Sunday, February 22, 2015

Daybook Online Journal

Up until a few years ago, the word journal  immediately me back to 5th grade, where I can vividly recall sitting at my desk looking at the assigned writing essay.  Mind blank, no creative inspiration, only an assignment for writing which I absolutely hated!

Years later as I became active in Bible Studies, journalling became an active word that was used often.  Often I would skip over the idea simply because I hate sitting down with paper and pen. As time went on, the purpose of keeping a journal and benefits of it became clearer, especially as life's moments were going by so fast, it was hard to catch and cherish them.

So... I began writing down things I wanted to remember.  Although I'm not faithful to journal, there are some great moments, thoughts and inspirations jotted down to look at now and again!

Writing is a chore, but blogging, now that is something I love to do!  Thoughts pouring through the mind, fingers flying on the keyboard, no stress, no writers cramp, and a blog post completed, that I can do!  But again, time keeps flying by and the older I get, the more I love to look back and see what things were going on in my life and recapture life's fleeting moments.

Last week, I stumbled upon a blog that shared a weekly "Daybook Online Journal".  Now, I won't bore you each week, but I am excited about the opportunity to sit and ponder what is going on in some areas of my life right now.  So here goes...

Thanking God for…good health, energy to do daily tasks especially through a few busy weeks. Valentine's Day and the opportunity to love and be loved.

Praying…there are a few tough situations on my heart that only God can fix.  Praying over these and believing nothing is too hard for God and that He is magnified in and above every issue.

Jobs…Enjoying a seasonal job with a tax office.  Getting to know some new co-workers and meeting a variety of customers, getting some problem solving skills.  Loving the interaction with others.

ReadingThe Power of Persistence by Micheal Carr, Be All You Can Be by John Maxwell and The Virtuous Life of a Christ Centered Wife by Darlene Schact

Bible Journaling…Jotting down notes from "Be All You Can Be"

Around the House…Planning this week to plant some herbs, need some fresh basil and oregano!  Have lots of kale growing. 

In the Kitchen…Working hard to eat clean!  Finishing off the many BOGO cookie and brownie mixes.  Keeping a good supply of healthy snacks, fresh fruits on hand.

Church Ministries…So excited to be a part of a new ministry starting in March.  Family Ministry nights will involved the entire family. Working to reach our young families and engage them in not just church attendance, but to become families strong in the Lord that live out and pass along great faith. 

Saving Money…trying to stay out of the grocery store!!  Making an effort to use what we have in the pantry and freezer.    Working to use leftovers creatively and with no waste. 

Healthy Living...Working hard on a clean diet and picking back up some running.  A local 10K will be held in our town next month, trying to increase endurance to run it.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Three Word Wednesday - Light My Path

I may not talk much, but once I get a hold of a keyboard, 'words' seem to fly! That must be one of the reasons I love blogging.  Words are powerful and so often a thought comes to my mind and stirs my heart and I know it is something I need to hold on to.  Usually when that happens, I know a blog post is in the making!!  Three Word Wednesday is a fun way to share a condensed (very!!) version of what is churning in our hearts in 3 simple words.  

We all know life is ever changing.  The last few years, we've faced and walked and embraced  some big life changes.  Moving, a son's marriage and  a new daughter in law, teenage years..again, that shifting in the seasons of life.  

Any change requires a decision.  As a Christian, I believe God has the ultimate plan for good for our lives.  Over and over in the Bible, we hear how He sees, knows and directs us. When times of decision come, prayer is the best place to begin.  Without His guidance, my plans may fail, but when He directs my path, it is promised to work out for my good.

A recent morning we were in the car headed to school and work.  Taking my usual path and making a right turn, I was blinded by the sun behind me. It was so bright I could barely see ahead of me.  I tried to dodge my head but the sun filled the rear view mirror and both side mirrors, there was no dodging it or getting away from it. A verse immediately poppped into my mind...

"But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day."  Proverbs 4:18.  
WOW, what a word picture!!

God is so vast, so powerful, so massive, like the sun that morning shining all around me, He cannot be contained but is overwhelming.  When He shines His light to direct my path, there arises light in the darkness of confusion, hope in the midst of hurt, warmth, love and beauty. He illuminates and shines like none other.  That is the path I want to choose...His path!  

My prayer and my 3 words are Light My Path!  May be steps be ever guided by the Lord who will never lead me astray!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Planning Around Home

Have you ever had those weeks that leave you ragged?  A recent week of mine was like that.  A packed schedule with some distractions that left me feeling exhausted and still running behind.  Very little time at home had pushed household chores aside, making meals and laundry were the priorities (we have to eat and have clean clothes!!), everything else got pushed to the side.  

I only had Sunday to regroup before we had to do it all over again.  Sunday is biblically a day of rest and as I struggled not to jump on the undone chores, walked out to the porch.  The plan was to sit for a few minutes, but the porch needed sweeping first or I wouldn't be able to enjoy my sitting spell!!  I noticed my plants had suffered some frostbite from recent cold nights.  Picking off the dead leaves made a huge difference in my plants and began to restore some calmness in my heart. Tending to the plants and then watering them didn't feel like a chore, but rather began to bring fulfillment and peace to the afternoon.  I love my plants and just that little bit of tending to them would bring beautiful results.  It wasn't like 'work', but tending to them would bring great benefits.  

