Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let's Just Skip to the Good Stuff



Whether it's books, movies, life, or licking the chocolate off a doughnut before eating it :) I like to get to the good parts now!

When reading a book I want to know if it's going to end like I want it too. That way I can relax knowing that no matter what trials the characters are going through all will be well at the end. I wish life were the same way. I wish I could fast forward to the end of a trial, know how it's going to turn out, then I could relax and have confidence that everything was going to work out.

But that's NOT how it works, unfortunately

When going through a trial, I want it to be over as soon as it starts. I don't want to go through it, at all.  Trials usually mean sleepless nights, lots of worrying, endless praying, and I want easy. now.

Wisdom comes in the waiting.  I am learning to seek God to have peace in spite of what is happening around me.  It's a process. One that has growing pains with it.  It's a necessary part of life and that's why God allows it. He doesn't want us to stop growing and evolving into the people He wants us to be. Trials allow this to happen.

Marriage problems, child problems, friend problems and money they all have their way with me sometimes.
But without them I would not have learned things about myself. For instance, money problems led us to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace and having a budget that works and learning how to use coupons to maximize savings at the store!!

If I rush through to the end of the story I'll miss so much.

Bring on the trials!! I will not shrink back anymore, like someone with no faith, I have a God that goes before me and fights my battles for me!

Consider it pure joy when you endure a trial of any kind {Js 1:2}, you never know what kind of person you will become and what you will gain on the other side of it.

 Matt 11:29-30 "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." 


Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers! I'm linking over there today.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Living the "Adventure"

Faith Barista asked us to write about "adventure" for her Faith Jam. Her word for the week is "Adventure" and it pretty much sums up my life right now. I refuse to miss the blessings from it!

This year in my families life has been quite an adventure. My husband took a position with work FAR far far from family and "home".  It's been exciting, fun, and lonely at times.  I miss my family terribly more than I admit.  This blog was formed out of a need to share and connect since that has been lost in the move. 

God forces me out of my comfort zone, pushes me to be "ok" with who he made me to be in order to feel comfortable putting myself out there again.  I don't like it and I push back before I relent. In the relent is peace, I know I will be ok here or anywhere else we may go to next. I can say I trust Him fully now.

God has gone above and beyond answering prayers regarding this move for my kids, our new home, rental of our old home, a new church, and a few new friends that I am thankful to have met on our little adventure.

Click on over to Faith Barista 's site. There is a great post over there today on having a dream and NOT going back on it when things get scary! She spoke straight to me!

I'd Make a Good Pharisee

                                                       




I hate it when people judge others.Who do they think they are? They think they're perfect and they never make a mistake?  Self-righteous and haughty people. They look and act like they have it all together. Never doing anything wrong. Look at us, we dress perfect, smile perfect, act perfect. You never see us upset or down.

Back in Jesus' time the Pharisees were the leaders. They were so focused on doing everything right and the appearance of holiness was very important to them. We don't call people Pharisees nowadays, but we still have people that take on the characteristics of them. It's easy to slip into this behavior. 

Their life can't be as perfect as they pretend it to be. 

"Inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence..."First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will be clean also" {Matt 23: 25-26"}

Do we hide because we are scared?  Worried we will be rejected if we don't say and do all the right things? If our past is found out will people still think good of us? We deny who God made us to be, so that we can carbon copies of those around us, refusing to let the past be used for His glory.

When are we going to start being real with people? Let our true selves show through and be comfortable in our own skin? Allow ourselves to feel each other's pain and carry each other's burdens without being doubled faced and turning a prayer request into a chance for gossip.

"..You appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness"{Matt 23:28}

So glad I'm not like them. Those that refuse to be real and let the walls down. Judging those that live like the world can't touch them.
But am I not?

Judging the judger is just as bad.  No difference. I'm sitting at the judgement seat of them, condemning them for falling short, of what I think they should be. 

Being a Christian doesn't make you perfect. You can try strive, but you are human and you are going to mess up. Sometimes in a big way. It's good to let people see that though, it's not in the messing up but how you get up and carry on that matters. That is what I'm learning as grow older wiser with age. I still have a ways to go....I'll not be perfect this side of heaven anyways :)

Lord, give me Your eyes to really see those around me. To pull the log out of my own eye.  May there be less of me and more of You!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Just Keep Swimming


Remember Dori from Finding Nemo?
I LOVE her philosophy on life, "Just Keep Swimming."
I am often reminded of that part of the movie when I or one of my kids is tempted to give up when things get hard.

