture more and I'm writing in my Bible more (prayers and answered prayers related to scripture.)

Your turn! What way do you want to grow spiritually this year?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Question #3

I really enjoyed your comments answering yesterday's question, and just want you to know that I have added your comments to my prayer list. Together, I believe we will see God do the impossible this year!

What's the single most important thing you could do to
improve the quality of your family life this year?

I can't seem to think of just one. I'll have to pray about this one some more. Here are some of the things that come to mind.

1. Family Game Nights.
2. Praying over my family more.
3. Retreat/Vacation.
4. Family Devotions. (In addition to school Bible time.)
5. Turn off the TV.
6. Tea Parties with the girls. (Focus on relationships.)

How about you?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Question #2

What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

Break some strongholds in my life that I have been trying to break for a few years now!

What about you? Are you asking God to do anything special this year?

Want to join me with the 31 Questions for the New Year? Go Here to get the questions for yourself.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Check Your Focus

Did you set goals or resolutions for this new year? Have you already failed miserably at them? Maybe it is time to change your focus. I was given a wonderful gift this year by a fellow blogger. A digital camera.

Now, I don't know anything about photography, but I can still take great pictures with this new camera. Why? Because it has auto focus. Just a few adjustments here and a couple buttons pressed there and my camera will take pictures that are perfectly in focus every single time. It's wonderful and it makes it so easy. Well, until I want to focus on something that is further away. You see, when I want to focus on something in the background and have the foreground be out of focus, I have to turn off the auto focus. On auto focus, my camera only focuses on what is right in front of me.

Is that how your life has been? Are you automatically focusing on what is right in front of you? Is it easier to just focus on the here and now? Has your daily life been on auto focus? I want to challenge you this year to take your eyes off of the auto focus and put them in manual mode. Choose each and every day what it is that you will focus on. Will it be the daily appointments that are in the foreground? Or will it be the spiritual growth and time with God that has spent far too much time in the background?

I have decided to change my focus this year. My goals this year may be the typical ones. Get healthier, get debt-free, go on vacation, etc. The difference this year is how I am going about them. I am committing to spending time with God each and every morning, to meditating on His Word day and night through scripture memorization and Bible Study, to think on every decision as a means to obey His Word. Through a focus on Him, He will make me able to accomplish my goals. When my focus is Him, my goals will be His Goals!

As a challenge to keep focused on Him and to think about my 2009 goals from a spiritual perspective, I've decided to post a question here every day for the next 31 days about my goals for the year. There is a great article here that gives 31 questions to ask yourself for a new year. Spend some time praying over and thinking over these questions in the next month and see if He doesn't change your focus for 2009! Will you be spending another year on auto focus?

Here's question number 1:
What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

Spend time with Him each morning! Get to KNOW Him!

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.

2 Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.

-Psalm 5:1-3

As part of my scripture memorization this year, I am also participating in Memory Monday. So, I've chosen the above scripture for this week.

For more Motivate Me Monday go here and for more Memory Monday go here. Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

All Things New...

As I was putting away my 2008 planner, I noticed my 2008 goals and read through them again. I didn't accomplish ANY of them. The really sad part is that the page was labeled 2006 goals, which was marked out and had 2007 written over it, which was marked out and had 2008 written over it. So basically, I said, "Oh my stinking heck, that is JUST r-i-d-i-c-u-l-o-u-s." Time for some NEW GOALS (and some followup)!

2009 GOALS

1. 5:16 AM Club: Make it a discipline to get up and spend time with God every morning before everyone else wakes.

2. Debt-Free: Stick to frugal menu and shopping. Work on videos from home and find ways to increase income.

3. Get Healthier: Exercise every day. More activity with girls. Less junk food. Less soda. More water.

4. Memorize Scripture and Read Through Bible: One or two books per week starting in Matthew. Memorize two scriptures per month.

If I accomplish those four goals this year, it will be a successful year of spiritual growth and discipline in all areas of life! Just for fun, here are a few more things I'd like to do this year...

Monthly dates and family game nights.

Put pictures and videos on blog once a month.

Read 12 books just for fun.

Teach the girls to swim or sign them up for swim lessons.

Take the girls camping or to DisneyWorld or BOTH :)

Accomplish a few home improvement projects-budget permitting!