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!