I was reminded of this again over the weekend with my son. He loves to play sports and there are a couple of sports that he is really good at like baseball and football, they come more natural to him, but he's only 7. There is one sport he likes to play but only with his dad or other family members when he knows he isn't going to be judged on his performance, basketball

We were at a volleyball scrimmage game for my daughter over the weekend and the other half of the court was free for those that wanted to play on it.  A little boy my son knew from school wanted him to go over to the free side of the court and play hoops with him. But my son wouldn't. Because the little boy wanted to play basketball. A friendly game, but if you have boys you know that every thing turns competitive! Since the skill to play basketball doesn't come naturally he doesn't want to do it at all. He doesn't want anyone to make fun of his lack of hoop skills.

I am like this sometimes. If I don't succeed first attempt I just assume it's not meant to be and quit.  I don't want to put myself out there, declare "I'm doing this!" and then fail. There is no telling how many things I would be really good at if I didn't quit when things got hard or didn't happen like I thought they would.

Dori reminds me to not give up, keep going. Fail and then try again. Don't be scared.

This is a lesson I want my kids to know as well. Life is hard, but don't stop trying. Get knocked down and then get back up again!

"Just Keep Swimming!!"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Scarf...From a T-Shirt! Tutorial

I LOVE Pinterest it is a virtual pin board of the most amazing ideas ever thought of.  I found this idea on there the other day. A t-shirt scarf!  I have a ton of old t-shirts and instead of tossing I'm going to upcycle{use what you have for a different purpose}, hence saving mullah! The best part?  NO SEWING!!! Doesn't get much easier than that.

Follow along below and I will show you how I did mine!

First, lay out the t-shirt to be cut

then you want to cut off the hem, like so{very detailed pics, because I need step by step pictures to start a new project and thought you would like them too}

then start cutting in 1-2" strips, horizontally across the shirt, up to the armpit then stop.
you will have a nice pile of strips.
Now take them one at a time or 3-4 at a time and start tugging gently. They will start to curl in on themselves.


Now here is the part where you have creative license to go crazy!!  You can stick with one color or mix with another. Twist them, braid them, knot them,layer then, whatever strikes your fancy. Here are a couple of pictures of what I did with mine!!


The possibilities are endless!
Have fun!
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Fell Off The Fly Wagon

                                                                    Photo Credit


A few years back I had a friend tell be about Flylady, she is this wonderful woman that teaches women to clean, cook, and organize their homes ALL without perfection.
She has a great calendar that changed my life, and while I might be late to things I never forget them because it's written down on my calendar.

The house can get out of control quick, but if you do a little each day it's manageable.
For instance: The kitchen. If I don't get anything else cleaned this part of the home always does!
It brings me a little peace of mind to walk into a clean kitchen.  I don't feel overwhelmed by the other stuff when it's clean.

I've never been good at organizing and probably never will be. But keeping things thrown away and put up helps tremendously when I do sit down to organize something.  Like, when the kids come home from school, I go through their folders and I keep the really "special" things and toss the rest. Cause come on, are they or me really gonna care about a math sheet 20 years down the road? Not likely.

Do a load of laundry everyday, even if it's a small one. This will save you so much time.

Before company comes over, wipe over just what they will see!!!  Don't worry about every nook and cranny. Your company is coming over to visit with you, not to do an inspection.

And finally,{ and there are a ton more ideas on her website but these are the ones that stuck} make a menu and grocery list whether it's for the week or month. DO IT!! You will save so much time and money on this one. I seriously don't know how I did it before the menu and list. 

Well, I do, but you don't want to know...it was ugly. That was the old me, and the new me makes a list.

I would love to hear about your time and money saving ideas. Do you have any good ones, you'd like to share?

Friday, January 13, 2012

When You Invite an Introvert To a Party {How to Get Them to Come}



                                     PhotoCredit
When you invite an introvert to a party they are really excited...at first. But then, dread quietly taps them on the shoulder.  They start wishing for a good a way out, a plausible excuse. Already panicking at the thought of having to come up with things to talk about and they just received the invite minutes ago!!


If a good excuse for not going doesn't materialize then the highly anticipated even becomes something to be dreaded. As time gets closer the dread in the head moves on down to the stomach. It’s nuts!!  Questioning why they accepted in the first place?!  

Thoughts like, what if I don’t know anyone there? {gasp}. What if there is no one to talk to?? Will I be all alone? How pathetic will I look?? The awkward first few minutes of any gathering are gut wrenching. Small talk is killer. Oh NO, I should have said NOOO! screams in their head.
And then it's time. No excuses. Time to face the music...
They go and have a GREAT time, wondering why in the world they didn't want to go??  Crazy. Glad they didn't miss out on the fun they can't wait for the next invite.