When those busy weeks come, I am learning that 'planning around home' makes home time that much sweeter.  Home is that central place where the family comes to unwind and be refreshed. Changing the mindset from what all has to be done to looking forward to being home makes all the difference. Dinner has to come every evening!  It can be a cold, quick time of necessarily feeding the body, or with a little planning can be a relaxed time together to share about the day and enjoy some quality time at home.  There is no better feeling for a mama than to know dinner is taken care of and will be ready when we are.  Slow cookers and menu plans can have you covered!  When we leave the house in the morning, by having a plan set in place for the return, it can make for a beautiful, relaxing evening!  When we 'plan around home', it centralizes our priorities that are often pulled in many directions. 

Through the years of raising boys who were often involved in sports, many evening of the week can be tied up.  Mid week church attendance which is a set routine, keeps us out and about other nights.  Weeknights at home are limited but with 'planning around home', when we are there, we can be refreshed, recharged and renewed.  

Planning begins with a goal - to make home a precious place where the family wants to be. When we plan around home, we center our actions on home first, then outward to the other needful activities in our lives. 

A few of my favorite ways to plan around home include:

  • Leave the house like you want to enter it.  Simply picking up loose items, having dirty dishes dealt with, makes walking in more pleasant than seeing first thing all that needs to be done.
  • Have a plan for dinner - if possible, something in the slow cooker, or meat thawed out ready to be cooked.  Nothing ruins a mom's evening more than 'dinner hour panic', when everyone is asking 'when will dinner be ready?' and you have no idea!
  • Schedule what needs to be done...homework, bits of housework, chores etc. can be done in bite size portions through the week.  
  • Plan for family time - what does the family like to do together?  Carve out time and make it happen!
Running our homes must be done.  In most cases, the woman is responsible for the majority of the housework, food and planning. There is no 'getting out of it', if ignored, it will multiply.  When we put our heart into the home and plan around our home, it truly becomes a labor of love, with many blessed rewards!

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Year, New Word

Happy New Year!!  At the beginning of each year I like to share a blog post filled with newness and expectation for the year ahead of us. I've actually been mulling this post over in my mind before it finally got formulated enough to come together!!  I know January is almost over, but here is my "New Year's" post!

Over the past few years, I've heard more about people beginning a new year by giving a name to it.  A name that reflects what they might want to see, do or become. A name to remember and ingrain in their head, hearts and bring out through actions.  Some of the ones I've heard are...Generous, Hope, Strength, Grace.  Last year mine was "Humility" and through the year I set out with purpose to give God and others preeminence in my life.  (It was no easy task and I've certainly not 'completed" this!!)  It was a year of fighting flesh, struggling between my own desires and another's needs, but God did a major work in my heart through it all.

Before the new year, a familiar verse ignited a spark in my heart for a word for the year.  Psalms 34 1-2 
"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together."  When we humble ourselves, He becomes greater.  If, instead of looking inward to our accomplishments we begin to look at Him and His greatness, He is MAGNIFIED. When our focus changes to the Lord, when we read His Word and are reminded of His power, His awesomeness, His love, He becomes larger in our lives.  When He is MAGNIFIED, everything else pales in comparison.   

Yes, my word for the year is MAGNIFY!  But the year long journey is to set my mind on magnifying Him and recognizing in every way - He is greater.  There is nothing that can compare to God.  He is Creator of all and He watches and sustains everything.  No one is above Him and nothing is impossible with Him.  This is the word I want to meditate on, remember daily and pass along through the year - Hie is MAGNIFIED over and above every situation I may face. Nothing will ever be too hard for Him, there is nothing He doesn't know about or see and nothing He cannot do. My mind has trouble wrapping itself around His greatness, but my purpose is this year is not to try to understand God's ways, but simply lift Him up.

Will you help me?  "Oh magnify the Lord with me. And let us exalt His name together."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sticky Notes for the Soul

December has arrived and is almost halfway gone in the blink of the eye!  This blog has a new Christmas look, our home is decorated and we are excitedly anticipating Christmas!

But, in the preparations it can be easy to lose sight of the true Gift and joy of this time of the year.  In the beginning of December, I found Sticky Notes for the for every day of December.  These powerful reminders lift my eyes and heart above all the distractions and busyness to celebrate, rejoice in and trust in the gifts which never lose their power, Christ's love, peace, joy and grace!

Today's Sticky Note is...
"I will trust that everything happening around me today, every day, is happening to make miracles. Every little thing is going to be okay, because God is working good through every little thing.  There is never a night, never a darkness when gifts and miracles and joy aren't coming - coming right to me."

Will reading that each day in December not turn our focus to where it needs to be???!!!

Here is the link to the free download, be encouraged to print it off and read it each day, be encouraged to share and be a blessing as we display in our lives and actions - Jesus, the greatest Gift.