If you really want to make sure an introverted friend shows up. PICK THEM UP! :)



What do you think?  are you extroverted or introverted? Do love big gatherings or are you more of a small intimate gathering type person?



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Will the REAL Housewives Please Stand Up?




I have a guilty pleasure..and no it's not chocolate! whatever.  It's the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Now, I don't watch too much of this kind of TV, I know it's not good to get caught up in this kind of stuff. I don't know how I got hooked on this train wreck of a show, but like a train wreck I can't stop watching!  Women behaving badly is an understatement concerning these ladies.  But I pity them. I feel sorry for them, because they live for themselves and stand for all the wrong things in this world. They are lost.
I usually find myself just shaking my head through the whole thing, I'm not judging them, they don't realize the wrongness of their ways, but like I said I pity them.

They are so fit and fake in their looks that they don't look like any real housewife that I've ever met.  Now this is what most housewives look like:

Source: google.ca via Cath on Pinterest
OK, maybe it's not this bad. But most of us don't have maids, cooks, drivers, nannies and personal trainers. Most of live a simple existence; at least more simple than these ladies and with a lot less drama. 
Real Housewives (not the Beverly Hills kind)are tired, usually covered in something that their children ate, and are lucky if the clothes they are wearing are clean much less designer made and special ordered.
BUT...oh come on, ya knew it was coming!
How different would these women lives be if they were saved?? They would still be rich, still have their 'help', still wear their fancy duds, but there would be something more to them. Substance.
How different would their responses be to life when it hit hard??
How different would their influence be on American women if they lived in a different way?

As strange as it might be, OK... me, as strange as I might be, I pray for these women. I do. I can't help it.  I see the vulnerability and  the insecurity that drives them toward perfection. I feel sorry for them.

One housewife (Taylor) has a husband that committed suicide. Another (Camilla) had her husband leave her for an another woman in a very public way, and another (Kim) just recently entered into drug rehab.
I pray for someone to come into their lives and be authentic and real with them.  I pray for someone to tell them about the only One that will bring them peace in this world. I pray for others in the entertainment world, especially the ones that directly influence my kids. For their hearts to be changed.    What if we ALL did?!  What if all Christians decided to pray for those that are lost?  How different would things be? 

What guilty pleasure TV watching do you do?? Please share I'd love to know!! Have you ever felt compelled to pray for someone on TV?? or is that just weirdo me?








Thursday, January 5, 2012

Family Verse for the New Year

"Forget the Former Things and Do Not Dwell on the Past. See I'm doing a NEW thing!" Isaiah 43:18








This has become our family verse this year. We moved 800 miles from our loved ones and friends and we all had to find a way to move forward and stop looking at what we left behind. Moving is hard, really hard. But God promises he is going to do a NEW thing, and personally I can't wait to see what that new thing is.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year Means New Goals





I hate making new years resolutions because I never stick to them and then I feel bad/like a failure.  I have about 2 weeks where I am all gung-ho(? ) and then I fizzle like a firecracker about to burn out.

But this year I am going to resolve just a few things to improve myself on instead of a to-do or don't list.   Like being CONSISTENT. This is a BIG one for me, and probably for a lot of us parents. I want to try and be more of a "Do as I say AND do" type parent.  I can't preach healthy eating and the importance of exercise if I excuse out of it myself {at least not anymore!!}

Be INTENTIONAL. I can't tell my kids they need to be a friend in order to make friends if I'm always ducking out of invitations or keeping to myself.  I need to be more intentional in this area. 

LISTEN. oh boy, do I get into trouble with  this one :)  I need and want my children to listen to me, so when they talk I should do the same. Practice what I preach kinda thing.

FEARLESS.  I don't like to go out of my way to try something new if I think I will fail or get rejected.  But this is the time to be fearless!! I will try new things {blogging}, reach out to new people, get involved in our new church....

I stopped making the usual weight lost resolutions last year after fizzling out after 2 weeks and getting disappointed in myself.  Dieting is hard, and my body immediately starts revolting as soon as the "D" word is uttered from my mouth.  So I will resolve to move more {at least 3 days a week :)} , eat more fruits and veggies and less carbs{i already miss them}. But big or smaller I will love my self and know I'm enough regardless!

and lastly be DISCIPLINED. I'm no good at this. But my entire being will benefit if I'm disciplined.  I might stick to a budget{key word might} , might not waste time, and might lose some weight if I'm disciplined.
 
I resolve NOT to beat myself up if I don't do anything on my self-improvement list.
But these things would help me prepare for whatever NEW thing God has in store for me and the family. So, I'm going to try really really hard to be dedicated to each one...ask me next year if i did it :)





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